Friday, December 10, 2010

If you don't have anything nice to say...

Hi Guys,

Thanks for all your thoughts and well wishes. You haven't heard from me because I don't have a great deal to say. Unemployment hasn't paid us a dime yet. As a former federal employee, the state won't pay until the federal government furnishes them with my husband's wage statement...which they haven't done'll be three months on the 16th. That has left us scrambling to put food on the table and keep the lights on. Without my sister, this Christmas would not only be non-existent, it would be spent in the dark. My husband's brother is being more than patient about collecting his rent. The current stress level is mind numbing. To add insult to injury, Toby, my oldest cat, the love of my life, has been missing since Sunday night. are the kids? They're great! They have adjusted with grace. I know that I (just as you all know this about your own) have the best kids in the world.

Much love to all of you, you are seldom far from my thoughts. I hope that all your holidays will be filled with love, peace, and cheer.

Until the next time,


Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Our family joined the ranks of those faced with unemployment last month. I've been feeling a bit blue as a result. Starting to worry 24/7 about just about everything. Can't help but think, that I am ready to catch a break.

I'll try and get a proper post up here within the next couple of days.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hey Y'all

The Proud crew is alive and well. My ISP is upgrading to a 4G network, and my 3G modem is pretty much worthless right now. My contract is up this month, so, soon I'll be back online, one way or the other.

The Summer was eventful, and uneventful, all at the same time. This is the children's second week back at school, so Summer, except for the oppressive heat, is over. BB is in 7th grade now, JB is in 5th, LB in 3rd. I'm tired of homework already, not sure where the kids stand on the subject, but, I'm a hater. I'm still wading my way through their packets of paperwork...perhaps I should have said mountains, and playing Homework Nazi to the children.

This is just a quickie post to let you all know that I'm still here, and hoping to come back to the bloggy world soon. Please drop me a line, or a comment and let me know how you and yours are doing, because I do think about you all.

Until a technological miracle occurs,


Monday, July 19, 2010

Little Bo Peep lost her sheep...and Viv found them

My vacation is taking care of my six kids, my flock of (20) birds, our six guinea pigs, four hamsters, and a total of fifteen dogs, seven cats, Boss Lady's flock of 11 birds, two bunnies, a bearded dragon, and their hamster. (They have two snakes too, which blessedly, have already eaten.) I am totally in my element here, I only wish that my children were far, far away from my element. This work-cation is really for them though. They have been swimming in the pool, running after dogs, playing on the swings, jumping on the trampoline, having picnics in the shade under the trees, and feeding crickets to the bearded dragons.

*I* have been cleaning bird cages, serving meals to the menagerie, and sweeping the floors six times a day. I keep hoping to have the energy left after the kids go to sleep to take advantage of the pool myself...thus far...not so much. I have been snuggling sweet dogs, turning a rescued puppy mill dog into a tail wagging, people jumping, pseudo-extrovert...which her family sees all the time, I am sure, but it has been rewarding to have her come out of her shell with me.

Entertaining the masses today (okay fine, just my aunt, and neighbor's family as he is doing some work on the property out here) and keeping the kids from drowning felt like a full time occupation today. I think that tonight I'll go to bed early (not too early, last let out for the dogs is midnight) and bring my coffee maker over here in the morning. I am in need of caffeine. This is day two without coffee...and you all know, I need my coffee.

In other news, my Lilly has been so flipping awesome with everyone. I'm so proud. My other dogs have been great too. Turns out that the snarling beast my Patty becomes when faced with strangers is actually just a bad case of leash aggression...who knew???!!!

I have a new bird, a quaker named Kiwi. Kiwi came into my life just a couple of days before we left, and he grabbed my heart with an iron fist. He is fifteen years old, and he quickly wrapped me and my favorite Nanday around his beak. Even the kids adore him. I was sobbing yesterday because I missed him so much (I go back everyday to feed and check on our crew with the exception of the dogs who came with) and was really sad to be without him. Today was better, he gave me kisses and accepted my parting gift of people junk food with much enthusiasm. My Nan gave me kisses too, and I miss them terribly, but, I don't feel as badly about leaving them today. It is especially happy that they have each other for company.

Boss Lady has around 5,000 cable channels. Whoot! Gather children, and let Dora work her magic, and have her wicked way with you. I know this a horrible substitute for mind stimulating, mother led, activity. On the plus side, working the remote is like a lesson in computer science.

Okay, well, I am about to put my midgets upstairs in the hope that they will go to sleep. I will slip out to the pool, and hopefully swim off a few of the strawberry milkshake creme oreos that I just ate...with fat free milk of course.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Tonight I blog from Boss Lady's home. We are house/dog/bird/etc sitting for her family this week. Tonight, is our first night here, and with the exception of one very headstrong dog who refuses to come in, all is well. This is the first night that I have spent away from my babies by choice in....well, ever. BB and JB are my oldest, and, the only two with me here tonight.

My dogs are here with us, and they are being amazing. They acted like they had been here all their lives, and their dogs acted like they had been reunited with their long lost siblings. Very cool. Very cool, because I was super stressed about it. All four legged animals are at peace.

I am almost in tears missing my birds though. It is really hard to be away from them, I know that my hubby didn't kiss our Nanday good night. My sun conure hates my husband, and the quaker and the green cheek really don't know him. My babies! *sob*

I am less worried about my children with him. They are all pretty vocal at this point, and they will demand things like food and water. He is extremely frustrated because he has to watch the babies tonight...oddly (or perhaps not oddly at all) I am not sympathetic to this.

Okay, well, I will try to blog a bit more frequently now. My home network went down again, and they got it back up and running just shortly before I left is hoping that I will be able to access the internet on a regular basis again.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

"Oh,no she didn't!!!"

Lilly, our new dog is a pit bull. Yes, you heard me, a pit bull. She is the epitome of a well adjusted, happy, sweet, playful dog. She is the dog who responds favorably to new people, places, and things. She is the one who will take her walking orders from a tea cup poodle. She is the one who lets my kids use her as a step stool.

I wouldn't trust my chi mix with another person, child, or animal on the planet. She is mean. Not to her own, but to everyone and everything else. Would she bite? You bet! My JRT is far more mellow than my chi, and I trust her implicitly with my family and long as I'm holding her.

Lilly? I have zero fear that she will be aggressive with another human. Her strength is phenomenal. She will go into a trance with a big old beef knuckle bone in her teeth, until she cracks it with her jaws. At last count, that took seven minutes, and I strongly encourage all to be outside of the projected trajectory. Yet, her heart is gentle and pure.

I have no regrets about her being a part of our lives. It does however upset me when people freak out when they see her. Picking up your kids that are at least 40 feet away from her is going a tad far. Hollering nasty thoughts about my capability as a parent...BECAUSE OF MY DOG, is ludicrous.

Grow up people. Pits are not fighting machines. They *can* be bred that way. They *are* inherently brave. They are muscular, sleek, and awe inspiring. Most pits are lovers. They love their family, they are protective of their homes, and they are sweet, amazing companions. Smart, very, very smart dogs. Pits helped build this land in their role as farm dogs. AND...a pit bull, or any other dog, is more than 100 times less likely to kill a child, than that child's own parents. Really.

If you come to my house and you're afraid of my dog(s) please just ask me to keep them under lock and key while you or your child are here. Chances are, that was my plan anyway. I do buy dog food, so I have no need to try to coerce my animals into eating you or your offspring. Besides, trying new things upsets their digestive systems. So, get over it. Please?

Thanks. *Coming down from my soapbox.*

My Chi is, as are all my dogs, a rescue. Her aggression is limited to other animals and people she doesn't know. We take any and all necessary precautions to keep her and others safe. It is ironic though, that people will bring their children up and want to let them pet her...while she is muzzled...and then, those same people will run away from my APBT, who requires neither muzzle nor gruff word.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010 anyone out there???!!!

It has been so long since I have blogged that I had to go back and read my own blog to figure out where I left off.

The job was awesome. It was perfect for me, and I think that Boss Lady was happy with what we accomplished. It did teach me that regular 9-5 work is not in my near future. It also taught me that there might be a niche for what I excel at, maybe one day, I can devote some more time to helping carve it.

Hercules broke another television. Yep. Another one. He totaled this one with a plastic hanger. I didn't even cry this time, I guess I am slowly becoming desensitized to calamity and disaster.

We threw our couch out. It was an impulse decision based on the fact that it was broken. Broken or not, I quickly found myself longing for a place to rest my fat ass weary bones. So, I salvaged a sofa and over sized chair from my neighbor's trash. Please picture one adult driving my SUV, a piece of furniture resting partially on the tailgate, a child holding onto the arm from the backseat, and me jogging along behind the vehicle supporting the rest of the furniture. One helluva mental image, right?

