Wednesday, April 29, 2009
#1 downloaded Journey on his iPod today. I've been singing my heart out.
#2 was watching Obama talk about Swine Flu. He was talking about hand washing when she threw her hands up in the air and with an exasperated voice said 'Geez, when is he going to do something about Global Warming. I mean, the polar bears are dying.'
Kinda strange being a mom to kids that are almost grown.
And I LOVE IT.
Monday, April 27, 2009
This was a post that a childhood friend put on Facebook today. How about that. I've read it a few times. I am sometimes very overwhelmed by Facebook. But I do log on every single day to play Bejeweled Blitz. Ugh. Like I need to be spending time playing Bejeweled. My friend Krob is a pro at it. I wish I could be like her and make a high score. I wish I could be like her in a lot of ways. She is good people. She is such a good person that some might even confuse her as being from the greater Manvel-Alvin area. Except she's not. (har har. Cracking myself up.) And then my friend Austin Sarah started playing it too, and she is also way better than me. Ugh. Maybe I'll hafta put out a hit on them. Oh, except for the fact that they are in my mafia. Nevermind.
I've been feeling very protective of my real friends lately. I want to scoop each one of them up and move them onto the girl compound. The safe place where we can sit and visit and drink and pray and cry and laugh. No men allowed. A special key gets each one of us in. This compound doesn't replace our homes or our families. It is just a safe place for each of us to go and be together and refuel. No judgements. No walls. You know I am planning for when we win the lottery.
Then when I come back to reality and realize that I am not building the compound anytime soon, I start daydreaming about spending time with my lifelongs. The people that know the whole story.
I'd like to go to Abilene and get to see my old friend Wendy face to face.
I think a lot about getting to hang out with my cousin Codi and how much fun we can have and how much trouble we can get into.
I want to play ball in my parent's yard with Coletta and Dawn. How could I have asked for better neighbor girlfriends to grow up with?
And my sweet Grease Monkey Kristin. I want to laugh and listen to her laugh.
Oh it is the little things in life. I am so lucky to have so many people in my life that I care so much about. These ladies are the squares in the quilt of my life.
When I picture the quilt of my life, it is full of bright colors with lots and lots of purple. In the center of the quilt is a huge red square for my JC. Surrounding that one big square of love are five big huge colorful squares that represent our miracle children with two squares made out of cloud fabric that represent the babies that didn't make it. Then around that is our family. Parents and grandparents. Brothers and sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews. Cousins, aunts and uncles. Then there is the inner circle of friends.
You know I've always said that friends are the family that we make for ourselves. These ladies are the people from my past that matter. Really really matter. There have been times in my life that each of them have been my family. And I know that there will be times in our futures that we will walk into each other's homes and it be just like it has always been.
My Heather is my sister. I don't know how it is that we didn't come out of the same womb. There have been so many times in our lives that we have cried for each other and with each other. She is the one person besides my JC that I can tell anything, everything and nothing to and it all be okay.
I often send out little prayers of thanks. I know how lucky we are to have lifelong friends. I have known everyone of these ladies for half of my life and in most cases, LONGER. When I talk to the people around me in everyday life, they all seem shocked that I might still be close with my friends from kindergarten. I am constantly left wondering, how could you NOT be friends with the girls that you grew up with?
I long for my girls to have these connections when they grow up. I know that they see me interact with my lifelongs and that they realize how important it is for me keep watering my friendship gardens. There are so many times in my life that I feel I can't turn to anyone but a lifelong because no one else can really understand why I might be the way I am. There are also times in my life where I might not talk to a lifelong for a long stretch of time, but when we reconnect it is just like home. And that is what true friendship is for me.
Then there will be squares made of fabric with stars that represents all of the people that have walked into my adult life and touched my heart. The people that have made me a better person just because I know them. People like my AJ. Amy came into our life through a stinky ol' boy, but she will be in my heart forever. She is a friend with beautiful heart that I feel like I have known my whole life.
