Monday, February 28, 2011

I'm not really sure what my style is but if I had to choose, it would be messy and half a...........

As I always say:

“If you're going to fail, fail spectacularly.”

And that is exactly what I have done. It was my intention to provide, for your amusement and reading enjoyment, a weekly update of the traffic jam (that boarders on pileup accident) that is my life. I have, however, managed to allow several months (and a few pretty good stories) to go unreported. I can tell that you all have been waiting with bated breath for me to update this blog so I figured in the moments between starting a new episode of Rugrats season 7 (yes, there are 7 seasons and those babies never seem to grow up. That is until my kids discover Rugrats : All Grown Up which I will do almost anything to keep them from discovering) and digging through the cupboard for some form of chocolate that I can shove into my perpetually chubby face, I would jot a little something down to alleviate my guilt and put an end to my failure.

This year I have decided that I am going to be crafty and creative. I feel that we all exercise some degree of do-it-yourselfedness (not a real word but creativity has to start somewhere), but I am not shooting for the catchphrase “it's been Katy-ed.” I'm looking for questions like, “Did Katy do this?” (only without the disbelief that you all undoubtedly injected into the statement when you repeated it in your heads). I want to wow people with my “natural eye” and my….whatever else needs to be commented on so that people think I'm crafty.

Now if the end result of this is in fact craftiness, all the better. But I am not above settling for the perception of craftiness (hopefully without “borrowing” items that other crafty people have created and calling them my own, but the year is young and nothing is off the table at this point).

Why this sudden desire you wonder. Well, I'm not getting any younger and if I wait much longer people will just think that I have too much free time on my hands and set the expectation bar higher.

When all your kids are in school and you have no job, well of course you have the time to perfect handmade items, because it is either that or daytime TV (or get a job but I don't want to put any ideas into the wrong heads). But when you have 3 kids at home still and you whip out almost anything homemade you garner both envy (not the “7 deadly” type of envy just the “keeping up with the Carrolls” kind) and admiration (even if your creation is borderline crap because people have lowered the bar a notch for each child).

I'm not totally shallow, some of this goal is borne of necessity. I do have more free time then money right now so if I want some things, I have to figure out how to make them myself. But I also have some major projects coming up and I could use all the confidence I can get. It's that whole fake it till you make it mindset. If people refer to and think of me as crafty, then maybe some of that mojo will flow from the gods of hot glue and glitter right into my bones (I'm pretty sure that the gods of hot glue and glitter are not doctrinally based so let's just file that under “personal doctrine” OK?).

I am in the process of injecting myself into my living space (that is creative speak for picking out paint for the walls). So far I have almost finished a bedroom and the downstairs and completely finished 1 bathroom. They look pretty good (if I do say so myself but it really would make me feel better if you said so as well. You know, to inspire the a fore mentioned mojo). The problem is that I like color but I'm not looking to live in an upscale Tijuana neighborhood.

I can stick to a color pallet but I don't want too many colors and I don't want the same old colors on every wall (even if I did buy a 5 gallon bucket and I am so cheap that I am having a hard time leaving any of it in the bucket at all because I want to get my money's worth). I am torn between personal taste and resale appeal and I think that if I were crafty enough, I could bridge that gap. So basically, I am driving my husband crazy and spending a lot of time at Home Depot with their paint chips.

On a side note, it would make my life a whole lot easier if they would just hand me a paint chip book. Instead, I have collected one (or more) chips of every color they have ever invented. I feel like they are watching me every time I walk out of the store with a new color section. I'm just saying, you made the rules, don't eyeball me if I have to live by them.

I am also seriously considering re-staining my cabinets until I have the money (in 30 or so years) and the gumption to replace the whole kitchen. But then I run the risk of ruining the cabinets so it is going to take way more confidence and craftiness to tackle those (and maybe the god of flower arranging as well). For right now I am sticking with the baby steps of wall paint and branching out into the world of digital scrapbooking (because my paper stuff if piled high in the “crap room” and I am afraid to go in there) and natural light photography. One day I will conquer Photo-shop if it kills me.

Well it is time for another Rugrats so I will have to leave you with a final thought.

Blue based greens do not match red based browns (and I will be painting later on this week if any of you out there are looking to do a ton of hard and relatively unpleasant manual labor for little more than a “than you' and a glass of ice water or the Dr. Pepper that I failed to give up).

