Sunday, December 30, 2007

Wish I'd found it before Christmas!

Check out this blog as well as it's link titled "Corporate Responsibility". So much fun!

Bittersweet

It's not my favorite kind chocolate chips. I'm a milk chocolate girl, all the way.

It's also not my favorite kind of news but, what are you gonna do? So the news today is bittersweet.

I'll start with the sweet. Baby "A" has a heartbeat. That is wonderful, exciting news that is cause for gratitude. Baby "A" measured 6 weeks, 4 days on Friday (the 28th). Yay! That means probably healthy baby. Now for the bitter. Baby "B" did not have an audible heartbeat. Baby "B"'s placenta is tucked directly behind Baby "A" so it is nearly impossible to get a visual of it at this stage but they're telling me that they should have heard a heartbeat. It is very unusual (not totally impossible) for one baby to have a heartbeat and not the other. So, in all likelihood, Baby "B" is not going to make it. I have another ultrasound next Friday just to be sure. I have two placentas which means twice the hormones, which means DOUBLE THE MORNING SICKNESS AND ACID REFLUX- but most likely, I will only have one baby. That is very sad. I am so grateful that Baby "A" has a chance but I still feel like I'm losing a baby. It's a very confusing emotion. Also, I'm scared to get excited about Baby "A" yet because for some reason, every woman who has gotten pregnant in my ward in the last two months has miscarried. (The last count was up to 6 women I think.) I'm avoiding drinking the tap water in case it's environmental but who knows.

Anyway, I appreciate all your prayers. Keep sending them my way. I'll try to post a little sooner next time. What with all the puking and laying around, I haven't felt like sitting at the computer.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

What The Grinch Stole, The Robbers Gave Back

On Sunday after church, while Bubba(6) was still in his suit and Mr. Yuke(4) was in a white shirt and his underwear ("Call me 'Captain Underpants!"), they went down to the forbidden zone and rummaged through the toys that are out of rotation. (We rotate the toys in the playroom every couple of weeks so that everything gets played with and cleaned on a regular basis. The toys not in the playroom are on shelves in the basement.) Somewhere down there they found swimming goggles. I do not know why we have these. We have never purchased goggles. Ever. Anyway, the obvious course of action when you are in a suit and goggles is to be a bank robber. I didn't know this. I saw them tiptoe-ing up the stairs and inquired what they were sneaking off to do. They turned around, fixed their goggle stares on me, and whispered, "We're robbers." I had a hard time keeping a straight face, not expecting two sets of goggles to be looking at me. When they were upstairs, Husband said, "I don't know what's wrong with this generation. When I was a kid" (doesn't he sound old?) "we always wanted to be the HERO." I answered, "Well they usually do too. But today they couldn't, OBVIOUSLY." Him- "Why not?" Me- "Because 'hey- goggles.'"
You know that I've been under the weather. Extreme Cinnamon Rolls, PT, Husband out of town, exhaustion and morning sickness that lasts all day long (that's the worst misnomer in the English language), kids with flu, threatening miscarriage of twins, etc. We didn't have Thanksgiving really and I just barely did the shopping for Christmas, and we probably aren't going to eat much on Christmas either. If I'm not in the middle of a miscarriage, I will still be sick as a dog and cooking food is the enemy.

We have not put up our tree yet. It's sad and I've missed it but I can only do so much. Right now, "so much" consists of waking up at some point in the a.m., changing diapers, fixing bottles, feeding children, drinking water, catching up on laundry, besides making sure all the kids have clean pajamas to wear to school for "Polar Express Day" and gifts to exchange for their school and church classes. I've got my wife to murder and Gilder to frame for it. I'm swamped. Oh wait- no. I don't have a wife. But I have had all that other stuff going on in addition to the normal December madness. Really, all things considered, I've been pretty okay with not having the tree up. This week was the first chance we've really had to get it out and now- what with being COMPLETELY distracted with worrying about the babies, I just don't feel like it is worth the energy (that I do not have anyway) to drag all that stuff out for just one week. I've pondered the possibility that Christmas is about the Savior anyway so maybe those nice, pretty reminders are not completely necessary and it might be nice to have an old fashioned, spartan Christmas. Well, yesterday someone informed me that not having a Christmas tree is bordering on CHILD ABUSE. I am not making this up. I pointed out that maybe if she thought about all those children who are regularly beaten by their parents, she would realize that not having a Christmas tree is a FAR CRY from that. She asked, "Well how would you feel if you were a kid without a Christmas tree?" I answered, "It came without ribbons, boxes, or bags.... It came. Somehow... it came just the same." (How the Grinch Stole Christmas- Dr. Seuss) No. In spite of the reference to her favorite Christmas book, she would not concede. ("It's IMPORTANT to them!") I told her that I honestly don't think they'll care. I'm pretty sure that all they care about is GETTING STUFF and that isn't going to be a problem. She answered loftily that it is a decision you're just going to have to make. Just like that, with the italics and everything. And now- even though I was fine with not having a tree before (because as I said, I can only do so much), now I feel like garbage.

I was wondering tonight how I am going to focus on The Greatest Gift/the Savior this coming week when every corner of my mind is completely consumed with worrying- and trying not to think about the twins. Then Husband started singing lullaby-hymns to Muhloo(8m). I thought of that little baby in his mother's arms; the one who made it possible for me to hold all my wonderful children in mine. The baby who made it a reality that I will know these children someday, whether in this life or the next. And suddenly, I knew.

All my preoccupation with the possibilities would not matter in the least if it were not for the baby born in Bethlehem.
Merry Christmas.
"goggles" by Julie K in Taiwan; "Golden Christmas" by krisdecurtis

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Cats Are Out of the Bag

Well, I haven't posted for a while because I've been sick. I had the flu Monday and Tuesday- a natural reaction to the domino effect started by Mr. Yuke 2 weeks ago which is still finishing up with the last family members right now. Cleaning up the puke and diarrhea has kept me too busy to blog. (Sorry if that grosses you out.) I've been wondering WHY we spent the money and the time and the aggravation to go get those stupid flu shots. AND, I've had morning sickness for the last three weeks as well.

Yup. That's right. Husband looked at me and now I'm pregnant. Again. It's a good thing and I have been excited (between the bouts of nausea and exhaustion). Until yesterday.

Husband and I thought it would be a fun joke not to tell our families about the baby. We thought that it would be hilarious to just show up next time we see them either with me all huge and say that WW is not working for me, or with an extra kid in tow and say, "What are you talking about? We've always had this many." Besides the fact that it would be funny, it would spare me an extra 10 months of disparraging remarks from my grandparents, and the general strain-to-approve from the rest of the family. Don't get me wrong. A lot of them try really hard to be supportive. It's just that having a big family goes against everything the media has been telling them their whole lives. (For those of you who think having many children is irresponsible, I refer you to this article. We have never needed financial assistance from either our church or the government and our kids are all happy and well adjusted.)

So getting to yesterday. I went in for my ultrasound to find out my due date. Being a person not blessed with a regular cycle, I never know how far along I am. By normal indicators, I should have been 8 weeks, 4 days. The babies actually measured 6 weeks, 1 day. Yes. I said "Babies". Well, yay! That's so exciting in a terrifying roller coaster-ish sort of way. Except that the ultrasound did not have good news. There actually weren't any "babies" at all. I had two beautiful gestational sacs which appeared to be empty. This means that although they COULD be ok, there is a higher probability that I am going to lose them both. I have another ultrasound on the 28th to check for babies. We decided last night that our plan to keep the pregnancy under wraps was not going to work, given the circumstances. Even if the babies end up being fine next week, there are so many things that can go wrong with twin pregnancies that we felt our families needed to know. That way, we won't be calling them up when I am 6 months along and saying, "Baby B is dying from Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome." or some other horrid thing like that out of the blue.

My whole life I've wanted 8 children and I hate being pregnant so much that having these babies be healthy, normal twins would be the perfect ending to our family. I want them and I am hoping that they will be ok. I am afraid to be excited. I would appreciate any prayers on our behalf. Whatever happens, "His eye is on the sparrow[s] and I know He's watching over me".

