Friday, February 25, 2011

Am I Too Overprotective? Well, Maybe I Am... No, I Definitely Am, Ask My Kids... But Get Permission From Me First...

I know that I worry too much about my kids outside. Yes, I watch too much news. We are lucky to live in a neighborhood that has our elementary school built within it. I'd say I'm 2 blocks from the door. Yesterday my Suburban had to go in to the shop, much needed tune up and I tried to pick a day without errands or appointments. Of course it rained in the morning, so I was wondering what the big kids were going to do if it rained after school. Anyway, Kevin was supposed to go to choir practice after school, but I made him skip it since I couldn't pick him up. I just can't have him walk home alone. 2 blocks. I know. He's ten. So I sent this email to the choir teacher: (Lord, I love copy and paste!)

I hate to do this, but I am having Kevin skip practice today because my car is in the shop and I am not comfortable with him walking home alone. (I know, way overprotective, I probably need a sedative. :) Anyway, this way he comes home at 2:40 with his brother and sister and I remain sane for now.
Just wanted to give you a head's up.
--Dana Ryann

Lucky for me, she sent back this response (of course she probably mocked me in the teacher's lounge, but I am ok with that.)

I love your e-mails!  They crack me up!  :)

I know it was silly. I know he could have taken one of the walkie talkies and been fine. Kids always walk home alone. But see, their mommies don't love them. We all know that when we drive by. Poor things, unloved and in unspeakable danger. ;)

Kevin seemed to take the whole thing in stride,

"hey can I get snack and go outside?"

me: "yes, but take your brother if you go out front."  (I can't stop... I'm sure they'll be well-adjusted adults... But will they visit?!?

Have a great weekend, ours will be full of band instrument choices (ack, 6th grade is COMING!) and basketball games...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

This Was The First Time She Didn't Know Who I Was....

This will be a short post, I am down and I feel like pouting. I went to see my mom in the nursing home like I do every week. My mom has Parkinson's with dementia. Today I walked in and said, "Hi Mom, what's new?" Just like every week. Today she looked up at me and said, "Are you my daughter?" I was dumbstruck. I knew that would happen one day, she occasionally doesn't recognize my husband when he visits. I just didn't think it was this soon. I told her who I was and she burst into tears. Ugh. My heart hurts. I tried to make chit chat about the kids (it was obvious she couldn't make the connection to them either) and then we just sat for awhile. The connection between my mom and I is slipping. My youngest children don't even really know her. Life stinks sometimes....

Sunday, February 20, 2011

They Just Started Dropping Like Flies... Gross Flies That Need To Be Picked Up After...

Ugh, what a weekend! Friday morning I was not feeling too great, but nothing to really think about when I changed Emi's diaper. And clothes. And then aired out the room. LORD. Let's just say, umm, unusual and awful diaper. Put the shorties down for nap and went on with it. Three hours later, Emi is still asleep and I'm beginning to think the weekend might not be much fun. After I talked to Billy who apparently was suffering at work and changing Emi's diaper and clothes again, I sensed a trend. By 5 pm, I had another kid ill, hubby in bed telling me even his skin hurt.... 11 pm, another one was cradling a trashcan. I don't know what kind of bug this was, but it was speeding through this family and I refused to join in. I slept on the pull out bed. Billy had the cooties, I wasn't about to sleep that close. Kevin was on a nearby couch affectionately snuggled up to a trashcan, other kids littered about the house with their very own can. Simon actually woke up every two hours crying, but that's it. (the older kids said a big part of the bug was terrible stomach cramps, so maybe that was it.) At 5 am, Aaron meets me in the hallway upstairs. "I feel GREAT! And I'm not tired or anything." My response? "That's great, go straight back to bed, it's 5 and I have to deal with sick people."

Saturday morning Billy was still flat on his back (I still think he got the worst of it.), I had 3 relatively healthy kids and one that was showing signs of joining in on the sick-fest. Ugh. I tell ya, this is why people have one child. They get sick, you nurse them back, read to them while you cuddle and then they are back, good as new. FIVE kids? Forget the cuddling and reading, it's a freak show. You are coming back and forth with trashcans, trash bags for those cans, cuz who wants to wash out the can? Then the smallest ones have the most offensive smells coming out of them and they can't help or tell you or wait just a second. Yuck. Really, if you're still reading, I'm not sure why, but I love you for it. :) The washing machine is in full force, the house is a wreck, but who cares. And really, I did consider just eating the coffee beans, who had the time for brewing? I'm pretty sure I was un-friended by some people on Facebook that did NOT want to hear about the happenings I was living through. That's ok, I needed to vent, it was my platform.

