Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Today I realized that there is nothing simple, generous, or helpful about the way many people pass on their used goods. My laundry room has been stuffed to bursting with bags of clothes that people have given me in recent weeks (okay, fine...months) and I finally found the courage to go through them all.
Out of 10 bags of clothes, I ended up throwing away nine full bags. It isn't that I am a total clothes snob, I'm really not. I just have no use for other people's trash or their storage dilemmas. For example, a bag full of baby clothes with trucks and planes? Yes, I do have a baby...but she isn't a boy. I wouldn't dress her in a miniature suit to save a few bucks. The clothes were cute, but, I have no use for them. Could someone have used them? Yes. I could have washed them and donated them. I do however have enough of my own laundry that I can't seem to keep up with...so into the trash they went.
Another bag contained girl's clothing in sizes 4-6x. TLL could have used them maybe...in 4-6 years. While I again appreciate the gesture, I don't have the luxury to store things in my bursting at the seams home for that long. Again, I could have washed and donated...but, again...so could have the person who gave those things to me.
The rest of the bags contained a variety of shirts that were so faded that the original prints weren't even discernible. A plethora of jeans with ripped out knees and holes. Several pairs of pajamas that had been hemmed so that they were easily a foot too short for anything but boy capris. About 2,000 socks that weren't paired and underwear.
I think that a lot of people have trouble taking the time to launder clothes that have gotten a little musty so that they could be given to charity. I am now sure that many folks are so loathe to throw away things they have spent money on that they would rather pass them on. What makes me incredulous is that people think it is 'okay' to give me their trash...or their used underwear. How does a person make it make sense to give me clothes to help me out, when they are actually giving me hours worth of work?
I don't want to seem ungrateful. I have appreciated many things that many people have given to us over the years. I don't however have it in me to appreciate bags of stained clothes that I could spend hours scrubbing on the chance that I can get an unidentified spot out. I actually get a little uptight about the guilt I have from throwing away clothes that maybe could help someone, but that I don't choose to wash, fold, and haul to a donation center.
There is generosity which is appreciated beyond measure, and then there is generosity which assuages the conscience of the giver, but does little for the recipient. Anyone else out there with thoughts on this subject?
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Stranger: When are you due?
Me: June 7th.
Stranger: Are they all yours? *she inclined her head toward the masses spreading swine flu before her eyes*
Stranger: Well....ummmmmmm... *really long pause* Good luck.
Madam, if you ever come across this post, please don't worry. I was personally so horrified by my children's behaviour at that point, that I myself felt horribly embarrassed to be so glaringly pregnant. I was devastated that total strangers like yourself were cognizant that I was adding more of my devil spawn to the gene pool. If you should ever run into us again, please know that my children are almost never that badly behaved and are usually the most polite little hellions you could hope to meet. Really.
- Washed and sterilized 13 bottles.
- Scrubbed stains out of 15 of my boys' polo shirts.
- Fixed breakfast and lunch.
- Fed dogs and cats.
- Put TLL down for her nap.
- Begged, pleaded, and cajoled H to take a nap...to no avail.
- Cleaned up doggie puddle in the front hall.
- Cleaned up doggie sick from my sofa. (no idea what she got into)
- Cleaned up a flood from living room tile.
- Cleaned out the fridge because I couldn't find the strawberries.
- Talked to my mother on the phone. (not my favorite activity)
- Gotten the big kids dressed, hair brushed, and off to the bus stop.
Things I should have done so far today, but, sadly haven't done:
- Brushed mine and H's teeth.
- Given H a sponge bath. (I so hate that cast)
- Eaten anything.
- Had something to drink.
- Gotten dressed.
- Gotten H dressed.
- Paid Hubby's rent.
Why am I always behind?
Monday, April 27, 2009
Today I get an email from my grandmother, telling me that she and my aunt (with whom my son spent the weekend) bought him the clothes for his graduation. I didn't know about the clothes, because my aunt asked my kids to keep it a secret when the children all told her that it might make me mad. *Hello? Hint anyone?* It isn't that I don't appreciate them wanting to help, it is more that I want my son to present himself in a certain way...which I want a little control over. Of course, it helps that Hubby and I picked out clothes for everybody to wear to the graduation this weekend. It also bears to mention that my aunt's fashion sense isn't at all similar to my own. From what I understand, it is a white short sleeve dress shirt (with a print) and a striped tie. Print plus print = not on my kid.
The email also made reference to my children going to the beach with my parents, who would be taking them to the graduation on that Monday morning. Umm...excuse me? Not only is this the first I've heard of it, but...NO! That explained why I wasn't given the clothes for his graduation though. *sigh* My family makes me CRAZY. I called my parents, who basically denied all knowledge of anything to do with anything. *Though my mother called back to say it was all my father's idea, before hanging up on me because my father was back home.*
I'm just irritated all around. The last thing that I want to do is hurt my aunt's feelings, but, I'm not going have him wear what she purchased in order to prevent this. I'm also not pleased that she thinks that it is okay to tell my kids to keep secrets from me. Sorry, but that is a big time no-no in my book. I am a touch aggravated that my grandmother wouldn't let, "no thank you" suffice. I am totally angry with my parents. I appreciate that they are coming. I am happy that they will be here (at least sorta) but I am furious that it would even enter their minds that I would let my children spend a school night at their hotel, much less, that I would be okay with not even seeing my kids (and checking out how they look) until I get to graduation.
