Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Girl Talk

I wish I could capture all the chatter that goes on (aside from wanting it to disappear altogether since it usually comes at the most inoportune times. Like, before you've had your morning coffee.) because really, it's amazing how children can think of the funniest things. They have an amazing ability to jump from one topic to the next, like there's a waiting list in their mind of all the things they want to cover. And let's not forget the bazillion questions.

Here's something Koko said to me the other day, as she was walking by.

K: Mom, we were pretending we were getting married, walking around town and having coffee and stuff, only we were just drinking water and pretending.

Me: Oh, so you were getting married by drinking coffee?

K: NOOOO! Not just THAATT! We were shopping and stuff!

Because that's how you define marriage? Shopping and coffee? Funny. Especially considering that my husband and I rarely go shopping together, and we NEVER drink coffee together. In fact, my hubs hasn't drank coffee in my presence in a few years. At least. Oh, and the "walking around town" is even more laughable, as he doesn't walk. Refuses. Not even the ONE BLOCK to his buddy's house. Nope. He drives.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

AHHHH!!! Attack of the mommy! **UPDATED

Ok, SERIOUSLY?!?! What is it with things attacking me this summer? First the bug puking experience, then the squirrels, now dive-bombing cicadas? Every time I go outside these days I get attacked by a stupid, albeit probably harmless, but very large and noisy, cicada. Yesterday I freaked out in the gas station when a fly flew by my face, ducking and waving my arms about. My neighbor, also the cashier, was like, "whoa, relax. It's just a fly." Yeah, whatever. Just a fly. Humph. Not what I'm thinking about as some unidentified object is flying at my face.

No wonder my poor boy is so naughty. His mom is too afraid to take him outside.

OH, yeah, I probably should have explained that other stuff. Puking and squirrels.

The bug thing.

In short, I swallowed a bug and I puked my guts out. In my front yard, while holding one of my children. And due to lovely side effects of having multiple children, in addition to heredity, it also meant I peed my pants. Really peed my pants. You know, down the legs, in the shoes. Puddles. Mm hm. Yes. That kind. We're not talking sprinkles, here.

Maybe all these bugs (2) flying in my mouth is a sign I need to close my mouth. It actually happened again yesterday (the swallowing bug part) when I was outside working on the pool. I somehow managed to talk myself down from a freak-out as to avoid any puking and peeing that was about to ensue.

The squirrel thing.

This summer we bought one of those cool blue bubble pools you see everyone has. It's been a lot of fun, but it requires maintenance to keep it clean and experimentation in finding the right balance of chemicals. While we were gone on vacation I hadn't put enough chlorine tabs in, so things were needing my attention. Was it the green color of the water that fooled them, I don't know. But one morning I woke up and while getting breakfast I saw something in the pool. Upon further investigation, I found this.

Um, yeah, Gross!

I scooped it out with a shovel, and told my hubs we were draining the pool and we'd start over next year. Well, he thought that was ridiculous and we'd just clean it (the pool, not the squirrel) and it'd be fine. Fine. Great. Whatever.

Actually, I needed to add a bunch more shock treatment - I ran out (yes, please note the green color of the water. That is the actual color. Like I said, we were on vacation.) - so I did just that. I shocked the daylights out of it. Took care of the green color and any heebeegeebees I was going to get from dead squirrels. However, before I could get that shock treatment, another squirrel jumped on in. I saw it swimming laps while I was making supper. Well, I couldn't just leave it in there to die. That would be cruel. But squirrels are a little, uh, squirrel-y, and I was worried about 1) how to get it out and 2) getting bit by a rabid squirrel. I called Kong, as he was at work, and his advice was to get it out with the pool net. Yeah, and then what? Have a crazed squirrel stuck in my net? No thanks. I quickly scanned the yard for something and found a 2x4. Probably a 12 foot 2x4, but who's counting. Not a smart choice on my part, but I was thinking rescue and rabies, not what's the weight of this board when wet. I also was still on the phone with my hubs, which probably didn't help either. lol.

Worried about popping a hole in the pool, I thought, well, I'll just put this deflated floaty on the end, which didn't stay on. Naturally. And the squirrel kept swimming to the floating but deflated floaty and trying to jump off it out of the pool. Wasn't working. And it didn't want anything to do with the board I had. It was growing tired and more frantic as it got closer and closer to drowning. I also was growing more tired and frantic as my attempts at rescue were not working, further complicated by my small children running to my side, and my screaming at them to "get. back, get on. the deck." It was a lot of excitement. I mean, just what I needed was to be pregnant and home alone with my 4 small children and get attacked by a freaked out squirrel.

