Sunday, October 26, 2008


Homestead is sorting unmentionables this week. Eek. Last week, I did socks. I did the whole family's socks . . same deal, here? Must I do everyone's underthings?

Okay, I'm easy . . I have new Costco unders. I like a variety to accomodate any outfit . .. a girl needs a couple good pair of thongs . . some boyshorts for overall comfort, a bikini or two, and the every popular period panties. I'm not a fan of the g-string, and I prefer cotton. Once I bought a pair of the slimming panel kind of briefs. It was horrid. I like spanx. I believe in having a couple pair on hand. Up top, I require a variety there, too. I need a few soft & comfy bras. A few things to wear with t-shirts & a fair number of sports bras. (But I could post on sports bras ALONE . . . . who can get big boobs into something that tiny over your head?? Come on!! It needs to fasten like a normal bra, but batton down the hatches like a crab boat on a stormy sea!!) Life requires a push up. I'm currently theorizing that if I wear a bit of padding with a firm push-UP, that my belly looks smaller. If nothing else, it makes MOTH say, "you have big boobs today." And that makes me laugh.

Moth: men's unders are so easy. He likes what he likes & we don't deviate from that. It's been the same for a decade. Done. Midway boxer briefs. The end.

Big and Middle share. They have approximately the same size rump, so unders are a combined effort. They like boyshorts . . and some bikinis . . NOTHING with seams up the crack or tags. The like undershirts. That's really cute to me. We like the Ultimate Tank at Target.

Little likes boxer briefs. He likes Superhero. Life is good when his socks have the same superhero as his unders.

Tinky . . . (who, by the way, I'm thinking of Blog-re-naming . . . to Christian Bailey . . . In honor of Christian Troy from Nip Tuck . . . who undoubtedly inspired her creation and Bailey . . . in honor of Mint Chocolate Baileys . . which is so good in hot chocolate during 9:00 TV!) Anyway, she's in Costco diapers . . size 5 (little pork chop) . . .

And that's all I have to say about that!!

Being Green

I'm kinda green.

Not super green . . . definately NOT-not green. I'm in the middle. I recycle. I've been a recyler for years. At home, I do plastics, tins, metals, glass, cardboard, paperboard & junk mail. At school, there is plastic bag recycling and ink cartridge recycling. I'm always good to put my fair share in those two collection bins, too. Mostly, I use my re-usable shopping bags. I have a pretty good collection now that live nested inside one another. They have a permanent place in my car, and I'm good about taking them with me. I have enough to do a major grocery run, and I like using them. I use some natural cleaning stuff. I miss bleach, and I like the smell of pretty scented cleaners. No amount of baking soda & vinegar in the whole world smells as good as lavender windex. It just won't ever be. But, in the name of saving the planet, my house often smells like pickle salad. Whatever. I compost. It's not wildly successful, but it's another thing.

Another thing. There we have it.

Once this summer, I tried NOT to recycle. I tried because we have that space in the kitchen where SHIT piles up. When the kids walk though, they put stuff there. It might be happy meal toys or pencils. Middle has a collection of stubby pencils that she recovers from playgrounds & parking lots. They tend to land there. Big always has her nose in a book. Books pile up nicely there. Dishes accumulate there. That armload of "stuff" that people (all of us, here, it's a collective disorder) . . . that armload frequently lands there when we walk into the kitchen and think, "ah, I'm thirsty . . . I'll just put all this SHIT here for a second." Anyway, point is, one day, I scooped all of that CRAP into the trash. Scoop. Toys, stubby pencils, (I didn't toss the books) . . . miscellaneous mail, a couple of tin cans, some plastic and paper. Into the trash with one victorious heave and a satisfied brush-brush-brush of my hands. And I marched out of the kitchen, thinking, "pitching that much stuff won't kill me or the planet."

And then I sulked back into the kitchen to rummage through the garbage and pull out the recycling. Pathetic, I know.

But this post gets better. Recycling here goes like this: you pay your trash guys extra to pick up your pre-sorted plastics. And your tin. The rest, you cart to the recyle center, where you wait in line to sort your recycling into dumpsters.

Here is the better part. There was a nifty note for me tucked in the lid of the trash can this week. It says this: (and I can hardly contain my excitement!!) Our trash company is starting a new recycling program. The give you a big-ass trash can . . with a lid (and on wheels!!) Ah, I'm practically giddy. And you can put ALL, (yes, ALL) of your not-sorted recycling in one container!! Not sorted, y'all!! Did you read that? NOT SORTED!! No more sorting. . . . this is going to be downright orgasmic!! And, And, And . . just when I'm happy . . . here's a list of what they'll take. Glass bottles & jars, cardboard, paperboard, aerosol cans (I'm feeling high . . pun intended!), brown paper bags, phone books, office paper, newspaper, junk mail & magazines, aluminum cans, plastics & steel cans.

Okay, so honestly . . if the mountains and kick-ass seasons don't entice you to move to this state . . . this should. Good recycling!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Words of Wisdom from Dr. Fay

I love this guy . . . here's one worthy of sharing . . .

