This is me...

This is me...
I'm having a mom moment....

Friday, May 27, 2011

TGIF! What? Oh Right, My Work Week NEVER Ends....

I was going to write a post about how great it was that it was Friday.  Woo-hoo!  Weekend!  Then I remembered that my job is to be a stay at home mom and that doesn't end Friday at 5:00.  It. Never. Ends.  Especially when your husband is working his 3rd Saturday in a row (on 2nd shift, still) and your kids are as rowdy as mine and your house is as messy as mine... You guys get it, you all read my posts.  But there has to be something good about the weekends, right? 

So here are the few things I have to look forward to on the weekends:

1)     I don't have to get up at 6:30 (or whatever, depending on me and the snooze button) to get kids ready for school. At least not on Saturday.  Sunday, when we try to go to church will be a different story.

2)     I don't have to threaten beatings to get them to go to bed on school nights.  Again, at least not Friday night.  Saturday is the night before church on Sunday and Sunday night IS a school night.

3)     Husband is usually here at least one day and can help take up the slack....that would be MY slack, by the way, as I am way overdue for a spa-day and my general apathy level is currently too high.

4)     ..........Um............yeah, I got nothing.

Wow.  Three reasons to look forward to the weekend.  Just three?  No wonder I'm a total nut-case.
Especially after this week when I have found myself having to repeat "I WANTED kids.  I DO love my children."  over and over in my head. 

So for all of you nine to fivers out there, cheers.  Enjoy your weekend.  It'll just be the same ol' same ol' here at Casa Caballero.  While you are relaxing by the pool, going on family outings, hanging out with your friends, etc. I will be scraping dried food off of my dining table, cleaning piss off of the bathroom floor, doing copious amounts of dishes and laundry and trying to discover the source of that smell while refereeing fights about, well, everything.  Just. Like. Every. Other. Day.

Oh, and don't forget to vote.  You're already here, just click on that brown button on the right hand side.  Thanks!  :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Doormat, Party of One.....

I am totally taking a chance today by blogging about something that has me pissed off on the hopes that those involved won't read it.  I have a couple of friends who have me feeling a little....used.  I love all of my friends, I really do, and I will continue to try to help them out whenever I can, but I need to rant.  (Oh, and you guys need to vote -- go ahead and click on that brown button over there on the right hand side of the page.)

I am a stay-at-home-mom.  I stay at home because I want to, because my husband works a job he hates with crappy hours so that we can afford for me to, and because I would spend more on childcare working outside the home than I would make.  I don't mind helping out my working mom friends -- I really don't, but when I feel taken advantage of, or just down right used, it pisses me off.  I have a friend who is nursing school.  She has one kid, who happens to be my oldest's best friend.  The kid is really a sweet kid, but he is LOUD.  He walks loud, talks loud, and is just loud.  I normally don't mind, I mean I've got 4 kids so noise doesn't generally bother me.  Well, this week, my friend has clinicals and has to be at the hospital at 6:30am and her husband is out of town.  She doesn't have any family nearby, so she asked if I could help.  Because she would have had to drop him off a my house at about 5:00am, I told her to just have him spend the night.  Big. Huge. Mistake. 

The first night that he was to spend the night, we had tornado warnings and bad storms, so before he came over (around 10pm because I told her to wait for the weather to calm down), my kids, my dog, and I had been huddled in the closet under the stairs several different times.  Because of the weather, I couldn't have the kids sleeping upstairs, so I had both boys on the couch in the den.  I sat in there with them for over an hour -- until 11:30.  When I went to go and try to o to bed, the boys started goofing off.  It was close to 1:00 before they finally went to sleep.  I was pissed at them and I let them know it.  I got the boys and Bella up for school the next morning and got them ready for school, but I did not have it in me to get the 2 littlest minions up and dressed so that both me and dad could go to Bella's awards ceremony and field day, so dad went alone and I stayed home.  When I picked them up from school, I reiterated that this staying up all night thing had me in a foul mood, was not appreciated and would NOT be tolerated again.  He had to stay with us that afternoon too until about 6:00 when his mom got done and picked him up.  I asked her to have a talk with him about going to bed when told and let her know that I was completely wiped out.  She brought him back around 9:00 (even though I had asked her to have him there by 8:30 since that is normal bedtime in my house) and in front of her, I told him and my kids that it was bedtime.  Period.  No talking, no getting up, no giggling -- just go to sleep, or I wasn't going to let him spend the night for fun anymore (like on the weekends).  She just stood there.  She did not back me up at all.  Well, guess what happened?  Yep, it was after midnight AGAIN last night before they fell asleep.  I asked nicely.  I raised my voice.  I seperated them (but they kept sneaking back together) and then I out and out YELLED at them.  I put William on restriction from everything except eating and using the bathroom, but I couldn't do anything to her kid.  So, in a repeat of yesterday, I got the 3 oldest up and ready for school and dad went to William's field day while I stayed home with the 2 littlest minions.  I texted her and let her know that they were up late, again, and that I had to miss field day, again, and she texted back what could only be described as a reprimand for "letting" her kid stay up too late and saying that he would be exhausted on at school today.  I am thankful that she texted and didn't call, because after 2 consecutive nights with less than 6 hours of sleep, and dealing with her loud kid, I could not be sure of what I might have said to her. As it turns out, I didn't reply to her text, I decided to blog about it so that all of you can back me up.  I will have him here this afternoon until about 6:00 as well and I will do my best not to take my anger out on him. 

