Thursday, January 31, 2013

Another Birthday

Eleven years ago today, I woke up early and prayed. I had prayed the entire day before, as I had for much of my pregnancy. Up until that moment, aside from a bout of PUPPP, everything had gone my way.  I was sitting at 37 weeks and 6 days. I had carried two babies (two!) until past term, technically. I was still able to walk and eat and move for goodness sakes. Could I be so selfish as to ask that the last piece magically fit as well?

I alternated my words to God with silent moments; I envisioned the movement of Baby A, willing him or her to rise up out of the pelvis and turn, sparing me from a C-section. Baby B was head down and ready to make the journey the intended way; why couldn't Baby A have done the same? And yet, it was not to be.

I won't bore you today with the details. I've already done that before. But on this day, the girls' 11th birthday, the memories come flooding back, inundating me with thoughts of how it felt to be expecting twins, not knowing if they were girls or boys or identical or fraternal; thoughts of whether or not I would be able to handle two babies (two!); thoughts of how much pain the C-section caused and how scared I was that I wouldn't wake up from general anesthesia; thoughts of seeing my two beautiful baby girls, and marveling at the fact that I could grow anything so perfect.

After a minor meltdown, possibly spurred by a little insecurity mixed with the onset of hormonal fluctuation, I spoke with Talia last night. I told her some of what I wrote above, while I hugged her with everything I had. I hoped that the warmth of my arms would envelope her in a love so strong, she'd remember it forever. I also explained to her how absolutely unique she is, even if she doesn't always feel like it. Once our conversation was over, I realized something.

It may have taken 11 years to do so, but it is certainly clear that it was relatively easy to nurse two babies, hold two babies, recover from a C-section, and find out if the girls were identical or fraternal. But making sure that Zoe and Talia always feel extraordinary, even when most people cannot tell them apart, well, that has been the most difficult issue I've encountered. 

And I think that is why Baby A, our little Zoe, stayed put all those years ago. Her stubbornness was apparent then, and it's more than obvious now. If nothing else, it sets her apart from her twin.

Happy Birthday, Ladies!

Just as an aside, Talia also has characteristics that I identify with her. One of them would be sensitivity. But stubbornness and sensitivity can, in my opinion, go either way: Good to have the quality in a small quantity, but too much can be a bad thing. We're working on balancing the scales on those qualities!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Some patterns are easy to spot.  For example:
1, 2, 1, 2...
2, 4, 6, 8...
A, B, C, A, B, C, A, B, C...
Circle, Square, Triangle, Oval, Circle, Square...
Other patterns aren't that easy, but if you know what to look for or spend enough time thinking, you can find the answer. This is true about number patterns especially. For example:
1, 8, 27, 64...
20, 50, 10, 40...
0, 4, 2, 3, 6, 3, 8, 5...
What I'd like to do is to figure out the patterns that occur in my life, all the time. The patterns that I know are just bubbling under the surface, that aren't really concrete, but if I had the time to really look at the information, I'd be able to find a pattern and predict what will happen. Then, I might not be so surprised.

Like when the long hair under my chin will be so long that I can pull it off with a tweezer. By that time, the hair is probably observable to the innocent masses I encounter each day. You'd have thought someone would have said something.

Or the mold in the bathroom shower that will inevitably happen overnight. Of course this doesn't happen with regular weekly cleaning, which should in and of itself have a pattern, but doesn't. Thankfully, I clean like a fiend before guests come over, or they might be the unsuspecting victims in the whole game.

Or the change in menstrual cycle that is happening right now inside me. Sure, I know that approximately two weeks after ovulating, my period will arrive. But since ovulation has been all over the calendar, and I already have enough to put on that calendar, I haven't necessarily been writing down when ovulation occurs. It is difficult enough to remember to write down when I got my period and when it will probably rear its ugly head again. I carry ammunition in my bag at all times now, so that I am not caught unawares, like the 13 year old I once was.

Which I guess brings me to a pattern that I can identify in life, one that, while normal, can also be considered disconcerting. The pattern that at some point, the life cycle wraps around, and the independent adult becomes dependent upon the children they raised, if they had any. I'm thankfully no where near that stage in my life, but I can already see how the tides have shifted in my household.

