Monday, March 31, 2008

Help! My Energy Has Gone Missing

I think I am beginning to feel my age. I mean, I am almost was bound to happen, right? While I am thankful for the hours I was able to work today, I can't get over how tired I am! I'm not tired as in I need to close my eyes right this very minute, but more like my body does not want to take one more step. At all. Anybody that works in nursing knows that there is MUCH walking to be done the entire shift, but silly me went and walked some more outside during my two 15 minute breaks. I felt the need to breathe some fresh non-germy air I guess. Bedtime can't come soon enough tonight.

Not much to report today...not even any funny stories to tell. I got home from work at 2:45pm and hubby left for work at 2:46pm. I made dinner, we went to tutoring, and now we're home. Boooooring! Actually, now that I think about it, an amazing thing did happen today. Eli spent ALL day playing outside, except for the handful on minutes he was online checking his Club Penguin account to see if any of his friends were playing. Wow. He road his bike. He rode his scooter. And he is outside playing BASKETBALL now! If you know this kid, you know that this is NOT normal behavior for him. His day usually consists of waking up, heading directly downstairs to play online or on his PS2, eating, playing online, eating, playing PS2, eating...and so on and so forth. I am liking Spring!

Sam is currently in a sugar-induced stupor watching SpongeBob Squarepants. I had to keep feeding him candy to keep him quiet at the library while Josh was being tutored. An hour is a long time to keep a two year old quiet, and I'm sure my continuous 'shuuushing' of him was more annoying to the others around me than the pirate noises he was making. Oh well. Live and learn.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Hanging Onto Sanity

The moment of optimism I had yesterday was pretty much squashed today. My thoughts are clouded with anger and dashed hopes once again. The day started bad, as is usual, and it never got much better, except for the couple of hours I got out of the house and went to a play with my mom and Gracie. It was then, that I got to catch my breath and let a little of my stress roll off. I won't even go into details about why the day was so bad, it just was. Thanks Mom, for rescuing me today, even though you didn't even know I needed rescuing.

I got called for work tomorrow, bright and early, so I am signing off to plop the kids in front of a movie and myself into bed. Besides, my hubby is being a complete boob, so I may as well just nod off and ignore him.


Saturday, March 29, 2008

I woke up next to Sam this morning. After he yawned, stretched, rubbed his little eyes and then finally opened them, he said to me in the most serious voice, " I want coffee". I chuckled at hearing my 2 year old say that, and with that he became increasingly serious and said it again. "I want coffee", but this time he said it more emphatically. Great, my son has become a coffee snob, just like his mother.

I didn't make any coffee, but it all turned out okay because Sam then moved on to showing me his "boobies". This kid is a crack up.

I drove my tired and hungry self to the lab this morning to have my insulin levels checked again. It's always a 12 hour fasting draw, so I was good and starving by the time I got there, because it had been 14 hours since I last ate. Oh the suffering... (with a huge drip of sarcasm) I think I have enough substance on my chubby self to last 24 hours, at least. I've not been all that careful about what I have been eating, so I won't be surprised if my results are less than great and I am once again teetering on the verge of full blown diabetes. Here's to hoping that God understands stress-eating and performs a miracle for me. Oh! Poor, poor puffy me.

One week of Spring break down, one week to go. It really hasn't been awful, but it could be better for sure. We've had some fun though--Nana took us all to see "Horton Hears A Who" yesterday and it was a great flick. Sam would not consent to sitting still however, so I walked back and forth with him at the bottom of the theater stairs. At one point though, I lost him completely! He had wandered to the front of the theater, to the floor right under the screen, and over to the other side....I didn't want to tick off the people in the front row by walking in front of them, so I went the other way reasoning that there really was no where for Sam to go. But, in the time it took me to do that, Sam was gone. My heart jumped into my throat and I started to panic. Just as I was about to run out of the theater to grab an usher by the shirttails and beg him to help me, I saw Sam meandering about near the exit door. When I saw him, I had conflicting emotions--I was intensely relieved and I was somewhat angry at the kid! Thankfully, he finally settled down and sat with me on the floor of the theater and we finished the movie.

I should be working right now, but I am not...another shift gone by with no call. I suppose it's time to find a job that's not per Diem...but what the heck, has none of the nursing staff at any facility succumbed to the flu and called in for a replacement?? Oy vey, it's just not my day.

On that so very optimistic note, I really think that I need to stop dwelling on the negative, as real as it is, and begin to look at things in a more positive light. I should focus on that which is good and that which is wonderful, no? I need a magical shift in thinking...grabbing on to each little moment and holding onto it with both hands close to my heart. I know that changing my 'stinking thinking' won't change my life into a gigantic beautiful Chocolate Covered Strawberry, but it would give me enough oomph to get up off my big-wallowing-in-self-pity-butt, and learn to enjoy life again.

