Monday, May 31, 2010

... and baby makes 8

I walk into Zayd and Ethan's bedroom several nights ago to tuck them into bed.

Ethan: Mom! Let's have another baby!

Uhhhh... excuse me?

Me: Uhhhh... Excuse me?

Ethan: I think we should have another baby so there are 7 people in our family... oh. No! Eight! Including Mollie.

Me: That's a big family. Do we have room in the house for another baby?

Ethan: Sure we do!

Me: Really? Huh. Where would we put the baby?

Ethan: Uhm.... (he thinks for about 15 seconds)... Uhm... let's just add another room next to our room and she can sleep in there.

Me: Oh. Are we having a girl baby?

He tries to hide an embarrassed smile...

Ethan: Noooo... welllll... Yes. Mom, we need a girl baby. We don't have any girls in this family.

Me: I'm a girl.

Ethan: No. You're a mom.

Me: A mom is a girl.

Ethan: Noooo...

Me: Okay, fine. What will we name her?

Ethan: Uhm.... (now he is sitting up in bed). I know! How about Taylor!?

Zayd finally speaks up from the next bed.

Zayd: Ethan. Do you want mom to get fat?

Ethan: Oh. (He looks at me). No.

Zayd: Mom. Do you want to get fat?

Me: Well... I don't want to have another baby.

Ethan: Why not!?

Me: Babies are a lot of work.

Ethan: I'll help you.


Ethan: But I won't change diapers.

Me: Hmmm... I don't think I can change all the diapers. Babies go through a lot of diapers.

Ethan: Okay fine (sigh). I'll change diapers. But you have to teach me how.

Me: No Ethan. We are not going to have another baby.

Ethan: Pleeaaazzzeee!

Me: No babies Ethan. Mom is done having babies. But when you grow up, you and your love can have a baby.


He thinks about that for a moment.

Ethan: How about this -- When I grow up and you get little, I'll take care of you.


Me: Okay. That sounds good.

I wonder if diapers are part of the deal?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Ethan's deep thought

On an errand run with Ethan:

Ethan: It's kind of weird being a human being.

Friday, May 21, 2010

King Zayd's Address to the Court

The other day I came home from work to find Zayd sitting cross-legged on the floor, facing our sofa in the sunroom. He was wearing a lavender felt poncho and a red crown made of foam craft sheets - adorned with stickers and some sort of fuzzy white stuff. He has a large plastic storage box opened... and it looked like one I keep all his old artwork and school work in....

Did I mention he was talking? Facing the sofa?

To no one?

Our most fabulous sitter, Kate, was there. Wednesdays are "art day" - and Zayd has an art class at a local artist's home studio - so Kate picks him up from school to take him there.

Me: Kate? Is Zayd talking?

Kate: Yes.

She gives me a classic Kate look that says something like, "You know your kids as well as I do and seeing Zayd sitting facing the couch talking to no one should not surprise you but I totally agree with you - he is strange and funny - but no.. I don't think you should be alarmed."

I continue looking at Zayd.

Me: Uhm... what is he doing?

Kate: Well, he was reading to me. He was looking through all his old schoolwork and projects.


Me: Okay. But he's still talking.

Kate: Yes. I know.

She gives me the classic Kate look again.

Me: Alright then. I'm going to change clothes.

Zayd was waiting for me when I returned.

Zayd: I meant to give you this on Mother's Day.

He hands me a hot pink booklet. It is a coupon book he made. I now had coupons to redeem with Zayd good for, among other things:

1. Making dinner
2. Cleaning his room
3. A no whining day
4. No hitting his brother(s)
5. Anything

Me: Wow! This is great! Thank you sweetie!

I give him a hug and a kiss.

He steps back from me and stares blankly at me.

long pause

Zayd: You aren't going to use them, are you? (he says totally deadpan)


Me: Uhhhh... yeah. I kinda was.


Zayd: You are. (statement, not question).


Me: Yeah. (pause). I am. (counter statement, not question).


Zayd: I was hoping you wouldn't.

Me: Okay. Then why give it to me if you didn't want me to use it?

And, by the way, why are we having this conversation?

Zayd: Yeah. I thought about that.


Me: And... what sort of conclusion did you come to?

Zayd: I made it. So I am giving it to you.


Me: Well... alright then.

He continues to stand there - staring at me.

