Dec 29, 2009

I'm quizzing you

I love this picture because it is so Christmas-morning-ish. At least what I think of Christmas morning anyway...

So here's the quiz. Look at the picture and find these five things:

1- Some wrapping that doesn't belong.

2- A vintage toy that goes well with army men.

3- An opened gift that no kid really gets excited about.

4- Something to wipe your butt with (and don't say wrapping paper.....eeeew.)

5- The letter 'G'.

Leave a comment with your answers. The first person to get them all correct wins a prize!!!!

Of course I'm not sure what the prize is going to be......maybe a long distance high five......or I'll design you a free blog button or header......or maybe a gift certificate to Green Jello with Carrots......or I'll just send you a great big taco with lots of extra cheese?

Dec 24, 2009

just so you know

...the song "So This is Christmas" makes me really cynical. I cannot hear it without thinking of every line in an unhealthily sarcastic way. And what is with the "war is over" part of the song? It's just thrown in there.

...if they put a lifetime, absolute ban on the song, "Grandma Got Ran Over by a Reindeer" I would be right there cheering on the decision.

...I can only hear "Feliz Navidad" so many times before I feel like smashing a guitar over someone's head just so they'll stop singing it.

...having the school teach our first grader the "12 Days of Christmas" is really great, especially when she has to sing THE WHOLE THING at the dinner table, or while I'm trying to do her hair, or as she cleans up her toys, or when she has two free seconds to open her mouth and start it.

...Listening to Christmas music isn't really putting me in the right mood this year.

...the Walmart Christmas commercials, on the other hand, totally crack me up.

Dec 23, 2009

some good news.....and then just news

I've been meaning to tell you this for almost a week, and Alison Wonderland just asked, so it's about time I just get it posted, yeah?

Luke and Sofie are home from the NICU!!!

They went home last friday, after 3 months in the hospital. At first they thought they would only be able to take Luke home, and they were wondering how they would handle a baby at home in Logan while keeping another baby in the NICU in Ogden - being over and hour apart would be especially tricky when you have to nurse both of them. Then they were happily surprised with the all-clear to take them both.

They're both still on oxygen, and have to remain in as germ free environment as possible (ie. no visitors.) But they are both about 5 pounds (I think....) now, which is amazing considering they weighed only 1 lb. 10 oz. at birth.

They will still have struggles to overcome in the future. Little Sofia had some hydrocephalus and brain bleeds for awhile, which could impact her development, although it's much too soon to really tell. And they are both being closely monitored for their eyes (preemie eyes=possible blindness.) But overall, they're healthy and HOME - which is the greatest Christmas gift my bro-in-law and his wife could ask for.

They are adorable babies, and hopefully when the icky sick season is over we'll get to see them. (If I tried to see them now, I would probably kill them both with the germs that seem to be never-ending at our house this winter.)

I want to thank everyone who donated, and who put their button on your blogs. I'm going to keep the fund going for a little while, but if you want to take down the buttons, that's fine.

And thanks, especially, for everyone's prayers - - these probably helped the most!

(See those crocheted blankets on top of their carseats? SEE THEM? I made those. It's almost like I'm there with them...)


In other news:

I'm almost ready for Christmas. ALMOST. My kids are getting a lot of homemade crap again. And they're also getting shoes. Because we're all about the cheap and/or functional gifts this year.

We were going to have a really full house for Christmas: my dad, step-mom, step-sister, regular sister, and my mother and father-in-law were all going to be here.

But people keep ditching us.

Yesterday my mother and father-in-law informed us that they're bailing, and today it was my sister.

What is it? Do we stink? We don't have cool enough couches to sleep on? The cheeseball is better somewhere else?

Whatever the reason, that just means there's more candy, carmel popcorn, cookies and fudge for me to eat. So I guess it works out. (Except for the shrimp that Husband's mom was bringing - he's the only one that likes it, and it's totally not in our budget, so he can suffer through a shrimpless Christmas.)


Yesterday was my 8th wedding anniversary.

We celebrated by doing the usual:


You know, even moderately sane people know not to get married 3 days before Christmas. What were we thinking?

But in honor of our anniversary, here's a tidbit of info from the BIG day:

He was 20 minutes late. We got married in the Salt Lake temple. But they wouldn't let me in without him there....probably something about marriages not actually taking place when the groom is absent.

I was really freaked out. Not about the late thing. About getting married. Seriously, if they had exit doors near the sealing rooms, I probably would have bolted while no one was looking.

The only thing I remember the Sealer Dude (what is their official title?) saying was out in the hall when he said, "Well, if you've changed your mind, it's too late now." And then he escorted us into the room. After that it's slightly blurry.

Except I do remember that when it came time for me to answer during the ceremony, I couldn't even manage a "yes." All I could get out was, "yea...." and it probably sounded more like squeak clearing it's throat.

And here I am, 8 years later. With 4 kids. A whole lot fatter. And with wrinkles. And the knowledge that marriage can really suck and sometimes be awesome....but generally not at the same time.

And here's looking forward to the next 8 years. Or eternity. Whatever.



Dec 17, 2009

shoving it all into one post (for time saving purposes, of course)

Opie is now 5.

I made him an 'Alien Slime' cake, which is just another name for 'it was 2 in the morning and I wasn't going to wait for it to cool to frost it, so everything melted, so it's a good thing I've done this before and knew to color the frosting green and call it slime' cake.

Slime must taste really good because yesterday Opie sneakily licked the cake left-overs clean, replaced the plastic wrap, and returned it to the 'high/safe' place I had it stashed. Then he denied the whole thing. Like I wouldn't notice - I mean, the thing was shiny from all the spit.


I've decided that Santa actually exists. Here's my theory:

In the beginning he seemed a jolly sort of fellow with nothing but good intentions. It was all a ploy of course, because he has always been a shrewd and greedy business man.

He worked for 50 years up in the North Pole - you know, the whole elves' toy shop and flying reindeer and ho ho ho stuff. It was a lot of work. He earned his title as the round bellied giver of gifts.

And then he stopped.

He let loose the reindeer, which were quickly eaten by polar bears. He sent all the elves to the jungle and renamed them pygmies. He grabbed a plate of cookies then sat back and watched every parent around the world scramble for the gifts their children had requested from Santa that, of course, he never delivered.

The tradition of Santa had stuck - there was no way kids were going to let that one go.

And so, to this day, sitting in his mansion, which is probably in the southern hemisphere just to be obnoxious, Santa, who's real name is Harold, does absolutely nothing leaving it all to the parents and fake-bearded mall workers, while he clears a nice little royalty off of every song, book, movie and website that mentions the words: Santa Claus.

Told you he was greedy. And I bet he hangs out with the Tooth Fairy and Bigfoot.


Last night, just after we said our family prayer, Monkey spontaneously decided to push his older sister off her knees. Then he continued to roll her around while he sang, "Boo da doo de do do da beeee."

It took us 2 full minutes to realize that he was singing the Oompa Loompa song and trying to shove Violet Beauregard the blueberry.

The cuteness meters were exploding - because that's a level of adorable that can't possibly be measured.


In closing, I will share my crafty side with you:

Teacher gifts this year. Because I don't know of a single teacher who doesn't want a clipboard rendered useless by mod podge* and ribbon.
*Mod podge is lovely for projects your kids are helping long as you want to make the whole family high from fumes in the process.

