Friday, March 31, 2006

Living #4

Miscellaneous Stuff.

When I was really deep into keeping us on track and didn't need distractions from the world of products around me here are a few things I did.

Magazines. All those so cute Pottery Barn, Eddie Bauer and Crate and barrel catalogs along with any other clothing magazines went straight into the trash. I just didn't want the longing to have any of that stuff. I don't subscribe to any magazines other than 'Organic Gardening' and 'This Old House' for the same reason. I can keep my life simple without all those way too cute distractions. But, I am human and American and weak so I do have my moments of drooling over the Crate and Barrel their kitchen wares.

Grocery Store. Of course it's best to have a list and a plan, but I can only seem to do that a few times a year. I stick to the outside edges. All the packaged quick foods are in the center, avoid them at all cost. Name brands are the enemy to me. I don't see the sense in paying more for cleaning products, or food that the off brand does just as well or better. I'm sure I have some exceptions to this like; Smuckers Natural Peanut Butter (I avoid the sugary stuff, which is vital to me now) and low sugar jelly only made by Smuckers.

Here's a list of items that we have given up at different times to save money.

Soda- I make lemonade out of lemon juice, water and powdered sugar. So much cheaper than buying the mix and no artificial flavors or colors, it's really good....but I won't ever be drinking that again... sniff sniff.

Paper Napkins- You can make a truck load of cloth napkins for the same amount that you would spend on a few large packages of napkins, they can be used (by the same person) for the entire day or days if you're not a slob. Yes, it adds to the laundry, but no too bad. No, I don't use cloth napkins anymore except when we run out of the paper, but maybe I should give this a go again.

Paper Towels- I still don't buy these on a regular basis. My rags consist of Clay's old athletic socks cut open and they work so well, cost nothing and again add to my laundry.

Toilet Paper- No, just kidding.

Cereal- I go through long phases of not buying cereal and then cave to the convenience. But, now since I can't really eat the stuff, I think we'll go back to oatmeal and other cooked breakfast meals. We save a lot of milk waste this way too.

New Clothes- My freshman year of college I challenged myself not to buy any new clothing. I made it to my birthday April 8th (why that's comin' up real soon now isn't it?) and I treated myself to some green pants, a t-shirt and cool jacket from the Gap and then went out dancin' with my best dance partner ever...Claystor! I think I'm going to try this again starting in the fall, cuz I don't have but one pair of shorts that fit me and hopefully they will be too big given the forced "lifestyle".

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Time to make a change.

I finally went back to the doctor to talk about my blood results. I am nearly diabetic. As the doctor was explaining glycemic values and insulin and cells with doors with keys that are a little bent I just kept thinking, is she talking to me?
Uh huh, uh huh, uh huh is what I kept saying still looking for the person she was directing the lecture towards.

This may explain why I always felt wretched after those glucose tolerance tests while I was pregnant and why I always failed the one hour test. It explains a lot about why I feel drugged after eating like crap.

So what does nearly diabetic mean? Well, apparently my body is leaning towards becoming a type II diabetic if I keep living the way I currently live. If I start eating a strict diet and exercising then I might be able to put off the actual full blown type II diabetes forever or until I'm too old to care.

I eat a lot of good foods already but I add a lot of high sugar sweets to that diet. So no more refined sugars, no more Hot tamales chased by a bag of Reisens, no more cake, cookies, frosting or caramels. Basically my doctor said don't eat anything unless it comes out of the ground, falls off a tree, walks or swims. Could I eat my children, they walk?

I can do this. It will be a bit of an adjustment especially since I'm making the kids join my plight until I'm really disciplined.

Maybe I'll loose a bunch of weight and get in really good shape....har! har! har!

This makes my garden's success much more critical. I put all the spinach and greens in the garden today and a few peas, although I can't eat a lot of peas.

