10 December 2008

Catching up

So it's been months since my last blog. For those who know me, it's been a hard few months. Nothing terrible. Quite the opposite. I was finishing up my seventh pregnancy. Yes, for you math whizzes out there, that would mean I've been a human incubator for 5 years of my 12 years of marriage. It was by far the longest pregnancy of all. I think I got stuck in some kind of time continuum and was actually pregnant for 12 months this time. I was beginning to feel like an elephant. But after getting through a few complications, and a very normal labor and delivery, we now have our newest addition to our family here with us. This picture was graciously taken before they took the bed apart and made it some kind of torture device they call "The Throne". It is also before my family began looking through a baby name book trying to help us come up with a girls name. I do not find out the sex of the baby, so we have to have two names pick out. We were short one. So my husband, Mom, Dad, and Brother-in-law started looking for one. They came up with some of the funniest names. Unfortunately for me, who does not get epidurals, it is like ripping your stomach apart to laugh when having a contraction. There was a point that I thought I was going to deliver this child through a spontaneous, non-surgical, c-section, but my Dad had mercy on me and didn't go into his Wanda routine.
Anyway, I'd like you to meet my youngest son.
This is Mr. Anderson Dean Buster
Born November 14, 2008 at 8:36pm
He weighed six pounds, 11 ounces, and was 20 inches long. He is a really good baby, who eats and sleeps. He doesn't fuss, and as you can see, is so adorable, you could just squeeze him to death. His siblings love him, and Paulee and Terry think they are his surrogate parents. I really have to watch those two, but that will be another post.
Life is quickly adjusting. I am feeling like a new person now that I am no longer pregnant. I still do not have my temperature regulator working right yet, but I guess with the winter coming on it will be better to be sweating than to be freezing.
Oh, and for those readers who have read all my posts. Remember the one about the car? And having to pack it up for a trip? Well, we have a new vehicle as well. A big, white, ugly, churchy van. You know what I'm talking about. But there is room for all, plus a few extras. Which of course I am known to have, because trying to keep track of my own isn't hard enough. It's still quite a site seeing everybody disembark, but no longer a circus clown trick. And I promise this year, I will remember to bring the portable crib when we go see Heath parents. Because I never forget anything, and I know how important it will be to have a place for Anderson to sleep. It won't get left!

03 October 2008

The things children say.

I had a doctor's appointment last week. Now, unlike normal people, I can no longer go to the doctor by myself. I live and hour and a half from him now. And it is important that Heath is at my appointments, because we never know what may come up. So we get to load the whole herd into the car, and go traipsing into the office with six kids in tow, a diaper bag, toys, books, snacks, drinks, and whatever else they deem unleavable. Of course the first time we went, we sat in the waiting room way past my appointment time, because hey, it's an OB/GYN and he has to deliver babies in the middle of office hours sometimes. Just after I suggested that Heath and the kids go for a ride in the car, here comes my doc. And then I was only there for like ten minutes flat. When you have to travel so far for an appointment, ten minutes is a huge disappointment, and not worth the time. But who am I to be complaining. It does get worse. I just chased a huge rabbit, so let's get back to my appointment last week. Saw my doctor, took all of five minutes, and was sent off to another doctor who is the ultimate ultrasounder, and specialist of weird, never-heard-of pregnancy disorders. Ours would be that I have Big E antibodies. Heath has weird blood. So we are getting to watch this great ultrasound, on a huge flat-screen TV hanging up on the wall. The kids are enthralled. The technician was very thorough, and explained everything to the kids. They thump, thumped with the heart, laughed at the baby cringing, and were amazed they could see the spine. When she was finished and we were waiting for the doctor to come in, Heath mentioned that we needed to think of some names for a boy or a girl. Daniel began to worry a little. He finally confessed, "Well, I know three really good boy names and two good girl names, but I don't want to tell them to you. 'Cause see, I want to save them for when I'm grown up and have my own kids." So I swore to him under penalty of death that I would not use them and he told me his names. If he has boys, he wants to name them Thunder, Laser, and Blaze. The girls will be Abby and Lucy. His poor wife. What will she have to fight? And then, he suddenly had a great idea for us. "I know! You could name the baby John if it's a boy!" Apparently he used all his creativity for his unborn, future children.

Two nights ago, Terry kept getting up out of bed. He just would not go to sleep in his bed. This has been somewhat a reoccurring fight. It seems more nights than not, we have to pick him up, sound asleep, out of the hallway floor and put him to bed. Well, I decided I wasn't going to fight. He was going to obey. He snuck down the hallway, and was laying in the floor, when I told him to go to bed. He promptly replied "NO!" I was dumbfounded. This was his first "no" to me. I quickly (as quickly as a rotund pregnant woman can move) stood up, and before I could do anything else, he shot up out of the floor, yelled "OH NO!" and ran off to bed. I had to sit back down to finish laughing for fear of wetting myself, then went down the hall to swat him for telling his mother no.

