Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunday Sound Out

hey, is your picture from your twitter profile anywhere on the blog? it should be! it is g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s!
Thanks and nah, it's not here. I'm impatiently anxiously awaiting pictures I had taken while I was in Sonoma. You can get a sneak peek HERE.

I have a question for next week's SSO: What do you think about Chicago possibly nabbing the 2016 Olympics? Is that exciting/would be a huge hassle or do you think your city could pull it off well?
Well, in all honesty, I don't live downtown and don't think it would personally affect me too much so I don't have any strong opinions.

I think it could be good for the city in that it would bring in tourism revenue. I'm sure a lot of improvements would be done to the CTA over the next several years to accommodate traffic. The city and private investors would likely enjoy a profit. And it should create some new jobs over the next few years.

I don't know what the effects will be long-term. Of course, there will be the increased traffic and congestion. Some people have suggested it puts Chicago at an increased risk of terrorist attacks. I imagine our taxes may rise which is stinky since we have the highest sales tax of all US cities and everything is taxed here.

I think it would be kinda cool to have the Olympics here, but I'm not really knowledgeable on the details of the plan, so I guess I can't really say. Daley has a way of getting whatever he wants though.

I swear this is the hardest part about parenting. How do you get a kid to understand the whole trust thing?
I don't know! I don't think it can just be taught. I think it's probably one of those things that has to be learned the hard way through making mistakes.

I can tolerate just about anything from my daughter, but when she lies to me, I completely come undone. I don't care WHAT the situation, DO NOT lie to me and we'll be cool. I love that you sort of suspected all along... your Mom Radar is pretty in tune!
Exactly! I have a real problem with lying. Had Austin told me that he'd messed up and blown off his homework, I would have been much more sympathetic. I don't tolerate lying though. Period.

Actually I think you were a little harsh on him.
I don't agree. I think it's important that he learn the effects of lying now when his punishment is simply a couple weeks without TV than to learn it when he's an adult and his wife leaves him because she's sick to death of his lies.

Wow, 2 weeks--are you going to be able to enforce that? I guess I'm used to 4- and 7-minute time-outs!
Well, it's been a week and so far, so good. I told him I'd consider shortening his punishment a bit if he turned in an excellent essay on the evils of lying. So far, he hasn't written a word, so it looks like it'll be another week.

Which child was the one who forgot to mention pizza? I'm guessing Brooklyn only because she's the youngest and it's possible that pizza has yet to fully permeate her consciousness.
Um, nope, Clayton was the only one to mention pizza. Repeatedly. He kept saying "pizza" mainly because it's his favorite word right now.
"Clay, what did you do at school today?"
"Pizza."
"What do you want for dinner?"
"Pizza."
"Get in bed if you want me to tuck you in."
"Pizza."
Yep, "pizza" and "plumpy" are the words of the month around here.

I love the Thankful for list...the pink comments have got to be from Brooklyn, yes? Too cute =)
But of course!

Austin's not too bad at drawing. I am a little concerned though why Brooklyn looks so evil in all the pictures.
She is kinda is evil. Austin was just being realistic.

Methinks Austin has a wee bit of hostility bottled up toward a certain Brooklyn, eh? Very common. My big bro (oldest of 6) did also. Oh the things he did to us...!
He's got a lot of talent though. =)

Ya think?
Actually, Austin is very good at drawing. Those pictures don't reflect his talent. He was just goofing off with those. He can look at a picture and duplicate it just like that. And he starts drawing from one end of the paper and works his way to the other end, details and all; whereas most people would sketch in the larger parts and make sure it was spaced out correctly and then they'd add the smaller details. He's a weird kid.

Do Jackson or Savannah draw?
Sure, all the kids like drawing. Especially on walls and furniture and skin.

This is what I did today.



I put up the tree and decorated the house. It always looks so festive right after Thanksgiving. I love sitting in the family room, just looking at the lights twinkle. I gaze at the assortment of ornaments hanging from the branches and remember a story behind each one.

There's the little dog with a helmet and a shield with the words "Genie Hahmer" painted on it. Austin got that when he was 3 and he was into this play castle with knights in shining armor. He couldn't say "knight in shining armor" and he pronounced it "genie hahmer". There's the little pair of pink shoes given to me by my friend Julie because I lived in my pink Converse hightops in high school. There are personalized ornaments representing our family for each year and each year those ornaments have gotten just a little bit bigger. There are wreaths made from paper plates, macaroni, glue and glitter. There are ornaments that have pictures of the kids from that year. There are even more ornaments that still have the factory-installed picture of the model in them because I never took the time to replace them with pictures of my kids. There are ornaments my grandmother has made us from plastic canvas and yarn. She's been making those for over 20 years and each year she comes up with a different design. And of course, there are the branches that look like this:



I don't know why this is, but every year the kids flock to the same three branches and hang all their ornaments on those.

Then comes December 26 and suddenly my house no longer looks festive. It just looks cluttered. I can't wait to take down the tree and gain a little more space in my family room. I'm sick and tired of rehanging the ornaments that the littlest kids pull off again and again. The twinkly lights, the stockings, the wreaths and candles all lose their luster and look like tacky garage sale items that I just want out of my house, soon after Christmas.

But for now, in this season of Advent, I'll bask in the glow of the tree and anticipate the celebration of Christmas.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

My Disturbed Artistic Kids

My kids love to draw. Collectively, they must spend 40 hours a week drawing. Their work is so good, so absolutely awe-inspiring, that it must be shared with the masses. No need to thank me. Really.

Here are a couple of their drawings from this weekend...



Lexi drew this picture. Clearly, it's a drawing by a girl. Note the pretty rainbow colors. See the heart-shaped flowers and butterfly.



Lexi drew this one too. It's a picture of Clay lying on the couch. I can see it. There's Clay. He's reclining. I see his legs and arms, er, well um, one arm anyway.



Here's a picture Clay drew of Austin lying down and Brooklyn standing by him. Austin felt the need to embellish Clay's picture because it just wouldn't be a picture of Brooklyn unless she was wearing a top hat, shirt and pants. Oh and let's not forget the mustache and chest hair! Is that a castle in the background? Hmmm, I'm not sure about this one.



Here is a Lexi masterpiece. It's Clay and Austin on the couch. Apparently Clay is screaming or singing or yawning. Austin either has lipstick painted around his mouth or five o'clock shadow, and his one arm is twisted at an odd angle behind his neck. And check out Austin's impressive kneecaps. This was drawn after his kneecap augmentation surgery.
Austin, naturally, had to add his two cents to this drawing, as well. I guess Brooklyn is handing Austin a mug of beer. That's nice, isn't it? According to Austin, the giant spot on Brooklyn's stomach is her belly button. OK. She's holding a wallet and screaming, "My wallet!" (because this is what she did for a good hour yesterday). If you look very closely, you'll see a little guy with a gun by her head. Oh and that thing to the right of Brooklyn is not a string of chili peppers drying. Nope, it's flames threatening to stop Brooklyn's whining for good.



Now here we get a little more complicated. Clay started by drawing a picture of Brooklyn. Austin took the paper and added a picture of Lexi and Clay sitting on a love seat. Then Austin embellished the portrayal of Brooklyn. You know, by adding a party hat, a big hairy belly, pants, and a knife. So very realistic, don't you think? You know, if my baby looked like a creepy clown butcher with a beer gut. I'm not sure why there's a stick figure with a gun, shooting at Brooklyn. That little fairy-like thing at the top? I thought it was Tinkerbell too. Until Austin explained it to me. It's a flying monkey about to cut the rope holding the anvil. You know, so it can drop on the creepy clown's head (in case the bullet doesn't do the trick.)
Yep, my kids are perfectly well-adjusted. Nothing about this drawing screams out, "I need to see a psychiatrist. NOW!"
****I just showed my commentary to Austin who corrected me. Brooklyn is not a creepy clown butcher. She's a pirate. See the hook hand? She's carrying a sword, Mom. Duh.
Well, that makes much more sense. I'm ever so relieved. I guess I can stop frantically searching for the number to that pschiatrist now****

Remember to leave a comment to be entered in my drawing for a $75 gift card to Ride Makerz HERE.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!


It's great how families come together and express their gratitude on Thanksgiving Day. But what about the other 364 days of the year? Is our food that much better on the fourth Thursday in November? Are our homes warmer? Our clothes prettier? Our health better? Our jobs more wonderful? OK, well maybe the food's better, but really, we have a million things to be thankful for every single day. Things we take for granted every day.

