Thursday, December 31, 2009

Good-bye 2009, you were an evil bitch

Happy New Year everyone! I hope that it was happy and safe for all of you. My Proud family celebrated in style. Well, we celebrated at any rate. I fell asleep while putting my 17 month old down, and my husband woke me up at 11:30 so that I wouldn't miss out. My 7 and 9 year old held out until the final 10 minutes, and then, they too crashed.

The adults toasted the new year in with Bitch bubbly, my oldest managed to polish off two bottles of sparkling cider. My husband is stumbling around upstairs, completely shit faced. Which, I find funny as all get out, as he is the one who never overindulges. He had a Jack and coke earlier, and that coupled with a flute of sparkling wine has been his undoing.

Speaking of that Jack, I went into the liquor store today to make this all important, because I still have egg nog left, purchase. There was a new kid at the register, and he asked for my ID, which I had left in the car. I told him that I'd be right back, but, he said, "oh, that's okay, I really didn't look at you before I asked." Dude! I almost responded with, "would your mother be flattered by that?" However, in a moment of unusual insight, I was able to shut my mouth and cut my losses.

Now that hubby is sleeping, I am going to finish the rum cake, and polish off a bit more egg nog. 2009 was a bitch, so, here is to a much improved 2010! *draining the remainder of the Bitch!*

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Confessions...randomly

My children get quite the musical education in my house. Tonight for example, I've been in a Frank Zappa mood, and Jewish Princess and Catholic Girls are my two favorite Zappa songs. These are NOT songs that you would want your children to sing, but, my children hear them now and again.

Further proof of their musical education and my maternal failures, is my ring tone. My current ringtone was gifted to me, ???????????????. *To the person who sent this gift...thanks...you really know how to cheer a girl up* I hurry to answer my phone before my ringtone embarrasses me, which worked up until my three year old started belting out the rest of the lines, starting with, "busted for possession of my wizard shaped bong...," at the top of his lungs to complete the verse.

Other lyric hints, so amaze me, and name this song...
"I think they moved out to the suburbs
And now they're blonde, bland, middle-class Republican wives
They all have blonde, bland, middle-class Republican children
Blonde, bland, middle-class Republican lives..."


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I constantly worry about drinking too much. I do drink. Often. It has been a part of my life for damn near as long as I can remember. My mother is Italian, as a little girl, my wine was mixed with water or sprite at dinner. When I was (several years) older, my mother often had an icy mug of beer and a slice of pizza to greet me after school.

Americans do NOT drink in the same manner to which I accustomed. I am an American. I worry about this. Not so much in a, "I think I might have a drinking problem," kind of way, but, rather, in a, "I ought keep my daily drink, or two, or three, under wraps," as I doubt most of the people I know would find it socially acceptable.

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Today I took the kids to see The Squeakquel (sp?) which I found frigging hysterical. First, I love David Cross, he rocked in Arrested Development, and he is an amazingly gifted comedian. Secondly, that shit was just funny. If you didn't laugh, you've got issues.

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Okay, off to watch reruns of The Nanny...

There is yours, and then, there is MINE!

I despise, abhor, loathe having to share my bed with my husband. Yes, I said it. I have no shame. What I *do* have is a queen size bed that simply isn't big enough. After a regular weekend home, I wave good-bye to my spouse and watch him drive away from my bedroom window, then, to cheer myself up, I stretch out, all by myself on the bed and think, "mine...you're all mine!"

My husband has now been occupying the small amount of mattress that usually belongs to me, for the last 7 nights. I just might lose my shit over this. It isn't enough that I'm tired, achy, and sore. No, I have to listen to my husband on top of it all. "Down South I have three big pillows. I'm not used to having to sleep like this. I don't have to share my bed down South with all these kids and dogs. Down South, nobody has to change the sheets in the middle of the night because the toddler wets the bed." Blah, blah, blah, etc.

Do I say, "up here, I don't usually sleep like a pretzel. Up here,I don't typically put the toddler to bed without a pull-up. Up here, I get to hog the dog to keep me warm. Up here, it's MY F#*KING BED! STFU about how good you usually have it and quit your bitching!" No, I don't say those things, but, at three in the morning when he wakes me up to complain about how crowded the bed is, I really *really* want to.

Now, I'm sure that when my hubby leaves, I'll miss him terribly. There is no doubt that I'll be sad when he goes. I'm pretty darn sure that laying on my bed, making 'clean linen angels' will cheer me up immensely though. The added bonus of being able to make clean linen angels on *my* bed, on the last Sunday of regular football season, while holding my newly repossessed remote control, and drinking my good beer...is enough of a fantasy for me to see a break in the clouds and hear the angels sing, through my current fog of abnormally sleep deprived irritability.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Pass the wipes

The Little Lady: Da-da, I got poop.

Hubby: What?

TLL: Poop!

Hubby: Baby, what are you saying?

TLL: [patting herself on her diapered bottom, two inches away from Hubby's face] I GOT POOP! POOP! GOT THAT? POOOOOOoooooooop!

*I was already laughing at the link Suburban Correspondent posted, but, this was classic!*

Hubby: [after diaper change] I didn't know she could talk!

Christmas, Christmas, and more Christmas


My children on Christmas morning

We had a lovely Christmas, and I sincerely hope that all of you did too. Some of us (Hubby, I'm talking about YOU) were very grumpy and irritable, but, the day was a success overall. I actually got a couple of hours of sleep on Christmas Eve, which was a pleasant change from years past. The children did not get get up at oh-damn-dark-thirty, which was also a pleasant change. I suspect this had quite a bit to do with them having found my stash of gifts his year, I suppose it is easier to wait when you already know what you are getting.

I think LB was excited about this one...
We had a pretty conservative Christmas this year. It was nice though, the children were all pretty happy, and there wasn't any palpable disappointment. After presents, it was time to get ready to go to my Grandparents' house for Christmas dinner and round 2 of gift exchanges. I had some cooking to do before we left. I had agreed to bring two sides and a dessert, and while I had grand plans,the final choices were creamy brussels sprouts, sweet potato casserole, and peanut butter chocolate ice cream pie. I only spent a couple of hours in the kitchen.
Jelly Belly on Christmas morning at Nana's house

Christmas dinner was probably wonderful, I wouldn't know, because I didn't really get any. Watching babies means that you're the last to eat, and I had a slice of tenderloin, a scoop of potatoes, and a cup of fruit salad. My husband, who ate before our children said that I really missed out. *Dear, I hope you are reading!*


My father letting the baby chew on his empty bottle that I made him rinse out, because I'm such a "pain in the ass."
My grandmother has a very large family, and thus we were just shy of 30 people. It was crazy, but, crazy in a wonderful way. I hope that one day, my own home will be just like that. Opening gifts took forever and a year, but, the children were so excited that the time flew by.

The Little Lady checking out her present


Hercules taking a moment to look at his present
We went outside to play with my daughter's new frisbee, and of course, I found a dog running loose. This is the fifth dog that I have found in 2009. Is that number normal? Have any of you found several animals running loose over the course of the year? Something that really struck me, is how ridiculous people are about dogs. Seriously, we are going to freak out over a French Bulldog...that plays fetch and licks toddlers with gleeful abandon? Maybe I'm just crazy, but, it is usually apparent to me what type of demeanor an animal has, and while I respect animals, I don't fear them, especially one that weighs under 30 pounds. Anyhoo, the rightful owner was eventually found.


The girls watching the frisbee game (am I the only one bothered by my daughter's dress being around her waist?)

My older children spent Christmas night with our various relatives. My oldest spent the night with my father at his hotel, JB and LB spent the night with my aunt. I was too tired to fuss over them leaving my nest on Christmas. The three babies fell asleep on the way home from my grandmother's house and then they were up well past midnight. Ugh!

The Big Boy

Yesterday, I just felt terrible. Sore, achy, grumpy. I decided to give myself a little Christmas present, and I went to get a massage. Hello! If you all haven't done this...do it! I feel like a million bucks. An hour during which I did nothing but relax. I was skeptical that I would be able to lie still for an hour without dieing of boredom, but, I could have stayed much longer. The massage therapist commented that she had never before seen knots like the ones in my neck...YA THINK!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

Tonight I am tired. I am trying to be a good girl and a good elf. I would really like a new toilet auger for Christmas, the deluxe variety, 'cause I've been a really good girl this year. Another day I will write another letter, about how I used to wish for things like diamonds, and how my heart's desires have changed over the years, to finally morph into auger lust. I don't think I could sink any lower, so please remind me after true senility sets in, not to ask you to fill my stocking with things like ex-lax.

