Monday, April 26, 2010

Not Just Yet

We are still waiting to hear from the nerds, geeks, dudeswhoaretakingforbloodyever amazingly intelligent and handsome and virile (wth? like I would know!) gentlemen who are working on my computer. They say it could just be the motherboard, in which case they will install a new one and give me back my computer while putting a dent in my checkbook. Or, they say it could be the hard drive, in which case I will beg with them (via my amazingly intelligent, handsome and virile [yeah, baby! I do know this one] husband) to save some of my important stuff, let them dent my checkbook, and then further dent my checkbook by purchasing a new machine. Or, they will say that my computer and my sewing machine have been having late-night, back-room meetings wherein they are planning a coup and that perhaps it would be in my best interest to go "off the grid," take on a new identity and start over.

Frankly, I am hoping for one of the first two, because while they would seriously deplete my bank account, they just seem like a lot less work. And right now I am too tired for anything that even remotely resembles work.

I have things to tell you and stories to share, but I don't have the computer time to do it right now. But when I have my computer back, I plan on sitting down with a big vat, barrel, bottle, goblet glass of wine and letting it all out.

Watch out y'all. You have been warned. (You should have at least until next week to get prepared and take on provisions, as the computer dudes will have my machine until the end of this week. Bummer.)

Monday, April 19, 2010

C U L8R!

I am going to a visitation today and a funeral tomorrow. I work on Wednesday and get to join in the celebration of a life. I work Friday. There is baseball practice many nights this week. There are orthodontist and dentist appointments. There are school meetings this week as well. And my computer still is not fixed. I will not have access to my husbands computer and because of the craziness of the week, chances of hitting the library to use the computers there fall somewhere between "not happening" and "not a snowball's chance in hell."

I apologize for the light posting lately. It's hard to post when you don't have a computer and smoke signals and telegraphs are soooo 1800s. But it looks like I'm going to have to catch up on all my work around the house and focus on my family for the week. Hopefully the next time I post I will be typing it on a sparkly new computer.

So my friends, have a great week. I'll see you here in the next one.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Crown Her With Many Crowns

This week is kicking my butt. It started with me getting a migraine and a 5 year old getting an ear infection. Always kind of a sucktastic way to start your week. This is Mary's third ear infection since January. I'm not sure if the last one cleared completely since we didn't have it rechecked. So now she is on a stronger antibiotic. She cannot stand the taste of it, so every dose becomes a match of wits and stamina. So far I am prevailing, but it's not for any lack of effort on her part. Thank goodness that this particular medicine only has to be taken once a day for five days. I'm not sure I can take much more of this. I'm fairly certain that if someone from the Department of Children and Family Services had seen me holding my child down and forcing the medicine into her gullet, they would be giving me the stink eye. Although this does seem to be a no-win situation from the DCFS standpoint; it's neglect if I fail to medicate her, but in order to medicate her, I have to force her to take it.

My mother tells me that what goes around comes around. Apparently I was not the angel I seem to remember being as a child. Particularly where taking medicine was concerned. Guess I'm payin' for my raisin'.

Blessedly, there are only two more doses of medicine to go. I'm fairly certain that I can make it through. Although large quantities of alcohol may be needed to steady my nerves....

Then, on Tuesday I had the sheer and utter delight to spend my morning off cleaning and my afternoon off taking my four lovely children to the dentist. I sat in the waiting room with them and read a magazine and pretended not to know them while they laid down in a corner and alternately rested and kicked each other because someone was in "their space." (To be fair to Maggie, she chose to spend her time doing homework and texting. I'm not really sure how a person can get their homework completed when their phone buzzes every .2 seconds, but somehow Maggie managed.) Then, when the three "resters" became restless, I pretended not to notice. I would look around with a look that said "Whose children are they? Someone needs to get control of those children!!"

But they totally blew my cover by coming over and saying "Mom! Mom!" every 30 seconds. Then after they had rested, they looked through every magazine and book available. Five minutes later when they were done with that, they decided that quoting lines from "The Simpsons" seemed like a great way to pass the time. Actually, that part was pretty funny. I love me some Simpsons.

