The worst possible thing is happening to me right now. I am being forced to drive a minivan.

I know I’m no prom queen of adulthood or anything, but I suppose I like to think of myself as being at least medium-cool. I mean, I have an urban farm. That’s hip. I stay up late all the time. Duh, that’s super cool. I have cool friends, which automatically elevates my status. And sometimes I have babies on my dining room floor as a cool party trick for all my neighbors. I thought I was doing okay for an aging mom of four.

But that’s all changed now. Now I’m the mom who got rear-ended in the carpool line at school, by a SEDAN, which is apparently all my delicate flower of a brain needed to get a concussion. Talk about uncool. My Suburban, which is obviously cool, is much tougher than I, and only requires a little bit of rear bumper work. But, while it’s being fixed for the next few days, I need a loaner. After sending in the declarations page of my tax return to prove to the insurance lady that I do indeed exceed the limit for the standard issue compact sedan, I was rewarded with the very exciting news that I qualify for a minivan.

I’m so ashamed. I’m thinking of parking it around the block so no one will know it’s in my possession, or at the very least, posting some signs in my defense, lest people jump to conclusions and mock me.

I thought I was prepared for this, and had convinced myself it wouldn’t be the end of the world. But I was wrong. I was hoping for a nice, drab color, rather than this “look at me!” maroon. And if I’m being honest, I was also hoping for at least a drop down TV to assuage my feelings of hostility as I drive this dork-machine to Goliad later this week to keep Dally happy, but no such luck. I think the Enterprise guy could sense the tangible feelings of disgust oozing from me when he looked at me with a straight face and said, “At least it has really cool rims!” Um, what? First off, do I look like someone who cares about rims? Big engines? Yes. Mudding tires? Certainly. But, without coming across as too stereotype-y here, I’m not really a “rims” girl. And I don’t think any kind of rims would be able to dress up a minivan. It’s kinda like that whole concept of putting lipstick on a pig, if you ask me.

I know a lot of you have minivans, and I don’t mean to insult you. Congratulations on embracing your soccer mom status like a champ! Or congratulations on being super non-shallow and taking one for the team while you choose function over fashion. It’s a little harder for me to come around. I won’t even let my kids play soccer, and I have always sworn that you will NEVER see me in a minivan! To be fair, you will never see me in a minivan that I have paid money for, but for this week (puh-lease let this not take any longer than a couple of days!) I’ll be wearing dark sunglasses and a hat while I drive this bad boy around town.

Look, I know you love the features. Who doesn’t want a fridge in their console? I’m sure that drop down TV that comes in the better minivans is nice for long trips. And you get to look like a freaking wizard every time you open or close one of those magical doors with the push of a button. But oh. my. goodness. It looks like a take out box on wheels, and not in an appetizing way.

As I loaded up to run an errand this morning, my neighbor caught me and asked if I’d purchased a new car. “Ha!” I scoffed. “This is a rental, and it causes me great physical pain!”

“Why?” he asked, innocently. “I don’t really see any difference between this and a Suburban.”

This was the ultimate insult. As I pulled the dagger from my heart, I instinctively began shouting things at my poor neighbor, who hadn’t even finished his morning coffee yet, about how this van was a vagina, and… well, it goes downhill from there. I don’t like the person this minivan has made me.

I get that maybe my Suburban isn’t your cup of tea. (Ok, maybe I don’t get it, but I suppose I can accept it. A little.) If seating and enclosed cargo room wasn’t an issue, (and neither was money), I think most of you know I’d be upsetting all the EPA people in town with my F-350 diesel quad-cab 4×4 with enormous tires. But since it is, I’ve got the next coolest thing. It’s a truck with a third row! It can hold all my tiny people and all the groceries we can eat, or I can drop the seats down and it can hold a piece of furniture or something awesome from Lowe’s. I can take it camping in the hailstorm of the century, go romping down a muddy road in a flood with a goat in the back, or wash it, and turn it over to the valet at the St. Anthony downtown. I can smile proudly at the gas tank while I see how many miles we got out of the 31-gallon tank, or I can rev that V8 when the light turns green at the intersection and watch her beat out the sporty sedan next to us. The possibilities are endless!

