Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Years Eve

SO, here's a conversation I had with Jonathan yesterday.

J: "Mom...how late can we stay up tomorrow night?"
M: "I don't know. 9:15?"
J: "Mom! That's our normal bedtime."
M: "Ok. How about 9:20?"
J: "I was thinking at least midnight."

UGH!! That means I have to stay up until midnight.

I suppose it is you know, tradition to stay up until the New Year arrives. Usher it in, if you will. I just like me my sleep. It wasn't always that way, of course. When I was Jonathan's age, my brother and I would make every effort to stay up until midnight and then when the New Year came we'd throw the confetti we had been making for the past several hours all over the living room. That was fun to clean up.

Then in my teen and college years, New Year's Eve was fun. Especially one time with a bunch of teenagers, some alcohol, and a hot tub. I won't give any more details since my parents read my blog, and, because that was 20-some years ago and I'm not sure I can remember them.

When I met Rob, his family has a great tradition of getting all dressed up and his dad, who is a super chef, makes a fancy, schmancy dinner. That was fun!

But, now I really can't remember the last time I stayed up. No scratch that. I DO remember. It was 1999. Canned goods and water in one arm and a fistful of money in another I waited for the world as we knew it to end. 3! (wait for it...) 2! (wait for it...) 1! (wait for it....) HAPPY NEW YEAR! And, then...nothing. Except for the sinking realization that I was stuck with 57 cans of Dinty Moore Beef Stew.

Staying up just isn't my thing. However, even though it's not my thing. And, even though I've been getting no sleep what with the stomach virus going around our house, I'll let Jonathan stay up so that he can start the New Year with those he loves most...and be thankful that, at least for now, I get to be one of those people.

Monday, December 29, 2008

It's a Christmas Miracle!

Our Christmas was nice. It wasn't exactly what I expected what with all the puking and my parents getting sick/iced in and not able to come. But, really? What ever is exactly what I expected? The kids enjoyed themselves. The adults enjoyed themselves. Presents were opened. Jesus was celebrated. Paper and toys and candy and clothing and crayons and food were strewn all over the place when it was all said and done...it was a good time.

And yesterday I experienced what can only be called a Christmas miracle. My children played outside together (in 50 degree weather) for 3.5 hours without fighting. You did hear me right. 3.5 hours. 4 kids. NO fighting. What were they doing for 3.5 hours you might ask?




Yes. Go now and get yourselves one. And then maybe you too can have 3.5 hours of (awake)fight-free sibling time.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Hayleigh's First Heartbreak

Rob and Trisha were in a play together over the weekend at a friend's church. The performance was Saturday so we went together to see it. Hayleigh was entertained for about 20 minutes, which I thought, all things considered, was really pretty good. But, she started to get fidgetly (as toddlers tend to do) so I took her out into the hallway to roam. Whilst (that's fancy Christmas-y language for while) roaming, she spotted a little boy who was probably 2. She got a huge grin on her face and started running toward him waving and saying hi. This little boy proceeded to poke her with his finger right in her chest and said "get away from me baby". Then he ran away.

I wasn't sure how Hayleigh would react. She sort of stood there stunned for a minute and then just started full out bawling. Her friendship advances had been denied and her heart was broken.

I tried to tell her to cheer up. I mean by the time she's Trisha's age, this sort of thing will have happened so much that she'll have a certain immunity to it. It will only sting instead of crush. That didn't seem to cheer her up.

After awhile she calmed down and found another child to wave hi to. But, I tell you what. If I see that 2-year-old again...man, I will take.him.out.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Reason #4057 Why My Husband Rocks

He comes home from work. I say "Something smells like it died in the kitchen...probably the fridge". And, he takes care of it. He kills huge, hairy spiders, unclogs toilets, and gets rid of things that smell like death. And, that's reason #4057 why my husband rocks.

AND, today is his birthday. He's 39. It seems so hard to believe. A hip, young thing such as myself married to such an old guy. Can you imagine???!!!???

Anyways, Happy Birthday to the dh. And, um, thanks for getting rid of that smell.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Top 10 things that came out of my mouth in 2008

The clean version :)

10) In order for an outfit to make you look fat, you actually have to be fat.

9) 4.09 a gallon?!?!?!?!?!?! Seriously?!?!?!?!?!

8) It will be fine. Just spray some Febreeze on it.

7) Can we please pick our underwear up off of the floor?

6) Please God give me strength.

5) Can't we all just get along?

4) Let's go ahead and get that out of your mouth.

3) Hi I'm a volunteer for the Pennsylvania Republican Party...are you planning on supporting Senator McCain on November 4th?

2) C'mon (little league sports team name)!! Let's go!! You can do it!

1) I love you too :)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I try to be hip...I really do!

I really do try to be up on things. It just never works out quite like I hoped for. Because, in the end, I have gray hair and I drive a minivan...no amount of hipness can possibly overcome those two things. However, I am not one to give up easily, so I decided that I would go on Facebook. I mean, really, what could possibly be more hip than that? It's been interesting, though.

First of all, I couldn't just go on Facebook and announce myself with my real name. No, the really hip kids first go on with a pseudonym so they can check out the situation anonymously. Pretty brillant, huh? One hitch. I didn't anticipate how people would be able to find me by my email address. I was beginning to regularly get people asking me who in the world Sally was. Whatever...

So, I put my real name in. I found it funny that they said it would take 24 hours for them to verify this name change.

Once verified however, apparently Facebook was confused by my gender. I had a little message that said "Which statement is more appropriate for you: Nicole just updated HER profile or Nicole just update HIS profile?" HA! I haven't really been asked such a ridiculous question, well, since this one guy in college asked me if Nikki was short for Nictoria like Vikki was short for Victoria. Good times. Good times. He's a high-powered corporate attorney now, BTW.

Well, I let them know that Nicole would be updating HER profile. (Someday soon, I'm sure). Facebook then proceeded to make some friend suggestions to me. Here's the weird thing: I actually knew like more than half of the people they were suggesting I be friends with..like in real life. That was a little freaky, I must admit. I mean the thing doesn't know that I'm a lady, but it knows all of the people I know.
I always feel like somebody's watchin' me...and I have no privacy. Oohohoh


Anyways, now that I have all of that settled, I guess I am supposed to tell people what I am doing and how I am feeling and write on people's walls and chat and stuff. And, if I post the right picture of myself, you know, one without gray hairs and without a mininvan in the picture (do I even have one like that??) then finally, FINALLY, I'll be hip!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

From couch to 10K in 5 months

Can it be done? I don't know...but I am sure going to give it a try.

My dad is turning 60 in 2009, so he was thinking he wanted to run a marathon to mark the occassion. It takes like 4-5 hours to run a marathon. The only thing I would like to do for more than 4 hours would be sleep. But, nonetheless, it is one of those things that some people like to check off their life "to do" list. How this pertains to me is that my dad is planning on doing some warm-up races and invited (challenged?) me to join him. The only problem is that I am fat. And, I am out of shape. But, I am not one to turn down a fun invitation, so we downloaded some training plans and away I went. I am in the 2nd week of the training schedule.

Last week: I walked for 3 minutes and ran for 1 minute.
This week: I walk for 2.5 minutes and run for 1.5 minutes (which is about 1/8 of a mile)
Next week: Walk for 2 minutes, run for 1.5 minutes

Here's something I found out: I actually like this whole running thing. It's pretty fun. And, it burns like 600 calories a session. And, today, I did two sets of running for 3 mintues (about 1/4 of a mile) so I am making good progress.

I'll keep everyone updated...maybe not because you care, but so that I can see my own progress. But, for now, I have to go, since all that running makes me want to take a nap!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Oh yeah...I rock this whole "mom" thing...

One thing I really like to do with my children is to take them out to eat...one on one. Or, now with Hayleigh...2 on 1. So, once between the start of school and Christmas, I will take each child out of school for lunch and I also take each child out to breakfast. I do this again between January and the end of the school year. So, during the school year, each kid gets two breakfasts and two lunches. And I get fatter, but I digress.

Today was Jaden's breakfast day. Jaden isn't a big breakfast eater. And by isn't a big breakfast eater I mean he almost never eats breakfast. He likes breakfast, but for some reason he gets full pretty fast with breakfast. Anyways, he wanted to go to breakfast (as opposed to another lunch) and so off to McDonald's we went. He wanted hotcakes and sausage and cinnamon melts, which I thought was a lot of food for a kid who gets full fast, but hey! it's his day so that's what I got him. I reminded him that we could wrap it up and take it home if he got full. I didn't want him getting so full he threw up. Several times I asked him if he was full and reminded him that I would be upset if he got so full he threw up.

Well...he got so full he threw up.

He was kind enough to warn me, as opposed to other times when he has just thrown up all over the place. Of course, there wasn't much time, so I was pushing him to the ladies room and dragging Hayleigh half in/half out of her highchair behind me. (Her shoe was stuck).

So, after he throws up, he starts crying and saying he's sorry.

And, that's when I realize that I am totally rocking this mom thing. There's probably something medically wrong with him that he can't help and that's why he gets full so quick in the morning and throws up. I don't know. Here's what I do know: I am setting up a Drs. appointment, and from here on out, Jaden and I will go out to lunch!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Once Upon A Time In a Land Far, Far Away

there lived a mom. She was a good mom who only wanted to give her children the very best. She loved spending time with her children. After several days of non-stop togetherness to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, this mom decided that a field trip was in order. Her baby wasn't feeling well, so she thought that it should not be a long field trip, perhaps just a trip out for lunch.

