Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Pow! Boom! Bam!

I am sitting here, dazed and confused. Scratching my head, wondering what the heck is going on here?

Yesterday- we ordered glasses for Miss Emily. Glasses. Huh? I was just taking her to the opthamologist to confirm my suspicions- that she is perfect in every single way and the occasional eye crossing is nothing to worry about. POW! Before I knew it we were discussing transition lenses, protective coatings and styles. Apparently, she can't see well. At all. Especially out of one eye. I had her eyes checked as an infant (only because Allyson had such horrible vision problems) and she was fine. 4 years later, no longer fine.

Needless to say, she looked adorable in the frames she ended up selecting. It is not a big deal, heck even I am blind as a bat, but I just didn't see it coming, AT ALL. Now we just have to wait the week for them to come in- meanwhile she asks every 23 minutes if it's time to go get them yet. It will be a long week.

Then today, BOOM! Braces for Allyson next Tuesday. Obviously we are not morons (totally) and we knew this day would come, but next Tuesday? Holy smokes- there is no time to waste apparently. The orthodontist began using terms like skeletal deformity, 8MM deficiency, and a ton of other blabbity blab that basically boils down to alot of moving and a shaking going on in her little mouth over the next several years.

We got spacers today, lots of xrays, molds and casts- and an appointment for the actual braces in less than a week. This week be a week of tortilla chips, carmel corn, gum and corn on the cob for Allyson- because her days are numbered (apparently for real- 7).

So it is obvious. I need a job. As an orthodontist. Or an opthamologist. Or both- an orthomologist. Because the 'ka-ching' is just ringing in my ears. Called Dan to share the brace news- he said not to call him anymore- my calls are too expensive : )

So- you are wondering what is next- BAM! Dan's schedule, which is wacky crazy lately, was switched back to days this week. Thank you Lord- the past two months have really taken a toll on all of us. The two guys he's been covering for are back, and all schedules returned to their previous 'normal'. Until yesterday, when management decided to allow his entire department to rebid.

What this means is they put up all the shifts that are available to Dan's department, and in order of seniority they all get to pick the one they one. In years past, they do this annually, each person picks the same shift they have always had. So no one really changes, but they just confirm that they have what they want.

This time- one of the guys who is getting to come back to his job picked Dan's time (8am-4:30pm mon-fri). So- now one more guy gets to pick his time before Dan and the only person with less seniority that Dan get to pick.

Apparently choices that are left are 3pm-11:30pm mon-fri, 8pm-4:30am mon-fri or 6am-2:30 tues-sat and vacation coverage (his shift will switch to cover whoever is vacationing that week- if anyone). Obviously- the lesser of all the evils is the 6am one. We'll have to see what shakes out. But YUCK! Apparently when the shift picking is all done they will go into effect immediately and will be how it is for a year.

With our enormous farm crop- my vote is Dan focus all his energies on our land. However, upon further examination, even if we sell all of our 12 tomatoes for $10,000 each and our 3 squash for $15,000 each (which I believe might be possible)- we would still need his insurance because our kids are sucking us dry.

So for now- I will suck it up and be a big girl, and Dan will continue to provide for us through whatever craziness God (and that stinky colored acronym that affords us our life) has planned for our family.

Long Live the Craziness!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Party like Rock Stars!

We were blessed with the opportunity to take Allyson and 3 of her girl friends out for a little pre-9th birthday froo-ha-ha over the weekend!

And after all the froo-ha-ha-ing, Cosmic Bowling of course!
And then back to our house for pizza and cake!

I suppose it hasn't hit me yet that Allyson will be turning 9 years old this week. The time really has flown by, as cliche as that sounds. The kids birthdays always make me
a little sad. The time is just racing by so quickly- they are growing up so fast. And although she is proud as punch to be turning 9- I find myself having a hard time actually saying it out loud.
Back to the party. All in all- it was a fabulous 3 1/2 hours and Allyson had a great time. And bonus- we over ordered the pizzas and that means left overs in the fridge! Yeah cold pizza!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

My Mama Mojo.....................

