Friday, December 31, 2004

2005 Goals (otherwise known as dreams)

I never make resolutions. NEVER. The reasoning behind this is, well, because then I have written proof of failure. This year I have decided to start a list of goals. I figure the odds are I will achieve nothing on the list but at least it will give me a bit of direction. So, in the long held tradition of New Year's Goals (NOT resolutions - never resolutions)...

  1. Get a job at my employer of choice. (I'll let you know where and why if I ever get a job there)
  2. Sign a book contract/re-evaluate writing career.
  3. Begin a baby book for my FOUR-year-old.
  4. Organize my photos so I can update the kids' albums.
  5. Possibly even update said albums.
  6. Stay on top of disaster we call our home.
  7. Do more with my children.
  8. Not yell so much.
  9. Take more photographs.
  10. Lose weight.
  11. Exercise more. (that means any little bit will count.)
I just found my writing goals from last year. Amazing feat in itself. So here are last years goals (copied right from the e-mail I sent to my crit group)...
  1. Write more in 2004!
  2. I have restarted my historical young YA(I think that's the target group anyway). Been researching, researching, researching. Now to actually start writing something!
  3. Send in at least 3 assignments to ICL. I have 4/5 left to do. I'd like to say Finish the class, but let's be honest - I don't see it happening.
  4. Submit, submit, submit!
Now the verdict...

  1. Started a blog which has caused me to write more.
  2. Did not work on my historical novel but started and completed a first draft of a mid-grade.
  3. Finished my class - THIS month!!!
  4. Submitted some. Not as much as I should have. (and I have nothing out right now)

Can I just say WOW! Maybe I should write things down more. I did better than I expected. A lot better. Makes me feel better. I only put things I could accomplish on my own without the influence of those outside me. (Such as my goal to sign a contract.) This year I say - what the hay? I'm going for it. The worst case (most likely) senario is it won't happen.

BTW, Who the h*ll says 'what the hay?' I think I'm channeling a 90-year-old woman.

Edited to add: Have you made any goals or resolutions for the new year? Tell me what they are...

Update

The Fridge is fixed!!!
All is well with the world.


I need to put a disclaimer here. I understand the world is not well at all. So I must add: Except for the horrors of the earthquake. Mind numbing horror that is so very hard to comprehend. Is anyone else facinated/repelled by the coverage? I actually can't watch for long or I start to want to grab a blanket, wrap myself up and go to sleep on the couch. The global crisis is testing the limits of the medication I'm on. I'm praying for everyone who is in crisis right now. May the new year bring safety, comfort and everything you need to make it a better year than the last couple of weeks of 2004.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

HELP!

  • Kids are still on vacation.
  • Freezer Refrigerator broke last night.
  • Christmas decorations still up.
  • House a disaster.
  • No snow for skiing or sledding - yard melting into mud pit.
  • No 2005 Mom's calendar!! Life as we know it is about to end...


    Did I ask for help?

Edited to add:

Nothing in my refrigerator or freezer is cold. NOTHING! The fridge is only 4 1/2 years old. WHY? It is going to cost $60 just for them to LOOK at the thing. Tomorrow. Tomorrow people! AND - it is getting warmer and warmer outside so I can't even keep stuff out there. It is suppose to be COLD outside this time of year. Why are we having a heatwave in DECEMBER?

Someone hates me...

I need stronger drugs.

Kid Quote

"I can't believe we have a real dog in our house!"


Said by Zach as he was playing with Bernie, his Aunt Shana & Uncle Rob's puppy.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Christmas Cheer

Just wanted to share a little Christmas cheer. And a great way to misuse your children's playthings.

• see it





• hide it

Friday, December 24, 2004

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I hope everyone has a joyous & peaceful holiday.

Kid Conversation

ZACH (looking out window while waiting for his brothers to finish getting ready for bed): "Why can't we see Santa?"

ME: "Because he only comes when you are sleeping."

ZACH: "I know but WHY can you and Daddy see him?"

ME: "Because we're grown-ups."

ZACH: "When can I see Santa?"

ME: "When you're a Daddy."

ZACH: *grumble, grumble* "I don't want to have to wait THAT long."

Kid Quote

ZACH (putting down fork halfway through dinner): "I'm full. Put me to bed."

He knows Santa only shows when all the kids are asleep.

Christmas Eve

The relatives have arrived.
The baking is not done.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Happy Birthday Alex!

Today is my first born's birthday. Alex is 10 now. Double digits. A very exciting time. I've decided to take a few minutes to tell you a bit about him.

Alex is handsome. Blond. Blue eyed. Big teeth growing in at odd angles. (When I say big teeth, I mean BIG. He has his father's teeth.) He is responsible. Reliable. Kind and generous. He is an old soul. He was born a little old man and seems to get younger with each passing year instead of older. Never one to tantrum he occasionally melts down. Now. As a preteen. Never as a toddler.

We hear stories from teachers and his friend's parents. Stories of working with the children who need extra help. Stories of befriending the child at the party. The one no one else knows. The friend from the birthday boy's preschool who is a little strange. There are also the stories of skill and enthusiasm. The stories of trying hard and determination. The stories of maturity and calm. I always ask if they are talking about my child. But I know they are. I can see the light in him. Even when he doesn't show those same qualities with his brothers I still see them peek through.


He is the child who rises at 6 a.m. for school. He gets dressed, brushes his teeth and makes his breakfast before insisting I get up and spend the last 15 minutes before the bus comes with him. I must sign his binder, make his lunch and remind him to get his snack and flute. I feel confident if I failed to rise he would be able to fulfill these obligations on his own. If he had to. I hope he never does.

The last few days I have been remembering him as a baby. I have the clearest memories of his baby days. The hours of staring at him. Talking to him. Reading to him. (He would sit and listen to stories from day one.) His little mohawk with it's blond tips (really, he was born that way).


I have one photo that flashes to my mind repeatedly. It is Alex lying on his daddy's bare chest. Covered to their chins in bed. Sleeping. Sweet. Innocent. Still had the dark hair he was born with on the back of his head.



I remember him at a year, making his way around the room emptying every shelf, box, table of items while I laid, sick, on the couch in the early stages of my pregnancy with Tyler. He would make his way around the room. When he was done I would drag myself off the couch and clean it all up. Only to have him do it again. Boxes of toys - dumped. Shelves of videos - swept clean. Bookcase - emptied.



I remember him at 18 months, knowing all his colors - even orange, brown and purple. Speaking in complete sentences.


I remember him at two, eating applesauce with a spoon and not getting a drop on his bib. Everyone where I worked thought this a miracle. I couldn't understand why - until I had more children. He also was talking in paragraphs.


I remember him at three, practicing writing his name. Sharing with his brother and having the biggest blue eyes anyone had ever seen.


I'll admit to the memories getting hazy after this. (and the photos aren't in an album yet.) By the time he was five-and-a-half we'd had two more sons - for a total of four. But I will never forget his kindness and caring.


Alex's 1st birthday

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY SON!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

At This Moment...

10 years ago, St. Anesthesiologist was administering an epidural after my husband (who had been insisting "no drugs" during the birth of his first child) ran around the hospital screaming for someone to give me drugs.


And then the angels sang.

Harry Potter 6

In case you haven't heard...
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

will be released July 16, 2005
.
Already in my shopping cart over at Amazon.

What Our Holiday Card SHOULD Have Looked Like




(Notice the top part of the tree is still not decorated - my job.)


EDITED TO NOTE: More new pictures on photoblog. No baking done.

More Baking

Nothing going on. Just more baking.


