Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I'm so confused.

Small Fry just came into the den (early dismissal day here) with two formerly-glow sticks that used to be attached to stars at the ends, so that they could be magic wands.

The stars have long since broken off, about the same time the sticks lost their glow-ability.

"Mommy, can you watch me?"  Small says.


"Okay, watch me play!"


"Don't look at me!"


"You can't watch!"

If you say so.  I clamped a hand over my eyes, spreading my fingers so I could at least see the computer screen.

"You hafta only look at youwr computewr."

Well.  I feel less bad about cheating.

"You hafta do what I do, as I do it."


She taps out a rhythm on the sticks.

"Did you heawr dat?"


"You have to guess again."


"Don't watch me!"


She holds the one stick up to her mouth, like a flute.

"You can't see!"


She "plays" a tune.  "What was dat?"

London Bridge.  I may not get all their homework, but I know that tune.

"Yes!  Now listen to dis."

She plays the same tune, only slightly lower-pitched.

"What was dat?"

London Bridge again.

"Was it da same?"

Same tune, yes.  Different keys.

"Now dis."

She taps out the rhythm for "London Bridge" again.

"Was dat da same?"


And she ran off to play.

Glad audience participation wasn't a huge requirement, 'cause I have no idea what I was supposed to be doing.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Overheard at Red Robin

Hubby's birthday was yesterday, and due to last night's home football game at the high school, we weren't able to meet up with Gramma and Boppa to celebrate then.  So, tonight, we met at the Red Robin in Lisle, to have dinner and servers singing and presents.

And balloons.

Oh, the balloons.

Every now and then, Dad would hiss back when we'd hear the telltale ksssshh of helium being released into a balloon.

Medium really wanted a balloon.


Medium: Daddy, can I haf a balloon?

Hubby: We'll see.

Medium: I don't wanna "we'll see."  I wanna "yes!"

Interesting postscript...all three kids ended up with balloons, and so did Hubby (it was on his sundae).  Large popped her balloon on the sidewalk as we sat and talked with Mom and Dad, and Hubby gave her his.  Once we got home, I discovered that Small Fry had untied the ribbon from her balloon, and then lost it to the skies when she let go (I felt horrible, because she let go to prove she hadn't untied it, and I feel like I should've stopped her from letting go).  Being overtired meant that her grief over her lost balloon was exacerbated, and she couldn't stop crying.

I found myself praying and asking Jesus to watch out for Small's balloon.  It's green, and says Red Robin on it.  And, if he could catch it, maybe Jesus could give the balloon to Popoki and Keiki and let them play with it.  They'd like that.

Small had stopped crying at this point, and was mostly sniffling.  Medium was talking to Hubby about why Small was crying, why I was crying, and then I heard this:

"I'll give my balloon to Small.  I don't mind.  I don't really want a balloon."


What a great kid.  She didn't even complain when Small wailed that she doesn't like white (Medium's balloon is white).

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Theory of Relativity

Age is relative to kids.  I get that.  The Fries can only loosely grasp the difference between "yesterday," "today," and "tomorrow."  Anything beyond those timeframes is "last year" or "next year."  So trying to understand how old people are, in relation to their own ages (which is still kinda fuzzy, even if they can tell you they're 7 and almost 6), is...interesting.  To say the least.

Hubby is brushing Large Fry's hair when Small Fry pops into the den.

Small Fry: Mommy, how old are you?

Me [not wanting to admit the truth]:  Well, on my birthday, you said I was eight.  Eight!

I touched my nose to hers, and she giggled.

I went upstairs to get my ankle brace—yesterday's rain has left an lingering ache—and then sat down on the stairs by the kitchen to wrap it around my ankle.  Small Fry was now getting her hair brushed, and was using me as a focal point.  Medium had come up to sit next to me.

Small: Daddy, how old awre you?

Hubby: 40.

(He only has that number two more days, and he's clinging to it with all his might.)

Medium: Mommy, are you oldewr than Daddy?

Me: No, Daddy's older.  Small says I was 8 on my birthday back in July.

Medium gives me a goofy look.

Me [deciding to bite the bullet]: I'm 37.  Daddy's older.

Large [with wicked glee]: No, you're older than Daddy!

Me: Am not.  Daddy's 40, and I'm 37.

Large [sing-song]: You're older than Daddy!

I glared at Hubby, who was finishing Small Fry's hair and smugly grinning as Large continued to insist that I was older.

Large [right in my face]: You're 290!


My niece was kind enough to point out, when I posted about that on Facebook, that I don't look a day over 200.  Thanks, sweetie.  You're such a peach.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Quote of the Moment

"You'wre too big to undewrstand!"  ~Medium Fry, to me

She was rambling and I had no idea what it is that I'm too big to understand.

