Monday, November 28, 2005

I saw Mommy kissin' Santa Claus

Omg, it sure looks and feels like Christmas here at Diva Central today! I've got both trees a'blazing, decorations all over the house, the sky is gray and the wind is blowing, Christmas tunes are on the radio (Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer right now) and the fire is making my house feel like the foyer just inside the living room of Hell. Yep. That's good stuff.

I missed my babies something fierce over the 5 day weekend! And I swear they all grew six inches while they were gone. CBB and CLB immediately hit the toyroom floor and commenced to touching and tasting each and every toy. I've gotten lots of hugs and kisses today, too.

Kady woke up in a rather diva kind of mood today. She came into the bathroom when I was in the shower this morning, doing that sniffly "I want to express to you my displeasure about something, but I am not going to verbalize my desires until I sniffle and whine and sigh enough that you ask me first." Finally I got it out of her - while the shampoo dripped into my eyes - that she was missing a ducky slipper and it was just too dark to find it. I'm honestly surprised she didn't just turn the light on to find it and wake up her sister in the process. And since then the entire morning has been one demand and haughty declaration after another. What gets me is that she NEVER gets her way when she demands something from me, so WHY IN THE WORLD does she continue?

Mr. Diva announced to me last night that one of his friends - the guy that built our playhouse - asked him to go crappie fishing in Ohio in the spring. It was so cute the way he brought it up, too. He mentioned it off-handedly wanting to let me know he wanted to know, but at the same time martyring the hell out of himself by saying "*sigh*. . . but I know we don't have the money, though . . . *sad puppy eyes*". Well, if I can manage it, I am going to get with his friend to find out where this amazing, wonderful, spectacular crappie rod is on sale for the low, low price of $75 (Pardon me while I gasp and choke at the very thought of spending nearly $100 on a stupid fishing pole) and either go buy it myself or have his friend pick it up for me. Then I shall present it to him at Christmas. My thinking is, if he has the rod with which to catch crappie he'll be cemented into going. He lets me go do my own thing so many times, lets me take my "selfish vacations" when I need them and by golly, I will make sure that man goes to Ohio in the spring. Besides, I'll get the bed to myself the entire time he's gone. And I can make sauerkraut which is something I can't do unless he is going to be out of the state for at least a week.

I called Monday of last week to secure trash pickup for the Diva Ranch and Daycare. They informed me that pickup day is on Thursdays here and that because of the holiday, they would pick up on Friday instead. They told me I'd have a poly-cart by Wednesday. I nearly did cartwheels when I got off the phone with them and had a grand ol' time just putting non-burnable trash into the regular trashcan with much pomp and circumstance for three days. I also told my babies' parents that they no longer needed to take their stinky diapers home with them at the end of the day. There was much celebration all around. Then Wednesday came and went and the pile of stinky, poopy diaper trash grew and became stinkier and more foul than I cared to experience. Friday we expected a trash cart and/or truck all day. Nothing. Our house was drowning in trash and stinky diapers! This morning I called up the nice folks at Metro Waste and queried as to where my much-needed trash cart was. I was very nice, but told her that in no uncertain terms was I going to wait one more day for them to bring me a poly-cart with which to fill with copious amounts of trash. She told me I'd have one well before day's end. I'm glad, too. The only other trash company that comes out here is $27 a month. I really don't want to pay that. I'm glad the cheaper Metro Waste people were so accomodating. I can't wait to fill up my trash cart!! Merry Christmas to me!!

Well, I shall now go feed my daycare children the very last of the Thanksgiving turkey, which has now been magically transformed into turkey and noodles. Yummmmmmmm

Friday, November 25, 2005

Not Quite Nubbins

"Man, my bra is bugging me tonight."

This was said to me by my eldest child, my newly-turned nine year old daughter. She has taken to wearing a bra daily. I'm not sure how I feel about it. Part of me feels like it's a phase and she'll eventually realize that bras are a pain in the ass and will give it up until she really actually has boobs and needs a bra. Then another part of me worries "what if she doesn't???" and continues to wear a bra for the rest of her life.

And while I'm not 100% condoning it, I'm also not making a big deal about it. I figure if she knows it's freaking me the hell out, she'll just do it out of spite, as kids are wont to do. I know I would've when I was her age. So I'm just pretty much ignoring it. But the other day, I did actually buy her another one because up until that point she only had one and well, she was wearing it every day and I couldn't keep the sucker washed because it was never off her body long enough to make it through the wash. So I bought her a white one. The white one was because she'd worn the hot pink one to school under a white shirt the day before.

Now, back when I started wearing a bra (which wasn't until 6th grade) you tried your damndest to NOT draw attention to said undergarment because the boys would inevitably flip your bra strap and tease you. It seems that the wearing of a hot pink bra under a white shirt in the third grade gets you no such attention. I even asked her that night if she'd gotten teased about it. She looked at me blankly and asked "Why? Why would anyone tease me about wearing a bra?" Oh I grinned inwardly and then told her how the boys flipped bra straps when I was a kid. She shook her head and said, "Whatever. Boys don't look at boobs."

Yeah, especially when you don't have them, child.

I pray to God that the boys in her school continue to not look at boobs. Forever.

Her father is quietly and inwardly freaking out. He says I should talk to her and tell her that she's too young to wear one. Well, I know how the female minds works and I know that it'd be really easy for her to slip one on and wear it out the door under a sweatshirt and we'd never know. I mean, it took over a week for me to realize she was wearing one and she wasn't even trying to hide it. It's winter, she wears thick, bulky clothes, she's perfectly capable of hiding a bra. I'm not saying I condone such behavior, I'm just saying that I know how it's done. I know how to get around things. Especially parents.

So I'm taking a kinder, gentler approach. Mr. Diva prefers the approach that I'm sure my father would've taken had I gotten on a bra kick at age nine - a lecture, lots of shouting, a bra burning and quite possibly a vow of chastity.

What's scaring me is that my not-quite four year old has worn her Barbie bra all day.

(Please note that Kady is not wearing a bra made for a Barbie. She is wearing a training bra with Barbie printed on it. Just for clarification.)


Phone conversation between Mom and I:

"Do you need me to pick anything up for you in town?"

"Nah, the kids are spending the night with Sis again tonight. If I need anything, I can run in myself."

"Uhhh...yes, I heard that your children are staying with your sister again tonight."

"What? Is there a problem?"

"Well, I'll just say one thing - if 9 months from now I have a new grandchild, I am kicking your husband's ass."

*insane laughter*

"I'm serious! This is two nights in a row for you two and well, you all have kind of a reputation... You just tell him he's been warned."

So later, I relayed this conversation to Mr. Diva.

He sighed and said, "I'm going to have to set the record straight one of these days. Your whole family thinks that all we do when we get a moment alone is lay around and breed. If only we did it half as much as you make them think we do, I'd be a happy man."

"So you're not happy now? You know, I could just quit putting out altogether..."

"No way, woman. I'm not really complaining. Just saying, you have talked us up to the point that your family thinks we're sex crazed lunatics."

"Well, don't forget my friends. They all think it, too."


Abby comes busting in the back door like her tail end is on fire.

"What are you doin, girlie girl?"

"Oh my GOSH, Mom! Okay, so like we were out in the forest and we were deer huntin' and we were callin' 'em and everything! And I told Kady to get those deer horns (Mr. Diva has some old antlers from last year's kill) and then we started, like, banging them together and MOM WE WERE CALLING IN THE DEERS! Then we heard, like, crunching in the leaves and then GUNSHOTS!! GUNSHOTS ALL AROUND US!! We had one! We. Had. A. Deer! But since we didn't have guns it was okay because well, we helped someone else get a deer. We helped someone get a DEER!!"

Then she took a breath. And I bit my lip to keep back the laughter.


Kady has a cold. I'm will try to recreate her speech in my typing, but if I don't succeed, just read it like how EdithAnn used to talk.

"So Bomma . . . can you tie by hat?"

"Sure, baby. C'mere."

"By hanns are weally cold so I put on by glubs. See?"

"Yes, I see. And your hat. Now your head AND hands will be warm."

"Yep. I'b all pink today. Pink printhess booths, pink Clipperd shird, pink glubs, pink hat . . . I'b all pink! Well, 'cept for by pants. And dey wook wike a zebwa."