DONE:

3 dozen oatmeal M&M (eaten)

3 dozen oatmeal M&M

4 dozen secret ingredient chocolate chip

4 dozen chocolate dipped pretzels


NEED TO DO:

3 dozen secret ingredient chocolate chip for school tomorrow

1 apple caramel pie for office tomorrow

1 apple caramel pie

6 dozen peanut butter cookies

5 loaves banana bread


SKIPPING THIS YEAR:

Sugar cookies

one random type cookie

Monday, December 20, 2004

Amazing

I'm really surprised no one commented on my amazing cake. Yummy.
It looks as good as it tasted. mmmm... chocolaty goodness.

Kid Conversation

ME: "It is -6 degrees out. Go put on a sweater or something."

TYLER: "Fahrenheit?"

ME: "Yes." odd question

TYLER (yelling to his brothers): "Dress really warm. It's -6 degrees Fahrenheit. That's like -23 degrees Celsius."

I went to a conversion calculator. It is actually -21 degrees. How did he know that? I certainly didn't know that.

COLD

I just put my son on the bus and it is -6 degrees. Yes, MINUS. SIX. degrees. Let me add - winter officially starts tomorrow.


More news... the lights are on the tree. It took me 8 days but it's done. Good thing I was home alone when I did it or the children would have learned many new words. I broke the #1 rule of tree lighting. I put the first string on without testing it first. Not sure what I was thinking. As soon as I realized my error I plugged it in and - you guessed it - half the string was out. The middle half. Very odd. Had to take it down and start over. I did test all the rest of the strings and they all worked just fine. Only string not working was the one I put on the tree. Consider the lesson learned.


The best news is the children have put up most of the other decorations. I'm SO glad they are old enough to do that. They did a fantastic job too. Not all clumped in one spot. Decorations more than three quarters of the way up. Just room enough on top for my breakable ones. A few more and the decorating will be done. (I have decided not to put out all the decorations as I just don't feel like it and can't seem to figure out where to put them.)


I am without a vehicle today so I have no reason not to bake. Much baking needs to be done. The 3 dozen cookies I made last week are almost gone. I haven't made any more. Today starts the baking frenzy. The good part is the kitchen will be toasty with the oven on all day and smell yummy. (Of course I can't smell so that part will only benefit the children when they return home from the cold. The FRIGID OUTDOORS.)

Sunday, December 19, 2004

More Birthday

Since I've already mentioned that today is my birthday, I will go on to tell you, what I'm apparently getting for my birthday is this:

• find out





• close


I should mention there is a lot of this:

• find out how much





• close


I should also mention this is all from today. (I just ran out and took these with my new CAMERA.)



**EDITED TO NOTE: It seems to be stopping.

My Birthday

I wasn't going to mention my birthday here but since I had such a lovely dinner last night I realize I must.


First of all, I have come down with a nasty cold. Very unpleasant. Has made me very whiney. My head is so filled with snot I can barely lift it from the pillow in the mornings. Because of this our plans for dinner were being changed to getting take-out and renting a movie. Oh, and a nice big vat of the good stuff. (The good stuff being Starbucks coffee almond fudge ice cream.)


The problem with colds is nothing sounds good to eat. It is the only time in my life when nothing sounds good. Usually everything sounds good and I can't decide. Anyway, last night the children were sleeping away from here. We had a credit card that did not belong to us. (Thank you Jeff's mom.) And we needed food.


I had suggested Macaroni Grill - the only thing sounding good was their bread ~mmmm~ and the shrimp portifino ~mmmmm again~ but the 20 minute drive and probable hour wait (it was a Saturday night during prime shopping season) seemed too much for my heavy head to handle. We stopped by a nearby restaurant and looked at the take-out menu. Nothing. Nothing interested my cottony head. Got back in the car and I told Jeff to make the decision. Okay, I demanded he make the decision because I couldn't. Through his reluctance he suggested MG. He was driving. I was upright. I said fine. I did mention the bread didn't I?


We went. We sat in the bar area. We had a drink. I pulled out my new DIGITAL CAMERA. (Have I mentioned my new DIGITAL CAMERA?) We had a lovely time. We took lots of pictures. Other than the constant honking of nose blowing and scrounging for tissues it was great. It was great fun. Yes, FUN!

We were seated. Neither of us had any clue as to the wait time because we were too busy having FUN with the camera. The camera fun continued at the table. The waitress was great. Very understanding of the nose blowing and picture taking. Thankfully we were seating in a very back corner. That combine with the high noise level prevented most from hearing the elephantine trumpeting of my nose. (I'm not kidding here. Those who've heard it can attest to the unbelievable likeness to elephant trumpeting that is my nose blowing.)

After the delicious dinner that I could actually TASTE - well, mostly. Something that I've never experienced before happened. My husband betrayed me. In the best way possible. But still a betrayal.

They brought me cake and SANG to me in ITALIAN. SANG people. I'm not sure if you realize but I don't like people looking at me. Especially when I look like freaking Rudolf. Still, it was short and not as annoying as when a whole group comes and acts all happy it's your birthday with clapping and all. This was much better than that. Still, I'm afraid I didn't thank the singer. I might have but the embarrassment has wiped my memory clean.

Still, much fun. Here is my cake (which I could actually taste & miraculously we had room for when just moments before we were so so stuffed):






More evidence of our fun can be found in my photoblog. I will post some more fun tomorrow.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Present For Me!

I received my present for Hanukkah/Birthday/Christmas last night. The 'man in brown' delivered it during the 45 minutes I was out yesterday.


It's a DIGITAL CAMERA! Thank you to all family that chipped in so I could buy it. Expect my blog to be littered with photos now. The photoblog will be updated much more frequently and the family will be inundated with pictures of the kids. Lord help the internet.


This explains the timely photos of Visible Zach (as I have been now told to call him by TR Zach). It also explains the photos of the BLUE SKY on the photoblog. Who knew skies were suppose to be blue? I, myself, had forgotten.


And can I just tell you all how much I love the delete function? Yippee! Instantly delete all evidence of crimes against photography. (Yes, the skills that were paid for with much tuition.)


Now if I could just figure out how to put a thumbnail of the newest photo in the sidebar...

Invisible Zach

Invisble Zach today:





Close-up of his face:





(The eyes are Bionicle masks)

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Kid Conversation

Scene: Getting in car at grocery store
ZACH: "We need to get home. I miss Zach."

ME: "Ummm. You ARE Zach."

ZACH: "No, My friend Zach." He has no friend named Zach.

ME: "Oh."

ZACH: "He is invisible. You can't see him."

ME: "Ok."

ZACH: "He is waiting for me in my bed. He misses me."

ME: "Is he napping?"

ZACH: "No, he broke his leg."

ME: "Oh my. How did he break his leg?"

ZACH: "He was snowboarding and the snow got in his eyes - through his goggles -and he couldn't see and a tree was coming and he hit the tree and he broke his leg. That's how."

ME: "Oh my! Did the ski patrol take him down the mountain on the sled?"

ZACH: "No. I told you he was snowboarding down the mountain when he broke his leg."

ME: "But how did he get the rest of the way down?"

ZACH: "Mooom, he was down. I told you." Of course.

• more Invisible Zach



Scene: Later at home - Zach ran upstairs as soon as we got home and returned to playroom with his pj's. He then proceeded to lay them out as if someone was laying on the couch.
ZACH: "Invisible Zach is resting on the couch. Come see."

ME: "Look at that. How is your leg feeling Invisible Zach?"

ZACH: "He answered you. Can't you hear him?" Uh, no.

ME: "I heard him but I can't understand him. I guess he speaks another language."

ZACH: "YES!"

ME: "Does he speak Spanish? I can't but you can. (no you can't) Could you translate for me?"

ZACH: "YES! He said he is feeling a little better. I'm going to go play now."

Invisible Zach Update: Invisible Zach later broke his other leg, then healed. His leg is much better now.

Yesterday Invisible Zach was dressed in the real Zach's pj's as soon as he got dressed. He was laying on the playroom floor all day and TR (The Real) Zach gave him a heart pillow head and some Imaginex Castle walls (with windows) for eyes and a piece of green something-or-other from the castle for a mouth. I must take a picture soon so all of you can see Invisible Zach.

