Saturday, June 7, 2008

OBX Time!

We're having a beautiful time at the beach. It's a little overwhelming being here without my husband, but all in all it was definitely worth it. Today is our last full day, as we're leaving tomorrow. I can't believe how quickly it flew by (as most vacations do, right?!) Here are a few of my favorite pictures so far...

All the kids (SEVEN kids, ages 6 & under! And only ONE girl!)

Me & my boys on the pier

The whole crew on the pier

My ALONE walk on the beach (self portrait)... I didn't want to come back!

Monday, June 2, 2008

I'm So Sorry!

This post is for Catherine. :) I'm so sorry I haven't bee blogging. I'm in one of those life is getting away from me phases. It's not that I'm not on the computer, or that I don't have anything to write about... it's just that I don't really want to take the time to sit and think about how to write it.

For instance, right now I'm in the Outer Banks. It's so beautiful! There's so much I could write about I don't even know where to begin! I'll post some pictures when I get a chance. Hopefully I'll be able to keep up with my blog! Christine, thanks for being interested enough to keep contacting me. I'll really try harder! :)

Friday, April 4, 2008

I'm a Nutcase

This is what I did yesterday:

The rose at the bottom was my original tattoo that I got about 10 years ago (actually he covered it up and redid it, it was pretty faded), but the rest is new. I drew an idea of what I wanted, and the guy designed it with the kids' actual footprints!

(this was the idea)

I cannot BELIEVE how painful it was! I wanted to give up halfway through. I said "I'm sure the other 2 kids would understand if their footprints were left off!" I made it, though.

What do you think? Am I a complete crazy person, or what?

Well, if I am, he's with me...

Thursday, April 3, 2008

A Night In

Last night I got home from work fully expecting to go to the mid-week service at church. All four of my boys were dressed in matching Cowboys Jersies, all vamped up for a night out. A few minutes before departure, Baby (I know, Tina, he's not technically a baby anymore... don't get me started! sigh...) had a blowout. I know, sorry, but how else can I put it? All over his pants, shirt, everything. Simulatneously, twin # 1 followed suit. Change of plans. Man, were they disappointed! They found something that SHOULD have been packed away months ago and Mommy of the Year decided to do this...

And this...

And, of course, this...

You should have seen the multi-colored bath that shortly ensued! What fun little boys are!

*I apologize for no pictures of the baby. His artwork was by far the best. He actually did a lovely job grabbing the Halloween makeup while I was grossly absorbed in painting these characters... and proceeded to write all over himself (and eat a little... which probably didn't help the whole bowel issue!) Scrubbing yellow paint out of his ears and hair was the most fun I've had in a while (can you sense the sarcasm?)

To Tatt or not To Tatt

Okay, so some friends from my husband's work are getting together and going to get tattoos tonight. I have a tiny one on my back from when my friend turned 18, about 10 years ago. I think it would be fun to go and get it re-vamped or maybe get another one... or nothing at all. I read about a really nice, upscale place which is basically in my neighborhood. Maybe I'll at least go with them and check it out and see how I feel about it.

What do you guys think?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Simple Pleasures

No matter what kind of mood I'm in, these actual signs on my way to work make me smile EVERY morning!

Look closely at the paving signs. The funny thing is, these are legitimate businesses. They have shiny new trucks, really clean, new buildings and everything!! There's another funny one, but I didn't see it this morning, and I can't remember what it was... if I see it I'll post it another day.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The World Was Not Worthy

It's been ages since I've wanted to blog. I keep thinking about it then pushing the thoughts aside. I know that a blog should be a place to come and vent, but I don't want that to be all this is. We've gone through such loss lately, that I feel like it's all I'm writing about. I wrestle within myself over the sorrow over losing them, and the rejoicing that they're in Heaven. I'll be honest. The rejoicing is taking it's time this time. Please don't read this with a critical eye for my writing. I'm just letting it all out. Maybe it will help me cope. My sentences are going to be misplaced with no clear flow. This is how grieving is, I think. It doesn't make sense, so why should my writing about it make sense?

Charity and I have been friends since before I can remember. We were in the same kindergarten class... and remained in the same class all the way through elementary school, middle school and high school. It's not how you're thinking. Our graduating class had 13 people. It's not like we all took different Science or English classes. Our class was together all day, every day for 13 years. We would have graduated together if she hadn't left the school, gotten married and started a family. We've been through so much together. I was there for each of her children's births (she has 4), except the last one. This is by far the hardest thing I've had to endure with a friend. I was in Budapest when I found out that her father died. It came as a complete shock. I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach, and that feeling really hasn't gone away since.

Mr. Jipson was "healthy as an ox." He looked like a movie star. Thick, wavy hair, strong features, big chest. Just healthy. They still don't know what happened. One of the pastors at his funeral quoted 2 Corinthians 5:8, "Absent from the body, present with the Lord." One minute, he was doing his thing - he was at a customer's house installing satellite - and the next minute he was gone. They don't know why. We don't know why. I can still hear his voice calling Charity "Punkin". He's always called her that. He had nick names for everyone. He called us, Charity's friends, "Kiddo". "You want anything, Kiddo? Can I get you somethin' Kiddo?" Such a sweetheart.

Charity's been through alot. She had a not-so-nice husband, to put it mildly. Her dad was her rock. Always there for her. She lived with him for a while when things got bad. Thank God, she got out of that relationship and has since married a real sweetheart who loves her. I've never seen her so happy. And then this. She wrote something about him, and they put it in the schedule at his funeral. I just keep seeing the words "Who am I going to call when I just need to talk to you, Dad?"

When my husband and I got married, our first house practically shared a backyard with Mr. Jipson. So many memories in that neighborhood! It was so strange to live there after the many years of traipsing through those woods with Charity, getting into trouble. I'd meet him in his yard while walking my dog and we'd chat for a while. He always had stories about his grand kids. When Jake was a baby, Charity and I would go hang out at his house and swim with the kids. We'd all eat ice cream together. He loved his grand kids so much! You know, last year he wanted to take them all to Disney World. He knew they couldn't afford it, so he bought a big van so he could drive them all down. I'm so glad they had a memory like that now.

I wrote in the card to her that I feel so selfish for thinking that I'm going to miss him. I just wish there was something I could do to take away her pain. It doesn't even make sense. None of it makes sense. I know that God's plan is perfect, it's just so hard to see it like this, when we can't SEE what's coming out of it. The whole time during the service I kept thinking it could have been my dad, or Amy's dad - we sat together at the service. Her dad is on his "final" tour in Iraq. He's a helicopter pilot. I keep thinking about him. I can't handle losing someone else. We never know when it could happen. It's so strange because the night I finally got through to Charity from over seas after finding out, I talked to her for a while. All I could think about when I hung up is that I've never looked forward to Heaven as I do now. No more of this pain, or fear. We're looking toward that time. He's already there. Maybe he's praying for comfort for his family. Love is stronger than death. Our pastor said today, we might feel the dying, but death? No. Death knocks on our door but we're already gone. Death can't find us.

They talk about the mansions that will be prepared for us in Heaven. Is that what we're looking forward to? As each day goes on, I think less and less about the mansions, and more and more about the people. And Jesus. The Lion and the Lamb. The glimpses I get here of Him. The love through His people - only a taste of what we'll see there. If we are like Him, some more so than others, then how wonderful He must be in all His glory! I think of Mr. Jipson. I think of my own dad, so Christ-like in my eyes, and I yearn to see Him. Without this pain and heartache. And to tell others about Him so they can see Him too - both here in this world, and the next.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

I'm so glad it's Wednesday! I am finding it hard to find words to describe our trip to Budapest...
For those of you who are interested, click here for the rest of the pictures.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Lettuce in a sandwich?? EW!!

