Thursday, August 30, 2012

Can you see me now?

This was the picture that should have been at the end of my last post.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Remember when lamenting over which fabric and type of window treatment I'd use in the family room was my great stress in life? Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaa!

Yes. Well. (Regaining my composure.)

Times have changed.

The kids' mom is in the hospital (just a little slice of drama). Yes, they see her. Twice a week. And I said I never wanted an open adoption. Teeheeheeheeheeeheeheee! Joke's on me! This isn't even an adoption. I'm the unpaid babysitter.

OK. I'll stop now or risk turning into Uncle Albert on Mary Poppins and this post will end with me in tears.


The kids' mom is in the hospital. I found out yesterday. After stopping at the store for flowers, a Dr. Pepper (for her), a Diet Coke (for me and somewhere to put the flowers we just bought), and a card- I picked up the girls from school and we went for a visit at the hospital. I hate the smell of hospitals. Costco, home late, homework...loverly.

This morning my personal assistant rings and it's the school. My phone is never too far because  my worst fear is missing a call from the school, or CPS, or our attorney, or Jim McMan calling to tell me I've won a huge cash prize and can I please call security to let him in at the gate.

It was the third grade teacher. Miss8 is complaining of a tooth ache. She's anything but a whiner so I know she's owie. I get us a last minute appointment at the dentist which I've been putting off until we are just more than glorified babysitters and they can be on our insurance. I'll be damned if I don't encourage my son to go to dental school. Holy Shiznat! So while she is on antibiotics for the next ten days, I have exactly ten days to get a second opinion. We get home and have a little visit with the family they lived with previously. This means ten kids running back and forth through the house squealing and "Aaaargh-ing!" like Pirates. "Please chew the chips at the table!" "Dear Lord thank you for blessing me with a baby who will sleep through the next elephant stampede!"

The bottle of barbecue sauce is still sitting on the counter as a reminder that I did not get out the crockpot before I left. I pack up half the kids to go buy Whoppers and Husband works on math with the other half. Or I think it was half. Whatever. My math needs work. I took whoever had their shoes on. Prior to my day going to hell I made manipulatives to learn place value. Just in case you were wondering...No child left behind is leaving a boatload of them in the dust. I have never so strongly considered home schooling, except oh, wait. I can't! I'm just the sitter. Actually that's not fair. Technically and legally I'm just the sitter, but the tender mercy that has gotten me through the day and probably the next week happened while at the dentist.

Miss8, who was beaming with excitement like it was Disneyland because she's never been to a dentist before, tells the dentist..."ManCub and Juju have the same birthday!"

"Who's Juju?" Dr. Stacy asks.

She looks right at me and without hesitation, "She's my baby sister."

I try not to cry and I beam with pride. The dentist is thoroughly confused.

Sometimes I want to run away, and I do after putting three of them in the jogging stroller. I feel anxiety, anger, guilt, confusion, stress, and question at every turn what the hell we think we're doing here and then one of the laundry-making gremlins mouths off with something like that.

I'm really, super glad I let someone else come up with a Master Bedroom Moodboard for my birthday last month. Let someone else stress about which fabric and window treatment I hang. Best twenty-five bucks I've spent all year! Not like I was going to be off on my own getting a mani-pedi any time soon.

Didn't she do a great job?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Bulleted blogging suits me best.

  • We've been doing fun things, I swear. We went to the train museum. And rode the light rail to get there. Ew, eww, ewww! Our local mass transit is not like it is in other cities (that know what they're doing). As soon as we stepped on, I regretted it. Don't touch ANYthing! Oh, and did you know it is a federal law that your stroller has to be folded up while riding. Could they make riding public transportation any less kid friendly?
  • Our summer fun list is almost over. So is the summer. I'll do an update with a bazillion pictures sometime. No promises.
  • People used to comment that I had my hands full, now they just stare like I should have a reality t.v. show. This compels me to not leave my home without wearing makeup and being fully dressed. People don't expect it, and I cannot bring myself to be 'that haggard looking mom with the ton of kids and ugly white van'. 
  • I need to do a post about Huey, the white whale- a.k.a. the ten passenger van I drive. We have a love/hate relationship. It is leaning more towards the love side every day.
  • Thanks to a friend who has my back, I scored the mother of all Craigslist scores this past week. A triple jogging stroller for next to nothing and a big play structure with swings and a slide for absolutely nothing! 
  • Holly started nursing school today and I know she's not going to blog, but there. Now it is documented. I am very proud of her. Even if it totally cramps our phone talking style
  • The girls guessed my age as being 40. They are grounded until I am.
  • Proud Mama moment...Scrunch asked me to teach her to knit and both school-aged girls have signed up for the knitting club at school.
  • I guess I left out a few details about the kids, and people ask me their ages all the time. 9,8,4, 2, 18mos, 6mos. ManCub and Juju are exactly one year apart to the day. He and Porkchop are 9mos. apart. Beezus is the oldest, and I'm still having a hard time coming up with a name for Miss 8.
  • Husband completed our Ward's mini triathlon this past weekend. And he did it without training, and did it well. Ugh. He kills me. I have to train and train and train for a 5k, and he busts out a 6mile run with some buddies after not having run in years. I am starting to suspect...cylon.
  • I milked again last weekend. I love it. Isn't that weird? I love milking cows. I am in the middle of consulting my calendar so it can become a regular occurrence.
That is all. It is my bedtime.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Photo dump

I have barely enough brain cells to rub together to form coherent sentences. Trust me. I met a couple of new gals at knitting last night and it sent my brain into overload. Grown ups to talk to! They probably think I have the worst case of adult A.D.D. (They don't know me well enough yet to know that I do.) I was desperately needing to recharge and it was just the ticket. From now on, it is a must-have on the weekly list of priorities. Eat. Knit. Homework. Laundry. Repeat. I didn't even knit a single stitch the entire two hours I sat there laughing and catching up.

