Thursday, March 30, 2006

Show and tell: Favorite chocolate bar

Blackbirds show and tell for this week is to show your favorite chocolate bar.

I know this isn't exactly a chocolate bar, but it is chocolate. I love these little eggs, they only come out at Easter time, thankfully. I usually don't buy them until it is almost Easter because I tend to eat them. Tayler is having a slumber party for her 10th birthday this weekend, and she wanted these candy eggs to stuff into the plastic eggs we bought for the goody bags. We stuffed them last night, that is why the bag is almost empty. I managed to stuff the plastic eggs with out eating one of the candy eggs, big success for me, sadly. this will be the only candy in the gift bags, one plastic egg with some chocolate in it.

I didn't want to put any candy in the bags at all but I relented. I have four crafts planned and the girls can put those in their bags. One of the crafts is decorating the bags itself. I also bought pencils, erasers, lip gloss, princess soap bars and a take home craft to put in each bag. Much better than a sack full of crap that my kids usually bring home. I have also farmed out all of the boys and Elyse will spend the evening at the sitters (home for bed) so it will be girls only, except for Dave of course, he will be busy running out for pizza and Krispy Kreme's and cleaning up behind us. In addition to crafts we have games, nail polish, hair stuff, DVD's and a kareoke machine ready to go. I am sure the girls won't get to it all, but they shouldn't run out of things to do. It should be a fun evening, good thing I have insomnia, there will probably be very little sleep.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Yet another reason to hate Wal Mart

I hate Wal Mart, yes I really do. Not just for the PC reasons that seem so popular, but because it is always so crowded and dirty in all of the Wal Marts I have been inside of. And I can never find what I am looking for and if by chance I do find someone wearing one of this blue vests, they never know what I am talking about or they send me off in the wrong direction. So I avoid Wal Mart as much as possible.

I needed some things very badly and I was right next to a Wal Mart so I decided to go there instead of heading off to my usual Target, which is a place I like much better. I drive a large car
so I usually park way on the back of the parking lot off by myself so I have plenty of room to get the kids in and out of the car and I don't have to worry about door dings. Parking spaces at Wal Mart are teeny tiny and there is hardly any room to maneuver when pulling in or out of a parking space. Can you see where this is going?

Today I saw a parking space fairly close to the door, and since there was rain, and I was in a hurry I pulled into it. After buying what I needed and putting the kids into their car seats, I was walking around the back of the car and I noticed that someone had obviously backed out of a space and had HIT my car. Argh!!! It could be worse, it isn't too noticeable, but every time I see those marks and dents on my car I will remember that not only did I get them at Wal Mart, but my laziness also played a part in it. It was also so nice of the honest upstanding citizen (or not) that hit me to leave a note and their insurance information on the windshield - NOT.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Rainy day Tuesday and kid food stuff

It's raining today, it is supposed to rain off and on all day. A good day to hole up and make some chilli and corn bread, good 'ole comfort food. I slept better last night, about five hours of almost solid sleep. I feel more rested today.

Yesterday was a tough day. After hardly sleeping the night before, I noticed Elyse had a cold. She hasn't been sick in months, none of the kids have. She had a runny nose and just didn't feel well. She insisted on being held most the day. I hope it doesn't turn into anything worse because I don't want to make another trip to the doctors office with her.

So, come 3:30 when the big kids got home from school, they wanted a snack, I just wasn't capable of getting them one at that time. I was trying to console Elyse, help Jeff with his homework and build a lego castle with Christopher. I told Scott and Tayler to go ahead and make their own snacks, at their age they are perfectly capable of doing that. I was thinking crackers and fruit, but they went all out and made another lunch. Needless to say they weren't very hungry by dinner time. I could hear them in the kitchen laughing and having a good time so I didn't bother to check on them. Below is their creations and the pictures that they took. After watching me take pictures of our food lately to share on my blog, they wanted to be sure that I blogged their creations too, so here it is:

Tayler made this strange creation. Peanut butter and jelly sandwich with cheerios on top and soy cheese on the side with lemonade to drink. Can we all say eewwwww!!!

Scott made Mr. Sandwich, pickles for eyes and a nose and some kind of veggie meat for the tongue. He had garlic bagel chips, which are really good, and spinach dip that I made with veganaise. It turned out pretty good.

Now for Christophers lunch yesterday. He too insisted that I take a picture of it. Christopher has had a bad case of exsema for a long time. He gets these large sores on his arms and legs that he scratches to death and they won't heal. I am not new to exsema, all of the kids have had it to some extend except Elyse, somehow she escaped it. The other kids have outgrown it but it still haunts Christopher. I have used prescribed medications, over the counter medications, topical, oral, lotions, creams, ointments etc. Nothing works for very long or very well, not to mention the fight he puts up when it is time to apply these things.

