Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tourette's Guffaws.

Are ya just itchin' for a Tourette's update??  Of course you are!  Here we go.

I don't know which day it was last week, but it seems that all in a day things got a little freaky here at the Awesome Abode.  It is said and I have researched (that crazy Google habit I have) that siblings are far more likely to have Tourette's Syndrome when one of them has been diagnosed.  What does this mean?  Does it mean that the parents are far more likely to see anything as a symptom?  Maybe.  But before I put myself out there to look like a mama with nothing better to do than diagnosis each kid with Tourette's every day, allow me to say that if you were in my shoes you would do the same.  If for no other reason, entertainment purposes??  The Hubs and I had a good long villian-in-a-crappy-movie guffaw over it last night.  Ok, ok... lemme tell you why.  Last week, at some point, Max woke up and decided to blink.  Uncontrollably.  Constantly.  It doesn't hurt anyone of course, thank God... but it sure does look kinda funny.  I have read that facial movements are often the first symptoms of Tourette's.  Namely, "motor tics".  The fact that Coop has twirled his hair since he was three was one of the shoe-ins at the neurologist.  We used to laugh (with him, not at him?) when we'd try to take his picture and he could not let go of his hair.  In fact, I took a Bible School pic with me to the neuro to prove the timeline.  Apparently, it's really all about timelines.  Looking back, I would have loosened up a whole hell of a lot more with the hair twirling.  In fact, The Hubs used to keep poor Coop's head shaved.  ...That seems just cruel now.  To bring it all around... that's why I don't get on to Z when he hums.  constantly.  If the kid is awake, he is humming.  Three year olds hum, right?  Of course they do... but as a mom of a kid with Tourette's I have to wonder.  And I have to wonder, if I get on to him for humming for the third hour straight...will I feel badly later if he's diagnosed?  sigh.

Isn't that a vision of my crazy homeschooling household?  Humming from at least two kids most times, blinking, twirling...  Somewhere along the line I must have prayed for patience and was sent a pretty stern lesson.

And so there you have it.  I believe I will have a total of three kids with Tourette's.  woot.  woot.  My hold out is Lola.  Tourette's is not as likely in girls... but we shall see, right?

Back to our guffaw.  Last night on 'Parenthood', a couple of idiots lost their child with Aspergers.  As in, he walked out the door and they couldn't find him.  At the end of the show, the couple says something like, "Oh my God, we lost a kid today."  I turned to the Hubs and said, "Geez, what are our odds, we have double the kids they do..."  The Hubs said something to the point of, "But how could we lose them if they're always making so much noise?"  I followed that up with, "I guess it's kinda like putting a bell on a cat... or three..."  Guffaws ensued.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Schoolin, Cleanin, Breathin.

I be coming to you from my trashed, trashed home.  I'm on my third load of laundry and... haven't gotten to the hampers yet...  as in, I have dug them out, but haven't washed the clothes that actually stayed in the hamper and did not vomit forth onto the bathroom floor or hallway.  My kitchen is disgusting.  My kids are still in jammies.  My guest bathroom smells a bit like a gas station bathroom.  I more or less took last week off and it was TERRIFIC.  But like any job/career/occupation...  my inbox has heaped itself, ceiling bound.  I've been working all morning, I swear...  but no stranger could tell, that's for sure.

Monday brings a day I usually look forward to, but actually do nothing with.  Tuesday is trash day and I always think, "THIS IS IT!  I'm cleaning EVERYTHING out.  EVERYTHING must go."  By the time I get to The Great Overhaul, I am usually too pooped, or forget all together... leaving only the things that were thrown out over the week to actually make it down the hill in the trashcan.  I have a curious problem this week, one I keep consciously reminding myself to not bitch about.  I can't find anything in my fridge or pantry, nothing fits, nothing is empty enough to throw out.  All blessings, really.  Last week I honestly wondered how the hell I was going to afford anything for Thanksgiving, this week I bitch I have too much... fickle much?  This week seems to be the perfect week to start Once-A-Month cooking with the 200 pounds of turkey I have left over.  I looked at the Hubs last night and said, "I'm not eating one more bite of this turkey until it turns into something else."  ...I'm thinking "cassoulet".

