Thursday, February 25, 2010


Last night was the first time Thad was home after work since last Thursday. I think he has hit the 50 hour mark on overtime.
It was nice to all eat together. It was a late supper since we had church beforehand, but it was a welcomed change.
Prior to church and dinner, I had set up an appointment for a speech therapist to come over and evaluate Olivia. She has been evaluated before: once when I was 38 weeks pregnant with Brady and twice through preschool. The evaluators through MSUM who come to preschool both said her speech was fine. As I watched her speech teacher as her questions, I could quickly tell by all the notes she made that Olivia's speech is not 'fine.' In fact I was shocked to hear that Olivia is in the 6% percentile for kids her age. (People this might be the downside of having four kids and two full time jobs--I probably put this off too long.)
Soooo to make a long story short, Jeanette will be visiting daycare twice a week to work with Olivia. Some other issues that we might explore are her: unwillingness to eat certain foods, her bite, and her past ear infections. It all goes together. I know the ear infections hurt her speech development for sure. So if you read this, have a child with multiple ear infections, push for tubes.
Okay. That's it. I have work to do

Monday, February 22, 2010

Good news/Bad news

Kate: "Mom I have good news and bad news. Which do you want first?"
Me: "The good news"
Kate: "The good news is that I haven't leaked lately so my privates feel better. The bad news is that I almost peed my pants today. And I almost got snow down my panties."


Saturday, February 20, 2010

a recent observation

This morning while I was over shushing the kids so Thad could sleep before heading off to work again for godknowshowlong, I noted the similarites between a baby/child and Thad's work. *Note* this is in reference to the last 36 hours.

Like a baby/child, when there is an emergency, you (I really mean police/detective, but for now on I will just type "you" because this is redundant) must drop everything and tend to it.

Like a baby/child you never know what it going to keep you awake (working) all.night.long.

Like a baby, you have to get up right away in the morning and get back to it. Babies don't care and neither to crimes that need to be solved.

Like a baby, your life (in this case mine) is at the mercy of your babies or children, and in our case, Thad's job. Ever dealt with plans messed up at the last minute? Story of my life...not that I am complaining. It's something I am used to.

Like a baby, you have to rely on others for help when you can't physically be in two places at once. Thanks Cases for bring Ryan to his game today.

Like a sick baby, you have no idea when a) they will be well again or b) when they will get sick again. Same with his job. There is no way to tell when all heck will break loose or return to 'normal' again.

This has been our lives. Honestly I am not asking for any 'good for you' comments, because that's not the point. I really hadn't noted the similarites between being at the mercy of my children and being at the mercy of Thad's job. Let me tell you, both exist in my world.

On the bright side, overtime checks don't come through when any of the above happens with our children, so this lady is trying to see the bright side of this most recent 'challenge' in our schedule.

I should also add that just because Thad isn't always working non stop (like this weekend), he deals with crap day to day that you and I would only have nightmares about. When he started working as an officer, I loved to hear what when on. Now, in part because I am busy with my own job and the kids (and he is too), we don't sit and talk about work. It's not like he has many good things to share anyway....

Thursday, February 18, 2010

comfort zone

I am the type of person who really prefers to stay within my comfort zone. That pertains to everything from going out, what I eat, who I hang out with, and pretty much everything. The older I get, the more I like things to feel safe for me. Then again, the older I get, the more idiotic I look when trying to stay that way.
Today (albeit rather a small one) was a situation where I was forced to get out of that zone. I attended a seminar at MSUM as a part of the Teach American History grant I am a participant in. For the record, the seminar was AWESOME! I love learning new things. Teachers in this day and age of budget cuts are no longer funded to go to social studies conventions. So my 'on the job' training has stayed that way--on the job. To say that the staff development that we are provided with (for the most part) is less than stellar is an understatement. Until this grant.
Two historians from New York flew in on behalf of the Gilder Lehrman Institute to educate us on Industrialization, Immigration, and the Progressive Era. It's been soooo good. I am looking forward to learning more tomorrow.
Anyway, what had me a little nervous was the vague lunch menu: Irish immigrant insired lunch. Say what? What will that entail? I am a very basic eater to say the least. When the food came out my first thought was, boy this smells good. It was beef brisket (?), some sort of potato dish with bacon and saurkraut (?), and cooked cabbage (?). Okay I have never had any of the above other than bacon and pototoes. But guess what? It's lame for adults to be all, "Ewww gross, I won't eat that." So I ate it, and guess what? It was sooo yummy.
I was proud of myself for a) trying what I consider to be bizarro food, and b) liking it. Us 'set in our ways' people enjoy those small victories okay?
Now, tomorrow is Italian immigrant inspired food....not a fan of that either, but I will pull up my big girl panties and delve in.