Dec 8, 2009


I think someone has hacked into my Zazzle account. Except that they were horrendously innocent hackers because all they changed is one of the models for one of my t-shirt designs.

click HERE

See the dark blue t-shirt with a pirate girl and swirls and stuff on it?

See that the models arms are super really wrinkly and old looking?

See how when you click on it, the model actually changes?

Yeah, that's my "this booty's not yours" t-shirt and someone put it on an old lady. VERY FUNNY HACKER.

(I'm also considering the option that Zazzle just got new models and it was somehow assigned to that t-shirt because they got rid of an old model, or some such scenario. Because I really doubt someone would have taken the time to hack into my account just to do this. Of course, you never know....)


This is the picture that came in second for our choice for this year's Christmas cards. Just thought you'd want to know.

Ok really, I'm building up the suspense before I announce the winner.

Not that it isn't almost 5 hours after I said I was going to actually be drawing the winner.

But hey, it's still technically the 7th for another minute, what do you want?

So let's get to it already.

I wrote everyone's name with red marker (see it laying next to that green ruler? I did that on purpose just so this post looked more festive) and then I stuck everyone's names inside...
...yes, my son's disgusting shoe. (I needed a container, I'm lazy, it was there. And your name was in a shoe, how do you feel about that?)

I closed my eyes and pulled out a name. Taking a picture with your eyes closed....not so easy.


Congrats Motherboard!! Email me your pictures, and your favorite card, and I'll get the files to you ASAP (I hope you found somewhere to get free prints!)

Dec 2, 2009

motivation to enter my giveaway

At the moment I'm writing this, I only have 5 comments on my giveaway post. And 2 of them aren't even entering. C'mon people, you can't fool me, I KNOW there are more people out there who haven't done their Christmas cards yet.

(It can't just be me....and the 3 people who entered.....who are total card procrastinators, can it?)

So, if you're wondering how you're going to get your cards printed once you get the files, boy do I have solutions for you!!!! (<--- you really need to read that in your best QVC presenters voice, it sounds so much better that way.)

There's a lot of online places that will give you free prints. Especially right now. And most places, even though they don't advertise free prints, will give them to you when you sign up just because they're so happy to get a new customer. So go and check out:

vistaprint (annoying to order from because they're always trying to offer you unrelated stupid deals through the whole process, but they have some superb deals)
costco (always 13 cent 4x6 prints and you can pick them up in an hour)

or any other place that I haven't yet used.....

Once I actually TAKE our Christmas card picture, I'll be getting 30 free prints of it, throwing it with a dorky family brag letter (I feel like making it extra braggish this year, just because we really have nothing to tell - I gotta beef it up, you know?) And shoving them in the mail.

Viola - cheapskate Christmas cards!

Now go enter my giveaway!!!!

Nov 30, 2009

GIVEAWAY (of the photo Christmas card variety)

I think I just creeped out my four year old.

I pulled out the, "You'd better go to bed because Santa's Elves are watching you to make sure you're being good!" routine.

His eyes got big, and round, and scared. And he said, "Why would they do that?!"

Also, our church building burned down yesterday.

No wait, it didn't. But the alarm went off, and the entire ward just sat there in the chapel (and gym, because we have an enormous ward.) I sat there too. I don't know what everyone else was thinking, but the thought going through my head was, "Can somebody please get that alarm turned off, it is WAY TOO LOUD!!!!" Seriously, I think our ward is now 37% deafer after that.

Oh, and there was no actual fire.

And the first fire truck to show up was driven by one of our ward members who was on duty that day.

Good times.

And now, that GIVEAWAY:

For procrastinators everywhere (that would include me) I'm giving away one free photo Christmas card design. Just email me your high resolution family photo(s) and I'll mail you back a 4x6 and 5x7 file of the card design of your choice.

You can see all of my designs in better detail in my etsy shop.

Just leave me a wittingly hilarious comment and you're entered. Or blog about it, leave me the link in a comment and get entered 3 times (this is for either a-the nonwitty comment leaver, or b-the blogger who has too much wittiness to be contained in one comment alone.)

I'll be drawing a winner next monday (dec 7th) at 7:00 PM (MST.)

And speaking of giveaways, we're having a couple really great ones at Green Jello with Carrots right now. You can win a $5 gift certificate this week, or enter to win our big $25 give away at the end of December!

Nov 25, 2009

...and then I'll exclaim as I stuff my mouth full of pie, "Happy Thanksgiving to all, and to all a good nigh'!"

Tomorrow will be our first Thanksgiving alone. Not like alone alone, but family alone. As in, just Husband and the kids. And me.

I'm actually really excited about it.

Thanksgivings past have seemed a bit more daunting because they always involved so much social interaction. Generally with extended family -whom I like, by the way, just not all together and at the same time.

(I know it must seem strange, what with my charismatic blog posts, but I don't do social interaction so well. It's kind of embarrassing to admit, but I'm quite the social moron.)

So this year, I'm excited to run the whole Thanksgiving show by myself. (Not to mention we'll actually have all the left-overs in our fridge this year, which has never happened, and frankly I cannot wait for weeks of turkey sandwiches.)

I spent most of today making rolls, pies and layered jello (no, jello is not a traditional Thanksgiving food for us, yes I made it anyway.) The boys helped shape rolls, which was interesting. Two Bits helped make pie - and had to let me know just how big of a mess I made when I spilled pumpkin goo ALL OVER the kitchen.

Husband claimed responsibility for the turkey. Really. He was pretty enthusiastic about it. Apparently he has big plans for our bird.

I have crafts planned for the kids in the morning. Some good old melted-crayon-shaving-placemats will be made. Then I have some of our superb Green Jello with Carrots coloring pages and place cards printed out for the kids to color and use. And possibly we'll also be making hand print turkeys....we'll see how it goes after the "Count Your Blessings" booklets are done.

And then I cook food, we eat food, we eat more food, watch Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, and have pie.

I'm really excited. It's gonna be great!

ALSO (not related to content of post): You know that book I turned in to that publisher? Rejected, but for not horrible reasons, so once I find a literary agent it's heading to the big publishers.

And guess what?


My samples were chosen by the publisher yesterday. I'm euphoric.

When I was a little kid I said I wanted to grow up to be an author/illustrator. Could it be that I'm finally on my way? (Also, does this mean that I have to grow up? Because I'm not really down with that, but I'm totally pumped to live out a childhood dream.)

Nov 22, 2009

cruise control

You know when you're young you look into the future wondering what's going to happen, where you're going to go, what you'll do, who you'll meet? It's like adventure is just waiting for you because you have so many huge events and moments to experience. You can go anywhere, you can do anything.

Sometimes the adventure goes slower than you anticipated. Like the summer I got stuck being a hotel maid because I couldn't find a decent job. Or that Astronomy class that was close to putting me in a coma, except that it counted as a physical science credit which I needed and really have no aptitude for understanding rocks. Or the time I was on strict, don't even sit up, bedrest for almost 3 months.

And sometimes the adventure seems to be heading in the wrong direction. Or maybe you thought it was going ok and then it suddenly changes and you're doing something that was never in the master plan.

But it's still there. It's still adventure.

You go to college. You get married. You move to different places. You have all of your kids.

Then what?

What adventures are left?

Some people call parenting an adventure. I don't really agree. Because you can't call up your relatives and say, "My two year old just flooded our kitchen, body slammed his sister, and oh yeah, he can successfully label the private areas of his body!!" WHOOOOOOOO." It's not like when you called and said, "I'm getting married!" or "We're pregnant....again!!"

