I always feel like somebody's watching me.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

All I Needed

Just when I am at the end of my rope, I am shown the miracles I have in my three daughters. Just when I think I can take not one more fit, not one more mess, I am shown how truly blessed I am.

The last two weeks or so of school are always really busy and stressful. Add on top of that my husband's work schedule changing and having in laws here to help with childcare and Mrs. Eyebrows gets a little bit cranky. Okay, a lot cranky. Words come out of my mouth that my children will probably write on their homework assignments next year. Toys meet their untimely demise when they aren't picked up quickly enough. Windows are shut so neighbors can't hear mommy's nice words. I really think that the electric company and schools are in cahoots to get more money out of people who are parents. You see, we are forced to run our air conditioner much earlier than we should have to since we can't keep the windows open without being the crazy next door neighbors people talk about at block parties. Oh, and for the record, it isn't specifically having in laws here that makes me cranky. It's the change that causes the children to act up that makes me cranky. Please be clear here-I am eternally grateful for the help when we need it.

Busy schedules, all the volunteer stuff I sign up for at the beginning of the year when my attitude is one of positivity and excitement, field trips, sack lunches, and the sun's refusal to go down before 8:30 all amass in one great big stress ball that I throw at people as if in gym class.

After only two days of my children being out of school I was ready to sell them. I mean, like seriously put signs up with pictures of them while they're sleeping (this is when they look the most angelic) "Make an Offer". Then it happened. My 11 year old came home with a report card containing STRAIGHT A's. The foul mouthed kindergardener had a report card with the same equivalent. After months of what I thought to be unheard, unlearned teaching, my four year old writes a perfect capital "R" with sharpie marker on the back of one of our kitchen chairs.

Okay, so she wrote it on the back of a chair in sharpie marker. Not exactly where I would prefer, but that's what magic erasers are for. I am pleased to find she is able to write several other letters quite skillfully on paper too. Then she said, much to my humor, "I'm home schooled, isn't I?" Yes, yes you are. Our next lesson will be grammar. Right after I get this green marker off my oak chair...

The soon to be first grader hauled out some math flash cards and shows me that she can do ADDITION IN HER HEAD. I about fell off the couch. This was the moment when I realized what was happening. God was showing me the miracles He has given me in my children and how truly amazing they are. Just when I think I'm a bad mom for feeling like running away, He gives me the strength to go on. He shows me how important I am and how great they really are because of the work we, as parents, have done. And He also shows me that I can't do it without Him. You see, I had prayed for help during the weeks I was feeling so stressed out. I know our prayers are ALWAYS answered but I forget that at times. It might not be the way we think it will be or the way we want it to be, but they will be answered. All the amazing things about my kids sort of happened all at once. It was weird. But it took away my anger at them, my stress and my feelings of resentment were gone the second I realized what He was showing me. That's what I needed. It was all I needed.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. -2 Corinthians 12:9

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Never leave a paper trail.

My kindergartner had her first note sent home from school this weekend. I had to compose myself in my bedroom before talking to her about it. It read as follows:

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Eyebrows,

At the end of the day today as I was passing out papers, I noticed that Piper had written the word "butt" on two of her papers from Computer class and intended to give them to two of her friends. When I asked her why she wrote this on her papers, she said she learned that word from the movie "Despicable Me." We talked about how that is not an appropriate word to use in school. She visited with Mrs. Principal and Mr. Computer. Thank you for visiting with her for me at home.

Since this did not occur in the classroom, if you have any questions or need further explanation, please contact Mr. Computer.

Thank you!
Mrs. Kindergarten

Ok, obviously I've renamed some people. Included with this letter were two pictures she had made and, in fact, written the word "butt" on in crayon. One picture did look like minion butt cheeks from the movie where the minions are making photo copies of their butts. I'm willing to argue however that my child did not, in fact, learn the word "butt" from "Despicable Me".

