Monthly Archives: July 2015

Heard around the house.

Liam: (in the midst of cleaning the kitchen) “So…that was interesting place you decided to put the spinach.”

Me: (in the bedroom, confusedThe spinach? That we ate during breakfast? “Huh? What are you talking about?”

Liam: “The spinach? I just found it inside the cupboard with the pots and the pans.”

Me: “What?! I didn’t put it in there.” Did I?

Liam: “You cleaned up after breakfast, didn’t you?”

Me: “I did?”

Two days later we are still confused as to who may have put the refrigerated spinach into the cupboard with the pots and the pans. Neither of us remembers doing so. Either we are both overworked and in need of a vacation, or we have a bogeyman living in the house that is fucking with us.

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In a moment of equal distraction, on the way to the lake this weekend:

Liam: (after making a left turn through a red light) “Did I just go through a red light?”

Me: (again, confused) “Huh?”

Liam: (looking back to confirm) “I did. I just went through a red light.”

Me: (not really phased) “At least you looked both ways before turning.”

Liam: (disgusted with self) “Jeez. I need to go back to bed.”

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Inside the car:

Frances: “Nora? Nora? Nora?”

Nora: (silence)

Frances: (persistently) “Nora? Nora? Mama, Nora not talking me.”

Me: (mildly annoyed) “Nora, please answer your sister when she’s talking to you.”

Nora: (calmly) “Mommy, I’m having quiet time. Can you tell Frances I’m not talking to her?”

Me: “No, you tell her, please.”

Nora: “Frances, I’m having quiet time now, so I’m not talking to you.”

Frances: (belligerent) “No! No quiet time! Nora? Nora? Nora? Nora? No fair! I be quiet time, too! I no talking anybody!”

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Somebody please, save us from ourselves.

Why I see the need for soundproof glass dividers for the family car.

Today’s family cars are full of features and amenities that are great for modern families. Many are equipped with amazing sound systems, air bags at every seat, no less than twenty-three cup holders, and the all-time fan favorite—the DVD player. Sadly, we don’t have one in our minivan. Even if we did, I like to think I probably wouldn’t allow the kids to use it much anyway. But for long car rides, it would be super valuable. Life saving, perhaps.

Instead, we listen to a lot of music. There’s the Silly Songs CD, and the Pandora channel favorites: Mary Poppins Original London Cast and most recently, Disney

We also like to play games, like ‘I spy with my little eye,’ counting to one hundred, the guaranteed-to-drive-you-apeshit ‘I’m gonna say whatever you say’ game, and my favorite fallback, ‘let’s find some farm animals.’ 

When we tire of these games, there’s another little game that I like to play. It’s called, “Be quiet people, before Mommy has a nervous breakdown and runs us off the road.” Needless to say, the girls are not a big fan of this one.

Which brings me to the point of this blog post. Why have the car engineers not yet designed a feature like the soundproof glass divider that exists in taxi cabs? It would make a GREAT addition to today’s family car!

Baby screaming his little lungs out? Time to crank up the glass! 

Middle girl counting to one hundred but getting endlessly stuck in this loop: 16, 17, 18, 19, 100! 16, 17, 18, 19, 100! 16, 17, 18, 19, 100! Fire up that shield!

Oldest whining that she doesn’t like that song, or asking how much longer til we get there, or worse even—asking you to count down the minutes until you do actually get there? Put that baby up already and drown out all the noise!

Want to have a conversation with your husband, whom you haven’t seen in a hundred days, without interruption? 

Want to listen to inappropriate content, like those Serial spinoff podcasts you can’t seem to get enough of these days? 

Want to meditate? Reflect? Just get some GD quiet time, please? 

Soundproof glass window up.

Problem solved. Now somebody go out there and design and/or market it, and/or patent it, and then give me 50/50 credit and a third of the share in profit. I would if I could, but I don’t have time.

I’m too busy trying to spy with my little eye something green that I know my two-year-old never even spied in the first place. This is gonna take awhile.

To the driver of the truck that I pulled out in front of today…

To the driver of the truck that I pulled out in front of today:

I am NOT sorry. See, I normally wouldn’t have pulled out in front of you like that. But prior to you coming by, I had been sitting at the stop sign for some time, waiting for my turn. Also, I noticed behind you a long line of cars. My kid was screaming and I needed to make my move. It was then or never. 

Had you not been speeding, this would’ve all worked out fine. I pulled out when you were a safe distance away, but since you were driving like a madman, you closed the gap fast and then threw up your hands like you were all, “Who is this bullshit woman driver pulling out in front of me like this?”