Overheard last night while Grandma was reading to my boys:

Grandma: "Yeah, it's a picnic! Mickey Mouse had a picnic!"

Owen: "What's dat?"

Grandma: "That's a sandwich, mmmmm, yummy - because they're having a picnic. See the picnic basket?"

Owen: "No, what's DAT?"

Grandma: "That's lettuce."

Jake: "That's not a sandwich - there's lettuce in it!"

Grandma: "Yeah, there's lettuce in the sandwich."

All three boys in unison: "Ewwwwwww" (I wish you could hear the intonation of this.)

Grandma: "No, YUMMY, lettuce in sandwiches is yummy!"

All boys in unison: "Ewwwwww"

Grandma (becoming insistent): "Don't be silly! Lettuce is good for you, we put lettuce in sandwiches. What do YOU put in your sandwich?"

Owen: Butter

Jake & Collin in unison: Peanut Butter & Jelly

Nice. I'm raising some health nuts over here. Like mother, like sons! :)

Note: I do like lettuce in my sandwiches. I guess I should offer my boys more of a variety of sandwiches, since they think there is no such sandwich other than pb&j.

Just Another Manic Monday

My day in a nutshell:

Leaving for Europe in TWO days.
Haven't packed.
Laundry up the wazoo.
Kids running wild and free, in different stages of undress.
Coming down with a cold.
Hubby sick and miserable.
Just spent $114 on various cold medicines from CVS for the trip - just in case.
Worried about leaving my kids with a babysitter for so long (Even I am ready to pull my hair out after a few days alone with them!!!)
Did I mention Hubby is miserable??

So. I shouldn't be on the computer. I should be packing!! And doing laundry!! And nursing husband back to health. And clothing my children... HEEEELLLLLP!!! (Does anyone else see the word "HELL" in there??)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Laughing Through the Tears

I've never seen anything like it. The Face to Face service for John was today. The chapel was full of lives he impacted. I overheard more stories, and remembered some of my own. The best part of the whole thing was that everyone who got up to speak had some funny story to tell about him. We all knew him as the biggest goofball and prankster. He was serious about his call and his Savior. What an example he was. The service was so anointed, and struck a chord with many of us. Who is going to step up? What a challenge! I don't know how many people it's going to take to fill his shoes (of course, they can never be filled!) Missionary. Youth worker. Friend to many. Missionary. There was a man in front of me who was from his ministry in the inner city of Baltimore. I couldn't bear to see his body wracked with sobs. But, by the end of the service, with tears still running down his face, he was laughing with the rest of us at one of John's antics.

I started typing this the other day, and can't finish it; but I want to post it anyway. Tina's post on it is way better, and since we share a brain (and her half is way better), I want you to read hers instead of mine....


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Unveiling

It's a new day... and I have a new blog name! The following is what I posted on my other page. Yes, I'm THAT lazy. I don't feel like typing the same idea again, so here it is:

I'm not sure if I even have any readers left, but I didn't want to leave you all stranded. I've changed the name of my blog. I was just not loving the name I had chosen, because come to find out, it was NOT very unique. I think my new blog name is a little more unique, even though I'm not sure it really illustrates what my blog is all about. I'd love some feedback on it... And, here it is... drumroll please...

Melissious Intentions (as you can see above!)

Please give me your feedback! I'm thinking it's kind of cute. Melissious has been my screen name on every site, email address, etc., since pretty much the dawn of the internet. It has many meanings... let's see if you can figure it out...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Through a Glass Darkly

I just saw him last week. He had gone to Istanbul, Turkey to be a missionary, so I thought it was a little odd that I saw him in a crowd the other day. He even looked a little more clean-cut than I'd ever seen him, even when he was dating my dorm head in college. He was looking pretty good.

Well, apparently there was something going on that I, and many of our mutual friends - even his closest friends - had no idea about. He came back from the mission field for a visit, and now he's gone. It can't compute in my mind. Big John. I haven't really even cried yet. I've felt right on the verge, like tonight at church when I saw one of his really close friends walk out sobbing, or yesterday when our youth pastor got up, lip quivering, and said how much he'll be missed at camp. "He was always at peace there, sitting out in a boat on the lake, looking out over the campers." He will be missed. Greatly. The heartache is real. The confusion, the disbelief - we don't really know what to do with it. I can't believe I'm here again, within what, a week, writing about losing someone again? I really don't know what to say, because it really isn't real to me. I can't process it.

In any respect, it makes us hug the ones we love tighter, and want to call our friends and tell them we love them - just in case they might not have known. Even those ones that I haven't seen in a while, I feel like they're a part of my heart, and it aches for them sometimes.

Our pastor said something yesterday that has really stuck with me. It's tempting to want to blame ourselves for this. John was getting help, but we could have done more. If only I had spoken to him when I saw him last. If only they had taken him out to lunch last week. If only someone had known, like really known. Well, Someone did know. Does know. He's here to hold us in our sorrow, and He's there with John by his side. A perfect Big John, with none of the troubles that were haunting him. Yeah, we're left here with the hurt and confusion. We are trying to look through this foggy glass darkly, but he is seeing face to face.

On the other side of that, though, is this... Jesus, when he was teaching his disciples how to pray, told them to say "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven." I take that to mean that we can have a taste of Heaven here, now. Yes, we long for Heaven. Yes, we now have one more person to miss desperately. I've even asked God again if He's sure He doesn't want to just take all of us. Then I see the fullness of His Body here. The love of the family, the comfort in the little clusters of friends holding each other up through this. We can see Him here and now. If we just focus on that - those moments of clarity - we just might make it through this. To the other side.

Face to Face.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Ode to Grandpa

Today was my dad's birthday. My mom, the sentimental softie that she is, decided it would be nice to spend the WHOLE day together as a family. That means, my 4 crazies, plus my sister's 2 - with no boundaries (unless you count the horribly polluted bay on one side - I guess that's a boundary of sorts!)

It started out beautifully. It was a balmy day of somewhere near 65 degrees here in Baltimore today. The sun was shining; the birds were singing and all that jazz. The kids had fun "seagull bowling", as we so gracefully call attempting to run over flocks of birds who are trying to steal our food. Then, as we made our way along the harbor, the wind started up. Along with it, came the clouds... and the rain. We had made it quite a ways away from our cars by this time. Puddles seemed to form out of nowhere. And I don't need to tell you the solution to this equation: little boys + puddles = ... yeah, soaking wet, screaming car full of fun. One good thing that came out of it was <<>> which I would have done if I hadn't left my camera at the restaurant. Oh yeah, we went to a restaurant afterwards. Call me a glutton for punishment (or a Daddy's girl, either one will do.)

After trying unsuccessfully all day to get a picture of Grandpa with ALL the grandkids, we figured out the best way to get them all together was (get out your sunglasses, folks!)...

CAKE, of course!!!! (duh)
I had the good sense to email this picture to myself from my dad's phone since my camera had died (and I subsequently left it at the restaurant so this is my only picture of the day!)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Speechless Saturday

Last night we made brownies... This morning I woke up to...


And just in case we didn't know who the ring leader of this parade was, he signed his handy-work...

Friday, February 15, 2008


Conversation on the way home from the mall with my 4 year old:

"Mommy, what is 'selfish'?"

"It's when someone isn't grateful for what they have and wants everything else."

