Monday, December 29, 2008

Feast of the Holy Family

Yesterday there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth on the way to Mass. It occurred to me that the devil absolutely hates it when families go to worship Our Lord together. He tries every underhanded trick in the book to trip families up - arguing over socks, where lost shoes are, who owes who money, why didn't so and so grab whathisbucket a jacket, and so on - anything to get each person's mind focused on anything other than the majesty, grace and mercy of the Lord. Our family sure isn't immune.

How interesting it was to discover that yesterday was the Feast of the Holy Family. Every reading spoke to each family member about our duty to one another, the promise that honoring our parents holds, the kind of love we ought to have for one another, and the fact that all of our neighbors are indeed included in that family. How very interesting and enlightening.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Few Gems

"God built me."
-Wonder Boy, while sitting on the potty

"I don't want to scream at the top of my lungs."
-The Boy Who Must Make Noise At All Times, while singing... at the top of his lungs, in the car

"Do you want Ironman?"
-The Firstborn, while flying The Youngest around in circles in the living room a la Ironman style

"Where's my caffeine?"
-Mominator, while stumbling through the kitchen, rummaging through the empty tea cupboard

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Supersize Me

I just got done watching Supersize Me for the second time. Ick. Ick. Ick. I have some thoughts running through my head about the connection between mandatory schooling, the nanny state mentality, the fact that as a nation we don't compete well internationally in the sciences or mathematics, and lack of physical activity/education. It's a little late to take those thoughts too far tonight... but I'll have something to say soon about them.

Let's just say that we'll be avoiding ChickFilA tomorrow after park day.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Little Love Goes A Long Way

The day before yesterday, WB was sitting at breakfast and dropped his spoon suddenly. He reached over to the Noisy One and proclaimed that the Noisy One is his best friend. It floored me. For starters, I didn't know he understood the concept of a best friend. And he claimed his brother as that friend. This evening the Noisy One told me that WB has reiterated that fact.

Friends. What would we do without them? Because of a dear friend of mine, I have been recently very encouraged in my homeschooling efforts. Her support in helping me find a better way to serve my children led me to choose a path I have eschewed in the past - a path I am so excited to travel. She has also been an encouragement to get more involved in issues I am passionate about.

Our nation has been through the wringer. In real life and online I've watched some really ugly things in recent months - things that make me weep. We don't have to claim each other as best friend or dear friend, but we do have to find a way to live with each other. We are siblings, spouses, neighbors, children, parents, crazy yahoos on the internet... we are Americans. And as Americans we must get our priorities straight and learn true charity and humility. We are doomed if we do not learn this.

My prayers tonight are for my children to know, love and serve God in this life to be happy with Him in the next. They are for thanksgiving that our nation has come a little closer to being color blind. They are for my friends who have wounded each other. They are for healing of colds, recovery from surgery, and for our nation to learn valuable lessons. They are for you. May the Lord bless you and keep you.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Just Do It

This is the obligatory "get out and vote" post for the day.

Just. Go. Do. It. Now.

This is important. Our country is a grand experiment, a gift to the people. The funny thing about experiments, in my recent homeschooling experience, is that they need to be monitored or else they have a tendency to blow up in your face. The interesting thing about gifts is they need to be acknowledged to mean anything.

It doesn't matter how inconvenient it is, how sick you are, how many times you were up with the baby last night, or if it means cutting lunch short. It doesn't matter if it means getting take out for dinner or eating an hour later than usual. It doesn't matter that your favorite show will be pre-empted this evening. If you can't be bothered to vote, you lose your voice by your own choosing. Stuff happens, but you can move mountains to get to the polls.

Please. Use your voice today. Make your choice known. Be the vibrant American you were born to be today.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Little Post Op Blogging

Only a little. I've now got a fun case of vertigo going and typing is not the wonderful experience it usually is. Plus there seem to be two of every letter and it gets downright confusing.