• Enough Invisible Zach

Update

My holiday cards are mailed & the tree is in the stand!

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Hectic

Thank you for the gift suggestions! I think I have finally finished the boy's shopping. Can't reveal what he is getting as he has been known to read over my shoulder occasionally and possibly check this site when I'm not looking. Can see him trying to find out what I've purchased this way. Hmph, boy is too smart for his own good.


My to-do list is as long as my arm now. Starting to feel overwhelmed. Our perfect tree we picked out on Saturday is probably dead since it is still sitting outside, wrapped up. Must venture into basement today to get tree stand and decorations. Hope cobwebs don't hold me prisoner until large family of spiders can suck me dry - holidays are already trying to do that. If you don't hear from me in a couple days but you do hear children screaming unchecked that they must eat - please send help.


Another problem is ordering the last of the gifts on-line. Seems nothing will be here on time now that I've waited so long to order it.


The Holiday cards are done. I'm not happy with the quality of the photo (seems WAY too soft) - not sharp at all. But the kids are all looking at the camera. A freaking Holiday miracle in itself! Now to address them all.


In the spirit of the holiday season I am now a redhead. Redwood to be exact. I love it. The kids seem to like it. No one has run screaming from me yet. I'm taking this as a good sign.


Must get on with day. Friend coming over and would like to do basic housekeeping chores so as not to scar her or her son.

Monday, December 13, 2004

HELP!

What does one buy a ten-year-old boy? He's complaining he hasn't gotten any toys but most of what I see is too young for him. All he has picked out are books and video games. HELP!

Update

Hanukkah is in full swing here in MoMMY's household. Actually, it is almost over. Whew! We have just about made it through one holiday but as we all know, Christmas is right around the corner.



The tree is bought (and still sitting outside the side door), the decorations are still sitting in the basement. Much baking must still be done. (Okay, all the baking)



Two of the children have been sick and it seems a third is coming down with something.



**Million dollar question: Will the illness be over by Christmas or will the parents be ill? (Worse than sick kids this time of year)



The great part of celebrating two holidays is things are broken down and easier to handle. One family down - one to go. The bad part is: THERE ARE TWO HOLIDAYS TO CELEBRATE!



Oh, and let's not forget Alex's birthday. He is turning TEN in NINE DAYS. NINE DAYS! OMG! I was thinking I had loads of time. I don't even know what to get the child for a gift. No celebration planned. Nothing. Besides all of that... I am NOT old enough to have a child in the double digits. Really, I'm not. Okay, technically I am. But I don't feel old enough. And did I mention NINE DAYS????



<must go to Amazon right now and shop his wish list>

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Friday, December 10, 2004

Show-and-Tell

No, no. Get your mind out of the gutter. I'm referring to Wednesday's show-and-tell at preschool. I was told by the teacher that they like Zach to close out the session because he does such a good job at it. Curious as to why, the teacher told me to 'just watch'.



Anyone who has ever seen the average 4 year old show-and-tell knows that it usually consists of a child sitting (or standing) in front of the class clutching some object they hold near and dear, staring at the class with a mild to severe look of panic on their faces. They mutter one word answers to questions the teacher asks as if being asked to reveal matters of national security under threat of torture.



Do I need to say it? Okay, I will... Not Zach.



No, my child grabs his objects and starts putting on a show for the class. The elephant puppet is soon spraying water over the class with his trunk. This then causes Zach to punch him in the stomach for getting him all wet. Soon the children that were trying to discover if the cure to cancer was under their fingernails or in their neighbors hair has eyes fixed on Zach. Laughter is erupting and I feel as though I have entered some smoke-free, juice-only, well-lit comedy club where the performers are all under 4 feet.



Finally the teacher had to get the hook so she could move on to story time.

Wednesday, December 8, 2004

Evil Starts With E

I was the working parent at preschool today.



It was 'E' day.



Zach brought 2 Elmos and an elephant puppet.



His friend brought Evil Bad Guy



Imagine watching the teacher say, "Evil starts with E," to a bunch of 4 year olds. How could you not laugh?



I'd expect to hear that at my house but in preschool? Not so much.

Monday, December 6, 2004

The Awww Factor

Zach wrote "MOM" for the first time today.


Then he drew 2 hearts connected with a line because we love each other.

And The Angels Sang

I'm not a shopper.


A star grocery shopper but not a real shopper. It is usually painful. unsuccessful. aggravating.


Yesterday I went shopping with my mom. It was a beauteous day. The sun shone. The angels sang. Things were easy. The crowds didn't bother me. I found everything on my list and lots of things that weren't. You know, the things you don't know you need until you see them. And all was on sale. (okay, not all - just most.)


My holiday shopping is almost done. I'm almost ready to dig out the decorations and - gasp! - decorate. I'm almost ready to start baking. and making gifts. and I think I must be losing my mind. I'm listening to Christmas music on the radio. I'm singing along. Someone has possessed me. It is the only explanation. That or the medicine is working.

Friday, December 3, 2004

Numbers

The boy is FINALLY GOING BACK TO SCHOOL! Hacking up lungs and all. He was home for FOUR. EXTRA. DAYS. FOUR! None of the kids have ever been home that long from school before. (Now that I say this he will probably once again stay home - Nooooo!)


And I have too much to do to enjoy it.


Dylan has resumed making up songs about private body parts. Refuse to repeat song. Use your imagination.


Christmas parties have started. Gifts must be bought and wrapped. Hubby's party is TONIGHT. Pharmacist said I shouldn't drink more than one drink while on happy pills. ONE people. ONE! I'm known as the wife who does shots. Pre-party martini party at co-worker's house. ONE DRINK. And none of my clothes fit. And did I mention only ONE DRINK?


Only FOUR, yes FOUR, days until Hanukkah people. Totally not prepared. Thanksgiving decorations still up. December holiday ones still in basement. Luckily we keep the menorah upstairs on display.


I must thank my hubby for coming home yesterday morning to watch the hacking child while I worked the book fair at the intermediate school. Zach got lots of attention from teachers used to dealing with 9-12 year olds and young girls who ooo'd and aw'd at him claiming him the cutest. ever. His head is swelling faster than my pie eating butt. (Okay, not really. My butt is far too fast for him to keep up. And it doesn't eat the pie - I do.)


Must get ready, put hacking child & body part singing child on bus, drop youngest at nursery school, volunteer in 1st grader's class, go to Walmart (for pie making essentials, wrapping paraphernalia, cleaning devices & products), pick up youngest, make pie, wrap gifts, and try to beautify self for evening with hubby's co-workers. I think I need a nap.




Oh, and did I mention I may have to work at the book fair again from 11-2? Well, I might. Don't ask how this will all work. I DON'T KNOW.


**Edited to add: There is a blizzard outside my window. Snow is dropping in beautiful yet future shovel-inducing amounts. At this rate will have to shovel drive before I leave in LESS THAN TWO HOURS.

Wednesday, December 1, 2004

Thanks

I never did mention what I am thankful for and the guilt is killing me. So here, now, for your enjoyment...

What MoMMY is thankful for:




No new bodily conversations lately.


The kids: The reason I get up each morning.



Jeff: Without whom I don't know how I'd make it through each day.



My Mom: I got my hair cut and my house cleaned today. Seriously, without her my life (& house) would be a mess.


My family: The rest of them for all of their love and support.



The way we all get along: We may have the occasional disagreement but family gatherings are not painful. I've heard from many people that they dread getting together with family and I am blessed to not have that problem. So I'm VERY THANKFUL!



Our home: It may need work but I'm glad we have one and I do love it. (except maybe the holes in the ceiling)



That we have enough: Maybe not everything we want but we do have enough.



