Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Summer is almost over

Enough of you have asked why I haven't blogged that I decided to try and post something. Without going into lame excuses I'll just apologize to my faithful readers for the lack of reading materials lately.

It's hard to write anything comical or meaningful when the writer's mind is so full of "what ifs..." that there is no room for anything else.

Let's see, our neighbors have been writing vulgar and inappropriate notes to my girls and leaving them on our mailbox. I have intercepted them, so my kids have not seen these horrible pieces of vomit these neighbors are trying to spew on my children. As a mother I feel like pounding on these kids a little. They don't have a mother that would be receptive to any of my overtures of concern...she seems to be slightly childish too. They girls on their own have decided they don't want to play with these kids given the regular verbal onslaughts they receive from these demons in children's clothing.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The "F" Word

I know this title will raise some alarm in my traditional, conservative readers. But this is too good to not post. (Mostly because I don't ever want to forget it myself.)

The other day I was singing that song from "Tommy Boy," "Fat guy in a little coat...." to my very thin husband. I was just making a joke about something I barely remember right now when Kayci comes running in and says: "Ummmm mom said the "F" word." (You see, in an effort to keep the girls from obsessing about being fat or thin or others being fat or thin I just banned the word Fat from all conversation. I figure it is going to be a problem as they reach their teenage years when all tiny girls become fat in their imaginations. But for now, we consider it a bad word around here.) Everyone knew what Kayci was talking about except apparently Courtney. She said completely innocently, blue eyes wide with concern, "What....huck?"

I am so glad that Courtney is still struggling with her phonic pronunciations. (Especially the differences between the "H" sound and the "F" sound).

She really may just be a pretty face.

Birthday #36

I am officially 36. Like it or not I am on the down hill slide to 40. Crazy to think about, because my mom was 36 once and I remember it oh so clearly:

The year was 1986, the oil industry was once again on a down turn and my dad was a casualty. I was in 7th grade and mom and dad announced that we would be moving from my beloved Tulsa, Oklahoma to sunny southern California ; my whole world was turned upside down. If there could be drag marks left on pavement by a teenage girl's lack of enthusiasm all the way across the country, I would have left them because I REALLY did not want to move. Now, I still do believe that God is sovereign over everything and at this late stage in my life I can look back and say that it was a great thing that we moved here. But when my mom was 36 and I was 13, it seemed like a bad idea. I didn't handle it well, and I don't think my mom handled it well either. We both did the best we could with what we had to work with. Thinking back, 36 seemed a lot older back then. I don't feel like the grown up my mother was expected to be back when she was my age now. I still feel, so often, like a little kid who is going to get in trouble at any time for sleeping in the same bed with a BOY and taking care of children as if they were my own. Any minute someone is going to walk in the door and say, "Jennifer R. Seymour, you get back home now!!"

But alas, it hasn't happened and when I look in the mirror at my wrinkles, slightly graying hair, tired eyes, I realize that this is real. I am a grown up. I am 36. And someday my children will be writing about how weird I was when I was 36. And believe me they will have a lot to write about. (Or possibly talk about with a well qualified and licenced professional).

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

Today I played hookie from church. Courtney also stayed home with me. As most of you know, Courtney is a character. She becomes more and more a character everyday. She is funny and surprisingly witty. I could keep this blog current daily with the weird and amazingly funny things she says and does. Also, if you know Courtney well, you will also know she loves to draw. She is constantly drawing pictures, and she has elaborate stories that go with each one. In school she is learning to read and sound out words to spell them on her own. She has actually gotten surprisingly good at writing words by just sounding them out. Today she decided to combine all of her favorite things into one culminating event. She very studiously drew a picture of God and His angels hanging out in heaven. She sounded out "I like God, I see God, Go, God, Go." She carefully folded the paper and handed it to me. Thinking it was something for me I asked her, like I usually do, to tell me about it. She very abruptly said, "Give this to God when you die!!" I was a little taken aback by this and said, "Is that going to be soon?" She simply said, "uh huh," and skipped away. Later on I asked her when she thought I was going to die and she said in about 100. I said, "100 years?" She said, "No, 100 days."

Now I am wondering, is she a prophet? Should I be worried? She seemed so sure.