"Mommy, I'm selfish."

"Oh, really? Well, selfish kids get all of their toys taken away and given to kids who appreciate them."

A couple of minutes of silence...



"I'm NOT selfish."

Thursday, February 14, 2008

So I'm Sitting There Buck Naked...

I was very close to becoming the butt of an internet mass-forward joke tonight.
My dear, sweet husband planned a nice, romantic dinner of take-out straight from the Outback bags. See, with four little beasties running around, it's hard to go out when we both worked a full day with a babysitter at home. So, while I put the crazy midgets to bed, he went to pick up the food (45 minute wait.)
I got the kids in bed with time to spare, and an idea hit me. Everything looks better by candlelight! So, I got out a nice tablecloth and a bunch of candles and set up a nice little atmosphere. You know what's good about candle light? It makes the world a little smaller and hides the mess...
It took longer than expected for the food, of course. While I was waiting, the thought popped into my mind, "All I got him was a silly card." I thought, "You know what would be funny? If I was sitting here completely naked when he got home. That would be a fun present (especially with the whole darkness hiding things)!"
Notice the shock on his face as he walked in the door...
Unfortunately, I ate entirely too much chocolate and candy today, and was feeling that the darkness wouldn't hide ENOUGH, plus, I suddenly thought the table would look prettier with more candles and some dishes... so at the last minute I changed my mind. If you look closely at this picture (to the right of my husband between his shoulder & the door frame- yeah, I know it's horribly grainy, but remember, it was dark in here!), you'll know exactly WHY I'm glad I did... It's a face. He happened to meet up with one of his best friends in the parking lot of the restaurant. He came home with him to borrow a movie. Boy am I glad I went ahead and went with the card!
Even without the naked surprise, I think he was pretty happy.

Valentine's Blues

So, I got my best friend a Valentine's card today, and a PRESENT. AND Chocolates. She was mad at me. Does that make sense?

I also got in a fight with my husband this morning.

Typical Valentine's Day.

**Editor's Note: I would like to retract the statement that my best friend was mad at ME, she was just not having a great day (read her Valentine's Day pot and you'll see why.) I took it personally for most of the day, because TOM is visiting and it was just one of those days. I HEART her and she liked the presents (I think.) And she still loves me even though I'm a diet saboteur.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

No Wonner They Scream! Fry mah hide!! Fry mah hide!! Fry mah hide!

This was too funny for me to pass up! This is a site I got from Memarie Lane, and I just couldn't pass it up. I put in my post from this morning and chose "Redneck". It "dialectized" the text. Tell me this isn't hysterical!!

Last night ah had a poppin' problem wif mah lef' ear. Yo' know, like yo' git when yer flyin'? Yeah. SO annoyin', but not pow'ful thet trimenjus of a deal, ah reckon. Wal, at 3 in th' mo'nin', ah woke up t'excruciatin' pain in mah ear. It felt like ah was bein' stabbed, seriously. ah c'd hear li'l squeakin' noises; ah pow'ful thunk mah eardrum was a-gonna pop. ah took 4 ibuprofen, an' rummaged th' medicine cabinet until ah foun' some Similisan, as enny fool kin plainly see. ah put them drops in an' waited patiently, tryin' not t'scream (too loudly.) Th' whole lef' side of mah haid an' neck were in pain, as enny fool kin plainly see. Finally, ah decided t'take some Unisom (a couple mo'e than th' recommended dose, of course) an' it wawked wifin an hour. ah woke up this hyar mo'nin' t'mostly pressure in th' ear. ah decided t'stop at th' Targit Clinic on mah way t'wawk (mo'e on this hyar later, mebbe - LOVE th' Targit Clinic! Fry mah hide!! Fry mah hide!) An hour later ah was armed wif majo' antibiotics, eardrops, an' a diagnosis of an ear infeckshun wif a bust TM (tempanic membrane, which ah believe is th' eardrum, dawgone it.) Yeah, thar is blood a-comin' outta mah ear. Purdy pitcher. All ah can say about this hyar is thet ah now unnerstan' whuffo' mah chillun scream fo' days on ind when they haf an ear infeckshun! Fry mah hide! Warnin': ah gave mah bess friend rights t'post on mah blog, acco'din' t' th' code o' th' heells! ah wanted her t'post mah quirkies o' whutevah thet is; on account o' ah doesn't feel ah HAVE enny quirks. ah's puffick, it's ev'ryone ELSE thet has all th' quirks.

Quirky confessions - *Evil laugh*

Hello world. This is Tina, Mel's bff in the whole widest world. I am here to post in lieu of her as she cannot manage to think of any her quirks. This is quite funny because I at the drop of a hat can think of many. Get ready to be entertained and thank you Mel for allowing me the pleasure of being a guest blogger. I feel most honored. Thanks Laura for tagging Mel.

1. Sauces - every food must be swimming in some kind of sauce. A common phrase when ordering food is "can I get a side of buffalo/general tso/soy/honey mustard sauce?" Oh, I almost forgot to tell you. We took a trip to Taco Bell a month or so ago. She asked for LOTS and LOTS of sauce. The woman must have given us about 100 packets. We used about 20. The rest sit in her desk drawer "just in case". The beauty is that her kids have become sauce cravers too. "Wanna dip it!!"

2. Eating - basically, it's like this. What it takes me 10 minutes to inhale, it takes her about an hour. Slow as molasses eater. Which I guess is a good thing.

3. Stinky pillow - there is this pillow that she MUST sleep with every night. I call it the "stinky pillow". I don't think it's stinky, it's just old and ratty and is barely clinging to life with the multiple safety pins holding it together. And yes, when already running late to the airport, she has made the driver turn around so she could get her beloved and cuddle him close to her face.

4. The fan - in addition to the 'stinky pillow' we have Mr. Fan. Mr. Fan blows all thru the night on high speed, so as to drown out any noises and to lull her into precious slumber. I would have to say, this is one of my quirks too. I cannot sleep without the 'wirr'.

5. DRAMAmine - it's her miracle drug. Mel gets quite car, airplane, sea.. 'anything that would move her' sick. But when she's driving, she's fine. And usually when I'm driving, she's okay too. Except when I'm backing up. I've yet to figure this one out.

6. Do you smell that? - a very common question when hanging with Melissa. Her best work would probably be on the Swat K-9 team because I swear, she has the sniffer of a bloodhound.

She's not TOO quirky but she's got 'em peeps. But it makes me love her all the more! Hooray for quirky confessions!.

Thanks, Amanda

No Wonder They Scream!!!

Last night I had a popping problem with my left ear. You know, like you get when you're flying? Yeah. SO annoying, but not really that big of a deal. Well, at 3 in the morning, I woke up to excruciating pain in my ear. It felt like I was being stabbed, seriously. I could hear little squeaking noises; I really thought my eardrum was going to pop. I took 4 ibuprofen, and rummaged the medicine cabinet until I found some Similisan. I put those drops in and waited patiently, trying not to scream (too loudly.) The whole left side of my head and neck were in pain. Finally, I decided to take some Unisom (a couple more than the recommended dose, of course) and it worked within an hour. I woke up this morning to mostly pressure in the ear. I decided to stop at the Target Clinic on my way to work (more on this later, maybe - LOVE the Target Clinic!!) An hour later I was armed with major antibiotics, eardrops, and a diagnosis of an ear infection with a burst TM (tempanic membrane, which I believe is the eardrum.) Yeah, there is blood coming out of my ear. Pretty picture. All I can say about this is that I now understand why my children scream for days on end when they have an ear infection!

