Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ramblings: Christmas--come and gone

Once again, I'm a week behind and you get a JUNK list.

1. Our church had a Christmas party a couple of weeks ago. There was BBQ for dinner, games and face painting for the kids, a mini-talent show, and of course, SANTA showed up.

The boys spent the whole time flinging bean bags and bowling for cheap prizes and whistles that everyone in there despised after 10 minutes of constant ear-piercing noise. They took a quick break to get their cheeks painted--apparently it tickles.

And my little niece just hung out on Uncle Jeremy, enjoying her thumb for awhile..until she enjoyed it to sleep. I'm sorry--I never had a thumb sucker and it's just too cute. Until you have to pay the orthodontic bills, I guess. 

The kids (except Alex--who was apparently too cool in front of his friends) went and sat on Santa's lap to tell him what they wanted for Christmas. We threw them all on him together for this picture.

I'm guessing Santa just told Avery that he was getting a lump of coal for all his shenanigans around the house this year. Ahh, Santa DOES know all. And maybe Aidan spotted an elf hiding somewhere on the sidelines...? Aidan told Santa he wanted a robot and a hot dog. But he screamed the hot dog part and everyone thought that was pretty funny. I promise I feed him.
During the talent show and carol singing, the boys were singing SO loudly that people were turning around and laughing--especially during Feliz Navidad. That's what I get for playing Christmas music for two months straight.And no matter how many times I repeat it for them, they continue to sing "Fay-leez Nah-dee-dah."

2. Maddie got her wish and the day after Christmas she got to have her ears pierced. She wasn't too nervous even though I was very honest about the process and the pain involved. She picked small pink flowers and was set to go. Everything was fine and dandy until the girl surprised her by piercing the first ear without any warning. She managed to keep herself together until she was about to get the second one done and I made the mistake of asking her if she was ok. She started bawling right as the girl pierced the second one.

But 5 minutes later after the promise of a milkshake, she was in recovery and said she was glad she did it. She's been taking care of them herself and is counting down the days till she can start changing the earrings. I didn't take a picture of her crying cuz I'm not that mean. Well, maybe I am (it's for posterity, dangit!) but I was distracted and forgot to take more pictures. And I was getting elbowed out of the way by the 5 little girls in line behind us that were anxious to get up there (at least until Maddie started sobbing).

3. I managed to get our tons of Christmas cards out, along with the 75 Jeremy sends out to his firm, clients and other professional arguers.  I can't get creative because that's too many dang cards and I don't have that much time or patience. So we went for the basic "Merry & Bright" photo card cuz of how merry and bright our picture is (haha) with a cheesy greeting. They limit how much you can type and with our 200 kids, I barely have enough room to even type our names. But here it is in case you didn't get one.

And here are some of our others from the family photo shoot that I dreaded for weeks before. And Dena, I think this will let you click to make it bigger. But you better not be wanting to enlarge it just so you can count my fat rolls, you naughty girl.

The last one's my favorite.

4. Alex requested cash for his birthday a month ago and has been hoarding it since. The one thing that he's had on his mind to spend some of it on: giant jawbreakers. We've looked around everywhere--Target, Walmart, and ...uhh..that's it .OK, I confess. I didn't really look that hard because I wasn't super anxious for him to be constantly gnawing on a baseball sized lump of petrified sugar. Think of the $$ I'll be spending at his next dentist visit. Or all the stickiness that would inevitably be found around the house. Or all the jawbreaker-envy from the other three. And the absolutely head-splitting screaming that would result from that combo.

But today, after dragging all four to the pediatrician because Maddie has an ear infection, we finally found the GIANT jawbreakers while waiting to pick up her medicine at the store.  Alex finally parted with $7 of his stash to buy three of the biggest jawbreakers I've ever seen. Why did I let him get THREE of these blasted things and when did the price of jawbreakers skyrocket? I wasn't quite in my right mind and I don't know. The boys were fighting to the death in the front of the car cart and I was trying to keep Alex and Maddie from touching all of the candy in the bins with their hands instead of the giant plastic scooper.

(This is why I have a non-bin candy eating policy. Who guards those brightly colored and highly tempting bins? No one!  Kids with their boogery, pee covered hands can run their fingers through at will. I've ruined candy from bins for you now, haven't I?)

Anyway, by the time we got home 15 minutes after I took this picture, his entire right arm and everything from his nose down was covered in sticky red goo. Happy Birthday. I'll be using the rest of your birthday money to pay for your new teeth. 

