Thursday, November 25, 2010

What I'm Thankful For

thanks·giv·ing [thangks-giv-ing]: –noun
1. the act of giving thanks; grateful acknowledgment of benefits or favors, esp. to god.
2. an expression of thanks, esp. to God.
3. a public celebration in acknowledgment of divine favor or kindness.
4. a day set apart for giving thanks to God.
5. (initial capital letter) Thanksgiving Day.

“One act of thanksgiving made when things go wrong is worth a thousand when things go well”

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all! We are grateful for so many things in life, but sometimes it's the little things that can really make life shine. With that in mind, here is Nina's vote for the Best Macy's Parade Moment EVER. No worries, it's age appropriate. And you're welcome.

Just remember: when something burns, and the turkey is half-raw when everything else is ready, and Aunt Gladys spends the entire evening telling you what you've done wrong, and the kids decide to break out their "sentence enhancers" during dessert...you've got so much to be thankful for. For one thing, you're not alone! Also, I highly recommend Rick Rolling Aunt Gladys.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Veterans Day Salute

grat·i·tude [grat-i-tood]:  –noun
the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful: Our gratitude to the members of our armed forces is beyond words.

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” 
- Marcus Tullius Cicero

There are few things I admire more in this world than people who are willing to put their life on the line for something greater than themselves. There is no doubt that we all enjoy our freedoms, but few of us ever really stop and think about what keeps those freedoms in place. As George Orwell famously put it, “We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.” Every man and woman serving in the military today is someone who sat down at some point and said to themselves, "It's not enough for me to simply enjoy these freedoms; I'm going to protect them." Not content to sleep safe in their beds, these are people who volunteered to undergo grueling training, leave the comforts of home and the reassuring presence of friends and family, go into dangerous situations where they KNOW someone will try to kill them, and attempt to bring peace.

Sure, we all want peace. We teach our children not to fight. We gather in communities to have vigils or prayer services or charity drives, and try not to yell too much at other drivers on the road. When there's a disturbance, we call the police (another group of admirable people I'll write about later) to bring peace to the conflict. Each of us contributes in our own way to keeping the peace. Not too many of us have the guts to dodge a sniper's bullet for it.

In the spirit of Veterans Day, there is a small way we can help our servicemen and -women bring peace where it is lacking, and it's one that parents above all can really support: DONATE YOUR HALLOWEEN CANDY.


Through Operation Gratitude, now through December 3rd you can donate Halloween candy, small stuffed animals, etc, and they will ship those donations to our troops serving overseas. Some of course is kept by soldiers in need of a morale boost. The rest is given by the soldiers to the local children, who sometimes express their gratitude for the sweet treats by pointing out where along the road explosives have been buried. It's amazing how a little gratitude passed from hand to hand can turn into something big! Save a soldier's life; send candy.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Take Your Time - I'm Fresh Out

time (tim): n.

1.  indefinite

2.  the entire period of existence of the known universe; finite duration

3. a system of measuring duration

"We are out of time!"

Hrmm... have you ever had one of those mornings?  I did, just a few minutes ago.  We all woke up late.  No one actually wanted to go to school.  No one wanted to get dressed (myself included).  I gulped down a cup of amazing tea and life was better.  Seriously.  I'm pretty sure it's what coffee drinkers experience, but I'm not sure since I have maybe 10 cups of coffee a year.  [diet coke and tea are a whole nother story!]  I kicked into gear, lunches were made, violins grabbed, sweaters donned and out the door to the bus. I'm exhausted and want a cocktail.  IT'S ONLY 9 AM!!!! And I have at least 12 more years of mornings like this.  And.... would I trade those mornings for anything?  Nope.  Not a single one.

