Monday, March 31, 2008

Dear Mom and Dad

Dear Mom and Dad,

This past Saturday morning, I tried calling you, but there was no answer. I do have to tell you, though, what happened while your phone was ringing.

Settling down in a chair, I decided to nurse the baby and give you a call. (I am always doing two things at once.) After the first ring, I looked over at Happy. He had just used the bathroom and was sitting on the floor struggling to put on his underwear.

On the second ring, I saw a mass still stuck between his little butt cheeks. I gasped in a choking breath and yelled, "Get off the carpet! You told me you wiped your butt! Go back to the bathroom and wipe your butt right now!"

On the third ring, I yelled for Grumpy. "Grumpy! Get a wet washcloth and wipe the two dots of poopy off the carpet right now!" The poor kid runs for the washcloth and gets the poopy off the carpet by the fourth ring.

By the time I got your voicemail, Mom and Dad, Happy was in the bathroom remedying his "mistake". It's never a dull moment.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

As Time Goes By

Sleepy announced to me one time that he is going to marry me someday. It kind of freaks out his father when he says that.

It will certainly be hard for him to find a young woman who is the epitome of wisdom and beauty that I am.

Another time, Sleepy came to me with a tiny, toy treasure chest. With a sweet smile, he opened it and took out a lego. He handed it to me and asked, "Will you marry me?"

I smothered him with hugs and kisses holding tight to him. Memories of my Sleepy are so precious and time will go by so fast.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Cat Hair Breakthrough

Having five boys is a big job, but when you have a pet, your work as a homemaker doubles or triples depending on how many pets you have.

We have a German shepherd, a cat, and two birds that are part of this crazy household.
I'll say right now that those of you who have no pets should count yourselves as blessed.
I'm such an animal lover.
Not that I don't cry at the thought of giving Leigh away and the cat stays no matter what. She has a purpose after all.

Speaking of the cat, when "we" decided to get her, one of the things I worried about was the cat hair.
It gets everywhere.

Yesterday, I had to pick her up despite her protests and when I finally looked down at my shirt a couple hours later, there was cat hair all over me.


She also has her own chair. Here is where I finally come to the point and give you the tip of the day.

A BOUNCE lint roller.

Yep. I'm such a genius. Just roll that bad boy all over the chair and up comes that sticky cat hair that won't even be picked up with the vaccuum. You also roll the fresh scent onto the furniture.

Ta da!

I'm sure many, many women who are faster thinkers than myself have thought of this tip, but I am so excited that I thought of this all by myself that I had to share.

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

Monday, March 24, 2008

The One Who Never Sleeps

My baby is teething.

Both sides on the bottom are white and puffy. Poor thing must be miserable. He is actually taking the pacifier as well. I am always thanking him for this. It really is considerate of him.

The thing is....he is not sleeping well. Therefore, I am not sleeping well.

The night before Easter I was exhausted. Every night, he wakes me about two to three times before dawn. It caught up with me.

I had put him down for the night and told his brothers to brush their teeth. None of them know how to be quiet unless it suits them, so they were just a little too noisy. The "one who never sleeps" was awakened and he was angry. Mommy was angry, too, and threatened her sons with all sorts of horrible things if they didn't get to bed right now and go to sleep.

I put Sneezy's pacifier in his mouth and began to sing to him. Here's how it went:

"You are my sunshine, hoo, hoo, hoo, my only sunshine, hoo, hoo, you make me happy, (gulping sobs), when skies are gray, (weeping continues), you'll never know dear, (aah, aah, aah), how much I love you, hoo, hoo, please don't take my sunshine away."

The person crying wasn't the baby. He had immediately calmed down and started off to dream land. It was the exhausted mother doing the crying.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Painting Problems- Part 2

Well, the time has come to reveal the end result of my latest painting project.

Last year, I had decided to paint my bedroom and the hallway a rich, dark green. That works out if you are going to live there forever, but since we are going to have to sell our house, the walls have to be a neutral color in order to sell it.

So. Thus began the torture.

