Disclaimer

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).
OR
2) Comment freely or talk to me face to face, and be prepared for further honesty and opinions.

Okay? Okay.

Mar 31, 2008

Alone Time

I am surrounded by people everywhere I go. My house is full even when everyone is asleep. Lots of noise, movement, activity.

I get out to run errands by myself- the grocery store, clothes shopping, Costco, and that's nice. Really, it is. I go out to dinner with or with out Käri- just the grownups- and I thoroughly enjoy that. Lingering over meals, grown up conversation.

Occasionally, like tonight, I go to a doctors appointment by myself. (Yet, another sinus infection) Other than being in the car by myself there are always people. The receptionist, doctor, nurse, other patients...

Yesterday, I took the dogs for a walk.

All.
By.
Myself.

In the sun. I walked, they went running through the field.

Priceless.

Mar 30, 2008

Table Manners

I know she's only five (and a half), but her manners at the table are atrocious.

She chews with her mouth open, shoves food quickly into her mouth, talks with her mouth full, asks for more food when she still has food on her plate, says "I want some" when she doesn't even know what I'm getting more of for someone else, slurps, gulps, chews fast, falls of her chair, grabs food when it is offered to her, and always wants more, more, more.

It disgusts me.

We've tried three strikes and you're done and I think it's marginally better. I can't stand to watch her eat. It's so bad. I know the looks I give her. I shouldn't, I know it.

I need to be more positive, praise her when I catch her chewing with her mouth closed. I try, I swear, but I need to try harder.

It's not like I am the perfect role model. And that every meal at the house is an orderly affair- far from it. But the others don't engage in these terrible habits at each meal.

Perhaps it's time for some princess tea parties where only the best manners are allowed or something...

Mar 29, 2008

A few more questions

Remember the interview project? It's still going on. Here are three more questions from Lara.


4. What important aspect(s) of your non-internet life do you not write

about in your blog? Why not?

Every relationship has it's squabbles, down moments. I choose not to write about those. It's petty, really. I like to write, it's cathartic for me. To write about complaints about Käri serves no purpose. And at his point in our relationship we have very few arguments or fights so really it wouldn't be much.

5. If you had 15 minutes of TV air time to talk about anything at all,
what would you want to say?

This one is hard. It's difficult to not consider that I, being nobody, would have no effect regardless of what I had to say. I can get on a soapbox about a lot of things.

The first thing that comes to mind is how public schools spend time celebrating holidays, Christian based holidays, generally. Also mother's day and father's day... Families should be able to choose if they want to celebrate these and teachers should not have to take the time out of their busy curriculum filled days to make a flower pot for mom.


6. What do you think is the hardest part of motherhood? The easiest?

The hardest would be the 24/7. The easiest? Loving them, cherishing.

Mar 28, 2008

Tired nonsense of sorts

Have you seen this?? Frightening.




In other news, just for the record, Raquel is not a bog 'ol homophobe (see here). She is also not the only one to ask me if the blogher conference is a lesbian thing. (Kel) Which is funny, to me. I tried to remember if I have ever asked a straight woman, or straight man for that matter, if it was a straight thing. Hmmm, I think not... or maybe I have. I have some vague recollection of asking if we were going to be the token gay couple invited to an event. We are surrounded by straight people and in fact I don't think we really have gay or lesbian friends here in town. Acquaintances, yes, but not people we socialize with. It's odd, sorta.

It's a different thing to think about. Will there be people like us there? And I wonder how many times this comes up for people and in which circles. I know of many straight men that don't want to be hanging out with a group of straight women all by themselves. Of course not that they wouldn't or don't- just that it's not their first choice. In straight relationships the men tend to hang out with the other men and the women with the women. Yes, yes, yes their are exceptions to these rules, there are always exceptions. I have mentioned before that I do believe stereotypes do exist because they are partially true. Think about it. How else are stereotypes created? They are not all true, and certainly not all parts of a stereotype apply to each individual within that stereotypical group.

I'll be safe and stick to my own corner of the world here... most lesbian couples involve one more feminine woman and one more masculine. Not that one is always totally butch and one totally feminine, but you get my drift.

In any case all this drivel about stereotypes makes me think of racial issues and Obama and his white mama. Racism, prejudice it gets all out of whack. So complicated, but so simple. Human beings seek others who are generally similar to themselves. There are 5 trillion ways that we can be similar or different. Step outside the box. Have respect for individuals and individualism.

I hang out with straight people all the time. They're okay people too. I have an open mind , I've even learned to be accepting of them touching each other in front of me. I don't let their breeding practices get in the way of our friendship and I even talk to the man. It takes time. But with patience and acceptance it can happen.

Mar 27, 2008

Three Things

Wow, I haven't checked my stats in a long time. Apparently someone in St Paul is reading through my archives. I hope you're having a good time... :) Wondering who keeps coming back from England...

Went out on the town this evening for dinner and a few beers- ended up downtown in a bar- holy hell, I'm old. Loud music, yelling to be heard, a mix of a crowd, but definitely mostly young folk. In so many ways I am glad to be done with all that.