I discovered that when I'm driving (the whopping 2 blocks to the bus stop... don't go all green on me, we usually walk, even in rain, but we were REALLY late today.  TIME!!! I was out of it!) the girls tell me the most amazing things.  They tell me all of their fears, hopes, problems, and dreams. Even in the so short 5 minutes that it takes them to get on the bus. [Equally awesome is that the bus driver knows that the girls WILL NOT get on the bus until they have a hug and kiss from me.  Miss Ruth waits. And Miss Ruth will.not.let.Crow.on.the.bus, no matter how hard Crow tries.  Awesomesauce bus driver.]

Today I heard the Christmas wish list, and I silently thanked the gods that my children also included great toys for the local shelter.  I also made sure that they knew Santa has a budget and would love to know that they want to share with those less fortunate.

I also heard that Bank snores too much. [The sisters are are a bit annoyed that she hasn't had to have a sinus surgery yet, so they complain as MUCH as possible about her snoring, which I've recorded and is pretty minor.]

And Grace is mean in the mornings and wakes everyone up.  I discovered that Grace actually gets up an hour before me and pops onto the computer, so after this, I'll contact a computer forensics guy (old friend) and have him search my mac for... I'm not even sure, but I'll have him search.  And I'll have him explain to me very simply how to password protect stuff.  [I only figured out how to password protect my phone after Crow called Portugal's equivalent of 911.  I can now yell into a mobile phone in several languages, "It is not an emergency and I live in America!" I'm fairly certain that someone from the government (here or there) will show up soon. And then they will meet Crow.]

I also learned that I should really clean out my garage so I can put the minivan in there.  I have an awesome garage.  Fits 2 big cars; my father hung all sorts of hooks on the walls so I can hang bikes, scooters, ladders and extension cords.  And he gave me shelving for a birthday gift one year.  He might be one of the most fantastical dads ever! I need the garage space because on mornings like this when I need to drive the 2 blocks to the bus stop, I need clear windows in the minivan.  To get the clear windows this morning, I had to put all of the windows down, and I was cold!

My Garage: ... there are bikes on the floor.  A lone kayak, a row boat (that isn't ours) paddles, scooters galore, jump ropes, tools, a desk(?), boxes of stuff, stuff I'm sending out west (because I'm going to be a grand/great aunt again, and either grand or great totally work for me, feeds my ego...), donation stuff, and just more stuff!  Some of my neighbors have amazing garages.  They are the ones who still have operating garage doors, no 'stuff' on the floor, painted garage walls (seriously, who has time to do that?! And I'm really jealous!), stairs to the storage space ABOVE the garage (again, I'm really jealous, who wouldn't want all that extra space?), floor mats so if anything ever drips they can wash the mat, a system to hang things like kayaks from the ceiling... the list goes on.  And then I look at my lovely neighbors and realize that they have already raised their children and they have TIME to put everything away.  I'm coveting time now.  Forget the garage, I want time.  Or maybe another mother in the house.  Or a second wife.  Not sure how Q would feel about that, but darn, the garage AND the kitchen would be clean at. the. same. time. Who wouldn't want that?!  (Yes, I know laws, morals, etc get in the way, but really!  A clean kitchen and garage with laundry being done at the same time seems pretty out of this world to me.  Like space alien out of this world....)  Yes, I know I digress... bear with me...

Now, we are embarking on the ever stressful holiday season as well.  We start with Halloween.  Then, Thanksgiving sneaks up.  And then we, as mothers start panicking about the winter holidays! (I swear, it doesn't matter which one you celebrate, you freak out anyway!)  Then New Year's.  Right on it's heals as you sigh a breath, it's Valentine's Day!   Time!!! We have no time!

So I propose this to all:  Let's make the time for our kids this year.  

Who cares if our garages aren't as awesome as the folks who live next door?  I'd like to spend the afternoon teaching my girls how to chop vegetables for soup.  And I'd like my girls to go biking (without me freaking out where the bikes hang up at night!).  And I want my girls to enjoy a movie on a school night if their homework is finished early, popcorn included.  I want them to make gingerbread houses for Christmas, light candles, and make home made gifts.  All of that takes time, and, well, aren't they worth it?



