Friday, May 31, 2013

Saddness Rules the Day Today

We interrupt our regularly scheduled pig post to tell you I ain't feeling it.

I have tried so hard to stay positive this week, but bad news has been hitting me from every side.  Today, the worst blow of the week came.  I'm not going to list it all here, seeing as how I don't want you to be brought down into my sadness.  (And because the news is not public information)  I called my one super good friend, who I haven't talked to in 2 weeks, to tell her we couldn't come to her son's graduation party after all, and the floodgates opened.  Within 2 minutes of her answering the phone, we were both sobbing messes of snot and tears.

She thanked me profusely.

I told her she really needed to talk to me more often if she didn't want to hear everything in one sitting.

And then my SIL texted to see how the pigs were doing.  I called her to say I don't give a damn anymore about the stupid pigs, seeing as how all these other worse things are happening, and she said, "I have my shoes on and my hair is already done.  I'll be there in 2 hours."

I told her, "No, you don't have to do that.  You have your own farm and kids and life stuff to do."

Know what she said?

"I know we aren't sisters by blood, but I love you dearly, as if you were.  This is not a pity visit.  This is a sister emergency visit.  You have an incredible amount on your shoulders right now, and I'm going to help.  I may not be able to do more than stand by you while we watch all the pigs die, but I'll be there."

And so, even in my pit of utter sadness, Positive is fighting for a place in my day.  

*So as not to scare you all, nothing has happened to me, my husband, or my children.  They are all healthy and fine.  A bit sad, (I have only told them bits of the bad news from the week.) but fine. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Pig Drama, Part One

I have a favor to ask all of you.

Please, please post more.  A constant stream of posts would be extremely helpful.

See, I'm trying very hard to live in a state of denial, but it's hard, when I can't live vicariously through you all.

We have what can only be called a situohmylandswhosaidweshouldraisepigsation.

We noticed on Tuesday, because we aren't quick, that one of the pigs was looking quite skinny and wasn't eating.  I googled, "why won't my pig eat?" and got an eyeful of horrible options. 

I went out to the pen to make darn sure the pig was sick.  Yep, sick.  Getting worse by the minute. 

I called my sister-in-law, who is a trained vet tech.  (The one with the lambs.) 

Me:  My pig is sick.  I know there are a couple of possible reasons.  My thought is to treat them for the one, as it won't do it any harm, because the other will kill him no matter what I do.

SIL:  Agreed.  This is what you need to do.  Go to Tractor Supply and buy LA200 (an antibiotic), a 12cc syringe, and a 16 gauge, 1 in. needle.  Actually, buy lots of needles.

Me:  You're going to tell me I need to give this pig a shot, aren't you?  You realize I've never given anyone or anything a shot before.  I'm not really a farmer.

SIL:  One of you will need to sit on the pig to hold it down.  The one giving the shot should sit on its head.

Me:  (a bit of a squeak)

SIL:  Because you eat the pigs, you have to put the shot in a place where you won't be eating the meat, which is in his neck.  Below the ear, between his jowl and shoulder.

Me:  You have got to be kidding me.

SIL:  No, I'm not.  The pig will struggle, and when you stick it, he will really start kicking.  That's why I had you buy extra needles.  Since this is your first time, you will probably break a few off.


SIL:  Good luck.  Keep me posted.  I fully expect a blog post with pictures at the end of this.


I then called my mom.

Me:  I have to give a pig a shot in the neck.  Sitting on the pig will be important.

Mom:  Hahahaha!

Me:  Oh, and I will probably have to do it multiple times, seeing as how when he flails around, I will break needles.  I can't get the image of an acupunctured pig running around the pen out of my head.

Mom: Hahahahahha! (snort)  (breathless) Stop.  I'm sorry.  Picturing this whole thing and the many ways it could go makes me laugh.  It's sad.  Poor pig.  But, hahahahahahaha!


So, when the Hubs got home, we headed to the pen.  The biggest problem was getting the other pigs to stay away from us.  Every time I knelt down next to the sick one, they were all over me.

Hubby thought he could help by holding them off.

Besides the fact that he couldn't possible keep 3 pigs away, and he kept scaring the sick one, who would then get up and move, I couldn't very well sit on it's body and head at the same time.

We spent 5 minutes getting the pigs shut up in the barn.  With me.  Which means Hubby had to move the "extra precautions" in order to get me out of the barn.

THEN we were ready to take care of the sick pig.

Honestly, all that activity had worn the poor thing out.  No sitting on the pig was required.  Hubby held him, just in case, but I gave it the shot without a flinch from the pig.

Not a good sign.

If the meds were going to work, they would do so within 24 hours.

I went to bed fully expecting to have to dispose of a dead pig, and thoughts of the other pigs in my head.

Have the other's been eating?

Are they seeming a bit less peppy?

Did that one urinate or was it diarrhea?  (no joke.  I caught the sight out of the corner of my eye when with the sick pig.)

Have a better day than me!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Nearly Wordless Wednesday - Graduation

Because if I use too many words, I'll cry.

It's all about Phoenix today.

first day of kindergarten
1st grade - A friend of mine happened to be in the school, came out of the room, and saw this.  Phoenix is the one on his knees, helping the other boy with his shoe.

2nd grade - First Communion
3rd grade - One and only year of playing football.  On his helmet, you can see his team nickname - "Bones".  Still fits.
5th grade - Wax Museum - He went as Jesse Owens.
6th grade - jack-o-lantern decorating contest at school
7th grade - Boy Scout trip out west (with original Mt. Rushmore driller)

8th grade - High School Musical performance as Jack Scott
Ten minutes after graduation.  He's a high schooler now!
Do not be deceived by the photo.  I'm in high heels.  He's really tall.

Have a lovely day!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Monday Listicles: It's a Celebration!

A number is completely relative.  If simply given the number 100, a person cannot say with confidence, "It is a large number."

