Thursday, March 31, 2011
Two nights ago, as I was working on a blog post, I heard seals barking back in the girls’ bedroom. This was concerning to me because I don’t generally keep seals in the girls’ bedroom, or you know, any room in my house. A couple minutes later, Lexi came shuffling out of her room, and in between her seal-bark coughs, she cried that she couldn’t breathe. I calmly led her into the bathroom, put a pillow on the floor for her to lie on, and turned on the shower as hot as it would go. She lay in the steam while I grabbed her some Motrin, and wondered how I got so calm about these things.
CONTINUE READING HERE
Posted by Dawn at 1:28 AM
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
"I'm eating my salad, Mom."
"Where's your fork?"
"It's right here, Mom," Brooklyn answered, pointing to her unused fork sitting next to her plate.
"Ummm, what are you using to eat with," I asked, a little scared to hear her answer.
"I'm using my mermaids!" she happily announced.
"I see," I said, shaking my head. "Makes perfect sense to me."
To read my Babble post on the new Abercrombie push-up bathing suit for little girls, click here!
Posted by Dawn at 9:53 PM
Monday, March 28, 2011
Posted by Dawn at 10:56 AM
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Have you thought to ask the older kids to get jobs to help support the family? In times past, that's what kids did.
I have no idea what my favorite is. It's usually whatever is in the shower that still has enough shampoo in it. Not one of the bottles that have been dumped and refilled with with cold water. Definitely not the bottle that's a combination created by son of all liquid found in the shower, including the dog shampoo.
Life as a single mom is a rat race, so I use whatever I find available at the moment. :)
Congratulations! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your shipping address.
Posted by Dawn at 8:20 PM
Friday, March 25, 2011
Posted by Dawn at 7:29 PM
Thursday, March 24, 2011
If you have a minute, click here and vote for me, please!
Posted by Dawn at 1:43 AM
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
If you've read my blog for any amount of time, then you know that I love Suave hair care! Suave has recently come out with a new, redesigned professional line of products and I've got some new favorites!
The first one is Suave's Dry Shampoo. Oh yeah! I don't know a single mom who couldn't use this! Be honest, how many times has it happened that you woke up late, or it took longer than expected to get the kids ready, or you just ran out of time to get in the shower? Or maybe you have time for a quickly shower to wash your body, but definitely don't have time to wash and style your hair? It happens to me more often than I'd care to admit. Suave's Dry Shampoo is perfect for this very situation. Just spray a little in your hair and fluff! Voila! You're ready to go and your hair looks (AND SMELLS) awesome! It will totally save your hair on those mornings when your kids don't want those waffles, or those socks, or that shirt and you suddenly find yourself with ten minutes to get ready because everyone took five times as long as usual to eat breakfast and get dressed!
The other new product I especially love is the Leave In conditioner. I have crazy curly frizzy hair unless I spend a million hours straightening it. I use Suave's Sleek Anti-Frizz Cream every single day. And now, I use this leave in conditioner as well. It helps tame my curly hair so it's not so "Diana Ross circa 1968".
Would you like to win an assortment of several new Suave Professionals products? Let me know what your favorite hair care product is and why. Leave me a comment here with your email address and let me know. I'll choose a random winner on Saturday, March 26. Contest open to U.S. residents. Good luck!
Posted by Dawn at 9:43 PM
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
"You know what makes me sad about you and dad being divorced, Mom?"
"What's that, sweetie?" I asked.
"I miss camping," was the answer that was echoed by all the siblings. "Would you take us camping sometime, Mom?"
"I love you guys and would do anything I possibly could for you, but camping? Couldn't I do something else for you guys instead? Something like poking myself in the eye with a stick or throwing myself down the stairs?"
CONTINUE READING HERE!
Posted by Dawn at 9:50 PM
While cleaning out and decluttering, I found a box of Joe's stuff (high school yearbooks, photo albums of his baby pictures, etc.) According to the divorce agreement, everything left here is mine. He took what was his and made no accommodations to retrieve anything else. I considering having a bonfire, and burning him in effigy. I also thought about writing up stories with all the details of his horribleness and listing the items on eBay. In the end, I opted to text him and let him know I had a box of his stuff if he wanted to come pick it up. That was my good deed for the year.