It can really change your perspective on things if, instead of complaining about a situation, you can flip it around and find something to be thankful for. For example: When the kids dump the last of the milk all over the kitchen table, soaking everything on the table and the floor beneath it, instead of being angry and frustrated, be thankful that you now have an excuse to just throw out that stack of papers you've been meaning to go through. You can't really read them now that they're soaked in milk. And now you have a good reason to clean your floor. And let's not forget about the fact that you now have to go to the grocery store to get more milk and grocery shopping almost always give you a good story to blog later.

Wouldn't it be great if we could always step back and look at those frustrating situations in a positive light? I promise we'd all be much happier people if we did. Give it a try the next time something happens that makes you want to scream. Take a minute, take a breath, and flip it around. See the positive in it.

And here, in no particular order, is a thankful list compiled by the Meehan kids...

the earth
God
food
family
pizza
house
car
weekends off school
i just want a pink house and a pink, pink, pink car
electricity
thank you mama
pizza
Sunday school
people
eating pizza
cookies
coffee
a real baby
pizza
Barbie puppy that breathes when you touch his paw
water
clothes
animals like Perry the Platypus
I have a pink purse
pizza


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Have a great day!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Book Winners

Thank you to everyone who left a comment on my blog for the Robin Jones Gunn book giveaway. Here are the random winners of the books:

113
214

Daniel, Anna, Emma, Kylie, Duncan, and Kellan said...
I have always loved Robin Jones Gunn books! I read her Christy Miller series growing up and all the Palisade Romance books that she wrote! She’s an absolutely wonderful Author :) I received her Mothering by Heart book when I had our first and I still continue to pick it up and read now. I’m so glad to know about this book Gentle Passages. I’ll have to pick one up for myself and my sister if I don’t win it.Thank you so much for posting about this!Anna :)

Headyball said...
As a mother of 2 girls (one soon to be a teenager) I know I could use all the help I can get! I hear how mean I am about as often as I hear I love you! Dawn, I love reading about your family....so many times I can nod my head yes and say, "I know EXACTLY waht you are talking about!" Keep up the good work!

Congratulations!

Three Brides For Three Brothers

This morning, Clay asked me, "Mom, do I have to marry Brooklyn?"

"Marry Brooklyn? Ummm, no honey, you can't marry your sister."

"Why not?" came Clay's innocent question.

"Because we don't live in Arkansas."

"Oh. Can I marry you then?"

"Nope. Sorry Sweetie."

"Why?"

"Because I'm already married."

"Oh yeah. To Dad, right?"

"Yep, that's right."

"Then who am I going to marry?" he asked, sounding really distressed.

"Do you want to get married right now?"

"Nooo!" he giggled.

"Well I wouldn't worry about it. I'm sure you'll find a nice girl to marry when you get older. Of course she'll never be as good as me...."

"Mom, you're silly."

"You too, Clay, you too."


Click HERE for my Ride Makerz giveaway.

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

On Monday evening, I twittered that Austin was grounded forever. I forgot about it until a few of you asked me why he was grounded.

Monday morning, Austin asked me if he could stay home from school because he didn't feel well. He said he felt like throwing up.

Of course, once he mentioned throwing up, I should have immediately told him, "Then you're definitely going to school! I don't want you to throw up HERE!" Instead, I asked, "Why do you want to stay home? Do you have an assignment due today or something?"

"No!" came his indignant answer.

So I told him he could stay home. "Go back to bed and rest," I said.

This was the first time this year that he's said anything like this so I didn't have any reason to think he was faking it just to get a day off. And in all honesty, I'm not against giving the kids an unofficial day off now and then just because they're tired and need a "mental health day".

Austin went back to bed and got up around lunchtime. His stomachache seemed to have magically disappeared. I asked him one more time, "Are you sure you didn't want to stay home because you have an assignment that's due today?"

"Nope," he answered again.

The day went on; he hung out and vegged; I did some writing. When Savannah got out of school, she asked me, "Do you know why Austin wanted to stay home today?"

Alarm bells went off.

"He told me he had an assignment due today and he hadn't done it," Savannah continued.

"Oh he did, did he?"

I approached Austin and said, "I'll ask you one more time. And think very carefully about your answer. Do you have any assignments due today?"

Austin faltered a bit, but once more, said, "No".

I lost it. "I happen to know that you DO have an assignment due! Not only did you blow it off all weekend, but you lied to me about it THREE times! And then, when you got out of going to school, did you take advantage of your time and complete the assignment today? Noooo! Go to your room NOW!"

I took a few minutes to pick my middle kids up from school and to cool off a bit.

I thought about grounding him until he turned 21, but decided that wasn't enough time. I concluded that eternity would probably be sufficient.

I informed him that since TV, video games, and computer had taken up the time he should have spent working on his project, I was taking those things away from him for 2 weeks. I believe I'll also give him a paper to write on the subject of lying and how it ruins trust and thus relationships. He'll have plenty of time to work on it since he'll be sitting in his room doing nothing more than homework and reading for the next 2 weeks.

It makes me crazy that the kid is so smart, but just couldn't care less about school and grades. He reminds me of someone.... (Umm, sorry again for making you guys nuts, Mom and Dad.)

Check out my other blog for an awesome giveaway from Ride Makerz!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Reruns

I'm taking time to work on my book tonight so I thought I'd repost something from last year at this time. Click HERE to read it. Just keep in mind that this is a year old so some of the links in this post no longer work.

I know, I know, no one likes reruns. But I have a deadline to meet so it's this or nothing tonight!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday Sound Out

Hey, it's technically Monday now. What happened to the SSO?
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Cut me some slack. I went to bed at 9:00 last night. I was drop-dead tired and just couldn't keep my eyes open long enough to write.

Hmmm. Ok, this is going to come out wrong but what did you think of the Bippity Boppity Boutique? I was somewhat creeped out by the little girls all ritzed up like that, but maybe it's the nightmares I used to have about JonBenet?
We didn't actually go there. We never made it to Downtown Disney at all, in fact. I'm sure Lexi would've loved it though! She loves to play dress-up and put glitter and lip gloss on for fun.

love ur blog and u got me started on the whole twitter thing (cause i am a facebook status junkie) but i have a confession to make i thought u started the whole twitter idea! then i started using it and realized (atleast i think) that u are just inlove with it not the maker of it i am such a dork!
LOL! Nope, I didn't invent Twitter. And I'm a dork too so you're in good company. :)

It looks like it's about 2-3 years inbetween all of your kids. Does that mean it's almost time for number 7?
What? I'm sorry, did you say something?

has anyone told you that Amazon has your book listed as written by "Meehan and Dawn" ?? did you co-write your own book with yourself??!
Yes, well Meehan wrote most of the stories and then Dawn added some humor to them.

Brooklyn sleeps with you? How does your husband deal with this? I have a 13 month old that I want to take into bed with me b/c she is waking up screaming every 2 hours from teething, but don't want to start a habit. Is it just easier, or is it because she's your last child and you want to savor it, or are you just sparing the other kids from having to share a room with her? LOL I'm curious, not judging. Thanks!
She's just a brat that has us trained and I'm quite frankly too old and too tired to deal with it.

LOL, I'm the same age as Austin (my birthday is actually just a couple of days before his) and I've been reading and laughing at your blog for about a year now. What do you think of that?
I think it's great! I can't even get my own kids to read it.

I know others have suggested this to you before, but I'll go ahead and do it again: have you considered having a maid/cleaning service maybe once every couple of weeks or so?
Nope, because I'm one of those insane people who would have to spend several hours cleaning my house before the service showed up. I wouldn't want them thinking I'm a slob or anything!

Here's a SSO question: I've been worried about you. You mentioned having marital problems. I'm sorry to pry...are things okay?
Eh, the issues have been around for many, many years. I don't think they're going to disappear overnight. Thanks to those of you who suggested we see the movie FIREPROOF. And thank you to Kris for sending me a copy to preview! It was awesome! If you haven't seen it, it comes out on DVD at the end of January. GO PREORDER IT! And have a box or two of tissues nearby when you watch it. Kris told me they've received literally thousands of letters from men saying they wanted to date their wives again.

I cant wait to see pictures of your room! I love your blog, Hey what do your kids rooms look like? that would be a instering blog topic. (hint)
OK, coming soon to a blog near you....