Eventually I managed to fling it out of the pool, where it looked around, made sure no one was attacking it, and then set it's head down on the grass and just layed there. FOR HOURS. And I quickly ushered everyone back in the house so I could finish supper.

For a while the thing just laid in the grass and I could see it flick it's tail or breathe, but then that seemed to stop. Great, another dead squirrel in my yard. Oh, well. I did my duty, performed my feeble attempts at heroism.

After supper and while the kids were otherwise engaged, I ventured out onto the deck to get a closer look, but the stinkin' thing wasn't there. I thought for sure it was dead, but apparently it just needed 3 hours to recuperate from the ordeal. Well, all the better. At least it was gone.

I still can't figure out why suddenly we have squirrels jumping into our pool. It isn't like the tree overlaps and they were just falling in. They actually had to purposefully jump in. See?...

Other people with more pool experience than I have said that that's not uncommon, creatures in the pool. Sorry, it's uncommon for me, and despite the fact that the whole ordeal lasted about 4 minutes, I was fairly traumatized. I couldn't sleep that whole night, for worrying about stupid squirrels on a suicide mission. Then, I figured out that they didn't jump in there when the floaties were in there (which I had taken out when cleaning). Easy solution. We now ALWAYS keep the floaties in the pool. Viola! No more squirrels. (They also seem to be strangely absent from my yard, too.)

**sigh. I give up. Next year we are definitely going to have to put the pool farther from the tree. Kayla went out and discovered another one, this evening. AGHHHHH!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Tales of Juggling and Surviving

As a mom of many, there are these common statements that I hear... frequently. Personally, I think they're a bit funny. Because, really, they can apply to anyone. Everyone has challenges. Maybe mine are more obvious?

Anyway. It's the "I don't know how you do it" and "wow, you must be busy" comments that kill me. I really do think they are funny, if not a tad annoying out of repetition. My thought is, "do I have a choice?" or "well, you just do" and then "yes, there isn't usually a lot of quiet or lazy time." In return I wonder, wow, how do you do it - work AND have (one or two) children, work and go to school, work and go to school and have children, survive being a single mom, live with chronic pain or disability, juggle so many activities and obligations (swimming lessons, soccer, library time, youth group/awanas, bible study, volunteering for the food shelf,...), how do you have such a clean house? How are you so patient? How can you manage to homeschool? Where do you get the energy to do all YOU do?

Cuz really, I'd. like. to know.

One thing that helps me, I don't overschedule our life. I don't believe that's healthy for kids or the family but in our house it also has to do with age/ability, age/ability of others, cost, and proximity. Where we live, there is no grocery store, our church isn't here, and there's nothing "to do" but go to the park which we live across the street from. If anything, I underschedule them, but the payoff is that they learn how to use their creativity and entertain themselves. And not with tv or video games either. (I rarely hear "I'm bored." So far.) All those combined are reasons we have to plan and limit what we do "in town". And that includes what I want to do, too. So that buys me time. Now, energy and patience?

It's all about juggling, and often times, there are balls we have to set down for a while. My balls (teehee, that sounded funny, giggle) are usually in the area of housekeeping, personal grooming and maintenance, and meals. Well, and patience. That's probably the first to go out the window (and the one I fight the hardest to keep). My trips to the beauty salon are few and far between (last haircut was July 2009), I regularly forget to brush my teeth, or occasionally put on deodorant, or both. Sometimes I don't get dressed until well into the afternoon, some days not at all. Many times I defer to mac-n-cheese or frozen pizza, and there are a few very troublesome areas in my house that are just  n e v e r  going to be clutter-free - It's more of an avoid-the-landslide tactic. (Yes, it's that bad. No, I'm not a hoarder and yes you can walk through my house, the garbage is in the can which is taken out when it's full, we are pet free minus Squirt, I'm not a shopaholic or free-loader, and we don't get the newspaper so there are no stacks of papers from decades past.)

