Friday, July 30, 2010

Ten Random Things

I was tagged basically because I don't run. Or dance. But the dancing really has nothing to do with this. I don't run, therefor I make an easy target to tag. I don't even remember who tagged me because I kinda ignored the whole thing, thinking it would go away (kinda like all physical ailments - ignore it long enough and it goes away.) But now I can't think of anything to write so I'm going with this whole being tagged thing.

So, I'm supposed to tell you guys ten random facts about myself. Let's see here. It's hard to think of anything new. Those of you who have been reading for a while, already know everything.

1. I have 3 tattoos. I got them when I was 18 and knew everything. One of them was actually a guy's name. Yeah, I know! You don't have to say it! However, after a couple strategically placed stretch marks, it's no longer legible. It's just a blog of ink. If I ever have money some day, I'll have it removed.

2. I used to sneak out of my parents' house with my sister. We'd sit on the roof to smoke. Shhh, don't tell my parents. I was such a rebel back then.

3. I once got to take a ride in an ambulance when I had a kidney stone attack in Disney World. I sat at Celebration Hospital all day. It wasn't a celebration. I get kidney stones. They hurt. A lot. The last one was huge. I needed lithotripsy. I have no idea what that is. All I remember is putting on a bathing suit, getting a shot, then waking up dripping wet and naked. Yes, it was performed at an actual hospital.

4. Lexington was born before the doctor came around. A nurse came in and saw her crowning before the bed was broken down or anything was set up. She didn't have time to put on sterile gloves so she grabbed a piece of paper and caught her. I don't think I should've received a doctor bill for that one.

5. In high school, I went on four mission trips with my church. The last one was to Canada. I was sick before we left. My mom took me to the doctor who said, "Oh, it's just a virus. She'll feel better in another day or two. Let her go." I slept the whole trip. Came back home and learned I had mono.

"I once thought I had mono for an entire year. It turned out I was just really bored." Quick, name the movie!

6. I once made my friend call me in dead to work. I made them pick up my last paycheck too. I hope my old boss isn't reading this. He'll know I'm still alive.

7. I did so well in English my freshman year, the powers that be decided someone of my brilliance needed to be moved up into the honors class. I was with all the geeks. We had a textbook entitled Classical Rhetoric. I had no clue what "rhetoric" meant. All I knew is that kids eagerly raised their hands in this class and they looked at me like I was an idiot when I sank down into my back-row chair. I whined and complained that the class was too hard until they moved me back to a regular ole English class where I didn't have to lift a finger to get As. And thus began my career of manipulating people until I got what I wanted.

8. Whenever I drive past this little lake near my house, I freak out that I'm going to crash into it and I won't be able to unbuckle all my kids and get them out in time. It seriously gives me nightmares. I thought about getting a keychain with a little knife on it so I can effectively cut through seatbelts while underwater, and a little hammer so I can knock out the windows and escape a watery death with my six kids. You know, after I've cut them all out of their seatbelts. Maybe instead of having that tattoo removed, I should use the money for therapy.

9. I'm a Pisces which means I'm moody and emotional. I cry easily. Having total freedom freaks me out. I'm intuitive, I spend vast quantities of time in a fantasy world created by my imagination, I literally feel what others are feeling, and I'm creative. But all you really need to know is that my birthday is March 10. That gives you plenty of time to pick out my present. I like jewelry.

10. I'm a horrible procrastinator. My theory is - why do today what you can put of until tomorrow? It's not a good theory. I hate that about myself. But I just can't seem to help it. In fact, there was this one time... eh, I'll write out the story later.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ignorant People Ruin it for the Whole Class

Some of you may have noticed that I changed my comment settings. You have to be a registered user to leave a comment on my blog now. I'm sorry to all of you nice anonymous commenters. There were a few bad seeds that had to go and ruin it for the whole class. As always, anonymous commenters who don't want to sign up for an account, can leave me emails HERE. And for those of you who just can't seem to keep your nastiness to yourself, you can leave me hate mail HERE.

I received a comment telling me that I was selfish for divorcing Joe, and that I should've thought of my kids. Really? REALLY? Are there are actually people out there who think I'd get divorced and have to go it alone unless there was a darn good reason? It was because of my kids that I stayed in a sick marriage, despite being miserable, for more years than I can count. But some things happened last year that made me realize that staying with him was no longer best "for the kids" and if I stayed, I'd be doing more harm than good to them.

My entire marriage has been a huge string of lies. One after another. I'm not writing about the stuff he's done and continues to do. Believe me, there's a huge part of me that would love to spill everything so you guys could see just what I'm dealing with. But again, my kids may read this some day and they don't need to read the negative stuff about their dad. But it pisses me off to no end, when some ignorant stranger who doesn't even have the guts to leave their name and email address presumes to tell me what I'm doing wrong. You have no idea! Just because I've chosen not to write about all the crap here, do not assume that I just didn't care and didn't try or work at my marriage.