Warning: I gave my best friend rights to post on my blog. I wanted her to post my quirkies or whatever that is; because I don't feel I HAVE any quirks. I'm perfect, it's everyone ELSE that has all the quirks. :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Terrific Tuesday - Thank You, Mr. D!

Okay, could you sense the sarcasm dripping from that title? No? Well, fasten your seatbelts, folks. I have yet ANOTHER foolish story for ya. I have to warn you, it's going to be predictable, but bear with me...

Tuesdays are my carpool day. This means, I wake four peacefully sleeping cherubs (who instantly turn into vicious demons as soon as their eyes open) and whirlwind - yes, that's a verb - them into the car. I then head to the park & ride, where I add two MORE boys ("the Austins", actually one Austin and one Auston) to my brood. Can you do the math? That's SIX boys together in a car - at 7:25 in the morning. This particular morning went off pretty well, other than the fact that I did NOT want to get out of bed. I did NOT want to wake up the cherubs and get them dressed. I happened to glance out the window as I was walking across the hallway (open foyer) to get them, and noticed that there was a dusting of snow (I can hear the predictability bulb going off in your head) on the road. So, being a native Baltimorian, I freeze in my tracks, turn off the light and race back to my room in search of the remote. I turn on the news and stand there waiting for the delays to flash across the screen. There were like 3 schools opening late and a few closings (yes, folks, for a dusting - and I'm NOT exaggerrating!!!) Groan... and off I go to wake them up. The second I get in the car I turn on the radio. I make it to the park & ride a couple of minutes late - thank you, Mr. 1983 Ford truck, for going five miles UNDER the speed limit the entire way and missing those 2 green lights! The boys hop in my car (and by "hop" I mean gingerly climb up into their seats and start looking at toys and talking to my boys before even thinking to buckle their seatbelts.) And we're off... boy the roads are clear, gotta love election day. As we drive in, I hear that most of the Christian schools in the area are either closed, opening late, or closing early. There's a winter weather advisory for later in the day.

We pull into the school a full TWELVE minutes early. There's the security guard and one teacher pacing back & forth in front of the school. It's Auston's teacher. She walks up to my car ("Aw!" I'm thinking in my head, "She's going to come GET the Austins out of the car and WALK them into school!") Yeah, wrong. She walks up with a huge smile, with what looks like a hint of pity in her eyes. Still not registering in my brain. Down goes the window... "There's no school!" WHAT?! I had the radio on the ENTIRE way to school. They did NOT cancel it. Well, our school goes by the Baltimore County school system - which didn't HAVE school today because of the elections. Therefore, they were not listed in the "School Closings" on the major television or radio stations. Finally, at 8:07, when I was almost all the way back home, I heard on the radio "We are still getting calls about school closings. Greater Grace just called in to say they're closed today. Thank You, Mr. Principal! Those of us who need to leave about an hour before school starts at 8:15 in order to get there in time, could have used that call about TWO HOURS ago.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The School of Suffering*

I was kicked out of my own bed by a 27 pound 3 1/2 year old this morning. We are not the "family bed" type of family. I like my space. I don't sleep well being kicked by children (or my husband, for that matter) all night. Well, at 5 o'clock this morning, I was awoken by the dear husband shouting something in my ear. Owen threw up in his crib!! Great. I thought we were done with this. I've been basically out of commission for two weeks - three if you count the week Glenn was sick before that (he's STILL sick!) Each one of the boys, except for Jake, has gotten this lovely stomach bug. It's been quite a trying time around here. I feel like it's just one thing after another.

I know that all one of you who read my blog have been concerned about my last post. I hyperlinked some of my old posts and alluded to the fact that I had writted about someone who had died. Well, I haven't yet. I just wasn't really ready. It wasn't someone I was particularly close with, but I am close with some of his family and it just really hit home for me. I tend to overly-empathize with people, if that's possible. This was a young father who used to attend our church. Now, our church is like a huge close-knit family. I was actually born into this church. My parents have been a part of it since the early 1970's. I may not be super-close to everyone here, but when someone is going through something, or if someone loses a loved one - even if I'm not close with them - it's like losing a long-lost brother, aunt, grandfather, etc. This guy who passed away last week was in high school (our church has an affilliated K-12 school as well as a Bible College, both of which I graduated from) when I was in elementary school. I'm friends with his sisters-in-law and his nieces. My boss was one of his best friends. Two of his kids are in our middle school. He also left behind a 3 year old. I have had a hard time thinking about this whole thing. I wish there was something I could do for them, yet I don't want to bother them since the wife and kids don't know me. I just burst into tears when I heard that the baby has been walking around the house saying "Where Daddy go?" I can't handle that. Then I think, this could just as easily be me going through this.

It makes me realize how blessed we really are to be a part of such a tight-knit family. Also, just to know that this man is now in a place where there is no more temptation - no more sin - is such a comfort. It wasn't such a perfect situation that he was taken Home. He had been drinking and was walking on I-95. I've learned this past year that none of us are above temptation. This could just as easily have been me or someone I loved who made one simple choice and was taken from the ones who mean the most to us. There's just no room for judgment here - only love and support.

After all of this, another member of our church was called home. This was someone I did know personally, the mother of one of my favorite teachers and mentors, grandmother to one of my sister's best friends. She had been battling Alzheimers, and joined her husband in Heaven a few days ago. This is a time of rejoicing (and sadness, of course) for her family and friends here. At one point this week I said to God "If you want to take us all home, can we just all go together?!" I felt like I couldn't take any more bad news (another close friend of mine had a migraine stroke and was in the hospital at the time - she's in her 30's!) We may not understand His ways, but I'm really learning that all things are for our sakes. I can't imagine how hard these times are for these families, but even the way that their friends and family react to the situation, is a testimony to me, and has already made a change in my life.

Just as these things were happening, I went through something in my own life. This is something that has happened in the past, and something I've reacted to in a completely different way. I've asked myself in the past, how things like this could possibly be the will of God. I read *something on our church's website that was written by John Newton (the author of Amazing Grace and other hymns.) It really made an impact with all of these trials and tragedies still fresh in my mind. "A Christian without trials would be like a mill without wind or water; the contrivance and design of the wheel-work within would be unnoticed and unknown, without something to put it in motion from without. ... But the Lord sends afflictions one after another to quicken our desires, and to convince us that this world cannot be our rest." He also said that if we didn't have any trials and lived a perfectly comfortable life, we would not be able to accept or identify with Christ, who lived a life of sorrow, unaccepted by His own people!

As I'm writing this, I'm thinking that it almost sounds selfish to say that these things happened for my sake, but I think that this is exactly how I should live. This may have happened for many other reasons, but why not take it and learn from it myself? We have a personal God! I learn through my own failures that I can't judge another soul; and I learn from the failures of others how to truly forgive as I've been forgiven. I've been forgiven much, therefore I can forgive much. I can even use this in my daily life. My little boy is whining. He won't stop. This is for me. I can learn patience. It's also for him, I can teach him that I love him even though he's impossible. :)

Praise God!

