Thursday, February 26, 2009

Poor Sarah Palin

Some of you may be Sarah Palin fans (I’m on the fence because I don’t know enough about her, except for the YouTube video I watched of her giving an interview right before Thanksgiving about the pardoning of the turkey while some guy was BEHEADING turkeys RIGHT behind her!!!).

But for those of you who think she’s dippy, let me just defend her for a minute.

My only argument is that she GAVE BIRTH in 2008, right before being nominated as the Republican VP. I don’t know about you, Ladies, but I am downright STOOPID for about a year after having a baby. I expect it will be the same come October this year. I can’t even run my HOUSE; how could I run a COUNTRY in this state of mind?

I was actually Sarah Palin for Halloween last year. Just kidding. I was just too lazy and ear-infected to dress up, so I stayed in my Overweight Housewife garb (Capri pants because the weather was warm and a T-shirt), put my hair up, kept my glasses on and … VOILA!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Something is Wrong in My House When …

… kids come over just because they want junk food (I used to be famous that way), and freak out when I tell them I don’t really have any around (can anyone say “fat-free, sugar-free instant pudding” three times really fast?)

… when a big ole cup of Crystal Lite Raspberry Lemonade on ice does the trick for me as well as an amaretto sour used to.

… I’m not hitting some sort of Mexican joint (or quasi-Mexican joint, such as Taco Bueno) weekly.

… instead of pigging in tons of shrimp on SuperBowl Sunday, I COUNTED how many I could have and stuck with it.

… I have the energy to do a little housework.

How would people know something was wrong with YOU (e.g., you’d start doing Yoga, you’d actually get a job, whatever)??? Leave me a comment!

Monday, February 23, 2009

"Flipping the Weight Loss Switch" Monday Part 3 (Food Dictators)

How do you NOT turn into a Food Dictator? You know, those people who are always on a diet and so they judge EVERYTHING that goes into YOUR mouth.

I like to mess with people when they’re having something naughty (cake, ice cream, fettucine alfredo) in front of me. I stare at them as I pig in my salad and finally say something like, “Um, excuse me, but I’m a recovering food addict in the Weight Watchers program. If I were a recovering alcoholic would you DRINK in front of me? How rude! If I fall off the food wagon, it’s all your fault.”

I like to burn incense to mask the smell of fried beef and onions when I make chili or other stinky meals. These days I also burn it to mask the smell of cake (Callie’s birthday) and other tempting things I have to cook for whatever reason. By the way, I used homemade applesauce instead of oil in all 3 cake mixes for Callie’s party. I guess I was DICTATING to the party guests that they didn’t need the extra oil in their diet.

So as far as NOT being a Food Dictator, well, just DON’T DO IT. Don’t be a jerk. Bring along your own salad dressing to people’s houses and when you go out to eat, but don’t make a big deal about it. Don’t tell people how much fat is in what they’re eating.

The sugar in my house has been cut way back (no more Candy Bowl for the kids on top of the fridge), but I still get it for them sometimes and just stay away from it or tell them to hide it from me. I still serve my family good meals … but if they have country fried steak, I’ll usually just have a bite or two and a huge grilled chicken salad. My husband and kids don’t have the food problem: I do.

I think the goal is to not be Extremist with yourself. I had some Hershey’s Kisses the other day and did NOT pig in the entire bag. For me, that’s progress.

Come back next Monday when we’ll talk about Weight Watchers.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

How a New Mother’s Hygiene Suffers

Do you ever wonder why you go to the home of a stay-at-home mom at noon and find her unshowered, in sweatpants, sporting raccoon eyes (mascara under her eyes), mildly reeking of (pick one) baby poop, baby puke, baby pee, alcohol, Valium or cigarettes?

And you think, “Come ON, Lady! Get yourself together! You don’t have to be at work at 8 a.m. … why can’t you get up and get a flippin’ shower in? AND get your house clean and your kids clean and fed and educated by noon?”

My excuse is that I do attachment parenting and never know when I can get out of bed alone because YES I have made my kids dependent on me and my boob. And when I do get out of bed alone, I come straight to the computer to do some writing. I can clean while they’re awake and at my feet. The writing needs to be done ideally when they are unconscious.