Happy Mother's Day...I hope all of my favorite mothers out there were not told they were going to die by one of their offspring today. I hope it was a great day for all of you who have dedicated your lives to being moms.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Sometimes Life Seems Just Right

It is Thursday night and I have been so anxious to sit down and write about one of the single most thrilling experiences of my life. It has taken so long, because while visiting my parents it turns out they don't have a wireless router in their home. How was I supposed to stay caught up in such primitive surroundings?

So for the great event...besides having children, realizing the truth about a God that loves me and forgives me over and over, and seeing Roger Federer in person, this past Sunday evening was one of the greatest events in my entire life. Thanks to my favorite blogger Jodie's husband, and Jodie's very understanding nature, I was asked to be a seat filler at the Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas. While seat filler may not sound very glamorous, it was EXTREMELY glamorous. Thanks to a cute black cocktail dress and really stunning red high heals and seats right next to the likes of Leanne Rimes, Jamey Johnson, Carrot Top, The Oakridge Boys, Matthew Maconaughey, four rows from Taylor Swift, Kelly Pickler, Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney and the Great George Straight, I experienced glamour like I have never experienced in my life. I was actually sitting with, listening to their comments about each other, and pretending to be one of them, while watching the greatest Country talent of our time preform so closely I could see them spit. It was awesome!! It was so awesome.

Not only did I get to see so many great performances, but I got to share it with my good friend Tana!! She's such a good friend she even switched shoes with me for a while because I just could no longer stand the pain that these very adorable shoes were causing me. Of my circle of friends, I don't think any of them love and appreciate country music as much as Tana does, so she shared my excitement for each celebrity we encountered. I didn't have to act like it was no big deal. We shook and squealed like little girls meeting the Jonas Brothers. We were unashamed of our heart palpitations as Matthew sat down RIGHT IN FRONT OF US!! Tana shared my high pitched whisper as Trace Adkins took his seat right behind us. And she never got tired of me saying, "I can't believe we are here!!" Because when I wasn't saying it, she was saying it. She was the perfect person to share this experience with.

We ate a yummy dinner at PF Changs and happened to sit next to some of the members of the Westpoint Glee Club that sang behind Trace Adkins. We walked part of the strip, while my feet throbbed and complained, and ended up at a club called PURE at Caesar's Palace. Not my scene at all, but I tried for the sake of the one who invited me to this wonderful event. However, people dancing in close proximity to each other and spilling alcoholic beverages everywhere makes me stressed. Tana and I slowly (remember my shoes?) headed back to our room, were hit on by a drunk Brazilian on our way, but made it to our room with my feet and shoes still attached...barely. We made some comment while I was soaking my badly deformed feet about staying up and talking all night...

....not another word was spoken until 10:00 am the next morning. Tana and I are real party animals.

But don't ask me if I took any pictures....me, the queen of taking too many photos, threw away my batteries out of fear of not getting into the show at all. They said no cameras!! I hoped that if I proved my camera was not usable they would let me in anyway. After all the fear they put into me about having a camera, the metal detector never went off and no one searched my bag. EVERYONE was taking pictures. So, the girl who takes pictures of EVERYTHING did not get one picture of this amazing experience. Not one. It is especially sad, because the shoes I wore were really, really cute and I will NEVER, EVER, wear them again.

It was an amazing experience. Not one I will soon, if ever, forget. And for all the days that I am stressed and worried about decisions that need to be made, finances that need to be figured out, and children that need my very best, on this day life seemed to be just right.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I was just sitting here at church doing my taxes. (Hoping the environment would keep me honest.) When my youngest asked a very thought provoking question:

"Mom, does your tummy get big right away after you kiss or does it take a long time?"

I'm not sure where she got this bit of information on how babies are made, but maybe it will keep her from kissing boys for a little longer.

My kids might be a little sheltered, but I was relieved to find out they aren't too far behind. At Haley's 10 year old sleep over the other night, one of her birthday cards mentioned the word puberty. She was reading all of her cards out loud to prolong the joy of opening presents. My heart skipped a beat when she read this word, wondering what was going to come next...but to my relief every single girl there said, "What's puberty?" My quick wit responded with, "You'll find out sooner then you think." That was enough for all of them and a near catastrophe was avoided. By catastrophe I mean me trying to explain to a bunch of pre-teen girls that soon they would be menstruating, growing breasts, and how great it all is because that means they will be ready to have babies. Yes, I believe that string of information was waiting in line in my brain right behind, "You'll find out sooner then you think," trying to push its way to the tip of my tongue and into the ears of this eager learners.

