Thursday, December 27, 2012

All Libbed Up

I sat with Spencer tonight, a fresh MadLibs pad in his hand.  He was scribbling furiously, but everyone knows that you can't play MadLibs alone.

"Here, Spe," I said, and I grabbed the pad and flipped the page and poised my pen before he had a chance to protest.  "I'm going to teach you how to play MadLibs."

When his first two plural noun choices were farts and wieners, I looked at Rhett and said, "Well, I guess I don't have to teach him anything at all."

It turned out my kids were expert MadLibbers, culminating in this sentence:  "When a giraffe wants to drink pee from the ground, it has to spread its buttcheeks and slurp up the water with it's long bungholio."

No more lessons required?

Thursday, December 20, 2012


I forgot this, which I wanted to write about Logan, probably because he is in hot water for dumping a glass of water on my computer, even though there are strict rules about having beverages near said computer.  As you can see, it still works, but I am waiting for the water to hit the motherboard and wipe out everything.  I expect catastrophe, you see.

The other day I came across Logan (who says his own name Yogan, which I love) leaning against the couch doing something crazy with his legs, and saying, "No, I'm in front!  No, I'm in front! No, I'm in front!" over and over again.  I paused and said, "Hey, Logan, what are you doing?"  He looked down at his legs and then at me and said, "Oh, my yegs are arguing again." 

"Show me." I said, delighted, of course.  Weirdness is my love language.

"No, I'm in front!" he said, and crossed his right leg in front of his left leg.

"No, I'm in front!" he said, and crossed his left leg in front of his right leg.

"No, I'm in front!" he said, and crossed his right leg in front of his left leg.

You get the idea.  He is a delight and a joy, no?

I have been saying this long and loud to anyone who will listen this year, but Christmas was a helluva lot more magical when I wasn't the person in charge of the magic. 

Having said that, I still love Christmas.  It's a lot of work, but totally worth it.  Right now I'm working on neighbor treats and teacher gifts, wherein working on means that I'm actually here, posting on my blog, and thinking about how I should be doing neighbor treats and teacher gifts.  I did Rhett's coworker gifts yesterday, and if you can't see the irony of quasi-feminist Heidi docilely baking and collating and wrapping her husband's coworker gifts, well, then perhaps your sense of irony is off? Just living the dream over here. 

Veevs has been home sick with the flu for like umptillion days.  Jake was home for one a half day with a bad case of faking sick.  I know, because I'm an expert.  Logan woke up this morning with a fever.  It explained so much about why he climbed in to bed with me and refused to get out in the middle of the night.

By the way, Veevs has a blog of her own.  She would love it if you would stop by and comment, I'm sure.  You can click here.  She has been posting about eight times a day since she has been sick, and I think a Twitter feed might be more appropriate, but I find it charming and delightful.  I especially like how there are some parts where I can tell she has thought carefully about how best to word her writing.

Our elf, as might be expected, is a little bit lazy.  Sometimes he moves midday, and sometimes not at all.  I always blame this on someone touching him so that he lost his magic.  This causes Jakers to get almost hysterical with his wild accusations of elf misconduct (mostly directed toward Logan).  Ah, Christmas.  Such a time of peace and love and goodwill.

I have noticed very few people have been posting about the tragedy in Newtown in meaningful ways, and I suspect that is because, like me, most people are still trying to make some kind of meaning of it.  It is so horrible and awful that it seems like perhaps we shouldn't talk about it?  Perhaps it is so awful that we can't make anything better by revisiting the chain of events, the horrible details of children suffering?  I don't know, but I just know I've been heartsick.  I cry, and then I go hug Jakers (my kindergartener) who stiff-arms me and says, "Why are you kissing me so much?  I just want to play."  He makes it easier to let go of sentimentality, that one.

Merry Christmas, everybody.  In the finest of feminist tradition, I have to go make my fabulous mint fudge to give to the neighbors.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Libraries. Not for children.

I took my kids to the library today.  They have today off of school, but sadly for the librarians, the library was open.  It had been a while since we had been to see our librarian, Nate, and his stack of books, so this seemed like a great opportunity.

