all images © Meghan Boyer Photography

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me!

I was late to pick up Lillian from preschool.  Barely five minutes.  But still late.  She told on me as soon as we got home and she got her Gramps on the phone.  When I picked her up, her teacher relayed a conversation to me.  She asked Lillian, "What does your daddy do?"   Lillian told her, "He brings home the money."  Lesson learned.  Don't be late.  Too much time for excess conversation.  Lillian asks me, "Mom, did you used to work?"  What do you call this woman?  Snackin' on bonbons and watching Days of Our Lives?  "Did you used to make money too?" she wanted to know.

My transition has been gradual.  I worked full time.  When I had Lillian and Grady, I worked part time. Once I had Dempsey, the cost of a babysitter outweighed what I was paid.  So from the time Dempsey was born until he turned ten months old, I didn't 'bring home the money.'  Now I do 'bring home' some money, from work I do from home.  When I worked part time, Lil and Grady never wanted me to go.  I loved my job, I loved leaving the afternoon chaos (I'm free, I'm free, I'm free!), but I also found it difficult to leave at the same time. Now I'm home and all they talk about is playing on the playground at the daycare down the street.  For me, working part time was like being caught between two worlds.  When I didn't work at all, I felt weird.  Now that I do work from home, I feel bad doing work at home.  Moms can't win.  That's why moms invented bribes.

Today the bribe was chocolate.  Chocolate pudding.  Lil and I made it together and ate it right from the bowl.  After I ate more than my half, she told me it was time to put it back in the fridge.  So subtle that child is.  Just like when we were singing to Pandora radio and she told me I shouldn't sing anymore.  We could just dance instead.  When the Little Mermaid's, Under the Sea came on, she mentioned it was daddy's favorite song.  Maybe we shouldn't tell people that.  He may not bring us home any more money.

After dinner, we let Grady have some pudding too.  He dropped a glob on the carpet and stepped in it.  It must have been good because he steadied himself, lifted his foot in the air, and licked the pudding right off his big toe.  Finn got the rest.  Lucky dog.  Why doesn't anyone ask her to bring home some money?

I've decided that while I may not be a bread winner anymore, I'm still a winner.  I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!  Just as long as I don't sing.

Monday, January 30, 2012


I want to cry.  I'm standing on the side of the trail and I think I may just sit down and cry.  The cyclists and walkers will just assume that the kids are being ornery.  But the other runners will understand.  I am having a horrible run.  My body is not doing what I am willing it to do and nothing seems to be working right.  Plus, after five years,  I'm a week out from no longer being pregnant and/or nursing.  My hormones must be a wreck.  Maybe I should just cry and get it over with.  Everyone always says they feel better after a good cry.  But I'm not a crier.  I just can't do it.  Although I'm not a yeller either.  And I did yell at Grady last night.  He got me.  He won.  I had run out of patience.  I did apologize.  But it didn't make me feel any better.  It will always be there in his little mind. 

The boys fell asleep during my run this morning.  It was such a relief.  They each fussed for a brief time.  It seemed like an eternity but really it was just minor squawking.  And what would I have done without them?  They guarded me while I peed on the side of the trail.  Their cute little faces peering over their snack trays at mom's naked butt squatting over a mound of dirt.  Praying that none of the park rangers ride by....not like the last time.  Embarrassing.

Boys Asleep

When my run was over, I wanted to run one more mile.  I have to make it better.  It can't end like this.  It has to be perfect.


I never made Seany a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for breakfast this morning.  I didn't play a game with Lillian today.  I didn't hold Grady long enough.  I didn't call my friend.  I put Dempsey to bed too quickly, I didn't sing him a song.  I didn't thank my parents enough for how much they love my children.

I made Sean's lunch for work today.  I helped Lillian to make a card.  I carried Grady to bed and laid with him.  I sent my friend a funny note.  I sang Dempsey three songs the next day.  I called and said I love you.

Perfect enough.  The other mothers will understand.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Prince Charmin' and other shorts

Prince Charmin'

Lillian - (holding baby Molly) "Prince Charmin'...Get her brush and brush her hair. And get her cereal.  And you're late for work Prince Charmin'."

Grady -"I don't want to go to work. Three more minutes."

Lillian - "Fine...three more minutes and then it's work time."

