Thursday, May 7, 2009


Entry for April 08, 2008
I learned a lot of things in the days before the move and on our drive down to Smithville.
I learned that a 26 foot truck will not hold all of our stuff.
I learned that it is unnecessary to save every piece of clothing the kids have ever worn "just in case" they will be worn by another child someday.
I learned that my daughters have entirely too many shoes.
I learned that I actually am capable of driving using only my side mirrors because the back window is blocked by stuff.
I learned that if you listen to music on the car CD player for four hours straight it will overheat and refuse to work until it cools off.
I learned that my tolerance for listening to Silly Songs with Larry, also ends at 4 hours. If I listen longer than that I develop a twitch in my left eyelid that may possibly be permanent.
I learned that my children are capable of being really good for over eight hours in the car when they really want to.
I learned that, although we left some beautiful, generous friends behind, we arrived to find that there were beautiful, generous friends here, too.
More to come...

Entry for April 01, 2008
This morning, I went in the girls' room to wake them up and Angelina's face was covered with green dots. "Were you girls up last night, playing when I thought you were asleep?" I ask. Angelina rubs the sleep out of her eyes, "Huh?" "What did you do to your face? Go wash that off immediately." She looks bewildered, but leaves the room. Seconds later she returns, in tears. "Bella played a joke on me!" she wails. Ah! Things are starting to click with me (I'm slow, aren't I?) I hug my spotty child. "Let's go wash that off," I say. Now that I think of it, I was so busy today that confronting Isabella completely fell off the radar. {{sigh}} How am I supposed to be an effective parent if I'm too tired to discipline?
Bella is a joke genius. Two years ago, in February, she approached me. "Mom, when Dad is out of blue hair gel, save the bottle for me, OK?" "What for," I ask. "I'm planning an April Fool's Day joke. I'm gonna fill it with blue Jello, but you've got to help." Without even hesitating, I was in. It was so hard to wait the 6 weeks to do the nasty deed, but the payoff was great. Joe was a good sport. I think he was startled by the ingenuity of it. Hope I'm never the butt of one of her jokes...
On my parents' first April Fool's Day in Illinois, Joe played a trick. (Now, let me preface this by saying that my parents' backyard looks like an arboretum. It is perfectly manicured and equipped with a little pond that has a waterfall and many, many pieces of statuary.) He sneaked across the street to their backyard and did a little rearranging. He came home chuckling, but wouldn't tell me exactly what he'd done.
The next morning, April Fool's Day, I get an angry phone call from my mother. "You're not going to believe this!" she cries, "Someone stole ALL the statues in the backyard! We moved out of NY to get away from the crime and we're not even here six months and someone steals our statues! I'm calling the police!"
I tell my mother to calm down and ask her why she thinks they are all stolen. "I looked out my bedroom window and they're GONE!" she yells. "Why don't you go out there and see what's going on before you dial 911?" I suggest. "OK, I'll call you back."
Seconds later, the phone rings.
"AnnMarie, some weirdo did something weird." She sounds freaked out. "They put our St. Francis statue on the stoop facing away from the house and all the little animal statues are around him like they are listening to him preach! It's weird! Who would DO that?"
I act nonchalant. "I don't know. Hey, Mom, what day is it?"
"Thursday. Anyway, can you believe it? Do we have a psycho in the neighborhood or what? Should I call the police?"
"What day is it, Mom?"
"Thursday. This is so weird! Nothing like this happened in NY. What should I do?"
"Check the date."
"I told you, it's Thursday." She sounds miffed.
"Not the day, the date."
She sighs. "Wait, I have to change the calendar...(long silence)...WAS THIS YOU????????????"
I can't type what she said next, but I can tell you there were a lot of asterisks, ampersands and pound signs coming out of my mother's mouth.
The good thing is, now we laugh about it. Thank goodness...

