Thursday, September 30, 2010

To Date or Not To Date

Doc and I have actually been tweeking with the idea of going on a date.

I know. Totally weird.

Not the idea of doing something romantic. It's the idea that we actually might have the guts to dump our offspring on some unsuspecting person.

This has always been a hard decision for us to make. I mean, we do watch the news and let's face it, we're paranoid.

That's probably why we haven't been on a real date that didn't include scarfing down our food as fast as we can and running back home to see if it's still standing and no one is bleeding.

Just the other day, I asked Doc, "So, are we going out for Chinese tonight?" I was crossing my fingers mentally, chewing on my lip.

I so wanted to be irresponsible. We haven't been on a date in forever and I was craving Chinese like crazy.

I suggested that our 13-year-old son get a chance to hold down the fort for a couple hours. I even turned on my sexy voice and said, "We'll have our cell phone with us."

His reply to me was, "I really don't want to come home to find dead children."

Yeah, well, I guess not.

So, back to the old drawing board of finding the one person we can sucker into watching our five boys.

It's not like they are real terrors. They're actually cute, little buggers. It's just that, well, sometimes they get a little loud and maybe they get a little bored and maybe they get into things and maybe those things end up on the carpet, and the walls, and maybe a little on your favorite pair of pants.

I've been so desperate to get out of the house, though. So much so, that I try to tempt the boys to do their chores and reward them with a night out with mom.

I try to sound like it's the coolest thing in the world. My voice is super-excited when I say, "We can go see a movie or go out to a really nice restaurant. Ooh, we can even find a STEAKHOUSE."

This was for Bashful's benefit because like mother, like son. He's a sucker for steak. He almost wavered when Grumpy broke in.

"That would be kind of gross cause then it would be like a date. Eeuu."

I immediately scoffed like it was so not true because I could see Bashful was still thinking about it and Grumpy was totally cramping my style.

Before I could go for the piece de resistance called the DQ Blizzard, Bashful turned down my offer and asked for $10 instead.

Some parents do not have a problem with dropping their kids off at someone's house. You can still hear the squeel of the tires as they peel out of the driveway.

But, I feel guilty every time I leave the house alone to go to the grocery store, for Pete's sake! Maybe because my children are still begging and crying at the door as I peal their arms off my legs.

There have been occasions when I cave in and let them go with me. On one such occasion, I did.

When I got home from the store, I burst through the door and announced to Doc, "No more Mrs. Nice Mommy! I am NEVER bringing them to the store AGAIN!"

Sometimes, it takes a few times for me to remember, "Oh, yeah, that's why I don't let them come with me."

Still, just going out by myself is enough to make my stomach cramp with guilt. My children get out just as much as I do and I realize that maybe they need some time out in society, too.

Then, I remember that I have actually mastered my "indoor voice" and I don't announce to the whole room that I need to go "pee pee".

It would be nice to get out with Doc sometime, though. I need to look across the table and say, "Oh, yeah, you're the one that helped me make those little boogers. How've ya been, anyway?"

Monday, August 9, 2010

You Know You Have a Toddler

You know you have a toddler when:

1. Your work is interrupted by intermittent screaming.

2. You hide in your bathroom in order to get some peace and quiet.

3. Your house looks like a war-zone.

4. Stanley Steemer is your friend.

5. The thought of the toddler's personal bathroom is not a good thought.

6. You cripple your feet stepping on toys that are strewn throughout the house despite threatening the child's life if he even thinks of taking toys out of his room.

7. Your refrigerator light goes out thanks to the child's constant opening of the door.....and then leaving it open for who knows how long.

8. You feel guilty for leaving your home even to go to the grocery store because he was crying as you left the house.

9. Fenceless swimming pools give you the creeps.

10. Five minutes after you mop the kitchen floor, you find oatmeal strewn all over it.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Homeschool Rambling

I never dreamed I would one day homeschool my children.

Growing up, I thought that homeschool was just a weird concept and that homeschooled kids were a little off.

Then I grew up and learned differently.

If the homeschool kids are a little off then that's because the parents are. I mean, they would have to be to want to teach all of their children themselves.

Take me, for instance.

