December 13, 2011

Ice

We don't take the kids out to eat. It just doesn't happen. Every once in a blue moon we'll go through the McDonalds drive thru. Today was one of those days. We have no food and I wasn't taking 7 kids to the grocery store by myself. That is a cruel form of punishment.

The kids all got Happy Meals, of course. I did break down and let them get rootbeer. (Soda is another rarity. Do you blame me?) When we got home, the kids set up a little picnic on the living room floor. Jet, super excited about the rootbeer, stuck the straw in his cup and began to drink. After a few sips, he made a little face, then shook the cup. His eyes lit up. "Wow guys!" he exclaimed, "This rootbeer comes with ice! This is awesome!"

It's the little things. :)

Lesson  137: kids thinking ice in your drink is a luxurious treat = white trash

November 29, 2011

Hair

Adam surprised me today with a girls day out with his business partner, Lisa. In a few hours I will be leaving (without kids!) to go get my hair done with a female who doesn't whine and cry for stuffed animals and fruit snacks.

My hair has gotten quite long. It hasn't seen a pair of scissors since December 2009. My head has the only hair in the house that requires a professional. Jovie has never had her hair cut, and I am responsible for all the male hair disasters in our family. In my own defense, I am extrememly tired of cutting hair after the 3rd person, and I always have 2 more heads of hair to cut.

When I heard about my surprise I tried to recall the last time I went to the salon. It was my 30th birthday, and I was pregnant with Stone. That's when I realized the sad truth.....


Lesson 136: having more babies than hair cuts = white trash


In a two year time span, I have gotten my hair cut once, and I have given birth to 3 babies! Yikes! I'm hoping the ratio changes a little. My new goal for the next two years is to get my hair cut 3 times and only give birth to 1 baby. Haha!

November 5, 2011

Poor Daddy

Christmas is hard on a family of 10, especially one living on a lone chef's income. The kids aren't ever disappointed, and I really didn't think they paid any attention to what was wrapped in Adam's and my stockings.

Have you seen the new Walmart commercial where the dad runs his kids over trying to get to the presents on Christmas morning? If you haven't, the dad gets a new tv and exclaims, "I wonder how it fit down the chimney!"

This commercial played the other night while Jet, Jude, and I watched Wheel of Fortune. After it aired, Jude looked at me and asked, "What happened?" I was puzzled, but answered, "That daddy got a tv for Christmas." Jude became quite sober and said, "Wow, that dad is really lucky. Our Dad only gets socks and underwear for Christmas."

Lesson 135: kids being depressed for you because your Christmas presents are nothing more than the necessities you neglected yourself of throughout the year = white trash

I didn't know our kids gave much thought to what we got. Maybe that's why they never complain about the small amount of gifts they get under the tree. They realize it could be much worse. They could be poor Daddy.

October 23, 2011

Halloween Costume

Ok, I said it before, but now I know for sure. My kids are playing too many video games.

Adam's parents came for a visit yesterday, and they asked the boys what they were going to be for Halloween. Jude answered, "I want to be a Flood." This completely confused and worried my in-laws.


Lesson 134: grandparents worried about your child's sanity, because he wants to dress like a natural disaster for Halloween = white trash



October 7, 2011

10th Anniversary of 9/11

9/11/2001 was a horrible, scary day. I remember that day very well, and I'm never going to forget the 10 year anniversary.

I woke abruptly that morning at 2 a.m. with a strong contraction. "No, not today," I whined. Not because it was the anniversary of 9/11, but because Larry the Cable Guy was coming to the casino where Adam works.

Lesson 131: not being able to be in labor because of Larry the Cable Guy = white trash

Adam's boss had told him that I was absolutely NOT allowed to have the babies that day. With that one comment, he sealed his fate. You NEVER tell a Johnston baby when they aren't allowed to be born. The first boss Adam had when we moved to Pittsburgh told me I could have Jet anytime but Valentine's Day weekend. Jet was born on that Saturday of Valentine's Day weekend. Adam's boss from the other casino he worked at, told him I couldn't have Jovie on Derby Day. Guess what? Derby Day. So, when I was told what Adam's current boss had said, I knew what was coming. I didn't just have one Johnston in my belly, I had two!!

I laid in bed for four pain filled hours, wishing labor would stop. Jovie came into my room at 6 and asked if she could have some cereal. I thought maybe the contractions would go away if I moved around. Duh, of course they got worse!

It was early Sunday morning, so I had to call the doctor on call. It wasn't a doctor I had ever met before. Our conversation went like this. (By the way, I thought he said his name was Dr. Sparkle. When I finally met him, he told me Dr. Sparkle would do.)

Dr. Sparkle: "So, what's going on this morning?"
Me: "I woke up at 2 with contractions and they are getting worse."
Dr. Sparkle: "How many weeks are you?"
Me: "I'm 36, but I'm having twins. The babies are breech and transverse, so I know I'm supposed to have a c-section. That's why I don't know what to do."
Dr. Sparkle: "Well, you don't sound like you're in too much pain."
Me: "This is what I always sound like. My doctor will tell you this is how I am."
Dr. Sparkle: "Ok, well then why don't you go ahead and come in."
Me: "I do know what contractions feel like. This is my 7th pregnancy."
Dr. Sparkle: "Get your butt in here NOW!"

Ok, so I guess things were a little more urgent than I thought. I went upstairs and woke Adam. "Are you serious?!" he asked. He knew breaking the news to his boss wouldn't go well. We got ready as we tried to get a hold of anyone in my family. No one answered, so I had to call my friend, who had to wake her small children to come watch my crazy bunch.

Lesson 132: not being able to find a sitter, because my brother had a party the night before and ALL my family was hungover and not answering their phones, making my poor friend drag her babies out of bed, just to have her car break down, which resulted in her having to hitch hike with a complete stranger the rest of the way here = white trash
(Thank you Kortney for being such a good friend that day.)