That is a subject of another post, and perhaps someday I will address it, on another one of my introspective days, which today is not. Why? Because I have a chin hair to remove.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Odd Moments II

Melina: Mommy, can someone run out of nail polish?
Me: Um, yes.
Melina: What happens?

I paused here, thinking that Tara is right. A story from the point of view of Melina would be, at least in our opinion, priceless. 

Me: Well, if we run out, we go to the store. But if the store runs out, they need to get it from the factory. If the factory runs out, well, I guess they'd have to make more.
Melina: Can we go to the store and get more nail polish?
Me: We haven't run out yet.
Melina: I hope no one ever runs out.

What a world, to run out of nail polish! And to have that as her only worry. Quite the life! Odd to me, normal to her.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Odd Moments

That really odd moment where you would swear up and down that the bird chirping outside is actually inside the house?  Yeah, that's where I am this morning. Because this bird, probably a mere sparrow, is LOUD. Really LOUD. And I wouldn't be surprised to see him perched on the TV in the family room.

He's not. I just checked.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Cool Pictures

The kids are lucky enough to have a fantastic art teacher. They end up doing some really cool projects, one of which is what he calls The Lego Project. They took a picture with a Lego App, then had the kids translate the picture onto paper. Mr. H had wanted the children to use paint, but because the wee ones are essentially filling in blown up pixels, it was more convenient to use marker.

Mr. H hung both Zoe's and Talia's in the display case at the front of the school. Can you tell who is who?

The girls had the ability to choose the color scheme. I can "see" the one on the right better, but my neighbor has a better time distinguishing who the person is with the color scheme on the left. Crazy how the brain works, and differently, I might add, for various people.

The cool thing about this picture is that Aaron's mummy case project is the one on the bottom, which means he got to share the art space with his big sisters!  Even cooler? The mummy cases up top are those made by two friends, Harper and Megan.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Little Reminders


I looked at the caller ID and picked up the phone.  The last name sounded familiar...maybe it was one of the kids' friends or a student of mine.

"Hello?" I said.

"Hi," the voice responded on the other end of the line. It was a little boy.


"Is Aaron there?"

I really didn't feel like interrupting Aaron while he was eating dinner. It is tough enough keeping the red head tied to the chair without giving him a reason to get up from the table.

"He is busy right now, can I take a message?"

"Well, I was wondering if I can come over to play sometime."

There was no pause, but the mind is a wondrous thing. Before I even responded, a multitude of thoughts coursed through my brain, two of which I'll share. Number 1: parents need to make sure that a child who is calling announces who he or she is. Number 2: parents should NEVER allow their child to invite him/herself over to another kid's house. I've edited those, by the way. I think the original thoughts contained a few expletives.

"And can I ask who is calling?"

"Yes, this is Austin."

"Okay, well, Austin. Next week is very busy and the week after that is full of doctor appointments, but if you give Aaron your phone number on Monday, then maybe I can call sometime and talk it over with your mom and dad."

"All right."

"Thanks Austin. Good-bye."


 I'm glad that Austin called and did what he did. The girls have good phone etiquette, but I've been a neglectful parent; Aaron hasn't been taught the proper procedures yet for how to make a phone call. Little reminders from life are sometimes welcome ones.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Things We Take For Granted

A bar of soap. 

How often do you go through a bar of soap?

I asked that question 10 days ago, on January 15, when I replaced the bar of Dial in the master bath shower. Only two people shower in there regularly (get your mind out of the gutter...we take separate showers), but sometimes, I take two showers in a day. I'm not a freak. I normally shower at night, as it is easiest for my hair to dry. However, if I run in the morning, I'll need to clean up again. Hence, some two-shower days.

What's the verdict?  How long does a bar of soap last in our house? I checked last night and realized that by tonight, I'll need to place yet another sudsy cake in the dish.