Sometimes it's about surviving. Like when clothes get washed because no one has socks/jeans/underwear (though now I'm doing great on laundry) and frequently the floor sees a mop when you can't keep shoes on in the kitchen (currently sticky-free - yay!). Sweeping and vacuuming are pretty daily occurances though. As goes with dishes. Sheesh, I'm not a total slob! ;)

So when you juggle and survive, you might have mornings like this...

This summer I have worked on giving my kids chores, which means I am teaching them how to do chores. Make your bed, put your dirty clothes in the basket, pick up some toys, put away any clean clothes. Easy. But I usually have to check, monitor, instruct, and hound. Three-year-olds need a LOT more instruction and supervision than five and six year olds, that's for sure. Two-year-olds? Forget it. It's purely survival.

So to amuse the destructive undo-as-you-clean Boots, I stuck him in the bath, while I "assisted" Cheeks (and a bit of George and Koko) in her chores. It was a great plan. All were accounted for and occupied.

All freaking month morning long Koko has been tattling. About everything. All. the. time. It's endless, as are my comments about "are you the mom," "I can take care of it," and "stop tattling." sigh. She picked this up... ahem... somewhere. She even makes special trips upstairs to tell me that Cheeks didn't pick up the books (yes, but I didn't ask her to pick up books), and so on an so forth.

The two olders get their chores done, I call up Cheeks, she comes and begins her share, and Boots is happily, or so I thought, splashing in the tub.

Koko comes back upstairs asking to go swimming and put on her suit. Great. All the while commenting on the things Cheeks hasn't done, etc. After being up the for at least 5 minutes, just about to go back down herself, she decides to mention that, oh yeah, Boots is outside.

WHAT?!?! Naked? Alone? Why didn't you TELL ME!?! GO GET HIM (because I'm not wearing pants)! Tell George to help bring him in?!?!

So much for my plan. sigh.

And she chooses this one. important. thing. to wait to tattle about? And who unlocked the door? Nevermind.

I go to the bathroom in search of my shorts from yesterday so I can go outside and gather my naked son from riding his little tractor thing down the sidewalk, when I see that there is something funny, er, gross, floating in the tub. Yay! He pooped, too! sigh.

I find my shorts, grab the naked kid who now has mud on his feet and legs and has to be rebathed, scoop the poop out of tub and rebathe the turkey toddler.

Yes. Juggling and surviving. Good times.

I know you have days like this. Please tell me you have days like this.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


There's a milk chocolate Symphony bar in the fridge. And I can't stop thinking about it. Or the pan of freshly made brownies sitting on the stove.

Oh, no, it's happening. That pregnancy hunger thing!

Actually, my OB would probably be a little happy, as long as it wasn't candy and brownies I was eating. Chocolate yogurt, maybe? :D

I'm 24 weeks. Well, like, in an hour, officially. As official as unofficial due dates get, anyway.

I still like reading the pregnancy books, even though this is my fifth child. Helps you know what baby's doing in there. But, I laugh. Each week it tells you what your weight gain should be. Last week it said 12-15 lbs. HA! No way, jack!

See, when I got prego, I knew I needed to watch what I eat due to past Gestational Diabetes risk. And vainly, I also wanted to lose a bit of weight before my first ob appt. (I'm plenty overweight, so I have enough to spare. No need to get any undies in bundles. Srsly.) I had gained a bunch of weight after having Boots, with all the stress from nursing probs I had, and some more after last summer's "unpleasant experience" and I wanted to lose a little. Nothing drastic. So I started South Beach Diet, cuz that's my favorite, but wasn't crazy rigid about it, and lost about 12-13 lbs. in about 8 weeks. Not bad for being pregnant. Then it stalled, but I'm not gaining either. Now I'm just eating healthy, and I've actually mostly just cut down the amount I eat -  so now I'm eating more normal person portions instead of GINORMOUS portions - and I have only gained 2 lbs. So 12-15 lbs? HAHAHAHAHA. But then, last week with the illness-that-never-ends I may have lost those 2 lbs... plus 2 more. Which is strange cuz I ate like a pig for a couple meals in there somewhere so how I could lose 4 is beyond me. (Secretly I'm thinking, wouldn't it totally rock to go home from the hospital like 25 lbs lighter than when I started?!?!?! But shhhh... I didn't really say that. ahem.) (Oh, and because I have to watch what I eat and don't usually gain more than 20 lbs anyway, and I have always gone home weighing the same or a lb or two less ayway, so I'm not thinking totally crazy, here. Sheesh!)

