why am I not surprised…

Um…
I’m smiling.
No, really. I am.

And so is Ryan.

Our garage door, the one that ate itself back a few months ago…
Apparently it got hungry again tonight at around 11.

Brand new garage door that cost the homeowner something like $1500. Same old our house really hates us in a severe way issues.

Right about now I’m feeling really, really,
really
glad we don’t own a home anymore.

And I’m starting to feel really awful for the homeowner. His house totally has it in for us and he’s the one footing the bill.

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Thanks to Aunt Carrie having one and the kids falling madly in love with it while visiting her last weekend, they decided that they simply must have Wii fit of their own. So, the 5 oldest joined financial forces to purchase their very own Wii fit.

I was like, Oh. Well, it’s your money, I guess.

Ryan said, much to my childrens’ delight, I’ll kick in some money, too!
Why was I not surprised?

So, they get this thing. It’s a board you stand on.
Gabe(10) said, “Watch Mom! Watch what I’m doing!”

Then he proceeded to jog in place. So I watched.
I waited for something more to happen. Something cool. Something worthy of my time.
Like a hurdle. Or a banana peel. Or something. Anything.

But no. The game was simply running.

You paid money for this? On purpose?

Then Kait said, That’s not all it is, Mom. There are better ones than just running. Let me show you the dance one.

And show me she did.
Remember that first middle school dance where nobody was really comfortable actually dancing so everybody just did the side to side step and clapped their hands to the beat of Tiffany’s I think we’re alone now cover?

Yeah, that. It was just like that but without the totally appropriate song lyrics. Took me back to 1987.

Apparently there is more to this Wii fit game thing, but by this time I wasn’t sure I could handle any more excitement. I was nauseous.

Still not gettin’ it?
Take a look at this Wii fit commercial and you’ll see how fun leaning from side to side in front of the TV can be too.
Then you’ll just have to have one yourself.

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at the junk yard. or maybe not.

I wonder what must have happened to make it so I’d have to show ID and fill out paperwork to get into a junk yard.

A junk yard, people.

We need a few seat belts for the jeep so Ryan and I came down here to car purgatory to see what we could get for cheap. But since I didn’t bring my purse I have been banished to the van.

It just never occurred to me that I’d need my purse at a junk yard.

This place must be good – there is a line of quite a few people waiting their turn to be permitted access to broken vehicles. And its not a quick moving line either.

image

Maybe I’m missing something. Maybe there is more to this place than just twisted metal.
Maybe there is poker and cocktails.
That would make the admittance fee they charge you just to walk in the gate seem more reasonable.

And I just saw the sign on the window, no car parts allowed in yard.

Yeah, something fishy is definitely going on here.

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a completely odd, totally off, very weird day

Ryan was home for only a half hour or so yesterday when he commented that things are weird around here today.

And the day wasn’t over yet.

Hardly anybody ate their dinner.  It was spaghetti.  The same spaghetti that my boys usually devour.  But nobody was interested in eating. With 6 boys in the house we usually go through food like a family with 6 boys in the house.  But last night it was more like a family of 2 boys. And a dog.
And, Sharpie.  Everywhere.  Which involved two bottles of rubbing alcohol, and my carpet cleaner.
Kait’s carpet now looks very, very clean.  And smells like a doctor’s office.
Then there was the bickering.  The kids were in rare form and seemed to be completely annoyed with each other for much of the day. 

Things were definitely off.

I was finishing up with the carpet cleaner, dumping the waste container when Jesse started saying something unintelligible.
Apparently he had to poop really bad. So he did. He’s potty training.  Accidents aren’t unexpected.
Kait picked him up and stuck him in the tub to contain him while I finished with the carpet cleaner.

As soon as Jesse’s feet hit the tub bottom he completely flipped out.

The water wasn’t on yet in the tub. Besides, he loves baths.  Even asks for them numerous times on a daily basis.
And there is no ceiling fan in the bathroom.
Ryan heard the commotion and thought Jesse was hurt. But he wasn’t.

It was weird.

My energy well is not an everlasting stream. And since it was just about tapped out I asked the older boys to please help pick up Jesse’s room so I could put him to bed. They happily assisted. But when I went in there with a freshly bathed Jesse, Ben(6) was sitting in the middle of the floor crying because something smelled bad.

He was obviously excessively tired so I told him to go on to bed. To which he respectfully protested, then promptly fell asleep.

And Sam asked for permission to go to bed. Jesse protested the fan once again. Sam fell asleep through the ordeal.
The boy can sleep through anything.