P.S.  Bank just had a birthday and was super excited to get *TWENTY BUCKS* from her aunt.  She's already cashed it in for 2 10's so she can go shop for her school's canned food drive.  (She did tell me she'll *save* the other one for a toy for herself.  I'm pretty proud of her right about now!)

[Note from Mom- If I'd only know $20 would be the awesomesauce gift, I'd have gone with it!]

P.P.S.  Nina would have chocked at my misspellings and grammar on this post before my made up words and spellchek.  I just like messing with her,,,,,  ;) She is my bestest friend ever! [As always, I've fixed everything in the main area and added pics - I leave little notes like this one alone just for you. -N]

Saturday, October 23, 2010

All Right!

all right [awl rahyt]*:
- adverb
1. yes; very well; OK: All right, I'll go with you.
2. (used as an interrogative or interrogative tag) OK?; do you agree?: We'll deal with this problem tomorrow, all right?
3. satisfactorily; acceptably: His work is coming along all right.
4. without fail; certainly: You'll hear about this, all right!

- adjective
5. safe; sound: Are you all right?
6. satisfactory; acceptable: His performance was all right, but I've seen better.
7. (informal) reliable; good: That fellow is all right.

- idiom
8. (a) bit of all right, British. quite satisfactory (used as an understatement): The way he saved that child's life was a bit of all right. 

* Frequently misused as a single word: "alright". Acceptable in informal writing, but not in formal writing.

“Some men are all right in their place--if they only knew the right places!” -Mae West

Everyone has their own individual set of habits and expressions. I like to think of it as a sort of waving flag to indicate which neuroses we adhere to in order to get through any given day. Poets rhapsodize about the way their beloved tucks her hair behind her ear just so. People with really extreme or annoying habits and expressions either get interesting medications or their very own street corner for panhandling. In the normal everyday run of things, however, mostly what happens is that families harp on the other members' habits. We kvetch because we care, folks! Now, I'm not sure what my particularly annoying habits are - though I'm sure my family will be happy to tell you - but His Kiltiness has this one phrase that he throws into every hour of the day like it's a punctuation mark: "All right." [Katya here- he really does this all the time.  Pretty funny, and I would be happy to accept that in a spouse.  Even.when.it.gets funny/annoying. AND *I* don't have to live with it. Go Nina!]

Time to go potty and get out the door? "All right, everybody get shoes on!"
Introducing a totally random conversation topic? "All right. I've been thinking..."
Pointing out something important? "All right, look here."
Sitting down after a long day? "All right...."
Conceding a point? "All right, fine."
Coming into a room and forgetting why he's there? "Alllll right....?"
Introducing a serious discussion? "All right. Let's talk about our Zombie Survival Plan."
Sometimes he'll just stand in one place collecting his thoughts, repeating, "All right. All right. ...All right."

It's like the human equivalent of that little "loading" icon on a computer screen. He seems to use it unconsciously as a way to signal that he has completed a thought. Every.single.time.

Did this happy little phrase come with him when I married him? Honestly, I'm not sure. As anyone who has ever been madly in love will tell you, most of the beginning is a blur, with a mental overlay of Hallmark-esque moments in a happy little montage. Everything the Beloved does then is cute and funny and endearing. Years later, though, when you're one reflexive throat-clearing away from reaching for the bread knife, the thought bobs treacherously to the surface: Exactly how long has this nervous tic been going on?

I remember remarking a few years ago (possibly 6 - time is relative) that I was going to change His Kiltiness' name to "All right". He smiled, started his reply with "All right", and then we both died laughing. Since then, however, it's gone downhill. I've begun associating the phrase with unpleasant conversations (the kind where "we" need to do more work on something for some reason) [So wrong, on so many levels. No fair with the included *we*- Katya], so when the dreaded "All right" gets trotted out, I glare and grumble something about conversations on auto-pilot. The kids have begun treating the phrase as a synonym for, "It's time to stop having fun and go home." Even His Kiltiness winces when he catches himself saying it. Again.

