Friday, September 28, 2007

Puddles! and Noot Nacks! (and HB Ryan!)

My kids, SoCal kids that they are, think puddles are quite a novelty. Puddles are another manifestation of how great it is living in our new neighborhood. We walk Big Girl to school and one of the houses must have its sprinklers on shortly before our walk, because there are always a couple of puddles on the sidewalk in front of it. My kids always stop and walk slowly through them, or jump, and say "my shoes are wet!" and then we do the same when Middle Girl and The Boy and I walk back home.

It makes me so grateful for this lovely walk we get to do together, since we didn't really have time or opportunity to tiptoe through puddles when we spent so much time in the car. I think about how everybody used to walk to school (before my time) and how nice it must have been to live then, when kids would stop and visit with neighbors and their gardens and dogs on their way home from school. But there are lots of things about the present that I wouldn't want to go back and live without, like oh, say, LIFE CHOICES (!) and a husband who's an equal partner (!).

I guess you can't keep yourself in the past in some areas and in the present/future in others, but I sure try hard to achieve just that. I wish we could pick and choose exactly the society we want to live in. When you're an adult out on your own, or a young couple, you kind of can do that. But as your kids become older it's hard because they start demanding a say in the choices of modern trappings they want to take on, and their peers have an influence as well! Now that I think about it, the period of life when you have control over your existence is really short!

Yes, I got all of this from watching my kids fascinated by puddles this morning. The human brain, it is a marvel!

If there is anyone out there who doesn't turn into a pile of mush hearing the adorable Boy ask for some "noot nacks," well I just don't know how you hold yourself together. This boy has absolutely got me under his spell. (If you need a translation, that is "fruit snacks.")

Today is Ryan's birthday! Happy day to him. In his honor, I say: Hooray for the grownups!

Oh, and I would just like to add that I am not enjoying this job of coordinating Sunday Preschool music that was thrust upon me against my will. I don't mind setting up the volunteer schedule, but listening to kids' religious ditties (to choose songs for the teachers' CD) is really not my cup of tea. Procrastination, my old friend, is back and we are hangin' out! If you and procrastination are well-acquainted too, I suggest

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Front Loading Washers

Do you have a front-loading washing machine? Our new house came with one - A Whirlpool Duet. We were pretty happy about that until we recently noticed that our clothes don't smell so fresh. Well, after a short time on the Internet (hooray for that technology), we read that people were finding their kids' funky old socks stuck under the "rubber gasket." And that mold and mildew were collecting on them and ... yuck. One message board even had a European person chastising us lazy Americans for not leaving our washer doors open and cleaning out the workings of our machines. What did we think would happen in that wet environment?

Anyway, The Hubby went right up to see what this "rubber gasket" might be and just bent back some rubber and voila, seven of the girls' socks. Two mysteries solved. In fact, I had just bought a ton of new socks for the girls because somehow they were always out of white socks after only two days (this is a problem when your schoolkid has a uniform!).

So now that these gnarly socks are out, we have to wipe out all this vile sludge from under our friend the rubber gasket. And we are going to run an empty load with hot water and bleach. And maybe then we will not be so stinky!

Leaving the door open after washes will kind of be a pain due to the closet that the washer is in, but we'll plan to try that too. At least for a half day or so to dry out the drum.

Aren't you glad you tuned in to my life today?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Blah, blah, blah, I know, this stuff about the house sorting is boring to me as well but I am on the task of CD Storage right now and pthpthpthpth. (that is a raspberry.) Is it feasible to put everything on the computer and get rid of all the CDs? If not, how do you decide which ones to upload and chuck? And which ones to upload and keep? And which ones to just play on CD? Is there a point at which the computer will be full? Note to self: whenever you see The Hubby again and he is awake enough to talk, remember to talk this over with him. Note to everyone: KT Tunstall's new CD "Drastic Fantastic" ("Eye to the Telescope" is on my best-album list) came out yesterday!

