Friday, August 31, 2007

Just Another Fun-Filled Day

I woke up to my 3 year old screeching because my 8 year old was bugging him. Just a typical day around here. However, in addition to the screeching, I got an added bonus today. My 3 year old, who had been eating one of those yogurt tubes when his older brother started bugging him, decided to fling the yogurt at him in an attempt to - what? cover him with yogurt? Give him his daily calcium intake? Moisturinze his skin with live cultures? Yeah, that'll get him back for bugging you! Anyway, for whatever reason, the 3 year old flung the tube of yogurt at the 9 year old covering him, my floor, the kitchen counters, my toaster, the coffee maker, the cabinets, the fridge, the 6 year old's homework, the, well basically every conceivable surface in the general vicinity of the kitchen, in goopy, blue yogurt. Good morning! Know where my sense of humor was during this little escapade? I sure don't.

Fast forward to 10:00. I took my 3 year old to the doctor for his pre-op physical (he's having his tonsils & adenoids taken out and a second set of tubes put in his ears in a couple weeks.) Let me tell ya, I could write an entire book on doctor's visits alone! I hate sitting there in the waiting room to see the doctor. It reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Jerry tries to rent a car. The rental place has his reservation, but doesn't have a car for him. He says, "You know how to TAKE a reservation, but you don't know how to HOLD the reservation and really, the HOLDING of the reservation is the most important part of the reservation." Well, they know how to MAKE appointments, but they don't know how to KEEP appointments. I think from now on, when they tell me my appointment is at 10:00, I'll just show up at 11:30 and save myself the aggravation.

Anyway, I'll just give you the highlights, because I seriously could fill an entire chapter with the details of the doctor's office. My 3 year old was actually, shockingly, really good. He only stood up and tried to launch himself off the examining table and onto my back three times and he only crawled under the table to drum on the metal surfaces twice. The baby, on the other hand, threw herself down on the floor and had an all out temper tantrum. Why, you ask? What could've happened to make her behave like that? What horrible thing did I do to incite such rage? I had the audacity to take my son's "pee cup" away from her so she couldn't drink it. Yes, I know. I'm horrible. I wouldn't let her play with his urine specimen, thus the head banging, anger filled, flailing , screaming, crying entertainment for the entire office.


Do I look pretty, Mommy? Lipstick - it not only looks good, it tastes good too.


Ignore the piles of laundry on the bed.



It's nice, even if it only happens at the end of a stressful day, to see the kids playing together. Tupperhat anyone?

Now I have to get some sleep because I'm getting sick. I can feel the tickle in my throat and my head is getting stuffy. It's coming. Unfortunately, I'm on call for the next 20 years and my employer doesn't give me any sick days, so I'd better get some rest.

Oh yeah! I can't even remember what I had for lunch today. You think I can remember what kind of carpeting I got 5 years ago?! This is what it looks like though. It's a brownish, dirt colored berber with multi colored flecks in it. At least I think the flecks were there when I first got it.

Oh yeah again - my kids' names! OK, I've got
Austin
Savannah
Jackson
Lexington
Clayton
Brooklyn
That's six, right? Yep, that's all of them. OK, now I'm really going to bed.

Adventures in Grocery Shopping

I'm reprinting the auction here before Ebay takes it down.

I'm selling a bunch of Pokemon cards. Why? Because my kids sneaked them into my shopping cart while at the grocery store and I ended up buying them because I didn't notice they were there until we got home. How could I have possibly not noticed they were in my cart, you ask? Let me explain.

You haven’t lived until you’ve gone grocery shopping with six kids in tow. I would rather swim, covered in bait, through the English Channel, be a contestant on Fear Factor when they’re having pig brains for lunch, or do fourth grade math than to take my six kids to the grocery store. Because I absolutely detest grocery shopping, I tend to put it off as long as possible. There comes a time, however, when you’re peering into your fridge and thinking, ‘Hmmm, what can I make with ketchup, Italian dressing, and half an onion,’ that you decide you cannot avoid going to the grocery store any longer. Before beginning this most treacherous mission, I gather all the kids together and give them “The Lecture“.

“The Lecture“ goes like this…
MOM: “We have to go to the grocery store.”
KIDS: “Whine whine whine whine whine.“
MOM: “Hey, I don’t want to go either, but it’s either that or we’re eating cream of onion-ketchup soup and drinking Italian dressing for dinner tonight.”
KIDS: “Whine whine whine whine whine.“
MOM: “Now here are the rules: do not ask me for anything, do not poke the packages of meat in the butcher section, do not test the laws of physics and try to take out the bottom can in the pyramid shaped display, do not play baseball with oranges in the produce section, and most importantly, do not try to leave your brother at the store. Again.”

OK, the kids have been briefed. Time to go.

Once at the store, we grab not one, but two shopping carts. I wear the baby in a sling and the two little children sit in the carts while I push one cart and my oldest son pushes the other one. My oldest daughter is not allowed to push a cart. Ever. Why? Because the last time I let her push the cart, she smashed into my ankles so many times, my feet had to be amputated by the end of our shopping trip. This is not a good thing. You try running after a toddler with no feet sometime.

At this point, a woman looks at our two carts and asks me, “Are they all yours?” I answer good naturedly, “Yep!

“Oh my, you have your hands full.”

“Yes, I do, but it‘s fun!” I say smiling. I’ve heard all this before. In fact, I hear it every time I go anywhere with my brood.

We begin in the produce section where all these wonderfully, artistically arranged pyramids of fruit stand. There is something so irresistibly appealing about the apple on the bottom of the pile, that a child cannot help but try to touch it. Much like a bug to a zapper, the child is drawn to this piece of fruit. I turn around to the sounds of apples cascading down the display and onto the floor. Like Indiana Jones, there stands my son holding the all-consuming treasure that he just HAD to get and gazing at me with this dumbfounded look as if to say, “Did you see that??? Wow! I never thought that would happen!”

I give the offending child an exasperated sigh and say, “Didn’t I tell you, before we left, that I didn’t want you taking stuff from the bottom of the pile???”

“No. You said that you didn’t want us to take a can from the bottom of the pile. You didn’t say anything about apples.”

With superhuman effort, I resist the urge to send my child to the moon and instead focus on the positive - my child actually listened to me and remembered what I said!!! I make a mental note to be a little more specific the next time I give the kids The Grocery Store Lecture.

A little old man looks at all of us and says, “Are all of those your kids?”

Thinking about the apple incident, I reply, “Nope. They just started following me. I’ve never seen them before in my life.”

OK, now onto the bakery section where everything smells so good, I’m tempted to fill my cart with cookies and call it a day. Being on a perpetual diet, I try to hurry past the assortment of pies, cakes, breads, and pastries that have my children drooling. At this point the chorus of “Can we gets” begins.

“Can we get donuts?”
“No.”
“Can we get cupcakes?”
“No.”
“Can we get muffins?”
“No.”
“Can we get pie?”
“No.”

You’d think they’d catch on by this point, but no, they’re just getting started.

In the bakery, they’re giving away free samples of coffee cake and of course, my kids all take one. The toddler decides he doesn’t like it and proceeds to spit it out in my hand. (That’s what moms do. We put our hands in front of our children’s mouths so they can spit stuff into them. We’d rather carry around a handful of chewed up coffee cake, than to have the child spit it out onto the floor. I’m not sure why this is, but ask any mom and she’ll tell you the same.) Of course, there’s no garbage can around, so I continue shopping one-handed while searching for someplace to dispose of the regurgitated mess in my hand.

In the meat department, a mother with one small baby asks me, “Wow! Are all six yours?”
I answer her, “Yes, but I’m thinking of selling a couple of them.”

(Still searching for a garbage can at this point.)

Ok, after the meat department, my kids’ attention spans are spent. They’re done shopping at this point, but we aren’t even halfway through the store. This is about the time they like to start having shopping cart races. And who may I thank for teaching them this fun pastime? My seventh “child”, also known as my husband. While I’m picking out loaves of bread, the kids are running down the aisle behind the carts in an effort to get us kicked out of the store. I put to stop to that just as my son is about to crash head on into a giant cardboard cut-out of a Keebler elf stacked with packages of cookies.

Ah! Yes! I find a small trash can by the coffee machine in the cereal aisle and finally dump out the squishy contents of my hand. After standing in the cereal aisle for an hour and a half while the kids perused the various cereals, comparing the marshmallow and cheap, plastic toy content of each box, I broke down and let them each pick out a box. At any given time, we have twenty open boxes of cereal in my house.

