Thursday, February 28, 2008

Personal Physical Torture Trainer

As I heaved my stiff and sore body up and down stairs over and over again with laundry yesterday: I had no idea that there were so many different muscle groups in my lower extremities that could be screamin’ with pain at the same time.

I blame my son’s group trainer at his daily health and fitness class. Every Tuesday I have the privilege of personal torture lessons right along with my kid. Had I done the same exercises in December I probably would have been fine with a twinge of soreness, but after taking nearly four weeks off of exercise for illness, I’ve found that re-entry back into the movin’ group can be very painful.

I did o.k. Saturday when I jogged (slower than a penguin waddling uphill on ice in winter) 4 miles with some of my angel friends, who kindly kept pace with me. I was fine the next day so I thought it wouldn’t be that bad. So I’m slowly trying to integrate exercise back into my routine.

However there is something about this group trainer. I think he might delight in sadistic torture. Try holding a wall squat for over 4 minutes and then immediately sprint the full length of a basketball court and back without having spazzing Charlie horses hit you like a Mac Truck. Or maybe you could hold yourself in a push up position for the same amount of time and then sprint. This last Tuesday was my kicker, Lunges. So I usually could do around 20 before the burn starts to kick in. Forget the burn, light me on fire! He had us do over 50. I cheated on the last ten and didn’t go all the way down. But I only cheated because if I would have gone all the way down there is no way that I’d be able to get back up again .
I expected to be sore yesterday, but when I got up today to go exercise again, I couldn’t even sit down without fire shooting through my legs. Ouch! This guy must think we are contestants on American Gladiator’s. It’s not just me either; my husband who has been exercising regularly said he was a little sore too. And my son, he’s fine. No complaints. This isn’t fair. I guess the key to surviving this guy is to sign up for daily torture and I’m not sure I’m ready to do that yet.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Darling Dasher

Here is our family's version of a famous magician. We'll just call her
Hairy 'Hope' Houdini.

Remember the whole discovering the world outside the door adventure we went through last week.

The Curly Catapult tries to hurdle through the upper lock barrier.

Elevated Escaper... Using a counter high kitchen chair.

Foiled by the camera wielding mom she makes a dash for the back door. Since we haven't installed an upper lock on that door we have a tempory makeshift barrier. But can that stop her?

Here she is pulling the plastic storage bins away from the back door. That bottom box is chuck full of legos so she has to be packing some little pint-sized muscles, too. She foiled us again.

We will have to go back to the drawing board because she has figured out how to undo every silly door lock we have.
My darling wonderful husband came upstairs the other night asking me if I had just heard the front door open. I replied no and he had this huge grin on his face.
'Please don't tell me you oiled the hinges,' I pleaded.
'Well, yes,' he replyed a little deflated by my reaction.
'I thought you had been reading my blog, remember how I said I loved the mystery theater creak to the door. I use it as a child escape alarm.' I reminded him.
Apparently he had missed that blog or skipped over the paragraph where I mentioned the door. Poor guy doesn't get a break. He finally fixes something that's been needing to be fixed for years and get's his head bit off by me.

The Darling Dasher has freed herself from our home no less than two times today alone.
Fortunately, she still hasn't discovered the world outside our yard. I give her a week, Tops.
She also figured out how to open the car door while I was doing 60 down the interstate the other day. Thank you Childlock doors. I almost forgot you were there. Now I'm going to rely on you with a vengence no matter how loudly the teenagers complain about being trapped inside the car with little screamin sisters.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Addicted Too...

The funny thing about me is that I get over one addiction and just happen to pick up another. I guess I should ask my Young and Gorgeous Counselor about this next time I bend her ear. So I mostly have overcome my addiction with food (except for chocolate) which keeps pulling me off the wagon. But I’m still o.k. with getting right back on.
My addiction to clutter is still a struggle but I know I’m going in the right direction.
So I’ll let you know what another of my, bring tears to my eyes it gives me such a rush, addictions is. But please keep in mind that admitting to having an addiction is the first step to overcoming it. So, that said, it's...
Darn if I haven’t been there twice already this week. The first time I cashed in a bunch of saved coupons and got the cutest little White with Green Shamrock’s Bear with a nifty little St. Patrick’s Day Leprechaun outfit.
Step 1. Stuff It! (which is probably what my husband wants to do to me every time he hears that I've been to B.A.B.)

Step 2: Wash It!

Step 3: Dress It!

Step 4: Name It!

After cashing in the coupons I had racked up I only paid a total of a $1 and something change. The girls and I named him Lucky. Two days later we were back to get a matching White and Green girl bear named Wish with the little girl Leprechaun matching outfit. The girls are planning a little Bear Leprechaun wedding for St. Patrick’s Day next month. See how cute they are sitting on our front room couch. By-the-way, Lea is doing school work not playing games.

Then we will probably send Wish and Lucky off on their honeymoon which will happen to be the St. Patrick’s Day Decoration Storage Box. I don’t have room for them in the house. Most of the toys are under the house with the decorations anyway. We only rotate and pull out a couple of boxes at a time now. I just hate sorting tons of different toys.

The other thing B.A.B is nasty about is always coming out with cute new outfits. Remember this Christmas picture. Every blasted furry friend had to have an outfit for Christmas.

But this Build-A-Bear thing has me going. Lea was the first to get a friend from Build-A-Bear, and it wasn’t so bad. Something that was fun but not addicting in the least. Then Princess went and got a Monkey named Boots.

I got hooked right along with her. Boots needed clothes, and the time I had to take Princess to the hospital for testing we made sure that we went to Build-A-Bear first and got Boots a Dr.’s outfit. That way, no matter what, Dr. Boots would be there to make her feel better. Remember this from when Princess got sick?

Oh, happy day when Boots got a monkey girlfriend named Chilly. - in the patient outfit.

