Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Stop Eating!

We are all moved in at the in-laws and things are going well. There is only the minor problem of me being unable to stop eating! This place is filled with temptations- the kitchen is teeming with Christmas goodies- these people are too popular and they got many, many Christmas goody plates. My own bedroom is also filled to the brim with goodies because we have everything in that room, which means 5 stockings of delicious and wonderful junk. I have been falling asleep everyday around 2 while my girls have "quiet time" and I think this is actually a sugar induced slumber. Of course I like to blame it on pregnancy, but the truth is always lurking, like the food.

But here is something Buttercup said that is kind of gross and may slow some of you down a little if you're having the same trouble as us. She was happily eating and describing a chocolate as she went. She said, "mom I really like this greasy butter." She was referring to the caramel center, but her calling it greasy butter is probably more accurate and if we all called it that, it just might slow some of us down a little. ew!

Post Christmas Stress Disorder

Well, here we are, post Christmas and still jobless. TGH has been applying, but the week before Christmas is not the time to go looking for a new job. A few places have said they just don't hire in December, so we're hoping by next week, he can get some interviews.

Christmas went well. People in our church and neighborhood helped us and we were very greatful. It sure made us feel loved to have so many of our friends contributing to our family's needs. It was a good lesson for us in accepting help and an example to the kids of Charity, the pure love of Christ. It was fun to have Dad home for the kids school break. We were able to have family fun and spend an extra couple of days at Grandma's since his work schedule was not an issue. Today, he is selling his plasma for $30. Hey! It's gas! It looks like he may get a small severance package which will help some. Then, if he's still unemployed, there's unemployment. Hmmm. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I'm starting a babysitting job next week. It's a small baby girl, with spina bifida. I figure with #6 and his disabilities, I'm pretty well set to help another child with special needs. I'm looking forward to the money, also.

One funny story: Over Christmas, we were playing the game "Curses". If you've never played, it's a game where you pick cards that direct you to act in unusual ways, for example, speak in a falsetto voice, or use pretend sign language while you talk. Anyway, we talked Gma in to playing with me and the kids. After about 10 minutes, we had our very proper Gma talking like Count Dracula and howling like a wolf whenever the bell was rung. I thought I would die laughing. Especially after she got "cursed" with the card that directed her to talk like Scooby Doo. On top of Count Dracula!:) It was hysterical.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Sometimes because Blossom asks so many questions I don't stop to explain things. I just figure if the girls have a question, they'll ask it. Well, the other day I realized that is not the case with Buttercup. If she has a question, she just makes up the answer, with, of course, funny results.
I went into her room the other morning to wake her up for the day and she said, "mommy I can't open my eyes because of all those crackers that get in them." I paused for a minute and realized she meant 'sleep'. I told her, "You mean sleep." "No, mom," she was insistent. "I'm talking about those crackers that get in your eyes."
Crackers, eh? I guess that is one of those things everyone uses different words for, but I hadn't heard that one before. :)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Apology and Update

I'm so sorry I haven't been writing! TGH got laid off and we are scrambling for money, jobs, and Christmas. Things are complicated and busy here. I'm sure a ton of people are having these difficuties, but it sure hits home when you are trying to make a house payment, buy food and have Christmas for 7 kids! We are currently in the process of having faith and a good attitude. Mostly. Every now and then, I feel like someone punched me...my breath is taken away by the magnitude of the situation. We want the kids to enjoy the season, and are enjoying many of the same things we do each year, also reminding them, like we do every year, of the real reason for the season. I am advertising for daycare, and TGH went to a job interview on Friday. I will keep you posted!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Adventure Awaits

It is not yet 9am. I have already forgotten to set my alarm clock- run around like a mad woman to get my kindergartner to school on time, locked us all out of the house (and it's FREEZING outside) and had to call a realtor to come open the door for us. It's going to be one of those days. Who knows what awaits us!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I have been reluctant to write because I have nothing good to say- I am spending each and every day impatiently waiting for someone to come look at my house, fall in love, and buy it. I whine about it constantly. My little girls are afraid to play lest they mess up the house. I should probably warn everyone- Friends! Cross the street! Family! Do not call! There is only one subject I will be ranting on and on about. I may drive you crazy. I am driving myself crazy. I am obsessed with something I have no power over. It is frustrating to say the least.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Waiting...

Don't you feel like there's this weird time between Thanksgiving and Christmas? I always feel like these weeks are just a gearing up to the Big Day. With 7 kids expecting a nice holiday, I am prepping for a production. We try to stress Christ as the center of the day, but somehow, it all goes crazy anyway. Even if you only give every kid 3 things, that's 21 things! And then there's the friends and the family and the TGH! And then there's the gingerbread house and the cookies and the wrapping! And you are trying to emphasize the spiritual aspect and the charitable opportunities, while you up to your armpits in sugar cookie dough. AND trying either to not worry about your weight, or worrying about it while you are filling your face with cherry chocolates or worrying about your weight while munching celery and giving your TGH dirty looks while he stuffs his head with Almond Roca! And then there's the Defense Of The Tree. Every year, I practically form a Defense Committee, with sub-committees like the Vaccuuming of the Broken Balls, or Redecorating The Tree. At least last year, the tree did not go down. Many times, the tree has hit the floor. One of the main reasons we have an artificial tree. A real tree does not recover from a fall, but when the fake one hits, all you have to do is call in the Redecorating Commitee and they just bend the branches back into a normal position. Well, as normal as a wire tree with plastic needles gets...so, I guess I better get back to work. I head the Holiday as the Secretary of the Production of the Family Christmas. It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mistaken Identity

The Monday before Thanksgiving, I was at the charter school my kids attend, picking up Pre-T 2 from the Spanish Club she joined. I was a minute early, so I was listening to the radio and playing Sudoku on my cell phone. All of a sudden, the phone rang and my daughter said, "I'm ready to be picked up, where are you?" I was a little bugged that she hadn't even looked for me before she called, and I answered rather bruskly, "I'm right HERE. Where are you?" She replied that she was on her way out of the school. I started the van up and waited. No daughter. I waited more. No daughter. Finally, about 10 minutes later, I was very bugged and turned off the van. I got out to look for her. I walked all around the outside of the school, but didn't see her. My phone rang again and it was the same number, so I answered and said, "What? Where the heck are you?" She replied, "I'm right in front of the school. Where are you?" I said, "STAY right where you are, I'm coming." I jogged back to the front of the school and NO DAUGHTER. I couldn't believe it! Where was she? After a minute, I heard her voice behind me, calling my name. I was mad! I said, "Where have you been? Can you not SEE the gigantic brown VAN sitting right there in the parking lot?" She looked very confused. I was undeterred. I asked, "Why did you keep calling me?" She shook her head, and said, "I didn't call you. I just got out of Spanish." We looked at each other a moment before it occurred to me that the daughter calling me was my 12 year old from the JUNIOR HIGH! She was done with play practice ( she made it into Suessical the Musical at the JH) Pre-T2 hit the same conclusion as I did and we both ran to the van! We raced over to the other school, where Pre-T 1 was very confusedly circling the school and searching for our big brown beast. I was laughing my head off! Once she was in, we explained what had happened and she laughed and laughed. I reminded the girls that a lot of brain has deteriorated over the years and that it would be a good idea to identify oneself when calling me!:)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

We are in Metropolis with the Professor's familia. We had a great holiday yesterday and continue to enjoy leftovers and pie today. There is nothing like the pie party that the Professor's family has. A pie per person!! My mom-in-law bakes them all-- if you try to help it is futile, she is on a roll and can't be stopped.
The little gals have been playing like crazy with their cousins day and night. When I say day and night I mean it- there are five little girls sharing one room. Talk about a slumber party. . . . except the slumber part, of course, for any parents who might just be trying to sleep in a near by room. . . . .