I might have shed a tear or two as I handed over the keys to my baby, and climbed sideways rather than upwards into this fine piece of machinery. Trust me, the body shop will be hearing from me on a daily basis! Will I ever be medium-cool again?

Twice a year, San Antonio closes a section of streets to host Siclovia, a movement to get people off their bums and outside, riding, running, pulling, pushing, and playing. We love to get our family out and attend, and this year was a section of the city we had not done before. (Not with the kids, at least. It was actually part of the marathon course… the not-so-enjoyable miles, and very close to the route we took for most of our long training runs. It was all I could do to keep the PTSD at bay.)

Everyone but Dally self-propelled themselves for 4 miles, with very little complaining, and only at the end. Here’s our adventure in pictures and hashtags.

#cooldaddy

#superhipdaddy

#worstparentsever  #nohelmets  #helmetparentpressure

#strirderbike  #fancyshoes  #tryingsomethingnew

#daaaaaaaddddddddyyyyyyyyy!

#thisishowwerestourlegs

#sombreros  #theyreforbroncoandbutter

#gettinfancy

#weonlylostonekid  #totallynotourfault  #maybewereallyaretheworstparentsever

#trytotellmykidsthat  #mamasgettingtired

#daddysskatergirl  #shesgettingthehangofthis

#downhilldaddy  #youregoingtoofastformetogetagoodpicture

#lukedab  #dabmaster

#i’mbored  #gettingthehangofthis

#therewasalotofthisinmiles3and4

#mamacarriesallthecrap

#beautifulviewonthewayback  #iwastheonlyonewhosawit  #slowmama

#weworeherout  #success  #parentgoals  #4hournap  #shesgoingtobeupallnight

Rules. As kids, they sucked. As adults, they suck to enforce. But some rules are a necessary part of running a household and keeping everybody safe most of the time.

Something I’ve noticed as my kids get older is, they like to enforce their own rules. All kids have their moments of self-righteousness, where they love to tattle on a sibling, then sit back and watch the train wreck that follows. We all did it. And as my older kids occasionally find themselves supervising a younger kid for play or a specific task when I can’t, they love the opportunity to play parent and enforce their own rules.

What I find to be amusing is, that as much as they hate rules that apply to them, and so often are unable to follow them, the rules they like to enforce on one another are so much more strict than mine! They hold one another to a standard of perfection none of them can actually attain.

For example, one of my rules is: (loosely stated) don’t kill the baby chicks. But Luke’s version of this rule is: no one is allowed to touch, hold, love on, or be in the same room as the baby chicks except him.

My rule is: don’t curse (a lot). Colt’s version is: any word with a negative connotation directed at him, including nonverbals, such as dirty looks, including but not limited to, resting bitch face, are forbidden.

My rule is: when the little kids are on the trampoline, don’t pretend you’re on the Olympic Trampolining Team. Dally’s version is: No one is allowed to jump, look like you’re jumping, think about jumping, or be anywhere near the vicinity of the trampoline at any time when she is on it. Violators will be screamed at.

My rule is: stay only on the sidewalks when riding around the block on your scooter, and don’t lose sight of one another. Lilah’s version of this: stay on the sidewalks, and within two feet of her, without ever getting ahead of her at all, even though it’s not a race, because she wants to win, and furthermore, she is the only one who should be having fun. She will straight up scream her way around the block if one of the boys dares pass her. I’m surprised no one has called the cops yet.

The rule at their school is: no pop culture. The kids’ version of this rule is that not only can you not have a backpack or lunchbox with a pop culture reference, but movies, video games, and pop culture characters of any kind may not be discussed, referenced, or alluded to at any time, in any capacity, for any reason, even at off-campus birthday parties or other events. All violators of this rule shall be reported and burned at the stake at once.

