Stories from May 2011

10,560 and One Sets Me Off on a Math Craze

Karrie McAllister

It was a typical evening. I made sure my children were all showered or bathed, and they lined up to each have their hair brushed, their ears cleaned, and their nails clipped. My husband, bless him, is a great dad. But he has not cut one single nail during his entire life as a parent. So when one of the little clippings went flying and hit me in the forehead, got stuck in my hair, and I just pulled it out without being fazed at all, I wondered just how many delightful times this same thing has happened.

This all spurred on the most calculator use I have done in many years. I dug out my trusty high school calculator (TI-81, still with my maiden name written on the back) and started typing away.

The results are no less than astounding and amazing. Enjoy.

I have three children. The oldest is 9 years, which also equals 117 months, or 504 weeks, or 3,570 days old. My seven-year-old boy is 89 months, 384 weeks, or 2,715 days. The youngest, at three, is a mere 40 months, 168 weeks, or 1,175 days.

As crazy as those numbers sound, I can continue to blow your mothering mind.

9: The number of times Santa has visited our house.
19: The number of birthday cakes I’ve made.
11: The number of first days of school.
776: The number of lunches I’ve packed. (Not big fans of cafeteria trays in our house.)

But back to that whole fingernail thing…
Assuming we bathe our children twice per week (a high estimate given how sometimes in the summer I simply hose them down), we have given 2,112 baths.

And the math continues.

4,224: The number of ears I’ve cleaned. (Hubby doesn’t do those either.)
15: The number of 300-count cotton swabs I’ve used, assuming a one-swab-per-ear average.
10,560: The number of fingernails I have clipped if I cut them all once per week.
After school and homework is done (776 times of checking that, too), it’s time for bed.
7,461: The number of times we put a child to bed.
14,922: The number of books we’ve read, with a two book per night average.
Infinity: Loads of laundry, diapers changed, Band-Aids applied, hugs and kisses.
0: The amount of time I regret giving to my kiddos.

Sharks, Laundry and Other Hazards of Traveling Alone

Linda Kennard

In about four weeks, I’m going to visit my sister in Southeast Asia for 16 days. We’re going to explore the 12th-century Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia; traipse about Penang, the Malaysian island setting for Gift of Rain; and visit Chiang Mai, which Wikipedia touts as “the most culturally significant city in northern Thailand.” This region of the world is so exotic to me that picturing myself there is like imagining one million dollars in hand. Yet I’m going, and I’m very excited. But I’m also a little worried—and not just about plummeting thousands of feet into the Pacific ocean and surviving to fight my way to the top of the plane, where I manage to take one last long breath before swimming through the cockpit and out the front window, only to float for days, thirsty and hungry, while sharks circle and, ultimately, eat me (despite dozens of swift and magnificent kicks from me).

No, the prospect of my death by sea monsters is not my only concern. I also worry about something happening to my kids or to BigG while I’m away. I’ll be 14 hours ahead, so the delay in reaching me and the time it would take for me to get home unnerves me. Some potential hazards I’ve already thwarted but others can’t be avoided. For example, our pool will be off limits when BigG’s at work. But Jay is 17, so she drives, and I don’t think it’s fair to insist that they stay inside for two weeks. (Is it?) But suppose she carts C&T off to the zoo and gets in an accident? On the other hand, being home alone is no safety guarantee. What if Clyde lights his shirt on fire during one of his cooking nights when he’s boiling spaghetti or reheating my frozen sauce? (Read more…)

Rockin’ Around the Mommy Clock

Sarah Logan

Mommy time.  I’m not talking about that few precious moments of silence that happen during naptime, or when the kids are tucked into bed at night.  Instead, I’m referring to the fact that, since having children, I am late for everything.  I like to call this phenomenon “Mommy Time.”

This drives me insane.  I like to be on time.  I don’t like to keep people waiting.  And, as I tell Princess nearly every school day, “School starts when it starts, not when we get there.”  I was a teacher, so I know it’s important that my kids be on time for school every day, with all their materials.

But man, is it ever hard to accomplish when you throw two small kids into the mix.

Last week I needed to be somewhere at 10 a.m., which seems easy enough.  However, we have some renovations underway right now, and on that particular day everything from the master bedroom was crammed into the dining room, kitchen, and living room.  Because children love chaos, the result of this crazy arrangement was that both Princess and Caveman behaved like maniacs.  As I tried to get one of them ready to leave, the other was “helping” by getting into my make-up or by emptying all my socks out of my dresser, which was temporarily located behind the sofa.

I finally got both of them ready and clean, removed all traces of my make-up from Princess’s face, turned on the babysitter, I mean, TV, and went to take a shower.

What greeted me when I came out is so painful I have blocked it from my memory. (Read more…)

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This Weeks Tip

Need to remove chewing gum off of skin? (Dont’ even ask why we had to learn this trick!) Try Peanut Butter. Does the trick, and the kids think it’s hilarious. (note: if allergies are an issue, we would guess that Soy Butter or Sun Butter would work just as well,—though we haven’t attempted this in our test kitchen yet. And *hopefully* we won’t have another occasion to.)