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

We've got all kinds of crazy up in here, but that's normal (& if this is normal you really don't want to see crazy). Then again, I don't know you.

This has certainly been a big week. I have managed to shower at least once and visit the bathroom unaccompanied twice (to be fair I did have a conversation with my 2 year old through the door, but I don't count that because I couldn't understand anything she was saying). I know, things like this just don't happen to me, and it's only Tuesday. I wonder what other exciting things time has in store. All I know is that I am due. This week has to better then last week, otherwise there is a good chance I will skip next week all together.

This weekend I planned a fun filled family activity for “Free Museum Day”. When you have a gaggle of children, you look forward to things like “Free Museum Day” because it allows you to see how the other side lives. The side where everyone gets their own drink and they know how things that aren't on the “Value Menu” taste (I'm not knocking value menu's but, as it turns out, veggies on burgers make a difference). So, as any good, frugal, crazy person would, I looked at the list of participating establishments and picked the most expensive. We went to the Cosmosphere and Space Museum in Hutchinson, Kansas.

It is about an hour's drive west (or north or northwest. Actually, I just followed my mapquest directions, so I have no idea what direction it is. I could ask the GPS in my car but I secretly think that my car's GPS is not as smart as other navigational aids. It is not that I have anything against my car, or Fords, or the color white. I just have not had enough experience or time with the car to have that level of trust with its mechanical devices. I'm not saying that I won't get there someday, I'm just not there yet. I'm taking baby steps. I will program in the desired destination and mapquest directions as well. If they are the same then my trust level increases. If they deviate then I am torn, because I'm not sure which way to go. I generally end up heading home because I don't want to hurt anybody's feelings. None of this was ever an issue with Nuvi. Maybe that's where all this confusion comes from. The car (Pearl) couldn't keep Nuvi safe (Nuvi was stolen this past summer in Park City, UT) and therefore, I am unsure as to her level of security and ultimate care for me and my family. Wow, I really feel like I've had a small breakthrough here. But I will still keep my Mapquest bookmark) and that is fine with me because I am as much about the journey as the destination. My husband is the “hurry up and get there” type. We came upon a discrepancy between the paper and GPS directions so I opted for the posted signs and veered from both reliable routes, which took us right through Yoder, KS and afforded us an extra half hour of pleasant views and conversation (the kids spent most of the time slugging each other and tattling, but I tend to block that type of stuff out when I drive. Which might be why I like to drive. Look, another breakthrough!).

We just chit chatted about this and that. I mentioned that I really like Kansas, but it would be nice to go home some day (Texas). He made an off hand comment about how I need to learn to trust the car more and how it might not be too long before we get back home. I asked what he meant and he launched into the intricacies that go into the way the car makes driving decisions and how, as long as I use my personal common sense, I should always get to wherever I'm going. Whatever.

I stopped into Burger King for some lunch. There were no less then 11 cars in the drive through and the lobby was empty. Deciding that there was a good chance I would shortly be inhaling over 1100 calories, I volunteered to speed things up by heading inside to order. This was a mistake. I quickly ordered and waited as all 11 cars plus and additional 3 were served before me. While I waited, I picked up the local newspaper because the headline caught my eye. My husband's company announced late Friday night that they would be laying off 350 salaried workers just in time for the Holidays.

Why do they announce layoffs, I wonder? Wouldn't it be more humane to announce the cuts as you hand the poor sucker a pink slip and have security remove him from the building? As a corporation, you sort of show your hand with the announcement, leaving yourself open for all sorts of bad stuff. If I were an employee with any confidence in my abilities and value (luckily I am completely void of any marketable skills, and therefore overflowing with confidence in my capabilities to do anything and everything put before me. Having not had a job in the past almost 13 years, I know of what I speak, and everyone should absolutely do as I say I would if anyone was crazy enough to employ me in a salaried position), I would immediately start looking for a new job as soon as the announcement was made. If I was as good as I thought I was, even better. I'll have a new job in no time. Aren't these the “good” employees that the company might want to keep? Don' they risk losing all their skilled and valuable work force as opposed dropping the dead weight? Conversely, if I were a slacker who knew my number was up as soon as the layoff was revealed (because I know, through my vast amount of experience in the workforce, know that there are a fair number of these characters to fill seats), wouldn't I attempt to make sure I didn't walk away empty handed (I assume if you are unethical enough to collect a paycheck for merely showing up, then you would have no trouble pocketing a stapler...or the latest project file...or a computer)? I'm just saying. I know that there are severance packages to tide folks over, but the mental anguish of wondering for a month or two if it is your job that will be cut is sort of cruel. Having survived 3 layoffs with a previous company and 5 or 6 with the current, I can attest that being the spouse and dependent of an employee that may or may not be on the chopping block, this situation is no picnic. In fact, I can be downright unpleasant during these periods. Then I remembered that my sweet hubby was very intent upon me learning to trust the car.