On a side note, what I enjoy so much about history is looking at both perspectives, appreciating what they are, and how each did or could have impacted us. These instructors did just that. My kind of training.
It has been that training this year that has encouraged me to apply for not one but two trips away from home this summer for fellowships. Thad is not too thrilled about it, but like I told him, I have been away only twice for work, and one was an overnight trip. The odds that I will be accepted to both or even one of these courses is low, so I had to try.
One is in Richmond, VA. It's called The South Through History. The other is on Abraham Lincoln....

Monday, February 15, 2010


I didn't have to go to work.
I worked out.
I called to have Olivia checked out (again) by speech people. (more on that as it becomes available)
Helped Ryan with some homework. Man that kid is vigilant about getting it done. He even did a lot of it on Friday night.
We found out what our refund will be. It will be gone the minute the check comes. Bills, bills, bills.
I got my hair cut and colored. Hello highlights!
Thad scrubbed the kitchen floor.
I ate a huge amount of cake since I told Kate's friend's mother that I wanted some. I have no shame. Oh and that certainly canceled out any hope of burned calories today.
I enjoyed a nice meal with three of my kids.
Three of my kids went to sleep at 7pm.
I watched the Bachelor.
My other child went to sleep at 8pm.
I am psyching myself up for two nights of parent/teacher conferences this week.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

hockey tournament

We spent the weekend in Thief River Falls. The boys lost their first game big time. The second game was a loss in overtime. I can't convey enough to you what a heartbreaker it is to watch these little kids skate their hearts out and lose. Then again, I felt just as bad as the losing team today...more on that later.
So the boys drown their sorrows by cramming into a small hot tub, playing floor hockey, swimming, and eating.

Olivia hung out with many adults. She is very easy to please, but this weekend she made a special friend: Vicky!

Brady was a different story. He slept only one hour all day. I had my work cut out for me. He had NO interest in napping in the pack-n-play at the hotel room yesterday. Surprisingly he was in good spirits during the day. At hockey games, however, Brady is a different story. He is clingy, whiny, and unwilling to let anyone else hold him. EVER.
This was Brady last night at about 8pm. Thank goodness he slept like this all night. If you happen to see the red mark on his head, he wiped out on the wet floor near the pool. Now it's a little shiner.
The parents and kids on Ryan's team are great. There are no cliques, wild people, and there is no drama. I have heard (what I consider) horror stories about other groups, and let me tell you, these people are great. It was such a treat to get to hang out with other grown ups who shared one common interest: their kids.

Unfortunately the boys played this morning at 8am. That meant getting up just after 6am...which wasn't a problem since I wasn't sleeping real soundly anyway. Brady and Olivia weren't quite so thrilled. To her credit, Olivia was a total darling all weekend. A few times she said she was bored, but who doesn't get bored when they have no clue what's going on?
Brady was a pill today. See below.

In between tears and loads of snot, I did get to see a great game. The boys won 9 (or 10)-3. They were so pumped. I felt bad for the other team who lost three straight games. No one wants to travel all weekend to lose.
Ryan is the one with the tucked in shirt. He always does that. The nice thing is that I can usually figure out who he is quickly. Jo always says that she can spot Ryan, because he skates just like Thad did. She says it's almost eerie.

