Wednesday, June 27, 2007


It was a Saturday and my brother wanted to take the boys to Chuck E. Cheese's. Now, it's never a good idea to take my boys there for a very good reason. They get sick. Not just a little sniffle followed by a cute little cough. No. We're talking running to the bathroom in order to get to the toilet in time to puke their guts out. Of course, it never goes straight into the toilet all neat and tidy. It splashes all over the dang thing, all over the walls around it, on the floor, and on the sink. This can also be followed by diarrhea. When you have a kid that normally waits till the last minute and has to run to the bathroom to make it get diarrhea, it's not a pretty sight. My husband gets a major case of the heebie-jeebies when this happens. He is usually armed to the teeth with antibacterial lotion and air freshener. I swear he would wear gloves and a face mask around the house if he thought he could get away with it. Well, I warned my brother that if he took them to Chuck's place, we were going to have a sick house, but he didn't believe me and begged to take them. So, we all trooped to the fun place and you can bet I was armed with antibacterial lotion. The next day was Sunday and we all piled into the van to go to church. My brother insisted that he be the one to sit between two boys in the back seat. After church was over, I asked my husband to stop at the hospital so that I could visit with a friend of mine and see her new baby. We were looking for a place to park when we heard the worst sound you'll ever hear in an enclosed space. Aidan was puking all over himself and his car seat......with Unca Gug sitting right smack up against him. At the time, I was horrified, but now, I'm laughing my head off. We found a parking space and I got out to assess the damage. All I had were wipies and I used the entire box. I did my best to clean him up all the while apologizing profusely to my brother and trying to comfort Aidan. We immediately started for home and had to endure the smell of vomit for the entire hour trip home. During the week, one right after the other got sick. You can bet wild horses couldn't drag us to that place again. I think Unca Gug learned a valuable lesson that day due to a major case of the heebie-jeebies.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Grandma Syndrome

Justin has an uncanny ability to make women fall in love with him wherever he goes. He is a very loveable boy, but seems to feel like he doesn't get enough love at home. Whenever we go to church, he loves to go to the older ladies, have them pick him up, and cuddle with them like they are his long-lost grandmother. I believe it all started last year. We went to Michigan to spend time at the family cottage with my husband's side of the family. Justin talked about seeing HIS grandma the entire two-day trip. When we finally got there, he bolted out of the van faster than a rocket shooting into the sky. We heard, "Grandma! Grandma!" with such excitement as he ran to meet her. He spent his days and nights in pure bliss. I remember one particular night. The adults were sitting on the screened-in porch talking and trying to stay awake. Justin was sitting between me and his grandma on the couch enjoying the light sratch of her nails on his neck. She loves her grandchildren equally, but she told me, "This is the one that reminds me the most of Andy." Since then, he has felt her absence keenly in his life and tried to find her in every woman he meets. My husband once asked me if it bothered me or made me feel jealous when he went to other women for love and cuddle time. I began thinking more about it and wondered if I was doing all I could to show him love and security. After he was done cuddling with one of his favorites at church, I grabbed him and squeezed him. I asked, "You do know that I'M your mother?" He nodded. I asked, "Do you know I love you very much?" He nodded. "Do you love me best in the whole world?" I asked. He nodded. I just had to make sure. I think we need to buy this book today and read it together. Some more bonding wouldn't hurt.

Friday, June 22, 2007

A Hot Night in Indiana

I was reading Antique Mommy's Good Housekeeping article, when I remembered a time when I was little and I received my first scar. This was no ordinary occasion for me. I was only around three years old, but I remembered it for years afterward and told the story to whomever was in listening distance. I am sure that I disobeyed my parents before this occasion, but this was a time that I realized there is a good reason why I should obey them. We were living in Indiana at the time and it was summer. There was no air conditioning in the house and only one fan that I remember. Since my parents could not sleep without the noise of a fan in their room, there was no question of who would get the fan at night. I was desperate apparently. I asked them if my sister and I could sleep with the fan in our room that night. Of course, the answer was no and we were told to go to sleep. It surprises me to this day that I hadn't immediately fallen asleep after a full day of toddler fun. When my parents left the room and all was quiet, I turned to my sister in our bed and asked, "Do you want the fan in our room?" Of course, she said, "Yes," and we snuck over to the room next door. My sister has always been known to be the imp in the family, getting into trouble all the time, but that night I was the instigator. I often wonder if what happened later hadn't happened, would I be the one called the imp in the family? It was a little oscillating fan that sat on the floor. It was hooked up to an extension cord and was stuck. My little arms were too weak to pull the the two cords apart, so I used my brain to try to figure out another way to get them apart.....I used my teeth. The next thing I saw was static like what you get from a TV. My sister was standing right in front of me and I couldn't see her at all. I checked to make sure. "Dani, are you there?" I could tell she was still standing where I last saw her when I heard her close by. "Yes," she whispered. I then realized that something was terribly wrong and screamed. I must have fainted because the next thing I remember was being in my bed with mother bending over me sponging my mouth and cheek. As a mother now, I can imagine the terror I had given her that night. I remember laying on Dad's lap while he drove me to the hospital (there was no law about car seats back then), but everything thereafter is forever gone from my memory. I was left with a little scar on the corner of my mouth when it could have been so much worse. I had been so young when I received this scar that sometimes I never thought of it until someone asked how I got it. When I was a teenager, there were times I was embarrassed by it. Now when I look in the mirror and see this scar, I remember God's grace.

