Friday, May 31, 2013

No Internet

Digging trench for chicken run.
Ben hit internet line.
Texting is the pits for blogging.
Be back when its fixed.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Murphy Planning

I was so productive on Monday!  The kids were home from school and we got lots done.  And we didn't kill each other.  Always a bonus.  Actually, there wasn't even any fighting - I'm so glad that our kids like each other for the most part.

We got most of the garden planted, the lawns mowed (finally!  A working lawn mower!  And the angels were singing!), the porches cleaned off, and a bunch of inside work done, too.  We managed to pull off a trip to the monster club mart, and cleaned out the grill so we could barbecue.  I even packed the van full of useful-to-someone-else rubbish to take to the thrift store.

It is liberating to reclaim space.  I love taking things out of a cluttered space.  It opens up, allows me to breathe, and gives us room to do things.  Storing things is not doing things.  Having barbecues or wrestling in the middle of a clear room - those are doing things.  I want my home and my family to be about doing, not storing.

So I loaded up the double stroller that the twins don't need anymore.

And the single stroller that Angel really doesn't need anymore.

And the other double stroller.  Why did we have two?  We had twins, not quadruplets.

And the two umbrella strollers.

(Must add that I did call everyone I knew to see if they could use any of my useful-to-someone-else rubbish first!) I drove the van, full of strollers, to the thrift shop, so proud of myself for cleaning up.

The thrift store was closed for Memorial Day.


So I drove back home, feeling somewhat deflated.  I hauled the strollers back out of the van and stashed them in the garage.  Sometimes, it seems like Murphy's Law gets in the way of my planning.  No matter.  I'll take them another day.

Last night, I started feeling a bit sick.  I knew today would be worse, so I decided to give Mom a break and plan a movie day.  I never get to watch a chick flick - and now on the new tv!  I would get it all to myself during the day when the kids were in school.

This morning, I remembered - in the nick of time! - that I had to go to David's sixth grade graduation program.  And after that, I had to go help my dad.  And I had company coming over at 2.  And taking care of little people and lunch and naps in between.  By the time the visitors were gone, the boys were coming home.  So much for a slow, restful day.


Murphy got me again.  On Monday, I was trying to be productive and couldn't.  Today, I was trying to rest and had to be productive.  As long as I'm up and around, I might as well make that thrift store run.  So I loaded up the strollers again and drove across town.  Yes, they were open.

But as I opened the van doors and the thrift store guy looked inside, Murphy struck again.  "Um... did you know that we don't take baby strollers?  You can take them back home or we can put them in the dumpster for you."

What?  Since when?  Come to think of it, I never have seen strollers in that thrift store.  I just figured they were a much-wanted item and didn't stay there.  Oh well.  I kept my strollers and drove back home.

This relationship with Murphy has gone on long enough.  I think I need a new fling.  Gonna call my new guy, Craig.  I hear he has a list that might want my useful-to-someone-else rubbish.  <grumble>

Anyone want to come get some strollers?  It's that, or have seven more babies.  <falling over>

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Best Mom Ever

That's me today.  Yup, I'm the super-mom.

I got Trent his Father's Day present a bit early.  It's a flat screen tv, and he is thrilled.  Alec got to set it up, and he was literally jumping up and down - in a reserved but very excited tech kind of way.  We thought it would be a good idea to get the tv before Father's Day so Alec could help with it.  There isn't anyone I know who has more of a head for these kinds of things than him, and he'll be leaving soon.

Ben walked in the door after school, talking with Chris.  Ben's eyes flew open when he saw the screen and he made cool, teenager-ish exclamations of delight.  "Chris!  Didn't you notice anything new here?" he demanded of his brother, who was still talking.  "Yeah, I saw it.  A new tv," was Chris's nonchalant answer, but he was grinning.  David and Eddie are "oh yeah" looking forward to having a movie night.  "How about now?"

And the triplets?  I made the box into a playhouse.  I spent about three minutes cutting out a door and three windows (one for each, of course) with a steak knife.  And now I'm the Best Mom Ever.  They've been playing all afternoon - with the remote, the tv, and the box.  You're welcome.