Conversely, there are some rules I have that seem pretty obvious and basic to me, but are downright unreasonable and impossible to follow for my children.

  • Sit at the table and eat your food. I will never understand why this concept is so hard for my children. It always has been. Scott and I love food, probably too much, and eagerly anticipate sitting down to a nice meal. For my children, mealtime is cruel and unusual punishment, and must be fought against by any means necessary, so that it is an athletic event complete with threats, consequences, negotiations, and way too many hours invested.
  • Don’t write hate mail to your sister. I think it’s clear we failed on this one.
  • The couch is not to be used as a jungle gym, trampoline, laundry hamper, trash can, or dining table. I’m not sure what it is about a couch that makes it so appealing to kids. Heaven knows my butt rarely gets to touch it. But despite major boundaries being set when we bought a new couch last summer, we can’t seem to break them of their (ridiculous) habits.
  • Stop making a barricade of oral health products around the perimeter of the bathroom sink. This just makes me crazy. When I’m trying to brush Dally’s teeth and hold her over the sink to rinse her mouth, an avalanche of crap goes flying in every direction. This is just something I swear they do just to increase the rate at which I age.
  • Put your crap away. All of it. Clearly this is unreasonable. It’s so much stuff! How could they possibly be expected to clean the play room, and the table where they just (didn’t) eat, and their bedrooms?! That’s just too much work! (These are actual words spoken by an actual child of mine.)
  • Know your pay grade. I’m not sure why my kids don’t fear me. I try to be scary, I really do. But for some reason, it’s not intimidating at all for Lilah to straight up refuse to do something I ask of her, or for Dally to throw her diaper in my face and say, with her paci hanging halfway out of her mouth, “No, YOU re-wax!”
  • (For Dally) Take a nap. This will obviously happen over her dead body, and when she relinquishes, it will be on her timeline, which will obviously be the most inconvenient for me and our carpool schedule, thereby allowing for the least amount of adult productivity as possible.

I suppose nobody can ever really follow all the rules. I know I can’t. I totally leave Dally in the car while I run in to grab my Starbucks mobile order. I sometimes exaggerate Lilah’s reading log. And I definitely don’t always (okay, almost never) follow the speed limit. Isn’t that our human nature? As they say, rules are made to be broken, so rather than worrying about my children’s certain futures as career criminals, I’ll try not to sweat the small stuff, and aim simply to maintain partial peace, most of the time.

Anniversaries are great excuses for a date night. According to the memories that popped up in my Facebook feed this morning, we’ve had some memorable ones…

The first anniversary involved a replica of our wedding cake top and if my memory is right, a delicious dinner at home.

After the second anniversary, the home date was no longer an option, as we had children to escape from. Nice, romantic dinners out were the new thing.

I’m pretty sure at some point, our anniversary involved taking all the kids to Taco Taco for breakfast. (Feeding our crew tacos can cost almost as much as a nice dinner out for two these days!)

As we got older and more integrated into our neighborhood full of wonderful friends, date nights with couple friends, yummy dessert, and drinks at fancy hotels we can’t afford to stay in were what we did more than once.

But it seems we’re evolving. What once made the cut for an anniversary date is no longer at the top of our list. We talked about trying to squeeze in a movie and dinner, but neither of us wants to watch a movie in dressy clothes, let along sitting upright in public. We’re old now, and prefer our movie viewing to take place horizontally, in pajama pants, on the couch or in bed. With lots of free snacks.

We talked about “what might be going on downtown”, where we would be eating. But as it was Spring Break, the answer to that question involved a bunch of tourists wandering around aimlessly with all their pissed off kids in tow.

And so, we both agreed: the twelfth anniversary celebration would be a dinner and shopping date.

Before you get excited about the idea of shopping in fancy stores and trying on luxurious clothes, let me paint a little picture for you. Ross. Target. Easter baskets. Litter boxes.