As this is going on, my toddler is playing Houdini and maneuvering his little body out of the seat belt in an attempt to stand up in the cart. I’m amazed the kid made it to his second birthday without suffering a brain damaging head injury. In between trying to flip himself out of the cart, he sucks on the metal bars of the shopping cart. Mmmm, can you say “influenza”?

The shopping trip continues much like this. I break up fights between the kids now and then and stoop down to pick up items that the toddler has flung out of the cart. I desperately try to get everything on my list without adding too many other goodies to the carts.

Somehow I manage to complete my shopping in under four hours and head for the check-outs where my kids start in on a chorus of, “Can we have candy?” What evil minded person decided it would be a good idea to put a display of candy in the check-out lanes, right at a child’s eye level? Obviously someone who has never been shopping with children.

As I unload the carts, I notice many extra items that my kids have sneaked in the carts unbeknownst to me. I remove a box of Twinkies, a package of cupcakes, a bag of candy, and a can of cat food (we don’t even have a cat!). I somehow missed the box of Pokemon cards however and ended up purchasing them unbeknownst to me. As I pay for my purchases, the clerk looks at me, indicates my kids, and asks, “Are they all yours?”

Frustrated, exhausted from my trip, sick to my stomach from writing out a check for $289.53, dreading unloading all the groceries and putting them away and tired of hearing that question, I look at the clerk and answer her in my most sarcastic voice, “No. They’re not mine. I just go around the neighborhood gathering up kids to take to the grocery store because it’s so much more fun that way.”

So, up for auction is an opened (they ripped open the box on the way home from the store) package of Pokemon cards. There are 44 cards total. They're in perfect condition, as I took them away from the kiddos as soon as we got home from the store. Many of them say "Energy". I tried carrying them around with me, but they didn't work. I definitely didn't have any more energy than usual. One of them is shiny. There are a few creature-like things on many of them. One is called Pupitar. Hee hee hee Pupitar! (Oh no! My kids' sense of humor is rubbing off on me!) Anyway, I don't think there's anything special about any of these cards, but I'm very much not an authority on Pokemon cards. I just know that I'm not letting my kids keep these as a reward for their sneakiness.

Shipping is FREE on this item. Insurance is optional, but once I drop the package at the post office, it is no longer my responsibility. For example, if my son decides to pour a bottle of glue into the envelope, or my daughter spills a glass of juice on the package, that’s my responsibility and I will fully refund your money. If, however, I take the envelope to the post office and a disgruntled mail carrier sets fire to it, a pack of wild dogs rip into it, or a mail sorting machine shreds it, it’s out of my hands, so you may want to add insurance. I will leave feedback for you as soon as I’ve received your payment. I will be happy to combine shipping on multiple items won within three days. This comes from a smoke-free, pet-free, child-filled home. Please ask me any questions before placing your bid. Happy bidding! :)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Questions From You

I'm going to attempt to answer a few of your questions from your blog comments.

Did you name your kids after cities?

Yes. Well, it didn't really start that way. I just liked the name Austin. Then I liked the name Savannah for my second child. After that we realized we had a theme going. We had to keep up with it. I mean, you can't have an Austin, Savannah, Jackson and then Bob. It just doesn't go. By the time we got to the sixth baby, we'd run out of cities and had to go to the boroughs.
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What do your kids think of all this?

I asked them this very question yesterday. "Hey guys, what do you think of all this?"

Here are their responses...

Think of what?
Huh?
Look at me! I'm a frog!
Mom, are you going to be on the computer again tonight?
I love you, Mommy!
Shoes!
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What does your husband think of all this?

He's very proud. I think he's a bit overwhelmed with everything as well. And he's definitely hoping that this ends in a way for me to make a little money so he can start working a normal 40 hour week and spend more time with us.
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"I'd need a back hoe and dump truck to come in before I'd let anyone take pictures of my house."

Who says I didn't do just that?! LOL Actually I called my husband at work yesterday and politely asked him if could take a vacation day and help me out around the house before the reporter came. OK, so I really called him up and frantically informed him, "You HAVE to stay home tomorrow and do something with the kids so they don't trash the place before the reporter comes! I don't care if he sees the house a little messy and cluttered because that's how it normally looks, but I don't want him to require a Tetanus shot before he leaves. My husband vacuumed and cleaned the bathrooms hooray! Then he tracked mud all over the floor. Gotta love him. Actually, when I bought our carpeting, I walked into the store and told the salesman, "I want carpeting that looks like it's been thrown up on, walked on with muddy shoes, and had cornflakes ground into it, so when those things really do happen, it'll blend."
Apparently they don't get that request too often.

After that, I called my friend, Gin, who does my hair, and begged her to cover up my gray (you know, for the black and white picture).

Of course I woke up today with a lovely blemish the size of a Buick on my face. Maybe I'll spritz some Windex on it.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Second Chances

At bedtime, my 9 year old was jumping around the room, being loud and goofy because this is what kids do at bedtime. They save up that last little burst of energy and then use it just when we've officially run out of steam. They catch you off guard this way. They wait, hoping you nod off on the couch, so they can go raid the fridge and stay up way past their bedtime, watching stupid stuff on t.v. Thankfully I'm a night owl, but they've pulled this one over on my husband numerous times.

Anyway, my son wasn't really doing anything wrong or "bad". He was just wound up tighter than a drum and it was time for him to get ready for bed. I warned him that he either needed to settle down or go to bed. He chose to go into orbit, so I sent him to bed.
"But Mom, can't I have a second chance?"
" Ummm no. You made your choice, now get in bed."
"Pleeeeeease can I have a second chance?"
"This is non-negotiable. Goodnight."
"But Mom, God gives second chances."

Now how am I suppose to answer that?!

I'd like to take credit for that teaching, but alas it was Bob and Larry in the Veggie Tales Jonah movie, who is to blame, er, I mean, who taught him that one.

"That's very true, honey. God does give second chances. But I'm not God. Now go to bed."


Tomorrow I have an interview with a radio station in New York, I think. Ugh, I can't keep them straight anymore. Also, The Chicago Tribune is coming over to my house to interview me and take pictures. (I don't know how to spell the sound I just made. We'll just insert a "freaked out scream" instead.)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Here's Some Toilet Paper to go With That Butt Paste

Do you have any idea how hard it is to update my blog every day, while reading my mail, taking care of my kids and house (ok, not so much the house this week), and saving all my best writing back for the book? Ugh. One of these days I'll get around to answering all your questions. Here's one for today.

Question of the day: "What is the funniest thing your kids have ever sneaked into a shopping cart?"

Not too long ago, while shopping at Target, my oldest put a tube of Boudreaux's Butt Paste (a brand of diaper cream) in my cart. He couldn't resist after reading the label because clearly, "butt" is the funniest word in the English language. In fact, the word "butt" when combined with any other word at all, makes for absolute hilarity. For example, "chickenbutt, juicebutt, bucketbutt, buttnose. It really doesn't matter at all what word you use. Anything with "butt" makes kids laugh. (Wow! Spellcheck sure didn't like my butt words.)
I digress. Anyway, when we got to the check out, I pulled out the tube of butt paste. Puzzled, I held it up, saw the smirk on my son's face, and said, loudly enough for the cashier to hear, "Are you out of butt paste already? I didn't realize you needed more." I'm not sure if he was more embarrassed or more shocked that I made a joke out of it.

Quote of the day: "There's a mosquito bite on the door." ~Spaz This was right before he walked into my room carrying his Elmo pillowcase slung over his back, looking like Santa loaded down with toys. He brought the bag around and said, "Who wants a Christmas present?" to which I replied, "I do! I do!" He then reached into his Elmo pillowcase "bag" and brought out a 12 pack of toilet paper. Score! LOL!

Do I Really Sound Like That?

I didn't throw up during my interview with US 103.5 in Tampa this morning. Nor did the kids go barrelling through the house screaming like banshees while I was on the phone. That's a miracle in itself because everyone knows a ringing phone releases a hormone in children that makes them flock to you like seagulls to a bag of discarded Mc Donald's left-overs in the parking lot (sorry, I don't live on a beach. That's my experience with seagulls.) They sent me a clip of the interview and boy, do I sound like a dork! Does anyone ever like the sound of their voice on a recording?

http://www.us1035.com/cc-common/podcast.html

I have another interview with Star 102.5 in DesMoines tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. central.

Here's a link to the The St. Petersburg Times article http://www.sptimes.com/2007/08/28/Features/EBay_listing_a_bid_fo.shtml

OK, I have to go clean pudding off the ceiling now. Don't ask.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Cicadas, and Caterpillars, and Squirrels, Oh My!

