January 30, 2007

Kids by the Dozen

Kids by the Dozen is a new set of specials on the TLC channel. There's the Heppner family with their sixteen children, the Jeub family with their nest of thirteen, and the Arndt family with their fourteen children. I can't attest to whether or not I have that all correct, but do forgive, I can't even keep my own four children straight lately, and that's the solemn truth.

I suppose these shows are inspired by the ever so sporadic, but oddly interesting
Duggar family specials, which my kids love to watch. I do believe they're trying to coax me into having another child. LiL' J of course wants a baby brother, although he says that our Boston Terrier is like a baby brother, even if he does poop on the floor. I told him that's about close to what a baby brother would do anyways. He seemed fairly convinced. Although he's postive he'd made a great big brother and he's having six kids of his own. He would make a great big brother and I wish I could handle more, but I'm not the bionic woman.

I'm a little jealous of these large families and how they manage to be so cute and put together with their matching wardrobes and group violin lessons. I watch in strange amusement. I don't know how they do it. Somedays I'm at the breaking point with just four. I'm an only child so four children feels like a really large family, which I did want. (I know I'll get a slew of emails asking why I had four kids, which isn't the point)

I didn't have a good role model for mothering while growing up. We lived like gypsies a lot of the time. From the time I was born until I was about eight I was surrounded by psychedelic music, men who made their living cross dressing on stage, pot smokers and a whole lot of incense. And all that was the least of my very colorful upbringing. There was everything but the compound and cult-like religious practices. I managed to grow to be a fully function with very little insanity. But, I haven't been the most patient dealing with the behavioral issues of children with ADHD and Tourette Syndrome. All but the youngest, he seems to have been spared, I have no idea what I did right there.

I can handle noise. I can handle interruptions. I can handle busyness. I can handle chaos. But, lately I can't seem to deal with the arguing and bickering and having to constantly micro manage everything. I suppose I need to wake up to the fact that I have teenagers now. Even at my young age of thirty-three. Let me say that outloud. Again. I have three teenagers? When the heck did that happen? Their hormones are all over the place and their brains aren't working anymore.

They are good kids and they've brought us so much joy. They're not into gross immorality, sniffing paint, or hanging out with the wrong crowd. They just are so very immature and act like total baffoons lately. And they fight constantly. Like all kids, they test the limits I suppose. It's amazing to me though, how they always seem to forget how they're suppose to act in the house. The "Crap" as The Husband calls it has reached a climax.

Take for instance my
experience last weekend.

I feel over taken lately and it's easy to feel that way around these kids. I'd be deluding myself though if I didn't admit that I have some mild depression going on. I get like this every other winter. The doctors calls it S.A.D. I got it I'm Going Crazy-Where's The Off Button. I've been bummed out and way too annoyed. I hate that I'm so frustrated with them lately and so many days rarely enjoy being around them. I don't like myself when I'm like this. And feeling easily annoyed with your children makes it a little complicated seeing as though I'm home schooling them. We never get a break from each other. The only way I can imagine that having more then twelve children could possibly even work is if the kids listened and even more important, actually acted like they liked each other. And didn't hoard all the toilet paper.

Yeah, that's saying a lot, isn't it?

When it comes to these behemoth families, I have no idea what denomination most of these families belong to, but I do believe most are Christian with a quiverful outlook. I don't agree that that all Christians should be "quiverful" because some of us would go insane. I love kids. I wanted to have a family and be home with the children. So why do I feel so unhappy and frazzled all the time? I have to change something soon, because I seriously can't count how many times I've wanted to tell my own children to "shut up". One-hundred and thirty-eight. Since you asked.

I hate those words. I hate the fact that I'm yelling at my children. I adore them. I carried them in my loins for eighty months and I nursed them for eight hundred. I'm smart enough to know it doesn't do anyone any good and that person is not me. I'm turning into a very impatient biotch.

