Would You Like a List of My Grievances?

I don’t have one.  I don’t even really have any grievances.  I just haven’t really been up to… contact.

But I have been thinking a lot.

I have a friend, a gal I grew up with (she was about three years older than me but she had a little sister who was my age and I had sisters her age and her family was in the ward, you know the drill) who died last weekend.  Of the flu.  No, not the swine flu, just the plain old flu.  She had three sons 9,6,and 3.  What do you say about that?

I have the same stinking back pain.  Again.  (Still not pregnant.)  And every time I try to stand I feel like the muscles in my back somehow forgot how to hold me upright.

We’re still planning on trying to move but there are still all these people in my house who keep eating, and wearing clothes and peeing in the toilets (and let’s face it, on the floor) and … And it’s difficult.

Sean has been very helpful and overall fantastic about all the chores we have for the selling the house prep.

The Princess turned 9.  Isn’t she amazing and gorgeous?

New Image

Isn’t that cake amazing and gorgeous?  My sister made it.  It was delicious too.

My friend Annie, who’s also amazing and gorgeous see: (I couldn’t help it, it’s my favorite picture of her.  Ok Fine,) came over to help me with the birthday party we had for the Princess.  She came right in and took over, doing the hair and make-up of five 9ish year olds.  By the end of the party, heck five minutes into the party, she was their god.

Me?  I was their plaything:me

The Infantile Delinquent turned 3.

I just love (and by love I mean loathe) having a three year old.

But I have to admit he does rock pretty freakin’ hard:ike

And now I’m all blogged out.  Adieu.

Rumble in the… Well, at the Next Door Neighbor’s To Be Exact

I don’t live in the nicest neighborhood.  I try to be positive about it.  In fact, if you’ve ever heard me talk about I was probably saying something positive like how I love that my kids’ best friends are kids named Kasem and Angel and that  I think it’s cool that most of the kids in their classes speak other languages. And that there’s a Costco at the end of my street.

I figured that this was where we could afford to live, so this was where we had to live so I really needed to find positive things about the neighborhood.  And I think I did a pretty darn good job.  But then Saturday came a long and I accepted the fact that despite its obvious attractions, my neighborhood  just isn’t a very nice place to live.

You see the Princess and the Pea were next door playing with their friends, a little girl the Princess’s age and twin boys two years older.  Their father lives next door to us and the kids are there every other weekend and one weeknight a week.  The kids were playing in an old camping trailer that lives in his carport.  I don’t love them playing in there, for reasons that should be fairly obvious, but the father usually sits on his back steps, about 5 feet away so I allow it.

So the kids were there playing and I was home with the little guys when there was a knock on my back door.  I answered it and it was a young girl (about 13) from across the street who was just checking to see if the Pea was ok.

“Um what?  Why wouldn’t he be ok?”

“Well, Billy (on of the 11 yr old boys next door) made him cry.”

“Well, he’s not home so he must be fine.”  I wasn’t really worried at this point, kids fight and they make up and I try not to get involved.

Of course, while I was talking to this girl at my back door the Pea had come in the front door.  “He’s right there,” the girl said pointing behind me where the Pea was now standing.

He was standing there, tear streaked but not crying and he said he was fine.  “Well, he’s ok so thanks for coming over,”  I said.

“Oh and your daughter has an inappropriate mouth,” the girl tossed off as a parting shot before she walked away.

Great.

So I asked the Pea what happened.  His story was not linear and pretty unclear but what I got from it was that the kids were playing in the trailer, and father wasn’t around and there was a baseball bat involved.

Shall I understate it and say that I was concerned?

So I went over there.  As I was walking across the front of my house I could see the same girl who had just been at my back door with two of her… brothers? cousins? relatives? (The house across the street is inhabited by a large pacific islander family [the family is large, the people actually, not so much] including a lot of children, mostly boys, and I’ve never been able to figure out how most of them are related.) of roughly the same ages.  The had an aluminum baseball bat and upon seeing me they began walking away from the trailer.

And this is the story as near as I could reconstruct it:  The father had left to get a movie.  (In his defense, his kids are 11, 11 and 9 and he lives next door to his mother, who watches his kids for him some and who was home.)  The kids, mine and his, had been playing in the trailer and the older bat wielding kids had been playing in the street.  Some of the trailer kids (not mine, I was assured.  Un hunh.) started yelling… unkind things at the kids in the street so naturally the kids in the street came over and began beating on the trailer with the aluminum bat.  Some time in the middle there the Pea had gotten out of the trailer as had the other girl the Princess’s age.  So the Princess was in there alone with the older boys and was sure that if she tried to leave she was going to be beaten to death with a bat.

Again with the understatement, I’m going to say that I was unhappy with the situation.

So I got the Princess out of there and laid down the rule that my kids are not to go into the trailer again EVER.  I mentioned to the street kids, now across the street, that they probably should not have used a bat to work out their problems and that they may want to make a point of going and apologizing to the father when he got home because he would probably notice the window that they had broken.  I talked with the Princess about appropriate language. (She swears she didn’t say anything and actually, I believe her. [You’d have to know the Princess.])  And I talked to her about the fact that she is not ever to be alone with either of those, or any other, boys with the possible exception of her brothers.

