Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Brettism Hump Day. He e-files.

Brett comes home today and I'm at the compy.

"What are you doing mom?"

"Printing this year's tax return."

"That stinks."

"Yup, it does. There's an expression that the only two guarantees in life are death and taxes."

"Yeah. And chores."

Monday, January 28, 2008

RIP Beasties

Lately, Brett has taken to prolonged periods of sitting listening to music. Since Mike's still grounded from the infamous mail heist, Brett borrows his iPod a lot. His favorite songs are by the Beastie Boys, and Brett is a man obsessed. He sits down with his headphones in, closes his eyes, and occasionally raises an imaginary lighter as he listens to them.

It's so funny to watch him, because he reminds me so much of the year Mathew turned 12 and got a Cranberries CD for his birthday. I was positive if I had to listen to "Linger" or talk about Dolores one more time, I was going to smother him in his sleep.

The clone is true to form and tonight at dinner he kept steering the conversation back to his favorite musical trio.

"Mom, I don't get why they named that song Paul Revere. I mean, they only say those words like once or twice."

"Well, they have to name it something Brett, what do you think they should have called it instead?"

"Probably just 'A tale by King Ad-Rock'."

"Okay, but what about all of the other songs he does? What about the songs he does on the next album?"

"Well Michael said they're dead."

Mike looks up from his plate. "No, I didn't. I said they were in their forties."

Brett is nonplussed. "Yeah, well, same difference."

Friday, January 25, 2008

He's a regular comedian, that one.

Curt and I are driving through Bumfarkia today when we pass the neighborhood Copy Center/Tanning Salon/Auto Garage/Florist. It's really a disaster of a business, catering to the desperate and charging exorbitantly, as it's the only thing for miles.

"Honey, please don't buy me flowers for Valentine's Day from there again."

"Don't worry I won't."

He pauses and with a straight face continues. "There's this guy that stands down on Route 28 selling roses...."

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Brett-aclin Hump Day!

I know it's a day tardy, we've all been in recovery mode as the first plague of the new year hit the house.

Monday Lucas and Emma started to complain of sore throats, Brett looked a little off too. I groaned, bundled everyone up to head to the doctor for the giant Q Tip. The doctor walks back with the results.

"All positive" she said looking grave. "No school for 24 hours, but they should begin feeling better pretty soon after the first dose".

"Oh." I said, looking grave.

"Even me?" Brett apparently thought he was immune. "Thanks a lot you two!"

He turns to the doctor and looks disgusted. "Freaking germy kids."

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Time to get out the gimp suit

It's VD again.

Valentine's Day, that is. I know it's a few weeks away, but I got to thinking about how romance seems to be a rare commodity around here these days. I started reminiscing about the first Valentine's day Curt and I shared together and then how we spent last years Feb 14th.

The first year we were newly dating. We were sitting around with Geeky brother and he made mention that he hadn't gotten anything for his girlfriend yet. I told him to go to and all would be well in his world. They can make crab grass fabulous.

Valentine's Day rolls around and dear Curtis has remembered the name of the website and sent me a dozen long stemmed red roses from there. I swoooooooned. Not just because the flowers were gorgeous (and they were), but that he had really paid attention to me and what I liked, and then had surprised me with it.

He was handsomely rewarded.

And then we have 2007. I'm newly pregnant with Elle. Which is to say that I probably had dried puke on my shirt and alternated my time between crying and yelling. Or both at the same time. To make the day even more delectable, I came down with a raging case of strep throat in the middle of a snowstorm. Curt spent most of the day working, wheeling into the Florist/Copy center/Automotive garage/Tanning salon at the end of the street and brought some very sickly looking roses home with him.

I'm pretty sure we fell asleep in front of the TV.

So, this year, I'd love to get the spark back, but I'm having a hard time choosing which card to get...

Yeah. Definitely the third one.