I'll keep you all up to date on my new forced way of living. I think it's good that I have to do this. It's not a diet, it's a lifestyle. I'm going to be the person at the party turning down the margarita and passing the piece of cake to the person next to me.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Mint Julep Anyone?

I have been dreading and looking forward to this day for about a month. My friend Deborah came over and we painted the heckle jo jeckel color out of my daughter's room. Unbeknownst to me the color of her room used to be orange sherbet...gag reflex going pretty hard right now...I always thought it was light yellow, who knew?

Now her room is two shades of light green that makes me want to go have a bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream. It looks like a spring garden party. I need a soft white dress and hat with fresh flowers to wear while I eat my petit fours and sip my Earl Grey just to enter the room. Loverly, just loverly.

How do I find the time? What sacrifices were made? Great God in Heaven let me tell ya...

Ellen is so helpful and she happily set to making lunch for my children and two of Deborah's children. She made mac & cheese, which is something she does often and quite well. What she usually doesn't do is add the left over shells from the night before to the freshly cooked pot on the stove and then stick the metal pot into the microwave to heat it up a bit, ZAP! She came quietly into her room where I was busy making her world beautiful and said, "Mom, could you come here for a minute?". No, she didn't ruin the microwave, but I was a bit surprised at her fear of touching the pot that was shooting sparks just moments before.

Did I mention the cleaning ladies came yesterday and my house was 'ting' beautiful and shiny clean?

Today, the kitchen was Chex Mixed from the pantry to the family room. The baby wore four different shirts because he kept getting wet with I don't know what, but one time he smelled strongly of some sort of citrus. And since the reheat of the mac & cheese wasn't so successful there were bowls full of yellow glop as far as the eye could wince.

The bathroom is producing rolls of toilet paper. Yesterday there was one roll, today there are three and one which is shredded around the bathtub.

My daughter decided to turn the bathroom into her staging area for changing into her moments attire. There was the "play outside for 15 minutes" outfit, the "change into more appropriate attire to go to the mall" outfit, the "help Mom paint my room" outfit and the "I don't really want to wear this so I'll add it to the heaping mound of clothes already on the floor so my mom won't wonder what to do with her free time" outfit.

Even though I spent Monday doing laundry, Isaac woke me up at 1 in the morning to tell me he couldn't find any underwear. So, he went back bed with nothing but what God gave him. With no underwear to soften the blow during the day he changed his pants twice because apparently it's uncomfortable parading around commando style. At one point he walked through the kitchen with no pants on telling all who would listen that he was still searching for underwear. Tonight as he got ready for bed in front of his family and Ryan Seacrest his striptease revealed...still no underwear.

I'll get to those tomorrow, today was all about Mint Juleps dahling!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Another Plug for Aldi's

Okay, I tried to scan my receipt into my blog, but it looked terrible so I'll just tell you the actual prices of some of the items.

Apple Cinnamon Cheerios 1.69
Mini Cream Eclairs (box of 58, for Easter) 4.99
Frozen Turkey Meatballs 1.69
Magic Eraser (for Levi's art on the walls) 2.99
Bag of navel oranges 1.49
Snow peas 2.38
Strawberries 1.99
Skim Milk 2.01
Cake Mix .69 (I know I told you all not to buy cake mixes, but this is for a birthday coming up and I don't feel like making the cake...blah, blah, blah)
Tomato Sauce .19...I think Aldi's has the best canned tomato products and I am a serious tomato affectionado.
Canned Pumpkin .69

You see? I don't think they can be beat. I just learned that Aldi's is owned by the same people that own Trader Joe's.

Monday, March 27, 2006

That's a capital I in Idiot!

Sooooo, while my neighbors are basking in the sun in Florida my children and I watched over their dog, cats, flock of chickens, a cow, a llama and a crippled goat. I admit that I love this task. I don't always participate in the entire week of caring for them, but the kids love the chores and I love the chores....I was meant to be on a farm in Kansas, with a hundred head of cattle and chickens running loose on my front yard, watching the wheat grow across the dirt road....oh, sorry got a little far away there for a second.

