Archive for December, 2011

I need to whine.

December 28, 2011 Leave a comment

I sat down to make placemats for my mom’s birthday gift last night (I accomplished a lot in one day – I’m almost done)  and had an urgent need to pee. Then again a few minutes later, and oww! Well, long story short, I had a uti come out of nowhere. When my bobbin went empty, I gave up sewing and went to get under a blanket.

So anyone that’s had them knows how bad they suck. It feels like your urethra is turning inside out, you have to run to the bathroom constantly, and so on.

So this hit right at midnight. I filled my giant mug that kid 2 got me for Christmas with about 40 ounces of water and chugged it, meanwhile fighting the chills. I didn’t have a fever, just chills. I was so, so cold.

So the pattern for the night began. I’d pee. It would hurt. I’d grab the sink and cringe (well, except for the first couple of times after drinking the water… it didn’t hurt then). Then I’d go back out, shiver and freeze for 15 minutes, and have to pee again. I went to bed around 1:30 and was up three times before 2:00. Finally I decided to try to let my husband sleep and came back downstairs to watch a movie and hopefully fall asleep. The pattern continued all through the movie. Pause movie, pee, unpause, shiver for 15 minutes, repeat.

Hubby came downstairs and got me another mug of water and some aspirin and finally the urgency to pee two drops went away and I was able to fall asleep around 5:00. Then kid 5 woke me up at 6:30 so I went up to get him and decided to try to go to bed.

He woke me up around 7:30, and hubby took him downstairs. I slept until 10:00. Sleeping that late would be heavenly if I hadn’t been up all night.

We went to the Fast Track clinic and I was able to get antibiotics and that Tang pee stuff, then came back home just in time for hubby to go to work because he has a class before work today. Now I’m home alone with two toddlers (older kids are with their aunt for a funeral from last night til tomorrow) and I’m fighting to stay awake. I’m not winning the fight, either.

I just want some sleep and to not have the chills come and go. I’m wearing thermal socks, jeans, a long sleeved t-shirt, a fleece sweatshirt, and I’m still cold without a blanket… but don’t have a fever. I don’t know what’s causing it but it sucks. It gets so bad at times that it makes me cry.

The Tang stuff is helping my symptoms so hopefully I can rest tonight. If nothing else, I’ll probably pass out just from exhaustion. I guess Mom’s placemats can wait one more day. Her birthday isn’t until the second week of next month anyway. I just wanted to get it done so I can work on etsy stuff. Oh well.

Here come the chills again… Dammit.

Categories: Uncategorized


December 26, 2011 Leave a comment

Yesterday was a really nice day. My mom came over in the morning and we had lunch together. It was a bacon wrapped pork roast, broccoli slaw, deviled eggs, and au gratin potatoes, then we had candy cane cheese pie and homemade cookies for dessert. It was simple and I only made about half of the above list.

The kids got a ton of loot between us and both sets of grandparents, and also two of their aunts. With five kids, there’s too much to list everything. Santa ended up giving them (from oldest to youngest) a phone, another phone, a baby doll, a marching drum and sticks with other instruments, and a vacuum. There is much, much more, but I’ll spare you.

I got some really nice gifts, too. I would have been happy to just make others happy but it was nice to be thought of. I got a better sewing machine, a 52 ounce refillable mug for the gas station by our house, a container of English Breakfast Tea, an immersion blender (always wanted one of those even though I didn’t ask), a wok (again, didn’t ask but always wanted one), storage bowls, a gardening set, an oven mitt with a brownie mix inside, and a lottery ticket. I didn’t win anything on the ticket but that’s okay. I’m content with what I did get.

Dinner at my mother-in-law’s ran late as always and we didn’t eat until 8:00 so nobody really wanted to hang around for dessert by the time presents were opened. We brought our whole pie home, as well as a big chunk of pineapple upside down cake, a lot of our cookies that we took with, and a mess of other leftovers. I didn’t cook at all today and tomorrow there will be a big salad to go with whatever I do cook.

