Sunday, November 25, 2007

Gerb Unplugged: Some Random Musings (It's long, so grab a sandwich)

To those of you who watch TV on a regular basis and still maintain a blog on a regular basis I ask:

How do you do it?

Because, as previously mentioned, I don't watch TV at all and I still don't have time to post to my blog regularly. Especially lately. When I first started blogging I decided that every post would have a picture. They are so much more interesting that way! However, today I am breaking my unwritten rule. Otherwise there would be nothing, once again, for those of you who are nice enough to check often. I also decided I would post at least once a week. That has obviously not happened either. Here's what I've been up to since my last post...


Do you ever have weeks or months where life just happens at such a rapid pace that there is no time to sit and reflect on the chaos (whether it be the good or bad kind) around you? That's what I'm talking about. Here's one small example:

We had Thanksgiving here at our house, just our little family and no visitors. We practically begged family members to join us but they all had plans. The good thing about being just us for dinner is this: MORE FOOD. The bad thing is this: I have to make ALL the food. Which I am used to for everyday stuff, just not the Thanksgiving caliber of meal. I baked 7 pies (3 were frozen, purchased from neighborhood kids for fundraising). Of the "from scratch" pies I made were a banana cream, a cherry and 2 pumpkin. No big deal, right? Well, silly me, I thought it would be fun to make the pumpkin pies from fresh pumpkin. What a job! They were a hit (still are...anyone want some pie?) but the work put into them may not have been entirely worth it. The entire day before Thanksgiving was baking & extras day - I made my pies, rolls, and frozen cranberry salad (it's worth it, trust me!) and that took all day. Thanksgiving morning I put in the turkey, made the mashed potatoes and gravy, yams, green beans & sparkling cider. I decided to skip the stuffing since the majority of the family does not appreciate it unless it's in turkey stuffing casserole. I also went for the kind of whipped cream I got to whip myself. More work, but I think that the difference in taste was definitely worth the 5 minutes.

We all sat down to eat, and within the hour everyone was done. Who washed dishes? Me. I decided I wanted to reflect on what I was thankful for during all of the food preparation time, and my family is definitely #1 on the list. So, since no one volunteered to wash, I just did it. (The kids did come dry the dishes, I must give them credit for that.) By the end of the 2 day ordeal, I was ready for a long nap - or at least a good book.

I decided that Thanksgiving is the time for me to show the family how thankful I am for all they put up with the rest of the year. It's definitely a labor of love, or else it wouldn't happen around here.

Other things keeping me busy:

(Today anyway...)Trying to remember not to use my kid's names in my posts. I don't want to make my blog private, but I hate not using their names. Their initials seem inadequate somehow. Why do there have to be wackos out there? Can't we all just get along?

CD started climbing a couple weeks ago. On the table, on the piano, on the beds, up and down the name it, she climbs it. And I remove her from her lofty destinations or prevent her from reaching them. Plus, she had a disgusting runny nose for 2 weeks straight. That was fun to keep up with. But her 1-year-old cuteness makes up for it all. Every morning I marvel at how she can become even more adorable each day.

HH is as precocious as ever, and those of you who know any of my boys (who share the same personality for the most part) know that he's a delight, but quite a handful. He can get into the refrigerator and up on the kitchen counters all by himself (kitchen drawers make the most convenient ladder!) and likes to help himself to whatever looks good. When we had egg nog in the fridge, he would wake me up in the morning, carton in one hand and cup in the other, with, "Can I have some egg drink, mom?" He has discovered that non-fiction books about trains are much longer than AND have more pictures than children's versions, so he will sit and flip through one for a good, long spell. Add his independence to his latest full-blown ear infection and painful ingrown toenails (which the doctor keeps telling me he will grow out of), and welcome to my life.

