Monday, November 24, 2008


I'm convinced I am literally the World's best care-giver. If it sounds like I'm tooting my own horn...toot toot. I am.

I am also convinced of another thing: the world's best care-giver is still No replacement for a Mother.

Although I provide perfectly steamed carrots, zucchini, onion, tomatoes, garlic, and lean ground beef over a bed of basil polenta for lunch (nutritious indeed, with a glass of organic whole milk)...

Although I sing and dance like a freak to "Do as I'm Doing"...

Although I kiss boo boos and hug...

Although we color, and make play-dough...

Only a mother can devour you whole. Only a mother will look at you with an overfilling well of emotion at the perfection of your hazel/blueish eyes and crinkly smile. Only a mother knows how to properly nibble your toes and cheeks. Only a mother feels the insatiable, unquenchable desire to adore and nuzzle on you all. day. long. Only to begin the next day with excitement, ready to do it all over again. All. day. long.

I am the best caregiver. But you, my dear, miss your mother.

And in some strange way, we need each other. I needed you to be able to stay home with my girls. Your mom needed me in order to go out and provide for you. I won't forget the privilege of being second in line, but can't help but feel sad and wishful that the world didn't work this way.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Lily gets a phone call...

Ring Ring.


Auntie Sarah: "Hi, is Lily there?"

Mom: "She's sleeping."

Auntie Sarah: "Ahhh, I was just calling to see if she wanted to go get an ice cream cone with me."

Mom: "Oh, that's nice."

Auntie Sarah: "Have her call me when she wakes up."

Mom: "Ok."

If only every little girl could be so lucky. And I'm not talking about the ice cream.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Rae's Randoms

Is it now a series? Time will only tell....I guess I'm just so...random?

That really should be the coined theme of my short blogging existence. Random.

What started out as an attempt to keep an online journal for my children to someday savor has become a winding path, curving this way and that throughout our days - more specifically my days, as I am the only narrator of this story. A sampler of Mom's mind at this point or that. Like the ol' jack of all trades, yet master of none.

So no, I do not wax poetic this evening about my children or my adoration for my lovely husband. No preaching. No conclusions. No pictures. No epiphanies. Just randoms.

And yet, it feels so good. So liberating to not have to make sense. Randoms are what life is made of. So, without further ado, here are just a few more of them this week:

1. God bless garlic. I'm serious here. I have the same feelings towards cilantro. As I was peeling the crusty shell off of the potent clove the other evening I marveled at the fact that there once was a very first somebody who innovatively thought to crush it and mix it with pasta, or chicken. If you think about it, when have you ever stolled beside some random outdoor perennial bulb and thought, "Hhhmm...I should chop that up and add it to our salad this evening. Give it a whirl."
My hats off to you, garlic and cilantro discoverers. A breathy, post fettuccine consumed thank you. The Olive Garden just wouldn't exist without your spark of pure genius.

2. I've been listening to these books on cassette (Aw, my dearest Dad, who lent them to me...the only man still in existence who is checking out CASSETTE tapes at the library. I'm surprised they had not completed the final stages of fossilization by the time I got a hold of em). The cassettes are a collection of women's diaries who crossed the North American West plains during the nineteenth century. And while I am amazed at their strength, I can't help but want to scream at the cassette player while folding laundry:
"Get to the good stuff! What did you wipe with?!!!" Those details never come. Curse Victorian social taboos.

3. London had to get a flu shot today, poor baby. Lily had already received her shot at a previous appointment. She overheard the nurse use the forbidden "SH" word (shot) and began screaming....
"No!!! No sschots! no schots! (shots with a lovely little slur)." The nurse explained that Lily wouldn't have to receive any shots, just baby London. To which Lily replied more adamantly, "Nooooo! No schots for my schister! No schots for my Lun-Deen!"
The doctor could barely examine London without Lily constantly inching in, commanding, "Doc Ter, Doc Ter, No schots for Lun-Deen."
I have to admit, I couldn't be more proud of this protective streak. Hopefully she'll take it with her onto future playgrounds.

4. If you haven't tried the seasonal Diet Sierra Mist with Cranberry, you haven't experienced the holidays properly. It straight up replaces water in the Haack household from Nov 1st - Jan 6th.

5. Has anyone noticed my excessive use of the "..." in all of my posts? I'm addicted. It won't change.

6. My sinuses act up horribly whenever I've been talking for a while (surprise surprise, they act up often). I have to constantly clear my nose after holding more than a 10 minute conversation with someone. Most of my closest associates know this. This sometimes embarrasses me, and I want the conversations with unfamiliars to end before the plug attack. I also talk too loud. This embarrasses me sometimes too. I never know when I'm doing it, I only realize it after I have ceased speaking and a gentle peace envelopes the room.

7. Six is a random number of randoms to have. Well, seven now...counting this one.

That's it. Random Rae, signing off. Until next time. Maybe. Well, probably. Or not. Or for sure. Who knows.