Let's just say that morphine and vicodin are not my "happy drugs." No, no they are not. Most decidedly. My routine outpatient procedure went well... I think the right half of my thyroid was the size of a golf ball. It's funny but even with the pain from healing, I can tell a big difference in swallowing. It's an odd thing to realize that your healing, post op swollen neck is less swollen than before surgery in the first place. Weird.

Back to the drugs. Did you know that morphine lowers your blood pressure? Yeah. It does. I now have a history of "low pressure with anesthesia and morphine" issues to report in the case of future procedures. It's a darned good thing the savvy folks in recovery decided I wasn't ready to go home Wednesday night. It would have been ugly. The next morning started with a little more morphine because there was no way I could swallow the horse pills the nurse showed up with. Um... morphine is not my bag. I got through the morning with my eyes mostly shut. I can't say the vicodin was much better when I finally got to graduate to that. More loopiness, nausea and double vision. All I could think was, "you mean there are people who do this on purpose??? Yuck!" I was a happy camper when my beloved ibuprofen did a decidedly better job than the vicodin on Friday.

When I finally got up the nerve to look at my incision, it was really odd. I kind of feel like the dude in ... um... oh, crud. I lost more brain cells. What is that movie? I can see the movie in my head and the title just won't show up on screen. Augh. Christopher Lambert... Sean Connery... big mean dude with safety pins holding his head on... immortal beings... there can be only one. Come ON. Work with me, people. AH! The Highlander!!! That's it! Whew. (Have I mentioned that the happy drugs have not made me happy? They do appear to have made me stupid.) So... what was I saying... ah... oh, right. Neck incision. Safety pins. ::shudder:: Actually, the site looks to be about 4 inches long and has stitches and surgical tape all over. I joked with the kids that I should be Nearly Headless Nick for Halloween. I petered out, though, and ended up watching Children of Dune while Our Fearless Leader took the troops trick or treating.

That's it. I'm done. I'm cooked for now and need more rest. I'll save my adventures in post op housecleaning for another day.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Surgery, Panic and You: A Cautionary Tale

Scheduling surgery is a piece of cake, right? Unless you're me. I have to think of all kinds of things. Stupid things.

It makes perfect sense that I have been up at night for the better part of a week trying to figure out what to do with Things 1, 2, 3 & 4... I mean... they're my children. I'm supposed to know where they are, what they're doing and whom they're doing what with. And in my absence or medically induced coma, I'm still responsible for that.

And speaking of being responsible, who will drive me to this little procedure? Mom? Our Fearless Leader? Certainly not me, myself and I. Well... I could drive there, but they won't let me go home without a chaperone. Given my panicked and half-crazed mood of late, maybe I would actually be a better drive while still anesthetized? I guess we'll never know.

Things we'll never know, or need to think about... yeah. Um. Ladies? Have you ever had to schedule a surgery for anything other than a c-section? That's the only surgery I can think of that you wouldn't have to schedule around.... You know... the crazy aunt who seems to find you at nearly the same time 12 times a year? Yeah. That one. Do you know how hard it is to schedule around her schedule? Fun times. Fun times.

And what about once I get home (assuming I get to come home on the same day - and what if I don't?)... what will be for dinner? Who's gonna cook it? I'm fairly certain that if I can't drive, I shouldn't operate small appliances. (You have read my pancake story, have you not?) For the sake of all that's holy, I should not set foot in the kitchen within 24 hours of The Procedure - combustibles and consumables don't mix well with a drugged up housewife with a drain and stitches in her neck. Ewww.

I also made the mistake of googling The Procedure (specifically a thyroid lobectomy) - all I can say is no one should google anything before donating themselves to medical science. It is possible to know too much. I wonder if they have drugs to make me forget? Will my insurance cover them? Before or after the deductible?