The picture of you 'climbing' up the rock looks like Jackson...could it be the snazzy hair?
Yes, I looked like a boy back then. The Dorothy Hamill haircut is evil.
And I can't believe how many of you wrote I looked like Jackson and Austin. I'm extremely disturbed by that!

So cool to know you've been on a canoe trip in the BWCA. After high school, I went to live in Ely, MN and learned how to fly because I wanted to be a bush pilot. That's where I met my hubby. Been canoeing in the BWCA a few times. Love those outhouses with no walls! Did you encounter any bears? We had a bear steal all our food once.
We had bears in our camp, but thankfully we'd been taught the fine art of making a "bear pole" and had hung our food packs way up high.

Ok, SSO question - Dawn, did you ever have a Kodak Disc Camera?Nope. I didn't have a Beta or an 8 track either. I did have a few albums though. You know, the classics like Grease, Michael Jackson's Thriller and Alvin and the Chipmunks.

I read a study about children of the digital age. Some psychologists theorize that they have an inflated sense of self-image because all the "bad" pictures are deleted and they don't end up with the class pictures with the goofy grins or one eye closed. Do you keep all the digital pics of your kids or do you delete the "bad" ones?? The study said that the children of the 70's (our age) have a more realistic sense of self image because we know we can look goofy sometimes and we've grown from that. Whaddya think?
I think some people think too much.

I always have to ask my 10 year old where we parked the car, which hotel room we're staying in and so forth.
"Where the car is parked"! Oh this reminds me of the time I was shopping at the mall with all the kids about a year ago. We left the mall and walked through the parking lot to our car (at the time I had a green van that didn't lock). I opened the passenger door and threw my purse in the car and started to open the sliding side door. The kids were standing there, looking at me like I was nuts. I snapped at them, "Get in the car! Why are you guys just standing there?" They answered, "This isn't our car, Mom!" I looked in the passenger side where I'd tossed my purse and saw a pack of cigarettes on the seat and some other items that didn't belong to me. Oops. I quickly grabbed my purse, closed the door and hoped and prayed that no one would think I'd just snatched a purse out of someone else's car. Then we very quickly walked down the row to our real car. The kids still haven't let me live that one down.

Any advice on how to deal with a know it all brand new driver... (my oldest just got his permit)...
I'm not there yet. I'm thinking I may never let my kids drive.

Oh Dawn, HELP!! I discovered Starbucks last week (yes, I think I was the last person on the planet). I had the Peppermint Mocha Twist Espresso and I am TOTALLY addicted. I have spent hours thinking about this dumb drink and too much money already! Rumor had it that General Foods Intl. makes a mix but I've struck out at 3 stores. Who makes Peppermint Mocha creamer? If I just added it to coffee will it taste similar to the Starbucks espresso? Thanks...I'm desperate to find a cheaper version.
I just bought Peppermint Mocha creamer from CoffeeMate (refrigerated section). De-lish! I love the Gingerbread and Eggnog ones too. Yummy stuff!

When we find ourselves passing the same landmark/turning around I say "Look kids, Big Ben! Parliament!" They have no idea what I'm talking about. (Do you??? Name that movie!)
ROFL! I almost wrote that, but I figured no one would have a clue what I meant! Hee hee hee European Vacation and we say that ALL the time!

where do you find out the google things for your site?
OK, for you and all the people who emailed me about it this week:
I use Statcounter.com. I'm sure there are a lot of other sites out there and probably better ones too. This is just what I use. It counts your hits, IP addresses, countries, cities, and states of your visitors, the keywords people googled that brought them to your site, etc.

What? No bat poop this time? What is the world coming to when you can't count on some crazy person googling about bat poop and ending up at Dawn's blog??
Could it be? Could someone have just (gasp!) skimmed my blog?! And here I thought everyone read every word I wrote. Oh, I'm crushed. Now go back and reread THAT POST. NOW!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Just Another Day of Me Being a Mean Mom

I'm the worst mom ever. Again. Savannah wanted to go see the movie Twilight Thursday night (or shall I say Friday morning) when it opened.

"But all my friends are going to the movie! My friend's mom can even drive me there! Please, please, pleeeease?"

"Hmmm, let me think about this. The movie doesn't start until midnight which means you won't be getting to bed until 2:00AM and it's a school night. You're only 12. Ahhh, no."

"But EVERYBODY's going! Why can't I? My friends are all going!!!!"

"I'm not your friends' mom or I'd make them stay home too."

"Mooo-oom!"

"Sorry hon, but you're not staying out that late on a school night. I'm just mean that way. I didn't tell you that you couldn't ever see the movie. You're just not going Thursday night."

At this point, she pouted and stomped off. I was a little disappointed. I mean, I usually get the "You're the meanest mom ever!" comment and I didn't even get that this time. (In all fairness, that comment almost always comes from Jackson and not Savannah.)

I honestly almost reconsidered. I mean, Savannah's a good kid. She helps me out tons! She gets all As and Bs on her report cards. What difference would it make? Maybe I should let her go with her friends....

Then I recalled a book I recently read. It's called Gentle Passages by Robin Jones Gunn. I had the chance to meet Robin at the retreat in Sonoma last month. What a sweetheart she is! She really just GLOWS. Any mother of a daughter needs to read this book. It's a short gift book with a few ideas for making those transitional years a little more meaningful and special for your precious daughters.

Anyway, Savannah wanting to do something that all her friends were doing reminded me of the first story in this book, The Secret of the Fine China Plate. My situation with Savannah wasn't exactly what Robin was talking about in her book, but it reminded me of Robin's story.

Savannah didn't hold a grudge and she got over her disappointment pretty quickly. I was actually impressed with how she handled it. But I know there will be many, many more times when I'm going to tell her "no" and not let her do something that all her friends are doing. Robin's book helped me to think of my daughters and how I parent them in a slightly different light.

I liked this book so much that I asked Robin if she'd autograph a copy for my readers. She happily agreed (I told you she's a total sweetheart!) In fact, she also gave me another gift book, Mothering by Heart, to give away. Sooo, leave me a comment here and I'll choose 2 winners (1 for each autographed book) on Wednesday. In the meantime, check out Robin's website. She's got a million awesome books (she writes adult fiction, teen fiction, nonfiction, you name it!) and you just have to look at her photo albums! She's got some really amazing pictures there!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Another Edition of Wackadoo Googlers

It's time, once again, for a list of the strange words people Google that land them on my blog.

do you want your hubby to wear girls clothing yahoo answers
Well, I don't know what Yahoo answered about this, but I'd have to say a big resounding "NO!"

i said my tables over and over, backward and forward too...
They landed on my blog with this one because I talk about math tables all the time. You know, because I love math so much.

i had to hold my child so she didn't throw my computer through the window.
Did you play her that scary Yo Gabba Gabba video? Because I want to throw my computer out the window when I see that.

average grocery shopping trip
I don't know if I'm the best person to talk about average grocery shopping trips.

what blueberry look like in brooklyn
They look pretty much the same as in any other city.

i don't know y is my life so boring
Oh, but look how you spiced it up with your funky spelling of the word "why"!

blogspot family my cast duck tape
Here's another example of googling under the influence. And it's DUCT tape, people!!!

why does little bear not wear clothes
He wears a scarf when it's cold outside. That counts.

dawn's family's feet geting ticked by pokemon
"Ticked" by Pokemon? Ohhh, you mean "tickled" by Pokemon. Well, that makes perfect sense.

tickle torcher until we there self
Huh? Although I enjoy your creative spelling of the word "torture", I really don't understand what on earth you're trying to say.

dawn meehan is too cool!
Why yes, yes she is.

tell dawn i said so
Hey! That's my line!

should i get paid if i resign
Yes, yes sure. Let's all resign from our jobs and still get paid.

if guys wear girl would you make them peeing
An example of someone using English as a second language.

what can i have for supper
OK, this one stumps me. Seriously, someone googled this? And what came up? A menu? A list of dinner choices? My blog???

i got a blackeye shiner and i am proud of it
Congratulations?

boob stickers
Take it easy, take it easy folks, this is just from the mammogram I had

juicebutt
always a hilarious word

what should i get my son for my birthday if i have forgotten about it
I generally don't buy my son anything for my birthday. And I almost never buy him anything for my birthday if I've forgotten about it. You know, because I've FORGOTTEN about it.

