Monday, December 21, 2009

Cousin visit!

For the last few days, I have had little Blossom, Buttercup and Bubbles at MY house! We are loving being knee deep in little girls. They have been so funny and cute. On Friday morning, I took the cuties to my scrapbook group where one of the moms shared her stickers. Two of the girls came up to me with stickers all over their faces and asked, "Do you know us, Aunt Maren??" I pretended to think about it while they giggled, supposedly incognito behind Christmas stickers. Finally I identified them and they ran off laughing at the good joke. On Saturday, after their baths, we were dressing them when the littlest started yelling, "I know a dance!" So I said, "What dance?" She and her sisters yelled in unison, "THE BUM-BUM DANCE!" Then they proceeded to dance all over the living room doing the funniest dance moves. We were all laughing hysterically. The next night, we were trying to talk them into jammies when the middle girl escaped. It was so hilarious watching my girls trying to wrestle this little 4 year old into footed jammies. These people are better than television:) And thank you to my dear sister for trusting me with her little chicks while she is off galavanting....(actually at a wedding, but if you don't have 3 of your little kids with you, can't it be a little like galavanting?)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Update

It has been a while since I've written, and I'm hopefully turning over a new leaf. Although I will confess that the garbage is full of them! Since I last wrote, Timothy finally has his leg braces. It was a huge sigh of relief for me and I'm so happy to finally have them. How satisfying it was to velcro those straps to his little legs and how glad I was to be shopping for shoes to fit them. It was  a proud moment putting him on the bus to school with DAFOs (Dynamic Ankle Foot Orthosis) on his floppy little feet. He seems happy too, and was cheerfully licking the new plastic contraption.

I have a long list of big jobs to do...projects I don't want to start, and people I don't want to call, but it sure was nice to cross this big one off of my list. And, it made me feel like a good mom. The kind of mom who makes sure her babies are loved and well taken care of. The kind of mom who can get things done, and make things happen. Do I dare say...a MOTY (Mother Of The Year) mom?? Maybe not this year, but in my heart, I felt it, and my eyes welled when I saw the little boy staggering up to the front door wearing his DAFOs and smiling at me.  I felt like a good mom.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I have always believed that it is good for kids to believe in Santa. It plants the seeds of faith, it's like a little practice for later, deeper, real faith. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but that's what I think.
Anyway, the other day Buttercup and I were talking about what she wants Santa to bring her for Christmas. I was saying, tell mommy what you want Santa to bring you. She thought about it for awhile and she said, Do I have to tell you so you can pray to Santa to bring it?
(ummm, long pause.)
Then I just blew the whole thing and said, We pray to Heavenly Father honey, Santa is just for fun. Oh well.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Okay, apparently the real price of friendship was never blogging again. That advent calendar, while beautiful and fun, is a time sucker! In my spare time when I used to blog I am sewing little pockets like crazy. That is if little Gem is asleep and not crying to be held. ahem. Yes, I do know that December has already begun and I have also realized that we are going to be out of town for bro-in-law's wedding for about a week, so an advent calendar might not be the greatest project for this year. But at this point, I just want to finish it before Christmas Day, so I can hang it on the wall and admire my handiwork. We'll get to it's actual function another year. :)

Speaking of bro-in-law's wedding, I can't believe how crazy it feels to plan a trip right before Christmas. We won't get back until Christmas Eve, so we have to have everything done by next week. The Professor is swamped and panicked at work, and I am swamped and panicked at home! That is not to say that I am not enjoying the Christmas Season. I love it. I'm bleeding money, I'm speeding recklessly toward Christmas without brakes or steering, a kid under each arm and strapped to each leg, but by golly I've got my Santa hat on and a smile on my face!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Price of Making Friends

I am always thinking in terms of what things cost- sorry but true. So yesterday at church they were having a little get-together to make Advent Calendars. I wasn't sure if I was going to go or not but decided that since I'm trying to make friends in this new city where we live I'd better give it a try.
Of course there was a list of materials I needed to get if I was going to make the calendar so I headed off to the trusty Wal-mart an hour and a half before I was supposed to be there. Should be enough time right? Well, trusty Wal-mart was untrustworthy and they did not have the things I needed. Rats. (Not to mention that when I got there I realized that Gem was buckled into her carseat but her carseat was not buckled into the van. EEK!)
I fixed that and then I had to go across town to Jo-Anns, stopping for gas on the way. I calculated that by the time I got to Jo-Anns I would have five minutes to get the kidlets out of the van and into the store, ten to look for the stuff, and five to get back out of the store and into the van-leaving time to get to the church in a punctual fashion.
When we got to store #2 we were hurrying across the parking lot- trying to get into the store in the allotted five minutes but poor Buttercup could not go as fast as I was trying to make her go and she fell down. Of course she was wearing a dress so her knee was really really skinned up. I packed her into the cart with her sisters, amidst her tears and headed for the store restroom. Washed the knee, wiped the tears, checked the watch- now I had 5 minutes to find the stuff and 5 to get back to the van and on the road. Maybe I sound heartless for not giving up at this point, but I was on a mission to make friends (and an advent calendar).

Well, as you can imagine that was basically impossible, but we did make it to the class, only about 15 minutes late. (I even found a band-aid in the van and fixed up the knee.) Buttercup was very subdued, Gem screamed her head off, and Bubbles was trying to hold my hand while I was cutting fabric with the scissors I had to borrow because I forgot mine in my mad rush to have a social life.
The price of making friends? A tank of gas, a bloody knee, the guilt of being the inadvertant cause of the bloody knee, and an all around stressful morning.

The best part of the day? One of the women called me later just to chat about making the tree. Sounds downright friendly doesn't it? :) :) :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Kitchen Painting

Now that I finally finished the curtains, I moved onto the next step- painting. I sure like painting a lot more than I like sewing!
Special thanks to the Professor who took care of Gem all day while I worked on this. She has been non-stop crying but that is a whole different story. . . . .

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween


I love carving pumpkins. The Professor bowed out and went duck hunting so this is what the girls and I came up with. They instructed, I did the cutting. :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Who is the winner?

Round two tenatively goes to Mommy. Gem slept through the night and in her own bed! Unfortunately this cannot be declared a complete victory because she did it while sick with a fever.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Price of a Shower

Today at 3 o'clock I finally decided I had to get to the shower. I knew that when the Professor got home I would have to venture into the public arena to buy birthday presents (his b-day is in a few days). I couldn't go during the day because Bubbles is sick with croup (I think it's croup anyway). So I figured 3:00 would give me enough time before I had to meet the school bus (yes, I finally got permission for Blossom to ride the bus but that's a whole different story.)
So, I put little Gem on the floor outside my bathroom door, with the door open and my bedroom door closed. She was fussing a little but I figured when the water started and she couldn't see me, she'd give it up. Sure enough, she calmed right down and I cranked up the hot water the way I love it and even sang to myself a little. I was not in too big of a hurry and wanted to enjoy. Buttercup and Bubbles were playing in the hallway outside my door.
When I got out of the shower, Gem saw me and started to cry. I hurried into some clothes, I had been wanting to look nice, but had to grab the first thing I ran across in my drawer. Buttercup started thumping on the door screaming that she needed socks. Time was ticking along faster than I had intended. I thought to myself that if I could just get my hair reasonably straight I'd still have time to nurse Gem. So two girls screaming, no word from Bubbles so I start the blow dryer. Two minutes later I turn it off. Gem is hysterical and so is Buttercup. But I am more concerned about the weird thumping noise on the wall. I step out into the hallway toward the other bathroom only to find Bubbles lying on the floor RIGHT BY THE POTTY kicking her feet and yelling that she is poopy. ARGH! Let's just say it was NOT a little mess.
When I finally got out the door, Gem nursed, and five minutes to spare (or so I thought) I look up to see the school bus go cruising by. We walk about two blocks to the school bus and I MISSED it! It's only Blossom's 3rd day riding!
The price of a shower? My thin grip on sanity.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Finally!

I finally called on Monday morning to see why I did not ever get my license. The office manager, Jennifer, said, let me see what we're waiting on. "Can you hold?" I of course said yes, so ended up waiting for 5 minutes while she 'looked' around. When she finally came back, she said, "I have it right here, you want me to drop this in the mail today for you?" I was stunned! OF COURSE I WANT YOU TO SEND ME THE LICENSE.(I think I said it more calmly than I felt it) Then I hung up. Then I thought for a minute, and called Jennifer back, "Um, can I just come and GET the license?" Jennifer said, "Sure, I'll be gone for lunch from 12-1, but other than that..."




