Archive for Day to Day

Why You Should Always check the Number First

This evening as we were shifting kids around from practice to practice, etc.  I ended up at my MIL’s house to get a child.  While there, she got a call from Tigerfan saying he was on his way over to get Papaw to take the stitches out of his backside because his squeamish wife refuses to do it.  I heard the conversation take place and Nana hung up.

Almost immediately, my phone rang.  I picked it up and said, “he’s calling me to tell me now.”  I then proceeded to answer the phone in the following manner:  “let me guess, you are going to your mom’s so your dad can take the stitches out of your booty.”

“What?” came the reply.  So I repeated myself.  Then the voice of one of my good friends began asking what in the world I was talking about.

The moral of this story: always check to see who is calling before opening your big mouth.  The upside is, at least it wasn’t a student, or my preacher, or a total stranger who just happened to call the wrong number!

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School Days

How quickly the lazy days of summer can turn into the harried days of school.  We have officially been in school for four days now and I am EXHAUSTED!

Monday was home organization day.  Since most of our books had not yet come in, we did what we could and then cleaned and organized our school storage room…believe me, that was a whole day’s work in and of itself!  But, oh, the sense of accomplishment at one room all organized neat!  I feel certain it will look like that for about 1 more day!

Tuesday, we began tutorial.  People…how do those with large families get out of their house.  I thought we were going to have to rent a Uhaul just to carry our supplies to school!  It was insane!  I had wrestled with whether to put Baby in Mother’s Day Out or find a college student to watch him, but in the end we settled on MDO.  I took him down and dropped him off with just a tinge of sadness at leaving the little guy.  However, I was too busy to dwell on it.  Dancer was THRILLED to be starting kindergarten and the boys had their classes to go to (3rd and 6th) and I had orientation to attend and to hold in my 5th grade room.  We made it through the day with few casualties.  Dancer was so excited that she kept going up to complete strangers and saying…out of nowhere…”I started kindergarten today!”  It was so cute because it is so totally out of character for her!  I had a few issues with MDO but I think today they were all resolved so I will refrain from getting into that.

Wednesday we began settling into our routine.  We had most of our books and were able to make a relatively full day of school and didn’t have to rush to handbells this year so it seemed like a breeze.

Today was another tutorial day.  Everything was less crazy.  Not much to tell, although one of the Pre-K kids did go home Tuesday and was talking to his mom about school.  They  have an aid to  help in Pre-K and kindergarten and he told his mom all about how his class had a servant that just took them to the bathroom and stuff.  How funny is that?  After school, Tigerfan had an appointment with the dermatologist.  He had a few moles cut off a few years back that were pre-cancerous so he is now on the yearly checkup list (that, by the way brings to mind an embarrassing story I may have to tell on him one day–with his permission of course).  He wanted Football boy to go and get a mole checked out.  So, we dropped F.B. off at the doctor, drove across town to the dance studio to get Dancer,s shoes and tights for this year’s dance class and in the meantime, scare the begeebees out of the guy at the dance shop.  I know it isn’t nice, but it was funny!  He was in the restroom (which is in the middle of the store and doubles as the dressing room) when we came in and didn’t hear us.  We thought everyone was in the backroom.  We were looking at the tights right by the door and when it opened, the poor man about had a heart attack!  I kindly suggested that he may need to reenter the bathroom and clean himself up! Ha!  He suggested that Baseball Boy use my cellphone to call China!  Anyway, we then went back to get F.B. and he did indeed have to get the mole cut off.  Daddy said he was quite a trooper so we let him choose a place to go eat a very late lunch.  We then came home to do homework and change clothes so Baseball boy could go to ball practice.  F.B. has decided to play fall ball this year as well but is restricted from practice for a few days due to his wound.

That is where we are now.  I just updated my class website and checked the others for homework.  We are SWAMPED with it!  UGH!  I have a dishwasher full of clean dishes and a sink full of dirty ones that need to be put in it!  School bags are everywhere, the counters do not have an inch of space and I can’t get anything done because my 7 month old will not stay off the treadmill or scaling the couch!  Just a note, 7 month olds are not supposed to be pulling up on couches or crawling on treadmills!  Anyway, that is why it has been quiet around the ole blog for a few days and unfortunately, I just don’t have the gumption to think up anything clever to write about.  Hopefully I will get my act together soon.  Until then…okay, never mind, I was going to say something clever, but I got nothin’!  Be back…sometime!

