Tuesday, September 30, 2008
My Grandma was a fascinating woman. She believed in retail therapy in a way no other woman in my family did. I loved to go shopping with her. She was fun and, most importantly, she bought me stuff.
But, her retail therapy extended far beyond the mall. As a young child, I remember boxes from various home shopping networks resting on her front porch often. I remember watching with delight as she opened her new watch, bracelet, makeup, shirt, or pants. She had such great taste that I knew I would love the treasure found inside each and every box.
I blame her for my fascination with infomercials.
You see, I am a night owl. I always have been. However, since I am now spending my days chasing and cleaning up after children, I often find myself awake and without energy at night. I am awake, but I can't seem to actually do anything productive. Once everyone is asleep, I just might find myself scrolling through the 100 channels of nothingness on cable. Nothing but infomercials, that is...
I must admit they suck me in every time. It may be the endless energy each person has on the TV as they shout positive phrases at me. It must be the perfect body I can get in "only 10 minutes a day!" Or, the fast way I can cook my food to perfection so EVERYONE in my family will love it. It is definitely the way I can save "time, energy, and money" cleaning my bathrooms, kitchen, and floors. And, I do love those undergarments that magically "suck in" all of your rolls and instantly take inches off of your body. (How comfortable can THAT be? I guess it doesn't matter how you feel when you look that great in a matter of seconds.) Maybe it is the lawn I can have in just a few days with little to no effort. (Oh, wait. That didn't work. See the last post.) Perhaps it is the way all of those magical foundations and creams can and will "erase years" off of my face.
Oh, I have gotten sucked in. I mean, who doesn't want to look like Cindy Crawford, Christy Brinkley, or even Victoria Principle? I am not stupid. I KNOW it was just that ONE, SINGLE product that made them who they are today. And, I should be grateful that they are going to let me purchase it for $100...no, wait. If I order now, they will take 50% off. That's a low price of only $50. But, wait...they will also send me a free gift...
OK, so now I just find myself wishing that their claims are at least partially true. I have weak moments. Several months ago I ordered Sheer Cover off of the TV. Well, let's just say, it wasn't sheer enough for me and it left me with a greasy, shiny face.
Too bad that stuff didn't turn me into a model with a wrinkle-free, glowing face. I wished the same for my sorry lawn. I can still see the "grass seed on steroids" laying on top of our dirt covered patches. Seeds, NOT baby grass. Lonely, very expensive seeds.
Sorry face, sorry lawn, sorry pocket book. I have learned my lesson. No more infomercials for me.
Oh, but wait...look at that ab machine...
Monday, September 29, 2008
I started school in August. I was ready to take on the world. I took two classes: a nursing class and a stats class. The stats class took me about 18 hours a week to do the homework assignments. That is not an exaggeration. Not only did I have to learn the math, but I had to learn how to use advanced forms of Word and Excel. Actually, I had to buy those two programs for my computer first, and then try to learn them. So I got office 2007. My professor uses 2003. I'm telling you, from my perspective, they are worlds apart. I am telling all of this to give my excuse in advance. I am ashamed, but I dropped the class. That was the first time I dropped a class in my life. It was shameful, yet liberating. I could see how people could make a habit of it. Your class gets tough...drop it. Your car breaks down...leave it under a bridge. Your wife gets lippy...drop her. Your kid gets lippy...leave him under a bridge. Its great. Anyway, I am down to one class and I am still busy. But manageable busy. So that's the update, now why I really blogged tonight:
I am ashamed, but my wife saw some commercial about grass on steroids. It can grow anywhere. I doesn't need water, sunlight, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, or any other component all other plants need. You just need to shake the bag where you need grass, and it will grow until Jesus comes back. The wife really wants grass in our backyard, so she talks me into purchasing it. So, I order a bag about the size of a taco seasoning packet. She wants to use it on our dirt floor we like to call our backyard.