Did I mention that rocks?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

How to clean and organize your house in under 24 hours

Step one: Walk into kitchen to wash hands. Look up to see oldest son walking home from the bus stop. Observe said son stop at the mailbox, rifle through your mail, and suspiciously place something in back pack.

Step two: Greet child at the door and demand backpack. Watch as child looks as though he will wet himself and then confesses to placing letter from school in his back pack, afraid it was MORE BAD NEWS ABOUT GRADES.

Step three: Send child to room and fume while you open letter. Read generic letter about open meeting to all parents with children in Special Ed. Guffaw that son just got busted over what is tantamount to a flyer.

Step four: Inform son that instead of spending the weekend evenings with bio-dad and sibs at the cool hotel, he will instead return every evening to become my bitch.

Step five: Have child:
  • Clean and sweep laundry room.
  • Vacuum entire house. Twice.
  • Clean and scrub all three bathrooms.
  • Windex all glass surfaces.
  • Remove contents of refrigerator and scrub it clean.
  • Dispose of Jimmy Hoffa's remains, which were apparently hiding in said fridge.
  • Wipe down table, chairs, and floor. Feed Evan Cheerios, spaghetti, and anything else that will require large amounts of floor clean up for oldest son.
  • Sit him down with mountain of un-mated socks.
  • Sweep the entire downstairs and organize toy room.
  • Remove contents of food cupboard and wipe it down. Make him organize canned goods alphabetically, then change your mind.

Release son into custody of bio-dad. Inform him that if he ever tries anything so remarkably disrespectful or stupid he will be spending all summer cutting the grass with a pair of scissors.

Retire to sparkly clean tub and enjoy nice long hot bath.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Let the good times roll

This is dangerous stuff my friends. Monday night Curt came home with my much lusted over green iPod. (He also came home with a ginormous television, he's a smart one, nay?)

I'm not really a techno-file, but this is one groovy little gadget. It's like portable music for dummies. It's incredibly simple to use and enjoy, I didn't have to send out the bat signal to Geekie brother once. Heard a song on the radio? $.99 later she's yours. Forget Wendy's dollar menu, I'll live off of Marvin Gaye from now on.

It's addictive to boot.

The first night I uploaded some tunes, then put her (her name is Gertrude, you can call her Gertie) on and swept the dining room while listening to it. Music I hadn't thought of in years, available with a few clicks and a fun swirling motion on Gertie.

The thing is, I'm a little too hooked now. I find myself walking around with it on constantly, drowning out the Dora and din. Singing out loud. Off key. It's just that life is so much more palatable with a little Radiohead. Or, three CD's worth of Radiohead.

We really need to take a little break. Tell Gertie we need to be just friends for a while. It's not her, it's me.

Just as soon as The Cars are done with this song.

There isn't a classroom small enough

Some of my best talks with Brett are after dinner when we're cleaning up. Usually Mike's hiding from chores, Curt's bathing the youngers and it's just Brett and I in the kitchen.

"Mom, why am I in a Special Ed class?"

Brett has an IEP for his ADHD. He's hella smart, but gets overwhelmed and distracted in the large classroom setting. A few subjects he's gets pulled and taken to the Special Ed class. He still does the regular grade work, just in a much less carnival like environment.

"Because of the ADHD. Don't you think it helps you do better work to have a more quiet place to work?"

"I guess. But still, so what if I have the attention span of a chipmunk? It never bothered me.", he grins.

Evan interrupts, running through the room nekkid and freshly bathed. Curt chasing him with a diaper and pajamas. Brett watches them go and turns back to me.

"What were we talking about again?"

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Brettism Hump Day! Lucas pitch hits.

Lucas is sitting at lunch lamenting the fact that Santa failed to deliver on the dirt bike he coveted so badly. I'm trying to soften the blow with logic and failing.

"Well Lucas, dirt bikes cost lots of money you know."

"Not for Santa! He just has his midgets make it!"

Monday, January 14, 2008

The golden years

This past week was a doozy. One of those weeks that makes me want to get in my time machine and travel back to have my tubes tied. And then find my thighs from 1993.

