Friday, August 20, 2010

Damn that Murphy!

Vince got his bike out of the shop. $1400+. Yeah. On the way home he noticed the blinkers were not working. He called the shop and left them a message. Then he decided to go up to Sturgis on Sunday. On the way up there, he noticed the same electrical kookiness happening again. So he pulled over and left his bike there then came home and got the trailer and loaded it up. Took it back to the shop. Yep, same thing. Ugh. I'm not giving them another dime. They think they have found the problem and have it fixed. I'll not hold my breath.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I told you so!

How's this for Murphy's Law? We have spent the better part of 6 months trying to get Vince's bike tagged in South Dakota. He lost his title so we had to go back to our prior state, who dawdled for months and finally decided they needed a release of lien. So we went back to the prior prior state, but they didn't have copies because it's been paid off for so long. Finally we found a copy, sent it in along with the 12necessary forms and notarizations. On these forms our current address was printed no less than 5, count 'em, 5 times. Never heard anything. Called them and talked to the most unhelpful "customer service" person ever who said that our duplicate title had been mailed out a week ago. To where? Our former address of course. Ms. Helpful told me there was nothing she could do and to call back in 30 days to see if it had been returned. Then she hung up. I called back and spoke to someone, anyone, but her. This time I got an apology and a promise to send it to our current address when it came back to their office. I asked for another copy, but was told that they couldn't do that since there was already one floating around. Whatever. At least she was nicer. So, I called our old postmaster and after a lengthy convo about the kids and our general state of being, she said she would forward it to us when it came through. See the benefit of living in tiny towns? A couple weeks later when we got back from vacation and picked up our mail there were 2 duplicate titles! Oh, the irony. So, I called the tag office here and asked what we needed to get the tags. Just the title. Fine. Take just the title up there. Guess what? We need more than just the title. ARRRRGH! Since it's a new title (it's a duplicate, but whatever) they need a bill of sale or a signed affidavit with either the purchase price or the amount of taxes paid on it in our previous state of residence. Why does that matter? They are the ones that issued the duplicate title, so obviously we don't owe them any taxes, right? And who cares how much we paid for it? It's been completely paid off since 2002. Well, do you think my husband still has a bill of sale for a vehicle he bought in 2001? If you do, you'd be wrong. He's probably already misplaced the 2 titles he got a week ago. Anyway, called the credit union where we had the loan. They laughed. Called the state that issued the title. They laughed and asked why in the world SD needed that information? If you find out, would ya mind filling me in too? I don't know why they need it!!! They just do. Talked to about 7 different people and finally got one who told me to have SD fax them something on their letterhead stating what they need exactly. Called SD and told them this. The lady says, "Uh, we can't do that. There's no form for that." What form? Just use a piece of letterhead. That's the paper that has the name of the agency that you work for on the top. Duh. I realize that you make just a bit more than minimum wage and just do what they tell you to do, but this is ridiculous. She tells me that they can just charge me an excise tax on it if we can't figure it out. Excuse me, but bullshit! I'm not paying more than what I've already paid. Vince called the shop where he bought the bike and asked them how much that model of motorcycle would have sold for in 2001. He writes that number on the affidavit and hands it in. They accept it. What a crock! But at least he has tags and can ride legally now. Yay!!

A couple of days later, he goes on a poker run with some friends. The perfectly legal motorcycle breaks down. No, I'm not kidding. He's 1.5 hours from home and it completely dies. He rode on the back of a stranger's bike all the way home. Then we had to go get it since it was literally in the middle of nowhere in the Badlands. We got home at 2:30 am. Then we took it to the Yamaha place to have them take a look at it. The ENTIRE electrical system is fried. It's going to cost at least $1300 to fix.

So glad we spent the last 6 months trying to get a tag on the stupid thing!

That's the ultimate Murphy's Law story.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Murphy's Law

I mopped the floor yesterday. Naturally this morning Katie dumped half a gallon of orange juice on it. Why? Why do I bother to mop? Because I know that within 12 hours of cleaning my floors someone will spill something. And not just something easy to clean up. I'm talking the stickiest, messiest something you can think of. Like orange juice. I never knew how sticky it could be. It's Murhpy's Law. Right? Here's another one that always gets me. Whenever I bring along 4 diapers for Sam I never need them. On the days when I forget to replenish my diaper caddy or forget to bring the caddy altogether, THAT'S when Sam explodes over and over again. Or I have no extra clothes and he leaks everywhere. One day I went up to our local Runner's Shop to grab some stuff. It was freezing outside. I picked Sam up from his car seat and he had pooped and leaked all over his clothes. Of course, this is one of those times that I didn't pack a lot of stuff because I was just popping out for a few minutes. I searched the car for something to cover him with. Nothing. I took him in and changed his diaper on the floor in the women's room. His pants were a definite no-go. Ruined. The only thing I could find to cover his legs were these light green froggy legwarmers. I bought them because you know when you pick up your little one and hold them and their pants legs ride up? There is quite a bit of exposed skin there and I thought that these legwarmers would help cover that up. Vince banned me from ever letting Sam wear them in public. I thought they were cute, but whatever. Anyway, Sam had those on with his socks and shoes, a diaper and his coat. Admittedly, he looked pretty funny. At least he was covered up. And we didn't tell Daddy.

