Thursday, July 31, 2008

White Gravy

Antique Mommy is having a backpack giveaway at her blog and one of the things you have to do to get said backpack is to leave a comment telling her about your worst job.

I thought that since I have my own blog, I would write a lengthy, boring post about it. So, sit back, kick your feet up, and pop some popcorn. This one is a doozy.

When I was in college, I needed a job. At that time, Doc was my boyfriend and he was working at a restaurant as a waiter. He decided to put in a good word for me and I got a job as a waitress there.

I was 19 years old and, people, 19-year-olds do not make good waitresses. It takes life experience and learning to multi-task before you make a half-way decent one.

Since I had little life experience and my idea of multi-tasking was eating and watching TV at the same time, it took some work to turn me into a respectable waitress.

Not long into my job, I was in the kitchen ordering extra white gravy. When it was ready, I turned with it in my hand and ran right into the pole that was behind me. I hit it so hard that I bounced off of it and landed on my knees. Gravy flew everywhere.

It was all over my hair, clothes, the floor.....and right smack in my eye. I'm not kidding. There was white gravy in my eye. The problem with this scenario is that I wear contacts. By that time, I had only been wearing those horrible inventions a few years and was not as self-confident about them as I am now. Not that I'm not grateful. If it weren't for contacts, I'd be pushing up my glasses with my pointer finger to keep them from falling down my nose. But, pul..lease! If an eyelash gets in my eye, it feels like a razor is scraping across my eyelid, for Pete's sake! Uh..I digress.

I yelled to the entire kitchen, "I need saline solution RIGHT NOW!" Of course, no one had saline solution. I was on my knees in the middle of the room, covered with white gravy, and surrounded by sympathetic waitresses. I believe Doc got a good idea of what he was getting into when he walked into the kitchen at that moment.

Near the end of my only stint as a waitress, one of the customers I was serving stopped me and informed me that the busboy stole part of the tip left behind for me at one of the tables he was bussing.

I went to the manager with this information. You could hear the man yelling at the busboy a mile down the street. He was immediately sacked followed by an apology to me and the money he had taken. For some reason, I remember the money being wet with dishwater and wanting to puke either with the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach or from the knowledge that my money was touched with so many germs.

Needless to say, that was a life experience for me.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Outnumbered

Last weekend, I had the priviledge of attending a little girl's birthday party. I was excited because this gave me the opportunity to go shopping for a girl. I don't get that chance very often and this was a real treat for me.

It took me forever to find a gift. I wasn't sure what to get, but finally, I found it. It looked like a jewelry box, but instead it was for makeup. I thought I would look inside and see how big it was inside the box. As I opened it, three shelves lined with lip gloss, nail polish, and little rings popped out. So did my eyes.

I literally gasped. It was like I was a little girl again. I was immediately drawn into the past remembering my love of dress-up and play acting. I grabbed it and went for the check-out.

At the party, I had ants in my pants. I wanted to see this precious little girl's reaction to the gift my boys had supposedly gotten for her. I admit I am living vicariously through her. Her reaction was just what I had hoped for.

Her eyes widened and she gasped. It was perfect.

Later in the week, my boys were wrestling and horsing around in the family room. They were punching the air and occasionally each other along with monster noises and snarling. I was talking to Doc and at one point, I looked down into the room and said, "There's too much testosterone in this house."

I am clearly outnumbered.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Missing Happy

Happy has the impish inclination to explore the outdoors unbeknownst to his mother. With five boys and my own nature of being in my own world, it is hard to make sure the deadbolt is bolted. So, whenever he has a wont to be outside, he will by all means help himself out.

My husband had just left when I go looking for Happy in his room. He was relegated to prison for some reason, but it became quiet and since that is always not a good sign, I thought I'd investigate.

He wasn't in his room. I glanced briefly under the bed and when I couldn't find him anywhere else in the house, I took a deep breath and went outside. I searched everywhere and even went to the top of the bluffs calling his name. When Happy didn't answer his mother's calls, I included Grumpy and Sleepy in my search. Grumpy even went to the neighbor's house asking if they've seen him.

For five minutes, we looked for that little imp to no avail. I ended up calling Doc totally in a panic. He asked if I had checked certain places and ended up saying, "Well, he's got to be somewhere." Visions of my child being kidnapped dancing in my head, I decided to go back to his bedroom to look again.

Instead of just glancing underneath the bed, I decided to take a more thorough look. I got down on my knees and there he was. He was smooshed between the wall and the bed....sound asleep.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What'd I Say?

Sometimes, my boys will surprise me into laughter. They are always left with dumbfounded looks on their faces as if to wonder, "What'd I say?"

Before church started, Sleepy took off his shoe to scratch his foot. I said, "You have an itch, honey?" He replied, "Yep. My shoe was tickling me so I would be happy."

