Monthly Archives: April 2012

Laugh, Think, *TINK*, Drink

I’ve noticed a lot of blogs do weekly themes. I’ve jumped on some like {pretty, happy, funny, real} over at Like Mother, Like Daughter and Seven Quick Takes hosted at Conversion Diary. Lots of other blogs set daily or weekly themes like Wordless Wednesday or Thoughtful Thursday or Psychiatric Saturday or something.  Plus there’s weekly round ups and carnivals sometimes containing articles from all sorts of people and links to a million sites with reviews and giveaways galore. I don’t put that much thought into lesson plans, let alone my blog.

But I’m going to jump on this bandwagon and create my own weekly theme which will appear on no particular day. It will be called Laugh, Think, TINK, Drink. Let me explain. I will write on four things, with or without links that will (hopefully) make you laugh, make you think, make you see the silver lining *TINK* and make you want to grab a drink. (TINK, like flick your finger against something fancy and it makes a pretty noise? Get it?? ) Now on with the show.

To Make You Laugh

I don’ t understand the whole Ryan Goseling obsession or where this ‘Hey Girl’ thing came from, but I do know this makes me laugh.

 

To Make You Think

A good friend of mine blogs over at House of Virtue. This post about clearing out clutter from our lives, physical and otherwise popped up on my feed as I was taking a break from rearranging our entire first floor. I’m dealing with a ton of books, toys and miscellanea and wondering what can go and what needs to stay. I’ve found myself asking, do I own books, or do my books own me? Letting go of dramatic people,  grudges and that old vampire erotica book might be the perfect spring cleaning.

Find the Silver Lining *TINK*

I wouldn’t call myself a mean person per se, but I hear the sass mouths on my kids and I know their father isn’t responsible.  I’ve decided to try the advice of Kellie over at Building Cathedrals and hopefully not make the situation worse by getting all pissed off about not being able to be less pissy.  The silver lining is, hopefully someone in this house will offer this experience up (we’ll call it Mama’s happiness boot camp) and shave some time off purgatory for me.

Will Drive You to Drink

The talk. With your kids. Yeah, that one. My oldest daughter is nine and I know it’s time to start broaching the subject of ”stuff” with her. When I was her age, they sent all the boys out of the classroom and made us watch a movie sponsored by Kotex and featuring some actress who played Annie in a Broadway musical. They sent us home from school with a manila envelope containing an informational booklet and coupons. When my mom got home, I handed her the envelope and said, “We learned about this today.” She opened the envelope, looked at the book and asked, “Do you have any questions?” I said no, and that was that. If only homeschooling was as easy. This post by Ask Mary Martha confirms that yes, you can wait too long to start that talk.

What made you Laugh, Think, TINK or Drink this past week?

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I’m Thankful for…Seven Quick Takes

Last weekend the last two healthy kids in the house finally succumbed to illness. I was forced to accept the fact that some well laid plans for this week  just weren’t going to happen. I pouted and vented and got a little teary eyed. But my husband, rock that he is,  gave me a pep talk that went something like, “Yes, this is unfortunate but we’ll work around it. Don’t let it get to you. You’ve been negative lately.”

WHAAAA?!

Of course my first instinct was to kick his sprained ankle, but I resisted. If my husband, who knows and loves me more than any one, is trying to calmly tell me that I’m been “negative lately”, it probably means I’ve been more like a bear for at least a month.

So I’m trying really hard to be more positive, accept circumstances and ask God for the grace to carry on. In that vein, here are seven things I’m thankful for this week.

(Note: I didn’t include things like God, or my husband or my kids because that stuff’s all a given. So don’t think because ‘the Blessed Virgin Mary’ isn’t listed, I somehow am less thankful for her than say, brownies.)

1. A bra that fits and is comfortable. Yes, it’s a neon blue sports bra from Target but I’m fine with that. I’ve accepted that five kids in 9 years means I will look like some lady from National Geographic. I’ve stopped trying to use under-wire to appear otherwise. It’s okay. My husband still finds me attractive and that’s all that matters.

2. Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Brownie Mix. I’d been getting sick in ways you don’t want to know about, so over Lent I gave up gluten. The good news is, I haven’t gotten sick. The bad news is NO GLUTEN. I quickly discovered that a lot of gluten-free products suck. Everyone in the house has sampled them and now, my kids make gaggy noises when I get out my “special” food. Thankfully I recently discovered that for twice the cost of a regular box of brownies I can make a much smaller pan of yummy gluten-free ones. They filled a dark, fudgey void in my life. Everyone is much happier now that Mama found good brownies.

3. Our township building inspector. I love you and I have brownies baking! ( I hope he’s reading this and will come out and inspect our new room so the contractor can start hanging drywall.)

