Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's time to once again check the temperature in hell

There have been several times around here I know I've said that hell may have actually frozen over. But this time, I'm serious!

It's been one of those days. The rare kind where I might not want to put my own head in a toilet and flush just to get a break from the craziness or myself.

I didn't even get up declaring, "Today is the day! I'm gonna try really hard. I'm going to take Super Nanny's advice and throw in a combo pack from several dozen parenting books for good measure." Nope. Just got up and didn't look back. Maybe that's the key: don't try?

Now when I say *don't try* please don't misunderstand me. I didn't go lock myself in my room with a TV and a box of Oreos and let the kids run amuck. I guess today it was more of an issue of enjoying my role as mom. GASP. Is that possibly the key ingredient that I miss most days? Shoot. Why didn't someone tell me?!

First of all, I didn't fight with anyone. I know the day is not over, but still, it's nearly 5:00, which by the way, is clock out time for me! I didn't yell. I didn't even want to yell. There were occasions where I might could have yelled. But I didn't. One time I calmly sent Olivia to her room and told her that when she is being mean to me, I'd rather she be in a different room. It worked like a charm.

For once, I noticed Turner obey (not that its for once he obeyed... well okay, so it was... but its more that I noticed) and I praised him and gave him a sticker on the sticker chart. He's been a DREAM ever since.

I forgot to put a Pull-Up on Quinn at nap time. Naturally, he had a tinkle accident. All over himself and the duvet cover. I didn't even feel frustrated inside. I simply cleaned up the mess and explained "accidents happen" (which also happens to be the name of a very annoying song on Elmo's Potty Time) and although I seem to be having an out of body kind of experience good day thing going on, I did NOT break into song. Let's keep it real people.

Then, I needed to bake a cake for some guests that are coming over. Usually just the thought of people coming over sends me over the edge with irritability. Oh the cleaning, the cooking and did I mention the cleaning? But instead of getting tense, I let O help me with the baking. She did a pretty good job. Until it came to making the butter cream frosting. After dumping a full cup of powdered sugar successfully into the bowl, she flung the Kitchen Aide onto high. Yep, full on cloud of powdered sugar covering her, me, the floor and the counter. But because I'm using up all the rest of my *luck* for 2010, I didn't yell. I FREAKIN LAUGHED. My daughter and I had some kind of Hallmark commercial moment. What the flippity flap is going on over here?

Is it the Christmas spirit? Can you get high from a White Barn candle in Winter scent? Is it the bottle of Merlot I drank at lunch time? (oh, I kid)

Whatever is going on around here, I'm not exactly sure. All I know is, if this is a dream, please don't wake me because I kind of like it this way.

Monday, November 29, 2010

duty calls

Here is my post-Thanksgiving wrap up. I'm doing this mostly because you're suppose to. Right? I mean a reason I keep this here blog is so that there is a document in history that proves we survived Thanksgiving 2010.
We went up to Toledo to spend the holiday with my dad. And because the idea of me cooking the holiday meal for us in his small-ish one bedroom apartment while the 3 kids ran around and the two men read the paper and watched football rivaled the thoughts of having the stomach flu while recovering from hernia surgery; we opted to go to a nearby hotel, featuring a lovely buffet.
I made reservations for 12:30. Mostly so I (I mean, we) could watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Not so much because anyone was interested. Even I got bored with the bad lip syncing. But that's what you're suppose to do. Right?
So we climbed in the van and attempted to take some family photos. Because you're suppose to. Right?
Trying to get my kids to sit still for pictures is like herding cats. Family holiday fun at its finest.

And to the ladies at the buffet who were whispering something about Super Nanny as my kids were in the buffet line, you can stuff it like that bird lying there! You think it's no picnic being around us? Try living with us! But we smiled and pretended like we didn't hear it. That's what you're suppose to do. Right?

In light of my mom being gone, it was really important that we get some pictures of my kids with my dad. One thing I really regret about losing my mom is that I didn't have many pictures with her and the kids toward the end. Mostly because she didn't want to be in any pictures.
Well, as you can see... the kids were in FULL cooperation mode after the meal. By the end, Turner was in time out and Olivia was in tears and I was full on mad. Our first fight of the day. But hey, its the holidays. It's what you're suppose to do. Right? (or is that just my family??)