Lillian - "Prince Charmin', do you want to come with us and run errands? Actually, we have to run errands the day after tomorrow because we have lots of chores to do today. Clean the sink, clean the floors, vacuum, and clean the house all up."

Dempsey climbs on Grady

Lillian - "Get offa Prince Charmin'!"

Grady - "I'm going to work now."

Lillian - "Go to work then. Prince Charmin', let me borrow your hammer. And leave that baby at Grandma's if you're not going to take care of it."

Paci Wars

Lillian - "Last night Grady put a paci in my mouth."

Mom - "While your were sleeping?"

Lillian - "Yes, so I didn't even notice."

Wedding Rings

Lillian - "The green ring is from when Prince Charmin' asked me to marry him and the pink one is the ring he gave me on our weddin' day.  Everytime I lose a ring from when I married him I get a new one."

Little Clucker

Mom - (to Dempsey) "Are you clucking?  You little clucker."


Mom - "Grady, please don't fart on your sister."

Beer Juice

Lillian - "Mom, my juice is bad.  Now that old juice is in my belly.  Yuck.  And that juice tasted like old beer, because it was sittin' by beer...and you know I don't like beer."


Lillian - "I love Dempsey."

Mom - "He loves you too."

Lillian - "Yup, he loves all of us.  Even his brother that doesn't listen all the time.

That Fun

Grandma - (about Lil and Grady) "They really do love thier brother.  And I mean, he's not that fun.

Take Your Brother to School

Lillian - "Am I ever going to have a 'take your brother to school' day?"


Lillian - (to mom) "You're a busy mom!"


Mom - "You're growing as we speak."

Lillian - "I didn't know speaking made you grow."

Paci Wars Continued

Lillian - "Grady, go tell Mom you want a paci so I can have one."

Mom - "I hear you."

Lillian - "Oops.  Grade, go get one, don't tell Mom."

More Than

Lillian - "I love you more than Grady mom."

Grady - "I like Lillian too."

Break Time

Lillian - "Grady, break times over."


Lillian - " could use some manners."


Lillian - "Who brings home the money?"

Mom - "Daddy."

Lillian - "Do you think he could bring home some quarters?"

Lake Baby

Lillian - "Mom, I just dropped my baby in the lake.  I had to jump in to save her."


Lillian - "What did you hurt this time at the gym daddy?"


Lillian - "So Mary is Jesus's mother, and Joseph is his father.  Is God Mary's father?"

Monday, January 23, 2012

Going, Going, Gone...My Mind

I, Lisa Barnum (near perfect mommy), do hereby declare it a parent's right to rename their child as they see fit.  Because I don't know about you, but frankly my dears,  I'm quite tired of saying the same name over and over and over again.  That's why I call them by the name I used the least that day.  Or I just call them Finn.

You know how parents test out baby names?  Maybe you say the full name outloud, shout it, cheer it, sing it softly in a lullaby or try out possible nicknames?  My suggestion is to repeat that name one thousand, nine hundred, and seventy eight times in a twenty four hour period.  Then decide if you'd rather have your mouth wired shut than to ever say that name ever again.

The day started out crazy.  Should I expect any less you wonder?  No.  I repeat each of their names too many times, more times than I care to remember, before we even leave the house.  Strike one... Lil and Grady did not have school today.  Strike was parent/teacher conferences for Lillian's four year old preschool class.  Strike three...I had to bring the triple threat with me.  Lillian's teacher shows me a self portrait that Lillian drew in September compared to one she made in January.  September's picture is a big, fat head with a face.  And everything you'd expect to find on a face. But still...just a big, fat head. Very similar to Mrs. Potato Head, except with a sticker on her cheek.  Quite advanced if you were to ask me.  But really, no one asked me.  January's drawing includes arms, legs, and other appropriate body parts.  Apparently this is good.  Significant progress.  She will be able to attend preschool graduation.  Oh, and how could I forget.  In January's drawing,  Lillian's baby sister 'Molly' is by her side.  Much to Sean's chagrin.  I nearly choke on my tic tac (used to cover my coffee breath).  Going.