"Sparrow Twins" by e3000

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Bedtime Tourette's and Music to My Ears

Every night when it's time to get ready for bed, we go through the same routine. At 7:00, everyone gets their p.j.'s on, brushes their teeth, the girls put their hair up so it doesn't get all tangled in the night, and everyone comes downstairs. They all (even Monster Truck(2)) write in their journals while we read aloud for half an hour. Currently we are reading The Tale of Despereaux. At the end of reading time, we sing a song, say a prayer together as a family, and everyone gets to choose a book to take to bed. They read in bed quietly for another half an hour. Then they say their own prayers, get tucked in, and it's lights out. And then I check to make sure the carbon monoxide detector is still working because clearly I am hallucinating. This is the routine that we all agreed to as a family and is posted on the dining room wall. It's the routine that is a thing of beauty once every new moon. The one which is nearly always the same that I referred to up there at the beginning is:

At 7:00 I say, "Okay, guys. Go get ready for bed." They all run (shrieking at the top of their lungs) up the stairs like a pack of howler monkeys and proceed to do any- and every- thing. Except get ready for bed. They laugh and I yell, "Get ready for bed." They fight and I say, "Get your p.j.'s on!" Someone gets hurt and I yell, "It wouldn't have happened if you weren't screwing around. Get ready for bed." (Fill in the blank) comes downstairs and says, "I can't find my toothbrush." After about ten minutes of intermittent reminders from me to "GET READY FOR BED!", I call everyone downstairs for journals, etc. and send whichever two children who are still wearing their jeans and t-shirts back upstairs to get their jammies on. For real this time. ("GET READY FOR BED!") The kids who are in p.j.'s get sent back upstairs to really brush their teeth this time. ("GET READY FOR BED!") The child whose toothbrush is lost and (if by some miracle there IS a child who did what was expected) the child who is ready for bed get out their journals and write or draw about their day depending on the age of the child. ("GET READY FOR BED!") If Mr. Yuke(4) is one of these children, there is a predictable conversation about how our journals are not regular art paper and he needs to just use one page each day and if he wants to do some artwork while we read he needs to get some different paper. When everyone finally comes downstairs truly ready for bed, we are out of time for reading, writing, or singing. The children who didn't get to journal have a hissy fit to which I answer that they chose to use up their time acting like pygmies upstairs. We have a prayer and I send them to bed. And then one or the other of them inevitably asks me with an angel face and puppy dog eyes to "Tuck them in? Please?" (music to my ears) and once again my heart melts and I tuck everyone in (because of course one or the other of us is going to do that every night). And I sit down and sigh at my sweet little people and how much I love them. And then Little Mommy(9) comes out and says that (random body part) hurts. EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. And it's never the same one either. And it's never hurts until it's time to go to sleep. And Mr. Yuke(4) needs a drink. And then The Pinkiest(5) needs one too because it's NOT FAIR if Mr. Yuke(4) gets one and she doesn't. And then Monster Truck(2) doesn't WANT to be in bed and Little Mommy(9) has some other random pain. And she wants to know what exactly is going to be done about it?! And then I tell them that the next person out of bed is going to be dead meat and I better not hear one more peep out of anyone. And then it's quiet.
And then Monster Truck(2) gets out of bed again. For the 27th time.

Last night Husband called during this period of chaos and I really miss him so I kept him on the phone and conversed softly with him while all this was going on. The result was that after a few minutes he said, "It sounds like you have 'Go to bed!' Tourette's. Because of this, I started playing some Christmas music on the piano in an effort to drown them out while I talked to him as the kids were (NOT) getting ready for bed. One of the songbooks I have is a hand-me-down from my mom called "A Peanuts Christmas" (Snoopy). She went through a Peanuts phase in the 70's which she does not remember. Anyway, the book is just basically a bunch of easy Christmas carol arrangements with pictures of Peanuts characters on the tops of the pages. Being the token ready-for-bed-child, The Pinkiest(5) was sitting on the piano bench next to me, listening to the music. I stopped playing after a couple songs and Little Mommy(9) came bolting down the stairs and said, "Mommy, will you please play more Peanuts Christmas Songs?" The Pinkiest(5) got a funny look on her face, pulled her fingers out of her mouth and said, "Penis Christmas Songs?"

"Twinkle, twinkle little star, do you know how loved you are?"

Monday, December 10, 2007

Boys and Girls

I'm tellin' ya. The Chinese have got it right. Boys may be a thousand times easier to raise, but I will take a group of girls any day of the week... when I am cleaning the bathroom. I mean really, is it so hard to aim that equipment into a ten inch target from three inches away? Apparently. Right about now you're thinking that I am completely mixed up on my world affairs. China has boys, not girls. No. I am not confused. The Chinese have got it right, and this is why: they are headed to a point in their population growth where there will be 70 million unwed men cleaning up their own pee. And that is a beautiful thing.

(Before I get a bunch of comments from blog-surfers who don't know me, understand I am 100% against abortion/gender selection and I am not going to publish your politically "correct" comments either way, so don't bother.)

My Nephew, Slugger Jr.(3) wants an elephant for Christmas. A real one that goes, "(Insert sound effect here.)" When Cute Sister pointed out that an elephant might be too big and they would have no place to keep him, Little Slugger(3) generously conceded that, "it could be a baby." I thought that was pretty cute. I was telling Little Mommy(9) and Bubba(6) about this as we set the table the other night when The Pinkiest(5) overheard me. Her eyes got about as big as the dinner plates we were setting down and she exclaimed, "Well I want a GIRAFFE!!!"

This got me thinking about the kids' respective wish lists and I realized that no matter what Hillary Clinton and every other politically "correct" women's lib. advocate says, there are HUGE differences between boys and girls. Zoo animals seem to be the only common denominator (other than the elusive wii). My boys are all about cars and robots and things you can throw. My girls want barbies and ponies. You know. (The rhyme just started all by itself, I swear.) Anyway, none of my girls has ever asked for a fireman suit and none of my boys wants a "High School Musical" Sharpay doll. How there can be any confusion about this is beyond me.

Wii Triumph

Yes. We triumph- and then we weep. Tears of joy? No, although we ARE happy. No, tears for someone else. Husband got to That Store at 5:30 in the morning to wait in line in the snow for 4 hours until they opened. He was 5th in line. That Store gave out numbers and said they were going to let customers in one at a time. Only the first 48 people would be getting one. By 6:00am, there were already 50 people in line. They all froze in the blizzard until 9:25. Then the store employee came out and said, "Forget the numbers. Just run." Realizing Husband is such a big guy, the little old lady in line in front of him said, "You better make sure I get one." They opened the door and sprinted into the store. Husband blocked people and got one for the little old lady and also one for the little boy in line right behind him. Then he got one for himself. The scuffle was so intense that his store membership card broke into three pieces. So yay! He got one. As he was paying, he noticed one of those first three people in the line who got there at 5:00am standing there with a look of disbelief. SHE DIDN'T GET ONE. And someone who came at 9:28 DID. When Husband told me that, I cried. Poor woman. After all the hours I have spent living at That Store, I felt her pain and I cried. I called That Store and told them that even though I got one I was disappointed in how they handled it. So sad.

Friday, December 7, 2007

We hunt

Or should I say wii hunt? Yes. Wii hunt. Wii hunt and wii get up early and wii stand in line and wii wait in the cold. Wii make phone calls and wii come again tomorrow. Wii see the same people, day after day. Wii all hunt together- and against each other; trying to be cordial, to maintain the "may the best mom win" attitude, as all the while we are eyeing each other, wondering who will wii stop seeing next? Who will be the lucky one? Wii search and wii recruit. Wii plan and wii strategize. Wii even pray- (but wii know that wii all sort of cancel each other out anyway). Wii persevere.
Wii hope.

"Wii endcaps are up @ Target!" by Adam Melancon, found on Flickr.com

Was Jacob really THAT intriguing?

I'm wondering what happened.

It is one of four things:

  1. I've lost all my readers, proving that I don't have enough stuff to keep an audience entertained sufficiently for me to write a book.
  2. The "Blog Poll" has lost it's novelty but people are still coming here.
  3. The Edward vs. Jacob question is a far more powerful phenomenon than even I thought and neither the hair situation- (which I really needed some feedback on) nor the current question is inspiring enough to cause anyone to click an answer.
  4. It's December and everyone is far too busy to blog surf.

