Thursday, January 31, 2008

It's over

by teresa

Yesterday was the last day of the readathon.
Ben was determined to go out with a bang.
We climbed in bed at 6:15...after Chris and Nick left for the ODU game.
I MADE him stop 10:30.
Most of that was read aloud T O M E !!!!!
I know...I know....bad mommy for letting him stay up so long.
But I was loving every minute of it.
Well maybe not every minute.
In the middle of him reading...he asked me to read a book to him.

I read Let Me Hold You Longer.

Once I got to the part that says.....
The last time when you ran to me,
still small enough to hold.
The last time that you said you'd marry
me when you grew old.
Precious simple moments and
bright flashes from your past-
would I have held on longer if
I'd known they were your last?

The other day when we were discussing his future bride he "ewwwwwwed" at the suggestion that she be just like me.
Chris reminded him that for a long time he was jealous of Chris and always said he was going to marry mommy when he grew up.
The thought that this feeling left him ...and I didn't even know it...made me sad.

But I read on....holding in my emotions.

Then I got to the part in the book that says....
The last time that I pray with you
and tuck you in at night.
The last when we cuddle
with a book, just me and you.
The last time you jump in our bed
and sleep between us two.

So folks....that's why I let him snuggle with me and read until his little eyes couldn't stay open.
I was soaking it in.
Making memories.
Holding on a little longer.
He's still my baby....for now.

Readathon Tally 2008!

by teresa

Books Ben read:

Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the UFO

Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Television Dog

Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Monster Movie

Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Babe Ruth Baseball

Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Stolen Corn Popper

Cam Jansen and the Mystery at the Haunted House

Cam Jansen and the Mystery of Flight 54

Cam Jansen and the Snowy Day Mystery

Flowers For Algernon


The Library Card

Blood and Sand

No, David

Wemberly Worries

The Hundred Dresses

Berenstain Bears and the Dress Code


The Polar Express

When Mama Comes Home Tonight

Stanley's Party


Let Me Hold You Longer

Manana Iguana

Hooway for Wodney Wat

Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective(10 stories)

Cat Lady

Who Dares Win

Don't Wake the Baby

Is Anybody there?

Total minutes read:

*drum roll*


I am so proud...and I know all of you who pledged are too.
Speaking of pledges....if you are out of town pledgers....just mail it to our house.
Church pledgers....just give it to us on Sunday.
Family pledgers....anytime this weekend is great.
Thanks so much for all your support!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

by teresa

After propping myself up in the bed last night while Ben was reading a book to me(he insists I keep my eyes on him...and if I close my eyes he will yell out questions about the last sentence he read to make sure I'm not asleep) whole body was cramped and achy.

I begged for reading time to be over.
So Ben offered to massage my neck, back, arms and legs to make me feel we could continue to the next chapter of Bunnicula.
I obliged him....cause massages around here are few and far between, and I wasn't about to pass up this gift.

He was really getting into it. Poking, karate chopping, squeezing. It was great. As he elbowed the back of my leg shot up and kicked him in the head. He giggled and did this over and over...and I kept kicking him and kicking him. I'm pretty sure there are no reflex points back there are on the front of the knee. But I sure was enjoying kicking him in the head.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

by teresa

Why do boys smell so bad?

I guess it's all the extra crevices.

I just put one of my sons in the shower....for the 2nd time today.

I hope he scrubs the smell of butt from his body.

Dial is just not doing the trick. The irish spring body wash ain't even touching it.

I'm going in with the Tilex next.

Monday, January 28, 2008

by teresa

Today was a teacher workday.
So Ben and I took grandaddy to the Y.
We had a good time working out together...and then retreated to the car after an hour and a half to get some reading in.
After dropping The Daddy off we headed to a drive-in restaurant in town and had lunch and read some more.
We then headed over Katy's so Ben could play with cousin Kai for the afternoon...and I could get some much needed baby lovin time with Maya.

Two days left of the readathon.
Ben has $190 in donations.....and 2,063 minutes read.
Go Ben!!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

back by popular demand....quotes and questions from the Green family this week.

by teresa

I play much better by myself.

My dunking dreams have Mr. Sam in them too.

If I hear one more word about High School Musical I'm going to hurt somebody!!!

Your hair is stuck in my teeth.

Let's adopt a baby.