This is not the first time that I have felt wronged by trying to help someone else out.  Another mom and I trade off picking up our kids from school -- I do Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and she does Tuesday and Thursday.  She works, and is not home when we get home from school on my pick-up days.  Sometimes her kid is at my house 10 minutes before she gets there, other times its an hour or more.  I agreed to pick up, not babysit every other day.  A few weeks ago, I got a text from one of my daughter's friend's mom -- I have never met this woman and did not know who she was.  The text said basically "I'm sending so-and-so's car tag home with Bella for Friday."  I was like "What the what?!"  So I texted her back and said "Who is this? And what's Friday?"  The text I got back was "I'm so-and-so's mom.  I have to work late on Friday and [friend I carpool with] said you wouldn't mind picking up so-and-so for me Friday and watching her until I could get there around 6:00."  Now, maybe its just me, but I wouldn't ever presume that another mom with 4 kids who is already stuck watching my kid wouldn't have a problem picking up yet another kid that she doesn't even know and watching her too.  I also would NEVER send my kid home with someone I've never met.  Granted, when I asked my friend about this, she told me that she had planned on the little girl coming home with her when she got back from work, and that she had forgotten to mention it to me, but still.  When did I become the neighborhood daycare center?  "Oh, Ginger already has 4 kids.  A few more won't make any difference."  Wrong.  I had my tubes tied after number 4 because I was afraid that I might go homicidal if I had a number 5 or a 6.  (I hope that she doesn't read this post either because I love her to pieces and have not told her how much this annoys me sometimes because I get that she works, but still...)

Look, I NEVER have childcare, so I get it.  That is why I try to help people out in this area specifically, but really???  I am stuck in my house with the kids 5 or 6 days a week, 24 hours a day.  No one ever offers to take on my FOUR kids, offers to pay me when I watch their kids (or if they do offer, they never actually do it), or reciprocates in anyway other than the occasional "thanks."  My husband is gone to work from about 1 in the afternoon until about 1 in the morning, so I handle most parenting on my own.  I am half nuts most of the time because I need a freakin' break from my own kids and when I agree to watch yours I'd like a little more than a "thanks" tossed over your shoulder as you walk away.  I cannot actually ask the ones that I help to thank me (I am pathetic enough without saying "Hey, could you validate my feeling that I've done you a huge favor by professing your never-ending thanks?")  So I will just say to all of you who are reading: if you have a person in your life who continues to step up for you, get them a gift basket.  Send them flowers.  Buy them a bottle of their favorite wine.  Keep their kids so they can get out for a bit.  Write them a sonnet.  Name a star after them.  Do something that they would love and appreciate to acknowledges the fact that your life would malfunction in a major way if they weren't there to help you out.  It's the right thing to do.  And now that I've gotten all of that off of my chest, I will go back to being the doormat that everyone drops their kids of on.....

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I overslept again this morning.  I have my alarm set for 6:30 so that I can hit snooze a few times before I have to get up.  This morning I apparently hit snooze a few too many times as I woke up at 7:30.  Whenever that happens, I am amazed by how quickly my kids CAN move.  Most days, they are half sleep-walking to get ready for school, but when I go into full-on Howler Monkey Mode, freaking out about how late we are and that we have about 15 minutes to get up, dress, eat, brush teeth and hair, find shoes, homework, backpacks, etc. they move like Kenyan sprinters.  Today as I was racing through the neighborhood to get them to school on time, looking very much like that image of Cruella DeVil from 101 Dalmatians, I commented that if they would move like that every day we'd never be late.  Bella shrugged and said "Well maybe you should get up on time, but tell us we're really late.  We never look at the clock anyway."  This would have been a great idea in August, but now there are exactly 6 days of school left.

I have not been myself lately.  I used to oversleep a few times a month and lately it a few times a week.  Yesterday Jackson asked for a bedtime story and I couldn't come up with anything.  I tried.  He just looked at me and wrinkled up his forehead and said "That not a vewy good stowey Momma."  So I let him tell me a story.  His story was awesome.  It had dinosaurs, pirates, ghosts and giants.  I am in a funk. I have zero motivation to do anything beyond make a few phone calls for the tornado donation drive and once I do a few of those, I feel like I'm done. I feel just sort of....blah.

