There's no place like

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

I've been to a funeral and watched an 8-year-old stroke his dead father's hand and two 8-year-olds fighting back tears. Memorials may be made for the children (ages 3 and 8) to the David C. Fisher Fund: AmSouth Bank, 8921 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37923. I'm going to double the Tylenol PM tonight and hope I can have some good dreams in spite of it all.

The 2-year-old just cleaned all of her toenails with the 8-year-old's battery powered toothbrush. "Toes brush. Toes brush." Well, it sounds a little bit like toothbrush.

Since this is the first year of my blog, I have been noting dates of significance. I promise to try not to tell the same stories year after year. On July 4, 1997 I packed three children (7, 4, & 1) and a dog into a small car and moved from Atlanta to Knoxville. My now ex-husband moved from Atlanta to Boston because he needed some time for himself. He was “tired of everything always being about the children and decisions being so life or death”. He wanted to spend money on himself and not everyone else. He just needed a year or two. He neglected to mention that he was looking forward to finally meeting the woman he had been talking to on the Internet for months. I arrived in Knoxville in the afternoon and we immediately took the children to watch fireworks. I stumbled around in a daze for a year. Searching for purpose, I went back to college. I already had a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Psychology but I felt like I was skilled to do nothing. I was one of those irritating older moms in school who make good grades and roll their eyes at the 20 somethings who complain about school. In one of my classes I met a woman who understood me. We had very similar personalities but our lives had taken different paths. She was newly married to a man who was very thoughtful and carefully planning their future. I was in the middle of a divorce from a man who only thought about himself and considered the children property. She and her husband saw an opportunity to help me. They had another friend named Doug whose wife had just left him for another man because he was trying to start his own business when she just wanted to travel and party. In what now seems like really twisted logic, they decided that Doug and I really needed to get together to satisfy some umm, primal urges and thus make us happier beings. We nervously dated. Doug told me all of his jokes the first hour we spent together. I found him charming and quite attractive. As we dated a pattern emerged. Doug was late for lunch because he saw a stranded motorcyclist and towed them to a gas station. Doug went to help friends with this and that and even total strangers. He literally gave people the shirt off his back. I don’t have enough words to describe how compassionate and caring Doug is toward all people. There is just not any hate in his body. He has a truly pure soul. His only shortcomings are in the way he feels toward himself. Somehow this wonderful and amazing man fell in love with me. He makes me feel loved like I have never felt in my life. He is my very best friend. He continues his love of life and I continue my efforts to hold up a mirror so that he can see how truly wonderful he really is. He loves the three children that came into this marriage as much as the new life we made together. Despite the fact that one of the children has special needs, he tirelessly devotes himself to being a good husband and father. What started out as an act of compassion to get the two of us together for fun turned out to be a lifetime of compassion toward each other. Read other stories about compassion.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Some pictures from our weekend swim. Sarah in poolNoah in pool

Accidently watched part of a stupid show about teenage quints. The show doesn't even deserve mention and I would have clicked immediately off if I hadn't been so busy drooling over their house. They had a restaurant sized refrigerator in the kitchen. Can you imagine not needing to go buy milk every other day because you had space to store a week's worth? That's not even the best part. In their basement, beside the HUGE laundry chute there were two commercial sized washers and dryers. Can you hear the choir singing? That's double capacity times two! I feel myself getting excited just thinking about it. Other couples have foreplay that involves touching. Doug just whispers appliance descriptions in my ear and I pounce him.

The two girls passed their checkups with flying colors. Amy didn't get her nap in because of the appointment so I expect a cranky evening with lots of "NO!" Tommy played on the D&D websites the entire time I was gone. Since the history quit working on my computer I can't double check his activities, but ever since he got caught surfing porn he is extra careful not to do that on our computers. I'm sure he uses the school computers for that sort of thing. Since I kicked him off so I could blog he has gone to hide in the tent which is set-up in the lower lot. When it gets a few degrees warmer I'm renaming the tent "Tommy's Sweat Lodge". Noah is at a friend's but tomorrow he goes to his first funeral. I can take the adults crying, but when Noah's fatherless friend cries I'm going to lose it. I don't have much more time on the computer because Sarah has scheduled a "chat" with several of her friends. If this keeps up we're going to need more computers over here (and phone lines, bathrooms and space).

Monday, June 28, 2004

Doug very sweetly asked me to help him by making sales calls to businesses asking if they need a website while he continues his job application and interviews every day. I told him I'd feel like a spammer. It wasn't the answer he wanted or needed and I feel very guilty now. His mother has asked him more than once why I'm not working. I would rather just take a job than make cold calls all day. My income will be exactly enough to pay for the childcare but our families will be happier knowing I'm working. I need to figure out how to add cartoons to my blog entries. Sometimes my feelings are best described by a toon strip.

Genuine For my Monday Walkabout, I'm adding to my list of blogs that I follow: Hula Doula - another smart and very funny mom blog, Diaperville - a mommy blog, again, This Full House - still on my mommy theme, Gin and Tacos - a good political blog to get out of my mommy rut, TV is my drug of choice - couldn't resist the title and I had trouble picking a final blog with my brain mush today but I finally decided on a tie between, The Presurfer which I can't describe yet and Unusual Churches and Cults - whose title is self-explanatory. At some point I'll need to take away a few that I don't read very often but right now I'm just adding stuff. I wish there was an easier way to search blogs, some sort of "blog only" search engine.