And just one more because it's the absolute funniest. Early this summer, my parents bought us a subscription to National Geographic magazine. I love these! And we figured that the kids would have a great time looking at the pictures and we could use them in school as well. So we were telling Malcolm about getting the magazine, (which by the way, he loves to read) and showed him the first one we had received. We reminded him that they were like the ones his Gram and Pop have at their house. "Oh yeah. I remember those. But these will be even better. Gram and Pop's are from the 1900s, so it will be good to read more current magazines!) Was he kidding me? Those issues were from the '80s and '90s! They're younger than I am! And yet, he was correct. They are from the 1900s. Wonder what his opinion is about his parents, and what century from which they come?

22 September 2008

Tidal Wave!

I have never seen so much water in my life! Okay, that may be a slight exaggeration. How about I have never seen so much water covering my bathroom in my life.

It started off as a wonderful morning. The kids were only yelled at twice while getting ready for school today. Paulee and Terry eat quickly, and were actually diapered, dressed, and ready for the day before school started. Heath taught Bible and Math without any hindrances. In fact, we had a blast watching the younger Heath figure out he could figure out simple math problems, and make up his own. We sent Terry and Paulee off to the bedrooms to play, while I taught our morning classes and Heath went to work. They were so good. Played together, didn't fight over the one toy out of a hundred, laughed, were just two peas in a pod. The other four were learning quickly, not playing around, kept talking to a minimum, just generally a breath of fresh air. Oh how stupid and naive I was being! What Monday is ever this good! Monday?! What morning period is ever that good? It was so good I even got two loads of laundry folded, and more started. And the kitchen is relatively clean as well. I should have known I was in for a doozy.

For whatever reason, I thought I'd go see what Terry and Paulee were doing. They had been fairly quite for a while, but then again, they'd been that way most of the morning. But there was just this oppressing sense of needing eye contact with my two youngest. As I start out of the kitchen, I realize that there is sunlight streaming into the hallway were the bathroom door is supposed to be closed. Then I heard the noise that can only be described as pure, unmolested joy. Oh what a site that met my eyes. Why did I think I needed eye contact. What I need is that machine from the movie "Paycheck" to erase my memory.

Terry and Paulee had completely flooded the front bathroom. Now for those of you who have been to my house, you know this is a fairly decent size bathroom. All of it. Every last square inch of tile was covered in at least an inch of water. And was it water from the shower? Maybe the sink? Oh, of course not. It was all toilet water! My gag reflex was so great, there was almost a semi-liquid added to the floor. Paulee was standing in the middle of the floor, squealing with delight, as she played the stool as a water drum. She was soaking wet from head to toe. And those cute little toes? Yeah, they were pruned they had been in the water for so long. Terry was desperately running to grab the hand towel to "clean-up Mamma." He was smart enough to go put his shoes on first, and to hike up his pant legs. Of course, that didn't help the parts of him that sat in the water, and from what I guess, he tried to take a swim as well. Malcolm ran over to get Heath, while I started cleaning up the adorable children. Next time, I think I'll figure out how to unclog the toilet, and clean the mess before Dad can see it. Let's just say it didn't go over very well. Yes I know, we had like 20 gallons of water everywhere, it was soaking into the hall carpet, and the toilet was full of water and an entire toilet paper roll. And did I mention it was toilet water? But it was so bad, it was beyond the point of anger. At least I thought. It took every last towel in our house, both clean and dirty, to mop up all the water.

And for the reason they were not playing in their rooms? Terry had masterfully put the baby gates up so they could not get in to the rooms. They only one available was the bathroom which he smartly opened up for them. What a wonderful capability for problem solving with which God has gifted him.

19 September 2008

It's official.

Well, she finally did it. Paulee decided to take a couple of steps the other day. Of course it was totally on her own terms. You know those commercials you see of two parents sitting in the floor, baby standing between them, being encouraged, and she finally takes those couple of steps to one of the parents? Everybody is so excited, the mom cries. You know. Hallmark stuff. Not this Buster baby. She was standing up at the end table, and actually looked around the room to see that no one was looking. Lucky for me, I'm just as tricky as she. Then she just let go, and walked across to the other couch, for a grand total of six whole steps. Of course we tried to get her to repeat it, but that was a futile exercise. She took one step when trying to get her Dad's cell phone back, but then plopped down on the floor and screamed so loud, it made the dogs outside howl. So much for trying the reward system.

In other news, Heath is now "a dolt. 'Cause you know Mom, I turned five, so I can't be a kid anymore." It thrills me to know his opinion of adults. Makes me think of the Smothers Brothers and their less-ons and more-ons.

I am thrilled to be going to my niece's third birthday party tomorrow. I cannot wait. One of these days, we're going to have her and Daniel collaborate on a book together. It should prove to be the funniest, most imaginative story to ever be written. The other day I was being silly and stuck my lip out to pout. "Aunt Beff. Don't do that. Bird gonna poop on your lip." She is very fascinated by my incredibly expanding stomach. She talks to it almost as much as Daniel. They just found out a week ago or so that Darcy and Thomas are expecting. YEAH!!! Anyway, Caydence is thrilled. She's going to be a big sister. And her Mommy is going to have a baby girl, which Caydence is going to name Darcy. She's leaving it up to me to have the boy. Anyway, I have pictures of her birthday present, but I will wait until after tomorrow, just in case Darcy stops by to read this.