Sincerely,

Mommy Elf #13,875,865,101

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

She says tomato, and he says toe-mah-toe

My children are native Floridians, all of them. As a result, our internal thermometers run on different scales. I have a 'hot' meter and they have a 'cold' meter. I believe that anything over 60, is cause for a tee shirt. They believe that anything under 75 is a reason to haul out gloves, hats, and scarves. I tend to throw a blanket over the baby carrier when it gets chilly, other mothers have their tiny offspring in ski suits.

Last night the gloves came off, well, not literally, one of my children wore hers to bed. Figuratively though, the gloves came off. I put my foot down. The night before, I agreed to up the thermostat from 69 to 71. After many tears and watching my children fumble with breakfast forks in their gloved hands, I agreed to turn it up to 72. The day was fine. A few of my children removed their earmuffs. Another couple shed their scarves. All seemed to be well, and although I had to change into a tee shirt, I was also happy.

Then night fell. My children appeared at my bed. Four little bodies covered from head to toe with every article of cold weather clothing we own, and one having shed his pajamas, wearing only a diaper. One in a leather jacket and ski cap, another wearing a cap and a scarf, another in her jacket and gloves, with a sweatband pulled down over her ears, the baby in an older sibling's cast off jacket. They were a pathetic bunch, all huddled together for warmth.

The lot of them though, didn't amass enough heat to thaw my frozen heart. So, they slept on my bed, dressed as described above, with every single one of their blankets over them, and my comforter on top of all. I slept in the recliner downstairs, because I was frigging dieing of the damn heat.

Next year they want us to take them to my sister's house for Christmas so they can see real snow. Yeh, I'm sure that would be a success!


All I want for Christmas...

Welcome 'Holiday Crunch Time' it is so nice to see you again. I work well under pressure, provided I don't crack, so this narrow margin until Christmas, should serve as the impetus I need to finish my shopping, decorating, and cleaning.

Today we need to go to the mall. I broke yet another freaking bra, so I have to go squander some funds at Victoria's. I also have to go buy myself a Christmas present from my husband. I have been tasked with this job by the man himself. He said he felt badly that I didn't have anything under the tree last year...and this is how he solves that dilemma. *sigh*

I have considered making a fake gift certificate for a breast augmentation, wrapping it in a box, and giving THAT to me from him at my grandmother's on Christmas. I think it would be fun. Then, I'll get a new tattoo with my Christmas money. Which will annoy my husband greatly, which is the only reason I haven't had another done. Go ahead and tell me how tacky, cheesy, cheap, and gauche (spelled, gosh the first time...crap I'm tired) tattoos are. I assure you, I've heard it all before. I love mine, and have wanted to have more work done for the longest. Will I regret it one day? Probably. There is very little I don't have regrets about, so, if/when the time comes, I feel I'll be well equipped to handle it.

Anywhoo, the house will be a flurry of activity between now and when my husband arrives on Christmas Eve. So glad that he'll be here in time to help. *Please tell me that you all could hear the sarcasm dripping from my words over the Internet?* Today's activities include baking and assembling a gingerbread house, and GFCF gingerbread cookies for H to decorate. I failed at finding a GFCF dough that wouldn't crumble when used as a building material. On the plus side, I ate gingerbread cookie dough for breakfast.

Time to try to find clothes warm enough to take my kids out in, the cold has finally hit Florida!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Men...WTF are they thinking?


Hubby: Um, I was looking at your pictures on Facebook. There aren't that many of you. Why is that?

Me: Because I'm always behind the camera.

Hubby: Well, um...I was trying to find a picture of you to show the new guy at work. The only one I could find, is of you laying down with your eyes closed.

Me: Huh? Oh, yeah. That was at the indoor playground, BB took a picture of me panting at the top of the slides. He was so proud of me, that was why I put it on there.

Hubby: Um, well, Mike...the new guy at work, pointed something out.

Me: What?

Hubby: Have you, um, had something done?

Me: What do you mean done?

Hubby: I think that you're bigger than you used to be.

Me: [said with as much pissy-ness as possible] Okay...he said I was fat. Why are you sharing? Did you think this would make me feel good?

Hubby: No, not fat. [uncomfortable mumbling] Your, um, chest. Your chest is kind of big. I don't, um, remember you being big there.

Me: Some guy you work with asked you about my tits? WTF? Why are you sharing again?

Hubby: Well, he did. I'm calling though, because I just wanted to know if you had, you know...something done?

Me: [gales of hysterical laughter] You think that alone, with six kids, without time to have my hair cut, my nails done, or even to sleep...you think that I found a way to have breast augmentation surgery? [laughing still]

Hubby: [long pause] So, is that a no?

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So, tell me, my one and only male reader...is it normal for a man (men) to comment on the attributes of their wives, or lack there of? There is a bloggy pal of mine out there pondering a similar question too.

Where I babble without any point at all

I am exhausted today, and it is all my fault. I stayed up last night to watch Dallas play the Saints. I really hadn't planned to watch the whole game, but the touchdown Austin scored on our first possession hooked me. I must say, Dallas dominated the first half of the football game. Then in the second half, we did what Dallas is prone to...pissing away a large point margin, like we did last season when we played the Steelers. However, we sacked Brees for the fourth time (?...by my count) with 12 seconds left on the clock and clinched the game, 24-17. Go Cowboys! Let's stay in the Super Bowl hunt, and let's also find a new kicker. *End of excited football babble....I'm so happy!*

I was pumped after the game and couldn't sleep, I tend to take these things very personally. So, I watched a couple of hours of The Nanny reruns on Nick. I do declare, that was one of the best sitcoms ever, and my personal favorite. I loved Charles Shaugnessy on Days of Our Lives, and I loved him even more as Maxwell Sheffield. What? None of you remember Charles Shaugnessy on Days of Our Lives? I was the only child ordered to watch daytime television and then report the happenings of John and Marlena to her mother after her nap? *sigh* I had suspected that this might be true.

It was a most enjoyable night for me. Until I went to bed. I shared my queen size bed last night with five of my children, one dog, and one cat. The way my back feels now, I suspect I might be in traction by mid afternoon. I hope not though, because I need to go to the store. I am out of winter rations. My cupboards are bare of egg nog, Jack, cider, and beer that doesn't suck...and there are a few teams playing today that I'll be rooting against, so I'll need (want) a few of my favorite things.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

And the Holidays are off!

The children with their Aunt S and Uncle P.




My sister and my brother in law came for a visit. They arrived on Thursday and left this morning. It was a very special treat for all of us. They live in the D.C. area, so we don't get to see them very often. This year we were blessed to have been able to see them twice, once over Labor Day and again now, before Christmas. Of course, as they came to visit, I had to make at least the common living areas of my home presentable for company. I won't lie, it was a chore. Which leads me to the reason that we are going to ring in the new year with a cleaning service. I. Give. Up. I can't do it all, and the cleaning is the first thing that I'm going to outsource.

My sis and her hubby spoiled my children mercilessly. Me too, truth be told. They brought all the children toys, and then then hauled out a big box...with a PlayStation3. I'd say that it is fair to declare that they, "saved Christmas this year." This was a year that I had downsized quite a lot. Each of my children are getting 3-4 presents and that is all. Last year was the year for making dreams come true, this year was going to be a small affair. That is, until their loving aunt and uncle came to visit.

My brother in law is the quiet type, but, very kind. He set up the game system, handed out two wrapped games for the children, and then came back in from the car with a bag full of games that he had also brought for them.

Then yesterday, they left to go to Best Buy. They were my hero types and finished my Christmas shopping for me, by picking up the two items that I had yet to buy for the Christmas gift exchange at my grandparents' house. When they returned, they also had an HDMI cable so that the kids would be able to game in HD. Sweet, huh?

We had a small dinner yesterday and incorporated a little birthday party for my now 12 year old son. I gave him G-Force on Blu-ray, so that we could check out the new and better graphics on the PS3. It really was like night and day. I also found a great reason to miss my husband. I am not a grilling queen, to my other half's grilling king. I really wish that he had been here to help with dinner, which was comprised of New York strip, roasted sweet potatoes, corn, and peas. I am veggies, and he is meat, and THAT is how it should stay.

Soon, I shall be deaf, thanks to the yelling in my living room because of the Madagascar competition on the new game system. Good thing my husband is bringing a new television home with him. *Son, if you read this post...do NOT spill the beans, got it?*

That's all folks...and it really wasn't much of anything.

Update: Today the Baby Girl cut her first tooth!!! This is very, very exciting. If she could do something other than shriek, moan, and gnaw at my hands, I'm sure that I could muster as much enthusiasm for this milestone as her siblings have.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What got flushed when I wasn't looking

Yesterday, my grandparents gave my 3 year old and my 1 year old a potty chair. It is one of those 'real' potty chairs that flush, talk, sing, and light up. I saw this potty chair when out 'potty' shopping and I decided against it. I thought that it might be a bad idea to give a child a receptacle for their bodily waste that masquerades as a toy. But, what do I know? My grandparents raised eight kids, and I've never heard stories about them playing with their feces, so I figured we would give it a try.