Since Ezzo and breastfeeding have been discussed in several blogs lately. I'll try to give my two cents (it's not really worth that much) on the subject of breastfeeding. I nursed all four children for their first year. When I was pregnant with the first one I researched heavily and decided that one full year was needed to give children the protection from allergies, asthma and the minimum psychosocial interaction needed. With that goal in mind I never questioned that was what I would be doing. I was shook when my first child had a pneumothorax and spent the first week and a half of his life in the NICU of the hospital. It made breastfeeding feel like a schedule and a chore. I sat on the couch outside the NICU unit day and night waiting for the small time I was allowed to take him from the incubator and nurse him every few hours. The scheduled nursing caused me to become engorged and physically ill. The nurses all begged me to go home and get some sleep and let them give bottles for just one night. I remembered deciding from my research to avoid all bottles for the first month and I remained stubbornly on that hospital couch. When my son was finally released from the hospital I was the happiest person on Earth. I encouraged him to nurse more, especially since it made me feel like I wasn't going to explode like a volcano. My first child was a very difficult child who rarely slept (never more than an hour of sleep at a time his entire first year) and he thrashed even while nursing, but I was stubborn. I nursed everywhere. At first I sat down and nursed him in stores, businesses, doctor offices, friends' homes and even church. Then I got brave and started nursing while doing things. I learned to nurse while walking, reading and yes, while sleeping. I used a sling constantly, even when I wasn't nursing. Yes, I sometimes felt like I really needed some time alone to just be one person again. I just accepted that this was a very brief period of my life and took 30 minute to an hour breaks. Looking back at how quickly the time has gone by I am thankful that I was able to look past the exhaustion and see how short the time is with an infant. In the blink of an eye they are toddlers. Nothing I needed to do was so important that it couldn't wait until that first year had passed. I could never have traveled without my child that first amazing year. I guess I thought of myself like a kangaroo for that first year. My babies were still developing and not ready to leave my pouch yet. I stopped wearing a watch after my first child was born. Time means nothing. With the other three children, nursing was much more relaxed and easy. I never had to buy, prepare or clean bottles. I could never bring myself to feed my baby a mixture of powder and water. Yuck. Breasts were made for feeding. I was always ready to feed and it was a miracle comfort to a baby who had just had immunizations or who was too over-tired to sleep. While running older children to school, sports and other activities, I just nursed wherever, whenever. I am aware that some people were appalled by this public display but I just didn't care. Nursing made sure that my baby never felt short-changed for time because I was too busy with older children to do anything but put the infant in a swing or bouncy chair. Yes, sex became a carefully orchestrated comedy routine, but once you learn to laugh during sex instead of taking yourself so seriously, you reach an entirely new level of intimacy with your spouse that you'll need to grow old together. So, that's my long, rambling pro-breastfeeding speech. That said, no need to flame me. I accept that everyone is different and does what works best for themselves.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Noah's best friend's father died today. He leaves behind a wife, an 8-y-o son and a 3-y-o daughter. I hardly knew what to say to Noah to prepare him after his best friend called and cried on the phone, "Please come over. I need you." Doug is being useful right now, telling neighbors and arranging for everyone to send food over to the family. I'm just sitting here crying.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

The adults who were already pummelled down by financial problems are now numb with shock over a neighbor and friend's terrible car accident. Sometimes I want to lock the doors and hide inside with my children playing safely under my watch. Of course, we'd be locked inside a house with all the utilities cut-off. Maybe my plan isn't very well thought out. Must think. . .

What will be this year's October Surprise? I think that two of the choices will happen.

Friday, June 25, 2004

This child custody case in Memphis is horrible. If I still lived there or if I was still working and had my personal connections in the system I would create a huge ruckus. Instead, I'll just create a small ruckus. This would be a good opener for a story about my father being sold by the TN Children's Home as an infant. However, that's an old story that died with the evil woman who ran the home so despite our attempts, the truth will never be known.

Friday Night Updates - Sarah is home and every piece of clothing she had with her came home soaking wet. Load one of four for the evening is in the washer now. Sarah was home for about 3 hours before asking to spend the night at a friend's. The two boys are making a second attempt at sleeping in the tent. Last night they made it until 10 p.m. before they both wanted back in the house. They have moved the tent from the backyard into the frontyard and are re-stocking it with flashlights, blankets, pillows and GameBoys. I give them until about 10 p.m. before they are back inside the house. Amy was too excited about Sarah's returning home to take her regular nap and got down several hours later than usual. I anticipate a late bedtime for her. The rain continues and the roads all over town are flooded. Parking lots are collapsing and the roads are having sinkhole problems. I like sleeping to the sound of rain, but we could use a little bit of sunshine over here. I'm still waiting for my brother to come through with those concert tickets.

I like to de-stress to jigsaw puzzles. There is something about them that empties your mind and all you have to focus on or think about is the color and shapes(In case you weren't convinced already that I'm the most boring person in the world).

I wish we could afford to go see Chicago/Earth, Wind & Fire. Maybe my brother could win some tickets from a radio station.

Sarah gets home from camp today. It has rained on her every day so I am anticipating mud and mildew. The boys are unimpressed by her pending return. "Do we have to go with?" Can you feel the love? My life is no Disney movie. Of course, if my life were a Disney movie I would be dead and my family would be having madcap adventures without me. We have only one working bathtub in this house (no shower) for six people and sometimes I sit around for hours waiting my turn to bathe. Noah bathed quickly this morning so he could return to his oh-so important GameBoy game. Tommy is camped out in the bath. He nestles in and soaks for hours in some sort of "womb re-enactment". Maybe he needs to go through one of those "rebirthing ceremonies". I know I'm not next in line for a bath because Doug keeps knocking frantically on Tommy's door. "Have you used the soap yet?" Amy is practicing her jumps in the middle of the living room floor (hardwoods!). Nothing looks funnier than a two-year-old trying to get bothe feet off the ground and shouting "Bounce!" She gets so excited when we go someplace with carpeting. She immediately drops to the ground and does multiple sumersaults like the carpeting is the most magical surface in the world.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Happy 11th Birthday Sarah! Although this is your first birthday away from home, I'm sure there will be many more. Ever since you stood up in a Hilton Head hotel room and started walking at 10 months, you've been walking away from home. You are the most independent, strong-willed creature I've ever seen. You are smart, creative and beautiful. I know you are eager to explore the world and have adventures. You are a helpful and compassionate member of our family and I love you with all my heart.

I guess that this is how Doug feels when he watches movies with me. "hey Doug, who's that?" "Well, I know I've seen him before I just can't remember his name." "That's Jimmy Durante dear." "Doug, who's that?" "Grrrr." As he leaves the room.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

If there's drool on my pillow, don't wake me! If it is dry but my eyes are closed, have a good reason and better judgement. If my eyes are open, quit staring and just ask your question.