We got home at around 11:00 and Kid #5 had trouble going back to sleep. Once we got him down, I went to bed and didn’t get up again until 9:30. Then I ended up taking a nap this afternoon. I finally feel a little more human. I just needed the rest. The cold I’ve been dealing with the past few days is easing up and I think with another night of sleep, I’ll really be on the mend.

We missed lighting candles last night for Hanukkah so we made up for that tonight. We have one more night tomorrow night so tomorrow is when the kids get their “big” gifts. It’s not anything that big, really, but they got plenty for Christmas.

We did the first night of Kwanzaa tonight, also. We didn’t do the exact traditions as outlined by my friend and the internet when I consulted them, but we made it work. We worked together to weave mats out of construction paper. There were 4 so we’re using them as regular placemats. We don’t have a Kinara either so I cut one out of construction paper and taped it to a door. We also didn’t have the right color of paper for the candles (no green) so I used white and wrote the English words for the principles on them in the appropriate color crayon. Tonight’s principle was unity and I think working together to make those mats signified unity more than anything else I would have come up with. From here on, we’ll do an activity each night, talk about the principle, and add a yellow “flame” to the paper Kinara. It’s the best I could do on the fly when I’m broke from Christmas, but it was definitely something that brought us together and that’s the point of Kwanzaa (at least partly).

I really feel like I’m offering the kids a lot here by offering them knowledge about other cultures and making these traditions a part of our family. They like it, they enjoy the experience, and we’re making family memories together. All in all, I really like this, even if 11 days with overlapping holidays does get pretty hectic!

Petition to keep a cold-blooded killer in prison

December 24, 2011 Leave a comment

It has been 35 years since my family was whole. 

It has been 35 years since my family didn’t have a sad spot over it.

Even for those of us that weren’t even born yet, it still affects us. Fear of working in a gas station, sadness when we pass that gas station, wondering how our entire family’s dynamic would have been different.

Thirty-five years ago today, my cousin Randy, along with another teenage boy, were working the evening shift at a gas station. My cousin was working to save up money to pay for a car. The other boy was working because the sports program had been cut from school and he didn’t have anything else to do. They paid the ultimate price that Christmas Eve. We all paid.

The son and brother that was lost, the cousin (in my case) that was lost, his parents that moved to Florida because it was too painful to stay. Things would have been so different. Or we think, anyway. We never got the chance to find out. He never got the chance to graduate and have a family. He’d probably have grandchildren by now. All of those potential lives that were snuffed out before they even came to exist…

Due to a loophole in the law at the time, the man that went into that gas station, left, then went back, shot them execution-style and left them there to die, is up for parole every one to three years, depending on behavior. It’s typically every year. Those that have known me for a while are familiar with this story. Others probably aren’t. At any rate, each year this murderer that killed our family members is brought up for parole; the same murderer that killed two young men and went to Christmas Eve dinner at his sister’s as if nothing happened. He gets a possible chance at freedom once a year. Luckily, he has never passed the parole board. Luckily this dangerous man, probably made even more dangerous by the prison system, has never been allowed to go free. He never should. My cousin and the other young man sure didn’t get to. 

So if you’d please consider signing this petition to keep Dale Dean Finch behind bars, my family and the other family would most definitely appreciate it. You don’t have to be local to sign, though it might be available only to US residents. Thank you.

Categories: Uncategorized

Christmas weekend

December 23, 2011 Leave a comment

The celebration of Hanukkah for our family is going well. It’s something that only lasts a few minutes each evening, but it’s something that brings our entire family together and that has been my favorite part of this experience so far.

Tomorrow also marks the start of Christmas, as it is Christmas Eve. I have some crafts to catch up on before I have to give them as gifts on Sunday so whatever isn’t done tonight will have to be done tomorrow. I also hope to make cookies with the kids to leave for Santa and to put out for the rest of us on Christmas Day. I have some food prep to do for both the lunch I intend to cook for my immediate family and for the dinner we’re going to at my mother-in-law’s on Christmas night. I personally think that when someone says they don’t want to cook Christmas dinner for everyone, that asking them to bring 5 dishes kind of defeats the purpose but it’s Christmas and I’ll bite my tongue.

