Fifteen Months of Sound Bites

-So glad to host the 17 year old boys to celebrate the first night of Winter Break and not the Mayan Apocalypse like Monique has so graciously offered this Friday! Thanks Monique!

-When Noah walks into the room and starts the conversations with, “Mom, you know what is awkward about mankind…” I know it is time to reheat the tea cup and pull up a stool at the bar because I am in for a brainful.

-So Hannah is back at school and I need a new tv watching buddy…almost had Zak signed up to take her place when I told him I was watching Downton Zombies…almost.

-Sam just skidded across the floor with his socked feet and with wide eyes asked me what type of security system we have at the house. Before I could answer he continued, “…because ADT covers alien abductions!” 
”How? Alien abductions? Wow,” I responded. “I didn’t realize this was a major security concern of yours.”
”Oh, it is mom. It is!”

-Sam just told me I was the strongest mom he knew in which I replied, “Ah, Sam. Thanks.” 
He continued on, “I mean no offense Mom, but, like, you could break bones with your Vulcan death grip.” 
Noah silently stood to the side, nodding in agreement. 
”No offense taken, sweetheart.”

-It’s so cold outside that the underwear tied to my mini van luggage rack is frozen solid. Don’t ask…’tis the hand I was dealt 17 years ago.

-Trust me…the irony does not escape me that while I am cooking hamburger for Zak’s red slider turtle Kenny, Snow White’s Whistle While You Work comes on Pandora and then suddenly I am happily cutting hamburger into little bits with my kitchen shears while whistling while I work because I’m happy to be feeding a small forest creature!

-At the Barclay International Finishing School for Men (free tuition) we strive to introduce all genres of music to our residents therefore when a certain 10-year-old baritone player is asked to tone down his cheek puffing during band rehearsal, this head mistress sees no reason for reprimand when said baritone player references Dizzy Gillespie as one of the all time great cheek puffers in the history of brass instruments.

-My sage advice to Noah this morning…you made the choice to ride the laundry basket down the stairs…you live with the concussion. ( isn’t really a concussion, but he cried a crocodile tear or two.)

-As Headmistress of Barclay’s International Finishing School for Men (free tuition) it is my duty and honor to welcome home our Study Away in Seattle student with a spanking new, shiny as an angel’s halo, void of all yellow polk-a-dots, so sanitary you could eat off of it toilet seat.

-“I forgot my tights!” 
Something I never ever thought I’d hear my Nick say in all my years of being his mom. Night two of The Three Musketeers! 
Here’s to not calling intermission ‘halftime’. Go Hawks!

-Me: Noah, look behind you and see what is in the bathroom that is yours that need picking up.
Noah: Oh, my maracas and my underwear…
Me: Mocassins, Noah…mocassins.

-In the past three Saturday mornings I’ve fed a herd of Musketeers, a parade of Lord of the Ringers, and a flock of Seattle U ladies…all different in their own right yet each worth a smile and a laugh. I love my teenagers!

-Noah (at 6:45am): Mom, I’m just telling you, of all the kids, straight up, my wedding is going to be the craziest wackiest wedding you’re going to sit through.
Me (at 6:46am) : Oh…okay…thanks for the warning.

-Noah: What’s your opinion on electrons these days?
Me: Hmmmm, didn’t know I need one.

-Well, this head mistress of Barclay’s International Finishing School for Men (free tuition) is feeling slightly more prepared this morning after a candid discussion with my two oldest residents in regards to our chance for survival in a zombie apocalypse…shout out to our techno geek Asian, our intelligent speedy jock, and this head mistress who is a dead aim with a bow and arrow (thank you Camp Kiwanilong) !

-Put my pedometer on. Went out to mow the lawn. 2.88 miles later I am done. We have a big lawn.

-While eating breakfast for dinner this headmistress of Barclay’s International Finishing School for Men (free tuition) finds it very uncouth for our younger residents to refer to the syrup bottle as “That Jemima Dude.”

-For Easter this year, I have decided to buy a giant cornucopia that will be centered in our backyard and I’m going to fill it full of all the kids Easter treats…then when I give the signal they are going to charge toward the cornucopia full of stuff and gather what they like while fending off the other in epic battles. I am going to call it my Hunger Games Easter.

-What is it about these college visits that even though you have to sign away your life there is something really thrilling about getting a complimentary ball point pen! The collection grows!