And I decided that we’re going to have to move.

____________________

For those interested, in the future I may post some of the other stories about the neighborhood  just so that you can all shake your heads and wonder exactly how stupid, blind and nieve I am that it took me this long to decide to move.

The Real Houdini

Back when the Infantile Delinquent was stealing cars my mother said that rather than calling him Irish 1, which was what I called him at the time, I should call him Houdini.  I thought about it but then I came up with Infantile Delinquent and I thought that was pretty clever (and then bythelbs came up with InfaDel and that was even cleverer and a lot of fun) so I went with Infantile Delinquent instead.

And now I know I made a good choice.  Sure the Infadel steals cars but only those that are left unlocked.  Or those to which he has access to the keys, which is pretty precocious for a two-year-old but not quite as impressive as his sister who opens this 102_0819from the other side of the door.  (That’s not a stain on the door jamb, it’s just unpainted wood from where the hinges used to be before I turned the door around.  Long story.)

Sean and I sleep in the basement in our house.  All the kids sleep upstairs.  Most of the time.  But the kids are horrible sleepers and all of them with the exception of the Pea would prefer to sleep in our bed.  The Princess and the InfaDel feel so strongly about this that they will sneak down stairs in the middle of the night to do so.  The Baby probably would too but he can’t get out of his crib.  Yet.  (He’s only barely one after all) So he doesn’t.

In an effort to not have four people in our bed every night  we started locking the basement door.  That was effective for all of maybe one night.  Then the Princess realized that by inserting a screwdriver along the striker plate (the plate that lets the door close without your having to turn the knob.  Yes, I had to look that up.) she could pop that sucker right open.

So after waking up to find the Princess in our bed 2 or 3 (or 20 or 30) times we installed the very fancy hook and eye latch.

Before we proceed let me point out a few features of the hook and eye.

It’s placed high on the door.  I’m 5’7″ and I took this picture standing, notice how you’re looking up at the latch?

There’s a backstop (looked that one up too) between the edge of the door and the latch so anything that’s going to open that latch has to turn a corner.  (You can’t really see it in this picture but in the interest of full disclosure I will tell you that the backstop on this particular door is backwards because when I turned the door around I was too lazy to pull off the backstop and turn it around too.)

This particular latch has a spring loaded lock on it.  You drop the latch into place and then pull the lock thingy back and  it’s supposed to secure the latch into place. (This feature is not very effective, it’s easy to unlatch the thing without pulling back the lock.  But it has to add some resistance right?)

The latch stopped the Princess for all of two nights.

SHE WAS STILL GETTING IN!!!!

At first we thought that we were forgetting to latch it.  Nope.

Maybe she was just jimmying the door and the latch was coming off?  No.

I wondered if she was somehow getting a screwdriver in there so I tried it.  That didn’t work either.

So finally we asked her.

She carries a chair down the stairs and stands on it.  Then she takes a paperback book and slides the cover between the door and the frame.  The cover of the book easily turns the corner (Made slightly easier by the backward backstop but still…) and with the book cover lifts the latch.  She then inserts a screwdriver between the door and the striker plate, because we often engage both the latch and the lock (why, I have no idea because obviously neither are doing any good)  and unlocks the door.  She then carries the chair back upstairs, puts the book and the screwdriver away (the only time she ever cleans up after herself) and them comes back downstairs and climbs into bed with us.

It really is too bad she’s an evil genius.

Free at Last, Free at Last

I’ve heard that  Martin Luther King Jr,was referring to something other than a resuming of wi-fi connectivity when he wrote that speech.  But I’m not convinced.

That’s right folks, I got the ol’ laptop fixed and I’m back sitting on the floor in the Infantile Delinquent’s room while he yells for his father and blogging. All is now right with the world once again.

Speaking on sitting here listening to the InfaDel holler for his dad.  I got to do that for a good hour and a half yesterday (he’s nothing if not persistent) because we’ve completely broken that kid.  He does not ever go to sleep without one of his parents (preferably his father) within touching distance.  (This includes when he wakes up in the middle of the night.  And I’m here to tell you his floor is not overly comfortable.)  I held strong, that I was not going to get his father until he started crying “please get daddy” about midnight.  Give me a break, it was the most pathetic thing I’ve ever heard.  And even my heart isn’t completely made of stone.  Besides, I still needed to brush my teeth.

He is, however feeling better as evidenced by the fat that he spent the entire day sans pants.  Three days ago he wouldn’t have had the energy to undress himself like that.

But never fear, I still got to spend the day on the couch. Today it was the Baby, who was sick.  And he is, If anything, more pathetic when sick than his older brother is.  It was very sad.

In other news, the Princess was really on a roll today and all I can say is that I can’t wait until she hits puberty so that  I can blame the moodiness on PMS.

It’s Like I Just Dropped Off the Face of the Earth or Something

I didn’t really intend to take Christmas week off, in fact I wrote some really great posts in my head over the last week or so.  (Some that I plan to actually type up for your enjoyment.  And some that are lost forever is the deep dark recesses of my brain.)  But the thing is that my computer is broken.

