Monday, March 31, 2008

The Hole Weekend Sucked

Why do I look forward to weekends?

Why do I think for one moment that the weekend is going to be better than the week?

I woke up Saturday morning, at the usual week day time, with two diapers to change, three children to feed, and a huge sleep hangover daydreaming about a two hour nap in my future. Surely I could get a nap since my husband was home, it being the weekend and all. Never mind that I haven't had a weekend nap in three years or that my husband's idea of helping is to take one child outside with him giving me a "little break". I was going to get a nap so therefore I was happy. I even made chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast I was so giddy for that nap.

An hour later (yes, an hour later) the husband awoke and declared the air-conditioner not working and, since he is Super Fix-It Man, he would go up to the attic and take a look and have it working in no time. Whatever. Just be down quickly so I can get that nap.

I wasn't expecting the crash and the swearing that followed.

In my husband's quest for our air-conditioning answers, he took a wrong turn and put his leg through the ceiling.

**I totally thought of how the internets would want a picture of the huge, gaping hole in my ceiling, but when I showed up minutes later with camera in tow, the husband told me there was no way I would be posting that on my effing blog unless I wanted to be divorced within the week. I did stop a second to think that one over, but then decided you all are pretty smart, so imagine a huge, gaping hole in the ceiling here.**

So now I had a hole in my ceiling.

Nail polish on our walls, fabric marker on the boy's walls, ugly purple wallpaper in the bathroom, what's a hole in the ceiling? It's not like we ever have company here.

But apparently a hole in the ceiling is a very. big. deal. The husband who never swears was really making up for lost time up there. The boys were scared. The baby was crying. I was trying really, really hard not to laugh myself crying over my pancakes.

Of course, a hole in the ceiling needs repaired right away, so off to the the home improvement store the husband went leaving me with all three children which was seriously cutting into my nap time, but it was still early, my nap would come. And now it was hot. Very hot. And we had no air-conditioning. Crap.

Raise your hand if you know anything about drywall?

For those of you who don't, there's priming and sanding and patching and you do something the first day and then go over it again the next day and then do a little more the day after that until you can finally sand it and paint it and now my husband's little mistake is taking up most of Sunday and every. single. evening this week to completely fix. Yeah.

So, no. I never did get that nap.

And I still don't have any air-conditioning.

I hate weekends.

Friday, March 28, 2008

My Expert Parenting Advice


Sorry, I don't have any.

But,lots of you were wondering how Adam would stay on the naw-tee step long enough to pass out cold. And yes, we call it the naw-tee step just like Nanny Jo because we all heart Nanny Jo especially the big child who has actually written her a letter letting her know that he would marry her one day. We haven't heard back about that.

I can tell you that I have a degree in elementary education and child development and while everything I learned in college looked wonderful on paper, it doesn't work for everyone. It took me a lot of time and inner turmoil to realize that I wasn't the absolute worst parent in the world because my kid (i.e. Jacob) would not be disciplined in the "right" ways.

I'll get to Adam in a sec, I'm on my soap box here.

Since I spent seven long (and wonderful) years learning every technique known about dealing with children, I assumed I would be a kick-ass parent. I didn't think that one day I would seriously consider kicking my child's ass to make him behave. I graduated magna cum laude (yes I'm bragging) I knew IT ALL. I would shake my heads in disbelief at all the parents I saw struggling with their children in restaurants, church, and malls. I actually explained in great detail to a friend BK (before kids) how co-sleeping would prevent her daughter from gaining independence and, really, is yelling solving anything?

Uh, yeah. It all comes back to bite you in the ass.

As most of you know, Jacob has not been the easiest child to raise. He was, and sometimes still is, that child making a scene while you're trying to shop in peace. We've left half full grocery baskets, stacks of clothes on check-out counters, and still hot plates on the restaurant tables more times than I can count. I've watched the people around us shake their heads at us and have even had assholes helpful onlookers give us assvice well-meaning advice. WTH? I have degrees in this shit, why was I NOT Mother of the Year???