For an entire week, I painted. By the end of the week, I still had paint in my hair. Every day, I had to scrub the paint off my hands, arms, and even my feet. I dreamed about painting. I breathed it till I was high as the clouds, and my arms felt like they were going to fall off when everything was finally done.

I was exhausted......but there was still more left to do.

If you've read my post from last year's painting experience, you know that we have a little imp. As much planning as I could do, I tend to get just a little bit distracted while painting.

I was tired and trying to get the boys' bedroom done. The sun was going down and dinner had not yet been put on the table. Finally, though, I finished the last bit of wall and breathed a paint-filled sigh of relief.

I was done.

I would have done a jig right there, but I didn't have the strength and I didn't want to ruin my paint job by spilling over the can of paint.

I went downstairs to start dinner and feed the baby. Happy comes into the living room to greet me after my self-inflicted time apart from him and I noticed something that made my heart drop down to my stomach.

He had a white substance on various parts of his body and in his hair.

After a week of seeing that white substance on the wall and also on various parts of my own body, I knew exactly what it was.

"Boys! Get up and look around the house for the paint job that Happy just did," I wearily sigh. I noticed the bathroom door was open. I was dumbfounded because I swore to myself that I thought I had locked it since all of the painting supplies were in there. I knew that if it wasn't locked Happy would be in there in seconds having the time of his life.

Well, it was unlocked so I went to investigate. I looked around the door and there on the wall was a Happy-sized coat of primer on the bathroom wall.

I took a gasping gulp of air and just stood there with my hand to my mouth. Bashful was standing in the doorway and when he saw my reaction, he slowly began to back up. I plopped the baby in his arms and said, "Take care of Sneezy."

Marching back down the stairs, Happy noticed his mommy's stormy expression and began backing away with a scared look on his face. I got the bucket and soap and began scrubbing the wall. Eventually, the primer came out and there was no permanent damage to the wall, but I think there may be some damage to my brain and I am going to have to take some time off from logical reasoning for a while.

No Sharing

It is only March and yet we've had three birthdays in our house since the beginning of the year.

Happy is constantly asking, "Is my birthday over?" "Yes, Happy, your birthday is over now." He will proceed to go down the list and ask about everyone's birthday and if it's over.

He asked about Sleepy's birthday and I said, "Sleepy's birthday is in June. He hasn't had his birthday yet."

Sleepy has had to watch three of his brothers open their presents on their birthdays. His chin is usually propped up on his hands as he forlornly watches his brothers playing with their new toys. There is a long stretch between his brothers' birthdays and his own.

He has since stated his own preferences and told us what he wants for his birthday, but today there was a new demand.

Overhearing my conversation with Happy, he said, "I don't want to share my birthday cake. I want to eat it all myself."

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Damage Control

The time has come to scour, organize, fix, paint, and straighten up our house to be sold.

Yikes. Just give me a Xanax right now.

"What's the big deal?" you might say, or "There shouldn't be a problem, right?" you could say. Well, there is a very big problem and it is a huge deal. Why? Because I have FIVE BOYS.

Granted, one of them just poops, eats, and sleeps (the last one on occasion), but the others tend to destroy things on a regular basis.

We've lived in this house three years this August and it was in the first year that most of the damages were done.

My mind goes back to the day that I waited in the van while Bashful had to go back into the house to get something. He came back out and proceeded to shut the door, but for some reason it wouldn't close for him. So, thinking that slamming harder would make it shut, he slammed it over and over only to have the door stubbornly refuse to shut.

I was sitting in the driver's seat with my mouth open watching this scene play out before my eyes. I finally got out of the van and ran to see what was really going on.

The kid had turned the deadbolt before trying to shut the door.

I also remember the time when I was cleaning in one of the boys' rooms and came upon something that made me wonder if I was seeing things.

About ten little nails had been driven into the wall so that only the tops could be seen.

So, due to the necessity of keeping our house damage-free for the showings, I've come up with a tip for other moms in my situation.