So, we get this grass and I start to doubt the claims of the commercial. Especially when the seeding directions look very similar to the directions on a bag of grass not on steroids. I bought some regular bags of steroidless grass seed also. Lets just call that Brad's grass. (I know I just opened myself up to loads of cyber stalkers, but I'm living on the edge tonight.) So, I seed with the wife's grass on the patches in the front. The wife then chastises me for not using the "good" grass in the back where we need it. I am sorry honey, but that bag is going to cover about 3 square inches in the back, so I used it in the front. (Insert huffy sigh from the wife.) Since I am the one blogging about this, I bet you can't guess who's grass grew. That's right! Brad's grass! I don't know why I let her talk me into that stuff. She must have a spell on me.
Here is story number two, and no, this post is never going to end. I have six weeks angst built up in this post. Today I went to get my new scrub pants taken up. The wife tells me to go to to a lady by her parent's house that is always reasonable. So, when I go to take the boys out to lunch, I leave early to go there. There is a sign that says temporarily closed, gone to Dr.'s appointment. I decide that I will not make it out there again until next Thursday, so I should find someone else. I go to some sweat shop in OP. I think the women that got busted in the "more than massage" ring around town all opened up alteration stores. I go there and drop off my pants. They did not ask me if I wanted a happy ending, thank goodness. I call the wife and tell her the price. $9 per pair of pants. She thinks the first lady will be cheaper. So I take my cheap self back to the sweat shop after lunch and lie to the worker saying I found pants that fit, could I please have my pants back. She complies and I take them to the first shop. It is still closed!!! Since she was gone for a Dr.'s appointment earlier and now just closed, I have her diagnosed with terminal cancer. I feel little empathy or sympathy. I return home frustrated. The wife tells me I am an idiot I shuld call around before I go driving around all creation. So we call around. Her lady is back from her appointment now and answers. $10 per pair of pants. Another store is $12. I go back to the sweat shop and drop my pants off AGAIN. Thank God the same woman that I dealt with before was not there. Here is the moral of the story:
I have no moral, I'm just rambeling. See you in six weeks. Thanks to the wife for filling in the bare patches on the blog.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Mrs. Nurse Boy here.
THIS is what I have to live with!!!
Dimples came out of the kitchen yesterday looking like this. He proudly announced, "I think I just might need to trim my nose hairs. What do you think?"
Needless to say, Nurse Boy and I lost it. I must admit, it was funny. Gross, but funny.
The best part? Sweet Pea was jealous that she didn't have a "snack." She kept asking for Dimples' pretzels while trying to grab them out of his nose.
Maybe this just all seems normal to her...
When I had Bruiser, someone gave me a frame that said, "There is a special place in heaven for mothers of little boys." All I am saying is, I AM COUNTING ON IT!!!!
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I always imagined being a mother of girls. I pictured myself surrounded by bows, lace, ribbons, and all things pink. I have always been a girly-girl and I couldn't wait to have some of my own.
God had a much better plan! He blessed me with my two boys before He gave me my girly-girl. Boys are rough, tough, and messy, but OH! SO! MUCH! FUN! I am now surrounded by dirt, mud, balls, and all things... well, dirty and noisy.
One of my favorite things about my boys is their fascination with superheros. At the age of four or five, each of the boys began searching for a real life superhero. Their answer (and a good one, I might add) was Jesus. After all, with Him all things are possible! So, we would have many conversations about the power of Jesus...
"Could Jesus lift our entire house?"
"Could He pick up our church and move it to another city?"
"Could He knock down 10 bad guys at one time?"
These conversations always made me smile. I hope I never forget those precious moments. I mean, when I was a kid, I don't think I gave Jesus a second thought. It blesses me that they want to know Him and grow closer to Him.
Anyway, both of the boys have given themselves an alter ego. It all started one day when Dimples and his best friend were playing and decided to name their alter ego and define the super powers they would have. Now, Dimples is also known as Laser Boy. You guessed it. He shoots lasers at all things evil. His best friend is also known as Bomb Boy. Of course, he shoots bombs to protect the innocent.