The kids got good reports all around, although it was touch and go with Mary who had to get xrays and didn't enjoy it one bit. After settling up our balance and making appointments for them all for six months down the line, the receptionist complimented them on their behavior. I nearly swallowed my tongue. I must have given her a look that said "are you sure you have the right children?" because she told me that they were very well behaved. She said that usually when they have three or four kids booked together like that they know it's going to be a long day, but she said they have never thought that about my kids.

I have a feeling that she just didn't want to lose our business. I mean, my kids are pretty good, but they were, after all having a mini-smackdown match in the corner. I can't imagine what other kids must be doing if that makes my kids the standard. Either that, or the bar is really low.

Today I had my own chance to sit in the dentist's chair. Now, I don't dread the dentist like some people do, but it's not my favorite thing ever either. I'm not a huge fan of people using pointy tools and jabbing them here and there in my mouth, but you know, as far as medical type things go, it's miles ahead of a mammogram or the indignities you face in the OB/GYN's office. (Hi there Dad! Sorry!)

So I sat there and tried my best to talk around the fingers in my mouth as they asked me questions, periodically wiping minty saliva from my cheek as the hygienist kept accidentally splashing me with my own spit. (Hope you aren't eating while you read this. Sorry.) Come to think of it, maybe they didn't really find my children all that well behaved and that was my payback. Hmmmm....

And then the bad news. The porcelain crown on one of my molars is chipped. This is the same crown they have replaced once. Here's what happened:
Once upon a time I went to the dentist and they discovered my molar was cracked. Boo! I went back to the dentist and they replaced the cracked part with a crown. Yea! One night while chewing gum and writing my blog, my crown came out in my hand. Boo! So I returned to the dentist where they replaced it at no charge to me, since I had only had it a short while. Yea! Fastforward to today where they tell me the replacement needs replaced and they will have to do a heavy duty crown. Boo! It will be replaced at no charge to me. Yea! This still means that next week I get to spend 2 hours in a dentist chair while my spit runs down my numbed face. Boo! The end.

The dentist told me that he wouldn't do a gold crown unless I really wanted it. I told him that I prefer my bling outside my mouth and that a regular heavy duty crown like I have on the other side of my mouth would be just swell with me. He said that some people liked bling in their mouth up front and center where God and everyone can see it. We had a good laugh about what my kids would do if I came home with a grille in my mouth. Somehow I don't think that's my style.

Although if he could do one that says "Don't mess with mama" in sapphires, I might consider it. That way, every time I had to force a child to take medicine, I could just flash my grille and they would stop dissin' me. True dat. Word.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

How In The World Do I Do These Things?

Okay. Somehow I broke my blog again. Does it seem to you like perhaps the machines of the world are conspiring against me?

Yes. Possibly "of the world" is too broad a term. But the machines in my home--particularly machines of the personal computer type--seem to be staging some sort of uprising. If they start talking to me in unruffled voices and call me "Dave" or speak with an Austrian accent and say things like "I'll be back," I'll let you know.

I have no idea just how I managed to strike through not only the one word from my last post ("crap"), but all the words following that word in that post! That's not how it's supposed to work. For those of you who have no idea how writing a blog works, I'll give you a brief lesson.

When you write a post, you write it on a separate page than what you see when it is actually published. The page that I'm looking at when I write the post actually looks more like a what you see when you are typing a word document. There's a place to change the font and the font size. There's an icon for spell check. And there are various other buttons and icons that allow me to do different things. It's very simple. But sometimes, if you want to do something in the body of your post, like, oh let's say strike through a word, you have to do it in HTML code. Now, I know about four things in HTML, and of those, I had to ask my brother (Supa Jeenious Bro) how to do approximately, um, all of them. Striking through a word or phrase is very simple. You just type the code before the word you want struck through. And when you want the striking through to stop, you type a slightly different code. So, easy, right?

Yeah. Um. Hmmm...