Anyway, I finally got to the hospital, and met Dr. Sparkle for the first time. "Well, you look like you're in a little bit of pain, but you're still cracking jokes," he said to me. I let out a laugh twinged with pain, "I'm telling you, this is how I am."

"Ok, well, let's see what's going on here," he said as he checked me. His eyes widened, "You weren't kidding! Call the anesthesiologist stat," he yelled at the nurse, "She's 9 centimeters, and I have a foot in my hand!"

Lesson 133: babies being so tired of me, they try and stomp their way out = white trash

Before I knew it, I was in the operating room. C-sections suck. I don't know why women love them. I had horrible pains in my shoulders and I felt like I was going to puke the whole time. At one point I said, "I think I'm going to be sick." The doctor's response? "You'll feel better after I put your uterus back in." Blaaaaaaaah! Thanks Dr. Sparkle.

The c-section experience was awful, but I got two beautiful baby boys out of the deal. Rex Anthony weighed in at 6lbs 5oz, and my little Fox Joseph weighed 4lbs 12oz. What little peanuts! (Of course, they were a month early.)

Let me tell you, people love babies, but everyone LOVES twins. I felt like a sideshow everytime we went through the hospital. Everywhere we went, we were greeted by squeals, "Twins!" Adam even got the same reaction when he walked out with two empty car seats.

The one thing I found depressing, was how every nurse or housekeeper that came into my room that day had to comment on how sad it was they were born the day they were. The one nurse even said, "It's so sad that your babies will have to grow up being overshadowed by something so horrible." Wow, thanks for the well wishes lady.

Personally, I find it kind of poetic. Ten years later, and almost at the same time the twin towers fell, I gave birth to twins. They don't have to be overshadowed by something bad. Why can't they be a symbol of how life goes on? Ten years ago, a set of twins were taken down by prejudice and hatred, and now Adam and I have the privilege to raise a new set of twins with tolerance and love.

Welcome Rex and Fox, may you always be a symbol of God's healing and unending love.


September 9, 2011

Belly Woes

I want my body back! As of my last appointment, I have surpassed the most amount of weight I have ever gained with a baby, and I still have a month to go!

It must be quite bulbous, because the kids constantly remind me of how fat I have become. "Mom, your belly is HUGE!" The other day Jude had to draw a picture of our family for show-and-tell, and there was my stick figure with a huge circle in the middle. He pointed to it proudly and said, "Mom look, it's your whale." My whale?

Of course, I have been using it as an excuse, too. "Can someone please pick this up?"

"Why?" they ask.

I point at my stomach and say, "Because I'm fat!"

Today, Jovie asked me for a piece of paper. I told her she could go ahead and get one, and her response was, "I can't. I'm too fat." Hmmmm....maybe I should stop saying these things before my 3 year old daughter acquires an eating disorder.

The most embarrassing thing that happened to me because of my protruding belly, was when I went to the bank the other day. The bank parking lot is rather small and the spaces are very close together. I parked and opened my door, which touched the car next to me. I started to get out, but quickly realized I wasn't going to fit. I stopped and thought about my options. I decided I would climb back in and go out the passenger side door, hoping there was more room on that side.

I tried to get back in, but couldn't. I was seriously stuck. I started to sweat. There were people all around and there I was stuck in my car door, too embarrassed to ask for help. After helpless thoughts of me spending the rest of my babies gestation stuck in my car door, I finally decided to just push through, no matter how bad it hurt......It hurt, but I was free! How sad.

Lesson 130: being too fat for the bank parking lot = white trash
 
Thankfully, I don't have much longer to go. I'm just a little nervous of how much bigger I can potentionally get! Is the next step having to be lifted out of the top of my house by a crane? We'll see!

August 21, 2011

The Flood

Friday was a rainy, rainy day. We had heavy rain for three straight hours. After the first hour, I waddled down to the basement to do some laundry. At the foot of the stairs I noticed a small stream of water rolling across the floor. Luckily, I had a handful of dirty towels in my hand. I threw one down and sopped up the water, then I  pulled up the corner of Brett's (our basement dweller) rug that had gotten slightly wet. I was a little upset because our basement had been dry for the most part. We live at the top of a huge hill and Adam did some extra things to the basement when we remodeled it in hopes to keep it completely dry. This was the second time this summer that water got in.

I thought the problem was fixed and was just about to go back to my laundry, when out of the corner of my eye I saw it. A large amount of water rushing out from under Brett's dressers. "What the heck?!" I yelled, as I threw all the towels in my hand on top of the water, in hopes to stop it from touching any of Brett's belongings on the floor.

I knew I had to move the furniture to find the source of the problem, not an easy task for my protruding belly, though you would think a whale would feel quite at home at sea. When I moved the furniture, I discovered more water. It was a pool about an inch deep and 6ft long. It poured in from under the door of the "spider room". I stood there for a minute like a deer in the headlights. The dozen towels I had brought down were now completely soaked and weren't helping at all. I ran to the laundry room and pulled all the clean towels out of the dryer. I threw the towels down then went up to get a mop and bucket.

With the mop, I filled buckets. When the towels were once again soaked, I ran upstairs to get the rest of the towels we owned. As I waddled-ran past the kids in the living room, one of them asked, "What's going on?"

"There's a flood in the basement!" I yelled, trying not to pee my pants from the fast pace at which I was moving.

To my surprise, my kids all screamed, "YEAH!" as they made a beeline for the basement.

"Weird," I thought as I grabbed the towels, "they better not be playing in the water."

When I got to the basement stairs, I saw my boys standing there looking confused. "Where's the flood?" Jagger asked.

"What do you mean? It's all over the floor," I said as I pointed to the obvious pool of water in the basement.

