Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are

I take back every last mean thing I ever said about our kitty being a lousy mouser.

Yesterday, I was chatting on the phone with my dad when Grumpy came up to me and announced that there was a dead mouse in his room. Still on the phone and with much trepidation, I followed him up the stairs.

He points to a spot on the floor and I stop a considerable distance from the small gray-brown furry object. I said, "Are you sure it's a mouse? It doesn't look big enough." He said, "Yes, I saw its eyes."

I drag myself closer to it to see better and make sure it's a mouse. "Eeeeuuu! It's just the head!" Chills start coursing through my veins and I immediately leave the room.

There was only one conclusion that I came to. The cat had finally done her duty.

I say good-bye to my dad who had been on the phone this entire time and call Doc....because that's what I do when there is a crisis. I tell him what happened and then he asked if I threw it away. "Are you kidding me? I am totally freaked about this!" I exclaimed. I was still shuddering.


"Well, get one of the boys to do it," he said. I looked at Bashful and Grumpy and knew what they would say. Still, I tried. "Will one of you boys be my knight in shining armor, get a bunch of paper towels, pick up the mouse head, and throw it in the trash?" I asked with my hands prayerfully folded.

They both stood there and looked at me as if I had gone off the deep end. "Uh, no, I don't think so," said Bashful. "No way! Not me!" said Grumpy.

"I'll do it!" piped up a little chipmunk voice from behind me. I turned around and there was my little Sleepy. "I'll get a glove and put the mouse head in the trash!" he said with relish.

With surprise written all over my face, I watch from a distance as he puts a glove on, picks up the mouse head, and troops downstairs to throw it in the trash. When he was finished, he proudly stood there as I fell on my knees, wrapped my arms around him and called him my hero.

With visions of a mouse head dancing in my head, I continued on with my day. Interspersed with my duties, I continually sought out the cat. With my lips pursed, I would say, "What a good kitty," but she would just look at me and walk away. "Whatever, woman," she seemed to say. "I remember you pushed me off the couch the other day."

Later that evening, Doc comes home and expresses his ultimate pleasure in the cat's mousing skills. "That's awesome!" is what I heard the most accompanied by the manly guffaw.

We were talking in the living room, he standing in the middle of the room, me on the couch, when he looked over and his face became a study in astonishment. As I looked at his face and wondered what in the world could surprise him so much, I heard, "Eek! Eek! Eek!"

"Was that a....?" before I could finish my question, Doc sprints forward and opens the basement door. Apparently, the cat had her snack in her mouth and accidentally dropped it. The mouse had scurried underneath the basement door.

She's a good mouser, but she can't walk through walls. Doc opened the door for her, but, of course, the mouse was gone. We weren't worried, though. We knew it was just a matter of time.

This morning, Doc tells me that he found the dead mouse in Grumpy's room. It hadn't been eaten this time, but looked pretty banged up. She must have had fun playing with it and didn't look happy when Doc picked it up and put it in the trash.

Our kitty has gotten a taste for mouse and has been prowling around looking for more snacks. Well, I say, "You can run and you can hide, but you cocky mice have met your match. You go, kitty."

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Fried Eggs with Hot Sauce

This morning, I made fried eggs with hot sauce on top and toast on the side.

As I pulled out the hot sauce, Bashful warily asked, "What's that?" since it didn't really look promising. I said, "It's hot sauce. My grandpa used to make me eggs like this all the time."

I looked down at my growing son and realized how many years have passed by since Grandpa's death. I've had two more sons since then.

I have a picture of my grandpa holding Bashful when he was a baby. I remember him gently patting the baby's butt while holding him on his lap. He was sitting outside on his porch enjoying the beautiful West Virginia weather and Bashful was content to bask in his great-grandfather's attention and feel the warm breeze in his hair.

I also remember taking another picture. Grandpa was older then and this time it was Sleepy's turn to sit on Grandpa's lap. Bashful had grown tall and was standing next to Grandpa's chair. Grandpa looked very different in this picture. His body was much thinner and he looked frail sitting in that chair with a blanket over his legs.

Today, my mind runs back to the time when I was a young girl. Whenever we came to visit, my siblings and I looked forward to his boisterous greetings. My grandpa had a mischievous side to him. I get the expression "he's pulling your leg" from him. He loved gag gifts and April Fool's jokes.

He raised rabbits (which is every child's dream) and had the best dang garden I ever saw. I always wish that I had a green thumb like he did. The man could grow anything.

