Friday, October 28, 2011

What's on *Your* Fridge??

This qualifies as another of those things
that you just don't want to see.
I’m starting to wonder if there is any point to trying to keep the boys off of the refrigerator. It seems every time my back is turned, they are up there again.

Oh heck, let’s face it: my back doesn’t even have to be turned anymore.

They just scramble up there like The Flash Meets Spiderman, and before I know it, they’re little faces are peering down at me from high above.

And I’m trying to bring my volume down a few notches as I shriek, “Get OFF the fridge!”

For the 7,554,112th time.



Some of what seems to attract the boys......
But shrieking isn’t exactly easy at a lower volume.

It’s like trying to hit a high soprano note softly. I don’t think it even qualifies as shrieking unless it’s at least a few decibels above screeching, really.

And what in God’s name is up there that is so beckoning to young boys?? Not just beckoning, but irresistibly alluring?

You’d swear there was a siren from Homer’s “Odyssey” enchanting them to defy the laws of gravity and walk up that refrigerator.

There are some Sharpie permanent markers, a few tools, the big 5 lb. bag of mints, and then an assortment of tape: duct, clear packing, masking, electrical……


And what I am so very thankful they have not found!
Ohhhhh, okay….come to think of it, I’ve been finding the markers with their tips smooshed in, only one screwdriver is left, and the bag of mints is down to about 2 lbs.

The tapes…..well, the duct tape has half an inch left. And I think I could untangle the electrical tape if I had twelve hours of extra time on my hands with nothing else in the world to do. Or ask a doctor skilled in microsurgery.

Guess we didn’t really need clear packing tape or masking tape, did we?




And one of them is right back up there, for the 7,554,113th time.

Breathe…..breathe…..even trying to work through the 1st stage of labor in childbirth has got to be easier than this.

And count to ten….1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9.…..ten!

And breathe again…….
 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Super Eight



“Looks like we made it……..” Barry Manilow croons in his song of the same name from 1976. That line was going through my mind as I posted on Facebook that Timotheus the Freezer Scientist turned 8 yesterday, freeing the age of seven for some other wiggly little boy to use.


After waiting patiently through the morning, an amazing feat for a child with ADHD in very capital letters, we all gathered in the living room for Timmy to open his presents.

Playing with his presents.


It was a lot of fun watching him open his gifts, seeing the looks of delight and surprise on his face, and especially when he kept saying, “Sweet!” as he saw each one.


The funny thing was, it was like hearing a teenager say it as you handed him the keys to his own car.




Which was, in a way, what Timmy was receiving. He got a sweet set of Matchbox cars, a sweet carrier truck that launches said cars, a sweet racetrack, and an aw--cool Scooby Doo shirt. His descriptive reactions italicized.

Then he said thank you for them all and cleaned up the wrapping paper. Okay……alien being, what have you done with my child?? Nah, seriously, Timmy is very polite when it comes to manners like that.


At East Buffet for lunch.


For birthdays in our family, the Chosen One gets to choose where to go for lunch. Timmy decided on an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet that we have been to for years. The food is good, the variety great, and the price even better.






Um, orange you glad they had fun?


Half the fun for the kids is going up to the massive steam tables of Chinese food goodness and choosing what they’d like on their plates.


And then there is even ice cream afterwards. Oh my.





I had brought my camera, of course. I’m not sure if the other patrons were confused or just mildly amused as I moved into various positions near our table, snapping pictures.


Schloooooop!


We ate heartily and goofed around a bit (our oh-so-serious family? really?) and went on home so Michael could take the boys to the park for a while and toss around the football.






Chinese buffet wouldn't be complete
without doing the quarter machines.


Later on at night, I threw together a kaleidoscopic collection of leftovers for a fun and colorful supper. Didn’t that sound like a party? ;)


Well, okay, so really I cleaned out the fridge and made my family eat it all to save on trash bags. I’m thrifty like that.






And then it was time for cake. Eight candles were inserted and lit, the song was sung, and Timotheus blew them out with all the enthusiasm eight year olds have. Plus some.

Jack it up! Woot! Woot!



And as the birthday boy, he got the piece with the most frosting on it. Oh yes, all that sugar at 8 p.m. Just to be sure he had enough energy to do whatever it is that Freezer Scientists do in their dreams…….
 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Time to Make the Donuts



Saturday mornings……..they usually fall into one of two categories: rushed and frenetic, trying to accomplish more than we can realistically, or lazy and relaxed like honey spread on a slice of bread.