I'm also apparently too big for see-saws, monkey bars, and to pick up the TV with one finger.

Who knew?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fun Stuff

I'm sure there's some great stuff going on here.

I just don't know what it is.

I'm eyeballs-deep in the book I'm copy editing, and deadline is this week.

See y'all on the flip side.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


So, today Hubby took the Fries out for breakfast since he was going to be gone most of the day and not back home until late tonight.

I started a load of laundry, and decided it was a good time for a nap since my brain hadn't shut down before 3 a.m. after editing late into the night, and then I had kids waking me up around 7:30.

I was up and dressed before Hubby had to leave for Uprise, and he suggested taking the Fries over to the school's playground and letting them run free while I got some work done.

Small Fry had already told me, in insistent tones, that this was what she wanted to do.

I had some things to take care of first.

Namely, a brilliant last-minute gift for my mother, spending the Kohl's cash that was about to expire, and shipping a book for Paperback Swap.  Small Fry's excitement over getting to go to the playground could not be contained, and she demanded no less than six times to know when we would be going.

I had Large Fry carry my work binder (I find it's so much easier to edit if I'm working with a hard copy first), Small Fry carried my can of Dr Pepper, and I schlepped the lone chair Hubby had left for me to use (the one that's falling apart).  And my cane.  My ankle's been bugging me.

We spent about two and a half hours over there, with me getting next to nothing done the last half hour because Medium decided she needed to have a tantrum.

Earlier in the week, some of the kids at the school had drawn all over the blacktop with sidewalk chalk.  When the Fries complained of being hot, they moved into the shade of the school (where I'd been sitting all along), discovered the chalk would rub off on their hands, and generally had a grand old time face "painting."

And "painting" their bellybuttons.

We came home and I fixed dinner, which the kids--who normally like chicken stir fry--refused to eat.  They just sort of picked at it.


I had them take care of their dishes, and Small Fry asked (within the hearing of the others) if it was bath time yet.

Given that they'd all but bathed in chalk, baths are a necessity tonight.

No, I said, because I had a coloring project for them all to do.  Small and Medium followed me around obediently.  When I called for Large so we could get this project (and then baths) done asap, she appeared at the top of the stairs.

Buck naked.

It was a Migraine Salute moment.

So...I had two fully-dressed kids and one nekkid one working on this coloring project.

Now I have to see how fast we can get through baths....


I have a deadline on Monday.

I have 70 pages to edit, a final draft to create, and a markup draft for my client.

Hubby is gone for 12 hours tomorrow due to youth group obligations and Uprise Fest.

Tomorrow is my mother's birthday.  I don't have anything yet.

I don't think I have time to sleep.

I'm going to do it anyway.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Shoe Catching: A Photo Essay

On LosWhit's Facebook page today, he posted a picture of his son sporting boots several times too big...'cause they were Little Los's daddy's boots.  Los commented on how it's a sight that never gets old for him.

Which reminded me of all the times my kids have played dress-up with either my shoes or Hubby's.

Large Fry, 9/07, with my sandals.

At least she's got 'em on the right feet.

Had them on the right feet.


Wearing Hubby's socks.  Too cute to not include.

Small Fry, wearing Hubby's slippers.

Slippers are made for walkin'.

And on the wrong feet, of course.

Apparently, they were slowing her down.

Daddy's dress shoes on Small Fry.

Large Fry wears Daddy's slippers.

Still trying to get them tied.  Gosh, 1/09, really?

Mommy has boots!  (12/11)

Five years old, and already raiding my closet.

They only come up to my knees, but Medium's hips.

Large was relieved to find out I had another pair of boots.

Yeah, good luck getting up, honey.


Yep, still on the wrong feet.

When did they get so big?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Paging Dwayne Johnson

So I picked up the Fries from school today.

We walked back across the street.

Hubby drove past us on his way to PeeJay's house (on the next street) as we crossed to our house. He waved.  The kids jumped up and down.

And then they got sad.

"Why did Daddy go by us?"

"I don't know."  (I was harboring a secret hope that maybe he was going to do a Rita's run and surprise us, not having seen his text that he needed to stop by PeeJay's on the way home.)

No sooner had we gotten in the house than Large Fry thrusts a folded piece of paper at me.

No, not so much folded as carefully pocketed.  The side I'm looking at has her name scrawled in an adult hand, and her grade. I flipped it over, and there's a happy cartoon tooth...with the caption "Guess what I lost today?"

"You lost your tooth?" I exclaimed with appropriate parental pride.

She opened her mouth wide to show me.

Sure enough, it's the one that Medium knocked looser last night.

"Good for you!  Did you lose it in class?"

"Yeah!  Can we call Gramma?"