I have come to learn that trying to follow Zayd's logic at any given time will offer me nothing but a mild throbbing ache behind my right eye. I choose to change the topic.

Me: Why are you wearing that cape and crown?

His eyes narrow saying something like "Mom. Really? You can't be that stupid."


Zayd: I made it.

And then... well... there you go.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Yellow, orange, or pink?

I think I have OCD.

I am totally obsessed over choosing the right colored paper napkins for my graduation party.

Yellow for NDSU? Orange because it is my favorite color? Or pink, in honor of my dissertation of the Mary Kay Corp?


I know. It's totally messed up.

Never mind that I STILL have a graduation speech to write (to be delivered in less than 48 hours)... I cannot focus on the speech until I have decided on the napkin color... which of course will decide the color of my cake...


I haven't ordered the cake.


AND to top it all off, my closet is messy, my boys rooms look like pits, the mudroom isn't organized and my house smells like candied bacon... because...


the only decisive decision I have been able to make in the last two weeks was that I wanted to have candied bacon at my graduation party... and I wasn't about to pay a caterer $1.50 for each slice of candied bacon... so...

My friend Brad and I made candied bacon at my house on Monday...

for four hours...

and I'm pretty sure this is why our new puppy, Mollie, has been over-the-top hyper since Monday night.

Tonight... I am sitting downstairs (typing)... after having opened all the windows in the house, turning on all the fans, wiping down all the counters, walls and cabinets with a mixture of bleach and water... spraying Febreeze on every single inch of fabric... including pillows, rugs, carpet, upholstery (even the leather)... and throwing a pot of boiling water on the stove complete with allspice, whole cloves and five cinnamon sticks... I wait.
And I still smell candied bacon.

And I am blogging...

Instead of writing my speech.

Because frankly, when it gets right down to it... my house not smelling like candied bacon, choosing the right colored napkins to match the right colored cake, and blogging about my OCDish tendencies towards anything having to do with what should be a care-free fun party...

outranks the possibility that I may not be entirely prepared to give a speech on Friday afternoon in front of the president, administration, State Board of Higher Education, members of the university faculty and staff, my fellow graduates, and all their families and friends.

Which begs the following questions...

How do you get the smell of candied bacon out of your house? And...

and probably even more importantly...

yellow, orange or pink?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Will my boys be proud?

Why? Why oh why do I do this to myself? Why do I create undo stress to a life already filled with undo stresses?

I enjoy pain? The feeling of a tension headache that begins at the base of my skull and radiates up the back of my head making it feel as though my hair hurts? The thrill of stress?

(Yes, I believe stress has thrilling properties).

I was nominated and chosen to be commencement speaker.

I was thrilled when I was selected. I was actually thrilled when I was even nominated.

Not a stress thrill... a thrill thrill.

Now, a week before I am to speak... my tension headache has actually started radiating downward...
towards my butt.

Or maybe that's from running. I really can't tell anymore.

In one week I am to offer a well-crafted speech that is what? Inspirational? Memorable? Funny? Short?

It will most certainly be short. I refuse to subject anyone to any speech longer than five minutes. But what do I shoot for? I don't know that I am all that inspirational or memorable. But do I dare venture into the realm of funny?

That could be dangerous. And I don't want to sound trite.
But do I really want to sound "academic?"
Haven't we all been forced to read, write,
and think academically for far too long as it is?

Why did I say yes?

I do know the answer to this question - and no, it is not about thrill seeking.

It was about having my four boys hear me speak.
Not my parents, my husband, my uncle or brother.
Not my advisor or the other graduates, and not the faculty or administrators.

Just my boys.

I hope they'll be proud of me.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Morning with Mommy

I was a single parent for a couple of days, including this morning. So I got up at 5:50 am to make sure all of us got out of the house early - I needed to be at work early.

I turned on the hall light and Ethan sits up in his bed:

Ethan: Mommy?

Me: Yes sweetheart?

Ethan: Mom? Will you put me to bed?


Me: Ethan. It's morning. It's time to get up.

Ethan: But why didn't you put me to bed?!

I had been out late the night before to Zach's band concert... so the sitter put Ethan to bed.

Me: Honey. I came up and kissed you goodnight but you were already asleep.

Ethan: Then why are you waking me up so early this morning!


