June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day

For Mother's Day, I receive a bunch of handmade gifts that my kids make in school. Unfortunately, Father's Day is in the summer, so figuring out gifts for Adam falls on my shoulders.

Usually, I just buy him something he tells me he wants. This year I thought to myself, Hey, the kids are old enough now to tell me what they would like to get for their Dad. I couldn't wait to hear what their little creative minds would come up with, not to mention a tad scared of the potential pricetag.

To tell the truth, I was a little jealous. Not that I don't love the little gifts my kids give me, but it's not like the beautifully written (and grammatically correct) poem my second grader gave me was thought up by himself. If it was, holy crap! Comparing our relationship to a flower? This eight year old is deep! No, I'm pretty certain ten other moms received the same poem.

I got out a piece of paper and a pen. "Hey Stone," I called my three year old over, "What do you want to get Daddy for a present?"

He smiled, "A spoon."

"A spoon?" I asked, feeling a little disappointed.

He ran to the utensil drawer, grabbed an every day run-of-the-mill spoon, and brought it to me. "Like this," he said.

"Ooooookay." I scribbled spoon on my paper.

"JUUUDE!" I yelled downstairs, "Come here please." Jude ran upstairs. "I'm going to the store to get presents for Daddy for Father's Day. What would you like to give him?"

Jude put his finger on his mouth, "Hmmm..." He thought for a few seconds then shrugged, "I think I should just get him some cigarettes."

"What? No! We aren't getting Daddy anything that's going to kill him. Think of something else."

His face lit up, "I know! I want to get him a toothbrush." He then gave me a very concerned look, "I don't think he brushes his teeth."

"He brushes his teeth!" I snapped at him.

Jude twisted his face, "Are you sure? His teeth are really yellow."

"That's from smoking so many cigarettes," I told him.

"Oh. Well, I still want to get him a toothbrush....and some cotton candy. Daddy loves cotton candy. Aaaaaand I want to get him some man soap so he smells better." Jude finished his list and skipped away.

Things weren't going as well as I had hoped. Jude was our wild card. I was expecting something ridiculous like a rhinoceros in a clown car. I reluctantly jotted down toothbrush, cotton candy, and man soap.

That was when Jet appeared from his room. "Where are you going?" he asked.

"I'm going to go get presents for Dad. What do you want to give him?"

Without skipping a beat, "A toothbrush."

I slammed my fist on the table, "No. Jude is already getting him a toothbrush."

"Oh. Ok, then I'll just get him some mint gum so his breath smells better, and some deodorant." He turned his head toward the living room and found his brother, "Hey Jude, you want to play Minecraft?" They both ran away.

I wrote mint gum and deodorant.

Jagger was the only one left. (Jovie was coming with me.) Did I even want to ask? Knowing Jagger, he'd probably want to get him something that dealt with Star Wars. "Jagger!"

Jagger emerged from the basement, "What Mom?"

"What do you want to get Dad for Father's Day?"

He thought for a moment while he did a little jig for me, "Uh...I think I better get him a toothbrush."

"WHAT THE HECK?" I yelled. Jagger seemed slightly scared by my outburst. I calmed myself. "You can't. Jude is already getting him a toothbrush."

"Oh." I could tell he was thoroughly bummed out, and it took him a good long while to think of something else. Like a toothbrush was the only thing he could come up with. "Uh...I don't know. Can I just get him something that smells good, like spray?"

I sighed. "Sure Jag." He ran away. Cologne was the last thing on my list.

"Don't forget cotton candy!" Jagger yelled from somewhere in the house.

I added cotton candy.

I looked at the list and thought, cold as ice kids. Cold. As. Ice. Good thing I was still in charge of the three littlest kids' presents.

Lesson  177: when your kids are allowed to buy you any present in the world and they ALL want to buy you a toothbrush = white trash

At the store, I had to talk Jovie out of getting her dad denture toothpaste. Not that she knew what it really was, but I began to rethink my previous jealous thoughts. I forget from time to time how brutally honest kids can be. Now, I am extemely thankful for those teacher-thought-out gifts. We mothers are protected! I'm sure if my kids would have been in charge of my Mother's Day gifts I would have opened Spanx, a case of Slim Fast, and a gift certificate for Botox.

