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Fairly Odd Mother

Frantically waving my magic wand to make wishes come true.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Let's Go Nuts!

Overheard last night in the Fairly Odd Household:

Me: "STOP BEING SO CRAZY!!!!!" (exclaimed as the kids were running circles around our house)

Belly: "But MOM! We were born to be crazy! That's just what kids do!"

Oh, ok. . .


Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy THANKSgiving!

It's early, I have many things to do to turn this house of toys into an 'entertaining mecca', and I'm not particularly coherent at this hour, but I felt like getting into the spirit of the day---hence, this post. Sorry if this makes no sense to anyone reading it.

I am thankful for the following things (in no particular order and incomplete at best):

* for Belly, Jilly and D, who I just left sleeping in my king-size bed (I'm thankful for our bed, too, although I could use a few more inches on either side!);

* for the Coffee Exchange's mail order since I don't live close enough to Providence to just 'pop over' for more beans, nor would I drag three kids into a place with tippy tables and hot beverages;

* for my nephew and will-be-birthed-this-spring niece/nephew because it is SO MUCH FUN to get to do all the loving on a little person without having the responsibility of parenthood (I now understand why my brother-and-sisters-in-law--who do not yet have children---will use their precious vacation time to fly up here to see our munchkins);

* for being able to stay home with the children and for actually enjoying staying home with them even though they are TOO LOUD and so very messy;

* for having the opportunity to homeschool my brood; at our own pace, without tests, without threats; no matter what Dr Phil says;

* for friends I have had since I was a tot, those I made in school(s), those I made while working or through the kids, and those who I have never met in person (my 'virtual' friends) but would still grab in a bear-hug if ever given the chance to meet;

* for my old, grumpy, fur-shedding cats, C & Z, who have been with me longer than almost everything else;

* for the Ikea that opened less than 30 minutes from us--and for posts like this and this that have kept me laughing for over a year;

* for TALL sizes in pants--praise the Lord--and for having a great metabolism (thank you Daddy!);

* speaking of my Dad, thanks to him for drilling into my head that "credit cards are to be paid off every month";

* and (you know I saved the best for last) for Fairly Odd Father, as we quickly approach the tenth anniversary of our first kiss (that story to come), may we have many, many more years together, and may I get to be drunk, wearing black velvet and a pink bra again.

Happy Thanksgiving! I will be stuffing myself with mushroom pie and drinking champagne punch so it should be a good day!


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Me and my shadows

Early this morning, D and I were in the kitchen together, alone. I opened the refrigerator and pulled out the half-and-half for my coffee. He turned to his toy refrigerator, opened the door and pulled out his sippy cup of orange juice. The sippy cup of orange juice that he must have put into his 'refrigerator' last night before going to bed. Mmmmmmm, warm juice from yesterday. At least I hope it was from yesterday.

His actions, though, reminded me just how closely these little guys are watching and mimicking my every move. From how my 5 year old throws her hands on her hips and gives me the look, to how my 3 year old asks for "some pwivacy pwease" when using the potty. Oh, and the computer. They are all obsessed with this darned thing. We have three working computers in our house which is nice at times but has turned me into one of those twitchy types who checks her email 52,583 times a day. So, the result of this is that even my 2 year old knows how to grab the mouse and stare at the screen.

Watching and learning. The good, the bad and the ugly. I yell, "Stop yelling!!!!!" without the least bit of irony in my voice and wonder why there is so much yelling in our house. I try to sit my oldest down to do a workbook and, two minutes later, I'm so bored I'm ready to do the page myself just to end the task. Think she picks up on my cues?

It's these moments when I realize how much they are watching me that kind of freak me out. It's that same feeling I get when I do something and then realize that I've just become my mother in some movement, action or utterance. Given that our nickname for mom (during a particularly snarky time in our lives) was Voice Of Doom, I'm not sure this is a good thing.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Said the spider to the fly, "Hey, how'd you get here?"

The neat thing about homeschooling (besides not having to get the kids dressed and fed before 10am) is that I tend to see things as 'opportunities' now. Husband dislocates finger? Look at x-rays and talk about bones and where they are supposed to be. Mold on the loaf of bread? Stare at it for a while and admire its patchy growth. I can't really 'lecture' or 'teach' too strongly or I lose interest and get lots of blank faces (after all, they are only 2, 3 and 5).

So, when my mom and I were cleaning out our enclosed porch this weekend and I found a spider sitting on a nest in the empty votive, I first put it outside so that a million baby spiders wouldn't hatch on my porch. But, the next morning, I was feeling a bit guilty (I blame Charlotte's Web and Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek for this). I also recognized that the kiddos may actually find this spider and her nest interesting. So, I cut off the sides of a plastic cup, put the votive into it and then lowered this into a large empty planter that is on the porch (this was to protect Ms. Spider from the cats and kids).

And then, I started to worry that she may be hungry. After being moved twice in 24 hours, surely any webs she had spun for food were out of reach. But, what to feed her?

The slow-moving, buzzing sound of a fly hit my ear in the family room. He was a big guy, lazily slamming into the walls and windows. I grabbed a dish towel and gave him a whack. He fell to the floor, just about dead but with enough leg twitching to be of interest to a spider (how I know this, I don't know). I picked him up, told him I was sorry and then plopped him on top of the spider's nest. She didn't move for a moment, but then --- ka-POW!---she leapt on top of him. Wowee, nature in action! Yes, I know there is nothing natural about this---spiders can't call for take out---but I felt that I had to give this spider a little help since I had been responsible for uprooting her in the first place.