The sofa was actually picked out by our new dog, Lilly. She sat on it while it was on the curb for pick-up, and refused to get off. I think she was indicating to me that her new home was missing something. A few jugs of bleach from Costco, and I have 'new' living room furniture. truly, they surprised me with how well they cleaned up, and they are a very lovely off white leather...not even pleather, real leather.

Lilly is a three and a half year old AmStaff. She has decided not to eat my kids, cats, birds, or small neurotic dogs, and thus, she can stay. She is very, very cute. Black with white paws, white chest, and a white splash on the very tip of her tail. I had her informally evaluated by my new friend and sporadic Boss Lady, who gave her the 'thumb up' for being a good girl. Lilly is an alpha, but, defers to my JRT who is THE QUEEN BITCH, and lets my chi act like a big deal. My dogs hate anything with fur, and yet, they have given Lil their acceptance, so, she is now an official Proud pet.

While moving the living room furniture around yesterday, I had a bookcase collapse. It took out three pieces of furniture when it fell, including two fish tanks, the entertainment center, television, and another shelving unit. All but one fish and one snail were salvaged from the wreckage. To save on clean-up, I tried posting a "Mommy's Sushi Bar Is Now Open" sign for the cats, the picky little brats won't eat the stupid fish off the floor...only out of the tank. Apparently, there isn't any sport in scooping them off my tile.

The Proud family is doing okay, but, we have been busy. Now, I need to surf the internet, it has been almost a month since my home network has been working, and I am going through some serious withdrawal. See you on your blogs, I will catch up...just watch me!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Writer's Block...

...and I'm not even a writer.

There is so very much going on in my life right now. Some of it would make remarkable blog fodder, but, putting it out there doesn't feel right. So, I have been a little stuck for things to talk about. Let me catch you up, at least a little bit.

I found a job. It is just until the end of next week, but, a job it is. It is lovely. As a matter of fact, it is something that I would pay to do, so I feel a little like I'm cheating. I am helping a lady who is quite a bit like me, to organize and rearrange some things around her house. Her family has several dogs, cats, birds, a bunny. They also have a beautiful home, which has such a lovely feeling about it...I think that the feeling is love.

I have been feeling a bit stale about my own home, and I think that the inspiration to have my own home reflect the love I have for my family (though, granted not for the house itself) will come as a result of being exposed to the great karma that her home has. For the first time in a looong while, I had the chance to miss my kids without being actively involved in something that would benefit them, like grocery shopping, and there is a rejuvenating breeze that seemed to blow this afternoon as a result.

In other news, the kids are out of school for the summer, and I am trying to gain the gumption to send my grandmother an email thanking, but, 'no-thanking' her for looking into summer camp for the kids. I really just want to shut down for a time, and with the exception of my little 'job' I fully intend to do just that.

H has been off his gluten free diet because his last round of test results indicated that we could reintroduce it. WHAT A MISTAKE!!! I am already done with this experiment on week 2, and I think that he will be gluten free for...about the next 15 years, or until he moves out, whichever is later. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME KIDS!!! CAUTION! DANGER! JUST SAY NO! (Um, this was a very bad, dumb idea.)

Okay, so I am off to bed. I hope that all of my bloggy pals are well, and I will catch up on your blogs this weekend. Really, I will.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

We are having a 'lazy Summer'

We are coming to the end of another school year. I am so very pleased and happy that the kids will be home, and that we'll be able to avoid alarm clocks and such for the time being. Summer vacation is a vacation from scheduling, at which I am doing quite poorly, at the moment. I think that the lack of sleep from the past two years has finally caught up with me in earnest. Sometimes I just can't wake up. I know I need to, I know I should...and still, the idea of getting out of bed at that moment, seems as impossible a task as taking flight. I'm hoping to recharge me batteries this summer.

Organization is another key component of my plans. We are going to finally have time to sit down and figure out what to keep, what to let go, and where to store it all. The kids might actually be as excited about this prospect as I am. A place for everything...not a novel idea, just not something we've enjoyed for a rather long time now.

Camp is most emphatically *not* part of my plans. I am not going to let the kids enroll in, nor let them be enrolled in anything that requires us to keep a schedule. I actually think the kids might be relieved about this one. Camp is fun, but, alarm clocks are not. Nor, is it fun to get seven people out the door by the time the rooster crows. I just have to remember to stay strong in my convictions when well meaning family try to 'help out.'

So, I say, "Come on Summer! I am longingly waiting for all the relief you bring, at the same time that I am dreading the heat and humidity that we must bear to entertain you." Please, this last week is one of the most difficult to bear...HURRY!!!

Monday, May 31, 2010

A 'real' post should be available tomorrow

Just a few random gems that I thought I might share...

How do you know that your bird's last family liked dipping into the powder? Because you rush your bird to the vet with it's terrible 'human-like' cold to find that it is merely mimicking snorts of different varieties. After careful consideration, I think that I might prefer a potty mouthed bird...just sayin.'

The same bird tried to remove my husband's arm last night. He sure is pretty (the bird) but, he is a real handful. Of course, immediately after removing a half dollar sized portion of my hubby's arm, he climbed up in my lap to give me kisses. I suspect that this bird likes the ladies.


If your husband bitches non stop about helping? No matter how much help he is providing, you'll wish he haste.

I mean, this terrible, horrible, exhausting life that he keeps claiming is making him miserable and possibly killing him, is your own.


My step son contacted me via Facebook. My husband encouraged me to ignore the request, I'm glad I didn't. He apologized, and now, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my chest.

This rather shifts the yin and yang of my world back into the appropriate balance. I love my step son, and I always will. No matter what happened in the past, that simple fact won't change. I will honestly admit that this applies to S alone, I haven't heard anything from N, and I wouldn't want to. While loving, doesn't cover 'liking' or 'trusting' necessarily, none of the above applies to N. My relationship with N was tenuous at best, before this past Fall, it is now completely non existent. I intend to keep it that way. N worked hard for years, at straining what little bond we had. After all that happened, it is broken beyond repair.


My husband is throwing away my tee shirts as I type. Heads might roll.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Where have you been Mrs. Proud?

This question has been asked of me many times as of late. The truth is that I have been busy. Not busy with my children, well, at least not more so than usual. Not busy with my house...I will still try and visit with you on my non-existent veranda should you pop by unannounced. I've been busy with my birds.

It started pretty innocently, a single parakeet for my son's birthday. Then, in the blink of an eye my husband and I had a whole flock. In truth, I knew that what we had been wanting was a medium sized parrot. Instead, I tried to go the 'easy' route. Smaller birds are less of a commitment, right? That one little parakeet turned into a flock of six in the blink of an eye. Then we added a pair of canaries, and a cockatiel. Still, something wasn't right. So, we brought home a Nanday Conure. (There is a whole blog post on loving and losing a bird here for another day.) "Ahh," I'm surprised you couldn't hear our contented sighs from where you are Internet.

And then, we did something silly. We checked Craigslist one more time for the heck of it. A Sun Conure was listed. So, my husband said, "offer her 25% of the list price." So, we did. AND...she accepted our offer. So, we brought Herbie home to join our flock too. My husband keeps asking him, "Damn you, why do you have to be such a cute looking bird?"

I'm exhausted people. It is a contented exhaustion, but, bringing home these babies has been much like bringing home twins I should think. They wake me up every couple of hours all through the night. They cry constantly if I am attending the other. They both seem to be bonding to me. It looked like our Nanday was going to be a man's bird. Then my husband tried to get him to step up off of me, and got torn a new one. Nan seems to be mine now. Herbie won't step up for anyone. He does shriek until I open his cage so that he can chew holes in my shirts, preen my feathers, and give me kisses. He is very sweet until he sees hands, then he tries to amputate fingers with his beak.

There are all sots of other things going on too. My husband has been home this week. He is sick, and he is also sick and tired. He is about to lose his job. We knew that he had been 'working' on borrowed time. He also knows that he needs to stick with it until he finds another job, or until they dismiss him. If he gets emotional enough to quit, we would lose the unemployment option should we God forbid need it. It is stressful.

I ran my son to school yesterday morning. The truck was out of gas, and our local filling station has but four pumps. There was a pick-up with a trailer blocking the entrance to one pump, and closing access off to two more. I will admit to being grumpy, and pre-caffeinated judgement led me to jump out of my truck and yell, "You're busting my balls for two frigging gas cans? You've gotta be kidding!" So, if you are the dude I yelled at yesterday...I realize that I was not in my best form, and anatomically incorrect to boot. You're still a douche bag though Bud, 'kay?

I'll post some pictures of my new babies later. Thanks for all the emails and stuff asking if we were okay, you guys are great, really great!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The things that make my world go round

In the crazy, hectic past few weeks, there were a few blog posts that should have been written, that were not. So, today's post will be a collection of 'bloggy shorts.'


"What the hell is leaking?" I asked this question out loud at Costco. I was trying to ascertain what was dripping all over my carefully packed grocery cart and onto the floor. The answer? Pee.