The Children have a wide range of crazy. Just when I think I can't be shocked by anything anymore I discover that one of them broke the washing machine's spin censor because they wanted to see what what it looked like inside while the clothes were spinning and the only way to keep it spinning while the lid is up is to wreck the wiring. Now I have to clip the wires together and keep checking it in case it switch isn't tripped while in a cycle. I don't ask why. That's the cardinal rule when you have children with ADHD. There is no why. You'll only keep some response like- Because I like to. Because I wanted to. Because Jessie the Chipmunk said it was fun.

With three teens and ADHD in the mix, the house goes from 0 to crazyville in 2.3 seconds. It honestly wasn't this bad before I started home schooling. Probably because they weren't HERE all day. Even so, they've stepped up the madness. I don't think home schooling is going to work for us, today I saw a school bus and wondered if I'd get arrested if I ran and out there and pushed them all onto to it.

What's even more sad is the fact that LiL' J asked me yesterday, "Can we adopt them out? I come home and they are always so loud and rude. I'd miss them though." A six year old said that!

As a new home schooler, this being my second year, I can't figure out for the life of me how those four families home school. Yes, they even HOME SCHOOL. Can you imagine? Someone please tell them, for the love of God, how they do that. I'll be darned if I can get THREE children, whom are only in two different grades, to do their lessons, bookwork, or even sit through a fun educational show without acting like monkeys on crack. Animal Control. Animal Control anyone?

Now, I'm not naive, I imagine that most of the kids on those shows were behaving exceptionally nice. I know how fast little angels grow fangs. But I really want to know how that works. Yesterday it took my sixteen year old five hours to do one simple vocabulary assignment.

Five hours! Nevermind math, science, literature, electives, history, he can take five hours to do any one of those. He's going to be on the five year graduation plan and that's if he seriously gets a clue soon and smartens up enough to start working hard and setting goals.

They act like loons all day, interrupt me, talk over me, bother the dog, bother each other, eat everything in sight, do God knows what with the toilet paper, (I'm hiding a roll in my closet for safe keeping else I might have to use a sock) insult each other, giggle over retarded things, scream and argue about everything, attack each other like their in the WWF, slop through assignments, you name it, they do it. I think we're ALL going stir crazy.

I feel like I dine on a soup bowl full of explosives many days. My children could probably take out the terrorists of the world. If they ever got enough motivation. I feel like most days, they are happy to learn nothing new at all, they're happy with mediocre efforts, they're happy with the thought of future lives of burger flipping and working as elementary school janitors. I'm tempted to have them begin memorizing, "Would you like fries with that?"

I'll admit, I'm getting a little downtrodden lately a little? yesterday I hit myself in the head with my cellphone and a tad pessimistic about the future. As a Christian, I do trust God. I know their in His in care, which is a very good thing, because with the looks of things, I'm getting a C-.

Nothing seems to motivate them. You'd think that promises of Driver's Education and cellphones would inspire a little effort. Nope. You'd think rewards of movies, dinners out, sleepovers, phone priveledges, oh I don't know, AIR, would do the trick.


Most of the day I feel like hardly anything is getting done and certainly not enough to feel like there's continuity in their studying. One minute they act like they abhor each other and the next minute they are so overly silly and obnoxious with each other, it's scary. It's manic around here.

Here's a sample of what I hear all day, every day, of every day of the week:

Why do I have to know this?
I don't want to
I'm hungry
I can't remember
I don't know
Do I have to?
Can't I just take the test? I know this stuff. What's the point of studying
I'm hungry
I did study (for two minutes)
Where's my pencil?
Can I have something to eat? I'm hungry
Tell him/her to give me back my pencil!!!
I'm hungry
She took my...
Tell him to give me back my folder
Why can't I check my email?
Do I have to sit next to her?
She's touching me with her nasty feet
Ew, his ogre feet are on me
Who stinks?
Tell her to stop singing
Where's my book?
I'm hungry
Did you see my book?
Why do I have to do that?
I don't care about this
She's touching the dog
He threw something at me
I'm hungry

Blah, Blah, Blah

Remember- these children are all over four. And in case you're wondering who keeps saying they're hungry, that's Snoo. Snoo is ALWAYS hungry. She must have a tapeworm. We've nicknamed him Little Fred. The doctor suggested we have her thyroid checked or take her to a shrink. "It sounds like it's an obsession. She does have a history with being obsessive. Take her to see someone."