Tomorrow night, we will put the cookies out for Santa and write him a letter. Then when all of the kids are in bed, we’ll pull the presents out from the corner of the living room where they’re safe from little hands, in the corner where the couches meet, and we’ll put them in the dining room. “Santa” will visit as well, and a note will be left for the kids to see in the morning. Then hubby and I will spend a little time together, perhaps drink a glass of wine, and head to bed, because it’s going to be an early morning.

Luckily, he managed to get both days off of work. His line of work doesn’t guarantee holidays off but the rotation of the schedule was very kind to us this year.

Sunday will include the family opening gifts, then having lunch together, and then heading to town to have the bigger dinner.

Then it’s all over for another year. The holiday really built up, effort-wise, this year for me. Mostly because I started shopping and working on it so early.

In addition to Hanukkah and the first day of Kwanzaa on the 26th, I’ll try to sit down and write a list of people I need to make gifts for in the next year. This coming year, I think I’ll actually accomplish it all. Especially with better quilting skills. So that will be my New Year’s Resolution – that each of my loved ones gets something handmade by me for next Christmas.

Well, that’s not right either because to make it for each of my loved ones, I’d have to send a couple hundred gifts all over the world. If you’re reading this, you’re also one of my loved ones. My Facebook list, my Twitter list, my Livejournal friends… I’ve come to think of most everyone as family in a sense. I wish I could send each and every one a small gift to show my love but hopefully I express it enough with word and deed otherwise that it will be sufficient.

As for the rest, I’ll make a list and do my very best to stick with it this year. We’ll see.

Oh, and if you’re wondering about my gifts this year (you’re probably not), I am getting a new sewing machine for sure, and I was also blessed already by dear friends that sent me bacon socks, hand cream, Scentsy, and an Applebee’s gift card but my favorite gift is the togetherness that was allowed due to my husband’s job. Also, when Kid 4 asked what she could give me for Christmas, I told her I only wanted a hug. That’s true. That’s all I need.

And to each of you, no matter what you celebrate, I also offer you imaginary hugs. Happy holidays.

Categories: Uncategorized

Happy Hanukkah

December 20, 2011 Leave a comment

I’m not Jewish. I just play one on the internet.

No, really, I just think it’s important for my children to understand all celebrations. I can’t possibly cover them all but I’m trying to do the main ones this year. For us, that means Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa.

Tonight at sundown, we started our first night of Hanukkah. I have a Hanukkah tree, which isn’t exactly traditional but it does make for a good transition for my kids. This year, we hung our first ornament on it that specifically signifies the holiday. Otherwise it’s just a blue tree with silver stuff on it. Thanks to Marla from The Button Babe for the ornament!

Hubby made a menorah. He waited until the last minute and took until exactly sundown to finish it, but in the end, it was worth the wait. We used birthday candles because it was what we had. We started out with all of the candles in the menorah but I’ve since removed all but the Shamash and the first candle. Since tradition dictates that you’re supposed to leave the flame going for a while but birthday candles would turn into a puddle in a hurry, so we lit a regular candle with the Shamash as well, and left that lit for a while. It wasn’t exactly accurate but it was explained to the kids that it wasn’t the proper way to do it. It worked.

I found a nice, short description of what Hanukkah means online and then lost the page so I winged it. I got the point across anyway, and I lit the candles while kid 2 read the three blessings (in English, obviously).

Then I let the kids blow out the menorah’s candles (what kid doesn’t like birthday candles!?) and handed them their gelt bags, which contained a Nilla wafer tonight. Then I went into the kitchen to make latkes.

I think my favorite part of the night was the way hubby doesn’t even miss a beat. I say we’re celebrating Hanukkah and he doesn’t scoff. He doesn’t question me. He doesn’t laugh at me. In fact, he digs around on the fridge for a baby hat and does his best to try to wear something resembling a yamika. He’s as willing to learn as the kids, and I absolutely love that about him.

My other favorite part was that even with bickering kids, it felt peaceful. There was something calm about the night. I can’t explain it. Maybe it’s just more acceptance on my part and understanding of another culture, or maybe it was something more. It was really nice, though.

I can’t wait for day two.