I have a point, I think.

Oh, Time-out didn't work for Jacob. Have you ever watched Super Nanny and seen those kids who keep running off the mat/step/seat/whatever and Jo keeps having the parent take them back over and over for hours on end? Yeah, that's what it was like at our house. That got old after a while. Jacob never did "get it" like the tv kids seem to do and after Adam arrived I had neither the patience nor the stamina to keep that up. I probably shouldn't write this, but about that time the husband put a lock on his bedroom door. Backward. I hated it. I kept feeling like if I were on some sort of Nanny Cam I'd be on Nancy Grace later that night. But I didn't need to worry about it long because four year old Jacob figured how to unlock it three days later. We even tried spanking complete with the old, "this hurts me more than it will hurt you" schtick, but it never phased him except for a time he thought it was a good thing to smack his brother when he told him he loved him so we stopped that too. Charts worked for a while, emptying his room of everything but the bed ala Dr. Phil worked for a while too, but we've never found anything that works consistently with him. At the moment, we have him on a detailed chart for behavior and chores and he must check everything off before he is allowed any sort technological stimulation (i.e. Game Boy, Computer, Television). Now that he's older, he'll do the naughty step, but sometimes seven minutes turns into twenty minutes with a little "I hate you, Mom" thrown in, but eventually he shuts his mouth and takes his punishment.

Which brings me to Adam.

Adam is our reward for all the hell Jacob put us through. Sure, he's really living the terrible threes with a huge bang at the moment and he scares me with all he's willing to put in his mouth or jump off, but for the most part, Adam is the child I studied about all those years in school. He is the time-out poster child. Usually just the mere mention of the naw-tee step will eliminate the undesired behavior (see, I can use the lingo). He did start sneaking off the step for a while, but we'd just pull the Nanny Jo and take him back without saying anything and start the ticking timer over. He hates to see the timer start over. Just like Jo had promised. He got it. He is that child who wants so desperately to please you. Is that classic middle child? I must read up on that.

And if you didn't already know, Jacob was diagnosed with ADD last year. We just recently started attending an ADHD support group and, WOW, all I can I say is finally. Finally someone else understands. Finally someone else knows we are doing all we can. Finally someone else knows what it's like to be stared at. Finally other parents aren't looking down at us as the worst. parents. ever.

So, sorry, no expert parenting advice. I dropped my dream of Mother of the Year years ago. Now I just do what I can to raise my kids as individuals and hope that they'll grow into competent, capable, happy adults without a desire to one day hunt me down and kill me.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Red Is Not My Color

First the lipstick, now....

Oh, come on, it's cute!

Adam asked me to paint his toenails last week after he noticed a lovely new hue on my own toes. "Pretty new toes, Mommy" he'll say when I change things up a bit. He can also spot new haircuts so I know he'll make a wonderful husband one day.

So I painted his toenails.

He wanted me to do his fingernails too, but I didn't know how well that would go over with the other Y chromosomes in my house, so I talked him out of it.

Or so I thought.

Always remember to lock up your nail polishes after use.

And that's just the wall. I didn't start snapping photos until after I scrubbed the tile floor. FYI: Remover works on tile, not the wall. Guess what we'll be doing this summer?

So, I sent him to the naw-tee step while I cleaned up the mess.

I guess it took me more than three minutes.

But he had pretty fingers and toes for church on Sunday.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Happy Easter!

Okay, so I'm a day late. Sue me.

We went to the lake for the holiday and I completely unplugged the entire time. No internet, no television (except for a little March Madness. Go Mountaineers!) (Oh, and Memphis. Yeah).

The kids all got fevers while we were there but that didn't keep them from going out and enjoying the beautiful weather. It did keep them up all night long and since the husband had to be up very early to fish every day guess who got night (and day) duty the entire time? I need a vacation to rest up from the vacation.

Oh, and the husband pretty much told the kids there was no Easter Bunny.

That was fun.

The man has a Mensa IQ but he can't keep from yelling, "Look hard for the eggs kids, Grandpa's a great egg hider." over and over even after the kids corrected him.

