Thursday, May 28, 2009

End of the school year... goal this summer is to get on my blog and create some witty writings at least three times a week. Of course, I'm going to feel victorious if I get on here three times during the whole summer, but that's neither here nor there.

The last couple of months have been a whirlwind of school projects, homework, teacher gifts, goes on and on. Sometimes I think that it's ME being graded on things for my boys, surely the teachers can't think that my children are doing all these things themselves.

It's "Teacher Appreciation Week" at Littleboy's school, and I tried to be as creative as possible with Miss C's gift. At one point she and I had discussed my husband's wonderful ability to make sushi for us at home. It's SO great that he makes it, really, it is...who has money to go out all the time in order to self-medicate with sushi?? She had said to me "Oh, how great for you, I wish I knew how to roll my own sushi!" So for her gifts, we have given her things to make her own sushi, different items on different days.

Today I sent in a book on how to make sushi, plus chopsticks, nori (seaweed), and a bag of rice. I neglected to think about how "easy" it would be for Littleboy to carry this to his class...a 5 pound bag seems light to me, but watching him carry it (along with the other gifts) did cause my husband and I to chuckle...poor little skinny kid.

Tomorrow is his class party, should be fun! (translation: should be loud, chaotic, and crazy-making). He is just as excited about it as I am!!! Maybe someone will be buying Xanax for the teacher as her end of the year gift....

Wish me luck on cracking open this blog more often...coming up soon: hubby and I paint the exterior of the house...I'm going to cause that man to weep with frustration, I'm sure.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


So, OldestBoy is on his second international trip (he went to Japan in November). He's in Florence, Italy today...sleeping as I type this (better be). His tour guide has posted a couple of pictures of the group, one a great group shot...the other a really out-of-focus picture of what I believe to be, high school kids riding in a gondola...or a camel floating on a of the two.

This child is going to see the Sistine Chapel...the Pope...Pompeii...everything I've always wanted to see, and hopefully will, one day. I hope he truly appreciates the "fantastical-ness" of this adventure he's having. I certainly do.

He's only going to be gone for 9 days total - it seems like it's an eternity. How in the world will I cope if he decides to live elsewhere to attend college? I think I'll lose my mind. It's not that I don't have plenty of kids around here to occupy my time...keep me hopping...create dirty laundry; but when one piece of this hectic puzzle is missing, things just aren't the same.

Sleep well, OldestBoy, your momma loves you so much (and really misses you alot).

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

So here I am...

...sitting in the new location for our office, and quietly reflecting on the tortured *heck* the last few weeks have been in this house. Yes, we DID move the pool table back up the stairs (the stairs have a turn at the landing, did I mention that before?), and we did move the big boys back downstairs...each into his own room. Littleboy and Babyboy now share a room, along with all their toys, and the office is back into it's original location.

I have cleaned every single closet in this house, removing bags and bags of clothes and toys to either be donated or sold. I have organized file cabinets, refolded towels and sheets, separated Legos from pirate warriors, climbed to dangerous heights (to me, anyway) on a ladder, restocked light bulbs, bought "mature" drapes (in lieu of Peter Rabbit drapes) and even bathed the cat.

Let's see...I've also replaced all the air conditioning filters, cleaned and organized my pantry, brought cupcakes to Littleboy's school, had a couple of meetings with the new accountant, and debated with the repairman about the humidity sensors in the (then) non-drying dryer.

The household budget has been reworked...somewhat (see: met with new accountant) and I learned that we will be perpetually broke. I've organized clothing and accoutrements for Oldestboy's trip to Italy this week, the ceiling fans have been dusted, snowboarding boots packed, and a dinner consisting of 450 gyoza (potstickers for Japanese folks) was pulled off without a hitch.

All this to say...if you happen to talk to me anytime soon, and ask me how I'm doing I'm going to say "I'm tired!"...and I'm really, really going to mean it.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Overwhelmed and "undermotivated"

A common topic of discussion lately seems to be how overwhelmed my girlfriends and family members are. I've been waking up every morning with a ton of things hanging over my head. Part of me hopes I'll be able to get to them all, but another part of me knows..."ain't no way I'm gonna finish".

