Thursday, May 1, 2014

A New Job, a New Injury, a New Almost Outlaw, and Ways My Kids Showed Me Up, 7QT

The last 4 days have been full of firsts for our family.  New adventures experienced, new skills learned, talents newly unveiled, new lows in the I don't feel like doing it department.  I'm going to use my quick takes to tell you about 7 of them.

(Quick Takes are hosted by Jennifer Fulwiler.  She is becoming quite famous in Catholic circles, on national radio and everything to talk about her new book, Something Other than God, in which she tells of her conversion from atheism.)

 ******* First First ******

I have been taking the productive route this week, which included several days of mowing while the little boys had their quiet (there-is-no-way-we-are-going-to-nap-no-matter-how-tired-we-are) time.  While mowing I came across a dead raccoon, which I estimate to be somewhere between 30 and 150 pounds.  For the first time ever, (because yes, I come across dead animals in the yard all the time) I chose to not move it.  I actually mowed around the nasty, smelly thing.  I just wasn't in the mood for dealing with that mess. To dust that raccoon shall return, right where it was dropped off by the dogs.

(I'm going to save you from vomiting in your mouth and not show you a photo of the decaying coon.)

******** Second First **********

Buttercup has finally become part of the gainfully employed by refereeing a soccer game this week.  It was cold and rainy, and she was completely miserable.  But she earned $12 for that one hour of miserable.  Totally worth it.  This is a skill she will be able to use to make some great money throughout high school and college and into adulthood if she wants.  When she refs a tournament weekend, she can come home with almost $200 in her pocket.

This was supposed to be a photo off Buttercup in her ref outfit on the field.  As my camera was focusing, this goober parked illegally in order to watch the game from his car.  Buttercup is right on the other side of him.

************ Third First ***********

We play a lot of games at our house, and I am the kind of parent who doesn't let my children win.  They have to earn that title of champion Boggle player, and are happy to do it.  Lately, Cuckoo has been wanting to play checkers.  While he does know how to play, I easily beat him while guiding him to look at moves differently.  On Thursday, I wasn't paying the closest of attention.  Like the hare, I was overly confident and didn't give Cuckoo enough credit.  (In my defense, he is only 4 and a half.)  And like that pesky Tortoise who slowly and steadily beat the hare, he cleverly and methodically took me out.  Fair and square.

*********** Fourth First *************

Our family is not known for our singing ability.  When the kids try out for the school musical, they get put in roles that have absolutely no singing involved.  The music teacher actually lets them down nicely by saying, "This song just isn't right for your voice."   Bryan has no idea how to keep a beat, let alone stay on tune.  I sound fantastic in my own head while I am belting out a good 80s song, but no one else seems to agree.  The lack of ability in the children is expected.  And then this week, Giant shocked us all.  He was actually chosen to be a cantor at the school Mass.  Sitting in the back of church, I heard him belt out his verse of the Responsorial psalm.  He hit the notes.  On time.  And it was good.  Shocking, I tell you!

************* Fifth First **********

After last year was dubbed Year of the Broken Bones, we have been doing great about staying injury-free since the new year began.  Unfortunately, that changed this week.  While goofing of with his brothers before Buttercup's soccer game on Sunday afternoon, Turken hurt himself.  It wasn't until Monday morning, when he started walking crookedly and not using his left arm and complaining that his shoulder hurt and had a big lump of swelling show up on his collar, that we thought to get him checked out.  Aaaaand, he has a broken collar bone.  While it is not the first time we put off taking a kid with a broken bone to the doctor, it is the first time we did it with this particular child.  And with that, Turken is inducted into the Coop of Broken Bone Doom.

Full of pain-killing ibuprofen.  This is his tough face.

