Sunday, November 30, 2008

My daughter is sarcastic. I wonder where she gets that from...

So at the Christmas Tree farm we were getting hot cocoa and the children (except Skaterboy who turned down the hour drive in the car. Scrooge.) were all standing there patiently waiting and Sweeting was slung on me. The lady at the counter said to me, "Oh my God! Are those all your kids?!" To which Jellybean looked right at her and said, "No. It's not even all of us!"

atta girl.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Now that's more like it!

So, you may remember my dissatisfaction with my Christmas tree last year...

Yesterday when the children were sent out into the field to pick out this year's Cakes family tree they knew what they were looking for. To quote last year's blog entry, "What our usual tree lacks in beauty and form it makes up for in sheer size and girth. We buy the big dumb ox of the Christmas tree world. If our trees had legs they would be galumphing around like giant dumb cyclopses."

So they were thrilled when they found what they were sure was the perfect Cakes family tree.

And their hearts dropped when I had to explain that that was maybe a little too big. Then as we searched fruitlessly through the firs, there was nothing like what we were looking for so we headed over to the spruces. There were some spruces like we were looking for. For $72! yikes! Not a Cakes family tree, for sure. We headed over to the pines and that's when the Cakes family tree was discovered.

We have never had a White pine, I mean a big hairy tree, before, so this year will be a brand new Christmas tree experience. But, one thing is for sure. It is the perfect tree for the Cakes family.

Welcome to the Christmas Season...toot toot!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Nothing says Thanksgiving...

like a little trespassing.

the football field for the annual Battle of the Bagel Boys' kids was locked up. But nothing can stand in the way of tradition!

or dignity, apparently.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

8 weeks and all that...

For Erika...thanks for keeping my booty dry!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Update on Skaterboy's elbow

His cast is off but he is unable to move his elbow at all. (That is to be expected) He has some pretty harsh physical restrictions but at least he can shower again! In 3 weeks he starts physical therapy. Poor feller.






What to do with a big ole dog...

For the record...This is not how Porkchop ended up with 3 staples in the back of his head.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Where have I been? or do they have a frequent flyer card for Children's emergency room

  • 11/5- Hand-me-down Hand-me-down Hand-me-down washing machine finally gives up the ghost in the middle of a dirty diaper cycle with a very sad whining sound followed by an ominous whirring sound followed by a loud thunk followed by very loud silence.
  • 11/6- Meatball pukes in his bad at 2am.
  • 11/7- Porkchop pukes in his bed at 3:30am
  • 11/8- Cakes transports 8 loads of laundry to the laundromat where it costs $17 to wash only.
  • 11/9-Cakes spends day drying and folding the 8 loads of wet laundry. Ladybug pukes in her bed.
  • 11/10-Chowder pukes in the bathroom but all over the bathroom.
  • 11/11-Cakes transports 9 loads of laundry to the laundromat where it costs $16.50 to wash only.
  • 11/12-Cakes spends day drying and folding the 9 loads of wet laundry. Sweeting pukes all over Cakes. Cakes pukes back.
  • 11/13-First puke-free day. Chowder gets call from Skaterboy's high school asking us which hospital the ambulance should deliver him to. Chowder goes to school to pick him up. He was horsing around with buddies and managed to dislocate his elbow. At Children's Hospital they discover Skaterboy has also shattered his growth plate and broken another bone in the joint. Goes in for surgery where they put two pins in his elbow. Stays night at Children's.
  • 11/14-Skaterboy comes home from hospital at 1:00p. He goes with me to Sam's and Target to do some shopping. At 2:30 Chowder calls to tell me to return immediately because Porkchop has split his head open. Chowder takes Porkchop to Children's emergency room where it takes 5 hours to get 3 staples put in the back of Porkchop's head. (My mother scolds me for allowing my children to roughhouse too much. I explain that Porkchop split his head open while sitting at the dining room table coloring when he reached for another crayon slipped off one chair and hit his head on another. But I promised from now on I will make him wear a helmet while coloring.)
  • 11/15-Cakes transports 12 loads of laundry to the laundromat where it costs $23 to wash only. Spends rest of day and evening drying and folding.
  • 11/16- Quiet. blessed quiet.
  • 11/17- purchase new washing machine and practically wet myself with the excitement of it all.
  • 11/19- Washing machine delivered.
  • 11/20 Cakes washes everything in the house.
  • 11/21 Porkchop gets staples removed brings them home proudly in a ziploc container. Jellybean finally succumbs and pukes in her bed at 2:15am.
  • 11/22- Friend's Thanksgiving. I cook 22lb turkey (it was scrumptious! If I do say so myself.) for 16 adults and their children. Chowder rearranges 3 rooms in house 4 hours before guests are to arrive. But, the changes are good ones.

