Monday, June 28, 2010

When Mom is Sick

I'm sorry I've been MIA again. I'm sick. Every last inch of my body hurts. My head, neck, throat, back, hips, legs all ache. If you've been reading my blog for any amount of time, you know my theory is - If you ignore it long enough, it'll go away. I don't go to the doctor unless I absolutely have to. Well, I went to the doctor this time. Yeah. I feel that bad. And you know what? The doctor did a strep screen and it came back negative. She then told me, "Drink plenty of fluids and go home and rest." I laughed in her face. And really, all my trip to the doctor did was reinforce my theory that if you ignore it long enough, it'll go away.

So I came home, lay down, and immediately fell asleep. I didn't wake up until 5:00. Well, except for all the times, the kids came in my room. Like when Brooklyn came in and stole the gum from my purse. And the time she came in and pilfered an AMC gift card from my purse. She told me she was going to ride her tricycle to the store and use the movie theater gift card to buy a cell phone so she could call her friend, Emma. Austin told her, "Emma doesn't have a cell phone." Brooklyn said it was okay because Emma could use her home phone. Austin pointed out that Brooklyn, also, could use the home phone. This was the point, she started wailing like someone had branded her with a hot poker.

Then there were the times that Clay and Jackson ran through my room chasing each other with the intention to do bodily harm. I did what any responsible parent would do. I closed my eyes and rolled over in bed.

There was the time Savannah came in my room and said, "That is SO gross! You're soaking wet! Your pillow is wet! Gross!" Like I didn't know I was sitting in a pool of sweat as my fever finally went down.

There was the time, I mumbled to Austin to please change the laundry so I could have clean, dry sheets tonight. Austin's fifteen.

"So, I just put the sheets in the washing machine?"


"That's it?"

"Well you have to put detergent in with them."

"Is this detergent?" he asked, holding up a bottle.

"Ummm yes."

"What should I set it to?"


"Oh, I think I've got it. Oh wait. It won't turn on. How do you turn it on?"

Yep, his future wife is going to love me.

Oh and let's not forget the time I heard the little kids in the bathroom. The water was running and they were talking about fishing. I was scared. I dragged myself from bed and kinda leaned against the wall so I wouldn't fall over from the dizziness, and made my way to the bathroom. By the time I got there, they'd already left the bathroom and were playing outside. They were fishing, all right. In the fire pit. Filled with water. Their poles were the roasting sticks for the fire pit. Their fish were latex gloves filled with water. Once again, I closed my eyes and made my way back to bed.

And most recently, Jackson decided to make a cherry pie. It looks like there was an explosion at a grain mill in my kitchen.

And on that note, I'm lying back down, closing my eyes, and hoping my fever stays under 104 tonight.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Amnesia Dust

I have a bone to pick with The Rock! My kids watched The Tooth Fairy the other night. Have you seen it? We rented it from RedBox (actually, I have a bone to pick with RedBox too! The stupid machines all over town haven't been working for days. I can't return these movies and I'm going to end up owing a million dollars for The Tooth Fairy! Grrr!) Anyway, ordinarily I like Dwayne Johnson. I mean, look at him..........................
Oops, sorry, I got distracted there for a minute. As I was saying - look at him! What's not to like, right? Aside from all those muscles, he's kinda cute because here he is this big, muscley guy and he plays these funny, goofy roles in kid movies. I mean, he asked if his pink tutu made his butt look big. It takes a confident guy to do that. Anyway, I know I had a point here somewhere. Oh yeah! I'm mad at Dwayne Johnson because of The Tooth Fairy movie.

Or maybe I should be mad at Billy Crystal. Hmmm, I think I'll be mad at both of them. This is why...

Billy Crystal: Amnesia dust

Dwayne Johnson: Yeah right. Come on!


Billy Crystal: That's how it works.

Dwayne Johnson: That's how what works?

Billy Crystal: Amnesia dust

Dwayne Johnson: Yeah right. Come on!


Billy Crystal: That's how it works.

Dwayne Johnson: That's how what works?

Billy Crystal: Amnesia dust

Dwayne Johnson: Yeah right. Come on!


Billy Crystal: That's how it works.

Dwayne Johnson: That's how what works?

Billy Crystal: Ahhh, never gets old.

"Look Mom! Amnesia dust!" said Clay at Austin's baseball game while everyone around us started coughing and sputtering as dust floated down, coating everything with a filmy layer of nastiness. Yeah, that never gets old.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My Brush with the Law

I had to run to Target for toilet paper and laundry detergent, you know, because I go through like a roll of toilet paper and bottle of detergent a day. Of course, I left with not only the tp and detergent, but a couple pairs of capris (so I don't have to wear shorts in public and scare poor innocent people), like $100 of makeup, Diet Coke, Twizzlers, orange juice, shaving cream, mint toothpaste (did you know there are people who think cinnamon toothpaste is weird? I know!), generic Advil, you know, I just realized that I don't really need to share my entire list with you. It really doesn't have anything to do with this story. My only point with the list is that I bought way more than I went in for. As usual. Ok, moving along...

So, I'm driving home from Target and suddenly there are these lights behind me. I look in my rearview mirror and see a cop weaving around cars trying to get...where is he trying get? Is he trying to get to an emergency? I move to the side to let him pass. He doesn't pass. He gets on his loudspeaker (probably because he likes to hear himself talk) and says, "Driver, move to your right up ahead." What? He's pulling ME over? What did I do? I actually wasn't speeding for once at all. I pulled up and over to the side. He took time to touch up his makeup, finish his fries or whatever the heck police do that takes them so long to get out and walk up to your car.

