Thursday, June 2, 2011

Cold feet...hooray! we have cool air! I am reticent to celebrate this in such a public way, but, I think less so than I would be to say the words out loud, lest something might change...again. Excuse me while I go knock on some wood and hunt for a four leaf clover. I have to give a HUGE shout-out to my dearest friend's hubby on this one...thank you D, I am starting to suspect you might be our family's guardian angel. There aren't many family friends that would sweat to death in the Florida heat for hours, put up with my menagerie, and all my curious children in order to save the day, or rather the summer for us. We are very, very grateful. Hercules says you're his hero, and I think I agree.

I also managed to remember yesterday that our cable bill was due, which prompted an 11:00 p.m. trip to Wal-Mart for a pre-paid Visa, as I will *never* give our cable company our credit card information again. I should have blogged about our many disasters with this particular company, but hindsight is always 20/20. Thanks to our near midnight outing, Dora helped us greet another day, which is important because pre-caffeinated life without Dora is sheer hell.

Tomorrow brings us to the weekend, and my kids are nearly vibrating with enthusiasm to spend Saturday night with my dad at the beach. I am hoping that the weather will hold out so that it will be a success. Then, next week is the last week of school! Yay! I love not having to drag my kids out of bed, and not having to be The Enforcer of good hygiene before I have blinked my blurry, tired eyes. Hurry Summer Vacation, this mommy is ready!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Of birds and babies

The Proud family has a new project. We just took in two very needy birds. These birds are sweet and loving, but, in terrible physical shape. It took us an hour and a half of hosing and scrubbing (with some of the best cage cleaner money can buy) to restore their once beautiful cage to just acceptable. To really restore the cage, we'll need to borrow a pressure washer. The birds themselves are underweight and have serious stress plucking issues from being separated from their beloved human, who is no longer healthy enough to care for them. They are such a sad pair, but, as summer vacation is right around the corner, and since both Hubby and I are home during the day, we hope to be able to help them recuperate quickly.

Baby Z is still fighting his little cold, but, I think we are nearing the end of it now. He seems to have an aggravating post nasal drip thing going on, but, his tiny little nose is finally clear. He is sleeping three and four hour stretches now and eating a little bit better, and he sure is the cutest thing I've seen in a while.

Our air conditioning is ever so NOT working. We had it fixed right after we brought Baby Z home (who will be the big two weeks today) and we had one blissful day of cool, before it started blowing hot air again. Thank goodness for the window unit in the bird room, which I leave on high all day long and keep the French doors open so that the downstairs at least cools. Florida sans air conditioning is just not fun. We are eating lots of 'easy' meals as a result. Far better to microwave some BBQ beef and slap it on a hamburger bun, than to boil ANYTHING. I would tell you guys what we have spent so far on our non-working a/c, but, then we would all cry. Instead I'll tell you what I'm spending on the termites that have invaded the master bathroom, not really. I mean that I won't really tell you, but, we REALLY do have termites up there.

So, last night I sat outside with some of the neighbors. Tell me, would any of you, regardless of how serious your political convictions might be, call someone 'stupid' just because their voter registration card reads differently than yours? Or, perhaps if you would, please tell me if you would ask, "How much of my tax money are you collecting every year because all you know how to do is pop kids out of your f#*king tw*t, to make a living?" Because, wow...I would never be such a douche bag, though clearly at least one of my neighbors would. And, THAT is what I get for trying to be social and play nicely with others.

In other news, JB graduates to Middle School next week. She is so excited, she is practically glowing. My dad will be here to help celebrate and attend the ceremony. He will also get to meet Baby Z, which we have decided will be a surprise. Yep. Coward, thy name is Viv.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Baby Z

A week ago yesterday, at exactly 4:00p.m. (too late to get any lunch at the hospital, in case you were wondering) Baby Z joined our family. All 20.5 inches and 7 pounds and 15.9 ounces of him. (That's right, Team Boy just got the tie breaker.) My husband was home with our older babies, BUT, my fabulous and beloved midwife delivered Baby Z, so I didn't really feel alone. I am at least 99.9% certain that my husband had a harder time taking care of our youngest three solo, than I did giving birth...really.

We left the hospital the next day because you may recall how much I hate hospitals. I couldn't get out of there soon enough. Knowing how I am, my doctor wasn't late with the discharge papers for his 24 hour birthday, and the pediatrician wasn't late calling in discharge orders for Baby Z. We stopped on the way home from the hospital to pick up Baby Girl's birthday cake, because it was Baby Girl's second birthday, and that just seems to be the way we roll.