I did all those things and my blog still looks like a toddler got hold of a marker and went to town. Or that my evil twin Crazy Editor Girl found absolutely nothing worth keeping other than the first few words. And what's weirder still, is that it struck through all the rest of the posts and all the stuff on my sidebar (like my blogroll, my feedjit, my about me paragraph, and well, you get the picture) as well. That shouldn't happen. I know very little about this here computer stuff, but I know that that shouldn't have happened. What happens in the posting box is supposed to stay in the posting box.

If I hadn't been up half the night with a migraine and a 5 year old crying because of an ear infection, I might be a little more worried about it. As it is, I just want to grab my pillow and drool on it awhile.

We'll see how this posts. If everything is crossed through, I may have to make a batch of the World's Deadliest (In A Good Way) Chocolate Chip Cookies and send them to Supa Jeenious Bro as payment for yet again fixing my broken blog.

Cross your fingers, I'm about to hit "publish."

Monday, April 12, 2010

Unanswerable Questions For The Universe

So here's a question for the universe: at what point do children actually see crapobjects on the floor and pick them up?

I really would love an answer to this question. I would be willing to fly eleventy billion hours to Burma, trek into the deepest jungle, climb up the steepest, muddiest, deadliest mountain, and find the smelliest, scariest hermit in his cave if I knew for sure that he could tell me the answer.

I fear that the hermit would only stare deeply into my eyes while shrugging his bony shoulders and say something like "When they are ready."

At which point I would have to violate deep moral codes and international law and throw him off the mountain.

I truly do wonder why it's necessary to peel your dirty socks off of your sweaty feet and then leave them on the floor. Do my children think that this is some sort of love offering to me? You know, once upon a time, my children had small, sweat-free, sweet smelling feet the likes of which I would nuzzle and kiss and nibble. Lo, those days have passed. My children's feet now smell like they have been wading in manure, letting it cure and then giving themselves a foot bath in Gorgonzola and Fritos. And they leave their socks, with the essence of Eau du Foot, all. over. the. place.

And for some reason, it's not just one pair of socks per child, it's like seven. I really believe that I have about 28 pairs of smelly socks in my family room alone. (Mmmm....fragrant! Want to come over for a visit?) Do not get me started on the rest of the house. Or the shoes that they leave on the floor as well.

Is it really so hard to just put them in the mudroom or in their closet? Well, duh! Apparently it is. How stupid of me.

And then there is the matter of the pillows. I have throw pillows on the couches in my family room. I like them. They look nice and they are ever so handy for resting one's head when one is nursing a confusion-induced headache from trying to figure out if Jacob is good or if the man in black is good and just what Charles Widmore is up to when watching LOST.

Why do my offspring think that they are a nuisance and a hindrance? I may have just picked them up or asked them to pick them up for the 973rd time of the day and yet the next time I turn around, the pillows are on the floor and the dumb dog is eyeing them. (When I see the dumb dog looking at the pillows with the wheels turning in her little brain, you can bet your bippee that I remind her from whence she came and tell her that I could easily send her back.) (Do you think that she knows this is an empty threat? My children seem to have figured out that I can't send them back, but they are just slightly more intelligent than the dumb dog.)

And seriously. How many times can people step over the same wrapper, napkin, toy, etc without picking it up?

Oh! Oooh! Ooooh! Wait! I know the answer to this one! The answer is, THERE IS NO ANSWER!! They could do it FORBLOODYEVER and I don't know how to count to infinity.

Can you sense my frustration? Can you see the bruises on my forehead from where I've been banging it up against the brick wall that is my childrens' ear drums?

I would wish summer upon us, bringing with it the days of bare feet and flip flops, but I am not naive. I know that when summer comes it brings with it a whole 'nother set of problems. Things like lost flip flops, splinters and bee stings in bare feet, and popsicle wrappers floating through the yard on the breeze.

Which brings me to yet another question: why does the ice cream truck only come through the neighborhood in the 10 minutes before dinner is on the table?

Never mind. I can't even think about it, it's making my head hurt. I'll just console myself by ordering a bomb pop and retiring to the family room to count stinky footwear.

