July 30, 2007

Because some of the best things are just a click away...

Believe it or not, this is the kind of stuff I play to be able to do my 19-month-old's hair! It actually keeps us both distracted enough to get through it. Hairdos are one of the few reasons I think boys would be easier. Since I only know how to raise girls, there are only a few.

July 27, 2007

For my biggest fan...

Dear Anonymous,
As a matter of fact, I do talk this way. I really do. Just in case you missed the subject matter of that last post, it concerns taking care of five children. Combine that with the fact that I haven’t set foot in a classroom that wasn’t my daughter’s in many years and I’m lucky to form any complete sentences at all! Thank you so much for pointing out the error of my ways and I’d like to apologize for those 30 or 40 seconds it took you to read my blog that you will never get back. Time that could have been much better spent picking on five-year-olds with speech impediments or tripping blind people at intersections.
People like you really do make the world a better place! If only you wouldn’t have just been ‘anonymous’ and told us who you were instead. Then I could give you a proper ‘thank you.’

Leann I Am

July 26, 2007

Appeasing the Masses

I am so burnt out on the usual 'kid-friendly' foods!
But with cheer season here and two extra kids, corn dogs and frozen pizzas have become the 'norm' for us. I decided to mix it up a little today.
I had purchased some English muffins at the store yesterday. I originally bought them for breakfast, but they looked more like pizzas to me today.
I poured some plain old spaghetti sauce in a bowl and tossed in a spoon. I laid out some slices of cheddar cheese on a plate. I didn't have normal mozzarella cheese, but I buy string cheese by the case, since that seems to be 1YO's drug of choice. I 'stringed' it up and then cut it into bits and put it in a bowl. I put half an English muffin on each plate and let them spoon their own sauce onto it. They then decorated it with the cheese of their choice and I popped them in the toaster oven.
They were so excited to eat their own pizzas!

Half of an English muffin

Bowl of spaghtetti sauce, with spoon

Shredded string cheese, cut up

Spread the sauce

Cover with cheese of your choice

5YO with creation

Food TV

This is more exciting than cable!

And here are their finished products:

11YO with finished product

8YO with finished product

5YO with finished product

4YO with cheese and bread!

And "did they eat them?" you ask. Of course! I made cookies to eat afterward!


July 25, 2007

"She rubs the lotion on the skin, or else she gets the hose again"

Wouldn't you know that this would be my first complete thought of the day? It's not as if I just came to this thought instantly. It's a process.
David's first alarm clock goes off at 5:45, the first time anyway. He has it set to play the radio because he doesn't think the alarm is something we want to hear at such a wee hour. Personally, I don't think any sound is nice to hear at that hour, but maybe that's just me. Since David doesn't actually usually get up until 7:00 or 7:30, we get to hear random bits of a radio station's morning show at nine-minute intervals.
Yeah, don't get me started on that okay?
So, as I'm fighting hard to tune them out and stay asleep, I hear the radio announcers talking about the weather. They say that it's going to be hotter today than yesterday, though the humidity will be lower so it should feel okay. I start to wonder if I could actually forgo lotion on the really sticky, humid days. I've pretty much scaled my routine to get ready down to the bare minimum, but I'm always looking to skip another step. I could save almost a full minute if I didn't have to slather my desert-like arms and legs in lotion, right?
Of course, the next logical step in the thought process would be to think of 'Silence of the Lambs' right? Seriously, I started thinking that I couldn't go without lotion no matter how much moisture is in the air! You know who else couldn't go without lotion? Yup, that lady in the pit in 'The Silence of the Lambs!'
These were all little fragments that came together to form, "She rubs the lotion on her skin, or else she gets the hose again!"
5YO just put a harness on himself.
Are these little indicators to the kind of day I'm going to have? Perhaps little red flags telling me to just go back to bed? If only I could listen....

July 24, 2007

Playing with snakes and then going off on a tangent...