Thursday, November 20, 2008

well, the Professor has been home this week but the bad news is that he's been home because his grandpa died. We have been trying to help his dad with stuff and begin the humongous task of going through grandpa's house.
I have learned very quickly that I will resist each and every packrat urge I have in the future. Seriously, everyone throw away your extra stuff! Don't keep anything. No old whatevers or thingamagigs you might use someday. I could make lists of the weird and strange items we have been discovering in Grandpa's basement.
So toss it I say, toss all of it, now, before it is too late and someone else finds out you kept it all!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A New Low

So, today, I'm sitting in a Sunday school class with a group of 6 year old girls. One of them leaned over and said, "here". So I held out my hand and she dropped something small into it, saying, "This came off my head." I looked at it and realized she had handed me what looked like some kind of scab or something. Gross! So I excused myself and found a trash can right away, then the restroom to wash my hands. How do kids think it's ok to hand over bodily whatevers? Meanwhile, she is happily listening to the story and going on with her life. I was thinking, someday, I'd like to sit through a church meeting without dealing with someone's bodily whatevers. With seven kids of my own and Caboose being only two, by the time I'm done with my own offspring, I'll probably have been sucked in to taking grandkids to church. And I'll be sitting there, on a bench, and the little g-baby will lean over and say, "here..."

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Try this fun quiz!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Do we sound a little whiny? :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I have been having computer trouble. Whenever I get on the blog page, the whole thing shuts down. The Professor says it's the mother board and he's keeping his eye out for a sale on a new computer. In the meantime, I check each day, to see if I can add something or not. I guess today is a lucky day. :)
Yesterday was an unlucky day. I forgot little Buttercup's snack day at preschool. Also her Show n Tell. I was out when the teacher called to see if I was maybe on my way with it, so I missed the whole thing. I feel like I have so much on my mind that pieces of me are dropping off as I drive down the street and I can't do anything about it. Trust me, it is a weird feeling.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Distracted

I'm distracted. My mind is wandering lately. I find myself staring into space while loading the washer. I put the milk in the pantry the other day and the Nestle quik in the fridge. I call people then can't remember who I called. I'm a mess. I have a lot on my mind. Money, holidays, friends. Those are my top three. The bottom three include Senior trying to make up credits for graduation, #6 learning how to communicate, and wondering if my Cub Scout is ADD. The money is tight lately, I've been going over and over the budget trying to make it work. The holidays are coming up and I've got 7 kids planning on Christmas and fun. I'm having trouble with my best friend. On the plus side, despite these concerns, I have the overwhelming feeling of something good on the horizon. I feel good things are coming. Is this naive? I don't think so, I like to believe that God knows my struggles and can help me through them. Sometimes money is tight, holidays come and go, and family is the most important thing. These are the things I believe. In the meantime, if you see a woman wandering aimlessly through the Walmart, point her in the direction of the Diet Pepsi.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Well, week 1 without the Professor is under my belt. I did ok. I repressed a lot of worried thoughts quite successfully. I only hid in my bed one afternoon. And I only flipped and yelled at one dear friend. (yes I know that's one too many. next week I will find a way to vent my stresses in a way that is safer for friends and loved ones, so those of you who read this, please don't be afraid to call.) I learned a few things. For example, the girls rarely eat the food I make for dinner, so I thought I could get away with no cooking. But for myself, I realize I still need to cook- I don't think I ate one vegetable this whole week. (Probably not good for pregnancy week #12!)
Anyway, the key today is stay busy. The Professor will be home tonight, hopefully in time for PIZZA MOVIE FRIDAY the funnest time of the week at our house.
We are going to meet with a realtor this weekend. That is also good because it gives me a little hope that this darn house will sell and there will be an end in sight. I guess the question is, with it already November, do people buy houses during the holidays?
I HOPE SOMEONE DOES!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Billowing Smoke!

I sent PreT-1 to brown hamburger to make chili for dinner. I said, "I already put the pot on the stove and turned it on, but I need you to run and start it for me." She went to the kitchen and I finished the phone call I was taking. She came to me a few minutes later and said, "The hamburger is done, what should I do next?" I told her to open the cans of tomato sauce and beans and told her to dump them in the pot with the meat. She looked confused and said, "really?" I asked what the problem was, and she said the pot wasn't big enough. That's wierd, I'm thinking, that pot is a VAT. How can it not be big enough. But I'm feeling suspicious, so I follow her into the kitchen. No real problem, she browned the meat in a small frying pan instead of the pot I had out. So, I took the pan of hamburger and dumped the contents into the big pot. BIG MISTAKE! I'd forgotten the pot was on. It was very hot and it's a very good pan, with a thick bottom which retains heat WELL. When the meat hit the pan, suddenly there was Billowing Smoke! Lots of it! Billowing! And SMOKY! I ran with the pot out the back door onto the deck and hollered at Pre-T-1 (who's mouth was hanging open) to grab the lid. She came to her senses and brought the lid which I clapped onto the pan. (Thank heaven none of the neighbors called the fire department...I mean the Smoke was Billowing!) I salvaged as much of the hamburger as I could, but the chili had a sort of burnt taste. Although TGH was the only one who really noticed. The kids gobbled it up so quickly, I doubt they realized it WAS chili, let alone burnt. There's also a small burnt spot on the deck...it's supposed to snow tomorrow, so we won't worry about that now. It really is an excellent chili recipe, although I doubt any of you would make it, given the negative press I have provided. Maybe later. Much, much later. After I get the burnt smell out of the curtains.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Day #1

Today was the Professor's first day at his new job. That means, of course, that he is hundreds of miles away from me. It was a good day, the weather was nice and I was actually very cheery. Also having him gone is a huge motivator for packing, so I got a lot more stuff boxed up. That way, even though no one has called about the house, I feel one more step closer to actually moving and living with my husband again.
I think the evenings, dinner and after, will be the worst part of the day without him. He called right after he got off work today and I was so glad. In my head I pictured myself starting to wilt like a little plant, but then he called and it was like I got a little water and sun to carry me through dinner without being mean to the kidlets. Sounds cheesy, but it is what I was really and truly thinking.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Church was great today. Just wonderful to be there. Everything seemed to be filled with the spirit. One teacher in particular did a great job. He started his class with a short 4 minute video. It depicts the Savior, healing and doing miracles. It doesn't have any words, just really beautiful music and it is very thought provoking. A wonderful portrayal of the Savior.
I mention this particular class, because it was my little one who, shall we say, spiced it up a little.
The nursery teacher appeared at the door of the classroom shortly after the video and the Professor nudged me to let me know she was looking for me. I picked up the diaper bag and tried to make a discreet and quiet exit so as not to interrupt the mood of the room. As I got to the door Bubbles peered around her nursery teacher, spotted me and yelled in her loudest two year old voice, "Mama, I poopy!"
Needless to say I made a hasty departure to the sound of much chuckling.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Seriously,

NANOWRIMO is super great. Can't go wrong. Just 1600 words a day and you can check 'write a novel' off of that list of things to do in your life that you made in 8th grade. :)

Guess What Today Is?

It's November 1st, true...365 days til we have to have Halloween, true....but, it's also....NANOWRIMO!! That's right! National Novel Writing Month! Be sure to check out their website and maybe take a chance and do it with us! Carrie and I had so much fun last year writing our 'novels'. And there was this super great sense of accomplishment at the end of the month. AND I got this handy-dandy notebook (laptop) out of the deal fromTGH! No down side here folks. So grab your computers and join us! It's fun and good for you. We'll be impressed with you and you'll be impressed with you and your kids will be impressed with you and your hub will be impressed with you and your friends will be impressed with you and your neighbors will be impressed with you and your spiritual advisor will be impressed with you and your doctor will be impressed with you and your personal trainer will be impressed with you and your beautician will be impressed with you and your masseuse will be impressed with you...