My kids are telling me they are bored, while nearby lies a large pile of barbies, a game boy, and a leapster. I am giving them a writing assignment that they will never forget. I will teach them to tell me that they are bored. Each of them will be writing, in age appropriate terms, a list of all of the toys, games, and imagination capabilities they have access to at any given time. Haley will be writing 3 paragraphs from this list, Kayci will write one paragraph from this list, and Courtney will do a detailed drawing from this list.

I am so mean...but I hate when kids say they are bored. I HATE IT especially when I am trying to do my taxes.

I told Kayci to leave me alone and use her imagination because I had to work on some grown up stuff. She complained that I didn't HAVE to do it right now; her exact words, "It's not illegal to NOT do your grown up stuff."

"Ha, Ha, Ha," I laughed. "I will go to jail if I don't do and pay my taxes; I'm serious Kayci I will go to jail and dad too." The look on her face said she believed me. I just wonder why my conservative clones didn't quip, "Not if you're in the inner circle of the Obama administration."

Thank you ladies and gentlemen...I'm here all week!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Allergies and Other Lessons

As I type this at this late hour my eyes are almost completely swollen shut. Not from a beating I may or may not have deserved from my life partner, but rather from a self induced allergy attack. I am waiting for the Benadryl to kick in so I won't bug Steve with my sneezing and blowing and itching and groaning. I have had allergies now for about.....as many years as I have a memory. I have always been allergic to anything with fur, especially fluffy, soft fur like one may find on a cat or a cute little BUNNY. This is nothing new. I went over to my friend Tana's house to participate in the book club that I quit two months ago (ha, ha) and decided to make friends with her bunny Theodore. He is a mini-lop and so friendly. For those of you who have known me for a long time you will remember that I once had a mini-lop named Bunnel who was my best friend in Boston. She was given to me by one of my science students and quickly bonded to me. We spent many happy evenings together while Steve was off at school and I had no one else to talk to. I built up a kind of allergy tollerance to her because we lived in such close proximity to eachother. I loved Bunnel and Bunnel loved me until I had Haley and Bunnel was moved outside. Then Bunnel met our dog Dori, and well that relationship turned out to be fatal for my sweet Bunnel. (And that's all I have to say about that.) Anyway I got down on the floor to relive my memories of Bunnel with Theodore. He loved being stroked and sat very contentedly. I reminded myself not to touch my face under any circumstance after touching the bunny. I did pretty well until I got home and dropped my guard. When I see my cozy bed, beckoning me so invitingly, I immediately have to rub my eyes and not 10 seconds later the itching started. I didn't immediately figure out it was allergies, so I continued to rub one eye and then the other. Steve at one point said I looked like a football player and encouraged me to look at myself in the mirror. (He adores me, he really does.) The the eye itching became so intense that I remembered my encounter with sweet Theodore and searched for my Benadryl. The people who package Benadryl have obviously never had problems with allergies, because it is the most frustrating thing to open when your eyes and your nose are dripping and your adrenalin is making it impossible to open the teeny tiny package. I finally decided to get out my small trimming scissors and cut the packaging off of this precious pink pill of relief This proved to be difficult too, but I finally got the pill out only to drop it in my very cluttered, and open, makeup drawer. So with eyes swelling and shutting, nose running, sneezes overcoming my very existence, I began to search through my make up drawer looking for this tiny pill. I found it, took it with a stale cup of water that I found on the counter and here I sit, waiting for the relief only Benadryl can provide. It was/is an adventure. Maybe when I turn 36 I'll remember that I have allergies and it is NEVER a good idea to touch bunnies.

As for other lessons: 1. Men always make jokes anytime you say the word "Balls," even if you are talking about tennis balls.
2. The most unlikely people can pour such wisdom into your life if you are willing to take the time to listen.
3. Good friends really make everyday a little bit easier.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Conversation with Steve

Last night I had such a bad sore throat and neck ache that I went to bed at 7:30. I am assuming the kids got themselves ready for bed and went to bed without my help, because they were there this morning. Steve was gone until late last night working hard to support my extravagant life style so the kids and I were on our own.