GA is such a funny little girl. She is at an age where everything is absolute- black or white. She wants me to "do school" with her all the time, which would be fun but is not possible with other little people here needing attention, too. We make time everyday to color, practice writing her name, read a story (or 2 or 3), or play with Furryvilles or the dollhouse or Legos. She likes to keep me informed on what's going on around the house, especially when I'm trying to take a shower.
(knock, knock)
Me: "Yes?"
GA: "Um, are you in there mom?"
Me: "No, I'm an alien life form, using your mother's voice."
GA: "Um, OK mom, um, CD is going down the stairs now. And HH won't stop being mean to me because he is not so good at sharing."
Me: "Well, I'm in the shower right now. Can we talk about this in a minute?"
GA: "Um, but CD can fall down the stairs so you better come get her now, OK, mom?"
Me: "In a minute."
GA: "Um, and CD also got HH's breakfast and put it on the floor. And um, she likeded it, so maybe you should make some more."
Me: "WHAT? Did she make a big mess?"
GA: "So, mom, um...maybe you need to get the vacuum out. You better stop taking a shower now, OK mom?"
And so on.

EG is becoming as obsessed with reading as her older siblings. She is strict about rules and does not like it when other kids do not follow our family rules. She likes to inform me when they are not following her interpretation of the rules, which I believe is often called a 'tattletale'. She is an arts and crafts fanatic, often leaving behind paints, water, paper, scissors & tiny scraps of paper for me to clean up - or for CD to eat, whichever comes first. She loves learning and would do math/reading/spelling worksheets all day if I had enough of them.

KC is the man with all the questions. He and his 2 younger sisters are also notorious room-destroyers. I don't know how their room can be orderly and clean and then 5 minutes later look like a tornado came through. He loves to pay all of the neighbors visits and make some kind of note or treat to take over with him. He's a socialite if we've ever had one. He feels very put-out when I will not allow him to go to a friend's house before his jobs and homework are completed. He is obsessed with Pokemon - always wanting to talk about Pokemon characters/cards to anyone who shows even remote interest. He is also into getting all his Cub Scout requirements signed off so he can advance. Thanks to one of these requirements, he decided yesterday that doing dishes is FUN! Thank you, Cub Scouts!

JC becomes easily frustrated when it comes to getting things done on anyone's time but her own. That's all I'm going to say about that. I get to do a good deal of nagging to get her out of the door in the mornings, which we both hate. Her talents are in writing and drawing, and she's a frog lover. Frogs! Not the real kind, just the cutesy ones. I'm not sure how she'd do around a live little hopper. JC is still the sassy gal in the family, and also a good helper around here.

EM is also a great help when she's asked. She enjoys art and outside sports, most especially Ultimate Frisbee. She is fun to go shopping with, something we both enjoy. Otherwise, she's holed up in her room reading some book series about magical pants that fit a girl and all of her friends. What in the world??

AM has become obsessed with 3 things: friends, ping-pong and tennis, in that order. We noticed his screen was pushed out of his window, and we all know what that means with teenagers, right? He isn't really the type of kid to do that sort of thing, so we asked him about it. He was sneaking his tennis racket out of his bedroom window because he didn't know if we would let him play with it outside. Ummmm....did he think we expected him to use our indoor tennis court??
Wait...I thought of 2 more obsessions: Food and Sleep. In that order. He is at least a good 3 or 4 inches taller than me now.

Hey...was that my Christmas newsletter? YES! Consider it a personal greeting, and HAPPY HOLIDAYS! Just kidding. I'm making the kids each write their own summary of the last year for our newsletter, and they'll have to edit it down to one paragraph of about 3 sentences each so they can all fit on an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper. I love writing projects! Did you know that I occasionally print out an email so I can go through and edit it with a red pen? Crazy, I know.

I'm not sure how to end this random post.

How about this?


P.S. My big kids read this and noticed I still left one kid's name in. It is now fixed! Foiled again, blogstalkers!!


Rebecca said...

Wow, Gerb, that was long. And yet, I can still come up with some requests for more info. Such as, who ate the cherry pie? And, did you really make your own sparkling cider on Thanksgiving day? Also, what is frozen cranberry salad? I think I might like to try some. Unlike AM, food is #1 on my list of interests, for the moment!

Michelle said...

WOW!!! I knew that you were incredible, but you really out did your "incredible-ness". You are an amazing Mom!!! I am so glad to have someone like you as a PERFECT example!!!

annette said...