And geez Louise, the quilt will end up covering all of Brazoria county once I count all of my work friends and mom friends. Oh and let's not forget the Sanity Sisters. Gosh, I am thankful for you gals.
I mean really, could it be any better?
Someday very soon, my girls will be at the top of the list for best girlfriends. I am looking forward to it. I know that it could be a long time before we get to that point, but I am going to savor every moment once we are finally there.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
This year for Earth Day the kids 'cooked' hot dogs inside of Pringles cans, they made sun viewers using cereal boxes and they made solar panels out of gigantic garbage bags. The really great thing about all of the Earth Day activities is that the big kids taught the younger kids each one of these projects.
One thing that I am so thankful for is the presence of music at our school. This year at the end of the school day, the whole school (all 360 kids) met out on the slab and had a little music festival. The kids (K-6) sang four songs. I wish we had a video camera so that I could capture the beauty and innocence of these kids singing these songs. It is always very moving to me when I hear them sing songs with a message.
So I am sharing with you three short videos of the kids singing. I don't share these with you to brag on our kids or to be boastful about our great little school. I hope these videos bring a little joy to your day and are a small reminder that there is still a lot of hope in the world.
You are My Sunshine (Just about the sweetest thing you've ever heard.)
Here Comes the Sun (One of my FAVORITE songs.)
This Land (The kids sing this song every Monday morning during the weekly assembly after the Plege of Allegiance.)
P.S. I am sad to say that our little camera can't hold much. I didn't get to record them singing the last song - What a Wonderful World. Boo Hoo.
I was folding clothes just now, and it dawned on me that I haven't shared my most recent OxiClean story. We never really used OxiClean in our laundry until this time last year, when my friend Monica told me that her family uses it all of the time. So I bought some and have since become a faithful customer.
You might remember that one week ago, we had the Extreme Soccer showdown in our backyard. Well, I thought I'd show you a few before and after pictures. Please note #1's brand new tennis shoes COVERED in mud.
Now see what a one day soak in OxiClean plus a cycle through the wash with OxiClean can do. Waaa laaa. Just like new.
Next we have our good friend's t-shirt that was worn into the mud.
This shirt was soaked in the bucket for one day with all of the other mud clothes and the shoes. Then it was thrown into the washer for one cycle with OxiClean. How 'bout that!
Maybe if I start posting more about my love affair with OxiClean they might start sending me some free buckets. I mean I am the PERFECT one woman advertising campaign.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Seems like I have spent years and years and years trying to remind myself that I am not a hater. I spent most of my teenage/early adult years full of angst. If you looked up cynical in the dictionary, you would find my photo. Even in the dark times, I knew deep down inside that I wasn't giving a true representation of the real me. I love people. I love life. I love rain and flowers and kids and the sky and puppies and blah blah blah. I LOVE my family. You get the picture.
Someplace between stepping out of the wreckage of my childhood and into my lifelong dream of being a mother, I realized that it was safe to be me. I realized that it might just be okay to actually trust some people other than my JC without putting them through the ringer first.
I am proud of me. I can smile and laugh out loud and be okay with it. Wow - if only they could see me now - who could ever believe?!?!?
The downside is that sometimes - ugh, sometimes - that little dark jerky person sneaks out. I can't control it. I question my surroundings. I question the people around me. Are they summing me up? Are they judging MY children? Leave my kids out of this, they are NOT me.
Like yesterday, we go to a function for #3. I want to have fun. I want to enjoy her accomplishment. Hell, I even gave all of my people money for the soda machine...see I WAS trying. And then the insecurity starts to creep in. And before I know it, I am in a full blown huff and can't wait to be able to run out of the building. And being the completely klassy person that I am, I start to make snide remarks about the people around me that I presume to be the cheerleader moms of my past. I am sure that the three or so people that I am being snarky to probably think that I've finally lost it for good. They are probably trying to figure out how they are going to get all of our kids home - since you know the people with the funny jacket will be taking me to my new home.