Today was supposed to be my first day back to the gym since....4 weeks ago?  Crap.  No wonder the waistband on my jeans was hugging me a little too close the other day.  Honestly, I do not understand how scientists haven't come up with a way to trick our bodies into thinking that we exercise and eat right without us actually having to do this.  I usually try to eat a fairly balanced diet, go to the gym a few times a week, and limit the extra crap (like Coke and Rolos) to an occasional treat, but since my birthday, I have consumed more sugar and carbs than I usually do in 6 months.  And now, much like an alcoholic trying to get back on the wagon, my body is craving more sugary goodness.  It just seems to me that scientists need to get to work on developing zero calorie foods that actually taste good and a medication that will fool my body into thinking I just spent 2 hours at the gym while I took a nap.  While they're at it, I wish they'd develop a dryer that would fold the clothes for me, a carpet that never needs vacuuming, and a self cleaning bathroom.  Anyway, between blogging, Facebooking, collecting donations for tornado victims, and playing referee to the 4 minions, I doubt that I will make it to the gym today.  Why can't eating chocolate burn a thousand calories?  Or typing?  Or yelling?  Or procrastination? (Which is what I am doing now by writing this blog instead of getting up and cleaning something). 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

My House Looks Like The Apocolypse Happened

So the rapture was supposed to be yesterday -- at least according to some fringe christian nut in California, who also predicted that the world would end in 1994.  Big shock:  he was wrong (again).  I'm glad to know that I don't have to deal with the zombies today because I don't think I have it in me.  My house looks like the apocalypse actually happened though -- what with piles of clothes on the floor, half-eaten food on the table, and toys lying in the floor as if their owners were whisked away into the clouds, but this has unfortunately become the norm over the past month.  Ironically, this is the first day in awhile that I DON'T feel like a total zombie.  The flu symptoms are waning somewhat.  I even folded laundry yesterday -- 4 hampers of it -- which is good because the piles of DIRTY laundry were getting difficult to manage so I needed the hampers to separate it.  I wonder if I am the only one who prioritizes laundry based on its difficulty to fold and put away.  Today I am washing towels and washcloths because I can fold and put them away pretty quick.  I generally do whites last because I loathe folding socks, and with 6 people in the house there are a LOT of freakin' socks. 

Last night I asked the 7 year old to help me out by cleaning their bathroom.  I had tried earlier to clean it myself, but I ended up getting sick and dizzy so I stopped.  She actually did it and did a pretty decent job.  I told her that she could have that chore from now on and she was thrilled -- we'll see how long that lasts, but for now, I do not have to clean their bathroom anymore.  I do have to make sure that there are copious amounts of Clorox Clean-Up Wipes though because she uses WAY too many. But honestly, if I don't have to clean up the neon pink and blue toothpaste off of the counter or wipe up after the 2 year-old's horrible aim I figure that it is worth it. 

I made myself go to the store yesterday because we were completely out of the basics -- milk, bread, and Pop-Tarts.  It about killed me.  I was so shaky and weak by the time I got home I had to take a nap.  But I restocked the basics and even bought some vegetables and fruits and such.  So I'm even cooking today.  I 'm making pot-roast for dinner and I made homemade chicken noodle soup for lunch.  Unfortunately, all of this effort will only be good for MAYBE 3 meals and at least one of my kids will turn up their nose and refuse to eat it.  If it were up to them they'd live on Pop Tarts and Capri-Sun.  They do love fresh fruit though, which is good even if it means that I am constantly finding half eaten apples and orange and banana peels everywhere.  Those annoying little fruit flies are always in my house and my kids give them names like "Gnatty" and "Buggy."  Sometimes I wish my life was like the old days when I was a kid and the only thing I had to worry about was the monster under my bed or which color I wanted to draw a picture and not worry about where "that" smell is coming from. 

I am used to clutter.  I have 4 kids under 10 in about a 2,000 square foot house, so clutter is kind of a given.  But over the past month, my house has passed the "cluttered" stage and is quickly approaching "nasty."  I am having an inner struggle between doing what is right for my health and what is right for my house -- not that the 2 are mutually exclusive.   I would like to say that it wasn't bad before all of the chaos started, but that would be a lie.  It needed a good cleaning 4 weeks ago -- before my birthday and the tornadoes and everything else that has happened since.  It's not like I haven't done ANYTHING in all that time, it's just that I have only done the bare minimum.  I have employed the Swiffer, the Clorox Wipes, the dishwasher, washer and dryer, and of course the Lysol.  I just wish that the cleaning fairies would come to my house while I sip on Ginger Ale and nibble saltines and lay in my bed and watch the Harry Potter marathon on ABC Family, but I don't think it's going to happen. 

As soon as I feel better I plan on having a post-apocalypses house cleaning.  I will sweep, I will use an actual mop and bucket, I will vacuum, and I will scrub toilets and sinks.  I will fold and put away clothes, I will wash dishes, and I will throw away the 112 kids' meal toys that have accumulated during the month off from cooking proper meals.  I will have a general de-cluttering of the closets and toy bins to try and cut down on the number of things I could possibly have to pick up in a day.  Luckily, that is not today because I'm still not even back up to 70% and I'm really not in the mood.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Jackson -- Evil Little Genius

I'm afraid my almost 3 year old, Jackson, is going to grow up to be a criminal mastermind.  He is the youngest of my 4 kids, but he is far more advanced in his resourcefulness than the others were at nearly twice his age.  He doesn't just pitch a fit when I tell him "No" about something, he will ignore me and figure out a way to get whatever I told him he couldn't have.  He will walk away, slyly, with a devious look over his shoulder and go off to some corner of the house to plan out his next move.  Marvel needs to call me.  They could start a comic series on him now and it could go on for years.

