My One and Only

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I’m going to let you in on a well-known secret: I don’t like to watch TV. I don’t like the lights. I don’t like the noise. And I hate realizing that I just lost 30 minutes of my day because I sat through an entire episode of Kid Danger- again.

My aversion works well for my kids because, in general, I don’t torture them with boring, adult programming. They are free to argue amongst themselves about whether they want to watch Disney, Nick, Boomerang, or Cartoon Network.

On rare occasions, I do take over the TV. My kids all moan as I turn on the History Channel or PBS. If I really want them to scatter, I turn on Downton Abbey. Nothing sends them fleeing like the theme song of that lovely, British drama. But even the lure of watching Maggie Smith play the Dowager Countess does not have me turning the TV on very often.

I do have one show, though. One that has had me captivated from the first episode. One that I will fight to watch. Once a week, that TV is mine. And no, I don’t care if it IS the middle of March Madness. We do have a DVR, for goodness’ sake!

At 8:45 on Sunday evenings, I make sure the littles are in bed. The middles are sent to go do something- anything, as long as it doesn’t disturb me. Evening meds are distributed and everyone is warned that, “This is My Time. Do NOT disturb me. If you bother me the house had better be on fire or someone better be bleeding out.”

I think those are clear instructions. What is difficult to understand about that? Why do they have such a hard time following those simple directives? Even their father warns them to leave me alone. It’s for one freaking hour! How hard is that?

Apparently, too hard, as this week Shaun had a TOTAL meltdown ten minutes into my show because- get this- his ears were hot. What the heck? Mind you, he was fine all day. He had no pain, no swelling, nothing other than a slight redness on the tips of his ears that completely went away by the next morning. He had been in bed for almost an hour at that point. What could he possibly have been doing? Thank goodness for my DVR.

Now, do you think the drama ended there? No. Lizzie, who is always worse at night, had a full flare-up. Her head started pounding. She started hallucinating and having delusions. Then, just for fun, she had a seizure. I had to fight to get her meds in her and then monitor her until she finally fell asleep on the small sofa. Again, my DVR came to the rescue.

About the time my show was supposed to end, things calmed down enough for me to sit and watch. It was also about the time for Simon to go to bed. He was, as usual, in the basement irritating his big brothers.

Trey and Joe took Simon’s bedtime as their moment to exact revenge. The hollering and riotous laughter made it nearly impossible for me to hear what was happening on my show. I had about had it. I threatened to take away everything they hold dear- namely, their electronics.

The big boys were exasperated. “But Mom, your show is supposed to be over. We’ve been waiting to watch the game!”

My eyes shot daggers and smoke started escaping out my ears. Wisely, they backed away, into the kitchen to look for a snack while they waited to take control of my TV.

Here’s the thing about Trey and Joe. They are low key and soft spoken all day long, but in the evening, they come to life. After 8 pm, the two of them are incapable of doing anything quietly, and their noise level rises exponentially when they are together. They barely escaped the evening with their lives- and more importantly, their electronics.

So, I ask you, am I asking for too much? Should I give up on my time to escape reality to relax in a post-apocalyptic world ridden with Walkers and Saviors? I’m sorry. I can’t. I just love The Walking Dead.

 

 

 

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Let’s Try This Again

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then just feed one.” – Mother Teresa

Hello Dear Readers,

It’s been a while, as in over a year, a while. I needed time, a lot of time, to decide what I wanted to do with this blog. I never meant to be away this long, but time slipped away while I was caught up in this crazy life.

I’ve thought of you often and thought about what I want to tell you. I don’t want you to get the wrong impression. I don’t want you to think that I’m a perfect mom or that I have all of my stuff together. I want to be real with you, but I wonder if you are ready to hear what I have to say.

This family is intense. We face some pretty heavy issues. Issues like mental illness, child abuse, abandonment, neglect, juvenile justice, addictions, disabilities and prejudice. Our family is fiercely committed to one another and we face these challenges together- head on.

We are real people. We argue and swear. We are not politically correct. We are not environmentally friendly. We don’t eat organic. My kids eat too much sugar and watch too much TV. My children know more about the dark side of life than they should.

We have too many pets. The house needs repair. My floors are wrecked and my sofas have rips. The kids’ rooms are a mess, I’m never caught up on laundry, and I hate to cook.

I’m not here to give parenting advice or to receive it. I’m writing to tell our story in the hope that others may be encouraged to do something. I am not an extraordinary person. I do not have super powers. I am a mom that is fiercely in love with her family. We are a family that is committed to changing the world one orphan at a time.