Homework can wait five minutes for a call to Gramma.  I pulled up Skype and dialed (for lack of a better word).

Dad answers.

Large Fry is happy to share the news with Boppa, who is home all by himself.  Even if he is Chopped Liver (he's said that enough that Medium has started calling him Chopped Liver Boppa).
New hole.

Gramma got back a couple hours later and sent an immediate text.  "Skype please so Gramma can see the new hole!"

Tonight, I made her set her tooth fairy box on one of the rungs of the ladder to her loft bed, so that the Tooth Fairy can find it easier, without having to root under her pillows (and risk waking her up).

We'll see how that goes.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Events of the Day

  • Overslept by about 20 minutes this morning, so kicked everyone into high gear to get ready for school.
  • Walked kids over while Hubby took a shower.
  • Drove Hubby to work, and then went to my scheduled check-up with my primary doctor.
  • Got more work accomplished while waiting in waiting room and exam room than I've accomplished since.
  • Flu shot.  My left arm has a charming dull ache.  (Nothing like the pneumonia vaccine, which I don't need again, thank God.)
  • Drove home.  Had oversized muffin, warmed and slathered in butter, for brunch.
  • Attempted to sit outside and work.  Got sidetracked by kids' appointments, emails to teachers, and spending two hours on the phone with various representatives of various insurance and/or military entities.
  • Left voicemail for military entity #3 and faxed copy of court order to military entity #2.  Three-business-day turnaround before I can hope to hear something back from #3.
  • Brought stuff inside, counted entire time since appointment a wash in the work department.  Walked over to pick up kids.
  • Came home.  Did homework x3.  Well, supervised, anyway.  Surprised to learn from Large Fry's math homework that 15-4=12 and 10-6=3.
  • Made Medium Fry mad and she threatened to leave because I yelled so loud.  Having to tell children ten times to put on their shoes before they begin to comply will do that to a parent.  (No, you may not argue or ask questions like "Why?"  Just put on your dang shoes.)
  • Picked up Hubby, who is miserable, as a front has moved through, giving us our lovely weather and him a lovely sinus mess.  Barometrically-sensitive head.  Isn't he lucky?
  • Hubby nuked leftover pizza for the Fries while I tried to sort out other stuff and kept checking my email.
  • After pizza was scarfed down, Medium comes in to tell me that she accidentally bonked Large Fry when she was doing some sort of made-up gymnastic move, and now Large is bleeding, and it's right by her current loosest tooth.  I check, and there's blood.  And the tooth bends a lot farther forward than it did before, but it's still not ready to come out.  I got the bleeding to stop and cautioned Large to be careful of that tooth.
  • Hubby came downstairs, and Large proceeded to tattle on Medium.  *sigh*  At least she told Hubby it was an accident and that Medium had apologized.
  • Bid everyone adieu, because I needed to stay home from Wednesday night church, since I spent all of Wednesday afternoon in near-fruitless conversations with insurance/military entities.
  • The headache that has been pestering me since last night has not gone away with two doses of meds.  Time to take another, make myself some dinner, and go back outside...and see if I can get some work done!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


There are butterflies flitting around my butterfly bushes.

Today's view.
Crickets are happily chirping.

My Rose of Sharon is in beautiful bloom.

It's a peaceful, temperate, gorgeous day.

I imagine my yard would have been much the same 11 years ago.  The skies would have been just as blue.

And the peace and comfort and apparent gentleness of such a day was abruptly and horribly shattered.

At the time, Hubby and I lived in central Ohio.  I wasn't working.  He was employed by UUNet, the big-client division of MCI WorldCom.  His department handled help desk service calls for some of WorldCom's biggest customers (cable companies, other ISPs, that sort of thing).  He opened trouble tickets and followed up on service issues.  They sat right on one of the largest internet connections around, and their web speed was blazing fast.

Until 8:47 a.m.  It slowed to a crawl.  In an effort to see why, Hubby started checking major news sites.  He couldn't get through.  Everything was down.  His office turned on the TVs to see if they could get news that way and learned of the planes hitting the WTC towers...just before their lines lit up.

Can you imagine having to break the news of terrorist attacks causing your customer's internet problems when the caller hadn't seen the news?

We had a friend living with us at the time, and she burst into my bedroom where I was still asleep.  Tears streamed down her face.  "There's been an attack on the World Trade Center," she told me.

I raced to the living room.  My eyes locked on the screen just as the second tower collapsed.

The fear and helplessness that swept through me were overwhelming.

I touched base with Hubby.  He was fine, of course.  Bogged with calls for the first little while.  Now they were just watching the news, because lack of internet seemed to pale in comparison to what we as a country were now facing.

An attack on our own soil.