And then, you continued to let me know you were pissed by riding my ass even though I sped up. When you didn’t back off, you, in turn, pissed me off, and so I slowed down, exacerbating the situation further.

You see, I get pissed sometimes too when people pull out in front of me. But only when there are no cars behind me and the car could’ve waited until I’d passed. And only when drivers pull out and then don’t accelerate, but instead go slowly, in which case I would probably do exactly as you did. 

But you sir, were driving too fast, which made you the jerk-off, not me. Also, I followed the unwritten, but considerate rule of speeding up so you could maintain most of your speed. 

So take your white collar wearing, clean shaven, truck driving, speed demon, road raging self and feck off, will you?

Asshole.

I am so done with—well, everything!

Have you ever reached a point where you become so overwhelmed that you don’t want to do anything? You just want to throw in the towel and yell, “I QUIT!” at the top of your lungs? And then run away to Mexico?

Well, I am at that point now, and sadly, have been stuck in it, mucking about, for the past few days or so. Help! I cannot pinpoint the moment things went south for me. But I do have some general ideas.

Let’s begin with the children. The oldest has been enjoying nap-free, action-packed days with later than normal bedtimes. This has the effect of turning her into a bit of a monster. She has become overly sensitive and emotional, as well as grouchy and sassy. And I can’t tell her she’s tired because it will just end up in an argument. After 4:00 p.m., she seems to lose all control of her manners, the words that come out of her mouth, and the ability to remain upright without falling into something for more than fifteen minutes at a time.

The middle child is perhaps the whining-est child on the face of the earth right now. Truly. I have not met a child who whines more than she does. At first, I chocked it ip to teething. But, if that’s the case, the child has been teething now for over four months straight, and is showing no signs of stopping. From the moment she wakes up, until the moment she goes to sleep, and then, on into the middle of the night, it’s:

“Hold me, mama!”

“Nurses!”

“Arm!” (she wants to lie on my arm)

“Mom-MEE! Mom-MEE!” (spoken like Will Ferrell demanding ‘Meatloaf!’ in the movie Wedding Crashers)

And the baby. The poor, sweet baby. He is mostly quiet and pleasant and smiley. He rarely fusses. But he’s been in a poor-napping-during-the-day phase for some time. As a result, I end up spending much of the day either holding the baby, or trying endlessly to put him down for a nap. Our house is just too small, and the noise and distraction too much, that he wakes up time and again after being put to sleep in my arms.

Then, there’s the house. Besides being small, there is always, always the issue of child clutter on the floor. Lately, there have been tens upon tens of little colorful plastic bears littering the floor. I had to recently round them up and retire them to a secret hidey spot that NO ONE knows about. There is also always laundry to be done and folded and put away. And dishes in the sink or on the counter, or in the dishwasher waiting to be put away.

But then there is the recent stuff too. Like the landlord wanting us to buy the mower. Thankfully, we have put his ridiculous offer on hold for the time being. Or the hundreds of maggots I discovered in the garage once I moved a towel that was lying on the floor. They scattered everywhere in an instant. Normally, I am not afraid of bugs, but this was just too much. I told the hubs he needed to immediately come outside and deal with the situation. His solution—throw away the towel. But what about the scattering maggots?!

Then there are the flies that reside in our house these days, again, numbering in the tens upon tens. I swatted at least twelve yesterday. I’ve no doubt these are coming from the maggot farm in the garage. Also, there are small ants that seem to be building their den underneath the bathroom floor, coming and going as they please. I suppose it is nice entertainment to watch them while I’m sitting on the toilet, but I’d really like for them to build and destruct elsewhere.

Then, there’s the washing machine. That started giving us trouble weeks ago when it began leaking copious amounts of water onto the floor. Turns out the water valve was faulty and cold water was just gushing out all over the place. Lovely.

So we went for a whole week without the use of a fully functioning washing machine. This was especially trying since we need to launder diapers every other day. We were able to make it work for a bit, but I had to stay with the machine while it filled up, then manually turn off the water, then come back downstairs for the rinse cycle, turn on the water, stay until the basin filled up, and then leave again, on and on ad nauseam.

We finally got a refurbished one a few days ago—courtesy of the landlord—which of course, I just discovered is leaking water again, although gratefully, not as much as last time. Does the madness ever end, I wonder.