Here's my favorite comment from today.

WOW! It is parents like you that make some people wonder why parents don't spank thier

HUH?

kids anymore.

Yes, well it makes perfect sense to beat a child for wanting to dress themselves.

It really makes me want to never have kids, ever!

It really makes me want you to never have kids ever too!

But then I watch those tv shows where Supper nanny always reforms the misbehaved and thier

There's that word again. ???

clueless enabler parents

Ah yes, The Supper Nanny! She not only cares for your children, but she cooks dinner as well!

People are funny.

My kids are funny too. But in a good way. :)

My 3 year old came in from playing and announced, "Look at my friend! Can he come inside?" I looked around wondering which neighbor kid was over this time and upon seeing nobody, wondered if he'd taken up imaginary friends like my 6 year old. Before I could question him about his friend, he thrust this in my face.


"Ummm, let's just keep this "friend" outside, buddy."

I suppose it could have been worse. It could've been this friend again...



Or this friend....



My 3 year old jumped up from the table where we were having lunch and ran outside to get his cup that he had left on the swingset. I continued to eat, while conversing with my 6 year old when she suddenly says, "Spaz has a squirrel!"

"No, he doesn't. He just went outside to get his cup."

"Yes he does. He's carrying a squirrel."

"Don't be silly. Eat your sandwich."

"Mom, really, he's got a squirrel by the tail."

I get up and look outside and lo and behold, my 3 year old is indeed carrying a squirrel by his tail. As I open the door to scream, I mean, calmly, tell him to put the squirrel down, the neighbor's dogs run outside and begin barking so loudly it sounds like a kennel. The squirrel freaks out and tries to jump out of my son's hands which makes my son, in turn, freak out and nearly throw the squirrel. I witness, in slow motion, the squirrel kind of fly through the air and land safely on the fence. I wouldn't have believed it had I not seen it.

"Yeah, sure honey, you can keep a rabid, baby rodent as a pet. Let's name him Skippy and keep him forever. Don't worry about the fact that he chewed through our garbage cans. It'll be fun."

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The Fox19 Morning News interview was this morning and I didn't throw up or pass out so all went well. They don't have a link to the interview, but the news people only spoke to me via the telephone for about 2 minutes, so you really didn't miss anything.

Tomorrow morning, I'm doing an interview with 103.5 in Tampa at 8:30 Eastern time if anyone in FL listens to that station. The St. Petersburg Times interview is supposed to be in tomorrow's paper as well.

You're Wearing THAT?

In the days BC (before children) I'd see kids in the store wearing the most crazy outfits and I'd think to myself, 'What on earth were their parents thinking???' Now that I have kids of my own, I understand. Kids like to dress themselves and it just isn't worth fighting over.

So, your child wants to wear a red velour sweat shirt, purple plaid pants (I'm not sure why anyone would have purple plaid pants to begin with...), yellow knee socks, snow boots, and a tiara in July. As a parent you have to pick and choose your battles. Generally it's best to save your energy for the more important things such as when the kids want to build a spaceship from parts they’ve taken out your car, or when the kids decide it would be a good idea to paint their bedroom door with nail polish. Stuff like The Hitting My Sister With a Smelly Sweat Sock Repeatedly Battle, or The He's Looking At Me Battle, just aren't worth the effort.

I've actually decided to stop buying new clothes for my kids. My oldest son wears the same nasty old T-shirts day in and day out. It doesn't matter that he has a closet full of nice, new clothes. I'm sure his teacher thinks he's an orphan. And when I take the shirts away and toss them in the garbage, they somehow magically reappear in his drawer again and again. I’ve given up on jeans lasting more than a week with him. Apparently there’s some sort of mysterious force field at school that causes perfectly good jeans to get holes in the knees because that boy can’t manage to keep a new pair of jeans intact for more than a day.

My oldest daughter has nothing to wear. Again, she has a closet full of beautiful, untouched clothing, but I guess the clothes are invisible to her because when she opens her closet door, she sees nothing. She, more often than not, opts to wear my shoes as well. Hmmm maybe I could go raid HER closet for things to wear. I'm sure I'd look quite stylish in her little skirts.

My middle son spends most of his day just hanging out in his pajamas, or occasionally his underwear. Maybe he's onto something. I'm sure it's very comfortable to walk around in nothing but your P.J.s. Can you imagine the look on the poor mailman’s face as I answer the door in my undies? I’m sure I’d make quite an impression at the PTO meetings!

My middle daughter has never worn a normal article of clothing in her life. She only wears bathing suits, leotards, and princess dress-up clothes. At the grocery store she walks on her toes while twirling down the aisles wearing her Cinderella dress. She wears her mermaid Halloween costume to the doctor's office and she dons enough jewelry to make Mr. T. jealous.

My youngest son wears whatever I pick out for him. The only problem is - he likes to dress himself and 99% of the time, he puts it on backwards. I mean, he's got a 50/50 shot of getting it right, yet his shoes are always on backwards and his tag is always sticking out the front of his shirt. I have no idea why this is.

Finally, the baby doesn't care what she's wearing as long as she's got on shoes. First thing in the morning, she wakes up and brings me her shoes to put on. Before I change her diaper, I must slip shoes onto her feet. Pajamas and shoes. A diaper and shoes. Just shoes. Imelda look out.

Yep, I'm going to save thousands on clothes. Hey I just might be able to take early retirement with savings like those.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Setting the Record Straight

I've received a couple emails from folks who accused my friend (who won the Pokemon card auction) of falsely bidding the item up high. Well, this doesn't make any sense. She placed her bid in the last few minutes of the auction and won them. How could you possibly say that she raised the price for someone else?

Secondly, a seller pays Ebay a fee for listing their item. Then Ebay charges another fee which is a percentage of the final sale price of said item. Ebay takes their cut. The end. That's how it works which is fine. I didn't withhold payment to Ebay. It isn't even possible to do so.

A seller can accept payments in whatever form they wish. I can accept Paypal if I so choose. I'm equally entitled to accept checks from buyers which is what I did in this case.

Lastly, my friend, who sympathized with me (and perhaps thought she was making an investment as she believes I'll be a published author) won these cards and did, in fact, pay for them. I, however, did not (nor do I intend to) cash her check. C'mon, she's my friend!

So, in fact, I'm out a total of $5.83 from the Pokemon card auction. No spa trips for me on this one. And you know what? I'm 500% fine with this because I got something so much more out of the auction. I feel I have a direction in my life right now. I know what I want to do when I grow up and I fully intend to follow through on it. Life is good!

Now the pattern I have up for sale right now.... well, I'm looking forward to paying a couple bills with that one! :)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

But he Started It!

OK put your pitch forks down, readers. The copied auction was pulled by Ebay. Remind me to never cross you guys. You can be scary! LOL!

Oops! I'm sorry I forgot to say that the Fox19 interview will be this Monday morning at 8:40 a.m. Eastern time.

Several readers have suggested that I put a button on my blog enabling people to donate to my Paypal account. I just don't feel right doing this. I'd rather you save your money to buy a copy of my book. ;) But it did get me thinking that it would be a great idea to put a button on here for anyone interested in donating to a charity. I've written St. Jude's Children's Hospital to see if they have a program that will let people donate directly to them through my blog. I'd also like to put one on for breast cancer. If anyone knows of a good organization for breast cancer who may participate in such a program, please let me know.

And yes, the "supposeably" comment was from Friends. I love Friends. And Seinfeld. And Everybody Loves Raymond. My brain is full of stupid quotes from these shows. It's sad really. I should download some of that useless information to the recycling bin and free up a little more memory.

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I was all set to write about Picking and Choosing Your Battles today. I had it all written in my mind. Then the kids woke up. Everything has been a battle today. It's largely my fault because I have been spending entirely too much time online this week. Can't imagine why! The kids are desperate for attention. The full extent of this fact hit me (literally) when my son whipped a baseball across the room (yes, IN the house) and it smacked me in the ankle. I lost my cool and yelled, "What are you doing?! Use your head! You just threw a baseball at me!"
He replied with a defensive, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to hit you. I was aiming for Aj," as if this made it all ok somehow.
"Oh well, as long as you weren't aiming for me." I rolled my eyes so much I thought they might get stuck at the back of my head.

