Thursday, May 22, 2008

How to Answer "How do you do it?"

I get this question a lot. If you have a big family, you know what I'm talking about.

There are lots of questions, actually. Everything from "How do you do it, seriously? I had 2 and went crazy!" to "Why? Really, why?"

People sometimes ask me when they see my toddler and me alone together if she's my first. Or sometimes when I've been pregnant, they just start talking to me about what to expect about parenthood, and it quickly becomes obvious that they've assumed this is my first. ("It changes EVERYTHING!" they gush.)

One friend's mom (who had 6 kids, as I recall) told me that someone had once asked her whether she was crazy or stupid. I think she claimed stupid. It's funny the way she tells it.

But that's not the answer I'm looking for.

Do I claim to be such a good mom that I just can't say 'no' to a child who would otherwise be condemned to a life with some less-worthy parent? Or joke that I am still figuring out how to be a good mom, and this is just Rough Draft #7?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Mommy Mercy Missions

Some days are SO perfect. Not what just anybody would call perfect, though. 

It's Tuesday, and I have three youngsters at home, although two of them are normally at school. There have been headaches, stomach aches, sore throats, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Louella and Mozelle normally get along great, but not today. And Mozy keeps trying to run away. I'm sure I saw, heard, and smelled her vomit. How can she feel up to scheming and escaping?

When the phone rings for the fiftieth time, I'm sure it's just another bill collector, but the caller ID says otherwise. It's Jolie, who IS at school, and she is calling to ask me a favor. Seems her permission slip is inside a pants pocket at home, and she needs it turned in NOW. 

Me:I don't know how I could do that, because I have three little girls here with the flu, and even if I did try, I'd probably run out of gas on my way up to the school. 

Jolie: Will you please try to find a way to get it up here?

I sigh a pathetic, "I'll try" before hanging up and shaking my head.

A dear friend calls within the hour. She has heard that my kids are sick again. Says she has a little chicken we could maybe make a nice chicken soup out of. I say I'm thrilled to have it, as my oldest son had just told me that he needs chicken soup and nothing else.

She seems happy I said yes, but Kirsty doesn't stop there. She asks if there's anything else she can bring us. 

I ask her if she would take Jolie's permission slip over to the school for me. Kirsty assures me that taking the note would be no problem, and that if I hadn't asked, she'd be offended! I hang up with a smile on my face. 

I should kneel down right now and thank God for such a good sister-friend, but I have to determine my daughter's whereabouts.

A little while later, I am bringing Mozy home from one of her sneaky expeditions. I'd had to run out through the garage 'cause Mozy had locked the front door from the outside! I'm in my PJs, barefoot, and getting HOT. Holding Mozy by the arm, I meet Kirsty in my driveway. 

Kirsty: I didn't see y'all come out--

Me: I'm just bringing Mozy home from across the street . . .

I take Mozy inside, and we start putting the bags of food on the kitchen table, but before we can put it into the fridge, Noelle alerts me to the fact that Mozelle is ON THE GATE!

So I guess my visit with Kirsty is cut short (AGAIN). . . I use my garden hose trick (see "Walk Swiftly" post) and ask Kirsty to lock us in . . . Later I finally get around to taking the little chickadee out of the bag, and find some yummy side dishes, and a BIG surprise. 

A folded twenty-dollar bill with a note attached peeks out of the chicken bag. "Wouldn't want you to run out of gas on your Mommy mercy missions!"

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Walk Swiftly, and Carry a Fire Hose

When dealing with a special child, you might find yourself using unique techniques.  I have a 6-year-old daughter, for example, who will do anything to run away. She has attempted to climb out of 2nd-story windows, and she has unlocked locks, locked us in, and climbed the fence. We propped heavy objects against the gate, and she climbed over that. Tired of running down the street, chasing a sometimes naked, sometimes cat-strangling, but always faster-than-me, 6-year-old, I finally got smart. When I knew she was attempting to climb the gate again, I stood in the front yard, holding my very powerful sprayer hose, pointed at the gate. I gave her one warning before blasting her. Every time her little hands re-appeared, I sent another blast. Sometimes she yelled, sometimes she squealed . . . but she always got wet . . . and she was soooo persistent! I almost ruined my strategy by telling her that I was getting tired of standing there . . . but I held my tongue, and held the sprayer. Viva la garden tools!

The Mother of all Mother's Day Gifts

Mother's Day was awesome. My hubby gave me the best gift he has ever given me for Mother's Day in our 19 years of marriage. He could not wait 'til Mother's Day, though. So I got it a few days earlier, and I love it!

It's a digital picture display frame that also plays music. As cool as that is, that was not the real gift. 

On Thursday evening prior to Mother's Day, my husband took me to our room, where the lights were turned off, and led me to stand at the foot of the bed, facing our captain's bed headboard, which is almost a bookcase with a lighted mirror above a shelf, and cubbies.

I heard music (that's OUR song!) and saw pictures of our family appearing on what I thought was my husband's work computer. First there was my baby picture, then my husband's baby picture, then one of us on our wedding day, one of me on the day after our wedding (which hubby says is his favorite picture ever), and then there came a baby picture of each one of our children as babies, followed by a current picture of them . . . so the oldest is shown first as a chubby 2-month-old, and immediately after as a nearly-18-year-old in his tuxedo with his prom date! Talk about a tear-jerker . . . 