Later, as Ethan attempted to find matching socks in the laundry basket in my bedroom, he let out a long, juicy toot.

Me: (calling from the bathroom). Holy cow Ethan! Was that you?

Ethan: Yes. Sorry.

Me: Wow. Maybe you need to go to the bathroom.

Ethan: No.


Ethan: But you should have seen it mom! It let out green smoke!

I stuck my head out of the bathroom.

Me: It let out green smoke?

Ethan: Yeah. It was super stinky. Can you see the green smoke?

WAY too much television.

On the car ride to school:

Me: It's hard doing stuff without dad.

Zayd: Yeah.

Me: He's organized.

Zayd: Yeah.

Me: I'm not so organized.

Zayd: Yeah.


Zayd: But you bring sunshine to our day.

Monday, May 3, 2010


This weekend, Zach and I ran some errands.

He was more than happy to go wherever I wanted to go because he has been grounded for the last 6 weeks.

Note: WE (his dad and I) did not ground him for 6 weeks. WE grounded him until he got his grades up. HE has chosen to take... let's see now...  Oh, that's right... 6 weeks. Not because it is not possible for him to do it in less time...

Apparently he likes to be grounded.

But...that's another story.

Did I mention I have a lot of time on my hands now that I don't have a dissertation to write?

I do. I love it. I get to do all these things I haven't been able to do. Five years of not doing stuff I like to do.

One thing I love doing is art. All kinds of art - drawing, painting, kid's projects... all of it. Zayd, Ethan and I have taken weekend parent/child art classes at the art museum for the last few weeks.

But I digress.

So, Zach and I are at a hobby store, picking up some supplies for an art project Ethan wants to do. Zach is following me around with the shopping cart which isn't easy because the aisles are quite narrow.

To which he points out to me with a straight face:

Zach: It's a good thing that I am a Lt. Commander of a starship.  I've taken a lot of advanced starship piloting classes... which makes me well qualified to navigate these narrow aisles.


Me: Thank you.

Zach: No problem ma'am.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

To curl or not to curl

Now that I don't have an entire dissertation to write, I've got some extra time on my hands.

So I decided to take a stroll back in time -- To the days it took me two hours just to do my hair.

Ah, to be young and living in the 80s again. Actually, I used to straighten my hair until about 5 years ago when I decided to boycott the 2-hour prep time in favor of a more natural look.

A couple of nights ago, I just straightened a part of my bangs. 

That small step was met with strong resistance from Zayd.

Zayd: What is that?

Me: What is what?

Zayd: What is that? That. That?

He is pointing to my bangs.

Me: It's my hair.

Zayd: What did you do!? Why did you do that?!

Me: I was just playing around.

Zayd: Don't. Don't.

Me: Why not?

Zayd: Because. Put your hair the way it was before.

Me: Why?

Zayd: Because.


Zayd: Because you look beautiful with curly hair.


So, the next day, (since Zayd was at a sleepover and wouldn't be around to be traumatized) I decided to straighten all my hair. I didn't have all the proper tools with me anymore and it had been five years since I did it last. I wasn't sure I even remembered how to do it.

Who was I kidding? It was like riding a bike. It all came back to me.... and I remembered why I didn't do this anymore. My shoulder and forearm was killing me by the time I was done. Far too time-intensive -- I have grown to love the fact that it only takes me a half-hour to get ready in the morning.

Not to mention, it didn't look quite as glamorous as I remembered. I sorta looked like an Anne Bancroft kinda Mrs. Robinson kinda look. So I pulled it back into a hairband...

Then I looked like - well... some sort psycho of Becky Home-ecky.

 After all that work, I took a nap. When I awoke... Zayd was standing over me.

Me: Hi honey. How was the sleep over?

He didn't respond. He was looking at my hair. He looked devastated.

Me: You look sad. Did you not have fun? Did something happen?

He continues to look over my hair. I'm not going to get out of this one.

Me: What are you looking at.

He points to my hair. And as if it is infested with lice, he carefully uses his index finger and thumb to pick up a strand.

Zayd: Why did you do this?

Me: I was just playing.


Zayd: I can't believe you did this.

Me: Honey. It will go back to curly tomorrow.

Zayd: But how!?

Me: I'll wash it and it will be back to its old self.

Zayd: So you won't do this again?

Me: No.

Zayd: Good.


Zayd: 'Cause I love your fro.