I was trying to catch Ruby dancing this afternoon- instead here's a beginning of a dance session that turned into just a cute video...


video

And yes, that is George Michael singing Faith.

Mar 26, 2008

Thinking it over

Ready for bed an hour ago- must of been the two margaritas I had with dinner. Mmmm, good. What happened to the days when I could drink all night???

It's kind of a funny thing to think about going to this event (blogher) to perhaps meet people that I don't know, yet have a connection with via the internet. Even folks that I know read the blog rarely mention it to me or if they do, it's little comments dropped, never a full expression or discussion. There's this invisible wall that exists. What would it be like to break that wall? Even for one person. How would that effect what I write, or would it? Yeah, probably not.

Thanks for the offer of passing out in your room, Lelo. Perhaps we should chat about being bunkmates. Are you game? And hey, G. grab the boob anytime, it needs a little lovin' squeeze every once in a while! March 31st ends the early registration, so it's on the forefront of my little mind.

Mar 25, 2008

201

When I realized I had hit 200 posts- this is my 201- I was surprised and a little in awe of myself. What the hell have I been writing about 200 times? Humph.

There are certainly the drivel posts, and ones where I whine or complain, rant ones too. But mostly I was surprised that I do seem to be writing about the goings on around here and thoughts that pop into my head, invited or not.

Tonight, I could fulfill NaBloPoMo by listing all my posts, but that just seems ridiculous and boring. Plus you can see them all over there on the left. Which made me think about a couple of things.

One, I've been toying around with labeling and categorizing the posts. I think it would be more for me than anything. Kind of a neat (as in tidy, not neato) way to compartmentalize them all. And two, I've never completed the whole story of how our family came to be. I just need to finish the twins, everyone else is done, but there story is the hardest to get out and deal with. I think it's a subconscious, conscious maneuver to not write it all down so I don't have to deal with it. Writing makes it more real somehow- not like I didn't live through it all- a lot of anger, I think, that I'd rather leave untapped.

Perhaps I'll take a page from G. She wrote an incredible post about her son Elijah. Her son taken from her at 13 months. A life stolen.

I've got my twins and it all ended happy, mostly. Move on, let go. Yes?

I'll do it, I swear and then I'll label all the posts and put them in neat little categories- at least the 'how we all became a family' ones. Sometime...in the near future, I will. Then I won't have to save up my nickels for therapy, because I'll have done it here.

I've also been thinking about attending blogher. (Follow that link, Raquel- it's not a lesbian thing- far from it, I'm sure) It's in The City- so I could get there easy enough and it would be some alone time, and something I'm interested in. I'm just not so hip on the sorority part- where you think it's going to be all good, but really it's just a bunch of cliquey women all talking about each other. Not that I'm saying it is going to be like that. It's just all that estrogen in one place is a little scary. Perhaps I could use a pseudonym? Or jsut be a fly on the wall. Hmmm... Not to mention it costs an arm and a leg. I don't have to stay at the St. Francis. I have family in The City, Oakland and down the peninsula, but then I couldn't be all cliquey with everyone, or just pass out in the hotel room. Oh... so many things to think about. Probably like 201...

Mar 24, 2008

Abe's List

Favorite color?- red

Favorite food?- p'sghetti, peanut butter and jelly sandwich and some pasta

Favorite thing to do?- work on my tree house for eight years and play with my friend Jacob

What do you want to be when you grow up?- a daddy, an uncle, and umm…a baseball player.
When I get to be a dad I will have 5 kids.

What’s your favorite book?- Spiderman book

What’s your favorite movie?- Ice Age 2

What is your nickname?- Abraham Manuel, Aber Doodles, Aber Doodle Ham

I like going to school and playing with Quentin and playing soccer.

“And the other day, I think it was yesterday or the day after and I think I was playing soccer and nah, then I was and then I think I fell down and then like that I fell and I hurt my knee like that”

"I’m happy 'bout my new diving board that I got spelled by my grandma, my uncle Andy and my peoples gave me a diving board to have five dollars..."

Mar 23, 2008

Happy Easter




Resurrection? Candy? Easter Bunny? Whatever it was, it was a beautiful day around these parts- much fun was had by all!







I love these... Ruby "what, only socks???" and Juj "uh, what is this thing??"

Mar 22, 2008

Breeding Season





Yeah, they're in our bathtub, in the master bath. The tower of canaries!

It's like a disease- I can't wait for babies! Last year I started much smaller and ended up with four babies- four died. Not to bad, but this year I'm hoping for more. I am missing a robust male, however. My boys are either too young or not quite amorous enough so it may be no babies- we shall see. Not to worry- I'll keep you posted.

Mar 21, 2008

We're going to the zoo, zoo, zoo

How about you, you, you??? Good 'ol Raffi, gotta love him.

Technically we already went, but my children insisted on listening to this on our trip and of course we complied and now I can't get it out of my head.

We traveled down to Oakland on Wednesday afternoon. Just in time for dinner and a late bedtime for the kiddos. We live in the sticks- well not quite, but it certainly isn't a big city. And as much as I love the draw of a smaller town, removed from the thick of things, a city certainly has it's pull.

