Friday, August 24, 2012

The Attack!


The Attack!

It’s 4:44 a.m. I am awake because I can’t sleep.

I had a girl’s night with some of my friends and we ended our time together talking about ghosts. WHY we got off on that tangent is beyond me, but we DID. And if it hadn’t been after 1 a.m., then we would have changed the subject, and I would probably have forgotten all about the matter and NOT dreamt about ghosts. BUT, everyone was like “it’s after 1! We HAVE to go!”

I climbed into my cozy bed next to Brighton. Brooklyn was next to Starling. (I was actually shocked to see Brooklyn in bed at all because I left her NAPPING at 8:30p.m. and she’d been asleep since 5p.m. I assumed she would be wide awake). I fell asleep quickly, exhausted from a looong day.

I dreamt I was with my girl friends shopping in Florida. One of the girls had her three kids in her Suburban. One of the kids got sick and so I offered to take the other two kids shopping with us while she took her sick kid back to the hotel. My friend said, “Take the Suburban and I’ll take your car.” (Because, in my dream I was in my car without my children. None of us had kids with us except this one girl). My other girl friend climbed into the passenger seat and we headed off with the two kids. I noticed the kids looked terrified. I assumed it was because they didn’t know me. (I met the mother of the kids for the first time in my dream. And she isn’t a real person that I know in real life, either. Just some random girl and her three random children. Visiting me in a dream). When we got to the first thrift store, the kids practically jumped into my arms out of the van. Confused by this, I carried the little two year old boy and held hands with the little girl that was four. The kids were fine. They didn’t get antsy until we had to get back into the Suburban. The little one started to whimper and the oldest one started wringing her hands.

I buckled up the baby and shut the door. The baby started screaming. I looked at the six year old. Her eyes were wide with terror. “What’s wrong??” I asked her.

“Get him out! Get him out!”

My friend and I exchanged panicked expressions and I tried to open the door. All the doors locked with a loud click and I couldn’t open the door.

I looked back at the girl who was SHRIEKING, “Oh no! Oh no! Its going to get my brother!”

And my friend and I were banging on the doors, yanking them, crying, and an evil feeling came over me and I couldn't save the kid.

In real life, lying in my bed, my heart rate was increasing. I was getting short of breath. And suddenly I felt a presence loom over me and then a physical body lie across my chest. My eyes slammed open and I couldn’t move my arms because I was being held down.

I let out the “ahhhhhhh.” (You know the one. The precursor to the full fledged AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!). Starling, hearing the panic in my voice, sat up on the other side of the bed. “What’s wrong? What is WRONG?” I wanted to say, “I’m being held down by an evil spirit! I can’t move!” But all that came out was, “Ahhh!! Ooooeeek!”

And just when I thought my heart was going to beat out of my chest, a little voice whispered, “I’ve got you, Mommy. I won’t let anything happen to you.” I would have jumped at the voice, but I couldn’t move.

Then I realized that the physical being holding me down was, indeed, a Physical. Being. It was Brooklyn. Starling was still staring at me asking, “What is happening?”, when Brooklyn finished climbing over me and took her place on the edge of the bed. I gulped in air like a drowning cat, sputtering out words.

“I-I… Brooklyn just… I’m okay.” So Starling asked NO questions, flopped over and was asleep before his head landed with a thud on the pillow. Brooklyn pulled my arms all the way around her and kept saying, “It’s alright, Mommy. I’ve got you. I’ll protect you. I won’t let anything happen to you.” And I really felt a peace come over me like I had my little guardian angel chasing off the remnants of that awful dream. After a moment, I lifted my arm to my forehead. Suddenly little hands gripped my arm, and YANKED it back down. I jumped, still jittery.

“I’m sorry, Mommy. Don’t worry. Your arm almost got away, but I saved it. I’ll protect you.” So I didn’t move again until 4:42 when I thought my bladder might burst. I thought I’d sneak out of Brooklyn’s iron grip, but she was just laying there awake, still guarding me. Charkley was lying sound asleep on the other side of Brooklyn. He was sleep- whimpering. I touched him, going to shake him awake, but instead he yelped and jumped. I wonder what HE was dreaming.  

“I have to pee,” I explained. She nodded and whispered, “Me too.”

So we got up. Charkley beat us to the bedroom door. I made my way to let Charkley outside and Brooklyn fetched her “stomp” (which normal people refer to as a stool). She used her stool to turn on the hall light, her bedroom light, the bathroom light, the living room, and both kitchen lights. And after we peed, Brooklyn said, “Mommy, I’m getting hungry.” So I heated her up some spaghetti-o’s at her request and now she is giving her hands “a bubbly bath. Just a little one.” While singing at the top of her lungs. At least I didn’t send her to the master bath. Maybe Starling isn’t being disturbed too terribly.

 And I know that Brooklyn is up for the day. But what about ME? I had a whopping 3 hrs of sleep! (Day two of getting up this early, mind you. Last night Brighton woke up at 4:20 in the morning crying about who knows what. I gave him Tylenol and chocolate milk to get him back to sleep. But once I’m up digging around in the medicine cabinet and the fridge, I have an impossible time falling back to sleep). But I think I’ll at least give it a try. But if I find another kid trapped in a vehicle, I’m giving UP on sleep indefinitely.  

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Preschool Day 1- Hurricane

August 23, 2012
Well, I finally got off my lazy tortoise and started preschool with Brooklyn again. (We did some preschool before all the kids got out for summer vacation, but with all the rig-i-miro, WE sToPped). NOW- it’s back to the fun of learning. After attending an AMAZING home-school conference in Virginia, starting back is EXCITING- not TERRIFYINGLY dreadful.
Brooklyn and Brighton LOVE learning! (Brooklyn likes to learn how things are put TOGETHER… Brighton likes to learn how fast he can destroy whatever it is we are working on. Brighton, so far, is a DANG quick learner)!
Since I found out we have a tropical storm coming that may turn into a hurricane (yesterday- better late than never), I decided that we should learn about hurricanes. Brooklyn has already learned about “cumulonimbus clouds” and really enjoys storms now. (She used to be terrified). So I looked up some fun facts for kids on the good ole’ GOOGLE and she gleefully listened while I told her about how hurricanes are formed. (Of course, the MAIN thing she got from my little lecture was not from me. It was this little simulation on the website showing water rise up over the land and push a house away. SO. “Brooklyn, what is a hurricane?” Excitedly, “It’s a GREAT big STORM that moves like THIS (swirling motions with the arms in a giant circle). It’s in the OCEAN! And it pushes HOUSES DOWN!” OH WELL. I guess that is part of it). THEN, we did a science experiment.
I have to tell you, my LEAST favorite part of school was science class and ESPECIALLY the lab. I didn’t mind the actual LAB, I suppose, I just CAN NOT follow a set of directions. (The same reason why cooking is beyond my capabilities. I can NOT follow directions)! So setting up this ONE step project to simulate a hurricane was actually CHALLENGING for ME. I think the details about how to duct tape the straw onto the glass 9x13 pan were a little TOO detailed. (The directions were 8 sentences long. Why didn't it just say- "Duck tape straw to side of dish."?) And I still don’t know if I taped it on right. They should have shown a dang picture. But it worked for us! (Mostly).
It also gave us an excuse to go OUTSIDE and wear swimsuits so we could get WET! (Because you expect to get wet when playing in a hurricane).
I showed Brooklyn how to “create wind” by blowing in the straw. If it’s a little wind, it makes a little storm. But if it’s a great BIG WIND, it makes a HURRICANE. Then I let her blow. (And then we put a little doll in front of the straw to blow her away. Just for fun).

It was hard to observe from her stand point AT the straw. I took pictures so she could SEE the hurricane she created. She was, of course, ECSTATIC! (And she made hurricanes until her face turned blue. And then she started wanting to make hurricanes in other places- like her kiddie pool. And of course I’m like- SUPER! Go ahead! Learn away! She hasn’t asked to watch the t.v. NOT once)!


And my major concern with homeschooling has never been Brooklyn. It’s been BRIGHTON. What to do with that little booger head while I’m trying to teach Brooklyn? Well- he loved making hurricanes just as much as Brooklyn. Every time Brooklyn would BLOW, Brighton would laugh until tears streamed down his face. Then HE wanted to blow. And he “blew” as HARD as he could. Too bad he doesn’t know how to blow. He sucked up half of our experiment and choked. BUT. He's learning!
And the cutest thing was Brooklyn's excitement in SHARING her experiment with her Daddy as soon as he walked through the door.
   