I decided to cut him a little slack and let him think that I didn't know as to not make the stress worse on him. If he wanted me to know, he would tell me. He was just being the smart man that he is, and looking to avoid my tension and stress related mood swings. Five minutes later we pulled into the Cosmosphere.

The kids were so excited that we decided to have a seat in the shade of a rocket and enjoy what might be the last fast food we get to partake of for a long while. But I better make sure they eat it slow because I don't want them wolfing it down and growing too much because shoes for growing boys are expensive. What if the get some of it caught in their teeth requiring several hundreds of dollars worth of dental attention that we may or may not have dental insurance for? They might as well enjoy the weather outside because they all need new jackets when it starts getting colder and those aren't free. So they'll have to stay inside to save money. But it will have to be cold inside too because heat isn't free. In fact, I did feel a chill moving in. We might need those coats sooner rather then later and the car needs new tires. Plus I broke the disposal last week and have been hiding the leaking from my husband with a bucket under the sink hidden behind cleaner bottles until a time when I could blame the breaking on him. What if that doesn't happen before he gets canned? (Look, I have never hidden the fact that I am a little crazy. These are real thoughts that passed through my head as we looked for a shady spot and sat down to eat, along with several others that are way too out there for me to share with people I might still want to like me later). As soon as we sat down, my sweet, oblivious (and a little devious) 5 year old knocked over the 32 oz Dr. Pepper that was the only hope of calming the crazy before it breached the surface and gave me away. I hadn't even taken a sip.

I lost it (a little).

They was yelling. There was pacing. There was shaking. There may have been some crying. It wasn't until I was chastising my 5 year old through tears for ruining my lunch that I realized I had not held it together as well as I would have liked to. My husband was just staring at me. All I could say was, “ You have seriously underestimated how badly I wanted that soda.” We finished the meal drinkless, in silence.

My husband, in a move that goes against his every instinct (He doesn't like to spend money or support my caffeine addiction) purchased me another soda in the museum 5 minutes later. I felt so bad as I drained it the first time and got up for a refill.

Once the calm was ingested, we had a rather enjoyable day. I recommend the Cosmosphere to any science or space enthusiast. It was fun and I almost forgot about the possibility of impending poverty. I was almost cheerful...until we got home and I remembered (too late) that I forgot to empty the blame bucket under the disposal.

We are installing the new disposal this evening and I have a secret stash of soda under the stairs. Good luck to everyone fighting the crazies inflicted by the announcements at both Hawker-Beech Craft and Cessna this past week. I hope you handle it better then me.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Once I lose a little weight I will put up a "Before" picture, then shorly follow it up with another "Before" until I feel ready to accept the "After".

I had finally had enough of watching my midsection (and let's face it, the rest of my bottom half as well) expand. I took drastic measures and began frequenting the gym. I'm no “gym rat”, but I do a fair impression. I spend 3 days a week at the gym for two hours, and then ride a few miles on my stationary bike at home. I have been doing this for the past 2 weeks and I have dropped 5 lbs. That's right, 34 hours equals a bag of potatoes and a disgruntled chubby lady.

I realized early on that I like to eat, so I knew that dieting was completely out of the question. I can cut back but really, 2 cookies and a cupcake is hardly better then 1 cookie and all the crumbs plus my mini cupcake and whatever the kids left sitting for too long. No, for me, I am willing to spend more time exercising and sweaty then to stop eating all the yummy things that make me happy. I know that 5 lbs is nothing to sneeze at and I was very happy with it up until this past weekend.