I feel like I've hit the cruise control part of life. Every day is like the one before. No sleep, kids, work, laundry, kids, work, late to bed, no sleep; and then let's do it again. And again. And again. Sure the kids get older, we do different things. Some days are more full than others. Once in a while I get a 9 minute nap on the couch before someone screams and/or pokes me awake. On rare occassions I get out of my house to watch a movie.

But there's nothing big to look forward to anymore. No life changing events. No more babies to have, Husband and I know each other well enough that we're boring, we probably won't even move out of this stinking city. Nothing big. Nothing exciting. No more adventures.

So now I just cruise through the next five decades and then what? Is there nothing but mundane-ness left?

Can I go back? I miss adventure.

Nov 20, 2009

my life in updates

Update 1:
The squatters are now home owners. Glad that's over.

Another Update:
Last week I got to tag along while Husband went to Phoenix for the National Greenbuild Convention and hang out in a hotel room for 3 days ALL BY MYSELF.

I want to go back.

Being alone is LOVELY.

Update Numero Tres: I saw NEW MOON today!!!!!!!!

I have to say that the first movie kind of killed the whole Twilight thing for me. Ok, not really. But the more I watched it, the more I realized how immature being obsessed with vampires and werewolves are.

And I am nothing if not mature.

But after watching New Moon (which was my favorite book of the series - TEAM JACOB) I'm ready to be immature and obsessed again. I was so worried they'd ruin it. I was ready to be disappointed on some kind of level (if only slightly....or possibly a lot, I wasn't sure.)

I'm not disappointed.

And tonight I may just possibly dream that I'm a teenager again so that I can stalk and maybe even date Taylor Lautner.

Maybe when I see the movie a few more times -like 37- I'll decide to be mature again.

We'll see.

Nov 6, 2009

hate crime

Someone local must have found out my pumpkin stabbing/ditching on doorstep plan....I suspect the squatters. Because the night before last someone smashed all six of our pumpkins in the road.

And left every other pumpkin on the street in tact. Let me just tell you - there were a lot of pumpkins on our street.

Honestly I was going to make Husband throw them in the trash yesterday morning anyway (trash day) so the smashers get me out of dealing with the kids' whining. At least I'm not the bad guy this time.

But seriously? Just our pumpkins?

I think someone hates us.

Completely unrelated - I haven't heard back on my book yet. They're just a small publisher anyway, but still. Hey, does anyone know any really good literary agents for children's picture books? If you do, please do tell...

Nov 3, 2009

on a completely different note

(Geez, how many blog posts am I going to write today?)

I just sent my very first book idea to my very first publisher.

Like two minutes ago.

Via email.

Which they could totally reject.

Via not ever answering my email.

I'm so nervous I think I'm going to pee myself...

update on the squatter situation

So, after some venting, and some thinking, I decided that I would go over and meet our squatters.

Remember how I wasn't allowed to go over there? Because I'm clearly a crazy irate person.

Well, I did it anyway.

I'm not really one for "waiting things out." I'm more of an "impulsive, spur of the moment" type person.

And I really extra super nicely told them that they were living in our house illegally and that we weren't happy about it.

I also took them a Netflix video that they had delivered to the mailbox that is technically still ours.


I also took them some banana bread. It was at the grocery store, in the bakery section. $3 for two loaves. And the loaves were in one of those ugly plastic containers, but wrapped in saran wrap individually inside. So I took out one loaf and it looked like I totally made these people homemade banana bread as a house warming gift. Which, honestly, would have been WAY beyond my niceness scope. But still I can pretend.

Apparently their real estate agent has fed them a bunch of bologna through the whole process. And when the bank didn't approve things by the date their realtor PROMISED them, they were going to make him pay to put them up in a hotel until the deal was done. And that's when this guy handed them the keys to our house.

We'll be reporting this real estate agent to his superiors. No question on that issue. I hope he gets canned. Or maybe they can just hang him from his toenails in the basement for a few days. I'm not sure how they punish realtors these days.

But since our squatters seem to be committed and responsible, and willing to sign and follow our agreement until the sale goes through, we're letting them stay.

Also we really want them to actually buy our house - that's kind of a huge part of the niceness act. And acting it was. I was quite impressive, if I do say so myself.

But let me just tell you how much LESS dramatic faux-homemade banana bread is than a cop raid and mandatory eviction.

But at least I proved to Husband that I'm a caring human being - because apparently that was in question.

P.S. I may still do Cathy's pumpkin on the doorstep suggestion - you know, anonymously, and with our most rotten Halloween pumpkin. (For those of you who don't know, that was an old Jack Handy "Deep Thought." Which was something that Cathy and I quoted through most of our Jr High years. So thank you Cathy, I really needed to laugh right then, and that did the trick.)

P.P.S. That Girl, if you were our squatters I would have let you in days before. But mostly because I like you. And also because you moved all the way from BRAZIL. With kids. These people were from across town and only had a puppy. So not the same.


I am furious. In fact, I'm fuming. I am really really really ticked off.

In June we moved. We moved a few blocks away and left our house as a short sale. Because we refinanced at the height of the housing market, and then watched everything bottom out. At the same time I started making less and less money. Apparently being a free-lance anything doesn't suit well in an economic crisis. And since I was responsible for 1/3 of our income, things weren't pretty.

This was a hard decision. We knew we couldn't keep making our huge house payments (for a house we'd already grown out of.) We were trying to be responsible.

We had quite a few offers, but before the bank would approve the short sale they all pulled. But then we could advertise with the magic words "bank approved" and just hoped someone would offer again.

They did.

Then the bank decided they wanted to take their time signing the papers.

It's been about 6 weeks now.

It's frustrating for all considered. But that's not what I'm so angry about.

The people who put in the offer had an apartment lease that ended on Halloween. They hoped to be in the house by then. But it's still not ready or approved or THEIRS.


That's right. They moved in, illegally, on sunday. We were notified yesterday. And apparently these people were so confident in this move that they had been coming in with carpet cleaners and other things to get ready to move in. They switched over all the power and water, and we are now getting their mail. Because the mail box is still OURS.

We have illegal squatters living in our house. And it's all because their realestate agent decided to hand over the keys. ILLEGALLY. Did I mention that they're breaking the law?

But we're supposed to play nice about this. Because what if they get mad and pull out their offer and then we end up foreclosing on the house instead? That would suck. But what about the situation now - this situation has suck written all over it.

Husband has no problem playing nice. He is a people pleaser, and the thought of someone not liking him makes him squirm. I, on the other hand, have no problem if people hate me. I had to practically tie myself to this chair so I wouldn't go over right now and personally kick these people to the curb.

Actually, what I'd really like to do is call the police and let there be a massive scene where cops are throwing the squatter's possessions onto the lawn with dramatic flair. And I want to stand across the street and laugh and yell taunting remarks. And maybe throw something.

But I'm not allowed to make any contact with anyone considering this situation - I have been forbidden. Because we wouldn't want the crazy irate person screwing things up. Never mind that they're the ones breaking the law and taking advantage of us.

Nov 1, 2009

happy halloween.....yesterday

I meant to post this a couple of days ago. Because, you know, Halloween is over and all... But whatever, I'm posting it now (I've been saving it.)

Just pretend like we're not moving on to Thanksgiving for a few minutes, ok?

I am afraid of the dark.

