Wednesday, May 20, 2015

This is a zhu zhu pet.

This is what a zhu zhu pet sounds like.

There really is no good reason to have one of these. There’s absolutely no justification for having four in one home. Even if they are gifted to your child. By someone who claims to love you.

But there are four in our home. Still. No one plays with them anymore. But they still are the bane of my existence.

X-Man, or I believe it was X-Man although in all fairness Cinco seems to call the shots in their relationship, played a fun game with them. One of those two decided to play race, with the zhu zhu pets. The track well the heating ducts in the walls. They pulled out a bookshelf, which I how I know this was a “they” project and removed the protective grill. And sent their zhu zhu pets off the races.

Once of X-Man’s first naptime adventures after moving in was to throw balls down the same vent. As a result, the father figure determined it was way too complicated to dismantle the networks of tubes in order to retrieve X-Man’s toys.  We told X-Man to rage against the nap machine in a less frustrating manner and he complied for well over a year.  Which is why I’ve put money on Cinco being heavily involved.

So, the zhu zhu pets are now hanging out with the balls, and who knows what other toys. Which, in the father figure’s estimation, isn’t such a bad thing. Except that the zhu zhu pets make obnoxious noises. And they are sensitive creatures that and easily set off. Things like….air set them off. These toys are now residing in an air duct. In which air passes through…..regularly.

Air passes through these ducts, one is easily reminded how connected they all are. And how noise travels through these ducts easily and rapidly. It’s especially swell when the heat kicks on at night and the zhu zhu pets squeal its arrival.


Never boring. I yearn for boring. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Mac made his first communion yesterday. It was a wonderful, special day that included phrase “we don’t kiss girls without their permission.” Yup, one for the books.

In the hours leading up to first communion, it’s good to provide the opportunity for peaceful reflection. Peaceful reflection is not achieved if your mother is yelling at everyone to find the white shirt she just bought for that day only! As well as the nice shoes that cost a pretty penny, and do not have Iron Man on them, making them more suitable for the occasion.  The items that I made sure to purchase the previous week and then stow them away safely for when they were needed. Only they were needed…..and most definitely NOT there. The bag from the other store we visited that day was there, along with those purchases, but the shirt that should have been put on ten minutes ago….not there. At all.

I turned the bedroom upside down in a totally calm and collected search for the missing apparel. The father figure laid in bed and “Thought about where they could be.” For realz.  That’s what he said. I did not kill him. Respect my self-control.

So that’s how I found myself driving, not to the church as I was supposed to, but to the store to buy ANOTHER white shirt, necessary to go along with the white suit, and a non-Marvel endorsed pair of shoes. I rushed out of the house, yelling at other locations to check and reminding someone to text me Mac’s shoe size and if they actually found it. They did not. And so I bought a shirt and the only pair of dress shoes available in Mac’s size.

I returned to what was supposed to be a peaceful, reflective environment. I charged in yelling “Why isn’t your face washed? Where’s a comb? Put your shirt on now. Put it on now! Why don’t you have socks on? Get dressed, get dressed, GET DRESSED!!!!!” Basically our typical home environment.

We left the house late fortunately; I did actually remember the boutonniere that I had remembered to order for Mac. It had been a source of consternation for the boy. He objected, saying that everyone would laugh at him for wearing flowers. Fortunately prom season is going strong and I was able to produce several photos of friends’ sons wearing boutonnieres themselves. While looking quite manly. He acquiesced, but did inform several strangers that he was wearing flowers like men do at weddings. 

We got there on time, squeezed ourselves in to best get pictures and watched my little boy, dressed all in white, with the exception of his brand new black shoes, wearing flowers as men are wont to do, make his first communion. His suit stayed white for a full three minutes after leaving church. Mission accomplished.

At least with regards to one son. Meanwhile, X-Man was less than entertained. There was a pretty little girl, with fabulously colorful nails sitting directly behind us. He turned his large brown eyes on her, and she appreciated the attention. As time passed, he took to holding her hand, which she coyly smiled at. Then he started to kiss her hand. I drew the line there. It seemed to be inappropriate on a few different levels. X-Man was not to be deterred. So in the end, I had to escort X-Man out, while he cried “Goodbye girl. Bye!

Today I entered into the store I visited after purchasing Mac’s shirt and shoes. I approached the front counter and asked the manager “Is there any chance that an airhead, who looks something like me, left a bag from another store here, with shoes and a shirt in it?


There are benefits to making a manager laugh. She tends to look a little longer and a little harder for you. And finds the items you left in her store. Which you no longer have need for.
Countdown to twelve hours on a plane with five kids…….three days and rapidly approaching.  



Tuesday, May 12, 2015

I am confused. I just returned from the doctor, still trying to determine the cause of my constant fatigue. Other than the five kids, homeschooling and work.  My blood pressure registered 98/63. 
That’s on a day when I have three kids who need to be in three locations at the same time. I take zen to a whole new level.

