And suddenly – it was summer… Our June and July on Facebook… (What is this? All answers are HERE.)
Waiting for kids at the Bike/Walkathon finish line, and happy mine are referred to as bikers not “walkers.” #TheWalkingDead
“When someone is going to be in a show, you don’t say ‘good luck’ because that’s actually bad luck. You say ‘break a leg.’ …Or something French.”
-Eleanor Hood, Age 7 on “acting”
So the BIG SHOW was today! Our last acting class (for the kids who were enrolled: Oliver, George, Eleanor, and the rest of the K-2 crew; and the grownup who had to “shadow” her oldest who refused to participate: me) was a performance of “Happy Fairy Godmother’s Day.”
Eleanor was Merryweather (one of the three godmothers) and LOVED being in a play. Even with her injured toe, she gave it 150%. Remembered her lines and did an excellent job projecting her voice.
George was Jombo (one of the two guys who announces each of the “supplicants” as they come in). He’s actually a good little actor and got some laughs when he really hammed it up. It goes without saying that he had no problem projecting his voice… Mainly I was just thrilled that he behaved and didn’t spend the performance rolling on the floor (with the exception of one or two superfluous break dancing moves at the end that I could have done without).
But the the real break out role was “The Big Bad Wolf” played by Oliver Hood. That conscientious objector who required his mother’s stern presence to even mumble through his lines, not only projected his voice…he stomped and roared and broke off into improv, telling the audience that he would blow ALL their houses down. Then he didn’t stop ad libbing and I had to make frantic gestures at him, hissing “THAT’S ENOUGH. GO SIT DOWN.” Someone needed to give him the hook. It was beyond my “participation” expectations. I asked Eleanor if she thought it was funny or embarrassing. She said it was “a little embarrassing” but she laughed along with everyone else. I agreed it was kind of embarrassing. In the best way possible.
I’m SO proud of ALL of them. And SO glad that I don’t have to sit in a gym watching boys roll on floor and practice their armpit farts next Monday.
Catching up on last season’s Bones, and Curtis Armstrong’s guest appearance made us decide that it is impossible to see him on TV and not say, “hey it’s Booger!” #childrenofthe80s (Also have serious Moonlighting nostalgia. AND Risky Business: “Sometimes you just have to say ‘What the Fu….’“)
#TBT My solution to the twins taking off their diapers and peeing everywhere at nap time. I called them “the silver belts.” #ThisIsWhatDesperationLooksLike
This is also a bit of a time capsule with the old kids table, plastic plates AND R2D2 before he met his end on our basement stairs.
Sitting on my front steps enjoying the beautiful weather, when I noticed the five year old boy next door singing Let it Go while scootering. When he spotted me, he said, “I can hear Eleanor [who was biking on the other side of the house] all the way over here.” I asked, “was she just singing Let it Go?” He nodded, yes.
Ah – the K-1 Movement Performance. The most painfully boring 60 minutes of the school year.
Just saying what everyone else is thinking….
Anyone out there swaddle their elementary school age children at night? Because I’m seriously considering it. #GOTOSLEEPALREADY
Orange is the New Black season 2 is now online! Had it streaming while I got stuff done around the house all day. Which means I’m halfway through the season, but haven’t gotten anything done around the house today.
One great thing about having three kids is that at any given time, I can generally count on at least one of them to be delightful company. One not so great thing about having three kids is that at any given time, I can generally count on at least one of them to be a miserable human being. So apparently they take it in shifts.
Eleanor: Mom, do you know why I cried so much today?
Eleanor: Because my life is very hard for me.
Sing it sister.