Friday, October 31, 2008

TGIF

The last couple of days have been so busy. I feel like I was trying to run a marathon or something- never home for more than about 20 minutes at a time. I guess the good part of that is I haven't woken up at night to worry about the Imminent Departure of the Professor. Today I plan to be home all day~until it's time for Halloween festivities, of course. I do not plan to brush my hair or shower any time soon. I am thinking take it easy thoughts. No playgroup, no store, no nothing outside of these walls. Cookies and hot chocolate for breakfast, while leisurely reading the comics.
I was going to have to venture out to pick up Blossom from school but a friend said the blessed words, "Want me to just walk her home today since I'm already going to be at the school?" Yes! Whoopee! Of course I want you to! Yee Haw! I am staying home!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Hiding the Cheese

We love to buy canned nacho cheese from Costco. It's called Que Bueno, and we love it. My kids adore it and eat it with reckless abandon, so we try very hard to monitor it's rapid disappearance. We are unsuccessful. But, it's my personal mission to try, try, try! So today, I opened the new can, had some for lunch, and realized that was probably the last time I would get some. As soon as the teenagers here see this open can, it's gone, gone, gone! I put the metal lid back on, then the plastic lid, then slid the can into the back of the fridge behind the leftover green beans. Problem solved. Wrong, wrong, wrong! Senior walked in on me gobbling nachos, opened the fridge and helped himself. Wow, that didn't go the way I planned. After he left, I put it all back together and hid it again, different shelf, behind orange juice. Freshman walked in from school, opened the fridge, moved the juice, removed the cheese...you can guess the rest. How, how, how does she do that? I have hidden the cheese again, in an undisclosed location. Hope springs eternal.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008







Cub Scout and Caboose colored on my toilet paper! As you can see, green dots, soaked thru. I have used many mutilated toilet paper rolls in my day, including big fat re-rolled, out of a paper grocery sack (when Senior was little, he used to unroll it all the time), and with the cardboard roll missing (removed for school craft project). And, for added fun, the marker turns the bowl water green.


Later this same day, I broke my favorite big casserole dish from Pampered Chef. I'm very disappointed, but also struggling with my wierd superstitious nature. I am always trying to read meaning into things like this. What does the broken dish represent? I'll be thinking about that while I shop for a new dish.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Countdown

This is the final week of the Professor's job. He leaves for Metropolis on Sunday to start the new job and will be returning (hopefully, if good weather holds) on weekends. I have been trying to warn the girls about this new arrangement, since it could go on for some time. (We have had almost zero interest from people wanting to buy our house.) Anyway, when I told Blossom that on Sunday daddy would have to start his new job and we wouldn't see him everyday she said, "Mom, that terrifies me."
She has definitely learned the art of exaggeration from me. haha
Needless to say the Professor and I are not sleeping well in lieu of this upcoming separation. I am living in a state of semi-oblivion and am considering following the example of my dear sis and investing in a box of twinkies. :-)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Visit to Urgent Care

Poor Blossom. We were all happily walking to school today when she tripped and fell down. Unfortunately she had her hands in her pockets (no gloves on and her mom suggested it to keep her warm) so her forehead took the brunt of the fall. There are no sidewalks in our neighborhood so she smacked right into the gravelly street. Of course, her head was pouring blood. Luckily, we were in front of a friend's house, so we ran inside and washed the blood off to have a look. She had a ton of little scratches, a huge bruise starting, and two gashes. I suspected one of the cuts would be okay, but the other was wide open and I was thinking stitches. Blossom heard me ask the friend what she thought and then started crying, "I don't want a stitch. I don't want a stitch." Well, she didn't get a stitch. She got three.
She was very brave at the doctor's office and only cried a little, first when she heard the word stitch again, and of course when they numbed it cause we all know that part hurts.
I was brave, too, considering Blossom is my firstborn, and I was also happily ignorant of any guilt, until we got home and Blossom said, innocently, this was your fault, right mom? 'Cause you told me to stick my hands in my pockets?" argh

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Saturday, the lazy way.

This was a super lazy day! We didn't start that way. I was up at 7:30, encouraging Senior as he went off to take the ACT. It's so hard to believe my baby is old enough to take the ACT! We ran some errands, including a fun trip to the local Walmart. I bought a ton of fun picture frames to put on our family room wall. I have few up, but I want some more visual interest. If it looks ok, I'll take a picture, if not, forget about it. So, we come home from the Walmart and TGH goes to watch the football game. I headed into my room to use the computer and ended up asleep. The rest of the day was just about like that. Took a book back to the library, visited a friend, bathed kids for church tomorrow...now I'm just hanging out, checking email and pondering the peanut butter chocolate ice cream in the freezer.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Part 2: The Case is Solved

It's not exciting, but I found the pj's. Apparently, Freshman heard Caboose crying in the night and got him up, only to find his jammies were soaking wet from his diaper not being positioned properly over his manly package. She undressed him, changed him, cuddled him and put him back to bed, inadvertantly dropping the jammies between the couch and the wall. She did throw the diaper away, so there were no clues. But, I have bigger problems...

I have a Twinkie thing. Some people use drugs, some drink, some eat chocolate. I abuse Twinkies. Lately there's been some personal stresses in my life (because I don't feel stressed enough with 7 kids, 2 cats, a son w/ a disability, 5 schools to deal with and keeping house) and I ate Twinkies ( I decline at this time to give the actual total). My last binge was in '04 when I ate an entire box after learning our son had severe brain damage and might have a degenerative disease (he doesn't). I not only ate the whole thing, but went to the store afterward, bought a second box, and ate one out of it so that everyone (like my kids would even notice) would think I only ate one Twinkie. I resolved at that time to give up my Twinkie-eating ways and deal with stress like a grown up (take it like a man, walk it off, suck it up, grow a spine, etc). I have done pretty well...but, recently, with my new stresses, I have noticed an eye twitch. So, what I am is, a Twinkie-eating, eye twitching, Top-model watching (although I noticed a show called wife-swap the other day while I was doing the dishes but it doesn't start with "t"...) tangle of turmoil! (Impressive eh?) Stress is a funny thing...and if a fake cake filled with white goo helps me cope for a minute, then I say, do cupcakes stop eye-twitches?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Mystery of the Purloined Pajamas

At 7am, I went into the boys room, (Cub Scout, #6 and Caboose share a large room) to wake everyone up. There is Caboose, lying in bed with his SpiderMan blanket (courtesy maternal Gma!) NAKED! Yes. I yelled NAKED. My baby is not wearing a thing (in case you are confused about NAKED). Last night, when I put him in his brand new big boy bed ( our friend is moving and wanted her crib back) he was wearing polar bear jammies. A top and bottom. Very cute. Very warm (it's starting to cool off here in the West). So, I start looking around for the missing articles (under the bed, in the hamper, in the laundry room). No sign of them. I ask Cub Scout and PreT 2 if they know anything about their brother's state of undress. Confused looks are rampant. I continue to search for the jammies. I mean, HELLO, they've got to be somewhere! Jammies don't dematerialize off of babies bodies in the night (at least not in my experience, your experience may differ). I call TGH because he was up later than me last night and may know something. He doesn't. Senior doesn't know anything, and the only other people to ask are already off to catch the early bus to Jr High. So, I put a shirt on Caboose so he can eat his Cheerios without freezing to death and resign myself to ignorance (for now). In the words of Demi from Little Women: "(It) remained one of the problems over which Demi puzzled his small wits and was forced to leave unsolved forever."

Monday, October 20, 2008

Birthday

Yesterday was TGH birthday. We won't say how old he is, but it's between 41 and 43...He doesn't seem to care about how old he is, that's probably a man thing, because I definitely care how old I'm getting. I do not get along with gray hair, wrinkles of any stage or any other "sign of aging". I fully intend to fight that whole process every step of the way! I believe in Loreal medium golden brown! I support Olay! Mary Kay is my bff! I know Victoria's Secret! I will absolutely cover, fill, hoist, hide, shade and dye my way back into my early 30's! I understand that some of you may not feel this way. I understand that there is a saying about aging gracefully. I understand that aging is natural. It's just that for myself, I understand that whole idea is not going to fly.

I love birthdays, which seems wierd, considering I'm refusing to age. I love cake and presents. I really like making birthdays fun for my family. We had alot of fun celebrating with TGH. He's not a fan of cake, so we made a berry trifle, with strawberries, angel food cake (from scratch) and whipping cream (the man absolutely refuses to eat Cool Whip). He got some shirts and a new wallet, and some Big Fun from me (if you know what I mean). It was a good time had by all. Then next birthday isn't until November when PreT 2 turns 10. Meanwhile, if you need me, I'll be in Denial. The hotels are very nice there...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Mommy's little helper

Caboose unloading the dishwasher. Sort of.
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Thursday, October 16, 2008

All Funned Out...