Playing around on the Internet again I found this and thought I'd try it. 1. Do you try to look hot when you go to the grocery store just in case someone recognizes you from your blog? Of course not. People are too distracted by my children to even notice me and only friends read my blog. 2. Are the photos you post Photoshopped or otherwise altered? I just size them down. If it needs boogies removed it's going in DH's blog. 3. Do you like it when creeps or dorks email you? Hasn't happened, yet. 4. Do you lie in your blog? No, but I do tell too much. 5. Are you passive-aggressive in your blog? Hmmm, I guess sometimes I am toward DH. I'll try not to do that. 6. Do you ever threaten to quit writing so people will tell you not to stop? No, that's silly. 7. Are you in therapy? If not, should you be? If so, is it helping? No, but a blog serves the same purpose. 8. Do you delete mean comments? Do you fake nice ones? I don't lie but sometimes I make revisions. 9. Have you ever rubbed one out while reading a blog? How about after? What? Is this a boogie reference? 10. If your readers knew you in person, would they like you more or like you less? Less I guess since the stuff between entries is boring everyday stuff. Wait, that's what my blog entries are too. Hmmmm. 11. Do you have a job? Mommy and wife but that doesn't pay the bills. 12. If someone offered you a decent salary to blog full-time without restrictions, would you do it? For income I'd broadcast video-coverage in every room (except the bathroom). 13. Which blogger do you want to meet in real life? Tim and Judith! Our very first blog buddies. 14. Which bloggers have you made out with? Reality Me is a GREAT kisser! He's the only blogger for me. 15. Do you usually act like you have more money or less money than you really have? I guess I pretend we have money by doing crazy stuff like eating, bathing, etc. 16. Does your family read your blog? Brothers and sisters, yes. Parents, never (I hope). 17. How old is your blog? I've been at blogger for 6 months but I did an online diary for several years before that. It annoyed my parents. 18. Do you get more than 1000 page views per day? Do you care? Of course not. 19. Do you have another secret blog in which you write about being depressed, slutty, or a liar? No, I'm much too boring for that. 20. Have you ever given another blogger money for his/her writing? No. 21. Do you report the money you earn from your blog on your taxes? What money? 22. Is blogging narcissistic? Yes but it's also masochistic. 23. Do you feel guilty when you don't post for a long time? No. 24. Do you like John Mayer? He's okay, I guess. 25. Do you have enemies? Do ex's count? 26. Are you lonely? Never. 27. Why bother? "Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart..." William Wordsworth

While watching Sesame Street this morning I decided that they should have an episode where Snuffy starts taking Prozac (see how much I need a vacation). On a whim I looked online and found several members of the Sesame Street cast diagnosed. How about Ernie? or Prairie Dawn? and especially Grover! Don't even get me started on the cast of "The Muppet Show". Speaking of shows from my past, why do I have 100+ channels and no sign of "The Muppet Show", "The Partridge Family" or "The Monkees" when I want to show them to my children?

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

I want to live in an old schoolhouse. DH thinks that is crazy but it makes sense to me. Our economy is out-of-whack and it is easier and less expensive to build a new building than to renovate an old one. When a factory closes because the work has been sent overseas, people move and schools close. The buildings sit empty and vacant until they eventually fall apart. Schools have high ceilings and a classroom would make a great bedroom. The hallways are wide enough to allow rollerblades. Rainy days don't matter when you have your own gym. A library would be a dream come true. Imagine how much "stuff" you could store in the kitchen. It would be ready-made for cooking large quantities of food. So, since we're unemployed, if anyone wants to give us a schoolhouse I'm willing to move.

I refuse to buy "chocolate" cereal because that's candy (unless it's for me, then it's medicinal), not breakfast. I do occasionally flip out and let someone talk me into "Lucky Charms" or a similar cereal with colorful marshmallow (that's what they say they are anyway) pieces. I should never, ever buy these. Even the just-turned-two-year-old has the sense to pick out the fake marshmallow bits. "Cereal all gone" as she hands me a bowl FULL of little cardboard looking grain pieces. Yet I know that the next time we are at the grocery I'll have someone begging for "Reeses Cereal" and "movie-themed cereal with marshmallow cartoon characters". Personally I think cereal comes in two main flavors. Would you prefer "paper pulp" or "sugar with food coloring". Umm, no thank you. Pop-tarts are very popular in our house but unless it's the fudge flavor I'll skip those, too. Of course fudge pop-tarts are cookies, not breakfast.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Because I'm always looking for something to distract me from the excitement of cleaning, I have joined Angie and followed "Genuine's" lead and gone on a Monday Walkabout visiting new blogs and picking some to follow. Since this was my first visit to Genuine I'm counting that as number one. Second I went to "A Little Pregnant" which I have been checking in on occasionally. I feel nervous for her so I usually hold my breath when I click her link. Third visit was to "Ramblings of a SAHM" at which point I recongnized a pattern in my choices. Ignoring my lack of creativity for this week's walkabout I went to "Crazy Bitch" for number four. For number five I chose "Woulda Coulda Shoulda". I think that all five blogs are worthwhile reads. That should keep me plenty busy until next Monday. Thanks Genuine.

I missed blogging yesterday. Oops! We had a nice meal with my parents except for Tommy screaming at me because he was finished eating and wanted to go swimming "right now" and Amy refusing to sit in her high chair. After food we spent the entire rest of the daylight hours at my parents' pool. All of the children interacted with other children at the pool. Tommy needed some guidance on the rules of throwing and catching ("The idea is NOT to hit him in the face.") but I was thrilled to see other children play with him. When it was time to leave Tommy screamed at me because his glasses weren't exactly where he had put them down. How much of his anger is adolescent hormones? Wouldn't it be nice if we could get a simple blood test to know what's out of balance in our system. "You need more rest and little less progesterone. I prescribe a weekend at a fancy hotel with room service and wearing nothing but a bathrobe and slippers." I have a nice sunburn and will resemble a molting snake in the next few days. "What are these big chunks of skin on the sheets?" We got home and I spent the rest of the evening packing and getting ready for Sarah to go to camp. I spent too many hours in the night and this morning suffering from serious stress and anxiety stomach. Sarah has now left to spend the week at camp. It was not controlled and organized like last year. I stood in pouring rain trying to get Sarah signed in while the person in charge of her group sat calmly on the bus forcing parents to stand in the rain for 20 minutes while kids shoved in front of us and blocked the bus entrance. It was chaos. The woman in charge was nowhere to be seen. Kids were digging through the luggage compartments under the bus because they "forgot" something and in their hunt they were chunking other people's luggage in puddles. I understand the chaperones wanting to stay dry but they could have sat in the lobby and had calm, dry lines. Plus we didn't have some "card" with her bus number so we had to repeat the stand in line process at each bus. Doug had locked the front door to the house so we couldn't stay to see the buses leave or we would have had a hysterical Tommy out front. Amy will be very unhappy not to have her favorite roommate at bedtime. I will worry about Sarah's safety but the boys will just be thrilled to have one less person competing for control of the television remote. Tonight is support group and without a babysitter I have no idea how we'll manage. I also haven't gotten any snacks for the group. It's hard to prepare when you don't know if you'll have 2 or 20 people. Now I have to clean the house and figure out snacks and logistics for tonight when all I want to do is go back to bed. I feel terrible today. Doug is completely stressed and gets angry at every little thing that doesn't go exactly as he wanted it to go.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Doug posted the pictures of Amy's second lipgloss application. The first one was MUCH worse. Today we went to see some rescue dogs at the pet store, but we didn't get the magic, love-at-first-sight that I know we're going to have when we see our next family member. Then we traded a Sarah for a grumpy Tommy. I understand that he is overweight and doing anything makes him sweat which is a horrible feeling, but he just can't do nothing but eat, sleep, read and play videogames. What kind of activity could he do that wouldn't make him sweat in the deep south in the middle of summer? My parents abducted Amy for the evening so MAYBE I can talk Doug into relaxing in bed for a movie and some quality time.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Finally tried the Picasa that Doug has been talking about for weeks. I let my hair dry naturally (except for the bangs). Amy keeps trying to squish it down. I look like Gilda Radner. Less "severe" though.