4. Home Reserve furniture. I love this company. We bought a huge sectional from them years ago and it’s held up awesome. (No stains or tears with five kids-believe it!) Now that we’re rearranging the whole house, I was able to single-handedly take apart the pieces, move them and create three smaller sofas we can use in the rearranged space. We got a lot of physical education credits that day!  BTW, Home Reserve, I can never remember the name of your company because it sounds like it should belong to a winery. You owe today’s link to my husband’s mad Google searching skills.

5. Take Your Child to Work Day. I had no idea how much quieter my house would be without the two oldest here. Especially since for the last month it’s been non-stop chatter about them tagging along with Papa on TYCTWD. I tried to point out that it’s always TYCTWD around here but I guess no one heard me.

6. My oldest son thinks I’m pretty. And no, he wasn’t trying to butter me up for something. I entered a ‘Mom of the Year’ contest ( for the $112K prize money) and was asking my kids what  makes me mom of the year. First thing out of the boy’s mouth was “You’re pretty.” So even though I don’t have her followers, I got one up on Jen Piwtpitt.

7. Blog comment spam. Yes, it’s also annoying, but the spam comments I’m getting are in such broken English and are so irrelevant to my articles, I can’t help but laugh. These are my favorites from this week. Be sure to read like Balky from Perfect Strangers (or if that reference is lost on you, read like Borat.)

“I’ve joined your feed and look ahead to searching for extra of your fantastic post.”

“This subject makes me think of other things that happens to us every day, it makes me reflect a lot”

“This is very nice one and gives in-depth information. thank you very much for that extraordinarily first class editorial!” – on my post about Truck Balls among other things

“Extremely useful info specifically the last section :) I care for such information a lot. I used to be seeking this certain info for a long time, especially on escorts newzealand”

“Your writing taste has been amazed me!”

 

Check out all the other Seven Quick Takes and please, be sure to leave some uplifting comments of your own.

 

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Twas the night before… My Sick Ode to Clement Moore

Twas the night before Monday, when all through my roost, all creatures stopped stirring once punishments were introduced.

The laundry still hung on the clothesline with care, forgotten by Mama who’d been summoned elsewhere.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds, the fun of the weekend still fresh in their heads.

And Papa in his boxers, and I in my sweats,  had just settled down,  blind to stomach upsets.

When across the baby monitor, there arose such a clatter, I sat straight up, my husband exclaimed “What the @*&%# is the  matter?!”

Away to the girls bedroom, I ran like a flash,  found an old trashcan , delivered  bedside with a crash.

Moonlight through the window enveloped the room,  suggesting serenity  and not impending doom.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a trail of  puke flying straight through the air.

My littlest daughter, by day - lively and quick, had succumb to infection and wound up quite sick.

More rapid than eagles her expulsions came. I tried to give directions but she missed the can all the same.

On blankets, on pillows , on dolly and teddy. My sweat-shirt, her nightgown,  it persisted,  fast and steady .

From the top of the bed, to the top of the wall?!,  how to wash away, wash away, wash away it all?

As dry heaves took over, my husband walked in with a sigh. She soon finished vomiting and began to cry.

Off to the bathroom, we walked smelling sour, my husband grabbed paper towels  and began to scour.

And then in a twinkling, I suspected more to come, when after a cry from the boy’s room, my husband took off in a run.

As I threw back my head, an expletive muttered, a long night we were in for, the week’s plans now shattered.

Redressed in clean PJ’s and laid back in her bed, I thought of helping my husband, but ducked under my covers instead.

“He made it to the toilet” was all he expressed, before snuggling beside me and trying to get fresh.

“Go away!”, I recoiled, “Fat chance in hell ! Who knows when they’ll be up again! There’s no way to tell!”

With a shrug of his shoulders, he pulled sheets round his head, and soon gave me to know, I had nothing to dread.

I awoke to a child standing quietly bedside, with a pail in his hand, his needs plainly implied.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work and filled up the pail, then zonked out with a jerk.

And laying his finger up inside his nose, I tried cleaning his face with my stained bedtime clothes.

Many hours later, this cycle twice repeated, I hoped finally our  jobs as nursemaids was completed.

A virus so merciless, had made me it’s slave. The sleep that we needed would remain elusive ’til  the grave.

Too soon I make out the sun through eyes tired and bleary, as my husband exclaimed “There’s no rest for the weary.”

 

 

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Seven Quick Takes- Under the Weather

I thought the Easter aftermath couldn’t get much worse than two sprained ankles in a single day followed by a sick baby. But unfortunately, because I even let that thought cross my mind, fate laid the smack down on me by allowing a virus to infiltrate my kids. Despite telling myself, and my husband,  repeatedly that the baby’s puking, diarrhea, crankiness and incessant head spinning was due to “teething”  or “demonic possession” we both knew he was sick. And no sooner were his diapers less explosive, than the oldest two fell victim. It’s been non-stop naked Barbies and baby doll tea parties around here now that #1 and #2 are too weak to resist #3. By all accounts, the outlook  is grim.

