Thursday, December 29, 2005

I'm moving!!!

No, not me or my family. Just my blog. My dear, sweet hubby has finally gotten the family website almost done, and has created a tab for me to use for my blog. I'll have more control of the content and who can or cannot comment (which will alleviate the spam issues we've all had from time to time) so I'm hoping that this move will be a good one! You know, no one likes change...but, I'm giving it a shot and trying to keep a positive attitude :)

Now, some points of importance:
1. You do not need to have a registered account to go to my blog, or to post comments.
2. You do have to have an account if you want to access the entire site, including the photo gallery.
3. Hubby welcomes comments and suggestions on how he can improve the site and make it more user friendly. There is a 'contact us' link on the site, so post your suggestions to that and he'll be sure to get them.
4. I really want to see you all there, so please, please, please click on the link below and say hi!!!

So, that said, here's the link to my new blog - or actually old blog, but new blog location:'s Blog

Please make a mental note of the change and if you've listed my blog on your favorite links section, make a point to change the link to this new address. Hope to see you all there!!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Is Christmas Over Yet?

Just wondering if you guys are feeling the same way? It's been a very hectic Christmas for us this year, and we stayed in town!!! We didn't travel this year, but instead decided that staying home would be more 'relaxing' and 'less stressful'. What a joke! In hindsight, I'm thinking that maybe we should have traveled to someplace - anyplace - just so that I wouldn't have had so much to do around here!!!

It all started on Friday when I decided that we needed to finally get the house picked up. And, when I say 'picked up', I'm not just talking about the casual stray toy or messy bedroom. This house looked like a full-blown war zone! The kids (Alex & Morgann) had their birthday party's last weekend (the 17th) and raked in the toys! I just knew Santa was in a panic at this point because they had gotten almost everything they'd asked him to bring for Christmas. It was totally unexpected that every child that came to the party would bring a gift for both kids. I figured that Alex's friends would bring him a present, and Morgann's friends would bring her a present - maybe I should have mentioned that on the invite, but too late now! So anyway, after the birthday party, my dad & his wife asked if they could come over with the kid's Christmas presents so they could watch them open them, which we did. ALL of them! By this point, I was beginning to feel a panic attack coming on because it was going to fall to me to find a home for all of these new play things! I started making mental notes of where certain items might finally land in the playroom or bedrooms, but it was a mystery to me as to how I'd go about getting those rooms cleaned up enough to add to the stacks & piles already there!

So Friday morning, mommy became a cleaning tyrant. My kids probably thought that they'd died and gone to hell. When I clean, I CLEAN. We get trash bags out and start filling them up - either for the trash gate outside or a local charity. No one was allowed to stray from the task at hand, and the spanking spoon was never far from my reach. The kids knew that mommy meant business, and that if they ever wanted to see the light of day again, they'd better hop to it. So, they did. It took us about 3 1/2 hours to clean the playroom, Morgann's bedroom and the boy's bedroom, clean the bunny's cage, and to vacuum all aforementioned rooms. Once that task was conquered, we had to move downstairs to start gathering up all of the toys from the office, entryway, living room, laundry room, dining room, and yes, kitchen. We spent another 2 hours piling all of the toys up on the table, throwing all of the new kitchen toys (Morgann got a play kitchen for her birthday with a full set of food, pots & pans, and dishes) into an empty diaper box that I discovered had never been thrown out, and finally vacuuming all rooms downstairs. Then the time came for us to lug all of the downstairs piles upstairs. More fun!!!

Needless to say, we managed to finally finish the cleaning chores by around 6PM. Poor daddy had been banished outside to mow and clean up leaves as soon as he'd gotten home, so we were all totally exhausted. I'm happy to say that we did allow the kids some outdoor playtime - daddy raked up a huge pile of leaves in the backyard and the kids giddily jumped into them over & over again. After putting the kids to bed, I still had many items on my list that had to be completed before I went to bed - make deviled eggs, sweep & mop the kitchen/breakfast room floors, vacuum the living room, and make sure the jeans had been put into the drier so we'd have clothes to wear on Saturday!

But, alas, our busy weekend was just beginning!

Christmas Eve morning arrived and my day was underway by 7AM. All of the kids were awake and begging me for breakfast, so I quickly provided them with toast or cereal bars. While they ate, I started making my Chicken Alfredo Lasagna which we would be eating for Christams Eve Dinner with Michael's family. After getting it all put together and into the fridge for storage, I quickly dressed myself and headed out for a 10AM nail appt - my only relaxation time for the next 3 days. Upon my return home, Michael & I tag-teamed each other to get the kids each bathed & dressed, fed some lunch (I don't even remember what we ate) and then to get ourselves showered & dressed before family started arriving at 2PM. The plan was to have dinner around 3PM, but those plans were changed due to the very late arrival of a few of Michael's relatives, who shall remain nameless. So while waiting on those tardy guests, Michael's mom & grandma helped us to fold & fill-up our luminarie bags. We'd never done luminaries before, but it's something that our entire subdivision does, and we didn't want to be the only house to not have them! It turned into a fun event with all members of the family participating - while grandma & great-grandma folded the bags, the kids poured sand into them, and Michael & I took them to the front yard and lined the sidewalk and edge of the yard with them. We finally ate around 5PM. After finishing up a yummy dinner, we all went outdoors to light our luminaries, and greet a few of our neighbors. We ended up down the street helping another family light their luminaries, having a quick drink and just visiting and having a wonderful time. As we walked home, Michael & I were commenting on how much we love this neighborhood and hope that we will be here for many years to come :-)

After getting the dinner dishes washed and the excess food put away, it was time to open gifts. This is another event that takes several hours to complete because each person, beginning with the youngest, opens 1 gift. Everyone "ooohs!" & "aaahs!" at the present, then the next youngest has their turn, and so on. I think this year took about 2 1/2 hours! Once the gifts were opened, we attempted a quick clean-up and then sent the kids off to dreamland. It took some coaxing and many reminders that Santa would skip our house if they didn't hurry up and get to sleep, but I think we managed to get all 3 down for the night around 10PM - 2 hours passed bedtime. MIchael & I waited for a bit before assisting Santa with his duties, then finally getting to bed ourselves around midnight.

Sunday morning, we were startled awake by Alex who came dashing into our room with the announcement "Mom & Dad, Santa brought me exactly what I asked for!", then he was gone as quickly as he appeared. We heard the pitter-patter of footsteps heading upstairs and into his sister's room to startle her awake with a similar announcement. Then about 30 seconds later, we heard them come downstairs again and begin their own "ooohs!" and "aaahs!" as they yelled & waited fairly impatiently for MIchael & I to drag ourselves out to the living room. While the kids dumped out their stockings and played with their new toys, Michael & I could think of only 1 thing - getting back to bed for at least 1 more hour of sleep. We managed to crawl back under the covers, but sleep never came thanks to the frequent questions and queries from our little ones. So, after another hour, I decided that it was indeed time for us to get up and begin getting dressed for the next round of family members slated to arrive around 11:30. While Michael worked on getting the kids all bathed & dressed, I headed to the kitchen and began working on a platter of Cheese Enchiladas, my contribution to the Mexican-themed Christmas Day meal. My sister & her husband, our cousin and her fiancee' arrived and while the women worked on getting the rest of the dinner cooked, the men played with the kids in the living room.

After dinner, we headed back into the living room for more present-opening, done in the same manner beginning with the youngest and moving on up the age-ladder. About an hour later, we were finished, but still had more family to see. This time, however, it was our job to go to them, so into the cars we piled. We spent about 30 minutes driving, 2 1/2 hours visiting, then another 30 minutes driving home, at which point it became painfully clear to all that we needed to figure out what we'd be eating for dinner. And, since I wasn't about to cook again, we decided that a Christmas Day Cheeseburger was in order. So, after writing down everyone's orders, 2 of the men went to a local fast-food eatery to bring dinner home. After stuffing our faces with cheeseburgers and fries, the kids went to bed and the grown-ups played games for about 2 more hours. I think Michael & I made it to bed around 12:30 this time!

Yesterday we had planned to lay around a bit more, which we did, but still had allot to do before having yet 1 more Christmas meal with more family. Let me just cut to the chase and tell you that after attempting a bit of after-Christmas shopping, driving over to Michael's office to fix a network problem, eating lunch at a nearby 50's style diner, and visiting with some out-of-town friends that wanted to drop by the house for a quick visit, we finally got to Michael's sister's house for dinner around 6:30, and ate around 7. From there, we all headed back to our house where we opened the last of our Christmas presents. The kids got to bed around 10 again, while MIchael & I crawled into bed around midnight.

Thankfully, today, we have no more Christmas meals or activities planned with anyone. Although I had planned to stay put today with the kids to work on laundry and finding homes for all of the gifts we all received, I have yet to get anyone bathed or changed out of their jammies. We're all kind of laying around, playing, and contemplating accomplishing anything at all. I'm wondering if I'll have the energy to go run a few errands that must be done - we're in need of toilet paper and bottled water, so I can't really put them off! But, I'm first going to have to muster the energy to go bathe my 3 little monkies and get them dressed. Once I accomplish that task, I'm not sure what the day holds for us. Oh yeah, did I mention it's already 12:01PM?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Mommy, my tonkty huuts!