Bruiser began to feel left out. He wanted an alter ego of his very own. He wanted super powers that only he could have. He begged Dimples and his friend to give him a name and a special power. They thought for a while before they declared the perfect name for the younger, annoying pest who wouldn't leave them alone. They named him...
And, Bruiser was DELIGHTED! He proudly pointed his fingers at imaginary bad guys and shot "stink" at them. (I was relieved he didn't think that Stink Boy passed gas...I was worried for a moment!)
Thank you, Jesus, for the gift of boys...stink and all!
Monday, September 22, 2008
So, I am no longer feeling so defeated when it comes to the world of potty training. I won't bore you with all of the details, but Sweet Pea is starting to get this whole peeing-and-pooping-in-the-potty thing! Oh, we aren't finished training, but I finally see the light! I have carried a diaper bag for almost NINE years straight. I might have to start lifting weights to keep my upper body strength after I get rid of the burdensome diaper bag.
Yesterday we spent the entire day away from home. When we returned home in the evening, we decided to let Sweet Pea run around the house naked. This is how Bruiser learned to do his business on the toilet. If he was naked, he never had an accident. We tried this before with Sweet Pea and she had no problem blessing my floors at any given moment. However, this weekend she seemed to comprehend what was going on with her body.
So, last night Nurse Boy and I were running around the house picking up from our busy weekend. (Oh, wait. That was just me. Nurse Boy was playing the wii with the boys.) Then, there was a knock on our screen door. I went to greet the gentleman. He was running for some political office. Next thing I know, the kids come running to see who was at the door. I ignored them in hopes of politely hurrying this gentleman away. When he was stepping down from my porch, I looked back at the kids as they were telling him goodbye.
That's when I noticed that Sweet Pea was stark naked. Naked on our front porch. Naked while I was talking to some gentleman I don't even know. Naked while proudly hollering,"Bye!" to a complete stranger.
No wonder why the neighbors think we are weird.
Even I am beginning to think we are...
Thursday, September 18, 2008
My brother's mother in law (did you follow that?) made this adorable dress for Sweet Pea. Oh, and she made the purse. I do realize they don't match. They were made on completely separate occasions. She is two. Matching is not her strong suit.
Is this dress not the most adorable thing? Ruth is a very talented woman!
I admire a woman who can sew. I won't say I wish I could sew, because I simply do not have the patience. Or, maybe it is the confidence. In middle school, my home economics teacher told me I had a heavy foot. She also said I was hopeless...at least that is what I saw in her eyes. She didn't have to say it. My mom later enrolled me in some summer sewing class. And, since that was what all the cool kids were doing... oh, wait. NONE of the cool kids were in there. Thus all of the kicking and screaming I did every morning on my way to the "world of nerds." Those were my own words. I was awful at sewing and saw NO value in it. NONE. My mom reluctantly let me quit and I hung out with the "cool kids" at the pool that summer.
So, now I have to inspect my moles every month (curse you skin cancer!) and I can't even sew a button back onto a shirt. Oh, I kid not. I really do not sew buttons. Nurse Boy does. My grandmother used to hem the kid's clothes and take care of any and all loose buttons. When she passed away, I think we found a stack of my family's clothes in her bedroom waiting for her attention. Boy do I miss you, Grammy! My mom just doesn't have the same patience for my inability to sew. I simply cannot imagine why.
Oh, to be in the "world of nerds" now. They suddenly don't seem nerdy at all! I think the word is ... talented.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
So, have you ever been out shopping and noticed a car with one of its doors wide open in the parking lot? I mean, who does that?! I always wander over to the car (which is usually a mini van) and mumble something about an idiot under my breath while I close the door for them.
The other day I ran to the grocery store with the boys to pick up a few items. (You already know where this is going, don't you?!) I took the boys in hopes that Sweet Pea would nap and Nurse Boy could work on school stuff without anyone climbing on his back in hopes of some wrestle mania. I actually had to bribe the boys with suckers to get them to willingly go with me. That's right, I am not above bribery. Judge me all you want, but when in a pinch it works.
