Posts Filed Under weeks of mayhem

what I learned this week: ducks, goldfish, and the new chef in town

by renegademama
  1. So I’m three for three when it comes to kids who prefer sitting and whining over crawling. And why do they do that? Because I hate listening to fussy baby speak and I’m in no rush to enter the crawling stage, so I pick ‘em up. When Georgia gets annoyed in a position, I move her. Or, more accurately, I yell for one of the older kids to pick her up and move her.
  2. Speaking of yelling, there’s a lot of it in my family. We are loud bunch of people. I don’t love this, but I’m probably the loudest, which makes it tough for me to propagate redwood-forest calm around here. Or even medium noise. It’s pretty much ear-piercing riotous racket, all the time, in every room of this house. If you stay here long enough, it kinda just becomes a background hum.
  3. Sometimes, when I drink too much coffee, I get all jittery and start speaking in weird choppy sentences. Totally worth it though.
  4. I don’t think there’s anything sweeter than listening to a 5-year-old play little imagination games, making up conversations between the Lego men, talking to himself, lost in his world, when he thinks nobody’s listening. I will MISS THAT when it’s gone.
  5. I don’t think there’s anything less sweet than competitive 3rd-grade science fairs. Competitiveness and worksheets are pushing me to the brink of pulling my kids out of school. For the duration. I’m not really the home school type, but I may become one quickly.
  6. From the bathtub, if you squirt water out of the rubber ducky really hard at the toilet paper, you can make the roll spin and the paper fall down. Then, you can shoot the paper with the water from the duck, which is really fun, because it makes little wet blobs of toilet paper stick to the wall behind it. (Thanks, Rocket, for this one.)
  7. On a similar note, goldfish can survive really extreme circumstances. I finally cleaned the fish bowl this week. There was only about 2 inches of water left in the bowl, all of which was green and seemingly uninhabitable. The fish though seemed fine.
  8. You’ve probably observed this by now, but I make fun of everybody, indiscriminately, including myself. For fun. I have a sneaking suspicion this is going to get me into trouble someday with somebody, or a lot of people. I try not to care, but there’s a piece of me seeking approval and acceptance from everybody, just a little, and no matter how hard I try to be grown-up and independent and shit, there’s a very quiet voice in my head that says “Oh no, Janelle, don’t say that, people may not like you. You shouldn’t write that.” But for some reason I say it and write it anyway, and I always have, but I still have that strange teenaged insecurity. It’d be great if that would go away.
  9. I think I underestimate the capability of my 9-year-old. For my birthday, she went to my mother-in-laws house and put together a birthday party for me (I’m 32 tomorrow). She cooked spaghetti & meatballs herself, set the table herself, and made the cake – all with minimal oversight and direction from her grandma. It may have been the loveliest birthday I’ve ever had.
  10. My daughter will be cooking more meals around this place.
  11. I absolutely love writing this blog. It’s been in me for a long, long time and I love you people for reading it and for “getting it,”…so #8 has a bit less power. So thanks.
12 Comments | Posted in weeks of mayhem | March 27, 2011