This little beauty (or someone from his family tree, anyhow!) was in my next door neighbor's backyard yesterday. I hadn't the chance to mess with snakes in years.
I used to be quite the reptile fanatic. Seriously. You wouldn't know it now, for I married a man who abhors reptiles. Go figure! Since we have young children and live out in the 'sticks' I will settle for the potential visitors that we might get here and there on the property. For now. I really am fascinated by reptiles and other sorts of 'creepy-crawlies.' I think we have a lot to learn from them and they really do make great pets. For some people, anyway.
I worked at a handful of local pet stores in my younger years and had acquired quite the collection of critters. The only real perk to working for minimum wage is the discount on all the things I'd wanted to buy anyway. Well, there was that and the fact that I got to play with all the critters!
I was actually hired at my first pet store when I was still in high school. They put me in the bird/small animal department because that is where they needed the help. Not only did I continue to be interested in reptiles but I also developed quite a fondness for birds. Well, mostly one bird in particular; a Jenday Conure named 'Kylie.' The first time I stuck my hand in her cage, she nearly crushed one of my knuckles! After taking my hand back (while it was still in one piece!) and mumbling a few choice words as I walked away, she decided that she liked me.
Okay, so she really liked the blueberry muffin I had in my hand later...but it was my hand holding it, right? It was love at 'second sight!' She not only decided that she liked me but that she hated everyone else.
I had to have her.

I think her price tag was around $400.00. I did get a discount and after a couple of paychecks and some graduation money she was mine. I didn't have her long when I realized that she not only hated most people, but children and other pets as well. She was horrible. I loved her. If she let someone within a few feet of her without freaking out, that person could do almost anything with her. She would hang by your finger while you flipped her upside down and swung her back and forth. You could cup your hand around her back and cradle her in your hand like a baby.

She even took showers with me. She would climb down the shower curtain and stand in the full-force of the shower head like she needed it to wake up like she needed her coffee. Boy, did she love her coffee! Kylie would hop down from wherever she was to snag a sip of my coffee. She would actually perch herself on the brim of the mug and guzzle down the coffee. The whole time she would be laughing hysterically.

Kylie didn't talk much. Though she did say a few words here and there was much more obvious how much she screamed. Maybe it was all the coffee.


Anyhow, I ended up leaving her at my parents' house when I got my first apartment. I couldn't see being able to stay in an apartment with a bird that loud. Plus, I had had my oldest by then and wasn't too fond of the idea of keeping her anywhere near the baby. She would attack anything she didn't like, which was pretty much everything. She would go after my mom's German Shepherd and grab ahold on one of his toes. Luckily, my mom and I were both right there. I grabbed the dog's head (which was so big he could have easily swallowed that bird in one gulp!) while my mom pryed her little beak off his toe.

Like I said, she wasn't afraid of anything.

I couldn't have Kylie in an apartment, but that didn't stop me from having tarantulas, rats, love birds, snakes, etc. Reptiles are the best pets for apartments. They don't make noise, shed fur, or even smell most of the time.

I used to have the neighbors over when it was time to feed my Ball Python. It was like the Discovery Channel, but live.

So, back to yesterday...I was suprised at how nervous I was trying to catch that snake! I had been bitten by that same variety more than a few times. It had just been so long since I had been that close to a snake. Add that to the fact that this was still a wild animal and I had a few butterflies in my stomach!

This little guy was at least a good four feet long and flawless! There was not a scar or tick to be seen. I had a wire coat hanger bent like a hook and tried to pick him up with that first. He was warm, so he was quick. He slithered off the hook before I could even get the rest of him off the ground. He then scurried around a corner and got all wound up behind a drain pipe. Now, those of you who have handled snakes know how they are basically one, big muscle. He was all 'balled up' in just the right spot and that hook was not getting ahold of any part of him. Finally, I just grabbed him with a pillow case and pulled him inside of it. We left the kids to play in the fenced-in yard while my neighbor and I walked to the back of where our properties meet.

We let him go there. Hopefully, he'll keep his distance from the houses. I definitely like knowing he is nearby. California King Snakes eat mice, frogs, lizards and other snakes. Their specialty is rattle snakes. They are immune to the venom of a 'rattler' and can eat one almost as big as they are.

Now, that's the kind of snake we all should want to have around. I just wish they were welcome in the house!

July 23, 2007

This was swiped from WHYMOMMY...for good reason. PASS IT ON!!!