Well, the potty is an instant hit. We are all singing the 'toilet paper' song that it plays, because, it is quite catchy. My children are vying to be the next one on the potty. I have spent my day playing mediator. "H, you just 'used' the potty. Now, it is TLL's turn."

Don't be fooled though, the only thing that has gone down that toilet today, is my life. That's right, at some point,while navigating the politics of sharing potty chairs, that fake flusher sucked my 'real' life out of that pretend bowl, and THIS is what I'm left with.

"I'm too big, look at me, I can use my own pot-tee, and I'm soooooo proud..."

Monday, December 14, 2009

Weekend fun and the pictures that haunt me of holidays past and present



Last year's impromptu Christmas picture with Santa came out okay, but, for the 'real' Christmas pictures, Hercules managed to get a shiner a couple of days before, and then, fall and cut his eye in the waiting room of the picture studio. Then, at Easter, his arm was in a cast. This year, H hit my oldest daughter in the face before pictures, as you can see...




These were all at Whole Foods, everyone but H (3) and TLL (1) loved the Santa there. At least the baby was awake to see Santa this past weekend...

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My aunt took my seven year old and my nine year old Friday night, I had Santa plans on Saturday, but, she sweetened the pot when she asked if they could go, by agreeing to meet Santa and taking my three year old home with her from there. So, I said, "oh my goodness, yes, please, of course!"

Yesterday she called me flustered at noon. I told her that I just put the babies down for a nap and that I would pick the kids up as soon as the babies woke up. She calmed down and agreed. At three, my baby girl was still sleeping, my aunt called back sounding even worse. I agreed to leave immediately, but, before I could get both babies into car seats, she called back, "we'll bring the kids to you," was all she said.

So, they were here in record time. Turns out that my aunt, my uncle, and their daughter-in-law, took them to Chuck E. Cheese, and then to eat in a restaurant. I nearly fell out laughing. We *never* take Hercules to a restaurant. Why, I wondered, would one ever try? Three adults and two older children to help run interference, and he still kicked their asses! Bwahahahahaha! I am terribly certain that my aunt won't be offering me any more respite any time soon.

As far as the rest of the weekend went, we missed breakfast on Saturday because my oldest was adamant that he wanted to sleep in, so I let him. When he woke up and saw the time, he hated me for it. I was, "the worst mother in the whole wide world." because I listened to him. We did make the visit with Santa, which was worth it because the mall Santa was really not very jolly and the Santa at Whole Foods was awesome. The best part though was the snow machine they had in front of the store, my kids loved it, for five of them, this was the only 'snow' they had ever seen.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Whine, wine, and football

The babies are all asleep and now we're on my time here at 'My Husband Is Chilling At His Community Hot Tub Right Now Casa' and I'm listening to Syleena Johnson on my son's new computer speakers. I got them for him for his birthday, and they are SWEET! Four speakers and a subwoofer, and this shit sounds sweeter than my first stereo. Love it!!!! *Mommy was thinking only of you when she bought them Baby!*

I am also drinking wine. Copious amounts by the time I head off to bed, because tomorrow I am taking the kids to breakfast (outdoors, where my native Floridian children will bitch and moan about the cold...pussies) and then to another 'Santa' photo op. As a Catholic, I need to feel like I am making penance for my sins when we do awesome stuff like I have planned, and what better way to feel punished than to embark upon such a day with a hangover?

The wine itself is penance. What I expected for $4.19 a bottle, I know not. What I can tell you is that I would (almost) NEVER pay retail for this crap. I am so gifting a bottle of this to our landlord this Christmas , even if I have to pay retail for it.



I am pretty sure that I have screwed up my kiddos. Upon hearing Charlie Daniels, they scoff at the cheap knock off of David Alan Coe's "The Devil Went Down To Jamaica."

Did anyone else see the Steelers and Browns? OMG, my outlook on life has completely turned around after last night! As a Dallas fan, I finally feel vindicated after last season's match-up. The grudge will wear on longer than the ecstasy over Big Ben losing more yards than he gained last night, I am sure...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Kids are the coolest

Before you say what you're thinking, I know, posting multiple times in a day is lame. I know, and I'm sorry, because I think this post ought to be shared. First, it puts in perspective my usual grump (and many of yours) about having to share our beds with lots of little people with flailing limbs. Just today, I woke up so sore that I took Advil before I made coffee, unprecedented, I know. The post also reminded me to count my blessings, of which I have many, many, as opposed to concentrating on my problems, of which, there are admittedly more than usual just now. The story told by this very lucky mommy encompasses the true spirit of the holidays and of giving, and I thought that it was beautiful. I hope that you guys will too, and that you'll leave a comment on her blog, because those are some very special children she has, and they should know how much the adults admire their sense of giving this holiday season.



Click here.

Parenting failures and grand plans

Today has started off well. We lost power at some point during the night, therefore our sleep wasn't interrupted by any pesky alarms this morning. It also means that the kids missed the bus, which wouldn't have been a big deal, except for my truck which is acting up, and not available to make school runs. The alternative to driving the kids to school, would have been walking the kids to school, which would have been a four mile walk for Hercules. Yeah, no thanks. So, the kids are home today.

Well, since the kids are home today, I am not going to lose any opportunities here. We are launching a massive cleaning campaign today. The house *will* be ready for the maid service to start on Monday. I will be working them hard today. I will be working hard today. We have much ground to cover in the next week before my sister arrives. Which brings me to great news, my sister and her husband will be stopping by to see us for a couple of days next week to celebrate the holidays. Before they arrive however, there is much work to be done around my humble abode. You see, given the small space, in conjunction with the many bodies, my house is usually bursting at the seams without any additional company. So, I try (hard) not to have to entertain often. For this reason, I am a bit panicked about the visit.

In order to invite maximum stress upon myself and set goals like the overachiever I used to be, before my sister and brother in law arrive, we are hanging new shelves in the upstairs bedroom. We are also painting. I intend to get the whole house painted, but, in a pinch, I'll settle for the downstairs and the wall we'll be hanging shelves on. That is doable in a week, right?

Then there is the subject of presents. What does one get for her sister and BIL who are making plans to spoil her children rotten? Suggestions anyone? Please? I am looking for something sentimental, rather than costly, but, I am fresh out of anything that might be considered an idea.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Need Hazmat gear

Today was NOT a potty training success. My son has peed in a box of Christmas ornaments. Then he peed in a bag of clean pull ups. The icing on the cake, must have been pooping on my bed, and then wiping his butt on my bedroom window. I am so sick of cleaning up the bodily fluids of others, I can't even begin to tell you.

Each and every time I leave my son to attend to my other children, he wreaks havoc on my house. Unfortunately, the alternative is to let my babies starve or sit in dirty diapers...and so he knows he has me. All he has to do is wait, with that opportunistic gleam in his eye, and wait he does.

I do realize that I have said this before, and often, but, I am seriously tired. I am at the, "I would suck your dick for a nap*," point of exhaustion, and it feels really crappy. Every time I muster enough energy to get in gear, another disaster follows. I. Am. So. Tired. I pitched the idea to my husband that while he is here for Christmas, I might sneak away for a night....hahahahaha....that earned me a, "if you're planning on leaving me alone with six kids, I won't even come home for Christmas!" Which makes me pretty damn annoyed with him.

So, I guess I'll brew my 12th cup of coffee today, and keep on trucking.



*I can take no credit for the brilliance of this line. Those of you who haven't already read this post ought to. You will laugh, loudly.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My life (or, Cruel and Usual Punishment)

Tonight we'll begin with a Freudian slip. I would have been back online even earlier, had I not wasted precious time entering over and over, "mymommyneedssometimeoff" instead of "mymommyneedsatimeout." I feel like a total ass.

Friday night, my modem died. It just withered (like my FarmVille crops since) and died. I called ClearWire immediately. This is our third modem in less than a year. This is however, the first one that died over the weekend, so an overnight replacement wasn't an option. Five days people, five days I went without an internet connection. Aack! My sanity can totally not take this shit.

The subject of my sanity leads me to talk about my toddler. Holy crap, that kid is kicking my ass. Saturday morning I was getting the kids ready to go see Santa. Hercules hit my oldest daughter in the face with my hair dryer. She ended up with a cut under her eye and ice eventually brought down the swelling. When I showed him her eye he said, "wowie, wow, wow. That sure is a beautiful wound Jelly Bean!" When my daughter explained that it hurt her, he asked if she had fallen on rocks to get the cut. She told him that he had given her the cut when he hit her with the hair dryer. Then he asked my daughter, "why did I do that again?" In a separate post, I will show our last Christmas picture, our Easter picture, and this year's photo for comparison. Fun times, fun times.