We pulled up to the store and marched right in. Boys. Suckers. Mom. (I know. Who is the real sucker, right?) We ran through the store at a very rapid pace. One thing about being a mom is we can fill our cart faster than a speeding bullet. With kids, or without. It is a super power given to us once the baby is placed in our arms. Honestly, sometimes I amaze even myself!
We did hit a snag when we got to the check out and the clerk started talking to me. I mean, they don't usually even make eye contact with me! Of course, it is when I am in a hurry that they actually show some customer service. As well, they should. I don't even want to think about the percentage of our annual income that goes to that store! Scary!
But, I digress.
The clerk started asking me about potty training. OH. YES. HE. DID. If only he read this blog, he would have known that is a very sore subject with me. He wanted advice for his three year old. I said, "PRAY! PRAY HARD!"
He looked frightened, as well he should have.
I digress again.
We raced out of the store. Then I see it. A mini van with the side door wide open. What kind of idiot leaves...
That is OUR minivan!
I am that idiot!
Monday, September 15, 2008
If you know me personally (which all 3 of you do), than you know just how much I HATE potty training. No, I LOATHE potty training. Really, truly LOATHE. Honestly, Nurse Boy and I even had this on our "pros and cons list for having another child." And we wrote it down about 20 times on the con list. It might have been the only con, but it should have been a red flashing sign. It wasn't. That must be why we have Sweet Pea.
There are some things I am good at when it comes to parenting. Potty Training is NOT one of those things.
OK, so don't get me wrong. I obviously love Sweet Pea dearly. But, why is it that I can send my kids to a school or a camp for just about anything, but NO ONE WILL POTTY TRAIN my child for me? Right now I am almost certain she will go to college in a Dora pull up. I wonder if they will change her pull up for her when she is taking the SAT's to get into college? After all, I never saw potty trained listed as a requirement or a prerequisite when applying to all of the schools of my dreams.
That being said, I was CERTAIN that both Dimples and Bruiser were going to attend kindergarten in Spiderman pull ups. They didn't. It was a miracle from the good Lord above, I tell you!
But, I am afraid that He just might be done divvying out miracles to the "Nurse" family.
Last week, I got serious. I made potty training fun. We read books about pottys (is that even a real word?). We looked at pictures of pottys. We sat on pottys. We sang about pottys. We watched videos about pottys. We even watched family members on the potty. It was a week of pottys!
We also peed and pooped our pants. Sweet Pea won't do anything on the potty.
I am TIRED.
Can I quit now?
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Since Nurse Boy has been spending every evening on school, I have used the evenings to do some very exciting stuff. Stuff like whiten my teeth, trim and file my nails, clean the house (yuck), workout (double yuck), and watch some TV (ya know, the kind where balls are not being thrown about while grown men tackle one another). Some nights the only energy I can muster up, after making lunches and cleaning up after dinner and bath time, is the energy it takes to walk to the couch. Some nights I am just a sorry mess.
While sitting on my lazy rump one night, a commercial caught my eye. It was advertising some new washing machine. The special feature they were promoting? This washing machine can hold up to 6 months of laundry detergent. SIX MONTHS WORTH!
Right then I realized that the whole measuring (if you can even call pouring to the line on the cap measuring) of the laundry detergent is what is so very time consuming. I mean, how many times have I thought, "I really need to throw in a load of laundry, but I just can't muster up the energy to pour the laundry detergent into the washing machine. Now, if I could just gather up, sort, stain stick, and place ONLY the clothes into the machine... well, I would be right on it. But, the laundry detergent? Well, that just puts me over the edge!"
Come ON! How lazy are we? Now, give me a machine that seeks out and removes ALL stains. Or, a machine that sorts the laundry for me. Or, a dryer that drys AND folds the laundry. Maybe I should stop sitting on my rump and start inventing... Nah, who has the energy with 3 kids and a husband going to school?
