Friday, January 27, 2012

Uterus versus the Mail

We love in our hearts and think in our brains. Intuition begins in the gut and weather forecasts in our joints. We even believe with every fiber of our being. But do you know what part of the body we use to find things? Is it our eyes, our brain, or maybe our fingers?

Nope. According to Pennsylvania folklore, we use our uterus to find things. That is why men can't do it and why, when we lived in PA, it was not uncommon to hear something along these lines: "Ever since my hysterectomy, I can never find my car keys."

My uterus has been in charge of looking for things ever since.

Today Peter couldn't find some mail. He remembered setting it down a couple weeks ago "somewhere special" so he wouldn't lose it. He just couldn't remember where this special spot was hiding. I would have helped him look, but I was busy doing other important things, like reading blogs and checking Facebook. I mean, it wasn't that big of a deal; it was only the soon-to-be-overdue renewal of his State Medical License.

So he looked and I ... sat at the computer. And he looked and I ... loaded the dishwasher. And he looked and I ... picked the kids up from school. And he looked and I ... sat at the computer again.

A couple hours later, panic was beginning to build and there was real threat of the house being torn apart. I finally decided I might be a little sad (and hungry) if my husband lost his ability to work. Besides, I'd finished reading blogs for the moment. So I got up, walked to our bedroom, and found it in a pile of papers on our dresser. A piece of mail I'd never seen in a pile I'd never noticed before. It took less than thirty seconds.

"Don't worry," I said as I brought them back downstairs, "Maybe someday you can grow a uterus, too."

"Thanks," he replied, "Can you find me an envelope?"


Monday, January 23, 2012

A Snow Day or Three

I am a creature of routine. Unexpected changes make me a grouchy, grouchy Mom. But there is something magical about snow days. Even though plans fly out the window, there still lingers my childhood excitement of SNOW DAYS and CANCELLED SCHOOL. Even though it goes against every part of my personality, I love, LOVE, LOVE snow days.

This year I was lucky; Peter had the whole week off, so we hibernated together. We braved the roads several times to keep a supply of Redbox on hand.

Can you tell how much I LOVE being cold. I would have covered my eyes, too, if they weren't required for walking without falling down.

We found a great hill for sledding. Despite what it looks like, Joseph had a blast.

Matthew learned that when we tell him to wear a scarf, he probably should. Never fear, I shared mine until he decided it was too hard to walk in. (Don't ask me, I don't know why a scarf made it hard to walk, either.)

After sledding and our second bout of driveway shoveling, we went out for lunch and hot chocolate. We kept thinking the roads would get better as we moved towards busier ones, but apparently our new home town doesn't do a great job with snow plowing. In fact, none of the roads looked like they'd been plowed at all! Even the freeways. I'm glad our new Suburban has 4-wheel drive. Still, we kept driving to our destination. After all, we needed to change things up so we could exactly what we were doing at home.

Then there is the daylong pause where we did nothing and have no pictures to prove it. Well Ryan went to an overnight scout camp, Peter took the kids sledding again, and I went to a GNO, but other than that, NOTHING.

When the roads finally started to melt, we let the kids get out some pent up energy at the local skating rink.

And nothing finishes off snow days like Blizzards from DQ.

The temperature has risen, the snowy roads have melted, and we are all back on routine- or we will be, starting tomorrow. The kids had today off for semester break, even though school was cancelled during finals and the semester is now extended two days. Now I need to dig out of some major housework; hibernation is a messy thing when you have six kids!

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What is this gratitude of which you speak?

Sitting at the kitchen counter, minding my own business and resting after another exhausting shopping trip, my reverie was broken when my son decided he must speak his mind. "Mom, thanks so much for buying those pudding cups you know I like. That was really nice of you."

Say WHAT?!?

Absolute shock: a face usually reserved for stepping on an entire tube worth of toothpaste on the bathroom floor or finding my best scissors used on fruit leather or, better yet, the real leather chair.
It crosses my face often enough that its appearance evoked no special attention. I was surprised, however, he didn't notice when I almost fell off the stool.

"You're ... welcome?" I tentatively reply after regaining my composure- and balance; more surprised his follow up was a hug and not a request for extra computer time.

It gets weirder.

Over the next several days I was thanked for waking someone up in the morning, driving a kid to school, making a favorite dinner, fixing a pair of pants. The thoughtful thanks just kept rolling out off their tongues!

So much for motherhood being a thankless job. Somehow my children actually noticed the things I do on a regular basis. And they appreciated it. Enough to tell me. I checked their biological clocks and they were at least a decade or two ahead of schedule. I couldn't figure out what kind of alternative universe I'd entered, but I can't say I didn't enjoy it.

While it lasted, anyway.

A couple weeks later I was once again at the counter resting my shopping-sore feet. "You bought pudding cups? But I wanted granola bars!" Ah, to that I know how to respond. (Cue up the You-Want-To-Go-There-? face and watch the kid scamper upstairs, bemoaning the cruelty of his insensitive mother). Guess I accidentally hit the reset button on those biological clocks. Oops.

This picture has nothing whatsoever to do with the post. I just like it.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Insanity is the new Settled Down

There are a million things I'm going to do when life settles down. Two weeks into the new year, I reluctantly faced the reality that this is as settled as life is going to get. Insanity is the new Settled Down.

I came to this conclusion in the middle of Costco. With all six kids in tow. At dinnertime.

Two pairs of glasses needed picked up (Kirsti and Ryan) and two different prescriptions for glasses needed dropped off (Elise and me); or in other words I was exchanging my bank account for half the family's proper eye sight. The first 3 days of the week had failed to provide any opportunity for the trip. Or, in more honest terms, I was able to find ample procrastination fodder. You see both teenagers had to be with me: one for fitting the glasses and the other for choosing the frames. Since Peter worked evenings all week, I had an all-or-nothing choice for bringing the kids. I chose"nothing" for as long as possible, but guilt finally made me go with "all."

Hotdogs and churros was the promised reward for good behavior, or at least better than devilish behavior. "If you don't stop wrestling across the optical center floor you're not getting Costco hotdogs.". It was also the bribe for making the kids wait all week to get their new glasses. "I know we need to go, but if you just wait until Thursday there'll be a Costco hotdog in it for you." It was also an excuse to not make dinner. What? I meant I LOVE making a huge mess in the kitchen everyday so at least one kid can complain about the menu. It makes my life worth living. Buying mystery meat and smothering it in ketchup was a sacrifice on my part. No, really.

So anyway, we can all see again, I've begrudgingly embraced reality again, I've found insanity suits me again and Costco didn't even revoke my membership. Just another day in my nice, settled life.