When we finally made it to the mall, we had to stand in line for over an hour to see Santa (made possible by our sponsor, The Sandman) and when we finally made it up on stage, the baby was still fast asleep, The Little Lady was terrified of Santa, and Hercules was in an 'all out' state of tantrum. We hustled off the stage after taking an awful picture to remember the misery magic of this special holiday season by.

Hercules was already freaking out, so I paid no attention to his continued screams of, "bubblegum tree" until we experienced further meltdown in the Food Court. He was completely inconsolable until we gave up and retraced our steps to find the "bubblegum tree" that he was talking about. We tried about 10 bubblegum machines until we found the one. Once Hercules was pacified, we went back to the food court. Where we were enjoying dinner, until Hercules ducked under the table and made a break for it. Mall security had to get involved, and eventually, and blessedly he was found. Seconds people, fractions of seconds, was all it took.

Sunday, we went to the farmer's market where I buy our soap and my dogs' treats. They had Christmas trees there. I was impressed by the size of the tree for the price and so we bought one. It rode home with us, sandwiched lengthwise in the middle of my truck. After buying THREE, tree stands trying to find one small enough to hold the trunk, I realized something. I bought one of those evergreen bushes that people have at the end of their driveways. Yep. That's right. I suck so bad, and we have a six foot tall Christmas Bush to prove it. Fuck me.

Sunday night, my three year old woke up after the rest of us were sleeping and decorated the tree for us. He strung lights, hung ornaments, and dumped the contents of every single box in our storage closet trying to find the Christmas ones. Imagine my pleasure at my [17 month old] daughter's 2 a.m. feeding to find what my little elf had done.

My oldest son stayed home from school on Friday with a tic. The tic has progressively worsened over the weekend until present. He nods involuntarily several times a minute. He has been home from school since Friday, with no end in sight, unless of course you count the first available appointment with a neurologist in two months. What the bloody hell we are going to do until then, I know not.

My middle daughter has given up sleep, and her new favorite hobby is waking up her baby sister so that I am a sleep deprived, overly emotional mess. Yuck! I haven't even the energy to tell myself to, Suck it up Bitch!" It has been a seriously crappy few days. (We have apparently been dropped by our sponsor do to not fulfilling our contract, in reference to our obligation to be good role models.)

We had to go back to the mall today in order to have my son's DS fixed. My three year old made two attempts at running away. The first was on the way in. He jumped out of my truck with his carseat still attached and ran for the fire escape. Fortunately, the seat (which he must have unbuckled) slowed him down and we were able to catch him. The second was on the way back to the car. I put him in the truck, but, was trying to switch out the seat he sits in, so that I could use the floor latch. He opened the driver's side door and made a run for the elevator while I swore and fiddled with the seat. I had the distinct privilege to run down two flights of stairs to catch him before the elevator door opened on the ground floor.

On Tuesdays, my oldest daughter tutors. We were at the cafe waiting for her when my son jumped out of the cart he was strapped in and made another escape attempt. A sales associate caught him as I chased him down. Fun!!! Really flipping fun.

I am so tired. Emotionally, physically, mentally. I feel like I am being held prisoner by my three year old. I am afraid to leave the house with him, and yet, I'm afraid of what he'll do if I don't get him out of the house to run off some of his energy. I wonder how we wound up here. I wonder what method of discipline will ever get through to him. I wonder if I'll ever get to have five consecutive hours of sleep again.

I think that's about all folks. Time for me to head over to FarmVille and plant some crops.

A few things that have happened since my modem died

Number of times my three year old has run away: 3, to be returned 3 times by perfect strangers.

Number of days my oldest son has missed school: 3, with 4, 5, and 6 to pass before the week is over.

Number of bloody injuries perpetuated by my three year old: 1, with bonus points for happening before Santa pictures.

Number of times I have cried today: 2, with a third approaching.

Number of hours I have slept: Less than 10, cumulatively.

I am wishing, and hoping, and praying that my new modem arrives tomorrow early, because I feel like I have been completely cut off from the world outside of my cell in my toddler run version of Gitmo.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Random and nonsensical

Today I am getting ready to leave my nest for a few hours, and leave my little ones behind with my aunt (there isn't a sitter on Earth who will watch Hercules) and I thought I would share my thoughts as I get ready.

  1. The bug guy is coming to spray today and my house is a disaster.
  2. I don't really want to bring the tree home today, but, I won't be alone in a car again until after Christmas.
  3. I would like to go get a massage today, but, if I do that, would I need to leave my trusty girdle at home?
  4. My trusty girdles are actually tank top-ey things that I ordered one sleep deprived night last year, that should have served as clue number one that I was pregnant again, but, I digress, I have since grown attached to them. I wish that I could remember more about their origins than having seen them on a late night infomercial.
  5. I am never buying oranges again, because my kids don't seem to find anything wrong with peeling them and leaving the trash behind on the floor/counter/wherever.
  6. I will need to take emergency rations to the pay-per-pound laundry place. Those rations will not include any towels or blankets.
  7. If I don't get off my girdled ass, I'll still be here when the pest control dude comes, and I would rather not be here to claim responsibility for my failures.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Profanity

I have a confession to make. One that many people will criticize me for. It is something that I struggle with both on the blog and in my daily life. My favorite word in the entire English language is f*#k. It's true. It is also true that I pretty much enjoy profanity in all forms. There is one word that I take exception to, the same word that most of you probably dislike more than the 'F' bomb, that nasty 'c' word is nasty indeed.

When I had my children, I knew that I needed to change my ways. I have been, for the most part, successful. Sure, there was that one incident when my oldest was in kindergarten. He called another kid on the playground a douche bag. I had to go talk to the principal and she asked me where he might have learned it. I very honestly answered, "the I-??, I-?? interchange, I'm sure." She wasn't very amused. I learned that I needed to be yet more vigilant, even when some douche bag was cutting me off.

So, I led a double life. At work, most (uh, all) of the people I knew, used their fair share of blue language. At home, I was expletive free. It worked for me. I could tell my husband that his "lack of sensitivity" bothered me, and at work I could say, "knock off the jackassery, will ya!" It was a good system.

Then, I left my day job, but, I worked nights as a bartender to supplement our income. Still, my work life served as a forum where I could voice my thoughts uncensored, "Last call! If you don't work here, sleep here, or sleep with someone who works here, get the f*#k out!"

When I quit the bar, I was in trouble. I would lock myself in the bathroom and scream, "f*#k, f*#k, bloody f*#king Hell," over and over until the urge passed. Then, slowly, but surely I started to slip. "Frig," took the place of "fudge." Then "flipping" gave way to "freakin'." A couple of "douche bags" instead of "idiots." Ouch! I knew I was on a slippery slope.

I continue to struggle daily with this issue. On my blog you will find the occasional expletive, please forgive my lapses. It's just that it can be so mother f*#king satisfying to vent, even though I know that I'm being a douche, and that it is shitty and the antithesis of classy that I desire to express myself in such a way. Bear with me folks, tomorrow, I'll be better.

Feel better now Jen?



This is our mounting laundry problem. This does not include the linens and towels, they are piled in the unused crib upstairs. There is also a 6 load sorting hamper full to bursting in my laundry room. This is what a family of 8, sans washing machine looks like. Feel better? You're welcome.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Lemonade is just water and sugar, this is way better

A bloggy friend of mine had an awesome idea a little while back...a regular meme for throwing lemons when you can't make lemonade, or just don't feel like having any. So, today we are throwing lemons at people over here at Proud Mom. I am by no means stealing Miss Stacey's thunder (uh, I hope) but I am suggesting that y'all check her blog out for the future of this fab idea.

The first lemon (right off my Grandmother's tree, using my 7 year old to illustrate size) gets chucked at my step children. For the pain and misery they have brought to our lives as of late.



Then there is another big fat lemon for the person who thought of the Kleenex 'Get Mommed' marketing campaign on Facebook. Isn't it bad enough that Obama gave us mom jeans? Must you really turn the unraveling of our identities outside of our children into a new word, and use it as a gimmick? I can promise you that if my nose is running or I have to sneeze, if the only tissue available to me is Kleenex brand...I'm wiping it on my shirt.

Another lemon is for my son's school. He is soon to be a published author, and the office lost the book order form with my credit card information on it. Go Hawks!

The last lemon is for Victoria's Secret. I loved you, I trusted you! How could you have let me down by not making any of your new bras in anything larger than a D cup? Why??? We had such a good run together, but, now I'm pissed. And, no, I don't want a 'conversion size' because the cup is too small dammit, and I refuse to suffer from both 'muffin top' and 'muffin breast' as a result of my six children.

