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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Any idea how much milk our family drinks in just a WEEK? Posted by Picasa

Our local school system is thinking about getting rid of driver's ed classes. I took driver's ed when I was a sophomore in high school. My teacher was the school's football coach. Some days we got in the car and he told us to take him to his dry cleaners and his bank. Other days he said we could drive wherever we wanted. We went to McDonalds, the music store and cruising through the parking lots of other schools. Regardless of the destination, the coach put on his seat belt and opened his newspaper up so that he couldn't see out the windshield. Frequently he would fall asleep. After the 6 week class, my parents got a certificate to get a reduction in the cost of insuring me and I got my license on my 16th birthday without having to take the driving test. That's quality education.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Since it was in the 60s today, Molly had a doggie sundae from Bruster's Ice Cream. She recommends it highly. Posted by Picasa

Doug and I are HUGE fans of Kristyk. If Blogher had scholarships, Kristyk and I would sit under a table together and watch the blog celebrities party. Today, Kristyk posted a quote that Doug and I talked about for hours.

"Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible - the kind of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing family."Virginia Satir
I have always heard that the number one topic of arguments in marriage is money. Doug and I don't argue about money. We are pretty much in the same place on the topics of money, sex, life and politics (although Doug likes conspiracy theories more than I). When we disagree, it is almost always about parenting. Even the arguments that look like they are about something else, end up being about parenting, even if it is about how we were parented rather than how we are parenting. We do differ in our way of arguing. He likes to have a tantrum and then let it go. I like to discuss it to death. Personality differences or gender differences? Doug struggles with knowing in his heart how to be a nurturing parent, while his head fights the urge to say things like "There are no accidents." We end up playing good cop/bad cop when it comes to discipline and neither of us like this arrangement. The fact that I brought children into our marriage does not play a part in the parenting arguments. He treats all of the children with the same love and care. He IS their father. He is there for the holidays, the activities, the school meetings and the sicknesses. He is there for them every moment of every day and will almost always stop whatever he is doing to give them his attention. It is not always easy, but while nurturing our children, we are nurturing each other. I believe that our children know they are the focus of our lives. We are busy, loud, messy and silly but we enjoy life. It might be nice to struggle less financially, but the time we spend with the children is much more valuable than any stuff money can buy.

Busy Mom is asking about tweeners using myspace. Just last week I quizzed Sarah about myspace, xanga and facebook. She admitted having friends with accounts but denied having one herself. The rule in our house is that you don't sign up for anything without permission. She does have an instant messenger account that we allowed her to have. Last year after a sleepover, we found one of her friends had been using very provocative IM names and talking to strangers. Doug went to tell the girl's mother and the mother just laughed it off as nothing to worry about. This year a different tweener friend has a xanga account. The girl has her full name and birthdate listed. This time I asked Sarah to advise her friend to remove her last name and year of birth. The info hasn't been changed but she hasn't blogged since she learned out that I found her blog either. All I succeeded in doing was chasing her to a new site.

This is gonna be one of THOSE weeks. I will be doing social studies, science and math projects. Posted by Picasa

"Pink girls make yellow pee."

Friday, January 27, 2006

You know those old jeans you never wear any more? The ones that don't fit or have a big ink stain on the pocket? Go get them. Are they 100 percent cotton? Cut them into 6 inch squares. Seriously, I want you to cut into those old jeans. Done? Then pull out your sharpie permanent markers and decorate that square. Imagine a 1 inch frame on the square and keep your decoration in the center 4 inches. Doodle, draw a picture, write a positive message or just sign your name. That's it. You just made a quilt square. Now, send that quilt square (or lots of them) to me and I will bundle them and ship them to Operation Quiet Comfort. They are making Four Freedoms quilts for injured soldiers with these quilt squares. They will take a picture of the finished quilt(s) and I will post the picture here. Come on, this is the least we can do. Leave a note in the comments and I'll send you my address or you can just google me (I have no illusions about Internet privacy). Just drop them in the mail in the next two weeks so I can get them all bundled and shipped before Girl Scout cookies take over my life on February 27th. Do you live in East TN? I will make it even easier for you to participate. I will meet you somewhere and I will bring the denim squares and pens. All you have to do is take a minute to decorate the square. You spend more time playing with Photoshop than this will take. I REALLY want to collect enough squares to donate one quilt from The Rocky Top Brigade. I will even meet you someplace fun, like say Ben & Jerry's?