So, today we started Vacation Bible School. I work in the nursery. Everything went really well and I was feeling good and decided to carry on being productive around the house. I had, I don't know, 4 loads of laundry just staring at me daring me to actually fold and-GASP!-put it away. It's been there for the better part of 2 weeks now. I've been meaning to do it. Really, I have. Well, today I did it. My husband will be shocked that he doesn't have to move a pile of clothes just to sit on the couch. So. That got me thinking about the ginormous, multiplying mound of dirty laundry in our bedroom. What the Hell? Let's wash some clothes too! I know, right? 2 chores in one day-what is this world coming to? I washed a load and since it was such a hot, cloudless summer day I decided to hang it on the line. I love that outdoor smell on my clothes when I try to stuff my legs into a stiff pair of pants that have apparently been washed in Modge Podge. Why does that happen? Anyhoo, I was on a roll so I stuck another load in the wash. I headed for the living room to continue folding and it's dark outside. What? It's 3:00 in the afternoon! Out of friggin' nowhere a giant storm cloud has come together just above my house. Seriously?! My clothes have been on the line about 10 minutes and when I hung them up, there was not a cloud in sight. Murphy's Law I tell ya.

Is everyone still here or have you all passed out from the shock of hearing that I did some housework today? Don't get excited because it still looks a mess. I promise. I wouldn't want to let down my fans and have my house too clean. A housekeeper I'm not. But if you need an expert in Murphy's Law, I'm your gal.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

How is my husband still alive?

I say this because he has got to be one of the MOST. INATTENTIVE. DRIVERS. EVER. I would have already met my end in a fiery ball of twisted metal if I drove like he does. I told him yesterday that God must have some very special plans for him! Seriously, I'm not saying this just because I am a seriously nervous passenger. It would be funny if it weren't so life threatening. Yesterday for instance, he's talking, talking, talking, and I'm thinking "should have turned there". "or there". "I guess he's going to the next light". "nope". "maybe the next". "where's he going?" See, he's not paying attention because he's talking to me. And he's driving about 10 miles an hour. Because he's talking. See a pattern? Then, at the last possible second he realizes that he needs to turn here and whips over into the next lane without even looking. Luckily that time there was not a car already occupying that lane. So, he's sitting halfway in the turn lane and halfway in the other lane. Then, the light turns green and he starts turning. Except he's drifting into the other turn lane like the little dotted lines are there for his amusement only. He just does not pay attention. It drives me insane! Especially because this man drives pretty much all day long for his job. One snowy winter day-I'm not making this up-I was talking to him on the phone and he says to me in a calm voice, "Oh, hang on a second. I'm sliding sideways into oncoming traffic." And he sets the phone down slowly. I'm panicking from the safety of my warm house thinking I'm about to hear my husband crash and possibly be seriously injured over the phone. I don't hear a thing. And then, "Okay, I'm back. What was I saying?" WHAT??!! Just one cotton-picking minute, Mister! What just happened? This is what he would have heard had the situation be reversed, "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH..." I'm not doubting his skills, because obviously he can handle when things go sideways (literally), but why was he in that situation to begin with? I repeat-not paying attention. But I'm usually not allowed to say anything lest we hurt his manly driving feelings. Forget about the safety of the children. We should be more concerned about the safety of his ego. Except for yesterday when he hit the curb. I HAD to make fun of him for that.

Now, I admit that I'm not the most, um, agreeable passenger. I get extremely nervous over there on the right, especially if it's raining or snowing. I can't watch the road or I would give myself ulcers. And most of you know that I'm usually not the kind of person who stresses or worries. At the level of flakiness that I have achieved, I forget to be angry or worried. I move on. I'm not saying it's a good thing, just how it is. It really annoys me when I'm trying to be mad at Vince and really show him how mad I am. I make all these plans like I'm not gonna talk to him or serve him his supper. Then by the time he gets home I've forgotten that I was gonna be angry! ARRGH!! Later on I'll remember, but by then it's too late. I've already been nice to him. Dangit! Anyway, I got off the subject. So, if I don't look at the road I can take my mind off of the fact that the conditions are terrible and I'm not in control of my fate and not stress out too much. Viola! It's probably a really good thing that he has had all that driving training because without it I think I might be telling a different story.

Anyway, I have two extra kids today and they are all hungry so I supposed I should go cook some lunch. The trick is finding something that they will all eat. Macaroni and cheese to the rescue!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Is it lazy parenting or...

letting the kids be independent? We started a discussion at the park about this because I have been thinking about it lately. I didn't see Sam on the playground anywhere, so I went to find him. Instead of searching every nook and cranny, I just stood there and yelled his name. He said "what?" so I knew he was okay and I went back to sit down and chat with my friends. So, I asked them what they thought. My friend Michelle brought up a good point. She said that she doesn't think it's lazy at all because she spends LOTS of time with them by herself and doing things with them. On the days when they join friends at the park, there's nothing wrong with sitting down for a chat while the kids play together. As long as you're not completely neglecting them and letting them run off. Good point! I've really been having this debate in my head for a while now because I am, by nature, kind of a lazy person. I like to sleep late, some days I don't want to do anything but sit around, and I really dislike being asked 400 times during the day to get up or stop what I'm doing to do things for my kids. I know, that's what parenting is all about, right? Contrary to what Audrey may tell you, I do help them during the day, especially Sam because he's such a mess. But Audrey and Katie are at an age where they can do for themselves and even do for others. Why not use that to my advantage? I yell from my seat in front of the computer, "Audrey, what is your brother doing?" when I can't hear him. I hear her sigh and grumble mostly to herself, "Why do I have to do EVERYTHING?" I think it's smart. I get to have little breaks once in a while and my kids learn how to be a bit more independent.

Sam and Audrey both got haircuts the other day. Sam looks so grown up! He looks more like a little boy and less like a baby. Guess it was bound to happen. It always seems like 2 is the magic age when babies change into little kids. And the girls got hair flair put in. It's cute. It's little glittery strands that they stylist ties into their hair. People are always asking us about it. The girls love it. Aud's hair looks a lot better too. Her hair is too thin to be very long. It looks too scraggly. Is that a word? It's just everywhere and it drives me crazy. So, she got a bob and it definitely looks better than it did. This picture of her was taken before she got it cut. I'll have to take another, but this shows her hair flair anyway.