Then Matthew fell asleep on his bedroom floor, which is normal for him, but woke up crying at a quarter till ten because he didn’t get to play video games.

Video games?

This was how our entire day went yesterday. From the time we woke until the time we went to bed everybody was off. Lots of arguing with each other. Lots of disobedience. Lots of corrections. Lots of small but unusual situations.
Could it be the change in weather? It was a cool 57 with thunderstorms all day long, which was 15 degrees cooler than it has been.

Or maybe it was something they ate.
Or maybe they are just bored.
Or maybe I’ve just been less attentive to them this past week.

No matter what the reason was…

It was a weird day.

I think everybody just needs a day of rest.  Or maybe I just need a day of rest.  Or a day of shopping with somebody else’s money.
I don’t have anybody else’s money though, so movies and relaxation will have to do. We’re calling in a sick day. 

Or even better…..
Maybe we could call in a have-a-baby day!
Eyes on the prize, Gals.  Eyes on the prize.

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Little Boy Cat doesn’t normally use a litter box.  We have a litter box, he just doesn’t use it.

Don’t get grossed out now.  He actually meows at the back door when he needs to do his business.  It’s way better than having a stinky box in the house so this is how we do it now.

This really has very little to do with this post.
Actually, it has absolutely nothing to do with this post.

This morning we realized that we would need litter for the litter box that we have but don’t use while we are gone out of town for two days.  Ryan and I told the kids to be ready to go immediately when we got back.

They weren’t. But they had a reason.

When we got back from the store they were in the middle of trapping a brown widow spider in a giant pickle jar.  A brown widow spider who had made herself a cozy little home under our coffee table. 

Our coffee table that we keep in the house.  The one we use every day.  The one I was sitting in front of earlier.

I’m sure I have been two inches from death numerous times in the recent week.

I think it’s time we push for an exterminator in an extreme sort of way.  Florida’s laws on pests in the home fall in favor of the renter.  The home owner has to make sure our home is free of things like carpenter ant infestations, silverfish in our cupboards, and poisonous spider habitats under our coffee table.

We were in such a hurry to get out of dodge that I didn’t get a picture of the 8 legged beast of a gal before Ryan took her outside and gave her a good talking to about being in our home. 
There was mashing involved.

He wasn’t gentle.

We still managed to get on the road in really good time – thanks to my kids who didn’t freak out when they found the spider, but got to work jarring her instead.  They have a very different reaction to things than I do.

I’m more likely the one to flip out and call 911.

I’m sure that would have provided those nice dispatchers a little comic relief.

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Fruitful Vine MidwiferyTurns out we fit in well with crazy.

A few years ago I had it in my mind that people who used midwives instead of doctors were a little odd.  And people who had their babies at home were all crazy.

Right now I’m waiting at my midwife’s office for my 36 week appointment. We’ll be having this 8th baby at home here in the next month or so.

I figured I’d give you a little bit of info on what we’re doing and why. You know, just in case you’re curious.
I actually don’t get all that much inquiry about it.  Probably because everybody we know has just assumed we’re crazy and that answers all questions.

They’re right, I’m sure.

But still.  I’m going to lay it all out for you anyway since some of you have asked about it in recent days.


Um… I’m no longer at my appointment.  I’m home, but barely.  Traffic is freakish and I’m sure half the drivers on the road today were out for blood.  My blood.

[here is where i kiss the ground and thank God for safe passage home]


We didn’t start off this pregnancy planning a home birth. Like I said, home birthers are were all nuts.

So, how did we find ourselves on the crazy train, you ask? Or maybe you didn’t ask.  Whatever.

When we moved to where we live now and were searching for an OB  for this current pregnancy, we could find not one OB doctor who would agree to give me a little leeway with the so called “rules”.  I wasn’t asking for anything illegal or insane, but none of the OBs would see me without me agreeing to all the so-called optionals. This has never been a problem before so I was really wowed that nobody would work with me.

One doctor, after me not allowing her to do a complete physical on me so she could know me well enough to deliver my baby safely (which were her exact words), had had it UPTOHERE with me and said, You may just want to think about having an unassisted home birth.  That’s the only way you’re going to get what you’re asking for without paying thousands of dollars.

She informed me that, really, my only option in this area was to follow the rules. Her rules. 

Oh. Really.

I thanked her kindly for her advice and promptly left her office.

When I got home I lamented to my dear husband that I was 21 weeks pregnant and without a doctor.  Thus started our search for a midwife.