What about the bills? Are they paid up? Have I done payroll yet? Is payroll the same week as The Procedure? Nevermind the fact that The Procedure is an outpatient surgery lasting 1.5 hours and I'll likely be home the same day... this stuff can wait! Or can it? Will I need to hire myself out as an Outpatient of the Evening to meet my deductible? What about my blog? What about my fora? What about picking up the mail? What if I die? (Did I mention this is routine outpatient surgery?) What if my vocal chords are damaged? (My kids might go for this one. In fact, they might pool their allowances together and pay the surgeon a little something under the table... Hm. I wonder if I've paid allowances recently?)

So many questions, so little sleep.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A New Look for A New Day

Yeah. That's it. It's a new day, so I've put on some new colors. Actually I screwed up my source code and didn't save it. (Have I ever mentioned that I know just enough about HTML to be extremely dangerous?) Eh. It was time for a change. And like hair and dye, we can always try something new if this doesn't work out. Right?

Which reminds me of a recent bet with the 8yo. He was certain Our Fearless Leader was going to yell at him for something he'd done. Despite my assurances to the contrary, he wandered through his day certain of a verbal lashing. I promised him that if Our Fearless Leader did actually yell at him, I would dye my hair pink. I don't know that he believed me... but I really would have done it.

My hair is still a lovely, unnatural shade of brownish-red (or whatever color fancied the Gifted Hairdresser some weeks ago). Come to think of it, the Gifted Hairdresser would have been shocked (possibly even grieved and appalled) had I dyed my hair pink. Maybe I would have given her the honor of doing it? We'll never know.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Why People Don't Vote

It has nothing to do with the candidates and how well-suited they are or how much experience they lack. It has nothing to do with proximity to polls or access to early voting ballots. It has nothing to do with arranging the day just perfectly so a ballot can be cast without dragging all the children to the polls for a community civics lesson.

It's all about the phone calls.

It's only going to get worse. There are still about 88 hours left until the polls close on Tuesday. At the rate of 3 "Vote for MEEEEEEeeeeeeee" pre-recorded phone calls an hour, one should expect another 264 pleas for votes. Have you cleared your voicemail lately? Are YOU ready for the onslaught? And really... does the pre-recorded message sneakily calling you from seven states away really persuade you to do anything other than rip the phone from the wall and chuck it in the recycle bin? (Can you throw a phone away in a recycle bin? Or does it have corrosive evil components that must be hand delivered to your town's annual Caustic Substance Collection? [And does anyone REALLY know how the Caustic Substances are disposed of when the Go-Green crowd has gone home for the day? Are the contents itemized? Or are they just chucked in the big dumpster behind City Hall? {I should call someone about this. But it's 2:30a.m. and I'll be busy doing something tomorrow... I wonder if I can record my question and...}])

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Schedules and Sanity

Schedules are required for maintaining a semblance of sanity. At least in OUR household they are. I just finished our tentative daily schedule for the coming school year. It always takes a month to work out the kinks, but it should serve quite well for the time being. Preschool is about to start up for the year, religion and sacrament prep classes, too. Oh, and let's not forget Scouts. And when will the baby nap?

All I can say is that I love Excel and I love that I can color code my charts. It makes the nerd in me giddy.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Diaper Covers and Little Girls

Miss M is kiddo #4 - we've been around the block a few times with dirty diapers and have come to understand that diaper covers are non-negotiable with babies. Especially babies who like the sound of velcro in the morning. These days, diaper covers are tough to find. A brilliant friend of mine suggested using underwear a size or two larger than a baby would wear and it's worked great.


Kid #4 has had the privilege of watching WB potty train. And what do we all do for newly trained kids? Buy them special undies, of course! WB now sports super cool Spiderman boxer briefs.

Guess who LOVES Spiderman?

Miss M has been carrying on for DAYS about "Man." She loves Man. She watches Man cartoons. She envies her brother's super cool undies. And today... today she tried to dress her Baby in Man undies, as well as herself. The giggling "no" I gave her was met with a shrieking fit.

Spiderman! My arch enemy? Could it be?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Another Project Done

After 3 months, I have finally finished staining my shelves for the kitchen. I can prove it, too!