After we had fun playing/drinking our experiment, I shuttled Brighton off to the Night-Night for a nap so Brooklyn and I could focus on letters. She already knows all of her letters and the sounds they make from our previous schooling. NOW we are learning to READ. We bought the Your Baby Can Read ages ago and that's what I was using for her "schooling" but I really don't think its a great program. At. All. So I use the flash cards for FUN but not as my curriculum. (I'm actually not following a curriculum. I'm doing what makes sense to ME).

I bought a bunch of wood letters for $3 a while back so that we could spell as MANY words as we wanted. (We were using blocks but its very frustrating to turn the thing over to see FOUR sides to find a letter you are looking for. THEN have to destroy words to make new words. This is heartbreaking to my VERY O.C.D. child. "Don't BREAK my NA-AME!"). So, now we have gobs of every letter. And, as with EVERYTHING I teach, there is a song involved. We are working on the word AT. (Not a hard word. Not a fun word? WELL). Here is my song. (Watch out. Its very complicated and difficult to learn). "If you have the word AT (pause) and you want to make RAT?" and then Brooklyn finds the appropriate letter and sings, "You add an R!" "If you have the word AT- and you want to make CAT?" "Add a C!" And we made Mat, Fat, Cat, Bat, Rat, Hat, Mat, Nat, Pat, Sat. NOW- in THEORY- Brooklyn should be able to READ those words. I'm sure it'll take a minute. But I'm patient. ;-(actually that is a blatant LIE, but I am WORKING on being patient). And I'm not stressed about Brooklyn's schooling as of yet. She is three. I just have to know that "I" can teach and be a patient, loving human being before I commit to homeschooling my beloved hulligans. 

After "I" tired of letters (because Brooklyn NEVER does), we moved onto numbers. Brooklyn loves numbers, also. She can count to ten in Spanish and twenty in English. BUT recognition of numbers, NOT so great. So I started with number 4 (bc 1, 2, and 3 she recognizes fine), and said, "TODAY our SPECIAL number is FOUR! Find me the number four!" She brought me the four out of her number puzzle and the four from her magnets. 

"Okay. We have to find FOUR of something. I need YOU. To bring ME... FOUR CARS as FAST as you CAN!" Giggling she brought me four monster trucks. (Eh- we'll leave her learning of automobiles up to her Daddy). Then we did our math lesson as follows.

"If you have FOUR trucks on top of the piano bench and one drives off, HOW many are left?" She drove one off and yelled "THREE!" And I clapped and said, "That's RIGHT! Four minus ONE equals THREE!" And she looked at me like I was speaking French, but smiled and nodded, "Your right, Mommy!" And we continued adding and subtracting trucks.

AND I actually have MORE free time doing school with her. After each "lesson," for lack of a better word, I wander off to work on other things and let her free play with her newly learned idea. She and Brighton played SO well together with the hurricane left overs. (Seriously. I would never have thought duct taping a straw to a cake pan and filling it with water would allow me two HOURS of free time). Granted they weren't playing "hurricane" the whole time, but who CARES? And Brooklyn played with the letters for a good thirty to fourty-five minutes after I was sick of playing with them. And she was still making words. And she never plays with Brighton's trucks- but BOY- she drove them off the piano bench and back up the piano bench at least fifty times. And she's happy because she's got LOTS of one on one attention with Mom, and she's not bored. So, I'll say, First day of Preschool? Success!  

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Brighton's first words...

Two weeks ago Brighton was only making noises.
“What’s a horsey say?” And he’d say, “EEE-ha-ha” and “Brrr.”
“What’s a rooster say?” “er-er-er-er-WOO!”
“What’s a monster say?” “ARRRRRRRRRGHGHGHGH!!!!” (By far his favorite noise to make).
He could say a few words- car, Paw Paw, Da da, Ma Ma, GO!, Bye Bye, uh-oh, ca-at (which he calls our rabbits), Cha-Chak (Charkley), hot!, and he’d express everything else he wanted/didn’t want with a powerful scream that communicated his point. PERFECTLY.    
Last week? Wa-la. He decided to OPEN his mouth and SPEAK. He shocked us one day when we DRUG him inside SCREAMING. (That isn’t the part that shocked us. That is ALWAYS his reaction to coming INSIDE. He would rather have been born a dog… a horse, a goat, an earth worm that spends its days crawling through mud.... And live outside. No tent. Just OUTSIDE). It was also NOT shocking when he THREW himself against the closed door and stretched his little arm up to the door knob and attempted to open it, getting more and more frustrated by the second. What SHOCKED us is when he yelled at us angrily, “WAN Fo-gi-ga! Wan FO-gi-ga!” That probably sounds like pure gibberish to you. BUT, to the expert ear of a parent of BRIGHTON, we immediately said, “You want the four-wheeler?”
He gave a nod that nearly toppled his head off his little neck. Starling opened the door (because who can resist a little dude’s FIRST spoken request??) and Brighton tripped three times RUNNING to the four wheeler. He was on it in less than two seconds yelling, “Wan RI-IDE!” Starling took him riding. At eleven thirty at night. (Our neighbors LOVE us. Really).
Perhaps he liked the reaction he got from us when he talked. Later that night when I tried to get him to lie down REPEATEDLY, (to which he kept refusing), Brighton finally yelled, “Wan Boot-lan!” So I let him go and he grinned as he tackled Brooklyn and climbed in the bed next to her, pulling the covers up to his chin.
Last night he pointed to one of Brooklyn’s besties and said, “Lay-la!” And Sunday, while we were TRYING to keep his little hyper bootie on the PEW instead of climbing the stairs in the front of the congregation, he kept reaching towards the back pleading, “El-das! Wan el-das!” (The missionaries live in our apartment behind our house. They have completely won my children over with popsicles and other treats they bring them. Brighton ALWAYS wants to escape Ma Ma in refuge of elders that play with him outside and push him around in his cars).
Today he kept telling me, “Ma MA! Wan ou-side!” and “Wan wa-da.” (Which translates to “want water.” And he didn’t mean to drink. He said this while being pulled OFF the bathroom sink where he had CLIMBED and was PLAYING in the “wa-da”). So that’s awesome that he’s decided to talk. EXCEPT, I am left wondering, WHY can he say “four-wheeler,” a word I have NEVER tried to teach him, but he REFUSES to say the word PLEASE, which I chant to him about 678 times. A DAY! When I say slowly and very articulately, “Pu-leeeeeeeese?” He cocks his head and laughs at me. Sometimes he’ll humor me and whisper, “puh. Puh. Puh.”
Brooklyn certainly tries to help him talk. She always prays that he’ll learn to talk. (Although she might regret that. Especially if he talks a fragment amount of how much SHE talks).
UGH! I must get the kiddos to bed. Brooklyn just ran to me in a panic and said, “Mommay! My eyes are turning BLACK!” I suppressed a laugh and told her to HURRY and get to bed and I’d come get her ready.
My little angel takes EVERYTHING so literal. When she doesn’t want to go to bed, I tell her, “We HAVE to go to sleep. If we don’t go to sleep we’ll get big, black bags under our eyes!” Which is the truth. She WIGS out at the thought of it, though, and it makes her go to sleep.
She just ran to tell Starling her eyes are turning black and we have to go to bed NOW. And she also ran to the back door because the missionaries just left and she wanted to go tell THEM her eyes are turning black. And Brighton is tripping backwards trying to get away from me because I asked him if he needs a bum bum change. I’m surprised he didn’t yell, “NEVER!!” back at me. Maybe tomorrow.  

