Sunday, January 16, 2011

Snow Day

On Monday night, we got a pretty good snow storm. It wasn't the 5-8 inches we'd expected, but it was certainly enough to sled on. Remembering that my children have only lived in Texas their whole lives, the first sledding trip was a pretty momentous occasion. It's a good thing, too, because it takes a really long time to get five kids dressed appropriately to be able to go sledding. Snowpants, jackets, hats, mittens, gloves, scarves, and boots take long enough to put on one kid, but dressing five seemed a bit like an endless task.

I'd made a little bet with Kassidi about whether or not there would be school that day. If she won and there was school, I'd owe her a Dr. Pepper after school. If I won and there was no school, she'd get to come play with us for an hour. She must have been feeling generous because she stayed almost the whole day. She helped dress the kids and drag them and their sleds down the street to the "super cool sledding hill".

CJ was a bit nervous, but quickly got over that after his first trip down the hill. Liam, Drezden, and Rachel were just itching to go the second we got there. Liam was so bundled up that he couldn't move much (think Randy from "A Christmas Story"), so he required a little extra help. I put him on the sled to drag him back up the hill, which he enjoyed until I pulled a little too hard and he tipped over face down in the snow. Given the fact that he couldn't move much, I think he was pretty glad when I finally plucked him from the snow.

Drezden was delighted with the whole experience until his mitten flew off and he realized that the snow is indeed cold. From that moment on, he cried until we got him home and his little hands warmed up. Besides that little glitch, I'm pretty sure sledding might be his new favorite sport.

Rachel and Aiden were absolute dare devils. I might be in trouble with Miss Rachel as she gets bigger. Nothing scares her, so I can only imagine the wild and crazy adventures we'll be having with her.

I got pretty much no housework done that day, but I did hear lots of giggles with delight. I'd planned ahead and prepared for a snow day, so I had donuts and hot cocoa on hand as well as a few other fun things to do.

Overall, it was a great day. That said, I'm not sure I'd want every day to be a snow day.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Note to Self: Never Profess to Feel "In Control"

If I ever make the mistake of saying out loud that I like the way things are going and that it's starting to feel like I'm in control of whatever needs to be done, the universe plays its part in putting me back in my place. I must have made that mistake at some point this past week because the universe has effectively kicked my proverbial butt. Hard.

I'm not sure how much poop I cleaned up this week, but it was a lot. There's the usual poop that Liam likes to try and dig out of his diaper and gets caught under his nails. For some reason, that poop doesn't really tend to bother me so much anymore. Maybe it's because so many of my nose hairs are fried that it no longer smells quite as bad. I will admit to being a bit bugged by the poop in the tub tonight. Liam was the last to climb into the tub. I guess he wanted more room because he immediately pooped which caused lots of floaties and some fabulous smearing on the bottom of the tub. CJ, Rachel, and Drezden got out ofthat tub faster than I've ever seen them get out before. I really appreciated the opportunity he gave me to scrub the tub a little more this week.

I also loved the discovery of the fact that someone is clearly peeing in my bathroom sink. I'm not 100% sure who is doing it, but I have it narrowed down to four family members and the cat and dog don't count. I suppose I wouldn't be so bothered by the pee in the sink if I hadn't discovered it right after I sat on the toilet and discovered that someone opted to leave just one square of toilet paper and not mention the need to replace the roll. Something about sitting with your pants down and a desperate need to wipe, but nothing available makes the fact that there are clearly urine stains in the sink seem much worse.

In case the copious amounts of poop in the house weren't enough to put me in my place, the piles and piles of laundry also helped. I swear my laundry has a mind of its own and just keeps reproducing itself in the event that I sleep. Well, that and the fact that CJ, Drezden, and Liam always seem to wet their beds on the same night. That's swell. Thanks, kids. I needed five extra loads of bedding to wash before even starting in on the regular clothes.

Then there's my sense of time management. I used to be so on top of this. Not anymore. Nope. The universe has seen to it that I am one big fat walking brain fart. This week alone, I missed my scheduled time to help in CJ's class, forgot to have CJ do his homework for TWO nights (twice as bad as just missing one night), and have managed to put Aiden a full two weeks behind on his science fair project. My cleaning routine has been flipped upside down, and somehow cleaning all day still yields a messy house when I go to bed at night. How the heck does this happen??!?!?

Now let's talk about my cat. My sweet angelic kitty that can do no wrong has turned into some sort of demon spawn. TWICE this week she got herself locked in my room and POOPED IN MY BED!!! TWICE!!!!! Is she looking for a one-way ticket to the animal shelter????? Have I not loved her enough? Is she mad because she found out that other cats get Fancy Feast while she is often forced to settle for dry food? Did I fail to spend enough time scratching behind her cute little ears? Or is it something bigger? Is it just the universe reminding me once again that I am not in control of anything?

There were other things, too. We had a snow day on the one day of the week that I should have been able to clean. Did I mention the extra laundry? Oh, I did? Well, there was also lots of extra floor mopping compliments of extra snow. (And admittedly some amazing memories with pictures soon to come). My computer has gone wonky. My dishes seem dirtier than usual. I missed the recycling truck and am stuck with tons of recyclable stuff for another whole week. I'm sure there's more. (In fact I had some really really big stuff happen, too, but can't share it here as this is a blog to make you laugh and the really big stuff is surely enough to make anyone cry).

So here I sit. I'm a great big human brain fart who has learned many things this week, but the most important thing of all seems to be that I am most certainly NOT the one in charge. Point taken. Now can we lay off on the poop and laundry just a little?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Automated Phone Answering Systems-I Hate Them!

