Sunday, June 29, 2008

I've Discovered

The last two summers I've had the opportunity to discover what kind of mom I would be to many kids. It's not someone I don't know per say ... just not the funner, easy going person I'd rather be. I become this controlling, cleaning, hyper organized person with too many rules in order to keep things .... in control. I'm not saying that it's a bad thing, just someone I'm not completely use to being.
Yesterday Jenie and Michael called after I shot off a semi-pleading email to them, requesting they call to help put their daughters fears to ease. Everyone seemed pleased with the results and they are having a wonderful time in Ireland.
I made the disastrous decision to let the kids make "Get Well" cards for Rod. Fortunately I put them out on the balcony for the activity, unfortunately that DID NOT contain the mess. Good heavenly days, do 7 kids make a big mess with paint. Haha, no kidding, right? I am still finding swipes of paint through out the house. Heaven help me.
While we were out there doing the cards H's stomach started hurting. To anyone who knows that situation, you'll know why that immediately made me worry. She clutched at her stomach, with tears streaming down her beautiful freckled cheeks and cried in despair, "The infection is back! The medicine isn't working!" I called up her Wheeler grandparents here in Whitecourt and requested they bring her over some cranberry juice. I stayed up with her till 11, pumping at much juice into her as I could before I let her fall asleep on the couch. O woke up at 1:14am complaining that she couldn't stay asleep. Confused as to what she wanted me to do I asked her if she wanted to sleep on the other couch in the living room which she immediately agreed to. Just as I was drifting back to sleep I heard E crying. So I trooped down stairs and asked E what was up. She apparently was too scared to sleep down stairs by herself. After transferring her to H's unused bed, I went back to bed. Only to be woke up at 5:30 ... by all the kids except B-Man. All ready to be fed. And play. My eyes hurt so bad I wanted to shove them all outside for another couple hours. Didn't think that'd win me any "good parenting" awards though, so I stuck it out. Got them breakfast, kept both eyes open (mostly) while I watched them make up dances and cried on the inside.
H says she feels "pretty good" today. I've been pushing juice and water on her like a mad woman ... but heck, I'd rather be considered mean than have H in tears again.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Breaking the Baby

Alright, I exaggerate a little. I'm not actually breaking the baby per say, just her soother habit. Jenie mentioned that she was considering taking away the soother before she left, but wanted to save me the heart burn of dealing with it after she left. Okay, so she didn't use the words "heart burn" exactly. But something along those lines.
She forgot to take into account that I am heartless and mean spirited and am impervious to small children's tears. Bring it on Baby L, I've got what it takes to snatch the soother right out of your mouth. *smiles*
Really, all we did today was have the kids bring me any soothers they found hanging around and hid them up in a cupboard. Unless Baby L was in her crib, no soother for her. Which surprised me when I showed her that she could have one at nap time and she still resisted. Indicating, at least to me - that she really doesn't need it.
I'll admit I miss the cuddles she gives when she's sucking on her soother all content and all ... but ... ahhhh ... it's for the best?
The kids played together really well again today. E had a couple melt downs because of the injustices of the world, H, E and O cried after bed time because they miss their mom (oh ... and I'm sure her dad too), B-Man has decided he loves Baby L and trails her everywhere, LG has adopted me and trails me everywhere telling me all sorts of details I never knew I didn't want to know about all sorts of things ... over all, a grand day.
Oh and my camera doesn't have batteries that work in it. We may have to stop into the Super Store or something tomorrow to grab some. We're having some hilarious moments I am annoyed I have missed out on capturing.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Status Report ...

As most know, I have come to stay with Jenie and Michael's kids while they are off gallivanting in Ireland. I'm going to post little updates fairly regularly, so that when they get back Jenie can look back and see what did or didn't occur while she was gone. Because heaven knows I am going to forget what takes place in the next 10 days ...