Apparently he doesn't "do" the Easter Bunny.

That would've been nice to know before we hid the eggs and put out baskets.

Or before we hyped Santa to them for the past seven years.

I'm not too heartbroken over the Easter Bunny, but I think my big kid is figuring out the fat red-suited man as well. He totally looked as though the wind had been knocked from him

Way to ruin two holidays in one breath, Dad.

Is it too early for therapy?

Thanks for the cool Star Wars figure Easter Bunny. Or Mom. Whoever.

At least Elizabeth wasn't phased.

What's an Easter Bunny??

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

11 Months

Elizabeth is 11 months old today!


I remember when Adam was 11 months old and it doesn't seem that long ago.

I sometimes catch myself telling people I just had a baby. Yeah, like, 11 months ago!

How can she be one short month away from being a year old?

I'm still getting used to having a girl in the house, it can't have been 11 months. Can it?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I Think I Birthed a Monkey With a Sweet Tooth

For the past two weeks, Elizabeth has been climbing the stairs. I turned around one morning, thought she was on the floor at my feet and found her a few minutes later upstairs playing contentedly on the bedroom floor.

I couldn't believe it. The boys were both walking before they mastered the stairs and they were well over a year old as well. It had to be a fluke, I thought, maybe Adam dragged her up there while I was busy blogging cleaning the house.

So I brought her downstairs, deposited her on the tile floor and continued to blog clean when she made a beeline right for the steps.

I thought I'd spot her in case she stumbled, but she didn't need me. She made it up those stairs in less than a minute like she'd been doing it all her life. Everytime she'd make it to the top, she'd stop and clap and laugh at herself. Adam and I spent an entire morning cheering her on. It was cute.

But now. Now it needs to stop.

It is no longer cute.

I am too old to keep huffing up the stairs to retrieve her a hundred times a day.

I keep finding her places she shouldn't be, like my closet in the leftover birthday party bags. You try prying an open pixie stick from that baby. Whoever said "It's as easy as taking candy from a baby" obviously had never done it.

Don't tell me to get a gate either, because she, like the boys, figured out how to knock it down in minutes and the husband won't go for the screw in ones. Something about boogering up the house too much, he'd never be able to patch it, and do we want to live here forever because we'll never sell the house with those holes in the wall. So I continue climbing and fetching while she claps and laughs and I realize she's only ten months old, what in the world is she going to be doing two months from now?

And she's not even walking yet.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I think my little leprechauns have been sipping some green beer today.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Behold the Bluebonnets

It's that time of year again folks.

Time for the annual pilgrimage to sacrifice your sanity among the Texas state flower.

If you're just tuning in, you should know that I attempt pictures in the bluebonnets every year. They don't always go so well. You can check out the ones from last year if you want a refresher course.

Some of my favorites from the Bluebonnet Tour 2008:

Why is it so hard to look at the fricking camera?

Or keep the props out of their mouths?

Hmmm, I'm not quite sure what's going on here.....

But I think I like it. Yeah, flowers!

Trying this again.....

And finally,

almost perfect

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Mr. Sandman, Please Come Babysit My Kids So I Can Catch a Nap

My daughter slept six straight hours last night!

I, on the other hand, did not.

Can you believe I was stricken, yes stricken, with insomnia!!

What kind of cruel joke was that??

Damn daylight savings. I am sure it was at fault in some way. It couldn't have been the entire bag of peanut butter eggs I ate in the tub last night. No.

I am dying today. I awoke before midnight and never fell back to sleep. I slept for a total of 41 minutes last night.

At one, I got up and surfed the internet and was disturbed to learn of this woman. I then spent thirty more minutes lying awake wondering how that was possible. Did she eat in there? What the hell was wrong with her? More importantly what the hell was wrong with her boyfriend? I wonder how she slept. If she could sleep, surely I could sleep.