I haven’t written recently, mostly because that would require time to sit and type. I’ve been too busy taking X-Man to early intervention screenings, meeting to discuss those determinations, bouncing around soccer kick arounds and tryouts and potty training Cinco. That in itself is a full time job.
Cinco has a certain swagger.  She cocks her head, juts her hip to one side and extends her arm waving her hand in my face “No, no mama, no.” She will be a full time job until she’s thirty. She took her attitude and shelved it when it came to the father figure. All sweetness and light and kisses and hugs. 

That changed when I left town over a weekend for a soccer tournament of Baby’s. Being the only responsible adult in the house, he was forced to make her use the potty. She was not amused. She engaged in a battle of wills with the father figure, which is ALWAYS a losing proposition.  Along the way she dumped a cup of water on the floor in protest and was shocked….SHOCKED to find that her father would dare to force her to wipe it up. That was her one battle with the father figure. She even deigned to start using the potty for me when I returned home.

X-Man is off to preschool four days a week. He was given goals to reach as part of his early intervention. From the time of his final testing to the meeting to explain what goals they had for him, he already passed the first ones. Because, in the end, I am pretty certain that X-Man’s lack of speaking is due primarily to an extreme case of “I don’t wanna.” But he’s also discovered that not speaking actually makes his life harder than speaking. He’s fully charmed his preschool teacher already, in no small part due to his being potty trained. His speech therapist told me that he insisted that today was “Taco Tuesday”, offering her some play tacos for emphasis.

So there we are. My three year old has been in early intervention for two days and is about to test himself out already. Cinco uses the potty, independently except for demanding M&Ms. Mac is upset with me because he has to go to soccer practice, instead of running three miles with Baby. Baby is going to run three miles. Baba is twelve and a young lady. Soccer teams have been determined for the next season, school’s about to be done.

And I am ten days away from flying across country with five children.


Why is my blood pressure so low? 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

I don’t even have to start dinner before they start complaining. I’m just that talented. X-Man is still sitting at the kitchen table, head bowed, weeping because dinner is not cereal. Truly, I could serve them cereal and qualify as a good mother in their minds. I’m just going to tuck that away for future reference.

X-Man expresses sorrow quite eloquently. When he’s truly sad, and not just furious at me, he’s genuinely Italian. Full on body shudders, head in hands, wailing. Mediocre mother that I am, it fails to move me, at least in a sympathetic manner. I find it cute and amusing but not enough to convince me to stop making meatloaf for dinner. Meatloaf that he eats by the panful I might add. Also, it is not gross. It’s turkey meatloaf made with V8 and onion soup topped with French’s onions. He has no room to protest.

X-Man’s heartbreak is so eloquent, it can move strangers however. My son is well trained, while he doesn’t recognize fast food restaurants, he knows every coffee shop in the area. And he knows that there are Starbucks in Targets. One day as I commenced our nearly daily trip there, X-Man tried to tempt me “Look MA Taffey!!! Taffey! I tookie?” I’m trying a new path in life, one that has me wondering if I can lose weight if I cease to consume gallons of lattes. So I thanked him for the idea, but declined. However I did tell him I’d see if they had any “tookies” for him to have.

They did not. The display case was empty and the barista said there were no more in the store either. 

And X-Man collapsed. A cute little heap of wailing. His head was in his hand, and his head, heavy with curls, shook back and forth.  It was a moving display. More so for the other customers, one of whom actually bought his a little package of madeleines that were next to the register. They were greeted with tear stained cheeks, big brown eyes and “Tank you. Tank you for da tookies.”

I suppose I was supposed to feel like a monster or something. As I was completely unmoved by the display. Of course I had been treated to a previous show earlier in the day when I had told him he had to wear pants.

And when I told him that had needed to use a fork when eating dinner.

And that holding a fork in his hand while scooping food into his mouth with the other one was not an acceptable solution.


And when his brother told him Darth Vader was not Doctor Doom. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

It’s not there hasn’t been plenty happening. It’s just that there is plenty happening and not enough hours in the day.

Baba is annoyed with X-Man because he still calls her “Guys.” I don’t think it’s so much that he insists on calling her “Guys” it’s just that he calls his other sisters “Princess.” Cinco is especially appreciative of the moniker. She also behaves in a “princess” manner. Cinco is still obsessed with the movie Frozen. Or, more particularly, the song Let It Go. She sings it, mostly in church. She dances to it, in the most dramatic fashion. Complete with arms outstretched, mouth wide open, spinning in circles. With an audience. She’s polite enough to shake it up every performance to keep it interesting. This is good, because she makes sure to track down every family member and drag them to watch her sing Let it Go. Again and again and again.

X-Man is not much of a talker. His vocabulary is limited and often is just shouted. As Cinco’s vocabulary expands, he’s finally been motivated to try to speak more himself. I did take him to be evaluated for early intervention. It went about as well as anything involving X-Man. Basically, he wasn’t interested in cooperating. The aide pointed to a picture and asked if he could say what it was “NO!” And so on and so forth. Finally X-Man reached his boiling point of frustrating and bellowed “NO! NO SAY HAT!!!”

