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.

Jun 29, 2008

The Equation

When your air looks like this

And your child has this

And you have tried this


And it's 11:30 PM on a Saturday night

You end up here

A little touch of croup added for good measure.

All is well. Home and in bed by 2:00 a.m. Medication on board. Abe was a trooper. Happy, in fact, to have his sojourn at the E.R.

Mower For Hire

Leo's 12. He is a typical first born. We've done everything for him. I still cut his food- not all of it, but certainly some of it. He's 12. He needs to learn some skills, something other than reading, video games, and Star Wars facts. He also wants to earn some money. We thought learning to mow the lawn was a good place to start.

Little sis, following along.

Stuck in a rut.

At this point, he was stuck in the driveway and couldn't figure out how to get back to the lawn.

Figured it out!

I laughed a bit to watch him figure it out. He was so proud to start the mower himself. In the end, I sat and sipped a cocktail (it was 6:00 PM!). He did a great job.

Next time, the edger.

Just a note. He's a good kid- does everything we ask- fetch a diaper, take the garbage out, watch your sister, help your brother, he does the regular expectations of keeping his room clean, making his bed, and his daily chore is feeding the dogs. He's cleaned a toilet, washed a dish- we just need to keep on building the repertoire.

Jun 25, 2008

Gas and Goodbye

Holy Crap! Today I filled up the gas tank in the Excursion.

Yes, we drive large cars (the other one is a fifteen passenger van)- we have a large family.
End.Of. Story.

The Excursion holds 40 gallons. Gas today was $4.46 a gallon.
Drum roll, please...

Total for 38.76 gallons?
$173.22!!!!! For a flippin' tank of gas. I was stunned, and also thankful that the cut off is no longer 75.00, because I would have to have had three different transactions.

If only we could come up with a better solution to transporting our brood around...

Our little three month old is gone. She went home with dad this afternoon. She was a sweet thing. Leo and Grace were visibly saddened. It is always hard to say goodbye. We took pictures and will talk about her gift of time with us, for a while. It felt good to have a baby in the house. The hand-off to dad went well. It felt right and safe. We will hope it truly is.
Good luck Macy!

Jun 23, 2008


So today, I'm dropping off my oldest son, Leo at the movie theater. I deliver him to his friend and grandmother and circle the parking lot to head back home when I spot a white pickup, parked with something hanging from the back hitch. It catches my eye because of the way the decorative item is hanging from the hitch and the bright blue color. I had to stop and stare, because really, I couldn't believe my eyes. There, hanging from the hitch of the pickup hitch was this...

Oh, my freaking frack... What in the world wold possess someone to hang balls off the back of their vehicle?

I swear to you that the ones I saw were slightly different, in that they had a slight nudge of a bulge right in the center and above the testicles, suggesting the presence of a penis. I swear to God!

I went home to grab my camera- didn't even have my cell phone with me- and went back to the parking lot to snap the shot. Sadly, the truck was gone. I had to make do with an image off of a web site that sells these lovelies. Funny, when I was searching for an image I came across an article discussing the ban on hanging these creatures off your car. You can see it here. The senate voted on a bill in FLA to ban them... Gay folks can't adopt in Florida and you can't hang testicles off your hitch...Hmmmm. Kind of makes you think, huh?

I have never seen these before, and really, have no need to see them again.

∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆ ∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆ ∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆ ∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆

In other news…while I was circling the parking lot looking for the pickup with the nutz, Käri called from home. She had taken a call from the local CPS office with a referral for a three month old little girl who needed placement. (A few weeks back they called seeking placement for two sisters one and two years old- we said no.)

Tonight, I sit typing, while she snoozes in the swing. She's a cute bugger. A bit fussy, but she seems to like the swing. Looks as though it will be a short placement, relatives are waiting in the wings, which is why we said yes. The county was desperate for placement, and while nothing is ever set in stone, it really does seem that she will only need our care for a few weeks. No pictures, sorry, I'm abiding by the rules this time - at least for now!

Let's hope she is a good night sleeper.

Jun 22, 2008

Almost Home

Käri is on her way home from the grand state of Utah...she just called to check in after turning the wrong way twice and then taking the long shortcut to get back to where they were supposed to be, she's about a half hour away. She went with her teaching partner, Susan. They've been gone for five days, but we have spoken each day, more than once and we even joined the 21st century and used ichat (very fun).

I can barely understand her on the phone between the laughing and singing to Tim McGraw- God help me, country music-. She's had a fabulous time scrappin'- Yup, they drove to Utah for scrapbook conference, retreat, whatever...lots of free stuff and good times. Seriously.
Everybody has to have a hobby...