We hear a lot about breast cancer these days. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes, and there are millions living with it in the U.S. today alone. But did you know that there is more than one type of breast cancer?
I didn’t. I thought that breast cancer was all the same. I figured that if I did my monthly breast self-exams, and found no lump, I’d be fine.
Oops. It turns out that you don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer. Six weeks ago, I went to my OB/GYN because my breast felt funny. It was red, hot, inflamed, and the skin looked…funny. But there was no lump, so I wasn’t worried. I should have been. After a round of antibiotics didn’t clear up the inflammation, my doctor sent me to a breast specialist and did a skin punch biopsy. That test showed that I have inflammatory breast cancer, a very aggressive cancer that can be deadly.
Inflammatory breast cancer is often misdiagnosed as mastitis because many doctors have never seen it before and consider it rare. “Rare” or not, there are over 100,000 women in the U.S. with this cancer right now; only half will survive five years. Please call your OB/GYN if you experience several of the following symptoms in your breast, or any unusual changes: redness, rapid increase in size of one breast, persistent itching of breast or nipple, thickening of breast tissue, stabbing pain, soreness, swelling under the arm, dimpling or ridging (for example, when you take your bra off, the bra marks stay – for a while), flattening or retracting of the nipple, or a texture that looks or feels like an orange (called peau d’orange). Ask if your GYN is familiar with inflammatory breast cancer, and tell her that you’re concerned and want to come in to rule it out.
There is more than one kind of breast cancer. Inflammatory breast cancer is the most aggressive form of breast cancer out there, and early detection is critical. It’s not usually detected by mammogram. It does not usually present with a lump. It may be overlooked with all of the changes that our breasts undergo during the years when we’re pregnant and/or nursing our little ones. It’s important not to miss this one.
Inflammatory breast cancer is detected by women and their doctors who notice a change in one of their breasts. If you notice a change, call your doctor today. Tell her about it. Tell her that you have a friend with this disease, and it’s trying to kill her. Now you know what I wish I had known before six weeks ago.
You don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer.

P.S. Feel free to steal this post too. I’d be happy for anyone in the blogosphere to take it and put it on their site, no questions asked. Dress it up, dress it down, let it run around the place barefoot. I don’t care. But I want the word to get out. I don’t want another young mom — or old man — or anyone in between — to have to stare at this thing on their chest and wonder, is it mastitis? Is it a rash? Am I overreacting? This cancer moves FAST, and early detection and treatment is critical for survival.
Thank you.
I just found Whymommy and she is truly an inspiration. If you click on the 'Team Whymommy' button along the left side of my page you can visit her page and read her story for yourself. You won't regret it.

July 22, 2007

And speaking of spots...

...I got another migraine last night. Although it is another migraine to add to my lifetime total, it's honestly been months since I can remember having one. I just hope this isn't the beginning of a cluster of them.
Yeah...that's all I need....five children and a cluster of migraine headaches. My social skills would be completely shot and everything would be dealt with on a 'need to do' basis. No room for fun in a life like that!!!
I started seeing the spots as I was beginning to make dinner last night. I usually rub my eyes and look around a little more to be sure. I always hope I'm wrong. A digital clock is my best ruler for determining if any pieces of my vision are missing. Either way, it's only a matter of time before the wiggly, lighted spots have taken over a good portion of my field of vision. Then, you can't help but notice them.
As a child, I would get really anxious and upset when a migraine hit. I would always end up vomitting before it was done with. I would usually cry, even screaming sometimes, until I literally passed out from exhaustion. My mom would just let me sleep as long as I needed. I would wake up a little groggy, but otherwise fine. As the years went by, I tried various methods of fighting these things. I've pretty much come to the conclusion that it's best for me to just keep on keepin' on.
First off, I don't get as worked up about them as I used to. If it's coming, it's coming. No amount of crying or tension will help. In fact, I'm pretty sure that makes them worse. I've tried various injections and pills from the doctor. None of them have worked for me. Well, the injections did actually work for me, but the side effects made it not worth it. One of those shots made it hard for me to stay awake for almost three days. And who can live like that? I'd rather just deal with the headache and get on with my life!
I mean, I always knew I was a 'cheap date' but come on!!!
I'm not actually through all the phases of this one. It's just sort of a waiting game now. I have already experienced the blind spots, nausea, and the sour, burning feeling in the back of my throat. My head hurts and I am exhausted. Before this headache is done with I will have a runny nose and...you probably don't want to know the last step in the process! I never knew that all of those were actually textbook symptoms of a migraine headache until I read it in a book and put two and two together.
I is smart!
Well, I've already barked at these kids for pouring too much cereal, spilling milk, loading the dishwasher and putting away laundry. I'd better look around so I don't run out of things to nag them about!
Right now, 8YO is singing the 'Spider Pig' song from the commercial for the 'Simpsons Movie.'
"Spi-der pig. Spi-der pig. Does what-ev-er a spider pig does..."
Thank you, Homer Simpson, for giving me something to smile about while I feel like complete crap.