Anyway, I noticed early in the week that my neighbors had left the garage door open. One time they accidentally locked the dog in the garage for a couple days when they left town. We heard him whimpering and managed to open a window and pull him out, so I thought maybe this was a precautionary measure. They never leave that door open, it was really bugging me. Thursday, I finally decided to go see if the door in the garage was locked and then I would be satisfied that they meant to leave it open and if not I would be the kind and courteous neighbor to shut the garage door. As I walked through the garage I already felt I was crossing a line, but I just couldn't leave it alone. I reached for the handle of the door and it opened. A lovely female computer voice said, "Please stop! Please STOP!" and then the sirens started. I was caught! I shut the door, pressed the button for the garage door, hopped over the laser beam on the bottom of the threshold and dived into the actually I climbed back over the fence and scurried home trying to look like I didn't do anything. I confessed to my husband what I did and made a few phone calls to my neighbor's relatives hoping they would know a code or something so I wouldn't have to make 'the call' to my neighbors to admit I'm a meddling woman that can't leave well enough alone. I did have to call them, and it all turned out okay. But in hindsight if I was so concerned about someone breaking in, why would I wait six days to do something about it, well the answer is because I'm an Idiot!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Living #3

Let's talk about what the kids are wearing.

Clothes. I try to stand by this rule of mine. My kids don't have more clothes than they can wear in a weeks time. Boys get a pair of khaki pants and a pair of navy blue pants to wear to church until they are too small. They have no more than three pairs of jeans, five pairs of shorts. The rest of their wardrobe is basic t-shirts, white socks and underwear. The girl is a bit more difficult but I still try to keep her clothing limited to what she can wear in a weeks time, she does have more shoes for obvious reasons....she's a girl. I have to keep up on the laundry, but this rule really simplifies clutter. I have to admit I do buy them new outfits for special occasions such as Christmas and Easter with the hope that they get more than a few chances to wear the said outfit.

It is rare that I buy the kids clothes at full price. I take advantage of used clothing stores. I also sell whatever clothing I can to the consignment shops and use that money to buy new clothing. I have worked very diligently at keeping my kids label free. My daughter doesn't know the difference between a pair of Nike's and the Target brand of tennis shoes, yet she has worn both. I may not always have this luxury of ignorance so I'll enjoy it while it lasts. I want my kids to be well dressed, but I don't care if their clothes come from Goodwill or Talbots as long as they are decent.

This is another good rule of mine that has stood the test of time. I buy simple clothes. Like solid color t-shirts, plain khakis, plain jeans and sweatshirts that can last through the ages and not be dated in a couple months. I avoid most trendy clothes for the boys since that is where the hand-me-downs have to sit in wait for a few years before #3 can fit into them.

BTW- I caught Oprah on Friday and she is doing a debt diet. I found it fascinating, I need to go check out the web sight. Some of the families were doing such obvious stupid things. The shocker, one teenager had 25 bras, 70 t-shirts and 17 pairs of jeans!!!!! DUH-HUR! And they can't figure out why they got into so much debt. We Americans are BIG. FAT. PIGS! I know I'm guilty of excessiveness too, but I'm vowing to try harder.

Friday, March 24, 2006

The Holy Bunch

Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning I'm up to start the feed.
Holy, Holy, Holy Merciful and Mighty!
God there's too many kids in my vicinity!

Holy, Holy, Holy! All the saints adore me,
casting down their loads of crap around just to annoy;
My children and their children, I'm begging on bended knee
please someone come and take this task from me!

Holy, Holy, Holy! The darkness does not hide me,
the hand of every child is stealing from my pantry.
Only they are filthy; there is none more grimy.
A body in shower they have not seen in days.

Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Have Mercy!
Say my works are not in vain, they leave on Saturday.
Holy, Holy, Holy! God have mercy on me!
Lord, too many children in my vicinity!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Living #2

Top of my list to keep me in check is entertainment.

Cable. Can’t miss something I’ve never owned. We did have DSL once upon a time and I do miss it with a passion. So, no glorified TV for us, if the giant antenna can’t bring it into the house, then it’s not meant to be seen.

Eating out. Clay and I challenged ourselves one summer to not eat out for three months. We did it. It was a lot of work keeping food ready and resisting the urge to go somewhere real quick, but now that we live out in the middle of nowhere it’s not hard to go through the week without going through a drive-thru. However, Clay you need to start packing your lunch again dear…really.

The Most Holy Place. In this family I own all rights to the kitchen. It is mine, no touch! I learned mega amounts of wisdom from two women in Kansas that have helped me turn a jar of mayonnaise and a few rocks into a delicious gourmet meal. Let me share this simple wisdom: In nearly every baked good there are five simple ingredients that cost far less than buying the ready made mix. So put that brownie mix, pancake mix, bisquick, cake mix, bread mix (see the trend?) back on the shelf and buy yourself some flour, eggs, oil, sugar and baking powder. Yes, you might have to spend five extra minutes getting out the cook book to make the pancakes, but eventually you will know the recipe like your favorite song and you won’t want to touch those mixes with the burnt end of your wooden spoon. You also stand the chance of hearing, “Mom, I like your pancakes better than Denny’s!”

Use it up. I don’t go to the store until all supplies are exhausted. All those cans of tomatoes have a purpose and that is to fill the bellies of the people I love. If I’m going to spend a hundred dollars on groceries then we’re going to eat a hundred dollars of groceries before I drag everyone back to the store. Have a plan. Use simple books like the once a month freezer meals to get you a core of meals that you can whip out of those last few boxes of pasta.

Vinegar. This is God’s gift to housewives. It has at times replaced all these items in my house; fabric softener, glass cleaner, multipurpose cleaner, floor cleaner, starch, odor killer. And I think a gallon of it cost a buck or less. If you mix it with water and a bit of dish soap you’ve got just about any cleaner you need. One of my more amazing and cost efficient finds. The trick is in the dilution.

If you don’t shop there, you should. I used to feel like I needed to rush home and take a shower after I shopped there, but it has improved a lot. They have whole grain bread for $1.60. Next to God, Aldi’s is the reason I get to stay home with my children. End of story.

Invasive Procedures

My sister and her family are here. She has four boys that stair step my kids, we both have four year olds.....pause for a moment to listen to baby scream and me yell at children......

The great thing about the cousins coming is my kids just have a great time and I don't have to do much but lay out food every few hours.

The wretched thing is the utter destruction 8 children running amuck in my house can cause. My broom has gone missing, there are clothes scattered like bread crumbs from the entry foyer (where one or more of my nephews has decided to camp) to each room in the house. Let's not even talk about the bathrooms, just know that it is not safe to sit unless you want to have "Mountain Dew" on your..ahem.

My sister asked if she could leave the boys here while she and her husband go spend the night in a lovely bed and breakfast in wine country. I graciously agreed. @#$$#@! Urge not to complain, rant, rave.

Back to the trenches.

Monday, March 20, 2006

I’ve decided to make this into a series. I started writing and just couldn’t shut up. So, maybe I’ll get it all out of my system this week. I must say that the subject is pretty broad: some people are living without spouses, healthcare, a support system, etc...I'm going to focus on what I know. Here is the first installment.

How I’m Living Without What I’m Living Without:

1.Pray. Yep, you can live with it or without it, but your gonna have to pray about it. I will put this on the top and bottom of the list. Now, I’ve had moments when I swear God was on an extended leave of absence and His nit wit secretary was not forwarding my urgent messages because I was not getting the answer that I wanted. I can see a lot of those answers now, especially since I’m a bit older, slightly wiser, tad bit more patient and much more willing to be honest with myself and others.