If you're talking about the number of dollars you have in the bank, an adult may cry from the smallness of it.

If you're talking about degrees, a child may cry from the It's So Stinkin' Hotness of it.

100 cookies would be considered excessive.

100 Legos wouldn't be enough to make a good house, let alone a good castle.

100 words in a post would be unheard of/impossible for most of us.

100 Listicles would seem unreachable.


Stasha has done it!  Today is the 100th Monday Listicle!  In celebration, our topic is "Why Listicles are Great (or anything else you fancy)".

Well, I only have three reasons for why Listicles are great:

1.  Funny, funny people link up each week, and it's always good to start a week with some belly laughing.
2.  The topics are great jumping-off points to test my own creativity.
3.  The writing of my Listicle and the reading of other Listicles are great excuses for procrastinating and avoiding my chores.

I am a great procrastinator.  I have no trouble coming up with something to do besides what I should be doing.  So, I'm going to take Door #2 and make a list of "anything else I fancy" while I put off cleaning and getting graduation decorations ready. 

10 Ways to Get Out of Doing Yard Work, Even When Your Yard Looks Like an Abandoned Property and Your House Looks Like It Was Taken Over By Homeless Squatters.
(aka What We Did This Weekend)

1.  Avoid the mower for a whole week, so when the grass/weeds are really long and it's time to mow, the mower's battery will be dead.  It takes an entire day to charge, and there isn't a darn thing you can do about it.

2.  Attend every single party to which you were invited (including the 8th grade picnic on the last day of school) even if it means you will talk to the same exact people at every single one.
And you'll get to take boring photos of kids signing each other's shirts, but unexpectedly get a shot of a basketball which looks like it's going to have a direct hit with your oldest's head.

3.  Have a yummy dessert disguised as breakfast at a restaurant, because, Hey! I have a 10% off coupon!

Chocolate Cheesecake Pancakes with a side of butter.  I talked him out of the Oreo Cheesecake pancakes with the logic that the Oreos would be too unhealthy.
3.  Hold a butterfly at the zoo's butterfly exhibit.

5.  Or not.

6.  Take a nice, long walk along the canal, because the big honkin' van you drive doesn't fit in any of the downtown parking garages.

7.  Visit with baby ducklings.

8.  Make fun of the city which thought it necessary to engrave "NO SWIMMING" in the canal ledge. At least until you remember there is such a thing as a "bike bar" in which people pedal a four-person bike while sitting at a stocked bar.  No doubt, some drunkard has taken a dip in that nasty water. 

I wish I could show you a photo of the bike bar, but sadly, we didn't see it on Saturday, and we haven't done it yet.  Have patience.  The day will come.
9.  Go to a parade, and not just because you feel guilty about never taking your youngest children to a hometown parade..

He waved to everyone/thing that passed by and stood up for every single flag.  Even the checkered "Indy500" flags.

10.  Simultaneously pity and laugh at filthy rich people who have technical difficulties when they believe They: Indy500 Parade :: Santa: Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.*

The parade came to a screeching halt for about five minutes because of this fiasco.  The owners of the actual Speedway track where the 500 is raced brought up the rear of the parade in three classic cars.  The first car broke down right in front of us.  The heads of the family were moved to another car, and the lower-ranked persons were forced to hoof it for the rest of the parade.  One went off into the crowd in a bit of a snit, while two actually ran behind the cars, dressed in their dress clothes and shoes.  I would have felt bad if it weren't so darn funny to watch.
  Now, go congratulate Stasha and see what others have to say!

*After that example of my analogy-writing capabilities, you probably think I rocked the analogy questions of standardized tests.  You would be wrong.

** Why yes, we do have six children.  Phoenix and Star aren't in the photos because they left the house at 7:00am to work at the parade with other Boy Scouts.

Have a lovely day!

Friday, May 24, 2013

TGIF! It's 7QT and FTSF!

Six super quick takes and one not so much quick as it is FTSF long take today. 

********** 1 *************

As of this morning, we still have four live pigs in their pen.  That right there makes it a good day.

********** 2 **********

I am done scrubbing my kitchen floor.  It just isn't worth it. 
It was looking all shiny and lovely.  The wood had a marvelous glow about it.  As I walked through the kitchen with my breakfast dishes, the salt shaker saw the sparkle and flung itself off the plate and onto the floor in a shower of glittery graininess .   I vacuumed it all up, then went to put the salt shaker back in the cupboard.  Wouldn't you know, the shaker was hiding some more ammo.  It unleashed the hidden salt all over the floor, the stove top, and the vent hood.
I don't care who you are, you're gonna be cussing after that.

*********** 3 **********

Driving toward the north on Wednesday, I was a bit disconcerted to see this in front of me.

Yes, a foot.  Hanging out the window.

I was even more worried when we passed this vehicle and all I saw was an ugly hairy leg attached to that foot.  There is a slight possibility his foot wasn't the only thing hanging out where it shouldn't have been hanging.

Ten minutes later, this:

We were going 65 miles per hour when Buttercup took this photo.  55 in the above photo.

Honestly, People, your vehicle is not your living room.  Your driver's seat is not a LazyBoy recliner.  Get your feet down and take driving seriously!

********** 4 ************

If you ever find yourself at a play date with a bunch of friends and their little girls, and your "free and a half" year old boy says, "I want to wear a pretty dress," for the love, let him wear a pretty dress.

Wings and Santa hat optional.

************* 5 **********

After nine years, we have reached the end.

It is the last day of school for Phoenix.

Never again will he drive to school with his dad and three siblings.

Never again will he come out of this school at pick-up time.

If you see me, don't mind the tears.

I can't seem to get rid of them these days.

Here he is.  My big, almost high schooler.

Don't worry, there will be a great, big, sappy post all about him on Graduation Day.