Scratch that...let's just take Kaden for the day.

Mom...your bosoms are coming out the top of your shirt and I don't like it!

I finally did a big "bunny" like Dad's and I felt so good I know why he does it so often.

My hips don't bend like stop asking.

I bounce him like a basketball.

Mom...I got one wrong on the book test. They asked what did Charlie do when he got drunk? You didn't read anything about him getting drunk!

Should I shave my head?

You aren't allowed to have friends anymore.

Tell Dad he can't sleep with you till the readathon is over.

Can I invite all three 3rd grade classes to my birthday party?

Let's just skip your birthday this year.

Who used up all the diarrhea medicine?

Who used up all the gluesticks? There were 5 in there yesterday! How can you use 5 gluesticks in 1 sitting?

Friday, January 25, 2008


By Chris

Back on planes today. Blogging from one right now at the gate from the Blackberry. And, it's mealtime next to me again. Really It's just peperoni pizza my fellow passenger is enjoying this time. Another interesting portable food selection. And, this is just a 25-minutes-in-the-air flight. Surely, it could wait??? Oh, wow ... He just let a belch out into his unopened mouth. He better swallow that and not let it out in here.

Taking off ... Bye
by teresa

Have you ever had an entire 3rd grade chapter book read to you in one sitting?
It is long...and painful.
Ben has me lay next to him in our bed (like I'm the kid) and he reads stories and shows me the pictures.
Chris comes walking in to change into his jammies....sees us there (and me with my "help me" face on behind Ben's back....and he runs downstairs and leaves me there to go it alone.
We are 8 days into the 14 day readathon.
Earlier this week we read Flowers For Algernon. Nick, Ben and I read it aloud (I mostly did the reading). And thank goodness for that! Although a very good book for adults....not so much for the kiddies. I got to a few "sex" parts and stumbled on my words. ummmmm....Charlie was finally able to ....ummmm give hugs to Faye. Or...Charlie's mother punished him as a child when she caught him in his room...ummmmm....making a mess. I was very creative...and got through the entire book without having to have any uncomfortable discussions with my sons. And the book was just as good as I heard it was.
Before I head off to take Nick to school...and pick grandaddy up for the Y I wanted to give you guys a readathon update.
Ben is at 1,545 minutes!
I think he is right on track to get his anticipated 2,000 minutes or over.
The only thing he is behind on is pledges.
If he gets 10 people to pledge at least $10 and he reads for at least 10 days in a row he gets a big prize. Right now he has 5 people who have pledged. So sign up and help him make his goal. Sterling pledged $20. You guys at church (Kimberly, Kitty, Cherie, Christin, Scott) can't have her showing you up.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Bad Flight Etiquette

By Chris

Today was a long one. To Atlanta and Back. Wednesday's are great travel days, for some reason. Pretty short lines. Lots of on-time flying. Problem is, my schedule for the day put me on small planes going and coming. I like the big planes. But, they only run at certain times back and forth to Atlanta. Other times, you get stuck on these small jets. Seats really, really close to each other. Not many seats. No first class. Less experienced pilots (the littler the plane, the younger the pilots). Frequent flyers are the best companions. They get it. Move quickly. Etc. Well, today, I get a woman who did not fall into that category. She gets on the plane late. With a gazillion things going on. Carry on bag. Purse. Shopping bags. Book. Magazine. She sits next to me. With all this stuff. Then she's TOUCHING me trying to put it all away. I don't like people touching me! And, she clearly ate garlic omlettes for breakfast and lunch. Because, she was hummin'! Right next to me. And, motion sickness (which I get) is triggered by odors. She was odorous! Come on! Don't do that when you're flying! Then, out of one of her shopping bags she pulls out a SANWICH PLATTTER. Not crackers. Not a little candy. A whole dang platter. Dipping sauce and all. I mean . . . did she really think that would be travel-friendly food! Elbows flying, lips smacking and arms rubbing me, she had a grand-'ol time eating her meal. Jeez. Get some chicken nuggets! Not a great big hoagie! It had onions and everything. Big fat onions that she had to slurp into her mouth. And, it was stinkin'. I had to keep my head on my book or I may have hurled on her. Really. After her sandwich was gone, she decided to finish her dipping sauce by scooping it up on her finger and sucking it down, making "umm" "ahh" sounds all the while. I mean, really, would it hurt her to just throw away that extra sauce. Yuck! She then proceeded to adjust her air vent and turn on her personal light with the same sucked-on spit-soaked finger she used to "eat." Gross!!!! I may never be able to touch the fan and light switches again after that experience. Did I mention she was sitting all of 1/4 of an inch away from me?! To top it off, the dude in front of me reclined his chair all the way to my lap. In small planes, you should have more sense than to RECLINE! Dude! When you look up and see somone's face, you are clearly in their lap and, as comfortable as that makes you, you should know that strangers are not really interested in having people doze off and snore in their laps. Oh yeah . . . he snored. Loud. I was waiting for a bugar to come flying out he was huffing and puffing so hard. I thought that plane would never land. And land it did. Really hard. Young pilots do that all the time. Wobbly approach and a big "bam!!" landing that jars everyone awake and provokes giggles. Of course, when it did land, the lady tapped me on the shoulder with her lickety-split hand to tell me something. I swear I tingled and saw stars thinking about her onion-garlic spit getting on my shoulder. I may have to throw the shirt away. Yuck. Creepy-germ-stank-funk thoughts all night now, I suppose. How foul! Then some dude met her at the airport and she gave him a big ol' too-much-for-a-public-place kiss. Tasty.
by teresa