And so, seven random thoughts on illness and our family.

1. When you have a family with more than one child, you know as soon as one child is sick, the rest will fall like dominos. The fate of your husband and yourself is equally perilous. There’s nothing you can do because despite your best efforts they will cough on each other for fun, give you big sloppy kisses without thinking and fall asleep in your bed for a nap while drooling and snotting up your pillow. And  it’s not like they’re going to start washing their hands on a regular basis now.

2. Children’s medicine comes in several flavors, but children come in only two; flavored medicine lovers or haters. I’ve got one child who loves the bubblegum pain reliever like it’s crack. If his first dose is at 7:48 a.m., he is at my side clamoring for a hit of drugs at 1:47 p.m., bottle in hand with the clack, clack, clack of the child-proof lid muffled in his hands.  I guess I should just be glad I found a way to improve his ability to tell time.

3 .Why does their late night hacking cough wake me up, but not them??

4. A house full of sick kids is great for the grocery budget.

5. My oldest takes a fresh tissue every time she wants to dab at her precious schonze. This results in a massive tissue mound next to her wherever she’s resting. (It’s a huge germ breeding ground! I look and I can see the germs getting all freaky and multiplying right there!) I’m ready to go back to the system I had when they were younger. I called it the “snotty rag” system. It consisted of an old cloth diaper stuck on the top of the toilet tank in the kids bathroom. When ever a cold ran through the house, I grabbed the snotty rag, found a clean corner and wiped noses. When it was green or too stiff to use, I washed it and put a fresh rag on the toilet. At the time, that seemed more sanitary to me than multiple piles of half used tissues throughout the house. The only downside was when family came to visit and needed a tissue. Once I had to buy tissues for the guests, the snotty rag fell out of favor.

6. My kids will stop exhibiting symptoms just long enough for me to assume they are healthy and make plans. But usually after arriving at a friend’s house someone will complicate said plans by projectile vomiting.

7. Having just read the Velveteen Rabbit to the kids, my husband is convinced the next course of action is to start burning toys and bedding.

I hate to wonder what the next week has in store for us. We do love bonfires. How do you manage with a house of sick kids?

 

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Ultimate Blog Party 2012 Welcome

Hi I’m Kelly. Thanks for stopping by This Ain’t the Lyceum, where I hope my posts will make you laugh, and not run out to call Social Services.

My blog started out as an idea to share all my great homeschool advice and ideas. However, I quickly learned that my efforts at schooling suck compared to most homeschool mommy bloggers. So now I write about the reality of life and homeschooling which is sometimes messy, usually funny and occasionally leads me to drink. I keep it clean because I have lots of children who like to read over my shoulder, and I’m assuming you do too. I’m not controversial, unless you want to argue in favor of truck balls, and I don’t do serious or deep reflections because I’m not a deep and serious person. If you’re looking for an inspirational blog that will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy and all gung-ho about mothering and homeschooling I don’t know how you wound up here.

Besides blogging, I read, eat, sleep and when that’s done, educate my three oldest children according to Classical Principles. My younger two make every effort to thwart my efforts, and thusly, contribute greatly to my writing and high blood pressure. My husband and I have an unspoken agreement that I only portray him favorably so long as I want him to keep up with the dirty dishes.

Thanks for visiting me through the Ultimate Blog Party. Leave a comment and I’ll be sure to stop by your site too. I look forward to connecting with other moms who are sure to make me feel even more inadequate. I’m also on Twitter and Facebook and you can find all my other feeds at my Flavors page.

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Don’t Buy Me Flowers

Honey, I love you, but don’t buy me flowers. Because, if you buy me flowers, I will have to find a vase to put them in. I will search high and low through every cabinet and shelf before locating a suitable one tucked in the pantry behind some old Christmas candy. I will then need to clean the smears of chocolate and dead ants off the vase. Once the bouquet is in the vase, I will have to find a spot for it which means either cleaning off the dining table, the kitchen table or squeezing it in on top of the piano. If I choose the piano top, I will have to move it again because it will make the piano teacher nervous. So now, to the sounds of the oldest plunking out Moonlight Sonata,  I have to clean the dining room table. When I clean all the kid’s school books out of the center of the table and set the vase down, they will yell “His books are on my side of the table! Her paper is touching my binder!” and in the tussle they will hit the vase and spill the water and flowers all over my lesson plans and into my coffee which I’d actually been enjoying hot for once, but now tastes like plant food. I will have to call a recess and clean up the mess. I will consider the side table in the dining room and set the vase on the floor while I move the mail off the side table and onto the dining table. I will reach down to pick up the vase and see the baby eating the flowers and submerging his sippy cup in the water. I will see the piano teacher quickly turn his head away and snicker. If you buy me flowers, I will want to put them where we all can enjoy them, to show my appreciation for your display of affection but I will wind up sticking them on a shelf wedged in between a Little People play set and a stack of dusty magazines because it’s a sure thing no one will bump or touch them. You will come home and ask, why I put them there all out-of-the-way like that and request they be placed in the center of the table for dinner. I will honor your request and not be able to gaze upon your face the entire meal over stems and foliage, which you comment look a little sparse. I will insist a hundred times that I love them and the kids will express their wonderment at your being the perfect papa and spouse. You will make a mental note that I love flowers and silently vow to mark each occasion with a fresh bouquet delivered to the door, which I will open in my stained bathrobe to the mortification of all parties involved. Except the kids, who are convinced that the UPS man is in love with me. Until the bouquet is tossed into the compost pile, it will travel around the house like a nomad, dropping leaves, petals and pollen as it goes; small tokens that get smashed into the carpet or shoved up the nose of the baby. It’s fair perfume will scent the air until the water I never change gets green and putrid and inspires the kids to make barf jokes. I love you, but don’t buy me flowers.  It’s much easier to make room for a box of chocolates.