Ta da!!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Schedule

After talking about it, I figured I should post a few pictures of the vertical picture schedule I made for Wonder Boy. It's similar to the one used in his preschool (lol, he laments that his home schedule is not blue like his school schedule).

There are about 12 boxes with velcro tabs on them. Each of the picture cards also has velcro so that they can be attached and arranged any way we need them. Oh - I laminated all of this for durability.

There is nothing funnier than to hear WB yell, "I doe deh ma dedoe," (I go check my schedule.) when we say it's time for the next thing. And yes, he lives for snack.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Farewell to Cable

Cable viewing is having its last hoorah this afternoon. We're pulling the plug. Well, maybe not entirely pulling the plug - we still have dvd's and tapes. The cable channels, however, are history. We've been on the fence for months and the letter we received from the cable company was enough to help us decide to pick a greener pasture for the family. We've had a deal for basic cable for two years and now they'd like to bring us up to the same payment level as everyone who didn't know how to ask for More Basic Than Basic cable service... and to that end they were going to more than double the rate we pay.

I love Shark Week on Discovery, but not that much.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

In the Kitchen - Sweet & Sour Meatballs

Oh, man. This turned out really good. My mom used to make sweet and sour meatballs as an appetizer. I rarely make them because I never have time to do the meatballs and sauce from scratch... so I tweaked it a bit and came up with a great, complete meal. It's got a protein, a starch, a veggie and a fruit!

Premade meatballs (I don't measure exactly, but about 6 per person - today I used Schwan's)
1/4c vinegar
1 8oz can crushed pineapple (do NOT drain!)
1/2c brown sugar
1Tbsp ketchup
1Tbsp cornstarch & 1tsp salt mixed with 1/2c water

Get your favorite rice cooking (I like jasmine basmati). Get your broccoli ready to steam/cook. Thaw the meatballs in the microwave and get the sauce going.

Sauce: In a large skillet, put the vinegar, pineapple, brown sugar, ketchup and cornstarch/salt/water mixture. Bring it to a boil (stir constantly) and then simmer for 5 minutes. Once your meatballs are thawed and the sauce is thickened, put the meatballs in the sauce and stir to coat. Put a lid on and let it gently simmer while you finish the broccoli and rice.

My family doesn't like everything all mixed together, so I serve a bed of rice, a side of broccoli and a side of meatballs to everyone. For myself, I make the bed of rice and put the veggies and meatballs right on top. It was great! And for once I didn't feel guilty about forgetting fruit or veggies.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Now What?

It's 11:40 a.m. and in the 4 hours we've been up we have:
  • Cleaned the bathrooms
  • Cleaned the kitchen sink
  • Cleaned the freezer
  • Thrown away leftovers that became science experiments in the fridge
  • Washed the walls downstairs
  • Dusted the living room
  • Dusted the children's rooms
  • Swept the porch
  • Worked on a vertical picture schedule for WB
  • Corrected schoolwork
  • Made up assignments
  • Played
Next is lunch... and then?

Life is so nice when everyone works together.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Please Take A Moment

Take the next moment or two to hug your children. Really be in that moment when you do. There is so much hurt in the world and, unfortunately, we just can't spare them. Our children belong to the Lord and we only have them a short time. And for some, the time together is trek through a Valley of Darkness so dark, it's unimaginable to the rest of us.

And when you're done, please pray for the broken and hurting children that may be living right next door to you. Pray for their parents. Pray for the Lord's mercy and goodness to shine as though those children's lives depended on it.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

What did I do???

This is a special kind of Purgatory: Juggling the 3.5yo who stubbornly clings to PullUps and refuses to poop in the potty with the 19mo who refuses to let me put her in a diaper until she "peepee pahyees" even though she has no bladder control. He won't sit there long enough to go and she won't move until she does (which so far has been never).

Why? WHY???

