Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Snow way!!!

Yes way!!!

Today in Winchestertonfieldville (that's Northern Michigan) the weather has been intense. I didn't have to go any where (a severe case of kick-my-#&$ bronchitis has me laid up in bed...still), but I thought I'd listen to the news at 6:00 am, as my honey was off to work. Turns out every college, high school, middle school, elementary school, day care and alternative education site from Mackinaw to Scottville (and probably radio coverage is only that far) was closed.

THEN...for the first time EVER in my life...I actually got to listen to the Emergency Broadcast Network as it interrupted the news for EMERGENCY INFORMATION!!! Let me tell you, after 30 years of training, having to listen to those ANNOYING beeps and then being told 'If this had been a real emergency...', I was prepared!! Today the Michigan State Police AND the Michigan Department of Transportation issued warnings for ALL vehicles to be off the road. Whoa! Since my man works for American Waste, and since they drive garbage trucks and semi-trucks, he worked around the shop from 6am-12pm, then came home, because they couldn't haul anymore recycling to the center! Wow...his first snow day at American Waste :)

So anyway, apparently there were 50 mph whiteouts and crazy drifts (Matt said there was 1" of snow on one side of my car and a 12" drift on the other!). Not much was happening here in Northern Michigan. Not that I would know. I'm still in bed. Hacking. Do you have any idea how many muscles you have between your boobs and your belly button?? You'll never know until you cough incessantly for three days. Then they get sore.

Okay, that's enough. I'm getting loopy. It's time for a nap. Again. Till then...stay warm!! (It's finally 5 degrees at my house!!! It was -1 earlier...with -21 wind chill. Alright, I know I said I was done, but Matt just came in pouting. He's trying to get to the store, but everything is frozen shut! He tried pouring boiling water over the doorhandle and lock, but its freezing so quickly it won't work!! Poor baby :( Okay...I think it's funny, hee, hee).

Nappy time!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Hee, hee, hee

Here are the promised pix...enjoy!

Late Christmas Photos

Okay, okay...I know its been a month, but I've been busy...and sick (full blown bronchitis...yuck). So anyway, months ago my sister donated my camera battery charger, not knowing what it was. Because of that I am limited in my photo-taking excursions. I only got four pictures for Christmas 2007. Two are smores pictures (I know you've already seen some, sorry). The other two are quite comical: Ella wrapped four times in a scarf and Cammie & unseen by most people (heh, heh)...oops. The computer isn't letting me upload anymore today. I'll try again later.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Man of My Dreams

Those of you who know me well know that humor is my safety-net. I like to take any situation and find the humor in it. Why? Because I have hyper-active tear ducts, so if I don't laugh I'll probably cry.

This was very much the case when Matt was recovering from surgery and chemo over the past few months. On more than one occassion I could be heard muttering, "I hope you're taking notes. Some day I'm gonna be pregnant and I'll expect the same from you."

Let me first say: I AM NOT PREGNANT.

However, I am slightly ill. Flu-like stuff: achy body, sore throat, tender ear, chunky boogers (I threw that in for Erica, who often says "I can't believe you said that!"...heh, heh...I said it). I feel like I've run a marathon, been hit by a truck and then had every remaining ounce of energy drained from my body and converted into the swelling in my neck (seriously...I feel like a linebacker right now). It's been a miserable few days.

In the midst of my misery I called my adorable hubby, a man I hadn't seen in days, and I actually started crying on the phone (see paragraph one) because its hard to been funny when your head is working against you. This lovely, thoughtful man pushed aside his plans for Friday night and Saturday morning, drove through a blizzard and showed up in CL, MI to stay the night with me and help me with five kids...even though he knows nothing about kids. Awwww.

He brought me water and Tylenol. He massaged my head. He put a hot-water bottle in the bed to warm it up for me. And in the morning, he kept an eye on the kids, even going so far as to pick up little baby HHC...without being asked (part of a Baby Relocation Program, to keep kids off of stools in the kitchen and put them in safer the toy room).

He left CL a little before me to get the house ready for my return. When I came home he was already doing laundry. In the freezer was a WeightWatchers SmartOne meal, because he knows I need to watch what I eat, but he didn't want me trying to cook. On the bed were two cases of Izze sparkling fruit juice, a luxury we just don't often buy. He put my slippers on my feet, made sure I had my robe and has kept my water glass full for two days. Say it with me...awwwww!!

This is the man of my dreams. I love him so much. I just wanted to brag about him for a little while :)

Day 4-5...its a long story.

First off, let me say that #5 (1.5 yrs old) ate more for breakfast on Friday than did #3 (7 years old). Just to start things off...

Okay, I slacked, but there's a really good reason: late Thursday night I became ill. I could barely sleep (sore throat kickin' in) and #4 & #5 alternated every 2 hours crying. Rough night.

I wasn't feel so hot Friday morning, but I woke up #1 and was trudging through with my brain in a cloud. #1 volunteered to go start my car for me to warm it up, then came in and asked if I was sure he had school. Heck, I wasn't sure of ANYTHING at that point, excepted my mind was mush and my throat was swollen. So we turned on the TV and, sure enough, no one had school in about three different counties. So all five kidlets stayed home with me while I tried not to infect anyone. I did the best I could.