As I stood in line at the dollar store, with a conveyer belt full of bags of cotton candy, I was kind of depressed about how my plan turned out. I looked behind me. Jovie stood talking the ears off of a man and his son, telling them about cat toys. I noticed the guy looking at all the cotton candy. I laughed, "We have 9 kids, and most of them wanted to get my husband cotton candy for Father's Day." He smiled.

As we were leaving I heard the man say to the cashier, "Wish I was that dad!"

I chuckled to myself. Do you buddy? Do you really?

When we got home, I gave each kids their own gift bag, and told them to decorate it by painting something they like to do with their dad. You know what? The bags are my favorite part. This was where their love for their father came through.

Stone said his favorite time with Daddy was when they ate chocolate together. Jovie painted a whale and said she liked watching fish with him. (Not sure when that happened, but whatever.) Jude painted a cute picture of when Adam takes him to the restaurant. Jet painted for an hour, and created a beautiful picture of when they cleared the woods for their fort. Jagger's picture of Adam hugging him made me a little teary, and he wanted the bag to say, "I love your squeezes!" Finally, the older kids and I came up with sayings for the twins' bags and Hawk's bag. Fox's said, "I love your snuggles," since Fox makes Adam hold him constantly. Rex's said, "I love your headbutts." That's their special thing. Don't ask. That "special thing" ended up giving me a fat lip one night when I tried to give Rex a bedtime kiss. Hawk's bag said, "I love to look at you." We laughed really hard at that one! He's only 3 months old. It's not like his bag could say, "Hey, I love when we do oragami together!"

How jealous would that dad at the dollar store be now?

Happy Father's Day Adam! We love you so very much!......Don't forget to brush!

May 29, 2013

Nunquam Non Paratus

memoirs of a white trash mom
"Nunquam non paratus." This is the Johnstone clan's, from which my husband and children are descended, family motto. It means, "never unprepared." A motto that totally makes sense when it comes to my husband, his siblings, and his father. This trait is obviously a strong one that has been passed down for centuries. They are like a bunch of MacGyvers. Seriously. They never stress out, they just make things happen. If you don't have something you need, they will fashion something out of random crap laying around, and the things they make work just as well (if not better) than the thing you needed.

Unfortunately, it is very apparent that I married into this family. One of these things is not like the others! My family's motto probably means "totally unprepared".

The hot weather hit Pittsburgh out of nowhere this year. It was 40 degrees, then BAM, it was 90. Poor Jovie, being the only girl, had no shorts, and Stone didn't have any clothes either. Being our 5th boy, the clothes that have been passed down for 13 years, went through not only my older boys, but my little brothers, and nephew as well. These clothes had become more like shreds of cloth than actual clothes. I gave up on these and threw them away last summer. So, for the first couple of hot, muggy days, my two little ones were running around outside in sweat pants. "Unprepared Mother".

Lesson 175: little kids running around outside in sweat pants in 90 degree heat, with 100% humidity, while you sport shorts and a tank top = white trash

Finally, Adam had a day off and I could go get them some new threads. Adam was working in the yard, and I couldn't leave Hawk. So, I grabbed him up and went to Target.

Let me ask a question. How many babies have I had? I have had 9 babies! Can I ask another question? What kind of mother of 9 leaves the house without a diaper bag? "Unprepared Mother", that's who.

We got to Target, and of course, Hawk starts crying as soon as we get in the store. Frustrated, I picked him up and tried to find clothes to fit Stone. I picked up a shirt. I looked at it for one second and Hawk decided to poop. And not just a little poop, he pooped right out of his clothes. There was poop running down his leg, and all over my arm. This is when I remembered the diaper bag. "Unprepared Mother!"

Last question. What does an Unprepared Mother of 9 do when she and her baby are covered in poop in public?

Lesson 176: using a random hand wipe you find in your purse, that you stole from Buffalo Wild Wings months ago, to wipe the poop off your arm and babies leg, in the kids' clothes department, then putting the poopy wipe back in your purse, and continue shopping until you're done = white trash

Ok, one more question. Did I learn my lesson? Nope. I took Hawk to the doctor yesterday completely diaper bagless. Luckily, no poop.

I pray my kids inherit that Johnston gene!

April 18, 2013

No Mas Huevos!

In 2010, following Stone's birth, I developed a brief allergy to eggs. It was awful, because I love eggs. So, I would eat them and then have stomach cramps. This lasted a few weeks.