I'm just wondering how all of this was supposed to play out...my parents would have picked the kids up to go to their hotel at the beach on Saturday (maybe) and told me that they would be home Sunday morning...but what then? Call and ask if they could stay another night? Doubtful, they would know the answer was no. Maybe, just call and say they weren't bringing the kids home? What? Why?
Why ruin the day for me because my son is mad that he couldn't have another night with the Grandparents? Why ruin the day for my son by making him upset? Why?
Am I being totally ridiculous? Maybe I'm just paranoid since they tried to procure a passport for my son without my knowledge. Maybe it just sucks to have (grand)parents that think they have the right to make decisions for me still. Maybe I am entitled to feel pissed? Yeah, I like the last one.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
I could literally spend all day in a chair rotating through the furry masses, because you see, as soon as one animal is lured away by treat or whatever, the next one jumps up, and as soon as the treat, potty break, etc is over that animal gets right back in line.
Wherever I go, whatever I do, my animals follow me. There are always four of them at my feet. Heaven forbid I close even the bathroom door on them. When I get back from the store (or indeed anywhere) I have to bring them treats. Usually, by the time I haul in all the groceries, each animal has picked out what they want from the bags...and the object of their affection is sitting at their feet when I lock the door.
My Persian insists to be loved on like a baby each time I hold TLL in my lap. He jumps up on my chest puts his paws (and claws) on my free shoulder, settles his furry face in between them, and digs in each time I attempt to stand without supporting his furry tush with the crook of my arm. Please note that we were given this cat with a warning about how independent and not lap cat-esque he was.
The cats hate me to be at the computer desk. They make this very clear by first attempting to sit on the ledge in front of the monitor, and then if I should persist...they sit on the keyboard.
You might think by their antics that I don't give my animals enough attention. You may think the poor things are starved for attention. In reality, I am often accused of loving their furry little beings more than my husband and children. Of course that is nonsense. I love them as much maybe, but, not more. Granted, this theory has never been tested...and hopefully it never will be. I shudder to think about what I would do if I had to save them all from a burning building.
I am writing all of this tonight, to remind myself how much I adore them. Hubby is still here (until the wee hours) and it is nearing eighty in the house under his thermostat law. Eighty without any animals helping to warm me up. I don't like to be hot and sweaty when I'm trying to relax and hopefully sleep...but the fur sticking to me on top of it? Yeah...yuck.
Friday, April 24, 2009
I was exhausted way before the kids got home. After they arrived, it was a flurry of activity. We had to get ready for JB's choral program, all the children's parent night, and the book fair. At school we ran into JB's BFF. Who asked if she could come home with us. Since her mom just took JB to a birthday party in my stead (BFF was also attending) I felt obligated to allow her to join us. We hadn't eaten yet (of course) so after we left the school (after 8:00) we went to Whole Foods and got pizza. The options are limited when feeding BFF because they are practicing Muslims, so any meat must be halal. At dinner H accidentally pulled his straw out of his drink and a tiny drop landed on BFF's pizza. She threw it away immediately and informed me that she was still starving, so I bought her another slice. Which she ate exactly one bite of. Inviting herself to join us and then adding to my exhaustion are great examples of why BFF isn't my favorite person.
I also need to be ashamed of myself...according to my 11 year old, I am a scarlet woman. One of the stock boys (I use the term loosely, he is about 40) asked he if he hadn't just seen me there (at the market) with only one child. I laughed and (happily) shared that BFF isn't mine, and that he must have seen us over Spring Break when most of the brood were away. We spoke briefly about his own daughter who is TLL's age, and that was all folks. However, my 11 year old immediately hissed that I should be "horribly ashamed" of myself for flirting with "that guy."
I was treated to a car ride home during which we discussed what flirting is. Whether or not I was guilty, and if "that guy" was indeed hitting on me. I'm sure BFF's mom got an earful. At one point, I even tried to reason with BB. I suggested that IF I were to try and replace his father it would NOT be with a stock boy, or when I was 8 months pregnant. I also suggested that most women (myself included) would also apply make-up, brush their hair, wear a shirt that didn't have a hole in it, and not accessorize with all their children if they were attempting to flirt with anyone.
I thought I had made my point, until he said good-bye to me today..."I'm going to school now, please try to not throw yourself at any strange men while you're out of my sight."
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
It was maybe a little over a year ago that I started trying to be more green. Since I began on this quest nearly everything around my house has changed. We recycle. I usually have two full bins every week. Indeed, sadly we could recycle more if we had more room. Our community accepts one bin per residence, my extra is courtesy of a neighbor that isn't interested, but was kind enough to let us use her bin.
The next change I made was in the form of body care products. Costco happened to have an earth friendly shampoo on the cheap, as in cheaper than the conventional counterpart...so I tried it and liked it. Then they added shower gels, lotions, and scrubs by the same company for drastically less than I had been paying for my Bath & Body favorites. I was hooked. Our toiletries went officially green.
Cleaning products were harder to switch out. I had been using the same brands since I moved out of my parent's house. Which in turn were the same products my mom used. After an arduous process of trial and error, I have finally found products that work well and are better for our families and Mother Earth. I am going to share for anyone interested, what I like, and what I switched from at the end of this post.