When I found the letter, Piper saw that I had found it and ran to her room crying, "I didn't mean to!" After taking the time to compose my own laughter, my husband and I went to talk to her. She was under her covers crying. She definitely will not be writing the word "butt" on any school papers again, poor thing. We talked about how it's not appropriate and then told her about her older sister's notes that were sent home from school in the past. Her older sister was there to confirm our story and she helped us to make Piper feel better. Seriously, if writing "butt" on a couple papers is the worst thing she ever does, I'm a proud mom.

I'm keeping the letter and the pictures to someday show to her future husband or display with her graduation pictures.

We were watching a nature show about monkeys a day later and somehow it came about that monkeys are known for throwing poop.

"I would like a pet monkey mom, but since they throw poop, I can't have one, right?" She asked me later that night.

"Right. Please don't share your monkey knowledge at school though, okay Piper?"

"Okay mommy." She smiled at me knowingly.

There are 21 school days left. I hope we can make it.

Monday, April 11, 2011

And the Award Goes To...

Before I give my acceptance speech, I feel the need to explain myself. I didn't even think about the fact that it was Monday today because the weekend was so full of craziness, I just went with the flow. And really, it started off okay in the beginning, it really did. I faced my weekly grocery shopping trip with bravery and gusto and I wasn't even ashamed to be seen in public with my youngest child and her fashion sense(less). The two of us set off in search of household sundries and grocery items with hope in our hearts and reusable bags in our hands. Then it hit me. Somewhere between my house and Target it dawned on me that I had forgotten to send 12 plastic eggs and 3 dimes to school with my kindergartner.

"Mommy, we can't forget to get my eggs and my dimes for school for our project. Jesus was sold for 30 pieces of silver's why we have to bring 3 dimes and I don't know what the eggs are for but we have to put the dimes into one of them." She had reminded me on Saturday morning as we headed out of town for the weekend. I promised her we would stop and get the eggs on the way back into town. I forgot.

I started bawling upon realizing my neglect and suddenly it occurred to me that I AM THE WORST MOMMY EVER. I have never been up for such a big award! This would have to put me into the front running! I pictured my springy haired 5 year old at school, having a melt down of epic proportions and her teacher, shaking her head and tsking, marking my name off on her voting ballot.

My mood went from slightly positive to ginormously negative in 0.2 seconds. But by some miracle the tiny 'raptor and I managed to get the shopping done without any major breakdowns or blowups and we went to get the other minions from school.

My kindergartner came running out and greeted me with a giant hug. I could feel the tears welling up again. I fought them back and profusely apologized for my forgetfulness. I was forgiven and kissed and we stood in wait for the eldest raptor. And we waited. And waited. My stomach began to knot up and I could feel the tickling in my sinuses that usually precedes a tearful explosion. The 5th graders had gone to another school for band practice...was I supposed to have picked her up at that school? OH I HAVE THIS AWARD IN THE BAG NOW!!! Another mother came up beside me and asked how I was. Well...since you asked....But she was my saving grace! She knew the 5th graders had come back already. Turned out my 5th grader has classroom duty this week. Phew. Crisis averted, children gathered and off to the van we went.

We were blessed this year with the purchase of a new used Toyota Sienna minivan with automatic sliding doors. The children delight in "pushing the button" to close their doors when they get in or out. Yay for all things mechanical! In my haste to get the kids buckled in and groceries home, I failed to notice that the youngest raptor had pushed her button and suddenly I was being shoved over by an automatic sliding door, slowly squeezed to certain flatness. I flailed around and pressed the button again, releasing the door's hold on my midsection. This is where I cinched up my title as "Worst Mommy Ever". I unleashed a tirade on the poor four year old, chewing her out for nearly crushing me. She, in turn, let loose a scream that only dogs could hear. Well, dogs and apparently the two teachers getting into their vehicle next to ours. I saw them get out their ballots and cast their votes just as I was pulling out of the parking lot.

So, without further ado, I would like to thank The Academy, without which this award would not be possible. I would like to thank the 'raptors, for without them I would not be a mommy and lastly I would like to thank my failing brain and apparent PMS for allowing the final breakdown that put this award in my hands. Thank you! Thank you all!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Worthy of Stephen King

After an excruciating trip to the grocery store with three Velociraptors disguised as my children, I made the impostors earn their keep by cleaning the house.