Today the boys got to play at the "Little Ralph." It is a beautiful facility.

Olivia took a picture of Brady and me. Notice he isn't smiling, but at least he isn't flipping out. And, no, I didn't bother to shower this morning.

The second the game ended, I scooped up the two kids, went through a McDonalds drive through for some uber-healthy food, and off we went. Thad called when I was about 10 miles out and said they were going to swim a bit more. As long as I didn't have to hear more crying and carry around a thrashing 26lb. boy, I could have cared less.
This is what happened the minute Olivia finished her food:

Brady didn't even make it out of town before crashing.

We are home and especially looking forward to having a day off tomorrow. I get to work out, get a cut/color, get my braces adjusted, and get caught up on laundry..
In all honesty I didn't miss Maggie one bit. I tried to convince Thad's friend to keep her. For now he can't, but his dog must have worn her out, because she has been perfect since her return.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

randomn stuff

I have had swollen gums in the bottom back right side of my mouth. Damn braces. Because of this, I kept rubbing my tongue over it to see if there was something stuck in my gums. Now, I have a HUGE canker sore on the tip of my tongue. OUCH. Damn braces. I think because my gums are swollen, my braces have been rubbing against the inside of my cheek. Guess what? That is now swollen. OUCH. Really. Damn braces.

I just put candy on 5000 Valentines. Thank you to Ryan for doing his own. Maggie is eating some candy right now. I am soooooo tired of chasing after her. Brady is scolding her as we speak.

We leave tomorrow for TRF for the weekend. I am looking forward to a Maggie-less weekend. Really. You have no idea. I am feeling guilty, because Kate is staying with Grandma and Grandpa. She asked. They said sure. She wants to be at a 1pm birthday party sleepover on Sunday. So I won't see my sweet Kate for three days. Big families seem to seldomn be all together. At least our big family. So instead of six of us crammed in a big room it will be five. Whoo hoo. I still think it might be rough.

Today for the second time in my teaching career (and talking about the exact same subject), a student passed out in class. Female circumcision discussions will do that to you. Thanks to my friend Ryan J. who fainted under my desk in like 1987, I am the epitome of "flight" when you think of "fight or flight." Thank goodness my students knew what to do. They finally told a frozen Mrs. Stafford to call the nurse. I yelled, " I can't remember her name!" It's kind of hard to look up a phone number when your mind goes blank. We survived. The boy survived....I called his mom and apologized since I know her from church. **Note: mother when you finally read this I figure the phone will ring immediately. That's my teaser to you.**

I am co teaching for the first time. I have a class of--get this--32 BOYS and 6 girls. Many of these boys require a bit of extra attention. Wow is it fun for the most part, but sometimes I want to say eek!

Did I tell you how badly my mouth hurts? It hurts to be open and it hurts to be closed.

Now Maggie is eating tape. Have at it Maggie. You are awesome. *insert major sarcasm*

I need to pack. I need to do laundry. I need to bath my two little kids. I need to sleep.

And in case you were wondering, yes I am still smiling. Want to know why? Because in the car on the way to dance, Kate and Kailee told me they plan to play baseball. Now that made me laugh.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


I saw this on a blog recently, so I thought I would do it. Would you do the same?

1. What is your current obsession?
Staying sane

2. What are you wearing today?
pink and white fleece pants, a pink shirt, and a pink fleece zip up

3. What’s for dinner?

Tonight Kate, Olivia, Brady and I went to Grandma and Grandpa's for some M&H chicken after church.