When TLL was born, I was all too happy to go green with her as well. I found that Similac makes an awesome organic baby formula with all of the extra goodies but none(ish) of the extra chemicals. I also found that Babies R Us and Wal-Mart carry great organic clothing and bedding for babies. I watch the sales and my coupons, and I think I do a good job. Last trip, I bought just about an entire organic wardrobe for TLL for $60. *The really cool thing about this is, if I resell to a baby consignment type store...I tend to get more money for the clothes than what I originally spent.* I will cheerfully admit that I don't know if TLL's skin is just more resilient than the rest of my children's skin, but, I haven't had any of the little rash issues with her that I did with my others.
There are big failures too. 'Green' diapers didn't work for us. They aren't as absorbent, so we were using twice as many. The wipes are fine, but, when I can get 1000 wipes from Costco that are of the premium conventional variety, for $20, I can't justify only getting 250 wipes for the same amount of money. Paper towels are an addiction for me. I love my Bounty, and I have not found an eco friendly alternative in any price range. Toilet paper. I was happy with the Seventh Generation brand, or the Whole Foods brand, but, the kids rioted for Charmin. They won. Make-up is something I really haven't experimented with yet. When all is said and done, I am proud of both how far we have come and how much better I feel about what I am doing for my family.
Happy Earth Day!
- Shampoo----------> Giovanni and Shikai products
- Bath & Body Works lotions, gels, and scrubs--------->Giovanni
- Tide detergent----------->Ecos (way cheaper too)
- Shout stain remover------->Ecover stain remover
- Clorox bleach---------->Ecover 'bleach' powder
- Clorox II color safe bleach----------->Hydrogen peroxide (this is a money saver too)
- Bounce dryer sheets---------->Method 'wet' dryer sheets (the conventional stuff has animal fats in it, which all though I am by no means Vegan, I find icky)
- Lysol floor cleaner----------->Ecover or GreenWorks
- 409 surface spray------------>Seventh Generation or GreenWorks
- Windex glass cleaner------------->GreenWorks
- Palmolive dish soap--------------->Ecover
- Cascade automatic dishwasher tabs------------->Ecover automatic dishwasher tablets
- Huggies brand baby soaps/lotions/etc----------->method baby
- baby bedding------------------->Gerber organics
- baby clothes-------------------->Koala brand organic
- Air freshener------------------->method
- Antibacterial hand soap----------------->CleanWell
- Hand sanitizer-------------------->CleanWell
...and that's all folks.
Monday, April 20, 2009
I did a bajillion loads of laundry, well, okay four loads of laundry. Though, you all know how terrible my dryer is, so I am sure there is some 'hazard pay' credit involved somehow. I have all my children's clothes picked out for the week on Monday night (though for my better organized counterparts it may sound like I'm late, around here this is what is known as a miracle) whoo-hoo!!!
I do miss my husband, and from what I hear he had an awful day. However...the thermostat is mine again BABY! Okay, I know I'm lame but, once again, whoo-hoo! To be fair, I did suggest that the kiddos might want to wear their flannel jammies tonight.
My Grandmother stopped by with a whole bunch of cereal and juice for the kids. Unfortunately I couldn't come to the door because I was in the shower. The cereal and stuff isn't stuff I usually let them have, but...I am not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. Free food? Thank you Nana! And y'all caught the part about me being in the shower? Yep! This makes this ENTIRE month of April during which I have showered EVERY SINGLE DAY!
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Yes, I am that shrew.
One thing that my hubby doesn't get, is that I have a plan. At all times, with every decision made in public (usually for safety reasons, though some sanity saving ones as well) there is a plan in effect. Often I need to change/improvise/rework/ scrap and start over said plan, but, it does exist. When you take a large number of children, particularly your own (because THEY never listen to you) anywhere, it is important to think about contingencies. Not necessarily in depth, but to think, okay...if I am not going to have any hands free, I'll use the stroller. Then you tweak the plan as necessary, for example, to keep H from screaming while he is strapped into the stroller...I'll point out the ice cream cones everyone else is getting and tell him that if he's good, he will get one too. Then, Mom/Dad is able to actually buy ice cream without tempting every purse snatcher within a 100 mile radius, and it doesn't cost a fortune because there is no need to replace the cones you fling on the ground. Mom/Dad can even do this in relative peace if they acquiesce to the request for 'sphinkles' which I hear are much better than the kind I buy.
The reason that I like to let the children get out of the car is because I love my upholstery. Of course, I also realize that it is more fun for them to get to sit on the benches and goof off and enjoy the sugar rush, and I do love my children more than my leather seats. As the children begin to finish, I usually ask them to race from the bench to the wall (or whatever) so that they are burning off sugar fuel and I can control where they are running (i.e., not in the street) and I must admit that the big ones are wise to my game, but, participate because they like to run. Then I can sit back and snap pictures, play with the baby, eat my ice cream, and most of all enjoy my children.
Tonight was the Treat Night from Hell. I yelled at Hubby. He yelled at the kids. Everyone was off their game and miserable. It would have been much better to take the kids by myself and bring him back an ice cream. Of course while talking about it in the car on the way home, Hubby admitted that the reason he didn't put the children in the stroller was that...ARE YOU READY?...He doesn't know how the straps work. Somehow in the past 12 years, I have failed to notice that my husband has never learned how to use a stroller. *Thinking back to when TLL fell out of her swing right after he got here, maybe all things that strap.* I will say that it was a good thing that I had lost my temper already, because it would not have been pretty had I not felt chastised into being on my best behaviour.