I'm can't even count the numerous ways my children stressed me this week, and franky I don't have it in me to dwell on it anymore. Instead, I'm going to look towards the future when they're grown and civilized.

That way I can visit them and return the favor.

Dear Lucas, forgetful and always hungry. Not a great combination, as I've discovered. I think I forsee a nice steak in the back of his closet. Or spilt milk under his refrigerator. I think I'll forget to tell him when it happens. I'll probably be too busy playing my video games.

Emma, the kid who goes through more outfits than a Vegas showgirl. I can't wait to visit her, take all of her folded clothes out of her dresser, then mix them in with the dirty laundry. I'll be pretty worn out after that, but no nap for me! I think I'll whine until she wants to stab her eardrums out with a rusty nail.

I've told a few people this next one and they always stare at me with that "Maybe she's joking. Let's just chuckle and hope she's joking" face. I assure you I'm not. See, Michael must suffer from sort form of epilepsy that just afflicts him in the bathroom, because HE CANNOT SEEM TO STOP FROM PEEING ALL OVER THE PLACE. I mean, we've gone beyond anecdotal and into just plain lazy, he's fourteen. So, please believe me when I tell you that I'm going to visit Michael the first week he moves out on his own. And pee all over his toilet seat. I'm not even going to feel guilty about it.

Oh Evan. It will be a while before you're out on your own, but I'm so excited already! I may have to stay a whole week with all fo the coloring on the walls, floors, bedsheets, and body parts I'll have to do. I'll send you my list of favorite foods so you can stock the house. I won't eat any of it, but will look great on your floor.

And no matter how many times Brett reminds me, I'm probably going to forget and leave all of the lights on at his house. Every day. Even if I have to drive 5 hours to do it. I may leave some water running too, just for giggles.

Ellie, my wee little baby. You're a sweet thing most days, but I have a feeling I'll be calling you a few times a night just to say "SIKE, I wasn't asleep yet after all!" I hope you scotchguarded that couch, because I'm pretty sure I might feel like spitting a little of lunch back up when you least expect it.

So, no time for red hats or purple muumuus for me. I'll be way too busy spending quality time with my brood.

I only hope they enjoy it as much as I will.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Anarchy in the Bumfarkia

Just a typical night in our house. The menfolk are in the living room, sipping espressos, and discussing the works of Nietzsche's middle period.

Errrr, I mean they were all slouched on the couch like frat boys after a kegger, playing Guitar Hero 3.

Curt selects a song to play and calls to me from across the room.

"Hey hon. Who sings this?" His other favorite game is called 'Stump the spouse'.

"Um, I dunno."

"The Sex Pistols!"

I don't even get a chance to reply before Brett pipes up with "Oh My God, TMI Curt!"

"Brett, it's the name of the band."

"Yeah well, still. I mean, U C P!"

"Hunh?" both Curt and I are confused.

"Underage Children Present! And this underage child does not need to hear about your sex pistol life!"

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Brettism Hump Day! Unfiltered!

It was a gorgeous 64 degrees yesterday in Bumfarkia. We all wasted no time in shedding our mukluks and heading out into the sunshine.

My mother in law and I are standing outside by the garage talking. Brett is hovering next to me looking like he's ready to asspolde waiting for his turn to talk.

You can practically see the self restraint leaking out of him and puddling on the floor. He fidgeting. He's kicking gravel. He looks over into the garage.

"Oooohhhh! A hacksaw!"

Jeanne and I barely break stride in our conversation to both say "Brett NO!"

"Man! I gotta stop saying this stuff out loud."

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Brett, Inc.

I got this today, it reads:

Dear Mom I have kidna-ped Bub and will let him go for $1. P.S. I'm not Brett

I ordered him a copy of O'Henry's The Ransom of Red Chief.

I didn't get Abraham Lincoln or the funny looking dog anything.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Tea for three

Saturday morning at the house of confusion and incessant chatter.