Nice. I am not this person. Why is this happening?
Could this be me reverting back to childhood when I was certain that EVERY mom in school knew what was happening at our house. Could it be because I felt they were all judging? And even now, when we go to the hometown, I stay away from Wal-Mart and anyplace else that we might possibly run into one of the judgers.
This is our place. We've worked hard to get here. I don't wanna spoil it by being sour. I AM NOT SOUR.
Besides, if I am gonna start acting like that again, then I'll need to update my wardrobe with a few goth items. Don't you know the pre-teens in our home will love that!
I've forgotten what it is like to hold a sick baby. He is burning up with fever and just wants to be held. Even when he had the pneumonia in the fall, he wasn't lethargic.
I don't like it. The kids DON'T LIKE IT. JC doesn't like it. The kids are worried. Where is our happy SBW?
When the first three were his age, they were sick pretty often with ear infections. I have vivid memories of sitting in the chair and rocking and rocking and rocking those sweet babies. #4 was a pretty healthy baby. So far, I feel like SBW has been pretty darn healthy.
Keep fingers crossed. I hope my leaf eating baby is back to normal tomorrow. Without the leaves, of course.
Monday, April 20, 2009
I don't care if you read and tell your kids. I just wish you wouldn't. But I AM the one putting the stuff out into the universe, so I need to be prepared to answer the questions now.
And plus, it is not like I am completely being my normal cynical, sarcastic self. I save that for the face to face interaction. :) heh heh
It isn't that I'm telling any deep dark secrets (today at least), but I just don't wanna share this. Not yet. This is the one place that I am kid free. Oh, except for the fact that I am constantly writing about them. Isn't it ironic. Like a no smoking sign on my cigarette break. A little too...
#1 asked me about the blog the other day. Seems that some folks read and tell their kids. Then my kids find out things third hand about our life, or things that I've said about them. It is a bit of a weird situation. I am still living in the fantasy land that our kids aren't young teens and that their friends aren't asking me to be their friends on facebook/myspace. I mean for goodness gracious, what if I want to air our dirty laundry? Or say the 'f' work. Maybe I wanna talk about how drunk I got last week and how I had some crazy wild sex with my lover and *holy shit* I could be pregnant again. I mean, not that another baby would be a bad thing, but I'm just sayin'. And then there are those facebook/myspace friend requests - I just ignore them. I would be pretty bothered if I knew OUR kids were asking other grown-ups to be friends. But maybe I am just weird that way. And by the way, if one of our kids does ask you, you better tell me!!!!
I am happy to report that SBW is doing well. He is acting like his attempt at being a human composter never happened. Too bad that I can't chill out and act the same way. I think I pulled a muscle in my leg while jumping over a clothes basket trying to get to him and get something out of his hand. That something turned out to be part of a rice cracker. Geez. And the best part is that I ended up having to sit on the floor and laugh at myself because I am sure that I looked like a nut. I mean more of a nut than normal.
In my constant quest to get more light in the house, I have removed all of the blinds off the rear of the house. Our yard has quite a few trees, so there is only a slim chance that the neighbors can see me walking around in my birthday suit. The neighbors behind us are getting new decking on the backside of their house. We sit perpendicular to each other, so they don't look right into our yard, but I am sure they can see in the house when the lighting is just right. They are re-decking all three stories and last week I happened to see one of the guys fall off the ladder. He was pretty high up, but he seemed to be okay. Today the same guy was kinda balancing between 2x4's and singing along with the radio with all his heart. It really made me smile. He was happily belting out George Strait, Kid Rock, Alan Jackson and Carrie Underwood. The Carrie Underwood Jesus Take the Wheel was my very favorite. I was intentionally in the kitchen washing dishes so that I could enjoy the show. Maybe we should hire him to hang out on their deck all of the time so that I can get some stuff done in the kitchen! :)
We are on the countdown for school to get out. Only 34 days left. Or I think - I am relying on a 5th grader for my facts at this moment. We are all looking forward to the summer. This summer we will go on a family vacation with all of JC's family. 8 adults and 8 kids. We are all looking forward to it. It will be a lot of driving, but a ton of fun. It has been such a long time since we were last in Lake Tahoe. Oh, I can't wait. The kids have been saving every penny and we have all been cleaning out and trying to sell our stuff at garage sales so that we have vacation money and money to buy Sea World season tickets. Sea World has an offer right now where you get a season pass for the same price as a single day ticket. We haven't been to a theme park in three years. This is a great and easy deal. Sea World is close enough to our house so the gas won't cost a fortune and we will only have to pay for parking. We can make sandwiches to take and spend time in the regular park or in the waterpark. The only way that we won't end up with the tickets is if we don't earn enough money at the garage sale this weekend. Fingers crossed - we are half way to our goal!
