Wednesday, July 28, 2010

the everyday. . .ordinary. . .routine. . .

went out the window this morning.

With the usually happy little boy awakening at 6am. . .snorty. . .snuffy. . .and unable to drink his milk because it made him cough so hard his eyes were watering.

Tried snacks and juice. And nothing helped.

So he laid with his buddies to watch over him, and tried to rest.

I got one load in the wash. Two loads on the bed, half-folded. And the toiled cleaned.

And then "the big one" came to ask me why the red light was blinking with that noise.


And he led me downstairs, and I had an immediate panic attack that our home was filling with carbon monoxide (I prefer the optimistic approach, it seems). It turns out the dogs' invisible fence was going off. The battery? Oh no. It's plugged in.

My immediate thought, of course, was that Bella had dug up the lines (which she tried in the beginning, I think I remember?). But, the dogs were in the house. I peeked out the windows and didn't see anything. So. . . I thought it must be a squirrel and ventured out in my jammies.

Obviously my mother never taught me anything.

Out in the back, a boy (and when I say boy, I mean anyone under 30, because they are all starting to look alike to me. . .have you seen the I'm old post?) was digging by the gas meters. That has to be wrong on so many levels. Panicked again, I start yelling, Hey! [crazy woman in her jammies]. The boy, replete with some kind of iTechnology doesn't hear me until I tap him on his shoulder.

I explain my fence alarm dilemma and ask if he's seen a wire. And he looks at me blankly. No.


Why would you put wires by a gas meter, he asks. He, with the pick axe by the gas meter.


I asked that if he found a wire, could he please let me know.

Several hours and panicked phone calls later. . . The wires have been found [Yep. He dug them up.]. The hole is huge. And the homeowner responsible for our gateway to China is coming tonight to fix the broken wires.

Can't see the wires, can you Rusty?

Yep. Ordinary Wednesday. So much for "Let's go to the park since we have nothing to do today."

Maybe tomorrow.

Maybe. . .

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

not to be out done by. . .

Luke's new favorite game: Pop-trock-ica. [or, Poptropica. . .an online game Jack discovered in school this year.]

Luke has just discovered it (he loves to watch Jack. . .excuse me, Jaxon, play games). And Jack created him an account. They have played together for a few minutes. . . And Luke knows enough to be almost dangerous.

So, yesterday, while taking a brief break from Stinkin Head, he was playing Pop-trock-ica. He sailed a boat. He cavorted around some pirate island. He played a good 20 minutes until Mama said time's up.

Dada asked him about what he did during the day at dinner.

I saw the Diarrhea Man, Dada.

And Sam gave me the look. You know: the what the heck have you been doing all day look.

We went on to find out that one of Jack's favorite stories, The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, has a character on Poptropica. So, the Diary of a Wimpy Kid's character is wandering around Poptropica advertising a new book coming out. Or, in Luke's world, the diarrhea man.


A new Zeli classic phrase is born.

you're-a stinkin head

OK. Yesterday the "routines" continued. [Although, not so much today.]

Got up. Made the bed. Had some coffee. Washed some dishes. . .ran the dishwasher. Two loads of laundry washed and folded.

And grocery shopping.

Monday is always grocery shopping.

We did the abbreviated version. Running only to Deliverance-mart and Giant Eagle. The boys love Giant Eagle. And who wouldn't when you can go and play video games while Mama shops and then get a cookie on the way out.

And, because they were soooo good, and we got done in under two hours. . . I let them get a gumball machine goodie. Their choice for 25 cents [I only had two quarters. . .and these days, everything seems to cost 50. . .hmmm....]. So, the best of the worst seemed to be giant plastic dice.

A black one for Luke. A white one for Jack. [I might say something about irony here, but I won't.]

On the way home, a new game was born.

Stinkin Head.

It seems that two crazy little boys shake giant dice cubes around in their hands. Until one of them (usually the bigger one) yells


They then call out the number in hand. Six is the most desired, winning number. However, the highest number wins. The lowest number becomes the stinkin head.

As in: You're a stinkin head!

And I heard it all the way home. All afternoon as I put away groceries. . .made dinner [por-q-pine balls on high in the crockpot]. . .and all evening [as the game got a little rowdier, and the dice were thrown across the kitchen floor].

Boy fun. Who else could create Stinkin Head?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

and tonight. . .

After an Ethan bath. . .

And getting Jack into his bath.

And running downstairs for a baby bottle.

I ran upstairs to find that he had rolled over for the first time onto his belly.

Trying to get into Jack's room. Into all new toys.

On the move, I tell you.

All too soon.

routine. . .

There's something to be said for routine.

Today we stayed home. For the first time in a long time. No plans. Nothing to do. It was just routine.

After a week of packing and preparing for vacation. And then a week gone on vacation. Only to come back and immediately start a full week of Bible School (evening. . . 2.5 hours each night. . .travelling 40 minutes to and from total).

Today was nothing.

But laundry. And dishes in the dishwasher and in the sink. Sitting at the dining room table (among the Legos), after breakfast, having coffee and reading the Sunday paper. And making a menu for next week. Clipping coupons. Sorting more laundry. Watching a movie together [Where the Wild Things Are]. Taking a walk with the dogs. Sitting outside and just talking. Eating popsicles. Giving the boys baths. Putting out fresh towels for the week. Reading stories before bedtime.

A day of perfect nothing.

And it felt great.

And loving it.