I hear no noise in my house, so I'd better go find out what mishap is occurring this hour!

09 September 2008

I need my mama!

I'm sick. I hate being sick. I don't do sick. I have three sweet, adorable children who are oozing green and yellow stuff out of their noses. And of course, they shared with me. My eyes hurt. I can feel great big globs of gook sliding down the back of my throat. My throat burns. My ear canal itches. And worse of all, my joints ache, and my body is sore. I took my temp hoping that I wasn't feverish, but secretly wanting to be so I could curl up in my bed and ignore the world for a couple of days. No fever. In fact, according to the thermometer, I'm dead. My temp was 95.2 degrees. Maybe that's why I am so cold. But no rest for the mom. Don't get me wrong, I have a wonderful husband who has taken over most of the kid stuff. But even then, Mom has to be mom. Especially when Dad is a pastor. Sometimes duty calls. So here's hoping for a fast recovery. I'd hate to be bad company this weekend. But I'll be happy as long as I can properly taste my food. :)

updates, updates, updates

There has been so much that has gone on since last I posted. I'll try to start at the beginning. Paulee can now stand on her own. Of course the key word here is can. She somehow has gotten this trait that makes her want to do things her own way. She does not perform. Does not do things because other people want her. No, she'll do things when she wants, how she wants, no matter what anyone else thinks. I wonder from where did that inherited gene come. I plead the fifth.

We celebrated two birthdays just this month already. I am waiting on pictures so I can share, so I'll blog more about that horrible, I mean monumental two days. But I can share this with you. Malcolm is just too grown up. I mean, look at him! He wanted to help make his birthday cake. No, I do not believe in child labor, but it really meant something to him. So I caved and let him help, but only with the making of the batter. After that, I was on my own. But if you will notice, he is wearing an adult sized apron. It's just wrong. Heath's parents sent that to us from their church's 175th anniversary, and it fits him like a glove. Oh, and I would also like to point out that my kitchen was clean. Just was nice that I have proof that it does get clean from time to time.

The kids have been doing well in school. Most days are uneventful, and productive. We have those days that parent and child need separate corners, or even possibly separate rooms, but the kids still like us and school, so I guess we are doing alright.

We finally caved, and cut Daniel's hair. Most people weren't sure who the child was. He just looks so different! But as you can see, his personality is still intact. If nothing else, it has just magnified his persona. He is so much fun to have around. You can see in the background some of my sewing projects. I will post pictures soon. I've got one of Paulee's jumpers finished, but want to get Jeffie's skirt done first before I show off.

So, we were in the car the other day coming home from grocery shopping, when Heath Jr. asked, "Dad! Am I rich?" Heath just started laughing.
"AM I RICH?!" (because we all know that saying the same thing louder makes the question SO much clearer)
"Um...well, I guess it depends on how you look at it." (way to be non-committal!)
"Well, am I or aren't I?"
"I guess I'd have to say....no?"
"Well, yeah I am!"
"Then if you know you are, why did you ask?"
"You know Dad. Sometimes I'm rich!"
"I really don't know. How are you rich?"
"That's easy. If you take off the erd (that's how he said it), I'm Rich! I like to be Rich. Why don't you?"
The child never got an answer. We were just laughing too stinking hard.

27 August 2008

So Gross!

So, you know how when you get sick, and are puking your guts up? If you happen to throw up soon after eating, it's like months before you can ever eat that particular meal again. It doesn't matter if it's your favorite bowl of Cherrios, every time you think about it, your stomach does some Lukin gymnastic move, and you put the box right back on the shelf. Heath got sick after a Christmas party 10 years ago, and he still will not eat salmon. In fact all you have to do is say the word, and he starts in gagging.

Well, this morning, we woke up to two sick children. It was quite the morning. Woke up thirty minutes before the alarm (curses!) and almost stepped on Terry who was sleeping in the floor by my side of the bed. That's a first for him. Went to go get the kids up an hour later, and couldn't find Daniel. Seriously. Not until Malcolm went to the bathroom did we find him. He looked like he was passed out cold. Been watching "House" the last few days, so I went into doctor mode. He suddenly woke up with a start, and went on like nothing was unusual. Said his stomach hurt, but I figured it was because he didn't like dinner last night, so he didn't eat much. They all ate breakfast, and suddenly as soon as it was over, I hear "Mooooooooom! I fink I need to frow up!" Why do they stand there and tell me? Just go get the business done! I look up to see Heath Jr. standing in the hallway, holding his mouth for all he's worth. Wasn't it the other kid that spent the night hugging the toilet? Does Heath make it to the toilet? All mom's should know that answer. For those of you who don't, the answer is a big, fat, NO! So the tired, pregnant lady gets to clean a mess first thing in the morning. I can't hardly bend over any more! We keep the bathroom door closed at all times, because Paulee believes the toilet bowl was installed for her personal pleasure. I opened the door and began to swoon. Remember the beginning of this post? I wasn't the one that puked up my life's worth of food, but I will not be eating Bacon wrapped chicken stuffed with parmesan cheese and spinach for the rest of the year, and possibly the rest of the century. UGH!

