Monday, September 28, 2009

And now for your Channel 8 Update ...

Where have I been? Fear not, trusty readers, I am still around. Lately when I think of my life in print it reads too dull to write about. Seriously. I am busy, but it is bland. Peek:

Ohhhh I washed the side of the house! I did! It was fascinating, with green moss/algae running down the siding. While washing the house I discovered our contractor covered dry rot on our roof support with duct tape! It was awesome! And, I am filled cracks in our concrete with Quickcrete filler! And sprayed the entire house for spiders! I know, aren't you like totally jealous?

Aside from house maintenance ... hard to say which is taking more time: soccer, baby, kitchen duty or homework. Sometimes they mesh together, like at Nolan's soccer game when I yelled, "GO STINGING DENOMINATORS!!!!!" instead of (obviously) STINGING DOMINATORS! Yes, you know you are losing it when you scream algebraic expressions at a soccer game. Hey, at least I appeared mathematically inclined, right? {insert laughing, lots & lots of it}


Onward: Baby Lamb took her first steps! And Daddy was even home to see it! Isn't she cute? By the way we have had that box of markers for almost a decade, no exaggeration.

And ... we have had birthdays. And dances. Dances which require shopping for nice clothes. And soccer games clashing with dances, and dances clashing with birthdays. Soccer games ON birthdays has been ok; they are only 1 hour or so long after all. Still plenty o'time to wear the crown and strut around the house as Birthday Royalty.

And with that I scoot off to roll out calzones for dinner before we trek over across to the far side of the city to watch a soccer game. Gotta get at least one more in before the rain comes. Good bye for now fearless readers!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Love one another

I have a friend, a beautiful, attractive, well educated, accomplished, lovely friend whose husband of 20 some years filed for divorce. She has two daughters; it has been extremely unfair and difficult.

Recently I brought Emmeline into her store to pay my dear friend a visit and buy a book for my son. She stopped everything and sat down in her charming bookstore to play with baby. After nearly an hour of exploring the bookstore it was time to go. In my arms Emmeline sized up my friend eye to eye, and slowly leaned her head into her, resting it on her neck and cheek. Then, she reached for my friend, I let my friend take her, and they hugged for one long perfect moment. Emmeline clutched the back of my friend's shirt while my friend rubbed Emmeline's back.

We both had tears in our eyes; Emmeline's instinctive gesture was just what my friend needed. Human compassion in it's most basic form. How much better the world would be if we all showed such understanding to one another!

Who can you hug?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Friday, September 11, 2009

Idle chatter

Recently at one of the *many* soccer events baby and I attend, I chatted briefly with two women sitting in front of me. Then, they continued talking to each other: "My neighbor has six kids and is pregnant with number seven, the poor thing. And they're all, like, under the age of nine." Her voice was heavy with disapproval.

Therein lies the difference between women who should and should not have large families. I have never, ever, considered my children a burden. They are all gifts beyond measure to me, and because of them I am the luckiest person I know. Sometimes I feel overworked, but never, ever EVER have I wished them not here. To me they are jewels of the universe. I cannot overstate this -- I. Cherish. Each.

I visit Rabbi Schmuley's website now and then. In his writings about his large family he refers to the dismissive attitude he and his wife encountered with the birth of their eighth child. He poses the question: why is it acceptable and enviable to own boats, jets, take extensive and expensive vacations, drape oneself in costly dress, and essentially display conspicuous consumption, yet to channel one's resources into the creation and raising of children is frowned on? How did having money become more socially important than raising children?

Is it a knee jerk reaction to climate change? Maybe, but most larger sized families I know live pretty austere lives by sheer financial necessity. It's true we use up more oxygen than smaller families, but we also recycle our possessions until they can be used no more, take fewer airplane rides, consume less commercially prepared foods, and in our case, live in smaller homes. It is extremely difficult to accurately assess a single person's impact on the environment since we all live differently. Will Emmeline leave a bigger mark on the earth than someone who came from a small family? I don't know. But I know she is supposed to be here, and I know she is deeply loved.


Pooh, I know just how you feel.

Monday, September 7, 2009


School is kicking my butt.

If I have to buy another item for school my head is going to explode. I cannot believe the number of items this FREE PUBLIC SCHOOL expects us to purchase. We are closing in on $2,000 for fees and required supplies, my friends. That does not include shoes, shin guards, hair cuts, clothes, etc. And it does not include lunch, which would add another $3,000 to the bill. Ridiculous.
My shopping highlight had to be yesterday, when most of America seemed to be in our JC Penny store along side the eight of us looking at shoes for one of my girls. It was hot. And crowded. We could not get anyone to help us for quite some time. Finally, while waiting for the right size shoe, the boys got agitated, and I could not blame them. Did I mention how hot it was, and suffocatingly crowded with peoples' rear ends all poking up as they bent to examine the shoes their beloved offspring were trying on? And what do you suppose baby was doing -- quietly sitting in daddy's arms? No. She was a squirming. squealing Godzilla baby, pulling boxes of shoes out everywhere. And to really appreciate that, you have to know the shoe aisles in this JC Penny are about two feet wide. And full of people and their rear ends.
Suddenly the boys exchanged words, and a tall cup of ice and water spilled all over the aisle, nearly reaching from side to side. Dad took them outside to get some fresh air, & we decided to buy daughter's shoes. As I swooped down to pick them up, a shortish sales person came out of the supply room with at least four boxes piled high. I didn't see her, she didn't see me, and in comedic talent I could not repeat if I wanted, I ka-powed right into her with the pent up strength of a mom too long in the children's shoe department. Shoes flew everywhere. I made a beeline outside and had DAD go back in to pay for them!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

New family members

Malus prairiefire
Magnolia macrophylla

Welcome. I will try to not kill you.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

What's for dinner?

I make dinner in the morning. I know, it's bizarre. But with kids flying in all directions after school there would not be time. So, I already know what we're having:

fettuccine with a four cheese red sauce and green peppers, tomatoes, and basil from the garden

salmon cakes or salmon fillet -- diner's choice as I prepared both

carrots, strawberries (not together)

Readers, what are you having?