Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Day in the Life

Dear anyone who has ever gotten mad at me for not returning your phone call or email or text right away,

Although I love you (or at least tolerate you) and want to talk to you, I can't always take time out to do so immediately. This is why -

6:00  Alarm goes off. I smack my phone a few times until it turns off.
6:20  Austin comes in my room and says something about rain. I don't wake up enough to comprehend.
6:25  Savannah comes in my room and asks me if I can drive her and Austin to school before second period because it's raining. I growl at Savannah and my head rotates 360 because, quite frankly, I'm not a nice person in the morning.
6:45  Wake up again and realize it's quarter til 7:00. Freak out. But not enough to actually get out of bed.
7:00  Spring out of bed, adrenaline rushing through my veins. Thankfully, I work well under pressure. Wake up the Littles and the Middles.
7:02  Shower. I remember to actually rinse off today.
7:10  Wrap myself in a robe and go downstairs and make coffee and lunch while I drip dry because I'm too lazy to actually take a towel to myself.
7:12  Jackson informs me that I need to drive him to school early for his field trip. Information that would've been nice to know yesterday (not that I would've dragged my butt out of bed any earlier, of course.)
7:17  Go upstairs and get dressed.
7:18  Decide I look hideous and change.
7:19  Decide the new outfit looks just as bad as the first one. Change.
7:20  Repeat the last two steps.
7:21  Vow to consume nothing but water. At least until noon.
7:25  Slap on some make-up and take stock of my hair. It's raining and humid. I already look like Roseanne Roseannadanna.  Ponytail it is.
7:30  Wake up the oldest kids who have fallen back asleep. Pile everyone in the car.
7:31  Lexi's friend picks her up.
7:35  I drop off Jackson.
7:45  I drop off Brooklyn and Clayton.
7:55  I drop off Austin and Savannah.
8:00  I drive away from the high school as a branch hits a powerline almost directly above me. The tree catches on fire and sparks fly. I slam on my brakes. As I watch the flames, the whole thing bursts into a fireball and I'm momentarily blinded by the light. I've never seen anything like this before and I'm freaked out. I call 9-1-1 and debate speeding under the burning foliage and sparking wires to get to work, or just sitting there until the firemen arrive because well - FIREMEN!
8:05  I get impatient and drive as far around the wires as I can.
8:06  Get stuck in traffic behind an accident.
8:25  See a smashed-up school bus and a news crew and pray that no one was hurt.
8:35  Get to work.
9:00  Decide that I was crazy for vowing not to eat and grab my yogurt. Realize I've forgotten to pack a spoon again. Debate between using a pen or a mascara wand to eat it. Find a straw in my drawer and attempt to scoop up yogurt with a straw because I am just that classy.
9:05  Drink a couple more cups of coffee.
9:15  Consider calling 9-1-1 again because it feels like my heart is going to explode from caffeine overdose. And I didn't actually get to see any firemen the first time around.
9:20  School starts and I bang my head against the wall for the next 4 hours.
1:30  Take time to eat an unhealthy amount of peanut butter brownies for lunch.
2:00  Go back to banging my head.
4:00  Leave school.
4:25  Pick up the Littles.
4:30  Get home. Check on the homework situation. Start a load of laundry.
4:45  Check email and make sure I'm all set for the Twitter party I'm co-hosting tonight.
5:30  Ask Jackson to make some couscous and corn for dinner. Slice up leftover pork chops into little strips so kids won't realize they're left-overs and they'll eat them.
5:55  Take Lex and Brooklyn to tumbling.
6:00 Kick them out the door and drive Savannah on to the high school so she can get the last of her volunteer hours for NHS.
6:15  Drive around campus and pick up Austin, who stayed late to work on some ceramics, from school.
6:30  Drop Austin off at home and go back to football field to watch the girls do backflips.
7:00  Go home and give instructions to everyone to get ready for bed. Assure Lexi that despite the warnings, a tornado isn't going to hit us. Start writing a brilliant blog post.
7:45  Do something stupid and manage to lose my brilliant blog post.
7:55  Finally stop cursing my evil computer and dial in for the Twitter party.
9:05  Tuck in my kiddos.
9:15  Give up on writing a brilliant blog post and instead endeavor to explain how busy my days are thus resulting in stupid blog posts.
9:16  Get interrupted by Lexi who is afraid that zombies will kill her in her sleep.
9:18  Get interrupted by Savannah who asks me if I can help her with her math. She knows darn well that I can't. She just likes to make fun of me.
9:25  Get interrupted by Jackson who shows me his abdomen and says, "Is it supposed to stick out like this?" I make a mental note to call the doctor about the ultrasound results tomorrow.
9:30  Get interrupted by Savannah who tells me she's still dizzy from donating blood today.
9:35  Get interrupted by Lexi again who says she has a tummy ache.
9:45  Get interrupted by Savannah again who complains that she has her EOC in history tomorrow.
9:50  Get interrupted by Austin who presents me with a chocolate cupcake. It almost, almost does away with my disappointment in his crappy grades.
10:15  Work my way through a backlog of email.
11:00  Realize I've been goofing off on Facebook for the last 45 minutes when I should've been writing.
11:20  Hop in the shower, take a handful of Tums to counteract the chocolate cupcake and lie down.
11:45  Take my turn in my 4 perpetual Words with Friends games and lie awake for an hour thinking about everything I have to do tomorrow.
12:45  Get up and switch the load of laundry I've forgotten about.
2:30  Wake up on fire and dripping sweat because I'm middle-aged. Think about going downstairs and standing in the freezer but decide I'm too lazy to move.
3:00  Wake up with a great idea for a book and type it into my iPhone even though I know from experience that I'll wake up tomorrow and not be able to read a single word of the nonsense I typed.