Still not planning a home birth.
Still not sure a midwife would be the right way to go.
Still not sure about anything…

I met with Sharon.  We talked.  I asked questions. Turned out Tricare did cover the majority of her midwifery services (though that didn’t last long).  I told her we were interested in having our baby at her birthing center.  She gave me her personal information so my husband could call her with questions about a possible home birth – we’d be excellent candidates.

Suddenly I found myself really wanting to have this baby here at home. Though I doubted Ryan would be cool with it.

I talked with him about it, shared my new information and thoughts with a subdued attitude, and was surprised when a few days later he said, Okay.  Let’s just do this thing here.

Here meaning in our home.

And now you know how easily crazy can happen.

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how not to dress in cold weather

The high was 47 today.  Not what I call pleasant.  But, I guess it could be worse.

The boys wanted to go out and play but they didn’t want to get dressed in warmer clothing.  I don’t think it’s because they like to feel cold, I think it is because there was playin’ to get to and they didn’t want to waste the time finding something appropriate to wear.

Ben was in a thin, long sleeved shirt.  He said this, I went outside to see how cold it was a little while ago and I don’t think it’s cold at all.  Do I really need shoes and a jacket?

Then he came into the living room in the same outfit, but with the addition of  just a hood.  You know, the hoods that come on ski coats that can detach…

Matthew was in shorts and sandals, but since he was in a long sleeved shirt he thought that would be good enough.

I love living in Florida.  Love it.  For the most part I am spoiled by good weather on a regular basis. I feel that God made Florida especially to indulge me in sunny goodness. 
But I think it’s confusing my boys.  They will all grow up not understanding how to properly dress for cold weather.

A single detached hood from a ski coat?  Really?  I don’t care what the temperature is.  That is never acceptable.

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I had to drive to my midwife appointment this morning.  I don’t like to drive.  Not anywhere, not for any reason.  I just don’t feel like I’m any good at it because there seems to be different road rules everywhere we live.

And it got me thinking.  There are no books on the subject, nothing to let a person in on the new rules they might run into when driving in a new area…  So, I thought I’d give a basic overview of what I’ve observed.

Like, in a small farming town with only about 3000 people you always have to remember that old people in Buicks always have the right of way.  They don’t have to turn their heads.  They don’t have to acknowledge you.  Red light, stop sign, no matter.  They can just go.

In the not as small, but much more redneck town we lived in before our current location, the rules of the road were a bit easier. 

Go slow. 
Don’t turn out until there is at least a half mile between you and any traffic. 
Stop and let somebody else go every time, even if they are trying to let you go at the same time, and even if it causes you to lose ten minutes of your day. Nobody wants to give up their right to be the courteous one.

Then there are the bigger cities. Like the city we’re living in now.  Though I’ve never actually had to drive myself downtown (I reserve all that nonsense for when my husband can chauffeur me), I’ve noticed that the rules are the same in this big city, whether you’re in the suburbs or downtown.

And they are numerous.
And ridiculous.  But they are what they are.
So, here you go.

  1. First, I’d like to mention that here in the city turn signals are for cowards. Nobody uses them.  And if you use them people will see and treat you like a coward driver.  They’ll take advantage of you. Consider this before you flip on your blinker.
  2. Mini vans, while cute and functional don’t actually exist. You can drive right through them. Just try it, you’ll see what I’m talking about.
  3. When in doubt, always go ahead and pull into traffic.
  4. If you’re driving a fancy sports car or other type of high dollar vehicle you always have the right of way.
  5. If you’re driving a dilapidated junker, road signs and other rules of the road do not apply to you. And you also have the right of way.
  6. Soccer mom SUV drivers never have to slow down in any Walmart crosswalk. They also have the right of way.
  7. If the back of your car sports a my kid is way awesome style sticker you’ll want to watch out. You’ve just opened yourself up to an entirely different set of road rules. Unless it’s a minivan you’re driving.  See rule number 2.
  8. Speed limits are more guidelines than actual rules. Always be on the safe side and go over the posted speed limit by at least 10 miles per hour. 15 if you’re on the interstate. If the person in front of you doesn’t understand this make sure to encourage them to speed up a bit by riding the behind end of their car.
  9. School crossing guards may not be able to issues tickets, but they can shake a fist like yo’ mama and holler obscenities that rival that language of the common sailor. Speed up to hurry passed them to avoid an altercation.
  10. Taxi divers just don’t care.
  11. School bus drivers are all crazy.
  12. If you don’t want to let somebody over just pretend you don’t see them.
  13. Larger, more intimidating vehicles such as 12 and 15 passenger vans, big trucks, etc… need to be shown who’s boss right away. Especially if you’re in a significantly smaller car, like a Geo. You’ll want to quickly drive in front of them and cut them off, or something equally as bold. Think Napoleon complex if you are unsure about this one.
  14. If you’re a bad driver, make sure you warn other drivers by lighting a cigarette with a match while talking on the phone. Not only does the cigarette act as a tiny bad-driver-beacon, but talking on your phone at the same time will cause you to swerve uncontrollably, letting all the other drivers know to watch out! There is a bad driver on the road.
  15. If somebody pulls out in front of you or cuts you off, remembering rule number 3 can help you have understanding and avoid you actually having to ram them with the front end of your vehicle.  Still, it’s a good idea to get as close up on their hind ends as dramatically as possible as if you couldn’t have possibly slowed down any more than that.  This will be good enough to teach them a thing or two. If you know what I mean.
  16. If you have a loud stereo in your vehicle, good quality or not, make sure you play it as loud as you possibly can.  Not only will it let the traffic around you know that you’re there, it also makes the statement, I am somebody.  Don’t ask me who.  Just know that I am.
  17. Always, always wait until the last possible second to merge.  Especially if there is a long line of traffic in the lane you’re merging into.  This is beneficial to you, as it is stupid to wait your turn when you don’t have to.