This weekend we went to one of those Wellness fairs at my husband's work. You know, those early morning events that force you to walk two miles before rewarding you with a T-shirt and a hotdog lunch (complete with chips and 2 sodas). There were several booths set up to help “educate” us on healthy lifestyles (but instead of an education, I went home with pencils, pens, pedometers, cups, candy, gum, bags, bears, balls...all in multiples of 6). Usually, at the outrageously early hour of 9 am on a Saturday, I would skip the booths and head home for a nap but there were door prizes. Last year at this shindig we won our Alaskan cruise and I wasn't about to walk away from another shot at free junk that I may or may not want or need but I am not against winning. This year we only won a fishing pole but my kids were still pretty excited. I did come to the conclusion that hanging around for the prize drawings is way more fun when you win the Grand Prize as opposed to leaning on your fishing pole watching someone else walk out with stuff you would gladly trade it for, while trying to control 6 kids and a husband who wanted to leave 2 hours ago. But that's not the point.

While perusing the various vendors, I encountered a dermatologist who ruined my life. He was very nice and helpful. He lured me in with miniature candy bars and talk of outpatient procedures and then pulled out his “special” scale. It looked harmless enough and what did I have to fear? I may be a little rounder then I used to be, but I conveniently bring 6 excuses for that with me every where I go. Plus, I just lost 5 pounds. Bring on the crappy “special” scale. I will dominate it (or so I thought right before it punched me in the face and made me cry like an obese baby).

I had to take off my shoes and socks so it could send some sort of current through my body to get a variety of measurements. I stepped on while wearing my rose colored glasses only to step off and have them snatched off my face by an anorexic devil woman who promptly smashed them into tiny pieces along with all my self respect and danced in the shatters mess without even mussing her hair. I wanted to knock her over (which I could have easily done considering I was quite a bit larger then her). Heck, If I put all my weight (according to her stinking print out) behind it, I could have knocked her through several walls and possibly a time zone. Who would have thought that a small slip of receipt paper could shake my foundation to the core?

The results were correct (according to all 4 beanpoles working the station). It confirmed that I currently weigh 178 lbs (Take a breath. That is not the shocking part. I knew that part. I had a baby 5 months ago for Pete’s sake. I am still nursing. How can a person birth one little human after another and not hold on to a little padding? Stop judging me!!! I thought we were friends.). Apparently 68 pounds of that is water, 40 pounds of that is bone and structural necessities, and (here's the Earth shattering part) the remaining 70 pounds is a yummy mixture of Dr Pepper, Cheetos, and various brands of Chocolate, ice cream, and fast food. Seventy Pounds.
70 pounds.
Seventy lbs.
70 lbs.
No matter how you put it, I have an eight year old worth of fat hugging my curves. Wait, I have an eight year old creating my curves. No wonder I'm so lumpy. Have you ever seen an eight year old color? Half the time I can't even tell what it's supposed to be! You see what I'm saying right? After that news five pounds seems like a joke. It amounts to little more then a healthy pee before weighing myself. 34 hours of work for what, a trip to the lue? What is the point? Why even bother?

Needless to say, my weekend was ruined and it took 2 cupcakes and a HoHo to calm me down. Once I was calm (and my husband was able to pry the pastries out of my hand), I decide that I needed to reprocess the information and form a new battle plan. I like exercising...sometimes. It gives me some time away from the kids and really it makes me feel better. I mean, before that scale sucked all of the hope out of my life, I was really happy with the 5 pounds. Plus, in reality, I'm not Biggest Loser fat (I know, I applied and was rejected). I am slightly over my recommended weight and about 30 pounds from my ideal weight. Even setting my expectations lower then 5 pounds in two weeks, I will only have to keep it up at this pace for 3 months. I am a champ at maintaining my weight. So, all I need is a new game plan and perspective.

Here goes...I have a 3 prong plan designed to attack all areas of weight and attitude. It is truly a holistic approach, leaving out no area that can be exploited for weight loss.
New Perspective and Plan:
1. Drink Less water and pee more. (I otta be able to chip away at that 68 lbs in no time.)
2. Sweat more (no problem, since I had the baby I can't seem to stop sweating. Gotta love the untold joys of motherhood)
3. Drink more soda (I've heard that the carbonation in soda eats away the calcium in your bones thereby making them lighter.)
4. Stop lifting heavy things (as muscle weighs more then fat)
5. Realize that they must have left out information (I now can accept the 70 lbs, if I account for all items included. Brain matter, not being a STRUCTURAL necessity or water, must have been included in the third classification. Now lets be frank people, I am a genius, so it should not surprise or upset me that my brain weighs far more then the eight pound average touted in Jerry McGuire. I am quite sure that mine is well into the 25 – 30 lb range and that is a good thing. So to lose weight in this area, I will continue with what I am doing in my time at the gym because I now realize that I have less to lose because I can't be less smart.).