17 August 2008

It's love

So, am I really strange that I get so excited and pumped up over a new sewing project? I dream in fabric patterns and color lately, with scissors, and needles, and dresses twirling about the room. I think I've just come up with the next Fantasia song. Oh the joy of sitting in a fabric store looking at countless stacks of pattern books. Walking up and down all the aisles of fabric, soaking in the colors, the feel of the fabric, and yes, even the sound and smell. I think fabric selection is my favorite part. It can make or break a pattern. The hunt for the perfect yardage, it's intoxicating! But the fun hasn't stopped yet! Oh, no. You then get to come home and cut out the pattern pieces. This is a great project to do while watching TV after the kids are in bed. Trust me, don't try this with a one and two year old still awake. It's not pretty. I have heard that I am a really big nerd, because I cut out every piece that comes in a pattern set. Just the other day, I got out a pattern I haven't used in a couple of years, and I had to stop and cut out pieces. That was very aggravating! I was ready to begin the next step, but no, had to go back to the beginning and cut out pieces. Trust me, it's worth it to cut them all out to start. Back to my bliss. Putting the pattern piece and the fabric together and cutting out the shapes of a finished product. So very nice. Then comes the best part. Sitting down with the machine. It really becomes like a friend. The first one you ever own will always have a special place in your heart. And no matter how up-to-date you may get in machines, you will always pull out the first one, talk with it like a dear friend (since it is), and sew with it on occasion just to remember the sounds and the feel of it. And don't get me started on getting to go back and use a different generations machine. Just thinking about and my tears start falling. I can hear the rattle my Mom's makes, smell the special something about my Grandma's. I guess it's because my machine becomes an extension of me. My thoughts, creativity, my love for all those for which I have ever created. And my Mom's and Grandma's are/were the same just for them. Anyway, I'm just being a little nostalgic tonight. Better get back to that pattern piece cutting so I can get on with this seemingly magical process!

16 August 2008

Birthday Parties

So we attended a birthday party for Jeffie Jean's best friend/twin today, at a little place made up like a doll house. I don't know who had more fun. Jeffie, her friend, or Paulee. So here are some numbers for you from the day.
60 - minutes early we were, since Jeffie Jean lost the invitation and got the time wrong
36 - bobby pins used to make Jeffie Jean's princess bun
5 - little girls who were very tired, and extremely excited when we ran into each other afterwards at the local JoAnn's.
1,687,942,386 - pieces of glitter from Jeffie's eyes, fingernails, and hair I have found so far all over my car, couch, floor, blanket,....the list goes on forever. I'll spare you.

Jeffie Jean really enjoyed all the primping and pampering. They got to get up on a runway and do a fashion show, and then do a dance routine to of course a High School Musical 2 song. Jeffie was nearly in heaven. Paulee decided the dancing was way to much fun. And as usual, she just about stole the show. But, when you are that cute you just can't help yourself. And then as I said earlier, we drove over to JoAnn's and had a blast looking at fabric and patterns. I can't wait to get the new stuff sew so I can show all what we put together. That's been about it for today. Definitely a girly day!

15 August 2008

First Day of School

First, let me just say, THE OLYMPICS ARE KILLIN' ME! I had to get that off my chest. I stay up way too late to watch, and if it was an event like last night (women's gymnastics all-around competition), I'm so keyed up and aggravated, it takes me forever to get to sleep. Then the obnoxious alarm goes off way before I think it should, and it's time to start school. I'll be glad when the games are over, although I'm sure I'll find something else to keep me up and then will complain then as well.

Yesterday, we started our first day of home school. I had a blast. The kids may not have, but it's not about them anyway, is it? I'm just kidding of course. Heath started his first day of Kindergarten. He sure makes a cute little guy starting school! He worked very hard and was rewarded at the end of the day with a first day of Kindergarten award.
I also had a child start second grade this year. Daniel decided geography was pretty fun after all, but still isn't sure he likes math. He did enjoy getting to draw, and cannot wait until we start our art lessons. We'll see how that goes, since this non-art person is his teacher. Give me some fabric and a pattern any day, but a blank piece of paper, and a pencil, and I just freeze up. Don't really enjoy it much either, but we do what we must for the betterment of our children.