what I learned this week: rain, sundays, and why Mac doesn’t suck

by renegademama
  1. I have a ridiculous and overly dramatic aversion to rain. I hate it. I look at it as some sort of universal deal-breaker: if it exists, I’m not participating. In my life.
  2. Yes, I know rain equals water equals survival of human race, etc., but, like most unpleasant things, I just wish somebody else could handle the annoying parts and I could benefit from their efforts. In other words, can’t it just rain in the foothills?
  3. The Ergo baby carrier has a critical design flaw that I may or may not bring up to the manufacturer: it’s often more convenient to wear my baby on my back, but if I do so, the front belt cuts into my belly, making me look fatter by creating a roll of tummy over the belt. This is no joke. Something should be done.
  4. A few weeks ago Mac and I decided that we were going back to the old days when Sundays were sacred and therefore the only things that happened were church and family time at home. This was a good plan and I love it and I look forward to Sundays now all week, when we all hang out and sew and garden and cook and play games and don’t do chores or shop or have people over. It isn’t just another day any more, it’s a day for us to be a family, unobstructed. And it’s freaking great.
  5. There are many reasons my husband doesn’t suck, but one of them is that he doesn’t want an “open marriage”. Not that I asked him for one. I just happen to have heard about this a lot lately (it’s kinda creepy actually) so I asked him what he thought of such a thing. He was revolted. We actually had to stop talking about it because it was pissing him off just thinking about it. Maybe I’m just unenlightened (and you know I am) but I wouldn’t dig that sort of arrangement. I hear it works for some people, but I believe I would throw myself into a fiery cauldron of sorrow, misery and self-pity if my husband suddenly informed me that he wanted an “open marriage.” Then, when I snapped out it, I’d hunt the bitch down who he was “open-marriaging” with and beat her senseless (well no, I wouldn’t, cause I’m too wimpy for that sort of thing, but I may hire one of those burly chicks from Jerry Springer as a sort of white trash hit woman). Then, when I was done with that, I’d get a divorce. I believe Mac would do about the same, only he wouldn’t hire anybody. For sure the whole thing would be wildly unpleasant for all parties.
  6. My new favorite pastime is to find a recipe, go to the store and buy all the ingredients, return home and put the groceries away. Yes. Correct. That’s it.
  7. It’d be great if my baby would go back to pooping only once a day.
  8. It’d be great if I didn’t talk about pooping so much.
  9. Apparently it takes a really long time to recover from continued sleep deprivation. I’ve been having 7-8 hours of virtually uninterrupted sleep for the last few days (due to Mac’s brilliant middle-of-the-night solution which involves…shhhhh, lean in closely, promise not to tell my attachment parenting friends…him and a bottle of formula). Anyway I thought after 2 nights of that kind of godly sleep I’d spring back to life like a 3-year-old at 5am. But instead I am still exhausted and sleeping more deeply than I ever have in my life. It’s almost like my body is hoarding sleep like a starved person would hoard food, worried that it may go away again. However, the blurring eyes and weird hallucinations have ceased, so things are improving. I’m not fully kidding about the hallucinations.
  10. I got to the bottom of the laundry pile in the hallway and I gotta admit, I kinda miss it.
  11. I should be in church right now, but because it’s raining, I’m not going. I shall spend the day finding recipes I’ll never cook, starting sewing projects I’ll never complete, and inventing ways to get my husband to do more housework. But not today. Because it’s Sunday. Today we play.

the husband who doesn't suck

9 Comments | Posted in weeks of mayhem | March 20, 2011

what I learned this week

by renegademama

I was very tired this week and have a sudden and new appreciation for Virginia Woolf. Eighty years later, evidently women still need “500 pounds and a room of one’s own.” (translation: I am having a very hard time finding uninterrupted moments to write with all these loud needy short people running around. I have six un-finished blog posts.  I have twelve drafts rolling around in my head. And this is all I’ve completed in 4 days. Good thing I committed to writing a ‘what I learned’ list each Sunday, otherwise we may have had a zero completion rate (shocking, sad, tragic I know).   

Anyway, here’s the deep-reflections-on-Sundays list.