I'm hoping it's the last one. I would make it into a poll, but I don't think it would do much good.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Sweet Potato Queens and Foofs

I love the Sweet Potato Queens. I do. I think Jill Connor Browne is very funny, even though at least half of what she writes is completely inappropriate and not worthy of my time. I am aware of this and I have not read any of her work for several years. Consider her my guilty pleasure- like Superbowl ads, and CNN2 or The Weather Channel are for some other people. In one of her books, Jill talks about how much she loves Deviled Eggs (I know! Eww gross, right?) Anyway, she says she loves to eat them but they are WAY too much of a pain to make "her own self". Her solution to this quandry, is to periodically make the rounds until she can find someone who already has some made up or else will make some for her. It is so lazy and yet, I see the merit of this slacker strategy when I have to, say, change a diaper for the four millionth time in a week or something needs to be ironed. Once upon a time, Little Mommy(9) found this slacker approach particularly satisfying when it came to "Foofs".

"Foof" is the term Little Mommy(9) used (when she was Little Mommy(18m)) for "bubbles". The reference is obvious if you had ever seen her trying to blow bubbles with the little plastic wand from the bottle. She would try over and over again but all she could manage was, "Ffffffff!"- hence, the name. Going "Fffffff!" directed the air from her mouth straight down her chin and almost never resulted in bubbles wafting away on the breeze. She became so frustrated with the whole process that I eventually got out the oscillating fan and showed her how to hold the bubble wand in front of it so that the fan did all the work. The result? A happy 18 month old who requested we play Foofs every single day for nearly three months, and a mom who was not passing out from hyperventilation due to blowing bubbles for 2 straight hours every time, while being pregnant with Bubba(6).

The reason I was reminiscing about Foofs today is that Muhloo(7m) discovered her own version of bubbles this afternoon. She is starting to switch over to baby food and she's pretty excited about it. The trouble is that she also gets bored with the repetitive motions of scoop, open mouth, swallow, repeat. In response to the tedium, today she came up with a way to mix things up a little. She figured out that if she waits to baby-babble right when the spoon is just about to go into her mouth, it blows bubbles in the sweet potatoes and effectively sprays them EVERYWHERE. She wouldn't talk to me when the spoon wasn't at her lips. It was like she was speaking into the microphone. I thought maybe she was not hungry and was therefore more interested in playing with her food than actually eating it. NOT SO. When I tried to gently remove the food items from in front of her, she had a huge fit because she was still hungry, apparently. She just happened to be hungry AND entertaining herself with her lunch at the same time. (Is that a problem?) By the time her interest in eating had dwindled, I had sweet potatoes all over my face, shirt, pants, and hands. Her clothing was remarkably clean, come to think of it. (Maybe I ought to do the rounds and see if someone else in the neighborhood has a hankering for feeding babies?) No, on second thought, I would much rather enjoy this experience "my own self". Getting to be in the stories of The Sweet Bubble Queens and the people who hang around them is so much better than anything Jill Connor Browne has to say. I love being a mom. What more is there?

Photos: "5/19/07 Baby Shower Food" by Nodame; "Untitled" (Bubble Wand) by TeraRoop11; "Deviled Eggs for Easter Dinner" by Tojosan. All photos found on Flickr.com. Incidentally, I had a hard time finding a deviled egg picture that wasn't copyrighted. How weird is that? There were like ten zillion of them but they were all exclusively copyrighted. This is one bizarre cyberworld we live in.

I graduated!

That's pretty funny. I went back to the online blog readability test to get the code for my well-earned Jr. High badge so I could paste it into my last post and have it proudly displayed for all the 20 of you to see, and in that one entry I raised my score to "High School"! (Must have been the absence of run-on sentences that did it. Remember that.) I don't feel this "High School" rating is nearly such a travesty, seeing as how high school was the last place I graduated from and just barely preceded my matriculation into That College. (HA! Nerdspeak! Now let's see who writes like a middle schooler! In your face, cyberjudgementator!)

Hey, if anyone noticed, I changed the name of the blog. I'm tossing this one around with it's close cousin, "A Life Without Alice". Something about that seems a little doomsayer-ish so I'll probably just stick with the one that's up there now. Anyway, I just wanted you to know that the address won't change no matter what I call it.

Ah, the shame!

I discovered this link on Apostrophism for an online blog readability test, and I immediately went there. Essentially you tell it your web address and in about 3 seconds it tells you that you write like a 13-year-old. Now, I realize that I choose to write the way I would talk to my best girl friend, so that I am neither stretching the vocabulary nor avoiding the use of the word "like". (As in, "I'm like- so totally embarrassed! I got rated "Jr. High".") I know that I intentionally use run-on sentences because I am giving voice to the thoughts in my head and seriously, if I took enough time to stop for punctuation in my head, I think my clan might burn the house down. (Hopefully not when I'm in the shower.) Really, when you come right down to it, I am purposely writing below my level and this rating should not bother me in the least little bit. So how come I want to shoot suction cup darts at the monitor right now?

I don't think I handle rejection very well.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Ripoff

Last night My Beautiful came over with the seventh season of Gilmore Girls and takeout. It was great. (I moved to This Place before the show ended and in This Place there are no t.v. channels or cable companies so I missed a season and a half.) While I wrangled the kids, she filled me in on all the parts I had missed that she had already watched.

One of the parts she told me about was when Rory became friends with Art People. Art Girl is always talking about "Boyfriend"- this and "Boyfriend"- that and "Boyfriend" has such beautiful eyes, etc. As My Beautiful was telling me this the thought came to me that perhaps my blog habit of refering Husband as "Husband" might be taken by some as a Gilmore Girls reference (and while, if you're going to rip off a show you really can't do much better,) I honestly didn't know about Art Girl calling Marty "Boyfriend" and now that I think of it, the only person fictional or otherwise I know of that is more sarcastic than me is Lorelei Gilmore and people must think I am such a hack! And it's a good thing Rory's writing is so much more original and fresh than mine obviously is not, or she wouldn't have been able to be so successful all those years at Chilton and then Yale, and she would have wound up married to Dean doing demeaning jobs for Taylor alongside Kirk for the rest of her life. And somewhere right about here in the thought process I realized that I was being obsessive and totally overthinking the situation and I thought,


"That is SO Paris Geller."

Photos from http://www.dragonflyinn.org

Also, did you know that you can buy the entire series of Gilmore Girls at Costco for around $175.00? Some say, "Ripoff." I say, "Birthday."

Monday, December 3, 2007

It can wait.

Best kid conversation I've read in a long time:

Click Here


Why rush things?

Steamin' joe

Little Mommy(9), when she was just barely 8- singing the SUV Song from VeggieTales:
"Oh, you and me- in our sport utility vehicles.
Cruisin' to Dunkin' Donuts- for a BAG of steamin' joe."
It's the best visual ever. I can just see it sloshing around in a plastic takeout bag.


Last Friday, I finally had a morning cup of coffee. It was so amazing I had to blog about it.


No. I guess that won't do. Of course I didn't have a cup of coffee. I don't drink coffee. It's bad for you, it makes your breath stink, and I have made a covenant not to drink it. I guess I should go back a ways and explain.

I have this friend- actually a friend of a friend, Ti- who refers to taking a shower when she wakes up as "her morning cup of coffee." Ti says she absolutely cannot function without her "morning cup of coffee". I can see her point really. I hate missing my morning shower. For the last couple of years though, I have remembered Ti adamantly telling me about how much her "morning cup of coffee " centers her. Without it she just can't face the day. And as I have remembered this conversation, I have thought that her morning shower must be a lot different from mine.

We have rules in our house. I have mentioned some of them before. The rule that applies here is:

DO NOT COME INTO THE BATHROOM WHEN MOMMY IS IN THE SHOWER UNLESS IT IS AN EMERGENCY!!!!

The following constitute an energency:

  1. Someone is bleeding.
  2. Someone is choking or turning blue.
  3. Someone has swallowed something poisonous.
  4. The house is on fire.

(My kids realize that there are, of course, obvious exceptions to this rule. Things such as,

  • "Can I go play with Jace?"
  • "I got yogurt on my shirt."
  • "I need you to velcro the back of my Batman suit."
  • "Have you seen my shoe?" -Always the shoes...
  • "Here's your cell phone, mommy. Someone maked you a phone call."
  • "[Bubba(6)] PUT IN STAR WARS WHEN YOU SAID I COULD WATCH 12 Dancing Princesses WHEN MY CHORES WERE DONE!!!!!!!!!"
  • "______ hit me!!!")

Any time these exceptions come up, I refer the child to the rules. "Are you bleeding? Is anyone choking? Is the house on fire? Has [Monster Truck(2)] gotten out into the street?.... Then GET OUT OF THE BATHROOM while I am TAKING A SHOWER!!!!!"