Our tiny two hours spent at the pizza place- Zachary's- oh, so yummy!- was filled with all sorts of folks, a dad with his two teen age kids, a few older (not 25, no offense to anyone) parents with their young children, Asian families, Black families, a couple of gay men, lesbians with their one child, an adoptive family, three older (I assumed they all qualified for AARP- which makes them older than me...) lesbians at the table next to us... ahhh, the city. Sometimes I crave the people, the food, the hustle, the aliveness, the constant motion, and distractions.

There was also the homeless gentleman who mumbled "F-you all", as his pants were falling down, passing our rowdy group after dinner. I'm not sure I handled that well when Mia asked what that was all about...

We were at the zoo shortly after opening and were guided out by the security guy on his four wheeler about 30 minutes after closing. The weather was perfect and other than the aforementioned incidents and another in which Abe decided to jump into the zoo railroad tracks, hands in the air in 'ta-da' fashion, as we were waiting our turn to ride the train (yeah, he didn't get to ride the train), all was fabulous.

Did I mention we went with our friends, my mother and sister??? We were a force to be reckoned with! Some of my favorite photos below.















Thirteen children- all smiling? Nearly impossible- at least they are all in this one! The one with just their backs?- we thought we had them all... Abe was with Auntie Monica and Grams, ooops.

There were more animals other than the alligators and giraffes, but who wants to look at them when you can look at all these cute kids???

Mar 20, 2008

Extra Point

or something... for posting today after spending the day at the zoo and then driving all the way home (3 hours).
Home again, home again, jiggety jig. It is 11:13 PM and we are home from our trip to the zoo. It was a fabulous time, beautiful weather, family, friends, what more can you ask for?

Hmmm, well maybe for my seven year old son to not knock a plastic drinking bottle into the siamang enclosure or not to throw rocks into the alligators and then maybe to not fall apart into a whining tizzy when, jee whiz, uh, no, you are not going to ride the tiger roller coaster cuz, remember the water bottle and rocks???????!!!!

Other than that it was swell, really no sarcasm. But now it's late and I'm bushed and everyone is ensconced in bed and I have to look at all the misspelled words before I hit publish and there's a few, because I'm bushed... Oy. pictures tomorrow, kay?

Mar 19, 2008

A little fun and a little serious





Just some fooling around with Auntie Monica's new Macbook Pro- WOW! Leo was having a blast.



On our way down to Oakland we saw numerous lighted traffic signs- the kind on the side of the road that warn of traffic ahead, beware of whatever... And instead of traffic news there was this announcement.

Child abducted. Black Honda. Left white door.

Is this normal? Apparently I really do live in the sticks. I had no idea they did this. We couldn't decide if it had just happened or.... I kept looking at cars to see if it was a black Honda with a left white door. Is it part of the Amber Alert system? Interesting to explain this to Leo- no one else noticed or read the sign. We haven't encountered this particular issue ever before.

Just looked- it is a part of the Amber Alert - California Boy. Scary.





Tomorrow- the zoo!


edited to add: the real story
thanks fostermommy

Mar 18, 2008

Too Cold

My kids are nut jobs...












Yesterday, it was a high of 70. The pool is about 50 degrees... I kept telling them it was too cold- then I caved. I figured they would be in and out in 3.5 seconds and then they would stop asking me. They were in and out for about 10 minutes.

Nuts, I tell ya! They did take hot showers afterwards... And NO, we did not let Julia have a turn, no matter how much she tried to undress herself.... And today? Today, they went in again. Crazy, crazy, crazy!!!


video





Can you hear Grace, right at the end???

Mar 17, 2008

Lucky Morning

In which Lucky drops in for a St Patrick's day surprise and I respond to a dare. A photo essay, of sorts.


Not to worry, I'll save the best for last.


































































































































Dragged out of bed, against my will, to see what Lucky left. There it is, first thing in the morning, in all its glory.

Dare done!

There's a list of folks- you can see them here. Thanks G. I always accept a dare- well, almost always.

Mar 16, 2008

Where a kid can be a kid

This morning I had the pleasure of attending a birthday party. And witnessing the joys of a father berating his three year old for not enjoying his big day. He forced his son to take pictures- trying to get him to smile by threatening him, tossing him roughly (albeit not abusively, per se) into his seat so that his friends and family could sing to him, chiding him, scolding him, and telling him to "buck up, man". All the while, his son was, of course, alternating between crying and tantrums. Hmmm, wonder why??? That kind of bullying "makes him a man" kind of parenting makes crazy. The rest of the guests, including the mother didn't bat an eye. Must be commonplace.

I couldn't stop watching the scene. Lovely. I was thankful it wasn't the party my daughter was attending.

I just love C*huck *e* C*heese. All the noise, kids running, lights, music, tall dancing creatures and videos. They have music videos featuring the big mouse himself. Who would've known?

Never, please never, will I host a party there. I know the kids love it and, well, that's about all I could come up with, the kids love it- and that's good enough, I suppose. We are happy to attend and I am happy to leave.