But one thing I KNOW you're suppose to do is learn how to NOT cross your legs so that your rear end is the focal point of the photo! Right?Somebody send me to a weight watchers meeting REAL quick (or at least a lesson in how to sit to minimize your stuff.)
At least I crossed my legs though, c'mon dad. I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. At least were both smiling. I KNOW you're suppose to do that. Right?

All in all it was a good holiday. I anticipated it being a lot harder than it was. But there were smiles, laughs, tears and just that one fight.
I even made it out to a store or two on Black Friday (after the crazies were passed out from their 3am victories.) Because spending money the day after Thanksgiving is what you're suppose to do! Right?
And I do it so well!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Goofballs r us

Feel free to abandon ship now... this is a post mostly of weirdo pictures of my kids because its been a long time since I've posted any pictures.

Of particular interest in this photo would be Olivia's jeans. The girl is FINALLY wearing jeans after 2 1/2 years.

A few days ago there was silence and I enjoyed it for awhile until I realized there was silence!

I found these two knee deep in the coat closet. The word that comes to mind?
Nepali Sherpa.

Although it is 70 degrees here today, it was really cold for a few days last week. Time to try on the winter coats. I'm pretty sure there is a boy in there somewhere. Not long after I snapped this shot Quinn started yelling, "Mom. I'm choking." Perhaps a bit too tight?

I loaded the family up for another one of my "brilliantly unresearched" adventures. The local outdoor mall was having their kick off to Christmas festivities on Saturday. So after ballet class and flu shots we shuffled over there.
Only to find that stuff REALLY didn't start for another 4 hours. Hey, at least we beat the crowds, right?!
We were headed to a baby shower, so that is why Olivia is dressed to the 9's. She'd been bugging the crap out of me to wear her new Christmas dress and it seemed like a shower was a good enough occasion (better than a trip to Target.)
There were reindeer.
And we didn't even have to shove through a crowd to see them.

Well planned, if I do say so myself.
Did I mention it was a bit cold? Like freezing. But again, being well planned, I forgot coats.
Luckily there were heat lamps from time to time.

And there are these weird animal statues up for the holidays.
Weird because they are elephants and giraffes and buffalo.
Whatever. The kids liked them.
And this concludes one of the more random posts.
Have a nice day.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Please don't hate me

I'm about to do something I've never, in all of my thirty-eight years, done before. I've gone back and forth trying to decide if its even morally right. But then I think about it more and more and have decided its a preference thing. I may get judged, and I'm okay with it. Although I am one for traditional values and to think of bucking those for the first time in my life is really really hard. And I think if my mom were still here I wouldn't even DARE consider this. But she's not so I'm going to take a walk on the wild side. I don't think I'm caving in to social pressure. I don't think it's that I've had evil influences bombarding me from all sides (although some of you will say differently.) You and I may part ways here and if we do, I will miss you but will completely understand. To each his own. And I may sneak back to you with my tail between my legs begging for your forgiveness if this turns out to be a bad idea. If that happens, please be gentle with me. I'm a delicate flower.

I know the suspense is killing you so here goes nothin':

I am going to break out the Christmas decorations early this year and put my stuff up this weekend.

For my whole life the *rule* has been they don't go up a day before the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Nor do you listen to one single Christmas song before that day as well. But you see, a month just isn't nearly worth it. All the effort. All the trips up and down and to and from the attic. Yada Yada. And with the kids (is it wrong to use them as my scapegoats?) I want to milk every day of this holiday season.

So, if you don't hear from me this weekend, it's probably because I'm knee deep in tinsel and twinkly lights. Either that or one of you has hired a hit man to take me out. It would be easy to do 'cuz now you know where to find me!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I should be ashamed

But I'll just blog about it instead.

Every year when it gets a bit chilly we have the same problem. I imagine lots of people have this issue, but because we live in an "historic home" (which is just code for really old and really porous and I wish I had known that seven and a half years ago when we bought this thing) we might have a bigger issue than most.

We have mice.