I haven't found it yet- but I'm sure it is here.

These little ones are trying to knock me off my game. I guess they don't realize that I'm already gone, I fell off my game months ago. Years ago actually. About 9 years, to be exact. This mom thing is enough to knock any well meaning, perfectly planned person out of the water. Throw in wacky schedules, too many tasks and lots of life responsibilities and the 'normal' person does not stand a chance. Nope, not a chance. And when you start off already not 'normal'- well- it just goes from bad to worse.

My point here is that I have not slept through the night for a week. My children have set up some kind of cruel torture in which they take turns waking at various intervals during all sleeping hours.
Oh, don't worry, I can function on restricted sleep. After all, these small beings did come forth from my womb as newborns who slept for no more than 60 minutes at a time- on a good day. But when you take a woman who has become 'used' to hours of uninterrupted peaceful rest and throw her into 'newborn' cycle- well the results are not pretty.
Every night- someone is up. Sometimes for a few minutes, sometimes for a few hours. Never the same person. They are sneaky like that. They are crafty- these small people of mine. I'm sure somewhere there is a schedule, and when I leave their room at night they go over it to confirm who will wake when. Tricky, very tricky.
Last night- after getting Sam back to sleep, Emily emerged from her room HYSTERICAL that her blankie was gone. Oh- I knew where it was. See, she took it with us to the doctor yesterday. So it was in the van. In the cold, cold, cold van out in the cold, cold, cold driveway. Fortunately, Dan had just got home and just crawled under the covers, so he volunteered to retrieve it (yeah! daddy power!)
Of course, once blankiefied, she wanted to sleep in my bed. With her knees in my back. And her head on my pillow. Not the most restful sleep a mother can have.
There is always hope for tonight. But all that solves is the rest issue.
Then there is the eating issue- which apparently Emily and Sam don't do anymore (eat, that is). Then the toys- which are everywhere and all worth fighting over. Which brings me to the bickering. bickering. bickering. I feel like three chickens are pecking me to death. pecking. pecking. pecking.
This is just a season. I know that. There are equal amounts of good to go with the bad. But this morning, this is my focus. All the bickering, toys, pecking, non-eating and lack of sleep.
Oh- and the frog. The girls found a frog last night. Apparently Sam was actually responsible for the finding part. See- he took the downspout off of the house and was in the process of swinging it at Allyson when the frog fell out. I guess I should feel blessed that the frog caught his attention and stopped him from hitting Ally.

So now the frog is living in a Rubbermaid container in the garage, but just for the time being. I typically do not let them keep their findings over night, but it was late and I was worn, so I said yes- this once. He will once again be a free frog after lunch, that is our plan.

I heard Dan scream from the bedroom this morning, apparently they took 'hoppy' in to meet him while he was still sleeping. Of course that made me laugh. I had no idea the sneaky little people had even brought him in the house.

This one made me laugh this morning too- Emily was mid 'Achooo!'

(I had this perfectly spaced- checked it over and over- and I do not know why it is all muffled together. Sorry- just imagine that there is a space in between each 'thought')

Friday, September 26, 2008

My biggest fan..................

Happy Birthday Mom- my most faithful blog reader and biggest fan!

We love you! Although I can't understand why you won't take us up on our offer to take you out for a nice relaxing dinner on your birthday???? Are you afraid of these smiling faces?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Oh What a Beautiful Morning!

If it is not one gorgeous morning, then I don't know what is! We haven't ventured outside yet, but bet your buns we will.

It got chilly in the house last night. Fall is upon us. I love it. Love it, love it, love it, love it. I love the crispy leaves, the thousands of small festivals, fresh peaches and apples, Halloween costumes, pumpkins, hayrides, love it love it love it!