If I can make a difference, so can you. Find your purpose and do something!

Sleepy Saturday

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Sirius is ready to hibernate.

 

Sirius has the right idea. Baby, it’s cold outside, and I plan to stay in.

Yesterday, our grass was green and my children were outside playing, wearing light jackets and sneakers. Before the sun set, we dutifully scoured the yard to pick up anything that shouldn’t be there. Mostly that meant picking up random dog toys, balls, sticks, and socks. Lots and lots of socks. (I don’t know why my kids feel the compulsion to remove their socks as soon as they get outside, and I don’t have the energy to ask. Honestly, I don’t think they even know.)

This morning I woke up to a dusting of snow on the ground. But the warnings had been given, and as the day progressed, the snow continued to fall. My little area of the world is now covered in white.

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The snow as of earlier this afternoon.

 

I have a love/ hate relationship with winter. I do enjoy the coziness of a nice warm house with snow falling outside while cookies bake in the oven. It is fun to watch the little kids play in the snow, making snowmen and sledding down our hill. I also welcome any excuse to have another cup of coffee. But the joy is short lived. The kids spend less time outside than they do getting their gear on. Inevitably, a little one loses a mitten or a boot and comes in screaming with frozen fingers or toes. Snow ball fights end in hurt feelings and occasional bruises. Snowman wars end with dismembered snowfolks and whining children. And then when the outdoor fun is finished, they all come in and want hot cocoa. Do you know how big of a mess these kids can make with hot cocoa mix?

Already, I have piles of snowy boots, coats, mittens, and hats making puddles all over my house. The frantic search for matching mittens and boots has begun. Speaking of that, they lost one of MY boots! How do you lose one boot? And why the heck did they have mine?!? I spend a small fortune on winter gear every year. The only pile that comes close to my matchless mitten pile is my matchless sock pile. (In fairness, I seem to be the only person who cares if socks or mittens match, as the kids will wear anything that even comes close to fitting with no regard to color, style, size or texture. They torture me.)

Anyway, in an effort to make the best of the situation, we are starting our Christmas activities a little early. My tree won’t go up until after Thanksgiving, but the carols have been playing all day and now we are watching some of our favorite Christmas movies. Marie and SJ have begun to plan which cookies we should leave for Santa, even though there are no cookies in the house. My oven is warming- today is a good day to make brownies, I think. I’m determined to enjoy the winter, for now anyway. I have little ones that are full of excitement and wonder to enjoy it with.

Expect me to have cabin fever by February.

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Princess enjoying her first snowfall.

Halloween In Pictures

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This year’s Jack O’ Lanterns ready to go.

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Excited children were up early playing with their pumpkins.

Leo needed to add an Assassin's Creed pumpkin to the mix.

Leo needed to add an Assassin’s Creed pumpkin to the mix.

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Mummy hotdogs are a tradition.

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Mike couldn’t wait to get into the candy.

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Love was so excited to go Trick or Treating.

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I couldn’t get either of their attention.

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My best friend and sweetheart neighbor took this crew out Trick or Treating so I could hand out candy.

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They don’t stand still. They won’t all look at the same time. Love had better things to do. Jimmy had been determined to do this thing on his own. SJ was ecstatic that he finally got to use his sword. Eddie just wanted to assassinate someone with his tomahawk. If you look closely, both Lu and her best friend have utensils sticking out of their faces with blood dripping down. Marie was cooperating and listening to whatever secret her best friend was telling her. And my sweetheart neighbor keeps coming back for more. Leo and Mike were missing from the picture because they are far to mature to join in with this crowd. (Note: they are not too mature to skip out on trick or treating.)

My post. For an hour on Halloween our sub comes alive. The streets line with Trick or Treaters of all ages. That big bag was full of candy. I went through all of it and had to go for my reserves. I probably handed out over 1,000 pieces of candy.

My post. For an hour on Halloween our sub comes alive. The streets line with Trick or Treaters of all ages. That big bag was full of candy. I went through all of it and had to go for my reserves. I probably handed out over 1,000 pieces of candy.

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Love was one happy little girl with her candy bucket. (Mr. M was setting up the bounce house in the background.)

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The only point in the day that I got Jimmy to stay still long enough to get an OK picture.

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The bounce house overflowing with little ones. Adults were just trying to stay warm.

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The Trade and Tax Time. Kids go through their stash, trade and hoard, while adults collect a few of their favorites from each participant.

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As the night winds down, my middles watch “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” while I cuddle with my Princess. Another Halloween come and gone. Hope yours was a happy one.