Just this morning I was taking a stroll around the yard with the fella who mows my lawn. (Hubby can't do it (he's working all the time), Oldesboy and Middleboy are swamped with schoolwork and crew...and I just don't have it's an expense we've managed to work with.) He was showing me the spots of crabgrass that need to be dealt with, and telling me what kind of somethings I have to put into the spreader-thingy and push around the yard. I think I got what he said, I know my eyes glazed over a couple of times, but I think I got the gist of it. Now, while I have the funds to pay "lawn fella" to come once a week, I can't afford to get any extras with him. The weeding, trimming trees, etc., all fall to me.

Lawn fella is walking and pointing and telling me to get the rake out and rake a couple of bad spots, "Or, you can pull these sections out by hand"...and I'm thinking in my head "When exactly am I going to have TIME to do this?" I have weeding to do, the trees need to be trimmed, my screened porch and pool are just a mess from the winter...but then there's the taxes, the new self-employed health insurance issues to straighten out, and the afore-mentioned moving of rooms.

Oh, and don't forget that Oldestboy needs help going through the maze of paperwork in order to apply for every college scholarship under the sun, Middleboy's backpack needs replacing and I think the oil needs changing in two of the three cars.

*sigh* I'm overwhelmed, I tell you. I keep making to-do lists after to-do lists, and the piece of paper now becomes two pieces. Maybe one day, when the kids are all grown and out, and Hubby is retired, I'll get to it...or not.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

We're moving furniture...


Lately Middleboy has been saying that he doesn't like having his bedroom upstairs in our bonus room. He shares the space with Oldestboy, and it's a pretty large area. They have bookshelves and dressers, an entertainment center with all the xbox accessories, a desk, and about 15,000 books full of Pokemon cards from when they were 10 and 8.

Oh, that and 10 tons of clothes that they don't wear, yet don't want to get rid of.

*big, big sigh*

Since Hubby is now working at home, we need to move his work area into the bigger room downstairs that currently houses the pool table and full-size drum set. It has french doors, a wooden floor, etc...much more professional looking. (Right now hubby is working in the spare bedroom that has a Crayola ceiling fan and glow-in-the-dark stars all over the ceiling.)

So, to summarize, here's what's going to go down:

1. Move Oldestboy bed and dresser down to bedroom number 2.
2. Move Middleboy down to (well, the hallway at first).
3. Move office out of bedroom number 3.
4. Move Middleboy into bedroom number 3.
5. Move pool table upstairs into bonus room (yes, upstairs, can you stinking believe THAT?)
6. Move office over to current pool table room.
7. Move desk set from upstairs down into office.
8. Empty all closets, and move accessories with applicable owners of said accessories.

And that should take me, what, 9 years???

So, for those of you that are planning wonderful spring break trips this year, I'd like you to, please, remember me, and stop by on your way out of town...we're moving that pool table Tuesday at noon...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

So many ways to describe him...

As you know, I try to refrain from using names here on my blog, in the interest of keeping my teenagers communicating with me. However, today I'm breaking that rule because I want to try to describe Martin deMaat.

My Uncle Martin was by far, the coolest man I have ever met. I mean that honestly. I know that "cool" is a cliche, everyone uses it, no one really means anything emphatic by it, but I do. He was cool. He was always "okay". He made you feel like everything was always going to be "okay". "It is what it is" is a phrase he used often. When you were stressed and upset he would sometimes tap you slowly and softly on the middle of your chest, just below your collarbone. It would help you to focus and relax, and on occasion I now find myself doing that, without even being aware of it.

If you asked anyone who knew Martin, they would tell you that they were certain they were Martin's best friend. He made everyone feel that they were important, that they were worthy.

For quite some time my uncle lived downstairs in a two-flat he shared with my mother in Chicago. Whenever I would take Oldestboy and Middleboy up for visits we would get to spend time with Martin, and it was always great. He was so much fun to be around, and had a laugh that would make people want to be in on the joke. (If you've ever heard me laugh out loud, you know, it's LOUD, and so was his.)

Martin had this way of talking and using his hands, it was so fascinating to watch. His hands were beautiful, and I'm so grateful that Oldestboy has hands that are looking just like Martin's, the older he gets.

Martin would take me shopping for clothes for Oldestboy, when I had no money of my own to spend; he would always put cash in my pocket when I would be heading home..."just in case"; he made me feel important, and pretty; he taught me about "thinking outside myself"; he made me laugh...and the day he left he made me cry.

