October 31, 2007

Sugar Highs and Bad Wigs

Another year has almost come and gone. This year I'm not that big on Halloween. LiL' J wants to know why we don't have scary spiders, vampires, and ghosts like the neighbor kid has. I told him to go ask his father.

I'm too busy keeping up with the scariness of my own house. I got Squishy's (an alternative nickname) costume at the new Costco in Grafton, Wisconsin, about a month ago. He's the black spiderman with "mus-culls". That's what his big brother called them and so we've said it ever since. We do have issues with made up words in this house. I'm aware of this but I have given in.

Mooch is Hannah Montana and Snoo is Lily or whoever the friend is on the show. I've tried to block it out. I was forced to watch more Hannah Montana reruns then anyone should ever have to watch and I am secretly convinced they did it just to torture. Because watching rerun marathons of the Hannah Montana show could be used as a form of torture. Just take my word for it. 'm still recovering. We got a wig for Mooch from drugstore.com and J ran off with it and put it on and then sat down on the livingroom floor brushing it much like a four year old girl brushes barbie doll hair. She had to hide the thing in her closet because J wanted to play with it. I'm not sure if I should be concerned or not.

It would have been a blackmail shot for sure and I ran for the camera but he's got the speedy joints of a seventeen year old. I'll get him back though. I know how to get into his facebook account and I'm handy at uploading various preschool photographs of say, a certain boy breastfeeding his preschool's dolls.

Mooch was mad because apparently the wigs can't be brushed and so now it looks like a fuzzy white rats nest is on her head and when I tried to help her pin it on I was laughing so hard that I literally almost peed my pants. Which I hear is normal for a woman who has had four kids.

The Husband had to come and take over because I was so hysterical that my face was red and I just couldn't stop, despite the evil-eyed stares of my hormonal fourteen year old daughter who didn't find it as amusing. I tried to be positive about the situation and encourage her it would be alright like a good mom, I truly did, but then I'd make the mistake of looking at her head, and I'd bust into laughter again. I kept having to leave the room. I suppose I should be ashamed of myself, but I'm not. In fact, I'm still laughing. However, I did resist taking a picture, unlike the time she got her finger stuck in a baby wipe box when she was six years old, mostly because I believe she might have tried to choke me with the thing. She's pretty strong.

J and his friends actually went out. I can not believe people actually give them candy, but I suppose a 6ft tall Kermit the Frog is hard to resist. The mother of J's friend made it for her husband and J's friend was going to wear it, but he got sick. They never came to our house though. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fear of my getting a picture of him in a giant frog costume. I'm sure he meant to, but he was just too busy avoiding Ms. Piggy.

They're starting to outsmart me and I'm getting quite annoyed when they get out of getting traditional photographs taken. When they were little it was all "look at me", "watch this", "take my picture" ievery other minute and now that I have this great camera I am having to hunt them down like the paparazzi. That's the way it goes.

With four kids the house is now full of more candy then should ever be allowed. This is just Squishy's loot and the basket is like six inches deep.

Picture 024

Snoo is allergic to chocolate so The Husband and I get all of it and that means five more pounds added to my butthigh because Almond Joys are addictive. Mooch gets a little OCD with her candy and she has to separate it all and keep each kind segregated which is handy when I want to sneak a Reese Peanut Butter cup and I don't want to get caught from the sound of my hand rustling through a pillow case full of candy. Vinny wanted to know what all the fuss was about and he was hoping someone would give himi some. He likes skittles.

vinny wants candy

At the recommendation of my dentist, I let them have as much as they want the first night and so they have at it until they look like this.

sugar blah

It's a rather good system and I've been doing it for years now. Then afterwards they get a handful every day at the same time to avoid the constant acid attacks they get on their teeth when they have two or so pieces of candy several times throughout the day. This way, they sit down and have their little splurge and brush their chompers. Candy also somehow always seems to make its way elsewhere like to the teachers, school secretaries, youth groups, and elderly neighbors. They don't know this though. Until one day they find this blog and realize that-yes, in fact-their candy bowls were a little smaller when they got home from school and-no-they weren't just being paranoid.

I don't have any pictures of pretty Jack-o-lanterns like the years past for you, because I didn't pass out candy this year, and felt it would be sort of mean to confuse the kids with glowing pumpkins in front of a house with a sign on the door that says, "Sorry, no candy this year." Plus I was too lazy.

Squishy did design his own this year though and we scooped its slimy guts out and ate the seeds. Which I burnt. But, I told the kids they are better burnt. They don't believe me, however.

Jake's pumpkin

jake pumpkin 2

All in all though, it's the beauty and wonder of buckets of free candy.

Picture 026

After dad inspects it all.

inspecting candy

October 29, 2007

Dogs are Moms too

It’s a girl! Oh wait; it’s a boy…and another boy! Congrats to Holly Bear of Waterford, Wisconsin.

She's now a first time mom of three. One of our best friend’s Boston terrier just had a litter of pups. This is her first litter and will be her last. Holly is a tiny thing and was bred with Max of Brian’s Bostons. She’s the daughter of Nika the 2nd and she’s the most adorable little purse Boston you ever did see. Just don’t expect to use it again because it will smell like butt. And something that died. Sort of like my utility closet right now.

