Sunday, May 31, 2009

Friday, May 29, 2009

My New Plan

For the last couple of days, I have been formulating a new plan. I've thought of many different scenarios and consequences. I've worked out all my options. I think I'm down to just a few minor details. Darn good thing, 'cuz summer starts in 6 days!

My initial thoughts were sparked by a letter I received in the mail. Well, I guess it wasn't exactly a letter. It was more of a....um, a....citation. It appears that I "supposedly" ran a red light. The camera snapped a fairly clear picture of my car and license plate, but I'm still not convinced. I owe $75 and Todd says I might be grounded from driving. Whatever.

At first I decided that the picture was fake and I wasn't going to pay the fine. But then my genius wheels started turning in my head. They led me to wonder what exactly would happen if I didn't cough up the $75. What if I do nothing? And I wait...hmm. Here's what I think will happen, I've worked out two scenarios:

Option #1: An officer shows up at my door. I invite him in and ask him to sit on the couch while I find my coin jar. As I slowly count out $75 in nickels, Mr. Officer can sit and observe the circus show. The girls will be all over him asking him bazillions of questions. After a good 20 minutes, when I know they've worn him down to dribble, I'll bring him his money in a ziploc. I'm hoping that he then turns to the girls and gives them a firm finger shake and lecture: "OK, listen up. You have no idea how lucky you are to have a mom with great eyelashes and who makes loads of desserts. Now stop trying to kill her. I'm serious. Knock it off!" Perfect.

Option #2: An officer shows up at my door. I explain to him that I have no means to pay my fine. He then informs me that he will have to take me to jail. I quickly grab my bag that's already packed, and we're out the door. I ask him if we can stop and get a coke at McDonald's on the way.

I'm not quite sure which scenario I like best. I think it'll depend on the day. I also think I need to firm up my plan a bit. Maybe I'll run the red light again, just for good measure. Then my plan will work for sure. I just know it.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Economy Is Pinching Me

The economy is crazy. Don't ya think? Crazy. Or, maybe it's not the economy, it's just me personally. Nah. Can't be me. Right? Definitely the world at large.

I've had to start making sacrifices. You know, because of the economy. It's been really hard finding creative ways to cut back. But being the genius that I am, I've found small ways to try and save money. Deep thinker--that's me.

I've had to cut back our Oreo intake. I know, I know, so painful, but a necessary sacrifice. Each person can now only have 8 cookies at a sitting instead of the requisite 10. deep breath, trying to save money. We are now only buying happy meals ONCE a week. more deep, cleansing breaths. I'm even gritting my teeth and stretching out my time between haircuts. Now I get a cut every 6 weeks instead of every 5. Good heavens, the sacrifices I am called to make are almost too much to handle.

Just the other day, Todd told me he needed to buy some new pants. I stared at him in disbelief. He went on to explain that he has basically been wearing the same two pairs of pants over and over. I had to put my hand up and stop him mid-sentence. I opened my eyes real big to get his attention and then spoke to him in slow, clear phrases. "Do you NOT see the sacrifices we are making around here? Do you NOT see me cry a tear when I can only ask my mom to pay for a pedicure every OTHER month!? Come on. Pants? Be real." He didn't mention it again after that.

All of my penny pinching sacrifices have led me to a most creative solution for my kitchen chairs. Again I repeat, I'm a deep thinker. See, the chair legs kept scratching my new wood floors. It was making me angry. I spent endless amounts of money on the little furry pads for the chair legs. They fell off, they wore down too fast, blah, blah, blah. More anger.

While I was at the Hobby Lobby (only buying things on sale because I'm trying to save money), I thought of a most brilliant fix for my chair woes. Felt and ribbon. Anything that involves ribbon is right up my alley.

Ugly, scratchy chair leg before makeover:

I cut out a circle of felt and secured with uuber cute ribbon:

So darn cute! My chair legs now look like they are
wearing ruffles. What a fashion statement:

With all the money I saved on this project, Todd just might have enough to buy a pair of pants. But realistically, I'll probably just buy more Oreos. There are needs and there are wants. Good thing I'm smart enough to know the difference.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

I Take It Back

I'm the kind of mom who holds a secret wish that my kids will sit still and be quiet...for more than 32 seconds. I almost relish when they have a fever and lay on the couch and watch TV. Being still AND quiet is a very, very rare occurrence around here.

Addie has lost 1.5 pds. in 48 hours. Kindof a big deal when you only weigh 40 pds. She has thrown up so much that I just want to cry for her. She has been so sick that it made me nervous. After our trip to the doctor, we got to sit at the pharmacy and wait for presciptions. All while Addie cried, refused to get stop laying on the floor and threw up everything in her stomach--which was watery acid.

As I watched her yesterday, I realized that she laid very still and was tip-toe quiet. And you know what? I didn't like it. I just wanted her to be energizer bunny Addie. My crazy talker Bean.

