Archive for the ‘motherhood’ Category


I just tied the last super hero cape to the last and smallest super hero of the family and sent said super hero (Captain Light and Fast Girl) to join Batman and Nice Girl in the backyard. I think I’m still in Summer mode because while they have done their homework, we have not yet eaten dinner and its approaching shower time. Nice Girl is currently spying an approaching army of Triceratops through her binoculars and devising a plan. Here’s how we do super heroes around here.

JD asks Maddie to play super heroes. Sure, she says. JD puts on  a simple Batman outfit complete with cape and gadget belt. Maddie must change into something monochromatic, tie on a blanket as a cape and attempt to get on her bike. My supermom powers immediately sense danger as I envision a cape entangling the spokes of the bike. I must echo Edna from The Incredibles, “NO CAPES”. So she ditches the bike idea. Maddie collects her superhero gear in her prettiest gift bag and heads out the door. Annaliese, now done with homework and window washing(that’s a whole other post), decides to find a cape. I steer her away from her crocheted “baby” blankets to another and out the door she goes with a, “JD! Maddie! Da Dada DAAAAA! I’m a superhero!” Once a master plan is concocted, the girls skip around the yard singing The Backyardigans theme song, “We’ve got the whole wide world in our yard to explore…” Poor JD. I think he just wanted to capture a bad guy and put him in jail. Waiting for Maddie to write a script for, “Super Heroes, The Musical” when she grows up. Shoot, I just need someone to follow these guys around and record a transcript of childhood. You just can’t make this stuff up.

Time for dinner. I wonder what superheroes like to eat after a hard day of saving the world. Maybe grilled cheese? I suppose whatever Supermom can cook faster than a speeding bullet.

Note: just before posting, our heroes came inside to wash up for dinner; I was advised that tomorrow will bring Part 2 of the Superheroes.


Moments of coolness

Head cold is fully developed. Real Sudafed didn’t work. Trying Claritin D generic. So basically I have a bad cold that’s not bad enough to call in sick to work but just right to give me a miserable Thursday.

Yet, there have been some moments of coolness today that I can only describe as the mercy of God! For instance:

  • Coffee ready for me when I wake up.
  • Maddie & JD both on time to school
  • JD & Annaliese bring activity books to supermarket–all’s quiet except for some sibling posturing
  • Find small salad plates on clearance from $14.99 to $3.74 per 4 stoneware plates in normal colors. I pick up two packs because we have only 3 saucers left since we received the dishes in 1996.
  • JD & Annaliese decide to sacrifice the free cookie from the store’s bakery to get a simple toy at the end of the trip. They choose bubbles.
  • No arguing or pestering in the checkout line. Focused on bubbles.
  • Play bubbles when we get home. The cool bubble wands actually work.
  • My fabulous friend, Jess, brings me soup for lunch. And cookies! I get to have an adult conversation.
  • I draw a couple pictures with Annaliese on the driveway with chalk.

Not bad for the first 9 hours of my day. But then again, we haven’t started homework yet! 😉

10 Days From Hell(or somewhere thereabouts)

Tues 1/27: Maddie 2nd day off school; Walk In Care visit-antibiotics for sinus & respiratory infection; Thurs 1/29 back to school

Fri 1/30: JD & Annaliese Walk In Care visit; bad cough, sore throats–just a cold, push liquids

Sun 2/1: Doug super ill–chest cold

Mon 2/2: JD & Annaliese Pediatrician visit (symptoms worse); JD wheezing–breathing treatment w/nebulizer in office, continue with inhaler at home–antibiotics; Annaliese chest cold, lungs clear, ears fine. Joni gets sore throat and cough. Starts inhaler to head it off early. Doug home from work.

Tue 2/3: Maddie complaining 2 am of ear pain; Walk-In Care later that a.m.; raging double ear infection, left ear bulging badly–different antibiotic; JD now complaining of ear pain–pediatrician’s office says antibiotic will handle that and prescribes ear drops; both off school Tue & Wed

Wed 2/4: Annaliese throws up first thing in the morning, Maddie holds her hair back while she vomits, fever 100-102 all day, sleeps on couch 6 hrs with a break for popsicle and ibuprofen and juice; 7pm blood curdling screams that ear hurts; Joni home alone with 3 sick kids wondering how to get to Walk In Care–call a couple sitters and the Pediatrician on call. More ibuprofen, by the time sitter arrives, Annaliese calm and back to sleep. Doctor calls–let her sleep. If she wakes up hysterical, head to the ER. Great. But definitely have her seen in the morning. Joni and Annaliese sleep on couches in living room.

Thurs 2/5: Maddie & JD back to school; Annaliese to pediatrician; Ear infection–near rupture; antibiotics and ear drops; Mom’s cold kicks into high gear-sinus and wheezing–increase inhaler; Doug’s cough and congestion recede–loses voice

You can’t make this stuff up. Somewhere in the back of my head, the overture from The Barber of Seville plays at breakneck pace. Don’t know it? Here you go. Well, at least one version of it anyway.

