Thursday, March 19, 2009


I was just sitting here at church doing my taxes. (Hoping the environment would keep me honest.) When my youngest asked a very thought provoking question:

"Mom, does your tummy get big right away after you kiss or does it take a long time?"

I'm not sure where she got this bit of information on how babies are made, but maybe it will keep her from kissing boys for a little longer.

My kids might be a little sheltered, but I was relieved to find out they aren't too far behind. At Haley's 10 year old sleep over the other night, one of her birthday cards mentioned the word puberty. She was reading all of her cards out loud to prolong the joy of opening presents. My heart skipped a beat when she read this word, wondering what was going to come next...but to my relief every single girl there said, "What's puberty?" My quick wit responded with, "You'll find out sooner then you think." That was enough for all of them and a near catastrophe was avoided. By catastrophe I mean me trying to explain to a bunch of pre-teen girls that soon they would be menstruating, growing breasts, and how great it all is because that means they will be ready to have babies. Yes, I believe that string of information was waiting in line in my brain right behind, "You'll find out sooner then you think," trying to push its way to the tip of my tongue and into the ears of this eager learners.

My kids are telling me they are bored, while nearby lies a large pile of barbies, a game boy, and a leapster. I am giving them a writing assignment that they will never forget. I will teach them to tell me that they are bored. Each of them will be writing, in age appropriate terms, a list of all of the toys, games, and imagination capabilities they have access to at any given time. Haley will be writing 3 paragraphs from this list, Kayci will write one paragraph from this list, and Courtney will do a detailed drawing from this list.

I am so mean...but I hate when kids say they are bored. I HATE IT especially when I am trying to do my taxes.

I told Kayci to leave me alone and use her imagination because I had to work on some grown up stuff. She complained that I didn't HAVE to do it right now; her exact words, "It's not illegal to NOT do your grown up stuff."

"Ha, Ha, Ha," I laughed. "I will go to jail if I don't do and pay my taxes; I'm serious Kayci I will go to jail and dad too." The look on her face said she believed me. I just wonder why my conservative clones didn't quip, "Not if you're in the inner circle of the Obama administration."

Thank you ladies and gentlemen...I'm here all week!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Allergies and Other Lessons

As I type this at this late hour my eyes are almost completely swollen shut. Not from a beating I may or may not have deserved from my life partner, but rather from a self induced allergy attack. I am waiting for the Benadryl to kick in so I won't bug Steve with my sneezing and blowing and itching and groaning. I have had allergies now for many years as I have a memory. I have always been allergic to anything with fur, especially fluffy, soft fur like one may find on a cat or a cute little BUNNY. This is nothing new. I went over to my friend Tana's house to participate in the book club that I quit two months ago (ha, ha) and decided to make friends with her bunny Theodore. He is a mini-lop and so friendly. For those of you who have known me for a long time you will remember that I once had a mini-lop named Bunnel who was my best friend in Boston. She was given to me by one of my science students and quickly bonded to me. We spent many happy evenings together while Steve was off at school and I had no one else to talk to. I built up a kind of allergy tollerance to her because we lived in such close proximity to eachother. I loved Bunnel and Bunnel loved me until I had Haley and Bunnel was moved outside. Then Bunnel met our dog Dori, and well that relationship turned out to be fatal for my sweet Bunnel. (And that's all I have to say about that.) Anyway I got down on the floor to relive my memories of Bunnel with Theodore. He loved being stroked and sat very contentedly. I reminded myself not to touch my face under any circumstance after touching the bunny. I did pretty well until I got home and dropped my guard. When I see my cozy bed, beckoning me so invitingly, I immediately have to rub my eyes and not 10 seconds later the itching started. I didn't immediately figure out it was allergies, so I continued to rub one eye and then the other. Steve at one point said I looked like a football player and encouraged me to look at myself in the mirror. (He adores me, he really does.) The the eye itching became so intense that I remembered my encounter with sweet Theodore and searched for my Benadryl. The people who package Benadryl have obviously never had problems with allergies, because it is the most frustrating thing to open when your eyes and your nose are dripping and your adrenalin is making it impossible to open the teeny tiny package. I finally decided to get out my small trimming scissors and cut the packaging off of this precious pink pill of relief This proved to be difficult too, but I finally got the pill out only to drop it in my very cluttered, and open, makeup drawer. So with eyes swelling and shutting, nose running, sneezes overcoming my very existence, I began to search through my make up drawer looking for this tiny pill. I found it, took it with a stale cup of water that I found on the counter and here I sit, waiting for the relief only Benadryl can provide. It was/is an adventure. Maybe when I turn 36 I'll remember that I have allergies and it is NEVER a good idea to touch bunnies.

As for other lessons: 1. Men always make jokes anytime you say the word "Balls," even if you are talking about tennis balls.
2. The most unlikely people can pour such wisdom into your life if you are willing to take the time to listen.
3. Good friends really make everyday a little bit easier.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Conversation with Steve

Last night I had such a bad sore throat and neck ache that I went to bed at 7:30. I am assuming the kids got themselves ready for bed and went to bed without my help, because they were there this morning. Steve was gone until late last night working hard to support my extravagant life style so the kids and I were on our own.