She's perking up today. She asked me to buy her Trix and Bagel Bites. Definite sign of better health. I'll know she is 100% when she starts talking for 18 minutes straight without pausing for air. I think I'll be more patient with all the talking. At least for a day or two.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


I've been feeling rather 'blah' lately. Kind of a slump, I guess. I don't feel motivated to do anything. Normally I get loads of stuff done. For the last week I just don't want to do all my 'stuff'. So unlike me. Is this how most people feel all the time? If so, they need to start drinking more Pepsi.

I've been trying to figure out where my blah is coming from. At first I thought it was swine flu. Not me, just Addie. She's been sick and so I took her to the doctor yesterday. In the back of my mind I slightly wondered about the flu, but the thought of her being home on quarantine made me stop breathing. For a brief second I thought about her talking to me non-stop for 10 days straight and it made me dizzy. Kind of like getting stuck on the It's A Small World ride at Disneyland. Really. But after talking to the doctor, the poor girl just has a massive sinus infection. It probably started when she stuck a bunch of tissue pieces up her nose on Sunday. She was in a time out and was bored. Makes total sense.

This morning I think I figured out the source of my blahness. A light bulb moment of clarity. It's exercise. It has to be. For the last 2 weeks I have been walking on my treadmill. That's why I feel so bleak. It has zapped all my happiness right out of me. I think it's slowly taking away my will to live. For reals.

All you exercise people out there are going to tell me that it gets better, right? That soon I will just love it and I'll come to realize how good I feel. What a load of lies. I bet that these are the same people who told me Makell wouldn't always be as devious as she was when she started the car at the age of 4. Uh huh, load of lies.

Have you ever looked at the people who are exercising or running on a treadmill? Do they look happy? I think not. They look like they're being tortured. Willingly. Sweating can do that to you. It makes you feel all gross and your hair turns nasty. So depressing. No one should have to endure sweaty hair. It's just not right.

I'm going to have to find a way to overcome my blah. I'm going to keep stepping on the treadmill. I'm determined. Maybe if I buy a super cute exercise outfit and coordinating shoes, it will help. Being fashionable always perks up my spirits. That, and cupcakes. I think that's what I'm going to need. Lots and lots of cupcakes. I'll eat them while wearing my cute, new outfit. I feel the blah lifting already.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Conversations With Child #2

Me: "Makell, why oh why is there a razor sitting on your dresser?"

Kellie: "Because I shaved my arms. And my legs."

Me: "Your 9. You don't shave."

Kellie: "Well, I want to."

Me: "Did you know that once you shave your arms that even more hair is going to grow back?"

Kellie: "What! Why didn't you tell me that!"


Scene: Driving in the car with Addie and Makell. Addie is sitting in the bucket seat behind me, but leaning her body all the way over to the other bucket seat so that she is almost laying down. I have repeatedly asked her to sit up. She's deaf.

Me: "Addie, do you know what is going to happen to you if we get hit by a car? You'll be killed. All because you won't obey me. I hope you're OK with that."

Makell: "Hmm. Well, that could be good and bad."

Me: "What?"

Makell: "Well, it would be good because then I would be able to play with my friends alone. You know, without Addie. But then it would be bad because, you know, she'd be.....like.....dead."

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Happy BDay Sista

Happy Birthday to the girl I've always wanted to be when I grow up.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Life Lessons

Teaching moments happen all the time. These moments help you to focus your parenting skills to impart truth and knowledge to your offspring. I love these snippets of time where I can really help my kids to learn something. Like, just the other day, I had to pause and teach Sam that, "just because that spot on the couch is bugging you, doesn't mean you can whip out the scissors and cut. it. out! Good glory, how old are you!" It was a tender moment.

This week I have realized that there are teaching opportunities all around us. Nana decided to teach Addie (the 6 year old) how to play Solitaire on her iphone. What a good life skill. I could overhear Addie saying, "now, do I need a black card next?" Oh yes, what wholesome knowledge she had gained. Just between you and me, Nana is addicted to Solitaire. At one point she thought she had carpel tunnel from playing so much. I thought about buying her those fancy orthopedic gloves, but I realized I would just be feeding her obsession.

My girls are teaching the twins to watch TV. We've discovered that they really like Clifford The Big Red Dog and Sponge Bob. Addie and Kellie are nice enough to perch them just right for optimal television viewing. Don't be jealous that we can't come to your house to pass on some of our wholesome life skills.

Life lessons are so vital. Solitaire and TV. Is there much more to learn? I think my kids are going to be waaay ahead of their peers. Hopefully at recess they pass along a little knowledge nugget to their friends. Black card, red card, numerical order.....

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Mother's Day

I'm not terribly fond of Mother's Day. To be quite honest, I don't like it. Never have. I still have to do all the things I normally do, except Todd makes a fantastic dinner. All day long I keep thinking that everyone else should have to go to church and I should stay home in my jammies and read a book. Now that would be a nice day.

I took this picture in 2004:

I clearly remember this specific moment. I had just finished sweeping the floor and I looked down at the pile and just starred. I realized that it represented my life. I had 3 small children and all I did was clean the floor, wipe the counters and pick up after everyone. I really didn't have much time for anything else. I felt like my life was just one big pile.