She has nothing if not a sense of fashion.


I haven't meme'd in a long time, so today, in an effort to continue my avoidance of anything remotely constructive, I will meme. A lot.

I've done this one before, but just saw it over at Hillbilly Mom's T'giving post.

TEN YEARS AGO: Ten years ago Paul and I were childless and had just been told by a very glass-half-empty kind of doctor that we'd never have children. It was a very gloomy holiday season. I was staying at home and doing home daycare. Those four children kept me alive and sane. I even managed to get Santa to drop in one day while the kids were there and he delivered presents. Seeing the wonder in the babies' faces as they tentatively touched his beard and soothing Audra as she claimed she was in no way going to sit on that dude's lap, was the highlight of the season.

FIVE YEARS AGO: Paul and I and the two oldest Diva kids were still living in our teeny tiny 800 sq. ft. house in town, I was staying at home and selling Pampered Chef. Paul was working 70 and 80 hour weeks at a battery plant in Seneca. If I'm not mistaken, he had also been called in to work an emergency at the plant on Thanksgiving night.

ONE YEAR AGO: One year ago I was staying at home, but only watching one child full time, so Diva Daycare hadn't evolved into the mega production it is today. Mom, Tater and all the Taters were in Florida visiting The Mouse and we spent T'giving at my Dad's.

*Reese's Fast Break candybar (My new favorite. It even bumped my 20-some year favorite, the Whatchamacallit.)
*Frosted Flakes
*Mom's meatloaf, burned around the edges (We request it burned. She's not a bad cook.)
*Hershey's Kisses
*A 6-inch turkey and ham on white with American cheese, pickles, extra black olives, onion and Creamy Italian dressing, from Subway.

*Elvira by The Oak Ridge Boys
*Your Body is a Wonderland by John Mayer
*You Look Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton
*Where is My Hairbrush? by Larry the Cucumber
*Breathe by Faith Hill

*Get out of debt and tell Discover to kiss my big toe.
*Pay off Mom's and Tater's debt.
*Buy a new Astro van.
*Go see Cousin Stacey.
*Buy all 10 of the Diva/Taters/Mom tickets to Disney World so Mom and Sis will FINALLY shut up about it being so dang wonderful.

*A toupee
*A kilt
*A raspberry beret (the kind you find in a second-hand store)
*Spike heels and fishnet stockings
*Leather chaps

*Ghost Hunters
*The Backyardigans
*Little Einsteins


*Santa Claus
*Lucky the Leprechaun
*Casper the Friendly Ghost
*Winnie the Pooh

There ya go, one meme down and hopefully more to go. I'm off the browse the 'net to find more!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Stuck in my craw

It's roughly 4am and I can't sleep. Usually I go straight to the couch and turn on VH1, but this morning I felt drawn to the computer instead. Mainly because I just ate a piece of bread with too much peanut butter on it and I feel like it's stuck right about here (I'm pointing, trust me) and I fear I'll die if I go to sleep before it dislodges itself. I even fixed myself a glass of chocolate milk, thinking I could wash it down, but that was futile. And I don't even like milk, but sometimes I just get a hankerin' for a big ol' glass of chocolate milk and it usually tastes so good. Except I poured too much syrup in it this time and it was so sweet that after the second drink I gagged.

Yeah, this middle of the night snacking is not only bad for you, it's sometimes disappointing.

I'm trying to decide if I should go ahead and start baking my pumpkin pie now or go turn on VH1 . . . both have the potential of either revving me up to the point of getting no more sleep, yet both could easily lull me into dreamland. Of course, with the pie, I'll have to stay awake, even if I start feeling lulled. I better stick with the TV and my original wake-up time for my annual Thanksgiving-run-around-like-a-chicken-with-my-head-cut-off marathon of glee.

My kids went ahead and stayed at my sister's again tonight. Even after their daddy went down to help Bub install the dishwasher. I just knew one of them would want to come home and I just knew that one would be Kady. Nah. Maybe we're just not as popular as we thought.

I got the kids' school pictures back yesterday. Every new 8x10 in the frame prompts a teary fit of nostalgia for me. I'm such a sap sometimes.

Abby's 8-year-old birthday picture was the top one in the frame. She only had one front tooth last year and the other was just barely starting to show. She had shorter, layered hair and I really thought that there could be no better picture of that child. Yet this year's school pictures were just so phenomenal that I am still amazed they are school pictures. I have never liked her school pictures. This year she has both front teeth - perfectly straight front teeth, at that - long hair, a slimmer face and just generally a more mature look about her. She's so dang gorgeous. Behind last year's birthday picture were more pictures of my oldest girl, all the way down to age 5. The last one, at the bottom of the stack, was that darling girl with only baby teeth, bobbed hair and such round cheeks . . . oh gosh, I feel the tears starting again.

Sammy's school pictures pretty much look like last year's school pictures. Same boy, same ornery look, same overbite, same flat top . . . oh stop it, tears!! He, too, has a slimmer face this year, a more mature look about him and I see so much of his daddy in him. The pictures in his frame go all the way back to age 3. That last picture in the stack was a pudgy-faced little boy with a grin that would melt any Titanic-sinking iceburg. I also noticed that in every picture of that child since, oh . . . well, at least 3, he's wearing plaid. I need to work on his wardrobe.

I didn't even get Kady's frame off the wall. She hasn't had her school pictures or her birthday pictures taken yet and frankly, after the tears I shed over her big brother and sister, I'm not sure that looking back at hers would've been a good idea anyway. Hers in her frame go back to birth. I am having serious pangs about all of my babies growing up lately, but she's my baby. My last one. It's so very bittersweet.

I have finally made a decision about sending her to Pre-K, though. Of course, I made this decision without even consulting her father, but he'll just have to live with it. I'm the one primarily in charge of their upbringing - he's just here to bring a paycheck and to do the occasional dinner-time lecture. (Just kidding!) Anyway, back to Pre-K. I was chatting with Sam's teacher yesterday on the playground. I mentioned that I was really having a hard time deciding whether she should go or not and she said she'd gone through the same thing with her youngest child. She was faced with either sending him to preschool or letting him stay with her dad for that year. She chose to leave him with her dad and said she's never regretted it. Her exact words were: "You can't get back a whole year." That hit me so hard. She was right. If I send her I'm losing an entire year that I don't necessarily have to. I am blessed in the fact that I am allowed to stay home with my children. Granted, I'm working here at home now, but still I'm here and that's where I was torn. Okay, so yeah I'm home, but I'm working. With 5 other children. I was worried that I was cheating her out of something by keeping her here with me, yet I was also worried I'd be cheating her out of something else by sending her on to school next year. I've just decided that if she's missing out on something by not attending Pre-K, well, she'll probably survive. Of course, she'd probably survive if I sent her and she missed out on something here at home. AGH!!!! See why I've been stressing!!??

As I talked it over with Mr. Diva tonight, declaring my final intentions of keeping her at home next year, he didn't say much. Finally when I stopped long enough to take a breath and realized that he'd said nothing (Probably not for lacking of trying - I was rambling a bit. Not unlike I am now.) I exasperatedly asked, "So what's your take on it?" She sat there a minute and said in his usual drawl, "All I know is, she's gonna be really pissed off at you. She really wants to ride that school bus." Great, now another thing I hadn't thought of.

It's supposed to snow Tuesday. Well, actually only one TV station said that, but I'm clinging to that for all its worth. That particular meteorologist forecasted a high of 37 on Tuesday with rain changing to sleet changing to snow. I was giddy with delight! Then later when I checked out my favorite meteorologist, he's forecasting a high of 47 and sun. I wish those guys could have a short phone meeting before their forecasts and at least try to get in the ballpark of each other.

I am seriously wondering if the 20-pound turkey we bought is going to fit in my pan. I asked Mom to buy me the new Pampered Chef roaster at my party, but she said, "Honey, I love you a lot, but not $145 for a roaster a lot." Of course, Tatersis, trying to outshine her selfish older sister, said, "Mom, I don't want a $145 roaster - all I want for Christmas is your love." And she batted her eyes. She's such a kiss-ass. Of course, we all laughed because she's so good at jumping in with comments like that. I'd die laughing if Mom came out Christmas Eve with no presents for her. Yeah, bask in the glow of Mom's love, sister, while the rest of us open our presents.