So, the mom, deciding not to scare other children out in the community, hopped into the shower. The mom figures she could be quick about it and it would be fine. However, within just a few minutes of the shower's beginning, the mother's baby hopped into the shower also. With all of her freshly changed clothes on. And then proceeded to cry because she decided that all of the water getting into her eyes wasn't so fun afterall.

Cutting her shower short, the mom grabbed the baby, dried her off and got her fresh clothes all before getting her own clothes on. All 4 of the mom's other children decided to barge in on her at this time to see if the mom knew where various clothing items were for them and they all were kind enough to recoil back in horror when they spotted the mom's naked self.

After everyone was dressed and ready to go the family loaded into the car. They decided that they would go to CiCi's pizza because the mom recently purchased several coupon books for a school fundraiser that had coupons for CiCi's pizza. Before going there, however, the mom had to stop at Sprint. You see, the mom had to switch her cell phone service to yet another cell phone. Apparently, the mom's baby has been trying to see if water and cell phones mix. They do not. After two times of this, te mom hoped that the baby knew this.

The mom decided to leave her children in the car while she went into Sprint. Afterall, she thought, the children are old enough to stay at home alone for an hour. Certainly, there would be no problem with leaving them in the car for 5 mintues? 3 minutes into the phone switching, the mom looked out the window to see her 11-year-old son running towards her with what appeared to be a bloody nose. Apparently, this son had found tweezers and was tweezing out nose hair when the 8-year-old in his like-to-be squirmy way elbowed him and thus the blood. This mom made a note to herself to rethink the whole "leaving the kids alone" thing.

From Sprint to CiCi's the mom's male children delighted themselves with talk of intestinal worms and boogers and hey! did you know that you really can eat your own stomach? The mom's preteen girl had a look that seemed to be questioning why she had the rotten misfortune of living with so many boys.

Upon arriving to CiCi's the mom realized she left her wallet in the other purse at home. There is $1 in the car, which will not be enough to take 6 people to lunch. the mom turns her car around and heads home to the sounds of weeping and gnashing of teeth in the back of the car. The mom promises that next time she will make it up to them. And, she will...try to anyways. We'll see how it goes!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

So what?? It's snowing...

Ok...I live in Western Pennsylvania. I need to tell you that because to fully appreciate this post, you have to know that I don't live in North Carolina or Texas or somewhere warm where snow is a big deal. No. I live in a place that averages 58.95785 feet of snow per year.*

Today it is snowing. Well, not really. Not yet anyway. What I should say is that the weatherman predicts at some point throughout the day and into the night it could be snowing. We could get like 2 or 3 inches of snow. Right now, though, it's just raining.

Soooooooo, then why is it that the salt trucks are already out and salting (it's 39 degrees)? And, why is it that it took me 20 minutes to get home from work (normally a 7 minute trip)? And, why is it that the grocery store is out of milk and toilet paper? It seems we're in a bit of a panic mode, no.

And, while I am at it, why is it always that milk and toilet paper are the things that sell out. I mean if I were going to be stuck in my house for several days with no chance of getting out I probably wouldn't buy milk and toilet paper. Don't get me wrong, I totally appreciate the value of toilet paper, but if I were going to be stuck in my house for days on end, I would buy valium and cookie dough or something. And, let's be clear. When I say toilet paper, there are plenty of single rolls left at the store, it's just the huge mulit-packs that are sold out. Surely there must be some other cold-weather related use that I am missing. Otherwise, why would people flock to the 24 roll pack?

It seems like if you live where I live, 2-3 inches would be no big deal.

** Not an official number, just something I made up :)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The REALLY most exciting election of our time.

It was held yesterday and it was for third grade president of [-----] elementary school. Ryan decided not to run, which, as you might imagine, given my love of all things politics, was a little disappointing. I wanted to run for third grade president vacariously through him.

Back on November 7th, they had primaries. Each classroom picked a top candidate. Then they had two weeks to pick their vice presidential candidates and to campaign.

Apparently in 3rd grade, there is no law against buying votes as DAILY Ryan would come home with laffy taffy, cookies, candy, etc etc.

There was one candidate that I would have to say was like the DNC, what with their full-sized, personalized "Vote For Me" candy bars and their 30 minutes spot on prime-time TV that could delay the World Series...er....anyways, the other candidates didin't quite seem to have that type of budget.

I did love how seriously Ryan was taking his vote. He told me he wasn't even going to vote for a boy just because he, too, was a boy. And, he told me he wasn't going to vote for someone who was his friend just because he was his friend. He told me he was going to listen to each of the final speeches and decide who he wanted to vote for from there. Candy couldn't buy his vote, he said. Then, he paused. "I do really like the candy, though." :)

A young gentleman from Ryan's class was the winner. He shall henceforth be known as Mr. President. In the end, I was glad Ryan didn't run. I'm pretty sure I would've cracked under all of that candy pressure! Because as we all know, there can only be one president...everyone else goes home sad AND overloaded with sugar.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Moyer the Destroyer



My Hayleigh. She sure is cute. And sweet. And cuddly. But don't let all of that fool you. No. Don't let the cute dancing and book-reading and babbling and waving and snuggling and giggling and playing fool you. It's simply a clever disguise. For underneathe all of that cuteness lies MOYER THE DESTROYER!

Moyer the Destroyer rips pages out of school books and colors on walls...all at the same time. Moyer the Destroyer can cleverly hide pieces of food in her mouth or in her hands and then, when you go to pick her up out of her chair, she can wipe them on your work clothes, your furniture, or your cat. Moyer loves the blinking blue light on my computer and has already twice, during this post alone, touched it to turn the computer off. Moyer can single-handedly, in a way that makes an 8-year-old jealous, throw toys and things all over a clean playroom floor in 2.4 seconds. Those socks I just put on her feet? In the toilet. The bow I just put in her hair? Stuffed between the heater vents.

Moyer is also very smart. She's crafty enough to know when the kids are getting ready to go to the busstop and waits patiently by the door. Once Ryan or Trisha or Jonathan leaves to go, out she runs right in her barefeet (it is 20 degrees and snowing here). How does she move faster than me? Clearly. Cleary, the only explanation is superhuman powers.

Oh, and don't try to tell Moyer no or pick her up and take her inside or remove her hands from the toilet water and clean them off. Whatever you do, don't do that. If you try, you will face the wrath of Moyer. And, Moyer is getting old enough where she expresses wrath. Oh, yes...she expresses wrath.

I've saved the best trick for last, though. Because despite all of this chaos, with the breaking of a smile or a little dance or a little word or with a little snuggle, Moyer can melt her mommy's heart in the blink of an eye.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Stick a Banana in Your Ear

Our home has been taken over by a somewhat crabby, somewhat creepy unicorn. His name is Charlie. If you are not familiar with Charlie the Unicorn, you need to view this first:



I picked the short one. Since I do not smoke pot and since I am not, you know, 11, I have a hard time really getting into Charlie. I guess it is somewhat mildly amusing. I think you can see how annoying it would be to have four children (and ne adult male) going around saying "Charlie" and "Shun the nonbeliever...shun" in that voice all day. It is better than fighting, though. I'll take that over the sound of siblings fighting anyday. However, I feel I must state for the record that I better not get a Charlie T-shirt for Christmas. I mean it. I don't want it. No.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Cheer Banquet

I know I haven't posted in awhile...Hayleigh just cut her fourth tooth in the past week. I think that about says it all!

Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending Trisha's cheer banquet. It was a nice time with awards, a slide show, and dancing. Everyone got all dressed up. Throughout the evening I waxed nostalgic. There were the 6 and 7 year olds dressed in the black patent leathers and big, bouncy dresses with a big bow on the back. They were dancing the night away and having a lot of fun.

And, then, there were the 12 year olds, some of whom, the ones whose parents allowed it, were wearing dresses with necklines down to there and shoes with heels that would break the back of any almost 40 year old. They sort of congregated on the dance floor, way too cool to dance.

And, then, there was my Trisha...somewhere in between. Although getting way too close to that latter group for my comfort. I couldn't help but wonder how it is that we were moving so quickly from patent leather and bows and to trampy dresses and high heels.

Half-way through the dancing, there was a mother-daughter dance, so Trisha and I hit the floor. She wanted to dance like she sees on Dancing With the Stars. But, I wouldn't have that. I grabbed her close and did the bear hug dance.

And, while we did I thought of the other times I have bear hug danced with her.

There were those times in the nursery...when she wouldn't go back to sleep after her bottle. I would rock and dance with her to get her to go to sleep. Or when she was crabby and needed soothing, I would pick her up and dance with her. As she got older, there were dances with her stepping on my shoes and big hugs that involved dips and turns. But, lately, those days have given way to my driving her to this house or another, or to homework help or friendship advice, or mother/daughter pedicures. I do like pedicures. The girl isn't so much into big hugs, dancing, or snuggling anymore. So, I took full advantage of the time I had.

Of course, after awhile One Moment in Time gave way to "Apple Bottom jeans with the fur" and with her cute little grin, a wave, and a "thanks mom" she was off. Back to jumping and down with her friends as any 11 year old should do.

As I watched her having a good time, all I could think was...no, Trisha, thank you.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Post Election Diarrhea of the Keyboard

Just my rambling thoughts about the election...then I'll go back to the witty and thoughtful (if I do say so myself!) mommy posts that are way more fun!