Motherhood is like that. One big pile. Some days that pile can be daunting. Other days that pile makes you smile. And most days, the pile is lots of work on behalf of those you love. It's never-ending, frustrating, unconditional and joy, all rolled into one.

Lately, a few people (related to me) have commented that I don't like my children. Hmm. Far from the truth. Just because I complain about them doesn't mean I don't like them. I adore them. Truly. They just make me want to drink battery acid sometimes so that I can go to the hospital and stay for a week.

I whine about my reality. It's what I do. That doesn't mean I would change my reality (other than Addie not talking so much), it just means that I'm open about my feelings towards it. Since when do parenting complaints equate unhappiness? Complaining is complaining. Nothing more. I simply put a voice to what a majority of mothers are thinking. I would love it if more moms complained. It helps you to know that you're not alone. That you're not the only parent who feels like they can't get their crap together or their kids to behave.

Under the surface of all the complaining, love is at the core. Love is always, always the biggest part of the pile. It's the only reason that I keep on cleaning up that pile.

I also took these pictures in 2004:

They're so cute I could eat 'em! It's amazing what time can do. It seems to haze over the hard parts and the good parts shine through a little brighter. Maybe the 'looking back' of motherhood is one of the sweet rewards. When I look at my current Mother's Day, I see the battles I am presently waging. But when I look at these 2004 photos, that Mother's Day oozes happy memories.

So, maybe one of the challenges of motherhood is to try, TRY to appreciate the pile you are currently taking care of. No matter how wretched that pile feels, at the close of the day, love is still the cornerstone. It always will be. Always.

Happy Mother's Day to all of the amazing women in my life.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

An EVEN Year

Can you feel it? I'm giddy about it. I'm EVEN (squeal and hold your breath). Today is my birthday and I am now an even number. I could feel it the second I opened my eyes this morning. I immediately felt lighter. I love being even. It's a good number. Wholesome, well balanced. Odd numbers are icky. They make you feel so....odd. But with a sigh of relief, I am.....even.

My kids made me this birthday poster:

Check out #8. It made me so proud, a tear dripped from my eye. #3 says that I go on walks. In the last 2 years I think we have gone on two. I like #2--she keeps us safe. I'm not sure if they're referring to safety from the outside world, or from each other.

At my pleading, Todd took the day off. We went to breakfast and then saw 2 movies. In a row!! When does that ever happen!? It must be because I'm EVEN!

But, I have to say that Todd gave me the greatest gift anyone could give me. He ate. a. McDonald's. hamburger. I know, I know, pause and grip your chair. In over 14 years I have NEVER, ever seen him even nibble a golden arches burger. Today he did. I didn't think I could love him more. But now I do. I'm so proud, I could kneel and say a prayer of thanks.

It's been a good birthday. Being even makes me happy. Now I'm wholesome and well balanced. It's obvious, right?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Carpet Burn Take 2

Addie's handiwork has now crusted over. It's even darker and nasty looking than it was on Sunday. People keep asking me if she fell across the cement. When I tell them that she did it to herself while in time out, they feel the need to give me parenting advice. It's fascinating. Copious amounts of people have decided that I am the reason Addie slid her face across the carpet. If I was just a dang better parent, then she would have sat quietly in her time out.

I have been told that I need a sticker chart for her so that I can catch her in 'good' behavior. I have been told to take away privileges including field day at school and all birthday parties. I have also been advised not to give her the attention she is seeking when she is dragging her face across the floor. Uh...really? Gee, I hadn't thought or TRIED any of that!

Until her wounds heal, I think I'm going to start lying to people. Maybe then the advice will stop. From now on I'll simply explain that this is the kind of injury a person can sustain when living in this house. I think people will nod with a clear understanding. It's a circus over here. One that apparently needs a sticker chart.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Time Out Can Be Painful

You know how all the parenting books tell you to use time out as a form of discipline? The 'experts' describe at length how to instruct your child to sit quietly for a set amount of time. Uh, that doesn't really work at our house. Exhibit A:

Addie had a time out yesterday (1 of 23). This is what she did while sitting quietly and pondering her poor choices. She rubbed her face across the carpet. She said it was fun. Do you see the carpet burns across her forehead and nose? That's the kind of time out that happens around here. Yesterday she slapped a bacon bandaid across her forehead burn and wore it to church.

Time out always seems counterproductive at our house. One time when Makell was about 4 yrs. old, I put her in the corner. She used her discipline time to chew the drywall off the wall. I kid you not. Gnawed. the. wall. right. off.

Maybe my kids just find creative ways to cut the boredom. Or maybe, just maybe, the 'experts' have it backwards. Parents need the time out. I think I'm going to try sitting in the corner of my room for a lengthy amount of time while I quietly ponder my poor choices. With the frequency of necessary time outs around here, I may just end up sitting there all day. Sounds like a pretty good plan.

Friday, May 1, 2009

High Class

Every now and then, when I step back and take a look, this family is a lot classier than I thought.