Friday, December 30, 2011

Another mother

I almost wrote about something this morning- but I changed my mind.  It was a decision that Dan and I had to make.  One that would only be right for our family.  It won't apply to others families and what they would choose.  So I decided not to.

Allyson has had a little boy who has been sweet on her since second grade.  For over four years now these two have called each other boyfriend/girlfriend.  We've talked about them being too young, forbid it, unforbid it (that doesn't work by the way), discussed modesty.  It hasn't changed that these two really seem drawn to each other.  And have for years. 

A few weeks ago, his mom called me to ask if it would be okay if Jaylen bought Allyson a Christmas present.  She also was wondering if maybe the two of them could hang out for a couple of hours, play video games or basketball.  Instantly I was torn.  I don't want either of them to think that we would EVER encourage them to 'date'- but seriously, would it hurt to play some basketball?  I told her I would like to invite them both over for dinner, I would get back to her once I talked to Dan.

And then I never called her back.

Christmas was busy and there was no time, and I just didn't.  But this week, she has been so very heavy on my mind.  Yesterday when the phone rang, it was her.  And I told her I couldn't stop thinking about her and that I was sorry for not returning her call sooner.  And that I was also sorry I never dropped off the Christmas cookies I had for them.  She asked again about having Ally over for an hour so that they could visit.  Again I told her I needed to talk to Dan and I'd call her back.

See?  I was going to blog about whether or not to let Allyson and Jaylen spend time together out of school.  But I decided not to.  Because Dan and I needed to come to our own decision.
This morning, Dan and I discussed it and I asked him to please call her back this morning while I was at work.  We'd basically decided that maybe he could come over here for a little bit.  But that it wasn't going to become anything regular.  And it was to stay as friends- they are just 12 afterall.  And so he called.  Only to find out that she died last night, unexpectedly, out of the blue.  She died.  This woman who is my age with children and was just talking to me on the phone yesterday died. 

Just like that. 
And now my heart is breaking for a young man- so far from being a man but so very far from being a boy- that is now alone in this world without his mom.  And due to circumstances, he is without his dad and always has been.  I can still feel my heart quivering every time I think about it.  It is unimaginable.

I think back to the conversation I had a few weeks ago.  His mother and I got to talk for a good long while.  She expressed concern over Jaylen feeling like we hate him.  I tried to explain that it was because he was a boy chasing our daughter (nothing personal) that made us apprehensive of him- she seemed to understand.  God, I hope she understood.  I just don't think I could ever forgive myself if she didn't understand.   I never meant to judge her or her son, I only wanted to protect my daughter.  I worried about her lifestyle, but after talking with her she seemed to be a good woman.  One that I was really looking forward to chatting with over dinner.  She had faith, morals and a true love of her boys.

If I could call her back today, I would tell her what a fine young man she is raising.  And that together we can monitor the children and not allow them to grow up into any situations too fast.  And I'd offer to have her over and serve her the casserole I'm dropping off at her moms house instead.    And I'd want her to know that I think there is a lot I could learn from her as a mother.  She seemed to be a deep and inspirational woman who had a deep bond with her pre-teen son, which is an accomplishment these days.  I know I struggle to find an in with Allyson.

As I hugged her son this afternoon, he started to pull away.  And I swear I heard a voice say 'hold him tighter', and I did, and he collapsed into my arms.  And we both cried.  I held him as a mother would.  As his mother would, but she can't any longer.

Please pray for this young man.  He has a long horrible road of grief ahead of him.  He is outside playing basketball with Allyson.  He's been here all afternoon.  He seems almost as though he doesn't want to go back home.  And I guess I understand, because at home he will have to face the grief of his mother being gone.  I hope his soul felt a tiny bit of relief being here today.  I pray God will give him peace tonight.

Where'd you go?

Did you think I'd been buried under a mountain of wrapping paper or beaten to death by elves?  No such luck.  Just out of sorts and neglecting my blog.  That's all.

See- I am a creature that craves order.  Which is interesting because I am also a disorganized disaster.  When I have order, whether it be in a closet or a menu plan or my purse, I have peace.  But when things get a little out of hand, I loose it.  Which makes me sleepy, so I nap a lot. 

And this week?  With Christmas and all of the extra fabulous goodies that we all acquired (which are new so they have no 'homes' and they are just kind of stacked and strewn everywhere), the kids being out of school AND Dan having to work nights for a rare change.................there is not a single drop of freakin' order to be found.  So I am just loosing it.  I feel cranky, grumpy, tired and completely out of sorts. 

I love having the kids home.  But their bedtimes are a wreck, I'm having to work different hours, Dan's not home for dinner so we are basically eating ham sandwiches or cereal, PLUS he's all up in my business in the mornings which is throwing me completely out of kilter.  There are cardboard packages and plastic inserts (along with wire bendy tie things) everywhere I turn and I am so out of sorts that I don't know where to even start to begin to make this mess back into our home.

So I've just been eating christmas cookies and napping. 

I'm hoping that next week things will feel a bit more normal and I can kick some christmas bootie and whip this house back into shape.  If not- there is always the week after.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

It is my sincere wish that the glory and peace of Christ fill your homes and hearts this Christmas Season.
Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 23, 2011

I may never get all the powdered sugar cleaned out of my stove

 It has been a seven day bake fest going on over here.  Six pounds of butter, endless amounts of flour and lots and lots of sugar.  (Side note- Those beautiful cookies you see above have the taste and texture of a biscuit.  Why you ask?  Because I got up at 5am one morning to mix the dough and get a jump on the day and I may have misread the recipe as needing a half cup sugar instead of a cup and a half.  Here's hoping a half inch of home made butter creme frosting on top balances the blandness......)
 I was planning to start last Saturday and finish Sunday- but best laid plans you know. 
Regardless- I got to make all of my favorite christmas recipes and the kids too.  Plates for the neighbors are prepared and mostly all are delivered.  And there are plenty of each left for a giant plate for our christmas table.  Despite adding lots of time and energy at a time of year when there is not much of either, this is one tradition I love and am glad that I got to do with my children.