1. Of course, I am disappointed by McCain's loss. I thought that he was the better of the two men and the more qualified. I liked his ideas better. I am somewhat gratified that my county went "red" for the first time in many, many years. Of course, we are "racist and redneck" and "cling bitterly to our guns and religion". Most of PA in fact was red. Only Philadelphia was blue. I am pretty sick of Philadelphia deciding the course of PA politics.

I was moved to tears by both McCain's concession and Obama's acceptance speech. I hope that Obama is able to lead with the same spirit of optimism and bipartisanship with which he spoke. His 1st appointment of Rahm Emmanuel tells me probably not. However, for the sake of this county, I hope and pray that Obama is as successful as any president we have seen. For 8 years, Democrats have tried everything to ruin GWB. Let's not be like that. Let us as Republicans be the first to make it stop.

2. I was also moved by the reaction of people of color. Jesse Jackson, although I couldn't disagree with him more, him breaking down was actually a moving sight. On Fox News, Juan (whose last name I can't remember) spoke of how excited he was that his children have a new role model to look at; something different from a rapper or a sports star. He could now look his kids in the eye and say without any reservation "Yes, son...you can be anything you want." I can imagine how powerful that must be because I still can not look my daughters in the eye and say the same thing. Which brings me to point #3.

3. I am saddened at what happened to the women in this race. More than anything, I can say this race showed how divided we are as women, and for that reason alone I don't see progress happening soon. When Sarah Palin was announced as VP, I was so sickened by what I heard. People who had, all of their lives, preached that women should be at home and homeschooling their children, people who have made me feel like a failure for wanting to work and send my children to public school, people who would not let Sarah Palin preach at their church if there were men in the audience, were all of the sudden applauding her choice as someone who could rule the free world. Conversely, people who have spent their whole lives preaching that women can do and be whatever they want all of the sudden felt very strongly that this woman should be home with her children. People who are for gay marriage and adoption couldn't fathom how a man could stay at home, no...those Palin kids need a mom. Talk about giving mixed messages to our daughters!! When reports came out that Sarah was getting angry and throwing temper tantrums or when Hillary broke down during an interview in New Hampshire, there was that underlying "Oh...there goes that woman being emotional again thing". As women, we are emotional. I am sick of that being a weakness. On the contrary, it is our strength.

I wish Obama well. I will pray for him as that is what God commands me to do. And, I will continue to wait for a day when I too, can look my children, my daughters, in the eye and tell them without reservation that they, too, can do anything.

Monday, November 03, 2008

No Matter What Happens Tomorrow...

I am not sure who first wrote it. I have never seen it with a proper acknowledgement. It's still worth passing on though.


Top 10 Predictions No Matter Who Wins the Election


1. The Bible will still have all the answers.
2. Prayer will still work.
3. The Holy Spirit will still move.
4. God will still inhabit the praises of His people.
5. There will still be God-anointed preaching.
6. There will still be singing of praise to God.
7. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.
8. There will still be room at the Cross.
9. Jesus will still love you.
10. Jesus will still save the lost when they come to Him.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Happy Halloween and Happy Blog-o-versary!

Three years ago, my very first post was a Halloween picture of my little cuties. There was only 4 of them...3 in second grade, and one in Kindergarten. It was when I still had control over their costumes and we did a Star Wars theme. This year, the theme was "pick things out of yours or someone else's closet and get money from dad." I think we still made out since we didn't have to buy 5 costumes. Anyways. without further adieu, the annual Halloween picture...



And, here is just a mosaic of some cute fall pictures.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Nicole the Special Needs Mom

Yesterday I was driving around in my car and as I turned a corner, Jaden's wheelchair clinked a little bit and it dawned on me "I have a special needs child".

Oh, he's 11. I've had plenty of time for it to sink in and all. But, sometimes it's like I forget. I mean I know that every day, he gets out of bed and I get him breakfast, because unlike the other 11 year olds in my house, he can't reach the cereal and milk. And, I know that every day he gets himself a diaper as part of his getting dressed and everyday I put him in his braces so that he can spend some time walking. And, I know that every school day we wait for a different bus that the other kids get on because the other one deosn't have a wheelchair lift. And, I know that everytime we go somewhere I have to be concerened about the accessibility of that place and I know that everywhere we go people stare or avert their gaze in a "whatever you do don't look" sort of way. And, I know that we seem to spend a lot of time in the hospital and at Drs. appointments. But, sometimes I forget that not everyone is doing the same things we do. And, sometimes, like when the wheelchair clinks in the back of my van, I am reminded that we are different. That not all families have to live through hospitalizations and fighting insurance companies and waiting for medical equipment companies just to return your calls. And, every now and again, sometimes, that realization sucks.

It's funny to me that sometimes I forget I am a special needs mom, that sometimes, most of the time, I just think of myself as a mom who gets out of bed every day and tries to do what is best for her family. I don't know if that is progress or denial. Some special needs mom wear it like a badge of honor...and really they should. It's not always easy. In fact, it really never is. I guess I just enjoy the times when I forget. If only I had been taking that turn a little slower... :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Homework x 3 or 4, someday 5.

Remember the good old days? When you would read a book and then have a to write a book report? Or maybe you'd learn some math and then have to go home and do some math problems? Or maybe you'd read about some wonderful Indian tribe in Social Studies and then take a multiple choice quiz on that tribe. Those days are gone, folks. Those days are gone.

Trisha is also working on a "hogan" for social studies. This has to be made out of materials found in nature...just like the native americans did back in the day. Listen, people, I can help a child with writing, some math, but creating a hogan out of materials found in nature...forget it. What makes this extra fun is how every suggestion I make gets shot down:

Me: "Trisha, what if I went to get some plaster and we got the basic shape with plaster and then glued things from nature to it."
Trisha: (In a screeching, over the top, how could you be so stupid tone of voice) "The teacher said we couldn't do that."

Well, did the teacher maybe tell you how I am supposed to pull a hogan out of my a**. Although...that does give me an idea.

Then, Jonathan is working on a book project. He gets to make a movie poster to "sell" the movie rendition of the book he just read. His original rough draft was basically a reworking of the cover, which I have to say, I thought was brillant. I mean afterall, if a publishing house thought it was good enough to sell, well it should be good enough for the teacher...am I right? However, he now sits upstairs looking at a blank page and asking me for ideas. I have not read the book, so I have no ideas. I am now going to read the book so I can have some ideas (unless anyone has read Frindle and can help me out)

Jaden surprisingly seems to have no homework. Ever. I am not sure what this means. When I ask him, he always says he did it at school. There was one project he had where he said he had to watch TV for 90 minutes each day. Something about tracking commercials. You don't think he's pulling a fast one on me, do you?

Ah, yes and then there is Ryan. So far, he's pretty independent. Except that once per week he has to bring in a current event story. He always likes to pick odd news, and believeyoume, there is plenty of odd news out there, which brings up tons of odd questions like: "Mom, what's chocolate body spread? It's been recalled" or "Mom, why would a naked man try to go down someone's chimney?" or "Mom, what is sex and why did people get arrested for it on the beach?" Good times. Good times.

Just think, in a few years, Hayleigh will be in the mix. I can hardly wait to see what ridiculous, er I mean, educational things they come up with by then.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

5th Grade Girl-y-dom





Here are two books I have been reading lately as part of my quest to "Get Trisha Through Her Teen Years Without Pregnancy, STD, Date Rape, or Drunken Cell Phone Usage". I can sum up both of these books in three words: Terr. I. Fying. It makes it seem almost hopeless to try and overcome the influences seen and heard on a daily basis; to try an overcome the desire for male attention and the desire to be "popular" and to have the best clothes and the best everything so that by some miracle you can be a queen bee or at the very least NOT the person that everyone picks on.

By wordly standards, Trisha is probably off to a good start. Since starting the 5th grade, she's been invited to cool parties and been told she has cool clothes and even achieved that prize of prizes: being listed as one of the hot girls in her class. I can't really relate to that at all. I can assure you that I WAS NOT on anyone's list of hottest girls in 5th grade. Unless someone was listing who was sweating the most during gym class. Then I might have made a hottest girl list. And, it's not so much that she made the list, heck she can't help that she's cute...it's that she was so proud of herself for making this list.

The books do have some good suggestions that I am going to take heed of. Like going out to breakfast once a month to talk about what's going on in her life. The goal is to find out what she values and why and to tell her what I value and why. I also need, in the next year or so, to talk frankly about the dangers that lurk out there. And, to tell her that there are plenty of things one can do to get attention, but how will that make her feel?

Wouldn't it be nice if I could have total control of everything all of the time? But, then, what would I do with all of that free time I currently use worrying about things...

Monday, October 20, 2008

My Poor Neighbor

My neighbor recently had two of his 6 Obama signs stolen. No. I didn't do it. Seriously. I didn't. However, the person who did was probably thinking the following:

I mean my neighbor was obviously wealthy in the yard sign department. He had 6 of them and perhaps the person who took them was simply looking to redistribute the wealth. Say, take two of the signs that my neighbor has and give them to someone less fortunate, someone "behind them" in this journey of life. In fact, I am surprised my neighbor is bothered by this. The fact that they are so upset leads me to think that perhaps they need to rethink their vote...since this is exactly the type of wisdom Obama espouses.

In lieu of more signs, my neighbor handcrafted a poster that says "You can steal my signs, but you can't steal my vote!" No, neighbor we'll leave election stealing up to the fine folks at ACORN.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Oh, that crazy Joe!

We have a family member I don't mention too much. The fact is, I am usually quite embarassed by his antics. His name is Joe. Oh, you can't ever see Joe, he just shows up to play games and cause mischief all around our house.