Today is our 'nothing' day. Nothing planned. Except a small trip to the grocery, the bank, a good old balance of the checkbook, pay a few bills and 13 loads of laundry. Kidding about the 13 part. Probably just 11 or so. But tonight, tonight my friends is the Grey's Anatomy season premier. That means these small chitlins will be in bed at 8:59 and even if I have to use Benadryl wine or whiskey, they will be sleeping peacefully and I will be watching that show for a full 2 hours. ER premiers tonight too. My VCR will be humming!

I take this National Stay at Home Week thing seriously. ABC said to stay at home and watch their shows, so I am.

I'm having to be more organized. Much more organized. See, we've always functioned in chaos, pretty much. Oh, I've tried to be organized, but it never works out well. But now that Dan is gone most of the time (with the exception of lunch- which we get to spend together- but he wants scrambled eggs and we're having bologna) I have to be responsible and well organized. Not that I am, but I should be. We'll get the hang of it, in fact, I think we are starting to already. My mom came to visit last night, her visits in the evenings help us all to feel sane. The kids love seeing her, and I love the company (thanks mom!)

Yesterday, Dan announced that they are switching his start time, did I want 3 or 8? 3 or 8? Yuck. Being as screwy as his hours have been lately, he had to clarify AM or PM. Both are PM. Double Yuck. I told him to surprise me- both are equally gross. Whatever. We are missing him, it just felt more normal to have him home with us in the evenings. Hopefully just a few more months and things will flip back.

And on a final note, I was reading in a magazine yesterday about affordable sexy family vacations. Sexy vacations and family, all in one sentence.

Personally, there is not much sexy about flinging open the door of the family minivan after a multi-hour drive on the front porch hotel. As the door slides open, happy meal toys and straw wrappers fall onto the concrete and the sound of screaming children echos through the concrete tunnel. No matter how you pack it, Dan and I end up each with bags strewn over both shoulders and wheeling some piece of large pack n play or suit case type luggage as the children pepper us with questions- all including the word 'pool'. Sweaty and exhausted, we stumble into our hotel room and begin the hunt for swim suits, floaty rings, the forgotten goggles, and blow up balls. All the while, our children are jumping like beans on the hotel beds (just a small silly rule of ours). Nope, not much sexy about that.

Back to the article, they showed a small hut type building on the white sandy beaches of some exotic wonderfulness and wrote in the article that prices 'started at just $475 per night'. And that is probably for the dumpy villa not ocean front where you have to bring your own sheets. Yikes. $475 a night. It was beautiful, but golly, that seems like an awful lot of cash- even if it is a 'sexy family vacation'. And I bet there are little lizards. The kind that come inside and climb on the walls. See- it would be awful I bet.

Next summer, Dan and I were talking about vacationing in Galveston, TX. I read a blog of a lady who lives near there and it looks so awesome. I'm sure you've heard of Galveston, TX- it was pretty well wiped clean by the last hurricane. I'm off to search for a new vacation spot. Have a great day!
By the way- here are some pictures of Ally on picture day. She seems to be growing so very fast- hard to believe she'll be 9 next week. Such a good kid. (Picture tip- no need to scrunch down when taking a picture of a tall child. The effect of doing so ends up with a normal height 8 year old appearing to be 6.5 feet tall : ) Rest assured, she is not taller than the kitchen cabinets.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Family, Food and Fastness!

We got to spend Sunday afternoon at my brother's house. We were gathering to celebrate three birthdays that all occur within a week of each other- my mom, my niece Elaine and Ally. My brother and sister are much much much older than me, so my children are the babies in the family. That is kind of cool because the older kids cling onto mine and I actually got to visit for a few minutes. Although, I wish that one of them would have just one more baby, as I could really use a 'baby fix'. But no luck- with their age and all : )
After lunch, my niece came out with this thing. After my initial thought of "heck no, none of my children are riding in that thing", Dan and I decided that it would probably be alright. Ally was first, but I didn't get to snap a picture in time. She loved it. Then came Emily, who also loved it (even though she looks scared to death). And then, the dare devil himself. I swear I heard him screaming 'faster, faster, faster'.

