Saturday, December 29, 2007

In all the joy of the holidays, I forgot about my day as the World's Worst Mother Ever. Twas the Friday before Christmas, and I was braving the craziness of the dollar store with four wired children in tow. There were hyped up on all the sugar they devoured during their holiday parties at school. That was my first mistake.

While I was not-so-patiently waiting for Jeremy to pick some non-candy, non-toy item in the store, I turned my back on Spencer, who was riding in the basket part of the cart rather than the seat. That was the second mistake. In my defense, that boy will not stay strapped into a cart seat, so it's just as dangerous relying on worn cart straps to keep him safe. Anyway, by now you've probably figured out he took a header out of the cart. When I turned around, he was face down on the floor. Of course, there were a few people in the aisle who witnessed my horrible parenting. Fortunately, after much crying, he calmed down and only had a huge golf ball size goose egg on his forehead, which continued to remind me of my failings as a mother.

But wait...that's not the end of the story.

Ten minutes later I was trying to get all the kids loaded in the van, so I could go home and pretend I didn't leave my baby unattended in the basket of the cart. Anna climbed into the passenger seat, while Jack grabbed the divider between the passenger door and the sliding door to climb around me into the van. And as luck would have it, she shut the door while his hand was still on the divider. Amazingly, the door shut firmly while his hand was still in there. I still cringe thinking about it.

After a stop at Sonic to get a bag of ice, cherry cokes and cheddar bites, I got Jack settled at home with a pain reliever and a bag of ice. By the time D got home, poor Jack's hand, especially between the thumb and pointer finger, had become very swollen. After consulting with our neighbor who is finishing nursing school, we decided to take him to the urgent care clinic.

By some miracle, this is only the second time we've had to go to an after hours clinic or ER. Jack was quite the trooper through it all, placing his hand exactly as instructed during the x-ray and charming the nurses. The final diagnosis was bruised cartilage -- no broken bones. They put a splint on his hand that was almost as big as his head and sent us home.

And that, my friends, should qualify me for the World's Worst Mother Award.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas was good. The highlight was really on Christmas Eve. The kids were dressed in their pajamas and we sat around the tree singing Christmas carols with only the tree lights on. Spencer had to miss this event due to the fact he was very sleep deprived and would not have been a willing participant. Anyway, Don asked the kids questions about the Christmas story which actually led them to telling the story. Then I read the story of Jesus' birth from a children's Bible story book and we closed with some songs.

When we tried to sing O Christmas Tree, the only words I could remember was the German version. Mrs. Aylward would be proud (even if I butchered some of the words). However, I actually had a printout of the German version of Silent Night and the kids enjoyed that.

We had a good time with all the family, and my mom really enjoyed the Shutterfly album I did of our summer trip to Branson. I was so excited about the book that I can't believe I managed to keep it a secret until Christmas. The kids have enjoyed all their gifts, especially the mp3 players and roller blades.

Now that the holiday has passed, I'm moving on to the next project. We have switched the kids' bedrooms, and today, after my mom so kindly takes all four kids, I'm going to begin painting the middle bedroom. It hasn't been redecorated since Anna's birth nine years ago.

At the same time, I have to prepare for her birthday party with friends on Saturday and a family gathering on Sunday, her actual birthday. I guess I need to shop for her birthday present as well. Fortunately, the friend party is at a pottery place in the mall. However, the location of the family gathering has yet to be determined so I'd better start cleaning now.

Update on the laptop situation. My dear husband is really confusing me. He gave me a nice chunk of money to use to purchase a laptop but said it was for my laptop fund -- not to use as a down payment and finance the rest (because of course I do not have several hundred to outright by a laptop). This is a reasonable and responsible thing to do. But he's still about to drive me insane with the will he or won't he buy a laptop! At the end of the day, I still love him - I guess. :)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A few more days and I will be able to declare the financial aspect of the holiday season a success. I made a list with a budget of items for the kids, and I have stuck to it. I tried to use cash most of the time, but regardless, I came in under budget. Woohoo!

I even set up a college savings account for Spencer. Now I just need to update my checkbook...and wrap the rest of the gifts.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

For what it's worth

I enjoyed the Alvin and the Chipmunks movie, and my kids loved it. I just read one review and it was scathing. I was shocked. However, it once again confirmed my belief that movie critics like theatre lovers can be snobs.

Enjoy a movie for what it is. The Chipmunks is a movie for kids, and their parents and grandparents who watched the same characters years before will not be appalled by Hollywood's efforts to modernize the cartoon. I got a kick out of several scenes, and if that wasn't enough, just hearing my son quote lines from the movie that he's heard in the trailers, was enough to make it worth my while. Many of the adults and children around me seemed to like the movie, too. My kids spent the rest of the evening pretending to be the Chipmunks.

Again, I wish more movie critics and wannabe movie critics would judge a movie for what it is whether that be a drama, comedy, chick flick, action or kids' movie.

Friday, December 14, 2007

I took Anna and Jeremy to their first concert last night. Our church was hosting Phillips, Craig & Dean, a Christian group. Their harmony is amazing!

The kids said they enjoyed it. However, I don't think Jeremy still understands the concept of a concert -- or at least this kind of concert. He wanted them to sing a specific song, but 1) it's not one of their songs and 2) they weren't taking requests.