Now- if they will only keep their grubby little mitts out of them so that they won't be all gone before tomorrow!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Customer Service? Anyone? Anyone? Hello????

I have come to the realization that customer service does not exist in this world anymore.  Anywhere. 

Point #1:  Last winter Dan and I purchased a new piece of furniture for our living room.  And being the high class folks that we are, we did so at Big Lots.  Now I know what you are thinking- 'Geez Mynde, how on earth can you afford such high end merchandise'.  It was on sale.  Sale furniture at the big lots.  We Gobles go big.

Now, you can imagine my complete surprise when the recliner foot thing stopped going in and staying in.  You can also imagine how easy it is to climb in and out of a chair with the footrest fully extended.  I had some friends over for a bag selling/buying party and had to have Dan tie wrap the stupid thing down.  After some investigation, I discovered that I had in fact saved the warranty paperwork and receipt and 'cue fancy lights and angels singing' it was covered by a lifetime mechanism warranty.  So I called the Big Lots.

I got to speak with a woman in the furniture department who said that they don't make that item anymore and it probably wouldn't be covered.  I inquired as to what part of 'lifetime warranty' I was struggling with, because I didn't see a 'or until we quit making this cheap crappy thing' in there anywhwere.  She then pointed out that since she couldn't see the chair she wouldn't even know what part to order, which I quickly then offered to bring it to her (you have no idea how anxious I was to load it up and drop it right at her counter). 

Then, and here is where the really great customer service comes in, she pointed out that since we had been using the chair for over six months and the mechanism worked for over 4 of them- CLEARLY it was not a manufacturer defect.  We must have been misusing the chair.

Yes- she caught us.  We had in fact been sitting and reclining in the chair.  Most of the time with the footrest.  She's like a regular Sherlock Holmes, no wonder she achieved Manager status.  I mean really, all manufacturer defects would obviously have shown their ugly heads way before six.whole.months of use.  As I began to share my thoughts and praise for her EXCELLENT detection of customer fraud Dan took the phone from me.

I continued to talk to her though, even though I wasn't on the phone.  I mean, customer service like THAT deserves all the praise I could offer.

Over a month later, the part that Dan had calmly explained to her to order came in.  And Dan went to pick it up.  I believe he called the part he needed as the 'left hinge mechanism'.  This is what we got:
That, my friends, is the entire recliner foot rest mechanism. Sans upholstery.  If I had some foam and extra fabric I could make a whole 'nother chair.  Fortunately, my husband knows what the heck he is doing and we now have a functioning footrest.  And a really huge box with a bunch of scrap metal. 

Point #2:  I placed a $30ish dollar order with Kohls online during a sale and a free shipping day.  Yesterday it arrived.  Twice.  Two packages.  Two deliveries.  Two identical orders.  I call up the customer service number, held for over 10 minutes to talk to a person, and explain what has happened.  The gal tells me to let her look over the order because if there is anything she wants I can just ship it to her.  Once she decides that she doesn't require any of my basically stolen merchandise she explains that I can just return it to the store.

I can return it to the store?

See- I ordered this stuff online so that I wouldn't have to go into the store.  And now, because you screwed up, you would like me to drive across town, park amongst the other 3000 Christmas Shoppers, trapse through your entitre store to wait in line at customer service to give you back the stuff YOU accidentally mailed to me?  Uh, no.  No thanks. 

Then she said I could use the shipping label to send it back, all I'd have to do is pay the postage.  Really?  You'll let ME pay the postage to fix YOUR mistake.

I finished up the conversation by explaining that I had their stuff.  They could mail me a postage paid label/envelope/whatever or not.  Whatever.  I have no use for double my selections, but I am not going to put any money or time into returning them beyond taping it shut and putting it in the mailbox.

She's going to have a member of the customer service team follow up with me.  I can hardly wait.

Point #3:  50% of the time that I go to McDonalds and order an UNsweet Iced Tea, I get a sweet tea. And I never notice until AFTER I add four splenda. 

Case and point.  Customer Service is dead.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

4 days and counting

Just four days until Christmas.  Three really- because anything you don't have done by christmas eve isn't going to get done in my world.  So- in order to make sure every little detail gets completed, I decided to hop on here and update my blog.

I know, don't say it.  I don't stand a chance.  The reality is that my children are going to awaken Sunday morning to piles of gifts all neatly tucked inside of target bags and I'm just going to deliver bags of sugar, flour and butter to the neighbors instead of cookies.  Plus- it's a good think that the kids are getting some new clothes as gifts, because the laundry might be a little behind.  I have found myself wondering if Christmas came and went this fast when we were kids.  I know it sure didn't feel like it.

I had grand plans this year.  I was going to have everything done early so that I could really focus on the season.  Savor it, enjoy it, basque in it's glory.  Instead I sit here four three days before it will all be over wishing for just one more week to get to enjoy it all before it's done.  I adore this time of year, and I have been so tied up with all the details that I have yet to get to really realize it's here.  Combine that with all this RAIN and I just feel like giving up.  WHERE IS THE SNOW!

That being said- I was wasting time (valuable precious time that could have been spent doing something, anything productive) on the internets this morning and I ran across this:
The article said it was the PERFECT solution to organizing your junk drawer.  It made me giggle because if a calculator, a mint, various thumbtacks and a couple pencils was the problem with my junk drawer, there would be no junk drawer problem. 

I reluctantly share with you MY junk drawer:

Gonna take a lot of egg cartons.  Big giant egg cartons. 