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The New Daddy


Today was just too disturbing and/or funny not to blog about. Sooo Starling and I took the kids to Louisiana to look at a little Maxima that Starling wanted to flip. He decided the car’s ailments were within his expertise, so he purchased it and was driving it home. He pulled over on the interstate to clean his windshield so he could see. (It was covered in white shoe polish saying ‘for sale’ and blab la). I pulled over behind Starling since I’m not brave enough to drive home without following him. (BEcause I still occasionally get lost driving to Petal).
Brooklyn was extremely fearful for her father’s safety. Cars were driving by him and she was about to have a panic attack. Finally, Starling finished his window washing, opened his car and ZOOM! An 18-wheeler passed.
“MOMMAY! Did DADDY just get runned over by a CAR?!” I was only half paying attention, using the moment of being parked to return a cuzillion text messages.
“No, honey.”
Well we continued on the road, singing “If You’re Happy and You Know It Clap Your Hands,” “Hi, My Name is Joe,” “Rudolph,” “Jingle Bells,” etc. Brooklyn was belting out the words with gusto and Brighton couldn’t stop giggling and shouting Hooo-Waaa, throwing his hands in the air even though we were long done with “Shout Hurray!”- that being part of the FIRST song we sang. (Better slow than never I say).
Brighton let out a soft Hurrah, then slumped over in his car seat unconscious. I turned my mirror to Brooklyn, who moments earlier had been ecstatic and merrily singing. I noticed her face was scrunched up in thought and she looked rather melancholy.
“What’s up, Brooklyn?” I asked her.
“Well, Daddy got runned over by a car and so that I am sad. But, well… I’m not crying. But my daddy is just runned over right now.”
 Bewildered at her little comment, I ask, “He got run over? Well where is he?”
“Well, just- he is gone. He got runned over by a car to go live with Jesus and that he’s not okay. He’s just gone.”
“How awful! You don’t seem too upset. What are we going to do without our Daddy?”
This perplexed her greatly. But finally she sighed.
“Well. But we have to go to Wal-Mert to get a new Daddy.”
My eyes bulged and I suppressed a giggle.
“What kind of Daddy will we get at Wal-Mart?”
“Well, I’ll just have to ask one of my friends at Wal-Mert to let me have their Daddy.”
“Which friend’s Daddy do you want to be your new Daddy?”
She thought long and hard.
“Well, I’m just going to ask Alayna’s Daddy to be my new Daddy.” (Alayna is Brooklyn’s cousin. Her daddy, Eric, is about as close to a clone of Starling as you can get). I tried not to cackle.

“Can you just call Eric so I can ask him that my Daddy got runned over and he can be my new Daddy?”
I called STARLING and said, “Hey- Brooklyn’s DADDY got hit by a car and she wants to ask uncle ERIC a question.” Giggling I handed the phone to Brooklyn. Not once did she consider the person on the other line to be her ACTUAL dad. Nope; she was talking to Eric and that was that. She told him ALL about how her daddy got “runned” over and that “she was sad but NOPE- not crying.”
Starling said, “Well, your Daddy can get fixed in the hospital and…”
Her face fell and she slung the phone at me. “Uncle Eric doesn’t WANT to be my new daddy.”
I hung up with Starling and said, “Don’t you want Daddy to get better?”
Brooklyn's arms flung to her sides and she yelled utterly destraught, “YES! I do want him to be my Daddy and get better. BUT HE CAN’T! He GOT. runned OVER. by a CAR!” As in DUH mom! Are you an idiot or are you an idiot??
She fell asleep and I had to meet someone at The Barn to sell something for $75 and then fill up my van at the gas station for $65. (I love making that dough). I had a meeting at the church, so I drug two sleeping kids out of the van and made them walk.
When I finally got Brooklyn to walk KIND of in the right direction, more TOWARDS the church and not toward the random field to the side, I footballed Brighton under my arm and we made our way through the doors. Every person that Brooklyn knows had to hear about her daddy getting hit by a car. People's reactions varied, but they were ALL video worthy. Wide eyes, dropped mouth, immediate gasp and turn to me. (My smirk was probably confusing to them).
Someone asked her, “Well where did he go?”
Exasperated, she proclaimed, “We can’t FIND our FRICKIN’ Daddy ANYWHERE!” Yikes! I’ve never heard her say freakin before and it sounded AWFUL coming out of those tiny, innocent lips. And that is a SENTENCE that’s exited my mouth like a thousand times. Yes, I am ALWAYS losing my husband. WHEN we are both home.
Then Eric came through the church doors and, of course, Brooklyn thought she’d called him on my phone. He was clueless. And it was a great interaction of his niece, out of the BLUE, asking him AGAIN to be her new daddy.
She was, no other way to put it, SHOCKED to walk into our house and see her daddy sitting at the computer. She just stood there. Staring. BUT, as soon as Starling spoke to her, she went into a ninety to nothing recount of her time at church and showed him her “treasure” box that she found that she’d left. NOOOO comment about, “OH GOOD! You’re alive!”
Later she climbed on his lap and said, “I really missed you while you were DIED.” 
I’m glad to know parents are so dispensable. I wonder how much they run at “Wal-mert.” I’d be interested in purchasing a parent that likes cooking.  

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Booger and the the Roach

I MAY have mentioned that I enjoy scaring my husband for kicks. WELL, he LOVES to get me back. (Unfortunately for him, I get him at least 5 times as much as he succeeds in getting me).
I’ve been due for one for a while. Especially after I got him the other night.

I was reading to Starling out of Nicholeen Peck’s book, “A House United.” It’s a parenting book that teaches parents how to self govern themselves and teach self governing skills to their children.  ANYWAY- Starling started yawning and declared his self exhausted. So I started turning out lights and made my way toward the bedroom. Starling had some EFY music floating out of the computer. (It’s essentially soft church music). He was sprawled on the couch half-awake, half-asleep listening to it. I washed my face, brushed my teeth, removed my contacts, etc. and Starling STILL wasn’t in our bedroom. Starling was dragging.  Sooo I couldn’t miss an opportunity to lift his heart rate. I turned off our bedroom light and, LEAVING the bedroom, closed the door. I waited in the hallway by the kids’ bedrooms in a monstrous pounce position. And I waited. AND I WAITED. Just when I thought Starling was going to start snoring from the couch I hear him stand up. And to my dismay, this dreadfully exhausted man, picked up his guitar and started strumming in rhythm to the song on the computer. Then he stopped the music and he took over singing and playing the guitar. I plopped down on my butt in the hall wondering HOW long he was going to play. WELL- I’ll tell ya. LIKE 45 MINUTES. So I just sat there waiting (figuring I’d invested this much time into my scare that I couldn’t stop NOW). After Starling went through ten different songs, he finally YAWNED and put the guitar back on its stand.

I groggily lay completely flat on the ground. I was practically asleep by this point. Starling walked in front of me, pausing at our door to EASE it open so as not to wake me. As he turned the knob, I grabbed both his feet while whisper-shouting-moaning in a terrifying voice, “STAAAAAAAAAARLIIIIIIINNNNGGGG!”

He, who had moments earlier been dragging his feet, let out a WHOOP and started high stepping and kicking at the booger wrapped around his legs. I’m a pro, of course, and had already moved out of danger’s way. He flipped on the hall light and grabbed my cackling self. “HOW LONG have you BEEN THERE!?”   

WELL, yesterday Starling made the great attempt to get me back.

I was busily folding clothes. I picked up a pair of jeans and a giant roach leapt out at me. I high stepped it, squealed like a pig, and flung the jeans AND roach across the laundry room. When the roach landed with a thud on its BACK, I realized it was made of rubber. Umm hmm. Starling. I stopped folding laundry, not wanting him to have the satisfaction of knowing I’d found his little surprise.

And even though I know good and well that I DESERVE a startle, I immediately sought revenge. I brought Starling some chips and salsa and we sat down to watch an episode on NetFlix. We were well into the movie. Brooklyn had salsa dripping down her arms, Brighton was standing up in his rocking chair which was threatening to dump him at any moment. Starling was completely focused on the t.v. with his hand in the chip bag. And it was at that moment that Starling found it. “AHHH!!!”
The kids and I looked at him. Brighton started giggling as Starling slung the plastic roach along with the handful of chips he’d grabbed, across the room.

“Took you long enough to find it.” I said. Starling picked the roach up and threw it at me. Brooklyn started screaming, completely clueless that it was a fake roach, yelling, “NoOOO!!! Don’t put it on mommy! Put it in the potty!!!” And Brighton, still giggling, rushed over to the chip bag and grabbed and handful of chips and slung them across the room in the same manner Starling had previously demonstrated.