I've spent way too many years feeling like I wasn't good enough. I'm not going to let a bunch of strangers continue to let me feel that way. I take care of six kids on my own. I stay up until 3:00 almost every night so I can get everything done. I make mistakes. I screw up. But I keep going. Day after day, I get up and do it all over again. I don't have help. Their dad hasn't even seen them since Christmas eve. And despite that, I enjoy it! I love my kids! I love the chaos and craziness! I wouldn't trade it for the world! I'm teaching them that they need to respect others and demand respect in return. And I will not let anyone make me feel like I'm less than worthy anymore.

Okay. I'm so sorry that all my regular, wonderful readers had to read that garbage. It's because of you guys that I continue to blog and share the fun stories. And speaking of fun stories. Here's an oldie but a goodie. Enjoy!

I Resign

August 7, 2007

Dear husband,

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

Your sons also held a battle in the family room using pillows as their weapons of choice. When battling the forces of evil with pillows, I suppose one must take the high ground which would explain why they were jumping around on the couch while wildly flinging the pillows at each other. In doing so, the wooden frame of the couch snapped and burst through the fabric.One of your children managed to lock everyone out of the bathroom. Well, I assume it was one of your children, however they unanimously agree that Notme was the guilty party. According to your children, Notme has been responsible for laying wet towels on the floor, spilling juice on the carpet, eating an entire pack of gum from my purse, dumping out buckets of toys, and flushing Barbie dolls down the toilet. I, however, have yet to catch Notme in the act.

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

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

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

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



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

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Dawn Goes Psycho

I made the mistake of telling my kids about Spuds's post HERE. Big mistake. Big! Huge!!! I mean, I thought the story was pretty darn hilarious. You know, when it was happening to HIM. But my tune changed when it happened to yours truly.

This was my sink this morning...

Yeah, looks like something out of a horror movie, huh? Like the blood I had to wash from my hands after wringing Jackson's neck...

Oh but it doesn't end there. Noooo. Here's the shower...

Oh yeah. Fun times for Dawn. Know how much Kool Aid stains? I do.

But it didn't end there. Nope. Savannah said, "You know, Mom, he probably did the other shower too." So I grabbed my camera and off we went.

This didn't make Dawn happy.

Guess what, Spuds! I'm sending my kids to Tennessee. Have fun with that.

Another Brilliant Idea by Jackson

So, what you're saying is that I should've bought a hammock in the Outer Banks?

No way! This one is great, Mom! It's totally comfy! Wanna try it?

Ummm, as stable as it looks, what with the ladder and two by fours, I think I'm gonna pass, but thanks honey. Very creative.

Where are you going, Mom?

Oh, I'm just gonna go grab my insurance card and car keys. You know, to be ready for our trip to the emergency room.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Back to that Same Old Place, Sweet Home Chicago

We're home from our adventure. Finally, after
yearsdays of driving, we made it back to the land of traffic, where there are no cows, where Coke, 7-Up, and root beer are all called "pop", where pickups don't have gun racks and confederate flags, where drivers are rude and cut you off for no reason, where there's good pizza, and where it isn't 4000 degrees in the shade.

My kids got to see 9 states and Washington DC on this trip! We drove out of Illinois, across Indiana, across Ohio, through Pennsylvania, down through Maryland, around DC, through Virginia, and into North Carolina. On the way home, we drove across North Carolina, into Tennessee, up through Kentucky, up through Indiana, and back to Illinois. Whew! That was a LOT of driving. More than once, I fantasized about stopping at the nearest airport, abandoning my car, and flying home. With no one to switch off with, driving all that way was tiring. My shoulders are still sore and tense!

We had a great relaxing time at the beach. I really loved the Outer Banks (except the lack of internet connection!). It's a touristy place, yes, but still, it wasn't crowded with obnoxious tourists. I would absolutely go (read, FLY) back there again. Okay, maybe I wouldn't fly, but I'd definitely take several more days to drive down there and back, and I'd take time out to stop and see the sights along the way.

So, here are some highlights, in no particular order (mostly because it's taking me forever to arrange the stupid pictures on here)...

Brooklyn passed out after Austin made my car into a gas chamber.

This is when I knew we'd been in the south just a little too long.

On the way home, I met up with my friend Beej and her son, Kevin. We had lunch and then walked around the Bass Pro Shop while the kids ran around and stretched a bit. Thanks for meeting me, Beej and thanks for all the Silly Bandz!

This is what happens when you let my kids loose in a hotel.

stinkin Virginia traffic on the way home

the beach house we stayed in

Here's the end of our deck which stopped right at the beach. And yes, it was that empty on the beach. It was awesome!

