Friday, May 30, 2008

True Love

Last night Curt and I are in the kitchen as I make cupcakes for Emma's birthday celebration in her class. Curt is standing next to me, as he always does when I bake, begging to lick the mixer bowl.

I mention to him that something I did a few years ago was the best decision I ever made, aside of course, from marrying him.

He kisses me and tells me that the kids and I are the most important things in his life. And then very seriously says,

"I think your boobs might just give you the edge though."

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Brettism Hump Day needs a passport

"Mom, Emma's party is this Saturday, right?"


"And she invited some friends from school, right?"

"Yes, four of them."

"And we're going swimming, right?"

"Yes Brett, if it's warm enough. Why?"

"I think I'll be in Australia for the party. The only thing worse than a bunch of screaming little girls is a bunch of wet screaming little girls."

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I turned around from the sandwich assembly line this morning to find Brett like this. The caption came straight from his goofy Brett mouth. Think ICanHazCheezburger? would accept it for submission?

Sunday, May 25, 2008


Since Friday Lucas has been asking for a "big breakfast", which in Lucas speak means 'Can I please have something that doesn't involve a cardboard box and come together in 30 seconds?' I started making eggs and bacon this morning and turned around to find Lucas and Brett hovering and salivating.

So, I put them to work.

Emma wisely hung out and waited to for the spoils.

It was a great morning, nary an eggshell or piece of burnt toast to be found.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Atonement and Redemption

Last night Curt and I got the kids down with frightening ease, and after finding nothing on TV searched through the Netflix movies gathering dust to find something to watch. He quickly vetoed the first two, but for some reason still unknown to me agreed to watch Atonement.

It was by far the best night I've had in a long time; he even let me have the coveted corner spot on the couch, and didn't grumble when I stole swigs off of his beer. Maybe it was Keira Knightly's *almost* nudity, maybe my hand tucked into the waistband of his pants, or maybe he felt guilty for the craptastic Mother's Day, but he watched it, every minute of it.

Almost makes up for the 396 hockey games I watched this year.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Brettism Hump Day wants ID

I've often said that I really look forward to Brett being an adult. I just think he's going to be one of the coolest grown-ups. I can't wait for the day where we can sit down, have a beer, and just hang out.

And sometimes now, I get a vivid glimpse of the adult he's going to be. Especially when out of his mouth pops something so mature beyond his years, I have to double check who I'm talking to.

One morning early this week, Brett staggers upstairs to get ready for school. As he appears, I look over and remark "It's aaalive!" in my pathetic homage to Frankenstein.

"Mom, it's Monday. I don't think alive is the word you're looking for."

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

New and Improved

Well the content is still the same old, same old; but the layout of CBTHD got a much needed overhaul. Christy from Be Design did an amazing job and it came out exactly like I had pictured it in my little noggin. She does indeed rock the design world, one blog at a time. Thanks again!!

Compromise, the currency of a successful marriage

I've learned that there are a few situations when Curt's resolve is unflappable, when I know I'm beat.

And try as though I might, I know he's not budging when it comes to his meat-and-potatoes taste buds, and his love of all teams Pittsburgh. I grudgingly gave up any hope of pampering on Mother's Day because the Pens had a Stanley Cup playoff game. Did I mention grudgingly?

Then yesterday the schedule for the Stanley Cup finals came out.

Saturday, May 24
Pittsburgh at Detroit, 8 p.m., VERSUS, CBC

Monday, May 26
Pittsburgh at Detroit, 8 p.m., VERSUS, CBC

Wednesday, May 28
Detroit at Pittsburgh, 8 p.m., NBC, CBC

Saturday, May 31
Detroit at Pittsburgh, 8 p.m., NBC, CBC

Monday, June 2
Pittsburgh at Detroit, 8 p.m., NBC, CBC, if necessary

Wednesday, June 4
Detroit at Pittsburgh, 8 p.m., NBC, CBC, if necessary

Saturday, June 7
Pittsburgh at Detroit, 8 p.m., NBC, CBC, if necessary

And when I looked at it I realized that not only were they playing on Emma's birthday, but on our anniversary as well. I didn't so much sweat Em's birthday as all of his hockey-watching family will be here for the party anyway. And with all of her friends, Emma won't care a bit that everyone with testicles disappeared inside.