And then it happened.

It was my brother-in-law's birthday, and my mother (Grandmom) was having us all over for dinner to celebrate. She's awesome like that. My children are deeply in love with certain cousins, and the feeling seems to be mutual, but we don't see each other all that often. When we do get together, to the kids involved it is an Event. On this particular occasion, His Kiltiness got drafted to do some overtime. Undeterred, I told him I'd bring a change of clothes for him and to just come directly to the party after work. He said all right (huh). So just as we were all sitting down to a movie after dinner, and Xena and her cousin Goldilocks were breaking out the plastic tea set, His Kiltiness arrived. He changed into his casual clothes like a whirling dervish, stopped just inside the doorway of the play room, and happily sighed, "All right!" Xena's head whipped around like a blue-eyed heat-seeking missile, and she ran over to where her father was standing - and punched him. Right.in.the.crotch. [I seriously can't stop laughing, and I have no clue why I'm hearing about this now instead of right then!!!! Poor His Kiltiness.]

Understandably, there was a moment of confusion and uncertainty regarding Xena's continued existence. Neither of us could figure out why she would greet her father, after a long hard day, with an unprovoked attack on the family jewels. Then, finally, it registered in my brain. I locked eyes with my darling husband, gave him the stinkeye, and asked: "Did you say 'All right'?" The lightbulb clicked on. Daddy sheepishly acknowledged that he may have uttered the fateful phrase. Xena's angry little life was spared. I had a desperate "coughing" [Yup, just like I did over the last few minutes! and no, I won't explain it to the short people in my life!- K] attack. His Kiltiness gave Xena a big hug and told her it wasn't anywhere near time to go home yet. And since then, he really hasn't used his favorite phrase much. I guess that groin shot really drove the point home.

I kind of hope His Kiltiness will start saying it again. Because just like that, it's back to being the funniest thing EVER.


Thursday, October 14, 2010


skin·ny [skin-nee]: adjective
1. very lean or thin; emaciated.
2. unusually low or reduced; meager; minimal.

(Sounds kind of derogatory, doesn't it? Hmm.) 

-noun (slang)
3. accurate information; data; facts. 
“I was so skinny, they gave me the nickname stechetto - the stick. I was tall, thin, ugly and dark like an Arab girl. I looked strange. All eyes. No flesh on my bones.” -Sophia Loren

Okay, you know what? We need to declare a truce on the whole skinny-girls-versus-fat-girls thing. Seriously. It's not productive, and leaves every single one of us sobbing neurotically and calling anyone who compliments us a liar. I think we could all do without that, including the men, children, and pets who grace our households and have to stand there helplessly with a box of tissues listening to us wax neurotic about our body image issues.

In the grand scheme of things, I think it's safe to say I fall on the thin side of the weight spectrum. Like, aaalllllll the way down there at the shallow end, where everybody looks vaguely like Olive Oyl. Motherhood does a number on all of us, one way or the other, and I drew the postpartum straw that gave me food allergies and a tendency to lose my appetite when I'm upset. Which happens with increasing frequency, because I somehow think that being thin makes me creepy and funny-looking. Awesome. I dropped two sizes in one year (after I'd cleaned out my closets, of course), and I've resigned myself to being perpetually hungry, usually for something I'm allergic to. I try to eat enough to gain back a few curves, but I might as well be calling for diamonds from the sky, because the weight just will not show up. It sucks. You know how some people who feel trapped by their circumstances dream about flying? I dream about eating Milano cookies. This is a recurring dream. I might as well dream about flying, because for me both are equally impossible. I refused to wear shorts all this past Summer because every pair I tried on made me look like a Halloween skeleton wearing a diaper - not a look I'm going for.