We are taking separate vacations this year- she to Utah, me to San Francisco. A bit weird, but okay.

I'm glad she had a good time and I'm glad she's almost home.

Jun 21, 2008

It is

It is what it is and I can't change it.

That's my mantra and I'm usually pretty good about it when it comes to my parents. It wasn't easy or fast- in fact it took many years. I've never been in formal therapy- except for myself- but as I get older I think more about it.

Growing up, my father was a drunk. I suppose a prettier word is and alcoholic. In my head he was a typical construction worker guy. I thought construction workers were all the same, he and his buddies were. After work he would have drinks with his buddies, especially Friday's. He always had beer or vodka at home. He has had some sober years, after I left the house, but now his drinking is much more unpredictable

I have many and various memories of him getting physically intrusive and abusive with my siblings, cousins, and me, after he had been drinking. He commonly drove drunk, sometimes with us in the car. Once, in eighth grade, at a school dinner/carnival function, he shit his pants and had to ride home hanging on to the window of the pickup, standing on the outer step. Another time he drove up to his family cabin to join his brother, sister and families and me- I was old enough to drive myself and had spent a few days by myself before the other family members arrived. He pulled in, in his El Camino and stumbled into the cabin, slurring, lazy, droopy eyes, saying hi. His sister quickly sat him down to a meal where he proceeded to droop his head and fall into his food. I watched. He stirred himself and began to ramble about going into town to get more beer. His siblings and spouses did nothing. I told him no and struggled to get his keys out of his pants pocket, convincing him to lay down for a while. After, I went to the car and took out the nearly gone 6 pack and the empties. I checked on him and found that he had peed on himself in his sleep... My aunts and uncles avoided me and we never spoke of it.

Fun times.

I can replay these scenes over and over again. The colors of his El Camino, the cans on the seat, his wobble, the looks from his siblings, my little cousins watching, my uncle steering them out of the room, the trees around the cabin, the stillness, the chaos in my head and the need to take care, while despising the acts of helping as well as the 'adults' disgust, yet lack of action.

So many other scenes play.

My parents love each other. I know they do. It is obvious to me and to others- sometimes I don't understand why my mother didn't leave him and then I know- she loved him and still does. Dependence, co-dependence, whatever. They'll celebrate 50 years next April. I celebrate their marriage as well. The family they raised, their commitment to one another. Thick and thin, good times and bad, and all that. They've done it.

My mother- she has her faults too.

Don't we all???

My parents are in town this weekend. Arrived yesterday around 3:00 and will leave on Monday morning. My mother was asked to be the god mother of my cousin's newest baby. My parents are staying with Käri's mom- she has extra space, so do we. They never stay with us when they come to town. Too much for my father to deal with. The noise, the chaos. Really, can't blame him (or anyone) for that. Yet, I see in my mother the desire to hang out and play with the kids, swimming, visiting, playing. When she visits by herself she does stay with us and spends all her time with us. Usually, when they both come, they stay with my aunt and uncle and spend most of their time with them.

I anticipate their arrival each time, with a mixture of excitement, anxiety, and dread. I would like my kids to have a relationship with them. A positive relationship. It was one of the reasons we moved back to California. And yet, I wait. ( Yesterday, I had to have a little ativan to help me wait) Will my father be drinking, will my mother be anxious about his drinking, will it be tense, will he be physical in his jokingly intimidating way, with my children, will he run to the store for some more tortilla chips and return drunk (it's been done before- once with my two year old son in the car...), will I have the guts to tell him to get out of my house and if I do will he ever return?

They have just left my house. They were here for about five hours yesterday evening, my mother came at noon today (my father had been golfing and came 30 minutes or so after her). Mom slept in this morning and hung out with Käri's mother before she came over. They left a bit after 2:00. We won't see them again until they are on their way out of town Monday morning. My mom played and went swimming with the kids while she was here. When my dad arrived he was fine. Thirty minutes later, not so much- he went into the house by himself to make a sandwich, when he emerged a few minutes later he appeared to be drunk, blurry confused, wobbly, softer... Did he find the vodka? I looked for evidence- refused to smell his breath (cuz yeah, you can smell it don't let anyone tell you you can't- although, I am an expert on smelling it and recognizing drunk symptoms. I can also count drinks like nobody's business- talents of growing up with a drunk). My mom got out of the pool and within forty five minutes they were gone. I spoke to my mom over my fathers head- just like when you are with a child- told her not to worry about it.

It is what it is, right?