Now, before your mind heads straight for the gutter, this is the newest phrase used my 3 year old - well, she'll be 3 in just 2 short days. Tonkty is Morgannese for tummy. It's taken me a while to figure that out, but since 'my tonkty huuts' is always followed by 'I hungwy', it didn't take much for me to put 2 & 2 together.

It seems that my dainty little girl is going through some sort of phase, and testing my patience all along the way. She's a bottomless pit as of late. She's constantly eating, beginning around 3AM and moving through to bedtime around 7:30PM. It seems that I am apparently starving my child because she just can't seem to get enough to eat - until dinner when she announces "I full!" at the table, and then quickly dismisses herself from her seat. Then about the time we say "Everyone upstairs for bedtime", she announces "Mommy, my tonkty huuts, I hungwy". Too bad kiddo!

I, at first thought that this was a ploy to delay going to bed - which used to be her favorite time of the day! She NEVER gave us trouble - she was always the first one to her room, and was fast asleep for a good 12 hour stretch!!! Life was good, in those days. But now, we put her into her bed, say her prayers, discuss the fact that her angels are outside her window to protect her, and by her bed to give her sweet dreams (she's always tended toward having bad ones or nightmares, so we've found that if we don't pray for that bedside angel, she will inevitably wake up crying during the night), then within 5 minutes we can find her sneeking downstairs to tell us (again) that "her tonkty huuts" and that she's "hungwy". Never fails! This is the new Segulja ritual.

And, we've also discovered that regardless of whether we relent and give her that late-night snack before bed, or just tell her she'll have to wait for breakfast, she will still get up and announce that her tonkty must be filled with food or she will surely die! It's a battle to the death, but, apparently, not her's! She has recently taken up the newest habit of waking ME up somewhere between 2AM & sunrise, 'pot tot' (Pop Tart) in hand, asking to eat. Now imagine how well I communicate after only being asleep for about 3 hours. The fact that I can even tell which child I'm speaking with is a miracle in & of itself. But, to have the shiny metallic wrapper about an inch from my nose, and hearing the whiny voice of my daughter, makes my communication less sensitive and more irritated. Yes, I'll admit that I'm not a morning person, and being whined awake on a nightly basis doesn't contribue to my sweet-mommyness at all!!! And, what's a mommy to do when her 3 year old is begging to eat in the middle of the night? Relent, of course! One way or another, I always manage to toast the 'pot tot', get her a drink, and turn on a movie of her choice (usually 101 Dalmations, Patch's Adventure), then crawl back into bed until she wanders back into my room about 5 minutes later to ask me to turn on the downstairs bathroom light because she has to go potty. I can't tell her no because we all know where that might get me, so I'm back up and stumbling across the house to the laundryroom to turn on the light - which always blinds me. Somehow, through the spots, I always manage to find my bed again, and it's off to dreamland once more. If I were more awake, I'd remember to turn on the light when I'm waiting on the Tart to Pop out of the toaster. But alas, my brain just doesn't work when being jolted out of a sound sleep.

I'm happy to report that Morgann will usually fall asleep watching Patch's Adventure on the couch, with a tummy full of pot tot. Granted Pot Tot's aren't the healthiest of food choices, and I actually buy them for the kid's weekend treat, but as of late, they've been the midnight snack and favorite breakfast choice of my 2 oldest children. I guess if I was a bit more conscientious of their health, I'd stop buying them altogether, but I figure the occassional sugar rush never hurt anyone - unless your a diabetic, in which case I'd recommend staying away from them. And, I do make sure my kids eat at least 1 healthy meal a day - usually dinner, which might be why Morgann is always 'full' and hardly touches her plate.

Hmmm...sometimes blogging can bring so many things to light to my sleep deprived mind. Note to self: Stop buying pot tots, and wear earmuffs to drowned out the sounds of the whiny children that find out there are no more pot tots in the pantry!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Ho, Ho, Humph!

I'm not sure where to start this entry except to say that it took us only 5 short days to set up and decorate our Christmas tree, and since this is something that I thoroughly enjoy and make an event of every year, the fact that it took us so darned long to get it done really bummed me out. We haven't done any shopping yet for various reasons, and since money is kind of tight this year, I just haven't had much of an excitement for that one day that lies only 14 short days away! I've been searching for that child-like excitment that my kiddos have, but it seems to be eluding me at every turn. No sooner do I start to feel a twinge of excitement, than something comes crashing down and smothers it once again! Not only am I not feeling excited about Christmas, but I'm actually starting to dread it! I can't believe that statement actually left my mouth, but it's true! There's just something wrong with me and I need to figure out what it is so that I can fix it, or get it fixed.

Yesterday, I thought that I might finally, at last, find something to excite me, but things didn't quite pan out like I'd hoped. Let me back up by telling you all that since I am no longer working as a wedding and event coordinator every weekend, Michael & I decided that we'd take the day to have 'family time'. I don't know what exactly possessed us to do so, but we decided to go play in the snow. Snow, you ask? Well, yes, sort of. It didn't actually snow here in our lovely city, but someone brought the snow to us. Earlier in the week, we received an email from the Museum of Natural Science stating that they were going to have a FREE snow flurry day. They had several other activities going on there as well, but the idea of playing in the snow just sounded too good to pass up. Apparently, exactly 1/3 of our city's population thought the exact same thing because when we we arrived, the mob of people we encountered brought a shiver to my spine. We couldn't find a parking spot even remotely close to the museum., so we ended up parking and walking about 1/2 a mile to the place where all of the special holiday fun was taking place.

When we got to the 'spot', we found the line of people that were patiently waiting to enter the snow-laden grounds, but we couldn't find the end of it. So, we did what any normal, clear-thinking parents would have done. I stood by the stroller while Michael took Alex, a friend, and Morgann through the shrubs into the throng of snow-ball throwing children. Thankfully Michael's parents & sister came with us, so while Aunt Carrie crawled through a different set of shrubbery to find & help Michael with the 3 kids, Michael's mom stood on a block of marble (that is normally used for sitting) looking for the happy four-some to take a few pictures. It was ridiculous to think that we'd be able to see them in & amongst the other children (and by children, I mean any human being between the ages of 1 and 65), but I was determined to get a few pictures of my children playing in the snow with their father. After all, this was a once-in-a-lifetime Kodak moment that I just didn't want to miss. I just knew that we'd capture that one specific special moment on film and my Christmas spirit would suddenly appear, angels would begin singing the Hallelujah Chorus, and I'd be happy and excited once again. But, alas, we couldn't even find the top of Michael's hat, much less see our 3 small children playing and having the time of their lives.

When Michael's father finally reappeared after a brief absence, he informed me that Michael had taken Morgann over to a different area designated for smaller children, so I'd probably have more luck at geting my coveted picture over there. So, off I went, camera in hand, on a true, life threatening adventure. I don't think I've ever been as crushed as I was trying to maneuver through the throngs of happy, angry, and even violent holiday-fun seekers. It was a mad-house and I was stuck in the middle of it!!! But, I was on a mission. I absolutely had to find my husband and daughter, and capture that special moment on film, at all costs. So, onward I pushed (and shoved) until I found several new lines of parents & kids. It took me a while to figure it all out, since there was absolutely no organization to this very big mistake of a day, but there was 1 line snaking around for the snow-grounds for the older group, which we'd already snuck into, one line for the snow-grounds for children aged 1-4, one line of parents & children waiting to visit with Santa & his reindeer Comet, and one line of people of various ages waiting to play some kind of game with a local radio station that had set-up a tent right smack in the middle of the action. I decided that my best bet would be to follow the line for the 1-4 age group, which eventually led me right to hubby & child. Ok, now that I've found them, I had to somehow attract Michael's attention so that he'd get to the edge of the snow-ground so that I could capture my special moment. He eventually saw me waving & screaming like a maniac and made his way to a small 2x2 clearing where he could set Morgann down safely. I was able to snap off a few pictures, but thanks to several other fun-seekers, I never did quite get that special shot. (I love digital cameras because you can see your pictures right away!) Most of the pictures that I snapped off were of other children that felt the need to walk right in front of my husband & child at the exact moment I pressed the button! The nerve of them!!! But, not one to be detered from my mission, I kept snapping and eventually got several fairly-decent pics, but not the ONE that I'd hoped for.

It was at this moment that another clever thought entered my mind. Leaving Michael & Morgann behind, I decided to go ask a few of the parents standing in line to see Santa & Comet about how long they'd been standing there. I found a nice looking couple close to the front to ask and was happily surprised when they said they'd only been standing there for about 5 minutes. I thought my ears deceived me, so I asked them to clarify. Again, they said about 5 minutes. I could hardly believe it! So, heart pounding, I raced back over to the smaller snow area and told Michael that he absolutely had to bring Morgann out, and that he had to, at all costs, find Aunt Carrie, Alex & friend. I just knew this would be THE picture I was hoping for. After all, what better way to get into the Christmas spirit than to sit & chat with Santa for a few minutes? Once the 'group' was back together, we found the end of the Santa line and began our wait...35 minutes later, I was asked by a rather cranky hubby why exactly I wanted to stand around in this line? It was all I could do to contain some kind of civility as I answered, "Because you're going to take a picture of the kids with Santa, that's why!" I could see that he wasn't very happy with that answer, but it just didn't matter to me at that point. We'd been standing there with 4 children (Ian was back with us by this point) and, by golly, we weren't about to vacate our place in line now!!! This is Christmas and, gosh darn-it, we're going to have fun and wait in this supid line if it takes the entire day to do so!!! It didn't, but about 45 minutes after beginning our 5-minute wait, it was our turn.