Why do I share this with you today? 
#1- to keep from doing the actual work that needs done at my house.  duh.
#2- to put off going back to the stores to get the last couple things on our christmas shopping list. duh.
#3- to share the idea that my entire life feels like my junk drawer looks and I'm wishing that I had time to sort it all into it's tiny organized egg carton.  But there is no time for that non-sense.  So I will just keep plugging away- one day at a time- hoping that I'm somehow getting at least the important things accomplished.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Preparing for excellence

We are raising people.  Sometimes that sucks the everloving breath right from my lungs.  These little beings- who came out so helpless and alien like will grow into adults.  Real live adult people beings.  Ones who can pour their own milk and read.

And apparently Emily is getting a jump on things, as I found this in the playroom this week:
I suppose that I should be comforted that she will probably still need me. 

I'm hoping that this res'o'may changes a bit in the next 20 or so years.

Monday, December 19, 2011

My quest for a christmas card photo

 Nice picture- perhaps I should have moved my flash?
Not bad, not bad- but what IS sam doing anyway?

 This would work-except why include a picture if you can't even see the kids?
 Sam- look OVER HERE!
 LOVE THIS- but no children are in it.
 SAM!  OVER HERE!  And stranger guy in the background- move along would ya?
 Very nice- if only Sam would have quit drinking that cocoa like I asked.
 Ohh- the Grinch and the Who's- I could very seriously use this one.
 And this would be a very close second- except my children are not in it either.
I'm teetering on the edge of skipping Christmas Cards again this year.  Even though we 'almost' got a photo worthy of being printed.  I so wish I would have worked on this the first week of December.  Oh well.

I am happy to report though that we had a fantastically wonderful Christmassy family weekend including hot cocoa, cookie decorating, touring christmas lights, seeing the reindeer, fun christmas family movies AND we officially have our christmas tree decorated!!!! Such a glorious time of year, I need to keep my focus on the Lord rather than all the stuff that needs to be done.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Perhaps it was the flu

I really thought that with all three children throwing up within just hours of each other that there was no possible way that they had anything but food poisoning.  I mean, typically when one gets sick it goes through the natural progression in the family- which means someone is throwing up for over a week.  But for all three to get sick right at the exact same time?  Must be food poisoning.

Until I started throwing up on Monday night.  And then I thought that perhaps it was the flu afterall.

I tell you what- I could use a minute to catch my breath.  It seems like everything is a bit out of control and when I realize that Christmas is just 11 days away it makes me want to cry.  Because THIS was going to be the year that I got everything done early and could just focus on the beautiful season and the birth of Jesus Christ.  Which I'm still going to.  Over the course of the next few days I am going to whip this house into shape and catch up.  We're going to buy the stupid live tree Dan is focused on, decorate it, bake cookies, finish the shopping and by george I am going to start wrapping my christmas gifts.

Just as soon as the entire world quits spinning around in circles.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Today you 'rikka buffet?

Sometimes I don't have anything to blog about.  I just skip a day here or there or blog about the same thing over.and.over because I got nothing.  And then the blog fairy comes and pukes all over you- it's a gift really.  The kind that keeps on giving. 

Last night I was invited to attend a company christmas party with a friend whose husband is deployed.  I was honored.  And excited.  We wore dressy clothes, strappy shoes, make up and got to talk like real live adults while someone else prepared and served us a delicious meal and then others entertained us.  It was the first real 'me' thing I've gotten to do in months.  Unless you count grocery shopping- which I don't.  And you shouldn't either.

Dan took care of the kids.

1am- Sam began vomiting.  Non stop.  Everywhere.  All over everything.  After an hour or so of changing bedding and such- we were out of 'such'.  Every pillow, blanket, sheet, towel and bedding item was piled up waiting a turn in the laundry room.  So I moved him to my bed (risky I know- but I like living on the edge) and crawled in next to him.

2:30am- Emily produces herself in my room and says I might want to wash her sheets.  (This is where you should stop reading if you have a woosy stomach).  I go to her room and not only has she thrown up all over her sheets and pillows, she has hung her head over the railing of her bed and puked all over allyson's bed, side table and carpeting.

3am- Emily is cleaned up, carpeting cleaned up, both beds stripped and at the back of the laundry train that is making it's way out of the laundry room.  I wrestle the dog out of that grossness, again. (Why ARE dogs so gross?)  We go to the living room where Allyson is watching a tv show.  And she announces she feels like she might throw up.

3:15am- she does.

From there until 9:30 am it was a constant cycle of puke, flushing, laundry, hair holding, cold wash rags, face wiping, carpet scrubbing, and gagging.  Until the diarrhea started.  Which is about the time Dan woke up oblivious to everything that had been going on for over 8 hours.  I tagged him and hit the bed for a three hour nap.

And here it is- almost 4pm and it still hasn't stopped.

Turns out, Dan took the kids out for dinner.  And in true bachelor form, they went to their favorite spot.  The chinese buffet.  Where the children pigged out on chicken nuggets with chinese ketchup and he ate everything but that.  And such they were poisoned and he dodged a big giant huge bullet.

I personally find buffets to be kind of gross.  And as far as I'm concerned, I win that argument.

On the counter this morning I found a paper fortune.

Chinese fortune cookie version- Fall down seven times, stand up eight.
Translation- Food poisoning is temporary, hang in there. No more buffet for you.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Thank you

Thank you for all the kind comments and the prayers.  Mom came through the surgery beautifully and is now at home.  Which means I don't have time to be on here blogging when I need to get there and help take care of her.  So stay tuned, just not today.........

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

October is breast cancer awareness month

My mom has had breast cancer.  Twice.  Both times she was diagnosed in October. She's cool like that.

The problem I personally have with that is that #1 my mom has cancer and #2 everywhere I look are freakin pink ribbons and pink cookies and pink cups and pink pink pink.  Which is very cool in the essence that awareness is being raised and so is money to fight that beast.  But it has been difficult for me because at the time with a fresh diagnosis and not being sure of the outcomes- it just keeps reminding me to be afraid and sad and scared and lost.