I guess sometimes that's all it takes.  A bunch of money and a steak knife and the Battlestar Galactica they are watching now.  I'm laughing.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Menu Making

Every year at this time, the school year winding to a close, I find myself full of all kinds of wonderful thoughts and plans for the summer.  Some years I am super-organized.  Others, not so much.  Both are ok.

The one constant for the summer is more frequent feedings.  During the school year, the kids mostly fix their own breakfasts, and they eat hot lunch at school.  That's just the way we roll here.  We eat dinner every night, plus breakfasts and lunches over the weekends.  And a snack in the afternoon.  So they don't startve, you know.

During the summer, we need four eating times.  Every day.  These kids just don't let up!  I'm glad they are growing, and I'm glad we have the means to feed them.  And I truly enjoy nourishing and contributing to their lives.  But the menu planning and the grocery shopping and the cooking and cleaning needs to be carefully planned.  Else, mayhem.  And Heaven forbid... hunger.  And we're grumpy when we're hungry.

Occasionally I get into a planning and organizing spree and honestly, I love it.  I enjoy feeling creative and life is smooth-sailing.

I think this is my favorite free printable that I will be using

But when I don't plan... like I said, mayhem.  I get the late-afternoon "what's for dinner" panic.  The boys get by with eating toast.  A lot of toast.  The refrigerator is empty.  I make lost of last-minute trips to the store when we're hungry.  Everyone is grumpy.  Dinner is late.  Cleanup doesn't happen well, or sometimes even at all.  The next morning dawns on a messy kitchen, and I don't even want to be in there.  Repeat cycle.

SO!  For this summer, I am going to try a two-week menu.  Less planning, less grocery shopping.  Have I mentioned that I hate grocery shopping?  I do.  I really do.  So less shopping makes me more happy.  How about two or three two-week lists that we can rotate through?  THAT would be happy.  And we really don't mind the repetition.

So I'm researching and organizing.  I wrote down all the dishes that we routinely have, and I'm looking for a way to put it all together.  Finding good ideas about planning and shopping here.  I can make a Google calendar and set it on "repeat" and put my recipe in the even detail box.  Clever.  Lots of weekly menus in this regular link list.

I can do this.  But later.  Right now I've got to drive the elementary school carpool.  And when we come home, they will be... hungry.

Tree Haiku

Tall, leafy treetops
Summer climbing, boy haven,
Fall into firewood.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Bad Day For the Chicks

Some days are just like this, aren't they?

Georgie and Freddie love to climb in the pen with the chicks.  We have them in their new (yet unfinished) coop, with a fenced-in walkway leading to the fenced-in trampoline pen.  It is all but impossible to keep the children (nearly all of them!) away from the chickens.  Angel picks them up and carries them around and holds them and cuddles them until we think they might lay scrambled eggs, but they seem to like it.  But the twins are not gentle.  They love to chase and scare and throw things.  The chicks run from them.

And if that wasn't enough, Trent climbed on the roof and started banging like crazy.  I don't think the girls understand what tar paper and shingles are, except that it's awfully noisy.

And later in the afternoon, there were amazing and terrifying sounds of chainsaws and breaking wood and crashing branches.  Two old, dying trees leaned near the coop, ready at a moment's notice to topple into the neighbor's shed.  Today was the day they gave up and were reduced to piles of leaves and firewood.

When I checked on the chicks, they were huddled together in a corner of the coop, making distressed peeping noises.  I think tomorrow should be quieter.

Sorry, chicks.  Hope you don't develop Tourette's.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Ethical Dilemmas

Now that I have typed that dilemma word, it doesn't look right.  Wright.  Rite.  Good thing we have spell check.


I just spent the afternoon with my dad, hemming up some of his pants.  It was fun to just sit in my mom's easy chair and chat.  Of course, it helped that I had left my (coughing) little ones at home.  More peaceful, and more healthy for my dad.

So... Dad wants me to look up his old flame.  Wha...?  They were high school sweethearts, but she didn't wait for him when he went to Germany.  Broke his heart that she got married.  As a side note, my mother, who was also in Germany at the time (living with her brother at the Air Force base) went to console my dad after the Dear John.  I can just hear us now, calling from Heaven, "Future Dad!  Ditch the deserter!  Marry this lovely gal instead!"