The last week has been an utter blur of bottles, diapers, sleep deprivation, resulting grumpiness from babies and and a certain Daddy, and a cold that just will not leave Baby Z alone. For this cold, I thank the woman who came and did his hearing screening, for coughing, sneezing, and wheezing all over my baby...and who to boot, had the worst hygiene. I don't mean she smelled, but, washing your hands without soap, when you're sick, before you touch a newborn...bad form, and so is touching his pacifier, constantly touching the face mask I asked you to put on, rubbing your eyes...ugh!!! The result is Day 4 of Baby Z's cold, on Day 8 of his life...pretty sucky...especially since it was preventable. (I feel somewhat better about that now, thanks for the vent Bloggy Pals.) The pediatrician wasn't horribly concerned with his cold because it, thankfully, isn't in his chest, however, it is turning me into a world class basket case.

The kids are doing better with The new baby than I expected. BB completely ignores him, but, he has been kinder and more considerate to me, which means that I know deep down he cares. JB is the consummate little Mama. She would be quite happy to steal him away from Hubby and me and never let us touch him again...until he grows old enough to mess with her things. LB is thrilled that there are now more boys than girls, he feels empowered, and as a result, he feels very affectionate toward his little tie-breaking brother. Hercules is a champ, he can be a difficult child, but, he is a fabulous big brother. TLL is interested in him, and worries when he cries. BG is warming up, though her initial reaction was very much 'return to sender.' The dogs are a touch miffed that I dare do anything that doesn't revolve around them, and a couple of my birds are making it clear (with their beaks) that they are displeased with the disturbance in the force...but, overall, the transition to being a family of nine, has been smooth.

Hubby's doctor called this morning and offered him an appointment this afternoon to discuss blood work results. As Hubby has had two heart attacks in the past, stuff like this worries me to no end. My tummy is now churning, and will continue to do so until I hear some type of, "all is well," or "everything should be fine, we're just going to start you on___," so, may time fly by until bad bad bad news...please. "Hello again Panic Attacks, we were never exactly friends, so pardon my lack of enthusiasm over seeing you again..."

On this note, I'll leave you, hopefully, I'll get a true post up here before too long, instead of another 'newsletter.'

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Tomorrow, we will report to the hospital at 7:00 a.m. for me to be induced. This was a sucky experience that I already own from my oldest three children, and I am hoping that tomorrow will be different, at the very least, because we may not have someone for our youngest three, which will mean that Hubby will need to be home with them, and I'll be alone.

It's time. I feel like hell. So...if I have to choose between being alone or my status quo...alone it will be.

Wish us luck!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Confession is good for the soul they say

After keeping a secret for a rather long time, I am noticing that while we no longer have any reason for maintaining the secrecy, we find ourselves doing so for the simplicity of our lives. So, what better way to stop such a trend, than to tell all (any) of my bloggy pals who might still be reading what our secret is?

We are having our seventh child, due May 19, which if it sparks in your memory for some crazy reason, it will be BG's second birthday. This information has been "top secret" classified to all those who didn't actually have the 'need to know' until...well, until now. The first reason we chose to keep this to ourselves is simple, after BG was born, I became extremely ill, and we were not completely (at all, in my case) sure that we could bring ourselves to answer 'those' questions, if things did not go well this time because of residual complications. The second is because my relatives are rather loathe to accept the size of our family. On top of everything else that has been going on, I am indeed selfish enough not to want to hear the, "Jeez Viv! Is this really what you need right now? You have six kids already, enough is enough." This has been a standard line ever since our second child was born, in which only the number has changed. I. Really. Hate. Deplore. Despise. Hearing. This.

I am going to put a little (okay, quite a lot) of blind faith in someone who has yet to let me down, my husband, and my children, that we can do this. In what seems like the bleakest moment in our lives, that there is a reason for such a miracle, and that we are indeed well and truly blessed. I am also going to be just selfish enough not to let my extended family bring me down. I am going to be resilient enough to let the negativity that will be coming my way shortly, not reach my heart. I'm going to be just hard-headed enough to believe that we can do this. The easiest part of all, will be to have enough love to encompass one more. So, blog world, do me a favor, say a little prayer for us, think some positive thoughts and send them our way, or just smile thinking of teeny, tiny baby fingers...because I have a feeling that I'll be needing all the good karma and love that you all can send my way.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A quick post before my coffee*