************** 6 ***********
Ever have that "I always feel like (pause for the beat) somebody's watching me" feeling?

Me, too.

************* 7 ************

It is Friday, so that means it is FTSF!  This week, our prompt is I blog because...

That's easy.

I blog because it's fun.

I used to think I wanted to write a book and get it published.  I've written several picture books and started several memoir-type books and left them sit to rot.

I've realized that I actually don't want to write a book.

I just want to write.  Books are too much pressure and not enough fun.

I enjoy the creativity of writing.

I enjoy getting a chuckle or two out of people.

I enjoy sharing the things I've learned in these many years of parenting.

I enjoy figuring out the best way to present an idea.

I enjoy finding interesting or unexpected combinations of words.

I also enjoy reading other people's blogs.  Besides the fact I have met some wonderful people I now call friends, I have learned.

Blogs give me the chance to read about a wide variety of people.  Their lifestyles.  Their experiences.  Their points of view. 

People are often much more open in their blogs than they are in their real life relationships.  I get to see what is going on in their minds and learn so many things.  And by knowing this, I can take the information into my real life interactions.  For example, I know (in passing) a few families with children who have Autism.  I would never be able to have long conversations with these families to find out what their struggles are, what they want from other people, what their children are capable of.  However, I read a couple of blogs written by women who have Autistic children.  By reading of their struggles, of their triumphs, of their children, I learn a bit about all children with special needs.  I am able to be more compassionate without being condescending.  I am able to be more comfortable in situations where the child's behavior might otherwise seem odd to me.  I am able to support that mom in a way I couldn't before.

Blogging also makes me think in other ways.  When writing, I am robbed of my usual storytelling/speaking tools.  You can't see my facial expressions.  You can't hear the tone of my voice.  You can't see the arm flails and the full-body spasms that sometimes come into play during an exceptionally good story.

When writing, I have only my words.  I have to figure out a way to get my feelings across.  When writing a story about a dead pig, I have to find a way to make it funny.  When writing about sensitive topics, I have to choose my words carefully so as to not offend people.  (Discussion can't happen if the person leaves in a huff because of my inconsiderateness.)  When writing about other people, I have to do it without hurting their feelings or embarrassing them. 

When I began blogging, I never would have guessed how much I would enjoy it.

I blog because it's fun.

(And I get to use parentheses.)

Have a lovely day!
7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 218)

Finish the Sentence Friday

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Interviews With the Pig Wranglers

********** Wednesday morning, as the kids ate breakfast ************

Christine:  So Buttercup, tell me.  When did you realize that something had gone terribly wrong outside last night?

Buttercup:  When Dad called me.

C:  What was the first thing you saw?

B:  A pig out of the barn.

C:  And what was it doing?

B:  Just looking at Dad.

C:  Why did he call you outside?  What did he want you to do?

B:  He yelled at me to grab the barn fence.  He used it to corral the pig back to the barn.  He also yelled at me to get the barn door open.

C:  And Giant, why didn't you go out, too?  Perhaps with a camera?

G:  I didn't know what was going on.  Dad called her, and she went.

C:  Did Dad sound panicky?

B:  Yes.

G:  I don't know.  I couldn't hear him.

C:  How did you not hear him?

G:  She was the one who answered the phone.

C:  Hold up.  He didn't come to the door and yell into the house?  He actually called from the yard on his cell phone?

G:  Yes.

********* The night before ****************

Christine (on the phone):  Hi, Honey.  Just wanted to make sure someone fed the pigs, since Phoenix isn't home.

H (breathing hard):  Yeah, they got fed, but not the way you're thinking.

C:  What?

H:  When I got home, there were two pigs in the orchard.

C:  Aah!  How?

H:  They busted through the barn wall.  I have to go.  I'll tell you about it when you get home.

************** An hour later, Christine pulls up to the house, where she sees her husband rolling a large piece of tree stump down the hill and putting it in front of the barn door.  This conversation takes place in the front yard. ************

C:  What happened?

H:  I put the little kids to bed, then came outside to make sure the pigs had water.  I walked around the house, and when I got right about there, (points to the "garage") I saw a pig on its way to the garden.  I then saw another one under a tree in the orchard.

C:  Where were the dogs?

H:  I realized they hadn't figured out the breech of security, so I found Roy and tied him up.  Hershey followed me.

C:  How'd she do when she saw the pigs?

H:  She immediately hopped on one, but stopped when I told her to.

C:  How did you get them back in the barn?

H:  Well, the first one just ran back in when it saw me, and that is how I figured out their escape route.  The second one ran up to me, just to say hello.  He then went back to digging around the yard.  I used one of the barn slats the pigs knocked out to try and corral the pig, but it wasn't working.  I basically just scared it around to the other side of the barn, far away from the hole in the wall.  I told Buttercup to get the barn door open and guard it so the others didn't get out.  Finally, I just grabbed the pig by the hind legs and drug it back in.

C:  You drug it???

H:  Yes, and it didn't like it one bit.  It was flailing and squealing something awful.

C:  So the barn is now fixed?

H:  Yes.

C:  And the tree stump by the barn door?

H:  Extra precaution.

**************** After breakfast this morning, a walk around the scene *************

The hasty repair job on the barn

"Extra precautions"

**************** and drawings *************

First indication that something is amiss.
Confirmation that yes, something is just not right.  (Don't ask me why this pig looks like his parents were an odd pig/elephant mix.)
Shocking, really that this tactic didn't work.

Pig Wrangler Extraordinaire.
*********** Du, du, duuuuuu **************

The pigs are planning their next escape.  There is a big trench dug out right next to the fence.  A pig posse has never done this before, so after last night, worry has set in.

Christine is a fake farmer, mother of 6.  Sadly, she was at a soccer game with her third oldest when the above event occurred.  Besides the disappointment she felt in not being a part of this new pig adventure, she is mostly appalled with her children.  She was heard to yell, "How in the name of all that is good, did not a single one of you think to grab a camera when this all went down???   Have you not learned anything from me?????" 