But yeah, that turkey is one big bird. I think I'm going to have to run in to Mom's in the morning and get her big ol' roasting pan. Last year I roasted the bird in my Pampered Chef 9x13 pan, but it was also only a 13-pound bird. That's 7 extra pounds in my oven this year!! All I can figure is, we picked out that turkey at 1am and we must've had the munchies when we hit the turkey aisle.

I took back a Christmas present last night so we'd have money to gamble with at the casino. Does that mean we have a problem? Granted, the present was going back anyway, but still . . .

I bawled like a baby at the end of LOST tonight. I mean, literally laid there on the couch, sniffling and sobbing like a retard. Mr. Diva has grown so accustomed to my random outbursts of crying in the last 13 years. The first time I bawled like that during a movie, he got all sweet and gathered me up in his arms and stroked my hair and comforted me, even though I'm sure he thought I was certifiable. He used to bring me the box of Kleenex and would pat my leg and oh, he knew better than to laugh. Now, when he sees me sitting on the couch with wadded up Kleenex all around me, tears streaming down my face and dripping off my chin onto my shirt, snot involuntarily coming out of my flared nostrils, he just turns around and gets out of the house as quickly as he possibly can. I found him in the barn once, squatted down inspecting the underside of a mower. I was still sniffling and red-eyed from the movie. He didn't even look up from the mower, he just said, "Are you done with all that bawlin' yet? 'Cuz I'm kinda hungry and would like to come back in the house now." Ahhhh . . . how quickly the honeymoon wore off, shriveled up and died. He even had the gall to ask me once why in the hell I would voluntarily watch a movie that I knew was going to be sad. Penny Serenade is one that I'll usually only watch once a year because it's so traumatic for me. I have bawled hard enough to nearly throw up after that one. He can't understand why I still watch it. Hell, I don't even know why I continue watching it, I just do. It's a woman thing, I guess.

My eyes are finally starting to feel scratchy and the wad of white bread and peanut butter has finally dissolved enough that I don't feel like I'm choking anymore. My feet are cold, too. I think I'll curl up on the couch with Mr. Diva's camouflage blanket, the remote and ooh, if I'm lucky I'll find the infomercial for the Little Giant Ladder System.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Nothing happened

Yesterday Tater came over and watched my daycare kids for an hour while I took Sam's class some cookies for his birthday. When she was leaving she said, "I'll be by at 5:30 to pick up Sam for karate." What? I said, "Uhh, no...I was planning on taking him, like usual." She replied with her ususal retort of "eat a booger" and then said that she was taking him, no arguments, so hush. Okay by me!! That meant I didn't have to leave my house! PLUS she also said she'd take him to Wal*Mart to spend his birthday money. Score!! At a little after 5 she called and asked, "Is it too late to ask if your kids can spend the night tonight?" And I'd have replied, but I jumped up off the couch to go pack their bags and forgot to be polite.

My wonderful sister took my three children and her two children to karate AND Wal*Mart two days before Thanksgiving AND took them down the toy aisles! She is a saint, I swear.

So Paul and I went to Men's Night at the Buffalo and well, I didn't win anything because obviously I'm not a man and I'm thinking there are rules there or something. Oh, I take that back - I did almost jackpot on RedBall, but it was rather anticlimactic considering I actually DID jackpot on RedBall on Ladies' Night!!!!!! (Didja like that segway there? Pretty smooth, aren't I?) I walked out last night $40 in the hole, but walked out of there on Ladies' Night $100 to the good.

I slept till 9 this morning and woke up with a horrendous backache from TOO MUCH SLEEP. I've decided that for the sake of my poor old body, less sleep is oh so much better. If I sleep more than about 6 hours a night I wake up achy, I crackle and pop and wince with every step and it's just not worth it. 3 hours of sleep is too little and 8 is just too much. 6 seems to be a perfect number for me.

I was excited at the prospect of a day to myself and planned out all of the constructive things I was going to do - clean out a closet, decorate the house and get the trees ready for the kids to decorate, vacuum the floors, mop the kitchen, clean the bathroom....

Wanna know what I accomplished today? I did one load of laundry. I loaded the dishwasher and wiped down the kitchen cabinets. I read a few chapters in my new book. I watched my soap opera. I had an hour-long phone visit with Cousin Stacey, which I enjoyed immensely. (I miss her.) I took a 2 hour nap. That's it. I am such a slug.

Tater just called and asked if the kids could spend another night. I SO said yes, but I really can't sleep 8 hours tonight! I might slip into a coma and the EPA might possibly come and quarantine my house. I've just decided that maybe I'm just too used to performing household chores in the few precious moments I get while a nap is taken or Little Einsteins is playing on Disney. I wasn't quite sure how to tackle my tasks today considering there wasn't anyone to interrupt me and ask for a drink or if they could color or to tell me that someone else was poopy or wasn't sharing.

Paul wasn't really happy to drive in this evening to find me still in my Tinkerbell pajamas (They're just regular pajamas with Tink on them - they're not actually fashioned like Tink's outfit. That would just be wrong on a fat chick.) and the house still a wreck. But now that I've had more sleep in one 24-period than I usually do in 3 days I'm sure I'll drive him nuts by making him get down the Christmas decorations for me and running the vacuum while he's trying to watch COPS.

I doubt I blog tomorrow because again this year, I am the host for the Diva/Tater Thanksgiving Festival of Turkey. I'll be cooking and baking from the butt crack of dawn until I finally get the chance to rest my weary feet at 5:30 when the meal is served.

I love the holidays.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!!

Monday, November 21, 2005

You'll know it's me by the perpetual spitup stain on my left shoulder

I think that's going to be the title of my book. It's long and wordy, but oh so me. We shall see. But hell, when in the world would I find time to write this book? There are so many babies in this house right now that my computer time during the day is just a memory.

CBG, Cute Baby Girl, started today and man, all I've gotta say is - I have GOT to get that child on our schedule! She's more of a cat napper, whereas all of my other kids are solid hour-and-a-half afternoon nappers with a 45 minute morning nap thrown in for the little ones. She just sleeps 10 minutes here, 15 minutes there, all day long. Her momma says that's pretty par for her, but I'm going to do my dangest to change that.

The day postively flew! But then, when you change approximately 8 diapers - four of them poopy - before 10 am and your day only started at 7:30, well, time does seem to fly. I have become a human jungle gym as well. At one point I had Kady hanging on my back, CLB sitting on one leg, entwining his slobbery little fingers in my hair, CBG sitting between my legs trying her best to chew on CLB's shoe and CBB dogpiled us all while Chandler watched and giggled. And I was having so much fun, that I just giggled, too.

Mr. Diva was off today. He stayed in the living room and played PS2 pretty much all day. Although, he did give CLB his naptime bottle and that helped me out SO much. When the two baby boys were down for their morning nap and the two big kids were engaged in a serious Leggo construction project, CBG decided to fight sleep with every ounce of strength in her little body. I was singing to her, rocking till I was nearly motion sick and praying that she'd wear herself out before I wore out. Mr. Diva came to the toyroom door, stood there a minute and finally said, "Uhh... if her head spins around and green pea soup comes flying out of her mouth I'm outta here." And by then I was seriously wondering if that very thing wouldn't happen. But then she finally fell asleep and I just rocked and rocked her and smelled her little baby hair and rubbed her little baby back and oohhhh that was nice. She's not as chubby as my CLB, but it was still nice to rock and smell her.

Tonight is Ladies' Night at the Buffalo and I'm actually going. I haven't been in over a month due to exhaustion and a cranky husband, but since the cranky husband went out there himself last night with my mother, he didn't bat an eye when I asked this morning. Then afterwards we're going to W*M and Mom's buying me a turkey. I remember the day when Mom would take me to Wal*Mart and buy me a toy. Then later in life she'd take me to Wal*Mart to buy feminine hygeine products. As of late when she takes me to Wal*Mart to buy me a treat it's laundry detergent or toilet paper. I'm not complaining, don't get me wrong. I just find it interesting how times have changed. From toys to toilet paper. I'm all grown up, it does seem.

Ooh I better change shirts before I head to the casino - that spitup stain I mentioned in the title wasn't a joke.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

*cough cough*

I'm sick. Again.