So, tonight was an unmitigated disaster. From tonight, I learned something though. While I was furious at the time with Hubby, it was more my fault than his. If, for this long, I have been picking up his slack...I can't expect him to feel confident doing things that he has never had to do before. I'm not sure how this happened to be honest. I can't believe that for all these years, I've just done it all myself, never teaching or helping Hubby do things with/for the children on his own. I am a little shocked that he has never said, "hey, how does that work?" Instead he has been saying things like, "I forgot." Still, I am amazed. I am no longer angry, just sad. Maybe, just maybe this is why we are being given number six...to get it right...finally. This time around, I am going to play dumb from time to time. "Honey, can you figure these things out? I can't figure out how they work." There is one thing about my husband that I know...he can't resist a damsel in distress, and that folks...is how I'm going to get him.
There is one thing I am sure of though. Watching him leave was really, really hard. As frustrated as I have been with having him here, now at least I think I know why. I just watched my very best friend, and the only person who really understands me drive away. He took a piece of my heart with him when he left. Sure, I can do all the buckling and unbuckling of daily life on my own, but, I can't make us a family without him. The children will miss him terribly, he is the good parent to my bad parent. I will miss him more...he is my other half. It is still 2 years and 5 months until his contract in the South is up. That sure sounds like one heck of a long time.
How completely ridiculous. End of rant.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Hubby intends to make khoresht today (which is a stew kind of thing with lots of awesome herbs and spinach served over rice) for the family which means my step son will be here soon. I had planned on taking the kids to the Earth Day celebration at our local organic food grocer. I thought they would have fun with the yoga, music, face painting and zillion samples. Now, I'm not so sure we'll make it.
We'll see. I'll update later if the day isn't too crazy.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
I am getting to the point that I am scared. Really, very, terribly scared. You see, I have had one of my children all by myself (meaning no hubby at the hospital) and it was really my worst experience with having a baby...ever. I am very frightened that it will happen again this time. Since Hubby is living so far away, he may not be able to get here for the new baby's birth...and this scares me. My five babies right now, will have to be entrusted to my Aunt while I am in the hospital. I know that they all adore her, but, I hate leaving them. Honestly, if my insurance would cover a home birth, I would be all over it like white on rice.
My oldest son is fighting me tooth and nail in obvious ways and more subtle ones. He is so angry about this baby, and he really wants me to know it. Of course, he was also furious about the last four of my babies too. I am worried about him. I am also sad. I miss him, the way he usually is, so very much. While he was at my Mom's for a week, he told her about the baby (he asked if he could...and I'm chicken so I was okay with it) and her response was, "just don't tell your Grandpa, if he finds out he'll kill your mother." She has yet to raise the subject with me. My Mom's response, and they way they have reacted to the rest of their grandchildren, I think contributes to his anger. This is something else that makes me sad.
I am feeling massive amounts of guilt. I have never had two children as close together as TLL and the baby will be. I feel like I am cheating TLL out of attention that should still rightly be hers. She is such a precious baby and I feel like a monster knowing that soon she won't have 'latest addition' status anymore. I know I mentioned at some point finding a tee-shirt that said, "Nobody puts Baby in the corner." I bought that shirt in a lot of different sizes for TLL, so she can wear it if we find ourselves having trouble giving her the attention she will still need. Guilt eats at a Mommy. I think we thrive on it sometimes. I imagine it to be like unicorn blood in the Harry Potter books...it gives us life, but a cursed half life. *Overly dramatic, I know.*
I am feeling so very terrible. With my first three pregnancies, it was a breeze. I couldn't understand why women complained about it. With H, I began to understand a little better. With TLL I was completely miserable for six of the nine months. This time, it is even worse. Thanks to some nerve damage that is exacerbated by pregnancy, it is almost impossible for me to bend over without feeling like I am going to pass out. I also have trouble with suddenly not being able to feel my left arm and left foot. Then there is the pressure which is nearly constant now. I often wonder if other moms of many have had increasingly difficult pregnancies with their broods.
I am really disgusted with the house we are living in. I am tired of drying carpets (talk about a time suck) and I am tired of the roof leaking every five minutes. I am aghast at what is under the carpet upstairs. There is no padding. Just icky, wet wood. Today the towel bar in the children's bathroom fell to the floor. It took half the putty that was apparently replacing drywall with it. My Grandfather still hasn't finished the door, so I am getting all sorts of creepy crawlies inside, not to mention my electric bill has gone up $40 a month for the last two months. The folks next door punched a hole in our adjoining wall when installing their water softener. I have been seeing icky bugs in my kitchen, which completely repulse me. The exterminator traced the source to the wall. I have been told that they will keep spraying, but, it will be a losing battle so long as the hole exists and the woman next door isn't treating her home. They sprayed the day before yesterday and I spent all day yesterday cleaning up dead and dying bugs. Gross. This doesn't even touch on my bordering on OCD method of cleaning all kitchen surfaces every time I walk in there. I can deal with mess and clutter, germs and filth are a different story. Germs must be eradicated.