Have a lovely day!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Sitcom Dreams

It's still Monday.  I'm going to make it!  For the first time since March, I'm jumping on Stasha's Monday Listicles coattails.

Today's theme is 10 Movie or TV characters.

I have always wanted to be on a sitcom.  Always.  Still do.  Not because I like to act (though that is fun) but because when you see the "behind the scenes" or "bloopers", the cast always looks like it's having so much fun. 

And if I couldn't be an actor in a sitcom, my second choice was to in the family the show portrayed.  My parents divorced when I was little, and at different points both remarried, which meant some unpleasantness in the growing up years.  On bad days, these were the shows I fantasized leaving my family for.

So, to the list.  8 TV Shows I Dreamed of Being On, and 2 That I Didn't:

Eight is Enough

I wanted to be in this family for a variety of reasons.  First, I always wanted an older sibling who could drive and take me out for ice cream.  Secondly, the dad was fun.  But most importantly, the stepmom was awesome.  She clearly loved the kids and did what she could to be mom-like without replacing their mom.  Whenever I see a group of people doing a pyramid or playing football in the backyard, I think of this show.

Charles in Charge

First, Scott Baio.  Duh.
His nerdy friend (who happened to be one of the kids on Eight is Enough) annoyed me, but I liked the idea of a fun, cute "nanny" who was there all the time to answer questions and take care of the other kids.  (As the oldest, I was always the one in charge when my parents weren't home, after school being the most treacherous.  My mom always knew when school was out, as her phone at work would immediately start ringing with pleas for help and accusations of wrongdoing.)

Cosby Show

Bill will always have a place as the person who made me first fall in love with stand-up comedy.  He was the first stand-up I ever saw, and I fell off the couch I laughed so hard.

I wanted to be in that family because, while it was a real family with arguments and rules and some chaos, there were two parents who adored each other and were a team in raising their children.  For me, it was a good example of the life I wanted.

Fresh Prince of Belair

I cannot tell you how many times I wished I had rich relatives who wanted to take me in. 

This, though, is the show that I really wanted to be on just to hang out with the actors.  You know Will and Carlton had an absolute ball on that show.  The two of them could make me cry from laughing.  This episode.  One of the best scenes ever in a sitcom.

Family Ties

Despite the fact that Jennifer annoyed me, and they added that last younger brother to try to get new material for the show, I wanted to be a part of the family.   Now that I think back on it, it's probably only because Michael J Fox was so cute.  And I thought Justine Bateman's brother Jason might show up on set every once in a while.  Love(d) that Jason Bateman.

Mork and Mindy

Who wouldn't want to be friends with a Martian who lived in the attic?  I am very good at keeping secrets, and would have been of tremendous help to Mindy. 

Facts of Life

Living in a house with a bunch of girlfriends and Mrs. Garrett?  What could be better?  Mrs. Garrett ran a tight, loving ship that I would have thrived in.  Jo and I would have totally hit it off.  "Tomboy" was my middle name growing up.  Plus, I could have met Molly Ringwald.  That would have been some serious celebrity connecting right there.

Dukes of Hazzard

I grew up a policeman's daughter, and I was old before my time.  I never broke any rules.  I lied to my dad one time and broke out in a cold sweat while doing it.  My siblings and I didn't exactly get along for many years, so the Hazzard family became my dream.

Daisy was adored by her two cousins and Uncle Jesse.  Despite the fact that Rosco P. Coltrane was forever chasing them, they were tame rebels who never broke any laws (besides speeding) that I remember.

One of the cars actually used in Dukes of Hazzard is owned by someone on the southside of Indy.  Every time I see it, I so want to slide in through the window, speed off, and go fly over a creek or something.


Three's Company

It seems my parents didn't like our original names, as all four of us children have nicknames.   You all know my name is Christine, but until I moved to Arkansas and was able to get a new identity, I went by the name of Crissy.  Many in my family still do.  I don't think I would have had a problem with it if it weren't for the show Three's Company.

Thanks to Three's Company, "Crissy" will forever and always be associated with ditzy.  And clumsy.  And big-bosomed.  Basically, everything I don't want to be.  Or can't be without the help of a certain blog friend's husband. 

I wish this show had never been on the air.


I will never understand the reasoning behind putting a puppet on a sitcom.  Especially a puppet that wasn't very funny.

There you have it.  A little walk down TV memory lane. 

Any characters or shows resonate with you when you were young? 

Have a lovely day!

Stories from the Weekend

After a long weekend of being away, with family members in three different cities, it is so nice to be all back together again.

As soon as one story is finished, someone else jumps in to tell another.  From the littlest one to the biggest one, each has his/her own favorite stories from the busy weekend.  Tales of good plays, of questionable refs, of good food, of birthday parties.  Basically, it's the kids' way of telling me they missed me without actually having to admit it.

It was Indiana Soccer's big State Cup weekend.  Just about every team in the state played this weekend, each hoping to do its best to win and move on to the finals in June.

Since Giant broke his thumb and can't play, it left us with only three kids to play.  I was in Ft. Wayne (NE Indiana) with Star, Hubby was in Elkart (NW Indiana) with Phoenix and Turken, and my mom with Buttercup, Giant, and Cuckoo, was in charge of getting Buttercup to her games 40 minutes away from our house. 

Favorite Stories For the Books:

Me (to Hubby):  Were you planning on going to church with (another soccer family) on Saturday?

Hubby:  No, I'm planning on taking the boys to a baseball game.  Unless it rains, then we'll go to church.  I'll leave it up to God.  If he want us to go to church, He'll make it rain.  (as he pantomimes) I wash my hands of the decision.

Me:  Shall I just start calling you Pontius Pilate?