Here’s my shower routine recently (it changes depending on whether I have a tiny baby around or more older kids):

I see a window of showering opportunity after lunchtime.

I start the shower. I make sure the boys are happy and playing (thank you, GOD, that I don’t have to worry about them leaving the house or burning it down while I’m showering). The boys are probably riding their bikes around on the main level since it’s 20 degrees outside.

I take the baby and Callie up to the bathroom to hang out with me since we all know a mom can’t take a shower alone. I throw some chocolate chips on the floor to occupy the baby.

I wash my hair. Michael comes in with the phone. Someone is ON the phone for me. I tell him I’m taking a shower and can I call the person back? I get about 5 more such visits from the boys, plus I have to peek out of the shower a few times to make sure Callie isn’t shaving the baby’s head.

I attempt to shave my legs, but only get so far as one shin before there’s crying outside. I get out, towel off, put on moisturizer and eye cream (I’m 37, ya know), some mascara, pit putty (deodorant). Throw my hair up in a clip, put on some clothes. Done.

The Domestic Goddess look will have to wait until the kids are out of the house. Again with the My Poor Husband comment.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Meals on Wheels … Again

Back when I “only” had 3 kids, we had a Meals on Wheels route that we did every Wednesday over lunch. The kids were disappointed when I had to stop over 2 years ago because of homeschooling. It was also getting crazy because they were all 3 in carseats which they couldn’t buckle themselves into, and they ALL wanted to get out for each delivery, so it was taking way too long to get the meals delivered (I was aiming for getting these people their lunch by dinnertime … ha!).

Recently our church “time and talent” forms came in the mail. The church wants to know what activities you’ll sign up for or in what ways you want to help out (for instance, when my kids are older, I will be one of those women who cooks meals for post-funeral lunches). These days, though, not much grabs me on the extensive list except for the food drives and doing free childcare for activities (I get to take my own kids along and they LOVE it … we really miss our babysitting days). The back page of the form dares you (not really) to list ways you are contributing to society outside the church.

I thunk hard about that one. Then I wrote: Homeschooling and caring for 4 young children 24 hours a day.

And I thought, “Pshshshsh. I could do more than THAT!”

So I picked up the phone and called my Meals on Wheels chick. Funny thing is she had just pulled up my record the day before. And a Friday route had just that morning come available.

More on this later.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

My First Date: Fatal Attraction

My dad said I could start dating when I was 16. However, nobody caught my eye until I was 16 ½. Yes, folks, I exercised restraint for 6 whole months. It worked out great since I got my driver’s license around the time of my first date. I’m thinking that will be a requirement before MY kids can date. And a black belt in karate. My girls especially need to be able to knock the crap out of a guy who’s getting fresh and then take off in his car.

So I met my first date in study hall. Nothing else to do, I suppose. He stared at me and showed interest, so I guess those were my only requirements at the time. I’ve since become more picky, thank God!

So he picks me up and we go to Bennigan’s for dinner. I should’ve seen the red flag when he tried to dictate (not SUGGEST, friends) what I eat and made fun of what I picked (chicken fingers), insinuating that I was like a kid. Then on to Crown Center Cinema to see …


What kind of movie is THAT to take an innocent 16-year-old girl to?

Our next “date” was much better. He paraded me around town to his boss, family and best friend (Paul, who is a good friend today). I don’t keep in touch with my first date at all. In fact, I won’t even share his name with you. I call him Voldemort, He Who Will Not Be Named, because it invokes negative memories.

Please share your first date experience in the Comments section below! How old were you? What did you do? When will you let your kids date?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Bachelor, Season 297

Okay, so Jason is cute and all that. He has a son who he seems to totally dig. He says it wasn’t his choice to end his marriage.

But, Ladies, let’s think for a minute here.

His ex may very well be watching the show and cackling, saying, “You dumb girls! Just wait until he gets the ring on your finger. Then it’s all Neanderthal Man. He’ll expect you to do all the housework and caring for his son Ty (every other weekend … ooh, now THAT’s a hard task) and to quit your job and have no hobbies. DeAnna made the right choice!!!!!”