December is not breast cancer awareness month.  But it is when my mom will have her second mastectomy.  If you are a math wizard, you probably have already figured out that she will be left with no more breasts.  And to that I say AMEN!  They have caused nothing but trouble for the past few years and I say good riddance girls- get to packin.  After many doctor visits and discussions- this is the decision for my mom.  With all answered prayers she will come through this surgery with flying colors and NO cancer in her lymph glands and she'll get a full 24 hours of ordering tons of food from room service and personalized attention from the nursing staff.  Not to mention some super pain pills.

All joking aside- prayers would be appreciated.  I need my mom.  She makes me crazy, confuses me and for the most part I think I do the same to her.  But I love her so much and I need her to be fine.  Right now- everywhere I turn the people I love are filled with this bitch cancer, and really it just is pissing me off.  Cancer- you suck it big time!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

This just in!

I interupt your otherwise normal day with very important news from my neck of the woods:

  • Yes- I did in fact awaken at 4:30 this morning to make crayons and rigatoni.  I know, right.

  •  I get comments some times from folks whom I don't even know on this blog.  And it is my absolute joy and happiness.  Really and truly.  Makes my entire day.  Any kind of comment is just like a giant buttercream icing rose- delicious and pure happiness.  Why- just this morning I received this message:
Your blog is very nice I like to enjoy every pages,
pulmonary hypertension symptoms
Thank you Kushuka.  Although I am concerned that after reading MY blog you felt it necessary to just randomly shout out various heath issues?  Well- I'll take what I can get.  At least you didn't shout out Extreme Nut Job Psychopath.    (Kushuka- if you are a real person who really was innocently commenting- word to the wise, perhaps you should save your health advise for your second or third comments- you know, just to keep everyone comfortable. Kay?)

  • Ice cube trays are NOT baking trays and they will probably melt it your oven.  So much for snowman shaped crayons.

  • The kids informed Dan that what I really really really want for christmas is the new crayola crayon making oven. He said that he didn't believe it. Believe it Dan.

  • I don't want to cause anyone concern, especially you Kushuka, but I think my mom is trying to kill me.  Because she keeps coming at me with cake pan gifts.  You remember the beautiful bunt pan she gave to me, right? You would think I would have been on guard when she came a swinging tiny christmas tree pans- but no.  I fell for it.  Again.
There you have it.  Tiny christmas tree shaped brownies snug as a bug inside their little houses.  Fortunately my kids are patient and didn't mind digging them out with a knife.  Unfortnately I still have to make a dessert to deliver to a dear friend.  Good times.  Good times.

Don't be crossing your fingers hoping for little brownie cakes mom- you WON"T be getting any.

  • It is now 5:53AM- I'm going back to bake up some rigatoni cause I got plans to deliver it to a sweet woman.  Here's hoping it turns out better than the crayons and brownies.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Deckin' my halls........

If it'll stand still, chances are it is piled high with crafting stuff.

 Now I am not in particular very crafty.  But every December I coordinate a kids crafting workshop at our church where the children get to make things to give as gifts.
 The tricky part is that most everything involves some prep work- pre cutting, painting, gluing or pre something.
 So for about two weeks I spread out 3000 different things everywhere while preparing them.
 And in the evening, once I have worked all day doing whatever it is that we mothers do- I sit down with a pile of felt or my glue gun and work on something else for a while.  I have blisters on my fingers from boiling hot glue.  Seriously.

 Snowglobes.  Soaked, goo-goned, washed.  Ready for the lids to be painted.
Even the kids are getting a little put out with it. They claim there is no where to sit and eat. As if the deck furniture is covered in felt or something- sheesh. Put on a coat and go out there to eat your cereal you pansies.  It's just a little frost bite.

 The workshop is this Friday.  So that is the light at the end of my tunnel.  But this is one of my favorite things of the year- it is SO cool to see the kids making things and being so proud of their beautiful creations.
 Turns out these little trees for the snowglobes are PAINTED green, probably with lead paint fron china.  Which means they've been soaking in my sink for a week trying to drain out the extra coloring so that they won't turn the water green.  And in the cup?  A sparkly snowflake- checking to make sure the glitter won't come off in water.  I'm like a scientist.
So there you have it- my christmas decorations are complete.  My only hope is that the glue doesn't run off of anything making it a more permenant part of our home than I plan for it to be.

Fa la la la la, la la, la, la.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I only thought I didn't understand baseball..........

At least I understood the basic goal of the game though.  Baseball that it.  And basketball, I kind of get that too.  Cheerleading, check.  Soccer, for the most part I understand.  But wrestling?

I knew the minute I walked in the gym and the coach wrote a series of numbers on my baby's hand and strapped that fancy ear thing to his head that I was confused.  And scared.  Because I knew that at some point Sam was going to get down on that mat- either on purpose or by force- and I was not looking forward to it at all.
 I mean seriously.  WHO signs their kid up for this *stuff on purpose?(*I wanted to say shit but I knew my mom would complain about cussing on my blog- but really I think that might be an appropriate word to use here.)  But Dan wrestled- and Sam thought it sounded better than basketball- so WE did.

 His entire life I have told this boy to get off people, don't hit, no pushing, don't lay on someone, get off the floor, you'll hurt someone when you climb on them................
 And now we are freakin' encouraging it.  But this time with ear protectors and teeth guards.  I must admit- when we got there and they were strapping on these velcro things to their ankles (see the red and green things?) I thought that the little kids were playing  flag wrestling and I was hugely relieved. And then I saw kids throwing each other around and I realized I was wrong.  Way wrong.
 The kid was thrilled.  The first two matches he was beaming happy- smiling ear to ear.  Even when he got 'pinned' technical term (laid on top of- I call it like I see it).   I could hardly watch.  I felt like the mom in Karate Kid when Daniel is at the final meet and his leg is all broken and he's crying and messy and she's crying and messy.  And I couldn't help but to wonder if Chess Club wouldn't have been a better choice, which is obviously YES because who gets hurt playing chess?
 Even on his wrestling restroom break- the kid was happy happy happy thrilled.
 Here is Sam and his third match partner playing a little rock-paper-scissors pregame warm up.
 Dude- this kid was rough and tumbly.  And I KNEW it wasn't going to work out right.
 And as he climbed onto Sam's head I saw it coming.
 Wait for it.........
There it is- instant hurt neck & and tears, but a still proud, but done, little man.

