Thursday, November 15, 2012

Do Not Try This At Home

Some things in life are best left to professionals. There are experts in every area of any trade you can imagine. And I strongly believe in supporting and being a patron of their business. My devotion lies not in my loyalty but in my own shortcomings...and hence subsequent debacles. I mean no disrespect to those capable of fulfilling their own needs. I admire those resourceful, creative, handy people who can change their own oil (or tire), make their own clothes or accessories, or remodel their house using their own skill set and sweat equity. Those are very admirable abilities.

I, sadly, am lacking in the do-it-yourself arena. My dad attempted to equip me with knowledge regarding checking or changing my oil and how to change a tire....unfortunately I was most likely not listening as he was imparting valuable knowledge upon my teenage soul. My mom sewed our clothes as children, and my Barbies and Cabbage Patch Kids had enviable wardrobes thanks to her amazing handiwork. I, however, am unaware as how to properly sew on a button. And I don't even attempt painting let alone anything else within my home.

Before I sell myself short and have you thinking that I am close to incapable, let me toot my own horn just a little. I cook; I clean; I do laundry; and very often, I parent alone and everyone (so far) has survived without stinking, going hungry or getting lost in a messy house. But if we were required to list all of our personal skills in order to get married, get a job or vote I may have to resort to listing x-rated skills versus nonexistent life skills. Sad? I know. And I'm quite ashamed considering the long line of do-it-yourselfers from which I matriculated.

Since I am seemingly well aware of my shortcomings, one would (wrongly) assume that I not only know my limits but that I would no longer attempt any do-it-yourself/at-home procedures. would be wrong. A well-meaning friend, full of ill-advised faith in my abilities, suggested I perform a certain task on my home...unsupervised...and completely on my own. See...with the looming unemployment around the corner, we are trying to tie up some loose ends and snip any unnecessary spending out of our budget. With that goes my always-enjoyed trip to the salon. Some may see it as an unnecessary, frivolous expenditure. However, I am not one of those people. I see it as being as vital to my existence as air or sex....who's kidding who, it's way more important than sex! But that particular visit is never without cost...let's face it, it costs money to look this good!
Hence, I launched my mission to achieve radiant, shiny color without the use of an expert. I wouldn't consider my attempts a total and complete failure...if you consider slightly orange tinted and somewhat overly processed hair a success. Lt Hubby says it looks good...but I'm pretty certain he has absolutely no idea what he is talking about. I don't know what makes me more sad my initial belief I could actually not FUBAR my hair, my subsequent failure or that I still can't afford to go to my stylist to have her fix my egregious error. All of it upsets me.
The bright side is that even though the color turned out poorly, it did cover some of the hairs that had a very undesirable color (what with all the stress I have been dealt, its no wonder my hair is turning a very, very, very muted shade of black!) I either need to learn how to pick the right shade to begin with or figure out how to correctly follow the 4-step instructions. Either way, I'm going to reiterate...don't try this at home!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Take Me To Your Leader

My youngest is not technically a toddler yet. He is only 10 months old, but he is already incredibly mobile, into anything and everything and full of a little more spunk (ie...piss and vinegar) than I was secretly hoping for dude #5. For months now he has been crawling, and as baby-dom goes, he's already trying to take steps, has gumby-go-go-gadget arms that reach everything that used to be in a "safe zone", and is becoming quite a little dare devil. Go figure. I guess it was somewhat naive of me to expect him to be quiet, docile, and an along-for-the-ride kind of dude. Luck doesn't roll that way.

Dude #5 may be a tiny mobile terror, but he doesn't have much of an extensive vocabulary...yet. He's more of a grunting, drooling, weird-sound making creature from the black lagoon. Don't get me wrong, I think all babies of this age probably do more grunting than actual speaking, but I think my little dude just may be tapping into a language from another world. He not only speaks like the Yip Yip Martians, he seems to comprehend their sounds!

"Aaaaaap! Tttttuh! Fffft! Hhhhheeee!" All are noises that my tiny terror regularly exudes. And I don't understand any of it. The older four dudes, however, seem all to eager to engage in this foreign conversation seeming to not only enjoy the sounds...but understand and sometimes obey the incoherent noises! I, for one, am baffled at the exchange that regularly takes place between my alien-speaking dudes. I am becoming more and more convinced that they are indeed extraterrestrial life forms posing as tiny people simply biding their time until they slowly take over earth. They already run my small's only a matter of time before their cuteness lures all of you into their dubious plan.