Whenever I am introduced to people and they find out that I homeschool my children and that I have five boys, their reactions are always the same.

Complete and utter thankfulness that it's not them.

I do wonder if I am doing the right thing or just plain crazy.

There are subjects that I love to teach like History and Literature, but I'd rather put a stake in my heart than do a science experiment or math.

I love teaching my sons, but sometimes the burden of their education sits too heavily on my back. There are a lot of mornings when I get out of bed still in the fetal position.

I question myself all the time.

I try to drill into my sons' brains that education is very important, but I'm afraid it's going in one ear and out the other.

What will my sons' remember about this time of their lives? Will they remember it as absolute torture? Do they call me "The Terror" behind my back?

There are the frustrating days. Sometimes, it's like pulling teeth to get them to stop daydreaming and do their work. I have to sit there and make sure they do it instead of doing laundry, etc. because they'll start goofing off and before you know it, paper is flying everywhere not to mention the cat. Therefore, sometimes my days are not as productive as I'd like.

There are the good days. These days make up for the frustrating, pull-out-my-hair days.

The days I will cherish and think about forever because they all culminate into a big part of my life.

I don't know what will become of my sons.

All I can say is, after all this one-on-one attention, they better not become a bum.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Monster Mash

It's amazing how all my boys come from the same womb, but they are so different from each other.

These differences manifest themselves in different ways, but the most recent was during a movie.

I was desperate for some quiet time and decided to pop in a movie for the youngest ones hoping it would work. Sometimes, movies just don't do it for my little ones.

I turned on the movie and tiptoed away. So far so good.

I grabbed my current book and hopped into bed, snickering. Oh, yeah. It's me time.

A couple chapters later, I realize it's too quiet.

Is the movie actually working? Are they really watching it?

No way.

So, putting on my spy face, I tiptoe to the door and peek around the corner. If they really are watching it, I don't want to disturb anything. After all, I'm in a crucial part of my book.

There they were. The three of them. All glued to the screen. After watching the adorable scene they made together, I started noticing the part of the movie they were so entranced with.

Maybe I should mention that I put in the movie Monsters, Inc.

Yeah. I forgot about the part where "Kitty" scares the crap out of the robotic boy in the practice session and therefore, scaring the crap out of "Boo" and making her cry.

Realizing this a little too late, I watched the reactions of my boys. Seven-year-old Sleepy's eyes are big as baseballs, five-year-old Happy looks bored and nonchalant, and two-year-old Sneezy slaps his hands over his eyes so he can't see anymore.

Yes. You can say it.

I'm a bad mother for letting my little baby see the big, scary monster movie.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Vacuum Surgery

One of the banes of my life are vacuums.

I don't even know if I'm spelling it correctly half the time. I hate the dang things, and they even go out of their way to be hard to spell. I even had to google it to make sure.

I know I speak of them as if they are more than inanimate objects, but I really think they have their own personality.

They love to make it hard on me. Personally, I think they are all hypochondriacs. I have to be very careful with them or wham! They are refusing to work for me unless I get out the band-aids.

Every few years, we have to buy a new vacuum.....and the good ones don't come cheap, either.

In my house, we need a really good vacuum I can trust because this is no run-of-the-mill carpet we are talking about.

It's the kind that has boys, dogs, cats, and clumsy adults using it.

Our last vacuum bit the dust a few days ago after only a few years of use. The last few weeks of its life I had to have Sleepy or Happy sit on it in order to produce enough suction.

After much groaning and high-pitched whining, it started to give out with outright screaming. Knowing something was very wrong, I decided to start taking it apart to see what's what.

I called Doc in because two heads are better than one, and I needed him to see the definite proof that we will have to get a new vacuum.

My strategy proved better than I thought since pieces of broken metal starting falling away during surgery.

My reaction was shock even though I'm surprised I felt any. The boys' faces looked as if they were saying, "Uh, I don't think it's supposed to look like that."

My conclusion as well, my dear Watsons.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Surprise, Surprise

Our cute, little booger is being potty-trained now.

Oh, joy.

I hate potty-training. To me, there's nothing cute about it. It's a nasty, disgusting business and I'd rather it pass by without me having to do with it.