"License and insurance card," the officer, who looked like he was eighteen, said.

"Hi to you too! Beautiful weather we're having, huh? Not into general pleasantries and small talk, I see. Okay then," I rambled as I searched for my cards.

"I stopped you because you rolled through that stop sign back there," he said. I snapped my head around to look at him and opened my mouth to tell him he's an idiot and that I've never rolled through a stop sign in my life. Speeding - yes. Rolling through stop signs, cutting people off, tailgating, failing to wear a seatbelt - never! I somehow managed to clamp my mouth shut and say nothing as I started searching for my insurance card. He looked on as I thrust my cards at him, all the while clenching my jaw and biting my tongue.

I bent over to clean up the stuff I'd tossed out of my purse while looking for my license and muttered under my breath, "I did NOT roll through that stop! He's full of crapOhYou'reStillThere," I finished as I straightened up and saw the officer with way too much hair gel still standing at my window. Oops.

"You know, I usually just give a warning for stuff like this, but after that comment, I'm going to give you a citation when I go back and review the video."

He walked away. Me and my darn mouth. Just never know when to shut up. But I seriously did not roll through the stop. Wait, did he say "video"? It's on videotape? YES! He'll see that I did nothing wrong! But he'll probably still write me a ticket because I said he was full of crap. Darn mouth!

A few minutes later, he walked back to my car, unceremoniously handed me my license and insurance card and mumbled, "I can admit when I'm wrong." With that, he turned on his heal and left.

Oh yeah! I'm innocent! I'm right and he's wrong! I'm awesome! He probably just pulled me over so he could check me out. Yeah, that's it. He thought I looked hot driving by and tried to think of a good reason to stop me. I'm sure that's it! My happy dance was interrupted by a text from Jackson, who was at home, that read, "Ha ha, you were pulled over! Are you going to jail?" Boy, news travels fast!

When I got home, I realized that the officer forgot to give me back my insurance card. I searched through my purse where I'd put my license. I dumped my purse out and double-checked everything. Grrr, he forgot it! I toyed with the idea of speeding around town and blowing off stop signs in an effort to flag him down, but opted to call the police department instead.

I explained to the officer on the phone what had happened and that the officer who was WRONG about my blowing off a stop sign, FAILED to return my proof of insurance. He asked me, "Are you certain you don't have it?" Ummm yeah. That's why I'm calling. Duh. He got in touch with the cop who had pulled me over and called me back. The officer insisted that he'd returned my card. I gave up and decided to just call my insurance company and ask for a copy.

About an hour later, I drove Austin to his baseball game. Know what I saw in my glove box? Where I put it. Where it's supposed to be. Yeah. But unlike the officer, I can't admit when I'm wrong. What? It's MY blog!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sunday Sound Out

From Chicago, home to Buckingham Fountain, it's your host, the woman who lay on the dirty ground under "the bean" just to bring you this cool picture, Dawn Meehan!

First off, I want to apologize for going off the deep end last night. It was a crappy day. It all just kinda hit me. I really am doing well. Overall, I'm happy, my kids are getting along pretty well, I'm holding onto hope and trusting in God. It's all good. Really. And I don't actually hate Joe. I reached a state of apathy years ago. I just hate some of the lasting effects of being in a relationship with him. I just had a, umm, mental moment last night. I'm blaming it all on PMS. But thank you for coming to my rescue and sharing your words of wisdom and encouragement. I hope everyone who feels down, will come read those comments and remember that they too are loved and that even though things can be crappy at times, it'll all work out in the end. :)

The kids and I went downtown today and just kinda walked around and hung out. We did a TON of walking. And by "we", I mean everyone but Brooklyn who insisted Austin carry her. Austin can be such an awesome big brother! In fact, we did so much walking that I'm sore. I got up from my desk to pick Austin up from the movie theater a little while ago. I was so stiff and sore, I walked like a little old lady out to my car. I'm gonna feel this in the morning. But it was worth it!

See? It was a fun day for everyone! We had a blast and I'm back to my usual "glass is half-full" attitude! Like - it was good cardiac exercise for me every time my heart skipped a beat while the kids pushed each other around the train tracks. And the fact that Clay ran into 4 dozen people while chasing pigeons was just his way of making friends. The fact that Brooklyn was soaking wet, head to toe, after I told her she could take her shoes off and dip her feet in the water just highlighted her creative interpretation of my instructions. And my teens only texted their friends that they were bored like 10 times! Yep, it's all good!

And now, to answer your questions...

Do your kid's friends or friend's parents know that you have a blog? Is that why you don't talk about the top two as much as the bottom four? Or is it that they are never home to do anything goofy?
Ummm, some of my kids' friends' parents read my blog. My kids don't ever read it unless I pull up a post on my computer and stick it in front of their faces and beg them to read. I don't talk about the older ones as much because they don't tend to do such stupid crazy amusing things anymore. Plus, I don't want to embarrass them, so I ask their permission before posting stories about them.

Hey no fair, you look kinda sexy and tousled after the parade, I looked like a drowned rat!Can I steal a copy of your pic of Neimi - mine came out quite blurry. It actually looks almost exactly like your's (except blurry). I was at Franklin & Washington, south side, where were you?
"Sexy and tousled"! LOL! Ummm, no, I was dripping sweat! Oh my gosh, it was so hot that day! I think when Jen snapped that picture of me was when I felt a drop of sweat go all the way from my neck, down my back, and to my butt crack. Yep, that's sexy.
Go ahead and use the picture of Niemi! We watched the parade right across from Daley Plaza.