So, although I do love my morning shower, I do not generally find it that Nirvana everyone in the Northwest claims to experience whilst chugging stewed, burned beans. I am usually far more tense, irritated, and stressed when I get out of the shower than when I rolled out of the nice warm covers that morning. That is, until last Friday.

I showered. It was hot. It was steamy. It was good to the last drop. NO ONE came in. I could scarcely believe it. I realized that I was done and I had not yet been interrupted- so I admit it. I stayed in there a little longer. I savored every second. And Ti was right. I was centered. I was warm. I was both relaxed and invigorated. I didn't have to get tanked up on caffeine and carcinogens, and I was ready to face my day.

And guess what? My breath didn't even stink.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Numbers

Mr. Yuke(4): And then, after 500 million, comes 16!!!

Here's another number that's a big deal in our house:
800.222.1222

That's the number for poison control. We have it on speed dial on my cell phone but sometimes, (more often than not, actually) a dead battery requires the manual dialing of it on the home phone.

We call that number a lot these days. It seems that Monster Truck(2) loves detergents. Anything with any sort of cleanser in it. In the last week and a half, he has drunk Little Mommy's(9) facial toner and eaten ten of the little center soap pellets of the electrasol power tabs for the dishwasher. We are not careless about dangerous things, but he has learned to open the child safety locks on the cupboards, the baby gate, and the front door. Really, the minivan is the final frontier and when that happens- well.... Be afraid. Be very afraid. Anyway, you would think that after the say, third or fourth dish detergent ball he would think to himself, Ewww. This is not so delicious. I think I'll go ransack the cereal cupboard once again. Yes, that would be much more yummy. But no. He just keeps eating them, presumably thinking that they'll start tasting better real soon. Maybe it's an aquired taste, like strained peas. And swingset chains. So we've called Poison Control so many times for that boy that the last couple times I have started to worry that CPS must have started building a case against us. He has gotten into more poisonous things than all his other siblings combined. There are only so many up high places we have in the house and right now they are reserved for things like percocet and transmission fluid. Fortunately, he was fine. The detergents didn't make him sick. We did not have to take him to the hospital, and we still had enough of them left to do the dishes. I guess no harm, no foul. He has gotten off extremely lucky, come to think of it. He has never had to go to the hospital. Not with the toothpaste (yes, it is extremely poisonous- we were at the hospital for 15 hours with the The Pinkiest for that), not with the Balmex, and not with the rubbing alcohol. That's why he's Monster Truck. Indestructable. Thank goodness.

Jacob who?

So, if we take out the people who don't know what the question is regarding, the results are 66% for Edward, 33% for Jacob. Husband asked me what the difference is. After pondering that for a moment I said, "You know the movie Sweet Home Alabama? How she has to choose? Well, in the Twilight books Bella picks Patrick Dempsey." He looked at me like that was crazy and said, "But [Melanie] knew that guy since they were kids." Yes. And that is why the question is so intriguing.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Cuts Above the Rest

Books this year that were a cut above the rest:

  1. The OBVIOUS: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (although I thought the Epilogue was stupid.) Forgive me, but I thought the link unnecessary. Everyone in the free world (and probably quite a few in the unfree world too-) knows about the Harry Potter books.

  2. The Twilight Series- Juvenille but so enjoyable

  3. America the Beautiful- it's a picture book with the words of the song and beautiful watercolors throughout. The cover-art is terrible but don't let it put you off opening it if you ever get the chance.

Blogs this year that were a cut above the rest:


  1. The Blog of Unnecessary Quotation Marks- totally funny if you have a fundamental working knowledge of punctuation.

  2. The Pokemon Card Lady- I sent a lot of you the link to her post on ebay. Turns out she has a blog which is also pretty funny.

Movies this year that were a cut above the rest:


  1. Hairspray- Loved it, can't say enough about it. Way better than the first one (which was ok).

  2. Live Free or Die Hard- Surprised? A cut above all the other Die Hards and a very pleasant surprise. Incidentally, if you go to rent it, you will only find the "unrated" edition. This is ok because once you put it in you get to select whether you watch it rated PG-13 or the unrated way.

  3. The Lake House- I really liked this one too but it's not one you can scrapbook to. It requires your undivided attention. Also, this is not a good one for watching over and over again.

Events this year that were a cut above the rest:


  1. Amish Work Day

  2. Husband's promotion

  3. Monster Trucks

  4. Family Reunion in Milltown

Hairdos this year that were cut above the rest:

(Hear the record scratch?)

Yep. You heard me right. Little Mommy(9) strikes again. In an effort to NOT clean her room, she did any- and every- thing else she could possibly think of instead. When she ran out of ideas she just got "sick of [The Pinkiest's(5) ] bangs hanging down in her eyes" so she HAD to cut them. (Incidentally, it may be relevant to know that The Pinkiest(5) has been growing out her bangs forever. Since the last time they were cut by a not professional.) It's sad really. Her hair was getting so long and pretty that people were starting to comment on it everywhere we went. So now, The Pinkiest(5) has bangs between 3/4 of an inch to one inch long- depending on where you're looking, which start just behind her ear on one side and go to above her temple on the other side. Plus that one other piece. It looks terrible. I'm afraid we're going to have to just cut off the lot of it and start over. At the very least she is going to need a bob. I'm guessing it'll be shorter than that.

My personal feelings about how to handle this situation are that Little Mommy(9) should have to get her hair cut in the same style as The Pinkiest(5). Considering that this is her fifth infraction with a pair of scissors and "hair" of some variety, I think it only fitting. I'm willing to give her the first three which happened between the ages of 2 and 4, but the most recent one was last year and well- to me, the fact that she is now 9 makes this pretty inexcuseable. (By the way, the reason "hair" is in quotation marks is because one incident involved several victims from Mother-in-Law's doll collection, most of which have yarn for hair. Or used to.) Now, last year when she cut her own hair to the scalp in a three inch square patch, I told her she was going to have to get it cut short like a boy while it was growing out. I would put mousse in it and make it curly and we could tie ribbons around her head and maybe it would still look really cute. The workers at the Beauty Shop however, all thought this was cruel and talked me out of it. I think now the time has come because I, like Gracie Lou Freebush, believe in harsher punishments for parole violators. What do you think?

The good news is that The Pinkiest's(5) hair won't be a total waste. *Shelbie needs a wig and I heard her family is collecting hair donations. Since The Pinkiest(5) and Shelbie are both blondies and The Pinkiest's(5) hair is so long, hopefully they will be able to use her hair to help. (See below for info on Shelbie.)

The only other cut I want to mention in this post is the one on my self. It has been put above the rest as well. Above the laundry, the cooking, the hair fixing, the bathroom cleaning. (DANG! Maybe I don't want to get better.... No, wait. I guess I do.) Anyway, this week, I got to cut down to having PT ONLY TWICE A WEEK!!!! This is very exciting news. I played some Clementi on Tuesday, and it was not horrible. And also, I am typing like a real person right this very minute.- Only it hurts more. So today I looked around and realized that it was time to stop putting my cut above the rest. I did a load of dishes (turns out- that is still pretty challenging. I can't grasp things very well.), cleaned a toilet, walked Mr. Yuke(4!) to preschool while pushing the stroller and everything, and then sat down to blog. Because let me tell you- when you've put your cut above the rest for a month and a half, there is a ton of crap to do and I have no idea where to even start- so I'd rather just blog about it instead. And there is no rest when there is a cut. I guess I'd prefer it this way though. I've had about enough of resting for a while.


*Shelbie is an amazing little girl who is 9 years old. A while back she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. They did a surgery where they went in through her eye and removed it. The biopsy came back as cancerous. Later they removed a second tumor. They thought she was in remission at that point. However, just recently they discovered a new tumor on her brainstem that is inoperable. Because of this, Shelbie has started an 18-month course of chemotherapy which I think is going to be either followed by or overlapped with radiation treatments.


Shelbie's lifelong dream is to be a cheerleader. Specifically, she wants to cheer with the 49'ers cheerleaders at one of their games. I wonder how many degrees of separation there are between me and someone who could make that happen?