However, Nurse Boy thought the said washing machine was genius.
It is official. It was invented by a man who was trying to help out one day and it WAS the laundry detergent that sent him over the edge.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
I have said it before and I'll say it again. I am a CITY GIRL. Yes, I do love the beauty of the country, lakes, mountains, oceans, and rivers. You cannot deny how magnificent our Creator is when you look into the night sky in the middle of nowhere. But, it is in the middle of nowhere where you find bugs, spiders, rodents, and reptiles. All of which I hate.
It really is my mother's fault. She is TERRIFIED by all of those things. I have NEVER known her to squish a spider all by herself. She simply hollers (at the top of her lungs), "DAN!!!!!!!" If he is not around, she MIGHT get out the vacuum. She can't even take a tissue and pick up a dead bug. Oh, and all dead bugs MUST be flushed down the toilet, to prevent any and all resurrections. She thinks all of the spiders in her house like to play dead, only to taunt her again and again from the corner of her ceiling.
I am not that bad. I see one and I am on a mission to KILL, KILL, KILL.
My problem? Both of the boys are studying insects at school. It has become a passion for them. Ironically, I have been discovering a lot more spiders and crickets in my house than normal. Bruiser will start yelling (at the top of his lungs), "I found a cricket!"
My response? "Good! Kill it!"
Bruiser immediately gets a sad look on his face and says, "No! I want to catch it!"
Really? Catch it? Yuck!
They keep taking these insects they find all around the house to school. Are these teachers crazy? Do they really want a classroom full of these things. I am starting to feel things crawling all over me just thinking about it! YUCK!
I can't wait until they start studying something else. How about nutrition? We can hunt for all things with whole grains, crispy veggies, and fresh fruit. And, maybe, just maybe, they will start to holler (at the top of their lungs), "I found some broccoli!"
My response? "Good! Eat it!"
Dimples and Sweet Pea. So cute! He was so protective of her.
We had to stop for some over priced ice cream cones. I mean, after lunch, the ice cream seemed like a bargain!
Friday, September 5, 2008
My father has been dealing with back pain this week. He said he was pretty uncomfortable and just couldn't beat it. His chiropractor died a year ago. Apparently, my father is so loyal that he is just waiting until he can join him in heaven before his next adjustment. It is going to be a long wait, Dad!
All week we have had rain. Cool, never-ending rain. So, what happens when it rains around here? You find out that people can't drive on WET roads. I mean ICE, I understand. (I am usually the idiot spinning around by the light poles.) But, come on people... WET ROADS?
So, on Wednesday, my Dad got rear ended. He said that he got out of the car to find not an ounce of damage to his car or the car of the lady that hit him. He said it was truly amazing. Not a scratch, a scuff, or a dent. On either car. Nothing.
I started thinking about his poor back and how the impact probably made things worse for him. He then informed me that his back feels better than ever! Well, that is one way to get an adjustment. Folks, don't try this at home, or even on the highway.
Just goes to show you what the enemy intends for evil, God can use for good!
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Well, God has been preparing me for change. Mostly, He is preparing me for a new season in my family's life. One where my husband is working and going to school. One where I am stepping down from most, if not all of my leadership positions. One where I have to trust Him for finances in a way I have never had to trust Him before. One where I am going to receive from Him and others (and probably spend less time on the giving end. That might not make sense, but I understand what God is calling me to do in this area). One where He and my family come first ALL the time, no exceptions. This might sound simple, but for me it is unknown territory. He is asking me to change just about everything I feel like I have known in the past 10 years or so. I realize that I should be excited, and part of me is. The other part of me is kicking and screaming.