Now for some good things.
I am grateful for this blog. To have this outlet for my anger, frustration, and less than classy language has allowed me to keep much of my internal strife hidden from my children. There is a certain comfort in being able to put thoughts on paper (if you will) and then being able to walk away from them. Until I see those words and thoughts all typed out, often I can't stop them from running non stop through my mind at all times of the day and night.
We bought a new car seat for TLL yesterday. It made me feel like I was actually doing something to get ready for the new baby. It is a pretty extravagant affair, and was more money than I think we have ever spent on a car seat. Of course, it was also marked down $65 because it was one of two left at Costco. My husband the engineer gave up on the installation instructions and turned the process over to me. The car seat absolutely made me feel completely inept. I've had five kids...um, why can't I figure out a simple car seat? Still, the car seat was a good thing. A nesting thing even.
Three more weeks and H will get his cast off! I am so happy about this. It pains me to watch him with his cast. My family tends to say things like, "the cast isn't slowing him down." That statement makes me want to rip a heart or two out. I see everyday how much he fights to do things that used to be so easy for him. He is left handed and he is having a hell of a time. Glad I'm the only one who notices. I'm not sure if I want to save the cast or burn it when they cut it off...we shall see.
I am going to try to let a little more sun shine through in my blog. I do have five awesome children that wow and amaze me each and every day. My children make me laugh and fill me with love and pride. Hopefully, putting all my fears in words will let me distance myself from them, will lighten the pressure on my chest, and will let me concentrate more on the magic in my life. The magic is the best part.
I can't say that my house never looks like this when I'm here alone (well, minus the absence of caffeine brewing machinery and sticky soda) because it would be a lie. I can say that when I am here by myself, I am prepared to greet my shitastic first floor. It looks like it did when I went to bed the previous night. If I was too lazy to move a book bag off the stairs, at least I know it is there waiting for me in my sleepy stupor. If I decided to screw off and not do dishes, I know they will be there. It is frustrating and upsetting when I wake up to find that a tornado has torn through my home and nothing has been left in the place I last saw it. The shock combined with the reality sucks worse than the reality alone.
I went to bed last night a full hour after I was ready, and at least three hours before what my husband thinks is a normal bedtime. I was tired. I am tired. Having him home is driving me crazy. The children don't listen to me because Daddy is here. The schedule has been tossed out the window because my husband doesn't believe in them. Every single thing that I take comfort from is history right now (the coffee pot is the kicker) and I am having a really hard time not resenting it.
I should be more flexible. More understanding perhaps. In truth...I'm just pissed. He will leave again on Saturday, and it will be my burden to bear alone that the children no longer recognize bedtime. I will have to make them and myself miserable to get back on a schedule. It will be my job to put away all the toys that Daddy kept saying, "they don't have to do it right now..." I am longing for Saturday and dreading it all at the same time.
What a strange and miserable place we are in. My husband is frustrated because the children won't leave him alone, so he can't work in the evenings. I am frustrated because he is like the block that didn't quite fit right and sent the tower tumbling. When we are able, will we ever be able to come back from this place we are in? Will it ever again feel like we are working together in harmony, or are we just going to drift further and farther apart?
This post is awfully pessimistic. I guess that is what happens when I wake up to hours worth of work and no coffee. Throw in an 11 year old with a crappy attitude and you have a perfect recipe for gloom and doom.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
H's x-ray yesterday was good. We don't have to go back until the first week in May when they will probably take his cast off! Yay! He has figured out that his cast is a lethal weapon. He cuffed me in the head with it yesterday at the hospital a half dozen times. I am choosing to believe that he was acting out because he was scared, which is probably total bullshit, but it makes me feel better. I am also still nursing a slightly black eye from taking a shot from his cast in the dead of night. It hurt so badly that it woke me up, while H slumbered on oblivious. They offered yet again to recover the cast with a new color, but I again declined. After hanging out in the waiting room for better than two hours, I decided my time was more important than cosmetic improvements to his cast.
BB is under the impression that he will need to wear a suit and tie for his 5th grade graduation. I hope this is just his imagination in overdrive. After shelling out mucho dinero for H's arm and getting Hubby's tires and oil changed, I would prefer not to have to buy a suit for a child that will wear it once for a couple of hours. My parents are planning to drive up for this glorious occasion, and my grandparents and assorted aunts and uncles are also expected to attend. Is it just me, or is my family overreacting a bit to an elementary school graduation? I can assure you, he isn't the first in our family to attain this milestone. The graduation is June 1st and I am due June 7th. I am NOT looking forward to all the company, because, in case you thought I invited them...nope. Of course, being my family...they won't let a little thing like an invitation stand in their way. *sigh*
Okay that is all for random thoughts that are bothering me at the moment. I will now turn my attention to my overly needy children. Damn good thing they manage to coordinate their own crappy moods...I can't imagine what life would be like if only one were screaming at a time.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
Except...our Pizza Hut has closed down. This would not be particularly notable, but, this is the third place we used to frequent that we have tried to visit in the last week, that is now closed. Two of our favorite ice cream shops have locked their doors and now Pizza Hut. Ugh. So, we went to plan B (which of course we didn't actually have) and drove towards Wal-Mart, where we needed to visit for litter boxes (which were out of stock) and found that one of my favorite pizza places from my working lunch years has a new location. Yeah!!! So we stopped there for dinner. Holy Hell. Pizza for two adults and three kids, with three kiddie drinks and one adult beverage (water for me) came to fifty flipping dollars. A full quarter of what I spent at the grocery store yesterday...just for pizza.