The nasty, disgusting part is really not the part that I hate the most.

It's the fact that I have to get off my patoosky every stinking hour to place the cute, little patoosky on the potty chair.

Let's face it, I'd rather be doing something else.

He is the last one, though, so I will prevail in this. I must or the child will be using my floor for a potty chair for years to come.

Case in point.

Sneezy came to me with a soiled diaper telling me that he "poot". I don't know why I didn't believe him. Maybe because I didn't smell it, but I took his diaper off thinking there were no surprises.

Well, that surprise plopped out onto my carpet and I gasped in shock with my jaw to the floor.

Since Sneezy was standing in close proximity to the "surprise" I told him not to move. I went to grab his ankle to enforce this decree, but he jerked away.

His foot landed in the surprise.

It was Sneezy's turn to look utterly shocked with jaw to the floor as he stared at his foot oozing with surprise.

After the shock started to wear off, his face slowly crumpled into despair and wailing commenced.

I grabbed his ankle to prevent him from doing more damage to the carpet and proceeded to laugh until I cried.

The look of shock on his two-year-old face was priceless.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Death to Dollies

Our two-year-old is a little guy. Sometimes it seems he is the same size now as when he came out.

He is also beloved by his older brothers and they take great pride in teaching him new things.

One of these new things he learned was shown to his father just the other day.

Sneezy came into the room with one of my dolls. There is no cause for concern, though, because what came next was definitely a male thing.

He grabbed it by the neck and in his little, baby chipmunk voice said, "Don't hurt me, don't hurt me!"

He proceeded to punch it in the face, throw it on the floor, and stamp on it with all his might.

Knowing this was not a particular bloodthirsty action he taught his son, Doc couldn't decide if he was shocked or proud. Of course, he didn't have to decide for very long and out came the usual guffaw of delight when his sons prohibit overt manliness.

Sneezy's two oldest brothers exhibited great male pride as they informed me that it was them who had shown Sneezy what's what.

After all, what else is a boy supposed to do when he sees a frilly, little doll?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Just Call Me Rhonda

Growing up, I've never liked my name.

When I was a kid, I went around telling my friends in elementary school that my real name was Rhonda.

To this day, I don't know why I picked that particular name. I guess I liked the sound of it then, though now I'm wondering why I didn't pick something that was more flowery like Heather or Rosalind.

Something majestic like Elizabeth or Katherine would have been better than Rhonda.

Even something like Sunlight or Cream Puff would have been prettier to me than that, for Pete's sake.

Many people mistakenly thought my name was just a couple letters- DJ. I often ended up grinding my teeth trying to explain to them that I had a REAL name. I would have to go into the story of how I received my name upon my birth.

I was named after my father.

They took his first and middle initials and just spelled them out. Problem was everyone called me DJ.

The reason I didn't like this was because I believed that was a boy's name. I would meet boys of all ages with the name DJ. Of course, it was just a nickname, but I ended up being extremely irritated with feminine angst. All of this was compounded by the fact that I was named after a MAN as well.

I was definitely NOT a tomboy. I was a girly girl through and through.

What kind of girl ended up with her knight in shining armor only for him to call her DJ? Only in the books does he call her "Rosalind, my love!"

Even though it was not easy growing up with the name, I have come to terms with it....or so I thought.

Today, I got to talking to my boys about the meaning of their names.

We even googled them.

Definitions like loyal, steadfast, gift of God, peaceful valley, protector, defender, fiery, Christ-bearer, righteous, manly, warrior....the list goes on.

I wanted them to realize that the names their father gave them are something to be proud of.

They are names that are not only rich in meaning, but fit their personalities as well. I know in my heart that the names my husband gave to our sons were also given by God.

Then, Grumpy wanted to know the meaning of my name.

I decided to google my dad's name and the meaning means "white" or "blond". It's also a form of Dionysius who happens to be the Greek god of wine.

Hmmm. Not being blond myself I decided to google my name "Dee".

It means swarthy.

SWARTHY! SWARTHY?

Forget that.

I have decided to just forego the literal meaning of my name and be happy with the fact that I was named after a man that I love and respect.

