Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Excuses, excuses, excuses

See how close we came here to getting a Christmas picture before church last Sunday? Closer than ever before...3 and 1/2 kids are in this photo, sweatervests, bows and all! At least I got the Christmas letter out. Sat down one evening, typed it out and stayed up until 1am stuffing the wrong sized envelopes so they could get out the next day.

Each year my standard sinks just a little lower. This year one page with no card, no cute artwork, and no glossy photo was acceptable to me. I also forgot to sign our names...

At this rate, next year you might just get an empty envelope. Or...there's always a chance that I could IMprove and you might recieve a handmade card, artwork, picture, years summary and all. But let's be real; that isn't likely to happen until the kids are in college and at that point- sending out their Santa drawings won't even be very interesting.

I really want Christmas to be about the rituals and not the presents- we LOVE doing the advent calendar each morning, the advent candle each night at dinner, we went carolling yesterday, we'll open one gift each after Christmas eve mass, we make snowflakes and cookies, and my Christmas 'card' becomes less each year- these are our Christmas traditions.
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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Here's us now

Sloane and Lola. One of Cort's first words is "Lola."
Billie and Molly- all ready for Brownies.
Setting up the Christmas tree
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The queen's birthday

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008


Why do my babies keep turning into kids?!

And doesn't this little moment make you want to have another baby?

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earning the soccer mom badge

I have a problem with volunteering. Actually it's more of a problem with not being able to say 'No' (to people over age 8). So, I'm the cub scout master- which is kinda cool because, who masters the cubs? I DO.
But then I teach CCD, which is just not flashy. And then I bring mediocre food to pot lucks and bake sales.
Anyhow I realized the extent of my problem the other day when I found myself introducing myself as "You may have known me as Professor Wilma" (my starring role as the kooky scientist at our science lab of vacation bible study.) Sigh.
Anyhow- when I'm not being helpful I sometimes take pictures. Today we went Ice Skating with Nanna Carrie and I was not as useful as the wall for holding the wobbly kids up.

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Snotablog tribute

I've noticed that some people have these blogs that are more than funny and venting. Some blogs have music and videos...beyond that some are useful and full of information. We'll call them snotablogs because they're justnotablog they are MORE. (And also beacause I'm jealous and haivng a snotablog sounds gross). Snotablogs include craft projects and recipes AND amusing anecdotes AND links. Well, I've considered this for some time and decided to keep my plain little blog as it is...no frills (see, it's a decision not just laziness!)

But here's my contribution to the Snotablog movement; it's a recipe:

2 cloves ( or 1 or 5...whatever)
2 Tablespoons Olive oil (or seasame oil)

Heat up, set to cool 1 hour, drop into achey ear and watch child go from grumpy and whiney to happy and giggly. Top it off with a cotton ball so the oil stays in and you have an excuse to yell "Use a tissue for heavens sake!!" a little louder than usual.

As we enter the season of children wiping runny noses on their shirts, hands and into their hair...the season of a hacking cough all over the turkey baster 'microphone' before handing it over to the kid standing next to them during the living room rock show. I thought I could put this info out to other Moms who might need to help their little ones through an earache. We haven't really dealt with earaches in our family too much and I had no idea what to do for Billie last week when she was miserable all morning. Another Mom told me about garlic oil, I googled it and tried it out and had a happy kid by trick or treat time.

Happy Winter.
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Saturday, November 01, 2008


I didn't change the clock in my bedroom when we got an extra hour. So now I wake up BEFORE 8am and look at how productive I am!!! Two blogs in two days. Billie and Cort are from Teen Titans, Jackson is obviously Ash Ketchum (I made it) and Sloane is a weak link at Butterfree- a butterfly looking Pokemon. Sloane didn't want to wear the antlers.

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Friday, October 31, 2008

He heard it from me

Today I taught my son the s-word. Here's how it went.
J: Mom, what's the s-word?
A: There's lots of words that start with S...sunshine...super. (Ever so casually) In what context did you hear that?
J: Well Charlie said that his little sister said the s-word and he didn't even tell me what the s-word is!
A: Oh well, in that case he was just saying the first letter because the word is impolite in itself. I think he was referring to 'Shit' which is a rude word people use sometimes.
J: Oh. Well, what does 'Schut' mean anyway? (Isn't that cute he's so unfamiliar that he mispronounces it with a German accent and everything?)
A: I think it means poop.
J: Oh.

