Saturday, April 21, 2012

Mandated by law...

Ok, I know you have heard me say that I only take my children in public when it is mandated by law. Today was one of those days, and the rest explains why...

The alarm rang at 6 a.m. this morning, which is an affront that I take personally as Sat. is usually the only day I can "sleep in" until at least 7. But the kids had to be picked up from a lock-in at church at 7 and then taken to Bossier (the nearest town an hour away) to play her soccer game at 8:30. Frankie did that running for me while I stayed home and kept Laura. After they returned home, Frankie left for work and left me with the three kids and a list of things to pick up at Wal-Mart. (I know I seem fixated on alarm clocks and Wal-Mart, but really there isn't much more to life when you live in Rodessa...) He also left me a "love" note that reminded me to go vote. (Really, I give him 12 years for that?)  It is my general rule to try NOT to take the kids anywhere in public, but especially not to Wal-Mart, as there is too much surveillance to adequately keep them in check and avoid a weekend off granted by CPS. But the girls got a note on Friday saying Twin Day would be next week (so they need matching T’Shirts for them and their friends), and more importantly, my new curling iron broke, so a trip to the mall of Vivian was unavoidable, and BY LAW I cannot leave them home alone YET. So out we head... First we stop at the "Village of Rodessa" town hall to vote. The kids jump out and run inside ahead of me (which should have been my first clue). I'm hollering after them as I close car doors, check for my ID, and lock up, "Wait on me, girls! We have to go in QUIE......" as the door to the hall slammed in my face. I take a deep breath and walk in. Maggie has already found the one chair that will turn around and around and is proceeding to hold Laura off as Laura sobbingly screams, "Maggie, I wanted that chair!" over and over again. I walk over with an outwardly calm demeanor and quietly tell them that we are going to turn right back around and get in the car if I hear one more word. I tell Maggie she has two minutes in the chair and then they can switch. Laura stands as close as she can the whole two minutes, irritating Maggie, but not actually touching her, while I sign in. When I get ready to go in the booth, I switch Laura into the chair and tell Maggie and Ann Cherie to have a seat on the floor. Luckily, it is so remote the only folks there are my crew and the voting signature people, all of whom know my family. So the girls comply momentarily as I go into the booth. As soon as the flaps close behind me I hear, "Laura, STOP!" repeatedly, gruffly, and loudly from Maggie. I look out and Maggie is now repeating Laura's previous gesture of standing as close as possible without touching, but Laura is swinging her legs out and kicking Mags in the stomach every turn she makes. I remind Maggie to sit, she complies. I turn back around to vote. I think there were nine amendments to vote on, and I repeated this process between EACH AMENDMENT followed each time with another threat to their very existence to no avail. I was mortified! And now I am HOT MAD and of course stuck in public without "Betty". So I herd them hurriedly out the door apologizing profusely to the voting people all the while staring at them with my “teacher face”.  We make it to the door as a sweet, little OLD lady comes hobbling inside.  I tell my children to move to the side and Ann Cherie freezes in the middle of the doorway, as if she cannot decide how to move her body.  I physically grab her out of the way to allow the lady to pass, quietly reminding Ann Cherie of her manners and apologizing to the woman all in the same breath.  We exit through the door to find a large truck is parked directly in front of the steps.  The people are getting out of the truck as Maggie yells, “Mom, who in the world would park right here in front of the door?  That’s crazy! They know we can’t get by!”  (OMG, please don’t have a gun, folks, even if we do deserve it!)  Both faces in the truck look out at us.  I tell the kids to follow me as I pull Ann Cherie to the side that is most open just as the little girls squeeze through the other side!  