He is a man who dedicates his life to God and taught me about Him. He is a man who God has His hand on. He is a wonderful father and grandfather.

I am proud to bear his name.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Clean Up

One of my most challenging jobs as a mother to sons is teaching them how to clean.

Sometimes I often wonder if it is a lesson in futility.

First of all, each one of them has a serious Peter Pan complex. All play and no work.

My house clearly reveals this concept.

I have designated them each a kitchen chore. One has to sweep the floor, another has to empty the dishwasher, another has to clear off the table, and the last has to fill the dishwasher.

They do their jobs, but that's it.

Therefore, the table still has crumbs, the kitchen counters are covered in empty containers and leftover food, and pots and pans are waiting to be scrubbed.

Makes me think I need to have more children just to get the job done. But since my body protests this idea profusely, I must clean up after my children clean up.

Even other rooms in the house need my particular attention after the boys have "cleaned up".

They will say that they are done and since I take this as a grain of salt, I must inspect the area. Of course, they have no idea that the carpet needs to be vacuumed and Lord forbid they have to dust.

Dust? What do ya mean, dust?

And since they treat the floor like a trash can, there is always a fine layer of crumbs and pieces of trash littered all over.

You would think they were blind.

Just the other day, I found cheese in the couch.

You might say, "Just forbid them from eating in the living room."

I might say, "And you think I haven't?"

You might say, "Then, you must follow through on that."

I might say, "Then I'd be spanking butts all day every day not to mention they are sneaky, little fellows."

Thus, the cheese hiding in the couch.

Since I am not omniscient and stringing them up by the ankles won't work either, I have decided they are going to clean up their own crap.

This is kind of like potty training.

They will be learning how to clean for the rest of their lives.

Until someday they make the excuse to their wives and talk about how hard they work all day to bring home the bacon and they have made their contribution to the family blah, blah, blah.

Whatever.

Fairy Tale Crow

I can tell that I'm getting old because recently I've been relying on coffee to give me that added boost.

Growing up, I watched all the adults in my life gulp the nasty stuff down as if their lives depended on it. I often thought, "Why in the world would someone drink something that tastes like liquid cardboard?"

Well, I've discovered the chemistry of doctoring up the vileness. If you put enough creamer and sugar in it, voila! Liquid dessert.

I've become desperate enough to try it. I realize it's not the end of the world. After all, it's just coffee. It's not like it's a definite sign of old age.

Gray hair is, though.

I have long hair down to the middle of my back. Doc has even called me Rapunzel. I've grown it this long because it's camouflage. People have to look closely to guess my age.

Or maybe I'm just fooling myself.

I'm not going to dwell on that too much.

Anyway, I discovered something about myself that doesn't really boost my morale.

I went on a recent camping trip with my parents in their darling home on wheels. Their bathroom has a skylight and standing in front of their mirror with the light shining down was very revealing.

That little bathroom wasn't so darling anymore.

With my mouth falling to the floor, I lifted up layers of hair to find strands of gray that had been laying in wait for me to discover.

My mother has assured me that I have a few years left before I have to absolutely do something about the gray. She had to assure me this in a very calm voice because her daughter was on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

I kept imagining myself looking like those long-haired crows in the children's fairy tales. You know, the ones that like to put children in a big, boiling cauldron and eat them. The gray-haired ones that have that cackling laugh as they stir with a big, wooden spoon while their long hair keeps getting into the liquid.

When I start growing a beard, I'll tell Doc to send me to the circus.

He just might.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Cool Mom

I've always wanted to be the "cool mom".

You know, the kind of mom that never raises her voice. I always imagine the "cool mom" to be able to explain to her children the reason why they can't do something in a calm voice with logical reasoning.

Of course, her children always understand this logical reasoning and reacting to her peaceful, sweet voice, naturally, they acquiesce to her request with no more wimpers and whines.

The cool mom also bakes something sweet everyday.

Cookies are a must to munch on when waiting for dinner. She always makes sure the kids never grow too hungry and something is always there to give to them in the meantime.