The guy that lives in our rental unit (the back 1/4 of our house) left us a note the other day asking if we had any extra mouse traps. Apparently, he has had some visitors. Which only means one thing, we do too.

Blah. I HATE mice. H.A.T.E. And I know this is not the first time I've mentioned that here. Some of you have even left tips on how to rid ourselves of the issue. We even called pest control last year. Apparently, it did a lot of good.

So, Steve set out some traps yesterday evening. We caught 3 before we even went to bed.

I just got home from the Y this morning with the boys. We were taking off shoes and jackets and Quinn had to go to the bathroom. (The downstairs bathroom is part of our mud room and is also part of an addition that was put on in the 70's.) It is also the place in the house where we catch the most mice. Two traps are hidden right behind the toilet. Which makes for some nice surprises from time to time. But hey, a dead mouse is better than a live one any day.

I've been bribing Quinn to go potty- start to finish- all by himself. Which usually results in him being naked from the waist down. But part of the bribe includes him re-dressing himself when he's finished.

After he was done he was calling for help because his underwear were inside out. He needed my help. I opened the door and he was sitting on the floor, bear buns and all with the MOUSE sitting right next to him. How Quinn didn't see him, I'll never know.

What comes next is where the shame should come in. And I assure you, deep in my bones, there is shame.

I took one look at that mouse all hunched up and I screamed like a little girl and slammed the door shut. So that I was safely on the other side. Then I realized I had just trapped my 3 year old son... half naked... in there with the mouse. So I threw open the door and yelled for Quinn to get out. (The whole time Quinn's giving me the 3rd degree... "Why you screamin' mama?") Then I realized that his pants were still in there.

Figuring that the mouse was long gone after my blood curdling scream, I made a dash for it. I tried to grab the pants but I hit the mouse with them as he was cowering in the corner. I screamed louder and longer this time and ran WITH OUT the pants. So I did the first thing I knew to do... call Steve at work and ask him to come home, because CLEARLY I was being held hostage.

As I was on the phone I went to take a look and standing there LIKE HE OWNED THE JOINT was the mouse in the middle of the back hallway. Dang it. If the first two screams didn't do it, I guess the 3rd one did. Because my husband is just that amazing (and because he was doing work at the coffee shop down the street this morning) he came home. And he just announced from the back hall that he got him. STILL ALIVE. Injured, but still alive.

My hero scooped him up and got rid of him. Apparently, the trap went off and injured him and that's why he didn't scurry off like they normally do.

Oh my word, it's going to be a long winter.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It might be early...

but I'm still thankful.
Thankful to be feeling really, really good.

Thankful that I was able to be on the elliptical machine for 45 minutes yesterday and today and felt great. And don't worry, I DID NOT over do it!

Thankful for my kids. They are crazy and require a LOT of training these days. But I like them. I really really like them.

Thankful that my husband is an involved and hands on dad.

Thankful for a mother-in-law who gave up a week of her life to come and help me after surgery.

Thankful that although I miss her like crazy, my mom does not have to go through another holiday season suffering and wishing she could *feel up to stuff.*

Thankful that she gets to celebrate her birthday with Jesus this year (do you think we'll celebrate our birthdays anymore once we're in heaven? Probably not, but I like to imagine it anyhow.) It falls on Thanksgiving day this year. Hard for me... good for her!

Thankful for the car in front of me at Starbucks this morning who payed for my drink!

Thankful that diet cherry 7-UP is back on the shelves for the holiday season.

Thankful that Olivia decided, after two and a half years, to start wearing jeans again. She looks so dang cute.

Thankful that I got to have left over Chick-fil-A for lunch today.

Thankful that Glee is on tonight.

Thankful that American Girl sent us ANOTHER catalogue yesterday (right after I posted) so we can get rid of the other worn one. (Oh, wait, I'm not really thankful for that...)

Thankful for the IRONY of AG sending another catalogue the same day I posted about their devilish catalogues- because that is just hilarious!!

Thankful today for big and little things. How about you?

Monday, November 15, 2010

What to count when sheep don't work?

Last night I woke up at 2:30 and could NOT fall back to sleep. I'm not a super great sleeper to begin with. But then I found I had a lot on my mind.