Here is where the company is clever. They make you want something and if you aren’t fast enough – Too Bad, So Sad! Princess noticed little tiny Build-A-Bear monkeys in a flyer they sent us for Father's Day last year and she had to have them. She carried the flyer around for two weeks because she was convinced that Boots and Chilly wanted kids. I went a week after the ad first said they were available but they were out. I didn’t know this was part of their ploy. And I couldn’t find them anywhere, not even at their online store; I don’t count the arm and a leg people were asking on E-bay for them. Princess was devastated. We keep hoping that they will bring them back. There is something about wanting an item that you can’t have that makes it more appealing, or makes you want it more.

Then there was the time I took the girls to Disneyland. See their friends hitching a ride in the window.

I made sure they each brought their B.A.B friends and B.A.B passports so that we could stop at all the different stores on the way down the coast and get them stamped. That’s a ploy too, see you can’t go into a store and just get a passport stamped; you’ll have to get a souvenir too.

And there are certain Disney (another addiction) outfits that you can buy for your furry friends that you can’t find anywhere else, but Disney's Main Street U.S.A., Mega Whomper Two Story B.A.B. Store. How pathetic is that, for me anyway.

But that’s not the real kicker. Me, Myself, and I had to have my very own B.A.B friend. So right before Christmas when they had Rudolf and Clarice; I made sure I got Clarice.

Of course I named her Fawndear. But with my girls around me supporting me while I kissed the heart, (whole gimmick thingy supposedly making your stuffed friend more real) well, I couldn’t help but get a little choked up. Seriously, a hormonal wreak. Didn't outright cry, but did have a couple of pesky tears leak out I was so excited. I know Super – Pathetic. The stuffed Fawndear is one of the girl’s favorites. I let them take turns taking her to bed with them – depending on who needs mom’s love the most.

I think it’s the whole experience that is addicting and not the stuffed animals.

So here are our furry family friends.

Lea has Princess Unicorn (A purple horse), Snowy (White dog with baby), and Princess Patty (a bunny from years ago.) She keeps wanting more but she plays with hers the least so I don’t think that will happen.

Princess has Boot’s and Chilly (monkeys). All three are inseperable, and the monkeys have had several life saving surgeries (darn voice boxes) and trips to the spa (washer).

Hope has Mo Mo (softest ever bunny).

I have Fawndear (Clarice). The family favorite, of course.

And even Evo-man is in on the action with a Black Bear named Smasher, who even has the growly voice. (Kind of Fit’s him) Of all the kids he has been carrying Smasher around the most this week because I finally got him the little Black fake leather Harley jacket he’s been drooling over for more than a year.

Abner had a Brown Bear dressed as his obsession (Pirate) but he gave it away when he broke up with the girl that gave it to him.
That only leaves Prince Erik and T-Rev who don’t have a furry friend. Hummmmm I wonder.
I got home today and what was in the mail? Another $10 off coupon from anything at Build-A-Bear. I’d better wait before I make another trip though, or Prince Erik, well he won’t be too happy.

How do you know you have an addiction? When you spend more on clothes for a stuffed animal than you do on clothes for yourself and kids, that’s how. Ugh!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Opening Doors to Another World.

Hope discovered another world that she really hasn’t experienced too much yet, outside. Today was one of those rare winter, semi-warm, sunny days. And after so many cloudy drizzle days it was a definitely a welcome shock to the senses. I noticed that all morning my kids couldn’t keep themselves from going outside to play. Yaa-hoo, Yippee, Finally!!! It truly was a perfect day not to have electronics around to keep them in.

However as I watched them depart the family abode they quickly all developed squinty face syndrome the second the sun rays hit their faces. I, myself desperately looked for some sunglasses but to no avail. I guess I’ll have to add them to my shopping list. It actually gives me a headache to be in the sun now; I’ve become so accustomed to the clouds. So I tried to sit with the sun to my back whenever I did go outside.

The only downside is that I couldn’t keep Hope in the house. Every time I turned around she was gone again. In the past she has opened doors but never ventured out because of the cold or rain. But there was something about switching on the sun that made the outside world visible to her. Fortunately, her siblings were scattered about in the yard and saw her the moment she would sneak away from me. A couple of other times I saw her out back keeping our dog ‘Itchy’ company. I’m sure the dog loved the attention.

However her discovery of this new world outside the walls of our home has me a little paranoid. I’ve had a couple of kids already that were curious wanderers. I won’t admit how many times we have had to call the neighbors or even 911 to help s find a missing child because that would just be too humiliating. I’ve met several people in our town that know me by, ‘Oh you’re the mom of Evo-man, I remember when he was lost.’ Well that wouldn’t be too hard to forget, he was one of my worst travel offenders – Disneyland (What a nightmare), Target, you name the store and he probably tried to ditch me there, like he did in Fred Meyer last Saturday. One time he when he was four he went on a four block walk with his little friend and they pilfered mailboxes along the way. So when my friend finally found them she then had to hand-deliver quite a few letters to the houses they belonged too.

Lea had to be my worst adventure seeking child though. With her we installed high locks on the doors and set the home security system to beep loudly every time the door was opened, because once she was out the door she would just keep walking. It’s probably another reason that I’ve never oiled my hinges. I like that creaky, radio mystery theater sound. Like the escape alarm at a penitentiary, it’s loud enough for me to know when someone is up to leaving. I even used, dare I admit it, that kiddy-leash a couple of times with her while on our boat for fear she would wander right off the edge with curiosity.

I got lucky today because Hope decided to stay in the yard with her siblings and not take the further neighborhood adventure. I don’t even want to think about what she will do when she discovers the world outside our yard.

A couple of times I stayed outside with her to try and soak up some Vitamin D of my own and let her have a little fun. Princess was playing in the dirt making castles and Lea and Evo-man were rollerblading up and down the street.

