If I know you, and you're reading this blog, you have two choices:

1) Feel free to pretend you haven't, should the contents be offensive, sensitive in nature, or just TMI (Too Much Information).
2) Comment freely or talk to me face to face, and be prepared for further honesty and opinions.

Okay? Okay.

Feb 28, 2008

72 Down

How many more over the next, say...oh, ten, fifteen years?

These are for Dr. Seuss's birthday.

Cat in the Hat cupcakes! Red, White and Black. It's a big celebration at school, The Cat in the Hat even makes an appearance...
Here are a few of my favorite Dr. Seussism's.

"I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues" The Lorax

"A person's a person no matter how small."

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”

Feb 26, 2008

Publish Post

The desire to work outside of the home is not only driven by a financial need- Hello, braces for eight kids, food for eight kids, high school wardrobes for eight kids??? You get the idea.
But also a personal need. In my previous working life, I was part of a team. There was the camaraderie, the bickering, the challenges, the learning, the "professionalism"... And as I write this, I see that I do have many of these things as a stay at home parent, most especially the bickering! ;) I guess I don't deny that. It's just a different sense of being. I wouldn't want to trade in the stay at home part. It is just the other part calls me too. The being seen as a "professional", being respected in that role. I was good at what I did. I liked it. I miss it. I enjoyed the people I worked with- an eclectic group. (Troubled kids bring in a wide variety of people...)Not everyone has that kind of luck.

I am fortunate that I am able to stay home. I like this too. I still get to work with kids. Just at a different level, a personal level, which in many ways makes the job harder, and easier. I no longer have to make decisions about other peoples kids- just my own.

I miss the team. I miss the interaction of many individuals working towards the same goal. I miss the money.

How to fill that?

And yes, MommyNay, there are those seeds. I love helping these babies. But seriously, how many can we keep? How good is it for them to move on to another adoptive home after 6, 8, 10 months. Every child who has left our care has joined a parent, grandparent, aunt. Predestined. These infants, children, come and they are our family. To terminate that bond...willingly, well, we haven't gotten there, yet. And I worry, worry about the outsiders who cluck their tongues and shake their heads because we "have too many", and we "just do it for the money", and "the ones they have don't get enough attention".

We have a lot, and they are little, and they don't all get what they need all the time, and sometimes they drive me to drink. And we love them.

And there is a need. There are other foster families. I have seen them. We don't all parent the same or treat them the same- Enough said.

We love these children. They are ours, briefly or forever. We are good at this.

Awfully heavy for a Tuesday morning... Forgive the writing errors- it all just spewed out- and there it is. Publish Post.

Feb 25, 2008

Like a Brick

Last week, okay, no- it was actually the week before (Is it really almost March???) Leo was home for the week with the on and off again stomach flu. The bug bit and kept on coming back. Poor thing was dry heaving one morning for almost five hours. He stopped just as the pediatrician was available to prescribe a wee little suppository to stop all the retching... Whew! He is fine now- still a bit of a black mark and knot under his eye from the shiner. And we finally convinced him to get a bit of a trim, just some shape to the mop he insists on growing. It's only hair...

In any case... The eldest boy is home and it's about 10:00. All but the little girls are in school and I'm due in preschool at 11 for the opening of Valentines. So we're hanging out watching Bonanza, I Love Lucy, and Leave it to Beaver on the TVLand channel. Leo's never seen these shows and we normally don't watch TV during the school week- very special- You have to have a blazing fever or puking and no energy to be able to watch TV when your home sick from school. I digress, yet again-

A call comes in and it's the school receptionist (aka nurse)- Gus isn't feeling well and can I come get him. Now Leo is bordering on twelve and has recently been choosing to stay home by himself for short periods of time, he hasn't barfed in a few hours so I figure I'm good to go get the Gus man, but there is still the question of being in preschool to open valentines with Abe and Mia. How to do it all? And let us not forget that I still have Julia and Ruby in tow.

Hmmm... I grab a bowl and a towel for the possible projectile emitting from Gus on the drive home and off we go. Oh wait, back in the house for the bottle (and here is the important part)- can't go anywhere without a bottle of rice milk for Jul. (Why do they call it rice milk? shouldn't it just be rice water?) and Leo is on the phone with Raquel. As I'm walking in the door, literally opening the screen it hits me, the sudden realization that the vacillating between going back to work- (read, paid job)- or continuing to be a stay at home parent is really all for moot. Where the hell could I work that wouldn't fire me for the amount of time I would need to take off to deal with the numerous sick children, Valentine openings, Money day, Holiday performance, science fair presentation... mostly just the sick days would kill me. Who am I kidding? Like a brick it hits me. I took the call from Raquel, rambled on about my sudden inspiration and ran back out the door.