I was at the doctors office a couple of weeks ago with Tayler and I read an article that said that peanut butter makes exsema worse, it causes some kind of allergic reaction. Christopher has been eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch for months, could be years. He loves them and lets face it, it is an easy lunch so that is what he got. So I cut peanut butter out of his diet over a week ago, it was tough the first few days but he is adjusting well. And the big surprise is that his exsema has improved at least 85% and he doesn't scratch anymore or bleed all over his sheets (ick). Whew. But I have been having to work extra hard to find things he likes for lunch and he has been expanding his food horizons, it has really worked out well.

This is what the little kids ate for lunch yesterday. A Morning Star Farm fajita burger with a slice of veggie cheese and pickles, bagel chips, apple sauce with cinnamon and a glass of soy milk. They ate every bite and also had graham crackers. No wonder they weren't hungry at snack time.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Sleep eludes me and excludes me

I had another sleepless and restless night. Why can't I sleep like normal people do?! I went to bed at 11:00 p.m., right after Desperate Housewives and Grey's Anatomy, two of the shows I wait for every week. We do have a t.v. in our bedroom but I made sure to watch it on the living room t.v. to keep the bedroom a refuge for sleep. It almost worked. I went to sleep quickly but I was awake again by 1:00 a.m.

I did everything I could think of to get back to sleep. I laid very still in the dark thinking good thoughts, I read, I watched t.v. I then got up and did laundry since I was awake anyway. The hours passed slowly and quickly at the same time, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00 a.m., came and went. I was frustrated, mad and exhausted. By 5:00 a.m. I was in tears and finally found sleep, for 10 minutes then I woke with a start. 6:00 a.m., I dozed off again for 15 minutes and then it was over. I had to get up and start my day.

I have read articles about this and I have taken all of the advice given. I don't eat or drink hours before bed time, I don't exercise before bed, I have tried taking a warm shower, drinking sleep inducing tea and I have made my bedroom as dark as possible and a refuge for sleep etc. I have tried over the counter sleep inducing drugs, but their effectiveness is no match againts my racing mind and they leave me feeling groggy the next day. I was very close to trying Ambien when the reports came out about people sleep eating while taking it. I could live with sleep walking, driving or shopping but not sleep eating. I eat enough when I was awake. So that was out.

I have been fighting this for years. I truly can't think of a time after having kids that I had a good night of sleep. And who made up that saying *sleep like a baby*? I am convinced that person did not have any babies or they would know that babies don't sleep, at least my didn't. It was probably the same person who wrote the book I read that advised that a babies pacifier should be taken away at three months of age to keep them from getting *addicted* to it. I threw that book out.

I don't know if I have true insomnia but it feels like I do. I have a wide range of symptoms. Sometimes I fall asleep quickly but wake up again in a couple of hours. I can feel myself waking up, I feel myself ascending from of a deep sleep and I silently scream and try to claw my way back down to that deep state of unconsciousness I crave. But my racing mind has other plans and soon I am awake, wide awake. Other nights I can't seem to get to sleep at all. It may take hours for me to finally find the relief of sleep. But it never lasts long. Once in a while, like last Wednesday night I slept an almost solid eight hours. From 10 until 6 with little wakefulness. It was wonderful, I so hoped that was a sign that the end of my sleepless nights had finally come to an end. It was not a sign, it was just a short compromise my mind gave to my exhausted body.

Sleep, where are you, and why do you exclude me?

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Saturday - it was a good day

I set my alarm last night so I was up before the kids. I went and woke Jeff up and told him we were going to go to church today. I beat him to it this week. Church went suprisingly well this week. I took Elyse into her class and she did great. She sat in her chair and participated in everything. I hear Christopher did just as well. Maybe consistency is the answer. We didn't stay for the main service, maybe next week.

We came home and ate lunch and then Dave went to lay down with Christopher. Christopher has been so cranky and moody lately. I am getting to the end of my rope with his four year old attitude. He whines almost all the time, anything and everything seems to set him off. I assume he must be tired so I have been trying to get him to bed earlier. It isn't working. So I decided that maybe he needs a nap. Dave fell asleep right away, Christopher slept very little. I took Elyse to my bed where we both fell asleep too.

After naps the kids played in the back yard for hours. Since they dug up the stump they decided to build a treehouse. It kept them busy all afternoon.

We had a simple dinner of vegetable quesadillas and simmered beans.

I took Christopher shoe shopping yesterday and he picked out shoes with the Incredibles on them so he wanted to watch the Incredibles movie.

