Thanks, Mr. Postman

Hey everybody!  I got a letter from Vincenzo at camp!  My first ever letter written to me by one of my sons!  I will keep this day forever stamped on my heart!

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Oh, okay.  So he wants money.  The first ever letter my son writes to me, and he asks for money.

I am never going to let him live this down.

WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Red curry with yams and chickpeas
Rice
Roasted yellow beans

2 Down, 1 To Go

I shipped two of my kids off to camp on the weekend.  Vincenzo left at 5AM, leaving my in bed trying to sleep, then remembering, FLOSS!  WE DIDN’T PACK FLOSS!  And, SOCKS?  DID HE PACK ANY OF THOSE AT ALL?  And, FLOSS!  I SENT MY CHILD OFF WITHOUT ANY FLOSS!

Rocco left with a friend on Sunday morning and after he drove away I turned to Kevin and said with a sniff, “There goes Rocco, off to college.”  That’s what it felt like, him driving away all smiles and excitement, me and Kevin standing on the front porch with our empty house behind us.

Oh, right.  Leo. 

So the house wasn’t entirely empty, but going from three kids down to two feels like trading in all your children for one sweet little kitty cat—especially when the one remaining child thinks he is a kitty cat.

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It’s been a long time since we’ve had just one child to care for, and I had forgotten how easy parenting used to be.  Look at the stats since Sunday:

Fights I have broken up: 0
Tattles I have listened to: 0
Brother-inflicted injuries I have patched up: 0
Sports practices driven to: 0
Questions I have answered 3 times in a row because only one child is capable of hearing me at a time: 0
Times I have yelled, “JUST STOP IT!”:  0
Load of laundry I have done: 1.  Just one!!  In three days!

Yesterday we went to Costco and we only had to listen to one child whine about it.  Last night at dinner, we could actually hear ourselves chewing! This morning I sat down and ate breakfast with Leo.  When’s the last time I sat down to do anything?  (Bathroom matters excluded.)

I’ve given no reminders!  Usually our day is full of reminders and reminders about the reminders and reminders about those reminders too, as the older two boys constantly fall into book traps.  Leo isn’t reading yet, and I’m thinking we should just keep it that way as long as possible because once the boys start reading they seem to lose their hearing and I lose my mind.

I don’t want to sound heartless.  Of course of course, I miss V and R.  I miss V’s sweet and silly smile; I miss seeing Rocco building his empire of robots that will one day rule the world.  I miss the perfect moments when all three boys are playing together like the best friends they sometimes are, and I miss the laughter times three when we watch a movie together.  I miss having a crowd to cook for, I miss us all packed into my bed for nighttime read aloud, and I miss the brilliant ideas that three little boys’ minds working together come up with in a day.

But oh man, did I need a break from all that.  It can be exhausting living amongst  such brilliance, especially when the brilliance does not apply to cleaning up, personal hygiene, self sufficiency, and solving problems in a logical, peaceful manner.  

I am going to spend the rest of this week taking full, complete breaths and petting the kitty cat.

Then, when the boys return on Sunday, I will give them a hug the size of a week and tell them how glad I am they are back. 

And by then, I’ll really mean it.

WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Pita pizzas
Roasted wax beans

MrsMouthy’s Quality Childcare

Sometimes McStreamy leaves her kid with us for the day.  We love these days—we call them Double Leo days because we named our kid after her kid.  That’s how much we like them.

Anyway, I just wanted to show of the kind of high quality childcare the McStreamies gets at Mrs. Mouthy’s Quality Childcare.

Yesterday the boys made weapons and armor out of our garbage.*

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Then they wanted helmets, and you know what?  I’d like to see you try to make a helmet out of a gigantic piece of black construction paper.

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Some of the kids wanted the same helmet made in white, but we told them no.  That’s the kind of thought that puts the word “quality” into Mrs. Mouthy’s Quality Day Care.

Next we went outside to pick blackberries, and when our buckets were full I had to pick just one more clump, and that clump happened to be the front door of a wasp’s nest, and these wasps were not asking any questions.  An army of them came zinging out of the bushes and launched an attack on my stomach, causing me to throw my bucket of blackberries into the air and yell “RUN!”  The boys just stood there, so I yelled, “RUN!  RUN!  RUN!” until they got the message. 

The kids in my care get such great physical exercise!

Once I deemed it was safe and there was no cartoon-sized bee swarm chasing us down, I apologized to the boys for what I was about to do next and then whipped my shirt off to make sure no more wasps were on me. 