Kids picked up from school on time? Check! Even though it took me all the trip to the school and 6 minutes while waiting for them to figure out how to turn on the DVD sound in the minivan. I didn't even get lost! For some reason the roads in Whitecourt kind of confuse me, which is unusual because I usually have a great sense of direction.
Kids fed all 20 million times? Check?
Cups tipped over? Two (thanks, B-Man) Help cleaning it up? Baby L! Thanks, baby.
Kids bathed? Two. Couldn't sponge down the baby and not B-Man...
Petty arguments I had to break up? None. So far, so good. And it was an "inside" day with all that cold rain falling down.
How long it took E, LG and Ms. R to clean up the entire basement before they could eat supper? One hour.
How many kids did I make cry because of this? One. But only because he thought I meant they couldn't have supper.
Number of kids who have come to me sobbing because they miss their parents already? Two. Mama's Boy and the one who can comprehend how long 10 days is. Oh well, I teased them out of the crying and made them laugh before they fell asleep. I consider that somewhat of a success.

More tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

White House

So this morning I was listening to talk radio (yeah, I have NO IDEA how that happened either) and there is this huge "kerfuffle" going on around something a representative or senator or some other randomly placed Texas guy in government. I think it's a GOP ... but I'm not entirely sure what a GOP is. Or maybe it was a pin at the GOP convention here in Texas... Anyway ... I guess they are coming under A LOT of criticism for this: Standing at the fringes of it all, I find it kind of funny. More in the absurd "I can't believe some old guy said that ..." type of amusement. I mean, my grandpa Jones was one of the biggest racists I knew. One Easter I was dating a guy named Stan Black, it just so happened that my parents and I were going over to my grandparents for the holiday - I invited Stan to come with us. My grump was appalled that I was bringing a black man to HIS house. So when we walked up to his house and Stan in all his caucasian glory shook my grumps hand, he glared over to me and practically shouted, "I thought you were bringing home a black boy." I had to laugh, then explained "Yeah grumps - Stan. Stan BLACK. That's his name."

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Six Flags Over Texas

Last Tuesday Colette Erickson, Lacey Arens and I went out to lunch (well, we were supposed to be with the R.S. but Colette and I both gagged over the place that was slotted ... so we picked another place). In the midsts of all the chatter Colette mentioned that she'd got season tickets to Six Flags and asked if Lacy and I would want to come along with them sometime this week. I was ALL ON BOARD, so was Lacey.
So yesterday Colette, her four girls (aged 8-14), Lacey (who's 25, home from BYU for the summer), my kids and I all headed over to Six Flags after B-Man was done school at 11:30. We had so much fun! It was the perfect combination of people, there was always someone willing to go on a ride with you and enough "older" people in the group that we could split off and meet back up with out worrying about anyone getting lost.
B-Man, as usual, was the little dare devil. He went on rides I refused to go on - and apparently laughed with glee the whole ride.
Ms. R was a little more cautious, but loved being around all the "big girls".
We decided to stay and watch Cirque Dreams Coobrila, which is the show currently being featured at our Six Flags. It was an interesting show full of human acrobatics, dancing and weird costumes. Colette had secured us really great seats about 10 rows back from the front of the stage and right beside one of the side running stages ... that is, they would have been great seats if the show hadn't been so intense and weird. B-Man completely freaked out. About 5 minutes into the 30 minute show I had to take him to the very back of the theater so he'd spot clawing at my neck and squeezing the life out of me as he tried to get away from the show.
It was a LONG (we were there for 10 hours!) Hot (it got up to and sustained the temperature of 100 degrees) expensive-ish ($100 for the day including lunch) day, my knees and feet ache today. But, man! Was it ever worth it!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Do you ever?

Have really absurd thoughts that immediately after you have to laugh at yourself for? Like just now I was packing up our stuff that we're going to take to Six Flags this afternoon, as I placed my phone in a plastic zip lock (there are rides you get really wet on) I thought, almost in a panic, "What if I can't hear it ring through the plastic?" Riiiiight, a plastic zip lock bag is not only going to keep it dry ... but contain the noise of the ringer INSIDE. That's a well thought out concept right there. I'm brilliant.