After Grumpy's near death experience, we drove into our driveway when he asked me a question. "Mom?" he asked. "Yes, dear?" I replied. "When we lose blood, do we shrink?" He had probably been pondering this question anxiously.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Boys and Bikes

Doc is always regailing me with his childhood adventures one of which involved his bike. He told me he went flying through the air and ended up unconscious for a few seconds. He woke up to see his brother and friends looking down at him.

That makes me shudder.

Grumpy joined his brother Bashful and the elite group of youngsters who have learned how to ride a bike. His riding skills just need a little tweeking.....like how to ride down a steep hill.

Yesterday, we were visiting friends and I was chatting away happily as usual when I was told that Grumpy had hurt himself. I was a little confused because, well, my boys are kind of tough and it's no big deal if they get hurt.

I go outside and there's Grumpy on the bottom of the stairs crying and milking it for all it's worth for the benefit of the kids surrounding him. Through various children and disjointed storytelling, I was able to vaguely discern what had happened.

Grumpy had borrowed a bike and went riding down the steep hill next to the house. He was going so fast that he couldn't peddle anymore. He slammed right into our van, went flying through the air, and once he landed in the dirt, his body continued to move forward skidding for a couple more feet.

The part that I heard the most from all the kids was, "He was flying through the air!" It was said with awe as if he had sprouted wings.

My eight-year-old was covered with dirt and scrapes. Doc said later that when I took Grumpy to the bathroom, Doc couldn't hear himself talk with all the wailing going on.

My Grumpy. Always the drama king.

Friday, July 18, 2008

TaeBo Girl

"Whenever I hear the dirty word "exercise", I wash my mouth out with chocolate."

I hate to exercise. The thing is, I can't live without food and my metabolism has gone south for the win.....forever. So, I figure if I don't want to turn into a walking blob, I better get myself moving.

Years ago, I watched the infomercial for TaeBo and bought the tapes. I remember watching the advanced tape with my mouth to the floor. I was exhausted just watching it. So, whenever I was pregnant, I was happy to let the tapes collect dust.

After baby #5, I realized how much I hate diets. Diets are for depressed people. I'm not depressed. I want to enjoy my life. If that means eating chocolate once in a while, then by golly, I'm going to eat chocolate.

There's a price to pay for that. You got it. Jumbo thighs. So, I had an epiphany. If I exercise enough and don't eat chocolate EVERY day, maybe I won't turn into a hippopotamus after all. Thus began Taebo Girl. Granted, it's only been a few weeks, but, get this, I've been using the advanced tape and lost a couple inches around my waist. Hoo-aah!

No one has ever seen so much sweat dripping down a body. I'VE never seen so much sweat on a person. TaeBo is hard, people. Just when I'm done jumping up and down, it's time for the floor exercises.

Can I just say that it's not easy doing leg lifts with an eight-month-old baby crawling all around you? He also likes to crawl underneath and look up at me. By that time, sweat is literally dripping onto the floor from my face and my legs are on fire. Just when I think I'm going to scream in agony, the little rugrat crawls up to me and with big, blue eyes and chubby cheeks, he gives me a toothless smile.

And, lo and behold, I smile back.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Learning Experience

This past year, I've had the priviledge of homeschooling three children at a time. It was my first year with all three. There were some ups and downs, but we managed to muddle through it.

I found out quite by accident that Sleepy needed to learn his sounds before his letters. This concept quite boggled my mind. I had no idea that some children are better at learning their sounds first. After I was bonked on the head with this new knowledge, things became a lot smoother for both of us.

Grumpy and I butted heads often this past year. His Peter Pan concept battled with his need for an education. If he could live on an island and never learn a thing, he would be happy. The problem is, his brain wouldn't let him. When Grumpy finally learned who was boss, he gave in but sometimes only half-heartedly. I learned that I have to be consistent with him, or he will definitely see a weak spot and go for the throat.

I have been pleased with Bashful's progress this past year. I believe his reading comprehension has improved and I will always remember our times together during math. Bashful learned math best by squeezing himself next to me in my favorite chair and doing problems together. It took a little while for me to learn how to teach him, but I understand now and we are thriving together. Whenever I get excited that he has answered a question correctly and start squeeling, he begins to smile, but, of course, he he tries to hide it. He must never let his mother know that he is enjoying himself.

It was a challenge to teach three children, keep an eye out for the three-year-old, and be pregnant and eventually have a baby during this school year. I wouldn't have changed it for the world. I think the person who learned the most was me. This way, I am able to get into my kids' brains and see how they think and learn. We are learning together. By figuring out how they tick, I am able to meet their needs. It was hard at first, but we've managed.