He came in about 10:30 and asked what was wrong. This is a rough transcript of the conversation that went on with my beloved:

Steve: What is wrong with you?
Me: (weakly croaking because of the pain in my throat) I'm sick
Steve: Oh no...you're sick. I guess I won't be sleeping in the same bed as you tonight.
Me: (barely whispering) Why?
Steve: (a little irritated) I can't get sick, I have a concert this Saturday!!
Me: (fading away) Oh, sorry to be such a burden to you with my sickness. Should I go out and sleep on the couch?
Steve: (hopeful) Would you really do that for me?
Me: No I won't. I just wanted to see what you would say.

This is what it is like being married to a rock star!!

By the way, he did sleep with me anyway...I was just careful to breath in the other direction.


The blog Cake Wrecks today made me laugh really hard. Mostly because I was trying to picture when these type of cakes would be appropriate. If you check it out, let me know what you think.

Yesterday I wrote a list of all the things in my life that are making me stressed. I subtitled it, "Why I wake up tired and with a headache EVERYDAY." I won't post my list here because some of you would absolutely roll your eyes at the things that stress me out, and you may be one of my stressers. (Kidding) It is exactly 30 items long. I was going to stop at 10, but then I thought of 11; then I was going to stop at 20, then I thought of 21. You get the picture. Being a little like Monk, I needed the list to be a number ending in 0. I'm not sure why, but I would have been stressed had it not been so. It was a good idea to do this because it allowed me to see how minor the stresses in my life really are. I don't really feel stressed during the day, but I clench my teeth so hard in the night that I can hardly chew in the morning. Steve says I don't grind, but the soreness of my jaw tells me I am working on sorting things out while I am supposed to be the most relaxed. I finally went and got a massage, a luxury that I cannot afford, but was desperate to receive. She was amazed at the tension in my head, neck and jaw. She wonders how I walk upright all day. I knew I was in pain, but nothing compares to the pain of her trying to work this tension out. I just cried and cried. Seriously cried. I really think she should have paid me for the pleasure of torturing me so intensely. I will go back. I feel better today because of it.
After this experience of the massage and the list I came upon a magazine that I had put aside to read. It was about Christian martyrs. Then I felt dumb. There are people in this world that have given their lives to spread the Good News of knowing Jesus, something I completely agree with and wish everyone I knew understood. However they suffer torture and imprisonment beyond anything I've even come close to experiencing. So what the heck am I complaining about. My list of 30 stressers is pretty pathetic compared to what others are dealing with.
Unfortunately, I let things get to me too easily. I wish I could change. I have a good friend who is so good at letting things roll off of her back. I am calmed just being in the same breathing space as her. I don't know what her secret is. It's not God...so what could it be? Is it really a choice? Is it an innate ability? Is is a learned?
How come the tab doesn't work on this blog anymore? Have I never started a new paragraph before while typing on here?

You see...these are the things that stress me out. Very important things like tab keys.

What a weirdo.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Tooth Fairy and Hard Economic Times

Speaking of failings as moms....

Two of my children lost teeth in the last week.

Two times the tooth fairy forgot to come.

Two times she wrote a very humble letter of apology and provided an extra dollar for the inconvenience.

Two times the kids had different explanations:
1. She got stuck in traffic
2. Barak Obama didn't include her in the stimulus package so she quit giving to those of us in this tax bracket.

Do you think we watch too much Fox News here in the Merrick household?

Being a Mom is Hard

In case any of my mom readers didn't know...Being a Mom is Hard. It's not just you. We all feel that way and it is hard everyday. The worries and just plain emotions that go along with filling this position is overwhelming. Our tolerance for mistakes that we make is extremely low, so when we do make a mistake the heap load of guilt we decide to carry around makes the day seem a little more difficult, the headache seem a little more painful, and the worry seem a little bigger. I've just finished reading two of my favorite bloggers address this very issue and I thought I would start my blog by saying you moms out there are doing a great job. I think the fact that your kids are still smiling, still learning, still functioning in society says you are a success. However, I know most of you go above and beyond the minimum requirements and actually interact with your kids, read to them, ask them interesting questions, and look for opportunities to allow them to enjoy this brief moment in time called childhood. You provide them with healthy food, a warm bed, and at least one hug EVERYDAY. Even the most high maintenance friend you have ever had didn't need that. Even on the days you don't want to give of yourself, you only momentarily consider this option, and then you throw back the covers and start the whole giving selflessly montage again. Remember this, all you moms, you are the perfect mother for the kids you have. Your mistakes and your successes are exactly what your particular kids need to become who they are supposed to be in this life. NO ONE could do it better than you are doing. NO ONE!! So just take a deep breath. Pat yourself on the back, tuck that hair behind your ear and keep going. You're doing a great job. You're doing the best job there is. And when you think no one is listening, no one knows what you are going through, and you just can't do it one more day, listen closely...very closely and you will hear the constant applause of heaven. You can't ask for more than that!!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I Dropped My Phone in the Toliet

