Friday, May 29, 2009

The joys of parenting

What other (occupation, hobby, life-choice, whatever you want to call it) calls for explaining why it is not a good idea to place signs that read "Peep Stand" at the end of your driveway?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Mind tripping

I am a book whore.
I stalk the bargain shelves at Borders. I've even begun stalking library book sales. I've had to take a hiatus from raiding the actual library until I pay off my insanely high fines. Amazon is like a drug that I'm desperately trying to detox from.

I always feel out of the loop when I see other people's book lists. In a way, I guess that's a good thing. I'm not very good at discussing books. I'm also not very good at reading them from cover to cover.

The lists I see usually consist of a pile of 1-3 "reading now" titles, followed by piles of varying heights of "to be read" titles. This is a concept that amazes me. I've never had separate piles. To me, it'd be like getting a stack of presents, opening one or two, and leaving the rest until you're through with the first.
How can anyone stand that suspense?!

Of course, that way makes logical sense, but it seems awfully boring. And, of course, my way has huge drawbacks.

My current book list, all bookmarked in seemingly random places:

Don Quixote
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Financial Peace

The Words We Live By: Your Annotated Guide to the Constitution

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings

The Complete Idiot's Guide to the World of Narnia

Mommy Wars

Different Minds
One Day at a Time
A Breath of Snow and Ashes
Dumbing us Down

The Well-Trained mind
(bookmarked in multiple places)
An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory
The Schools our Children Deserve

It Seemed Like a Good Idea: A Compendium of Great Historical Fiascoes
Death of a Salesman

A Mind Apart: Travels in a Neurodiverse World
The History of the Ancient World

This is a problem.
This is also an example of why girls are so much less likely to be diagnosed with ADHD. I've never jumped on furniture, disrupted a classroom, or otherwise appeared to bounce off the walls, but my mind races from one idea to another. Frantically. Constantly.

I have managed to finish several books in the past few months, most of which were first cracked open at the beginning of the year, if not earlier. It's not so much an inability to finish things as much as a compulsion to seek more, more, more!
Which is why I'm drawn to A Mind Apart.

This is a neurodiverse world. While the rapid increase in neurological "conditions" worries even me, searching for miracle cures also concerns me. Would it be prudent to eradicate ADD? Asperger's Syndrome? Or, in Susanne Antonetta's case, bipolar disorder?

It might make my family easier to handle. Then again, so would having fewer children, having a larger home, having hired help, or fewer pets. Granted, those were all choices, not a genetic luck of the draw. But the fact remains, many of life's difficulties bring with them enormous joy and meaning. We learn to cope with the downsides in order to reap the upsides.

Without atypical neurology, where would new ideas come from? How can the world advance if we all think along a standard track? Or should we be content with the standard track?

I'm going to do my best to focus on Antonetta's travels and make it to the end of her book with few pit stops. But I have to admit, Tolkien is beckoning to me with lines like "not all who wander are lost".

That's enough mind-tripping for now. I have a litter box to clean out.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Dear people who think having 4 kids must be exhausting

You're nuts.

I'll admit, MY 4 kids tend to be fairly exhausting as a group, but that group is NOTHING compared to a single toddler.

The husband is away, and my in-laws have taken the 3 big kids for the weekend. It's just me and the babe.

It has taken me 4 hours to drink 2 cups of coffee.
I've been hand-fed Cheerios.
I've drawn about a dozen circles and half a dozen squares.
I've played cars.
I've played trains.
I've build sand castles.
I've read 4 Elmo books.
I've rescued 2 cats approximately 3 times each.
I've had "help" with 2 loads of laundry.
I've played several different characters in a puppet show that involved an awful lot of biting and kissing.
I've build a block tower. Repeatedly.
And now I'm being asked to put the train track back together again.

10am and I am officially exhausted.
My big kids don't change diapers or do laundry or dishes. They don't vacuum, and their attempts to sweep are... well, attempts. But boy do they play a big part in keeping things running semi-smooth around here.
I need my entertainment crew.

And a nap.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The grass is always greener

in someone else's pasture. Especially when you don't have your own pasture.

Some history:
When I was growing up, I was convinced that I would have some high-pressure, high-paying, fancy shmancy career. In Manhattan. Where I would live in the cutest little brownstone, surrounded by impressive art, a Yorkshire Terrier, and a perfect little child or two. Oh, and I guess their daddy. I never really thought much about that part.

Instead, I wound up moving west of Jersey, not east. I traded the suburbs for the sub-suburbs, my brownstone for a vacation style home, my framed art for fingerprints and crayon drawings, my Yorkie for two mutts, and my perfect child for four little maniacs. I'm a homeschooling mom who hasn't worn heels in well over two years. And I almost always look forward to my husband coming home.

And you know what's funny about the whole thing? I dream of moving even farther away from my original plan.

I just found the perfect homestead property in NY State (which, ironically IS even farther away from Manhattan than the Poconos). It has an adorable (ancient) 5 bedroom farmhouse, elaborate gardens, fenced in pastures with animal shelters, outbuildings, a store front, and even a sign for grabbing the tourists' attention.

I could have chickens! And sheep!
I've wanted chickens for a long time, but now I'm finding myself researching sheep and all of the wonderful things you can do with them. Wool, meat, milk... oh, the milk! You've got your sheep milk milk, sheep milk cheese, sheep milk yogurt, sheep milk soap, sheep milk lotion, sheep milk bath milk. That's... That's about it. ;-)

So all of this sheep information is floating around in my head and the husband is totally supportive, figuring how can it hurt to support such a far-fetched dream, right? And then I did more digging and found a job opening in his field out by my new dream home.

He's in Florida right now, making sure this nor'easter doesn't ruin everyone's mall shopping, so I can't exactly nag him to apply. And, even if he did, we'd have to do some real fancy footwork to figure out a way to actually move. So, it's still just a dream. But it's such a lovely one.

My former self is laughing hysterically.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Need more time!

I haven't posted in about 2 weeks, but I have good reasons.
My pregnant sister stayed with us for about a week before her baby shower (which I wrote a nice long post about before my laptop battery died and I lost most of it), and then I had to spend a week catching up on my t.v. shows. So there.

So let me fill you in. I am going to be an aunt for the first time. House did not have sex with Cuddy. Lindsay and Danny made Mac Lucy's godfather. Mike was not The Biggest Loser. Adrianna and Naveed are not getting married, and her water breaks at the prom. Melinda will marry her husband, the father of her child, but it'll make her look like a skank. "Libby" AND "Jacob" were on CSI. And I'm going to go nuts before Lost comes back.

Also, we're trying to wrap up our school year, plan next year's, get our vegetable garden going so we can harvest before winter comes back, attempt to get ready for a yard sale, do some work on the house, and keep up with dogs who are shedding so much we could drown in the hair.

Other than that, things are incredibly boring around here!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Time flies

C was supposed to be born nearly two weeks before my 30th birthday.

He decided to wait until a few days after my birthday.

He's had his own plans since conception.

He's the fourth baby we thought we might have "one day".

He has brought everyone in this house (minus the pets, maybe) more joy than I ever could have imagined.

None of us can help but smile around him, even on our crummiest days.

Even when he's being naughty.

Because he makes up for it in a big way!

No matter how old he gets,

even if he were to have a dozen younger siblings,

I think he'll always be Our Baby.

No matter what the pictures say.

Happy 2nd birthday, Con Man. Love you to itty bitty pieces!