On a whim, I decided to pull out the old Free to Be You and Me CD I bought for my kids when they were toddlers. It’s been a while (like OVER three years) and I was feeling nostalgic. So I subjected four children between the ages of five and nine to Seventies gender equality sing-alongs for about 45 minutes in the car today. Not sure how into it they were, but I almost burst into tears when When We Grow Up started… (original and superior version by Diana Ross) #Bornin72 #AndYouAndMeAreFreeToBeYouAndMe
A couple of days ago, Oliver dropped a box of cereal on the floor sending Lucky Charms flying in an explosion of Hearts, Stars and Horseshoes – Clovers and Blue Moons… Now I’m afraid that the dog will give herself a concussion bashing her head into counter crevices searching for strays.
My husband isn’t the best about getting stuff done around the house. But if I tell him we’re out of wine? He is AT THE STORE before I can blink. SO important to have common interests…
After watching several episodes of Girls and indulging in a few glasses of wine, I’ve decided that I want to be the voice of my generation. Totally doable right?
Most people have anxiety dreams BEFORE they have to be on stage. I, on the other hand, have mine a month later. Last night, the cast of Listen to Your Mother DC waited for me on stage as I frantically searched the dressing room for a button. Then when I finally did join them, I took time to ask everyone if my leopard print suit looked vintage – because that’s what I was going for. Also, the little bow embellishment at the collar kept drooping on one side. It was driving me crazy. Don’t even get me started on how I managed to leave the script in my car…
Walking into Comcast to drop off my cable box and terminate service. I’m so bad at ending things. Feels like I’m about to dump a nice enough boyfriend I’m just not into anymore. Formulating my, “it’s not you, it’s me,” speech…
George: Mo-o-om! Oliver keeps throwing the pee towel at me!
Me: Well George, since it was YOUR pee, I want YOU to pick it up and bring it to the laundry room. And Oliver – don’t throw pee towels at people!
So many teachable moments…
[Note because I got questions about this: a pee towel is what I usually call the towel I use to soak up our dog’s “bad girl” moments. In this case it was George who peed on the floor, and no – I have no idea why he thought that would be funny.]
From Oliver’s social skills group report from Saturday: “When we went to the playground, I was really impressed with his ability to accept ‘no’ for an answer when I told him he couldn’t pretend to be a sloth any more. He said ‘ok,’ participated in the activities, and didn’t ask about it again!”
I love this on so many levels.
OMG it’s Friday the 13th! Why didn’t anyone tell me? Actually I’m not really all that superstitious…but those terrible movies scared me to death and bad luck or not, I’m very susceptible to bad connotations. I usually luck out and don’t not notice the date until it’s passed. Not sure how to proceed with the day… Maybe no Target?
Me: Oliver, I love you to death.
Oliver: Yeah – like the death to me.
Me: What? No – I mean I love you more than anything.
Oliver: More than anything like death.
Me: Yes – I love you more than anything like death.
I love my little Balki Bartokomous more than anything. To death.
Message from the universe (at my friend’s house) that yes, I SHOULD have spent this week watching the first three seasons of Girls.
“I want you to go into the bathroom right now and wash your hands and face…and arms…and knees.”
Said to Oliver, who just ate a chocolate doughnut.
So tomorrow is Father’s Day. As I think about what to do for Chris, I’m reminded of Eleanor’s school journal entry about Mother’s Day. Something tells me he’s not going to clean our room…
Check out the level of description in Oliver’s recent school journal entry regarding his bike! I can’t wait for the novel…
No problem, Chris. Work as late as you need to…
You know when you haven’t taken an exercise class in years, and when you finally do, the instructor says, “lift your right index finger,” and it hurts so much you think you might cry? Well – I didn’t cry, but after taking two steps down the stairs when the class ended, I seriously considered turning back and using the elevator.
My kids write each other the sweetest love notes!
I think I’ve mentioned before that Oliver likes to give inanimate objects voices (his pencils talk to each other…vegetables scream while I’m chopping them…) And only today, did I finally notice that they ALL sound exactly like Mr. T.
“I think you guys need a safe word.”
Said to my children. No irony.
I just had to have a talk with George after a friend informed me that he was walking around with a box of fireworks, inviting all the neighborhood kids to our house AND promising that afterward, Chris would buy everyone ice cream.