Finishing the Race…and Enjoying it at the Same Time

Have you ever met a "sprinter parent"? Like athletes competing for the gold in a fifty-yard dash, they throw every erg of their energy into trying to deal with each instance of misbehavior. Determined to raise great kids, they spend almost every moment trying to correct their youngsters' behavior.

Here's the problem: Parenting is a marathon…not a 50-yard dash! Those who start the journey as sprinters quickly run out of energy, get frustrated, and view parenting as painful. "Marathon parents" know how to pick their battles. Because they know that parenting is a life-long task, they ask the following questions when they deal with misbehavior: Is this behavior dangerous in any way?If my child continued to do this for his entire life, would it really be a problem? Is this behavior a chronic problem? Is this a battle I can win right now without first getting support or ideas from others? If the answer to these questions is "No," wise parents give themselves permission to rest, relax and reflect. By doing so, they preserve the energy needed to address problems with definite "Yes" answers. In our fun little book, Love and Logicisms, we provide 100 short parenting truths that help us determine the difference between the battles that must be won and those that don't need to be. Knowing the difference gives us the wisdom to finish the race…and enjoy it at the same time. Thanks for reading! Dr. Charles Fay

Monday, October 20, 2008

Crazy Shit Happened

In my house, this week, Crazy Shit Happened . . . .

Crazy stuff happens in my house with regularity . . . . like . . .

* it's normal for little people to be naked in the kitchen
* noise is normal . . . loud noise is normal
* multiple overlapping conversations are normal . . you have to multi-task to keep up

But this week . . .

* My son discovered the infra-red back massager and put it on his, er, um, parts. His awe was palpable . . and I'll never forget the "Mom, check out how HUGE my dinger got!!"
* My daugter's most wished-wish in the whole world came true. She has 2 mice. Pet mice. So, now it's normal to see a little white nose coming out of a robe pocket or a sock. Now, it's normal to see Cherry & Raspberry sitting in one sink, while they brush their teeth in the other. Crazy shit.
* Yesterday, I moved the fire truck out of the way . . . and "eek!" screams followed. Yes, Cherry & Raspberry were driving the fire truck!!
* Tinky fell out of the swing and camp crawling downt the hallway.
* The word of the week continues to be "dillweed."

Ah, heavy sigh!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Back on my de-cluttering and re-organizing jag.

I've been talking to Homestead. We're back at it. The de-cluttering & re-organizing jag. She said I could start . . . so here goes . . .

To the former Alabama Belle . . I think you should do this. And you keep moving, so you need a new name . . but all I can think of right now is Virginia Vagina, so I'll keep thinking . . . .

Anybody else? Come on . . it will be fun!

My first mission is the sock bin. Holy God, do we have socks. Why do people like to give socks as gifts? Aren't socks a PERSONAL purchase? (Same theory as underwear . . . don't buy me underwear as a gift . . seriously!) There is a lot to be picky about. Let me repeat that . . . there is ALOT to be picky about. And, we all have different sock personalitities, which makes cleaning out a sock bin a task of collosal proportions.

The Ogre. He has socks. He needs black ones. Short and long. He needs brown ones. Short and long. She needs athletic socks. Short only. Anything else can go. Anything close to threadbare of with an honest-to-God hole. Gonzo.

Me. I have socks. I like low-boys. Thin ones. That's all I want. My body runs a stead 110 degrees. I can go barefoot in the dead of winter.

Big. She likes my socks. She likes low boys, too. She likes wild colors, so the all-white theory doesn't work in our house.

Middle. She has socks. She likes wild socks. She sleeps in fuzzy socks. She likes toe socks. She wears mis-matched socks. She likes long socks. She plays soccer, so needs LONG athletic socks. It's best if they are pink.

Little. He has socks. He loves socks. He loves the ones with a superhero. All others -- gonzo.

Tinky. Ok, I'm cheap . . . I was waiting unitl it got COLD to buy her socks. She's been wearing Little's Spiderman ones, but I promise to buy some soon . . . as soon as I find a good sale on baby socks that look like they'll stay on. (She's still wearing the socks from VV . yes, I'm calling you that . . . for now. . . . . that were a baby gift . . . even though her foot is exactly square and 3 sizes to big, I've been stuffing them in anyway). She has slippers. Good enough.

Seasonal socks. Arrgh. The bain of me. Ok, I know the kids "love" them . . but they kinda don't. They all complain about their toes getting caught in the cr0ss hatches of the internal threads. (Back to the gift thing.) And, of coure, to complicate matters . . we DO have one pair of Old Navy white socks with a pumpkin on the FRONT . . that have been through 3 kids. Good socks . . good seasonal socks.

And, if you're a numbers person . . . how many pairs of socks does a person NEED, really NEED? I know this laundry dependent . . but I AM a numbers person . . so play my game . . .