A text conversation between Hubby and me:

"One of the pitchers asked Turken if he wanted a basesball and he said no."

(After I stopped laughing.  I later learned that the pitcher laughed, too.) "So God decided you didn't need church this week?"

"Apparently, since it was a beautiful night."

(later, after telling the story of the rejected baseball to Phoenix's teammates) "Turken said the reason he said no to the baseball is because we already have some at home."


To save money, Star and I shared a hotel room with our friends Always Random for our tournament in Ft. Wayne.  We've never done this before, and all of us can say we now know each other a whole lot better.  For example, we now know that one of the boys talks in his sleep, and I can't stop scolding children even in the middle of the night.

We were all sound asleep by 10:30, but at 12:30am, I clearly remember sitting bolt upright and whisper yelling to the boys sleeping in the other bed, "Boys!  What are you doing?  We're trying to sleep!  Star, do you have your iPod?  Turn that off and go to sleep!"  And then put my head back down on the pillow.  As I replayed it all in my head, I began to wonder.  I sat back up, and it seemed the boys were sound asleep.  I shrugged and went back to sleep myself.

The next morning, it was all explained to me.   Apparently, the 11 year old friend had been talking in his sleep.  It startled me awake, and I instinctively hollered at the boys. 

Who explained this all to me?  Mrs. Random awoke at the sound of her son's talking, thus seeing the whole thing go down.  Although, even she can't explain where the non-existent iPod came in.


Buttercup:  It was freezing cold our first game, and it rained so hard our second game, we couldn't even see the ball.  Two of our defenders wear glasses, and they couldn't see a thing!  When we would chest the ball, it would bounce off of us, and when it did it made a sucking sound, pulling our wet jerseys off of our wet skin.  

(Shocking to us, as we up north had unseasonably warm (85+) and sunny weather the whole weekend.


It seems we at the Coop can't leave a soccer tournament unless it is in a blaze of glory.  Star plays goalie and is very good at it.  He is not afraid of either the ball or players coming right at him.  Today, he jumped on top of the ball, and an opposing player didn't stop.  Poor Star got kicked right in the back of the head. 

It was quite scary, as he wouldn't move from his position of curled up on the ground, holding the back of his head, for quite some time.  Finally, he did get up and walk off the field.  Before I could say, "Where's the medical tent?" a medic was speeding over in his golf cart to examine him.  No signs of concussion, but a nasty bump on his head.  Plus, the force of the kick had sent his face right onto his knee.  The poor kid also has a split lip and a "rug" burn/bruise on his cheek. 


At one point early in the weekend, I noticed Star on his iPod.   Our conversation:

Me:  Didn't you already check your Instagram 10 minutes ago?

Him:  Well, I was going to, but then you said, "AAACCCHH".

As soon as he said that, the entire family started laughing uncontrollably.  Of course, you don't know how absolutely hilarious this is, seeing as how you don't live with us.

When a child is about to head out of the room, and I am in the middle of something but need to tell the child something, I can't always get out what I want to say in a quick, coherent fashion.  It always comes out as a choke/holler/squeek.  There's too much to say and I need to hurry so the kid doesn't leave and I can't remember the kid's name, so it comes out, "AAACCCHHH". 

I didn't realize how bad I was or that the kids realized it until Star so perfectly mimicked me.  Clearly, not only does Star realize it, but Hubby, the rest of the kids, and my mom see it, too.  They all knew exactly what he meant.


The kids were all in bed nice and early tonight.  So much excitement wears them all out.  Once they were all tucked in, Hubby and I had our own story-telling session in which we discussed all the things that happened which they were not to know about.  Sideline shenanigans, talk of how the kids played, things that irritated us, and a variety of other things that keep this marital communication wide open.

In the end, the only team that moved on to play in the championship weekend was Giant's.  The very team which has only won one game the entire season went and won both games this weekend.  Without Giant. 



Can't wait to catch up and see what you all were up to over the weekend!

Have a lovely day!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

How Much Happy Can One Family Fit Into One Morning?

Etiquette Luncheon.

It's the phrase that makes 7th grade boys groan and 7th grade girls get all verklempt.

It is a day of training in proper meal manners, followed by a dance lesson. 

The rules of the Etiquette Luncheon:

1.  Your conduct grade must be a B average for the year in order to participateI know, this sounds counterintuitive.  The kids who can't behave and need some etiquette lessons aren't allowed to go?   This is seen as a privilege, and the kids who have shown they can't conduct themselves in a mannerly way don't get the privilege.  There's always one or a few or a handful.

2.  Each boy will be paired with a girl, usually based on heightThe teachers pay close attention leading up to the luncheon to see which boys are "dating" (going with, for you who grew up in the 80s) which girls.  "Couples" are not put together. (Don't get me started on the whole 13 year olds dating.  That's a rant for another day.)

3.  Girl's attire must be approved prior to the luncheonAnd this is why the girls are all a-twitter.  They actually get to prettify themselves, donning fancy frocks, shiny shoes, and darling 'dos.  However, each girl must bring her dress to school sometime before the day of the luncheon to be approved by the teachers.  They don't want the fun day to be tarnished by a phone call home for new clothes if a girl wears an inappropriate dress.  (Don't get me started on parents not reading and making their children follow the dress code.)

4.  Fried chicken must be served.  I have no idea how or why this got started, but each year the luncheon is catered by the PE teacher (who has a catering business on the side (don't get me started on teachers needing a second job in order to pay bills)), and each year the 7th grade teachers choose to have fried chicken.  The greasiest, messiest food possible. 

So, today was the day for Buttercup.

We got up nice and early in order to do her hair.

Speaking of, I have a new phrase for you: 

Waterfall braid

If you only have sons, you don't really need to know this.  Unless, of course, your sons are old enough to date and you want to sound cool and fashionable.  You could throw out a, "Have you tried a waterfall braid?  I think your hair would look lovely like that." 