While I carefully handed Santa my precious children, I instructed Michael to stand in front of the sleigh so that when I was safely out of the camera's eye, he could capture this special moment that would last forever. Alex was the first one up, and decided that he'd sit on Santa's right knee. Ian was carefully placed on Santa's left knee, and promptly bega
n screaming at the top of his lungs. Finally, Morgann was hoisted up onto Santa's right knee (after Alex was instructed to sit next to Santa), and she decided that what Ian was doing looked like fun, so she joined in. Michael snapped off the picture from the side of the sleigh, shook his head in disgust, and Santa quickly handed back the screaming children to me. Alex quickly gave Santa his 2 biggest requests, and jumped down. Finally, our task was complete, the picture had been taken, and I just knew my Christmas spirit was only moments away.

We found grandpa and decided that we'd had enough of the fun-filled holiday festivities. It was time to leave, but not before I looked at THE PERFECT picture of my kids with Santa. Here it is, reindeer antlers and all. To bad he didn't stand in front of the sleigh, away from those God-blessed antlers...

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Coming Soon...

I have a new post I'm working on and will get online by tomorrow - God willing! Things have been wacky around here this week, so it's taking a bit of time to get it posted! Hope everyone is enjoying their holidays, so far :)

By the way, if you're looking for a few more Christmas gifts, go check out my personal website.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Just a note

For anyone that might care, I'm still alive and our Thanksgiving was wonderful! But, for now, I'm sort of out of commission with being able to keep up my blog & email habit. I'm having withdrawls, so I'm taking a quick second and using Michael's computer to simply post a note to let you all know that things are fine, I just don't have access to my computer for the time being!

Hope everyone had a spectacular holiday and ate way too much - so that I don't feel too guilty for eating myself to death! Hopefully I'll be back on-line within the next few days. I have stories to tell & pictures to post so I'm hoping so anyway :)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

A Happy Wife

Imagine my surprise to find a card laying on my bathroom counter this morning! My hubby had not only remembered that today was my birthday (which didn't really surprise me because he's never forgotten it before), but that he had actually gone to the card shop, purchased a card, and left it for me to find as a surprise! It was a wonderful surprise :)

But, what I read inside was truly the best gift I could have possibly received today. I can think of nothing better than for a husband to make his wife so happy that she would cry. What he wrote truly touched me, and I'm very happy to say that he is my husband and that I love him!

"You are a beautiful and exceptional woman, wife and mommy".

Could there be a better compliment? So, for all of the complaining I do, the breakdowns I have on a fairly regular basis, and the times I feel like I could have done something better with my life...Michael, you made it all worth it by that one little sentence. Thank you!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

And, So It Continues...

10:39PM - Crawl into bed and pull the covers up over my head; pray for a decent night's sleep as I drift off to dream land
12:02AM - Wake up to the sounds of a crying baby and try to figure out where I am and why said baby is crying
12:23 - Lay in bed listening to the baby cry off & on, and pray to God that he will just go back to sleep
2:46 - Wake up to the sounds of a crying baby (again) and wish to God that he'd just stay asleep
3:12 - Get out of bed and trudge upstairs to give baby some Motrin and hold him for a few minutes while trying not to fall alseep in the standing position while holding the baby
3:21 - Crawl back in to bed and hope for the best - but not expect it
5:49 - Wake up for the 3rd time to the cries of a baby and realize that he REALLY doesn't feel good; Make a cup of warm milk and head upstairs to change his diaper; bring him back downstairs to the rocker and hope he'll drink and go back to sleep
6:12 - Crawl back into bed and wait for the God-blessed alarm clock to go off on hubby's side of the bed
6:18 - Voila - alarm clock is in working order and goes off until I kick hubby as hard as I can to get him to turn the stupid thing off
7:15 - Wake up to the sounds of an alarm clock and realize that it's mine; hit the snooze and fall right back to sleep
7:24 - Hit the snooze button again, harder this time in hopes of breaking it
7:33 - Find out that I didn't hit the snooze button hard enough and decide to give up on the fable of sleep
7:34 - Go upstairs, get wide-awake baby from his bed, give him Tylenol, and wake up big brother; have a fight with big brother who tries to escape getting up and dressed for school by claiming to be sick.
8:12 - After feeding all 3 kids, making a lunch for 1, I get big brother out the door in time for the school bus; Realize it's freaking cold outside and make a mental note to stay home today, at all costs...
8:45ish - Find out that I should have kept my thoughts to myself because it's going to be impossible to stay home today; Baby has fallen and blood is pouring from his mouth; Have major fight with baby to try to get the bleeding to stop, only realizing that you have to know where the blood is coming (specifically) to apply the appropriate pressure; fight with baby more to try to absorb the blood that is literally dripping from his mouth until I soak through the 3rd napkin; call sister-in-law in a panic and ask her to forgo getting to work on time because I need help getting myself and the kids dressed and can't because the bleeding won't stop in the baby's mouth; call the children's dentist and ask about taking the baby in right away, find out they're booked until 4PM and receive obvious directions to help stop bleeding - apply pressure; finally get the bleeding to stop, see dangling skin inside baby's mouth, and hope to God it's nothing serious.
8:55 - Call sister-in-law back and tell her to go on to work because super-mommy has things under control for the time being.
8:56 - Call Pediatrician and request an appt since baby is still running a fever, coughing up a lung, and has now damaged his mouth in some way.
9:00 - Run upstairs, get big sister dressed, brush her teeth and fix her hair; decide that baby must have a bath before being dressed because he has dried blood all over himself; throw him into the tub, scrub him clean, dress him, but forgo brushing his teeth so as not upset the poor thing since his mouth is so tender.
9:45 - Realize that I'm not going to get the 10AM appt I scheduled with the doctor, but rush around anyway to get myself dressed; decide to forgo makeup since the day doesn't seem to be worth fixing myself up for.
9:55 - Run out the door with 2 children, 1 diaper bag, 1 purse, and 1 empty box of a prescription that must be refilled today since the expiration for refills shows 11/16/05.
10:03 - On the way to the doctor's office, get pulled over for the expired inspection sticker on my windshield; apologize profusely to policeman and promise to get the car inspected when hubby - who just started a new job - gets his next paycheck; also apologize to him after he points out that you were reading something while driving and didn't notice he was behind you - explain that I wasn't reading while driving, I waited until I was at the stop light, but still didn't notice he was behind me or would have been paying more attention. Get off with a written warning and thank God that He really is watching out for me :)
10:25 - Arrive at the Pediatrician's office; see doctor and find out that the baby has a double ear infection, as well as bronchiolitis - a common ailment amongst my kiddos; give baby a breathing treatment and wait to see doctor again to obtain prescriptions.
11:10 - Leave the Pediatrician's office and head for pharmacy to drop off 3 new prescriptions!
11:25 - Remember that I needed to stop by Office Depot to get some decorative paper for dinner party invitations; browse around a bit, then make purchase
12:05 - Drop off prescriptions and head home
12:15 - Get home and work on getting lunch to everyone - including myself
1:05 - Get baby & big sister down for their naps; clean kitchen from lunch mess; go to office and begin working on new business venture
2:15 - Remember that I was supposed to fax a letter to Big Brother's school alerting them that I'd be picking him up early today because of baby's dental appointment.
2:45 - Wake up baby & big sister; redress big sister and re-do her hair; change baby's diaper, put on his shoes; head downstairs and get out the door to the van
3:10 - Pull out of driveway and head to Big Brother's school where Big Brother is waiting patiently for me to get him.
3:11 - Answer 20 questions from Big Brother as to why he had to leave early, why we're going to the dentist, why baby fell down and what he hit, how much blood was there, etc.
3:15 - Arrive at bank and make deposit
3:27 - Leave bank irritated that it took so long to deposit money and head to dentist
3:55 - Arrive at dentist and sign-in; wait around for 10 minutes until Big Brother & Big Sister announce that they need to go potty
4:12 - Arrive at the dentist's office again (after group potty break) and attempt to take x-rays of baby's mouth; find out that baby doesn't like the big lead apron he must wear, so hold him down to take the x-ray as quickly as possible
4:25 - Find out that there is no obvious damage to baby's teeth, but the muscle that holds his top lip to his gum has been severed; find out that it's no big deal and that the muscle should retract into the lip, but if it doesn't, they'll cut it when he's older; try not to vomit at the thought of cutting the muscle; Leave.
4:55 - Arrive home and race upstairs with Big Brother to get him dressed for gymnastics
5:25 - Leave for gymnastics class and arrive 2 minutes late; get reprimanded by coach for being late, and leave Big Brother to take the heat for being late.
5:35 - Talk to hubby and get him to agree to pizza tonight for dinner; decide a little later that it would be best to have it delivered because Big Sister and baby aren't being very cooperative and I don't feel like fighting them in public tonight.
6:55 - Go get Big Brother from gym; arrive home and inhale pizza
7:35 - Get everyone into the tub and dressed for bed
8:35 - Get Big Brother to bed and realize that I have a conference call in exactly 25 mintues.
10:06 - Finish this blog entry and collapse from shear exhaustion...