My youngest daughter's diaper had shifted and caused her latest deposit to leak down her legs, into my groceries, down the sides of the milk gallons, and then puddle on the cement floor. Other than the 'gross' factor, there was the 'poorly prepared mother' factor. I was without a change of clothes for Baby Girl...or anyone else for that matter, and I have two babies in diapers and a newly potty trained toddler, so you would think that I would plan better for the inevitable.

We were also in the farthest corner from the restrooms. So, I changed my child's diaper in mid air, while holding her over a gigantic trash can, in the refrigerated foods section. I then mopped up my groceries, child, and the floor as best I could with baby wipes, put the wet skort in my purse (Vera Bradley is very washable) and tried to maintain my composure when the cashier asked if the apple juice was leaking.


"Mom, my ear feels funny!" I've heard my soon to be 8 year old say this approximately 1,000,000 times in the last few weeks. "Does it hurt?" I would ask. He maintained that it did not, and then I would promptly forget about the exchange.

It was an early release day from school, and I had my son, his friend, and the rest of my little ones at the ice cream place. As we stood in line, I was looking for the person who was bringing me two canaries, so I was distracted. "Here Mom," was all I needed to obediently stick my hand out, to receive whatever object LB was about to put in my palm. I glanced down at my hand, I was holding what appeared to be a medium size pebble.

"What is it?" I asked my son.

"I think it is what was bothering me," he said. I frowned and examined it more closely. "It just came out of my ear," he helpfully added. He had caught me off guard, I shrieked and jerked my hand, the 'pebble' went flying. The group of high school girls in front of us also screamed and ducked, so I have to assume that at their age, it is either a 'flocking behavior' response, or that they had been paying greater attention to my son's endeavors that I had been.

I surveyed the other patrons, aside from the group of teenagers, all but the bemused elderly couple behind us, were politely pretending we were invisible, or were oblivious. My son took advantage of my hesitation and began searching. "Stop right there," I ordered.

"But, BUT...I WANTED TO KEEP IT!!!" he sobbed.


I was waiting in the car with LB, it was time to leave to drop the children at school. "What is taking your sister so long? Go find out." I ordered LB.

LB returned to the truck alone. "JB isn't coming to school today," he announced, "we can go ahead and leave." I gave him a suspicious look and went to investigate the matter.

My oldest son was sitting at the counter, "JB's upstairs in the bathroom, she threw up when she was putting on her shoes. I guess she needs to stay home." I returned to LB and without saying much, because I am not very talkative and border on being 'screamy' pre-coffee, kissed him good-bye before he got out of the car at school.

JB spent the day suffering from allergies and a touchy tummy. She was relaxing on the sofa when LB got home. "Your teacher said that you could have worn flip-flops if you had come to school today." I thought very little of the comment, and dismissed it as my son giving my daughter a hard time, or as another funky Spirit Day theme.

I was less dismissive of BFF when she drove by with her mother, "JB! Mrs. B. said you could wear flip-flops if you need to!" I asked my daughter what that meant after they drove away.

"I have no idea Mom. Maybe Mrs. B has me mixed up with A, because A hurt her foot the other day at school?" My daughter shrugged and sneezed the comment off.

"Oh no," LB spoke up, "your teacher isn't confused. I told her that you couldn't come to school today because you couldn't find your shoes." We all stared at him. "Well, that is why JB didn't go to school, right? Because she couldn't find her shoes?"

"No Nimrod," my oldest son chimed in, "she threw up all over her shoes!" My oldest son ignored my death stare at his choice of words. "That's so rich! JB's teacher thinks she was out of school because she doesn't have any shoes!" As his gales of laughter continued, the horror of the scenario was washing over me, apparently my daughter wasn't immune to the implications either.

"Mommy! Please can you home school me starting tomorrow?" Much to her chagrin I denied her request. Today, I found her going through her closet. "I'm going to wear a different pair of shoes each day this week," she said, "just so people will know that I have some."


Jen, over at Diagnosis: Urine asked how I explained the terms in my last post to my children. She wanted to know how I explained lines, blow jobs, penis picture posts, and fuck to my children after our last dinner out on the town. Well Jen, blow jobs are drinks just like Shirley Temples, but, they have alcohol in them, so only adults can say the name. The people at the next table had obviously had too many drinks like Shirley Temples, but with alcohol, because they were being very silly and saying, "lines on the bathroom counter" instead of "lines to get to the bathroom counter" because it is very, very important to wash your hands after you go potty, and especially before you eat. The only time you would *ever* post a picture of your penis, is when you have to send one to your doctor because you weren't careful and got it caught in your zipper, and your doctor needs to know if you need to go to the hospital...and even then, in our house, we just go to the hospital. Finally, 'fucking' is something you do when you drive, or...err...when I drive...apparently, I "fuck douche bags that don't use their turning signals" rather too often.


Coincidentally, when my oldest son was younger (and called a kid on the school playground a douche bag) he asked me when he would be old enough to swear. I told him that he would be old enough to swear when he started I was pretty darn sure that he had picked up the term from me, around the merge to get from one highway to another.

He has never forgotten me telling him that. In all these years, he hasn't remembered anything I've ever asked him to do the first time around, but, THAT, he not only remembers, but, can list the witnesses to my jackassery. Let this be a lesson to the rest of you...never be flip with your children, in their court of law, verbal agreements are definitely binding!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Pink Elephant in the room

I am not by any means a prude. However, in my hope to help a few people out there, who aren't sure what is, or is not, appropriate to talk about in a family restaurant, here is a short list of words even *I* wouldn't utter.
  • Anything using "fuck." This rule may only be broken if you find an appendage in your food, such as, "What the fuck is this?" as you pull a small hairy paw out of your soup.
  • "Penis." While I won't ban the use of this word in the bathroom for obvious reasons, I will unequivocally state that any phrases that start, "He posted pictures of his penis..." are not okay, especially when spoken at your table.
  • "Lines." Please don't leave me nonsensically stumbling to explain why you just said, "lines on the bathroom counter," instead of "lines to get to the bathroom counter. Please leave your lines and any talk about them, in the dorm from whence you came.
  • "Blow job." I am positive that I don't care if Erica gave Peter a blow job, but, after they wire your jaws shut, your boyfriend will be doing without them for a long, loooong time.
Now that we have established what can and cannot be said in a family restaurant, let me give you a few helpful hints to determine if you are indeed 'in' a family restaurant.

  • The term "Family Restaurant" appears in bold red letters on the sign.
  • There are people at least 1-2 feet shorter than you are in every direction you look.
  • They have a game room that doesn't include any darts, poker, or pool tables.
  • There are pissed off parents as far as the eye can see, wondering when their children will need to potty, so they will be free to discreetly rip out your vocal chords.
I think that I am the true test of what is absolutely, positively offensive. If you have managed to offend me, you have crossed a line. In the event that the occupants of the table behind ours ever stumble upon this post, "Just because a restaurant has a bar, doesn't mean it is one. Just because you're drunk, doesn't mean it's okay. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should...and the last one, is all that saved me from dumping my glass over your foul mouthed little heads, but, the next time I would STFU if I were you, restraint only goes so far."

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Only wisdom and serenity today

Jelly Bean with Honey this morning, Honey continues to decline.

Yesterday I had a revelation, I was on the phone with my mother and I told her that I couldn't really talk because I had to give the hamster a bath, and my mother responded with, "You're a fucking idiot. Just let the g*damned thing die. Why don't you give one of your kids a bath instead." I realized something at that relationship with my parents will never be fixable, because we don't *like* each other.

It isn't about who did what when, or even who said what...the biggest problem we have, is that we just don't like each other. We don't share the same tastes, values, or beliefs. We don't share the same goals or visions. In short, the only thing we have in common, are my children.

I'm walking away. Really. I am walking away now. I am putting an end to our relationship. They don't give a hoot about any of my kids except my oldest, and he is old enough to pick up the phone and call them if he would like.

It is time to end the cycle, and I suspect that we will all be happier people for it. I'm tired of being reminded on a daily basis that I am not living a life they approve of, and that I am not mothering in a way they sanction. I can only imagine that they are frustrated that I can't or won't change to conform to their standards.

I can tell you this, they did everything 'right' according to the records they keep, and they haven't seen any of their children over a holiday in a decade. If that is the result of doing it the 'right' way, I hope I keep doing everything wrong, because after my kids leave home, I want them to 'want' to spend time with me. I want them to fill my home with love and laughter always. I want love to be the greatest factor in my relationship with my kids, not judgement.

So, here is to having the wisdom to know what I can't change and the serenity to accept it.

Monday, May 3, 2010

An addendum to the Hamster Chronicles

First, I have to give a shout out to our local major pet store, Petco. I know what you guys are saying about major franchises, but, our local Petco, at least, has got it together. Believe you me, I never thought I would utter those words, but, it is true.