If I wasn't so fond of Farmville, Id throw one at them too. The server errors I keep getting mean that I am reminded of the movie 'Groundhog Day' every time I click on the bookmark. I've harvested the friggin' blueberries already, and I have 32,248 coins. And 15 minutes from now, I'll get to do it all over again. How about a blue ribbon for patience, huh?

So, how about all of you? Leave a comment and toss your own lemons, so that Stacey will know what a great idea she's got.

Monday, November 30, 2009

"Bust"ed

I lose my keys all the time. It's pathetic really. Every time we leave the house there is a massive search for my missing keys before we can actually go anywhere. This morning was no exception. My son couldn't find his gym shoes, so he ended up missing the bus and needing a ride. So, when it came time to leave, we looked everywhere. Emptied the toy boxes, checked all my pant pockets, looked in the cupboards, sifted the litter box, and so on.

Finally, it came to me. I had tucked the keys in my bra last night before bed when I took them away from my daughter. This is not the first time, no, this is the second time I have lost my keys in my bra. The first time my kids were late to school. I had to walk them in to get a tardy slip. When the woman working in the office asked the reason for our tardy, my oldest refused to be deterred, although I was stepping on his toes and clearing my throat like a mad woman, my son offered up the truth. With a dirty look in my direction he said, "we are late today because our mother put her keys, in her bra, and forgot they were there." She just scribbled 'unexcused' on the paper, and I went on my merry way with a very red face. It doesn't appear that I've learned much from that experience, does it?

The person who comes up with some kind of lojack chip that can be placed in a key fob and then tracked online, will make a fortune.

And for the people assuming that Imust just have put my keys down on my bra, while it was sitting on my dresser, you are wrong. I was wearing it...both times, and no, I wasn't even the slightest bit uncomfortable.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Living large, back in charge

Well, Hubby is gone. I'll miss him terribly. However, first I need to celebrate our return to our regularly scheduled programming! The thing about having lived alone (albeit with many children) for the last year and then some, is that, I've grown to like it. I'm selfish by nature. When it is just me and the kids, I don't have to share the remote, or watch stupid movies instead of football, hear my husband bitch about my beer being too strong, or "sleep on the edge of the bed, for no stinkin' man..." *Someone other than me knows those are song lyrics, right? Please name the title and artist in the comment section. Please?*

Right this moment, I am snarfing down pita chips with a spicy dip that my husband hates, drinking an IPA which my husband swears tastes like vodka, and playing on my netbook while watching the Jags suck ass. Heaven, just heaven. Speaking of football, I'm bummed because Dallas played on Thanksgiving (of course we won) and so there is little on right now for me to get stoked about...and I missed the Dallas game in favor of figure skating, so now I'm sure you understand why the remote is happy to have been returned her rightful place, at my side.

By this next next week, I'll be missing my other, better, half. Right now though, I'm going to hang ten on my wave of loneliness.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Dumping my brain, to try to make it, make sense

My husband met and got engaged to his ex-wife while she (he would find out later) was still married to her second husband. My husband adopted his own son when he married his ex in 1988. They had another son, then she met her fourth husband. She was pregnant when they separated, my husband gave up parental rights to his third child (maybe, it isn't known definitively) and her third child was adopted by husband number four. She went on to have a fourth child with her fourth husband. My husband had custody of his oldest child in 1991/1992 when his ex-wife left. Eventually, she wanted Shan back, so in 1992/1993, my husband gave her custody.

He stayed in close contact with his ex, her new husband, and the children as well as could be expected with them living in California and my husband residing in Florida. In 1994, another military transfer landed the ex and husband number four back in Florida. We also met in 1994.

From 1994 to 2001, we had the children very liberally. They (including my step children's half siblings) spent every weekend and lots of in between time with us. In 2001, they decided that they didn't have time for us any more. They had stopped wanting to visit and their mother was loathe to enforce visitation, so my husband chose to let them be. It is suspected that her fear of them wanting to live permanently with us, which would have stopped her child support payments, caused her to go to extreme measures to keep the children away from us.

In 2007, my oldest step son showed up on our doorstep. He was 20. He had two children and was being sued for support. He did not then, nor does he now have anything to do with his kids. We took him in. He lived with us for a year. That time was awful for our family. My husband's job had slowed down and the there was no overtime to be had. We struggled to buy groceries and clothes for the kids, but, somehow we stretched our means and made room for Shan. While he was with us, he went once a month to drill (Army reserves) and drilled for two weeks in Summer. Most of his pay went directly to child support. The rest he bought games with. He contributed NOTHING during his stay with us. He received a large sign on bonus in 2008 and he returned to his mother's house. He stayed there until recently when the money ran out.

My younger step son joined the Navy. He was away for the majority of the period of time that Shan was with us in '07. In June, Shad was discharged from the Navy. He returned to live with his mother after leaving the service.

In September, the boys' mother put her foot down. She is going through divorce number four, and has no room in her budget for adult children who don't contribute. The boys spent time bouncing between friends' homes until they had exhausted their welcome. Then Shad reconciled with his mother and returned to her home for five weeks while Shan stayed with us.

The problems started when Shad showed up on my doorstep. The situation around our house deteriorated very quickly until I threw both of them out. The boys then went to stay with my husband's brother, and then his sister. On Thanksgiving, my husband called his family to let them know (the condensed version) of what had happened and encouraged them to close their doors to the boys, as they had stolen from us, were violent, and unpredictable.

When the boys found out that they were no longer welcome with my husband's family, they returned to our house making yet more threats and trying to kick down the door. I physically blocked the door to prevent my husband from going after the boys. The neighbors scared them off. Their father procured restraining orders against them yesterday. I am hoping that they will stay away.

I shared the lengthy and complicated family history because I wanted to shed some light on why the boys might be as messed up as they are. It is not to say that their mother didn't do a good job raising them, it was more to explain that their formative years were very unstable. In hindsight, maybe we should have forced the boys to spend the time with us, maybe it would have made a difference. Maybe not.

Their problems at the moment are centered around the fact that they want me gone. They want my husband to believe that I have made mistakes similar to their own mother, and that I am unworthy to be his wife. No, I'm not speculating, they actually said this. They believe that if they can just get rid of me and my children, their dad will give them the house to stay in and that he'll support them, while they try to grow up. Again, their words, not mine.

If only they were mature enough to see that what they want will never come to pass. My husband came to this country as a young man. He has supported himself since then, doing anything from washing dishes, to serving, to finally engineering. He put himself through college, and then through graduate school. My husband doesn't believe in free rides. We are at an impasse. I hope that the boys move on. Maybe go to their mother's family in Virginia, or better yet Morocco. I just want to be able to move forward from here.

The damage that they have done is extensive. They have cast aspersions on my character with my husband's family, who already believes me to be the Great White Satan, so this was certainly not a welcome happening. They have hurt me and my children in ways that I can barely begin to describe. I have loved those kids for many years now, most of their lives, really. It is very hard to come to terms with them not reciprocating the love that I had for them, but worse still, outright hating me.

Then there are my children, who worshipped their oldest brother. The same brother that has made threats against their lives and stolen from them. How do we mend this hole in their hearts? How can I help them come to terms with something that I, as an adult, am struggling with?

My husband's heart is broken. He is absolutely crushed. It is said that time heals all wounds...I'm not so sure that is true.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Hate

The facts:
Step children came by the house on Thanksgiving. They tried to kick in my door. Door frame splintered.

The threats:
Kill my husband. Kill me. Kill my children.

The results:
Two restraining orders. A new door and frame. A ruined holiday.

The aftermath:
Feel like crap, can't think, can't write, can't focus. Fear.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Children are blessings, but, I don't always feel blessed

When I make any type of negative reference to motherhood, my mother responds with, "you wanted it, you got it, Toyota." She usually follows this up with a crude Italian hand gesture. So, my question to all of Bloggy World is, do we have to cheerfully embrace all aspects of parenthood when we become mothers and fathers?

I think that is possible to be a good parent who still feels frustration at the stress and work that parenthood is. I would never change my decision to have children. Nor my decision to have many children. There are however, about a million things that I would like to change about our family life. So, is that okay? Is it socially acceptable to, "love your job, but, hate the hours?" I think it is.

Some, like my mother, challenge that it isn't okay to express discontent. I think it is fine, healthy, normal even. I am pretty sure that the human race would be in trouble, if the only people who became parents, were those who could love every minute of the 18 years plus that were to follow.

So, in a nutshell you have one of the main reasons I blog. And because that is one of the main reasons I blog...let's talk about my three year old.