Now before you, my dear reader, freak out. Remember that I am smarter then most people (I wasn't joking about that part so stop smirking) and I know that my plan is slightly flawed. I realize that if I follow it I might kill myself (or at the very least, suffer through some grapefruit sized kidney stones). But after the “education” I received from that horrible dermatologist, I had to laugh so that strangers wouldn't see me cry. What does he know really? Is a dermatologist even a real doctor? Plus who cares anyway, it's not like you could tell the difference. With a little tutorial and Photo-shop, I could fool the world.

I hope your weekend was better then mine. I did end up with a fishing pole.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Would you say un-motivated or under-motivated? Forget it I'll just put lazy.

Hello faithful reader (although it has been so long since I have updated and I guess you are more of a faithful checker then reader, but I'll give you props either way because you are the only person who will take the time to sit and check...or read). I know I have been on an extended break from the blogosphere but I've had more pressing issues to attend to.

First off I managed to successfully birth another child. If you look to your right you will notice that another little person, strongly resembling the other little people, has made the picture strip. I guess he looks a little like me too. At any rate, I now have 6 bundles of joy that require my time and attention.

He was born in late April, just in time for the rest of them to join us full time for the summer. I hate summer vacation. If I had known how hard it was on my mom I never would have enjoyed it as much as I did (although I was such a snot, I may have enjoyed it a little more). I go from being mom the locator, ATM, taxi driver, organizer, dresser, donate-ore, signer, bather, alarm clock, and room mother to mom the entertainer (because I don't care if they get up, get dressed, or can find anything clean in the summer). And I would rather do all of those other things then entertain my children for 3 months without electronic support (TV, DVD, MP3, Wii, Computer...). It was as if I had another child and all the sudden my life wasn't so funny anymore. I now know that it was all my husband's fault. My hair has begun falling out by the handfuls and I recognize the person staring back at me in the mornings. So I would say I am back to normal. The kids are back in school and now I have time to try to salvage the carpet that I know is beneath the piles of clothes, toys, and stains but instead I sit here. Utterly without motivation.

It is interesting to me that some things come to me so easily and others I have to fight for everyday. For instance, I have become quite good at falling asleep anywhere at anytime. I mean I am getting narcoleptic good. But I have to fight for a quality night sleep. I am so good at knowing what I want to say but I have to fight almost everything in me to say it in a way that doesn't leave people weeping in my wake. How did this happen?

I used to fight sleep but now, when I lay down I can't get my brain to shut off (I know I'm sleeping because my children keep walking in to talk to me) but I wake up more often and am more tired then when I began. Maybe it isn't so much that it is different then it used to be. Maybe I am just noticing it now. When you are young and single, the world is your oyster and everyday can be an adventure. When you are an old married person, every day's adventure seems like a very familiar mix of baby poo, crying, tattling, cooking, and a pronounced lack of water interaction. All things requiring patience, kindness, and love all of which are way easier to manage if you have had more then two continuous hours of sleep.

The thinking and saying one is a little harder. Like all people, I have a constant barrage of thoughts tromping through my head. Some are nice, some are not so nice, and some are downright mean. I do have a few genuinely kind and complementary thoughts but only around the holidays (not even I am immune from the holiday spirit) but let's focus on the norm. As I have gotten older (and tireder) a few things have happened.
1) My thoughts have gotten more harsh and definite
2) They get to my lips faster then they used to
3) I realize the value of good friends
4) I don't want to hurt people on purpose like I did when I was a horrible teenager
5) I hate apologizing.

Put all of these things together and it makes for one hot mess. It's like I think of something mean and in an attempt to head off the problem I blurt out an apology for something I haven't even said thereby giving my thoughts away and seeming like a crazy person all at the same time.

The presence of six kids doesn't help my case either. My oldest has been around me long enough to know what is going on so in order to keep him from explaining it to the witnesses, I have to bribe him. I now own stock in Coke. It seemed like the best way to make it a win-win (win) situation. My only saving grace is that if you are one of the good friends, you know me well enough to recognize the inner struggle and earn yourself a bribe of your own. What would I do without good friends that don't require and apology (aside from hang out with only my kids a who lot more)? In the end I have adopted the practice of sarcasm with a smile. I have found that I am very good at keeping people guessing as long as I am smiling.