Our health: Other than a bit of crazy we are all healthy. (and Tyler is going back to school tomorrow - I don't care if he is coughing up a lung)



My friends: Your support has been phenomenal. You have all brought a smile to my face and make each day a little better.

My computer: with it I would never have met most of you.

Oh, and dinner, which I have to get on the table right NOW.

Monday, November 29, 2004

What does it mean...

...when you call the school nurse to tell her your son will be absent and she recognizes your number from the caller id?

Kid Quote

ZACH (age 4): "When I grow up and help Mikayla make my baby, stuff will come out of my penis."

Must hide It's So Amazing. (Dylan has been reading it to him.)

**SIDENOTE: He plans to marry Mikayla when they grow up.

Kid Conversation

Scene: Dylan and I filling out a mad-lib type thing in the back of his National Geographic Kids magazine.

ME: Body part

DYLAN: Uterus.



ME: Uterus?



DYLAN: Uterus.



ME: No, one of your body parts.



DYLAN: I don't have a uterus, you do. Can I say *whispers* penis?



ME: No, no private parts. Unless you are a grown-up - as private parts make it so much funnier.



After far, far too many minutes...

ME: Well? Body part? arm? leg?

DYLAN: Teeth.

**SIDENOTE: Thanks Uncle Mike. He loves the magazine.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Rosie Cheeks

A while back I promised a picture of Zach's pink cheeks when he went out to play in the first snow...

• see him




This picture does NOT do him or his cheeks justice.



• hide him

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Kid Pic

The Halloween picture I promised... (Not even a month late - not bad. Unless you were planning on getting me a digital camera. In that case, way, way too long to wait to see my adorable kids!)



Kid Lessons or Where I Use My Blog As Therapy

My 6 y/o taught me something last night.


He is very motivated by positive reinforcement. In fact, it is difficult to get him to do anything without the promise of reward. Whether it's a sticker, plastic frog, an extra story at bedtime or dessert, he won't do anything you ask unless he gets something in return.


Now before you tell me it's our fault for always giving him stuff, you have to realize we are raising three other boys. None of them are fueled solely by tangible rewards. I'm not sure what makes him different.


At his parent/teacher conference last week we found out the thought of him and his lack of motivation keeps his teacher up at night. "In a good way." Yeah, right.


He will not be challenged against other children. He will not be threatened. To say, "If you don't hurry there'll be no story." Does nothing. To say, "If you get ready quick we'll read two stories." Gets him to perform.


Timers and counting work. Threatening punishment doesn't.


Wondering how to teach him to motivate himself. Do things because they must be done. Do things he doesn't want to do without reward. These things made me evaluate the motivation behind the things I do.


• more about what I learned and how it relates to me, me, me



It made me realize how much I do in the hopes of being recognized as someone special.


Many of the things I do that are motivated by recognition are also done in the hopes of someday making money. Photography, scrapbooking, writing.


Once I realize it won't happen in a particular area I grow bored and move on to the next thing. Not to say I give up easily. Photography - six years. Teaching scrapbooking - three years. Writing - six years.


My latest career choice was/is children's book writer. I've been working, learning, meeting people for six years now. I've come close to publication. Not as close as some but closer than others. And now I must ask myself why. Why am I doing this?


Maybe it's time to stop.


If there's no reward at the end - Do I keep doing it? If there is never publication - do I keep trying?


I've asked myself these questions before. Somewhere deep inside I've always thought I would eventually get published. Now - now, I don't think so. I still have a flicker of hope (because I'm and eternal optimist - Why god? Why?) but on some level I'm realizing it won't happen.


It's like winning the lottery. On one level you know it'll never happen. The other level, the one that buys the ticket every now and then, keeps thinking - you never know.


OMG! For FIFTEEN YEARS I have been training, practicing, learning, working, selling myself, trying to make a career out of my creative endeavors. I never realized I've spent so much of my life at this. Almost half my life. ACK!


I think I just had a revelation. Time to suck it up and find a career I can actually make money at. Time to get a job because my family needs me to. Time to work because that is what grown-ups do. Not because I want to do it. Because I shouldn't need the recognition - just the job. Any job.


Anyone have a suggestion for my new line of work?


Anyone have a job to offer me?


• shut me up


Sunday, November 21, 2004

Good News

Today was a good day. I think the meds are starting to work. Let's hope.


No time to write as I have been busy DOING ACTUAL THINGS today. Things like laundry, dishes, shopping and list-making! Yes, YAY! for list-making. Last week it was just too overwhelming to make a list and today I made not 1, not 2, but FIVE actual lists for shopping!


Tomorrow I may actually try to write something interesting.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Update Part 2

The good news is I've been managing to pull myself from bed by thinking of the neglect to my oldest should I fail to send him off. I have managed to get the children shoved onto their buses and the youngest to preschool before I start to flail about, clueless as to what I should be doing next. The children are clothed and fed and have their homework done and checked. Beyond that I'm pretty useless.



I've been planning a trip to the grocery to acquire actual food to use in the dinner making process for about a week now. I somehow have not managed such a trip in more days than seems possible. (side note: Thank you Mom for bringing milk this a.m. The children were able to eat their cereal and get at least a speck of their nutritional needs fulfilled.) I mean usually I'm there every other day or so. I do at least one huge shopping a week. Not been happening.



Anyway, back to today, I'm out picking up the little one from preschool and decide to go to the store while I'm out. Because, let's face it, I'm not going out again unless I'm dragged. So we go to a store I'm not used to shopping at because they have a certain salsa that I've craved in the past and think it may entice me to eat something besides chocolate. I'm driving down the road and I actually start to panic about shopping. The whole thing seems way too complicated. Too many choices. What am I suppose to be buying? And how will I face all those choices? It's all a bit overwhelming. I'm thinking of turning around and just going home. But this is GROCERY SHOPPING. Come on people. I LOVE grocery shopping. This is an almost every day activity for me. For YEARS.



Zach & I sat in that parking lot while I tried to convince myself it would be fine. I wrote down a couple of things I knew we needed and that's all I had to get. Yes, I had to give myself a peptalk. How pathetic is that? We'll just leave if it gets to be too much.



Shopping is going fine. Oh no, Zach has to poop. NOW. He already went a bit in his pants. I'm standing in the bathroom practically hyperventilating. Need air. I've dealt with this scenario a million times. I have FOUR children. They have all done this eleventy million times. Not a big deal. We could just go home. But no, I shamed myself into staying. And shopping. I mean really... go home because shopping is too overwhelming? Sad. So sad. I'm afraid they're going to take away my mothering license. Or my shopper's club card.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Update

Didn't mean to make anyone worry yesterday. Nothing has gone wrong. Nothing to cause the sadness. All children and relatives are happy and healthy.



I did go visit my doctor yesterday for what I will be calling "the sadness". He was great. Said it sounded like true depression. Not something he sees often. I guess people usually have something to actually be depressed about but no - not me. Pathetic for no good reason. I actually cried in his office. Poor guy. Medicated me right up. Can you believe this stuff takes 2-3 WEEKS to work??? The other stuff he usually prescribes takes 6-8 WEEKS. WEEKS people. He was a bit afraid to make me wait that long for results. I think I scared the guy. We discussed therapy but since I have NO GOOD REASON for being lame I really didn't think it would help (& either did he). So we'll see how it goes.



I just hope it helps my focus (& the headaches & the tiredness & the feelings of life being too overwhelming to deal with life & & &). I know a lot of writers write more when they're going through a rough patch but I can't seem to write at all. Can't focus my thoughts long enough to form a sentence. (hence the lack of good posts lately. okay, maybe it's really my lack of talent but right now I'm blaming the depression.)