Dumb stuff, really. But stuff nonetheless. I tossed. I turned. I seriously counted sheep. But I found that my sheep were on a conveyor belt (true story) and were passing too quickly for me to count. I tried imagining them jumping off the conveyor belt... but I couldn't get them off. I sense I have bigger issues than insomnia!

One of the things I worried about was the fact that Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK. Hello. The surgery and being in bed and barfing and stuff like that kinda allowed that fact to sneak up on me. And there are plenty of holiday details that have fallen through the cracks. Because, let's face it, husbands are great for raking leaves, plunging toilets and getting oil changes, but holidays would no longer be celebrated if women suddenly vanished. I spent nearly 45 minutes on what would happen if the kennel was already full. (Our kennel is incredibly popular and we've been shut out a few times in the past!)

Another chunk of time was spent fretting over what to do for the actual dinner. We are going up to my dad's and now that he is in a small one bedroom apartment, there isn't heaps of room for cooking a turkey dinner; or even catering one in. And who wants to plan and orchastrate a meal in someone else's kitchen anyway? Our plan is to make a reservation at a nice nearby hotel that has a lovely buffet. But I forgot to call and make reservations yesterday. So at 3:30 am, I was convinced all reservations were gobbled (I hear your groans at my bad pun from here, don't think I can't!) up. What then?

I could not let the opportunity to obsess over the Christmas holiday pass me by either.

You see, Olivia received an American Girl Doll catalogue in the mail about 2 weeks ago. I have never seen a girl love a magazine more. She pours over that thing like its going away (which it *might* the next time it leaves her clutches.) She is in LOVE with Felicity... who of course, is being retired after this Christmas. (Why a doll gets retired is beyond me. I guess to give well meaning parents sleepless nights. Stupid capitalism.) But I've already told her that she can't have one until she's six. Because you need to P.R.O.V.E. to me that you are responsible enough and love dolls enough before I spend one hundred bones on a doll.

But the thing is, she hasn't bugged me. She hasn't whined or pouted. She just looks at her pathetically worn catalogue. Night and Day. And it actually makes me want to get one for her. But then I remember the hundred bones. And then I reconsidered. And then I thought, "But they are going to RETIRE her favorite one." And then I slapped myself and said, "Get a hold of yourself, woman! She'll totally be in love with something else by the time she's six."

And then the clock turned 5:15.

And then I fell asleep. And then the alarm went off at 6:35. And then I cussed.

** And just so YOU can rest tonight: There was ONE more opening at the kennel. I took it! I was able to make a reservation for the time we wanted at the buffet. Whew! And no, I still don't know what to do about the doll, but I'll keep you posted.

Friday, November 12, 2010

T.G.I Feel Good

Well, I had grand plans of blogging my way through my recovery. And then... I got the stomach flu. Let's just say, the past week of my life has been a rather humbling experience. And while it's not technically over yet (the recovery that is) I'm feel so much better. Rather than my leg feeling like there is a raging forest fire going on from my groin to my mid-inner thigh, I am left with only a loud and clamouring ache. And that my friends, is do-able. I have the flu to thank for that.

Because you see, up until Monday night I had barely ventured down the stairs. Because, DANG, hernia surgery sucks! But right before dinner on Monday (thanks to Steve's mom, who arrived Monday morning, I didn't have to prepare) I got really nauseous and could barely stand to see or smell food. I figured I was in with drawl (because I had taken myself off the Vicodin- you know... all 11 of them I had taken since last Thursday.) I took myself off them because they made me *nauseous.* Hmmm... good thing. So I went to bed at 6:30 Monday night and couldn't get warm. Couldn't get comfortable. My whole body ached. I figured I was definitely having with drawl, because after all, I've seen that one episode of Little House on the Prairie where Pa takes Albert away so that he can go through detox from the morphine he'd been on. I am an expert in most areas thanks to Laura Ingalls.

I got up Tuesday morning not exactly refreshed. I rolled down to the couch where Quinn rubbed my back for a while. Steve's mom went to pick Olivia up from school and I fought it hard. She got home and I ran upstairs (ok, so it was more of a hobble) so I could go throw up. And oh the agony of throwing up while trying not to rip the seams of my stitches. I know I couldn't have. But my insides would have argued you something fierce to the contrary.