Then began the whole "He Started It" conversation. If you have one child, you can skip this part. If you have more than one then you know what I'm talking about. Now, I personally don't get involved in this particular discussion. In my opinion there is no way to figure just who started it. It'll make your head spin trying to sort it out especially if you have a quiet instigator. I have one of those. The kind of kid who can't walk down the hall without reaching out and swiping at the sibling he passes. 'What? Who me? What did I do? I was just walking down the hall!'

In my house (except in the very rare, obvious case) both parties get in trouble when something like this happens despite who may or may not have "started it". In fact, it's the one who retaliates, who usually upsets me the most. I always tell them, "If one of your siblings hits you, you need to come tell me. Do not hit them back. That won't solve the problem and it will get you in trouble too."

Of course, I suppose I'm partly to blame when they turn vigilante and take vengeance upon themselves. Despite my wonderful, wise instruction to inform me when they've been wronged, I must admit that there have been a time or two or a hundred when my child has done just that, but to no avail.

CHILD: Moooom! So and so hit me.
ME: Are you bleeding?
CHILD: No.
ME: Are there any bones protruding from your skin?
CHILD: No.
ME: Then go work it out yourself!

Yes, I know I'm not being consistent and I'm sending mixed messages and that's really not the best parenting. However, after hearing....

She poked me!
He won't give me my doll back
She just dumped out my cereal
Make her stop going in my room
Why do I have to share a room with them? They're messing up my stuff!
But I don't wanna watch Diego! It's a baby show!
But I don't wanna watch Drake and Josh! I wanna watch my Barbie movie.
He's bugging me!
She's looking at me!
He won't give me a turn!
I want to play with it now!

.....five hundred million times, you get a little tired of playing referee, thus the "work it out yourself!" comment. It's not such a bad thing to let them work it out themselves sometimes. I think it's important to learn skills that will help you compromise, work as a team, and get along with people who irritate you. I mean, one day they might just have a boss who they don't especially like. They won't be able to just dump coffee out on his desk or give him a wedgie. They'll have to find a way to cope and get along for the sake of their job.

Hmmm, one would think I had a point with all this. (I'm going to blame it on lack of sleep.) I guess my point is - we want to teach our children how to get along with others. We want to show them right from wrong. We want them to grow up to be well-adjusted, good people. Sometimes we just want them to make it another year! And this job called parenting is rewarding, fulfilling, exciting, and almost always HARD.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Moms of the World Unite! :)

WOW! In regards to Mr. Plagiarism (yes, I'm assuming it's a man. Sorry to my men readers. ;) , I have never received such an outpouring of outrage! I did report it to Ebay right away. Thank you to Annjanette and her husband who first alerted me to his auction. I was laughing so hard reading some of your irate comments about this person. Hee hee - talk about sticking up for a girl! You guys ROCK! Thank you!

You're welcome for the Vitiligo link. I just knew I put it in there for a reason.

The "supposeably" comment made me fall on the floor! "Supposeably. Supposeably? Supposeably." Anyone know what that's from?

A lot of you guys asked me if I kept a diary. Well, I don't so much keep a diary, but I do have seven chapters of stories like the auction one. I've been compiling them in my spare time for almost two years. Sooo, that means you guys won't have to wait too long for a book!

Anyway, I just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU to all of you for sticking up for me! :::sniff sniff::: I'm so touched!

Oh yeah! I almost forgot! I did an interview for the St. Petersburg Times for any of you in FL. I believe it will run in Tuesday's paper. I'm also doing an interview for Fox19 Morning News in Ohio for any of you out that way.

GRRR!

Grrr! A very nice person just brought this to my attention. People who plagiarize just make me mad!!!
They copied my auction word for word. :::shaking head:::

Crying Tears of Joy

I HAVE to share these. I've received several letters like these, but these were the only two I could find without spending a month going through my saved mail. I cried when I read them. I bawled! I really don't want to sound like I'm tooting my own horn, but I am so happy that I've been able to do this. To brighten someone's day like this.


Dawn, I'll keep this short as I know you are busy.

Not only do I want to say "Thanks" for making ME laugh - but more importantly - THANK YOU FOR MAKING MY SISTER LAUGH !!!

She has been going through one of those marriage ending episodes (don't worry, I'll spare you the details) but for the last month - everytime I talk to her she has been crying. UNTIL TODAY - someone forwarded a copy of your auction and blog today and she forwarded it to me. Before she did, she called me LAUGHING and said I had to read this.

I can't thank you enough for bringing a little laughter into my sister's life today.

Very grateful,
XXXXX

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

normally, i'd never email but tonight it's a must. i feel compelled to share with you. i have 5 kids 12, 10, 8, 6, 4....breastfeeding seemed to have spaced them that way......ha.....that and my hubby's deployments.....he's a Marine and in iraq since jan. so, tonight i was absolutely ready to LOSE it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i was in tears after the kids went to bed.......really bad evening......and sitting here wondering what am i doing??? what kind of mother am i and how am i raising my children???? and no, i don't beat them senseless or anything......just let them get their way waaaayyyyy too much i guess. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!! somehow typing that makes me feel better.......i had just emailed my husband to tell them what an evening it's been, feeling kinda guilty for having to send that from the homefront. anyway, i was going to delete the fwd (your ebay thing) that i got from a friend because i just don't have time for it........and popped it open anyhow. even though i am totally wiped out and it's a school night it was too good so i had to check out your blog......

now you have me sitting at my computer in a full on cry.......all i have to say is that God led me to your crazy blog.....crazy and so beautiful. hooray for another mom out there with the greatest perspective on things. you really gave me my jolt that i needed to put my boots back on and get back to the joy and humor that i seemed to have misplaced, along with my purse in the past few hours. thanks. your life is cherished and appreciated. you're really great. like i said, i never read these things but i'm so thankful i did tonight. i know that God answered my prayer through you and my smile in my heart is back. thanks for getting me through a really rough night. God bless~ XXXX


Doesn't it make you cry?

Robin Williams on Speed

LOL! Look at my buddy map at the bottom of this blog! Three days ago it looked like it had the chicken pox with a few scattered red dots. Now it looks like someone shot it and there's blood everywhere! Red dots all over!

I've gotten so much mail and oh my gosh - some of them were so funny, I about wet MY pants! You guys crack me up! I know I said I'd post some of the comments on my blog, but I've received nearly 10,000 emails and honestly don't know where to start! I want to apologize to all of you who have taken the time to write, compliment my writing, share your story, or ask me a question. I just cannot respond to all the mail I'm getting. This will probably all die down in a day or two and then maybe I can get back to all of you. Please don't think I'm ignoring your questions and requests. It's just that I can only read so fast and now and then I have to change a diaper and throw my kids some food. (Notice I didn't say vacuum or dust or anything even remotely related to cleaning?) My house looks like it's been lived in by grizzly bears. Smelly grizzly bears looking for food after hibernation.

Today was the second day of school and ordinarily I'd be ecstatic that the gang is back in school. In fact, I've been known to do a little happy dance of joy on my kitchen table the first day of school. What can I say - some moms meet up for coffee the first day, I dance on my kitchen table. So, usually, I'd be thrilled. Today, however my oldest daughter woke up and said she was too sick to go to school. It's the SECOND day! You can't pull that yet! Not until at least November! (Actually, she does have a sinus infection and an ear infection and I know she wasn't feeling too great.) My oldest son got ready for school like he usually does.
ME: Are your teeth brushed?
AJ: I don't remember.
ME: You don't remember if you brushed your teeth?
AJ: Today?
ME: YES TODAY!
AJ: walking off to brush his teeth
ME: five minutes later Are you ready? Did you brush your teeth? Do you have your backpack? Got your lunch?
AJ: staring at the t.v. which should really never be on in the morning
ME: Hello?
AJ: What?
ME: Are you ready to go?
AJ: Yes.
ME: I look at his feet and notice he doesn't even have shoes on.
I give up. And of course, he forgot his lunch. IT'S THE SECOND DAY! :::sigh:::

Anyway, I got him to school, came home to get the other kids up and going. This is my six year old's first year of going to school all day. She, much like her mother, doesn't do mornings. She slept until 10:00 or 11:00 every day this summer. It's been fun getting her up the past two days. That kid can sleep! It's like she's coming out of anesthesia every morning. My nine year old, on the other hand, jumps out of bed before the sun and is wired for sound. This is my kiddo with ADHD. He takes medication so he can function in school. His teachers love him. And why wouldn't they? They get Dr. Jekyll. I'm left with a veritable Mr. Hyde in the morning before his medicine kicks in and in the evening after it wears off. Actually, he isn't so much like Mr. Hyde as he is like Robin Williams in his Mork days. No, that's not quite right either. More like Robin Williams on speed. Robin Williams in his Mork days on speed. And sugar. And caffeine. Lots and lots of caffeine.