Friday, November 12, 2004

Tuesday, November 9, 2004

I'm Still Around

I realize I've been quiet lately. Anyone who knows me knows this is an amazing development. Not to worry, in person I'm still chatting my ass off. Still, I have wanted to blog I just can't seem to. The problem would be ...well, problems in my life. See, family reads this blog. It sort of started as a way to keep the family updated on the kids. Then it became a brain dump. Now it is a way to write every day as an exercise (along with the brain dump). I'm honest here. I'm not good at being dishonest. (It takes too much energy.) So what to do? Luanne at Wannabe Muse has had similar thoughts recently and as she said, I am barely able to keep up with one blog. There is no way I can do two. Any thoughts on this problem would be greatly appreciated.

I guess the word for now is... there is a lot going on but I can't talk about any of it.


Gee, somehow that doesn't make me feel better.

In other news, a writer friend, Denise Ortakales, has been getting a lot of well-deserved praise for her new children's book, The Legend of the Old Man of the Mountain. Check it out. It is nothing less than fantastic.


Also, thanks to Cindy, I have a wonderful time-waster that I am already addicted to. So sad really. And if anyone can beat my score of 46 - yes, I said FORTY-SIX! Bring it on! (I only played twice - really)
One last thing - it snowed last night. For some reason I was totally unprepared. Who knows why since it is NOVEMBER and I live in UPSTATE NY. On one hand, I'm surprised it waited this long. On another, there was enough snow for Zach to go outside and PLAY in it. Okay, so it was more like take 15 minutes to get him dressed in full gear and then him sitting in the snow for 5 minutes before he decided to come in because it was COLD. Did I mention it was only 23 degrees today? How did this happen? I must not have been paying attention when the memo went out that said it was too cold to go out without 10 5 layers on. Yes, the children have been wearing their winter coats for weeks but I have been avoiding it and now I can't anymore. Waaah!

**NOTE: Zach did look adorable with his flawless, milky skin all pink in the cheeks and nose. A poster child for winter. Can't wait to get the film developed!

(PS- holiday gift giving idea... a DIGITAL camera so I can actually post pictures the same season I take them. - hint, hint)


Friday, November 5, 2004

Searching

I really must tell you all the search phrase that brings the most people here... disturbing me since 8.3.04 the consistently most popular search is...

Speedo Man and guys in speedos

Today's Fortune

You should be able to make money and hold on to it.
Notice the key word - should. Funny considering my current state of affairs. Okay, maybe funny is not the right word. Let's try... ironic.

Little Bit O'Fun

This is how we should all start our day - just type in your name.

Thursday, November 4, 2004

Today's Fortune

You will be rewarded for being a good listener.
So tell me what you want me to hear. I'm listening.

Wednesday, November 3, 2004

Kid Conversation

TYLER: "Did you know only men use to be able to vote? They didn't even let women vote at one time."

ME: "Yes, women had to fight for the right to vote. Do you think woman should be able to vote?"

TYLER: rolls eyes and looks like I don't have a brain in my head - you know the look - "There has never been a woman president."

ME: "No, not yet. Maybe someday."

TYLER: "How old do you have to be to be the president?"

ME: "35"

TYLER: "You're not even old enough yet."

ME: "Nope."

TYLER: "If you were president you could meet with other presidents and kings and stop wars."

ME: "Honey, I will never be elected president."

TYLER: "Why? You could stop wars."

ME: "I'm not someone people would vote for. I'm not nice enough. Maybe you could be president when you grow up."

TYLER: ignores his mother once again to return to breakfast

Kid Conversation

DYLAN: "Who won the election?"

ME: "We don't know for sure yet but it looks like Bush won."

DYLAN: face crumbles in look of pain

Apology

I tried to keep my mouth shut in the political arena. I ignored the ads. I watched the debates but otherwise tried to keep politics at bay. We see how well that all worked out. I suddenly exploded with political blather.

It might have something to do with the kids' interest in the proceedings. The fact that they are talking about it and asking questions. Seems they already had their minds made up as to who should win. We don't even talk politics in front of them and we live in a very conservative area. I'm amazed at the convictions and insights of my children.

But my apology...

I am sorry to have succumbed to the talk. I didn't want to do it.

On the other hand - this is my blog. My, 'room of my own'. Let's hope I've spewed forth all the political talk and can get back to mindless links. Maybe I'll even manage to get the film developed from Halloween and post some pictures soon.

Kid Conversation

TYLER: "Did you know only men use to be able to vote? They didn't even let women vote at one time."



ME: "Yes, women had to fight for the right to vote. Do you think woman should be able to vote?"



TYLER: rolls eyes and looks like I don't have a brain in my head - you know the look - "There has never been a woman president."



ME: "No, not yet. Maybe someday."



TYLER: "How old do you have to be to be the president?"



ME: "35"



TYLER: "You're not even old enough yet."



ME: "Nope."



TYLER: "If you were president you could meet with other presidents and kings and stop wars."



ME: "Honey, I will never be elected president."



TYLER: "Why? You could stop wars."



ME: "I'm not someone people would vote for. I'm not nice enough. Maybe you could be president when you grow up."



TYLER: ignores his mother once again to return to breakfast

Kid Conversation

DYLAN: "Who won the election?"



ME: "We don't know for sure yet but it looks like Bush won."



DYLAN: face crumbles in look of pain

Fear

I was afraid to put on the news this morning. Actually afraid, to find out who won the election. Usually I wake up excited and expectant. Hoping my guy won. Hoping the rest of the country saw things the same way I did. Instead I woke in fear. Burrowing under the covers and hoping today would dawn bright. Fearing it wouldn't.

Several times this morning I thought I would cry. Tears came to my eyes and I forced them back telling myself this was not something to cry about. They are not tears for a loss but tears that sprout from fear of what is to come. I tell myself I must learn to live with the results. There is no alternative.

Tuesday, November 2, 2004

hmmm...

My fortune today:
For a good cause, wrongdoing may be virtous.
Interesting since it is election day.
BLUE, BLUE, BLUE
KERRY, KERRY, KERRY
Now go vote!

VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!

If you haven't yet
Go VOTE!
(unless you want to vote for the other guy,
then you can stay home in your jammies)

Monday, November 1, 2004

Fortune

My fortune on Friday should have read:
You are only part way on your journey to h-e-l-l.
more sh*t to follow...

Stop!

I want to get off - NOW.

MoMMY's Morning

6 am - hit clock

6:09 - hit clock

6:11 - try to convince child #1 to get ready on own

6:12 - promise to be downstairs by 6:25

6:25 - hear child coming upstairs

6:25 - jump out of bed, curse person who devised this early a.m. torture

6:25 - yell, "I'm on my way", thank god it's now light out

6:30 - empty dishwasher

6:50 - put child #1 on bus, no porch light necessary

6:51 - start coffee

7:00 - child #4 arrives downstairs

7:02 - child #4 begs for candy

7:04 - child #2 arrives downstairs

7:05 - try to explain to children why pumpkins are smashed

7:10 - still trying to empty dishwasher, feed children & get them clothed

7:16 - first sip of coffee, nectar of the gods

7:36 - child #3 arrives downstairs, thank god for Daylight savings - no dragging necessary

7:37 - child #3 begs for candy

7:37 - promise if he dresses, brushes teeth & eats breakfast he may have ONE piece

7:40 - explain to child #3 why pumpkins are smashed

7:43 - make children promise never to smash pumpkins when teens

7:50 - call heat & hot water guy about furnace, no heat

7:51 - furnace comes on for 1st time in 24 hours

7:52 - call guy back & tell him it is not an emergency

8:10 - guy comes to fix furnace, thank you god (or rather heat & hot water guy) - heat & hot water - YAY!

8:11 - kids ask if guy is moving in - he was here 2 weeks ago

8:19 - candy all round for children ready for school

8:20 - look for magnifying glass in bribery attempt at making child #2 PUT ON COAT

8:34 - children go outside and look for evidence in the Great Pumpkin Crime

8:50 - children #2 & 3 get on bus

8:51 - read e-mail

9:12 - throw on clothes

9:14 - take child #4 to preschool, WTF, pumkin guts gone

9:20 - arrive at school, abandoned upon entering building

9:36 - arrive home, more coffee...