I ask Alex if he wants to come with me, and we load 4 kids into the van. It's about 11:15, but it is only 10 minutes away, and I know right where the office is, so no problem. About 4 or 5 blocks away from the building, we are at a light, which turns green, and the van dies. Seriously. Stops running. Alex is looking at me and says, "oh no." And I look back at him and say, "oh yes." And I'm not thinking, Oh Crap, the van...I'm thinking, Can I walk fast enough to get to the State building before 12 to get that license? It's seriously gotten that ridiculous in my mind. Alex opened his door and says he'll push from the back if I can steer and push from the front. We both hop out and start pushing. Thank Heaven for 7-11! There was one on the opposite corner we were on, so it was really only a matter of turning the corner and getting gas. The van was going pretty well, and I was thinking, Wow, Alex and I are really strong! Turned out there was a man watching who took pity and helped push:) I put gas in the van, and away we go. We park, unload kids and head into the building, then elevator to get the license. When we get to the desk....no Jennifer. It's 11:45. Can she have left? Is it over? Then, I spot the big white envelope with my name on it sitting on the corner of her desk! I grab it, hug it, (yes, I hugged it) and we left. Back at the van, I take a minute to bask. Slowly I open the envelope, fully expecting it to catch fire or something dreadful. My 4 yr old daycare girl asks, "what are you doing?" I am carefully pulling out the certificate from the envelope, and say, "Guess what this is." Her brother, 3 yr old, pipes up, "A choo-choo train?" Um, no. It's my (sniff) daycare license. Finally. In my hand. It's been a long road, almost a year in fact, but I am finally a licensed child care provider in my state, and I'm famo (text language, look at your phone and figure it out) proud of it!:)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Round One goes to Gem

My little Gem sleeps in bed with me and the Professor every night. Whenever I try to move her into her own little bassinet she wakes up and cries. This isn't really a problem because she sleeps better with me but I am pretty uncomfortable trying to hold still so no one rolls on her.
I decided maybe she'd do better in the porta-crib 'cause she seems to be outgrowing the bassinet. So I got the little crib all set up and yesterday I drank a big diet coke so I'd be really awake and I could get up with her. I tucked her in at 10:30. She woke up at 11:30. I fell asleep in bed holding her (useless caffeinated beverage!!) and put her down again about 1:00. She woke up at 1:15. I held her and put her back down at 1:20. She woke up at 1:30. (Keep in mind this is AM) I put her down again in a few minute and she was up by 2:00.
Needless to say I then gave up on the porta-crib and tucked her in beside me. We both slept until 7:00. (She might have woken up at 5 but frankly if she did I nursed her in my sleep and I don't remember it.) Gem- one. Mom- zero.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Today I went and volunteered in Blossom's class. This was my second time going in. (thanks to mom-in-law for watching the other kiddos so I can do this.) I love going to the school. Blossom's first grade class is really, really well behaved and I like her teacher a lot. I also get to accompany Blossom to her reading group and watch her progress. I love helping the little kids and seeing how smart they are. I also love having somewhere to go where I can dress up a tiny bit and not have any baby drool or diapers and no other children dangling from my extremities.
Lately, I have been feeling like everywhere I go there are children just surrounding me and hanging from every arm and leg. People have actually begun stopping me and asking me if I need help to my van when I go places. This seems like a polite gesture, but in reality it makes me feel like I not only am crazy but I look crazy, too, I can't even hide it.
Anyway, that is why I love Blossom's class. Atleast for the two hours I am there no one cries, everyone is quiet and attentive, and it is a peaceful refuge for me. Maybe it is strange that a first grade class could be a refuge but frankly, I will take what I can get. :)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Day 3 of Potty Training

7am-  Put 3 yr old on the potty, explaining cheerfully how mommy needs him to "make a poops". Everyone is smiling.

7:15 am- 3 yr old wants to get up, but Mommy knows, the minute she lets him put on underwear, he     is going to poops in them

7:30am-  Mommy feels guilty about 3 yr old still sitting on potty, but Mommy remembers how on Days 1  AND 2, 3yr old pooped in his undies. Mommy toughens up. 3 yr old stays put.

7:45am- 3 yr old (alright, his name is Nick) proudly produces a poop the size of a pea and wants to get up.
Mommy senses progress, lets him flush the microscopic offering, and sits him back down.

7:50am-  Second pea sized poop. Nick wants to flush again. Mommy is starting to feel suspicious.

7:55am- Third pea sized poop. Nick wants to flush. Hmmmm....

8:00am- Mommy sees day going downhill in a fast car and poopy underwear.

8:15am- Nick actually produces People Sized Poops. Really. Mommies eyes tear up. She lets him flush, again. Everyone gets a treat, Nick gets underwear. Mommy feels hope.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Instant Gratification and End of a Long Road...

To get my daycare license, we need grass under our swings. I've been working toward this license for months, taking Licensing,CPR and Food Handlers classes. I've had the Health Dept, the Fire Dept, and the City Licensing Dept at my house making sure I'm clean and safe. Finally, the day came for the actual State Licensor to come out to my house. Everything passes. EXCEPT. (I'm getting used to hearing this...see previous post) Except the fact that the grass has worn off under my swings. The entire yard is grass, including under the slide. The only worn spot, is, in fact only a spot about 1x2 ft . But it matters, it counts, and it prevents me from getting the coveted license. So. Thursday night we dug up about 200 sq ft of dirt and weedy grass (TGH likes to go crazy with our tiller) We ordered sod and picked it up at the crack of dawn on Saturday, then laid the darn stuff. WOW! That grass is so rewarding! Instant grass-ification! Amazing! Now, we just water like crazy, call the State and get that license!



This is Alex, picking up rocks and crap out of the dirt. Then me laying sod, and finally, the finished product. We bought some seed, (thanks for the tip Melody) and sprinkled all around the perimeter so it should fill in. And we live in an area that stays pretty warm until late, so we should be good.








Here's our youngest, keeping an eye on the whole project♥




Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tying Shoes

I am feeling very ineffective these days. I feel like I'm like my 3 year old trying to tie his shoes. I know that people tie their shoes everyday. I see the shoes. I know how the laces are supposed ot work and I understand how the process goes, but somehow, I cannot get those shoes tied! I try, and try. They LOOK tied, but the minute I start walking, they fall apart and I'm tripping over my laces again. Sit down, try again.

I am having trouble getting Timothy's (disabled 6 year old) leg braces. We have insurance. We have Medicaid. You'd think, like all the parts of the shoe being there, that this is a guarantee of tied shoes. But no. Medicaid won't approve the braces until the insurance company denies the claim, which they have. So, like the shoes, I have everything, the shoes are essentially tied. So I stand up. The insurance company has denied the claim. But Medicaid won't approve the claim because they are saying it's the wrong insurance company. Hmmm. So, I call Medicaid, spend 20 minutes on hold, explain the problem, and am reassured that everything will work out. The orthotics company calls two days later and say that Medicaid is still denying the claim. I call Medicaid again and am emailed a form, which I fill out and send in. Timothy's orthotic appointment was tuesday. My daughter took a call Monday, presumably to remind me of Tuesday's appointment. On Tuesday, I load up 3 daycare kids and Timothy and go. Shoes Tied! When I get there, I am informed that Medicaid has yet again denied the claim, based on the previous reason of wrong insurance denial. They haven't even ORDERED the braces. I go home and lie down. I'm tired of trying to tie shoes. I want velcro. On Wednesday, the orthotics office calls me again to inform me AGAIN that Medicaid has denied the claim (same reason) AGAIN. I ask, "Are you going to call me everyday to tell me Timothy can't have braces?" Needless to say, I was bugged. The woman calling says, "I thought if you could see their letter, it would be helpful to you." I ask, "In what way?" She says, "So you could understand why they are denying your claim." I said, probably not in the nicest way possible, "That is actually the LEAST helpful thing I've been told. Thank you." I explained how many times I've called Medicaid, and, by the way, my insurance company, trying to explain (and prove) that Timothy is NOT preexisting, that's the way he came. She says, "Oh, Ok, we just want to be helpful." I'm thinking helpful would be them giving me the braces. They are not thinking that.

I'm not sure how the h** to tie shoes anymore. I want some flip-flops.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Marching Band

Last night we were able to see our daughter in her marching band show and we were so impressed! Their band is doing so well. And good thing too, because as I was watching the other bands perform, I was feeling very upset about my $350 for marching band. (It's not mine, actually, in terms of cash money, but we sure have worked hard at the fund raisers.) Anyway, I had said to TGH, "Our band had better be better than this or I want my money back!" He agreed. So, on the the field they marched...and WOW! What a great job they did! We took some
pictures. In the close up, she's the one with the flute.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

First Grade

Well, the first day of first grade came and went. Today when I dropped little Blossom off she was already in her groove and could hardly be bothered to say goodbye. Do I curse or bless her independence?
The first day was a madhouse when I dropped her off at the school. I naively didn't show up early enough and we had to park our van in a field across the street from the school. I was carrying little Gem and everyone else was holding hands as we made our way through the straw/grass, trying not to get our feet scratched. Of course Bubbles lost a shoe which we had to go back for because I didn't immediately realize why she was crying. Thank goodness for the good samaritan who helped me get my little herd across the street (NO CROSSWALK!!) The playground was a mass of kids and I could barely recognize the teacher I just met on Friday. But of course, we managed to find the right line and we even got to accompany Blossom into her class which really thrilled Buttercup.
All in all, Blossom said she loved first grade and came home very happy. I guess I am the only one who is going to have a hard adjustment to having her gone all day!

