Do You Validate?

My son had a basketball game tonight.  Dinner was somewhat cleaned up before we headed out the door, just me and my boy.  We left home at 6:20, for his 6:50 game.  My hubby stayed home with the three girls because the game would run past the littlest one's bedtime.  We arrived home from the game shortly after 8:00, having been gone for less than two hours.  Now they are all in bed.

Just before that my husband, wonderful & committed family man who rarely goes out and even then it's only to dinner with his wife, came to me and asked  "I love our kids dearly...so why is it that I feel like I need to go to a bar and drink myself into a stupor?"

Ahh, validation.  Makes me feel not quite so alone in knowing that I'm half way to Cuckoo.


Save My Ta-Tas..Or My Sanity, At Least

[Important little aside: I started this entry a, um, few days ago...or weeks. Whatever. Just got back to rereading it to try and ungarble the gobbledy gook and hopefully I made it slightly comprehensible.]

Where, oh where, do I start? Right now I'm semi-incapacitated, and the kids are home from school for Christmas Break (read: running around, in the house, like a pack of wild animals), and my husband is pluggin' away at our kitchen cabinets (yes, still. Up until a week ago he hadn't done any work on them at all, for months, because he's too busy with Nursing School. Understandably so. But here I am, sitting, semi-incapacitated, remember?, amongst alllllllllll the stuff that belongs in the cabinets but has been temporarily located to rest on my sanity, I mean, counters and tables and all other horizontal surfaces.  And there are dishes. Lots of dirty dishes.  Because everybody knows how to use them, in overabundance, even, but apparently I am the only one that knows how to use that magic box commonly referred to as The Dishwasher.  And all that stuff that seems to fall from the sky around Christmas time: the decorations, kids' art projects, unsifted mail, plus everything else that Mom Usually Takes Care Of. But I'm not taking care of it right now, because I'm (that's right, say it with me) semi-incapacitated.

Why? Well, on the 13th (this past Monday) I had some boobage removed. No, not a breast reduction. At least, not a balanced one. There was a small mass on my left breast and on Monday they took it out. The right boob is still the same size.  It's what the doctor referred to as an 'excisional biopsy'. My Reproductive Endocrinologist (the surrogacy doc) is the one who found the lump through routine exam. It wasn't too concerning but something he wanted re-visited in a few weeks time. So after my ultrasound to check my uterine lining (this is a preparatory ultrasound, gettin' ready for the Embryo Transfer, otherwise known as "when the doctor gets me pregnant") the doctor (who was actually a different reproductive endocrinologist, filling in for my regular doctor who was out of country) performed a breast exam and also found the lump on my left breast. Truth be told, I was rather offended. A woman of five pregnancies and full-term deliveries, who has breastfed her four own children...come on, it wasn't a lump people! It was the last little bit of perky boob remaining, hiding beneath the vast majority of far-from-perky, 38-year-old breast tissue. "Lump", "mass"...Pfft.

Still, with my mom's history of breast cancer (one of the scariest times in my life) I wasn't taking any chances. The lump was too small to do a tissue biopsy, and so we decided to just take it out.  No messing around here.  And so the last youthful, sprightly, bit of perkiness that was left, is now gone. I was really hoping the surgeon, while he was in the vicinity, would have thrown in a complimentary lift. You know, to put the girls back up where they belong. No such luck.

So they took my last smidgen of firmness, left me lopsided (albeit ever so slightly), and didn't have the decency to at least move the girls north, and now I'm semi-incapacitated trying to enjoy the nutsiness around me: sawdust, cluttered counter tops, dirty dishes, filthy floors, Super Hubby, Crazy Kids, and all.


Peeing on Trees

So perhaps you are thinking that I fell off the face of the Earth? Well, yes, I did. Into the abyss that is Mommyness. I have been up to my eyeballs in parenthood. Wait, no...there was that time 6 weeks ago from last Thursday that I got to experience the incredibly rare, solo pee break. Granted it only lasted about 2 minutes, but for 120 glorious seconds it was just me, the loo, and that golden yet ever elusive Silence.  I won't go so far as to say it was pure bliss, but damn it was close.