Might I just say that Dana and Lori have a great front porch on their house, nice and big- runs the length of their home. And they are out in the country, so it's also peaceful. And they don't have little bitty kids anymore, so there is the absence of brightly colored toys strewn all over the yard (don't get me wrong- but you know what I mean- it will be nice to just have weeds all over the grass again someday). My three loved the chance to frolic with cats. We don't have cats (dan's allergic) so they really really really like getting to visit them.
My niece Elaine will be turning 13 in just a few short days. She was born on the day Dan and I moved in together. My parents were supposed to meet Dan's parents- it was a big day in my life. Then my goofy sister went into labor. Stole the glory right out of my day that day. I guess it's okay, considering I got a new niece and all : ) (surely you know I am joking)
And here they all three are- the birthday girls. One cake- we're a cheap family.
It was a nice day. We got to pick apples, I was given a jar of homemade apple butter and I didn't have to cook lunch. What more could a girl ask for?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I want to see the lions!

After getting Allyson on the bus this morning, Emily Sam and myself (traitors that we are) left for the zoo. Allyson always gets upset when we go to do something 'cool' without her. I struggled with it the first two years she was in school, but now it is fend for yourself time. Off we went. "I want to see the lion"- yes Sam, we'll see the lion.

We get there, and the parking lot was virtually empty. The whole zoo to ourselves, bonus! We very rarely stumble down to the zoo before lunch time, but now I see the beauty in arriving before the sea of school buses. I wrestle out the stroller, drinks, pick up my purse that dumped off the chair "I want to see the lion"- yes Sam, we'll see the lion.

We start in the waters building. "Penguins, Penguins". Sam decided that this is the mommy penguin, right there to the left. And the one on the right- that's the grandma penguin. I'm not sure why- there is probably a reason floating around in his busy little head- but heck if I could figure it out. Perhaps it was the strange thing she was doing with her head and her bottom? (no offense grandmas : )

Next- the 'teddy bear' (aka Polar Bear). He was actually not sleeping, so that was a real treat.
Be the polar bear.
We stood and watched this 'monkey' (technically I think it was a gibbon?) for ever. Sam could not get enough of CoCo (that is it's name, you know I'm cool like that, I know the names of the animals at the zoo. Really it is, a zoo person told us). Personally, I am afraid of the thoughts that this small, not afraid of anything, loves to climb little person was developing as he watched CoCo swinging from the trees and ceiling. I'll have to keep an extra close eye on him. "Let's go see the lions", yes Sam- we will see the lions.
Next- stop by the tigers. Almost as exciting as the lions. Surprise..............
The tigers must be on vacation. Where do tigers vacation? A small African village? A cruise? Madagascar? Anyway. "Let's go see the lions", we'll see the lions Sam.

And this giraffe, he stood just like this the ENTIRE time we were watching them. With his head bent over and neck straight out- just staring at us. Creeeeepy.""Lions, lions, lions, lions!" Surprise...............They are vacationing with the tigers. But not to worry, the zoo apologizes for the inconvenience. The inconvenience of listening to a small, dutchy two year old talk about the lions for the next forever until we bring him back and they are actually there. Thanks zoo. Thanks. Once over the shock that we were not going to see the lions, we head across the bouncy bridge. Here Sam is explaining that these are elephants. Yes, Sam, I see the elephants. But actually, I think they are rhinoceros'. "No- they not- they hungry hippos." Duh!And we finished it off with a visit to the lorakeets. I haven't taken the kids in there for at least a year, as Sam has just been way too scary up to today. But, since I was feeling extra brave, we ventured in. Notice how Emily didn't get her hair brushed prior to going to the zoo, that is because I am one of those looser moms. But she is not in her pajamas, so I think that evens it out.No harm, no foul. All was well. Plus, Emily loved feeding them. Sam didn't. But before we left he did finally hold his cup up and let one drink from it (stop looking for a picture- how in the heck do you expect me to hold him up while he is trying to feed these silly birds AND take a picture all at once. Geez!)

