Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I've been kind of slutty.

Yup, I've been typing elsewhere.

Life at home has been pretty boring (which is a GREAT thing around here) so I haven't had any blog material beyond the fact that rain has been making me kind of gloomy and C has learned how to use the Sit and Spin all by himself. Juicy stuff, right?

So, I've been spending some time trying to write intelligently about relatively boring topics. No, not like I do here. More like pretending I have any business claiming to be an authority on a wide variety of topics, when I'm merely an authority on how to avoid housework. By the way, turning lights off in messy rooms is a big key. You're welcome.

I do feel guilty about robbing you all of more chances to laugh at me and feel better about yourselves, but I'm sure something will happen soon enough.

In the meantime, this other thing has been pretty emotionally rewarding. It turns out, I have the ability to make people think I'm smart! Dumb asses.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I am dirty.

As I sit here, unbathed, out of coffee creamer, and dreaming about all of the ways I'd rather be dropping a couple grand right now, Mr. Well Man is dragging 350' of well tubing, or whatever it's called, around my property.

Since H and M are no longer permitted to take baths together, due to the fact that zoning laws prohibit water parks on our lot, H found herself with only 2" of water in the tub last night. Having grown up on city water, the husband and I ran around checking every faucet in the house, hoping that one of these magical water givers would... give water. Nope.

Our pump is kaput.

Not only is our pump kaput, but so is Mr. Well Man's 9-year relationship with his girlfriend. Much of it is due to his now-ex-girlfriend suddenly deciding that his special needs daughter actually is a problem for her. And while he doesn't know how we guys might feel, he's just not up for the task of starting over.
I just thought that you all might want to know that, since it's apparently something that random people should be interested in at 8am when they have 4 kids, 2 cats, 2 dogs, no water, and a gymnastics class and doctor's appointment to get to

Friday, September 19, 2008

I don't want to be the bug anymore!

So, today was supposed to be another busy day. Morning school work, a live (online) lesson for J, a routine phone call with his cyber school teacher, Game Day with our homeschool friends at the library, and a stop at the farm stand, all by 1:30.

While J had his lesson, I did my best to make the other 3 presentable to the public. J's lesson started to run long, and I realized that we were going to be late to the library. Then J's lesson started to run *really* long, and I realized that the phone call would push us into no-point-in-going-to-the-library territory.

I broke the news to the girls, who responded with sobs. Well, M's eased up when I told her I'd make egg salad, but H is still upset.

Guess what. I got an email from J's teacher at 11:53 telling me that she's canceling our 10:15 phone call, sorry for the inconvenience.

I hate people. No offense.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I am tired.

The husband came home Saturday. Woo hoo! 3 out of 4 kids got sick Saturday. Boo!

My home phone has been out since our thunderstorm last week. Whatever techno gadget controls Vonage is fried, so we had to order a new one. In the meantime, all of my home calls are forwarded to my cell phone.

Cell phone caller ID only gives the number of the caller if they're not programed into my phone. I don't know anyone's phone number, so I never know who is calling me. I haven't been answering my phone.

M's gymnastics class is in 1 hour, to be immediately followed by shoving McDonald's down our throats before our Roots and Shoots meeting. We have to eat McDonald's b/c we have no lunch food in the house.

We have no lunch food in the house b/c I went to Shop Rite last night, filled my cart, packed my grocery bags, and discovered that my debit card was missing. At 10pm. Talk about humiliating.

My debit card was in the pocket of my jeans, in the laundry, where I stuck it after getting gas on Thursday.

I did buy a stale raspberry donut with cash, to ease the humiliation.

After Roots and Shoots, I have to go to the grocery store.
And I think the kids gave me their germs.

I would like a nap.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Too Busy

Today, I won't be reading FWDs.

I'm too busy to be accused of aiding terrorism or hating our soldiers or being unpatriotic.

I'm too busy to listen to conspiracy theories or prejudices or why the "other side" (any of the "other sides") is just dumb and blind, if not straight up evil.

I'm too busy remembering, reflecting, being sad, being grateful, being scared, finding calm, feeling hope, searching for peace, sending my thanks, sharing my love, and living my life.

Everyday should be so busy.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I'm sitting in my house, feeling homesick.

Yes, technically I am *at home, but real home is in NJ.

(By the way, the husband may be the one who actually is away from home, but he seems to be soothing his homesickness by riding mechanical bulls and singing on Bourbon Street. Jerk.)

So, why do I miss NJ?

1. Family. Self-explanatory. Not that I want to be right next door to family (no offense), but an hour drive each way makes spontaneous visits with 4 kids and 2 dogs a real pain in the ass.

2. After 3 years, I'm still one of "those people"- the mean rotten city folk who have brought gangs, drugs, vandalism and Kohls to the area, along with overpopulating the schools, clogging the roads, and flaunting our metropolitan ways. Yeah, I suck.

3. I've discovered the evils of CAs/HOAs, and that's pretty much all they have out here unless you're interested in living on Rt. 611. You know, in between all of the new shopping plazas I've been building with my city folk friends.

4. I want people to respect my language when I walk into a deli. You needn't roll your eyes when I forget myself and ask for Taylor Ham. You know what I want.