On the drive to the toy store (bribe) Lillian told me that now she has a baby sister and two brothers to take care of.  "And you're the mommy to all of us...okay?" she asks.  She says she has to give 'Molly' a bottle instead of nursing her because she doesn't have big ones (she points to my boobs) like me.   Hmmm...I've never quite received a compliment like that.  A little bizarre...but I'll take it.  Apparently 'Molly' is the kind of baby that doesn't bite either, she informs me.  Not like Dempsey.  Going

Do you ever repeat the same word over and over again until it starts to sound funny and loses it's meaning?  Oh, you don't do that?  That's only me?  I must have too much free time on my hands.  Like when I say the word 'crazy' too many times.   It starts to sound like 'Lisa.'  That's how I felt today.  Lillian became 'losing,' Grady sounded like 'my,' and Dempsey like 'mind.'  Yes...losing my mind.  Gone.

It's finally bedtime except Lillian's beloved pig is missing.  We spend what seems like forever looking for it.  Until we find it on the couch...under Sean's butt.

Now I have officially lost my mind.  However, I may be smarter for having lost it.  But frankly my dears, I don't give a damn.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Dump and Other Trash Talk

Oh the joys of trash day.  It's exciting stuff.  We love the men we see every Monday and Thursday morning. They do little dances, throw lids in the air, and honk loudly. They're our buddies.  It's a real show and it's free.  Monday is actually perferable to Thursday.  There is more variety.  It really gets us through the aweful weekends.  Looking forward to's trash day!  Who doesn't love Mondays?  Three different trucks find their way to our home.  Regular trash, recycling, and yard waste.  No yard waste this week?  Let's chop down a tree.  Low on recycling...gotta fill up those bins so the guys have something to flip.  Start chugging the milk kids.  Right from the jug is fine.  Just empty it.

The kids line up at the front glass door.  Usually half dressed, drooling in anticipation.  Finn even gets in on it.  She stands right behind them.  This past week I was hiding behind the door asking Lil, "Did they take it?  Are they taking it?  Did they take it?"

She jumps up and down, "They're taking it!  they're taking it!"

You see this was a super special trash day.  We had tile floors installed in our kitchen and bathroom and had loads of old laminate to get rid of.  It was too cumbersome to manuever into the van so I piled it out by the mailbox.  That morning when I heard the familiar rumble I strategically placed all the kids in front of the door and told them to smile big and wave like they've never waved before.  I had spent weeks teaching Dempsey to wave just for this purpose.  Too embarrassed to show my face, that's when I hid.  And waited.  I asked Lil for the play by play.  It worked!  They took it!  I won, I won!  I do feel a tiny bit bad for using my kids for my own trash pickup enjoyment purposes, but hey, we didn't make cute kids for nothing.

I love to throw stuff out.  It may be one of my favorite pastimes.  The summer after Lillian turned one, we took a trip to the dump almost every day.  I would sing her my made up song on the way.  It goes to the tune of the Lone Ranger theme song. To the dump, to the dump, to the dump, dump, dump.  To the dump, to the dump, to the dump, dump, dump.  To the dump, to the dump, to the dump, dump, duuump.  To the duuump, to the dump, dump, dump.  There's nothing quite like backing your truck or van up to the giant concrete wall and heaving your crap over, falling hundreds of feet into a pile of other people's crap.  I decided long ago that Sean would be a hoarder if it weren't for me.  He tries to save everything.  He's so lucky he married me.  The first home that we owned did not have a lot of storage space.  I would wait until he left for work, then load up all the stuff I considered dump worthy, and take it to its demise.  When Sean would ask me where something was I would have to pretend I had no idea.  Sometimes I'd even help him look for it.  Bad wifey.  Bad, bad wifey. I didn't want to tell him that it was currently buried beneath a cracked toilet and broken car parts at the local landfill.   I started out putting small things with the regular trash.  In the black yard bags so he couldn't see in.  He caught onto that one real fast.  He'd go out and dig through the garbage the night before pickup and reclaim his belongings.  Then I'd have to start all over again.   A year ago our television passed away.  Sean was hoarding it in the office with the hopes of trying to salvage it.  I was giddy over the idea of taking that huge monstrosity to the dump, all thirty eight inches of it.  I got so excited in fact the I didn't realize the hundred dollar wall mount was still attached.  So, you guessed it, that got dumped too.  Not a proud dumping moment.  Bad wifey.