I love our children so very much, and I am not one of those parents who goes out of her way not to incorporate them into daily activities. I don’t let the fact that I have four kids prevent me from doing regular tasks, like going to the store. But I’m not going to pretend they always make it enjoyable. Just going from the front door to the car can take upwards of twenty minutes when you factor in the thirteen times I have to request that shoes be donned, the potty breaks, the last minute snacks, the paci-finding, the multiple excuses about where we’re going and how boring it will be, the conversation about what’s in it for them, the looking for shoes for people who refuse to put their damn shoes where they belong, and the hostage-like negotiations which go with getting Dally into her car seat and buckled in. Then there’s the doing it all in reverse in the parking lot, deciding who will ride in which seat of which cart, and then changing their minds multiple times and getting upset when they can’t all do the same thing. This is all before we get into the “I want this” part of the journey. And if I need to make multiple stops at multiple stores, just the loading/unloading process can add hours onto the outing, running us into Dally’s nap time, which means we all lose at life.

And so, it should come as no surprise that when I mentioned to Scott that we needed to buy a new litter box to accommodate our obese cat who can’t seem to keep the litter in the box, and that I wouldn’t mind picking out a few little things for Easter baskets (since I’m a superstar mom who does these things now), and that I don’t know why HEB is doing this to me, but I haven’t been able to make any more spiced tea this season because for some unknown reason, they don’t carry Tang… our date was planned.

We had dinner downtown, yadda yadda yadda, and then…

Scott chose some flip flops to the soothing sounds of a woman throwing a temper tantrum because her teen-aged daughter didn’t want the shoes her mother wanted to buy for her, and therefore was pretending they were too tight when she tried them on.

Our hands grazed as we compared litter box doors side by side, trying to imagine in our minds just how fat Oreo really is, and if she could fit her big, dangly belly through either one of those doors.

We gazed into one another’s eyes as we discussed pet food storage bin options, and weighed the pros and cons of 25-pound bins versus 50-pound bins, and whether we should buy them at Target or online.

And the romantic atmosphere of the shoe section at Ross, where Scott literally had to act as the bulldozer for my cart, after a day of shoppers who have the same attitude about cleaning up as my children do, set the stage for our deep conversation about whether the cute factor of Converse high tops would outweigh the pain-in-the-ass level of trying to get them on Dally’s feet every time we leave the house. (It doesn’t.)

The dollar zone at Target proved to be a much more productive setting for Easter basket stuffers, not to mention, the atmosphere was slightly more appealing.

And we celebrated with a kiss when I was able to find Tang at Target.

It was all so very romantic. You may think I’m being sarcastic, but I’m not. Perhaps the best part of this date was that my husband gets it. He knows it’s nice to sometimes browse Target with total focus and no whiny, arguing children stealing your joy, one aisle at a time. He knows, because he has the same experience at Lowe’s on a regular basis. But he also knows, because while he is an extremely involved daddy, by 10:00 AM every Saturday morning, he has abundant appreciation for the many hours each week I spend with these precious little minions while he is at work. And that appreciation and understanding are one of the many reasons I’m grateful for you, Scotty Dow!

A few months back, to celebrate a friend’s birthday, we attended an event called Pecha Kucha. Much to my relief, this wasn’t something that involved a bunch of us running all over the park with our phones in front of our faces, trying to catch imaginary monsters. Rather, it was like a mini-Ted, where speakers were given 20 slides and 20 seconds to share their ideas about a topic. As if that wasn’t enough to make it sound like a gathering for intellectuals, it was held at the Witte Museum, just down the street from us.

So we’re in a museum, learning stuff. Leave it to Tahira to choose this as her birthday celebration!

But seriously, it was interesting, and there were cocktails to offset any learning that may have accidentally occurred, and perhaps most importantly, my children weren’t there.