Okay - 7:01pm. Gotta go.
Geez, where does the time go.
Should have more for tonight.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
The morning started out like most others. I slept late. JC took #3 to get donuts for everyone.
Once I shook out the morning cobwebs and took a few aspirin, I got busy with the kids trying to clean up the back yard. This included scrubbing mud off of the back wall of the house, the fence, the picnic table, the cooker, oh and let's not forget the deck!
After most of the work was done, #1 headed out to play with his buddies, #2 went with her friends to an Earth Day Festival, and #3 went to play with a couple of friends down the street. #4 basically stayed naked all day and hopped between the computer, the Wii and the TV until early evening. I worked on laundry, played on the computer, grocery shopped and cleaned (kinda). JC worked in the yard and played Wii with #4.
Around 5:30, I decided to take the kids to the Capitol to play. Seems like an odd place to play, you know since it isn't a playground, but our kids have grown-up playing on the lawn of the Capitol and never get tired of rolling down those hills. We told our best buddy Terry and she met us there with two of her kids, which made for a PERFECT evening. I even remembered to bring a blanket, cut up apples for the kids, drinks and a little rice cracker for SWB. These six big kids have spent hour upon hour on this lawn. They've picniced, slayed dragons, played in the sprinkler and had good quality time laying on the grass watching the clouds go by and building a true friendship that none of them will ever forget.
So there we are on a perfect evening watching the kids have the time of their lives while Terry and I solve all of the world's problems. The SBW is sitting on the sheet with us just crawling around and having a good time. I was up and down taking a bunch of pictures. Terry was base for the kinder kids that were sword fighting and she was also helping me keep an eye on SBW. I sat down and we were just talk talk talkin' when I realized that SBW was choking.
Now, as to be expected, he puts everything in his mouth and has had more than one occasion to sort of choke or gag. This time was different. I kind of started to panic because I could just tell that something wasn't right. He was still breathing, but there was something in there that he was struggling with and he was getting pretty red and really really gagging/choking/struggling to catch a good deep breath. I was holding him and Terry and I were both trying to help him clear his airway. He was doing a little bit of the super saliva gagging and he wasn't stopping. I handed him to Terry in a panic and we both decided that I should call 911. The operator that help me was very very kind. She reminded me not to pat him on the back (which Terry had already said) and to keep him upside down (again, Terry had already said). At some point I got so frazzled that I grabbed him from Terry and handed her the phone because I felt the need to run with him. I few times while I was quickly walking to the street with him halfway upside down, I called out to Terry who was a few steps behind me that I thought he wasn't breathing. He was REALLY struggling. She kept reassuring me that although he was having a hard time, he was still breathing. I stood on the street barefooted, freaking out, and shaky legged waiting for them to come and take care of my baby. We heard them first and within' two-three minutes of us dialing the number, they were there. Terry saw them and they started to pass the street, but she waved them down. They pulled up and I was practically handing him to the guy as he opened the door to the ambulance. He had me get in the side door with SBW and he immediately starting checking him out. At this point SBW is still gagging on something. He took his oxygen level and it was low, so they put the oxygen on his nose and tried to get him to breathe through the face mask.