I remember the first time I had fried eggs with hot sauce. I had been watching him eat eggs like that for years and finally said yes when he asked if I wanted hot sauce on top.

They were delicious.

So many memories go through my mind as I run my fingers through my son's beautiful, blond hair. I wish that he could have known grandpa longer and known him like I did. I know that it's not possible until we are all together in Heaven, but until then, I can make him fried eggs with hot sauce and tell him stories about his great-grandfather.

Monday, February 25, 2008

A Cheeky Fellow

Yesterday, I had the priviledge of teaching Sunday School. I am happy to report that I my head was still intact when it was over and there was only a smidgeon of drool left on the corner of my mouth that I surrepticiously removed with only a slightly shaky hand.

One of my students was a very nice young man around nine years old. To protect this young man's identity, I will only use the initial R for his name.

As we all sat down at the table, R said, "I wonder who is going to teach us." Since I was sitting right there at the table with them, I was a little confused by this. Baffled, I said, "Well, that would be me."

His face turned from confusion to surprise. "Oh....oh!" he exclaimed. He face was a study of surprise and he also looked a little worried. Noting the worry on his face, I said, "You look a little worried. Is there something wrong?"

He said, "Oh, no! I just expected someone more professional." I was quite taken aback by this and started laughing. R said, "Well, I guess you are kind of a professional since you teach your sons anyway."

He's a cheeky fellow that one.

Friday, February 22, 2008

A Sign

One day, before we realized our house was sitting right on top of critter heaven, I was on the phone with Doc. I was chatting away, happy that he had called since I don't get to talk to an adult very often.

While talking his head off, I decided to open the curtains in our dining room and bask in the bright sunshine and wide open spaces. We were fairly new to the rural community and we enjoyed seeing the mountains in the distance.

My conversation with Doc was cut short when I saw a horse moseying on down the middle of our road. My voice was unsure as I said with confusion, "There's a horse walking down the road and there's no one riding it! That's weird! I wonder where- what in the world?! A goat? Doc! There's a GOAT following the horse down the middle of the road!"

My eyes were bug-eyed and my mouth was open the whole time I watched them parade down the street. My head turned as my eyes followed them and then I turned away from the window.

That was a sign of things to come.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A Streak and a Blur

By the end of our school day, we all ended up standing on the same chair screaming at the top of our lungs.

Let me clarify what happened.

When the boys are finished with their schoolwork, I time them for 15 minutes and they clean up the basement where we have schooltime. The floor is often covered with old school papers, dropped pencils, toys, books, etc. and needs a hefty cleaning now and again.

I had decided to put a big pile together in the middle of the floor by sweeping everything together with the broom. I then told Grumpy to put the stuff away and everyone else had their own chore to do.

After some time, the pile began to decrease in size. I am in the middle of writing an email when all of a sudden, Grumpy yells, "I found the mouse!"

I look up in confusion and say, "Whaa?" thinking it was a stuffed animal he had found since he goes ga-ga for them anyway.

No sirree. It was a real mouse. He yells again, "It's the mouse! It's the mouse!"

After that, pandemonium breaks out. While the boys are screaming, I look at the middle of the pile when all I see is a dark blur that seems to be coming out of a daze (probably from all the screaming) and becomes a streak heading toward the wall. The mouse was so fast that I couldn't see its form or shape. It was just a blur, but I knew it was definitely a mouse and it was most definitely alive.

When the mouse became aware that it wasn't hiding under anything anymore, it ran. So did we. We all started screaming, myself the loudest, and we all headed for the same chair and stood on top of it. We continued screaming and Happy started crying.

After screaming for a few seconds and staring at the floor wondering where it went, the boys ran for the stairs as fast as they could go.

"Where's the kitty?" they yelled to themselves. "She's in the laundry room! Get her down here right now and close the door!" I yelled. They picked her up from her comfortable bed of dirty laundry, plopped her on the stairs, and slammed the basement door.

Now this cat has not been the best mouser I've ever seen. In fact, she's lousy at it. When she came downstairs, she ran to the corner, but I convinced her to go toward the place where the mouse was last seen.

I was hoping to hear an attack of some kind with lots of hissing and fierce meowing, but it was very quiet. A few minutes later, there's the cat trying to get at the birds. I looked over at her and said, "Will you leave those birds alone, for Pete's sake, and come over here and get this mouse? Where's the hunter in you anyway?"

I have a feeling that I will not be able to get the boys to finish cleaning up the mess today.

Coupon Clipping










Since my mother has more experience than I do, I ask her for advice on a lot of things. She raised four children on a budget, so I know she is a plethora of tips and good ideas.