pictures of a 19 yr old in diapers being babysat
Sickos

caught my 8 year old son picking his nose and eating it
What's your point?

guys love girls that smell good
Although I do tend to shower every day, I can't figure out how some of these land people on my blog.

do bats poop on humans?
I'm convinced they do! So walk very quickly through the free-flying bat exhibits at the zoo.

how to relate to the 6 year olders
Just say lots of words like "juicebutt" and you're good.

reaction about love stories where the girl is so busy that she dont have time for his man
"She don't have time for his man". I think as long as she has time for her man, it's ok.

do squirrels in nebraska carry rabies?
No, but they do carry cute little umbrellas when it rains.


clay toilet clog
Yes, Clay has clogged the toilet more than once.

am i supposed to warm up a chicken nugget lunchable?
No, you're supposed to throw the whole thing in the garbage because chicken nugget Lunchables are gross.

can wearing pants too tight injure
I've gained 10 pounds since I left for L.A. last month and I can say with full authority that yes, wearing pants that are too tight can indeed injure. OK, well maybe they won't injure you, but they don't feel good.

pictchers of pokemoncards
When you're unsure if the word is "pitchers" or "pictures", just combine the two to cover all bases.

moth catipliers
Yes, the famed moth catiplier. It turns into a beautiful butterfly and can be used to grip things too.

so i am a mom now what?
Now you should start reading my blog. :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I Forgot Half of Yesterday's Post

You know, I can't believe I forgot to write the best part in yesterday's post! (I'm losing my mind.)

Anyway, when we left the doctor's office yesterday, I decided to make a stop at Trader Joe's. I knew there was a Trader Joe's near the office because I'd been to it a couple times before. I just couldn't think how to get there from the doctor's. I couldn't remember which street it was on. I wasn't even sure of the general direction it was in. I left the office and started off driving in one direction. Clay spoke up from the back of my van, "Mom, you were supposed to turn there."

"I know, Clay, but we're not going home right now. We're going to stop at the grocery store. I'm just not sure where it is."

"Oh."

So I drove a little ways and saw a sign for the next town. Oops. I turned around and started driving back. I drove a little ways in that direction and saw another sign for the next town. Oops. OK, how about I turn around and go this way. This time I got stuck in a neighborhood from which there was no escape. I drove around a hospital, a school, and a whole subdivision of houses. I think, after circling around, up and down the same streets, back and forth in front of this same school for like a half an hour, the Neighborhood Watch people were assembling and calling the authorities on me.

This was the point when Clay sighed and asked me, "Mom, are you lost?"

"No! We're going to the grocery store. I know how to get there! I'm just taking a, um, a special way to get there!" I lied through my teeth to Clay.

"Are you sure? I think we're going back to the same place again and again and again," Clay questioned me.

I admitted defeat to my 4 year old. "OK, I'm lost. Should I be looking for any sand piles to get to the grocery store?"

"You're silly, Mom!" Clay laughed uproariously.

(I called my friend Jen, who told me which street the store was on and I finally found it.)


OK, now back to working on my book......

Turn at the Sand

I had to take Lexi back to the orthopedist today. He wanted to get some xrays of her arm to be sure the bones were still aligned properly. (Her arm is fine, btw.)

Anyway, we'd only been to the office once before and I couldn't totally remember how to get there. Have I mentioned before how I'm directionally impaired? I seriously have no clue how to get anywhere. I couldn't find my way out of a paper bag. Honestly, one time, my friend Erica and I planned to drive out to NIU to visit our friend, Julie in college. For those of you who don't know, NIU is in Dekalb. Dekalb is about 50 miles west of where I lived at the time. We ended up in Chicago. Chicago is about 30 miles southeast from where I lived at the time. That's right. We hit the lake before we realized we weren't going in the right direction. It didn't occur to us when we were seeing skyscrapers instead of cornfields, oh no. We had to hit the stinkin' lake before we realized we weren't in Kansas anymore. (That was just a saying, by the way. We didn't really go to Kansas. But given enough time, I'm sure we could have accidentally gone as far as Kansas.)

And I hate when I call someone for help and they say something like, "You have to go east." Do you really think I have any clue which way is east??? If I knew directions, I wouldn't be lost! Joe can follow directions that say something like, turn east on 95th, then go south on Main. I don't work that way. I need directions that say something more like, turn at the 7-11 that's right next to that Mexican place that serves the burritos as big as your head. Then drive down until you see that big rock by the house with the red roof.

So, I was trying to remember how to get to this doctor's office and I mumbled to myself, "Hmmm, I hope I remember where to turn. I think it's somewhere up here."

Clay piped up and said, "You have to turn by the pile of sand."

"Pile of sand? I don't think there's any sand, Clay."

"Yes there is," he confidently insisted.

"OK Clay," I said humoring him, all the while knowing there wasn't any sand.

A-ha! This is the street! I got in the left turn lane when I saw the familiar street.

"See? I told you to turn at the sand," Clay said in that 'I May Be Four, But I'm Smarter Than You' way.

I looked up and sure enough, across the street, there was a huge pile of "sand" gravel where they were doing construction.

I looked in my review mirror at Clay and exclaimed, "You're right! You know what, Clay? You're too smart for your own good."

He got a smug look on his face and I'm pretty sure I heard him say, "I told you so!"

As I drove along, I started thinking about my next turn, hoping I'd remember where I needed to turn right. Clay must have sensed my confusion because, I kid you not, he asked, "Know where to turn next, Mom? You turn at the big hill of sand."

"More sand?" I inquired.

"Yep!"

Wouldn't you know it! At the next intersection, there were slopes covered with new grass seed and a layer of straw.

"See Mom! There's the sand hill!"

"You're right! It does look like sand. Wow, Clay! You have a really good memory!"

"Yep. Remember that time I stepped in chicken poop?"

"Uhhh, no."

Lexi joined in on the conversation at this point. "It wasn't chicken poop, Clay. It was goose poop."

"Oh right," he responded.

The conversation pretty much went downhill from here.

Of course, when we got home, this same kid, Mr. Awesome Memory, had to be told 4 times to put his shoes in the closet. Why? Because he didn't remember me telling him to do it!

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Picture-Taking Tourists

I was sitting here last night, trying to come up with something to blog about. The kids hadn't destroyed anything and I hadn't had any interesting adventures so I was at a loss. I started going through some old pictures, thinking maybe I could scan some pics to share.

I've always liked taking pictures. Even back when I was a kid with a snazzy new 110 camera, I enjoyed taking pictures on vacation. I guess it's in the blood. My dad has always been the crazy tourist-guy with a camera around his neck; toting a camera bag with 420 lenses and filters, and a tripod. I must have learned from him.

So here are a few early attempts at picture-taking, while on vacation, by yours truly...


This is a picture of Haleakala Crater in Hawaii. It's beautiful. It's a volcano that's cool and no longer active. My parents made us get up before the sun so we could drive to the top and watch the sunrise.


Here's a picture of Haleakala Crater at sunrise. Gorgeous, no?


And here's a more typical example of the kind of pictures I took back then. The backs of my mom's and my sister's heads. Nice.

This is a picture of a parade on Oahu for Kamehameha Day. The thing I like best about this picture is the apparent drunkeness of the guy who painted the white line on the road.

OK, here we have a picture of the Grand Canyon. Beautiful! Not a bad picture.

And here I am back to taking pictures of the backs of heads. Dawn, Dawn, Dawn...


I guess it could be worse. I could be the dork with the tripod, taking pictures of his wife just sitting there. Hey, wait a minute....that guy looks just like....DAD! Put the tripod away already!

Or this guy who climbed a stone wall to take a picture of a weed. Wait a minute....Is that....DAD! Get down from there! We're waiting for you!


My dad was always coming up with these great ideas for pictures. "Hey girls, hang off the side of these rocks like you're climbing up a mountain and I'll take a picture of you." (You should see all the pictures my parents have of me and my sister in a tree!)


"Hey Dawn, sit on the edge of this wall. What? You're scared? I know there's a 500,000 foot drop. Just don't fall. You'll be fine. Now smile."


Meanwhile, I was taking pictures of a cactus that looked like Ernie.


and cacti that looked like they had mustaches...


Now here's a picture of the lovely Boundary Waters between Minnesota and Canada. I took a canoe trip there when I was in highschool. I was insane back then.


so peaceful...