I did make every French Toast on Friday, however, and that went over well (#5 - 3 pieces of French toast and a can of pears...whoa). I let the kids stay in PJ's and goof off until noon. Then we had lunch and I put them to work. Well, I had a small list, so they only really worked for a couple of hours. Unfortunately for the parents who would have liked for me to stimulate their childrens' minds and encourage them in their weekly chores, I was whipped. By two in the afternoon I was beaten. I retreated to the couch and moved as little as possible. The kids were fantastic. They played very well together, and anytime there was screaming I told them to figure it out. Low and behold, they did.

Well, I was supposed to take the kids to church in TC on Friday night, but with the nasty weather and my icky throat there was no point to making the trek to help out on the worship team if I couldn't actually sing. And at the rate I was falling, I didn't think I'd make it back. It was a good decision.

I called for pizza at 4:10 pm. The pizza place is 3 blocks from the house. I asked them to deliver. They didn't start delivering until 5pm. I told the kids dinner would arrive at 5:05pm. It was that bad. And then I called my honey; my soft-haired, blue-eyed, dimple-cheeked honey. I was a mess. A few hours later, he arrived to give me a hand.

By 7pm I was pretty sure I was running a fever. I was popping Tylenol like they were Tic-Tacs and hudled under an electric blanket. I let the kids watch a movie about cheerleaders (#2 & #3 are taking a pom-pom dance class) before going to bed. #4 wouldn't leave me. By this point she'd decided I was okay and deserved the honor of having her share a bed with me. I did my best to dissuade her, but she would have none of it. Being very careful to avoid anything that might transfer germs (but also realizing that anything that was gonna be transfered had already moved by now) I let #4 cuddle. And boy does she cuddle!!

So, anyway, honey-man stayed the night. #4 & #5 slept STRAIGHT through the night, so I got some decent rest. I was at the house until about 3pm, at which time I was sent home by the parentals. I didn't really do much on Saturday either. The kids and I cleaned as best we could, but when you're home, and basically inside, for two days forts get built, dolls get moved...the house becomes a toy. And thanks to the football-player sized neck and painfully tender right ear, I didn't really care anymore (sorry mom and dad!).

So there you have it. Sheer craziness. And to really make me look lame...because I've been recovering on the couch, venturing up only to use the rest room and get a snack, the Christmas tree is STILL up. This was our designated weekend to take it down. Dang it. So I've make an executive decision...

I hope you can all stop by on Feb. 14th this year - VALENTINE'S DAY!! See our house, with it's festive red lights, heart-shaped paper decorations...and our very first Valentine's Tree!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Day 3 - Settling In

Well, with Sha-nay-nay here things have gone really smoothly...mostly because I don't have to haul ALL of the kids around anytime I want to go someplace.

Got kids #1-3 off to school easily. #4 & 5 were GREAT. They played so well; #5 took a good nap; we all went GROCERY SHOPPING!!! Yeah. Went in to Glen's. We at a can of Pringles, tried the blueberry pie samples and bought Go-Gurt. It was a good trip.

Sha-nay-nay spent the evening at home while I shuttled: pick up #2 from dance; 45 min. later drop of #3 to dance; 45 min. later pick up #3 with #2 and take them to Awana, which starts in 15 min; 75 min. later pick them up from Awana, come home for a snack and then to bed! All the while #4-5 are at home getting ready for bed and #1 is getting a ride home from the bball game.

The big news for Day 3 is food. How much food can one 1.5 yr. old and one 3 yr. old child eat? A lot. Scrambled cheeses eggs, toast and cereal for breakfast. Plus water. Grilled cheese for lunch. A banana. Pringles at the store. Go-gurt at home. A can of peaches. A plate (or two bowls) of spaghetti. Ice cream. Pretzel rods. A peanut butter sandwich. And THEN...#4 comes down @ 10pm with a "tummy ache". She's so hungry she eats some soup.

But wait!!! There's more. They wake up almost TWO HOURS early this morning...hungry. They each have a bowl of oatmeal. #5 also adds a banana and a bowl of spaghetti. #4 has a glass of chocolate milk and a pretzel rod. And it's not even 11 am yet. Yes, I know...I spilled into Day 4, but it's the only way to make my point. I'll tell you more later!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Day 2 - Reinforcements Arrive

Sha-nay-nay arrived Tues. afternoon - phew! There wasn't much going on when she go here. #5 was napping and #4 was watching a movie. However, within the hour the troops began to come home. #2 & #3 came home by bus, and I got #1 from practice. Dinner was a lesson in organized chaos, but the chores got done, house was cleaned and homework finished in time for ice cream. We even got #2-5 into bed (and asleep!) by 9:15...yeah! We beat the mark from the first night! So #1 can stay up until 9:30 anyway...he doesn't count.

Anyway, all went well. Everyone made it to school on time and #5 managed a nice 3 hour nap from 12-3 pm. A great day!

More news on Day 3...

Monday, January 14, 2008

Mother of Five???

Well, I'm used to being around kids all day,I'm a substitute teacher, but living with them?? I am currently embarked on a most courageous adventure: I am babysitting my friends' five (yes FIVE) children for five days. The range from 1.5-13 years old, attend two different schools in two different towns, participate in 4 different dance classes, basketball and Awanas. And they are under my care (gulp).

So far things have gone really well. I've only been here one day, but I got all of the kids into bed (and asleep!) by 9:40 pm (they are late-nite children by nature). Its now my time to kick back and relax at the puter...until 6am...which is coming quickly...and I'm tired.

Well, this has been fun, but as the temporary-single-parent-of-five, I'm blowing outta here. My friend Sha-nay-nay will be here Wed/Thur to help out, so I can update you then.

Till then...please keep praying!!! :)