Tomorrow, I respond to a dare.

Mar 15, 2008

My Turn To Ask

The Great Interview Experiment. It's not too late to join!

The answers are provided from Sarah. You can find her at Tea Tree and Rest.


#1. In you second post you write about blogging the "truth". Can you talk about that and how that is for you now?

It's a reminder to go deeper and further than my initial impressions. I ask myself what the truth is about a situation. For example, I posted recently about my daughter eating broccoli. I had to ask myself why that mattered. What's the truth here? So I included some details that showed my fear and worry about her feeding issues. Without asking myself the question it wouldn't be more than an anecdote with no real meaning.

#2. What are some of your favorite posts by other bloggers? and Why?

One of the reasons I'm a reader is because I crave connection. I also need story to give form to my own experiences. Jon Armstrong blogged about living with his wife, Heather's, depression. In his post he wrote about accepting that Heather can't be there for him the way he sometimes needs her to be. And how he has to speak loudly to get her attention. That's a good description of some of my experience with my husband. David has bipolar with predominate depression. I fell for Hannah at haeshu.blogspot.com in one of her early posts about her son, Elliot, letting her hold his soft sweet hand all the way home. When I read that post Lula was young enough that she only held on in reflex around my finger. It was like a glimpse into how our relationship will probably evolve into something separate enough that her holding my hand will be a rare treat, an honor.


#3. Tell me a little bit about your ADHD.

It's really annoying. It's just so distracting. My mind works really quickly and I'm forever trying to slow down and finish things. That's why I'm so obsessed with clarity. Why I love yoga and meditation. Why I wanted to try veganism as a way to clear my brain up a bit. I just get so fuzzy. I know most Americans have deficits in attention. And sometimes I feel like a joke when I mention my ADHD but it's real stuff. It's become a joke in our house when I'm in the middle of a conversation and turn it into something random like our plumbing situation. I'm sorry, I'll say, I lost focus. Understatement of the year.

#4. You write about Christianity and Religion off and on. What are your spiritual roots and how have they affected your spiritual journey?

I'm actually Jewish because both of my parents are. Though we celebrated Jewish holidays like Hanukkah and passover, I wasn't raised with much religion. Off and on I attended Christian churches, most notably the Unitarian Church. Probably because I don't have much religious background I also don't have much to rebel against. Because of that I'm more open to a lot of the Christian teachings that many people who have a background in Christianity tend to hate. I think because I don't have that same level of prejudice, I can read ultra-religious teachings and take them for what they are without reading in a lot of extra angst. While I tend to read Christian teachings I'm not a Christian.

#5. It appears that you have traveled the road to better eating- from all sugar all the time to Veganism. Can you compare your emotional journey in line with the eating journey? The losses, the gains?

Since cutting out animal products I miss butter more than anything. That's a surprise to me as I thought cheese would be the biggie. I do have more clarity and focus now than I did. And I feel stronger and more capable maybe just because I'm sticking with something I never thought I could do. And I've lost 10 pounds which is a nice side effect.


#6. What are the three hardest things about being a parent?

It's so distracting- as soon as I get something started I have to switch gears to attend to her then find my way back to what I was doing. It's terrifying- I always live with the horror of ever having to live without her. Bedtime--It's so difficult for me to stick with a routine. Luckily David handles it most nights.

#7. Three best things about having a partner/spouse?

David makes me giggle more easily than anyone in the world. He is my base, my home.

#8. I was born and raised in CA, spent 10 years in WA... Tell me a bit about Kansas. Are you from there? Moved there?

I'm here since I was 11. And before that I lived in Oklahoma City so I'm a midwestern girl for sure. Wichita is fine. It's an easy and cheap place to live. And it's where my momma and friends are. My mortgage is cheaper than the cost of a California bathroom but I often want to move somewhere more scenic. Maybe to a state that wouldn't have voted for Mike Huckabee and hasn't outlawed teaching evolution in school.

#9. Besides meditation, parenting, writing, and challenging yourself, what do you do for fun, an outlet?

It sounds nerdy but meditation and prayer are my outlet. That's where I find solace and rest. That said, I'm like a teenage girl with the telephone. Old friends are as important to me as family and I spend a lot of time chatting. I snuggle a lot and I snack. And shop garage sales.

#10. Why did you volunteer to do this interview project? And how did you get to his blog?

I found it through Schmutzie's blog and I decided to do it to reach outside my comfort zone a bit. And increase my readership.

Mar 14, 2008

Is it so wrong

that I encouraged my innocent two year old to repeat over and over again f*u*c*k, f*u*c*k, f*u*c*k, and giggled every time?

We saw the one large fire truck, the ladder truck, in town and I pointed it out to the girls. They were the only ones in the van...Ruby was so excited bi f*u*c*k, bi f*u*c*k, she says.

I couldn't resist, every single truck I saw, I would point it out, "look, Rub, look, a big truck!" "Did you see the truck, Rub?" "Ruby, look a big truck...!"

And each time she would squeal excitedly "f*u*c*k, f*u*c*k, bi, f*u*c*k!

And every time, I laughed.




What???!