I didn't let our trash men have all the fun however.  I made sure to save myself  a couple of buckets of broken tiles for my own dumping pleasure.  To the dump, to the dump, to the dump, dump, dump.  To the dump, to the dump, to the dump, dump, dump.  To the dump, to the dump, to the dump, dump, duuump.  To the duuump, to the dump, dump, dump.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Our Buffalo family arrives.  We fill every room in our house.  There are aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, grandparents, grandchildren, old adults (Sean is in this category in case you are wondering), young adults (I am in this category in case you are wondering), kids, babies, dogs, and of year old Uncle Conor.  The triple threat's infamous sidekick.  One night we set out in three separate vehicles to visit Sean during his bartending shift.  I set the timer.  I give us thirty minutes.  We sit at a big table with lots of seats, a couple of high chairs, playdough buckets, crayons, and coloring pages.  Some people eat playdough, some people eat food, some drink beer, others soda.  Some kids run, some grownups chase.  Some people color, other people mother.    I let Grady use a butter knife to cut his food.  Conor turns to me and says, "A two year old with a knife, really Lisa?"  He's fighting me for my job.  I blame the economy. 

Tweny nine minutes and ten seconds.  Grady bolts from the table and bear hugs the giant fire extinguisher hanging by the door.  He knowingly looks at the fire alarm above it.  Here we go again.   Yes...again.   A couple of months ago I took the kids in to see Sean for dinner.  Grady was sitting at a high top table next to a wall.  I glanced over to see the bright red alarm next to his head.  Exactly at eye level.  I thought it may have reached out and tapped him on the head.  It screamed 'pull me.'  I heard it, I really, really did.  In fact I almost pulled it myself.  It was that irresistable.  I was so busy trying to talk myself out of pulling it that I barely got the 'N' part of 'NO' out before he pulled the damn thing himself.   Lights flashed, sirens went off...and the fire department showed up.  The fire department was supposed to visit Lillian's school that morning and canceled at the last minute.  In his defense I contend that Grady was only looking out for his big sister.  If they'd have shown up as scheduled this never would have happened.  Why blame yourself when you can blame others?  Lillian got her fire department visit.  Love you Grady. 

This time we leave on good terms and without all the fanfare.   Sean's job still intact and the department still full of  its firemen.  I drive Dempsey, Grady, Lillian, and Conor back to our house.  It is well worth leaving early just to hear the conversation on the way home.

Conor  Who was that stranger patting you on the head?
Lil        Oh you just don't know her because you haven't been to the bar before.
Conor  Oh, I've been to the bar.  I've been going with my dad since I was four.  I steal him alcohol.
Lil        What is alcohol?
Conor  You know that beer that your dad drinks? Well that's alcohol. 
Then Grady decides he better get in on this conversation.  The three of them start chanting...AL-CO-HOL... AL-CO-HOL.  Dear God please let this van be soundproof. 

We get home and I let the kids use special markers to draw on the windows.  Conor loves to draw volcanoes.  They are volcanoes like none you've ever seen.  So life like.  You could almost reach out and grab one.  And I know what you're thinking...they really remind you of something else.  So similar...they look just can't put your finger on it.  I thought the same thing.  It's driving me crazy...I just can't figure it out either.  Oh well... I'm sure it will come to me.  Should either of these volcanoes miraculously erupt, I feel confident that Grady will know how to contact the fire department.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Visiting the Doctor with Three Children

Enough said.  The end.

Okay, so I'll tell you.  Visits to the doctor are enough to wipe me out for the entire day.  Today the appointment was at four.  I'm not sure if that is better or worse than a morning visit.  Grady just hasn't been himself all week.  We were at our neighbor's house this morning.  She is also blessed with a two year old boy.  She so sweetly suggested that maybe Grady wasn't feeling well and had an ear infection.   That her child only makes those animalistic screams when he has a double ear infection.  I can only hope.  So I make the appointment.  While in the waiting room, Grady squats down next to a chair.  I can tell by the fact that his face is turning bright red and he's grunting like a pig, that he is taking a big dump. I feel like the others in the room are so lucky to witness this special event.  Boy does it stink.  If you weren't sick before you came in, you sure as hell are now.  I think I'm going to throw up.  This is a particularly small office with only one bathroom.  With no changing table in it.  I can only hope that we are called to a room soon.  I ask Grady very loudly if he needs his diaper changed so the other moms don't think that in my crazed existence I have lost my sense of smell.  The nurse calls Grady's name and it's his turn to be weighed.  He takes off.  I bribe him with tic tacs and he sort of stands on it.  Good enough, we know how much half of him weighs so they can just double it.  By the time we get to the exam room I'm about to pass out.  The nurse takes his temperature and listens to his heart before I can change his diaper.  They hand me a plastic bag to put it in.  The plastic bag must remain with the mother at all times.  For the safety of the doctors of course.  Let me tell you, this room is the size of a toilet.  Not a bathroom.  A toilet. A toilet with three kids and a mom standing in the hole.  A hole with a big, fat poop in a Safeway bag.  I think about swinging the bag hard enough against my head to knock myself out but decide against it.  When the doctor arrives it does not get any better.  I'll spare you the holding down details.  The doctor has to perform a one handed throat check.  Dempsey in her other arm.  Grady is fine she tells me.  Please define 'fine' I pleasantly request.  Well, no ear infection.  No infection to be found anywhere.  He's two she tells me.  Blah. 