Through everything, she has remained positive and sweet. All this is remarkable, but the real reason Shelbie is remarkable is that she has attended Church and Primary/Activity Days as often as possible for the last year without her parents. She gets rides with neighbors or the Primary presidency. She is an amazing example and a wonderful missionary. Visit her website. Sometimes there are pictures, although there aren't any right now.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Gratitude and Retractions

In honor of Thanksgiving, I am thankful for-

  1. My Husband
  2. My Family
  3. My Mom
  4. Church
  5. A home
  6. Food to eat, clothes to wear, a place to sleep,
  7. Friends
  8. The Internet
  9. That I didn't open my RIGHT hand,
  10. Reconnecting with an old friend through MySpace
  11. Chick flicks
  12. Chocolate
  13. Cell phones
  14. The Internet
  15. Amish work days
  16. Good Neighbors
  17. Bottled water (the water where I live tastes like poison.)
  18. My Beautiful
  19. Pizza
  20. The blessings of Tithing
  21. Hot showers
  22. My piano
  23. Music
  24. The Olers (although they are both friends and family)
  25. Muhloo(7m) who is the best baby in the world
  26. Dual automatic sliding doors
  27. Good Books
  28. The Durfeys
I would like to retract any negative things I posted about my mom on this blog months and months ago before anyone but me was reading it. I love her and I don't know what I'd do without her. You should all be so lucky.

Also, if anyone read my entry about the Pil-gruhm feast at school, apparently the Indian Nation or whatever they are called, lobbyed for the segregation. I guess unlike everyone else, they don't want to be integrated because the white man stole their land. So, yay for segregation I guess.

Now I chow my A-B-...Z's?

Mr. Yuke(3) loves to sing the A-B-C song. He sings it often and at the top of his lungs. It goes like this:

"A-B-Z-D-E-F-G,
H-I-J-K-L-N-N-O
PEEE-
2-R-X,
T-U-V,
W, X, Y and Z.
Now I know my A-B-Z's.
Next time won't you sing with me?"

Every time he sings it, I gently correct him that it is A-B-"C", because the song has "Z" at the end. He looks at me like I am stupid and corrects me back that it is

"A-B-Z-D-E-F-G
H-I-J-K-LNNO
PEEEEE-
2-R-X,
T-U-V,
W, X, Y AND Z!!!"

I try to convince him that no, it is "C" (I'm saving the battles of "M", "Q" and "S" for after I win this one). He won't have any of it.


The Pinkiest(5), I fear, is going to be dependent on some substance or the other for the rest of her life. Currently she is hopelessly addicted to anything sweet. She steals them, hides them, and eats them every chance she gets. It is quite sad actually and I am at a loss for how to help her. This is such a problem that any time we go anywhere, she scavenges the parking lot for gum any moment my eyeballs are not directly on her. Then, all of a sudden I see she has gum in her mouth and I know she didn't get it from home because she has had gum in her hair (and the car upholstery, and the baby's hair...) so many times that she is banned from chewing gum at all. So I ask her, "Where did you get the gum?"-

The Pinkiest(5): I don't know.
Me: Well, that gum didn't just appear in your mouth.
The Pinkiest(5): I don't know.
Me: What do you mean 'you don't know'? How can you not know?
The Pinkiest(5): I don't know.
Me: Just tell the truth. You get in more trouble for lying.
The Pinkiest(5): The ground.
Me: Was it already chewed up?!!!
The Pinkiest(5): Yeah.
Me: Well SPIT IT OUT!!!!!

This exchange is usually followed by a lengthy conversation about germs and how disgusting it is to pick up ABC gum and that she should never, ever do that, at the end of which she promises never to do it again. Until the next time.

So I'm doing battle with Mr. Yuke(3) over "A-B-C" and the only explanation I can come up with is the one foremost in my mind: ABC gum. This of course will do me absolutely no good whatsoever and I am rendered impotent in both situations.

Score: Kids-2, Mom-0

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sing. Sing a song.

The Pinkiest(5)(singing to herself in the car. Loudly.): "The Indians and the Pil-gruhms decided to have a par-tay,
The Indians and the Pil-gruhms decided to have a par-tay,
The Indians and the Pil-gruhms decided to have a par-tay, --"

Me: How was your pow-wow, honey?

The Pinkiest(5): "The Indians and--"
Fine.
"The Indians and the Pil-gruhms--"

Me: What did you do?

The Pinkiest(5): Well, we ate swedish fish and goldfish crackers- 'cuz that's what they ate at Thanksgiving. And jerky. "-- The Indians and the Pil-gruhms decided to have a par-tay--"

Me: Swedish fish?

The Pinkiest(5): Yeah. "--And they decided to have a tur-kay for their PAR- TAAAAAYYY!!!

Me: Hmm. Big finish. Wow. The Council of Native American Tribes would be so proud.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Adventures in Home Maintenance: Toaster Edition

This is an adventure in home maintenance you just have to see to appreciate- life at my very tidy friend's house: as seen in the wake of a toddler. A Photo Essay. Take a look.

Now, on to the adventures on the homefront.

We have only had two toasters since Husband and I got married. The First was a wedding present which was oft-used and well-loved. (Husband is a gifted toast chef.) The First (toaster, not husband, try to keep up-) died some time ago. I had suspected it was on its last legs for a few months leading up there to the end. I could tell because of the burning smell that emanated from it whenever toast was being cooked, even after we had just emptied all the crumbs out of the bottom. That last day when I smelled the burning, it occurred to me that a few remaining crumbs should not make this kind of smell. I peered into the toaster, noticing that one of the little heat filament-y things was broken, bent, and touching the bread that was in there. "Look!", I said to Husband. "It's broken inside. No wonder it smells so bad." To me, this was the end of the subject. Husband, however, waited until the toaster was cooled off to do a little further investigation. What he found was (surprise, surprise) a broken filament-y thing. And a lot of crumbs. And a hand-painted wooden magnet from preschool. (!) It had not only burned up, but the magnet (which had once presumably been just stuck to the inside of the toaster), was melted to the toaster's innards. He couldn't even pry them apart. Clearly, the magnet had been in there for quite some time. Fortunately, I don't make toast all that often and the house therefore has not been burned to the ground.

Needless to say, we got a new toaster. Then, last week, The Pinkiest(6) needed an empty oatmeal can to make an Indian drum for her Thanksgiving pow-wow at school. (Please direct all political correctness complaints here.) And she needed it Right NOW. I don't know about the rest of you, but I just don't keep empty oatmeal boxes lying around, stored up for pow-wow emergencies such as this. I happened to have a nearly brand new oatmeal box filled with- you guessed it. Oatmeal. So after she politely requested that I give her a box NOW about fifty-seven times, I finally relented and dumped all the oatmeal into a bowl, directing her to "go put that in your backpack right now" (which she didn't) "so you don't forget it" (which she did. Three days in a row.). So there I was with a huge bowl of oats and no rubbermaid to put them in. I realized I could Food Save them- but that requires TWO hands so I'm going to have to wait until Husband has time to help me. My Extreme Kitchen Sports are running him a little ragged. Poor man. He works too hard. Anyway, I decided to leave the bowl of oats there on the counter until I could take care of them later. Apparently I am a slow learner. Enter Monster Truck(2) (we assume, based on catching him red-handed in subsequent attempts to repeat the following scenario): He sees that new shiny toaster up there and a bowl of wonder-mystery-stuff and he thinks- Hmmm. Holes. Interesting. We definitely need to do something about that. If only I had some sort of filler.... Ah-hah! Oatmeal! That is a perfect filler. (I guess he did not get the memo from Taco Bell.) I will take this wonder-mystery-stuff and fill those holes. Pure genius! How do I do that? It's like I was sent here at this very time, just to correct this problem.

Little Mommy(9!) came in later that day to make herself some toast. After pointing out that the toaster was filled to the brim with oatmeal, she actually tried to put a piece of bread in there with it. I am not making this up. How ironic would it have been to burn the house down NOW with the new, less dangerous toaster? We would get an honorable mention in the next annual Darwin Awards, at the very least.

This may not be the right time to state that Little Mommy(9!) is very smart. She is. I can't believe she is 9! It seems like just yesterday she was 5 pounds and fighting for her life in an incubator. It makes me realize that life is just like making toast. Time flies when you're doing it and it is only as good as what you put on it- or into it. (Make sure it's not oatmeal!) You just get it all ready and before you know it, it's gone. The message: Enjoy the adventure at every possible moment- even in the wake of a toddler or two. Be glad they're leaving a trail of breadcrumbs for you to remember later.

And see that they don't burn the house down.