Monday, August 24, 2009

One down, so many to go...

Today, we found out that Alex got a financial aid award. I'm so relieved. We have spent so much time trying to prove that we don't have any money for college, that if you paid Alex and I $10 an hour, it seems like it would just about add up to the amount he needs. I sure feel like we've "earned" it, anyway. Now, we only have to worry about the ticket he received in the accident he had, how to get him TO the school, since he no longer has a car (the van was totalled in the accident), and finding him a job. Personally, it's one less thing in my boat. Which, by the way, is FULL. I've been trying to get my daycare license. It's been a sort of saga...first, I decided to get a sort of 'lesser' license, called a residential certificate. It's what I've had in the past. I needed a state licensing orientation certificate, cpr/first aid certification, a health dept inspection, a fire inspection, a city business license (which came with an inspection), a food handler's permit, and background checks for everyone over 12 in the house. While I was getting all of these things, the orientation apparently expired. So, I went to another orientation. Which is where I discovered that in 6 months, they have CHANGED some of the rules to get a license. Including the one where it is more difficult to get a residential cert. and there are more perks associated with getting the full license. So, now, I'm writing a 10 page Procedures and Disaster Handbook to turn in with my application. Also, I now have to prove I'm a citizen of the U.S. This feels like a big carrot out in front of me...my daughter said, "Try to think of it as a brownie, Mom!"

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Weekend

I just want to know what day is MY day OFF. AND, I want to know why whenever I leave the house, I have to take SOMEONE with me or live with 6000 calls while I'm gone. AND I'd just like to know how I ended up at home on Saturday night scrubbing tomato off the CEILING and SOMEBODY ELSE got to go the movies.

By the way, this is the reason for the ceiling; There were 7 jars in the batch, but one broke. When I was getting it out, there was a tangle up with the broken jar and the pot and somehow tomato was flung about.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

All is quiet...or is it?

Who said schools should be able to e-mail. Here I am smugly thinking I have no calls from the school when I open my e-mail. There is an e-mail from the middle school band teacher ....asking for money for drumsticks and t-shirt for chicaron1. Of course she wants it today. Luckily only $15...
Oh goody another e-mail from the Science teacher of chicharon2, "Dear Mrs. Luna, I am delighted that your son (chicharon2) loves science. His enthusiam for the experiments we are doing in class is contagious to the other students and rewarding for me as a teacher. And while I am impressed by his intelligence and understanding of science, I wanted to let you know that I did have to ask him to not create any new experiments in class. So if you could remind him at home, that would be great. And by the way he asked that when I e-mailed you this could you please bring in his science notebook that he forgot.
Uh-oh another e-mail, this one is from nutrition services. "Dear Mrs. Luna, while we are thrilled that your child is choosing to eat the hot lunch provided in the cafeteria....."Chicharon 3 has been eating lunch everyday in the cafeteria (mind you I have been sending him with a lunch EVERYDAY) so could you please send in money" ....since he now owes like $20.
So when a tree falls in the forest if you don't hear it, check your e-mail.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Kids in school

So all of my own kids are in school all day. I have a 1st, 6th, 7th and 9th grader. Now I find myself with a lot more free time on my hands. I say this hesitantly because chicharon 2 is notorious for having his teacher call me. No one is ever quite sure what to do with him, and for some reason all believe I know. I don't really, I just make it up as I go along. Anyway now they are in school and so far the phone it quiet...

Speaking of School

I have a first grader starting at the end of the month. There are so many emotions/worries wrapped up in that sentence it's hard to go into. As any of you who have read this probably know, I have a worrying problem/hobby and this is a real "fun" topic for me to mull over.
First I was worrying about whether or not to homeschool her. We decided not to. Then I was worrying about sending her to a special classical education program run by the regular school district. She was even on a waiting list. They called yesterday with an opening but once again we decided not to. So now we will be entering the regular "run-of-the-mill" public school system. Even just doing that I find myself with 3 schools to choose between! We decided to go with the school she had kindergarten in even though we don't live in that district anymore.
Now that we've figured out where she is going I'm hurrying to the next worry. Since she is a good reader I am fretting over whether or not I should look into testing for Gifted and Talented. Who knows if she would even qualify for any of that?? (Deep breath.)
Let's not even get started on the facts that she will be gone all day, she might learn "bad" things while she is out of my sight, and she is growing up way too fast for my comfort. (another deep breath)
By the way, ballet class registration is started. Should I sign her up for ballet? (aggghhh!)

School Starts

Three of my kids start school tomorrow. I have realized, belatedly, that giving my kids pseudonyms relative to their age was a little idiotic. So I now find myself in the awkward position of re-naming my children. Good grief. I've been thinking over the choices:
1. Just use their real names. I mean, I'm not the CIA, right?
2. Make up funny new adjectives as names. (Shorty, Freckles, etc.) Cute, but is it dumb?
3. Use real names...(Jane, Mary, Phil etc) but not THEIR real names.
4. Use their real names, but don't tell anyone that those are their real names.
I'm thinking I may be over thinking this. I am concerned with internet privacy, but is that unrealistic? Is there even such a thing these days? I remember reading 1984 in 1986 and thinking it was ludicrous, and yet, now, I take for granted that it seems everything from my computer to my checkstand at the supermarket knows who I am.

ANYWAY, three of the kids start school tomorrow, 2 more start thursday, the oldest starts next wednesday, and the youngest starts the day after that. It's confusing and makes for 2 very hectic weeks. In the meantime, and at the same time, I am revving up the daycare and currently have the most gorgeous little 6 year old here for a couple of weeks. She has a unique family situation (2 dads and she is African-American) which has been interesting for my kids to see. We live a little bit of a sheltered life. We're definitely trying to wring all the fun we can out of these last days of summer!

So, any ideas about the name thing? Help me out here people, I've painted myself into a corner:)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Well, sorry I've got nothing to say because I am in a sleep deprived stupor. Little grunt, who I will now refer to as Gem, was doing a super super great job of sleeping through the night. Right up until a week ago that is. For the past week, she constantly wants to suck her fingers and wakes herself up every time I put her down at night. So I have been sitting up in bed holding her, and needless to say, I am beat. I want her to go back to her old sleepy ways ! I always say if you don't like what a baby is doing, wait two weeks and it'll change. Cross fingers for me that this will.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Garden Boasting










One of the reasons I never post. I am always out here in this 1/4 acre defending my organic dreams against earwigs, rolley-pollies, grasshoppers, caterpillars, ants, birds, cats, and every noxious weed known to man. It's a job, that's for sure. In addition to what is pictured here, there are also 6 fruit trees and two other beds. We've already enjoyed a bountiful pea harvest and many ripe zucchini, crookneck and tomatoes. The lettuce is producing marvelously, as are the herbs and peppers. This very night, we are planning a total garden salsa for dinner. I plan to barter with a friend for her cilantro, so, if she's reading this...you know who you are, I can trade you some tomatoes for some cilantro...





Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Apologies and New beginnings

First, I have to apologize for not posting at all for such a long time! These kids being home for the summer is kicking my butt. So, some updates, #1 is that Senior graduated from high school and turned 18. So, technically he's not a Senior anymore. I should have seen that coming, huh? I'm going to have to think this over... #2 is TGH and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. What a milestone! The sad part was that neither of us even remembered it was our anniversary unti about 10 o'clock that morning. We were all obsessed with the fact the the freezer didn't seem to be freezing. Our breakfast conversation consisted of whether or not to vacuum the coils with the shop vac or the vacuum. Romantic, eh? I hope we kissed...I don't remember exactly. Cub Scout had a pack meeting that night and the older kids had church youth activities, so by the time we actually got to see each other AND remembered the anniversary, it was after 8pm. We fled to our favorite taco shop and held hands over pico de gallo and refried beans. Ok, what else is new? #6, our special needs son, had a grand mal seizure that lasted 20 minutes this past weekend. Very scary. We had to take him to the er and then spent the night at the hospital, waiting for his temperature and his white cell count to come down. He's home now, and we are trying to decide if putting him on a long-term anti-convulsant is the right thing for him. So, there's a few summer updates. Like my sister, I too have zucchinis galore and am using them with reckless abandon. I plan to can some relish with them shortly. More on that later. By the way, let's call Senior....Alex.

Friday, July 24, 2009

apricot syrup, jam, and pie filling!


Here are the results of my busy day. Thanks to my sis for good advice on the syrup (just jam without the pectin) and to Great Grandpa for his food mill. (made it so easy) Don't forget to note the temp on that thermometer in the backyard!

Back to Apricots!

Okay, I went and picked more apricots from mom-in-law's house. Now I am actually canning instead of just drying and freezer jamming. This will probably prove less enjoyable because I will not be in my air conditioned kitchen (ahem). I will be using the camp chef in the backyard in the 100 degree weather. Curse the glass topped stove.

Monday, July 20, 2009

zucchini!

