Wednesday, October 31, 2007


My experience over the last few days has me annoyed enough to earn a blog post. Let me share it with you....

Let's start on Sunday, when I had 3 of the boys out in our Escort for a quick trip to WalMart. Of course the local police have nothing better to do than harrass a mother with a car full of kids because she has a brake light out. Chris has known about this brake light for almost a month, but has chosen not to do anything about it because our car is junk and he doesn't want to put any more money into it. So I got pulled over and written up with a warning for the light. Luckily the 8 mo was in a good mood and so not screaming his head off while we sat at the side of the road.

I got a postcard from the officer to have filled out once the light is fixed. I could either take it to a garage, who would fill out their section, and then I would mail in the proof that it is fixed, or Chris could fix it himself and then I would drive the car to the police station myself where they would sign off on the card. Last night after work, Chris found a spare bulb in the glove compartment and replaces the light. It took him less than 20 minutes to fix the light. (please note that the reason Chris didn't want to fix the light is that he didnt' want to spend money, and in the end, he did not because the spare was already in the glove compartment!)

I was going out on an errand last night, so I figured I'd stop at a police station while I was out and take care of the card. I had to call around to find a station because I have no idea where any of them are around here. In the 2 1/2 years I've lived here, I haven't needed to find one. So is there a number on the card? Nope. I got out the phone book and tried to find police stations. Not as easy as it sounds. I called the station in the biggest town around here, figuring they could tell me where the closest one to me is. After being given a second number to call, then being put on hold and then being told they'd have an officer call me back (like duh, don't the Police themselves know where the durn station is????), I tried another station, who told me where the station is in my town (finally!). BUT they close at 5 or maybe even 4:30. Great, it was 6 pm. So that means I had to drive the car to the station during business hours, which is when, guess what?, while Chris is at work! DUH. How am I supposed to drive the 5 pass car to a police station to have it checked if I have 8 people to drive around????? Well, I arranged to have the baby napping so the 13 yo can be in charge of him and the 7 yo, and put the 11 and 9 yo on warning to behave themselves while I went out, and dragged out the 5 yo and the 3 yo. I am uncomfortable leaving so many home alone with the oldest being only 13, but there you go, what other choice did I have?

I found the local police station, which was not very far at all, and got the kids out to go inside. The 3 yo absolutely did NOT want to go inside. Sigh. It took over 5 min to convince him to go in. Luckily I didn't have to wait to talk to someone, and the officer there came out right away and checked my light. He stamped my card, and then handed it back! What? I still have to mail it in because it was issued from a different region. UGH.

Well, it is a postcard, so I figure I'll stop at the post office on the way home, and pay for a postcard stamp, because the 3 yo wants to go to the post office. So I get the kids out and walk up to the post office, and guess what? Yup, the 3 yo does not want to go inside. A very nice man was trying to hold the door for us and 3 yo was just lying on the ground refusing to go in. Finally I just picked him up by his shirt and dragged him across the doorway and dropped him on the mat inside the door. (I'd already had a rough morning with him) So up to the counter I go, and tell the postal worker that I'd like to buy a postcard stamp. He looks at the card and says Nope, it's an oversized card and takes full postage. ARRRRGGGHHHH I should have just gone home and stuck it in the mailbox! And why the heck doesn't it have prepaid postage on it anyway? And why can't I just turn it in to any department? And why did the original officer, who had nothing better to do on Sunday than harrass obviously threatening-looking, dangerously-driving moms-on-their-way-to-WalMart-with-cars-full-of-kids, not tell said mother which station to go to? In fact, he told me I could go to ANY station. Not true, it turns out. What a day. And of course, it's all Chris' fault ;-)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Just some ideas, Ty, for when our turn comes...

Sometimes I like to wonder, if Extreme Makeover Home Edition chose us for a new home, what themes would they pick for my children? I realize that the designers and producers probably have more to consider than just the likes and dislikes of the kids in each famliy. They have to think about what kinds of things they can get donated, and if there is a way to involve a celebrity who is willing to come on the show. I also know that with 7 kids, it is not going to happen that they would build me an 8 bedroom house; so some of the boys would be sharing rooms. But, if I could dream without restrictions, each room would become a peek into my sons' personalities.

Here is what I envision:

Jacob: Well, he's only 8 months old, so he'd just get a really cool nursery. Still too little to have any preferences.

Levi: All dogs. He LOVES puppies. At one year old, one of his first words was Voof, which is what he said when asked what his stuffed puppy's name was. However, since his older brother would also have a dog theme (see Samuel), maybe they would go with Thomas the Tank Engine. As boy #6, you can just imagine how much Thomas stuff this boy has. Toys, cups, clothes, even underwear. EMHE would probably go with this theme, since the merchandising angle would be easier.