"Ohhh," they all whined as they sadly made their way back upstairs.

As I continued to clean, I wondered what caused my kids odd behavior. Then it hit me.

Here, I'm asking you not to judge me. I allow all my older boys to play the video game Halo. Which is rated M. This also includes Jude, who just turned 5 last week. I know, bad parenting, but I allow this because my boys actually play together and have a good time. Anyway, the game is nothing more than killing aliens, and when there is a massive onslaught it's called a flood.

Lesson 129: you tell your kids there's a flood in the basement, and they think it's a plague of aliens that they need to take care of = white trash

So, the flood in the basement turned out to be a bummer for everyone. 



July 30, 2011

Hobo Shower


Lesson 128: kids showering via neighbors downspout = white trash
 
But I saved sooooo much water!!

July 19, 2011

Bounce Dryer Bar

I bought a package of Bounce Dryer Bars a few weeks ago. The thought of not having to remember dryer sheets elated me. Not to mention, they were on sale, and I had a Target coupon AND a manufacturers coupon. Triple score! On the package it said it should last for two whole months. Obviously they didn't mean in my dryer.

Lesson 127: Bounce dryer bar lasting only 2 1/2 weeks = white trash

July 10, 2011

Cookies

Ok, I'll admit it, I've been lazy lately. In my own defense, I'm a whale. I'm so full of baby that I need a nap after bending over. Seriously.

Adam has been really wonderful this month. He's been doing laundry and cleaning things he wouldn't normally clean. He's cleaning the bathroom tomorrow and I can't recall a time when he has ever cleaned it.

The boys have also been helping out. They've been cleaning their room and the living room. They've even been sweeping for me! I just sit on the couch, like Jabba the Hut, giving orders. It's fabulous.

Today I felt pretty good, so I decided to do some extra cleaning. (Adam and the boys clean, but it's not exactly my standard of clean.) I also decided to bake some cookies for the kids. After all, they deserve it.

When I took the first batch of cookies out of the oven, it became apparent that I have been less nurturing than normal.


Lesson 126: your kids being so deprived, that when you make a batch of cookies, they look like this = white trash

July 1, 2011

St. Davids Christian Writers Conference

I was one busy bee in June. I've wanted to write about our family's first vacation to the beach, during the second week of June, but the terrors are still too raw, and I haven't been able to laugh about it yet. I'll just tell you, when I first found out the St. David's Christian Writer's Conference was to begin a few days after returning from our vacation, I was hesitant to go, but when the time came, I couldn’t drive there fast enough.

Lesson 119: needing a vacation from your vacation = white trash

The conference ran from June 21-25. I was only able to stay until the 24th, and within that time I utilized not only Adam, but an additional four babysitters. The kids were spread out all over the place.

Lesson 120: leaving for a few days, and needing a whole village to take care of your kids = white trash

I had an awesome time at the conference. It’s been a long, long, long, long, LOOOONG time since I’ve had a moment to concentrate on ME. I barely knew how to act. Luckily, to ease this transition, I was put right to work as golf cart driver.

I got to know a good majority of the conferees as I drove them, and their luggage, from the registration area to the dorm rooms of Grove City College. It truly surprised me that anyone would want to get in a golf cart driven by a slaphappy weirdo drunk on her newly found independence. This speaks volumes about the type of people who attend this conference. Let’s just say, I felt very at home. My mentor for the week, Anne Siegrist (who rocks!), told me, during one of morning workshops, “I never felt like I belonged anywhere until I came to St. David’s.” Everyone, for the most part, was kind and nurturing, with a touch of creative crazy. My kind of peeps.

I learned loads of new information. I think I stuffed my brain a little too full on the first day, because after my classes, during free time, I went down to the dorm, called Adam, and that is the last thing I remember.


Lesson 121: passing out like a kindergartener on their first day of school = one out-of-the-loop white trash lady

When I awoke, I grabbed my phone to check the time. FIVE?! I couldn’t miss dinner and all the free ice cream! I sat up in a daze, and made my way to the bathroom door. I was unsure if I had to pee or not, so I stood in the doorway for a few minutes, looking like one of the undead, trying to decide. Published author, and faculty member, Nancy Skultety, shared a suite with my Aunt Carol and me, which means we shared a bathroom. To my embarrassment, as I stood there looking deranged, Nancy opened her door. With my brain not firing on all cylinders, I said, “I fell asleep. Do I look like crap?” “No, you look fine,” she nicely stated. I didn’t even say goodbye. I just turned and waddled away with visions of sprinkles on my mind.

Lesson 122: scaring someone you look up to, with your zombie-like whale presence = white trash

When I got to dinner, my Aunt Carol lovingly told me there were lines on my face, and my hair didn’t look as nice as it had previously looked. Awesome.

Lesson 123: going to dinner with writing professionals, looking like a child just getting up from her nappy-nap = white trash

I did much better the rest of the week. My brain finally adjusted, and it, along with my soul, reveled in the adult conversations about writing, and the encouraging words that made me feel like I had self worth. No one there saw me as the maid, or the go-to-lady to get a Poptart. People called me by name. I didn’t go by “Mom-I-need.” It was glorious.

One of the highlights of my week was when the children writers got together for a critique group. I brought the first chapter of my mid-grade novel, New Earth and the Self-Proclaimed King. I had taken it to the WPaSCBWI conference in the fall, and had gotten so many critiques I felt like maybe writing wasn’t for me. I quickly got over it and fixed my manuscript.

This time, I got great reviews. It was simply amazing. Not to mention, some of the people in the St. David’s critique group had also been in my SCBWI critique group. When it was over, I walked on clouds for quite some time.

Chapels, classes, coffeehouses, writing, camaraderie, lots of ice cream, and let’s not forget the auction that made me break out in hives, filled my days.