5. Since we moved into this house 5 years ago we've hated the carpet. It's cheap. It's off-white and everything shows on it. It's disgusting. I've cleaned it a million times and it only comes back nastier. So we've finally decided to take the plunge--new carpet. But here's the problem. The thought of having to move everything--every piece of furniture, every toy, every anything from every room and closet in this place so that they can come in and lay carpet makes me want to simultaneously vomit and cry. We've had them come and measure and now we just have to commit. Am I crazy? I know I'll love it as soon as it's done, but I am completely dreading the process. Has anyone done it--is it as bad as I'm imagining?

6. Maddie got an Easy Bake Oven from Auntie Brooke for Christmas and she's been cooking up a storm. It's too bad for me that the thing can't cook a casserole or I'd have her on dinner duty every night.  What can you feed a family of six that's capable of being cooked by a 100 watt lightbulb? Any ideas?  And she's managed to use it safely several times now but I just burned myself on it. What does that tell you? She informed me that I didn't leave the pan in the "cooling tray" for the appropriate amount of time. Whoops.

7. In my anxiousness to have all the post-Christmas chaos and mess cleaned up, I've already gotten all of my decorations and ornaments packed up.  I don't usually get around to it until after New Years but it's kind of nice to have it all put away. Less visual stimulation and less risk of any more breakables being "breaked." Plus, I had 6 hands flinging ornaments at me to wrap and put away at 90 mph, so the tree was naked in no time. But now the boxes will sit for who knows how long until I can nag Jeremy long enough for him to finally take them to the attic. And then when he does, I have to listen to the annual ranting about how much "crap" we have, how we don't need so many Christmas decorations, how there's no room in the attic for all the "crap"...

8. We videotaped most of Christmas, so I don't have too many pictures of the frenzied present opening and excited squeals. But I did catch a few pictures as it started snowing--that's right--it snowed here. In Texas. Land of heat and cows.

The kids were sure it was a Christmas miracle. Actually it's snowed twice--a day or two before Christmas and then on Christmas morning we awoke to a thin layer of snow in the yard. They didn't last too long playing in it--it took me at least three times as long to get them all dressed in coats, hats, and gloves and then clean up all the puddles and wet footprints all over the kitchen when they came in after 10 minutes.

9. My computer time's up...there are seven giant neighborhood boys in the backyard with Alex and Aidan just came in crying that they're being mean. I may arm him with a slingshot...What, is that a bad idea?! They should pick on someone their own size.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Ramblings: Fa many days till school starts again?

I haven't had the time or been much in the mood to sit and take the time to type out exactly all the chaos that's been going down around here. But here's the problem...I still nag myself to do it. Continually. All day long, I think--man, I should blog this. Or that. Or when Maddie said she liked the funny "virgin" of the Jingle Bells song we were listening to (she meant version--which led to an interesting discussion of Virgin Mary and what exactly does that mean).

So I have my own voice constantly narrating BLOG posts in my head all day and I can't take it anymore. I'm starting to feel like I deserve my own show on A&E--I'm guessing it'll be on between Hoarders and Intervention, just in case you wanna tune in.  I figured I'd take the time and get some of the voices out of my noggin and onto here since the kids are outta school and they're going to destroy the house whether I try to stop them or sit here at the computer.

(The three boys are currently playing dodgeball. Across the living room. With a combo of basketballs and blocks. And incidental ornaments from the Christmas tree. When the guy mounted our big tv on the wall, I told him it better be able to withstand a tornado and still be hanging. He thought I was joking. He obviously hasn't been around during "Dodge-block".)

So last week Alex had his first official piano recital. I say first, because anyone that's ever crossed the threshold of our front door has received a personal and impromptu piano recital, whether they wanted one or not. He made me email his piano teacher for approval to wear his favorite black suit, which he of course received. Alex did great--his teacher says he's a "natural". Jeremy came home vowing to finally learn how to play his guitar after watching an 8 year old rock out during the recital. Which should be just fine because of all the spare time he has (note major sarcasm). Isn't Rock Band enough to satisfy that guitar itch?

 He and Jeremy also had their first basketball game on Saturday--Alex as a player, Jeremy as the nervous, hollering coach sprinting back and forth along the sidelines.  Here's the deal: Jeremy takes very few things really, really seriously. Basketball and college football are somewhere way ahead of religion, politics, and his wife's mental well-being. Mix that with the fact that he's super competitive, and you've got the reason that their team beat the other team 68-3.  And yes, you are correct. He's still annoyed the other team managed to score 3 points somehow.  Those little guys were stealing the ball, spinning past people, and making layups like madmen. And even though I hoped that Jeremy would have them ease up a little to let the other team at least TRY to make a shot, he kept them going at 110% till the end. By the time the buzzer went off, the other team looked like we shot their brand new Christmas puppy.