And congratulations to super cute Savannah! Two in high school now? Woo Hoo!!!! Will Austin be in 10th grade next year? And does Brooklyn start Pre-K or anything like that?
Yep! In the fall, I'll have 2 in high school, 1 in junior high, 2 in grade school, and 1 in preschool.

I can only imagine which creative child came up with this one [picture of 2 guys with donuts]! I'm going to guess.....Jackson?
Nope, that was Clay's masterpiece.

Hi Dawn, I was just curious if any of your kids had to attend summer school?
Nope. I really don't like summer school. I like letting the kids kinda veg in the summer. We do a lot of little trips during the summer and I'm a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kinda girl. I like being able to just pick up and go when the mood strikes.

You mentioned you were house hunting. Are you planning on moving?
Possibly. I'm looking at North Carolina. I've always wanted to live on the ocean. Seems like a good time for a change. Housing around here is expensive! I think I'm going to be forced to move somewhere more affordable. If any North Carolina readers have any tips for me, leave me a comment!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Strong? What a Joke.

"Dawn, you're so strong." You wanna know how strong I am? I broke down in front of my kids and cried the whole way home from my sister's house tonight. One hour of nonstop bawling in the car. You know why? Because I can't do anything right. I let people down every day. Every damn day! I drop the ball again and again and again. I disappoint people who count on me, trust me, love me. I feel like the world's biggest failure. And no matter how hard I try, I just can't get it right. Ha! Real strong, huh?

And you know what? I hate Joe. I hate him for making me feel fat and ugly and not worth the truth. And I hate myself even more for letting him make me feel worthless. No matter how strong I might seem on the outside; no matter how well I hold it together and go about my day with a smile on my face and a sense of humor intact, inside I'm very broken.

And I always will be.

On Your Marks, Get Set, Go!

During the last day of school, the kids got to play games, have snacks, and generally run around the place like caged animals about to be released into the wild. One of the games they played was called garbage. On one side of the cafe-gym-eteria was a big pile of, well, um garbage. Actually, it was more like stuff. A big pile of miscellaneous stuff. Stuff like footballs, scarves, bowling pins, rings, beanbags, you know, stuff. On the other side of the cafe-gym-eteria were big orange cones set up in a line. The object of the game was to move all the stuff from one end of the room to the other end and drop it behind the line of cones. Easy, right? So a couple dozen kindergarteners stood, poised, ready to grab up all the stuff and move it to the other end of the room. The whistle blew, signaling the beginning of the game. Kids grabbed armfuls of stuff and raced down to the cones. They left skidmarks, they ran so fast back to the dwindling pile o' stuff. Grabbing up another handful of items, they raced back to the cones. Again and again they did this with such fervor, you'd think they were competing in some sort of Olympic cleaning race.

Then it hit me.

They were cleaning. That's all this game was. The kids were required to clean up a big ole pile of stuff and put it away on the other side of the cafe-gym-eteria. And they were doing it! Not only were they cleaning up, but they were breaking world speed records while doing it amid the shouts of their kindergarten friends from the other class who were cheering them on. Not one kid complained that "they didn't make the mess so why should they have to clean it". No one whined that they were bored. Nobody claimed it was too hard to pick up the stuff and move it. In fact, my son was possibly the fastest kid out there, stacking enormous mounds of stuff in his arms as he whizzed back and forth across the room depositing the items behind the orange cones. It was a sight to behold!

When the race was over, I yelled at praised him for his speedy cleaning skills. "CLAYTON REID MEEHAN! You CAN clean up! Now I've seen it! I've seen it with my own eyes! There is no longer any excuse you can use to get out of cleaning your room. Ever!"

After that race, I may or may not have gone out and bought some big, orange cones to put at one end of his bedroom.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Breakfast is Served!

"Look Mommy! Clayton made me breakfast!"

"Wow! That looks great, Brooklyn."

"It's Cheerios and pretzels and cheese and marshmallows! And it's healthy, Mama! Well, the marshmallows aren't healthy, but the rest of it is."

"Why did Clay put marshmallows in your breakfast trail mix, Brooklyn?"

"Because I wanted them!" Duh

Yeah, this is the same kid who screamed and cried for cotton candy at 11:00 last night at a festival. I told her there was no way I was getting her spun sugar at 11:00 when she never even ate dinner. "It's time to go home and get your butt to bed, Little Girl!"

But she continued to wail until my friend's husband took pity on her, scooped her up, and carried her off to get her some cotton candy. Ugh. This was right after another guy offered to buy her ice cream. How does she do it? She can wrap any man she meets around her finger! Hmmm, maybe I should take lessons from her...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

How Am I Doing?

I get emails every day asking me how I'm doing. Or more specifically, how I'm handling the divorce and being a single mom to six kids. How am I handling the divorce? Well, that part isn't fun. The negotiating back and forth for months, the lawyer fees, the constant fighting and going back to court just to get the minimum amount of child support (still working on that) sucks. When you get your soon-to-be-ex's bank statements and see just what he's been spending all the child support money on, it's a kick in the gut. I really can't wait for all of that to be over. It's stressful. I feel like I can't totally move on and put that part of my life behind me until I have that signed document saying it's over.