Every morning, I tidy everything up and then close off the upstairs with a gate. I then inform my children that if they even dare to try to test me and climb over the gate, they will end up regretting it for the rest of their lives. When the weather is nice, you can bet they are outside.

After all, fresh air is good for them, right?

This tip will also be good for those of us who just like to keep a nice, clean house. My little Happy will not be able to follow behind me destroying everything that has taken me hours to do in just seconds.

The downstairs is their living space, so every day we take 15 minutes and do a quick tidying up to keep mommy from going insane.

Now, I'm all for letting children enjoy the place that they live in, but if they want a mother who doesn't go insane periodically from the amount of cleaning she has to do, then they will learn this way that a clean house makes a happy home.

Many other moms have already learned this tip, but for some reason it took me a while to figure this one out.
For more tips, check out Rocks In My Dryer.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Morbid Thoughts

There are various reasons why I don't appreciate being woken up by Sneezy in the middle of the night. 1) I don't get enough sleep as it is, 2) I have to visit the bathroom every single time, and 3) I think.

Now, there's absolutely nothing wrong with thinking. I even encourage it on occasion. My kind of thinking, though, leads to sleeplessness.

It's not all bad. Usually, my best organizing ideas come to me in the middle of the night. I then implement those ideas the next day and I'm a happy mom. An organized mom is a happy mom, I always say.

But, and this is a big but, sometimes my thoughts veer toward the morbid.

The other day, I was talking with my husband after dinner and suddenly I asked him, "Do you ever have a feeling of doom?"

He said, "All the time," with frank weariness. "No, I mean that something really terrible could happen to our family at any time," I insisted. "Yes, all the time," he also reiterated to me. He knew exactly what I was talking about.

We were quiet for a moment as I sat there and thought about why I have this horrible feeling all the time.

Then it hit me.

I've been watching the news.

I haven't always done this. For some time, though, I've been turning on the TV and watching the morning news before heading downstairs for homeschool with the boys. Even occasionally, I will watch the evening news.

Every single day, a tragedy or accident of some kind is reported.

I resolved then and there to stop watching the news. I want to be one of those responsible people who is aware of what is going on in the world, but I believe it has taken its toll on my mind.

Thinking about other people's lives and tragedies has made me worry for my own sons and their lives to the point that I can't sleep at night.

I constantly remind myself to put my trust in God since He is in control, but that little bug called worry rears its head and can take over if I'm not careful. It is very sneaky.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

The Call


To my husband who has been called to a full-time position as pastor. It's been a long time coming, but it is God's perfect timing.

Friday, March 14, 2008

A Terrifying Death

There's a Mouse in the House saga continues......

I was prepping my bedroom for painting when Happy came screaming up the stairs. It was nothing new to hear him screaming about something. When he finally reached my door, he had tears in his eyes and he was scared to death.

Due to his tears and his heart beating out of his chest, it was hard to distinguish real words from the blubbering.

Despite that, I was able to make out something like "the mouse was on the blanket". I was confused because I remember leaving the blanket on the couch. I really did NOT want to think that a mouse would be bold enough to come up onto my throne, but, apparently, my son had taken the blanket and cuddled with it on the floor in front of the TV.

"You saw the mouse on the blanket?" I squealed. I was horrified for him. I told his brothers to put the blanket back on the couch and put the cat in the family room. I asked if they saw the mouse and was given blank stares and, "", from each of them.

When I finished prepping my bedroom, I went downstairs. I was about to sit down to nurse Sneezy when I saw it. There was a dead mouse on the floor right in front of the TV. I guess the cat wanted to catch up on her favorite cartoons and play with her find at the same time. Who knows.

That's when it hit me.

"Happy? Did you get the blanket, lay down on the floor, and then not notice that the mouse was on the floor, and then you laid down on the mouse?!" My question was quite jumbled, but so was my mind. He understood me, though, and said, "Yeah," patted his back and said, "It was on my back!"

Stop here for a collective, "Eeeuuu!"

Sleepy comes to the rescue again for us and throws the mouse away all the while his mother gushes all over him and calls him her brave boy.