Not death bed, make out yer will, Ma, get right with Jesus sick, but sick nonetheless. I've coughed until my head hurts and I feel like my head is full of Elmer's glue again. Tylenol Severe Cold and Sinus is now freely flowing through my system and I'll have about two nights of blissfull drug-induced sleep and then the insomnia will strike again. Since my Christmas shopping is done, maybe I can use those wee hours of the morning to wrap presents.

Yes, I said my Christmas shopping is done. We started shopping last night around 5:30 and I walked into my house at 3am this morning. And I just have to say that three hours in Toys R Us is just way too long. We were also in Wal*Mart long enough and late enough to hear the voice on the intercom frantically announce that guests had 15 minutes to get their liquor out of the store immediately. That prompted an interesting conversation between us and the associate checking us out. I guess the police up there have been known to sit outside the store just to catch people walking out after 1:30am with alcohol. Hmh.

We hit a heck of a sale at Toys R Us and well, let's just say that it looks like I am the grandmother of twin Cabbage Patch Kids named Emmalee and Haleigh, but my oldest daughter doesn't know it yet. My son will probably grow up to be a sniper (Hopefully for the good guys - like a SWAT team or something) because of the laser tag guns he's getting and my youngest child will end up with an eating disorder from all of the Barbies she will soon be in posession of. Man, Christmas is awesome. As usual, my mother picked out most of her presents and we're both okay with that. The woman has everything and it's just easier to let her pick out her own gifts. She acts really surprised for the sake of the kids, I gotta give her that.

The sleepover on Friday night really was fun. I was just so durn tired when I wrote the previous post, I didn't realize how much fun I had had.

Two of the boys, plus Sam, got off the bus here, Chandler was already here, Tater brought out Jen's boy and we picked up Mrs. Coach's son. On the way to Mrs.' house the boys pretended we were in a roller coaster and kept their hands in the air every time we went up or down a hill. There was much "ohhhhhhhhhhh"ing and yelling. Then the talk of flatulence began at dinner and Tater and I were rather entertained, if not disturbed, at their fascination with bodily functions.

Case in point: One little boy asked for a napkin. Another said, "Eh, I don't need no napkin - I just use my sleeve." (No, Mrs. Coach that one wasn't yours. It was mine.) Then my darling nephew pipes in with "Hey! We could use the napkins to wipe our butts!" And oh the laughing that caused. It was disgusting, not in the least bit funny, yet they all were holding their stomachs, doubled over laughing at it. Then as the laughter died down someone farted. (Yes, Mrs. Coach, that one was your child.) It began anew. The whole night was like that.

We took them to see Chicken Little and I really have to say that it went well. Surprisingly well. They were hopped up on chocolate and the sugar from the Sprite (at least there was no caffeine in the pop) and I was leary as to how it would go down, but I shouldn't have been worried. They made their mommas proud. The movie itself was rather intense. And while the mother didn't actually die in the movie, as per usual Disney movie tradition, the mother chicken was dead. And there was a lot of alien violence, tense moments and downright scary stuff. Chandler sat on my lap and shook through most of it. When it was over I asked Jen's son if he liked it. He threw his arms around me and said, "Those alien guys were SCARY!" And Chandler would've given it a thumbs down if he could've stopped shaking. Sam said it was good, but "a little scary for a cartoon." We'll own it because, personally, I laughed my butt off through the whole thing. I love it when animated films have things in them that kids don't get, but are highly amusing to adults.

After the movie we came back here to the house where Paul had a roaring fire going in the fireplace. Tater had gone with me to the show as backup, (My main concern was that someone would need to go the restroom during the movie and what would I have done then?) so she went off to the farmette and Paul and I settled in to put together the many Ninja Turtle vehicles that our son had become the proud owner of. (Ugh, that's the second time I've used a preposition to end a sentence in this post. I'm losin' it, people, losin' it.) By the time we finished all that I had to move to the kitchen because the living room was so hot I wanted to puke. The boys had army guys battling Ninja Turtles, there was a GameBoy tournament going on, PS2 was being fought over and a good time was generally had by all. Owen, one of the boys in Sam's class, couldn't get enough of my homemade chocolate cake and asked if he could take a piece home to his mom. (She called me last night while we were in Joplin to get the recipe.)

Finally by about 11:15 my eyes were crossing, Paul had to go to work and he had worked that day as well, the boys were starting to snip at each other and the farting just wasn't as funny anymore. By 11:45 the lights were out, there were six very tired little boys crashed all over my living room. All was quiet on the western front. Then I hear my nephew say, "Hey! Let's tell funny stories and see if someone snorts when they laugh!" I said, "Hey! Let's not! GO TO SLEEP!!" And they did. So did we. No one even moved until 7:30 the next morning.

From the time my tired feet hit the floor it was nonstop action. I made pancakes for everyone, oversaw the dressing and the finding of socks, rolling up of sleeping bags and the cleaning of the syrup off of everything. My plan was to leave my house at 10 to start taking everyone home. We made it out of the driveway at 10:07, so I wasn't too far off the mark. It took nearly an hour and a half to deposit three little boys at their respective houses. Tater met me and took hers and Jen's to town and Sam and I went back home. Tater also picked up our girls from the sleepover/sock hop that had taken place at Jen's house. At 12:40 the sitter arrived and by 1 Tater and I were flying down the driveway in a giddy kind of runaway excitement that only comes from the prospect of a night out with grownups.

Today I haven't done too much. Two loads of laundry, one load in the dishwasher, food put up in the pantry from the Angel Food Ministry thing we tried this month and several short naps while I was supposed to be watching one kid or another play PS2 or Gameboy. Abby said, "Gosh, Mom, you must be tired - you can't hold your eyes open for nothin'!" The snot started late this morning and the coughing started this evening. Kady is also hacking and barking and rattling to beat the band. I did manage to fix dinner because Paul was threatening divorce if he had to eat one more sandwich and well, I'm still in my pj's at 9:28pm.

There are only two workdays this week!!!

Tuesday I'm buying The Polar Express, Wednesday the trees are going up, Thursday we'll eat turkey and watch The Polar Express and Friday I think Paul and I are going to see Saw2. Yeah, "Happy Holidays, here' s a saw to cut your arm off with."

Dangit. Dang prepositions.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Who knew?

Up until last night I thought that could be no task more tiring than childbirth.

That was until I hosted a sleepover that included six little boys.

If only I could've had a shot of Stadol and an epidural.

I'll write more details when I recover.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Whiney Wednesday

I haven't whined on a Wednesday in awhile, so I'll give it a go today. Now, Mr. Diva would probably disagree with that statement, because he says I whine all the time. And yeah, I've heard my voice on tape and I do kind of whine. A lot. Oh well, love me, love my whine.

*It's hot in this durn house now. It was in the 20's this morning when we got up and the fire had gone out during the night. Mr. Diva built one before he left and I've kept it going all day, but now I'm letting it fizzle because we're all miserable. Kady and CBB are stripped down shirtless and CBB also woke up from nap sweating. Last year we burned mulberry or something and it didn't burn hot at all. This year we're burning oak and it's about to run us out. Two years ago we burned oak as well and there were a lot of evenings we'd have the fire going and a window cracked.

*I have the beginnings of a headache. I really don't have time for it to work itself into a full-fledged one. Tonight we're having a big moving party for the Taters.

*Speaking of moving parties, have I mentioned that we're having one for the Taters tonight? I love them and I'm so happy for them, but dadgummit it's LOST night! AND it's a special extended episode about the people in the tail section of the plane!!

*I'm broke and payday's not till Friday.

*Mr. Diva is being a real butt about me and Tater going Christmas shopping Saturday. He doesn't want to watch the kids when he gets home. He won't be home from work till 7:30 and they go to bed at 8:30 on the weekends, so it's not like he'll have a lot to do with/for them. Plus, I'M the one paying for the sitter! I don't want to pay for one after he gets home, too. Grr.

*It's hot, dammit.

*There are cobwebs over my computer desk. I just looked up there when I was stretching my neck, trying to work out this headache. Iew. I got the ones in every other nook and cranny out here, but obviously forgot this section.

*My lips are chapped. (Can you bring me my chapstick? My lips hurt real bad!)

