Domestic Oblivion

Houston, We Have A Teenager!
June 4, 2011, 8:05 pm
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Yesterday was the last day of school, and by all accounts, it was a great day.  I now have a kid in high school; a kid about to start summer school because he wants to get ahead; a girl who got perfect attendance, made the honor roll AND received Cum Laude on the national Latin exam; and a boy who really did work his butt off and received the best report card he’s ever gotten!  I am a proud mama.

One of our last day of school traditions is to have ice cream.  For dinner.  Not fruits, no veggies, just ice cream.  And it must be loaded with all sorts of delicious tasty numminses, and served in a huge cone bigger than Bowman’s head!

So at 5:00, to beat the rush of all the other families that just eat ice cream for dinner on the last day of school, we went to Cold Stone.  My directions were clear:  order whatever will make you happy, and then add whipped cream and sprinkles.  We sat outside in the courtyard, enjoying the sun, a beautiful fountain, and our treats.

So much ice cream was had that Bowman couldn’t finish his chocolate dipped, sprinkle covered waffle cone.  As he got to the bottom, he came across a frozen solid gummy bear (I’m not judging, but I question adding gummy bears to perfectly good ice cream).  He decided that the bear was too cold and too hard to enjoy, and before I could stop him, he spit it over the wall we were sitting on.

Five minutes later, Mason came and sat on the next to me.  Now, Mason has always been what a person might consider as cautious.  He says stuff like “why would anyone play football? they could really get hurt!”, and “wow, that’s not safe!”.  And he’s 14, which makes saying stuff like that sort of weird.  but we’re used to it.  So, Mason sat down next to me, and eventually took note of Bowman’s discarded gummy bear.

I was feeling sparky, so I said to Mason, just to freak him out, “Bowman spit that out about five minutes ago, and I’ll give you the five dollar bill in my wallet if you eat it”.  I knew full well it would just make him squirm and fall into a fit of waxing on and on about germs.  Sometimes?  Sometimes pushing the buttons is really, really fun.

Imagine my surprise when, in one swift movement, he picked up the bear, popped it into his mouth, and held out his hand.  With an ENORMOUS smile on his face!

And then he says…..

“You’re not REALLY at teenager until you eat something gross for money.”

Touché, young man.  Touché!


Not Sure Why I Bother
May 22, 2011, 8:59 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Last month while Davie-O was on his epic business trip of epicness, I found myself in a dinner making funk.  And by that, I mean I was completely sick of making dinner and I didn’t want to do it anymore.  So, instead of having yet another fend-for-yourself night, I decided to try something new.

I alerted the kids to the portion of dinner I would be making, and told them I expected them to come up with the other stuff to round out the meal.

My contribution:  a strawberry (and soy, but don’t tell them) smoothie, and 2 pounds of bacon. 

I told the kids I was cooking the bacon, and it was up to them to fix whatever else they wanted to go with that.  I was thinking eggs, pancakes, french toast, L & T and some toast.  Stuff like that.

When we sat down to dinner, here’s what was on the table:

  • 4 glasses of strawberry soy smoothie
  • 2 pounds of bacon

And, of course, no one had lifted a finger to make anything else.  It was, however, pronounced, and I’ll quote, “the best dinner ever made”.  By all 4 children.

Still wondering why I bother most of the time…..

Back Up and Running
May 16, 2011, 10:55 pm
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I have, very clearly, been taking a break from writing; It became not fun for me for a while, so I took a break. And now, after a few nudging emails from my most devoted fan base (thank you Kari and Lynn), I’m back at it.

So many things happening at Chez Star these days! Shall I regale you with on offhand list? It’s my blog, so I think I shall….

It snowed this morning. This very morning, May 16th. I’m trying not to get bent out of shape about it, but I have wholeheartedly decided to embrace the fact that I really super dislike being cold and therefore I loathe winter. And now it’s snowing in May. MAY!

Davie-O has been traveling. A lot. And by a lot, I mean for a few months there, he was gone something like 9 weeks out of 11. AND? He spent the whole entire time he was gone taunting me with daily photos of the delicious and beautiful things he was eating. These photos usually popped into my inbox just about the time I was having my bowl of cereal for dinner. (Again, I would like to commend those of you who do the job of parenting in a single sort of fashion. I don’t care if you have just one child, that’s tough duty, and my hat is off to you.)