He first appeared on our vacation. Ryan was bored and was playing a dice game. I wasn't sure who he was playing with (I couldn't see anyone), but when I looked at the score sheet...there he was. Ryan had 5,000 some points and Joe had like 6,000 some. When we went to play miniature golf, Grandpa played against Joe and found him to be a challenging competitor. We later found out that Joe isn't a young man like Ryan, he's more like Aunt Kristin's age (late, late, late 20s). In fact, Ryan thought perhaps Joe might be a nice match for Aunt Kristin.

Joe has hung around over the past few months. Anytime there's a spill or something is broken or missing, you can bet Joe gets the blame. That ground in fruit and grain bar on my carpet...Joe. My cell phone in the toilet...Joe. Sharpie on the wall...Joe. That Joe is just a rascally guy. Except for the past few days. Things have been pretty quiet around here. The past few days we haven't seen him much. We thought maybe he was travelling, seeing some sights. Maybe even getting someone to talk to a certain presidential candidate and ask him about some made up plumbing business he has. Who knows? Anything is possible with our crazy Joe.

If it was our Joe, at least I am glad to know he is a Republican. Although that no longer makes him a very good match for Aunt Kristin. Darn!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cooking isn't my bag.

I'm not a very good cook. At all.

It's not that I don't try. Well, to be honest, I really don't try. I have a few recipes I like to use...like macaroni and cheese and hotdogs or quesadillas. I'm a big fan of the make-your-own nights. Like make-your-own cereal or make-your-own leftovers. Those are fun nights. I can also do some crockpot cooking. Like throw in some frozen chicken breasts and a bottle of barbeque sauce and let it sit all day. That I can do. Gourmet for me is grilling on the George Foreman. And by "grilling", I mean cooking the chicken in the microwave for a few minutes until it is almost done and then throwing it on the grill just so it gets those fancy grill lines on it. Oh, I've tried joining recipe clubs and mailing lists and such. If it has more than 5 ingredients or 5 steps, I just get lost somewhere between "debone chicken breast" and "add a pinch of fresh garlic". I need recipes that say things like open a can of chicken, add soup, enjoy. If anyone has any like this and would like to share, please do!

Of course, this is all part of my plan of good parenting. I mean if I wanted to cook really good meals, I would. But then, my daughters-in-law would have to live up to my perfection. All this non-cooking really is just my way of looking out for the future welfare of my boys' marriages!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The 80s are alive and well at my house...

I don't think there is much about the 80s I'd like to bring back. A few things, maybe. Like music and big, big hair. I mean the kind of big hair that can only be achieved by hairspraying a piece of hair, wrapping it around a tight curling iron and then taking a comb and teasing it big. That kind of big hair I would take back. Jeans with a peg-leg and long sweaters that cover the butt with leggings...not so much now that I have had children. And, the TV shows? Well, perhaps with the exception of Growing Pains (Hellooooo, Kirk Cameron), there is not too much I am interested in seeing again. Which is why it pains me greatly to say that my kids have taken to watching this show:



Yeah...remember Alf? I didn't like it the first time! Jaden chuckles through the whole thing. He asked me where this show had been all of his life. Which surprises me, given my dad can probably name every time and station the show is on. Watching Jaden chuckle makes me chuckle, I have to admit, but I'm not sure how much more Alf I can take. I guess I should consider myself lucky...it could be Punky Brewster!

Monday, October 06, 2008

When Did I Become THAT Kind of Mom?

Saturday at cheerleading, we found out that one of the girls decided to quit. The reason was that the coach was being harsh on the girl and the girl's mom didn't like it. I guess the mom of the girl said "They're only 11, coach!". That comment sort of struck me. In a day when we see so clearly what a lack of taking responsibility for our actions can do to a person, a family, a nation, it seems like at 11, we can expect a certain level of behavior. Can't we.

But, really, I can't judge that mom too harshly. Because, it has come to my attention that I've fallen into the same trap.

It happened so quickly and yet so subtly. I used to be so big on the kids cleaning up their own messes and taking care of their own things. I used to be big on not necessarily getting everything you wanted, but wanting everything you got. "You get what you get and you like it!" was the motto around here.

And, then, they started school. And, people weren't always nice. Teachers yelled. Kids were mean. Schedules were busy. And, somewhere I thought that if I could ease their burden a bit, it would be better for them. Hey, let me pack your backpack...you relax it's going to be a hard day. Hey, I'll clean up your breakfast dishes, you go ahead and relax. I'll set the table, make dinner, clean up the family room, etc, etc, etc, you go out and play...you've had a hard day. Hey, I'll call your teacher and make sure they go easy on you, they probably don't know how hard you have it. You can't be expected to listen...you're only 11.

I thought I was doing the right thing by keeping things easy on them at home. I thought I was giving them that "soft place to land", which I totally believe is so important, but I have to find a way to do that that doesn't kill the lesson of personal responsibility. The future of our country depends on us teaching our children this important lesson. Afterall, 11 is plenty old enough to learn how to behave.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Talking Points Tuesday

So, when you hear a democrat say "I warned several years ago that Fannie and Freddie were going to be a problem", here's proof that, once again, they are full of it!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Mosaic Monday

Jonathan's Soccer Adventures...


Friday, September 26, 2008

Will Someone Please Stop the Merry-Go-Round

I keep thinking of that Duran Duran song The Reflex. Especially the one little line that says "I'm on a ride and I want to get off, but it won't slow down wah wah (or something like that)". That's my life. Especially yesterday.

I was coming home from a particularly frustrating day at work thinking of all that I had to do that evening. Even thinking of it was stressful. Just trying to figure out what to do for dinner...how to get everything done...and crap! Where's Ryan's baseball shirt??? As I am thinking through where Ryan's baseball shirt probably is, I realize that it is in the washing machine...where a load of clothes has been growing mildew for three days. Double crap!!

I arrive home in time for Jaden's bus. He promptly tells me that he needs to take an apple and a banana to school tomorrow. This will most likely mean that when Trisha and Jonathan get off the bus, they will tell me the same thing. Triple Crap! Why is it on the busiest days the kids need crap for school. As if?!?!

I get Hayleigh from the sitters, take Jaden to therapy, run through Sonic for dinner, spray some Febreeze on Ryan's mildew infested shirt and throw it in the dryer, pick up Jaden from therapy, get Ryan dressed for baseball (a friend drove him to his game), make sure Jonathan is ready for soccer so he can leave right when Rob gets home, take Trisha to cheerleading, go to watch 1 1/2 innings of baseball (during which Ryan did very well, apparently mildew is helpful!), go back and pick Trisha up from cheerleading, go back to the baseball game to pick up Ryan,change oopy diaper in the backseat of van, and stop at the grocery store on my way home.

In the midst of it all, just when I am thinking that I can't possibly go on like this anymore. Just when I think that I am quite likely to have a nervous breakdown or at least a good, long cry, I hear something in the back seat of my car. Hayleigh is making little noises. I turn around and I see that she is waving and saying "Hi" everytime we pass a person on the road. I say to her "Are you saying Hi" and she turns bac toward me and gives me the biggest, cutest, 6-toothed grin you ever did see. And, in an instant I remember why I have as many kids as I do. Because there is absolutely, positvely, no greater privilage on this earth than being able to raise a precious little soul.

Even if those precious little souls need to be driven all over God's green earth.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Talking Points ala Jerry Maguire

Jerry Maguire is one of my favorite movies. I have seen it probably 1,000 times and I hope to see it at least 1,000 times more. Who doesn't love lines like "Show me the money!" and "You had me at hello". One of the less quotes lines, but also a favorite of mine is when Rod and Marcie are talking with Jerry and giving him a hard time. Dorothy comes in and says"...do you know he's broke? He's broke! Broke. Broke. Broke." I've been thinking of that line lately when it comes to politics. Because let's face it folks...as a country we are broke! Broke. Broke. Broke.

So when you hear either presidential candidate mention all of their plans. I just have to ask myself "How is that going to work?" We can't fix healthcare. We can't invest in infrastructure. We're broke! I don't want to pay more taxes, but I can assure you that we can't double the child tax credit or give a $1000 credit to middle class families off the top...we're broke!

When I hear Iran's leader talk with glee about the American empire beginning to fall. Or I hear about China wanting to create a one-world currency that does not include the US, I know our being broke is a real problem. When North Korea and Iran do what they want because they know our threats our empty (Oh yeah...how are you going to get us with your $9 trillion debt?!?!), I know that this is not simply a crisis of the economy, it is a crisis of national security!

This is not all Bush's fault either. There is plenty of blame to go around. Plus, I am not interested in who's at fault, I am interested in who can lead us and fix this. I do not feel like being a commonwealth of China!

So, strip away all of the plans of the candidates...they are not going to happen...or at least I hope not, we can't afford to go depper into debt. All you are left with is two men. I am voting for John McCain for many reasons, but in this context, I beleive his energy policy makes more sense and I think energy independence is a cornerstone to rebuilidng our economy. Instead of sending money to countries who hate us, instead we can circulate that money back through our own economy. We can't wait 10 years for that. We need to move now.

So, strip away the spending plans and tell me who you want to vote for and why. The only rule is it can't be because Bush sucks or Karl Rove is evil or Obama associates with terrorists. It has to be something positive about your candidate. Something that will get us out of being Broke. Broke. Broke.