Therefore, I've asked her to provide this week's WFMW tip and she has come through for me with flying colors.

"Off the top of my head, the number one thing I did when I was raising four small children was to use coupons. Then find a store that lets you double the value of the coupon.

I would also look for sales on the particular items I had coupons for. I remember coming out of the grocery store having saved $70 - $80.

The Sunday paper has a huge section with nothing but coupons and some stores or convenience stores will let you have all the leftover papers at the end of the day. Now there are coupons that can be printed online, which I didn’t have access to years ago. These are just great for saving!

It is a job to cut and sort the coupons, but this can be a job that you can have your children help you with. This might also make them realize the cost of groceries and the importance of eating the food you buy for them.

Then I also discovered discount grocery stores like Aldi’s and Save a Lot. I would stock my pantry for a month at a time with canned goods, etc."

I am pea-green with envy that other people have an Aldi's to go to and save so much money. Thanks for the advice, Mom! I will get to clipping right away.

For more WFMW tips, go to Rocks In My Dryer.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A King On His Throne

I tend to get tired a lot earlier these days. Sneezy likes to wake up his mommy several times during the night and this tends to make me look a little haggered the next day.

When 7PM hits, I crash. When that happens, in order to stay awake and go to bed at a decent hour and not too early, I like to watch a few shows like Lost or American Idol. When nothing good is on, sometimes I will let Happy watch The Goodnight Show.

He loves to watch it when it is dark outside. If his show is on and it's not dark outside, he won't watch it. As I turn the channel, he climbs up onto the couch, snuggles underneath the soft blanket, and starts pushing me.

He says, "Go to bed, Mom!" imperiously taking over the couch. I ask, "What if I don't want to go to bed now?" There is no negotiation. "Go to bed, Mom!" he demands and continues to try to push me off the couch.

"Alright, alright! If you insist," I say. Apparently the kid wants the couch and the TV to himself.

As I climb the stairs with Sneezy in my arms, I turn to look at him. There he is like a king on his throne watching his favorite show. I slowly smile and turn to finish my trek up the stairs.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Cave Confusion

It was a beautiful, warm February day when we took our boys to a crazy, awesome Mexican restaurant. A couple attractions inside this restaurant are cliff divers and a man-made cave for children.

After we all had inhaled our food, Doc decided to take the boys to the cave to have a look-see.

Giving Bashful a little responsibility, Doc told him to take Sleepy's hand and lead him through the cave. He told him not to let go of Sleepy's hand and watched as they entered the cave together.

Doc goes to the other end of the cave and waits in anticipation of seeing them both exit out of the cave together.

Out comes Bashful galloping in glee with his arms waving in the air and a carefree smile on his face....and there is no Sleepy.

Doc asks, "Where's Sleepy?"

Bashful stops and looks around in baffled confusion as if to say, "Duh, where'd he go?"

The kid is in his own world.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Call Me Crazy

Blowing my frizzed-out hair out of my face, I unlock the front door and watch my brood pile into the house. My brain feels overloaded and my body is about to crash at any second.

I had made the ultimate crazy decision to take my boys to an Italian restaurant for lunch on Valentine's Day....by myself.

I know.

A little, red imp must have been on my shoulder whispering into my ear when I made that decision thinking what a jolly good joke that would be.

I did as much planning ahead that I possibly could, but when I'm by myself with my five children in public, well, anything could happen.

The boys were really excited, but they diligently worked on their schoolwork to get it done. While I was distracted with that, Happy had decided to get into the fridge and pull out the sour cream and eat it straight out of the bowl. He proceeded to get it all over his nice, red sweater that I had put on him for Valentine's Day.

Not a good start.

We were finally on our way and arrived at our favorite restaurant. We had to wait a few minutes before we had an available table and in the meantime, Bashful and Grumpy were bouncing off the walls in their excitement.

I put on my "Mommy's very serious" face, and gave them the empty promise that if they didn't calm down, we would leave immediately which got their attention.

When we finally got to our table, I sat down and across from me, I noticed Happy dancing around in his seat. I told Bashful to ask the hostess where the bathroom was and take Happy there. They both had to go past Sleepy in the booth and Bashful thought it a lark to push Sleepy right out of the seat onto the floor. I informed him I was never bringing him to a restaurant again. For some reason, he didn't believe me. They came back to the table after a while, and Happy immediately started dancing in his seat again. I asked Bashful if Happy had gone, and he said no. So, I ordered them both to the bathroom again.