July 21, 2007


So, I picked up some of the 'Oxy Clean' stuff for my carpets, laundry and whatnot. I'm sure I'm like most people who have quite the collection of stain-fighting accessories in their laundry room. If it's been around awhile and it looks like it works, I'm sure I'll try it. Word of mouth is also one of my weapons.

In fact, one of my favorite stain-fighting secrets is some stuff I pick up at the dollar store. It smells just like ammonia. In fact, it may very well be ammonia. I don't care either way but I do know that it's the only thing that gets breastfeed baby poop stains out of white onesies. It can't conquer all stains, but it definitely has its uses in my home.

So, there are a few spots on my carpet that haven't come out with my usual artillery. So, I picked up some of that 'OXY' stuff. One of the stains might be coffee. All I know is my usual weapons of choice didn't touch it. I mix the solution as directed and pour it onto the stains, one at a time. I allow it to sit for the recommended number of minutes and used a white towel to blot the stain out, as instructed.

I couldn't tell right away whether the stuff worked or not since it left a wet spot that was obviously darker than it was going to be. Well, wouldn't you know that the stupid stuff made a clean spot in my carpet, which I noticed the next day?

What the heck is up with that???

Now I have to find some sort of similar solution to try to clean the entire room with that stuff. It works really well. I guess you could say almost too well.

I just wish it didn't make more work for me in the process! Plus, are we really that filthy here?

July 20, 2007


How many of us either live or have lived with a man?
When we remodeled our back bathroom (I hesitate to call it the 'master bath' from its small size and the pitiful size of the room it's attached to...) we upgraded the fixtures as well. We found a set of fixtures at Home Depot for a very reasonable price and in the type of metal we were looking for.
The toilet paper holder was not like anything I had ever seen before. You just slide the roll on and off. It's that simple. Now, our holder is the perfect height for me to accidentally elbow the roll off the holder and onto the floor on occassion...but that's another gripe altogether. For the most part, I am content with the ease of changing the roll.
I mean, a monkey could do this, right? Maybe....just not my husband!

The World's Simplest Toilet Paper Holder

Nothing to disconnect, no effort required.

The Empty Roll...you just slide it off!

You simply slide the old roll off...

A New Roll...just slid on!

...and slide the new one on!

Sounds simple enough, doesn't it?

So, then why do I find THIS

What I Find Instead....BOYS!

when I go into my bathroom?

I honestly don't think they could make it any simpler.

Do you?

July 16, 2007

What Every Woman Has Thought...

I'm sorry, but Carrie from 'King of Queens' is my new hero! I could be wrong on this, but I get the feeling that that conversation is pretty true-to-life. She certainly took the words out of my mouth!

And the children are no better.

"Mom, we're out of (insert food or any other consumable item)"

"No we're not. There is a brand new thing of it in the (insert location)"

"No, Mom. There is none here. It's all gone."

Whatever it might have been, it didn't jump up and start yelling, "HERE I AM!!! I'M RIGHT HERE!!! YOU HAVE TO MOVE SOMETHING TO SEE ME, BUT I'M HEEEEEEERE!!!"

Therefore, it did not exist in her world.

I'm also tired of being a 'tour guide' in my own house.

I'm not alone here, am I?

July 14, 2007

I *HEART* NICK (At Nite!)

I went through sort of a rough time with my second pregnancy. Now, I have read and heard of the horrible accounts of other pregnancies and am fully aware that this pales in comparison to those.

But, let me give you a little background:

David and I had been married as long as I had been pregnant. Seriously. 4YO was born exactly 9 months and 5 days after our wedding day. I was basically pregnant the minute we married. In fact, it's been a long running joke that David throws his underwear across the room, I catch them and I get pregnant. We have seriously been blessed by fertility and we know it.

So, I was still working full-time and it was rough. What I didn't really get at the time was just how out of sorts my blood sugar could get while pregnant. I had to eat every hour, on the hour, to keep from getting sick. Working in a place that did not allow snacking in your work area presented a problem for me. I would go too long without eating and my blood sugar would dip. I would, of course, get nauseous and even sick from that. Even worse, though, was the 'low blood sugar headaches' that I was plagued with. My head hurt so bad I couldn't eat. See the viscous cycle we have going on?