Then it happened, I saw Hope coming toward me with a treasure in her hands. Even though I saw it coming about 5 or 6 steps before she reached me I sat frozen and couldn’t move. In my lap she dropped a nice old piece of dog doo-doo! All of the sudden my movement returned and I leaped up, arms flailing and shouting Ewweeeu, yuck, ugh, oh, Ewweeu, all the while doing a little shaky jig! Hope was mesmerized and then proceeded to do what she does when she is entranced with something. While looking at me with large eyes she reached her dirty hands up into her hair and started twisting her curls around her fingers. (Now you know how she gets those perfect ringlets). Thrill, I thought, not only do I get to wash her hands but I have to wash her hair. Hopes outside adventure for the day ended there. I then patrolled the doors like a warden for the rest of the day.

Tomorrow if it’s still sunny I’m going to pay the boys to collect all the doo they can find so I won’t have to worry about Hope bringing me any more treasures from her newly discovered world.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Chocolate vs. Fawndear. Score 2-2

I’m convinced that Satan created chocolate because he knew he could never get me to try his vices of alcohol, smoking, coffee, and Diet Coke, etc. After I had successfully conquered my some-a-day Chocolate addiction of a little over a year ago, I thought I was home free. But the Tempter caught me at a weak moment of sickness, stress, and that Blasted Valentine’s Day. So I had two glorious and horrible days of chocolate splurging last week. One of those days I even probably consumed my daily allotment of calories just with those beastly delicacies.

I paid the price of course, and then some. You would think the payment extracted of my indulgence would be a couple pounds of added lard to my body. Yup, that’s right but it succeeded in also doing something I had no idea it could do. Well maybe I had inkling, but I had no idea how severe this encounter would be. They warned me that I shouldn’t have caffeine with my tremors because the additive could cause them to flare. Well, how bad could it get? Apparently bad enough to throw off my entire chemical balance. I’ve been shaking like a leaf for 3-4 days. I assumed that I would go through withdrawals for a couple of days but I had no idea that it could last this long. I’ve been super good at meal tracking and eating healthy since Friday, but the cravings are horrendous. My Young & Gorgeous former 20/20 counselor told me that it would take some time to feel normal again. Stupid Chocolate.

Round 1 goes to Chocolate.

So anyway I went into some Pharmacy store the other day to get some batteries and there they were sitting on the shelf beaconing to me. Large Valentine's Package's of Leftover
Green, The New Color of Love M&M's
. See if they don't talk to you too.
‘Hey, look at us! We are 75% off. Can’t beat that deal,’ they basically hollered at my subconscious.

‘Wow, look at you. And look at that color. You would be perfect for the little household leprechauns to put in my kids St. Patrick’s Day treasure boxes (future blog, I promise)’.

‘I know we are pretty big bags, but darn you have a lot of kids so you might as well pick up a couple of us. They will love us.’

‘Oh, your right I’m so excited that I found you.’ I thought as I quickly picked up a couple of bags.

However, somewhere off in the far distance thought process of my brain a little temptation imp started calmly adding these thoughts. I don’t think I actually heard him talking because that would make me a paranoid schizophrenic but I understood full well what he meant.

‘You know that you’ll probably want to eat some of those yummy morsels. Why, didn’t you just shove down a bag of them last week? To be safe you better get three bags so that when you give into the chocolate temptation you’ll still have some for your kids.’

I quickly ignored him, picked up a third bag and purchased them, sat them on the front passenger seat of the car and quickly drove off to meet with my Young & Gorgeous friend.

Round 2 goes to Chocolate.

I promptly admitted to Young & Gorgeous the whole Wonder Woman experience of last week and slowly but surely she got around to asking how my shopping was.

I couldn’t lie so I told her about those three big tempters sitting down in the car and I told exactly what thoughts had been going on in my head in my head when I bought them.

I finally saw them for what they were.

Little addicting balls of fat, pro-tremor medication cleverly disguised in a bag called Love. Nasties.

So I sent them off to try some fire and brimstone (hopefully an incinerator somewhere melted them to nothing). See there was this huge, lid as heavy as a car, garbage container in back of her building. They tried to smooze their way out of being tossed but I was stronger. In I plopped them right on top of someone else’s baby’s dirty wraps. There’s no way I’d crawl in to get them back.

Round Three and Four goes to Fawndear. I figure that was worth two points because I wasn’t subjecting my kids to the sugar-high monsters as well.

So I’ve been clean and sober of those pesky guys since last Friday and I mean to stay that way. There's too much on my plate to feel this yucky, and I’ve already committed to a couple of races coming up in the next couple of months, that will help get me going on the exercise stuff again. So here’s to the withdrawals ending soon. Good-bye Chocolate you foul, fair-weather friend!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Bankrupt Tooth Fairy and Huggy Feefe

I thought you might like some more before and after pictures... So here it goes. Princess Before

And Princess after. I'd say she's about eight months early with her Halloween Costume Accessory here.

Little Princess is going to break the bank, of the tooth fairy that is. She lost her fourth tooth in 2 months this morning.

Her speech therapists are going to need a translator to understand her now.

Yesterday I thought I would bestow some of my learned-the-hard-way-wisdom upon her precious little head. She was complaining about brushing her teeth so I opened my filling speckled yapper wide and showed her that if she didn’t brush her teeth everyday she would have spots just like mine. She immediately went and brushed her teeth.
Tonight about a half an hour after bed she came into my room with tear filled eyes and said,

‘Mom, I don whon Huggy Feefe.’

‘You don’t want what?’

‘Huggy Feefe.’ She replied while pointing to her mouth.
Finally I guessed that she meant Ugly Teeth. Guessing she was talking about her missing teeth growing in crooked like her soon to be braced-up sister Lea. I replied that Heavenly Father had given her beautiful teeth and they would be just fine no matter how they came in.

'No, mommy, I don whon Huggy Feefe like yours. '

Thrill, now my sweetie instead of having comforting dreams of a visit from the tooth fairy is having nightmares that she will have ugly teeth like mine.