Right after they left, I noticed Sleepy dancing in his seat as well. I said, "Sleepy? Do you have to go to the bathroom?" Of course, the procrastinator said no. I let it go and finally looked down at my menu.

Bashful came back with Happy and Happy announced very loudly that he went pee. It didn't matter that he had spoken loudly because the restaurant was one great big din. I couldn't hear myself think.

Adding to the noise was Grumpy and Sleepy taking their two forks and sliding them across each other as if they were sharpening a pair of knives. I think I started developing a headache at this point.

Soon after Bashful and Happy got back from the bathroom, Sleepy started dancing in his seat again. I told him that if he waited any longer he wouldn't make it to the toilet. So, Bashful took Sleepy to the bathroom.

In the middle of my entree, Sneezy woke up and noticing that he was in an unfamiliar place, he screwed up his face and began to wail. I took him out and comforted him and he was fine just looking around.

As soon as Happy had decided he was done eating, it was time to go according to him. When he realized that we weren't leaving, he proceeded to slide up and down from his seat onto the floor underneath the table.

Aargh.

At one point, I got so fed up with him underneath the table that I started nudging him with my foot to get his attention and let him know that Mommy meant business. I couldn't climb under there myself since I was holding Sneezy. As I was nudging him with my foot, the waiter came up to our table and asked if we were finished. My answer was, "Yep."

All during our time in this restaurant, I couldn't help but notice that the booth behind us also had children in it. Such a clamour you never heard before. There was screaming, laughing, loud talking, wailing, you name it. I think we were in the "children's section" of the restaurant.

I paid the check and as we were pulling on our coats, I just happened to glance underneath the table and noticed my keys on the floor. I gasp, "My keys!" in confusion and astonishment wondering how in the world they ended up there. Who knows.

Anyhoo, we got out the door in one piece and somehow my brain was intact if not my sanity. I guess I'm the kind that learns by experience and next time we are going to the bathroom BEFORE we leave the house.

Beautiful Smile

My son, Bashful is going to be 11 in March. It won't be long and he will be mad at the world....for a long time. Even now, it is hard to get a genuine smile out of the kid due to his bashful nature and when it happens, it takes him off-guard and he tries to hide it with his hand. So, I try to get one out of him as much as possible.

A few nights ago, we were having the usual conversation at dinner. I was telling them to eat their food, and they were making excuses.

I had made a fabulous vegetable beef soup with flaky biscuits and as usual they were being picky.

Of course, there was no way they were going near those vegetables, so I tried another tactic in order to fool them into eating.

I said, "If you eat your vegetables, it is a sign that you are entering manhood."

Of course, it was a load of crap, but I was desperate to teach my boys how to eat healthily.

I left it at that and we continued with our family time. A little while later, I noticed Bashful scraping his bowl leaving behind only the tomatoes. He said they were a fruit, so he didn't have to eat them.

I wasn't going to be picky and I congratulated him for becoming a man. Out pops that sweet, bashful smile that he always tries to hide and covered with his hand even then. I told him I am proud of him and he left the table with his head held high.

The sweet, beautiful smile of his is going to bring some woman to her knees someday, Lord help her.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Organizing School Supplies











Being a homeschool mom has its challenges.

Don't get me wrong. I love to homeschool my boys and they are thriving.

It's just that things can get a little hairy if I don't stay organized.

More often than not, Bashful and Grumpy are looking for something that they need for a particular subject and I have to say....it drives me crazy!

There was really no place to put all of the pencils, erasers, scissors, crayons, paper, math cubes.....arrgh!

I could go on and on.

I realized early on that there had to be an intervention. I needed a place for all of the school supplies, but I couldn't come up with anything.

When my mother came to visit, she took me to Target and got this really cool toy organizer.

Of course, she meant it for toys, but recently I came to the breaking point. I needed something to organize all of our school stuff or the tick in my eye was going to get worse.

So, I took the whole thing and set it on top of our arts and crafts table and proceeded to put scissors in one bin, crayons in another bin, pencils in another, etc. until everything had a place.

I was happy as a lark.

Now, since Happy is too short to reach anything important, I have been relieved from much stress.

I've even stopped drooling.

For more WFMW, go to Don't Try This At Home.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Little Charmer

Ever since Sneezy popped out face up, he has been a force to be reckoned with.

No way was this youngest boy going to be ignored. As if that were possible.

He's a cute, little guy, but a real termagent. He refuses to take the pacifier, people.

The pacifier.