I’m not saying he’s a bad guy. I wouldn’t know. But how can thousands of women apply to be on a show to marry a guy based only on some (heavily edited) TV show? His digging his son could all be an act. Why the hell would you leave your kid for weeks on end to find LOVE? Try or or the local Gymboree, for God’s sake.

These women are fantasizing about an instant family, and it just doesn’t happen that way. Ty may hate you, darling! You may have fist fights with the ex-wife. The in-laws could turn out to be real jerks.

I have an idea: let’s get engaged after getting to know someone for WEEKS with cameras in our faces and the guy kissing a bunch of other women.

And, yes, I continue to watch and love the show, just like The Housewives series on Bravo. I’m sad and sick and wrong.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

High School Graduation from Shawnee Mission North

This was taken in my backyard in May of 1989 right before graduation. I was quite a bit blonder then (anyone remember evil Sun-In?) and loved my blue and black eyeliner for sure. And the curling iron. And the hairspray.

By graduation I had alienated all my friends for some reason, which I do from time to time still (could it be an Only Child/Loner thing?). Instead of going to great parties and staying out all night (the ONLY night I had ever been allowed to do so), I believe I just drove around with a few friends HUNTING for parties, dancing near the railroad tracks off Merriam Lane and got home around 1 or 2. I was not drunk in the least. I was a pretty good kid until I hit 18, which was about a month away from graduation.

What were my big plans for the future? JuCo (Johnson County Community College) for a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. It seemed logical since I loved working in restaurants. Good thing my parents were never College Dictators because I dropped out many times and took 10 YEARS (I was 28) to get my 2-year degree.

I know a lot of women who are going back to school now that they have little kids. I would rather have a root canal, seriously. I prefer the School of Life, and my writing career is taking off a little at a time, despite my lack of education and my plethora (look it up) of mistakes (I have a whole blog devoted to those!).

Sidenote on my husband: He went to college (DeVry) when he was 25, graduated at 28 and paid for it himself … $30,000 in loans, my friends. I’m sorta proud of the guy.

How about you? Are you eju-muh-kated? How did you like college? Do you want your kids to go or you think they won’t be successful in life? If so, who’s buying?

Monday, February 16, 2009

"Flipping the Weight Loss Switch" Monday Part 2 (Exercise)

God help me, I’ve actually lost weight (my stats are hidden somewhere on this blog page). When I’m stressed out these days I don’t eat a bag of Dove chocolates. Instead I pork in half a box of sugar-free, fat-free instant pudding with a trough of light whipped cream. I don’t know how many baby Doves are in a bag, but they are 1 point each on the Weight Watchers plan and I only get to eat 25 points each day … a bag has to be about 35, whereas my pudding indulgence is about 5 points.

Still, WW does allow those 35 “flex” points, which I call “cheater points” … meaning you can save them and lose some weight or you can eat 35 points of healthy OR naughty and still be eating within your points.

This is the part where my dad is saying, “I don’t really like the taste of points. I prefer to eat food.” Moo-ving on …

I just wanted to share with you that even watching the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and having an ex come to town recently only made me eat MORE. How messed up is THAT? I feel like I have a food addiction and need to go to some 12-step program.

I’m tired of being asked if I’m pregnant when I’m not*. I’m turning in my amaretto sours for WW Amaretto Cheesecake 1 point yogurt.

I’m going to kick fat’s ass. Sooo …

How do you prioritize exercise when you have so many other things going on in your life? I’m not going to use my kids or homeschooling or my husband’s travel as an excuse anymore. I don’t need my husband in town or a babysitter to be able to MOVE MY BUTT enough to burn a few calories. I can homeschool and be a writer AND find time to move, even in the winter.

Except it’s hard to do an aerobics tape (oh, how I used to love WATCHING aerobics tapes while eating cheeseburgers and fries) with a 26-pound baby pulling up on your legs. And I have GOT to remember to ASK for Treadmill Time from Aron … I need him to watch the kids so the baby doesn’t wander into the room and get her fingers stuck in the machinery. This is the part where my mom recommends a playpen, but I think it’s a little late for that … the baby would just stand there looking at me and crying, and that’s no fun for a wimp like me. Besides, I like to pretend I’m a runway model-in-training when I’m walking, and a baby kind of cramps my style (unless I pretend I’m Heidi Klum).

