Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I want a pool...

I have been super busy lately and haven't really found anything in my life that I think is interesting enough to share.  However, some people may just be able to relate to how I am feeling these days, so here it is. 

After several attempts to take my children swimming in our community pool this summer I am done with it!!  I like my neighborhood, but it has been taken over by people who just don't seem to care about anyone but themselves.  If I could move to a bigger house with several acres, lots of animals and no neighbors to speak of, that would suit me just fine.  I am a loner like that, but my hubby is a social butterfly and would be absolutely miserable if the only beings to be the center of attention to were dogs, horses and cattle.  My mind is drifting already, anyway my solution to dealing with the HOA rules and idiots alike was to get a small pool for our backyard.

You know the kind, just blow up the top ring, fill with water and will stand up on it's own.  I opted for the 12 foot round by 3 foot tall version and it was actually much larger than I anticipated.  No, I didn't measure that out and yes, was surprised to see how big it was in the yard.  Call it laziness or whatever, I usually act before fully forming a plan when taking on large projects in the house.  Smart, huh?

Well a good 4 hours past and it was just about all full and I noticed one side about to overflow while the other was several inches from even touching the top ring.  My theory was as long as it didn't collapse, it was perfectly fine (and it was for about a week).  The kids and I fully enjoyed it's use for the 7 days it was in the yard so far. 

Everything is great and good, but then slowly as the week past this is what happened.

The pool began to lean to the right (or I should say down slope) and I was afraid it was about to flood the rest of the yard.  In my genius mind the best thing to do was drain it completely and go get sand and that is exactly what I did.

So last night when I came home and told my husband I needed his help to unload and haul these 50 pound bags of play sand to the backyard, he shook head and agreed.  Then we proceeded to stand in the back yard arguing about what spot was the closest to level and he insisted that 4 bags would not be nearly enough.  He was standing there making plans to get a bobcat and dig a hole or something like that, which sounded like way too much trouble as far as I was concerned. This argument carried on for hours and included me standing in the yard with a stake while he tried to use a laser level.  I still don't think we have completely come to an agreeable solution.

I just wanted a simple pool to make my life easier and make my children happier, however I forgot that in my world, nothing is ever easy or simple.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

When it Rains, it Pours...

This is what I get for having a great Monday and Tuesday this week.  Wednesday has been complete crap so far and it's only noon. 

We have been really trying to follow Dave Ramsey's plan for paying off debt and building up savings, but we failing miserably.  I have never been one to stick to a budget, but I have been doing really well in that respect lately.  I have a very tight and strict grocery budget and most weeks I can get all 4 humans and 2 large dogs fed (including toiletries and the like) for about $140 per week.  Sometimes it is extremely difficult and I get tired of hearing everyone complain that they are hungry and there is nothing "good" to eat.  I try my best to keep homemade cookies or cake around for them to munch on, but they devour it so quickly I feel defeated on a daily basis.

I guess looking at all the bills I need to pay this morning got me started in a downward spiral of depression for the day.  You just have to wonder when will this all end and just magically disappear?  Since the debt fairy has yet to visit my house, I did my usual juggling act and laid everything out on my spreadsheet for the next 30 days.  Still nothing left over, ever, UGH!

To add a new layer of desperation, while I was trying to bake a chocolate chip cake (see recipe tab) my son informs me that he spilled red jello on the carpet.  Since the carpet isn't exactly pristine I didn't freak out, just opened the cabinet under the sink and found the cleaner.  That when I noticed the towel under the sink was completely soaking wet, moldy looking and there was quite a stench in the cabinet.  CRAP! 

I proceeded to clean the carpet first and then came back to the kitchen cabinet issue.  The hubs and I just fixed a leaking pipe and sink mount a week or two ago.  However this was a different pipe, so I emptied the cabinet and began cleaning the disgusting mess.  Found a loose joint and was able to tighten it enough to get the leak to stop.  Thank you Lord, because there is no money in the emergency fund yet to pay for a repairman. 