So, yesterday, I was watching my friend's little boy for a couple of hours. He wanted to go outside, so he, and Caboose and I all headed out the back door. Less than 10 seconds later, her little guy is crying and saying he got stung by a bee! Unbelievable! I'm thinking, 'great, she leaves him with me and now he's damaged!' She waited a long time for that kid and it's her first one. You can't go around breaking people's first baby! Back to the story: I know he's not been stung before, so I am watching him carefully for signs of allergic reaction. No signs. There is a minor amount of swellling, but nothing serious. I sprayed some Dermaplast on it and he seemed fine. Not even crying. In fact, he wants to go back outside. Ok. So we all go back outside, and the boys want to get into the sandbox. Once in, he hands me a big Tonka tractor and says, "get the spiders off." I look the thing over, and there, looking right at me is a big BLACK WIDOW! The body was the size of a pea! I quickly killed it and grabbed both boys and started for the house. Her little guy was yelling,"I'm not done! I want to have more fun!" I said, "I'M DONE, I have just about enough fun for one day! We went straight into the house and played with matchbox cars until he was safely into his own mom's hands.

He's also allergic to eggs. I made cookies for the two boys, sans eggs, and baked a few batches. I set the rest aside for later baking. When later came, I couldn't find the cookie dough. Freshman and I looked everywhere. How do you lose a giant Tupperware bowl full of cookie dough?? Today, we were looking again, and talking it over. Behind us, Senior said, "uh oh." We both turned to look at him. The truth came out: He and his velcro ( our word for friends) had come in hungry and saw the bowl. I had mentioned there were no eggs in it, so apparently, they took the ENTIRE BOWL to the park and ate all the dough. I just don't know what to say to that.

political schizophrenia

So last night instead of watching America's Next Top Model, I did my patriotic duty and watched the presidential debates. I have to say after the democratic and republican conventions I was very hyped up about McCain. Now that it's been awhile I can see there are plenty of things I don't agree with him about and yet I still don't want to turn Obama. The country needs more than eloquence right now, as Lieberman pointed out at the Republican convention. This is a serious decision and the time is almost up. The Professor LOVES politics and so we talk about this non-stop at my house. (Even though he already voted absentee since we're moving sometime, hopefully soon).
I read a blog the other day about Palin, dare I even bring her up. The main point of it was that women don't want her to win because they don't want to be held up to her high standard and have that much expected out of them. No, I'm not kidding, that really is what the women on the blog were worrying about. Like, they are afraid her success might make them have to try a little harder for their own and they didn't want to. I truly couldn't wrap my brain around it.
I'm not entirely sold on her, but I think she's definitely been smeared and attacked beyond what is normal. No one even mentions Biden and I heard that his nickname is Xerox Biden because he has been known to plagiarize. True or not, you think the media would have a field day with that one.
Anyway, I am rambling and the reason is I haven't made up my mind. I think I'm in agreement with Obama on healthcare and the environment, but I'm with McCain on other issues. Almost completely divided. I guess I'm one of those voters who won't be completely sure until the ballot is right in front of my face.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Snowman Family



Sunday, October 12, 2008

The little girls were so funny getting home from church today. At church they were dressed like little angels, with their shiny black shoes, twirly dresses and hair bows. But the minute they got home, they went wild. It was hilarious. They stripped off their dresses and tights and started racing down the hall in their 'birthday suits' singing at the top of their lungs, "Look how lovely I am." I could've taken a picture but. . . . well. . . . they wouldn't appreciate it when they're older. hahaha

Saturday, October 11, 2008

More Canning

Today I am feeling somewhat less nostalgic about the canning and preserving I have been doing. Instead, I'm feeling sticky. My shoes are sticking to the floor, my fingers are sticking together and to the jars and to everything. My shirt is sticky. My pants are sticky. I have been canning grape juice and pear butter. Also peeling peaches and putting them in ziploc for freezing. The kitchen is steamy from all the boiling and steaming and peeling. But I am sticky. I am tired. I am tired of everything being sticky. When I get a moment, I'm going to feel very tired of fruit flies too.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy

So, I have been chasing a two year old around for the last two days. This kid can really move! #6 is disabled and so didn't really have a normal 2 year old phase. So my last two year old was 6 yrs ago. I am out of practice! This kid has unrolled toilet paper, dumped out the entire container of Nestle Quik, dumped out flour, smashed peaches, emptied the dishwasher onto the floor, figured out how to turn on the bathtub faucet, filled the toilet with everything he could find in the bathroom (he can open drawers) including the toothpaste, toothbrushes, hairbrushes, bathtoys, and socks. He also has emptied several laundry baskets, and threw away the contents of the sock basket. I'm tired. You may ask, "Where were you during all of this?" If you ask this, you do not have a two year old. Also, if you ask this to my face, I may smack you.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

They Came, They Saw,

. . . . . But will they buy the house???
So, the first looker came to our house last night. Because it was someone who read my Craig's List posting I was sooo afraid they would be like real estate head hunters- my dad had a ton of these people when he was trying to sell. They would come, look around, offer him an insulting third or half of the asking price and leave. So I was feeling very anxious last night. The guy on the phone had said he'd come at 6:30 with his "partner." 6:30 came and went. I started to think I'd been dogged. 6:45. 6:50. Finally, I heard a door close outside. (Yes, I was hanging around in my living room pretending to read and peeking out the window.) A nice older couple gets out of their car and starts looking around at my house. Is this them? Yes! They weren't crazy real estate head hunters. They were a nice couple. In fact they know the Professor's family, and they're from our church! Yay! They are looking for property to buy and rent.
Of course, I am so new at this, I couldn't read them at all. I have NO idea how they felt about the house, but the wife said they'd go home and look at some numbers and such. The husband said nothing. So I am actually staying remarkably calm about this. I just keep repeating to myself that this could be a long process and we'll just wait and see.
Now that the house is clean, today I will concentrate on a few other things and I just might start feeling a little bit normal for a few minutes.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Big Changes

Why, oh why, is change so hard to deal with. I find myself happily expecting baby four and suddenly planning a big move to another city. I am overwhelmed to say the least. I have checked out a For Sale By Owner book from the library, bought a for sale sign which is now planted in my frontyard, posted on Craig's list and in the local paper. Now I am looking around knowing I need to get started with cleaning and packing but I find myself too nervous to begin. I am randomly flitting from room to room, starting one thing and then forgetting and moving to another room. My level of stress needs to go down and I am trying to remind myself that this process could go on for months. I need patience. Patience and peace.
Someone is coming to look at the house tonight. Cross fingers for a quick and timely end to this process.

Monday, October 6, 2008

A BIG Thank You

I would like to say a ginormous THANKS to Melody at Merrie Melody for helping me with our button! She is super smart! Also, a super huge Thanks to my sis Carrie, for designing such a super cute button for our blog. She is so artistic! I love this blog stuff, and we sure are learning a ton about computer stuff. We seem to have inspired others...I see Melody has invented a blog to help the slow-to-learn...http://pimp-my-site.blogspot.com/. Good for you! I plan to head right there and ask my next question...:)

Big News!

After much deliberation, a late night panic attack, many phone calls, and of course, lots of prayer, the Professor and I have decided we are moving! I feel like it is so monumental we should have a capital m: Moving! Here's the story. We got a random, out of the blue call last week, offering the Professor a new job. He'll be doing the same work, just better money. It's not too far away from where we live, just a few hours down the road- right now we live in "Townsville" and we'll be moving to "Metropolis." So we've been trying to figure out if we should move the little gals to a bigger city, and what the pros and cons are. Anyway. That's it. We're Moving. Now we just have to sell the house . . . .