Miss Sassy, a.k.a. Jeffie Jean, started third grade. Blows my mind. I remember how old I thought I was in third grade. She is blooming right before my eyes, and becoming her own person. Don't get me wrong, she's never been one to need someone else's opinion, and has always done what she wants. But now instead of just doing the opposite of what someone else said, she thinks through things, and forms her own opinions and thoughts. And she is really thriving in our new format and curriculum for school. I'm not one to advertise or tote brands, but the curriculum put together by "MY FATHER'S WORLD", is really good. I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.

And then after Jeffie, I come to my oldest. I don't know if I should cry, pout, beam, or shout. Fifth grade. Fifth grade people. My son will soon be "two whole hands" old. He is so excited about this whole double digit thing. I told him the newness of that wears out really quick. And look at him.
It's just so wrong. In this picture, he is taking notes from our science lesson about environments. He shocked himself at his own ability, and that his most loathed subject (writing), wasn't a hindrance.

Then you have out little ones. What a mess they were yesterday. Terry was bound and determined to go to school too. Paulee was equally determined to make sure we didn't forget her presence.

Oh, and they weren't always this cute. We were constantly trying to keep Terry out of the crayons, pencils, and what-not. Paulee entertained herself with the contents under my kitchen sink, telephone, and other odds-and-ends. And then they began to tag team. At one point I realized there was just a stillness about the house that was screaming warnings to this mom. It wasn't quiet, just still. I head to the living room to find them both wearing my sunglasses at the same time. Terry ripped them off and ran away screaming. Paulee joined in the fun by rolling all over the floor laughing and screaming as loud as she could. Now tell me, how did she know to laugh at the situation? She's just 12 months old! Not long afterward, they get real giggly. We're talking way too much laughter for anything normal. What do I find? Paper clips. Everywhere.

The picture doesn't do the mess justice. They were "sorting", and counting them. "Two, two, two, two,...". And when I walked in the room? Terry immediately jumps up, shakes his finger at Paulee and declares, "Lolly, no no!" We had so much fun yesterday!

And if I end up with any calls to China to wish the Olympians good luck, I'll be writing and asking for help to defray the cost!

12 August 2008

Time keeps on slippin'

So, when I started this blog a couple of weeks ago, I had full intentions of writing everyday, or every other day. But next thing I know, it's been nearly a week since my last posting. How do people do it? One of my favorite reads is from a mom of six like me, and she posts everyday! And she almost always has a hilarious story to tell. Well, to those who have been waiting on baited breath for my next post, I apologize.

We made it home without any real incident from vacation. Well, if you call the front half of the air conditioner going out again and Heath and I losing 5 pounds in sweat no big deal. The kids were wonderful, and believe it or not, I almost enjoyed the drive home. I did say almost. I just don't understand the thrill of the drive. The thrill of sitting in a confined space, with little to occupy one's self with, for 8 plus hours. It's not my cup of tea.

So we had a pretty restful trip to Heath's parent's place. I've got to thank our friend Kris for the use of their pool. And more importantly, for taking such great pictures, and being kind enough to only take pictures of the pregnant lady while the larger half was covered by gallons of water. As you can see, the kids had a blast. Paulee loved being in the water. I think she drank half of the pool. She frog kicked when held in the water, and had her tongue sticking out the whole time. Of course it was always the person holding her fault when she shoved her head underwater, and came up sputtering and coughing. Boy would she get mad! But no worry, she quickly remembered all the fun of splashing, kicking and playing in the gigantic tub of water! Terry was terrified of the water. We had a life jacket/floating swimsuit we normally kept on him. Didn't matter. He had a death grip on whomever was stupid enough to grab him and make him get in the pool. Eventually, like when there were only two days left of vacation, he was a little more accepting of the pool, but still wouldn't get in without someone helping. At the left here, you can see the little one who caused such heartache. After his incident with the deep end, he choose to not dive or let his head go underwater. But he had lots of fun. He's the first kid I've ever seen that can swim in one place. Not tread water, swim. He would swim for all he was worth, and never move from one spot. Unless he got in the path of the current, then he'd swim backward, sideways, or whichever way the jets pushed him. It was quite cute. Daniel learned to love jumping off the diving board. He would look like he was in slow motion half of the time. He also decided it was difficult to dive how he wanted to with floaties on, but also determined the risk was too great to actually take them off, much to his mom's relief. Jeffie Jean is so close to not needing floaties. I think all that she needs is a little more practice and a touch more confidence. She was all over the place swimming, diving, and having a blast. Malcolm, as I said earlier, has become Mr. Swimmer. He would dive some, but spent most of his time swimming back and forth. His ultimate goal was to touch the bottom at the deepest point. Not quite strong enough to do that just yet. But the highlight was when

Dad let Malc hitch a ride on his back and swim down with him. Malcolm was thrilled.

We are quickly getting the last of our school stuff ready for Thursday. We will begin our first full year of home school. The boys are looking forward to most of the year. Jeffie Jean is not quite as happy as the boys. It hit me the other day that for her, the start of school is going and meeting your teacher, finding out who is going to be in your class, new school clothes, all the social stuff of starting a new year. This just isn't the same. And while getting to learn a whole new curriculum is really a fun thing, it's just not the same. I just keep thinking that she will settle in just fine once we get started.