I went running around the back of the truck to get to the other side to catch Laura as she hauls out into the road.  I had to go check to make sure they did not scratch the truck front!  And I had to apologize to the people in the truck for the comment and the squeeze!  I have apologized to EVERY PERSON we have encountered in public.  And this is the FIRST STOP!  I get in the car, check buckles, and hear, “Mom, Laura is kicking me!”  “Momma, she is looking at me mean, so I kicked her!” etc!  “I HAVE HAD ENOUGH!”  I scream like a crazy person.  They get silent.  I dare them to make ONE PEEP the rest of the ride to Vivian!  When we pull up to Wal-Mart, I remind Laura to stay right beside me.  We get to the entrance, and of course, she takes off!  We were hollering, “Laura, come back!” over and over and I ran after her!  I finally catch her and grab her hand and walk her back outside.  I reminded her that I had to return our Redbox movies first and that she should never run off from me!  She could be stolen or fall and hurt herself or others, etc. I tell her that if she runs off again she will lose her “walking” privilege and have to ride in the buggy!  Meanwhile, I am returning each movie (today I have four, and you have to push all the different buttons for each one).  She stayed beside me for the first two returns, before spying the toy shoved in the corner.  She runs off again, and Ann Cherie starts making chase. I tell Maggie to grab a buggy!   Ann Cherie catches her, and I lift her screaming and kicking into the buggy.  I did pop her behind then after one swift kick lands on me!  (I know, CPS, calm down!  You have the video, and you know she needed it!)  So she gives up the fight but brings on the loud sobbing.  I finish returning the redbox movies, and we head into the store.  Luckily we only need like four things, so that should be a quick trip, right?!  Except that on the shampoo isle, Laura held her arm out and knocked about 15 bottles down off the shelf.  While we were picking up the bottles, because of course I couldn’t let her down out of the buggy, she kicks her flip-flops off.  Maggie, being helpful, picks them up and hands them back to her.  She puts them right back on and kicks them right back off again.  So I hear, “Laura, I just picked those up for you!”  “Yeah! So! (Loud laugh)”  “Mom, I tried to help Laura and she kicked her shoes at me and used a sassy mouth!” followed by louder laughing by Laura.  “The evil devil,” I think to myself.  I thanked Maggie for trying to help and picked up the shoes and put them in the back of the buggy, for which Laura commences sobbing again!  OMW!!!  All the while Ann Cherie is telling me all about all the great different shampoo and conditioners and asking me to look at this and at that, etc. and who is cool that uses this and that, etc.  I turned around and quietly asked her to please hush just for a second.  I take a giant breath and close my eyes.  Just get this done, I think.  I grab our regular shampoo and head off the isle.  Lord, please help me, just three more things!  We make it to the Advil isle, of which I am an addict, another thing explained by this article.  The girls start grabbing different ones, chewables, swallow pills, meltaways, etc. and hurriedly explaining their wants and needs regarding the different ones.  I take them all and put them back as I repeat the “whole look with your eyes and not with your hands” speech that is obviously meaningless but reinforces my need for a lecture on their behavior.  I am too frazzled to deal with it all.  I explain to them that when it comes to medicines, Mommy always gets to make the decision.  I went with the chewables, to the major lamentations of the other two children.  Thinking this was settled, we turn around and I hear behind me, “HA, see I TOLD ya’ll I knew what she was getting!”  I was livid.  I turned around and stared them down.  CPS, it took everything in me not to slap a face right then and there.  “DROP. IT.” I said instead. Just repeat that whole scenario in your head and you have our next isle where I should have been able to quietly grab a package of Band-Aids.  Oh, heck no.  They have to make over 80 million cartoon Band-Aids now, to the woes of all mothers.