When I finished the trash needed to taken out since all the paper towels had that stink from under the sink.  To my surprise the trash bag not only broke, but was leaking into the trash can prior to that.  REALLY?  REALLY?  There is no redemption today is there?

If I didn't have 4 children running around my house I could just crawl back in bed and forget this day ever happened.  But no, I must take advantage of the fact that the 3 little ones are sleeping (miraculously) to put away dishes and fold 3 baskets of laundry.  I am thinking I need a drink tonight, oh wait, there's no money in the budget for that.  DANG IT!

Friday, July 9, 2010

My Title is Mom, Not Maid...

Just because I don't have what is considered a "real job" by most people (i.e. my husband), does not mean I am an indentured slave to my family.  If one more person in this house asks me where something that belongs to them is located I will most likely jump out the window.  Unfortunately we don't have a two story house, so that wouldn't cause enough damage to render me incapacitated.  Children are one thing, I expect it from them although is still gets under my skin when they ask me to find something that is in plain sight.  It is a whole different ballgame when it is my husband (or should I say the biggest kid) who can't find something.

Last weekend my hubs and I spent 2 days with some friends at their lake house.  You can only imagine the amount of adult beverages consumed by 10 people in 2 days when there is nothing else to do.  Needless to say, my hubs just noticed he is missing a pair of shoes and a necklace.  He kept asking me where it could be as if I know the whereabouts of his belongings.  So there he is stomping through the house like a child and freaking out like a toddler who hasn't had a nap.

Meanwhile I am sitting on the couch watching a movie (not that I can actually hear anything they are saying) and surfing Facebook.  I reach over, pick up the phone and call the hostess from last weekends party to see if he left his stuff there.  Sure enough, just as he is about to lose his dang mind and throw himself on the floor kicking and screaming, she said the items were at her house.

Thank goodness, temper tantrum avoided.  Now if I could magically produce the 2 missing beverage koozies so he will make a complete recovery, sit down and shut up.    

Monday, June 28, 2010

Weekends are Supposed to Be Relaxing

This past weekend was long with both good and bad days.  Saturday was pretty nice, after working on my grocery list I took my son swimming then came home, grilled some dinner and played basketball with him and the hubby.  All ended well that day. 

Sunday on the other hand was full of fighting from the moment I woke up (at 11am) until I went to be bed.  It started with the dear hubby and I getting into it over his OCD moment in my kitchen and trying rearrange everything.  I am 5'2" tall and he is 6 feet tall, so anything he puts on the top shelf is out of my reach and he should know this after 4 yrs.  However he still puts heavy glass dishes that I use almost daily on the top shelf.  To top it off, I didn't have any coffee or anti-depressants in me yet, so I was irritable to say the least.  This argument spiraled downward from there and the yelling proceeded to wake my 11yr old princess, who is about as much of a morning person as I am.

As my day drug on, I heard the words, "Mommy, I'm bored" and "Mommy, I'm hungry" no less than 6,243,898 times. Not to mention they just love picking on each other to the point of physical violence erupting. These children are the laziest and non-imanginative kids I have ever met.  Let's just say there is no shortfall of things to do around here, we have 4 TVs, 2 DVD players, a Wii, a Playstation 2, a basketball goal and huge backyard with 2 fetch loving dogs.  Just because we lack the funding for a pool, my son believes this is the most boring place on the planet. 

By 4pm I was ready to pull my hair out or just plain run away.  I really am not much of a people person and to my husbands dismay I love, love, love complete silence and being alone.  So to this end, I left the family room and crawled back in bed (since I was still wearing my pj's it was easy) and spent an hour and half watching reruns of my favorite show, NCIS.

Total bliss...oh wait... the door just opened and sure enough here comes the boy to tell me again that he is bored.  Someone please put me out of my misery and shoot me in the head. Can I move to a deserted island and live like Tom Hanks in Castaway (minus the fishing for food and such).

Okay back to real life...I love my kids, I love my husband, I love my dogs, I love my too small house.  Oh who am I kidding, right now life just sucks.  Maybe tomorrow will be better! 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Children Cost More the Older They Get...