This morning I went to a meeting with a group of Christian women. I didn't know a soul. I really felt the enemy trying to keep me from attending, but I pressed on. I found myself in a welcoming place, full of a lot of women feeling the same way I felt...vulnerable. Twice this morning, God used various ways to tell me to TRUST Him with ALL my heart. Of course I want to trust him, but my flesh was uncertain. I obeyed and was blessed. Duh, right? I now feel encouraged in a way I did not this morning. Oh, don't get me wrong, this whole "change" thing is not over and I am sure I will end up on the floor kicking and screaming again later this week or even this afternoon. I can be a slow learner. But, God is faithful, even when I am not.
So, to summarize this morning? I met some amazing women that I hope to get to know on a deeper level. I am believing that God is going to show me His plans for me during the next couple of years as we trust in Him to continue to reveal the future He has planned for our family and each individual member.
Something that came out at the meeting was what our children do when we are not looking. More specifically, when we are in the restroom. Seriously, what mom gets to close the door when she is on the pot? (Oh, I know I am airing my dirty laundry.) I don't think I have been allowed to visit the restroom alone since 1999. OK, I might be exaggerating a bit. But, the very moment I shut the door, there is a crisis... one with much kicking, screaming, crying, etc. Heaven help me if I actually LOCK the door.
I know my kids come by it honestly. I used to ask my poor father questions every time he scrambled to the restroom. I did this through high school. I even remember thinking that he was quite grumpy about answering questions when he was on the pot. I mean, my question was very important and obviously couldn't wait! Now, I realize IT COULD HAVE WAITED!!! So sorry, Dad!
Don't you worry, Papa, your three grand kids are paying me back on a daily basis...
Monday, September 1, 2008
So, this weekend we did sneak in some family time and a few naps. My favorite was the naps.
This weekend I realized that Nurse Boy really gets me. We started dating when we were 18 and have now been married for 11 and 1/2 years. After 17 years, he really gets me.
How do I know this? Let me start from the beginning. When we were first married, he complained every time I got my hair cut:
"Does it really have to cost that much? Can't you go to the same place I go? Do you really need to take out a loan for your shampoo? And, who needs conditioner? If Head and Shoulders is good enough for me, why isn't it good enough for you? I am sure your natural hair color is beautiful..."
You get the idea.
When I stopped working, I couldn't even try to justify my expensive haircuts, shampoo, conditioner, highlights, and hairspray. I started paying a friend of mine $15 to cut my hair in my own kitchen. When she was finished, I even had to clean up the mess. I am not going to lie, I didn't always have the best attitude about it. But, I made the sacrifice for my children.
Slowly, I worked my way back into a salon. It was a salon mostly for the blue haired crowd, hence the inexpensive haircuts and highlights. At least I got to leave the insanity of my own kitchen and get all of the updates on any changes in social security. At night I could even wrap toliet paper around my head to keep my hair in place...did anyone else have a grandma who did this? I mean, does toliet paper REALLY keep your hair in place when you are rolling all around in your sleep?
One day, I made the leap into a REAL salon. The best part? Nurse Boy loved my hair and told me to go back. Yay!!! I even started buying real shampoo (most of the time (on sale), I do still have 3 kids at home) and getting foil highlights to keep me looking young (shut up, let me pretend I am fooling someone out there).
Keep reading, it gets better.
So, this weekend we were at a gathering for a special event. Later on we were discussing some of the fun/crazy people we met and saw. Nurse Boy had noticed that this very sweet lady had a full blown mustache. That is right, a mustache. Poor, poor woman. I informed Nurse Boy that this wasn't nearly as uncommon as he might think. Many women pluck, bleach, and wax that area to stay young and not look like a Yetty. I had to confess that this old broad has had to do a lot more plucking as of late. Sad, but true. He looked at me and said, "If you ever need lazer treatments, we can make that happen." I felt so loved at that moment. Really, I did. You see, he gets me. Lord help me if I ever grow a full blown mustache. But, my husband loves me enough to know that this would be worthy of a second mortgage.
I love that we have grown up together. So what if I taught him to be more shallow, at least no one will be asking if I am his mother at our 50th wedding anniversary.