I have been dreaming of my dad alot lately.
Nothing weird....just him out front washing his truck when I came home. And last night I dreamed he called me to pick him up because his car broke down. Ben had a really neat dream about him last weekend. In his dream we knew he was coming home and we all decorated the front yard with his favorite Christmas decorations (even though it was the middle of summer in his dream). Ben said he was so happy when he arrived and saw we had taken such good care of his things.
I still feel raw about it. But just half of the time. The other half I'm numb. No in between yet. Either crying...or blocking it out. I know time will bring me peace. But for now...I really, really, really, really, really miss him.

Monday, January 21, 2008

by teresa

I am feeling a little overwhelmed these days.
Too much to do...too little time to do it.

As you can tell from my lack of posting...the blog has taken a back seat (as well as the laundry) to other commitments.

I hope to keep my head above water (and clean underwear on my family) until the tidal wave of to-do's levels off.

Readathon update:
Ben has reached 770 minutes.
If he keeps up this the 30th deadline he will have easily reached his 2,000 minute goal.
Go Ben!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

by teresa

Yesterday I spent 8 1/2 hours at church watching basketball games. Four of those hours were Kristian, Kai, Nick and Ben's.
I have been asked to create a slide show for the end of season I needed pictures of ALL the teams that play. I will probably do that again another Saturday just to make sure I have some perfect shots. I will also go to a few nights of practices to get some group and close up shots. I don't think anyone would appreciate me walking on to the court for a great shot in the middle of a game.

We were assured snow last night/this morning.
They all promised it.
Every weatherman...on every channel in Hampton Roads and Nationally.
Two to six inches they said.
Did we get any?
How disappointing.

Did any of you get snow?

Friday, January 18, 2008

It's that time of year again....

by teresa

READ-A-THON kicked off yesterday at Ben's school.
This is the third year Ben has participated.
His first try...he came in second place.
This year....he says he wants to get to 2,000 minutes.
I think that's pretty much impossible....but he is determined.
"No tv or playing outside", he says.
Just reading!

Once again I turn to readers to pledge your support (gimme money) and sponsor Ben's reading time. Seeing as he racks up the minutes like crazy I would advise you to pledge a flat rate ($1, $5, etc) instead of a per minute thing. Or you just might have to take out a loan to pay up at the end. And you know who I'm talking to. Grandparents, out of town family, church family and friends.

At the kickoff assembly yesterday, Ben was called up and recognized as king of reading for his accomplishment last year. All the kids cheered...and when asked if they thought they could "dethrone" him they all screamed...YESSSS!!!!!!
We shall see....we shall see.

Competitor Inside

By Chris

Wow. It's weird not getting the dish from Teresa on here when I log on. Sorry for the downgrade in content ;)). She's committed to getting her Granddaddy to the Y everyday and keeping the PTA, bible club, book reading express on track.