We had to, of course, pause the movie so I could calm Brooklyn down, as she was crying hysterically because we were touching the roach with our bare hands, and Starling could vacuum. BUT. It was worth it.  

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


I just thought some of the pictures might sum up my life as the mother of Brighton Johnson.

Trouble.

I left Brooklyn's spagetti o's on the counter while I helped her find her purple princess shoes in her room. (It was of imminent importance. She was stuck only being a "BROOKLYN" until she retrieved her shoes to complete her princess transformation).  Left unsupervised for LITERALLY two minutes TOPS, Brighton found his way to the food. This is where I found him. KIND of to my HORROR. You can see the corner of his high chair, which he shoves around like a carpenter's scaffolding. He mounted the death trap and plopped himself on the edge of the counter to eat some grub. The fact that I haven't had a nervous breakdown is miraculous to me. 

And when I startled him by yelling, "BRIGHTON! What are you DOING?" This is the pic I took. All he said was, "HUH?" (I guess I should be glad he didn't jump and fall off. I didn't think that one through).

I picked him up, put him IN the highchair and let him finish Brooklyn's spaghetti o's. THEN it was, as you can see, BATH time.

Does anyone else have to BATHE their kid EVERYTIME they EAT?

IRONICALLY, I left this blog entry because I heard a HUGE bang. IN the KITCHEN. AND this is what I FOUND. (Since I mentioned me NOT having a nervous breakdown).

You'll notice Brighton doesn't seem too upset that he's covered in blood. That he bit through his bottom lip. Nope. He only got mad that I picked him up off the floor and wouldn't let him climb AGAIN; that I wouldn't let him reach whatever treasure he firmly believed lies on the counter. OH! And I didn't even take a picture of the HUGE knife he retrieved several days ago. (For obvious reasons). He just helped himself to half a tomato and the knife I'd been using to cut the other half. Luckily he let out his PROUD war cry of glee that sent me running. (He's never proud to retrieve rudementary TOYS, or objects that are dull instead of sharp). Woe with me. I better start looking into Major Medical Insurance. AND probabably some long term psychiatric care.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Requested DETAILS

The REST of the story…
OKAY, since I had twenty different people ask me who “broke into my house” and stole my truck and four wheelers- I better just clarify this whole ordeal.
I would’ve blogged about it EARLIER, but since we were in the mix of things I didn’t want to get ME in trouble. (In case we ended up following MY plan of action- which was to leave the cops out of the search for our missing property and introduce a young thief to the sound of a chain saw while tied up and blind folded in a remote part of the forest. But Starling is a bit more diplomatic than me).
So here is the SHORT version. (If you want the long, drawn out, minute to minute details- CALL STARLING- he has read people the 2 months worth of text messages from Jamie Saucier, the 22 year old con-artist. But “I” will spare you and just hit the HIGH points)!
#1- Starling had a nice F150 truck that needed some work. He decided he’d just see what he could get for it on Craig’s list as is/was because he was swamped with work and wouldn’t be able to get around to fixing it for a while.
#2- A NICE, good ole’ boy, friendly young guy and his “fiancĂ©” (I’m putting lies in quotes), came to our house and looked at the truck. He loved it. He also loved our four wheelers. (One was for sale. TWO were NOT).
#3- The SHORT version: Jamey told Starling that he was getting an inheritance from his grandfather that passed away and that he’d receive it in two months. He asked if he could pay $500 a week out of his paycheck until his inheritance money came in. He wanted the truck and four-wheeler that was for sale. Starling said no the first couple of times, but since Jamey was willing to pay the full amount plus interest, Starling finally agreed.
#4- Starling created a contract agreeing on the terms and conditions of him purchasing the truck. Jamey was SO thankful for us helping out of a bind (because he had wrecked his vehicle and had no way to get to work without this truck) that he said he’d fix the front breaks on our two personal four-wheelers. (Or maybe that was how he got Starling to agree on owner financing the truck. Something like that).
#5- Jamey borrowed Starling’s work trailer to haul the four wheelers. He agreed to have the trailer and two fixed four-wheelers back by that Saturday.
#6- Jamey sent Starling a cuzillion REALLY good excuses for why he couldn’t meet up for the next month and a half. His best friend got in a car wreck. His fiancĂ© died. The guy that killed both of his parents? That was his cousin. They were really close. BLA BLA BLA…
#7- Starling FINALLY gets suspicious. *Wendi’s already pissed and ready to rip the guys head off.
#8- We get cops involved. Marion County cops do zero. Civil stuff. Not their concern.
#9- We start our own investigation. We go to Jamey’s house and talk to his mommy who cusses us out and says we are harassing her because we asked where Jamey might hide our stuff. SO- we did what anyone would do. We knocked on every single neighbor’s door, told them what Jamey did and asked for their assistance in helping us find our stuff. EVERY neighbor had fifteen similar stories on Jamey. We discovered he steals, lies, cheats all the time non-stop. He is a compulsive liar and his mother is his wing-man. SOOOOO we made it our personal mission to get Jamey jailed. The police FINALLY started to cooperate when we got Lamar County police involved. The two counties both had jurisdiction over the case because Jamey took the stuff from Lamar and, we later found out from the good neighbors of Jamey, SOLD our property in Columbia. Knowing our stuff was sold, we set out to find out WHO bought it. (Mind you, we did a LOT of praying during this time). We made trip after trip to Columbia, each time gathering pertinent information.  We were questioning people we stopped on the side of the road. We found an address on our four-wheelers and a separate address on our truck. We told the cops the addresses. THEN we went and got our four-wheelers because the men who bought them didn’t want a felony for possession of stolen goods. The truck- we don’t have back. The people who bought that were given a title by Jamey, though it had to have been forged, and they sent off for a quick title and have one. So that is a gray area that the cops are dealing with.
Jamey was still running around with a warrant on his head, hiding from the cops driving a different stolen truck every time he left his house. Apparently the ENTIRE time we were trying to pin him for the crime he committed against us, he was off committing MORE crimes! (Totally not worried about getting caught. His text to Starling, because he’s too scared to talk on the phone, which is great bc we have EVERYTHING he said as evidence that Starling turned into the cops, was “Just file it in court. It’s all civil and I do this all the time. I don’t have a job so you ain’t ever gonna get any money out of me.” He has 7 civil suits already filed against him. But we were able to get CRIMINAL charges put on him. False intentions and grand larsony. BOTH felonies.
Starling had people reporting to him with every move Jamey made. When Jamey went home, someone called Starling, when Jamey left, someone called Starling. The neighbors were just as, if not MORE, angry with Jamey. (He screws over friends and family as much as strangers). Starling called dispatch to pick up Jamey when he went home. They ignored him. He called again. They said they hadn’t sent anyone to Jamey’s residence yet. Starling called AGAIN at 3 a.m., relentlessly wanting them to arrest the little twit. The dispatcher said, “Mr. Johnson, we got him.”
So that is that. He is in jail, but up for bond tomorrow. But since he was already OUT on bail, we hope a good sound-minded judge will REVOKE his bail. (Jamey obviously can’t learn a lesson). And we have our three four wheelers and trailer back. And we know the location of our truck. So we are happy as leeches on an elephant. NOW we can GET ON with our LIVES! And THANK you to everyone who HELPED us!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Dream Drama


Like sleeping isn’t difficult enough with two kicking kids, a cover- hog husband, and a dog that likes to sleep on my head- let’s interrupt the FEW moments of sleep I DO get with INSANE dreams.

My dreams are so vivid I wake up with my heart racing, I’m short of breath, and I absolutely can’t go back to sleep. My LAST dream?

There I am. In my yard. It’s a nice sunny day and Brighton is in his normal perch on the four wheeler growling like a possessed  gremlin (because that’s the noise he makes instead of Vroom Vroom like a NORMAL child). Brooklyn is on the pool deck worrying over putting her floaties on so she doesn’t DIE. (Because she’s convinced that if her very FOOT touches the water without her floaties being securely fastened, she will indeed be swallowed up and drowned in a matter of seconds. I have no idea why. Surely I didn’t scare her to death into believing that nonsense).  And I am standing in my normal position (bent over like a tornadoed pine tree eyeing little ant mounds and throwing poison over them, watching gleefully as the little black biting dots twist into tiny black DEAD dots). I’m wearing shorts and a t-shirt and no shoes. (My stay at home mom uniform). I feel a slight kick in my stomach and look down. A little bulge pokes out. The little alien form isn’t unusual as all of my children like to try to climb out of my gut before their time. But then, a tiny little hand juts out. Actually OUT- like completely in the air waving around- OUT. That’s not the weird part. My reaction is what’s weird.