Jacob watch

The results, so far, are compelling. Has anyone voted more than once, I wonder? And how interesting is it that so far, everyone who has voted knew what the question makes reference to? How did I go along in the world completely oblivious to something so totally mainstream for this long? I live a life untouched by pop culture, apparently. And yet, I happen to be privy to the fact that Owen Wilson tried to kill himself last month but has now completely recovered according to someone who walked the dog of someone who used to know Owen's second cousin. With responsible journalists so hard at work, you'd think there would have been some sort of headline clueing me in to the more important issue at hand. Good thing I am making up for their oversight. Be sure you vote- (at the real polls too)!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Can't HANDLE the truth

We try to date as much as possible. This is for several reasons. They are, in no particular order:

  • I like my husband and want him to continue to like me,
  • to strengthen our relationship,
  • incentive to go to my weigh-in,
  • adult conversation- outside of discussing what the appropriate consequence is for the offending child of the moment,
  • our church leaders recommend it,
  • my sanity,
  • it's the only foreplay I have time for (-sorry, Jay, if you still come read this-),
  • we didn't really date before we got married and we're trying to make up for lost time


Let me briefly touch on a few of these.

I Like My Husband and Want Him to Continue to Like Me

Husband is wonderful. He is supportive, patient, a good listener, and he helps around the house. He lets me warm various parts of my ice-cold body on him in the night, even if he has been sound asleep and toasty for hours before I come to bed. He sticks up for me and appreciates how much (or sometimes how little) I do to keep our lives running. He protects me from sickness, bugs, bankruptcy, and things that go bump in the night. In return, I try not to greet him with a completely messy house, hot dogs for dinner, and a seething lack of patience due to the way I have already repeated every single thing I've said all afternoon about fifteen times. Clearly, I am getting the better end of the deal at this stage in our lives together. I need to date him just to get me out of my element; my "mom"-role, my frustration, and my sweatpants. Dating gives Husband a chance to see me with fresh make-up in good lighting, discussing something other than decorating Bubba's(6) Thanksgiving-turkey-art-project like Optimus Prime. Suddenly I get to be interesting and funny and beautiful. It does us both wonders.


It Strengthens Our Relationship/Adult Conversation

We have a rule when we date: no discussing the children. I will admit that this is much more difficult when we have a three-year-old; they are always doing some truly hilarious thing- but we try to stick to it. If you've been a parent for a while and can't remember the last time you went on a date, let me warn you: although the benefits from the "no discussing rule" are many, it is extremely difficult to do in the beginning. "Supermom" is a pretty all-consuming job and can easily take over if you do not carefully cultivate your secret identity. (It's a secret because small children will not believe you have a life outside of them, and teenagers will not believe you have a life at all.) The more effort I put into my alter ego*, the more we have to talk about over a plate of Italian food. It helps us stay friends. (*See The Refrigerator section for my current alter ego expansion project.)


We try to date our children as well. That is to say, we take them on individual parent dates so that they get some undivided attention from each of us. One of us will take a child out each month so that by the end of the year they have all gone on one date with Husband and one with me. The one-on-one time is nice, plus, it gives us the opportunity to take them somewhere we could not afford if we had the whole family along, for example- the full-price show at the movie theater complete with the works at the consession stand. I bring up the kid dates because I found out this weekend just how high-maintenance a date I am. Granted, there are reasons stated above for me to milk it a little, but nonetheless- I think maybe I should be a little less picky about what constitutes a date. I came to this conclusion after Mr. Yuke's(3) Daddy-date.

Mr Yuke(3) started out just like me, making all sorts of crazy demands about where they were going to go and what they would do when they got there. He chose going to "cowboy town" (Tombstone, Arizona) to buy a cowboy hat and ride a stagecoach and drink sasparilla and watch a gunfight and get some ice cream and then maybe buy some handcuffs and a sherriff's badge. This would be followed by a light lunch of four bread baskets and the mimi mouse pancake platter at Mimi's Cafe. They would then return home and watch a movie of Mr. Yuke's(3) choosing for the rest of the day (or until Mr. Yuke could think of something else to demand instead). Now, when he began listing off the itinerary, Husband and I both immediately became a little high-strung. See, going to "cowboy town" is somewhat problematic, seeing as how it's two states away and that means he of course can't go there and so one of us is going to have to break it to him gently and hold our breath the entire rest of the day because, as cute as he is- the boy CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH. And when he decides he is upset by anything in the world that has not gone his way, he will shriek his high-pitched noise at you until your eyeballs explode, as a punishment. And that makes it a little difficult to drive him to a "plan-B" destination. I was not feeling up to dealing with the "cowboy town" aftermath, so I steered clear of Mr. Yuke(3) the rest of the morning, rationalizing that this was Husband's date and therefore not my problem. I did feel a little sorry for him. Just not enough to get in the line of fire. I watched them leave, wondering what would happen when Husband broke the news to him? What would Husband try to do to make Mr. Yuke(3) happy? and how was he going to drive with exploded eyeballs?. Imagine my surprise when they returned not much later, Mr. Yuke beaming, full of pancakes and a spring in his step. I looked quizzically at Husband, the questions burning in my eyes- "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH OUR SON? AND WHO IS THIS KID? AND DO WE GET TO KEEP HIM?" Mr. Yuke chattered happily away at me as I stared in amazement, racking my brain trying to figure out if Husband maybe could have taken him to some other crappy tourist-trap western town that is close-by but had somehow slipped my mind before? And then I got my answer-

Mr. Yuke(3): Come on, Dad! Let's finish our date! Remember? The part WHEN WE EAT COOKIES!!!
(said in a way that could have meant- We're going to meet Santa Claus! in Disneyland. and he's going to give us money.)


Ah hah! A classic dad manuever. Bribery. With sugar. lots of sugar.

SIGH. This is one of those things in life that is not fair. Because there is some unwritten law that says moms cannot shamelessly throw half a dozen chocolate chip cookies at a child in order to prevent the eyeball explosion tantrum, yet from dads, this is totally acceptable behavior. Oh well. I experienced a satisfied state of happiness over the facts that:

  • Mr. Yuke(3) had a marvelous time with his dad,
  • Husband had an enjoyable time with his son,
  • all of us had a great time not hearing the shrieking,
  • and EVERYONE loves my chocolate chip cookies. They are divine.
The bitter aftertaste in my mouth was due to the realization that Mr. Yuke(3), the shrieking eel, was a much easier-to-please date than I am. There we were, waiting for the meltdown, and he was completely ecstatic. I, on the other hand, can just imagine what my own reaction would be if Husband ever dared suggest we go home and eat some cookies together for one of our dates. And realizing that I am more trouble than our most temperamental child?- when my main reason for dating is that I like Husband and I want him to like me?- That just doesn't go down so easy. Well... maybe. With chocolate chip cookies and a glass of milk. And a Husband too good and patient for words.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Clarification

Just so there's no misunderstanding- choosing Jacob is completely fine. Understandable even, seeing as how I myself am back on the fence about that issue every other day. (I like to spend my time and energy thinking about life's truly important matters.) I am so consumed with being torn over it that I was prompted to use it for this month's poll. That and I'm fascinated by the fact that everywhere I go people are having this discussion. So much so that Im actually considering getting a t-shirt made with the question "Edward or Jacob?" printed on it so that I can see just how many people out there will discuss it with me in a day. Did I mention I need a new hobby? : )

Please don't ever feel the need to apologize for your opinions, especially when I requested them. I only feel the need to say something because I actually know some people who consider it rude to express a dissenting opinion. Having an opinion is pretty much the privelige of whatever person happened to utter his or her thoughts first. I am offended by this value system. Ludicrous. (I am so opinionated, you can see why this approach to human interaction might chap me.)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Revenge of Hocker Ooze

Well, it's here. Again. Flu season. That time of year when I take a half dozen kids for a round of group therapy (immunizations) because- hey, that would be fun. We are working toward the goal of screeching hysterically in harmony. Sort of like the VonTrapp's; hypodermic-style. We're not there yet, of course. Muh-loo(6m) holds us back.

Interestingly enough, I have a theory that going through this annual ordeal makes us sick. Now, I'm not talking about the school of thought maintained by rabid anti-immunization lobbyists. I think getting shots keeps us all much healthier and I'm all for it. No, my theory centers more around the location of the ordeal. (No- I don't mean arm vs. leg. Keep reading.) See, we go to the pediatrician's office for our shots. (You've gotta go back and read that with a southern accent.) But do you know what? There are Others who also go to the pediatrician's office. They're called SICK PEOPLE.