*subtle warning, will most likely ramble

Does anyone have any idea how much rawhide it is safe for a dog to consume at one time? Whatever the answer, I'm pretty sure my Lily has exceeded that amount in the last few minutes. On the nights when Lily chooses to sleep with the big kids, it is usually a good time to give my small dogs a chewie. Except, this morning, before she usually wakes up, or even considers allowing herself to be dragged out of bed to empty her bladder, the sound of smaller, inferior animals chewing and licking drove her crazy. She accomplished something that no human has done before, she woke my eldest child before three alarm clocks, two siblings, and an irate mother attempted to do so...and he let her come downstairs and torture me for chewies. She was very diplomatic in asking. "I'll bark, and I'll bark until you give me chewies...but, think quick, because I'll wake your babies up before you can"

The update on the job front isn't much. The best lead my husband has had in a rather long time, boils down to nearly 200 applicants for 2 open positions. Pretty much all the positions he has been applying for come down to roughly this same scenario. The economy has brought construction to a screeching halt, and the Civil Engineering field as a result, has been hit really, really hard. Nevertheless, I'm hoping.

The kids have state standardized testing next week. I have three children participating this year. I have one child who has been made to eat, sleep, and breathe the FCAT since before Spring Break. My oldest daughter's teacher is cracking under the pressure. I know this because my daughter comes home everyday on the verge of tears, and at the pace her teacher is going, her kids will be exhausted before they even sit down to take the test. I mention this because it really does bother me, and because she actually drew a 'mad face' on a 'C' my daughter got on a practice test. Grrr.

My grandmother had a stroke in February. It was a real jolt to the entire family. Not only has my grandmother always been the rock that heads the family, but, it brought to light new concerns for my grandfather's care, as he has Alzheimer's. I am mostly a 'hands off' person when it comes to my family. The family is close in their own way, and I have always tended to be on the fringes of what is otherwise a close knit clan. The events of this week have shocked and disappointed me. Decisions were made, that I feel were poor, and indeed detrimental to his health. So, I spoke up. Guess I wasn't supposed to do that. It has made me even less popular. It doesn't change that fact that I think the people closest to the situation are exhausted to the point that they are making choices that are just plain bad. I feel like I'm watching a house burn to the ground, because someone forgot to put out a small spark, with a fire extinguisher they just couldn't see through their panic.

I've been up since the wee, wee hours of the morning when Hubby sent our two year old down to sleep on the sofa with me. I sleep downstairs for multiple reasons. The first is because no matter where our little ones start the might, they wind up in our bed. I am no contortionist and my back was breaking from trying to accommodate their sideways sleeping bodies. I also wake up early. Hubby gets up around lunch time. If I sleep in my bed, I disturb him when I get up with the chickens, or in my case, parrots, and I need to be up in order to get the big kids off to school, to let the dogs out, and feed the birds. *I'm so tired...and it is only's gonna be a long day!*

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Dan Quayle grew up to be the Vice President...maybe there is hope yet

I have a pretty strict policy about helping my children with their school projects. First rule of thumb is don't ask me at the last minute. The second is not to expect me to do it for you. As long as all my children want, is someone to check their spelling, grammar, typing, or even their content...all they need to do is ask nicely, and *not* the night before their project, that has been assigned for three months, is due. This seems to be a relatively simple policy on my part. I would go so far as to say that it is insane that I have to spell it out, because it is common sense.

I sent my child to school today with his Geography Fair project on the little known country of 'Whales.' There was a moment, however brief when I picked his printed work up from the copy store, and I thought about whipping out my phone, correcting his spelling and adding some type of substantial content. I decided against it. It was purely self serving in my desire to have him off restriction for his grades, so that he can resume playing with friends and not fester under my skin like a really horrible poison ivy rash. Alas, I managed to resist temptation.

So...what are the chances of him pulling off a 'B' with the name of his country spelled wrong, do you all think?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Hubby is home, so routines have changed here at the Proud house. Hubby likes to stay up late and hang out watching re-runs of 'Spartacus, Gods of the Arena' and the wee little ones are sleep resistant because they want to hang out with him. (About the Spartacus thing, it's a freaking soap opera for men...what makes it so special, the fact that there is sex, blood, and gore...or??? I'm drawing a blank on this. In fact, I'm beginning to think Lucy Lawless is some kind of witch. 'Xena, Warrior Princess' might have actually sucked worse, and he frickin' loved that one too.) *I* have to be up at the ass crack of dawn to get the big kids off to school, so *I* must go to bed before three in the morning. Hubby usually rises around noon, and the wee little ones usually rise between ten and eleven. I hate, deplore, loathe this schedule. I need sleep. I need sleep while the moon is out. Hubby, does not. Apparently, my wee little ones have inherited this genetic abomination.