Oh, puh-leeze bribe me to blog about your product, food or service. Don't just claim your washer/dryer hold the biggest loads, let us try them. Think your restaurant, hotel and amusement park are family friendly? We can tell you. Instead of telling us that cruise will be a great escape, interview me. Consumer reviews are not the same thing as paid public servants serving big business for bribes.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Ferd might pound me for saying this, but when I heard a KISS song on the radio this afternoon, I thought, "This sounds kinda disco to me."

Get this stuff off my bed! Posted by Picasa

Anthony or the Captain but not Murray, Greg or Jeff.

Family updates: Evan - too busy to sleep, into EVERYTHING Amy - convinced she's the center of the universe, fighting naps Noah - inventing things with string and tape, LOTS of it Sarah - sullen then happy then bored then jolly then annoyed then. . . Tommy - school isn't fun if you have to do work Doug - in the doghouse Me - collecting quilt squares

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

I really hate the current interstate ramp at Kingston Pike and Morrell. Several times a week I travel Morrell from Northshore to Middlebrook Pike and back again. Ever since the entrance ramp opened there, people have exited the mall parking lot, driven all the way to the light and forced their way out of the turn lane by cutting someone off or stopped cold in the turn lane instead of merging BEFORE they get to the light. Yesterday someone forced their way in front of me and then another car tried to do the same. When I didn't cooperate, they became verbally and visually abusive (if people learned sign language, they could express more than their middle finger). I felt bad that I didn't have time to sit there and let all the mall people race to the front of the line and cut me off but enough is enough. If you don't try to merge immediately instead of waiting until you are at the intersection, you have to TURN. Stop acting like you are the only person on the road.

Whiffleboy is disturbed that his toddler likes to announce what they are doing in the bathroom. Could be worse dude (channeling Hurley). Several months ago I was in a public restroom stall with the 3-y-o and she decided to do an anatomical description for everyone in the other stalls. She didn't want to just say it once. She decided to make a song of it. "Mommy has a hairy ji-nuh. Hairy ji-nuh, hairy ji-nuh."

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

My sweet little baby who would fall asleep every time he nursed has turned into a wild raccoon. Clawing, kneading, biting, shoving my clothing out of the way isn't enough for him. He must also be standing in my lap, twirling his body and popping off to laugh at the faucet he left running or umm, spraying. Mommy is not amused with this behavior.

I think it's great when teachers assign projects instead of reports. I am less pleased when the assignment is to create a life size cardboard replica of a historical figure (assigned by the teacher) with the face cut out for students to pose behind. Do they really think a fourth grade boy is going to do this?

Monday, January 23, 2006

I'm playing with this to see if I can create something for the children, but I can't change the margins. Any ideas?

Place your bets on which of my children will be the first to break a bone. Posted by Picasa

Since all the cool kids are doing it, I joined two group blogs. Check out My Husband's Crap and My Kids are Pigs.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Does Doug look more like Gary Sinise or Tom Hanks?

Originally uploaded by cathymccaughan.

Girl Scout cookie orders begin TODAY! The varieties are the same as last year except the Double Dutch has been replaced with Cafe' Cookies. If you don't eat cookies, consider buying a box for Gift of Caring to donate cookies to deserving organizations in your community. Our troop is collecting boxes of cookies for the riders and volunteers at STAR.

Buy Girl Scout cookies!

"Where's the phone Sarah?" "I put it back after my conference call with B and T." "Noah, do you have the phone?" "Did I half the foam?" "Do you have the PHONE?" "Oh, uh, what was the question again?" "Never mind." "Tommy, have you seen the phone?" "Yes." "Where is it?" "I dunno." "Is it in your room?" "Unlikely but possible." "Sigh." "Amy, do you know where the telephone is sweetie?" "It's in the kitchen." "No. I looked and it's not there." "Yes, it is. See? It's in MY kitchen." "I don't even remember why I wanted it in the first place." Posted by Picasa

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Dear Knoxville Middle School, I am sorry that my daughter is dressed like a hoochie-mama. I promise that at the beginning of the school year, just 4 months ago, her jeans waistband actually fit around her waist. I don't know when the waistband moved to just above the umm, equator of her backside. I only became aware of the problem when I saw her pick something up off the ground yesterday and she nearly mooned me. Since she spends most of her time nested in a beanbag while talking on the phone and rarely picks things up, it was equally shocking to see the fit of the jeans and to see her actually cleaning her stuff off of the floor. Now that I am aware of the problem, I will try to remedy the situation as soon as possible. It will require self-medication to attempt shopping with her mood swings, but I am willing to make that sacrifice. Thank you for your patience, Cathy

I just removed the cardboard tubes from all of our gift wrap. The wrap is very likely to get crumbled and torn now, but Sarah needed a dozen cardboard tubes for a school project. It could be worse. In the past I have had to empty canned goods into rubbermaid so that cans could be used and dumped cereal into ziplocks because the boxes were needed for something. If we lived in an old schoolhouse this wouldn't be a problem since I would have an arts and crafts room to store empty film canisters, old coffee cans and other trash/craft supplies.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Why are the most viewed pictures in my flickr account, the ones of me breastfeeding or naked? There's nothing pornographic in there you pervs.