And to top it off, I think the baby is the leader! The brothers seem to respond quickly and obediently to his grunts, mumbles, and chatters without hesitation or question. You be the judge:

Innocent Baby?
Or Yip Yip Martian sent here to rule the world?
One can never be too certain. So until I have a little more evidence, I'm going to keep my guard up...and try to convert my little Yip Yip Jr into an english speaking human. Otherwise, I fear my Mom-dom is doomed to be the next Area 51!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Gotta Have A Little Faith

I'm not gonna lie, getting in any sexy time with Lt Hubby around our 5 kids is not any easy feat. We are up early getting kids on the bus and to the weight room, and by the time the last one finally succumbs to their designated bedtime, the hubster and I are not far behind. Let's face it, at the end of our busy day the only thing either one of us wants to do between the sheets is sleep. Spontaneity for this particular juncture is a laughable suggestion. we have 5 kids...5! They seek us out! We've resorted to stolen moments in the laundry room in the past, but since Lt Hubby bought me my new, bigger, shinier washer and dryer there is no physical way the two of us could accomplish such delusions of grandeur in the tiny area that is left.

Maybe it's a rut...or a phase...or necessity due to circumstance...I'm not exactly sure, but my lingerie is starting to get dusty, my bedroom boots haven't been out of their box in over a year, and we haven't used our "code word" since before war!  I think we've "lost that loving feeling". But in our defense...raising 5 kids is utterly and completely exhausting! Plus, I'm a little concerned about the idea of another stick turning blue, quite frankly. Fool me once....well, you know the saying! 

I wasn't completely concerned about our status quo until I discovered something during Sunday night football. Yep, you read that right. Sunday night football! Apparently, Lt Hubby is harboring some inappropriate feelings toward a one, Ms. Faith Hill with her taught legs, 4 inch heels, and barely-there skirt. I understand the allure...I probably wouldn't kick her out of bed for snoring either. But the excitement and subsequent shushing of the children once her little pregame diddy started has me somewhat...jealous and worried...and jealous. I mean, I would look pretty darn amazing too if I had my own hair, makeup and wardrobe team. I would love to greet Lt Hubby at the door with perfectly coifed extensions, sultry smoky-eye makeup, and just-barely-covering-my-secrets mini dress...not too mention sexy, black designer stilettos.

Unfortunately, I don't have any of those resources at my disposal. Lt Hubby is lucky if he gets greeted at all when he comes through the door let alone from a primped and preen take-me-to-bed-or-lose-me-forever wonder he's daydreaming about Faith! In my defense, however, I doubt that Mrs. McGraw greets her hubby at the end of the day with boink-me heels and bedroom eyes but reasoning with the sex-kitten illusions of man has never proved to be successful. I may be forced to step up my game and take matters into my own hands! No longer will I be overlooked on account of Faith! She may be able to sing and strut her perfectly styled self and ignite football fans every Sunday night, but I'm pretty sure I still have a few tricks...albeit crotchy, boring wife tricks...left up my own slinky black dress (ok. I don't actually have a slinky black dress...but I'm pretty sure I'm going to start looking for one now!).

Watch out Lt're going to rue the day (actually, you're probably going to bless the day) you oohed and ahhed for Faith!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Silly Mommy! Playgrounds Are For Kids!

Playgrounds are a kid's best friend. They epitomize the joy and carefree nature of which childhoods are made. Always welcoming, they never judge, leave out or pick you last. Twirly whirly or speedy straight, the slide promises the same amount of fun for boy or girl, introvert or extrovert, young or old. Regardless of size or shape, the swings offer an all-too-fleeting feeling of flying free like the birds. And the merry-go-round never holds a grudge even if on a previous visit you left more than laughter in its wake. A playground,big or small, is the great equalizer and the delight of anyone's childhood!

Kids of all ages and sizes are attracted to the playground's promise of fun and laughter. And my crew of dudes are no more immune to its sweet welcoming call than any other child. My vehicle is barely allowed to come to a complete stop before my posse of dudes bail out and run, scream, giggle, and race to get there first! However, there is one playground that delights my boys like very few other things can. Maybe it's because we frequent it rarely, or maybe it's because of its grand size. Whatever the reason, my boys squeal with spectacular intensity and excitement when I announce our planned destination. 

To be honest, I am actually quite in love with this particular playground as well. It beckons to my inner child, and reminds me of giggling, running, and playing until I would fall into the sweet, soft grass to rest and watch the clouds pass overhead. 