This is Not for You (Yes, I Mean YOU)

These past couple of weeks have been a little difficult to say the least, and my blog has been suffering. I heard something yesterday from a former editor of the Baltimore Sun that put things into perspective for me, though. He said "The difference between a writer and an editor is this: a writer writes for himself. An editor writes for someone else. When you write for yourself, it takes away all the pressure and expectation." I like that. I'll admit it. Sometimes I write on here, and as I'm writing I'm thinking, "This is silly, nobody wants to read me rambling about my kids pooping all over the house, me forgetting it's a vacation day, or someone they don't know dying." I think I'm not witty enough, or serious enough. My stories are not new, every mother goes through this. Well, you know what? I enjoy writing about those things. It gives me an outlet for my thoughts. So what if my blog is just one big brainstorm, and I never come up with the perfect title, or if my blog name is unique enough. Am I going to get down on myself if I don't post every day? No. I'm not going to be afraid to write about what I want, the way I want to write it. I'm not going to worry about how many readers I have or how many comments I get. Not that I was really worried about it, but I'll admit I started wondering if anyone out there liked my writing.

Writing. For me. I've always liked writing. I felt at home in English class. My senior English teacher in high school was the classic English teacher. Strict, no nonsense, even a little bitchy (okay ALOT bitchy.) She used to yell at me for chewing on my pen. Seriously, she was like a drill sargent. I, on the other hand, was not the prize pupil. I won't fake modesty and say that I wasn't smart. It wasn't that. I just didn't really care about school. Homework was not a priority. And I was a little bitchy myself. Needless to say, Mrs. Kirby and I clashed once or twice. Yet, she was my favorite teacher ("you can't start a sentence with a conjunction!") Well, I guess you shouldn't have taught me about Poetic License! It irritated me to no end that she detested the word "got" or "made"; she absolutely would not allow us to describe something as "nice" or "good." I got (that one's for you, Mrs. K) pretty good grades in high school. One or 2 C's out of pure laziness... or something a little more passive aggressive - but we'll not get into the psychology of the whole thing (Private Christian school my entire life, etc.)

Rewind to Composition 101. Anyone remember? I don't know how your teacher did it. Mine would set a timer and we'd brainstorm. Probably for five minutes, we'd write whatever popped into our heads. I loved this part. Just write and write. I'd usually start with a few descriptions of the people around me "Billy has the most annoying reading voice, why do they always pick him to read aloud? And why does he always WANT to read aloud?" Inevitably I'd find something to write about amidst the rubble that was my brainstorming paper and I'd focus on that - but only because we HAD to. Secretly, I hated when that timer went off. For those five minutes I felt so alive! I would write and write until my wrist throbbed in pain, massage it a little bit, and write some more. I didn't want to have to fence in my thoughts, corral them into a masterpiece. That was too much work!

And so, about 10 years later, I started a blog.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

One Day

One day eyes that are blind will see You clearly,
And one day all who deny will finally believe.
One day hearts made of stone will break in pieces,
And one day chains once unbroken will fall down at Your feet...

So we wait... for that One Day, Come Quickly!
We want to see your glory, every knee falls down before Thee,
Every tongue offers You praise, With every hand raised.
Singing Glory, to You and unto You only,
We'll sing Glory to Your name.

One day voices that lie will all be silenced,
And one day all that's divided will be whole again!
One day death will retreat and wave its white flag.
One day Love will defeat the strongest enemy!

So we wait...
For that one day, come quickly!
We want to see your glory, every knee falls down before thee.
Every tongue offers you praise, with every hand raised.
Singing glory, to You and unto You only, we'll sing glory to Your name!
We know not the day or the hour, or the moments in between.
We know the end of the story!!

When we'll see...
Your Glory! Every knee falls down before Thee.
Every tongue offers you praise, with every hand raised.
Singing Glory to You and unto You only
We'll sing Glory to Your name.

Lyrics by Selah, Artwork by God Almighty

Friday, January 25, 2008

DIE, Teletubbies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (And where the HELL is my coffee???)

There are a few children's "educational" programs that I cannot stand. I mean, I really, really detest them. Among them would be the one where all of the fuzzy characters speak in a "zoo-loo" language (or something of the sort), the one with the black guy dressed in a strange plastic outfit where (more) fuzzy things come out of his briefcase and dance around to nonsense music. I would have to rank the Teletubbies right at the top of this list. First of all, can we really classify these shows as "educational", when they barely speak one word of English? And when they do speak English, it's on the level of an 18-month old?? Who thinks up these things?

All of that to say... the remote is all the way across the room (go, go gadget arms!!) and my coffee is nowhere to be found (it was right next to me a second ago, how did I lose it??) My three youngest, ages 3, 3 & almost 2 are sitting here entranced by this nonsense show. I can literally see their language skills regressing! Great, and here's a promo for a NEW freaky show "Panwaba", sound like they all speak "Waba". Now, if only my coffee were still sitting next to me. I could take a sip and maybe that would fuel my lazy ass exhausted body to get up out of this oh-so-comfy chair so I could finally change the freakin' channel already!

I never in a million years thought I'd hear myself say this, but thank GOD, Barney's on!!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dr. King

I woke all four of my soundly sleeping boys this morning at six o'clock. The Husband is out of town, so I had to wake them ALL up just to take the oldest to the carpool which meets at the park & ride about six minutes from my house. I would have kept him home, but he had a field trip to the aquarium that I didn't want him to miss. I woke the oldest first, since he can get himself ready while I'm getting the others dressed. I then went to wake the the twins, only to find that one had had diarrhea sometime during the night and it was crusted all over him (I know, nice picture) his sheets, pillow - everything. I had to draw a quick bath for him while frantically dressing the other twin and the baby (BAD mommy, leaving the twin in the tub alone!!) Twin One didn't want to come out of the bath, so wrestling his clothes on was fun. Shockingly, I made it out of the house with a few minutes to spare, so I stopped at D&D for some coffee for me and donuts for the boys (I know, I know, don't even bother telling me how bad all that sugar is before school.) Right at 7:25, I pulled into the park & ride. Nobody was there. Nice, I rush to get my FOUR kids out of the house, and they're sleeping in with their ONE kid each (actually, one of them has FIVE kids and one on the way, but only one goes to school and her husband is always there - plus, it sounds better for my story to say they each have ONE kid, so, for the sake of the story they have one kid each)... at least one of them is always late. The only time we're late is if Hubby takes them. Ten minutes go by. This is getting ridiculous. I start texting. "Are you coming today??" No response from anyone. Rude. I call. No answers. I guess I'm going to have to drive him in even though it's not my day! Then, my ears zone into something on the radio that's barely audible. "Blah, blah, blah... Martin Luther King, blah blah blah..."
Yes. I did know it was MLK day. What I did not know was that there was no school today. The field trip is next Monday. I was looking at the wrong week on the school calendar.

In related news, I got some desperately needed groceries. I went to the gym and worked my @$$ off for an hour. I even took the kids to Friendly's for lunch. All before noon! And all of which I would NOT have done had I known school was closed on MLK's birthday (I meant no disrespect, Dr. King, but hey, we ended up celebrating in style!)

Friday, January 18, 2008

And the Worst Mom of the Year Award Goes to...

Okay, so this blog is supposed to be mainly about my weight-loss journey, with a few anecdotes of family life. These days it seems like the mom side of things is overtaking the weight-loss side (as well it should, I suppose.) Well, that's basically how my life is going right now. I am focussing more on my crazy home life and less on my weight loss. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. I am still sticking to WW completely, it's just that after a long day the main thing on my mind is what happened with my crazies rather than what I ate for dinner (I had a salad I threw together if you're wondering, in between picking children up off the floor after they fell off a chair trying to watch a movie at the counter and tickling contests amongst the flipped-over footstools & chairs that are the make-shift fort that is my living room.) See, there I go.

All that to say that this, once again will be a post dedicated to mommy-hood.