But being a single mom to six kids is no big deal. Things haven't changed too much around here, other than the fact that I only get a little break from the kids once a month or so. Still, I'd much rather have it this way than the way Joe has chosen which is to not see the kids at all. It's hard when the kids all need to be someplace at the same time, but we've learned to relax a little. If one kid is late for baseball, the earth won't stop revolving. It's okay. If we miss one activity, it's not a big deal. Life goes on. And I have the most awesome group of friends! I know my friends would help me out anytime they possibly could and I can't thank them enough!

Honestly, when you're in a crappy marriage for more years than you can count, divorce isn't such a horrible alternative. I feel good about myself and my kids. I know I can do this on my own. Or well, notsomuch on my own, but with the help of God who I wholeheartedly believe is looking out for us, and with the help of my friends. I can't imagine ever having a healthy relationship and loving someone enough to be willing to change and compromise in order to make a new, blended family. But it happens every day. I know people do it. And although I can't quite imagine it now, I do have hope for the future. My kids are amazing (you know, when they're not beating each other over the head with pool noodles, or covering every conceivable surface with colored chalk), and they motivate me to be a better person. I want to show them that they can always, always, always count on me and that I'll never leave. I want them to see the glass as half-full because no matter what you're going through, there is always someone in much worse circumstances.

So, to answer your questions, I'm doing well. The kids and I are doing really well. And we have hope for good things to come. :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Wanna Doughnut, Dude?

Hey dude! Nice hat! It looks just like mine! I've got two doughnuts here. Want one? I may have sneezed some green snot on it though. You don't mind, do you?

No way! I don't mind at all! Do you see my smile? I'm ecstatic! Of course, I'll have to eat it with my right hand since my left arm was amputated.

No problem. Maybe after we finish our doughnuts, we can go out and buy you a snazzy yellow shirt like mine. It's so sheer, you can see my belly button through it! Cool, huh?

Sounds like a plan!

Sunday Sound Out

From Chicago, home of the Chicago Cubs (who won tonight, oh yes they did!), it's your host, the woman who braved 93 degree heat and a billion percent humidity just to hang with 2 million of her closest friends in welcoming the Hawks home, Dawn Meehan!

It has been crazy-busy around here, but the kids are all out of school now hooray!
There was the 8th grade dance...
And the 8th grade graduation that Savannah almost missed. I promise, Savannah! One day you'll look back and laugh about that. (every time I tell her that, she shoots me with death rays from her eyes.)
The parade which was very cool. I mean, as in it was fun! Not actually cool. Because it wasn't cool in that respect. It was at least 200 degrees. And humid. And at least 30% of those 2 million people hadn't showered.)
Yep. Crazy.
The highlight of the day wasn't the parade or taking the chocolate tasting tour with my bff Jen (although we did learn that it is indeed possible to eat too much chocolate. I know! I never would've guessed either!) The highlight was the hurricane shrimp po' boy from Heaven on Seven. De-lish!
There was something disturbing about the fountain being dyed red.
But now they're all home. All day. Every day. Let the lazy days of summer begin!

And now to answer this week's viewer mail...

Ok, this has nothing to do with your post, but I wanted to say that you look awesome in your pic on your facebook badge. It's beautiful. You look like a teenager! Love it, love it, love it!
OK, so I know this isn't technically a question, but it made my day so obviously I needed to repeat it here. They said "teenager"! Oh yes, they did! TEENAGER! (My teens are rolling their eyes at me right now, but I don't care. I can live on this for a month!)

Where do you find the time for jogging and gym memberships? You have easily dropped 30 pounds, and I am both jealous and ..nah! just jealous!
Actually, I lost 200 pounds of stupid weight. It's amazing how much better I feel now!

I admire you Dawn - I know I don't have the patience for 1 kid, let alone 6! I can't believe you're still so positive after everything with Joe (how's that going by the way), the books and being a mum.
You wouldn't believe all that Joe's doing if I told you, but he's not worth talking about here.

Do you do Brooklyn's hair yourself? I still haven't learned to braid my girls' hair -- is it difficult? How do you keep her still to do it??
No, I have a special team of hairdressers come in and do it for her every day. Of course I do it. She sits still because she likes for me to "give her pretty hair". Well, that and the fact that I set her in front of the TV when I braid her hair.

SSO: Did Jackson forgive you yet? I mean, since the Blackhawks won last night? :-) Oh yeah! He's good. And still wearing that stinkin' (literally) shirt!

And then there were like a hundred emails like these -

You and the father of 6 ought to hook up - then you'd have twelve...
Uhh yeah. Six plus six would be twelve. Thanks for the math lesson.

Then that dad and you should totally get together and swap stories. He is hilarious!!
Actually, I wrote and told him the other day that I'd taken my kids to a friend's graduation party. I drove halfway there before I realized that I'd forgotten to pick up Lexi from her friend's house. Once we got there, I learned that Brooklyn wasn't wearing shoes. Normal people would've thought I was a pretty bad mom. He said, "5 out of 6 is pretty darn good!" He gets it.

You should totally hook up with Spuds and have the Brady Bunch!!
Ummm, the Brady Bunch had 6 kids. That would be the Brady Bunch on steroids.

and you have definitely found your match - talk about great blog material if you two hooked up ;)

OH, marry Spuds, and you can be just like the movie, "Parenthood" !

Single dad with six kids? Hmm...could it be fate calling?