My afternoon trip to the mailbox is never much fun. Remember when you were a kid and getting the mail was so exciting even though there was usually nothing for you anyway?  Then as you get older and become independent you start receiving these nice pieces of mail addressed just to you, only now it just costs you money.

Well today was no different than any other day except the temperature was well over 100 degrees and my feet were smoking just walking to the end of the driveway.  I returned to the wonderfully air conditioned house and sat down to read the sale ads for the local grocery stores (the only exciting mail I get these days).  Then I saw it, the oh so familiar white and orange envelope belonging to the one and only AT&T.  My kids' cell phone bill has arrived.  I skimmed through it to make sure nothing was out of the ordinary and there I saw my lovely, sweet (and a little sassy) 11 year old daughter has sent 1,163 text messages, 90 multimedia messages and received 1,175 text messages.  When I had picked my jaw up off the floor and said a prayer thanking God for unlimited texting plans I sat there and wondered, what could they possibly talk about that much?  Anytime I sneak a peek at her phone the messages are usually one word like, "Hi" or something.  The preteen and teenage girl is a wondrous creature (even I was one at some point long ago). 

Oh how I miss being a kid again.  Maybe tomorrow's mail will bring something nice, but I am not going to hold my breath.

Nothing Goes as Planned...

For the past year I have been taking classes trying to get into a nursing program.  I have not made much headway, but I am trucking along.  Recently I found a different school that had a shorter and more convenient program so immediately, I began the transfer and testing process.  Now they tell me only 12 people will be accepted and my chances of getting in are very slim.  Bummer, now what?

Brainstorming and searching the internet, I have found a couple more options, but they require several prerequisite classes and again are very competitive to get into.  I am frustrated and dismayed.  It took me 5 years, 2 kids and failed marriage to figure out what I wanted to be when I "grew up" and another 6 years before I was in a position to actually go after it.  Now I am once again being kept from what I feel is my true calling in life because I didn't go to college when all my friends did.

Okay, depressed thoughts over and now I must tend to the 5 children running a muck (well only 1 is doing that, the others are asleep or occupied by whatever TV show is on Disney at the moment). 

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Good Times with Friends

The kids went off to spend Father's Day weekend with their father, so my wonderful hubby and I had time to go see some good friends. Every weekend there is a group that gathers at the lake house of a couple we all love to hang out with. They own a lake house about an hour north of where we live and it is a great little getaway for all of city folk. I decided to go out on a limb this weekend try my hand at making Jello Shots for everyone. So after a trip to the grocery store and liquor store I was all set. They are actually very easy to make and I kind of felt like a mad scientist making sure to mix the right amounts of water and Everclear (yes, I don't mess around with my liquor, it has to be the best) with only the best tasting Jello flavors. There will be no yucky green or blue shots around here, only Cherry, Strawberry, Tropical Fusion and Watermelon. By the time I finished off all 5 boxes of Jello, I had 102 tiny 2oz cups stacked neatly in my refrigerator.

Then the hubs and I settled in to watch a movie while the jello set overnight. We promptly woke a little before 9am (way too early for a Saturday in my opinion) and packed everything we needed for the day. Sunscreen, sunscreen, beer, jello shots, change of clothes and more sunscreen. You can never be too careful when it is 100 degrees in Texas with no shade from the sweltering rays. Just to make sure the shots tasted alright we each had to try one, and surprisingly they were perfect! Nothing like a shot of liquor before 10am to get the day started (that was a first and last for me).

We hopped in the car and headed north, stopping for ice, coffee and breakfast. We reached the halfway point and got a text message from our gracious host asking if we were almost there. My wonderful husband then started to panic thinking he would be left behind and that would be the end of his world. Yes, because being left at the dock with a cooler full of beer and jello shots would surely be worst thing that happen to us that day, right? I assured him we were going to get there in plenty of time and texted her back to let her know we would be there shortly.