Edited: In response to Process... My children are never left in my father's care, and in fact ,as a family, we have only been to my parents house a handful of times in the last ten years. I have spent time with my folks, with one child at a time, for a few nights, so my mother can get a grandchild fix. I am always with them and on guard.

Jun 19, 2008

Photo Meme

Very fun and different. Stumbled upon this from Toni. She found it through Tee, who got it from Anxiousdog. I think that covers it.

The answers read from top to bottom, left-right.

The rules:

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One Word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name.

Beautiful, beautiful...


Edited to add this shot. Just look at those cute cheeks!!

Jun 17, 2008

First Time for Everything

As a large family we endure many of the questions most large families do- such as

"Are they all yours?"

"Do you run a child care?"

A personal favorite "They can't be all yours..can they?"

Tonight ,after a late large lunch ,we decided to take the kids to the local Baskin Robbins for dollar scoop night in lieu of dinner. They all gathered around a couple of tables and ate somewhat quietly while the other diners looked us over.

The family sitting closest to us (mom, dad, and one child, maybe 4) were murmuring to each other, counting heads, and just generally checking us out. Finally, mom asked "are they all yours?" followed by "are you a group home?". Käri was feeling brave and like being a smart ass. When the woman gestured about and inquired loosely "well, then, um, how did , um, you..."

Käri says "I slept around a lot".

The woman laughed and we both explained the tale- bio's, foster care, adoption, "yes we have had some kids who we didn't adopt, no, we haven't kept them all, yes, it's very hard to say goodbye..." The usual.

We were all getting up to leave and a couple of the kids needed to wash up so I stuck around the exit door waiting for the stragglers while Kär headed out to the van.

At this point, the husband approaches me and stretches out his hand. I meet his eyes and glance at his hand. He's holding out money. Offering me money. I'm a bit stunned, but quickly tell him "Thank you, that's very sweet, but please give it to the gentleman in the parking lot who's asking for a hand- he needs it much more than we do" He pushes it towards me again, and again I decline, but thank him for the offer.

He never really says anything, just offers the cash and gestures towards the kids.

A first. Most definitely a first.

Now, if your Oprah, or some other wealthy philanthropist, we'd be happy to accept college funds for all the kids, a lifetime of Costco gift cards, or Sears... ;)

Jun 11, 2008

What's your fortune?

We had Chinese food the other night- brought it home so as not to create chaos in the outer realm...And by Chinese food ,I mean we ordered rice and Chow Mein noodles, plain, for the kids. Exciting, eh?

Käri and I had both eaten late lunches that afternoon and weren't really interested in eating dinner and Gracie was gone at a Brownie (Jr. Girl Scout...whatever...) event for the entire day. Grace doesn't like Chinese food, so we decided it was a good night when Leo made the request. We picked up our noodles, rice, and fortune cookies, of course.

That's a whole lot of background information for the following tidbit-

Jack and Abe were opening the fortune cookies the next morning and were pleased at finding their fortunes-

One read; "You'll soon be on top of the world!"

Abe "We're gonna need a really big ladder!"

I loved that.

Jun 5, 2008

The Two Vowels

I or A?

At 10:00 a.m. I opened the front door for the man who had arrived to provide me with a bid for a drywall patch job, for my ceiling in the kitchen, where the toilet upstairs had leaked oh, uh, maybe two years ago. Yeah, anyway, he arrived as I had just finished changing a poopy diaper and was on hold with poison control (1-800-222-1222) to see if, perchance, my two year old was going to die soon from a bit of a drug overdose from the bottle of meds I had inadvertently, not only left on the kitchen counter, but also had left the child safety cap askew...

I greeted the gentleman, poopy diaper in one hand, phone perched between my shoulder and ear, and informed him of what he was walking in to. He chuckled, always a good sign, and entered to complete his bid while I washed up. As I washed, I reflected on the last several minutes and my apparent inability to just keep my mouth shut and wondered how the rest of the day may shape up...

By 3:00 p.m., I had to choose between my two vowels, I and E; AKA ice cream or alcohol... I chose I, ice cream, thinking that maybe having a Gin and Tonic at 3:00p.m. might just put a damper on the kindergarten graduation ceremony that evening. Or maybe it would have made it go smoother...

P.S. No overdose for Ruby, thank god. edited 5/6 I suppose I should add that at the most, I thought she may have taken one- she didn't take any.

Jun 1, 2008


He wants it long. Drives me nutty. It's generally wavy'ish with some curl going on.

Soooo 70's...Yeesh.

At least I can see his beautiful eyes now.