My kids have been talking a lot lately about old people. Anyone over the age of 12 is old apparently. Our neigbors were cleaning up their RV for the summer and Audrey made a comment about old people always cleaning. Then, when we went to Oklahoma and were staying at Grandma and Grandpa's house, there was a discussion about retreiving a lost bathing suit that had accidentally been tossed into a hole in the wall. Audrey asked why they couldn't just reach down there and get it. I told her that it was too far down, so Grandpa had to take the wall apart to get to it. She says, "Yeah, old people have short arms, don't they?" Then a few days later when we saw an old wooden horse-drawn wagon, I pointed and said, "Look at that old wagon." Audrey replied, "Yeah, that's really old. Like from 1995." Last week we had some of Vince's cousins visiting. After they left, Katie asked me why "those old people had to leave". I swear. It would be funny if it weren't so insulting!

Well, I need to get Audrey to a birthday party. It starts in a bit and I have no idea where this place is, so I better start early. I would make her walk and find her own way so I don't have to get up, but it's raining and I would feel bad.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Fun with Nana

My mom was in town last week. She came up to run the half marathon with me. We went up Saturday to pick up our packets and get some last minute race info. Then Sunday morning came REALLY early since we had to get up at 4:30 to get up to Deadwood in time to catch the bus to the start line. I kept telling people I had to catch the bus for the finish line and everyone would look at me funny and say that was their kind of race! I finally figured out what I was saying. Took me a while! The buses started leaving at 6:15. So, basically we waited at the start line for an hour since the race didn't actually begin until 8. What a great day! It was fabulous weather. Cloudy and cool with no rain. The trail was beautiful. Mom and I kept stopping to take pictures. Obviously we weren't that worried about time. We ran most of it and walked just a bit, especially at first. The first 3 miles were uphill and Mom isn't used to the altitude. But I don't care. I was just concerned with finishing. We ran together for most of it, but at about mile 10 we separated. My knees and ankles were hurting and I had to run. It hurt worse to walk. So, I finished a few minutes ahead of her. I really wanted to come across the finish together, but it was still wonderful to have that experience with her. Boy, did I bawl like a baby at the finish line. I could feel the tears and I was trying to hold them back, but I couldn't. The pictures are hysterical! My face is all contorted. The director of the race, Jerry, gave me a huge hug at the finish. LOL! I'm sure this surprises no one who knows me very well. I'm an emotional mess most of the time. Needless to say, I will not be purchasing a photo. I don't need extra reminders of what a big baby I am. I was definitely sore for a few days after the race, but not really muscle soreness. It was mostly in my joints. It was a lot of fun and I'm ready to sign up for the next one.
Here's something I discovered during the race that never occurred to me before. Marathons can be pretty disgusting. This is going to be too much information, so if you're squeamish I suggest you skip this paragraph. I don't know about anyone else, but before I run I gotta, ahem, clear out the colon. And at some point during a long run too. There is no sink to wash up in afterward when you're out in the middle of nowhere. And I didn't carry hand sanitizer. Then, you get to the aid stations and there they are holding your cup with their finger in it and you drink it anyway. And there we are grabbing with our bare hands orange slices from a big bowl and M&M's straight from the bag. Then there are all the people lined up to give you high-fives and such. Yuck! I shudder just thinking about it. Moving on--
On Tuesday Vince and I left the kids with my mom and went to Deadwood for a night. It was supposed to be a surprise for him, but I had to tell him a month ago because of his work schedule. Whatever. We stayed at the Bullock, which was nice. We got a non-haunted room. Thank you, Jesus! I would never have gotten to sleep. As it was, I didn't sleep well because every time I woke up I would scan the room for anything amiss. Vince? Snoring like a freight train. We had a good time. We just ate and drank ourselves silly and played Blackjack until we lost all our money. Good times. We took the motorcycle, which was fine on the way up there. On the way home, not so much. The back seat on that thing is not really made for passengers. My rear was already sore from the ride up and around town. Then I had to get back on there and ride home for an hour?! Ouch. At one point I was standing on the pegs to give my tush some relief. We spent the rest of the week showing Mom around the area. We went to get pedicures, took her to Old MacDonald's Farm and the winery, then to eat in Hill City. We drove around Mt. Rushmore-again-and also took her to Storybook Island. It was a good week. I was sad to see her go. I always cry when she leaves. See how pathetic I am? I'm especially sad because she kept doing my dishes for me. It was nice to be able to see the counters for a while. Nothing lasts forever I guess. I'm kidding, Mom! Love you!
My son keeps getting crazier and crazier. He's gonna drive me nuts. Everything is a gun. I'm not kidding. String cheese, cups with a straw, clothes hangers, his finger, you name it, he will shoot it. Vince got a picture of him the other day riding his new motorcycle with a toy gun shoved in the front of his diaper. We're in trouble. After lunch in a restaurant one day, the waitress said, "He's busy isn't he?" Yes. While waiting for my mom at the airport there was an older couple in the waiting area also. The lady asked how old Sam was and we talked about kids for a minute. Then she said, "He's loud, huh? Hey, Sam, do you have an inside voice?" No. He's either on or off. No dimmer switch. They moved to another waiting area. It's gotten to the point that I don't want to take him in public. He's embarrassing. He's all over the place and screaming and I have to chase him around giving him orders that he's not listening to. Makes me feel like a worse Mom than I already am. He got into trouble at the YMCA the other day for pinching and hitting kids. Please tell me he'll outgrow this stage soon.
Well, I should get off of here and at least make an attempt to clean up a little. The clutter is starting to take over. Also, my son just said the words "bubble gum" to me. That's bad. Very, very bad.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Things I have learned

Just some random thoughts. Been thinking a lot lately. I have been a little stressed and busy. The kids are stressful. No one said it was going to be easy, but I have learned some very valuable lessons, which is always good.