"Oh no, we don't need to be rescued. Thank you anyway. No really, we purposely ran our canoe into the rocks. We just wanted a closer view of a um, a DUCK! Yeah, that's it! We saw a duck over here in the trees, so we thought we'd just paddle over and check it out. What? No, we weren't screaming, silly. No, we were um, just squealing because we were so happy. You know, to see the duck."


This is what we ate on this trip. Dehydrated junk cooked up with lake water. Mmmm.


This is some more lovely mud gruel food.


And the best part - this was our bathroom when we camped on the Minnesota side. Nope, you aren't missing the walls. There are none. That's right, it's just a box in the middle of the woods. This was luxurious compared to the Canadian side. Let's just say - you needed a shovel to go there.

And you wonder why I hate camping now.

This concludes our slide show for tonight. Tune in next time for pictures of my room, misc. stuffed animals, and blurry people, taken when I was 10.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Never Enough Time

Since I’m a stay-at-home mom, I have all day to clean and cook and take care of small home repairs, pay bills, do laundry, and create decorative centerpieces out of pipe cleaners, pinecones and spray paint.

So why is it when 10:00 PM arrives, I look around at the house, the dishes piled in the sink, the stack of paperwork awaiting my attention, the cereal spilled on the floor, and the still unfolded clothes, and I think to myself, “What did I do all day?” I’ve seriously considered the possibility that there’s something interrupting the time space continuum in my house; a force field of sorts. Most days I go, go, go to the point of forgetting to take a minute to stop and eat. So, why is everything in disarray come bedtime? Where did my time go?

I often wish there were just a couple more hours in the day. I’m always saying that I don’t have enough time to do all I have to do. Too often I feel as if I’m drowning in a sea of chores that I will never, ever be able to accomplish. And I know I’m not alone. In fact, during worship service last month, we had a drama about this very thing. And the other day, when I felt like I was drowning, my good friend Michelle, forwarded me a devotional on this very subject. It came at just the right time and was a good reminder to me. I love when things happen at just the right time and give you the inspiration you need to make it through the day without screaming at the kids too much, or drinking a bottle glass of wine, or curling up in a fetal position while you rock back and forth sucking your thumb.

In this devotional, Rick Warren writes, “We all have the same amount of time – 168 hours a week. The only question is, “How am I investing it?” We want to learn to invest it wisely so that we won’t be like the man in Isaiah 49:4, who said, “I have used up my strength but have accomplished nothing” (GNT).

Ain’t that the truth! To accomplish this, he suggests taking inventory of how you spend your time. Where is all your time going? You might think you only play a couple minutes of solitaire on the computer, but when you actually take note of your starting and stopping time, you might be surprised to find that you spend an hour doing it. You may think you spend 4 hours a day changing diapers (believe me, I know it sometimes feels like it!) but if you actually added up that time, you might be shocked to learn that only 6 minutes a day were dedicated to diaper changing.

He also says to eliminate things that aren’t necessary. What you’re spending time on may not be a “bad” thing, but is it necessary? Don’t mess around with stuff that doesn’t need to be done. Concentrate on the things that have to be done first. Yeah, yeah, this is much easier said than done. Sometimes it’s difficult to log off the ole computer and pay your bills. Sometimes we just want to sit down for a minute and watch Oprah even though we know we should be planning dinner or running errands or folding laundry. And of course, little kids at home can foul up your best-laid plans. You plan on cleaning the bathroom, but instead, thanks to your little ones, you end up scrubbing pudding off the ceiling, or cleaning dirty footprints off the kitchen counter, or giving impromptu baths because the kids thought it would be a good idea to decorate their hair with maple syrup and baby powder. Not that any of these things have ever happened to me…

Anyway, it’s always a good idea to stop, take a deep breath, and think about how you’re spending your time. I believe God gives us enough time to accomplish what He wants us to do. If you aren’t finishing all your tasks, ask yourself, “Is this really what I should be doing right now?” Maybe it’s time to eliminate some of those time robbers. And don’t feel guilty about it. The next time someone asks you to head a committee or bake 4000 cookies for the bake sale, or organize a fundraiser, feel free to say, “no”. If it’s not something you have the time for right now, it’s okay to decline. You have to do what you have to do. And it’s ok. Unless, of course, it’s your kids calling to you from the other side of the house, saying, “Moooom, can you come here a minute? I think the toilet’s exploding!” In that case, I suggest you stop the important things you’re doing and go. Very fast.

*****Check out my giveaways for Groovy Girls HERE and PhotoFiddle HERE!*****

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday Sound Out

I waited until the last minute to plan out my Sunday school lesson for today because that's the way I work. Today's lesson was about praising God even when you're scared and you think things are going badly. Peggy Larson does this continuously and it always amazes me. If one of my kids had been battling cancer for years, I'd like to say I'd still be praising God, but I have a feeling I'd be cursing instead.

So I read this passage from 2 Chronicles to my class: then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite and descendant of Asaph, as he stood in the assembly....

This passage goes on to list such names as King Jehoshaphat, Pass of Ziz, Desert of Jeruel, Kohathites, Korahites, and Desert of Tekoa.

This is the kind of passage everyone dreads having to read in church because let's face it, no one can pronounce those names! I feel like a fool everytime I have to read something like this aloud in front of others. I've discovered the trick to reading passages like these with confidence, however. I figure no one else has a clue how these names should be pronounced either so as long as you say them with confidence, no one will be the wiser. Just make up a name and say it like you know it's correct. Even your pastor will think, "Hmmm, perhaps I've been misprouncing it all these years..." OK, maybe it won't work that well with your pastor, but it worked on my 2nd and 3rd graders today!

Now for this week's questions...

You know... you should really go see a chiropractor about your neck ;)
Ugh, yeah, I'll get right on that, Michelle. Actually, my theory of procrastination has paid off once more - my neck no longer hurts now.

Yay, another mommy who doesn't do epidurals. But I have to ask... did you get the same look I always do when you tell people? You know... the "Are you effing CRAZY?" look?
Well, I got the "are you crazy?" look, but I attributed it to the fact that I was pregnant with my sixth baby and notsomuch that I was declining a shot in the back.

Alright, I'm 38 and wore a tiara in Cheeseckae Factory...are you trying to tell me something? :) [about Brooklyn wearing her princess dress everywhere]
Ummm no. Nope, not at all. It's perfectly normal and expected for a 38 year old to wear a tiara at the Cheesecake Factory. Yep, that's it.

How are you so functional off so little sleep?
It's like when you have a newborn and you have to get up every couple hours all night long. You just survive because you have to. Of course, you end up doing stuff like putting your car keys in the refrigerator and forgetting to put shoes on when you leave the house, but we won't talk about that here.

okay, I know this is off subject but, I was wondering if you had a couple Disney world tips for me;we are going in march from the 9th to the 17th (six days in parks). just wanted to know how you survived it! I have 3 daughters.
I recommend scheduling some downtime into your days. I personally wouldn't go park hopping every day from open to close. We pushed the kids a bit too much when we were there. Most kids like the hotel pool more than anything else on vacation. I suggest spending an afternoon or morning at the pool a couple times during the week and just let the kids splash around and chill out.

Also, for your daughters, there's a place in Downtown Disney called the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. You can get your little girls' hair and nails done there. I think you need to make appointments ahead of time and it could get kinda pricy with 3 girls.

Take advantage of Fast Passes. If there are any rides/attractions you really don't want to miss, grab a Fast Pass when you first get to the park to ensure you'll have time to see it. If you go to Hollywood Studios, grab a Fast Pass right away for the new Toy Story ride or you'll have a really long wait. Skip the Prince Caspian attraction there because it's really lame. You just stand there and watch a trailer for the movie.

In the Magic Kingdom, skip the Stitch attraction. It's stupid and kinda scary for little kids. But it's scary in a stupid way. Really, trust me on this one.

Although we're a "fly by the seat of our pants" family, I wish we'd booked one of two meals ahead of time. Maybe a character breakfast for the little kids and a nice sit-down dinner at one of the countries in Epcot.

Dawn - was the guy at the fabric store named Victor?
I was too busy Twittering about his fashion headband and eyeliner to ask him his name!

So begging for something in a child-like fashion works with you?
Only when it comes from Caden and Coleman
I'll have to keep that in mind when you're reviewing some kind of man stuff. Do you ever review man stuff?
I'll let you know that next time I review power tools, Rick.

Have you ever considered setting up a chat room on your website so readers of your blog could chat with each other and possibly with you?
Ummm, not really. Interesting idea....