Did you know that sick people have germs? True story. The last four years, (when I decided I could no longer abide the Domino Effect caused by the barrage of Just-arrived-from-a-random-third-world-country-illegal-immigrants, and snot-nosed, school-aged children we have nearly constant contact with and that flu shots were not as unnecessary as my mother always tried to make me believe-) after I have taken my clan for their flu shot, they- and I am not making this up- have been sick with Croupe within 48 hours. Every time. And for some reason, about this same time every year, either Husband or I becomes EXTREMELY sick with Bronchitis and/or Walking Pneumonia so that- when a feverish child is up all night wheezing and coughing in such a bark that dogs in London actually start looking for lost puppies, I never know if it is Croupe or if this is the year the child has actually caught Bronchitis from the doting (hacking) parents. So now somehow, half the half dozen children are oozing- well we'll call it "stuff"- from every orafice in their heads, and I'm thinking that if there is a Hocker Ooze out there somewhere, my blog must have pissed him off and now he is wreaking his havoc in my personal corner of the universe. So eventually I end up taking them back to the doctor where (insert pediatrician's name here) says, "Yup. Sounds like croupe. Use a humidifier. Maybe try cold air." and then the receptionist is like, "That will be ten dollars, please." and I'm all, no- you pay me ten dollars! and then clean your waiting room. with lysol. And then I shell out the cash, cringing as I watch to see whether or not the mag strip on my debit card has worn out from all the physical therapy co-pays in the last two weeks. (DANG! No such luck.) So while I'm waiting for the little paper to print out, I take a mental inventory of all the children's decongestants currently in the cupboard at home and I realize that I have tons of it. It's all for the ages of the healthy kids in the family. For the sick ones, I'm going to have to go buy some more, and that's going to be another fifteen bucks. And then I begin to feel nauseous and try not to hurl as I total up the cost of our healthcare in the last month and I wonder how many of our kids will be in college before we can afford to go on a date again.
And THAT is how getting flu shots makes you sick.

Anonymity

Suddenly, the polling feature doesn't seem so useful. Because someone out there picked Jacob, and now I don't even know who it is! I think I need a new hobby.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Those sweet, idyllic moments

You know the ones I'm talking about. The ones that make you very nearly forget that your children are the spawn of- well, anyway- Those rare, precious times when everyone is cooperating and playing together and using their very polite manners and making the kind of choices that help you to feel good about being a parent. Because you know that somehow, sometime, some of that good stuff you tried to teach them managed to ooze in (in spite of all the other things, such as the phrase "Holy crap!" and a penchant for eating brownies before 8:00am). Those times that you are filled with satisfaction and you get a teeny glimpse of what it means to have joy and rejoicing in your posterity. At such times, you gaze at your children (because they are not just "kids" right then) and visions of other scenes flicker through your mind. You see them how they smiled at you when they were babies. You imagine other happy children running to launch a kite, only you see it in slow motion. You see radio flyer wagons being dragged to the sandlot for a neighborhood baseball game and then there's the Ice Cream Man with his truck. You hear the music tinkling in the background- while for a moment in time, your family has been transformed into a Norman Rockwell painting. And it is good.

We had one such moment two Sundays ago. After church the children all decided to play a quiet game together. Bubba(6) was dressed in his suit so he was the Bishop. He sat at his desk (piano bench) and each of the other children came one by one to pay him their tithing and also to get a piece of candy. They conversed amongst themselves quietly in this fashion as I sat with my elevated injury and Husband prepared food for the family. It was one of those sweet, idyllic moments for Husband and me. We gazed lovingly at each other and I smiled a peaceful smile. I was somewhere near the Ice Cream Man part of the hallucination when our heads both jerk up in response to Mr. Yuke(3) saying, "NOW I'm going to KILL you, Bishop!!!"

Me: What?! Why is anyone killing the Bishop?!

Husband (able to explain because he was not hallucinating as vividly as me- maybe it was the percocet?...): Bubba(6) is the Bishop, they're paying their tithing, and Mr.Yuke(3) is the Jedi that has been sent to kill him. (duh.)

Me: The Jedis don't like the Church? Or is it just tithing they're opposed to?

Mr. Yuke(3): I was just trying to make their game more incher-resting....

SIGH. Well, I guess it was nice while it lasted.

WARNING!: I had a bad day

So the following entry may be the sort Husband was referring to when he tried to discourage me from blogging those months ago. I apologize for the negativity. You maybe just want to skip on down a few to the funny ones.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Where everybody knows your name

You know how when you're in the kitchen baking a round of EXTREME CINNAMON ROLLS and you lose? and stick a knife through your hand (turns out I damaged a lot more than a finger) and then it all hits the fan because suddenly you can't do jack by yourself even though you would like to, and you feel like an absolute moron because- as far as injuries go- the ones resulting from EXTREME CINNAMON ROLLS afford you no bragging rights whatsoever- and then you find out who your REAL friends are? Yeah. That sucks.

So- no surprise that MyBeautiful jumped to my aid and actually came to my house to cook me and my family a fabulous meal the day of my surgery and called to check on me about a week after and has had me over for therapeutic hours of artistry and book discussion since then. Not the least bit surprising, though no less appreciated. Everyone should be so lucky. She's the kind of friend you might find once in your life. That's not the part that sucks. MyBeautiful lives two cities away and so I don't get to see her nearly as often as I'd like. She's the friend that no matter what happens or how much time passes, I love and admire her every bit as much.

The part that sucks are the rest of the people that I DO see on a regular basis. There are a handfull of people that I would have thought were good friends I could count on- friends who I would have bent over backwards to help if the situation had been reversed. Friends who it turns out- couldn't care less. Yep. They don't give a rat's hiney that I need help. They are not really even concerned about the fact that I got hurt. And THAT is what sucks. Finding out now. Like this.
This story has a bittersweet ending though. It turns out I do have a couple of friends that I was not even aware of. Friends who know my name and what's going on with me. Friends I can count on when life beats me at extreme kitchen sports. It's nice to know that somebody knows my name. And I didn't even have to get sloshed to meet them.

Second verse, same as the first

I got my stitches out. More importantly, I got out of that nasty splint. Into a slightly less nasty, marginally more comfortable, exceptionally more festive splint, which I will be sporting throughout the holiday season. Still can't change the diapers.

My father disappeared again. Wonder how long he'll be under the radar this time?

Monday, October 22, 2007

HUNT AND PECK: In Case You Were Wondering

If you ever have frozen cinnamon rolls and you're getting ready to bake them and they're stuck together and you think you'll just pry them apart with a sharp knife even though your mom always told you NOT to use knives that way- don't. Your mom was right. In case you were wondering.

On a related note- I will be taking a little hiatus from blogging until at least Nov. 3rd when the surgeon allows me to remove splint, bandages, and stitches. (Your mom was REALLY right.) (Also- I am really stupid.) Severed 2 tendons and a nerve. Will be having PT and OT for several months. Ever tried to change a diaper one-handed? Someday I will have something funny to say about that.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

More in common than you think

Mr. Yuke(3): Gramma?

Motherinlaw: Yes?

Mr Yuke(3): Chuck-Gr-Ama has the same name as you.

Motherinlaw: ???

Mr. Yuke(3): You both have the same name. Of Gr-Amma.


Makes you hungry just thinking about it, doesn't it?

Better Off Dead

I haven't blogged for a while. Nothing was funny for a few days. That's called P.M.S.. Then my inlaws came. That's called A.C.C. (Aw Crap! Clean up, quick!). Then they left- but not before I got very sick. I even had to miss out on kid-trading-for-an-escape-day with TwinScrapper. And I haven't even talked to her about it yet. So now I'm on the mend and I have all kinds of stuff to chat about. For example, how Husband is four days behind me in this miserable illness I am emerging from. He was very cranky tonight. Like DON'T-look-at-me cranky. And I can't help but think about the fact that four days ago when I was hacking up my lungs, he was propositioning me. Interesting how perspectives change. And also- why is it that when I get sick the kids seem to think I'm on some wonderful feverish luxury vacation up there in my bed and that probably all the secretions coming out of every hole in my head are somehow a manifestation of my pure joy in relaxation from all the not lifting a finger I do when I am THAT SICK. This of course would lead any youngster to want to join in the vacation and also not lift a finger with me. And the house falls apart in the space of a few hours on the first day and I pray that nobody will call the cops about the state of affairs downstairs because I'm really sick and it's not usually like that and all I want is a little rest and TO STOP COUGHING LONG ENOUGH FOR THE MUSCLES AROUND MY ABS TO STOP HURTING AND IS THAT ASKING SO MUCH!!! So they all join me in not lifting a finger in spite of my piteous efforts to command them to DO THEIR WORK and then it takes weeks- if not longer- to get caught up again. I do not understand how they manage it, really. I don't think I could ransack a place that quickly and completely, even if there were some sort of official t-shirt and a cash prize at the end of it. That's my children. Talented. So, waaaaah. Poor me. Actually, it's not all bad. I actually caught myself thinking that I will have lost quite a lot by the time I go weigh in again.