Currituck Sound

These next pictures were taken on the beach right as a storm was rolling in. It was very cool!

more stinkin Virginia traffic on the way there

We all love, love, loved North Carolina! Savannah's allergies had been horrible a week or so before we left. Most of the first day driving there, she was a huge, watery-eyed, snot-nosed mess. She didn't take a single allergy pill the entire time we were there though. Last night, driving home, her allergies started up again. Whatever's in the air up here that bothers her, apparently isn't in North Carolina. Another reason to move! Oh yeah, and she saw a Panera Bread there so she said she could move. We'll see...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

It's All Fun and Games Until Someone's Hit with a 70 mph Jellyfish

On Thursday, there were jellyfish EVERYWHERE! Every couple feet, on the beach, there were jellyfish. Every wave that crested was dotted with brown jellyfish. Few people ventured into the ocean. I don't know what kind these were, but despite getting stung repeatedly, my kids weren't bothered too much by them.

There were tons of these clear, disc-like ones. We could touch them without any problems.

The kids collected hundreds of them as they washed ashore.

Then Austin decided to make a game of it. He'd scoop up a jellyfish and whip it at Jackson. Jackson called to me, "Mooom, he's throwing jellyfish at me!" Being very sensitive and knowing this wouldn't end well, I put a stop to it immediately. Okay, no I didn't. I said, "Well, throw one back!"

Spot the flying jellyfish for a prize.

So, this went on for a while. Austin threw jellyfish and Jackson ducked. Then, Austin launched a huge one. Jackson ducked. An unsuspecting Savannah was walking on the beach. Whack! She was smacked on the chest. It stung. With the force of a 70 mph fastball. She doubled over and cried. Apparently, when one of these jellyfish gently rubs against you, it stings a little bit. When it's forcefully thrust upon you, well, let's just say, we went through a whole bottle of ammonia and that was the last game of Jelly-Catch.

We really could've used SpongeBob on Thursday.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Our Three Twelve Hour Tour

We all got a little too much sun yesterday. I failed to reapply sunscreen to Jackson's Vitiligo patches and they're really burnt. He has absolutely no pigment; no protection there and I know better. Anyway, because we were all a little sunned-out, I decided to take the kids into Kitty Hawk to the Wright Brothers National Memorial. (BTW, "Kitty Hawk" has to be said like "kitty cat" with a British accent. I'm not sure why, but apparently it has something to do with Wizards of Waverly Place and it's the only way Austin and Savannah will say it.)

So, after a 45 minute drive, we got there. The kids got out of the van, complained they were hot and bored. I snapped 3 pictures, used the bathroom, and we left. Fun.

But I really didn't want to go back and fry at the beach all day again, so instead of heading back, I turned the other way and continued to drive south. I'm a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kinda gal, so I was sure we could find something fun to do. My plan (yes, I'm calling it a plan. Folks who fly by the seat of their pants can consider
"driving that way until you find something" a plan. It's in the membership brochure.) was to drive until something fun jumped out at us.

On the map, the Outer Banks looks to be about the size of an eyelash. Seriously. It's tiny. You'd think you could drive from one end to the other in like 20 minutes. You'd be wrong. The Outer Banks is a strip of land that's about 5 million miles long. It'll take you at least a week to go from one end to the other. At least that's what my kids would tell you if you asked them.
So I drove. And drove. And drove. And finally (after, literally, hours) we got to the Bodie Island lighthouse. I had wanted to take pictures of it. It was being renovated.

So I looked at the map again and saw there was another lighthouse that, according to my expert calculations, was 5 minutes away. Five minutes, an hour and a half, almost the same thing. We passed through Rodanthe which made me think of Nicholas Sparks. Then I remembered that he lives in North Carolina. I considered trying to stalk him, but figured it probably wouldn't be good to get arrested out of state. I mean, I learned my lesson after the Paula Deen incident when I asked her a few too many questions about her sons at BlogHer last year. (I still can't come within 500 feet of her.)

We finally made it to Hatteras where we drove onto a ferry that took us to Ocracoke.

I drove off the ferry and the kids all said, "Why are we here?"

"I don't know. I thought it would be something fun to do."

"We drove all this way for nothing???"

"Well, we got to listen to you guys complain and Jackson
fight with Clay the whole way. That's something. We counted 58 Wings souvenir shops. We saw Pea Island (hee hee). And, oh look kids, horses!"
"Can we go home?"


I got back in line for the ferry. Meanwhile, the kids played Miami Ink.

We finally got back to the beach house at 10:00 at night.

I don't care how burnt anyone is, we're not driving anywhere until we have to check out. I will be spending the next two days lying on the beach, drinking rum, and relaxing if it kills me.

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