I was stressed-out at work, my oldest was about to start going to first grade at a new school where she didn't really know anyone. And there were so many horrible things going on in the world. This was about five years ago and there were several children kidnapped and murdered in a very short period of time. This was going on all over the country, proving just how many sickos are out there. Plus, this was less than two years after September 11th and our country was still in quite a bit of turmoil. No one felt really safe.

David and I would go to bed watching the news. I'm not sure if we did it intentionally, but we did it nonetheless. I realized the things I heard on the news were making my already tough pregnancy even worse. While I didn't make an immediate connection, I did cry myself to sleep a few nights. I had already been questioning whether I should have gotten pregnant so soon after our marriage, while I still had to work. I was questioning my health and how the headaches and my overall mood were affecting the baby. Then, I also started questioning myself and David and why we would even want to bring another innocent child into this world with all the bad things that are happening.

Funny...not once did I question my hormone levels and realize that they were magnifying everything anyhow....

I put a stop to the news at night and started watching Nick at Nite. (Coincidently, my doctor saw the toll my job was taking on my pregnancy and took me off work for the rest of it.) I started falling asleep to old episodes of 'Roseanne' and 'The Cosby Show.' No matter what thoughts were running through my mind when I finally got to bed, they were replaced by whether or not Theo would do his homework or if DJ from 'Full House' would learn to put on makeup without looking like a 'streetwalker.'

I am still convinced that it's just not possible to have a bad dream when you fall asleep to Nick at Nite. In fact, I have a little TV in 1YO's room and it was on Nick at Nite every night of the first few months of her life. You know those months that are all a blur now because day and night all sort of blend together? It was really helpful to just leave the TV on and have just the right amount of light and noise. I would sit in my recliner nursing my baby and watching those old shows over and over. I knew the whole lineup and the fact that they changed it often. It was especially helpful when 1YO was diagnosed with reflux and I had to hold her up for so long after each feeding. I'm not really sure what I would have done had I not had Nick right there with me!

I'm thinking about Nick a lot right now, because David is on his way to pick up his nephews and will be gone a few days. I won't be alone, by any means. But, I won't have David sleeping beside me either.

At least I know I can count on Nick to get me through it.

July 11, 2007

Rambling About Rambling

Words really must be one of the most powerful things around. Just think about it: You talk to people everday and then maybe kick yourself for saying something you should have said differently, if at all.

What's funny is I consider myself to be fairly good with words...in writing. When you are writing or typing you can look back and edit your thoughts. You can correct a few errors, re-word something to make more clear or just 'flow' better. You can double-check your words before you hit 'send' or pop that letter in a mailbox.

You can even take out the unnecessary parts or words, otherwise known as the 'I really shoudn't have said that' portions.

I, for one, am horrible at saying goodbye. I know I come across as 'chatty' in life. I do like to talk. But, I know I always make my 'goodbyes' too long. I want to give myself a chance to say what I think I should say in a coversation, without saying something wrong. I don't want to leave any stone unturned, all the while trying not to my foot stuck in my mouth. Again.

Lord knows I have spent the better part of my life with my foot in my mouth.

And, like most things in life, isn't a conversation more 'quality' than 'quantity?' I would like to think it is, but I can drag a conversation out way past the point of decency in order to try and cover all my bases. It's not that I even think the other person in the conversation is a bad listener. I'm just a bad 'talker.'

I think I just want them to understand that I really can relate to them. In reality, I probably bore most of them to tears at times. I've actually seen that 'look' in someone's eyes when I can only assume they are thinking that the conversation should have ended sooner. They are probably thinking, "Exactly how long can this lady talk about this?" It doesn't matter what it is. I will beat the subject to death with my words.

Then, I still won't let it die.

Yet, oddly enough, I still kick myself for things every single day that I wish I had said. We were at the home of some friends and they had us and another family over for dinner. It really was a lot of fun. When it was time to leave, we did. The kids were tired, David and I were tired. I really felt like we left too quickly for my taste, yet not quickly enough for my tired family.

But, on the way home, I couldn't stop myself from thinking that I wish I had taken a moment to say a proper goodbye to our friends and the other family. Our friends walked us out, so maybe we did say enough niceties to them. The other family, however, must have just caught the blur us as we seemed to rush out the door.