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Diary of a Sick Mommy

For those of us that, pre-mommy-hood, worked in the REAL world, I'm sure you remember the days of feeling not-so-wonderful, and being able to pick up the phone to call in sick for the day. After making the phone call, and praying that you'd reach your boss's voice mail, you could simply curl up in bed and sleep the day, and hopefully the germs, away. Upon waking up at 4PM, just in time to catch Oprah, you could lay around, still in your pajamas, on the couch and wait for hubby to bring home take-out - assuming you were up to eating that evening.

Oh how I longed for those days today! Not the calling in sick part, but the ability to simply go back to bed, sleep the day away or lounge around on the couch. Sadly, those days are long gone!!!

After being woken up by my youngest at 2:23AM this morning, then again at 5:46AM, because he simply wasn't feeling well and needed the comfort of his mommy's arms - along with a dose of Motrin, then Tylenol a bit later, for the 101.9 degree temp he had - the God-blessed alarm starting buzzing at 6AM. Not mine, my husbands. He can sleep through just about anything, including the alarm clock, so at every 9 minute interval, I found myself kicking him so that he'd reach over and hit the snooze button. After a little more than an hour of this, my alarm clock started buzzing at 7:15, at which point, said husband finally crawled out of bed and headed toward the shower. At about that same time, my youngest decided he was ready to be awake, and would make sure that I, along with the rest of the house, knew he was up. He started screaming at the top of his lungs, which caused him to start coughing, which, I thought, would produce a lung! It didn't thankfully, but the deep-throated, deep-chested cough only upset him more, causing him to scream louder.

It was at this moment that I decided that I didn't want to be a mommy today! The sun had only been up for an hour, I had been up 3 times since going to bed at 11PM, and my head felt like it would explode at any given moment. If only I had a substitute mommy I could ring up. But, that thought lasted only for a second, when I realized that if I didn't quickly respond to my screaming child, I would surely find a lung on the floor, so I dragged myself out bed and trudged up the stairs. About half-way up said stairs, I started to cough, and realized that if I didn't stop, my lung would soon be on the floor next to my child's! By the time I got to the top of the stairs, I was light-headed and praying that if I fell down, I'd fall forward toward the wall, versus backward toward the stairs! Thankfully neither occurred, and I made it to the boy's bedroom without having any accidents along the way. After retrieving the youngest from his crib, I had to then wake up our oldest, who sleeps as hard as his father. Ten minutes later, and much yelling, then coughing, then yelling, he finally sat up and informed me that he'd like toast for breakfast - in between sniffs & coughs.

From the boy's room, I headed up the hallway to my daughter's room, where I was greeted with a request for a "Pot Tot" for "bwefst". Since today was a school day for her too, I had to work at getting her to agree to something else - this was something I just wasn't up for, but my mommy-responsibility was strong and I just couldn't send her to school with a tummy full of processed fruit & sugar - we settled on a cereal bar. that I think about it, I guess the processed fruit & sugar in the cereal bar wasn't much better than the Pot Tot she originally asked for. Oh well!!!

How I got down the stairs with the baby in hand, and still light-headed, is a blur, but I managed it somehow - must be my super-mommy powers!

After allot of yelling from the kids, crying from the sick baby, and coughing from mommy and baby, we managed to get out the door and off to the appropriate schools. After a quick drive through my favorite fast-food breakfast spot, baby & mommy headed home. When I pulled into the driveway, I noticed that Ian had fallen asleep, so it was obvious to me that he wasn't feeling well at all - he takes 1 nap a day, and it's never only 2 short hours after waking up! Anyway, I decided to allow him an early nap, in hopes of catching a nap myself. It didn't happen, but it was a nice thought. Ian got a nice 2 hour nap, while I sat on the couch and shivered under a blanket - I obviously had the fever that Ian had had last night. Great! What's a sick mommy to do? Contact daddy - via Instant Message. But to my great dismay, daddy was too busy to leave his job, so it was up to me to muster all of my strength and 'get through' the day.

The rest of my day went as follows:
12:30 - get baby up from his nap to find that baby feels cool and seems to be feeling better.
12:35 - change dirty diaper and head downstairs for lunch - baby's not mine!
12:55-2:05 - play with baby and keep him occupied until it's time to leave to go get big sister
2:06 - head out the door to get big sister and discover that a thunderstorm is on it's way
2:07-2:28 - drive through cloud bursts and arrive at school where it has apparently already rained
2:29-2:34 - get big sister from her class and race back to the car to beat the next downpour of rain already starting
2:35-3:05 - drive really slowly home because I cannot see out of the front windshield due to the buckets of rain being released from the clouds above
3:06-4:01 - sit on couch and attempt to stay awake and alert until big brother's bus drives passed house
4:02-4:05 - stand outside and yell at big brother to please hurry up, walk faster, run, and get into the house because it's beginning to sprinkle again!
4:07-4:20 - chat online with daddy and ask if he'd be willing to bring home take-out for dinner; daddy says no; mommy reluctantly agrees to cook dinner.
4:21-5:05 - prep dinner and hope I don't pass out
5:06-5:35 - get dinner in the oven and microwave (I'm not Martha Stewart and never claimed to be!)
5:45-6:05 - sit down to dinner with the entire family and hope that no one spills anything.
6:06 - 6:33 - clean kitchen
6:34-now - blog about my day and how utterly awful I feel

So, that's the diary of a sick mommy. It's now 7:26 and I'm getting ready to go get the kids dressed for bed. Daddy has agreed to help - actually, it's understood that he will in fact dress at least 1 child and brush said child's teeth - then it will be a joint effort on mommy & daddy's part to say prayers and get all 3 kids to their appropriate bed. Once that task has been completed, I think I'm going to go soak my achy body in a bath full of bubbles and hope for a miraculous healing because I do not think I can get through another day feeling like I do now.

Monday, November 07, 2005

8 Things you never thought you'd say...

Can you believe, 2 posts in 1 day?!?

Actually, this has nothing to do with Chaotic Adventures or Life Lessons, but I thought it was really funny :) I am an avid reader of 2 magazines, People & Parenting. One has absolutely nothing to do with the other, but both are what I'd consider my basic necessities in has great advice & beautifully written stories from other mothers; one has great stories about absolutely nothing and makes a great read during my occassional bubble baths :)

So, that said, the below statements come from the better of the 2 magazines and I could identify with almost all of them. The title of this particular article was "Things you swore you'd never do":

  • "Where's the #*?%! epidural?" - Sadly, this was definitely me!
  • "I love my new breast pump!" - This is one of those that I don't recall ever saying!
  • "And then what did the princess say?" - Has someone bugged our house?!?
  • "If you behave, you can have a lollipop." - Hmmm...someone's giving away my secrets!
  • "Go ahead, no one's looking--you can pee in the bushes." - Ok, so I've said this too. Sue me!
  • "A little dog drool never hurt anyone." - This is another one that wouldn't escape my mouth - Yuck!!!
  • "Can I have one of your chicken nuggets?" - Michael? Sound familiar, dear?
  • "Horray! You're wearing undies!" - in our case it was "big girl panties".

Are you speaking English?!?

Do you ever wonder that of your little ones? I mean, I know they are TRYING to speak English, but trying to figure out a simple request can be almost as grueling as mopping my kitchen floors!!! If my 2 year old is unusually chatty, I'm sure to end up with a headache by the end of the afternoon. And, now that I have a one year old chatter box, I'm considering purchasing stock in Ibuprofen products :)

I'm convinced that my daughter Morgann has devised her own language. My mother-in-law refers to it as Morgannese. She can prattle off a sentence and then simply sit and stare at you, awaiting your response. Mine is usually, "What?" She'll say it again, the exact same way, and stare at me, yet again! "What?!? Mommy can't understand you!" So, again, she'll say the exact same sentence, the exact same way, but a bit slower. I guess she figures that speaking slowly will help her mommy, since mommy tends to be a bit slow sometimes :) Unfortunately, this tactic doesn't work either, so mommy is forced to admit, "I'm sorry sweetie. Mommy just doesn't understand you. Can you show me?" Sometimes she can, but other times, she just gets teary eyed and walks away. Can you say "Total Heartbreak"? How awful she must feel when her own mommy cannot understand her?

Does anyone else have this problem is it just me? And, does anyone have a dictionary that is designed to look up words based on how they sound?

Usually when I sit & think long and hard about what she's saying, using my phoenetic capabilities, I can come up with a few suggestions, and I even get it right sometimes! When I land on the right answer, I receive much praise & applause from my little princess. It's even better when she's asking me a question and she receives the answer that she's looking for. It's always an exciting moment when she can communicate to us and we can respond in kind without having to ask her 3 or 4 times to repeat herself. After all, I know how irritated I get when I have to constantly repeat myself to my children - or husband - but that's usually due to a lack of listening on their part. Morgann has to repeat herself because we just don't speak Morgannese in this house, and it's frustrating to all!

So, as my youngest, Ian, is learning the basics in life - to take small bites rather stuffing the whole piece of whatever he's eating into his mouth, to drink from the correct side of the sippy cup because the liquid will actually come out without having to lean his head back so far it causes him to fall over, and to stand up, and yes, take a step or 2 before falling over and, inevitably, bumping his head on something - I simply cringe when Morgann & he begin to carry on a conversation with each - and then apparently understand what the other has just said. I love the fact that he's learning from his older brother & sister, and that the kids all seem to play very well together - most of the time anyway! But, the thought of my precious little boy learning to speak Morgannese before he learns English is almost enough to send this mother of 3 over the edge!