All things considered, my life is pretty sweet.

I think that focusing more on the good that is my life would help me out tremendously. My children are fabulous people. I love them even though they drive me batty. A lot.

I love to watch my daughter stand in front of the mirror flouncing her beautiful blond hair back and forth--stopping every so often to re-apply her lipstick while singing songs about how pretty she is and how much she loves her mommy.

I love to listen to my smallest son have a story read to him by his biggest big brother, with a total look of joy on his face.

I adore hearing the belly laughs from the kids in the rare moments they are getting along.

See? So many things to be thankful for. So many things to be content with.

Carrying on....sorry for the sappiness. It was just for a moment :)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The 'Bad Mom Of The Year' Award Goes To...

Me! In all of my infinite wisdom, I thought it would be a great idea to schedule all 5 kids for their dental check-ups over Spring break. I reasoned that none of them would have to miss a second of school for it--good for them and great for me. Really though, the visit didn't go as bad as I had imagined it would. In the weeks prior to the appointment, I had visions of complete chaos and dental assistants running screaming from the room...thank GOD none of that happened. We had to sit in the waiting room for a good 40 minutes before actually getting started, but that was mostly because I had to fill out a stack of paperwork for each child. I'm sure I used up a dozen and a half trees just in doing that. While I scrawled redundant information on both the front and the back, the kids were happily entertained by the movie "Cheaper By The Dozen" playing on the huge flat-screen TV on the wall. Gracie did get mauled by another toddler, but she took it in stride and didn't fight back. (good girl!)

Anyway, the 'Bad Mother' Award goes to me because of the news we left the office with. We have more new cavities...not one or two, or even three or four, but THIRTEEN! And that number is just between TWO of the kids! Surprisingly, Eli (the one infamous for not brushing his teeth) had none, and Gracie and Sam both had none. Caleb and Josh didn't get out of there so easily....Caleb has 10 new cavities (albeit some were "very" small) and Josh has 3. So, lucky me, will be hauling them back next week for all of the work to be done. Josh has to have a 'mini-root canal' and a cap---I wish I had a Valium to take before that! Maybe the dentist will consent to giving me a little whiff of nitrous oxide too. I suppose brushing will have to be supervised a little tighter now, but like I said, the visit wasn't actually as nightmarish as I had imagined. Whew.

And, because I am SO BRILLIANT, I decided that the kids could wait a little while longer to eat lunch after their appointment, so I stopped off at cheap-o-cuts to get Eli's hair cut. (yes, I had to bribe the kid to get it done, but it worked, so whatevah!) We only had to wait about 10 minutes for Eli to be called, but in that time, Sam pooped his pants, Josh, Eli and Caleb spread haircut style books all over the floor and were fighting over them, Gracie escaped with Sam out the front door and they were running amok on the sidewalk, and then after being caught and returned inside, Sam knocked over an entire display of hair products sending about 5o bottles of various sizes crashing to the floor. When some lady asked me if they were "all mine", I almost said no.

By the time we left cheap-o-cuts, after I had painstakingly replaced each and every bottle in it's proper place, I was shaking from hunger, and the kids were whining--it was already almost 1:30pm. We headed downtown to a place where we knew we could get a free meal. Hubby was expecting us, and the restaurant was nearly empty, because by this time it was 2:00. I was so thankful that there were only 2 other people dining at that time, because my children were not on their best behavior. At all. They were all making noises of some sort...Gracie was whistling (loudly), Josh was kicking the leg of the chair next to him, Caleb was making weird trumpet noises, Sam was just whining because I would not let him tear open Splenda packets and pour them all over the table, Eli was complaining that his tea was not 'sweet'--even after he dumped in 4 packets of Splenda and 2 of regular sugar....and then came the food. Silence for a moment. But, only a moment. I had to separate Caleb and Josh and then catch Sam who was crawling under an entire row of tables, and then running on the row of benches connected to those tables. Sam managed to gag on a massive piece of dough he had shoved into his mouth before taking off on his run, and I had to dig it out of his mouth and then catch a handful of puke. In the whole scheme of things, the experience in the restaurant wasn't that bad...especially when you compare it to the block walk back to the parking garage. I won't go into details, but I will say that there were some pretty unhappy downtown drivers yesterday.

Our potty training adventure is still going strong, but we're dealing with many accidents, mostly from being too busy (or perhaps lazy) on my end. It may be a month or 2 process, but in the end, Sam will be in his underoos and not his sisters pink panties :)

We're heading off to the recycling center with a trunk load of aluminum cans today. I am hoping we get enough cash to treat ourselves to an ice cream cone at a little drive thru joint up the street.