I am shocked to admit that I am traumatized. Not having an income of my own has apparently given me a different perspective about spending money. While I still spend too much, it isn't with the same abandon that I used to. *Maybe this is why all our favorite places have gone belly up?* Today we are having oven fried chicken for dinner. I am using chicken that has been hanging out in the freezer waiting for me to get desperate, and it is already languishing in lowfat buttermilk, waiting to be dipped in spices and whole wheat panko. I am also making mashed potatoes with the remainder of what was starting to go bad in my pantry. Can you say guilt anyone?
Thursday, April 9, 2009
5 things that I hate to admit:
1. H hasn't had a bath since he got his cast. Since I have been made aware of the possible repercussions of getting his cast wet...I decided that I would rather him stink. I do give him sponge baths several times a day, but, they aren't sufficient to erase all proof of his adventures.
2. I am kinda easy going with H's meals. He grazes all day with very little recognition of actual meal time until dinner. He is in the 94th percentile for height and the 98th percentile for weight, with a BMI that made me cry (those are my genes and that is so damn unfair) so I think that no permanent damage is being done by my lazy Mommy approach.
3. I hate taking my kids to birthday parties. My daughter has one on Saturday and I am totally planning on pawning her off on BFF's mom who is also going. I don't know these people, chances are we don't have much in common, I hate crowds, and I DON'T WANNA!!!!!!
4. I NEVER check to see if my children get all the shampoo out. I figure better soap than dirt, so I just let this one go. My mother swears I am going to permanently damage my children's heads because the soap will make them itch, so they'll scratch...you get the idea. I haven't noticed any itching, if I had I would probably go into, "Oh my God...not lice" freak out mode.
5. I am an organic food freak. Please note that it started out as a quest to feed my husband food that is better for him. He has had two heart attacks. I am crazy about trying to pump foods into him that have been shown to lower cholesterol, foods that act as natural anti- inflammatories, and foods that have lots of antioxidants. Then I read that chemicals in pesticides (on conventional food) can be counter productive to eating lots of foods that are high in antioxidants. Organic eating became a quest...and one that I am darn good at. I also decided that if I was going to feed my husband the best, I should do the same for the children and myself. I spend no more on my groceries now than I did before we made the change. Maybe a little more on cleaning products, but, I really do like doing my part for Mother Earth.
5 things that I didn't know were going to suck about motherhood:
1. Children that talk back. When you start out with a sweet little baby, you can never make the leap from that bundle of joy to a surly preteen. At least, I couldn't make my mind go there. Now we ARE there, and I hate it.
2. Having to fix meals for your children, when seriously you are so damn tired and don't understand why cereal can't be good enough...just this once.
3. NEVER getting to have an adult conversation without one of those aforementioned surly preteen children stopping by to find out WHO you are talking to, WHAT you are talking about, and WHY it is necessary that you talk to anyone that isn't them.
4. Having to bite back the impulse to say, "just leave me the fuck alone," ten times a day. This often coincides with number 3. Sometimes, the "mom" that is repeated until I answer, in a voice that increases by several decibels each time it is said, feels like little bullets hitting my brain. There are times, when I am trying to put a sleeping baby down in the crib, or when I am on the phone with the school's principal that I just can't answer. Since it isn't like I'm wearing shoes or know where my car keys are...I am obviously not running away...so please just wait a second.
5. Temper tantrums. Okay, I had heard about the terrible twos...but the threes, fours, fives, sixes, sevens, and so on too? What the hell is this?
5 things that I love about being a Mom:
1. Babies. I LOVE babies. The first year of life is so awesome. I really don't care about never sleeping or about spit up...to get to hold that squirmy baby who is MINE all MINE!!! I love babies.
2. Toddlers and learning. There is nothing as funny, cute, or pride inducing as my little ones telling me all about the big bad world, how it works, and what their place is in it. I love this stage where everything is magic to them. It makes the tantrums and constant boundary pushing worthwhile.
3. Cuddles. I love how even the most surly of the preteen crowd, will pick a quiet moment (away from witnesses) to come and just be hugged and kissed and loved. THAT is one part of my job that I take really seriously.
4. Excitement. When all the chips are down for Mom and Dad, and all I really want to do is cry, I just have to look at my kids. Seeing the excitement on their faces, the eagerness for the world to be theirs...I know that no matter what is going on behind the scenes, the real goal is getting accomplished. We may be imperfect parents, but, we are still raising helluva good kids.
5. The word "Mom" every time it is said without the whiny undertone, and even sometimes when it is. My kids make me feel like a rock star. I may not be a household name, but, I mean enough to these guys that it completely makes up for it.
Okay, now to tag five more blogs...