We've done all that. The kid likes to eat. She always has. At seven seven months old she ate a whole pack of Ritz crackers all at once.

I truly hit a low last friday after they were talking over me, interrupting, bickering, and being plain loud and obnoxious during a Bible study. I locked myself in the bathroom and proceded to listen to Jesus Help Me to Stand by Alison Krauss about twenty-five times while I brushed my hair and put on make-up. Maybe they weren't going to get any work done, maybe they were going to give me a splitting headache, but I was going to look hot before I went down.

They called The Husband to tell him something was wrong with me. Which he already knows.

"She locked herself in the bathroom and she's singing really loud. To herself. It's scaring us." Richard called on my cellphone and asked, "Honey, are you OK? Have you totally lost it now? What are you doing and do I need to come home?"

"Don't you love me?"

"What kind of question is that. You know I do."

"Then why do you keep leaving me alone with them all day.

Just another day in the life of a mother of children with neurological imbalances. Nevermind Calgon, send the national guards to take me away. First, though, can they watch my kids so I can take a shower? If I go upstairs they might try and take the oven apart.

January 29, 2007

Something Wicked Comes This Way

The last two weeks has been very odd around here. First it started with the fire, then a few days later The Husband got in a mild car accident, so mild the only thing damaged is the bumper of our new car. And maybe his pride. The next day I hurt my thumb so badly I thought it was broke and I had to cashier with ice on my hand all night. (I hate that I have to work PT right now, but I'm doing what a girl has to do)

Just when it seemed to quiet down, a day or so later I looked out the kitchen window to see about eight undercover police cars and what looked like a SWAT team of ARMED policemen with MANY big GUNS right OUTSIDE my very livingroom window. I didn't think it would be a good idea to get my camera out this time, but I was way tempted to. They were apparently arresting the teen boy across from us. The Kids were freaked out and eerily amazed all at once and getting them to ignore the situation was going to be impossible-as if they needed a new way to distract themselves during home school lessons. They had guns pointed at the faces of the boy and his girlfriend and their poor pudgy, scared dog was running around frantically. By the way, in the six years they've lived in these townhouses, they have never ONCE taken that dog outside. It's disgusting. I want to walk over and smack them. He must be going to the bathroom all over the house and the basement.

The Kids were going over all the reasons why he might be arrested, I thought drugs, but he's apparently "straight edge". Uh uh. It turns out he was annoyed with his fourteen year old sister and screamed at her and told her he was going to kill her. They make my family look like saints. I know the cops can't warn you about what's going on, but it would have been nice since they were literally two feet away from my window. I was telling the kids to get away in case gun fire broke out and I had no idea what was happening. Why would they need that many cops with armed weapons pointed at two teen kids? It's ludicrious.

Good grief. I'm sure the social workers will be over there soon, not that it will be the first time seeing as though their mother killed their father long ago and claimed "self defense." It has been reported by friends of theirs in the area that it wasn't so basically I live next to a nest of losers. The managment has tried to evict them many times. Nice neighbors to have, hey? The boys a thief too, he stole J's skateboard like five years ago. I wonder if the punk rock straight edgers are allowed to steal?

The daughter came to our Christian backyard club one year. She's very cozy with the pervert father of her friend, a man that lives with a mentally slow woman around here. I want to move.

Then this morning I looked outside to see a body lying on the ground. At first I thought some kid was either goofing and had fallen since it had started to snow. Then I realized the little lump of black clothing was a man. The divorced minister father of the fourteen year old that Snoo used to go to school with. The same one that told her she was a bi-sexual and is an athiest who believes in being a pagan witch. I'm not sure how you can be an athiest if you believe in many female goddesses, but teenagers are allowed to be confused. I opened the door and hollared to see if he was OK. He yelled back in pain that he was hurt and couldn't get up. He said he slipped on some ice and heard something in his leg and foot snap. He had been out there for five minutes on the frigid ground as snow fell on him. His daughter came out a few minutes later and she was crying. Snoo fetched a wool blanket, I said a prayer for them, and the neighbor and I waited for the ambulance..