That's about it from us. I'll try really, really, really hard to be more faithful in my posts.

04 August 2008

I should go on vacation more often. Yes, it means loads of prep work, hassles in getting everything packed, and last minute rushing, doubting that everything will get done on time. But the trade off is that we have been so relaxed there has been nothing of worth to write about for the last two/three days. What day is it anyway?

The kids have been uncharacteristically quiet, friendly, and caring toward each other. Heath's parent's house must be stuck in some sort of a vortex where laundry shrinks and rarely needs to be done. Or maybe it's just in normal time and it's my house that's in a time continuum and the dirty clothes reproduce threefold every hour. Oh, and the pool is now peaceful, cool, and so very relaxing. But that's probably because I handed over all responsibility when we are there.

The only funny stories that have occurred have been being told by the adults somewhere around midnight every night. And unless you were hear playing the card games with us, you probably wouldn't find the humor in a story about a paracoot, discharging cards, or the fact that my husband grew up living in places like a funeral home, McDonald's, and most peculiar of all, a crazy, circular, pink house they are not even sure had a bathroom.

Times of rest are good. Now if I could only motivate myself to get my homeschooling lesson plans done...

01 August 2008

Not funny at all

Writers note: Just letting the reader know, everyone is fine, no more need to worry than that which has already happened. I know personally that someone, remaining un-named but with the initials GRAM, will need this knowledge before reading further.

I'm not really sure where to start. I have waited three hours after the incident, and I am already shaking and tearing just trying to put the day into words. Please do not mistake the small attempts at humor as being uncaring, or crass. It's just this mamma bear's way of trying to not come apart at the seams. I"ll start at the beginning.

Today my grandfather is having his pacemaker replaced. Well, technically grandfather-in-law, but he's just too dear to add that part. Anyway, my father-in-law was going down to Jeff City to be with his dad and more importantly, to sit with his mom during the procedure. My mother-in-law decided to go as well to support them all, and since Heath never gets to be with his family during important events, he went as well. No big deal. Well, the kids and I stayed home, and were going to have just a normal day at Granny Sue and Papa's house. That did mean one terrifying detail for me, but I was going to be the cool, sporting Mom, and proceed despite my fears.

I have two great fears in life. My children swimming, and then anything else that could harm my child. So great is the fear of my kids being in any place of water that is more than six inches deep, that I have never taken them somewhere to swim without Heath. I am not that great of a swimmer. I do just well enough to enjoy a diving board, but just keep my head above water. Heath on the other hand is like a marine mammal. I never worry when we swim because I know that no matter what danger might have to be faced, he will save my child.

I did not want to be a party pooper, so I decided I would face my fear, and take the kids swimming at a friend's house. Whoever said you should face your fears, should be forced to face a firing squad! So from the moment I woke up today, I pleaded with God to just let it rain. It had been overcast and dreary all morning, it wouldn't have been anything miraculous. And then I wouldn't be the bad guy, but at the same time would not be a basket case either. But to no avail. So off we went. I was consoling myself with what I had learned from our swimming trip yesterday. The kids were pretty good. Malcolm has discovered that he can swim on his own, even diving of the diving board without floaties. Huge accomplishment for this child. Jeffie Jean is just a little shy of enough confidence to be right there by his side. She uses floaties when in the deep end without an adult, and does well. Daniel isn't quite that brave this year, but still wasn't a worry because he never takes of the floaties. Heath, the younger, is the same as Daniel. Terry is terrified of the water, wears a full body life jacket thing, so even if he were to slip and fall into the water, he would be perfectly safe. That left me with Paulee, who at twelve months old, gets to stay in mom's arms. So I was feeling as confident as I possibly could, and we set out.

The kids were wonderful. No running off, no running around the pool (probably had something to do with the threat of not swimming for two days if they did), and eerily enough, no fighting. Paulee was mesmerized by the pool, and I really had to watch her. She'd just crawl right off the edge into the pool if I let her out of my reach. We had been there an hour, when I look up and see Heath twirling like a top on the diving board. No big deal to most people. The child did NOT have his floaties on his skinny little arms. That's right did NOT. That boy got the full force mom speech. Not just three full names escaped from my mouth, but the entire fourth one too. "RICHARD HEATH BUSTER, JUNIOR! WHAT ON EARTH DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING?!" He jumped so high, I thought he was going to go straight in the pool. I lectured him big time on the dangers of playing on a diving board when you cannot swim and you do not have any safety devises strapped, duct taped, and glued to you. I thought I would puke. The child was shaking like a leaf, and decided to play in the shallow end for a while. Good, I can play with Paulee, torture Terry as I pull him in the pool, and keep my hands on Heath. Wish I was an octopus.