1. Having kids is hard!!
2. I am stronger than I thought I was.
3. I can survive by taking life one day at a time. If I can make it to the end of this day, I will be able to refresh before facing the next.
4. It's nice to have a clean house, but I never count on it staying that way!
5. If the house is dirty, does it really matter in the big picture?
6. My kids are the funniest people on the planet. And probably beyond.
7. One "family size" take-out meal does not feed this family. (A lesson my husband has yet to learn. One large pizza? Are you kidding me?)
8. NEVER take 3 children out by yourself. Ever. Unless you enjoy being a spectacle. And tantrums.
9. I will probably never watch an entire TV show or movie all the way through without 1,000 pauses and rewinds. And I will still never catch the whole thing.
10. I bet I have set some land speed records in potty time, showering, and eating.
11. The moment I became a mother I instantly grew eyes in the back of my head and extra-alert hearing. That's why my mom was always one step ahead of me!
12. I just THOUGHT I liked alone time.
13. My husband and I can carry on an entire conversation with facial expressions, pig latin, and spelling competitions.
14. The reason I can't lose the baby weight is because I always have a baby clinging to me! Oh, and because I can't let them leave food on their plates to go to waste.
15. Everything should be measured in toddler weight. Just like dog years. One toddler pound=10 normal pounds. My 30 pound toddler easily weighs at least 300 pounds after holding him for 5 seconds.
16. I definitely do not want 4 kids.
17. Now I'm the one laughing at these idealistic youngsters who say that they will never raise their kids the same way their parents did. Yeah, right. You will do the EXACT same things, good and bad.
18. My kids, the ones who were never going to be dirty or dressed in crappy clothes in public or throwing fits in the aisles of the store, are the ones with the green snot running down their faces mixing with yesterday's dirt and screaming bloody murder at the mall in their food-stained clothes that they pulled out of the hamper this morning.
19. I'm trying not to judge your parenting skills, so at least make an attempt to not judge me until I'm out of hearing range. Okay? You do what's best for you and your kids and I'll do the same for me and mine.
20. I WILL look back on these years with a smile on my face and love in my heart and wish that I could do it all over again. Only better.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Nothing to say

Really. I know it's rare. But writing eludes me tonight. So, I'll just leave you with a couple of funnies courtesy of those crazy kids of mine.

When the earthquake hit Haiti, they started a collection at Audrey's school to send money and supplies to those affected. This week when a quake hit China Audrey says with a sigh, "Do I have to pay for them too?" We laughed at our little conservative and told her that while it would be nice to help however she could, it was her money and she could save it if she wanted to. She got up and started heading for her room to get her piggy bank. Vince told her that if she wanted to send some money, he would give her some. She relaxed a little after that. She really likes earning and spending her money. And she always gives a portion of it to others. It's nice to see her being giving.

Sam has been crazier than usual lately. Really. Vince was watching the stupid countdown to the NFL Draft. (As if the draft itself weren't boring enough we are forced to watch everyone predict how it's going to play out. Who cares what they predict?) Anyway, they were showing a portion of a game from last season and Sam starting yelling, "Go, go, go. Oooohh, man!" over and over. Is that really what we sound like? Then he picked up my little 2 pound dumbbells and started lifting them up and counting. Then he did some squats. I got a tiny video clip.

video

Monday, March 29, 2010

A Woman's Guide to hiking in the Black Hills with kids

It seems that a little spring has arrived here in South Dakota. I say a little because we all know that April and May still bring snow each year. Last year we had 3 blizzards in 10 days at the beginning of May. Since it was nice for yesterday at least we decided to take the kiddos hiking in the forest close to our house. Here are some tips for preparing for and enjoying a hike with kids from the woman's perspective of course.

First, MAKE A DECISION! It will take at least 30 minutes to decide what area to head for. After much discussion, indecision and arguing finally come to a united decision. One that will work for everyone. Until you get in the car and the man changes his mind.

Second, get everyone dressed and ready for whatever the weather is going to throw at you. So, jeans and t-shirts to start with. Then also pack the hoodies, heavy coats and hats and gloves because you know that the temperature can drop by 1,000 degrees in 2 seconds in the hills. After you have gathered it all up, the argument about who is going to haul all this stuff can begin.

Then begins THE most important decision-making involved. Snacks. I personally like to pack at least 3 of everything. One for each of the kids. But when it comes to fruit, they all like different things. So, in goes the last banana and a couple of oranges. The apples continue to sit forlorn in the bowl waiting for the other more popular fruit to disappear. Good thing they keep longer. Also, some crackers and a bag of pretzels. And some string cheese. Oh, and there are only a few fruit loops left. Grab those. And I think I still have some raisins in my purse. That should cover us. We'll probably be gone less than 2 hours. Wait. Maybe some baby carrots. Those would be good too. And don't forget the water bottles. Since my husband actually drinks tap water, I make sure to pack some of the filtered variety for us more civilized folks. Enter another argument about who is going to carry all THIS stuff.

Now it's time to get in the car. While you were gathering the necessary provisions inside, your husband was busy packing his things. Which are, of course, mostly unimportant unless we somehow get lost within the 20 yards that we will end up venturing from the car or encounter a band of heavily armed rogue Boy Scouts. This movie quote from "The Incredibles" always pops into my head-"luck favors the prepared, dahling."