-Well, the younger residents of Barclay’s International Finishing School for Men (free tuition) appear to have survived their 3-day seminar Survival 101: (When the Head Mistress is Away We Can Do This) instructed by the ever talented and true survivor of Hamburger Helper Headmaster Jeff.  It’s good to be home.

-Today…on this Earth Day…while mowing our lawn a bald eagle soared lazy circles above me…happy that I was stirring up the field mice for him to swoop down now and then and munch on. A communion of man and nature at its best! Happy Earth Day world!

-Tonight I explained “the ol’ ball and chain” to my eleven year olds in which Sam asked, “Why are females so rulesey?” I think this head mistress of Barclay’s International Finishing School for Men (free tuition) is educating her residents quite well to the real world!

-Today I found some old letters my dad had written to my new family eighteen years ago. Sam came up, looked over my shoulder, and read the top line: Dear Julie, Jeff, Hannah, and Embryo. (This was when I first found out I was pregnant with Nick) Sam asked, “Who’s embryo?” I told him that was Nick when I first found out I was going to have another baby. His response, “Wait, that’s what you were going to name him. Embryo?” 
My dad is laughing in heaven right now because now I’m having to explain THAT part of pregnancy to the twins. : >) Embryo Connor Barclay…

-Noah: (Begging for a snack 5 minutes before dinner) “Please Please Please…I’m not like the Asian brothers in this house who plan a full meal with hors d’oeuvre’s when they come home from school!” Sounds like a conspiracy among the Asians to me!

-So, when your 17 year old son asks you if he could enter the family van in an open class drag race Friday night at Portland International Raceway your logical response would be…?????

-“I am the Macgyver of the kitchen,” I told myself when I cuisinarted the he** out of 16 string cheese sticks to get enough mozzarella cheese for my homemade lasagna.

-Today Noah slunk into the car and sighed, “Today we had THE talk.” 
Sam smiled, “Puberty!” 
”Oh goodie,” I thought. I’m always open for an 11 year old’s interpretations on life so I pointedly asked Noah, “Well, what do you know that you didn’t know before lunch?”
Noah just let ‘er rip, “Well, Mr. A said girls have it a lot harder than we do and if he ever catches us teasing a girl about stuff like that he will call our moms and the girl’s mom and our principal Mrs. S and we won’t stand a chance.” 
Valid interpretation! Mr. A deserves a plate of cookies as far as I’m concerned.

-Day two of “The Talk” with Mr. A. (Who knew there would be two days worth of conversation with 5th grade boys) Anyway, this time I directed my question to Sam and asked him what he learned. His response, “Well, me and Ry and Michael were real mature and didn’t laugh when Mr. A said the “P” word but all the Star Wars guys couldn’t handle it.”

-In the spirit of the philosophical question, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” I ask, “If a cat hucks up a furball and a dog is around to eat it, does it really huck up a furball?” 
My cat Tucker and my dog Charlie keep me wondering about life’s big questions daily.

-At Barclay’s International Finishing School for Men (free tuition) it has been decided upon by this head mistress that our course offering Hearding Cats 101:Tandem State Reports by 11 Year Old Boys is one she is more than happy to never see again.

-So today when I picked up the boys from school I asked them how their day was. Noah started to tell me about his friend. I asked him what the friend’s name was and he said, “Titty.” 
”What?!” I responded, not expecting to hear that name crossing his sweet little 11 year old lips. 
”Titty,” he repeated. “That’s his nickname.”
”Do you know what that means?”
I told him and then my Ethiopian turned purple and melted to the floor of the car with embarrassment. Moving on to my other eleven year old I asked him how his day was and he asked me what a yeast infection was. 
Anyway…I miss the days of “I played soccer with my friends.”

-Well, despite the fact that Noah came home on the last day of school with a gallon sized ziplock bag full of guppies, I consider this kickoff to summer day a rousing success.

-Here we go…
Noah: Mom, I think my time to be born is too late.
Me: What?
Noah: My time. I was meant to be born in the 80’s.
Me: What?
Noah: The 80’s…where people could walk around with afro picks in their afros. You know. The 80’s. 
Me: Right. The 80’s.

-I spent the afternoon digging in the garden with my beautiful Ethiopian and I’ve come to the realization that he, even after five years with us, is never as happy as he is digging in the dirt in bare feet and using only a stick. Yet, he accomplishes more with that single stick than my other four kids combined.