The point is that I am crazy and unmotivated and therefore back. Now that I have a little free time I will be attempting to update this blog at least once a month (no point in setting an unattainable goal). In other news I (and by I, I mean my dear, sweet husband) have potty trained the 2 year old. I only share that info because she is now flashing me to inform me that she has misplaced her “pannies.” Another side-note is that I hate the word “panties.”

Have a great couple of weeks and I'll see you when I see you.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Happy New Year (now let's talk about my personal views)

Hello all. Again I have taken myself quite a little break in between updates. I’m not sure that has as much to do with my laziness as it does with the sad fact that there is really nothing big happening in my life. That is actually a good thing, because all too often I commentate on the ways of the world that irk me in one way or another (which for a while there seemed relatively easy to do) but now maybe this hiatus means that I might actually be a little happier in my daily routine.

As you know, we have entered the new and terribly exciting year of 2010. This has not stirred any new musings on its own so I am forced to discuss myself (which I hate to do because it tends to interfere in my delusions of near perfection and above upper average intelligence). Usually I look to family or close friends to bring me down a notch or two, but in this New Year and the start of a new decade, I have decided it is time for me to see what makes me so much fun to dwell on.

The big news this year (and the past) has been the economy. I have been very blessed to be supported buy a very smart man that I have taught (completely inadvertently) to be extremely patient and an all around peace-maker (which also makes you an asset in almost any environment). These, and other wonderful qualities, have kept him employed (which has kept me and my compulsion to eat out every day because it makes me feel like I have control over my life but unfortunately not my weight). In spite of the employment situation, we are joining the rest of the country in cutting back on our spending. I have cut back on school fundraisers and the personal beatification process (which I was never really into before but, by saying things like this, I go from having “crack whore” roots to being trendy with my new fiscally responsible root choices). I have also made up for decrease in monetary payments to the school with my physical presence. I feel that being there and pitching in more then makes up for the money (but again, I do tend to think highly of my amazing skills). Other parents however, have not followed my lead (and I love to lead).

In my community, there are many people who have been laid off in the past few months. Some of them are actively searching for jobs and others have hit a wall and are taking some time to reevaluate their purpose in the greater scheme of things. None the less, volunteerism at the school has not increased while the need greatly has. I am on the PTO, site council, and the room mother for 2 of my little’uns. As I was planning the last “Holiday Party” (which I think is the new PC term for all holidays but in this case refers to Halloween. We still invoked the traditional spider/bat/witch motif but refrained from encouraging children to enjoy the candy they were inhaling because it defines and could encourage children to enjoy dressing up and begging for candy door to door as it will eventually lead to the corruption and downfall of the human race. You know just like prayer and speaking of God…Ever) I decided that it was not fair to ask a few parents who were assumed to have the means to provide snacks and treats for the class. I instead, broke all of the classes needs down into groups that would not cost any parent more then $2 or $3 to provide. I clearly thought this was a genius idea. Unfortunately, not everyone shared my views. While every parent stepped up and fulfilled their assignments, there were outside naysayers that claimed that there are those who this put undue financial stress on. I was told that by definition, volunteering was optional and I was making participation mandatory. I however, think that being a parent makes participation mandatory (I could be wrong but it is highly unlikely). I want parents to remember that they have kids and that sometimes kids cost money ($2 to $3) and have needs (Halloween Parties and the like). I want parents to realize it is time for a little family involvement. I really think that if we are going to find a way out of this economic and political mess, we have to start in the home with a happy and strong family. My way of promoting my views is forcing parents (all parents) to bring homemade cupcakes or themed pencils to school on behalf of their children and not allowing them to assume that someone else will pick up their slack and provide. (My bigger plans are to take over the world one classroom at a time but it is all about baby steps.)

I am also out trying to peddle ad space on the back of a t-shirt to buy playground equipment and make up for budget shortfalls (so if you know anyone who might want to give me $$$$ let me know).

I have now realized that I have a 4 year old and an almost 2 year old downstairs who have been without adult supervision for far too long and have gotten quiet. I have no doubt I will find a lovely little surprise down there waiting for me so I must end my tirade here. Check back in another couple of months because I feel a rant about how it is not the governments’ job to make sure you are employed coming on. I hope that all of you had/have an enjoyable and prosperous new year. I’m out.

Friday, November 13, 2009

If I buried all this junk, would somebody dig it up somday and think it's a treasure?