Amy & Mommy Posted by Hello

My Car Whine Again(part 3 of 3) This is the shortest and last car post. Everyone celebrate (or wake up from the slumber I've caused). When I met Doug he was driving a Jeep. During dating he explained that he had a truck forever and when it finally died of old age and exhaustion his then wife talked him into getting a Jeep because she thought it would be cool. At some point she stopped thinking it was cool but I don't know the details of that story. Ask Doug. Anyway, despite the million miles on it, the Jeep runs great but is looking pretty "rode hard, put up wet". Duct tape on the back window of the canvas roof which has broken zippers around the doors so you either open the door and get out at the ATM or you drive around with no windows. It has heat and air but they aren't very helpful with a canvas roof. No radio, stick shift and a motor that I can hear three blocks away. Yes, it is useful for hauling the trailer full of stuff around. But honestly, except for one load of manure it has only been used for the past 6 months to run my parents' errands. I have nothing against the Jeep. It isn't comfortable to travel in and it's impossible to talk to anyone else in it because of the noise but Doug loves it. It suits Doug's personality too. You've heard of the "Marlboro Man"? Well, Doug IS the "Jeep Man". Besides, when I did the car poll everybody voted that we keep the Jeep. End of car whines.

Where is YOUR list of 100 things about you?

My Car Whine Again(part 2 of 3) The Dodge Neon was bought as a brand new car when Noah was a baby. Although it was bought for me with a built-in carseat for Noah, it was put in my ex's name because "I pay the bills." When we separated it was the car I drove away filled with children and dog. I loved that car because I picked it out and it really felt like mine. Despite being a tiny, inexpensive car it ran like a trooper with very few problems. When I went back to work during the divorce, I put my entire first paycheck into a car stereo because my job involved a LOT of travel. The stereo was bought with further accessory purchases (XFM & multidisc changer) in mind. After Amy was born we suddenly no longer all fit in one car. We joked about the girls always travelling in the car and the boys travelling in the Jeep. I was fine with that arrangement. The two problems with the car were that it was in my ex's name and it had a trunk leak that we couldn't figure out. Then, my parents gave us a ratty black van so that we could all travel together when needed. It was rarely used and for good reason since it had major problems. We sold it for cash and paid a bill with it. Then Doug's parents gave us the wagon and for a while I was driving the children in the wagon and riding in the neon when I was alone. Doug went on and on about how great the wagon was. I suggested repeatedly that Doug use the neon instead of the Jeep so he would have air conditioning and look crisp when he was working. Somehow Doug only used the neon a few times before breaking out the back tail light and parking it on the driveway (until he could get the light fixed) and letting the tags expire and removing it from insurance at some point. If we had just renewed the tags we wouldn't have had a problem but renewing meant we needed to get it put in our name and suddenly the title was missing and getting a new one was just not important compared to the other things that needed to get done around here. So, the neon has sat unused for two years now. Any problems it has are due to sitting neglected. Instead of a birthday gift me parents gave us a check and asked that we get plates on the car so that we could have a reliable method of transportation. I asked about getting it done every single day for a month and then I gave up. The money went to pay bills so that we could keep our utilities running. Doug and I have had MANY heated arguments about the cars and during one he screamed at me that he has always hated the neon. Why? It never caused any problems until we outgrew it. I already know that Karmic balance will cause all three of the cars to become completely unusable and then we will be getting what we deserve for fighting and being ungrateful. I really, really do hate fighting with Doug. I love him very much and things are not worth getting upset about. He hates the neon so as soon as it gets scrubbed clean he can sell it to help pay bills.

My Car Whine Again(part 1 of 3) The station wagon was given to us when Doug's parents bought a new car that they intended to give Kelly as soon as she finally got her license. Their whole car shopping criteria was "How safely will it transport her 5K tuba?" They decided they'd rather give the wagon away than get the piddly trade-in amount. When they came here to sign it over they very bluntly told Doug "Don't bring Cathy with you." They wanted to be sure it was in HIS name only since his ex took EVERYTHING that was jointly owned but that's another story altogether. My name is now on nothing but that's yet another whine. Anyway, the wagon arrived with new tires bought from a store that doesn't have any branches in our state. It also had several dents and scratches on the sides that Doug's Mom whispered in Doug's ear about ("I covered them with this touch-up paint and nobody knows they are there."). That was actually very cute. Anyway, the base was blown in the speakers from what I logically guess, a teenager turning the base up all the way to pick the tuba out of the cassette made at a marching band performance. In irony that only Freudians will appreciate, the car looked immaculately clean but the foam in the seat cushions and armrests was dry rotted and crackled with every touch. Within the first month of having the wagon it started making popping noises with every turn of the steering wheel. This was followed by brakes screeching. Then came the new battery. Then things just started feeling funny and even though we took it to a mechanic they had no idea what was wrong. Immediately after the pointless mechanic visit the speedometer starting clicking off for no reason. This was followed by the transmission slipping and now, the transmission gets stuck in first gear every few minutes. Even more fun, every 10 to 20 minutes the car slips into neutral while in the middle of traffic. Yesterday it happened while I was sandwiched between 18-wheelers and had no place to pull over because of Interstate construction. Very scary. The power steering and air conditioner also go out without warning now. The wagon is the only car that we can all fit in at the same time, but it needs several thousand dollars of work and we just can't afford that right now. My parents have offered to pay the mechanic bill but they are helping us out already and I just won't accept money from them for this. We can function without the wagon for a while, especially since it is summer time and school is out.