I know, it’s a common fear. And it’s not like I could be the president of the “Dark Sissies” club. But I think I could at least qualify as the secretary or treasurer or something. Because I am really afraid of the dark.

We have nightlights all over our house. I tell people that they are for the kids. It’s not a total lie. But they’d probably still be there even if I was kid-less.

When I was 15 my parents built a new house. My room was downstairs at the end of the hall, and the bathroom was at the end of the same hall only a floor above. So in the middle of the night I had a long walk to get to a toilet that was technically only feet away.

This in itself is creepy, since, you know, it’s dark at night. But what made it horrible was that I had to walk past the front door. And it was one of those doors with a glass section, where the glass was all rippley and shapey so that everything you saw through it was all distorted.

And every time I had to walk past it in the dark I was afraid I would see some creepy dude looking through at me, would which be OH scary. But EVEN scarier because his face would be all rippley and distorted. I know, freaky.

So I just held it all night. After awhile it was easy. And on the nights when I might have had too much water after 7 PM, I would run –with my eyes closed- past the door. So that the creepy distorted dude would see me, but atleast he couldn’t freak me out. (Unless he figured out a way to get in…but that’s just too much to think about while running with a full bladder in the dark.)

I also worked at McDonalds for awhile in high school. (Yeah, my life was that glamorous.) In the very back of the restaurant there is “the cage” where they lock up all the supplies and Happy Meal toys. Basically, it’s a bunch of shelves with a chain link gate so that if someone broke in, they would have a hard time getting through the chain link before the cops showed up….or something like that. Although, if I broke into a McDonalds, I wouldn’t be stealing cups and Happy Meal toys, but whatever.

There were a lot of nights that I was required to help close down the restaurant, and it was always really late when we finished. And one night the manager forgot to lock the cage. Which is like a huge no-no. And for some reason I was elected as the person to go back and lock it. (I don’t know why, because I distinctly remember that a manager had to do it, and I was just a lowly ‘drive-thru girl.’)

Since we were about to leave for the night all the lights had already been turned off. And everyone still expected me to walk to the back where it was super pitch black and lock the cage. It totally stinks to be lowest on the employee chain.

I managed a normal pace on the way there. But as I was locking the actual door my imagination took over. And suddenly there was a huge monster with ginormous fangs and claws trying to get out. And he was super ticked that I was locking him in. And he lunged at the chain link with his massive claws protruding through, just inches away from my face. And all the while my hands are freaking out and the key just isn’t working. Kind of like on ET where the kid is trying to scream when he sees the alien for the first time but his body isn’t cooperating. Just, like that….but I wasn’t screaming (yet.)

So I finally locked it -I’m sure it only took about .2 seconds, but when you are staring a super ticked huge monster in the fanged face it feels longer. But just in case the monster broke free I decided to run back to the front. Ok, so maybe it wasn’t a conscious decision – I was just running. And really I knew there was no monster….but I still ran. And then fell, because we had just mopped the ever-greasy floors.

You know, it’s always good to be a victim of fear in front of others. Especially when they all think you’re an idiot. I don’t mind being the provider of laughs….really……

My biggest scared-of-the-dark-and-being-an-idiot-about-it moment actually involved a call to 9-1-1. Which is why I at least earn the status of secretary in the “Dark Sissies” club.

I was living as a sort of part time nanny/chicken feeder with a family in Ririe Idaho. Ririe is a teeny rural community near Idaho Falls. One of those towns where they have to put up a new population sign every time someone moves in, and then someone else does a jig shouting, “Whoo whee – we’re up to 703 people now!”

One weekend I was house sitting while the family was away. It was a big house and they even had this little door in their basement that I called “the creepy midget door.” Because back then you could say “midget,” plus I wasn’t referring to little people. I was referring to the evil laughing midgets who would come through the little door at night and drag unsuspecting victims into their inescapable dimension of torture.

Quit mocking – it could totally happen.

As one of my house sitting duties I had to feed the chickens before I went to bed, which means that it was already dark. And I was outside. With chickens, and a flash light. Talk about protection. I might as well have been wearing a blinking sign that said, “Fanged monster and/or creepy stalking murderers come get me NOW!!”

Luckily, I made it through the feeding unscathed and still alive. Whew, right? I’m sure you were on the edge of your seat there.

But then I had to shower, because I am also very allergic to anything that grows out of the ground or any animal with fur or feathers. Except right before my shower a couple of guys from church stopped by. I think they felt bad for me because I was kind of a friendless loner there in population 703. So they tried to cheer me up by telling me how easy it was for them to sneak into this EXACT house back when the old owners lived here. And they laaaaaauughed…. Oh gosh, they were a riot. Glad for that piece of info on the weekend I was home alone.

Yet, I made it through the shower ok. Although I was a bit less calm and my imagination did attempt a few small stunts.

So then I was sitting in my room, almost ready to go to sleep. And of course I had my door locked. And the house doors were locked. And I even left some of the main floor lights on as an illusion of someone being home and awake (and because it would have been darker with them off.)

And that’s when I heard it. A distinct THUMP against my wall. A real live THUMP. On the wall I shared with the bathroom – an inside wall. MY wall. MY WALL THUMPED.

And then crying and shaking and extreme listening did happen.

Then I shook some more and cried some more and listened some more. Wondering, “Have I totally lost it?” “But that was a real thump...” “Oh Oh Oh my gosh, I’m going to DIE.” “Oh my gosh I’m going to be brutally beaten by some scary crazed man and then I’M GOING TO DIE!!!!!”

And then I called 9-1-1.

Try explaining a ‘thump’ to a police dispatcher. I think the crying shaky voice may have helped. And I made sure to suggest that the cops knock VERY loudly, because there was no way I was leaving my room until they got here. I was just way too busy shaking and crying – plus, HELLO, something thumped, and IT WAS OUT THERE.

My call for help was answered by multiple cop cars (population 703- not exactly exciting.) So I made the policemen search the house and the yard and the chicken coops and up by the corn in the garden while I stood bashfully explaining that all I heard was a little thump.

Of course nothing turned up. No psycho stalking rapist killers or fanged monsters. Nothing. Which is great really – despite the feelings of shame and knowing that everyone on the street has now seen multiple cop cars sitting at the house while my host family was out of town.

My ‘thump’ theory was that the bathroom door was one of those doors that kind of just drifts towards the wall, and that it took a particularly long time to drift. Which is why it finally reached the wall and thumped 5 minutes after I had actually left the bathroom.

I know it’s a weak theory, right? But I’m pretty sure it was a real thump, because I’m not THAT crazy. Sort of. Well, maybe. And it was dark outside and I have been known to imagine a few things…

But don’t you think that’s worth club secretary or treasurer status? Or maybe I could just be the official button making girl. So that I could hand out “Holy Cow, it’s just the dark, you big wuss.” buttons to club “Dark Sissy” members around the world.

And maybe they could glow in the dark…

Oct 23, 2009

smooky bathroom halloween non-witty....?

Did you hear about that Charmin Ambassador job in New York? $10,000 just to be really enthusiastic about using the loo.

I like going to the bathroom.

I like it enough to work in New York for 6 weeks being a restroom attendant for that much money. Now I just need to find some way to get to New York...

I had something really wittingly blog worthy knocking around in my brain about a half hour ago.

Beats me now what it was.

So, I have stupid dreams (I'll blog about that, since the witty idea is obviously on vacation.) The kind you have in that half awake/half asleep state. And the more tired I am, the more dumb the dreams, and the less actual rest I get.