I brought him back on another day, and the only protestations came when it was time to leave “no wait, guys come back wait!!!” It’s never dull. I kinda think I’d like dull occasionally, wouldn’t mind checking that experience out.

Baba is twelve now. And very grown up. April is a crazy month, one in which all three of my girls have birthday. The father figure is now kicked out of the family home every July. It’s very hard to shop for a twelve year old. She got a phone for her birthday, because we no longer have a land line and there needs to be a home phone of some sort. She was unimpressed with the lack of internet access from it, which I suppose means I’m doing it right still.

Cinco is being potty trained. It has been an interesting experience. She never liked the sensation of poopy diapers and would bellow for me to come change her as soon as she was dirty. She’s been fairly compliant with the process. I’m mean and won’t let her use her binky unless sitting on the potty. And she only gets to play the alphabet games she loves on the tablet, if she’s sitting on the potty. But then she has her moments, when she picks up the potty and takes it into the bathroom, in general she gets to sit in front of the TV because I will do whatever it takes to no longer have to change diapers. Anyway, she carried it into the bathroom and then shut the door. She made sure to stay on the side of the door without the potty. Three minutes later she brought me a clean pull up and wipes and most certainly required a change. She’s exhibiting her stubbornness just slightly differently.


Anyway, between potty training, helping X-Man speak English, school, work and all the soccer in the world and the need to lose thirty lbs in the 49 days before my sister’s wedding, I’m a tired gal. Very very tired. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

No good can come from Friday the 13th. Seriously, I strongly recommend simply staying in bed all day. As that is my recommendation, Cinco made sure to get up extra early. She marched straight to the fridge and began to demand something. The problem was, whatever it was I offered her…..that wasn’t it.  Cinco had a cute way of saying no. She extends her arm and waves her hand while shaking her head saying “uhhun….uhhun.” It’s cute.  Except early in the morning before I’ve had my coffee.

There were several injustices perpetrated on Cinco on Friday the 13th. I wouldn’t let her suck on the plugged in charger. It seemed like an extreme method to solving her bedhead issue.
I wouldn’t let her dip X-Man’s hair in yogurt. I’m pretty certain she wasn’t interested in the conditioning aspects. When I explained this to Cinco, she collapsed in a weeping heap. Knocking over her bowl of yogurt in the process. She was not amused. I was.

I attempted to starve Cinco by refusing to allow her to sample all the apples in the house. I caught her sitting on the table taking a bite out of every apple in the bowl. She had a line of bitten apples, neatly sorted, those with bites out of the top, those with bites on the bottom, those with bites in the middle. She saw me coming and attempted to grab them all and make a break for it. As talented as she is, even Cinco can’t climb backwards off a table with her arms full of apples.

Meanwhile, X-Man has stopped screaming at me when I tell him no. He now just sighs and rolls his eyes. It is not an improvement.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Trying to be a good mother, I sat down to read X-Man a story. I picked The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash. X-Man interpreted my attempt as intended to incarnate him and remove his finger nails one by one. So he decided to hide under the table and yell protestations. Cinco and Mac remained. Mostly intrigued by what horrible things I was perpetrating on X-Man. Like page turning. Eventually, Baba and Baby joined in, which made X-Man curious. We moved on to another Steve Kellogg classic and he crept back on to my lap. Only to realize that I was still reading. I don’t know if he associates reading with bedtime or just that he was choosing to not cooperate because everyone else was. I mean, it would be boring if EVERYONE was doing the same thing.

The experience left me tired and feeling rather inadequate. So I decided to focus how to know you are a good parent.

If you come home and find your eldest daughter watching ESPN…..you’re doing something right.

If your toddler follows you around your house, as you chase his naked sister, holding your coffee cup and yelling “Tawfy mommy, tawfy!” Doing something right.

If your son generously takes the veggies from his plate and puts them on yours, because “veggies are good for you and I want you to be healthy mommy.” Take it as a sign of success.

If any one of your children sees you snacking on vegetables and then corners you so that you are forced to share with them….you’re probably doing something right.

You are shopping in Costco and your five year old yells “Look at those pretty flowers Mom! I want to buy them so I can put them on you when you die. Because you like red.” Ignore the fact that your child is already planning your funeral and assume you’re a good parent.

If the same child, on the way home, asks you for your phone number so she can call you when she moves out, take it and smile.

If your son runs through the Christmas crowds in Target “pew” pewing people, because he announces he’s clearing a path for mommy…..well done.

If your child’s idea of a Valentine’s Day is to bring you coffee in bed, well done.  Even if they don’t add grounds and it’s your three year old. Who ends up yelling “OUCH TAWFEY HOT!

If your toddler kicks the back of your seat yelling “faster mommy faster” it’s just because they don’t want you to be late. Which is good.

If you awaken to your two year old smacking your head and then telling you “Go to sleep mommy, I pet you.” It could be worse.

If you’re son asks you if you’re 63….work on the math homework a bit more.

If your daughter asks if daddy has ever been to jail because mommy totally hasn’t…..consider your job done.