2. Tithe. I know you’re saying, “April put on her Godly Woman hat to write this up”. Here’s the truth. When we were first married Clay and I were given the poor advice not to tithe until we could afford to. Well, if that be the case we would still be holding back. But, my husband was softened and eventually started to tithe a full 10% of our income. He did this much to my dismay. At the time I was the one in charge of all our finances and the one check he wrote was the tithe check because I couldn’t bear to see that much money go to the church when we were often relying on a credit card to pay for groceries. Clay has always been much more generous than me in ways of giving what is right; this was a good lesson for me. God clearly states 10% and I have no grounds to argue. Even some of the more worldly financial advisory folks embrace the belief that before you can get ahead you give. You give from your heart and you do it quietly and you make sure it’s the full ten, it becomes less painful the longer you do it, just like any other payment you are required to make. So build your tithe into your life and God will bless you beyond measure.

Okay, now that I got the meat out of the way, let’s get to the good stuff. I’m afraid I might start sounding a bit like some sort of instruction manual, so bear with me. There is a lot of stuff I could live without and in our most humble times we lived without a lot. We lived with one car for the first five years of our marriage. There were three of us going to three different places at the same time, I don't know how we managed. Clay was in school and delivered pizza at night. Ellen went to daycare in the mornings and I went to work. I guess when it's got to get done you just do it. I do remember being tired and sad a lot mostly because I was watching other women come into my work place with their little one in tow and I sat behind a desk while my baby was at daycare. Not being with my child to care for her was very difficult and I was so happy to get to be home when Seth came along. I was willing to give up anything to be with them. So, obviously a high paying job and fancy business suit was not for me. Being a mom, a wife that was a pretty hard job to learn, but I thought it was a luxury to be at home with my little ones.

A Job
I've always worked with the exception of the first eight months that we lived in St. Louis. When I was pregnant with Seth I quit my job and went back to school full time and worked on the weekends. After Seth came along I finished up the semester with my newborn going to my finals with me and ended my career as a student. I found work I could do around caring for the kids. I did medical transcription at an office at five in the morning during the week so I could be home by the time Clay left for work. I took care of two other children a couple days a week and I did the books for our church.

When we moved to St. Louis we bought a sinking ship of a house and the cost of moving and repairs were just too heavy. The breaking point was our daughters birthday, we couldn't afford to get her anything. She was headed to kindergarten and I wanted to buy her a new outfit, let her have a party to meet new friends, buy her a bicycle. I know my motives were purely selfish and worldly. I decided to find a job. The best option was Home Depot, the hours were right I could work evenings and weekends and the pay was fair. I worked 20 hours a week. Then the church offered me the finance position and I took that with the hope of quitting Home Depot someday. I was able to let Seth go to a preschool twice a week with the option that if I worked one of the days with the toddlers that he could go half price. So again, I found myself with three jobs on top of my responsibilities at home.

We were all getting a bit tired of the chaotic schedule of Dad coming home while Mom walks out the door and there was no rest during the weekends. Clay had switched to a new firm, he was finishing up with his license exams and things were getting better. I quit the job at Home Depot just in time to be welcomed with the news of baby number three on the way. I also ended the year at preschool. I still do the church finances, but I don't like to define myself by my job so it is rare that I'll strike up a conversation about it or introduce myself as the church finance secretary. I do like the work although I still daydream of someday just being a mom and wife with no other hats involved. But for now, since we can't seem to slow down the pace of my children growing up and the needs that come with that, I think I'll hold onto my job to help with those growing pains a bit longer....unless that black gold that I planted in the garden starts sprouting hundred dollar bills.

Reject Button

Banned from the Phillips house:

1. Playing 'Peter Pumpkin Eater' on the piano. Ellen has asked for a 5 day stay on this one, but I said "NO, I don't ever want to hear that song again!".