So that is it, our morning at the lionless, tigerless, (walrusless) zoo. Still fun.

We then rushed home to meet Stanley Steemer so that he could make our carpet cleaner. And he did, yeah!

By the way- Baby Mama (movie) was not the laugh till you pee your pants knock out I was expecting. Cute, but just not up to my expectations. Good thing I got it from the $1 box!

Monday, September 22, 2008


I feel like I should post something- but I have nothing really to post. I am too lazy to walk all.the.way. into the kitchen to get my camera for new pictures, and my brain is on auto pilot so I have no story to share. Nothing earth shattering to report. But I did rent myself a movie and in 36 minutes I am putting it in, jumping in my chair with a GIANT glass of sweet tea from mcdonalds and spending some quality time with the TV. (Baby Mama, in case you were wondering what the movie was).

I noticed on a plastic toy frying pan this evening that sam was playing with that it was stamped on the bottom. It said "Do not heat". Huh. Makes you wonder, doesn't it.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

15 years!

Today is my 15 year high school reunion. Yep, 15 years. But I'm not going. Just seems silly to put that much money and time, not to mention a rare opportunity with a baby sitter, to go to a reunion with people I really haven't seen in 15 years.
But don't think I haven't thought about it. Especially when a girlfriend (who's wedding I was in) called yesterday to confirm that I was attending with her. I guess her call made me realize that there were some pretty fabulous folks among the 800 that I grew up with that I wouldn't mind seeing.
What would I tell them I have done. Well, I went to college- but didn't finish (I'm okay with that).
I got married to a gentle, loving man who I don't really get to see all that much right now. It's just a season I suppose.
We have bought two houses.
We've vacationed in, and out (to the Bahamas- twice), of the country.
We've had 3 children- 3 absolutely wonderful children. And that is when our entire world changed. We became a mom and a dad- and suddenly the rest of everything faded away. I'm sure there have been accomplishments along the way, but now they (my little people) pretty well define who I am.
Which is good. I mean, I know instantly how to get gum out of carpet, I can remove ink from almost any surface, I can sew up teddy bears, stain treat ANY substance known to man, heck I even know a bit about patching drywall thanks to these folks. With Allyson, I learned how to peel a hot dog, with Emi I was taught that sleeping in 20 minute spurts for a whole year would NOT kill you, and Sam has taught me that you must always keep your eye on the ball.
And I learned that there is a whole different kind of love. Sure, I have a love for Dan, my family, hot fudge sundaes- but there is a new kind of love that you develope instantly when you birth a child.
So that is that- I very rarely wear unstained clothes, I will forever be on a mission to try and loose weight, I own a hair iron- but I don't take the time to use it, mascara is my idea of putting on my make up, and the ear rings I have on I have been wearing for better than a month.
Nothing reunion worthy.
'We're as bad as bad can be- we're the class of '93!'

Thursday, September 18, 2008

What the heck?

I don't even get to be the princess in my own house.
I mean, what the heck, Lew isn't even a girl dog.
Just one of them things, I suppose. I would write a letter of complaint, but Emily can't read and Allyson is still struggling to read cursive (my handwriting is atrocious, even if she could read cursive she wouldn't be able to read it). So I'll just complain here. I'm not the princess, wahhh!
Just got a call from the school, the power is out so we are on a two hour delay. That means pajama time is extended until 10am, yeah!
Too bad we all woke up at 7:20. Oh well.
Today's extraordinary events: a pap smear. I don't need to go into detail, I'm sure you just crossed your legs and felt sorry for me. Why is there not a home pap smear test? You can test for lead, marijuana, and pregnancy for crying out loud right in the privacy of your own home. Could they not package something that I could just mail in instead of having to expose all that is private to the entire world? Whatever, I suppose it is a reason to shave. I probably need to shave, so that will work out well.
Have I mentioned that life right now seems a bit overwhelming? Well it does. This week, my idea of private time is my pap smear. Pathetic.
I will close with the thought that my son is bionic. He has survived a trip down our stairs (the nasty wooden ones), a fall from his bike, a trip down the ladder at the play ground and multiple other 'ouies' in the past 48 hours and he is still going strong. Thank you God, for making this child part rubber.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Thank you God for my Family