Mar 13, 2008

Mia's List

Favorite color?- blue and red and purple and pink and yellow, of course, and gold

Favorite food?
- spaghetti, pretzels, Cheetos, spicy chips, potato chips and spaghetti sauce with meatballs and sauce and cheese

Favorite thing to do?- Play with Jacob and go to his party and going to school, and being on the swings and picking up everything

What do you want to be when you grow up?
- a mom, a mailer, a rock star and a worker

When I get to be a mom I will have 7 or eight or 6 kids

I’m going to marry uncle Bernie

How old are you?
5 and I’m going to be 6

What’s your favorite book?
- Spaghetti I Say

What’s your favorite movie?
- Spirit

What’s your nickname?
Mia Rose, I used to have a different name.

Mar 12, 2008

we are all touched somehow

June 2, 1984...Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, School Friends, Family Friends, Nana and Pa, A Few High School Teachers all in attendance. My parents had supplied a keg and my family and friends were all taking part. Uncle Dave was singing, Dad had had a few too many, Mom was making sure everyone had what they needed- scurrying about the kitchen, some folks were starting to take off, but the in crowd was just settling in for the evening. It was my high school graduation party.

The phone rang. It was my Aunt calling from the hospital. My grandmother had taken a bad turn and we needed to come, now. My friends and family stayed to clean up and we took off, up to the city, my mother and father and I (my mother drove). We arrived before she died, her other sons were in the area outside of the elevators as we emerged. My aunt, her only daughter, was in the room with her. We took turns saying goodbye. We waited. And eventually headed home. My father hit the elevator walls and cried- the only time I have ever seen him cry.

Lung cancer. She coughed for months and months and refused to go to the doctor. And then she did. Stage IV. It wasn't much longer before her lungs collapsed and she died.

I never visited her in the hospital, too busy with high school and graduating. We spent many summers together in her family cabin. She invited me to come stay with her at her apartment and I never did. Too late now.

This April, I'll be participating for the first time in Relay for Life.

Please contribute
to our team, Friends For The Fight, if you can. Thanks!

Mar 11, 2008

Who Made You?

This morning on our way in to school Abe announces-

"Mama, I know who made me"

"You do, who made you?"

"You did, because you wanted me"




"I did, you're right."



Simple, really.

Mar 10, 2008

Three Answers

1. So many people claim they just "don't have the time" for various
things in their life. With eight kids, I'm sure you're not sitting
around with oodles of spare time on your hands, yet you find time to
blog and read other blogs. Why do you choose to make time for this
particular hobby, and how do you do it?

A friend told me about the website Largerfamilies.com, since, you know, we have a large family. She thought it might be a good place to visit to get recipe and organization ideas. I read through some of the entries and then started looking at the profiles of the contributers. The stories of the contributers captured my attention and I began to follow the links to their own personal blogs- I was hooked.

I don't subscribe to a newspaper or watch t.v. during the day. I love to read books, but have found that keeping up with blogs takes over a lot of my reading time. However, I hate to be interrupted when I'm reading a book so reading blogs fills the reading need, blogs are like reading really short stories, and it doesn't bother me as much to be interrupted. It's easy for me to pick up and put down the laptop mid-sentence, so I can read off and on. I don't read every blog every day.

I write when the mood strikes me. Mostly it's formulated in my head and out it comes, sometimes it just comes no planning. The story of how Käri and I evolved as a couple and a family takes more planning and is much more difficult for me to get out.

It is a weird hobby. I have always loved to write- though I am not saying I am good at it (way too many commas, grammatical errors...and ellipses). It's journaling, it's connecting, it's an outlet.

2. A related question perhaps: What do you get from blogging that you
can't/don't get from other aspects of your life?

Reading and writing challenges me to think about more that the dirty floors, toilets and kitchen; more than diapers, runny noses, and what to have for dinner. It's cheaper than therapy and a fine way to escape. I have made some internet connections with other bloggers and I do learn from what I read.



3. Can you describe a time when you felt particularly included or
welcome in the blogosphere?

Hmmm...the internet is open to everyone. I guess there have been occasions when another blogger has attempted to go beyond the boundaries of the written word and make a personal connection with me. That feels inclusive.


3a. Can you describe a time when you felt excluded or unwelcome in the
blogosphere?

Nope. Can't say that I have. I made a comment once that was met with a bit of aversion and defensiveness. I meant it in a friendly way, but a lot is lost in the written word, and it wasn't taken as such. There was some fuss and surprise on my part, but it never felt unwelcome.

Mar 9, 2008

Interview Project

Allright so I volunteered to be interviewed and also to interview somebody else through here.
I've been terrible about following through with my interview but I was recently asked a few questions by my interviewer.
I've read 'em, I'm pondering 'em and I swear I'll get back here tomorrow. But it's late and now I'm going to bed.

1. So many people claim they just "don't have the time" for various
things in their life. With eight kids, I'm sure you're not sitting
around with oodles of spare time on your hands, yet you find time to
blog and read other blogs. Why do you choose to make time for this
particular hobby, and how do you do it?