Your turn. Live a little.


Friday, November 14, 2008

Post election stress disorder

Tyler and I are on the FABULOUS DAVE RAMSEY PROGRAM. It's like a diet...for your pocketbook. It feels good to live within the ol' means and it's become somewhat of a game...the How much money can I save? game.

I marched into Winco (discount groceries...ghetto...but cheap) armed with my cash only policy and list that had been preplanned and budgeted. The grocery game is simply to come in under our grocery budget, and any extra goes towards our "Fun Money" budget. I get REALLY excited when I find a Hearts of Romaine salad bag for a $1.78, when I budgeted $3. Yeah baby, there's gonna be some fun tonight.

I came in $8 under budget today. Perfect, I thought. Just enough for Ty and I's date night snacks at the movies. Oooh, I'm good. Uh huh, uh huh.

A nice woman began a friendly conversation with me at the checkout, complimenting my girls, chatting and whatnot - she had four kids, teenagers, yada yada. I have babies, we both love babies, both fear teenagers. After bagging the groceries, we said our goodbyes only to laugh when our cars coincidentally were parked next to each others.

It was then that I noticed I had completely forgotten to have the checker ring up the milk and diet soda I had placed under the cart. Hot diggity dang...what the hayell? I muttered out loud, "Oh no! I forgot to pay for these items!"

The woman immediately responded, "Oh puhlease, you just go right on ahead and put those in your car. These companies make oodles and oodles of profit off of you anyways."

" Listen lady, just because a company makes a huge profit does not give me the right to steal products. The reason this company makes oodles and caboodles of the green stuff is because they supply me with products I need and want. And, at a better price than competitors. For that, they DESERVE the profits. Every last flipping cent. And when they do profit, they will build more stores to make even more profit, and with more stores will come more jobs. Jobs for you, and me, and my engineer husband who might even design the building. Other companies will see them cashing in on such a profitable industry, and begin following suit, making other discount grocery jobs jobs. This will drive the prices of our food down even further, the quality of service up higher, as all of these competitors compete for MY business.
Just because they are raking in the dough doesn't give me the right to steal their milk, even if it does mean opting out on popcorn tonight at the movies. If the injustice of it all drives you that crazy, then maybe you and I should enter in together as a competitor, and channel all that wealth hating into creating our own discount grocery store.

If I was on the same wavelength of rationale (or lack thereof) as you, I would have voted for Barack Obama. "

Ok ok ok, it would have been great if I really HAD said that. Instead I mumbled something about Lily understanding that I hadn't paid, and feeling an obligation to show her how to be honest. We returned, paid, with no pomp or circumstance (sigh...I do love a good pat on the back...I was imagining the crowds lined at the checkstand as I graciously entered with my children, all in wide eyed admiration at this amazing display of chilvalrous honesty over dairy. Alas, the nice Portugese checker quickly scanned my items without consequence as everyone rolled their eyes at the holdup).
I carried on my delightful speech in the solitude of my car while driving home. And let me tell you, my audience couldn't have agreed more.

Tyler and I won't be having popcorn tonight.

And although my wallet is no longer as heavy....neither is my soul.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Domino effect


It has been almost two days since this terrible, no good, very bad day.

The day I came out from brushing my teeth in the bedroom to find you in the family room, painting this:

Your sister. With purple nail polish.

It's safe to say the day went all down-hill from there. Not only was London painted from head to toe, but the carpet, the NEW leather sectional, and the newly sewn throw pillow. All COVERED in midnight plum specks. Right there, SMACK DAB in the center of the family room.

As you can see, it wasn't pretty. What was even un-prettier was the mother Rae reaction. Screaming, crying, flinging, yelling, sobbing lunatic reaction. A miserable, incoherent, shocked, dizzy, freaking out reaction.




It really didn't help that it was our week to host your first co-op preschool lesson with four other children, due to arrive in the next fifteen minutes. Strangly enough, I managed through the tizzy to at least snap a photo, march you to your room, spank your bottom, shut/slam the door, and call my husband and mother to share in the sobs.

Like I said, it was all down-hill from there:

Mothers arrived to find me with streaked mascara.The carpet man arrived to give an estimate of 200 dollars to patch the carpet. Oh yeah, and that didn't count the 76 dollars of remnant carpet I would have to purchase to create the patch. 276 dollars of hard earned Christmas money.To top off the horror, the preschool children witnessed you receive yet another spanking when you fiercely pulled Mya's hair during lessons.

This out-of-control, hypocritical, spanking debacle (As I claim to be numbered among the NoSpankZone progressives) left me miserably devouring the remaining homemade chocolate bundt cake from the previous night's dinner during your nap time. An equivalent of around nine whole slices. All the while, thinking through each sulking bite: WHAT A HORRIBLE MOTHER. A fat one too.