Doesn't it make you want to run and jump and slide and spin?! Me too! Unfortunately, I'm much bigger and less agile than I remember. I took the 4 year old and 10 month old the other morning and decided that I was a fun, active mama who could navigate this playground with the greatest of ease.........

I was wrong.

It turns out that playgrounds truly are for kids and kids alone, and they are very aware of the participant's age. I'm pretty sure that playground is still chuckling over the debacle that befell my attempts to be a playful mom. I think I was set up. Warning...Tunnels are NOT made for adults. I repeat...tunnels are not for adults. 

This is a picture of the intersection of three tunnels that my boys thought were lots of fun. However, the baby doesn't understand the words "drop off", "gravity", or "concussion". Hence, I needed to man either the entrances or exits of these tunnels. The 4 year old proved to be much less help than this situation required so the intersection seemed to be my best bet to ward off injury. Getting to the intersection, however, required climbing through the tunnels...tunnels that are clearly built for smaller bodies. Once in the tunnel, reversing and/or U turns are all but impossible for any person over 3 1/2 feet, and getting the baby to commit to any one particular path was a laughable suggestion. I have since learned that I'm much less limber than once believed. People...I got stuck...more than once. I'm pretty sure all that could be seen was two boot-clad legs and my adult-sized a** sticking out of that tunnel ( I wonder if this is similar to what childbirth looks like...only no boots and hopefully a head!).

However the predicament transpired, it was a lot less fun than I remember as a child. I guess that's why there are several benches and picnic tables off to the sides...for the parents. This playground should read "NO MOMS ALLOWED...DOGS WELCOME!"

Thursday, November 8, 2012

She Thinks My Tractors Sexy

  I'm a Midwestern girl born and raised. I've worked cattle, turned winrows, hauled silage, and spread cow manure. Now of course, my main role in these chores was helper or, what I like to call, "supervisor". Ok, ok, who's kidding who? My dad (or anyone with sense) wouldn't let me supervise anything on the farm. I may have grown up on a farm, but I rarely, if ever, did any physical labor that resembled chores. I do get some credit, however. We were forced...I mean slave, often referred to as "help", in the garden (to this day I'm still scarred from that particular opportunity!), on a couple of occasions I scooped feed bunks ( this is a horrible, hot, stinky job...I get two stars for this one!), and we were always included in the dreaded "corn day".

 That last one still makes me shudder. Imagine being awakened extremely early, jammed into the pickup, and hauled to the hot, full-of-bugs cornfield. We were then offered the opportunity to lug 5 gallon buckets to and from cornfield to truck filling it with just-picked ears of corn that we had to make sure were smut free and not gnawed on by raccoons. Not so bad? Oh contrare! Grasshoppers love these steamy hot fields, and they would jump/fly at you and stick to your skin! I just had a horrible was awful! And there was always the very real fear that one would indeed get lost in the sure-to-be-infested-with-monsters cornfield. And this torture didn't even stop once the trucked was filled. Nope. We then got to participate in the husking, desilking, blanching, shucking and then bagging the bounty of corn that would sustain us through the frozen winter. I was tortured people! Tortured!!

Anychildhoodtorture, I digress from my point. I want to point out the fact that this Midwestern farm girl isn't new to the idea of a pickup truck. Quite the contrary. I've ridden in many, made out in some (good times, good times), and don't think twice about seeing a country-strong cowgirl driving one. My point is that I'm not nearly as cool or tough or farm-girl as I'd like you to believe. Do to a vehicle issue, I've been granted the usage of Lt Hubby's truck...and I don't like it one bit! I'm carting 6 kids...3 of which require a booster or full-blown carseat. I look like a total buffoon trying to maneuver kiddos, bags, gear, accessories and myself in and out of that fricken truck! Heels aren't even an option! Are you kidding me? I'd break my scrawny neck trying to negotiate this torturous task! Im sure passers-by are getting quite a show. Not only is my arse sticking completely up in the air as I force dudes into carseats, but I have as many clowns waiting to get into the clown car as their are trying to get out! It's madness, I tell you! Madness! The will to shop, because of all I have to conquer just to get to the store, has been sucked right out of me! Part of me thinks Lt Hubby may be plotting against me; maybe this was part of his master plan. Between the 3 carseats and 6 kids, where in the Midwest am I going to put any shopping loot!?  If he is indeed innocent of this accusation, then fate seems to be on his side! 