Just as we pulled into their subdivision 2 of our other friends pulled in as well, so we were just fine. Everyone loaded up the coolers and piled into the cars to go to the dock where the boat was waiting for us. The day was indeed hot and the discussion of sweat beads rolling down places I won't mention was quite comical to those of us sitting in the back of the boat. The breeze was welcomed and we anchored the boat near one of the islands where people gather to "party" you could say.

The day was great, the beer, jello shots were devoured and the multiple cans of sunscreen were emptied. The water was cool and the sun was hot. Fun was had by all and before we knew it 5 or 6 hours had past and it was time to head back to the house. Back at the house everyone cleaned up, changed clothes and prepared for dinner. Later while we were eating a friend of ours looked at my husband and I saying he wanted to produce a reality show about us and the others agreed it would be hilarious. I just don't see what everyone finds so funny about our life, we seem pretty boring to me. After dinner we couldn't stay to enjoy the ensuing fun so we headed back home to rescue our poor doggies from the lonely house.

Looking at Facebook today, we apparently missed the best part of the night. After we left, everyone proceeded to continue drinking, singing karaoke and having a great time. There was mention of a taser being administered by someone they all met at the small town bar. One of guys only asked to tased once and had enough, but the resident party guy kept asking over and over. They all said it was hilarious. Dang, I always miss the good stuff! Maybe next time.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Vacations are GREAT!!

We just arrived back home from 5 days of swimming and sunburning. Saturday morning we loaded up our car with everything 2 adults and 2 kids could need (including food) for the next few days of fun in the sun. We were also joined by another couple and their 2yr old girl (one of my daycare babies). We live north of Dallas and needed a cheap getaway for this summer, so a 4-5 hour car ride to New Braunfels, TX became our final destination.

The car ride down there started with my husband drinking 2 large cups of coffee and talking the entire time. I was about to cut my own ears off and then remembered this was my car and I would then have to clean the mess that would follow. We were actually ahead of schedule and decided to stop in Austin for a few sightseeing opportunities. We checked out the University of Texas campus and took some photos by the football stadium. There was a really pretty water fountain that I wanted to have the kids picture taken. We stopped the car at the curb and I was just going to use my phone's camera real quick, but my hubby decided that wasn't sufficient so he opens the trunk and proceeds to dig the camera out of our suitcase which is of course as far back in the trunk as possible. Then my dear son says he needs to go to the bathroom. Why can't anything just be simple? I spot a trash can and bench under a tree and tell him to go take care of it really quick over there. Thank goodness it was him and not my daughter!

After a few pictures at the campus we headed over to the State Capitol building which is surrounded by beautiful flower gardens and fascinating statues and monuments. That actually went well once my daughter agreed to get out of the car and join us in the sweltering heat. A quick lunch of sandwiches, chips and cookies in the car and we were back on the road with a little over an hour of travel time left.

We made a quick stop at Walmart for yet another new swimsuit for my daughter and checked in at our condo around 4pm. The kids promptly changed into their bathing suits and announced it was time to go swimming. Dear lordy, can't momma just get a nap now? No.

The next 4 days were filled with daily visits to the pool, a family outing to Schlitterbahn water park, a mom and dad only trip to float down the Guadalupe River while the kids went to the water park again and a lazy day of swimming and TV watching with the kids while the dads went to the river. Oh, yes there were also several nights of adult beverages after the kiddos were past out from too much sun and fun.

The best moment came on day 4 when my 8yr old son decided he could finally swim without the life jacket that he holds on to so dearly when swimming is even mentioned. He put it down on the side of the pool, took a deep breath and with his sweet little cheeks puffed out like a squirrel, he frantically doggie paddled about 5 feet across the pool. I almost cried! Then ran for my phone to take a video. By the end of the day he was jumping into the pool at the 5ft depth and swimming across the pool all by himself. Finally, success!!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Homemaker or Burglar Hunter?

My neighbor and I have really become good friends over the past few months. When she gave birth to her second child and decided not to return to work it really gave us quite a bit in common. She has a 3yr old and 9 month old and I babysit a 2yr old and a 10 month old so they make perfect playmates.