Yesterday morning was one of those lazy Saturdays…….playing itself out in an unhurried manner, like Coltrane playing on the Crossley turntable.

We generally had no plans, nothing set in stone, so we took it all as it came. My favorite kind of routine…… ;)

Having recently acquired a donut maker, a nifty little culinary toy that works the same as a waffle iron, Michael decided to try it out.



It was fairly easy to use. He mixed all the ingredients together according to the recipe in the accompanying booklet.


Ryan liked to watch and help with some of it, as I talked about certain aspects of baking, and answered questions he asked about it.





A plastic freezer bag with the corner snipped out, the quickie substitute for a pastry bag, was filled with batter. Then the wells were filled.









A few minutes is all it takes for the donuts to bake.…….









and then they are taken out and placed on the cooling rack that Ryan holds up, ready to be transferred over to the table……








where Ryan carefully frosts each one. It’s a simple icing made of confectionary sugar and water.







And the process is complete......



They are all ready for the hungry children who have been waiting in anticipation for a lazy daisy Saturday morning breakfast treat.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Bee Catchers



So the boys were out catching assorted styles of bees again yesterday………Timmy went to some flowers and within seconds got a bumblebee to show me. Which I photographed, of course.

A few minutes later he was taking a break to ride bikes with Ryan, and a bee whizzed past him. He was like a dog sitting sedately, when… SQUIRREL. “Hey, come back here! I need you!” he said.

This bee catching business began last week. A new venture for the boys’ curiosity and adventurism.

We were sitting outside, Michael and I, talking at the table as Ryan and Timmy played nearby. Timmy saw a bee on the ground and reached right down to pick it up. He set it on his hand and it was just crawling around there as if investigating a new flower. 

Michael grabbed the camera to take a video of it. He’s not so cameraically inclined, so it lasted only a few seconds. And yes I did just make up that word. 

But the video was so cool to see, watching this bee walk all over my son’s hand. Only Timotheus.

A few days later they started catching bees. I have no clue how, but Timmy seems to just pick them up with his hands at times, while Ryan prefers to scoop them into the container.

The day before yesterday they used a plastic natural sugar container with a screw top cap that had holes for sprinkling. They put some wild flowers in it and went about the serious work of catching those bees for their very temporary collection.

As they’d catch them we’d talk about the kind of bee they had and all about each one, watching them crawl all over the flower heads, shuffling lazily through the deep yellow pollen. They looked like they were wearing wee fuzzy leg warmers from all the pollen gathering on their legs. Ryan called them paws. ;)

I had been writing on the laptop, and as a yellow jacket flew around me, Ryan said, “Grrr! I *need* that bee!“ He had a bumbly and honey, and wanted to add that third one. Too funny. ;)

And with that, I will leave you with my musings, so you can see what things go on inside my head, and just hope you still come back here afterwards. ;)

If a dog is gone the second it sees a squirrel, what do bees do?

Bzzzzzzzzzz…….FLOWER! And they’re off.

Flowers: just a-bob-bob-bobbing along……SUN!

Sun: keeping an eye on the Earth revolving around it…..GRAVITATIONAL PULL EQUAL TO THE PULL CREATED BY THE MASS THAT IS EAQUAL TO THAT OF ALL THE STARS CLOSER TO THE GALACTIC CENTER OF THE MILKY WAY!


Okay, um, I think something may have been lost in translation. ;) 
 
 
 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sock It To Me!



Socks…..I *love* them. I am always wearing socks, even in the summertime. It has to be tortuously hot for me to go about in my bare feet. I detest shoes though, simply because my toesies long to be free to wiggle about to their own beat, not to be confined like felons serving their sentence in the pen.

But socks…….oh, socks are one of the most delicious things created from cotton and polyester. They stretch to conform to the contours of your foot in a gentle way that is unrestricting.


My first sock photo ever.
B/c they matched my
nightgown. ;)

They cradle your feet in comfort, keep your feet warm, and come in as many colors as you wish. You can match them with your shirt, match your skirt, or just make a fashion statement. I usually choose Door #2, personally.


Loving socks the way I do, I was thrilled one night when we went out to Target looking for a few items, and I happened upon a whole section of socks on clearance. Now if there is one thing I love more than socks, it is clearance priced socks!



