Blue Toothpaste and The Grumpy Mama

I hate bedtime. I really, really hate bedtime. It seems, due to my sucky organizational skills and my less than structured nature, bedtime is chaos in this house. Tonight, Bean and Abby were downstairs when I called for bedtime. Jeffrey was outside swinging. In his jammies, with new white socks in the dirt. David was taking a phone call. No one listens to me. Much whining, crying and gnashing of teeth later, all three kids are in bed, David is still on the phone, I’m covered in sweat and all ticked off.

We don’t do baths every night. Call me a bad mom (I dare you) , but I think every other night is more than enough torture, thank you very much. But we do have what passes for routine. Jammies, teeth, reading time, kisses and prayers, lights out. I may not be consistent about much, but that’s pretty solid. So why, WHY is every night utter chaos? Why do they run, hide, get naked, beg for a bath on Not Bath night? Why on Bath Night do they run and hide under the bed? Why is getting them to bed such an exhausting, teeth-gritting way to end the day? I hate it. I don’t want to end my day mad at them.

And will someone PLEASE tell me why all kid’s toothpaste is blue glitter? Why? WHY? Because when it dries, and it surely will, it’s like quick-crete mortar, and you need a chisel to chunk the stuff from your bathroom mirrors and counters and sink and floor- because a four five year-old can get toothpaste everywhere, including the shower, but he CANNOT get it on his TOOTHBRUSH.

I know someday I will look back on this time and wish for it. I know snuggling with babies is divine. I know these sweet little bodies will not always clamour to be in bed next to me, to rub my cheeks, share my pillow, read the book again, kiss me again, and a dozen other spontaneous ways to stall sleep.  And I was going to put a “but” in there, and make a snarky comment about how I really just want it to be easier… then I read what I just wrote.

I’m going to go kiss their little rosebud, sleeping, trusting, innocent, precious cheeks right now instead. Even if there is blue glitter toothpaste in Bean’s hair…

Your Opinion: Fancy-ness

Beanie is having a Dress day. And by that I mean, he is wearing a dress. I give up. He has boxers on underneath the little white dress with yellow cherries on it. The cherries have blue ribbons tying them, and those blue ribbons make it a “boy dress”. That’s my boy.

Actually, there is something so innocent about it; it endears him to me. Soon enough, the day will come when he knows about pressure and fitting in, and he’ll begin to self-edit. I’m glad, while he is young, and my other children are open and sweet enough not to tease him, he feels safe enough to just be who he is. He also has a new pair of these shoes, courtesy of a friend…

You think I’m kidding? Nope. He wears them to church. With the fancy pants. Does that freak you out? Would it freak your husband out? Should I care more than I do? How would you feel if your little boy preferred things like this? And I mean, really, strongly preferred things like this? Would you try and force the more typical “boy” outfits? Or would  you take my tact and just roll with it? Are there pitfalls with either method? What think ye, oh mighty mamas? And you, too, Ray…

Sesos Con Queso

Lately it seems like my brain is firing on about 2 cylinders. When I go back and look at some of what I’ve written over the years, there were some grand ideas, pulled off with aplomb. I like some of the things I’ve written- only lately, it kind of seems the well has run a little, um, slower.

Have I really used up all my original ideas? Have I said all I need to say in the world? The answer to both those questions in an unqualified “Nope”- but yet, here I sit, dum-de-dum, not much happening in the ol’ noodle. I’ve always understood why artists tend to seek the dramatic and chaotic- it really does make the best art- yet, I really don’t want any more drama or chaos in my life. Does my art suffer for it?

I mean, it’s not like we’re coasting on our laurels or anything- criminy, we’re going on almost 5 months of unemployment, we had a dangerous and scary sidetrip down a dark alley last month, we had a health scare, Beanie is getting an IEP to see why he regularly bursts into flames- and we’re running out of funds sometime soon. And yet, here I sit, dum-de-dumm.

My writing has been lackadaisical, my painting progress has been nil, my sewing is neglected, and I haven’t worked up any new textile designs in almost two years. My old ones are still selling, but I just don’t care all that much.

Having a husband at home all the time has thrown me for a meteoric mental loop. It’s always Saturday around here. Having David at home lets me run errands and have more free time than I’ve had since becoming a mother- but we have no spare money, so I can’t really tackle many projects. The kids routines have been flushed; they are defiant and whiny, and I actually threatened to sell them to the Gypsies this weekend.

Summer is bearing down fast, and I’m quivering in my flip-flops. We’re only holding onto the barest glimmer of a routine, and with school ending in a matter of weeks, I find myself terrified at the idea of having not only all three kids home all summer, but my husband too. Go lock yourself in a room with your entire family for a few days- get back to me on how you feel when you let yourself out.

I fear I may end up resorting to lots an lots of TV for the summer- and that my children will sprout little TV-cords from their behinds, just like ol’ Jimmy Jet and his TV Set. Really, who wants that?

We pretty much skipped spring here, too. It went from the 60’s to the 90’s overnight. No acclimation, no warming up- just winter, then POW, hotter than a cat on a witches brass bra. Or something like that. Grandma isn’t around to ask for funny sayings anymore. I mess them up anyway.