4. What’s the last thing you bought?
Does bill paying count?

5. What are you listening to right now?
Nothing! Brady is asleep...

6. If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be?
Florida or California

7. What is one thing you want to change about yourself?
I wish I could be WAY more organized

8. If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?

9. Which language do you want to learn?
The language where my kids would listen the first time I said something

10. What’s your favorite quote?
We choose happiness when happiness is actually a choice (or something like that)

11. Would you cook for me?
If you don't mind basic food

12. What is the right way to avoid people who purposefully hurt you?
I guess I avoid them

13. What are you afraid of the most?
My children suffering. And vomit.

14. Who do you want to meet right now?
A live in organizer/house cleaner

15. What is your favorite color?

16. Give us 3 styling tips that work for you.
If I had one that I felt I was good at I would share. Too bad I have none.

17. What is your dream job?
I have it, BUT I sure wish I could decorate cakes professionally

18. What’s your favorite magazine?
Entertainment: People/US Weekly
Beauty: Glamour
Inspiration: O
Life: Good Housekeeping

19. If you had $100 now, what would you spend it on?
A bill

20. What do you consider a fashion faux pas?
pinned jeans

21. Who, according to you, is the most over-rated writer?
No clue

22. What brings a smile on your face instantly?
Funny comments that my kids make. Brady

23. What is one word that you say a lot?

24. What kind of haircut do you prefer?
Whatever compliments someone's face

25. What are you going to do after this?
I think I will take off my toe and nail polish, take a bath, and attempt to primp myself

26. What do you do when you are feeling low or terribly depressed?
Become a hermit

27. What makes you go wild?

28. What are your favorite movies?
Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club, Rocky IV, Wedding Singer, Hangover, and anything else that doesn't require 100% of my attention

29. What inspires you?
Children who refuse to let illness knock them down for too long. People in general inspire me.

30. What do your friends call you most commonly?
Bonnie, Bon, Bon Bon

31. Would you prefer coffee or tea?
Coffee! But I do enjoy a nice cup of green tea too.

32. Which other blogs do you love visiting?
Too many to list.

33. What is your favorite dessert/sweet?
A good cake/frosting

34. How many tabs are turned on in your browser right now?

35. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?

36. What is your favorite season?
Summer. I love warm weather

37. What is one wish that you really want to see come true?
That everyone is treated equally no matter their income, skin color, sexual preference, etc.

38. What breaks your heart?
People who are cruel to others just for the sake of being cruel

39. What's one thing you really want to do in life?
Travel more

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Since I don't want you to think that I am an ungrateful mother--because I am so not--I thought that I would change the subject and write another post about things that I consider to be blissful moments:

~a fresh cup of coffee in the morning
~moments when all my kids are happy, getting along, and tell me they love me
~leaving my blinds open in the winter so I can see the bright sky at night.
~smelling fresh summer air
~mowing the lawn with my ipod
~eating a big frosted cookie from the grocery store
~eating cheddar-garlic bisquits from Red Lobster
~laying by a pool in Vegas
~being in Vegas without a care in the world
~teaching most of the time
~waking up during the night and realizing I have lots more time to sleep
~listening to a Spuds game on the radio and hearing them win
~watching Gopher hockey with Ryan. It's one of the few times we hang out together
~a really good book
~Disney World
~Hearing a great song on the radio
~snuggling up at night with Maggie
~laughing with Thad
~a long car ride by myself
~Brady's face when I pick up up after work
~the feeling when a work out is over
~watching the Golden Girls, Sex in the City, Friends, or the Brady Bunch
~eating freshly buttered movie theater popcorn
~laughing and reminscing with friends
~Las Vegas with my mom and sister
~foot rubs from Thad
~watching Ryan play hockey with no interruptions
~eating a piece of my mother in law's banana bread. It's the best.ever
~getting to take a trip
~the first days of summer vacation
~naps on Saturdays