I know, some people cringe at the sight of the word zucchini at this time of year but I say, bring it on. I've got a great zucchini bread recipe (that I'll post on the cooking site) that I've already made four loaves of. I also made some chocolate zucchini cookies that the Professor thinks taste extra good when they're hot from the oven. (I got that recipe from allrecipes.com if anyone is interested). Tonight I'm thinking about adding zucchini parmesan to our dinner, which we love to have this time of year or maybe checking out the recipe for ratatouille. We just bought that movie for the little girls and the Professor thinks the actual food might have zucchini in it. We shall see.
I am actually really enjoying spending my days working in the kitchen. Being busy like this makes me feel like I'm finally resurfacing after being pregnant and having baby. (It's about time- she's 9 weeks already!)
Anyway, happy baking/canning/ using zucchini to me and to any of you out there doing the same thing. Have fun with it. :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Apricots!

Apricots are ready and thanks to my dear mom-in-law my little gals and I spent the morning picking them. Now we are home and I am trying to decide what to do with them. I realize I have a lot of apricot jam and apricot butter I haven't used from last year so I'm thinking of drying most of them. I am also looking into making some freezer jam but we are very limited on freezer space- if anyone else hates those bleeping side-by-side fridge/freezers, raise your hand! Nothing fits inside but I admit I do love the crushed ice option in the door. :) Anyway, on to apricots! yay!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What did you say???

Bubbles just came up to me and said, "I wanna practice Mama, I want to practice." I looked at her and said, "what do you want to practice." She grinned and said something that sounded like, "My elevator is dry."

WHAT??!!??

One of those Moments

Here's how it went. I picked up little Grunt to see if she wanted to nurse. She had pooped out of her diaper and all up the side of her onesie and was a terrible mess. So I hauled her off to the bedroom to get cleaned up. As I'm fixing her up, I hear Bubbles calling me. "Mama, I made a water." (this means she peed her pants. she doesn't use the potty chair willingly.) Okay, I think to myself, no problem. I instruct her to wait for me in the bathroom. "Mama," I hear Blossom calling. "I need more lunch! More everything!" I'm starting to feel the stress level rise at this point. I yell back at her, not so nicely, that she knows I'm changing the baby and she'll just need to wait a minute. I finish with Grunt, get Bubbles cleaned up and newly underweared, scrub my hands with soap and head to the kitchen. One peanut butter sandwich and apple no problem. I head back to the bedroom to feed Grunt which was my original intention. "Mama," I pause, cringing at the sound of Bubble's voice. "Mama, I'm poopy."
sigh.

Friday, June 12, 2009

So, little Grunt is a month old. (too bad for her I haven't thought of a nicer blog name yet). Yesterday was her one month birthday. This is not one of those times when I'd say time flies. I'll say it's been a long month. I don't mean that negatively- it just feels a lot longer than a month.
I took the girls to playgroup at the park today. I figure I need some friends and so do the girls. We haven't been anywhere but church in grandma's in well, a month. There was only one other mom there, but she was very nice. Actually, another mom showed up but it was random- she didn't even know it was playgroup day.
I also went to playgroup because it was on my "summer schedule." I made a summer schedule/calendar this week with the help of my very loving and patient-with-me sister. :) It has only been a couple days but I can already see the value of a planned summer. Even though my gals are little, they want to know what we're doing and what's next. It pays to have a plan! So, even if you are lame or sleep deprived like me and need help planning your summer, do not be afraid to seek help. Find a friend, a mom, or a sister and use her ideas. You will be instantly happier.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Alone in the Universe, sort of...

So today, I was working on my little farm on Facebook, and I realized my leg was jiggling. I really really needed to go the bathroom. (too much Diet Pepsi? hmmm...) Anyway, I decided to use the nearest one, which happened to be the kids bathroom. I hurried in and did what I came to do. Then, I looked around for toilet paper. The roll was empty, not even a square was left on the cardboard roll. Great! Now what? I yelled for one of the kids. Six of them were upstairs having their lunch, so I figured my chances were good. Not so. I screamed my head off, but to no avail. I was just about to pull up my pants (gross!) and go upstairs to change and yell at the kids close up, when the phone rang. It was my sister! I told her my problem, and she agreed to call my house to tell the kids to bring me some tp. She called THREE times! No one answered the phone. I finally answered the phone myself and gave her Freshman's cell phone number. She called, I called, but no one answered. I called Senior, no answer. So, I'm feeling very abandoned, and mad, mad, mad! All of a sudden, Senior comes waltzing down the hall past the bathroom, where I am perched, door open, on the pot. Double great! He glances in and says, casually, "Hey momma." Like this happens everyday. (which it DOES NOT) I say, "HELLO? GET ME PAPER!" He looks surprised and says, "Sure." Two minutes later, he's back with the paper. He actually stood there and minute and then asked for money!!! I said, "Go get my purse." He jogged off in search of cash and I was able to finish up and leave the bathroom. The whole thing took about 15 minutes, but felt much, much longer. If I had any dignity left, I would have lost it during that 15 minutes. Along with my modesty. Oh, wait...I lost that already, too. And now, I don't have any money. At least I still have my farm.

Friday, June 5, 2009

I have also returned to the wonderful world of potty training. It's Bubble's turn. Yesterday was a day filled with screams of "no undies" and "I don't want to", so today I am taking the Professor's advice- the potty chair is in front of the tv and so is she. :)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Very Busy

Well, we're off and running with summer in full swing! Freshman has Marching band all this week from 8 to 11:30. New Teen has Jazz Band camp at 2:30 to 4. Senior is wrapping things up at East Shore, Pre-Teen, Cub Scout, #6 and Caboose have swimming lessons at 4:30 to 5...is that everyone?? Yes, that's all. We're also trying to potty train Caboose and #6. Don't ask. If you've done this before, you already know how it's going. Senior is at a Church Youth Camp this weekend and of course there's daycare and all the regular household chores. Anyone else have anything going on? Anyone? Anyone?:)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Just a couple thoughts...



I love summer. I love being warm, I love gardens...not gardenING, just gardens:) I love shorts and short sleeves. I love love love sandals! How I love them. I love going into the store and seeing all the new styles...wedges, thongs, peep toes, kitten heels, strappy, buckles! I love them all. This is my current collection. The last two are recent acquisitions. (to TGH, sorry sweetie, I was all high on selling the car and Memorial day)


The white ones are one of my favorite pair. I usually only wear them to church or on dates. The pink heels may have to be retired this year, they are getting pretty scuffed. A new shoe store opened up here, and I'm dying to go and see what they've got. I love Payless, because they have so many shoes for so little money. When it comes to sandals, I'm more about quantity than quality. I love to change every summer, so why spend alot on one season's worth?


By the way, here's the cake I made for Pre-teen 1's birthday. Unfortunately, she turned 13, so she's no longer a pre-teen. Now, she's a REAL teen. Now, I have THREE real teens. I'll have to think about that one...anyway, here's the cake. My first foray into the fantastic world of Fondant.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

My Baby

I had my Baby!! We are home and doing great. One week and she has regained her birth weight. I am feeling fine due to intensive babying from dear, kind mom-in-law.

I am not sure what I will call little girl #4 on this blog but for now, she will lovingly be referred to as "grunt". You may be wondering why I would refer to a sweet, precious, very pretty little newborn as "grunt" but there is a very good reason. She does not cry. There is no cute soft newborn wah wah sound. Instead, when I lay down in bed, with her tucked in her bassinet beside me, I hear grunting. The Professor keeps waking up with a start and saying, "is she ok?" when he hears this uncomfortable sound emanating from her bed.
Oh she's fine, she is just, uh, grunting.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My Baby!

My baby is graduating from high school! He thinks he's going to turn 18 and go off to college and have his own life or something...weird. Doesn't he know I'M the MOM. I make the decisions around here! Here's a list of rules I've decided on:

1. No body hair. No shaving.For girls or boys. I have a hard time reconciling babies and body hair.
2. My name is Mommy. Not Dude, Hey you, Shorty, Ma or Man.
3. No getting bigger than me. True I'm short, but it's a rule.
4. No graduating, commencing, or anything that requires maturing.
5. Everyone will wear oshkosh overalls, and have bandaids on their knees. Girls will wear pony tails with ribbons.
6. No driving yourself places.
7. No licenses, certificates, diplomas etc, see #4.
8. Everyone in bed at 8 with their SuperMan or Hello Kitty Jammies on.
9. No friends bigger, harrier or with better boobs than me.
10. Stop growing up so d*** fast!

