Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The underground railroad for Dogs

 I'm not sure why, but somehow calling this dog OURS feels like we are doing something wrong.
 She was running our neighborhood loose without a collar or tags, no electronic chip tracking thingy, no ads have been run in any of the newspapers that we have checked, no one has answered our ads, we've hung one seems to be missing this dog.
And yet, here we are over a week later, and although I technically have called off the search and rescue seems like we took someone elses dog and are calling her ours.

How much dog hair do we have to accumulate in our house before I can stop feeling like a dog thief?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Our family camping trip that was a long time ago.........finally

I never did post any pictures from our family camping trip the end of July.  And since this sorry little blog is the closest thing to a scrap book for my children- I must now include these.
 It was a nice weekend, one that I will treasure as it was nice to spend time with my family and enjoy their company, humor and wit.

 Here is my brother..........eating corn.
 And here is my brother and his wife.............eating corn.
 Here is my sister.........not eating corn.
 And here is my corn.  Dang that was some good corn.  It was on this trip that I discovered a hispanic seasoning called Tajin (I have no idea how it is pronounced......but it is tasty).  If you have a desire for adventure, wander into a mexican grocery and try to find yourself a bottle.  Of course, don't ask anyone unless you speak ACTUAL spanish, because they won't understand you. 
Apparently, speaking slowly in english is not spanish.

Tajin is lime and chili pepper- says it is good for fruits and vegetables.  My preference?  CORN!
Here is Sam roasting a marshmallow..........which is what we ate in addition to corn.  His Aunts, sisters and cousins were playing yahtzee and he took it upon himself to make them all s'mores.  He would slap a marshmallow on the stick, roast it for like 3.5 seconds and pop that cold marshmallow onto a cracker with chocolate and deliver it to them.  And they would argue over who had got to eat it.  Because NOTHING is better than an ice cold s'more.  Well, other than a nice toasty warm melting s'more.  But those were no where to be found.

He never did get to eat his own s'more that night- he said the 'bingo' people said he had to feed them first and 'man they are some hungry people who just LOVE his smores'. 

I will forever refer to my family as 'the bingo people'.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Public Service Announcement

We will now demonstrate how to not get stuck in our scary stairs and have to live there forever for the rest of your life:

First- relax.  There is no need for panic.
 You will be unable to pull your big giant noggin straight back through- it will not fit.
 You will need to turn your head to the side and gently pull it back out.
This concludes our announcement.

You're welcome.

Friday, August 26, 2011

A strange feeling

Dan's dad has been in the hospital since last Saturday.  At first, they thought it was pneumonia.  Then they thought it wasn't. 

And then they thought it was a staph infection, and then it only grew in one of their cultures, so then they thought it wasn't.  Which is good and bad- because although he doesn't have the actual Staph infection, it is there somewhere between the needle, his blood and the petry dish. 

Then they worried that the cancer was ravaging his bones.  But after a bone scan, they found it wasn't.

So then they worried about the tumors in his lungs, but after a CT scan, they decided they weren't the issue.

And today?  They still don't have a clue.  But they are sending more blood to other hospitals and calling an infectious disease doctor. 

He's running a low fever off and on.  His oxygen levels drop very low when he tries to move.  And he feels cruddy.

And I'm afraid.  I suppose it hit me yesterday that his body might not be able to fight hard enough for long enough- and what if this stupid disease wins?  What if it takes away the only grandfather that my children will ever remember?  What if this is the year that grief will settle back into our family?  What if Lew passing was just a way for the Lord to help my children begin to understand death, because He knew that Dan's dad was going to be next?  What if I never get to play cards and tease this man again?  What if he never asks me if I like seafood again in my life?  What if....................his end is almost here?