If you're wondering, I've gotten several offers from publishers because of this auction. I've been emailed by people at C-Span, Nickelodeon, a radio station in Tampa, The St. Petersburg Times, Fox 19 Morning News, and several others. Someone asked me to do a podcast. I don't even know what a podcast is! I don't know what to do with all this so I think I'll run away and hide under a rock for a while.

Oh yes - I thought this was starting to die down a bit, but I just checked my stat counter and apparently I've had over 94,000 hits today. I just can't even conceive of a number that large.

OK it's time for me to go to bed and lay there awake all night freaking out about all this attention. Have a good one everyone!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Addendum: I've been corrected. Knott's Berry Farm is NOT, I repeat NOT in San Diego. Several insulted Californians pointed out my grievous error. :D

Also, a few of you said that you think you went to high school with me. You probably didn't, but that's ok. I always think I went to school with the people in those Classmates.com ads.

Someone just suggested I find a way to use this "fame" and add to my family's income. You have no idea how awesome that would be. Believe me. We live paycheck to paycheck and we're usually a month behind. Kids tend to do that. I don't have the slightest clue how to do this. Anyone? Anyone? Buehler?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Answer Is...

Today I've had 77,000 hits to this blog. :::shaking head::: It blows my mind.
I stopped counting after the first three thousand pieces of email I received today. Although the auction is over, people are still leaving me tons of comments through Ebay.

Time for a little more question and answer - the part of the show where you ask me questions and I answer.

YOU: How old are you?
ME: Would you believe 29? No? My kids don't buy it either.

YOU: Did you grow up in New York?
ME: Nope. Although my three year old says "coffee" like his godmother (and much like Coffee Talk's Linda Richman) on Long Island.

YOU: Was the picture of you as a kid sitting by that statue taken at Wisconsin Dells?
ME: Nope, it was taken at Knott's Berry Farm in San Diego.

YOU: Would you like a job listing auctions on Ebay?
ME: Oh gosh no!

YOU: Do you homeschool?
ME: Are you outta your minds?! I know there are many benefits to homeschooling and kudos to all you who do (and from what I've read, there are many of you), but I really don't think I could give my kids a better education than what they're receiving in school. Oh yeah - and then there's the fact that I hardly have the patience to help them with their homework.

YOU: Are you a professional writer?
ME: No. I'm a professional diaper changer. I didn't go to college. I've never taken any writing courses. I actually wrote up that auction in about a half an hour.

YOU: How many kids are you planning on having total?
ME: Two.

YOU: Can you tell us how you made that cake?
ME: Yes. I'll write it in the comments under the cake post. It might take a day or two before I get to it.

YOU: Your husband must really cherish your sense of humor.
ME: I try not to let him see it for fear that I'll lose all power if he thinks I'm a pushover.

YOU: In reference to the picture of my three year old in the Stitch costume with the Darth Vader mask How can that poor kid see to walk?
ME: That poor kid has never walked. Ever. He runs.

YOU: Are you always sarcastic?
ME: I'm never sarcastic.
During a parent/teacher conference when my oldest was in kindergarten, his teacher told me, "Aj has an interesting sense of humor. He's sarcastic. Kids this age don't usually "get" sarcasm." Blushing guiltily, I replied, "Umm yeah, it comes from his father."

YOU: Would you consider doing a reality t.v. show?
ME: NOOOOOO! Are you kidding? You guys think I have patience now. If there were cameras following me around all day, you'd see that I lose my cool and yell at my kids on a regular basis.

YOU: Can I put a link to your auction/blog on my blog?
ME: Of course! From my stat counter I can see where people are coming from when they visit my blog. Although there were several from digg, fark, and reddit yesterday and this morning, they seem to have left and now I'm getting all these hits from mom's groups. Lots and lots of mom's message boards and parenting forums and such from across the world.

YOU: You're invited to join our group. Please stop by.
ME: I would love to join all your wonderful groups, but alas I don't think I could possibly find the time to contribute anything. When things settle down, I will stop by though.

YOU: Do you really shop at the Target on Randall in Algonquin?
ME: I have no idea where this is. I'm not sure where everyone got the idea that I shop there. I guess all the packages of ground round with fingerprints in them.

YOU: Which do you dislike more - taking your kids to the grocery store or to the post office?
ME: Yes.

YOU: Alton Brown had Kool Aid pickles on his show and they're big here in Mississippi. Have you ever tried them?
ME: Are you serious?! You EAT these?

YOU: You should be on Oprah.
ME: ROFL ROFL PIMP!!!!!!!

::::::::::drumroll::::::::::
And the number one question from YOU: Did the person who won pay you for the cards?
ME: Well, funny thing about that. The person who won the cards was actually a friend of mine! She changed her Ebay ID so I wouldn't recognize her. She has five little ones under the age of eight and her husband is in the military so she often has to go it alone. Now she understands how a grocery trip can drive you to drink. She wanted them for posterity and for the laugh. And yes, she popped a check in the mail so Paypal wouldn't take a cut.

And a couple of my favorite quotes from your mail...

"I have been mostly dead all day."

"It's inconceivable how a person could not like that movie!"

In reference to the woman with the kids who always behave perfectly "Her kids only behave because they're afraid of being beaten by the stick that's up her butt."

In reference to parenting "The days are long, but the years are short."


I want to apologize because apparently I've made a lot of moms wet their pants today. I'm sincerely sorry from the bottom of my heart. Having six children myself, I know what it's like to have to cross your legs when you laugh or sneeze. I will put Incontinence Warnings on my posts from now on.

I also want to thank all the military folk out there. So very many of you wrote to say that your husbands were deployed and you were going it alone. Thank you to your husbands for serving and protecting! And thank you to you for going it alone so they can serve and protect.

-------------------------------------------

Creative title, no? I'm just speechless. And anyone who knows me, knows that NEVER happens. I'm still working my way through mail that's coming in faster than I can read, let alone respond to. I thought I'd just post a couple quick highlights from the thousands of comments I've received.

QUESTION: Are they all yours?
ME: That is SO funny! ROFL! Did you just come up with that?

QUESTION: Maybe I just didn't catch the sarcasm, but your feet aren't really amputated, are they?
ME: Yes, they are. Did you catch the sarcasm that time?

I've had numerous comments from people who'd had a bad day, who'd just received bad news, who had recently had surgery and were in pain, or who had just gotten home from a horrid shopping trip with their little ones. They thanked me for brightening their day and giving them a laugh. They thanked ME. Little ole me. Plain, ordinary me. Wow what a boost! Let me tell ya, it feels great to know I made someone feel better.

I've also had countless people write to tell me their own shopping experiences. (I'm saving those to read later.) Thank you for sharing!

I've had innumerable emails from moms (and dads and grandparents and teenagers) telling me that they could totally relate to my story and thanking me for letting them know they are not alone.

I had one (literally ONE out of the thousands of emails) person write and tell me that her kids always behave perfectly in public and are never a source of public humiliation. To her I said-
:::sound of crickets::: OK, that about sums up my response.

For anyone interested in numbers -

As of right now, I've had 18,417 people hit this blog today (despite the fact that the traffic had it down for a while there this morning.)

I've had 149, 023 people hit my auction.

I have 2,736 watchers on this auction.

I've had 1/2 a cup of coffee instead of my usual 6 because I feel like throwing up from all this attention.

I had to call in 2 reinforcements (ie grandma and grandpa) to watch the little ones today so I could sit on my butt reading mail.

I've had 18 finger cramps from typing too much.

I've had 3 job offers.

And we've got about 2 hours to go on this auction!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Overwhelming Email from the Globe!

Remember when I had 500 hits to this blog in one day? :::sigh::: Yep, those were the good ole days. Today I've had almost 11,000 and the number is still climbing. No, that's not a typo. ALMOST ELEVEN THOUSAND! Yesterday I felt so popular and loved. Today, I'm sitting here, staring at this screen, glazed expression on my face, drooling, sweating and starting to hyperventilate.

I so wanted to reply to each and every comment because first off, you took the time to write and I appreciate it. And secondly, there were some really wonderful, humorous comments in there. However, I can't even keep up reading all the comments, let alone replying to them. I've had over 1000 comments on this auction. They're literally filling my box faster than I can read them (and I'm a speedy reader!) What this means is - there are a whole lot of people out there who can relate to the trials and tribulations and joys of motherhood! We're not alone! In fact, there are so many of us, we may be able to take over the world if we play our cards right. ;)

A couple people suggested I post some of the comments on here and I think it's a wonderful idea! Give me a couple days *read a year and a half* to compile a list and check back for them. In case you're interested, I've had visits from the following countries...

