The phone…the phone is ringing…

Confession: I have seen more episodes of the Wonder Pets than any 31-year-old woman should. If you don’t know what I’m talking about and have some strange need to, click here, but I warn you, you’ll never hear the phone ring without singing that song in your head again.

I don’t talk on the phone. I have this weird anxiety relationship with phones, and I avoid them at all costs. I rarely text, unless I need to ask a quick question or answer a text from someone else. Although, admittedly, texting is an excellent way to avoid actually talking on the phone.  If you want to get all lay-down-on-this-couch-and-tell-me-how-you-really-feel about it, you could probably trace it back to my childhood. My dad worked really long hours at a job he didn’t particularly like with people he didn’t always particularly like, and he was always the first one to get called in when something broke. Which, in an aging plant made of metal whose sole purpose was to create rust happened fairly often. So when my dad was on top of the “call-out list” (people who had to come in when things were broken) he usually told us not to answer the phone. Whenever it rang I’d get this panicky feeling in my chest and wonder “Is it work? Do I answer?” The times I’d forget and Dad had to go in to work on his day off I’d feel bad about it all day. Once it happened on Christmas morning. That kind of sucked. I felt pretty bad about that one. So there you have it. The psychoanalysis of my deep-seated anxiety whenever the phone rings.

In addition to my fear of the phone, I’m not really all that great at talking. I mean, if I have something to say it’s not so bad.  I talk to people all the time about stuff when we’re in the middle of a conversation (that I probably didn’t start) or if I have something I want to say, but to sit down and “make conversation” terrifies me.  When AJ and I take road trips, he usually does most of the highway driving and I do the city driving – which, on a drive to Pennsylvania, means he gets to do most of the driving.  Naturally, there are times when he’s feeling a little tired, so he’ll look over at me and say “Talk to me.  I’m tired.”  Instantly, my mind goes blank, my face feels numb, and I freeze up.  AJ is tired and DRIVING and my life and the lives of my children depend on my ability to make conversation and I’ve got NOTHING.  It usually takes me about 10 minutes to work my way into a reasonable topic of conversation, if he’s lucky.  If I can’t even manage to strike up a random conversation with my husband of 10 years in order to save the lives of our children, imagine how I feel about talking to strangers!  EEK!

So I say all this to say, I’m not that great at communication.  I started this post to let people know that I signed off of Facebook (permanently) recently.  I know there are some people (okay, let’s be honest, it’s really only about  4) who like hearing what I have to say – so I didn’t delete my account because my blog will still post notes to Facebook, but I won’t be on it on a regular basis any more.  I just have too many outlets for communication, and so I end up not using any of them.  Between Facebook, Twitter, blogging, phones, texts, G+, e-mail and actual face-to-face conversations, I just end up never saying anything at all because I don’t know where to say what.  Facebook is the most overwhelming – and therefore the one I avoid the most.  I figure if I can whittle down my social media usage, maybe I’ll end up being more social.  We’ll see how it goes.  I’ll keep you posted.  Although, it’s been less than 24 hours since I signed off Facebook and already I feel like I have more to say.


Mr. Grumpypants saves face…

I’m not sure we could have produced two more different children. Micah is a contented homebody and self-proclaimed mad scientist who’s primary goal is (I kid you not) “Planetary Domination.” (Note to self – take Pinky and the Brain back to library). Isaac, on the other hand, is Mr. Adoracharmingpersonality x 2.

Today, Isaac plopped himself in a milk crate on the floor in the hallway and declared this to be “My Awesthomemobile!” And that “it would be great if sthomeone could justht push me in my Awesthomemobile!” Isaac and I discovered that the awesemobile was highly entertaining when spun around at great speeds. Micah came out to watch the fun, and his response? “I’m not smiling or laughing” while struggling to keep the corners of his mouth from turning up. Five minutes later, and Micah’s spinning Isaac away in the hallway, laughing his head off. I pretended not to notice…Can’t fool me, kid. I know you’re secretly having a good time.

Writing. Or not.

I feel like I should write again. I’ve felt like this for a while, but it’s been such a struggle. I’ve got 8 half-finished posts sitting in my draft box. I have a whole list of excuses why I don’t/can’t/won’t, including but not limited to: the rise of Facebook, writers block, the loss and subsequent regaining of my sanity, not having enough time, having too much time, not liking my blogging platform, school, work, and ninjas.