10 days for a bar of soap? Even though we are careful to keep the soap out of the water unless we are using it, I'm not going to go on about how I think the soap should last longer. The point is that I have extra soap in the cabinet ready to be the replacement. For that matter, I have the luxury of taking two showers on some days and using that soap that I know will be waiting in the wings. (And the soap would of course last longer if we didn't bathe everyday.) These two things, of all things, are what I take for granted. It sort of blew my mind to think about it, as I never have.  

I didn't mention it to Melina, but she sort of had her own eye opening experience the other day.  She asked if everyone had a toilet to sit on.

"No," I said.

"No!?!" She opened her eyes wide, and I feared they might actually pop out of her head.

"No, not everyone has a toilet, or running water, or soap or any of these things that you have. Consider your self lucky."

"That's crazy, mom, just crazy," Melina replied.

I think so, too, and I told her so, and then I realized that we all needed to stop and say a prayer of thanks for what we all have. I'm not the most religious or spiritual person out there, and I don't care who you believe in or if you believe at all, but it can't hurt to at least say a quick thank you to the earth for the position that most of you reading this now are in.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

National Days

Yesterday was National Pie Day, which we didn't observe. We also didn't celebrate National Dress Up Your Pet Day on January 14,  or National Popcorn Day on January 19. We could have easily had a party on the popcorn day; we eat a large amount of air popcorn in one year.  The more butter the better, says Melina, which sort of negates the reason to use the air popper, no? I don't have any plans for National Kazoo Day (1/28) or for National Puzzle Day (1/29), but National Freedom Day, which lands on February 1, might be one that all of us should try to celebrate.

My question is, what is the Freedom to which it refers? Freedom from winter? We won't have escaped that yet. Sadly, I had to look it up, and even more depressing, I should have known about this National Day. According to Wikipedia, February 1 is:
"a United States observance...honoring the signing by Abraham Lincoln of a joint House and Senate resolution that later became the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. President Lincoln signed the amendment outlawing slavery on February 1, 1865, although it was not ratified by the states until later."  
Why didn't I know that February 1 is National Freedom Day? I don't count myself as the most aware when it comes to history, and I knew that it was Abraham Lincoln who signed the amendment, but I had no idea that the signing had its own day. I am glad that it does; it should. But again, shouldn't I have known?

Which gets me to my point. There are so many National Days that no one can keep track; I tried to do a search for National Days, and I came up with several lists, none of which matched up. Doesn't this mean that the significance of many, like National Freedom Day, may have been lost? Which of these days are legit, and which have been created for the masses? Should I even care?

All this talk of National Days came to a head here when Tim came down and said, "Did you know that November 20 is National Kick a Ginger Day?" What? I didn't really think that could possibly be true, but Aaron (a ginger) thought it was funny. Yeah, really funny when I kick you buddy, and you fall flat on your bum! I had to look that one up. Apparently, the day started as a joke that stemmed from an episode of South Park. Why am I so not surprised? Despite the joke, and you can read about it online (just Google it), some people actually do celebrate it. See what I mean about being legit? 

Funny thing about National Kick a Ginger Day? It falls on the same day as Universal Children's Day.  I guess on November 20, you can kick any ginger but a kid. Sorry, Aaron.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Real Fears

Every once in a while, I get a little introspective. Today happens to be one of those days. I sit here, mostly at home, trying to piece together an exam, and the paper doesn't materialize. I try heading to a coffee shop, and I find myself surfing the web. I realize, with some regret, that my heart just doesn't belong to teaching right now, and I have 15 more weeks to pretend that it does. Sigh. I say that in jest. I don't expect you to feel sorry for me at all. I get it that I'm at another point in my life where I have the opportunity to choose to do what I want. Don't get me wrong, I feel blessed that I can choose. It's just a hard place to be, if you ask me.

And I almost always have a choice, don't I? Even though I do consider myself lucky, any time I get to these stages of life, where a choice is presented, or I need to really do some thinking about my life, I want to crawl back to my waiting place. What is the waiting place? For me, it is the the buffered mountainside, the comfort zone, or simply, the existing state. It is there that I can sit without really living, going about my business because I have to, but not truly enjoying what I am doing. Sometimes, that waiting place is fraught with anxiety, or I might experience plenty of emotions without really feeling any of them at all.  But the place is warm and comfortable. Things could be better or worse, but at least I know and understand all that rests inside the boundaries of the waiting place.