Feel free to print these and pass them out to appropriate individuals. They won't listen, they never do, but we can try!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Been a while

It's been a while since I posted, mostly because I've had one thing on my mind, and I couldn't decide whether or not to broadcast my angst on the Internet...I guess I need to get it off my chest. Those of you with kids understand 'baby weight' and those of you without understand how hard it can be to lose weight. Especially the longer it's been there... Well, my baby just turned 3 and I just turned 39 and I'm ready to change. After I did the Healthiest Student Challenge with Preteen 1, I realized how many bad health habits I have. So, I joined Weight Watchers and have been visiting the local Rec Center every morning at 5:30am to try to unload my trunk....so to speak. Now, I don't weigh 400 lbs...or 300...or even 200, although I did weigh well over 200 when I gave birth to Caboose. But, I am only 5'1'' and am wearing a size 12 to 14 pant, depending on the percentage of spandex. I want to be healthy, but I also want to be thin! Can you even admit to that in this day and age? It seems like some sort of taboo or something. When I got married, I weighed 115 lbs. I realize that with time and gravity and 7 kids later, that is probably not possible, but I could I at least dream of a weight somewhere in the vicinity??? And then, someday, actually WEIGH somewhere in the vicinity? Sigh. I feel determined. I've just been doing WW online, but tonight is my first real meeting. I read that people who go to the meetings lose up to 3 x's more weight than those who go it alone. I'm worried about the weigh in, I know my scale weighs light...but I'm braced and ready. If you're not into this right now, just bear with me, I'll try not to obsess too much. If you're ready to dejunk your trunk, jump in! Let me know how it's going! **Deep Breath!** Let's go!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Of course everything went fine with our closing. Now we've got keys and we're moving in. Well, I should say the Professor is moving in. Being due to have this baby in two weeks I am practically no help at all with the actual moving- by that I mean lifting. I will take over when it's time to unpack boxes.
We took the little gals over and they were super happy and cute. Just the reaction any parent wants. It was really, really fun.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

We are supposed to close on the house today at 1:00! I have not been the least bit nervous this whole time, but wow it has hit me today. I just want to pace the floor!
I was calling the utility folk today and everything was ok until I got to the sewer/trash. They told me the title company said the sale was not going through. I know they are wrong, the house was pending before with other people and that is probably what they are referring to.
But now my mind is going wild with possible crash and burn scenarios. . . . .

Friday, April 17, 2009

So I was really good and I told the doc about my contractions and the pain down my side. Normal contractions, normal ligament stretching. Normal. In fact the nurse kind of laughed. Not that I want something to be wrong with me mind you, but it was the first time I ever told the doc anything I was concerned about. I could've used a little positive re-enforcement. (sigh)But I guess I was just too normal.
Speaking of normal, and I really do want feedback from anyone who reads this, do most little ones 3 and under sleep on their tummies with their bums in the air? All my little bugs do this and it is so cute. The Professor and I were just wondering how many other people's kiddos do this.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

35 weeks and counting

Today is the first of my every 2 week visits to the doctor. In past pregnancies I have never complained about anything and when the doctor asks if I have any questions I always say no. Today I must vow to open my mouth.
Sunday I had contractions for 2 hours. Yesterday I had an unidentifiable, yet horrible pain down my side that didn't allow me to stand or move for an hour and a half. (Of course, I did have to stand and move during that time to get Bubbles up from nap and start dinner- my mom-in-law is out of town but believe me I was hunched and hobbling!)
I know other women tell the doctors these things. I know that the doctor probably needs to know it. Now I just have to say it!
On a side note, the Professor was so wonderful when he got home. He immediately finished up cooking dinner and cleaned up everything. By then I was feeling better but he still put all the girls to bed. As if that wasn't nice enough then he took me to a dollar movie and then he did something really unprecedented that he never does. He listened when I told him I'd been craving a klondike bar and he went out to the store and bought me one! He has NEVER given a thought to my cravings before. It was wonderful and I felt like a princess.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Spring Break

Day 1. I have plans for this week. Spring cleaning in the morning, play in the afternoon. Every day for the next five, I have a big project planned for us in the morning and every afternoon, I have a fun activity. Yesterday's chore was cleaning out two closets in the am, visiting a local farm/petting zoo in the pm. It went fairly well, and the farm was fun. The young children got to ride a pony which was thrilling, and there were lots of cows, goats, and horses to feed and pet. I was high on parental success. Work was accomplished and fun was had! I can totally do this!

Day 2. We cleaned out the fridge and freezer, and the kids linen closet. BUT. While we were working, Caboose and Cub Scout were wrestling and Caboose got his lip bumped resulting in a copious amount of blood, dripping on Cub's bed, his clothes, and all over Freshman. We got him mostly happy and not so bloody, and began again. #6 took this opportunity to make a major mess of a cereal bowl left on the kitchen table. After he was cleaned up, we began again. The little ones were quiet, and in less than an hour, the closet was spiffy! The rest of the house however...it looked like some kind of crime scene. If the police had walked in, they would have thought we were ransacked and robbed! In less than an hour, books were spread, clothes were tossed, garbage was dumped, and puddles were made. The big girls and I cleaned up the worst messes. After lunch, I had Senior drive everyone but the two little ones to the rec center to swim, and I collapsed on the couch in front of Law and Order. When swimming was over, we all dug in to locate the carpet.

Day 3? Duct tape and suckers for the babies... vaccuuming and carpet cleaning for the rest of us. And if I'm not insane by then, we're going out to lunch and then a local aquarium.

Btw, How did I get so inspired to clean up and out?? Books of course! "It's All Too Much" and "Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat?" by Peter Walsh.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Drowning in Sorrow

Well, one of my Pre-Teens, soon to become an actual teen, has become a fountain of salt water tears. Over the weekend at Grandma's, where we were having a fun family time, she cried 5 times. She cried so much that Gma was asking if she was sick or something. Monday, she cried twice, Tuesday and Wednesday, twice and this morning? Three Times BEFORE she left for school. The last time she cried, I was so frustrated, I ran to my bedroom grabbed a pillow off of the bed and choked it enthusiastically! TGH asked what I was doing. I replied, "NOT strangling your daughter!" Later that morning, her sister, Freshman, texted me from school, "Pre-Teen is really in a foul mood!" And she was. When Freshman arrived home this afternoon, I suggested she bake a cure. You know what I'm talking about! Something sweet and brown. That thing that solves almost all women's problems! Chocolate! MMMM! So, brownies were made and when Pre-Teen got home from a foul day at school, she ate a few and was cheerful til bedtime. What I'm wondering is, how long before she has that first magical visit from Mother Nature? How long can we all last? Even the small ones were afraid of this mood-swinging monster. After the wet weekend, I had a talk with her about hormones and how we should try not to let them get the best of us. How maybe we could try, just a little, to suck it up. It had no affect, obviously. I guess I'll stock up on chocolate?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Buttercup has it all figured out apparently. For any of you who were wondering the tooth fairy recycles the teeth and gives them to the babies so they can grow new ones. :)
By the way last week we came to a turning point and our lives will never be the same. Buttercup came home from school talking about boys who have crushes on her. She heard this from a kindergarten girl in the other class. She is certain that the boys have crushes on her because she is the cutest and the shortest in her class. Thus it all begins.

Friday, April 3, 2009

How Many Trips?

Today, I am going to explore the question; How many trips does it take to get 6 kids under 6 into a full sized van? First, there were 2 non-walkers, 2 emerging walkers, and two proficient walkers. I started with Angel, in her carseat. Trip 1. Trip 2 was my little nephew, also not walking, but not a babyseat traveler. After he was buckled into the carseat in the van, I went back for #6. He CAN walk, if he's not bugged with me, which he was. So I carry him out, and buckle him in. Meanwhile, with every trip out, I'm trying to talk the 2 walkers, my niece and Caboose, into coming on their own out to the van. Trip 4 is to help my other niece, who can walk, but not down stairs, or in the garage, apparently, or in the rain, or if she's bugged, which she was. Trip 5 is to help Caboose down the garage steps, and out to the van. He wants to run into the street instead. Trip 6 is for the last niece, who keeps asking, but WHY are we going out this door? WHY are we going in the van? WHY do I have to wear my coat? WHY is it raining. At last, she and Caboose are buckled into the van. Now, back into the house for supplies. I grab my purse and a diaper bag, and take them out to the van. Back into the house for bottles, and cups. Back out to the van. Back into the house, because now I need to use the bathroom. Back out to the van. Back into the house to get niece's shoes and coat, which I didn't realize she had taken off. Back out to the van. Now, I'm in the van, buckling myself in, when I remember I don't have a garage door remote in this van. Back out of the van to close garage door. Back into the van.

You may be asking WHY? Why all this hassle? Why not stay home? I am also wondering that, but I'll tell you, once those kids were in that van, there was no way in H** I was getting them all out until I was good and ready! We ran several errands where you don't have to get out of the vehicle, and only went back home when the smell of poop overcame the desire to stay in the van.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Driving Hangover

I (32 weeks pregnant and all) drove down to see some of my sisters this last weekend. It was wonderful to be surrounded by family and have my little girls getting reacquainted with cousins and aunts and uncles that they don't see as often as I would like.
The Professor couldn't go- he had a lot of work related business- and so I decided to brave the 6-hour trip by myself with the girls. Luckily mom-in-law was kind enough to step in and send 12-year old aunt with us to help with the little girls. Some of you may be thinking, 6-hour car trip, no big deal but it is a big deal for my anxiety ridden self. In the past I've had a growing fear of semis and of falling asleep at the wheel and because of that I usually resist being the driver on trips of any length. But I pushed all thoughts of death from my brain, got behind the wheel, and things went just fine. I actually enjoyed the drive home.
Which brings me to my next point. I probably enjoyed it because I was stuffing my face with soda and other sugary treats the whole way. The downside is today I have a severe "driving hangover." I am sick as a dog from all those treats!! But there are no regrets. :)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Living in Fear

I am afraid today! Very afraid! I'm supposed to have all the daycare kids, plus watch my sis-in- law's kids tonight. (Sorry, K, I'm happy to watch them, just nervous about what havoc Caboose and his cousin can wreck!:)) Two of the daycare kids today are brother and sister ages 2 and 3. Less than a year apart and full of what my grandma used to call spit and vinegar! They definitely bear watching. The Angel is coming today, but staying late. She's had a cold and if it gets worse they'll have to put her back in the hospital so she needs a lot of attention too. I'm supposed to make to to a parent teacher conference for #6 today, and of course there's the usual...housework, my own kids...blah, blah, blah.