But our anniversary?? And coming on the heels of the worst Mother's Day evar, I got a little cranky. Not that I expect the full court press, I mean it's a Wednesday. But frankly, the idea of a repeat of the "SCOOOORE" deafness that occurred on Mother's Day made me feel less than warm and fuzzy.

Since I'd already talked him into a nice meal at a Japanese sushi/Benihana-style restaurant out the following weekend, a plan formed, and I turned to him in bed.

"So, let me get this straight. Not only did you spend Mother's Day watching hockey, but now Emma's birthday and our anniversary too?"

"Well maybe they'll sweep them in four games and won't need to play the one on the fourth?" he looks sheepish.

"Riiiight. And if they don't?"

He becomes very interested in the thread count of our sheets. "Ummm."

"All right. I'll make you a deal. If we have to watch hockey on our anniversary, you have to eat a piece of sushi. Without making faces and gagging. You have to take it like a man."

"Just one piece? I don't like, have to have a whole dinner of it, do I?"

"Nope. Just one piece of my choosing."

"Deal." he leans in for a goodnight kiss. "I love you, thank you."

Think tomorrow I can talk him into trying some baba ganouj?

Steve Carell stays clear

Last night, having gotten the four younger ones in bed, Curt and I are sitting on the couch watching TV when Brett wanders up to join us. Michael, having flunked yet another class, had lost his TV time. (News Flash to Mike: They email me your grades. You can run, but you can't hide. DO THE FREAKING WORK, it's easier on all of us.)

Brett turns to me and says "Mom, Lucas was on his way to bed when Michael stopped him and was giving him advice about girls."

I groaned. "Great, what in the world could Michael possibly feel he had to impart to Lucas?"

He shrugs "I don't know. But Michael told me he was going to die a 40 year-old aversion."

"A what?"


"Do you know what that is?" I ask.

"Yeah, it's someone who has never" He shudders. "I hate even saying that word."

"So you don't have an aversion to being a virgin?"

"Hunh?" He screws up his face and looks at me.


Friday, May 16, 2008

Apparently Cyndi Lauper was booked

The older four were headed for a visit with bio-dad this weekend. When he showed up to get them he was catching up on their week, asking about how they were. Since Michael had told everyone in a six mile radius about how excited he was to participate in 80's day at school this last week, bio-dad asked how it went.

"It was cool, I wore the sunglasses that you got me and a cool tee-shirt." he tells him.

Brett looks unimpressed. "Well, when I do 80's day, I'm just going to bring mom to school with me."

Because right now tethering her to the couch seems reasonable

This sweet little baby is the precursor to gray hairs and a drinking habit, I'm sure of it.

Newly mobile, nothing pleases her more than to crawl right past the pile of adorable, educational baby toys and beeline for anything potentially hazardous or breakable. The surround sound stereo, the vacuum cleaner cord, random shoes, the laundry room, the kitchen cabinets, and anything made of paper; all Ellie crack.

And, apparently the little hooligan isn't lacking in the brains department either. The closet door where the vacuum is kept doesn't latch and can be opened with a pull in the correct spot. Just a quick tug to attain the worlds most expensive chew toy.

And she's now very adept at pulling the trashcan at the computer desk over without smacking herself in the head, which is to say that she's learning from her mistakes and perfecting her technique. (DOOM!) It's a veritable cornucopia of goodies in there. Newspaper ads, junk mail, and tags off of clothing all go immediately into her mouth. I'm starting to think she's part billy-goat.

I know this is all pretty damned normal, but combined with the fact that she's stealthily quiet about her attacks, and the fact that it's constant, I'm totally fried by the time Curt gets home.