I called my dad next.  I'm from upstate NY.  The odds that I would know someone working in the Towers that day were scary.  (At least one friend of a friend died that day.)  In fact, my dad worked for the state of NY at the time and frequently went to NYC for his job.  I called his office in Albany and quite calmly left a message with his secretary to have him call me at home.  It wasn't until he called me back that I panicked (I know; how odd is that?), realizing he could have easily been there.

That night, Hubby and I stood out in the small parking lot of our small apartment complex and stared at the central Ohio skies.  Nothing but stars.  No planes.  No tell-tale blinking lights.  It was eerie.

It took less than 24 hours before our entire community seemed to be blanketed in flags.  We were a nation fiercely united, in our grief, in our anger, in our determination, in our support, in our love of country and empathy for those we didn't even know.

Politics had no place.

We were all simply Americans.

Today...I remember.

I reflect.

And I am immeasurably thankful...

...for the brave men and women of the NYPD, NYFD, Port Authority, and EMS services, who raced to answer the call.

...for the SAR teams who deployed from all over, to help with the search.

...for the diligence of dogs and handlers, who searched long and hard, with tired feet and cracked paws.

...for the clergy who simply came and made themselves available for comfort.

...for the Red Cross.

...for those made the ultimate sacrifice on Flight 93.

...for those in the towers who did the same, ushering others to safety at their own peril and own ultimate cost.

I weep for those who have lost loved ones, friends, co-workers, children.

And I swear to you, their sacrifices--whether innocent victims or those of emergency and protective services who gave their all--will not be in vain.

My children were born years after this.

But they will know.

Because I know.

I remember.

I will not forget.

Long may she wave.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Yellow Car!

Ever since Hubby learned about this particular travel game, he's been hooked.

So we end up playing it whenever we're in the car.  I'm not usually thinking about it, and then he shouts "Yellow car!"  Oh, crap.  We're playing.  Alrighty then.

The kids have picked up on it, too.  We bend the rules for them...they can count school buses and construction vehicles.

Inevitably, it devolves into "Yellow Anything."  But hey, at least we know the kids know their colors.

Or they change it and start playing other colors.

We went out to dinner tonight.

On our way home from GVD after our meal, it was well past dusk and straight on into dark.

Awfully hard to play Yellow Car when it's that dark.

This did not stop the Fries from trying.

Since they were unable to see anything yellow, they started switching colors.  Green.  Blue.  Red.

And that's about when Medium shouts, "Peanut butter!  Peanut butter!  Peanut butter!"

Are you confused?

Okay, good.  So were we.

Why is she hollering "peanut butter" with every set of oncoming headlights she sees?

The light (as it were) dawned for Hubby first.

"Medium, do you mean padiddle?"

I clapped my hand over my mouth.  (Pointlessly, I might add.)


By all means, go ahead and laugh.

We did.

"Why are you laughing?" she wanted to know.

"Because you're cute," we told her.

And because you have no idea what you're talking about.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Saturday, September 1, 2012

"She hugged the stuffing out of me!"

I may be the only one who heard William Christopher's Father Mulcahy when reading the title of this post, but then, it's been generally established here that I'm just weird, and I think in movie/tv dialogue way too much.


Tonight, after the lost-tooth adventure and Hubby's departure for his Friday night hobby (he likes to go to the auction house down in C-burg; you stop that right now), and a very quick Skype call to Gramma and Boppa, I managed to get the twins tucked in.

I did not manage to make it more than two steps out of their room before I got paged back by Medium.  (This has become a cycle, as if it's part of their bedtime routine, and if I make the mistake of going on down the hall to tuck in Large Fry, either or both of them will continue to shout my name.  We're going to break this habit.  Gah.)  I retrieved her big duck and told her it was time to go to sleep, and I expected to not hear a peep out of them as I went down the hall again.  (By golly, it worked.)

I settled down to pray with Large Fry and sing her tuck-in song (the first verse, anyway).  I asked her if she wanted music tonight, and hit the sleep button on her clock radio when she said yes.

I stopped at the foot of her bed and told her I loved her...and was really surprised when she jumped up, threw herself at me, wrapped her arms around me tightly, and held on for dear life.  I hugged her back just as fiercely, and got concerned when she didn't seem to want to let go.

"What's wrong, honey?"

"Will you always love me?" she whispered against my shirt.

"Always.  I'll always love you.  Always.  Okay?"

She nodded, and continued to hold on.

I murmured more soothing words, until I was sure she was ready to let go and lay back down again.

When she finally dropped her arms, she sniffled and said something I didn't quite get.


"I said I was crying happy tears, because you love me so much."


I'll go swallow the lump in my throat while you go get that speck of sentiment out of your eye, okay?