I happened to be sitting with parents from the other team and it was really sad in our section. They just kept saying things like, "Oh, Oh. Come on guys--you have to bounce the ball. No, wrong end--we're trying to shoot at this end! If we could only get ONE shot off but they keep stealing the ball. I don't think our coach knows what he's doing." So I attempted to record some key plays, but with my two drunken monkey assistants, I didn't manage to do much besides wiggle and jiggle the camera and break up fights between them over who got to hold it the longest.  Here's the best of the day.

Ramblings: Just a tip

If you are an adult, and you think you are in the market for footed pajamas, STOP IT. A 6'3", 200 lb guy shouldn't even be able to FIND footed fleece pajamas in his size. And can you imagine the sweaty feet?... gross.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ramblings: I smell bacon

This is why my brain hurts. This is why I consume too many caffeinated beverages. This is why I feel like I'm always going in circles. And I twitch and jerk for no reason at all. This is why I have such deep frown lines and a gray hair. And why I never get anything accomplished.

While I was working on these this morning (finally), I thought the boys were upstairs "playing." No, that's not a subliminal ad for Diet Dr. Pepper--it's just what was helping me keep my eyeballs open this morning. Also, it may be the reason why if you receive a Christmas card, it may appear to have been addressed by a two year old with Parkinson's.

As it turns out, "playing" is the equivalent of emptying the contents of Maddie's room and the playroom into the long hallway to construct a " 'normous train." Look at that guilty little perp in the background. His shirt says "I ate Santa's cookies"--that's about right.

Pork Chop had a busy morning as well. The boys informed me that she was the one that climbed up on the counter while I was in the shower and sneaked into the bowl of brownies dropped off at our house last night . That it was Pork Chop, and Pork Chop alone, that hauled them around the downstairs to a variety of hiding spots, leaving quite a few chocolate crumb trails. And then when Pork Chop was thirsty after all those brownies, she tried to get a drink of water from the dispenser in the fridge and her cloven hooves were the ones responsible for flooding half the kitchen. And then Pork Chop, fearing that she was totally busted, took the rest of the brownies into the hall closet and hid until Aidan decided to rat her out. Hmm.

And sometime during the brownie fiasco, Pork Chop also found time to empty two entire drawers of cooking utensils and supplies and carry them to the couch. I'm assuming Pork Chop walks on her hind legs when we're not around--cuz without using those two front hooves to carry all that stuff, I don't know how many trips she'd have to have taken.

Based on how frustrated Pork Chop has made me this morning, I think we may indeed be having bacon for Christmas morning. Let's just say it's a good thing Santa's pretty forgiving or he wouldn't have too much to drop off at our house this year.

Now I'm off to disassemble one enormous train.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Ramblings: Inebriated and Herniated

This morning I took the little boys to get their hair cut at the barbershop. Avery did fabulous--didn't cry at all and wiggled an appropriate amount for a three year old. Aidan sat there like he was made of stone but kept asking, "He's almost done? One more thing?" through tight lips.

I was really happy with how Avery's turned out--a nice trim and now the back doesn't fro up like it did before. Aidan's however, is a different story. Everything was going well until the very end when the guy went to trim the front.
Aidan doesn't have much hair, but now the hair he does have looks like this. The guy took the scissors right up to his hairline and then cut it straight across. Oh my. Luckily it's pretty blond, so it doesn't look as bad as Alex's has in the past with this same haircut. Hopefully it'll grow out fast. Haircuts for the little boys is such a toss of the dice. I get ulcers the night before I know I'm going to take them because either they act atrocious and I'm mortified the entire time, or they act ok and get totally bizarre haircuts.

After that, the boys and I dropped Jeremy off to have his back fixed. He's been moaning and groaning since Thanksgiving after he played football for a couple of hours. We attributed it to the fact he's just becoming an old man, but last Wednesday, he really messed it up during a basketball game at the church. He came home way early and then couldn't find a position to lay or sit where it didn't feel like someone was stabbing him in the lower back. So after I checked and made sure the giant butcher knife I sleep with under my pillow was still there and not accidentally lodged in his spine (hey--accidents happen), I made him a doctor's appointment.

But not until after he raided my hydrocodone drug stash at about 2 in the morning. Doesn't he know I earned those drugs birthing the children? I keep them around for a rainy day. Stop--STOP. Put the phone down. Don't call Oprah. I'm not one of those strung-out stay-at-home moms....yet, at least.

And $1100 and an MRI later, his diagnosis was not "you're married to a giant pain in the butt," but instead was a big fat herniated disk. And today he had a $1000 appointment to get an epidural in his back and steroids pumped into the injured area. They were going to put him under for the whole thing and he was sort of freaking out before. I told him the epidural would be the easy part--flashing his naked butt around in one of those beautiful drafty hospital gowns is what he should really be worried about. And then he started worrying about that.