‘Oh, well we then better brush them every day.'

'But I hate Toospaste.'

'How bout I get some different toothpaste from the store and help you remember to brush every day?'

She smiled and that seemed to calm her a little. She gave me a thumbs-up as she went back to bed, and that I don’t need a translator to understand.
Now I’d better go brush my Ugly Teeth and maybe tomorrow I’ll purchase a variety of toothpaste flavors for her to try along with truckload of whitener for me. That and dig through my purse to see if the Tooth fairy dumped any loose change in it.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Bats in the Attic?

Pray the answer is no, because if there are, Evo-man just created an opening for them right into his room.
Curiosity Killed the Cat, does that sound familiar? Well in my case curiosity is bringing down walls, or ceilings, and who knows what else. Yesterday was my boy’s last day of school before a whole week of Mid-Winter Break. So the magic question has to be… Will Fawndear think of a bunch of fun, non-destructive, get your brain in gear activities; while still staying cheap so she can keep her kids from getting too curious? Or, will the home need to be leveled because it was deemed a hazard?

Last Night was not a good start. Evo-man had one of his best friends JD over and since they couldn’t plug in to Rock Band they decided to do a little light-saber fighting, then they took the fun upstairs to Evo-man’s room and darn-it if that dreaded silence didn’t happen. Then I heard a couple of little thumps...

‘Hey, no banging things around up there. Okay you guys?’ I hollered from the kitchen, which happens to be right under the boy’s room.

‘Okay, mom,’

Then a loud Crash shook my already vibrated too much walls.


‘What happened?’

‘You might want to come upstairs.’

‘I don’t want to.’ (Now you know where my kids learned that phrase)

‘But, there’s this big mess, mom.’

‘What’d ya break?’

‘I think you need to see it, Mom.’

‘Just tell me what happened.’

‘Well we were juggling some tennis rackets and they hit the ceiling and knocked it down.’

I know it sounds dramatic, but from the kitchen I’d already worked out what was damaged and somehow, I already knew that this was their cover story. Juggling Tennis Racket's my eye. Am I good or what. I knew that there was probably, most likely drywall all over the boys floor, but not from the ceiling itself, but from the crawlspace opening to the attic. Evo-man has been messing with it for years. And this time he had a friend who wanted to discover what was up there too.

‘Don’t buy the juggling part dear,’

‘Are you coming up?’

‘Nope, I’ll wait until dad get’s back, and let him look at it.’ This is not a threat by the way; I was cleaning up after dinner and didn’t feel like interrupting one clean-up to go take care of yet another mess.

‘How bout you just close the door, turn off the lights and leave the room for now.’ By this time all the other kids were upstairs looking at the damage. They slowly tromped back downstairs and moodily sat in the back boy’s room.

Dad didn’t handle the mess as well as I did, but to his credit he didn’t lose it either.

Yet, another picture for my future See-What-You-Did Album.

He knows it could have been worse and that the repair will be added to his already way to long honey-do list; which by the way, has to be at least one or two years long.

Good thing the inspection is over because I think I’ll just duct tape the hole for now. My, won’t that look grand.

If you have any, send me your ideas for keeping teenage boys productively (not destructively)engaged, without sending them outside in the rain for a week. Cross your fingers for me.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine Rant

If you are in love with Valentine's Day you may want to skip this entry and go to the one below it. Just comment that I'm a nut case and you'll feel much better. However, if you've got nothing better to do with your time, here's my Valentine's Rant.

There are certain holidays that I love and unfortunately Valentine’s Day isn’t one of them. In fact it’s one the holidays that is so run amuck of the commercialization giants that I actually get angry when I think about it. If we indulged in everything the marketing department says we should do to show our love, we would all be indebted, skimpily clothed, overweight (chocolate – my vice), plant killers, wearing gaudy baubles that we wouldn’t be seen in the other 364 days of the year. And when I do get those things on Valentine’s Day I feel it’s out of obligation instead of love.

You have to realize that my point of view however comes from a slighted jaded perspective. You see, on Feb. 14th many, many, many years ago, my sweetheart purposed to someone else. Unfortunately for her and fortunately for me – She said NO. Whew, that was close. But, none-the-less, it’s a hard holiday for me, one that I have avoided and skipped all too often. Even before that close call, it was depressing. Just ask any single girl out there without a date or a special someone to share it with? When I was single Valentine’s Day was a true bummer.

I’ve tried to like it. I’ve played the part of a crafty mama who makes darling little valentines for my kids to take to school. And I’ve probably succeeded in having some of the cuter, overly time consuming hand outs there were. Other mom’s curse me under their breath when they see what clever things I’ve made. That was a few years ago. Now I sit back and listen to all the other crafty mom’s tell about what they did, and I smile and secretly shake my head. I quit the crafty cuties when I saw what really happens to all those valentines your kids bring home. They rip them open searching for the biggest piece of candy they can find and those time-consuming mementos of your affection are tossed aside.

The final nail in the coffin just happened to be this whole new dietitary adventure our family has undertaken. Now, I’m of the opinion that while the greeting card and floral giants are in ca-hoots to monopolize the holiday there is also another player – Willy Wonka. You know the he’s out there. Like a drug dealer he’s preying on your little kiddos getting them addicted to candy. It isn’t respectable to give cards without the chocolates. Kids think you’re cheap if all they get is a card sans the candy.

This year my kids gave out pencils decorated like arrows. But my heart wasn’t in the craft like in years past and they walked out the door with pity-able cards.

So what is Valentines Day supposed to be about anyway???

If you go to they say…
Noun. 1. Valentine’s Day – a day for the exchange of tokens of affection.

And from the Encarta dictionary token means…
1. something representing something else: something that represents, expresses, or is a symbol of something else.

Why not forget the token and give the real thing. If you’re a clutter-holic like me, tokens can be very dangerous and addictive. So how do you really give love and not just a token of it? Sorry, that I can’t help you with because it’s different for everyone. Maybe those pesky tokens are all you need.