Friday, April 9, 2010


My mother tells a story of when she was a young married woman with two little boys. At the time, she and my dad had only one car. Dad was working full time and going to school. Mom stayed home with my brothers. She said she used to be so lonely and cut off, that she would eagerly await the mailman's arrival. When he came, she would chat with him and practically follow him down the street. In the evenings, when my dad would get home, my mom would say her hello and then hightail it to the car and make her escape. She tells me that the neighbors joked that they didn't think mom and dad liked each other, because as soon as he got home she was rushing out the door and taking off in the car.

Mom says that she might have only been escaping to the grocery store. but at least she was alone. As the mother of four kids, I totally get this. There were days when a trip to the store with one child was the highlight of my week. These days, however, my kids are older and my need to "escape" has changed. I don't stay home with little ones full time anymore. I work some days. My kids are bigger and have activities and are often on the run from one place to another.

These days, my need for escape isn't so much for alone time as it is for quiet time--a time to sit and think where I'm not required to drive. And that is part of the reason that I blog. This is my "alone time." This is how I sort through things, how I vent my spleen, how I share the big stuff and document the little stuff. In short, this is partly how I keep my hold on sanity--however tentative it may be.

But you know what? I haven't had a computer for a few weeks. And the insanity is starting to get a hold of me. I know, it may seem that I've been in insanity's death grip since my very first post, but I assure you I have not.

Shut up. Truly, not being able to just sit in my kitchen and write and read what other bloggers are writing is making me a leeeeeetle bit crazy. Usually, I start my day by reading through my blog roll. It's like reading the paper to me. I catch up on the lives and happenings of complete strangers. But I like it. It's a way of feeling connected and less alone. When I read about what's going on in other people's lives, I am able to relate and that makes me feel like the stuff I'm living isn't just stuff that's happening only to me. And often, I end my day by writing a post for my blog. It's a good way for me to process. I like being able to document what's going on with my family while it's fresh in my mind.

So the last few weeks of having no computer has felt like a very harsh punishment indeed. And my poor husband! He gets home from his trips and I'm all "Honey!! You're home!!" And he's thinking: "Wow! What a welcome! My wife really missed me! She must really love me!" And I do! Truly, madly, and deeply.

But I also love his computer. You know, the one that he takes with him when he goes on his trips and leaves me without. Yeah. That one. The very one that I'm using to write this post.

My husband's laptop is loud and buzzy. It sits on his very messy desk, leaving me no place to set my Diet Coke or my glass of wine. It sits too far back on his desk for me to see it clearly. (He got new glasses--bifocals! HA!-- and he's all "Na-na-na-na-na! I can see stuff and you can't!") (Yes, I'm certain that a trip to the eye doctor is in the future for me, and I'm sure it will be quite blogworthy given that I wear one contact and have one bionic eye. Not quite sure what they will do to me, but I think I might wind up with the eyewear equivalent of the old headgear orthodontists used to make kids wear.) I have to close down 872 windows that he leaves open. I have to wait until he is finished with work before I can use it. Also, I have to jockey for position to use it because my teenage daughter is going through Facebook withdrawal (Hey, Pot! I'm Kettle. Nice to meet you!) and she is dying to get on as well.

But I cannot complain. Really. That paragraph back there? Totally NOT complaining. Just, you know, explaining things and being descriptive. Right? Shut up. I am grateful for not having to drive 15 minutes to use the library computer. Because those librarians? Dude, they really frown on people bringing adult beverages into the computer room.

So I guess what I'm trying to say--and taking a very long time and doing a rather poor job of it--is that my husband is home and that I am glad to see both him and his computer. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to get on Facebook and see how many stupid Farmville requests I have update my status from "Happy Easter" to something along the lines of "Computer+wine=happiness."

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Weekend Favorites

I am so very sad. You see, my computer is still very ill. In fact, it may be gasping its very last breath. And my husband? He has the nerve to travel! 'I have to!' he says. 'For work!' he says. Hmph. Who needs a paycheck?!

Right. I do. Because my children, they keep asking for stuff like food and clothing. Of all the nerve!