A few nights ago I dreamed that I was using someone else's toothbrush, because I was hanging out in their living room (still don't know who this someone was) and they also had a sink and toothbrush holder RIGHT there. So why not brush?

Then my dream jumped to watching my grandma riding a bright purple bike past some wheat fields. This same grandma of mine is currently recovery from a total knee replacement. And she doesn't own a purple bike.

And then I was sitting in a chair doing something that was supposed to be significant, but I couldn't get it done. Because I had to go to the bathroom really bad. And in my dream the only logical thing to do was pee right then, because obviously my pants would just soak it all up making it fine and completely socially acceptable.

And then I woke up.

And you know how sometimes you jerk yourself awake if you think you're falling? Or you have a sad dream and wake up with actual tears? I was so afraid that I woke up because I had actually just peed.


Opie has been talking about Halloween stuff lately. He tells me how everything is "SO SMOOKY!!" (spooky. but with an 'm'. It's cute, I know.)

Speaking of Opie, I keep forgetting to document something:

A few weeks ago I had to run across the street really fast. It was one of those times when you're about to make a pumpkin spice cake and realize that you only have one of those huge cans of pumpkin and the recipe only calls for 1 cup and you have no idea what you're going to do with the rest of the pumpkin stuff so you call your friend across the street to see if she has any smaller cans of pumpkin and she does so you have to go get it. One of those times.

Two Bits was in school, so that left Opie to be in charge for the minute and a half I was gone.

A 4 1/2 year old should be able to handle being in charge for a minute and a half, right?

As I was walking out the door, he was yelling, "WAIT, I don't want to be in charge!!!!"

A minute and a half later I opened the door to find him laying face down on the ground with his hands over his head.

When he heard me come in, he popped up and said, "I did a good job, huh?! I like being in charge!"


On my Green Jello with Carrots blog we're giving away Halloween clipart today. But only today. Mostly because we try to focus on Gospel oriented stuff only. But I figure if that one couple in our ward who doesn't have little kids can put a life size, motion activated zombie next to their car at the ward trunk-or-treat, then we can give away innocently cute Halloween clipart.

Oct 21, 2009

Halloween Carnival and Silent Auction

The Preschool that Lacie (my brother-in-law's wife) had been working at is holding a fundraiser for their babies.

WHEN: October 30, 2009

WHERE: Little Wonders Learning Center
3223 S. Main St, Nibley Utah

TIME: 6:00 - 8:30 pm

There will be fun games and activities for all ages as well as a Silent Auction. All proceeds go to the Bastow Family (<-- them, not me, however I need a new washer and dryer, so if you want to throw some money my way too, I won't turn it down.)

Oct 19, 2009


So when it comes to your kids, how do you know if you're being a strong advocate, or you're just insanely over zealous/paranoid?

I know I've mentioned it before, but my kids have some developmental issues. They all have "stuff" to deal with in varying degrees and in different stages.

Yet, they're fairly normal.

But, at the same time, they're not. Normal. Or "typical," depending on how you'd like to word that.

To me, "normal" would be a kid who can be quirky and odd, yet goes through life functioning just fine. And then "not normal" would be the kids who can't function because they aren't just quirky and odd, they really have issues.

My kids are drifting between "normal" and "not normal." They seem to be doing ok, and then it happens and I'm reminded that they don't quite fit into either category.

We've seen specialists, and therapists, and even at one point a Pediatric Geneticist that had to be called in from another city just to see us.

And the definitive answer to my children's problems:
"I don't know. Maybe they'll grow out of it."

Like that's supposed to help. And yes, wouldn't it be lovely if one day they all woke up with no speech or language problems? And then the next day, Opie will decide that he'll no longer have overwhelmingly angry outbursts that turn violent and abusive? Ooooh, and the next day all of their low muscle tone will tighten up magically. And then right after that, all of my kids will decide not to have intense reactions to things like bugs, and sound, and WIND.

Last month our Pediatric Developmental Specialist told me that maybe we should diagnose Monkey with Autism. Do you know what that feels like? Like someone took a bus full of angry tourists and drove through your stomach. Especially since Monkey is NOT Autistic. It just doesn't fit. And this isn't just me being in denial. It really doesn't seem right. So that angry bus of tourists is aiming at my stomach for all the wrong reasons.

So I did some research. Because I'm good at this whole Googling thing. And I came up with a much better, much more fitting base of reasoning. It's called "Sensory Processing Disorder" (or "Sensory Integration", if you'd rather.)

S.P.D. is basically where all the nerves in your body -which control all of your senses and how you perceive yourself in space- function properly, and your brain functions properly, but the pathway between the two is just not cutting it.

The best way to describe this is something I heard from one of our therapists: There are roads in your brain that information travels on. And most people's roads are shiny and paved and work fine. With S.P.D. they are gravel, or dirt pathways overgrown with weeds, therefore not working so great. The cool thing is, with the right therapy and proper attention (especially with early intervention) you can clear these paths and pull out the asphalt to start paving.

But here's the thing.

The medical community doesn't see S.P.D. as a proper diagnosis. I could tell after seeing our specialist today that he didn't give it much merit. And I guess insurance companies/school or government programs don't give it any merit at all. It's viewed as a secondary diagnosis - just something that sits in the background of a much larger, much stronger label. You know, like Autism.

But my kids don't have those big labels. Nor do I want them to. But without them, I can't get them the therapies and services they need.

Opie needs to be seeing a child psychologist. We tried to get him into one. We just saw a social worker, who in my opinion was crap, and then charged us $300. Occupational therapy is at least $50 an hour. Per kid. Per week. Not to mention, I don't even know if anyone in the state provides Auditory or Visual Sensory therapy, which I think my kids would benefit from immensely.

So what do I do?

As far as I can see, these are my options:

1) Fight. Raise enough hell that programs, diagnoses and services change. And within enough time to get my kids those programs/diagnoses/services. This scenario is highly unlikely to succeed. It takes way more than one voice to change things, and it takes tons and tons and tons of time. I could die of old age before change happens, even if I fight my entire life.

2) Learn how to be a psychologist. Learn how to be an Auditory/Visual/Occupational/Physical therapist. And do it cheaply, and with only a Google education.

3) Just ignore it, and hope my kids grow up to be functioning adults. Granted, I tend to worry a LOT about my kids. And sometimes unnecessarily so. Even to the point where I feel -and those around me suggest- that I'm the only one concerned because there's nothing to worry about. And yet, they don't just let anyone participate in the birth-3 state therapy program, and there's a reason Opie goes to the school district's Early Intervention Developmental Preschool. These programs are picky - you have to qualify, and at a horribly low bar.

So tell me. What do I do? I really feel like "that parent." The one who goes all "mother bear" over her kids, asking for more and questioning things and maybe slightly going off the insane end of the pool because I feel completely helpless drifting here in the land between "normal" and "not normal."

Oct 17, 2009


No, it's not 1 AM and NO, I'm posting on my blog about nothing in particular. This is all just a dream....

You are feeling very sleeeeeepy......

Ok, so really I'm being fueled by a bottle of Diet Coke (with lime) a couple handfuls of M&Ms.

Also, I'm a night owl.

Also, I'm really going to hate myself in the morning when I have to get up early to make cookies to take to Super Saturday where I signed up to make a craft, in which I have to finish in time to head over to the pumpkin patch with my kids and in-laws, in which doesn't involve a nap at any point of the day.