Except I think Nate wanted to drown us all by the time we were ready to check out.  I went to hand him my library card.  "I've already got you pulled up, and I've checked out all the books.  You can just go."

There might have been a touch of panic in his voice.  But really, if they don't want the pants on the giant Mickey Mouse stuffed animal pulled down, why don't they secure them? 

I made the kids apologize, but they could barely keep a straight face.  Sorry, librarian Nate.  Really.  So sorry.

Monday, November 19, 2012


Last week my mother came to visit me.  In a way, my father, uncles, cousins, nephews and brothers also came to visit, but not really.  They came to my town to have a golf reunion (wherein they avoid talking to each other the whole time by golfing 36 holes a day and falling into bed exhausted at night).  As you can imagine, I didn't see much of them (although we had two very lovely dinner visits). 

As always happens before my mom comes, I tried to clean my house up before she came.  Aside from a few hot spots (my bedroom) we did pretty well.  In the way that my mother always has, she brought with her a bubble of organization and capability that I am personally unacquainted with.  She looked at me after a few days and said, "Oh, this is such a lovely vacation for me!"  Okay, I said, if your idea of vacation is doing all my laundry, dishes, and cooking, then you should come here more often.

She laughed, "I'm not the kind of person who can sit down."  No kidding.  Her version of vacation is how I picture an old-school Soviet work camp. 

The children were so delighted to see her.  I took them out of school for one day and we went to Fort Toulouse to look at the old forts.  The kids collected Spanish moss from the trees (at Veev's request so that she could use the moss for bedding for her cat den), poked at a deer carcass (left over from a tanning demonstration at Frontier Days), and wandered the fort and park area.  We were going to go to the zoo, but Veevs protested that we've seen the zoo a zillion times.  Membership has its privileges, but they are lost on her. 

But now I'm alone again.  Me and my laundry.  And my dishes.

Rhett went with my male family members golfing and although they were all very kind, he confided to me later that he was, in fact, truly awful at golfing.  When he came out in the morning of the golf outing, he was sporting a navy blue collared shirt, khakis, and a sea-foam sweater vest, all on top of a skin tight white UnderArmour shirt.  Whoa, whoa, whoa, I said, what's going on there?

Rhett looked offended.  I am, he said with grave dignity, following the example of Uncle Mike.

While it is true that Uncle Mike wore a sweater vest the night before, I'm guessing he would have been appalled to see his fashion so desecrated. 

Look, I said, lose the sweater vest and the UnderArmour, and you might just pass.

But what if I get sunburned?  Did you see Trent yesterday?  Talk about a white boy with a sunburn!

I considered it a small win when he ditched the sweater vest.

My littlest baby is learning to eat all sorts of junk, and boycotting baby food.  This is always a little sad, because a) it means my baby is growing up, and b) it means I have to start thinking about what to feed him.  Additionally, he is all over the place, and has developed a penchant for pulling out all the books from my bookcase.  It was cute the first 43 times I cleaned it up, but now after approximately 578 times, it is losing it's charm.  However, how can I complain?  He is my LAST BABY!  Is it a rule that you have to cherish every moment with your LAST BABY, or am I allowed to celebrate that I am eleven months closer to never having to change another diaper?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

All Hyped Up

Y'all.  I have had the most productive day of my life. 

I felt a migraine coming on earlier today, so I did my usual and popped a caffeine pill (I am too Victorian ladyish, so of course I have a high sensitivity to actual, proper migraine medications.  They give me palpitations.  I really think I could have rocked life as an invalidish Victorian lady.).  Usually these caffeine pills make me slightly energetic and headache free. 

Today it made me positively manic.  I've washed all the sheets, organized cupboards that haven't been attended to since I moved in, knocked out dinner, laundry, cleaning and childcare.  I have learned all the words to "Call Me Maybe" which is not that hard, but when you consider how much I try to avoid noise (that's what I call music, people), it's a step forward.  Additionally, my hands are shaking so badly it's a miracle that I can type.  There's a lot of backspacing going on.  I've pulled weeds, washed dishes, caught up on email, and organized all my kids schoolwork into folders. 