*The cats are out of catfood and when Abby asked her daddy to get her some last night he told her that if she wanted him to buy catfood she had to get rid of two cats. What a jerk! She came to me in tears this morning asking me if I knew of anyone who would want a cat and would take care of it. Grr.

*I have no clue what to get my son for his birthday. I gave my really good ideas to my mom.

*While I have made serious progress on the condition of my office these last two days, it's still a big ol' pit. I still need to file. I really hate to file.

*Discover's calling again. But guess what? I HAVE CALLER ID, SUCKAS!! Friday's payday, you dooderheads. You will just have to wait. You and the rural water district.

*I'm afraid that seeing Tater's new house all shiny and new and clean is going to make me want to push up our date to start our remodelling endeavors here. We really can't afford it now, but I have a feeling I'm going to get the itch. If anyone wants to know, I want casino gift certificates for Christmas. Maybe I can win us a remodel.

*The kids are fighting over the Leggos. We have approximately 40 katrillion of them, yet they all four want to play with the same 20.

Well, that's it. I'm whined out. I think I'll go chase some Motrin with the last mini Snickers bar left over from Halloween.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The day winter came to Oklahoma

Actually, it would be more appropriate to say "the morning winter came to Oklahoma". When Tater got here at 7am the temp outside was 68. By 9:20, when the kids and I left for Lab School it was 50. At 11:30 when I picked the kids up from Lab School it was 45. When Sam and I went through town one way this evening it was about 40 and on the way out it was 37. It's supposed to get down to 26 tonight. 23 tomorrow night. Dadgum!!

Mr. Diva built me a fire at noon today when he and Tater came home from the farmette for lunch. Ooh I love a fire in the fireplace!! (As opposed to a fire coming from the wall behind my dryer. Those, I don't love so much.) The house is so toasty and it smells good. Kady's sure to have an asthma attack by morning. Gotta take the good with the bad I guess.


The farmette is carpeted!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They were going to spend the night there tonight, but the wind is blowing somewhere around 900 mph and they didn't want to haul furniture in those conditions. But after they left Gentry's Kindergarten Feast, they took the kids to see the house for the first time. Mom said they were squealing, screaming and turning somesaults all over the place. She said the kids did, too.

I haven't seen it yet and I'm so anxious to! Tater and I are going to work really hard tomorrow to get the kids' rooms totally done by the time school's out tomorrow. Toyboxes, beds, the whole 9 yards.


Last night was really rather stormy. And as I mentioned in a previous post, we now have Caller ID. In order for the Caller ID thing to work we had to buy new phones. These new phones are rather sensitive to lightning I guess because they rang ALL NIGHT LONG. Since we live out here in the boondocks, we don't have a tornado siren handy. The rule around here is: if the tornado sirens go off in either town Mom or Tater are to call us and warn us of the impending twister. Now, Mr. Diva and I are both rather fond of storms and well, frankly, they make us both sort of randy. So imagine if you will, (or don't, if that makes you uncomfortable) gettin' all kinds of in the mood to play paddyfingers, all five children are sleeping soundly throughout the house, the door is shut tight, thunder and lightning and wind are adding a certain ambience to the mood lighting in your bedroom and suddenly the phone rings. That very thing happened at 11:30 last night. I shot up out of that bed, grabbed my glasses and started pulling bedding off the bed in anticipation of throwing the children into the bathtub and throwing blankets and a mattress over them all. Turns out, lightning was just making our annoyingly senstive phone ring. Repeatedly. I didn't sleep well last night.

I'm going to bed. Sleep well with visions of my nekkid self pulling the sheets off my bed running through your head.

Yes, you are welcome.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Polka dots

Kady is watching Blue's Room and someone keeps saying "polka dot" over and over and over and over and over and over again. Yeesh. If I were a betting woman, I'd say that there is some critter on the show that is quite possibly polka dotted. But, I could be wrong.

Cute Baby Girl finished her week here at Diva Daycare last Friday, but she might be back. Oh, I hope she comes back. It was so much fun having a baby girl here. (Not that I don't love all my baby boys, because I really do, but ohmygosh all that pink!!! And the hair bows!!! I was in heaven.) Her regular sitter has jury duty every other week for the next month or so, so we knew there was the possibility of her being a return visitor, BUT the sitter is also considering just giving up the daycare thing altogether. So after checking with all of my parents to make sure they didn't have a problem with yet another little one being here and no one objected, I offered to keep her full time, forever and ever and always. Her mother was so happy she grabbed me and hugged me. Then her momma called me yesterday to tell me that the sitter is waffling (again) and might go ahead and keep her. Yeesh. I really hope I get her because Mr. Diva says that when I get one more kid here in diapers we get to pay for trash pickup!! WHOO HOO

I just spoke with Irish Divinity a bit ago and she's planning on bringing her baby to me in February, depending on when the little guy gets here. I can hardly wait for that!! A itty one!! Oh my gosh, I won't know what to do with myself. Jen is already planning on spending more time out here just so she can hold him.

Tater and I rearranged the toy room last week, today I made the final transition and now, Diva Daycare is confined to one room. The toyroom is now where we spend our entire day and I gotta say, there were two really happy little boys this morning. It's always been that the little ones and I stayed in the living room and the big ones could play wherever they wanted. But I finally got things organized and now everyone plays out here. CBB and CLB touched and tasted and squealed over every toy out here this morning. I fully expect there to be more squealing this afternoon as well. The cubbies are out here, the toys are out here, there's also a TV for our post-nap cartoons and we've got the inside scoop that Santa is bringing a VCR for the toyroom for special occasions, plus a wall mount for the whole shebang. And when it's time for lunch we move to the kitchen and then it's naptime and well, dadgummit, I just have this thing down pat. If you could see me right now, you'd see that I am SO patting myself on the back. Not that I'm trying to be arrogant or anything. It's just that I feel really centered right now, like I am really doing what I'm supposed to be doing and I have a purpose and I have control over my life and how it happens. My gosh, I'm happy.

The whole room transition was also due to the fact that I was worried about my Christmas trees. I put up two, ya know. And I know how curious those two little ones are. When Sam was a little over a year old, we caged our Christmas tree. Our neighbors had built a cage out of 2x4's and lattice work for their wood burning stove when their boy was little and it just fit perfectly around my Christmas tree. So we used it. We strung lights and garland on it and it was quite a conversation piece, I gotta say. So that was my plan this year - to cage the living room tree and just keep them away from the kitchen tree. But the cage that Bub and Sis built for their tree when their kids were little is stashed somewhere in the bowels of the many storage units they are occupying right now and I just can't afford the $50 it takes to build another one. So if I can't cage the tree, I'll just rearrange the house, lol. That's how important my Christmas trees are, dadgummit. I take my holiday decorating very seriously. And this year, Mr. Diva can gripe all he wants, but that dadgum deer head on the wall is wearing a red velvet ribbon as well.

Sam's having his first non-family birthday sleepover this Friday night. He's so excited that I'm either going to have to sedate or muzzle him before the week is over. He wanted to go play Lazer Tag, but that is really expensive. I told him that if he wanted to use the $100 that his Granny gives him to take his friends to play that was fine by me. But it would use up most of his money. He thought about it for oh . . . about 5 seconds and said, "Eh. Nahhhhh. I'd rather have toys. Will you just rent us some movies for the party?" He thinks so much like his father. But then after the bowling expedition on Saturday night he now wants me to take them bowling. I can handle 4 infants and 2 preschoolers for 10 hours a day, but taking 5 grade school boys to the bowling alley by myself for 2 hours just sounds like the worst kind of torture I could endure. I'm thinking pizza and some super hero movies and we'll call it good and say "Happy Birthday to Sam." Yes, his mother's a wimp, but eh, boys with wimpy mothers usually turn out alright. Don't they?

Tonight is the final night of preparation of the Farmette. Mr. Diva and Bub are going down when Bub gets off work to finish the trim in Addison's room and the last piece of sheetrock. Tater and I have to go shopping for the PTC's Santa's Workshop at 5:30 at Wal*Mart with the store manager and 5 other helpful mothers, then she and I will head down there to dust mop then wet mop all the floors and get things cleared away. DivaMom is playing the part of The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe - but don't you ever tell her I said she was old - she's taking all five kids to Addison's dance class, God love 'er. I think we might actually get their house done this time.