The Perfect Mom

This morning, I was watching the news and they were talking about alpha moms and beta moms. They don't really call them beta moms, though. No. They call them slacker moms. It makes me want to sock them in the mouth, or throw something at the TV. Where do they get this crap? They are now comparing moms and seeing who does it all compared to those who....don't. I guess they are saying that alpha moms are supermoms and beta moms are, well, total bums. It started making me wonder what kind of mom I am. I ended up just feeling like horse dung. There is tremendous pressure from everywhere to be the perfect mom. The whole world is watching us. Society, friends, even family can expect wonders from us. Not only do we have to keep the kids clothed properly and well-fed, we have to educate them, give them enough physical activity, some even judge you if you let them watch TV. Add to that, keeping the house absolutely spotless, the yard perfect, dinner on the table, and all the while having a child inside you sucking the very life out of you. If I wanted to be the perfect mom, I should have stopped at just one or maybe two. Sometimes, I don't get my kids to the barber on time and their hair is in their eyes. There is always clutter. Our front yard is littered with weeds. Sometimes dinner is not on time. I am always on the lookout for tips on how to be a better mom. I look for ways to better myself and my life. I wonder how this is affecting my children. I look at them and realize that even though things aren't perfect, that I'm not perfect, they know they are loved. They are clothed, well-fed (as much as possible considering they are picky eaters), educated, physically active, and....happy. I may not look like I used to. Most of the time, I don't do my hair and put on makeup, but that doesn't matter. I may not be an alpha mom, but I am a mom who loves and is loved.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

It's hard to tell if she is just playing with her or wants to eat her. For more Wordless Wednesday go to 5 Minutes for Mom.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Best Thing

As we cuddle together, his body slowly becomes limp and he sleeps. He had insisted on "the tickle" right until he succumbed. He becomes entranced whenever I take my nails and skim them across his back or arms and neck. When I stop, he wiggles and panics and says, "Tickle, tickle" over and over again until I begin again. Then he says, "Ahhhh, tickle," and he's content. The kid's an addict. I had just changed his diaper before bedtime and he was exhausted from another day of toddler adventure. He hair was a riot of curls around his head and a few places were sticky from some ice cream he had eaten earlier. I ran my fingers through his hair cherishing the baby-soft feel of it. I could feel the child growing inside of me kick against him as if to say, "Hello? I'm in here and you're crushing me!" He is oblivious. I enjoy listening to his breath and keep up "the tickle" even though he doesn't feel it now. He looks like a cherub with his rosy cheeks, pink lips, extremely long lashes curling upward, and curly blond hair. I gently turn him around till I'm cradling him and take him off to bed. As I lay him on his bed and tuck him in for the night, he doesn't wake. He's lost in toddler dreamland. I turn on the fan and look back at him. I kneel down beside his bed, kiss his hand once...twice....three times. Feeling as if my pregnancy hormones are about to take over and my emotions burst into fragments, I say a prayer for my son and leave the room. But my thoughts do not leave him. I often wonder what is in store for my sons. I often wonder what I can do beyond teach them, care for them, and love them. As I stand outside his bedroom door, I pray, "Be with my sons, Lord. Protect them. Give them wisdom." That is the best thing I could do for them.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Getting Kids To Eat Spinach

My kids are just about the pickiest eaters on the face of the Earth, but I have found a way to get them to eat spinach. That's right. I said spinach. That yucky, slimy, green stuff that my mom always had simmering in a pot on the stove. She would love to eat it just like that with some vinegar. Nasty. Well, when I finally grew up and had kids of my own, I realized that it's got some much needed vitamins for growing bodies. I knew there was no way they would eat it like my mom did, so I had to come up with something......duplicitous. I found a recipe in one of my cookbooks for manicotti. It had spinach in it, so I thought I'd try it. Of course, they asked what the green stuff was. Did I tell them the truth and said that it's spinach? Fat chance. I wasn't about to ruin everything! I totally lied straight to their faces. I said, "Spinach?! Are you kidding? That's nasty! These are just herbs." They ate every single bite and asked for seconds and sometimes thirds. Looking at my husband's face, I would have to bite back a giggle. He would say, "You're so bad." I know, but my kids are getting their spinach.