So here I sit, late Sunday afternoon. All appears to be well. Everyone is eating normally, nothing is coming back out, kids are fighting over the Wii, and the shorties are refusing their second nap... Ahhh, my family is back. Here's to hoping the week is uneventful and healthy. :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My Late Valentines And Day Two of School....

So Billy and I pushed our Valentines Day lunch to yesterday, with the shorties starting school on Monday, I needed to spend the day focusing on my crazy train of worry about them. :) So after we dropped them off for day 2 of preschool, we ran some errands and then headed for an early lunch. We quickly threw WW under the bus for the day. I absolutely LOVE PF Changs gluten free menu (I cannot thank them enough for giving me my Chinese food back!) and it was our day of LOVE, you can't count points on your day of LOVE, right?! I had their yummy chicken lettuce wraps and lemon chicken and waddled out the door. SO good, it was worth whatever huge leap on my scale this morning. It was a really nice lunch, Billy and I never get out alone and just hang out. Very necessary in a marriage, but our sitter graduated college last fall and it's hard to find a sitter for five. So we squeeze in the lunches, hopefully more often now that my sweet little ones are in an MDO program. All I need for Valentines is a great meal and a fab dessert. I mean, the bouquet of tulips were beautiful, but that plate of lemon chicken won my heart. :) Billy and I have been together almost 20 years now, married 13.

Day two of school for the shorties was a mixed bag. My sweet Simonster cried as soon as we pulled into the school parking lot. Then he wanted Daddy, not me to hold his hand. (God, they totally know they're stabbing you in the heart when they do that....) We got in, Emi ran off to play (that kid is SO over hanging out with parents!) and Simon continued to cry so Billy and I had to zip out the door. :( When I got there at 2, he jumped in my arms and planted a juicy one on me. :) The teacher said he only cried for 10 minutes. He will be fine, I know that. And hey, if I get extra kisses out of it, who am I to say anything?! :) Emi didn't even come over. She waved and kept playing. So all three of us are getting better.

So today I must pay for all the food intake. I am being a point Nazi, measuring everything and I have a date with Jillian Michaels tonight. Yuck. I have never been a fan of working out. I wish I was. I run into people that used to hate it, now are total gym rats. Not me. I still hate it. I know I need it, especially as I get older. But I am never happy about it. I am known to verbally abuse my workout DVD trainer, ask my kids. :)

I need to go be productive, the shorties are napping and there is so much laundry to be done, the hampers won't shut. Laundry has to burn some calories, right? :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

They Didn't Even Miss Me?!?! Really?!?!

My sweet shorties started a Mother's Day Out program yesterday. They will just go twice a week, it's good for them to socialize and good for me to run errands, get haircuts, that kind of stuff. I was really worried because, well, Simon, has a certain way about him. He is a beautiful boy, has a smile that goes on for days, I just couldn't love that boy more. But he has SUCH a short temper. I figure the delayed speech has something to do with it, you can't understand him and he gets frustrated. But that's not all of it. I think the woman he finds to marry one day is going to have to be a very special lady. He is hard. But he is so worth it. Look at that face....

We walked into the school yesterday, I was ready to kiss and run, you know, like a band aid, fast and they'll be better. Ummm, I didn't even get the chance. They just walked off to play.... WHAT?!??! They aren't hesitant to carry on without their mommy?! No fear, no "I need you now"??? Seriously?!? I didn't eat breakfast or have coffee this morning so I would be calm, stomach ache free and this is what I get?! Ummm, good. That's exactly what I wanted, happy well-adjusted toddlers. Of course.