So vacations without him when he’s a teenager are OUT…
I got so excited about this until I asked if she wanted to be a writer, and she said,”no – I just do it because I have to.” Guess I’ll take it.
“Hey! NO ONE discovered it. You can’t “claim” a dead turtle.”
School is officially OUT and suddenly my decision to forgo camps or childcare of any kind this summer feels like I decided to go skydiving…
JUST KIDDING! Skydiving only takes up one afternoon.
The other week at our community yard sale, Eleanor picked up a huge bag of crafting supplies for a dollar. SCORE! One item included in her haul was a package of decorative cardinals (those semi-lifelike ones that people attach to wreaths and such). Thrilled with this procurement, she decided to display them all over her room (one on a doll’s lap, three on her dresser, two on her bedside table, a few resting on baskets…). It’s like a fake cardinal convention. Unfortunately, they aren’t really designed to stand up on their own and keep falling on their sides. Now her room looks less like a festive aviary, and more like there was a gas leak in the mine. Puts a rather macabre twist on the shabby chic decor. I think it’s really going to catch on…
Any Everybody Loves Raymond fans out there? Chris got back from a business trip on Saturday. Wonder how long his suitcase will live in our dining room if I don’t touch it. I’m designating this as Day Two. #SuitcaseStandoff
George: Mom, you know it’s very easy to get lost in Asia and the African forest.
George: Yeah – because there are lots of trees and it’s very narrow.
How fun is this? My friend, Sarah Rosemary Bagley asked me to be a guest on her “recovering perfectionist’s guide to a B+ life” weekly podcast. We had to reschedule several times when I got my dates mixed up and then when we finally did the taping I spent approximately 1/3 of the podcast telling the twins’ birth story…so it’s clear that I’m living more of a C- life… BUT I really enjoyed doing it and we do cover a lot of other interesting topics like producing the DC Listen to Your Mother show and our own brand of imperfect parenting. If you like the sound of my voice as much as I seem to…I highly recommend giving this a listen.
Watching Sunday’s episode of 24: Live Another Day…
Chris: Benjamin Bratt is dick.
Me: I hate you Benjamin Bratt! No wonder you couldn’t make it work with America’s sweetheart.
Chris: Who is America’s sweetheart?
Me: Julia Roberts. What generation are you from?
YES – that was well over 10 years ago. But we are old and still fully entrenched in our “glory days”. Also? Why do I watch TV with boys?
Life with an intense child…
My boys are both struggling with reading. So I signed them up for a free trial with an online program someone suggested to me (silly cartoons teaching phonics). THEY LOVE IT! But after two lessons, Oliver was all, “it was real, it was fun, but it wasn’t real fun.” He would like to pick up where he left off tomorrow. NO problem considering you’re only really supposed to do one lesson per day. George on the other hand, is STILL at it (just checked, and he’s on lesson five). At this rate, I expect him to finish all 80 lessons in the two week trial period. Which my type A evil twin is totally rooting for…
Me: Don’t eat your shoes!
Oliver: I’m not eating my shoes! … They’re flip flops.
OH – well, carry on then.
It’s SO great that L.L. Bean replaces backpacks when they break. UNLESS your child is so attached to his discontinued backpack that he has a nervous breakdown when none of the current options look like it. Apparently, “Oliver the Backpack” is still perfectly functional without a working zipper, and abandoning him at the store was an act of unconscionable cruelty. I don’t know if he’ll ever forgive me… It’s like trading in “Oliver the Car” ALL OVER AGAIN.
Fourth of July is over, but but my husband’s suitcase is still feeling festive. I have seen Chris both step over it and walk around it this week. Day Seven and the #suitcasestandoff continues…
Me: So what was your favorite firework last night.
Eleanor: I liked the ones that went up in the air…but not the loud part – that was scary.