At two, I watched half a tivoed episode of Men in Trees. Then I was reminded of Northern Exposure. Then I missed Northern Exposure. Then I got sad that it's been so many years since Northern Exposure was on and, man, I am so fricking old because I bet there are tons of people who haven't even heard of Northern Exposure. Damn.

At three, I attempted to fall asleep next to my slumbering, pink-pajamed goosey, when I remembered, holy crap batman!, I haven't begun planning her birthday yet, so I set about planning that in my mind. I can throw a hell of a party in my mind.

At four, I realized we have been here eight years, we still have no friends, and my goose has no baby friends, so we don't have anyone to invite to the awesome party. Damn. I want some friends.

At four fifteen I was wishing we lived in Alaska because apparently it's very easy to move in there and fit right in. It worked for Dr. Fleishman and Marin Frist, it could work for us too. I like snow.

At four thirty I ate a half pound of black pepper cashews and went back to bed.

At five I drank a ton of water to rid myself of the pepper taste.

At five ten I gave in and brushed my teeth surprising the husband who had just awakened for the day. I told him my plan to move to Alaska. He didn't seem very enthused about it. Something to do with the lack of employment opportunities for him yada, yada, ya.

At five fifteen I secretly hated the husband for sleeping all night long. And for leaving the extra bed for me to make. again.

At six Elizabeth screamed her breakfast order.....milk. again.

At six fifteen I gave up and watched Degrassi on tivo. Sssshh. Don't tell anyone.

Day-um, I need some sleep.

Maybe I'll drop the kids off at a friends so I can nap.

Oh yeah, we don't have any friends. Stupid Texas.

I bet my Alaskan neighbors would watch my kids.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Pretty in Pink

Now, don't hate me because my daughter is beautiful.

Or because she's wearing an Amie original made especially for her!

Easter dresses are big deals where I'm from so I am thrilled Elizabeth has a special dress for her very first one.

Amie sewed Elizabeth's first Easter dress and it is absolutely gorgeous. I was going to wait until Easter Sunday to dress her in it, but I couldn't wait. I just had to see it on her and I wanted Amie to see how nicely it fits!

Of course the mini-light saber is the perfect accessory

And according to Adam, the pretty dress came with a pretty hat.

Thanks Amie! It's perfect.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Our Sweet Princess


Small brother proved to be a worthy opponent but my powers were too much for him.

The grocery cart is mine! All mine!

All hail the new ruler of the kingdom!

Thursday, March 06, 2008


I can't believe seven years have passed....

Seven years have passed since I first met Jacob.

I never imagined my first pictures of my first child would be like this. When I look at this picture I'm taken right back to that moment. I'm still sitting there half numb and loopy in that wheelchair trying to convince myself that, yes, that's my baby. My baby whose birthday would be March 4 like my bracelet stated instead of April 26 like we had expected. I touched my belly a lot that day because I could not believe he wasn't there anymore. March 4, 2001 did not turn out as we had planned. We did not take the dog to the park to enjoy the nice weather. We did not go to the movie we wanted to see. We did not sleep late or wake up in our own bed. Instead, we spent the day in a whirlwind of brain scans, oxygen levels, heart rates, and feeding tubes.

We were lucky.

For a thirty-two weeker he did surprisingly well, but it was still so hard to leave him there night after night. It seemed like forever he was in that NICU but it was only three weeks. Three very long weeks. Sometimes those three weeks seem longer than the seven years he's been home with us. How did the time go by so quickly?

I can't believe that four pound baby is now a fifty four pound boy.

Golly. I can't believe how much I've aged in seven years. These kids are killing me, man. Ouch. Wasn't I just seven?

Last night I watched a show with an eight year old girl and thought, "Oh wow, what a big kid." and then I realized I also have a big kid. I am forever thinking of him as a four year old. I mean, I know he's not four, but it's almost like time stopped at four for me and he is forever that little in my mind. Yeah, I might have a little crazy going on, but I still think of myself as having little children. When did he get big?