So, now you are on the road headed in the completely opposite direction of the route previously agreed upon (see step 1). Wow! There are lots of people out in the Black Hills when it gets warm. Great minds think alike I guess. So, this changes things. Mainly because husbands are anti-social and do not want to even catch a whiff of another hiker within 10 miles of where you will be. If you want to be alone while hiking, follow my lead. Get out the ginormous and completely confusing topo map of the forest. Stare at the map for at least 5 minutes before you realize that it's upside down. Yell at your husband to pay attention to the road instead of the map while he yells back that you are the worst map-reader in the history of the world. He's right. Pull over, hand over the map to someone more qualified. Sit and stew over your ineptitude, but secretly be grateful that you no longer have to scramble your brains looking at that ridiculous map. Finally find the teeniest, most treacherous road on the map and head that way. Be sure to have your 4-wheel drive ready because no road is too undriveable. Like my friend Jeff told us once as we were driving over boulders bigger than my house in a dark canyon in Southern Arizona-- never buy a used car from us. Scrape your way uphill only to realize that someone else has the same topo map. Turn around by inches and scrape your way back down the hill and make your way to the next most treacherous road on the map. Whew! No one there.

The next step is to unload everyone out of the car including the children who are, by now, asleep. Then it's off to find a spot for everyone to pee. It never fails that as soon as you get to the middle of nowhere, farther from a bathroom than you have ever been, someone has to pee. Or, um, something else. Scare away any spiders or other creepy-crawlies because the girls will refuse to squat anywhere near where a spider has ever crawled. While you are doing that your husband will be getting his pack ready. Unfortunately he will pack everything he brought along and "forget" to pack the carefully selected snacks, hats, gloves, and other necessities.

Finally you are on your way! For about 10 seconds. This is when the whining begins. "How far do we have to walk?" "I'm tired." " Can you carry me?" These are the ONLY wonderful sounds of nature that you will hear because the kids' noise will have scared away any wildlife that you may have encountered. They will not understand of course and will drive you mad with faux sightings of everything from birds to giant man-eating bears. Ah, bears. That brings us to another important point. There are no bears in the Black Hills. Although, according to one of my daughters, whose nickname is coincidentally Katie-Bear, God told her that there were lots of bears in this forest and they are apparently just waiting to rip off your face. Take it or leave it. She's 4. Continue along at a glacial pace with the children trailing 1/4 of a mile behind wailing that their legs are too tired to walk anymore. Really? I can still see the car from here. As you make your way along the trail, try to take in the fresh air as deeply as possible while you can still breathe normally. Because in a couple of minutes, this trail is going to lead directly up the largest "hill" you have ever seen. Your pack mule, I mean, husband will be so far ahead of you and the children that you will not be able to scream to him that you are ready to turn around. And so, dragging the children, you will finally reach the top of the "hill" where your husband has already found a nice spot to sit. On a log. On a cliff. As you scramble to determine a boundary that your kids can absolutely, positively not cross or they will be in serious trouble, missy!, your husband will have unpacked the most valuable item in his possession. The BB gun. Much squealing will ensue. While you try to keep the 2 year old demon-child from flinging himself off of the cliff, your lovely husband will be the BEST DADDY IN THE WORLD!! The bag of BB's exhausted, the children will reluctantly agree to leave the edge of the world and head back to the car. Except they want to be carried. Ignore the whining and pleading for a while until your ears begin to bleed. Then, give in and carry them the rest of the way. Which is pretty much all the way. At least it's downhill. Someone will suggest a game of "I Spy" to which you will reply, "That's a great idea!" Then, looking around at the forest you will realize that it's not such a great idea because there is really nothing to spy. After a rousing 5-minute-long game of "I Spy" where every answer was "is it a tree?" one or more kids will again have to use the bathroom. The trip back to the car fortunately does not take as long as the trip up because you are carrying the children and moving slightly faster than a snail's pace. When you reach the car everyone will be clamoring for a snack so you will slowly and clearly recite the menu at least 75 times until decisions have been reached. After you repeat that there are no candy bars for the 100th time, understanding will begin to dawn. Of course, since there is only one banana, all the kids will want a banana. Heaven forbid you try to break the thing into 3 pieces because then NO ONE will want it. Settled in with their inferior snacks, the kids will watch as you eat the banana. Ha! Then you can be on the road again.

When you get home, your entire family will be starving to death! Really. They've never been this hungry before. They will eat anything. Anything! So, being the great mother that you are, you will slave away in the kitchen for at least 10 minutes making a microwave dinner for them that they will absolutely never eat in a million gazillion years. Then, as your husband settles into the couch to watch the countdown to the NFL draft (oooooh, exciting!) you will run the bath for the kids, undress them and physically place them in the tub while they scream, then do the dishes, unpack the hiking stuff, pick up the house, wash the kid's hair, dry them, clean the toys from the tub, get them lotioned up and in their jammies, put into bed and books read, and throw some laundry in the washer. Then you might get to sit down for a couple of seconds before one of the kids needs another kiss or drink. Oh, what a nice relaxing day with the family! Don't you just LOOOVE hiking?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Nap time

I really need to be napping instead of blogging, but I know that if I sleep right now I probably won't sleep well tonight. I have just been sooo tired lately. It probably has something to do with our schedule of late. We have been going and going for the past couple of weeks. We had 3 birthday parties in a week, school, church, AWANA, YMCA, play dates, carpet cleanings, swim lessons and MOPS just to name a few. And you know that doesn't include all the normal running around for errands and such. Plus, I started training for the half-marathon. Audrey has come down with a nasty cold and neither of us slept well last night for all the coughing and sneezing so she stayed home from school and I couldn't go into the Y to work either. So, I decided this would be a good day of rest for all of us. We could all use it. I got Sam down for his nap. Now I just have to get the girls down too. At least for some quiet time. They don't want to nap, of course. I don't know why things have gotten crazy lately. I guess we just had a few extra things thrown at us. I'm ready to slow back down though! I don't really have much to report but I felt bad that I hadn't posted anything in a while, so maybe just a couple of funnies from the kids.