I had never heard of it until yesterday, when Buttercup asked me to do it to her hair.  She gave me the instructions, "You get a chunk of hair, split it in two, then French braid it, but when you get the new chunk of hair, just put it through, don't actually braid it."

Oh, sure.  No problem.  (I hope my sarcasm is shining through on this one.)

After a few detailed questions, I tried it out for the first time this morning.

Daughter was happy.

I am well aware that this photo doesn't show the masterpiece that is a waterfall braid.  I forgot to take a picture from the side/back.  Google it.

And because one happy child isn't enough, it is also the day 5th grade goes to CYO camp.  They leave tonight for the adventure of a lifetime school year.  Sure, thanks to his cast, he can't do everything offered, and it's supposed to rain most of the next two days, but Giant is excited nonetheless. 

And because it isn't enough to have only two happy kids, today is also Turken's last day of school.  At 12:01, he will officially be a kindergartener.

But really, no one is more happy about the end of school than this person*:

What?  I don't have to be out of the house with two dressed and fed slow-as-molasses little boys at 8:30 three days a week anymore?  And I don't have to be BACK to pick him up three hours later?  You mean I'll actually have a stretch of hours each day that I don't have to be anywhere? 

It is a day to celebrate, my friends. 

*I really am happy, despite what this photo says.  I was mid-instruction (with a combination smile/talk) on how to use a very expensive digital camera with a five year old who thought he had it DOWN.  So close little man.

On that note, anyone know of a good anti-wrinkle cream?  How about under-eye suitcase remover? Maybe a one-sided jowel slimmer?   

Time to hit the road, Jack.

Have a lovely day!

Monday, May 13, 2013


$1,000,000 for information leading to the capture of the mean person putting hexes on the Coop family*
Do not attempt to apprehend the individual on your own.
She is armed (with needles) and dangerous (to our family).
Simply sneak away and send me an email.
*We don't have a million dollars, but we will gladly pay you Tuesday.  In pork products.
Guess where I was today.
I'll give you a hint.

Because you are my friends, I know you are thinking, "Oh no!  Poor Giant!  What happened?"

Soccer, that's what happened.

He played in a tournament this weekend, which included 2 games on Saturday and two games on Sunday.  In the 2nd Saturday game, he and another boy fought for the ball, got their feet tangled, and both went down.  Giant's thumb hit first.

Did that stop him?  Of course not.  He shook it off and kept on playing.

That night, it was a bit swollen, and he wasn't using it much.  I had him ice it and rate the pain.

Because I'm not a doctor.  But I am an idiot who will never learn.

Giant played the two games on Sunday.  In the second, he was taped up thanks to the ER doctor dad who happens to be a friend from the team.  He told us to get the thumb looked at.

Monday morning, I got Giant out of school to go to our new home, OrthoIndy.  From the X-ray room, we went straight to the cast room.  That is what we call a Bad Sign.  With my foot and Buttercup's thumb, we went to an exam room.

Turns out, he not only broke a bone, he knocked his thumb out of alignment.  It no longer lined up with the growth plate. 

They had to realign it.

I had the two little boys with me.  They didn't want them in the room in case Giant didn't do well with the procedure.  WHICH IS PRECISELY WHY I WANTED TO BE IN THE ROOM!!!  They didn't want me in the room in case Giant didn't do well with the procedure, and then I didn't do well with the procedure.

I agreed to go.  If this procedure didn't work, he would be in the operating room to have it fixed.  No one wanted that to happen.

It was quick, but it hurt.

That picture from above was before we knew about fixing the alignment.  The first doctor thought the alignment would fix itself, being that Giant is only 10 and growing fast, so he had the cast put on.  As we were getting the care instructions, we were told the doctor with more experience looked at it and said, no.  It needed to be fixed right now.

The appointment in photos:

Bet you can guess which thumb is the injured thumb.

The first cast.  The little boys were as enthralled as I was.  No Coop family member has ever had a cast before.

After the bad news.  The sawing of the first cast.  Right after this, the doctor pulled me out of the room to talk privately about what was about to go down.  Giant is a smart boy and figured it out.  He asked, point-blank, if it would hurt.  I told him it would.  There is a shot they could give him to numb it, but the shot would hurt just as much.  We were going without the shot.  We'll just say he wasn't happy about that.

I gave him a kiss and a hug, gathered up the boys and their stuff, and walked out of the room.

Both Giant and I were crying.

Within 5 minutes I was retrieved from the waiting room.  In the cast room, there was Giant, lying on his back, arm in the air getting his new cast, eyes red.  I was told he never flinched.   He silently cried and let them fix his finger.

Another X-ray and instructions to come back on June 5 were given.

And then the last, harsh blow.

No soccer until it's healed.  Actually, no physical activity that has the potential for another fall or getting his blood pumping too hard.  (The blood flow to his thumb could mess up the alignment.)

I think this hurt him more than the alignment. 

Normally, when kids break a bone, they just need to wrap the cast in bubble wrap and get back out on the field.  Unfortunately, not for him.  That alignment issue put the kibosh on that.

Aaaaand this weekend is President's Cup, aka State Championships.

Aaaaand the 5th grade goes camping overnight on Thursday.  He can go, but has to sit out of some activities.

Aaaaand next week is the 4th/5th/6th grade Tour de France, when the kids bring their bikes to school and have different competitions during the day.  Can't do that.

The poor kid is quite disappointed, but he's handling it well.

We were there for over three hours, missing school lunch.  Of course he got to play hooky for a while and go wherever he wanted for lunch.

Have no fear.   He's a tough kid.  And we'll come up with some fun things to do when he plays hooky on Tour de France. 

And, that cast is now covered in signatures.

So, let us recap.