I'm met by Gus in the office with a smile on his face, backpack and coat in hand. Yeah, not so fast. We determine, he's probably just a little hungry and could stick it out at school. You know, once he determines he doesn't get to just come home and hang in front of the TV, unless there is actual vomit or a fever. Of which there is none, and that little smile told me that.

So, we ended up a little early for the Valentines opening, but it all went off just swimmingly.

And now I know. No paid job for me- at least not in the near future. Kind of weird to think about.

Feb 20, 2008

If I only knew they were so easy

On Saturday, we hit the local farmers market for some apples, strawberries (from San Diego- not so local, but good), and kiwi. We arrived shortly before folks were closing down for the day. We enjoyed the beautiful day and sauntered around (as much as possible with six kids running amuck). The kids were strawberry stained and filled up on some homemade tamales. As we made our way to the car we passed the bread stands and one of the guys offered us a couple of loaves for $6.00 instead of the usual $5.25 a piece. Note to self- Always go to farmers market late in the morning- I took him up on the offer as my kids clambered around the table ohhhing and ahhhing over one particular 'Leaf' loaf'. The kind man behind the table threw in this loaf for free and we were on our way. Not sure if he was intimidated by Gus wearing his Kung Fu Gi stained by strawberries, perhaps he thought they were blood stains and feared for his life, lest he hand over the coveted 'Leaf' loaf or the sheer number of little ones making noises at him. Either way, I was happy with the score.

On the short drive home the kids ate the 'Leaf' loaf. It was quiet and nice on the ride home. Always a good tip to remember- feed the children in the car, it keeps them quiet- you can always clean up the mess afterwards. Ice cream cones are particularly quiet inducing. Once home the other loaves were thrown to the counter to await their demise. I figured I'd make homemade croutons out of one and garlic bread out of the other. Garlic bread being one of the few foods that all my children will actually eat.

Sunday came and the loaves sat. Monday morning was a school holiday around these parts and the kids trickled down to eat breakfast. I try to cook something on weekend mornings since the week days are always cereal or toast, but this day the first child down requested a slice of the slightly stale bread and that was the snowball that released the avalanche. All morning, I cut bread. And that is what they ate. Only one requested butter. Who would've known?

I'm sure if I try it again- offering them sliced bread, plain, for breakfast, they will look at me as if I was crazy, and refuse.

Feb 15, 2008

Two Weeks Late

No, not what you might be thinking- Although now that our babies have turned two, there is the inevitable craving for another baby.

Two weeks ago we celebrated the babies second birthday. Two, the girls are two! Yeesh, not sure how that happened...

We had some good friends and grandma over to celebrate. The menu was my planning. I really wanted to try and make sushi. Nothing complicated, just some simple California rolls. A little shrimp and cocktail sauce, guacamole and chips, Pad Thai, rice, and chicken strips for the kids. Note the lack of vegetables. My kids don't eat them so I rarely think of them anymore. Sad. And salad just didn't seem right. I think we threw some sliced apples on the table and called it a meal.

So, the California Rolls. I looked all over the blogosphere and found some links through here. I was surprised at how easy they looked. I had always assumed they were complicated and time consuming. Not true at all.

I bought some fresh king Crab from Costco- buttery and lovely. Here it is all shelled and awaiting rolling. Looks kinda gross, mmmm, but was definitely scrumptious.

Picked up some cucumber, ripe Haas avocados, Nori (seaweed sheets) and a couple of rolling mats. I only managed to remember to get a shot of the avocados... Guess I'm no Pioneer Woman. Not that I'm pretending to be- holy cow that takes a lot of work... Cow, get it? Pioneer woman...ya know... guess you had to be here...

The rice is a staple around here so no need to buy more.

On second thought, I think we were running out so Raquel and Greg kindly brought some more over.
We rinsed the rice, plenty and cooked it as normal. But apparently sushi rice is prepared with a mixture of vinegar and sugar. So we did that step to. I put a couple of cups of the cooked rice in a pan, added the mixture of rice vinegar and sugar and mixed while Raquel fanned- apparently another critical step.

I'm pretty sure Raquel was fanning with a Martha Stewart magazine, not sure Martha would approve.

Next, I spread the rice onto the Nori sheet

and then added the strip of cucumber, hunk of crab and sliced avocado and rolled away.

Behold the final product.