Up until a few months ago, his crib was still a crib and not a Toddler bed.  This was completely for my benefit because he will refuse to go to sleep at night and still wake up at the butt-crack of dawn every morning, so I wanted him in his crib to contain him.  I woke up one morning and he wasn't in his crib.  After a momentary panic attack, I found him butt naked in the den asleep on the couch.  I had no idea how he had gotten out.  This happened a few more times before I caught him.  He was taking his pillow and throwing it over the side of the crib, scaling the side of the crib like a little Spiderman, and jumping onto the pillow.  I stood there peaking through the door at him as he then picked up his pillow and climbed up the outside of the crib enough to throw the pillow back in the bed -- hiding the evidence.  We converted his bed the next weekend. 

He wanted gum the other day and I told him no because he hadn't eaten his lunch yet and because although he does chew the gum, he also swallows it like its candy.  He waited until I went to the bathroom.  He brought the "Leapfrog Learning Table" into the dining area where my purse hangs high on a hook on the back of the coat closet, positioned it carefully under my purse, climbed up on it and rooted around in my purse until he found the pack of gum and proceeded to eat the entire about 5 minutes.  He disposed of the wrappers, but left the table in its position and the empty pack in my purse, so I knew what had happened.

Last night, we had Manacotti for supper (no, I didn't "make" it -- I opened the box and microwaved it) and he didn't want it.  He wanted a Pop-Tart.  I told him that if he ate all of his dinner, he could have a Pop-Tart for dessert.  Nope, not good enough.  While I was blissfully typing away on the computer, he walks over nibbling on a Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Pop-Tart.  He cannot reach the cabinet.  I looked and none of the dining chairs had been moved -- I wasn't surprised because those chairs make a lot of noise he moves them.  So how had he done it?  The Leapfrog table was still in the den.  As I entered the kitchen, I saw that he had carefully taken one of the bins that we store toys in, emptied it, flipped it over and stacked a phone book on top of it so that he could reach the Pop-Tart cabinet.  I didn't even know we still HAD a phone book.  Quiet.  Efficient.  Genius.

He is bad enough on his own, but when he teams up with his partner in crime, Lorelei, they are almost dangerous.  I am sure that you have all read the post about when they flooded the bathroom by filling the sink with random crap and leaving the water on.  That sort of thing is becoming more and more common, but about a week ago they REALLY went above and beyond with their whole dynamic duo routine.  I have to go with my dog outside because the house we rent has holes in the fence.  Our dog loves us, but every dog will try to get out of the yard if given the chance and he can't always find his way back in -- he's not as crafty as Jackson.  I took the dog out in the back yard to do his business.  I had just told the 2 littlest minions that hey couldn't have a Capri-Sun right now because they still had milk from breakfast to drink.  I was standing outside when I heard a "click" behind me.  They had locked the door.  I watched through the backdoor window as they worked swiftly to open the fridge, get the Capri-Sun as well as some cheese and a tub of butter and sit on the floor in plain view and have a little defiant picnic.  I was banging on the window and yelling for them to open the door and they just grinned and waved at me while they gorged themselves on cheese dipped in butter and Capri-Sun.  I had to struggle to keep on my "angry face" because even as it was happening I was ammused by their cleverness and their cojones, for that matter.  I ended up having to call Gary and waking him up to let me back in the house.  They stared up at us all puppy-dog-eyed as we told them how dangerous and wrong what they did was.  Then I swear they cut their eyes at one another, said "Sorry" in unison and then walked off and gave each other a high-five as they rounded the corner.

If they are like this at this age, I am going to have to really up my game before they hit puberty.  Don't get me wrong, I was pretty resourceful in my own right as a teenager and I rarely got caught.  But they are a whole other level of crafty.  I have no idea the stunts they might be capable of if they continue in this manner.  I expect calls from irate mall security guards about them skateboarding inside or running up the down escalator or doing parkour between the mall levels causing mayhem and chaos for shoppers and employees.  My oldest is a rule follower (sort long as the rule isn't about cleaning up or putting things away) and my second child is a pleaser -- she wants so badly to be "the good child" -- so these 2 littlest ones are a total departure from what I am used to.  They have all pulled their stunts, but for the most part the 2 youngest are far and beyond what William and Bella were like on their worst days.  Lorelei is not bad on her own, but when she teams up with her little brother, watch out.  Lorelei can feign regret a lot better than her brother and she will often try to "fix" whatever she did wrong.  But Jackson.....Jackson is going to be the one to push me over the edge.  And it's very difficult to stay mad at him because he is so stinkin' cute, and as a former secret deviant, I admire his early development of some of these skills.  But he scares me.  I just hope that he continues to hone his escape skills and evasion tactics so I don't have to spend his college fund on lawyers to keep him out of jail.  Maybe he'll use his skills for good -- he could be the next MacGyver or Ethan Hunt or James Bond instead of the next Lex Luther.....

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ok Readers, Sick Her

So I have the flu.  It sucks, in case you weren't already aware.  I am coming off one hell of a month -- tornadoes, illness, and family tragedy -- and the LAST thing I needed when I checked my email (which was generally full of heartfelt condolences about the aforementioned issues) was an email from someone who either never made it past 8th grade or is still in 8th grade basically attacking me for "not being funny since my birthday."  You, have released the snarky bitch that dwells just under the surface and eagerly awaits morons like you to inject your idiocy into my life so that I can "go-off" on you.  Prepare to be snarked about, I hope that you are amused by your public humiliation.