The shop that we got Honey from, is a local store. It is not a franchise, and the owner that I dealt with, IS the owner/manager. I am *not* impressed with them at all. Not only do I come to find out that they routinely treat the water in their shop for Wet Tail, whether the animals are sick or not, but, they offered me nothing but misinformation designed to sell me more crap, that would have not been effective in treating the Wet Tail anyway.

Petco, where I have either purchased or adopted all of my other hamsters, is in my opinion, a class act. They are in partnership with a local vet, and they have all of their small animals who show any sign of illness or injury treated. They even have a program in place, such that, if I had not been able to afford to have Honey treated, I could have surrendered her to them, even though I didn't purchase her there, and they would have had her treated by their vet, and later she would be placed up for adoption, if she healed. Honestly, I tried to encourage the shop owner where Honey came from to either contact the vet, or surrender the rest of Honey's cage-mates, to them. Let's just say, she wasn't interested in my suggestion.

I have two hammies that I adopted from Petco recently, and both came to me with their veterinary records. One nearly lost an eye to his wheel in the store cage, and the other was an owner surrender because Big John is meaner than shit...of course, he also lived in shit for a long time with his previous owners, so I have hopes that one day, after we work with him for awhile, I'll be able to clean out his cage without worrying about losing a finger. Big John is also the coolest, baddest dude in town. He is so freaking funny that his antics make up for his grumpy ways...and, I think we even understand each other.

So guys, don't rule out the big name pet stores, check them out for yourselves and talk to the staff there. I have unfortunately found, that the local guys, aren't always the good guys.

***The BBB was the only party that I contacted willing to take a complaint against the pet store. The ASPCA, the state, and the county all fobbed me off to each other. The saddest part of this for me, is that I'm not looking to be reimbursed (not that I would refuse compensation for the vet bills) but, that I'm not sure the BBB has much if any jurisdiction over the treatment and welfare of animals.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Hamster Chronicles

In the event that you all didn't know, I have a small sized petting zoo, and we seem to add to it on a regular basis. I have two dogs, two cats, a parakeet, five hamsters, four fish tanks, a frog, and two betta bowls. Theoretically, with six children, I should have plenty of helping hands to help dole out snuggles and meals.

One of our newer acquisitions, a black bear hamster is ill. I noticed on Thursday, that she had not run on her wheel Wednesday night. On Thursday, I put a couple of treats on her wheel to see for sure if she wasn't running. The treats were still on the wheel Friday morning, so I picked her up to look at her. Her bottom was damp, and anyone who knows anything about small animals, knows that Wet Tail, is the worry of every hammie owner and aficionado. Wet Tail has a 90% mortality rate.

The first thing I did was call the shop to ask about the health of the other hamsters in the cage. The shop owner informed me that she had found three dead, but, that she didn't know why. She also tried to tell me that Wet Tail is completely curable, and that a vet visit was most unnecessary. I was horrified by the lack of care that the animals are given.

Don't get me wrong, I've lost hammies in the past, but never in a way that they suffered in any prolonged manner. I am also pretty sickened that the shop will continue to sell the hamsters from that cage to families like mine, setting the children who will love them, up for disaster. The disease has a slow onset, it takes between 7-10 days for a hamster to show symptoms, which is why the reputable shops will offer a 14 day policy on hamsters. I'll be honest, I've been a little queasy since Friday thinking about all of this.

I eventually found a vet in my area (that was less astronomical than others) who would see Honey. She confirmed what I already knew, that Honey had Wet Tail, and that while she would give us antibiotics, we shouldn't get our hopes up. She gave us a five day window, tomorrow, we will be just over half-way there. We are keeping our fingers crossed for our Honey Bear. In the meantime, I am changing bedding every 8 hours, administering antibiotics every 12 hours, and washing her soiled bottom every time she has a bowel movement. Talk about fun! You don't know adventure until you've washed your hamster's asshole with betadine...just take my word for it...okay?

I am actually approaching you guys on the Internet, not because I think that you are going to be greatly interested in our hammie, but, because I want to know what your thoughts are on the moral aspects of pet shops, and the treatment of 'less valuable' companion pets might be? I spent all day on Friday trying to find someone in our state/county that could tell me what the law is in reference to just letting animals suffer and die because they aren't of a great enough dollar value...and let me just say, that nobody seems to know. So tell me, what do you think should happen?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

You haven't eaten out, until you've 'eaten out' in the South

"Now, this here is a nice place. I just wanted to take y'all out to a really nice restaurant, and this here place is that, a really nice restaurant. Let's have us a good dinner at this nice place, on me."

The above is a quote from a man in the restaurant that my old high school friend and myself ate at last week. That man was wearing a pair of purple Docker shorts, a ringer tee with a purple collar, and a ball cap. I suspect that the shorts and the shirt were originally a Navy color before they met with disaster in the laundry. Only a good old boy, could possibly describe the place we were patronizing as a "really nice restaurant."

The setting for this particular place is lovely. It is right on the water, it has both water and street access. You can watch the kittens play under the dock, feed the fish, or not adhere to the strict "Do Not Feed the Gators" signs, while you wait for your table. It is a place from my teen years, ripe with memories of eating there, first with my family, and then with my friends as I got older. It seemed a perfect spot to get together with my friend C, whom I hadn't seen since our junior year of high school.

What I didn't remember about the place, was that it boasts one of the largest private collections of taxidermy in the country. It, without a doubt, has the record for the dustiest collection of taxidermy in the country. I am relatively certain that the recorded sounds of the long dead beasts that play on a loop, is new. That, I doubt I could have forgotten.

I had also forgotten that it is upscale red-neck dining at its finest. It is on par with a nice steak house in price, and in sync with a Long John Silver's in clientele. Very unusual. In my day, it boasted some of the best seafood in our area. I suspect that they are suffering from the current economic times, just the same as the rest of us. I also suspect that I can't be the only person to be grossed out by the 'drinking water' labelled pipes that run the length of the stalls in the women's restroom, to the bar.

Among the decor, there is a lion frozen in time, with what seems to be an antelope spending an eternity in his last leap, just under the lion's jaws. After a few drinks, it resembles an experiment in cross breeding, more so than the circle of life. There are also gators, giraffes, opossums, bobcats, more lions, wild boars, a flamingo, a tiger, and a small collection of companion kitties from over the years.

Their menu is as eclectic as their motif. They serve gator, python, llama, antelope, kangaroo, emu, ostrich, turtle, and a few more 'wild' game selections. I love their sausage, all of it. As a kid, I would get 'gator dogs' there. It was always yummy. This time they were out of most of my tried and trues, so (after having drinks first) we decided to branch out and try Gator Toes, which can be eaten like a chicken wing, and are the knuckle to claw area of the gator. I wasn't impressed. We also tried the chargrilled python. The snake was good. For dinner, I had gator tail, which was yummy, and, it always is. I would have rather had the gator ribs, but the kitchen turned me off the ribs by serving the Gator Toes still half frozen. For those of you who are skeptical that any of the above is actually food, you are clearly not from the South.

I am very sorry that I didn't take a camera with me. Soon, very soon indeed, I will return to take pictures of this dining experience...just so that I can share them with you, my bloggy pals. I promise to feature at least one picture of the lion bumping and grinding with his prey, and if sufficiently inebriated, one of me showing my tattoo to the tiger there...which I exercised restraint and didn't do this past trip. Anyone in my area interested in getting in on this informal dining review? Let me know.

The very best part of the evening was seeing my old friend. There is something unique about being reunited with an old friend, because no matter how far apart you have drifted, only the kind of friends you bonded with in youth, before we put up all the walls that adults always do, can make you feel so happy and carefree...even if only for a couple of hours.

Of course, I don't know if that rings true if you take kids along, so don't chance it.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Gratitude With Attitude Tuesday

Think Tank Momma
Dearest Douche Bags at Starbucks Today,

I totally 'get' the need for coffee.

HOWEVER, if, in your haste to get your caffeine on, you plow into another person or vehicle in the parking lot, don't you think that is going to slow you down way worse than having another person in front of you in line?

Also, you Fucktard Bitch in the beat all to hell white Dodge Grand Caravan? You deserve to be 'coffee boarded' which is much like water boarding, except with that effing Latte you just *had* to have *right this second.* I know that doesn't sound very legal, but, just like Dick Cheney, I feel you warrant an exception to the rules. When you made an illegal turn across four lanes of traffic after I chose not to let you hit me, for the second time, even though it would have been your fault? I regretted my restraint.

This is supposed to be a thank you letter, so what can I possibly thank you for? Hmmmm...I thank you for waking me up, anger is a much more powerful stimulant than caffeine. Maybe that's why Starbucks has done nothing about the serious danger their parking lot represents.


Next time I see you, I'll be the one climbing out of my car...and I don't bitch slap.