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Hope

So, here we are at the first weekend in October which means General Conference for Latter-Day Saints everywhere. This is where we listen/watch our church's leadership give us hope, counsel, and their testimonies of Jesus Christ. Very inspiring, uplifting, and edifying. (wow! I know a lot of big words for it being 10:00 at night!) It's all these things until you add 7 children to the mix. I would love to tell you how they sit through conference, their little faces rapt with attention, eyes moist with tears as they hear our beloved leaders share their sacred beliefs. I would not like to tell you about the dried mango war, the straw to the eyeball (I seriously thought we were making a trip to the er there for a minute), the paper airplanes, a damp washcloth wrestling match, or the mysterious disappearance of two HUGE batches of Muddy Buddies (see Sahm Sisters Cook! for recipe). I will say, truthfully, that I managed to glean some edification for myself, and a renewed resolve to have hope in Christ, hope for the future, and hope that the un-confessed-to-as-yet stain in the carpet will come out tomorrow.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Donuts and Gossip

Every Friday morning, a bunch of us meet at my church building and eat donuts and yak. The official name of this gathering is Scrapbook club, but we do it all there, scrapbook, pay bills, craft, church business, and talking. Lots and lots of talking. And laughing. My friend and I are in charge of the donuts. Self appointed, I might add. We just like an excuse to eat donuts and it's rude to eat in front of others, so we just bring enough for all. It started with 3 moms from the neighborhood, taking turns meeting at each other's houses. THAT ended when I found a cinnamon roll stuffed under the couch cushions. Now we meet at the church, where we have found people tend to be way more respectful. Go figure. I guess it's that whole House of God thing... Anyway, word got out and now we have about 10 of us on and off, showing up to chat and eat donuts. Today, one mom was organizing her recipe card file, which had been dumped out the day before, another was looking over catalogues for Halloween costume ideas. I was scrapbooking our Grand Canyon vacation pictures, and my bff was making us all laugh with funny stories about realtors calling her. We covered the neighborhood, the election, marriage and parenting. One of our group is a grandma and she gives us all hope for the future. I so look forward to this gathering. Women have an ability, don't you think, to uplift, understand, and support each other? Thank heaven we have that gift, to be something wonderful to each other.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Purple Juice!

I was going to whine about the laundry, which is prolific and eternal. BUT, last night, a neighbor called and said we could pick all of her grapes. Her kids are gone and she said last year they just dropped on the ground. So, before America's Next Top Model started, I took TGH, and the two Pre-T's and went to pick grapes. Now, I am canning grape juice! I'm so happy. We haven't had the chance to plant our own vines and it takes forever to get the kind of vines the neighbor has. I think I may have a bushel or more! They are purple with seeds, is that Concord? I've canned the juice before. In our last home, there were mature vines. The kids are very excited, I never buy purple grape juice, I mean, it's purple, and the carpet is not purple. And, the very week we moved into this house, Pre-T 1 (4 at the time) threw up purple grape juice on the very light beige carpet in the family room. Nice. So there was a reminder stain until we replaced the carpet last year. But I'm feeling reckless, I'm ready to live on edge! Going down The Path That Rocks! Bring on the Purple Juice!
Today there is no preschool and no kindergarten. No rushing out the door to meet the happy herd for our early morning walk to school. No picking up a child from somewhere every hour.
I am in my robe with little intention of changing before noon. My little gals buns are parked in front of PBS, which I will have to do something about (sigh, I guess, sigh).
I am swearing to clean my house. Really, I am. Right after I check facebook, and my e-mail, and enjoy a leisurely cup of hot chocolate, and do the crossword, and read the comics, and paint my toenails, and finish that funny book I started, and call my sister on the phone . . . . .

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I can relate

I wonder what was in the air yesterday, I had a headache too. Mine was probably brought on by some of the decisions the Professor and I are trying to make right now. Is there anything harder than trying to plan your future? Especially knowing it not just influences you, but now you have little ones depending on you, and the things you do form the lives they will lead.
I am definitely a believer in inspiration, but sometimes I get my own mind going in so many circles, it's really difficult to find some sort of peaceful moment when you can get a sense of what is best. Maybe I need meditation too. :)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Not feeling too great

Wow! I've had the worst headache today. Started about 11:00am and just got worse. I don't get alot of them, so I'm always surprised and somewhat reluctant to take a medication. Usually I will remember that I haven't eaten or maybe I didn't get enough sleep, but today, none of that was the case. I just had a bad headache. Finally, I took some acetamenophine, but I think it was too late...about an hour later, it was still pounding, so I took some ibuprofin and had a diet Pepsi. I also took a power nap. Meanwhile, I was trying to manage carpool, piano lessons and dinner. Senior helped pick up some of the slack and directed activities while I was down. For dinner we got out the Quick Soup Formula (Sahmsistersrecipes.blogspot.com) and the left over steak and made a delicious soup and saltines meal. TGH took over bedtime, bless his heart, before he left to play basketball with the guys. I'm feeling tons better now, took a hot shower and played with my Facebook page for a while. Off the subject, I'm thinking about learning meditation as a way to reduce stress. Any thoughts??

Monday, September 29, 2008

impatience

I am waiting. The Professor is due to call before he starts the drive home. I have read an entire book, I have eaten when I was not hungry (again). I have ran for the phone twice, only to be disappointed by telemarketing calls. I have paced around the living room and flipped a few channels on the tv.
I am reminded of when we were dating. Waiting, waiting, waiting for his call.
I am going to call him any second. I am not good at this. . . .

Two Year Old Trauma

My original plan was to post this oh so cute pic of my Caboose, helping with the dishes. He thinks it's his personal mission to unload the utensils, going so far as to climb into the dishwasher to get the rack they are in. I was planning to wax poetic about the joys of parenting and how wonderful that he has a cute little chore at such a young age. BUT. That was before Sunday. Sunday, our church had a children's program as the main part of the meeting. I am a teacher of the 6 and 7 yr olds and so my help was needed up on the stand behind the podium. TGH and my 3 bigger kids were on hand to manage the Caboose and #6. After the opening prayer and song, but before the program began, there was a quiet moment...EXCEPT for the unmistakeable sound of someone throwing up! My lips tingled, my vision sparkled with tiny stars and I said a silent prayer..'please, please, please don't let that have been one of my kids.' I craned my neck, trying to see around the pulpit and was horrified to see my hubby running out of the chapel with Caboose cradled in his arms. Then a man sitting behind him jumped up and ran out. Then my best friend also jumped and ran! I could see the congregation looking after them, then up at me. I sank into my seat and tried to take deep breaths. There was no way I could go out without making a scene and now the program was under way. About 10 min later, I felt my purse at my feet vibrate. I checked my cell and TGH had left a message saying Caboose is fine and he took him home. After the program, I found out that my friend had run for paper towels and all purpose cleaner and had taken care of most of the mess on the bench. I love her. We finished cleaning it up and went on. Caboose really is fine. Ate a great lunch and is running all around as usual. Who knows why he had to "toss his cookies" in the middle of church?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

ode to the lazy

The Professor has left town. I did not do the dinner dishes. The girls played recklessly all afternoon while I laid on the couch with a blankie and read a book and I have no plan to pick up toys. I ate nachos in my bed. I have already eaten two desserts. I am on vacation. :)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Saturday Fun

Senior went camping last night with a couple of buddies. He came home and I asked, "How did it go?" "Fine," he answers. "What did you do?" I ask. "Nothing," he answers. "Did you eat?" I ask.
"Yup," he answers. "What?" I ask. "Um," he thinks, "muffins, and milk, and we had tinfoil dinners." "Did you have fun?" I ask. "Yeah," he answers. OK. Enter Freshman a few hours later after 2 hours with her friends. "Hi," I start to say, "How..." "Mom, we had so much fun, we ate Mexican food and we all sang Happy Birthday, like, so loud in the restaurant and she was like, so embarrassed, and we were like, laughing and it was so funny and then we ate ice cream and then her mom came and we went back to her house and then she had to go the bathroom, but, like, she never came back and we asked her mom where she was and she was like, outside and we were looking everywhere and we thought she went with these other kids, but they were like, so rude, and we were like, whatever, so we were walking everywhere and I think I burned off my whole dinner and then we saw her and she was like, where were you and we were like, where were you but she had her skate board so we were like trying it out and we were like laughing so hard and then her mom called and we had to go home and I'm like so tired, so g'nite mom."