Our family has never had an injury requiring an X-ray before 2013.  This year,

January:  Hubby broke his foot and Giant broke his nose.
February:  Buttercup broke her finger.
March:  I had an awful ankle sprain.
April:  I thought we had come through the curse.
May:  Giant breaks his thumb, making it the worst injury yet.


Saturday, May 11, 2013

What I Learned Recently

Linking with Julie.  She does a "What I Learned This Week" link-up, and I've learned a lot lately. 

1.  Being that I was never caught up on laundry before, I had no idea our clothes didn't fit in the dresser drawers.  We may have clean clothes, but they are stuffed worse than a sausage into their too-small drawers or simply piled on/next to the dressers.  So for all of you who were envious of the laundry announcement, rename your full hampers.  Call them Overflow Clothing Storage.  Your house is actually tidier when you have dirty laundry.

2.  I have actually become a soccer mom. 

While driving home from Buttercup's game, I asked her to text her dad to let him know how her game ended.  She made a disconcerting observation.

There are five pages just like this one.

In my defense, I do not have a single photo button of any of my children holding a soccer ball stuck to my chest.

3.  Hubby and I need a date night.  Pronto.

4.  I know how to take a screen shot on my phone.

5.  I have been told by many that I have a lot of patience.  These people have not seen me play Sorry with the little boys.  "For Pete's sake, you can count squares in every game.  Why not this one!?!?  And really, if you forget who's turn it is one more time, I'm done!"

6.  I am a cool mom.  I actually let my 13 year old daughter go to the Taylor Swift concert with her two 13 year old friends.  Without adult supervision.  She admitted that I rock.

7.  Hershey Kisses are better for you than M&Ms.  I gave M&Ms up for Lent, and made it through just fine.  I actually don't even want peanut M&Ms anymore.  However, I do want chocolate.  I did a little experiment once Lent ended.  Instead of the usual 48 oz. bag of M&Ms that I usually get, I bought the 40oz bag of Hershey Kisses.  The M&Ms bag would last me one week.  The smaller Hershey Kisses bag lasted two.  It's amazing the difference in your consumption when you can see those little kisses wrappers piling up. 

8.  I am a huge embarrassment to my daughter.  I have been told not to speak to or in the vicinity of anyone between the ages of 10 and 17.  Silly girl, she doesn't know that is my target audience.  I gain much enjoyment from talking with kids that age.  Embarrassing her in the process is just icing on the proverbial cake.

9.  My daughter is fickle.  (See numbers 4 and 6.)

10.  Phoenix doesn't know math, he's just a standardized test taking wizard.  Somehow it came up in conversation that his math teacher calls him the "Guess and Check Master".  Upon questioning, he admitted that when the teacher does practice problems with the class, Phoenix will take a few seconds, lean over to his neighbor, and whisper the answer.  Once the teacher shows the class how to work the problem, Phoenix is proven correct.  It happens every time.
I asked him if a teacher taught him this, and he said no.  In 4th grade, taking the ISTEP, he figured it out.  Going to the computerized ISTEP test this year actually helps him, as they don't have to show their work anymore.  And then he threw out the bombshell.  "That's how I got the scholarship for high school.  I guess and checked my way through, finishing the test with plenty of time, while other kids who worked all the problems didn't even finish."


I think.

11.  Staying out with book club friends until 12:30am, knowing you have to get up at 6:00, is worth it.

12.  If a peer says you aren't any good, don't listen. I found out at book club about the high school regret of a man from our church.  He went to school with John (Cougar) Mellencamp.  (Mellencamp is from the area.  His kids actually went to the school where I taught.)  Mellencamp wanted to join this man's band, and the man said NO!  He didn't think Mellencamp was good enough.

13.  I love spring.

Have a lovely day!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Long, Little Takes With a Dollup of Big Announcement

Doing the FTSF and Quick Takes mash up today.

********** 1 **********

This summer I plan to...

enjoy the time with the kids as much as possible.  We will give a half-hearted attempt at keeping the yard/garden from looking like an abandoned property.

In less than three weeks, my oldest will officially be a high schooler.  Let's put that into perspective, shall we?  I only have four (FOUR!) more summers in which he is required to live with me.  And those summers won't be lazy.  High school soccer practice starts in June. (We normally have a nice, long break from sports in the summer.)  This summer he will be spending 10 days at Boy Scout Jamboree and a week at regular Scout Camp.  Not eventually enough he will be of an age which includes driving and getting a job, thus taking even more time from our usual laziness. 

My internal "fun with my son" clock is a tickin'. 

And next year, Buttercup will start high school.

And the year after that, Star begins high school.

And the year after that, Giant will be joining them.

There are some major perks to having children close together.  This is not one of them.

********* 2 ***********

Lupus (or whatever the heck this blasted affliction is) is getting on my nerves.  It seems Lupus doesn't like mowing the lawn.  Each time I do, Lupus makes me pay in the form of exhaustion and pain.  For at least two days.  It's cramping my style.  It doesn't help that I've been relishing the warm sun for the last few days.  Sun makes it worse, so I should be under an umbrella at all of those soccer games.  I just don't these first days of spring.  I want to feel the warm sun.

I came across a very good summation of how it feels to have a condition like this.  Many people have asked me what it feels like, and if you want to know, go here.  Keep in mind that my Lupus is not as bad as hers.  I have never had a day in which I can't get out of bed.  I am not on medicine for it, except for the aspirin to fight blood clots.  However, this very well explains my days.  She calls it the Spoon Theory.

********** 3 **********

Since I brought up the yard in each take already, let's keep going with it.

I spent an hour and a half on the Dixie Chopper last night.  It was less a mowing of the grass and more a spreading of the dandelion seeds. 

The south side of Indianapolis is under siege.  Dandelions are everywhere!!!  Before you (Dad) say that it is just our lack of lawn care causing the dandelion problem, I will tell you no one is immune!  Even people who take care of their lawns are having trouble.  One corn field nearby is not full of corn, but instead a sea of dandelion puffs.  Standing outside, you can see the seeds floating in the air, almost like a small snow flurry.  Never seen anything like it. 