I'm not sure that he will want to compete in any more 'matches'- but we will continue with the practices because they do good strength training and excercises and for the most part they play 'shoe tag', which totally makes more sense to me anyway.

Because if he progresses and needs that fancy leotard and starts body slamming (or being body slammed) I'm just not sure I can handle it.  Nor do I know what to scream from the stands.  Some parents were screaming 'Stand Up'- but clearly their kid was under some other kid with his leg wrapped up around by his ear and his arms twisted around their back with their face smooshed into the mat and I'm thinking I'd be screaming 'Surrender'.

But that's just me.  Seriously- it was way more than I could handle.  I'm thinking ice hockey might be less traumatic.  Or demolition derby.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Emma Sue

 My Emily is my middle child.  She is beautiful, kind and generous.
 She is confident, happy and beautiful in a huge front teeth, awkward body growing phase kind of way.
And she describes the day she was born as the day she became a little sister- rather than the day she became Emily.  She lives to be with Ally- I certainly hope some day that child can see that, and appreciate it.

And that Miss Emily is now lying.  It is happening frequently.  About brushing her teeth, hanging up her jacket, eating her veggies..........seems like about anything at all.  And last night, not even an hour after we had a heart to heart about lying and how it makes others not trust us, she did it again.  This time it was about taking her inhaler before bed- she looked me right in the face and lied to me.  And I had to spank her.  Hard.  And then I cried myself into a mess.  And now this morning, I'm still crying.

Man this parenting thing is no walk in the park.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


If my Dad were here today, I'm certain I wouldn't think a thing about it and I would take him for granted.  Much like I did eleven years ago and one day before that.  The absence of my father has been something so grand that I have struggled with it almost every single day since. 

Initially after Dad died, nothing in the universe felt normal.  I was in a fog and a haze and I remember at the end of every day being thankful that somehow I had managed to survive another one.  It was inconceivable that I would make it to recognize a 'year' marker- let alone eleven of them.  I never thought I would be able to have any kind of regular routine again.  The mourning was huge, powerful and overwhelming.

And yet here I sit, eleven years later, able to focus and continue.  I must admit I've been dreading this week.  But still functioning.  I no longer wake up multiple time in the night to cry.  I laugh without being overwhelmed with guilt.  I have children who never met my father on earth, and I can finally talk to them about him without instantly crying.  Very rarely do I feel the incredible pressure in my chest that I used to experience several times a day.  Not to say my eyes don't still frequently shed tears for the loss of that man, I suppose it's just getting 'easier'- if that's even the right term.

When dad first died, for several many years I would dream about him.  Sometimes it seemed so real, like he had never died.  After several years, even in my dreams, I knew he had died.  But I would purposely try to stay asleep so that I could be with him longer.  Because I knew when I woke up he would be gone again.  It has been years since I have 'seen' him in my dreams, which is good and bad I suppose.  Sometimes, seeing him while sleeping made me miss him even more. 

Grief is a nasty little beast.  Life will never be normal again- but I have settled into a new normal.  One without my Dad.  One where my mom is a widow and my children only have one grandpa that they know.  One where my dad never answers the phone when I call and on his birthday in August I no longer have to struggle with what to buy for him.  I so wish we still had the old normal- the one with him in it.  But alas- we don't get to call the shots.

I rest my soul in knowing that there is a promise for reunion.  And I am thankful that we serve a Lord that will hold us close until then.  But I still miss my Dad.

Monday, November 21, 2011

I am a woman

I am a woman who cries easily.  All I have to do is think about someones pain, and I can feel the tears welling up.  I always have been this way.  I'm not sure I ever won't be.

I tend to worry about what others think of me.  I'm not sure why- but I do.  I am trying to focus all of this wasted energy on God and what He thinks of me, but so far it is only working a little.

Sometimes I feel alone, like there is not a soul on the planet who gives a whirl one way or the other.  Things have been increasingly like this for me lately, and I then too try to focus on God and the knowledge that He is always with me, and love mes, and really that is all that matters.

I have a scar on my knee from a fall from my bike as a kid.  I also have two scars on my belly from two little surgeries here or there.  And then I have a nice long scar at the very bottom of my tummy where my babies entered the world.  I don't guess I mind them much.

I get hurt feelings.  And I don't mend well from them.  This is a very selfish part of myself, I know.  I'm working on it.  The hardest part for me is to have someone hurt my feelings and then not seem to care that they did so.  I always wonder why I am so unimportant to them that they wouldn't even care, especially when they are someone I love. 

I wish I didn't care quite so much sometimes.

I allow myself to become overwhelmed by things to do.  Simply knowing that I have a lot to do, even if I have a plan for doing it, sometimes makes my hear whirr.  And yet- there are still more things that I want to do so I just add them to the mix and hope for the best.  Sometimes that means I have to get up extra early to make an extra casserole or work on a project.  I suppose there are worse ways to spend time.

I get distracted sometimes when I pray and I will find myself thinking about things (mainly things I have to do) while trying to pray.  That is when I know I need to refocus.

I pray like 300 times a day.  Sometimes a little thank you or praise here or there is more doable for me- I tend to believe that God hears me regardless of how long they are.

I put a lot of energy into friendships.  Sometimes though I find that I don't put enough.  It's a difficult balance.  I suppose I'm learning that the friendships that are the most special are the ones that don't expect a lot from me and they love me anyway.