My eldest daughter's cleaning territory was her bathroom. She scrubbed the toilet, the sink, the counter and the mirror, hopefully not in that order. Soon after she finished her task, she decided the loose tooth that had been plaguing her had to come out. She yanked out a loose canine last night, and informed me that it's soon time for braces.

Tonight, it was a molar. Two teeth in one weekend is a new record for our family and I have decided that I need to go out and check the back field for glowing alien space craft. The Tommyknockers are coming. I don't care if my kid IS taken over by alien entities. I don't like dirty sinks and the Crocodile Dentist had to redo her scrub job, much to her dismay.

I also very much dislike pulling loose teeth, and am appreciative of the aliens and the work they do.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pasta anyone?

I fear that I am unable to make one of the families favorite dinners anymore. We all love baked ravioli and there is never much left over when I fix it. Big bag of frozen ravioli. Check. Big jar of marinara sauce. Check. Big bag of shredded mozzarella cheese. Check. Bake it and eat it. Check. Can't get any simpler than that. Right? Well, if I take into consideration the clean up involved after a four year old projectile vomits pasta chunks all over, I'm going to have to take this one off the "easy" list.

I knew it was coming, there is a groaning and whining sound that precedes the vomit. I had her on the couch, which I had protected with towels, and a bucket at the ready. I still wasn't ready for it when it happened, and she managed to coat her jammies, her hair and most of the towel I had laid down. But let me tell you about talent. The kind of talent only a mother of three has. I can hold a puke bucket and call my husband at the same time.

Why would I call my poor husband, while he's on duty, to come home and help with a tiny Linda Blair?

"Hey, we are at threat level Exorcist here, can you come home an help me please? Since you JINXED ME?" I didn't even give him a chance to answer before I tossed my phone out of firing range.

You see, earlier in the evening during supper, he had been talking to our oldest about her morning tirade. Her complaint was that she was SO TIRED from her younger sister keeping her up with her crying the night before. He pointed out to her that there would probably be other nights she wouldn't get ideal sleep. What if she had an activity that kept her up late or WHAT IF ONE OF HER SISTERS WAS UP ALL NIGHT THROWING UP?

As soon as the tiny one started groaning and complaining that her belly hurt, I knew I had been jinxed. It's always me. I am always the one being puked on, cleaning up puke, or holding the puke bucket. When the Universe handed out jobs, I got "puke monger". Some people are destined to be pooped on by every bird that flies over them. Some people are destined to step in every animal land mine they walk near. Me, I'm a puke magnet.

So, I guess I need to come to terms with my lot in life. Not a lot I can do about it except for maybe get a young priest and an old priest and hope for the best.

Monday, March 21, 2011

SOMEBODY has a case of the Mondays!

What do you do when your computer takes a big, fat crap? You cry like a bit, fat baby, that's what. By some stroke of luck my husband decided to back up our photos, all 8,000 + of them, on a SD card. This was about three weeks ago. Had I realized it was a foreshadowing of events, I would have had him back up my thousands of iTunes songs. This makes me sad and snivelly and I can't even listen to depressing music to match my mood.

This brings us down to a seven year old iBook. The keyboard smells like B.O. and feet and most of the websites I frequent don't work with it. I am so excited to have some new followers and comments on my blog and I can't even comment back because the smelly dinosaur laptop hates me and wants to ruin my life. Which brings me to my morning.

I was informed this morning, without prejudice, that I am the most hated and worst mother ever. Oh, and death was wished upon my person. All before 7:30am. Now I am mad and I can't even listen to death metal music to match my mood.

Now the angst-ridden tween is grounded, without prejudice, the computer is apart and my world is devoid of music. And it's only Monday!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Just one more minute...