“AWW! A little hand!” I stick my finger beside the hand and all the fingers grasp it. How adorable. Except for the fact that the hand is just STICKING out of my stomach. And THEN, once the tiny hand gets a grip on my finger it tugs and out emerges an ARM. And then a FACE. Again. NOT the weird part.

“Oh my goodness! It’s a girl! That’s a little girl face!” And I’m scrutinizing the face trying to see if it resembles Brooklyn and Brighton. And then the rest of the baby comes on out and I’m just holding this LITTLE baby. (That’s the part when I should have known it was a dream. Johnson babies are NOT little). So then I start to worry. But not about what you would think. No. I have the baby in both hands and the umbilical cord is still stuck in my stomach like a straw stuck in an orange and suddenly I don’t know how I am going to buckle Brooklyn and Brighton into their car seats AND hold this baby while I DRIVE myself to the hospital. THAT is what I am worried about. So I just walk over to my neighbor’s house and use my foot to kick the door until she opens it. Her face, filled with all the horror that should be expected from someone who comes face to face with a woman holding a naked, slimy baby still attached to her startles me. And THEN, and only then, do I realize how absolutely creepy and grotesque this little occurrence is. And my heart begins to race and my neighbor starts to scream so naturally I start to scream and…

I bolt upright in my bed with a scream stuck in my throat. And I just go ahead and get up because I’m certain the pounding of my heart is going to wake all the inhabitants in my BED. And as I stand up I feel a little kick in my gut. (Remember I am Fourteen weeks- that means I shouldn’t feel kicking yet). I jump out of the bed and realize I can’t RUN from my stomach. So I just give up and watch my stomach move around wondering when a hand is going to jut out and grab my finger. And I guess I fell asleep waiting.

I’m happy to report it never happened. But I’m not convinced yet that it won’t.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Without getting into any personal drama that has been happening in my life… wait. Who am I kidding? Personal drama is ALL I have to write about. So I watched a few episodes of some show on tv with a blond headed chic that is pregnant. She made comments like, “Wow! The second trimester makes me look THIS good?!”- referring to the extra junk in her trunk and her ginormous boobs. And then every man that she has ever met or NOT met is like, “YOU look BETTER than EVER! WOW!”
My reaction to this, as I watch sprawled out on my couch in sweat pants, no make-up, and leg hair that would make Tarzan run screaming for his neat and orderly jungle, was a gigantic snort. As I finished up my chocolate shake.
Perhaps I have simply forgotten what my first pregnancy was like… Oh- no. I didn’t. It was a replica of the second one. Oh. And the THIRD one I’m now experiencing. My movie- if someone was so desperate as to cast me into stardom, would have scenes like,
     “OMG… do you have a DISEASE?! Is it CONTAGIOUS??- Oh… sorry… you just stopped wearing make-up… and fixing your hair… and tanning… and… shaving….”
And I loved where that chic was so giddily and merrily DATING and WORKING and strutting off her NEW body… The only thing that got close enough to rub up on me during ANY trimester was the TOILET. We were pretty much inseparable. Are. That and my bed. I kind of feel like I’m half awake- half in a coma. Truly empowering. I feel very accomplished if I get a shower and blow-dry my hair in the same day. And if I take time to put in my contacts- we’re bordering awesomeness.
So Starling pretty much comes home to his beautiful queen made up in three day old pj’s, bed head, and barf breath. No wonder he works late almost every night.
Anyway- enough grossing people out. I am happy to report that my doctor actually told me to, QUOTE, “GAIN more WEIGHT.” Omg… I was actually told during my first pregnancy that “some women just let their weight get away from them.” I did gain fifty pounds with Brooklyn. And forty-five with Brighton. What’s funny about this pregnancy is that my doctor thought that I was LOSING weight. Well- the scale did show that but what she didn’t realize is that I quit working out. Completely. So what REALLY happened was that all my muscle fell off. So my arms and legs are back to twigs. And then out pops my cute little GUT. (That is sarcasm). I look like an Ethiopian.
Starling got strep throat. Then Brooklyn got strep throat. I have the crud and BETTER NOT get strep throat. But anyway- my perfect child Brooklyn has turned into this WHINE machine that wants to be HELD all the time. And coupled, or quadrupled, with the fact I’m pregnant, sick, and chasing Brighton from room to room screaming, “NO!!!”,  my patience level has been… hmmm… in the negative digits. I find myself staring at the ceiling secretly hoping it caves in on top of me. And, Starling is working late even though he’s been sick as a dog, and so we are both exhausted. That would warrant a GOOD night’s sleep. Except our CHILDREN wake up EVERY two HOURS and I have horns growing from my skull and fire coming out my ears by morning. And STARLING is the one that gets up with them. I just have to sleep between them (because Starling dumps them on me on goes back to bed usually because they are screaming, “I WANT MOMMAY!!!”). And I endure the kicks and shrill whining until I join Charkley at the foot of the bed and lay fuming at the ridiculousness of my LIFE.
I can’t WAIT to have a new born in the house.     

