Friday, April 22, 2016

Five on Friday: Feeling Famous on My Birthday

1. Cashier: "I need to see your  license."
    Me: "Huh?"
    Her: "It's a new thing for buying cough medicine, I have to enter your birthday."
    Me: (handing it over) "It's today! Does this count as being carded?"
    Her: "Definitely. Happy Birthday! Doing anything fun to celebrate?"
    Me: "Performing in New York City tonight for one of The Moth's Mainstage Events."
    Her: "Are you famous?"
    Me: "Not yet."


2. On Main Street in town on a sandwich board outside the art shop:
















3. Hey, there's my name!




















4. Hanging out with the Producers and Directors at the Moth, many of whose names I always hear mentioned on the podcasts so I felt totally giddy.

5. This was supposed to be video of me being introduced but it just does not want to upload right now.  So instead I leave you with this totally not flattering nor high quality photo. But I shall try with the video again later!








Friday, April 15, 2016

Five on Friday: Last Spring Birthday Boy

Three of the kids' birthdays are within a month's time from mid-March to mid-April. We're on the last of them now and then it'll be my birthday next week and then a little birthday breather for two months. (Phew)

For each of my kids' birthdays I like to dedicate a Five on Friday list to them. Last year when E turned nine, I shared some of his cutest sayings from over the years. This year I'm going to tell you about the things that he has taught me:

1. He wasn't my first baby but he was my first foster and then first adopted child. I might have considered myself a childcare expert by the time he came along but there was a lot to learn about transracial fostering and adopting and he got to be the guinea pig. (Thanks buddy)

2. I grew up with three sisters and we're sort of spaced unusually--my older two sisters are seven and five years older than me and my younger one is seven years younger than me. I felt like the baby of the family for the first seven years and then later  it was mostly just me and my younger sister so I felt like a big sister. I didn't know the middle child struggles were real. I know now because of him. (Sorry kid)

3. He's taught me  that a kid could love salads and seafood and hate french fries and chocolate chip pancakes. His sister calls him a disgrace to kid-dom.

4. I've always known how important family was and I knew we'd always try to do what we could to have his birth family in our lives. But I didn't really understand just how important those connections could be to a kid until he showed me.

5. Lastly, he taught me to really love watching sports. I still don't watch them on television or care to learn any stats or anything (let's not get carried away) . . . but seeing him on the field or court is one of my favorite things to do. I always thought people were either into sports or not, no middle ground, and I consider myself firmly in the second category. Not only did he prove me wrong by getting me excited about his games, he proved me wrong a second way by being insanely athletic but also very musically talented and a great lover of books. 

Welcome to the double digits, E. Thanks for all you've taught me and for being one of the best huggers around.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Five on Friday: Mother of the Year

Last week I told you how I like to hashtag the heck out of "so proud" but always did sarcastically until that Five on Friday list

Something else I hashtag frequently is "Mother of the Year" (also always sarcastically). So to keep up with the trend will I now make a list of five recent times I actually felt like I deserved an award for this gig? No way! Instead I share five recent statements I actually said  that deserve a sardonic #MOTY tag.


1. I don’t have to do this for you guys, it’s just a courtesy I provide.

2. You can't sit in the car outside the store by yourself, I don't feel like getting arrested today.

3. If you wake me up I'm going to punch you. (*In my defense this one was said to the teenagers who had a friend--whose parents I've known since way before she was born--after 11 pm. Also in my defense, I did not punch them when they did wake me up by being really loud an hour later. However, I did passive-aggressively wake them up at 9 am with a list of chores to do, which they probably disliked as much as being punched, if not more.)

4. We're not using floor popcorn for your party. Fine, you can eat it, but it's not for your friends.

5. You can't talk to our guests like that so you're going to have to be locked inside until the party's over. (Ha! That one was to the dog, don't worry. I really did admonish her for "talking" to the guests that way though.)

Friday, April 1, 2016

Five on Friday: So Proud

I'm fond of hashtagging the heck out of "so proud" but it's always sarcastically (for example, that time my kid put a bad word on the sign outside of school)

But I am really proud of my kids all the time. So for this week's Five on Friday list I'm sharing things that happened over Spring Break that made me feel non-sarcastically so proud of them:

1. 5-year-old A: "His toy flew away* so I gave him some of my candy."

2. 8-year-old Z: "I can really taste the spinach, it tastes really good. Can I have more?" (I almost died.)

3. 9-year-old E: "I don't even get why they make batteries that aren't rechargeable."

4. 15-year-old B: "Oh, just try it on and see" (when we were at the thrift shop together and I was hemming and hawing about a dress . . . then I tried it and it just might be what I wear for telling a story in NYC for The Moth next month! Thanks, B. You were right.)

5. 14-year-old G: He had decided to celebrate his birthday by having one whole day in bed with his choice of junk food and video games. Late in the afternoon I tried to tempt him with running out to the thrift shop, library AND pizza. "Nope, nope, nope." Am I proud of my kid for saying no? Kind of. He had a vision and he stuck to it! He would not be swayed by temptation!! He wanted his day a certain way and he had it. As much as his diet and inactivity that day disgusted me, I do feel weirdly proud of him.


*Big brother got this toy as a birthday gift at the Easter celebration at my Mom's house. He decided to try it, granted without reading the instructions, and apparently the thing immediately flew up, up and away!!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Five on Friday: Another Birthday Boy & His Catch Phrases

I had been thinking about an upcoming Five on Friday list of the various catch phrases I hear around here all the time--some several times a week and some several times a day. I was about ready to share that one when I realized it was G's birthday this past week and since I celebrated his brother for his birthday last week, it was G's turn this week.