2. Purchasing anymore Girl Scout Cookies....ever! I will just give them the 1.5 million we used to purchase the gazillion boxes that is now mostly residing on my lower torso region.

3. TV, all forms of. In the month of June. We've done this for the past 5 or more years, it is an absolutely fabulous time to shut off the mind numbing screen and go outside and play! I have to start talking about it now to gear the family up, it really isn't that hard and by the end of the month I am usually begging to remove the TV completely from the house and the kids are no longer asking to watch a movie or play Playstation. I find that we are so much more productive, the house is really quiet at night and we miss out on a lot of.......uhhhhh, nothing.

MOTY Award Reshelved

If you ever see my children aimlessly wandering in circles with their tongues lolling out of their mouths, this is why...

Things my children try to process nearly everyday:

"Go practice your piano.....Stop it! Stop playing the piano!"

"Get your socks on. NO! Don't put socks on just get your stinkin' shoes and get in the van!"

"Get your books out and sit down, but first clean up this room, but first get dressed and go get the mail, have you brushed your teeth?"

How I got this way:

1. I tell my children to practice their piano lessons, but they tend to only want to practice when I'm listening to music, watching the news or the baby has just fallen asleep. They also like to turn on music, the television and practice piano simutaneously* causing their mom to have small explosive bursts of ranting and raving.

2. Socks are all over my house, there is a small gray pair by my feet right at this moment...however, the small child that just exited out the door to play could not find a pair to save his life so he is sporting his boots commando style. We have this same dilemma with shoes, toothbrushes, and library books. My children have some sort of selective eyesight.

3. They gang up on me when no one is looking. At this very moment my sweet 17 month old is taking all the peanuts I've been handing him for the last 10 minutes and spitting them behind my chair onto the floor. (Note to self: yell at older kids to clean up the baby's mess right as they walk in the door, don't forget to have them unload dishwasher, get laundry and take off their shoes all while singing 'Jesus Take The Wheel').

*the spell check for simutaneously is smuttiness....hmmm.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Pots O' Copper

Happy Saint Patrick's Day! I thought this would be a good story to share today.

Clay and I had very humble beginnings. Very humble. When I was pregnant with our second child we had no insurance and didn't quite meet the poverty level that we were at when we had our first child with no insurance and were forced to seek government aid. So, our second child was paid for by cash on a monthly basis and I did everything I could to lower the cost of the prenatal appointments and birth. I even went so far as to refuse pain drugs of any sort and brought many of the supplies I knew the hospital would charge us for (pads, those weird mesh underwear, ibuprophen, etc). I was so happy after five years when we could finally call our little guy "paid for". During that pregnancy we prayed our way through every pay check. One day the cupboard was bare and there wasn't enough money in our checking account to pay for groceries and hope we would get paid before the check cleared. The mason jar we had been throwing our pennies in for the past couple years gleamed like a pot of gold on top of the refridgerator. I went to the bank with my toddler in tow and asked if they could count the coins for me to give me cash. I tried to make it seem like the money belonged to my child and she was going to use the money for something "special". I was just too proud to admit that I was going to use the $17.00 to buy the next weeks groceries. I was so happy to get nearly twenty dollars, I was able to buy the basic necessities to get us to payday. We ate a lot of pasta dishes and tuna back then. Thank God for those days, I am definitely a better woman because of them.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Say What?

These are some sayings I love.

Your hurting my earballs by Clay or April (we're basically the same person)

Funkadelic- first heard from friend Ra-honda in h.s.

I hurt my tenders (fingers) by little Ellen

Pen-yan-yo, Isaac saying piano

Dinahorsey (dinosaur) by little Ellen

All I'm getting is mohawk slim. by Clay after April explained the dishwasher is clean with a mouthful of food

Little Stinky Monkey Head by Rechelle and adopted by Phillips family to affectionately describe little baby boys.