He stopped by on Saturday, handed me some papers because he's apparently taking me to court, trying to get his obligation to pay child support modified instead of being responsible, getting a job and paying more than $0 a month to help support his six children. Then, he took his box of stuff, yelled at me for throwing out one of the kids' broken old toys that he suddenly wanted to give his niece, and left without a word to the kids. He didn't say a single word to any of them. He didn't ask to see any of them. Nothing. Later, he texted me that it just never occurred to him to say hi.
What kind of parent does this?! What kind of parent goes months (years, in some cases) without seeing the kids and then doesn't even bother to say hello? I'm just floored by his selfishness. I can't fathom any parent acting like this. I just can't wrap my brain around such behavior.
Then today, he texts and out of nowhere, asks me if I can drop the kids off to see him later this week. Well, we already have plans then, and honestly, Brooklyn is the only one willing to see him now. Lexi and Brooklyn have been the only ones who don't hate him, but after leaving without a word to Lexi, he just alienated her. The rest of the kids have had enough of his behavior. They see how he's left them. They're not stupid. They're done with him. It's only a matter of time until Brooklyn sees through his bs, as well. There's no more of me making excuses for him and trying to convince the kids that he loves them. I don't talk about what a deadbeat he is, but no longer do I try to cover up what he's doing to them. He's made his choices and has pushed the kids as far away as he can. Only time will tell if they'll ever have any kind of relationship at all.
When I told him that I didn't think we'd be around for me to drop the kids off and that Brooklyn was the only one who would even want to go, he blamed it on me. He said that "my opinions of him made it difficult for him to focus on the kids". Oh sure, because I think he's a deadbeat loser, he can't focus on the kids. The fact that the reason I think he's a deadbeat loser is BECAUSE he abandoned the kids, doesn't matter in his little world. Of course, he's always blamed everything on me. It was my fault he got his third DUI this summer because if I hadn't divorced him, he wouldn't have had to go out drinking. It was my fault he spent thousands of dollars a month at strip clubs because I drove him to do it. It's my fault he lied to me constantly for 20 years.
So now I'm considering my limited options as far as my house is concerned while trying to ignore the insanity that is my ex-husband. And, of course, most importantly, trusting God to get us through this, and showing my kids every day just how much they're loved. Most days, I get up and keep on going, without any problems. I know that even the most stressful, hopeless-seeming situations are only a drop in the bucket. While in their midst, it's easy to get discouraged and give up hope. It's easy to be overcome with fear. But I know, in the end, one day, when the tough times have passed, I'll look back and see that it was just that - a small section of my life that had tough times. Nothing more.
Of course, other days, I want to lie in bed and cry. Thankfully, those days are few and far between!
When I first got a copy of the book, Pearl Girls (it's a great book compiled by Margaret McSweeney, filled with essays by some of the most awesome Christian women writers AND with all proceeds going to charity), I read through the stories. Many of them brought me to tears. I thought, Wow, these women have really been through some trials in their lives! Then I got to my silly essay and I thought, Nothing bad has ever happened to me. I admit I was a little sad that I had nothing profound to write because nothing bad had happened. Now, I'm pleased to know that I'll have a great story of triumph because I am going through some really rough times now. Okay, no I'm not. I'm not pleased at all. I'm kicking my butt because, clearly, I jinxed myself by saying that nothing bad had ever happened to me! What the heck was I thinking?!!! In the future, if I ever get the notion that nothing bad has happened to me, I'm simply going to say, "Praise the Lord! Thank you!" and be done with it!
Posted by Dawn at 3:39 PM
Monday, March 21, 2011
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?”
“Can we get cupcakes?”
“Can we get muffins?”
“Can we get pie?”
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! :)
Posted by Dawn at 10:40 PM
My kids convinced me to step on the Wii Fit balance board today. Okay, I thought. This will be fun! I’ll play Wii with the kids for awhile before I start packing again. Anything to put off doing work, right?