And then I realized that G has coined almost every single one of these phrases and is the biggest user of almost all of them.

Happy Birthday, G. Someday I might actually miss hearing you say these phrases all the damn time. (Or hey, maybe you'll never ever stop with them! Wouldn't that be . . . interesting for you.)

1. When the microwave is about to beep and he notices, he says "What the - - -?" and tries to time it perfectly so it sounds like "What the (beeeeeeeep)" Clever, he is. (I know you want to see this in action. Check it out here)

2. Dibs! On everything, all the time, even things one cannot possibly call dibs on.

3. There's a game where you need to say "safety" if you fart so that you don't get punched by someone else. I like to insist on "excuse me" so now he can often be heard saying "excuse me safety excuse me safety" as he walks past so now the whole world knows he is walking and farting. Charming. (I wrote more about that game here)


4. I had an idea for a comic book/video game . . . He's an idea man, for sure.

5. Time's an equation! Whenever he notices the time and realizes that he can make it into some sort of mathematical equation (frequently ones I cannot even figure out but you know, math's not really my department), he says this phrase. He will literally sneak it into the middle of a sentence, like, "So today in Social Studies class, time's an equation, this kid didn't know the answer and the teacher told him he had to study more, time's still an equation, and he got all mad at her!"


Friday, March 18, 2016

Five on Friday: First Birthday Boy of the Year

My youngest son turned eight earlier this week, which I'm excited about. First of all, everyone knows eight is great. Second of all, I have a inexplicable hatred of odd numbers. We spent last year all being odd-numbered ages (shudder) so now that Z has had his birthday, that means we'll all be switching back to evens soon! Hooray!

Last year I wrote a Five on Friday list for him on his birthday with some of his more adorable quotes. It's a year later and the hits just keep on coming! He's still everyone's favorite helper though I have weaned myself off of telling him I'm going to eat his face all the time. (I still think it a lot though.)

Here are some super cute things about him lately:

1.  He wanted to know when he'd get his signature. After a few confusing minutes of conversation I finally figured out that he thought he'd get a fancy signature assigned to him one day. We laughed about it and then agreed that being the guy to hand signatures out might be a fun job for him.

2. I got an email from his teacher last week letting me know that he's been extremely kind to the new boy in his class. I am not at all surprised.

3. His aunt gave him his VERY OWN PACKAGE of Slim-Jims as part of his birthday gift. He was psyched. While my other kids would have totally hoarded or shared the tiniest half-a-slim-jim-at-a-time portions . . . this guy has been sharing them with siblings left and right. He's got the biggest heart.

4. Yesterday he was helping our three-year-old neighbor put her shoes on. His voice, already little-boy squeaky, went up several pitches as he put her shoes on her feet and cooed, "Look at how tiny and cute your shoes are!"

5. When I tucked him in the night before his birthday, I pointed out that as my last son, this was the very last time I'd have a seven-year-old boy to kiss goodnight. He said cheerfully, "You could always adopt someone!"



Friday, March 11, 2016

Five On Friday: Mama Got a Job*

Seven months into all five of the kids being at full day school, I have secured a part time seasonal job! I am going to work as a tour guide at a local historical site. Perks include working mainly school hours (since many of the groups are class trips), getting to work with kids (but not have to wipe noses or rear ends, feed or discipline them), getting to learn more and teach others about local history.

Downside? I don't get to dress in period costume every day as I first believed. There will be occasional events where I get to dress like Ma Ingalls but mostly modern clothes. Dang.

I won't get started for a few weeks yet but there's plenty I need to do before I get started anyway, including:

1. Make sure I have some clothes to wear that don't have stains or holes (hey, half price at the thrift shop is coming up!)

2. Wean myself off of my afternoon power naps (this is the hardest one) 

3. Get some spring cleaning and landscaping projects done (with the nice weather this past week I've actually gotten quite a few done. Thanks weather!)

4. Read the ginormous training manual and try to memorize the pertinent facts. (All the line memorization I've done for plays should come in handy!)

5. Ask my Mom to dig up pictures from that time in 1982 that I was in a play with my sisters. It was an historical fiction based on this same historical site and was even performed there! I am such a local. 

Oh hey! She found them! Thanks Mom!

That's me!



*Besides all the ones I have already as Mom to five, babysitter to four, writer, actress, community organizer . . . This job is going to pay in not under-the-table money--I had to fill out a W-4 and everything!


Friday, March 4, 2016

Five On Friday: Proverbs + Kids

I have to thank my oldest daughter for this week's list, it was all her idea. She had seen something online where they asked little kids to finish common proverbial expressions and so we decided to try it with the kids at home. We had a *lot* of fun with this. Here are our five favorites:

1. Birds of a feather . . . fly.

2. A picture is worth . . . five dollars.

3. The pen is mightier than . . . a rock.

4. You can lead a horse to water but . . . it'll poop on you.

5. And the best for last! I asked our 9-year-old neighbor to try to finish this one: People in glass houses shouldn't . . . she couldn't think of anything at first and then said, "Well I thought of one thing but it's kind of inappropriate." I thought for sure it'd be something about being naked and I asked if she might be able to just tell me? "Okay. People in glass houses shouldn't kill people because then you'd see blood stains on the windows." 

Well I'm glad that came from a kid that I don't live with! 

I highly recommend trying this at home if you have kids in your life, hilarity will ensue.