Dear Waiter,

Thank you for saving me some mega bucks. I usually tip well. When I am taking up your table because I wish to have a leisurely dinner with an old friend, I usually tip *very* well. However, your eye rolling and hefty sighs gave me all the encouragement I needed to stick to a 25% rule.

The gator toes that you suggested were still half frozen when you served them to us. While I wasn't looking for a freebie, it would have been really nice if you had served us a fresh order, instead of nuking the cold ones. If you didn't believe me, you could have touched one...honest.

The python was excellent, as was the gator tail. I was disappointed that you were out of all sorts of good stuff, like kangaroo sausage and antelope. Next time, I'll call make sure that YOU aren't there and that your menu items are.

A suggestion for your future? Nasty servers never make great tips, that is why they call it the 'service industry.'


If I had wanted shrimp, I would have eaten somewhere else


Dear Self,

Bitch, you are CRAZY! How did you let the woman at the pet store talk you into adopting both of their crazy hamsters? That is just what you needed. Two more living, breathing, shitting things to take care of. Better yet, two more living, breathing, shitting things that require massive amounts of time and energy to be rehabilitated.

Please be advised to stop this self destructive behavior before your children are old enough to have you 'Baker Act-ed.'

Thank you for proving that your heart hasn't gone the way of your soul...vacuumed out to make room for the ever increasing levels of sarcasm. Now, go clean out those cages, and let those hamster chomps serve as reminders of why you are another stoo-pid human.


The few brain cells that six pregnancies didn't kill


Dear Big Boy,

Each and every gray hair on my head was put there by YOU! I suppose I should have asked first, if you would mind my undoing all of your hard work...but, it is MY hair!

Thank you for proving that I am raising a young man who will actually notice details about women. However, you tuned out before we got to a critical portion of the lesson..."I really hope that washes out!" is not the way to make a woman happy. Please be advised, you heard it here first, even if it takes your future wife and a frying pan to drive the point home.


Your publishing this for posterity Mama


Okay guys, prove there is at least one of you reading, and go see Think Tank Momma to link up and play along!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Let's show a little gratitude...GWA

Think Tank Momma
Gratitude With Attitude, courtesy of Think Tank Momma. Go to her site and link up, this is such great therapy!


Dear Hamsters,

Thank you for making my children happy. They love you already. I do not.

I have to admit, that my son's hamster seems mild mannered and even tempered, and has yet tried to bite me. My daughter's hamster is a blood thirsty bitch though. Cute, adorable even...and mean.

Please let me serve you with this warning, the first time you draw blood, in absence of stitches you will be forgiven. The second time? I will lock you in the bathroom with my cats. Who is laughing now, huh?


Rodents aren't really my thing


Dear A's Parents,

Thank you for convincing my kids that we are normal. And by 'we' I mean 'me' not you. You all are clearly crazy.

My daughter came home from your house with a renewed appreciation for my housekeeping skills (or lack thereof) and I am grateful for it.

At first, I was all, "What do you mean their house is a wreck? They only have one kid, and her mother stays home?" Then my daughter told me about the chicken coop you have in your living room. And about your fish, pet rat things, and birds. I suppose it must be hard to clean around a CHICKEN COOP IN YOUR LIVING ROOM, so I understand now. I am thoroughly disgusted, but, I understand.

Oh, and no thank you, we would *not* like one of your chicks, unless you kill it, clean it, and pluck it first.

Many thanks,



Dear Hubby,

I want to thank you for saving me all those calories. The beer that you opened, tasted, and then poured out would have added inches to my waist for sure.

Of course, they would also have made me happy. The fact that you don't care for 'real' beer saddens me, but, not as much as finding a bottle of craft brewed Hefeweizen, an IPA, a 'true' lager, and a bottle of Newcastle sitting in waiting to go out to the recycle bin.

It is established that we don't have the same taste in beer, so the next time you surprise me with a visit...stop and buy some Coors on your way in. You are no longer permitted to open anything that has a pry off cap that is under my roof.

Thanks for understanding,

Your wife, the beer snob

Winner's privilege and Monday Minute

Another blogger's answers to The Daily Dose of Reality's Monday Minute, made me want to play along, so here we go.

Monday Minute

1 - Ever take a shit in the woods?
Er, no.

2 - If you won $1,000, what's the first thing you would do with it besides give me a cut?
That would leave me with $9,990, enough to take my kids to Disney for a long weekend.*

3 - What's your favorite phrase?
I'm just plum fucking peachy.

4 - Fill in the blank - the world would be a better place if ______ left the planet.
insects and reptiles...and yes, I saw the bee I would settle with them leaving my neighborhood.

5 - How do you take your coffee or tea?
Tea, eeeuuw. I take my coffee with French Vanilla coconut creamer and agave nectar.

Over at My Mercurial Nature, she posted that winners can post twice today. And, I am a winner. I won Modern Mom's Perricone giveaway. Whoot! So, I am claiming my winner's multiple post privilege. Not that I needed a reason, but, it feels better to have one.

*Dude! I am in a sorry, sorry state. Maybe it was just the power of wishful thinking, but, I added nine grand to that prize money. It was more likely a combination of over medicating for my allergies and sleep deprivation. So...I guess with $990 I would take the family down to Universal for the opening of Hogwarts there. I suppose it might leave me enough change for a few fire whiskeys at The Three Broomsticks. Gah!!! I can't believe I did that. Thanks to Think Tank Momma for calling me out so I don't go down in history as the world's dumbest blogger.

You are what you eat

Can a person die from allergies, like a severe allergic reaction to be allergic? No? I didn't figure, but, the way I feel right now, I started to wonder. One of my adorable children asked if I ate Snow White's dwarves...or at least Grumpy and Sneezy. Kids...they're so cute, don't you think?

Looking like I ate a few dwarves, especially the 'you are what you eat' variety has me thinking that it is time for me to start climbing back on the wagon. It has been a rough year, Baby Girl's birth, my subsequent hospital stay, my husband's job insecurity, the step children induced drama, having three kids three and under while trying to stay on top of my three school aged children...has left me a shell of the person I once was. I need to start making myself a priority again.

Baby Girl will be one next month. My baby won't be a baby any more. I hate it. I see little tiny babies in a restaurant or a store and I want to sob. I don't want to not have babies around me. I also know on a different level, that my body couldn't handle another child. Nor perhaps could I. This year has been the most difficult of my life. I suffer from exhaustion like I never have before. I'm sure bringing up babies with Daddy so far away, is a contributing factor. The Little Lady will be two in July, and so I have been raising my family, and bringing up babies single handed for the last 20 months.

The sheer work involved in getting through my day is the largest contributing factor in letting myself go. I know it is so. Still, I need to change all that. I am going for a trim and to have my hair highlighted at the end of the week. I am also going to get a much needed mani/pedi. I have been shopping online for some new clothes, me being me, that means a few new snarky tee shirts. I have been watching what I eat a bit better than I had been. I am not exercising per se, my ankle isn't quite there yet, as a matter of fact, it protests loudly, but, I would like to start. It is time now that my baby is almost one, for me to start losing that 'new mom' pallor. Of course, if those babies would sleep through the night, it would help mightily with that.

Wish me luck guys. I have a feeling that I'm going to need it.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Parenting fails

Not very often do I speak out about other parents, this time I am bending that rule.

My son came home from school and told me that he loaned $20 to his friend. This 'friend' lives a couple of doors down from us. I wasn't happy on several different levels. I like the boy to whom he loaned the money but at their age $20 is quite a bit of money. Loaning money to a friend, especially money that took a couple of months to save, can be trying for any friendship. I also found out that the loan was supposed to be a secret. Red flag! Why a secret?

I insisted that we tell his parents. I walked down to their door, and his grandmother pulled up just as I was about to knock. I told his grandmother that I just needed them to know that 'friend' had borrowed the money, because even though I am pretty relaxed as a parent (though they are not) I couldn't in good conscience allow secrets to be kept from the parents.

His mother knocked on my door, she was almost confrontational about it. She was adamant that her son wouldn't borrow money, and that they would be aware immediately if he had $20 because he is never out of their sight. I just calmly suggested that she night wish to ask her son about it.

She came back a few moments later to say that her boy admitted to owing mine the money when she told him that my son had knocked on their door to collect it. She further stated that her son would have to repay the debt on his own. They came back a little bit later with a $15 gift card to a store we don't usually shop at and $5. Granted, she asked my son if it was okay, while stating that the alternative was for him to wait until 'friend' earned enough allowance to pay the rest. My son agreed, mostly because he didn't want his buddy to be in trouble, but, he is bummed about it.

So...a few parenting fails here.