2. A related question perhaps: What do you get from blogging that you
can't/don't get from other aspects of your life?



3. Can you describe a time when you felt particularly included or
welcome in the blogosphere?


3a. Can you describe a time when you felt excluded or unwelcome in the
blogosphere?

Mar 8, 2008

Last minute

Almost forgot, Nablopomo March and all... Going out tonight to the event of the year- at least the event of the year in our school. Major fundraiser dinner event tonight. It started at 5:30, but we have to get the girls down before we go or Julia will scream for hours and eventually Leo will have to put her down on the couch and slither out from under her like 3 hours past her bedtime- You know, I'm just guessin'.

It's 6:09 and I'm still in jeans and a t-shirt- wouldn't want the girls to suspect- and they only had a short nap- so they are going down in a few minutes (usually 7). Then I'll throw on some fancy dud's- hope they still fit- and off we'll go. Dinner and a babysitter- Yeehaw! Thanks Grandma.

Mar 7, 2008

Lawrence King

Lawrence wore his favorite high-heeled boots most days, riding the bus to school from Casa Pacifica, a center for abused and neglected children in the foster care system, where he began living last fall. Officials would not say anything about his family background other than that his parents, Greg and Dawn King, were living and that he had four siblings. Lawrence started attending E. O. Green last winter, said Steven Elson, the center’s chief executive. “He had made connections here,” Dr. Elson said. “It’s just a huge trauma here. It’s emotionally very charged.”


Here's the whole article
I'm sure there's more articles. I couldn't look for more. It tears me up on so many levels.

First, how come this story is on the back burner? How many people have heard about this? I'll tell you what I think. This boy lived in a group home. He was in the foster care system. He was a foster child. There is no one to stick up for this boy and his story. No one to scream the injustices of his murder. No one to take it personally. He has parents, but they don't appear to be speaking out. Now perhaps they are also in the system, addicts, in prison, or maybe not, who knows?

Poor foster kid, flaming faggot I guess, killed for being gay. Could you blame the guy who killed him? Creepy kid, cross dressed I hear, asked him to be his Valentine...so sad. yeah. Did you hear Patrick Swayze has cancer?

I saw this.



She says it much better than I could. Guess that's why she gets paid the big bucks.

I don't blame the boy who killed Lawrence. How threatened must he have felt...??? Do you think he would have killed the least popular girl in his class if she had asked him to be her Valentine?

The boy who shot Lawrence was taught to hate, to fear, to feel threatened. I have no doubt about this. None. I have met many young children who, upon first hearing about our family with two moms are puzzled, but think it's pretty cool. And I can tell you, from personal experience, they have no judgment, fear, or hatred. They accept it and move on.

I haven't traveled the world. I am not experienced in many cultures or seen many things. I grew up in the same world as everyone else. I am the product of a white, lower middle class family, that was surrounded by mostly the same. I have no idea what it is like to live as a person who is not white, but I know how I feel to be a gay woman in a straight world. I know what it feels like to attend social functions and not be able to express my affection for the person I love. I know what it feels like to have the gaze of judgment pass over me. I have felt the stares, answered the queries.

I cannot imagine this little boy having to deal with all that. To try and face his classmates. To try and figure out his path. To begin to stand strong. I cannot imagine.

Mar 6, 2008

New Recipe

So excited to share a new recipe- I even took pictures. I was making the kids lunch- yes, we eat lunch around 10:45, because we leave for kindergarten about 11:15- and I discovered this recipe.



Mmmmmm, good!



















Right off the knife, see the teeth marks?













This is what happens when the Cheerios are still on the counter from breakfast and the kids want PB&J for lunch. And mama has to eat to, but can't sit down.



Just in case you need the recipe...

1 1/2 tsp peanut butter Go for the gusto and use Skippy- I did
1 tsp jam I used marionbery jam from the restaurant supply store (it has three different types of sugar in it)
One generous sprinkling of cheerios sprinkled on top

Directions: Insert knife into peanut butter jar. This is important it has to be the peanut butter first. Remove knife from peanut butter jar and insert into jelly jar- be careful to gently scoop the jelly onto the knife so as not to disturb the peanut butter already on the knife. You don't want to end up with peanut butter in the jelly jar, because that's gross. Lay knife on the counter, once jelly is in place, and liberally douse with cheerios lifted right out of the box with your hands- cuz that's not gross. Place knife in mouth flat side on tongue- also very important, the sharp edge should not cut the tongue this way- and scrape with teeth, pulling the knife out of mouth. Repeat as many times as necessary to fill you belly (and scare away the coffee jitters in there because you didn't quite get around to eating breakfast with your super mondo caffeinated beverage this morning)

To finish? Leave mess on counter because instead of cleaning up it is way more important to take pictures and create a blog post immediately. The mess will be there when you get back home from kindergarten, unless the dogs take care of it for you...in which case, voila, no mess to clean up.

Mar 5, 2008

I miss cotton

I was reading a post today about cotton diapers and I realized just how much I missed them. Julia and Ruby are our only babies who have been exclusively in paper. Yes, they are more convenient, I'll give them that. But the cotton are so soft... And their butts are all fat and squishy in them. Cotton diapers never leave little balls of jell stuck to their tush when they get a bit too wet.