Now, Dad's lonely.  Can't blame him, not one bit.  But from everything I can figure out, his old girlfriend is still married.  That makes it awkward.  What to do?

And another ethical question.

When a man's employer gives the green light for salesmen to wear very conservative shorts to work, what kind of footwear is involved?  I keep seeing this in my head:
or this:

I get that athletic shorts call for tennis shoes and white socks.  And obnoxiously loud Hawaiian tourister shorts on an old man are worn with over-the-calf black socks and dress shoes.  (Horrors!)  To me, shorts are best worn barefoot, and that's the kind of gal I am.  But for a man in a work environment?

As I am researching, I came across this lovely quote:

Socks and sandals is an appropriate pairing for old German men on vacation and no one else. 

And the best thought of all:
 Be remembered for your friendly conversation, not for being the over-dressed peacock or under-dressed ruffian.

I think I shall recommend that he wear light slacks to work in the summer. With dark shoes and socks. But not shorts. Not at all.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Driving Definitions

Hey, other drivers on the road with me!

I just wanted to let you know that the space in front of my moving vehicle is called a "safe driving distance."  It is NOT a "gap in traffic."  Please do not think that you can pull into that space and occupy it without causing me to slam on my brakes.  Also some muttering.  Like "Bad Words!"

And while I have your attention, I'd like you to understand that I am driving at a "safe speed."  I am neither the fastest nor the slowest vehicle around.  I observe the "speed limit" which is, like it sounds, a limit.  NOT a minimum.  I understand what these words mean.  I hope you do, too.

So please be courteous as you share the road with other safe drivers like me.  We are not out to make you late for your appointment - your tardiness in leaving did that for you.  We are not trying to make your life miserable or cause you undue duress.  Please do not call me a granny driver.  I am not yet ready for my offspring to be producing offspring.  

Share the road, drive safely, and enjoy the ride.

Were you children of mine (AKA backseat drivers) listening?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Born Hot

I was reading a bedtime story to our little trio about baby farm animals.  On one page, it says, "Baby horse we call a foal.  She could walk the same day she was born."  Yes, I have it memorized.  Why do you ask?  It's one of their favorite books, so I read it to the all.  the.  time.

After the word "born," Freddie always interjects, "Just like Baby Jesus was born!"  Proud of himself to make the connection.  Tonight, I didn't hurry away from his thought.  "Yes, honey, and you know that you were born too."

Surprisingly, he agreed.  "Yes, I's was born."  After a moment's reflection, he added, "I's was hot borned."  It was a hot birth for him?

Intrigued, I turned to Georgie.  "You were born, too.  Was it hot?"

His answer was startling to me.  "I was cold."

Interesting.  See, Fred and George were born with a condition called twin-to-twin transfusion, where their placentas fused together.  Because the blood vessels in the fused placenta ran together, it shunted most of the blood toward one twin and away from the other.  The "donor" twin is often born white and small, as he is anemic.  The "recipient" twin is born big and red, with too much blood.

And thus it was for our twins.  First-out Freddie was our big (more than 7 pounds!)  recipient twin, "hot borned" with too much blood.  Georgie was pale and small, just over 5 pounds.  We had a hard time getting him to perk up and breathe.  Yeah, I'm sure he was cold.  So glad we got to keep them both!


Thursday, May 16, 2013


I was calmly making dinner and went downstairs to the storage room to get a can of cream of chicken soup.  OK, with our family, it was getting four cans.  Suddenly, I heard panicky yelling coming from Chris's room.  It sounded something like a muffled, "Oh no!  I have a band concert right now!"  I wasn't sure, so I moved closer to his room and peeked through the doorway.  I saw a fifteen-year-old boy, hopping up and down on one leg while frantically stuffing the other leg into a tuxedo pants while yelling, "Mom!  We've got to go!"

Hate it when we forget about these things.  I put dinner on hold, raced him (fulled dressed by this point) to the junior high school (made it with just a couple of minutes before curtain), zipped back and finished throwing a broccoli chicken casserole together.  I barked out instructions to David and Eddie, located Angel and the twins, and rushed back to the school.


I only missed the intermediate jazz band and the first number of the advanced jazz band.  Chris later told me that he had a solo in that first song.  Drat!  It turned into a double drat when he confessed that it was an unintentional solo - he was playing during a silent space.  He's a good sport.

