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    The Trouble with Money

    May 13, 2010

    not-looking-blue-tee-ss-kids-125-rounded

    When I first typed those words, I accidentally typed “Monday.”  I think we can all agree that is a blog post in and of itself.

    I have a very funny relationship with money.  There were days that I had lots and days that I have had less than none.  Most of the days are somewhere in between on the spectrum.  It happens to everyone.  The way my relationship with money manifests itself is how I react when I lose money.  In the past when I have rolled in the cash and then some person stole $80 out of my cash box, I was pissed off for 10 minutes and then I told myself that that person obviously needed the money more than I did.  Felon.

    These days are significantly tighter.  It doesn’t mean I’m better at keeping track of my money.  It just means that I’m noticeably appreciative when I find that $10 in a pair of jeans I haven’t worn in years.

    I came back from a show the other day and my kids tossed my bag in the car. I shoved everything back in and never thought about it again.  The next day I had to take a box to FedEx.  I really didn’t have to go to FedEx.  It’s just that I missed my Post Office closing at 5 and then went to one of those ones that stays open late but apparently only to entertain you and not to actually have your stuff shipped out late.  Seriously, Postal Service.  If the truck left at 5, your being open until 7 is useless to me.

    I had to take three crazy children into FedEx to send something overnight and FedEx is not conducive to three bulls in a china shop.  I’m filling out the form because heaven forbid I HAVE ONE AT HOME and wishing to go back to our parent’s day when you could lock your children in the car at 7 at night on the curb in front of FedEx and go into FedEx alone and the biggest worry you would have is that someone mistakenly bites someone else’s finger off when they discover the pack of gum under the front seat and the race is on to eat it all, without removing the paper.

    I grabbed Nate’s hand, switched the baby to another hip and threw the entire contents of my bag onto the ground.

    E:  Mom.  What’s wrong?
    K:  Ethan, I can’t find the change I just got from the girl at FedEx (frantically looking around).
    E:  It’s okay, Mom.
    K:  Not really.  I was going to buy you Chick-Fil-A with that change (and gas).
    E:  It’s okay, Mom.  I can give you money.

    My children are very generous with their money.  “Their” money being the change they find in random places like MY WALLET.  But it’s nice to know your kids will always offer to give you back your money when you need it.  I threw everything back into the bag and sat Nate against the front wheel of the van, threatening him with death if he moved.  I began to retrace my steps the 30 feet back to FedEx.  I got to the curb and saw the crumbled bills strewn across the road.  I picked them back up and ran back to the van. The Baby tried to grab them out of my hand as I ran.

    E:  Mom.  I said I would give you a dollar for dinner.
    K:  Thanks, Eat.
    E:  I have money, Mom.  Do you need it?
    K: Where do you have money?
    E:  In my drawer back here (pointing to his seat in the van).  Let me give you a dollar, Mom.  I can buy my chicken sandwich.  I can buy yours too.
    K:  A chicken sandwich costs more than a dollar, Eat, but thanks so much.
    E:  Mom, you were worried.  I think you need it.

    With that he pressed a dollar into my hand.  Except it was a $20.

    K:  WHERE DID YOU GET THIS?
    E:  I found it on the floor (pointing to the place between the seats where they had trashed my bag from the SHOW the day before).  You know how you say that when you find money in our clothes in the laundry, you get to keep it.  I FOUND it.
    K:  Do you have more?

    With that he pulled out 4 more 20s.  I am not lying.  My kid was sitting on $100 in the back of the van. 

    I offered him a quarter for the $100 and he took it. It’s nice to realize your kids are going to be as good about money as you are.

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    I have discovered the answer to the crop circle mystery…

    June 14, 2009

    A four-year-old on a riding lawn mower did it.

    Do you have any idea what is more annoying than a four-year-old going “momomomomomomomomomomom?”  A four-year-old bopping his head to the music pumped in his headphones yelling “momomomomomomomomomomomomom” over the roar of the riding lawn mower to his mother who doesn’t have headphones because someone took all the padding out of the other pair of  headphones and lost one of the ears.

    As an aside, do you know how difficult it is to lose an ear to a headphone that could cover Dumbo’s lefty?  I’m guessing it will turn up sometime during the winter as a sled.

    I let The Boy mow the lawn today.  Before you get your panties in a wad about safety, he was on my lap.  Of course I would have let him do it himself if that mower didn’t have that silly sensor in the seat that requires like 80 pounds on it or the motor conks out.  Don’t think I didn’t think about loading up that bad boy with cement blocks but even as country as we are here, you really can’t let your four-year-old mow the lawn if he is riding around on a tractor with a Japanese motor.  Thus the parental involvement.

    Usually I let him sit on my lap and then I steer but since he brought me a Sierra Nevada and put the bottle in the bottle holder because “that’s what the holder is for, Mom, beer,” I have increased his privileges.

    So I put the blade down to 4 and I let him mow.  This pisses off my husband because mowing on “4″ is pretty much the equivalent to making the yard look like a big mound of dirt.  He would prefer that I mow on “6,” which means I would get to mow again in about 3 hours.  No, thank you.