We've mostly used diaper service. I loved to put a big 'ol bag (or two) of dirty diapers out on the front porch and then get a whole new bag of clean soft white diapers in return. I would stack the diapers on the changing table with the confidence that we were covered for the week, caressing the soft, clean cotton. Seriously, they were lovely. I could never figure out how they got them so white without using bleach.

No shopping for diapers or wipes. We used washcloths and our diapers were delivered. Plus using cotton was cheaper, especially for two. You only pay once for the diaper service and just throw in a few extra bucks for some extra diapers. Now as I'm writing this, I'm not really sure how convenient paper diapers are.

When the twins returned to our care we put them back in cotton. For some reason when they returned to us they continued to have chronic diarrhea and loose stools for a year or more. The diaper service folks had recently sold to new owners who complained that our almost two year olds should not be having such dirty diapers and essentially scolded us for not changing them soon enough. This happened a couple of times and while we tried to explain the circumstances, it did not seem to change their opinion. Eventually we became tired of the insinuations that we weren't taking care of the kids and gave up cotton for paper. Shoulda, woulda... at the time we just did it.

Abe and Mia stayed in paper until they were potty trained and then we made our second mistake. We were done having kids. Six was plenty. So we gave everything away. All our fabulous onsies that buttoned up the front, instead of having to go over their heads (can't find those anywhere- JC Penney used to sell them), all clothes under 2T and all our diaper covers. We had easily 15-20 diaper covers in each size. Gone, all gone to Goodwill.

What were we thinking??

When the girls came we went with paper, purely based on the fact that we had no diaper covers and it was such an investment ($8.00 a piece) to buy them all over again. Now, I regret that decision and swear that if we ever have another baby, it will wear cotton diapers.

Mar 4, 2008

Mia'ism

Usually Mia is a twin, but today she was a triplet. She arranged with Mommy and Mommy's teaching partner to all wear their purple crocs to school today. Such excitement!

She insisted on a picture this morning. All three of them in a circle, feet decked in the finest of lavender crocs. She insisted that "we send the picture to the lady who dances, you know the lady who likes to dance... the lady, in the t.v., the one mommy likes...she dances and then she sits in the chair, where she's supposed to be."

Finally, I get it. Ellen De Generes, The Ellen Show.

"Why would we send in the picture to Ellen?"

"Well, then we would be on t.v., just me and mommy...right"

"Hmmm, well I guess you never know, Mia"

Mar 3, 2008

Dinner List for this Week

Tonight: Hot Dogs, tater tots (what, it's a vegetable) and baked beans

Tuesday: Spaghetti night, with steak (found heavily discounted last week, frozen and thawed for tomorrow) because Jack won't eat noodles (what kid doesn't like noodles?) My kids love Spaghetti night. K and I, not so much.

Wednesday: Pizza- compliments of our foster care trainers, who are sponsoring a skate and pizza night at the local skating rink. There have been others, but we always decline since it happens from 6-8 PM- our kids start going to bed at 6:15, but we are throwing caution to the wind and giving it a try. It's all about the free dinner for me and the kids will probably like it too.

Thursday: Mexican night- tacos, burritos, nachos, quesadillas
Cheap and easy.

Friday: Supposed to be breakfast for dinner night, I'm thinking, homemade waffles and bacon.

Saturday: Mexican Butter Bean Soup and Bread (the kids will only eat the bread- we will get some more at the farmers market in the morning

Sunday: Something with leftovers so Käri has lunches for the week.

Mar 2, 2008

Cars I've Owned

The suggested theme for NaBloPoMo is lists. Here is my first.

#1. A dark brown, copper colored 1965 VW bug.

It was a semi-automatic. For those who haven’t had the pleasure- no clutch, but a shift on the floor- 1st, 2nd, and Reverse, hmmm, was there a 3rd gear too?, might have been, I can't quite remember. I bought it from a high school friend who got a brand new VW convertible Rabbit, red with a white top, personalized plates and all. I drove it until my parents found out I had accumulated six tickets and the insurance company notified them they would no longer insure me. I believe I also had my license suspended- some nonsense about six tickets in 18 months... That car went on the most adventures.

#2. A bluish, gray dusty 1966 Karmann Ghia. License plate # TBY299

I found it in the paper (my license had been recently re-instated), the passenger door was falling off, attached to the frame by a bungee cord. The young woman wanted $800.00 and I only had $600.00 (thank goodness for student loans). After she refused my offer I sent my good looking and charming male roommate to swoon her into accepting "his" offer. She accepted. Ha! I took a trip to the wrecking yard and found the faulty part to re-secure the door. And soon after replaced all four tires since I kept getting stuck in the old train tracks that ran through the middle of town. It only had a 6 volt battery in it so the head and tail lights were dim. I got pulled over for that- but let go. I loved that car. I sold it for $1800.00 a few years later.

#3. A dark brown Toyota pickup with a carpeted bed and cab. I don't remember the year.