Hey, did you know that it's perfectly normal to have running dialogue going inside your head at all times?


I read it in a book today.

Well, I read something kind of like that in a book today. And it was a psychology book, so it's totally true.

However it never mentioned anything about bursting into laughter at seemingly nothing when you think that the conversation in your head has turned into something of a gut buster.

So - eye surgery. It's gonna happen. But I can't tell you when, because I don't know. Because guess who doesn't want to have the old fashioned 'standard' surgery? ME. Because, guess what? Just because I have glaucoma doesn't make me 85 years old and I need options man!

And so my eye surgeon is 'discussing' things with the head of probably the biggest health insurance company in the state to see if they'll cover the procedure I want to get. Because it's a new-ish kind of surgery and you know how much insurance companies hate progress.

This same eye surgeon called like 57 other Drs around the country (and Canada) to get opinions on the best option for my disease. Ok, it was more like 5-7 Drs. But one of them was actually in Canada. Because this is what happens when you have a rare form of an old people disease combined with a good surgeon who actually cares what will happen to your eyes.

'Tis pretty cool.

Well, not as cool as if I never had the disease in the first place. But you know.

Speaking of diseases, I have officially diagnosed myself with a disease that disables a person's ability to understand numbers. And we're not just talking Calculus. I can't even remember my debit pin number or if I got married on December 21st or 22nd.

This official disease diagnosis is called: IDIOCY.

I wonder if I can get disability benefits now? Or maybe they make some really good drugs to treat my condition - hopefully something that involves weight loss and nose shrinkage.

Or quite possibly I just need to go to bed....

Oct 15, 2009

happy happy (with a side of migraine)

Guess who is the happiest person on the planet who, although currently has a raging migraine, just found out that season 5 of the Office is now viewable online on Netflix and has been DYING to watch Jim and Pam's wedding but won't allow herself to watch any of the Office episodes out of order and therefore thought she had to sufferably wait for the standard one DVD at a time shipping method of Netflix watching before ever finally arriving at the current season's shows because it took her much much too long to discover that the Office is the most hilarious show in the universe?

That would be me.

Raging migraine aside.

As a side note, check out my Etsy shop. You surely won't be disappointed. Unless, that is, you aren't looking for really awesome baby hats and/or Christmas photo cards. Which everyone is, right? RIGHT?!

Now onto the Office.

Oct 13, 2009

personal ad

Lonely, slightly insane, and exceptionally dorky 28 year old seeks friend to share dollar night at the movie theater, trips to Barnes and Noble, and occasional imaginary island get-aways (but only the islands with hot cabana boys.)

Must bring your own dollar for movie night, and we're totally not sharing popcorn, so get your own.

You will also be required to walk aimlessly around the book store looking at nothing in particular until we get to the young adult section where we will then compare different representations of teenage vampires.

And, please, do not bring your children along on our fantasy trips to hot cabana boy island.

Contact Melissa at: ohmygoshwhydon' (not a real email....although I dare you to try and send spam to it.)

Oct 9, 2009

is it that time of the month again?

Sometimes Monkey gets in these moods where he must constantly destroy.

You know how Mother Nature comes calling every month, turning you into a menstruating, cramping zit-faced monster?

Monkey is kind of like that. Minus the whole menstruating thing (and zits...and probably cramps.)

It's like once a month someone comes in and replaces my semi-crazy two year old with a psychotic mass of destruction equal to the force of 37 out of control robots times 90 mile per hour gale force winds.

I can always tell it's coming. I can see it in his eyes.

Also things start getting destroyed, which is a pretty obvious indicator.

It's too bad a bottle of Midol and some super plus tampons will do nothing for this. When are they going to create "Crazy Monkey of Destruction" pills? It would help if they came in chewable form although I'm not opposed to intravenous doses either (instant results - that would be pleasant.)

Oct 7, 2009

concerning Brad Pitt

Seriously, Brad?

Also, does it make me a horrible person if I find joy in the fact that the biological children of two of most acclaimed beautiful people (Brad and Angelina) aren't spectacularly gorgeous? Their kids are cute, but there is really nothing extraordinary about them. They just look like kids.

Suri Cruise on the other hand was born beautiful. It's too bad her father is a total lunatic.

And of course my kids were created as beauty itself. They were born, and still are, the most gorgeous children that will ever exist. Even when I'm out of town and Husband takes them into public with mis-matched clothes and crazy hair that hasn't seen a comb for two days. (I know you're probably questioning my claim to beautiful children now, but trust me, as their mother I have never seen cuter kids than my own.)

And someone please tell Brad to shave. And burn that jacket. And possibly ditch those sunglass forever. I can't tell him myself, because I seem to have lost his cell phone number. (I know it's around here somewhere...)

Oct 5, 2009

a weekend away

It was nice to get away. Although weekends like that should last about 3 months instead of 3 days.

But I got to see my little sister who is only 15 weeks pregnant and already popping a stomach - glad it's not me this time (except she'll still probably weigh less than me once she's full term, which is marginally depressing, and only made better by the fact that I am just fat and THANK HEAVENS not pregnant.)

And I got to make a bouquet out of multicolored water balloons and bendy straws for my step-sister's 16th birthday.

I also got to be on the freeway for the first snowstorm of the season - and you know how much fun that always is. I'm glad that the city I live in is probably the most mild-climated in the entire state, which means that we don't have snow here. Just rain. And worms on the sidewalk.

And on friday I got to hang out with the parents of these little angels:

Although they closed the NICU to visitors (other than parents and grandparents) because of the swine flu so I didn't actually get to see the babies. (But as a parent to little kids I'm sure just my clothes alone are infested with large hordes of bacteria and maybe even some fungi, so it's probably better that I stayed away.)

And on friday, when I was around, they were goth having a good day. Which just goes to show you how fast things can change in a NICU, because little Sofia was taken by ambulance to Primary Children's Hospital today to take care of some Hydrocephalus and a stage IV bleed on the left side of her brain. (For non-medical people, that's not good.)

So now the babies are in separate hospitals, in different towns. And my brother-in-law is still trying to keep his job in Logan. Pretty crappy stuff. I'm just glad his wife has family that can take turns spending time with her. Especially now that the babies are separated.

Well, this post is ending up as a downer. Sorry. But keep those babies in your prayers and if you are able to donate and haven't yet, they could use it more than ever.

Oct 1, 2009


After some impulsive planning and inviting myself into my cousin's roadtrip, I get to go visit my family ALL ON MY OWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I haven't gone anywhere sans husband or kids in over 8 1/2 years.

That's almost a decade. (we're rounding up, ok?)

And I get to leave in like 15 minutes!!!!!!!!

Do I need to tell you that I'm excited or do the multiple exclamation points make that clear enough?

Sep 25, 2009

doo wop doo wop

Best invention ever -for the bored and whiny 4 year old male child- Nintendo 64. Mario Kart must be included.

Except that the first few times he tried to play he kept tilting the paddle fully expecting it to turn his car like the Wii. But now he's good enough he can beat me (which actually isn't saying much, except did I mention that he's 4? I think being male gives you an advantage on video games though, no matter your age.)

I need to find a community support group that deals with night owlish-ness behavior. Kind of like AA, but for those with an addiction to not going to bed at a decent time. Maybe then I would be so horrendously tired.

I wonder what time a group like that would hold meetings. If they're after midnight then there's really point to a group is there?

Unless, of course, they have brownies at those meetings.