I enjoyed the symphonic band playing selections from Lord of the Rings and Narnia.  I have some real favorites in those collections.  But just as the tempo picked up and the dynamic swelled, a clarinet would squeak.  Or the drummer started to lag.  Or the French horn missed his high note.  And I'm distracted.

So instead of focusing on the beauty of the music, and letting it fill my heart and soothe my soul, I end up picking out the mistakes and dwelling on the sour notes.  I realize that these are junior high kids.  They make mistakes.

It didn't really sink in until Chris's wind ensemble started playing a medley of some of my favorite Aaron Copeland pieces, that I was also making mistakes.  I smiled and shook my head at myself, then concentrated on being swept away by music.  I was alone, without any children to tend to, sitting in a new auditorium with great acoustics, listening to live music.  Don't concentrate on the errors.  After that, I was content.

I sigh and let the harmonies dulcify my jangled nerves.  The rhythms smooth my worry-wrinkled face.  It's Botox and Valium, but better.

To catch the beauty of the world around me, I need to not be so taken by the jarring distractions.  Lesson learned.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


...can't blog today.  Have new books (ebooks).  Must reeeeaaaddd...

Dinner?  What's that?  Make a PBJ, kids.  

Need help?  Just a sec, honey until I finish this chapter...

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The 90 Percent Off Sale

I'm giggling.  It's just funny how different two people can be.

All I'll say is that I got up at midnight to take this picture before he could hide the evidence.  And that the people at the store love to see him come in when they have put their clearance racks up.

If we might one day need one of something, then five are better, especially if they are on sale.  And if an item is normally of questionable use, then it is a no-brainer if it is on sale.

I love this man!  And I'm so glad that he puts up with my quirks, too.  Like when I get the giggles late at night.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mothers' Day

It was a nice weekend.  I always worry about how Mothers' Day will turn out, but this year everything was fine.

I woke up on pillowcases that my grandmother had embroidered probably 50 years ago.  I wore my mother's pearls  - a surprise gift from my dad (to her and then again to me).  I got a "best mom ever" apron from the twins (thanks, thougthful church nursery teachers!).  I wore a silver signet ring from my Oma.  We took lilacs to my mom's grave, and then more to my grandma's and Trent's grandma's graves.  We had a nice dinner party with Trent's mother and the rest of the family.  A nice day.... spite of the fact that none of my children did anything!  Wait, I need to let David out of the doghouse here. He brought me a little project he had made in school, and he cooked me eggs for breakfast (trying, too late, for a breakfast in bed - bless his heart!).  He was my favorite, for sure.  Trent did get me the ebooks I had asked him to get for me, but left me to download them and install them by myself.  And I had to get the gift for his mother because he forgot about that, too.  And the dish for the family party.

So why was it a nice day?  I could have been so grouchy and mad at everyone.  I could have felt so martyr-ish because I do so much for everyone else, and then I get nothing on my day.  How fair is that?  I could have sunk into the depressive pit of despair and cried myself to sleep.  It's easy - I know because I've had all these reactions before.  And actually, it's not fun.

I was happy on Mothers' Day because I made up my mind to be happy.  I'm a pretty dang good mom, if I do say so myself.  And evidently I'm the only one saying it, so I can say whatever I want to!  I love my kids, I work hard.  I'm SuperMom - without tights.  Next year I think I'll make myself a neato costume, just for kicks.

But the Lord took away the sting of being forgotten and replaced it with his love.  I'm worth something, because He says so.  He gave me a gloriously beautiful day and lots of flowers.  This year, the holly bushes, the lilacs, the forsythia, and the viburnum all bloomed at the same time.  And the dandelions, too.  On Mothers' Day.

It was a nice day, and my heart is full.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Happy SuperMom Day!

Hey you!  Yeah, you, the mom over there.  This one's for you.

And some cheesy bling.
Hope it's a happy day for you because you let yourself feel great.  Super, even.

Friday, May 10, 2013

SuperMoms are All Different

I have taken an informal poll of some SuperMoms I know: friends, neighbors, and some of my sisters-in-law.  I have 14 sisters-in-law, by the way.  How fun is that?  I had no sisters at all growing up, and now fourteen!  They are each SuperMoms, and I admire them.