We popped some pop corn and sipped lemonade and watched the movie until bed time. The Incredibles is one of my favorite Disney movies, I like it better every time I see it.

So now here I sit blogging. I should be cleaning up the kitchen, finishing laundry and making a list for tomorrow. Yes, I make lists for the things I want to get done. I may never get to the bottom of that list but I feel like I have accomplished something when I can cross things off. It was a good day!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Finally, a dinner to please everyone, even the picky poo

Do you have one? You know, a picky poo. I have one and a half. Jeff is so picky it drives me to disrtaction. He turns his nose up to almost every dinner I make. His dislike turns Christopher againts the food too, but luckily, not every time. I had to have a talk with Jeff, he is not allowed to say ewwww, yuck or I don't like that. Every time he would say that Christopher would figure that his big brother knew best and he would turn his nose up too. Jeff is allowed to say no thank you. He can then either go hungry, or eat a bowl of Life cereal or Cheerios. I don't have it in me to fight about food or make it an issue. I am also not a short order cook.

I do try to make a couple fo meals during the week that I know Jeff will eat, he can't exist on cereal alone.

So earlier in the week, I thought we would do something fun. I made a *make your own pizza bar*. It was a H-U-G-E hit. The whole family loved it and the pizza was very tastey. This is definitely something we will do again sometime.

I started by making the dough myself. I used to use english muffins but no one really liked them like that, including me.

I set out a variety of toppings. Mushrooms, green onion, pineapple, bell pepper, soy sausage patty chopped up, sauce and soy cheese.

The kids had a great time topping their own pizzas with what they wanted. This is when it is great to have older kids that can help the younger kids.

Jeff and Christophers topped pizzas.

Waiting to go in the oven. They aren't exactly round, I let the kids roll them out themselves and this is how they came out. The square shape didn't interfere with the taste at all.

Boys waiting in anticipation. I didn't get any pictures of the finished products. They were eaten up too fast. We also had salad and apple slices with vanilla yogurt for dipping. Of course Jeff turned his nose up to the salad.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Show and Tell: A window

Show and tell this week with Blackbird is window's (I am getting closer to figuring out the link thing so maybe next week I can link her site). We are supposed to show a window or windows of our house. I was going to sit this one out. You see, the windows of this house are old and ugly and I hate them. I didn't want to show them because they are so bad and quite frankly embarrassing. I was doing the breakfast dishes this morning and looking out the window thinking of what I could do to participate too. That's when it hit me. Since I think outside of the box, heck I am way outside of the box, I thought I would show a view of what I see out of my window. The picture below is what I see when I wash the dishes three times a day. In the spring, around this time of year I plant some flowers in the flower bed so I can look at them and watch them grow. It gives me something nice to focus on. Right now, you can see our yard clipping dumpster and the old washer sitting there. Nice view, huh? I thought about going out there and moving the dumpster so it wouldn't show up in the picture, I also thought about moving the camera so the washer wouldn't be in the picture, but I wanted it to be an honest view. You can also see how close the house next door is to us, way to close in my opinion. Actually, compared to how they are building houses around here lately it is a nice space.

This is it. This is what I see when I look out the window when I do dishes three times a day. Pretty awful huh!?! If you look at the bottom of the picture you can see where Christopher tried to poke his finger through the screen.

This is what I would like to see out the kitchen window or any window of a house that we live in. Maybe soon, we are working for it.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

I knew it was going to be bad, she far exceeded my expectations

This morning I took Elyse to the doctors office for her two year check up. Elyse hates going to the doctor, I mean she H-A-T-E-S going to the doctor. She has always hated it when the doctor tries to touch her or even be in the same room with her. It all started the second she was born and the doctor pulled her from my body two weeks early. My pregnancy with her was not an easy pregnancy, and because of distress she was evicted. She wasn't ready to come out of the dark and warm place that she had called home for almost nine months and it was the doctors fault that she was no longer there and she let everyone know of her objections at the top of her lungs. At least that is what I imagine her animosity with doctors must be.

Every time, and I do mean every time I have taken her to the doctor she screams bloody murder the whole time we are there. Luckily she is very healthy. She has never been to the doctor for a sick visit, only for well checks. Not a bad track record for two years. (knock wood(!)).

So, today was her two year well check. I knew it would be bad, I knew it was going to be humiliating and embarrassing for me. The four older kids have always been so good and cooperative with the doctor. I always felt so proud that I didn't have one of *those* children. Well guess what, I pushed my luck with number five.