Micah: A tough one, because at 5 he has a lot of interests, but no one true love. He likes Spiderman, and Legos, pirates, and puppies, and pretty much anything his older brothers like. I think though, that he would end up with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles room. All of the boys love the Turtles, but the merchandising aspect again would win this one for him.

Caleb: I guess he would end up sharing a room with Micah, because his interests are pretty much the same. Not that he wants to share with a younger brother, LOL. He would be in heaven to share with an older brother, but of course they are just as disinterested in sharing with him as he is in sharing with Micah or Levi. Caleb does like outside sports (though not organized team type sports) so maybe they would pick a bike theme or something.

Samuel: Not even a challenge to come up with this one. Dalmations. One white-with-black-spots room, with dogs everywhere. He already has a nice collection, and would love to have it expanded.

Noah: Another tough call here. They could go with Legos, Bionicles in particular, or maybe Alpha Team (though merchandising-wise that wouldn't work, as Lego is not currently producing any Alpha Team sets). He likes Star Wars, and also the Ninja Turtles. But he also loves computer games so maybe they would give him the ultimate game room, with a PSP and a Wii and an awesome computer set up. Of course, I would not want him to have this room, as we'd never see him ever again, he'd be sucked in to the games and never leave the room, LOL.

Troyer: This one was the toughest of all. Not because he doesn't like anything but because he likes so many things. They could do a Muppet room, to house his Kermit collection. They could do a Herbie/Volkswagen room to house his Herbie/VW collection. He has a collection of rabbits, and he loves cats. He loves Indiana Jones and Harrison Ford. But I think, since he is 13, they would try to focus on his future and what he may want to be when he grows up. I think he would get the ultimate cartoonist/animator room. He loves to sit and draw all day, coming up with new cartoon superheros and ideas for new movies. He spends more time watching the extras on DVDs than on the actual movie. He loves all things animated. When the tv is not on, he reads Calvin and Hobbes and Bloom County and Peanuts and any other comic strip books we have, and then he gets out his pad of paper and draws his ideas for new strips. So he should get a room based on that. Shelves of comic books, murals of super heros, a computer with software for creating animation. But it wouldn't hurt if the featured celebrity for our episode were Kermit the Frog. :-)

What rooms do you think EMHE should do for your kids?

Friday, October 26, 2007

Ups and Downs

This past month has been pretty busy. I went out to visit Aimee for the weekend, and then 2 weeks later she came out to visit me. The cousins all had a great time getting together, and Aimee and I had fun too. We both agreed that the drive is a killer, though! We were really lucky with the weather, as well. It has been unseasonably warm up until this week. It was almost 80 last Monday! While that is fun to enjoy the warmth, and great not having to turn on the heat yet, I was starting to look forward to putting away the shorts. This week the temps have dropped to seasonable 60s, and I don't mind a bit. We might be able to get away with keeping the heat off until next Thurs, which is November! Woohoo.

Jacob turned 8 months old on Monday, and in honor of that, he decided to climb the stairs. You have to understand here, that he is never allowed near them, because they are unsafe for babies. There is no way to gate them, and there is a cast iron railing which has spaces perfectly fitted for babies to fall right through. We know this because the summer after we first moved here, Levi was only 8 mos old and he fell through. Luckily they are split with a landing half way down, so he really only fell the height of a half flight, or about 4 feet, but still. Yikes. He was fine, but it was scary. So, no playing near the stairs for children who can't walk them yet. Well, last week, Jacob was playing downstairs, and I was allowing him to explore a bit. He went right over to the stairs, but I was behind him so I let him go. Wouldn't you know it, he just took a look at them and went right up! He didn't falter or almost fall. Sheesh! So one more milestone crossed for him. I wish I had a picture to post, but I didn't have a camera at the time, and we haven't let him try again since.

Another big milestone this month is that Levi is potty training. He has been sort-of trying all summer, but really he wasn't interested. Just this week he has been successful at keeping his pants dry, and hasn't had any accidents. I've been rewarding him with candy for using the potty, because at first he was holding it all in until bedtime when we'd put a diaper on him, and then filling it. Ick. Now, he eagerly goes to the bathroom, so he can come back and beg for candy. Woohoo, finally a kid the food bribe works on! LOL

On the down side for this month, Chris has hardly been home. He has been playing Fall Ball, which is a 2 month extension of the softball season at work. He asked and I told him it would be ok as long as he could still take the boys to Pathfinders on Tuesday nights. Since the boys only have meetings 2x a month, he wouldn't really be missing very many games. It also worked out that he could either drop them off on the way to a game, or pick them up and bring them to a game most of the time. He has only missed one game. I am happy to let him play, as it is a chance for him to get out and not think about work for a bit; but it does keep him away from home more. This week he has also been told he has to start working mandatory unpaid overtime. Since he is salaried, it is kind of understood that he would have some work to do after hours that wouldn't officially get paid for. Luckily for him, he hands in a timesheet each week, for the purposes of billing clients, so most of the time, he gets the extra hours back in time off. Well, it seems the projects he's working on have run out of budget, but the managers have all promised the work would still get done anyway, so they are making him work LOTS of hours to get it done, and he can't charge any of that time to the clients. Ugh. So, all added up I just haven't seen much of him at all. He has been able to bring some work home with him, but I have to keep the kids away so he can actually do it. He has been going in really early in the morning, too. But between the work and the stress of the work, he is really tired, and so whenever he's not working, he's sleeping.