So I stepped in front of the TV and looked for my Mii (the little avatar that looks like you). My kids made my Mii for me about a year ago and I couldn’t remember what it looked it.
I found what I thought was my Mii.
Posted by Dawn at 3:38 PM
Sunday, March 20, 2011
You have all 6 kids in the photo! So how are the boys doing? Both are out of the hospital and home now?
Yeah, they're out of the hospital and overall, doing much, much better. Still, there are times when they (and Lexi) struggle with depression.
Here's my authentic answer - Are you for real?!!!
Don't think, because I don't write every detail of what all I'm working on, it means I'm doing nothing and waiting for an opportunity to fall in my lap.
Here's the AFTER picture. . .
I've written some articles for Circle of Moms and you can read them HERE. Also, I've been nominated as one of the funniest moms by Circle of Moms. You can vote for me once a day until the 23rd. Top 25 Funny Moms Thank you!
My kids love to ride bikes to the park. I LOVE me some Sonic!
Posted by Dawn at 11:47 AM
Friday, March 18, 2011
Posted by Dawn at 5:24 PM
Posted by Dawn at 12:21 AM
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Last week he texted me, telling me that he had a job and would be starting Monday. I didn't respond because what was I supposed to say? Congratulations? I'm so proud of you? Yay? He's had a job all along quite frankly, but he's gotten paid in cash under the table/free room and board/whatever and not passed along a penny of child support from that job, so why should this one be different? Would this be an actual job with W2s and everything? A job where the state could take out child support once again? Honestly, I doubted he even had a job anyway, so I just ignored the text.
Today, I went to pick up some medication for Austin. It wasn't covered by AllKids. It cost $271. I couldn't get it. For the past couple days, Savannah's been complaining of pain and popping sounds in the knee she had surgery on last May. Her orthopedic doctor doesn't accept AllKids. I haven't been able to make an appointment with him. So I broke down and texted Joe to ask him if this was a real job and if he was carrying insurance on the kids again. Apparently "the job fell through". Shocking.
I wrote out a check to pay my taxes today. It was an obscenely high amount. I mean, make you sick to your stomach high amount. On the bright side, I was prepared for this. Taxes hadn't been taken out of any of my income last year and I knew I'd be owing a lot. Thankfully, I had the exact amount I owe set aside for this purpose. That's the good news.
The bad news is that it leaves me with maybe three months' worth of money for living expenses. (And that is thanks to the enormous generosity of you guys!) I've been struggling with so many decisions regarding the future for me and my kids. Today I had to make the tough choice to put my house up for sale. But I can't count on my ex-husband for anything and based on my little income, we can't stay here. It sucks. I hate having to uproot my kids like this especially when they're still having issues with depression.
Taking a deep breath, dealing with the punches as they come, enjoying the little moments, doing what has to be done, and as always, trusting God to carry us through.
*****Please check out my new blog on Babble.com for some laughs! Click HERE!
Posted by Dawn at 9:45 PM
Posted by Dawn at 8:18 PM
In March and April, SONIC Wacky Packs will feature one of five SONIC Pro Outdoor Toys designed to keep kids active. The five toys include:
- SONIC Pro(tm) Glider
- SONIC Pro(tm) Kick
- SONIC Pro(tm) Football
- SONIC Pro(tm) Flyer
- SONIC Pro(tm) Hydrator.
Leave me a comment here and let me know how you keep your family active and I'll choose a random winner from the comments on Friday, March 18. Be sure to include your email address/way to contact you. Good luck!
Posted by Dawn at 2:18 PM
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Posted by Dawn at 8:36 PM
Monday, March 14, 2011
So, last week, I turned thirty-eleven.
Continue reading here.
I'm super, super thankful for the opportunity to blog at Babble.com. This is an answer to prayer and will give us some much-needed income. I really hope you'll all follow me over there!
Posted by Dawn at 8:44 PM
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Thursday, March 10, 2011
I’m so thrilled to be blogging over here at Babble, but I feel a little like the new kid in school among all these esteemed bloggers. So, at the risk of sounding like a lame Facebook meme, let me stand up in front of the class and tell you a bit about myself.