US
UK
Canada
Chile
Australia
Germany
Hong Kong
Netherlands
Mexico
New Zealand
Mauritius
Czech. Republic
Austria
Ireland
Sweden
Belgium
Norway
Colombia
Italy
India
Denmark
Greece
France
Panama
Saudi Arabia
Portugal
Philippines
Japan
Republic of Korea
Singapore
Brazil
Macao
Serbia & Montenegro
Turkey
Argentina
Peru
Switzerland
Indonesia
Malaysia
Virgin Islands
Uruguay
Puerto Rico
Costa Rica
Jamaica
Wales
Iceland
Kenya
Sri Lanka
Croatia
Guatemala
Estoria
Armenia
South Africa
Bermuda
Kuwait
Lithuania
Slovenia
Bangladesh
Finland
Thailand
Maldives
Poland
Cyprus
Romania
Russian Federation
United Arab Emirates
Isreal

Whew! It's like I'm an announcer for the Olympics!

About a million people have asked me how to subscribe to my blog. I have NO idea! I'm completely computer stupid. If anyone has a clue, I'd be much obliged if you could clue me in.

So many of you have made wonderful comments on my blog as well. I'm trying to put them all on here. I want to return the favors and visit your blogs and websites too. I'm a little inundated right now, but will make every effort to do so in the next couple weeks.

I took my daughter to the doctor this morning and was all prepared to come home and post about my visit to the doctor when I logged on to a billion pieces of mail. (Notice the numbers keep climbing?) :D Anyway, that one will have to wait.

Thank you again to everyone who has read, commented, and passed this on to friends!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Coming Back Down to Earth

OK, I've had over 900 hits to this blog today. Whew! I'm getting all these wonderful comments on my auction that are swelling my head something terrible. I've only done one load of laundry today because someone as magnificent as I clearly am, should not have to stoop to doing laundry. Someone with talent of this caliber should simply not have to do chores.


:::snort:::



OK, It's definitely time to make a little fun of myself in an effort to bring me back down to earth. I'm sorry about the picture quality. My scanner doesn't work with Vista (coughcoughconspiracy) so these are pictures of pictures.
Here we go...


And thus began my legacy of bad hair.


Yes, my parents made me sleep on a shelf.


I always say my kids are going to drive me to drink. Now I see it was my PARENTS who started me on that path!


The predecessor to the down vest. An attractive look, no? I wish I knew what was on my finger. I'd probably just picked my nose or something.


This is what happens if your parents forget to pack your blankie when you go to visit relatives. What??? You've never sucked your thumb while holding a cat's tail?


Unlike my daughters, I've never been especially fond of shoes. Orthopaedic comfort before style.


"You're serious? THIS is my Christmas present? But I asked for a tricycle!"


Even back then, I tried to hide my big butt with baggy clothing.
But even worse - check out the curtains!!!


Stacy! Clinton! HELP!!!


Yeah, I don't know - my dad always took pictures of me sitting next to inanimate people. But check out those snazzy pants! FORE!


The infamous smocked-top dress. No first day of kindergarten would be complete without it.


I know what you're thinking - why are those boys in dresses? I'm embarrassed to admit that those boys are actually me and my sister. See? We're holding dandelions. That's a girly thing to do.


Ummm, I'm pretty sure this outfit was NEVER in style.


Now boarding, flight 129, nonstop service to Orlando, at gate 23.
Nice barrettes, by the way!


What's with the tie, Colonel Sanders?


This is what a can of Aquanet can do. Just don't light any matches near that hair!
Oh and the eyebrows! Look familiar?

FIVE HUNDRED!!!

I've had nearly 500 people look at my blog today. Almost FIVE HUNDRED!!! Up until yesterday, my mom was pretty much the only one who read this. It's really cool to have so many people reading my nonsense. I feel like the 90 pound, blue-eyed, blond cheerleader who dates the quarterback and stands at the top of the pyramid. Ever so popular.

However, do you have any idea how much pressure this puts on me?! I'm hyperventilating, thinking that I'll never come up with another funny thing to say as long as I live.
As I typed that last sentence, my 3 year old walked by sporting a Stitch costume (from Lilo and Stitch), a pink, cone shaped princess hat, a Darth Vader mask, and a light saber. (The kids were bored and got into the Halloween box.) OK, :::deep breath::: I might just be able to come up with a few more funny things about which to write after all.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

crazy baby

I found this on You Tube. This baby's laughter is positively infectious! You can't NOT laugh along!

Patience is a Lost Virtue

For ye have need of patience, that,
after ye have done the will of God,
ye might receive the promise.

Hebrew 10:36


I seem to run out of patience a little too easily these days. I remember back to when I was a kid. My mom never yelled. Seriously, I can't recall a time when she raised her voice. She never seemed to "lose it". Of course, my sister and I didn't give her much cause to lose her temper or patience with us. I'm pretty sure we never smeared a tub of butter on the carpeting, buried her car keys in the sandbox, or finger painted with yogurt on the t.v. The past two weeks my children have been acting like little demons and not a day has gone by where I haven't lost my patience and yelled like a lunatic. I think the fine art of patience is disappearing.

In our world of instant gratification where microwave ovens enable us to put food on the table in mere minutes, and stores are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, we don't have to wait for much. When we want something, we no longer weigh the benefits against the cost and save our money until we can make the purchase. Charge cards let us get whatever we want, whenever we want it with little consideration to how we'll pay for it later.

The internet has given us many benefits (for example, we can read my blog :D). Kids no longer have to go to the library and use the card catalog to locate books and gather information for school reports. They can log on, and with a few quick clicks, have a wealth of information pertaining to their subject right at their fingertips. We don't have to wait until a favorite show comes on t.v. With hundreds of channels and innovations like TiVo, we can pretty much view whatever we want at any given time.

We get mad if it takes too long for our nail polish to dry or if the person in front of us at the drive-through places a large order making us wait another whole minute for our food. We get impatient when we're in a hurry and our kids insist we stop and look at every bug, flower, and piece of garbage they see on the sidewalk.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that all these conveniences are bad. But, I believe, they do come with a price. I want my children to grow up to be patient individuals. I want them to know what it's like to work hard and save up for a car. I want them to be able to wait and weigh the pros and cons of a decision instead of jumping right in. I think the best way to teach this is to model it myself. Boy, do I have my work cut out for me!

OK enough of that lest I be accused of being :::gasp::: serious!

On a completely unrelated note, this is what I found in the shower this morning.

In case you can't tell - that's a bar of soap with a set of teeth marks in it. Mmmmm, nothing like a little Lever 2000 to start your day. "Lever 2000, for all your 2000 parts, including your stomach, small intestines, colon....."

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Duff Goldman has Nothing on Me ;)







Eat your heart out, Ace of Cakes! ;)

I know you probably think this is the actual R2D2 model from the Star Wars movies because it is just SO lifelike. But it's not. It's cake! This is Boo's birthday cake. Cake decorating - just another one of my astounding talents. :::snort:::

It did actually turn out pretty cool though. Well, at first anyway. By the time I cut it, little R2 had started tipping back. In fact, he'd tipped so far back that my son had to kinda hold the top on while I cut it. I tried to convince everyone that I'd made it like that on purpose so it looked like he was moving. It's not a lie. It's more of a "creative embellishment." Note to self - bamboo skewers can NOT be used in place of dowel rods.

OK, diet starts THIS Monday.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Now a Word From Our Baby


Hi, it's me, Baby! My mom is walking around picking up toys and muttering to herself something about being a maid. Between you and me, she sounds a little crazy right now. I just wanted to take a minute and let you know that she won't be blogging tonight because she's busy cleaning up my messes. :::giggle giggle::: Now I have to go and pull off my diaper so I can do a little fingerpainting with its contents. Buh bye!