When I was pregnant with Dempsey I would take Lillian and Grady with me for my belly checks.  I would hand out candy like it was Halloween and they were trick-or-treaters coming to my door.    I used to blow up the latex gloves into finger balloons and we would bounce them around the exam room until the doctor arrived.  At which point I would buckle them both in the stroller and hop on the table.  After I had Dempsey, I took all three.  I had an appointment in which I had to get undressed from the waist down.  The boys were buckled in early this time and Lillian was left to roam free with a direct order from me to stay out of site of my vagina.  Then Lillian decided she had to go to the bathroom.  For a three year old that means this instant.  Not once mom gets redressed.  So I scoot my naked ass off the table , open the door, cowering behind it, and tell her to go ask one of the nurses to show her which door it is.  Don't talk about me. We know the nurses and doctors very well.  I've had three babies in three and a half years.  But she doesn't ask.  She just opens a door.  A door to another exam room.  With what I can only guess was another bare assed woman.  She's probably scarred for life.  Lillian and that poor woman.

On our way home from Grady's appointment we stop back to see our neighbor.  She looks expectantly at my hand for the tell tale prescription bag.  I look back at her, my eyes glistening...he's TWO!  Who would have guessed?  This is horrible!  TWO!  I just can't believe it!  Can you?  No one told me when I got pregnant I would someday have a two year old!  I quit.  Enough said.  The end.  Blah.

Monday, January 9, 2012


My darling boys tantrumed for my entire five mile run today.  I wanted to leave the stroller on the side of the trail and run in the other direction.  But I knew they would find me.  I stopped twice to videotape them with my phone.  I snickered while I was recording them the first time, at mile three.  The second one is sideways because I was on the ground in hysterics.  You just can't hear me over the screams.  Grady was so mad I think I saw steam coming out his ears.  I couldn't get that close of a look though because he took off after me.  

I love to run.  I love the butterflies I get in my stomach leading up to a run.  I love being smack dab in the middle of a run, solving all of life's problems.  And I love the sprint to the finish.  I love that it helps me to be a good mom and wife.  It's a break.  I can think about everything, or not one thing.  I like to run outside, by myself, and without music.  Sometimes I get to run completely alone but mostly I run with one or two of the boys in the jogging stroller while Lil is at school.  The kids have grown up in the jogging stroller.  They know the rules. There are no options.  I will stop only so many times to dispense snacks and/or toys and after that you wait till the end.   They get a turn too, when I'm finished, to run and play.  It's my one hour of the day.  They get the other twenty three.  When I'm running with the stroller I feel even stronger.  When I do get the chance to run without it, I sometimes feel like I'm flying.

I spend much of my day running.  I run upstairs and downstairs.  I run after children and away from children.  I run to the basement to make sure no one has trampled Dempsey.  I run after our dog.  I run back and forth to the laundry room.  I run to and from the van.  I run to the bathroom.  I run to the door.   I run outside and I run back inside.  I run to answer the phone.  I run to beat the kids in a race.  I run errands.  I run late.  I run to the kitchen when I remember the toaster oven is still on.  I run Grady out of the kitchen when he's supposed to be in bed.  The last time this happened he was 'unlocking' the kitchen cabinets with my spare car key.  He ran up the stairs, turning back to tell me, 'sweet dreams mom...sweet dreams.'