It was another exciting day here at the Crazy house. I almost feel guilty relaying this story, but isn't that what the world of blogging is for? It all began fairly normally. Breakfast was a little iffy. The twins wouldn't touch their food. One of them was just sitting there staring blankly. I tried to get him to take a bite (he's the good eater of the two and it was waffles after all, who doesn't like waffles??) and he started to gag. Well, come to find out, he had a little fever and wanted to lay on the couch. All day. Yay! That's fine with me! So, the twins were pretty low-key. That gave me a little time to work on some laundry and tidying up that desperately needed to be done. Biggest Brother has been bugging me since last night to go outside sledding, but with one sick, and one semi-sick I couldn't really leave them and take the other two out.

While waiting for another load to dry, I sat down for a few minutes to catch up on some of my reads. I was in the living room with the twins, and Big Brother & Baby were upstairs. Or so I thought. They had followed me up & down the stairs a few times while I was putting away laundry and from the distance of their voices, the only logical conclusion was they were upstairs, and playing nicely. Until Baby started screaming. "What did you do to him?!?" I yelled. Biggest brother comes running into the living room - with his shoes on (??) "Baby was IN the street and almost got hit by a car!!" Nothing is processing. Suddenly it hits me, as I bolt for the (OPEN) door. There is Baby, standing barefoot in the snow on the front porch, screaming.

Now, I didn't see or hear any car. And I'm thinking if Baby was actually in the street, and if there actually WAS a car, wouldn't someone STOP their car and look for the owners of said baby? I think so. So I'm guessing there was no car. But still. How scary, right?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I Do NOT Get Paid Enough for this Sh!t

Have you heard this before once or twice? Well, in an effort not to sound too much like Dr. Phil in reference to mommy-hood as a profession, I will simply replay the wonderful evening I had with my boys and you can judge what I should be paid for this.

Note: Husband is thousands of miles away for the weekend hanging out with his buddies for work.

I'm rolling around on the floor with my 3 youngest hoodlums after their baths (I know, eww, dirty floor, clean kids, but oh well.) Baby is tackling me, laughing hysterically. Twins are playing their Leapsters trying to avoid my tickle fingers. Dog is trying to join in the fun.
"Did someone poop?" I smell poop, I KNOW I smell poop (as only a mom of 4 toddlers knows the smell.)
Nooooo!! all three shiny-clean, innocent faces chime together.
"Owen, you pooped, didn't you?"
No. I dinnent poop!
"Yes you did, I can SMELL it." (yes, I know the difference between the SMELLS of their poops. This didn't smell familiar, which usually means it's Owen - you don't want to know...)
No. I dinnent. See! He kindly turns around and sticks his butt in my face. I take a niiiice deeep inhale. (again - only a mom!) Nothing.
Huh. Emmett? "Did you poop Emmett?" (Baby)
Yethhhh. I boop!! Another sniff... Nothing. Little Turkey. Collin??
"Did YOU poop?"
No answer.
I sniff him... Still nothing.
{Enter Dog.}
"Gross!!! Get away from us, you smell like poop!!!" I check her out. She does smell like poop, KID poop, but I see nothing on her. I shoo her away and continue playing.

After a while, I realize that the oldest hasn't come down from his nap yet and it's 7 o'clock. I'd better wake him up. I go up the stairs. Is that dumb dog following me?? Pew!

...And there it is... at the top of the stairs... a crumpled up pair of underwear smooshed into the floor, and a path of poo... all the way down the hallway from the bathroom... all over the bathroom floor leading to a pair of pants... all over the toilet.


No answer.
I look in his room. He's not there. I walk back down the hallway, trying to sidestep around the brown streak on the floor, over the underwear into my room. There is my little angel. Sitting on my bed playing his Leapster.
"I was sleeping and I pooped in my sleep!" He says eyes wide, brimming with tears, not sure if he needs to full-on cry to make this more convincing...
He needs to go straight to the bathtub. I take him to mine, it's closer... I stop dead.
All over the bathtub.
MY bathtub!

Thus began my loooong evening of scrubbing bathrooms and steam-cleaning carpets. This is AFTER a long day at work (which is actually a long BREAK from my real job!) The only plus side is, I HAD to earn some activity points lugging that huge carpet cleaner up and down 2 flights of stairs and up & down hallways (of course, I had to do a once-over of each of their rooms while I had it up there!) Not to mention all the loads of laundry created by this little fiasco. Now if I could just figure out where that URINE smell is coming from in the living room...

Good grief!! If they weren't so damn CUTE, I'd have to QUIT!

Didn't Your Mother Ever Tell You Not to Hit Girls??

"Latte? SKIM Latte?" Okay, am I crazy for ordering a skim latte? Does that defeat the purpose? If you heard the incredulity in my co-worker's voice, you'd think I ordered my coffee with crack in it. Maybe I should be the designated coffee runner from now on, because after I had the gall to ask for skim milk, I added to it by asking for sugar-free french vanilla (I know, I'm such a prima donna) he stood there and stared at me blankly for a good minute. Sugar free? Do they make sugar free syrup? Men.

Speaking of crack. My 4 year old came up with something pretty funny. He asked for something during dinner, and before I could even begin my usual bribery (you know the one "if you eat your food... okay, if you eat three more bites...) wide-eyed, he stated "I know, after I eat my food... I have to eat all my food. If we don't eat our food, our skin is going to dry up and crack." Ummm... I'm thinking we can thank Grandma for this one. I can hear the conversation in my head ("If we don't drink enough water...") The skin-cracking thing runs in the family, and is usually brought on by washing too many dishes. Which is why I leave mine for the babysitter. ;)

TOM has hit me like a ton of bricks. I think he is quite ill-mannered. Isn't the gentler sex supposed to be treated with utmost care and kindness? I don't care what society is telling us about equality, I will teach my boys to open the door, pull out the chair, give up the last seat... And yet, once a month I am visited by the most unwelcome, impolite guest. Last night, after a long day at work, TOM decided to wreak havoc on my lower back. I couldn't even sit in my cozy chair and blog, or zone into a pointless two hours of American Idol. I had to wrestle the boys (who have a few manners yet to learn themselves) through dinner, bathtime and into their beds. Then I headed straight for bed. Sleep evaded me. No position eased my aching back. So I turned to my good friend, Advil PM (four, to be precise) and the comforting warmth of my heating pad and finally drifted off to sleep... three hours after climbing into bed.

Hence the fat-free, sugar-free, FUN-free latte.

Monday, January 14, 2008

My Weekly Respite

This is what I came home to after volleyball last night... so sweet!!
Gotta love getting home and they're all in jammies, have had their stories and are ready for bed. Looks like it went smoothly, doesn't it?? Don't be fooled, alot can happen under the not-so-watchful eye of Grandma... To name a few: a couple of pairs of underwear had to be thrown away ("Collin was dancing around, so I asked him if he had to go... but by the time I got him in there, he had already..." and you can guess the end.)

And this is the other thing that happened...

Collin tripped on nothing, I mean, the tile in the kitchen and his tooth went completely through his lip. Ouch. My mother told me this story as calmly as if she was telling me he finished all his dinner. My baby!! Notice he's as happy as ever with the gash in his lip. Little stinker. I just hope it doesn't scar. Ahh, the hair raising joys of raising boys!!**

After my grueling workout in the morning, I rocked at volleyball. I thought I'd be too tired to play well, but *gasp* I actually had more energy... I even jumped higher... I actually got a couple of fingers on the ball while blocking a huge hitting 6' something guy on the opposite team - woot, woot!! :) Maybe next time I'll actually stop him, ha ha. He's big, and he hits hard.