The neighbors think the new year has been sort of a jinx around here. On a lighter note, the kids don't have AWANA tonight so we'll get caught up on our Esther Bible study and some family TV time. The girls and I have been enjoying the Hallmark movies from the Love Comes Softly books because we are a sucker for mushy, pioneer romance. I'll admit, the acting is a bit corny here and there, but we're country girls at heart and we like to swoon over the sweet romantism and homemade biscuits with canned jam.

January 27, 2007

Cute, but not presentable

Our children couldn't be anymore contary lately. It's time for some major prayer and fasting, or perhaps just a really big whacker. I can dress them up to look like the cute human beings that I know deep down they really are, but I just can't take them out.

I thought it would be nice to take The Kids out to Applebees. I hate that place, but they all love it. We rarely take them all out at once anymore and The Husband had just wanted to take me out because he knows how ragged I am after a day alone with three teenagers. He wasn't too thrilled at the thought of bringing the whole gang. The truth is, he will wait until they're done eating to come to the table. It has gotten that bad. I insisted and got my way being the veteran wife that I am. There was an old man working as a host and he seated us in a regular booth instead of the larger booth that was available for large parties like us. As soon as we are seated, Mooch had to start bitching about having to sit next to Snoo and how she wanted to sit next to me, but she doens't like sitting on the inside..blah blah blah. I told her that I'm not sitting in the middle so she could go cry herself a river. Snoo had to start yapping back, then she offered to move and then J had to join in and yap about how stupid it was for the old guy to seat us where he did, but how it doesn't matter where the girls sit..blah blah blah.

One of my offspring had to loudly comment about how that man should have went to college so he's not seating people at a chain restaurant at the age of 60. The Husband reminded them that's why they should start getting their work done and study harder. Snoo had to start in with complaining that she couldn't order anything and everything that she wanted. This all transpires within three minuties of sitting down, honestly. What can I say, the punks talk a lot and really fast. All this is going on at once and the whole place feels like it's closing in on me, I look over at The Husband's expression and I instantly knew why he didn't want to take the kids. It has become totally out of hand and he became annoyed and threatened to take us home. The waitress comes over to ask how we all are, and to my dismay-and her shock I'm sure-I actually said, "not so good". Poor lady. I look at The Husband and ask, "so do you want to go or not?" He replies, "if they can't get their act together and knock it off. (To them-Can you all be quiet and stop this crap?) And I don't think we want to sit here, do you?"

It was ugly, let me tell you. I wanted to disappear into the smelly vinyl chairs.

The childless woman looks at all of us like we're the nutheads that we are and then says, "So, um yeah, I'll let you all work all that out." There's silence for about 45 seconds and then the crapola continues. The Husband starts standing up to leave and I begin to fantasize about running away from home just as she she abrubtly comes back to the table with an expression of morbid curiosity. The Husband tells her we'd like to move to the larger booth. Flippantly, she says, "you can go where ever you all want." And that's how our nice family outting started. Not more then five minutes later though they're all busy playing cellphone games and laughing about American Idol retakes and I'm thinking-who are these kids? And why do they call me mother? Are these the same kids that cause their grandparents to want to cut their visit short? That had almost every teacher thinking about retiring 30 years early? Sure, they are all super good-looking, intelligent, creative, loving, mostly decent people, but they are a handful to say the least. They make the same mistake after mistake, get disciplined for the same thing over and over, they can be extremely loud, impulsive, stubborn, obnoxious, impatient, and disorganied. Not surprising since two out of four have ADHD, not including The Husband.

I know people mean well, but emails about how well fish oil works really doesn't help. It is what it is. Two teenagers with ADHD and one with mild depression. I'm in the ring of fire.