But I officially have a big kid now. Seven year olds do not like Thomas or watch Noggin or play Leapster TV. Seven year olds watch Boomerang and play Game Boy and write four page cursive book reports. They do karate and play soccer and eat sushi instead of chicken nuggets. They take the garbage out and wash the cars and take baby sisters on horsey rides on the carpet. They are opinionated but can be easily swayed with a little love or a little dessert.

Seven. It's the new ten. Heaven help me.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

I Have Seen It All....

The kids and I were out front for a little bit this afternoon, just hanging out and enjoying the weather when a gaggle of pre-teen girls ran up into the cul-de-sac and started playing with the three year old in her Barbie jeep across the street.

Aw, how sweet. The big girls are being nice to little one. Maybe I was wrong about them. Maybe they aren't the rudest children on the planet. Maybe they weren't spawned from Satan after all.

And then the trashy girls left the baby in the dust and drove off in her pink jeep at one mile per hour with their knees to their chins while smoking their cigarettes.

Yes. Smoking cigarettes. On the Barbie jeep. After they got off the bus from being at FIFTH GRADE all day.

I wonder if the Barbie jeep has an ashtray because I know the Hot Wheels one doesn't.

Monday, March 03, 2008

I Think The Force Was With Me

A little birthday party etiquette in case you're confused:

1. The RSVP function on a party invitation is meant to be used BEFORE the party and by BEFORE the party, I mean not fifteen minutes before.

2. If you are going to RSVP, please do it AFTER 7:00 a.m.

3. RSVPing by leaving a message during the party doesn't count.

Seriously. I think I am going to offer seminars on the proper way to handle children's social functions. What happened to plain old common sense?

But other than that, the party was swell.

Most of the kids from Jacob's kindergarten class last year were there. No one, aside from the half-day three, from his current first grade class was there. I wasn't really surprised about that, but I was still a bit pissed off about it. In the end, though, I was glad they didn't come because it was like a little kindergarten reunion and no one had to pretend to like anyone. Plus, the snooty Mamas wouldn't have known what to do with all those masks I printed out....

or the huge bouncy slide....

Who remembers at the beginning of the year when I said I didn't like Jacob's teacher? I take it all back. Jacob's teacher came to his party. He invited her, she showed up, he was thrilled, and we were impressed. Never in my life did any of my teachers go to any of my birthday parties. Never in my teacher life did I ever attend a student's party. That lady is awesome. She should be paid more.

Of course, since I was the one hosting the party, you know it didn't go completely as planned.

When we go to the park two hours prior to the party, the pavillion I had rented, the pavillion I paid money for, was being occupied by a huge group of people with matching shirts, something about The Lowell Family Reunion 2008. No tables, no grill, no parking spaces. When I casually mentioned to one of the mean ass nice ladies that we were having a party there later that day, she laughed at me and hoisted her huge ass on top of the table I was trying to cover. Oh. Dear. Gawd. My little white receipt indicating payment and reservation meant nothing to her. Crap, crap, crappity, crap, crap. Rules, schmules, she paid taxes, in Louisiana according to her license plate, but still, she paid taxes she had every right to congregate at that public park. She easily outweighed me by 200 pounds, there was no way I could fight her for that shelter. I was about to cry, yes really, when Joe the park attendent pulled his little green golf cart right up and shooed everyone of those Lowells away from our party like a herd of cattle. He even made them move their cars. I heart Joe the Park Guy. He also should be paid more.

Dear Lowells,
Next year reserve your party spot before printing location specific tee shirts. And maybe get your own bouncy slide too.

Of course, it wouldn't be a party without cake am I right?

Look at those sweet kids just waiting for a slice of tasty, sugary goodness. Aren't they cute?

Too damn bad Jacob's Mama forgot to bring forks. Or spoons. Or even knives for goodness sake. Somehow I think snooty Mamas would have been appalled at the sight of fifteen little piggies eating their cake trough-like. Good thing they didn't show up, huh?

But aside from that, it was a good day. Jacob was happy, I only had five goody bags left over, we'll only be eating hot dogs for a half a week, and Mommy didn't get beat up. Score.

That face, Man what I go through for that face.