Oh, did I mention I lost 4 pounds this week?? Yeah, slight sidenote!! Which means I have fewer points... which means I need to work out more. :)

**the title of a book I read a while ago.

The Longest Thirty Minutes of my Life

Labor? No, but it felt like it - minus the pain meds! After waking up at 6:45 and taking my oldest spaz to the Park & Ride for carpool, instead of going home and going back to sleep for an hour like a sane person, I decided to torture myself and go to the gym. I haven't been in a while. Like a couple of months. During my last regular stint of gym-going, 30 minutes on the elliptical was a breeze. It could have been because I went with my bff Tina, and the minutes just fly by full of celeb-talk and people-watching. This morning, there were about 3 not so interesting ladies (although, I'm sure Tina and I could have found something to dish about - we always do!) in the women's gym. The closed-captioning on the morning news wasn't working. The print in the People magazine from last year was too tiny for me to see through my blinding sweat. I did have a little text-a-thon with said bff which I was sure had distracted me from my agony for about 20 minutes - until I moved my magazine and realized it had only been about five, during which the elliptical I was on decided to malfunction and actually make me feel like I was treading lead. Literally, when the incline went up, the resistance just stopped. I nearly fell off with my cell phone in one hand and towel in the other! Not to mention my heart rate read 49 when it was clearly somewhere over 200 (okay, that's a slight exaggeration, but pretty close!) Can someone please tell me what they're doing with our $180/month??? I mean, they just sent out a lovely letter telling us how they just spent $170,000 or so on upgrades and renovations and would have to raise our dues $10/month (as they do every year.) What exactly did they upgrade?!?! Nothing looks different to me than the last time I visited! I WANT MY MONEY BACK!! Unfortunately, it's automatically deducted from our bank account every month, so there's not much I can do. Anyway, I switched machines after what seemed like hours, but was actually only 17 minutes - 13 torturous minutes to go! The last thirteen minutes dragged by pretty uneventfully other than my face turning so beet red I wanted to walk out with my sweatshirt over my head.
That 38 degree air smacking my face has never felt better!! I rolled down the windows to try and cool down. It's an hour later and I still looked like someone smacked me, but you know what? I feel energized and I have a few extra points to use today! Hopefully the energy lasts through the day and I don't pass out from sheer exhaustion on the volleyball court tonight!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

An Evening at the Mall

The husband and I decided that it would be fun to get out of the house for the evening - with all four boys. Two of whom are potty-training. This mall we went to is not the one that's five minutes from our house. It's not the mall that's 15 minutes from our house either. It's the one that's about 35-40 minutes from our house. Well, the first forage out in underwear actually went surprisingly well. The boys hadn't really had much to drink during the day, so I had promised them their cups in the car. Slight misjudgment, they sucked the entire cups down in 5 minutes. So, we park and have to run the toddlers to the restroom. We made it (pretty much - a drop or 2 on the undies doesn't count as far as I'm concerned.) The second trip to the potty, only about 20 minutes later, was even more productive. One of them actually went #2! We did have one incident on the way out, at the very end of the evening, which involved Daddy throwing away a brand new pair of Cars underwear, but the trip was an overall success. Mental note: don't send Daddy running off with the boys when there's a potty emergency. Have HIM stay with the stroller and take them yourself.
On the WW front, it was a success as well. The three older boys had pizza, the baby had Chick-fil-A (mmmmmm, pretty tempting!) and Mommy & Daddy had Subway. I'm surprised that I didn't stumble, since my bread was "so dry you had to eat it in the rain" as my husband would say, and they loaded on some interesting things. That's what I get for sending the husband to get my food. We all know I'm too particular to send anyone else to do my ordering by now! Luckily, I was so distracted with getting these hoodlums to SIT DOWN!! TAKE A BITE!!, etc. that I didn't have a chance to stray.
Tonight will be a little more challenging. It's a formula for disaster. Babysitter + Football Party. I did offer to bring a salad, so hopefully I can fill up on that and not be too tempted by the rest of the "football food". The funny thing is, I haven't touched my flex points. I just don't like using them for some reason. Especially all at one time, since my points start over on Monday. I don't want to eat a bunch of crap and then weigh-in, ya know? Maybe I'll use some of them if there's anything sort-of healthy.
Wow, this was a pretty boring post. Just didn't want to go a day without posting just yet.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Put a Stinkin' Muffler on that Thing!!

I remember whistfully the days when "sleeping in" meant snuggling down under my covers in my nice, warm bed until 10 or 11 o'clock on a Saturday morning. These days, when it's my day to sleep in, I get until 8. And that's after waking up at 6:45 to remind my darling husband that it's his day to take Jake to the carpool. He then proceeds to ask me a million questions, "Did you pack his lunch, did you set out an outfit?" Then I lie there for half an hour listening to him slowly brush his teeth and get ready before going to wake up our son. I can't try to fall back to my precious slumber until I hear the garage door open and my biggest kids slam the door.
Well, apparently a teenager on our street recently acquired a "new" car. By "new" I mean a shiny teal-colored 1985 something-or-other (I'm not a car person, forgive me.) I think you can see where this is going. The second I start drifting off...VROOM, VROOM, VROOOOOOOOOOM!!!! Mind you, it's seven in the morning! This goes on for a good 45 minutes. Goodbye, extra hour of sleep. Now, I don't know much about cars, but I'm pretty sure that this is unnecessary. I'm not sure if this boy is doing this on purpose or not, but as I toss and turn, try to readjust my earplugs and pillows over my head, and focus on the droning of my fan, I think to myself "If I wanted to report this, do I call 9-1-1? I mean, it's not really an emergency, I guess - but they don't realize how precious my sleep really is! So what would I do, call 4-1-1 and ask for the local police station? Should I talk to this kid's parents and ask them nicely to PUT A MUFFLER ON THEIR SON'S CAR???" I'm beside myself. I must add that this car has been in their family since I moved here, and I've never heard it until the past month or so. Which is why I think that this kid is waking up the whole neighborhood intentionally. What is he, street racing with this thing?? Then my mind drifts to a time, about 12 years down the road from now... when MY beloved angel turns 16. I have a feeling I'll be the one on the street with the police showing up at my door...
*"The Circle of Life" plays softly in the backround.*
Then the twins start yelling in their room "MOOOOOOMMY!!! Come get me, I want to get out of my CRIIIIB!!!" in unison.
So much for sleeping in.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