I busted out the playpen in the hopes of being able to urinate without worry or company, but I'm fairly certain that she's one shrill screaming session away from DCF showing up at my door.

I'm at my wits end with and all out of mommy tricks. Today I let her play with a box that she pulled out of the recycling bin, just because it allowed me to make lunch with two hands. At this point, I may become an attachment parenting convert; not to promote bonding, but just to keep the odd gas receipt out of her mouth.

I'm pretty sure I've got Mother of the Year in the bag.


We stopped off at Grandma S's yesterday afternoon so Curt could help his dad oversee the installation of the new mower for the tractor. The kids and I wandered inside to visit while Curt and his dad test drove and played with the new toy.

Brett and the kids are in the living room when they notice that Grandpa's dog isn't around. Grandma gently explains that they let Strongheart out one day and he just never came home. Emma starts to look worried, so Curt's mom tries to buffer this by telling her that he probably just decided to go on an adventure.

"Yeah" Brett says, "Don't worry Emma. We'll probably get a post card from him one day. It'll say 'Living happy and healthy in Brazil.' and he'll be sitting there in front of a million dollars, with a bone in his mouth, and two lady dogs at his side."

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Brettism Hump Day goes Hollywood

Brett and Lucas got their school yearbooks yesterday. Characteristically Lucas threw his on the table and then ran outside in search of the perfect rock to trip over so he could rip the other knee out of his pants.

Brett on the other hand, spent all afternoon flipping through the pages, pointing out the kid whose backpack he threw up in, the girl who torments him at the bus stop, and the girl who chases him at recess. Then he proudly opened up the front and back covers to show me all of the signatures he'd accrued.

"Look, I even signed it myself! I was a yearbook signing fool today! I'm all set for when I'm famous and people want my autograph."

I glance down and sure enough he's signed it 'Love always, Brett'.

"Jeez, Brett. You're a legend in your own mind."

He raises one fist in the air Scarlett O'Hara style and proclaims "One day all will know the name Brett! I will be infamous!"

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A dingo ate my baaaaybeee!

Okay, so I know it's maybe a little tasteless, but it never fails to make me laugh. And after coveting this tote on etsy for a while, I finally ordered it.

Actually, I think I clicked 'buy' mere moments after Curt ripped the paint off the new front door, and then started giving me pointers on how to fix it. Hmph, that'll teach him.

I've started buying the re-usable totes at the grocery store. And because I hate grocery shopping with an unrivaled passion, I figured what better way to bring a little smile to the whole experience than confounding and offending the Bumfarkians in line with me at Wal Mart.

Life is nothing without levity people.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

To be filed under Ammunition and Guilt Trips

Mother's Day 2008...

  • Woke up when I heard Elle start to stir. Curt kissed me and told me Happy Mother's Day, and then hopped out of bed to get her. I'd asked him to just bring her to me to feed and then whisk her away so that I could lounge JLo-mommy-style in bed. (Actually, a whole day of this would have been perfection. And I was all set up to do just that, when his mother looked at me earlier this week, and said that all she really wanted for Mother's Day was for all three of her babies to have lunch with her at the farm with the family. Oh, and then could we please go down to Grandma S's for dinner? Apparently, she has her own Guilt Trip file, dammit.)
  • Curt took Ellie out to the living room and then I laid there for 15 minutes, unable to sleep, listening to her coo, flirt, and play while my boobs hardened into small boulders. Damn hormones.
  • Nuked my own Schwan's Caramel Pecan roll (ghetto fabulous, thankyouverymuch) and sat down at the table of screaming, writhing kids and slurped my tea in peace, while Curt handled getting breakfast for Evan by himself. Which, is something rather akin to negotiating with a schizophrenic terrorist who is holding your sanity hostage.
  • Scooted out the door early to run to Wal Mart to procure some baby food, face wash, and a Mother's Day card for Curt. Who forgot. All week when I reminded him and yesterday when he walked by the Hallmark store in the mall three times.
  • Got to the farm and wished his mom a happy Mother's Day, and then watched as she got all teary at the card her son picked out.
  • Shot Curt the you-soooo-owe-me look.
  • Ate copious amounts of calorie laden food including a chocolate cake layered with fudge icing and real whipped cream.
  • Unbuttoned pants.
  • Enjoyed, okay tolerated, the melee and din of all of his family in one tiny farm house.
  • Got set to leave for Grandma S's, when she called with the news that his grandfather decided that he couldn't breathe, and that it was time for his bi-monthly trip to the ER.
  • Get follow up call from Grandma who says that Grandpa is fine, and flirting with every one in the room as they wait to get seen.
  • Suddenly realized that we no longer had dinner plans. Looked at Curt who gave me the panicked, I-only-know-how-to-make-Ramen-noodles face. This spurs a conversation that somehow ends with everyone coming to our house for impromptu tacos.
  • Cook dinner for Curt's family. On Mother's Day.
  • Family finally departs in time for Curt to tune into the Pens play in the Stanley Cup playoffs. He gives me a hug and tells me Happy Mother's Day, then puckers up for a kiss. I lean into him just in time for him to dodge, lean around me, and yell "SCOOOORE!" in my ear.
  • Nuked myself another caramel pecan roll.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Searching his closet for copies of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy

With Drywall Dude finished and gone, Curt sprinted downstairs to begin the cleanup (Oh, the DUST!) and start priming the drywall. Naturally, I've been enlisted to help and we spent the first of what I'm sure will be many late nights downstairs, slapping coats on the wall.

The upside is we haven't had this much uninterrupted conversation since we stopped showering together. (Very pregnant person + husband + single shower stall = intimate in all the wrong ways.)

The downside is we're now embroiled in Paint-gate 2008. (Catchy, no? I'm thinking of having T-shirts printed) Having made the rookie mistake when we painted the upstairs, of believing him when he told me he didn't care what color I picked, I've been asking him for a few weeks now what color he'd like to use in the basement. He did what he always does, which is to ask me what I think. (Vicious cycle!) I told him something like a nice Bitchin' Beige or the I-drank-too-much-Merlot we had in the basement of the first place we lived. He looks up suddenly, very concerned.

"You don't want to pick anything that will clash with the pool table!"

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Clearly I cannot drink the wine in front of you

"Hey mom, what's your middle name?" Brett asks.

"Ellen, just like Ellie's name." I reply

"Her name is Ellen?? Wow, I didn't know that. And I always thought your middle name was Ethan."

"Why on earth would it be Ethan?"

"Why would it be Ellen?"


I'm standing in the kitchen as the kids start to eat breakfast. As usual, they chatter the whole time. Brett's explaining to Emma that Mother's Day is not until Sunday and then I hear Emma continue on in her talking. All of the sudden Brett jumps up, indignant.

"Em-ma, you just freaking told mom what we were getting her!"

"It's okay Brett, I honestly didn't hear her." I reply.

"Yeah, right. How could you not hear Emma?"

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Four score and seven Brettism Hump Days ago

I'd love to be a fly on the wall in Brett's classroom some days, if just to see the teacher's reaction to some of the things he says and does. Does she laugh? Does she cry? Does she sit there and wonder if the school counselor is available?

And this week, in his never ending quest to keep his school work interesting and to keep his teacher on her toes, Brett selected Abraham Lincoln for his presidential project and went to work.

"I picked him because his name is Abraham, and I like ham. No other president had a tasty food in his name." he nods, sound in his logic. "Also he looks like he could be Slash from Guitar Hero's ancestor, so that was a bonus."

I'm mentally facepalm'ing myself and trying not to laugh, looking over his outline when he picks up one of his note cards to sound off on some Abraham facts.

"Abraham Lincoln. Died in Ford's theatre, Washington DC." He pauses looking up at me. "Hey did you know that they have a pillow there that still has his blood on it?"

"Yeah, I've been there, it's actually pretty cool. Finish your card."