Is that puke?! Is that Puke?! Oh, it's just a graham cracker. by April pointing at a soggy graham cracker on the bathroom floor.

Where's the Baby Head? by Clay and April referring to newborn Levi, it was his nickname for quite a while.

Ennie, Isaacs first name for Ellen

Noooooooo Caaaaaake?!!! by Mamma when April announced she didn't make a cake for Clay's birthday (I never made that mistake again).

Oh, stompy stompy! by Mamma watching the late night country line dance show.

Mushrooms and Worms

I stepped outside to take a deep breath of fresh spring air just to get my nostrils attacked by the raw sewage spewing out of the septic tank, ewww! The guy that pumps it out addresses me as "Dear", he's got to be sweet to compensate for the things he comes in contact with every day. There were mushrooms growing around the rim of the tank lid, yeah, I won't be picking mushrooms this year.

I turned a few shovels full of my garden over to check the worm count. Ooooooh, it's looking good folks, lots of night crawlers, that's a great sign. The kids and I started all the seed beds. I told myself to stick to a plan, don't go nuts with the seeds. Clay noticed the labels on the seed beds and said, "April, you don't have enough room for all this stuff. Don't you remember last year? What's this, ornamental gourds, pumpkins, corn?!!!!" (for you non-gardeners, pumpkins and corn take up a lot of space). I snapped back, "I have a plan!". He is going to build some more raised beds. I really need a handy man, this guy would build things at my beckon call, mow the lawn, take out the trash, clean the garage, clean the filter on the septic tank (something we would both rather pay a million dollars to replace the tank than have to touch), chop down all the dead trees and cut into firewood, do all the maintenance on the vehicles, paint the house, fix all appliances, etc. Yes, I think I could keep a guy busy for awhile. I hope my three boys are handy, they could really be useful someday.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Plastic versus Boy

The little tiny tot-tot woke up bright eyed at 6:00 this morning. He did a quick snuggle in bed then slid down and went to the kitchen where he proceeded to scream and push his high chair around. I'm assuming he was saying, "Who the hell moved the cereal boxes too high in the pantry for me to reach!!! Maybe if I move my high chair over there I can reach them!" Well, his plan obviously failed because a moment later he was running back to my room, but refused to come over to the bed, instead he peeked half his face around the corner and yelled at me. When his tactic didn't motivate me to move he flopped on his back and wailed some more. When Levi is hungry there is no diversion from his immediate need.

Levi's new trick for today was to learn how to climb up onto the changing table. He got high marks from Isaac, "Look Mommy, Levi climbed up on the changing table all by his self!!"

After tormenting me since 7:00 this morning to play computer games or watch Harry Potter, Isaac asked,"Mom, can I go to sleep?" What mother in her right mind would say no? Yeah, that mother would be me. So then he says, "But if your not going to let me play a game or watch a movie then I should just go take a night night nap." So he did, unbeknownst to me, he tucked himself in his bed and fell asleep. Sweet little thing that he is.

I sent Seth to retrieve his baby brother from the changing table (you know, because it's his new trick). Seconds later Isaac comes running to tell me the baby is hurt. Great Googley Moogley! Now, I expected to see blood, broken bones, mangled baby body. But instead I see the laundry basket that my grandmother gave me when I was a senior in high school, it's very hard plastic not bendable in the least which is why it has lasted so long....that is until my sturdy nine year old tripped and fell on it while attempting to catch his baby brother leaping off the changing table and then hurling the baby head first into the foot board of my bed. The scene was broken white plastic bits strewn on the carpet and big brother cradling the baby and rubbing his leg. I put that baby to bed with a big welt on his head, made sure Seth was okay and then I mourned the destruction of my laundry basket.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Bitter Eyeball Suckers

Clay said I sounded bitter in may last post. Melanie thinks I'm premenstral. Well, the honest truth is...I'm just critical. Which is precisely why I should have my own column in "The Current" berating restaurants in my area. Oh, I also think I would just say whatever the heck I feel....right that's what my blog is for. Now, join the critiquing dahlings it's all I have to live for.