Monday, September 22, 2008

My Spam Filter

I have to admit that I am very curious how the spam filter actually works...or in my case doesn't work. What makes an email worthy of getting through to the inbox and what makes it seem suspicious? It's really one of the world's great mysteries. However, in the off chance that my spam filter reads my blog, I'd like to offer a few suggestions:

1. I do not have a penis. Therefore, I have no need to enlarge it. I have no idea who Ron Jeremy is, but I do not need to know on a daily basis how excited he is about his penis. Send those to spam.

2. It seems like this should be a no-brainer, but emails addresses to my colon can go in the spam box.

3. I know that I am fat. Thank you very much. Daily emails asking "Why are you still fat?" are really just cruel and unusual punishment. Those can go to spam.

4. I really appreiciate the recent friendship I have apparently struck up with a fine gal named Michelle Anthony. She's really trying to get me a job and has found one where I can make $97 per hour from home. That can go ahead and go to spam since being a phone sex operator is going to lose something with that baby crying in the background.

5. Emails I do like to read: ones from my boss, my mom, and my kids' teachers. You can go ahead and send those through spam filter. They're actually important.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

More Proof that I am Not the Only One Seriously Distracted in Life

It seems that recently a person went into a local gorcery store looking to buy a cake for a coworker who was moving away. The person instructed the person at the bakery to write "Best Wishes Suzanne" and underneath that "We Will Miss You". And, here is the cake that they got:




Friday, September 19, 2008

It's so hard for me to blog.

If I did what I wanted to do I would blog about politics every single day. And, well, that would be totally boring to most everyone. So, feel free to ignore and come back and visit soon. Because I am sure that once I get a political post out of my system, I'll be able to think about more light-hearted topics like: "What is that smell in my van?" or "How dirty can a 14-month-old possible get?" or "Fall Sports Update AKA why my car has so many miles". But for now...

1. The current economic crisis wasn't caused by republicans or democrats. It was caused by greed. It started with Mr. and/or Mrs. Citizen wanting a house they knew deep down they couldn't really afford, but hey! Mr. and/or Ms. Mortgage Lender was more than happy to figure out some sort of risky mortgage scheme to get them into the house they wanted. These risky mortgages that shouldn't have been issues in the first place were then bought and sold on the market spreading the love everywhere. And, to people who are saying this was all caused by Bush deregulation...the law that deregulated and allowed companies to be brokerage houses and banks and insurance companies all at the same time was passed in 1999. Hmmm....I wonder who was president then?

2. Obama's two biggest economic advisors are right smack dab in the middle of the crisis. One of them was a former head and Freddie and Fannie and one was a former head at Lehman Brothers. Wow. They did such a bang-up job with their previous posts, I can only imagine what they will do with our country if they are allowed to advise a president. Don't worry about them, though. Even though their entity went bankrupt or was bought out by the taxpayers, they walked away with millions.

3. John McCain has not flip-flopped. On deregulation: He's not suddenly for more regulation. He's for the current regulations to be enforced. Which is why he called for the SEC chair's resignation. That was supposed to be his job. On AIG: I don't think anyone, fundamentally, is for taxpayers bailing out corporations. Especially during a time when AIG was still trying to raise its own capital, it would have been irresponsible to say "Don't worry...we'll bail you out!" In the end, it was the only choice that could be made. It was the lesser of two evils. On the fundamentals being strong: You remember the old Chicken Little story. "The sky is falling! The sky is falling! I must go tell the king!" Can you imagine if the king was also running around telling all of our allies (and our enemies) that our sky was falling. Why that might be dangerous! And it most certainly wouldn't put those that invest in our economy at ease! And, yet, that is exactly what Obama has been doing.

4. In all reality, what with record foreclosures, record unemployment, record high gas prices, record high debt, etc, etc, Obama should be winning in a landslide. But, he just can't seem to get it right. Which reminds me that a few weeks ago, he was talling people that he had executive experience because he was running this huge campaign. Um...with all due respect, not very well.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mosaic Monday

Yes. Yes. I know. It's Wednesday. But Mosaic Wednesday doesn't sound as nice as Mosaic Monday. And, since I started trying to figure out how to make one of these on Monday...I think it counts. So, I give to you our vacation...in a mosaic. Of course, it was a month ago, but since I still haven't completely unpacked, I think it can still be considered quite timely.


Friday, September 12, 2008

True Conversations...or not?!

The following are actual conversations I had this week...or are they??? You decide.

#1.
Child of mine: "How come I always get in trouble. Ryan does the same things and he never gets in trouble."
Me: "Trust me Ryan gets in plenty of trouble."
COM: "Nuh-uh. I nvever see him get in trouble."
Me: "Well, he does, and besides what happens between me and Ryan is between me and Ryan and is really not your business."
COM: "I know. I don't even care if Ryan gets in trouble. Who ever said that I cared if Ryan gets in trouble."


#2
Another Child of Mine: "I got in trouble at school today. I lost a ticket."
Me: "Again?!? Seriously?!?! That's not too good. How many tickets have you lost?"
ACOM: "Only 3"
Me: "You've only been in school 7 days!"
ACOM: "Yeah...that's less than half..."

#3
Yet Another Child of Mine: "Mom, I really think that the next president should make it a law that people can't shoot other people unless they are breaking into their house."
Me: "Actually, that is already the law. Exactly. People who do it go to jail for the rest of their lives."
YACOM: "See. That's why I'm really thinking that when I grow up I won't shoot anyone."


#4
One of the Aforementioned Children: "Today the teacher asked us what we wanted to be when we grow up."
Me: "Oh yeah. What did you tell him?"
OOTAC: " I told him I just wanted to play video games all day."
Me: "Oh..like a video game creator or tester or something."
OOTAC: "No. I'll just marry a rich lady and then I can play video games all day."

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

That's It! I'm calling NASA!

So, I was watching the Today show this morning when I really should have been helping the children get ready for school. I actually had vowed never to watch any NBC news program again, what with all of their Palin-bashing and all. However, I do love me my Matt Lauer, so I still watch Today. Aaaannyway, there was a story about an atom smasher in Europe that many fear will cause a black hole to swallow the earth.

That doesn't sound too good.

However, a little tidbit for NBC: It already exists. In my family room.

It is absolutely amazing to me how things can disappear in this house. all. of. the. time. Cell phone charger? Can't find it. 2 overdue library books? Who knows. Ryan's batting gloves? Check the black hole. The amazing thing is that this black hole knows exactly what to take and what to leave. We never seem to be missing a dirty diaper or a pile of dirty dishes. It's genius, really. And, sometimes, the black hole spits things back, which reminds me of a funny story about Rob's childhood.

See, in Rob's house, they would make a lot of Christmas gifts. They would pack all of these gifts up and travel to another state for Christmas to visit with relatives. Well, one fateful Christmas, their van was broken into and all of the presents were stolen. Only thing is once the burglar discovered the hand made items, he threw them back. So that, in the morning, they discovered macrame pot holders and hot mitts all over the grass.

That's my black hole. It finds things...it doesn't like them, so several days later after I have sufficiently lost my mind it throws them back. I wonder what NASA would have to say about that!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Why I Love Sarah Palin

1. She's an Effective Reformer From what Ih ave read, she has done more to clean up politics in Alaska in her short term as governor there then Ed Rendell has done to corrupt politics in his 6 years here. That's saying alot, since Mr. Rendell has been quite corrupt!

2. She's courageous. Do you kow how much courage it takes to know that the child you are carrying has a severe birth defect and then still choose to value it's life and bring it into this world anyways? I do. It takes a lot.

3. She's somehow managed to achieve that fragile work/life balance that every woman strives for. If she can run for vice president, there goes my excuse as to why I can't exercise! As the old saying goes, I made time, not excuses. And, I now find it funny that many democratic bloggers and saying things like how can she possibly find time to mother and to work. Gloria Steinem should be appalled!

4. She has a son going to Iraq. Meaning when she talks about loving her country and the troops that serve it...she really means it.

5. She is super smart when it comes to talking about energy. And, let's face facts, energy is one of the biggest issues facing our country. All other issues stem from this. National Security, the economy, the environment, job creation would all be better if we can come up with some smart energy solutions. This is her forte and I love hearing her talk about it.

6. She has experience dealing with Russia. And, I think it's becoming clear that Russia is becoming a problem.

7. Her unmarried, 17-year-old daughter is pregnant. Ahhhh...a chink in the armor. As I always say I hate perfect people because I have nothing to learn from them. GIve me someone imperfect anyday. Because I know in my failings is where i have learned the most.

I do, however; have one thing I do not like about her:

She gave birth 5 months ago and she is skinny. That's not right or normal!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Back to School Wednesday



Look at my awesome kids! Can you believe how big they are getting?!?!

The first day of school always makes me feel somewhat like Sybil the schizophrenic.

I am so happy and excited that I will finally get some time back to myself and that I won't have to hear as much fighting or as many "I'm bored"s. But then, the house seems eerily quiet and I don't really know what to do with myself and now it's me saying to myself that I'm bored.

I'm so excited for them to meet their teachers and meet new friends and learn new things. But then, I am nervous because what if those teachers aren't nice and supportive and what if they are bullied or worse, no one talks to them, what if the new things they learn don't come out of an approved text book and are things I's rather not have them know.

I'm looking forward to having more of a routine and a schedule and seeing what sorts of fun projects the kids will be doinig this year. But, I dread the rush, rush, rush of school, homework, sports...school, homework, sports. And, I dread the piles and piles of paper that will invade my house starting this afternoon.