Every time I go to their house I want to sneak her home with me. She’s a little cuddle bear and loves to nestle on your lap where upon she’ll demand belly rubs and reward you with a notorious Boston terrier kiss. Only she insists on sneaking some tongue. I don’t mind dog slobber, but this one eats poop. In fact, she has a penchant for poop. This is her dirty little secret. Poop is a delicacy in her diet. She’s not at all discriminate as every turd is gourmet in her book. If it comes out of something’s rear end, it’s better than any Scooby snack, that’s for sure.

Somehow though, when you have four legs, are adorable and sweeter than honey, people over look the fact that your favorite snack is poop and they love you anyway. I’m debating on whether or not to buy the little girl because I’ve wanted another Boston for awhile. Vinny, whose dad is Biker Boy, needs a sister or brother. But, I’m broke and much too lazy to house train a dog in the winter.

It really isn't the right time for another pup, but oh, they’re so cute and so soft and so cuddly and so adorable. And yes, so much work. Squishy couldn't wait to meet them. He’s been patiently waiting to see the puppies and since I photograph every litter for their portfolios we made a day out of it. There was food, six kids, four dogs, Guitar Hero and three puppies. In other words, total chaos.

Squishy was the first one of us to visit the mama and her babies and he was joined by my friend’s three year old. She’s got a preschool crush on him. What girl wouldn't? (He'd better start saving his allowance now. That girl has sixty different Gymboree outfits. And the purses to match.)

Holly bear is just glad someone else is there to give her a minutes rest. She’s not making that much milk of yet, but that doesn’t stop those puppies from munching on her like little piranhas. Kids tend to do this. They suck you dry of both milk and money, and the magical part is, they leave you fuller than you've ever been. She’s quite the pampered new mom though as H is making her this insanely rich pudding that smelled so good I almost got a bowl. It takes a lot of courage to admit that you're extremely tempted to steal pudding intended for a lactating animal. But there, I said it. I licked the spoon. Twice.

If I begin lactating, well than poetic justice will be had.

Here A is introducing Squishy to the littlest puppy.

I've never seen a child who could articulate full sentences with a chewie in her mouth, but this child can. She's rather talented.

“Look at her pretty neck. I have a pretty neck too.”

Uh huh, can I hold her?

“You kiss her like this."

"Ok, can I hold her now?"

Like most guys, Squishy doesn’t have any use for all that talking and wooing, just wants to hold that sweet black and white fur-ball of love.

So he found a puppy of his own.

Awwww. Squishy would make such a great big brother.

Squishy wants her SO bad and he promises to take care of her; he does, he does, he really does. It’s true. Really. He promises to feed her, really, he does. Oh, oh, oh, he will clean up her poop, he will, he will, really he will.

Hmm, but you haven't touched Vinny's food bowl in months. Back when you turned it into a swimming pool for your super heroes, remember? It's still missing.

But please, mom. pleeaaaassee, pretty please!

We’ll see. Well talk about it. Later.

Ergh! Mooomm, 'we'll see' and 'later' mean no. Grown ups always say that when they mean no.

I'm clearly raising a genius. I better work on new stall statics.

As I was taking the pictures of Holly and her triplets, I realized that dog mamas are a lot like us. Some of them breastfeed and some of them bottle feed and some of them do both. After all, what’s a girl to do if her spare nipples get bit off? And even though they have no idea what they’re getting into, somehow their maternal side kicks in.

holly litter 1

They endure all kinds of discomfort for the benefit of their baby. Even if it feels like a tiny bear claw is shredding up her cleavage.

holly litter 5

They also have to endure incessant whining. This mom just prefers to ignore it. After all, once baby bumps into the wall, he'll figure out he's going the wrong way. We hope.

holly litter 6

They relish time with baby. But look forward to nap time too.

holly litter 7

They also have to clean up after baby's yucky bits. Thank God for disposable diapers.

holly litter 8

Or in this case, nature's version of a baby wipe.

holly litter 9

I think I just vomited in my mouth a little. Excuse me while I look away.

They sneak in a little pick me up throughout the day. What mom doesn't need a coffee break? Or, if you prefer, a stinky rawhide.

holly rawhide
Mmmm..Mmm.Does that come in mocha flavor?

They also end up sharing their goodies.

holly rawhide 2

I don't know of many moms of small children that ever managed to eat a full yogurt without help. A wise mom once told me to keep a secret stash in my bedroom, which I tried. It works pretty good too, occasionally my offspring leave me a few pieces of leftover chocolates. Along with their wrappers.

Duty calls again. They get used to being an all night diner.

holly litter 10

Sometimes they get snarly when the kids don't share and play nice.

holly litter 11

"Quit your whining! I've got eight nipples and there's only three of you!"

They love to pose for family portraits and show off their brood.

holly litter 12

She's off to a good start. After seventeen years of parenting and 800,000 photographs, I'm lucky if I'm in four of them.

They find that they can love another baby just as much as the rest.

holly litter 13

Only, they have to nurse them all at once, again, for the fourth time in an hour. Try that for patience.