The Boy and Middle Girl are wearing swimsuits right now (just for fun - it's cold out), and I asked The Boy "do you want to wear underwear under your swimsuit?" His answer was "No. Just penis."

Did you know that the blogosphere is full of moms writing to keep from forgetting?

Long Story:
In my Parent Ed class today, our instructor brought in all of these everyday objects and asked us each to pick one that symbolizes "what it means to be a parent" and then we went around the circle and explained our choice. When she gave us the task, I knew it would be tough for me because there are so many aspects to my job, and I feel so differently about it at any given moment. Literally, "what it means to me to be a parent" is like flowing water, always moving, covering up some things and revealing others.

So I stared at the pile for a long time hoping something would jump out at me but finally settled on a paperclip because it's something that "holds on" or "keeps" things. It was a very interesting discussion. The instructor picked an adapter because she is a Grandma and is adapting from her parenting days to learning about the way her kids parent today. One of the moms picked a deck of cards not only because growing up, her family played cards a lot, but also because cards are a random assortment of numbers just like her day feels like a random list of tasks (get child 1 here, take child 2 there, etc) and she has to somehow put it all together in a way that pays off for everyone. Another mom had a measuring tape and said she's always measuring time: how long until her husband gets home, how long until they go down for a nap, and conversely, how long until she will have to go back to work and the stay-at-home mom days will be over (which makes her sad to think about).

I said that I picked the paperclip because I am always holding on to my kids and trying to keep them little. This works for the toddler/preschool years because I don't push them into things like walking, talking, and pottying but let them go at their own pace. However, I have started to notice that Big Girl is older than she is in my head. I can't believe it, but she is ready for sleepovers and phone calls and stuff, and I guess that now I have to let her grow up at her own pace and resist my urge to keep her small. Oh, within reason, you'd better believe it. I'm not talking about the teenager-at-age-eight that you see so often. I'm just talking about not treating her like a preschooler anymore! And then there was my friend Christa, who cried at everything everybody said! She is so great -- I am such a sap, too, for all that mommy sentimentality, so she's feeling what I'm feeling but (as usual for me) it just doesn't show on the outside. I feel like we're on the same wavelength so often.

Monday, September 17, 2007


What is it with Mondays? I almost forgot to post.

We had a nice weekend, with more house sorting and cleanup, as well as walking to dinner with the kids, watching them ride bikes, and another short theme park visit. Weekends are short!

I also discovered that it costs an arm and a leg to have something framed, so if anyone has any ideas I'd love to hear them. I've got a couple of art posters but of course they are odd sizes, and how do you get big mats in choice colors? The framing looks like it'll cost at least 14 times as much as the "art"! Help me!

Another thing I learned is that when you turn the faucet that fills the pool, remember to turn it off.

We didn't end up having family game night, because we had our friends over for dinner instead (well, it was at our house, but they brought the food -- good deal, huh?). All of the girls have too many other things to play when they get together! Always involving dress-up.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Middle Girl's first day of preschool (her third year of preschool) was Monday. I could just eat her up, that peanut!

I don't know how she is feeling about school so far this year. She seems to be in a funk all the time. Nothing is ever good; she never likes anything. This actually started this summer, on our Oregon trip with "I don't WANT to look at this Crater Lake!!" and I've been hearing it from her about almost everything ever since. She was so excited about Hairspray before it started, and sang along, and then on the drive home said "I didn't like that movie." Then the conversation went:

Me: Did you like "Good Morning Baltimore?"

MG: Yes

Me: Did you like "Welcome to the 60's?"

MG: Yes

Me: Did you like "You Can't Stop the Beat?"

MG: Yes

Me: Did you like "Ladies' Choice?"

MG: Yes

Me: Did you like "I Can Hear the Bells?"

MG: Yes

Me: Did you like "The Nicest Kids in Town?"

MG: Yes

She just didn't like the part when the police and Mrs. Von Tussle were looking for Tracy.