The solution to the current dilemma, which is how to get the babies on a normal schedule that doesn't make me want to cry, is, in Hubby's opinion, for me to put the babies to sleep despite the television blaring CNN while he simultaneously listens to Persian music YouTube, so he can watch 'Spartacus' without tiring himself out first. Then I'll get up at the ass crack of dawn with the older kids. Simple, right? NO! Not simple. This idea is bullshit.

My solution is...for Hubby and myself to lay down with the little ones until they fall asleep, and then, if he...or we, wish to get back up for some child free quiet time, so be it. The babies will wake at a normal hour, I won't be exhausted and grumpy every morning, and he can have Lucy all to himself. I figure if the little ones are up and running, playing, and noise making, Hubby will convert to this schedule sooner rather than later, and then...I won't have to wait until two in the afternoon to vacuum.

The current, "let's meet in the middle" solution is for me to sleep on the sofa, falling into an exhausted sleep somewhere between ten and midnight, and him half-heartedly try to put any still awake babies to bed on his own, until they wake me back up with their crying. Then I take over, he retires to his Warrior Princess, Roman sex goddess, or what-the-hell-ever, and HE is happy.

Good thing I have all this help around here these days. Can you imagine if I had all this financial stress AND parenting became ten fold harder? Sheesh. I would really be a tired shell of a human being then, huh?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

And the Oscar goes Hubby

My husband informed me at 5:30 this miserable, rainy, and sleep deprived morning that he has come down with the flu. What he really meant was that after taking care of the kids for the last two days while I was deathly ill, now that the little ones are running fevers...he's outta here. Why am I so sure he's faking? Well, after sporting temps of 103 degrees plus, and comforting babies with temps of 103 degrees plus...Hubby's is 98.5 degrees. Suspicious, huh? After having my body ache like it was being carved into little pieces by blunt steak knives, he is stretching out in the bed like a lithe leopard. And, the final piece of evidence I'll offer is my cat's testimony. My cat won't bother you, unless you are sick, and then he holds a vigil by your bedside until you feel well enough to find him some table scraps to make his cat food more palatable. My cat is ignoring Hubby, just like always. He says he's sick? Bullshit. Try lazy on for a better fit.

This is our second Saturday after the move. There is a phenomenal amount of work to be done. I wonder which adult just got chosen in the "Who Got Screwed" lottery? Oh, yeah. Me. ME, me, me. No big deal, I'll stumble around dizzy and on the brink of passing out while climbing ladders and shampooing carpet. Am I a lucky girl or what?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Getting back up on our feet...again

I know that I have been away from my blog for...forever, but, let me try to catch you guys up.

My husband has been home since September, when he was let go from his job. Things were really, REALLY bleak for a time. For example, it took dear old Uncle Sam 4 months and 2 days to supply us with an SF-50 (those non-federal folk, it is a required form to submit in order to get Unemployment) and so it took us almost 4 and a half months to get our first Unemployment check. With huge thanks to my family, especially my big sis, we survived. Barely.

Then, came the week before Christmas. That week brought an eviction summons from my husband's brother. Let ME tell YOU, that man has nothing on Santa. He gave up on us ever getting Unemployment and acted accordingly. So...Christmas and the month that followed were just hell for us.

How are you guys on miracles? I am reformed into believing. We called a former neighbor who had an empty place on our street. He came by the next day to give us keys. We are now paying *half* the rent we were. We have a bigger place. Brand new carpet, new paint, new stove, new fridge AND working laundry room!!! My dogs and birds have their own room now, the only room with tile, which doubles as my 'office.' Our whole family is overjoyed...and 100% together, something I worried (understatement) about daily.

As for everything else? Well, the job market is terrible here. There is so little road work going on that I am indeed panicky about Hubby getting a new job. But, for today, for now...we have had a miracle happen and we are content knowing that we can keep our heads above water, not comfortably, but, we definitely can. That knowledge is good for me for right now. Very, very good.

With our sudden change in circumstances, we trimmed off all non-essential perks like phones, internet, cable...paper towels. We are back on-line now, which we expect to make the job hunt more effective. It also makes blogging more accessible, and hopefully, my next post will be a more normal variety...maybe we'll talk about my teenager's report card...then again, maybe I'll post about something that doesn't make the little tiny blood vessels in my eyeballs rupture.