I'm a little tired myself. Think I'll go to bed. Have a nice Sunday:)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Parent Teacher Conferences

I have not posted recently because I have been overrun by parent teacher conference week, which, in my mind, is the #1 reason to homeschool. Bar none. Usually, I am very unhappy attending these things. I am usually presented with a long list of work my children have not done. No, that's not quite true...they DO the work, but seem to have some deep religious belief that actually turning it in is very wrong. Once, when Senior was in the 4th grade, we found a deep mulch of completed yet ungraded assignments in the deep recesses of his backpack. I was naively making sure he finished it without making sure he handed it in. This he did not do. So. Fast forward to this week where I was amazed to hear that my children have actually been giving their completed homework to the ACTUAL teacher! Teachers were using words like "delight" and "very smart" and "a joy to have in class"! The kids are getting "A's"! It was mom-nirvana! Now, a speech: I would like to accept this award (Mother-of-the-Year) and just say thanks to my husband, who encouraged me and yelled at the kids for me when I was too crazed to do it myself. And all of my friends, who said my children were bright, even when I thought they had the IQs of lettuce. Thank you! (Sniff!) :)

my own little panic

I should probably be too embarrassed to admit this, but I actually made my own little "run on the grocery store" yesterday. The problem arises from the fact that the Professor wakes up with the news for an alarm clock everyday. So each morning, before my eyes are even open, I am bombarded with reporters grimly warning me of our tottering economy and bleak forecasts of doom. In general I am a person who likes my news in small doses, when I am ready for it. Otherwise, my 2 am wake ups are full of worries I can do nothing about. Well, it finally all got the best of me and with only a half an hour between picking up Buttercup from preschool and Blossom from kindergarten, I sped off to the grocery store. I started stuffing my cart with flour, sugar, baking soda, and for some unknown reason ketchup (which we never even eat cause the Professor thinks it's sick). Usually when I am at the store I don't see people I know, but unfortunately while I was running down the aisles with my eye on the clock, throwing things into my cart, I kept running into friends. Friends who know me well enough to be eyeing my cart suspiciously as if they thought just maybe I was off my rocker this time. And maybe I was. But I'll tell you what. I just wanted to buy enough bags of flour that when I wake up at 2am I can tell myself I've done what I can and just go back to sleep.
This morning when the Professor's alarm clock started forecasting doom I put my fingers in my ears and went back to sleep. I think that will be my new morning ritual.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

"babies grow up, we've learned to our sorrow"

Yesterday and today were busy, busy, busy. It looks like the whole week is going to be that way. Now that my gals are just a little older I have been having such a crazy time of running back and forth between preschool and kindergarten. I know for those of you with teenagers in sports and everything else this can't compare to your business but even so, I've been feeling a little well, weary, as I look at the year ahead. I imagine there will be a path worn back and forth from my house to the school.
Luckily, I just got a good dose of perspective from a friend I was visiting with. This friend is in her 70s (atleast) and when she saw me unloading my gals from the van, she laughed and said I reminded her of her. She had three little ones in three years. She rather lovingly helped me get the girls herded inside and sat herself down into her comfy rocking chair. Bubbles happily started unloading the diaper bag, bringing tiny animal after tiny animal to her for inspection. My friend's children, she told me, are all in their 40s atleast, and some have grandchildren of their own. She went on to say how quickly these days of little children pass and how she often just misses her own small ones.
Even though I have heard so many people express this, it always impresses me whenever someone says it. I try to tell myself, enjoy these busy days. Sit down with the girls. Watch them play. Hold on to it. Grab the camera. Write down what they're doing and saying.
Last night I almost cried as I thought over just how fast these little girls will grow into women. On a less melancholy note, the Professor also had something to say on the subject. He noted my tearful mood and after I told him what was bothering me he had some typically terrible advice. "Lock them in the basement." ha Atleast he got me to stop feeling sorry about what might be. Him and his outrageous sense of humor.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Will this be her first memory?

Today I was walking down the street with Blossom to pick up Buttercup from a neighbor's house. Blossom and I had just spent an hour watercoloring at the table together and having a wonderful mommy-daughter time of things. She was saying something so funny that I was quickly composing a post of it in my mind. I would write that funny entry right now except I have completely forgotten what it was Blossom said. Because just then, I (the chronically dizzy) mom, tripped on my own shoe. As Blossom and I were holding hands at the time, I caught myself but she went sprawling onto the street. "You did that to me!" she accused questioningly as she began to cry. Her jeans were ripped and blood was starting to drip from her skinned knee. I wanted to deny that I had in reality just knocked my 5-year old into the road and made her bleed, but instead I apologized. We got a band-aid from the neighbor and picked up Buttercup. We walked home without further incident, i.e. I didn't knock anyone down.
Fast forward a couple hours. Some friends came over to chat and the little gals were downstairs having a "movie party." Blossom comes upstairs and whispers to me, can she show one of my friends her band-aid. I comply. Then she lifts her pant leg and shows the band-aid. She appears to be pleased with the ooh's and aah's of concern, and then smiling she tells them both, "Mommy did this to me, she shoved me down in the street."
I am always wondering what her first memory will be. This had better not be it.

Preserving A Fruit and a Heritage


Many of my days are filled with experiences that require a strong sense of humor. I mean, strong. And then, some days are just bad. I don't need a sense of humor as much as I need a emergency response team and a licensed therapist. But Saturday, there was something else. A new kind of day where mother and daughter joined forces and participated in a ritual that people on this earth have been performing since they first had to start feeding their families. The process of preserving the harvest. Preparing for winter by drying, canning, and freezing anything edible. Freshman and I bought peaches to supplement the meager fruit on our own tiny peach tree, and began to peel, pit and slice! We laughed and talked and watched The Sound of Music. When it was over, many hours later, we had 7 pints of jelly (those were our own home-grown) and 46 quarts of sliced peaches. And even better, there was a sense of comraderie and accomplishment between us. She was tired, but smiling. I was secretly pleased that I had passed on this knowledge and spent time with a girl who has vastly different interests than my own. And we were both satisfied that we had made such a substantial, yet economical contribution to our families health and welfare.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I woke up singing the children's song, "Saturday is a special day, it's the day we get ready for Sunday".... believe it or not I was in the mood to clean. I had visions of me scrubbing the entire house, room by room, top to bottom. The mood lasted exactly long enough to carry me through the kitchen.
Not quite what I pictured, but at least I was VERY thorough in there. I'm talking cabinets, refrigerator, microwave, stove burners (whatever the heck those things are called that collect all the burnt offerings) and the dirtiest thing of all, Buttercup's booster seat. Ew! There were unidentifiable food bits from who knows how long ago underneath that thing. I just might sleep better tonight knowing they are gone.
Best part of the day? Professor got home from hunting and took us all to IHOP. Yay for the two-for-one coupons! Yay for not cooking dinner in my sparkling clean kitchen! Yay for the Professor!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Date Night

It's Friday! That means date night with my honey! Kids eat mac and cheese at home and TGH and I flee the premises. I love getting all gussied up; nice clothes, makeup, good date hair. My sweetie comes home from work, changes and we run away to be friends, grown-ups, lovers. We talk about the election and movies and books. We do NOT talk about teen problems, bodily functions or grades. We hold hands and kiss without the choruses of "Gross!" echoing around us. We eat food without little mouths begging. I order things they would never touch. Delectable entrees with onions and peppers and all sorts exotic veggies that make children groan. My honey orders all the food I never cook...deep fried, covered in butter and salt. White bread! Then sometimes we see a movie. No dancing dinosaurs, or red monsters, or educational content. We like funny. Sometimes, we go bowling. No bumper guards, no crying about who's turn it is. It's a friendly game, where we make suggestive innuendos and laugh at inside jokes. Then, we get ice cream and drive around, savoring the alone time. Sharing thoughts and wandering through our relationship at random, picking up new little tidbits about each other. We discover that we do change, and we savor getting to know each other every week. I love date night. I love being reminded I am a beautiful, intelligent, sexy woman for 4 hours. I feel reconnected, recharged and ready to be a mommy again. Which is good, because I have 7 children at home, waiting for me to take the reins again!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Well, now that you've brought it up. I have a confession. I, too, am an America's Next Top Model addict! I don't understand how it happened. One night, I woke up about 2 or 3 in the morning and couldn't go back to sleep. Even though I'm not really a TV watcher, I went into the family room and turned it on, thinking there might be an old movie or I Love Lucy reruns. What I did see was a reality TV show about models. I wondered, how is this a show? Who are these girls? Who is this Tyra Banks person? As the show progressed (they were showing an ANTM marathon) I was more and more interested. I started to care about who was going to be eliminated. I liked Nigel. I didn't like Miss J Alexander. I love the pictures. I started to believe Tyra when she said how hard it is to be pretty. Several hours and episodes later, I was completely hooked! Me! I don't even WATCH tv, for pete's sake! I don't let my kids watch except for very limited times on the weekend. I'm known for saying, "TV does NOT rule our LIVES!" I'm a go-read-a book, or get-outside-and-find-something-to-do kind of mom. I don't know anything about Lost or Big Losers, or emergency nannies. I've never seen a Maury, Jerry, or (I didn't know she even had a talk show) Tyra. The last episode I saw of Oprah was in the 90's. Why oh why do I love this show? My husband just rolls his eyes. He is sworn to secrecy. The kids, cannot know their mom is watching catch-up episodes online. In the meantime, I missed the makeover episode because I accidently signed up to host book club at my house last night. But when the last woman left, I ran to the lap top and googled Top Model. I know who went home and when the episode airs on CW's website, I'll be there, an armchair expert on the fascinatingly strange world of modeling. Heaven help me, I love that show!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

oh, Mommy time!