I digress.  Just like each super hero is unique, each SuperMom is different.  I think this is where women are cautioned not to fall into the Super Mother trap.  Don't think you can do it all.  Just be Super in your own wonderful way.

Superman can fly.  Spiderman shoots webbing.  Wolverine has retractable claws.  Wonder Woman uses her  lasso to get the truth.  Batman has the Batmobile (and Alfred!  I would love to have a valet/cook/helper/staunch ally like Alfred!).  Professor X has telepathy.  Hulk is strong.  But it would be ridiculous to have one super hero with all the powers, rolled up into one person.  Granted, it would be one mean fighting machine, but it would put the other guys out of business.  Each super hero has a unique set of strengths and skills.

Mr. Incredible is a great family man, but his outfit could use some work.  Ditto the costume help for The Tick.  Tony Stark has some major ego issues.  Just because the heroes have weaknesses doesn't make them any less heroic.  Makes them more interesting, more likeable, more able to grow.

And they each have their home base, their area to defend and protect.  Gotham, Metropolis, New York, Metrocity.

I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this.  Each SuperMom has her own strengths, weaknesses, and area of responsibility.  I don't need to do everything, just my thing.

Some of my super skills are patience and toughing it out.  I've worked on that one a lot.  My informal poll showed extraordinary love, kindness, making things beautiful, health awareness, organization, and dinner in 10 minutes flat.  One sister-in-law has the gift of sleep.  I'd love to have that one!  My Super Sidekick TrentGent has the super power of falling asleep in 2 minutes or less.  And kyryptonite?  No shortage there, either.  We're all made up of good and bad.  It makes us interesting.

So take a minute today and learn a few things that make you Super.  Give a compliment to SuperMoms you see.  Thank your own SuperMom.  It' a tough world out there, but we are making it a better place.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Sharing the SuperMom Secret

Here it is - the insider information that not very many people know:

Lots of people are Super!  

It's not a traditional secret, because I just told everyone so now you know.  But it is a secret because we don't want to believe it.  For some reason, I want to think that I am just average.  Maybe slightly above average.  Most days, I think I'm moderately below average.  Me, super?  No way.

For some reason, it is socially acceptable, especially for women and especially especially for moms, to say mean things about ourselves.  We can dish out all the bad things about how hard it is to be a mom, or how exhausted we are, or how terrible our kids are.  And everyone nods and understands.

But it's not alright to say nice things about ourselves.  If I tell about how clean my house is, I'm bragging.  I can't say how great my son is without following it up with a horrendous story.  It's not ok to be proud of your mothering accomplishments.


I dunno.  But until it's ok to be positive about this mothering role, and really believe that moms are SuperMoms, it's hard to say nice things to ourselves.

So I'll have to say it for you.  Please pause while I get on my cheerleader skirt.  Rah!  Rah!  Mom!

Sorry that it just doesn't come out the same in print.  My apologies.

I'm on a mission to boost the SuperMom ego.  The other night, I went to a play that Alec had been doing sound and lighting work for,  He's put in a lot of time, and he's pretty excited about how well it turned out.  Of course I go to see it.  That's what moms do.

While I was there, I noticed another mother sitting a few rows in front of me.  She had a whole string of kidlets with her - every one was bright and cheerful and dressed adorably.  The girls all had the kind of hairdos that says, "My mom spent a lot of time with me" and even the dad was dapper.  The mom, however, was dressed in a big old t-shirt and baggy pants.  She took care of everyone but herself.

During intermission, I stole a moment to crouch down near the woman and compliment her on what a fine family she had.  She was shocked and amazed that a total stranger would make such comments.  I totally enjoyed it.  Judging from her grin and the grin of her husband as she leaned over to tell him, I think my comments made an impression.

So my challenge to you - find the hidden heroes, and let them in on the secret.  It makes for more SuperMoms, and more SuperYou, too.

Are You a SuperMom?

