Monday, October 20, 2008

Sad News and Deja Vu

My mom's best friend...
My mom's little dog Toby (the very spoiled and well-loved dachsund) was 14 years old. Even the extended family loved him and he will be sorely missed! I don't have access to a photo of him now but Michelle posted one with my mom on her Blah Blah Blog so I hope she will forgive me for stealing it - all in the family, right? We are all so sorry for the loss of her faithful and beloved companion.

Deja Vu...

Last night we had an interesting experience. Nat, Jenn and their families were at my house, all sitting around the kitchen table with the kids all at one end (where was my camera?). Of course Avery was in the other room but as I looked at the kids and their ages I had a bit of a deja vu experience.

I had six children who lived (and one more in there that didn't) when Aubrey was born. Adam (the oldest grandchild there) was the same age as Chris was. Ashlie is close to the age Jenn was, Noah a little older than Justin, Olivia a little older than Natalie, Emma a little older than Seth would have been, Alex a little older than Jon and Avery the age Aubrey was. The age spread was pretty similar though mine were a little more evenly spaced of course.

Natalie considered it for a minute and said, "no wonder you don't remember the 80s" - it's true - big blur except for the music they played at my aerobics class - the only music I remember from the era (Elvira had a good exercise beat). TV? Mr. Rodgers, Sesame Street, The Electric Company. Books? Who had time to read? News? Who could hear it over the din? Besides, let's keep things in perspective. Who cared what was happening with the economy, politics, foreign relations - I had my own to deal with. Hey, the Vietnam War ended - after that it's a big blur. Oh, yeah, I went to nursing school in the early 80s! There were books - just nothing entertaining. I do remember after graduating picking up a magazine in awe and feeling guilty for taking time to look at it. Surely there was a textbook I should be reading.

I did cook meals at that time (every night except some special-priced Taco Tuesdays, coupon Pizza Fridays, and Saturday night hot dogs in the basement cooked campout-style with their dad, over the woodburning stove while they watched Kung Fu - "Gwasshoppah"). Somehow I kept the house reasonably clean, the kids bathed, the laundry done (though not folded) and held a Church calling. One day at a time and it really did go by very quickly! No regrets about the large family by the way...


  1. How sad about Toby! I had no idea he was that old. :( She must be so sad!!!

    Every single day that I cook, clean, or do laundry (which is every day), I can't help but say to myself, "HOW DID SHE DO IT???" At least once a day I marvel at how you could have actually pulled it off with that many children. With just two, I feel like I'm going to lose my mind at any moment.

    And I don't remember the hot dog thing, but I DO remember watching this movie when I was really really really little! haha! And watching Sesame Street and Mister Rodgers while you tried to get a nap before your graveyard shift.

  2. I think you just gave me an idea that would help me -- basically a menu that repeats each week. I've thought about this before: You know, Monday is spaghetti night, Tuesday is taco night, etc. It would take the thinking out of it. I could shop and plan accordingly. Everyone would know what the plan is -- so whatever parent gets home first can start the dinner. Plus, there are a limited number of meals that everyone likes anyway, so the monotony would probably bother only me -- and I could deal with that because of what I would gain: simplicity. That has to be my new mantra if I'm going to make my life work. Good idea. And laundry? If I could accept that it's OK not to fold it ... that would help. We pretty much iron everything anyway. OK ... we're on a role here. Got any other tips? If a working mother can raise six, then I can handle two!

  3. You weren't born until we moved to the next house so you missed the hotdog cook-in.

  4. To Ashli,
    It's all a matter of survival. You know what they say about the mother of invention. The not folding was really hard for me and it came about with the nursing school part. Somehow I was able to get the laundry in and out but then it sat in baskets sometimes and they had to search for what they wanted. I thought it would motivate them to fold but they just adapted to retrieving from baskets! I knew I had arrived at something (???) when I started folding again. I actually just had the five kids while in school - Aubrey came a little later.

  5. I do remember how the kids had their baskets of clothes at the top of the stairs to take to their rooms! I remember hauling Jenn's down for her. I also remember doing Jenn's sweeping for her, and her ... hey, how did always get roped into that :-) I think I could live with not folding -- truth be told we live A LOT out of laundry baskets as it is, I just constantly have guilt. If I sort of accepted that as just the new normal and let go of the guilt, that would feel so freeing!

  6. That is funny! Nat could tell you some stories of how she got roped into cleaning Jenn's space, etc. Jenn says now, "but you LIKE to do that!" (as opposed to her NOT liking it). Somehow she could sell it.


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