Lesson 124: breaking out in hives because others are spending money = white trash

The all time high and honor came at the very end of the week. I won a book for having the most magazines on the back of my toilet……..just kidding. Well, that did really happen, but it wasn’t the highlight. I’m really talking about winning the Alma K. Weber award, which is an award given to the most promising first-time conferee. I was very surprised, and almost couldn’t get up to get my award.

Lesson 125: not being able to accept an award, because your feet have swollen out of your shoes = white trash

What an honor….and challenge! Now, I actually have to make something of myself. Oh the pressure. Thank you St. David’s for the wonderful week, and believing in me at a point when I didn’t even believe in myself.

So, if anyone out there writes, and is looking for a week to get away and spend it working on your craft with some of the most wonderful people in the world, I highly recommend St. David’s. http://www.stdavidswriters.com/

June 6, 2011

Date Night

Adam and I got to go on a date last night.


Lesson 118: Your hot date night being nothing more than facing some Taco Bell in the Walmart parking lot = SERIOUS white trash

May 19, 2011

God's Sense of Humor



BAM! There it is. Twins. How the heck did that happen?! I said I only wanted 7 kids. So, God gently reminded me who was in charge of my life. Obviously, it's not me. My 7th baby, who was supposed to be the perfect completion and give me rest, has now turned into our 7th and 8th baby, and they are both boys. Hmmmmm......when I think about having 7 boys in the house, the word rest doesn't come to mind.

So, how does one act upon finding out they are having twins? I will now share our reactions with you.

My sonogram appointment was scheduled for 9:00 am, but the technician didn't come to get us until 9:45. When we entered the dark, warm room, full of screens and machines, the sonogram technician said, "Sorry for the wait, but the couple before you had a surprise twin pregnancy."

"Oh man, that would suck!" I snorted, as my big butt tried to get comfortable on the hard bed, where I would be spending the next 30 minutes.

"Ugh, can you imagine?" Adam asked me, nudging my arm.

The technician just laughed as she asked, "Do you want to know the sex?"

"It's a boy," I bluntly told her.

She looked surprised. "Did you already have a sonogram?"

"No, but this is my 7th pregnancy. Trust me, it's a boy."

She smiled as she squeezed a pile of warm blue ooze all over my rounded belly. She placed the wand, and did a quick scan over my whole stomach. It was all a quick blur. Adam and I could definitely see a baby, but she didn't linger long enough to get a good look.

"You have got to be kidding me," she said seeming frustrated, "You're having twins too."

"Hahaha," I laughed, "yeah right. That's funny."

The sonogram lady didn't respond to me. She put the wand down and went to the door, she opened it and yelled down the hall, "I have another surprise twin pregnancy."

My laughing smile straightened. In a panic, I turned to Adam who looked just as confused, "What's going on?" I asked, "Is this really happening?"

Adam shrugged. A lot of help he was. I put my head back down on the pillow, made of, what seemed like brick. I couldn't speak. At that point I probably should never speak again.


 Lesson 116: saying something would "suck" before seeing if you are in the same boat = white trash


I was glad Adam could speak. "Are you sure it's twins? Are you sure it's not just a baby with two heads?" Uh.....Ok, maybe Adam shouldn't have been speaking either.


Lesson 117: being in such shock, you think having a two-headed baby is better than having twins = white trash


The lady laughed as she once again scanned my stomach. "It's definitely twins. Look. Here's baby one," she said as she moved the wand around my bottom left side, "and here's baby two," she pulled the wand up to my right.

Adam and I stared blankly at the screen for a long, long......very long time, then Adam looked at me and we both started laughing.

"We need a bigger house," Adam laughed.

"We need a bigger car," I stated. Adam looked at me with crazy in his eyes, "They don't make cars big enough for us any more." He leaned over and kissed my forhead.

We enjoyed the rest of the sonogram, joking the whole time. When we left, Adam said, "Well, that was different." He was referring to earlier that morning when it was time to leave. Adam had put in 71 hours at work the previous week, 45 hours of those were put in from Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. So, it was no easy task trying to wake him up at 7:30 on Monday morning. "I won't be mad if you don't have the energy to go," I told him, "You've seen a million of these. It's not necessary."

He grumbled as he used all his strength to remove himself from our bed, "No, I want to go," he insisted. Boy, am I glad he got up.

Everyone has been really supportive, for the most part. We do get a lot of, "What are you going to do?" Adam and I just laugh and shrug. We don't know what God's plan is at the moment, but he's never left us hanging. We need a bigger vehicle, we know he'll supply it. We need a bigger house, we're sure he'll find one. We need more money to feed this crazy family, and we know he'll provide it. He's not going to bless us with this responsibility and not give us the means to see it through. This isn't something to lose sleep over. I'm sure we'll lose plenty once the twins get here.

Thank you God, I am humbled by your blessings. :)

May 8, 2011

Mothers' Day

You know, I really don't care that much for Mothers' Day. Adam always has to do some sort of Mothers' Day brunch for every other mother in the area, so he leaves around 6am and doesn't return until midnight. I'm left alone with the kids all day long, and for some reason my kids ALWAYS choose this day to be their absolute worst. My Mom always tells me, "They're just reminding you that you're a mother." Thanks Mom.

This has been my day so far:

5:30 - Adam alarm wakes me up and not him.

6:19 - I fight with Adam to get out of bed, because he's late.

6:50 - slamming doors

6:51 - Jovie screaming in my face. I tell her to go watch TV. Instead she goes and wakes Stone up.

6:53 - I'm up and Jude is yelling at me because he wants brownies for breakfast.

6:58 - Breakfast demands are yelled at me, while Jovie cries, and I'm still fighting with Jude about the dang brownies.

7:04 - Jovie pees on the couch

7:10 - Jovie dumps her bowl of cereal and milk on the couch next to the pee stain. Oh, by the way, she's still crying.