The cool mom lets them jump on their beds, too. If she passes by their bedrooms, she just laughs at their antics and continues on. Never mind that their rooms look like a tornado hit it. She can just clean it up tomorrow.

The cool mom knows how to tune out the loudness, too. After all, they have to learn to express themselves and if they're having a really good time, she wouldn't want to bust their bubbles by telling them they need to be quiet.

Who cares if it sounds like an army of zombies battling it out in the living room at 8:45pm. They'll be going to bed soon and she can relax for about half an hour before she, too, hit the sack. She doesn't really need more time than that, right?

The cool mom also lets them eat in the living room....or anywhere else in the house that strikes their fancy. How else are they going to watch TV and eat at the same time?

I also envision what it will be like to be the "cool mom" when the boys are teenagers.

A "cool mom" understands that they will still be learning all the rudiments of shaving and seeing hair scattered all over the bathroom sink is just going to be one of those things that happens during this time of discovery.

Also, they will be in such a hurry that they will revert to their toddler days and urinate all over the toilet trying to get done as fast as they can so they can make it back in time to finish whatever it was they were doing at the time when their bladder so rudely interrupted them.

The cool mom also knows that growing boys have really big appetites and need their nutrition so it's okay when they eat an entire loaf of bread....each....in one sitting. Oh, and don't forget those cookies will always be in demand.

Thinking about it for a while, pursing my lips, I realized, "Welp. I'm definitely not the "cool mom".

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Night Tremors

It was 2am in Lakeland, FL and I had just become engaged.

So, after entering my dorm, I decided to call my parents with the good news. I was ecstatic and I wanted to share this momentous occasion with them.

As soon as my mom answered the phone, I screamed, "Mom, I'm engaged! I'm engaged!"

This was not a good thing to do to my parents in the middle of the night.

At first, she didn't even know it was me. She thought it was my sister calling. My sister was babysitting and my parents were worried about her being in a strange house.

They had told her to call them for any reason and especially if anything happened.

When I called them, all she heard, at first, was one of her daughters screaming incoherently into the phone in the middle of the night.

It was enough to give her a heart attack.

When I calmed down enough to speak with a modicum of coherency, my mother heard my name coupled with the word "engaged" along with the scrambled story of how it all came about.

After hearing the story, my parents congratulated me with great relief at the knowledge that no one was dying.

I think I eased them into it pretty well.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Despair vs. Delight

"Sleepy! Shoot those guys! Aaah! Stupid man! Sleepy! Shoot that guy!

They keeping coming, Happy!

Sleepy, that's mine! Aaah, Sleepy! Sleeeeepy! Stop trying to get me!

Let's go!

How do you press get off?

Sleepy! Come back I can't go! Sleepy! Come back! Sleepy! Come back! I can't move!

Press star!

Come on, Sleepy! Let's go!

I'm going to kill you! You killed me!

I'm not going to kill you!

Leave me alone!

We're under attack, Happy! If you want to be a Jedi, then let's switch!

Don't shoot me! Aaaah, Sleepy! I'm trying to fight someone!

Protect me, Happy! Ok, let's go!

I'm coming!

Come back here, I can't move! Come back down here! I can't go!

That's because you don't have a gun!

Die! Die! Die!

Sleepy! I was going to kill one!

Sleeeeppyyy!! Let me kill one!!

Die!

(Sneezy, the two-year-old, growling, "Die, die, die", in the background.)

You're the blue guy!

Sleepy, help me!

Arrrrggggghhhh!

Wailing, "I wanna switch!"

More crying.

All of this is going on while Sleepy and Happy are playing a PS2 game that belongs to their older brother. They sneaked on while he was in the bathroom.

Screaming and yelling commence when Grumpy realizes his position in front of the TV has been usurped.

In between the yelling and screaming, Grumpy gives pointers.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Off My Rocker

Sometimes I wonder where my brain went.

I have to keep in mind, though, that the five things that I usually have to think about at once have doubled since the time we moved to AL.

Still.....my memory has never been so decrepit.

Yesterday evening, we were invited over to a friend's house for dinner. I decided I better pick out the boys' clothes because Lord knows they would end up wearing three-day-old jeans with a hole in the knee and a shirt with yesterday's spaghetti sauce on it if I let them pick out their own clothes.