I had a dream I met your family. What do you think about this? Think I'm going insane by reading your blog so much?
Probably. But it's ok; you're in good company. ;)

What would you think if you knew that an 18 year old high school senior with schizoaffective disorder and no children regularly reads your blog?
It amazes me when any young person reads my blog. I'm afraid I'll scare them from ever wanting families of their own.

What would you do if one of your children had schizoaffective disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar or was battling major depression?
I would develop a cure for all those disorders. Ta Da! Hey, it's a hypothetical question! I can answer hypothetically.

Is this the first kid surgery in your family?
Unfortunately no.

How long will the cast stay on her arm? 4 weeks?
Until her arm is all stinky, wrinkly, and gross.

And curiousity is killing me...where does Brooklyn sleep?
with me

"Because there is no handicap accessible entrance! "i've been in a wheelchair for over 20 years and you'd be amazed at how many doctors' offices and hospital areas have no accessibility available. i couldn't count the number of places i couldn't get into and the staff didn't think it was necessary to accomodate wheelchairs.2 different doctors' offices told me their bathrooms aren't accessible because people in wheelchairs only use the bathrooms at home!
Seriously? That's just SO wrong!


hope it all goes well... have any of your kiddos had the waterproof casts?
Jackson did this summer. It was nice. I don't think it was an option with Lexi. The waterproof lining leaves a little more space between the cast and skin and is only good for some breaks. Other broken bones need a more snug-fitting cast to hold them in place while they heal.

With so many kids getting in so many scrapes, and visiting hospital/doctors/ER so many times, how DO you manage with the medical bills?
Ha! I won't tell you how much we owe right now.

And, just an observation here Dawn...but it appears that the middle children are getting the brunt of the scrapes. Are they getting enough attention? Shouldn't the oldest ones be tormenting them so they get enough attention in some form or another?
Is that what I'm doing wrong? I'll have to talk to those slacker older kids of mine.

I say you send the bill to Harrison Ford.
LOL! Here's the funny thing - the little kids have never even seen an Indiana Jones movie!

2 nights ago, I had a dream that I was pregnant with twins and that you delivered them in the hospital and it only took 10 minutes.
That's because I'm efficient and don't double-book patients. ;)

Your boy has a pink cast and your girl a blue one? =D Does she at least get to have kids sign the cast?
I was surprised when she picked blue over pink. And no way would Jackson have picked a pink cast. He had orange. And yes, she's been carrying a marker around with her everywhere just in case someone wants to sign it.

I know you must have answered this a million times but I can never remember... how old are all your kids?
I can't remember their ages either. Let's see...
Austin 14
Savannah 12
Jackson 10
Lexington 7
Clayton 4
Brooklyn 2

And on that note, I bid you goodnight.
Oh and it's not too late to enter the Groovy Girls RSVP dolls giveaway HERE.
And please check out Michelle and Mimi's great fundraising idea for the Larsons HERE.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

We Were Playing Indiana Jones

Lexi and I showed up a little early for her appointment this morning. Everything went smoothly: we were called back on time, really nice nurses got her all set up, the doctor was able to easily get her bone back in place, and she woke up from the anesthesia tired, but none the worse for wear. I did have the chance to ask her doctor, "So whose bonehead idea was it to move into a building with stairs and no handicap accessible entrance?" He explained that the building is being remodeled and an accessible entrance is being added, but the move ended up going more quickly than they had planned and the entrance isn't done yet. Hopefully it doesn't take too long to complete.

Oh and there were a few of you who got really bent out of shape over my comments in regards to waiting in doctor's offices. Yes, I understand that things happen and it's not always the doctor's fault. I absolutely know there are patients who hold things up with endless questions, tardiness and just overall stupidity. And true, I've never worked in a doctor's office and had I worked there at some point in my life, I might feel differently. Still, on the whole, most doctor's offices make most patients wait longer than necessary, in my opinion. You just don't see this in other businesses. It still ticks me off to no end.

Anyway, the nurse asked Lexi, "How did this happen." I quickly told Lexi, "Tell her the short version!" The doctor made the mistake of asking Lexi what happened yesterday. This was her answer to him....

"I was playing Indiana Jones with Clayton. I was on Jackson's bunk bed and I was throwing rocks down at Clayton, but they weren't really rocks. They were pillows. Then there were alligators on the floor and I got down off the bunk bed and I got died by the alligators. Then I had to go on the bed again. Then I was throwing blankets off the bed. Clayton was on the floor with the alligators. Then I came down again and I got eated up by alligators again so I had to go on the top of Jackson's bunk bed again. Then I was throwing rocks down, but they weren't really rocks. We were just pretending they were rocks. Then my head turned and I went, "Woah woah woah" and I fell off and my arm hit the window by the ladder and then I landed on my arm inside a weird way."
By the way, the last time they played "Indiana Jones", Clay got stuck beneath a boulder (garage door) and when Lexi tried to rescue him, she got smashed under the door necessitating a trip to the ER.

I spent a good part of the afternoon second guessing myself. Maybe I should have insisted the doctor set her arm in the office yesterday. Yes, it would have been painful, but then she wouldn't have gone through the whole anesthesia, IV, being groggy all afternoon ordeal. Then again, as my friends pointed out, I probably would've just second guessed that decision and wondered if it had been better if she'd been out for the procedure instead of dealing with all the pain.

You do your best, try to make good decisions, and attempt to teach your kids right from wrong, but there are no easy answers when it comes to parenting. Unless the kids come up to you and ask, "Hey Mom, can we play Indiana Jones?" Then the answer is a resounding, "NO!"
tired, but feeling better with her lighter, smaller, blue cast
Ooo and go check out my giveaway for 3 sets of 13 Groovy Girl RSVP dolls HERE!
And you can still see the video from my JCP shopping spree with all the kids HERE.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

If It's Not Broken, It Will Be After a Trip to This Doctor

Lexi didn't sleep well last night because her arm hurt a lot. This morning, she woke up in tears so Joe gave her a dose of her Tylenol with codeine. Unfortunately, Lex took this on an empty stomach and spent the next couple hours throwing up. She spent most of the day in pain and afraid to eat or take medication. I was finally able to get her to eat a plain waffle and take some Motrin.

I took Lexi to the orthopedic doctor today. They were able to squeeze us in this afternoon, but that meant Clay had to miss school. And more importantly, it meant that I had to take both Clay and Brooklyn to Lexi's appointment with us.

This doctor had recently moved to a different office building. I know it was fairly recent since I'd just been there back in June/July with Jackson and his broken arm. Anyway, this new building had several stairs leading up to the door. I had Brooklyn in the stroller (you know, because I was kidding myself thinking she'd stay there without throwing a fit, and she'd be easier to watch that way.) As I approached the door, I thought, hmmm should I walk around the building to find the handicap accessible entrance or should I try to carry the stroller up the stairs? Just then a woman came out and offered to help me carry the stroller up the stairs. Know why? Because there is no handicap accessible entrance! I didn't even think that was legal. What the heck?

Once inside the door, we were faced with another set of stairs. The woman helped me carry my stroller up those stairs as well. But seriously, what kind of orthopedic group would purposely move into a building that wasn't accessible??? Hello? Do they not have people with knee replacements, broken legs, surgery, hip replacements??? You know what I think it is? Job security. "Well, your knee is healing nicely. It's too bad you fell trying to hop up the stairs though. I'll be happy to take care of your broken wrist now."

When I asked the nurses about it, they just kinda rolled their eyes and said, "We know. Tell the doctors!"

So, we filled out all the required paperwork and waited. Then we waited. After that, we waited. This is a huge pet peeve of mine. Why do doctors even bother to make appointments? Getting in to see a doctor at our scheduled time is an absolute exception to the rule. I show up a few minutes early for my appointments and it's just rude to make me (or any other patient) wait. Our time is just as valuable as the theirs. If an office is always running behind, then perhaps they need to hire more doctors or schedule less appointments. Of course, that would probably double our fees.

I always think of Jerry Seinfeld's piece on rental cars when I'm sitting in a waiting room. "You know how to take the reservation; you just don't know how to hold the reservation. And that's really the most important part of the reservation - the holding."

"You know how to make the appointment; you just don't know how to hold the appointment. And that's really the most important part of the appointment - the holding. One of these days, I'm going to try that on the receptionist.