So, yes, I've been occupied. Not because of the homeschooling. Yeah, that didn't last. Long story short, phase I of the Homeschooling Back Pedal began when I realized that 2 out of 3 kids needed to return to our local public school.  My oldest is the one who was most interested in homeschooling, and the other two didn't care too much either way. So while the 5 and 7 year old went back to our brick-and-mortar school I continued to homeschool my oldest. That lasted a few more weeks until phase II of the Back Pedal; she realized that I'm not nearly as interesting to be around 24 hours a day. I know. Shocker. And so now my 3 oldest are back in school, leaving me with just my little one for the bulk of the day...and leaving me wondering why I've been too stinkin' busy to keep up with this blog thing. 

And if wondering where my time goes doesn't have me feeling incompetent, perhaps today's phone call from the school principal will do the trick. Yeah, so focusing on the positive: nobody was hurt.  But apparently I've failed as a mother, where bathroom habits are concerned. My only son decided to Use A Tree during recess rather than a urinal in the boys' room.  Yes, that is correct, my son peed on a tree at school.  Apparently my appreciation for some alone time in the WC is not a trait shared by my boy.


I Can't Keep Up

Aw, geez. It's seriously been well over a month since my last post??? How can that be?? I swear, I just opened that grandiose box of K'Nex a week ago...really. Time is playing tricks on me. Not funny, time. Not funny.

So the school year ended (May 21st! I know! Crazy, right? So early. Back in my day, we went to school until mid June or later. Of course we also had to walk up hill both ways...through snow.) And we went to visit my parents up North. Then we returned back home seemingly seconds before my In-Laws arrived for a week's visit, only to find that our one dog, whom we left in the care of a neighbor, seemed to have not been let out of his crate in almost a week. Yes, there was a lot of Seeming going on: the In-Laws seeming to arrive when we did? Good. The poor dog seeming to have been held captive? Awful.  And it's totally and completely not funny and a majorly upsetting thing, so now I'm moving on.

So we had a fabulous time with my parents up North, and then we had an equally fabulous time with my In-Laws, including my two sisters-in-law, 1 niece, and 1 nephew. Both visits? Entirely too short.  Since that time my husband has constructed 3 new homes. Ok, no, he only actually just made two built-in desks, to include painting the office area of the house (for the second time in less than two years, but we won't go there), and he's now started Nursing School (I swear the man is a Professional Degree Collector. The pay is not as good as you might think.)... So what else have we been doing with our summer? Well, we've been to the lake a few times. First visit we encountered: one very large, dead & semi-devoured fish and plural vultures, a snake, a mole, a lost dog, and a turtle...I think one of our neighbors is a mosquito farmer, as that is the only logical explanation as to why the mosquitoes are so bad in our yard...Little Miss L. called 9-1-1 on my "locked" cell phone a few days ago...We harvested a pumpkin from our garden...Miss A. had her 5th birthday this last weekend (yeah yeah yeah...birth story, I know. I'm so far behind being behind)...we almost ended up with a 3rd dog last night when a sweet doberman?/rottweiler?/lab mix pup followed my hubby, two of the kids and our dogs home...after the 4th (of July) I will be solo-driving the 4 kids and myself back up North to visit the grandparents for a couple of weeks...and the decision has been made: I will be homeschooling Z, K, and A, beginning with this school year coming up. Yeah, I might be crazy, but I already knew that...and I figured you did too.  So. How's your summer been?