It was 8 years ago today that we lost Martin; And a loss it continues to be. I have dreamt of him a few times, and he is always smiling and happy...and I know he wants us to be happy too. So I try hard, for his sake, to be happy, and remember that I will see him again. Until that day I will tell Littleboy and Babyboy all about their wonderful Uncle Martin, who loved everyone and was loved by everyone, too.

**Please scroll down and listen to Drops of Jupiter on my music player, this song reminds me of Martin whenever I hear it.**

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Being sick ain't fun

Wow, I've been out of it for DAYS now. I'm finally sitting down to write a little bit, finding that the effort of moving this mouse .5 inches is making me short of breath. So sad, isn't it?

Middleboy came down sick last weekend, sort of a "stuffy nose-feverish-coughing thing" going on. Of course, he didn't want to stay in his room the whole time, he had to come downstairs on occasion to go to the bathroom (how dare he), or to eat (some nerve).

Children are notoriously bad at keeping their germs to themselves...or maybe girls are cleaner, I wouldn't know. I follow my boys around with Lysol spray and wipes, but to no avail. I think they are determined to share the wealth, so to speak.

So, Momma (me) turns up sick Monday night. Momma doesn't just get a "stuffy nose-feverish-coughing thing", of course Momma gets a full-blown sinus infection with the beginnings of bronchitis which has since turned into the first stages of walking pneumonia. Thank God I'm on antibiotics, because I know that tell-tale stab in the back when I cough. I've had pneumonia before, and dang it, I was headed for it again.

(On a side note, let me officially thank my idiot stepfather who always insisted on making me breathe in his second-hand smoke growing up. "Thanks *nameless doofus*, for the great gift of weak lungs you've bestowed on me.")

So here I am, about 5 days later, still short of breath when I walk around, taking antibiotics as big as a men's size 9 dress shoe, and laundry to the ceiling. Don't get me wrong, Hubby has been superman around here...driving kids to school, making dinners, grocery shopping, homeworking...all while trying to keep our business at home running too. He's been fantastic, but the house needs both of us to maintain.


I'm feeling slightly overwhelmed, looking at the mess I have to contend with, guess I'll just go back to where's that inhaler??

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Hubby's working at home...

This was a statement I always thought I would LOVE to be able to say. And, I still am, sorta, loving saying's nice that he's here to have lunch with Littleboy whenever he wants, or sleep until 9, if he had a rough night. I think it is truly a blessing that he isn't nearly as stressed as he was when he was putting in 75-80 hours a week, making someone else wealthy.

That being said, I think we might kill each other.

My husband is a very, very intelligent man. He can tell you mathematical things about holding up the roof of a house that many people, aside from structural engineers, don't take into consideration. He has a memory that is more than a "steel trap", the ability to recall what day he sent which email, regarding which house, on which lot, and exactly (word for word) what he said and all the people he said it to. I honestly have never seen anything like it.

He can have someone say "I need a house that has this, this, and this...but not this, and DEFINITELY not this." And in 24 hours, create this house out of thin air. He's a Michelangelo of design work.

Am I impressed by him? Yes, on a daily basis.

Do I like working for him? No friggin' way.

My husband's shortfall, if I may call it that, is his inability to understand that we all don't think like he does. I don't know how to set up Excel files (gasp!! I know, I know.). I don't know how to link his phone to his website, to his email, to the "fax to your email" company, to the hosting site, to the sushi bar...or whatever.

I can, however, tell you when the electric bill is due, what Littleboy's favorite sandwich is, and what setting to use to get stains out of Middleboy's crew clothes.

So, it's going to be an interesting ride, working at home with Hubby. I'm sure this isn't the last you'll hear about it. I love that man so much...I certainly hope I don't have to bury him in the backyard.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

under the toilet...

This is going to set a world's record for fastest blogging known to man. Mom's coming in 3 hours, and I'm still under the gun. Gotta vacuum (remember to spell check THAT before posting), fold some laundry (see yesterday's post regarding 8 loads), get showered....

(Good thing I took that one typing class back in high school...Mrs. Heirholzer would be so proud of my speed typing skills today.)