I did not set my alarm clock this morning. Two days a week I take pleasure in NOT having to get up for anything in particular. Eight o'clock is my "sleep in" goal, since I live with three children who think sleep is merely an inconvenient thing I make them do. Their motto is the equivalent of "Are we there yet?" when it comes to sleep. They pop out of bed, "Can we be awake now?", at the most God-awful of hours. ONLY ON THE WEEKEND mind you. During the week, when I am up at the crack o' dawn, and they need to be up shortly thereafter, they are out cold, like they're sleeping off a Nyquil induced coma. It's actually crossed my mind to lie to them about what day it is to keep them in bed. Either that or actually GIVE them NyQuil....

BANG BANG BANG BANG was my alarm this morning at 7:15. My husband pulled off his Darth Vadar breathing mask and went to the door, unlocking it. (We lock our doors to keep the human octopus that is our four year old out of our bed.) Our soon-to-be six year old was at the door, frantic. "I CAN'T SMELL ANYTHING WITH MY NOSE!!" As opposed to your ears? She wanted nothing more than to inform us of her mucous-ridden nasal passages.

We got another 30 minutes of sleep before demands for sustenance were being made by the octopus. Seriously kid, bears don't eat all winter. Wanna know why? CUZ THEY'RE STILL SLEEPING.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

No Cool-Whip.

So back to my daughter's business venture. The phone rang today, a number I didn't recognize. The female caller asked for my daughter. A few minutes after retreating to her room, she emerged and informed me that one of our neighbors had called to tell her she would pay her $5 to come scoop dog poop. "I'm going to be RICH this summer."

"Did you go ask her if you could pick up her dog poop? When did you do this? Which neighbor?" Standard grilling procedure ensued.

"I put signs under everyone's doormats who have dogs." She raced around, gathering her things.

"How many phone calls should I be expecting? Do I get a cut for being your SECRETARY?" I actually swear every time the phone rings because it is ALWAYS missing and it is NEVER for me.

"MOM!" She didn't want to be late for her job. Can't shirk those doodies you know..

After she left it dawned on me that this would be the first time poop had been picked up in this lady's yard because the snow JUST MELTED. What a deal she was getting! $5 to have someone else pick up an entire winter's worth of mooky sticks.

My daughter returned home about 45 minutes later, out of breath and pink-cheeked. "I picked up FOUR Cool-Whip container's worth of poop! Do you know how much poop that is? That's a lot of poop mom. FOUR Cool-Whip containers!" She said it at least three more times.

Now all I can picture, instead of creamy Cool-Whip, which I sometimes like to eat by the spoonful, is a Cool-Whip container full of dog shit. I can't get the vision out of my head. I don't think I will ever be able to eat any sort of whipped topping again. Thanks a lot kid.

To top it all off, she managed to find an empty ice cream container to point out to me that she could have FILLED THAT TOO! Now I can't eat ice cream either. On the up side of things, my diet should now be a breeze!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Area 51 in my own living room.

My preteen daughter carelessly left a "diary", of sorts, lying around the house today. I opened the cover and read the first page.

"I have started this notebook to record my science questions and observations. This book will bring my nature senses back to life. With good will, Cecilia"

The next several pages did, in fact, include nature observations and questions. "Why are lemons sour?" "Why are pine cones poky?" She either has not yet discovered the answers to these pressing questions or she is keeping the information "need to know."

Not so much a diary as it is more of a scientific journal. Last I checked she wasn't involved in any top secret government experiments, so I felt it fair game for blog fodder. If I disappear from existence after writing this then I guess it would be safe to assume she's involved in Black Ops.

She can add an entry when she gets home from her play date. "Why does cabbage smell when you cook it and why does it make my mom fart SO LOUD?"

There ya go, Cecilia. I've embarrassed you AND me.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Sky is the Limit

"Lose 10 pounds and two inches? Why would anyone want to lose two inches!?" My 10 year old just asked this of me as she surfed the 'net.
I squeezed my own waist to illustrate why someone would want to lose two inches. "OH!" She said, snorting. "I thought that meant height!"
Oh dear LORD no! If that was the case, I'd be eating Twinkies and HoHo's three times a day to GAIN inches. I could use a nice 5'7" instead of my measly 5'4 1/2". Don't forget the half! Although, since they can't put halves on driver's licenses, mine actually says 5'5". Whoa. Rebel. If I die in a fiery inferno, they won't be able to identify my body because the height won't match up. Oops...guess I shouldn't have let that one slip. Now my worst enemies know how to off me and not get caught.