Ok, now you guys are just being ridiculous. Besides, his kids do crazy things like getting into paint (BTW, that post should totally have been titled Caught Red-Handed. Just sayin') and my kids would never do anything like that! And he thinks Sarah Palin is hot. I could never get together with someone who has such a warped viewpoint.

Wait... they sell rum at the grocery store?!? What store are you shopping at? I wanna go there!!!
Don't all grocery stores sell rum? I'm confused.

Well, where did you go? How did you get there? Did the kids have fun? Were they surprised? Did they behave themselves? How many more times did they ask you where you were going? Did I ask enough questions????
I'm not going to answer the dozens of comments that asked this question just to be mean because that wasn't the point of the story! Now go back and read it again before Monday. You can turn in a written summary for half-credit.

I know I have a ton of readers who are moms! And more specifically, moms who own cute adorable little kids! I thought I'd pass this contest along to you guys! Johnson’s Big Bubblin’ Stars Contest is back! From June 1 – July 6, they’ll be accepting submissions at the Johnson’s Baby YouTube Channel.

Just like last year, parents, with kids 6 months to 4 years old, need to shoot an under 3-minute bath time fun video and upload it to the channel. Approved videos will be featured on their YouTube channel and after the submission period ends a panel of judges will pick the top nine finalists and then site visitors will vote to choose the winners!

New this year is their charity element. For every video submitted, they are making a donation to March of Dimes. As far as the prizes: One Grand Prize winner will be awarded $10,000.The first place winner will receive $3,000, and one second place winner will win $1,000. In addition to that, the top nine finalists will receive a special prize pack with Johnson’s products and Crayola Beginnings Tadoodles in the Tub toys.

That is all. Now go forth and have a delightful week!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Get Ready!

I need you guys to get ready! We're going to go somewhere really fun today!" I announced.

"Where are we going? How are we going to get there?" came the pleas from the kids.

I answered them. "I'm not going to tell you. It's a surprise. You guys just need to prepare yourselves."

"What do we need to do? What should we wear? What should we bring with us?" I could sense the excitement. They wanted very much to go to this fun surprise, but they weren't sure what they needed to do.

"Don't worry about anything. You don't need to bring anything. Just get dressed in comfortable clothes, brush your teeth, comb your hair, and please don't fight or bug each other while getting ready," I assured them.

"But where are we going? We want to know," they whined.

"It's an awesome place! I guarantee you'll love it! You'll have the best time and you'll see some friends there as well. Trust me. Now get ready!"

So, the kids went off to get dressed, but moments later the fighting started.

"He hit me."

"She took my game."

"But I don't have a game like that and I want it!"

"But it's not yours!"

"But you don't share!"

"She called me a smelly warthog."

"He's lying!"


"Children, that's not how you prepare to go. Don't try to kill each other. Don't steal your brother's game. Don't worry about what your brother has that you don't. And don't call each other warthogs, or any other names. If you can't follow these directions, you won't be going," I informed them.

"But what if we don't even like where we're going? Why won't you tell us more? When are we leaving?" they whined.

"Why don't you trust me? Haven't I always taken care of you? Have I ever hurt you? Have I ever told you to do anything that would be bad for you? Why can't you just do what you're instructed to do? Why the constant questions? Why do you continuously search for a reason to believe me? Why don't you simply have faith?"

Sometimes it's so frustrating to be a parent. You know what's best for your kids. You try to provide for their needs. You try to instruct them on how they need to behave. But you can't make them do what you want. They have to choose how they behave. Being a parent makes me feel close to God.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Be Patient or You Can't Taste the Rainbow

I got up this morning to see the kids standing in the kitchen, staring into the refrigerator. "There's nothing to eat, Mom! We're huuuungry!"

I looked in the fridge. It was far from empty. In fact, it was filled with containers of leftovers. Leftovers that none of us wanted to eat. sigh I just can't get used to cooking for the 7 of us. I still make tons extra and more often than not, it ends up being wasted which bugs me.

"There's no food in the house!" the kids continued to whine.

"Didn't I just feed you guys yesterday?" Apparently they like to eat every day, multiple times even.

Fine. I'll go to the grocery store this afternoon," I said, dreading the trip because I knew the little kids would insist on going with me. They live to go places with me and do embarrassing things give me blog material. And then there was the fact that I know I'll just have to repeat the expedition again in a couple days because food doesn't last long around here.

The three youngest went with me. They seem to think that if they go along, I'll buy them candy for being good. They got this idea because I pretty much always buy them candy for being good. Hey, I'm not above a little bribery! Think about it - the cost of a bag of M&Ms versus the cost of being kicked out and banned from yet another store. Yeah, that's what I thought.

So, we shopped. Clay and Lex helped me by throwing things like cans of tomatoes on top of the bread in the cart. They also helped by making sure I'd picked up the cereal with the highest sugar content and the least nutritional value. I didn't care. As long as they didn't touch the bottle of rum I put in the cart, I was good.

So, onto the check-outs. The kids were great, so I let them each get a little bag of Skittles because, according to Brooklyn, they wanted to taste the rainbow. The store I went to, just sorta throws all the groceries into the cart as they ring them up and then you have to bag them yourself. So, as I was paying for my purchases, Clay and Lex were digging through the groceries, trying to find the Skittles. They found two packages and pulled them out only dumping half a dozen other items on the floor. The third package, deemed Brooklyn's candy, was stuck. Judging by the way they were digging for it, the survival of the entire universe depended on their ability to retrieve this last package immediately!