So how do YOU carve out time to exercise or are you content with your Mommy Body just the way it is (and think I’m being ridiculous because appearance doesn’t matter anyway)? Unless you’re a guy reading this, in which case I sure hope you do not have a Mommy Body (muffin top, moobies, etc.).

Come back next Monday, when we’ll discuss Food Dictators.

*Of course, now I AM pregnant, and that is not an excuse to eat poorly and not exercise. And I do consider morning/evening sickness puking to be a form of exercise. Good for the stomach muscles.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Stop Dating Jerks!

When I was 18 I made a big mistake and moved in with my boyfriend of only a few weeks. He quickly became abusive, but I was too proud to move back home. One of the other fun things he did was to throw my mementoes and diaries from high school in the Dumpster behind our apartment complex.

There was probably a sheet of paper with the lyrics to “Hold Onto the Nights” by Richard Marx in there. My Prom corsage. Movie ticket stubs. Notes from best girlfriends. There were definitely some juicy diaries I wish I still had, even if just to help me better understand my own kids when they hit teenagerdom.

Oh, and he also ripped my junior year high school yearbook in half when he saw a heartfelt letter written in it by my then-boyfriend and threw it away.

Girls, if you are dating a jerk, STOP IT! You are worth more than that. You KNOW how it feels to be treated right. Seek it out. You CAN have chemistry with a Nice Guy … trust me. The older I get, the more of them I can spot at 50 paces. And I can ALWAYS spot a JERK, even before he opens his mouth. I either steer clear of those guys these days, or else verbally put them in their place.

Now go give your partner a big hug and kiss … or go out and find “The One.” (Sorry, I’m pregnant and bossy)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I Can't Stand Goodie Bags

Do you ever feel bad when you spent less on the birthday party kid’s gift than the kid’s parents spent on goodie bags for YOUR kids?

I would love to hear your answers, and here is mine:


I’m not a fan of the Goodie Bag at birthday parties. For those of you who have been living under a rock, the goodie bag is a bag of fun little crap given to birthday party attendees at the end of the party. Hmmmm, and I thought cake and ice cream were PLENTY of goodies!

Look, most kids have way more toys and little junk than they could ever use. Multiply that by 4 (edited October 2011 to read FIVE) at my house and you have a real runaway mess on your hands.

For the record, I also hate those little gifts they give out at weddings, too. Our wedding "favors" were crayons that were left on the paper tablecloths for coloring. No joke. We are a classy bunch, for sure.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Eva Has a Boyfriend

This is Eva’s boyfriend:

This kid’s mom and I hope they get married … she supplied the fries, which is why I love her. Don’t worry, the floor was recently vacuumed, so eating fries off the floor was almost safe that day.

I took a video of them that day, but I’m a technotard (love that word, Ellen!) and can’t figure out how to post it. Basically I say to the kids, “Your mommmies would be so happy if you got married!” And Eva falls to the floor with a big smile on her face and her boyfriend starts shaking his head YES!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Should Teenagers Work While in High School?

Other than doing filing at Legg Florist (where my mom worked as a bookkeeper) and babysitting for various kids, my first real job was at Waid’s Restaurant in Fairway, Kansas. (You gotta love the curled bangs and blue eyeliner.)

One day during the winter of 1987 when I was 16 ½ I got off the school bus at the first stop (in front of Waid’s) instead of MY stop. I marched in and asked for a job as a hostess, waitress, anything. I got the job that day and walked home with a Waid’s menu in my hand. Once home, I put it on the bathroom counter and waited for my parents to find it and wonder what was going on.

They were proud that I had gotten a job without them even mentioning it.

It was a great first job … I could walk to and from it. I worked a few nights a week as a waitress plus weekend days as a hostess for a total of about 20-25 hours per week while maintaining a low B average in high school. I made $2.01 per hour plus measly tips. I think I made $4 per hour as a hostess. I saved up and bought my mom’s yellow Chevette, paid for my own car insurance, sugary snacks and cigarettes.

Waid’s was where I learned to enjoy coffee. I drank loads of chocolate milk and cooked my own chicken strips and fries. And somehow lost about 15 pounds.