I wasn't drunk, but I was in a bar. What's worse, I was at a Country Western Bar and I hadn't flushed yet. EEEEEEEEEEW. It was in my back pocket. I stood up to finish business and....PLOP. I didn't even hesitate to dive my hand right in to pick it up thinking I could save it. EEEEEEEEEW!! Alas, I didn't save it and my girl's night out turned into a $150 event. I am so glad I didn't get mad at Steve for getting a $130 cell phone ticket about a week ago. He didn't get mad me at all, and when I decided to punish myself and get a $49 phone that was crappy, he went out and exchanged it for my original phone. What a super hero!

Don't be afraid to touch my phone...it is brand new.

Our Trip to the Snow

In keeping with my Super Mom theme, I thought I would take my girls up to the snow, by myself, without a husband, just three girls and me. The idea was good, but the result was not what I'd hoped.

The snow covered mountains in contrast to the blue sky called to us. Thinking most everyone else would be in school or at work, I decided to play the "we homeschool so we can," card and take a day off of school and take the kids to Mount Baldy to do some inner tubing down some powdery slopes. With wardrobe provisions by Kelly Hawkes and family, we were set to go. Traveling up the mountain, for the most part, was not too scary until we got really close to the top: the hair pins turns, with locals following close behind, signs that said "Chains required beyond this point," and three kids constantly asking questions I felt my blood pressure steadily rising. Then we arrived at the parking lot that was actually covered with packed snow and ice. To make a long story short, I got stuck, patronized by a jerk of a parking attendant, yelled at by an angry local and started shaking like a massive earthquake. My children started crying, I started crying and regretted my decision to do this on my own. Finally I got myself out of the parking lot and pulled over a few yards down the mountain and played there. The kids had a ball and I recovered from the trauma in time to enjoy some time body sledding down our own homemade path. Kids really do have an incredible ability to have fun, no matter what. They can make the best of any situation. Their resilience and capacity to get over something is incredible. When did I lose that? When does life become so stressful that I have to try to have fun. At what point in my life did the weight of everyday supersede seeing the joy in a pile of snow or the excitement of seeing a butterfly that lands carelessly on blade of grass. When did it happen?? Who stole this from me? I'm so thankful for the chance to recapture some of that while I watch my kids love life.

After a picnic lunch in the snow we headed back down the hill only to run right into the path of a falling rock. My choices were: swerve and hit the oncoming SUV or hit the rock. I hit the rock and found out from my mechanic I dented every plate and tank underneath my van from front to back. He said there is nothing to worry about, but the rock definitely left a mark to forever preserve the memory of when I tried, and failed, to do it all on my own.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Super mom?

I was recently at a homeschooling field trip and I noticed a couple of things. #1: There are some marked similarities among women who are with their kids most of the time. #2: There are two types of mothers, those who think they are super mom and do it all well, and those who know they aren't super moms and do everything adequately.