I'm guessing it is a direct result of the drought last summer and the non-stop rain this spring.  Lots of grass dying + weeds that would survive nuclear attack + plenty of water = lots and lots of dandelions.

Fortunately for the DNR (Dept. of Natural Resources in Indianaspeak) I am on it.  We just need more of these birds.

Isn't it cute?  I have no clue what kind of bird it is (anyone?  anyone?), but I actually saw it pluck seeds off one of our dandelion puffs and eat them.  I had no idea there were creatures that ate dandelion seeds!

Sure, this bird isn't like a bat, which eats millions of mosquitoes in its lifetime.  It didn't even eat half of the dandelion before it flew off, but eat them it did.  We will need lots and lots of them to solve this here dandelion problem.  Which may lead to an overabundance of birds, which I wouldn't mind, unless they're like the birds that keep nesting in the eaves of our house and pooping all over my porch and windowsills.  I don't like that.  So I guess we just need to make sure these are the kinds of birds that eat dandelions and build nests in trees as birds are meant to do before we go whole hog on the bird idea.

Oh, and we need to make sure all of those birds won't sit in trees and stare at me every time I leave the house.  I will have horrible flashbacks to Alfred Hitchcock days and be unable to leave my house and will have to seal up all chimneys, windows, and doors for fear the birds will go bonkers and attack my family and me.  Mostly I'm worried about me.

I was attacked at Epcot last year by one bird, and that wasn't any fun.  Pretty embarrassing actually.  Can't imagine I'd handle an attack by a hundred little birds very well.

Perhaps the birds are a bad idea.  Maybe we should simply embrace the dandelion.  They can be quite pretty, no?

*********** 4 **********

I shall give you one guess as to what is the most exciting event in a five year old's life.

I know, I would have said kindergarten, too.  Up until today we would have been right.

Today Turken received his first, real, handwritten, delivered by his teacher, invitation to a birthday party.  And not just any birthday party, but an indoor swim park birthday party with his classmates.

The boy has lost his mind.

We read it multiple times.  We dissected the "cover art"/picture of Sonic the Hedgehog.  We discussed what a water park actually was.

He wouldn't stop carrying the invite around the house, so I told him to leave it on the counter so I would remember to talk to Dad about it (getting him to the party will take some serious planning, seeing as how it is President's Cup/State Cup weekend when the kids have tournaments all over the flippin' state)and then put it on the calendar.

After getting over the horror of the thought I might forget, he left the room.  A few seconds later he came back with a pen and the calendar.

After he oversaw the marking of the calendar, we counted.  Ten days until the party.

Oh.  Boy.

*********** 5 ***********

I have taken on the role of Volunteer Coordinator for the soccer club.  It sounds like a big job, but really it is a piece of cake.  (For anyone in charge of scheduling volunteers/meals/any other sign up, I can't speak highly enough of the site  The best invention ever.) 

Anyway, I had to set up a Google account for it.

Since then I have tried to comment on a couple of blogs to which I have commented in the past.  Problem is, it won't let me comment except with a google+ account with my full name and other various things not necessary for anyone except my volunteers to know.

How?  Why?  What do I do?

Anyone?  Anyone?

*************** 6 ***********

Today dawned bright and clear.  A gorgeous day to hang some clothes on the line to dry.  So I did.  Two loads in fact.

At 2:00, the little ones and I left to get the big kids from school.

We noticed in the distance some ugly looking clouds.

And then we saw those tell-tale streaks coming from the far-off clouds which tells you it is raining over there.

It was at that point my marbles hit the van floor.

I was a basket case, worried the rain would get to our house before I did.

All told, it takes almost an hour to get the kids and get home.  Each passing minute brought those rain clouds closer and closer.

The kids got in the car, and we tore off towards home, me fretting the entire way.

The kids, in their completely annoying way, asked, "Why are you so worried about the clothes getting wet?  We do have a dryer."

Ack.  Do these children not know me at all???

We have three recycle bins (paper, cardboard, and plastic/glass) and a compost bucket they have to empty into the huge compost pile.  I make them rake grass to put between the rows of our organic garden.  We raise organic pigs and chickens, which the kids feed and water.  Surely they have got to know by now that I am obsessed with being eco-friendly!

The thought of putting clothes which had been dry, but then got wet because I got busy and didn't take the dry clothes in when I should have, into the dryer makes my head spin.

At mile 4 from school, I could see the wet road half a mile ahead.  The kids heard me groan.

At mile 5, we were in a downpour.   The kids couldn't hear my tears over the rain.

At mile 7, the rain stopped.  The kids heard me give a hopeful yelp.

At mile 9, there were still puddles all over the road.  The kids tried to distract me.

At home, the clothes were a bit wet.

I left them outside.

And watched the sky closer than any storm chaser ever would.

At precisely 45 seconds before the next rain hit, I ran out and collected the clothes.

Half of them had to finish drying on the drying (fuseball table) rack.

No electricity was used in the drying of the clothes.

And with those two loads...

************* 7 **********

I have a huge announcement.  For the first time in the history of my children, every single sock, pair of underwear, pair of shorts, pants, shirt, and uniform is washed and dried.


Even the sheets have been washed in the not so distant past.

And thanks to the fact that the season premier of Wipeout was on tonight, I was able to get the big kids to fold six loads without any complaints.

After all the clothes were folded and put away, the kids headed up to bed.

Within seconds, a big kid came back down.

There, standing before me, was Giant.  He was finishing up his packing for Scout camp this weekend.

Do you know what he had the nerve to say to me?

"I don't have any Scout socks."

It took everything I had to keep from knocking his head off of his shoulders.

And with that, I bid you a fine farewell.

Have a lovely weekend!

Finish the Sentence Friday               7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 215)