1. My name is Dawn. People call me Dawn. Or Mom. But that’s mostly just my kids. Or Shawna. That’s a Ferris Bueller line. I quote random movies regularly just to see who’s on the same page with me. Hmmm, I wonder if Charlie Sheen was winning back when he was in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
Click here to continue reading
Posted by Dawn at 10:52 PM
Posted by Dawn at 12:38 AM
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Here's an art project Clay brought home from school the other day. They were learning about Abraham Lincoln for President's Day, so they made a log cabin out of pretzel rods. They were supposed to glue the penny to the window so it looked like Abe was looking out.
Except Clay glued the penny so it looks like the Lincoln Memorial is stuffed inside the log cabin.
"Hey Clay, what happened to your log cabin? It looks like it has suffered some significant termite damage."
"It looks like someone has chewed through some of the logs in the cabin," I explained.
"Oh yeah, um, well, I was hungry."
"You know, we do have non-gluey pretzels here at home, hon."
"I didn't eat too much glue, Mom. See, I just ate the top part off the paper."
"Oh, well in that case. . ." I shook my head. "Remind me to pack you a snack for school tomorrow before you eat your crayons or something."
Then, Clay brought this gem home yesterday.
I looked at it and laughed. "The green dinosaur is eating the other guy's tail and he's looking back like, "DUDE! What are you doing?!"
Clay giggled and started singing, "It's raining BLOOD, hallelujah! It's raining BLOOD, hallelujah!"
Yep, he's perfectly well-adjusted.
But this morning, he presented me with this one when I first woke up.
Don't you adore those "I love you, Mom" drawings? For those of you who have young kids, appreciate those now because, I'm telling you, teens don't generally give you cute drawings that proclaim their undying love. Nope, teens tell you they love you when they want something - money, the car keys, a ride to the mall. . .
Posted by Dawn at 9:30 PM
Posted by Dawn at 4:07 PM
I'm personally a big fan of cereal. I don't do mornings and cereal is something my kids can all fix for themselves. Plus, I know they're getting a lot more vitamins, minerals, and fiber than they would if they didn't have a bowl of cereal in the morning. My kids like stuff like Fruit Loops and Apple Jacks, but they also love Smart Start, Fiber Plus, and Low Fat Granola, as well as many Kashi cereals. I mix it up and give them some healthier cereals along with some fun ones. Moderation is key with us.
While I was at this cereal summit, Kellogg's asked us bloggers for some ideas of how to give back. They wanted to know what we thought people might respond to. We gave our input and the result is Kellogg's Share Your Breakfast program.
One in four kids live in homes where food isn’t always available. Although a full tummy can help kids get the most out of their school day, children living in food-insecure homes don’t always have access to breakfast. Even worse, communities across the country are increasingly forced to consider cutting state-funded school breakfast programs due to budget pressures.
Kellogg's is asking you to Share Your Breakfast between now and July 31, 2011 to help Kellogg’s and Action for Healthy Kids, a nonprofit organization that focuses on childhood obesity and undernourishment, share one million breakfasts with kids who need them most. And the best part – sharing your breakfast is as easy as taking a picture or sending a text.
Simply take a photo of your breakfast and share it at www.shareyourbreakfast.com or text your photo with the word “Share” to 21534. Each time you share a photo or description of your breakfast, Kellogg’s will donate the monetary equivalent of school breakfasts to Action for Healthy Kids.
This is something that's quick and easy to do. Snap a picture with your phone and text it. You can do that every morning, and you'll be helping to feed kids across the country!
Posted by Dawn at 1:17 AM
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Have a great week, everyone! And remember, Tuesday is Pączki Day! Don't miss out on this most delicious of all holidays!
Posted by Dawn at 10:48 PM
Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:
This is awesome, as many followers as you have, what a way to spread the word :)
Congratulations! Email me with your shipping details and I'll make sure this is mailed out right away. :)
Posted by Dawn at 7:26 PM
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Posted by Dawn at 9:06 PM