Hair Challenge, End of Week 1

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You know, once upon a time, I actually had “boingers” or ringlets- now, I think the years of trying to straighten it out have come home to roost, because even after a week of following The Rules, I’m still just getting deep waves. No “boingers”. Never thought the words would leave my mouth, but I kind of miss the boing-y curls. I mean, if you have to suffer curly hair, shouldn’t it at least Boing? I wonder if it has to do, a little bit,  with how long it is? Or maybe that I really need a good haircut?

Jen at Mythbuster Beauty was awesome enough to send me some wonderful hair products that I positively adore- they leave your hair soft instead of crunchy. Check out the Jessicurl website if you have waves or curls. I’m totally sold. Or at least, I will be when we have cash again!

Wow, it really looks stripe-y colored in the picture! Huh.

Target, My Cruel Love

It’s been so long, and yet it was so bittersweet. The carts were calling out to me in joy, as I walked, alone, through the silently swinging red doors. The smell of popcorn greeted me like an old friend, and yet- no children clamored and whined, and I was free- Free to ignore the popcorn and soda deal, free to walk by, gliding my happy cart loaded with only my purse and my dreams.

The dollar bins, shining like bright little made-in-China gems enticed me forward. Oh, this is so cute- and this- so pretty- and wouldn’t Abby love those little cheap gloves? Only a dollar, you know… *Sigh* Meandering along the bins, idly dragging my fingertips over tidbits and trinkets, wondering what I couldn’t live without- I really do need this battery-powered green metallic necklace to show my honorary Irish spirit next month. A Chewbacca white erase board and some pink bunny ears clamored to join my cart of joy. Correction- my silent cart of joy.

The swimsuits did give a little mocking giggle as we, my cart and I, glided by on our way to the make-up and body products. Laugh it up ladies, today, nothing will spoil my reverie. Overhead, the cardboard bunnies and chicks, proclaiming springs arrival, twirled and chided the dinky little swimsuits- can’t you see, she’s alone- the kids are missing- leave her be!

The cart drew my floating feet further into the store, leaving behind the popcorn and pizza smells for the yummy scents of grapefruit and apricot and pretty pink packages. Oh, how I’ve missed being a consumer- how much fun, how delightful to while away an hour or two delighting in new scents, colors, seasons and textures.

The seasonal aisles towards the back gasped as I rounded the corner- how long since they had seen me- how much I had missed them. How much I needed to see the latest in garden ornaments- the lovely vases filled with acrylic water and calla lilies, the hydrangea wreaths that are so perfect for my home, the topiary- oh, the topiary…. green things that were impervious to my brown thumbs; I ached it was so lovely.

My little red cart, full of imaginations and lovely dreams, rounded the corner towards home. Look, the magic continues- there are no lines! There is a lovely young red-shirted girl, waiting to invite me to her line- eager to ring up my dreams and wish me a happy day.

I smile at her, nodding hello, and glide right by, my cart finding it’s home back in the coral with all it’s friends. You see, one doesn’t have to pay to leave Target when ones cart is only full of dreams.

Unemployment sucks.

Random Crap

Other than Abby shoving m&m’s up her nose yesterday, all’s quiet on the western front. Last night we got a ton of snow, and I was hoping for a Snow Day, but alas, this morning our district was running all buses and classes as normal. Crap. It’s not that I wanted all the kids home today- it’s that it’s a half-day anyway, and there might not be enough snow to close the schools, but there sure as heck is enough to make driving treacherous.

Last week I created a new painting of this year’s theme for the Primary room. It came out nice, and when I take a picture, I’ll post it- but I was embarrassed on Sunday when the presidency wanted me to come up and talk about it. I have a hard time talking about my paintings- and I really didn’t want credit on this one-I didn’t even sign it. I made it for the classroom, and it wasn’t about me. I don’t know how to deflect attention very well.

Yesterday morning there was a plate of cookies and an amazing letter from a woman in my ward who is fighting cancer for the second time. She wrote that my painting was a tender mercy for her, as my subject matter (the Tree of Life) was very personal and meant a lot to her in her fight. I’m now working on another smaller painting for her. I plan on just dropping it off on her doorstep, like she did the cookies. I wish there was a way for me to be anonymous, but it would be contrived to even try.

We have family coming for a visit for the first time in over a year and a half. I’m very happy about it. And that’s all I will say.

In my opinion, Jeffrey gets waaay too much homework for a first grader. Rather than go in yet again to see his teacher, and rather than make him sit for an hour each night, I’m selective about what I make him do. I don’t know if it’s the right course, but like so much of parenting, I weigh it out, and hope I’m doing the correct thing.

My new house has hardwood floors on the entire main level. I always dreamed of having beautiful wood floors, and thus is it so. What I didn’t know what how much dust-bunnies love these floors, too. I have to sweep and vacuum every single day. At least once, often twice. Not because I’m a clean-freak- trust me, I’m not, but because if I don’t, all the detritus and crumbs accumulate and get stuck to my feet, and I hate that feeling! I still wouldn’t trade my floors- it was just a surprise at how much messier they are than carpet. Anyone have any tricks for keeping them dust-bunny free?