*Of Men and Their Mothers*

Tina and Jenie, you'd both be so proud of how I have been sticking to only picking out books at the library. After deeper contemplation, the library route for most books is the easiest, cheapest, most accessable way to go. Up until this month, I was spending at least $40 a month of books at the Half Price Book store, generally speaking, considering how many books I read in a month - this is a good deal. However, when you consider all but a few I simply turn around and sell back to the book store at a fraction of the price I bought them for ... it's not such a good investment. I'm not like Dawn and have a collection - I rarely read any book more than once.
This was an amusing, light read I found in the front racks of the library. About a divorced woman who still has to deal with her ex-MIL of the mama's boy she divorced to keep relations civil for her 16 year old son. How she deals with the excessively frustrating woman, her son and his new girlfriend and trying to be as unlike her ex-MIL as possible and move on her her life career wise and romantically. This book probably isn't for everyone. It's kind of awkward at parts, but over all rather amusing.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


So, I have been in a bit of a quandary lately. Well, really since last summer but the problem didn't return again till this summer as I was preparing to return to Canada. Cross the border. That type of thing. Last summer after I crossed the border B-Man's birth certificate fell into the realms of the unknown. I have my suspicions as to what I may have done with it ... but we're not going to talk about that. Before we crossed the border I had Jerry email up a copy of the copy we'd made of the document, printed it out and had Michael (some times it pays to have a lawyer brother) notarize it as a lawful document. This summer, however, with almost a full year since that particular notarization I wasn't too sure if it'd pull weight. So almost 8 weeks ago I went online and ordered a new birth certificate from the state. As of yesterday it STILL hadn't arrived, so I was desperately searching around for a fast follow up that I could get from a private party. The quickest THEY could get me a copy is TEN DAYS. We are are leaving next Friday, NOT soon enough! I had really started to sweat.
Today, however, it came in the mail. *huge sigh* I hate it when things come down to the line like that. It makes me VERY nervous.

You've gotta make a choice?

One of the reasons I love living in the DFW area is because there is something to do EVERY weekend, if not every day. You have to actually choose which activity you'll do ... not just go for which ever one is happening.
Today we choose to first go to the Borders bookstore down the road to listen to some fire fighters from the local station read some fire safety books; then the kids were allowed to climb all over the fire engine, try on their uniforms and ask the fire fighters all sorts of silly questions.
Next we headed up to Cabela's in Fort Worth for their annual Kids Fest. There was SO much to do! The kids climbed in and out of RV's/tents/boats, up a climbing wall, watched sporting dogs try to break records, went on a "virtual safari", touched exotic (dead and stuffed) animals, fished in a derby (more on that later), dug for dinosaur bones, sampled numerous foods (including "wild game" sausage), threw balls at a dunk tank ... It was a VERY full afternoon.
Now, about that derby. As soon as Ms. R and B-Man saw other kids gearing up to do some fishing they would not be pried away. I was a wee bit queasy at the idea, as I saw in the groups before us that the parents of the kids had to disengage the fish from the hooks, toss them back and re-bait the hooks. I am opposed to touch fish in general, forget about it when it's on a hook wiggling around. However, as the only adult there with my kids ... I was kind of stuck. The deal was fishing was acutally free, however, if you wanted a trophy it was $5, or a shirt for $10. Ms. R was dying for a trophy - as she knows from seeing her babysitters trophies for volleyball that is means that you are good at whatever you happen to be involved with. I, of course, broke and told her as long as I NEVER had to touch the trophy while we were there this afternoon and she let her brother share it with her if he wanted, I'd let her get one. She was surprisingly responsible with it. As promised, she never asked me to carry it (I think she may be getting smarter) and she always remembered to pick it up after they had done all following activities. She got the trophy at the beginning of the 4 hours we were at Cabela's - so I was pretty darn impressed.
B-Man was a crack fisher man. Seriously, I don't know if his bait looked different, or if he wiggled his hook differently, or if he was just in a plentiful area but within 30 seconds of tossing his line in every time (much to my chagrin) he had another fish hooked. I lost count of how many he caught. When I'd pull them out, he's cringe away from the thrashing tad pole like it was a shark. Every time though, I would (1) curse inwardly (2) take a fortifying breath (3) gingerly pull out the little fish (4) take a firm hold of the fish (5) vomit a little in my mouth - seriously (5) proceed to disengage the poor fish (6) toss it back (7) try not to think about the fact that my hands STUNK like fish. ... oh yeah, in there some where I also congratulated him on his catch ... while cursing in my head.
Ms. R was the proud reeler of 1 *mighty* fish.