  1. There’s a weird one-upping phenomenon among mothers that I’ll never understand but will always find frustrating and pointless and unsettling. Depending on the context, it can center around who’s kid does what the soonest, which mother is the most granola/green/crunchy, who’s the most ‘educated,’ who’s the most open-minded, who’s got the most offspring, who’s husband is the most supportive, who has the most shocking birth story.
  2. When I find myself inadvertently involved in one of these one-upping competitions, I generally resort to silence and obscure mumblings, which is new for me, and indicative of a rare but powerful feeling of total defeat. I get confused and overwhelmed, mainly because my mothering approach has no direction and I’m intimidated by women who have it all figured out and “know” and since I’m a bad liar I’d better just say nothing because what the hell am I going to say? “um, yeah, I used to be a drunk and now I’m not so pretty much anything I do now is better than what I did then.” That’s a hell of a measuring stick. Seriously my mothering approach is a series of contradictions and follies and “oh shit that didn’t work, better back up” moments. I’m stoked that my kids aren’t raging lunatics, lighting shit on fire and beating puppies.
  3. Speaking of lunatics, my nine-year old has lost her mind. My aunts told me it’s probably the very early onset of prepubescent hormones.
  4. Prepubescent hormones can kiss my ass. Prepubescent hormones will one day turn into pubescent hormones, which will force my daughter to deal with her biology, which evidently still thinks women only live to the age of 25 and therefore must begin reproducing around twelve. And those hormones will force me into the full and immediate realization that my little girl is really really not a little girl no matter what I tell myself and very soon she’ll face life. All by herself. All grown up. And I’ll miss her forever. That little frizzy head.
  5. I love the smell of Pine Sol in the morning. (Why yes, that was an Apocalypse Now allusion). Actually I love it all the time. I shall never use hippie cleaning products because they don’t smell like Pine Sol. And if I’m going to mop the floor, I should be allowed the pay-off of whiffing Pine Sol for the next few days. It’s only fair.
  6. Do not hold your baby up in the air and swing her around after nursing and feeding her. She will projectile vomit across your right shoulder. Especially refrain from doing this in restaurants, because then she will projectile vomit across your shoulder while everybody is watching you show off your beautiful baby and you will be very embarrassed.
  7. My baby really is beautiful and I have a sneaking suspicion she is actually the cutest and best and most impressive baby on the planet. (Buahahahaha – one-upping!).
  8. Tee-ball games are so entertaining they should demand a cover charge.
  9. My beloved 80-year old grandmother read my blog and determined that she liked “some of it.” I believe what she meant was “you scare me.”
  10. I have already been faced with a personal censorship question. Namely, should I? I gave this a decent amount of thought and have decided, as Ava used to say “the answer says ‘no.’”
  11. It may be a good idea however to add a disclaimer to the top of the webpage: “This blog is irreverent and deliberately uncensored. As such it is generally offensive and wholly incorrect politically – something like Martha Stewart on psychedelics or June Cleaver with a really bad attitude. If such a thing interests you, read on.”

what I learned this week

by renegademama

Perhaps from now on, on Sundays, I’ll post the biggest lessons I learned that week, as a sort of record of my general regression. I meant progression.

Anyway, here’s what I learned this week:

  1. I hate selling Girl Scout cookies. It’s too much work and I feel like an indentured servant to the Girl Scouts corporation, which swindles us all into thinking we’re earning money for the girls, when really we’re just working for them. Besides, if they really give a shit about kids, why are the cookies chock full of trans-fats? Next year, I will make every attempt to weasel out of selling those beastly boxes of deliciousness.
  2. On average, five-year olds ask seventy-five thousand questions an hour, most of them hypothetical and, if answered honestly, rather complicated. Examples: “Could a thousand ants pull an elephant?” “If I were to die, where would my heart go?” “What if there were three suns and three earths and we lived on all of them at the same time?” “If I were Secretariat and you were a racecar, who would go faster?”
  3. I can answer 5-year old questions for exactly 2 hours before needing a break. If I don’t get a break, I become irritable and feisty and they’re no longer cute and my tone demonstrates my increasing lack of interest and need for silence. For non-kid talking. For non hypothetical interaction. I am a bad mother for needing that. But it’s true.
  4. When there’s a little girl rockin’ out in the back of your car, Justin Bieber ain’t that bad.
  5. My son is capable of “break-dancing” in front of the entire school during a school-wide talent show.
  6. My daughter is capable of performing a dance she and her friend invented during recess, also during a talent show in front of the whole school.
  7. Both my kids are decidedly cooler than I am and evidently unhindered by fear of looking like a jackass. Not that they looked like jackasses. They were freaking adorable. In my experience, however, fear of looking like a jackass made dancing in front of crowds while sober a complete impossibility, so obviously they’ve overcome my impediments.
  8. It’s possible to get so tired your eyes randomly blur out of focus and life starts looking like a Monet painting held 2 inches from your face.
  9. If you’ve been so sleep deprived that your eyes are blurring randomly, and you finally get a good night’s sleep, you will feel like Julie Andrews singing “the hills are alive” – you will spread your joy, frolicking with the butterflies in the eternal sunshine of your beautiful life.
  10. That feeling will end abruptly, the next day, when you return to 4-hours of sleep a night, in 45-minute increments, and realize it’s Sunday and 11:53pm and you have to work on Monday.

Goodnight, friends.  Hello, Monet painting.

here's Rocket. Didn't include an Ava picture because her friend is in it (privacy issue).

5 Comments | Posted in weeks of mayhem | February 27, 2011