Oh, yes, my title of this blog...we have 3 bathrooms. Two the the boys share, and one that's in my bedroom. Well, the ones that the boys share, are also the boys' to clean. I figure, I'm the only one in this house that doesn't miss when I go to the bathroom, so why in the world am I cleaning all three toilets??? Middleboy always cleans the front bathroom, and Oldestboy cleans the back.

This morning I say to Middleboy "Don't worry about cleaning your bathroom today, Grandma is going to use it, so I want to give it a good scrubbing." (Of course, he's more than happy to oblige...I think he actually did a cartwheel.)

Here's the thing: I don't really check after the boys when they clean the bathroom, I mean, they are in high school for goodness sakes, in AP classes no less. They are smart enough to know when a bathroom is clean or nasty.


The floor around that toilet in Middleboy's bathroom? Oh dear Lord, it was was...ugh, it just was. *sigh*

Good thing my mother didn't see it....

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Mom is coming!

My mom is arriving tomorrow, on a short vacay from the cold wilds of Chicago. She lives and works there, along with the rest of my family, and we get to see her a few times a year. (I used to fly up there with my children...back before the economy tanked, and plane tickets for my family didn't require the writing of a second mortgage).

We are so excited to see her, especially Littleboy. He is 7 now, and has had an extremely close relationship with my mother. He was conceived two days after my beloved uncle Martin passed away (Mom's brother), and we like to think that the two of them had a conversation as their paths crossed. He is also the only child that Mom was able to watch being born (the timing is tough when you are in labor in Florida and Grandma is in Chicago...but it was great...just ask her, she'll tell you). Whenever Mom is here, Littleboy is on her like he's velcro'ed to her skirt.

Cleaning my house for Mom's arrival is a whole event in itself. My mother could care less if I have 8 loads of laundry on the floor (which I actually DO right now), or if I've dusted recently (nope)...but I do like to have it nice for her when she gets here. I'd hate for her to sit in that plane seat on her way back to the Windy City thinking "Where did I go wrong?".

Soooo, I have laundry to do, along with the aforementioned dusting, as well as toilets to scrub, sheets to wash, food to buy. It's going to be a busy two days!

Yea! My mom is coming!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Abs and Buns class...

Those of you who know me, know that I'm turning 40 this April. Well, maybe you didn't know that, but now you do. (Just don't tell my mother you know, she'll freak if she finds out I've divulged my age...thereby allowing others to do the math, with a little Algebra included, to come up with the number that tells HER age).

I've decided that I want to be in better shape when I turn 40 than I was when I turned 30. (Keep in mind I've had two kiddos since I turned 30, this bod has seen the horrors of childbirth 4's a miracle I have any ab muscles at all).

I attended Abs and Buns class this morning at 9...with an instructor approximately 2 degrees south of the drill instructors hubby had in the U.S. Army. She is brutal, a demon in spandex... and I love her, she is going to raise my butt an inch for me by the end of April (here's hoping). Today's class had a ton of ab work. Some lunges for the buns, but not alot. (Last week we did 120 lunges during one of her classes - I am not making this up. I actually sobbed out loud during that class.)

Why do women wear makeup to workout at an all-girl gym? Don't misunderstand..these women look fantastic with their foundation and lipstick on..but why would you wear it? Did they go shopping or run errands first? Are they not planning on showering after? Do they think I'm totally disgusting because I throw my hair in a band and walk out the door? It tends to make me self-conscious when I'm surrounded by all this beauty, and look like something you found under your shoe.

Ah well, at least my butt feels a little higher...maybe.

Monday morning...

So much fun, no? Actually, I'm much better in the morning than the evening. Mornings have me making to-do lists for the day, confident in my abilities to accomplish everything on it (ha ha ha).

The hardest thing for me in the morning is getting everyone up and moving. Oldestboy is terrible at getting up the first time I call him. (Oldestboy and Middleboy share the bonus room upstairs - don't think I'm going to climb those stairs 3 different times to wake his butt way.) Eventually I'm chucking a shoe up there, threatening violence upon him, raising my voice just enough for him to hear my anger (and be sure, he quakes with fear) without waking Littleboy in his room down the hall.

I love my children so much, but waking them shouldn't involve breaking into my cherished stash of xanax...