Top Fourty

I stole this from Mandy's blog, you all know how I love lists ...
Answer the following with only one word:

Friday, June 13, 2008

Reduced Sugar

Jerry's mom has mad skills when it comes to making freezer jams, a talent I have longed to share. A few years ago I tried my hand at making some strawberry and raspberry freezer jam. I was slightly successful when it came to all but one of the batches. The one batch was frickin' fabulous. "Why?" You may ask (or even if you didn't, I'm going to tell you). I forgot to add sugar to one batch of raspberry jam. One may think that this would have horrifying, possibly even disastrous results. Au contraire mon ami. It was, as previously stated, fabulous. Since that fortuitous accident I have strove to find reduced sugar (since there are no sugarless brands available) jams. Most of the time I have had to settle with a brand that uses less sugar then substitutes Splenda for true sugar; which anyone that has had Splenda in products can tell you, leaves somewhat of a nasty after taste.
A few days ago I happened to be over by a bulk resale store called BIG LOTS. This company generally takes over stock, left over stock and nearing on expired stock from all sorts of grocery, furniture and gardening stores. You can always find something odd or unusual there at a discounted price. As we were meandering around the grocery isles I found the BEST
raspberry jam I have ever ate (besides my own). Streamline Reduced Sugar Raspberry Jam. I have literally ate 1/4 of the jar myself. Don't worry, I've ate it on toast - not by the spoonful as I've been tempted to do. I think I'll tuck an extra jar in my suitcase so I can share this delight with one and all in Canada. I am not exaggerating. Best jam I've ever had. Lots of fruit, a little bit sour and ALL good!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

*The Other Boleyn Girl*

Truly, I am hard to make happy. If it's on Oprah's book club list, I am not likely to read it. If it's become a movie, it's a safe bet that I will not read it. If it's been on the New York Times best seller list, I am suspicious of it. So the other day when I went to the library and I saw "The Other Boleyn Girl" sitting there in all it's post-major-movie-making glory I really wanted to resist it. I resented that they had changed the cover from it's original to the movie poster cover. However, I am in love with that era. Everything about it enthralls me; I love the majesty and the uncertainty, the romance and brutality.
This book was written so well. The author made the 1500's come alive with her imagery, it felt like you were walking through the royal gardens, dancing in the royal court, sitting in the queens compartments with the "players" in question. I thoroughly enjoyed this different point of view. Written, seemingly through the eyes of Henry the VIII'th mistress, then sister in law (same person just different times in her life) it brings a perspective that you don't really consider until it's brought to enlightenment as it is in this book. All in all, I loved this book. It was looooong and involved. However, I kept my head and NEVER stayed up past 2 am reading it ;)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Lately I've been having excessively vivid dreams; so much so that when I am doing things during the day I have to stop and wonder if I dreamt it, or it if really happened.
For instance, last night I had a dream that I had drove to Canada this year. Once I got there I went to find my mom and I couldn't remember where she lives. I could see in my dream head all the location she's lived in the last 5 years and for the life of me I couldn't get it straight in my head which one she currently resides at. This isn't beyond the realm of possibility because even when I am awake sometimes I have to concentrate a bit to remember just where she is now (come on, she's moved A LOT in not so much time). So this morning when I woke up I had this sense of confusion and panic that I wasn't REALLY THAT SURE where my mom was, or how I could reach her, if I could find her if I was looking. It was more than a bit disconcerting. Mom, you still live out by Raymond on the acreage, right?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