Time sure does march forward doesn't it? I posted my last update, bought a house, moved into that house, started the kids in school, went on a cruise to Alaska, started unpacking, continued unpacking, got called in by the principal, kept unpacking, discovered that mowing my new lawn takes 5 hours, accepted that I will never be done unpacking, gave up unpacking, complained that my house is always messy and cluttered, nursed a few kids through the swine flu, found out that my family was coming for Thanksgiving, started unpacking again, dug up 7 Halloween costumes, planned a few Halloween parties, flipped out about the endless task of unpacking, wasted a decent portion of my life on FaceBook to include Mafia Wars, threw a few boxes away without even opening them, and the next thing I know it has been 4 months since my last post.

Here we are, firmly entrenched in the “Holiday Season” and I am not sure what is up and what is down. I have really loved being in the new house. I have room to pretend I have fewer kids then I do and I can hide quite effectively if needed. On the downside, I have realized that getting almost everything you want in a house still does not guarantee life long bliss. For instance, 3 bathrooms. You would think that with 5 kids, 3 bathrooms would be the answer right? No. I have 3 boys and when you gotta go you gotta go (and we are happy when they make it to the nearest toilet). The problem still remains aim and focus. Now I have 3 bathrooms to clean and 2 of them are open to the public (meaning when you come to visit, there are 2 bathrooms I must keep semi presentable for he viewing and urinating public and my boys still have no shame). I should just lay yellow tile and caulk with yellow caulk and save myself the trouble and embarrassment.

Also there are the stairs. Yes, I have space to send children away and somewhere to hide the mess and noise but I have to climb those stairs about a million times a day and usually I am carrying my weight in children, groceries, or trash. I have lost my cruise weight (I know, I'm amazing), but I should have the most well defined legs in America by now (but I don't). I am also struggling to master the art of air conditioning. If it is hot upstairs it is cold downstairs. If it is warm downstairs it is super hot upstairs. What the crap!!!!
I am very pleased to have a yard again. And people, this is not an ordinary yard. This is a yard on steroids (when compared to the 3 ft we had in AZ). It is big and fenced and pretty and green with trees and everything. Welcome back yard work. At the rental, someone else clipped, trimmed, and mowed. All we did was send our kids out to break the fence, wander off to the neighbors and dig holes for no reason at all. Here, Dan has taken maintenance seriously. There are lawns to mow (2 times a week in order to keep up with the neighbors), edging, fertilizing, weeding, pruning, raking (darn seasons), watering, seeding, and so on and so forth. Dan gets home from work and heads outside to work on “his yard.” I'm really starting to think he has a problem with the clutter inside. Pretty soon, I'll start taking it personally. And in the summer it is worse because we now have a pool to maintain.

I do need to acknowledge the good times we have had in the past 4 months. We got to take a once in a lifetime cruise through the inner passage of Alaska. It was peaceful and beautiful and I would love to take my kids and show them the wonder of the world around them. We also have finally gotten settled and are not feeling so transient anymore. The kids love their new school and I feel like it is a really good fit for them. We still live in dread of the pink slip, but that has slowed down at Dan's work and now that he won't let me watch the news before going to sleep every night, I am sleeping a little better.

Right now I am just trying to find places to shove junk so that when we do have guests, they are fooled into thinking that we have at least got ourselves a little bit together. Because everyone that knows me knows that I am all about putting on a show for the neighbors ( right, because the constant yelling at the children and fighting of the children can be explained away by the volume of the TV. My extensive hat collection is just because I like hats. And the fact that I won't let anyone past the entry is because I don't want to disturb my children who are diligently engaged in their studies.). If you can help me in this endeavor, drop by anytime. Don't bother calling (because I can't find my phone and my kids don't give me messages anyway. Plus, I will forget.). We prefer drop ins anyway. That way there is an excuse for not having a spotless house (because 5 active children isn't enough of an excuse).

Overall life is pretty darn good. Everyone is well now and Danny is employed. We will be missing our second planned yearly cruise (because while we are pretty sure his job is secure we aren't willing to bet $1000 right before Christmas on it.). I guess we will just have to live like the common people who only get to vacation once a year (Oh I don't know how they can stand it). But that does not include those that are in the mood to take a trip to Kansas and experience the beauty of the central plains. If you come I will even clear a path so you can venture past the entry hall. That is how much I value friends and family. Happy Thanksgiving (and belated Halloween, Veteran's Day, Labor Day)!!!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

I don't know exactly what is in there but it is one of my most prized possessions and I am about 2 seconds from throwing it out. Or not...