For my husband, well, he’s not into tokens either. But he does like it when I wear make-up and the house is clean, and he likes seafood.

For me, it’s people helping out with chores WITHOUT being asked, or finally getting pictures of my kids in a charm bracelet I bought 4 years ago (Hint, hint, darling), or an evening where the kids go to bed the first time they are asked and not the 20th.

I’m going to try an experiment. I’m going to focus on making next year’s valentine the best ever by giving my husband a valentine that lasts all year. Hopefully if he reads this now he might forget about it and be surprised all the same.

I know you’re confused. I’ll try to explain, see I bought a little red journal (Yes, I know it’s a blasted token). He would probably get more out of a power-point presentation, but journaling’s my thing. So, Starting today I’m going to write in it different things that I love about him and make a new entry every single day. By focusing on all the different reasons why I love him hopefully it will help me appreciate and show that love even more. I’m also going to try and show my family more love on a daily basis. So in essence I’m going to try and give Valentines throughout the entire year. Not tokens but the real deal. I think only then will Valentine's Day be what it was intended to be and not another money maker for some big company.
So, I'm off to finish cleaning and put on some face paint. And a Happy Valentines Day to you to!
So how do you show your real love? (hint, this is a first time beg for comments), and remember this is a family friendly site so keep it clean.
Note: The view's of Valentine's Day are those of this blogger and do not reflect the opinions of her half dozen starving-for-affection kids. That being said, Lea, Princess and Hope profusely and with much gratitude thank Uncle Arrow's Wife and dear cousins for the valentines they received in the mail today. Hope especially loved Tigger. Getting actual mail well, it made their day. Thank you, from the Valentine Grinch!

Wonder Woman or Nut Case?

Last week when my husband took a couple of days off to play Mr. Mom so that I cold get some sick rest, he mentioned to me. ‘There is no possible way for you to do everything it is that you need to do.’

‘Why thank you honey, I never knew you thought I was Wonder Woman.’ Seriously thinking he was in awe of my amazing super-human effort to help manage our half dozen kiddo’s lives and still manage to have a home that was week by week getting a wee bit cleaner.

He lovingly commented, ‘Well what I really meant to say was; you might have too much on your plate.’

‘What do you suggest that I drop off my plate?' and thought, 'and let splatter all over these nice clean floors?’ My mind whirling, Homeschooling the girls popped up first, then my blog, then my focus on un-cluttering our home, church calling, extra-curricular projects for our O.D.D. child and the list goes on.

‘I dunno?’

That was the end of the conversation. I quickly shoved the too-much-on-my-plate idea into the dusty crevices of my brain and focused on the thought that I was Wonder Woman and could do it all.

Fast Forward to yesterday…
Wonder Woman Crashed her Invisible Plane. Or Fawndear’s brain took a vacation.
Yesterday, I had one of those Mental-Mind-Detour Days.
I quickly enlisted my super-human efforts to feed the kids.
Spot mop the floors.

Oh, and tackle those pesky rainbow colored walls.

Then the dreaded (In my mind only) clipboard bearing appraiser showed up. Nice guy, by the way. He even mentioned to me that although he wasn’t going to put it in his notes, he noticed that our roof needed to be replaced.

Here friends, is where Wonder Woman’s mental plane took a huge detour and… crash landed! I know this never happens to anyone else but I started thinking very, very un-rationally something along these lines.
'Yes, I know that the roof is horrible, and you’re being nice not to mention it, but it will be reflected in the value you give our home, right? And I see all those marks you’re making on that there clipboard. Drat, I shouldn’t have busted my kester cleaning so hard because instead of focusing on the clutter you can now focus on all the holes in the wall. Oh, and you can’t fool me pacing up and down the street with your camera, I know that you’re desperately trying to find an angle to show our homes best angle, but there isn’t one. See from there all that you’ll be seeing is our moss-covered, still Christmas light bearing horrible leaky roof. And that angle isn’t much better because you can see where last year’s windstorm blew over half our fence (still down and out) and we have that jumbled, bright blue tarp bearing wood pile out back.’

Well, I’ll spare you the rest of my un-rational thought pattern, but it wasn’t pretty. By the time he left I was on the verge of crying, and the poor guy hadn’t done a thing.

It didn’t end there… I spiraled that pesky invisible plane into a dark canyon I haven’t visited in over a year. Emotional eating! I consumed all of a small box of chocolates (who am I kidding, it was a whole regular sized box) that didn’t even really taste good. Probably because of the fact that I bought it at the dollar store. And why stop there. If I was going to crash and burn, I’d make the explosion really big so people for miles around could see. So I broke the no electronic entertainment rule and started surfing all my favorite blogs for a little solace. I must have alarmed Trenadoll when she read that I commented on her blog (yes, she knows what month this is), because she even picked up the phone and called to see if everything was o.k.
I hate those un-rational mental detours. So it was definitely a lapse day. Then, as I was getting ready for bed we got an email from our agency that told us what the appraisal was and what we needed to do to keep going. The appraisal was fine, all that worry for squat! I think Wonder Woman had just overdone it physically a couple of days ago and needed a break.

Today I’m happy to report it’s going to be a healthy and happy, day. Last night’s sleep worked miracles on my invisible plane and it’s flying again. I’m off to wake up my darlings and start another regular hustle and bustle homeschool day, de-clutter another closet, and maybe pull a few more weeds. This time I’ll just tone down my super-human efforts a notch, so I don’t have another super melt-down anytime soon.
Oh, and since it's Valentines Day, I'd better think of something for Prince Erik that won't involve too much. I know I'll let him cook the shrimp in the freezer. That will show him how much I love him. This time I'll wear a romantic clothespeg on my nose.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Mad Dash

My pedometer hit a new high yesterday, well other than the 30,000 plus it logged on the day that I did my half marathon. 22,201 STEPS! Where was I running? Crazy, up the wall, after kids, behind the lawnmower in the rain (no, not kidding, how else was I going to quickly eliminate last falls leaves), filling up the truck with its fourth load of ugh, ugh, and more ugh, and taking our O.D.D. child to his awesome 20/20 kids class.