It might be fear that keeps me inside, it might be laziness. If I don't think about what it is, I don't have to define what actually tethers me to the spot.

I think I might have been sitting safely inside this comfort zone, this waiting place, when I got the writing bug. I thought I had a haven that could not be disrupted; I had so many things to do, with the kids, with school, at home. I was so, so wrong. It doesn't matter whether I want something to happen; who am I to think I have control? And so I quickly recognized that a slight change had occurred, despite the fact that I hadn't sanctioned it. This happens in life, so often in fact, you'd think I'd be ready for them when they come along. I'm not though, and I tend to get impatient when fault lines open up.

So the question that needs to be asked, is what to do about it? Do I take the plunge and immerse myself in the soothing waters of writing? And if I do, will that be enough? What if I get to the point where I actually publish something? Will that be the end of it? An item that can be checked off of my bucket list, begging to be replaced by yet another goal to reach? Or will I try to make writing something permanent in my life, loving it enough that even though it might change its hair color or pierce its nose, the body it was born with still exists?

I don't know, and not knowing, about anything, is probably the most real fear that I have.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Strong Man

"Mom, this came off of my Barbie car." Melina held up the side view mirror and placed both the car and the mirror in my hands.

"Huh. Well, let's see." I plunked the car onto the table and pushed the mirror into the side. I could see the hole into which the mirrors end needed to be. Whether or not my strength could get it through was going to be the problem.

"You know, Melina? You might need to ask Daddy to do this if it doesn't work for me. He's stronger than I am sometimes."

Melina stuck right hand onto her hip, looked up at me from the side of her eyes, and pulled her eyebrows up. "Daddy would be a good strong man for a circus, wouldn't he?"

I wonder when that view of hers will change. Personally, I hope she always sees her dad as a strong man, regardless of how much he can physically accomplish.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Inappropriate Book Titles

I don't know what they were viewing on the internet, but I do know that Tim was with them.  It should have been okay.  But, it wasn't.

The girls had stumbled on a piece of random information, some of which showed books with inappropriately placed price tags.

These tags magically changed innocuous book titles into rather lewd book titles.  Case in point? I actually have a couple.

With the clever placement of the price tag,  Little House on the Prairie becomes Little Ho on the Prairie.  I know I shouldn't have, but I laughed til I cried when I heard that one. Then I had to explain what a ho was to the girls.  That led to another round of giggles by all of us.  All they need to do now is say little house and I'm off snickering in the corner.

The second title on the screen was The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  Can you guess where the sticker went to make the title not so family friendly?  Yep.  Right there at the end of the 3rd word.  So then we have The Very Hung Caterpillar. I almost spit out my water, and while I am sitting there envisioning ginormous genitals on a caterpillar, the girls start cracking up.  What?  Do they know that vulgar slang already?  Thankfully, no.  They were thinking that the caterpillar hung himself, which for a toddler is probably even worse than thinking that a caterpillar is well endowed.  Either way, the tears kept flowing.

So this got me thinking about some book titles, and what I could come up with if I had the chance to place some price tags on the titles. What would you create?

Sunday, January 20, 2013


FYI: Names have been removed so as to protect the privacy of the innocent.  As if there is anyone truly innocent in this house.