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Middleboy and I share a genuine love of food. I mean, this child is truly an Italian (no offense to Italians who DON'T plan their days around their meals, if there are any such individuals). He likes to cook food, doesn't really mess around with "fru-fru" as we like to call it...give him a huge hunk of protein and some starch, and this kid is good-to-go.

I feel bad for him, though, honestly. His love of food (like mine) has also generated a need to love exercise. Good luck with that.

Middleboy has just brought me a fried egg sandwich. Fried egg with a slice of processed cheese on two pieces of white bread...not whole wheat, not sprouted wheat...not a hint of wheat...bread.

Let's see...what type of exercise would I love to do today....

Super Bowl Sunday

I'm beginning to feel as if I'm the only woman left on the planet (except for my mother) who says "Day-long football discussions, dissertations, pre-game shows, post-game shows?? FANTASTIC!! Cannot wait!!!" *rolling eyes*

(Although, a good party? That, I could use.)

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Song to make you cry (but in a good way, in a good way).

If you scroll down to the bottom of my page, I have a thingamajigger there that will play a song for you. Hubby found this song right after Middleboy was born. Oldestboy was 2 1/2 at the time, and if you listen to the words, you'd think it was written for that specific moment in time.
So,"Thank you Elton John", and not just for making big sunglasses cool.


PILATES. pi-lah-teez. n. A form of exercise developed by Joseph Pilates in the late 20th century that enables the human ovary to be moved 4 inches from where God originally placed it.

Hypothetical question...

Let's say some terrific mom has this kid (oh, 4 years old or so) who insists on eating sugar cookies for breakfast. Now, "terrific mom" knows that this isn't the most nutritious choice her beloved child could make, however "beloved child" is whining and pitching a fit at 8am.

Does "terrific mom" lose her terrific status if she gives in...rationalizing that sugar cookies are pretty much the same as Pop Tarts??

I thought so too.

Naming the kids?

I was in bed last night, enjoying a 4 year-old's little toes in my side, and thinking "How am I going to say these kids' names, without actually using their names?" If you have teenagers, you understand that humiliation via the internet is fairly low down on their list of faves...somewhere between having mom chatting with their friends on Facebook (which I do) and their dad flirting with the girl that sells perfume at Christmas (actually happened, they came home mortified...hubby was in hysterics).

Hubby is a whole different subject.

My boys all have a first name that starts with "J", and all have the same middle name too (I know, SO creative, aren't we?) so calling them by their initials would be ridiculous. "And then, JM told JM, that JM threw his homework in the trash."

So here's my solution...the 17 year-old will be Oldestboy, the 14 year-old will be Middleboy (setting him up for therapy later), the 7 year-old will be Littleboy, and the 4 year-old is officially Babyboy.

Confused? So am I, on a daily basis.

Friday, January 30, 2009

A day in the life...

Today was going to be my day to get started on my wax poetically about the challenges and triumphs of being a mother to 4 boys. I had big plans for explaining how I manage to stay sane, while imparting a sense of love and kindness to my children.

...that's all gone out the window.

While sitting here my 7 year-old quietly snuck in behind my chair, and stood there...waiting for me to ask him "What's up?" I finally asked the needed question, after realizing he would win this waiting game..and got this response: "You know how sometimes uh, Baby Boy likes for me to push him down on the ground when we are playing 'James Bond'?"

Now, think about that question..."You know how my brother likes me to push him down..."
"No, son, I don't think that I knew your brother liked for you to push him down on the ground..."

Anyway, he continued..."Yeah, uh, well, he wanted me to push him down and, uh, I did, and he's crying in your room now...but he wanted me to do it, Mom."

"Tell your brother to come see me." (Keep in mind, still trying to think peaceful, loving, motherly thoughts.)

The 4 year-old comes in, tears streaming..."MOM!! HE PUSHED ME DOWN ON THE GROUND!" 7 year-old "BUT YOU WANTED ME TO!!!" "NO, MOM!!! NO, I DIDN'T WANT HIM TO PUSH ME!!!" "YES YOU DID, YOU TOLD ME TO PUSH YOU DOWN!!" "NO!!" "YES!!!"

At this point, my loving, motherly response flows from my lips..

"Both of you get out of my office, and get your butts to bed."

And so it goes....