I'm sitting at the compy desk when Emma appears from the laundry room fully outfitted in her snow coat, hat, and shoes.

Shit, is it still Friday? Did I finally go totally mental and forget that we needed to be somewhere, because frankly, I was all set to spend the day in my robe.

"What are you doing Emma?"

"You said I needed shoes."

The caffeine finally kicks in and I recall a snippet of a conversation we'd had a few minutes earlier regarding her relentless need to follow me around and share every thought that falls out of her brain. Out loud. All of the time.

"No sweetie. I said you have issues."

"Oh. Okay. Hey Mom, when Granny gets here for the tea party, I was really thinking...."

Thursday, January 3, 2008

John Madden, my hero.

Recently we've had a few setbacks at Chez 6 pack. Blended families are tricky sometimes. I mean, Mike and Carol had it sooo easy, what with Alice and the groovy wood-paneled station wagon. In real life, it's often an arduous journey and this past month Brett and Curt have been having a rough go of it.

They love each other, and by and large get along very well; but sometimes they have a hard time really relating to each other. And, lately it seems they've been struggling.

I don't think it helps that they're so different.
Curt's very structured and disciplined. Brett is so not. If left to his own devices, he'd happily sleep until noon, then spend the day in pajamas playing video games, maybe remembering to break for sustenance.

Then, a small miracle happened. For Christmas the boys were given a Madden 2008 game for the Wii.

Curt isn't much of a video game person, but he loves football. Brett's tends to be an inside sort of kid (Did you know there are bugs out there?), but he'd play tiddlywinks all day if it was done with a controller and a nunchuck.

At first Brett's interest was mild. He'd sit on the couch while Curt played by himself, or as
he played with Mike. Then he started giving Mike pointers. "If you're already down by 24 and it's fourth and inches, you might as well go for it." he'd say.

And then tonight, it happened. Brett put down his book, slid over on the couch, and played a game with his step dad.

He was the Green Bay Packers (he's a big Farve fan) and Curt was the Pittsburgh Steelers. They talked smack about their teams. They traded play tips. They were smiling and joking.

At one point, Curt took a break to help me bathe Elle and instead of the usual flirting with his wife and daughter, all he talked about was how good Brett was. He mixes up his plays, he really understands the game, he tells me. Curt's eyes were all lit up, he could hardly wait to get back to Brett.

I know it's a small thing. It's just a video game. And, with my ovaries and all, I can't think of a more mind numbing way to spend an evening; even if Ben Roethisburger does have a nice pixelated tush.

But I do know that two of the people that I love more than life itself spent an hour together tonight, mended some fences, had some fun, formed a bond, and made my heart a little lighter.

Oh yeah. Packers 83, Steelers 80.

Tooth fairy detail

Breaking news at our house!

That's right, we're all geeked up and prepared for a visit from the most elusive figures in all of childhood mythology ... the Easter bunny.

Okay, fine. I'll don my strap-on fairy wings and find my glittered scepter. Just don't tell Curt. No need in scarring the children, walking in to find Daddy making out with a chick holding a stack of dollars.

Anyway, Lucas jumped up from his morning bowl of oatmeal like he'd won a free puppy. "My tooth! My tooth! MY TOOTH!" He sprinted across the room to show it to me and then promptly went to find Brett; who in turn told him to keep an eye out for the blood that would likely begin spurting out of the gummy hole.

Thanks Brett.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Brettism Hump Day! Less calories and totally resolution friendly!

This morning was a train wreck. Between the babies having well check appointments, the school being on another two hour delay, and the long holiday, the morning was filled with confusion, exhaustion, and lots of whining. The kids were all out of sorts too.

Brett comes upstairs and is apparently thrown off by the fact that he slept until almost 8:45.

"What's today? Do I have school? Is vacation over?"

"It's Wednesday, and yes, even with the delay, you still have to go back."

"Yuck. Tastes like a Monday."