So we move along to the curling iron row, which has to be paired with the lipstick row…Let’s just say I now own a raunchy shade of peach that Laura couldn’t keep her hands off of and broke off when she rolled it all the way up.  HOR-RI-BLE!!!  On to the t-shirts, with a warning that I will be expecting efficient decision making or their “twins” will have to settle for a navy uniform shirt… but do I ever get MY way?  (That certainly would not help my blog, but would possibly intervene in my ibuprophen usage.)  The whole time we are in the clothing department, Laura starts standing up in the buggy seat trying to reach clothes as I am trying to keep Maggie from unfolding every t-shirt on the square.  I grab for Laura’s britches and tell her not to touch another outfit just as the side of the display starts to sway!  Yes, just imagine!  I am holding her, she’s holding the clothes, and the whole thing goes down!  Guys, you just can’t make this stuff up!   I holler at Ann Cherie to hold on to Laura as I reset the display and start to replace the clothes.  I grabbed two t-shirts Maggie held in her hands and said, “LET’S GO!”  I fought back tears.  We went.  I wish I could tell you that was where it ended.  Sigh. 

I pulled through Sonic to grab a Diet Cherry Limeade.  I go ahead and order four to avoid any discussion, even though the little rugrats haven’t made a sound since the landmark take down.  We pull out and head down the road towards home.  Not five minutes later I hear, “Ah, oh, momma!  I made a mess.”  And as you know, the drink is now all over the back seat of the car. “Laura, just sit in it.  You took your top off your cup, I could lecture you about how you know you are not supposed to, but it wouldn’t help.  So just SIT IN IT!”  No one makes a sound.  We have made it home and neither the news station nor CPS has arrived, the mess did get cleaned up, and the girls are playing in their rooms…but now you get the whole mandated by law thing. (You may also have a better understanding as to why I love my JOB!  Bring on Monday!)  My little rugrats…I swear!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Alarm Clocks...

I read a funny alarm clock story just yesterday about this guy who bought a "better" alarm clock, or so he thought, that made you enter the date in order to shut it off. I initially thought that would be horrible! I can't imagine having to jump up and run all the way to kitchen every morning trying to look at the calendar all the while screaming out "What date it is?" frantically hoping someone would help by hollering the date out so that I could make the horrid noise stop! I got a little anxious just thinking about it!

This morning I said, "That guy didn't need a "better" alarm clock, he needed a HUSBAND and CHILDREN!" At 4:30 a.m. this morning the phone rang. Around here it only means one thing when it rings that early, someone is dead or dying. Usually never in our family, thank goodness. Today, three people are missing on Bodcau. So Frankie calls it in and starts getting dressed. Of course I am glad that he loves his job. And I am glad that he gets to help people. But I am selfish today. It is 4:30 in the morning after all, and I didn't go to bed until midnight last night. He is now up with the light on trying to get prepped to head out. Big boots clomping around, heavy bullet proof vest being lowered on and velcroed in place, clothes landing on the bed, sonicare toothbrush buzzing, and microwave beeping with something for him to eat on the get the idea. So now my body has had a "nap" and I am awake after he leaves!

I finally look over at 5:30a.m., and realize I am dozing off. I felt ice cold hands and feet snuggle quietly in at 6 a.m. (which I do love that early snuggle time, and I have trained them to know the difference between snuggle time and conversation time). So I rolled over to cover her up and grab a kiss and hopefully get both of us back to sleep, only, my face meets sticky, so do my hands, as do my arms..."Laura, what is all over you?" "Mommy, I ate some donuts. I got them down off the shelf all by myself." Now my body and my bed are sticky. Well, we are up. I get her cleaned up and the mess taken care of, and I try to lie back down. By now it's 6:30a.m. Laura, of course, had other plans. She was back in her room playing. At 7:00 a.m. I hear screaming from the living room, "Laura, NO!! Oh my gosh! Laura, get away. You made the mess, and you are GOING to clean it up." Well, I'm up again it seems, knowing my 4 year old isn't going to properly clean up a mess that a 10 year old won't even touch. Laura had my rollerblades on trying to blade through the house and ran over Ann Cherie's cereal bowl as she ate in front of the TV (which they are not supposed to do!) Milk and soggy cereal is just what I wanted my still faintly sticky body to deal with this morning. Ann Cherie is still making her case for not cleaning up, and Laura is making her case for NEEDING to rollerblade in Mommy's blades. I'm making my case for Ann Cherie not eating in the living room, etc. All the while Maggie commences to turn the TV up to like 40 volume because she can't "hear her show" over all the clean-up talks! OH my WORD!! I cleaned up the cereal, took the blades off of Laura, and turned down the TV with yet another conversation about being rude with the TV noise and the need for patience. By now, I need some patience. Laura is now whiny because she has lost the blades and wants some breakfast. So I calm her down and ask her what she would like to eat. "I want the chocolate ball cereal." Great! I go get a bowl and pour the cereal and milk. I call her to the table and head back to the kitchen. Shrieking ensues. "That's not the cereal I want. I wanted the apple cereal. I never get to do what I want." There’s the real reason. I explain that she asked for the chocolate balls, so therefore I didn't pour the Apple Jacks, blah, blah, blah, and that just because I took my blades away she shouldn't throw a fit. Is it 7:30 yet? Almost. I go and lie back down. Just thirty minutes, Lord, and I will never complain again... Ten minutes later I hear another commotion in the living room. Ann Cherie it seems interrupted Maggie's show to turn on the Wii, without consulting Maggie, without giving her 1st remote, and without picking the game she would have picked if she would have chosen the Wii during her movie to begin with, etc. Ann Cherie in turn is loudly making her case. And Laura chooses right now to walk in the room with her hands and face covered in STAMP INK! OMG! So I yell, "Stop! Everybody just stop. Go get some shorts on and GO OUTSIDE!" I dramatically turn off the TV, dare them with "Betty" (the wooden spoon), and watch PATIENTLY as they STOMP loudly to get their clothes on head out to the trampoline. So, all I can say is the guy with the "better" alarm clock can BRING IT ON...or borrow my rugrats...I swear!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Chaos and Litany...

