Archive for June, 2007

Do you think she’s trying to tell me something?



Unexpected Quiet

RegularDad decided on the spur of the moment to take the girls out to the bookstore and then to lunch. I’m sitting here in this unexpected quiet, not exactly sure what to do with myself. Should I:

a) clean something

b) read

c) surf the Internet for new curriculum and any new message board wars that may or may not have sprung up

d) exercise

e) pluck my eyebrows

f) eat all the kinds of junk food I don’t usually eat during the day so that the kids don’t pick up any of my bad habits

What would you do?

Who’s on first?

Overheard while RegularDad and the girls were playing with the walkie-talkies:

6-year-old: DAD! I’m…in…the…livingroom!!! OVER!!!

RegularDad: Copy that.

6yo: …what?

Me (distantly, from the bedroom:) That means ‘okay’.

6yo: Oh, okay. Over!

RD: How is it in the livingroom? Over.

6yo: It’s great! Curious George is just starting. Over!”

RD: Curious George is starting over? Over.

6yo: No Dad! It’s not starting over, it’s just…STARTING! Over!!!

RD: I though it just started. Over!

6yo: DA-AAAD!!!  Over!

RD: Copy that. Over.

Doing it all.

There’s a great discussion happening today over at the Denim Jumper that asks the simple question: how do we do it?

As in: how do we do it all. How do we parent the kids, homeschool the kids, keep the house clean, sleep enough, eat right, exercise, spend quality time with our spouses or significant others, maintain correspondence and relationships with other people, and still have time to read or watch a little TV in the evenings?

And the answer is, simply enough: we don’t.

Nobody does it all. Nobody. If you think you know somebody who’s doing it all, trust me. They’re not. You just think they are. They may realize that you think this way about them and they may try to keep up the illusion if it suits them. But all you have to do is stop by unannounced one Thursday afternoon, and you’ll see the truth.

If you think that you will be the one who conquers this inability to do it all, that you alone will break the Doing-It-All-Barrier, trust me. You won’t. You’ll try, and for about 4 hours or so one Tuesday morning, it’ll look like you’ve done it. But as soon as you think you’ve done it all, something will happen (and that something might easily involve a 4-year-old, the family pet, a frying pan, and your nice set of acrylic paints that you’ve been saving for when the kids are older) and it will all come crashing down around you.

And you’ll realize you can’t do it all, and you’ll join the rest of us who slog silently through days dripping with spilled applesauce, torn books, broken toys, and empty cheese stick wrappers. And it is my very sincere hope that you’ll just keep on homeschooling in spite of it all.

I homeschool. Therefore my house is messy. Don’t believe me? Here:


Here’s one little corner of our playroom. It looks like this most of the time. Sometimes on the weekends I find the energy to go up there with the girls and help them clean it all up. But sometimes I’d rather not, ya know?

The mess is up there right now. It’s just sitting there doing nothing. I could go clean it up. Or I could grab a book and read for an hour.

Hmmm. Tough choice, huh?

A bit of a milestone for me.

So, a year ago today, I quit smoking.

It was a not-really-planned kind of thing, a spur of the moment kind of thing, brought on because my husband had found this website and told me about it. And I went to this website and read all the articles they had, and I was JUST FURIOUS at the nicotine-replacement-therapy industry because it’s such a fucking sham. It makes people think that quitting smoking is next-to-impossible without their incredibly expensive products, when the real truth is that quitting smoking is actually not that hard. All you gotta do is DO IT.

So, I quit smoking the very next day. Smoked what I had left in my pack and tossed the rest at midnight. And the first three days just totally sucked. I put on PBS TV for the kids, drank lots of cranberry juice, and read article after article at this website. And then for two weeks I lived in this foggy haze of confusion. And then after that, guess what?

I. Was. Fine.

I didn’t need the patch. I didn’t need the gum. Or the lozenge. Or the inhaler. I didn’t even need the anti-depressant my doctor kept trying to push on me. (She gave me a bag of free samples of Wellbutrin that I never used. Eventually, I just threw the bag out.) Turns out…I wasn’t depressed. I was just hooked on nicotine.

Go figure.

And today? I’m about 10 to 15 pounds heavier. People say it looks good on me, though. That I’m not so scrawny anymore. I almost believe them. But my cillia have grown back and my chances of developing heart disease and/or lung cancer are dramatically decreasing. And I’ve lost my little phlegmy smoker’s cough. So, I’ve got that going for me. Which is nice.

The past year hasn’t exactly been a breeze, though. If I’d known we’d be moving 2,000 miles across the country this year, maybe I would have kept on smoking. There were a few days this past year where my stress levels went so haywire that my husband felt sure he’d arrive home from work to find me chuffing away on the porch steps. But no. I made it.

For the record, here are my stats from the past year:

As of this writing, I haven’t smoked for 1 year and 9 hours.