They’re often exhausted, but they hang in there.

holly litter 14

Until they just stay awake one more minute.

holly litter 15

(At least their babies can’t roll off the bed. All but three of mine did. Ker Plunk! Don't worry, somehow they turned out alright, their just a little weird is all, but I like em' that way.)

Get your rest, Holly Bear. And don’t worry about that poochy tummy, it makes a great baby pillow. And Hooray for push-up bras.

October 26, 2007

I've Learned My Lesson

As some of you may know, my threshold for caffeine tolerance is low. In fact, up until a few years ago, I couldn't even tolerate one cup of chai without going bezerk. Let's just say the house has never been cleaner then when I've had a bit too much of the stuff. Not too mention I hate like a crazy person.

Which isn't really unusual, but that's not the point I'm trying to make. Over the last few years I've been working on my tolerance level and it's improving quite a bit. There are some days that I can have a cup of chai or tea after 3pm even and still get to bed a decent hour.

And for a night owl like me, a decent time is like 11pm to midnight, on a school night.

Yesterday however my whole routine was thrown off. The state of Wisconsin has district wide teacher's conventions for Thursday and Friday. Therefore the kids have off of school. Our church is hosting a Fall Teen Retreat which some of the kids from our church and school went to.

They were to leave on Thursday morning. This would imply, for those like me-who think logically-that our school is also out. The oldest are homeschooled, but LiL' J is still at the Christian school. Since the camp hosted a Fall Retreat, with the idea that all the kids would have Thursday and Friday off, we just assumed that meant our school too, which is majorly connected to the camp.

We even asked the kid if he had school. He said no, because he overheard his brother telling everyone that all the kids have the days off. You'd think we'd double check but, you know, it made sense. Why would the church participate in this retreat knowing that more than half of the kids going attend the Christian school, if they didn't in fact have the days off?

So I sleep in a little later than usual, I tidy up, make my to-do lists, and make some coffee. Yes, you read that right. I, Melissa, actually not only know how to make coffee now, but I intended on drinking it. I guess in my absence I never really thought about blogging about this minor change in my life. What with my whole person and life being a constant metamorphosis, such a tiny detail, like becoming a coffee drinker at 33, seemed insignificant. But I have and I am and so that's that. Maybe when I'm not feeling like a drug user in withdrawal I'll share my journey into the world of java. The kind of java that doesn't involve frothy-icy-goodness with 54 grams of sugary chocolate sauce that is which was the only way I'd touch coffee before. Although, I do take cream and sugar, thank you for asking.

I thought you should know that, you know, in cause I ever get invited to your house for a grown-up tea party; grown-ups only of course.

So where was I? Yeah, so I'm a flakey mom that didn't get her seven year old off to school. Instead I let him watch The Chipmunk Adventures pretty much all day. No, they don't play The Chipmunks on TV anymore. But, uh...Hello, I am a child of the 80s and what kind of mother would I be if I didn't share the adorableness that is the Alvin and the Chipmunks? Tchah. A very uncool one.

My children have a crazy mother. I think that is enough. I might be certifiable some days, but darn it, I'm cool. I can't believe I let the boy miss school though. Not only did I listen to my husband, who took the word of a seven year old and a seventeen year old, but I also let him eat Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and jalapeƱo Crunchers for breakfast.

OK, you can all stop gasping now. I know it. What WAS I thinking? Goodness sakes sometimes I'm patting myself on the back and other times I wonder why God saw fit to give me four children. I know some of you aren't judging, you know you've done it too. What do you think pop-tarts are? It's candy disguised as a breakfast food. And if the school can serve ketchup as a vegetable now, then my child had a vegetable for breakfast. Potatoes are vegetables. True enough, that's a weak excuse, but my husband made up for it later when he brought the kid a burger. Hmm, my child's diet today consisted of candy and burgers. Maybe I should just shut up now.

Anyways, J and Mooch were at friend's houses. I was trying to clean, make phone calls, occupy Vinny, and corral LiL' J into something more productive. He felt the need to rewind the movie over and over to the same part. "We're the boys, we're the boys, we're the boys of rock-n-rowllllll...yaw" Then I had to call the insurance company because for some reason or another (it's always something) they can't find The Husband's license on file. In all that, I guess I didn't notice that I had drunk way too much coffee. I drank three full cups in fact, and I never even paid attention to how late in the day it was.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

I have been up ALL night. I haven't slept in 22 hours. Yes, it's 10am and I'm going to finally go crash. J will be happy; he will have gotten out of school after all. They are old enough to do most of their book work without my having to hold their hand, but I can barely get J to concentrate on his studies while I'm sitting right next to him. Never mind if I'm sick or out of sorts.

I've learned my lesson.

I won't drink more than two cups of coffee.
I won't get off of my schedule
I will only drink caffeine before noon.

I won't, I won't, I will.

On a totally random note, it's a rainy, overcast, blustery kind of day. I want hot cocoa with whipped cream, a big bar of dark chocolate with almonds, a pair of fuzzy-wuzzy knee-high socks, and my Pride and Prejudice DVD.

I do, I do, and I do know that I am stubborn.