Baby Talk

Tinky is right on track. She's a crawling girl. Baby on the move. Comes through a room like a tiny cyclone. In our kitchen, she starts at the carpet/tile junction. Moves to the rings. Takes them all down. Smiles the whole time. Stop two is the legal and safe sippy bin. That needs daily (hell, sometimes, hourly) emptying. Scoots over to the fridge, where fridge phonics comes DOWN. Over to the panty, where the bottom two shelves are legal baby-get-in-to-able. Everything down and out. Smash what you can. Bang what you can. Yee Haw.

And she talks her way through this process. She's Ma-ma-ma-ma-ing. And she's ba-ba-ba-ba-ing. And she's Aaaaah-ing. She also does a nice "fffff" (with much slobber, of course).

Sidenote. In Little preschool, they teach primary phoenics. He says "Ah, ah, ah, Abby Astronaut" (are you following?) . . . Or "Buh-buh-buh, Barney Beaver". Ok, Little came roaring in to me yesterday, screaming . . "How did Tinky get so smart . . ?!?!" She already knows "Fuh-fuh-fuh Fiona Fairy"!!!!

Last night, in a flurry of baby jumping, talking & tackling . . I'm certain she said "My Mama's Obama."

A little shut-eye

Tired Moms, hear my cry . . . .

I'm tired. You'd think out of 4 kids, I'd have one child that slept worth a damn.

Seems not. So, I've come to the conclusion that this is, indeed, my fault. I conceed. I agree. And, I thank the Good Lord, that I'm one of those moms not adamantly opposed to "the family bed". Today, I'm also thankful that I'm able to rest with a small person doing the "screw in" next to me. She likes to try to wedge herself UNDER my skin. I know, I know . . slap my wrists & spank my bottom . . . but it seems to be what we do here.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Give me your Smart-Mommy-Money-Management to Recession Proof your family

Come on . . . let's share. What's the point of all this, anyway? Give me your Smart Mommy Tips on how to Recession Proof your family. I'm taking notes. Ready? Go.

Here's what I have so far (that's Homestead . . . )

a. Make your own cleaning products. Yeah, I get this. Personally, I LOVE vinegar . . . and baking soda makes cool bubbles in the potty . . . but I do love bleach. Alot. It makes me feel safe and de-germ-er-ated.
b. Host a no-spending month. Shit. This is tough for us. Counting what? I'm not at the point where this seems feasible .. . I have 3 birthdays coming up, so a major budget shift seems like the best idea at this point.
c. Stop drinking soda. Done. I guess we were already saving money. Yeah for us!
d. Stop saving money. Um. I can't. I'm a saver. . . . . I can't not . . it would kill me. I think that will be my meter of just how bad it gets . . . .

More ideas ..
a. Coupons. I love coupons. Great coupons on line. I've recently adopted a "never pay full price" oath. Want to do it with me? Today was tough on a few items, I have to admit .. . . I really like Log Cabin Sugar Free Syrup. But it wasn't on sale. Good thing the Spring Tree kind was.
b. Re-gifting. Ok, so who DOESN'T re-gift? Seriously? What is the big deal? We all know not to give it back to the original giver, right . . . let's stop pussy-footing around. Re-gifting saves money. And I'm not just talking about the bag. I'm talking about the gift.
c. Compost. I didn't buy garden soil this year . . And that was kind of rewarding. I liked it. Meant I could buy better fertilizer. This is a good trade off for me.
d. Clean out the freezer. I'm working on this right now. I'm making some funky concoctions and calling them dinner, but my family is playing along. I know they are secretly counting the day until "real" food shows up again . . . . Another night of "cupboard hunter's stew" might kill my husband.

So, whatcha doing? Please share with me !!

"I hummed it."

Here is a story from my Perils of Parenthood Book, volume 19, year 9, issue 7.

Last week, Little and Big got into a giant fight. It required expert conflict management skill and first rate mediation. (That's me, and yes, it's on my resume.)

I was talking tears back, and putting a lid on shouting. In the mediation, Little needed to give an apology to Big. He dug his heels in deep and sat back like a horse being saddle-broke. I repeated. He dug in deeper.

Well, moms out there -- you have all been in this role, right? It could have ended so nice and sweet, buttoned up nice and right .. . however, when he dug in . . . . so became my necessity to dig in. After all, when you fight a battle, the mommy must always win, right?

So, I initiated escalation protocl number 7.

"Little, tell Big that you are sorry, or . . . . . "

And he looked at me like I had on fuzzy antennae.

"Little, let me make sure you understand. Tell Big that you are sorry, or . .. . . "

Fuzzy antennae now mysteriously attached to an alien head with a loch-ness monster body.

And, Little bargains, "can I whisper it to her?"

"Yes, Little . . you may whisper it to her."

So he leans in . . . . and his mouth comes in close approximation to her ear. And his lips fail to move. Back to escalation protocol.

"Little, you didn't say anything."

He says, big green eyes WIDE and innocent, with convicted belief in his right-ness, "I HUMMED IT!!!"