#1 The similarities I observed were the following. We are all so happy to be among other homeschoolers. It's like we have been without water for days and we are suddenly thrust into a room full of chilled water bottles and electrically cooled water in water coolers. We will talk to anyone who has a child in tow and looks like a mother. We are bonded by an unspoken understanding of how crazy we have chosen to be. We are all open and willing to talk about problems we are having with our homeschooled child. We are willing to admit our short comings and are hungry to hear someone say, "Oh, yeah I've been there. You will come out of this phase too."
The next similarity was our kids are extremely well behaved. In the room nearby is another field trip with public school kids. They are out of control. The faculty assigned to that group looks overwhelmed. We have 48 kids and they are quietly waiting instruction and following what they are told to do. Is it because they are homeschooled, or because the mothers in the room hold a power over these students that only a mother can hold? It's a toss up, but there is definitely a hushed awe as the mothers notice the comparison between the two groups. Maybe we are beyond crazy.
The way we dress is also similar. Most of us still care about our appearance and have not yet, ventured into the world in our pajamas, but we take a lot of short cuts. Some have their hair done nicely, but most of us have our hair twisted up in a cute clip. Our hair still looks clean and tidy, and the clip says, "Yes, I did put some effort into my hair today." But we all know it took less than 60 seconds to do this hair do. (Not counting the washing and drying which took place the night before). Everyone still wears makeup, but we have all mastered how to look like we spent sometime on our face, but we all have the knowledge that we can look "sufficiently" made up in less than 30 seconds. We all still look OK in our jeans that aren't quite "Mom" jeans, and our long t-shirts hanging stylishly out from under our Kohl's special hoodies from the jr. department, exclaim "Yes, I still care about fashion." The exact look of tiredness mixed with joy is a combination that is saved for new mothers and those of us who were crazy enough to homeschool our children.

And as for observation #2, my homeschooling buddy Kim said it best, "I want to be a super-mom, but I am more like "Just-Barely-Keeping-It-Together-Mom." I think that is exactly how we all feel, if we are smart enough to admit it.

What is a Phonograph?

Haley just yelled from the other room "What is a phonograph?"

I responded with, "It's another word for Record."

She of course continued the yelling and said, "What is a record?"

"Um," I yelled, "It's like a CD, but it is really big and you get sound out of it by placing a really fine needle on it and a record player spins it really fast. It's made out of vinyl and you have to be really careful not to scratch it. It's how we used to listen to music when I was a kid."

I waited for her response.Thinking that I had done a very thorough and comprehensive summary of the topic. At least warranting a resounding, "Wow mom, you know something about everything and you always explain everything so clearly!!" No response. Thinking that she must be bound and gagged in her room, I got up to check on her. She had apparently moved on to something else on her crossword puzzle. Yes, my 9 year old is working a crossword puzzle. And yes, she has already mastered the art of tuning me right out.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Three Little Ladies and a Man

I think it is important to feel needed. In my darkest moments, when I feel like my life is not worth much, I am reminded by the crashing of a plate on the floor or a call to wipe a little bottom, or that gentle (not so subtle) reminder that my husband, too, has needs that I am needed in the lives of my three little ladies and one very needy man.

The Merrick little ladies have been sick. That about encompasses the last month. Steve never gets sick. He says it's because he drinks Mona Vi and takes Airborne. I personally think it is because he doesn't interact with us in close enough proximity or for long enough periods of time. It seems that Merrick girl #1 and #3 have developed allergies too. So we went from cold to allergies which looks like a cold when you don't know you have allergies. But my good nurse practitioner friend said to try children's Zyrtec and what do you know, symptoms gone. I'm a little discouraged about the kids having allergies, because I purposely nursed for a long period of time so that the kids would not suffer with this aliment that has plagued me my whole life. So, I'm guessing nursing 14months for Haley and 22 months for Courtney were obviously not long enough to ensure they would not have allergies. Maybe if I was still nursing, we would have avoided it all together. The social and psychological implications not withstanding, it may have been a good and cost effective idea in these uncertain economic times. I can see it now, the headline will read: "Homeschooling Mom Still Nursing her Kids, Arrested for Not Leaving Her Kids Alone." (This blog really did not start out to go in this awkward direction).

We have had ear infections, runny noses, runny eyes, coughs, and fevers. And any mother reading will know that this means I have not slept through the night since this black cloud of terror (did I mention I've been watching a lot of LOST?) has settled over the house. Lack of sleep will always lead to me getting sick. When I am sick and tired the black cloud of terror looks like Casper the friendly ghost. My patience level drops significantly and my desire to wait on or care for anyone almost completely disappears. My children have learned to be pretty self sufficient during these rare moments and manage to destroy the house a little quieter and quicker than normal and feed themselves on what they find under the table. When I emerge from my dungeon of sickness, red eyed and stuffed up, it is NOT as affirming as one may think to know and be reminded that I am desperately needed in the lives of three little ladies and a man.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Blame it on LOST

My favorite blogger Jodie introduced me to Lost, the series I thought would be so boring and was never interested in. The day she introduced me to that series, was during the week of my last blog. So I blame my lack of blog participation on LOST, actually on Jodie. I love how on her site she has my site bookmarked and it says, "Last Updated, 5 weeks ago." I know I'm a slacker, but now everyone that reads her stellar, always current site, knows the type of people with whom she keeps company.