The one thing I could pop into their mouths to shut them up during one of their crying sprees. I don't have that luxury with Sneezy. Oh, no.

Stubborn baby.

For a while there, I thought I was going to go out of my mind. I mean, I had a growth permanently attached to me, for Pete's sake!

All four of his brothers took the pacifier and throughout those years, I was arrogant enough to believe that it had something to do with my mothering skills.

Ha.

I would complain more if he looked like a gargoyle, but this one is a charmer, guys. He loves to pull out that little smile and is even cooing now. A couple days ago, he even laughed for the first time. He wasn't quite sure about it, but it came out nonetheless and he's ready for more practice.

There's no help for it. I'm in love and I'm a sucker.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Put Your Mouth Away

Things were quiet for a while this morning.

The boys are excited about this week's Valentine's Day party. Yesterday, we decorated our boxes and all night long I had visions of pink and red hearts dancing in my head.

Apparently, Grumpy's mind was on the party because he asked if we were going to bring Sneezy with us.

I said, "Of course, we are! What did you think we were going to do with him? Leave him home alone?"

He thought Doc was going to take them and I informed him that would not be possible since Doc works on Fridays and he would also feel a little out of place among a bunch of women.

Thus a very confusing argument started between Grumpy and Bashful as Bashful overheard our conversation. For some reason, they couldn't get their brain waves to cross and they continued to talk over each other about who is going and who couldn't go last year, etc., etc.

As I looked from one to the other, each not understanding the other, my brain was about to implode.

I yelled, "Be quiet, both of you!"

Silence.

"Grumpy, put your Math away and get out your Literature books. Bashful, continue with your Geography, please."

Silence. Then two seconds later...."Mom? Did you say, 'Put my mouth away?'"

Now that's a thought.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Peculiar-Looking Black Thingie

We have a little prankster in the house.

Since our van had to go into the shop for repairs, I decided to finally clean it out. For some reason, I decided to bring in the garage door opener. I left it on the ledge next to the dining room and promptly forgot about it from that day on.

A couple nights ago, we were finishing up dinner and the boys were beginning to scatter when during Doc's conversation with me, I became distracted by the humming sound of the garage door opening.

We were immediately stumped. Doc went over to the garage door and opened it. Our garage was open to the world and Leigh was wondering if she had done anything wrong. My face scrunched up in confusion and I envisioned Leigh on her hind legs reaching up to push the button on the wall with her tongue mischievously hanging to the side.

"Well, Leigh couldn't have done it," I said decisively. As usual, I became worried and said, "Well, I hope that doesn't happen while we are not here!" Doc pushed the button and as the garage door started to close, he turned and saw Happy with the garage door opener in his hands that I had forgotten about all these weeks.

While we had been talking away and not paying attention to our three-year-old, Happy had stood up in his chair, turned around, and noticed the peculiar-looking black thingie on the ledge. He had decided to check it out and see what happens.

It's never a dull moment.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Baby Registry





This week's themed WFMW is your favorite on-line store. Well, that would have to be Target.com for me.

When I was pregnant with baby #5, a friend of mine told me she was having a baby shower for me and asked me what I needed for this baby. I couldn't think of a thing right off the bat, but when I took stock of things I realized I did need a few things after all the baby poop and food on the little baby clothes.


There were so many people asking me what I needed that I decided to register with Target. I went to the store and had a lot of fun going through all of the baby stuff and picking out what I needed. When I returned the gun thingie to the lady behind the counter, she told me that I could also register on Target.com.

So, I went to Target.com and there were tons of baby things to look at. I ordered even more things that I thought were really neat and either didn't have anymore or never had. It ended up being more like a wish list for me.

I told my sister about this and she decided to invite family and friends from all over the country to participate in an internet baby shower. All they had to do was look up my name on Target.com/baby registry and find my list. They would order something and voila! it would be sent to my home.


This was a really good idea because all of my family lives far away from me. I ended up getting almost everything on my list! This is a great idea for anyone wanting to throw a shower for someone who is having a baby or even getting married!
For more favorite on-line stores, go to Rocks In My Dryer.

Almost Lost

It is three in the morning and the wind is howling right outside my bedroom window. It wakes me up and I turn over to try to sleep some more, but soon even Sneezy wakes. Half an hour later, I put him back in his bed and I lay down listening to the whistling of the wind. As I lay there, I reflect on some things since my mind is not at rest and I recall a long ago memory that I had forgotten about for just a little while.

