Little Nothings

I'm getting my blog back on and have a couple posts in the works but just a little bit of non-cohesive miscellanea before I head into the weekend. Hope you don't mind...

I really appreciated the thoughts and comments on this post Wednesday. It's something that has kinda festered in my brain for a while and I was hesitant to click "post." Thanks for having my back, girls. Real (aka Beautopotamus) had some great thoughts and I loved the link to one of her previous posts on the subject - it's worth a read, I think. My friend Aimee brought up a really good point - the unwanted and sometimes hurtful opinion-spouting about number of children goes both ways. A family is a family - and a mom's work and influence is boundless whether she has one or twenty children.

Also, one of the most appalling things I've observed are "innocent" comments to long-married couples who have no children - often without knowing much about the couple at all - about why they don't want children. Um, excuse me? How is anyone to know what struggles or health issues or reasons they have? It's a remarkably painful topic in the case of not being able to have children, and, at the very least, nosey and judgmental if the couple has other reasons for not having children. Bottom line, it is an intimate, personal decision that no one has a right to comment or ask about, joking or otherwise, unless the couple involved begins the discussion and wants to talk about it.

But what I really want you all to know is that having more than two children is actually my way of showing off my extreme wealth. I'm flaunty like that.


Webkinz are the new bane of my existence. We succombed to peer pressure last week so the boys could have Webkinz like Lily. (Don't worry - I made them think of creative names because there is nothing more lame than a snake named Snakey and a Kangaroo named Kanga. Perhaps the "B day" lesson remains unlearned?) Anyway, the logging on and helping them to find "their room" and trying to explain to them why if they spend all their money on fancy beds and clothes and new rooms they won't have money for food and telling them for the eighty bazillionth time that we can't get a new Webkinz every day because they cost fifteen real-life, actual dollars and trying to fix the preferences on my computer every time they are done with their click-fest is just a little more than I thought I was taking on when I adopted Sydney the kangaroo and Sylvester the snake. No more pets. I can't handle the responsibility or the time commitment.


We went to get passport photos Wednesday. I was expecting fiasco city because my boys hate picture taking and have yet to sit still for a professional photo. But Dad went first, then Calvin hopped right up on the little stool and smiled, then Henry, then I held Charlie from the background while he stood and stared blankly at the camera. Hilarious little mugshot. But Calvin and Henry's pictures are probably the most beautiful pictures I have of them. I'm not joking, and it doesn't mean that all my snapshots have been so horrible - it means that these pictures are seriously sweet. I know - they are passport photos, for crying out loud - what passport photo ever looks good? I'm just saying that my boys pulled it off. And yay! We'll have passports in a few weeks! We really might be going somewhere sometime soon!


My houseguest has told me a million times that I can and should get a nanny when we are in Kiev. (I would really start to doubt her opinion of my competence except that she is more than happy to let me tend her little boy and she has that wonderful Eastern European bluntness that mostly doesn't mean to be impertinent.) I was thinking more a long the lines of a cleaning lady. The idea sounds super appealing because of the time it would free up and because there is no one that cleans a house or coddles a kid like a Ukrainian babushka. And you can't beat the price.

And then I think, but what would I really do with the free time? Kiev isn't exactly the mani-pedi capital of the world. And I would feel totally sheepish having someone working in my house while I take a nap or whatever. When I was a nanny one year, there was a cleaning lady who came every Friday and I felt so guilty even though it wasn't my house or my job to clean the house and I knew she was getting paid well for what she was doing. So I cleared out of the house on Fridays so that I didn't have to feel like a sloth, playing silly games with the kids or reading books while she swabbed toilets.

I'm pretty sure I'll be able to get over this hesitation. I'd be glad to take suggestions on filling my time. What is there to do if I'm not dying for sleep, wiping bums, running laundry loads, cooking food or refereeing children and taking care of Webkinz? What would you do with a hands-free hour or two?


We went swimming yesterday at the amazing huge fun, fun, fun swimming pool that Calvin has been dying to go to since we went once last summer. It really was fun and refreshing, since the Virginia swelter has officially begun now. We were getting away with a rather pleasant spring, but I think that's all over now. The thick heat sets in. Anyway, I coated the kids with sunscreen and then the can of SPF 50 petered out when I got to myself. I tried to wear a cover up as much as possible, but spent most of the time in the sun and water since that's where the boys wanted to be. So I'm pretty miserable today. Not as puffy and red as at the end of the day yesterday, but...crisp, and a little nauseous. So I'm calling it a stay inside in the A/C and watch movies (or blog while the kids watch movies) day.


I've read some really good books since summer began. But I'm kinda at the end of my short list. I think I'm going to dive into the Harry Potter books because - can you believe it - I haven't read any of them. I know I'm way behind the curve on that one. I don't know why I never picked them up before. Maybe it just took Henry saying "Hawy Potto is my favewit" to get me on it. Have you read anything lately that you would recommend? I really liked The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls and I'm reading Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury - it's an oldie but his prose is fascinating and the idea is very intriguing. What books are on your short list?


Charlie has taken to compulsively tapping one finger of his right hand on the palm of his left hand. I think he picked it up from "mark it with a C" in Pat-a-cake, but now he does it all. the. time. It's so cute and makes me wonder what he's thinking about it.

He also screams exactly like a monkey when I put him in his chair and ask if he wants a banana. Truly - it starts out as a little, "Hmm, mmm. Ah, ah, nana," then changes to a slightly louder, "oooh, ooh, aaahh, ah!" and then escalates to a full-on primordial screech, "Aagh-aagh-AAAAAAAGGHH!" And all the while he is bouncing up and down in his chair, reaching, while I peel the thing and give him a chunk. I'm contemplating teaching him to beat his chest along with it.