This is the email I received from "Tara" whose email is (get this)

WTH is up with U lately?  All of UR posts have been BS!  1st you totlly blew it off at the end of the month, and then agter UR birthday all Uv posted is doom & gloom.  U atvertize yourself as a humor blog, but you aint been funny since b4 UR birthday.  I get that UR concerned about UR state but DAMN GIRL!!  You need to blow off a litle steem by writing some funny shit for me to read!  Lolololololol!!!  Couln't U talk about the storms & be funny about it?  People would rather read Ur funny stuff."

O.M.G.  I so want to slap this person.  I don't know if you all realize this, but this is MY blog.  I will write about whatever the hell I want to.  Haven't we covered this already??!!  I swear, you would think that these people would know what I am going to do if you send me crap like this.  Well, at the advice of several readers, I am also now going to start posting your email addresses when you send me stupid emails.  I will let my readers take care of you.  But I will still do my best to humiliate you here.

First of all, I am assuming that you did NOT graduate high school based on the lack of grammar in this email.  When sending correspondence, it is never acceptable to abbreviate "you" with "U", "you're" with "UR or Ur", or "you've" with "Uv".  If you are going to send me an email, at least take the time to type out words like "before" and utilize the spellcheck feature that EVERY email account that I know of has.  Otherwise you look like a complete idiot and it makes it very hard for me to pay any attention to whatever it is you are trying to say.  You need to learn how to properly communicate -- the language skills that you have displayed in this email would make it difficult for you to get a job at McDonald's.

Now as for the message that you (sort of) wrote:  I get it, you miss the funny posts.  Great.  They will be back when funny things start eclipsing the death and devastation that has been so prevalent in my life.  I blog about MY life -- about whatever is on my mind or on my heart when I get time in front of my computer.  People in Alabama have been through more than ANYONE knows because the devastation there got about 15 minutes of national news coverage because Prince William got married and then Osama Bin Laden was killed and they were forgotten.  They are still forgotten.  They aren't garnering national attention because they are communities of neighbors and friends and churches and they are helping each other instead of rioting and demanding their FEMA checks.  People from neighboring states are helping, natives of the South from all over the country are helping, and I think it is awesome. It is not funny -- AT ALL.  There is no "funny" story about a family who lost everything they have spent their lives building, or about a family (yes, an entire family) that died when their house collapsed on them, or whole towns that were decimated with over 90% of the structures severley damaged or destroyed.  I will put their plight in the forefront anyway I know how because I think that it is important for people around the country to know what they are facing, how they are handling it, and, oh yeah --  I WANT TO AND IT'S MY FREAKIN' BLOG.

I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you wrote your little message before you read the blog post about my cousin's daughter.  Because, if you were including my tribute to her, then I am going to have to figure out how to permanently block someone from my blog, and I really don't want to put that much effort into you.

I hope that you are amused, but FYI -- YOU are soooooooo not better than me.....

UPDATE/AMMENDMENT/ADDITION/WHATEVER:One of my friends sent this idiot an email and was kind enough to include a Cc to me.  I love it.  I love how she "dumbed it down" for poor little Tara.  I had to share it with all of you. (Oh, and anyone else who sends her an email, be sure to copy me on it too and I'll post the really good ones here).


Now, I'll start by saying that I have written this entire email, yet am now going back and dumbing it down so that someone with UR obvious lack of education may better understand. Onto the response.

4 some1 claiming 2 B such a worshiper of this blog, I can only assume that U don't quite possess the literary skillz 2 understand the tragedies that have occurred over the past 3 weeks N my friends life. I suggest U call Sylvan and enroll N a class but not B4 printing off all blog entries 4 the past 3 weeks so that some1 can read them 2 U.

Now, just Ncase U R actually semi-literate, which I truly hope not 2 B the case, U would C that N just 3 short weeks, we have had our home state pretty much demolished, she has had sick children, the flu herself, but more notably would B the fact that her cousins 6 year old daughter just passed away while her cousin has had 2 undergo several reconstructive (big word) surgeries. If U knew about these circumstances, then that just makes U inhuman and coldhearted. Shame on U

As 4 blowing off the blog at the end of April, just Ncase U missed it, there were TORNADOES!! Lots of them. Took out most of Northern Alabama amongst other states, however many of us that day were glued 2 TV and FB trying 2 locate our family, friends and relay info back 2 them. Sorry if this Nterrupted UR funny as shit blog reads.

U say U understand there was a tornado. Well, there were several. Yes, we R all doing everything possible 2 keep people Nformed with updates as this is not only our HOME STATE, but Bcuz it's only the 3rd Category 1 disaster N over 50 years. I'm sure U don't understand that 1 either, but the 1st was 9/11 (u know, the day of the terrorist attacks) and the 2nd was Hurricane Katrina. It's a big damn deal and our friends and family need help. Who the hell do U think U R 2 honestly believe that the world revolves more around U, than our family in AL (that means Alabama). Newsflash, doesn't now, never will.