Kid: Mom, I think I have a breast growing on one side, but not the other.
Me:  Hmmm.  That can happen.  Do you mind if I check?
Kid: Sure, that's okay.
Kid and Me: ...
I am sure you are all aware that I keep tabs on these developmental milestones, both on the calendar and with a physical exam.  It's in my nature; I just can't help it.
Me: Yep, you do.  You know that's normal, don't you?
Kid: I know.  Someone at school, and I won't say who, told us she had lopsided breasts.  That one was bigger than the other.
Me:  Does this girl even have breasts?
Kid: I don't know.  But she told us that.
I have to say I laughed when Kid said, "I don't know." Clearly, she isn't staring at her friends.  Good to know.
Me:  When?  In school?
Kid:  Yes.
Me:  She just randomly told you that?  In class?
Kid:  Yes.  And during that growth and development class, when Mrs. P said that some people have breasts of two different sizes, we looked at her, she looked at us, and we all smiled.
I could envision what Kid said, and it made me smile, too. Obviously you learn quite a bit in a public school.  Information that has real world applicability.
Me: Oh.  Well.  My breasts are two different sizes, too.
Kid:  Really?
Me:  Yes.  My left used to be bigger than the right, but then Melina sucked that left one so much, it deflated.  Now my right is bigger than my left.
Kid:  Oh.  That's funny.
Kid giggled and walked away.  I seem to be an endless source of amusement for my children.

Friday, January 18, 2013


These days, it seems like the exclamation point is everywhere.  As are @ and #, but I don't use Twitter, so I won't be talking about those lovely symbols.  Of course, I am completely guilty when it comes to over use of the exclamation point.  Happy Birthday is not in my vernacular.  I can't even just add a period to it.  Who wants to have Happy Birthday (period) as a message.  No, it has to be Happy Birthday! But I'd rather say it that way than this way:  HAPPY BIRTHDAY!  I certainly don't like to seem as though I am screaming at the intended recipient of my message.  That, and I just can't seem to get Owen Meany out of my head when I see all capitals.

Some days more than others, I find that I use the exclamation mark excessively.  While I have not yet found a trend, and I cannot predict the days exactly, I do know that when I have not had enough sleep, I am prone to send a message or post a comment and throw in some extra exclamation points.

Lucky you, today is one of those days.  In my attempt to give an update of my random thoughts, a post where I purge my soul, along with it will come an avalanche of punctuation.

And here we go:

  • Aaron did not stay dry last night!  Another trip to the chiropractor is scheduled for Monday.  Let's keep our fingers crossed that things will turn around within a few weeks!
  • I have turned old over night!  I used to have such great will power; now, not so much.  I cannot keep ice cream in the house or I WILL EAT IT!  (Wow, that is a doozy.  Caps and an exclamation point.)
  • Being a best seller doesn't mean crap these days! I just read a stack of books that hit the best seller list, and I wouldn't recommend them to anyone!
  • Check out this site, The Mitten State! I just found it, and love it!  Despite being happy here, its hard to walk away from a first love.
  • I might actually have some responsible students in my class this semester!  I had two people contact me PRIOR to the start of class!  Only time will tell the outcome...
  • I found proof that Melina has Tim's genes in her!  She loves nachos!   The more cheese the better!  
  • And even further evidence that I am turning old, I could not freaking remember the word nachos for a few seconds!!!! I had to look out the window, clear my head, and envision the tortillas chips and cheese on the plate.  Holy guacamole, Batman!!!

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Dry Nights

A certain person who shall remain nameless, who has not been dry at night except for a couple of nights here and there since he was born, woke up dry this morning.

The stimulus? We visited the chiropractor yesterday, who adjusted his sacrum and evened out his legs.

Naysayers complain that the chiropractors are quacks.  I'm just hoping the adjustment (and a revisit scheduled for next week) actually seal the leak.

In other, completely unrelated news:  Yesterday, Melina sounded out and read the sentence, "Sam is mad at me."  She was very concerned that the reason Sam (the cat) was mad at the lady (me) was because the lady probably took the milk away from him.  "Why did she do that?" Melina asked.  She scowled at the book until I told her it was just a story.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Melina's high heel plastic dress up shoes finally arrived the other day.  She squealed and pulled out one of the three pairs.  She pulled them onto her feet and pranced around the living room.
Melina: These shoes are great, mom.  Just like a princess would have.  Especially this pink mush.
Me:  Mush?
Melina: Yes.  This mush right here.
Melina stuck out her foot and looked down, pointing to the supposed mush.
Me:  Oh, you mean mesh.  But really I think it might actually be called tulle.
Melina:  Okay, thanks.  Anyway, I really like the pink mush.

Monday, January 14, 2013


It has been almost 8 months since Ferdinand left us. 