Hopping off now to make lunch for my hungry crowd of kids. Quesadillas anyone?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Adventures In Potty Training

It all started with Sam stripping himself down to nothing. I made the comment to him that if he was going to keep taking his diaper off that he might as well start going on the potty like a 'big boy'. Well, that statement lit a fire under his rear and off he went. In the potty. That was days ago, and he is still clamoring to sit on the 'toywet'. Pretty darn cool. My freshly turned 2 year old is ready to join the big boys. Granted, I was not ready to be in the potty training mode again, but here it is, thrust upon me, so I might as well give it all I've got--as long as he is willing to give it all he's got! I'm thinking I should probably go and buy Sam some of his own underwear here shortly. He's been wearing Gracie's pink, frilly panties and that's probably not a good habit to instill. It's so much easier to just have the kid in a diaper, but potty training, here we come...

I've got a house full of kids again today. At last count there were 11 of them. Lucky for me, they are all outside playing 'baby baseball'. They are hitting a soccer ball with a plastic baseball bat and then running the bases. I'm not sure if they made it up or if it's a game I just don't know about, but it's keeping them occupied. Besides, I stuffed them all full of cookies they need to burn off anyway.

Day 2 of Spring break has been pretty good, but man, I am thinking that it's going to be a LONG one! I have given up on sweeping up the dirt each time they come blasting through the can wait until all the extra kids go home and mine settle down for the night, right?

I put in for a lot of hours at work today, so we'll see if I get them. I'm finding out that working per diem isn't always good. On the days that I can't work, they call me to work. And on the days I put in that I can work, they don't call me. Very frustrating.

I'm nursing a headache here with Motrin and Coke Zero...think I'll go and kick back while I pair up a basket full of socks. My new drier is getting plenty of good use :)

Tune in tomorrow...I am taking all 5 kids to the dentist. Now that should be fun!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Spring Has Sprung

It's official. Spring is here. And the kids have 'officially' been on Spring Break for almost a whole day now. I am also going 'officially' crazy! So far today, I have swept up 2 tons of dirt off the floor from the kids running in and out, went to Blockbuster for videos yet to be watched, stopped at the park, but had to leave within 3 minutes because sons were throwing dirt at each other and would not stop, yelled out the back door for the boys to stop throwing pizza pans at the windows (don't even bother to ask) , kissed 4 boo-boos, calmed down a kid covered in grass that had just been swung into the air by his brothers and then dropped onto his back knocking the wind out of him, I broke up a million arguments between my daughter and the neighbor girl, I made those two same girls scrub magic marker (red) off the kitchen table and chairs, made breakfast, lunch, dinner and many snacks....the list goes on and on. You'd think that I had 9 kids here today. Oh yeah, I DID have 9 kids here today! And yes, I know that the very long 'paragraph' above was the biggest run-on sentence in the history of run-on sentences. And I don't really care :)

I am once again a laundry slave, seeing as how I now have a new dryer. I very enthusiastically carried down 104 loads of laundry and I washed and dried them ALL! They are all folded and resting upon my bed waiting to be put away. At least I hope they are still on my bed. Since they are on my bed and not put in drawers or hung up, I am almost certain that I will have to pick them up off the floor, refold them and then put them away. It always happens that way. The kids (never sure which one) have a penchant for flinging the piles of clothes onto my bedroom floor. I'll bet they enjoy the reaction from me when I discover the explosion of t-shirts, jeans and underwear.

I'm's been a long day. Hubby has been at work since 5:30am and is not expected to come home until after 10pm. I think I'm gonna hit the sack and call it a day. G' night.

Friday, March 21, 2008

File This Under: It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time, But Really Wasn't

I was craving chocolate. A Cadbury Cream Egg to be specific. I wanted that chocolate bad. Bad enough to take ALL the kids to the big-box store after school to get one. I knew that by telling them I was going to the store, I would get complaint after complaint...they would just want to go home. So, I promised them all 'one' treat from the Easter aisle. No complaints were heard after saying that...just them whooping it up over the prospect of sugar coated gooey stuff.

Anyway, I should have known that it wasn't a good idea from the start, since the bickering, pushing and shoving began in the parking lot. Josh was twirling himself around totally oblivious to the cars around him. Gracie was whining. Sam was crying for his "ba-ba milk", and Eli and Caleb were throwing verbal daggers back and forth as usual. But, my severe PMS prevailed and blinded me from seeing or hearing any of it. I just wanted that chocolate and nothing was about to stand in my way. Thankfully, the gigantic Easter display was just inside the store, so we went right to it. To make a long story short, it ended up being a complete circus with my children starring as the clowns and acrobats, and me, as the maniacal Mom. I did get my chocolate, though it really wasn't worth the humiliating stares from the crowd that I swear gathered around just to watch us. Sometimes I think I have some form of Maternal Schizophrenia when it comes to my kids and all of the things I do for/with them...They drive me nuts AND I love them intensely. Nothing pulls at my maternal heartstrings more then them...even though sometimes I just want to wrap them in duct tape and head out for a drink.