Oh! And how's this for embarrassing? Preteen 1 (12 yrs) wants to know what the squeaking is coming from my room at night. I mean sheesh! Can't a mom get some without being grilled about it? I told her we had trouble settling in at night. She was like, really? It seems a little rhythmic...like you're jumping on the bed or something. I said, yes. That's what we're doing.
Good thing my face was already red from exercise or I would have blushed my head off!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

One of those days

I've been having one of those days for about 3 days now. Everytime I turn around it's something! Let's just take yesterday...at breakfast, Caboose refused to eat his food which is wierd for him.. He's decided he can't live without grapefruit for breakfast. He's seen us eating it and now he wants some for himself. Pre-teen 2 shares hers and now he's decided he wants mine. I cut up another one for him, which of course, being two, he refuses to eat. So I get him down, and he cries. Well, 10 min later, he's beggin grapefruit from Freshman! He and #6 were messy from breakfast, which was blueberry pancakes, and needed a bath. I plopped them both in and went to grab towels. When I came back, one of them had pooped in the tub! I drained the tub, cleaned it out, and started over. Soon, they were both dressed and #6 got on the bus for school. While I'm putting him on the bus, his brother is filling up the toilet (I forgot to shut the bathroom door) with brand new rolls of toilet paper! AND FLUSHING! In the meantime, the daycare baby has woken up and wants a bottle. The day did not improve. We had spills, tantrums, and broken stuff. There was a fire, too... Finally, at 5pm I'd had enough. I fled! I ran to Target and wandered around until I didn't feel like strangling anyone, then the grocery store. By the time I returned home, the kids had gotten a hold of themselves and set the table for dinner. Later that night, I found an apology note signed by them all. I was impressed, I must say, to see them take some responsibility. They had even signed Caboose's name. I sat down in my recliner after prayers that night (8:30) intending to watch tv with TGH. Well, that's the last thing I remember. I woke up to the alarm this morning in bed, hoping for a better day.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Ride Continues

Well, the sale of our house is back on. Our buyers have lending again and we're set to close at the end of the month. . . .

Monday, March 16, 2009

Laundry blues

I want to rant a little about laundry. It seems to be a never ending job. As soon as I think it might be caught up, someone takes a bath or throws up or gets dirty and changes their clothes. I have considered and am trying to get rid of more of their clothes so there will be less laundry. It does NOT seem to be working. There is just always more and the only time anyone cares about laundry is when they don't have something they think they need, like underwear and socks.
And what is the deal with all the laundry products out there. Detergent, fabric softeners, stain removers, whiteners, bleaches, etc. sometimes I just stand in the laundry aisle staring in awe at all the choices and kinds. Personally I love Tide. It gets out everything, cranberry, blood, dirt, grass and tons of other unidentifiable stains. My second choice is All. It does pretty well. I do think that with detergent you get what you pay for. Crappy detergent means dingy yucky clothes. I also love downy. I hate static. My hair has enough trouble without my clothes making it staticy (how do you spell that anyway?). I love when clean clothes smell clean. This is especially helpful when chicharons 1-3 carefully place the folded clean laundry back into the hamper for me to rewash. I like when the linen closet smells like downy (much better than sippy cup bad milk smell).
By the way....Blueing is amazing on boys and mens white Sunday shirts. If you haven't tried it, you should.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Roller Coaster Ride

How else can I explain our house searching, house selling, moving fiasco except roller coaster ride. At first it didn't seem too daunting or scary, you know how the roller coaster starts ever so slowly up that really big hill. You are unsuspecting until you get right to the top and you look down and scream, "Oh bleep!" but by then it is far, far too late. Whatever is going to happen, will happen and you just better darn well keep your arms and legs inside and your seat belt fastened.
That is about where we're at with this. Yes we have a buyer for our Smallville house. But does that buyer actually have lending? Ah, there is a very good question. They have lost their lending and are scrambling to find a new loan before the deadline runs out. So we are waiting until the end of the week to find out.
Meanwhile, we have been looking at houses and almost talked ourselves into one but luckily did not go ahead and make the offer. The Professor is getting so stressed out by my waffling that he would prefer not to talk about it for a few days but I can think of almost nothing else- the term obsessed weirdo applies perfectly.
And to top it off, we were supposed to go with the realtor tomorrow night to look at three houses. I just saw another bee-yoo-ti-ful one on my 5 millionth search of realtor.com and called him on a whim to add it to our go-see list. He was wery helpful right up until the point where I told him what was going on with our house and then he mentioned that he was going to need to hurry, did we really need to see them tomorrow and he actually has a meeting at 7:30. Hmm. I feel de-prioritized. (not that de-prioritized is even a word, but it works).
Needless to say, as with all rollercoaster rides I have ever been on, I am gritting my teeth, clutching the bar, and trying to not be sick!

The First

Have you ever noticed how the first day of anything is the best...the first day of a diet? the first day of exercise? the first day of New Year's resolutions? Then, the second day, you're more like, why did I want to do this? The first everything is nice. First kisses, first babies, first day of school. First dates, first homes, first jobs. The seconds are harder, maybe because you know what's coming. Second job? Sure you'll get paid, but it's still work! Second day of exercise? Your body is sore and surprised to out there again. Second kiss? Yawn. You already know what it's going to be like. Second baby? It's cute, alright, but it's going to cry and poop and you know it! By the third time, it's old hat. Been there, done that. First's can be hard, it's true. Hard to get up your nerve, hard to take that first big step. But in my opinion, it's the seconds that get you. You know what's coming and you do it anyway! That takes a lot of nerve, my friend.

Friday, March 6, 2009

knock on wood

Dare I even mention this? Children have a terrible way of stopping whatever good behavior they have done as soon as you mention it. But I just can't resist.
Little Bubbles (not Buttercup, the ornery 4-year old but Bubbles the jolly 2 1/2 year old) has used the potty twice. The second time was at her own request! (sssshhhh)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Buttercup is so literal. Yesterday she was outside with Blossom and Grandma because the weather was super beautiful. They were looking around the yard together to see what was starting to bloom. Grandma said something like, "Now, you have to keep your eyes open because the flowers are going to start blooming." Buttercup looked very concerned and said, "Grandma, what if I have to blink?"
She sweetly thought that in the blink of an eye those flowers were going to shoot out of the ground and she didn't want to miss it!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Yay! The counter offer has been signed. We are looking into getting ourselves pre-qualified for our own loan. This is just so wonderful.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

nail biting

We actually got an offer on the house yesterday! (pause for cheers and applause)
We made a counteroffer that wasn't really different- just clarified a few points and now we're waiting for them to get back to us. I am repeating over and over to myself that things will be just fine. I feel very nervous. . . . .

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Mud and Puddles

My entry isn't nearly as deep or religious as Carrie's, but I have to vent. I have somehow decided that now is the time to potty train #6 and Caboose. #6 is 5 and 1/2, operating near a 2 year old level in some ways, but I get the feeling that he understands a lot more than he is able to express. Caboose will be 3 very soon, and I guess I just figured I'd do them both at once. So far, #6 sits on the potty very cheerfully, happy to watch his little boy part do nothing. Caboose is more exciting. He has puddled the floor, the chair, and the rug and has muddied his undies several times. He has ALSO had several successes, which of course gives me hope. Before training begins, I am determined. I am strong. I can absolutely teach a child to relieve him/herself in the potty. Day one, I am sure that tomorrow will be better. Day 2, I'm wondering if I should have used pull-ups. Day 3, I'm cleaning the rug. Day 4...well....let's just not discuss day 4. Today, I am sure they can do it! Right? Why aren't you saying anything? Do I hear Laughing???