When Bashful was just about three years old, I would take him with me to the grocery store. He was always by my side hoping not to lose me. If he became distracted and lost sight of me, he would immediately panic, not knowing that I knew exactly where he was and I was just a few steps away. "Mama! Mama!" he would yell in fear. I would immediately come to him and calm him. "Mama's right here, honey. It's okay. Mommy would never leave you." It always twisted my heart and made me want to hold him even tighter and never let go.

He was almost three when Grumpy finally made his appearance and gave him a playmate. Grumpy was more of an adventurous type. When he found his legs and began to walk, he was everywhere and I had to keep more of an eye on him or he would be off like a shot. That very thing happened one day when I was very pregnant with Sleepy and Doc was on a business trip.

It was a hot, summer day and we had no air conditioning in our little condo. So, I let Grumpy wear only a diaper around the house. That day, the lock on the screen door was broken and Grumpy was very fascinated with the sliding, screen door. He kept opening and shutting it and, Heaven knows, I would have shut the glass door, locked it, and would have been done with it if it weren't for the fact that we needed the breeze on this swealtering day.

Looking back, I realize I should have been watching him more carefully, but I became distracted. One minute, he was in the house, the next, there was no Grumpy. I looked at Bashful and asked if he knew where Grumpy was. He was always in his own world, so, of course, he didn't know. I ran through the house screaming Grumpy's name, but came to the realization that he actually walked out the back door.

With my pregnant belly in front of me, I ran down the stairs and fell at the bottom step. I looked at Bashful and warned him to stay in the house and I would be right back. Running out the back door, I closed the screen door, and went looking for my little boy running around in a diaper. With my heart in my throat, I passed a group of teenage girls and asked them if they had seen a little boy wearing only a diaper. They said yes and he went "thattaway". They pointed in the direction he had gone and my pace quickened as I neared the street.

Across the street, I saw a nice woman holding him by the hand and leading him toward where he had come from. As I neared them, he saw me and held up his arms. He seemed glad to see me and as I held him close, I looked at the woman with my heart in my eyes and thanked her profusely. I turned and carried him back to our home all the while thinking he could have been lost to me forever.

Right inside the door, I put him down and proceeded to let my anger flow forth. I scolded him and hugged him. I cried and kissed him. He had been glad to see me and I think he had learned a lesson although he did not seem to be overtly traumatized by his experience.

Coming out of my past memories, I look out my bedroom window into the swirling darkness. That had been about five years ago, but the memory of that day still makes my stomach twist and my eyes tear up. I know that someday I really will have to let go of my Grumpy and let him go into the world on his own. May God show us the same mercy that He did on that hot, summer day.

Monday, February 4, 2008

That Special Dress

Resentfully, I looked at my son's birthday cake and ice cream and rebelliously shoved some into my mouth.

It was stupid of me to even look at them with longing. Now that I am getting older, I've become stubborn and denial has become my friend. When I was 20 years old, I weighed 120 pounds and wore a size 3. I also ate like a starving fiend and huffed and puffed as if I were dying during any sort of exercise routine.

It just isn't fair.

Five babies later, I still eat like a starving fiend although I have gained considerable ground in the exercise department and can do 30 minutes of Tae-Bo with breath left to spare. Of course, that was before baby #5.

Lately, I have been uncomfortably aware of the flab hanging over my jeans. As I cast aside yet another pair of pants from my pre-baby #5 wardrobe, cynically I realize why there are so many bulimic women out there.

Sparing some time to work-out is not happening in my mad-cap adventure of a life either. Between homeschooling three boys, keeping up with a three-year-old, and a new baby demanding my attention, there's no time to jump up and down for 30 minutes when my mind is on the laundry, housework, and mealtimes.

There is a special dress I have collecting dust in the back of my closet. I wore this dress for my wedding rehearsal and dinner almost 13 years ago. It is a size 3 and I have forever after hoped to wear it again. As my body continues to balloon outward, I realize how far-fetched my imagination really is.

I have decided not to make the usual asinine New Year's resolution of losing weight this year. I have to lose weight every year and it just seems common place for me now. As I see yet another commercial about a "fabulous" new way of exercising or an "awesome" new diet plan, I in turn either want to throw something at the TV or lament my elephant thighs.

I know what I have to do to lose the weight that seems to have turned into concrete. I must diet and exercise. The hard part is wrapping my brain around all the reasons why I must do this and then doing it.

Maybe I should get a picture of my recent self and tape it to the refrigerator door. That would either give me motivation to curb my appetite or just make me weep. Either way, that special dress will have to collect a little more dust for a while.