****************** Sixth First **************

Star is known as the "cup mostly empty" guy in our family.  He just has a knack for sniffing out the bad in a situation, regardless of how good the rest of the situation is.  Star has a giant jerk as a soccer coach, and his full jerkness came out swinging against Star during their tournament this weekend.  I was beyond livid the entire two days.  However, I knew that if I said anything, it would only get worse.  (As Clark would be quick to point out...) Biting my tongue is not an easy thing for me to do, so I got very little sleep.  Dreaming up all of the ways I would love to tell this guy off kept me up much of the night.  As we were heading home on Sunday, Star shocked me.  For the first time ever, that child had a better attitude than me.  Not only was he not livid, he wasn't the least bit mad.  While I was ready to head to the soccer fields on Monday, demanding Star be moved to a different team, he was calm and rational, telling me to wait and see how things progressed during the season.  While I shouted, "Shut up and get mad like me!" in my head, I agreed to do things the way he wanted.
He proved to be right.  There was another game on Wednesday.  Star shined, making one of the best blocks I have ever seen.  (He's a goalkeeper.)  The kids on his team, the other team's coach, and his own coach showered him with high fives and "great jobs".  Star managed to show the jerk that the jerk had made a mistake, and he did it in his own way.

*********** Seventh First ***********

Four ladies and a Canadian walk into an Olive Garden...

The four ladies would be three other soccer moms and me.  The Canadian would be my mom, who joined Star and me at the tournament.  The players and the dads went to a pro soccer game Saturday night, so the ladies went out for dinner and a drink.
During the meal, we told lots of funny stories and laughed our heads off.
It was prom night, so lots of couples were in the restaurant in all their prom finery.  As the girls finished their meals and headed for the door, we asked them to stop at our table and show off their dresses, shoes, and flowers.  The girls were thrilled, showing off and telling us all about their dresses, their dates, and their accessories.
At one point after we were done eating, we asked our waiter to get us a second round of drinks.  (There was a bit of a wait before we were seated, so we each grabbed a first cocktail from the bar before we got to the table.)

He replied, "I'm sorry.  My manager said I have to cut you off."

We, of course, thought he was joking.  We're 5 of the most straight-laced women you have ever met, so of course we laughed.  I mean, I'm 42 years old, and I was there with my mom, for crying out loud!

He didn't laugh with us, but simply handed us our bill.

Apparently, there was a complaint about us being too loud.

I tell you what, that will put a damper on a fun evening real quick.

For about 5 seconds.

We paid our bill and walked on out.

Then laughed even harder and louder.

For hours.

In all my years of eating out, through the rowdiness of college and the disaster of toddler temper tantrums, I have never been asked to leave a restaurant.

I guess there really is a first time for everything!

If you are so inclined, head on over to Jen's to read the lists of other, more law-abiding, respectable ladies.

Have a lovely day!


  1. Awesome list of firsts!!! Turkin is one tough kiddo!!! And Star and cuckoo....dont ya love it when your kids show you up??? A singer and a ref ???? Awesome kids!!!!

    1. Thanks! He really is. His little face when the doctor was examining his collar was precious. He was trying to smile right through it, despite the horrible pain he was in.
      I do love when they show me up in private situations. :)
      I think so, but I am a touch biased.

  2. Fun list! I would have had a hard time not laughing at the manager's request to leave - especially since I can laugh like a "drunk" without having anything but water to drink. ;)
    Oh and the racoon in the yard! You are like a pioneer saint! I would have stopped mowing all together and started spraying the whole yard with disinfectant spray. ;) (which probably gives away my city-dweller identity.)
    Here's to more safer and fun firsts for you and your family
    ~ Erika Marie via 7 Quick Takes

    1. My mom and I both have terribly loud laughs, but they've never gotten us into trouble before! It really was hilarious.
      Ha! Yes, your city-dwellingness is showing just a bit. :)

      Thank you!

  3. Sorry to hear about the broken collar bone...glad he is so tough. And you were most-assuredly calm.

    And while I am glad Star was able to be calm and able to show that rotten coach that the coach was wrong, for my own sake I wish you had demanded a move...

    Congrats on the singer...who knew?

    And I can only imagine who you were with to be thrown out of the Olive Just wow.

    1. He is tough, and I was calm. It's easy to be calm when the kid is. :)

      You and me both, sister.

