Monday, November 15, 2010

'to do' lists

My nanny sent me this image last week with the following text: "I have to remind myself to wear knickers too."

I often leave 'to do' lists around. Julie, because she's an angel-not a prying person, reads them to see if there's anything she can do for me. In this case I was on my own. I don't remember what the "Toby" line was about. "Don't leave Toby in stroller to be pushed down stairs and into the wall...." would be an appropriate line for me these days. I go shopping with all 3 of them in a double stroller. I belt Toby in; the others pile on. My fear is that I'm going to let the big two hop out and I'll just "put it away." Putting it away is pushing it down 3 stairs so it will rest tilted against the wall-somewhat out of the rain.

Tim proposed to me on a 'to do' list. It was one of those 5-year-plan lists. He had "marry liz" "have first kid" "have second kid" on there. I found it lying around. It was very romantic. Our actual wedding was inspired by a lack of inspiration. We couldn't figure out what to wear to Pat's big Halloween party, so we decided to get married and go as a married couple. Jack Peter was our best man. We scurried around getting our dress and suit together. I up-ended everything to find our social security cards. During that search, I found the diamond engagement ring he'd given to a girl before me. It seemed a shame to keep it in a box for the rest of its life, so we had a bit of it cut out, so it would fit on my pinky next to my engagement ring, and it became part of my wedding ring.

We ran around town with our photographer friend, Andrew, and had a day-long photo shoot that culminated in our getting married on the roof of my building in the hood. The pictures are so great, and everyone saw us at the party, (until I passed out breast feeding the best man) so they all feel like they were at our wedding.

My family doesn't do weddings. Both sets of grand parents eloped as did my parents and my brother and I. When I was a kid I remember wondering where that fancy picture of my mom in a big white dress was. The McDonald family does weddings. The youngest McDonald, Johnny, married my new sister in law, Tiffany this weekend. (Tiffany and I have been dating on and off, so I'm thrilled) I NEVER do anything on the weekends; I have three kids. They chose the one weekend that I had a major craft fair. I missed everything but the actual wedding, and I had to show up at that after a day of sitting in a booth at the convention center convincing people they really do need a coffee cup as big as their heads.

It was beautiful. We cried, ate, drank, danced...Their kids are going to look at the pictures of their mom in the beautiful white dress with the sparkly belt and think that she was a princess and that their dad was a handsome prince.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


No, October is the cruelest month. We have 2 birthdays, actually a third, the daycare takes Ghandi's off; and there's Halloween. It's also the last month for a potter to get her shit together for Christmas. It's been bad; I've been running around flushing all of the toilets in the house and then checking off the clean house box on my to do list.

One of the sources of strife in my and Tim's relationship is time management. It's my issue; I complain that Tim can't do things half-assed like the rest of us. If he's planting a garden we'll have pesto for 50...every week. I won't even go into the tomatoes. If Tim is doing 3 out-of-town lectures in a month, he has to prepare a different one for each venue. Who the hell is going to go to Providence, Chattanooga and DC to rat him out? Our neighbor is filing numerous frivolous lawsuits against him, his brothers and their partners. It's not enough for Tim to fight the suits as they come. He starts methodically building a case to get the guy, an attorney, disbarred. (I'm not complaining; he's succeeding, but it's taken a LOT of time.)

This Halloween I took a thrift shop purple bathrobe, a pair of cords, a bath matt, and a 4 year old and created an octopus in a mere 11 hours. He would have gladly traded it for a store-bought Buzz Lightyear. I also spent 2 hours trying to carve a pumpkin to look like Marilyn Monroe. I've lost a lot of ground in the you're wasting time you could be spending with me and the kids argument. Tim shaved his head and beard, donned his wire-rimmed glasses and a sheet and became Ghandi. Toby should have been a mini-Ghandi with a sheet too, but she had her heart set on being a ballerina Terry Gross.

Steel is Andy, the little boy from Toy Story, every day. A red cowboy hat ordered online brought her Andy ensemble to an adequate Halloween level although she had a last-minute princess panic, so I'm glad I didn't spend 11 hours on Andy. Steel was the inspiration for my costume. She asked me one morning last week, "Mama, why don't you wear your Tweety bird nightshirt ALL the time?" I blacked out some teeth, had bad hair and make-up, leggings, fur-lined Eagles crocs, and the nightshirt, and I was a Fishtown mom. As I was putting on my bad make-up I started having second thoughts. I didn't want to expose my kids to snooty elitism. "I'm a white trash mommy, honey!" It was too late for me to change, but I needn't have worried. I walked out and Jack Peter shouted, "Mama! You're a 5 year old!" Turning 5 and having their teeth fall out is IT for my kids. I'm glad they're setting attainable goals for themselves.

Speaking of teeth falling out...I just found out that my friend (extreme mom) Heather is letting her kids have their Halloween candy whenever they want. She said that they self-regulate and that they usually ask her if they want a piece. I just can't figure out why she'd give up that many opportunities for extortion.