I've heard of multiples (twins, triplets, etc.) having their own language that they speak to each other, but they generally speak in their native tongue when trying to be understood by others. The 'special language' is usually reserved for the other speaker of the same tongue. In my case, I beginning to think that I need a translator. I've considered taking my daughter to a speech therapist, just to see if she might need a bit of help, but just when I've decided that this would be the approrpriate thing to do, we have an entire day when she seems to be speak fluent English, and I understand every word she says! But, we, of course, always digress again back to Morgannese, and I find myself frustraiting my daughter & myself into headache-ville once again.

So, I'm trying to decide how to handle teaching Ian to speak properly when he spends most of his time conversing with his older sister, who speaks her own language. I guess what's got me concerned right now is that his favorite phrase is "Oh, Uh". Yes, I'm sure it's totally normal for a 1 year old to say things backwards, but should this trend continue, I'm in really BIG trouble. I have a hard enough time speaking as a grown-up should when in the presence of other grown-ups, but learning to speak backwards is sure to send me straight to the looney bin!!!

Friday, November 04, 2005

The Quiet Times

Well, I'm sure that by simply posting this early in the day, I am probably going to jinx myself!

My current train of thought is that it's unusually quiet around here this morning. We're not rushing to get dressed to get out the door to go run one or several errands, we're not on a mission to get to & from the grocery store without losing our cool (their's or mine), and I'm not in a hurry to get Morgann off to school. In fact, I have absolutely nothing on my agenda for today! I have completed the laundry, cleaned the house, and paid all the bills that my checking account will allow until the next pay-day. All in all, I can see this being a very boring day!

It could also turn out that my original statement is true, and that all Hell is likely to break loose at any given moment!

But, for now, I plan to sit around in my jammies, drink the smoothie that I'm planing to make shortly - on my quest to lose a few pounds - and to simply PLAY :) There hasn't been much time for PLAYING lately, so I think that's become my new mission.

So, here I go! Well, after I hug & kiss on the one year old that just fell face first off of the ottoman sitting next to my desk :)

Monday, October 31, 2005

A Memorandum

For those of you that might be wondering if I've died, the answer would have to be maybe. I haven't quite figured out if I've arrived in Heaven or...well, the other place! Since my last adventure, my life has been turned upside down, and what used to be the norm for me has taken a recent, and sometimes tragic turn. But, let me put your minds at ease by saying that NO, I have not become a single parent - either by divorce or death - and NO, my family size has not decreased in any way - either by divorce or death! We are still a very active & happy family of 5, but me? I seem to be having a hard time finding my groove again!

You see, Michael recently started a new job, requiring that he be away from the house for 5 full days! For those of you that are used to this, stop laughing! It's no laughing matter because my psyche is on edge!!! His new position is only 20 minutes away, so he does return to us every evening, so it's not like I'm alone 24-5! Nope, just 7:30-5:30, Monday through Friday. It's a difficult turn of events because for the passed 3 years, he's been self-employed. This little term simply means that his office was in our home, and he was here more than NOT here. He would go to a particular client's site a few days a week, but our other clients only called when they had a crisis. He would come & go at will, for the most part. It was a wonderful life :) If I had errands to run, I would simply wait until the afternoon, put the 2 younger kiddos down for a nap, then head out for a few blissful, peaceful hours of errand-running! No whinny kids! Just me, my thoughts, and my list of 'to-do's'. Life was wonderful!

But then, our primary client, and primary source of income, lost one of their primary clients, so we were cut back to only 1 day a week. This cut our income by 2/3's! It's safe to say our prayerlife became very active, all at once, and Michael decided that it was time to make a change. After about 5 months of intensive looking, and 2 phone calls & 1 dead-end interview, the Lord dumped this position into his lap and within 3 days, he was gainfully employed. We're very thankful and happy with this new position because it suits Michael to a tee! And, for the first time in about 3 years, we have a steady paycheck :) Could life be any better than it is right now? Of course it can!

I could have a nanny, and a housekeeper, a personal shopper, and a .....

*Note: I am not complaining about our recent change in life-style because I see it for what it is...a change & a blessing. Change is good most of the time, but that doesn't mean it's not hard. My current situation is hard because I'm just trying to figure things out and to find the groove that I seemed to have misplaced. God is good and if He can give Michael the job he's been looking for, He can give me the mental health that I need to get through an ENTIRE day without losing my cool with one, or all, of my children :)

Saturday, October 15, 2005

The Soccer Game Spectacle

Today was the perfect day for a soccer game! Our oldest son, Alex, is in his 3rd season and absolutely loves playing soccer. So, we do all we can to get to the games every weekend, on time. However, getting a family of 5 out the door for anything is always a chore, so my decision to sleep in a bit this morning was my first mistake!

Alex had team pictures this morning at 8:45AM, a game at 9:30AM. But since the kids didn't get to bed until sometime around 10:30 last night, we decided it would be in our long-term best interest to allow them all to wake up on their own, versus our waking them all up and having 3 grumpy kiddos for the entire day! They were all up by 8:15, which worked well since that gave us an hour to get dressed and into the car. Getting out the door on-time wasn't a problem today! We drove into the parking lot just before game-time, so Alex jumped out at the curb and ran over to his field so that he wouldn't miss kick-off.

After locating a parking place, Michael & I unloaded the other 2 kiddos, 2 chairs, the double stroller and all of the paraphenalia that must be taken to the game to keep everyone happy (drinks, snacks, etc.). Once we got to the field, the game was underway, but thankfully we hadn't missed anything yet. One of the mom's informed me that there was allot of mud today, so I should be careful. Maybe I should have taken her warning seriously...

The first 2 quarters went as they should have, with Alex almost scoring the first goal of the game - stupid goal post! During half-time, all of the kids took their break time seriously as they each stood around talking with their parents and taking their criticisms in stride - 'stay with the ball', 'pass the ball to your other team mates', 'pay attention to the game', 'stop playing around and falling so much'. The 3rd quarter was upon us before we knew it, so the coach started calling all of the players back to the field and getting them lined up or to their appropriate positions. With all of the typical fanfare, we watched the kick-off and started cheering for our team like all good parents do.

All at once, I saw Alex on the ground and realized that he had been 'injured', so like any other mother would do, I ran out onto the field to see if he was ok - or needed stiches! Thankfully, it was just an elbow to the eyeball, so the coach told him to go sit for a bit, then to get back out on the field when he felt ok again. With that, we turned and started for the sidelines. It was at this precise moment that I suddenly found myself sitting in the middle of the field in a pit of mud! Yep - you read that right - I had stepped right into the pile of mud that all of the kids kept sliding through. My flip-flop-wearing feet had slipped right out from underneath the rest of my body, causing my butt to meet the ground with a sudden and sharp THUD!

So, there I was, sitting on the muddy, wet ground, looking at all of the parents, looking at me! The coach came over to help me up, then to comment..."Wonder if anyone caught that on video?" Gee, hadn't thought of that! As gracefully as I could, I stood up and started for the sidelines again, this time being a bit more cautious of where I stepped. Once safely away from that darned pit, I turned around to show my posterior to the crowd, which immediately brought cheers and clapping. As I made my way to my chair, Michael looked up at me, and with a smug look of disgust asked, "You didn't just fall on your butt in front of all of these people, did you?" All I could do was laugh...what else could I do?

Friday, October 07, 2005


Today is the kind of day that makes me want to spend every waking moment outside! It's a beautiful, crisp fall morning - finally!!! There is a wonderful, cool breeze blowing and the sun is tucked behind he clouds. I actually pulled one of my jog suits from the back of the closet to wear as I watched Alex walk himself to the bus stop this morning. I have to admit, I'm wishing I didn't have to head to work later today - I want to take the 2 younger kiddos to the park to play. But, alas, father time won't allow such an event since I'm having to gauge everything I do around that darned clock! If only days like this would last forever!!!

I'm not one for sweat, so summer in Texas is my least favorite time of the year. Winters don't really count since we technically only have like 2 weeks of really cold weather. If my winter coats come out of the closet, it's a rare occassion! Spring is a great reprieve from the gloomy winter months, but they don't last very long either - it starts getting hot too fast for my liking. Autumn is my favorite because, for one, I don't sweat. I can wear pants with short sleeves or sweaters, giving me the ability to make the most of my very limited wardrobe. It's cool enough to take the kids out to play regardless of the time of day (during the summer, the best time to play outside is when it's dark); they can play outside without the bulky coats that might be required during the colder weather, and without fear of heat stroke during the spring/summer. It's also the prettiest time of year, even though we don't have the pretty colors that Katrina might have. Although, you might see the occassional tree with a few orange, red or yellow leaves, I wouldn't consider that the norm around here.
School is in full swing, the holidays are just around the corner, and the year is approaching it's end, with the hope of a wonderful new year to come. Yep, Autumn is what I'd consider the perfect season!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Bearsie, where are you?

To my friends that typically frequent this blog, I apologize for vearing from my normal 'frazzled mommy postings'. But, my friend's blog is missing and I'm wondering what's going on? And, since I know she reads my blogs from time to time, I thought this would be the easiest way to find her. Of course, if I still had her email address, I could just email her to find out what's up, but since I've managed to delete it from my address book, I've had to default to posting my question here.

So...Bearsie-boo, where are you? I know you're still alive since you've been commenting on everyone's blogs, but I cannot get to The Nother Hole or your profile, so I'm wondering what's going on? Hope all is well!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Serves me right!