They called me when he was done so that I could come pick him up because he was too out of it to drive home. He called me about 2 minutes after they did to tell me he was done. I told him since the boys hadn't gone down for their naps yet, I'd throw them in the car and we'd come get him. (We'd made arrangements for someone to come sit with the boys in case they were napping.) So we loaded up and got about 2 minutes into our trip when my phone rang again. This is the funny part. Jeremy and I had the EXACT same phone conversation as three minutes before. He had no idea. "Oh, the boys aren't sleeping? You're bringing them? Have you left yet?" I was laughing because I could tell his brain was still a bit foggy.

And it turned out his worrying was at least justified. He told me he accidentally flashed his buns to the cute nurse that was taking him to the procedure room. She told him not to worry, that's she's seen everything as a nurse. It didn't make him feel better...or less naked. I told him to hop up on a table, strip naked from the waist down, hoist his legs up in stirrups, and then invite the maximum capacity of a movie theater to parade back and forth in the room--and give half of them cameras to capture him writhing around and screaming in pain while bodily fluids flow everywhere. And then maybe I'd feel a little bad for his nude bumcheeks. Boys are such wienies.

And then he was feeling sorry for himself that I didn't go with him while they gave him his anesthesia. I had the boys home today so I couldn't go--I actually would have because it's funny to see how wierded out he gets about needles, blood, and hospitals in general. But he has the nerve to tell me in a pathetic voice that they were "shocked" no one came with him when he was getting put under.

Excuse me, um, do you remember that I went through all that and MORE without YOU? That I was stuck with i.v.'s, prepped, shaved, poked in the spine, wheeled into a big white room, had my abdomen cut open, internal organs removed from my body, and then had two human beings yanked from my stomach, got put back together, and sewed up, and all the while I was shaking violently from the epidural....ALONE.

Ok. not really alone--my mom was there. But for the purpose of this story and making Jeremy realize he's indeed a giant wienie, I was ALONE. He was on an airplane from Houston to Dallas and ended up making it to the hospital as they wheeled the twins to the NICU. I've never been bothered by it since then and I've never tried to make him feel guilty. Mostly because I was so ready to not be that pregnant and so huge that if someone had offered to deliver them in the freezer aisle at Kroger, I would've been spreading out plastic grocery bags on the linoleum before they changed their minds. But today I just had to remind him that I went through all that without him, and it WAS pathetic that he wasn't there for that. He was duly chastised.

So the patient is home resting today and will be back at work tomorrow. And in about a week we'll know whether the massive dose of steroids have helped or not. I'm wondering if he'll suddenly develop giant pecs and biceps...or maybe 'roid rage. Do you think Fabio had a herniated disk that prompted this look...?

For now I'll still be sleeping with my giant butcher knife in case it's the Roid Rage that shows up. If it's the giant pecs, I don't know how we'll all fit in our bed--me, him, his giant pecs, the loin cloth, his four body pillows and my hidden butcher knife will be a tight squeeze. Not to mention all that flowing hair...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Rant: Reading can kill you

Ok. I'll admit that it's taken me about two weeks to get over being nauseous about this to be able to write about it. But here goes. And let this be a lesson to all of you out there to remind your kids of things that you think they probably already know....nagging doesn't hurt as much as the alternative could.

So one morning I went to wake Maddie up and as soon as I opened her door I was hit with a smell. It was a foul, burnt-rubber, noxious smell that hurt my face to breathe in. I frantically looked around to figure out where it was coming from when I realized that her little Ikea bedside lamp was on. Oh, but not only was it on, but it had been on all night long. Oh, and not only had it been on all night long, but it had been covered with a pink doggie blanket all night long. And not only had it burnt a huge hole in the blanket, but it had gotten hot enough to melt the entire plastic lampshade and neck almost completely off. An entire scallop of the shade had been melted, too. I think when I came in at 6:15 that morning, the entire lamp/blanket combo was probably an hour away from starting on fire. That smell was one that I will not forget soon.

It turns out our little bookworm that reads before bed every night wasn't quite ready to turn off her lamp and go to sleep the night before. In an effort to avoid getting busted while she was reading, she covered it with her favorite pink dog blanket from when she was a baby. And then of course she fell asleep before turning the lamp off. And she slept with her head about 2 feet away from that potential fireball all night long. And the lamp only takes one of those tiny chandelier light bulbs that's barely 25 watts or something. I think my reaction to finding it smoking and almost on fire was enough to scare her straight.