  • Lying to your child to catch him/her in a lie...FAIL!
  • She might have 'purchased' the gift card from her son, as they do shop there, instead of giving it to my son...FAIL!
  • Being rude to another parent who is trying to do the right thing? FAIL.
The buddy used the money his parents had given him to pay for his elective class fees, to buy tickets to an in-school sports event instead. He used the money from my son to pay for his elective. The reason that I wanted his parents to know, was because I had all sorts of crazy stuff going through my head. I worried about the child being bullied, or about him using the money to experiment with drugs, and even about him being afraid to tell his parents that he lost money. I would have wanted to know, so that is why I told the parents. I even made it a point to tell their son that if he needed money for school, I would be happy to loan it to him, or even give to him, just as long as his parents know. I understand being strapped for cash, I've been there. If he ever needs money for a field trip, etc., I will be happy to help if I can. I just don't want secrets.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

G.W.A. the Father Time edition

Dear Father Time,

You are being cruel to me as of late. You and fate have conspired for me to meet up with a couple of people I used to know, who are about a decade older than I am. I am shocked to see how 'old' they look. Now I am panicked that I have about ten good years left. Frightening. (It would have been nice to arrange for me to have been wearing make-up and *not* wearing my cleaning sweats.)

Then yesterday, as I looked at pictures of my 18 year old nephew, you sucker punched me. All I can see is the little boy who used to sit in my lap and talk to me. How did that happen Father Time? How did it happen that fast?

The true test of my mettle was to have my oldest comment, "Cousin S turned 18? Cool. I didn't know he was only 5 years older than me!" My oldest son can't be leaving me in 5 short years. I an not ready for this. I am not ready at all. When he was small, these years were so far from being anything but a hazy dream in my mind, I hate the sharpening clarity of my vision of the future. I hate it Father Time, and I'm not too crazy about you either.

I owe you a grudging thanks, for reminding me in a most unpleasant way, that the time to make memories is now.

So, thank you Father Time, you arrogant bastard.


Comparing my reflection, to those of my images taped to the mirror, trying to figure out how much deeper and longer my laugh lines are now.

Think Tank Momma is hosting her Gratitude With Attitude today. She needs some inspiration as you will see, even if you aren't wanting to join in and link up...leave a comment and help her get her mojo back.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Entry to petting

So...because I am batshit crazy, I got my 7 year old son a parakeet yesterday as an early (and only) birthday gift. He is mucho in love with the bird, so he is a happy camper, the little dude even offered to trade his planned birthday trip to Disney, in for the parakeet. I will admit that the bird is cute. My cats are eyeing his cage (hung from a hook on the ceiling for his own safety) with soulful abandon. My dogs seem inclined to just be jealous.

I also had to set up a new aquarium this weekend. One of the friggin carnival fish went belly up, and I didn't panic until one of my little guys started swimming funny, and now I am worried about dropsy. The fish that passed first, had a hard white mass on the side, which I thought to be a tumor, but, with my little guy acting poorly I decided to quarantine him and the other carnival fish. I moved my older healthier fish to a new tank. Pain in my osh gosh b'gosh. I am now $50 into the death of a free fish. Grrrr!!!

My daughter and oldest son are saving their money for new hamsters. They have been looking at a teddy bear and black bear hamster. My daughter has even found a castle cage for hers. Ugh! Just what I needed, a few more things whose shit I have to clean. (Then why the bird? I know, I know.)

I was miserable having to send my babies back to school today. I want it to be Summer already...gosh darn it!!!

Friday, April 9, 2010

When was the last time you wore a toga?

It is pretty much official, I am in a funk. Just about everything overwhelms me right now. I am feeling terrible, a good portion of the 'terrible' has to do with the crazy pollen in the air here and my allergies. Then there is the roof which is still leaking, the faucet which is still dripping, the circuit breaker which trips every five seconds, the dryer which won't work properly because of the electrical problem, and the oven which is still broken. H's sprained finger, my broken nose, my sprained ankle, the Pink Eye, the fevers my small teething one has, and a whole bunch of other things. Losing so much food when the fridge went, made me terribly depressed. Hubby's job issues have me frightened again. The whole sleep deprivation and resulting exhaustion have turned me into a non functioning blob.

Right now, my eyes are threatening to close. I had a nap this morning, but, it did very little to help. I am so spent, that an hour or two of shut eye can't bring me back from this seeming point of no return. I am trying to gather enough strength to do the dishes and clean up. Hard to muster when your body betrays you by letting you fall asleep sitting up.


A friend sent me an invitation to a Toga birthday party tomorrow. It is the only thing that I have found laugh out loud funny in days. Do people my age still do that crap? How do people my age still do that crap? My reaction was, "You've got to be [bleeping] kidding me!" and should I be depressed that I wasn't even tempted to go?

4:30 a.m.

What do most people do at 4:30 in the morning?

Today is the first day this week that my Baby Girl has been asleep at this witching hour, or bitching hour, as the case might be. a special treat...vomit all over my bed courtesy of my three year old.

I sit here now, puked on, holding The Little Lady who has been fussing on and off and for the last couple of hours, after stripping my bed and turning my mattress in the dark.

My tummy is churning. Bad food? Or perhaps that icky barfed on feeling that only a shower and time can erase. Only time will tell.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A small step for Mom, a giant step for green cleaners everywhere

A new cleaning product that might just change my life.

Seventh Generation Disinfecting Spray. They have teamed up with Cleanwell to offer this product which is 100% as effective as any bleach based or other conventional antibacterial product. I am so happy! :)

They sure aren't paying me, so this isn't an endorsement of any sort, I'm just naturally this happy about germs killed...well...naturally.

My Target sells it for under $3.

I am such a happy Mommy. Think of an addict who gets a fix...that is me right now. Spraying down my kitchen and feeling that deep sense of contentment that only my relationship with 409 used to provide.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My blog name should be, "I Can Only Do Random."

I just ordered my new phone online. I have been holding out for a time when my children stop using my phone as a chew toy. I just can't hold out any longer. I ordered a blackberry. My oldest child has declared that he hates me and that more people like him, than like me, so he deserves a blackberry more than I do. While I am certain that he is correct, the chances of me shelling out the money for a 12 year old to carry a blackberry is slim to completely nonexistent. "Life is soooo unfair!"

I am also shopping, in a slow, planned, and orderly fashion for new living room and children's bedroom furniture. I have decided to replace the children's mish mosh of mismatched furniture with twin over twin bunks with trundles. Two beds will accommodate all six of my children. While I have high hopes that they won't necessarily 'need to' in the future, it is necessary for right now. Several Ikea organizers will be included in their remodels.

This Spring Break, I am trying to get my children on a much firmer, more reliable schedule. Last night the Baby Girl went to bed at 9:30 p.m., which I considered a small, but, mighty victory. I wasn't feeling so victorious at 3:00 this morning, nor at 7:00 when I handed her off to my first big child, out of bed. If I can manage to get them on a decent schedule, I will not be looking forward to Hubby visiting, because it is him encouraging them to stay up wayyyyy past their little bed times, which throws everything to hell to begin with.

Twelve year old sons are demon spawn. This morning I wrote a (somewhat) loving comment to a friend of a friend about her tween. Glad she caught me early, right now my advice would be, "Do you know any Gypsies? Pay them to take him." Twelve year old boys have pregnant women beat in the crazy hormone race. Ugh! Now I understand boarding school.

Okay...I am off to clean my floor, wash some clothes, and make lists (shocker) for my shopping day tomorrow! Y'all have fun.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Think Tank Momma

Dear Loving Family,

Thank you, it was wonderful that you talked to me about what to put in the Easter eggs for Hercules. I even lowered my standards and agreed to let him have conventional stuff as long as it was free of red dye, HFCS, and gluten. Sweetarts, Skittles, and Nerds DO NOT meet those criteria.

We talked about gluten free jelly beans, and gummy worms, lollipops and the like. We talked about where to find them, etc. Imagine my surprise when I am being pulled in ten different directions only to find my son chowing down on Nerds.

It isn't about you having to meeting H's needs, I don't expect that, it is about *telling me* you had changed the game plan. The next four hours that he spent as the 'child from hell?' Remember how impatient and pissy his behavior made you? Uh, it was your fucking fault. The fact that my day was ruined by it, lingering long into the night? That really sucked. It sucks even more that you blame him.

Next year when I tell you that we can't come, I hope you'll understand.




Dear The Little Lady,

You are going to be two in July. Sleep through the night already!!! Being up all night, every night is kicking my ass. You wake up your sister, who takes over when you finally sleep, and the combination is totally draining me. This two hours of sleep a night that isn't even consecutive, is rendering me useless.

I can't function like this. Prisoners of war have been broken by less intense sleep deprivation. Give me a break. I'm not sure how much longer I can go on like this.


Mommy, Momma, Mommia, MOMMMMMMYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Come play along. Swing by Think Tank Momma's site, grab the code, write your post, link it in her comments sections, and show her some comment love, to let her know you've done so. It's that easy!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Lusting after major appliances and Easter

We've had an awesome few days. We have a new fridge. The old one has been relocated to the Florida room to be fixed at our expense and used as an extra...which we need...desperately. My new fridge fucking rocks my world, which should give you a glimmer as to how far I've fallen.