I'd first off like to say that I am not one to use chliche's, including "internet lingo" cliche's, or acronyms, if you will. You know what I mean. It took me a couple of years to start using LOL. Actually, I still hesitate for a quarter of a second (and that's a long time for me, I type pretty darned fast!) before I use it now, and only under dire circumstances - like when I'm actually ROFL. I do NOT use that one, because it doesn't even make SENSE!! R - Rolling, okay, we're doing okay, I get it. O - on, F - floor. WAIT JUST A MINUTE!! ON got it's own letter, but THE, which is a whole letter longer than ON is completely overlooked??? AND it gets worse!! L - ummm... what does the L here stand for? Are we all of a sudden using the second letter of the word now?? Then shouldn't it be ROONFL, or more precisely ROONTHFL???? Okay, I think you get my point. Okay, I've JUST realized that I'm a complete and utter idiot. The L stands for Laughing, doesn't it? Well, I'm glad you were all here to see that. They still left out the THE, though, so I still win.
I DIGRESS (hee hee - I always giggle when I say "I digress" and in my head I'm saying it with a deep, professor-like voice - yes, there's a voice in my head narrating this... now we're getting somewhere!) Back to the NSV. My day didn't start off very well. I woke up about 15 minutes late to get my oldest darling to the carpool. I left my cell phone (a.k.a. calendar, notes, phone numbers, BRAIN) sitting on the kitchen counter. It was either be even LATER, or try to rush to the park & ride a little less late. Well, on the rural road leading to the main road I got stuck behind a school bus. Can you tell me why the school bus has to stop at EVERY house on a street? Can they not walk to their neighbor's house to catch the bus? What ever happened to bus stops - you know where all the kids from the neighborhood walk, or are driven, to ONE spot??? I finally made it to the park & ride, only a few minutes late. At this point it really wasn't an option to drive all the way home to get my cell phone before work. Okay, I can handle one day without a cell phone, right? WRONG! I had a baby shower to go to straight from work... which was in my schedule - in my CELL PHONE, on the kitchen counter at home. As was the number for the girl whose house it was at... and her address. Anyway, all that to say - I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for breakfast. I figured if I distracted you with a long boring story, you'd be so bored by the time you got there your jaw wouldn't drop to the floor aghast (another word I felt a sudden intense desire to use.) Well, prepare to be more appalled. I succumbed to a craving for vegetable mei fun (Chinese rice noodles) for lunch. I had 10 points left for my day; and I know you don't have my cell phone with you, so I'd better remind you that I had a Baby Shower (i.e. cookies, brownies, dips, CAKE.) "Does she not know what NSV stands for?" you're asking yourself.
Short and sweet, I didn't eat cookies, I didn't eat brownies, I ate a teaspoon of dip, and I didn't eat cake. I ate SALAD, and lots of it. I ate celery and carrots. Instead I just gabbed and gabbed with my friends. What fun! I sat in the living room, away from the food, even when everyone else but me and a 10 year old girl were still in the living room. I just talked to her! What a cutie.
So there you have it. NSV #1 for me this go-round. Thank you, thank you (the voice in my head, which now seems to have a body - is taking a bow.)
P.S. for the day - I know that cliche's doesn't have an apostrophe in it, the apostrophe is trying to be the accent over the e that I can't get to work.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

New Year, New Hair... (and hopefully new body!)

I thought of a good title! A day late and a dollar short, but hey - I'll take it. I forgot to mention that I went dark! Boy, you'd never know I gained 10 pounds from all the compliments I'm getting about it. Of course, what else are people supposed to say "Oh, you dyed your hair..." So maybe some of the compliments aren't 100% truth, but any compliment at this point is a good one (and a coveted one!) I'm hoping that soon, they'll have more (or LESS, that is!) to compliment me on other than my hair.

Now let me explain the pictures to the right. The top one is me and my husband, before we were married and 4 kids ago. In reality, it was only a little over 5 years ago. Wow. I wish you could see that picture closer up. My face actually has dimensions. There are nice, skinny smile creases on the sides of my face... I can't explain it. Now my face is big and round. And that's just my face. If I'm going to be honest, I carry my weight pretty well. I've always struggled with the scale, but all growing up, even the dr's were shocked by the actual number on the scale - even when I was thinner. I think I look pretty darned good at 150 pounds, whereas I know some girls who think they're cows at that weight. I mean, I never thought I was skinny, but my stomach was flat, my FACE was thin, my arms were looking pretty good. I have big legs, but when I'm thin, they're mostly muscle - yet, I still couldn't wear knee-high boots. You get the picture. Anyway, I digress (really, I just wanted to use "I digress" at least once today - I love that phrase!) I want to look like that again. Heck, I want to look BETTER than that from the neck down! Or at the very least, from the waist down. The one beneath it is a similar picture... five years and 4 kids later. I can't really blame it on the kids, though! Can I let you in on a little secret?? Seriously, you need to keep this between you and me. I LOSE weight when I get pregnant. No, I'm not lying!! Ask Tina! Oh, I see you don't believe me, tomorrow I'm going to upload a picture of me during my last pregnancy. One of my pregnancies, I lost 16 pounds when I first got pregnant. Then, I gained EIGHT back throughout the pregnancy - that's -8 pounds! Then, once I give birth, I generally lose 15-30 pounds in the first three weeks. It is THEN that they start creeping back on. When I'm breast-feeding. I sit here - right in this very chair - with a huge glass of water and whatever snack (my preference is usually pb&j's when I'm nursing - my cravings start once I give birth, go figure!) I can grab with a HUNGRY, screaming baby or 2 in my arms... And it just creeps back on. I think my body freaks out when I start breastfeeding. "Oh no, oh NO, I'm losing calories... I'm not working out, and I'm losing calories!! Quick, I'd better store some FAT before I STARVE!!!"

Boy, I explained the heck out of those photos! The rest of them speak for themselves.

Oh, and P.S. (I think I'm going to do a p.s. in every post) I weighed myself this morning - down another 2 lbs. So THERE, Glenn!! I'm catching up!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Biggest Loser

I know, totally original title, but after a long day, sitting here watching the show - that's all I've got. It was between that and "Here we go again", which was pretty much just as original.
Hello, diet. I'm back on the wagon!! Yay! And this time I've got a convert with me. My husband Glenn is doing Weight Watchers with me. Seriously, I feel like that commercial - you know, the one where the lady says "I stopped drinking soda and lost 2 lbs. My husband stopped drinking soda, and lost 20 lbs. My husband stopped eating carbs and lost 25 lbs, I haven't touched a piece of bread in a year and lost 5 lbs..." (or something to that affect.) I should be happy. If I wasn't doing this with him, I'd be happy. I LOST 2 LBS!!! BUT... he lost SIX FREAKING POUNDS!!! I'm happy for him, though. It, of course, helps when he's not wolfing down whole cartons of Ben & Jerry's while I'm eating a salad, though. The thing that kicked him into gear was seeing my brother in law's weight-loss progress. We saw him over Christmas and he looks pretty good. He's lost about 15-20 lbs, and wasn't that big to begin with. Glenn asked him how he did it and he said "Two pounds a week. It's not much, but it's doable, and it adds up." (Can we say "Weight Watchers 101, anyone?"
I'm doing really well, I think. I'm feeling motivated. I'm making right decisions. I was hoping for a little more than 2 pounds, but 2 lbs is 2 POUNDS. Pretty awesome. I'm on my way. I've gained since the last time I started WW, so I have quite a distance just to get back to my start weight, let alone my goal weight which seems like a distant dream right now. I'm excited, though. I'm not feeling like giving up at all. My mini-goal right now is to just to exercise more. I play volleyball 2 nights a week, but I've always done that. I need EXTRA exercise. The problem is just finding time in my schedule to do it (she says from her lounge chair in front of the t.v. with a computer on her lap.) Ha ha. No, really, I had a volleyball game tonight. The thought did cross my mind fleetingly that I could drop by the gym after, but I chose saying goodnight to my kids instead.
So, this first post after being a ghost for so long is really keeping in line with the title of my blog. Talk about a ramble! I just felt that since my bestest friend bumped me to the top of her blog roll, I shouldn't let her down and keep quiet.
As a P.S. could I please say that I could NOT be on The Biggest Loser??? I thought before I watched the show that it would be a cinch (hello, yeah, I think I'd lose weight if I worked out ALL day every day with personal trainers and stuck to a fixed calorie diet with all of America watching what I ate!!), then I realized they can't call their families!!! AND, AAAAND!!! They have to weigh in in freakin' sports bras and spandex! Good LORD! Yeah, I'll stick with my comfy chair in front of the tv, thanks.