We had another geocache stolen. I've read enough about other caches being found destroyed to know it's not just us having problems with vandals. Still, I feel disheartened. I always knew that the game had a short lifespan. As soon as one bad person uses a cache to do evil, the game will be done. The fact that everything new around here lately has been the stupid microcaches made of mint containers is just proof that the game is going downhill and evaporating into virtual caches only. I am torn between giving up and placing several caches all at once to see what happens.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Tommy rode really well except whenever he saw us and then he looked like a beauty contestant in a parade which annoyed his teacher. "Tommy, put your hands back on the reins and focus." Amy started off trying to catch the horse flies ("Bug!") but Noah showed her how to swat and that consumed her attention for a good 20 minutes. After that she took to rock throwing and screaming for no reason (except to upset the horse in the pasture). Sarah looked bored and occasionally mothered Amy. "Aaaaamyyy, come sit and read the nice book." Noah spent the entire time swatting at flies except for the constant questioning "How much longer?" Afterward the kids ate at the mall food court with Doug while I picked up something to hide in Sarah's suitcase for her birthday that happens while she's away at camp next week. Proffitts has the purse I want but I can't afford anything for myself right now. The children are going to need new shoes before school starts. Now I check blogs before collapsing in bed. Tomorrow I am going to gripe up a storm about cars again.

Doug's out working on someone's computer and I had no adults to talk to so I wasted time on a fad. What should I do tomorrow? Other than housework. :) Now I get to take all 4 children to Tommy's horse therapy and sit in the car for an hour with 3 wild indiansbecause it's too stormy to play outside. I guess that's politically incorrect now but I heard it a lot when I was little and it just seems to accurately describe three children climbing over car seats, playing and being loud.

Bought a cheap pair of Old Navy pants off their clearance rack because they felt really comfortable (and were again, cheap). On Sarah they would look very "Jeannie" but on me it looks like I've been recruited by the SLA.

Another behavior management tool was in my e-mail today. I still like the checking acount system I have set-up. I just can't find a motivator for my children. I'm seriously considering the amount they have earned/lost at the end of the week being transferred to cash. I think that real money might motivate them better than the perks they can buy have so far. In fact I think I WILL try paying cash at the end of the week for a few weeks to see what happens.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

On the next "Insert cheesy talk show here", bored housewives creating webrings instead of doing their housework.

Why is it that I tell the boys to turn off their game (PS2, GameBoy, whatever) and they say "Just let me save", they are still saving 10-20 minutes later? Why can't they just flip the on/off switch? I'm still waiting for those chocolate covered strawberries. If they have their ad on my blog and they want me to sell their products, shouldn't I get free samples?

I was going to take a long, hot bath (with interruptions from the children of course) but Amy decided to paint herself like a clown with her big sister's lipgloss (again). I scrubbed her as much as possible without getting soap in her eyes. By the time she was done the bathtub was inhospitable. I prepared to take Amy down for a nap but first Doug let me know how much the children and I interfere with his day. At that point I decided to lie down while Amy did so. A risky move but Tommy was off to visit a friend (I hold my breath as I say it) and I had the monitor on in the girls' room in case they needed me. They were playing nicely and would have been fine but Doug martyred himself and sat upstairs until I got up with Amy. I shouldn't have gone down, big mistake. I need to keep the kids out of the house for a few days so Doug can have peace and quiet.

I felt a migraine coming on all day yesterday but chose the least effective method of treatment, "ignore it and it will go away". By the time I tried to sleep I was feeling quite ill. Writhed in bed all night but by morning I was doing better. Today I can still feel it, lurking behind a curtain, waiting to jump out and attack me with a vengeance. Light, sound and smell are all my enemy today. I am lucky that my senses are only out of rhythm and my filters broken when I have a migraine. Tommy endures the pain daily as he hasn't learned the balance he needs or the methods to manipulate the constant sensory bombardment. Today I will seek calm which means that tomorrow I'll have twice as much cleaning and chores to get done, but it is a necessary compromise. The children are all happy and content today. The husband is busily beating himself down and seeing only what is wrong in our lives instead of counting his blessings. He needs a day of revitalization. His tank is empty and he is running on nothing.

Here you go dear: My inner child is one year old today

My inner child is one year old!

Everything is new to me. I like watching the world
go by around me, and I don't sweat the small
stuff--or the large stuff, either. Just so long
as I stay warm and safe and dry, life's pretty

How Old is Your Inner Child?
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Google versus yahoo. How about this article and that article?

More updates on Alice, Cory, Aidan and Cole!

We took the children to a nearby playground and came home with an extra child (Noah's friend was there and they decided to have a sleepover). The day was hot and sticky by the time we got there and the previous day's rain had left puddles under the swings. Amy spent most of her time on the slide (her favorite). Sarah followed Amy around for a while before allowing herself play time. Sometimes Sarah is too mature. Tommy spent most of his time on the swings (his favorite). When Tommy was little he could spend hours on a tire swing. He'd swing himself dizzy over and over again and be quite happy if I let him swing until he was done without making him quit. Noah paired off with his friend to climb monkey bars and kick the soccer ball. Overall, a good outing with (gasp) no boo-boos! Noah's friend slept over and they watched "Goonies" several times. Pointing out that the lead character grew up to play Sam-Wise earned me wide, stunned eyes. It rained all night and the yard is too muddy for outside play right now. The weather-bug says we have a 100% chance of more rain (and spot-flooding). Usually I like hearing and watching the rain but it's going to make the boys stir-crazy since Noah's friend will be spending the day with us while his parents work. Might need to take the crowd to do something.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Go Alice!

Google put an ad for chocolate covered strawberries at the top of my blog! Yummy! In Memphis I always bought them at Dinstuhl's because they put a layer of fondant between the strawberry and the chocolate. Reminiscing now. . . . Commissary ribs, yummmm.

All three of the older children played together! It didn't last long bcause of the mosquitos and they were playing drive-thru restaurant (I don't remember ever playing that) but it was still good to see them cooperating. Doug's tizzy is building. After Amy's nap tomorrow I'd like to take the crowd to the park. All we'll need is band-aids, several changes of clothes, juice, ice (for bumps), sunscreen, snacks and Mary Poppins' carpetbag.

