Saturday, February 23, 2008

One of those days.

Nothing precipitous.

Just, every once in a while (particularly this time of year) when I'm a bit behind in grading papers and so on... I have labs to plan that aren't yet pulled together, my house is a mess, my kids get grumpy, my publication status isn't where I feel it should be... I really feel like I am not doing what needs doing.

There just doesn't feel like there is enough of me to go around.

I am trying to be committed to get back into shape for my mental and physical health, so I can play soccer with my boys and feel better and work more efficiently and it does help during the work day while I am there. It also means that I've been committed to work out during my work day. Which means that I take work home with me most nights. Some of which doesn't get done. This is especially true about the stuff with less tangible deadlines (committee responsibilities and publishing my own research).

I get to feeling like some women make it work... have friends and a life, fitness, are successful moms and successful at work... and I just can't figure it out. I honestly find time to actually socialize almost never and some of that is just my being a bit introverted and a lot of it is... when would I actually do that stuff?

Is it an illusion that other moms have it figured or am I screwing up somewhere noticeable?

Friday, February 22, 2008

The bane of my existence.

I have always said said for the last seven years, that kids' socks are the bane of my existence.

I didn't realize how much worse it could get.

Three days ago, with one load in the washer and a new load in the dryer, the dryer gave its last little puff of heat. It took several days to hang out the wet stuff. Now, we are just watching the mountain grow.

I could have ordered the Whirlpool Duet Steam washer and its mate yesterday... but, I just couldn't drop $3K without J's consent... not that he cares which washer we buy... I just hate spending money. Besides the earliest delivery date from Sears would have been the 29th.

So tomorrow morning, we'll peruse Best Buy, Home Depot, and Lowes to pick our newest combination. After which, we'll go home and take the cabinets off the wall for the new set. Then, I'll cry.

Because, all we'll have to do then is paint the laundry room, rehang the cabinets about 15" higher, and wait some period of time for the new stuff while socks, underpants, peed in clothes and the like pile up around the house.

After we spend $3K - these things do wash, dry, fold, sort socks, and put away the clothes, right?

If you have one, are you happy? (not with life overall, but, just with the darned washer and dryer)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentines Day.

J and I don't really celebrate the largest romantic commercial and marketing holiday of the year.

However, things are a bit different with kids in pre-school and elementary school. Valentines Day brings the obligatory something special for your teachers, sign little grocery store valentines (all branded merchandise of course). This year we celebrated Halloween Valentines Day with Harry Potter (Z), Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles (B), and Sesame Street (T).

Actually, I picked out the Harry Potter cards for Z because he is a terrific fan. B picked out the turtles. As far as I know - he's never seen them - I haven't a clue where he got that idea. Then, I looked at all of the cute bunnies, duckies, and care bear crap in the store and I bought little Harley Davidson cards for my two-year-old cutiepie.

J thought that motorcycle cards were in poor taste and dragged out leftover Sesame Street cards from a previous year.

Then, we had the crew decorate cookies for their teachers. I didn't tell T's teachers that he was alternately using toothpicks to color the cookies with icing and licking icing from the sticks. It just adds a bit more love anyway, right?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

As if I didn't already know. says I'm an Uber Cool High Nerd.  What are you?  Click here!

Ironically, given I am a biology professor - isn't it a bit surprising that I high-scored in literature rather than science? I'm just saying.

Actually, on further reflection, given how I feel during the average social interaction - I am more shocked that I wasn't higher in the awkward dork category. Who knew?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Father of the Year.

Yesterday (Saturday) morning, I had a meeting to attend. I left J in charge of taking the wrecking crew to their swim lessons. J was looking at three hours of chasing one, two, and/or three wet boys around the local pool during and between lessons. (sorry, dear).

I stopped at a convenience store to grab a bit more caffeine and some chewing gum for the meeting.

In front of me in line - there he was... Father of the Year.

When I first looked, I thought that he had two giant cans of energy drink. On closer inspection, they each were 6.5% alcohol.

Now, I like a drink as much as the next guy - as long as the next guy isn't this guy. It was 7:45 a.m.

He recognized the guy behind me.

"Hey dude, how ya doin?" He waved his brown bagged drinks around and indicated that this was the necessary tool to get him through the morning with his kids... off they were to McDonalds so the kids could eat crap and play in the the playplace - and he could get silently shitfaced. Driving the kids there himself in his pickup.

For those of us questioning our parenting skills because our kids haven't learned not to interrupt adults at the table - perhaps we should at least be proud of something... we aren't driving drunk with our kids on Saturday morning.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Under the weather.

We are the third largest world producer of snot at the moment.

I am walking in the dense fog of sudafed and overtired.

I was tired last night... but, B woke up about once an hour in tears because he was sick.

"Hun, what's the matter?"


"Are you ok?"


"Does something hurt?"