When I realized how bad that situation might have become, I almost threw up. Her room is upstairs and at the very end of the hallway--it would've taken me awhile to wake up and even get up there in the event there was a fire. I just keep picturing her trying to get out of her room that is totally ablaze and her being engulfed in flames because it started so close to where she sleeps. I couldn't help but think that at some point during her 6 1/2 years, I had surely explained the danger of covering a light bulb with something and the risk of starting a fire.

Now go find every kid you can--your own, or the neighbors', even random kids in the mall and tell them: NEVER PUT ANYTHING ON TOP OF A LAMP! Light bulbs get really HOT! Nag them till they get it through their little, squishy heads.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Rave: A Glimmer of Hope

Yesterday was THE day. We smooshed and smashed all the crazies into their "Going to Town" clothes, slicked back their cowlicks, and headed off for our yearly pictures. I haven't seen any of the real ones yet, but when we were done, I ordered the nutjobs to stay put and took a few of my own.

Luckily it was mild weather--not raining and freezing or freakishly sunny and sweltering, so our layered outfits weren't an issue. Now I'm not saying we don't have PLENTY of other issues, but complaining about being too hot or too cold was thankfully not on the list. And I have a small, tiny, scared, timid glimmer of hope hiding in the deepest, darkest recesses of my brain that we may end up with a decent, usable picture. At least one wherein everyone looks human rather than alien, and is not exhibiting any signs of rabies.

Keeping their attention for an extra 5 minutes proved challenging, but I got a few of them at their silliest. Avery thought it was "cool" to put his hands in his pockets--but his pants were a bit big and kept sliding down. By the end, he was in this completely hunched over position just to keep his hands in his pockets. Hey, looking cool is sometimes hard work.
Happy Turkey Day. Now go ahead and unbutton those jeans and enjoy a good day of marathon eating.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Ramblings: And many more...

Today we celebrated the entrance of this little nugget to the world. I married a much larger version of this six pounder, but the eyebrows and that worried looking forehead are pretty much still the same. And now I'm laughing because Aidan just walked up and said, "What happened to that baby? He looks weird!"

He celebrated his big day by getting up at 5 to go in to work early to get ready for some court thing he had this afternoon. The kids were baffled that he had to go to work on his birthday. "But it's his birthday!?"

The kids picked out a new wallet for him--and he owes me one because I steered them away from the "really awesome" gray velcro wallet that Maddie loved. Nothing screams "I'm worth the big $$ you're paying me" to your clients after an important business lunch than whipping out your AmEx from a gray flannel velcro wallet circa 1988. And I think there was a skull on one flap. attorney with an edgy skater side, maybe. Luckily we agreed on a simple black leather one.

And he'd be toying around with his new iphone if the people at the AT&T store weren't ridiculous. (His old one just bit the dust--or he broke it on purpose. The timing is strikingly suspicious.) They wouldn't let me buy one on our account because Jeremy is the primary name on the account and they needed his permission. I explained it was a gift and he was in court, so I couldn't get the "verbal authorization" from him even if I wanted to. Too bad, so sad. No can do. So after waiting in that stupid store for them to "try to see if they could do it" for 20 minutes, we left empty-handed and ended up having to wrap one of the boys' big plastic cell phones. Buy your own present, sucka. I guess they want it to be really difficult for people to give phones as Christmas interesting business plan.

And despite the 60-some delectable, intricate, time-consuming recipes in the dessert section of my recipe binder, I knew what he would want for his birthday "cake." That grin on his face tells me I was right. His all-time favorite treat--it's like one giant peanut butter cup. It's a pathetic looking birthday cake, though. But I have to admit that I appreciated the fact that it only took 10 minutes from start to finish.

Spiderman was nice enough to attend the party in case his services were needed. But he had to remove his hood and reveal his true identity to help blow out the random candles that the kids jammed in the "cake".

Happy Birthday! Now go buy your own present.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ramblings: I'm behind again

It's not my fault. Really. I have to fight for time to sit at the computer for any length of time. Either I'm pulled away by someone needing something (like their heads removed from between the slats of the stairway banister) or I'm kicked out of the way by kids wanting to play some game immediately or their heads will explode. And those are only a few of my excuses for being a stinky blogger lately. The others involve my utterly-diminished mental capacity, chauffeuring 300 kids to their various activities, and throwing food at all the little mouths that are constantly screaming about being hungry. Dang hummingbird metabolisms.

So I'll be doing a hodgepodge/junkity junk list of JUNK from the past few days.

1. Monday was my birthday. I'm getting old, but I feel older. I've always felt older than I actually am. That's what four kids before you're thirty will do to you, I suppose.

My dad called from New York with birthday tidings and asked if I feel like I'm in my thirties.
My response: No, I feel like I'm in my 50's. And then I yawned seven times in a row--I couldn't help it--it was 4:00 in the afternoon and that's when that mid-afternoon drowsiness hits me. His response: That's how old I am. To which I had to quickly offer the too-little-too-late response of: Not that fifty-something is old. Haha.