We need a cow but that's a lot of work. How about a goat? Does goat milk really taste that different?

Not content with taking off her own clothes, Amy now makes sure that all of her dolls are unencumbered as well. She is jolly and a bit silly today. Sarah slept in the living room inside her little tent. My back would never allow me such silliness. Noah is happily playing Playmobile and GameBoy today. At noon I'm calling a temporary gaming hiatus to encourage some playing in the fresh air. Tommy is at summer school until noon. They aren't doing anything academic, just social skills activities. Still, he doesn't seeem very happy about it. Doug is wallowing in self-pity land today. I am mellow and relaxed. The upstairs is clean and the downstairs is starting to come together.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Best of the weekend: The boys working and playing together Finally making progress on cleaning the downstairs Doug making progress on clearing the forest/yard Eating meals at the table as a family Wood floors scrubbed Catching up on laundry Good quality time with husband Worst of the weekend: No bear hugs from Amy No clever comments from Sarah Doug digging through the trash in case I threw away "something good" My lips are so dry they hurt

Doug just noticed that my blogging slows down on the weekends.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Tommy is binge eating again. I wonder how much of this is normal adolescence, how much is emotional and how much of it is sensoral issues. Today my parents took the two girls to Murfreesboro for my niece's christening tomorrow. It is very strange to not have Amy here. It is less strange with Sarah gone since she usually keeps to herself and rarely causes a problem. The rest of us went to see Shrek 2 (my second time). Now I'm hoping Dad will settle in bed and watch a movie with me. Tomorrow morning we can both sleep late.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Everybody please say a prayer, light a candle or think good thoughts for Alice and her babies.

The bodies of Knoxville indigents are often sent to the Body Farm. We have no health or life insurance. I shouldn't care what happens to my body but I am vain enough to ask that if my body has to rot in a car trunk or under a pile of leaves, could I please have some clothes on my body?

My mother is moving my grandmother into the least horrible nursing home they can afford today. A place where the people who once indulged us and made us feel like the most important people in the world go to be fed, diapered and medicated. Where the few still mobile wander the halls searching for something they'll never find while the others lie in beds and call out to unlistening ears.

None of Amy's grandparents remembered her birthday with a phone call. One set had already given her a gift card with which we bought a sand/water table that has yet to be assembled. I finally found some decent postcards (who knew that would be so hard) and dropped them in the mail where they will sit untouched until tomorrow because today is a federal holiday. Noah has spent the entire summer whining and complaining about how bored he is if he doesn't have a friend with him. It's hard to listen to when Tommy has NEVER had a friend to play with him. The ten thousand toys in his room and the small forest we live in are useless unless Noah has a friend with him or he is at a friend's house. Am I unreasonable to find this ridiculous?

Thursday, June 10, 2004

I hope Alice isn't in the hospital. I wish she had taught her husband to blog so he could give updates online. Now I have to use the telephone and actually TALK to someone. I prefer the Internet over the phone.

Amy is two years old today. She is my blue-eyed, curly-haired, unexpected blessing. She came in my life after I thought I was finished having children. I also thought I was going to spend the rest of my life as a single parent, but that's a story for our anniversary. Amy is a joyful child. She is also a very strong-willed little person who knows what she wants and insists on getting it. She has taken on the mandatory 2-y-o temper tantrums with a vengeance whenever she gets frustrated. She is very aware of herself and that self knows that clothing is not a part of her body but an intrusion on her freedom. We worried about how she would feel with so many older siblings but she loves them and claims them as hers. She wants to play with the 'big kids' and for the most part, they let her. She is not a half or step anything to them. We are all family. Doug and I would rather live in a tent and eat wild berries than be away from our children. I am the luckiest wife and mother in the world.

Chocolate is derived from cocoa beans. Bean = vegetable. Sugar is derived from either sugar cane or sugar BEETS. Both of them are plants, in the vegetable category. Thus, chocolate is a vegetable. To go one step further, chocolate candy bars also contain milk, which is dairy. So candy bars are a health food. Chocolate-covered raisins, cherries, orange slices and strawberries all count as fruit, so eat as many as you want.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Friday is a National Day of Mourning except in TN where we'll just have one minute of mourning. Work to do here, no time for foolishness.

Tommy has spent the day annoying his brother and sisters. Doug got excited about work but it got cancelled. I feel like a giant wishbone being pulled on by my parents and children. "I got the biggest piece." I need an hour alone to clear my head. My brain feels like mush.

Doug and I had planned which chores we'd work on this weekend (including finally fixing Tommy's scooter) but now our plans are up in the air. My father is TELLING us what we're going to do this weekend and even though I keep saying no he acts like I'm not even speaking. Just goes right ahead with planning our weekend AGAIN. We have not had a weekend when we didn't have to stop what we were doing and go to their house for MONTHS. I feel like screaming. I already spend too much time playing around on the Internet but Doug showed me how to use Sharp Reader and now I'm wasting even more time playing around. It IS fun though. I'm not going to contact the bloggers who don't allow the feed. I'm sure they have their reasons.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

I have nothing to blog today. This day is completely beige. No color, no personality, no nothing. Neither good nor bad. Just a generic day like any other.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Went to visit my grandmother. She was almost chatty even though she didn't make much sense. When she just had a "little Alzheimers" she had some personality quirks that were similar to Tommy's. I wondered if there is a brain connection, like maybe the same part of the brain is very fragile and easily re-wired so that although they function, there are distinct differences in how they function. That doesn't make any sense when I see it written out. I should probably have waited until morning to try explaining that connection (or lack thereof). At any rate it doesn't matter now because she is very much like 2-year-old Amy. Self-centered, single-focused and very difficult to communicate with now. While there I was holding Amy (who is quickly becoming more functional than her great-grandmother) and she announced "baby pee-pee". I felt the warmth of the diaper after she said it so it was a warning of what she was going to do. She then wiggled out of my arms, sprawled out on her back with her legs spread eagle and said "change me". Seems to me she should be able to go in the potty if she can do all of that.

It's still a work in progress, but I got the rough draft of my logo onto the blog. What do you think? This family is collecting postcards from around the world. Maybe you can help them out? I was planning on dropping the children at VBS and doing some grocery shopping while they were there. My mother has asked me to spend that time visiting my grandmother who doesn't even know who I am. It is soooo pathetic when my only time alone is at the grocery and even more pathetic when I can't even have an hour alone at the grocery. Now I'll visit the grocery tomorrow with all four children in tow.