Here is a recipe that I've made my own:

1 box of manicotti- cook according to directions and then cool

Filling- 1 box of frozen spinach, thawed and drained, 1 16 oz. container of ricotta cheese, 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, 1 8 oz. package of cream cheese, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Combine cheeses and seasonings with a mixer, then stir in spinach.

Spray 8 x 10 glass pan with butter spray, then put a small amount of spaghetti sauce in the bottom of the pan.

Fill up each manicotti with the filling and put in pan.

Cover with the rest of the spaghetti sauce.

Cover with aluminum foil and put in 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. Take off foil, put some more mozzarella cheese on top. Bake for 5-10 more minutes.

So yummy! Check out more WFMW tips at Rocks In My Dryer.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Devil Made Me Do It

My husband was going to be ordained, so I felt the need to pamper myself a little. After last Thursday, I felt a great need to do so. On Saturday, I informed my husband of the intention of getting a manicure. We did some haggling over the price of manicures and when he realized I wasn't going to bankrupt him, he gladly told me to take off. I got the directions to the nail center and grabbed my purse. As I was walking out the door, I looked back at him and said, "I think I might get a pedicure, too." Running out the door as fast as possible, I could hear his pathetic wail and giggled. I wasn't sure I was going to get a pedicure for sure until I got there. There he was standing behind the counter......the devil in the form of a Korean man. I told him I wanted to get a manicure. He took one look at me and asked, "Would you like a pedicure, too?" I turned to look at the price list, but the dang thing blurred in front of my eyes. I turned to look at him. His eyebrows were pointy and he had that evil smile on his face. "Yeah, you get a pedicure, too, ey?" he said. I looked over at the chairs ready and waiting for my feet to be enveloped by the warm, bubbly whirlpool bath. I remembered the first time I got a pedicure for my sister's wedding last November. I swallowed the lump in my throat and in a little, squeaky voice whispered, "Yes, please." I told myself this would be the only time I would do this for the year anyway. I made myself feel better by thinking about all the other women who get regular manicures and pedicures. I still came out of the nail center feeling as if I got away with something very naughty (insert British accent). I drove home in a state of uneasiness. I alternated from giggling nervously and singing the wrong words to a song. When I got home, my father-in-law had arrived for the weekend. I breathed a sigh of relief. I realized my husband couldn't very well blast me in front of his father once he saw the perfectly painted toes. He did see them and asked how much it cost me. I just looked at him sheepishly and said, "I couldn't help it. The devil made me do it." To all you hard-working moms out there, I heartily recommend at least a yearly pedicure if you can get away with it.
On June 10, 2007, my husband was ordained as a Deacon in the
Anglican Church in America (AMIA). He is now The Reverend Andrew
McIntyre. Congratulations, my love!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Thursday, June 7, 2007

5am- Wake up because the sun is blasting through my window and my bladder is screaming at me.

7am- Act like I am waking up for the first time for the benefit of the husband who has to go to work. Laze in bed with oldest son making jokes.

7:30am- Run downstairs and put son's blue school shirt in the dryer since I forgot to do it last night because I was dead tired.

7:32am- Realize I am all out of bread and cereal for breakfast.

7:45am- Go to turn fan off in boys' bedroom. Notice about 10 little nails hammered into their wall.

8:10am- Run out the door into the 26 mph winds to the van and throw the kids in as fast as you can all the while listening to the puppy yelp.

8:30am- Rummage in the fridge that needs to be cleaned for biscuits to throw in the oven for breakfast.

9:40am- Run out the door for the 5-year well-visit for Justin that I am not looking forward to.

10am- Finally get into the exam room to find out my whole trip to the doctor's was a waste of time.

10:02am- Bawl my eyes out in front of total strangers because of absolute frustration over shot records that are STILL in New Jersey.

10:05am- Get out of doctor's office as fast as I can while herding my kids out the door knowing that everyone can see my red and puffy eyes.

10:30am- Call the pediatric office in New Jersey. "What?! What do you mean you won't fax them?" Leave a message with the nutcase who handles the records who, by the way, won't be in tomorrow.

10:32am- Getting off the phone and remembering another phone call to my midwife's office a couple days ago. Two times this week I have talked to rude receptionists. A plague on them all!

10:34am- Praying that all doctor's offices of all kinds would be devastated by one of the ten plagues of Egypt. I particularly like the boils one.