Emily drew this picture of our family last week at preschool.
The giant big one in the middle- that's Emily. Nothing wrong with her self image : ) The blue one on the left, that's Lew. The little bitty bitty guy up by Emily's head, Sam of course. The one in the bottom right hand corner (with the very long head), that is her daddy. The round one right above Dan is Allyson. And that tiny squibble with all the blue hair- that's me of course.
I love to see how the kids draw. Especially Emily since she doesn't draw very many pictures (she writes lists instead).

Allyson drew from the time she could hold a crayon. She has always loved to draw, and still does. This picture above was her drawing of our family when she was the same age as Emily. Interesting to see the difference in how they draw.

I like that she drew me with a waist. Thank you Allyson.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Pet Week!

It's pet week at Emily's pre-school. And no way was I going to live down the 'wonder walk' disappointment from last year when Brookes mom came to volunteer and I didn't. No way! When I saw the notice- Sammy and I ran to the office to sign Lew up!This is Emily's preschool class. (she is on the left side- behind colts girl). Can you imagine the level of patience it must require to be the teacher of these 14 bright young faces? (We LOVE her teacher by the way- and she does have a ton of patience. And her assistant, Mrs. De'Lightbulb' is just as wonderful).And this little boy- that is Coy. Emily and Brooke had more than one battle last year over who was going to get to marry him. Emily gave up and decided to marry Mathew instead. But just in case she switches back to Coy- I wanted you to see him.Emily was proud as punch to have her trusty stead Lew Lew here for all the kids to see. Lew was, well, less than proud as punch. But it was just for 20 minutes and he got to come home and go back to sleep.Sam found ways to keep himself occupied while he waited.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Ike lives in Michigan

I've visited South Haven ever since I was a kid- and I have never ran into Ike there. But this year, he was there. More tired than he was when he visited Texas, but no less wet. However, we did not let him rain on our parade. Not even when I made everyone get out of the van into the cold cold rain for a picture with my dad's bench. I just had to have a picture with dad's bench- after all, we were in South Haven! But the big weiners wouldn't sit down on it : )

And this, this is my first true love. Ice Cream from Captain Nemos. I want to marry it.
And apparently my children are in love too- true blue. Lots of food coloring blue. Tons of stain your clothes, teeth and skin blue. But soooooo good.

No beach for us- way too rainy and windy (thanks Ike). But we still got to visit lots of shops, enjoy our beautiful hotel room (with cable, yeah!) and play in the pool of course!

Sam learned how to jump in, and yeah for me, he prefers to do it without his floatie ring. So I spent the balance of my time following him around the pool waiting for him to jump in. No warning, he would just jump. Scary child, no fear. Yikes. He didn't even mind when mom missed him and let him sink to the bottom of the pool.

It was a fun weekend, even if we didn't get to visit the beach (bummer!). I will look forward to going back in the Spring when it starts to warm up again. It was a blessing that mom came with us, we so enjoyed having her. I'm sure her visit with three small children in tow was a bit different from she and Dad's long weekends there previously, but she didn't run screaming from the car- so I think that's a good sign. We'll see if she ever want to accompany us there again, that will be a sure tell tale sign.

South Haven is my happy place. Even if Ike was there too. And even if the greedy corporate mongrals are moving in (there's a Quiznos there now, yuck!) Don't get me wrong, I like Quiznos- in the mall. Not in my happy place. Don't worry- I'm writing them a letter.