And now a little dinner theatre

Overhearing Maddie in the next room orchestrating an entire scenario of make believe. She is giving the kids (and the dog) their lines and stage direction.

Actually, it’s completely self serving. Annaliese would not let Maddie read a new book of hers. Annaliese hadn’t had the chance to look through it. Maddie was deeply OFFENDED that Annaliese wouldn’t let Maddie read the book to her. Oh the drama. “I feel like you don’t even care for me anymore Annaliese! It’s not fair!” To which Annaliese calmly replies, “No, Maddie. I just want to look at the pages without reading.” Regardless of the assurance this is not a personal affront, Maddie is still not convinced. I am quite proud of them talking it through.

Maddie devises a plan to play library in which Annaliese is the poor little girl who can’t read the book she just picked out so she must look around and call on the pretty librarian (played by Maddie) to read the book to her. Not kidding. Its genius. Seven year old diabolical. Should I be proud? Should we channel this creativity for good and not evil?

JD’s role forever remains the scary little spy boy who chases them around with his spy gear. He SO needs boys to hang with. Rather, his sisters need him to have boys. He’s just fine sneaking around and scaring them yelling, “fire in the hole!”. The girls are now giggling as the attack turns to “fire on Champ’s butt!” And now Annaliese has joined the fight screaming and shooting right back at JD. Due to the attack on the library, Maddie still  has not had a chance to read the book to Annaliese but is still shouting directions to the cast (including the dog).

All this during dinner mac & cheese prep. How lucky can a girl get?

Easy way out?

I don’t care how early it is. I will put these wild animal children to bed and eat chocolate all night if I have to! I am convinced you will all see me on an episode of “Intervention” skulking down the clearance Christmas treat aisle, sneaking 2 for 1 items in my cart. Upon loading groceries in the truck I will be shoving the caramel/chocolate bar in my purse to eat when the kids aren’t looking. It was just like Ryan on last night’s episode who ran panicky into his bathroom with the Oxycontin he just scored and pushed his friends out of the way to prep for injection.

OK, I’ve avoided the wildlife in the back of the house long enough. I will track them and at just the right moment, pounce, drag to bath time and send immediately to bed. Now if I could get the dog to stop licking off my hand lotion while I’m trying to type.

Stealing a quote

I had to steal this “Friday’s Quote of the Week” from Jill Savage’s blog: 

“A mother understands what a child does not say.”

~Jewish Proverb


Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies…

There’s an old country song called “Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys”  by Waylon Jennings. It  goes on to list the perils and pitfalls of being a cowboy.

Well, my thoughts go in a little different direction. Moms, don’t let your babies grow up only knowing how to use appliances. Teach them to wash the dishes by hand. Teach them to scrape leftover food into the garbage or your compost bucket–however you do it. Teach them how to use a broom and dustpan. Teach them they won’t die  if they have to wait in line for the bathroom.

People who have been to my house I’m sure are thinking, “um, Joni, just clean your house any way you can.” Yeah I know. But that’s what got me thinking. My garbage disposal breaks and all of a sudden, no one knows how to clean off their plates unless they dump the scraps in the disposal. So the dishes pile up on the counter because certainly we can’t do the dishes if there is food on them. The dishwasher wouldn’t clean them. Which brings me to…

If there are too many dishes to put into the dishwasher, why are the leftover dishes left on the counter? Can’t we just wash them by hand in the sink, dry them with a dishtowel and put them away?

I grew up in a house of 6 people, 4 of them girls with one bathroom. And we didn’t die. We just didn’t wait til the last minute to do our business. We LEARNED TO WAIT OUR TURN! Perhaps the addition of a second bathroom to homes has contributed to our instant gratification oriented society. Alright maybe not but I do tire of hearing the children complain about someone else being on the potty and they can’t wait unless of course they are distracted by playing with a toy or the dog. Then they just don’t have to go so bad. 

How did we ever get grass clippings and leaves off the driveways and sidewalks without blowers? And the bag is full on the vacuum cleaner. How can we clean the hard surface floor? BROOMS PEOPLE! Pick up a broom and sweep. This one especially cracks me up because my youngest daughter asked one of my friends, “what’s that auntie Heather?”  “Its a broom Annaliese. I’m sure your mom has one.”  Sort of. We have a dog. 

Teach them to handwrite a note and address an envelope, not always email. Teach them to call sometimes instead of text. Teach them to tie their shoes in case they can’t get velcro shoes when they’re 30. Teach them we used to have to listen to whatever came on the radio and wait til it was over for the next song.

So mamas, please let your babies(of all ages) learn a not so automated way of life. Speaking of which, time to clean my kitchen. Ick. Maybe I’ll go Twitter something instead.