"Guys! Hold your butts on! I'll find the Skittles when I pack up the groceries. Patience!" I admonished.

I started piling the groceries into my reusable bags, but turned at the sound that only a whole bag of Skittles skittering across the grocery store floor can make. Do you know that sound? The kids were quick to clean them up until I saw they were putting them in their mouths! Ugh.

"Why couldn't you have been patient? You couldn't wait for me to get them, so you yanked them out of the cart, tearing the bag and now you don't have any."

Brooklyn started wailing that Clay and Lex had spilled all her Skittles while trying to get them for her.

"Can we get another package, Mom?"

"Nope," I answered. "I know that being patient sucks. Believe me, I know firsthand. I hate waiting for what I want. Hate it passionately! When I want something, I want it yesterday now! But if I have to learn patience, then so do you!"

I continued packing up the groceries while Lex and Clay picked the rest of the Skittles up off the floor. Then they shared the remaining two packages with Brooklyn. Everyone had enough of the rainbow, everyone was content, it all worked out. Maybe the next time they'll be a little more patient. Oh who am I kidding? I'm thirty-ten and I still haven't figured that one out! Maybe I'll just let them eat them off the floor the next time.

Photo from Special's Flickrstream

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Brotherly Love

It was Clay's last day of kindergarten today, so I went to the school to help out with the year-end festivities. Naturally, I had Brooklyn with me. We walked to Clay's classroom and the minute she saw her big brother, her eyes lit up. He smiled and called out, "Brooklyn!" then he picked up her up and carried her down the hall to the lunchroom where his class was headed to play some games. Brooklyn smiled and wrapped her arms around her brother and happily let him carry her.

Throughout the day, Clay and Brooklyn stayed together. He was taking his big brother role seriously and helping her every step of the way. And she was looking at him like he hung the moon.

When snack time came, Clay pulled out a chair for Brooklyn. He took her ice cream bar out of its wrapper for her and then helped another little girl at the table who couldn't get hers open either. It almost made all the times he punched a kid, who was bugging him at school, go away. Almost. When they were done with their treat, Clay ran to the sink, grabbed a paper towel, wet it, then proceeded to wipe the chocolate from Brooklyn's mouth. Then he took her hand and led her to the carpet for story time. I stayed on the sidelines, just watching the scene with a sense of pride and happiness. And, of course, wondering when aliens had taken over my kids' bodies.
I have to write stories like these so that I can remember that now and then I have a day where I don't hear constantly, "Give it to me! Give it to me! Give it to me!" in the most annoying whiny voice EVER as Clay runs around the house teasing Brooklyn with something of hers that he's taken.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Go To Bed!

I sat on the floor of the girls' room while Clay, Brooklyn, and Lexi gathered around to hear me read them a story. Actually, they didn't so much gather around as they just tried their best to remind me why some parents eat their young. Clay bounced up and down on a suitcase because he has a genetic defect that doesn't give him the ability to sit still for more than a nanosecond. Brooklyn whined repeatedly that she couldn't see the pictures. In between the whining she interrupted the story with her questions. Lots of questions. In fact, I left her in her room two hours ago and I think I still hear her asking questions.

"Is that the owl?"


"Why is the owl sad?"

"Because the monkey landed on her baby owl."

"Why is there only one monkey?"

"Because there just is."

"Where are the elephants?"

"There are no elephants in this book."

"Why aren't there any elephants in this book?"

"Because it's not an elephant book."

"Why not?"

"And they all lived happily ever after, goodnight!"

"That's not the end, Mom! You have to read about the lion! (Duh)"

Hey, can't blame a tired mom for trying. So, after I gave Brooklyn her traditional "fishy kiss", I kissed Lexi and then threatened them to stay in bed told them goodnight. I left and went to Clay's room where I played the same game I play every single night of my life. It goes like this - I walk over to his bed and lean over to kiss him goodnight, but instead I kiss his stuffed monkey. As giggling erupts from the corner of the room where Clay is hiding, I exclaim, "What the? Hey! This isn't Clayton! This is a monkey! Where's Clay?" Yep, that never gets old.

After getting the youngest three tucked in, I usually head to my room to read email or write. Before my butt even hits the chair, Clay has gotten out of bed.

"Can I have some water?"

"Same as every night of your life."

He fills a cup, drinks half a teaspoon (yep, he really needed that water), then jumps like a kangaroo back to his bed.

Twenty-eight seconds later, he's up again.


"Yes, Clay?"

"Ummm, I just want to ask you a question."


"Ummm, Mom?"

"What?!" I snap because I get cranky when I hear my name repeated again and again for no particular reason.

"Ummm, Mom, is tomorrow going to be a good day?"

blink blink pause

"GO. TO. BED!"

This continues for the next five hours with each child taking turns getting out of bed just to be told to get back in bed. They don't tell you this part when you fill out the Mommy Application. Grandmas tell me I'm going to miss this when they're all out of the house. But I never hear these grandmas offer to come tuck my kids in to bed. Coincidence? I think not!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sunday Sound Out

From Chicago, the city that has Blackhawks Fever, it's your host, the woman who completed a whole 28 minutes of tae bo and didn't hit herself in the face even once (this time), it's Dawn Meehan!