This evening as I sat down, cracked open an adult beverage and started reading a few blogs, said neighbor called asking if I was busy. Being the "never say no" person I am, of course I jumped right up and took off to her house at her request. For the second time in the past two weeks she has left home and not closed her front door (the wooden one that locks, the glass one was closed). So in her great fear of finding a burglar in her house she forced me to walk with her through the house to see if there is anyone there. We went into every room, searching each closet while my son kept her two kids occupied in her suburban out in the driveway. Naturally there is no burglar and everything is in it's rightful place.

The whole idea of this is amusing to me, because really, honestly, what the heck could/would we have done if there had been someone in the house? Two women armed only with pink cell phones, hunting down a burglar. All the while, my strapping husband sits on the couch 2 doors down sipping his glass of wine. The whole thing is almost laughable and yet a little frightening at the same time.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend Summary

We had a wonderful weekend with plenty of painting, planting, shopping, swimming and baking. It was busy though! The first project I tackled was painting our master bathroom a beautiful sky blue color and it turned out even better than I imagined. I want to paint my whole bedroom that color now and use a nautical theme for the decor.

The best part was when my husband walked in and exclaimed, "You got blue paint drops on the concrete floor!"
Me: "Huh?!?"
Him: "Look at the floor!"
Me: "You mean the floor we are going to tile eventually anyway? What about it?"
Him: "I guess you're right, it doesn't really matter." (then he walks away)

I determined quite a while back that my dear hubby suffers from anxiety and control issues. He didn't want to paint the room himself, but insisted on telling me how to do it correctly. Since I painted every single room and baseboard in my previous house, I must not know what I am doing.

The next project was planting flowers in my flowerbed and I actually got some help from 8yr old son, which was really fun. They look great and I just hope they can withstand the Texas heat, that is always an issue here.

Sunday and Monday consisted of cooking out with my in-laws (so yummy) and swimming with the kiddos at our community pool, then baking some delicious Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies (recipe will be posted soon). The perfect end to a great weekend.

Speaking of Memorial Day, as a former Marine's wife I can say it is really heart warming to see how many people remember the true meaning behind this great holiday. So many friends and family members made it a point to say thank you to all those serving in our military and their families for the sacrifice they make everyday. Without the great service of our military, we wouldn't be able to to have the freedom to share holidays or any day like this with our loved ones. Our family is fortunate that our former servicemen were kept safe and always returned home while they were sent away on a mission.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Don't Wake the Baby!!

I was standing like a statue in a dark corner of my son's bedroom this afternoon contemplating my accomplishment. Before me was a pack n play containing the most active 11 month old child I ever met and she was sucking her tiny thumb while drifting back to sleep. This precious little angel can go hours on end without being still and never sleeps more than an hour and half at nap time. It has been 1 hour and 15 minutes since I first put her down to sleep. I am silently begging for another 45 minutes, please, please, please. My other two daycare babies will sleep endlessly. I am serious, they will sleep all day if I let them. But then the mommies would be up all night and I might actually find death threats in the mailbox, yikes!

However, today at the one hour mark I heard some fussing and went to see which child it was, although I already had a pretty good premonition it was the sweet angel baby. I went in the room where she sleeps (by herself so not to wake the others) and gently laid her back down and patted her tiny little back and by some miracle of GOD she didn't fight it. Then I slowly, ever so slowly, backed away from the playpen and waited to see if she would notice. Thank you Lord, she didn't move. After standing there in the dark for a good 3-5 minutes, I tip toed out the door, all the time waiting for the inevitable wailing to start. Nothing, pure silence, which in my house is rare. How wonderful.

I keep thinking about all the funny things we do to get our kids to sleep and the torture we put our own bodies through to sneak so stealthily out of their room. Sometimes we even crawl on our hands and knees so as not to be noticed. Just so to obtain a few more minutes of sweet, serene, silence.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Summer Has Arrived...