I know this is going to come as a shock to some, but I'm going to go out on a ledge and divulge it anyway. I'm opinionated. Yep. It's true. I know. Usually I'm like a shrinking violet always keeping my thoughts to myself, right? Not this time. Nope! I have a strong opinion and I fully intend to share it.

I know what you're thinking right now. What could possibly be so bad that it inspires an opinion in Aimee that is at all worth sharing? Well, I'm going to share it. Hold on to your hats. I'm sure I'm very much in the minority on this one. The topic: Automated phone answering machines. I. CAN'T. STAND. THEM!!!

If I have to take the time to look up a company's number, make sure I have all of my account information ready, and speak politely, I should at least be given the courtesy of having a human answer the phone. Instead, I'm greeted with a list of about seven thousand, four hundred, sixty-five choices of which button to push (half of which aren't even in English!!) Once I finally choose the one that almost meets my needs, I start to get my hopes up that I'm about to talk to a real living human being. I start thinking for a few brief moments that someone with a pulse and blood running through their veins is going to grace me with a moment of their attention.

Of course my hopes and dreams of speaking to another person of the human race are quickly dashed when I realize that I now have some voice activated computer to tell my woes to. Really? Really!?!? REALLY!?!?!?!?! Without fail, one of the children in the house make some sort of background noise, which the stupid computer doesn't recognize, so it freaks out and says something like "I am sorry. I do not recognize that response. Ending call now. Bzzzzzzzzz." By this point, I'm now in the fetal position in the silence of my bathroom preparing to try to make the same stupid call for the fiftieth time. I start all over. First, I get the recording explaining "we seem to be having heavy phone traffic right now. Your expected wait time is about seven years. SEVEN YEARS!!!! I listen to the fifty billion options (half of which are still not in my language), choose my option that almost meets my needs, am rerouted to about seventy-five "customer service specialists", and finally make it back to the voice activated computer. And what happens in the silence of my bathroom where the children's voices can't possibly throw anything off? A fart. Seriously. A FART!!! And what am I bound to hear next? "I am sorry. I do not recognize that response. Ending call now. Bzzzzzzzzz."

It's not always this bad. Sometimes I only feel the urge to gouge one eye out before hanging up rather than wanting to gouge them both out and hang myself by my toenails in the closet.

Really. Automated phone answering services are enough to get war prisoners to fess up to their crimes. Forget Chinese water torture. This is so much worse.

So, there you have it. I have an opinion. And now I've shared it.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Well, It's a New Year

Happy New Year, world! I'm not really all that sure it's going to be all that different from 2010, but it does somehow feel really exciting to know it's a new year. There are some things I think will be just like last year, and others that I think will change. If I had to guess what would still be the same, those things would be:

1. My boys will still not be able to aim when they pee. At all.
2. Rachel will still be terrorizing the boys by stealing their toys and running off with them and screaming bloody murder when the boys catch up to her.
3. Aiden will continue to practice his sarcasm on CJ, and CJ will continue to be completely confused by it.
4. CJ will still be finding every opportunity possible to turn anything he can into an art form. He will cut papers into small papers, and then staple said papers together to form a book. He will then walk around to anyone he can find trying to get them to sign his book or draw something in it.
5. Drezden will continue to get constant compliments on how adorable he is with those big dimples, glasses, and out of control spiky hair.
6. Liam will maintain his destructive reign of terror and do so with a smile.
7. Byron will still be traveling a lot for work and will continue spending lots of time obsessing over how to get the most frequent flyer miles and perks.
8. I will still be the family maid walking around cleaning the same messes over and over and over and over and over and...well, you get the idea.
9. As for Mouse and Molly? Well, how much can a cat and dog that are both already adults change anyway? Mouse will still be sleeping in my bed all day and hiding from everything including her own shadow, and Molly will still be following the kids around hoping they drop some table scraps for her.

Even with all those things that will probably not change, there are a lot of things that I'm looking forward to and hoping will change a little bit. It's not that I don't love things the way that they are, but we all have to move forward and change in order to progress in life, right? Some of the things I'm pretty sure will change this year are:

1. The boys may not be able to aim when they pee, but they will be able to use a Lysol wipe to clean up their spills.
2. Aiden will become more and more independent as he explores his talents, makes more and more friends, and no longer needs to pick on CJ to feel good about himself. I'm already watching a lot of this happen right before my eyes.
3. CJ will find a way to help others appreciate his art with him, and will make bonds with new friends. Friendshipping with peers his own age is such a challenge for him, and I'm really hoping to see him make little breakthroughs here and there.
4. Rachel will start Kindergarten this year, and start to find her niche outside of picking on her brothers.
5. Drezden, who is now in pre-school, will start to develop a better sense of language and involvement in activities designed for his age and people will start to see that there is a great little personality behind those dimples, glasses, and out of control hair.
6. Liam is going to have a huge language explosion. I can just feel it. We have been working with to create a good and strong learning environment here at home. Finally, he's progressing. I can't wait to get into his little head and allow him to share what he's thinking.
7. Byron's travels will show him just how much he can do and just how strong he really is. Also, his dedication to weight watchers will result in a much smaller hubby by this time next year. While I love having more of him to love, I'm glad to know that he's dedicated himself to becoming healthier so he can be with us longer. I intend to celebrate our 100th anniversary together. (Hey! It could happen. Medical technology is coming up with weirder things than that!)
8. I will have the children trained to pick up at least some of their messes and take their chores more seriously. Okay, so this one will take a lot of work, but a girl can dream.

For now, I'm just going to try and enjoy today for what it is: a cleaning day and time to spend with my kidlets. Despite our challenges, heart breaks, and incredible frustrations, I feel completely blessed to have life just the way it is. We have daily laughter, new adventures on a constant basis, and of course we are NEVER bored.