Maybe they didn't think twice about it. After all, they have three kids too. Most people with kids know that actual 'small talk' or pleasantries with tired children are a rarity. When the kids are tired run, don't walk, to your car. If not, it just might get ugly.

Whatever the case, I feel I didn't hold up my end of the closing with that other family. God help them the next time we are together again. I'm sure I will get 'diarrhea of the mouth' and hold them hostage in one of my never-ending conversations. You know, just to make up for what I might have missed last night, or could possibly miss right then. Those poor people don't stand a chance.

It's most definitely a balancing act and I am, unfortunately, not too good at balancing things.

Just ask my checkbook.....

July 9, 2007

Reflecting on Rites of Passage

Our community has suffered a loss.

It's a sad day in such a small community when a young man loses his life in something so 'normal.' A young, healthy kid with his whole life ahead of him is gone because of something my own husband confesses to doing at that same age: Driving fast on a road with a big 'dip' in it.

They say the kids weren't wearing their seat belts. David explains that it probably made the 'feeling' even better when they hit their first big 'dip' in the road. 'All the kids were doing it' was his best guess. All of his friends were taking that same rite of passage twenty years ago, as far as he knows, probably as long as that same road has been there. They don't know for sure, but aren't even believing that alcohol played any role in the tragedy. No alcohol, no other cars....just a couple of bored teenagers looking for a little adrenaline to spice up their Saturday night. They weren't out to harm anyone or anything in their outing, just to do the same exact thing that so many others have done before them.

It's something I'm now afraid of my own children doing one day. The 'mama bear' in me wants to take the road away. Block it off. Put in speed bumps that would actually force them to slow down, as opposed to giving them more 'air.' Just end this 'rite of passage' as it is.

But, what would life be without these rights of passage?

So many lives are forever changed by this one silly night. This one little 'adventure' that took a wrong turn. My thoughts and prayers are with the family.

I'm at a loss for anything else to say. What else can you say when something like this happens?

July 7, 2007

Boo, Frogs, and Discipline

So, I've sort of come to the conclusion that my 1YO is very much like 'Boo' from Monsters Inc. She has the hair color and walks around speaking her own language, much like Boo. In fact, I'm pretty sure a room full of monsters wouldn't scare 1YO either.

If David's meanest, loudest, 'angry daddy' voice doesn't scare her, I'm pretty sure nothing will!

Unless, of course, it's a frog.

We must have thousands of frogs around our house this time of year. As the sun sets, I can look across the backyard and see at least fifty in a matter of minutes.

Lots. Of. Frogs.

When 1YO sees a frog, she goes into complete 'panic mode' and just stands there and screams until the frog either hops away or somebody rescues her. This kid lives in the wrong place to be afraid of something like frogs!

But, have mommy or daddy raise their voice at her and/or give her a little swat on the back of the hand and...


If anything, she laughs at our attempts to intimidate her. And don't tell me that you shouldn't intimidate your kids. Somedays, it's all we have. I've seen my share of kids raised in those 'totally positive' environments. They are usually the same kids I don't like to have around. Most people just refer to them as 'brats.'

Our parents were raised in a time where you not only spanked your own kid, but the neighbor's kid if it deemed fit. Kids behaved better knowing that there were consequences everywhere. One might say that it really does 'take a villiage.'

I've hardly ever had to discipline my two older kids. A stern look was pretty much all it took with the first one. The second one responds very well to time-outs. However, this third one is starting to get me really flustered. At the ripe old age of 18 months, the only thing we've ever tried is a little smack on the hand. After several attempts at 'NO.' The way she responds to those tells me we should maybe never even attempt to spank her. I get the feeling I would probably have to beat the crap out of her to get my point across. And I'm a firm believer that if you have to take it that far, it's probably not the right method.

The only thing I know is that I really know nothing.

You will probably read that phrase a lot on this blog. My kids surprise me often enough to keep me on my toes, that's for sure!

I do believe that every child is different and you need to look at what might work for them. Some kids need to be spanked. Now, I know Dr. Phil would disagree with me on this and that's fine. He's got enough people agreeing with him to keep him on the air. He doesn't need my support too.

I try not to discipline in anger. If I lose my cool, the value of the lesson goes right out the window.