9:37 - make dr's appt. for children #3 & 4, put on 'to do' list for later in day

9:42 - make hair appt for child #2 who is refusing to cut hair, a trim, just a trim

9:44 - start this blog entry

10:10 - finished, must go pay bills

ah... the bill for the new hot water heater


Friday, October 29, 2004

Little Bit O'Fun

Haven't had Chinese in a while?
Get your fortune here.
Post your fortune for my everyone's reading pleasure.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Eclipse

Got my picture of the eclipse already.



Thanks Cindy!

Red Sox

I'm convinced the eclipse had something to do with breaking the curse. Not sure why, but when I gazed up at the dark, red moon I knew they were winning. Well, to be fair, they were winning at that point but I knew they wouldn't screw it up. And let's be honest, going into the last pitch of the night they could have screwed it up. We are talking about the Red Sox. But, they didn't. So, YAY!




This image was "borrowed" from the NYTimes.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Lunar Eclipse

The coolest thing. Ever.

I was just outside. I just hope the pictures come out. Unfortunately, I haven't gone digital yet. And I had to put a new roll of film in the camera. It may be Christmas before we see the photos.

Red Sox

I'm not commenting on the game. Not saying a word...
until tomorrow.

This & That

I'm done playing with the design for now. I can't believe how long it took me to make a couple of simple changes to this thing. I really need to learn a bit more about web design. It still isn't great - but, it'll do. Any suggestions are welcome. Also, thoughts on what I've got working so far. Oh, and by the way, if anyone knows how to archive by category (besides date) in Blogger, PLEASE tell me. I'd love to have a way to click on say, 'Kid Quotes', and pull them all up at once.

Now...

As for the RED SOX...
Whooohoooo! Three games down. Go Red Sox! I can't be too cocky yet because of the whole Yankee series thing. It's never too late to lose until you've won. (so philosophical, aren't I) But I am happy for the Sox even if I can't watch much of the games. (It's that jinxing thing.)

Busy week and now the children have a 1/2 day. Not sure why the school even bothers. I have to get up at 6 a.m., the last to bus riders get on at 8:50, the last child has to be brought to school for a field trip at 9:45 (later than usual), then they all start coming home again at 11 or so. Actually, I'm not really sure what time they'll be coming home. Guess I should look into that. Then again, if I stay home it won't matter because I'll be here when the bus comes. Except... because of this field trip to the pumpkin patch my preschooler is getting back at 12:20. I believe the primary school bus comes at 12:30. There is NO WAY I can pick up and be home in time. ARGH! Guess I should check into all this.

Off to make some phone calls...


Monday, October 25, 2004

Kid Conversation

Setting: Riding in the car on Sunday

DYLAN: "Where is Alex?"

ME: "He's at his Hebrew tutor's."

DYLAN (laughing all over himself): "Oh, a tooter. Someone who teaches different ways to toot."

Little Bit O'Info

In case you haven't heard, go here.

Rushing Home

As I was driving home last night I was planning my explanation to the policeman in my head...

IMAGINARY POLICEMAN: "In a hurry ma'am?"

ME: "Well yes, I was just leaving my mother's where I was sewing the kids' Halloween costumes and I have to stop at my son's den leader's house to pick up some checks and orders for cub scout shirts so my husband can buy the stuff on his lunch break tomorrow and then I have to make it home in time to see Desperate Housewives and finish sewing the costumes." ~Big breath~

IP: "Let me give you an escourt ma'am. Don't want you to miss Desperate Housewives."

ME: "Thanks, but stop calling me ma'am."

IP: "Sorry ma'am. I mean er... young lady."

ME: "That's better."

Am I the only one who plans her excuses while speeding down the road?

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Bendo World

Bendos are The Best. Toy. Ever. Just wanted to let you all know.

Zach is at Jeff's office today while the older boys are in Sunday school. They brought the box of Bendos and Jeff just relayed Zach's Bendo world as it is today:

First, Super Dad defeated the dinosaurs with nothing more than his spatula. Why you ask? So he can make dino burgers. Then the zebra and elephant came after him. When Jeff mentioned to Zach that zebras and elephants are nice, he said, "Well these ones are MAAADD!!" When he asked him why they were mad, he said "cause he's trying to cook burgers remember?"

Now the child wants to know if God is in the snow. hmmm...




Whew!

That was close. Since I broke all superstitious tradition and gloated before the final score it got a bit too close for comfort. I really must learn to control myself. As soon as I started actually WATCHING the game, the Cards started scoring. I actually had to read a book and only allow myself to peek at the TV when there was much fuss being made. I mean really, what was I thinking? Things seemed to go better after that. The Cards stopped scoring and the Red Sox finally came back. No more direct watching of games. It's just too much of a risk. Guess it will be no problem watching Desperate Housewives tonight. It'll just give the Sox more time to score. (And I'm so loving that show!)

And while doing a search on Desperate Housewives I actually found this article. I can not believe some people! Please, if you don't like it, DON'T WATCH IT! I, an at-home-mother (in case you didn't realize), LOVE the show. It takes truth and spins it into fantasy. How can you not love the lines:

The husband in the hospital bed says, "You tried to kill me."

"Yes, and I feel badly about that," replies his perfectly coiffed wife.

IT'S FUNNY PEOPLE! As far as getting advertisers to pull their sponsorship on the grounds it is "portraying motherhood as a "worthless chore"." PLEASE! Every mom knows that it feels that way sometimes. We also know it's not worthless or we wouldn't be doing it. What are these people afraid of?

Apparently everything: American Family Association is a frightening group. I could find no mention of the TV show on their site but the show is put out there by Disney and although there are valid reasons for not liking Disney (mostly regarding the old movies where the girl gets saved by the prince & the mangling of many great books), most of what they list is... well, what is it? It amazes me. Let's just leave it at that. I can't believe people think like this. I must stop now before I have a complete coronary. Besides, it's time for me to finish the kids' Halloween costumes. (I've been trying to convince Tyler to be Harry Potter since he now has the hair for it but he wants to be a Ranger from The Lord of the Rings. Don't even know how to make that costume. All suggestions are welcome.)

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Keep Cheering!

It is now 9:34 p.m. EST.

It is also the top of the 4th inning in the 1st game of the World Series.

The score (I said THE SCORE people) is:

Cardinals - 2

RED SOX - 7

(yes, I said 7) Whohoo! Whohoo!

Friday, October 22, 2004

Kid Conversation

As I was getting Zach out of the tub the other night...


ME: "Time to get out."

ZACH: "Wait, they trapped the sea monster."

ME: "The sea monster?" seeing no sea monster in the tub

ZACH: "Yes, the wiener monster." (he is holding a toy boat over his "part")

ME: "Is that appropriate?" funny yes, appropriate, no

ZACH: "No. But that's its name, the wiener monster." Mommy leaving room to laugh quietly in private

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Helpful Hint

Quickest way to clean up the house:

Realize at 6 a.m. that you are watching a friend's child who is mobile and the words "choking hazard" still apply... in less then 3 hours.


Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Kid Quote

TYLER: "Ask the Plumber dude about cable."

Teach Me

This will teach me to complain about a lost pencil...

Just this afternoon I found out we need a new hot water heater. It is apparently 12 years old and when I asked how long these things are suppose to last I was told 12-15 years. Figures. I have no idea how much this will cost, how long it will take to be installed, or when the damn thing will be ordered/arrive. UGH!

Oh, and while printing I'm wondering why there is hardly any text on the page. It seems my printer ran out of black ink. (I must now drive 25 minutes away to get more. That means it will not happen before tomorrow.)

The good news...

Trip to Office Max tomorrow. Yay! (of course, I'll have no money after paying the heating & plumbing guy - who is my savior... he just walked in with the water heater!)

Why?