[Not one minute after first posting this, Miss M came running to me screaming, "peepee pahyee!" Sure enough, she pee peed... on the floor. *sigh* Again, I ask you WHY!?]

Friday, May 9, 2008

Reasons A Babysitter Might Still Be In Order

Items 1-3 are simply backstory. I keep wondering if my 13yo is capable of handling an emergency, especially one involving younger siblings. Don't get me wrong, he's a fabulous kid - they all are. But they are a challenge some days. Today would be one such day.

Reasons we still might need a sitter when a Parental Unit is not available:

1. One of the middle children (and no, I'm not suggesting Wonder Boy) might decide to lose his mind and become... hostile... toward all known life in the household.

2. Said child might earn enough X's on his behavior chart to warrant hard labor.

3. Inmate will have a tantrum about shoveling rock. When the suggestion is made that, since it is too hard to shovel the rock, he just bend over and pick up the rocks and toss them into the wheelbarrow, the inmate could declare "this consequence is stupid."

Here's the part that makes me think the older kids aren't ready to be trusted alone together. Emergencies do happen, after all:

4. While the Person In Charge is explaining to the remaining cherubs that the Inmate is serving his time out outside, crying and something resembling a scream might be heard. Still not entirely calm from dealing with the events leading to items 1-3 on this list, the Person In Charge must try to keep cool.

5. Grievously Injured Inmate might present a bloody foot and expect something resembling First Aid be performed. This requires the Person In Charge to calm the Grievously Injured Inmate, encourage him strongly not to wake his sleeping sister, and keep the other middle child calm as well. The wailing and bleeding will make this hard to do.

6. This is when it gets dicey. If the 13yo is the Person In Charge, he will have to leave the Grievously Injured Inmate soaking his foot in a tub of cold water and crying in search of medical supplies to perform First Aid. Ideally, he would dash up the stairs and locate the hydrogen peroxide, 2 clean washcloths, a bandage and antibiotic ointment, retrieve them and dash back to the Inmate's side. These are things that any responsible parent knows should be easily accessible, right? If the Parental Unit is the Person In Charge, she might delegate the gopher duties to the 13yo and tell him exactly where the supplies are located - she would then remain with the middle children and apply firm pressure to the Grievously Injured Inmate's toe. It seems fairly straightforward.

If the 13yo is the Person In Charge, he really couldn't have the luxury of not being able to find the First Aid supplies. Right? RIGHT?

Today the Parental Unit had to dash up the stairs, leaving the 13yo with the Grievously Injured Inmate. Lo and behold, there were the ointment and bandages! (I will give him partial credit for locating the peroxide... but only because he yelled down that there wasn't any and I yelled back that it was the giant brown bottle staring him in the face.) The Recently Paroled Inmate is now sporting a lovely bandage on his pinky toe and is milking his injury for all it's worth.

In light of today's episode, I just don't think they're ready for self-containment. Not yet.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

So Many Observations, So Little Time

I've learned quite a bit over these past few months. As you may guess by my lack of posting, my people have kept me busy. A little too busy. Sometimes I think the wrong kind of busy.

Take today for example: Our Fearless Leader and I were awakened by the pitter patter of little feet and the words, "poopy peepee pahyee ay-em." Please bear in mind that, despite our valiant efforts, Wonder Boy is not yet potty-trained. So, when the boy appeared in our room at the crack of dawn to tell us that he would like to poopy and peepee in the potty for m&m's, I had little choice but to drag my congested self out of bed and assist Wonder Boy in his effort. Nothing like m&m's for breakfast.

But then I found myself downstairs with three of the four children by 7:00 a.m. By 7:20 a.m., all four children had eaten breakfast or were in the process thereof. By 7:45 a.m. they were all dressed, Our Fearless Leader had left for work and I was already facing a mutiny. By 8:00 a.m. the thought that we had another hour to kill before we could load up for preschool dawned on me... that was when the chill of fear began to rise. Sure enough the two middle children had a shared time-out and a "save it for the gym" lecture for using each other as punching bags by 8:10 a.m. At 8:17 a.m. a second time-out was served by the 7yo for insubordination. I realized the recidivism rates are a bit high in this familial institution for my liking.