2 p.m. couldn't come fast enough. While I loved getting a lot done, including a horrible bang trim that will take weeks before looking somewhat normal, I missed my shorties. I sat in the parking lot for 15 minutes. (yes, of course I was early, what if there had been traffic, or an accident to hamper my drive?!) I waited to see a few moms go in, I may have been the first in the lot, no way was I going to be first in the building. Then as I walked in, I looked in the window and saw my sweet kiddos happily playing. Normal, well behaved, smiling kids. I opened the door, and my sweet Simon yells, "Mommy, Mommy!" and comes right over. Emi is way cooler than that. Smiles from across the room, but she is no rush to stop what she is doing. She has an image to protect you know. So I pick up my kids, get a glowing report from the teacher and we head to the car. All is well. We survived the first day of "school". All three of us. :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Everybody's UPS Guy Recognizes Them Out And About, Right???

Sign that I may shop online too much. Yesterday I was standing outside my kids' school and the UPS guy walks past me, stops and says, "hey, I have a package for you today, want it now?" While that is awkward enough as I quickly realize he knows me outside of my front porch, I look over to see one of the 3rd grade teachers looking at me. I smiled and she says, "you must shop A LOT for him to know you that well." THANKS.... Ok, maybe he is just really good with faces?! Or perhaps the fact that our elementary school is nestled inside our neighborhood has something to do with it... Or I shop online too much. Whatever.... Taking 2 two year olds to the mall is not a lot of fun. Shopping during nap on the couch, that's nice....

Anyway, after that fun moment I actually did the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred and I have decided that it is strongly possible that she is a bitter woman that may or may not have had an unpleasant childhood. What else could explain what she put me through last night. Yuck. My shoulders are sore this morning. I know, I know, all of this is good, but I still hate her a little. I think she wants it that way. :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Nursing Homes, Fifth Grade Angst, and Weight Watchers All At Once...

Well, the shorties and I just got home from the nursing home.  We went to see my mom who has Parkinson's and dementia. To be honest, my mom's illness has been progressively worse the past 2 years or so, so she doesn't really know my youngest kids. My dad comes by and sees them, so Emi and Simon know Pawpaw immediately. But with my mom it has been really hard. The wheelchair scares Emi. She doesn't make a good connection with her. But at the nursing home, their lobby has coffee and cookies available, so we have been grabbing a cookie or two as we go in to keep the shorties occupied and seated. Now when we pull into the parking lot, Emi actually says, "Grandma Cookie!" Ummm, that's ok, right??? I feel bad when we visit because my older kids had the chance to know my mom before the illness took over and have memories of playing and hanging out at their house. Emi and Simon will never have that, and with such a small extended family, I feel really bad for them.

It's been a bumpy week so far, the school issues we had with one of our older boys finally just came to an ugly head and we had to have him reassigned to a different classroom. It really has been so hard for him (and me, who am I kidding) this year, this is my child that simply loved school, always looked forward to it, and then 5th grade came and he was in tears weekly. I am hoping for nothing but sunshine and rainbows for the rest of the year. :) Did I mention they placed him in his twin brother's class? Yeah.... Maybe the rainbows are pushing it. Those two could not be more opposite. So I worry that class together and home together is going to be a strain, but it really was a better choice than where he was. Maybe I'll have to resort to bribes. I already emailed the teacher a total suck up email. I did mean it, she has been a phenomenal teacher for Aaron, but I was a teacher, no one wants another student when you're at 25 and it's a twin. Poor thing. At least she's young. I'll have to shower her with gifts.

Billy and I got over our Super Bowl food coma relatively well. We felt kinda sluggish Monday. Gotta have those days though where you just have fun, enjoy food and family and then get back on the horse. I gained 4 pounds. Oye... But as of this morning, (I know, I have a scale obsession) all but a half pound was gone. I assume a lot of it was salt/water retention. And we're right back on track with points and today I plan on starting Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. Now, is that 30 days in a row? I'm not sure I can keep that promise. I will try though, my almost 40 year old hips and thighs are begging for help. Have a good one!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Super Bowl Food Hangover And Getting Peed On, It's All Here!

Ugh, I feel yucky. Really, when you are militant about following your Weight Watchers points for weeks with no cheating, that one day food fest is gonna bite. Before our food fest we went to mass, where my sweet Emilia peed ALL OVER ME.... She said "wet", I reached for my diaper bag and before I knew it, my jeans were soaked. That was a fun walk to the bathroom of a crowded church. Luckily we had taken two cars and the shorties and I made a speedy exit. That was, after 5 kids, my first public peeing. I guess my older kids had mercy on me and kept it at home. :)

Onto all the food! It was super yummy, Billy cooked all of it so that was an extra bonus for me. We started our morning with potato pancakes and brats for Green Bay. So yummy, here's a peek. He used Gorgonzola for the cheese, it was strong, but I loved it.