I slept the rest of the day. Which was a real bummer since my friend Jean brought us dinner... she's a really good cook. I got to have the left overs the next day, but it's never the same. I did manage to keep down a Popsicle. Red since I know you're wondering.

By Wednesday I was ready to get the heck out of the house. We took the kids to the mall where Olivia picked out her first pair of jeans in over 2 years. The end of an era. I sat in the play area with the boys in only mild misery. Mostly thankful to not be barfing.

And its been a steady incline since then. Today... I took on Kroger in a single bound. I also took advantage of Grandma here for one more day and went solo. 'Cause even on a good day I want to curl up in a ball and sob myself to sleep when I have to take the kids with me. Forget 8 days post surgery.

Don't worry, I'm taking it *easy* but I am itching to get back into my normal routine. Isn't it ironic how there are those weeks where all you want to do is lay in bed and have nobody bother you and no responsibilities; and when it happens all you want to do is go scrub a toilet?! It's either irony or stupidity. I'm not sure which one.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A little cheese with my whine

OK. I'm going on day 4 of being in bed. While it's killing me to stay in bed... taking a shower, walking down the stairs, going to church and giving Olivia a shower nearly killed me more. I whine if I'm laying around (not because I'm in pain... laying around is the position that doesn't hurt right now) but more because I'm missing out. Then I whine if I'm standing, because it feels like my leg and abdomen are on FIRE. Then I whine if I am sitting because pretty much the same thing, Oh the fire.

I decided yesterday I didn't really like being on the pain medication. It made me kind of nauseous. In fact, right after I finished my last post (Thurs. evening) I wound up barfing for a stretch. Which honestly made me feel better. So I decided to forgo the narcotics on Saturday and just try the Motrin approach.

Our good friends Matt and Sally brought us dinner and their kids and they all stayed and ate with us. Which was so kind and thoughtful and really helped Steve out in several ways. But for me it was pure torture, and very humbling, to see things that needed to be done, but instead of hopping up and doing them, I had to ask. And worse yet, I had to wait. Because let's face it, others' priorities are not always yours. Stupid life lesson. I was happy to be downstairs with everyone and glad to be out of bed. But sitting with everyone really took it out of me. So I popped more Motrin.

Then I decided to try Tylenol PM for my night stretch. I did pretty good.

This morning I was moving around and not feeling so great. But it was *Orphan Sunday* at church and the thought of being here by myself was hard to swallow. So I popped a narcotic and figured that would help me make it through. I did fine during the service. It was the getting back to the car that nearly did me in. Seriously? I did a spinning class Tuesday and rode 22 miles. Now I can barely walk to my car. Ugh. But oh the fire.

Got home and was about to take my Motrin when I happened to inspect the bottle. Come to find out the bottle expired 08/08. Oops. That *might* mean that I actually went without any pain medication yesterday. So maybe I am a bit tougher than I seem? (Nod and smile and throw a girl a bone here.)

Thankfully, Grandma gets here tomorrow to lend a hand. I figured by the time she got here I would need to send her on her merry little way. You know, 'cuz I bike 22 miles on Tuesdays and can make it through a Pilate's class without resting. But now I've learned a sobering lesson- surgery is no respecter of persons~ ouch.

I am humbled. I am in pain. And I am now going to check all the expiration dates in my medicine cabinet... as soon as I can stand long enough to do it.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Not as tough as I thought

At about half past the butt crack of dawn, I hopped in the car and drove myself over to the surgery center. (Steve met me there, he had to drop O off at school and then drop the boys back at home where my friend Sally and her kids came over, bless her heart!)

Can I just tell you that this surgery center is basically the Hilton of the medical world. It is a satellite campus of the humongo hospital that is 2 minutes down the street from my house. The humongo hospital is where every crack-head-stabbing and shooting is dealt with. Apparently where I went today is where the other half get healed! In the lobby was a baby grand piano. Yes, please.

There were only about 4 others waiting in the lounge for their name to be called. We enjoyed the Early Show on a huge flat scree tv while we waited.

Steve arrived just after they made several attempts to get my i.v. in. *dainty veins* was what she called them. Dainty other stuff is great to have, dainty veins... are just a pain (literally!)