Yep, that's pretty much my (and really, any mom's) day. There are variations of this. Sometimes I forget to pack a spoon and eat my yogurt with a plastic knife. Sometimes I have water polo instead of tumbling. Power lines don't usually explode on my way to work. But the basics stay the same. So this is why I sometimes can't call you back right away or find the time to answer emails. I'm sure you understand.


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Prom Dresses Through the Ages

After I posted slide shows of my kids' proms HERE and HERE, I was sent a link to Disney's Forever Enchanted Spring 2013 Collection of prom dresses. I didn't even know Disney made prom dresses, but who better to create a gown fit for a princess, right? After scrolling through the pictures, I decided I wanted to go to prom just so I could wear one of those gorgeous gowns. Better yet, I wanted a 'do-over'! I want to trade in the fluffy, frilly, pale peach Gunne Sax dress I wore in 1988 (and the big hair that went along with it) for one of these beautiful gowns (and a straight iron for my hair). This got me thinking about how styles have changed through the years. I put a shout-out to my readers on Facebook, asking for their prom pics and as usual they came through with flying colors! I know you'll enjoy this slide show of prom dresses from 1959 to the present! And a huge "thank you" to everyone who sent me their picture! I wasn't able to use all of them here because I got so many, but I appreciate the time and effort you all took to send them to me! You're all beautiful!


Monday, April 22, 2013

When a Little Infection Turns Ugly

A couple weeks ago, Lexi complained that her finger hurt. It looked like she had a hangnail that had caused the irritation. I got out the Epsom salt and told her to soak it, then I dabbed on some Neosporin before bandaging it. We repeated this for a few days and then I forgot about it because that's what I do. Single mom, six kids, two jobs, super-busy. I just didn't think to ask her about her finger because it was just an irritated cuticle. No big deal, right?

Fast forward two weeks. Yesterday morning, Lexi nonchalantly showed me her finger and said, "I don't think it's getting better." 