They closed years ago and now the building is a Stroud’s (fried chicken).

Monday, February 9, 2009

"Flipping the Weight Loss Switch" Monday Part 1

(This starts the first of many Weight Loss Mondays, and keep in mind I wrote this stuff and posted it before the little stick turned blue!)

It’s no secret that I’ve put on 5 pounds for each of my kids, for a grand total of 20-(ish) pounds. I weigh 150 when I should weigh about 120. Someone who weighs 200 or 300 pounds probably wants to throw a shoe at my head right now and say, “Shut up! You are fine!”

And most of the time it isn’t a big deal to me. Anyone who loves me doesn’t care that I’m carrying a little extra weight. I’m healthy and don’t have any limitations as far as hiking, running, taking care of my kids. I kindof enjoy being like a snuggly pillow for my kids.

I admit it would be nice to wear something other than sweatpants and a long drawstring skirt. It would be nice to have a little more stamina. It would be nice to not have to worry that I’m giving myself diabetes with all the chocolate I eat. To not give in to my cravings for Taco Bueno’s tacos and cheesecake chimis. To shop at the vintage clothing store.

But how do you flip that weight loss switch? The one that makes you REALLY want to lose weight this time? Not because you have a reunion coming up, not because your husband has left you for a slimmer woman, not because you have to fit into a wedding dress or look good in a swimsuit, not because you want to be in tip-top shape to get pregnant, but because YOU know you have to do it for yourself?

How do you get that excited feeling (akin to when you are falling in love) that makes you want to change your life?

For the next several Mondays, I’m going to attempt to flip your weight loss switch (and mine, since I joined Weight Watchers again). Yes, it sounds kinky, but I promise you it's nothing but healthy.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Goin’ for a Basketball Team

So I’ve joined Weight Watchers and am losing weight AND my first post in my blog series “Weight Loss Mondays” is showing up tomorrow. And my house is relatively picked up most of the time. And my brain is working. And I’m writing. And I’m spending more time playing with and chasing around the kids. And Eva is walking. And homeschooling is going great, including field trips.

And … I’m having me a baby in October. Around October 9, to be exact.

And we’re all jumping-up-and-down excited. We’re tired, busy, and HAPPY.

Bring on the pukes, the exhaustion, the 25-pound weight gain. I can handle it. I’m still weighing in on Thursday night and no, I’m not PREGOREXIC. I’m just trying to keep eating well and don’t want to use pregnancy as an excuse to grab 10 bags of ½ price Dove chocolate hearts on February 15th. Don’t worry … Thursday is my last weigh-in. I think they boot you out of WW for being pregnant. Who can blame them?

What drives me nuts is people who look at me like I’ve grown another head when I say we’re having our 5th child. I would never call someone lazy or selfish for only having 1 or 2 kids, so why is it acceptable to judge ME?

We’re not on government assistance, don’t beat our kids, don’t drink/smoke/do drugs. We love our kids with all our being. We plan them and want them. We’re not asking anyone else to raise our kids. We spend time with them. We know where they are at all times. They eat well. They sleep well. They're healthy. They have everything they need. I realize this roller coaster ride isn’t for everyone, but I think we’re doing an okay job so far. Oh, and forget about the “carbon footprint” argument because I breastfeed, cloth diaper and recycle.

I borrowed this from someone and can’t remember who (the pregnancy idiocy has already set in), but why is that we apply for a CURSE (like credit card debt) and REJECT a blessing (via abortion, “selective reduction”, etc.)????

For those of you struggling with getting pregnant, I am sending you all my good fertility vibes. I wish the best for you. Children are truly a blessing. A grubby, crazy, loud, challenging, fun blessing.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Happy Birthday, Callie!

Today Callie turns 4. The day she was born I rode to the hospital in an ambulance after having a lovely nap with my boys in the late afternoon. I’ll spare you the gory details about why I had to go in an ambulance. Anyway, she turned out to be my easiest and fastest birth. And there’s a reason for that. The picture below about sums up my daughter half the time:

We call that her “bully” pose. If she went to regular school, she’d be a Mean Girl cheerleader homecoming queen class president kind of chick. We have our struggles … she’s a lot different than raising the boys. I’m not sure if it’s because she’s a girl, because of her age or because she thinks she’s 25.