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

For Such a Time as This

We had a women's conference over the weekend and the opening speaker titled her talk, "For Such a Time as This." She was referring of course to Esther who was placed at the right time and place to save her people. It was a great talk, but I hadn't really given it much thought until this morning. Yesterday, mom-in-law's mom, Great Grandma D. fell down and broke her pelvis. Great Grandma D. is an amazingly lady, almost 92 years old, in very good health and a true matriarch of her family. She doesn't need surgery but is facing a difficult and painful recovery. She will most certainly need the care of her children. Mom-in-law spoke to me this morning and said she might be needed to go for awhile to help her sisters care for Great Grandma D. She expressed her gratitude that the Professor and I are here to help and that she knows she can go whenever she is needed and we will take care of things here for her. (Dad-in-law is super busy with the legislature right now and will be for atleast another month.)
I was thinking this over as I got ready for my day and the words, "for such a time as this" crept into my mind. It made me glad that we have moved to Metropolis and are able to help and even glad (I have to take a deep breath and admit this) that we are still living here with the in-laws. Who knows but we are still here, able to help and to serve, for such a time as this.
Wow. If I don't watch out I might inadvertently stop begging God for whatever I want, like a spoiled brat, learn to trust Him and might even (gulp) learn a little patience. Whew.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

what to say, what to say

I am having trouble blogging because I have a million things running through my brain and I don't know which of them to discuss.
Should I mention that I am about 26 weeks pregnant but I feel more humongous than I ever have in my life? This is the 4th time, so everyone tells me it makes sense that I'll be bigger, but this is getting a bit ridiculous in my opinion.
Should I mention that my Smallville house has not had any offers even though 2-3 people look at it every week? What are these people doing? Toying with me? That I have lived with my in-laws for 60 days and counting? I tried doing positive affirmations like my sister recommended so I say to myself, 'the house has sold at a good price in a timely manner and we are buying a lovely new home' but it only makes me anxious for it to happen. Every day I think, maybe today, and I'm checking email and carrying my cell phone around all day like a maniac.
Should I mention that my four year old Buttercup has started pooping her pants every day twice a day and I can't figure out how to make her stop it? I am currently revoking all treats and tinker bell underwear in an effort to get her to control herself again.
Oh, this sounds like a list from a complainer doesn't it. Truthfully, making the list makes me laugh. Of course I know all of this is going to turn out just fine. That is, if I don't make myself crazy thinking about all of it before it has a chance to resolve itself. . . .

Monday, February 16, 2009

A New Chapter

I was thinking the other day, that it seems as thought our life has started a new chapter. The past 20 years have been filled with having babies and changing diapers and buying/upgrading housing and now it seems we have turned a corner. Baby making is over for us. The Caboose is almost 3 and while he's not moving out today or tomorrow, he is definitely not an infant any longer. Our oldest is about to graduate from high school (cross your fingers) and everyone but Caboose is in the public school system. It's a big step for us. TGH just changed jobs, and it feels like we've somehow turned a page. The next 20 years will be full of kids leaving home (cross your fingers) and growing up. Instead of planning for home buying, we're focusing on retirement planning and college and weddings. Instead of teaching babies to walk, we're teaching them to drive! How's that for scary? And sometimes, I look at TGH and wonder if we are the same kids who got married 20 years ago. His hair is thinning and graying, my hair is graying, too. We both have a few more wrinkles and I am sporting some serious stretch marks. But here we are, still very much in love, and just as serious about our marriage as we were when we kissed across the altar 20 years ago. He is still very handsome, and I can't picture being without him. Welcome, chapter 2 in our family history! I can't wait to see what happens!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

How you know...

How you know when to keep your child(ren) home sick from school:

1. When your 12 yr old coughs, it sounds like a 50 yr old male smoker on a Harley.
2. When your 5 yr old coughs, you feel like he should balance a ball on his nose next.
3. When the 11 yr old walks, she bounces off the walls like a pinball machine.
4. When the words "flourescent" and "green" don't do the boogers justice.
5. When you are a white family...but your kids are green.
6. You can't remember if your daughter had freckles...because you don't see them.
7. You notice they might have a temperature...the marshmallows in their cereal are toasted.

How to know when to send your child(ren) BACK to school:

1. You send the girls to bed and find them at midnight styling each other's hair.
2. Your son is bungee jumping off his bunk bed.
3. The kids are arguing about whether or not Sponge Bob is funnier than Tom and Jerry.
4. Your daughter is jumping up and down in front of you singing, "This is like summer vacation!"
5. You are hiding in your room so they will stop asking if you think their jokes are funny.
6. Your son wants to know how babies are made.
7. You start to wonder WHY babies are made.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Pick it up and eat it, or trash it?

At the doctor's office the other day (my 24 week visit) I was watching a mom across from me who had two little girls. She got out a little bowl of animal crackers to feed the younger one. Of course, the little girl started to make a mess, so the mom tried (very heroically) to save the mess by strapping the little one into the stroller. Alas, her valiant efforts failed and the crackers flew all over the place. She called her older daughter over, pronounced all the crackers as trash, scooped them up and tossed them back into her bag. Her bag was surprisingly small, by the way, for all the things I saw her pull out of it. She whipped out a new snack (some smarties) and the little girl was still happy but it got me thinking. Would I have done that? I think I might have let my kidlets keep eating the crackers. But it was the doctor's office after all, lots of foot traffic. So maybe I wouldn't have. You know the five second rule- the Professor was actually telling me that he read there is some truth to that. If you pick the food right up, it really didn't have time to get dirty. I want some feedback on this, what do you all think?
I realize I never followed up on Blossom's Nintendo addiction. After reading the article that a couple of you kindly led me to :) about the dangers of too much playing (especially on girls) I had a nice talk with Blossom. We decided she will only play for a short time on Saturdays. I explained to her that it wasn't particularly good for her brain. She has responded AMAZINGLY well. She has not asked me to play one single time, except for last Saturday morning, which is perfect, because that is the new rule. I am very proud of her and frankly surprised that there hasn't been more whining. Yay for an easy parental hurdle!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

More Job Posts

So, today, TGH started at his new JOB. It was fun getting him off to work. Yay! A couple of hours later though, I missed him. Hmmm. How silly is that? We are ecstatic about the job, but there were those 2 months of 'together' and today he was all gone. I even teared up! Sniff. So, he called at lunch and I asked, "Well, how's it going?" "Fine." he answered. "What have you been doing?" I asked. "Work." he answered. "Do you like it?" I asked. "Sure." he answered. So, basically, I now know nothing about his new job. Are all men like this or is it just mine? How can you be out of work for 2 months, start a new job in a far away place (this is his first time commuting to a job...40 miles!) and not have anything to say?? When he got home tonight, I asked a few more questions. The only new information I have is that there is a lunch room so would I please pack him a lunch.

Here's some new info...I have started a small daycare in my home, going so far as to apply for a daycare license. The city came by yesterday and did a business license inspection which I failed because apparently, my stove could fall on us at any moment and kill and or maim us. Better strap that sucker down! No way can I have a wild range roaming around looking for someone to trample! Seriously, I have a hard time believing it would fall. Just the other day, #6 got the door open and was climbing in the oven and the old range was taking it like a man. Just stood there, letting the kid crawl all over him. Why would it fall? Range rage? Sorry. Couldn't resist.

I do have one little daycare baby. The little 3 month old girl with spina bifida I mentioned last month. She is an Angel. So we'll call her that here. I started a brother and sister today, they will only be part time. My money goal is to earn the house payment.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Job!

Job, job, job. TGH has one. Has a job job job!!! I love those jobs. And now, my very own TGH has one. Job, job, job! Love those things:) I am smiling and not even worrying about anything else for the entire rest of the week! I believe that may be as long as I can go without worrying. I am doing the 'TGH-has-a-job' dance. It's got a lot of hip in it! Lots of shaking and twisting and a minor amount of bouncing (I did give birth 7 times...can't go too crazy with the bouncing). We're going to break open some Martinelli's and have a party. The official 'TGH-has-a-J_O_B' Party! I love those things. JOBS!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The kidlets are all feeling better, well mostly. Little Bubbles doesn't have a fever or anything but I can tell she's just not quite right.
We (me and all the sick-os, including the Professor's little sis) stayed home all weekend. Mom and Dad-in-law were out of town and it was almost like having our own home and space again. Needless to say, I loved it. I am really getting to know the Professor's little sis (she's 12) pretty well. She is funny and helpful. I am surprised by the cute things she says and she makes me not too afraid of the pre-teen and teen daughters that my girls are going to become.
That is pretty amazing if something stops me from fearing the future for two minutes. :)
Here is a small example of her cuteness. The other day we were talking about movies. She is all into being scared and I remember being like that, so I rented "Watcher in the Woods" for her. (Not too scary and not at all disgusting like other "scary" movies). Anyway, all of the sudden she says, "And what's up with JAWS? Shouldn't that movie be like 15 minutes long?" I thought this was so funny and it just kind of took me by surprise. I have known her since she was four so it's neat to see her mind working like that and watch her turning into a grown up.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Breakdown

Ok, so I had a mini-nervous breakdown on Sunday. I say "mini"... I would prefer you didn't ask TGH what his take was. It was dumb, and unexpected. I was just done. Done being the grown up. Done being the responsible one. Done being the supportive, cheerful, upbeat one. Done being happily broke and unemployed. I wilted. Well, wilted is understating. I didn't explode, but somewhere between screaming and wimpering was where I landed. I cried, but did not smack anyone. You know the place. Later that night, I decided a hot bath and a cold dish of ice cream was the answer. Halfway through the tub fill-up, the hot water gave out and when I stepped into the bubbly depths, it was tepid. Hmmm. I emptied half the tub, thinking I had misjudged, but no. Hot water all gone. So I got in anyway, and began eating my mostly melted ice cream in my lukewarm bath. Not really feeling it, I must say. TGH opened the bathroom door and informed me that the washer machine had made a terrible noise and now the laundry room was full of smoke. I raised one eyebrow and asked, "Is that all you got?" He said, "Well, yes." I said, "Come back when you've got gushing blood. Smoke does not impress me today." He shut the door, I finished the failed dessert, removed myself from the failed bath and went to bed. I hear the washer needed a belt.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Well, Bubbles has fallen to the sickness, I'm the last one standing. Blossom is still coughing her brains out and Buttercup is just generally really, really, REALLY onery. The Professor has taken a turn for the better and I suspect, might be out playing this very minute. He tends to get off work early on Fridays- I am always driven crazy when I don't know whether he's at work or out messing around somewhere. Driven crazy by any small amount of freedom while I sit here, listening to the endless coughing. . . . .