Much to my delight, the weather has greatly improved this week. This, in turn, improved my mood and my driving skills. Much to my dismay, my eldest daughter announced that the return of nice weather and melting snow would resurrect her "business". Last summer my little entrepreneur went door to door in our neighborhood offering to scoop poop for people with dogs. That's right folks, she's gonna sling some slop and bring home the bacon. She's pretty excited about it all. Normally the tooth fairy is her only form of income and as she is currently lacking any loose teeth, she's gotta go where the money is. I will totally expect her to list "tooth salesman" on her first job application because that is just how she rolls. That, coupled with "Canine fecal removal specialist" ought to land her a corporate gig right out of the chute! Heck, she may even be able to skip college with that on her resume!

So, for all you underachievers out there, aim high. Don't hesitate or you'll miss your calling! After all, we aren't getting any taller!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Vanity aggravated.

Yesterday the mayor of our city visited my daughter's school. Two kids in each class were chosen to ask the mayor a question and guess who's kid was chosen! You guessed it, mine. My daughter, who can't walk past a mirror without stopping to stare at herself and WATCH HERSELF TALK, also has a smart side.

The kids that were chosen got to sit in the font, in a sort of "panel". The mayor spoke to whole school about his life growing up with an alcoholic father. His father was also a smoker and the mayor told the children of his father's eventual death from lung cancer. My ten year old daughter repeated the mayor's story to me using probably the same words he had. She had, after all, hung on every.single.one of them.

The question she asked was this: What do you want to accomplish in your term as mayor? She had to stand up, in front of the whole school, introduce herself, and ask her question. She told me he answered her question first. He said that he wanted to leave our city better off than when he came. Good answer for a crowd of grade school kids I suppose. After he answered her question he said to her "I like you. You have a lot of confidence." I am not even kidding you when I say that this child was floating on a cloud ALL DAY LONG.

This man made an impression on my kid. Never mind his politics, he made her feel like she was the most important person in the world and she will take that with her forever. I fear the mirror obsession will only get worse from here on out.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Destined for Lameness.

It was brought to my attention today by my 5 year old that we will never ever go to Disney World. I asked her why not? "Because they have a ride that crushes your teeth. Gabriel told me." Gabriel is her friend at school. She also has a friend, Gerry, who was "born with potatoes in his ears."

"Really. A tooth crushing ride. I went to Disney World when I was little and I still have all my teeth."

"Well you have to PAY for it!" She had that "duh mom" tone to her voice.

"I refuse to pay someone to crush my teeth so you don't have to worry about that."

Today she is still convinced of a "tooth crusher" at Disney World although Gerry did finally admit to her that he was not, in fact, born with potatoes in his ears. Now I have to go rough up this Gabriel kid so he'll get her to believe me about the teeth crushers because apparently *I* am chopped liver and her 5 year old classmates know EVERYTHING.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Camera shy?

Today I was offered a regular column in a local parenting magazine. Nothing big, nothing paid, but something that enables me to claim "I am published!" It's been a bit of a rough week around my house, and this really made my day. The editor asked me to send her a picture in case they have room. Hey, it's a small magazine, I'm excited to have 150 of MY OWN WORDS published, a picture is just icing on the cake. It took me, and I am not exaggerating here, longer to find a picture worthy of publication than it did for me to write the story. There are no pictures of me! You'll all say it's because *I* am the one always holding the camera. Sometimes, yes. But mostly, no! I'm too scatter brained half the time to remember to take pictures in the first place. I tote the stupid camera to everything, I just never take it out of the case. I envision myself being run over by a heard of elephants in Africa, because I'm going there, you know, and after my funeral my children are lost because there are no pictures of me. "What did our mother look like? Why are there no pictures? Was she hideous?" Okay, okay, that is absolutely absurd, the Africa part and everything. But really, there are few good pictures of me. There are family pictures of all of us that require a single picture of me to be cropped away, but none of me by myself. The few there are of me by myself are, in fact, hideous. There are either dark circles under my eyes, bad hair, glasses that have slipped down the bridge of my nose or I'm making a face that indicates I may,at any moment, hurl the contents of my stomach onto the photographer. I have decided from now on that at every family function there will be 5 minutes set aside for just photos. Photos of everyone present. Good photos too, not photos of people with their mouths in mid-chew or formed into strange shapes because they are in the middle of speaking. No. These will be look-into-the-camera-and-say-cheese! pictures. That is my New Year's resolution. If you don't like it, then don't come over.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Multitasking a must.