Sweeting sleeps from midnight to 8am. Cakes cannot accept this gift because Ladybug wakes crying at 3am and then Porkchop comes barging in at 5:30am and Jellybean at 6:45am. Cakes finally gets up at 7:00am and weeps quietly to herself.

  • 11/23- Sweeting is baptized at community ecumenical Thanksgiving worship service. Chowder preaches amazing sermon and Sweeting gazes thoughtfully up at Pastor Jackie as she pours water over her head, then coos knowingly as she is introduced to the community. 22 people come back to our house for drinks and snacks.
  • 11/24-Skaterboy goes in for cast removal, more x-rays and other tediousness. Sweeting gets check up which means immunizations which means crabby baby.

Astoundingly, this was our family's first trip to the Emergency Room. And Chowder and I were able to giggle and snuggle through it all. I love that man.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day in my neighborhood...

First off...this is not a "You should vote for this person" post nor is it an opening for a debate. I am so weary of those. This is a glimpse into what's happening where I live. I don't care who you vote for (JUST VOTE DAMMIT!) because I know you have excellent reasons for doing so. Please don't turn this into a discussion about the candidates or various policies. This is post about people and where I live.

I have heard a lot from the media and people I know that Hope is not Platform. And I just wanted to give a little peek into what Hope really is this election. At first I walked around my neighborhood and took pictures of the boarded up buildings, of the little kids riding giant sized bikes around the crappy littered playground, the crumbling tarmac playground at the public elementary school, the drug deal, the police breaking up a domestic dispute or interrogating a row of young African-American men lined up on the curb, the line at our food pantry that gets longer every day. I wanted to try and put into pictures what I can't describe in words. The desperation. the hopelessness, the oppression of poverty.

Now please don't get me wrong. I love my neighborhood. My family has never been more happily situated among neighbors who adore my children. Have showered us with love, support, and casseroles. Have given us a complete community to be a part of. I love that my children are growing up among immigrants and gays and nuns. I love that my son said he wanted to vote for Barack Obama because he has a brown face and people with brown faces are really smart. (But, I hate that the same son came home worried from school and told us that his classmate assured him that if John McCain became president he would make all the brown people leave.) But the gap between rich and poor span mere houses. One block then the next. We're all jumbled up together here and its a class/race thing to be sure. The majority of property owners are white. The majority of renters are non-white. The tensions and fears on both sides can be felt very acutely.

But, that is not the way it is today.

Today is election day. After Chowder and I voted my original set of pictures seemed very wrong. The feeling of hope was bouying. You see hope brings about very concrete realities. When people feel that have a fighting chance, that they have the power to change their own lives and realities, well that is when things get better. Having a non-white, son of an immigrant, raised by a single mother man running for president is no small thing. It means there is a possibility for everyone. And when you feel the possibilities are real, you act on it.

Those pictures are still very much a part of my life and neighborhood. But no one is seeing them today. When I went around my neighborhood today and took pictures, my eyes were literally filled with tears. There is no way to describe the feeling that is in the air. I felt it in the churches, the Ethiopian restaurant, the tattoo parlor, the Afghani market, the Vietnamese video store, the halal butcher, the pawn shop, the Uhuru hair salon, the dog park, the coffee shop...

the feeling of hope.