I was rockin the blue hat, don't you think?

All in all the surgery went well. The surgeon told Steve I had a medium sized hernia. Which, naturally, is unusual for women. Apparently we usually get small ones. See? Dainty veins and medium hernias. I always have to buck the system.

The meds were working great because when I got home I was feeling pretty good. I even went up and down our stairs a few times. Then around 12:30 I got into bed and slept for a few hours. Then right around the 10 hour mark the local wore off (just like they said it would)...

And wowzers! This bad boy hurts.

I went to change from my outfit (looking good all day, wasn't I?) to my jammies and it about did me in.

I'm really hoping I don't have to go to the bathroom for about the next 3 days. Think I can hold it?

Thankfully, I'm all set up in our room. Tv. Internet. Books. Phone. Barf bucket. (Seems like the meds might make me a bit queasy. Ugh.)

While I was tucked away for the day, apparently it was operation make it til bedtime for Steve.
Because at one point, the kids came up and Olivia let me know that daddy let her paint every one's faces. And a lovely job she did.

What is funny is that she's been after me for days to let her paint her brothers' faces and the answer has been no. But apparently today she saw her opportunity and took it.
Well done, Olivia, well done.

Later in the day they were playing hospital. I guess Quinn was sick and they were visiting him. Original idea, guys.
Okay, I've hit my limit. I might have to go barf now. Which scares me to death...
Here's hoping tomorrow is a new day.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Surgery Eve

Well, tomorrow morning at 8:45 I will be under the knife. I'm having my hernia repaired (because I was looking for an ailment that would make me sound like a 74 year old man.) Up until about an hour ago I haven't been too nervous. Now... I'm thinking I've watched a few too many episodes of Grey's Anatomy. No, my surgeon is no McDreamy (he's a bit more like Old McDonald) but I'm seriously hoping for no drama. No shooter sneaking in to take revenge, no students taking a crack at my groin. No interns arguing over who is sleeping with who. If I can escape with a nice little dose of a good pain reliever, I'm good to go.

More than the actual surgery, I'm dreading the recovery. Several days of no driving. Two weeks of no lifting. Use my own judgement on starting up my work outs. Yada yada. It's just hard to know what it will all be like. Up and down the stairs. 3 little kids. 1 dog with his own set of issues. You know... life.

Although its against what I stand for, I'm moving a tv into our room. I've bought some books at the half price book store and I'll have my computer on hand.

Wish me luck. No drama. And a little McDreamy wouldn't hurt either ;)

See you on the other side.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Short but sweet

It's late. I'm tired. But I have to brag. Is it wrong to brag? Isn't that what blogs are for? Don't answer any of those.

I went to my Weight Watcher's meeting tonight. I weighed in. Under my goal! Yee Haw!

I've lost about 4 lbs in two and a half weeks. That included Halloween.

Here's the thing. I am really glad I posted about my struggle. Not for any of you. But for me. Apparently it was the fire I needed under my rear. I nearly quit. I nearly threw in the towel. Had I done that, I would have had to be back at the meetings with 30 lbs to lose, not 4.

I had great incentive to not over do it with the Halloween candy. It was hard. I'm not gonna lie. I was INCREDIBLY sad about my mom this weekend. (Because let's face it: there is NO ONE on the face of the planet who cares how many Milk Duds my kids brought in. But she would have. So I have to silently live with the fact that my kids now have 16 boxes of Milk Duds. And I can't eat them. 'Cuz I gotta weigh in at dang Weight Watchers.) But I digress....

Because of my sadness what I wanted to do was slide up to a vat of Reece's Peanut Butter cups and drown my sorrows. But I had a sheet of paper posted on my fridge that let me know how many points each fun size bar would cost me. Almost every time I decided it wasn't worth it.

I'm still hoping to drop another 3-4 lbs. But for now, I am reveling in my personal victory.

Mostly I wanted to post this to encourage. Whatever you're about to throw the towel in on- don't. It's not worth it. Tomorrow is a new day. Start over. Begin again. Put the hard work in. It's worth it.

And then do it again the next day.

And then...

eat a peanut butter cup.