I am proud of myself for surviving another summer without a)going insane b)anyone being seriously injured. But then, I feel bad for even thinking that having all of that time with my children is anything other than a blessing.

I am thankful for how well they are growing up, for the characteristics I see in them that I enjoy. Oh sure, they have weaknesses as we all do, but I love seeing their strengths emerge as well. I am starting to get a little glimpse of who/what they might be like as adults and that is really cool. And, at the same time I can't believe how fast time goes and how I feel like I am running out of time to instill values in them before they start looking to their peers more than they look to me. It scares me.

So, to my children: Know that I am thinking of you and praying for you today and always. My prayer is that this year will be the best ever for each of you. That your teachers will adore you and that God will raise up friends who encourage you to do and be your best. I pray most of all that you will know how totally awesome I think each of you are and that you would be secure in the person God created you to be. Thanks for a great summer!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Vaccinations

Oops! I just noticed that one of the advertisements from BlogHer is about vaccinations. I just wanted to say that my personal views are that each and every parent needs to decide for themselves how they feel about vaccinations and not just go with the "approved" schedule because someone told you to do it. We did vaccinate the four older children on schedule, we DO NOT vaccinate Hayleigh according to the "approved" schedule, for a variety of reasons which have been heavily debated. Anyways....

Back to School Shopping-Tween Style

So, yesterday Trisha and I went back-to-school shopping. You see, the boys couldn't really care less about clothes, yet. I asked them all if they would like to come and pick out some new clothes. Jonathan said no, but if I could pick him up a pack of underwear that would be great. Maybe some socks, too.

Our first stop was Kohls. Keep this a secret though, because unbeknownst to me and my credit card bills, apparently Kohls is not a cool place to shop. Nonetheless we did find a few cute items and I picked up some socks and underwear for the boys. Next, we went to that mecca of tweenaged fashion...Limited Too. Limited Too was, oh, how should I put this, an entire store that pays homage to Miley Cyrus. We truly, and I am not exaggerating here, spent two hours there. That was for one outfit. One $80 outfit, might I add. But, we all know that a girl has got to look nice, or at least as much like her BFF as possible, on the first day of school. Next stop: Claire's Accessories. Trisha had gotten $80 worth of gift cards for her birthday to spend there. I think she spent all but $11. DO you know how long it takes to spend $69 at Claire's. A long time. That's all I know. I also know that these stores really should put in like chairs, or maybe a latte bar for parents. I know that the decision whether to buy paper clip earrings or the stars with peace symbols on them is a huge one...but 1 1/2 hours?!?!?! Ugh.

So, after 4 hours of shopping, we were finished. I'm just waiting for the day she tells me she has nothing to wear.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Recurrent Nightmare

Lately I have been having this same nightmare. It involves Ryan and school. It's sort of different every time, but the main gist is that Ryan, on teh first day of school, wears sandals. The problem is that the first day of school is gym day. Apparently, we were supposed to know this and didn't, because Ryan is wearing sandals and he isn't wearing tennis shoes. This is very upsetting to his teacher, because his teacher loses it and kicks Ryan out of his class for not remembering to bring tennis shoes to school for gym.

Now, I happen to have read a book or two on dream interpretation and this is what I think. I think I am panicked about the fact (OK...here it goes), that Ryan doesn't know how to tie his shoes. Ryan's going into 3rd grade. 3rd grade. And, he doesn't know how to tie his shoes. And, this colossal failure of parenting has seeped its way into my dreams. Good thing those tests he has to take this year to be measured for No Child Left Behind don't include skills like shoe-tying!

3 days left. I have 3 days to redeem myself and get him tying his own shoes. I hope it's enough time.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

1930s wife

I saw this little gem from Mommy Confessions and decided to take the quiz. If I were a wife in the 1930s, I would be.....


44

As a 1930s wife, I am
Average

Take the test!




I think average is pretty good. Sure I don't curl my hair and make myself pretty and dainty before Rob gets home from work. And, maybe I don't repair all the buttons or sew our own dishtowels. And, heck maybe I do buy take out food from the delicatessan more than I should. Apparently, though, I'm not all that bad. I think I got extra points for having lots of children and for talking positively about my husband and marriage in public.

Let me know how you do.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Nicknames

For wahtever reason, we use a lot of nicknames here in Kiddyland. I think that with each new child came more and more nicknames.

Trisha: Trisha Lee-Lu Who. We called her that so much that when she went to Kindergarten, she thought her middle name was Lee-Lu. Trishy, Sissy.

Jonathan: Johnny, Johnny Croc, (this is because, as we learned in a science project, crocodiles are much more aggressive than alligators, and we use this name to remind Jonthan to be a crocodile on the soccer field.) Juan-e-ton (?), Brother Jon.

Jaden: J-Dog, J.D. or Jadey

Ryan: Ry-Guy, or Super RY-Guy (Spinoff from a book series that he likes where the character is Super Fly Guy) Ryan-E.

Hayleigh: Hayleigh Bug, cutie bug, Buggers, Hayzers, Missy, Hayzey, Crazy Hayzey.

Probably when the other kids were babies they had more nicknames too, it's just that they didn't stick. I wonder which of Hayleigh's will stick!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Anyone remember this commercial?



I didn't really get it when it came out. But, now, I get it. Oh yes, I get it. 19 days until school starts. Part of me is so giddy I can't stand it. Part of me is sad. Today, since I have heard "I'm bored" and "What are we doing today" and "Ryan has his hands in his pants" more times that I care to think about...I'm giddy!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

The Field Trip (Or Why I am not the Sharpest Knife in the Drawer)

It's always at this point in the summer that I begin to feel guilty. With summer passing us by and school a mere three weeks away, I feel like I haven't done enough fun things with my children. I always have grand visions of going on fun field trips to the park and the museums and picnics and the pool and the movies and miniature golfing and amusement parks and, well, you get the picture. Unfortunately, it's been more of all-stars and cheerleading and working around my one-year-olds naptimes.

Anyways, no more excuses! It's time to get these things done. So, yesterday I took the kids to the movies. To see Prince Caspian. (oh, we don't go to see movies when they first come out, we have to wait until they come to those really cheap movie theaters...five kids, you know!) At 1:00.

I'm not really sure what in me made me think that taking a 1 year-old to a 3 hour movie in the middle of her nap time would work out OK. It must have been a momentary lapse of judgement or maybe I was just clouded by all of that guilt. But, suffice it to say, it was a disaster. At one point, I was feeding the girl licorice just to keep her quiet. I think this worked for about 10 minutes. I let her try walking around the theater, but she was just too noisy. In the end, the older children got to see their first movie without a parent in the theater and I got some exercise in by strolling Hayleigh up and down the hallways of the theater for 2 1/2 hours. I guess that isn't all bad.

Next week , we're going to try a baseball game and an amusement park before we leave for vacation. I better bring some licorice!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My Confession Monday (On Wednesday)







The Craziest Thing I Ever Did For Love

Compared to others' stories of crazy things done for love, (click on the pic above to go to Mommy Confession's Blog to see some cool stories) mine will seem pretty tame. But given that financial security is something that makes me happy, it was at least kind of crazy.

Rob and I got married 9 months out of college. Neither of us had found a job in our field. So, on a whim, one week after we got married, we took the money we got from our wedding, packed up our meager belongings and moved to where we live now where we knew absolutely. no. one. And, we did this because Rob had always wanted to live here. His whole life he wanted to live in this city. Why??? Because he had always been a huge fan of their sports teams. I'm serious. So, I left everyone I knew, moved to this strange place where neither one of us had a job, with only $2000 to our name, so that Rob could be near his favorite sports team.

It worked out OK. 15 years later, we are still here, raising our family, and loving every minute of it. We've also attended lots of fun sporting events!!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

IComLeavWe

I am so sad that today is the last day of International Comment Leaving Week. It has been so fun to get comments and to read so many awesome blogs! I've even subscribed to a few. Thanks to all who visited here for the first time. I can't wait for next month!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Can Anyone Tell Me

why crude oil prices have gone down 15% since July 11th and gas prices have only gone down 2%???

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Answer to that Burning Question

Over these past 11 years of being a mom, especially a mom to a gaggle of kids, there have been several questions that I have been asked.

I have been asked 1,417 times "Are these all yours?" Yes. For a more detailed look at my feelings on that question you can look at this post, if you care to.

I've been asked 989 times if I took fertility drugs. The answer is yea, although, a word to the wise, it's usually not polite to ask this if were not on a first-name basis!

I've been asked 189 times if I just love Jon & Kate Plus 8. This one is new to the countdown, and the answer is that I don't like it at all. I can't quite put my finger on why though.

And, then I've been asked 9,457 times "How do you do it?" Or it's equivalents: "I don't know how you do it", "When I'm overwhelmed I just think of you and then I don't feel so bad about my life" or my personal favorite "If I were you, I'd kill myself". Well, for the first time, I am going to reveal the answer to that question...the secret to my success if you will.




Diet Coke. Alot of Diet Coke. Prayer doesn't hurt, either.

There you have it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Trouble with Triplets

well it's that time of year again when I begin planning in earnest the triplets Birthday party. In Kiddyland, we do not do a friend party every year. Instead, Ryan alternates every other year with the triplets. Can I admit that planning their party causes me great anguish?! Let me tell you why.

It is no easy task to find an activity that all three will enjoy. I have considered having seperate parties in the past, however, they have mutual friends and that makes things trickier. Over the years we have managed to agree on something. This year we have rented the town pool and are basically inviting the whole town. Trisha still contends, however, that she has been jipped sice she's never been able to have a princess party, bead party, etc. etc. She's probably right. SHe probable has been jipped. I'll throw another $20 in the therapy jar.