    The Boy mowed in circles.  Lots and lots and lots of circles.  They were perfect.  I was physically nauseated.  Then I saw the copperhead and I started to scream manically like a seven-year-old who just found out she got front row tickets to Hannah Montana and she gets to have pizza for dinner.  I used to be a bad-ass.  I remember those days.  Now I’m yelling like a lunatic about a foot-long poisonous snake that is, follow this, slithering AWAY from me.  And I’m on a riding lawn mower.  My husband ran around the corner of the house.  He looked at me.  He looked at the snake.  The snake looked at him.  He looked at me.

    D:  You should probably just kill it by chopping its head off with a shovel.

    K:  BUT I DON’T HAVE A SHOVEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    D:  There’s one right there (pointing to the shovel a foot away from me).

    K:  I DON’T SEE A SHOVEL WHERE’S THE SHOVEL HAS ANYONE SEEN THE SHOVEL?

    D:  Right there (with that look on his face like, “I-thought-this-one-was-a-step-up-from-the-last-wife-who-was-a-lesbian-but-maybe-I-was-wrong” face).

    I picked up the shovel and killed that copperhead like the warrior goddess princess that I am.

    And went back to riding around on my mower in circles.

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    Don’t you just love Mother’s Day?

    May 10, 2009

    EatMase

    OMG, I love Mother’s Day. I used to think it was a totally bullshit holiday like Valentine’s Day and then I realized it WAS a totally bullshit holiday like Valentine’s Day. Blah, blah, blah, you should appreciate your mother every day, not just on Mother’s Day. Except my mother-in-law apparently reared her son right because he acts like it is a big deal. So I decided to act like Mother’s Day was actually Queen for a Day day.

    You think I’m joking? Last year I don’t think I ever got out of bed. I can’t remember. This year, when Mason woke up at 4:30 and I wanted to go crazy, I realized I had been sleeping since 10:15 p.m. so apparently he DID get the memo about Mother’s Day/Queen for a Day day but he just couldn’t go without sustenance any longer since his belly is the size of a thimble. Or something.

    Then I woke up again at 8 to the sound of my children coming up the stairs beating each other on the head with my Mother’s Day present, which was a really heavy filled pancake pan from William Sonoma. Then I knew it was Mother’s Day. My husband told me I did have to get out of bed to make the pancakes because he sure as hell wasn’t doing it. So I made pancakes and starting drinking champagne. I wanted a mimosa but I didn’t have orange juice. Let’s be honest, why waste perfectly good Piper with orange juice? It’s total overkill.

    75 filled pancakes later (and one bottle of champagne), I got my husband to start moving furniture for me. It was Mother’s Day so not only did he have to do it, he had to act like he was HAPPY about doing it. I was delirious. Then again, I had an entire bottle of champagne in me, so that may have helped. The boys were screaming and yelling and Derek was trying to figure out what he needed to do to fix the double-paned window that the Middle Child had shattered on Friday with a broom stick. The boys were practicing this new game of jumping off the ledge of the window, onto the futon, onto the ottoman, onto the couch and back. I didn’t care. I had Ricky Martin on loop. In Spanish.

    We hung art. On the wall. Call it a preemptive move since Nana is coming on Thursday. There are pictures on the wall in my house. It only took two years.

    I’m not saying it was my best day ever but I am saying it might be in my top 10. Or five.

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    No matter what you say, they still don’t believe you

    June 24, 2008

    Yesterday we spent the lunch hour(s) within the hallowed halls of PBS, banging out what we hope to be the last of the issues before we can get our blog rolling. I think it’s gonna rock.

    We spent the morning taking pictures. Even in my profile picture I am not alone. You won’t be able to see him but imagine The Boy standing just below the PBS head shot, gripping my hand tightly with tears streaming down his face, asking when we can go to PBSParents.org. And these people were worried that the marketing between shows wasn’t working?

    I can’t even be alone in my profile picture. What….the…..hell? I have taken to physically placing the kids in the other room and then running to the bathroom and locking the door behind me. I don’t really have to go to the bathroom that much during the day. I’m just trying to get away from them.

    Bless their hearts, people came out of the woodwork at PBS to help watch the kids while we worked. The Husband showed up because he heard Jorgie was coming. So we had two dads, seven kids and about 5 PBS people watching the kids. Weak link? A room with no door.

    So you would imagine my surprise when I saw one of my kids run by the glass window of the conference room. There are 7 adults to 7 kids and one of mine is toddling past as fast as his fat little legs will take him. And then there is another one. Also mine. Much faster. The meeting hasn’t even started yet and there have been two runners. Suddenly I see my husband dart past the conference room. I think he was yelling but I don’t know. He walks back past the glass carrying two children upside down.

    It’s at this point that someone mentions the colossal bruise on my forearm.

    K: Derek did it.
    Jen: PLEASE.
    K: I tripped coming up the steps.
    Pache: That’s what they all say.
    K: I took pictures. Just in case I need them in the future against him.
    Jen: Seriously?
    K: I tripped coming up the steps. I was carrying The Baby. But I did take pictures.