Speaking of the Y. She's still driving us along. A funny thing . . . we've started to play very low-key family raquetball now most nights after exercising. The boys are . . . uhh . . . funny. But, after only 2 sessions, Teresa's catching on. I know she seems all sweet ... but she has this comptetive side. Not that she thinks she can beat me yet. But, she sure is putting a lot of umph into it and winning some points already. And she loves it! Hitting things hard at her hubby apparently is very pleasing to her???

Thursday, January 17, 2008

2nd Semester

By Chris

This week, Lauren starts her second sememster of college. We're a lot alike, so I know exactly where she is. In semester one, she stayed afloat, figured out what it takes, and what you can get away with (and not get away with), and she seems to be super engaged and motivated for round two. She's taking a healthy 16 hours, which will require her to be organized and tuned in. She's also trying a night class, at my suggestion (we're both night people . . . and you get the whole week done in one evening). Problem is, she's taking an 8 a.m. class too. Duh. Oh, well. She's also taking her first English (writing) class. I've been predicting she would like it since middle school. She acted like she didn't like English classes and writing, but she's always had a natural instinct for communicating well in writing and for seeing literary themes. Sure enough, she came back pretty jazzed about English. She says it's the teacher. What she doesn't know is that she gets the English teacher because the woman is speaking a "language" that Lauren's brain gets. It happened to me. I NEVER would have said I would end up majoring in English. But, after four or so English classes seemed more like fun than work, I gave in. I'm not saying that will happen to her, but it's neat to see her finding out what her natural gifts are around . . . and she doesn't even know it. That's a big part of what college is about.

About me

by teresa

Melissa tagged me a week ago...and I'm just getting around to doing it. Sorry Mel!


What is your occupation? volunteer extraordinaire, wife, mom.

What color are your socks right now? Black, white and red argyle (I love crazy socks)

What are you listening to right now?'s completely silent in the house. *sigh*

What was the last thing you ate? peanuts

Can you drive a stick shift? Yes. The hubby taught me when we were 16. I peed my pants in his car I was laughing so hard. How embarassing.

If you were a crayon, what color would you be? orange. It's not my favorite color...but I feel like it's the color that best represents me. Bright, fun, pumpkin-ish.

Last person you spoke to on the phone? My sister Katy

How old are you today? 37

Favorite drink? crystal lite orange passion

What is your favorite sport to watch? Anything my kids are playing.

Have you ever dyed your hair? I tried to dye my hair blond as a teenager. It turned green!

Favorite reality TV show? American Idol!!!!!!

What was the last movie you watched? Transformers. It was actually ok.

Favorite day of the year? Thanksgiving...

What do you do to vent anger? clean the house

What was your favorite toy as a child? anything barbie

What is your favorite, fall or spring? FALL

Hugs or kisses? kisses

Cherries or blueberries? blueberries. Baked inside fluffy, hot muffins dripping in butter.

Favorite dessert? Krispey Kreme donuts!!!

When was the last time you cried? Today...when I went to see my father's grave marker. It finally came in and I hadn't been there since the funeral.

What is on the floor of your closet? rubbermaid full of summer things

What did you do last night? went to a class at the Y with my sister

Favorite smells? Vanilla

What inspires you? a great book

What are you afraid of? mice

Plain, cheese, or spicy burgers? cheese...with bacon!

Favorite breed of dog? I would say my shorty dog...but I'm ticked at him right now for puking on the carpet.

How many years at your current job? I quit work and began the SAHM thing 13 years ago.

Favorite day of the week? Saturday! Sleep in!!

How many states have you lived in? one....just Virginia. How boring is that?

Celebrity crush? I don't have a crush...but I do like to watch anything Johnny Depp is in.

Ever driven a motorcycle or heavy machinery? nope

Who’s your favorite NFL team? Steelers Although I did pretend to love the Dolphins when I was in 5th grade (bought a t-shirt and NFL pencils) to get noticed by a boy who was nuts for the Dolphins.

Do you have a house phone that is not cordless? Nope. But I still stand right where the phone charger if I can't move around. What a dork!

10 inches of snow or 100 degree weather? 10 inches of snow!!!! Not that we ever get any around here.

If you are reading this...consider yourself tagged.

Let me know if you do it so I can check out your answers.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

by teresa

I glanced at myself naked yesterday (I usually focus on my feet or the wall while walking past a mirror unclothed).

And I discovered something about myself.