Spring Break began at 12:01pm today. Two whole weeks my little angelic blessings will be hanging around bored out of their minds. I won't even go into how much I am looking forward to Spring "Break" :)

We dyed Easter eggs (counter tops and fingers too) with Nana today. The kids had a blast dipping their eggs over and over again. When they were (almost) dry, the eggs were then speckled with glitter and stickers. Half of the eggs have already been smashed by a certain toddler that was banging them together like rocks, so my house has that icky egg smell. Ew.

My dryer went out again this past Tuesday, so my laundry is pretty much piled to the ceiling. I am having a new dryer delivered tomorrow by my dear old Dad, bought with a loan from my dear ( I won't say old!) Mom. Thanks you guys!

Signing off to wrangle the kids for dinner.

Happy Easter!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things No One Told Me About Parenthood

1. It's hard!

2. It's never ending.

3. Whining can drive the most calm and collected mom out of her mind and to her knees to cave to their demands, just to stop the whining.

4. That the days and weeks fly by and you feel behind everyday.

5. That 'my' money will never actually be 'my' money again.

6. That I will never have any money anyway because it all goes out the window to the grocery store, the doctor, the shoe store and the dentist. Oh, and to the gas station so I can get to all of the prior named places.

7. That my house or car will never be clean again. At least not for longer than 2 1/2 minutes.

8. Kids get sick a lot. And they usually NEVER make it to the bathroom, but rather they prefer to get sick in their beds in the middle of the night.

9. That changing poopy diapers everyday for years on end will hardly make a mom bat an eye or even gag at the smell.

10. That a mom can be a serious multi-tasker and actually make toast, pour milk into bottles, sweep the floor, load the dishwasher, talk with bill collectors and help with spelling homework all at the same time.

11. That kids suck down chocolate milk much like a gas tank in an SUV sucks down gas.

12. That 'sleeping in' means sleeping past 6:05am.


13. That even though parenting is hard, never ending, draining and costly, you love your kids more than life itself and continue to want more!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Boys Wonderful Boys

Being a mom to many brings about some very interesting challenges. Being a mom to many boys just brings about pure chaos and noise. I'm not sure if I'm just becoming immune to the ruckus and what not, but I do know that I am finding myself able to let it all 'roll off' a little bit easier. Sure, there are days when the boys literally drive me bonkers with their constant rumbling, and there are days when have to peel myself off the ceiling after having to deal with yet another 'crisis'. (read: fight) But lately, instead of screaming at the kids to get off each other and stop pummeling one another, I just calmly tell them to "go get him"! They will fight it out for a while, and there is always howling and sometimes blood and bruises--but they survive. I have found it doesn't do any good for me to shout at them to stop. They can't hear me anyway.

Eli is gleefully on his fourth day with no shower. The doctor said he could shower after 3 days, but could not get water in his ear for a month. Eli is taking that to mean he shouldn't bathe or shower for that long. He did however, want to bathe with the dog last night. Thankfully I didn't let him, because just the amount of dirt that came off the dog alone was almost enough to clog the drain. He hasn't hit puberty yet so we don't have to deal with stinky armpits or anything, but since he has very thick long-ish hair, he's beginning to look like he's joined the Hair Club For Men. Even though I don't smell his pits, I do smell his head! He's also collected quite a bit of dirt on the areas of his skin where he had large amounts of medical tape holding his IV and monitors in place. His arm is sporting a dirt tattoo which I hear is so cool these days :) I think I will force him to bathe today. If I threaten to withhold food until he does, that will likely make it happen sooner.

Today was supposed to be my baking day, so I can load up the kids lunch boxes for the week, but I've been a little lazy. I actually started the process of getting ingredients out to make a batch of cookies and muffins, but realized I had no brown sugar. So, I had to drive alllllll the way to Safeway just to buy that. Since I was out anyway, I had to stop at Starbucks (which is lucky-for-me located just inside Safeway) for a grande, half-caff, non-fat, iced caramel macchiato with extra caramel. Yum!

I suppose I'd better get cracking on that baking,the laundry, and getting the kids outfits ready for the week. Tomorrow is picture day, so I want them to look at least a little presentable.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Freaky Friday

Okay, so it really hasn't been a freaky Friday, just a normal one. It's been one of those days. Repeat after me: I love being a mom. I love being a mom. I love being a mom.