I run from conversations about penises and vaginas.  Yesterday I ran in from the backyard to catch Lillian tee heeing while grabbing her crotch.  I take a peek and she has a baby doll spoon shoved in the front of her underwear.  I wash the spoon and hand it back.  Please do not put things in your vagina.  Then there was the time I was changing Grady's diaper on the floor and Demspey crawled over and grabbed his penis.  Dempsey thinks penises are hilarious.  He grabs his constantly and chuckles to himself, then gets mad when I diaper him back up.  He knows it's still in there somewhere.  Once I was changing another little boy's diaper while Grady and Lillian watched.  I asked Grady if it looked like his.  Lillian said, "No Grade, yours is more bigger than that."  While changing Grady's diaper he tells his penis goodbye and that he will see it soon.  And the last time Grady ate a hot dog Lillian told him it was a penis.

They're calling.  Gotta run.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Adopt Me

For over two hours yesterday I was Lillian's 'new' mother.  We are out front having car races in our cul-de-sac.  I get a running start and push the kids in their cozy coupe and push buggy as hard as I can. They zoom across the cul-de-sac and then slam into the curb.  Lillian says, "What kind of mudder are you?"  Okay, so maybe they should be wearing helmets.  But they love it...really.  At this point she tells me to pretend I don't know her and then adopt her.  She calls me 'Miss Lisa' for the rest of the night.  Grady and Dempsey are her 'new' brothers and we wait for her 'new' father to arrive home from work.  She asks if we have regular beds or bunk beds, and who is currently sleeping on the top bunk.  She pretends to talk on the phone to her gramps and grandmom.  She tells them, "I think I saw cookies here but I haven't looked all over the place yet."  She says her 'new' house has a dog, and she's allergic to dogs.  She used to have a cat apparently.  She tells me she came from Buffalo...on her bike.  Hopefully the Buffalo, big, fat, super jerk did not follow her. 

Today I take the boys, and my newly adopted daughter, to the car wash.  Not something I normally spend money on but we have a gift card.  Dempsey and I pick up Lil and Grady from school,  drop off some kid gear at the consignment shop, get coffee for me, donuts for bribery, and drive to the carwash.  I pull in and wait for someone to come tell me what to do.  No one comes.  A kind lady drives up beside me and explains the process.   I drive forward into the carwash lane and tell the girl which wash I want.  I choose the Freedom wash.  Hee hee...just for old times sake.  She hands me a ticket.  There is $29 left on the gift card, and the Freedom wash just happens to be $29.95.  What luck! I come!   They add on an extra $5 for a minivan, of course.  What the hell, I'll pay $5 for freedom.  It's worth it.  Minivans rule.  Excuse me Miss...I just have a few things to unload.  I lug out the double jogging stroller, three children, a cup of coffee that has not nearly enough sugar (I was trying to be good today), a box of munchkins, a backpack, and two jackets.  No one actually rides in the stroller of course.  Dempsey screams when I try to buckle him in, Lillian wants to walk, and all Grady cares about is holding the box of munchkins.   We manuever across the lot, dodge a couple of SUV's and head toward the store to pay.  I'm pushing the empty stroller, holding Dempsey on my hip, my backpack slung across my shoulder. Lillian runs out in front, despite my protests, and Grady saunters along with the giant box of donuts.  Grady relinquishes the donut box and he and Lillian literally do summersaults through the carwash's landscaping.  We get everyone and everything up onto the sidewalk and I realize I have no idea where I put the ticket I'm supposed to use to pay.  I track down the girl to get a new ticket.  We go in and we're third in line.  I'm begging the kids not to touch the greeting cards with their sugar coated hands, but really, maybe it's the car washs' fault.  Who has the equivalent of a full sized card store at the car wash.  Grady heads right for the ice cream cooler.  I tell him no, you have a donut in your hand, you may not have ice cream.  So he goes over to the trash can and throws out his donut.  Really?  You're still not getting that ice cream mister smarty pants.  Lord help your 'new' mother.   It's our turn to pay.  I hand over the gift card and have some cash for the remainder.'s the wrong gift's for a different car wash.  My total is $34.95.  Um...can you just drive it through some mud and we'll just pretend this never happened?  I don't have time to think about it because Dempsey has wrangled himself out of my arms and is headed for the same glass case that Grady is pounding the crap out of because there are candy bars on the other side.  I do not heart this car wash.  And aren't I supposed to tip?  I have no idea how much to tip at the car wash.  Restaurants, nail salons, hair salons...that I know...well knew...back in 2007.  I want to ask someone for advice but for some reason everyone appears to be running in the opposite direction.  I end up handing over $4 before we climb into the van and see that Dempsey could have done a better job had he just crawled around and eaten the snack remnants off the floor.  Then Lillian leaps in leaving two huge globs of black soot, that I can only suspect is car oil, in her wake.  I really don't even know how to react at this point.   Do I laugh?  Cry?  Scream?  Call my mommy?  Call the psychiatrist and beg for medication?  Head straight for the beer store?  Drop to the ground and convulse and hope the ambulance takes me to a nice, quiet hospital room?  Whatever, lets just get out of here.  I'm up for adoption by the way.  Free to a good home.  And I'm not allergic to dogs.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Hats and Gloves