1. Kim's blog, Stuck in the Suburbs
2. KP's blog, Ventalicious
3. Karen's blog, The Rocking Pony
4. Jude's blog, Just Teeth
A blog that I found in a search, from Down Under
5. The Way of Life in Oz
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Then the big kids and I went to an Easter Egg Hunt and an egg decorating class at our Whole Foods market. The kids were disappointed by the egg hunt, and I was disappointed by the egg decorating class. Each of my kids found an average of two eggs on the egg hunt...I can hardly imagine the results if all 25 children had shown up, we had 12. The egg decorating class had claimed to be a class teaching children how eggs could be naturally colored and decorated. In reality they had about ten egg decorating kits that were anything but natural. My kids had the best time though! In the end it was their enjoyment that mattered most, I'm not sure anyone will ever ask to sample any of their creations. I sent one child to school today with pale purple fingers and two with pale blue fingers. I have two fingertips that have faded from bright orange to a "does she have hepatitis yellow" so I think I am going to declare our egg dyeing duties over for this Easter season.
Home was really lovely last night. MY HUSBAND IS DRIVING ME FREAKING NUTS! He fixed dinner for himself last night. No mention of the children or myself. He did wait until after we got back from our Easter fun to start his dinner, because, he can't cook and watch children "at the same time." Then after dinner he proceeded to tell me about how he really needed to go over the material for the training class he is taking today and tomorrow. *I'm not the engineer...but, if I had the book for say a month, and say for the first 25 days I had the book, my days were child free, and say I knew that when I got home that I would have 5 children wanting my attention...I think I would have studied BEFORE I came home. Please note, I am not the engineer.* Of course, last night was another bedtime disaster. Hubby thought that since H had a short nap so that I could make the school conference, he would put him down for a nap at five in the evening. He also called to let me know that the baby fell out of her swing onto the tile floor because he 'forgot' to strap her in. Fortunately, no concussions or brain damage seem to have resulted.
I finally walked the baby to sleep last night. Then I told Hubby that I was too tired to see H through to bedtime. I hit the bed, Hubby and H came up a few minutes later. TLL woke up an hour later. I walked her back to sleep. She was up two hours after that. Hubby brought her into bed with us. Then she got up again around 4:30. Hubby made her a bottle and I put her back to sleep. I went back to bed. Hubby woke me up a half hour later to inform me that he couldn't fall back to sleep. He also told me that his training class was going to be a disaster because he was exhausted, and of course it was all my fault. *sigh* I hope he has a good day and comes home in a decent mood.
Monday, April 6, 2009
Hubby: H keeps hitting me with his cast. Do something!!!
Me: *Quietly wondering why I am supposed to solve the problem. Am I the only parent present?*
In the parking garage...
Hubby: I hated H riding in the back of the stroller yesterday. I want you to put him up front today.
Me: H rides better in the back.
Hubby: Just do it the way I told you to.
...fast forward three minutes...
Hubby: Why in the hell is this stroller so hard to push?
Me: H has his feet in the wheels. He also locked the front wheels with his sneaker.
Hubby: What the f*#k is this? I'm not going to help if he is going to act like this.
Me: Would you like to stop and switch H to the back of the stroller? Where he can't reach the wheels?
Hubby: No. He is fine.
In our kitchen...
Hubby: *sitting at the bar eating his dinner*
Me: BB, JB, LB, H...wash your hands and come downstairs. Dinner is ready!
Hercules: I wanna go outside!
Hubby: Where are your shoes?
Hercules: Here they are. *hands them to his Dad who puts them on his feet*
Hubby: LB, go outside with H and watch him. *opens door for kids*
Me: *pulling on pants, I was in my pj's*
Hubby: Where are you going? Come get your plate. *he is sitting back down at bar and eating*
Me: To get the kids. I need to feed them dinner before I eat.
Me: LB is too little to watch H. It is okay (sorta) if they are playing out back, but never out front. Also, most parents feed their children before themselves.
Hubby: Oh. *looking completely disinterested and eating his dinner*
Then I called in February, I was told that the AP I had dealt with was no longer at the school. Super!!! So I got the new AP...not the principal...God forbid, not the principal. I explained that I had already spoken to my son's teachers, the old AP, the guidance counselor...but no cigar. I was told that I would need to go through the new AP before getting to talk to the principal. The new AP sent me, not to the principal, but to the guidance counselor...again. The guidance counselor suggested that because my son's grades are good, I should drop the whole thing. Um thanks...maybe not.
So, I called again in March. I got the guidance counselor AGAIN. I asked her several questions that she provided less than acceptable answers to. OKAY...now can I talk to the principal? No. So, I called the school again and dropped all pretense of being a kind and caring person. I told them in absolutely NO UNCERTAIN terms that if they could not provide me with an email address for the principal, or give me her voice mail, or *gasp* actually put her on the phone, that my two year old son, my 8 month old daughter, and myself were going to be spending ALL DAY, EVERY SINGLE DAY at the office until I had seen the principal.
I must have sounded serious because the next morning the principal returned my call. She told me that she was aware of ONE occasion that I tried to reach her, but that she had delegated it to her AP. I then asked what should have happened when I called to say that the teachers were not doing anything that they agreed to do at the conference and that the matter was ongoing. "Well, then I should have been made aware if it," she said. Okay...allow me to suggest that you look into how matters that at least one party thinks requires your attention are delegated.
So, she promised to look into it and get back to me the next day. The next day, I got a call from her secretary saying that the principal was very busy, she would return my call the following day...which DID NOT happen. Then Spring Break. Today I called and spoke with her secretary...she promised me that IF the principal is in today, she will make sure she sees my message.