How long can a person ignore the demanding shrillish screams of multiple toddlers/preschoolers before they are considered evil human beings? Because I'm going on a couple years now...

I'm considering having an online (probably at etsy, we'll see) craft sale fund raiser for my bro-in-law's babies. Except I don't have much time to fill up a whole fund raiser and make it seem worth other people's time. Would anyone be willing to donate a craft or two? Something terribly fancy is a must. Ok, terribly fancy or no, anyone willing?

Also, if you want to read about the babies and their progress they have a blog: Bastow Miracle Babies

I never mentioned it, but did you know that the twins started out as triplets? One of them didn't make through the first few weeks of pregnancy. And that they had been trying for over a year to get pregnant before actually conceiving. It's a horribly tragic story. Hopefully one with a good ending. It makes me pretty grateful for my overly abundant loins and 7-9 pound babies that only had to spent weeks instead of months in the NICU.

And now I really must go put on mascara. I have an appointment with the second eye surgeon I've seen this week. (Eye surgery - totally looking forward to it.) And I have this compelling need to leave the house fully mascara'd even though I know as soon as I get there they will just insert different colors of multiple eye numbing drops that will stick to my lashes and give me raccoon eyes.

Sep 22, 2009

aliens and the devil's number

You know in the movie "Signs" where the alien is trapped in the pantry? And Mel Gibson wants to get a good look at it, so he's trying to peek under the door, but suddenly an alien claw shoots out of the crack by the floor and he has to chop it's fingers off with a big kitchen knife?

Sometimes when I'm sitting on my toilet I'm afraid an alien claw is going to shoot out at the bottom of the door and grab my foot.

I just can't help it. And with the way our master bathroom is situated the door is right there lending alien claws easy access to my feet.

I wonder if I should start taking a knife into the bathroom.

Then again, it might be kind of awkward trying to wipe with a knife in my hand.

I like to do sudoku puzzles. They're fun. Unless they are the highest difficult level ones. The ones that say "HARD" at the top (usually these are at the end of any sudoku book.) I don't like those ones. Because they weren't kidding - they're hard.

When I am filling things out I like to recite the numbers in my head while I see which spots they could fit. So if I'm trying to fill in a row of numbers and I need to figure out threes, I'll mentally say "three" in each square that a three could possibly fit.

It helps me focus.

Except when I get to the sixes.

Because I really don't feel comfortable reciting triplet sixes in my head. It is the devil's number you know. And what if by thinking it I'll invoke the wrath of Satan on my sudoku puzzle?

That's the last thing I need when I'm doing sudoku. Especially when I get to the hard section.

I read a funny teen book the other day. It was written in the UK. Man, their slang cracks me up. Joke's in UK humor sound so much funnier. I wonder if the people there think Americans are funny? Maybe they all just think we're a bunch of morons? Someone, please enlighten me.

Did you notice that I got rid of all my ads?

Yeah, those things were -let's face it- POINTLESS. No one ever wants to click on them. Heck, I never even felt compelled to click. So I replaced them with shots of my family. That way when I'm talking about the kids or Husband you won't go, "WHO?!!"

My brother & sister-in-laws twins are doing ok. As ok as to be expected anyway. One of them had heart surgery this evening that went well, and the other will probably have the same surgery soon. They still have lots to go through, but seem to have minimal-ish far.

Thanks to everyone who have donated or put the button on their blogs. You're awesome.

They will still need some help though, so if you've been compelled to do something good today, please choose them. They really do deserve it.

Sep 16, 2009

need your help

My brother in-law and his wife were expecting twins at the end of December. Instead her water broke around 2 AM yesterday.

The babies are very early, and very tiny, and we are all very very worried.

Both babies were life flighted to a hospital with a NICU which is about an hour's drive from my bro & sis-in law's house. She hasn't been able to visit them yet because she had to deliver the second baby via emergency c-section and is still in the hospital in their home town.

Sophia - Sept 15, 2009 2:05am
1 pound 10 ounces, 13 inches

Lukas - Sept 15, 2009 2:26am
1 pound 10 ounces, 14 inches

I am asking for you help in two ways. First of all, please pray for them. All of them. It's going to be a very scary couple of days/weeks/months.

Secondly, I have set up a donation fund for them, considering the exorbitant hospital bills they'll have, plus the cost of driving and staying in town to visit the babies, and all the other extra costs associated with situations like this. My bro-in-law is a student and his wife will no longer be working, since she is so obviously needed elsewhere.

If you could please give what you can, and spread the word of their need. I have a made a button if you want to add one to your blog. This is the first time I've tried to do one of those get the code box thingies, so I hope it works:

Thanks to everyone who can help! I'll give updates on the babies when I can, right now we are just waiting and praying.

Sep 11, 2009

ducks, lyrics and bandaids

Our kids have a duck bathroom. We've had the duck stuff ever since we had kids (like when we just had one bathroom and I still thought kid stuff was that I'm surrounded by kid stuff....ugh.)

Part of the decor is a duck shaped rug/bath mat on the floor. And ever since we got it I cannot use the toilet or shower with it staring up me. It seriously creeps me out. Never mind the other billions of duck eyes in that bathroom. It's just the rug.

So I used to flip the duck beak up over it's eyes so it couldn't see me. Now, if I ever have to use that bathroom I just step on it's eyes until I'm done. Either that or shove an article of clothing over it, because, with it being the kids bathroom, there's guaranteed to be some kind of dirty clothing near by.


I think that Cake has some of the most interesting lyrics. Maybe it's just because I've never seriously thought about the benefits of wearing a short skirt and a long jacket.

They Might Be Giants are weirder though, lyrically speaking (ok, probably all the way speaking, but still...) Remember the song 'Minimum Wage'?

INSERT MUSIC CLIP HERE (couldn't find one....didn't look too hard. Good song though.)

Primus has had some weird lyrics too. 'Too Many Puppies'? I'm not really sure what that means. And Number Four likes rocking out to 'Jerry was a Racecar Driver'. Although I wouldn't really recommend having your young children listen to Primus, that was Husband's idea. But it was pretty cute watching our one year old try to head bang.


Monkey seems destined to a lifetime of bandaid wearing. Not because he's injured. However he's excellent at falling or running into things (heaven has dispatched a league of guardian angels to constantly watch over my boys - it is the only possible explanation for the absence of stitches and broken bones.)

He did actually scrape his knee a week ago. There was minimal blood, but he got a bandaid for it anyway. And now he freaks out if we take it off.

Last night Husband removed it to give the kid a shower. Monkey immediately crumpled to the floor in screaming fits. He wouldn't put weight on his faux-injured leg (I'm glad I didn't have to be the one trying to get him to stand in a shower.) After a few minutes of soap, water and torturous screaming Husband handed me our little Monkey wrapped in a towel.

He still wouldn't put weight on his leg, so I carried him to the edge of his bed. He was shaking. Still screaming. Calls of, "Bannay!!" (bandaid) between his banshee wails. If I got closer to his knee he would scream more. He would shake even worse. I tried to convince him that a bandaid was unnecessary.

He wouldn't relent. He just got more distraught.

So I slapped another bandaid on his knee. Immediately he was fine.

And so begins his lifetime of security-blanket-style bandaid wearing.

Sep 1, 2009

good news

My kids started school this week.


Two Bits started first grade on monday, and I put Opie ('Screamer' or whatever you want to call him) on the bus for the first time at exactly 12:35 tomorrow afternoon. I would tell you how many seconds that is from now, except that my math skills are horribly inadequate (I blame this on graphing calculators, and my 8th grade algebra teacher who told us it was ok to look at the answers in the back of the book.)