When I started writing, I was chasing 5 kids all under the age of 5 around my basement 12 hours a day. I think blogging was cathartic, a way to express myself (I’ve always been better at spelling things out than at talking them out) and a way to feel like a grown up at the end of what was usually an incredibly long, exhausting, and screamy day. I wrote to keep it together. I wrote because thoughts and ideas just tumbled neatly out of my head into well-formed, insightful, and often funny posts. I wrote because it made me feel like a grown up, and it connected me with other grown ups. I wrote because there were some days that it was either that or cry. Now, the 5-under-5 crowd has been replaced by a bustling doctors office. I’ve gone from a stay-at-home suburban mom to a working urban(ish) mom whose kids are in school. My days are quieter and predictable. My use of the words “requisition” and “hyperlipidemia” have increased 87%, while my ability to quote Dora the Explorer is almost gone. I am ashamed to admit there are numerous times when the phone rings at work that I have to try very hard to supress the urge to sing “The phone, the phone is RING-ing. The phone, I’ll be right theeeerre.” (From the Wonder Pets – click here). And with the exception of one particularly angry phone call, my days are almost never screamy. The down side to this new-found order and sanity? Thoughts and ideas no longer just pop up, they have to be fished for, strung together, reworded, scratched out, and usually end up getting tossed aside all together. And yet as I fish-string-reword-scratch my way through this post, I realize how much I love writing. I see how much clarity the very act of writing gives me into my own throughs. I realize how much I need to write and how much I miss it. So here’s to more writing, whether it gets read or not. It helps me grow.

Gem of the Day:

Isaac: “Sthometimesth? When I get sthmaller, I like to hug Kermit” [his teddy bear]

Me: “Really? You get smaller? What makes you get smaller?”

Isaac: “Well. When I sthometimesth have sthongths justht sthwirling around in my head like thisth [twirls pointer finger over head in a circle] And they justht make me sthmaller. They are sthongsth about being afraid and sthuperherosth, mosthtly.”

Sometimes I wonder what goes on in their heads. 🙂

Follow Me

This is currently my favorite song, “Follow Me” by Matt Epp.  (Seriously, he’s awesome.  You can check him out here or here)

It’s hard, I know, to go on with the show
You’ve lived enough to know by now that I won’t ever let you go
Don’t lose your way, listen to what I have to say
Your life is gonna change, I know you’re gonna come through
There’s always someone here for you

Foxes have their holes and birds they have their nests,
But I, the Son of God, have nowhere to lay my head
Follow me

Be poor, it’s okay. Sell everything or give it away
Our Father in heaven will give you what you need.
Love your friends and those who hurt you
Because you know I’d do the same for you.
Your life is gonna change, I know you’re gonna come through
There’s always someone here for you.

Foxes have their holes and birds they have their nests,
But I, the Son of God have nowhere to lay my head,
Follow me

Too much information? Yes?

Everyone knows that being a mom means that you have to perfect the art of multitasking.  I just paged through a book at the library called The One-Armed Cook, which gives recipes, menus, and cooking advice to new moms.  And it’s true- a lot of what you do when you’re a mom involves the melding of activities.  You eat breakfast while packing lunches and emptying the dishwasher.  You are an expert at simultaneously doing the laundry, frosting birthday cakes, and playing Candyland.

I’m always looking for ways that I can get more done while I’m doing something else.  I’ve recently discovered that I can clean almost all of the bathroom while (forgive my impropriety) using the toilet.  My arms have an approximate 5 and a half foot radius, and with that I can clean off the heater, the windowsill, the back of the toilet, empty the garbage (this requires a little advance preparation–you have to take a garbage bag with you), organize all the stuff that gets left on the sink, and wipe down approximately 2/3 of the counter.  I can also straighten the bath mat and wipe down the edge of the tub.  Laugh all you want, some days that’s the only cleaning my bathroom gets.  How about you?  Do you have any other multi-tasking tips?

It’s a beautiful, sunny afternoon.  Probably the first one in a while that hasn’t been ridiculously hot and sticky.  I figured, being the loving and benevolent mother that I am, that I’d take the boys to do something fun outside today. Play soccer, go for a walk, throw water balloons at each other.  That sort of thing.

There’s one small catch, though.  They have to clean their room first.  In fact, I took it one step further and said they’re not allowed to leave their room until it’s clean.  I know, I know, what a task master.  What a slave driver!  The INJUSTICE OF IT ALL!  (You’d think I’d asked them to cut off their own arms and use them to paddle down the Amazon).  But I’m nice.  I’m kind.  I took a few minutes and cleaned up all the clothes (they’re not so great with the hanging of things) and the blankets (neither with the folding).  I thought I’d help them along.

They’ve been in there for about 5 minutes now.  Here is an extensive list of what they have accomplished:

*Micah has discovered the “voice-in-fan” phenomenon, much to his and Isaac’s delight.

*Isaac has found a ninja turtle (has he put it away?  Nope).

*Micah sat on Isaac’s face.

*They’re now transforming (ala Transformers, not butterflies).  It must have been a painful transformation (Isaac is crying).

*That is all.

Do I intervene with much yelling and some frustration on both our parts?  Or do I just let the afternoon run its course, and know that at the end of the day their room won’t be clean AT ALL, but I’ll have had a quiet, lovely afternoon wherein I have accomplished much due to the fact that my children have been busy sitting on each others faces.

I think I’m going to go with the latter.

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