I think I've quite had it with the mice in this house. The one consolation I have is that they have a terrifying death.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Those Arrogant Mice

I know it seems like all I do is sit on my keaster and watch TV, but sometimes things happen after my day is done and I've collapsed on the couch before heading to bed. So, here begins another story just that way.

I was on the couch watching TV when I saw another one of those daggone, arrogant mice sprint toward the TV. They come out of the woodwork hoping to catch a little tidbit left behind by our little Happy.

Now, we've threatened Happy with his life if he ever brings food down to the family room. It's a rule. It should be followed, but Happy was born to break the rules.

Thus, a piece of toast was left behind and placed near the TV just for the little mice. Shoot. They might as well be our pets, for Pete's sake.

Seeing a foreign animal sneaking around in my home is bound to make me scream and that's exactly what happened.

"Grumpy! Get the cat and put her in here right now!" I yell after a screaming fit.

Grumpy plops the cat far away from the vicinity of the mouse, so I pick up the cat despite her protests and plop her behind the TV.

For a while there, it sounded like we were at a boxing match. We did a lot of screaming and yelling while the cat ran after the mouse and eventually caught it.

I don't think the boys will let the cat lick them after seeing the mouse in the cat's mouth.

Since the cat became distracted and lost the mouse, this story will be continued.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Bodily Functions

Sunday morning, we were all getting ready for church. This time, there was no foreboding grayness to the north.

I was sitting on the bed putting Sneezy's sweet, little baby clothes on him. Sometimes it feels like I am putting a straight-jacket on the poor thing. While I was struggling to put his clothes on without doing much damage, I chattered away to Doc.

During our conversation, I stopped and commented about my milk coming down. Now, I couldn't help mentioning it because when my milk comes down something weird happens each and every time.

My hormones run amok.

My breathing changes and all of a sudden I feel like bursting into tears, but I don't. Picture a woman who looks like she is about to have a nervous breakdown, but within seconds she is the picture of health again.

It really is quite an odd feeling.

Anyway, Doc was totally grossed out. He said, "Well, we don't really need to know about that." I said, "What's the big deal? It's perfectly natural."

Doc said, "Yeah, and so is having a bowel movement, but we don't talk about it."

I laughed and laughed. I think there is definitely a difference between the two.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Me & Bashful

For three years, it was just me and Bashful.

The one thing I wanted most my whole life was put into my arms on March 9, 1997. The minute he was born his sweet and easy-going personality shown through.

His eyes were wide open and we stared at each other for the longest time. Doc had video-taped us together and you can see how much in love I was. On the tape, Doc asked how I felt. I had labored 16 hours and pushed for one hour, but all of that was already a blur in my mind as I said, "I feel wonderful."

When Bashful hit two-years-old, he couldn't take naps anymore. I say "couldn't" because the poor kid just layed there forever and just could not sleep. It was hard for me since I was pregnant with Grumpy at the time.

When I became too tired to sit up anymore, I would announce to Bashful that it was time for a nap. We would both troop up the stairs and get in bed together. I would turn over and Bashful would proceed to toss and turn. I remember begging him to go to sleep, but it just didn't seem possible.

So, after laying in bed for a while, we both would get up and go downstairs to indulge in some mint chocolate chip ice cream since I was craving it always. It became our tradition together.

We have proceeded to give him four brothers and time has gone by. His birthday was on Sunday and he is 11 years old now. Happy birthday, my sweet Bashful.

Friday, March 7, 2008

A Typical Phone Call

This is a typical phone conversation that I had with my mom recently:

Ring! Ring! "Hi, Mom! How are you and Dad doing?"

"We're doing fine, honey."

Screaming heard in the background.

"So, what are you guys going to do this weekend?"

Screaming continues in the background and gets louder.

"Well, we need to go to the grocery store...."

Screaming fills the whole house until the volume is unbearable.

"Mom, can you hold on a minute?" "Sure, honey."

I take the phone with me to see what in the world is going on. I look over the banister and there is Sleepy and Happy fighting over something as usual.