I am indecisive.  At least I think I am.  I'm not sure.

I have a husband whom I still find it unbelievable picked me to spend his life with.  I wish I wasn't so short of patience sometimes and would let him see the side of me that he fell in love with.  But life seems to be a bit too much and I let it overwhelm me- and so I just grump along my day forgetting to enjoy it.  And he still loves me.

I would love to have just one more baby.  But I'm probably too tired for that.

I think sometimes that I am intuitive, but I don't trust myself enough to go with it.  So I talk to much trying to figure out if my thoughts or feelings are correct.  This is not something I like about me.

I love with every ounce of who I am.

I am overweight.  It is part of who I am right now in my life.  I hope someday it is part of my past.

I'm not good at going first.  I prefer someone else do that, then I'll go.  This includes putting down walls.  I guess I worry about exposing myself and being hurt.  This is not a good quality.  It goes along with worrying about what people think of me.

I hate to clean the shower.

I am no longer a young mom, nor a mother of  young children.  I'm heading to that middle aged thing- and I hope I develope the confidence that I've always envisioned comes with it.

There you have it.  Me, in a nutshell.  I am the woman that God created me to be, and I hope that I continue to grow and change as my life progresses.  Although change is hard for me, and tends to bring me to my knees when it involves things that I wasn't prepared for.  But I will try to embrace it and see what God's plan is for me and my world.

But until then- I will cry a little more and mourn the loss of the 'normal' things that I loved.

Friday, November 18, 2011


Wow.  It figures a boy would end up with those kind of eye lashes.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

We speak a different language

For the most part, I have found the teachers that my children have been blessed with to be totally relatable.  That is changing a bit now for Allyson as she has multiple teachers who consume her day- but even still, they are people I feel I can talk openly with (for the most part- side eye to that rachety swim instructor. ahem.)

But Sam's sweet kindergarten teacher this year?  We don't relate.  I have a very dry sense of humor.  If you are here reading my blog, then you probably 'get' it, hence the reason you keep coming back to this boring little corner of the interwebs.  But I learned very early on with her that I needed to keep to the point.  No joking, no playing around, no sillyness.

If you haven't read yesterdays post about Sam's turkey costume, go do that real quick.  Cause this next part has to do with that.  No worries, I'll wait.

Alright, now we are ready.  I sent Sam's teacher an email and explained that we'd received the project and told her how very excited Sam was about it.  I also explained to her what his 'disguise' was for his turkey because I didn't want her to look at it and get angry with him assuming he just colored the page blue and didn't put an ounce of thought or energy into it.  I told her how excited he was to show me his handiwork and that he was CERTAIN not a single soul would know where his turkey was.

She responded to my email by letting me know that she understood and if I sent it back in with him, she would be happy to give him some blue construction paper to construct a real disguise for his bird. AND THEN she sent an email to the entire class explaining that if anyone was unable, either with time or resources, to do this project with their children that they could return it and she would help them.

And then I cried.  Shoulders heaving, crocodile tears streaming my cheeks, open mouth sobbing crying. I am by no means the mother of the year, nor have I ever felt my children received any kind of special gift when God asked them to come be my children.  For the most part, I see 1000 better mothers that they could have been given.  But I really am trying my darndest, and I love them with every ounce of my being.  And this woman, even though I explained the situation, assumes that Sam has no one at home willing to give him turkey disquise project creating time. 

After sobbing it out for a few, I sent her an email back and I told her that if she so much as touched that turkey I would break her fingers. she misunderstood and that Sam was VERY proud of his turkey and I would prefer she not suggest he create a proper costume for it, and that I just wanted her to know what it was supposed to be.  And then I wished her a good day.

And then I cried some more.  Because lately the world is squishing my heart in what feels like a hundred directions and I'm tired and worn out.  But the LAST thing I am is a disconnected non-turkey-disquising mother.

Better go get ready for my day- it gets to start at the dentist (yes- I broke another freakin tooth) (no- I don't chew on rocks).

Monday, November 14, 2011

You just can't buy this kind of creative

Sam brought home a special project.  He had a white sheet of paper with a plain turkey on it and he was to create a disguise for it.  It came with a letter with the instructions.  It says "You can use anything to create your turkey disguise including felt, glitter, paper, cotton balls, stickers, candy and so on".  It's a contest- the rest of the teachers are going to vote for a winner. Sam was beside himself excited- so much so that he had it completed before he got home...................
THAT is a turkey hiding in a trash can.  And I am the mother that I'm certain his teacher assumes pays not a lick of attention to her child.  Although I do- and me and my crafting glue feel kind of cheated out of this fabulous project.

Good luck Sam- may the best turkey win.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Emily missed the bus this morning.  It was bad enough that she was running behind, but then the bus came early (which is totally against the rules) and there was no hope.

So after we put Ally on her bus, I loaded my children into the cold van to drive her to school.  And then she threw up. So we unloaded the car and back into the house we went.

I only wish she could have puked BEFORE I woke Sam up- now they are both awake at the crack of dawn and starting their normal bickering, argue over the TV, whats for breakfast routine.  And I still haven't had my morning coffee yet.

Looks like Eleven is most certainly not my lucky number.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Life just isn't living without you

I can't even remember when- but I do remember the day.  The day I found the PERFECT step stool for our kitchen. 

It was wide and sturdy.  Safe for me to hop onto to in order to dig out the cream of tarter from the back of the spice cabinet.  And you KNOW that it was WAYYYY in the back- because what the heck do you use it for anyway other than Snickerdoodle cookies?  Or for Dan to use to change the lightbulbs.  Or to pull up as a chair when visiting with company at my kitchen counter.  It was also a perfect time out spot for our children.  Or me- when I was in need of a time out myself.