another day

Ah another rat race of a day. Aren't you all jealous? Really, I share this, because as I am experiencing it, I try to find the humor in it here's today.
Brady has had a yucky nose/cough for a couple days. Today he woke up with a goopy eye. For some reason Brady tends to get yucky eyes when he has an ear infection. After talking with Jo today, I decided I better take him in after school. He was fussy, not eating, tired, and even had a couple yucky diapers.
So off we went to the clinic. Olivia wanted to come with. What a bummer that she was a turd the entire time. Brady was examined, it was decided he likely had a sinus infection, a possible ear infection brewing, so he was prescribed antibiotics. As we were leaving I set up an appointment for Kate later this week. She has been having 'leaking tinkle' issues. The poor girl. As I was driving home I thought to myself, "Heck I have the time (sort of) right now, so I am going to call and see if I can just bring her in today." Sure enough I could get her in. I called Jo, told her to tell Kate to get ready, asked if I could drop off the now sleeping Brady and Olivia, and head back to the clinic.
**I should mention here that Thad came home yesterday in horrible back pain. I massaged his back as best I could. This morning he said it hurt to breathe. He went to the chiropractor where it was confirmed that his back was messed up. He also had a rib that was popped out (?) so the dude popped it back in. More on this later.
I dropped of the sleeping/crying babes, and got Kate. Kate, however, was NOT about to go. She is fearful of going in and getting her privates looked at. I told her that they were going to check her urine and that would be it. OH NO she said. So began the chase around my mother in law's house. Nothing like chasing your daughter in front of your mother in law to feel like a loser. Good thing that Jo is awesome, because she just rolls with it. Finally I scooped up my seven year old who wasn't wearing boots or a coat, carried her outside, set her on the ground in socks, and let her scream her way into the car. I ran back inside, grabbed her gear, and listened to what a horrible mother I was. (It's not the first time, and it won't be the last time) I turned up the music and drove.
We got to the doctor, and in between glares and tears, we were called back. Kate also struggles with constipation issues. I am only sharing this with you, because it may be the culprit. He said if she doesn't have a bladdar infection, then it might be her colon contracting which bumps against her urethra causing leakage. Who knew?
So we did a urinanalysis. Mommy got to hold the cup while Kate went potty. She enjoyed peeing all over my hand. I told her I have had to touch worse things, so it wasn't a big deal. The test came back negative, and now we are working on her issues from the other end again. He said that if she is regular and still leaking in a week, then we need to pursue that.
We head home, grab McDonalds since Thad was in too much pain to start supper, go home, start to eat, curse out McDonalds for not putting fries in the three Happy Meals, eat, clean up, and then I headed to get Brady's prescription.
I got home to see that Kate had bathed. She told me she helped Olivia bathe too, only she refused to let Kate wash her hair. So back into the tub Olivia went (with Brady) amid more screams.
I got those two out, cleaned them up, realized Maggie peed all over our couch, cleaned that up, put laundry away, and told Ryan and Kate that they could either read or play a game.together.with no tv. ha ha! They did it for awhile which was a welcomed change.
I put the crabby Olivia to bed around 7pm (amid more screams), she crashed immediately, got Brady in bed, gave Thad a massge again, and then visited with the big kids. Ryan is impossible to have a discussion with. Kate will share every detail about every conversation. Ryan...not so much. All I know about today is that his Grandpa brought a huge bag of candy to his classroom for Ryan to pass out.
The big kids went to bed, and now I am sitting, relaxing, sighing to myself. These sort of days are the norm for me now. Never when I was pregnant did I anticipate bringing a child in to the doctor for a leaky bladder, forcing my kids to play a game, picking up a raging four year old and dumping her into her bed (albeit as lovingly as I could), and looking at a disastrous house while thinking, "Screw the mess. I'll deal with that tomorrow." Wait though. Tomorrow I work, the kids have religion, and I have to attend a meeting for Kate's First Communion. Maybe Thursday will be the day to pick up. Wait no, Thursday is dance day for the girls, and hockey day for Ryan and Thad. Maybe that's why our house is always a mess.
Yesterday was equally wonderful. Thad fixed (only halfway) his car for a nice sum of money. We registered Ryan for a hockey camp for a nice sum of money. To say we are feeling stapped is an understatement....!
On another note, do you people ever deal with this:

because we do all the time. I would be more concerned about Brady breaking the door to the dishwasher, but it's a piece of crap, so I think I am secretly hoping it will break soon. You know, with all the spare money we have.