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Myth Buster

As has become the norm as of late, I have had a little trouble finding the time to do much blogging.  I have had this little post in mind for a few days however so this morning, before the rush of starting school begins, I am going to try.

Last week was a bit of a rough, busy week.  The events of the week left me challenging two commonly held recommendations for families. 

1.  Teaching your children to do household chores is good for them, teaching them responsibility…yada, yada, yada, and relieving some of the duties of mom.  Until this last week, I have bought into this one hook, line and sinker.  My three oldest make their own beds, sort their own laundry, set the table, etc.  Football boy can do a load of laundry from start to finish.  I have learned (with difficulty) the art of praising the effort of folding the towels and I wait to refold them my way until no one is looking!  I turn my eyes when Baseball boy “hangs” his own t-shirts by putting them in the closet between two other shirts and squeezing them together really tight so he doesn’t have to go to the effort of, you know, getting a hanger.  My sweet little ones have even been scrubbing the bathrooms for some time now.  And there, my friends, lies the problem.  I have allowed myself to live in an oblivious place where pre-adolescent children actually clean things.  This revelation came this week when the stomach bug attacked me and I had a very close encounter with every commode in my house.

I have always retained bathroom duty in my master bath–it is only right.  So, when my unfortunate meetings with porcelain began, everything was okay.  But as the day progressed…other “thrones” (so to speak) began calling to me as well and these little meetings were, well, disgusting.  The smell alone surely extended the life of my little bug.  Toilets that are “scrubbed” every other day were nauseating–literally!  There was evidence of little boys’ lack of ability to hit a target everywhere!  How could I have missed this?

I think as a public service, I must ammend this commonly held belief.  Yes, teach your kids to fold laundry, teach them to empty a garbage can, show them how to dust the furniture.  But if there are germs or bodily fluids involved–take care of it yourself.  Believe me, it is worth it!

2.  The second theory I would like to challenge is this–and don’t judge me, I am trying to help!  I am not entirely convinced that family meals around the table really do promote closeness and family unity.  Just hear me out.

Let me give you a picture of our family at meal time.  I have spent all day, alone, with four children.  Baby probably has not taken a nap because he has three older siblings who make sure of that.  The laundry is piled, well, everywhere.  The house was vacuumed once last month–although the appliance is sitting out in the middle of the floor because I totally intend on doing it–sometime.  The boys have played playmobile which means every room in the entire house is covered in tiny little men and I must continue to rescue baby from choking on a pirate.  Dancer is screaming for me to come watch her dance recital.

I finally begin dinner.  I call to the kids to begin cleaning up and ask them to come set the table.  Around this time Tigerfan gets home and his OCD kicks into high gear as he begins having convulsions at the state of his abode.  We finally settle down and begin supper.  After a knock down, drag out fight over who is going to pray, the food is blessed and all the children get up because they “forgot” to wash their hands before sitting down.  I use the term sitting down loosely.  For some reason unbeknownst to me, boys seem to have an inability to sit on their bottoms.  The closest they come is a half sit/half stand position with one foot under them and one foot on the floor.

I look around, Dancer is sitting!  I give her some positive reinforcement!  Suddenly, the boys remember how to sit–until B.B. realizes he forgot the ketchup he must drown his food in.  He hops up to get it from the refrigerator.  When he returns–he forgets how to sit again.  I comment on how nicely F.B. is sitting!  Dancer begins crying because SHE is sitting to.  B.B. then fusses because he was sitting but he had to get up and he just forgot and I ALWAYS pick on him!  Suddenly, F.B. looks at supper and discovers nutritionally sound food on his plate.  He is no longer hungry…can he be excused.  No, eat!  In the next few minutes, a drink will be spilled, the baby will start screaming, the children will fight over who is eating better, faster, weirder… and F.B. will begin gagging at the disgusting meal I have tried semi hard to prepare.  By the end of our lovely meal, we will not have discussed the events of the day or planned some family together time.  In all likelihood, I will be mad and my feelings will be hurt because no one liked my low-fat,low taste but high fiber and vitamin meal, Tigerfan will be stressed because there are grapes smashed on the floor and the children will be mad because in all likelihood they are now going to bed early. 

I say, order in, eat outside, and bond over an ice cream cone at Baskin Robbins.  That, my friends, will be much more effective in promoting family unity!