It was a dark wood color, heavy and strong, sturdy (but I already mentioned that) and it had a long slot right in the middle for carrying it around.  And we carried it everywhere.  Anywhere that we needed to climb up a little higher- the back of the top shelf of the linen closet, to get down one of the things I store on top of the laundry room cabinets, out in the yard to give Sam the extra height to reach the lowest branch.........everywhere.

And then just like *that*- one day Sam comes peeling through the kitchen not paying a lick of attention to where in the heck he is going and trips right over my stool.  Wood flies one direction, Sam flies the other........and my stool is broken forever.

For the record- I'm pretty sure Dan could have fixed it, he just claimed he couldn't because he's a weiner.  (no more anonymous comments from you either fever boy- you could have fixed it).

The only stools I can find to replace it are plastic.  And foldable.  Gross.

So here's the deal, if you have seen or know of one of these stools (originally sold for like, ever, at Bed Bath and Beyond only they don't carry them anymore, only their ugly plastic counterparts) PLEASE LET ME KNOW.  Even if it is in your Great Aunt Myrtles basement, I can make a pretty slick offer that I'm sure she won't turn down.  I've got cash and a cabinet loaded with hand lotion and toothpaste.  I'm pretty sure we can come to an agreement.  And I'll reward you too- you know, like a finders fee.  You won't be buying dishsoap for an entire year- or maybe even toothbrushes too if you locate it in the same dark wood color.

I need that stool.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The one where my husband is dead because I killed him

So- Dan is on the mend.  But it has been a LONG two weeks.  He's laid on ice bags, heating pads, massaging things.  He's taken anti-this and anit-that and some serious serious pain pills.  I imagine when this is all over he will 'awaken' and wonder where he's been for the past 16 days.  To top it all off- last Friday he developed pneumonia.  More pills.  More sleeping.  Probably exactly what he needed to keep still for a few days and try to heal.  But he has been one sick dude.

And me?  I've done all the cooking, kid running, concerts, errands, shopping, trash taking out, house stuff. lawn stuff and everything else that we do.  I even had to assemble my own cheap pressed board shelves, which I'm pretty sure is totally Dan's responsibility.  I'm flat worn out. 

Sunday- Dan's fever came back and he was feeling horrible.  So he remained at home on our comfy living room furniture wearing a sweatshirt, hat, and a blanky and shivering his heiny off while I prepared and left with our family for church.  Upon returning home, I grabbed some frozen pizzas from the freezer and popped them in.  I needed something simple and quick- I was hoping to get to sit down somewhere that afternoon and rest before taking the kids (again- by myself) to a fancy show that evening.

When I called everyone for lunch, I heard Dan mumble from the living room.  Any guesses what he said???? 

"I can't remember the last meal we've eaten that wasn't Italian".

And there I stood, totally dumbfounded in the kitchen where I had washed the dishes, made the lunch and had it all plated up (with drinks) for everyone.

He was still sittin' on the couch trying to figure out why I was mad when chopped his head off with a pizza cutter.

Don't mess with the momma maffia.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Allyson would just DIE

Last night- a husband with pneumonia (I know- that poor guy, right?) inspired me to take our children out of the home to offer him some rest.  I'm a giver. 

A dinner at Chick Fil A followed by a trip to JC Penney.  Yes- we really are THAT fancy.

Now- if you know me, or happen to be one of my children, you know that trips to the mall to shop are few and far between.  We typically manage to have most of what we need passed down from dear friends or I have been picking it up here and there at yard sales or plucking it off clearance racks.  But this year, there were a few holes in the kids Fall/Winter wardrobes that needed addressed.  So armed with my fancy schmancy $10 coupons- we headed in.

Which brings me to the point of this whole thing.  Underwear.  Allyson needed some.

Somehow in my partially demented mind, I thought I was just the woman to shop for it with her.  Except, she no longer can wear the small fruit of the loom packs with Dora on them.  Which means one thing- we must go to the WOMENS department.

I suppose I hadn't realized how trashy undergarments had gotten.  I mean, I'm fat curvy woman and in the stores that I shop at, our stuff is just- you know- Regular.  Durable.  Strong.  Functional. Perhaps an animal print here or there- but dear heavens it was nothing like THIS!

We began browsing the racks, the whole time Allyson has her arms crossed over her chest with her 'scouring' face on because she is MORTIFIED that she is even IN the underwear department let along shopping for HERSELF.  You can only imagine the response I got when I held a pair up to her rear end to check for size- you'd have thought I was electrocuting her. 

On a side note- I almost asked the attendant to measure her bra size just because I was feeling a tad evil.  But I didn't.  I'm saving that for some other lesson teaching opportunity.

As we walked from rounder to rounder I was surprised by the names of these products.  Flirtageous- really?  Young woman need to wear something called THAT?  But then- I began trying to find something (anything) appropriate and I realized that I was fighting a battle.  A BIG one.  Occasionally I would find something I thought was okay.  You know- normal bikini underpants, plain color, SANS straps, lace panels, or sheer sections- only to hold it up to show Allyson and discover a huge CUTIE PIE or some equally obnoxious saying painted across the heiny.

I was gasping.  Openly.  Clutching my head, scowling, piercing my lips.  At one point I think I broke out in hives.  Then we meandered over to the bra section.  Where Allyson holds up a chartreuse colored number and asks about it.  I promptly said no.  She seemed sincerely confused.  It was padded with cheetah print lining.  WHAT THE HELL MANUFACTURING COMPANIES!