This is my ode to Wednesday nights. How I love them! Why? Because on Wednesday, starting at 7 I have one happy hour of "me time." What do I do during this blissful hour? It is shockingly silly and frivolous. I herd the Girls to bed as fast as I can. I ignore the Professor. My favorite spot on the couch awaits. I watch . . . (drum roll please) . . .
America's Next Top Model.
Why oh why do I love this show? I have no idea. Say what you will, but I am a sucker for it. Once Blossom came downstairs while it was on, took one look at me, and said "Mommy, are those women your friends?" I was mortified at the time and resolved to be more social so she wouldn't be warped forever. But even that experience hasn't kept me from slipping in front of the tv. I think more than the actual show, it's one hour that I enjoy looking forward to every week- something completely fun and easy, uncomplicated and unimportant to my life. I have a sister (you know who you are) who likes "retail therapy" to cheer her up. It's "Top Model therapy" for me all the way.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Cute daddy-daughter moments

Today after dinner the Professor went outside and came back in to announce that the peaches on our tree are ripe! He hurried outside with Blossom and started picking. They had a little system worked out and everything- one box for those that looked nibbled by birds, another for the ones that looked untouched. It was great to see them working and chatting together as they picked. I was amazed that she was big enough to be so helpful and do such a good job. When they were done Blossom was VERY proud of herself- happily calling out to me, "I must have picked 100 peaches!" Meanwhile Buttercup ran around the backyard catching more grasshoppers and as for Bubbles, she just ran around laughing and happy to be outside.
For night-night treat, our nightly ritual of reading scriptures and having a little snack before bed, everyone had half a peach and a plum (yay! some of those were ripe, too)
I guess tomorrow or at least in the very near future I will be in the kitchen canning. This will be round two since I mistakenly didn't trust our little tree to produce and already bought and canned some peaches. Gotta work on that optimism I guess!

School Daze

At 7:15am I wake up PreT-2 and Cub Scout. The rule is get dressed and come to the kitchen for breakfast. PreT-2 is dressed and ready to go. Cub Scout comes in sans shoes and socks. I ask, "Where are your shoes and socks?" "I don't know," he replies. I remind him they are probably in his room where he undressed the night before, and send him back to his room. About 10 min later, he comes back, no shoes, no socks. "Where are your shoes and socks," I ask for the second time. "I don't know," he answers, shaking his head sadly, as if he truly is saddened by this. "Go get your shoes and socks," I say sternly. I am not sad, but starting to feel frustrated. Five minutes later, I walk into the kitchen to see him eating his cereal, NOT WEARING SHOES AND SOCKS. I take a deep breath and ask in a very soft voice, "Where are your socks and shoes?" He responds casually, unconcerned, "I can't find them." He spoons a very large amountl of cereal into his mouth. I took a big step back. This is important if you feel like you might smack someone... and say, somewhat less calmly than before, "GO get your shoes and socks. He sighs, gets up from the chair and returns, I swear, less than a minute later with...TA DA...shoes and socks. "Where were they?" I ask. "In my room." After breakfast, I send him to get his backpack. Big mistake. We reinact the scene above until I feel my eye is twitching. Finally, I send his sister to get the pack. Their ride is going to be here in 2 minutes. We've searched the house and I'm frantic to find this thing. He remains unconcerned. PreT-2 finally announces she's found it. Where? In his room. Their ride pulled up. I grabbed the backpack away from PreT and opened the door. I threw that thing as far as I could towards the waiting carpool and yelled, "GO TO SCHOOL!" How do 8 year old boys ever live to be 9? AND, how are we, their mothers, not all in institutions babbling.."b-b-b-b-b-b-b"?

Monday, September 15, 2008

When Salsa Attacks...

It all starts so innocently. You get your favorite cup. You open the refridgerator to get the milk. There it is, all white and milky, cold and waiting for you. Then you reach in, the milk comes willingly, and you are thinking, yay! breakfast! But oh no, disaster! The bottle of Pace, the gigantic one you buy at Costco because you have 7 children, is tipping towards you! Your hands are full of milk, and your cup. The salsa tips hitting the shelf! The yellow lid flies off, nearly taking off your nose, and the chunky red sauce flows out of the huge container. As it falls, it hits every shelf on it's descent, taking out innocent cheese, lettuce and eggs. Every thing it hits causes splattering so that soon the door and walls of the fridge are covered, and you! You are left standing in a lumpy puddle of spicy green peppers and onions, holding a gallon of milk and your favorite cup, looking like the victim of a driveby. It happened so fast! The half empty bottle lays on the top shelf, mocking you. Daring you to say a bad word. It's always sad when perfectly good condiments turn against you...
Just found a super fun quiz! http://www.blogthings.com/whatkindofshoeareyouquiz/ I'm a flip flop!

Buttercup-isms

Yesterday the Professor and I decided to take a walk with the Girls and Buttercup said the cutest thing. She piped up, "Listen, I hear the whistle of the night-night." We listened carefully. Crickets!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Saturday is a Special Day...

Saturday! The whole family is home and we gather over Coco Puffs (no healthy fiber vitamin crap for us on Saturday!) and review the day's plan. The children are shocked, as they are every Saturday, to discover we expect them to clean their rooms. PreT-1 expected to go the mall with $20 of my dollars, not in her possession. Freshman was apparently planning the same thing. Senior announces that since he worked hard all week, he should get Saturday off. TGH rolled his eyes, and gave Senior a 'you-will-be-cleaning-the-garage-with-me' look. Cub Scout gives us his saddest look and mournfully reveals that he is actually too young to be of any use for Saturday chores. After a brief reality check (dad says, GO CLEAN YOUR ROOMS) we were in business. I spent the day cleaning up and out the boys room. I went the whole nine yards, moving furniture, vaccuming, sorting, organizing, and finally cleaning the carpets. I love my Bissel. We're going to have to move Caboose into a big boy bed since our friends are moving and want their crib back. Now is the perfect time to straighten out that room in preparation for the move. The girls rooms are clean, and the kitchen is passable. The garage plan fell because TGH remembered he had plumbing to finish, the light downstairs needed to be rewired and his favorite college team was playing football... It feels good to get things cleaned up. I know next week, we'll be starting all over, but, tonight, the clean kids are tucked into clean beds in clean rooms and I'm going to go eat some ice cream!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Scenes from the backyard

The Hunt
The Catch
The Celebration!
We had a sad day yesterday. The tip of #6's finger got shut in the hinge side of a bedroom door. Some of his finger actually got pinched off! Sort of the fleshy corner of his "tall man" on his left hand. We had to make a trip to the ER because I thought it might need stitches. Unfortunately, there wasn't anything they could do except make me feel awful and try to bandage it up. What makes it worse for me is that I'm the one who accidentally did it. I just didn't realize he was there! I am just sick about it. Being mentally disabled, the poor guy is struggling with the dressing on his finger, which, by the way, is bandaged so that it looks like he's flipping people off! He wants to chew the bandage and I'm trying to find ways to keep his mouth off, so we can avoid an infection. This whole week has been very tough. I'm hoping for a few minutes away tonight with TGH.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I almost posted earlier but gee whiz, then I would've missed the wonderful opportunity of writing about how Buttercup's legs got stuck in the bars of the Wal-mart shopping cart. . . .
we were there to buy the new digital converter box for the tv. Which by the way, is a HUGE rip-off. We got it home and now our tv says none of the signals are strong enough to receive any channels. Is this some kind of devious plot to force everyone to pay for cable or satellite? Is anyone else ticked off about this???