My sweet hubby making it all...

We just snacked for lunch, took a nice pregame walk, the weather was beautiful. 65 and sunny after our ice/snow storm on Friday. I'm sure I burned off at least one Frito on that walk. ;) Now our family are die hard Cowboy fans, so that explains the jerseys. We wear them every Super Bowl, regardless of who is actually playing. I'm the only one without a jersey, so I wore Billy's high school jersey because they had Green Bay colors. :) Ignore Kevin's charming demeanor in the pic, I did on the walk... Eww, and terrible pic of the garage, sorry for the mess.

Now for the big game food. We had chips and queso for the big kids, we were afraid they wouldn't go for the Primanti sandwich from Pittsburgh. (we were right with my picky 10 year olds...sigh....) Here's a link for the Primanti sandwich.

We thought it was really good, we bought gluten free buns and it turned out really yummy. The shorties ate fries and the sandwich bun. I consider that participation. Here's our version: (excuse the hideous paper plates, it was a sale)

Dessert was a Klondike Bar, also from Pittsburgh. We figured they got more food picks, but Green Bay got more points. After the game, we all waddled to bed. I checked with Billy this morning and we're both suffering from a huge food hangover and are thrilled to be back to our point counting. I'm sure our excitement for food restriction will be short lived, but right now, the last thing I want is to eat. A pot of coffee, sure, but that's it.

Here are a few more pics, just because I can't stop looking at my precious cuties. :) This time next week, my shorties start a Mother's Day Out program twice a week and I will be a blubbering mess. No more babies in this house. :(  Have a great Monday!

My beautiful family

My Sweet Simon and I

The Great Guy and His Sandwich

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Great 2011 Blizzard of South Texas... Or a Dusting if You Live Anywhere Else...

Well, I can always look back at these pics if I ever need a giggle. They forecast snow for late last night, possibly 1-2 inches. My kids were SO excited. They miss snow. We spent 3 years living in Connecticut and they still remember all that snow. (as do I, but my memories are terrifying flashbacks) This morning by 6:30, schools were closed and my big kids were outside in the dark playing with the "snow".
(can you see it?)

By 8 a.m., the neighbor kids were out and Billy and I had the shorties bundled up for their first snow and pictures quickly taken. I mean, geez, it was still 22 degrees out.

Then my workaholic hubby went in to work. I kid you not. I wasn't worried about his driving, Connecticut taught us how to do that, but everyone else scared me. No offense to my locals, but ummm, you can't drive in ice. Honestly, you aren't that great in rain either. I guess we just don't get enough practice to perfect it. Billy called an hour and a half later, right as he got into work.

So we played, got warm by the fire, made smores, and driveway angels.

Olivia even brought in a... umm.. snow boulder??

But here we are, 2:30 in the afternoon, neighbor kids nowhere in sight and only one of my kids outside. The snow is melting and I guess they got over it. They're Texans, we can only do cold for so long.... Can you imagine what those Chicagoans think of us???  :)  Happy Weekend!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Oh, We Texans Don't Do Cold Well....

Now I feel like I can giggle about it, somehow I managed to survive living in Connecticut for three years when my big kids were little. (if that makes sense) So I can hop in my Suburban and go, unlike so many of my fellow South Texans. :) All after school activities at the school have been cancelled, and now that we "might" get a dusting tonight, I figure they will probably cancel classes. My kids have really missed the snow, so I hope for them that they get something, anything. I mean icicles would make them happy. :)

I would have blogged yesterday, but we had no power for most of the day. They warned us about rolling blackouts, but mine never rolled. SO the shorties and I packed up and headed to my dad's non-baby proofed house. We tried to ride it out at home with the fireplace, but when the thermostat hit 67, I gave up. :)

So today after physical therapy, I think the shorties and I will head out to the store and get supplies for bored kids. I mean we need the necessary cocoa, smores ingredients and whatever else I can think of to keep the troops happy. So I need to think happy warm thoughts while I drag my babies out in 21 degrees. BRRRR.....