One of the highlights of the evening was when the group sang a song the kids knew from one of their praise CDs. They were both singing along. Jeremy was standing on the pew with his arms around my neck so I could obviously hear him very well in the loud sanctuary. That sweet boy was singing as loud as he could and was not worried about being in tune at all! It was actually a beautiful sound.

The invited all the kids on stage for a couple of songs. I took pictures, but the USB port on my old computer is in back and I don't have the energy right now to reach it to download the pictures. Maybe another time.

I'm off to the mall and other stores today before the Snow Storm 2007 hits! This storm is not to be confused with Ice Storm 2007 which blew in last Sunday. Hopefully the blizzard will hold off until we get home from watching Alvin and the Chipmunks.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

And the people said...

AMEN! School is back in session in our community. Unfortunately for my co-worker, she is not so lucky. Her school district still has several schools without power, and yesterday the roof at one of the middle schools collapsed. They'll be in school a little longer come May.

Hopefully, January and February will be very mild, and we will not need to cancel school again. That may get us out before May 31. I would much rather start the school earlier than end it later.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Day Three

Now two schools plus other housing additions are without power so no school again tomorrow. Fortunately, we have power. Unfortunately, we're over our snow day limit. Yippee.

We lost some big limbs off the tree in the front yard, but the only damage was a couple of Christmas bulbs that line the flower bed. I'm glad we were lazy and did not line the entire yard with lights.

Tomorrow we are getting out. We've gone to dinner the past two nights but have spent the entire day at home. However, today D picked up the kids and took them to mcD's for a couple of hours so I could get some work done.

Tomorrow we are going to take a trip to my office. That should be exciting for Anna since she doesn't get to go there often, and Jeremy hasn't been able to go as much since he's in school all day.

Hopefully, the madness will end after tomorrow. I should take the kids to do their Christmas shopping, but I don't even feel like braving a store with all four in tow. I usually have no problem going anywhere with all four, but after three days living in the Ice Age, I'm just not up to it.

Monday, December 10, 2007

I'm getting old. Actually, I think earlier this year -- the first Winter Storm of 2007 -- took all the joy of a snow day out of me. The kids were out of school for an entire week in January. Now we've just found out our district is closed again tomorrow. Fun for the kids, but now I have the fear of using up so many snow days that our school year extends into June again.

Closing school is reasonable because at least one of the schools has no power right now, and who knows what tonight's weather will bring. Fortunately, we have power and a wood-burning fireplace.

As for the number of school days, that brings up another issue for me. If I remember correctly, in Oklahoma, students are required to have 275 days of classroom instruction. You would think with all the talk of making our kids more competive and prepared academically in this global society, we wouldn't settle for holding school the minimum number of days required. How many school days do we have? With one snow day built in? I believe it's 275. That's setting a great example for our kids. We only do the minimum required, but we expect them to give above and beyond to succeed. That makes a lot of sense.

I'm going to encourage D to continue taking a more active role in our community and school system (he's starting to get involved in several things already), so when our school board seat comes open, he will be very ready.

Off my soapbox now.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Where are they now?

I'm one of those strange people who likes to google names to see what people are doing. I typed in the name of a guy I went to school with from grade school through high school. I was very shocked to find his name and picture pop up on the NY social scene. According to various stories, he's quite the philanthropist and supporter of the arts. He's even on! Of course, if you look at his resume on imdb, it doesn't mention anything about Oklahoma. Actually it says he got a degree from a college in England. That's funny. I thought he graduated from OSU or at least attended OSU. Guess Oklahoma's not as sexy as London.
I may not look like a happy person today because this head cold is wearing me out, but I'm doing a happy dance on the inside. My insurance and my wonderful pharmacist refilled my migraine medication, and rather than paying $230 for the miracle drug, I got it for $25. It's a beautiful day!

I also sent off my order for Christmas cards (I'll post the picture of the kids later), and I finished the photo book of our family trip to Branson. I sent off that order as well, and standard shipping was free! Again, it's a beautiful day!

Also, my awesome friend Penny hooked my up with tickets to an OU men's basketball game, so I can finally take Jeremy. Evidently I promised him a while back that I would take him to a game. It's not a big sacrifice for me since I love basketball. Hopefully, this game will be just what I need to get on board with the new coach. I haven't followed the team very well because he's not a very charismatic coach and there were a lot of new players last year. Honestly, it had nothing to do with their lack of wins. I'm not a fair-weather OU basketball fan. So once again, it's a beautiful day!

Of course, it's not even lunch time yet, but I think those are enough positives to make up for any negatives.

Monday, December 3, 2007

I did survive, but did my sanity remain intact? That's questionable. Here are a few things I learned over the course of 12+ hours with eight seven-year-old boys.

The name Hunter was very popular in 2000-2001. Of the seven boys who attended the sleepover, FOUR were named Hunter.

Three medium pizzas will probably never be able to feed Jeremy and his friends again.

Boys do not know how to whisper -- especially at 5:30 IN THE MORNING! (God bless my husband who got up and tried to keep them quiet for at least another hour.)

Tie a rope to a tree and boys will be spend hours playing Tarzan despite the dropping temperature.

And finally, I'm willing to make about any deal to convince Anna to have any other kind of birthday party rather than another sleepover.