I FINALLY got a copy of your book! I have to say it was quite a feat here in Australia. I am so excited!! Do you think my work would mind if I took a day off to read it? :-)
Absolutely! When I worked outside the home before Austin was born, I called in sick so many times that my boss told me the next time I tried to get out of work, I'd better call in dead. I did. I called in dead. Then I brought him chocolate donuts the next day so he was cool with it. I had an awesome boss. I miss that job.

You said, "It has Brendan Fraser. Yum." I totally agree!! Ever since I saw "Encino Man" (yeah, that ages me!!) I've been drooling over him. ;o)
Here too! He's on my list. I think I need to revise my list though. Heath Ledger had been at the top, but I think my chances of running into him now are slim. Wait, I'm single now! I don't even need a list, right? Anyone's fair game, yes? Snort! Because I'm sure there's a line of men just waiting to meet an old, fat, tired mom of 6. Hoo Hoo Hee Hee Ha! That was a good one!

I'm still amazed at the amount of food that ends up in your van!! :)
Yeah, I'm just an awesome mom like that. Spring is the worst. My kids are just in so many sports and there's not time to sit down as a family and have dinner and still get everyone to their fields on time. The rest of the year, we eat dinner together as a family every night.

So you just hit 6 million when I wasn't paying attention. Congrats.
Thank you! And thank you to all my awesome readers for coming back again and again even when I write stupid stuff, or when I can't think of anything to write, or I'm too tired or stressed to find the funny. My readers are THE BEST!!!

So, have you compared her pic to a pic of you from the 80s? Do you look like twins? Just curious, because moms and daughters usually do look very much the same at the same ages.
Nope, I couldn't find any of me at that age. My parents have them. Mom? Dad? Do Savannah and I look alike?

Ok and a SSO questions. So have any of your kids broken out of preschool and tried to walk home?
Nope, can't say that they have. They have, however, broke out of the house to walk to school. Does that count? But they were returned home unfortunately, I mean thankfully! Thankfully, they were brought back!

Also: remember how excited you were to get a Walkman? Which played tapes? Ah, the good old days.
Oh yeah! And there was no going to a computer to download songs to your Walkman. Nope, we had to hold our tape recorders up to the radio and wait for our favorite songs to come on and then hope the DJ wouldn't talk over the beginning and wreck it!

She like totally like looks like a chick like from the like 80's LOL!!!!!! Anyone else have a friend that did use the word like every other word???!!!!!
:::raising hand guiltily::: That was me. I'm pretty sure I still overuse the word "like".

Did you get authentic Aqua Net for the hair or did you use some environmentally friendly version?
It HAD to be Aqua Net and a hairdryer. Had to. The Suave stuff I use leaves your hair too soft to stand up 4 feet like that.

What do you think is the best song to come out of the 80's?
Yes! All of them! You should see my iPod. Ask my friend, Chris. He'll tell you how much I like 80s music. And Savannah likes 80s music now. I call that a parenting success!

So like totally wow, what kind of grade did she get on this report?! It's gotta be like, you know at least a major "A"
She did! She got 110 points for the project, 100 for the Power Point and 10 extra credit for dressing up.

Literally... like, totally gag me with a spoon! xD jk, jk. What a sad, sad era. *Sniffle*
I think someone (Natasha) is just jealous she's too young to have lived through the 80s.

BTW- off subject I know-- but when are you going to do another review/giveaway?
Let's see here. Take care of 6 kids, make breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner, do 4 loads of laundry, write a blog post and a couple articles, drive the kids to 3 different schools, pick 1 up from kindergarten, then hit all 3 schools in the afternoon, clean the house, diffuse fights, read to kids and sign homework, drive kids to church, friends' houses, baseball games, hockey games, read email, pay bills, take out the garbage, go to the grocery store, plan Sunday school lesson, sleep for 4 hours. Yeah, I'm sure I can find some time in there to do more reviews. Honestly, I have a couple reviews I'm going to put up this week, but I've been turning down review/giveaway requests because I really don't have the time. I have to scale back somewhere.

Isn't it considered child abuse to dress a kid up like that?
Noooo! No way! Now, if I'd dressed her in duds for my earlier years (70s), then that would absolutely be considered abuse. Ugliest era in fashion ever.

Coolots. That's right, they're called coolots. Even the name screams "beat me up". And then there's the knee socks. And shoes. And the hair! Well, actually, I can't blame the hair on the 70s. My mom just wanted me to look like the son she never had.

Note the plaid pants. Can never go wrong with plaid pants (in 1976, that is!) That's my gun-slinging boyfriend. He's a good listener. Never interrupts.

Are you sure he's been wearing clean socks & underwear too? Those who are sports superstitious have a tendency not to change these items either. :)
Eh, as long as I don't have to see/smell them, I don't care. Less laundry for me.

I'm not going to share this post with my husband, he already thinks because you're Greek you had something to do with THE GOAT!
Rita, assure your husband that I have never brought a goat to a Cubs game. I swear.

And I found this blog the other day. It's written by a single dad of 6. Yeah, he has a potty mouth sometimes and writes about boobs too much (men! @@), but when he writes about his kids, I crack up. He's the male me. Seriously, read a couple posts and see. He sounds like me, no? Maybe better. Funny guy!

Who does his son sound like HERE?

And his 8-year-old daughter picking up boys (and carrying them) HERE.

And fighting the undead HERE.

That is all. I'm tired and sunburned on parts that should have been covered. Time for bed in the Meehan camp. Have a great week!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

How I Single-Handedly Made the Hawks Lose

004 I guess I should apologize to all the people of Chicagoland, for it was I and I alone who made the Hawks lose last night. Don't believe me? Ask my son.