7:20 - I finally get to eat my soggy cereal. Jovie is STILL crying and Jude is STILL whining about brownies.

7:23 - I give in and serve brownies.

7:25 - I clean up the Tupperware that Stone threw on the floor as I cut brownies.

7:26 - help Jovie pee on the little potty in the living room

7:27 - I perform a partial Heimlich manuever on Stone who's choking on a brownie.

 7:29 - help Jovie pee on the potty - again

7:33 - make Jovie popcorn in hopes that she stops crying......it doesn't work.

7:36 - I'm forced to listen to the absolute worst version of Wheels on the Bus I have ever heard. Where my kids found this cd? I'll never know.

7:40 - I run to my room to hide for a few minutes.

7:45 - I clean up popcorn that Jovie dumped all over my bed. By the way, she's still screaming and crying.

7:50 - I throw a still crying Jovie in her bed in fear that if she doesn't go away from me, she may not live to see the afternoon.

7:56 - I pour a cup of coffee (that I made myself), just to find I have no creamer left. (SUPER FROWNIE-FACE)

8:00 - I hide in my room with Stone and my cup of coffee to watch Curb Appeal, and dream about someone coming and fixing our mess of a home......I enjoy my show for 5 minutes.

8:06 - Stone starts crying b/c he wants my coffee.

8:40 - I let Jovie out and put Stone in for a nap.

8:49 - Jovie comes in my room screaming with the bowl of popcorn, with Jude hot on her trail saying, "Popcorn! Popcorn! Gimme that Popcorn!" in his best Cookie Monster voice. I give Jude a small bowl of popcorn and ask him to leave Jovie alone.

Not sure when - Jovie locks herself in the boys room with the popcorn.

8:59 - Jovie comes out of the room, and proudly tells me to come and see. She has filled a dresser with popcorn.

9:00 - "Whoever gave this child popcorn is going to get punched in the face."

9:01 - I punch myself in the face.

9:09 - Jovie wakes Stone up for the second time today.

9:30 - I didn't get to sevrve at mass today, because I couldn't find a babysitter. I definitely can't take the kids to church by myself. We can't take Jovie EVER!


Lesson 115: Not being able to take your daughter to church because she screams as soon as she enters like the Devil is burning inside her = white trash


No Mothers' Day blessing for me, yet again.

9:49 - changed 2 poopy diapers.

10:14 - find a plague of ants in my kitchen

10:17 - I take out the garbage.

10:19 - I go upstairs to find the bleach and found a pile of banana peels on the floor. I'm forced to clean the upstairs floor.

10:26 - come downstairs and bleach my kitchen floor.

10:37 - I find Stone unloading a basket of clean, folded laundry onto the floor.

10:39 - I'm eating brownies as a form of chocolate therapy. Stone's crying at my legs, Jovie's crying, and Jude is punching me in the rear chanting, "Mom's butt! Mom's butt!"

Sometime after 10:39 - I don't even bother looking at the clock because all I can see is red, when I walk into the living room to see Jovie has dumped her training potty all over the floor. I then have to clean my 3rd floor within a half an hour.

This is where I'm going to stop. It's now 11:15am, and I'm so exhausted that I want to cry. I haven't showered, and I haven't started my daily chores of laundry and dishes.

To all those other mothers out there, I hope you are having a better day, the way Mothers' Day should be. If you're having a day like me, do what I do, keep in mind all those who would love to have the privilege of suffering through a day like today, but can't.

So, even though I've screamed enough this morning to cause an aneurism, I'm still thankful that God has blessed me so many times.

Now, I really must run. Jovie is crying again, Jagger is demanding food, I can't see Stone, and Jude and Jet are chanting, "Cheese Party" out in the kitchen. Scary.

Happy Mothers' Day to all! May God bless you today and always! :)

May 3, 2011

Anniversary

Today, eight years ago, Adam was crazy enough to say "I do". Sucker.

Adam is always so thoughtful. Last year, he found out copper represented the 7th year, so he spent hours in the garage forging a heart shaped bracelet made of copper. Very sweet.

This year, he got online to see what he could do for me. He was pretty bummed to see it was bronze. He came to me scratching his head, "Honey, I think this year is gonna suck. I don't know where I'm going to find bronze scraps."

With Adam being deathly ill and having to work, and with our financial funds being low, we decided to write this anniversary off as a loss. He did see, however, during his research, that the 8th year is commonly overlooked, but it usually marks the year for prosperity. Bring it on!

As my present to him, I decided I would learn how to cook. No, I don't know how. I'm horrible. Adam actually has pictures of some of my failed attempts. My own mother didn't even let me in the kitchen growing up. Not since I burnt no-bake cookies. Don't ask.

So, as my first attempt to make my husband dinner, I chose soup and pumpkin souffle. I'm proud to say, it didn't turn out bad. I definitely added too many noodles to the soup, but it tastes ok. I did run into a small hitch. I tried to call my mom, but she wasn't home. I talked to my younger brother, "She's not home from work yet," he said. I sighed, knowing I will never live this down, "Is Ronnie home?"


Lesson 114: at age 31, having to call your 15 year old sister to find out what exactly is a casserole dish = white trash


Thanks Ronnie for clearing that up. Just for the record, my thoughts were right. I'm not a complete idiot. lol.

Happy Anniversary my sweet, sweet Adam. Only for you would I brave the kitchen!


April 20, 2011

Hockey

My boys have never expressed an interest in hockey, but this morning I came down to find them playing a game in my kitchen. I think we may have to get them some proper equipment.

Lesson 113: Kids playing a game of hockey with sweeper attachments and cookie cutters = white trash

April 8, 2011

April Fools' Day

This year I decided to play an April Fools' joke on my kids. Every day, when I come down to get the boys ready for school, Jagger asks, "Three more days of school?", "Two more days of school?", etc. Well, it just so happens that April Fools' Day was on a Friday this year, and boy do my kids look forward to Fridays. I walked into the living room and said, "Boys, the school called last night, and you have to go to school on Saturday and Sunday this week."