Is it just me, or is Pandora awesome for about an hour and then they cease to play anything you even vaguely like?

Friday I got brave with the ankle and took the kids to the Spring Festival at Whole Foods. I'm glad I did. So many of my kids won the cupcake eating contest that we turned a profit, they won $40 in gift cards combined. Fortunately, we only won two more goldfish at the penny toss. It was another amazing family time. I took scads of pictures. The kids all had a wonderful time. We had dinner and dessert. I even chanced a beer. It was a total cost of $15 for the seven of us.

Saturday the fridge came, and I had to resist the urge to sing, "I touch myself," when I saw the three awesome shelves on the door and the way it barely cleared the cabinet above it. I'm not the only one who remembers The Divinyls, am I?

Sunday we had Easter dinner at my grandparents' house. The children had a blast hunting Easter eggs, and dinner was great. It was nice to be able to sit and relax while other people were pulled in a million different directions by my offspring.

Today has been a funky day. I've felt 'off' all day. I think it might have been staying up all night before Easter to do 'Bunny Duty' and bake the gluten free 'buttermilk' loaf to make pineapple stuffing with. Lingering exhaustion seems to be a big theme around here as of late.

Tomorrow is 'Gratitude With Attitude' Tuesday with Think Tank Momma. I'm getting my letters ready. Can't wait!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Light It Up Blue

"A Proud Mom To Many" is going blue for autism awareness. Over the past few years, autism has flirted with my own life. A diagnosis of autism has been bandied about, casually rejected at times, stringently scrutinized at others, as an attempt to 'explain' my son. While doctors continue to argue about the 'right' label for my child, one thing that I know for certain is this...there are many families affected by autism. Those families deserve anything and everything that we can do to show our support for them. Stacey of Willowjak Boys, has some amazing suggestions for what we can do in support of Autism Awareness Month.

I will be honest with you. My thoughts that will follow, aren't going to be censored by my desire to not offend, or for any modicum of political correctness. If that doesn't sound like your cup of tea click away. If you aren't clicking away, please consider my intent, which isn't to hurt anyone, but to tell my story.

When I first heard "autistic" as a description for what might be wrong with H, I walked out of the doctor's office. I was certain that the doctor was crazy. Autism to me, meant Rain Man, and my son was definitely not anything like Rain Man. That was before I heard the word 'spectrum' in conjunction with autism.

I searched for a different doctor. I wanted one that was less prone to medicate and offer a glib diagnosis. It took quite some time. During that time, I learned quite a bit. I learned about autism, conventional medicine, homeopathic medicine, and lots of other things that the tiny streams and small tributaries of those large rivers led me to.

I met people with autistic children. I met the children themselves. I saw that I was ignorant about so many things. I was ignorant to everything that a mainstream doctor with a cookie cutter practice didn't tell me about. I was compelled by the parents I met along the way. I was able to identify with them, and their children, better than anyone else.

It is without a doubt that I can tell you that Hercules exhibits many of the same traits that autistic children have. Does that mean he is autistic? No, it doesn't. He might have ADHD, he might just be a 'high maintenance' child, or he might be something else. I can tell you that the things we have done to improve the quality of his life, and as a by product, our own...have all been suggested and then implemented after talking to our doctor, by friends who deal with autism daily. Controlling my son's yeast levels (or trying to) made a huge difference in his behavior. Going GFCF, practically gave me a different child. Certain supplements made dietary infractions less severe. Others helped him to sleep better. Yet more, helped to calm him down and allay some of his anxiety.

Parents of children with autism have become some of my favorite people, most trusted confidants, and my mentors. They are my friends. They are my family. They are a brilliant support system. They cared not, that we didn't 'know' what was wrong with our son, they cared that they could help. Whether is was to send me a recipe, tell me about their day, or recommend a book...the parents of autistic children have done something that the rest of us lay folks can't seem to do. They embrace their differences, offer unconditional love and support, and withhold judgement.

I am humbled by them. I am even more humbled by their children. The brilliance of their smiles that convey what their words might not. The intelligence that burns behind their eyes, solving puzzles, completing tasks, sometimes without offering any insight to the observer as to what is fueling their fires. The anguish that they wear, at times untouched by even their parents' compassion. The triumphs that they celebrate and strive for each day.

Don't be like I was, don't let Dustin Hoffman's role define what you know, ignorance is not bliss. I can't promise that you won't be sad. I can't promise that there is a happy ending for everyone. I can promise that you won't regret taking the time to better educate yourselves. I can promise that after doing so you will be compelled to contribute, even in a small way, as I am doing, to Autism Awareness Month.

Finally, I am going to give you some links to bloggers who have autistic children, where better to start than from the horse's mouth? Pick one or two and read their stories.

Have a drink with me, it's 5:00 somewhere...and then do me a favor

I hate to sound like a broken record, but, my ankle is killing me. It throbs constantly and I have O-N-E pain pill left. It is 3:00 p.m. on the first day of Spring Break, and I am going to open my last coveted bottle of Scrumpy's Cider. Maybe if I drink, I won't care so much about my ankle. To make myself clear, I am *not* driven to drink by my children. I am so happy, relieved (to tell the truth) to get them to myself for a little while. I wish I had been a SAHM when they started school, I think that I would have really loved to home school them. Maybe I'll home school the little ones. We'll see.

My aunt took pity on me and took me shopping today for Easter supplies for my babies. I got them small Whole Foods shopping bags in lieu of the Easter baskets that I always end up throwing away. I also found organic gummy bear packs, organic lollipops, gluten free Easter paper wrapped chocolates, all natural M & M knock offs, and gummy worms for their baskets. The children are also getting a 'special' item, H is getting a butterfly net, JB a notebook, etc. It will be a small thing this year because they'll end up with tons of stuff from my grandparents' house too. We are going over there for an Easter egg hunt and Easter dinner. I can't drive, so my aunt and uncle are coming so my aunt can drive us over in my truck. We can't simply ride with them because they have a standard size vehicle.

Tonight I need to make something other than Cheerios for dinner. Especially because my really awesome grandmother (she is, honest) heard that I was letting the children eat Cheerios, so she brought them wholesale size boxes of Honey Nut and Chocolate Cheerios. Not exactly what I was embracing with the addition of conventional cereal to their diets. The children however, are *loving* it.


Now, I want to send all of you over to Duct Tape and Bubble Wrap. My friend Alicia is freaking brilliant. She is so much like me, if I were smarter, kinder, and funnier. She has started Duct Tape and Bubble Wrap, and I would *really* like it if you all would go and say hello to her, maybe follow her, because she is an awesome Mommy. She has twin preschool aged girls and a newborn who was born a preemie, but, is making up ground fast.

You guys know that I don't usually point you in other directions, but, when I do, it's worth it. Right? Right.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Gratitude With Attitude...the loving Mommy edition

Think Tank Momma

My Dearest Children,

Thank you for being such big helpers since Mommy hurt herself. Sure, I fell down the stairs in my haste to break up your fight...but, I blame nobody but myself. Mommy is in awe by the way you have picked up the slack by helping with the babies. Mommy is too high on pain medication to notice that *none* of your chores are getting done because you are playing with babies so that they don't 'saddle up' on her bad ankle.

Even though your toys are so strewn all over the floors (AND STAIRS!!!) in such a manner to prevent Mommy from being able to safely navigate her way on crutches, I am too grateful for the way you are, "watching TLL" and iCarly all at the same time to care. Really. You are little princes and princesses among mankind.

I would like to give an extra grateful shout out to the way you are keeping my mind sharp, by hiding your dirty clothes and forcing me to crawl around on all fours, plotting the path of least pain, as I go. As I make my 30th trip up and down the stairs today carrying your dirty clothes...I just want to say thanks.

There is the matter of your missing the bus that I would also like to address. The two of my children who were smart enough yesterday to 'forget' to set their alarms, and then sighed dramatically and said, "Too bad you're too hurt to drive us," as you eagerly grabbed the remote and cereal box...I KNEW WHAT YOU WERE DOING. That was why I dubbed yesterday, "Annual Spring Clean For Mommy, Because She Can't Day." I will admit that you did foil me by convincing your older brother to try the same trick today. His story was that his bus was early, and he "just missed it, too bad I can't drive him to school." Not only was I unpleasantly surprised, but, so was he. He is claiming that I hate him because I didn't bake him cookies and let him watch movies all day, like I did with you guys. WTF kids? How did I miss you growing into such manipulating little people? If you miss your buses tomorrow, I will call you a cab, and I will request the most frightening driver they can think of, and cheerfully send you off to school with the would be axe, don't do it. Just, don't do it.