Today was kind of a sad day.  Back to regular ol' life.  Schoolin'.  Cleanin'.  Deep breathin'... as I am alone with these heathen children again.  It was so fun last week having the Hubs off and the family in.  But it all did give me a fresh perspective and enough rest to take it all back up again.

The countdown to Christmas begins!

Monday, November 21, 2011


I should probably put something mind blowing here... or at least mushy-squishy.  I'm not mushy-squishy.  I guess it's evident in the fact that we celebrate "Polkafest".  What the hell is Polkafest?  Keep your pants on, I'm getting there.  I'll warn you, this'll jump around a bit.

The Hubs sometimes jokingly gives me, "affection lessons".  He'll wrap my arms around him and state, "this is how you love".  He's not being serious... I hope...  but I've realized I'm a lot like my Dad in that department.  I'm not the type to wrap my arms around you and love on ya and... touch ya.  Is it ironic that I am a massage therapist?  Yes, I would agree with you.  Hubs on the other hand is just a genuinely nice guy with um, way less social awkwardness than I.  What am I getting to?  I grew up with a Navy Dad who was in no way mushy-squishy and if you knew him personally, you know that to say that this is an understatement, is, in fact, an understatement.

I won't try to capture all that is "Dad" in one blog post.  That's impossible. It's also impossible not to think of a million what ifs on the 7th anniversary of his death.  What if my four kids had ever known him?  What if he had gotten to know the Hubs a lot better?  What if he was around to give the point blank objective advice that always sucked hearing, but was pretty damn good?  What if he was still at church every Sunday with his buddies?  What if he got to take my kids to Dairy Queen for an icecream cone?  What if my Mom and Dad's house was still there as a refuge?  ... but what if he was still sick and suffering...? 

My Dad would say, "Well, you can wish in one hand and shit in the other and see which comes out first"....?  Some of that sound advice you don't want to hear, but is pretty spot on. 

One of my friends still refers to my Dad as "Sir".  I guess that pretty adequately demonstrates my Dad's personality.  I don't recall my pal ever calling him "Jerry".  He commanded that kind of authority and respect.  Because of this, it was always so special to me if I told a joke or said something funny and he'd genuinely laugh.  Likewise, I once boarded a plane to St. Louis and just before stepping onto the airport curb, he gave me a hug...  one of the most awkward moments of my life, in a good way.

It's only as a parent that I've come to realize the full extent to which he sacrificed and worked for our family.  This parenting shit is hard and the choices that come along and the work that must be done is for the most part, overwhelming.  While I've established I am not "mushy-squishy"... I wish I could thank him.

So...  Polkafest.  Some of my Dad's sound advice around the death of my best friend was to leave the family alone and let them mourn.  It seemed heartbreaking.  I had been at their house quite a bit.  When Dad died, I remembered his advice regarding my best friend and realized how he would probably like to be remembered after he died.  Not a lot of pomp and circumstance, not a bunch of crying and "carrying-on".  As a kid and even now I know more polkas than you can shake a stick at...  a very odd gift here in 2011.  Dad played 'em everywhere and loved 'em.  He also loved bratwurst, sausages and any other over the top fattening Octoberfest type fare you can think of.  After balling my eyes out on Dad's first death anniversary I decided it certainly didn't help and didn't make me feel any better.  Why not celebrate the fact that he doesn't have to battle cancer any more ('Fuck Cancer' should be the ACS's motto, I'm convinced) and that he lived a great life.  Every year my family plays polka music, eats bratwurst, saurkraut, pierogies and just... smiles.  We've chosen to celebrate.  The last thing he'd want is any "belly achin'". 

So here's to you Dad.  Happy Polkafest. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Five For Friday

I am running out of steam this week.  It's been a doozy... I probably won't present five amazing things, but five things nonetheless.

1.  Turkey Day is upon us.  I am not prepared.  At all.  Whatsoever.  I usually have most of the shopping done by now.  The last thing I wanted to do was shop with all the other crazies the weekend before the holiday... but so it goes.  We have family coming down and we're all really excited.  The Hubs is off the whole week too.  We aren't doing anything that would look too exciting to the outside world, but it will be amazingly good for this family to just at least have a change of pace.  A pause button would be nice.  I'll gladly take this though. 