*A Touch of Grace*

I had no intention of reading a Christian novel. I really didn't. However, as I was perusing the books at the library (proud of me?) the other day the cover called out to me. It was simple, with a hint of longing in it. It seems that lately I have had a bit of longing in me too, so it appealed.
The is another book in a series of recent books that do not really follow what the back cover says they should be like. It's suppose to be a book about a girl named Grace (hence the title), her life and how two men kind of mold her choices. However, I found it to be more about the aunt of this girl, the way two families work a farm together in the early 1900's North Dakota, how the town works, the evolving relationships between various people ... THEN about Grace. It seems to barely skims the relationship between the title character and the two men who supposedly cause her so much self reflection.
Though it was not as it was presented, I enjoyed this book. I enjoyed being reminded of just how easy we have it in this day and age. I felt for the families as bad things happened, I rejoyced with them when they triumphed in small things. The author successfully conveyed relationships between people in the simple gestures they shared, the private thoughts they had and love of the way they lived.
(I think you may really like this book, Tina)

Saturday, June 7, 2008

*Body Surfing*

You know when you read a book and there is a slight buzz of familiarity to it? So much so that you look up the author on line and discover you've already read one of her books and wasn't entirely thrilled by it, but didn't hate it ... so you keep on reading the book you are currently involved with? No? This has never happened to you? Oh. Well, it happened to me with this little ditty.
About a woman who has been twice married, once divorced once widowed (I am still not entirely sure why this was made such a big point) who goes to tutor a girl for her October SAT's. The family happens to summer in the New Hampshire, which is where the majority of the book takes place, at the summer home of this family. I think I bring that up, because the location was the most interesting thing about the book to me. I suppose this book is more about the woman and the families two grown sons, who the woman has ... interesting encounters with. It was a disjointed book that made me wonder how the author has written about a dozen books and stayed popular. I think more than anything, it's the good write up on the back cover. It appears to be a really interesting, human drama book. I don't recommend it. At all.
I've also read a series of romance novels recently I refuse to talk about, because it just makes me all that more crazy for feeling that involved with it ... and I am still somewhat embarrassed by the fact that I read that many romance novels. I mean... a lot. But possibly less than my sister. For some reason, this makes me feel less crazy.

Monday, June 2, 2008

B-Man, anyone?

I realized as I scrolled through a few of my previous blogs that I haven't mentioned B-Man lately. Which, really ... we should all take as a good sign. Haha.
No seriously though, he's been doing well. He still has some aggression issues we're trying to work through. I am kind of edging towards wondering if it's a low blood sugar issue. It seems if I send him to "play care" at the gym after I've filled his tummy till he stops asking for food, there are no incidents of him hitting/kicking/pushing/pulling hair. However, if I just toss him an apple (or something else small) then send him off to play care, I am called back within 20-40 minutes. The mornings I've had a hard time getting him to consume more than a cup of juice, he goes to school and starts tossing kids around. We'll keep adding and subtracting variables to see what happens.
Usually though, he, like Ms. R ... just seems like an extension of myself. It takes an effort to pay attention, to see if an outside eye would think it was funny or strange or ridiculous.
Ms. R started swimming lessons today and it just about killed him that I wouldn't let him get in the water with her. I just don't think he'd follow directions from the life guards, he'd be in there all flapping around, doing his own thing, distracting the whole class. He doesn't want to go to go to class, he just wanted in the water. So even though I had a wailing B-Man practically throwing a hissy fit at my feet, it was a no go for the boy. Ms. R, by the way, is a swim star. She also thinks she wants to start playing tennis. Go figure.