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Speaking of Dad's....TGH is working on the plumbing. Generally, he's darn handy, with only a few minor (aka major) mishaps along the way. But when it's MY bathroom we're talking about I feel very very nervous. Stuff can break! Tile is not forever! Porcelain scratches! The manly plumber is undaunted by this minutiae. He forges ahead, drilling, hammering and bolting any obstacles in his way. And he's dragging Senior with him in an effort to pass on these manly skills to his manly offspring!
Thank goodness for dads. It is usually all "girl-princess crowns-fairy wings-and dress-up" around here but when the Professor gets home it's "captured townspeople being threatened by undead dogs, acid-breathing dragons, and explaining what a flying buttress is."
May the fun never end.
Oh and by the way, volunteer day in Blossom's kindergarten class was thoroughly enjoyable.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

My day today? Luckily no poo accidents or banana hold-ups on my end. But it was little Buttercup's first day of preschool. I think it kind of blew Blossom's mind to think of Buttercup taking over in her old preschool class. Buttercup seemed to be fine with it. I asked her what they did, she said I can't remember, and promptly wanted a snack.
One of the moms from the Happy Herd (the walk-to-kindergarten-group) invited us to McD's so we all went there after retrieving Buttercup from preschool. Of course that was loads of fun for the kidlets. I have never taken them there and it's a brand spankin' new McD's so they loved it. Buttercup did get stuck in the top of the playhouse at one point and start loudly wailing. I had to go in and retrieve her- those things are definitely built for tiny kids! It was no easy task for me, the flaming claustrophobic, but we all made it back out alive. :)
Now kids are in bed, the Professor and I have just finished watching an interesting History Channel documentary about what will happen to earth after humans have been dead 10,000 years and I'm off to bed myself. Hopefully the documentary won't bring on any 2am bad dreams!
Tomorrow is the first day of volunteering in Blossom's kindergarten class . . . . .
Tuesdays are ridiculously busy! Definitely crockpot day. Between piano lessons, guitar lessons and church youth group activities, I am done done done! Before I head to a hot bath and an early bedtime, I want to share my super amazing breadstick recipe, but first have to tell this funny story. I was headed towards the kitchen this morning when I hear preT-1 say, "Freeze, sucka!" I'm thinking, what? When I look into the room, I see her behind PreT-2 with an arm around her neck, holding a....banana? to her sister's head. Am I halllucinating? I walk in and say, "Stop threatening your sister with a banana." Again, what? Put this on the list of things you should never have to say. Anyway, I continue, "You do realize we live in middle class suburbia and NOT a gang ghetto?" At which point Freshman, who had walked in a minute earlier and poured herself a glass of milk, laughed, shooting milk out of nose and rendering the other two incapacitated with laughter.

OK, Breadsticks:
1 1/2 cups hot water, 1 T yeast, 2 T honey, 1 tsp salt. Just stir these all up. Trust me! Then add 3 to 4 C flour until the dough is well mixed and not sticky. Knead for a min or two then form into 16 breadsticks. Bake at 450 F for about 10 to 14 min, or until golden brown. These work up so fast, sometimes I serve them with spagetti sauce and salad and call it dinner:)

Monday, September 8, 2008

You are just not going to believe what happened this morning. As I went to wake up the 3 boys, I opened their door to a wall of truly awful smell. I staggered over to the window and wondered what in the world three small boys can have been doing overnight to produce this kind of stench? #6 had the answer. His bed was covered in barf. Great. Miraculously, there wasn't really any on him so after I looked him over, (no fever, seemed cheerful) I took him up to try breakfast. He ate it up and I debated whether or not to send him to school. The debate ended when I started to unzip his jammies. At first I thought, how did he get throw-up IN his jams? Then the truth and the smell hit me! NOT BARF! It was poo. Poo up to his chin, down to his toes, IN THE ARMS of his jammies. How does this happen? Who is going to clean this? Am I really the mother? As these questions swam around in a poo/barf-fume induced fog in my head, I realized that while this was awful, it barely even deserves an honorable mention in my Worst Messes Ever Hall of Fame. I showered the kid. I washed all fabrics in hot water, Tide and Oxyclean. I sprayed every hard surface in the house with Lysol. I brushed my teeth. I had a Diet Pepsi. He was fine the entire rest of the day. Not even one messy diaper. One day I'll have to tell you about the Great Paint Disaster...
well, perhaps this day isn't shaping up as I'd hoped. Buttercup just peed on the floor (AGAIN!! ARGH!!) This isn't meshing with the whole preschool starting tomorrow thing . . . .
Hi, it's Carrie- I got Blossom off to kindergarten with the big happy herd we walk with. Then when I got home I sat down to pay bills but realized that Buttercup has no backpack for preschool tomorrow. So I ran off to the store, thinking I had just enough time to load Bubbles and Buttercup into the stroller and hit the thrift store. (ever the thrifty mom, right?) We found a beautiful Ariel backpack, alas the zipper was broken, so I had to take a now crying Buttercup to another store. I still had fifteen minutes to spare. Got to thrift store #2, found a pink backpack that I had to talk her into because she now really really wanted a princess pack. I promised her I could glue something sparkly to it. What that is I have no idea, but surely with three girls under 5 we have something small and sparkly that will fit the bill. Anyway, I got in line, now only a few minutes left until kindergarten pickup time but the person in front of me took an unforeseeably long time to check out their ONE item. So I was late to kindergarten and as I tried to pull up to the school I could see Blossom frantically looking around for me. Luckily the other mamas from the happy herd were by her and I parked the van (taking up two spots) and retrieved her and the friend who was coming over to play today. phew! What have I learned from this? NEVER think 40 minutes is enough time to visit two stores with two kids. Better go, they're upstairs hungrily waiting for lunch. Already sitting at the kitchen table. . . . . .

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Usually Sunday is a hit the ground running day. Even more than weekdays. On weekdays, departure times are staggered...Senior leaves at 6:30am, Freshman and PreT-1 leave at 7:10, TGH leaves at 7:30, #6 leaves at 8, and Cub Scout and PreT-2 leave at 8:15. Then me and the Caboose heave a sigh of relief and get on with our day! But Sundays, we all have to be out the door in time for church at 9. Everyone in shoes, socks, and nice clothes. Clean, pressed and dressed. And with equipment...scriptures, lesson books, diaperbag properly stocked. It makes for a pretty stressful morning. Ha ha! "Exactly what a pre church experience should be..."she said sarcastically! ANYWAY. Today is different. No church. Ok, technically, there is a meeting, but it's a Stake Conference and while we usually attend this, today, we having a by. As in pass us by, cause I'm not going. Not with two little kids to sit for two long hours on metal folding chairs. Not today, baby! Does that sound belligerent?:)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

#6 ate a jar of jelly left out by Freshman and her cousin. To clarify, he spread jelly all over his shirt, his face, his pants, the floor, the kitchen table, a chair, and his toes. It took two washcloths, a change of clothes, a bath, and several rinsings to de-stickify the newly-mopped linoleum and the boy. Whew! It's 10pm now and all babies are in bed. Finally, a minute for MOM! Right after I rotate the laundry...
Today, we have many wonderful activities to choose from. In the family room, the LDS missionaries are showing a video with Senior and his friends, in the kitchen, Freshman and her cousin are eating pbj's and talking about Hurricane Gustav. In the master bedroom, I'm hiding out with the kettle chips and laptop, and cat #1. TGH is camping with Preteen 1 and 2 and Cub Scout. Is that everyone? Oh! Babies are running all around, stealing chips and wiping their little hands on everything.

I mopped earlier, sort of. I used the Bissel on the kitchen floor. BTW, do NOT use Lysol in the Bissel...I love Lysol, but it seriously messes with the Bissel's abilities. Also threw in a load of whites. TGH has got to have socks for work! I'm going to Bed Bath and Beyond for some pants hangers later, and those low profile velvety hangers. I love those. I'm currently trying to color code everyone's hangers so when their stuff gets hung up out of the dryer, it's easier to tell whose is whose.