-Sent my 11-year-olds outside to play Hunger Games. Just heard a blood curdling scream followed by a loud bang, like a cannon. Perhaps I should have suggested playing Anne of Green Gables.

-A morning task at Barclay’s International Finishing School for Men (free tuition) Make a pile of chocolate chip pancakes before being hit by Nerf Bullets 20 times. Yep…this is my life.

-Well, apparently Princess Kate and I DO have something in common today as we were both in labor. I, however, have a giant bark chip pile to show for my effort and she has something a wee less prickly.

-Hannah and I just got back from taking Felix and Oscar, no I mean Mike and Sulley, no I mean Abbot and Costello, no I mean Sam and Noah to middle school orientation AND Back to School clothes shopping. Currently Hannah is locked in her room trying to recenter her inner peace with yoga and I’m really considering that bottle of Merlot across the kitchen.

-Louis Armstrong serenading Noah and I in the kitchen while we make a gourmet meal of glazed salmon fillets with dill mustard, a baby bleu mixed green salad, and peach crisp topped with cream…I’m bringing this kid up with C.L.A.S.S.

-These Walking Dead bonding moments with Zak are killing me…ugg!

-Noah: I pride myself in going 100% days without my butt-crack showing and it isn’t going to start now. 
Me: Wow…okay champ. Good to have goals.

-I LOVE that when Noah does his homework he hums Moonlight Serenade…yep…he’s just that cool!

-Noah was trying to fit into a little too tight pair of jeans. I told him, “Give up the fight.” He said, “Yeah, my gluteus maximus is maxed.”

-I’m looking over Senior pictures for Nick. Noah comes up from behind and says, “Oh yeah, if he ever does E-Harmony or something like that he’s got to use that one.”

-Seems to me the only time I would choose to be a helicopter mom would be during a zombie apocalypse so when the little girl had her shoulder bitten off by a muddy zombie on Walking Dead tonight I couldn’t help but mutter, “whatever….serves the stupid mom right for letting her daughter play in a mud pit 100 yards away!” This show has hardened me.

-Zak just asked me if Frank Sinatra was a person….clearly I have failed as a mother.

-Snow day #3 (This head mistress of Barclay’s International Finishing School for Men-Free Tuition is raising a questioning eyebrow due to the lack of snow, but whatever, one more quiet afternoon in June to enjoy a book on the back patio when the residents are making up today) Anyway….Noah walks by with MY blanket wrapped around his entire body.
Me: Put that back. You’re an icky boy.
Noah: I am not an icky boy.
Me: You’re an icky boy.
Noah: Okay, I admit I stink but…
Me: You’re an icky boy.

-Did some Christmas shopping today with Zak and Sam. Zak had Noah’s list and read down the list without stopping OR thinking, including #4, which he read as “Fat naked poster of Ghandi.” Uh, no Zak, not a fat naked poster of Ghandi…a Fat Head poster of Ghandi, which is a tall order in itself. Almost as tall an order as a fat naked poster of Ghandi. Almost.

-My daughter just ran a 1/2 Marathon in an elf costume…she’s my hero.

-My son…getting ready for a dance tonight…just came in with a dozen roses and asked me to help him “de-wilt” them.  I love my boys.

-I just broke the news to Nick that The Captain and Tennille were divorcing. He asked me, “Who’s the Captain and Tennile?” Instead of telling him, I thought I’d show him and now we both have to burn our eyes out. And oh, those lyrics. Yikes.

-Well, despite running out of shower spray, deodorant, and patience I consider my Snowpocalypse 2014 Emergency Preparedness Plan a rousing success…now go to school already boys!!

-Today, on Valentines Day, I asked my boys if they’d consider letting me form, manage, and market them as a boyband. I had one yes, two maybes, and one scowl. Being that the one yes can’t hold a tune I’m afraid the dream is over before it even began.  So, anyway, Happy Valentines Day.

-Sam requested that when I went to the store today I needed to pick up a birthday card for a friend. I said, “Sure, any requests?” He said, “Make sure when you open it, it sounds like a toilet flushing.” Impossible task? Nope. This mom delivers…even while faced with the questionable raised eyebrows in the greeting card aisle.

-Every child deserves a family. Special needs should not get in the way of potential and purpose. For all of you who know our Zak…imagine a life without him in your world and then think of the millions more just like him in institutions around the world who deserve the chance to change our world too. Say a prayer for them today and share if you know anyone considering special needs adoption.


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