So can I justify 5 brownies in one night?

Uh, yeah, probably not.

I was feeling baby move, earlier. I love that. This kid moves differently than my others, though. The movements are bigger and more sudden, but fewer. So sometimes I won't feel him all day, or maybe just a little. Other days, it's more. And it took FOREVER for me to start feeling him move at all. Which freaked me out til I had my ultrasound. It was probably about 22 weeks when I really did start feeling it. I had even wondered if the nerves in my uterus were fried. As in, not working. Like I was dead from the waist down. Because why wasn't I feeling my baby? But he is in there, squirming. Well, and now he's clearly in there as evidenced by my dwindling number of pants that fit. And that my kids keep mentioning how big my belly is getting. (It's not that big.)

hmmmm.... ? *looks around* Maybe if I eat some chocolate he'll move for me.

Uh, pardon me. Gotta go. ;-) Later!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

You know it's been a long day when...

I'm doing a little cathartic blogging today. This is my second blog post today. :D

Summer is coming to a close. It's hot. We spent the last 11/12 days cooped up because someone was barfing/had diarrhea. Kids are restless from all that - which means the usually whining, crying, fighting, tattling. All the fun behaviors that make being cooped up even more fun. We're ready for school. At least mama is. Admit it. You are too.

So, to makes lemonade out of lemons (Oh, that's stretching it a bit?), ok, by adding sarcasm to life to make our misery more funny (yeah, that sounds more like it.), let's all SHARE our fun. Leave a comment and tell me how you know it's been a long day.

I'll start.

You know it's been a long day when...
... you don't remember anymore why your child is being "disciplined"... again.
... you let your children continue doing what naughty thing they're doing so they won't get into anything else they're not supposed to. and they are entertained, if briefly.
... you justfy spraying them down with the hose because they're muddy, when really it's for your own personal satisfaction.
... you utilize Natural Consequences and "allow" them to scrub hundreds of tiny mud spots off of their clothing.

... the real reason you are using Natural Consequences is so that you don't have to do it,

... and it takes a lot of time, thus engaging your child in a constructive activity for at least 15 minutes. Time they won't be getting into anything else.

... your little one pees on the floor and it doesn't even phase you.

... you use the just-scrubbed, still-soapy shirt your son just handed you to clean the peed-on floor, so now you don't have to mop. Again.

... you actually consider letting them go swimming during a thunderstorm just to get some peace and quiet, get them out of the house, to surrender to the madness, to get them busy doing something you know they have permission to do.
So, if you happen to find yourself having had a long day, I'd love to hear about it. I could use a good laugh. And... Commiserating is good therapy. I call it Share-apy. Leave a comment with your tidbit or a link. Thanks.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

9 days and counting...

Anyone like Josh Turner? I love his deep, soulful voice. An endearing southern accent helps too. I also like the fact that he's a Christian and includes that element in his lyrics. (Not a prerequisite to my musical tastes, just an added bonus.) You might know his hit song Long Black Train.

Yeah, well I feel like I'm on the Long Black PUKE Train. And I want off this damn ride.

Yes, 9 days ago and counting was the start of us having puke and/or some element of illness in our house. That's a long time. Especially when you're the one and only puke-cleaner-upper. Kong has a pretty weak gag reflex. (Though I have to give him kuddos for some very important times when he has truly stepped up to the plate in this area, and let me tell you, GOD WAS THERE. Because there's no way on God's green Earth that he could have done the clean up if He wasn't.)

This is NO 24 hour bug, people. It last days. I MUST warn you. Stay indoors. Stay away from crouds. Take your Vitamin C. Use a face mask. Wear gloves. Bust out your hand sanitizer. Do. whatever. it. takes.

I'm not a germaphobe in any sort of stretch of the imagination. But if you don't want to get sick, and especially if you have a house full of people, you will want to PROTECT YOURSELF. No joke. A fair amount of exaggeration, maybe, and certainly sarcasm laced, but in the end, I'm NOT. LAUGHING.

And to lighten things up a little, I'll share with you some odd/funny things my kids have said whilst imfirmed.

George (he had a high fever and was having nightmares from it): It's a T-Rex.
Me: Oh, in your dream, huh.
George: I wanna be nice.
Me: You are nice.
George: I want you to take my picture.
Me: You want me to take your picture right now? When you're sick? Not wait until you're better?
George: Yeah.