My husband went to a motorcycle show with some friends today. He looks forward to this show all year long. Motorcycle show to my husband is like bridal show to newly engaged woman. He buys tickets ahead of time, plans what he wants to look for or buy, he even orders coupons for $ off the tickets months in advance. It's kind of a big deal. Of course, the forecast called for the weather to turn bad, it always does. When he left, the weather was actually fine. It turned bad here at about the same time I last heard from him. I had sent him a picture of a brand new extracted tooth and he didn't respond. Nothing. Not like him, especially since he wasn't the one driving. Eh, whatever. An hour went by, still nothing. I text messaged him again. "Did you get the picture of the tooth?" Nothing. Another 45 minutes and I decide to call. No answer. At this point I'm getting a bit concerned because the roads have gotten bad here and if they're bad here they're usually worse in the direction he was traveling. A bit more time went by and finally he called me. "I was worried about you, the weather got bad here." "Oh, I was navigating. I need to update the GPS, it doesn't know all the new roads."

Navigating folks, not driving. Seriously, why were men wired like this? A quick text to say "Hey, navigating" would have killed him? So, we had small talk about the tooth and his fairy duties upon his return home tonight. He was trying to hurry the conversation as they had just gotten to the show. We said our pleasantries and hung up. The picture of my husband my mind painted right then made me laugh out loud. He hung up his phone and ran into the motorcycle show, darting from booth to booth like a kid set free in a toy store. "Oooh...look at this! I want one of these! Oooh...wow...ahhh..." I'm sure that in actuality, he sauntered in like the cool guy he is and enjoyed the plethora of shiny new motorcycles on display, but the picture in my mind is funnier and helps me be not mad anymore that he made me worry.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Privacy is a dirty word.

At least in my house. One is not permitted to use the bathroom without an audience. Any number of door locking methods have been tried and beaten. Tiny little lock smith wanna-be's run rampant with screw drivers and coins in my house. My children have picked every indoor lock we have installed in order to continue to demand attention no matter what unfortunate or compromising position one of us may be in. My children have forced me to take multitasking to a whole new level. For instance, yesterday my 5 year old barged in and demanded that I pull her tooth for her. I looked up from my book at her, "Really? You want me to pull your tooth for you while I'm pooping?" My 5 year old saw nothing wrong with this request but when I told her to "open up" she chickened out and decided she was the only one who could extract her first loose tooth. Off she ran, leaving the door hanging wide open for every one's viewing pleasure. To me, there is nothing more horrifying than walking by a bathroom and finding that it's occupied and in use. SHUT THE DOOR PEOPLE. Have you no shame? No dignity? I do not want to have to look someone in the face after I've seem them sitting on the can with their pants around their ankles, my husband included. We've been together 15 years and that is still not a place I want to go, nor will I ever want to go. We aren't one of those couples who just "hang out" in the bathroom together. One brushing their teeth, the other one emptying their bowels. Ain't happenin' folks. Now, because I have written this, professed my feelings publicly, I have cursed myself eternally. Someday, when my husband and I are walking with canes and clinking our Metamucil glasses, one of us will pass out while on the toilet and the other will have to deal with it. If I could guess lottery numbers like I can for see these things, I'd be on a beach in Fiji writing this, not in a state where temperatures reach numbers so low that even penguins won't live here.