I have a hunch that this is what the rest of you do every day.  I'm not sure, but I think when the caffeine wears off I'm going to be exhausted.  I'll have to take tomorrow off to get caught up on my laziness.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I Will Not Apologize

for not really writing blog posts anymore.  Unless you have been taking it personally, in which case, I'm sorry you're so invested in my life.  I'm not even that invested in it, so . . .

Today is laundry day, which explains plenty about why I'm writing a blog post instead of folding the laundry.  I believe that each child you add to a family doesn't just add to your laundry.  Each child exponentially increases your laundry.  I'm not a math person, but I'm pretty sure exponentially is the right concept. 

How are you, my dear blog friends?  You will not, of course, believe me, but I am still poking around your blogs, stalking you with a stealth that rivals anything the Avengers had going on.  (Wasn't that an entertaining film?  Did you like it?  It's pretty much the last movie I saw, so I'm still thinking about it.  I really need to get out more.  Also, why did I use them as examples of stealth?  There's really nothing subtle about their approach to killing aliens, true?)

You are probably wondering what kind of mom I am now that I have five children.  (Has it been keeping you awake at nights, the wondering?) Well, pretty much just as crappy as I was with four children, just more.  Example:  the other day I had the kids at soccer, and another mom said to me (after answering her cell phone), "Hey, that was my sister-in-law--she wants to know if the blonde boy up at the top playground is yours."  I would like to be able to say that he wasn't, but of course it was.  In the spirit of being the best mom in the world, I sent Ivy up to get him.

Let's see, what else?  Spe got diagnosed with asthma.   Veevs continues to imagine herself as a feral cat.  Jakers started kindergarten, and Logan is in the two-year-old preschool class, which he loves.  It's like he's getting tired of watching television or something!  (I kid.  Mostly.)  And baby Caleb is just delightful, and darling, and chubby and my baby

Did I tell you I had my tubes tied after this baby?  I did.  And I threatened to sue the doctor for all my children's educational costs if he screwed it up.  I'm not very sad about it, obviously.  I think being realistic about your capabilities is a very important part of motherhood, and let's be honest: I've already overextended myself.  So, yep, we're done.  Rhett, who in a way was fairly confident we were done after two children, breathed a huge sigh of relief. 

I thought I would be really nostalgic with this baby like oh, how sad, this is my last time snapping up this 0-3 month onesie or whatever, but I haven't been.  It's been kind of awesome knowing that I'm leaving this stage forever.  And I really love babies.  But whether you love them or not, they are an awful lot of work, no?

I guest taught a class at one of the local universities for doctoral students, which cemented my belief that I must get back to the classroom.  And as quickly as possible.  So pretty much everything's the same around here, right down to the serial laundry avoidance.

Monday, April 2, 2012

What the Heck

Motherhood is a little bit like a terrifying tightrope act: one inch too far this way, and you are a helicopter parent who insists that her child, who shows no musical inclination, practices the piano four hours a day. An inch too far that way, and you are the crazy lady who never knows that her toddler is roaming the neighborhood in a messy diaper. Nuances, what are you gonna do?

Veevs is extraordinarily obsessed with the Warriors series right now (feral cats, oy vey!), so much so that when I went to tuck her in last night, she had all her bedding curled around her like a cat nest. Also, she is decorating her room with pictures of cats from the internet that she has colored herself, and also with the manuscript of her own feral cat novel. I have determined not to interfere until she starts licking herself.

The other day I couldn't find Spe (7 years old, lest you think this is the toddler mentioned above) anywhere in the neighborhood. I noticed that his scooter was parked in front of one of our neighbor's house, but they weren't answering (mostly because they weren't home). After checking all his regular haunts, I returned to their house to discover that when they hadn't answered, he had checked to see if the door was unlocked (it was), walked in, settled down to play the Wii, and refused to answer the door when I came knocking. I quickly escorted him off the premise with a rather scathing lecture on breaking and entering.