2.  Lola says "nom, nom, nom" when she eats.  Just like Cookie Monster.  This is good for a laugh whenever I need one.

3.  I freaking hate writing resumes.  The Hubs needs one.  (Don't panic, we haven't lost any of our jobs, we're just ready to make life better and slightly more convenient... say, by having only one really good job...hrmph.)  You'd think we would just keep the old resumes we've constructed before, but I've seen hide nor hair of 'em... so I guess we'll just have to re-invent the wheel.  Resumes suck.  You know you're amazing, but you don't want to brag, but it's gotta be perfect, but it's gotta actually portray what you do every.  single.  day and make it look like that's really worth something.  I HATE writing them.  rant done. (I do like reading them though and making fun of them when we get them at the office... just saying... it's fun to be on the other side)

4.  Are you watching Walking Dead?  Because you SHOULD be.  Everyone else is doing it, you should too.  Damn, I love Zombies.  Like, big love.  And before it becomes all the rage and ridiculous like the the whole stupid vampire thing... let me just state that I love Zombies and I've loved 'em for a long time.

5.  Last week my shy kid got on a horse.  He rode it for five minutes then decided he was done.  I thought this was the milestone until later I caught him riding the horse again... this time the lady at the petting zoo had to tell him to give the horse a break!  It sounds small, but it was a proud moment. 

Well, I warned ya.  Not amazing...  but it is what it is!  Have a great weekend.  If you're out and about with all the other crazies like me, good luck!  and don't lose your cool.  ...just throw 'bows like I do.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Death to the Siesta

I've done something dumb.  Or brilliant. Or both.  sigh.

I have believed in "The Siesta!" here at the house for years.  Preaching it.  Touting it to my friends.  Every kid down for a nap every day!  Until they are 18!  Everyone needs quiet whether you sleep or not!  This AMAZING nap time ensures I will get at least 3 hours (3?!  wha?) to myself everyday.  This is the time I choose to eat bonbons and watch muh stories.  (Wrong.  I scrub toilets and fold clothes and one million small things).  BUT.

Something has gone awry.

These heathens are growing up.  Lola is getting into stuff like a Tasmanian devil.  Max is nuts.  Z constantly wants to play.  I don't know how to get everyone to settle down enough to thoroughly teach a Cooper in 4 hours a day what he needs to survive at Life.  Enter my 3 hour heaven.  hmph. 

Things are running a bit smoother now.  Handwriting and a catechism activity in the morning while chaos ensues, Phonics, Math, Spelling and Vocabulary during naptime.  It works so much better because he can look into my eyeballs and know I'm paying attention and not chasing monkeys.  In the evening while I'm making dinner we pick up any little pieces we may have missed.  I'm just having an interesting time now trying to not put History on the backburner all the dang time.  Coop's just not that into it and its so easy to just... not do it.  I'm tired of worrying about History.  (Or Science...  but I think I'll tackle that during the summer...)

Giving up my precious alone time hasn't been too hard, I guess.  It's actually begun flowing pretty well.  I'm still working out the kinks.  Coop walked up to me this morning with a Goosebumps book and said, "I'd like to read this, but when do I have quiet time now?"  I hung my head.  sighed.  twisted my face.  rolled my eyes.

"I dunno. I'll figure it out."

Friday, November 11, 2011

Five for Friday

Oh, the mis-adventures of another week behind us.

1.  First off... I'm not turning the heat on, damnit.  Yes, it is literally freezing here in the south.  I am accustomed to warm temperatures and therefore NOT accustomed to larger than necessary gas bills.  SO.  I'm standing my ground.  I am crazy cold natured.  Which is why the Hubs commented the other day that I will 'cave' before long.  Wrong.  My wallet trumps my comfort.  Sad?  Sure.  But just like I torture family and guests during that awkward time at the end of spring and into the summer with no air conditioning, I am not turning on the heat 'til at least December.  (I do believe the 3rd toe on my left foot is now dead due to frost bite, but damnit.  I am sticking to my guns.)

2.  Speaking of the heat or lack thereof, it has made me look for resourceful ways to heat the house.  For instance, I am currently automatically cleaning the oven for Thanksgiving.  No, not because I care what my family thinks of my absolutely disgusting oven, but because I thought I remembered that it usually makes the house unbearably hot.  Apparently this new-ish oven doesn't work as my last stone-age-beast did.  My 3rd toe is still dead, but the house is crazy stinky. 