January 16, 2007

Inferno in the hood

Last night I woke up around 1:30 am to some shouting and what I think was something like, "Oh S@#*!!!" and other expletives.

Those crackhead neighbors, what are they doing now?

Then I saw the lights, more lights, and many loud sirens. When I tried to look out my window I could hardly see anything because the person or persons that designed these townhouses decided that a slanted window will, in Wisconsin no less, made perfect design sense. As I'm trying to peer out of a frosty window blocked by nine inches of snow, all I could see was an ambulance, several fire trucks, a dozen lookie loos, a pretty light show and several half dressed people running around in a frenzy. I thought I had transported into an episode of Desparate Housewives.

On a side note, the light show display could have totally caused a seizure. Totally. They had several vehicles there just to beam use portable lights all around. A must I am sure. But my eyeballs still hurt.

This is the view outside my back door after the huge lights dimmed. LiL' J plays with the boy in that lower unit. Their window was also full of flames.


Gone in a Flash



That's our van in front of the truck.

I changed the setting after a few shots, so this picture is a little better. My dying camera was in the low light mode in auto shooting. I wasn't about to go outside though and I was standing in my doorway with the freezing wind blowing in. Plus I didn't want to appear to be an insensitive, wacko with an unhealthy lust for fire. Cause I'm not.

Ironically, lately I've been thinking about what we'd do in a house fire and I've been worried that my kids wouldn't hear the smoke alarms or that perhaps we wouldn't since my husband likes to sleep with the door closed and locked, "in case". I'm not sure in case of what. Does he fear our children will sleep walk and use our large, sharp samurai sword to hack us into pieces?

I'm taking this as a big clue that I need to make sure we have a plan in the event that we have a fire-that everyone knows where to go and what to do-and that we're making sure all detectors work.

I still don't know if everyone got out OK, but I'm hoping and praying they did. The fire department got the fire under control rather quickly. Everything would be destroyed though and from what I can tell, at least two units were engulfed, if not more.

**Update- No one was injured. The cause of the fire is still unknown, but to believed to be faulty wiring in the master bedroom. Last night in a panic a man was unable to find his cat. This morning as the crew began going through the damage the kitty was located under a couch and appears to be unharmed. Who knows though how damaged his lungs are at this point. I'm not sure if he was taken to a vet for x-rays yet, but they say he's fine. At least there's a happy ending.

January 03, 2007


Salutations and warm wishes for a healthy happy year. As you can see, it has been two and a half months since I've last posted. Hours turned into days, days into weeks, and naturally, weeks turned into months. I think, it happens like that. It's shocking. Don't say I've never taught you anything.

At first I was too busy and overwelmed with my new schedule working outside of the home and trying to homeschool hyper, inattentive, and disorganized children. And trying to remember just how I got myself here to begin with. Then I began to drown again and everything felt futile. Life happens and I forget how to put myself first and do what I want to do.

I knew there were people checking back on me wondering why for months I've been like this. I knew there were family and friends coming to check in on me. To peer into my life, to see the world through my eyes, and to read the honest confessions of an often unindustrious housewife struggling to balance feminine independence and an urge to nest and nurture a happy home, however crazy and odd its occupants can sometimes be. I knew others like to see someone other then themselves admit that we can be in love with our families and still not like them some days at all and that it's OK. We can feel that way and still want be great moms. We really do adore our kids ever the more and if listening to other peoples squealing children whizzing by my head and down slides in a room of chaos while I dine on greasy compressed chicken parts and over salted fries isn't love, I don't know what is.

Yep, other moms are sometimes unhappy with their lives without knowing why. Yeah, I know I'm blessed. I know I should have nothing to complain about. I have kids. They are healthy. Well, most of the time. It doesn't mean I don't want to bang my head into the wall somedays or that I don't ever look at my brood and think, "Whose kids are those? Where did they come from? And why am I still in my pajamas?"

So why do we sometimes complain, contemplate building our own kid free house on our property or feel like there should be something more to this, if being a mom--stay at home or otherwise--is what we've always wanted? Because, that's why. It's a woman's prerogative to not only change her mind, but to lose it as well.