Meanwhile, the weather is getting colder and dreary with some rain and less sunlight, and the boys are getting tired of school. They have been stir crazy the last few days, stuck inside because of the rain. Their running and screaming and bickering and chasing and crying are driving me nuts. WHY can't they get along??? WHY are they always at each other's throats?

This week a lot of bloggers have been posting pictures of Fall, with foliage shots, and pictures of pumpkin patches, and pretty mums at their front doors. I am so jealous. I wish I were a better homemaker and decorator, though I admit I have no where to store seasonal decorations. This year I've been seeing such pretty dishes too. I am not one to care about switching out my dishes (again, where would I store the ones I wasn't using?) but I sure wish I had a house worth decorating. I wish I had kids who actually wanted to go to a pumpkin patch and enjoy a corn maze. No, my kids whine and complain so much it just isn't worth it trying to go. And it's not worth trying to decorate because Chris would just complain or make wisecracks about the clutter. It's just not worth making an effort for myself when those around me are going to ruin the pleasure of it.

All this to say, I am starting to get depressed. I hate being discontent and unhappy. I know I don't really have anything to truly complain about, and lots to be happy about. But there it is. I can feel it sucking me in, and all I want to do is sleep for a week. Of course, that is not possible and so I eat to stay awake, and so I grow bigger and bigger each week, which also depresses me. Sigh.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

An Overdue Post

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Last month was my dh's and my 15th anniversary. Woo hoo! Some days it seems much longer than that, and others it seems like much shorter. Over all we've made it through a lot of rough patches and right now we're in a good place. I've told him, there's no one else I can even imagine being married to, or who would want to be married to me! LOL

Our special day 15 years ago:

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Happy Anniversary Chris!

Friday, October 05, 2007

More Pictures

After we got back from our trip, Troyer wanted to open his presents. We waited until Monday night so that Chris could watch him open them. Not sure why, because he usually isn't interested in what the boys get, but he said if he didn't watch them be opened, he'd never know what he got at all. Hmm, probably true! lol

opening presents

here's a group shot, they are all in there! Not the best, but they are not usually all in a space close enough to be in one picture lol
hurry up and take the picture Mom!

Here's a shot of Jacob's toothy grin. You can see 6, but there are now 8 teeth in there!
pearly whites

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I Am a Mother to a Teenager!

This weekend Troyer turned 13. Ack! When did I get so old??? Oh yeah, at the beginning of the month, when I turned 40, LOL. I went out to my sister's house for the weekend, and I took Troyer, Noah, Samuel, and Jacob. We brought the party with us LOL. We had a great time, and I think Troyer enjoyed doing something special for his birthday. His aunt got him a bakery cake and put cars on the top (toy cars from the movie Cars), plus she gave him a small volkswagen model, and a Muppets t-shirt. We went out to eat at a local pizza buffet. The restaurant had a small arcade room in back, and the boys had fun wasting some money in there :-).

We also spent a lot of time looking at books. Aimee and I have a sort of book obsession going on right now, so we spent several hours at her library, plus we went to two used-book stores. She bought more than I did, but I did pick up a few things. We also bought books for our kids. I am sorry to say that my boys were pretty bored in the book store. They enjoyed the library but that's because they all grabbed Calvin and Hobbes and Foxtrot off the shelves and found chairs to sit and read for an hour. Well, except for Samuel, who ended up just falling asleep. I wish I had my camera with me at the library! It was funny.

We didn't have time to do much more than that, since the drive is so long. Even with Chris taking off Friday for travel time, it still was less than 48 hours actually at her house. I sure wish we lived closer! Jacob was so good for the whole trip, and Noah and Samuel did a great job playing with him in the backseat, so he wouldn't get too bored. He didn't complain until the last hour in the car. Even so, though, it slowed things down to have to bring him with us. I forgot to pack the stroller, and he is heavy! At least, after an hour in my arms, he is ;-).

the birthday boy
He's 13!

goofy over cake
getting silly over cake

at CiCi's Pizza
at the pizza buffet

playing Star Wars video games
These three spent almost the whole weekend playing Star Wars video games. They were in heaven!

browsing for a good book
Jacob took an instant liking to the stocked book shelves! Like mother like son!

excited about reading

read it don't eat it!
Katie read to Jacob. They didn't get very far before he started to try to eat the pages LOL