Yesterday I had grand plans. A clean house, a surging BAC, and a full night of sleep. Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!! At five o'clock yesterday evening, everything changed. My three year old grew increasingly frustrated that his, "best fwend," LB didn't want to play with him. So, in a fit, he threw a scooter at my 7 year old. The handle bar hit his finger when it crashed to the floor and my 7 year old ran dripping blood all over the floor to the kitchen.

I disinfected, and applied pressure. Then I added an antibiotic cream and a bandage. The rule of thumb here for stitches is...if I can get the bleeding stopped, and then keep it stopped, enough that the band-aid covering the wound is free from blood at the 24 hour mark, we don't go for stitches. This may be a liberal policy for most of you, but, it was suggested to me by my aunt and uncle who are both doctors, therefore it works for me. Of course, I clean wounds frequently and watch carefully for signs of infection.

In 8 days, we had not one, but, two medical emergency type situations perpetuated by my three year old. I am so freaking frightened by this. I am terrified that something will happen to my babies. If that had been my one year old's finger, I'm pretty sure it would have severed it.

My three year old weighs a little over 50 pounds. He was seen carrying my 7 year old through the living room yesterday (like a baby, LB's legs were wrapped around his waist) and the extent of his strength is unreal. *H.M., if you had seen the poker through the LCD screen episode, seriously, the 4th of July was nothing by comparison, and he hurled the poker at least 10 feet with enough force that it went through the television and the tip embedded itself in the wall.*

So, what do you think? Is it okay to be scared and frustrated? Is it fair to say that while I love being a mom, I don't love being *that* mom? Tell me what you think.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

He says, she says

My husband is on his way home. I am delighted. I cannot hardly wait until I can leave the kids with him and get the heck out of Dodge. I know that I am well and truly, mentally and physically exhausted, when the idea of being alone trumps that of seeing my husband. And, boy, oh boy, does it ever!

Tomorrow, I am taking our laundry to the coin laundry again. BY MYSELF! I am dizzy with anticipation. It is of course necessary that I go, or else we'll have to show up to Thanksgiving dinner at my grandparents' home naked. The washer is still dead, and the laundry situation is honestly that bad. I don't know when we'll replace it, but, I think that it is important to find out what is wrong with my truck first.

My husband is so excited to come home and be part of the family, I'm so excited that he'll be here so that I can ditch them all for awhile. Such is life, or to be more accurate, such is 'our' life.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday night TV, my crutch is gone

Did anyone else watch the last episode of Jon & Kate tonight?

I did. It was sort of strange, because in the dairy farm portion, I was reminded of all the reasons I fell in love with the show in it's early days. Originally, I watched the showing thinking, "if that lady can do it, why can't I?" It was a motivational thing for me. I empathized with the 'crazy' on the show. Kids hitting each other every time Mom or Dad turned their backs, the unreal noise level, the work involved in raising a large family was well portrayed.

As the show evolved, long before the headlines and rag magazines, my interest waned. I mean, it is near impossible for me to sympathize with nannies, ski trips, and Hawaiian vacations. Still, I watched. Not as often, but, I did more often than not.

I was always envious of the relationship that Jon had with his kids. Part of me wanted to make a tape of the pertinent parts and present it to my husband, in a, "see, other Dads know how to give their kids a bath/take them out of the house/dress babies/brush teeth," kind of way. My husband must have been aware of my secret desires, because as much as I liked the show, he has always hated it. "Are you watching that again? Don't get any ideas!" He would often admonish me.

If you all were watching tonight, you might have noticed that has changed. What was up with the extremely immature, IMHO way he handled the older girls before the lemonade stand thing? I mean, I totally live in a glass house on this one, I am NOT the disciplinarian extraordinaire, but, sheesh, my finest moments aren't recorded on film.

When the headlines started I was pulled back into the storyline. I was shocked that in less than a half a year a couple could go from renewing vows to divorce court. I mean, WOW, it was fast! It will be interesting in a truly voyeuristic type of way, to see where the family will go from here.

A little shout out, because a few more prayers can't hurt

A bloggy pal of mine, and one that I know is a bloggy pal to several of you, had her baby today. He was 10 weeks early, but, he is a strong boy. Four pounds, four ounces, and 18 inches of baby boy. If you guys are so inclined, leave a comment on her blog, but definitely include her, her son, her husband, and the brand new big sisters in your prayers tonight.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sadism and Masochism, G rated

Right now I sit duct taped to my chair, too tired to care. I was sort of hoping that my oldest child would take the duct tape away from my three year old before he fell asleep, but, I am pretty sure my hopes are about to be dashed. Are you wondering how something like this happens? Well, it is pretty simple. First you have to be privy to Gitmo style terror tactics. You know, when ten minutes into every rest period someone wakes you up by screaming in your ear? After about a year and a half of that, your captors can step it up.

They start to deprive you of food. First a morsel here, then a bite there. Finally, they are eating everything but the most gruesome vegetables off your plate. Now you are tired and weak. It is time for the next phase.

Humiliation. My captors excel in this area. "Mommy, your shirt is stretchy," followed by yanking on it so that my boobs are exposed to the rest of the Target patrons, works well. Also a comment like, "I'm telling Dad that you spent $300 of his money today," proclaimed loudly at the grocery store checkout, has merit too.

Finally, the waterboarding. This is when you leave a glass of anything unfinished. Remembering, when it applies to someone else only, that we have strict waste not, want not rules around here, my captors will bring the cup to me and force me to drink it. Often ending up with me choking and gasping for air because I am seldom allowed to hold my own glass.

The end result is falling asleep sitting up, holding your laptop, correcting your husband's reports, and coming to, just in time to realize that you have been duct taped to the chair, and that the remainder of your living room under 4 feet in height is now festooned by duct tape streamers. Yay!

Hard lemonade and bad music

So, it is Saturday morning and I have a little secret. I am drinking wine. Not intentionally, but rather because my son insisted that I finish the 'lemonade' I put in the fridge after dinner last night (in a paper coffee cup) in favor of a bottle of my favorite hard cider. As a result my mood is much improved over an hour ago when I stopped the game of, 'throw all the apples my mom just washed and put in the fruit bowl as hard as you can against the wall.'

Of course, as soon as I opened the cider and took a generous swig out of the quart size bottle, a mother and daughter knocked on my door collecting for their church's abused children's fund. I think they won't be back. Perhaps it was the bug eyed look of the daughter, or maybe the aghast expression on the mother's face when I wiped my mouth with the back of my hand, but, I think they were pretty appalled. Whatever. At least they came before I started a movie upstairs and music (headphones) downstairs.

Speaking of music, my taste is abysmal. I like just about anything. Including the musically challenged but the stuff with clever lyrics. Last night I listened to N.W.A. (does anyone else remember them) and 'A Bitch Iz A Bitch' to which I love the lyrics, "when you say hi, she won't say hi," how true is that? Then Everclear and "Santa Monica" and "Volvo Driving Soccer Mom." To prove that my taste is truly eclectic, I played some Syleena Johnson, "Guess What" happens to be one of my favorites and John Legend's, "Number One." If you haven't heard the last one, pull the version with Kanye West up on YouTube when your children are far away. It makes me laugh out loud.

Today I am kind of cranky. I swear that my kids woke up this morning asking themselves this question, "what can I do that will REALLY piss my mom off today?" They have been busy testing their theories since their eyes opened.

My truck is having issues. I need to have it looked at, but, how? Not like I can plan to entertain six kids while they are trying to determine what it's issues are. I am leery enough of the voltage meter on 'L' and the funky smell when I cut off the engine not to want to go anywhere. Sadly, I have to get milk, so, I'm hoping the old girl will make it to the store and back. I love my truck. I agreed to get a minivan when it has to be replaced, so I am firmly intending to drive it until it qualifies for one of those 'Antique' license plates.

Have a good weekend everybody!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

200 posts???

This is my 200th post. It is hard to believe that there are 200 bits of my life and family on the Internet for just anyone to stumble upon. As crazy as it is to think about that, blogging is a wonderful thing. It is my lifeline. When my husband left our home to start his new job in Far, Far Away over a year ago, I didn't realize what an impact losing the only adult conversation in my life would have. It was loneliness like I had never felt before.

I was already reeling from leaving the workforce in favor of staying home full time. I lost many friends when I left the working world. We tried for awhile to stay in touch, but the lunches out, which we had used to connect were a thing of the past, and phone conversations in a quiet car on the commute home were gone forever. It was just a matter of time.

When my husband left, our baby at the time wasn't even three months old and I was already pregnant again. It was an incredibly difficult time. I was exhausted. We were just beginning to come to terms with the unusual behaviour our then two year old son was exhibiting. I was waking up several times a night with our daughter (still am, as a matter of fact) and the fatigue associated with pregnancy was hitting me hard, but, I didn't know what to attribute it to yet.