Yeah. Go ponder that for awhile. Anyways, moving on. I couldn't help but feel, why bother? What's the point? Nobody cares, I don't care, I don't feel like it. Now, this isn't how I feel about my blog or writing per se. Or even life. Or my friends. Could there be mild depression? Sure. more likely I just have indiffrence due to symptoms of stress (life will do that for you and so will homeschooling challenging children).

And getting back to my friends, the truth is that truthful, honest, and frank confessions of my daily life, thoughts, struggles, and changes were getting fewer and fewer. I filled space with fluff. I like tea. I woke up at 7am. Thirteen ways I.... Blah, Blah, Blah. Yawn. Just like a child knows you're not listening when you are nodding and saying--yeah, hmmm, uh uh, that's nice--you can tell when someone is just trying to keep up, but there's not much soul behind the scenes.

It's not just my cyber communities that I check out on. I'm too removed from my friends and family lately and I bet woman at church think I'm either stuck up or anti-social. The truth is, when I get uber stressed and overwelmed, I just drop out. I hate that about myself, but it's true.

Busy or not, as always I'd have nothing and everything to say just not the time nor energy or will.

Oh, and a working computer. When I'm as stressed as I've been and having computer time as been as hard as its been, the motivation to stay tuned in goes way down. Yeah, a working computer helps quite a bit if you like to blog and upload pictures. And that brings me to here. This seat that I write from on my husband's computer. My Old Faithful was not so faithful after all and she has been retired to babyville where children romp and frolic through her small and unventful garden of memory and files of games of an era gone by. She gets them on the internet highway for an hour a day of censored fun though, so all is not lost.

I mourned her. I thought of the good times and bad. About all my letters, pictures, files, documents, and emails that she arbitarily saw fit to discard, misplace, or send into the black hole of cyber space. Our friendship was always a fickle one come to thing of it, but I've moved on and I'm starting over. I may not have my own computer for now, but my behemoth hard drive for pictures and documents has found a new home and I'm settling in pretty well. As long as I got my picture with me, I'md good. I can actually upload, edit, and share my photography without the computer rebootings itself due to a bad "intel driver" whatever that is. Now, I just need to figure out how to master this new camera and resizing dilemnas. If that wasn't good enough, I can now actually instant message without leaving the other person hanging because windows froze up for the 10 millionth time or I'm typing in slow motion. I don't know how must have been more annoying, myself or those who were always wondering where the hell I went or if I could type a sentence without it looking like some ancient code from a lost civilization. I'd be typing but my computer would be so slow and my connection so delayed that my keyboard only picked up every third or fourth letter.

I rlly as tting suprr siiick o fthat.

I can actually post an entry without having to first type into Word Perfect, reformat the text after copying and pasting the saved document into blogger as if I'm having to perform acts of acrobatic kung fu over the lazer beams of a Smithsonian Institute treasure. That was getting really old.

I'm severely behind on emails, websites, blogs, forums and you name it. If you have missed my comments or feel I've been ignoring you, it's because you smell bad. Nah, really it's not you, it's me. And I'll get caught up. So many of my passwords were not accessible for awhile and I'm only going to be able to recover a few. This means I have blogs that I don't want published, still up and some that I need to dust off that are locked. Eh, I'll just start fresh. I guess this is fitting for the new year should bring about changes and new possibilities. I feel that the further behind I got the harder it was to have the motivation or determination to keep up and jump back in. Yet, it makes perfect sense to me now since I'm always going through some new kind of metamorphosis.

I'm reclaiming my life and what's mine in this world and what I truly want out of it.

I'm reclaiming my house and how I want to live, love, and laugh in it.

I'm reclaiming my relationships, forging new ones, and letting go of others.

I'm going back to being brutally honest and timidly unsure all at once. I'm turning auto-pilot off. I'm going to be present in my life and conscious in every moment.

And now I am off to see Charlotte's Web with LiL' J. He is Some Kid and we're going to have a terrific time.