“Back from Wallyworld- the mall of Vivian- with my sis-in-law, Courtney Reger!  Stopped by the Family Dollar afterwards just to make the day special and to build my confidence! You only have to brush the teeth you want to keep people- and just a suggestion- the ones in front would be worth keeping... only if I were you and again only a suggestion... And shorts that make it past the first few love rolls on your legs would be appreciated as well... but again... only a suggestion...What an experience!”
This was my recent facebook post...I just keep thinking that society will change and grow and get better. It has to, right? …Maybe it is me that needs changing. I think back now of the SMILE on my face the entire time I was shopping! I never would have remembered that trip without others being "different". So maybe it is time I enjoy society in the fashion of today.
My children dressed up this morning for Easter Sunday at church. They looked like little princesses, and of course, none of my mommy bias translated into that statement! We go to Easter services with my father-in-law each year, sort of as a "gift" to him. This year he didn't even sit with us. I don't blame him. They were little monsters at church with their cousins. Our two families, my brother-in-law's and mine, sat together in the balcony of the tiny little Catholic Church. We filled it with our seven rugrats. The children had colors and color sheets to entertain them. Of course, they preferred to rip the sheets out of the books and drop crayons one at a time on the floor during the quietest of prayers. The baby chose to squeal.  Brynn told a loud story to his cousins that couldn't wait. Three of them tried to fall over the balcony as Frankie and Gorden loudly moved out of their chairs to grab dresses and dress pants just in time. One of them needed to "show Dadda something" and tried to go downstairs a few times during the service without asking and refusing each new reprimand in due fashion, again, all during the quiet parts. I had two in my lap, each "sharing" with the other by only taking one leg each, one of which braided and tugged and fashioned my hair the entire service the other kissing my face and giggling loudly at the sound it made. One cried because she wasn't there in time to get a knee, and I was out of room and hair. The baby finally spilled the entire crayon bucket and then picked each one up and loudly dropped them back into the bucket one at a time. None of the other rugrats ever "found" a seat (meaning ever stayed in one). Frankie issued a few gruff warnings and Gorden echoed in turn. One went through the contents of my purse all while I was trying to reach around the two in my lap to keep her from it each time she would pull out something new.  And half of them went barefoot down the aisle for the Lord’s Supper all the while stopping to hug and loudly greet everyone on each aisle they passed that they knew.  All of this culminating with my oldest saying, "Boy am I glad we were catholic this morning, because their service is way shorter." Only to be echoed by my own thoughts, "Yep, if you only knew!" Even through my embarrassment and exhaustion my thoughts continued to turn to the one person that would have LOVED this chaos.  Three years ago Ann Reger sat up in that balcony with us.  Proudly.  She picked up babies and SMILED the BIGGEST SMILE when our rugrats were the WORST in church.  She went as far as to take PICTURES of these terrible, embarrassing moments- DURING CHURCH mind you, just to have them printed and smile and laugh again over them later.  “Look at my babies!” She would exclaim.  “Remember when they did such and such during church… Oh, my…HAHAHAHA!”  A few months later she was gone.  I can see that smile now and am continuing to live her “Oh, my’s”.  What I wouldn’t give to have had her smiling with us in the chaos this morning, loving her babies through all of their chaotic moments and sharing her own knees and long hair.  This made me remember my posting from yesterday and made me stop to think that in church my family is the “different” family.  (No quiet Gerber babies in this bunch of rugrats, no way!)  Maybe I should do more smiling at the moments that I am blessed with being surrounded by my rugrats and nieces and nephews…. And do more loving at each opportunity no matter the chaos.  Praise the Lord for the Hope of Easter that the only thing in the graveyard etched in Reger is a stone and some flowers for Ann looking down.  For she got a huge laugh and a big smile over her rugrats in church service today! 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Reindeer loose in the office: Surprised Elf reins them in....