However, it did open my eyes to a seemingly secret world of smart people where a night out involves intellectual discussion about ideas, future generations of the American workforce, and how to make things generally better in our community and beyond. I started to wonder if I had spent too much time at home in my yoga pants, cleaning up toys and wiping bottoms.

Then I was introduced to an acquaintance of my husband’s, who happened to be a friend I went to elementary school with. We chatted for a few minutes, and I learned about all the stuff she’s in charge of at her job, the other businesses she owns, all the cities in which she had lived, and all the companies for whom she had worked. She had come a long way from freezing my panties that night in second grade.

The first speaker took the podium, and began her talk on marketing strategies and how they can affect us. Her resume boasted many large, well-known brands, and she is currently the big cheese of all things marketing at this little old place down the road called The Pearl. She, too, appeared to be about my age, and mentioned her three year-old at home.

One of the subsequent speakers made reference to a plan for Texans which involves 60% of adults between the ages of 20 and 35 to have one or more graduate degrees by 2020. I leaned over to my friend and joked, “Phew! I really dodged that bullet!” And then I realized I was talking to someone who has more graduate degrees than I think I’m even aware of, to include such pithy majors as Russian, Statistics, and Mathematics. Seriously. What a loser, right?

As I looked around this large room, filled with people from all walks of life, I began to focus on how many of them were my age or younger, and what they were doing with their lives. They were here, first of all, and not just for the Old Fashioneds, like I was. Learning stuff. By choice. They were dressed professionally, because they had been at work all day, being in charge of people and adding to their already-impressive resumes. They were making contacts, and mapping out ways to connect these new contacts with their old ones to make something new and wonderful and exciting happen.

It got me thinking. What have I done with my life? These people have important jobs at important companies, and they’re doing important things. I strategize my work weeks according to how many days I can possibly stay in my pajamas until noon, or how I might be able to structure my productivity in such a way that a crass blog or long breakfast might fit in. I don’t read books, or attend book clubs, and if I did, they wouldn’t be worthy of any discussion. I don’t watch CNN or take Master’s classes at night or constantly dream of how I could take Kitchen Koncierge to the next level of entrepreneurial success. I don’t think big or aspire to own stuff, and I am TOTALLY okay with that.

If I were to go back into the professional workforce right now, I think I would have a very big problem. My resume would consist of things like this:

  • Can hold numerous conversations about nothing simultaneously
  • Can almost do 4th grade level math
  • Can keep 4-7 children alive in public before coffee
  • Able to successfully grocery shop with 1-4 kids
  • Can shower 5 people in under 10 minutes
  • Can create a meal for a family of 6 (or more) while nursing
  • Writes blogs about nothing comprised of no less than 30% profanity
  • Can clean a very poopy butt with only one wet wipee
  • Fluent in foreign language: toddler-speak (most of the time)
  • Can go four days without a shower, and weeks without shaving legs (in the winter)
  • Can lie about the tooth fairy like you wouldn’t believe

These skills are helpful in my daily life, to be sure, and I’ve worked tirelessly for years to hone them. But something tells me that unless I’m applying for jobs at HEB or Costco, I may be in trouble. For now, I’m just going to keep treading water as an unambitious mom and cook…and maybe start buying Lotto tickets so I don’t have to compete with all the smart people for an actual job in the future!

 

 

It’s been happening for awhile now, but I’ve been in denial. I’ve been making excuses like, she’s teething, or she didn’t get good sleep for the last several nights, or I don’t really believe in that sort of thing. But the first step is admitting you have a problem, so here it goes: I have a two-nager.

I know the proper use of this modern-day term is “three-nager”, but let’s just say Dally is maturing early in this regard. She has lost her damn mind. It’s taking me back to the Lilah toddler days, and making me question my sanity. Is Dally as bad as Lilah was? Why is it just the girls? Is it because my memory only goes back that far, or because the only children I’ve been able to full-time parent are the crazy ones? Or am I just raising some very headstrong, exceedingly creative little girls?