Lucy seems to be better, as if he has adjusted to having his best friend gone. The kids and I have also become accustomed to life without a good friend. I have no idea about Shadow or Tim. Neither of them speak much.

But today, as I stepped down into the family room, I glanced up to see a cat, partially silhouetted by the sun shining through the door. His body faced the outside, his face looked at me. And though I knew it was Lucy sitting there, my head played tricks on me. He looked like Ferdinand. In fact, before I registered everything, I would swear up and down that Ferdinand had come back. No sooner had I looked and the sun shifted. Ferdinand was gone.

I know, I know. You are laughing in your seat (I'm looking at you, Tim). Ferdinand was not there today, you say. Lucy and Ferdinand were litter mates for goodness sakes! They looked alike! It would be like Zoe or Talia sitting in front of the door and mistaking one for the other. Maybe to some, but Zoe and Talia, while identical, are distinct persons; Ferdinand and Lucy, simply litter mates and not identical, are (were?) also distinct animals.  It was easy to see the difference between them, in body and face.  And I know what I saw today.

So I am choosing to believe. Perhaps there was a reason for Ferdinand to visit today. Maybe he just wanted to say hi. Maybe today's weather mimicked that which we had on the day the Grim Reaper visited and it reminded him of us. It is also possible, should you believe in such a thing, he is crossing on to the great beyond and wanted to say a final goodbye. Who knows? I certainly don't. Since I don't have any evidence to the contrary, I'm calling it like I see it. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Preventative Measures

Melina was a relatively early potty trainer.  Before she was two, Melina was able to use the potty.  Pretty well in fact.  This shouldn't be a surprise, as she watched the 5 other people in the house use the toilet.  And when I say watch, I mean it.  I once posted that there was no privacy in this house.  It has gotten a bit better, but not by much.

Anyway, I know kids sometimes feel the need to do strange things before going potty.  A cousin of the kids (who shall remain nameless) used to (and maybe still does) feel the need to disrobe when potty time came.  None of our kids did that, but all of a sudden, Melina has taken on a very similar habit.

Each time Melina heads to the bathroom, she MUST take off her necklace, bracelet, and headband.  I've repeatedly told her that the chance of her necklace getting into the toilet is very slim, but as kids are wont to do, she doesn't listen.  To be honest, she has good reason. You'd think that the probability of a headband going into the toilet is slimmer than the necklace.  Not in this house.  Just last week I had to reach in and extract the headband from the undesirable depths of the already-been-urinated-in toilet.

I guess I shouldn't complain about Melina's preventative measures.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

It's All in a Letter

Melina:  Mommy!  Is the GPS car here yet?
Me:  GPS? 
Melina:  Yep.  The man who will bring my shoes.
Me:  UPS, Melina.  The company is called UPS, not GPS.
Melina:  Oh.

Obviously, Melina is expecting a package, with shoes inside.  Three pairs of sparkly, frilly, feathery, plastic high heel dress up shoes!  Oh Happy Day!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Writing group this week, as usual, provided enlightenment.  And humor.  And fun.  But this past Monday, for the first time, I came home with a feeling of discouragement, too.  I wasn't even the target of critique on Monday night, so doesn't that just bring to mind what in the heck happened?

The short story is this:  In addition to all the short pieces we've read and critiqued, we've now looked at one full manuscript from two different people.  Two people I thought might now be in the process of sending out query letters, hoping to find an agent to represent them.  Instead, one person has shelved her book; the other has decided to rewrite. 

My mind spun when they gave us the update, although I stayed silent.  When is the story done?  When is the revision process over?  At what point does the story you started with become a different story, and should you stop if that happens?  If the 2nd story is better, I guess you go with it, but can you continue to try to make something better forever?  Does anyone have the answers to my questions?

My guess is that an agent and an editor do.  And if you have both of those, they will tell you when the story is finished.  Which means these ladies will at some point need to take a leap of faith, and so will I.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Story Ideas

Melina:  Do you know what I thought your story would be like?
Me: Uh, no.
Melina:  Well.  I thought Laney would be a grownup and she'd go into space.  And, I thought I'd be the space unicorn and that I'd live in a house in space.  The house would float and I'd eat rainbow pasta and I'd come out of the house and float.
Me:  Next time, Melina, next time.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Mea Culpa

I complain, a lot, about my classes.  But maybe, just maybe, I am the problem.