Jakers' goal in life is to spend as much time out of doors as is humanly possible. I don't know exactly where he is pretty much 95% of the time. Also, on being told that it is called POTTY TALK, because it is only acceptable to say IN THE POTTY, he has taken to running to the bathroom to shout things like POO! PEE! BUTT! DIAPER FACE! It's like a weird form of Tourette Syndrome. I just roll my eyes, because really, what else was I expecting?

Logan's cuteness absolutely overpowers my need to discipline. He can get away with ALMOST anything, as witnessed by the fact that he recently emptied all of his drawers over the balcony, and I just half-smiled at his wicked grin, and then vaguely said, "Oh, no, honey, don't do that." He went back for more and more loads and I started laughing each time they hit the ground. I was already going to have to clean it up, after all. Also, he has just started to say, "What the heck?" with the most delicious upturn of phrasing on 'heck'. It slays me. Seriously.

And of course, there's Caleb, who just laughs at everyone. He is perfectly content as long as he is fed and freshly diapered. A delight! A darling! And yes, a December-born tax deduction. He gets more perfect all the time, no?

Monday, March 12, 2012


I know I'm getting my life back together again after the birth of a baby when I have a desire to clean while listening to disco. Most people hate disco, but give me a little "Shake, Shake, Shake (Shake Your Booty)" and I'm happy.

So the other day the kids and I were doing our Saturday jobs (my main one is to STAY ON THEIR CASES so that they finish theirs--it works beautifully, because it can be done while feeding the baby too--MULTITASKING!). We were dancing and cleaning and shaking, and I was attempting to explain the 70s to them. Well, this was more difficult than I'd bargained for because my American History classes never actually covered modern history. We always ran out of time and stopped like in the 1920s. So while I was racking my brain for all the things I know about the 70s (I was born in 1976, but I was hardly taking in the political landscape at the time), I was silently cursing my American History teacher. How often am I going to be called upon to discuss the intricacies of the Teapot Dome scandal? Never. The 70s? Just missed a golden opportunity. Anyhow, I was all like, "Yeah, there were like some oil problems, and Jimmy Carter, and Gerald Ford, and . . ."

And then.

Seriously out of nowhere, Rhett came running through the front room fully naked, and yelled, "STREAKER!"

So, at least they know that about the 70s. The important stuff has been covered. (Not in Rhett's case, but you know, history-wise).

What else could I add after that?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Not So Miraculous Christmas

If you have been reading long enough (congratulations for sticking through the last two years--lean times!) you will remember that several Christmases ago, I lived through a miracle of the toenail kind. Ever since I have felt a sort of benevolence toward that toenail, although it turned out not to be perfectly formed, nor particularly miraculous since it stopped growing immediately after I posted about it. So again, to recap: one of my big toenails has not grown since Christmas 1999, the other has not grown since I posted about it at Christmas in 2007. They are gross, sure, but they are are all I've got. And I never have to repaint them unless I want to.

Except this Christmas, my Christmas miracle (circa 2007) turned into Christmas tragedy. I went outside to feed our dog, and on my way back in the dog tried to force an entry, at the same time that Logan tried to force an exit, and in the chaos of dog, door, child, yelling, etc., somehow I lost the Christmas miracle toenail. And this time, it's just skin underneath. (Is this too much information? Remember, I don't even mind having my buttocks massaged, so it's hard for me to judge.) And there was a tiny dot of blood. BLOOD! From my miracle toe! I felt so . . . well, forsaken.

Fortunately my father, the foot doctor, was here to lend his support (although his original intention was visiting Alabama to support me after my C-section, this turned out much, much better). I didn't cry, because please. I am not a crier. But I did scream, complain, and to hear Rhett tell it, fixate dramatically on my pain. Also, I might have made my dad wrap it up in gauze although he assured me several times that a simple band-aid would suffice. Better safe than sorry, I always say.

I am dealing with the disappointment of losing my miraculous toenail by ignoring it completely. Rhett keeps trying to secretly stroke the newly exposed skin (maybe he has graduated beyond simply quirky, no?) and I keep kicking him in the face. Not really. But almost.

Dear ones, how will I ever have faith in Christmas miracles again?