I stay pretty current on my Facebook addiction. It struck me today, though, how really low my self esteem actually is. I am nervous, every time I ask someone to be my friend. It reminds me of being a kid and running excitedly up to a group playing on the playground and asking if I can play too. Then there is that brief moment of time while the kids were deciding that my dignity and playground social status were on the line. Will they let me play or will they run off because I have cooties of some sort. Now as an adult, on Facebook, these fears have turned into MUCH more mature thoughts like, "What if they don't remember me," or "What if they were so relieved to get away from me and now I have found them again," or "What if I offended this person in someway, that's why we lost touch and I just can't remember..." I am pleasantly surprised and relieved when someone accepts my friendship request. But until they do....I toss and turn. I feel like I need to send some kind of thank you response. You may have received one from me that went something like this: "Thanks for remembering me. Thanks for validating me as a person and being my friend albeit as superficial as we can get. " I actually accepted the friend request of someone who absolutely tortured me my entire 8th grade year. She made everyday 6th period art, my first year in California horrible. She teased me, laughed when her friends threatened to beat me up, and....well it was the laughing that sticks out the most to me. I was so self conscious and miserable because of her and her friends. Yet, I accepted her as a friend. I don't think we spoke once in high school, so she must not remember. I didn't feel like I could be so cruel as to reject her proposal as friend. We've all changed. We've all grown a little. And we all deserve second chances. (I will not tell you who this person is...I'm sure she doesn't read this blog.) Soapbox Diva, I'm pretty sure you could figure it out. Three Winks...you may remember my fear of this girl.

Facebook has been fun though. I've reconnected with people who have brought a lot of happiness to my life in the past. It is highly addictive and a huge time waster, but until I have more friends than my anti-social husband I will continue to request friendships from anyone who seems even a little familiar.

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Dark Knight

(Warning: This is not a light hearted blog. It is an attempt to clear my brain of the mess I've made of it)

I just discovered something disturbing about myself. I suspected this might be true, but now I am certain. I recently read a book. I would rather not disclose the title, because some of you would want to read it only out of morbid curiosity. You wouldn't take my warning or read with any seriousness that it changed me for the worse. The book was the idea of my book club, which after reading this book I have decided to quit. Oprah endorsed this book, which drops her even lower on my list of people that deserve respect. The book took me about a month to read, and in that month and since then the world has seemed a little darker, colored gray by the graphic pictures my brain created because of the creative power of this writer. My brother in law read the book in 1989, and when he saw that I was reading it said the pictures came rushing back. He also says he regrets ever reading it. I hoped I could be like most and just "let it go," but alas it is not to be. The further away from reading this book I get, the more regret I feel. There is so much good to be read in this world. But I filled my mind with details about man's capacity to do evil and glean joy from it. Another fellow blogger of mine wrote about wishing she could press ctrl-alt-delete to remove some of the things she had viewed. Oh, if only we had such a group of buttons to erase that which we wish was not part of our thoughts.

Confirmation of the damage this book has done came tonight as I watched The Dark Knight. I had heard that it was a good movie, but on the dark side. Very psychologically engaging and interesting in the questions of social ethics it raises. I enjoyed the movie. I thought it was well done. But it didn't bother me at all. My personality has a really hard time with injustice. I have often joked that my need for justice will land me in an institution someday. This movie was full of injustice and I told Steve it was like "watching a cartoon," compared to the book I just finished.

Ruined. And all because I read a book that started with the author boasting..."I don't believe in God." That should have been my first clue that this was not the book for me.

Two Days in a Row People!!

I am off to a very convincing start.  Two days in a row, I believe is an all time record since the founding of this riveting blog.  

