Showing posts from August, 2011

Goodnight Irene

Irene came for a visit, dumping 9.5 inches in a matter of hours here in Bristol and causing major flooding. My family spent our day without power playing games and eating foods like potato chips and store-bought cookies that we normally wouldn’t have in the house. I even snuck in a nap. We listened to programs on NPR, danced to music on my iPod, piled together to read books, and watched the trees dancing in the wind. Keeping in touch with friends and family via cell phone, we heard news of the “outside world” from those who still had internet access.
When the rain stopped, the sun came out, and all that was left to worry about was the wind, the kids dashed out of the house to play while Jim and I surveyed the yard and got out the grill to make dinner. The river of water coming down the hill to the front of our house made for fun splashing and dam-building. Grilled hamburgers, hot dogs and corn-on-the-cob were enjoyed by all. When the power came on just before bedtime, shouts of joy wa…

How To...

I gave my kids an “info scavenger hunt” to do as part of their homeschooling. I was expecting it to take ½ hour at most. Perhaps I was a bit off … by an entire afternoon. But we did learn something - How To Make a Simple Assignment Take All Day:
-Argue over who gets to use the computer first. -Argue that you can’t write because you don’t have a surface on which to write. -Claim that the stool suggested as a writing surface won’t work because it “has lines.” -Sigh when it’s suggested you place a book on the stool. -Argue with your sibling over using one type of paper instead of another. -Get side-tracked when one person needs to go to the bathroom and all end up in a different room watching a movie that you’re not supposed to be watching. -Claim to not know what to write after it’s been explained several times that you need to write five facts for each topic: Who, What, Where, When, and Why might it be important. -Fail to realize that half the info you need is already written down for you on …

Welcoming Silence

In a house with five children, it’s not often that I can find a moment or two of silence.
Or privacy, apparently, as the child reading over my shoulder just pointed out that we more often than not have anywhere from 6-10 kids in our house.
But this morning I found silence! Who knew that it could exist in such quantity here? I sat and sat and not one child asked me for something, whined about something a sibling did to them or knocked someone or something over. I even dared to go to the bathroom, sure that within seconds a child would open the door and peer in to make sure I continued my record-setting run of not being able to pee without an audience. And guess what? No interruptions!
I can sense your astonishment and perhaps a hint of disbelief. And to answer the question on the tip of your tongue – yes, all of my children were home at the time.
How did I accomplish such a feat? Did the stars and planets align in such a way that complete peace and harmony was brought upon my household…

What a Pain!

You know you live with chronic pain when … Your child asks you why your foot is bleeding and you discover you’ve stepped on a piece of glass – and you’d assumed it was just your PsA acting up.You view “tramadol” as both a swear word and a blessing.You get excited to test out your new wheels – which come in the form of a wheelchair.You find yourself lusting after items in the Fashionable Canes catalog.The doctor asks you how much pain you’re in and you reply, “relative to what?”You see shaving your legs as a major accomplishment.Your 92 year old grandmother moves faster than you – and uses one cane to your two.Getting out of bed counts as your exercise for the day.You have no idea how to answer when someone asks, "How are you?"You buy shoes based not only on comfort and support, but on the height of your wooden canes.You check the weather forecast to see how you might be feeling the next day.

Diners Beware!

Recently, a group of women descended upon a restaurant, and although seated in a corner booth, proceeded to cause distress to any patron within earshot. They didn’t mean to, but as happens when any combination of these women and their friends meet, it’s inevitable. Words like placenta and nipple make their way into conversation. Over and over. No matter how hard they try, they cannot get through an evening together without discussing birth, breastfeeding, and children’s bodily fluids. These topics of conversation are so natural for these women that there is no thought as to the appropriateness or volume level of the discussion.
The effect on fellow diners varies. Symptoms range from staring to whispering to dirty looks. The most extreme cases involve some form of involuntary twitching. At the very least, the innocent bystanders go home with a story to tell about the crazy mamas who discussed various private body parts as if they were discussing hair color, and where they gave birth (a…

Odd, that.