We walked in, I signed in and Elyse was perfectly happy, she picked out books we could read and played with another little boy her age in the play room. It was fun watching her interact with a kid her age. Since she is home with me all day I really only see her interact with the older kids and their friends, she doesn't have any friends of her own yet. It made me think about giving a play group another chance, you know to socialize her a bit.

Then the nurse opened the big door and called her name. I got up and walked toward the door and called her to come with me. She looked at me and said uh-uh and started backing up. I went to go pick her up and she threw herself on the ground yelling no-no-no-no-no-no at the top of her lungs. I could see the other parents eyeing me being secretly thankful that they didn't have *that*child. I pried her up off of the ground while she was clawing the carpet and tried to hang onto anything we passed. Her arms and legs were flailing in all different directions. I apologized right off to the nurse for her behavior. I told her that Elyse had always been like this and I didn't know what to do with her. The nurse brushed it off and told me there was no need to apologize, she put me at ease right away. I liked her. Elyse did stand on the scale nicely, to my surprise, she weighed in at a whopping 21 pounds. Then it was time to measure her. We tried to stand her againts the wall but she turned into a rag doll and balled herself up on the floor. I put her on the table so we could stretch her out and measure her but she went into the fetal position, she was hugging her knees and she would not straighten out. I peeled her arms off and stretched her out best I could. She is 32 inches long, we think.

She was into full body sobs by then, clinging to my neck with her legs wrapped tightly around me. The nurse left the room and we read books and she calmed down. Then there was a knock at the door and in walked the doctor. The sobs started all over again. I again apologized to the doctor for her behavior, the doctor immediately put me at ease saying she had kids and it didn't bother her. I tried to answer all the doctors questions over the sobbing, the doctor was on the other side of the room at this time. Then she moved towards us to listen to Elyse's heart. Elyse's grip tighten to vice like. The doctor moved quickly, getting the easy stuff done first and saving the ear and throat exam for last. I finally had to lay Elyse down on the table so the doctor could check her hips. The doctor had to help me pry her from my body and lay her down. I felt like one of those mama monkeys, you know the ones that have the babies that cling to the mothers back no matter how many jumps and leaps the mama monkey makes. That was Elyse, clinging to me for dear life. The doctor did mention that Elyse's throat looked irritated, I asked her if it could be from the screaming. She agreed.

Elyse was to get a Hepatitis A shot and have her iron level checked. I knew the easy part was over when the doctor left the room. Soon the nurse entered. Elyse started up again. This was a different nurse and she remembered us from six months ago. I told her this wasn't going to be pretty. She asked if Elyse was the one that had been screaming. I said yes. She said I will be right back. I wondered where she was going. To get reinforcements, or to maybe make a deal with another nurse to get her to do it. Nope, she came back with a Whinnie the Pooh doll to try to ease her fears. I liked her.

Then came the finger prick. It was bad, she screamed so hard I thought she was going to pass out a couple of times from the screaming. Her face was tear soaked snotty mess, and so was my shirt. The nurse worked as quickly as she could with the shot. The doctor came back in with a book trying to calm her down then another nurse came in with an array of stickers, they were really trying help her feel better and I appreciated it. I felt awful too. I hate to see her like that. Finally it was time to go. Elyse was still sobbing and clinging to my neck. I picked her up, held my head up high and marched out through the waiting room. Every eye in the place followed out the door, I could feel their eyes burning into the back of my head. Yes, my daughter is one of *those* kids but that's okay, she is my kid.

She sobbed all the way home and for a good time after that. We cuddled and read books and ate fruit salad until she felt better. Now it is just a distant bad memory for her. Her next well check isn't until she is three years old. If she can just manage not to get sick for the next year and need to see the doctor life will be good.

Poor little leg.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Toothless and the tardy tooth fairy

Jeff is losing teeth like crazy lately. He lost his bottom two baby teeth almost two years ago when he was in Kindergarten, then nothing. We waited and checked to see if his other teeth were loose yet. We consulted the dentist who assured us it was okay for him to lose his teeth late, it was actually better. Jeff was getting ansy, all of his classmates and friends were losing teeth everyday and he still had most of his baby teeth. Then finally, another one of his bottom teeth became loose then another. Then finally the top teeth started loosening up. This has all happened in the last month. He lost three more teeth on the top in the front. The latest one falling out one night last week around 8:00, right before bed. Or should I say it was evicted by older brother Scott giving it a strong tug.

He placed that little tiny tooth into a baggy and placed it under his pillow. The tooth fairy specifically asked that all baby teeth be placed into a baggy or else she has a hard time finding those microscopic teeth in the middle of the night in the dark.