Friday, May 4, 2012

I do regret to inform you that my former blog was MERELY wishful thinking. When I went to my little GYNO apt I soon discovered that I am only FIVE weeks pregnant- NOT TWO MONTHS. SOOOOO- all my theories about nausea surpassing me because I’m nursing- FLOP. The BABY BUMP- more like bump of bloat. And the due date “sneaking up on me”? Five weeks? So instead of NOVEMBER, we’re looking at January.. January might as well be fifteen years away. All the energy I thought I had is GONE… migrated with the mythical first trimester… and in its place? A drained, STILL bloated bump, mood swingy, hot flashing, dizzy, nauseous crazy person wondering WHY!!! Why couldn’t I have just been almost through with my first trimester? What was wrong with THAT plan? On the good side, Brighton will be two months OLDER when he becomes a big brother. And that is certainly a plus. Perhaps we’ll have him trained to come when we call instead of run as fast as he can in the opposite direction. Or maybe we’ll get a leash. And maybe he’ll have stopped throwing treasures into the toilet and digging garbage out of the trash. As I type, Brighton is beating a sleeping Brooklyn in the head with a bag of bread that he took out of the trash yelling something that sounds German/Arabic. AND I found a spoon in one toilet and a sippy cup in the other. I have a feeling we are going to have serious issues once I’m running to the john to puke every three minutes. Things could get pretty messy. But to leave on a happy note… I finally remembered to shave BOTH legs.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Okay. Normally I wouldn’t have just POSTED a pregnancy on Facebook so nonchalantly. (Of course, normally I’m not having an unexpected THIRD baby while trying to foster care. While my second baby isn’t even a YEAR old!) BUT the REASON I just chunked it on up there into everyone’s radar is because I started showing before I knew I was even prego and a girdle and sit ups didn’t put a dent on the bump. So, when I found out I can quit exercising and resume my two chocolate shakes, tube of cookie dough, and bag of chips diet, oh- and lose the useless girdle- I wanted the owners of the STARES to know they were seeing a baby bump. Not a tumor. Or tire. Or any other cute pet name people have for their flab. So vanity robs a perfectly good shock-blog. Sorry. That being said- it still doesn’t seem real. The big BUMP does… the “baby inside the bump” does not. And I’m not puking up my guts- knock on wood- like the last two go rounds- so maybe THAT’s part of the reason I don’t feel much different. Which- I’d rather the baby’s due date sneak up on me than watch the hours drag on daily while I cling to the toilet thinking I’m going to die. The only negative to finding out later than normal is I missed out on two perfectly good months of using the pregnancy card on Starling. But that’s alright. I’m making up for it now. I already know the doctor will tell me to stop breast feeding, which I plan to do just as soon as Brighton turns one… and quits throwing a tantrum to nurse…. UNLESS this theory I have might have some substance. The only thing I am doing different in this pregnancy than the other two pregnancies is NURSING. So what if THAT is the x-factor making me NOT puke up my guts?? AND quite FRANKLY, if it IS the reason the toilet and I are still on speaking terms and I haven’t thrown out all Scentsy and Glades and I can still do my dishes without hurling… I will delightfully let Brighton continue to rip me apart until after my second trimester. I don’t even care that I’m light headed and blacking out randomly. I will gleefully hug a wall over a toilet. All we lack to getting our foster child is turning in our tb scans which we get read this week and getting my CPR certification which I am doing on the 8th of this month. THEN we are going to be DONE with the paper work and can get a kid! Yes. I am terrified. Yes, I was mind blown to discover I was pregnant again. Yes. I did a LOT of praying and I still feel like we should foster care. So onward march! I’m freaking out. Just a little bit. Starling was actually relieved. But maybe that’s because of the way I put it to him. I told him that we had to talk. Of course that immediately filled him with dread. No good thing ever follows that phrase. I couldn’t come up with an alternative intro. I lack creativity. I couldn’t just come out and say it, one because I wasn’t sure how to say it and two because I wasn’t convinced that the extra line on the prego test was even dark enough to count. I wanted Starling to look at it and call it one way or the other. But he was in front of people all day. I kept trying to get him AWAY from people and instead of taking the HINT, he invited one of his workers to DINNER with us. And just as I was beginning to think he’d ask the guy to stay the night, the dude finally left our house. But then there were the kids bouncing around like a couple of pin balls and Starling rallying them up to pull an all-nighter. Finally, Starling told me to talk. This never happens. Normally he would welcome the lack of me talking. But I guess the wringing hands and the pacing and the eyes round as UFO’s gave him a bit of panic. So I told him, “Well… I need your advice.. well… we are already doing it because it’s not like I can back out… the deposits been made, in other words…” I realized I was butchering my unplanned speech and simultaneously realized Starling’s eyebrows were touching his hair line. “How much of a deposit?” I looked at him, “What? Just let me finish….” “How much money did you deposit on this “thing” you’ve committed to?” Ugh. He wasn’t supposed to interrupt. And Brooklyn and Brighton were splashing me and squealing at the top of their lungs in the tub. So I had to regroup. “I can’t talk about it right now. We’ll talk when the kids are done bathing.” Oh. But suddenly he really wanted to talk. I left the preg test on top of the toilet paper and decided it would be easier for Starling to just find the test. But of course he never did. So I laid on the bed, exhausted, and said, “Hand me the toilet paper.” He dumped off the test and through the paper at me. SLOW!! “What did your friends talk you into NOW, Wendi?” Ha. My friends. Talk me into… like buying smell goods or oils or digital scrapbooking or craft material… “This is a little bigger than those other things… and my friends had nothing to do with it, by the way…” He FINALLY saw what he had tossed aside. “Your pregnant!” he piped merrily. “Now how much did you deposit?” “I- never mind. The news is I’m pregnant. YOU made the deposit, DEAR.” He sighed, “Whew… that’s a relief. You had me worried for a minute.” I could have smacked him in the head with a frozen chicken. A baby was less of a worry than some random deposit I hypothetically made on some whimsical new hobby I took up? I just blinked at him dumbly not even capable of forming a coherent thought. “Well, this is great right! A little earlier than planned. Man, three kids!” I stared at the moving ceiling fan for some sort of validation. “He’s crazy, right? Shouldn’t he be spazzing or something?” The fan didn’t answer but I know it agreed with me. And the reaction from other people? Geez. I told Brooklyn before anyone. Right after I shook the pee off the stick and saw the faint second line… “Brooklyn… I think… I have a baby in my tummy…” She cocked her two year old head and said, “Um… no you don’t. Brighton came out, remember? He’s just on your night-night sleeping.” I looked at her glumly. “No. I mean I think there is ANOTHER baby in my tummy.” She grabbed my arm and to reassure me DRUG me to my bed room. “Look. There he is. He’s just sleeping.” So I gave up. I had to wait the WHOLE day to tell Starling, which really almost did me in. I can NOT keep a secret about myself. That is why I have NO secrets about myself. And then I told Brooklyn to tell my parents her surprise in the presence of my aunt and uncle and cousins. She said enthusiastically and obviously oblivious to the meaning, “My mommy has a baby in my tummy!” They all laughed. Then realized she had been set up to say that. With the first kid- total excitement. With the second- at least put on joy. This time? My cousin in law said, “You still haven’t figured out what’s causing that?” Yeah. Number three. Welcome to the world where more than two kids is child gluttony. I can’t wait to see the glares when I’m walking around pregnant with my two kids and foster kid/s. Oh well. We want to birth FIVE and adopt so I guess I should get used to the judgementalists. All before the age of 30. On my part, obviously since Starling just REACHED the big 3-0 in March. I have the feeling my doctor is going to say, “I TOLD you SO,” on me not getting that 5 year ring that they put in your hu-ha. But I’m not getting it AGAIN. So. Yeah. Judge away. But we WILL practice OTHER methods of birth control. Like… abstinence! Of course, Starling would rather just have a fourth child.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Starling reeks Revenge

I woke up at 6 a.m. Ok. Let me rephrase that. I was jolted out of my bed at 6 a.m. Brooklyn was sprawled out in her floor yelling, "MoMMaY! I got myself!!" Which means Brighton didn't attack her.. she was injured by something else. I picked her up off the floor and told her she'd just fallen out of bed. I tried to put her back IN her bed but Brighton was sprawled out like a rug in her spot. (So... I don't think Brooklyn "fell" out of the bed. I think somebody named Daddy put Brighton in Brooklyn's bed because he was crying in his crib and Brighton kicked Brooklyn out.I only think this because Brighton kicks me out of my bed ALL the TIME). I "ugh"ed for a bit, picked up my log of a baby and plopped him in his crib and plopped Brooklyn in her bed. And like a musical symphony being cued... "WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHhh" from BOTH children. I contemplated beating my head against the post of the bunk bed, then beating Starling's head against the bunk bed, but finally gritted my VERY exhausted teeth and picked Brighton up, threw him back in Brooklyn's bed, and joined them. When they both fell asleep, I put Brighton in MY bed so he could kick Starling instead of Brooklyn and I took a LONG, LuXUrious shower taking time to shave my entire body before I got out.

Then, awake and not able to go to sleep, I curled up next to Starling and did what I do best. Talk. He tried to ignore me, but lets face it... I'm hard to ignore. So he finally gave up and joined me in conversation. Then he did something uncouth and I had to resort to punishment. I told him to stay put while I thought of something awful to do to him, but of course he didn't. He took off running even though he knows running results in greater torture. I chased him in circles through the house until I was giggling too hard to breathe. (You should see Starling run for his life high stepping in his underwear trying to block my path with high chairs and couches). He's terrified of me. With good reason. He finally got around me and locked himself in the bathroom.

No sweat. Though patient in nearly ZERO aspects of my life, one tiny little spot of my life is OVERFLOWING with patience. My little REVENGE spot. I piddled in the kitchen until Starling got brave enough to come out of the bathroom. I acted nonchalant as he eyed me wearily. He sat down on the couch in front of the laptop. He was still watching me pretty intensely. So I wandered into the laundry room. Starling was looking behind him to make sure I wasn't going to sneak up on him. I opened the dryer and banged some things around until Starling got comfy. He could hear me in the laundry room so he never anticipated the arm around his neck a second later. "AHH!!" He's pretty strong for a dude, and lets face it... I only have the element of surprise working for me. He grabbed both my arms to keep me from doing SOMETHING... he was still clueless as to my wicked intentions. Then he saw the syringe. (Well... medicine dropper... but syringe sounds much more menacing). With both my arms fully stretched out and no way to bend them to bring the foul liquid to his mouth... (apple vinegar)... I had only one choice. I brought my hands together quickly squirting a little on my finger. Using Starling's thoughts against him, knowing he was only focused on keeping the dropper away from his mouth, I yanked my hand (the one NOT holding the medicine dropper) free and SHOVED my vinegar finger STRAIGHT into Starling's giggling mouth. "UGH!!" He shouted yanking the dropper from my hand and turning on me.

"I'm going to spray this mess all in your hair!" he told me when he had me firmly tackled. (He had to threaten that because he can NEVER get to my mouth. EVER. I have lips of steal and unlike him I don't HAVE to giggle!) When my mouth was safe from his reach I said, "Better not. I just washed my hair. You know what will happen if you do." He thought better of it. He wiped some on my face and ran. We agreed we were even.