Then my husband fell ill. Not even two months into his new job he fell ill and had to return home for a couple of weeks in order to have surgery. It was yet another stumbling block in our path that made me question if God himself, wasn't trying to tell us we had made a mistake taking this job. My husband, barely recovered, left the children and myself alone again, and reported back for duty.

Then I came across a blog, this blog. It gave me hope. You see, at the time the author was raising her four children with a husband who was also working out of town. Her blog gave me hope. There was someone else like me. She was making do, so I could too. She was the one who encouraged me to start my own blog, so that I could have an outlet for words and emotions that I hadn't anyone at home to share them with. I will be eternally grateful for this.

That blog led me to another one. This one. Here I found a Catholic, liberal, mother of five, just like I was at the time.* Her sarcasm smacks of my own and though she is far more eloquent than I could ever hope to be, I felt even less alone.

Over the course of the last 200 posts, I have seen my then three month old walk, I have given birth to another daughter, we've adopted two dogs, had two children in casts, had a near death experience, dealt with possible unemployment, reconnected with my grandparents, sent a child to middle school, and embarked on a journey to help our three year old. How could this all have taken place in just over a year?

The Bloggy World allows me to interact with other adults in a way that otherwise I would not. I am not a very social creature in real life. I don't make friends easily, and those that I do make, I keep forever. It is just my way. In Bloggy World, I can be a pseudo social butterfly, I can comment on a stranger's blog without a moment of embarrassment, IRL, I would probably be loathe to do more than meet your eyes and nod.

Thank you Bloggy World for letting me carve my own little space. Thank you guys for reading, and mostly for writing. The stories you all share, are the ones that renew my faith in family life and sometimes in myself, and of course, they make me laugh. Laughter is the best medicine after all.

*Still Catholic, still liberal...just more kids.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The glamour that is my life

This morning I woke all the kids up for school. When I got out of bed, my Jack Russell did not. I noticed immediately because she follows me everywhere, crying like a child if I so much as shut her out of the bathroom. I was concerned, so I went back to my room to figure out what was the matter with her. Molly threw up all over me and my bed three times. Yay! Not even seven in the morning and I'm already cleaning up vomit, and changing the linens for the second time.

My attempts to get my kids ready are foiled by my asking one of the children to please turn the television on and to put it on the weather channel. Flipping channels they found Despereaux on HBO at Oh damn dark thirty on a school day. I waited patiently for the movie to be over so that they would be able to put their shirts on, right side out. The programming Gods were laughing though, because Hotel For Dogs came on right after. We are officially too late to catch the bus.

This leaves me with four children to dress, four heads of hair to brush, and eight shoes to put on in record time. Thanks to my oldest daughter's cast, she is in need of my handmaiden services as well. Then it is just a matter of walking two dogs (one has to stop to barf every few feet) and strapping three children who resist to various degrees in the car seats. We are off on the first school run.

The first round is a success, the children are on time, and the baby only throws up all over her car seat once. We arrive home just in time to unstrap three children from their car seats, feed two dogs, two cats, and one baby.

Oops, look at the time! It is now past time to start restrapping babies in their hated (and thrown up in) car seats in order to make the second school run. Not one to waste a good car seat strapping in, we'll stop at the store. First, we need to hit the local organic produce spot because my kids have eaten three pounds of apples and two bunches of bananas overnight.

Okay, we're there. I park in the back, next to the loading dock so that I can 'borrow' the only shopping cart there big enough to hold at least two of my kids, which is usually designated only for stock. It takes me 15 minutes to get the kids out of the car and into the store. We order smoothies for breakfast since we're there anyway. My phone rings, it is the school, my daughter forgot her lunch money and I need to drop it off. We grab some fruit and our breakfast and we head out. It takes me another 15 minutes to get the kids back in the car.

We stop at the big grocery store to get some meat for dinner. Lamb sausage on the grill sounds great (too bad I'll be too tired to actually fix it tonight, but, I don't know that yet) and after another struggle to get the kids back in the car, we head home.

I am exhausted from all the car seat shuffles and decide to put the cold stuff in the fridge and run by the school, that way I can save the "unbuckle, rebuckle" process. Once there I have to circle five times to find a parking space and finally settle on one that seems to be closest to the "ESE Permit Only" sign, but, not so much so that I couldn't plead ignorance. It takes me another 15 minutes to set up the double stroller and put the babies in it. The four of us head up to the office. We drop off lunch money and head back to the car, much to the chagrin of my three year old, who has decided that he *must*see his older sister. He bolts. I am not fast enough to catch him pushing the regular double stroller. Finally, an ESE aide sees my plight and after a frantic nod from me, tackles my three year old and holds him down until I can catch up.

I struggle to carry his fifty plus pound weight with one arm and push the stroller with one hand. The pain from my arthritic wrists is nearly enough to bring me to my knees. We get back to the car and I start the car seat process all over, this time I'm tired and it shows. It takes me nearly 20 minutes to get everyone situated.

Home again means that I can load the dishwasher, sterilize bottles, change the litter box, and lament over the mounds of laundry overtaking my home do to my broken washing machine. Lunch time! That will be four different meals. One gluten free. One toddler friendly. One of rice cereal, and a sandwich for me. Of course the dog, who has purged her insides of whatever ick she had eaten, is starving and she steals my sandwich while I'm trying to coax my 6 month old to eat her cereal.

Today is early release day! Time to go get the kids. The first half of my day must be repeated in reverse.

Snacks, homework, unload the dishwasher. Start baking a loaf of gluten free bread to serve my three year old with his dinner. Then start boiling two pots of water, one for regular pasta and one for the brown rice pasta. Another pot for alfredo sauce. Preheat the oven for the regular garlic bread. Slice the gluten free loaf and commence turning a few slices of it into garlic bread.

Serve dinner to one happy child and four who couldn't manage anything but, 'gross' among them. Rehang the drapes the kids pulled down while I was fixing dinner. Decide NOT to try to get the baby to eat any more cereal, or more appropriately, any cereal at all.

Time to throw away enough food to feed a small army of appreciative children somewhere too far away to send it to. Then time to bathe three, *groan* no four children. Check homework. Put one baby to sleep. Sit down at the computer to blog so that I can look too busy to help anyone with anything for a few minutes.

Still left to do? Take out the garbage. Walk the dogs. Put the rest of the kids to bed. Take something for this cold that I seem to be coming down with, thanks I'm sure to Typhoid Mary and her bubonic plague spreading offspring at the ER the other night. Then I have a stack of school forms that need to be filled out, half of which want my credit card number.

To think, I get to do it all again tomorrow!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Emergency Rooms Suck

Today started out decent. I was in a cleaning groove. It only happens so often, so I was trying to embrace my inner June Cleaver. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be.

Yesterday, in the 2.2 seconds it took me to turn around to check on my little girls, my next door neighbor gave my three year old a cupcake. Shit. F*#k. Damn. He was just coming out of an upswing of bad behavior from a previous diet infraction, and then this. Last night he was awful, horrible, terrible. It was indescribable. Today was worse.

He kept taking off his shoes and screaming in the store. He kept pinching and clawing at my 16 month old. Finally, he found a toy baseball bat. One of those miniature things they give you on fan appreciation days at the ball park. He hit his older sister so hard that her wrist/arm immediately started to swell. We iced it to no avail, so I called my grandparents and begged for help.

My grandfather was here in minutes, but, not before my three year old took a swing at my seven year old with the grill brush. Fortunately, my seven year old was scratched, but, not seriously hurt.

The end result was a 45 minute trip to the E.R. at the children's hospital. Then a five hour wait. An hour for x-rays, a splint, a sling, and a discharge. A 30 minute trip back home, in the dark, from downtown, which is significant only because I don't see very well at night and because I loathe driving downtown.

My oldest daughter is now happily sleeping. My youngest daughter who screamed the entire time I was gone is finally resting. My three year old who apparently took a nap at 5:00 p.m. today, is going like the Energizer bunny on coke, or maybe just like a toddler tyrant hell bent on world domination on gluten. How does that song go? There ain't no rest for the wicked...


I. Am. So. Tired.



Dear Lady,

I want you to know that while I openly admit to being a germaphobe, I am not a crazy germaphobe. For the most part, I think all those masks at the hospital are sort of scary and pointless. BUT, and this is a big but...YOUR KIDS NEEDED TO WEAR THEM, DUMBASS! There were newborns, and elderly patients, and well, ME. Your kids were coughing and sneezing and oozing bodily fluids. Your son actually coughed a cheese cracker up on a baby's head 10 feet away from where you were sitting. It was ridiculous how little attention you were paying to the discomfort of everyone else around you. I'm selfish and I'm bitchy, but, you Broad, take the cake.