Gracie woke up as Temper Tantrum Queen today. And it continued. All. Day.Long. I swear her fit throwing must be a complete shock to her system each and every time she does it. I don't know how she's gone this long without having a stroke or giving herself an aneurysm. She thrashes around like a loon on a steady diet of methamphetamines, screaming her little heart out. If I've not said it before, I'll say it now, I need a break. (don't worry Mom, I'm just venting)

Hubby and I have been on the outs all day. He has been in a cranky mood for days, even though he won't admit it. When I ask him what in the h#ll is wrong with him, I get a blank stare for a moment, then he denies anything being wrong. Uh huh. Yeah right. I think he must have his own version on PMS. I hate to say it, but thankfully, he's off to work now, so I can air out the house of all the staleness that has been in it today.

Eli is doing great, albeit a little pale. Ghostly pale at times. His pain level is increasing by what he's told me, and I can tell he's uncomfortable. He's been very quiet and has spent most of the day either sleeping or just laying around watching movies. No arguments. No whining. No fighting with anyone. He's not even raiding the pantry every 5 minutes. Maybe I should put a call into his doctor. It's been a while since he's been so pleasant for an extended time. ( I love it though!)

I came home from church last night to a pleasant surprise. As soon as I opened the door to the house, I could see that everything was sparkling clean. The dishes were done. The trash was taken out. The laundry was put away. JUST KIDDING! None of that happened, that's just my dream. Really though, when I walked through the door I heard the hum of the dryer. And it was not in the kitchen! It was in it's proper place behind the folding doors. And it worked. It was drying! My dear Dad came over last night to visit, and was roped into helping hubby figure out what was wrong with the dryer. Thankfully, my Dad works for ice cream and not cash. Thanks Dad!

I need to go and mop up all of the puddles of melted snow in the living room. Until next time...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

So Far, So Good...Drugs, Wonderful Drugs!

Yes, I know 'drugs' are bad. But there are some pretty darn good drugs too! The 72 hour patch that Eli has on his shoulder has been great for his is keeping the dizziness and nausea at bay--and it has made for a very happy kid :) Now, if only this sunny change in his disposition lasts... Considering he had a drill in his head yesterday, he's doing awesome.

Not much else going on, unless you count that my dryer is sitting in the kitchen. It is *still* not working--I was hoping it would magically start producing heat again. Nope. I'm sure I'll get used to going to the laundromat with baskets of wet clothes and dumping enormous amounts of quarters into the dryers, yes? I'm also sure that the dryer will sit in the kitchen for quite a while. (if you know my husband, you'll understand why) So, if you see me running about town in a wrinkled shirt and stiff jeans with damp socks, you'll know that I didn't make it to the laundromat to actually dry my clothes. And here's to hoping that the stomach-flu doesn't hit our house any time soon and leave me with (extra) mountains of laundry.

As I was searching the basement today for all of the library movies that are only 3 days late and I need to return before they charge me an arm and a leg, I came upon four decomposing apple cores--a couple of them only half eaten. I also found the rotten core of a pear. I need not even ask who the culprit was. I know. As a matter of fact, he's sitting here eating a nice, big, juicy apple right now. I won't name names, but I will say his name rhymes with Posh :) Amazing how the kid can't seem to find one of the 6 trash cans we have around the house.

It's been quite a cranky day today...I am annoyed with the dryer in my kitchen. I am annoyed by Gracie riding her princess tricycle in the house around and around the recliner. I am annoyed with all of the bickering between the little ones. I am even annoyed at being so annoyed! Maybe I just need a nap. Or a vacation. Or a stiff drink.

I'm going to sign off to wake up my husband who's asleep sitting up in the chair. (even though he'll deny it)

Thankfully, I get a break tonight. I'm going to my weekly bible study at church. I'll not only get the gift of gabbing with some girlfriends, but it's also sweet and salty potluck night. Score!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Well, It's Interesting!

Those are the words that Eli's surgeon spoke to me today when he called me from the OR to update me on why the surgery was taking so long. He then said that he'd be out soon to draw me a diagram and further explain what had happened. Evidently, what was thought to be something straightforward, turned out to not be so simple. Eli ended up having to have some bone removed and some reconstructive microsurgery as well.