George: I liked the one Dad messed up that exploded down and went everywhere and was really dangerous.
We are fully embracing our gender roles today…
Neighbors must have teased non-facebooking Chris about the standoff. Earlier when I was out with the kids, he texted me “standoff over,” with this picture.
Oliver just looked horrified at the suggestion that he help his father with the hamburger patties. He’ll touch a dead chipmunk…but not raw ground beef. Earlier, I found him chewing paper…but GODFORBID I suggest he try a noodle. Well, he is entertaining.
Lavender picking! But the (end of season) pickins are slim…
Every day my dog, Alice does something disgusting (today it was wake me up by loudly puking under my bed) and I give her my “why are you being so gross?” face. Then she gives me her, “I’m sorry, have you not met me?” face. This isn’t evolving…. #NOTSoulmates.
I think I may finally be okay with being a 42 year old woman in a one piece bathing suit… Of course, I’ve looked like a 42 year old woman in a one piece bathing suit since I was 24…so that probably helps.
The twins had a dentist appointment today and came home with shiny new toothbrushes. George is particularly taken with his, and keeps referring to it as his “Oral B.” #MrEnthusiasm
Just when I think Chris and I are totally on the same page, I say something like, “aww – it’s the one where Ross and Rachael do laundry together,” and he has no idea what I’m talking about.” #NotSoulmates #EverythingLooksLikeJammiesNow
Look who has returned to us (from Ebay)! Oliver and Oliver the Backpack had a joyous reunion yesterday. Now working on my own “brand new L.L. Bean backpack for sale” listing…
It’s only 1:30 and, I’ve already lost count of all the fart and burp contests I’ve been asked to judge (all declined of course). I’ve also heard the word “penis” approximately five BILLION times. #summer
Earlier at Target…
Me: Okay you guys – this is going to be a very quick shopping trip. We’re only buying a couple of things we need. Milk and…what else…?
Ladies and gentlemen, may I present Oliver Hood – single handedly keeping hope alive since 2005.
“I’m not tattling! I’m reporting what’s happening!”
-George Hood, age 7
Next time I say, “hey – who wants to take a quick walk up to Dunkin Donuts to get a treat?” we’ll all know that what I REALLY mean is, “who wants to participate in a miserable 30 minute exercise in conflict resolution/social skills development?” #summerfun
But it was all good once we got the doughnuts. [Disclaimer: the misery was 100% George and Eleanor – not their friends.]
George: MOM! You know what I just saw on the soap in the bathroom?
Me: On the SOAP?
George: Yeah! On the soap. Seasoned salt!
Me: (of course – turning to Oliver) You put seasoned salt on the soap?
Epilogue – I checked it out, and in Oliver’s defense, it’s clear that he must have gotten the seasoned salt on the bar of soap while washing his hands. Which isn’t at all weird since seasoned salt is “a thing” in Oliver’s world (which IS weird). So much so that my other children can identify seasoned salt residue on a bar of soap. Also – he is now acting as a ventriloquist and making the vegetables that I’m cutting scream in pain.
Never a dull moment…
George’s friend: Hey Eleanor! Want to play manhunt?
Eleanor: What’s that?
George’s friend: Someone has to get to that tree without being tagged and everyone chases them.
George: Yeah! It’s really fun! Like soldiers vs. ninjas!
Eleanor can make her own decisions, but I can’t think of anything that sounds less appealing…
Put on unflattering summer exercise clothes with the plan to run a few errands, then go to the YMCA. Errands took longer than expected and I had to run home to meet the summer school bus. Still have more errands to do – now with the kids. Still in my unflattering summer exercise clothes…And feeling very “People of Walmart.”
#TBT Who else had one of these?? Bonus points for wearing a party dress made by Mom. And I have to say – the homemade party dress with a white eyelet apron was the quintessential 70’s look for Coveny girls. I would go so far as to say that it was OUR JAM.