I want to thank everyone for their awesome comments on the last post.

It seems that I am not alone in the mommy-hating-hood. And I'm probably also not alone in thinking that I was the only one in that hood before the half (ok, mostly) crazed post written amidst my mothering funk.

I think we all feel alone in this because when we see other moms who ask, "You're kids are so cute, what a great mom you are! So how are you today?" You can't really answer that question with, "Please excuse me while I throw this shoe and scream profanities to declare my complete disgust with parenting."

(By the way, I don't scream profanities. Or throw shoes. But BOY have I wanted to.)

I think I'm going to start a movement. A movement of mothers who tell eachother how they actually feel. Instead of putting on their happy mommy faces, that society has deemed we must wear, and pretend that we have it all under control.

And now I know how you all feel, there's really no faking it. Sorry, but you have to join my movement. At least when you're around me (which happens all the time, right?) Except, of course, if my mommy-brain kicks in like usual and I forget all about this. Which is actually highly likely. It seems that 2.7 seconds is about my average memory retention and then all info goes to.....who knows where. I'm betting it all goes to Wisconsin though. Because it's probably pretty sure I'll never look for it there.

In an attempt to get my life a bit more under control (so that I don't have to answer everyone who says, "How are you?" with too much negativity) I created a great new school schedule (with pictures) and a kid chore chart (more pictures) and a whole behavior=consequences thing (yes, I drew a picture of underwear with the word NO repeated around it to remind my son there is a consequence for pooping his pants.) And among those consequences I've decided that if I or Husband yell at the kids then we have to pay them a penny, each, and for every time.

Which reminds me - I owe my kids money.

So anyways, I'm feeling a bit better. Because as much fun as my little breakdowns are, I think I'd like postpone my next one for a while.

And thanks again for openly accepting me into the 'hood.' And if you ever see me clutching a shoe.....well, you've been warned.

Aug 26, 2009

I won't be offended if you answer NO to the question at the end of this post

So this post will probably lose me a lot of respect and friends and possibly even a few phone calls to the Health and Welfare department. But I just feel like posting it, it's kind of like saying it outloud, but without having to watch someone's face react to the horror. And today, I really feel the need to say it outloud. So if you read this and don't feel like being friends anymore, I get it.

With everyone's kids going back to school (and our school district being the last to start in the entire world, so I'm still sitting here dealing with summer child overload) I keep reading the posts about how mothers are sad to see their kids go, and how much they're going to miss them, and how much they absolutely love motherhood.

Want me to tell you what I think about motherhood?

I hate it.

There are times when I hate it more than any other thing on the planet.

And there goes most of my friends. But I'm sorry. I do. I hate being a mother.

I don't hate my children. And I don't hate the idea of motherhood in general. I just hate being a mother.

Not that there aren't moments when I feel all happy inside because the kids have done something cute, or wrapped their tiny arms around my neck for a hug. Those moments are good. It's just the rest of it I can't handle or stand.

Mostly I think I blame this on one of my particularly challenging children. I don't want to point fingers, but if you have been a long time blog reader, you'll know that I had nicknamed one of my brood "Screamer" so it probably wouldn't be hard to figure out who the challenging one is. Not that I'm pointing fingers. Because I'm not. But HOLY COW is that child hard.

He's an "almost" special needs child. Where nothing is really wrong with him (that we can label), but he's not entirely your average child.

And you know how it is when one of the kids is a complete uncontrollable mess of emotionally charged tantrums? The other kids have eyes and brains and bodies. They mimic. They push buttons. They see if they can get as far know....the one kid, who seems to have no end to his tirades.

So all day I'm dealing with four (because even the baby is old enough now to throw her own impressive tantrums) out of control children who contend with me at every request.

I say, "It's time to get dressed."

And I get wailing and gnashing of teeth in return. Only two of my kids can dress themselves anyway, and one of them isn't very good at it. So after dressing myself, it's quite a pain to get 3 other wiggly human beings in clothes. And heaven forbid if they don't like the shirts I've picked. Or if they want to wear the pants that got covered in jam which I haven't washed yet. (Because the loads and loads and loads and loads of laundry that go along with motherhood is definitely on the list of what I hate.)

So then I say, "It's time for breakfast."

More wailing, teeth gnashing, and also pushing away of bowls if they're not the right color, or we don't have the right kind of cereal or if their spoon doesn't happen to be the kind with roses on it. And Monkey, being two years old and frustrated easily, has decided that even if the cereal is acceptable, it's still absolutely necessary to yell at it and throw it EVERY SINGLE MORNING.

That's just the beginning....of my mornings.

Heaven forbid if I have any expectations of my children, other than sitting in one place while I wait on their every need.

I say, "It's time to clean up."

And not only is there wailing and the teeth thing, but there is full on torturous screaming and tears and kicking of feet and throwing things, and Captain Hard Child has to physically be escorted to the toy room to clean, which involves much kicking, punching and head butting directed at me. And then things still don't get clean. The tantrums last hours.

I've tried methods.

I've tried reward and/or punishment systems.

I've tried screaming at them until I have a headache.

I've even tried what I thought I never would - - the spanking of bare butts.

Nothing phases these kids.

So this morning I took every single toy we have and put them in the already destroyed toyroom, then stuck the older two kids in their toyless rooms (I have to have a child safety door knob lock thingy to keep Captain in his room) told them they are completely grounded from toys, tv, games, computer, friends, bikes, EVERYTHING until they decide that they want to clean up their own mess. But guess who gets punished for that?


Now that the day has gone on they're just hanging on me, whining and demanding to do all of the things they're grounded from.

And amidst all of this, Captain Hard Child has decided that although it took over 2 years to potty train, he still would like to totally and completely refuse to poop. Not in a toilet, not in a diaper, not in the middle of a train station (although we haven't yet tried this one.) He just won't poop. So he holds it. He clenches his butt cheeks and holds it in.

He's been doing it for years, but it's gotten so much grosser, because now he's in underwear. And despite his best efforts, a little poop always squeezes through those cheeks. Multiple times a day. Until we give him an enema and he has no choice but to let out the much too huge turd (grown from all the holding.)

Very frustrating, I tell you.

Being a parent is hard. There's all those diapers to change. All the teaching. The countless meals to prepare and watch your kids NOT eat. Having absolutely no freedom to do anything without dragging an entire clan of little screaming things into public. The never ending cleaning. Not getting a full nights sleep for YEARS. A completely destroyed body from pregnancies.

MONEY. I haven't bought myself new clothes in like 5 years - unless you count the maternity clothes I bought when pregnant with Number Four because I wore the rest of mine out- because ALL of our money goes to the kids and their medical bills, and their ever changing shoe sizes, and their ability to drink enough milk that if we owned a cow one wouldn't be enough. And I still have to work from home making as much money as humanly possible in this crap economy, taking even more of my energy and time than I had to give in the first place.

And you roll all of this up into a tight little mommyhood ball, and guess what? I would like to toss it. Most days I feel like running away as far and fast as I can. Clearly I'm doing a horrible job at this. CLEARLY I can't handle these children. Especially that one. I don't like motherhood one little bit at all.

But I do love my kids. And I promised to do my best with them. So I don't toss it, or run. I just stay here, getting farther and farther away from sane.....

Are we still friends?