At some point during the afore-mentioned 11 weeks, I became overwhelmed by the exhaustion brought on by constantly riding my kids to put their stuff away. You know how they always seem to put their shoes right by the shoe bin, but not in it? Coats on the floor, 48 inches below where the hangers are hanging? Backpacks on the floor, 54 inches below the backpack hooks? Lacrosse sticks ON THE KITCHEN TABLE? In a fit of fit pitching (where I stopped just short of stomping my foot), I told the kids they were going to have to pay me $1 to get back every item I had to pick up (and just to be clear, a pair of shoes counts as TWO items!). Twenty seven dollars later, I’m really not having to pick much up. And yes, I really did take my children’s money. And yes, I really really enjoyed the flank steak sandwich, fresh squeezed OJ, chocolate croissant, movie and popcorn I purchased with their money. I did, however, take even more enjoyment out of telling them all about the stuff I bought with their money.

Davie-O’s aunt died of breast cancer. It’s always a sad thing when someone dies of cancer.

Mason went to the state MathCounts competition. He now enjoys math more than ever. I know.

Cutter decided it would be a great idea to shave off the outer half of each eyebrow. He looks remarkably like Spock.

Isabelle was labeled “the scary redhead” by players on other lacrosse teams, as in her attempt to cultivate a competitive spirit she developed a habit of growling at the player she was guarding. And that is just pure awesome!

I was lucky enough to see The Electric Six for the 6th time live. Dick Valentine just may have been so coked out of his mind that he couldn’t open both eyes at once, but they still put on one hell of a good show. Also went to see The Cold War Kids, which I would rate as a phenomenally lackluster show. HOWEVER, their opening band, A Lull, totally rocked the joint.

Just as a public awareness reminder…..PEOPLE! Live music of ANY sort is good for your soul. Do it! Take the time to get you some of that. It’ll make you feel better on the inside. And? For god sake people, take a few steps out of the comfort zone, and stop only listening to the stuff you’ve been only listening to for the past 15 years. Go to an opera, go to a free show, go check out a local battle of the unknown bands, go to a church concert. Just do it. And if you’re local, ask me and I will always go with you, unless it’s country, in which case you’re on your own.

Bowman received a pogo stick, courtesy of his only aunt, for his 10th birthday. He is, I do believe, the only child in the neighborhood who is required to wear a helmet with using his pogo stick. Am I really that lame, you ask? Well, he taught himself how to go both down and up the stairs the day he got the thing, and is now spending a great deal of time pondering his ability to do a back flip with his pogo stick.

Hmmm. What else? I paid off my car, which feels super awesome. Taught some really great art classes, had my first taste of couture sewing, got to talk to the police about one of my kids, I hurt my back AGAIN, drove back from Seattle in the middle of the night to outmaneuver a freezing rain storm, and really got my yoga on.

I have yet to figure out who keeps carving smiley faces all the way through the soap in all the showers, why there was hot sauce smeared down a wall in the bathroom, who stole the only set of house keys we have, and why someone felt the need to wrap 100 feet of garden hose into my crab apple tree. To be fair, I haven’t actually bothered asking who did any of this, because who would be dumb enough to ‘fess up to that?

More to come…..spring time joys in Domestic Oblivion.

It ALL Revolves Around Food
September 29, 2010, 8:52 pm
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For me, it’s all about food.  Good food.  Interesting food.  Delicious food.  I will pass on poor quality food, because I have embraced the attitude that life is too short to eat icky, crappy food.  (And I’m lucky enough to have the economic ability to support my attitude.)

I have embodied this ideal for long enough now that I even take a  pass on milk chocolate.  Well, American milk chocolate anyway.  And I don’t even feel bad about it.

I know!  Absorb that.

You know who doesn’t embody this attitude?  My 13 year old son, Mason.  Nope.  Mason is all about mass consumption, all the time.  Except for when he’s sleeping.  He’s 6’2” tall, 150lbs, and these days, if he’s awake, he’s starving. 

Every morning Mason eats breakfast, and walks out the door with a “snack” to eat at the bus stop.  This snack is large enough to be what most of us might refer to as a second breakfast.  He takes a lunch bag and a snack bag with him to school every day.  The contents of this snack bag is what most of us would refer to as a second lunch.

The moment he walks in the door from school, he starts trolling for food, and usually doesn’t stop until his snack that he eats right before he brushes his teeth.  If you saw this snack, you’d probably refer to it as a second dinner.

Here’s a conversation that transpired on Monday:

Mason: (front door not shut yet) Are there any tasty numinses?  I’m hungry.

Elle:  Yep, I went to the store today.  Help yourself.

Mason:  Oh cool!  I love this Special K cereal.  OOOH!  and cuties.  I love these little oranges!