I'm not really sure what I'll do next. The kids want to scour for bugs but I don't really want to get into the habit of feeding our spiders on a regular basis. God knows I already have enough dishes to do.

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Saturday, November 11, 2006

I'm in heaven. . .

I went out tonight. Without the kids. Without Fairly Odd Father. Without anyone but my own fine company. And without any real agenda or obligation. It was quite glorious.

What exactly does a spry 39-year old mama do on her own free time? Let's see. . .

First, I had to make a quick stop to the CVS drive-though. Since I was child-free, I COULD have gotten my ass out of the car and walked into the store, but I love drive-through pharmacies sooooo much. To think that mothers of a few years ago had to WALK into the pharmacy every time they had a prescription, children in tow. I cry just a little bit for them.

The pharmacy stop was for Fairly Odd Father who had a major mountain biking accident today. And had to go to the ER! Exciting! Scary! Painful! It involved x-rays, a stitch, a wheelchair and bones moving! I know it hurt like hell and, for that, I am truly sorry for him. So why do I giggle just a little bit whenever I think about the actual injury? A dislocated pinky. It's hard to say it out loud without the corners of my mouth creeping up just a tiny big. Oh stop it! It hurt a lot! I'm just going to say a 'digit accident' from now on and leave it at that.

After the drug run, I made a run in-and-out of my most hated store: Toys-R-Us. Ugh. How a store can make TOYS look so unappealing is beyond me. But, I did it out of the great love for my sweet little nephew. I want to get him a manly looking kitchen for Christmas and, of course, the cursed TRU was out of stock of all but the most obnoxious and gigantic kitchens. My God, some of their play kitchens were bigger than REAL kitchens I have had in apartments.

After flipping off the display of hated Bratz dolls, I left TRU and made another stop---this time to Target to torture myself with another walk through the toy aisle. I did pick up in-line skates for Belly for Christmas (hey, her elbow is healed by now! time to damage something else!) and a few other things before going to my final destination: the bookstore.

Side thought: the problem with bookstores in suburbia is that they lack character. In Providence, where I lived for many years, there were several bookstores that had personality (and personalities---I especially liked the one run by a crazy woman who would scream at patrons that she didn't like; but, oh, her books were outstanding).

I found some neat bargain books for homeschooling/reference, had a peppermint/mocha drink and read the New Yorker and Us Weekly (a yin/yang magazine two-fer). I left at 9:15 and felt a little dizzy from the freedom of being away from everyone for almost three hours.

The drive home was loud and euphoric. How loud can a minivan stereo get? Pretty damn loud. And how happy was I to find a station playing the Tom Tom Club's Genius of Love? Ahhhh. . .suddenly, I was not a mom to 3, pushing 40, driving a minivan. I was someone who could sing along to lyrics like this:

What you gonna do when you get out of jail? I'm gonna have some fun. . .

Next weekend I may actually go out with a friend and have drinks. I doubt I'll be able to post anything after that.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Book Junkies

Reading is a big deal to me. I l-o-v-e to read and, when I got pregnant, I couldn't wait to snuggle with my baby and read to the little bundle.

Belly did not disappoint. From an infant, she loved to hear me read books. We moved smoothly from board books to picture books to longer chapter books. She will sit still to hear me read from a comic book, a homeschool 'how to' book and even a magazine article, especially if it means some quiet one-on-one time.

Jilly also enjoys story time although she has always done it with a twist. For a long time, if asked to pick out a book, she'd come back carrying one of the Where's Waldo books. This kid (three years old, mind you!) can find Waldo in no time flat! She also has a fondness for an English/Spanish picture dictionary; my seven years of French are of no help here, although I love to hear my Austrian mom trying to read Spanish words to her granddaughter.

By the time D came around, I thought I was well on my way to raising a bunch of book-loving kids. I made sure all the best board books were front and center, and tossed aside the cartoon-character books and the odd little book in the shape of a tractor. But D hated to sit still for stories. If I opened a book, he wanted it closed. If it was closed, he wanted to throw it. Or chew it. Or sit on it. Anything but hear what was inside of it.

And then one day, he brought me the little tractor book. Delighted I sat down to read it to him, thinking that maybe this would be a cute story about a tractor and a farmer, or maybe even a love interest.

Instead, I read nouns. No verbs. No plot. No story line whatsoever. In fact, here is the fascinating story that I ended up reading over and over again for about 6 months:

little loader
little digger

--(this is just a gripe, but I would've thought the name of this book would be Loaders wouldn't you? Nope, it is called Digger) --

Sadly, this was the extent of his book interest. But, this all just changed a few days ago.

To my shock and delight, D came to me last week clutching a well-worn copy of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom that had been a gift to Jilly. The first time I read it, he sat completely still in my lap, with my arms around him as I held the book. On Day One, we read the book no less than six times. He calls it "Boo Boo" and points to the letters, the coconuts and the moon with his chubby little hand while I try to inhale the scent coming off the top of his head.

And then last night, it was Goodnight Moon. Four times in a row. Tonight he sat for Goodnight Moon AND an Arthur story.

Sigh. Books with nouns AND verbs. I'm happy.

(this entry was inspired by the hilarious and honest post called "Does Moby Dick Come in Bath Book?" from 10.17.06 by Girl'sGoneChild, one of my favorite bloggers)

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