Somehow I managed to get both levels of the house vacuumed; the children got the dishes done, the bathroom sinks wiped out, and no one was tragically dismembered or the victim of an accidental, but permanent, death. Oh, wait. There was a ball pegging. That counts toward the recidivism rate, doesn't it?

The day looms large ahead. I am small. I am frightened. And I bring you back to the beginning of this post. I've learned a lot. I've learned that I am outnumbered, busy, and in desperate need of more sleep. I've also learned that I have to work on not unleashing my wrath simply because my people are acting like the unpolished people they are. I've learned that I am unpolished, too. If I ever learn what exactly to do about that, I'll let you know.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


I have come to the realization that I am essentially paralyzed when WB is awake. I cannot use the bathroom, change over laundry, fill a glass with water, let alone accomplish a task like "declutter the master closet." It is simply not possible. The entire 12 hours that WB is awake must be spent with eyes glued to him, no exceptions.

He had a wonderful day yesterday. I was lulled into a false security. I attempted to load the washing machine.

I found WB on the driveway waiting for me to discover him. Lucky for me, Miss M decided to stand at the doorway with a stricken look rather than follow WB. He will be the author of his own doom, of this I am certain.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

You make me do EVERYTHING!

This is what my 7yo decided to whine about this evening. It was uttered with the utmost drama. Drama which was lost in the moment because I was changing out the garbage bag as he said it. The next moment was me throwing some trash in the recycle bin. The moment after that saw me moving into the living room to start putting the baby in pajamas.

Yes. That's right. You, the crabby 7yo standing idle in the kitchen, that's right. You are doing everything while I eat bon bons on the sofa.


Sunday, March 23, 2008

He Is Risen!

Alleluia! Christ our Savior is risen!

My missing towel this morning was an annoyance. Miss M's dress, the one I've been waiting all winter to put her in, was too short. I worked until after midnight and was awakened by 6:30am to hear, "Mommy! Mommy!" from Miss M and WB. We have a busy day ahead...

And you know what? I am so very happy. I have towels to complain about. Miss M has another cute dress. I might just steal a nap later on and my family is together and whole. And the best news yet? Jesus Christ died and rose again. He really is our precious Savior.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Triple the Fun

Why does making a triple batch of waffles equal quadruple cooking time? And why does it mean that I will have to wait until the littles go to bed before I will get to eat dinner?

Vacation 2008

Here's what our vacation itinerary for 2008 look like:

February: oral surgery for Our Fearless Leader
March: fillings for Mominator
March: fillings for the Ham

I think we might have enough left in the bank to pay for the boat registration - we'll be spending the rest of our vacation time on the local lake fishing for dinner.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Common Sense

Last week the 7yo was at work with Our Fearless Leader. A friend in the office suggested the 7yo might want to head into the lunch room because there was cake - the friend also wisely added that the boy should check with his father to be sure he was allowed such a thing (the friend is cautious about sugar with her own offspring). Our 7yo displayed his powers of common sense with this response:

I can eat anything... except for soap.

No one was sure why he said it... and he did dutifully check with Our Fearless Leader about the cake. When we asked about his reasoning for the soap part of the answer, he just looked at us as if we had suddenly sprouted a third eye and said:

No one can eat soap. It isn't food.

Yes. Yes, of course. Common sense. And it was at this point, I think, that he began to get the impression that he knows more than his parents.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Step Away From The Kitchen, And No One Will Get Hurt!

Note to self: Do not attempt to cook breakfast, clear the table, fill a glass, or otherwise enter the kitchen if a full night's sleep has not been had.