OK- I've wasted enough time on U when I'm not even sure u will understand what I'm saying. All I have left 2 say is that if U don't like her blog, write UR own. I would highly encourage B4 doing so, that U take a continuing education class N grammar. Not sure how old U R, but my 7 year old writes book reports with better grammar and punctuation. That's all though. Honestly, N trying 2 keep it simple and easy, I think I've successfully fried at least 12 dozen (that's 144) brain cells.
My tip for you, don't talk shit. Especially when U don't know the circumstances. U end up looking like a total loser.

Lindsay Davis

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Oh Precious Child, How You Will Be Missed!

I know that this is supposed to be a "humor" blog, but I have not felt much like laughing over the past few weeks.  I have told you all about the devastation caused in my home state of Alabama.  I felt so very blessed that no one I love was seriously hurt or had serious damage to their homes.  However, this past Sunday, May 15th, tragedy struck our family.

My cousin Darryl is 6 years older than me -- the oldest of 4 cousins on my mom's side, and the only boy.  While we were growing up, my sister and his sister always paired off and Darryl was left with me -- lucky him.  A teen aged boy stuck with a kid not only six years his junior, but also a girl.  He taught me how to drive a go-kart, how to shoot a BB gun, and introduced me to heavy metal.  He saved me from hours of playing Barbies and introduced me to Eddie Murphy.  He married his wife Billie and they had 3 beautiful little girls.  He and his wife are both educators -- Darryl has furthered his education and his career is now in administration while Billie teaches middle school English.  Last Sunday, after spending the day fishing with their girls, they were involved in a single car accident.  The accident crushed Billie's arm, breaking the large bone in two places, and it claimed the life of their middle daughter, Kinsey. 

My heart breaks for Darryl, Billie, and their two surviving daughters.  I do not know of any words that would provide comfort in the loss of a child.  As a mother, the idea of having to bury one of my children makes me want to curl up into the fetal position and cry.  The loss of this precious child, knowing that she will be absent from every future family gathering, has had me in tears for days.  I have been preparing for the long drive to Alabama and dreading it.  I want to be there, but I do not know what comfort I can give.  Parents are not supposed to bury their young -- a child's death subverts the natural order of life and death.  When a parent dies, you lose your past; when a child dies, you lose your future.  How do you comfort someone who has lost their future?  What can you say to someone who has lost a piece of themselves?  A wife who loses a husband is called a widow. A husband who loses a wife is called a widower. A child who loses his parents is called an orphan. But there is no word for a parent who loses a child, that's how awful the loss is.  It is beyond words. 

But I am a writer.  Words are all I have to accompany the tears that I shed.  And so I am writing this for Kinsey.  Beautiful, precious, Kinsey, who blessed our lives with her caring heart and glowing smile -- who continued to bless others even in her death and who sits on Jesus's lap in heaven and tells Him of her game ball on Saturday and of the many fish she caught on Sunday.  Kinsey -- who twirls around in heaven's fields and runs down streets of gold and who will never hurt, or cry, or know sadness.  And I am writing this for Darryl and Billie who will forever grieve the loss of their daughter and for Taylor and Erin who have lost their sister.

Kinsey was a beautiful little girl full of life and promise. She played softball, and had just been awarded her first game ball on Saturday. She caught more fish than anyone on Sunday. She was developing into a real leader, at home, at school, and on her team. She was looking forward to this weekend when she would be celebrating her 7th birthday. She had many, many friends who will all miss her terribly and who have been forced to face the harsh reality of death much too soon.  She was a sweet little girl who cared for others -- at Christmas this past year, she was incredibly protective of my youngest child, Jackson; continually entertained my 4 year old, Lorelei; and she palled around with my 7 year old, Bella.  She was affectionate, loving, and tender hearted. Even in her death she gave to others, as 5 families were able to prolong and enrich the lives of their children through the gift of organ donation.  Every life is precious, but the life of a child is to be cherished above all others and its loss is nothing less than mortifying. 

Please pray for my family as we cope with this loss.  Especially pray for my cousin and his wife who lost their daughter, for my Aunt Betty and Uncle Lawrence who lost their granddaughter, for Taylor and Erin who lost their sister, and for Krista, Holly, and JJ who lost a niece.  When a child dies, it is like a stone cast into the stillness of a quiet pool; the concentric ripples of despair sweep out in all directions, affecting many, many people.  Kinsey will be forever loved and forever missed.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Spongemom Sweatpants (REVISED)

Okay, here's the deal:  Blogger screwed up.  It was not me, it was them.  I published this great blog a few days ago and then they "temporarily" removed it to fix something and said that everything would be put back right as rain as soon as possible.  THEY LIED.  My post is gone.  So I rewrote it.  THIS post is close to the original, but I honestly don't remember all of my brilliance from that day, so there is a bit of today's brilliance mixed in.  I should also point out that the house is better -- it isn't completely clean yet, (insert shock and awe here), but it is much better.  The 5 hampers have been folded, the dishes have been done twice, the dirty laundry is down to 2 piles (not counting what is currently in the machines), and the bathrooms have been cleaned.  I am quite frustrated by this recent betrayal by Blogger.....I sometimes work on my blog in Word and then copy and paste it here, but not always -- and once it has been published, I usually do not save it.  I may have to start an archive of my own in Word just to make sure that I can always re-post if this happens again.  Anyway, if you missed it before, just know that the first post was better (I think), and if you read the first one, then this one is a little different.  On a somewhat different note, the issues with Blogger have had a detrimental effect on my rating on "Top Mommy Blogs."  I have lost over 30 votes, which I assume were made from the deleted post, so PLEASE vote for me by clicking on that button on the right hand side of the page.  I WAS ranked #20 overall and I have fallen to #29!