I could kill this woman at church who told Callie, “You’re the boss.” Callie pulls that on me all the time now: “That woman at church said I’M the boss.” Strangers: be quiet!

This kid can throw one hell of a fit. She completely melts down when things don’t go her way, and she spends some time in her room to cool down. Thankfully, it happens less the older she gets.

The rest of the time she’s the sweetest thing ever. She paints my nails, does my makeup, sits through ANY movie with me (we saw Bride Wars recently), helps with the baby, helps me cook, yells at the boys for me when they get too rowdy. She is smart and witty and funny and adorable. I can’t wait to see what she grows up to be … I’m thinking good career choices would be Parole Officer or Actress.

I love you, Callie Grace, and I always will.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Ride the Ducks in Branson!

If you ever get the chance to Ride the Ducks, DO IT! We did this last year in Branson, Missouri and the kids DUG IT! Plus everyone gets a duck call, which makes for tons of fun (and parental headaches) in the car and at home later.

We’re going again this summer. We used to go out drinking and dancing at clubs for fun. Now we Ride the Ducks. Aron and I are such geezers that we prefer the Ducks these days!

I’m always looking for good vacation spots: What’s your best vacation spot/activity?

4/17/12 We still have this annoying and fun little duck whistle!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

When Kids Crash on Their Mom

This is a rare photo taken January 2. I love having all my kids asleep snug in their beds while I roam the house and check on them, but I also love when they crash all around me.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I Hate When They’re Right

Me: Joel, how many episodes of Tailspin are left on this DVD? Because if there are only a couple, we’ll just start school once it’s all over.

Joel: I don’t know.

Me: Really? You loaded up the DVD and it shows how many episodes are on it and you had to choose the episode you were on from last night. You don’t know how many are left?

Joel: I don’t know.

Me: What would you say if God asked you?

Joel: He wouldn’t ask me because He would already know.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Product Review: Perler Beads

Since today is the 6th time Eva has gotten a Perler Bead stuck on her bottom tooth, I figured I’d better write about how great these things are. Yeah, I know, we don’t worry about our kids choking on things, we worry about them getting them stuck on their teeth.

Santa brought little starter sets of these cool things, and the boys went so nutty over them that I sprung for the tub o’beads at Michael’s (don’t be dumb like me: wait for the coupon to come out because the tub is like $13). Still, I’ll happily pay that for hours of fun and creative outlet.

Basically you put these plastic beads on boards that look like tiny cleats. You make cool designs (you have no idea how many different options there are; even Glow-in-the-Dark Perler beads!!!). Then you have an adult iron the board so the beads melt together.

Sorry about this one ... I forgot to get it flipped sideways for the posting and I'm posting this off-site. Just turn your bean to the left to see it ...

You know how I don’t iron clothes, right? So for a few days the boys would only wait until their dad got home to iron their Perler bead designs. Then I got fed up with being treated like a domestic moron and took over.

Look out! Mommy’s ironing!

Apparently I got the job because the boys now want “Mommy to do it.” Good Lord, next I’ll be sewing BUTTONS on stuff!!!!!!!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Twin Connection

A couple of weeks ago I asked Aron (below, left) if he felt seasick. He told me no and asked why. I said, “Because your twin brother is on a cruise right now, and aren’t twins supposed to be cosmically connected?” He called me an idiot, and rightly so.

Did you know identical twins have the same DNA? So you could do a paternity test and not know which twin was the father of a kid. Freaky. But their fingerprints are different.

Aron and Eric have taken the Switching Identities thing a little farther than just pulling one over on girlfriends and teachers.

A couple of years ago Aron had to travel to Canada a lot for work. Every damn time he tried to get into the country he got detained because his brother had impersonated him once, which is a federal crime. They’d pull Aron out of the Customs line and take him into a room and ask him questions.

Fraternal twins MAY have some hereditary deal on the side of the mother (whew, I’m safe), but identical twins MAY BE an anomaly (or “freak of nature,” as I like to call my husband). Age has a lot to do with ending up with fraternal twins, and this article says sometimes if the guy is a twin you may end up with twins. Oh, crap.


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