My eleven-year-old son, Jackson plays hockey. He's the Niemi of his hockey team. He's obsessed with the Blackhawks, begging me to let him stay up late to watch every game. If he could, he'd grow a play-off beard, but since he's only eleven, he just lets the dirt accumulate on his face. And he wears his Blackhawks jersey. A lot. As in, he's worn the same shirt to school, around the house, and to bed for four days in a row. How did I not notice this until today? I have six kids. I'm happy when they're all wearing clothes. I'm not too picky about what clothes they wear. I don't even notice it when my four-year-old puts on a tutu, pink cowboy boots, and a fireman hat. And I don't notice it when my son wears the same shirt four days in a row. Until that shirt starts to smell.

Yesterday morning, I picked up on the funk that was emanating from his beloved Hawks jersey. "Hey, didn't you wear that shirt yesterday?" I asked my son in horror.

"I've been wearing it all week," he answered as if there was nothing at all wrong with that.

"What? Seriously? That is so gross! Take it off right now and let me wash it!" I demanded.

"I can't! It's lucky!" he argued.

"No, it's smelly. Now change your shirt! I'll wash it today. You'll have it back in time for the game tonight," I promised.

"No way! If I take it off, the Hawks'll lose!" he said in a genuinely worried voice.

"Jackson, I don't think you're so powerful that you can make the Blackhawks win with your wardrobe. But your shirt's that powerful (powerfully stinky, that is)! Now change!" I insisted.

I really didn't understand his reluctance to have me wash his shirt. Do you have any idea how many times I've found clean, folded clothes in the hamper simply because he was too lazy to put his freshly laundered clothing in his drawers? It makes me blow a gasket when he throws clothes he hasn't even worn back into the laundry basket. Like I have nothing better to do than to wash his clothes twice in a row! But he didn't want to let me wash this shirt even once.

"NOW!" I demanded.

He finally caved, but with these parting words, "If the Hawks lose tonight, it'll be ALL YOUR FAULT!"

So, there you have it. Because I didn't want my son to be "the smelly kid in class", I made the Blackhawks lose. I promise to let him stink it up for game four. You know, just in case the shirt really does have magical properties.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Like Gag Me with a Spoon!

"Hey Mom, can you help me with a project about the 80s?"

"YES! I can totally help you with it." I love getting requests like this because I don't have to come up with excuses why I can't help. Like when my 5th grader asks me for math help. I take a look at his assignment, see all the numbers and start feeling woozy, then I feign an injury that needs immediate medical attention so I have don't to admit to my kids that I still count on my fingers (and sometimes toes).

But a project about the 80s? Now, THAT I can do!

"So, what kind of music did you listen to in the 80s?"

"I listened to the same stuff I listen to now. I'm kinda stuck in the 80s," I confessed to Savannah. (Not a word, Chris!!!)

"Well, what movies did you watch?"

"Anything by John Hughes."

"What did you guys wear?"

I started getting excited at this point, reminiscing about my high school couture. Well, we wore Gunne Sax dresses to prom and homecoming. We wore tight, skinny acid washed jeans and we rolled the legs around as tight as possible and then tucked them into our socks. We generally wore a couple different pairs of brightly colored socks too. Or leg warmers! Oooo, yeah! We wore sock and leg warmers and we layered them!

"You tucked your jeans into your socks? On purpose?" Savannah looked at me like I was some sort of dork.

"Well yeah! At least, the totally cool kids did! Oooo and parachute pants! Everyone had parachute pants! I got mine at Madigan's Junior at Woodfield Mall. They were black. I was awesome. Oh yeah! And we wore lots of bright, neon stuff! Oooo, and color-changing shirts! They'd actually change color if you were hot or cold! And fishnet tops over other shirts!"

Blank stares from Savannah

"Oooo, and we'd carry a big ole comb in our back pocket!"

"To comb your hair?"

"I think it was more of an accessory because after we sprayed half a can of Aqua Net or Stiff Stuff in our hair, we couldn't possibly pull a comb through it."

Slight eye-rolling from Savannah

Yep, and we had portable curling irons that ran on lighter fluid, and we'd light our black eyeliner pencils with a lighter to make them more spreadable, then we'd layer it on thick. Oooo and we had jelly bracelets! And jelly shoes! And Swatches! Lots of Swatches! We'd wear half a dozen of these plastic watches down our arm at once!

"Seriously? And you were making fun of us for wearing those shaped rubber band bracelets."

"Um well. OK, you have a point there."

"We didn't have cell phones, we didn't even have cordless phones til later. I had to stand in the kitchen and have my conversations while my mom was cooking dinner or my sister was doing her homework. No privacy. And I couldn't move more than 5 feet away from the wall or the phone would unplug. And there was no caller ID either! Our video games were all the same - a little square that hit another little square back and forth. Actually, nope, sometime, later in the 80s, we had better ones like PacMan and Asteroids. And we had MTV and MTV was just all videos all day long back then!"

Savannah's eyes glazed over with information overload

"OK, what kind of slang was popular then?"

"Like I'm so totally sure! We had like the most gnarly slang like ever!"

"OK then. Umm, thanks for your help, Mom."

But it gets even better! My sister, who never throws anything away, was able to outfit Savannah for this project! Mini skirt - check! Leggings - check! Big earrings - check! Lace gloves - check! See for yourself!

Is she like totally awesome, or what?

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