My boys reaction was priceless. Jagger went into full on meltdown mode, screaming, "WHAAAAAAAT?!" as he oozed off the couch onto the floor, beginning to cry. Jet sat calmly and whined, "Whyyyyyyyy?"

I quickly told them, "Aaaaapril Foooools!" (with jazz hands). They both stopped the grimacing and started laughing, while giving my the "Aaaaaah, you!"

Anyway, I posted my prank on Facebook. I was pretty proud of my well pulled off joke. I was unprepared, however, for the onslaught of disapproval. "You're mean," was the overall comment. Talking to my one friend later, she said, "That was mean. They're going to get you back."

Get me back?! Get me back?! Are you serious? It's ALWAYS April Fools' Day here, and the joke is ALWAYS on ME!!

Waking me up at all hours of the night for stupid reasons, and not being able to sleep past 8 since 2003.......APRIL FOOLS!

Painting my kitchen, and before the day is over, finding a mural in red crayon covering two walls......APRIL FOOLS!

Speaking of murals, all the wall art over the years, made of crayon, permanent marker, paint, pencil, excrement........APRIL FOOLS!

Jovie being potty trained for two whole weeks, then uh-oh, she completely forgets how to use a toilet, and only pees on my couch and tiny floor rug. It doesn't make sense to pee on a surface that can be totally cleaned with ease.......APRIL FOOLS!

Jag and Jet dumping a whole brand new bottle of 72oz lotion, in their room, to make a home-made slip-and-slide........APRIL FOOLS!

Coming downstairs to find a gallon tub of ice cream with EVERY utensil I own sticking out of it.......APRIL FOOLS!

Jag and Jet unloading 2 containers of baby powder to make the living room look like a winter wonderland......APRIL FOOLS!

Speaking of messes, let's not for get the infamous Ratatouille morning, where I came downstairs to find Jag and Jet with a big mixing bowl completely full of eggs, 4 sticks of butter, and a container of grape tomatoes. Let me tell you, the mess wasn't only in the bowl. On my living room carpet was 1 dozen smashed hard boiled eggs, 3 dozen smashed raw eggs, 4 additional smooshed sticks of butter, and some random tomatoes, all blended into the carpet and strewn about with about 100 playing cards from one of my neighbors games. When I tried to clean the carpet it made meringue...APRIL FOOLS!

Trying to lay down, in bed, after a long, oh-so long day, and instead of my head meeting my pillow, it's met by this.....

                                          ..................................APRIL FOOLS!!


Bed full of pretzels anyone?.................APRIL FOOLS!!!

Not being able to sit and eat more than 2 bites of food before someone needs you to get them something.............APRIL FOOLS!

Destroying my laptop.........APRIL FOOLS!

Cleaning a room, only to have it wrecked within the hour..........APRIL FOOLS!

Jovie throwing raw eggs at Adam while he sleeps in our bed............APRIL FOOLS!

Jovie coming downstairs looking like Beetlejuice and smelling like a coconut, then tells me, "I washed my hair. You're welcome.".................APRIL FOOLS!

Watching annoying kid show after annoying kid show, only to be kept up at night because I can't get their stupid, yet catchy, songs out of my head...........APRIL FOOLS!

Destroying my camera with no remorse..............APRIL FOOLS!

Have I brought up enough examples to make everyone stop hating me? May I please play ONE pitiful joke on my kids without being made to feel guilty? My joke only lasted a minute, at most. I have endured joke after cruel joke for almost a decade.

Lesson 112: your life being one big joke = white trash


I guess I can't be mad. They did learn from the master. :)

April 2, 2011

Spicy

I don't know what's up with this pregnancy, but I crave hot stuff constantly. Hot sauce is the main staple of my diet. Every day, I sit down and spend some time with Franks Red Hot. The kids are fascinated by this phenomenon, and watch me, like I'm some freak-show, while I eat. If they see me grab the hot sauce bottle one of them will yell to the others, "Hey guys, Mom's eating hot sauce again!" Then they all come running to watch the spectacle.

The other day, Adam and I were in the car, and I said, "I want some hot wings." Adam's reply was, "What is wrong with this baby? Is it Latino?" I laughed. Then he got this look in his eyes, "Are you sleeping with the gardener?" he asked. I bluntly answered, "Yes." He stared at me for a few moments. I think he was trying to figure out why I answered that way. I'm sure, in those few minutes he actually wondered if I was having an affair. I smiled at him and nodded in his direction, and then in the direction of all the yard stuff that FILLED the back of our vehicle. We had just left Lowes to get the things he needed to finish our yard and garden that he had been working on for the past couple of days.

Relief washed over his face as he realized, "Oh yeah, I'm the gardener," he replied.


Lesson 111: being worried your wife is having an affair with your gardener, only to realize you are too poor to afford a gardener and YOU ARE the gardener = white trash


Man, how's he going to react when he hears I'm also sleeping with our plumber, electrician, in-house chef, mechanic, and handy-man?

March 18, 2011

Penny Pinchin'

With never ending car trouble this month, and in anticipation of our very first vacation this summer, Adam and I have been trying desperately to watch our money. (Watch it burn into flames is more like it.)

My parents raised my brother and me like we were in the Great Depression, so I know how to deal. Adam, not so much. Adam has always been one of those got some money in my pocket, now I gotta spend it quick, before it does something crazy, like get SAVED! No! Anything but that! I guess we even each other out. I would prefer to spend nothing. He wants to spend it ALL. Together (and with me occassionally taking his debit card away) we manage to spend reasonably. But, this month has made even Adam want to save money.