Posted by PicasaTwas two weeks before Christmas and all through the office, everyone was busy.  No one was stirring.  The lectures were being presented and such that no one was thinking of Christmas much.  Housekeeping was working and Tammy D. settled in at her desk, prepared for a long day at work. No fun to be had.  When out in the main office there arose such a clatter.  Tammy D. walked out to find exactly what was the matter. When what to her surprised eyes in the office...3 of Santa's reindeer.  She jumped all around snapping pictures for proof with her iPhone in good cheer, she knew in moment it must be Susan, Joy, and Sue.  She was so excited she didn't know what to do!  She spoke not a word, but went straight to her work.  She reined them all in with promises of emailed copies of pictures and turned with jerk.  She hated for them to leave, but she feared dismissal.  So off to their stables the reindeer were sent with prancing and pawing of each little hoof.  Away they all went like the down of a thistle, and she exclaimed as they ran out of sight,  "Get to work! Don't tag me here. Now get out of sight!"

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

33Miles From Jesus

Laura was so cute the other day.  I was looking on the Louisiana Tech University website, my alma mater, to see what new stuff was happening (and to promote "college" to my kids).  The girls were all sitting on me and around me as we talked about "college".  The website has a feature page called "Tech Triumphs" with alumni that have become successful in their careers (why they haven't called me for a feature yet, I don't know, possibly because I am blogging at work....hehe).  One famous Tech graduate is Jason Barton from the Christian band 33Miles that my kids and I love. When the girls saw him they asked why his title line said "33Miles from Jesus".  I explained to the girls that the name 33Miles was the name of the band not actual proximity to Christ.  Laura piped in with, "No, Momma, Jesus is not far away.  I can feel him when I play real hard.  Watch me, Momma." She ran around the house and came back with a fast beating heart that you could feel through her chest as she stood grinning.  "Touch here and feel Jesus in my heart, Momma. He's not far away.  I feel him.  He can't get out, can he, Momma."  I felt her beating heart.  As the big girls and I laughed I realized why God tells us to have Faith like a child.  He's in there and He can't get out!  As I pray that God doesn't feel "trapped" inside of me, I thank him for never leaving me or my babies.  Thank God for the little moments like that with my children in which he speaks knowingly to all of us.  That little rugrat...hehe...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

5 point dinners/ lunches/ snacks...

I found a great website today of 5 point menus for my weight watchers diet.
I do think the government should issue internet warnings though, because the site did not make me excited that I could eat and lose weight as much as it just made me even more HUNGRY which, ironically, was not the intention of browsing low point menu options.  I've found I do not particulary like being metaphorically described as a whale, but I am NOT GOOD at starving either....  They should also issue warnings that it doesn't help to browse for 5 point dinners if you plan to COMBINE the dinner selections...hehe  Maybe I am the rugrat in the family... more like the sloth, but still in the family...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Big Girl Panties

Have you ever noticed how as you gain weight you put off and put off buying bigger clothes, but you go pretty quickly to buy bigger panties.  I guess inside I am thinking that if I am in more comfortable panties, the clothes will ultimately respond likewise. For some reason this philosophy is not working for me right now.  Must be the estrogen (because it most certainly can't be the cheesecake addiction...)