I groan when the kids ask to wear hats and gloves.  They are a pain in the butt.  The hats and gloves, not the kids.  Okay, so sometimes the kids are too.  But I love the kids, hats and gloves...not so much.  The hats and gloves get yanked off, dropped, left at school, shoved into cracks, and flung at me when I'm trying driving.  Usually these items stay on their body less time than it takes to put all that crap on. I know, other moms are begging their kids to put on this cold weather gear and I'm convincing mine that they don't need it.  It's not so bad!  It's eighteen degrees outside...double digits!  See, look at me! I do a lap around the front yard in my shorts and tank top, pumping my fists in the air.  It's downright balmy out here!  No big deal.  You're just going from the house to the van to the store and back again.  If you run super fast you won't feel a thing! can't play with toys and eat snacks with those annoying things on right?  What will you do for the whole five minute ride to the store?

Lillian is just like me, always hot and always running around half naked.  I don't care if it's mid January.  I'm still loading kids into the van in shorts, a tank top, and bare feet.  And yes, my neighbors talk about me and often ask me to go put some pants on.  But you probably already assumed that, the neighbors know I'm crazy.   I do shuttles.  House to van, van to house, back and forth, many times over.  With kids, sippy cups, snacks, items to return to the store, clothes for the drycleaner, post office drop offs, my backpack and water bottle, forgotten coats, shoes and socks that were never put on, and occasionally the toothbrush.  I'm a stickler when it comes to proper dental hygene.  I tell the kids if they don't brush, their teeth will fall out and then no more teeth for eating candy.  After everyone is locked and loaded, I run back in the house and put on more weather appropriate clothing.  Maybe a sweater, but never a jacket.   Lillian will bring a jacket and tell me "just in case."  She hates wearing them too.  That girl will barely put on a long sleeved shirt.  If she does, it comes off in the van before she buckles in.  So when Lil asks for a hat and gloves it's even worse.  She will put on a short sleeved shirt, a long sleeved one over top, a jacket, and a hat and gloves.  Then she walks ten feet to the van and takes it all off.  She buckles in, we drive five minutes to wherever we are going, then she maybe will put it all back on.  Pain in the butt.

We love summer.  Today Lillian asks if we can go to the pool as soon as it's summertime. "And can we get those balls from the truck?" she wants to know. mean snowballs?  Last night Lil and Grady pulled the blue cushion off our papasan chair and pretended it was the pool.  They put on thier swimsuits and I was supposed to be the lifeguard and tell them not to run.   Lillian pretended to meet Dempsey at the pool, "Hi Dempsey, I'm going to be part of your family now.  That's my brother Grady, he's crazy." Aka... a pain in the butt.    But really...who isn't?  My butt pains rock.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Minivans Rule

New Year's Eve has lost its lushy luster.  Sean's always working and I'm always pregnant.   This year, Aunt Tricia (she is very brave and probably highly medicated) spent the night with me and the triple threat.  When Lillian first started talking she used to call her Aunt Trash.  We love our Aunt Trash.  The plan is to hit up the kids event in Annapolis around 6, and see the fireworks at 7:30.   By the time we arrive, the event parking prices are in effect. My usual garage is charging $20.  After doing the rounds and checking out my secret spots I pull into another lot... also $20.   I tell the guy standing at the gate that I'm not going to stay.  He's holding a fistful of bills ready to burst from his grasp, and tells me to come back when I can't find another spot.  He says he'll save me a space.  Good.  And I'll save you from having to hold my $20.  Jerk.  I perform a perfect three point turn and pull out. Nearly taking out the fence and the ticket booth.  Eat my dust. Minivans rule.  We ditch downtown and head to Maggie Moo's.  Lillian gets cool mint ice cream with crushed Starlite mints, and marshmallows (gag me with a spoon).  Grady gets blue cotton candy with double sprinkles.  When he flings a spoonful at Tricia's back when she's not looking we know it's time to go.