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Moms Night Out – Seven Quick Takes

I am so tired, but having promised my friends I’d write something ‘hilarious’ about our crazy homeschool mom antics, here are my Quick Takes for the Week; Seven highlights from the monthly Catholic homeschool moms social. If they aren’t funny to you, then you probably weren’t there.

1. Winking at the old guy in the liquor store as I purchased a fresh box of wine.  Yessirebob, you cannot even comprehend the craziness and debauchery that is about to ensue. Don’t let the big van fool you; I am a wild woman.

2. Learning about the connection between leprosy and armadillos. Whatever you do, if someone offers you armadillo meat-don’t eat it!

3. One mom insisted that cutting out on her mother-in-law’s birthday celebration to make the social didn’t upset her mother-in-law. Coolest. mother-in-law. ever. Either that, or my friend is totally kidding herself. If she finds herself written out of the will, I think we will all know why.

4. Explaining how to hide old art school friends on your Facebook feed because you’re tired of seeing their Occupy photos.

5. Chasing away eavesdropping children with a spray bottle usually reserved for the cat.

6. Everyone is in sweats or stained clothes and no one cares. It’s truly the one place I can go and expect a great time without worrying how I look. In fact, if I did my hair or makeup, no one would probably recognize me.

7. Dropping off a friend and her newborn at 12am and hearing her say she forgot her key, she’ll have to ring the doorbell and have her husband let her in.

 

I hope you ladies are happy, that is, if you’re awake and functioning at this hour. I know I’m going for my second cup of coffee.

Did I forget any thing memorable?

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Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real …does not do my week justice

Since our last installment, our family celebrated a joyous Easter Sunday before everything rapidly descended into chaos. Thankfully, we did manage ten minutes of visiting with friends on Monday before both my husband and oldest son sprained their ankles in unrelated incidents. But I’ve been unable to give them much sympathy as the baby came down with a stomach bug and nasty fever shortly thereafter.  Plus, everyone is heavily under the influence of Easter candy. Gotta love grandparents who give each child, even the 18 month old, three pounds of candy…yes, three pounds each. But true to my word, I managed to get the camera out.

So now without further ado….

{pretty}

It was so windy on Easter I couldn’t take many nice pictures outside given the sombreros the girls selected to wear with their new dresses. This was the best shot of the bunch because they’re smiling, looking at the camera and there’s no chicken trying to sneak her way in.

 

 

 

 

 

{happy}

 

 

 

 

This picture just represents me getting psyched for tonight’s Catholic homeschool moms social. All the box wine, baked goods and birth stories you can handle! WOOT! My husband knows not to wait up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

{funny}

 

 

When I think of Good Friday, I naturally think of AT-ATs. Or at least my son did, so when he brought me an empty cardboard box and said he wanted to make an AT-AT, I whipped this up. Those are not actual Star Wars action figures. My husband has original 1970′s Star Wars figures but he’s stopped letting the kids play with them since they lost Yoda a few months back. Now it’s up to some generic GI Joes to defeat the Empire. And this whole episode just proves, once again, kids don’t need fancy toys to be happy; just a mama willing to concoct crazy stuff from cardboard.

 

 

 

 

 

{real}

 

 

This is real air freshener-incense! My Greek orthodox friend always hooks me up with the best smelling stuff. I try to remember to use it a few times a month despite the exaggerated gasping and wheezing and dramatic fainting on the floor that inevitably results from its use. (“Mama I can’t breath with all the smoke. Won’t this set off the alarm? But I had to smell this stuff on Sunday!”)

 

 

 

And in case you’re wondering, no, I have not tried out the tire swing yet.  Maybe next week. Until then, check out the rest of {p,h,f,r} at Like Mother, Like Daughter.

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