Katie tells us all the time that God talks to her. She and Audrey argue about it. Audrey tells her that God does not talk to her and Katie insists that He does. Like the day that Audrey wanted to go to Burger King for lunch and we told her no. She pouted. Katie told her, "Audrey, God told me that Burger King isn't even open today." LOL! As if God doesn't have better things to talk about.

Then today, Katie and Audrey were playing and chasing Sam around. I guess Sam got tired of it and decided to fight back so Katie told Audrey that she could teach her some moves because she knows Kung Fu and Chinese. I just about burst! So, let that be a warning to you not to piss her off! Or me. I'll have her show me some of her moves.

Sam has been sitting on the potty with his clothes on but every time I take his diaper off, he freaks out. He even says, "Mama, potty." Well, today I was in the bathroom and he kept telling me "potty" so I sat him on the little potty. I asked him if he wanted to take his diaper off and he said yes, so I did. He sat back down and I showed him how to hold his little thingy down. He grunted for a minute, but nothing. He left for a second and came back and sat back down. He grunted, but nothing. I left to answer the phone and he came out a couple of minutes later saying, "See, Mama. Poop. See Mama. Poop." (poop means any kind of bodily function) I went into the hall and sure enough he had peed. Once on the bathroom floor, once on the hall carpet and once by the kitchen entry. Ugh! Why? This was after the boy had already colored all over his hands and arms with permanent markers. "See Mama. Hands." He was so proud! One of us will not survive his childhood. And I always thought Audrey was my difficult child.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Nothing to eat?

Things have been tight around here lately, so I have been trying to cut back on the grocery bill. I can't get out of the store for less than $300 when it's a big trip. And when it's a little trip I usually end up with at least $50 worth of stuff. We do eat it all eventually, but I've decided that I need to be better about bargain shopping and coupons, blah, blah. I have been buying less of the pre-packaged junk, mostly because of the size of my behind. If it's in the cabinet, I WILL eat it, so I'm just not gonna buy it anymore. I still keep a few snacks for the kids of course, and I occasionally buy Oreos for Master V, but I really don't eat that stuff so it's okay. I did think it was funny the other day when my husband was complaining about there being nothing in this house to eat. Actually there is plenty, but it's mostly fresh stuff or things you have to actually cook on the stove so it doesn't appeal to him. Gosh, I see what he means. There is NOTHING here to eat! The fridge is pretty empty, but that's just because I just cleaned out all the leftovers that no one ever finished. Sam doesn't seem to have trouble finding things to eat. As a matter of fact, when I came out of the bathroom a little while ago, he was standing on the counter so that he could reach the lollipops. There were a few left over after we did Audrey's class valentines. Sam found them. I thought I put them up high enough that he couldn't reach them. I was wrong. He pushed a chair over there and climbed onto the counter. He had two in his mouth already, another in his hand and had another at the ready, just waiting to be unwrapped. Sugar rush, anyone? I'm sure that's good on his sickly stomach. He started with diarrhea yesterday and then started puking. I'm just waiting for the next kid to start. So much for a Super Bowl party. If we miss out on a party tomorrow, we might all starve to death!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Lazy Daze

The kids and I are having a lazy day today and have decided that we are way too good at this
lazy thing! I was planning on running today, but instead I slept in (if you can call 8:00 sleeping late) and kinda found myself marooned on the couch watching a What Not To Wear marathon. Now it's almost supper time and I still have only accomplished cleaning out the microwave and doing a couple loads of laundry. It still needs to be folded. Go figure. Oh, well. There's always tomorrow, right? I still haven't put a bra on. Sheesh! I AM good at this lazy thing!

Sam's black eye is gone finally. It took about 10 days for it to fade completely. I only had to tell the story a million times, but that's okay. You all know how much I love to repeat myself. He's had this nasty cold lately. Ever since he had RSV last year, when he gets a cold it really settles in to stay. Mainly in his chest. He coughs like an 85 year old smoker. Poor kid. And to add to his misery, last night I was folding clothes and had the coffee table and ottoman pushed together to place my folded piles on. He was trying to come around them with a giant glass of water in his hands (the little thief!) and tripped over the dumbells that were strategically placed directly in his path. I got blamed for that since I had used them earlier, but I put them up against the wall where no one would be walking normally-thank you very much. He whacked his noggin on one of the dumbells and literally dented his head. When he came up screaming I could tell that he was really hurt and saw the dent. Good Lord. It's not dented anymore and I did keep checking on him, especially after he went to bed to make sure that he was okay. He seems fine. THEN, this morning after I stumbled out of bed in my pre-coffee haze I smelled something foul and picked him up to change him. I was trying to get through the passage into the hallway and slammed his head into the wall. I swear. It would be funny if my laughter didn't count against me in the quickly accumulating evidence of my horrible parenting skills. Vince looked at me like I did it on purpose. As if I didn't feel bad enough already. I'm definitely looking into a crash helmet for this kid.