      Thanks! Apparently, the teacher. :) We always knew he was better than anyone else in our family, but that isn't really saying much.

      I'll text you the names. You'll be shocked.

  4. I've been thrown out of so many places in my younger years. For so many reasons too. I wore it as a badge of honor. Bwahahahahahahaha.

    Have a fabulous day. :)

    1. Hahahaha! For some reason, I'm not all that surprised by this information. :)

  5. HAHAHAHA I cannot believe you were thrown out of an Olive Garden of all places! I mean that's like a two-year old being thrown out of a McDonalds. It just doesnt happen

  6. Oh my goodness - you got asked to leave an Olive Garden! Glad you were still able to laugh afterwards. I love Olive Gardens, we don't have them in the UK, so no trip to the States is complete till we've been to the Olive Garden. My favourite is the enormous bowl of salad!
    And we have also had a child break an arm and not get her to hospital till the next day. My sister also delayed going to hospital when she fell on a skating rink - turned out she'd broken both her elbows!

    1. I can't tell you how much that info about Olive Garden being a must-stop when you are in the US makes me smile. I think of Europe with the most wonderful food in non-chain, quaint restaurants, and you come here looking forward to eating at a place we make fun of. The food is good, though.

      OUCH!!! How does one break both elbows and not go right away?? That had to be an awful recovery!

  7. That sure is a lot of firsts! There is literally never a dull moment at your house! I hope poor Turken's collar bone gets better soon... that sounds painful! Oh yeah, and I am really surprised people at OLIVE GARDEN complained about your group being too noisy. It is supposed to be an ITALIAN restaurant isn't it? Italians are pretty noisy! Except for me. I am the quietest Italian alive.

    1. I know! I was shocked myself when I started counting them. Unfortunately sometimes, there never, ever is.
      It was painful, but it's easing up. I can tell by the faces he makes when we put on or take off his shirt. :)
      Exactly! I've never seen the Italians in the Olive Garden commercials getting harassed for being too loud!

  8. I think my comment got left out--I just said I love every bit of this entry! xox jean

    1. Oh, I'm sorry it got eaten. I most certainly didn't leave it out. (I wouldn't know how to leave it out even if I wanted to. Which I don't.)

      Thank you for coming back to rewrite it.

      And I'm glad you liked it.

  9. I really need to find the time to stop by here more often, I always leave smiling! This was a wonderful post of family life, you have such an endless source of blog material with your bunch! So many things to cheer, and probably the loudest for Star choosing to stick it out. That attitude, even if masked by a sometimes low-fill cup appearance, will take him far in life. Sometimes when we stick it out we can win! I'm more like you, ready to blow up and stomp out! :-) Absolutely loved that last bit about you wild women, had that happen once with a group of friends and we laughed about it for years after. Truth is, we would have been just as boisterous and silly if no alcohol was involved, and I'm sure the same is true for you. Have an awesome week ahead, Christine. Think of the book you can write someday when the kids are all grown! :-)

    1. You do! You do! You always leave the best comments. :)

      I was really surprised by Star's attitude. I thought for sure the weekend would have been the last straw. He's one tough cookie.

      You were kicked out, too? Do tell! Was it a place as ridiculous as an Olive Garden? Yes, with or without alcohol, we would have acted the same. We always do.

      Thank you!

  10. You have a wonderful family.
    I like the names of your precious children.
    I enjoyed reading your amazing post, especially your 'seventh first.'
    Have a great weekend.

  11. Replies
    1. EXACTLY what I was thinking!!! Well...the OLIVE GARDEN part. Baaahaaahaaa!!!!!

  12. Funny, in all the time I've been reading your blog, I never pegged you as someone who would be asked to leave a restaurant! That was a, "Hey, John, listen to this!" story. Thanks for the laughs!

    1. Ha! Funny, I wouldn't have pegged myself as someone who would be asked to leave a restaurant! You are welcome!

  13. That Olive Garden story is too funny. I just found your blog and this story alone convinced me I need to stick around here :)

    1. Yay! Welcome to the blog! Glad you enjoyed it.


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