My side of the conversation was like a run on sentence of the captions to these pictures.

This summer has been crazy, good crazy...been on out of town and on the road alot...came home, bought a van, and added three more kiddos....checked my e-mail and BAM! There they were...all doing well...Scrunch is Scrunch, Juju is still squishy, and we praise the Heavens when Porkchop is asleep...he's on the go...has a partner in crime...Double Trouble... Juju is really squishy...Did I mention she's super, duper, oober squishy?...and today was the first day of school!

Monday, August 13, 2012

One. Two. Three. Four. I declare a thumb war!!!!

My hands are ripped after the weekend of milking. (I made yogurt, ice cream, and butter. So yummy. And I'm totally sold on renting my house out so I can move to the country, milk cows, and eat peaches.)

But back to the subject at hand- thumb wars.

That is the most I got out of 4th grade. Thumb wars and bloody knuckles. I was a bloody knuckles champ. The boys used to even let me play with them in the lunch line. But after attending Back to School Night tonight I have realized, Holy shmoly! Things have changed. And I'm not even old people. I promise. I had a birthday last week so I was recently reminded exactly how old I am. I feel LOTS older than I really am. In fact, I can't WAIT to turn 30 so my age is more reflective of the bags under my eyes. Anyway, they have syllabuses (???) syllabi (???) in elementary school!?!

We did not wade in with kindergarten. Nope. Feet first. Sink or swim. Straight for 4th and 3rd grades. Full fledged homework, science projects, writing assignments, the goods. Meanwhile, back at home my four year old thinks she's going on fourteen.

Oh, laws.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I remember almost all of my teachers. Except this crazy high school English teacher who was completely off her rocker. For the life of me I cannot remember her name. I dropped her Honor's English class as a sophomore after only a week. The only thing I remember about her class was the word  'juxtaposition'. She was big on all that literary comparison B.S. I mean what can you expect- she was an English teacher.

Juxtaposition: Juxtaposition is a linguistic tool, used in any written text or any daily conversation, to highlight the distinction, the contrasts and the similitudes and alike attributes of two concepts, thoughts, characters, feelings, objects by placing them together in the context.

Man she would have loved for me to expound on the juxtaposition of my day yesterday. The comparison and contrast between the easy-paced morning spent doing farm chores, and the rest of my day dealing with chaos in the ghetto.

I woke up extra early to work and then I headed out to get my second milking lesson so I can cow-sit this week/end. I'm sure you'll hear about being peed on, making yogurt, cheese, and ice cream. As I washed dishes in the kitchen, a grandma taught her grand daughter how to make apple sauce from the apples that had fallen near the neighbors driveway. I felt so Laura Ingalls Wilder straining the milk and tossing the zucchini over the fence to the chickens. I drove home to nurse Juju the whole while thinking, #1. Man, I want to move. #2. This is the life and if I ever move and buy a cow I will name her Nellie and I will say, "Whoa! Nellie!" a lot.

Fast forward a few hours and I sat clutching my wallet and keys in a sticky waiting room chair at the Medi-cal provider hoping to get copies of some of the kids' previous records. I watched a mom yank her kids around and talk to them worse than I yell at my dog. On a bad day. I was totally unnerved as I walked the halls of the girls' previous elementary school. This is an elementary school? Run down and creepy. I'm so glad the girls won't be there now. As I walked back to my car I thought about that High School teacher whose name I can't remember.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Family Matters

As I scaled the Everest-like mountain that is the laundry Husband walked by and asked, "If you didn't have six kids, what would you be doing right now?"

I think I muttered something that starts with 'shut', ends with 'up', and lands my kids in hot water. I cannot let my mind go there. I am living minute by minute. Sometimes in twenty second increments. And I talk to myself. Like. A. LOT!

"Oh, for the love of all that is Holy!" - Like when they tattle. Oy. Little girls like to tattle.

"I must remain calm." -Like when the dishwasher has been out for three days and CPS calls and says they are coming to your house.

"I am the grown up." -Like when I want to jump and down and whine when someone is jumping up and down and whining.

"I want my mommy!" -Like when CPS and the attorney were coming at the very same time on the very same morning.

"You can do hard things." -Like pretty much every time I want to run away.

"This is worth it." -Like when Scrunch tells me she has three sisters.

"They are worth it." -Like when the girls give me a hug first thing in the morning.

"In ten years none of this will matter." -Like when I'm staring at the laundry, dishes, or toys strewn everywhere.

"In ten years only this will matter." -Like every time I question what in the Sam Hell possessed us to think we could pull this off.

This is pretty much the hardest thing I've ever done. Not my parent's divorce, infertility, adoption, Porkchop's cleft and subsequent surgeries, natural labor- none of it compares to daily physical and emotional work that parenting these six kids has required of me. But I also know all of it combined prepared us for it. 

From a recent e-mail I wrote..."We knew this was not going to be easy. We will just continue to do the best we can, with what we've got, while we've got them. When I start to question what craziness we've set out on and invited into our lives I am constantly reminded by the kids that we are doing this for them. Over dinner Beezus read the sign in our kitchen about good moms having sticky floors, dirty ovens, and happy kids. She looked at me and said, "You've got six happy kids." "

In ten years, only this will matter.

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