I have to push this from my mind.  I can't handle it today.  Thanks for letting me dump it all out here.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sweets and Flowers

 Over the weekend, my beautiful Daisy turned into a Brownie.
 It's this fancy girlscout thing where they 'bridge' up to the next level of scouts.  Why on earth she became a girlscout brownie instead of a cookie is beyond me.
Either way- its a girlscout conspiracy to generate more revenue by making families buy multiple vests/sashes over the course of their lives.  See- Daisys wear the blue one, the one which I have already painstakingly sewn on 247 individual patches.  Brownies wear the brown one.  But being a former girlscout myself, I am trickier than they are.  Forgoing my original plan to just give her Allyson's brownie vest, I decided to go ahead and fork over the cold hard cash for the new vest and 23 patches that it required.  But instead of hours with needle and thread?  Hot Glue Gun.  Worked beautifully.

And Emily didn't even know the difference.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dog People

When Lewis died, we all knew that we would get another dog.  It was just a matter of when.  And what kind.  The possibilities were endless.  Would we get another beagle?  A hypoallergenic Shitzu?  One of those cute little terriers?  Something tiny I could put in a special purse?  Something huge that could pull a sled?  Endless possibilities.

 None of which included this dog.  This ugly ugly ugly dog.  Lord help me, that is one UGLY dog.

She has been running the neighborhood for a few days.  One morning she was in our back yard.  I finally conceeded and told the kids to put out a bowl of water for her- in my defense it was soooo hot and she was just running around frantic and there was not a drip of water anywhere.

We had an engagement early Saturday morning and as we pulled out of the neighborhood, she was running around at the end of the street. Which meant she was moving on to wider horizons- perfect.  As we got back home, Allyson said "If we see that dog again today I'm going to take it as a sign from God".  I kid you not, as we rounded the corner to our home, that dog was sitting square in the middle of our front freakin' yard.

She was timid and guarded and wouldn't let anyone near her.  I told the kids to leave her be and Emily and I left for a birthday party she had that afternoon.
 By the time we got back, two short hours later, the dog had a name, a collar and was in our back yard playing with a tennis ball with the kids.
 Shortly after she got a bath and an invitation into our house.
Although we have run ads and put up flyers and notified local vet offices, something tells me that this ugly ugly ugly dog is now a Goble.  Rosie Goble.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I guess I'll never outgrow this

I have never felt any more unprepared to be a parent than I do right this minute.  Which confirms that being a young mom was never the problem, since I am not exactly that anymore.  Although seasoned with a few extra years, I still lack the confidence and knowledge to know that I CAN successfully care for these three small beings.

I feel so very discouraged.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Reasons I love my husband

 Most weeks, Dan is in charge of creating the kids weekly commission charts- which is just a Dave Ramsey fancy name for chore list.  This week, he hung them with electrical tape- which is a step up from Duct Tape, so I thank him for that.
 Our refrigerator has this super fancy schmancy canned soda holding device.  It hangs off of the bottom shelf and is a nice spot to put up to like 8 sodas and not loose a single bit of shelf room.  My husband crams the sodas sideways ontop of the food and then puts his leftover restaurant take out containers in the soda holder.
Recently Dan aquired shorts as part of his work uniform.  Unlike the rest of his uniforms that get sent to some magical place where they wash, mend and press them for him- these have to come home to be washed.  I agreed, because I am like the most angelic perfect wife ever, to wash these for him.  Afterward, I showed him where they were and asked where he would like to keep them.  As in, where were they going to be stored in his closet or dresser.  They haven't moved from the top of my dresser all week.

And the last one- I have not a single picture for.  However, I am the balancer of our finances (Dan is the earner of our finances, so this seems fair).  However, it is more often times like my own personal Easter Egg Hunt only ends with tears and arguing instead of candy filled eggs.  Because Dan most generally used to (he's gotten better) not tell me when he used the debit card.  Then, I would get the pleasure of logging into our account and line by line sorting through the transactions to see what all had cleared.......and what all I was missing.

One particular day I found two transactions to a grocery type store that were within pennies of each other on the same day around the same time.  I had one of them entered- I had gone grocery shopping that morning.  I remember because Dan was home and the kids stayed with him and I went there all alone.  Which doesn't happen very often, that is why I remember it so well.  So I asked him if he happened to have run to the while I was there and buy almost exactly what I did.  He responded no.