E:  (after his 2nd bowl of cereal and while he’s reaching for his 4th orange) Be careful, if you eat too many oranges, they could hurt your stomach.

M:  No, I’m fine.  Last time I ate 7 of them and I was fine.

Two hours later, when sitting down for dinner:

E:  You don’t look so good Mason.

M:  I think those oranges gave me heartburn.

E:  Well, eat a little dinner and maybe you’ll feel better.

Mason then asks to be excused from the table after only one large burger.

Davie-O inquires as to whether or not Mason is ill.

E:  No  he’s fine.  He had 2 bowls of cereal and 4 oranges just 2 hours ago.

M:  Actually, I had 3 bowls of cereal and 6 oranges…..

Less than 2 hours after the burger, Mason had another bowl of cereal before he went to bed.  He left the box on the table, and when I picked it up to put it away I found that it was empty.  In the course of 4 hours, he ate an entire box of cereal.  By himself.

Dear God. Seriously.
September 24, 2010, 4:18 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Overheard from a boy type at my house:

“Wouldn’t it be great if farts smelled like the food that made them?  How great would that be?  And then we’d know what Butters actually ate….”

That way, I guess, we’d all learn what the remote control smelled like.

You Gotta Cock It
September 21, 2010, 7:27 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Saturday was Isabelle’s 11th birthday.  And we have a tradition here at Chez Star:  if your birthday doesn’t drag out for at least a week, you’re not really having a Star birthday.  This is partly because I am horrible at organizing birthday stuff, partly  because gifts from out of town relatives usually trickle in for weeks after the special  day, and (just maybe) partly due to the fact that I am, underneath it all, supremely lazy.

The family made the trek down the hill to the dollar theater to see “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” and then came home for The Big Fry.  Home made fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, peas and bread.  Then presents.  And then  we all pretty much passed out.

Notice the lack of dessert.

We were supposed to go to Cold Stone.  But we were all too full.

So that’s what we had for dinner on Sunday.  Because I’m a good parent.  Ice cream for dinner.  Yeah.  And while we were sitting outside enjoying our frozen confections, the following conversation took place.

Davie-O:  So, I think it’s about time to build that trebuchet we’re always talking about.

Cutter:  Cool!  How about mounting it in the back of the truck?

D:  Well, I was thinking if it were about 12 feet, and we had ….blah,blah, a bunch of schematic stuff, blah, blah, blah.

C:  Wow!  So that means it would be blah, blah, a bunch of math, blah, blah blah.

Mom:  I have a question.  How do you get the trebuchet to let go of whatever it is you’re flinging?

D:  Well, first, you have to cock it.  Have you ever cocked one?

Mom:  (totally straight face) No.  I’ve never cocked a trebuchet.  I’ve cocked lots of other things, in lots of other places, but I’ve never cocked a trebuchet.

D:  I…..well……(almost losing it)….I…….(looking at Cutter)…I can’t talk to your mom about this.

We used to say that all our horribly inappropriate innuendo comments would eventually send our children running, screaming, from their 7th grade history class when it dawned on them what we were actually talking about.  Cutter’s in 7th grade and taking history, so I’m guessing after this weekend it won’t be long now.

Six Is Actually A Lot
September 11, 2010, 5:43 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

As I get older I’m realizing that I am a very, very slow learner.  Like a bash-her-over-the-head-for-YEARS sort of slow learner.  I am FINALLY beginning to understand, see the dawning, grasp the scope, whatever you will, that six people is a lot of people to be in charge of.

I know.  Long, low learning curve over here.

My youngest child is nine and a half, and I’m seriously just getting this.  Next week I will be in charge of a 9, 11, 12, and 13 year old.  I feel sort of foolish.  I have a distinct memory of comparing myself to my very lovely neighbor, and all that she was able to accomplish.  She said “that’s because I only have one child, and you have four children under the age of 7”.  And I looked at her and said “do you think that makes a difference?”.

I am finally catching on.  And believe it or not, just knowing that six is indeed a lot is making things easier.


I had a new experience this week.  I was running errands one morning, and got back  into my car, which I had parked in the shade of the music store.  I put my seat belt on, and thought, “this is nice, I’m just going to sit here a minute”.

And then I woke up 95 minutes later.

Still buckled in.


Last night at dinner Mason was trying to prove some point, and says:

“Well, that’s stupid!  It’s like thinking that (insert a name of a D&D character) is like (insert a name of a different D&D character), when actually…..”

He sort of trailed off because we were all staring at him, silently.