What a great TG meal! It's so true- making real whipped cream is tons yummier.

Well, you think you know a family, then you find out there's always more to discover:

"egg drink" ha, ha- like that one!
My preschooler is into trains too. We should get these two together.

For GA/EG, I've got some extra workbooks they are welcome to. For that matter, I've got a child who loves playing school and always looking for new "students" to teach.

JC- Yep, that explains why they got to school at 10:30 a few weeks ago! Tell JC frogs are cool! We're fans here. We've got frog stuffies, stickers, pencils, socks, and even a tiny, real aquatic frog.

Uh hu. I thought when you said that you "loved editing student papers" for our fav. teacher that you were just being modest.
Now I know.

Gerb said...

If you were nice enough to READ that entire post...AND comment, you deserve a response!

Rebecca -
Cherry pies are made from scratch for my dear hubby. No one else really requests them, but they get eaten. With so many other options this year, though, the cherry is the last pie standing. (fine with Allen!)
My secret recipe for sparkling cider is this: take one apple juice or cider & one generic lemon-lime soda and mix them. Pretty technical. Frozen Cranberry Salad is an amazing frozen dish that I will email you the recipe for. Allen's mom makes it every year and I LOVE it!

Michelle -
I'm glad I've got you fooled. ;0) I do my best, but it's nice to be paid such great compliments anyway. I'm keeping you as my friend.

Annette -
My "little girls" would love some workbooks. I've got EG into 2nd grade math now and I'm running out of websites with new worksheets! GA is happy with plain paper and a crayon, but she enjoys "practicing letters", too.
Yes, JC is not a morning person. I have started letting the 2 littler kid go ahead of her if she's not ready. I keep hoping I am teaching her a lesson in responsibility, but I still struggle with it.

Gina said...

Thanks for the glimpse into your life that should be sheer chaos, and yet somehow you always come out looking so amazing and with it. I would be drowning. I am with just 2 little ones somedays. Anyway, good for you on the Thanksgiving. Remarkable! I think I may need to look into the school worksheets too. My little girl is crazed for learning. I feel that my lack of desire for learning right now is going to stunt her growth.

It's all about the "Crew" said...

Wow! Another great read! It was worth the wait for sure. I enjoyed every minute of my time reading it.

Teachinfourth said...


Whoa...all I can say is that you put my Thanksgiving to shame as I did practically nothing when it came to making the food...that was mostly my sister's doing, but hey, we all get to do what we really love, right?

I guess such an in-depth post makes it okay that it has been awhile since you've last blogged.

BTW, are you ready for a stack of research papers about Pepsi and Paper clips or should I save them all for myself?

~cari~ said...

I think the reason you don't have time to post is because you are too busy being such a great mom! This is going to make me sound horrible, but tonight, while I was posting on my blog, my 3 year old fell asleep on the family room floor with her pj's in hand waiting for me to help her get dressed for bed. I know, I'm horrible! Usually I post late at night and I think from now on, I'll stick to that plan.

Gerb said...

Gina -
I can tell you a couple of great websites for preschoolers. My favorite is Another good one is If you want more, email me and I'll share!

"Crew" -
Welcome home! Hope you had a fun Thanksgiving.

You better not be selfish with those papers! My red pen is quivering with excitement!!

Cari -
What does it say about me that I can completely relate to your experience with your daughter? As long as you're still posting, I say it's all fine and good.

Cami said...

Sounds like you guys had a good Thanksgiving.

Kate likes "egg drink" too. Although she calls it "Witch's Milk". We got some around Halloween and it had a witch flying past the moon on her broom. Kate saw the witch, and could not be convinced it was Egg Nog. Hence, the name "Witch's Milk" was born.

Mom not Mum said...

Great post - it was nice to hear a little bit about each of your kids. I am still laughing at sneaking the tennis racket out of the house.

We had a pretty small thanksgiving here - with just our family but it was nice.

Mom not Mum said...

oh I forgot - you can make your own handwriting worksheets at - great for printing out pages with your kids name or just a letter they are having trouble with.