I’m sure there are more rules.  I just haven’t had a chance to learn them all – we’ve only lived here for 5 months so far. 

I’ll let you know if I learn anything else on the subject.  I’d like for it to be easier for other big city newbies than it has been for me.

On a side note –
As it turns out my husband is an excellent big city driver.  Took to it like a duck to water – knew all the rules automatically.  This is funny to me because he grew up in the population 3000 town I talked about in the beginning of this post. 

As for me, I think I’m just going to continue limiting my driving.

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This is post #1001. It’s about ketchup. And my ceiling.

I have a child who’s kind of a spaz.  In a good way, really. 

Except for tonight.

Spaz child was doing his best to get the rest of the ketchup to come out of the bottle.  Normally, to do this a person would check the cap on the bottle.  Spaz did so.  Then give the bottle a few firm thrusts downwards. 

Spaz didn’t do this. 

Instead, Spaz violently swung the bottle up and down, up and down in a crazed lunatic type fashion.

I foresaw disaster and was trying my darnedest to quickly form the words, don’t do that or the lid will pop open and ketchup will fling everywhere.

But I was too late.  The lid popped open and ketchup flung everywhere.

Here is where we repeat to ourselves, children are a blessing. children are a blessing. children are a blessing.

Have you ever tried to clean ketchup off a popcorn ceiling?  No, probably not.  You probably don’t have a spaz child who flings red tomato stuff everywhere.

But we do.  So we did. 

It was not funny.  At least not at first.  I wasn’t sure I’d end up finding humor in this until I saw Kait laughing behind her hand.  Then I knew I would eventually find ketchup on the ceiling funny and promptly instructed her to get a picture so I could giggle at it later when I was feeling more like laughing.

I’m glad we got the picture now.  But if I could have gotten Spaz’s actual ketchup launch on video…

Well, that would have been way mo-funnier.

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When your house turns on you

Our house smells like a campfire.  Joe(12) thinks this is very awesome.  I think I smell like I’ve been camping way too long.

I have that constant feeling that I need a shower.  And some roasted marshmallows.

So, Ryan emailed the landlord about it.  I thought he should just ask for a bag of marshmallows.  He thought it’d be a better idea to see about getting the chimney swept.  Something about a fire hazard or something…

He explained in the email that we’d used the fireplace a handful of times and the house smells like a campfire.  Ryan asked when the chimney was swept last because that was most likely the issue.

The landlord sent somebody out to make sure we had the flue open.

Because, you know, lots of people have dumb and it could be leaking onto us.
Well, we did go to Walmart a few times in the last month.  I didn’t disinfect my cart so I guess it’s possible.

I’m glad the guy decided that we do, indeed, probably need our chimney swept.  And I certainly don’t blame the landlord for sending somebody out to check before she put that call in.  You know, with dumb sweeping the nation like it is.

They’re also going to take care of our little attic dwellers.  The carpenter ants and the silver fish. 

I’ve lost count on how many times they’ve had to send somebody to our house to fix something we had nothing to do with. 

And we’ve only lived here for 3 1/2 months.

I’m actually beginning to think that this house does, in fact, have something personal against my family.

And it’s starting to hurt my feelings a little bit.

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