In the end the batteries were dead on the camera, which seemed to appease him.

Koko (forever the drama queen, the most vocal, by far, of all the sickies):
(after puking on her shirt and me wanting to put another one on her)
I don't want to sit up. I just want to lay down. Noooooooo......
(5 minutes later)
Koko: I don't want to lay here anymore. waaaaaaaa.....
Me: Where do you want to go?
Koko: I want to go somewhere fun. (I had a hard time not laughing.)

(and about every 5 minutes throughout the last 2 days...)
Koko: I'm hungry/thirsty. I want a big glass of lemonade/I want something to eat.
Me: I'm sorry. I can't give you anything. It will make you barf, and that's not going to make you feel better.
Koko: Ahem. Mom! Do you see me barfing? Nooo..
Me: (stunned by the attitude) Uh, yeah, well you may not feel very good, but you don't get to be snotty. And I'm still not giving you anything.
(5 minutes later)
Koko: My tummy hurts. I don't want to puke. Noooo...

Lil' Boots and Cheeks hardly made a peep, on the other hand. Cheeks just layed there. Boots wanted me to hold him, and hold him I did. For 2 straight days. What's a mama to do? My baby needed me. This in stark contrast to his daddy preference as of late. Despite his abnormal, quiet, non-monkey-like streak, he has been having a language boom lately. He, upon having a diarrhea diaper (oh, yeah, did I mention that? Fun!!!) started notifying me by saying, "Yucky, Mommy. Yucky butt." No joke. It's yucky. This morning he came trotting into the kitchen with this cute little smirk smile he gets and said, "Good morning, mommy. Good morning." Clear as day. Melted my heart.

Then he hurled his guts out at the lunch table and I forgot all about that cute moment, and promptly dragged the chair and booster right outside and hosed them down. With the hose. There was no other way I was going to clean that. Man, I thought we were in the clear with him. Guess not. Ugh! Hope the water doesn't ruin my chair, but it's a small price to pay. Blech!

And Dad, I'm very very sorry if you got this bug from us. I truly could not apologize enough. I will weed your garden for as many hours as you demand in penance for passing on this very unwelcome illness.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sunday, August 1, 2010

old and new

Sorry for the rant, the other day. It was the only way I was gonna get some sleep. I'm over it now. Though I certainly am more aware of who my friends and allies are, or are NOT. I have actually thought about starting a new blog  series called 'Things I "let" my child do.' Anyone else game? Glad to see I'm not the only one who tires of endless criticism of their mothering. Thanks, gals.

Oh, and dontcha hate it when you check on your blog to find the background you had up has been deleted? Yeah, glad I didn't spend another five hours or so working on it. Certainly not incentive to customize. Grrr.

Other than that, it's been a bit quiet on the blog because it hasn't been very quiet on the home front. Stressful and tiring, with a few splashes of fun. Now, we're just resting and regaining composure and working on getting normalcy back in our household.

Well, if you call the barfy flu normal. So far, it's hit Cheeks, and now Boots. Poor baby is just pitiful. It's sad to look at him. And it's very hard to explain to a 2yo that yes, he does need to puke, and in the bucket, whether he wants to or not. He actually screams while barfing because he's so mad about it. Yeah. Good times. I'm just praying and hoping beyond all hope that I don't get it. We all know mama's don't get sick days off.

Other than that, we have been enjoying the rest of Kong's vacation. We even were gifted a date night by my parents, who, after seeing how much work I have to do to tend to kids and take care of details, thought that we deserved a night off, to at least enjoy a meal together. Alone. Without children. And I have to say, I looked hot. I wore a new dress, did my face all perty. And... I even caught my hubs checkin' me out. Mmmhnmm. I still got it! :D

We were also gifted a new deck. Was on a mobile home that is to be moved, so the MIL claimed it and knew we would appreciate it. After checking out how much it would cost to put railing on it, we realized just what a gift it was. Dang that stuff's expensive! So now I have a new pretty back deck (still awaiting railing, but that's coming, and the steps are only temporary). No peeling paint. No sagging. Nothing dilapidated. And big enough to hold the grill and a patio set. Yay!

So, out with the old...

... and in with the new.

We even have our first visitor.

Oo. Gotta go. I hear barfing.