I posted on Facebook, earlier this week, that I actually dug out soggy croutons from our dinner salad, the night before, and toasted them in the toaster oven. Don't want to waste food. I got this idea from my Dad. The last time he visited, he did the same thing. I told him then it was gross and to just use new ones, but he refused. He actually put the re-toasted ones back in a bag and used them throughout the whole week he was here. They actually aren't too bad. I guess I grossed people out, though, because my one friend told me she would send me a fresh bag of croutons every week if I promised never to do it again.


Lesson 109: your eating habits cause such disgust, your friend from another state wants to send you croutons for life = white trash


Today, Adam and I were rearranging Jovie's and Stone's room. Jovie is now in a toddler bed. Can we get a sarcastic "Yeah."? Now she's free to torment and wake Stone up at all hours of the night. Anyway, as I swept, I commented on how the sweeper bag was full, and we needed to buy some more. Adam disappeared and came back with the shop-vac. He pulled the bag out of the sweeper and began to shop-vac the bag.

 Lesson 110: sweeping out a sweeper bag = white trash

The really sad thing is, when he was almost done, the bag broke. All that gross work for nothing. I did get a laugh at how much he looked like my Dad, as he dug out loose change and random legos. "I can't believe how carelessly you sweep," he said, "you have no mercy." This was exactly one of the things Adam complained about when he helped my Dad clean his old motorcycle shop. Adam swept and my Dad had to waste time digging through the dirt and pulling out every penny and loose screw.

The one cool thing that resulted from his bag digging, he found the little Jesus that fell off of his rosary about a month ago. He was so distraught when it happened. He searched everywhere. You should have seen his face when he pulled it out of a big ball of dirt. Even though the bag broke and his effort to save some money was futile, we still feel like it was an absolute success. :) 

March 12, 2011

Potty Time, Excellent!

Whoever said girls were easier to potty train than boys, never met my daughter. My four older boys were very easy. They peed on the potty once and it was over. They rarely had an accident. The only accidents were during the night, and that was only Jude and Jet. Jagger and Marky never had accidents.


Jovie has been a whole other, hair pulling experience. I've tried on several occasions to potty train her, but after a few days of cleaning puddles off of everything, and absolutely NO tinkle in the potty, I'd give up and tell myself I'd try again in a few months. Time and time again, it was the same song and dance. I accepted the fact that I would probably be changing my daughter's diaper before I helped her get into her wedding dress. Ok, so I knew it wouldn't be that bad.

A few days ago, she complained about her bum hurting. She gets diaper rashes often, and this one really bothered her. As she complained, Adam told her, "If you peed on the potty, your bum wouldn't hurt anymore." A light bulb went off in her little head. She ripped off her diaper, then went and sat on the potty. Excitement bubbled inside me. Could this be it? Has the day finally come?

"I peed!" she exclaimed. Adam and I ran over to check. Nothing. Talk about a let down. To our surprise, though, she didn't ask to put her diaper back on, which is what normally happens, followed by a tantrum when we tell her "no". She just jumped up all nudey-bum and went about her business.

About a hour later, she went upstairs. Suddenly, she came sliding down the stairs with a huge smile on her face, "Mommy! I peed!"

"Ok, I'll be there in a second," I said, not in any hurry to go look at an empty training toilet. I eventually made my way up there to find her doing a happy jig by the potty. I peered inside and VICTORY!! I danced with her, then gave her a whole cookie. She finally got it.

We have had a couple of accidents. One, she had just been woken up, and I think I took her diaper off before she was truly awake, and she peed on the couch. Then, she did her first #2, got so excited, stood up, and peed on the floor. We'll have to work on that one, but other than that, she's done great.

There was just one more thing I had to teach her. The potty chair downstairs, in the living room, has a little removable cup, so it can be quickly cleaned. I was sitting at the kitchen table when I saw Jovie coming into the room holding the cup. "I peed, Mom." Before I could grab the cup, to my horror, she lifted it to her lips and took a big old swig.

"NOOOOOOOOOOO!" I screamed in disgusted terror. As soon as it touched her lips, she realized it was nasty. She pulled the cup down as tinkle drooled out of her mouth all over the floor. "Ka-ka," she managed to cough out. I laughed, "Yeah, it's ka-ka. We don't drink our own pee." She handed me the cup, completely grossed out.

Sorry Jovie, but......


Lesson 108: drinking your own urine = white trash


I love ya baby girl, and we're so proud of you!!

March 2, 2011

Car Seats

Car seats are gross, especially after you let your kids eat in them. My kids' seats are always full of dry crushed cereals and old McDonalds fries. They also are stained from spilled juice boxes.

Like any other normal parent, I will get fed up and remove ALL car seats to give the fabric part a good cleaning in the washing machine and to wipe down the little crevices that aren't seen any other time, but for some reason are filled to the brim with mysterious filth.

The other day, Adam went to Lowes to get wood, so he removed all the car seats and put them on the porch. He never put them back in, and that night we had a torrential downpour, and all the seats were drenched. Let me tell you, a car seat full of Froot Loops is gross, but a car seat full of soggy Froot Loops is just plain nasty. It was time to be cleaned.

Adam and I removed all the material parts and cleaned them. When they were finished Adam put all the seats on the kitchen table to be reassembled. When we were finished, we left them on the table. We were leaving in an hour, so, we figured we'd put them back in when we left.

The time came to leave and Adam went out to the kitchen to retrieve the seats. A few seconds later, I heard him yell out in frustration, "Are you kidding me?" I ran to see what had happened. I got there just in time to see him tipping Stone's car seat upside down, as Cheerios rained down onto the kitchen floor.

Lesson 107: car seats full of cereal before they have a chance to be put back into the car = white trash

February 24, 2011

Seven

It's official. I'm pregnant.