#TBT And how gorgeous was my MOM?! All 29 years old of her…
#TBT And have we discussed this? My mother’s take on “outerwear.” The best part is that those were apparently my DAD’s pants. It’s a look…
Leaving for the beach tomorrow and have of yet to do one of those bingo wing blaster exercises I looked up. I am my own worst enemy.
Kicking off our drive to NC with a breakfast stop in Fredericksburg – where Oliver chose to make crayons talk to each other instead of eating and George wore his backpack full of Matchbox cars. Keepin’ it real. Keepin’ it fresh.
Chris: We’re going to a battlefield now.
Me: We’ll walk around some fields to see some plaques and stuff.
George: And dead guys!
Me: No dead guys.
Me: No explosions
George: Michael Jackson’s leg?
Chris: Stonewall Jackson’s arm – and YES.
On a boring Civil War walking tour, the resourceful man remembers to bring a yellow crayon.
Apparently he has my eyes AND my freckles. #minime
One hour into the road trip and my children are already fighting about which DVD to watch next. At which point I turn all old lady on them and say, “when I was your age we didn’t HAVE movies in the car. All we had were these books called Mad Libs. AND they weren’t even all that funny.”
We made it to the beach! Now the kids just have to do that for 3.5 more hours until we can get into our house…
Dammit Shoshana Kohn! Because of you, I read We Were Liars. Now I’m wrecked. Also watching my two boys and girl play on the beach. It’s not a “tiny beach” – but still. Sniff.
Arriving at the beach five hours before you can get into your rental sounds doable until one hour before you can get into your rental and Food Lion was so crowded and your kids are exhausted from playing in the surf and you are now just listening to them whine as you drive around playing DVDs for them and you actually yell into the back, “if you don’t eat your chocolate bars and watch TV RIGHT NOW…” #hindsight
Exploring the beach house…
George: (Runs in the door, breathless) Mom! Dad! Good news!
George: (Brandishes a small orange object that looks a little bit like a guitar pick)
Me: What is that?
George: I don’t know!
OMG I’m IN a picture. My mother in law just took this in front of the beach house. Oliver was a doll and blocked my bingo wing for me.
Yesterday I bought Oliver a hermit crab to help with his homesickness (he misses our dog, Alice and I thought he needed a little buddy to nurture). So NOW we have three hermit crabs (of course). Oliver named his “Mr. Krabs” (does this mean we watch too much Sponge Bob?), George named his “Cameron” (apparently he has two friends named Cameron, but I keep thinking of Cam in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off singing, “let my Cameron go”) and Eleanor named hers “Flower.” But I guess it didn’t take since she just ran in, and breathlessly announced, “Mommy! I changed Flower’s name!” I asked what the new name was – expecting something like a TV character or one of her friends’ names. Instead she beamed, “Sunshine!” #girls
Me: Chris! Take a picture of me with the kids!
Chris: Sure! Just let me get this sweaty guy in the shot.
Also – looks like George is ready for prom.
It’s impossible to sustain a grumpy mood while walking your neighbor’s puppy (dog sitting this week!)
Chris was just telling me a story that involves a man going to jail for narcotics actually cleaning out the family bank account, saying he needs the money for jail. Then when Chris made a crack about why a guy going to jail needs money, I immediately launched into an explanation of how he would put it in his account so he could buy things to trade – probably for drugs… That’s right. I’ve watched two seasons of Orange is the New Black. So I’m basically an expert on prison life.
Seven year old girls are not allowed to suffer from ennui. Especially when they have been enjoying DAILY afternoon play dates with friends. You have an amazing imagination. Use it!
With love from your Summer Vacation Cruise Director,
Eleanor: When I got a filling, the Novocain made my lip feel like it was as big as Mom’s nose.
Me: That’s pretty big.
Eleanor: (wide eyed) Uh huh.
Love that guileless honesty… Stay gold Pony Girl.
Next up…August/September. Two more posts until we’re all caught up!