But he better watch his back. We're never TRULY even until I've one up-ed him.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Super Sundays and Janitors

I just love Sundays. I hate the waking up, the getting dressed, and the riga-mu-row of keeping kids clean for the duration of prep time before church, but once I’m AT church I love that I went through the impossible and survived. I’ve learned a few tricks to ease my stress on Sunday mornings. #1 I do NOT wake up my kids until we are about to walk out the door. The whole, “Let me get my kids up and ready and lazily eat breakfast early…” does NOT work for our family. Every now and again I’ll get the urge to be an over achiever and I’ll attempt getting the kids dressed say… thirty minutes before we leave. Well, without FAIL, disaster strikes. I have NEVER experienced a Sunday that didn’t cause my heart to stop and a few gray hairs to sprout. Some examples- Two Sundays ago: Everyone is ready for church and I just have to put on my hills and we are going to be out the door. I say, “Honey can you take Brighton to the..” but I don’t finish because I am staring at Brighton. “WHAT THE HECK!!! WHY is BRIGHTON SOAKING WET??” And little Brooklyn pipes up, also DRENCHED, “We are drinking water out of my tea set!” Or rather BATHING in it! Another Sunday: Brighton exploded his diaper and khaki pants became khaki MUD puddle. Another Sunday: Brooklyn decided to eat spaghetti o’s in her Sunday dress.


But today was great. I totally had NO idea that Daylights Savings time reverted to Steal an Hour today so Starling nearly pushed me out of the bed yelling, “We gotta be at church in thirty minutes.” Well. I bought a new dress but couldn’t wear it because I didn’t have time to shave my legs and- trust me-cactus legs wouldn’t compliment the dress at all. And it is a dress that has to be ironed. (I usually don’t even BUY dresses that require work but… it was the only thing that even FIT me at the Great American Thrift Store that has NO dressing rooms. After stripping down to my underwear in front of a mirror in the back of the store covered only by a divider that was for sale, I was determined I’d have something to show for all my work. And the little red number was five bucks. I also stripped a manikin of her outfit and bought it because I was too lazy to redress her. Plus I was certain I’d knock her over because she almost passed out on me like four times while I was taking off her skirt). So I had to wear old faithful. A long skirt. I wear old faithful a little too often. But anyway… I got dressed, deodorized, and war painted in like fifteen minutes and laid out the kids clothes, yelled to Starling, “GOOD LUCK! Gotta GO!” and left him to dress both children and him. He even fixed Brooklyn’s hair. (If fix is what you would call it…). I got to church and RAN to the front to lead the music except I didn’t know what page I was leading so I started waving my hand and singing Water-mel-on while trying to look up the song. Finally, my dear friend playing the piano whisper-shouted, “52! Page 52!” Thank goodness for her. Starling and the kids showed up, late but halfway presentable. I redid Brooklyn’s hair after I praised Starling for doing such a great job fixing it. Then, when I led the intermediate song I forgot to tell people to stand up so in the middle of us starting the song I yell, “Oh! Stand up! Stand up!” and we had to start the song over and it was horrible and Starling told me I’ll be out of that calling by next week. But… he’s been telling me that for a year so we’ll see. Sister Pack is back from serving a mission in Chili and she’s actually MUSICAL so he could be right. THEN the closing song actually went normal until Brighton saw me. He got SO excited that he started laughing HYSTERICALLY and trying to copy me by waving his hands frantically. He got louder. And LOUDER. And was bouncing HIGHER and HIGHER. And waving his hands FASTER and FASTER. And it was all I could do keep singing through my grin.

Anyway- we had a great day at church. I taught the Gospel Principles class on Prayer, which I have LOTS of experience with and we all know WHY, and the class had a super discussion. Relief society was terrific PLUS we had cake and ice cream. Best day EVER.

We came home and it was SO beautiful that I insisted we have a picnic. So we took a bunch of food that I didn’t have to cook outside and we ate in the back yard. My neighbor came outside and said, “Hey Brooklyn!” Brooklyn said, “Oh look! Mrs. Nancy has a picnic just like US!” A bowl of cereal in Nancy’s hands. You can tell I suck at feeding my kid.

But the entire reason I even BLOGGED was to make the announcement that Brighton took his first steps. Well his first bunch of steps in a row. It happened Thursday at the Discovery Center on the coast. I handed him a cup and, thinking he was holding onto something stable, he walked across the room. Starling and I both got to witness his first steps which is miraculous in and of its self. But he wasn’t fooled when I tried to get him to do it again. Everything I put in his chubby little fingers would get slung across the room. So his crawling has become really intense and he’s a quick little booger. I don’t know if he’ll start walking soon or not. He’s so fat and clumsy I just don’t see how he can balance. But he’s stubborn if he’s anything so his determination may win over his wobbly little coordination problem.

Brooklyn is really proud of Brighton. She shows it by head locks of love and kisses that send him tumbling onto the ground. But, he doesn’t seem to mind her intense love. He usually responds with a kiss full of TEETH and a hug full of punch. And if one of them comes away crying, it’s usually Brooklyn.

They are both rotten to the core. Brooklyn is so grown up with her OCD bossiness. Today when Starling was “fixing” her hair, he sprayed it with his water bottle. Brooklyn said with as much drama as a two year old can muster, “DAD-DEE! WHY did you make a MESS on ME!?” And she flipped out on me because I didn’t put her shoe basket back on the shelf perfectly straight. I don’t know where our child is, the baby that got switched in the hospital, but the poor OCD parents having to deal with our messy, crazy child that snacks on dirt and boogers is probably looking for Brooklyn. I, of course, have no idea how to relate to her. And don’t you LAUGH at her life crises or that REALLY releases the drama queen inside her.

She came inside and told me that she didn’t feel good. “I’m NOT tired and I DON’T need to lay down. I just need to SIT on THIS couch.” Trying not to smile, I said, “Ok.” She then went on, “And I am NOT a baby!” Okay… “Brighton told me I’m not a baby.” This got my attention. “He did?” She nodded. “With his Super Powers he told me that. Because he can’t talk.” Alright. The neighbor girls, who had been playing with her earlier before she came inside and revealed all of this to me knocked on the door to see if she would come back out. “Um. Well… I don’t need to because I am just needing to be inside right now. Inside of this house that is my mommy’s.” Then she sat back on the couch and said, “They told me I had to lay down in my tree house and I do NOT need to lay down.” Ah. The root of her revelation.

Yesterday we went four wheeler riding and Brooklyn and Layla were singing. It made me feel like a great parent to hear my two year old blaring in the most country voice imaginable, “red solo cup, You feel me UP, PRO-CEED to par-teee! Lets go to the partay!” I don’t even listen to country so I blame Starling. (Even though I know every word to that song somehow and can’t get it out of my big head). I told him, “I can’t wait for her to be offered alcohol for the first time and THAT song come readily to her mind.” So much for all the primary songs I’m trying to teach her. Of course she and Layla were also running around the parking lot shouting, “Fight! Fight! Fight!” If that wasn’t couth, when they started LICKING the ice cream freezer… the PICTURES of ice cream on the ice cream freezer at Fox’s Pizza… that was the pudding on the vanilla wafer. And Brooklyn is my EASY one.