I am shaped like a snowman.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

by teresa

Sunday my preteen son stroked my hand while we were praying in church.

I don't think he even realized he had done it.

We were holding hands praying and he ran his finger along my hand so tenderly.

Kinda like I remember doing while holding the hands of my children when they were toddlers.

To let them know I'm there. A silent little I love you.

It was such a simple gesture....but it melted my heart and left me wishing he would stop growing up so fast.

When he realized I was staring up (he past me in height long ago) smiling at him...he let go.


"While we try to teach our children all about life....our children teach us what life is all about".

Monday, January 14, 2008

Back at It

By Chris

After a week easing back into things at the office it's hit-the-road time again. And, time to get Bloggin Momma browny points for blogging while away. I only managed about four hours sleep last night because I got my clock all out of whack on vaction. I knew I had to get up at 4 to catch that plane, but my body was not cooperating. Even after a Sunday evening trip to the Y. To top it off, the dog kept waking me up to go outside (something he's never done). He had a "tummy ache.". That's what Teresa calls it when anyone has the outwardly evident type of stomach issues. The other typical words for it are too yucky for her to say. You know ... It goes something like this "Ben's been in the bathroom a long time. He must have a tummy ache."

The plane's here to take me home. See you in a little bit baby!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Have you ever had so much fun...that you didn't want it to end?

by teresa

Our church started a book club last year. Several women get together each month and talk about a book that the hostess picked out.
This month I picked A Thousand Splendid Suns and hosted the meeting. I know I have said many times on this blog how much I enjoyed that book. So I was delighted to have others read it so we could gather and discuss the characters.
As the night was approaching I started to get nervous that they wouldn't like the story. That they wouldn't connect with these wonderful characters like I did. That they would be disappointed.
I worried for nothing.
They all loved it as much as me.
We recounted every, single worthwhile happening in the book. Every sorrow...every joy. Every dishonor and every triumph.
We rejoiced for lost loves found....and wept aloud together over sacrifices of life.
It was a night filled with laughs and tears.
New friendships were made and old ones grew closer.
And to top it all off.....we prayed together.
Over sickness, heartache, injustice and finances.
Christian women....praying together.....gets things done!
The meeting was scheduled to be 7-9pm.
I begrudgingly let them leave around 10:30pm.

I can't wait till next month to see these women again.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Woman on a Mission

By Chris

This new emphasis on health around here seems to be serious . . . and here for the long-run. I often, in my mind and sometimes out loud, commit to getting my butt in gear. Several weeks ago, knowing that Teresa really controls anything that is successfully implemented in La Casa de Greens, I told her she was going to have to take control. Well, she has. And, with her, once she decides to run something, it is run with excellence. She's always been like this. She is "on point" when she's in charge. Tell her to recruit 1 volunteer, she'll get 10. The goal is to read 10 books: She'll make a kid read 100. So, there is no skipping the Y now. And, under her watchful eye, there's no getting off the treadmill or bike and "just hangin' out". She's got me working until I sweat. Really bad. It makes me a little sick to the stomach for a while, but then I feel great. We're also under some food restrictions for various reasons . . . health being one. She took that serious too. The cabinets are cleaned out. Fridge full of compliant foods. The kids are onboard too. Nick's even doing a bit of weight training. Of course, Ben is just toying with us. Half hour or more on the "Olymptical" machine (that's his term) at a very fast rate is no problem. He even does it backwards, which is almost impossible for me to even make my legs do. He follows it with intense treadmill and bike action too. And, as the rest of us drag our stinky selves out to the car, he's begging to go longer. The adults around him look at him and smile (some smirk, like, "you're really making me look bad here kid."). The other night he got beside this very thin and fit - looking man on a treadmill. We were behind on bikes watching him. He was spying the mans speed and incline settings and matching him. The man would look over and half giggle, sweating like crazy, and move his up a notch. Then Ben would top him. B was all out sprinting at an incline keeping pace with this dude, in perfect running form. Last night, Teresa introduced me to something wonderful. At another, much larger YMCA facility a little farther from home, they have all their exercise machines equipped with personal tv monitors. Bring your own headphones and you can watch whatever you want. They have cable on them and everything!! Amazing. This makes it much easier. I got through a couple of episodes of Reba and some Sportscenter last night. It really makes it go by quickly.