Sincerely,

The woman who will hunt you down if she gets sick

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Fishy water...yumm

I had left the house on Thursday morning to go by my children's school, before Shan and Shad left, of course. Shan was supposed to have been watching the little ones while I was on the school run. He chose instead to go back to bed. Which left my Hercules without supervision long enough to get into a bag of bread that was hidden away at the top of my pantry. One bite, he took one bite, and the following has since transpired.

  • He stuck his head in the fish tank and drank the water. Even my cats stay away from the tank, but, not Hercules, no, not Hercules.
  • He bit my one year old hard enough to leave a 24+ hours and counting mark.
  • He hit my 6 month old.
  • He has taken off his diaper to poop on the floor twice...sorry, make that three times.
  • His imagination is in overdrive. There is much talk about pirates and pickled pirates. *He uses the word pickle like I might use douche bag dum-dum???!!!*

Further proof that his diet is working isn't needed. I believe now. I believe.

My oldest son upon seeing him drink from the fish tank (I was on diaper duty at the time) was quick on his feet, he rinsed his mouth out with soap to kill any lingering germs. *Soap, yes, soap really.* Good thing I'm obsessively natural about cleaning products, huh? All that was left for me to do was to add some water to the tank so that the goldfish were no longer flopping on the gravel.

Other than my 16 month old's war wound, she is fine, as is my 6 month old, who just had the crap scared out of her.

I might start to cry if I have to clean up any more poopy messes from the floor (Molly, Patty, this includes you girls too) but, other than that, we're just praying for a rapid detox process.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A bad case of the blahs...random style

This morning Shan (formerly known as my step son) pounded on my door. Apparently he and his brother had been sitting outside of my house waiting for the mail to arrive. He wanted the paycheck I helped him to get reissued from his last employer that he rabbited (in my day, this meant quitting w/o notice) from. I was pretty surprised that he seemed to think that I would want to give it to him. His $30 paycheck (fine, $31 and change) was important enough that he had the balls to knock on my door after stealing my oldest son's game system. I agreed to check the mail IF...AND ONLY IF, he returned the DS.

I found the check and walked across the street to where my husband's cousin lives. I asked him to take it and to give it to my step son Shan, only after Shan gave him the DS. So, at least my son has his DS back (it was a limited edition color, that I was having trouble tracking down) even though, all of his games and accessories are gone. Still, the DS was a gift that is special to him, and he is very grateful to have it back, even though he can't play it until he gets some new games.

*******

How long do you figure a person can go, having to wake up 3+ times a night? I find myself at 16 months and counting with no clear end in sight.

The above is my Facebook status. In what I am assuming is my husband's desire to show off his new FB skillz, he clicked on like. Which in turn made me grumpy. I suppose it is easy to like something like that when you are 350 miles away and well rested.

********

I have eaten four bags of Halloween candy, stopped dead in my tracks on the fifth because it was nasty. Out of date Reese's cups are the worst. Unfortunately, I know how to read date codes on those and I am appropriately horrified that it took me having to eat three before I checked the date. Eeeeeewwwww! I suppose if I end up with food poisoning, it will undo the damage from all the binge eating. If not, I'll have a size 18 (not quite, really) ass to remember this experience with the steps those delinquents by.

********

I took my kids to a wine tasting last night. I was shopping with my oldest and the three youngest when the beer/wine guy there put a free wristband on me to gain entry to the beer/wine tasting last night. I did protest (faintly) which he waved off because the event was pretty dead, so I tried a couple of wines while my kids ate dessert. One of my old work contacts was there. It felt weird to talk to someone still playing the game after being out of it for so long. It makes me wonder how I'll feel in 5 years when the kids are all in school and I go back to work...or if I will?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

We all have a breaking point

If you all have been reading long enough, I am sure that you have noticed that my happy (mostly) little family life blog has turned into a long boring story about the step children from Hell. All of that changes today, I hope. I threw my step children out of my house today. Good bye and better yet, good riddance to trash.

I really didn't think that it was possible for someone to stop loving their child. I dismissed the theory out of hand when their mother told me that they had exhausted everything she had to give them, including her love. I figured she was angry and bitter, and it was out of hurt and frustration that she spoke. Now, I think I have a better perspective.

Last night as I stayed up way too late to finish a project that I had been working on, it occurred to me that I ought to make a list of what my youngest step son was needed to do today. The list included directions for dropping off one application and checking another four or five places that he applied to, but, hadn't heard back from.

He dropped off the application, but, he didn't go and check on any of the other applications. I left the house to buy milk and take lunch to the school with instruction for him to hop to it. He didn't bother. He was waiting for me to return from the children's school so that his brother (who was supposed to be waiting to hear back from ??? via telephone, to figure out why he isn't in the Army any longer) could go with him.

I'll admit, it made me angry. I was furious that he hadn't done much of anything he was supposed to do on the job front and that my oldest step son was planning to shirk his responsibility again (he missed a job interview last week) to ride with his brother.

I stated in no uncertain terms that they could go together today, but, that in the future, they will not be attached at the hip because I don't feel that either child makes good decisions when they rely on their sibling for counsel, also because they both have to find a job, and only one of them can drive to work, the other does not have a license nor a method of transportation, therefore he needs to be hoofing it around the neighborhood to find employment.

This started a fight. I don't fight. I just simply said, "if you don't like my rules, get out." So instead they chose to run their mouths. They told me that they weren't leaving because this wasn't my house. I had one demand to use my phone to call his father. The other told me that because they are the oldest children, it is my husband's responsibility to support them before my children. I was told that it is their right to tell me how to spend money, because it doesn't belong to me, because I don't work, so it is my husband's money, and apparently they think they ought to be in charge. I was told that I am too lazy to work to support myself, so I kept popping out kids to make my living. I was called a whore. They informed me that they don't think my children are their father's children. My kids were referred to as bastards repeatedly. I am a bitch, and a cunt, and a compulsive liar. They threatened to call child services on me and say whatever they needed to, so that, "you never see those children you say you love so much again." There was more, so much more. It tires me to think about it even.

The End. I hope, this is the end.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Who knew a cooking class could be so emotional?

My baby boy at three years old is the light of my life and the bane of my existence. I love him so much and I get so frustrated because I just don't understand what makes him tick. I feel like I am in a constant state of limbo where he is concerned. I ask myself everyday, how hard I want to push to get answers. Do I really need a label for my son? Is it necessary? Would being able to say, "he's _____ you jackass, don't judge him or me," be worth being able to fill in the blank? Would it help him? How do you know? How do I know?

There are times that I am overcome by emotion because he starts singing made up lullabies to 'his girls' as he calls them in the car. Then there are times that I am overcome with fury because he throws sand in the baby's face, repetitively, without remorse, unable or unwilling to be deterred. Sometimes he holds me, he pulls my head down on his chest and he holds me tightly, but, tenderly too, and I can feel the love in his touch. Then, there are the times that he hits me, seemingly too stubborn to stop.

I think that after 6 children and 2 step children, I have a pretty good idea of what is, and is not, normal. I know that my son isn't normal. I feel it in my heart that bursts with affection for him and in my body that aches with the struggle of trying keep up with him. I know that my son is special.

Tonight I took a cooking class (at Whole Foods again of course) that was presented by a lovely woman with a product that caters to the GFCFSF crowd. Miriam Diamond, who owns Nana's Cookies, was the guest tonight. She is in her own right a mover and a shaker in California where she lives. She is both a friend and a vendor of Jenny McCarthy, who uses her products both personally and at her new school. She is a warm and fabulous person whom I was very glad to meet.

It wasn't actually Miriam Diamond that really struck a chord with me tonight, it was one of the other mothers in the class. She has a son, the same age as mine. He is GFCF, like mine. *yes, the dairy went too* He does the same things my son does. The very same things. He has the same behavioral issues. The very same. Like my son, he was an early talker and is very verbal. Like my son, he has problems with excess yeast. Like my son, he is very well loved. Like my son he isn't autistic. Like my son, maybe he is.

This other mother and I compared medical notes, cooking woes, potty issues, supplements, medications, labs, hopes, dreams, fears, and more. I have never felt so understood. I have also never felt the need to be understood this fervently. It is a strange new world that I am venturing out in with my son and his dietary restrictions. One I'm not sure either my son or myself is really ready for. I am not a brave person, but suddenly I find that I need to be. When I started Hercules on this diet the first time, I tried to go cold turkey and it was a miserable failure. I persevered at the gentle (yet firm) encouragement of our ped to try again. A slow approach has made it possible to get my son both to eat and to eat right. Now I am faced with the awful reality that it has helped. The diet has helped tremendously. With each adjustment we have made, first dyes and HFCS, then gluten, now dairy...my son has gotten better and better. There are more lullabies than sand these days. Who would have guessed that it could be so frightening to me, for him to get better? I certainly didn't.