This morning I had the bright idea to fix pancakes. We haven't had a hot breakfast in a couple of weeks and gobs of syrup on bread sounded delicious. I enjoy making pancakes from scratch, but thought it would be an excellent idea to triple my recipe and freeze any leftovers for a future rush-rush sort of day. This in an of itself is no big deal, as I double & freeze recipes all the time. Amidst the chaos of a 1 year old begging to "ee! ee! mi! mi!", a 3 year old begging for "e-oh," a 7 year old planted firmly in front of a computer playing Riven, and a barely conscious 12 year old draped across the sofa, I got busy in the kitchen. I measured, I counted out loud, I carefully moved my ingredients from the left side of my space (the "unused" side) to the right side (the "used, but better check" side), and I mixed. The griddle was hot, the cakes were poured and all was right with the world.

Until I served them. Our Fearless Leader grabbed a pancake and began to prepare it for the 1 year old. Now, being fearless, he knew that all pancakes must be tested (read that: Leader eats first and then slaves over a hot stove so Mominator can eat hot food, too). The look on his face as he insisted that I try a bite myself was pained. They were awful, much to my dismay. I will say here in my defense that I am a darned good cook. I can even make a good cup of coffee despite the fact that I never, ever drink the stuff. However, today's pancakes were eventually likened to the cooking experimentation of Lane's mom in the movie Better Off Dead. Do you remember the scene when the blob of dinner actually moves off the plate... by itself?

Ok, the batter didn't actually harm any of the children, but it did nearly foam out of the bowl. Why, you ask? In looking at the right side of my space, I realized my fatal error - baking soda. (For those not in the know, baking soda is not interchangeable with baking powder. I actually know this quite well and have my containers clearly marked with labels from my beloved label maker.) I had tripled my pancake batter with baking soda. I ran to the computer to look up substitutes in the hope of salvaging my visions of a hot breakfast dripping with syrup. I found a recommendation for using 2 parts cream of tartar to 1 part soda. Perfect! Except that I had now tried to bake at least 8 pancakes and the batter was obviously reduced in volume. I guesstimated at the cream of tartar, added it and began cooking again. I freely admit that I should have given up hope at the first pained expression on Our Fearless Leader's face, and he will likely now fashion a Breakfast War Story in which I am trying to poison him. He might be right. I don't think I'm mad at him for any reason, but the batter possibly could be physical evidence to the contrary.

The batter foamed to an interesting consistency after the cream of tartar was added. It is at this point that Our Fearless Leader made the movie comparison and the 12 year old tried to console me by saying that at least the batter hadn't blown up. Actually, had there been a lid on the bowl, it would have. I know a chemical reaction when I see one.

Breakfast was dumped in the trash. We now had about a cup of milk in the house, so cold cereal was not an option. I did manage to scramble a sufficient quantity of eggs and the 12 year old made toast. I'd like to think that he was simply being helpful, but in my heart of hearts, I truly believe he was afraid of what might happen if I operated a small appliance.

You would probably not be surprised to find out that I currently have a load of wash going... without laundry soap. Nor will you be surprised to discover that when I cleared the dining table, I managed to drop the salt shaker - dumping about a half cup of salt all over the kitchen floor.

The day is young and I am strangely afraid of the havoc I may cause yet. I am terribly thirsty and filled with fear and trepidation at filling my glass. What if I need to fill the ice trays as well? Is there any hope for me?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Must Be January

It's that time again. The hustle and bustle of preparing for Christmas is long over. The excitement of Christmas itself has run its course. I look at the calendar and think it's time to crack the whip again and get our homeschooling back on track.

And, as usual, I'm completely unmotivated to do anything but want to change everything. I don't really know what it is about January, but this seems to run through most of the homeschooling families I know. All of the sudden, we're swamped in ordinariness, overwhelmed by the task still before us, and just generally pooped.

Eh. I'm nothing if not consistent. So to everyone experiencing the January Blahs - I salute you, I hug you and pray for joy to find you again.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Found today:

1 destroyed train track
1 shredded Bible study notebook
5 Bible tabs
1 bent Bible

1 Wonder GIRL