Today I am wondering how much I need to fight my kids on what they wear.  My mother told me what I was going to wear everyday, and I can vividly remember a knock down drag out fight in the 4th grade where my mom wanted me to wear a cute purple knicker/overall combination for picture day, and I wanted to wear the cute light colored pink shirt that was sure to wash me out in the picture.  It didn't really matter what I wore on that day; I still had a disgustingly boyish haircut that made any outfit look suspiciously like my mother wanted a girl so badly that she was turning her little boy into a little girl. After threatening to run away and the timely arrival of the bus, my mom bitterly let me have my way and the picture came out just as my mom threatened.  A toothy, short haired girl/boy? washed out because her shirt was too light.  It was one of many bloody battles over clothes and I have never forgotten it. As a result, I let my kids, basically choose what they want to wear.  With the exception of church on Sunday, they basically dress themselves.  I figure, especially on the days we are home, let them develop their own sense of style and freedom.  Believe me, I already control, what some would argue, as too much in their lives since I homeschool.  

So today as I write I am watching my girls play Wii (their response to their dad and I telling them they have not exercised enough over this vacation.)  Haley is actually dressed pretty well.  Cute purple sweat pants and a matching purple t-shirt.  Her red hair is nicely groomed and I feel like maybe she is coming out of her wacky phase.  Kayci is dressed in blue sweat pants and a blue and white striped hoodie that is meant to have a tank-top of some kind under it.  The plunging neck line is a little revealing.  I asked her why her chest was showing and she said, "I like it." OK, I guess she'll have plenty of time to be embarrassed of her chest as she realizes she is cursed with her mom's DNA.  Courtney is wearing a fuschia dress (She love Fancy Nancy), with turquoise sweat pants with a yellow stripe down the side and a striped pink white and green t-shirt/long sleeved combo over the dress.  Can you picture it?  If you've ever had a child or seen my children you probably can.  She is so proud that she put the outfit together and her sister's are too kind-hearted to tell her that she is way off.  

So I will continue to let the line out easily.  Who cares if people don't think I know how to dress my kids?  I KNOW how, I just choose to not fight this battle right now.  Kayci knows that it is inappropriate to show that much skin in public, but while in our home, why not? Courtney is very cute in her mismatched clothes and doesn't care what other people think...yet.  Far too soon, she will stop making her own choices based on what she likes and start making decisions based on what her friends are doing.  Haley is almost there, as demonstrated by the fact that she is well put together this morning.  I am going to just enjoy them and applaud their style.  I'm sure I'll let you know when I have lost complete control, and they are all dressing like street-walkers to go to high-school.  But until then...I think they are cute.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!!

2009 begins today and as I look at the activity on my blog this past year I hear by resolve to do better. I'm not going to be crazy like fellow blogger Jodie, and commit to a daily update, but I think I can improve on the average 4 times a month. Like I always say, it's not for lack of anything to say that I don't write, but instead lack of mental stamina to organize my thoughts. I used to journal everyday. I can do this more than 4 times a month. I am already looking forward to February and composing my apology for this being my only post in the month of January.

Christmas was great this year. I really had a hard time in the beginning of my marriage giving up the traditions I grew up with. I thought I would never be truly happy at Christmas again. However, with my own family, and our growing traditions, I am finding that joy once again rekindled. I love how excited the kids get. I love how, even though Steve told them there was no such thing as Santa (I'm still sad about this), they still believe. Kayci even went so far as to ask me to open a Bible to John 3:16 next to the plate of milk and cookies she set up. Her specific request was something like, "Mom, could you do me and God a big favor?" Then proceeded with the specifications for placement of the Bible and to which verse it should be open. It was very cute. She set out about 8 cookies...I couldn't eat them all so I had to put them back. Is that dishonest? I did read the verse, because I can always use the reminder.

JRS and I successfully surprised my dad on his 60th birthday this year with a huge party. IT was great. He was so happy. He was so appreciative. It just felt great.

JRG was not in attendance because she was busy awaiting the birth of the 6th grandchild and 2nd boy to the mix. Blake Roger was born two days after Christmas and we are all so excited.

I asked my kids what they wanted to do differently in 2009. I told them these are called New Year's Resolutions. Maybe I didn't explain the concept well enough, but here they are. My offspring's deep seeded hopes for the New Year.

Haley's new year's resolution is to "Be happy and to have more people come to her house to play." (She turns 10 this year...I can't believe it.)

Kayci's new year's resolution is to "I don't know...do the same thing as I did last year."

Courtney's new year's resolutions is to "Play more and eat candy."

Happy New Year everyone!!