Not to shabby. They were good, but next time I think I would omit the addition of the the rice vinegar and sugar. While the rolls didn't taste too moist the Nori did. Those seaweed sheets are for rolling not so much for tasting... We'll certainly try them again.

Raquel made the Pad Thai, and brought the pickled ginger (for the California rolls) and helped prepare the rest of the meal, including shelling all that crab and cutting up all the ingredients.
Exactly, what did I do???

I know I opened beers...hmmm...

Dessert, of course- what's a birthday without dessert. I doctored up some Trader Joe's vanilla cake by making it with whipping cream and added some cinnamon and fresh nutmeg. Yum. No frosting, but ice cream finished off the cake nicely. No complaints from the kidlets. A few presents were opened and our evening was complete. Happy birthday Girlies!

edited to add: Not to be misleading here, oh my wouldn't that be fabulous if my kids ate the menu we prepared. In all reality, they ate the chicken strips, tortilla chips, rice, and the apples. A few sampled the other items, but mine did not eat them. I wish. Raquel and Greg's five ate shrimp, pad Thai, and avocado in addition to the chicken etc. Smarter kids, obviously!

Next up, Jack. His big day is tomorrow.

Feb 7, 2008


I have these days where I fantasize about something fantastic happening to me and my family.

Some stranger leaving us a fortune, an incredible opportunity to takeover a business, winning the lottery -that I never play-, winning a trip, a stranger wanting to pay off our mortgage or fund our children's college education, someone offering me a dream job...what if, what if... The list goes on and on.

All things that I imagine making life easier, more affordable (okay, maybe not the trip).

Then I remind myself of how sweet we really have it. We own our house (well, mostly the bank does...), we pay our bills, our children are clean, dressed and fed, we have good friends and are surrounded by a community who supports our family, we have medical insurance, I get to stay home (drive around all day)... this list also goes on and on.

Why the fantasy of wanting more, better? American dream? A generational issue?

Feb 2, 2008

His Teacher Hit Him

Friday afternoon

Saturday morning

It's true.

Sort of.

Leo was running into home base- crossed home plate and turned to retrieve his hat that had fallen off. His teacher, student teacher to be precise, was picking up a homemade bat- built from a 5 gallon water jug, empty, and a long stick.

Guess where the stick landed???

His first real shiner. Let's hope it's his last. The pictures really don't do it justice. It's much more hideous in person.

Edited to add...

Anonymous said "I don't usually comment, but I don't think it's fair to say his teacher hit him. Teachers get a bad rap as it is."

She/He is absolutely right. Teachers do get a bad rap. It was totally meant as a funny nod to the olden days. He was hit in the face by the student teacher. We have a very good relationship with the school and lead teacher- my partner teaches at this school. There are no concerns about this being anything other than an accident and we never considered it anything else. We(the student teacher, teacher, and I) laughed about it today.

Feb 1, 2008

Dear Anonymous

Just to be clear-

I don't hate George Bush. Personally, I don't even know the man. I don't agree with his politics. I don't blame him for causing every world problem. As the President of The United States I do believe he contributes. He is in a position of power, he is in a position to create change.

My oldest son talks about politics with us and knows we don't support Bush. He has said "I hate Bush". And I remind him that we (meaning his parents) don't agree with Bush's politics, but that doesn't mean that we hate him. Bush is a father, son, husband. He is loved and may very well be a good man. I don't know him. I can't hate him. Hating and disagreeing? Two completely different things. For the record, I also tell my son, that just because we disagree with Bush, doesn't mean he has to.

I haven't seen evidence of him trying to help the homeless. I don't agree with no child left behind. The war? I'd have to blame him for that.

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US President George W. Bush and his top officials ran roughshod over the truth in the run-up to the Iraq war lying a total of 935 times, a study released Wednesday found.

Bush and his then secretary of state Colin Powell made the most false statements as they sought to drum up support for the March 2003 invasion to topple Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, the study alleged.

In a damning report, the Center for Public Integrity found “935 false statements by eight top administration officials that mentioned Iraq’s possession of weapons of mass destruction, or links to Al-Qaeda, on at least 532 separate occasions.”

As far as "paving the road to hell". I had to re-read the song. Is that statement harsh, condemning. Yes. Do I believe that line to be absolute? No.

My read is that this song is about taking The President down a notch- just a man talking to a woman who is trying to get him to think about the people, the individuals his decisions effect. "Can you even look me in the eye and tell me why?"

Has Bush done some good things? I'm willing to bet the answer is yes. I haven't seen much, but I haven't looked very hard either.

I like the song. I'm sorry you don't.