Ahhhh......they match
the blue butterflies! (squeals)

Oh, I was like a kid in a candy shop that night! It was a veritable feast of woven delight. I reached out and touched package after package, delighting in the soft feel, the textured looks, the different shades.


After oohing and ahhing for several minutes, I chose three packages for myself. There was a fourth I had wanted, lusted after, really, but I couldn’t justify buying myself four whole packages of socks, no matter how low the price.



Not sure why I took this.....lol.


So I placed them in Megan’s hands and said, “Megan, how would you like some new socks?” Oh, did she ever smile! Hey, if I can’t have the pleasure of buying those wonderful socks on clearance, at least I can enjoy them vicariously through someone else. We've gotta have our little thrills, don't we? ;)


When we got home that night, I put away my precious packages, opening one to take out a new pair and see how they felt.


Textures!!!!

Oh, if you could have seen me then…..I felt like I was experiencing a little slice of heaven right there on my feet. Soft, luxurious, pleasing to the eye with their textures and the earth tones I chose.


Of course, next came the camera and within seconds I was propping my feet up on a chair to photograph them for Facebook. Oh yes, I went there.


I figured, yeah it’s a little goofy, but then again, my friends just *know* this is typical of me. I mean, socks, cotton, clearance? And hey, you get to a certain age and you start to not care what others think. This is who I am. Especially when it comes to my love affair with socks!

Just so my sneaky sneaks
don't feel left out.....




 

Friday, October 14, 2011

See No Evil

We’ve all had them. Those moments when we see something we do not want to see.

Walk in a room to see your child with his tongue stuck in the peanut butter jar.

Open the fridge to see a half gallon of juice spilled all over. Not Me did it, by the way.

Sweep under the couch and find a new roll of tape in a decidedly unrolled state and a wad of scrunchled up tape the size of Rhode Island.

The moments that make your brow furrow like a contorted wooly bear caterpillar as you think, What in the world did he *do* that for???

Not being biased here by using “he;” you know darn well Timotheus is the one who did it. See? You’re snickering because you know it’s true.

Ryan mostly just sees things done and keeps mum about it in a bond of loyalty to this brother with whom he shares a love/hate relationship. Except if it involves something of his; then he will squeal like a stuck pig.

The girls are almost never the culprits, although I did find the sole pair of tweezers we owned in Megan’s room one day, broken in half.

Don’t ask; I have no clue either. What she was doing with them, why she broke them in half, how she broke them. Ingrown eyebrow hair made of wrought iron?

Doesn’t matter, really. The point is that at least everyday, I see these things that I just do not want to see. The things that make me want to just back out of the room and go crawl into bed.

Unfortunately, I can’t do that. I have to clean them up, put them back together, throw them away, whatever. But quite a long while ago I decided to start taking pictures of these bizarre findings before doing crime scene clean-up.

I am sharing a few with you.

This is the cap to a tube of…….well, that’s the point; I have no clue. I was sweeping the bathroom floor, and when I discovered it, I figured the toothpaste. Nope. That one is still on the tube.

Hmmm…..hydrocortisone cream, muscle rub, arnica gel? And oh good gravy marie, is the tube still here, or was it squeezed out under someone's bed or down the drain? There was the incident months ago when a NEW $17 container of Curls Rock was pumped out right down the sink drain.  



Then we have this prize one: I opened the cupboard one morning to get a cup and was greeted by an open bottle of rubber cement. Empty.


That explained why Timmy was standing on a chair in front of the cupboard so long the day before. Any adhesive in his hands is a cause for concern.



Next up….this is what I found one morning when I had barely put my contacts in. Half of some poor Lego dude. Next to the drain. With the cover set aside. The screws came out again (*how*???) and the poor little soul was just laying there, looking up at me with fixed polymer eyes.

So, now I wonder if his other half is down there somewhere, contributing to the conglomerate glob of hair and whatever else has taken a dive into the great plumbing abyss.

It all adds up, you know. Years ago a tough clog caused us to dismantle the toilet, only to discover that someone had flushed a Buzz Lightyear. I can only imagine what galaxy Buzz thought he was lost in. I could really have fun with that one. ;)


Lastly, this recent discovery in the boys’ room: as I stood from sorting laundry, I was met with another hole in the wall. But this one was more specialer than the other holes they have created: it was filled with Crest cinnamon toothpaste.