Then there was the issue of presents. I sure don't want to make coming to the triplets party a financial burden on anyone and I sure didn't want to come home with 80000 gifts. So, we've come up with a solution where we invite a friend as say "Jonathan's special guest" to the party. That seems to work OK. The problem with this is that there are certain friends who all three want as their special guest. There negotiations that go on are amazing! "I'll give you Joey, if you give me Jenny." Pretty funny. You can imagine that while all of the negotiations are going on, I am just praying that the list comes out with exactly the same number of guests on each list.

Which brings me to the next problem. One year, half of Jaden's guests couldn't make it. That was a bummer!!

It makes me sad that their birthday is such a stressful thing for me. I want it to be perfect and I want it to make them feel special. It just never works out quite as I planned or hoped. Maybe this will be the year. Here's hoping!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

As if buying a new bathing suit isn't painful enough...

So, the kids and I bought season passes to the local pool. Thanks to a very vigorous baseball schedule and a coach who doesn't like the kids to swim on game days, our first trip to the pool was this week. There were three rules posted on the entrance:

1. No profanity
2. No Cutoffs
3. No sagging

I am not totally sure what is meant by rule number 3, but I'm pretty sure given the lack of support in the bustular region and low cut nature of my bathing suit that I was breaking it. So, I thought I should get a new suit. Being that I didn't want to spend very much money, I decided to go to KMart.

I have always really not liked KMart. I remember when I was a kid, my mom would try to get me to go to KMart to buy stuff. Please! What if I was spotted?!?! My mom tried to tell me that if someone saw me there, it would mean that they, too, were there. Of course, she failed to mention that they would probably be getting tampons or sunscreen or something else that would be acceptable to get at KMart, and there would be me with my shirt or something...can you imagine?!?!

Anyways, before heading over to the swimsuit aisle, I pick up some tampons and sunscreen just in case I should happen to run into someone. The actual picking out of the swimsuit wasn't so bad, which is surprising. I think this is most likely due tot he fact that I have totally given up. I am not going to look good. I can't look good. The goal, really at this point, is just not to scare small children with body parts falling out all over the place.

So, I pick it out and go up to the cash register. Here's what happens:

Lady: "Did you find everything you needed today?"
Me: "Yes"
L: "Would you like to receive a $10 coupon over email by giving us your address?"
Me: "No thanks."
L: "Would you likr to donate $1 to Make-a-Wish?"
Me: "No thanks." (Hey...before you say anything, we already donate to make-a-wish!)
L: "Would you like to participate in a short.."
Me: "No" (thinking: What I would like to do is get my total, pay, and get out of this place!)
L: "OK...that's $24.00. Will this be on your Sears card?"
Me: NO
L Would you like to open a Sears card?
Me: no

Seriously...this should be illegal. If I were running for president, part of my platform would be to make this illegal. Just ring me up and let me be on my way. Didn't the crying baby in my cart make her think that maybe I was at least in a semi-hurry?!?!

I think she was just trying to keep me in there to increase my chances of being spotted.

Monday, July 14, 2008

This makes me so proud.

Who among us really likes to walk into a room full of people where we know noone? I know that I sure do not. I do it, but I always like it better when I know someone I know will be there. Which is why I am so proud of Trisha.

She has wanted to try cheerleading for a few years now. She hasn't really pursued it because none of her friends do it. All of her friends seem to be into soccer and Trisha has tried that and decided it's not for her. So, when cheerleading sign-ups came around, she was really thinking about it. I asked around town to see if any of the ladies who are "in the know" had headr anything bad about girl-fighting going on with the cheerleaders, and really everyone had only heard positive things. So, I signed Trisha up.

Cheer camp was a little rough. MOst of the girls seemed to already know each other and one night Trisha got kicked in the nose during a stunt which made it start to bleed, which made her feel ridiculous. But, she hung in there and now she's chatting with all of the girls and making new friends...many of whom will be new friends she would hopefully make anyways when she moves up to the intermediate school in August.

I'm really proud. Learning to walk into a crowd of people and make new friends isn't easy, but it is a skill she will need all of her life...and I think she'll do just fine with it.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday Ryan and Hayleigh,
Happy Birthday to you!



Ryan is active, active as any 8-year old should be.

And, how can it possibly have been a year since Hyaleigh was born?!?! It's hard to believe. I love, love, love one-year-olds. They are just about the funnest ever. Every day is a new learning experience for Hayleigh, and it is so much fun to see what her interests are and to see her make connections about the life around her. It is sad to be done with babies though. But, as Dr. Seuss says, "Don't cry because it's over...smile because it happened."

Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Waving your WHAT all over the place?!?!

How about this gem:

We have compiled a "Pre-Game Warmup" CD to listen to on the way to games. Yesterday we were on our way to Ryan's semi-finals and "We Will Rock You" was on.

Jaden says: "Mom, this song is really inappropriate."
Me: "I know, Jaden. It talks about having blood all over your face, which is really quite gross, isn't it."
Jaden:" No, that's not what I mean. I mean the part where it says 'waving your bladder all over the place.' That's inappropriate. "

Um, it's banner. Waving your banner all over the place.

I can hardly blame him. Since as all of my loyal readers know, my bladder does tend to wave a tad at these games!

Monday, July 07, 2008

I'm Starting to Think it's A No-Go

I must admit that when it comes to figuring out what God might want for my life, I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer. I'm starting to get the idea that maybe, just maybe, it's probably a long shot however, that God doesn't want us to move.

Exhibit A. After out trip to Arizona we had two visitors on the same day. The first family was a second visit. They ran into each other on the way out/in. The second family called my agent while they were still in the house and said that they loved it and she would be in touch. Meanwhile, while all of this was going on, the agen listing the house we want called our agent and said a deal they had on the house had just fallen through and the owners would work with us, basically give us whatever we wanted. They were depesperate. Sure seemed like maybe things were falling into line. Except that 2 weeks later we hadn't heard anything from either looker.

Exhibit B: We have another person come through for a second time two weeks ago. We decided for kicks and good times to go through the house we like once again while they are looking through our house. Before going through the house that we like, the listing agent called our agent to say they had dropped the price $10,000. The next day, we were told to expect an offer. It really seemed like things were falling into line. Two days later the offer came in $25,000 lower than our asking price. That of, course, made me want to respond to them with a hearty offer to um, jump off a cliff or something. But, we countered politely. And, they didn't budge.

We've tried to leave this house many times. There were the resumes to Michigan, and then the bidding with 45 other people on the drug house and now having all this. I think I'm starting to see a pattern here. Maybe the message is pretty clear.

Or, maybe not.

So, I'll keep cleaning up while the kids follow me and immediately mess it up and I'll keep repairing every blessed thing that they break. Like the railing...for the eighth time. And, if I get 10 examples of failed tries to move, THEN I'll know it's a no-go...or will I?

Saturday, July 05, 2008

On Having More than One Boy...



This is Jonathan about to take a corner kick at an annual soccer tournament he recently attended. His team went 2-1-1, which is pretty good, considering I don't think during either the fall or spring regular season they won more games than tehy lost. Which is the reason for this post.

I know moms of more than one boy have noticed that boys are just the teensiest bit competitive. (Or am I the only one??). My boys can make a competition out of anything from "Who can eat the fastest" to "Who can brush their teeth the fastest" to "Who can finish peeing the fastest". Anything, really, can be made into a competition. Except for the ones I keep trying like "Let's see who can clean a room the fastest" or "Let's see who can make the most compliments". Those never seem to catch on. I think the boys are starting to notice that one of them is perhaps better than other ones of them in sports. And, an on-going competition has begun: "Let's see who has the most trophies".

Ryan is always on a winning team. Always. He's got more trophies and he's an all-star. (Who is more than likely going to win more trophies this summer). Jonathan hasn't been on a winning team yet. He's a good soccer player, but he has had to work very hard to get better. He's received trophies and medals, but only the "particiaption" kind. It's starting to really bum him out. Although, really, in the future, that practice of working hard will serve him better than Ryan having everything come naturally I would think. It especially stinks for Jonathan since Ryan is the LITTLE brother! I'm just glad they play seperate sports, so the difference isn't entirely noticeable.

My philosophy as a mom is to always play on my kids' strengths and downplay their weaknesses. One of the coolest things about Jonathan is that if you asked every kid in the family who their favorite sibling is (which, of course, I wouldn't do) they would all answer Jonathan. Just there's no trophy for that. And, believe me, if I made some and passed them out...well, it just wouldn't be the same.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Championship Game

Last night was Ryan's championship baseball game. We had won four games to earn the right to play for 1st or 2nd place. That wasn't that big of a deal though, since we had beaten all of those teams lots of times duing the regular season. There was only one team we lost against: the red team. And, it would be the red team we would face for the championship.

All through the day, Ryan would come up to me and say things like "the red team can hit the ball really far" or "I'm going to have to hit it in the outfield against the red team". So, I knew he was nervous. Heck, I was nervous. But, we went through the day, kept it as low keyed as possible and at 7:30 he was ready to play.

We lost the coin toss and had to bat first. Our bats were going pretty good, but that red team is really very good, so hits out to centerfield were kept to singles. We scored two runs. Red team's up. They scored 2 runs.

Second inning: we scored three more runs. Thanks to a double play by Ryan, they scored zero runs. 5-2.