I have not smoked 7,308 cigarettes. I have saved $1,483.67. And I’ve added 25 days to my life expectancy.

So, bring on the love, people. Tell me how great I am. I think I deserve it.

Tagged with a music meme.

Sara over at the Learning Umbrella tagged me for a music meme. The way it works is I’m supposed to list 8 songs that I can’t help singing along to whenever I hear them.

It took me quite a while to come up with this list, mostly because I’m one of those Incredibly Talented In The Car Alone singers. I sing along to just about EVERYTHING when I’m in the car by myself and I’m just really GREAT at it. So narrowing down my list took me quite a while, but I’ve finally come up with a small representative sample. Here they are, in no particular order:

1. Dear God, by Sarah MacLachlan*

2. Chickenman, by the Indigo Girls*

3. Sin Wagon, by the Dixie Chicks

4. When God Fearin’ Women Get The Blues, by Martina McBride

5. Respect, by Aretha Franklin

6. Tempted, by Squeeze

7. Fernando, by ABBA

8. New York, New York, by Frank Sinatra

*For these two, really, you could pick just about any song they’ve ever written or sung, and I’d be singing along to them.

Well, there you have it. And I didn’t even get to add in all that Donna Summer I’ve recently re-discovered. Damn. Next, I’m tagging Katherine over at Our Report Card and Robinella over at Not A Stepford Wife. And thanks to Sara for tagging me. This was fun. 🙂

Amazon? Or Borders? Oh, screw it…maybe I’ll just go to Target.

So, I’ve written previously about my dilemma regarding the upcoming release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The agony of decision. Where best to make this all-important purchase?

I’m almost done with this ridiculous problem. Almost. I think.

I went to Borders a couple weeks ago with the girls with the specific intent to pre-order Book 7. But of course, the girls wanted to buy a book themselves. And because I’m a sucker for books and the cute kids who want them, I told them they could each choose ONE book that I would purchase for them, because I love them so very much.

Remember, I told them…. ONE book each. And ONE book only.

And they descended upon the children’s section of our local Borders with delight.

My six-year-old found what she wanted quickly. It was a copy of Wag A Tail, a children’s picture book we’d just gotten from the library earlier that month. I pointed out to her that we still had that library book in our house at that moment and asked if she would prefer to pick something new, something she hadn’t read before. She said no, and I let it drop.

My 4-year-old picked out six of her favorite titles not long after and brought them to me. I told her to pick ONE. She insisted on six. I insisted on ONE. She insisted LOUDER on six. I suggested that she needed to pick ONE or else she’d be leaving with NONE. Zero. Zip. She pouted and threw the books to the ground. I said, Okay, no books then. Let’s go. And she shrieked and picked one of the books up and ran after me.

By now, People Were Looking At Us, and I was irritated as all hell over the whole damn thing. My 4-year-old gave me another battle over who got to place the books up on the counter so I could pay for them, and People Were STILL Looking At Us. I could feel their judgemental eyes upon me and kept my eyes unfocused and then asked the clerk if I could pre-order Harry Potter. He told me I needed to go to the Information Desk for that, so I backtracked through the store to the Information Desk and waited for a clerk while my 4-year-old tugged at me and told me repeatedly that she was quite ready to go.

The clerk’s name was Susan. It said so on her employee identification badge. I told her I wished to pre-order Harry Potter. She sighed and took down my information and entered it into a computer. Then she rattled off an admonition that I should not expect to receive a personalized phone call telling me the book was in because of the high quantity of pre-orders they had already received. At best, I’d get an automated recording.

I asked her if she anticipated a long line of people on the day of release. And she then proceeded to tell me (eyes rolling and chest heaving in overly-theatrical exasperation) that she couldn’t really say for sure how it would go, but that Harry Potter releases were the reason she’d gotten out of the book-selling business. Harry Potter releases had been, apparently, the LAST STRAW.

“Book 6 was that bad, huh?” I said with a small smile to this woman who had been so psychologically traumatized by Harry Potter release dates.

(And all the time I was wondering if she’d noticed yet that she had accidentally STUMBLED BACK INTO the bookselling business, and I was wondering if I should maybe point it out to her. Just in case she hadn’t noticed.)

“Oh, I didn’t DO Book 6,” she assured me. “I’m talking about Book 5.”

I left soon after with a receipt for my pre-order, a cranky preschooler, and the beginnings of a headache. I told my husband the whole story later that night and told him I was thinking about maybe just driving over to Target on July 23. Maybe Target won’t have long lines. They certainly won’t have Susan, the-bookseller-who’s-not-in-the-bookselling-business-anymore. If Target has long lines, I’ll just go on over to Borders and pick up my pre-order. But maybe Target will be my best bet.

He knowingly narrowed his eyes at me and said: “We’re gonna end up with two copies of this book just like last time, aren’t we?”

I promised him that wouldn’t happen. I’m pretty sure it’s a promise I’ll keep. Yeah, pretty sure. Sort of.

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