We make it home.  I put Dempsey to bed.  Lil and Grady play in their room.  Tricia and I sit at the table and finish off the kids sparkling cider (okay, that part is not really true).   I remember that her bags are up in the kids' room.  We look at each other and bolt up the stairs.  Grady has managed to pop the lid to her Burt's Bees chapstick and rip open three packs of gum. He's chewing a wad of gum and sucking on a paci at the same time.  You just haven't lived until you've seen a gum covered paci.   They both have on a pair of Tricia's boots that are as tall as they are.  Grady stinks.  Time to change another diaper.  I mention to Grady that the next time he has to poop he should tell me before he goes in his diaper.  Then he can go on the potty instead. He thinks about it.  "No, thank you."  he replies. least he's polite.  I set the kids up in my room with sleeping bags, popcorn, a princess tent, a Cars tent, flashlights and a movie.  An hour later, they're asleep.

The next morning the grown ups chant.  We're going to a grown up party!  We're going to a grown up party!  The kid drop off is at noon. I start packing their stuff as soon as I wake up. Woo hoo!  I gather up all the lovies and throw them in the washing machine.  Two blankets for Dempsey, a blanket and duck for Grady, and a blanket and two pigs for Lillian.  Tricia's underwear is missing.  Grady...where is Aunt Tricia's underwear?  He claims he doesn't know.  He wants medicine for his cold.  So does Lillian.   I get the medicine from our locked linen closet.  Which kid are you and how much do you weigh?  I squeeze the red syrup into Grady's mouth and realize the bottle is now empty.  I tell Lil I'll have to go look for more.  I turn around to relock the closet and Grady is aiming at me with something red.  He shoots me in the shin with the bottle of Resolve carpet cleaner.  Nice.  I put everthing back and lock the door.  I run downstairs to switch the load to the dryer.  Run back upstairs to  the kitchen to find more medicine.  I open the cabinet and stare in.  What am I looking for again?  I can't remember.  I go into the kids bathroom and burst out laughing.  Tricia put her makeup bag on top of the towel rack to keep it away from Grady.   Ha!  That bag is just taunting Grady to climb onto the back of the toilet and snatch it.  I gather cereal bowls from the basement.  One has a shriveled up worm dangling perilously over the edge.  Someone must have been trying to revive him.  Sweet kids. Go back upstairs to fold laundry.  See Lillian.  Oh yes, medicine.  Reopen kitchen cabinet.  Another empty bottle of medicine.  Pretend to fill the syringe.   Squirt air into Lillian's mouth.  She doesn't know the difference.  Moving on.  Lillian asks, "Can I take my ugly doll?"  Sure.  She changes her mind, "I don't want to take it.  It's ugly."  Isn't that the point?  She's looking for Sean.  "What's daddy doing?"  I tell her that he is in the bathroom.  "Why does he take a long time to go potty?" she wonders.  I have no idea what he does in there but Mommy hasn't gone to the bathroom by herself since 2007.  

I start loading the car.  Three kids, three bags, three sippy cups.  I inspect each child.  Clothes, shoes, coat...check, check, check.  I look down at myself.  Shirt...check.  Pants...check. shoes...must get shoes.  On the ride I force Tricia to seat dance to 80's rap music.  See...don't you feel cool?  Nope...she doesn't feel cool.  We talk about when we were teenagers, driving my mother's station wagon.   Just least I own this sweet minivan right?   

I drop off the kids and my parents pray that I come back.  My dad calls five minutes later.  Hmmm...should I answer?  I do.  "Lisa," he says "I've never seen anyone pull out of a parking lot so fast in my life.  You were on two wheels and I just saw hair flying."  He obviously exaggerates.  He's jealous.   Minivans rule.