K'NEX: Tantrums & Tour Guides

So a while back I signed up, as a "Mommy Blogger", to get some K'Nex from the Fabulous K'Nex Folks in exchange for reviewing them on my blog.  And so here we are, a good month or more since I received a 14 pound box of Pure Kid Joy.  The day I received the hefty package I stashed it in the garage.  My intent was to go through the box that night, and sort and wrap the K'Nex and give them to my kids as a surprise.  A sort of Christmas In April, if you will.  Well the box sat there. And sat there and sat there. And so we could have done a Christmas In May sort of thing...except for the fact that I decided I was too lazy to crawl into the attic to fetch the wrapping paper and so a few nights ago I managed to bribe the kids into getting ready for bed a good 1/2 hour earlier than normal.  I told them I had a box of stuff for them once they had their jammies on.  So with 3 jammy-clad children eagerly awaiting (I had already laid the littlest one down for the night) I cut open the box. 

Mrs. K'Nex had hooked us up!!  The motherload of K'Nex was sitting in a box in our living room! Sets of "Construction Crew"s, "Micro-bots", Sesame Street character Kid K'Nex, a Fire Rescue set that can be configured 10 different ways to make various vehicles, and a bucket of 350 of the coolest little building appariti a kid could want! Now, I've got to confess: up until this point I've always been a Lego gal. It's what we, my husband and I, grew up with (did they even have K'Nex back in the 70s?) and so it's what we've gotten for our kids.  And now, nothing against Legos, cuz I still love 'em, but these K'Nex??? They totally rock! First of all, my kids can use them along with the Legos we already have. But the K'Nex are more than just building bricks.  There are stick majiggers, and connector thingys and all kinds of pieces and parts that my kids can use to build the contraption shown in the directions provided or to create whatever their little engineering imaginations might think up. 

That first night that we were introduced to K'Nex I gave my three eldest children 1/2 an hour to play.  My B.P.E. (see previous post if you need clarification on the acronym) for the first time in her short little life, actually listened (for the most part) when I said it was bedtime.  She was thoroughly enjoying the K'Nex, but knew that her little body was tired and ready for bed. The 7-year-old, however, was a completely different story. The tantrum he threw, in protest of having to leave the K'Nex only long enough to get a good night's sleep, could have taught any 2 or 3-year-old a thing or two about Tantrum Technique.  It was ridiculous.  And I considered packing him up and sending him away UPS, except for the UPS store was already closed for the day.  Lucky for No Felon Record me.  And the 9-year-old? Let's just say she's picked up the Passive Agressive trait from my brother, as she kept telling me "Ok mommy" each of the 6 billion times I told her it was time for bed.

The next day the K'Nex play continued promptly after school.  My 7-year-old diligently worked away for an hour or more, creating and building.  And when my 9-year-old completed Speedy, one of the Micro-bots, she carried "him" all through the house on a thorough and guided tour of our abode.  I do believe my aspiring teacher may someday have a summer job as a museum tour guide. 

The Sesame Street sets are listed as being for ages 2-5, and the other sets are for "5+" and "7+".  My almost-5-year-old was challenged by the Sesame Street sets when trying to build it like the picture, but thoroughly enjoyed coming up with some wacky combos of Cookie Monster, Ernie, and Elmo.  My 1-year-old enjoyed playing with those creations of the almost-5-year-old, and most of the pieces were large enough for the littlest one to play with without fear of any choking hazards. The other sets (for ages 5 and above) are a totally different story.  There are many small and a few teeny-tiny pieces that could easily be snacked on by the 1-year-old, so we've restricted the construction sites of those sets to the kitchen table or breakfast bar.

So there's a new favorite toy in the B family house.  Maybe I can get some more to complete our never-ending kitchen remodel.