Mouse Trap is the best Family Night game ever. Just in case you were wondering.

I cut Abby’s hair last night. It looks about as bad as you are imagining- but at least she can see now. The boys both look like spun copper haystacks it’s been so long since they’ve had haircuts. Their hair has never been so long- ever. Secretly, I love it- it’s so bright and pretty, and this time of year, I love having them look like crazy red flowers. Aw, I know- It’s getting cut this week. But still…

We were given a few collector’s Barbie dolls this week. They were still new in the box- two were 1960 reproduction dolls, one in a wedding dress, one in a nightclub dress. The other was a Scarlett O’Hara Barbie- I’m almost ashamed to say how excited I was about that one- what’s the deal with Barbie? No matter how forward thinking I think I am, the little girl inside bubbles up with how pretty….! Anyway, I set the dolls on the table and went back to the car to get some other stuff, and when I returned, Jeffrey had already torn open the bride doll and was eagerly twisting the wire ties that hold her to the cardboard. A little ticked off, I began to explain that these were special dolls, and he wasn’t supposed to open them-He looked confused and said, “But mama, if we leave them new in the boxes, they will get old and mean like Stinky Pete…” What could I say? Laughter was the only solution. Both boys slept with their Barbies that night.

Ransom!

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A man and his hat- what can I say? Mr. Mo Mommy left his hat at our house last night after the Christmas chaos settled- he turned over the house looking for it, but sleepy babies and grumpy mamas made him abandon hope and head home sans chapeau.

This morning, while digging out of the mess, it came crawling out from behind the tree, and I had to take the fireplace poker to it to subdue the beast. Mo claims the mister has several very becoming replacements for this tattered, ratty, sweaty, can walk-on-it’s-own ball-cap; and yet, something about the Y chromosome covets clothing such as this-

How bout you? What’s the grossest thing your husband insists on wearing, and what would you do to get rid of it? I’m holding this one for ransom- if he loves it that much, I figure it’s good for at least some nice cheese in exchange.

What’s In Your Grass?

Setting the stage- we are in the car on the way home from school, and we see a beautiful five-point buck and a doe eating some shrubs on the side of the road. We see a lot of deer, but not usually males with racks like this one- the kids are excited.

Jeffrey: Mom, do deer eat grass?

Me: Sure, they eat grass and twigs and bark and whatever they can find.

Jeffrey: When lions die, they become the grass!

Me: Huh? Uh, yeah- that’s part of the circle of life thing from Lion King, and in a roundabout way, it is true.

Jeffrey: So deer are eating lions?

Beanie, giggling loudly: Deff! Deer don’t eat LIONS!

Jeffrey, irate: BEAN! You don’t know anything! You don’t even know our grass at home is MADE of DEAD LIONS!!!

Me, snerfing diet coke on the windsheild: Bwaaaaaahahahahahaha!!!!!

Tagged Again

Really, you would think, after two and a half years and almost 600 posts, there would be nothing left I have to hide. Ha! You would be wrong! Jen at Mythbuster Beauty tagged me to share seven things you don’t know about me:

  1. I HATE the smell of peanut butter. Positively loathe it- and peanut butter is all Beanie will eat. Go figure.
  2. One of my top front teeth is fake. I knocked it out roller skating when I was 12 on Super Bowl Sunday.
  3. It makes me absolutely nuts when a fly gets in the house. All activity has to stop until the fly is either smooshed or let outside. Squirting them with window cleaner is a great way to knock them down, then squish them, just in case you feel like I do.
  4. I’ve never, ever seen a horror movie. Of any kind. Period.
  5. At my wedding reception, we had small wooden figures of Adam and Eve on top of the cake, and gave out apples for favors.
  6. Red or blue food dye makes me itch like crazy, and I think I’ve passed that little quirk onto Beanie.
  7. I say I don’t collect anything, and I’m adamant about that, but I have soft spot for antique egg-cups and, it’s a secret, but I love glass birds on my Christmas tree. Don’t tell anyone!

Barf-O-Rama

We actually had one tonight. Remember in Stand By Me? It happened at our dinner table! Abby choked on a piece of potato, and threw up all over herself, her high chair and her plate.

While I was running for a towel, Beanie looked at Abby’s piles o’ barf and promptly tossed his dinner onto the table. DH and I both stood there, mid-move, like deer in the headlights, as we watched the waves of barf overtake our dining room.

Grabbing a roll of paper towels, I covered Beanie’s pile to avert any further contributions, and began to clean Abby- and by clean, I mean strip her down. When I did so, I inadvertently got barf in her hair, too. Turning to grab the paper towels, I accidentally nudged the towel off of Beanies pile, which Jeffrey gazed at and began to promptly gag.

DH is upstairs bathing Abby, and I have a giant, hefty super-stretch bag o’ barf in the garage. Wanna come over for dinner?