Tater and I sat down this morning and planned the menu for Thanksgiving. I'm so durn excited I can hardly stand it!! Wednesday the trees go up, Thursday I'll cook and bake all day and then Friday I'll collapse.

I love the holidays.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

It hasn't been a good day for the little Diva

This evening, my son - the only male offspring I own, the most ornery little snot in the universe and one of the most curious children to ever exist - told his little sister that if she'd touch a lightbulb (a burning one) that he would, too. Well, she thinks her big brother is the bomb and well, if Bubby's going to do it, too, why the heck not? So Sam went first - touched the light bulb for probably half a second and pulled back. But Kady? I'm guessing the child laid her fingers on it until she felt the skin sizzle. I love her to pieces and she's really rather smart, but my gosh, child, WHERE was your common sense???? She now has two blistered fingers. I, of course, got onto Sam for telling his 3 year old sister to do something so foolish, especially when he KNOWS she adores him infinitely, but I also had to tell Kady that that really wasn't the brightest thing she's ever done.

THEN, tonight the whole crew was loading up to leave the farmette. I had sent my kids off to the van and TaterSis had sent hers off to her van. Kady was whining that she wanted to hug Grammy. I asked Ab to unbuckle her and help her out of the van, then I tapped on Mom's car window and was handing her a sack of leftover Halloween candy and said, "Hold on a minute, Kady wants a hug." The next thing I hear is screaming and I look back to find my youngest child lying on the ground next to the van. Abby was yelling and Kady was screaming and I couldn't even imagine how that had happened. I yelled at Abby, because she has a tendency to get very short-tempered with Kady when she's tired and put out and I figured Abby had gotten a little rough with her and accidently knocked her out of the van. But when I saw Kady not moving I couldn't have cared less how it happened, I just knew something was wrong. I ran toward her and so did everyone else. I scooped her up off the ground and Paul was, of course, saying "Eh, she's fine. Just a bump. She ain't hurt." Then she reached for Mom and Mom took her and we saw blood on her hand. Paul said, "She's cut her finger or something." Mom switched her around and in the light of the pole light, Sis caught sight of the side of the child's head and gasped, "Oh. My. Gosh." She was bleeding. Bad.

We all know head wounds bleed bad. It's pretty common knowledge. But seeing the side of your child's head covered in blood kind of well . . . it just plain FREAKS YOU OUT. Paul said, "Get her in the house. We need light." Mom started running with Kady and we all followed. Bub ran ahead and got the house unlocked and lights on, we all gathered in the foyer to pick through my daughter's hair like so many jungle monkeys looking for lice. After soaking paper towel after paper towel we still couldn't find a wound, but we definitely found some lovely purple knots. Bub was the one to finally think to wet a paper towel to clean the blood off her scalp, and it was then that we found the itty bitty puncture. Probably from a piece of gravel. It's deep but not very big, definitely not stitch-worthy. She had her face buried in Mom's shoulder the entire time and Mom was trying to talk to her about a special slumber party once we get the farmette done and I think she even offered to pay for her college education and promised her a new car, but don't quote me on that. All of the sudden Kady got quiet and then said, in a small, scared voice, "Momma? Can I just go to sleep?" Well, just imagine how quick I whipped my cell phone out and dialed the hospital.

Except, I didn't dial the hospital. I dialed Wal*Mart.

The second time, though, I dialed the hospital. And after speaking with the ER nurse and trying to wave away my husband who was in my other ear going "Aw hell, she's fine. It's just a small head wound. Why, of course they're going to want to see her, the money hungry ..." I got instructions to wake her every 2 hours for 4 hours and to watch for confusion, vomiting and just general goofiness.

Why, oh why, can't we just do something simple and normal and NOT dramatic?


Now, here are some tidbits of information that I haven't had time to blog about lately.

*The Divas now have caller ID. And just in the nick of time - the Discover Card payment was due last Thursday.

* The Farmette is ALMOST DONE!! For real this time!! The laminate floor is down in the entryway, in front of the fireplace and in the dining room. Tuesday morning the carpet will be laid throughout the house and we will commence to moving them Tuesday evening. TaterSis is determined to stay there that night - even though it's supposed to rain and we may not be able to move any furniture. Guess we'll be loaning them some sleeping bags.

*The kids and I have gone to church two whole Sundays in a row. Back to the church I had issues with a year ago. I asked my friend, Trishia - she's my most Biblically wise friend - what do you do when you feel like God wants you to go somewhere that you really just don't want to go? She said, "My friend, I have but one thing to say to you - Jonah." And since my life is just insane enough that I might actually end up in the belly of a rather large fish, we got ourselves to church. So far, so good.

*Tater and I took the plexiglass off of the hornet closet this last week. There were probably 50 or so dead yellow jackets lying around the hole, but no buzzing and no moving ones. We doused the opening with more poison just for good measure and put everything back in the closet. Paul is off the next two days and he's going to put that foam sealer stuff in the crack to ease my mind.

*Sammy lost one of his top front teeth Friday night. (Pics coming soon.) And, God love him, he's buck-toothed as it is. Some kids are cute when they lose those teeth. Him, not so much. Oh, he's cute, but just not as cute as I thought he'd be. Plus, he's discovered how to hang that remaining tooth over his lower lip just enough to give him a certain hillbilly, Deliverance, banjo-playin', cousin-lovin' look. I can't wait for the other one to come out just so he doesn't look like some of Paul's back woods kin quite so much.

*Jen and her husband and kids and the Divas all went out for pizza and bowling Saturday night. My kids had never been bowling in their lives. Paul and I hadn't been bowling since we first started dating. My first time up I rolled a smooth strike. Of course, it was downhill from there, but still it was a good enough start for Jen to declare, "I'm so not playing with you if you're going to do that!" My final score was 59 - Sam and Dawson helped me the last two frames, so it wasn't ALL me! Paul kicked all of our adult butts with his 126. But Abby, the child who had never bowled before in her life, bowled a 127. I told her that if she wanted to go on the Pro Bowlers Tour and become a millionaire and take care of her mother in her old age, that'd be okay.

*Next Saturday I am starting and finishing my Christmas shopping. A bunch of us girls are going together and I told one of the girls today, "I plan on shopping my legs off, girl, so if you're not up to it you better drive your own car!" I want it DONE and over with! I feel like I'm pretty organized this year and I think that with a little planning I can probably even draw up a pretty efficient map and itinerary. I'm also taking the back seat out of the van.

*Night before last I had insomnia. I knew it was coming and fortunately I had a good book to read. I have had this awful sinusy/cold thing goin' on and I have been taking Nyquil at night and Tylenol Sinus or Cold or Sinus Cold or whatever during the day. I can take cold medicine for about three days with no problem, but after about three or so days it builds up in my system and I can't sleep. I just caught up on my infomercials that night. If you are considering a Little Giant Ladder System, Diva says thumbs up!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

My daughter, myself

Kady's birthday is in December and Lab School is outnext week, so her teacher said she could bring a cake to school sometime before they let out and they'd celebrate early. Today I was up bright and early baking a big circle brownie for her to take. Cupcakes are usually the choice for preschoolers, but they like for you to bring a whole cake or big cookie or something, then the kids have to decide how to cut it so that everyone gets some. So after my durn brownie ran off the parchment because I poured too much on and my house smelled like burnt brownie (which isn't pleasant in the least) I ran in to get Kady dressed.

Awhile back I bought her a shirt at Old Navy that is pink and says "Future Diva". The child has more clothes than I have stretchmarks (and trust me I have a lot of stretchmarks) and she certainly didn't need another shirt, but my gosh, she is the child of Redneck Diva, so why shouldn't she have a Diva shirt? I mean really. So as we were standing in front of her closet, perusing the many choices before us I said, "Hey, why don't you wear your Diva shirt today?" She nodded enthusiastically and said, "Oh yes, Momma!" So I laid her little Wranglers and Diva shirt out with her socks and shoes. She flipped her shirt out flat on the bed, smoothed all the wrinkles out, arranged the sleeves out to the side and then leaned over the shirt, ran her index finger under the words as if she were reading, and said slowly, "Red...neck...Diva..."

Monday, November 07, 2005

Hark! I hear harking!

Ugh. Being sick sucks. And I only had a very, very mild case. Mild or not, it sucked rocks. Mr. Diva got it on Saturday, too. We both were pretty pitiful parents. Thank God our children are well-behaved and resourceful.