I guess it took about 10 or so minutes for him to not be gagging in such a desperate attempt to get whatever it was out. He was slowly getting better and becoming more like the sweet interactive baby that he normally is. And then, there was one last big gag. After that one, he kinda looked around dazed and then gave a big smile. The paramedic that was sitting across from me noticed something in SBW's mouth when he smiled. So he and Terry were trying to get him to smile again so that he could fish it out. Turns out, it was a leaf. A LEAF. And it was actually only part of a leaf. I suspect that the other part will come out the backside in a day or so.
I guess I was with the paramedics for about 40 minutes. They were great to make sure that he was completely okay before they let us go.
Terry took this picture with our camera of the ambulance. I am inside with the baby. You know that she is a really good friend because she knew I would want a picture and took the time to find our camera and make sure to take one. :)
She was going back and forth between me and the six big kids that were waiting for everything to be okay. At dinner tonight, they were retelling the story again. Going over every single detail. They said that they were all crying and praying that SBW wouldn't be choking and wouldn't die. And apparently Terry's #2 was praying in Spanish, which just tickles me to death. The girls have been dotting on SBW all night long. Now everyone is being overly cautious about him being down on the floor. Myself included.
I hafta admit that I had the shaky leg until we got home. I had to sit by myself in the car for a while and take a moment to calm down. We've never had to call an ambulance before for one of our kids. And when we had to take a kid to the emergency room, it wasn't because they couldn't breathe.
Here is SBW after he receives the final all good from the friendly paramedics. The second shot is of the big kids getting a tour of the ambulance and the third is all of the kids and paramedics outside of the ambulance. The last shot is me and Terry and the once again smiling SBW before we all got in the car to go home. I am so so so thankful that Terry was with me. I couldn't have done this by myself. What a gift she is. And she never even looked rattled.
So once we got home and everyone got settled, the girls were back to their normal diva selves. Oh brother.
JC was in charge of super tonight - you know with me being so emotionally fragile and needing to sit and nurse my baby and drink a coke.
He told me earlier in the day what he needed to make dinner. He was watching iCarly with the kids and apparently they made spaghetti tacos for dinner. So that is what he did.
He didn't tell them what they were having until we brought it out to the table. Needless to say, they were thrilled. OVER THE MOON. Those 18 tacos were gobbled up by those five kids faster than you could even believe! I was kinda bummed too, because I wanted to try one. And of course, everything is great with SBW and he was back to his normally smiley self. He was thrilled with his carrots and peaches tonight.
The night ended with all the kids washed up and ready for a movie. #4 sat with JC to watch the movie and insisted that JC wear his genuine coyote head. JC let #4 put it on him, adjust it and watched the whole movie wearing it. What an outstanding dad.
I am gonna lay my head down on the pillow soon. I've got two sleeping kids in the living room and three in their beds. And SBW is in our bed with JC. I will close my eyes tonight so thankful for each of my people and their friends. I will thank God again tonight for my friends and my husband. And I will let that sweet baby nurse all night long if he wants.
What a day.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
I wish I had taken more pictures of the backyard Extreme Soccer match. I totally missed getting a group shot when #1's friend Uncle P showed up. (Don't ask - that is just what they call him.) I wish I had shots of them all taking turns running and doing belly slides through the mud.
Oh well, we've got the memories. I LOVE that this is another great example of the boys and girls of all ages playing together and it not being weird. I am SO glad that they can still hang together with no freaky-ness.
And for the record, I asked every parent first, provided all the kids with a set of old clothes to wear in the mud and provided showers after all of the fun.
Each team had two boys and one girl. I am not sure if they were counting points based on how many times the ball went into the goal or how many times they were able to fall in the mud when trying to get the ball into the goal.
The best of friends! And YES - girls can do anything that boys can do.
Here comes #3 and her best buddies. They watched through the window for quite a while and then decided to jump right in. They were the last ones in and the first ones out.