Kristyk is talking laundry today. Laundry is a never ending battle in large families. I don't mind the folding and putting away. It's actually nice to know that for 24 hours nobody will be complaining because their fuzzy socks aren't clean (Sarah) or refusing to put on 2-piece jammies because they want a gown (Amy). I loathe sorting all the white similar but not quite the same socks. I also dislike stomping downstairs to find out if the dryer did its' job or if it has to run a second time and lugging the wet clothes from the washer to the dryer on the other side of the room. The thing that is most annoying of all is that I created a color-coded laundry basket system that should make laundry easier and nobody will cooperate with the system. The boys pretend they are color blind and put things in the first basket they see. All of the children hide laundry under their beds and toss it on the steps so that I can't walk down the steps without picking up laundry the entire way downstairs. And then there's Doug. Doug piles all of his laundry beside the bed instead of walking 5 steps (I counted) to the laundry baskets. He will run completely out of an important clothing item before he drags some of his clothes over to the baskets. I think I should quit typing and go start another load. White, bright or dark?

Laundry Lottery = The person who benefitted the most from that day's laundry. Example - "Sarah, you won the laundry lottery today. I washed ALL your jeans AND you got clean sheets."

When the 9-year-old wants to have a friend over, I have to pull out my planner and check. "Ummm, sorry but Wednesday is booked solid. Get back with your friend and pick another day." Doesn't everyone do this? Yes, we also have a large calendar/marker board beside the front door to remind everyone of immediate activities on the family schedule.

Last night, Boston Legal finally made the diagnosis that I made in the first few seconds of "Hands" walking onto the screen. I know Doug remembers the moment a few weeks ago when I sat straight up and shouted at the screen "He has Aspergers!" When you are the parent of a special needs child you find your world view changed in unexpected ways. One of those is that you have a second sense for identifying the disability in others. I'm not talking about college sophomores taking abnormal psych who label everyone they know with something out of the DSM or any kind of 'gaydar' nonsense. I'm talking about the intimate knowledge that comes from living every moment of every day with someone, helping them struggle with normal developmental milestones and orchestrating the many different doctors and therapists who must be forced to work together. It's not a useful skill. Neither schools nor medical professionals value the 'gut feeling' diagnosis. It's not something that is unique since I have heard other parents mention it again and again. It's more likely to annoy other parents than bring them relief. "My child does NOT have ___." Still, it is who we are now. Rapidly evolved into people who see and respond to the world through a special filter. Not better or worse, but different, like our children.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Aww, come on. You know you need more sleep too. Posted by Picasa

Are the cheerios in the diaper being saved for later or disposed of like brussel sprouts under mashed potatoes.

Dad - "Amy, who put gum on this chair?" Amy - "Mommy is gonna find out."

Sunday, January 15, 2006

I miss the old Rocky Top Brigade. We used to have regular announcements, discussions, blog-pimping and bickering. There was a discussion board that has since disappeared. If any of the current or former Tennessee residents want to communicate again, I set-up a yahoo group.

Click here to join rockytopbrigade Click to join rockytopbrigade

Friday, January 13, 2006

Our Girl Scout troop is going to decorate denim squares to be made into quilts for injured soldiers. How about a quilt from the Blogging community? How about a Rocky Top Brigade quilt? If any bloggers are interested, make a note in the comments, I will e-mail project instructions and my address and I will collect and ship squares to make a "Bloggers Quilt". If anyone wants to contribute to a "Rocky Top Brigade Quilt", leave a comment and I will work out a drop-off location. Anyone interested in working together?

The children will all wear their jammies inside out tonight. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, January 12, 2006

There are about 200 uninhabited islands. Are the LOST castaways on one of them?

The yucky unusual Double Dutch cookies have been removed from the Girl Scout cookie product line. They have been replaced with Cafe' cookies. Cafe' cookies are a cross between ginger snaps and snicker doodles. Girl Scouts will begin taking orders for cookies on January 20th. Be sure to order a box of Cafe' cookies.

I know I posted this link already, but I just think it's soooo funny.

IMG_5605 Originally uploaded by cathymccaughan.
Happy HNT!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

I can't wait for next week's episode of LOST. Tonight's episode was GREAT! The creature is a machine!