But in sadder news, I found a giant GRAY HAIR sticking right out in the front. The non-existent-butt genes are apparently not the only ones I inherited from Dad. I've got a completely silver hairdo to look forward to in the near future. I wonder if he has any extra boxes of Just for Men left over from when he dyed his hair for all those years...

Jeremy and I went out to run some errands and get dinner that night. Before we left, Jeremy said, "Everyone get with Mom and I'll take some pictures." And now you will witness the evolution of a typical WWF smackdown between the boys. Aidan's dressed like a spunky hobo. And you can see Pork Chop peeking out by the kitchen cupboards. She's such a ham. Get it? I crack myself up.

2. I hate when my technology nags me. My computer, my phone, my Tivo. They're just as whiny as the kids..."You did not eject that device properly"..."Are you sure you want to delete that?"..."You haven't updated your files in 7 years, wouldn't you like to do that now?" Who's in charge here? Stop judging me! Back off and give me some space.

3. Alex had his last baseball game of the season on Tuesday night right after his piano lessons. We raced over to the field and as we pulled up, I realized that I hadn't remembered to bring any balls or toys to entertain the little kids. I was too worried about figuring out how and what to administer for dinner amidst all the running around. Plus, it was freezing and I definitely hadn't dressed warmly enough. I'm usually stress-sweating so typically I don't even carry a coat around with me. Brrr. Luckily, it had rained a few days before and the boys found some semi-wet dirt to play with while I jazzersized behind the bleachers to keep warm. They spent almost an hour digging and throwing balls of mud at a fence to see if it would stick. Yes, I know what you're thinking. They were totally muddy disasters by the time it was over, but I was sure glad boys are entertained by such simple things. Maddie watched and tried NOT to get dirty. And I was sure glad girls aren't usually as dirty.

Avery learned an important lesson about not walking in front of your brother while he's trying to pee on a fence. I glanced back just as his pants were being "watered." Nice to meet you, white trash children. Not only do they pee in public, they pee ON each other in public. See the darker brown wet trail on Avery's leg? It's not just a shadow. He assured me, "It'll dry!" I think he was worried if I knew he was covered in urine, I'd make him go home. I didn't. I couldn't--I was stuck there in case I had to protect Alex from the verbally abusive assistant coach (nice, right?) in between watching the boys pee on each other and screaming empty threats that I would stick them in the car for time-outs if they threw any more mud balls at the spectators. I think they knew I was bluffing since the car was parked a mile away.

**Disclaimer**No innocent parents or baseball players were injured in the mudball flinging. But Alex would like to assure you that his crotch would've been 100% protected in the event Avery hurled one at him below the belt. After he gets dressed before every game, he runs around the house forcing everyone to punch his cup, exclaiming, "See! It doesn't even hurt!" And we have to act like it's not something we seen every week before. Boys=simple pleasures.

Alex plays 3rd base and caught a high fly ball for an out and then managed to get to second base on a hit that only went about 10 feet. I was just impressed and relieved that he was looking in the right direction for the majority of the game. Baseball's a little slow-paced for him. Basketball season's next and his favorite sport, partially because he's moving full-speed most of the time. He wisely observed at the end of last season, "Why is it that African-Americans are so much better at basketball?" He's learned early that white boys can't jump.

4. I'm almost done with the front room. My hope is to finish the picture wall frames when we get our pictures back from the dreaded Christmas photo session next week. There's a couple empty ones and one with an unknown family, though I may keep that one in there because they're posed so much better than we'll ever look. Every year I have high hopes that are dashed within the first 10 minutes by screaming, wild, uncooperative little crazy people. But maybe this is the year....see, there's my dumb optimism again. We'll know soon enough.

Don't you love my zebra chair? Jeremy wouldn't let me upholster the entire couch in it, so I settled for the chair.

5. Yesterday was One of Those Days. If you've had One Of Those Days, you'll understand why I capitalized it. It was a mom's perfect storm of bad days--cranky, tired kids, tons to do, disasters left and right, and a headache that started at 7:30 in the morning and never went away. (Jessica--I think you had O.O.T.D. a few days ago.)

Poor Brooke even ran into us at Kroger and got to witness a few minutes of why Kroger now has my and the boys' pictures hanging in the front of the store under a giant heading "Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES are any of these people allowed on the premises. Ever. Under penalty of death and/or dismemberment."