The next morning, I was showering before the kids were up and I suddenly remembered the tooth fairy. I didn't remember hearing her in the middle of the night. As a mom I have radar ears that can wake me up if the tiniest cough is coughed somewhere deep in the house. I always hear the tooth fairy. Maybe she is running late I thought, maybe she will show up when I get out of the shower. Of course when I got out of the shower I had a million things to do and I forgot to listen for her. I went into Jeff's room to wake him up and he was sitting up in his bed. Good morning Jeff, I said. The tooth fairy didn't come Jeff answered, with all the sadness and drama he had in him. Oh no, I said. Thinking fast, searching for an excuse for the tooth fairy, I came up with the idea that maybe since he lost his tooth so late in the evening that maybe she had already left for her nightly work and his name had not been put on her list in time. He thought that sounded reasonable but he did mope for a while. See, Jeff is my very dramatic child (You can read a little about his drama here and here ). He can play out scenerios in his head and put his whole self into his *role*.

The next morning I went to wake Jeff first, I was excited to hear if the tooth fairy had come. Indeed she had and she left him a note that read:

Dear Jeff,

I am so sorry that I missed your house last night. I was very busy so I had to get started early and I didn't get your name on my list in time. I came to your house FIRST tonight.

Thank you for such a nice tooth. I will be a wonderful addition for my castle. I have a very special place to put it.

Keep brushing your teeth! Remember to brush your teeth in the moring after breakfast and at night before you go to bed.


The Tooth Fairy

She also left him $2.00 instead of the usual $1.00. I think the tooth fary was feeling guilty about missing him the night before. I know if I were her I would feel that way.

Ever since he got that letter from the tooth fairy he has been very faithful about brushing his teeth without being reminded. I think there may be more letters from the tooth fairy in the future for the rest of the kids too.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Sunday wrap up and an update on the stump

It is after 8:00 o'clock on Sunday night. I still have three loads of laundry to do, a sink full of dishes to wash and lunches to make for tomorrow. But here I sit, blogging. I don't wanna do the grown up things, I want to sit and watch Extreme Makeover Home Edition with the kids and Dave, but I can't. Well I could, but I would still have all that stuff waiting for me and I would like to watch Desperate Housewifes later and get to bed at a decent hour. But here I sit, blogging.

It was a good weekend, very low key. Tay had a sleep over at her friends last night and while the *men* were out doing their gender specific jobs of washing cars and doing yard work, Elyse and I stayed in the house doing our gender specific jobs. Watching Dora DVD's, reading and eating grapes. I mean, cleaning the house, yes that's it, we were scrubbing the floors.

I did venture out to the grocery store to do the shopping for the entire week. Lately, I have been shopping day to day, I can't even remember the last time my shopping cart was full of food and not kids. Shopping alone was pure bliss, I didn't say a word the entire time I was gone. I didn't even exchange niceties with the cashier, I just wanted to be quiet. I hope she didn't think I was rude.

Back to the *men* doing yard work. Remember my previous post a few days ago about the kids were trying to dig the stump out in the ugly corner of the backyard(?), well, to my surprise they got it dug out this afternoon. That stump had been there for years, and now that we are planning on moving, they dug it out. So now the ugly corner is, well, still ugly but now it has a
giant crater in it. It may be even uglier now.
But they worked hard and they are very proud of themselves. I am proud of them too, they were one determined crew of hard working *men*. My men.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Going to church....or not

Early Saturday morning, around 8:00 a.m., I was deep in a dream, involving Eric Estrada and David Hasselfoff (weird, I know)(!) when I was rudely awaken by Jeff who was standing next to my bed asking me if we were going to go to church today. Of course, I responded. I really didn't want to, but when the kids wake us up asking to go to church, then I take that as a sign that we should go to church. Lately our church attendance has been sporadic. Jeff misses church and wanted to be sure we went back this week.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy church. It's just that I don't enjoy taking the kids to church. Trying to keep them all quiet during services is a nightmare. I have tried taking *quiet* toys for them to play with but in church quiet toys are never quiet. I have tried taking snacks but I end up on my hands and knees cleaning crumbs up off the floor after the service. So lately it has just been easier to skip the whole thing.

At our church, before the service we have classes. Adult classes and kid's classes. I have never been to an adult class. I moved straight from the youth class to the babies class with Scott and that is where I have been for the last 13 years, not with Scott, he has moved on. Normally, I go into the four year old class with Christopher and Dave goes into the toddler class with Elyse. It is a disaster for both of us. They won't sit still or participate with the rest of the class. We leave exhausted and wonder why we attend in the first place. The older kids all enjoy their classes and have learned a lot so it is worth it.

Today they were to have Childrens Church. That happens once a month. That is the week that I can sneak into grown up church and at least enjoy some of the music and hear part of the sermon without constant interruptions. Of course Childrens Church was cancelled today so right after the kids classes we bolted and came home.