I look forward to this coming year. Bashful will be in 6th grade, Grumpy will be in 3rd and 4th grade, and my little Sleepy will be a first grader. I know it will not be a piece of cake. There will be challenges, but I believe I am ready. For us, there is no better way than homeschool.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Clueless

Like all mothers, I've been wondering how to incorporate healthy food into my children's meals. When I was sick as a dog and pregnant with Sneezy, my mother came to take care of us all for a little while. One day, she decided to make a salad to go with our dinner.

I said, "Mom, no one is going to eat that except for us adults." "Well," she responded, "it won't hurt to try it." Lo, and behold, Happy devoured what salad was left in the bowl. I was astounded. I had no idea that any of my children would look twice at the rabbit food let alone eat it.

I learned a lesson that day and from then on, I've tried to "sneak" food onto the table without the kids noticing that it is good for them. Lately, I've switched the whole family onto wheat bread. (insert evil snicker) They have no idea. That's the funny part. The bread tastes so good that they've managed to overlook the slight brown color to it. For some reason, none of them have looked at the package and read "100% whole wheat" on it.

A couple nights ago, I was making turkey burgers for dinner. I had a package of fresh spinach and was wondering how I could get that down their gullets without them knowing. I was thinking, "How would Rachael Ray do this?" Then inspiration struck. I threw the spinach in my trusty food processor and plopped mayonnaise in it with some salt and pepper. What transformed from that was my special "herbed mayonnaise".

When I saw the finished product, I laughed evilly and said, "I am so awesome. They'll never know they are eating spinach! Ha!"

I put it in a pretty bowl and spooned some on everyone's burger. Grumpy and Happy ate theirs, but I had a problem with Bashful and Sleepy. Bashful took a few bites and turned up his nose at it. I guess it tasted funny to him and he announced that he didn't like it. Sleepy took a few minutes to ponder this while staring at his burger and then said, "You know what, Bashful? You're right. I don't like this either."

You win some and you lose some, I guess. I am just wondering why they haven't noticed that the pasta they are eating no longer tastes the same either.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Two Of Them

I was pregnant with twins.

Yep. That's right. Two of them. I had gotten pregnant when Grumpy was around a year old. I didn't feel the usual symptoms of puking up my guts day after day, so I went to a doctor who happened to be adept at the ultrasound machine.

That's when we saw two of them and two of them had already died. To have come so close to having two babies at the same time and losing them before I even knew about them left me shaken.

My whole body shook as I stared at the ultrasound picture of my babies. I couldn't take my eyes off of it as Doc and I walked to our car. I stared at it all the way home. I kept saying, "Two of them. We had two of them." We were both in shock at just the knowledge of what could have been.

Some may say, "Well, it may have been just as well. Then, you would have had to get two of everything!" Those people can go suck an egg.

I spent the rest of the day in bed. I had wanted those babies. I wanted two cribs, two high chairs, two swings, two everything.

I often wonder what life would be like having twins. Every time I got pregnant after that, I secretly hoped for two. While others would sweat bullets at the thought, I would find a dreamy smile on my face. I'm no dummy. I know how hard it would be, but I can't help seeing myself holding those two babies that I had lost and wanting to take care of them.

We have three babies in Heaven now. I had lost a baby before my firstborn, Bashful. Right now, God has given me five, healthy sons to love and hold. Someday, I will be able to hold ALL of my babies. Someday.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Blood Spatter

Grumpy has had the occasional nose bleed due to the dry air here in Southern Colorado. It is usually quite the gusher and he always has blood all over himself by the time we make it to the bathroom.

About a week ago, he had a nose bleed, but this time his nose looks like a piece of raw meat. It is not healing as fast as I would hope and the littlest thing will set it off again and he is running to get a tissue.

Today, I have had a very whiny and grumpy Happy. He woke early and has been fighting off sleepiness all day. Well, 5pm rolls around and Happy is ready to crash. Put that together with Grumpy sneezing on him, and you have a recipe for a meltdown.

This wasn't just any normal kind of sneezing. When your kid sneezes on another kid, you have the normal outraged voice followed by, "Eeeuuu! Gross!" But, your kid is able to move on with minimal affrontedness.

Due to Grumpy's raw meat for a nose, his sneeze involved blood spatter. Happy was in the vicinity of said sneeze.

I was nursing Sneezy when Happy came to me with splatters of blood on his shirt and arm. He was holding out his arm and said, "Grumpy got blood on me!" I didn't immediately understand what had happened. I was quite disgusted with my second-born and confronted him.

"Grumpy! You threw blood from your nose onto Happy? That's not nice!" I huffed. Grumpy clarified the situation. "No, Mom! I sneezed and it accidentally got on Happy," he was quick to inform me.

With light dawning on my face, I turned to Happy with a "I feel sorry for you look", stuck out my lower lip and said, "Aaahh" in sympathy. That's when Happy's face crumpled and he pitifully began to wail all the while holding out his arm in disgust.