Let’s just start with today. In the time it took me to introduce myself to a couple of painters at my front door and show them to the gate, she had done something with a toilet brush and a roll of toilet paper that required the use of a mop, towel, and real determination with a plunger. When I met the painters at the back door, she followed behind a mere moment later, covered in milk. I mean, covered. It looked like I had filled the bathtub with the stuff and let her go for a swim. After cleaning her up, I found the scene of the crime, the dining room, where the floor and mirror had been painted with it, and the surrounding furniture definitely needed a good wipe down. (And she doesn’t just limit herself to painting with milk. Only hours ago she had painted my entire kitchen island with the yogurt she didn’t eat.) While I was cleaning up the dining room (and let’s face it- you and I both know this was a very minimal Clorox wipe job, because who has time to get out the mop with this girl awake?!) she had found a box in the hallway and emptied a full container of wipes and all her diapers into it. To say I haven’t accomplished much toward my own agenda today would be putting it mildly. I’ve always been one of those people that says, “I can’t watch them every second, I have things to do!” But I’m starting to wonder if I wouldn’t actually come out ahead in time saved cleaning up messes if I did watch her every second.

She’s also adopted the two-nager attitude. Any time I correct her on something, or suggest that maybe she’s not being a very nice girl, she screams right back at me what I just said, but with the word “no” at the beginning.

“No! I not be nice girl!”

“No! I not tired, take a nap!”

And, my personal favorite, “No! I not sing a song at bible!” (Her bible study, which she loves, and is clearly benefiting from.)

Sometimes, just for my own personal benefit, I insert a creative word just so I can hear her say something like, “No, I not turd-nugget!”

It’s pretty awesome. She’s an adorable, tiny tyrant. I’m terrified every time I enter a store. Does she want to sit in the basket, or not? If so, does she want to sit in the front part, or the back part? If I guess wrong, how loudly will she scream at me? She will most certainly demand a doughnut, but am I willing to give her said doughnut, knowing she will eat 20% of it and just smear the rest all over herself and her clothes for the rest of the shopping time, and then want me to hold her against my clean clothes in the checkout line?

If we go into Central Market, she’ll want a balloon. But she won’t let me tie it around her wrist, and then about five minutes later, she will look at me with defiance in her eyes, and let that sucker go. Then she’ll scream about the fact that I’m not thirty feet tall and can’t retrieve her lost balloon.

She manages to survive on about thirty calories a day. I don’t even bother trying to feed her dinner anymore. But when I do attempt to get some food down her, I never know what to expect. Today, she likes eggs and cheese, but will she like eggs and cheese tomorrow? She likes yogurt, but I learned last night she only likes mango yogurt for the first half of the container, and then it becomes “ucky”, and she will dump it onto her cheese. It’s got to be the right “nack” in the right bowl with the right utensil on the right stool at the right temperature or I’m doomed before the start.

She probably (fake) cries 50 times a day, and that’s when I’m doing a good job. This morning she cried because, after telling her ten times we were going bye bye in the car, she was shocked and appalled that I would open the front door and suggest we leave the house. Then she cried because I didn’t let her “uckle” herself into the car set (because I didn’t have twenty minutes to spare), and then again because the resident car toy, the birthday cake, is out of batteries. These are real struggles. I love asking her if she even knows what she’s crying about, because she almost always says no.

The real exciting news is that she’s reached the age where she can go a bit longer without sleep, and so four days out of five, she either doesn’t nap until we’re off to pick up the kids (which means no kid-less time for me to get work done), or she doesn’t nap at all. Those days are really special for all of us.

This girl is adorable, independent, and perhaps most importantly, hilarious. I really do love getting to spend my days with her, and watching her grow into a fierce little lady who is learning so much every day is a privilege I don’t take for granted. But, man. Sometimes I think I should have gone through some kind of advanced psychological training for this gig.

This is long overdue! It was drafted, and then the last few weeks around here got crazy and I never got back to it!