The Mother who is about to run the floor cleaner on crutches

You too can play along. Swing by Think Tank Mama's blog and grab her button, leave her a comment, and add your URL to her linky thingee.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Random...because I can't hold a train of thought

While he was home this weekend, I took my husband on my regular Costco shopping trip. We left with about half of what I planned to buy because he got tired and bitchy. I even reminded him not to complain because I usually run that gig solo...he could only force himself to remember my admonishment through dry goods.

I stayed off the crutches most of the day today, because I really didn't have many options, given that it was a school day and I have three little ones at home. I am in significantly more pain than I have been, since the first few hours after the sprain. If someone brings me a bottle of Jack, I will allow them to amputate.

Mothers everywhere, please take heed. If you find a plate in the microwave, and you would just swear it had been there for *hours* and you listen to your children when they tell you that it hasn't been that long at all? They are trying to kill you. You will eventually remember that it was for lunch (around noon) and that it is potentially lethal at 7:00 p.m. 7,000 trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night, on a sprained ankle, will completely rob you of your will to live. Your children knew this of course, but, they heard rumors about your life insurance.

A combination of spoiled food and painkillers create 'bad acid trip' dreams.

If you have a splint on your ankle, your three year old will swear it resembles a saddle. He will jump on it and demand to "giddy-up horsey," he will be fooled into thinking you are granting his wish, when your entire body starts convulsing and jerking in response to the pain.

When your daughter's BFF stops by the house to ask her to be the Vice President of her Justin Bieber Fan Club? Then you will be able to identify *exactly* why you aren't fond of her. Also, you will begin to feel secretly glad when your oldest son declares him to be, "like SO lame."

My Mountain Dew fix is up to 3-4 cans a day, that is exempted from my coffee cup count. Someone please slip some caffeine into an epi-pen and send it my way.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Just call me 'Grace'

As many of my Facebook friends already know, I did a header down our stairs. I started to panic when my ankle reached the size of a cantaloupe, and wouldn't hold any weight. I had it x-rayed, and it looks like it is just a sprain. I still can't put any weight on it, or move it, and it is now hovering around the size of an over-sized softball, the swelling is clear down to my toes though, and it's sporting a lovely shade of bluish-purple.

I would have video of me shampooing carpets today on crutches, but, my son decided I might be serious about beating him with my crutch and so he deleted it. It's a bitch folks. As if I wasn't already behind in my chores, now I am *way* behind, because I move almost half as fast, as the slow people you hate walking behind, in those electric carts at the grocery store. I might be moving a bit faster, if I had just borrowed the walker my grandmother had left from her knee surgery...but, I was like, "none of the cool kids are doing that." I'm such an idiot. The cool kids aren't falling down the stairs either.

My husband is leaving tomorrow morning. I am so royally screwed. Mostly, I want to bury my face in my pillow, clutching a beer, and my bottle of pain pills. In reality, I am holding out, I have a feeling I will be needing those pills worse after Hubby leaves, than I do now, and that is saying something.

I am so (so, so, sooo) far behind in my reader, but, I'll catch up guys. I hope all has been well with you and yours.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


If anyone has any knowledge of sprained vs. broken ankles, please give me a shout out. I'm desperate here.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


No new stove. Burners are fixed. Oven is not.

I caught a frisbee in the face, and my nose is broken.

Will update later if I have a stove to be grateful for???!!!

Think Tank Momma

Dear Mom,

I love you even though we don't agree (on anything, really) and I know that you love me. I also know that you have nothing but contempt for the way I have chosen to live my life. It isn't necessary to make snide comments every other sentence to reinforce the point. I can assure you that every parent who has more than two children isn't guilty of child neglect, just because they can't devote every second, of every day, to one child and one child alone. I know that my children "didn't get a choice about having more siblings." There is a very good reason for wasn't my children's decision. Nor, is it *any* child's decision to have, or not to have siblings.

My oldest son does not "deserve a vacation." Childhood is a vacation. Even with all those siblings he "didn't ask to be born," he has a very good life. He also has rules to follow, chores to do, and expectations for school work to meet. He also has lots of love, and plenty of fun. I know that you think that you can give him more love and better fun, but, he gets lots and lots of both here at home, really. I am doing my best to grow fantastic kids. They are so awesome, that I suspect I must be doing something right. I know I am not doing it in a way you approve of. Has it ever occurred to you, that my sisters and I took a *whole* lot longer to pull our shit together than we should have? Maybe, just maybe...instead of raising children destined to make huge mistakes that they will learn the hard way from...I am raising self sufficient children who know what responsibility is, and who have good decision making skills? Perhaps, because I make them take responsibility and make decisions for themselves?

Thank you for caring enough to have such strong opinions. I will respect you for having so much love for your grandchildren that you care enough to share your feelings with me. Now, please respect mine. Stop putting me down in little ways, to serve as constant reminders of issues we have 'let drop' because it isn't necessary, it is only hurtful.


Your daughter


Dear Laundry,

You suck. I hate the way you take over my life and my floors. Thanks so much for the way you suck the time from my day. I hate that, as Kim noticed, you seem to multiply at such a rapid rate, surely, it must be of your own volition.

I hate that you are in cahoots with my children, always playing hide and seek with me. I hate how heavy you are, it kills me to carry you up and down the stairs all the time. I suppose I should give credit where credit is due, and thank you for keeping me from turning into the slothful creature I would happily become without you.

Laundry, you're an evil bitch and I hate you!


The woman who owns 15 laundry baskets.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


My day started under miserable, crushing, choking pressure. It is ending on a massive high note. My truck, which was not starting, has been fixed. Yay!!! I was informed that the only thing holding my belt on, must have been some powerful, "don't leave me stranded with six kids," vibes because the tensioner pulley (???) was non existent. The idle motor thingee was actually the reason my truck wouldn't start though. There was also a nail in my left front tire. Now, with the exception of needing a brake light replaced, it is good to go. What a huge relief.

I also sent my brother-in-law an email today. I tried the 'honey' instead of 'vinegar' method that my mother always preaches, but, never employs. He was here within a half an hour, and he has promised me a new stove tomorrow.

Hercules and The Little Lady woke up without fevers this morning. Only the Baby Girl still has a temperature. Jelly Bean did come home from my aunt's house complaining about feeling dizzy and tired. She wasn't hot tonight, I guess we'll see what tomorrow will bring with those two.

Today was the kind of day that, even though it poured down rain outside, the shone shone for me. Thank goodness, and an even bigger thanks to my family.


I have been walking the Baby Girl for the past hour, during that time, a few things came to my attention. I think I am a marginally well trained mama. When I am walking her, she slaps my chest open handed when she wants me to bounce her as we pace. When I have been holding her in one position too long and she wants me to shift my hands, she kicks my ribs. When she thinks I have missed the point about her being hungry, she sucks on my neck, and then clamps down with her two pearly whites. On the flip side, when I want her to close her eyes? She laughs. I can't win with any of them, I guess.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Happy Nowruz..Aide shoma mobarak!

Today is the first day of the Persian New Year, and I nearly missed it, thanks to the current level of bedlam surrounding me. Nowruz, is translated as new day and it is the Persian New Year. This year, I have not set the Haft Seen, or the seven S's. It is a table set with apples for beauty, garlic for medicinal properties, vinegar for patience, wheat which is symbolic of the 'rebirth' of the new year, wheat pudding for prosperity, senjed which is a dried fruit symbolic of love, and sumac for the sunrise. As you may have guessed, all of the items begin in Farsi with the letter 'seen.' Also we color eggs for fertility (might stop doing that one) and include them along with goldfish for life, a mirror for clear truth, and coins...because *we* at least could stand more wealth. Other common items found are flowers, candles, and the Koran.

The Persian New Year is a very old holiday, predating Islam, and having roots in the Zoroastrian religion of ancient Persia. The roots of Jewish Purim are thought to be in Nowruz. It is also, the first day of Spring. The celebration will go on until Sizdah Bedar, which means finishing the 13th day. On Sizdah Bedar, a picnic lunch is the means of celebration, and the picnics are usually held near bodies of water, so that the children can throw the wheat they've grown for the Haft Seen, into the water. This is my favorite ritual. The Sabzeh (wheat sprouts) is thrown out, because it is supposed to have absorbed the family's bad luck for the new year. A 'throw your troubles away' gesture. If you don't throw yours away, you are keeping your ill fate, and, if you touch another family's Sabzeh, you are inheriting their problems via osmosis. I am not a terribly superstitious person, but, I think I am going to adhere pretty closely to the rules this year.

I still have nearly two weeks, I'll pull it all together by then and let the children have some fun. I'll also commit to a week of Persian baking, which includes the original gluten free cookie recipe, Nan-e Berenji or rice cookies, and Nan-e Nokhochi or chick pea cookies. Zulbia and Bamieh which are fried dough coated in a honey and rose water personal favorite, and while not part of a traditional Nowruz, I only do this once a year.

So, wish me luck attempting all of this without a range to cook on, will you?