"What is going on?" I demand in my "don't mess with mommy" voice. Happy tearfully explains that Sleepy won't let him see out the window. There is Sleepy pushing Happy with all his might and Happy screaming his head off trying to see out the window.

Since I was on the phone at the time, I told Sleepy to go to his room and I would deal with it later.

Getting back on the phone, I realized Mom had heard the whole thing.

A couple weeks later, my brother calls. Holding Sneezy, I pick up the phone.

"Yo what up?" "Hi, Gug, how are you? Oh, hold on a sec."

"Bashful! Come get this dog and put her outside, please!"

"How are you doing?" I asked, but was interrupted.

"What is it, Happy?" Happy complains in an ear-splitting voice about something and getting that taken care of, I am finally able to talk to my brother again, but then the phone drops. Trying to keep the phone to your ear while picking up the other end and holding a wiggling three-month-old takes dexterity.

"Oh! Sorry about that, Gug. So, what's up?"

I am barely able to finish the conversation with him and then we hang up.

That's what most of my phone calls are like these days.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

A Lesson from Bashful and Grumpy

We were sitting at the dinner table a couple nights ago and the boys were actually eating their dinner. When dinner was coming to a close, Grumpy all of a sudden started saying the strangest things. Then Bashful joined in as well. Apparently, they've talked about this before and decided to share with their parents. This is what they came up with. Some of it is silly, but some of it the world should take into consideration.

Don't be naked in front of a lion.

Don't be naked in front of a camera.

Don't be naked in front of a crocodile.

Don't be naked in the pool.

Don't be naked in front of a shark.

Don't be naked in front of your father.

Don't be naked in the ocean. (Bashful says this, but then Grumpy interrupts him. He says, "You already said not to be naked in the pool. That's the same thing." "No, it's not," says Bashful. "There's sharks in the ocean."

Don't be naked in front of a live radio.

Don't be naked in church.

Don't be naked in front of a policeman.

Don't be naked in front of a priest.

Of course, they could go on and on, but you get the point.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Cat and Mouse Game

There's a Mouse in the House saga continues....

Last Sunday morning, Doc goes into the bathroom to take his morning shower. He pulls the shower curtain aside and finds a mouse in our tub. If it had been me, the house would have been awakened by my horrified screams. Since Doc had more presence of mind, he simply took a napkin and bent down to grab it and put it in the trash.

Problem was the mouse wasn't dead.

As the mouse skittered to the end of the tub, Doc quickly straightened up and went for the cat. Now, the cat has made it clearly known in the past that she does not like being picked up. I was briefly awakened by our cat fiercely meowing, but when she stopped I went back to sleep.

Doc had picked her up and her meowing stopped as soon as he plopped her in the tub. "Here you go, kitty," said Doc. "Here's a snack for ya." She was confused about why he had stuck her there when she noticed the mouse at the other end. Both paws went up in the air and she pounced on the witless mouse.

Happily, she took her find downstairs to the living room. Doc watched as she deliberately dropped the mouse onto the floor. The mouse immediately started running for his life, but alas, was caught by sharp kitty nails. Apparently, the kitty likes to have her fun before she devours her prey.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A Friendly Competition

Yesterday, it was time to do sit-ups. Bashful started out saying he was only going to do thirty sit-ups. So, he does them and sits down in the chair.

Grumpy gets up and right before he starts his sit-ups, he announces that he is going to do forty. Bashful crosses his arms and watches Grumpy begin.

Half way into Grumpy's sit-ups, Bashful announces that he can do fifty sit-ups (because God forbid that his younger brother can do more sit-ups than him). So, instead of stopping at forty sit-ups, Grumpy finishes at fifty.

Bashful gets up from the chair and proceeds to do twenty more sit-ups, but since he cannot let it be known that his younger brother can do as many sit-ups as he can, he proceeds to do ten more.

Well, Grumpy was having none of that! He announces that he is going to do his 100 sit-ups right then and there. So, there they were side by side doing their 100 sit-ups.