I'm a SuperMom.  I'm proud to admit it, because I work hard at what I do.  And no one else gives me applause, so I'll have to do it myself.  :-)

So today, me and my trusty sidekick, Most Truly Excellent Trent Gent (or maybe I'm his sidekick) were working on the Chicken Hideout of Splendor.  He's awfully busy at his job, (for which I am hugely grateful), so he hasn't been able to help build the coop as much as he'd like.  The boys and I have been working hard, and with Trent's help, the coop is framed, sided, and has a plywood roof.  And the best part - the chicks are living outside!  In their house, not in my house.  Happy dancing under the heavens.

This morning, as TrentGent was heading out to tar paper and shingle the roof, he took a good look at it, and decided it wasn't quite right.  I was discouraged.  All that hard work we did - and it has to be pulled down and done over again?  I didn't feel very heroic.  Maybe it's because I wasn't wearing tights.  It is a challenge to work together - for any two people.

I went in the house, despondent.  Maybe not that bad.  But I'm sure I heard sad movie music in my SuperMom background.  I sat on a chair and thought hard thoughts.  Maybe it just isn't going to work out.  Maybe he can do his projects and I'll do mine - separately.  No, that's not the right way.

I realized that even super heroes have bad days.  Superman had to get away from everything for a while.  Spiderman needs to take breaks.  There is always a point in the story where it looks like the bad guy is going to win, and the hero will have to back away in defeat.

But you know what?  The movie doesn't end there.  

Remember that, when you hear the sad movie music in your background.  This is not the end - it's the middle.  We triumph in the end.  And then pick yourself up and get back out there.  Because that is what SuperYou does. And then we win.  Really.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

SuperMom as Hero

I wanted to title this post Super Heroes, but evidently that term is copyrighted.  Whaaa?  Since when do you get to copyright such a germane term?  And the copyright is shared by two major comic book companies.  Never heard of such a thing.  Maybe their superheroes can work together with the lawyers.  Whatever.

So in order to be a super hero (Do I need to count my use of this term and pay royalties?  I'll just put it in italics.  Like so.), you need to have some basic attributes.  Chief among those are
  1. Amazing powers, skills and/or gadgetry - need not be super-human
  2. Strong moral code
  3. Motivation - like a calling or sense of responsibility
  4. Secret identity
  5. Cool costume
  6. Cool theme
  7. Supporting cast
  8. Villain(s)
  9. Independent wealth or occupation with minimal supervision
  10. Headquarters, often hidden from the public
  11. Story of origin that explains how hero status was achieved
  12. Weakness

So does Mom fit the bill?  I lay out my case for you to decide (and then I'll use bribes and trickery if you don't agree with me).
  1. Not all super heroes have super-human powers.  Many do, but many others just finely hone their skills, or have special stuff or technology.  SuperMoms have linguistic and decipher skills to understand Toddlerese, a Stomach of Steel, and a Psychic Sense to know what is going on in here.  They can work magic in the kitchen with only three ingredients, have an accurate Lie Detector, and Power Arms to carry groceries and a baby up stairs in (nearly) a single bound.  Super Instincts and Gut Feel are some of the most frequently used skills in SuperMom's arsenal.  Eyes in the back of her head, Juggling, and the amazing Healing Kiss.  Super Hearing, Laughing in crisis, Mulititasking, Diplomacy.  Working all through the night with no sleep - and then doing it again the next day.  And I could go on and on.  And on. 
  2. Let's see, who do I know who has, on a regular basis, a willingness to risk one's safety for others, or is willing to put others' need before one's own comfort?  Mom.
  3. All I can say is that there is no motivation like protecting one's own flesh and blood.  
  4. I can't speak for other Moms, but I know I have a secret identity.  I used to be a college student.  I used to be on the honor roll.  I used to speak in complete sentences.  To be completely fair, motherhood has not robbed me of my intelligence - if anything, the daily challenges of caring for a large family have increased my capacities enormously - but it's not always visible.
  5. Cool costume.  I have a few unused formal gowns in the back of my closet.  Does that count?  I'll just put it on the record that I want a cool costume.  With a cape.  And Wonder Woman bracelets. Tights, however, are optional.
  6. My theme is, first and foremost, my family.  I can't think of any other motif that would so completely envelop my wonderful crime-fighting life and weave it all into a maybe-not-so-coherent whole.
  7. SuperMom, by very definition, has a support staff.  Usually it's her partner, WonderHubby, and a Kidlet or two.  Or more.  It's hard to be a mom all by yourself.  Grandmas and neighbors and Very Experienced Mothers are also extremely helpful.
  8. Everyday criminals would include Clutter, Waste, and Rudeness.  Also, Slovenly Redneck.  As SuperMom advances, she battles Frantic Busyness and his sidekick Monotony.  Supervillains include Family Demise, Pornography, and the evil, devaluing Justamom.  My personal Archnemisis is TimeWaster, usually in the form of Internet.  Never a dearth of bad guys to fight.
  9. Most SuperMoms I know aren't blessed with independent wealth (although that's what I told people when I was newly widowed.  That's a wacky story for another day.).  But motherhood is often a solitary job.  No one supervises or micromanages most of the time, leaving SuperMom the time and space to do her heroic job the best way she can find.
  10. My home is my fortress.  Enough said.
  11. And how do we come into the position of accepting the calling of SuperMom?  It's a long story, but I can assure you, there is a story.  A novel, actually.  And for me, it's two novels.  Maybe I'll write it out someday.  But I'll tell you this - there is kissing.
And so, gentle reader, I leave you with overwhelming (if somewhat flexible) evidence that motherhood fits the description of super hero.  Wear your calling proudly, Mothers.