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Cleanin’ and Flingin’

Today, I decided to do a little home organization.  My house has been driving me crazy…stuff everywhere!  Tigerfan keeps saying our house is too small and we need something bigger.  I love our house, I say we just need less stuff!

Anywhoo, I recruited the kiddos, got on the flylady website and looked at the week’s missions.  The zone for the week just  happens to be kid’s rooms so it was very timely.  We followed each of the suggestions and made it a game. 

First they went to their rooms with a garbage bag and just looked quickly for anything that needed to be thrown away.  Between the three of them (I didn’t make the baby clean up, I figure 5 months is a little young!) I think they found a bead and a piece of fuzz–so far things were very productive.  Then we did the “27 item boogie” They had to really look and search and find 27 items apiece that they could throw away–this could be school papers they no longer needed or broken toys, etc.  This was a little more difficult.  Especially for Dancer whom I was helping.  I kept finding tiny pieces of paper with one stenciled picture.  I would ask if we could throw that away to which she would give me an astonished look and proclaim her love for that piece of paper!

When that was accomplished I told the kids to find 3 toys they no longer played with that we could donate to boys or girls who didn’t have many toys.  Oh!  They were excited–they could do that!  In seconds Baseball boy was back showing me his stash.  The equivalent of three McDonald’s toys.  I explained that really wasn’t what I had in mind–I meant a little more substantial, something that took up space.  About that time, Football Boy came with his finds–three McDonald like toys.  Frustrated I explained that if they couldn’t purge some toys that I would wait for a day they were gone and I would do it like I used to.  I was trying to give them a choice but I know what they play with and if they can’t get rid of it on their own–I would do it.  Their reply?   “Cool!—Can we go to Nana’s?”

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Pride Cometh Before a Fall

Several years ago I worked at a Mother’s Day Out.  I helped in the Pre-K room and each day we would take our class and go out to the playground with the other Pre-K class.  The children would run around and play while the teachers watched them, sat on a bench and chatted.  I remember many days when the other teachers would make comments like, “I left my house in a wreck this morning!” or “We didn’t have time to make a single bed today.”  I must admit that, while I never spoke up, I listened with pride KNOWING that I would NEVER let my house get that way.  After all, I had two children.  Those ladies only had one more than me.  They just needed to be more organized, plan a little better, have the kids help out.  There is no reason they can’t leave their house neat and orderly.

I am sure you can see where this is going!

Fast Forward a few years and two kids.  A lot has changed since those days.  I now homeschool.  I teach at a tutorial that requires planning and grading.  I have more children who are into more activities and make bigger messes.  They have friends who come to play and places/things to go and do.  My house–it is a WRECK!  I know it is a wreck.  I do not like it, but I am powerless against the forces of clutter that have taken over!  Every time I walk in my kitchen I swear this is the day I will tame the chaos.  Every night when I fall exhausted in to bed, I promise myself tomorrow I will get to it!  I have been reading a book and have felt quite convicted about my house, and frankly myself.  The book talks about how visual men are and how they really want to come home to a neat house and a put together wife.  SO, today, I was determined–I was going to get it done–Today was the day!  I got started early and got the kids involved. They did their “morning musts” and began summer math review and reading.  I got the laundry started and while the baby napped and the boys read, I got started on lunch.  We were doing a big lunch today because Tigerfan has a class to teach at the University tonight and wouldn’t be home for supper.  I made dessert, I cleaned up the dishes, unloaded the dishwasher, swapped laundry….the kids finished reading and quietly began playing together in the living room (they knew to play quietly so as not to draw attention to themselves thereby getting drawn into more housework).  I started the chicken, made a salad, prepared garlic toast, etc.  I washed ALL the dishes as I worked and even shined my sink (FLYlady would be so proud).  I must admit that old prideful feeling was coming back!  Baby started fussing and I jumped up to get him thinking that I could feed him and have everything ready as soon as Tigerfan got home.  I ran up the stairs, got the baby, took him to the kitchen, fed him, washed him up, and grabbed his bottle.

It was at this point my pride took a beating.  I literally could not walk from the kitchen, through the computer room to the living room and if I had, I could not have made it to the couch.  My beautiful children, who had been playing so well together had basically taken every toy we own, brought it down to those rooms and set up housekeeping!  I hadn’t even gotten one room cleaned, just maintained its current state, and two rooms were impassible.

