Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Every Now and Then, I Get Some Brilliant Idea

My mind is usually always whirling with great ideas, but I never really have the attention span to make those ideas come to fruition. Today though, out of sheer desperation, I made one of my brilliant ideas work. And it really did work!!!

Little Guy was in and out of the hospital for the past week. I managed to get him released yesterday, but tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I hadn't purchased one single thing to prepare for the meal I'll need to make, and that meant I'd need to bring all five children with me. I did have Marlene to help me, but today is the day before Thanksgiving. Have you ever been to a grocery store the day before Thanksgiving? Nightmare, right? Now picture doing that with all five of my children. I know. Scary thought. Take some time to breathe in and out until the trembling with fear subsides.

I decided to try something new with the kids. First, I put together my menu. Then, I broke each item on the menu down by what ingredients would need to be purchased. After that, I google imaged each item, copied the pictures, and pasted them into a Word docutment. Well, actually I broke them down into three different documents.

By the time I was done, I had "scavenger hunt" lists for each child. No two of my kids were looking for the same things. I haven't done anything so smart in a long time. Instead of wanting to go down the toy aisle or begging for things they wanted me to get, they were focused entirely on the items on their lists. It did take a little longer than usual because I waited for them to "find" the items rather than just going directly to them. Basically, I just had to be sure I slowed down in an aisle right near an item I knew was on a list. Because their lists were so specific, I didn't even purchase one thing that wasn't on the list. NOT ONE!!!

So, there you have it. Proof that I do on occasion come up with something smart. Now if only I could come up with something to stop kids from peeing in strange places or make the laundry and dishes wash themselves...

Friday, November 20, 2009

He Said WHAT??!?!

There is a scene in the movie, "A Christmas Story" where Ralphie is trying to help his dad change a tire by the side of the road. He was holding the hubcap which was full of nuts and bolts, and his dad nudged him sending the whole thing flying into the air. At that very moment, Ralphie says "Oh fuuuuuuuuuuudge". Only he doesn't say fudge. Later, while he's sucking on the large bar of yellow soap his mom put in his mouth, he's instructed to tell his mother where he heard the word. He tells her he heard it from his friend, Flick. Immediately Ralphie's mom calls Flick's mom and tells her what Flick had taught Ralphie to say (It wasn't really Flick, by the way. Ralphie learned it from his dad, but didn't have the heart to say that.) Over the phone you hear the other mother exclaim, "WHAT?!?!" And then weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth from Flick as his mother begins disciplining him with a heavy hand.

Why do I tell you this? Well, there was an incident yesterday. Number One came home from school deeply distraught. I asked him what happened. "I said a bad word at school." "Oh, well what did you say?" "I'm not allowed to say it." "Well, what did it start with?" "F".

WHAT?!?!?! You said WHAT at school?!?!? I have to say I was proud of myself for not completely freaking out on him and beating him to a bloody pulp. The desire was there, though. We do NOT use that language here, or even watch it on tv for that matter. I will say that my birdie finger has gotten itchy on occasion, but that's about it. Mostly. Still, no F words here.

Apparently, he and another kid were trying to show how cool they are and were just throwing around front of a teacher! Hello?! Dude, if you're going to drop an F-Bomb, at least make sure you're not in the company of someone who could potentially haul your sorry butt to the principal's office.

I required him to tell me where he'd heard it. It was the same kid he's gotten into trouble with before. His teacher and I agree that he is no longer allowed to hang out with that kid. He also had to write a letter of apology to the teacher he swore in front of. Lastly, he knows that if he EVER says that word again, he will be washing his mouth out with vinegar.

The F-Bomb. My fourth grader dropped an F-Bomb at school yesterday. Lovely.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

WHAT is that smell???

For the past couple of days, our den has smelled more and more like pee. With five kids, two cats, and two dogs living in the house, I suppose it is possible that there could have been pee in there. The question was WHERE is it?

I started by spritzing the carpet with some pet odor stuff. That only worked for a little while. The odor was just getting stronger and stronger by the day. Today I decided that I was going to take the bull by the horns and do something drastic about the smell. It was making me crazy. I vacumed, steam cleaned the carpets, moved the furniture, scrubbed all the baseboards and walls in the house, and cleaned the fronts of all of my appliances. STILL, the odor was there.

I was just about ready to fully remove the carpet from the den and simply live with just the concrete. In a last ditch effort, I got on my hands and knees and tried following the smell. Again. It seemed to be over by the television wall. Since I was on the floor with a bucket and rag, I figured I should also scrub the fireplace. It was looking particularly yucky anyway.

That's when I found out what the real issue was. THE FIREPLACE! Someone has been peeing in the freaking fire place. At what point does a child (or more likely a pet) think it would be a great idea to pee in the fireplace?!?!?! I scrubbed, bleached, scrubbed some more and finally scrubbed on last time. At last the smell was gone.

All that blood, sweat, and tears and the answer was there the whole time. Oh well. At least I have some real deep cleaning done now. That'll probably be it for a long time to come, too. I hate deep cleaning stuff like that.

Trick or Treat!

I know these are a little bit late in coming. Little Guy spent the week in the hospital and I'm afraid my blogging was put a bit on the back burner. I'm pleased to say, though, that we've been home for a few days now. He seems to be doing great.

Pretty went as a bat princess. She was pretty sure she was all that and a bag of chips, too. Number One went as a storm trooper from the Star Wars Clone Wars movie. For the first time ever, he opted to trick or treat with his friend, J. Snort wore the Elmo costume that the other boys have both worn in the past. The Beast went as a vampire. He took the role very seriously, too. He was so excited about the make-up and the fang teeth I had gotten him. Little Guy wore the Superman costume Angela had gotten him. As you can see from the pictures, he was pretty tired by the time we got home.
All in all, it was a great night. All the kids seemed very happy with their day, and that's what mattered most to me.