    The Husband walks past the door leading The Boy on a walk that can only be described as The Bathroom Walk. I’m guessing that the “poop” conversation favored by the older cousins has been an inspiration to the very impressionable preschooler. Suddenly The Baby darts past. By himself. And then Jorgie is picking him up.

    45 minutes of this and Derek had to go back to work. Heaven forbid my children play with their cousins at the premier source of SUPER WHY STICKERS! Now I have one on each hip in the conference room. They are both crying. And I’m wondering why we didn’t push that lock on the conference door. It’s no bathroom, but it’ll do.

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    What’s a little milk stain among Sharpie drawings, pee and ground-in playdoh?

    March 14, 2008

    My husband is a saint.

    Anyone who reads this blog realizes that.  Can you imagine being married to me?  It’ll be 2 in the morning and I will bolt out of bed, run down the stairs and make magnets.  Read email while The Boy takes a bowl filled to the BRIM with milk and cheerios up the stairs, except by the time he gets upstairs, there is no milk and cheerios in the bowl.

    D:  WHAT is going on here?
    K:  (reading email) Huh?
    D:  There is a trail of milk all the way up the stairs and down the hall.
    K:  (thinking good for The Boy to at least keep the cheerios in the bowl)  Really?
    D:  And there is a puddle of milk here on the counter.
    K:  (glaring at The Boy because despite it being HIS bad behavior, I’m getting chewed out for my failure to pay attention).  I already cleaned up one puddle.  There is another one?
    D:  Didn’t you know what he was doing?

    Of course I knew what he was doing.  But I am determined to make the Number One Parenting Mistake.  Inconsistency.  That’s me.  I told him 7 times that he couldn’t take a bowl of cereal upstairs to eat in his bed.  I cleaned up the first mess.  I told him to sit down to eat.

    and then I gave up.  Because he doesn’t listen to me.  Because I have passed (from my gina-saur–thanks Cake Lady for that one) myself.  I don’t know how all of you people who have known me all of my life or who have been forced to ride in a car with me in the early hours of the day when I c-a-n-n-o-t-s-h-u-t-t-h-e-h-e-l-l-u-p did not ever beat my incessantly talking mouth.  I am exhausting.  Alway have been.  No caffeine, no sugar, doesn’t matter.  And now I am getting it back in spades.  I do NOT want a closing argument intended to sway me to see your most ridiculous side.  I am TIRED, people.  I am TIRED of listening to the 30 minute explanation for WHY I should allow you to take a bowl of cereal up to bed.  Tired.  Tired.  Did I mention I was tired? 

    I just want to check my email.  I just want to respond to my email.  I just want to be at some small point where I feel like I am caught up on work or at least the end is in sight. 

    Maybe my goal should be to see the end of toddlerdom in sight.  Oh, wait.  The Baby just toddled by with a dinner plate and a full set of utensils.  That light at the end of the tunnel?  We call that a mirage. 

    (live near clifton, VA?  They are having their annual Spring Scavenger Hunt tomorrow at noon.  The Easter Bunny will be there.  I am TOTALLY sitting on his lap for a picture.  I hope I don’t break his leg…)

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    Somebody do me a favor and hide the Amex card again

    March 13, 2008

    bride.jpg

    I need you to just not ask my why I am doing buttons related to brides.  All I can say is that Kimberle and The Babysitter will be happy.  My husband?  Not so much.  And while I was making this one, The Boy stole my glue stick and dug all the glue out.  But isn’t it the cutest thing ever? 

    Matron of Honor

    While I made this one, The Baby decided to wash his hands in the toilet.  There was extensive discussion regarding what was actually in the bowl when he started his little bathing, but his brother swears he FLUSHED the poop before his brother went on in.  Then these came in the mail.  Can you even imagine placing your martini glass on this cute little napkin?  When I went outside to pick up these boxes, The Baby decided to walk down the stairs.  Except he can’t walk.  And certainly not down stairs.  When he hit the landing, he was pissed.  Thank God for carpet.  The Boy?  Downloading Go, Diego, Go videos from YouTube on my phone and sending them to all the people on my contact list.  That and he rearranged all the icons on the front page.  I would change them back but I have no idea how to do it.  He tried to explain it to me but it was too complicated. 

    Mommy Needs a Cocktail Napkins

    When these arrived, Michael from my new wireless merchant service place was trying to give me excellent customer service by visiting at my place of employment.  Which is my living room.  It used to just be the basement, but I am now trickling up the stairs.  As Michael discussed discount rates and fees, The Baby began to unload Michael’s briefcase.  He called him “Dad” and stole his pen.  The Boy began jumping from the crates of shirts onto the top of the back of my chair.  every once in a while he missed.  And landed on my head.  The Boy then began to push The Baby around in the Little Tikes car at about 40 miles per hour.  It was only a matter of time before the big wipeout occurred and everyone was crying.  Michael?  Still trying to explain the process.  Me?  Offering Michael hard alcohol.  He graciously refused.    I decided not to hold it against him.

    Mommy Needs a Cocktail Postit Notes

    And aren’t these the cutest little hostess gift?  I’m hoping I can keep them away from The Boy.  And his father.  Those boys are FA-reaks when it comes to post it notes.

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