I wish there was an easier way. I really want my kids to grow up in the church. Of course some of the older generation think that we should take the kids into church and get them used to sitting still and to listen to the sermon. I don't think chuch is the place to torture them. I am afraid that they will grow up hating it and leave the church all together. I want church to be a positive experience for them, not something they dread.

There has to be a happy medium, I just have to keep working until I find it.

We celebrated Elyse's birthday in her class to day. She did not want to be a part of the celebration!

Oh the humiliation. If she ignores them they will disappear.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy Saint Patricks Day

Happy Saint Patricks Day! I love Saint Patricks day, no, not because they serve green beer at the bars on St. Patricks Day but because there is no candy, stuffed animals or cards involved. It is just a day, a day to dress in green and have fun with.

Scott is getting too old for the wearing of the green, or so he would like to think. He is wearing a green wrist band and a green bandana around his ankle to trick his friends. Teenagers, gotta love them. Right?

Tayler looks like a green bean. She is wearing green all the way down to her shoes. I am just thankful that she is well enough to return to school. She told me this morning they are not allowed to pinch in school, they can give a soft poke. Huh!?! What's the funs of Saint Patricks Day if you can't give a good 'ole pinch. That's what I told her, I hope she realizes I was kidding. I may be getting a call from the school.

Jeff is one cool dude in his green T shirt and sunglasses. He was very excited about St. Patricks day and has had his shirt picked out for days. He is also wearing green socks. I hope he didn't overhear me talking to Tay about the pinching. I will be sure to get a call about him.

Elyse is one cool chic wearing Jeff's sunglasses. Notice the half smile, we are getting there. After I got her dressed and she was around the other kids I realized her outfit is more of a aqua color than green. But aqua is a color of green, at least that is what I told the kids.

Can we say cranky four year old who doesn't want to participate in anything lately? I had to force him to stand there so I could take his picture. He is driving me nuts lately, it's just a phase, it's just a phase, it's just a phase....

The whole gang, right before I drove them to school. Can you tell I had some extra time so I could have a little fun with the camera this morning before school?

I don't own a lot of green for myself, with my red hair I look too Christmasy in green. I bought this little pin 20 years at a Hallmark store. So, this is what I wear, sorry the pic is so blurry. The kids thought they would get me this morning when I was still in my pajamas but guess what I had pinned to my jammies, hee hee, I am always one step ahead. For now.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Show and Tell: Butter Dish

For show and tell this week Blackbird wants to see our butter dish. Someday I will figure out how to link Blackbirds site, sigh.

I bought a glass butter dish at a little kitchen specialty store at the local mall when Dave and I first got married. It is all glass and has a cow on the lid. I fell in love with it. I had dreams of the two of us sitting at the kitchen table every morning, with pancakes or toast in front of us with that butter dish between us sparkling in the bright sunlight that would be spilling through our yellow kitchen. I would have my hair pulled back and have an apron on and my face would be made up and my teeth would be white and shiney. Dave would have the paper in front of him catching up on sports or reading about the stock market.

Then reality checked in. We were both holding down full time jobs at that time. Dave rarely eats breakfast and leaves the house before I even get up. He is at work before the sun ever comes up and usually grabs something from the roach coach. Once the kids were born my pretty little butter dish just didn't do the job anymore. It was just too small and since it was glass I was constantly afraid it would fall and break. So one day, many years ago, I lovingly cleaned it up and packed it away. This morning I went to get it out to take a picture of it for show and tell and to take a trip down memory lane and I can't find it anywhere. I went through all the kitchen cabinets with a flashlight and that butter dish has disappeared. Now I am going nuts wracking my brain trying to figure out where it is. I have been doing spring cleaning and hauling box after bag to the Salvation Army but surely I wouldn't have given away my precious butter dish, would I?

Anyway, here is what we use now. Not very pretty but practical considering our family size and the amount of butter we seem to use. I buy one of these every month at Costco.

I don't use much butter, hardly any at all. When I do need butter I use *I Can't Believe It's Not Butter* spray. It gives me just enough flavor without all the extra calories and fat.

So, it isn't exactly what we were supposed to share but it is all I have right now. I will continue to hunt for my butter dish when I find it I will put it up. It may be weeks but I will find it!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Give them a shovel and they will dig

Yesterday Scott was bored. He is not into video games or t.v very much. He would much rather be outside doing something. We have what I call the *ugly corner* in the back yard. It is the only corner where there is no block wall and there is a big ugly stump out there. Scott heard me complaining about it not too long ago so he has decided to dig the stump out for me.
I don't think he will ever get it out, it is way too big but it is keeping him busy and he is having fun trying. Of course, at our house you never do anything that looks like fun alone. Especially if it involves dirt. Scott was glad for the help and passed out shovels. He is very good with his younger siblings and that makes my heart sing.