Now where is my cape?  Probably in the laundry.  Drat.

Super Mom

I'm a little late in starting my Mother's Day week.  I've been thinking so hard, over so many things, that I just couldn't begin to get it all straight.  And it all centers on mother.  Super Mom, to be precise.
 I've been reading articles that plead with mothers to avoid getting caught in the "Super Mom" trap of thinking that they can "do it all."  It just leads to guilt and depression, they say.

I beg to differ.  The problem is not in "Super Mom."  The problem lies in our definitions, and what we do with the terms.  According to the World English Dictionary, a superhero is
 any of various comic-strip characters with superhuman abilities or magical powers, wearing a distinctive costume and fighting against evil
As much as I would love to see mothers dressed up in superhero costumes (maybe I'll do that sometime!), I have to admit that a mother does not fit that definition.  Not exactly.  But sometimes mothers do things which definitely seem superhuman.  The abilities of a mother can seem magical at times.  And I have absolutely seen mothers fight against evil.  So maybe a mom can be a supermom, after all.

In contrast, a regular hero is defined by as a person of
distinguished courage or ability, admired for brave deeds and noble qualities
Mom, mom, mom, and yes mom.  Mothers never end up on the list of regularly admired heroes, except around Mother's Day.  And the mothers so venerated usually shrink from the praise and even use it to heap guilt and discouragement on themselves.


I have indeed been guilty of the "I'm not good enough" guilt and the "I'll never be that good" discouragement. Last year, I wrote about Mother's Day being a day to honor motherhood, instead of individual mothers.  This year, I want to make a case for SuperMom. I like it better as one word.  It needs a booming announcer that way.

Stay tuned for more exciting adventures of SuperMom!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Editing and Space

I just read an article here about editing the stuff in your home.  If one thing is good and beautiful, ten are not necessarily better.  Too often, they are clutter.  It was refreshing to read that and not buy into the stuff-your-home-from-wall-to-wall-and-knick-knacks-arranged-on-every-surface mentality.

I am a minimalist.  You wouldn't think so, with my big family.  But I need to be even more, or I would go crazy with all of everyone's stuff.  Things do creep in, and manage to cover every available surface.  After a while, we suddenly notice the creep and go on an editing binge.  "Editing" is such a nice word.  Much better than "purging," no?

Alec has been fixing Trent's ceiling escape hatch.  It looks so much more... closed now.  He's been doing a good job, and learning about mudding and taping as he goes.  Home repairing is one of those things I want my kids to know before they fly the coop.

We moved the computers out of the dining room as part of this project and finally took out the tables they were resting on.  We pushed the table into the living room so we wouldn't get mud plops on it.  I think I'll even relocate the desk and hutch that is hiding under the blue sheets.

I'm loving the open space.  Part of me feels like I need to move some more furniture back in, but I'm resisting.  Now I can breathe while I eat dinner - after we move the table back in, that is.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013