3.  I am as thankful as the next gal during this time of Thanksgiving.  Now shut up about it.  I think I must have 30 facebook friends posting for the next 24 days (tell me its 24 and not the next 30...)  everything they can think of that they are thankful for.  Yes, this is my problem.... post away...  but ima just scroll on past if you don't mind.  Seems like excuses to brag sometimes. 

4.  The Hubs and I have realized lately that Z has a very intelligent and quirky sense of humor.  Example:  the other night a documentary just happened to be on PBS about 'Laugh-In'.  It was really just on as background noise...  but hey, Laugh-In is great children's television, right...?  I'm talkin to the Bro on the phone when I realize Z is not just laughing a little at the TV, he is laughing A LOT.  In all the right places.  I don't know that he understood all of it, and I'm hoping he didn't, but he hit all the right queues.  This happens a lot.  The kid has a great laugh and its always been one of his best qualities.  He can follow a joke like no other.

5.  I may have never been a guest blogger on another blog, but I was written about on one today.. does that count as awesome?  I'll let you judge: Cliche Little Blog.  I liked this article for two reasons.  1 - it boosted my self esteem somehow.  I knew we lived life this way, but when people can tell from an objective point of view that the choices you have made are positive ones, it kinda kindles the spirit.  The Hubs and I have been talking a lot lately about 'would-we-be-different-if-we-had-money' sort of situations.  I think we've decided we hope not... we kinda like our Poor and Resourceful attitude.  (Dear God, please do not take this to mean we would not love a little more some cushion in our world.  Amen.)  2 - It's always nice to remember that money is not what makes the world go 'round.  There are days that I think we could argue against that, and the days have been many lately it seems.  Focus, focus, focus. 

well... going to go try to bring my dead toe back to life...  besides, it seems my mouse hand is going the way of the toe.  brr.  Happy Weekend!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Eff Baths.

I hear a lot, "you know, you should take time for yourself, take a hot bath or something."  This is usually from well meaning patients at the office.  I usually reply with, "yeah, so anyway..."  Here is the perfect scenario that occurred last night to demonstrate my whatever attitude when it comes to 'relaxing'.

I don't do baths.  I usually only take 'em when I need to shave my legs and I'm too damn lazy to stand up to do it.  TMI?  you're welcome.  Last night was one of those nights.  Coop has picked a book from the library that is 359 pages long.  While the Hubs and I are glad he's so into books, we realize that we are the narrators and we are too tired by whatever time people finally begin to fall out around the house.  Luckily, last night Daddy was chosen as reader du jour and I was off the hook.  I am relishing the fact I may have mmm... 10 minutes? to myself.  It was at minute three that I heard a rustling at the door.  I assumed it was either a lost squirrel or a child that had wandered from his bed.  I whispered, "Z, is that you?"  No answer.  Louder:  "Z, is that you?"

"Hey, mom!  Why's your mirror so dusty??"

I know from this side of the door he's standing beside the full length mirror on the other side of the door.  I am a mom.  I know he has not come to ask about my dusty mirror.

"What are you doing, Z?"


more silence.

Finally, "Mom, will you wipe my butt??"

Sigh.  To someone with no kids, this probably sounds bizarre and grotesque.  Me?  Totally used to it.  I sat there.  Sometimes I honestly think, "DAMNIT!  Why me!?"  But this time my brain reminded me of a lull in silence much earlier in the day.  Over the den of little people climbing everywhere and screaming, I heard Z say to Coop, "You're a good bruder, Coop.  I wike you a wot".  Ah.  warm fuzzies.  "Ok. I can wipe your butt.  Just give me a moment... AND GET BACK IN YOUR BATHROOM."  (This was followed by a lecture about lessons in wiping his own dang butt.)

I came back to my nice warm bath and savored a moment... then another voice came to the door.  This time I yelled, "What do YOU want?!"  Coop says quietly, "When you get done, can you come downstairs and give me a kiss and hug?"


"Yes, give me a moment."

Eff baths.

I guess sleeping is my "me" time?

