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.