The next week, I had to take all three kids to the bank, wait for a banker person, and fill out a form disputing the transaction.  The gal said more than likely it was just an accident and they would probably re-deposit the money before the bank had to contact them.  But she credited our account right then until it was settled.

A week later, they took the money right back out.

Back to the bank I went with all three kids again on a perfectly gorgeous summer day and marched right back into her office.  She pulled the file, read for a long time, looked on her computer for a long time, called another gal in, re read the file, and then explained that apparently the second charge was on Dan's card at the fuel center.  So it wasn't a duplicate at all.

Imagine if you will how COMPLETELY stupid I felt.  And how upset I was to have wasted not ONE but TWO trips to the bank............and this poor womans time...........when Dan just 'forgot' to log a gas receipt.  One that I even asked him directly about, and he still claimed ignorance.

I'm just glad that I don't have strange quirky things that I do to make him crazy.

*disclaimer:  He really is a great husband- even if he misuses construction supplies and couldn't balance a checkbook on his big toe.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

And then there were none

 After the girls buses were long gone and lunch time was looming- it was time to deliver my favorite little man for his first day of elementary.
 He had a difficult time deciding which brand spankin new monster truck t-shirt and pair of stretch shorts to wear.  Obviously he wouldn't do anything crazy like wear a golf shirt, because those are for church.  Duh.
 He was ready. I was not.

 The tears started filling my eyes around 30 minutes before he was due to be dropped off and eventually couldn't be disguised by my sunglasses anymore.  He asked why I was crying.  I explained that I was just so happy (which was a flat out LIE). 
 We pulled up and I told him it was time that he could get out and without hesitation he kissed his momma, jumped out and began running with the other little boys.  He didn't turn back, he didn't look over his shoulder, he was off and didn't have a care in the world.
I began counting down the time till the bus would bring them all back home. 

I know my job of parenting is far from over.  But I feel such a loss that it makes my eyes sting just to think about it.  Because all of my children are in school now.  And the pre-school years of my life is slamming shut.  All done.  And for a woman who spent her entire childhood looking forward to raising babies, it feels like there isn't much left to hang on to right now.  Other than waiting for the bus to bring my kids back home so that I can tell them to quit fighting, touching, poking and complaining about their dinner.

I feel kind of empty.

Monday, August 15, 2011

First Day of School

 These are not the hard ones. (Emily- first day of Second Grade- she's seven years old)
 Although I will miss them both with every ounce of my being, I have (kind of) gotten used to them being gone to school (almost).
 And they are ready and excited to get back at it.
 It's been a full and wonderful summer and I have so enjoyed having them here to enjoy swimming, riding bikes, lunches, picnics, playgrounds................great, now I'm tearing up.
 Regardless, these two little girls are already missed- but them leaving feels normal.
 I've had a day or two to get used to them leaving me for hours on end five days a week.
 (Oh dear, nothing like first day of school pictures to make you realize how desperately your front door could use a cleaning) Allyson- first day of Sixth Grade- she is just 11 years old.
It's later today that is sucking the air right from my lungs.  Knowing that I will have to send my very last little person to Elementary school.  And knowing that for the first time in as long as I can remember I will be alone on a regular basis.  Purposeless.  Wandering aimlessly.  Alone.  It's only for a half day, and he's still my little man.  I know, I know.  It's just that soon it will feel as 'normal' as it does for his sisters to go away all day as it does for him.  And I miss him so much already.
It seems so hard to believe that it is time already.

"Don't leave me little man, come home to your momma".

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Good bye my friend, or not- whatever

Ally has a dear friend that she has known since kindergarten who is moving away.  Her dad has been relocated already to Massachusetts and the family initially thought they would wait here for him to finish his schooling and come back, but have since decided to go meet him there.

Ally got a call a few weeks ago from her friend that said that it was time for them to go.  They were renting their house and moving before school started.  Ally was of course devistated.  I can't imagine the pain of having a friend, a very close friend, move far away.