This posting is dedicated to my very dear friend at Mommy Stories...

I should have known that the snide little comment I left on Cori's blog last night would come back to haunt me. But, you'd have to understand why I said what I did. You see, we've been friends since high school, and since that time, it seems that there is something odd always happening to her - and now her family. There is never a dull moment in their house - ever!!! If she were to blog every time something 'exciting' happened to one of them, she'd be at her computer all day, every day! The fun just never stops around there :) That said, her recent adventures in the potty training of her middle child, Bennett, have been long, and filled with funny stories and adventures. Some funnier than others - remember the one where you had to drop Chloe off in the arms of a total stranger to clean out the public pool? When was that, Memorial Day Weekend or the 4th of July? Anyway, her posting about Bennett's tummy ache was just another priceless moment in the on-going saga of potty training. I couldn't help but laugh; what else could you do about something like that right?!? However, paybacks are... Well, you'll understand in a second.

This morning, we were back to our usual routine of doing our best to get Alex (my oldest) out the door for school. This is never a small task since he's so easily side-tracked - brushing his teeth is a 30 minute event! Anyway, because of the recent power outages in the area (thanks to Hurrican Rita), my refrigerator had no food that I'd deem 'safe' to feed my children or myself. And, since I hadn't made it to the grocery store, figuring out what to feed my child for breakfast was a chore that I just wasn't up for at 7:15 this morning. I would have just given him toast, but we would have had to have had bread to do that! Well, actually, we did, but it was just 1 piece which is never enough - he usually wants 2 pieces. So, this meant that I had to come up with something else to feed him. And, since my children love breakfast foods, I decided I'd make scrambled eggs for a change - assuming the eggs hadn't spoiled during the power outage. My hope was that when I cracked it open, a stench wouldn't come wafting out forcing me to gag or throw up. So, I reluctantly cracked, sniffed and deemed the egg safe for consumption. Then it dawned on me, we had no milk! Oh well! I decided he'd be fine eating scrambled eggs made without milk. (I could have fried it, but I had already broken the yolk in the bowl). So anyway, after fixing his breakfast, I checked on Ian who had just finished his morning bottle, then headed to my room to get dressed - or to at least change out of my pajamas and pull my hair back.

It was at this moment that Alex came bursting into my room to tell me there was something weird on the floor in the kitchen. This concerned me greatly because it was just yesterday that I had spent more than an hour sweeping & mopping the floors (and we all know how I feel about that). So, I pulled my pajamas back on and ran to the kitchen to see who it was that had defiled my recently cleaned floor. What I found was a small 'pile' of a brownish-green gooey substance. It looked nothing like scrambled eggs (obviously) or toast, so my first thought was that Ian had found another roach, and after thoroughly chewing it up, spit it back out. Unfortunately, I was wrong. After dropping to my hands & knees to inspect the pile closer, I immediately realized what it was. I jumped up, turned around to find my baby sitting on the cream-colored carpet with an innocent "it wasn't me" look on his face, and jerked him up to find the same brownish-green substance dripping (literally) out of his diaper and down his legs. Uuuggghhh!!!! Now what was I suppposed to do?

Well, I did what any other mommy in that situation would do, I took him to the closest bathroom with a tub (mine) and sat him down it - pj shirt, diaper & all. Ok, now what? Oh, I know, I'll yell at the top of my lungs for Alex's assistance since daddy had already gone. Wait, times ticking and the bus will be here soon. Do I dare side-track Alex from his morning routine to ask for help? Of course I do! So, I yelled for Alex who was there within seconds and asked him to grab the small container of wipes still sitting on my bedroom floor from our recent trip. Once in hand, I pulled Ian back out of the tub and laid him on a towel that was in the wash pile next to me, and attempted to the remove the leaky diaper without getting it on me! Thankfully, I successfully removed the diaper, cleaned up his bottom, legs & back, and sat him back down in the tub (still wearing his pj shirt), now with luke-warm running water. Since time was of the essence at this point, I decided to simply 'rinse him' off, dry him off, and throw on another diaper. The look on his confused little face was absolutely priceless :) Anyway, after getting him cleaned up, I had to go remove the pile from the kitchen floor, being sure to thoroughly clean that spot with anti-bacterial spray.

Life Lesson Learned: Never make fun of someone that tells a poopy story, for tomorrow, your turn will come :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

This is for Katrina :)

Believe it or not, I'm here - barely!!! It's been a rough few days, but since Katrina is demanding another chaotic adventure, I thought I'd take a break from cleaning & laundry to share with you all the goings on around here...

My family can be counted as 5 of the 2 million estimated evacuees of Greater Houston, thanks in whole to Hurricane Rita. We left, not out of fear for our lives & well-being, but because of the knowledge that we would most certainly lose power. The thought of being at home, in whatever weather might be upon us, with no power was one that I shuttered to think about. So, that being said, we decided to pack up everything we could stuff into our Caravan and were off. Well, sort of! Me & all 3 kids were off on Wednesday night, while hubby stayed behind to tie up a few loose ends before joining us in Austin on Thursday. Little did we know what havoc that decision would bring us!!!

All was well, for the most part, during my drive West toward the capital of our state, Austin. The usually smooth drive was a bit rougher than it normally would have been since the typically 2 1/2 hour drive stretched to a whopping 5 1/2 hours! Of course, I knew full-well that there would be more cars on the road than usual because the highway I had to travel was one of several evacuation routes, but it never crossed my mind that the backed-up traffic would begin only 5 short miles from my house! It took more than 2 hours for me to get out of Houston. And, bear in mind, that I was traveling with all 3 kiddos - by myself! No one but me to listen to their fussing, to answer the 'are we there yets?' that were asked at every 10 minute interval, and to eventually pull-over on the shoulder of the now packed freeway to feed and cuddle the baby. (Earlier that day, his 1st birthday, we had to make a trip to the doctor because he had a fever and croup (a common ailment amongst my kiddos); by the time we were seen, the croup had subsided, but I was then informed that my precious little man had a flaming ear infection!). After spending about 15 minutes dosing him with Motrin to help with the burning fever and probable pain he was in, and then attempting to give him a bottle which he refused to drink, I buckled him back into his seat and endured 45 minutes of screaming & crying. My heart ached to hold him; my head ached too, not to mention that, at this point, my nerves were shot! After 2 1/2 hours, I was ready to scream, but it was at that very moment that the traffic suddenly disappeared (only temporarily) and for the first time all night, my speedometer hit 55 MPH. Yea!!! I was finally moving, even if only temporarily. To cut through all of the stop & go that I went through, I'll just tell you that I finally made it to my dad's front door step, ready to collapse.

Thursday rolled around and excitement was in the air. Daddy (hubby) was going to be making his trip to Austin so that we could all be together. I called the house around 9AM to tell him that I'd forgotten something, but he didn't answer, so I decided to call his cell phone, knowing that he'd probably be enroute to one of his customer's offices for some last minute work. When he answered, he immediately informed me that he was sitting in traffic, and had been for an hour - only 10 minutes from home, normally! Since his usual drive is about 30 minutes, I knew that his day was not going to be a good one! Because the traffic was already a mess, the thought of his sitting in more of it to get to us was not a pleasant one, specifically because he only had 1/2 a tank of gas and all of the gas stations he was driving past were either closed because they too had run out of gas, or there were 50+ cars waiting in lines that wrapped around the parking lots like a snake. I beg him to make the drive so that I know he'll be safe with us, or do I tell him not to worry about it, hunker down, and pray? Think...think...think... Well, I did what any other wife & mommy would do, I told him that he absolutely had to make the drive to Austin, no matter what. After all, Alex kept asking where daddy was and his fear of what the hurricane might bring to our house was almost too much for him to bear. So after a bit of an argument with hubby, he agreed that he'd get on the road as soon as he could, but he first had to deal with this customer.

Skipping ahead again...

He finally called me to say that he was leaving around 3:30 or so, but that he didn't anticipate getting to Austin anytime soon because of all of the last-minute evacuees. The roads only seemed to be getting worse, so with every passing minute, his time on the road would grow. We quickly said our good-byes and I love you's then hung up. His last words to me were "I hope I don't run out of gas!". Yes, that was the last thing I heard from his mouth for about 3 hours. We instant messaged back & forth a few times to each other's cell phones - me checking on his progress, him stating the obvious, that he was still stuck and hadn't gone but a few miles (literrally) since our last message - but each time I asked about gas, his message back was the same - no gas stations open, tank getting lower. Well, you can imagine my fear at this point! I could only picture him puttering to the shoulder of the freeway, in the middle of no-where, as his gas tank gave it's last drop of fuel to the engine. My prayer life grew that night!!! Back & forth we messaged for another 9 hours, until I got another message that I really didn't want...'still no gas, battery on phone getting low". Now that's exactly what I wanted to hear at 12 midnight! Now he was going to putter to the shoulder, in the middle of no-where, with no gas and no phone! Now I was really praying, as well as checking with my dad to see if he had any gas cans we could fill up and use in the event this became a search & rescue mission. Thankfully he did and was sitting (or laying, rather) on go! It was, after all, midnight. Oh yes! Forgot to mention that Michael also said he didn't know where he was, and also had nothing to drink since he never imagined being in the car for 9 hours and counting... So, at this point, trying to get any sleep at all on my dad's love-seat sofa in his living room was totally pointless. I was a nervous wreck! All I could do was to pray, so I did that as best as I could, for as long as I had to!