 Why? Oh for pity’s sake, I ask myself this very question at least 68 times a day. I said so in my post from Sept. 11th. I just cannot imagine. But at least now I know why the tube of toothpaste went down so quickly.


Oh, and just so you know why I posted the picture of Timmy on the fridge again, it’s because it is NEVER good when you are working on your laptop and look up to see the Freezer Scientist there. You know it!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Making a Mountain Out Of a Molehill

Steven and I at his birthday party.


Last night on my bestest most absolute favoritest show, NCIS, our lab sweetheart Abby Sciutto discovered that she had a brother she didn’t know about.


 It was a great episode all around, but this interesting tidbit added to the little we know about Abby’s background, even after eight full seasons, made it even better. 

Playing checkers.
Anyway, as I was watching the show, wondering if Abby was thinking about the years she missed knowing her brother, it made me think of my own younger brother, Steven, and the last time I saw him, which was in the spring. It was such a sweet time, because I hadn’t seen him for just about an entire decade prior to that. He was living in a state too far away from me. And boy did I miss him!

Steven and I were close growing up, being that we came at the tail end of the five children my parents had. There was only a span of seven years between the oldest and youngest.

Trying to get a pic of me and
my brother after 10 yrs. Sheesh!

But it always seemed like there were two sets of children; the older three, and the younger two, because the older ones were all a year apart. Then there was a little over 2 years, and I came along, followed a little more than two years later by Steven.

So we were always fairly close growing up, and some of my best childhood memories involve him. Playing with trucks and cars in the dirt. Sitting in the hot dry grass on the hill in the summertime, just talking. Watching Captain Kangaroo together.

I'm about to deck him, lol.

And there was this place way in back of the yard, on the property line between our house and the one next to it. It was a somewhat raised ridge of earth, with trees and brush making it just wild enough for two young children to be enchanted with it.

We instantly dubbed it The Mountain, and would frequently make plans to play some game there, whispering, “Meet me at The Mountain.” Then we’d go to our rendezvous point and sit in the dirt talking and playing.

Steven and I played on The Mountain for years and years, eventually dwindling down to a few infrequent meetings for confidential talks about life. Ah, childhood had ended. Much later on in life, as an older teenager, I visited it alone, feeling nostalgic and maybe a little ambivalent about growing up.

And finally, a decent one.
And I discovered that The Mountain was no mountain at all, by any stretch of the word. It was simply a slight mound. In our young minds, this rounded lump of earth seemed huge, looming before us. And so did life. But we had each other, and we were so close, and we loved being together.

What a boon all that was toward building our relationship so that when we did get older, and the cares of adolescence were upon us, we could come together and talk about it all. Mostly just at home, or out wherever we happened to be at the time. And those few last times in our special secret play place in the woods. But then eventually, you do have to grow up and move on.


It’s just that sometimes, amidst the hustle and bustle of being a wife and mom to four, I wish for just time alone with my little brother, for some sharing and reminiscing. I long to go back to that simple and magical time, and hear Steven whisper to me, “Meet me at The Mountain.”

Uncle Steven goofing with his neices and nephews. :)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Tale of a Squirrel


“Spring forward; fall back.” Ahhhh, yes, I have my fall back. I *love* the fall and could really have 2 autumn seasons a year. I love the days cooling off and the nights chilling up. The trees changing colors, the sound of crispy leaves under my feet, and the return to cold-weather meals.



The baby squirrel from
late summer litter.

And, of course, more walks with the boys.



I really like sharing the neat things we discover on our walks. On one such nature walk not long ago, we met up with a little woodland creature who was astoundingly not afraid of us.




Timmy takes a closer look.


The boys had wanted to go to the chestnut tree, of course. So while there, a tiny squirrel came down from the tree and was close enough for me to take some nice pictures.




It kept taking leaves
from Ryan's hand.



At first I wasn’t sure what to make of this, because this animal truly was not afraid of us at all, and even took things right from Ryan’s hands.






The boys wanted to keep him!



At home I had to learn more, of course, so I found out that squirrels in our area actually have two litters a year. One of which is in the late summer.






Holding a leaf with
his wee paws.