When I say broken what I really mean is that as I was reading my sister’s blog the other day, my darling little laptop, Rufus, suddenly lost his wireless device.  One minute I was on the internet whilst lying on my stomach in the middle of the living room and the next minute, Rufus here, insisted that there was no way I had been on the internet whilst lying on my stomach in the middle of the living room because I had no way to be on the internet whilst lying on my stomach in the middle of my living room.  We’re still disagreeing on that point.

(BTW, I blame my laptop problems on Melanie J who blogged about her laptop problems which gave Rufus the idea in the first place.)

In the mean time I’m typing this while connected to the life-giving force of the internet by a cord.  Can you believe that?  I have a wire hooking me to the internet!  That’s so 2007.

But it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make so that you can get your Wonderland fix.

So how was your Christmas?  Ours actually went quite well.  I think we made it through the day without even one meltdown, this is big, my friends.

The Princess and the Pea who both had rough starts to the week, finished it up in fine style.  The Infantile Delinquent has been sick all week, poor baby, so he just wants to sit on mom or dad’s lap.  This is sad but kind of sweet since he’s not really one to sit still any other time.  And the Baby, has carried on as if this is just the same old stuff.

What’s new with you?

Mmmmmm Cookies

I have two goals for the week.

1. Stop whining!  I don’t know if it’s the “permanence” of the blog or what but I feel like an enormous whiner lately.  Just looking through the last several posts is really making me cringe.  I’m not usually a whiny person.  My boss at work told me the other day that I was the most positive person there.  Those kinds of comments may Sean laugh, of course, but still I most definitely do not want to get the reputation of being a whiner.  So I apologize for the way I’ve been acting for the last few months and I promise to be impressively happy from now on.  (Yes, I know it hasn’t been months but I was paraphrasing a movie [it’s worth 500,000 virtual points to the first to name it] so I had to go with months.  And I would have directly quoted the movie but I couldn’t find the quote on IMDB.  Stupid IMDB.  Not that I’m complaining.)

So that’s it.  No more whining.

2. I’m going to figure out how to enjoy time with my children more.  The princess and the Pea have been off track for three weeks now and we’ve got another one ahead of us and (without complaining) I’m going to tell you that they have not been the easiest weeks of my life.  (In fact it might be interesting to compare the time I’ve been whining with the time they’ve been out of school.)  But I know that they’re not going to be this age forever and I’ve heard that Trace Adkins song about how I’m going to miss these years and all that.  Basically, I’ve virtually surrounded myself with women who do not hate every minute of every day and they stay home with their kids full time, so I believe it can be done.  And I’m gonna do it!

In the spirit of that resolution I helped the Princess make cookies today.  And it really was me helping her rather than the other way around.  And that was good.  And then I let each kid have two cookies while we watched Wall E, which I hadn’t seen yet (cute, if you don’t mind environmentalist propaganda), and no one even spilled his or her milk so that was really good.

But if I’m going to keep this up I need your advice.

How do I keep this up?

The best solution I’ve ever heard is to not try to do other things, just be the mom.  And I like that but the fact is that I have other things the HAVE to be done, like sheet rocking (I will finish tomorrow, or Tuesday, I swear it!), and cleaning, and moming the other kids.

“So how do I do that?” She asks with a big smile on her face.

An Email From My RS President

Alison,

So…I came to your house for the meeting.  It went something like this:

The Pea (answering the door):  She’s taking a nap.

Me:  Oh, I’m sorry, do you know if your mom is having a meeting later?

The Princess (coming from behind The Pea):  Oh yes, she’s having a meeting, come on in.

Me:  The meeting is here, right?

The Princess:  Oh yes, please have a seat.

The Princess then proceeds to turn off the TV and shoo The Pea to the other room.

Then…

The Princess:  Let me just clean up this room.

She then appears with a vacuum (bigger than her, mind you) and meticulously vacuums the living room.

Me:  Are you sure your mom is expecting me?

The Princess:  Oh yes, she just needs to get my baby brother to sleep.  Can I get you anything to drink?

Me:  No thank you, I’m fine.

She then sits down and we have a chat about Halloween costumes, Hannah Montana, and her new school vs. old school.

At this time I am getting concerned that no one else has shown up for the meeting, including the hostess.

Me:  The Princess, do you think that I came at the wrong time?  Is it possible that the meeting is some other place or time?

The Princess:  Oh no!  The meeting is here.  Do you know how many other ladies are coming?

Me:  I think just three of us, plus your mom.  Is your mom coming?

The Princess:  Oh yes.

More chatting about Hannah Montana, High School Musical, and inappropriate pictures being sent over the internet (not of The Princess, by the way).

Me:  Princess, I think I better go home and check to see if I have the right time and place. Maybe the meeting has been cancelled.

The Princess:  I’m sure there is a meeting today.

Me:  Well, I’m just going to go and make sure.  Thanks for being such a wonderful hostess. Please tell your mother I stopped by.

The Princess then escorts me to the door and thanks me for coming by.

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