Friday night Jen, TaterSis and I went out for awhile. We didn't pick Jen up until after 8:30, so pretty much seeing a movie was out. We started the evening with a gourmet dinner at Long John Silver's, where the manager guy (Who TaterSis and I thought was mighty adorable) asked Jennifer if she ever considered dating. Her reply: "I don't think my husband would appreciate that." LOL We giggled hyterically throughout the meal, although Jennifer was way perplexed as to why I never order fish at the fish place. I don't like fish. But LJS chicken rocks the boat.

After dinner, where else do three moms go? WAL*MART, of course. We are so sad. The original purpose of the mission was to find the CD that contained the song "I Want You to Want Me", but alas we didn't know who sang it or anything. We asked a young associate and he said, "I uh...don't know much about....uh....classic rock." Punk. We stood around in the music aisle awhile, checking out the new Casting Crowns CD, Christmas Karaoke, Boston, Blake Shelton and various other CD's we couldn't afford. Actually we could've afforded them, but then we'd have had no money with which to gamble. And of course, it's after Halloween so W*M is clearin' out the Halloween stuff to make way for Christmas. 75% off of everything ghoulie, ghosty and creepy. Tater bought a SuperMan costume for $3 and some party favors for next year's school parties, but the bargain of the night was the .44 a can Silly String that Jennifer bought a lot of.

Now, I'm a rebel in some ways, but for the most part I'm a rule-follower. So when Jen said she wanted to spray silly string on a bunch of kids riding their bikes on the street I said flat out, NO. So she and Tater were bored that I wouldn't let them vandalize around town and started vandalizing each other. We pulled into Buffalo Run with silly string blowing in the wind off the antenna of my van, my windshield wipers, Tater's purse, Jen's hair . . . yeah, they had fun. We gambled until the wee hours of the morning and finally we were out of money. Then the suggestion was made that we go to the Witch's Grave. I really wanted to see the Witch's Grave, but 1) I knew we needed to get home to relieve DivaMom of her babysitting duties since she had to work the next morning and 2) I knew Jennifer had bought a cheesecake and it was probably getting really lonely sitting in her refrigerator. So I suggested we just get the cheesecake and drive around while we ate it. Okay by them.

Jennifer emerged from her house at 2am with a cheesecake in one hand and three plastic forks in the other. We had a serious case of the giggles at that point and no one could successfully eat that durn cheesecake with the forks so she just broke us off hunks of it and we chowed down that way. We were driving in a residential part of town and the streets were fairly deserted. Jennifer asked if she could please spray silly string on a stopsign and I relented. It was the cheesecake talking, I'm sure of it. I was obviously high. So she tried to spray, but the nozzled clogged. She yelled, "I'm clogged!! I'm clogged!!" I busted out laughing, but Tater came to the rescue and said, "Here, hold the cheesecake and I'll fix your nozzle." The exchange made, I continued driving and suddenly Jennifer busted out in a loud fit of guffaws, giggles, peals of laughter and she couldn't catch her breath. She was so tickled that I got tickled and so we were both laughing like loons in the front seat. Tater couldn't figure out what was so dang funny and started giggling herself when finally, after driving two blocks past where she started her fit of laughter, Jennifer busts out, "The . . . cheesecake!! The cheesecake!! I . . . dropped . . . the . . . cheesecake!!! It's GONE!" I hit the brakes and said, between giggles, "YOU WHAT??????" She was slid down in her seat, tears streaming down her face, trying to catch her breath and she finally got out, "The cheesecake flew out the window!!" I wheeled back around the block and sure enough, there was our precious quarter-eaten cheesecake sitting in the middle of the road. Tater said, "Gimme a fork, we ain't wastin' that cheesecake!" Well, she was obviously high from the cheesecake, too, because Tater is a germ phobe. But that statement sent us all into another fit of uncontrollable laughter. I'm surprised we weren't arrested for public drunkenness.

We drove back across town, cheesecake-less, dropped Jennifer off and headed back to my house. We walked in the door at 3:15, where DivaMom greeted us with, "You'd no sooner made it to the highway that she started barfing." Poor Kady. She got the bug. I said, "WHY didn't you call me!?!?" Mom said, "You girls needed a night out. Kristin, you have had a really shitty couple of weeks. Heather, you are homeless. And Jennifer was just too excited for you to cancel on her. I have handled puking children before. Now. Did you have fun?" So while I sat in my big chair and rocked my feverish, puking child, we related the story of the flying cheesecake and erupted into giggles again, although a bit quieter so as not to wake up the entire house. Mr. Diva sat in his recliner and just shook his head at us. I bet there's never been a guys night out that he's been on that has included flying cheesecake. Or silly string, for that matter.

I kept Tater's kids at my house for the night because Saturday was Dump Day and it's easier to dump without kids. But alas, I woke up sick and blechy. I pretty much laid on the couch in a state of semi-consciousness until Tater came out to get her kids. She offered to take my non-sick children as well, but Mr. Diva wanted them to stay at home. Bet that when he started puking a few hours later he was wishing that he'd have let them go.

But by about 9pm Saturday I felt much better and ate four dill pickles. I must've been sodium deficient or something because those pickles sounded so good I couldn't have resisted if I'd tried. And they tasted like manna from heaven. Sunday morning the kids and I went to church then spent the rest of the afternoon at the Farmette.

Today Tater and an extra baby, we'll call her CBG (Cute Baby Girl), are staying with us. They'll be here all week. CBG's sitter got called for jury duty and Tater is the backup sitter. 'Cept she's still homeless, ya know. So right now, I am sitting at my computer blogging while my sister dusts my living room. Part of me feels kind of guilty, but the other part of me is like "YES! I HATE to dust!" We're going to rearrange the toyroom during naptime.

Oh, the exciting life we lead.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Phreakin' Photoblog Phriday

Sorry for the hiatus again. I ended up closing Diva Daycare yesterday and today due to illness. Too many kids barfing. Bleh. I told their parents to keep them at home, away from the general public, and bring them back to me on Monday happy and well and barf-free. Here's hoping. So I've spent the last two days Lysoling and bleaching and just generally disinfecting my entire house. I felt like that chick in Silkwood when the dudes in hazmat suits scrubbed her down with wire brushes and heavy-duty Lysol. I've felt a bit under seige and like no amount of alcohol could kill the bad juju in the air around here. My hands have no skin left on them due to the massive amounts of bleach, cleaners and alcohol that they have come in contact with in the past few days. Okay, so there really is skin left on my hands. I'm not walking around all skeletal and stuff. But the skin that's there is really not happy.


It's been too long since I photoblogged on the last day of the workweek, so today I shall photoblog. Kind of reminds me of the Sprockets skit on SNL - "Now iss zee time on Schprockets when we dahnce!"

"Now iss zee time on Ramblinks when we photoblog!"

Maybe not.

Okay, per Jersey Girl's request, I am posting Halloween pics. I can't believe that it's been 4 whole days since Halloween and I hadn't thought, or had time, to post pics until now. My life is too crazy.

For those of you who don't keep up with The Justice League of America, Sam is Green
Lantern. Poor GL is a little-known hero and well, for a 7 year old who wants you to gush over his costume, that's not the best thing. Obscurity sucks when you're a kid.

Gingy and Little Red Riding Hood came to visit on Halloween, too. Gingy's buttons are real gumdrop buttons. I tried sewing them on while the shirt was on her and it just wasn't working. At one point I looked over to find one slowing rolling down her shirt. If you've ever seen Shrek, you'll know why it was so funny when she formed her mouth into a "O", then said, "Not the gumdrop buttons!!!!!" Oh and you know how in the fairy tale, Little Red's mom makes baked goodies for Red to take to Grandma? Well, I just hit Wal*Mart and took Grandma some goodies baked by Little Debbie.

Bub was Indiana Jones, complete with a backpack full of snakes (Even though Indy hated snakes, but we didn't bring that up. I'm sure he was going for irony or something.) which he would open up occasionally throughout the night and toss one at me and watch me squeal and trip on my riding hood. He's great. That hairy fella is my Paul. My red-headed redneck turned biker on me, but only for one night.