Medical terms are weird, for sure--even for those of us that have taken medical terminology! Ossiculoplasty. Stapes immobilization. Tympanoplasty. None of these words meant anything to me before today, but now they have become very personal words. Here are some definitions:

Ossicles: the three smallest bones in the human body. The ossicles consist of the malleus, incus, and stapes (known also as the hammer, anvil, and stirrup, found in the middle ear. They are part of the system that amplifies sound vibrations that enter the middle ear.
Ossiculoplasty: an operation to repair or replace malformed or damaged ossicles.
Stapes: (also known as the stirrup is the stirrup–shaped small bone or ossicle in the middle ear which attaches the incus to the oval window which is next to the vestibule of the inner ear. It is the smallest bone in the human body.
Tympanoplasty: A surgical operation to correct damage to the middle ear and restore the integrity of bones of the middle ear and the ear drum. Tympano- comes from the Greek tympanon meaning drum. (this was done to fix the damage to the tympanic membrane--eardrum--from the ossiculoplasty itself)
Conductive hearing loss: a hearing loss that is caused by a problem in the outer or middle ear and causes problems with the conduction of sound to the inner ear.

So, there it is in a nutshell...Eli is doing great so far...he's doped up on pain meds and has a 72 hour medication patch on his shoulder to help prevent dizziness and nausea. His sutures look awful, but he's so numb that he doesn't feel them (yet!).

Signing off to give the kid another dose to dope him up some more :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A Bundle Of Nerves

Okay, so my anxiety has begun in earnest. Eli's surgery is tomorrow, and I can hardly think of anything else. I had a 'sit down' at the surgeon's office today, and now my mind keeps replaying all of what I was told...."chance of facial paralysis, permanent tinnitus, permanent hearing loss"...I am starting to wonder if I am making the right decision by going ahead with this surgery. Yes, chances are that things will go just fine--it's the what-if's that bother me. I need to just shake those worries off and trust, right? I know that the benefits outweigh the risks, so I am carrying on.

I am annoyed with my husband again. Yesterday, he worked from 5:30am to 7:30pm, he came home, then he continued to work on reports from 9:30pm to 2:30am...then (this is where I get *really* annoyed) he worked again (from home) from 8:30am to 1:30pm. Now, I'm not all that great at math, but even I know that is WAY too many hours to be putting in. I know I shouldn't be annoyed, but I am. I am annoyed that he has to put in hours at home when it's supposed to be his morning off. Maybe I'm being petty and selfish, but I like to spend a little time with him too. And it bugs me that because he's working so much, when he is home he's too darn tired to do anything. (except work!) We bickered back and forth a bit today when I said to him that I didn't understand why he couldn't get everything he needs to do for work done in a *normal* time frame--you know, like 10-12 hours. He retorted with a comment about me not being able to get everything done in one day either--things around the house,that is. I tumbled that around for a few hours and then told him that his statement was not quite fair. Parenting is not a job with a finite ending. It's a 24 hour a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year job. Managing a restaurant, however, is (or should be) a job with a finite ending. I mean, isn't that why he's not the only manager there? (he was quick to remind me that he is the only GM, however) Whatever...I am still annoyed.

I'm going to run and get dinner on the table as it's already almost 8pm. I also have to wash an entire drawer full of plastic plates and cups, because Josh spilled half a pitcher of orange juice into the drawer while pouring himself a drink. And to top it off, I think the dryer is on the fritz because it has been trying to dry a load of clothes for the last 2 and a half hours...and they are still just as wet as when I put them in. And I am doing this all alone, as yup, you guessed it, hubby is working :(

Be praying for Eli at 10:30am MST tomorrow!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Major Messies

Some days I feel like I may just get swallowed up by the mess that has become my house. Every room in the house has exploded with mess! Seriously, it's so bad right now that I literally can't concentrate. I try not to look around too much, because it's overwhelming. I spent quite a while cleaning the basement yesterday, yet today, it doesn't look like I put much of a dent in it. I'm pretty sure that my children turn into Tasmanian devils when I'm not looking, and they just whirl themselves around the house leaving a path of destruction. And I know that we have not just one, but at least 4 entities in the house called "Not Me". A "Not Me" is such a strange phenomenon to say the least...seems I can never catch it in the act....I only see the aftermath. Weird, huh?