5. Jughandles, people! There is nothing good about a lane with the word "suicide" in it.

6. Shop Rite. We do have a couple out here, and I do regularly shop at one. It's kind of small and very cramped, but it does live up to my Shop Rite expectations for value and selection. However, ours is shaped like a barn. Yup, silo and all. And, in the dairy section, there are chicken cages.

The chickens are a big family joke. The first time I went to our Shop Rite, I was really confused by the whole barn motif. By the time I had reached the milk aisle and heard the clucking from the chicken cages, I was completely wigged out. I CANNOT shop in a store where there are chickens clucking at me!

Not willing to become a Weiss shopper, I forced myself back to Shop Rite. Somewhere around the 3rd or 4th trip, I realized that they were mechanical chickens.

They still wig me out.

7. NJ has just about zero regulations on homeschooling. Right now, it's not a big deal. I don't have to report on H or M in PA until they're 8, and J is enrolled in a public school program. Still, I don't want to have to deal with justifying myself to random government officials. I have enough teachers in my family to do that dance with.

8. Jersey corn. 'Nuff said.

9. Okay, I'll admit it. I like the abundance of shopping options. Still, I swear, I am not one of the people trying to bring them all out here to the boonies! I don't think mega-centers belong here. They belong in NJ. And I belong about 5 miles down the road from them. Several of them.

10. My newest reason, discovered just a few minutes ago- NJ is the only state that issues drivers licenses at 17. To be fair, GA is 18 for a full license, but they start giving permits at 15.

I know that I would have no problem making my kids hold off on their licenses if I didn't feel that they were ready to drive at 16 or 17, but I have to admit that it's kind of nice to feel like there's at least one law that I not only agree with, but it can take some heat off of me! I also know that, by the 4th kid, I'll probably be wishing he could drive himself to his pediatrician appointment, but hey.

I could go ahead and write an equal list of reasons that Jersey sucks, and another about the great aspects of the Poconos. I could, but I won't. Because NJ is my home.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Books I Want to Write

but I haven't found the right market.

I was goofing off, trying to think of something interesting to write about (interesting *to me*) and found this idea. There was a pretty please request to be linked, and I have a hard time refusing pretty pleases, so here you go, Chris Brogan.

I have no business writing books. Sometimes I don't think I should even be allowed to read books. I have very little awareness when it comes to the writer/reader relationship I'm told is supposed to exist. And I think my list reflects that.

Homeschooling Kids Who Do Things Like Hide Frozen Apple Pies Under Their Beds.

You CAN Raise a Child with Asperger's Without Doing Jail Time Yourself.
(I Can't Speak for the Kid)

The Pros and Cons of Marrying Someone You Met Online... 8 Months Ago

The Guide to Potty Training by Age Three or Four. Sometimes Five. And Where to Buy Waterproof Mattress Covers.

Childproofing Your Cat

The Hermit's Guide to Forming a Positive Relationship with the UPS Man (Or FedEx Woman)

When You Believe In Being Open With Your Children, And Then Your Six-Year-Old Asks What HIV Is

Why The Weather Channel Gives Me Nightmares: The Story of My DysFUNctional Family

When Law and Order: Criminal Intent Diagnosis Your Child And You Fall in Love with Vincent Donofrio

And my autobiography

I Don't Think Pig Blood Is Funny

Friday, September 5, 2008

Kids say the darndest things.

This morning, I had to swing by J's old school to sign some paperwork. We've driven to/from/past that school for 3 years, and my girls have always been interested in the cemetery across the street. I wonder how long this has been weighing on my darling daughter's mind.

M: "Mom? People are under those stones, right?"
Me: "Yes. People were buried there when they died, and their names are on the stones."
M: "But are they all teachers?"

And my other lovely daughter takes the cake.

Me (reading): "But archaeologists don't just study ancient history. In fact, future archaeologists will study us one day."
H: "Yeah, but they'll study YOU first."

Thursday, September 4, 2008

orang munafik

That's "hypocrite" in Indonesian. It conjures up images of orange-glazed monkey for me. I'd like to say that orange-glazed monkey is just wrong, but then how would ducks feel? I don't want to be any more of a hypocrite than I already am.

Just the other night, I had a "discussion" with the husband about our (read: his) spending habits. I neglected to have that discussion with my Visa debit card. But who in their right mind can tell me that some dumb video game is *anywhere* near as cool as the Mud I ordered from Lorrie?

I could probably manage to completely empty my bank account at Our Name Is Mud. Instead, I'm going to con the husband into taking me to NYC when he gets home, just happen to find myself in front of a Mud store, and have him pay for cool stuff as a thank you for my allowing his children to live while he was away. Call me an orange-glazed monkey.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

It's nice to feel loved

Just not so much before noon.

This morning, as I was bitching and moaning about gluttony (3 boxes of cereal so far this week? Seriously, people!?) and it's physical (putting Mom at risk for TMJ) and financial (3 boxes of cereal costs nearly the same as a gymnastics lesson) ramifications, there was a knock on the door.

You don't typically get a door bell when you buy a vacation home.