What is with the focusing on the negative? I would say "that's not like Middle Girl," but she's been like this so much lately (including her first gymnastics class the other day, her favorite activity by far last year) and "who" a kid is changes all the time, so maybe I can't really say that. Maybe all I can say is "that's who she is right now" and wait to see who she becomes next.

As far as preschool goes this year, after the two days she has had so far, all she has said is "Elise didn't play with me" and "Scarlett didn't play with me." Followed by my asking "who did you play with?" and her answering "Scarlett." Classic Middle Girl reasoning there. "I like apples but I don't like apples." We hear this kind of sentence all the time.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


I am so tired today! All of a sudden summer ended and the school year started up and my calendar exploded. I am never home at night right now and Big Girl is giving me what-for about it. I am sure the others feel similarly (BG is the one who lets me have it about everything - is it BG or is it age 7?). I've been teaching Safeguard the Children classes for our church, as well as rehearsing for all of the various gigs coming up in the next month. I've been saying that singing in a band is a good substitute for doing musicals because it gives me a chance to sing but I'm not taken away from the family as much. I guess that is negated when you are singing with 4 or 5 different groups! Also, Hubby and I went on a couple of dates while my mom was here so when you add it all up, I am out every night. This Friday I should be able to stay home.

We had a special outing last Sunday. My mom took all of us to see "Hairspray." It was the first time the five of us have been to the movies together, and it was only Big Girl's 3rd (or so) movie in a theater. Hubby and I (and my Mom) had already seen it, and Hubs bought the soundtrack and the girls have been listening to it obsessively. We surprised them by taking them to see it! They were so excited. Middle Girl sang along with the opening number, it was so cute. Big Girl sat there the whole time with her wide eyes taking it all in. The Boy enjoyed it too, as he's been listening to the songs with the girls, although he did have to walk up and down our row for part of the time. Even though there were a few times when I was thinking "oh, boy, I hope that lyric went over their heads," it was a fun time. Afterwards, Big Girl was still floating on air that she actually got to see the movie in the theater. The next morning, she said "I still can't believe it! I was dreaming that I would see Hairspray in the movie theater but I thought I would have to wait for the DVD! But my dream came true!"

Thursday, September 6, 2007


September is always a time of transition, but this year it's really out of control. Oh, I've probably had more major transitions, June 2000 being the biggest of course with the birth of my first baby, but nonetheless I am really feeling it now.

I am experiencing a weird feeling -- it seems that we are really done with the baby phase. The Boy will always be my baby, but I guess he's not a baby anymore. I've been sorting through the boxes we still hadn't unpacked after our November 2006 move, and finding baby blankets that we just don't need anymore. I've packed them away for our church's Giving Bank, but it was actually really hard. They're just baby blankets, but they seemed to symbolize a period of my life that really defined me. It's jarring to realize I'm not in that phase anymore. I've got friends and family who are just entering that phase, or haven't entered it yet, and here I am done with it! Congratulations to Shannon, who is embarking on this momentous time, which shakes you to your foundations and through a series of imperceptible shifts, you redefine yourself completely. Kind of like that age-18 phase when you are master and re-creator of your identity. This makes me realize there will be more of these phases, which is uplifting. But still, it sure is a big transition for me. My kids are preschool- and school-age kids now! I'm a go-here-go-there school mom now.

My first-ever niece was born yesterday morning. S & C are parents now, which is wonderful. Niece M is absolutely gorgeous. What an earth-shattering thing it is to become parents. Nothing will ever be the same. I'm overjoyed that I now have two nephews and a niece, and I feel that our family is so blessed. It's tough being far away from them, though. I am jealous of my sister-in-law (whom I adore) because she got to hold her yesterday! So welcome, M, you have really made my day. You were the one who inspired your Auntie Barbra to start the blog she's been contemplating! Little darling!

Big Girl's in second grade. Yesterday was her first day of school. All of the parents tell me that Mrs. N is wonderful and we're in for a terrific year. I am really looking forward to it and the possibility of the parents being more relaxed than they were in first grade. I'm all for relaxing and supporting the kids in their enjoyment of childhood!