I had a lengthy conversation with the assistant to the doctor that will be doing Eli's surgery this morning. He filled me in on the procedure itself, the risks, the aftercare...all of that typical stuff. I have to go into the office tomorrow to fill out paperwork and sign surgical releases--makes me nervous--I feel like I'm signing Eli's life away! Up until today, I wasn't too nervous or worried about the surgery, but I didn't really know what to expect either. Now that I know what's going to happen, I am a nervous wreck! I was told that Eli will need at least a week off of school and to expect him not to feel very well afterwards. He can't shower (this will please him!) or even blow his nose for several days after surgery. He may be dizzy for 24 hours to 2 weeks after. Sheesh...the poor kid doesn't know what he's getting himself into. When I asked the question as to when we might know if Eli's hearing has improved, I was told that it would take 3-6 weeks to know for sure, as his ear will be packed (on both sides of his eardrum) with surgical stuff and they won't know until all of that is absorbed or is removed. Oh heart sure is heavy knowing all of this. That being said, I was told that the risks of any negative outcome are very low and that all should go well. Somehow, that doesn't make me feel any better :(

On the bright side, Josh gets to skip tutoring tonight as his tutor is out sick, so at least we don't have to rush around like maniacs getting him there on time...and I can make a more elaborate dinner than frozen ravioli. And then there's the fact I don't have to listen to Josh complain about not wanting to sit in the library and read for a whole hour :)

Signing off to wake up Sam from his nap to go and get the kids from school...

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Sunny Sunday

Here it is Sunday again, already. Amazing how I find myself alone. Again. No, I'm not complaining, I'm basking! Roy took the kids (all except Sam) out on an "Adventure" of sorts. It's a beautifully sunny day for it! They are out exploring creek beds and old train much fun for a bunch of boys. I'm sure for Gracie it won't be as much fun, but she likes to tag along too. They'll all come home muddy from head to toe and be "starving", of course. So, I guess their adventures become my adventures the fact that I will be cleaning up after it all. But, at least for now, the house is quiet and calm.

We made the trip up north to visit Caleb's buddy, Garrett yesterday. He is recovering very nicely from the heart transplant surgery that he had just one week ago today. I think I heard Caleb actually breathe a sigh of relief when he saw Garrett living and whole, and still the same old kid! As soon as Caleb and I put on our masks and went into his room, Garrett immediately lifted up his hospital gown to show us the foot long incision down his chest. He looked at Caleb and said " Hey Caleb, are you gonna be sick"? Caleb shook his head no, and just said "Cool"! They hung out together and had lunch (Caleb ate WAY more than Garrett, who's stomach is still trying to wake up) and watched a bit of a movie on the flat screen TV in Garrett's room. It was amazing to see all that transpired in just a week...God's hand evident in the whole ordeal.

I am feeling a little woozy now after having spent over an hour cleaning the basement bathroom. This particular bathroom is occupied by two very blind children, that shall remain nameless. These children would have to be blind to not be able to see the toilet in which they are supposed to be peeing. Instead, these very blind children choose to pee somewhat near the toilet, but not quite in the toilet. So, I gloved up, armed with an arsenal of cleaning products and some dynamite, and went to it. I literally had to chisel away at the 1/2 inch thick grime covering every surface of the very small bathroom. I scrubbed and bleached everything, until I could see shine, not slime, again. I'd like to find out what causes such blindness in my children, and maybe get them some glasses or something.

I think I need to go outside and breathe some fresh air...signing off for now.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Finally Friday, I Think

These long weekends sure throw me off, especially when the 'weekend' begins in the middle of the week! It sure feels like a Sunday to me and because it feels like Sunday, I feel awfully behind. The laundry isn't done, I have not done our weekly shopping trip, the house isn't clean...oh wait, the house is never clean and the laundry is never fully done anyway. But, even with that, I still feel behind. The real weekend officially begins tomorrow, and I will be no less busy then.

After a full morning of taking Gracie to gymnastics and meeting a friend for lunch, Nana and I took the kids to see 'The Spiderwick Chronicles' this afternoon. Awesome movie--the kids all loved it, except Sam--he slept through 99% of it. But, I'm sure had he been awake, it would have captured his attention too. We all rolled out of the theater full of popcorn and all of the candy we smuggled in. Heck, I know it isn't right to go to Walgreens to buy movie size boxes of candy and sneak them into the theater in the diaper bag, but I don't think it's right that the theater charges $3.75 for a box of Milk-Duds either! Besides, everyone does it, right? (kidding!)

We are very much enjoying our new furniture that was delivered the other day. However, the couch already has been graffitted (is that even a word?) upon by a certain toddler wielding a black permanent marker. Ah well, it's a leather couch and it will come off, eventually. I'm just hoping that the new furniture does not come to the have the same fate as the old...I'll just say it wasn't pretty. Mixing a rambunctious, super-spirited 7 year old and a leatherman tool, isn't good for corderoy fabric. Enough said.

I'd best sign off to clean up the rainbow of Nerds candy that someone spilled all over the carpet before the dog tries to eat them, and I end up with an entirely different mess to clean up later. And I suppose I should feed the kids something more nutritious than popcorn and candy...

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Ready... Set... Four Day Weekend!