To be quite honest, innings 3-5 are kind of a blur. I know there were some great hits and some amazing plays, including a diving catch made by our shortstop. At the end of five innings, the score was 7-6. Orange team was winning.

Pinto rules have a 5-run cap per inning, except in the 6th inning, you can score as many runs as you can. I knew we would need to score a few more, except that we were at the bottom of our lineup and they were at the top. Kid #1 gets up to bat and gets out at first. Kid #2 gets up to bat and gets a single. Kid #3 brought us to the top of our lineup with one out. Again, some details are fuzzy. BUt, when Ryan got up with one out, I thought I might vomit. He foul tips the ball two or three times and gets down to his last pitch (you only get 7) and rips one over the third baseman's head hitting in the 10th run. That would be the last run we would score.

Red team gets up and starts off with lots of hits. Fuzzy details. All I know is that the tying run is on third, the winning run is on second and there are two outs. I know that Ryan made one of the outs with a great throw to first base. There were some bobbled balls and errors by us for them to get there and I can see tears welling up in the third and second baseman's eyes. Ryan looks over at me and I can tell he's feeling it. "That's OK, buddy, get this out and you're done!" The next batter comes up. He makes contact with the ball and what happens next...well, this ought to tell you.



No time for losers, cuz we are the champions of the world!!


The ball went right to Ryan, he chased the guy down and tagged him and the game was over!! Moms were cheering and hugging. Grandmas were crying. One kid's aunt was doing an Indian War Cry. And, let's just suffice it to say, I've decided to rethink that whole no-Depends-until-I'm-40 thing! 10-9 was the final score. It doesn't get more exciting than that!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

sCAMPs GETTING ALONG

Sidebar: Happy Father's Day to my dad, husband, and father-in-law. Really to all dads. I know you are all the unsung heroes that work really hard for the things that people mostly take for granted...like a roof over our heads, etc. Thanks for working so hard and never complaining!

So, I guess it was about 3-5 minuted into our summer vacation that I realized my children have some "issues" with getting along with each other. Seriously, I've seen more human decency on a New York subway than was happening in my own livingroom. I decided that my children need a camp where people learn to get along and since I couldn't find one to go to, I have created one.

In sCAMPs GETTING ALONG, your scamp will learn how to interact in a respectful way to adults and peers. The sCAMP day will start off by singing the sCAMP song, which is "Let's Get Together" from Parent Trap. Then, we do our sCAMP exercises which are currently the Electric Slide, Cha-Cha slide and Crank that Soulja Boy (which is maybe a little too racy for sCAMP, but it's fun). Points are earned each day for participating in sCAMP activities and field trips...but, only if you are able to get along.

There are four goals to sCAMPs GETTING ALONG:

1. Learn to use words that are respectful and do not cut other people down. In this rude, rude society we live in, it is very easy to think that rudeness and/or sarcasm is OK. It's really not. Not at sCAMPs GETTING ALONG.

2. Learn the art of negotiation and compromise. No one can get their way all of the time. No one can be the boss all of the time. It is important to learn not only to be a good leader, but to be a good follower.

3. Learn how to handle someone saying no to you without taking offense. It is important to ask for what you want. Otherwise, as my dad always saud, you have no chance of getting it. If you ask for it, you at least have a 50% chance of getting it. However, when someone says no...roll with it, baby.

4. Learn how to laugh at yourself more than you laugh at others. We all make mistakes. And, if you're me, you make tons of them. If I can get the sCAMPers to not take themselves so seriously, they won't feel like they have to point out everyone else's mistakes to keep people from noticing their own.

We also hope to have fun!

We even have a theme verse:

Romans 14:19 "Let us make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification."

And, sCAMP names:

Trisha: Charlie (this is from a recent viewing of Top Gun)
Jonathan: Twig-O (I have no idea)
Jaden: Blaze 897 (It's his Webkinz login name)
Ryan: Poop (I think because he didn't want to play, but now he's stuck with it)
Hayleigh: Baby Bug

Trisha's comment on the first day: "I'm really surprised, but this actually kind of fun." :)

sCAMPs GETTING ALONG...where children learn to get along, and are surprised when they sometimes have fun!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Thriving (?) with five.

With the kids on summer vacation, I am running at least a good 3-4 days behind in life. My dear friend Amy, who is a journalist, like a real one, made reference to my blog in her writingsover at Strollerderby. Something about people who thrive with five children. (She's also tagged me for a meme, but as previously stated that will take 3-4 or days to get done!)

One thing I noticed about having a large family is that we do things differently than people who have small families.

When you have one kid and two parents, you can run a double-team type of defense. The kiddo isn't getting away with anything. If one parent isn't watching closely, the other one is. Sure, the wiliest will still get away with something every now and again...even Terrell Owens will catch a pass once and a while while double teamed, but for the most part, that child is well covered.

When you get to two kids with two parents, you have to move to more of a man-to-man defense. If the parents guarding child A isn't working, you can switch. A kiddo can certainly sneak some thing by you if you are not paying careful attention, but overall it's a tight defense with very little shenanigans going unnoticed.

When you get to 5 kids, really your only option is to run sort of a zone defense. You know you are going to give up the little passes. They're going to get some 7 or 8 yard runs, you just hope to God you can contain them and keep them from scoring big. And, that's really the only thing I have found that works in keeping the sanity with a large family...the small things just have to go.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

So, I had Jaden's transition meeting on Friday. Since he will be moving up to a new school, we got to meet the new people and tell them all about Jaden and what he will need. As expected, the meeting went fine as far as Jaden was concerned. It was just that Hayleigh is getting harder and harder to take places. I think that she probably spotted something very dangerous to stick in her mouth over in the corner and she proceeded to spend the entirety of the meeting trying to get over to it.

ONe thing I had forgotten since having an almost toddler is that if you are going to have a squirmy little person grasping at anything and everything trying to get out of your arms, well then it's best not to wear, say, a lower-cut shirt. I remember that there was some talk of Jaden in the cafeteria, blah, blah, blah, but I don't remember what we decided because half way through I realized that my right bra-covered boob was hanging out for all to see. Hello!! Whatever it takes I guess to get the services my son needs.

I'm not so sure I'm ready for toddlerdom.

Also, at the end of the meeting I told the new principal, "Oh, by the way, I like to have my triplets seperated." He gasps and says "You have triplets!!" I found this somewhat refreshing, actually. I just always assume we are the freak show family of the community and everyone knows that we have triplets...one in a wheelchair plus some more. (That's how I've heard us described anyways) Apparently not. I remember when we went to Kindergarten registration everyone kept saying, "These must be the triplets" and "Here come the triplets" like we were a circus act or something. This guy didn't even know. I think I like that better.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Arizonaaaahhhhh!



Here's where Rob and I stayed for our trip to Arizona. Isn't it lovely??? It was for our 15 year anniversary. Bob and Linda answered the call and bravely watched all 5 kids for 4 whole days. I did keep a very rigorous laying schedule, I must say. I'll miss my lounge chair. You all need to go. Really. Leave your kids and go. It was awesome.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Children's Resort and Spa

Jaden and I recently had the pleasure of an overnight stay at Children's Hospital (aka resort and spa). How can I possibly express to you the hatred I feel for that place. Some long-time readers of Kiddyland may recall our last visit to the resort and spa was less than ideal. You can read about it here.

This time it was the exact opposite. We went to the Emergency room at 10:00 am on Thursday because Jaden had a headached that he ranked an 8 out of 10 on the pain scale since the evening before. The only other time this had happened, it was a shunt malfunction. So, we took him in. They did the obligatory tests: another CT Scan (didn't a study just come out linking lots of CT scans to kidney cancer???), a series of xrays and a needle into the head to test for shunt flow. Everything looked fine. However, they wanted to run one more test and they wanted him to stay overnight for observation. At that point, I appreciated the cautiousness they were taking.

When we got to our room, I was so pleased to see that Jaden was the only patient in his room. Until 4 am. That's when they brought Damon in. Not pronounced (DAY-men) but pronounced (day-MON...like on). He was climbing a tree around midnight when he fell out and they thought he broke his neck. Luckily, no broken bones, but unfortunately, they found a growth in his rectum when they did the full-body MRI. How do I know this??? Well, because he was scoped right on his bed, right next to me at 4:30 in the morning. Actually, I felt quite bad for this family and ended up really liking them. But, not so much when they first came in.

The next morning, I learned the other test was called a shuntogram. My first thought was that a clown was going to come out, do a little dance, or recite a naughty poem and give Jaden some chocolates or flowers or something. Actually, he was going to get another needle in the head, get filled up with radioactive stuff and then get xrays taken. Since Jaden had been acting fine since about 4pm the previous evening, I wanted to talk to the Dr about not doing the test and going home. While I enjoy the thought of using Jaden for an alternative energy source once this whole "oil" thing runs out. I do try to avoid that radioactive stuff when I can. I asked at 8am, I got to speak to the Dr at 2. THis was only after I went into "winning friends and influencing people" mode. It's not pretty. Although I did keep a respectful tone to my voice which I think is pretty commendable.

In the end, after a consult from ENT, it turns out that Jaden simply had an inner ear infection...thus the headache, sore neck (lymph nodes) and dizziness. UNBELIEVABLY, the ENT wanted to order another CT Scan to get a more conclusive picture AND he wanted to keep him another night. I'm serious. But, thanks to Dale Carnegie I was able to make my escape.

It seriously took them from 10 am to 4 pm the mext day to diagnose an ear infection people. Be afraid. Be very afraid.