Heath eventually wondered off to play catch with Malcolm, and I rested on the steps with Paulee and Terry. I started my 1,292nd head count, and that's when the world stopped. I sat there for what felt an eternity watching my four year old desperately trying to swim to the edge of the pool, but not even successfully keeping his head above water. He didn't have his floaties on his arms. Finally, his name came thundering out of my mouth, and I leaped into action. What a wonderful blessing that the owners of the pool were not home. It is everyday a six month pregnant woman, in a bathing suit none the less, goes running around the pool as fast as this ex-track star can go. Poor Paulee was probably being held around her neck. Couldn't put her down, she'd just fall in the pool too. But then came my hero. I yelled one more name. Malcolm. He was swimming on the deep end. Yes, the same ten year old whose mind I just don't understand. He turned around, saw his little brother, swooped in, and drug him up and over the side of the pool. The images I have flashing through my mind at this point will only be understood by our closest family. Vent tubes, IVs, scarred heels, a bull. I can't make them stop. This child, the one I blew up at just half and hour before, is now laying next to me gasping and sputtering for all he was worth. The water finally comes gushing out, and he grabs me and clings to me as an opossum. Through my tears, I begin as softly as I can, what I expect to be a very solemn, scary conversation.

"What happened, sweetheart?"

"I couldn't swim."

"Why didn't you yell for Mommy?"

"It was kinda too hard. My mouth had all the water in it.

And the question I was dying to ask:

"How on earth did you end up in the pool?"

"Well, I jumped in of course."

WHAT! Did he not listen to one word I said? I could have pinched his beautiful little head off in that moment.

"Jump in?! I told you never without your floaties!"

"Um Mom. You said I couldn't jump off the diving board without my floaties. Malcolm and I were playing catch, and I needed to get the ball, so I jumped off the side of the pool to get it. Not the diving board."

I look over at Malcolm, and he is laughing. LAUGHING! How dare him. I asked him what he thought was so funny. He just giggled. "You're crying, Heath's crying, but he's fine. No big deal." Oh that mind of his.

So we all played in the shallow end for quite some time. Terry even allowed me to pull him away from the sides, and Paulee kept shoving her head underwater, then yelling at me for letting that happen. Malc and I were sitting next to each other for a moment and I asked him, "Do you realize what you did today?".


"No really, Malcolm. Do you understand what you did?"

"Yeah Mom. I virtuously saved Heath-ers life."

He then drew in a huge breath, pushed it out very quickly, and laid his head on my shoulder. Yeah, guess I'll have to lay off that mind of his. He knows exactly what is going on around him.

As for Heath? He was so effected by the event, he put his floaties on, jumped in the deep in, and sang a made up song about how he was drowning again. If only we could all recover that quickly. Not me. I am letting you know right now, this is one fear I will not face for the rest of the year. Who am I kidding. It probably won't happen next year either.

30 July 2008

Where is that rascally shoe?

I am amazed at the mind of a ten year old. Make that a ten year old boy. I think if I were to live to be 104 years old, I will not understand this quagmire that is the male mind. Everyday our children are required to pick up their rooms right after breakfast. Mind you one of the last things they did the night before was pick up toys, but I guess we have a ghoul of some sort that comes out at night and plays with my kids favorite toys and leaves them to be picked up in the morning. Sorry, that was just too cute of a rabbit to not chase. Anyway, I went to get clothes from Malcolm and Heath's room to start our packing process. The closet is crammed with whatever the two boys did not want to actually put up. So they got to come put all the toys where they belong. I clean out drawers while gritting my teeth, because if they would have put their clothes away the right way, I wouldn't be refolding them at this point. Huge pet peeve. I then ask Malcolm to finish cleaning up the closet. It would be nice if the drawers would actually close, the shoes be matched up, and all the "stuff" that is shoved between the wall and drawers be put up where they belong.

In record time, Malcolm is done with this despised job. That should have sent alarms clanging in my head, but I guess I was preoccupied. I went back to get socks or something, and asked about a backpack that seemed full. I get some vague, non-reply as I see my son disappear suddenly out the door. The backpack is full of single shoes, hats, trash and what-not that he didn't feel like putting away anymore. Ugh! It took more time to fill that bag, cram into the little space Mom wasn't suppose to look, cover with other things, then it would have taken if he would have just put the stuff away. Then I went back tonight to get shoes, and can't find the match to two of his shoes. Our conversation went something like this:

"Do you know where your other flip flop and tennis shoe are?"

"Um, my what?"

"Look. Right here. Two shoes, don't match. They are huge. Can't miss them. Know where the pairs are?"

"Um . . ."

"Listen. You have one more chance. I know you know that you have two feet, and therefore, two shoes that match to cover those said feet. DO YOU KNOW WHERE THE OTHER SHOES ARE?"

"Um, I think"

He crawls between me, the closet door, a toy bin, and the bed. Half disappears behind the bed and comes out with the flip flop. Then repeats the procedure to produce the tennis shoe. Why were they there, and how did he know they were there you ask? He put them there because he didn't want to turn around and take a half step and set them on top of his clothes drawers.

I just don't comprehend.