Our song is Forever Young by Alphaville, and it's playing repeatedly while I watch pictures of my babies growing up . . . mixing the exciting memory of our first slow dance together nearly 20 years ago with the sweet memories of meeting our newborns at each of their births. I'm crying and loving it. Near the end, there's a portrait of a younger me holding my infant daughter who is now a preteen blue-eyed bombshell, and finally a picture of the Houston Texas temple with an image of an oak tree superimposed on the background . . .  the tree part is just an image of transparent light, and of course it's symbolic of our family tree. 

My oldest daughter turned on the light, and I saw that the pictures were not in fact being shown on my hubby's computer, but on my very own musical digital picture player (reminds me of Picture Picture on Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood)!

Now I just have to figure out how to upload the whole video on to this blog, or convince hubby to do that for me ;)

Oh, and how do I follow this example of thoughtful gift-giving for Father's Day???

Friday, May 2, 2008

ABCs about Me

I got this from Naomi's blog. Check her out at

A - Attached or Single? Attached
B - Best Friend? my DH and my parents
C - Cake or Pie? CHEESECAKE baby! Some call it cherry cheese pie . . . what's in a name?
D - Day of Choice? Thursday
E - Essential Item? glasses, pen and computer . . . hard to pick just one . . . I like Naomi's answer.
F - Favorite Color? PURPLE and green and red and royal blue and pink and navy . . . BROWN
G - Gummy Bears or Worms? bears! like the real ones from Germany YUM!
H - Hometown? Katy, Texas
I - Favorite Indulgence? AVOCADOES . . . on potatoes, salads, eggs, and Mexican food
J - January or July? I love January and July both, 'cause I have loved ones with birthdays then. I love January for the newness, and coolness; I love July for the PATRIOTISM.
K - Kids? YES, and a whole slew of 'em. One little angel in Heaven, our running total is seven.
L - Life isn't complete without? DANCE! with DH, with babies, with Aaron Neville! Let's dance :)
M - Marriage Date? 28 April 1989
N - Number of brothers and sisters? 3 sisters and 2 brothers . . . I am the oldest and shortest!
O - Oranges or Apples? the best fruit in the world is GUAVA . . . I'll eat any fruit but a mango. and I LOVE LOVE LOVE oranges :) if it's an apple, it's got to be a jazz apple :)
P - Phobia or Fears? claustrophobia, but I'm starting to wonder if that's what it really is . . .
Q - Quote? Matthew 7:7 Ask and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you. There's a story to this . . . . I'll have to blog about that . . . remind me! I also have a favorite non-scriptural quote by Twain I think. "Worrying doesn't empty tomorrow of its struggles. It only empties today of its strength."
R - Reason to smile? KISSES, whether human, or doggie, or chocolate (the Cheesecake ones)
S - Season of choice? summer in the west, or fall anywhere else . . .
T - Tag ten people? I tag whoever is reading this ;)
U - Unknown fact about me? I'm a poet and editor and dancer. People who know me well do know those things already . . . .OK, when I was about 5, I was selling candy for Bluebirds (campfire girls, kinda like girl scouts), and an older girl stole all my candy. I do NOT like selling.
V - Vegetable? Potatoes, broccoli, carrots, beets, celery sticks with cream cheese . . . but the all-time best vegetable dish ever is my sister's recipe for (drum roll please) Sweet Potatoes!
W - Worst habit? Perfectionism . . . hopefully as I edit more, I'll stop picking on the rest of the world ;)
X - Xenophobic? No I am too often guilty of the opposite, gravitating to those who seem new and different . . . I am a certified tutor of English as a Second Language.
Y - Your favorite food? brown rice w/ veggies, granola with raisins, garlicky pasta & pesto, mostly anything that someone else cooks . . . my mom made a great steak dinner the other night
Z - Zodiac Sign? Virgo

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Go Check out a great site for Moms called 5 Minutes for Mom

Click on the title above to go to "5 Minutes for Mom". This is where you can enjoy a chuckle, enter a contest, and network like nuts! Enjoy :)

Amazing Trailer Bike! I hope I win it :) Click here to check it out

Check it out! There's a great web site for all of us moms called 5 Minutes For Mom, and they have great contests that you can easily enter to win fabulous prizes. Click the title above to check out the amazing trailer that I hope to win for my special-needs 6-y-o. She is gonna love going for a bike ride with Mom and Dad!

If you want to win the trailer for someone you know, just go to and follow the directions then click on *contests*  Have fun y'all!

Now I know you're gonna get hooked if you click on over to, what with all their contests and all, but don't forget to come back here and read my latest every once in a while!
This picture gives a good idea of what my daughters are like. My oldest is uber-diligent; my second, animated and dramatic; my third, in her own world; and my youngest, connecting all the rest of us and commanding all attention. Not sure when this one was taken, but it may have been Mother's Day 2007. Notice my oldest is NOT wearing her Easter dress!