And right now, my 'monster toddler' is covered with sherbert ice cream and standing up in her high chair.

I'd better go get a frog to threaten her with.....

July 6, 2007

My Left Ovary Hurts. And how's your day going?

Brilliant conversation starter, isn't it? Well, it's true. As much as I feel like I'm back to normal, that little ache is a reminder that, a mere week and a half ago, they cut a cyst out of it the size of a golf ball!
Is it wrong to keep the kids outside on such a hot day? I'm just enjoying the peace and quiet so much that I don't want it to end. There is shade...and water. They are locked safely inside a 6-foot chain link fence. It's a perfectly acceptable place to lock my dog when we leave the house. From my perspective, the laws on animal cruelty seem to be far more specific than the ones made to protect children anyway!
I think I just need to stop watching the news.
As difficult as this job can be, it comes with a certain amount of power as well. Here I sit at my desk, and I glance upon the toy that came from the cereal box today. It's mine. All mine. That is, until they can decide to quit fighting about it. As a kid, I would have killed for power like this. It's a pencil topper. Sometimes, just to amuse myself, I pretend to play with and thoroughly enjoy the toy I have taken out of their possession. Just for kicks.
Man, I need to quit watching the news and get out more!
I must share with you a quick quote from 4YO:
"If I wipe my butt four times it will get red. But, not if I put use the white stuff!"
Personal hygiene, colors. This kid is ready to take on the world! Or, at the very least the bathroom.
My brief visit with peace and quiet has come to a close, as the children have found their way back inside. My only hope now is that I can bribe them with root beer floats in exchange for some quiet time. Think it'll work?
Probably not. Probably not.

July 5, 2007

What's wrong with this picture?

I just thought I might share with you my theories on the evils of 'Winnie the Pooh and Friends.'
First off, you have the 'Pooh Bear' himself. He's an overeater. Most shows center around his need for honey...much like a crack addict might be about his next 'score!'` He's so addicted to honey he has lost all ambition for anything else. A few years from now, he'll be on of those guys on 'Dr. Phil' that has to get a wall torn out of his house so that the crane can get to him.
Pooh has a friend, 'Tigger.' Tigger is a severe ADHD case. If anyone ever needed medication, it's Tigger. Somebody needs to give that kitty a cup of black coffee and some Ritalin.
Then, there's 'Rabbit.' Rabbit is your typical OCD case. That little garden of his will never be good enough and there have been whole shows surrounding that very topic.
And don't we all just love 'Eeyore!' Eeyore suffers from severe depression. Sooooooometimes he cannnnn't even geeeeeeeet out of beeeeeeed. Of course, who would want to with all those misfits he hangs out with?
Then, we have the ever tweaky Piglet. Piglet suffers from low self-esteem with bouts of paranoia. Remember that episode where he was afraid of his own shadow? Wait. That's every episode. I think Piglet should share his coffee with Eeyore and and Tigger!
To top it off, we have poor Christopher Robin. Doesn't that kid have any actual real friends instead of all the made-up misfits? And where are this kid's parents? Don't they know that we don't live in the kind of world where you can just let your kids wander freely in the woods? That's what gets kids landing on milk cartons. Or worse, they nibble on the wrong mushrooms and have this whole different fantasy life and dream up a whole group of twisted creatures to be friends with. Somebody needs to get that kid in a playgroup!
And that's why I don't allow my kids to do the 'Pooh thing.'
We don't do 'Barney' either. He's the devil. But then, that's a blog for another day.....

July 4, 2007

Food, Folks, and Fatigue

Isn't that what McDonald's really meant, anyhow?
I'm just going to give you a little 'tour' of my day with pictures. They're all for viewing on my Flickr photostream as well.

4YO sinks like a stone in the water, but can navigate the entire pool perfectly well with one of those 'noodle things.' I mostly took this picture to show off her hair. I was very proud of myself for actually doing the hair of the two littlest ones. I'll admit that most days I let them run around like little ungroomed cave children.

Since 4YO thinks she can swim, so does 1YO. This is where it gets interesting, because 4YO really is on the verge of keeping her own head above the water. 1YO on the other hand...she has quite a way to go and is almost as confident as her older sisters. This is the part of me that's glad we don't actually have our own built-in pool.

This is 4YO after we're done swimming. As much as she loved it, I think her thirst for it went away with her actual thirst by swallowing half the pool. She was tired and ready to go home and eat some more sugary snacks.