Again, after the birth of the twins, I got abdominal pains after eating eggs. It was never too bad, but it was annoying.

After I gave birth to Hawk eggs became my enemy. The abdominal pains were horrible this time around. I couldn't even eat things with a little bit of egg in it without severe pain. I stayed away from eggs for awhile, but they were calling my name one night, and I decided to eat 3 fried eggs.

Big mistake.

The next thing I knew, I was on my knees, my face was smashed into my bed, and my arms were extended and holding a screaming infant. I wanted to die! The pain was so horrific it made me sick to my stomach, and Adam insisted he take me to the hospital. Of course, I was perfectly fine after I had up-chucked the eggs.

When my Mom was here we discussed my weird temporary allergy that I only get after I give birth. My Mom started laughing. She had figured out the secret.

Lesson 174 : In fear of fertilization, your body rejects all eggs....even if it's from a chicken = white trash

Thanks Mom for your medical discovery. You should have been a doctor!

February 28, 2013


There are many, many things that happen in the Johnston household as a result of me trying to do something else. Here are a few examples:

1. If I mop the floor, before I even put the mop away, a sippy cup will leak, someone will lose all bowel function, or there will be peanut butter smeared on my freshly cleaned surface.

2. If I sweep the floor, within seconds, someone will drop a bowl of dry cereal and at least 3 kids will step on it before I get a chance to clean it up.

3. If I clean the toilet, before I leave the bathroom, someone will come and pee on the seat.

4. If, at the end of the night, all the dishes are in the dishwasher and it is running, all my kids will want cereal as a snack, leaving a stack of dirty dishes in the sink.

5. If I need a few more bowls to fill the dishwasher at the end of the night, so I can run it, all my kids will eat a granola bar for snack.

6.If I take a shower, as soon as I turn off the water, someone will come in and leave the door wide open.

7. If I go to the bathroom I will be followed by my entourage.

8. If someone asks me if my kids have all been healthy, one of my kids will become ill within the hour.

9. If I receive a gift, my children will break it, steal it, or use all of it by the end of the week.

10. If the older kids are in school, and all the younger kids take a nap, someone will call me on the phone. (I'm not meant to sleep.......EVER! The world is against me on this.)

11. If I need everyone to get up early, they sleep in.

12. If it's a day that I could use an extra half hour of sleep, all the kids get up before 5.

13. If I change a diaper without feces in it, that child will poop five minutes later.

14. If I run out of paper towels, at least a half a gallon of milk will be dumped onto the floor.

15. If I finish all the laundry, Adam will come home with two work shirts and tell me they need to be washed by the next day.

16. If I leave a basket of folded laundry unattended for any span of time, when I return it will all be unfolded on the floor with at least 2 kids screaming and fighting over the empty basket.

17. If we replace flooring, it will be damaged within a week. ex.) We put white carpet down in the hallway and two days later Jagger threw-up blueberries on it. Or when Adam rolled out the new carpet in our room. It wasn't even secured down before Jovie and Stone dumped half a can of Kilz in the middle of the room. Or when we put laminate flooring down in the living room and the kids decided to push the couch, that conveniently had a screw sticking out of the bottom of it, half way across the room.

18. If given a choice between a box full of shiny toys and a box of my book-keeping work from the restaurant, the kids will choose my work box. EVERY TIME.

19. If we go somewhere and forget the diaper bag, when we arrive all children in diapers will have pooped.

20. If I start a blog that is making a list, and want it to be a decent length, I will give birth to a new baby before I finish, and typing one sentence will be WAY more difficult than it should be! I'm ending here b/c half of these phenomenons are happening as I speak, and to top it off, I have a newborn baby crying to be nursed! Welcome our little baby Hawk to the crazy Johnston clan!

January 25, 2013

Maternity Shirt Wanted!

It's no secret. My uterus is beat! You know that point at the very end of your pregnancy where your maternity clothes don't even cover your belly? Well, I'm already at that point, and I have 5 weeks to go! I've outgrown all my maternity shirts, and I'm even too big for all Adam's shirts. Ok, well there is one of Adam's shirts that still covers my whole belly.

Lesson  173: the only shirt in your house that covers your pregnant belly says, "Deez Nuts" = white trash

I won't be leaving my house for the next 5 weeks. Just saying.