Katie said something funny a while back. I was telling her to go do something and she looked at me and goes, "Mom, can I have a little compassion here?". Yeah, sure kid. Just as soon as you do what you've been told to do. She's been throwing an awful lot of temper tantrums lately. She just falls to her knees weeping like it's the second coming of Christ. Except with a lot more drama. I'm so tired of trying to get through to her. Just another example of my lack of skills. If I try praising her, she doesn't care. If I try punishing her, she doesn't care. If I try taking a toy or fun activity away from her, she doesn't care. I give up. Maybe I should just let Audrey be in charge. She thinks she's the boss anyway. She tried to put Sam in time out today for getting into her stuff. When I brought up the fact that if she had put away her art box after she was done with it, he would not have gotten into it, she looked at me like I was an idiot. Of course that's not the point, silly Mother. I think I may be in way over my head with these 3! And I was having a little case of baby fever earlier this week after holding a sweet tiny little boy at the YMCA! Ha! They don't stay sweet for long. Or little. Audrey has already outgrown the jeans I got for her at the beginning of the school year. Her 6's are too short. Her 6 slims are too slim and her 6x's are too big in the waist and too short in the legs. I gave up and went to our new Goodwill store for some 7's. I love Goodwill. I got 2 pair of jeans, one brand new with the tags still on them and one that look like new, both brand name and super cute for $2.50 each. What a steal! And my son, bless his pretty little black and blue head, is now outgrowing his 2T things. I can't keep up. If he keeps growing like this, he's gonna be 6'7" and 350 pounds by the time he's in Kindergarten. His favorite word right now (besides "NO!") is "cheese". As in, "Woman, I need a string cheese in the next 2 seconds or I'm going to perish of malnutrition. NOW!" Maybe lots of cheese will help stop him up a little. I'm really ready for him to be potty trained. He does sit on the edge and say "potty", but any time I put him up there for real, he freaks out. So, we wait. This morning when I smelled him before I saw him and took him to be changed, the poop had run down into the legs of his jammies. I wonder how long my husband was going to let him stew in his own juices before giving in and either waking me up or actually changing him with his own hands? Maybe that's why he wasn't making the kids be particularly quiet this morning while I was trying to sleep in? Hmmm, thoughts to ponder, people.

Here's another funny from Audrey. We were playing on their Webkinz sites and Audrey was teasing Katie that she gave her pet a funny name. Katie named her monkey Flower. Audrey kept telling her that wasn't a real name. You wanna know what Audrey named her Webkinz? It's a dragon named-what else?-Dragony Dragon. LOL! She didn't like me much when I pointed out the fact that Katie's name was probably closer to a "real" name than hers was. I'm laughing just picturing her face! Soooo not looking forward to the teenage years!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

One thing I know...

...life is never boring at our house. We've had a little excitement here. One day in particular will live in infamy. The day started out well. We actually got Audrey to school on time with little fuss. I came home and ran on the treadmill and then got everyone ready to go out. Picked up Audrey and headed for Target. It was lunchtime and the kids were STARVING so we went to McDonald's for lunch. The playland was closed for remodeling so we had to sit way in the back of the restaurant. I asked Audrey to watch Sam for me while I went to grab our food. I was filling up my drink when I heard a scream and then wailing. It was Sam of course. I ran back there and Audrey was holding an extremely upset and red-faced baby. People were staring. I grabbed him and sat down trying to calm him. I thought he was just upset because I walked away. Then I saw his eye. His entire left eyebrow was one huge lump and it was white. His cheek was mottled red with one white area extending down from the lump. He was still screaming at the top of his lungs and people were still staring so I told everyone to pack it up and get back in the car. I was worried about this nasty bump, so I drove to the Urgent Care Clinic while calling Vince to explain what was happening. I asked Audrey how it happened. She said Sam was standing on the bench seat and she was holding onto the back of his shirt. He was crying because she wouldn't let go, so she did. He stumbled forward and fell face first onto the tile floor. OMG! After a few jokes from the nurse--who apparently recognized us. Never a good sign.--we saw the doctor who thought that there was no concussion or serious injury, just a nasty black eye for a while. Boy, was he right! The first picture is from the day it happened and the last 2 are from 2 days later.


He must have hit his head hard! Poor thing! So, we got home and I put the kids down for their nap. I took one too. When I woke up, I went to Sam's room to check on him and couldn't get in his door. He had locked it. And it requires a key to get in. I tried every key in this house. No go. By this time, he had woken up and was quite upset. Vince walked in the door as I was reaching for a steak knife to try and pry it open. Nope. Then I tried a credit card. Nope. Vince tried. Nope. It came down to either breaking down the door or calling a locksmith. We went with the locksmith. Cheaper in the long run. He ended up having to drill out the lock while Sammy screamed. Finally! It was a long day. This kid is either going to kill me with worry or drive me to drink. Vince says if we have to take him to the ER again, they're going to start questioning us! My mother-in-love just reminds me that Vince and his brother had reserved seats in their hometown ER. I'm not kidding. They had their names on them. So, I guess it just runs in the family. He's all boy and chicks dig scars, right?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Ode to my son

My boy. My little man. Growing so fast. I can't believe how much you've grown already. It breaks my heart and makes my heart sing at the same time. You are such a boy and I love it. Trucks, dinos, balls, cars all littering my house. It's such a change from the girliness that we've been living in for so long. When you growl or roar or putter it makes me laugh. I love when I ask for a kiss and you pucker up a mile away, walk all the way over to plant one on me and then at the last minute stop and say "nooo" through your puckered lips. I could do without all the poopy diapers, but it's part of you, so I'll take it. At least we are recycling those plastic sacks. I love that you are a mama's boy and run to Daddy with open arms until you spot me and then run right past him into my arms. I'm secretly jealous on those days when Daddy gets more attention than I do. I wait with baited breath for those little toothy grins that you sometimes bless us with. I love your little cotton candy hair when you wake up and your duck tail curls after your bath. I like playing stinky feet with you just to hear your deep, hearty belly laugh. I enjoy seeing how fiercely protective your sisters are of you and how much you love them for it. It cracks me up that you start hollering for Audrey if I'm not responding quickly enough. Poor thing, you'll probably never have any alone time in your entire life if we women have anything to say about it! I love how when you point at something with your pudgy little finger, it's usually so sticky that it has fuzz all over it no matter how many times I wash your hands. I may complain about some of the things you and your sisters do, but know that I love you so very much and I cherish every moment that I have with you, my son. I'm so happy you're mine.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Home, sweet, home