28 July 2008

Car blues

Have you ever owned a huge massive car? One that you know has to be huge based upon the negative bank account balance every time you fill up the car? But, of course, they don't make cars that seat eight as energy savers. Having the big SUV was really nice at first. We bought the car when we had five children. so we still had one empty seat. An empty seat that in theory could be used to separate arguing children. They soon figured out they could still argue half a car away. They were using there words just like mom said, not their fists. Anyway, I digress. Now the car is completely full. I mean completely. Three car seats, twelve arms, twelve legs, six very verbal mouths (even if it's not actual words that are coming out), 60 fingers, 16 half-read books with torn pages, 26 lost toys, and enough left over fast food wrappers to paper the kitchen. Oh, and of course Heath and I. And when we travel Heath somehow stuffs every last thing we own into the car, because you never know when you may have need for a half broken, never played with, we're not really sure what it is toy.

So we are taking our last vacation in this particular car soon. There will be eight suitcases, two strollers, a travel crib, three car seats, toys, pillows, blankets, two boxes of diapers, a case of wipes, and the eight people all in the car at once. This is why Heath and I opted to travel at night a few years ago. We load up late at night, and everyone sleeps while Dad drives us to our destination. It's great. No one fighting over their territory. No drink mishaps. The only bathroom breaks involve the one adult who can stand to relieve himself, so no incredibly disgusting germs to have to scrub off for the next week. And when the kids start waking up ready for breakfast, we are miraculously a few miles away from our stopping point. Of course, Heath will then sleep for the next six hours, but it works.

But I mentioned that this is the last trip for this car. Not because the car is old and breaking down. No, we soon will have a family so big it will no longer be able to legally ride in the car together. That's right folks. We have maxed out the largest SUVs that are made. So guess what is our next option? You know those scary vans that drive down the road? The ones with no windows that you know have to be doing something illegal? Yeah, that's what we get to look at to drive. Not only drive, I'm going to have to actually pay someone so I can have the pleasure of driving one! Can they make uglier vehicles? Boy I can't wait for the first trip to Wal-Mart in my sporty 12 passenger van. I can see it now. No one will park anywhere near us, and mother's all over the parking lot will be warning their children to never go near a van like that one. Only scary, child-nappers drive vehicles like that. And they are just waiting for you to get close enough to grab. Ugh. Well, I guess if I were to try to look at the bright side, we shouldn't have any of those huge gashes in the side of the car where someone threw their door open and took out the side panel of your door.

So, the hunt begins. Finding an automobile with enough seats for our growing family, space to pack suitcases and such, without it being too terribly ugly and scary. I think we shall call this "Mission Impossible"!


Woohoo! My best friend is coming today! And guess what is so cool about her? I haven't treated her like a best friend in a year or more, but she still is taking a day out of her busy schedule of visiting family, and driving over an hour out of her way to come see me, and share her three children with me! I can't wait. Told you she was a best friend!

27 July 2008


Well, I am officially joining the world of bloggers. It looks like loads of fun, and yet scares all the moisture right out of me! So, to encourage myself to begin this journey, I came up with a list of reasons to have a blog.

10. All my extended family can keep track of us much better.

09. Household of 8, living on one salary, this looked like free therapy.

08. Doesn't everyone want to know all about my life and my family?

07. Everyone else is doing it.

06. I have a need, periodically to brag. Just a little. Not too terribly much. Okay, so you will probably read one every blog, but I won't keep a count.

05. Where else can I have a well organized, all in one place, never lost record of my kids childhood?

04. I wanted to see if I was funny.

03. Something that is all my own. That doesn't happen very often!

02. I wanted to make my mom laugh, so I made a list.

01. Did I mention free therapy?

So, I figured that with today being my baby's first birthday, this would be a great day to start. We have birthdayed since we got up this morning, earlier than usual of course, until very late. It was so much fun, and very sentimental for me. The older four kids wrote and sang a song for her, which was so surprising and uncharacteristic for them. Well, very uncharacteristic for my oldest Malcolm. He was the one that instigated the whole thing. Paulee somehow knew I think that the day was all about her. She held the spotlight quite well. And I have to brag just a little (refer to number 6). I sewed her outfit, and she made it so absolutely adorable!

We are also in the process of getting things ready for the new school year. We will be homeschooling for the first time. Kind of scary, but the fun will so out weigh the fear. I hope. Heath is starting kindergarten, and can't wait because he will finally find out from where raisens come. Daniel is in second grade and drooling to start an art program. Jeffie Jean is a third grader, and doesn't care what she learns in book knowledge as long as I teach her to sew this year. And then you have Malcolm. He is technically in 5th grade, wishing he was in high school, and working daily to get there. He's getting close too.

I have blogged about everyone except our two year old, Terry. But don't worry, he'll get plenty of publicity. From him wearing his sisters heals, playing with her dolls, the run-by hitting to his dad, to the list of general mayhem and distruction, he'll see plenty of blogging space.

That's the start. Before I know it, I'll be writing everything down so I can "blog" about this later!