So, that's the day I taught my son a curse word. For a moment I thought "I guess it's best that he hear it from me." But then that sounded wrong. It would be best to hear it from some bad older kid who shows us all the examples of ways NOT to behave. There are some things my kids are missing out on by not being in school with a large group of peers for 40 hours a week. Maybe I should start organizing playdates with more bad kids...pretty soon we'll be doing a lesson on how to make spitballs. What would it be like to grow up without knowing that, if you throw a wad of wet TP on the ceiling it will stick there? I guess we'll see.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

virtual friends

Today I caught up with old friends. What a lovely day I had, peeking in on people I love, seeing their children grow, guffawing myself silly over their hilarious stories of what happens during ordinary days at home. Does it sound wrong to thank God for blogs?
One thing I'm good at: making friends. Bill has pointed out that I keep making friends with female versions of him. It's true, I have all these strong, determined, passionate friends. They have all these amazing skills, they're organized and changing the world and Mothers and struggling and creative and wise and selfish and warm and sometimes I agree with them. They even keep up with current events. Imagine! Here's the thing about having wonderful friends...I am HORRIBLE about keeping up with my friends. I'm not one of those people who loses friends. (Certainly not as often as I lose cameras.) There are a few who've fallen between the couch cushions, I'm sure. For the most part they're still here...around here...somewhere (as, I'm sure the camera is.) I'll find time to send out an email and a Christmas letter at least once a year.
I'm weary about much of the 21st century stuff- gave up Nutrasweet just last week and I do run a whole house without dryer sheets in the laundry. But I do loves me some blogs! Thank goodness for the women who write them. I'm sure they'll be fun and horrifying when I'm old and look at them as records of life but for now they're just this incredible connection to my friends all over the world. Thanks, girls. I love you. It's nice to hear from people who aren't making popcorn and string cheese for dinner tonight.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

family fun

Nannou and Boppy came for a visit. They were up for all kinds of adventure. So much fun taking walks, playing chase in the parks, spending 3 nights in a Cappadocia castle and playing Chess with Jackson.
Jackson is a true kindness-to-all-creatures sort. He attracts stray cats and dogs everywhere we go.

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Biggest Loser

Tell me about it! I wanted to post this blog with before and afta pictures of Bill from last summer and this summer- it's a major difference but he's such a beefcake now that we'd get all sorts of the wrong kind of attention on our blog. Playgirl will have to find their next calendar man elsewhere. He runs races, works out MORE than once a day, bikes to and from work 4 days a week!!!! (and Ankara has hills!) He's even doing Yoga with me...but in a very macho way.

I had a loss of my own; in the hair department. Wouldn't it be cool to have dreadlocks? To have a hairstyle that requires no primping but can still go into braids, pony tails, chopstick buns and other variations. And what about the message it sends. Hair with a message...that's what I'm talkin' 'bout. Something that says "Hello world- I don't buy into your narrow view of beauty." I want dreadlocks. I managed to get three of my disapproving and conventional friends over under false pretenses and then pleaded with them to put my hair into dreadlocks. It's a very complicated process- as you can see from the picture.

Dreadlocks take patience. One must release any concern for what others think as your hair spazes out and looks nothing like dreadlocks for weeks and smells funny from the Apple Cider Vinegar used for shampoo. I hang out with a lot of kids so there were the occaisional whispers of "why is your Mom's hair doing that?" and the more frequent and direct..."why is your hair crazy today?" I was going strong for a few weeks and then there was the Egyptian food poisoning episode (see previous blog). Writing about this is sort of like when you taste something gross, announce "This is gross" and then hand it to someone and say "Try it." We had food poisioning...it wasn't a stomach bug where one person gets it first and then when they just get over the worst of it, you get it, and then the next day the other kid gets it. We all got hit with nausea on the same night. Picture this- we're all in ONE hotel room, with ONE bathroom. At first I'm all 'ick' and dragging pukey bedsheets to the tiny bathroom sink and spot washing with laundry soap. But after getting up 5 times in the middle of the night to clean up after 3 different sickos- and feeling totally rotten myself- I just started putting the smelly blankets on to the balcony and going back to lie down. (Alright, it was really only once that I tried to clean before moving on to the balcony of leave-it-for-the-maid technique).
Anyhow, with the smells and the cleaning and the general smog and dirt of Egypt I got to the point of wanting nothing more but to take 3 showers a day and my new baby dreadies wouldn't hold up to that much washing. I just relented and combed them all out. Which is sad now. I miss my hair and want dreadlocks even more than ever.
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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Seeing stuff that's really quite old

Egypt was fun. What would a trip be without the inevitable moments of feeling like you were married to Chevy Chase and in the movie Vacation rather than on vacation? Apart from the 48 hours we spent with food poisoning (note: when you go on the dinner cruise on the Nile...avoid the buffet food) we had a great time seeing lots of really old things and playing in the hotel waterpark pool.

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