Thanks for getting us on track baby!!!
by teresa

I just wanted to give a big birthday shout out to my favorite (and only) nephew KAI!!

He is 7 years old today and he is a very special boy to Chris and I.

I thought I would list some of the reasons we love him so.

*He is so wild and crazy... that he makes us laugh every time we see him. Funny voices, wacky faces , loud growls and meowing are the norm for him.

*He is always first to bust through the door and give you a hug. The rest of Katy's kids are stingy with the love. Kristian is very shy and Kaden will only hug you if you command her to NOT hug you. But not Kai. He is a lovey little boy.

*He looks just like my daddy...and that makes him super special to all of us. My dad loved his reddish tinted hair.

*He is Ben's best buddy. They can't go a day without seeing each other. If we ever have to move for Chris' job...we will have to move him (and the rest of Katy's clan) wherever we go.

*He loves to read and read and read. You guys know I love this. I got him a Thomas the Tank Engine collection of stories for his b-day. He loves Thomas (as do most young boys these days). He whispered a sincere thank you in my ear during the chaos of the party. A kid...thanking you for a BOOK. What a sweetie.

Happy Birthday Kai!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

by teresa

Wow....I feel great!
Exercising has given me renewed energy and renewed spunk.
Our family has been working out together too. Each night we all go to the Y. Even Katy and Mom joined this week.
Which means I have been getting two workouts a day (with grandaddy in the mornings and the family at night).
Aleve is my friend.

Nick is home sick today (migraine) so I had to miss MOPS this morning. I am so bummed. It's become my very favorite thing to do. I love those ladies....and it really leaves me feeling fulfilled, refreshed and heartened when we have a day of chatting and prayer together.
Oh well...there's always the next meeting.

It's warm here again.
Yesterday in the 70's , today in the high 60's.
I broke out my capri's again.
Good heavens do I love my capri's!
Khaki, jean, brown, black....I have 'em all.
For a shorty like me..capri's (hemming be GONE!) were a blessing.
And face it...nothing says cool and cute like a little ashy ankle action.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


by teresa

I am so sore.

Even my pinky toe hurts.

Thank God for Aleve!


I am going back for round two this morning.

But this time I have a weapon against the pain.

Headphones! Yes... Headphones!

Every machine has a built in dvd/tv(with cable)/cd player. So I know with the help of God, my headphones, Regis & Kelly and old episodes of ER.....the time will fly by.


Monday, January 07, 2008

I have a new trainer!

by teresa

He is tall...dark and very handsome.
He has been retired and working out 5 days a week for 37 years!
My 90 yr old grandfather!
His recovery from brain surgery is not quite until his doctor gives him the ok to drive....I am his new Y buddy.
If keeping up with this man doesn't get me into shape....I don't know what will.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

by teresa

Basketball practices began last night.
Games start next week.
It will be nice to have something to do on Saturdays...besides cleaning.

We have a busy weekend planned.
My uncle and his family are coming to visit this weekend for a belated Christmas celebration.
Cousin Kai's birthday party is this afternoon at the bowling alley. The kids have really been looking forward to it.
Tonight is an ODU game.
Tomorrow after church Ben's friend from school is having a birthday party. And that one is at the same bowling alley as Kai's.

Winter has finally arrived here.
As much as I love the chilly temperatures it has it aggravations.
I have static in my hair constantly.
No matter how much lotion I use my hands are starting to crack.
I have to cut the heat on at night so I don't freeze the children to their sheets.
My nose bleeds whenever I turn on the heat.
My lips are chapped so bad it looks like I have had lip liner tattooed on permanently.
My big, beautiful tree in the backyard is completely bare....unblocking our view of the neighbors house behind us. Now we have to wait till spring to streak through the yard again.