The girls were studying yesterday for a Life Science Exam.  They asked me a question about these statements:
Summarize that organisms can survive only in ecosystems in which their needs can be met (e.g., food, water, shelter, air, carrying capacity and waste disposal).  The world has different ecosystems and distinct ecosystems support the lives of different types of organisms.
I don't remember exactly what they wanted to know.  All I do remember is that I tried, with my limited knowledge of that topic, to explain what they wanted to know.

"Did that help?" I said to the girls.

"Yep," said Zoe.  "But Mr. S is a better teacher than you are."

Thanks, Zoe.  Thanks so much.

Sunday, January 6, 2013


I notice a lot of errors on Facebook posts.  Many people then comment on their own posts, and readjust what they say.

For example, if someone posts under a picture of their new bedroom furniture, My baudy full furniture (courtesy of auto-correct), that same person might then comment underneath with *beautiful and all of us understand that the person meant to write that word in the first place.

Even though I should be grateful that people are at least re-reading and editing themselves, mostly for the better, I still have a complaint.  Does anyone besides me understand that if you post something, or make a comment on a post, you can hover in the right hand corner and edit said post or comment?  Well you can.  Feel free to use this tip and pass it on.

Saturday, January 5, 2013


Every time we go to church with our four lovely children:

I feel as though, once we get to the end of the service, I should lift my arms up in victory, as if I just sprinted past the finish line in a marathon race and posted a personal best.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Anxiety Alert!

I think that all of us have experienced some anxiety at times.  I know I have.  I've battled the cuticle picking for years, and realize that the action is a manifestation of some anxiety.  I've never been treated for any conditions, as I don't think my anxiety falls outside the realm of normal, but I can appreciate if someone else needs to be treated.

I'm in the midst of reading a book on anxiety, written by Daniel Smith and entitled, Monkey Mind: A Memoir of Anxiety. I'm not far into it, but the first pages of this book indicated it will be a read unlike any other I've experienced.  Last night, I thought I'd do some searching on Daniel Smith's website, just to see what he had there.  I ended up checking out the site for longer than I anticipated.

The author, Daniel Smith, is a funny to fault.  He's dealt with anxiety so long, he tends to be humorous about it.  A couple of months ago, reader sent him a sketch of Bob Newhart, a man I realized a long time ago was just funny.  This clip reminded me just how funny the man could be.  It shows how to deal with anxiety (or not).

Two things before you go to view that clip:
1.  I don't take anxiety or any other mental disorder lightly; I bet Bob Newhart doesn't, either.
2.  Watch it to the end.

I sent it to my sisters, one of which shared it on Facebook.  But I needed to share it here, too.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Read More!

I bit the bullet and started reading my story to the kids.

The piece still has some loose ends, but I am slowly working through those.

So far, all thumbs are up.  "Read more!" they say.

Let's hope everyone else thinks the same way.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Plus ça Change...

So last year, on January 1st, I said that I'd try my best to stay up and ring in the New Year.  And I truly did plan to do just that.  But then Tim and Zoe contracted a cold, and the kids want to go rollerskating this morning.  So we made the executive decision to put the kibosh on any partying and get some sleep.

Once again, I was snuggled in bed by 9:30 pm with, you guessed it, Aaron. 

I heard fireworks and people in the street at midnight, so technically, I didn't miss ringing in the New Year.  But clearly, technicalities don't count.

Does it matter that I can't stay up until midnight unless I am forced to?  Not really.  I'd rather concentrate my efforts elsewhere.  On this first day of January, I am making a list of things I'd really like to accomplish.  I did so many things in 2012, I am going to have to aim high this year. 

The list isn't going to appear here today.  Over the course of the year, you'll  hear about all these things, probably ad nauseum.   For today, I'll keep it short and sweet and simply wish for you all a peaceful, happy, safe, and wonderful 2013.