Categories: Special occasions

Funny stories

December 19, 2011 Leave a comment

I woke up at 5:00 because kid 5 was in my bed, yelling. I don’t know how he got there, though I’d assume it was hubby. He wasn’t yelling in anger. He was just awake and ready to go. I missed a dose of medicine earlier in the day and I think it really affected his sleep last night.

Anyway, I looked over and he was on all 4’s, leaning over hubby’s face. He was yelling in his face, telling him that he loves soccer balls and his grandpa gave him a soccer ball and he wants a purple one. The thing that really kills me is the way he’ll pause between sentences and say “Umm…” It lost its funny aspect when he started headbutting me in the spine but at first, I could only giggle. We eventually calmed him and gave him some water and he slept another 3 hours, at which point he woke up farting.

Then at about 8:30, kid 4 woke up. I didn’t hear her call for me or anything of that nature. It was only “I MADE A REALLY BIG FART!”

Kids crack me up.

Categories: funny

Please help.

December 16, 2011 Leave a comment

I know we’re all hit up for donations all the time for this or that, and especially this time of year. By the time we drop money into the Salvation Army tin, send money for the homeless, give to needy kids, and help with other random things that come up online, we’re strapped. I completely understand that, but if you could please take a moment to look at this, it would be great.

Ken’s sister, Melanie, has been my friend for about three years now. She was at my wedding. When my uncle was dying, she mailed me concealed cash to try to help me get there for his funeral (which I didn’t make it to because he ended up having a private burial so I donated the money to cancer research instead). When I flipped out about potatoes because I so badly missed my deceased father, she listened. She didn’t laugh. She told me how much she misses her mom’s potatoes too, and I didn’t feel so alone. She has been an amazing friend, and she is an even more amazing, wife, daughter, sister, and mom.

She lost her mom a few months ago and her brother-in-law a few months before that. She has had enough loss. I want nothing more than for her to be able to sit around a campfire, laughing with her brother in 30 years. She deserves a break.

Not to mention, so does he. No 27 year old should have to face his mortality so soon. No 27 year old should be in that much pain. It’s just not right.

So if you could please click the link and read it over, pass it on, and donate if you can. Every little bit helps.

Categories: fundraising

We want to come!

December 14, 2011 Leave a comment

I’m sure your kids are the same way, but my kids always want to come with when I go to a store or something. I think they think they’ll miss out on something. Leaving them with Daddy feels like a death sentence. It’s not that Daddy’s a bad guy. He just doesn’t have as much candy as the store does.

Well, kids. Here’s what you missed.

I drove to the store with no noise except the radio and it was a couple of mellow songs with some droning commercials in the middle. There were no cries to stop at Casey’s or requests for more Scooby Doo on the tv in the back. Just my thoughts.

I went into the store in one motion. I didn’t have to climb around in the back of the van getting you out. I didn’t have to unbuckle you or struggle to get to the carts. I just went in. Then I grabbed a basket because I didn’t need to put someone in a cart, and I got what I wanted. I also picked you up some gummy worms.

On the way home, I found myself lost in my thoughts as I ripped open a bag of sour gummy bears that I didn’t have to share. Then this song came on.

While singing, I ate my gummy bears so I looked like an 80’s pop star chewing on gum…. at least in my head. I’m sure I looked like something else entirely. Good thing it’s foggy today.

Then there was this song.

I was out of candy so I opened up my tea and drank it while I sang obnoxiously, and nobody asked for a sip.

Then there was this song:

I got caught behind some sort of fertilizer truck while the song was on and I swore with nobody repeating me. The plus side was that I was able to hear the whole song, and by the time it was done, I was practically doing the air guitar. I would have if I hadn’t been driving Mike Tyson (our big green van with the teeny little horn).

Then I got home, grabbed the bags, shut everything off, and went into the house. That’s when the best part happened. You were there and you were happy to see me.


Categories: Videos

I guess I wasn’t done shopping after all.

December 12, 2011 Leave a comment

I finished the quilt I made for my mother-in-law last night, and started cutting pieces for Kid 3’s quilt after that. I’m doing another 1600 quilt, just because they’re so fast, and I’m about out of time. I don’t think I’m going to get their socks done any time soon. Maybe by their birthdays next Fall. Ha.