Anyway, it was kind of a wasted trip. I mean, the whole changing Brooklyn's toxic diaper while balancing her on my lap was fun. And the part where Clay dumped out the contents of his backpack on the floor of the waiting room was pretty cool. (The reason he had a backpack full of toys was because I told him, before we left, "Clay, why don't you grab a toy to bring along with you." He took that to mean, "put 50 billion toys in my backpack"). And the part where Brooklyn threw herself down on the floor and screamed at the top of her lungs, "I WANT CANDY!" was certainly a highlight. Still, it was kind of a wasted trip because the doctor told us,"I wish they had paged me last night while you were in the emergency room. I can't figure out why they didn't call me. What exactly did they say there?"

"Well, I wasn't there; my husband took her. According to him, the ER doc said she'd have to go to an orthopedist and have it set today," I explained.

He said, "Yeah well she does need it set, but I don't set kids' bones in the office. If it was an adult I'd give them a shot in the arm and then maneuver it into place and it would really hurt. I don't do that to little kids. She'll have to be put out for it."

Long story short - she has to be to the surgery center tomorrow morning at 8:30. They'll use general anesthesia and while she's out, he'll set her arm and cast it. Both her ulna and radius have fractures. The one has to be reduced because it's out of line and pushed up against her growth plate.

The good news is he said she'd only need a cast up to her elbow instead of her armpit so that'll be better at least


Feeling a little better tonight

And take a minute to check out my good friend (with total ADD) Michelle's site. She wants to save the world and is starting with some grand plans to raise money for cancer awareness on Coleman's behalf. Go check it out HERE and HERE!

And then go watch the lame video of me shopping at JCPenney with all the kiddos. If you think they're goofy in the video, you should see all the parts I edited OUT of it! :0 Check it out HERE!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

How Many Broken Bones Does This Make?

This evening I went downtown to a reception held for Adventures by Disney. I decided to take the train downtown because I just didn't feel like driving in the yucky weather at night, especially when I didn't really know where I was going. And let's not even talk about parallel parking! I'd still be driving around right now if I had to parallel park my huge van.

OK, so I only ride the train like once every two years. I parked at the train station, looked for a parking meter, and not finding one, walked to the building. Just before I got to the building I saw a sign that read, "Pay for parking here." Oh crud. Do I have 6 quarters? Which spot was I parked in? I had no clue. I dug out 6 quarters (whew) and put them in a slot for parking space 69, hoping that's where I was parked.

I splashed my way through the rain puddles and made it to the station. I walked inside and searched for a place to buy a ticket. No place. I asked someone where the ticket counter was and they told me to just buy the ticket on the train. I hoped the stranger was telling the truth about getting the ticket on the train. I envisioned the conductor walking along, seeing me without a ticket, and physically kicking my sorry butt off the train.

So a guy came by to collect money. I just stared at him with a "duh" expression on my face. I didn't how much it cost and was waiting for him to tell me. He didn't say a word so I finally admitted, "I don't know what I'm doing."

He was nice and smiled and said he didn't know what he was doing either. Then collected my money. I pictured Tom Hanks in Polar Express as he punched my ticket. He didn't make any cool shapes or words with his punches though.

I think I was the oldest person on the train on the way into the city. I overheard a kid say, "My mom is SO old! She's like 35". I kicked her.

So I got to the city and had a little time to kill. I got a sandwich and watched the guy at the table next to me pick his nose. It was charming.

I hailed a cab with no problems and got to the hotel where the event was taking place. There I met up with Stephanie from Adventures in Babywearing, Dawn from The Herald News, and Amy from The Ladybug and Her Blogging Mama.

Before we walked into the meeting room, Joe called me to say that Lexi had fallen off the bunk bed. Her wrist was swollen and he was taking her to the ER. Ugh. Now what? Even if I left right then, I wouldn't get home for almost 2 hours because of the train schedule. I stayed and told Joe to update me.

The presentation had just started when Joe texted me saying Lexi's wrist was broken. :( A splint that goes up to my poor Lexi's arm pit was applied. They told Joe that she'd have to have it set tomorrow. When Savannah broke her arm, they had an orthopedic guy set it right there in the ER. Of course, her break was really bad with the bone completely out of line. I guess Lexi's wasn't that bad, but it sounds like it might be worse than Jackson's recent break because his didn't need to be set at all. I guess I'll see tomorrow. Someone asked me how I could be so nonchalant about it. Don't get me wrong, I feel awful that she broke her arm. I feel really bad about it. But I guess after 6 kids and numerous trips to the ER, things don't tend to freak me out too much.

On the way home there was a guy on the train giving a very loud lecture on happiness to no one in particular. I wondered how much he'd had to drink. He was quite emphatic, in a very disturbing sort of way. The strangest part of crazy-man's speech was the fact that everyone completely ignored him. They acted like there was nothing out of the ordinary.

Anyway, I'll tell you about the Disney thing later and I'll update you on Lexi tomorrow. Right now, I'm so overtired. I really need some sleep tonight.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Princess Brooklyn


She hasn't taken this dress off for the past 2 weeks. It's just not worth fighting over. What other time in your life can you get away with this, right? Could you see a 38 year old woman walking around in a Sleeping Beauty dress day after day? People might think she was a bit strange. Although I have been tempted to wear a tiara to the grocery store...

Yes, she has chocolate smeared all over her face and a scratch under her eye from where Austin headbutted her. He's part mountain goat. They were jumping around in a pile of leaves at the time.

The kids were ever so helpful. They went into the neighbor's yard and raked up all their leaves. They raked and scooped and gathered them up. They loaded up their arms and carried the leaves out of the neighbor's yard for them. And they dumped them into our backyard. Joe was thrilled with this. We have like 50 trees of our own too so they had a leaf pile back there that was 10 stories high. Gotta love the fall!

And, on an unrelated note, I did a review on my other blog for the VTech Kidijamz Studio HERE. I noticed that Peggy Larson had left a comment on that post saying,
"Caden: ooooo I want that!
Cman: yeah, I want it too!
Can we get it?
will you get it for us?
will ya? pweeeeze?
will ya?
Good enough for me- ummm of course they say that about EVERY toy commercial that comes on tv! But it would be cool to win something, so it's worth a try. LOVE YA DAWN! And we're not saying that to win- we know you do the random thingy."

I really wanted to give them the Kidijamz Studio, but I'd already said I was going to draw a random number, so I asked Stephen, the PR guy for VTech, who I was working with on this review, if he might be able to come up with a second one for the Larsons. And he did! I'm so happy to be able to send the boys their own Kidijamz Studio courtesy of VTech! Thank you Stephen and VTech!

If you see this, Peggy, act all surprised when you get it. ;)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sunday Sound Out

Austin is back to his usual goofball self, I think. On the way home from church today Austin said, out of the blue, "If I had three wishes, I'd wish for a paperclip and a pickle flavored milkshake and a tree with a family of blue gerbils living in it and they'd jump from branch to branch like monkeys."

I looked at him like I usually do - you know, like he's from another planet. I asked, skeptically, "If you had three wishes, you'd wish for a paperclip, a pickle milkshake and a tree filled with blue gerbils???"

He gave me a sideways smile and a knowing nod and said, "Monkey-like gerbils."

Yep, that's the son I know and love.

OK, now to answer viewer mail....

An idea for Austin's surprise cake: My sister-in-law made a
"kitty litter box" cake for my nephew's 14th birthday... easy and grossly realistic!

I made one of those for Austin's school Halloween party when he was in fifth grade. It was absolutely, disgustingly, realistically gross.

16 long years? Ouch. We've been married five so I'm not an expert, but when do you add the long descriptor? Is it at year 6 or 7?
It depends. If he doesn't know how to load the dishwasher, it may be added at 2 years.

Hi. Got a quick quesiton. How do you deal with plantar fasciitis? I recently found out that I have it and that I need to get more supportive shoes and such. Just wonderng. Thanks!
Here's my suggestion - don't get the "needle of death" shot of cortisone in your heel. It will hurt. You will want to kick your doctor. This is coming from a woman who gave birth 6 times without epidurals.

You know... this last time change gave you an extra hour of sleep...you should be grateful.
This comment is clearly from someone who doesn't have little kids. Little kids don't wake up, look at the clock and say, "Yes! I get to go back to sleep for another hour." There is no such thing as getting an extra hour of sleep when you have little ones.