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Pictures, Part I

Welp, I said I'd do it, so I'm gonna.  This is just a sneak peak at the pictures taken at Lola's birthday.  I've probably looked at them 10 times already today.  If ya don't know me personally, this may just be a very boring entry.  You'll get over it.


You'll probably notice I know nothing of picture placement or formatting....  Yes, I considered having people sign a waiver saying they wouldn't breathe a word if they noticed things from Pinterest.  At least I can say I've done more than just gawk at The Pinterest!

This was just one of the best days.  It was a sacrifice to have someone there to take pictures, but I am still so glad we did it.  I think I'll just be pleased forever.  We've got amazing pictures to look back on.  I can't wait 'til he brings the disc!!

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Now, Tell Me Party People, Is That So Wrong?

This just happened a few minutes ago...  it will help to demonstrate the... quirkiness... of my family.  (I've been trying to take 'weird' out of my vocabulary... as it is used often around these parts.) 

Z really wanted some chicken nuggets for lunch.  He didn't understand why I couldn't just "make them".  We make a lot of stuff from scratch.  I tried to explain to the crowd that I just don't have any chicken.  "Well, then make some!" they said.  I tried to explain that a chicken is a chicken is a chicken.  How had this gotten past them?  I explained that a chicken is an animal and without one I can't just whip up nuggets. "How do they kill them?  Do they shoot them?" Coop asked.  "I dunno" I said, "I think they just cut off their heads or something.  It's really a gory process."

Z, the three year old, pipes up with, "Oh!  Just like Body Movin'!"

It took me a moment.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Five For Friday

I survived the week.  This surprises me.

1.  By the time Coop reads to the R.E.A.D dog, Lucy, at the library tomorrow, we will have been there 3 times in the last 3 days.  People are starting to talk to me there like I am a fixture.  I wonder if the librarian looks at me and says to herself, 'there's that poor baseball cap wearin' mama.'  (By the way... don't ever dress up for storytime.  It makes the other moms irritated.  ...maybe that's just me...)

2.  My kids are caught up on vaccines.  This may seem normal to uh, normal people.  For me, this could very well be the first time my kids have ever been all caught up.  It's rough with four kids.  And those freaks... the office ladies... always expecting copays!  The nerve.  It's all fun and games when you have just one kid.  It's fun to show off your amazing parenting skills and receive gold stars from the pediatrician for being so on time and being so damn awesome.  (They really should give out gold stars or cookies... it may entice me...)  But alas, once there are four and especially when you don't have kids in school and more especially when you are just too tired...  what a hassle!  But it's done.  Yay, me.

3.  I am glad to be done with Halloween!  I am sick of wondering what last minute thing I have forgotten regarding costumes, parties and decorating.  Let us move on to Thanksgiving.  More details to forget!  Here's my peeps trick-or-treatin':

We didn't shop for a single article of costume-wear this year.  We're such dress-up junkies that we furnished everything right out of our very own dress-up box.  My personal favorite was Maximus, the ogre.  No other costume suited a kid so well.

4.    I have fallen amazingly behind in Homeschooling.  Monday, I said, "Hey! that's why we homeschool!" and took a day off to get things done.  I said the same thing Tuesday.  And then Wednesday too.  We did accomplish a bit yesterday...  I think the down time has done us some good.  I'm actually re-evaluating our schedule.  I'm thinking we go full-on year round with more breaks.  I've seen other big bloggin' families doing the same thing.  We learn all year round...  I'll just mark my attendance accordingly.  Now that I've done this for a bit, why not stretch out and get comfy? 

5.  OMG.  Cloth diapers.  I began that trip about 3 months ago... maybe 4?  The water bill just crept up on me.  I didn't notice it so much in previous months, but the last bill I got made me get the Hubs to go checking for leaks!!  What's the freaking answer??  I don't have the luxury of caring for the Earth.  I'd like to be all tree-huggin', but I just can't afford it!  We're back to 'sposies' to see if the bill goes down.  I'm still doing cloth wipes because I can feel the savings with those, but diapers?! I feel like it's just another way for somebody to make money off of me.  One way or the other, Ima pay somebody for my kids' poop.  Sucks. 

So there's you're weekly wrap up.  I don't have pictures yet of Lo-lo-lo-lo-loooooo-lah's birthday, but my friend posted this today: 

I thought it was a pretty cute pic!

Happy weekend!
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