So I am stuck using the library computer. Which means that until my computer gets fixed or replaced, my posts here will be irregular. It also means that I cannot post pictures. (I am so sad!!) Please don't leave me. Don't go away. I promise that I'll get back to regular posts soon. Really! (Insecure much there, Sara?)

For now, I will fill you in on Easter and some of the things that made my weekend.

Favorite sights:
Watching my children and my nieces and nephew hunt for eggs that their siblings and cousins had hidden. For some of these children, this was a very difficult task, indeed. In fact, James couldn't find his last egg and gave up the hunt. Three hours after the hunt, someone discovered it. I guess you could say the moral of this little story is "Be nice to your siblings for you never know when they will be in charge of hiding your eggs." Yeah, it's no Aesop, but I think it's still good.

Seeing my new nephew Thomas for the first time. Cute, yummy baby-ness!

Watching my 17 year old nephew Jack try to kill the pinata.

Seeing my father beg and roll over while pretending to be a dog to my mother's dog trainer during a very loud and raucous game of Quelf.

Looking around the church I grew up in on Easter Sunday and seeing so many faces that I love.

Favorite sounds:
Thomas' little squeaks and squeals.

The church choir and congregation lifting their voices in praise on Easter Sunday morning.

The yells and cheers of my family as we watched the Final Four. (Way to go Butler!!)

Hearing my 17 year old nephew's answer of 'Zebra' to the question "Name an animal that could rip your arm off" during yet another very loud and raucous game of Quelf. Yep. Gotta watch out for those zebras. They are so very dangerous.

Listening and laughing as everyone told their favorite Knock-Knock joke.

Favorite tastes:
My mother's potato salad. Thanks for the delicious surprise mom!

Ham! I never make ham and so only eat it about once a year and it was so very worth the wait.

Deviled eggs. Ditto the explanation for the ham.

Peanut butter chocolate pie. So yummy mommy!

Chocolate bunny. Do I really need to explain this one?

Favorite touches:
The fuzzy head of my new nephew against my cheek as I held him.

The hugs of my family upon seeing each other for the first time since Christmas.

Holding my daughters' hands in church on Easter Sunday.

Best line of the weekend, spoken by my 10 year old niece, Jill:
After pitching a fit about being the only one really dressed up (she was wearing a dress and looking very cute, while others looked casually nice in polos, khaki shorts, or capris) for church on Friday night she said, "Oh well. At least I look nice. The rest of you look like you're going to a truck auction!"

I am still laughing at that one. Good one, Jilly.

It was a wonderful weekend, but it's good to be home. Now it's back to life, back to work, back to reality. And, um, back to posting when my husband returns.

How did you spend your Easter weekend? What were some of your favorite things?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

It's Friday, But Sunday's Comin'!

So here's the thing: some days you fail. Some days you drop the ball; you forget to call the kennel for the dog, your computer doesn't work right, you've cleaned everything in sight and your children drop 423 metric tons of crap in every possible nook and cranny. You are wishing for June and it's only April. You are overwhelmed and at the end of your tether. It's bleak. It's black. The veil in the temple has been ripped. You are having a hard time seeing the 'good' in Good Friday.


Some days you remember that it's not about how clean your house is. Some days you find another kennel with room for your dog even though it is Spring Break and Easter weekend. Some days you have access to another computer. Some days you spend the morning at the zoo with your husband and child and revel in being with them and sharing the time together. Some days you fold 423 metric tons of laundry and you know that you will someday soon have to do 423 metric tons of laundry again, but you don't care, because these are the clothes of the people who have taken residence in your heart. Some days you sip wine on the patio and listen to the birds and watch your children play in the golden rays of the springtime sun. Some days your vacation is already planned for June and it's only April and you are so happy and anticipating the fun.

Some days you remember that "It's Friday, but Sunday's comin'!" You remember that Friday can be bleak and dark and it may seem you've reached the end of your tether, but you know that Things didn't end on Friday. You know that it's all about Sunday. You know that it's all about beauty from ashes. You know that it's all about a vacant tomb and abandoned grave clothes.

And that knowledge makes all those days when it's April and you are wishing for June worth it.

Happy Easter, everyone!

He is risen! He is risen, indeed!