Now let's look at the other side of things. Some moms weigh more than they would like. These are usually women who are totally awesome and otherwise fun to hang out with, if they could get rid of the notion that having a few extra pounds about their person made them less than awesome and lip-smackingly sensual. Seriously? They drew the postpartum straw that said pounds would come take up residence and flip them a nasty gesture anytime they try to get rid of it. It sucks. These are my friends who are always trying to find the magic button that will make the weight go away, including resigning themselves to being perpetually hungry and crabby and feeling guilty every time they eat. It drives them bonkers because they didn't have this problem back when they were a young and energetic twenty-something, so they feel like the fact that the weight's still there means they're doing something wrong. I've had friends sheepishly admit that they won't wear shorts during the Summer because their thighs jiggle too much.

There seems to be some weird "perverse pride" thing going on lately, where women struggling to lose weight proudly and loudly declare that they're BETTER than thin girls. As a thin person myself, I admit I felt more than a little hurt when friends of mine hopped on this fancy little bandwagon. They seemed blissfully unconcerned that, in their haste to feel better about themselves and their struggle, they were perfectly happy to dump on me and mine. In fact, my first impulse was to track down every one of these friends and smoosh a banana cream pie in their face for being able to eat the things I can't. And that, my friends, is crazy. It's the kind of crazy that makes a friend look like an enemy for no real reason except their struggle is a bit different. This nonsense "x-is-better-than-y" campaign is just another kind of name-calling, only it pretends to be pro-female (by causing one half of the female population to attack the other half?!), which drives.me.bonkers. Really bonkers. I actually sat down and tried to write something funny about it earlier, and just ended up sounding whiny and angry. I hate sounding like that, so you won't read it here. Instead, I went to bed angry and came up with a brilliant new concept I think we could all get behind: WEIGHT-SHARING!

I think rather than waste our precious free time, energy, and brain cells resenting one another for our respective weights, we should pool our resources. Clearly, I'm stealing the thin from someone and they're turning around and sucking out all my yummy curves. So let's make like post-imperial Britain and give it all back! All the gals who are one bad flu away from a stay at the hospital will chip in their skinny, and all the gals who get friction burns from running too fast will chip in their extra pounds. If we mix it all up together, then redistribute things evenly, we'll all come out happy.


Or maybe we could spend all that fabulous time, energy, and brain power on something that really matters to us, something that will always make us happy regardless of the numbers on the scale. We could learn new things. We could gaze at the stars. We could catch snowflakes on our tongues. We could rediscover standards of beauty so broad and diverse and inclusive that every one of us will find out we've been revered by some ancient culture somewhere, where they made statues in our honor. We could travel abroad. We could splash in public fountains. We could make art to comfort the tortured soul. We could volunteer at a food bank, or build houses for the homeless. We could hold our children close and whisper how much we love them, while they'll still let us. We could take the time, each day, to congratulate ourselves on something we did right, even if it means just celebrating that we're still upright and breathing. Most of all though, most importantly, we could take all that time, all that energy, all that brain power, and recognize in each other not an enemy or a judge, not a "skinny bitch" or a "fat cow", but another mom - an ally and a friend.

No matter how much weight we're carrying, we're all pulling a heavy load. Let's shed the weight of a partisan battle that no one will win, and help each other along instead. That's the kind of weight-sharing that will really make a difference.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010



1.  a wonderful thing

2.  sleep, in the afternoon

3.  a wonderful thing most mothers don't get a chance to do

4.  restorative rest so mothers don't become horrid to the short people

[can y'all tell I wrote those definitions myself?]

I just had Nina's kids over for the weekend (which was really great) and I took them out (okay, Q took them out, but I was there, I just don't have a captains license, minor detail, I do all the lines as long as I won't break a nail and if I will, I make the short ones do the lines) on the boat.  IT WAS THE WORLD'S MOST EXPENSIVE NAP, and so worth it.  All *5* short people napped!  And allowed a real grown up conversation!  It was pretty fantastic.