I really enjoy watching our kids hang out with this group of friends. They are all great kids with parents that we like a lot. I am always thanking my lucky stars for the really good kids that our kids hang out with.
Sadly, there were a few friends over today that weren't here for last night's festivities. They were BEGGING for a do over. Ummmm...sorry. I'm thinkin' not today.
Ahhhh, life is good.
Kids + soccer ball + backyard mud = a whole lotta fun.
Enjoy the video. There will be more to come!
And BTW, this is #1, #2, S, P, L, A, C and F.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Oh, but back to the wild eye.
I know that we can do all of the things that need to get done. I know that everyone can make it to all of their events on time and with all of the needed gear.
I have been harping on the kids about getting their stuff ready so that we aren't scrambling when it is time to start the shuffle. The last few weeks I have hit the breaking point.
This one can only find one cleat. That one can't find the piano books. This one can't find any shin guards. 'Oh mom, can you stop at 7-11 - I forgot my water bottle.' 'Oh man, I'm gonna hafta run laps because my ball is flat.' 'I'm going to hafta run laps because I got to practice late.' And it goes on and on and on.
Well, today was another day of scrambling to get our stuff together and get out the door. I did quite a bit of fussing. Or maybe I should be honest and say quite a bit of yelling. Which turned into two kids going to soccer barefooted. Yep, you read that right - no shoes, no shin guards, no socks, no ball, no water bottle.
I'm done. I can't look for their stuff anymore. I can't have them looking for their stuff when we are trying to walk out of the door.
I know some of the folks on the sideline thought that I was being a little harsh. I'm sure the coaches thought that I had finally lost my mind. But geez louise - how else are they gonna learn. I'm not going to be with them for the rest of their lives to pack their ding dang bags.
I wish that it didn't send me into such a tail spin. I wish I could handle these situation with grace and dignity. But I can't and I didn't.
And guess what - on the ride home, one of the kids actually told me that she was very upset with me before practice but she learned from it and from now on would always do her best to have her bag packed the night before.
Okay - that's all I ask. Make an effort. And I'll make one too - because I don't really like it when people see me with that wild look in my eye.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
We had a Sunday trip to Dayton, Texas. We always love to see Granny. She's not quite the person that we all grew up loving, but she seems very happy in her own little world.
The bonus on this trip was getting to see my sweet cousin Codi who I love so much. I love that we are related but more than that, I love that we have become grown-up women friends.
First stop on our whirlwind vacation - New Orleans. Boy-o-boy did we have a good time. Everyone enjoyed the French Quarter.
We ate at Cafe du Monde twice in 24 hours. The music was fab and we were even able to pop into a couple of great art galleries. It really was a really fun time. And yes, we are all wearing tie-dye. The kids love it and I love it. People definitely stop and look when we pass by. It is like we are the hippy version of the Duggar family - only without the Jesus and I could be drunk by noon. (har har - making myself laugh now.)
First night at Grandma and Grandpa B.'s house and it was like our own music festival. Hmmm...maybe we are more like the Duggar's that what I realized. bwaa ha ha ha! :)
On our first morning in Pensacola and we had a great morning hike at Bay Bluffs Park. You might notice that Grandma B is holding all of the rocks that the kids have collected. In the end, we had to limit them to three a piece.
Grandpa B is giving SBW his first lesson in pine branch holding.
We've all decided that we want to buy our next vacation home on the beach in Pensacola.
Grandma and Grandpa B were troopers. They even went with us to the beach!
All of the fam poses for a photo at the Naval Air Museum. We all really enjoyed our visit to the museum!
Last stop, Houston for a short visit with Grandma and Grandpa Carr.
And this completes our summary of the GGPT09! Hope you've enjoyed!
P.S. We have over 300 pictures. I've been doing this for almost 2 hours. I think we are going to sign-up for one of those photo sharing sites so that the fam can see all of the pictures. Whew.