It also hasn't taken him very long at all to go from toddling tentatively to running "the circle" right behind the big boys, very nearly keeping up. I can't believe how fast he is growing.


I'm excited for next week - my favorite holiday, Independence Day! Love it, love it, love it. I'm trying to think of something fun and easy but memorable to do to celebrate - we won't be here for the next two...Hmmmm.


And at the beginning of August, we will be at the beach for a week! We can. not. wait. Yay for summer!


the lizness said...

Did I miss something? Are you leaving the country for a couple of years?
::gets head out of the clouds::

S said...

WOW! A lot to think about lady! I just can't believe how unchild friendly this society is coming to. I want to take my children EVERYWHERE. Why can't I. Boob out Boob in:) LOL Great post. Love the mom of 8!

Lisa said...

We recently just got into webkinz and my 11 year old seems to be as creative as your little kids. The cow is named Cow or Moo or something like that. I suggested ClaraBell and when she said no, I said maybe it should be called "good eatin".

Aimee said...

My favorite reads: Memoirs of a Geisha, Poisonwood Bible, Into Thin Air, The Worst Hard Time, The Joy Luck Club (you've probably already read these).

Babushka nanny: I've decided I don't mind having someone come and clean my house one day a week. She stays for 6 hours and makes it shine like I could never manage on my own. But the best part, she's a nice woman with a kind face who talks with me and teaches me new things to say in Turkish. It has enriched my life culturally.

Webkinz: wow--your kids are pretty advanced. My didn't start on it until 4th grade. Sorry it takes up so much of your time. Dale and I have fun playing the Boggle-like word game that earns money for your kids. It's called something like Quizzies Word Scramble. Check it out. Our kids love that we help them earn money and we like that we're actually a little smarter afterwards.

July 4: We'll be in town and plan to attend the Capitol Fourth Dress rehearsal on July 3. Its a blast and much less crowded than the actual event.

See you at church July 6 and 13!

An Ordinary Mom said...

You definitely have a lot going on!

My friend and her family (she has two little girls and just found out she is expecting her third ... maybe she is a "show-off" :) !!) are currently in Kiev right now. Let me know if you would like to get in touch with her.

Enjoy the beach in August ... I wish I could tag along!

Unknown said...

Books? You want to talk about books?

I have SO many on my shortlist. I'm reading a new (long) novel that a woman wrote based on her grandma--a missionary in China in the 20s. It's interesting, but long, so I keep thinking about all the others I want or need to read.

I am on Harry Potter 5, and need to read it, because I've let Amanda read 1 & 2 and I want to stay ahead of her.

I also just got a new book from Perri Klass, who is delightful, and a James Patterson on the shelf. . . . many many.

The Glass Castle really made an impact on me.

I'll be seeing fireworks in Wash DC on the 4th--we'll be visiting my inlaws in DC.

Gabriela said...

you haven't read Harry Potter???

Recent books I have liked are: Beautiful Boy (non-fiction, dad telling about son's meth addiction), and The Middle Place (also non-fiction- a mom of 2 dealing with her breast cancer and her father's cancer as well-very real) (Guapo asks me why I read such happy books!)

Enjoy the 4th in DC-you will for sure miss it the next two years.

The maid? You read my blog, you know my issues. I think overall it's worth it, but be ready for some ups and downs.

Oh Webkinz...good luck with that!

Anne said...

Books? The Once and Future King by T H White was great! I love the Harry Potter series, nice and fun, light-weight reading.

If I had 2 hours to myself, I would probably squander it online. But if I had any self-control, I would do my hair properly for the first time this year, dress in something besides pajamas-that-are-okay-if-you-have-to-rush-to-the-emergency-room, and go out somewhere. If I lived in the states I would end up at Barnes n Noble, in one of those fat chairs, reading some book or magazine I can't justify buying. Since you won't be in the states, I would recommend getting out of the house! Don't just wander upstairs to check email like me! Go to a museum, a cafe', or just walk around the block with a good playlist helping you burn some carbs. The "fresh" air sounds nice just typing about it, even if it is in Kiev. By the way, I think I would get a maid if it were affordable-ish. Sometimes I think the endless laundry, dishes, etc. are robbing me of precious moments with my kids or studying Hebrew or just detoxifying.

When are you leaving anyway?

For the 4th, you should try to go see the fireworks on the Mall. We have gone 2 different years, with kid in tow both times, and she was never bothered by the noise or firework smoke or anything. You can always find a good spot. One year we sat on the south side, on the grass by the Lincoln Memorial, right along the reflecting pool. Great view. And take your car. The traffic getting away to Virginia wasn't nearly as awful as we imagined! The only tricky part is finding parking. And all the stuff attached to bringing 3 kids along!

Anonymous said...

I've loved all of your posts lately, and clearly I'm not the only one! I just wanted to recommend goodreads.com for keeping track of books you've read, books you want to read, and the books your friends have read and want to read. Whenever I hear about a book I want to read, I stick it on my goodreads list, then I always have ideas for books to get the next time I go to the library. I've gotten a lot of ideas from other people's lists too.

I hope you'll keep blogging when you're in Kiev.

Anonymous said...

How was it working as a nanny? Were you required to wear some kind of uniform, if: which clothes (like skirt and blouse or something)? Manny young maid and nanny girls who live in a room in their employers home have to do that.