That's how lovely they were while I was buying the ingredients for an African dinner that Jeremy was supposed to prepare to go along with a presentation he was giving to the youth group at our church. (He lived in east Africa for 2 years as a missionary--in case you were wondering...) Except that he was running late from work (of course), so I got to cook the authentic African meal (have I mentioned that I have ZERO experience making African food??) in between cooking and feeding a separate meal to the kids, picking up Maddie from gymnastics, and trying to get Alex to finish his homework so he could get ready for scouts. Oh yeah, and busting Avery hiding in the hall closet under coats eating half-melted popcycles and dodging Aidan's shoes that he kept throwing at my face because he was mad I wouldn't let him eat fruit snacks for dinner.

Yesterday made me really glad that I don't drink. Cuz Jeremy would've come home to one frightful scene, with me completely passed out smack dab in the middle of the chaos, kung-fu gripping an empty bottle of whatever liquor could make everything disappear. I managed to hold my crap together until about 8:35 and then I was toast. Jeremy was still gone at the church activity and I had been up and down the stairs about 23 times trying to get the boys to stay in bed. But they were thirsty. But they needed bandaids. But they needed covered up again. But they had to pee (luckily not on each other). But they needed lotion because their skin hurt. AUGHHHHHHH. {Insert sound of mental breakdown here.}

And this was all after the 20 minute shower ordeal in which they decided to empty anything and everything contained in a bottle, and then smear the concoction all over the glass shower walls. And then accidentally in their eyeballs--your inference is correct that they screamed their heads off because their eyeballs were burning out of their heads.

The day after O.O.T.D. always seems better, because as long as your house doesn't burn down and your fingers don't get sheared off in a freak blender accident, it's a pretty good day in comparison.

6. I switched all the wooden blinds from white to espresso in the boys' room in an attempt to block out even more light to hopefully cause them to sleep in later than they are currently. Since the time change, they've been clomping down the stairs, turning on every light in the house at about 5:45. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? It's not even light then, but as the sun starts coming up earlier, I'm hoping the blinds do the trick. Even if it buys me 5 extra minutes of sleep, the $$$ to Lowe's was totally worth it. They were having a "campout" when I snapped this. And that floor lamp wasn't designed to bend at a 45* angle--that would be the boys' handiwork again.

7. This photo is Aidan to a T. I love it.
It's one of the personality traits that I see in my kids that I know comes directly from me. Part OCD/and part lover of organization. He spent a long time getting the shape just right. He was so pleased with his work. What a funny, spunky hobo.

7. I told Maddie last week at her haircut appointment that when I get my hair done, I usually look like a Martian. She didn't believe me so I took a picture in the mirror today to prove it to her. Martian. With giant man-hands. I'm hoping that was just a weird angle. But now at least I'm a former Martian with fresh highlights.

8. After that I had to return something to Old Navy and was pleasantly surprised to see that the clearance racks were an additional 50% off. So check near you and see--there was still alot of really good stuff for the kids at least. I don't have the patience to even look through the 3000 racks in the women's section.

9. I had a strange encounter with a Salvation Army guy that was manning a donation bucket outside a store. As I was walking up to stick a dollar in the red bucket, he flashes a huge (slightly creepy) grin. And then he starts thanking me for donating--you know the normal stuff they say.

But then it got kinda weird. He sort of follows me while I'm walking in, saying all sorts of strange things. "You're an angel. An angel! An angel sent straight down from heaven. Such a gorgeous addition to this good earth. A blessing straight from heaven, I assure you. An Angel. " And the whole time he's following me and getting closer and closer while I'm sort of nodding and trying to flee in a polite way. But by now we were all the way through TWO sets of doors and are by the shopping cart area. Go man your bucket, man! Do they do background checks on those folks? This guy must have slipped through the cracks. Or he was on crack. Dunno.

10. Alex's 9th birthday is in a few weeks. I had a weird realization about how old he's getting when I was hanging some laundry in his closet. His clothes no longer fit on the child's size hangers because they're just too big and they fall off. That was weird. How the heck do I have a kid big enough to use adult sized hangers? We asked him what he wants for his birthday and he said, "Hmm. I don't know. Probably just alot of cash." Oh brutha.

11. At the risk of jinxing his large intestine, I'm happy to announce that Avery's undies have been poop-free for over a week now. Whoo-Hoo. My gag-reflex and the utility sink are very thankful. We'll hope he can keep it up. I don't know what it has to do with using the toilet, but every time he has a successful #2 on the toilet he tells me, "See! I told you! My legs are growing longer!" If that's what it takes, then I hope his legs keep growing everyday.

And thus concludes the world's longest post. And if you actually read all of that, then 1) you're most likely related to me and feel some sort of pity-filled obligation and 2) You're an ANGEL--straight from heaven. A blessing to this beautiful earth! God bless you!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Ramblings: To the Tune of Old MacDonald

My older kids reminded me that I was remiss in writing about something rather momentous in our house. And for once it doesn't have anything to do with poop. Well, mostly non-poop related.