10:36am- Seriously considering changing to another doctor's office, but then realizing they are all alike. Depression sets in. During this depressing moment, hear a crash upstairs knowing that the pipsqueak has tried to get into something and a glass shatters as it hits the floor. Contemplate screaming for the heck of it.

10:40am- Urge to scream passes, but Caleb complains of his ears hurting from my yelling at the pipsqueak to get out of the kitchen.

10:41am- Wonder why the gate isn't working.

10:45am- Go upstairs to sweep up the glass only to be informed by Justin that the glass broke in the bathroom sink. Contemplate laughing hysterically.

12 noon- Hear Caleb crying pitifully. Ask what is wrong. Find out he banged his head on the wall because he wasn't looking where he was going.

12:10pm- Caleb asks what is that thing called when your head explodes. Ponder what he means till I remember a conversation a few days ago. "Oh, do you mean an aneurism?" He said, "Yeah, my head felt like I was having an aneurism when it hit the wall."

2:50pm- Inform boys it's time to pick up their oldest brother only to find a unidentified substance on the kitchen floor and guilty faces.

3:15pm- Put pipsqueak in bed hoping he would go back to sleep from his power nap in the van.

3:30pm- Wishful thinking.

4:30pm- Totally forgot I left my drinking glass in the family room. Two-year-old gets a hold of it and asks for a drink of water. He follows me down the basement stairs and in a fit of pique throws the glass. Glass shatters on the stairs.

5:45pm- Come to grips with the fact that there is nothing to make for dinner. Start making out grocery list.

6pm- Husband arrives home. He barely got out, "Where's dinner?" when he noticed blood on Aidan's face and hands. He immediately thinks of the newly cleaned carpet. He picks up child and deposits him upstairs for bathtime.

6:05pm- Tell Caleb to make sure no more glass is on the stairs.

7:30pm- Take relaxing bubble bath.

8:30pm- Cuddle with Aidan till we both fall asleep.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Little Quack

When we were visiting the library, I discovered the first book in this series and brought it home to read to my 4 and 2 year olds. They were immediately entranced with the book. When I read to my kids, I like to read with a lot of expression and do all the voices. They love it. We eventually had to return it to the library, but then I found Little Quack's Bedtime and Little Quack's New Friend at our next library visit. They were as much in love with those as the first one although I think the first one is their favorite. Even their older brothers who are in more advanced reading enjoyed these stories. I believe my boys identify with them and that's why they love it so much. There is Mama Duck and her five little ducklings- Widdle, Waddle, Piddle, Puddle, and Little Quack. The illustrations are absolutely adorable and the boys just love to get in bed with the book, look at the pictures, and talk about the story. The artist really captured the look of love on Mama Duck's face and the uncertainty and fear on Little Quack's. Last night, I decided to go to the book store to get a new book. I discovered Little Quack's Hide and Seek. I decided to buy it since I knew they would love it to death. When I brought it home, they immediately abandoned their TV vigilance and ran to sit on my lap. Absolutely amazing! They acted like I had candy for them. They both fought over who would sit on my lap until I grabbed them both and put them on my lap together. Even Caleb and Nathanael sat beside me to listen and look at this newest book. They sat there totally engrossed throughout the story. When I finished with it, they fought over it like rabid dogs. They both wanted to hold it and look at the pictures. I realized then that I should have gotten another one from the series so that they each would have their own book to hold. Another lesson in sharing didn't go over well, either. After much screaming and crying, I finally wrestled them to bed. Somehow Justin ended up duping his little brother and sleeping with it. I'm looking on the bright side. It's a book.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Little Potty-Mouth

Our little Justin has a way of saying his s's that has us laughing our heads off. Sometimes it comes out "sh". So, you can imagine what happens when he wants to say "sit". It'll go like this: "Mom, can I s*it on your lap?" and his daddy will say, "I hope not, kid." Or, "Aidan, you have to s*it in this chair," and again his daddy will say, "I hope not." I don't notice it all the time, but when I do it just cracks me up.

A few years ago, my husband got a kick out of calling our dog what she is- a b****. He probably liked getting a reaction from me which was always a gasp and something like, "Stop saying that! The kids are going to start saying it, too!" His comeback was always, "Well, that's what she is!" So logical. Until Nathanael started saying it, too. One day, I asked Nat to put Leigh in the garage. He opened the door and said, "Get in there, you b****!" I slowly turned to look at my husband with an "I'm going to kill you!" look. His father had a talk with him and I haven't heard it come out of his mouth again.

Caleb picked up on another word and I won't say from who. He saw something on TV one time and asked, "What the h*** is that?" His daddy looked at me with suspicion and said, "He didn't learn that from me." He took him aside and now Caleb says the substitute "heck".