Don't take my picture when I'm trying to pout!

This is 11YO when it's time to go. She's getting to that age where she's starting to withdraw and pout a little for no really apparent reason. I'm sure it just comes with the age. However, if that age also brings 'eye rolling' along for the ride, you'll be sure to see me on the news!

This is 1YO when it's time to get out of the pool. She was not happy with that and would probably still be there shaking and turning blue, practicing climbing from the top step to the bottom step. Then, going back up to the top step and out of the pool, only to do the whole thing over again. If nothing else, she is a perfectionist when it comes to her stunts!

My whole family has, apparently, abandoned me to go to bed. I am right behind them. After all, I ate too much, drank too much diet cola, and feel like I haven't slept in a week!

July 3, 2007

Sparkles and Mayonnaise

I had my follow-up appointment with 'Dr. Sparkley' today. (For those of you out of this particular email loop, he's my O.B.G.Y.N.!)

He said that my incisions look great and I can go back to my normal life with no restrictions....but don't tell my family!


I completely forgot to ask him for copies of the pictures, but he did show them to me. I want them so I can share them with all of you.
So you can know me that much better.

After said appointment we ran a few errands. I was taking a tour of Sam's Club when I stumbled across something that caught my eye:

I have been, up until today, completely unaware that such a thing even existed. I was completely oblivious to the fact that regular old mayo wasn't heavy enough for some people.

"Hey, sweetie. I see you're buying some mayo. Let's get the 'extra heavy' stuff instead. My @$$ just isn't large enough."

Do these people actually exist? To top it off, it only comes in a gallon size at Sam's Club! A full gallon of extra heavy mayonnaise....now all of my dreams have come true!

My @$$ is growing just looking at the picture! We don't even buy the regular stuff because I calculated the Weight Watcher's Points and a serving of the regular stuff is three points and the same amount of the light stuff is 1. Mayonnaise is something I'm willing to sacrifice for the sake of my thighs.

Perhaps the 'mayonnaise gods' were unhappy with my jokes, because a card table flew out the back of my parents' van when I opened the hatch and landed on the tops of my feet. They are now swollen and purple.

And I thought I had high insteps before....

July 2, 2007

Learning As We Go

At least I can say that the rash has pretty much cleared up now!
Now, I ordinarily like to think of myself as a reasonably intelligent person. Ordinarily. When the ball point pen I was using leaked little blobs of ink all over the list I was making, I shrugged it off as bad luck. Whatever. The end result of that was dozens of little smears of ink on the inside of my forearm. You know, the softer, more sensitive skin that rarely sees the light of day? Yeah, that skin.
I honestly didn't think much about it at the time. I finished my task and headed for the shower. As I was about to actually step into the shower, it occured to me that I hadn't replaced the pumice or 'scrubby things' that I keep in there. Knowing that a little soap and a washcloth probably wouldn't do the trick, I searched around the shelf in my bathroom for something that would.
Low and behold, I have a box of Mr. Clean Magic Erasers sitting right there on the shelf. Maybe it was just meant to be. Now, I use those sponges for so many things. They take crayon and pen off of walls, floors, whatever. They remove those grimey little handprints from door frames with an easy little swipe. Heck! They even remove soap scum from the bathtub with ease. As for getting ink off of skin...I'm sure one would be up to the task!
It took a little bit of scrubbing, but the ink eventually came off. I finished my shower and got dressed without another thought. Later that evening, I noticed a rash developing where the ink had once been. I guess I'm just lucky it was only a few abrasions.
Somedays I have to wonder whether I'm actually qualified to do this job....

July 1, 2007

Mr. Peabladder...

I can't decide if Hogan really does have the bladder of a 90-year-old man, or if he just gets bored at night and wants to take a little stroll outside.

Either way, it involves me getting up at all hours of the night to let him out. It seems that the rest of the family has a built-in 'Hogan filter' and the noise he makes simply does not exist in their world.

He's a Boxer and he's almost twelve years old. I guess I should just be thankful that he keeps it off the carpet, right?
I've discovered another reason I really enjoy being married: Strutting down the hallway on my way to bed with foam rollers in my hair singing, "This is why I'm hot. This is why I'm hot. This is why....This is why....This is why I'm hot...."
It doesn't even matter if I annoy or impress him. I win either way.