The Joy of Potty Training

So I was talking about potty training with my friends and there was a great debate on how to get those bowels to move from the diaper to the toilet. <---get it? bowels to move, bowel movement, get it? ROFL! Hey, it's late! Anyway, we were arguing, I mean discussing like nice adults, about which potty training methods are best. Of course we all know there's more than one way to skin a cat. That's just an expression, of course. I've never actually skinned a cat, nor do I know how many ways there really are to skin a cat. Come to think of it, I can't even fathom a reason why anyone would want to skin a cat. Who came up with that saying anyway??? I just wanted to clear that up so I don't get any hate mail from any crazy, old ladies who own cats. Not that old ladies who own cats are crazy, of course. Excuse me while I remove my foot from my mouth. OK then. Where were we? Oh yes, potty training. I've potty trained five out of my six kids so far. When my firstborn son turned two, I decided, somewhere in my new mom brain, that it was indeed the official age to begin potty training. Unfortunately my son did not share my enthusiasm and thus began a very long (nearly three year) stint of trying to get him to pee on the toilet. Well, actually I tried to get him to pee IN the toilet. Peeing ON the toilet is what he and all the other males in my household do now.

I decided I'd had enough torture in the potty training venue, so when my second child came along, I figured I'd let her wear diapers until she went college. Luckily I didn't need to wait that long. She wanted princess underwear and that was that. Overnight ::poof:: she was trained. I personally like that method much, much better than sitting the child on the toilet every hour or so until they catch on. That's just my opinion. My other three trained at different ages, in their own time, but just as easily.

I'm just wondering how you've done/will do the potty training thing. Any funny stories about training? Leave me a comment and share your wisdom!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Paula Deen Does Not Have to Worry About Losing Her Job

First I have a shameless plug for my auction running on Ebay right now. Check it out if you have a minute. Click to watch this auction, and write me a comment if you're so inclined. Thank you!

My kids love to watch The Food Network. They enjoy trying out new recipes. Many times we've pulled an Alton Brown, Rachel Ray, or Paula Deen recipe off Foodnetwork.com and worked together to make it. Other times, however, my kids decide to come up with interesting concoctions on their own. Today my 12 year old son made donuts. At least that's what he said they were. In the process, he managed to melt my slotted spoon.

I thought you said the oil was 300 degrees?

It was! I think. I'm pretty sure. Wait, did you say three-hundred?

I wish I had taken a picture of my kitchen before I helped him clean up. It looked something like this.

After that my 3 year old broke a picture frame. How, you ask? He scaled the wall, Spiderman style, and knocked the frame off the wall.

A little later in the day, my 6 year old innocently closed the back storm door and a pane of glass fell out.

Such is a day in the life of me.
Mmmm appetizing, no? Light, fluffy buttermilk donuts with a dusting of cinnamon and sugar. Or something like that.
My poor slotted spoon

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Wanted: Someone Who Has at Least a First Grader's Knowledge of English to Edit Want Ads

I spent part of my morning looking through some classified ads. I was hoping to see an ad that stated, "Wanted: a stay at home mom to do a little internet surfing from home. Starting salary $75k. Must not have any computer knowledge, must not be able to converse with adults on any subjects beyond diaper changing, fourth grade math homework, and the best spit-up stain removers. Being out of the work force for 13 years a plus. Must be willing to tune out your kids in order to hang out on the computer for 2 -3 hours day.

Surprisingly, I didn't see any such ads. What I did find were several ads looking for freelance work. Now I don't know about you, but I don't think I would want to work for a company who misspelled the word "once", not once, but twice. I'm certainly not perfect and make my fair share of typos, but if you're placing a want ad, you might want to do a little proofreading. Please.
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We are seeking editors/writers to write entries (around 500 words) on a blog for writers. Bloggers should be proficient with American English usage and terms, as well as be used to using WordPress. We want people who are motivated and interested in writing/the English language, what you have learnt and how you perceive the writing/publishing world. You will need to write at least 2 posts per week to the blog.

Hmmm, what have I learnt about the English language...
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I need 2000 articles on various sources for magazine publishing. The right provider should have good writing and grammer skills.

I guess spelling is optional?

Should also have a creative writing side, developing articles people will enjoy reading. All articles must be 1000 words or more on various topics I will provide.I don't do escrow or advance payment. I will pay through PayPal. I required a Net 15 day payment policy.

and now what do you require?
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We would like to offer you the job in our international tourism company - Clubfreedom- like an independent marketing consultant. Unlimited cheap vacations, $6000 salary once a month and less,

$6000 once a month and less?

personal site and much more is quaranteed.

quarantined? guaranteed? Anyone?
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I need a few opinion essays for my Intro to Ethics class as I don't have enough time to finish them. I need the following:- 6 x 250 words' reviews which are based upon articles which I will provide from the textbook.

Yes, this sounds ethical.
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we are looking for a german copywriter for web content, we will provide 3 keywords per page, then the copywriter should good copy around these keywords, 600-800 words and each keyword should appear 3 times.

Oh, I shouldn't bad copy them? How about capitalization? Is that bad too?
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Our company is looking for a company or freelancer interested in a join venture on a gaming project.

We'll be joining on this venture?

We have already domains, company made specially for the project, servers and the idea of the project. All information will be granted onced we have choosed the right company to work with.

No comment

We are offering a % of the business (from 20 to 30%) your work will be to do the whole gaming system, gaming design, website, databases, system admin, affiliate system etc.. we already have the whole idea, all we need is a company that can make it real. We wont provide any investment on the gaming part, thats your work. Companies interested must be in contact 10 hours a day, 5 days a week throw msn, skype, aim or gtalk.

How does one throw MSN?

Company selected will sign a contract with our company before starting and onced

There's that word again. Onced upon a time...

finished and tested all systems, we will invite you to our offices in Madrid or London so you can know us and sign the final contract. Our company will pay for your flight and stay doesnt matter where you are from.Company must respect dead lines,

What exactly are dead lines?

we need serious people.We prefer young people, unmarried who love to work for a better future, as married have too many responsabilities and that could deliver in not meeting deadlines.

So, you don't like married people, punctuation, spelling, or capitalization?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Shaving 101

I had a discussion on my email loop a few weeks ago about shaving. More specifically, when is the proper time to introduce your daughter to the fine art of shaving one's legs? My friends were a little scared of letting their almost teenage daughters use razors and suggested some alternatives such as making your daughter wait until she's twenty-one before letting her shave. Now, my daughter is eleven and has dark hair so I didn't really think that idea would fly. My friends, wonderfully bright, insightful people that they are, had some wonderful ideas to share on this subject. For instance, did you know that Nair makes a product marketed specifically for teenage girls? Another suggestion made was to let your daughter shave with an electric razor. Veet, a bladeless razor that works in conjunction with a depilatory cream, was also suggested. And an Aveeno lotion that is supposed to soften and minimize hair, was brought up as well.

All of these were smart, sound ideas. Did I pay attention to any of them? Noooo. I bought my daughter a cute little pink razor and we shared a mother-daughter bonding moment as I showed her how to lather up her legs and carefully shave them while explaining that this, much like bleeding half to death every month, was just another "fun" part of being a woman.

So she's done really well shaving her legs for about a month now. Until tonight. She walked out of the shower crying with a very freaked-out expression on her face. I followed her gaze down to her leg which was dripping blood, leaving a red trail behind her. Thankfully blood doesn't bother me. I can handle blood, guts, gore, and poopy diapers. Just keep me away from vomit unless you want to experience exorcist type retching the likes of which you've never witnessed. But that's another story. So here comes my daughter crying and dripping blood. The three inch long gash on her leg looked like it had been made with a dull Ginsu knife left sitting in the rain for a decade. After a transfusion and a mile of gauze, the bleeding stopped.

Now I can say with some authority, perhaps eleven is still a bit young to let your daughter use a razor. I'll be going to Target tomorrow to get some Nair Pretty (and twenty other things I don't need, but find their way into my cart nonetheless.)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Diet starts Monday. Again.

So I got on the scale for the first time in a month and I came to the shocking realization that I'd gained slightly less than a metric ton. I have no idea how this happened. My diet is exemplary. Today, for example, I had two cups of cream with a little coffee for flavor and a donut which was stale so I'm pretty sure it doesn't count. At church, we celebrated a birthday with cake after worship service. I think the cake was blessed and holy cake can't have that many calories. Of course I had to finish my son's slice as well. Waste not, want not. For lunch I had a peanut butter sandwich, about 70 pretzels (but they were the little skinny stick kind so they don't count) and half my weight in chocolate. The chocolate didn't even taste very good, and if you don't enjoy the food you're eating, you don't have to count those calories. I had a big, fat cheeseburger for dinner along with enough fries to keep Idaho in business, but I ate that while standing up and doing dishes because I was in a hurry to leave and play chauffeur to my daughter and everyone knows that food consumed while standing doesn't count. Plus I washed it all down with a Diet Coke which negates the calories in the cheeseburger, so really I think I should be losing weight.