Which explains this tiny fellow being out on the cusp of autumn, frolicking with my boys. Just take a look at the pictures, and I hope you enjoy. J

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Mount Laundrius


A cotton creature climbing
the wall from boredom?
 Alright, I want to know who fertilized my dirty laundry with Miracle-Gro?? It wasn’t like this just two days ago. I swear we only had a few pajamas and some wash cloths.

What *is* it about dirty laundry that makes it multiply at a rate comparable to bacteria in a fertile bed of mucous membranes? Did you know that some bacteria cells can actually double their population every 9.8 minutes?

Michael making the
laundry detergent.
I am thinking this is what is happening with my laundry. It isn’t that far-fetched. I mean, the laundry is dirty. This usually implies that  it is laced with dirt, food, and various bodily fluids. Bacteria love this stuff.


Of course, with my boys’ penchant for spilling things, especially anything in liquid form, some of the dirty towels just may be very heavily “laced.” As in sopping wet, water-logged, torrentially drenched.


Add in the fact that someone is breaking into our home while we sleep to further saturate the dirty laundry with Miracle-Gro, and yes, I think the conditions are ripe for it to multiply faster than fleas in a cat shelter.

My favorite flavoring,
I mean fabric softener. ;)

Please don’t tell me I’m being ridiculous about an intruder doing this; how else would all that fertilizer get into the laundry?? I don’t buy Miracle-Gro and I’m home all day. Duh.

Sorry for being so snarky. Laundry for six will do that to you sometimes. I know, it’s nothing near what the Duggars (19 Kids and Counting) handle on any given day with their brood.


But as I look on that pile of laundry, which I am working on, my options seem limited. Wear clothing more than one day? Um, not possible for the T & R Wrecking Crew (Timmy and Ryan).

And hanging out to dry. :)


Wear HAZ-MAT suits over our clothing? Wowzers, some of those are upwards of $2000, and day-glo orange isn’t really my speed.


Buy disposable? I can imagine the fashion statement we’ll make with double recrepe draped over our bodies. Cool.


Okay, none of these seems practical.


I’m thinking…..moving to a nudist colony is looking more and more attractive right about now.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Caity-Centric


With the guitar.
I was looking through photos again today, trying to locate a certain one I remembered taking but had no idea what month or even year.


And seeing assorted pictures of my 20 year old daughter Caitlin, I came across many pictures that showed what a wonderfully funny sense of humor she has. “I have taught you well, Grasshopper,” I want to say to her.





Instead, I’ll just share some of the many photographs of her that I came across today. And maybe talk about her a little bit. Caitlin is actually our third daughter, and she didn’t have an easy start.


She had a stroke at birth, which caused her to have seizures, with resulting weakness on her entire left side. Thankfully it was at birth, which gave her a stronger chance to recover fully from it.





The fake goofy teeth and
the look make this the
 Redneck Come Hither look. ;)


Caitlin has always been active, and a very impishly mischievous child. I can still remember the smile on her face and twinkle in her eye as she held my Noah’s Ark musical water globe in her little two year old hands and smashed it with delight. Youch. Thankfully that stage passed. Last week. Aw, just kidding, Caitlin! ;)







Caity at the piano.
It is so beautiful to hear.
Besides sharing the humor genes passed down from both parents, Caitlin also inherited her artistic and musical creativity from me and my side.


She loves to draw and sketch, and plays the piano beautifully, along with the guitar, which was self-taught.




"The name's Wear....
Under-Wear!"



She can make a joke of almost anything, which makes this Momma so proud. Sniffling right now thinking about it. :::wipes a tear from eye:::







Caity as the lead, Ruth, in
Gilbert & Sullivan's musical
"Pirates of Penzance"
Caitlin is very mechanically inclined, and has always had a maturity well beyond her years, which always confused people when they tried to guess her age, even from seven and 8 years old.

She has had an interest in acting, as well as singing, and has had the opportunity to do both through our church choir, homeschool drama group, acting classes at Trinity Repertory Theatre in Rhode Island, and a semi-professional theatre group called The Gazebo Players.




Goofing with Ryan
and some cottonballs. :)


She has such great sense of humor and a diverse variety of interests, she’s one of those people who, if she were not my daughter, I’d want to know her as a friend.


Geez louise, I just love her!


As a matter of fact, I could never leave out the fact that for many years, Caitlin has been not only my friend, but my best friend. Who could have ever thought a mother-daughter relationship could be so sweet?