We ventured out to visit some friends at their lake house and check out the new boat this past weekend. Yes, I have lived in Texas my entire life and yes I know the sun can be brutal, especially on the lake during the hottest part of the day. That is exactly why the hubby and I stood at the sunscreen stand in the store for a good 5 minutes debating which brand and SPF we would purchase.

Everything started out great, a nice ride in the boat out to the island for a few adult beverages and mingling with other adults, sounds like fun, doesn't it? When we first got settled everyone pulled out the sunscreen and applied it liberally. I made sure to spray all exposed parts and didn't think twice about it. However, I guess I was more concerned about getting the residue on the new shiny boat than making sure it was getting on my skin. Now, see here in lies the problem, the wind was blowing pretty hard and we were using the spray on type of sunscreen. Can you see where this is going?

It was relaxing and fun, the perfect day! I took a short nap on the back of the boat, letting the warm sun soak into my extremely pale white skin. Although I did make sure to keep the towel securely around the bottom of my bikini since no one should have to see these baby birthing hips. Eventually I joined everyone on the beach and enjoyed yet more adult beverages and conversation.

After about 6 hours on the lake, it was time to head back to the house to clean up for dinner. It was only then, that started to realize the pain that was sinking into my skin. When I got back to the house to take a shower, I might as well have just ran into a cactus. The water was like a million needles being shot all over my body, well except the big hips, those had been covered. Then I gently dried off and put on my clothes looking myself in the mirror. I could see a patchwork of bright pink splotches. Nice. My forehead and nose looked like clown makeup gone wrong. Above all, the worst was the top of my feet. Not just pink, but almost a purple color. I think the adult beverages must have lessened the pain, because the next day I wanted to die.

Two days later I still can't put a shoe on either foot. My forehead is swollen with what appears to be a giant bright red goose egg. I am a hot mess, great! I hope everyone at the grocery store gets a good laugh.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Complete Inner Peace

This creature is so spoiled rotten it is ridiculous. Most days there is not a spot for any humans to sit on our couches because they have been overrun by our beloved Boxers. This one in particular is our almost 2yr old "baby boy" named AJ. If I could sleep like this with 3 toddlers running a muck, I would be a much more peaceful person. Everyday from 8am-3pm (ironically the same time my kids are at school) the dogs sleep and lounge on the sofa, then for the rest of the evening run wild. Honestly though, who could resist such a smoochie face? Not me!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Organization...or the lack thereof....

Why is it that no matter how many items I stow away in their respective places each day, by bedtime my house looks like a tornado came through? I feel like all I do is walk around behind my kids and pick up after them all day. Oh wait, that is what I do all day, and here I thought I was being productive.

Maybe it's just me or possibly it is due to the home builder's disbelief in storage space, but there never seems to be enough places to put things. I am truly organizationally challenged. No matter how hard I try to put things in order, I always end up with a pile of "stuff" that doesn't have a home. My biggest problem right now is the ever increasing stack of paperwork and the mound of baby toys littering my living room floor.

What strikes me as odd is that when I worked in the corporate world, my entire office space was meticulously organized down to the paper clips and pens all facing the same direction. People actually laughed at me because I was so particular about my stuff. I guess the organization kept me sane, because now that I am home all day among the vast amount of disorder, I feel myself teetering on the brink of insanity daily.

To that end, I am going to go on a mission to find something that will get this house and all its contents in order so I can sit on the couch all day eating bon bons and watching my soaps.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Welcome to my Blog!

I am starting this blog as an outlet for my own thoughts, ideas and creations. Being home with 4-5 kids each day can be rather daunting and overwhelming at times, not to mention a little depressing. So this will be my way to collect all my "light bulb" ideas and probably vent a little. I love sharing the funny and unusual happenings that seem to occur daily in our home. With two of my own kids, two or three daycare kids and 2 large dogs, there is never a dull moment. My new found love of cooking and baking will be displayed with a compilation of all the recipes I love and of course documentation of any failures as well. My newest adventure will be to homeschool my 8yr old son starting next fall, so I will be sharing our triumphs/failures and all the great resources I come across. Advice and input is always welcome!

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