Brighton… His obsession with janitorial supplies is beginning to worry me. His favorite toys include my BROOM, MOP, VACCUME, PLUNGER, TOILET BRUSH, and just plain toilet! Every time I go to pee I have to fish out tennis balls or rubber ducks. You would THINK we could keep the TOILET seat down! (Yeah. I seem to be the only one who can manage that PLUS remember to close the bathroom door). BUT I still love my husband! Toilet seat up, clothes BY the dirty laundry basket, tools on the kitchen table husband. Yesterday Brighton found some more cleaning supplies. I guess he was bored of his favorites. Brooklyn said, “MOM-MAY… LOOK at what our BRY BRY is do-ING!” I didn’t look. I said, “Brooklyn, he’s fine.” She put her hand on her hip and said, “MOM-MAY… Bry Bry is making a REALLY big mess in here.” As opposed to when? The only time that child isn’t DESTrOYING my house is when he’s asleep or GONE. But after she all but yanked me off the couch where I was folding laundry, I went to the kitchen to find Brighton in a HUGE puddle of something… some carpet cleaner stuff and spread all around him was Ajax powder and every cleaner that was under my sink was on the kitchen floor. I’m seriously going to be completely gray before I turn thirty. I threw him into the bathtub and looked to the sky and screamed, “WHYYYY???” for a minute, then TRUDGED into the kitchen I’d JUST cleaned and CLEANED it again. And when I got Brighton OUT of the tub and he dumped CEREAL all over the kitchen rug I sounded like a rabid animal… maybe a tiger-bear combo. I seriously growled. My house is a lost cause until Brighton turns 19 and we ship him off on his mission. Yet, I can’t even be annoyed with the little human tornado because he is so PROUD of his destructive accomplishments and I don’t have the heart to crush his little spirit. I’ll have a crush heart in a year tops. Unless he keeps up that giggle when I throw my hands up and scream. His utter disregard for any emotion other than sheer glee is contagious. That’s why a masquito on the wall will see me yelling and hopping around the kitchen EVERYDAY covered in green globs of baby food that Brighton THROWS and SPITS all over my face, hair, and shirt instead of watching me stare down a skinny baby. He just thinks ripping the spoon from my hand and slinging it splattering against the cabinet is hysterical. And he thinks I’m having SO MUCH FUN playing FETCH. He really does. He CLAPS for me when I RETRIEVE his spoon. It’s INSANE. Mothering is INSANE. How do people DO IT? Like- there are moms that have time to wear make-up and look cute and have a life OUTSIDE of their home. HOW?? TAKE A SHOWER is on my To Do List.

Friday, February 17, 2012

February 17, 2012

Oh my goodness it feel good to BLOG AGAIN! Ya know the saying, "If you don't have anything good to say, keep your trap shut!"? I'm sure that's not EXACTLY the quote but basically... I've been keeping my mouth closed. I was about 10 feet under in laundry, cleaning, working, etc. I won't pretend that I'm ALL caught up, but I'm back to MY normal. Just 4 feet under.

My Grandma moved into the Windham House. THAT was an adventure. She wasn't ready to go, but the bags under my eyes could have carried Paris Hilton's luggage. I was like functioning, if one could call the zombie I'd become functioning, on sparatic two hour intervals of sleep. And my Grandma would crack me up! She'd say, "Wendi! Wendi are you up?" WHICH I was NOT. I was callapsed in my bed comotose. I'd get up and walk into her room and ask what she needed. "You are STILL AWAKE? You never go to bed. You need to sleep more!" I'd just laugh. Well. I laugh about it now. At the time I was too tired to even comprehend the irony of her statement. I got good at sleep walking. I wouldn't even open my eyes or turn on any lights. I'd go into her room, pull her up, put her on the toilet, put her back to bed, arrange her pillows just so, add blankets, and flop back into my bed without ever really waking up. So, even though my Grandma was happy as a tic on a elephant, I was relieved when the day came for her to move on to her next adventure.

My grandma had several stipulations upon entering the Windham House. ONE- she was ONLY going because she gets therapy EVERY day. Two- she is ONLY going for 100 days. THREE- no tv going in her room (tv is of the devil). Four- she does NOT want to be cold. Five- She doesn't want to be ignored and pushed aside by the nurses. (She's volunteered at nursing homes for years and that's every patients complaint... noone listens to them). SO! My cousin, Shannon, and I took my Grandma to check in on February 2nd. We walk in and a nurse is going off to another nurse about a patient and about how the patient is driving her bonkers. Then the same nurse turns out to be the nurse that is over my Grandma. Strike ONE. She starts to explain why her patient is so contakerous to US when I send her a DEATH stare and shake my head until my brain is pin balling against my skull while mouthing "NOT in front of HER" pointing at my grandma. We arrive at her room. The blaring of a television greets us. Strike TWO. A patient, the new Roomy, is sitting in her chair yelling, "Will someone get me up? SOMEBODY! I'm going to get up by myself and fall! Somebody!!" When she takes note of us she says, "They NEVER listen to me!" Strike Three. I can see the expression on my Grandma's face. Shannon and I are darting glances at each other yelling mentally, "REALLY??? CAN this GET any WORSE??" Yeah. Its five degrees in the room. The roomy is HOT natured. Strike 4.

Then my Grandma says to the nurse, "Is there a CURFEW on that THING or does it go all night?" She was referring to the tv and the nurse merrily replies, "Oh no ma'am! You can run your tv ALL NIGHT!" Strike! STRIKE!

We took the social worker aside and said, "This won't work! She's going to bult! Can't you DOO somethin!!?" So after a while they switched rooms for her. It was warm, there was no tv, and the roomy was a good sleeper. We left feeling much better about where we were leaving my Grandma. Two days later the roomy pooped all over her bed and stunk up the whole wing of the place. Then we felt bad again. NOW my grandma has her own room. THANK goodness! We're trying to find her a man while she's there. I visit her twice a week, the rest of the fam visits often, also, so she isn't abandoned in there or anything.

OKAY, switching gears: lots of mile stones I've been skipping... BRIGHTON is crawling around like he's on speed zipping around the house and only bringing attention to himself when I hear the water running in my bathroom. Turning the water on and off in my tub is his favorite pass-time. He also enjoys climbing in the dishwasher which makes doing the dishes impossible. He has a walking toy that he pushes up and down the hall slamming into the walls and giggling. He will be walking in no time. He stands up and holds on to things with one hand. Part of me is like "NOOOO!!! I already can't keep up!!" But MOSTLY, I can't WAIT. These moments manifest themselves when I'm trying to pee in a public restroom while HOLDING the twenty pound blob of energy that is SO desperately trying to get down onto the floor scattered with puddles and CRAWL. Yeah. When he can stand up and walk. THAT might be GREAT. I'll just get a leash or something.

And the giggle box is getting VOCAL! Two months ago Brighton was only saying "Ma Ma Ma" when he was furious and not being fed. And he'd say "Bwoo Bwoo Bwoo" when he'd see Brooklyn. Last month he perfected yelling at his big sister. He LOVES shouting, "Bwoo-CK-lin! Bwoo-CKA!" He has the "CA" sound down pat. He sounds like a little German man. He just sits around saying, babble babble "KKKKA" babble squeal "KKA!" And the "Ba" is his favorate sound. He usually calls me "Ba Ma" instead of Ma Ma. He says "Ball" and "Bite" and "Bye." And he loves scaring us just like Brooklyn does. And he's a little TOO good at it. He is obsessed with covers and clean laundry. Folding clothes in my house is sort of like holding up a red cloth in front of a rabid bull. I grab a shirt and get the breath knocked out of me before I even lay it down to fold. And when I DO FINALLY get one folded, Brighton's mission: "stop drop and ROLL the folded shirt." Our fam wears wrinkly clothes.

Brooklyn has started "school." Which is what I told her to get her to sit down and FOCUS while I read with her. I bought "Your Baby Can Read" after Brooklyn was born when I was still working and apparently had money to blow on tv gimics. I really have no idea if it works because I really don't know what to DO with it. The commercial makes it look like you sit them in front of the tv, they watch the show, and WAM-O, you show them flash cards and they can read them. Umm. NOT SO! So I've created some games to play with the flash cards I paid $100 bucks for. Things I've learned since starting "school."#1. Brighton HAS to be asleep! #2. Brooklyn has to be awake. #3. Mommy has to be well fed, well rested, and REALLY REALLY patient.

BUT- Brooklyn loves school. I read a flash card BOOK with her twice. Then we play matching games with the words. AND how is that working for us? Brooklyn can read two words. Tiger and Hi. And sometimes she'll surprise me and know another word, but only two are consistant. So who knows if its working. She likes have my undivided attention for 45 minutes! That's for sure. This morning I thought I'd jump ahead and do school with her BEFORE Brighton woke up. Well... we got about ten minutes in and Brighton woke up. THEN he SAT on the flash cards and PEED all over them. AWESOME. And Brooklyn can't even think about focusing when Brighton is in the room. She has to watch his every move to guarantee he doesn't TOUCH something. And of course Charkley wants to sit in between me and whatever I'm doing. Its fabulous. And hopefully it'll get easier as I get the hang of it. I'm just guessing I'd SUCK at home-schooling.