You scored as Serenity (from Firefly). You like to live your own way and do not enjoy when anyone but a friend tries to tell you that you should do different. Now if only the Reavers would quit trying to skin you.

Which sci-fi crew would you best fit in? v1.0 Found at Big Orange Michael's.

"Amy, please don't put the toy horn to your mouth again. Mommy has a headache." Without a moment's hesitation, she placed the toy horn against her nose and made a long, loud TOOOT! Update: Doug taped her doing it. Listen closely to the very end of it.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Blogger, Word Press or Movable Type?

The king is creepy. Posted by Picasa

Amy - "D*** it, Evan dropped his bop again." Mom - "Amy! That was a bad word. What is Daddy going to say when I tell him what you said?" Amy - "He'll say 'Oh, G** D*** it!'" Mom - "Doug!"

When Mom has a cold, life goes on as normal. She gets to blow her nose with one hand while holding a baby determined to steal the tissue with her other arm. She drives to and from childrens' eye doctors, Girl Scouts, karate and school activities. She nurses and holds a teething baby all night long while Dad snores. When Dad has a cold he stays drunk on 'makes you sleep' cold medicine and sleeps for 2 to 4 days and nights straight.

Monday, January 09, 2006

I think Doug gets up in the night, walks around the bed and pulls all the covers over me and onto the floor. He then hops back in bed and wakes me so he can shiver and complain that I have stolen all of the covers again. It's a conspiracy!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

One word review of 'The Book of Daniel' - "Boring." Further clarification - I would not have watched this if there hadn't been such a fuss made over it. I knew from the previews that it was going to be a soap directed at the 'Desperate Housewives' audience. The only good thing about it was eye-candy Aidan Quinn who I've liked since 'The Handmaid's Tale'. The show's characters are unlikeable and they spend all their time behaving very badly. If everyone had ignored this show it would have gone away very quickly and quietly. My nerdy confession - I have never watched a single episode of 'American Idol', 'Survivor' or any other reality show. I don't get to watch anything that isn't totally child focused before at least 9 pm. When I do get the house cleaned up, everything set out for morning and finally settle in bed to wind down, I look for something funny or completely escapist. If I was still working I would have no popular television to chat about at the water cooler except for 'LOST'. I can discuss the merits of Joe versus Steve and which celebrities lend their voices to 'Oswald' or 'Higglytown Heroes' though.

Less than two weeks until I begin my annual Girl Scout cookie blather. At least I can eat them this year.

Friday, January 06, 2006

He's baaaack!

My living room floor looks like Mr.Creosote dined on Fisher Price Little People ("It's wafer thin.") so, Evan crawled over the carnage, pulled himself up (with the help of a chair), dragged my purse off the table, removed a slip of paper and ate it.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Dear WBIR (insert name of your own network), Thank you for deciding against censorship of "The Book of Daniel". Thank you for treating Knoxvillians like intelligent adults. Every television is equipped with an off button. Allowing us to make our own decisions what we do and don't watch is the right choice. Thank you, Cathy

Doug, who doesn't care that he hurt my feelings over the holidays, suggested today that I should join a gym. His obituary will be published soon.

Today is my father's birthday. Well, one of them anyway. One of the side effects of being a black market baby is false records that list multiple dates of birth. Happy Day-We-Recognize-As-Your-Birthday Dad.

Happy Half-Nekkid Thursday!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Since it took so long to fix the lights and Amy bursts into tears every time I start to remove the ornaments ("No! That's my favorite!"), maybe we should just leave the Christmas tree up all year.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Annoying quote of the day Sarah - "I'm bored."

Sunday, January 01, 2006

I went to bed at 4 this morning. The house is a wreck but I am going to take a nap as soon as Doug wakes.  Posted by Picasa

We watched The Nightmare Before Christmas and the girls settled in except for the two who talked ALL night long. Posted by Picasa

Molly has had enough fun. Posted by Picasa

The girls learned to play bunco. Posted by Picasa

We ate more, made duct tape roses and watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I am starting to feel loopy. Posted by Picasa

We ate ice cream sundaes, exchanged gifts, watched Doug juggle fire and then exploded sodas at midnight. Posted by Picasa


In the house:

Me - the Mom
Doug - the Dad
Tommy - age 15
Sarah - age 12
Noah - age 9
Amy - age 3
Evan - 8 months old
This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from cathymccaughan. Make your own badge here.

Mom's Stuff:

100 Things About Me
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My Husband's Crap
Pottery Barn Registry
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Seldom & Never
Serendipitous Reflections
The Ramblings of CarMom
The Stomock's Retchings

Blogs I'm reading:


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