Brother's taking a break. They have quite a trench going. It is going to rain this weekend, they will be thrilled if it fills up with water.

Elyse loves her little shovel. She has decided to give me smirks when I take her picture now, it's better than the picture scowl she used to give.

Another smirk, I almost got a smile out of her. They all had to go straight to the garage to undress and then straight to the showers and bath tubs. That hole kept them busy for hours. Yipee!!!

Tayler is having some medical problems and was not able to participate or she would have been as dirty as the rest. She is not doing too well, more on that later.

Monday, March 13, 2006


Yesterday I was in such a bitchy mood. My poor family. I finally went off to the bookstore by myself to give us all a break from me. The only problem with that was that I had to take *me* with me.

I have also been really tired the last couple of days and my energy level has been low. Around 2:00 a.m. I woke up with a sore throat and my whole body just ached and ached. I had a light bulb moment, no wonder I have been in such a bad mood, my body is trying to fight something off and I wasn't listening to it.

I took some tylenol earlier and plan on getting as much rest as possible today. I don't have time to be sick.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Feeling ugly

Lately I have just been feeling so ugly, for a lack of a better word. I feel fat and bloated. I don't feel as though I walk around, I feel like I lumber. Like a giant person lumbering across the land and the whole ground shakes and people shriek and cover their eyes and run. That's how I feel. I am not comfortable in my own skin, I feel big and itchy. Yes, itchy. This is so not me. I can't use the *I just had a baby* excuse anymore because the *baby* is two years old.

I tried Weight Watchers, several times actually. I just can't count another point. The site of the sliding thingie makes me want to puke. The commercials make my head hurt and I still can't figure out activity points. So, as I usually do I quit. Now, don't get me wrong, I am not putting down weight watchers, it works for thousands and thousands of people and I am very happy for them, I am.

It just isn't for me. I don't like standing in line to wait to be weighed by a judgmental stranger. I stand there, eyeing the other's feeling vulnerable. I think they are thinking, what took her so long to get here. She should have been here years ago. Okay, I realize that thinking other people are actually thinking about me is ridiculous, but I do. Then there was the incident when I forgot to take off the name tag after the meeting and wore it to the grocery store. You just know after everyone saw that weight watchers name tag stuck to me they were eyeing my cart to see exactly what I was buying thinking does she really need that.

I digress, as usual. Yesterday I went to a birthday party. I felt fat and ugly. I didn't want to be there, I was too fat and ugly to be there. I looked around at all the skinny people and saw how confident they were. I was a skinny girl once, I had tons of confidence, I want that back. I want my confidence and self esteem back. I could hardly stand to be there, to talk to anyone. I tried to stay in one spot and blend in with the background and hide behind my purse. But that is was almost impossible since I had to chase Elyse and save the dog from her vice like hugs. I couldn't wait to leave, not because it was a bad party, but because I felt like the biggest thing in the room and I couldn't stand it.

So I am on a quest. Actually this quest started a couple of weeks ago, I am just getting around to being able to talk about it. I am going to eat healthy, I am going to turn the whole family around to eating healthier. I figure if I change my eating habits my health will improve and my weight will drop. Actually my weight has already begun a descent and I have tons more energy. Energy is a big must in this house so only good things can happen by being healthy.

I shared a few months ago that I am vegetarian. I was raised a vegetarian, and although I strayed some in my teen years and I ate *gasp* hamburgers and beef burrito's and two steaks, I haven't had meat again in almost 20 years. I am slowly trying to wean out the dairy too. Slowly, I haven't told the kids or Dave yet.

I recently bought a couple of vegetarian cookbooks. Quick simple cookbooks that require very few ingredients, ingredients that I am familiar with. So far so good. We have had some good filling dinners that everyone loved. Of course, there was that morning last week I discovered a corndog wrapper and stick in the trash.

Friday, March 10, 2006

It really is magic! Or like I call it - a miracle

Elyse is two now, she turned two on Sunday. She is taking her two year oldism seriously. She knows it is time for the terribles and she seems to be working extra hard to make sure she gets it all in.