Since it was Tuesday that meant it was the parent’s day to join the kids and sweat it out right along with them. You try a wall squat that lasts 4 minutes and see how you feel the rest of the evening, OUCH! What a nice way to start exercising again after a couple weeks off – Straight to the Pain. We also got to attend another healthy eating class which gives us ideas on what food is healthy and what you should avoid like the plague. Oh, and then there is the meeting with the counselor who helps us learn how not to parent with food, and how to survive Valentines Day on little to no chocolate. OUCH, OUCH! I love the whole healthy eating and generally I do really well. My kids might think I’m a food Nazi, but I still let them have the occasional treat. But if you were a kid and you were only supposed to have one or two pieces of candy on Valentines Day; how hard would it be when you get twenty pieces from kids at school? And the Valentine’s Parties there– Nothing but sugar. I’ll have to think of an awesome non-food reward for all my kids that stick to their health goals for Valentines Day.

See I’m so scattered I forgot to tell you why I was a Movin’ and a Groovin’ yesterday and today. Well the dreaded Home Appraisal inspector will be at our home in less than 3 hours. My home is relatively clean, but no where near the clutter free zone I’m dreaming about. But I’ll get there, cause I believe that dreams do come true.

I’ve decided that Tuesdays are going to be my Health Blog Day. Yeah, Yeah, I know it’s Wednesday already, but from now on, on Tuesdays I’ll let you in on my health Dream. My healthy thing I’m striving for this week is not to get addicted to Chocolate again. But I will allow some on Valentines Day. I think I’ll treat myself to some yummy sliced Strawberries with a hint of shaved chocolate on top. That’s what my husband got me last year after I started the 20/20 program with Pro Sports Club and I think I’ll make that a tradition.

Anyway, 1 hours 58 minutes until the inspector gets here and I’ve got to get some grumpy rumps out of bed, a load to the dump to tie down, 4 rooms to sweep and mop, dishes, laundry, breakfast, and much, much more. Good thing I’m Wonder Woman and a morning person.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Fashion Foibles Continue...

I guess my husband isn't the only one making poor fashion choices.

Quick it's Sunday morning and your scrambling to get all the kids looking their best for church. You get yourself ready, with the exception of putting on your cute heels, because it's more practical to zoom around the house in your fuddy duddies so you can help the munchkins. Of course you'll put them on before you leave.

Your husband is out of town, but your making excellent time and actually leave for church a few minutes early. Then once you get to church you hurridly set up Primary and then spend the next 20 minutes trying to find all your kids. Wow, you did it. The kids are setting reverently, the opening song has started and then you look down...

Ugh, what are those things on your feet. Too late to go home, so you'll wear them as a badge of mommy-puttin-family-first honor, But of course you'll walk the halls with blinding speed and hope that no one will have a chance to actually see. At least you didn't wear your powder-blue crocs like you did last month. But then again, they at least matched the floral moo-moo. Help!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Time Travel Stinks!

I think I’ve kicked the crummy illness that took me out for almost 3 weeks. My awesome husband took two days off from work at the beginning of the week to give me a real rest. When he went back to work I continued that rest but added just the bare minimum. Yesterday was almost normal except for the fact that it felt like I went back in time a year, and it wasn't fun. The whole none-exercise life I’ve been living for the past two and a half weeks has really drained my strength and my body felt very much like it did when I was 70 lbs heavier, and those pesky tremors were very visible in my hands again, but only when I was moving them around. It really made me appreciate the miracle good health has been to me during the past year.

Then today happened… Don’t worry, it’s all good. This morning I woke up to news that I was an aunt again. I can't wait to see my new nephew but that might be awhile because he only lives 13 hours away. My mom says he's a real angel. What a great way to start out the day.

I really felt great, lot’s more energy, less tremors, and boy did I want to get back to fighting that clutter creature in our downstairs den. It used to be a bedroom for my oldest son but we’ve decided to turn it into a boys whatever room. Mostly because they have too much stuff (I wonder who they inherited that from? hum), but also because it would be nice for them to have a place where the little annoying sisters can’t pester them when their friends decide to come over and hang out. Once again, be prepared for some pictures that show just how horrible that clutter monster can be. Mr. Monster has a special way of spreading the havoc in the male dominated rooms of our home like you wouldn’t believe. Can you guess what color the carpet is supposed to be?

And did you spy Evo-man, Abner, and T-rev camoflaged inbetween the piles of What-where-you-thinking-getting-that-stuff?

Are your eyes seeing red yet?

Isn't it great what getting rid of about 6 bags of trash can do for a room? So dramatic I had to get more proof.

Missing is the one door wardrobe. Only to be replaced by a clear clutter containment field.

I hope it doesn't explode. Maybe after a little time I can convince the boys to reduce their whatever things by even more. But I think we made valuable progress.
And then there was Prince Erik making a really Super-Human Valiant effort to be a Handy Man and attack mommy's Honey-Do list. After he had been working in the Laundry room for a couple of hours he called me in to show me that he finally had attached the cupboard doors that have been waiting on my list for the last two years.

Opps, don't tell me you hung the corner door's upside down dear?
And those other corner doors, are really supposed to be on the bottom counter not the top.

What you want me to leave the laundry room so I don't see you cry?

Once I was no longer crushing his male ego, and our girls had offered him some valuable advice on how to use the screwdriver, and about 4 hours later...

Ta-da. Mr. Computer Geek actually finished hanging the doors on the laundry room cabinets. Next time, well lets just hope, for his ego, there is never a next time.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Silence is Golden, and Red, Blue, Green...