I'm telling you this.  We are going to continue this quest at Target and it is my hopes that they offer something simple, plain and modest for a young woman to wear.  Otherwise- I'm going to hold a protest of my own and it is going to involve animal print thongs and lace bras................and lighter fluid

**** Disclaimer*****No children were physically harmed in the actual shopping trip.  Except Sam who may or may not have fallen off of a rack when he was trying to show us where he thinks BALLS would go in a scary womanly gertle contraption.  Only emotional damage and trauma were inflicted on my children and innocent bystanders as I screamed and ran in circles shouting things about modesty and being lady like.  And for the record- Emily would have totally picked the Smurf panties last time we went shopping if they offered them in her size- (stupid manufacturing companies.)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

This little piggie is going to live with another family today.  A friend at work has a little boy who has been BEGGING for one of these little critters for a while and he turns 11 this week.  Chocolate is his gift.  If I am guessing correctly, I am thinking he will only be called Choclate for another 5 hours or so.  Then he'll probably be renamed something like Super Ninja, Rambo or Schazam.  As long as he is going to a good home and won't be named anything like Crock Pot Guinea Casserole- it's all good.

We still have the other piggie- but he might be leaving our home too.  Rosie (our new dog) doesn't like the guinea pigs like we like the guinea pigs.  We think they are sweet, she wants to eat them.  Therefore, the door to the girls room has to remain shut.  This is troubling their asthma I'm afraid (even though I am changing them three times a week- the cedar dust is also quite heavy in there).  Plus- they aren't really holding them anymore because of the whole dog thing (she can jump pretty high).  We'll see- we might try and relocate his cage to something higher, really high actually, and see if that works at all.

And just to answer your question in advance, Yes- I did in fact allow the girls to convince me to paint their room that color.  Say it with me, WOW!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Birthday Wishes

You know how when you have a birthday approaching and people may or may not ask you if there is anything you are wanting as a gift?  And you say 'No- I have everything I need'.  And sometimes you mean it, but sometimes you are secretly hoping for something in particular? 

Something flashy, bling blingy, off the hook?

As the years have progressed, so has my 'wish' list.  Some years, all I really wanted was a child to fill my lap to help blow out a candle on any kind of cake in the universe.  Some years, I just wanted a waitress to bring me a hot meal and then wash the dishes afterward.  Truth be told- I love my birthday.  Mostly because my husband goes over the top.  He truly does make the day about me.  He has the kids so wound up that they are exploding with information regarding a 'surprise' ice cream cake hidden in the freezer.  They shop, look, sneek around, hide things.  I LOVE it!

This year though, I made no bones at ALL about what I would LOVE to get as a gift.  If I were to get a gift, which I certainly didn't require, but should anyone ask about what kind of GIFT I might enjoy, then THIS was the answer that I wanted them to hear:

Flashy stylish clothes- NO
Vintage jewelry- NO
Rare Paintings- NO
Engraved Candlesticks- NO

My hopes were for something much GRANDER than any of those.............
A Four Slice Toaster and
A big super squishy bicycle seat to accomodate my rear end

Funny how our wish lists progress as we age, isn't it?

There she is, in all her glory.  A four, count them, FOUR slice toaster.  My frozen waffle making days just got much easier!

(I got the mushy bike seat too- but I'm sparing you a picture of my derier planted upon it!)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Boy- it has been a whirlwind week.  If you are here, reading my silly ramblings, thank you for that.  And rest assured (or unsured- whichever) that I most certainly am NOT giving up on blogging.  Just been a little unavailable.

First up- in celebration of our wedding anniversary and my birthday we spent a wonderful weekend in St. Louis........

 Then I turned.........well, I had another birthday.  Although, let me assure you that I look older than I am. But I'm going to work on that, tomorrow.  When I have more time.
 I worked on our christmas card photos...........
 This man developed a kidney stone while in St. Louis and dang near died trying to survive the 4 hour ride back home.  He then spent his first day back to work after a weeks vacation at the ER to find out it was in fact NOT a kidney stone but a pulled muscle.  He then spent the next three days so doped up on muscle relaxers and pain pills that he BARELY had enough strength to keep telling me and the kids to hush it.  Finally- he was able to return to work at the end of the week- but he is still a train wreck, let me tell ya.  Nothing has shaken me that hard. Seeing him so physically destroyed- it has scared me.  We really need this man.  Really need him.  And not just because he is the only one who knows how to use the jumper cables either.
 Allyson had her first band concert.  It was 6 bands, 4 choirs- each performing 3 songs.  You do the math.  (either way, the answer is LONG). Because of my lack of planning and completely chaotic week, I managed to cut out the makings for 25 scarecrow treat bags during the concert for the next days room party.  Yeah- I'm cool like that.  At this concert- a dear and sweet friend surprised us by actually coming to see Ally perform- it had been a horrible day and it made me cry.  Thank you God for that tender mercy.  (And no- I didn't make her cut out scarecrow eyes.  But I should have).  (And yes- the band director is dressed as Elvis.)
 We entered a pumpkin carving contest at a local jewelry store............AND WON!
 Did I mention we were the only entry?  Good news for us- we get to see a show and go out for dinner!

And then there was an entire weekend of super fabulous halloween parties laced with a couple nights of sleepovers, a trip to the childrens museum, and the apple orchard (kids were on Fall break).

 (it was around this very fire that I may or may not have consumed too much of a particular party beverage and may or may not have had to spend most of the next day in bed.  uhg- a drinker I am not.)
 Pumpkin carving- of course.  Where we learned that Rosie would LOVE to get her mouth on some serious pumpkin juice goo- and then she did and we all just screamed out 'EWWWW'.
 Until the sneaky little beast grabbed the lid to Emily's pumpkin and took off like a flash.  Now THAT was entertaining watching all the kids chasing after her for like ever.  She is one fast little dog!
 And that brings us to yesterday where we cap off a super chaotic week with Halloween.  Sam originally was a power ranger- so I had not made his original request of a Knight costume.  Until he mentioned last minute that he REALLY wanted to be a knight after all.  Which could only mean one thing.  Me and my sewing machine had to disassemble a dusting wand and create a knight hat just a mere few hours before the haunting hours were to begin.  But we did- and my Knight was happy.
There they are- my Knight, Anti-Cupid and Popcorn.
Man I love Halloween!