It's In The Genes, Just Not My Genes

As my husband prepared to take our four children to the park I began chanting an unfamiliar but frighteningly cathartic mantra: I will not do any cleaning. I will not do any cleaning. I will not do any cleaning. I will not do any cleaning.  And with those opening remarks there are soooooo many directions I could take this:  I could write about what I'd like to be doing right now (a multitude of things other than cleaning), I could write about how my house always seems to be a mess even though I'm almost constantly cleaning, I could write about how difficult it is for me to just sit down and be when I'm at home (because there are always dog hair, toys, clothes and books to be picked up, laundry to sort, wash, or fold, meals to be prepared or cleaned up. Case in point: within 10 minutes of my episode of chanting I was spraying tub & tile cleaner in one bathtub and toilet bowl cleaner in the toilet.  Mind you, I haven't actually scrubbed anything yet (this was a few short minutes ago), but the intent is there: while my hubby has taken the children to the park, partially for the purpose of giving me a little time to myself in a peaceful, still, and quiet house, the distractions of dirt & grime are bellowing at me: "step away from the blog!" and "don't even think about putting your feet up to enjoy a good book!"  But (please exucse my journalistic meandering) let's focus on my husband for a moment, shall we? As I've said, he has taken our entire rambunctious brood to the park. It's a bird, it's a plane! No, it's Super Dad!! Right? Yes, in so many ways he is an amazing husband and father.  And I love him immensely.  But let me tell you why he's a jackass.

A few nights ago, as my hubby clanked spoon against bowl, gobbling up what I'm sure was a rather large bowl of ice cream (one of my most favorite food groups), I hunkered down at the computer in the other room simply to keep my distance from said ice cream.  As you may (or may not) know I have been trying to shed some weight, and with my love of ice cream it is best if I do not come within 50 ft. of it.  Think of it as a Restraining Order. And as you may (or may not) know my husband doesn't need to lose a single pound.  Super Dad is approximately the same size that he was twenty years ago, in his Track Star college days.

So a short while later, when the coast was clear, I popped my trusty bag of Smartpop (the indulgence I'll allow myself) and cozied up on the sofa with my Super Dad of a husband so we could watch a show.  Now. Normally I share my popcorn willfully. But after Super Dad scarfed 1/2 a gallon of the forbidden frozen dairy concoction? He ought to know to leave my popcorn to the chubby one. Paws off.  So after he took a few fistfuls of my fibrous, grainy snack I gave him The Look. Yeah, I know you know what look I'm talking about.  That look.  And when he semi-jokingly said "I'm trying to gain some weight." I didn't really get the joke.  Because why is that funny?  Is he mocking me?  Then he proceeds to share that since his weigh-in (an Army thing) a month prior he has lost five pounds.  Five poundsLost five pounds.  Mr. I Don't Need To Lose An Ounce has lost five pounds and is now trying to gain it back. Meanwhile his wife, Ms. I Gained An Average Of 48 Pounds With Each Of Five Pregnancies struggles to lose as least some of that "baby fat".  So yeah. Super Dad is a Jackass. There. I said it and I feel better.  Frighteningly cathartic.  Now if you'll excuse me there's a tub and toilet in this quiet, kidless house that need scrubbing.


Hubby's Last Words

I shouldn't be here right now.  Baby is napping, sick hubby is also sleeping, clean laundry beckons to be folded, dishes are getting crustier.  Shit, I haven't even wiped the kitchen table free of this mornings cheerios-and-milk droppings.  But I just gotta ask something.

What is it about men and getting sick?  When I feel myself getting sick (a flu, a terrible cold, a sore throat, whatever the run-of-the-mill case may be) I recognize it and might say to my husband "I feel pretty crappy.  I hope I'm not getting sick."  After all, I'm not dying.  But last night my husband (my dear, sweet, hard-working, fabulous dad to our children and best friend of mine) says to me, in a most ominous tone: "Something's not right."  As if he might have some sort of a brain tumor or something equally terribly frightening.  I'm not saying he doesn't feel well. I'm not trying to discredit his feelings, be it nauseau, headache, or whatever.  But seriously? I wish I'd video recorded his forebodding "Something's not right" as if the world were coming to an end, so that I could post it here...for all other heterosexual women to see as witness to the fact that, No, their husbands/male significant others are not the only ones.

And cue little Miss L's cries.  Gee, a 30 minute nap *sigh*. Gonna be a long day for this mama.