I’m convinced that people who said that ‘Children should be seen and not heard’ didn’t live in modern times with toddlers, or they had no knowledge of my children. Silence around our home equates to Uh, oh!!!
The other morning my husband and I, mostly my husband, were both getting the older kids ready to send them out the door for school.

‘Where’s Hope?’ I asked to no one in particular.

‘Upstairs getting into Lea’s markers,’ replied Princess. If Hope would have been getting into Princess’s stuff I’m sure I would have heard about it. But currently Princess and Lea are on the outs because of, well I don’t know, maybe because they are sisters and sisters sometimes don’t get along.

‘What? You didn’t stop her, or come and tell me?’ I barked as I slowly, as not to aggravate my cough, scooted my way upstairs.

There I found Hope studiously working on her masterpiece; transforming the bed sheet into a pint size Picasso.

When she looked up and saw me she automatically as if rehearsed said, ‘Momma Messy, I sorry,’

Then she proceeded to give me biggest puppy dog eyes. Probably hopeing that I wouldn't notice the marker on her arms, shirt, bedpost and walls.

I turned right around and scooted slowly downstairs, as not to aggravate my cough, to get my camera. Then I went right back upstairs to film the crime scene. Someday I’ll compile a book of all the damage that my kids caused so that when my grandkids act up and my kids complain I can then show them pictures of what they did as children and laugh in their face, and tell them it serves them right. However in my case I was a perfect child, I blame everything nasty that they do on my husband’s childhood. Why must I be punished because of his childhood?
The good news to the story is that Lea has washable Crayola markers.
Permanent markers are under lock and key around our home. The bad news is that no matter how washable Crayola claims to be; well it still doesn’t wash off from flat paint.

My walls suck up the color of everything that hits them, food, boogers, markers, and I won’t name what else.

So far our first week of being unplugged from electronic entertainment has been exactly what we expected… more kid fights, more mischief, more messes like what my 11-year old did with this pen,

more boredom melt-downs. But that said, it also has given us a glimmer of what we want to see more of, like Abner picking up a real guitar and plucking out songs instead of Guitar Hero III on X-box, more creativity, more stories at bedtime, and more human interaction.
So I’ll take my noisy family any day. In our home noise is the norm. With hardwood floors it more often sounds like a gymnasium than anything else. When I hear them it’s much easier keeping tabs on what they are doing then when there is silence. I will agree on one thing. After bedtime, silence is golden, until I remember that sleep is just re-charging them for another day of noisy kid fun.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Mom's Day Off

I thought it would be a lot tougher to sit and do nothing today. Boy was I wrong. It was actually quite nice, turning the kids and home over to my husband. I parked my body on the front room couch and clipped coupons all morning long. I’ve decided to do some actual budgeting during my convalescence.

I, of course, smiled to see my little shadow attach herself to her daddy’s leg instead of mine. It felt so good to say, ‘Go take that to Daddy, he’ll change your stinky, get you a Sippy cup, and let you sit on his lap while working.’

About an hour after the kids left to school I heard him mumble the magic words we mom’s love to hear… ‘I don’t know how you do it.’ He then promptly called my friend The Cleaning Lady and begged her to come help clean the house.

I got an even bigger smile when I heard my husband wrestling the possessed Washing Machine back into place. ‘This things heavy,’ he grunted.

My biggest wonderful-that-I’m-too-sick-to-help moment came when the Washer decided to get sick and spew all over the laundry room floor. Seems Prince Erik didn’t check to see whether the hoses were still attached to the wall after its last demonic possession. I laughed till I hacked as I sat on the couch and didn’t feel the least bit guilty. That lack of guilt did come in handy as I didn't raise even so much as a pinky to help, while seeing him running around grabbing towels. How very, very, naughty of me. But I’ve been complaining about that uppity washer for over a year now.

Finally, today I got some honest results. What do you do when your washer develops an ego? Well you humble it by knocking it off its pedestal, of course.

And for the next load of laundry, wouldn’t you know it; the beast stayed in place and didn’t budge so much as an inch.

Maybe the big guy upstairs decided to knock me off my pedestal for a bit this week because I needed to be humbled as well. I’ll have to ponder more on that one later. For now I’m just going to sit here and enjoy one of the blessings of a T.V. free home. Lea reading to her sister Princess.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Too Much Information

I was going to take pictures of these moments today but I didn’t want to get my kids to get arrested for indecent exposure. So I will try and feed you a mental image of what those around us saw today.

Picture #1. Eleven year old boy steps out of the family tank in the church parking lot wearing…

· One red tee-shirt reading, ‘What, I just went to school yesterday.’

· Long black exercise shorts

· And get this, Roller blades with black socks. I wonder who his daddy is?

After a couple of laps up and down the church parking lot, he decided that he didn’t want to wear the above mentioned attire in the chapel (big sigh of relief here). Fortunately we had brought his Sunday clothes with us and he changed and made it to church before the opening song had ended. I’m just grateful that he came, regardless of how he was dressed.

Picture #2. Three sweet, impressionable deacons (12, 13 year old boys) came by our home to collect fast offerings this evening and were greeted at the door by none other than my darling Hope in nothing more than a diaper. At least she wasn't in just her birthday suit. By the way, she was in the middle of getting ready for bed.

‘Hi, how are you?’ She greeted them cheerily.

They, of course, were nervously giggling, and had their eye’s bugging out of their heads as they tried to discretely avert their gaze to count cobwebs on our ceiling. My husband hollered for Abner to come and get her while I desperately tried to find our last checkbook. Hopefully their minds won’t be permanently damaged.

I know that was probably too much information.