Entry for March 27, 2008

It's March 27th and it's snowing. Not just flurries. There's snow on the trees and the ground. It is accumulating. People are shivering, making fires (hopefully in fireplaces) and drinking hot cocoa.
I think Al Gore should re-name his book, An Inconvenient Stab at Creating Mass Hysteria About Global Warming.

Entry for March 26, 2008
An old friend stopped by today for coffee and to say one last good-bye. We had a good visit. Good byes are difficult, but I am getting to see lots of people, and that is fun. After she left I went shopping. I had to wrestle a $14 can of anchovies out of Charlie's hand, but otherwise the trip was uneventful. I came home, unpacked, served lunch and then I was tired. I baked a birthday cake for a friend and then I was really tired.
Sensing my extreme fatigue, the kids occupied themselves today. Bella is spending the night at my parents' house with my niece. She spent a good part of the day calling her cousin to discuss what she should pack, making a list of what she should pack and then finally packing. Noah is a bit under the weather, so he spent the day reading in bed and drinking tea. Angelina followed me around, holding onto my shirt and hissing, "My precioussss..." It scares me when she does that. She also drew a great picture of a Hobbit hole with two Hobbits standing in the doorway. "Which Hobbits are these?" I ask. "It is Sam and Rosie Cotton getting married." Did I tell you my kids are Lord of the Rings fanatics? Does any other six-year-old know who Samwise Gamgee married??? The rest of the day was spent drawing flowers and cutting them out, then gluing them to a paper towel roll to make a bouquet.
Charlie alternately played on the computer, ate oranges, skin and all and drew in his room. He was big into watching the "Strand Home Video" logo on You Tube today. Now I have the music from it in my head. In case you don't know what the Strand logo is, it is at the beginning of any Thomas the Tank video.
Genevieve was more needy. "Mom, can you tape this marble to my wrist?" "OK," I answer. I've been asked to do other weird things that are gross, but this is something that is weird, but not gross, so I comply. She is happy. "Mom? Will you play Angelina Ballerina with me? It is a matching game. You turn over the cards and get a match and then take turns." "Wow," I say, "you know so much about that game that you could teach someone to play!" I have her set it up while I make dinner. We play and then I get dinner on the table. I make homemade lemonade to treat the kids because they have been so good today.
After dinner I tell the kids to go get PJ's on while I clean up. Genevieve comes downstairs, wiggling. "Mommy, I have to go to the bathroom!!!" "Who is in there?" I ask. "No one." Huh?! "Well, then go." "OK!" she shouts jubilantly, then skips away. Upstairs I hear Angelina singing Maurice Sendak's Alligators All Around in an operatic voice. Oddly, Noah is quiet. Charlie comes into the kitchen, removes a seedless cucumber from the fridge and begins to eat it whole.
Last week, when I was out shopping, Bella spotted a sign that said, "As far as anyone knows, we are a normal family." I think I need to go back and buy that sign...

Entry for March 20, 2008

Every Holy Thursday we act out the Last Supper using grape juice and matzoh. I completely forgot to buy those things this year, since I am busy packing. We wound up using a silver goblet of V8 Fusion and a slice of whole wheat bread. It was late. Joe had gotten home after 9 p.m. and we were all tired. Charlie went up into bed and refused to come down. Joe, of course, played the part of Jesus. Bella was Peter, Angelina was John and Genevieve was the rest of the apostles. Noah wanted to be Judas and was scrounging for 30 quarters (he takes his role very seriously). I put a stop to that and I narrated from the Gosple of Luke, while everyone acted it out. My children, budding theologians that they are, insisted we do it again, using a different gospel. So, onto Mark we went, more V8 was poured and an additional slice of bread was procured.
When we were done, Isabella expressed her dislike for plain whole wheat bread and asked if I would buy some "sugary white bread." We act out the Last Supper and my kids are thinking about junk food? I wonder if that was running through James the Lesser's head. "Darn! Whole wheat pita again??? I thought I asked Peter to pick up some white."
Hmmm...I don't think so...

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