Ohhh! who lives in the kitchen, chained to the sink? Sponge mom sweatpants!

That will be me today.  Sigh.  Anyone who reads me regularly knows that I detest cleaning.  Seriously, if they gave out an award for laziness, I'd send someone else to go and pick it up for me.  I can sit amid the chaos of my house and type away on my laptop in blissful denial of the 127 wooden blocks that litter the floor or the 4 piles of dirty laundry in the hall.  But over the past 2 weeks, I have been incredibly neglectful of my chores and now my house looks like I don't know what.  There are toys EVERYWHERE, the 4 minions have used every plastic kid dish that we own to make obstacle courses for Hotwheels, cities to be destroyed by dinosaurs, and even stilts.  There are 5 hampers of clean clothes that need folding and the dirty laundry has taken over the hallway.  The kids' bright blue and bright pink toothpaste is streaked all over the bathroom counter, and the playroom and den look like Toys R' Us threw up all over them. 

As I sit here with my laptop, there are 5 hampers of clean clothes within reach waiting for me to fold them.  I just can't find the motivation or the energy that I used to have as a teenager, and all I can say for certain is that it is not at the bottome of my coffee cup.  What happens to that boundless energy from when we were kids?  I remember not being able to sit still because I was overflowing with the desire to move -- I also remember sleeping for days. Maybe that's the answer.  As teenagers we waver between days of sleeping and days of constant activity.  I remember a week in college where I didn't sleep more than 2 hours a night yet still worked 40 hours and went to class.  Maybe I need a week of sleep to recharge and then I can take on the world again. 

After my birthday a few weeks ago, I was becoming concerned about my age. 37 is very close to 40. I remember when I thought that 40 was "sooooooooo oooooooooold." I don't feel that way anymore. Most everyone in my family has lived past 80, so even at 40 I'm not even halfway done yet. Even though lack of sleep often makes me feel like I'm over the hill, the truth is, I'm still climbing it. The other morning I woke up to a HUGE zit on my chin. Seriously? I just turned 37. I am supposed to be concerned about wrinkles, not acne. It's almost as if God was saying "See? You're not old, your skin can still act like a teenager and so can you."
So today, I will act like a teenager.

I will not clean my room, sleep as much as possible, and spend all of my time on the computer and on the phone. I will play my music too loud, dress like a slob, and.....okay, I just realized that I spend most days acting like a teenager.  I must be young at heart.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Special Request for Mother's Day

It's Mother's Day again.  I always love Mother's Day -- not because I get gifts from my kids and my husband, and not because I get "the day off" (which everyone knows just means that I have twice as much to do tomorrow).  I love Mother's Day because I think that being a mother is the most awesome job in the world and to have a day to recognize and be recognized is wonderful.  Yes, my children drive me to the brink of insanity, but I love them all so much.  I had my turn to drive my mother nuts, and my children are my reward and my punishment.  I was blessed with an amazing mother and when I married my husband, I got another amazing woman to call mom.

With all of the death and devastation across the South, where both of my mothers live, I am especially thankful for them this year and I am thankful to God for their safety.  There were many, many people who are not as blessed.  A good friend was volunteering in Monrovia yesterday, providing childcare with others while they held a big meeting for volunteers, victims, and survivors of the deadly tornadoes that swept through the area last week.  They were helping the kids to make Mother's Day cards.  There was one little girl who was very particular about how her card looked -- she was at every station being meticulous about which decorations she chose and how they were applied.  When her card was finished, it was one of the most beautiful ones produced.  Her mother was killed by the tornadoes.  When I read this story, I cried.  I cried for her and others like her who will never again feel their mother's arms around them, never hold their hand, and will not have them by their side for special days in their lives.  I cried for the mothers who survived but whose children did not.  Some who were literally snatched from their arms by the storms and others who didn't know for days their children's fates.  And I cried in relief.  Relief that those dearest to me are safe and well and available for me to call, to hug, and to just be with.

This Mother's Day, I want to honor those who have lost their mothers as well as those mother's who have lost their children by dedicating time in prayer.  My heart breaks for them and while I cannot provide physical comfort for them, I know that my God can.  He grieves for them as I do, and He can provide comfort when I cannot.  I ask all of you to set aside time today to pray for both the children who have lost their mothers and the mothers who have lost their children everywhere, but especially in the storm ravaged South where they face this first Mother's Day alone.

When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.
~Author Unknown

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Toomer's for Tuscaloosa

Sorry I haven't posted in a week guys, but I have been literally absorbed by the news coming out of my home state.  I know that I am known for my humorous stories about my kids, but frankly, my kids have been awesome this week as I try to do what I can from Texas to help those in Alabama.  They boxed up six boxes of their toys and books, they went through their clothes and shoes, and they have been incredibly well-behaved as I spend hours on the phone, on the computer, and at donation drop sites. 