I looked at her hand and gasped! "Ohmygosh! That's horrible! Is that the same finger?" I asked incredulously as I cringed at the sight of her red, swollen finger that was oozing nastiness. The skin was peeling up like layers of phyllo dough on a baklava. Sorry for that visual, but you're welcome for not putting an actual picture on here. I asked, "Why didn't you tell me it was getting worse? Oh my gosh, doesn't it hurt?"


Prom: According to Savannah

prom 018bLast night, both my son who is a senior, and my daughter who is a junior, attended their high school's prom. I thought I'd write about the whole prom experience from my point of view, but realized that my view basically includes bills and driving around and it really isn’t too entertaining. So, instead I decided to write two posts: one from my son’s perspective and one from my daughter’s because their takes on the same event are quite different.

As far as I can tell, this is how it works. The girl has to shop for the perfect dress. She must bring a pack of friends along on this quest to gather many opinions, to make sure no one else buys the same dress, for zipper help, and for companionship when they stop for soft pretzels and frappuccinos. She has to find shoes that will go beautifully with the dress even though they’ll undoubtedly cause blisters and possibly a broken ankle. She needs to find jewelry that will complement her dress and a dainty clutch that will house her cell phone and lipgloss for the evening. She needs to order a boutonnière that will smartly match her dress. She will text all her friends and arrange who will be meeting when and where, whose house will be party central, who is going to be sleeping over where, and she’ll make sure to fill her date in on the itinerary. On the day of prom, she’ll shower, conditioner and remove any and all hair from her body. Appointments will be made or she’ll enlist the help of friends and family to do her hair and nails. She’ll carefully dress and plaster a smile on her face while the parent paparazzi take hundreds of photographs.

To see the slide show of Savannah's prom, click HERE!

Prom: According to Austin

prom 014cLast night, both my son who is a senior, and my daughter who is a junior, attended their high school's prom. I thought I'd write about the whole prom experience from my point of view, but realized that my view basically includes bills and driving around and it really isn’t too entertaining. So, instead I decided to write two posts: one from my son’s perspective and one from my daughter’s because their takes on the same event are quite different.

As far as I can tell, this is how it works. The boy will ask the girl to prom in a creative and romantic way that outdoes his friends. He’ll order a corsage and a tux (whatever combination in the Big Book of Tux Pictures looks good). He’ll probably get a haircut after his mom tells him he’s looking shaggy, and insists he get one. On the day of the event, he’ll shower, dress, and show up when and where his date has instructed him to go. He'll grudgingly stand still, or ham it up like a goofball for pictures.

To see the slideshow from Austin's prom, click HERE.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Jamberry Nails Winner!

The winner of the Jamberry nail shields giveaway is  . . .

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2013-04-15 00:38:43 UTC

Blogger Lynn said...
As a lover of reading, writing and all things word-related, I'd have to say my favorite design is the Alphabet one! 

Congratulations, Lynn! Email me with your choice of design and I'll make sure it gets sent out right away.  :)

My Stupid Insurance

The biggest reason why I took my job down here in Florida was so I could provide medical insurance for my kids when my ex lost his job and thus his insurance.

First, it costs me just shy of $200 every two weeks in premiums. That works out to over $400 a month to simply carry insurance. Let’s say one of my kids has to go to the emergency room. That will cost me a $300 copay at the time of the visit and then my coinsurance amount will be billed to me. Of course while I'm sitting in the waiting room because my kid needs stitches, there will be dozens of people, for whom state insurance covers 100% of ER visits, using the ER as a doctor's office and waiting to be seen because they have the sniffles or a hangnail.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Some Things Never Change

My third grader, Clayton made the A honor roll again for the third quarter. He's come a long way from the kid who used to get in trouble all the time in kindergarten and first grade. I'll never forget the day I picked him up from kindergarten and asked him, "How were you today? Did you get in trouble?"

He answered, "Nope, I was good."

"Then why is your teacher walking out to the car?"