And they did not care one iota about rounding out a recent field trip to Fort McHenry. Yeah, seeing it from water made them lose memory of that lovely field trip that they had only 2 weeks ago and had told me all about the day before.  On that note, I was pretty happy that they napped.  They were up late the night before, slept in, ate the contents of my fridge  (18 eggs for 5 kids?! almost 2 lbs of bacon?! and asking for lunch by 10:30?), and were getting a little tired of each other. So the wave motion of the boat produced naps. Which was awesome.  And then they woke up. And I gave them freeze pops.  And then they started jumping on the beds.  On the boat.  I'm just not really great at math or physics, and I don't know what all the theories are named, but even I know not to jump on a bed while on a moving object (a hotel bed is a whole nother story!).  I found that out (in the exact same way) when I was 4.  So, add one head injury to the weekend. *sigh* I almost made it through with 5 injury free kids.  Ice fixed all, it was very minor. Now, all the kids know NOT to jump on boat beds, sometimes when you descend, the bed is not there...  I wonder if they will apply the same thinking to RV's?  Maybe I'll find out next summer.  If Nina will only let me kidnap her short ones for a camping trip... Hrmm... [Done! -N]

I heard about all of Nina's family secrets (okay, there aren't too many... but short young ones say funny stuff!). And, I thought it was really funny to hear that, "You're not MY mom!"  Um, yes, that is a true statement, lovely short child in my house, *but* I'm the mom around.  And that mother you are referencing, is my best friend who left you with me.  I promised I would only call IF I had to take you to the ER so your lovely parents could have a whole weekend to themselves. So you will follow my rules, which right about now include putting on swim trunks and getting in the hot tub because we just finished breakfast and hurry up because your parents will be here soon and we need to cram lots of fun/spoiling/exam week stuff in RIGHT NOW! Yup, a scuba mask was worn as well.  Completely necessary in a hot tub by the way.

Nina may hate me right now.  Her children had fun.  Lots of fun.  And only one minor head injury... bound to happen with 5 kids...  And going into exam week, super tired. And I'm pretty sure all of the clothes she packed are still at my house.  

Things I learned from her children:  

1.  Do not give them tea.  No matter how nicely they ask.  Children should not be caffeinated.

2.  Warn them about laws of physics.  Those laws apply to humans too.

3.  Procure twice as much food as you think the short people can ever eat!  They will go through a growth spurt.

4.  Wake them up in the morning.  Otherwise you will never, ever get out the door before 4 in the afternoon!  (And it's just fun since they kept you up late!)

5.  Remember to have all of them brush their teeth.  Whoops.  My bad, but by 9 at night, *I* was exhausted! (Dentists, take note, I do not condone poor oral health, but sometimes I need everyone to sleep, including me)

Lessons learned were valuable.  I hope Nina takes note, because next time it's her turn!



P.S.  About 10 minutes after the kids were dropped off I sort of promised a LIVE gift for Christmas (to Nina's kids, I already have a managerie).  After about 5 seconds of reflection, I had to back out of that ALL weekend.  Lizard or snake or turtle are not happening.  Or hermit crabs.  Did you know they can live about 15 years?  Yeah, I have 3...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Cacophony: Need I Say More?


[kuh-kof-uh-nee] - Noun

1. harsh discordance of sound

2. a discordant and meaningless mixture of sounds

3. Music:  frequent use of discords of a harness and relationship difficult to understand

I have come to the conclusion that the audio of my life is similar to a pack of screaming cats.  I believe that I was delusional to have 3 children within a very short period of time.  The oldest was still 3 when the last was spawned.  And now I have 3 very verbal and dramatic short people, none of whom nap anymore.  Or go to sleep on time.