Someone has to make sure these kids look presentable.

I go into Grumpy and Sleepy's bedroom to get a particular pair of pants from the shelf in their room for Sleepy to wear.

They weren't there.

I knew they had been. I specifically remembered that. But, for the life of me, I couldn't find them anywhere on the shelf.

I called the boys and said, "Where are the black pants with the red stripe going down the side?"

Now, to understand the situation fully, you must grasp the fact that there are a ton of clothes and they have absolutely no idea what I am talking about. But, mom is mad about the whole thing and she is going to make them understand this.

Because SOMEBODY took those pants off the shelf and I want to know WHO!

Well, time was getting away and I had to put some other pants on the kid before we rushed out the door.

Later, after having a good time and coming home pleasantly tired, I went into my room to ready for bed.

There, on my bed, as plain as day, were Sleepy's pants that I had been looking for.

I had taken them off the shelf myself earlier that day in hopes of preparing for the evening.

After this story, my kids will definitely think their mother is off her rocker.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Dishwasher Despair

Since our move to Alabama, I have been pleased as punch to know that I will have a working dishwasher. With a seven-person family, that really comes in handy.

After living on plastic and styrofoam for about a week, I was finally ready to break in the dishwasher in our new home.

The kitchen was unpacked and we had used our dishware and silverware and I was happily putting everything in the dishwasher to be cleaned and sterilized.

Yippee!

Then, the let-down.

I pushed the door in and turned the knob and.....nothing.

Nada.

"Um, honey? Uh, the dishwasher doesn't seem to be working."

After a couple minutes of pondering the situation and stewing over the fact that the owner of the house we are renting probably will not put in a new dishwasher, I had to face the fact that I did not have the most desired-for dishwasher that I needed.

Time for the tantrum.

"I do NOT want to wash dishes for the rest of my LIFE!" I yelled into the kitchen.

Next came the pouting. So, I went to the bathroom and locked the door for a while.

After a few minutes, I came back out to do some more unpacking. Doc was happily putting together some lamps he had bought at the store and he asked cheerfully, "Wanna come see the new lamps? Come see!"

Being the in the dirty, rotten mood that I was, I growled, "At this point, I don't have a working dishwasher. So, woop dee frickin' doo."

Doc got up, went into the kitchen, flipped the switch on the wall above the sink and voila! The dishwasher came to life!

To say I felt relief after that would not be good enough. I went from despair to ecstatic happiness in a nanosecond.

My husband is my hero. He flips a switch and all is right with the world.

Alabama "Snake"

Well, we have bid a fond adieu to the beautiful mountains of Colorado and greeted Alabama with an accepting heart. Of course, we could do this because of the rumors of balmy weather and green stuff that grows everywhere.

Instead, we were greeted with bone-chilling cold and cracked lips. I wasn't really expecting my poor, dry skin to take a turn for the worse, but alas, I reach for the lotion every five minutes.

My sons have had absolutely no problem announcing to the entire neighborhood and a couple neighborhoods across town of our arrival.

One of our first nights in the area, we all troop outside to clambor into the car. This takes a lot of time and great effort on the parents' part. A friend of ours once said it is like herding cats. Very apt.

They decided to take their time getting into the car and explored the driveway. Since it was dark outside, it was hard to see and they mistook a big stick in the driveway as a snake.

Bashful has made it known among the family that Alabama has big, bad, scary snakes amongst the reptile population. So, when they saw that stick, they made sure I could hear them from the back door as I was coming out.

"Mom! There's a snake! A snake! There's a SNAKE in the driveway!"

Of course, what am I supposed to do at this point besides take a cursury glance at the "snake" (to make sure it is just a stick, of course) and tell them in my best "mothery-I'm-not-yelling-in-front-of-the-neighbors voice" that there is no snake and it is just a stick. NowpleasegetintothecarbeforeIscream.

All in a pleasant, non-threatening voice for the neighbors' benefit.

Because I wouldn't want the neighbors to begin to think that they have a crazy, screaming banshee living on their street.

My sons already know they have a crazy, screaming banshee for a mother. That's bad enough.