This seems corny but, I have a favorite pencil. I have bought extra erasers & lead for this pencil. I heart this pencil.

I couldn't find it so I bought another. Next thing I knew there were three. Apparent procreation.

Now I have none. I've searched everywhere.

I know if I go buy another the other 3 will show up. plus I really don't want to take the time to go to the store for a new one

Why does this happen? and if all of life's problems were only this minor

The Red Sox

Go Red Sox!
Go Red Sox!
Go!, Go!, Go!
Go Red Sox!
Go Red Sox!
Go! - Yah!
(DISCLAIMER: I never claimed to be a cheerleader)

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Magic 8 Ball

Since Cindy is asking me to fess up to my insecurities and reveal what I asked the all-knowing magic 8 ball, I suppose I have to. Besides, she is the teacher tomorrow and I want a good grade. (I still haven't sent the brownies with maple frosting to enhance my grade - or done my assignment. It's next on my to-do list, really!)
See, Cindy is trying to teach me about plot. Something I know very little about. (You'd think the gazillion books I've read would be helpful but it seems, no, not so helpful.) I know what a plot is. I just can't create a good one. God, I am so dull!

So here are my questions and the brilliant answers of the
8 ball...

  1. Will "the" editor (who I would so love to work with) ask to see rest of the mss - yes, definitely (I like that answer)
  2. Will I ever get a book published? - cannot predict now (Better than 'You've got to be kidding me')
  3. Should I quit writing now? - most likely (I think it may be time to take this to heart)
  4. Will I sign a book contract by the end of this year? - you may rely on it (did you pay attention to the last question?)
  5. Will I ever get the hang of plotting? - very doubtful (No kidding)
UPDATE: Now you have to tell me what YOU asked the magic 8 ball. Either post your questions/answers in comments or your url if you post them at your site.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Kid Conversation

Last night at 9:00 when he should have been sleeping...

ZACH (said without taking a breath): Um...Mommy said to come talk to you if I want to talk to someone. So I'm going to talk to you for a few minutes. How do snakes move?

A few minutes later:

ZACH: How do boogers get in your nose?

DAD: Germs get trapped in the little hairs in you nose and make boogers.

ZACH: Tell the truth.

Little Bit O'Fun

Must say I'm not really surprised at all...


Character

You're a Dialogue/Character Writer!


What kind of writer are you?

brought to you by Quizilla


Now for a little bit of fun...


Ask the Magic 8 Ball



Thank you Cindy!

Friday, October 15, 2004

Kid Conversation

Just now...

ZACH: "Why did the chicken cross the road?"

ME: "Why?" you must play along

ZACH: "To got to the other side. Was that funny?"

ME: "haha. That's funny." Okay, rough morning. I'm not sounding like I really think it's funny.

ZACH: "What is the play ground one?"

ME: I tell him the playground one.

ZACH: "Why did the chicken cross the playground?"

ME: "Why?" Have I mentioned, you must play along?

ZACH: "To get to the other slide. Haha! Did you get it? Slide sounds like side. Is that funny?"

ME: "Haha! Very funny." Sounding like it IS really funny because it is my favorite kid joke and he finally REALLY got it.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

So Then The Egg Says...

I saw this ad yesterday. It featured my husband. It's very strange to open a magazine is see your very own spouse staring back at you. Well, almost. It wasn't so much the photo of him (actually, it looked nothing like him) but the title that described him. The infinitely fertile man. That's him. That's my hubby.

If you've wondered why we had 4 kids in 5 1/2 years, well, this pretty much explains it. Seems not only is hubby fertile but so am I. (Never would have guessed, would ya?) Unlike the old comic with the giant egg and all the lines the sperm use to try to get in, my eggs have apparently put up signs showing the sperms the way. "Go this way." "Fun and good times await you." "You're almost there." "Any and all welcome to the party of a new life." And possibly even a bit of false advertising, "Free beer and complete control of the remote - this way!"

Now I know what you're thinking. No really, I do. Have you ever heard of birth control? Yes, we have. Yes, we used it. Some of it. See although I get pregnant at the mere mention of babies (yes, really, it's happened) I am not a good candidate for the controlling of such things. The hormones make me quite manic-depressive. One month of that and my not-yet-hubby said he'd take his chances. After my first son was born the doctor explained there are something like 300 kinds of pill on the market, we just needed to find the right one. Sounds easy enough. Whoohoo! We have a solution. Surely one of them will work. He sent me home with a bag of samples.

What he didn't mention is you must take each one for 3 months to give it time to regulate. Unfortunately, the part that makes you a raving lunatic or have your period every other week starts right away. After 6 months we realized this was no life. The potential for scaring the baby was much too high. We couldn't risk it any more.

So I researched. Did you know someone can be allergic to spermicide? Well, they can. Let's just say it's less than pleasant and leave it at that.

The doctor refused the new IUD, told me I'd have to find another doctor if I insisted then proceeded to tell me why.

Okay, what's left? Condoms. Plain old condoms. We can do that. I believe it's been mentioned they are only 99% effective. That little 1%. That 1 out of every 100 times. Sounds like a great statistic until you break it down.

We started to do a bit of family planning around the time Alex turned one. Nine months sounded like a good time to start trying. They'd be about 2 1/2 years apart. Good distance. Of course, it could take time. Maybe even a year. Well, what's meant to be will be. Two weeks later the test came back positive. So much for planning.

This repeated itself when Tyler was around 16 months old. We knew the day exactly. The one time we hadn't been careful. People kept asking if we knew how this happened. Does it seem odd I'd occasionally want to stab my hubby in the eye with a condom wrapper when imagining the possible results of his being within 5 feet of me?

The time came. Hubby decided it was time for a permanent solution. The deal had been, if we decide we're done while I'm pregnant than I'd get the deed done. After all, although I seem to be designed for breeding (easy ~read slutty~ eggs, big healthy babies and enough milk to feed an entire nursery) mother nature forgot one thing. The kids couldn't get out. Nope. No way out. I forget the technical title but it came down to little, tiny pelvis, big giant headed babies. Disproportionate something or other. (Something the doctor assured me almost never happened - no need to worry. Ya, right.) Where was I? Oh, so in the course of the c-section, I would be "fixed". If we decided when I was not with child, hubby would go under the knife. After all, I was not about to go through surgery AGAIN, it was his turn.

Hubby made the appointment. I came to terms with the fact that this was it. No more kids. Ever. Never ever. Okay. The 5 of us were a family. This was it. I lost 30 pounds. Circled the day in bright red pen. We were careful. VERY careful. We were happy with the decision. He had his surgery. But wait...

(You knew there was more. I do have 4 kids.)

Three weeks later I was late. For the 4th time in my life. The test came back positive. When Zach was born, I too, had the chance of bearing more life taken away. My body couldn't handle more pregnancies and the scar tissue was building. Now we like think we are safe from infinitely fertile man. Of course everyone tells us of a story where some couple in our situation still got pregnant. I don't live in fear most of the time. But now and then... I worry. Not because each child is is not a gift, they are. But because that would mean I'd never be safe and I wouldn't need the birth control pills to send me flailing over the edge of insanity.


Wednesday, October 13, 2004

I'm Almost Back

Between nasty head colds (mine & Ty's) and hay rides, cub scout picnics and gymnastic lessons, sunday school and den meetings, birthdays and ear piercings (Dylan's), hives and dr's appts (also Dylan's) - I've been a bit busy. The amount of baking, and driving alone has been immense. Coupled with the fact I just want to sleep has left me little time to blog. I plan on getting back on track tomorrow. See you all then!

Happy Birthday Dylan!

Just wanted to wish my Dyllybean a

HAPPY 6th BIRTHDAY!
here he is with his new earrings (he had both done)...

and a close-up...

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Eeek!

This may be too funny for words and yet scarier than the mold around my tub…

The first person to link to my insanity post was from the U.s. Dept. Of Health And Human Services.