So this morning, when I woke up at 7:45 (thank you, husband, for getting up with the baby at 6:00), and just wanted a moment to sit on the couch with a cup of coffee in hand, but instead was met with a rambunctious four-year-old who wanted to build a block bed with me for her wooden doll family, a whiny two-year-old demanding, “Hold me, mama! Nurses on the couch!”, and a baby, who would very soon need to be put down for a nap, I really did want to run away to Mexico. I felt as though I couldn’t do it again—another day of the same old routine. Another day of swatting flies and cleaning clutter and dishes and holding babies and listening to “Mom-MEE!”

There’s this phrase that I’m reminded of time and again when I feel overwhelmed like this. 

Just start

Don’t think about everything that needs to be done, just put one foot in front of the other and do something. So, I nursed the toddler while drinking my coffee and watching the four-year-old play with blocks. My husband, bless him, sensing my unraveling, went in a little late to work so he could rock the baby to sleep.

After he left, I managed a shower. Next, I swatted a fly and killed it dead. Then, I started a load of diapers. Baby steps. Finally, when I felt I could do no more than that, I called my sister and told her that I was coming over with the kids because I couldn’t be trusted to be on my own with them today.

She laughed and took us in. We hung out and chatted. She put the baby down for his second nap. And then, she fed us and gave me a couple of glasses of wine. And it was just what I needed. A break from the monotony and confining walls of our home.

It’s funny. In the moment I always think, “Oh man. God is really testing me today. What with all the flies and maggots about.” And then, after the briefest respite, I suffer from the guilt of you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-God-is-testing-you, you’re-so-blessed-it’s-not-even-funny nonsense.

I guess it’s like my wise husband says: There’s always tomorrow. A new day. A chance to start all over again and make things better than they were before.

Aren’t we lucky?

Who’s out there?

Hiya, fine folks. It’s me, Kirstin. This is kind of a cheat post, I know, but with all the mothering and caregiving going on these days, I barely have time to shower, let alone be creative. 

The blog’s been public now over six months! Hoo-rah (spoken like a marine, FYI). And, I’d love to know who’s following along.

So, if you’re feeling up to it, leave a reply. Let me know what you think of this space. And in the meantime, I’ll work on creating more content for your viewing pleasure.

Ciao!

Heard around the house.

Nora: (upon waking one morning last week) “You know that everybody dreams?”

Liam: “Uh-huh.”

Nora: “Well, everybody except for Santa and God. Because they don’t sleep, right?”

Liam: “Right.”

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Our washing machine has been a bit wonky lately, so this past week I took the kids to my parents’ house so I could get some laundry done. My sister’s cats reside (mostly) in the laundry room there.

Me: (enthusiastically) “Frances, want to come with me to do laundry? We can see Titi Liz’s cats!”

Frances: (grumpily) “Me no like Titi’s cats.”

Me: (admittedly) “Me no like them either.”

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And Frances, on a similar monologue rant of all the things which she does not like, while she was watching me make guacamole.

Frances: “Me no like awacado. Me no like uh-mato, Me no like onion or gar-lit. Was dat?”

Me: “Lime.”

Frances: “Me no like nime.”

Me: “What do you like?”

Frances: “Me like chips. An cookies. An ice-peem!”

Trying to keep it healthy here, folks!

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Nora: “Mommy, when do you have to go back to work?”

Me: “August sometime.”

Nora: (disappointed) “Awww.”

Me: (thinking: ‘This is so sweet. She wants me to be a stay-at-home-mom forever.’) “Why?”

Nora: “I want you to go back to work tomorrow. And daddy too, so that Candace can watch us and Tella can come play.”

Me: (deflated) “Oh.”

Well, at least this is proof that we chose a great babysitter and that the kids love her. Couldn’t ask for a better situation than that! Ha!

Reading baby’s cues. Or, not.

A couple of months ago, I went to a La Leche League meeting because I needed to talk with other moms about some breastfeeding concerns I was having at the time. Namely, tips for how to maintain my sanity amidst nursing my two littlests. I needed a support network. Badly.

However, while we were there, talk turned to interpreting our babies’ cries. One mother explained, “Well, you know how there’s the ‘I need a diaper change’ cry, and the ‘I’m hungry’ cry, and the ‘I’m tired’ cry?”

I looked around the room at the other mothers nodding in agreement, and I thought to myself: there must be something wrong with me, because I can’t read my babies like that. I only know the ‘I’m a little fussy/cranky’ cry, the ‘I’m really crying now’ cry, and finally, the ‘I’m losing my shit because I am so freaking pissed right now’ cry.

And mostly, I answer all of these cries the same waybreastfeeding. Not with naps, or diaper changes. Just here, take this boob. And be quiet, please. You’re hurting my ears.