The Karmann Ghia became too small so I bought the truck- Plus it was after I came out, so it seemed appropriate to be driving a truck.

#3 1/2. Käri owned a red VW convertible Rabbit with a black top.

A very fun ride.

#4. A red VW camper van with a pop top. Don't remember the year there either.

I didn't do as much as I could have with that van. I think we only took it camping a couple of times. I loved that one too. My co-worker traded pink slips with me, he took my truck, I took the van. Homeless people would sleep in occasionally since we lived across the street from a large park- we would just leave it unlocked.

#5. An almost new, silver 1991 Subaru wagon.

Also a fabulous car. We traded in the Rabbit for this one. Leo's first ride. We only sold it because we needed a car that would fit three car seats.

#6. A red Volvo station wagon.

Steady as a rock. I threw up in that car many times, all pregnancy related. Sold it to a good friend, who I think may still have it...

#7. A purple Plymouth mini-van.

It fit three car seats! And we got a good deal from a school family. I think we only owned this car for a few months.

#8. A white Chrysler Town and Country mini-van.

This was bought during a road trip from Washington to California. The purple van kept breaking down and they could never figure out what was wrong, so we traded it in. At the time of purchase, we were traveling with Leo, at 4 1/2, and we were both 8 months pregnant.

#9. A 1971 Ford Ranger,lime green pickup.

Aptly named Kermit. I had to have it. I bought it off of a used car lot and the engine blew a month or so later. I should have taken them to small claims, but I didn't. I replaced the engine and kept it around for a while. Another favorite.

#10. 2001 Black Ford Excursion.

If we flew American flags you'd think the secret service was in town. The windows are all tinted. This was purchased when we jumped to six kids. The mini-van only held 5 car seats. This holds 6 car seats.

#11. A green VW Corrado.

They only made them for a year maybe two. This was a hand-me-down from Käri's brother. I was commuting in the pick up, which made no sense- so he gave us this car because he no longer needed it (nice to have money, eh?). A little 2 door sporty thing.

#12. A dark green Ford Windstar.

Also purchased from a school family. Reliable.

#13. The mother of all cars- A medium green, 15 passenger van.

I want racing stripes painted on the side! This was bought pretty much over the phone. The salesman had it out in front. We signed papers and he delivered it to us later in the afternoon. Ruby had arrived the afternoon before and Julia came that day. We had to have a car that would fit eight kids, seven still in car seats.

That's a lot of cars, a lot of VW's, and a lot of them green...


We currently own the Excursion (the small car)and the 15 passenger van.

Mar 1, 2008

Whatdya need?

I'd give you the shirt off my back. Need something? I'll get it. A meal, a favor, a ride, some childcare, pancake mix, cooking advice, the proverbial sugar? I'm all over it. Probably to a fault.

I don't expect pats on the back and don't feel as though I am tooting my own horn. It's who I am, how I'm built. Not because I'm nice or a pushover- I am not a pushover- ask my friends, they'll tell you. Helping is second, or maybe even first nature.

I used to be not so good at taking help. But now, with a lot of little ones, I've learned that help is good. When the bagger asks if she can take out my groceries, I now say yes. When someone offers hand me down clothes? Wonderful. Little favors from teachers, staff at school, acquaintance type "friends" at school. Thanks. I'm so appreciative.

I like the whole "It takes a village" concept. It is comforting to know that we are part of a school community that looks out for one another and helps when needed. When my little angels need a reprimand and I'm not within range, I expect and hope that another parent will step up- and let me know afterwards that Grace smacked down a friend on the playground.

Naturally, I can't stand it when people are not helpful.

A few years back (like eight or so) we were living in another community- another fabulous environment- when I was about 12 weeks into my fourth pregnancy. Leo was the first, followed by two 7 week miscarriages. We had been in to the OB to hear the heart beat and they couldn't find it. My all day sickness had suddenly ended and we were scheduled for an ultra sound to see if the pregnancy was still viable- nice verbiage to cover the actual horrible words of 'if your baby is dead or alive'. At the time, I was running a home based child care and needed someone to cover a couple of hours in the afternoon so we could attend the appointment. We called upon a friend who we had recently helped pack up her house and move after a divorce. A very nice woman who had two kids and was a teacher as well. The kind of person who was never shy to call and ask a favor. We were not the best of friends, but certainly more than acquaintances. We called, explained what was happening and asked if she would mind covering for me. She said no. There was an after school social already scheduled for the afternoon to help support a new administrator who had been getting a beating from some parents- (a very hoity-toity school where the parents thought they were in control). She told us that she had already committed to attending that and felt the administrator could really use her support, so she wouldn't be able to help us out.

Hmmmm, running to the local pub to support an administrator or covering my child care so we could go see if a new life I was caring was dead or alive?

I just didn't get it. I have never been able to let that one go. She's a nice woman who we still talk to and exchange Christmas cards...It was her choice, her priority, I get that. I just don't get it. I am sure she doesn't even remember being asked, but it's one of those things I'll just never forget.

In the end, we asked our good friend who was insulted (in a good way) that we hadn't asked her first.

And the baby?- the baby was dead.