The dogs start barking their stranger alert (I feel very protected from burglars who knock), the kids start congregating around the door, and I realize I'm in a dirty t-shirt and frighteningly short shorts. At least I'm wearing a bra.

I fight my way to the door, and squeeze myself through the smallest opening I can manage in order to hide the wreckage behind me that is my home, and find myself face to face with Officer Y. I know Officer Y well, but not well enough that it would be normal to have him drop in for a friendly visit on any given morning. I don't know anybody THAT well.

I have no idea why security is at my door. My weeds are cut, J brought the garbage cans in yesterday, my kids are all... wait, 1, 2, 3, 4, yeah, my kids are all here.

Before he can explain what's going on, someone is radioing (there's an ugly word) him with the make and model of my vehicle. WTH is going on here?

"We received a phone call from your husband."

OMG, the husband is in Louisiana. Or is he still in Mississippi? Alabama? I look for the best place to aim in anticipation of puking.

"He said he's been trying to reach you for 2 days and asked if we could check in on you."

Wait, what? I just spoke to the husband last night. Right after screaming at the girls for turning the bathroom into a water park, and before screaming at everyone to be quiet and go to sleep.

Because the story didn't add up, Officer Y radioed in (Gah, what ugly words!) for the name and number of the person who called. Yup, that's him!

It turns out, there is a "Do Not Disturb" button on the base of our phone. Little fingers must have gotten to it. And my cell phone was buried in my covers, so I never heard it from downstairs. And the husband is very paranoid, and I guess he thought that 2 days sounded more reasonable than 13 hours, including normal sleep time.

I apologized profusely to Officer Y, and he was very sweet about it. I was told not to hesitate to call if there is anything I need. I'm going to pretend that his kindness is an indication that I still have pretty great legs. Even if they're still ghostly white this close to the end of summer.

So, the husband misses us desperately and feels an uncontrollable drive to protect us. I went easy on him for causing me confusion and embarrassment. It's not like that's anything new!

I'm just extremely grateful that we hadn't run out to the store or something. From the state of my home, Officer Y may have very well concluded that our home was ransacked and we were kidnapped. Now THAT would have been embarrassing!

I think I'll do some tidying up now.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Surviving Day 1

We started school today, despite J's holiday objections. He managed to get over it pretty quickly. We've all been excited for today.

We decided to make this a half day because, one, it IS a holiday, two, I'm feeling lazy, three, I know we have a lot of fine tuning to do before we get a full routine down, and four, it's also my first day back on Solo Parent Duty.

The first thing I noticed upon waking this morning- I need black out curtains! Without the husband around to disturb everyone in the wee hours, all of the creatures in the house seem to sleep in until 7-ish. Except for the creature sleeping right beside sliding glass doors that face east. Life is unfair.

While trying to save my retinas, I temporarily forgot that I am on dog duty. Or doody. Either way. Knowing that dawdling wasn't going to change anything, I managed to tug on some jeans and leash up the beasts. As they bolt for the door, doing their potty dance, I notice that I have a stark nekkid maniac who has already taken care of his business. Everywhere.

Figuring that the baby has already done as much damage as he can manage, I go to get the dogs out before they do *their* business. Except I seem to have just one shoe. I don't know about anyone else, but I'm not the type to walk around in my dogs' favorite potty area barefoot. I'm also not about to turn my entrance into their new favorite potty area, so my vicious looking German Shephard/mutt and Rottweiler/mutt went barreling out of my house off-leash. Except they were on-leash.

They're pretty funny off-leash. They know they're not supposed to be, and you can see how conflicted they are. They run in circles, celebrating their freedom, and then they come back without having done what they were out there to do. It's a whole production of shooing them off, having them come back, shooing them again, and then watching them try to turn their inch into a mile by heading for our back woods. They're very much my children.

I need a damn fence.
And another shoe.

I still had C to deal with, so I only played The Game with the dogs for a short while. Sleepy toddlers taking a shower are a funny sight. It's not quite as funny when their sister flushes the toilet and Mom forgets to adjust for that. Oops.

All in all, a shitty morning. And a bad pun.

The kids started "school" by spending some time reading to themselves. I think that's the first time the t.v. hasn't blasted cartoons in the morning in... how old is J? A long time. And it was especially cute because C curled up on the couch with his own books and "read" for a while. I was in heaven for a good 30 minutes!

We moved on to some seat work, and I realized how much tweaking is going to need to be done. J was pretty much fine, working in his room, but it turns out that H and M either have ADHD, or I was never aware of how annoying little girls can really be. They don't like to work on subjects together, because they fight over who gets the right answers first, so I tried having one do math while the other did reading and writing. We had an hour of "What are you doing?" and "Look what I'm doing." Kind of cute. Very annoying. We'll figure it out.

Surprisingly, C handled the morning really well. He only ate cat food once (Note to self: find a new place for cat food) and he seemed to be perfectly content playing with his toys.

Now comes the hard part- working one on one with J while trying to get the baby to nap and the girls to act like reasonable human beings. I really hope I'm not jinxing myself, but I do predict that I'll be able to say that we have survived Day 1.

But first I have a shoe to find.
A temporary husband would be nice, too.