There's nothing quite like having a house full of kids. Especially when they are your kids and school is closed for 2 days, plus the weekend! Really though, it was nice to stay in bed past 6:00 this morning, and not have to rush around packing lunches, finding shoes and combing bedheads. And since I let the kids stay up as late as they wanted last night, they slept in too! In fact, three of them are still snoozing away and it's now 7:23am. Howabout that! I would have stayed in bed longer, but the smell of fresh brewed coffee wafted upstairs and pulled me out of bed to have a cup. (thanks hubby!)

Horrible, rotten, terrible, no good news from the dentist yesterday. I have a cracked tooth and am going to need a root canal and a porcelain crown. Fantastically though, I left the dentist's office with a prescription for not only an antibiotic, but with vicoden and valium as well. Oh happy day! (just kidding, I am not a junkie or anything, just easily excited and in a LOT of pain)
So, after the course of antibiotics, I'll be heading off to have all of that done, to the tune of $891.00--holy moly. Good thing is, I didn't have any cavities, but maybe I should go to the dentist more than once every 4 years, huh? I drag the kids to the dentist every six months, but somehow neglect to go myself.

Little Garrett is doing amazingly well. His mom sounded on cloud 9 yesterday...just so thankful that she still has her little boy. We're going to be making the trek to see him this Saturday--armed with a bag full of goodies.

Signing off...have to take Eli to the doctor before his big surgery next week.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Just Another Monday

I was awakened at 5:45 this morning by Caleb letting me know there was a 2 hour delay for the start of school. Really? You mean I get to stay all cozied up under the covers for another hour? Uh huh, yeah right. Not 15 minutes after receiving the news of the delay, I was summoned to prepare yet another 'ba-ba milk', by a very demanding and sleepy-eyed toddler. Oh well, at least I got to fantasize about spending the morning sleeping. Some day, when all of my children are grown and off on their own, I'll get to sleep in, right?

After a whirlwind of a morning, I got the kiddos all off to school and met my Mom at Costco. We talked a lot, chased Sam, drooled over the bags of chocolate dipped peanut butter pretzels... I love hanging out with my Mom. I only hope that Gracie likes to hang out with me when she is all grown up. She likes to hang out with me now, but she hasn't yet discovered all things embarrassing about me, I suppose. I don't think I'm that embarrassing, but I'm sure that time will come, sooner than I'd like to think. Such is the circle of life.

Josh started his twice a week reading tutoring tonight. He was all but thrilled with having to go to school all day, then come home just to turn around again to go and learn some more. When I asked him if he liked his tutor, he just looked at me like I was insanely nuts, and handed(threw)me a pile of cards with sight words on them. He pretty much flounced off after that, and I've not seen him since. My guess is he's hiding out for fear of having to do more. He'll be so pleased to know he still has some homework to do. <----insert big eye roll here---->

As for the little guy that I wrote about yesterday, he is doing amazingly well with his new heart. The hand of God was very apparent in his situation, and I am in awe of how big He is!

Signing off to carry a whiny, sleepy little girl up to her bed.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Sunday Silence

The hum of the furnace. The rattling of the windows because of the wind. The slow and steady breathing of my sleeping son. These are the only sounds I hear right now, and I am reveling in the sweet silence. Granted, up until an hour ago, our house was rumbling with 4 bickering, whining and fit throwing children...not able to agree on what movie to go and see. They are all out now seeing "Enchanted" at the local dollar theater. Since the baby was napping, I 'had' to stay home. Alone. (kinda) Yeah me!

It's these quiet times that I have to use to recharge my batteries, so to speak. One can't live in constant chaos and conflict and not suffer negative effects from it, believe me, I know. I am thankful for the silence that I am able to surround myself with for the time being.

Emotions have been running high here. Caleb's best friend is very ill and is now on the list to receive a donor heart. It will be his 2nd donor heart--he had his first transplant when he was an infant. After a long conversation with his mom last night, and hearing her pain and anguish, I am ashamed of my trivial and petty complaints about my children fighting and whining, like all kids do. Anther child's life is hanging in the balance and his parents don't know if they will have their child tomorrow.

So, for those of you that read my blog, (all 4 of you!) please pray for a sweet, precious 9 year old little boy named Garrett. Pray that he will get his new heart very soon, and that his life will be spared. Pray for his body to accept the new heart and that he can live a long and full life, bringing tremendous joy to his family that loves him so much.

It is hard to see the fear in my son's eyes...knowing that his best friend is so very ill. Caleb has such a tender heart and I see him fighting back tears when talking about his buddy. I fight back my own tears as well, as I can only imagine the emotions and fear going on in Garrett's family right now.

Anyway, please join me in lifting this little boy up in prayer...

UPDATE: Just got word that Garrett is in surgery RIGHT NOW getting his new heart. Praise God!