Now that I've gotten all the crud off my chest, (if not totally OUT of it)- Let me tell you about the field trip to the Pumpkin Patch. The Pinkiest(5) and her class had a field trip to the pumpkin patch. They went with the afternoon kids and that meant she had lunch at like 9:45 am and she had to show up at school with a water bottle and tennis shoes and sunscreen (oops.) and NO BACKPACK. Not that I particularly cared about any of these directions but the No Backpack thing seemed to be a real big deal for the kindergarten teachers because they sent home four different notes about it. The Pinkiest(5) also needed $2.00. This was absolutely required and if they did not bring it they would not get a pumpkin and they would not get a treat and they would not get a visit from Santa Claus and they would not get to go to the pumpkin patch! Ok, ok, we'll send her stupid $2.00. Geez. So, a week and a half before the field trip she starts asking me for the money. About ten times a day. I say yes, don't worry. We'll get your two dollars. 5 days before the field trip The Pinkiest(5) is practically in meltdown mode. "I need my two dollars." "Where is my two dollars?" "Don't forget my two dollars!" "What about my two dollars?"
ME: YES!!! I'LL GET YOUR TWO DOLLARS. JUST WAIT!
So she waited that morning, only bringing it up about fifteen more times. We get in the car because she missed the bus and as I'm driving her to school I realize- CRAP!!! I forgot the two dollars. That's just great. I start thumbing through my wallet. All I have is a five. She of course notices me perusing the cash stash and pipes in, "I NEED my two dollars!" And all I can see in my mind's eye is an image of claymation fast food items dancing. (Someone please confirm that those were in that movie and I'm not just losing my mind on random rejected commercial ad campaign pitches.) So I toss the five at her while emphatically stating that I want ALL the change and that means three dollars and I want it all. "Yeah. Ok, mommy. Bye." I watched her walk away with a sinking feeling that I'd never see that three dollars again.
And a strange desire to get a paper route.

Fast forward to later that day, about 15 minutes after she got home from school. Crying she says, "I lost my money!!!"
ME: What money?.... You mean MY money? My three dollars?
The Pinkiest(5): No, it's five. The sub wouldn't take it.
You can imagine my exasperation at this point. Because just what kind of amateurs are they paying to sub down at that school who don't even take care of the important things like collecting money for a field trip they know nothing about that's five days away? Doesn't this woman know that Murphy's Law and The Forces of the Universe and the brain of a mother of 6 all state that these sorts of things can only be remembered ONCE and therefore she will surely not have that stupid two dollars turned in for the field trip no matter how hard I try to make sure she does? It's unnatural. Well, then The Pinkiest(5) goes on to explain that she had the money in her backpack and she took it out when she got home to play with it (because why not? She's been home for fifteen minutes.) and it got lost. (Funny how kids always put it like that- "IT got" lost. I really had very little to do with it.)

Luckily she found it that night and I confiscated it. The good news is that the day of her fieldtrip I happened to read over the gazillionth note from the teachers about the requirements (Water bottle. Check. Sunscreen. In a minute. Two dollars. Oh crap!-) and we were able to find exactly two dollars this time around. But in the hunt for "my two dollars" we forgot the sunscreen. I guess two dollars and skin cancer late in life are a small price to pay for a pumpkin from the real-life actual pumpkin patch. At least she had a jacket with her and has therefore, NOT gotten sick. (Mom logic.) John Cusak's got nothin' on me.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Amberzzz Alert

So tonight I was working away, putting together a one hour class on everything you ever needed to know about every facet of food storage. (Yeah. That's what I thought too.) Anyway, I was typing and concentrating real hard, in order to get done in time to take my four thousand handouts over to the church to make one hundred thousand copies. The kids all did their chores today (miracle of miracles!) and we didn't even have to dress up. The ones who are not currently on restriction were therefore free to roam the area between the next door neighbors' driveways and their bedrooms. These boundaries are part of The Rules. This apparently was too much square mileage because they decided to move all the crap they have for entertainment out of the house and into the driveway. No, mom. We can't play babies in the playroom. (What is she thinking?) They also couldn't leave the books in the book corner or the blankets on their beds. Or anything at all in the garage. I did venture away from the computer twice to check on the size of the pile on the sidewalk and to make sure it was not spilling out into the street. I do this because I care about the HOA imposed covenants. Tee Hee. And because Santa ain't replacing every dumb thing that gets run over because it was left halfway in the street by careless children. Also to do the 15 minute head count (it's 15 seconds when we're out in public), but that was mostly unnecessary due to their trips to get more crap every 5 minutes. So just when I'm finishing up printing out handout 3-thousand-99, Little Mommy(8) says to me that The Pinkiest(5) is missing. Now, I'm not alarmed mind you, because one, I figure Little Mommy (who is on restriction) is really reporting that The Pinkiest(5) has wandered beyond the driveway boundaries and Little Mommy(8) is desperately hoping to get her sister into trouble too. And two, because if The Pinkiest(5) truly has turned up missing, I can safely assume she is next door, or across the street, or at Sister Teacher's house, or at Old Sister Teacher's house, or at Old Sister Teacher's Neighbor's house- trying to get a sugar fix. (She's on detox until Halloween.) So I gather up my handouts, get the baby, head downstairs and find Little Mommy(8) in the yard, beside herself calling The Pinkiest(5). Bubba(6) is also calling her and is riding up and down the street looking for her. Now I think she is hiding from them because she doesn't want to come in and it is starting to get dark. So I start looking. I walk up and down the street calling her name. Very loudly. (I could be a stage singer if I could only act. My voice is THAT LOUD.) But she is nowhere. Not only that, but every neighbor I know says they haven't seen her for a while. Old Teacher's Husband says, "Check in that van. It's been parked there in front of nothing for an hour and we've never seen it before. We're pretty sure it doesn't belong here." Sadly, I live in a neighborhood that is both too expensive for us to purchase a home (mid-300's) and also the ghetto where every nasty-white trash-scary-person lives. I would not be at all surprised if any one of them or their scary friends kidnapped one of my kids. I actually looked in every one of those van windows while still hollering her name- in spite of the fact that the driver was sitting in it at the wheel. No The Pinkiest(5). Or any other person bound and gagged- so that's good news. I start having a panic attack. I am yelling her name so loudly now, that people are coming out of their houses, jumping in their cars, and driving around to help with the search. After 12 of us looked frantically for another 15 minutes, my friend DramaLady called the cops, gave the description, and they were sending an officer to take the missing persons report. (Meanwhile I was cursing my d#*&@ cell phone. Why don't they have some sort of beeper thing you can push for when you misplace those things?) Then I sent Bubba(6) into the house to check the book corner because my kids often fall asleep in there. It's a cozy little space all their own with puppets and books and pillows and cushions and a beanbag chair. I was hoping that she would be in there. But nope, she wasn't.

She was in her bed with the blanket pulled over her head in such a way that it looked like a pile of blanket with no one under it, so deeply asleep that she couldn't be roused and had no idea that everyone in This State That I Live In had just been shouting her name for the last 25 minutes. She had to walk right past me to get in there but I was so engrossed with the food storage stuff that I did not notice her go in- (probably for another load of whatever items might have slipped through the cracks and not ended up out in the swap meet on the driveway-) and never come out again. Sound the alarm. Stand down. Thank the neighbors. Curl up and die. So embarrassing.

The silver lining is that I got to hear all the other mom's stories about when the same exact thing happened to them. This didn't make me feel any less stupid, mind you- but a little less guilty for troubling them. Amish at Heart's son actually fell asleep playing hide-and-seek. He was a really good hider. Oh the trauma! And to think that Husband missed the whole thing. AND, come to think of it, so did The Pinkiest(5).