Hubby cashed in some PTO and the check came over the weekend, so we used that to get an oil change and do a little shopping. We stopped for breakfast first and had a nice meal with the little ones. Then we hit up Goodwill.

I got a bag full of different fabrics (roughly 7 yards), a couple of winter hats, some socks, 3 books, a dustpan, and a sit ‘n spin for $26. Then hubby went to get the oil change so I went to the grocery store. I grabbed a few things we needed and some stuff to do some Christmas baking. The kids were making a scene but we made it out alive and hubby picked us up.

Then we stopped at the hardware store so hubby could get a few things he needed for his wood shop, and I found a sale on toys. All of their toys and Christmas stuff was half off. I didn’t really need anything that they had for Christmas decorating, but I couldn’t pass up the toys.

We got 2 Melissa and Doug chunky puzzles for $4 each, 2 barbies for $4 each, 2 construction trucks for $2 each, and 2 Melissa and Doug craft kits (paint your own jewelry box and piggy bank) for $3 each. We let kid #5 have one of the trucks now since sister got the sit ‘n spin, but the rest is going under the Christmas tree.


In other news, my cousin had tendon surgery the other day and her husband was home with her, but she seemed to be better so he went back to work. When he came home last night, he found her so weak she couldn’t move, so he called the ambulance and when she got to the hospital, they found internal bleeding. It’s unrelated to the surgery, possibly a laceration in her stomach or something, but she has a very rare blood disorder and there were only 3 bags of the appropriate hemoglobin in all of Canada, where they live. It got flown in to her last night and they started her on it as soon as possible. Her hemoglobin is going up and she’s feeling better. They’ve also found 3 more bags since then but any kind thoughts you can spare would still be appreciated. She’s only 35 and has 4 kids under the age of 10 that need her.

My aunt is updating me as she finds things out but there’s not much more to know than that right now.

So anyway, any good vibes or prayers you have would be appreciated.

Several tidbits of update

December 8, 2011 Leave a comment

Kid 5 had a check up with the orthopedic doctor today. He had an x-ray of his hips and it came back pretty close to normal. There’s a little bit if turning on the growth plates but nothing to worry about, especially since we have him in braces and such. We’re to return in a year.

We visited the in laws today. Kid 5 spent a long time with his abuelo. He did really well with being held by him. I was surprised. It probably helped that his grandpa turned on Dora for him, but he sat there and made an old man’s day.

Apparently, sister in law is getting married in January. She is sending out invitations for an engagement party and they’re getting married there. It’s supposed to be a surprise and we’re not supposed to know but mother in law told us anyway to make sure that hubby takes the day off and doesn’t blow off what he thinks is an engagement party. I think a lot of people are going to end up doing that, actually… but whatever.

When we got home, I rearranged the two downstairs “bedrooms” and swapped them out, so the old toy room is now a room with a table in it for sewing. The old guest room that gradually became known as the wii room is now a toy room for the little ones with a ton of space. I was even able to get the parallel bars and table and chair out of my dining room. Oh, and the rocking cow. All of their crap fits into that room comfortably and there’s still room for a bed when we’re ready to separate Kid 4 and Kid 5. We also have a more spacious place to do weekly therapy for Kid 5 so that’s exciting. We’ve been doing it in the dining room and there just hasn’t been any space to work.

We also went to Kid 1’s very first high school choir concert today. I am so proud of her. She looked so pretty in her choir robe that it made this mama melt, and she did a great job singing, as well. The little ones behaved fairly well and Kid 5 didn’t scream through the band part of the performance this time, either. It also made me beam with pride over my husband, the wonderful stepfather that he is, sitting in the front row of the gym, tapping his foot to the music. The ex that chose to abandon his kids and move to Arkansas can go ahead and try to pretend like he’s a dad in conversations with others all he wants, but Kid 1 knows who her dad is, and he isn’t it.

I’m almost done with a quilt for mother in law for Christmas, which I’m going to try to finish tonight, and then I’m going to have a glass of wine and relax with my wonderful husband.