So I decided that we should have a going away sleep over for she and her four close friends (this group of five girls runs around together all.the.time).  A proper send off for an eleven year old young woman.
 Even though I SWORE I would never host another sleepover.  Ever.  I decided that a group of 5 couldn't be as difficult as a group of 11 (remember the sleep over massacre of 2010?). 

 We lit a fire and gave the girls hot pokers so that they could roast hot dogs and I threw bags of chips and pitchers of koolaide at them from the door.  And then TWO of these girls reminded me that they don't eat meat.
 I fought back my initial reaction to tell them to eat a bun and some chips.  Because that would be rude.  Instead I went to the kitchen and cooked up some pasta with veggies and a cream sauce and then I threw that at them on the deck.
 I also delivered a platter of chocolate bars, white and strawberry marshmallows and graham crackers so that they could roast smores for dessert.  Because I'm a rockin hostess like that.
 And they proceeded to roast them into charcoal nuggets- like all children do.
 After dinner, I gave them the materials to paint a picture for Makayla to take with her.  I thought she would enjoy something that they all made together to hang in her new room in New England.  And then the girls started painting their hands and I declared arts and crafts time OVER and I told them all to GET LOST.
They played hide and go seek with the neighbor kids, watched movies, ate popcorn and finally around 11:30 I left them to their own devices and retreated to my room. 

Not even 10 minutes later I heard a strange hush fall over the girls and one said very sternly 'Go get your mom'.  In my head, I was trying to figure out which emergency room was closest.  Fortunately, or not- depending on how you look at it, it was nothing life threatening.  Turns out, they were all hanging in the kitchen when the 100 pound beast dog that we have been babysitting (you might want to quit reading if you have a weak stomach)  (just sayin) released uncontrollable diarrhea all over the kitchen floor.  Once I was on the case, they disappeared out back clutching their noses in their hands and gagging and giggling.  I got the joy of cleaning that up all by myself.

By midnight I had the floor disinfected and I was back to my bed.

Fifteen minutes later I had to capture five giggling running girls in the hallway and remind them that they were to stay in the living room and GO TO SLEEP.

Dan's alarm went off for work at 4:30am, I could still hear them talking.

5:30am I stumbled my bed headed self into the living room and declared that they had to go to sleep.  If only for a few hours.  Moms would start picking up girls in three hours and they had to have had at least a little sleep.

And finally- they rested.

It took me all day to recover from that much chaos- but I had done my duty as a mom and given the girls a proper send off for their friend.

Their friend, who strangely enough, isn't moving right now after all.  Turns out they haven't officially rented their house yet, and her mom is still looking for a job, and she's going to start school tomorrow with the girls.

I think I've been duped.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Camping #2

 Last Friday we journeyed deep into the woods for weekend number 2 of camping in a row.  And by deep into the woods, I mean we went to a campground with bathrooms, a pool, a restaurant and electric/water sites.  But the good news: this trip we fit everything into ONE vehicle!  Trips prior we just gave in and drove both cars- because it takes a lot of stuff to camp ya'll.  This time, we took the two middle seats out and crammed that puppy full- floor to ceiling- squished the kids in the back and took off for our drive.  We could hear them- but we couldn't see them.
 Half way there I rearranged some 'stuff' and made it so that they could watch a movie.  Because their constant fighting/whining/bickering was wearing on me.
 Each kid had a playmate during this trip- so it was totally awesome.  And Sam's partner brought his own bag of wheeled awesomeness and a private play tent- so they were in complete heaven most of the time.  This photo, for the record, is the only photograph taken while not riding in something.  I need to work on getting the old camera out know, other than when we are riding something.
 Here we are on our wagon ride to the orchard

Our deluxe accomodations.......(we're the tent, our friends had the camper) (taken while riding the trolley)
And here we are on our trolley ride around the campground.  It was so relaxing we went around twice, plus they were passing out free popcycles to the kids so it was doubly refreshing.  I think it might be the only time during the weekend that the kids weren't asking to go to the playground.

It was a wonderful weekend with wonderful friends and many memories were made.  Emily declared it the best camping EVER since no one the weekend before. 

I couldn't agree more.