My darling Girl, I am so sorry.

Two year olds that find nail polish paint with it. Homes with children in it are bound to be destroyed aesthetically but filled with bliss emotionally. I know this. You probably pulled poor Mya's hair because you were frustrated with the rampant, stinging hideous-ness of your fleshy bum meeting my hand. After all, Mommy solves her crisis with indignant violence...why wouldn't you use the same methods to reclaim your pink My Little Pony?! And now that it has been a fresh 24 hours since I have stopped shaking everytime I enter the purple smudge room, I have gleaned a tiddy taddy bit of perspective. Guilty, sorrowful perspective. It was a bad day. A terrible, no good, very bad day.

And I'll try my hardest we don't have any more like them. Promise. I wouldn't trade you for all the cleanest, shiny, non-polish stained homes in the world.

I love you, my wonderful girl.

Love always and always and always,

Your guilt-ridden, adoring, and still very much a work in progress -


(*And side note to Nonna and Pop Don- Please resist the urge to hurry home from your lovely vacation to rescue poor Lily from Crazy Momma. I can assure you, you've raised a good son indeed, and he'll be sure to lock me in my room the next time Lily sets a'painting in the house. We miss you!!!)

Friday, November 7, 2008

A short story

Girl meets boy.

Girl falls in love with boy, marries boy, and makes girl babies.

Girl is happy. Boy is happy.

Girl is now Wife girl and Mother girl in addition to being simply "girl".

Boy is now Husband boy and Father boy in addition to simply "boy".

Girl sometimes gets tired. Wife girl and mother girl are working overtime.

Mother girl has changed diapers all day. Mother girl has cleaned poopy "accidents" on the floor twice that day. Mother girl has nursed baby girl. Mother girl has dealt with three two-year olds in house all day. Mother girl has taught piano lessons. Mother girl has grocery-shopped with screaming children. Mother girl is turning mean.

Wife girl is trying to get in a shower. Wife girl would like to look pretty. Wife girl wants to have a nice dinner on the table. Wife girl is busy trying to cook. Wife girl is frustrated because baby girl and toddler girl are throwing the spices from the spice rack all over the floor. Wife girl is turning mean too, and ugly.

Father boy returns home from a long day at work. Father boy is also taking late evening classes for his MBA. Father boy is tired, but Father boy happily plays with baby girl and toddler girl.

Husband boy sees Wife girl, and gives her a kiss. Wife girl and mother girl are very busy cooking and cleaning and doing all things maniac. Husband boy begins scrambling about the house, going through stuff in the closet. Husband boy is looking for something. Husband boy bustles about house saying he working on his "school project".

Husband boy interrupts Wife girl from cooking. Husband boy leads wife girl into master bathroom where candles are lit around a warm bath. Favorite novel has been set by the side. Husband boy tells wife girl and mother girl to take a bath and read, all by herself. Husband boy gets dinner and the baby girl and toddler girl to bed. Mother girl and wife girl want to cry, and scream for joy.

Mother girl and wife girl relax, and begin to read. Soon, mother girl begins to rub off in the bubbly water. Wife girl evaporates with the soapy steam. Out of the bath, girl emerges. Just girl. Happy girl.

Who kisses the boy. And thanks the boy. Just the boy.

And they still are living happily ever after....

The end.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


The month of October makes life grand. Goodbye, sweet spooky Pumpkin Spice candle burning month. I'm onto the spiced wassail burning month of November until next year. But I couldn't say goodbye without a little re-cap of why I love you so....

1. Cheap finds at TJMaxx and Ben Franklin, making our dining room table fit for both festive fall months. (The trick: use all white base china, only purchase and switch out salad plates to the tune of $1.99 each during the holidays. Buy two packs of cloth napkins $4.99, and instead of wrapping them with more pricey napkin rings - check out the craft store for little odds and ends with wire attached. Wrap, place, and taa daa! You've got a lovely little spread, no?)

2. Cookies. Decorating cookies for Halloween. We had a house full of 20+ children and moms join the fun...

Uh oh, the carpet seems to be growing babies.

3. Creamy Turtle Pumpkin Pie.
And not that I'm one to boast:
That's right. Amid steep competition...fiercely baked fruity and creamy competitors, it was I, Rachel Haack, whose name was announced for first place! (And I saw you over there, Ms. I won't mention your name publicly- eyeing your own delightful,crusty,bubbly concoction with assurance. Yeah, that's right. Warn the neighbors, there's a new baker in town.)

4. Pumpkin Carving.

5. Children and pumpkin carving.
6. Children spooked during pumpkin carving. (*Might have had something to do with Mom constantly cackling like a witch and letting out unexpected shrieks and screams intermittently)

7. Pumpkin Carving in this outfit.
(Really now Lily, I know Mommy wears your apron like that too...but that is only when she is cooking for Daddy.)

Until next year.....