Somehow, the tedium of day after day makes routine stale. But, after weeks of absolutely no routine. Running unscheduled. Willy nilly. Routine is a welcome change.

Looking forward to a week full of it.

Friday, July 23, 2010

old. . .

I feel it. . .

When I wake up in the middle of the night and my arm is asleep under me. And my bones creak when I wake up in the morning.

When Luke tells Jack that he is "going to be an old man" on his 8th birthday (and if he's old at 8, what does that mean when I'm 40?).

And when I see the "boy" in front of me at the baseball game texting someone at the speed of light. Thumbs a-flyin. Paragraphs of thumb-sputtering text. In seconds, I tell you. I was awestruck. Especially when it takes me three tries and 20 minutes to send a sentence of four or five words.

Old, I tell you.

And what does this "<3" mean?

I see it all over online. In emails. (And on the scoreboard at the baseball game????). My brain tells me it has to be some kind of "math thing". Which also isn't "my thing". But I know I'm wrong. Because saying "less than three" all the time just doesn't make sense.

I'm old. Technology is passing me by. . .

"In my youth," I laughed when my mom couldn't figure out how to program our VCR to record her soap operas to watch when she came home from work in the evening (Tivo was still a twinkle in some baby's eye at that point).

And here I am. Old. Text-o-logically illiterate.

Sam and I laugh that the boys are going to be rolling their eyes and groaning when we can't figure out how to use our "new-fangled" transporter to come visit them in our old age.

I guess "old age" has arrived a little sooner than I anticipated.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


. . .makes my kitchen a mess.

. . .makes me happy. I feel closer to my Great Grandma Smith when I'm baking something in the kitchen.

So, yesterday my father-in-law gave me some zucchini from his garden. He's been giving me these for years, and I always have good intentions to make something from them . . . and don't. So, today, I made sure that I used them [even though we're still up to our knees in vacation bits].

A few years ago, I was at my friend Kathy's house for a Mom's Club something-or-other. She always bakes the best goodies. . . and, that day was no exception. She had this yummy chocolate bread. And I loved it, and wanted the recipe. I was [horrified] surprised to find out it was made from zucchini (as vegetables are not my best friend). Zucchini? Really? That big green thing from the garden?

So, I took the recipe, and it sat in my recipe book. Maybe that's why I never made anything with those zucchini's my -in-laws gave me. . .

So, today I conquered my fear and got to work before I could think too much about it.

Luke helped me out in the kitchen (he's a great helper). . . Pouring in the zucchini and mixing it up. Mixing up the dry ingredients and pouring them into the wet (I have big hopes my boys will enjoy cooking as much as I do).

Anyway. . . It baked for an hour, and smelled yummy.

And tasted yummy. . . Jack and I could hardly wait to taste it after it came out of the oven. And, let me tell you, warm bread (any flavor) is the best.

Jack, however, does not know it's "zucchini" bread. He fears all things vegetable (as much as his Mama, poor thing). So, when he asked me what that green thing was in his bread, I told him it must have been the flour all clumped up (bad Mama). [Because I know he won't eat it once I tell him the truth.]

Results: a success. I shared with the neighbors and my in-laws (because something that good has to be shared). I have one zucchini left, so I'm wondering if I can grate it and [freeze] save it for later in the season (doesn't it sound perfect for a cool fall afternoon?).

Friday, July 2, 2010

tonight, we caught

77 lightning bugs.

They all crowded together in the pretzel jar.

Working together. Running to catch them from dusk. . . until they seemed to flash and then disappear in the darkness. . .

Luke said he caught a King with a crown.

Jack caught the smallest baby near the raspberry bush.

Ethan was too tired and wanted to go up on the big bed. . . maybe next year. . .

Laughing. . . calling numbers. . . Amazed we could catch so many. . .

Will remember this night always. . .

Thursday, July 1, 2010

tonight. . .

Luke and Ethan. . . Bella and Max. . . and I went walking. Luke wanted so much to walk Bella. And he ran ahead with her trotting happily beside him [Max was not so happy to be left behind, but it was ok]. . .

We came home just as the lightning bugs were coming out. . . And he caught three very quickly. We put them in the huge [plastic] pretzel jar now officially the "lightning bug jar". . . [I remember using a huge glass pickle jar when Erin and I would catch them.]

[Can it be a jar if it's plastic? . . . ]

Tonight, Sam taught Jack how to mow the lawn. . . a real "mow mow". . . and he did three big lines in the grass. . . I missed it [we were walking], but I saw his handiwork. . . and he was so proud. . .

Tonight Jack and I worked on a Lego castle. . .

Tonight, as Ethan and I lay on the big bed, he swung his arms up and down. . . Quiet. . . But so active. . . trying to fly? . . . trying to stay awake? . . . And then he would quiet. . . And I would be sure he had finally given up, and sleep had won for another evening. . . And then his little blue eyes would peek above his blankie. . . and shine. . . . and he would smile the biggest, sweetest smile. . . And then back to flying. . .

Tonight we roasted marshmallows and watched the stars. And Luke wanted to curl up in my lap. He said he was almost dreaming. And then he fell asleep like he did when he was just a baby. All curled up in my lap. Smelling sweet. And feeling so small. Mama, you're comforable. And Jack found his way to the back porch, to fall alseep on the wicker couch. . . his favorite sleeping spot. . . Dreaming of Legos I'm sure. . .

Tonight the house is quiet. All my boys are sleeping. The air is cool. And I am ready to dream of flying. . .