Tennessee has a new child restraint law going into effect on July 1st. It means that we will have to go buy a booster seat for our 8-year-old child to use for one year. This child has been out of the booster seat for two years. I could understand the law effecting children who have never moved out of the booster seat but do they know what kind of wars and tears we're going to have trying to get a child back into a booster seat? This will have a negative effect on all the families who carpool children to school and sports practices. How sane is it to pack 5-year-olds into over-crowded buses that don't even have seat belts when families will be ticketed for not having an 8-year-old in a special restraint seat? Unless the state of TN buys us a booster seat we're going to be civil disobedients on this one.

Doug downloaded the pictures from the troop's visit to Libby Lu. I have mixed feelings about girls playing dress-up when they look like little "professionals". Sarah close-upSarah standing

Doug published his goals for the week so I guess I should follow his lead. This week I will: clean the children's rooms several times a day; pick up and put away the same toys over and over; wash, dry, fold and put away laundry daily; change diapers and wipe noses; load and unload the dishwasher daily; drive the children to and from VBS; be too tired for foreplay. In the quiet moments I'll start over on my webpage and just use HTML. Last night I figured out that the last time I was out of town was New Year's to the in-laws (more stress than relaxation) and the previous fall to my grandmother's funeral (dad's mom). In fact the last time I did anything resembling a vacation was almost three years ago and that was a business trip (with some Amy-making fun mixed in). Before that we took a real vacation in 2000. I would love a weekend out of town.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Another parent of an Asperger child had a letter published in today's paper. She complained that special needs children are being taken out of Knox County in droves and kept home rather than have them waste time in Knox County's useless special education program. The problem with her argument is that Knox County would be THRILLED if they never had to deal with our children. They hate the endless, pointless meetings as much as we do and they really don't want any square pegs in their round peg system. "Have we used up the days we can suspend him without a hearing yet?"

Doug came up with a brilliant idea for a theme to redecorate Noah's room. Right now Noah is in the old master bedroom and we need to put the two girls in the larger room. But, it would be unfair to just move Noah to the smaller room so we had to come up with something to balance the loss of room size. Tommy's room is a very cool outer space theme so that choice was out. Doug came up with the idea to make Noah's room a castle. He and I came up with several fun things we could do to make it work. All we will really need is paint, some lighting accessories and new bedding. Now it's going to bug me until I get to do it. What would be even better would be getting Noah out of the house for a week and surprising him with the makeover like we did with Tommy's room. Tommy's Room

It's quiet over here today. Tommy slept until 10 and now he's reading. Amy has mashed bananas on her dolls ("eat ba-ba, eat") and taken the DVDs out of their cases so she could polka-dot the living room floor and use them for stepping stones. Doug has gone to ride horses with my former employer. It's a little strange that my husband is best buddies with my old boss, but such is the nature of Doug and I. We do things that make other people shake their heads and mumble. The birds are singing and trying to trick me into thinking it's a beautiful day to go work outside. They can't fool me. I know that within minutes I'd have mosquito bites and invisible pollution (and radiation) attacking my immune system. I only have an hour or two before my parents call and insist that we go work on their yard ("With your help it'll get done in an hour").

Saturday, June 05, 2004

We went to a dog adoption fair today and although there were a lot of wonderful dogs, there were no puppies. I know I'm a horrible snob, but I want to get a puppy for our family. I also know that everyone will fall in love with whatever dog I bring in this house and a 9-year-old dog just wouldn't be with us long enough. I am dreading my dog's passing and I need to get a puppy in here. I'm sure this is all connected to my grandmother's Alzheimers and my youngest no longer being a baby but I'll let you psychoanalyze me on this one. Next week I'll visit the animal shelter and ask some vets around town. There's always tomorrow's paper but that's usually pure-breeds and I'm not seeking a show dog. I don't want a pit bull or anything small enough to get stepped on when it's grown but otherwise I just want a plain-old American dog. Like most Americans, a blend of lots of different backgrounds that make each one a totally unique and fascinating creation.

I guess I should say something about Ronald Reagan today. I am old enough to remember all of his presidency and the first time I voted he was re-elected despite my vote (I am sooooo old). I'm sure that Jodie Foster has mixed feelings today. It is certainly no secret that I am a pacifist and that is contrary to what Reagan stood for during his presidency. However, I have memories of his loud, clear voice during many times of crisis. In retrospect I'm sure he will be remembered as a strong president who was as big and colorful and as close to the Uncle Sam icon as any modern president could possibly be. I feel a pang of sadness that a piece of Americana has passed. Witnessing history is a wonderful, amazing, fascinating and frightening thing.

The upstairs is straightened and I want to go out and find something fun (albeit free) to do. I am enjoying listening to the Shrek 2 soundtrack. So is Sarah. I love hearing Sarah sing "Holding Out for a Hero." She has removed the Kevin Bacon/Footloose connection that I always had with that song. Of course, watching one of the "Absolutely Fabulous" dames writhe on a piano while belting the song out has helped make the song much more fun, too.

The girls are at SibShop and the other children are at my parents. Doug is sitting working a puzzle and talking about the things he used to do while I clean the upstairs. Doug spends a lot of time on shoulda and coulda. I spent a lot of time on what if and obsessing about aging. We do great when only one of us is dysfunctionally distraught at a time. When we both melt like the wicked witch from Oz, there's not much to hold onto.

Friday, June 04, 2004

I found movie three to have less frightening scenes than the other two but better cinematography. The characters are certainly well-developed and even growing as they should. We had a very good time despite my childish father whispering too loud throughout the movie. Doug seems happier today too. Now I'm off to relax in bed while three of my children stay with my parents. Tomorrow would be a really great morning if we didn't have to get Sarah to a SibShop at 9 a.m.

Took all the children to our favorite used book store. Amy peeled the labels off the displays and screamed whenever Sarah tried to control her but otherwise it was a good outing. We even went to the Post Office and mailed the Girl Scout paperwork. I tossed a load of laundry in the washer and now I'm going to do dishes while waiting for Sarah's friend to arrive. As soon as she gets here we are racing to my mom's work to leave Amy with her and then to the movies for the much anticipated "Harry Potter". Somewhere along the way we'll need to get some quickie dinner for the children. When we get home I have to wash my only non-crayoned pair of jeans.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

June is dairy month and July is national ice cream month, so everyone should eat ice cream every day this summer!