When Grumpy finishes, we watch as Bashful finishes his last few, and then when he continues to do ten more sit-ups, Grumpy huffily leaves the room as if he had had enough of this competition.

Bashful giggles as he gets up off the floor and proudly says, "110 sit-ups is more than 100 sit-ups." There's nothing like a little friendly competition to get my boys to exercise.

Monday, March 3, 2008

To The Rescue

Saturday, March 1, 2008 ended beautifully. The afternoon weather in southern Colorado was in the 70's and the sun shone brightly. Doc and I had decided to do some yard work and the boys were basking in the warmth outside while playing in the dirt and getting it in their hair and clothes.

They were in heaven.

Sneezy woke me at dawn the next morning as usual and I heard the wind howling outside. It was nothing unusual to this area, but as I looked to the north, there was nothing but gray and white.

Doc left early for church and the boys and I were about 20 minutes behind him. Half an hour into our trip up north, we started seeing snowflakes.

"Look, boys! See the little, white snowflakes falling? It's starting to snow!" I said with contentment.

Twenty minutes after that, I could barely see through the windshield. I had to concentrate on the car in front of me so I wouldn't run into it.

Blowing snow + crappy windshield wipers = poor visibility.

Needless to say, I missed my exit.

"No, no, no!" I yell. The day had turned for me. I decided to drive to the next exit and turn around.

As I was exiting down the long ramp, the road was covered with still falling snow and became very slippery. Our van started fishtailing around and not being able to control the van, we skidded into the ditch. We ended up facing the way we had come still upright and, thankfully, not dead.

I eventually drove up and out of the ditch, but getting back onto the road I realized we had a flat tire. With a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, I pull over to the side of the road.

You all are probably thinking at this point, "Oh, well, she can just pull out her trusty cell phone and get some help," or something like, "She really learned her lesson from the last accident that just happened a few months ago. She'll definitely have her cell phone with her." You might even be thinking that, "she wouldn't be stupid enough not to have it charged and ready in case of an emergency, right?"

Nope. We were stranded....with no cell phone.

Shaking all over, I turned on my hazard lights and got out of the van. The front left wheel was off the rim and the back left wheel was losing air rapidly. With a prayer in my heart, I turned around as a car passes by me and I wave my arm to get the attention of the driver. Thankfully, he slows down and pulls over.

Thinking back, I realized it probably wasn't too bright of me to wave down a total stranger.

Using the gentlemen's cell phone, I got in touch with a friend of ours who came to the rescue, loaded all of us into his car, and took us to his house where his wife was waiting with open arms.

Leaving the boys with her, I accompanied Rescue Guy to church to inform Doc of the situation.

"Here's the deal," I said with my stomach in my throat. "I ran off the road and we have two flat tires."

Doc's mouth fell open and he said, "Huh?"

I know. It's a lot to take in from just one sentence. Hurriedly explaining that Rescue Guy was out front ready to change one tire and fill the other with air, I left him to his pastoral duties.

Rescue Guy and I proceed to my van with his 14-year-old son and pile out into the freezing tundra. The wind was bitterly cold and snow was constantly blowing in our faces while we found the spare tire and the jack.

Rescue Guy was hard at work when Doc showed up. There we all stood watching Rescue Guy as he labored in the cold and wind.

When my toes felt like they were about to fall off, I did the woman-like thing and got into a warm car to sit and watch.

Hey, my philosophy is women give birth and men change tires in the freezing wind. Frankly, I'd rather give birth...without medication.

To make a long story short, after getting our van to Wal-Mart and having things dealt with there, Doc and I got out of Dodge with many thanks to Rescue Guy and his family for helping us out.

I took Doc's little car home while he drove the van since it was plainly obvious that I didn't know how to drive. With that sick feeling still with me, I envisioned Doc crouched over the banister with a loaded shotgun waiting for my head to appear around the front door.

There was no harm done, though, and the boys had the time of their lives after the scare of almost dying in a winter storm.

Earlier in the day, Doc had said, "We might as well just blow up the van and be done with it."

My thoughts exactly.