Then, 2 hours later, I got the phone call I'd been waiting for all night - he'd finally found a gas station and was the 4th car in line for the pump. Hallelujah! Now all he had to do was to putter up to the pump, filler up, and hit the road again :) Wahoo!!! Let me just cut to the chase to tell you that according to him, once he left the gas station and got through Giddings, the road opened up and he drove like he was on the autobon! He said that other than the few slow cars that he flew passed on the right lane, left lane, or, yes, shoulder, it took him about an hour to finally reach me...I mean us! Let me just say that 11 hours & 20 minutes after he left our house in Houston, I met him at the curb with a big hug and kiss. I'd never been so happy to see him!!! And, I had never been so relieved to see him!

After spending a few wonderful days with my dad & his wife, going to the lake with them & the kids, and taking the kiddos to the Austin Children's Museum, we decided on Sunday night that it was time to head home. We were all a bit sleep deprived and anxious to see our home & beds. We had no idea what the roads would be like heading home, but figured we'd have to tackle them eventually! My biggest concern was whether or not the power had been turned back on, but we decided that we'd deal with that if needed. When we arrived home exactly 2 hours 45 minutes after leaving my dad's house, we were very happy to see that power was indeed turned back on, and that the only damage we had was too many pine needles & leaves. Yea!!! We were finally home again :)

It's still taking us some time to recuperate from our trip, but we're slowly getting back on schedule. Alex will be starting back to school tomorrow, so we'll definitely be back to 'normal' around here - or whatever 'normal' is for us!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Another First

Well, I knew the time would come - and it finally did! My baby, who will turn 1 year old in 2 weeks, got his hair cut for the first time yesterday. It was a very monumental moment for me, because getting his hair cut meant that those tiny baby curls would be cut off, and I just hate that!

I remember when my oldest, Alex, had his hair cut for the first time. The woman that cut his hair made her first snip at the nape of his neck, taking one of his big baby curls. It almost made me cry because that curl was a marker, so to speak - it meant that he was still a baby. Once that curl was gone, it meant that he was 'growing up' and I just wasn't ready for that yet! He was, after all, my first.

So, I can safely say that my views have changed a tad, and the little things that would upset me with my first tend to be just daily occurrences when it comes to the third child. I have to say that even though I'm ready to be done with the baby stage (I've had 3 in 5 years, so it would be nice to NOT have a baby for a change), it doesn't mean that I won't miss it - at least a little bit. As much as I hate getting up at 6AM to fix a bottle because the little one just can't stay asleep for 1 more hour, I know I'll look back at it (eventually) and miss it.

I already miss the 3 little curls that are now taped onto a page of his baby book! Why is it that taking those few curls off, and cutting the bangs that had grown into his eyes suddenly made him look 'older'? How exactly can he looked 'older'? He's not even 1 yet... Sigh :(

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

If Jon can do it, then so can I!

For those of you that frequent Ziggy Thoughts, no, I'm not referring to peeing in the shower! That's just gross!!! What I am referring to is a rant, a good old-fashioned rant! And for my friend at Mommy Stories, I apologize now because I know this is old news to you. But there are just some things that a certain mommy must get off of her chest, and this, my friends is one of those things.

I absolutely hate cleaning!!! I can't stand the daily chores that stare me down...daily!!! Cooking, cleaning, doing the laundry (absolutely the least favorite thing on the list, by the way!) and the general picking up that is required by any good wife, mother, or general person, are not on the top of the list of "Things I love to do!". Getting a pedicure, massage or just going shopping all by myself - those are the top 3 on that list, but cooking, cleaning, laundry and the other stuff aren't there!!! Of course, the list that I've created is apparently fictitious since I don't actually get to go do any of those things...ok, maybe the occassional pedicure, but that's only once every 3 or 4 months! But, I digress from the matter at hand, which is completing my rant...

So, it is with much pain that I have spent the better part of this day not only dealing with a sick 2 year old little girl, but attempting to conquer the 6 loads of laundry that lay around on my bedroom floor, as well as sweeping & mopping (then crawling around after lunch to get the crumbs) off of the breakfast & kitchen floor. If you could only see these floors, you'd understand my plight. You see, the floors in question are made up of small 5x5 stark white, shiny tiles - not the best choice of tile for a busy family of 5!!! But, since this is a rental house and the floor was already here, I'm forced to deal with it none-the-less. Ok, that said, once I take the hour or more to sweep, then mop the whole darned thing, it kills me to allow anyone to walk on it, much less seeing anyone drop even the tiniest of crumbs on it! So, this is what brings me to the rant in youngest child Ian and my sick little daughter chose to eat the crumbiest things they could possibly think of today at lunch...crackers!!! Can I tell you how painful it was to allow either of them to touch the stupid things??? Of course, I could have just said no to the 2 year old, but after listening to her cry almost non-stop today, allowing her this one small pleasure was a survival tactic on my part. Granted, I don't think I could have stressed enough to her the importance of 'not dropping crumbs all over mommy's clean floors'. Of course, to a 2 year old, this means nothing. I even attempted to teach her (once again) that eating over our plate was the best thing she could possibly do for mommy today! But, again, this didn't seem to mean much to her. So, it was with a heavy heart that I simply walked away from the table and decided not to think about the mess that I would soon find under her chair!

This would explain why I just completed cleaning the floor again - on my hands & knees this time because I just couldn't bear to sweep & mop again!!! I think I've managed to pick up every last crumb, but I'm sure the next time I walk in there, I'll see another one since the stark-white, shiny thing shows every spot! It's only a matter of time before dinner time will be here, and I'll be forced to allow my family to sit at the table, which coincidentally sits on that floor I've been ranting about, to eat their dinner. Anyone have any ideas for a non-crumbly, spill-proof meal?

A House Full of Sicko's

Take the title for what it's worth, but what I mean is that almost everyone in my house is sick with one ailment or another! It seems that every year, around this time, we come down with allergies/colds that take weeks to get rid of. And, of course, when one person gets it, we all get it. But now that I've probably just jinxed myself (since my youngest Ian & I are the only ones that haven't come down with it) I guess I'll share some of the goings-on around my house as of the last 36 hours.

Two nights ago is when it first started, and you'd think that after all of the years of dealing with this same stupid thing, I would have clued into the fact that I needed to dose my oldest with his liquid steroid before sending him off to bed. But, do you think I did? Of course not! I decided to send him to bed with almost no voice and assume he'd be fine 'in the morning'. Boy, was I wrong! It was at exactly 3:30AM that I awoke to the sound of a barking seal in the doorway of my bedroom. Now, if I had been dreaming about the zoo, I probably would have ignored the sounds and drifted back off to sleep, but since I have no idea what I was dreaming, I immediately jumped out of bed and into my 'mommy take care of it' mode. My hubby jumped up too (surprisingly since you usually can't wake him without literrally pushing him off of the bed) so we were both 'dealing' with our little man, but only with about half of our senses since it wasn't a normal time of morning for us! Anyone that has experienced the 'barky cough' knows that the culprit can only be labeled as croup, and must be dealt with immediately to eliminate the chance of an early morning/late night trip the local ER. Anyway, Michael grabbed Alex and put him in bed with us while I went to the kitchen to grab his steroid - we always have plenty on hand since all 3 of my kiddos have had croup several times over. We're pro's!!! So, I managed to scare Alex into taking his steroid by informing him that if he didn't sit up and open his mouth, we were going to go straight to the hospital. Amazing how well that worked!!! So after dosing him, we all crawl back into bed and hope for the best. At around 4:10AM (and I know this because I couldn't stop looking at the clock) Michael & Alex were back to sleep, while I, on the other hand, couldn't stop wondering why I hadn't given Alex his medicine before bedtime. Nothing like kicking yourself about the 'why didn't you's' while being kicked in the ribs by one of your offspring! So, as any good mommy knows, I probably managed to grab about 30 more minutes of sleep over the next 3 1/2 hours!!!

So, Tuesday morning, we were all up around 7:30AM - getting Ian & Alex dressed for a trip to the doctor and Morgann dressed for preschool. When I left the house at 8:40AM, I never imagined that I'd still be in the car at 2:50! That's how my day went yesterday - doctor (1.5 hours), lunch (30 minutes), dropped Alex off at school, went to the bank, then to my doctor's office to pick something up (2 hours), then home for 15 whole minutes, then back in the car to go get Morgann from school (45 minutes). It's safe to say that I consumed way too much gas yesterday with all of that driving!!!

This morning started out better for us all, in that we all slept through the night! But, come 7:30, we were all back up & running! Alex & Ian were up first eating breakfast, followed shortly thereafter by Morgann, who is my patient for the day! She's gone to bed a bit congested for the last 2 nights, but yesterday seemed back to her normal healthy self. I guess that was the calm before the storm because today, she's a whinny, snotty-nosed, 2 year old! And since I have several items on my agenda that absolutely must get done (laundry so that we can all wear clean underwear & socks, and removing the sticky mess off of my kitchen & breakfast room floors), her expectation is that I should drop it all and 'hold me'. We've already exhausted our list of Dora the Explorers on TIVO, so we've moved on to Play With Me Sesame.