The horizontal tattoo on his right bicep is the only real ink he's got. The rest were courtesy of Taterbug and her Sharpie marker. We told him that it'd wash off with a baby wipe. Heehee. After scrubbing his arms with Comet he said, "Y'all, that really wasn't nice." Heehee.

The almanac said we're supposed to have a bad winter, but this warm fall weather is spoiling us. Maybe winter's not really going to be all that bad, but after the 80 degree November it'll seem horrific. The leaves are gorgeous around here, but it's hard to enjoy walking through them in shorts and bare feet. I much prefer jeans and a sweater for my leaf-crunching experiences.


The Tater family is supposedly moving this weekend. Their carpet and vinyl will be laid next Wednesday and we're trying to talk them into just waiting the extra 5 days between now and carpet day. They want to move this weekend and live in one room for a week. If they thought living with Mom for six months wasn't fun, they'll really hate living in one room for a week. Jen and I are going to try really hard to talk her into just sittin' tight until next week. Sis is nearly sick right now anyway. The exhaustion is getting to us all.


I really have nothing else to report. Even though it's been exciting around here, most of the excitement has had to do with vomit and really, I'm sure you'll appreciate me just leaving out the details.

I'm looking forward to the weekend with my family and next week with NO PLANS. Other than the usual weekly karate and Brownies, we have NOTHING on the calendar. I hope it stays that way. Night before last I was in bed at 9:15 and slept until 7 the next morning. That was nice. I've also managed to catch a nap with Kady the last two days that we've had no kids in the house. I try not to nap during the day because my nighttime sleep is too precious to screw up, but we've all run and run so much that I couldn't resist. And I've also been able to sleep at night as well, so I know I needed it. Paul is sick, Sam and Abby sound like they should be in a TB ward and Kady and I just try to avoid them all.

Y'all have a wonderful weekend and stay well!!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Oh blissful peace

Halloween is over. And I have told my kids that next year they can dress up for the school parties, but as far as trick or treating is concerned, we ain't doin' it anymore. I told them that next year I'd rent them any movie they wanted and let them pick out bag upon bag of candy and we'd stay home. We go from our house to my aunt and uncle's house, to my dad's house (all within a 10 mile radius), then to Picher (a 25 minute drive) to Nana's, then to Miami to Papa and GG's, THEN we drive all the way to Grove (45 minutes from town) to see Mr. Diva's mom at the hospital (she works there, she doesn't get admitted there every Halloween). It's ridiculous! We start out at 5:30 and get home at 10:30, spending most of our time driving and just a few minutes at each house rushing the kids into getting their candy, giving hugs and thank you's and then we're off again. It's exhausting. You know it's too much when the kids are actually asking if they can go home and go to bed. Yeesh.

Sammy stayed home yesterday from school. The child who is usually up WAY before everyone else was still asleep when I woke up the girls yesterday morning. And even after I turned on his bedroom light he didn't wake up. When I finally managed to wake him up, he opened his eyes and said, "I'm gonna throw up." That's never good. After one trip to the toilet to barf he was fine, but I honestly think it was sinus drainage making him nauseous. I have been utterly amazed at the amount of snot in that child lately. His cough sounds horrible and you can just tell he doesn't feel good. So I let him stay home and he slept until 9:30. Poor little guy. He's run a fever off and on since last Thursday. He went back to school today, but I'm not sure that was a wise decision.

Yesterday morning Cute Big Baby started crying out of the blue. This is so totally not like him that it got my attention. He was inconsolable and I knew something was up, but kind of figured he was just tired. I went to the kitchen to get him some juice and I no sooner got to the kitchen that Sam and Kady both said, "HE JUST PUKED ON THE COUCH!" Oh the puking. I called his momma and she was substituting due to a sick teacher, so his daddy had to be pulled out of class to come get him. The stomach bug is going around. Gotta love this time of year.

I put all of my mommas on alert that a sick one had been in the house, told them to start looking for backups because if I happened to get it they'd be out a sitter. Usually TaterSis is the backup, but seeing as how she's still homeless, that just won't work. We have got to get them moved into that farmette. *sigh*

So today I had all my little ducklings back where they were supposed to go - school kids at school, babies here and not puking and life was supposed to resume normal. I took Kady and Chandler to Lab School and the babies and I headed to Wal*Mart. Driving from the LabSchool to the W*M I started feeling nauseous. I ended up leaving W*M and drove over to Mom's house where I stood in her bathroom willing myself to either quit it or else barf and get it over with. I ended up not barfing (and oh how I hate to puke) and got a Coke at Sonic to sip on. We made it back to W*M and did our shopping where I probably shared germs with all of the shoppers, but oh well. Gotta do what you gotta do. I still don't feel 100% and I stocked up on Coke and Sprite while I was there. I feel like everything I've eaten today is just sitting like a rock in my stomach. Bleh.

Tonight was karate and Sensei said that Sam is really falling behind. He went from being a stellar student and just flying through the moves to actually lagging behind. He was supposed to have tested Saturday, but we didn't go because he was coughing so bad. Sensei said it was a good thing he didn't test because he really isn't ready. He wants us to start bringing him back to Open Mat on Thursdays again. It was fine during the summer when it didn't matter if he got to bed at 10, but now that school's going on it's just too much. But at the same time, I hate for him to lose any more momentum. *sigh* One more thing I have to fret about.

Tomorrow is all three kids' 6 month dentist visits. And the usual headgear check. Ab's supposed to be wearing that thing 14 hours a day, but if someone could please tell me how we're supposed to get in 14 hours I'd appreciate it. She won't wear it in public and frankly, I won't make her either. She accidently wore it into Wal*Mart last week and nearly died when she realized she had it on and people were staring at her. She jerked that thing off her head and stuffed it in my purse so quick it made me laugh out loud. Now, whether or not they were really staring at her, I don't know, but still. I wouldn't want to wear it in public either. So she wears it 12-14 hours a day, depending on our schedule. BUT the last time we were there he gave me this incredibly condescending lecture about efficacy and effort and how if we were really serious about it we'd have it on her more and blah blah blah. I hate being lectured. So tonight before bed I told Abby that no matter what, if he asks how much she wears it to say that without fail she wears it 14 hours a day. I told her I didn't want another lecture. She nodded and said, "Yeah, I don't blame you. I felt really sorry for you the whole time he was griping at you, Mom."

Tomorrow Kady is also getting her flu shot. I totally believe in telling my kids what's going on and explaining things. I was so scared of shots as a kid because it was like this big scary secret and I vowed to always make sure my kids know what is going on. She knows tomorrow is flu shot day and while she's not particularly happy about it, she's okay with it. I explained that because of her asthma that getting the flu could be really bad for her and she might end up in the hospital. I said, "Now, don't you think it's just better to get one shot to keep you from getting really sick rather than get the flu and spend time in the hospital where you might get more than one shot?" She thought about it a minute and finally nodded and said, "Yeah, but Momma, I really hate my asthma." I said, "Me, too, baby. Me, too."

Mr. Diva is on straight day shift for the next two weeks and when I found out I was elated. We have been so busy and crazy lately that I announced to the family that for two weeks we'd have dinner at the table, all of us together, every night. But it's Tuesday and that hasn't happened yet. I don't see it happening any time soon either. Mr. Diva has committed every evening to Bub and TaterSis and getting them in the farmette. And I, of course, continue on with the ferrying of children from location to location. When we'd have time for dinner around the table I couldn't begin to guess.

I said something to Mom today about admiring working moms and I just didn't know how they did it. She said, "Kristin, I don't think you realize that your status has changed. You are a working mom. It's just that you are a work at home mom now." I guess I really hadn't stopped to think about it. I've been a stay at home mom for so long that I didn't really stop and consider that, yeah, I really do have a job even if I stay here to do it. I work 10 1/2 hour days with the whole daycare thing, something I hadn't even stopped to figure out! I've been too busy to stop and take stock in just how busy I am.

I just saw the lights of the big grey Dodge turn into the driveway and that means that my hard-working Mr. Diva is now home for the night. It's 10:38 and I guarantee he's just as tired as I am. I can think of few things better than snuggling in with him in our heavily-blanketed bed and falling asleep in his arms. Sometimes . . . that's the only thing I need.

We....the people

Originally published in The Miami News-Record, July 2020 Everything is different now. I’m not just talking about masks and social distancing...