On the menu for tomorrow is water for breakfast, lettuce for lunch, and a Tic Tac for dinner. Now I'm off to search for a snack. I've already looked in my fridge twice, but perhaps the food fairies have come and left something good to snack on while I was writing this. Hey, it's not Monday yet.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Vacation Bible School (it's not really a vacation)

Whew! Vacation Bible School is over. It was a fun, but long week. Every year I volunteer to help out in the kitchen so I can get as far away from my kids as possible. Did I just say that aloud? What I meant to say is that I always volunteer to help out in the kitchen because preparing nutritious snacks for the children is very important and fulfilling to me. This year I also played "roving photographer" and had fun taking pictures of the kids all week. Of course, I still haven't figured out how to use my new camera and the date on the pictures reads April 2007. Hey, at least the year is right.

I had three different people come up and tell me what a great kid Boo is - so polite, nice, calm. At home, he was nice, polite and calm for seven minutes this past year.


One of the creative snacks the kids had. It was a scroll made from a fruit roll-up wound around two pretzel rods and tied with a piece of licorice.
OK, now I'm going to go take a shower and hope that I don't break out singing because all those VBS songs are stuck in my head and probably will be for the next month.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

I Resign

August 7, 2007

Dear husband,

The purpose of this resignation letter is to inform you that I will be leaving my position with your family effective August 8. I will be relocating to the Bahamas in the near future. As much as I would love to stay on as your chief laundress, cook, nurse, nanny, teacher, chauffeur, household manager, accountant, waitress, and maid, I simply do not get paid enough to put up with your children's deeds. Today, for example, Spaz launched his dinner plate across the room like some medieval catapult because his "meatball was touching his spaghetti". I don't know what I was thinking when I spooned a meatball onto the same plate as his spaghetti!

Your sons also held a battle in the family room using pillows as their weapons of choice. When battling the forces of evil with pillows, I suppose one must take the high ground which would explain why they were jumping around on the couch while wildly flinging the pillows at each other. In doing so, the wooden frame of the couch snapped and burst through the fabric.

One of your children managed to lock everyone out of the bathroom. Well, I assume it was one of your children, however they unanimously agree that Notme was the guilty party. According to your children, Notme has been responsible for laying wet towels on the floor, spilling juice on the carpet, eating an entire pack of gum from my purse, dumping out buckets of toys, and flushing Barbie dolls down the toilet. I, however, have yet to catch Notme in the act.

When Nana asked me if she could get a screwdriver to take the doorknob off the door, I told her that I didn't want her to touch the door until I tried to unlock it. I can certainly see how she understood that to mean 'go outside, get Daddy's ladder, climb up into the bathroom through the window and then take the screwdriver to remove the doorknob from the inside of the bathroom.'

I have appreciated both being part of your family and the opportunities that have been provided to me during the last several years. Had I not held this position, I would never have learned that staples pass harmlessly through a one year old's digestive system, that nail polish sticks to the inside of a toilet bowl, or that blue popsicles will turn a toddler's poop neon green. Clearly the past thirteen years on this job have given me invaluable information and skills that will help me acquire a new position in the real world.

Please do not let me know if I can be of assistance during the transition.

Please do not try to reach me at the above address if you have any questions or need any further information. I have turned off my phone and am now enjoying doing nothing but reading non-Dr. Seuss books, eating food other than mac-n-cheese and chicken nuggets, wearing clothes without spit up stains or dirty hand prints, and consuming large quantities of tropical rum drinks with little paper umbrellas.

Sincerely,

~Dawn

P.S. I finally found the source of the oddly colored liquid that spilled all over the inside of the refrigerator. It leaked from a jar of pickles into which Aj, doing some sort of experiment known only to him, had poured a packet of KoolAid and sugar.



Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Monkey Trouble

I took Spaz and Baby to the ENT today. Spaz was wearing his t-shirt that reads, "Hello, my name is Trouble". A lady looked at his shirt and asked him, "What's your name? Is it really trouble?"
Spaz nodded affirmative. Then he changed his mind and told her, "No, it's not Trouble. It's Monkey Trouble."
That's my boy.
Anyway, his airway is blocked by his tonsils and adenoids and he'll need surgery to remove them so he can breath and sleep better. This marks the eighth surgery that my kids have had. :(
I had to get up at 6:45 this morning and if you know me at all, you know that I don't do mornings. In fact, I called my friend, Sue, on the way to the doctor's office so we could chat and catch up. When she saw my number on her caller ID, she thought I'd been in an accident or something because she knows I don't speak before 9:00 am.
So, I'm about to pass out from sheer exhaustion. Now I know why the rest of the world goes to bed before 2:00 am. This is the end of my post for today. If I took the time to write anymore, I'd probably fall asleep on my keybbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb

Monday, August 6, 2007

Presenting the Photographic Stylings of Me

I paid my sister, brother-in-law, and new baby nephew a visit this evening. While there, I took a couple pictures of my nephew with my awesome new camera. This camera is fully automated, yet it has features that enable one to manually adjust the aperture, ISO, and flash. It can take movies, play back photos on your television or computer, make delicious waffles, and separate your laundry. It has a digital zoom, red eye reduction, and fifteen hundred buttons. Basically, it's the kind of camera that you can only use after reading a two thousand page manual. I hate reading directions. Perhaps that's why the pictures of my nephew turned out like this.



My dad feeds me beer.



Hey! What happened to the flash?


Yes, that's a giant close-up of my thumb.


C'mon. Mom, is this lady for real?


Yikes! What's with the creepy red light?


Nah, nah, nah-nah-nah, you'll never get a good picture of me, you dork!


This would be a picture of the wall. Oops.



Finally!



Even after half blinding him, and annoying him with my endless attempts at taking his picture, Dominick gave me the A-OK sign. Either that, or he was trying to give me another sign but just couldn't maneuver his fingers into position.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Camping and Other Methods of Torture

I'm back from camping again. Why, oh why do I torture myself like this? For the pleasure of sleeping out in the wilderness for two nights, I spent a week planning and packing and now I'll spend another week unpacking and cleaning. Although some people would call this a vacation, I believe this actually falls under the category of torture by the Geneva Convention, Amnesty International, and the United Nations.

We actually had a nice time camping with my brother-in-law, Ross, and sister-in-law, Kelly, who have an awesome new camper complete with HDTV and DVD player. All was good until Saturday when it started raining. It rained all afternoon with a brief intermission for s'mores over the fire, then it started up again and stormed all night long. Now Nana, Boo and Princess were in Kelly and Ross's camper watching Pirates of the Caribbean (really roughing it, huh?) and they were all planning on sleeping in their camper that night. That is, until Princess allegedly started snoring and Nana and Boo bailed on her. OK, no big deal, we all scooted over, made room for Nana and Boo who promptly fell asleep in our camper. Then the thunder and lightning started and I spent the rest of the night worrying about Princess who was still in Kelly and Ross's camper. She gets scared and always climbs into bed with me when it storms and I had this fear she was going to try to leave their camper and come into ours in the middle of the night in a thunderstorm. While I laid awake worrying about Princess, my sil was awoken by the sound of Princess trying to open the door to her camper. Thankfully, sil had locked their camper door. She got up to see what was wrong and found Princess sitting in a chair, crying. My wonderful sil calmed Princess down and slept with her so she wouldn't be scared (Princess, not my sil. Although my sil may have been scared too. I'm not sure about that.)

The rain probably wouldn't have been such a big deal except that we'd requested a nice shady spot since our air conditioning was out. Well, we got what we asked for. We got a very, very shady spot. In fact, it was so well shaded that no grass grew there. After the night of rain, we stepped out of the camper and into a lake of mud. And to top it off, it was pleasantly cool and we had no need for air conditioning or shade anyway. Damn that Murphy and his law.

This is my weather forecast for the next five days. It should be fun having the kids, who are already bored with summer vacation, cooped up inside all week. I know I'm looking forward to it.



Uncle Ross (Note the beer. My kids have that effect people.)
Aunt Kelly (It may not be the best picture of her, but at least she isn't flipping me off.)

"Can I keep him, Mom? Pleeeease! Pleeeease? Pretty please! I'll take care of him. I promise!" We did not bring him home, by the way. At least, I hope not. ::::going to check Boo's room::::

This is a bag filled with frogs. Actually this was MY bag that was filled with frogs. It's no longer mine. I think they caught eleven frogs, one caterpillar and two thousand lightning bugs this trip. What is it about boys and their need to catch wildlife wherever we go?

This picture just struck me as funny. It looks like they're walking on water.

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