Let’s call that moment a lesson in health ed.

(If this blog were about me and not about my fine quality childcare services, I’d mention that this was not my first  whacking-myself, shirt-removal, crazy-dance bee sting of the day.  I’d mention that there was another wasp that got me in the morning, so I thought I was cleared for the rest of the day.)

(Seven stings.  SEVEN stings, plus some weird looking spots that are maybe hives, maybe cluster stings, if that’s a thing.  Probably cluster stings.)

On the way back in we stopped at the vegetable garden to pick cucumbers (banana for scale). 

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Let’s call this lesson a continuation of health ed.

Back inside, Mr. Mouthy had gotten home and wanted to try out a juicer attachment he got for the Kitchenaid mixer.  We loaded up the blackberries, and voila!  Juice came out one end and as a bonus, blackberry turds came out the other end.  Mr. Mouthy then taught the boys the expression “pinch a loaf,” and got the boys chanting, “Pinch!  Pinch!  Pinch” as they watched the turds fall. 

The vocabulary enrichment at Mrs. Mouthy’s Quality Childcare, guys!  It’s insane!

Well, as they say, you get what you pay for and Mrs. Mouthy’s Quality Childcare costs absolutely nothing.  And they say nothing in life is free!

And now, for my Amelia Bedelia lemon meringue pie moment of the day where something actually went right, please see what’s cookin’ 2nite.

WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Beef satay with peanut dipping sauce
Brown rice
Sauteed squash with parmesan
Fresh bread
Blackberry spritzers

*For anyone who is stalking me and who knows that 2 of my boys are away at camp this week, I somehow ended up with up to 5 boys at my house today anyway.  I loved it!

Weekly Check-In

Just a quick update to say I’m still here, it’s still summer, I still never want it to end but I’m so worn out, it’s probably good that it will end whether I want it to or not.

Here are a few quick photos to show you we’re still alive and well, even if I couldn’t think of funny captions for any of them.

Ballard Locks/fish ladder:

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Park day:

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Rocco’s 8-month check-up (he built a weiner dog in his spare time):

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Beached whale:

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All the Mouthies:

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I was kind of down last week—don’t know whether it’s the insomnia that just won’t go away or the president that just won’t go away  or the nuclear armageddon threats or the smoke blanket we’ve been living under  (Canada owes us one gigantic apology.)  But it’s weird to be down when the weather is super sunny and your kids are so happy.  I’m much better at sharing the light, funny side of my life than the dark, depressing one, but I thought I should fess up.  But!  I’m feeling better now so let’s go ahead and move on, shall we?

WHAT’S COOKIN’ LAST NIGHT (because in the summer it’s too hard to know what we’re going to eat next—we only know what we ate last):

Tagliatelle with crab
Corn on the cob
Ice cream

Ms. Understood

Get it?  See what I did with the title there?  Today’s blog highlights some of my favorite misunderstandings of recent times.

1. I was reading to Leo and we came across the word “limousine.”

Me: Do you know what a limousine is, Leo?
Leo: No.
Me: It’s a long, stretched out car that has lots of fun stuff inside—like a mini refrigerator, fancy snacks, maybe even a TV—and you would just drive in one when you’re going somewhere special.
Leo: I know—like when you go camping!

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Eh.  Close enough.

2. The backstory to the following conversation is way too long for your puny little attention spans, but you don’t need it to understand the conversation.  Okay, here goes:

Me: Rocco, do you know any swear words?
R: Yes. One.
Me: You do?!
R: Yes. I learned it from my big buddy.
Me: Wow. What letter does it start with?
R: F
Me: Can you spell it for me?  It won’t get you in trouble to just spell it for me here.
R: I don’t want to.
Me: I promise, it’s okay to spell it to me now—I just want to know what word you learned.
R, cautiously, almost in a whisper: Okay.  It’s M-I-D-D-L-E F-I-N-G-E-R. 

3. During another reading session with Leo we came across the word “headdress.”

Me: Do you know what a headdress is, Leo?
Leo: Yes.  It’s like a thing that goes around your head and then comes down your back a little bit.
Me: Exactly!  How did you know that?
Leo: Because I saw one in your wedding picture.

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Same dif, right?

WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Japanese style salmon
Cucumber & green tomato salad
Rice
Nerdy Rice Krispie treats with frosting and whipped cream (an abomination of a dessert that Leo dreamed up one day and I helped him make)