"No, I have not lost my mind. One cannot lose what what does not have." Me, to my thee-year-old, who thought I was strange for wearing a ribbon as a headband. 

I would understand her concern if she wasn't wearing a birthday hat, a cat mask, wings, a butterfly shirt, a bandanna around her leg, mismatched shoes and no pants.

Such is life in a house full of Rannygahoots!


I've lived years of my life hand in hand with depression and anxiety, at times unsure where to find this enigma called Joy.  Hearing others talk about Joy made me want to seek it, but no matter how hard I looked for Joy, I wasn’t ever able to find it. All I could find was fleeting Happiness. At times I even felt guilty for even wanting Joy to be a part of my life. In the face of what I was going through – or what others in my life were going through – did I even have the right to experience Joy?
Then, out of nowhere, was Joy. Joy was tiny at first. And shy. I’d catch glimpses of Joy now and again and wonder what I needed to do to convince Joy to stay. I’d sometimes chase after Joy, but would always stumble and lose sight of Joy, or fall with Joy just out of my reach. It seemed that Joy would forever elude me.
It seems now that I have found Joy. Sometimes I get a postcard saying "wish you were here" and I know Joy is out there waiting until I’m in a place where I can let …

2 X 3 = Scary

Minutes after having a discussion with the 3 year olds in my household about NOT TEASING:

Alia: "Fiora, can I have that back? You took it out of my hand!"

Fiora: "I want to play with it! Either I can play with it or I'll tease you with it and play with it."

Me (cooking dinner 10 feet away): "Fiora, do you want to think about that for a minute or shall I need to talk to you over here for a minute?"

Fiora: "Alia, I'm sorry for taking the scissors and for saying to tease you."

Alia: "I forgive you, Fiora. But if you do it again, I'll call you teasemonster. That's not teasing. It's calling names. Mama didn't tell us not to do that yet."

Me: "Alia, how about we just..."

Alia and Fiora, in harmony: "Leave each other alone and play nicely!"

Ah, the joys of 3-year-olds!

We will be restoring normality as soon as we are sure what is normal anyway.

I find myself sitting amongst nine children. Two 1-year-olds, three 3-year-olds, a five year old, a nine year old, an eleven year old and a twelve year old. Sure that chaos will ensue, yet surprised that somehow there is peace in the house at this moment, I proceed with caution as to not disrupt the calm that’s settled upon all of us. The littlest six gathered around and on me, I read book after book that they excitedly stacked up for me upon my announcement that it was time for stories. The older children are entertaining themselves … reading, playing quiet games. There are so many things I could be doing, so much housework and other work beckoning me away from my role as Mama, Auntie and Storyteller. Somehow the serene energy keeps me still, reading and reading, enjoying the happy faces and toddler snuggles as the words dance off the page, entrancing my audience. A Zen panda, an inchworm, a wild child, cinder-eyed cats, an explorer, root children and other new friends join us as we …

News Flash!

Screams from aggravated spouses can be heard in every neighborhood. The Turnips, once just Couch Potatoes, have de-evolved into basically useless human beings. Whereas once they merely sat in front of the tv or computer for hours on end, still capable of ungluing their eyes from the screen to fulfill basic household duties, the Turnips no longer seem to grasp many basic housecleaning concepts. The Turnip seems to have tunnel vision that prohibits them from seeing any sort of mess and memory loss activated by the act of stepping over something on the floor. These symptoms lead their partners to ask questions such as, “Could you pick that up and put it away instead of just stepping over it?” to which the Turnip responds, “Pick what up?” or the ever-popular, “How can you live in this mess?” to which the Turnip replies, “Oh, I didn’t notice.” Turnip Syndrome seems to alter the brain in such a way that the sufferer comes to believe that it’s perfe…