Men (and women who are clearly tougher than me), you can keep your trucks, tractors and anything else in that arena. I do just fine in my mama-mobile!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Captain Underpants matter what your story, age, gender or hard. Challenges surround us on a daily basis. Stress can sometimes be waiting around every corner. And bumps...or potholes...are surely to be waiting for you down the road. This shouldn't come as news to anyone...if so, what Utopia-esque Rock are you dwelling under, and can I come and visit?! is complicated. Now what? Well, I propose putting on your big-girl (or boy...depending upon your preference) panties and greeting the day with a more positive, albeit hidden and secret, "outlook"! And that "outlook" should consist of......superhero underwear! I'm not kidding. My 4 year old dons superhero underpants everyday, and his self esteem and confidence is off the charts! He always believes within the depth of his bones that he is right and is completely confident in defending his case; he always has a whimsical (and slightly suspicious) bounce in his step; and the world never seems too heavy to bear. It's gotta be the underwear!!

Ladies, instead of spending our pennies (who's kidding who...Vicki's Secrets are more than a pretty penny! We're talking beautiful $20's and sometimes $50's! Yet,  I STILL don't look anything close to one of those "secret" models!!) on lacies, cheekies, thongs and the such and start investing in our inner superhero! I need me some Batwoman and Superwoman underpants, people! With which, I can arm myself for the daily challenges, stressors, inconveniences and let-downs and handle them with Superhero confidence and ease.

"The car won't start? Oh well, I'm sportin' my Green Lantern briefs...I'm good!"

"The basement flooded? No problem is too big for me today...I'm cruisin' in my Spiderwoman panties!"

"The school wants a meeting with me? I'd better put on my Captain America underwear!"

I don't think we understand just how powerful superhero underpants are. Everyone needs an alter ego, a secret identity, an under spoken demeanor...and Superwoman knickers are the perfect way to achieve it!

So the next time you see me laugh in the face of danger, smirk at the idea of "holding up the world", or walk into a store with all 5 of my dudes without even a twinge of better know that I'm wearing my Captain Underpants!!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Little House of Horrors

"Trick or treat! Smell my feet!"...actually that smell might be coming from somewhere slightly north of feet (my posse is 5 fart-tastic dudes), but you get the gist. Halloween had nothin' on us! We came, we treated, and we conquered! Now our home is littered with overflowing candy buckets; empty, discarded candy wrappers; and a slight aroma of yummy, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate. Mmmmm...chocolate. You actually have to say "chocolate" like Sloth on Goonies ("Ruth! Ruth! Baby! Ruth!) because that is what I have apparently been reduced to! Three months of grueling workouts to get back into my skinny jeans may all be for not since I can't resist the call of the FIVE Halloween buckets taunting me throughout my day! Fun-size or not...nobody can eat just one!

Reese's peanut butter cup? Uh...yes please! Snicker hunger attack? Absolutely! Hershey's chocolate? Don't mind if I do! Kit Kat break? I never thought you'd ask! And nobody better lay a finger on my Butterfinger! What the heck is wrong with me?! I tell the kids, "only two pieces and then an apple" while I'm hiding in the garage with their hard-worked-for bounty, now my contraband! I'm the Halloween pirate, that's what I am! What's yours is mine! Or maybe I'm reverting back to toddler-dom...It's all mine! The nine year old tallied and charted his candy. He knows the drill...boys work hard trick-or-treating, parents don't let them eat it because "it isn't good for them" and make them ration it. All the while, the parents (aka PIRATES) sneakily devour said candy once the kids are forced to go to school hence leaving their treasure unattended. We parents are sad, sad creatures!

Horrible chocolate hangover aside, Halloween is one of my favorite days. The excitement and giddiness of my kids to get the biggest "score" and landing the best costume is infectious! I look forward to this night all year. And this year proved to be just as amazing. My 13 (almost 14...gasp!) year old even walked around the neighborhood with us...which warmed my heart like no other. Our family of trick-or-treaters got ready together, assembled with buckets in hand...together, and walked around...together. It truly was a family event!

This Halloween, the 6 year old proved to be the most motivated. He ran to excitedly rang the doorbell, and very festively chimed, "TRICK OR TREAT"! I don't think we missed one house-lit or not- as we made our way around the neighborhood. After an 1 1/2 hours of trick-or-treating that little dude was still not ready to call it a night...although mommy begged to disagree since Iron Man no longer wanted to ride in the double stroller and Captain America's bucket was starting to get, "really heavy". Supper, after all, was needing to be eaten, baths needed to be given, and bedtimes were already past due.

Our night ended victoriously with happy, sugared-up kids, tired legs...and crusty face paint! The Avengers reigned Minion spurred many giggles...and the 80's basketball star- well, he froze his "Rastafarian na-na's" off!