Well I tried going to church today, tried being the key word. After the first hour, I got a lift home from a great friend. I gave up after about 10 different people told me I looked like…, well I looked like I felt. To be honest I felt like Jabba the Hut, especially when I would try and chase Hope down the hallway. All slow motion and no energy, is not what you need when you’re chasing a two year old speed demon. My friends at church didn’t tell me directly that I looked like a giant slug, but I must have still looked green enough to have so many different people comment. Maybe they thought I was going to infect everyone, I don’t know. I didn’t feel too contagious because I’ve taken all my anti-biotics, and have been around my husband for two weeks without him as much as catching a sniffle. To be honest, I’m feeling like my bark is slowly improving. I don’t hack nearly as often or juicy as I did a week ago. Oh, thank you cough medicine with codeine, you are a true friend.

However, that being said, still feeling like a slug, can’t be good news. It’s probably because I have tried to work through this illness and haven’t really rested. It’s just so darn hard to watch the house fall to pieces when you sit around and do nothing. How bad can it be to keep tidying up as opposed to sitting and stewing? I guess bad enough to make me feel like Jabba. So I promised my Prince Erik I would take an official couple days off from my job. I might have to lock myself in a room somewhere and wear earmuffs to keep from hearing the kids destroy things, and feel the need to come to the rescue. I don’t know we will see how it goes.

Meanwhile let's hope the fashion police are not on patrol because my husband will be dressing the kids for the next couple of days.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

A Frantic Dream

Well my de-clutter dream took on an new frantic level this past weekend. There’s nothing like a home appraisal inspection to light a fire under your bucket, and urge you to tackle that clutter quick. Our friendly little inspector was going to come yesterday but seeing as I was still sick I got a few days reprieve. He’s now coming this Wednesday instead. Swell, I get to sweat it out for another 4 days instead of just getting it over with.

Lest you think all I accomplished this last week was socks. I thought I’d show you how the boy’s room turned out. It’s not de-cluttered quite to my new satisfaction level, but being that you don’t have to step on anything or maneuver around their built-in little obstacle course, I say it’s a big improvement.
So, drum roll please, Before...

And just so you don't think your eye's are playing tricks on you. I even got another angle.

Can you believe it? Yes, that is carpet, and a lot of it.

This one isn't so bad, because you'll notice all the closet maid organizers that we installed at the beginning of the year.

I guess the big bonus is that you can actually now get into the closet without tripping on something. You try putting their clothes away after their lights are out and they are in bed. It's like a war zone with extra booby traps.

I also started a couple of other huge clutter zones, but seeing as I haven’t finished them I’ll spare you their gory before pictures. I wouldn't want you to have any clutter nightmares.

Yes Prince Erik did work on his desk but it’s not quite ready for its reveal. And I also haven’t finished our new mud room, seeing has how the rest of the house is calling clutter 911 before the inspection.

I will also save the jaw-dropping garbage total for a later date, but I will let you take a peek at my third thrift pile of 2008.

So yes, my declutter dream is in frantic fast pace. But frantic also means that I'm having to avoid some of the little nooks and crannys until a later date. It's all good though, if I didn't have this clutter to go through I'd be definately going through internet withdrawls. Since the only pages I can really go to is my blog and email, I've found myself spacing out while re-reading my comments for the tenth time, wishing they would magically transform into the other blogs I like to read. I've been good and haven't cheated yet, but I do miss getting all the juicy tidbits on what's going on in the world around me. So until my next dream-on day, enjoy your own mess and be glad it's not mine.

Friday, February 1, 2008

The Magic sock drawer

‘Wow, the magic sock drawer is working again.’ My husband says with glee as he does a happy dance after seeing socks in his drawer again.

Usually he has to fend for himself, along with the other kids as they sift through a large Rubbermaid container full of mis-matched socks. Oh, I occasionally fold the socks and throw them in drawers but it always seems like there are more socks in the container than there are mates. I knew I wanted to take on the sock gremlin this week so I made it a point to catch up on laundry. Something that never happens around here. But since I’ve been confined at home with the barking seals cough malady, I decided to tackle the laundry mountain. I searched every room for every piece of dirty laundry I could find and then I set about to getting them all through the laundry. There was a good couple days of marathon washing, and folding going on. My washer wasn’t too happy with me and decided to act possessed. I could often hear it banging around in the laundry room, sometimes it would get so mad that I could feel its anger vibrating the floor several rooms away. See what I have to put up with from it. The silly thing actually glares at me as I come into the laundry room.

It’s supposed to be facing the other wall like this.

But, somehow it moves its hefty frame and waddles completely out of place. I have to really throw my weight at it to walk it back into place. Anyway, I won’t go into my love/hate affair with this contraption here because I need to get back to those socks.

And I did it. For the first time in years I had every possible item of dirty clothing completely cleaned. Well, for a couple of hours they were clean. Then of course, the kids pulled off more dirty clothes when they had to get ready for bed. But honestly for a good couple of hours I was totally up on the completely clean laundry list. And with all clothes clean it was a perfect time to attack that dreaded pile of socks.

Want to know how debilitating and expensive clutter can be? I had no idea how many socks I had lost. Let me rephrase. I had no idea how many socks my kids had lost. They could be buried under seats in the car, molding in the grass out back, or even in a vent hole in the floor. Who knows? By the time I was done sorting, and I won't tell you how long it took because that would be too depressing, well, anyway here is the tale of our socks…

First my girls helped me divide them by color. This was actually harder than it looks. You try matching all those white socks. Or should I say various shades of gray socks.

Sorting into the initial piles was about all my girls helped me with. Then they decided to go off and tease each other to no end, since they couldn’t plug into anything. But that’s another story. So...

79 pair-less socks join the ever-increasing, pile of garbage out back that will soon be another dump truck run.

21 pairs retired for age and stains so bad that no amount of bleach on earth could cure them.

13 holy socks laid to rest

6 pairs of hardly worn cutesy too-small girly socks donated to the needy.

Approximately 112 pairs of socks (2 weeks worth per person and still way too many) get a reprieve and live to be worn another day.

Waste is disgusting. And I'm sure I'm going to be finding a lot more of it with the T.V. turned off. But hey, the good thing is my husband's magic sock drawer is working again.