"I don't know, go drive, drive, DRIVE!"

Yep, that's my Clay. He's the comedian of the family and in this family, that's really saying something.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Spelling Tests

Clay usually gets 100% on his spelling tests, however Clay capitalized every word on this test for some reason. His teacher corrected him and made him erase each capital letter. Then, because apparently I never outgrew my "attitude problem", I felt the need to correct his teacher. I just couldn't help myself. She'll probably retire so she doesn't get Brooklyn, and need to deal with me another year.

Can't get enough? See what Dawn is up to over at Babble!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Things Happen for a Reason

I sat on the edge of my seat at Savannah's water polo game. My stomach was in a knot. I couldn't stop wringing my hands. The game was tied 10-10. Savannah had scored 4 of those points. The clock counted down and I held my breath, waiting to see if the game would go into overtime. 

 I've always said that I believe things happen for a reason. In fact, it's the first line in the first book I wrote. Still, for some reason, believing this and having faith that it is true seem to be two different things.


Friday, April 5, 2013

7 Ways to Ruin Your Kids

I’m frequently asked, “How do you do it? How does a single mom of six kids take care of everyone? Your kids are so well-behaved; how did you teach them how to act?” Well, wait no more. I’ve come up with 7 key points that every parent needs to know. This is how you parent.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Jamberry Nail Shields are the Hottest!

Savannah is addicted to Pinterest, always looking for cool new nail polish ideas. I love the way my nails look when they're decorated, but I hate when I spend the time to polish my nails only to have them start chipping a day or two later. Not to mention the fact that I'm apparently way too impatient to let my nails thoroughly dry after painting them and I always, always end up smudging them. And, of course, I don't have the money to go to the salon for professional manicures. 

Enter Jamberry nail shields. These things are pretty cool! You can apply these nail shields quickly and easily and unlike nail lacquer, you don't have to wait for them to dry. And they stay on a long, long time! Brooklyn's and my nail shields lasted for more than 2 weeks. Savannah's didn't stay on as long, but then again she spends several hours in the pool every day for water polo so we didn't expect hers to stay on that well. 

There are so many awesomely cute designs from which to choose! There's definitely something for everyone. That was the hardest part about Jamberry nail shields - narrowing down my favorites to choose a design! I think I'm going to have to order those cute little palm tree designs next! And now you can even create your own custom design! With Jamberry's Nail Art Studio, you can upload a picture and created your own personalized nail shields!

Each sheet costs $15 and most people get 2-3 applications per sheet. I know a person who has short nails and gets 4 applications from a sheet which makes each application less than $4! Way cheaper than any manicure! Plus, right now when you buy 3 sheets, you get the 4th for free so it's even cheaper! 

My friend Rebecca, a Jamberry consultant is offering a giveaway right now. Leave me a comment here with your favorite style from her Jamberry website and you'll be entered to win a FREE SET of nail shields. And everyone who takes advantage of the BUY 3/GET 1 FREE offer, will be entered in a second drawing for a free set of nail shields! I'll choose a random winner next Friday, April 12. Make sure you include contact information in case you win! Good luck!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

What Comes Around . . .

I believe that good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people. I also believe that bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. It's pretty much a crapshoot as to what you're going to get. "Momma always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." Still, I think way more good comes to people who are inherently good. We're talking about karma here. Which probably explains what happened to me yesterday.


Monday, April 1, 2013

Google Nose How to Have Fun

My 18-year-old son and I were sitting on the couch, chatting this evening while I worked on a blog post when he suddenly demanded, "Search bananas!"

"What?" I asked. I mean, it's not unusual for Austin to yell some strange things out of the blue, but I wasn't sure I'd heard him correctly.

"Search Google for bananas, or campfires, or oranges!" he repeated excitedly.

"Um why?"

"Just do it!"

Knowing that the conversation would never end unless I Googled bananas, I typed it in the search box. And this is what came up:

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