So, last night I was walking into the kitchen and there she was at the edge of the floor with a black sharpie. A SHARPIE, a BLACK sharpie and she was drawing lines with it on the kitchen floor. I was speechless but I did hear a tiny gasp escape from somewhere deep inside me. She heard it too. She immediately jumped up, knowing what she was doing was wrong. The first thing that must have come to her mind was to put it away and no one will notice. She ran back through the kitchen to get the lid that she had left way on the other side. My eyes followed her trail across the floor. She had made lines, a trail, the whole length of the kitchen. Her trail consisted of four or five lines next to each other and then she would move up a few inches and start over. I was furious, no I was more than furious I was speechless. I picked her up and took her to the bathroom and sat her on the stool, the time out stool (thanks supernanny). I didn't say a word, just turned around and walked out of the bathroom and shut the door behind me. Elyse started to cry, no, not cry wail. She sounded like someone was ripping her finger nails out with tweezers. She knew she had done wrong and her guilt was eating her up. At least that is what I would like to think.

I went back and surveyed the kitchen floor. It was awful. I didn't take any pics, wish I had now. I tried 409 and bleach, but that didn't even make a dent in the trail. I didn't know what to do. I hate the linoleum, I hate the whole kitchen, it is so old. Vintage is what we are calling it now, but it is still ugly. But I couldn't leave it like this, nor can we afford to replace it. If only she had used a magic marker, it would have washed off with water an soap, if only she had done this to the walls we could have painted over it. If only she hadn't done this at all. And where the heck did that sharpie come from. I keep them put up high. One of the older kids must have got it down and not put it away, why didn't they put it away?!?! If only...

Then I remembered. Not too long ago I had a coupon for Mr. Clean Magic Eraser so I picked up a box of them at the store. I dug them out from under the sink and read the directions. Just get it wet and start cleaning is the short version. I looked at the flimsy thing and thought this will never work. I got it wet and started to scrub the floor. It was WORKING! I couldn't believe my eyes. It took a while, a long while but I got it all up. It cleaned up the permanent marker off the old ugly linoleum. I really was magic, no not magic, it is a miracle.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Show and tell: My eyes

The theme for show and tell for Blackbird this week is eyes. Here are mine, this is also my profile picture so this week's S&T was pretty easy for me. I was watching a movie, laying againts the side of the couch when my four year old son, who had been climbing all over me and I was trying to ignore him, yelled boo, when I looked up he took this pic of me. His favorite thing lately is to try to scare people. He is not supposed to have the camera so the joke was more on him. But I looked at the picture later and liked it, so I used it for my profile pic. It doesn't show my whole face which is a good thing, trust me.

My eyes are hazel, more green in the summer for some reason. I am far sighted so I do wear contacts until bed time. My husband is bugging me to get Lasik since our insurance will pay for a lot of it but I am too chicken. For a long time I wished I had blue eyes. I just love blue eyes. But lately I have started to appreciate my eye color more. They are the perfect color for me and they match my hair nicely.

Monday, March 06, 2006

She's two now, let the terribles start but how will I know the difference?

Elyse turned two over the weekend. I can't believe my baby girl is two years old. It's time for the terrible two's to start. I am pretty sure they started a while ago though, but they seem to have escalated lately. I have noticed that when I try to take her picture she refuses to smile. The look in the picture above is the look I get in almost every picture I take of her, unless I get her by surprise. Her no has become more of a NOOOOOO lately too. And she must have read the definition of *stubborn* in the dictionary one night, she has it down flat.

We celebrated by taking her to Knotts Berry Farm, a local western theme amusement park. We hadn't been there in years and it is cheap to get in as far as the cost of amusement parks go. We were pleasantly surprised at how empty it was the whole day, hardly anyone was there. There was very minimal waiting for every ride. We were able to see the whole park quickly and go back and ride our favorite rides and relax. I could also loosen my grip on the kids and let them walk around more and not worry about them getting lost in a crowd.

Elyse liked the train ride. She is almost smiling here. She obviously didn't know her picture was being taken or she would have reverted back to her ususal picture taking scowl.

She actually loved the merry-go-round, although you can't tell from her poker face look. She loved riding the bunny and cried when I pried her off of it. And I do mean pry. She locked her legs onto that bunny like a vice and wrapped her arms around the pole. For a little thing she has incredible strength. Did I mention how loud her NO can be?!?

It was a wonderful relaxing day. We all had a lot of fun. It was a nice way to spend Elyse's birthday. A nice change from the crazy huge party's we usually have. After the week I had last week it was nice to relax and enjoy the day with the rest of the family instead of being the hostess with the mostest.

Elyse was exhausted by the time we left. She was alseep before we got the key in the ignition. I was hoping that would mean a good nights sleep for us both. Nope, 11:59 p.m. she was crawling in bed with me. She wanted to spend the last minute of her birthday next to me. Having her warm body snuggle up to mine makes all those loud no's and the non smiles okay.