Back to the grind. Loud children trapped inside a very messy house that's not nearly big enough when it's -11 outside. How did my house get so messy so fast? It's insane how fast it goes from picked up to tornado-ish. We've been home for 2 days and it already looks like vagrants have moved in. At least my neighbors didn't have to call the cops this time. When we were gone to Denver for Thanksgiving, my neighbors thought they saw something suspicious in our house so they called the police to come check it out. He had just had all of his stuff stolen out of his car, so I don't blame him for calling just in case. Anyway, they came over and he let them in with his key. The place was trashed. Stuff everywhere. It looked like the place had been tossed! Then my neighbor just explained that our house always looks like that. There was nothing amiss, thank God. I'm just embarrassed. I could make a statement along the lines of--I will never let my house look like that again so that I don't have to be embarrassed again. But we all know it would be a lie. So I won't bother. I'm not fooling anyone. I recover from my shame pretty quickly.

I should be unpacking right now since I still have bags that have not been touched since Vince brought them in from the car, but this is much more fun and way more cathartic. Also, my kids have things from Christmas that they haven't had a chance to play with yet, so they are just out everywhere until they play with it a few times and then we find a place to stuff it. Most of their new stuff stays packed in the car until we get home so that we are not losing pieces along the way. We got home late Wednesday and jumped right into school and YMCA on Thursday so they literally have not been able to play much at all. We had a great time though. We got to see V's brother, his wife and their daughter and his parents, then we headed south to Texas until we were stopped by the blizzard in El Reno, OK just outside of Oklahoma City. It was nasty. Who would have thought that we'd go south to get into cold weather? We were forced to stop over Christmas Eve. By the morning, the hotel was full with other stranded motorists. Vince tried to go across the street to get us some food for lunch, dinner, and breakfast, but he couldn't even make it that far. We were told that there was one Chinese restaurant still delivering, the crazy bastards!, so we ordered LOTS of food before it was too late. Fa, ra, ra, ra, ra, ra, ra, ra, ra!! I would post the one picture that I got to take before my camera died of my kids waking up on Christmas morning in the hotel, but I haven't seen my camera since then. I'm sure it's here somewhere. Then we had to wait until later the next morning to leave because the interstates were still closed in some places and were horribly messy. We saw over 100 cars in the ditches along the way and could only travel below 45 MPH the entire trip. It was awful. But we finally made it and were able to spend some time with my parents and brothers and their kids and all my mom's siblings and children. It was really nice. Then we headed back to Oklahoma to see V's sister and nephew that we haven't seen in at least 2 years. We also spent some time with his Uncle and his family at the family farm and met up with his cousin and wife at one of our favorite restaurants in Canadian, TX. Here's my shameless plug--if you're ever out that way you HAVE GOT TO STOP THERE! It's called The Cattle Exchange. Their ribeyes are to die for. www.cookya.com is the website. I was also able to spend some time with good friends that I went to high school with and some people that I used to work with at Northwestern Oklahoma State University. All in all it was a nice holiday for us, aside from the weather that blew in. When we got home, we immediately started shoveling because there were 4' drifts blocking in his work truck. Ugh! It's been so cold everywhere it seems like. Even my parents said that it's supposed to get down to 4 degrees tonight down there. V and I are a little tired of all this cold. Maybe it's time for a move south?

Of course, we all ended up with a stomach bug. It never fails. When we travel someone ends up puking. At least this time it wasn't in the car. 4 of us woke up one morning with stomach troubles and that night, the kids all started with it. I think Vince was the only one who escaped unscathed, but that just meant that he was the chosen one to watch all the kids, including the visiting niece. Let me tell you, he was NOT happy! Luckily it was just a 24 hour thing. I almost wish it would have lasted a little longer. I needed to purge a few more of these holiday pounds that are following me around! I said almost, okay? I'll just get back into my workout routine to get rid of these hitchhikers. I don't think that Chelada that I just downed is going to help though. Maybe I'm a lost cause. I did do my new workout video today. It's the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Boot Camp video. They're good. Talk about motivation! I would do squats until my legs fell off if my ass would look like that when I was done. Wow. My problem is not the working out part surprisingly. It's the eat-it-all-until-it's-gone part that I can't make myself give up. I inherited that from my dad. We eat anything. And we eat it until it's all gone. Even if it's something that we don't really like. I need a food counselor!

So, I have a funny story about Katie and my nephew Grayson. They were playing and Katie said to Grayson, "Hey, you wanna chase me?" But in Katie-speak it sounded a lot like, "Hey, you wanna taste me?" So he did. He licked her face and then looked up with a huge grin! She just stood there with a look that said, "Uhhhh, what just happened?" It was too funny! Grayson is one busy little boy. He wears me out just watching him. I told Vince that I hoped Sam was not that busy and he replied that he already is. He's right. It's just that Grayson is bigger and able to get into more stuff. Gee, I can't wait!

Well, the kids are in bed and I think I will go watch some mindless TV for a while before I hit the hay too. My bed is the warmest thing in this house. The heater can't seem to keep up when it's so cold out. Time to snuggle in! Goodnight.