This is the chore system used by the Dilley family (sextuplets - eek!). I think that what I am developing over here is very similar. I just can't find anything to motivate Tommy to participate.

I finally muddled my way through all the end-of-the-year Girl Scout paperwork. Now I just neeed to get it in the mail in the morning or drop it off at council. Noah had a friend over all day and is now moping because his friend had to go home. Tommy spent the day napping (again). Amy's cold is worse than yesterday but she's still holding her own. Sarah is excited because she is having a sleepover at her friend's house tonight. Tomorrow night we get Sarah and the friend. We'll be taking the entire crowd to see the new Harry Potter movie. One adult needs to stay home with Amy but everybody wants to see the movie. I guess we'll draw straws.

Made some slight revisions on the summer payment/fees chart so it looks more clearly like they make money if they do it and they lose money if they don't do it. Tommy is still unmotivated to do anything but sleep and eat. I have GOT to find a way to get him out of the bed. Doug is still giving me the cold shoulder. I feel miserable when things are like this between us. He is so important to me and I am just a thorn in his side.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

I had a telephone "chat" with the VBS director yesterday about her 3-page application form. She basically called me a bad mother ("I don't understand why you wouldn't want to have the people your children come in contact with carefully screened and monitored.") and let me know that while I was welcome to serve cookies ("If you still feel comfortable with our program.") I would "certainly understand why she[sic] couldn't approve me[sic] to work directly with children." She single-handedly reinforced my feelings about the Baptist church. At the risk of being attacked by loyal church-goers I will state just a few of the reasons why I left the church after 30 years of involvement. I was a known trouble-maker in church with my often-stated opinions that contradicted with the Baptist theology. They ignored my beliefs on homosexuality, missionaries and other religions because I'm sure they felt they could reform my beliefs. In turn, I tolerated the ignorant, self-righteous individuals who told me almost weekly that my Autistic son needed some serious spankings. The final straw for me was when my husband of nine years informed me that he needed "time for himself" and he was "tired of everything being about the kids". I guess the drinking after work every day and all nighters in chat rooms and on cyber-porn sites wasn't enough about him. I was then advised by my church minister to "let him sow his wild oats and wait for him to return". I got no sympathy, only lectures about being a good wife and standing by my man even when he wasn't there. They gave my ex the same stupid speech too. When he received divorce papers a year and a half after he left (he was living with another woman at that point), he called me up and furiously screamed that I was "supposed to wait for him". I don't go to church any more.

Fandangoed (I know it's not a word) our Harry Potter tickets for Friday.

Dropped the camera off for Alice. FC is an interesting place. Most of the teens there are wards of the state and have lived their entire life being shuttled from group home to group home. With no family, they often end up making their own families very early in their lives. Imagine having no family. No place to go on holidays. No one to comfort and encourage you through life's bumps. Add to that becoming a teen parent. I know full grown adult women who call their family desperate for answers to teething, colic and parenthood in general. Can you imagine still being a child yourself and then having to care for an infant without anyone to call for advice. What happens when they are sick? Many of these teens are so institutionalized that they don't know how to form healthy relationships with others. There is a lot of Reactive Attachment Disorder diagnosis in this group. So, today Alice has the task of teaching the teens about respect. That's quite an assignment. Good luck Alice.

No time to blog this morning. I have to drop a camera off at the local home for pregnant teens. You'd think that would require an explanation wouldn't you?

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

While I washed the dishes Amy toddled about happily and I was startled out of my skin when I heard Sarah scream "Moooooom!" While Sarah was playing with her nail polish (painting designs on styrofoam sheets) Amy helped herself to Sarah's lipgloss. Amy had pink goo from her toes to her hair. I plopped her in the top but scrubbing with baby soap had little effect on what can only be described as vaseline with pink food coloring. Fourty-five minutes later, a semi-clean but completely ticked off toddler emerged from the tub and left behind a gloppy pink tub ring. Now I have Sarah and Tommy whining and complaining because I "promised" them we would have store tonight. I wonder if there's any alcohol in this house?

Naked toddler with leaky sippy cup (I'm still searching for the perfect sippy cup) left a puddle on the floor. Is it apple juice or pee? I'm not even going to try and find out.

My mother's Graves Disease is worse than before her radiation. I don't know if she'll get more radiation or end up having surgery. My grandmother, her mother, was just taken back to the hospital. She no longer recognizes anyone and can't feed herself or do anything. She has become vegetative so rapidly that even the doctors are surprised. If she makes it out of the hospital this time it will be to a hospice facility. This has not been a very good day.

I took a long bath without only a half a dozen visitors. Noah has gone to play at a friend's. Sarah is deeply lost in her book and Tommy has gone to chat with our neighbor. Amy is napping and I should dry my hair before she wakes but first I'm blogging. I initiated phase two of the summer chores program today. Phase one was a list of chores (all quite simple) and educational activities the children could do for money. Not real money, virtual money that I write in their personal checkbook register. The boys both rolled their eyes and ignored it all week. Today I added a list of activities they could use the money for (PS2 and Gameboy) as well as some activities that will cause them to be fined (ex. leaving the house without brushing teeth). Once again, the boys don't care. All they care about is playing and themselves. Sarah has taken several reading breaks to do quick chores. Plus, I pay for reading time. Tonight we will have "store" and they can use their money to buy things from the box of treasures that I collect here and there. My goal is to bankrupt the boys so that they will have a motivation to do some of their money making chores and educational activities. Phase three will be revisions based on what I learn over the next week or two. Any outside ideas would be welcomed.

Laundry - If my family wants something and it's not waiting, folded in their drawer, they get upset. When they are finished with a piece of clothing it falls to the floor until I move it or ask them to move it. If the clothes are being folded on the table I get complaints because the table is unusable. If the clothes are being folded on the couch I get complaints about how messy it looks and the lack of seating. Laundry is supposed to magically wash, dry, fold and put itself away every night while people sleep. The laundry fairy must not know where we live because it just won't work that way over here.

Doug is at Tommy's therapy appointment. Sarah and Noah are both lost in books (hooray)! Amy is having another au natural day. I'm going to waste some time on a jigsaw puzzle before doing end of the academic year Girl Scout paperwork.

Blogs and commenting - Modern couples therapy

Last night Doug, Tommy and I had a major blow-up. Doug's response was to leave the house and disappear for hours. We still haven't talked about it and I am still upset. More than upset.


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
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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

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