For YEARS now I've been harassed and harassed and harassed. About many things really, but about one thing in particular. And I've endured being called names like, "Meanie" and "party-pooper." They've flip-flopped between attempting to bribe me and threatening my bodily safety. And for years, none of their tactics have worked.

But since my brother and his wife did this to their dogs----I haven't heard the end of it. "It's not fair--everyone else has pets!"... "We don't have ANYTHING we can dress up for Halloween!" ..."We're the only kids in the whole world without a pet!"

I've always held firm that until everyone in the house poops solely on the toilet, we will not be adding any non-human creature that contributes to my amount of poop-cleaning.

Alex's friend was over last week and asked me why we didn't have a pet. (I'm not sure how much Alex paid him...but he was really trying to lay on a guilt trip. Why did I feel bad being judged by a 9 year old?) Before I could say anything, Maddie chimed in, "Everyone has to poop on the toilet first. There's too much poop around here." Dang straight.

Well, these days I'm happy to report that there is not much poop flying around. Aidan's been potty-trained for about 7 months now and was really easy. Avery on the other hand has been a stubborn, hot mess of a poop-ball. He's been potty trained with his #1's now for a long time. Easy-cheesy. But poops have been a major issue for this kid. He tries to hold it in--he does not want to waste time sitting on the toilet. Which inevitably means he is constantly making himself extremely, painfully constipated. And then when he does finally go, it's like delivering a four pound poop baby. Not pretty. We had about a month of bi-weekly appointments with glycerin suppositories and his hiney.

But it seems as if he's finally realized that sitting on the toilet for a few minutes every day is much easier than clenching his bumcheeks and tiptoeing around because of the pain resulting from trying to hold in more waste than I thought physically possible for his body to contain. And I'm really relieved that he's finally caught on, because if you thought changing poopy diapers was bad, then you've never tried to change a pair of poopy underwear on a sweaty kid at a playground in the back of a minivan during playgroup, when his body finally decided it had reached ultimate poop capacity and was going to get rid of the load even though the most tightly clenched bumcheeks.

Sorry--I got off on a poop tangent there. Old habits are hard to break. And poop tangents are extremely plentiful in my world.

So back to the pet issue. I did my research. I searched high and low. I wanted something easy. Something fairly clean. Something low-maintenance. Something that the kids couldn't disfigure and/or maul too easily. Something that wouldn't bite the kids appendages or faces off when they become overly excited and invade its space. Something that wouldn't add more noise to this excruciatingly loud house.

And so...I am happy to introduce you to our new pet.

Her name's Pork Chop. As you can see, she's the perfect size--just a little bigger than a football. She's not messy. She was fairly easy to train. She's held up pretty well so far. We've only had to perform surgery three times so far--both her ears have been broken off and reattached after the kids got a bit too rambunctious with her. She hangs out in a corner of the kitchen so she can eat scraps when they fall on the floor. Occasionally she gets used as a stepping stool, but luckily she's got a surprisingly strong back. And the kids like to blame her for stuff that they don't want to fess up to, but she doesn't mind.

Me: Who spilled cereal all over the floor!?
Me: Who pushed the chair over to the counter, climbed up, stole candy from the cupboard, and then left trash everywhere?
Them: Pork Chop!

That is one talented ceramic pig. And for now, it satisfies my pristine pet requirements and the kids were at least temporarily amused by my joke.

That'll do, pig. That'll do.

And right after I finished typing this, I went to load everyone in the car to go get Maddie's hair cut and I saw this as I opened the door. This. This further proof that we don't need another living, breathing, PEEING precocious creature around here.

Me: What is this?
Aidan: Pee.
Me: Who peed in the garage?
Aidan: um... Avery? (With a completely guilty look on his face while hoping that I believe Avery is the guilty pee-er.)
Me: Why did you pee in the garage Aidan?
Aidan: I dunno. I wanted to.

It's safe to say that Pork Chop is going to be the only pet around here for a LONG while.

And here's the after of Maddie's haircut--she wouldn't smile. I forgot to take the before. The front has shorter layers than the back because her bangs are almost completely grown out after about a year or so of waiting for them to catch up. She wants "a short haircut to her chin" but I told her she has to wait until it's all the same length first.

Plus, I've made the dreaded appointment for our family pictures to be taken next week and I'm trying to keep everyone looking as normal as possible. However, I'm fearful that the photographer may capture far too much of our normal in the picture--meaning lots of elbowing, poking, crying, and quite possibly some random peeing. If you think I'm joking, check out the family picture on the right from last year.

Maybe we should bring Pork Chop along...