Hey there! Saw that you were at Woodfield. Do they have the tree up yet? Just wondering
They've had the tree up for a few weeks. Actually, they don't put up the same huge tree that they used to. Now they use a smaller one and surround it with large snowglobes.

Ooh ooh ooh! That SO had potential for a "clever title" contest!
Too bad I can't come up with anything catchier than "Does anybody really know what time it is? Does anybody really care?"
(And now I have the tune in my head...)

And now, so do I thankyouverymuch. Here's some useless trivia for you - when I was in high school, I used to skip lunch and sneak off to the music practice room and play the piano. I had a book of Chicago songs that I played a lot back then. Most of the time, my friend, Jim, would hang out with me there. He did his German homework while I played. I had a crush on him, but he never knew it. And German is a very "spitty" language, by the way.

Oh, and ummm is that still the bag tag from FL on your stroller? That so sounds like me if so!
I don't know how you noticed that, but yes it is. It'll probably stay on there until June.

So is the little one in the video walking crooked and touching all the windows the one with adhd?
He's not the one who has been officially diagnosed with it, but yeah, he's kind of a spaz.

Ok for the uninitiated when you fry chicken isn't it always chicken fried chicken? Am I missing something here?
LOL! It's called chicken fried chicken to differentiate it from chicken fried steak. (It's a southern thing. Like Waffle Houses. And now that we have a Sonic here, I think I'll have to start lobbying for a Waffle House.)

Facebook really IS like crack. I have to check it every day, several times a day, to see what my friends are doing. Good thing I don't have very many. :-)
I love checking out everyone's updates, but I don't comment all that often. If I were to start doing that, I'd never sleep! Please don't be offended if I don't comment on anyone's updates!

Oh MY! I love your meemee. I wish Iw ould have thought of such creative answers. Now this will sound bad. I dont know what any of those drinks are. care to enlighten me? LOL
Surely!
1. Coffee Mate Vanilla Chai Spice creamer with a little coffee - that's just coffee with flavored creamer
2. Sangria - this is wine flavored with fruit. I typically use a red table wine and add apples, limes, oranges and lemons, let it chill overnight, and add some 7Up before serving.
3. Mojitos - these are made with rum, mint and lime. They're refreshing.
4. Bellinis - these are made with sparkling white Italian wine (like champagne) and fresh peach puree. Yum!
I love Pina Coladas, Mai Tais, Bahama Mamas, pretty much anything froofy and fruity and served with a paper umbrella.

On your tv shows....you DO realize that the first three aren't on the air anymore, right? Well new ones anyway; I suppose they'll live a good long while on syndication.
I know, I know. I haven't seen a new tv show in years. I don't like what's on TV these days. I hate reality shows. What ever happened to good family shows with a normal family and a moral taught? The Cosby Show, Full House, Growing Pains, Little House on the Prairie... You just don't see good family shows anymore. I'd rather spend my time on my computer.

I laugh because I watched Wildcats too!
Here's some more pointless trivia for you. When I was in high school, I worked at a restaurant called Harry G's Crab House. (I can still smell the nasty fish/garlic smell that was embedded in my uniform.) Anyway, two of the waiters there were extras in the movie Wildcats. You could see them in the last football game. Aren't you glad I told you that?

[in regards to Austin's attitude on his birthday] There was probably something he did want, or he wanted you to make a big deal over him, or who knows what. But he can't TELL you, that would spoil everything! LOL... Don't you remember how stupid your parents were when you were 14?
I was a HORRIFIC teenager and if my kids act like I did, I will ship them off to school in another country. I'm sorry again, Mom and Dad!

Wow! My son is 3....not looking forward to the teenage years. Were you able to cheer him up by getting him a treat at the grocery store? Hope so.
Yep! Key lime pie did the trick. ;)

The way you describe Austin, he sounds like he is "Gifted and Talented". Is he, or any of your other children in a GT program?
Yes, he is. None of my other kids are (at least not yet.)

Wait a minute! You mean you still SEE your teenager? Mine is always in his room, and when he comes out I get grunts and nonsensical answers if I DARE talk to him... Ah the joys of the teens...
Yeah, I'm not complaining. My friend Gin has a son who is Austin's age. I think she's only heard 5 words from him in the past year and a half.

Dawn- SSO question- Which of your offspring is most like you were as a child?
Hmmm, I don't know. They all have some qualities that are/were like me. I think if I just had to pick one, it would probably be Austin (which is probably why he drives me nuts.)

Why haven't you blogged about your amazing lunch on Friday or shared with your viewers the totally cool shoes that Manic wore ESPECIALLY to impress you? But what about the shoes Dawn!?!? What about the shoes!?!?!?
Did you BUY any shoes THIS WEEKEND!?!!?
Manic, you're a dork. And I say that in the most loving way possible. To answer your question, no, I didn't buy any shoes, but I feel myself slipping over to the dark side. I think I have the potential to become a (gasp!) shoe person!

OK, here's the deal: I went out to lunch on Friday and met up with some Chicagoland bloggers. If you want the lowdown, you can read all about it HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE. And yes, Manic had the totally cutest shoes on! Here they are:
Manic's shoes that I LOVE!

Manic with a popcorn ball down her shirt. (I don't ask anymore.)

It looks great [Austin's birthday cake] -- what did you do to make the grass (since you detailed everything else)?
I used a tip with several openings to make the grass.

Oh, and ummm can I (seriously) pay you to teach me to make spanikopita? It's one of my favorite foods and one of the few that I've never figured out. Give me ANYthing else, and I'm good but that one flummoxes me.
I have a really easy recipe:

1 10 oz. package frozen, chopped spinach
1 small onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
6-8 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 t. oregano
1 package phyllo dough, thawed
1/2 c.+ melted butter

Cook spinach, onion and garlic over low heat until heated through. Let cool a bit and drain excess water. Combine the spinach mixture with feta and oregano.

When working with phyllo dough, keep dough wrapped up and covered with a damp towel to prevent drying. Phyllo dough is tissue paper thin and dries out really quickly!

With pastry brush, brush one sheet of phyllo dough with melted butter, careful not to rip the dough. Place another sheet on top and brush with butter. Repeat with third sheet of dough and melted butter.

Cut dough stack into 4 strips lengthwise. Place a small tablespoonful of filling on one end of each strip. Fold dough at a 45 degree angle over filling. Keep folding in triangles (like a flag) down the length of the strip. Repeat with remaining filling and dough. As I finish each triangle, I place them on a baking sheet and brush with butter to prevent drying. You can make these ahead of time and store them in an airtight container.

To bake, preheat oven to 375. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden. Serve warm and toasty. Yum!

Hey, Dawn...did you happen to buy that birthday banner at a discount party store?
LOL! Ya think?

Do you make your own fondant or buy the tub at Michaels?
This time I bought the box of Wilton fondant. It's expensive and it tastes like glue, but I didn't have that much time so I just got the store bought stuff this time around. If you make your own fondant, it tastes SO much better.

Ok, so someone must ask (assuming it has already been asked but since it is saying "no comments yet" I'll take the plunge...Why the "A" instead of the "y" on Happy?
Because it was made in China?

That is one cool cake. You make the rest of us look bad. When will you be doing v-blog cake decorating class?
Is this something you guys would be interested in? Maybe I could do a monthly or bimonthly feature and teach you guys something about decorating? Let me know.

Oh, and what's fondant and spankonita? Sounds like stuff on Cinemax.
Spankonita??? That sounds somehow naughty. Spanakopita is a Greek dish made with spinach and feta cheese between layers of buttered phyllo dough.
Rolled fondant is a kind of taffy-like icing that you roll out and use to cover cakes and/or make decorations. It has a smooth, porcelain-like look to it.

How's the neck?
It's great!
As long as I don't turn my head.

And, so you know, November is Prematurity Awareness Month. In order to help prevent premature births, Johnson's has partnered with the March of Dimes to launch the "Prevent Prematurity Campaign," in which Johnson's will donate ten cents to the March of Dimes for every Johnson's Baby product purchased during the months of November and December, up to $100,000. So go stock up on all those great-smelling Johnson's baby products this month and help a great cause at the same time!

And finally, the Larsons got some sad news about Coleman's scans. The cancer has spread quite a bit this past month. He won't be able to receive chemo or this other protocol they were thinking he'd be able to get. :( Instead, he qualifies for a new trial that they'll be starting soon. Please pray for Coleman, his twin brother, parents, and doctors.

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