Eeek!


Friday, October 8, 2004

International Very Good Looking Damn Smart Woman's Day

Today is International Very Good Looking Damn Smart Woman's Day, so please send this message to someone you think fits this description. Please do not send it back to me as I have already received it from a Very Good Looking Damn Smart Woman!

Good motto to live by:

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming ~ WOOHOO what a ride!"

Thanks to my cousin Karen for sending this to me. Perfect, just perfect!

My Journey to the Edge of Insanity

This is my October Blogging for Books entry. This month's theme: Insanity. The instructions were: "For this Blogging for Books, write about a time you were pushed to the brink of insanity (figuratively or literally), and how you lived to tell the tale."

I was on the brink of insanity.

For real.


I had just had a baby.

By c-section.

My fourth.

In five and a half years.

I was packing up to move.

The children were unpacking faster.


My husband was at work all day.

I was home with the children.

The ones who were unpacking.

The one attached to my nipple.


My hormones were raging.

I was crying.


My mom lived six hours away.

Eight if you’re traveling with kids.


The good news:

Our bid on a bigger house was accepted.


The bad news:

Complications in the deep dark recesses of our basement were holding the proceedings up.


The worst news:

We were going to be homeless for two weeks.

I have blocked out why.

It was that bad.


What I did:

I threw random clothes into a couple of suitcases.

I encouraged the older children to pack for themselves (they were 5 and 3).

I threw the bags into the car.

Some diapers.

A few sippy cups.

Where are the damn wipes?

Who cares?


I told my husband I would be home when we had a place to live.

I left at bedtime.

I cried most of the way.

I drove across the state.

Then another.

No pee breaks.

One stop to nurse.

Onward.

To my mommy.


My husband had to pack up the house and move it into our new garage.

By himself.

After work each night.

He stayed with his dad.

He called and spoke to the children and I every night.


After two weeks I got the call.

We were closing on the house.

We could move in two days before.

We had a place to sleep.

The kids’ beds would be set up.

We could come home.


The day of the closing I sat there with a baby on my lap.

The boys running around the room.

The lawyer smiled as he told me how my husband called him every day and demanded resolution.


Jeff wanted his family back.

He wanted us back now.

Why? I’m not too sure.

We were less than pleasant to be around and we carry the official title of circus.


The things that brought me back from the edge?

My mom’s calming hand.

My husband’s desire to have us back.

A house to live in.

My sister-in-law’s help with the boys when I needed it the most.


(Without her we would still be living out of boxes four years later.)
And time.


It's hard to write this in more of a storybook way. It was hard. I really thought I was losing my mind. I was disconnected. I was not at all sure I would not end up in a padded room where the children would be brought to visit.


“Say hi to Mommy.”

“Go give her a hug.”

“No really, it’s okay. She won’t hurt you.”

“It’s really Mommy.”

“I know she looks bad. She’s going to get better.”

“We’ll come back soon.”


Blog Housekeeping

I'm been trying to think of something witty to entertain you all but that's obviously putting too much pressure on me. Besides, to be honest, we all know I'm not all that witty to begin with. Nor clever. Or heartrending. I'm just me.

I'm sure you've all noticed the ads to the right of the page. Yes, I've been reduced to advertising. I've decided it can't hurt and maybe it will bring in some cash. Then again, probably not. But we'll see how annoying it is and go from there. It is sort of fun to see what products they put up depending on my posts. That alone raises the amusement factor. Swim lessons in Texas anyone? Maybe if it wasn't thousands of miles away! Okay, now you all know my sense of humor is a sad, sad affair.

I've also decided to venture into the Blogexplosion realm. Trying to up my traffic. Not sure why. Ego I suppose. See if I can retain any new viewers. I will say that while browsing blogs I was amazed at the amount of drivel out there. My God! I've been feeling all insecure lately while reading incredibly talented people write these funny, entertaining blogs. Apparently, I just have found the cream of the crop because so much out there sucks! Unfortunately, my ego is taking a battering lately. Mostly self-imposed. And this knowledge is not making me feel any better. If you're here from blogexplosion - please, go rate my blog or leave a comment here. Then I'll know how you really feel.

One last thing, I've decided to enter the Zero Boss's Blogging for Books this month. My first foray into this arena. The topic is a time when you were on the brink of insanity. I happen to have had a time when I thought a padded room was soon to be my new home. And I wrote about it. I've read a couple of the other entries. Very sad tales. Mine, not sad, but hopefully a good read. Then again maybe just an exercise in writing. Anyway, I'll try to post it later today.

[UPDATED: Almost forgot, Kira's question from the other day. I had to wait a bit before answering because the week wasn't over yet. There's always the chance something else wonderful or bad will happen in the next day or two but for now: my best & worst of this week. (I will say, it's been a quiet week.)

The Best: Hearing how the teachers love my kids at open house last night and how excited they are to be teaching. So glad the kids have enthusiastic teachers. Oh, and the outfit Zach came up with the other day. I MUST get a picture of that one to post.

The Worst: Getting a form reject yesterday from an editor on one of my picture book manuscripts. So now you know some of my other failures. (along with the bad mom awards I've been winning)]

Wednesday, October 6, 2004

Too Funny

I try to avoid political discussion because, honestly, I get too upset. But this post over at Cursingmama's put me in hysterics.

It seems that whomever owns the domain of factcheck.com has quite a sense of humor. As for factcheck.org... what I'm guessing is too much traffic, is making it very difficult to load.

Questions

First, I figured out what happened with the people who couldn't see the new posts. I messed something up the other day on my home page but I fixed it this a.m. So, hello again to everyone who has been away.

And now for the questions (great questions by the way, THANK YOU, no need for me to cry now)...

From Carmen:

1. 24 hrs. to myself - sleep, read a book, sleep, watch a movie, read another book.

2. Christmas - no idea, do you have any thoughts on this?

3. Hardest part of having lots of kids - not enough time to spend 1-on-1 with them, they can't do as many activities. I'd say time and $$. I know you didn't ask but, the best part is they have each other & it's fun.

4. Coffee - 2 Splenda & lots of milk. (coffee must be strong to support all of it though)

5. Breakfast - 2 cups of coffee, that's usually it.

From CursingMama:

1. One wish, have to be greedy - hmmm... extreme home makeover

2. Sworn in front of the kids - hell yes... oops.

3. Sworn at the kids - Does, "Get your ass over here." count? I didn't scream it in a rage but said it to get the older ones' attention (twice).

4. What did I say - Let's see... ass (as mentioned above), damn (a lot), hell, I think I once said shit. Maybe I should be called CursingMama.

From Clare:

1. Alex & Tyler bunking together - We put them in the same room when I was 2 months pregnant. Tyler was 18 months and moving from the crib to the big boy bed. They loved it. No bribing necessary.

From Ty:

You are right - straight to hell.

1. The 2 trains would most likely have to travel on the same track because I have never seen more than one set of tracks traveling the same path for long distances. SO, they could not leave at the same time and arrive at the same time. One would derail and many people would die.

2. Not sure why the rectangle is growing. Makes me a bit nervous. Must go eat banana bread.

3. The car is driving WAY over the speedlimit. You didn't give me the exact time spent waiting on the side of the road while getting a ticket so I can't do the calculations.

From Cath:

1. Any more children - NO

2. girl? - would have been nice but now I'm hoping for a niece

From BJC:

1. Life w/out kids - I have no idea. I really wanted kids. I hope I would've had a rockin' career in the art/writing world. The problem is, I'd have no inspiration to write kids' books w/out the boys.

2. Without a computer - crouched in the corner, mumbling to myself & swatting at imaginary flies.

You all are welcome to submit more questions. This was fun and enlightening for me as well as you. Thanks to everyone for the thoughtful questions. What food do you all want? (We ate the banana bread already - but I'll make more.)