Why in the hell is it so hard to bring potential problems to the attention of the administration? For example, I think that the principal should know abut cafeteria clean up duty for students...I am pretty sure that sweeping and mopping the cafeteria floor...might turn out to be a liability issue if one of the children get hurt.
*sigh* I HATE school.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
This post is going to be short because apparently a woman's brain does truly shrink during pregnancy. However a couple of things are flitting around in my mind.
- I LOATHE being off our happy schedule.
- Even if my kids are in totally craptastic moods, at least I know when they'll sleep, usually.
- Having kids in craptastic moods with limitless energy sucks.
- It sucks worse if your husband's crying and whining just adds to the fun.
- If your way clearly doesn't work...what the hell...try it your wife's way, just in case maybe in a zillion months of single parenting she actually learned something.
- I fucking hate ineptitude. It is one of the reasons that I left the workforce...why I am just remembering it now?
- When bedtime has gone all to shit...screaming at your spouse at the top of your lungs...probably isn't going to help the little ones slip off into dreamland. Please see the above observation about trying it your wife's way...ya know...just in case it works.
- Can it really be preferable to be seen as a raving lunatic than to...ya know...try it your wife's way and take the chance that you'll be *gasp* wrong?
P.S. Your wife would probably never even mention that it was her idea...if you would just fucking do it already.
H: Yeah, alimony and child support, I like that. Like that would happen.
H: *sigh* Work hard, and there is nothing left. Nothing. Is this what the rest of my life is going to be like?
H: *finally addressing me* Honest to you, this is all your fault. Is all your fault, all these kids. Really it is you know. Women have more control over these things, it's true.
- My husband can be a huge jackass.
- I'm so thrilled that he is here to screw up my routine for the next two weeks.
- An added bonus is all the sunshine he is bathing us in while he's here.
- If you are wondering what prompted the monologue...? So the fuck am I.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Friday, April 3, 2009
Confession time. I have been such a slacker this week. Oh my goodness! Such a slacker. My husband is coming home...now. Like he is on the road and driving this way. He'll be here in another three hours. He will see...oh my...he will see that all the organizing I was going to do, all the cleaning that I was planning for this Spring Break...I have so not even touched.
I have slept, (a lot...like roughly 14 hours a day...my baby girl ROCKS) I have played with my little lady every chance I got, I have read, I have watched television, I have snuggled with my dogs, I have taken long leisurely strolls with my daughter....but I haven't cleaned for SHIT. Like nothing. I have kept up with TLL's laundry, bottles, toys, etc. However, the rest of my house is still screaming, "we're so leaving for Spring Break....let's trash the place!"
Hubby wasn't supposed to be home until Tuesday night...I figured I had plenty of time. I'm so screwed!
Shit. Frig. Damn.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
German media reported the wife got through 15 years of marriage putting up with the man's penchant for doing household chores, tidying up and rearranging the furniture.
But she ran out of patience when he knocked down and rebuilt a wall at their home when it got dirty, Christian Kropp, court judge in the central town of Sondershausen, said on Thursday.
"I'd never had anyone seek a divorce for this," he said.
Okay...so where are all the other important details, like his picture, and if he likes children?
TLL and I went to Whole Foods yesterday so that I could pick up some dinner. I hate to cook, and I refuse to do so for just one person. So, I was all excited about eating one meal (from their hot bar of course) yesterday. TLL was pretty good while I ate, although, the food wasn't as good as it usually is. No biggie, I was hungry, I just ate quickly so as not to savor it too much.
Then we hit the aisles for a little of this and that. You know, little treats for the children when they get back. Oh, and my astronomically expensive canned coffee beverages...if someone would just hook me up with a caffeine IV, I could save so much money.
We checked out, and the bag boy put everything in one bag. *sigh* I have complained (bitched) about this before, but, they have a policy about not using more trees than necessary. If I could only remember my reusable shopping bags each time, then I'd have no qualms with Whole Foods at all.
So, TLL and I are carrying our one bag to the car (because they don't have parking lot cart return either) and holding our umbrella because it has started pouring, when the bottom rips out of the bag. The entire contents of my bag end up in the parking lot. First the glass bottle of Mango juice (JB's favorite) then the pan of tiramisu (BB's favorite) and a four pack of canned energy drinks, canned pineapple, four cans of cat food, two more bottles of juice, a bag of dog treats, a box of cookies, gum, two boxes of kleenex, and two bags (H and LB's favorite treats) of gummy worms. Too much stuff for one bag...right? Right.
I had the distinct pleasure of strapping TLL into her car seat and then trying to clean up tiramisu, glass, and assorted groceries from the parking lot. I tried to save the cat food...not one of my best ideas, it leaked all over my floorboard, and now my truck smells like tuna. Why, why, why does this crap always happen to me? Biggest mess? Must be Viv. Loudest crash? Viv. FEMA aid required? Thanks to Viv.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
- TLL and I woke up at 10:00 this morning after going to sleep at 9:30 last night.
- TLL and I took our naps at 12:30 this afternoon...just two and a half hours after we started our day.
- We napped for two and a half hours.
- My cat is asleep on his back with his tummy in the air, something we haven't seen him do since H started crawling.
- I haven't cooked anything since the weekend.
- I have taken a shower and brushed my teeth every single day this week.
Why don't I remember it being this easy when I only had one?