Now, the good news I didn’t yell.  The bad news.  I just can’t figure it out.  What am I doing wrong?  (That is besides blogging instead of cleaning).  How do you balance a pleasing, neat home AND children who require time, attention and love?  I cannot find a balance.  Well, the living room is now straightened, but the kitchen is not and I would love to clean it up…but right now I have an appointment with the 8 and 5 year old “Ten Years Younger” team. 

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What are You Allergic To?

We have begun the infamous week of Vacation Bible School.  I say every year that I am going on vacation during this week to get out of working but I never do.  I always get rooked in to teaching.  I thought I would get an “easy” job this year and not end up doing crafts or preschool so early on I signed up to teach 1st grade.  In our church, that means incoming 1st graders or children who have just completed kindergarten.

This job was supposed to be easy because we only have them in our room for 25 minutes in the morning and 25 minutes at the end.  The rest of the time, we just rotate them around to other teachers.

It began in typical 1st day fashion of complete and utter chaos but we knew today would be a doosy when we began our first project with the few children in the room at the very start.  We were making turtles out of paper bowls.  They were already spray painted.  The children just had to glue on feet, a head and tail and then decorate with tissue paper.  One little boy listened to me explain the project, got up and walked away from the table and declared, “I cannot do that project….I’m allergic to sea turtles!”

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On the Lighter Side

I am on a quest to see the lighter side of things.  I used to be very good at that, but lack of sleep, fighting children, overcommitment, something has taken my ability to do that.  This weekend I really made an effort to “chill out”.  So, here are a few of the lighter moments from the last couple of days.

We got ready for church yesterday morning and were loading up in the car.  Things were a little rushed because Tigerfan had had Deacon’s meeting so I had been on my own at the homefront.  Dancer, however, was looking mighty cute (in one of the outfits I made for her–hear that, I am tooting my own horn!!!) and was crawling into her seat when her Daddy asked her what shoes she was wearing (he had come home to pick us up).  She replied her pink ones referring to a lovely, sparkly, glittery pair of flip flops her Nana had given her.  A moment later, I heard Tigerfan and her giggling…when I looked back to see what was going on, I discovered she had on two different shoes.  One of the lovely pink and one from an identical pair except they are purple!

After Tigerfan had run in and swapped shoes, we headed out.  Now, I have often mentioned Tigerfan’s OCD tendencies.  When we first married, he washed and vacuumed the car every week.  I then had a list of rules such as I couldn’t unroll the windows (they would streak) and he would call me with roads not to drive down because they had puddles, etc.  Almost 13 years and four kids later, the washings are a little more sparse.  However, he still loves a shiny car.  So, Saturday evening he went to an automatic car wash (the kind you do yourself) and shined up our family vehicle so it would look good for church.  As we drove out, he lamented that he had not got the windows very clean.  When we got home, he got an old towel and worked quite hard at improving on the job, making sure the windows were nice and clean and the car dried up and streak free.  He checked the weather to make sure no rain was fore-casted and off we went Sunday morning in our shiny wheels!  Until we got approximately 1 mile from our house.  And an entire flock of birds overhead all decided at the same time to, well, relieve themselves.  All over Tigerfan’s clean windshield.  I am telling you, I have never seen anything like that.  It was like driving through a rainstorm of bird droppings!  In just a few seconds, we drove out of the onslaught but the horrible damage was done.  I apologized to Tigerfan and then burst out laughing.

Finally, this evening after putting the kids to bed, I noticed B.B. coughing horribly.  Afraid he wouldn’t sleep well, I went upstairs to give him some cough medicine.  He was totally out but I pressed on, trying to rouse him up to drink the liquid.  At first, I couldn’t even phase him but finally he opened his little eyes and looked straight at me.  I explained he was coughing and I had some medicine for him to take.  He opened his mouth as wide as could be.  I put the medicine doser to his lips.  His mouth remained opened.  “Bubba, I need you to drink this!”  His mouth closed.  I tipped up the dispenser.  The medicine ran into his mouth, back out and down his chin.  All while he stared at me wide eyed.  I finally managed to get him to drink the rest of the dose and told him he could lay back down.  Which he did.  Right after using his bed sheet to wipe his mouth!

Sometimes, you just have to laugh!  Truly, though, I have been struggling lately with feeling like I never accomplish anything and never minister to anyone.  Tigerfan put this song on my playlist on the Ipod.  He never told me, I just found it this morning and it was so encouraging!  Wish I would have found it last week–would have made a great Mother’s Day Post but it is great no matter when.  Hope it encourages someone else!

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