Over the past week, I have slept very little. I am consumed by a longing to be "home" in Alabama to help the recovery efforts there. The stories I have read and the images I have seen replay in my mind whenever I am still causing the tears to come and the heaviness of the situation fall over me and so I must keep moving. The rest of the country has moved on -- they do not understand what the people of Alabama and other parts of the South are dealing with. The death toll that rises and falls because as bodies are recovered, some must be reassembled. Literally entire towns were flattened -- houses and buildings reduced to piles of splinters and grotesque forms of twisted metal. Trees that were not snapped by the storm stand with broken branches and metal wrapped around them by the strong winds. The nation has stopped watching. But how could they know what is happening? The media has stopped reporting it anywhere outside of the effected areas. The single death of a truly evil man has eclipsed the deaths of hundreds of good people.  I will do what I can to make sure that people do not forget.

A little over a week ago, my home state of Alabama was hit with the worst U.S. Natural Disaster since Hurricane Katrina.  With very little warning, entire cites and towns were flattened -- more than 6,000 were left homeless, at least 250 people were killed, and 8 days after the storm, more than 400 people in the state have not been located.  The power is still out for thousands and more than a million people did not have power for at least 6 days.  The governor declared the state a disaster area.  President Obama toured some areas of my wounded state and pledged help from FEMA and money to help rebuild.  Those effected were grateful to hear that there would be help coming -- but meanwhile, efforts from friends, neighbors, complete strangers, and especially local churches were providing much needed help NOW.  Within hours of the devastating damage to Tuscaloosa -- the town that is home to The University of Alabama -- a group of alumni and students from their biggest rival, also a state school, Auburn, had organized into a nationwide group of volunteers. 

Toomer's for Tuscaloosa was named for the beloved oak trees that were poisoned by a deranged man who said that he had committed the evil act because he was an Alabama fan.  The media had a field day with stories about how inner state rivalry had become a problem and the "level of hatred that these fans have for one another was escalating to the point that it was dangerous."  Most Alabamians disagreed.  We knew this was ONE deranged individual.  The University of Alabama's students and alumni proved this by establishing "Tide for Toomer's" and collecting more than $50,000 to donate to efforts to save the beloved Toomer's Oaks.  As soon as the storms hit Tuscaloosa, it was Auburn's turn to reciprocate.  And have they ever.

As the weather continued to wreak havoc across the state, obliterating anything in its path, Toomer's for Tuscaloosa had already begun to mobilize.  Over the coming hours and days as the group learned that other areas of the state had suffered damage and were in dire need of volunteers and supplies, they broadened their efforts.  While based in a church in Northport, AL right outside of Tuscaloosa, the founders of this group utilized social networking to bypass the bureaucracy and red tape and just get things done.  Period.  When someone asked for help, it was given.  No forms to fill out, no waiting, nothing to hinder their efforts to accomplish their simple goal -- to help.  They located stranded individuals and got them to shelters, they sent people with chainsaws to cut trees, they passed out water and food like Christ's disciples with the loaves and fishes, and they got people they had never met to take supplies to other strangers in need with a few strokes on the keyboard and a click of the mouse.  Anyone who tells you that Facebook is a waste of time hasn't seen what it can do in a situation like this.  Before the first 24 hours had passed and the skies had cleared, Alabama natives and alumni from both universities were on the move.  Donation drop-sites were established, money was collected, blood was given, and groups were mobilizing from all over to head to Alabama to deliver supplies, remove debris, make sandwiches or to just "be there" for the survivors.  It is truly one of the most amazing things I have ever had the privilege to witness.  A FEMA representative was quoted as saying "More has been accomplished in 6 days in Alabama than in 6 months in New Orleans [after Katrina]."

Alabama and Auburn are rivals, but it is a "sibling rivalry."  It's the kind of rivalry that says "I can pick on my brother.  I can call him names, make fun of him, and do whatever I want because he is my brother.  But if YOU pick on my brother, I will kick your ass."  Come September when the players take the field and the ball is snapped, we will go back to poking fun at one another.  We will call each other names and tell Alabama /Auburn jokes.  We will start making claims about how badly our team will beat their team in the Iron Bowl and claims for the National Championship will probably start about the middle of August.  (The last 2 years Alabama and Auburn have won the National Championship and the Heisman).  But hopefully, the memory of how "they" showed support for our beloved trees and how "we" all rallied to come together to help our neighbors regardless of their race, sex, religion, or football preference, will linger.  It will seep into our subconscious that these people helped each other and others.  They drove trucks hundreds of miles, ran chainsaws and heavy equipment, they dug through the rubble with shovels, picks and even their bare hands to look for survivors, recover memories, and retrieve the dead.  And they hugged children, fed families, shared their homes, sent supplies, and rallied a nation to help in any way that they could.  And we will remember April 27, 2011 as the day that brought us together to combat a humanitarian crisis -- as Alabamians, for Alabama and nothing else.  Roll Tide and War Damn Eagle.