"My throat... and my brain."

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Is pretty much the only phrase we hear when we try to feed T.

The big boys are not picky. While our friends lament that they can't get their children to eat enough, or the right stuff - we just have to keep it coming. Z orders steamed broccoli instead of french fries. B isn't quite as hardcore, but will eat basically anything (and like it... and ask for more). Heck, B is a 43" tall four year old weighing over 60 lbs. - feeding him will become a second job soon.

T, on the other hand, would mainline sugar, and doesn't seem to want much else.

During the week, he'll happily skip meals at daycare, knowing which ones have the sweets. The care-givers say "Oh, my, what an appetite, he ate three pieces of cake".

Uh, yeah, but did he eat lunch? No? That's what I thought.

He is just like the "Bug" in Men in Black... both in mannerism and preferences... the kid would love nothing more than a bowl of sugar. And, his adorable chubby cheeks won't be so cute when he is 16.

I disagree with the idea that I should sneak healthy food into junk. He has to learn to like healthy food. So, we are enforcing increasingly strict austerity measures. No yogurt as meal replacement. No bottomless milk cup unless he eats food. Fruit is not endlessly available in lieu of protein.

Last night was the first major challenge. Dinner was chili (which, he has previously liked). He said "NO" before dinner, during dinner, left the table, and cried when we locked the fridge.

About an hour or so after dinner (right before bed), he begrudgingly requested chili.

Then asked (begrudgingly) for a second bowl.

Sometimes you just have to stick it to them, don't you?

My heart nearly burst...

Last week when I could hear the big boys awake and talking quietly. I went upstairs to sneak a look - Z was in bed with B reading a book to him.

Just when you are ready to sell them to the highest bidder, they do something like this and you just have to keep them.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Un-f-ing - believable.

You won't believe this... did you catch my ranting about Z and his darned shoes yesterday.

If you didn't, well, I was just plain old pissed-off about him getting all the way to my office in the car without having thought that shoes might be helpful for that trip.

So, this morning, J takes B to his swim lessons at nine a.m., Z's aren't until 10:45, so I take Z and T over to the pool at around 9:45. This way Z gets to swim before his lesson. This gives T just enough time to splash around, get bored with the pool, make me show my fat thighs to all the world following him running around the pool deck... make me remind him 98 times "walking feet, T", "walking feet", "don't run", before he just tells us "I go home now" and head for the locker room. By then, B and J are usually ready to go too.

But, this morning... I get to the pool, and tell the guys "Ok fellas, let's go, I've got your bags". Z has a vacant expression, then a worried one... "Mom, do you have my shoes?"

Now, I just have to wipe little bits of my brains and blood out of the corners of the car from where my head just exploded from the shock of it. (He walked in sans shoes and lost the post-pool restaurant lunch).

He's a bright kid... how is he so far from the idea that once you go somewhere in the car, it usually involves getting out of the car on the other end?

High fives - all around!

T asked to sit on the potty this morning. That isn't terribly unusual.

What was unusual - HE POOPED IN THE POTTY.


The other two were nearly driving three or over by the time they did anything on the potty - let alone - number 2, dropping a deuce, dropping the kids at the pool, or (pick your own euphemism here).

And, when he grows up, he'll be really happy that I shared this with the internet. In fact, I'll bookmark this post so that I can show his first girlfriend. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Z's day off.

Z had a day off of school today. Unfortunately, I didn't. He usually comes to my office in these cases and can play or read in my office or come to classes as he is interested.

He carefully packed Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix * to read, and some word find puzzles. He packed his lunch, and climbed into the car.

I dropped the little guys at the daycare, then proceeded to my college. As we arrived, I hopped out and looked at Z.

"Um, where are your shoes?"

Shrug, sheepish grin.

So, I carried him in to my office where he spent the day with damp feet (it's raining and the hallways get damp). Sometimes I get a college kid to entertain him for an hour or so... not this time, no one else will carry the boy around campus (at 65 lbs).

He came into one of my classes. I had already shared Z's poor planning with them, for a laugh. So, when Z came in they complimented his shoes and laughed with him (he took it very good-natured).

Then, right before dinner, the boys were standing on their chairs at the kitchen peninsula (as usual) when Z decided to step off into space. I looked up in time to see a very surprized 7-year-old dive face first into the corner of the table. Ouch.

He is going to look quite dramatic by tomorrow. Maybe he is better off in school.


* I realize that seven is a bit young for this book. But, I pleaded with the child all summer to read sound it out books. During the summer, we were enticing him into reading with the early Harry Potter books. I assumed that he'd be ready to read them by the time it was age appropriate. Then, suddenly - the kid took over reading them mid-fall. I guess I feel like it would be wrong to take a book from someone after pleading them to learn to love reading. So, we read to him when we are able and discuss the book when his nose comes out of it. The mental scars won't show anyway, right?