I'm back. Sometimes you have to vent before you can let it go. And since I did that (in a little under 4 pages of craziness at 3 am for everyone to read and ask about) I am now back and ready to tackle new craziness (that I'm sure I will or have somehow brought upon myself).

As many of you may (or may not) have heard...We Found a House!!! We put in the offer and the inspection went great. We got the financing and have figured out how stressful it is to stop spending money so you have 20% plus closing costs to put down at closing. But it was all worth it, because we close on Aug 14th and get to move into a very nice house that will actually be all ours (in 30 years when we finish paying the bank). While living in the duplex has been OK, I will not miss the noisy night activities of the neighbor or his dogs recent decisions to poop everywhere in the yard (or their owner's decision not to clean it up). In all of my excitement and stress over actually finding and getting the house I managed to overlook the fact that must now pack, AGAIN.

You would think that this is not such a big thing due to the fact that our garage is stuffed to the point of exploding with junk we didn't bother unpacking when we got here the last time. We have spent the last 7 months feeding our family of 7 with 8 plates, 8 bowls, 8 spoons, 8 forks...(you get the idea. The reason for this is that WalMart sells their junk in sets of 4 and we need 7 so we bought 2 so we wouldn't have to unpack the dishes that were so carefully packed from the first move this year. I still have no idea if they are still in one piece or smashed to smithereens, and I'm really happier that way.)

It truly amazes me that even with everything that is still packed, I have so much more to put back in boxes/baskets so they can make the move 10 minutes eastward (as in Eden cause the new house rocks). I find myself wondering if I really need all the crap I have spent the last 11+ years accumulating or should I just chuck it all (and start over because you know I will. Once a pack rat...).

So what if I've had to convince my kids that sharing towel is normal, and that shoes are not considered gender specific (even if they are pink). So what if I have repurchased pots and pans (because apparently I need them to cook even if I don't want to dig through 15 boxes marked “Kitchen” to find the perfectly good ones I already had). I think it is really a matter of deciding what you can and cannot live without. For instance, I can live without opening the 6 boxes of my children's toys because we just didn't have the room, but I cannot live without my cell phone (which my children have decided is a toy because there is nothing else to play with and, has had to be replaced once already). I guess the decision there has been made for me. The toys serve the greater good so I have to not only keep them, but unpack them. On the upside, my kids now know that I am serious when I tell them that I will throw all of their toys away if they don't pick them up.

What really irks me is the fact that I have not unpacked all of the clothes/shoe boxes. What that means is that I have 4 closets full of clothes and a mound of dirty clothes (perpetually) in front of the washer, but there are still more. I have to get rid of quite a few things because I can't stand the idea of moving dirty clothes to an new clean house. Maybe it is time for a compromise (I'll make my husband move them. He is sort of a germ/dirt-aphobe and how he has managed to live with me all these years is still a mystery).

In the end all the stress is totally worth it, because we will be moving from less then 1500 sq feet to almost 3300 and there will be plenty of room to hide all the junk so that I can live another 5 to 10 years without ever having to open half the boxes if I don't want to. I could just leave some of them packed and make sort of a game about moving boxes full of who knows what, from place to place until finally I break down and open them to discover that they have become priceless antiques. I think we have found a winning plan that will enable me to make it through the next few weeks until we finally settle into our new wonderful house.

I didn't realize how much I took space for granted (or maybe it is just that I am missing my beautiful blue kitchen that my husband tiled perfectly, exactly the way I asked him to. Or maybe I am missing my girl's room that my sisters helped me paint with pretty flowers that coordinated perfectly with the comforters that I got for their beds. Or maybe it is the high ceilings with crown molding that Danny and I spent months putting up while trying to pretend the piles of molding waiting, lined up in the entry hall, to be installed was an interesting decorating piece and a conversation provoking design choice. But sill there is the office that was built from scratch using instructions downloaded from the internet by my sweet husband with a little help from my dad and his and the skilled texturer that lived next door). Maybe it's not the space alone I missed.

I think the reason I am so happy is that I will finally be able to settle in and make it a home of my own (by painting and making my husband spend all of his free time on pet projects that require hours of backbreaking manual labor). Once we get settled, we will have more then enough room for visitors. If there are any of you out there who are longing for a fun filled vacation in beautiful and exciting Andover, KS (a suburb of Wichita) then give us a call, and we'll make sure you feel welcome.