I demanded a washcloth from Grumpy and sympathetically wiped the blood off of Happy's shirt and arm. Methinks Grumpy needs to learn to cover his face when he sneezes.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Clutzy Paranoia

I am not the most graceful of women. In fact, I am quite the clutz. When I was around 16, I had decided to take my mother out for lunch. It was near Mother's Day and I wanted to treat her. We both decided to go for the salad and pasta bar, and I was happy with my pasta and marinara sauce.


That day, I was wearing a silk, white blouse. As I leaned forward to converse with my mom, I had no inkling of what was happening. I leaned back at one point and we both realized that I had covered my blouse with marinara sauce. It is an inside joke that the women in my family cannot eat a meal without wearing part of it.


That was just one of many clutzy mishaps, but I thought I would outgrow the tendency to fall on my face. No such luck. I am the one in this household who breaks the drinking glasses and falls down the stairs along with the many cuts and bruises that go along with that.


Today was just such a day and it's not even noon yet. Now, I can't say that my clutziness is always due to happenstance. It is also due to stupidity in some cases.


I have an old blender. I need this blender in order to puree carrots to feed the baby. My blender is like an old stubborn woman who doesn't want to move. I put the chopped carrots that were already soft and pushed the puree button. The grinding and no pureeing indicated to me that I would probably have to help it along.


I got a plastic spoon and tried to gently push the carrots down to get them moving. With the blender on. Therefore, I ended up with pureed carrots in my eyes, all over my face, and all over the kitchen counter.


Happy had been sitting on a stool watching this whole process and when the carrots started flying, he covered his eyes with his hands. I chalked this up as a good lesson for the boy.


Just a little while later, I konked myself in the face with the phone. As I rub the spot above my eye, I ponder why these things happen to me.


My poor husband has never had this problem. He's never fallen down the stairs or broken a glass. I never see a cut or bruise on the man. The thing is, he's been married to me for 13 years now, and things change.


One day, he discovered toilet paper hanging out of his pants hours later after having visited the bathroom. He had been all over town with TP hanging out. Another day, when we went to a fast-food restaurant with the boys, Doc ended up with ketchup all over his church clothes. This is quite mind-boggling for me. When he looked at me with consternation on his face, I give him a sheepish smile and say, "I guess I'm rubbing off on you, honey."


It's enough to make the man paranoid.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Baby Tips

Tips for the first-time mother:

1) Do NOT leave the bowl of baby food on the highchair tray while feeding your baby. You will end up with baby food decorating the wall, the floor, the baby, and yourself. Hold the bowl far away from baby's reach.

2) Do NOT try to feed a 7-month-old baby his cereal in front of the TV. You will end up with cereal on the carpet, the baby, and yourself. It is best to feed him in his highchair where he can't crawl all over you during his meal.

3) Once baby starts creeping, post gates at bottom of stairs. He will be climbing up the stairs even when you think he can't do it yet.

4) Cover your nose with a protective covering when holding baby at all times. For some reason, babies think it is detachable or edible.

5) Make sure your cat isn't stupid.

6) Do not wear long earrings and keep your hair out of reach. You'll end up bleeding or bald.

7) Learn to sleep sitting up straight.

8) Learn how to change a poopy diaper on your lap without getting it on your church clothes.

9) Exercise by doing a lot of squats. If your baby is fussy and you are in public, it is best to just hold him in your arms and squat down to pick up whatever it is you dropped. You're going to need strong thighs.

10) Savor every moment. Smother him with kisses, hugs, tickles, raspberries, smiles, and funny noises. This time will go by too fast.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Soup Surprise

Grumpy and Happy are not the best of friends. They are five years apart in age and yet they bicker and scream at each other constantly. At one point, I started a new rule.

Grumpy has to sit next to Happy at dinner time forever. They even have to hold hands while we pray for our food. If Grumpy refuses, Happy will whine, "Grumpy's not holding my hand!"

This has been a source of bewilderment for me, but I came to an understanding. They are much alike. They are both demanding, loud, definitely not easy-going, and complaining creatures. They are also both very intelligent.

Last night, at the dinner table, they were sitting side by side when all of a sudden, Grumpy yells, "Happy!" in complete indignation. We were used to this by now, but when we looked at the situation, Doc and I both had our mouths open in surprise.

Happy had taken his spoon, filled it with beef vegetable soup, and very nonchalantly, poured it onto Grumpy's lap. He had never done something like that before. I think Grumpy was the most shocked of all because he just sat there in dump surprise.

I demanded that Happy take a napkin and wipe off Grumpy's shorts. In the midst of his ministrations, Doc and I had to avert our eyes from each other. We coughed and shifted in our seats in order to prevent ourselves from laughing hysterically.

This is only the prelude of things to come. Oh, my.