Yep, during Adam's and my 7th year of marriage, we found out on February 7th that we were expecting our 7th child, due on the 7th of October. Then, when I called the doctor to make my appointment, the nurse said, "When you come in you will be 7 weeks." I smiled. Of course I would be.

With all this seven nonsense, I felt the number had to be significant. There were just too many 7's to ignore. A lot of people have suggested we name him (yes, I know it's a boy) Seven or something to do with the number. My sister-in-law sat with me the other day and researched the Greek and Latin words for seven and seventh. The only one I liked was the word septimus. That would definitely be a strong manly name. I'm still toying with the thought.

After my search with Kasey, I dug some more. I googled 7. I clicked on the link that said, "The link between God and the number 7". Hmmmm....that intrigued me. Within the first paragraph I read that 7 was a symbol of God's perfect completion and rest.

Perfect completion and rest? I warmly smiled at the perfect completion part, feeling that this baby would mark the perfect completion of our family. But rest? This simple word made jubilant tears stream down my face!

Lesson 106: tears of joy pouring down your face over the word rest = a clearly exhausted white trash woman
This shows you how extremely tired I've been. Reading that, for some reason, made me believe that if I gave birth to another child I would be granted rest. Huh? Does that make any sense at all? I haven't slept in over a month, because my kids have been sick since January 29th. No lie! In fact, we have only been fever free since Saturday. Marky had strep throat, Jagger had a double ear infection, Jude and I had bronchitis and all of us, but Adam, had a 5 day fever virus on top of it. It's like a coughing symphony all night long. I can't sleep through that. And I'm bringing another child into the world to cough along with them. Rest? I'm staying hopeful! You never know.

Even if this baby doesn't bring me rest, I'm still looking forward to meeting the "perfect completion" to our family.

February 1, 2011

Guns

There are a lot of boys in this house. This results in an ample supply of fake firearms. The fake ones have always been enough, but as of late, the boys have put in requests for REAL guns.

My response to their pleas? Dramatic laughter in their hopeful little faces.

Adam took the adult approach and decided to inform them about real guns. The conversation went like this:

Adam: "Boys, do you know what we use real guns for?"

Picture this, my boys jumping on our bed in excitement. I'm pretty sure they thought they were closer to reaching their dreams now that Dad had engaged them in a real conversation about it.

Their responses:

Jude: "To shoot trees!" - What did trees ever do to Jude? I wonder.

Jet: "To shoot animals that are being bad!" - Jet gets a gun and his first order of business is to find Old Yeller and put him down.

Jagger: "To shoot the Rebels!" - Oh, my little Sith Lord, living in a constant state of warfare with the Jedis in his mind.

Adam busted out laughing and the conversation was over. Trust me, they won't be getting real guns anytime soon.

Lesson 105: one question asked, and the responses from my children offend environmentalists, PETA, and those who use the Force = white trash

January 29, 2011

Puke

I've had it. I swear, if one more kid vomits I'm going to lose it. The past 8 months have been so full of puke I can hardly stand it.

On May 3rd, Adam and I celebrated our anniversary with a sick Jet and Jude. Then, after the 4th of July, Jet, Jude, Jovie, and Stone had some sort of stomach bug. Yep, stomach bug in the summer. Isn't summer supposed to be a break from illness?

Right after Labor day, Jovie, Jagger, and Jude had another bug. Are you detecting a trend yet?

Halloween we were safe, but forget about Thanksgiving. Jet woke up sick.

Lesson 103: spending Thanksgiving cleaning vomit and Thanksgiving dinner consisting of nothing but Oodles of Noodles = white trash

Jet ended up making the whole house sick, including me. I haven't had the stomach flu since February 1998! Thanks Jet.

Martin Luther King day kicked off with Jagger puking at 5 am. No holiday is safe!! The following Thursday Jude woke up sick. The next Monday Jude was puking AGAIN!

Lesson 104: kid puking on the sidewalk in front of Steak and Shake = white trash

That was this past Monday. Guess what happened this morning? Yep, Jagger's sick.

All that's left to be said is, "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"

January 24, 2011

St. Francis de Sales This One's For You

There are a lot of saints that I ask to pray for me on a daily basis. Mary and Joseph I have praying for Adam and me to be the best parents we can be, Saint Dymphna prays for Stone and Jagger's mental issues, and poor Saint Jude, being a drama queen I feel all stressful situations are desperate cases. I never leave that poor guy alone.

A few years ago, when I started my writing adventure, I would pray before I wrote. I wanted God to guide me always. After saying my prayers, I was going through my saint list and asking them to pray for various issues. When I was done I thought to myself, "Did I get everyone?" That's when I heard it. It wasn't audible, it was written on my heart. "Ask St. Francis to pray for you."

Huh? I brushed it off. A few seconds later it came again. I chuckled and knew it wasn't me. I remember saying, "Ok, and even though I don't know why, St. Francis please pray for me."

After that experience I had to immediately look on the internet to find out what St. Francis was the patron saint of. I looked up St. Francis of Assissi, since he was the only St. Francis I knew. Animals? No. That couldn't be it. I noticed St. Francis de Sales and clicked on the link. I smiled when I read he was the patron saint of writers.

Needless to say, he's become a good friend. So good in fact, that when Stone was born I told Adam I wanted his middle name to be DeSales. Adam agreed.

When Stone was born Adam texted friends and family. A couple days later we got a text from a friend that said, "lol, sounds like Stoned As Hell."

Noooooooooooooo!

Lesson 102: trying to name your kid after a saint, but winding up with his name sounding like "Stoned As Hell" = white trash
So, in honor of St. Francis de Sales's feast day, this blogs for you! Thank you for all your prayers!!

January 17, 2011

Brother Bowling

Today, I rounded the corner to find my kids had created a new game.


video

Lesson 101: using your baby brother as some sort of bowling ball = white trash