He came in about 10:30 and asked what was wrong. This is a rough transcript of the conversation that went on with my beloved:

Steve: What is wrong with you?
Me: (weakly croaking because of the pain in my throat) I'm sick
Steve: Oh're sick. I guess I won't be sleeping in the same bed as you tonight.
Me: (barely whispering) Why?
Steve: (a little irritated) I can't get sick, I have a concert this Saturday!!
Me: (fading away) Oh, sorry to be such a burden to you with my sickness. Should I go out and sleep on the couch?
Steve: (hopeful) Would you really do that for me?
Me: No I won't. I just wanted to see what you would say.

This is what it is like being married to a rock star!!

By the way, he did sleep with me anyway...I was just careful to breath in the other direction.


The blog Cake Wrecks today made me laugh really hard. Mostly because I was trying to picture when these type of cakes would be appropriate. If you check it out, let me know what you think.

Yesterday I wrote a list of all the things in my life that are making me stressed. I subtitled it, "Why I wake up tired and with a headache EVERYDAY." I won't post my list here because some of you would absolutely roll your eyes at the things that stress me out, and you may be one of my stressers. (Kidding) It is exactly 30 items long. I was going to stop at 10, but then I thought of 11; then I was going to stop at 20, then I thought of 21. You get the picture. Being a little like Monk, I needed the list to be a number ending in 0. I'm not sure why, but I would have been stressed had it not been so. It was a good idea to do this because it allowed me to see how minor the stresses in my life really are. I don't really feel stressed during the day, but I clench my teeth so hard in the night that I can hardly chew in the morning. Steve says I don't grind, but the soreness of my jaw tells me I am working on sorting things out while I am supposed to be the most relaxed. I finally went and got a massage, a luxury that I cannot afford, but was desperate to receive. She was amazed at the tension in my head, neck and jaw. She wonders how I walk upright all day. I knew I was in pain, but nothing compares to the pain of her trying to work this tension out. I just cried and cried. Seriously cried. I really think she should have paid me for the pleasure of torturing me so intensely. I will go back. I feel better today because of it.
After this experience of the massage and the list I came upon a magazine that I had put aside to read. It was about Christian martyrs. Then I felt dumb. There are people in this world that have given their lives to spread the Good News of knowing Jesus, something I completely agree with and wish everyone I knew understood. However they suffer torture and imprisonment beyond anything I've even come close to experiencing. So what the heck am I complaining about. My list of 30 stressers is pretty pathetic compared to what others are dealing with.
Unfortunately, I let things get to me too easily. I wish I could change. I have a good friend who is so good at letting things roll off of her back. I am calmed just being in the same breathing space as her. I don't know what her secret is. It's not what could it be? Is it really a choice? Is it an innate ability? Is is a learned?
How come the tab doesn't work on this blog anymore? Have I never started a new paragraph before while typing on here?

You see...these are the things that stress me out. Very important things like tab keys.

What a weirdo.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Tooth Fairy and Hard Economic Times

Speaking of failings as moms....

Two of my children lost teeth in the last week.

Two times the tooth fairy forgot to come.

Two times she wrote a very humble letter of apology and provided an extra dollar for the inconvenience.

Two times the kids had different explanations:
1. She got stuck in traffic
2. Barak Obama didn't include her in the stimulus package so she quit giving to those of us in this tax bracket.

Do you think we watch too much Fox News here in the Merrick household?

Being a Mom is Hard

In case any of my mom readers didn't know...Being a Mom is Hard. It's not just you. We all feel that way and it is hard everyday. The worries and just plain emotions that go along with filling this position is overwhelming. Our tolerance for mistakes that we make is extremely low, so when we do make a mistake the heap load of guilt we decide to carry around makes the day seem a little more difficult, the headache seem a little more painful, and the worry seem a little bigger. I've just finished reading two of my favorite bloggers address this very issue and I thought I would start my blog by saying you moms out there are doing a great job. I think the fact that your kids are still smiling, still learning, still functioning in society says you are a success. However, I know most of you go above and beyond the minimum requirements and actually interact with your kids, read to them, ask them interesting questions, and look for opportunities to allow them to enjoy this brief moment in time called childhood. You provide them with healthy food, a warm bed, and at least one hug EVERYDAY. Even the most high maintenance friend you have ever had didn't need that. Even on the days you don't want to give of yourself, you only momentarily consider this option, and then you throw back the covers and start the whole giving selflessly montage again. Remember this, all you moms, you are the perfect mother for the kids you have. Your mistakes and your successes are exactly what your particular kids need to become who they are supposed to be in this life. NO ONE could do it better than you are doing. NO ONE!! So just take a deep breath. Pat yourself on the back, tuck that hair behind your ear and keep going. You're doing a great job. You're doing the best job there is. And when you think no one is listening, no one knows what you are going through, and you just can't do it one more day, listen closely...very closely and you will hear the constant applause of heaven. You can't ask for more than that!!