And then there is my poor hubby who left for a client today, feeling about as lousy as Morgann is acting! He thinks he caught IT from Alex who spent the night (2 nights ago) sleeping on his pillow, in his face. All I can do is pray that I can keep Ian & myself healthy, as I have way too much going on over the next few days & weekend to be sick!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

A Mustard Seed's Story

Matt. 17:20 "Because you have so little faith, I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

I think - no I believe - there is a purpose, and a season for everything we go through in our lives. This has been especially true for my family lately! You see, it has been a very bleak summer, with things in our lives only getting worse, instead of better. It's been very rough as of late, the true meaning of the words "testing ground".

This has absolutely nothing to do with marriage or children, it's strictly money - the root of all evil, and the very thing that we require to get along in life. To some degree, money is our life-line - it buys food, clothing & shelter. It is the reason so many of us get up in the morning (to go to work) and reason we are able to function on a day to day basis (because of the utilities that the money pays for). It's a requirement to get along in life, yet lately it's been very scarce around here!

And I believe that this has been a time in our lives - my life, really - that God has chosen to see where we (I) stand. What is it that we (I) believe? Why do we (I) believe it? Is it because we've (I've) been taught it all our (my) life, and therefore it is just part of who we are (I am)? Do we (I) really believe it? Do we (I) really, really believe it? How much faith do we (I) have in what we (I) have chosen to believe? I'm sad to say that many times I've gone back & forth about what I truly believe to be real; what I truly believe at all! I think that much of my summer I've been in school to learn or re-learn what I should already know. The fact that God is God, no matter what I think, say or do. That God will be God long after I'm gone, long after my children are gone. Long after this blog has been deleted and wiped off the face of the earth.

And so, it is at this moment when I find myself in a heap on the floor of the office, crying because I have finally realized that God truly is God. That it's not my comfort that He is interested in. That it's not my agenda that he cares much about. That His agenda is the only one that matters and that no matter what I say or do, He will prove Himself to me, and that He really does know best! He has brought me to the absolute bitter end of myself just to prove that He will take care of a very desperate need in the life of my family through someone that is so dear & precious, words can't begin to express the gratitude that I have overflowing through my tears. It is at this exact moment that I have decided that I will give my full heart, trust, and, yes, my agenda to Him and allow Him to do whatever He wants to. It is at this moment that the mustard seed I planted at the beginning of the summer finally has it's first bloom!

No More Nap!

Do any of you remember that line from "Honey, I Blew-up the Kid!"? The 80 foot tall baby toddling through Las Vegas yelling "No More Nap!" to his daddy, who looked only inches tall in comparison. This seems to be the rallying cry of the day at my house. Not only has my 2 year old decided that she no longer needs to take a nap, but my 11 month old son is following suit today! This is not turning out to be a very good day!!!

Here I was, sitting at my computer finishing up a small business project, when I suddenly hear a door slam upstairs. "Hmmm, that better not be the baby!" I think to myself. But when I hear it again for a 2nd, then 3rd time, I figure it most certainly must be the 2 year old that for the passed 3 weeks has refused her afternoon nap. I usually hear her in her room playing or singing some silly song (that most of the time I cannot dicipher), but as long as she's in her room for a bit, I'm ok with that. However, over the last few days, she's decided that it would be fun to try to sneak out of her room and down the stairs - but only half-way - to see what mommy or daddy might be doing. Of course, in her 2 year old brain, the slamming door should in no-way be a clue that she's not in her room where she's supposed to be! So anyway, after another few minutes, I suddenly hear crying, and since I cannot differentiate between my daughter's crying & my son's crying, I am immediately taking the stairs 2 at a time to check on whomever it might be. Lucky for me, it's Morgann, the 2 year old! So, just as she had planned (and I know she did!) this caused me to relent on the nap idea since I was concerned her crying might wake up Ian. On our way down the stairs with pillow, blanket and bear in-hand, to my dismay, I hear Ian beginning to cry! Uuuugggghhhhh! It's a conspiracy.

So, here I sit with a distant memory of the nap I had planned to take this afternoon. I'm wondering if I might end up with any time to myself at all before bed? But at this stage, I'm doubting it!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Quiet Times

I don't know about you, but it is always my goal to read a bedtime story to my kids. I love to read, and one of my desires for my children is that they inherit my love of reading! So, like I said, it's always my goal. But sometimes I miss that goal by just a few inches, other times by 100 feet, and every now & again, I manage to hit the goal dead center. I just never know what bedtime will be like around here. And, since this tends to be one of my favorite times of day (quiet time for mommy & daddy to talk uninterrupted, or to sit in front of the TV to catch up on Oprah), we try to adhere to strict bedtimes - if it's later than 8:30 and there is still a monkey out of his/her bed, there's a problem!!! I don't know how single mom's of more than 1 child do it because I don't think I could! Getting 3 kiddos to bed is a major undertaking that starts around 5PM and requires both parents! Seriously!!!

Since school is underway, along with soccer practice and gymnastics, it is my duty - no, my mission - to get an early dinner on the table so that we can get whomever to wherever on time. Right now, my son is the busy-body so it's his fault that we find ourselves running from point A to point B, then to point C. Wait, maybe saying it's his 'fault' isn't the right way to say that, but I think you get what I'm going for, don't you? Because he's such an active & social child, my husband & I feel compelled to have him involved in several different activities. So, I guess this would mean that it's my husband's fault and not that of my oldest child :) Anyway, it's because of his social calendar that we all must eat an early dinner before heading out the door. Then once we're home, it's total chaos!

My husband & I find ourselves arguing over who was the last one to change the baby's diaper and dress him for bed, or who it was that had to wash Alex & Morgann's hair and dress them the night before. Then to keep from arguing about it further, we resort to Rock, Paper, Scissors. Wait, that's what I'd like to do, but what usually ends up happening is that I get baby duty and my hubby takes toddler/oldest child duty. And, if I do say so myself, I think we're a pretty good team. You see, while I change the baby's diaper and dress him for bed, Michael washes the other 2 and gets them out of the tub - or tries to anyway - the 5 year old is pretty poky and would prefer to be told 5 or 6 times that he must exit the tub immediately or face sudden death! Anyway, after Michael finishes dressing our daughter, he passes her off to me so that I can brush her teeth and brush/blowdry her hair. Once we finish with the 2 youngest children, he takes 1 to bed and I take the other. That leaves the 5 year old that is usually still in the tub. Once we managed to get his pruny bottom out of the cold, soapy water, it takes him about 20 minutes (and I do not exaggerate this) to brush his teeth and to put on his underwear. He spends most of that time admiring his big, strong muscles in the mirror, or seeing how many funny faces he can make without totally cracking himself up.

It is at this juncture that I would dearly love to sit & read him a story before sending him off to the Land of Knod. But, since it's now after 8:30 - that precious hour of the night I would love to call MINE - any story time we might have had is gone. Then there is the ever so popular, "but mommy, I'm hungry!" whine that we hear on a nightly basis. Sometimes I relent and give him 1/2 an apple or some grapes, like the nights when we've had an early dinner and he's had an active evening. But other nights, he's reminded that he's either already had dessert, should have finished his dinner, or already had an evening snack. So, off to bed he goes with my hubby - he prefers that Michael put him to bed because he's more fun than mommy, and frankly, that's fine with me.

Ah! At last, my favorite time of day has arrived...bedtime :) Not mine, of course! But the quiet that floods the house is almost deafening. All the kids are in bed, and Michael & I finally have some time to ourselves. So, this is when I plop down on the couch for the first time all day to watch a movie with my sweet hubby, or see which one of my shows recorded today. And, when there's nothing to watch, I curl up with a good book or magazine before turning off my light and meeting my children in dreamland.

I love being a mommy :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

What little boys are made of?

It doesn't seem to matter what I give my youngest son Ian to eat, he chokes on it! Then there are the things that I don't give him - paper, hairbands, crumbs of food, roaches, dirt, his spit, etc. It's all a choking hazzard. Of course, seeing as how anything that's on the floor (and yes, I did say roaches!) goes into his mouth, I guess I can safely say that my house is not as baby-proofed as I'd originally thought!

How disgusted do you think I got when my mother-in-law told me that while she was sitting with him here at my house he choked? Of course, the disgusting part was when she informed me that what she retrieved from Ian's little throat appeared to be the legs & wings of the so-called roach. She mistakenly thought it was part of a grape skin at first! Uugghh!!! But then, just a day later, I found myself doing the same thing, only this time it was the entire body, less the wings & legs!!! Can you imagine the scream I belted out at that point? But then, just 2 days ago, Ian again decided that the protein he was getting from these dead roaches was worth the risk and he, yet again, choked on another one!

Now, I guess you're wondering how I can live in a house with roaches? I don't!!! I've had the house exterminated several times, so I'm doing my very best to eliminate this problem - thus the dead roaches! But, anyone that lives in a hot, moist climate like Houston can tell you that no matter what you do, these pesky critters will always find a way into your house. Sadly, this seems to be the case for us. I guess the upside to all of this is that they are dead when he finds them; at least, I think they are! I've even gone so far as to walk around my house every morning looking for these dead creatures, but he seems to always find them first! Then there's the fact that it's dead which means that it's probably covered in insecticide! What's a mom to do?

I think I've decided to lock him up from now on! I can no longer bear to think that my precious little boy has taken a liking to this particular, rather nasty, bug!!! I start gagging just thinking about it... So, no more exploring, no more crawling around, no more pulling himself up on the couch or at the coffee table. He's going to become a prisoner in his own home!

Oh yeah! Forgot to mention that these aren't just roaches - they're the big Texas Water Bug!!! AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!