Friday, January 04, 2008


By Chris

It came in a moment of weakness. I let my mental guard down last night and said to lovely wife, "hey ... you want me to get the kids off to school tomorrow?" I think I felt sorry for her. She looked so tired making the adjustment back to the early mornings. Of course, she accepted (I guess the day off included me handling the bloggin' duties too??). So, there I was at the CRACK of dawn getting Ben up. He pulled a little grump-fit at first, but I think the shock that it was me who was shaking him alive worked a little to my favor. He looked at me real confused. Because, I confess, I don't really do this. In fact, I really don't know how to do it. What time does the bus come? Do they eat here or at school? Who showers at night and who in the morning? Where do they keep their clothes? Their shoes? Their bookbags? It's amazing how much stuff happens around here that I really don't know about. Anyway, I apparently was a little more to the point than mom, because I got called out for not allowing enough rest time between the various getting-ready steps. Mom gently moves the process along, I've been told. A sock on here. A soothing word there. A lay-on-the-couch moment . . . " Not me. Lights on and let's hit it! You're either up or you're not, is my philosophy. No dilly dallying. Bad daddy. I was reprimanded by my third grader for trying to get away with with fixing his hair only with my hands. "Use a BRUSH daddy!!" Then, the middle school one needed me to blow-dry his hair a little bit to fluff it up, "like mom does." Good grief. Stinkin' babies!

After school was much worse though. Because of . . . . TIMES TABLES!!! These vexing mathematical memory verses really should be optional. There's any number of machines that have been invented that can calculate 8 X 7! (which, I confess, still gets me!). Three kids in, and we're 0 - for- three on "timesing." They're all real good at verbal stuff. Really. They're not idiots. And, Ben usually is quick on the uptake with everything he tries. Not this. We just don't have the mulitplication gene. Seriously. I sucked at it too. I remember struggling with the darn things, until I was sure I would need to quit elementary school and just run away from home. Teresa too. I've found decent employment where it never comes up without an Excel spreadsheet or calculator nearby, so it can't be that important, right??? It almost made me sweat when I read B's planner today: "multiplcation facts". Five minutes in and Ben flipped on, just like his siblings did. It frustrated him to tears. And yelling. And paper-tearing. I think the flash cards flew across the room at least 15 times. Banished to his room, he tried something new: He jumped up-and-down until it sounded like the cabinets were going to come off the ceiling below him and proclaimed that I had caused an earthquake to happen. At one point, he declared that he wanted to deal with mom . . . the nice one. Mom, sister and brother sort of watched me, waiting for me to snap. They were all looking at me like "Uh oh. He's about to go to far and it's about to get ugly in here." They recognized the signs, I guess. I don't mind you struggling to memorize something . . . but I don't take dozens of cards thrown at me too well. I did alright. He's still alive. I banished him from the family dinner though, which allowed Nick and Lauren to giggle with Teresa about how I handled their multiplication freak-outs over the years. They strongly suggested with their looks that it was pretty mean to give him crackers and a glass of water in his room when he said he was hungry Don't freak out . . he got real dinner eventually, but not before he threatened to call the police on me for being cruel to him like the "Romans were" (I'm not exactly sure what that means. Did they only give their prisoners water and crackers???). Their looks also told me that they did not think it would be a good idea to repay his destruction of a helpful study sheet I made (he crinkled, tour and bit off a piece and spit it) by breaking one of his toys. I didn't. But, in the heat of it all, it sounded like a good way to teach a lesson and relieve some stress. You know, show him how immature it is to wrinkle up MY paper by stepping on one of HIS beloved cars! That would show him whose the mature one! Right? At one point, Lauren asks "Are normal families like this? Because, I think they are." Flustered by it all, and a little irritated that they could see the humor in this so much earlier than I could (and a little ego-hurt that mommy was the nice one) I got a jab in: I made a whiny face at the asparagus and called it burnt and the meal dry. Nick was like, "No you didn't!" So there! And, so here I am alone downstairs bloggin' at midnight. All because of TIMES TABLES!!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

by teresa

The kids went back to school today!
Chris is still I didn't get my house back completely...but with the boys gone at least there was no incessant bickering all day long.

Just as expected Ben was horrible this morning.
I should have never let them sleep in so late over the break.
He wept (yes wept...I should have taped it) when I woke him.
*sob* *sob* "I will be alseep at my can you do this to me?" *sob *sob*
Drama queen!

Chris and Nick just left for the ODU game. Ben stayed home with me so he could rest. I am going to make him go to bed at 7:00pm. Maybe getting 11 hours of sleep will be enough for a pleasant morning.

Before I go I wanted to give you some words of wisdom I have learned the past week.

Ratty granny panties + thigh chub + shopping (walking non-stop for hours) = a lovely rug burned rash on you inner thighs.
Not cool.