When I deign to take a phone call, they stalk me.  They will follow me around airing every grievance they can come up with while.I'm.on.the.phone.  And if ignored, they get louder and louder.  And then they will start touching me.  Maybe it's just a poke of a finger or a gentle tapping, but for the love of Grace! Have they not ever heard from me, "DO NOT TUG ON SUPERMAN'S CAPE!" [Maybe they think you actually mean Superman. I just threaten mine with unnamed violence. The uncertainty seems to make it more effective. -N] I do not need to know about whatever it is unless someone is bleeding from their eyeballs or vomiting.  I have told all of them this many, many times, but for some reason, they do not believe in that rule.  And if I hang up to give them a time out, they have actually succeeded in their plan to thwart outside adult contact. *sigh*

I am the one who feeds, shelters and clothes them.  I help with homework.  I drive them places that they want to go. I host playdates and parties for them.  I do all of those things with love and don't complain about it (laundry is a whole different story though).  There are days when I really think that they have indentured me to them. [Of course. You're an au pair, remember? -N] Short people of this world (those under 10 at least) are the most powerful group of people on this planet.  And then after poking me and getting loud, they are genuinely surprised if they get yelled at! Really?

Grace gets upset if there isn't complete silence when practicing her violin (which she just started and is really schreechy still), but it is perfectly acceptable for her to ask how math problem #8 should be done while I'm trying to schedule an appointment.  For her.  Well, my love, #8 is completed the same way #1-7 were.  And, nice try, I'm not actually doing your homework for you.  I already finished 3rd grade, theoretically, I should not need the practice in math.  I'm all grown up and get to use a computer for that sot of thing. [Mine try to get me to answer their exam questions for them. Home schooling is AWESOME. -N] [I know you think homeschooling is awesome.  I don't.  I think YOU are awesome for doing it!  I love putting them on the bus in the morning.  So, some moms cry the first day of school.  I wanted a mimosa (and was sadly out of all the makings, poor planning).][...Remind me to define "sarcasm" next. -N]

Bank has the lovely habit of calling someone else and talking to them while I'm on the phone.  It shouldn't be a problem, but she is loud too, and stands right next to me to talk to her aunt/friend/dad.  And then I lose whatever short train of thought I had going for me.  I had to hang up with Nina last night because I couldn't figure out what we were talking about anymore.

And behind all of that fun noise was Crow and Q singing off key.  And not knowing the words.  And not stopping. Even with many glares from me. I used to like that song too.  So itunes was put on and turned up.  That really helps my concentration... [This is true. I could totally hear them. It was awesome. Because on my side? Everyone was being quiet in case I heard them and realized they were available to clean. -N] [Awesome, smawsome! Only great for you Nina.  I couldn't actually have a conversation! And then, Q, instead of talking, started staring at me.  Because that's not distracting.  At all.  What?  Was he on fire or something?  Oooo, they actually clean?  I'm only asking because I have them for the weekend! More child labor! Yay! -K][Nice try - they don't really clean. I tell them to clean things so they'll go hide and be quiet. -N]

Not making this up. Possibly buying it, though.
Crow is yelling at me right now, mostly because she's tired from school, but also because there is a bee outside.  OUTSIDE! Good grief! It's not inside, it's not bothering her, she's never been stung... So she is yelling "Mommmmmmmyyyyyyy!" Over and over.  I feel bad that my next door neighbor can hear her, she called to see if I needed a break from her.  Have I mentioned that I really do have awesome neighbors?  I wouldn't wish Crow on anyone right now though. Maybe she'll cry herself into a nap. Probably not.

[Note:  I'm really slow, so Nina has to put the pictures in for me.  However, on that note, the wine is actually really good!  My dad bought some for me last Halloween and I didn't share.  And, I won't share again.  They also make a lovely white.  I suggest Mommies bring some to whoever hosts a playdate; that mom deserves it!-Katya]

So, I've changed my name.  And I'm not telling what it is.  Maybe I'll get some quiet tonight. Failing that, I'll get some wine.

Cheers (literally),