"Okay. Killed by John Wilkes Booth on April 14, 1865, on Good Friday."

His barely misses a beat, he drops his voice and says dryly "Not so good for him."

A bubble of laughter escapes me.

"YES!" he says, pumping one fist. "My teacher won't see that coming either!"

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The best money I've ever spent

I'm not normally the mushy type. I can count on one hand the number of times I've cried in the last five years. But this week was one of them.

A while ago I started thinking how I really will only have a few years with all six of the kids living at home. Which really made me terrifically sad. One day life for us would change; there would be empty chairs at the table, one less load of laundry to do a day, and one less voice saying "Hey Mom, guess what?".

And with all of this Mother's Day hullabaloo coming up, I decided that what I really wanted was a yearly picture of all of my babies, to remember our time together. Under one roof. Ticking each other off. Ahh, the good old days, we'd say.

A while back we'd gotten a card for a local photographer. I dug it out of the pile o' procastination on my desk and called her.

Not to go all gooey, but this chick rocks. I'm not sure what her day job is, but if there is any rightness to this universe eventually she'll do this full time. She captured this moment in time for me. All of my little goobers, in all of their beautiful goobery glory. And when she sent them to me, I cried big fat tears. And then I spent a fortune on prints.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Mommy police called

And, I have exceeded the allowable amount of this week's yelling, screaming, weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. (Maybe I'll roll my terrible eyes for good measure?)

Since Monday I have...

  • Spent hours in the freezing garage taping and painting the new front door. Freezing. Only to have Curt come out and help rip the tape off, and pull a large piece of dried paint with it. The words "Hey, when you fix this, you should really use a small brush next time." escaped from his lips before I blacked out from the pain of having to bite my own tongue.
  • Had more drywall "mud" tracked upstairs than I care to elaborate on. It looks like Jackson Pollock had a wet dream on the concrete floor downstairs. These guys do beautiful, reasonably priced work on the walls, apparently not trashing my floors cost extra.
  • Scrambled after a newly mobile Ellie all week. Damn if she didn't figure it out in a quick fast hurry too. One day stationary, the next I'm peeling her off the ceiling.
  • Sucked a computer cord up into my vacuum. Smoke and fiery smells followed. Crap. Had to spend money on replacement vacuum. Double Crap.
  • Gotten Elle to nap in her room, Evan sated with The Wonder Pet's and then slunk off down the hall to get dressed (at 10am, no less. Nothing like having several hours to appreciate the fuzz on your own teeth every morning), only to have Evan come screaming, ambulance-style down the hallway because those bastards at Nick Jr. had the audacity to not show the puppy episode. And the puppy episode is the one WE MUST WATCH RIGHT NOW. Elle wakes to join the protest. Repeat Monday-Friday.
  • Spent three hours planning the meals for the next two weeks, writing down needed ingredients, and clipping coupons. Have no idea when I'll be able to procure said groceries, as my car is still in the bloody garage. As in, from when I hit the deer A MONTH AGO.
  • Yelled at the drywall guy when I heard a drill go off in the basement. I called down and asked in my very mean, mommy voice "Who is doing that?!" and then got a very Michael-sounding reply of "I am." I then countered with a very loud, evil sounding "WELL, STOP IT." Five minutes later I notice Drywall Dude's truck parked outside and go downstairs to apologize. Oh, and introduce myself. This perhaps explains the floors, nay?
  • Turned around to find Emma holding Elle very much like a rag doll and shaking her up and down as if she were a pillow that refused to go into it's case. She's still in the corner for this one.
  • Spent an hour mopping all of the floors, only to have sugar, crumbs, Bisquick, and drywall mud tracked on them within 24 hours.
  • Had to take Elle to the bathroom with me all this week, as Evan is much like the ocean and turning your back on him in the same room with Ellie is inadvisable at best. The last of my dignity stopped returning my phone calls.
  • And (my favorite) had Curt ask me every night this week, upon returning from work, "Why are you so grumpy?"