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My Affirmations

I am Positively Affirming all over the place. I am putting them out in the universe to get what we need! THG had a 2 great interviews at a great company. He believes they are about to make him an offer. So, these are my affirmations for the week. 1. TGH has a great new job! 2. This company really wants him to work there! 3. They are offering him great pay and lots of overtime!


Also, I have to push the book, You Can Heal Your Life, by Louise Hay. I have been using one of her affirmations: 'Money comes to me from expected and unexpected sources'. Since TGH was laid off, we have received more money than he made at work in his last 2 months. I'm not kidding. For one thing, when he was first laid off off, the company was not giving any severance. Then, about a week or so later, they called him out of the blue and gave him 6 weeks severance pay. I paid an overdue bill the other day, and today, the company sent the money back and said the account was already paid. Last week, the mortgage company sent us an escrow refund. The last two years, we have owed an escrow shortfall of nearly $200. How do I explain this? Prayer, positive thinking, and positive affirmations. I also believe in feng shui, as an fun hobby, but I'm not going into that here. I will say, I did go over the house and rearrange a few things... Mostly, what I know is that my life is being healed. And I can live with that!


Here's my funny thing for the day, thanks to Lynn for emailing it to me!


This is hilarious!







(Here's the reply the teacher received the following day)
Dear Mrs. Jones,
I wish to clarify that I am not now, nor have I ever been, an exotic dancer. I work at Home Depot and I told my daughter how hectic it was last week before the blizzard hit. I told her we sold out every single shovel we had, and then I found one more in the back room, and that several people were fighting over who would get it. Her picture doesn't show me dancing around a pole. It's supposed to depict me selling the last snow shovel we had at Home Depot. From now on I will remember to check her homework more thoroughly before she turns it in.
Sincerely,
Mrs. Smith

AH! We're all dropping like flies around here. Blossom, Buttercup, and the Professor are sick! I want to grab Bubbles and run for the hills......

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

An introduction for those who may not know me

Here goes. I tend to be a bit ego-centric so I assume everyone knows who I am and all about me. So am Lynn, also know as LynnMarie and Lynnie. I have been married for almost 16 years. I am a stay at home mom of four very active kids. I have a degree in Spanish, Elementary Education emphasis in bilingual education. I serve at church as the Primary secretary and webelos leader. I volunteer at my kids schools and am there often that I am on a first name basis with most of the staff. I love to read and crochet. I love to use coupons.
My GLH works as a probation officer. He loves football and most other sports. He is a good dad and hubby.
WU=weird uncle, My GLH's youngest brother who lives in the basement. He rents a room from us, works with GLH, and owns 2 birds. He used to own two chinchillas. He is single and 31 if anyone is interested ;)...)
Abuelita= My mother-in-law who live with us. She moved in about 9 years ago when her husband died suddenly of a heart attack.
DIVA=my 14 year old daughter. She plays the flute and piano. She loves to read and write.
chicharon1=my 11 year old son. He loves legos and computers and playing chess. He loves to read. He recently finished The Three Musketeers and has started reading Oliver Twist.
chicharon2=my 10 year old son. He is considered gifted by the school district standards but I think he lacks common sense oftern. He loves to read and questions everything.
chicharon3=my five year old son. He is funny and cute and spoiled. I have to watch because he is not a baby anymore and that is hard to remember.

I speak Spanish

CHICHARONS MEANS PORK RINDS OR FRIED PORK FAT!!!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

I just want to rant for a moment. My little Blossom is only 5 years old. Now that we are living at Grandma's she has become totally addicted to NINTENDO! She wants to play it every day, all day. She plays it with her 12 year old aunt and 17 year old uncle. (They actually think she's uncannily good at it.) When I tell her no she asks every half hour if it's time yet. It's all she wants to talk about. I think she dreams about it!!
This should not be a problem! She is only 5! She is a girl and my sexism says this should be more of a boy problem!
ARGH! Curse the Nintendo!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Free Stuff!

You can go to Macy's Dept store and get free Estee Lauder product! You can look online for the details, something involving a class action lawsuit and price fixing. Just go and sign your name and get some:)

Be careful what you wish for

So as I was cleaning house yesterday the phone rings. It is the kids piano teacher who wants to cancel because she is sick. I think YAY, one less thing to do today (I had been secretly wishing that she would call and cancel)And more time to clean before the visiting teachers come that evening. Then before I can even celebrate a little the phone rings again. UH OH--It is the middle school and worse the nurse. Chicharon1 has fallen on his arm in gym and they are concerned about it. I am thinking are you serious?????Now it is the end of the school day so I decide will just pick him up at the regular time. I pick up him and the diva. I look at his arm which is swollen and he claims hurts incredibly. I pick up the other chicharones and call the dr. They say come right in and so off we go. Icall GLH on the cell and ask if he wants to meet us. He does. We wait for x-rays while chicharon3 and 1 extra bounce through the waiting room and diva rolls her eyes. YAY--not broken. As we are leaving I check the time, 6:00--uh oh my visiting teachers are supposed to show up at my house before I will even get home. I get the diva to dial the phone since I am driving and quickly cancel. Then it hits me, earlier in the day I had been wishing the kids didn't have piano and the visiting teachers weren't coming... I just start laughing. Be careful what you wish for.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Two Things

First. TGH had an interview today. The pay isn't great, but the company looks good and there is room for future growth. Plus, we need a job!

Second. #6 was laying on the floor falling asleep after a long day of licking furniture and drinking chocolate milk. Finally I hear snoring...and then it stops. I look over from my cross stitch and see Caboose STANDING on #6 head! I run over, yank Caboose off, swat his posterior and send him away, trying to be quiet because having his head stood upon did not wake him up. Weird. A couple of minutes later, I go to the bathroom. When I come back, Caboose is SITTING on #6 head. Why, oh why? I yank him off again, swat him again and send him down the stairs again! #6 snores peacefully through this. I sit down to do cross stitch again. The phone rang, it was my good friend Melody! After I hang up with her, I check on #6, only to find...you guessed it! Caboose is piling toys and shoes on his brother's head. AHHH! Yank, swat, send, snore. TGH comes in and asks, have you seen my coat? #6 sits bolt upright, suddenly wide awake from having his father speak in the same room. Unbelievable. Well, like I always say, "I just give birth to them, I don't explain them."

Sunday, January 18, 2009

What to do with the next 30 years. . . .

I am laughing really hard as I write this because lymalu said she has/had a secret fear of blogging. The funny part about this is that I have a not-so-secret fear of practically everything on earth but I have never thought to be afraid of blogging. So I admit I have not been doing many entries lately. There are several reasons for that. First of all, we are living with our in-laws, so I am mildly embarrassed by spending too much time on the computer- not to mention my father-in-law works from home and so if I do get on the computer I feel akward sitting in his "office" with him. But now that the legislative season has begun, he is a representative, the office is almost free for a few months so I will do better. The second reason is, well, I live with my in-laws. We are in limbo. Waiting for the smallville house to sell and living here has completely blown my mind in some ways. I am starting to come to my senses and realize this could be a very long process (unless Obama really does turn out to be some kind of miracle cure for the economy, yeah right) so I better start building a life here and not just waiting on that house- which by the way- no one has looked at in about 3 weeks. ahem. The third reason, is when I try to think of entries I feel pressure to be funny. When I try to be funny, it usually doesn't work out too well. I am more of a thinker/worrier than a comedian. So this has been a long, long way around, but the thing I wanted to mention is that I've been thinking about this country song I heard on the radio. It's something about what are you going to do with the next 30 years of your life. For some reason, this idea is lodged in my brain. I am really starting to think that I should make some kind of plan for the next part of my life. I don't want to get to be 60-ish and still wondering if I'll ever become a good seamstress, and whether or not I should take painting lessons or learn to play the violin. I need some focus. I think I've come to grips with the fact that I'm not going to be amazingly famous or anything, but I'd like to feel proud like I have some skills to be remembered by. Anyway, that's what I've been thinking. Anyone else have thoughts or suggestions for me, I ALWAYS welcome advice on the subject of what to do with myself. :-) I'm all ears.