Last night we were all craving something sweet (the we is really Clay and I). Isaac was still stirring his "noodle surprise" trying not to gag on the millimeter bites he was taking. I said, "Hey, how about angel food cake, bananas, strawberries, whip cream, chocolate sauce and nuts?" Clay, of course, was in agreement and Isaac piped up with, "Yeah, and how bout Eyeball Suckers?"

Eyeball suckers indeed.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

That's putting a wrinkle on my face!

Who were the idiots who invented...

1. Toothpaste. We use more for the walls, floors and countertops than oral hygiene. The lids? What lids? Even the attached lids are so congested with dried paste they can't be closed.

2. Legos. Do I need to say more? They are in every aspect of my life including my purse, van, driveway, garden and every nook and cranny in my house.

3. Hair accessories. Refer to legos.

4. Youth sports organizations. Yes, my children participate in them and so does my husband. Don't get me started.

5. Bikini swim suits. Uhhh, yes I have had some in my life (many, many, many years ago).

6. Hydrogenated fats. Sick, sicko!

7. Gauchos, Culots. You know those skirt/pants that have resurrected themselves from the early 80's. Please, they are only cute on a very small percentage of society....very small girls and women that is. Tall girls, shapely women stay away, far away there is no way possible that you can look hip or hot in those....I speak from personal experience here.

8. Tanning beds, tanning creams, suntanning. Okay, this is just my jealous nature speaking because no matter how I try any of these I will just be the woman with lots of freckles and pale skin.

9. Gift bags to hand out at parties. I want to give your child a gift, I don't want you to send my child home with a bag full of crap.

10. Laminated furniture. It's heavy, it's ugly, it's in every room of my house.

Circus Tricks

Is it a trick of the eye......or is it because he posseses powers beyond the grave that he has not ended up in the ER?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Where's The Clicker? Where's The Baby?

How long has it been since we used our VCR? Long enough for the T.V. remote to have been camping out in there for the past month.

And that brings me to Levi (if you rearrange the letters in his name it spells Evil).

Yesterday, I put my sweet little dumpling down for his morning nap. The cleaning ladies were here and they were talking to him while they finished up in his room, it was such a cute scene, the baby looking on being entertained by someone bustling around the room dusting and vacuuming (something he is not accustomed to seeing from the people he lives with). They exited the room and he made sure we all knew how disappointed he was with missing the rest of the cleaning show. Then he lulled himself to sleep and all was quiet and peaceful, my darling was sleeping like an angel. Which makes this next part very scary and creepy. Moments later as I was working at my desk one of the cleaning ladies said, "Oh, hello? Are you done with your nap?". Standing in the hallway was a baby that looked just like Levi! He was a happy enough little fellow, but seemed a bit confused about where he was. "What have you done with my son, you Evil apparition?" I said to the tiny figure. He looked at me, his eyes giving a sulfurous glow, then toddled into the kitchen and opened the pantry retrieving the Cherrios box and handing it to me.

Where did my baby go? Who is the tiny creature crawling out of bed, opening doors and requesting food? This new little creature refuses to let me feed him, he requires a spoon in one hand and a fork in the other. He uses his hair as a napkin. He vehemently refuses to learn how to hold a sippy cup up to take a drink, but loves to scream and hurl the sippy cup at me when I don't respond quick enough to hold the cup for him. He slowly and methodically flops down on the ground when his needs are not met and then rolls about grunting until someone rescues him from his agony. He arches his back and pushes me away when I try to give his little devil face a kiss. He lunges, pushes, grunts, screams and performs the "straight body slip" when I try to carry him in from playing outside.

This is what my life has become. A tragedy, the loss of my tiny, sweet angelic baby now trapped inside the body of a, dare I say it.....toddler!