In response to my “If I Get Hit By a Bus” post, Scott has so graciously offered up several suggestions as to some of the consequences to his untimely absence.

  • We would have to move. A lot. This is because I don’t do pests. I don’t do roaches and will vacate a room for hours until Scott can get home and kill anything that I may have seen move out of the corner of my eye. And if something flew, forget about it. I’m leaving the house. If we’re talking rodents, or anything like the time Scott removed an enormous raccoon from our attic, I would straight up have to sell the house and cut my losses.
  • My children would be very misinformed. That’s because it’s Scott’s job to answer all the “why”, “how”, and “what if” questions. Anything related to space, nature, evolution, or any kind of science is totally Scott’s department. I’m the one who didn’t realize there was a difference between a mosquito and a fly until I was in my 30’s. And I clearly don’t understand all the ins and outs of how babies are made. (No pun intended.)
  • We would live in a jungle. That’s because I don’t do yardwork. Not only do I loathe it, but I honestly am too much of a wiener to even be able to start the lawnmower on my own. And let’s not talk about weed-eating. I can’t hold that thing for more than six or seven feet before I can’t feel my arms and I’m in serious danger of severing my own foot.
  • Terrible things would happen every weekend morning. That’s because Scott is our resident morning person who rises with the kids. I’ve posted before about how I don’t even bother to get up, just because my kids are conscious. But when four of them are awake, they can really benefit from some supervision. He keeps the peace, makes the pancakes, usually works on the dishes I’ve let pile up, and lets me get a couple extra hours of beauty sleep. I shudder to think of what an unhappy person I would be if I had to wake up at 7:00 or 8:00 on Saturdays.
  • We would all have vitamin D deficiencies. I definitely enjoy being outdoors, but my problem is that I stay so focused on all the things that need doing inside, that I rarely get to the point of going outdoors for leisure. That’s Scott’s department. He gets us all out running, scootering, walking the poor, neglected dogs, going to the park, and getting everyone away from their screens and chores indoors.
  • There would be no record of us ever existing in the years to come. I make no secret about the fact that I hate all things photo technology. If not for Scott, the memory on my phone would always be full, my pictures would never go anywhere, and we wouldn’t have adorable calendars and annual photo books of our growing children to look back and marvel at every few years. I won’t brag about his editing skills, but I’m sure glad I get to look at these sweet pictures of Henry and Charlotte every time I look up to see where I’m supposed to be.
  • The floors in this house would never be clean. I do a very fair share of the cleaning in the house, to be sure. But the opportunity to achieve the complete trifecta of clean floors is a rare thing. It requires that all the toys, clothes, and other random crap be picked up off the floor in every room, then for every room to be swept, and then for every room to be mopped. That takes HOURS, and assumes that during those hours, there aren’t 8 little feet undoing everything I’m doing. Enter: Scott. Not only does he so often come in to find a picked-up and swept house, and, seeing me breathless, immediately grab a mop and bucket, but he is the only human I know who is capable of mastering the full trifecta with all the kids under his watch in one effort. Truly, if this were left up to me, the house would be completely mopped maybe twice a year.
  • I would still be teaching, which would pretty much be a disservice to everyone. When I threw up my hands almost five years ago and said I was sick of sending my entire paycheck to day care, and I was pretty burned out on teaching anyway, Scott was the one that said, “Go for it. Give up your regular paycheck, pension, and health care and start your own business with no money, no experience, and no help. I’m sure if anyone can do it, you can.” He never once doubted me, and has spent every Sunday since then listening to football from the kitchen while he chops, broils, and washes countless dishes for free, all so I can do what makes me happy and spend my time with the kids.

In conclusion, Scott and I make a great team, but if something happens to one of us, we’ve each been instructed to remarry immediately! Scott is looking for a nanny who cooks, and a maid, or the first single lady who comes along with any kind of domestic tendencies, and I’ll be looking for a handyman and general contractor with a knack for math, or the first burly, macho guy who looks my way! 😉