Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Body

You have spoken.  The Results are in!

We will be writing a mystery in first person about a woman in the country.  I'll confess, I don't have much experience with mysteries.  Give me grace!

Let it begin....


I watched the storm roll into the bay and counted the seconds between the lightening overhead and the thunder clattering exactly five seconds later.  The night was warm and humid, typical Texas night.  I sipped my sweet tea and leaned my head back against the lawn chair I had dragged out to the deck just for this event.

I needed to unwind.  It had been one heck of a day.  The rain bathed my overgrown yard and I watched water pool just past the awning.

I would not have seen the body if the lightening over the pasture was not so dad gum bright.  It lit up the sky and the whole ten acres in front of the house.

"Don," I called to my husband.  He barely glanced up from his football game.  "Don!  Don- Did you see that?"  Squinting my eyes, I stood up from my chair.  My tea spilled and ran into the puddles off the porch.

Another yelp of thunder and lightening illuminated a woman's form.  I was not seeing things.  Someone was laying out in the yard.  "Don! Get out here!"

"Tina!  What the heck is your problem?"  Don finally got out of his Lazy-Boy and rumbled to the front door.  "I'm trying to-"

The lightening caught his attention.  We both stared at each other before stumbling off the deck and into the yard.

"You've got your phone?" he asked me.

Groping my pocket, I nodded.

"Call 911," he barked.


Well? What do you think???

VOTE HERE so we can keep going on our story!!!  :)

Rotten Watermelon and Poop

Since I suffered from relentless diarrhea stomach issues yesterday and felt like death, the kids thought it only fair to help me jump right back into mothering today.   The little darlings.

Rose reported that Isaiah has been pooping outside.  Not just outside.  No, my son manages to poop from the heights of his favorite tree.  Oh, and the dog enjoys rolling in the human poo.  So fun.

"It plops when it hits the ground," Rose told us with merriment.  I cringed.  Jason laughed.

While I was putting the baby to bed, Rose and Samuel decided to try on the toddler's diapers.  The expensive, I-can't-believe-I-paid-for-these, overnight diapers.  I was livid.  They thought it was hilarious.  I'm afraid I might have yelled.

The second time I put Hope to bed this afternoon, I discovered they cut into the watermelon. Which is aggravating (and dangerous) enough.  But this particular watermelon had been stabbed a few days ago and slowly rotted in my kitchen.  Fizz bubbled up out of it this morning.  The kids hacked it to pieces outside.  (At least they had the extra kindness to take it outside.)  It smelled.  There were ants and flies in abundance.  Gag.

Despite these highlights, we managed some tender moments.  Matthew cuddled with me while I put Hope to bed.  (Anyone noticing a pattern to my days?)  He wrapped his skinny arm around my neck and squeezed.  Ah, sweetness.  All four of the bigger kids apologized with a huge mommy hug in the kitchen for their extra dose of mischievousness .  I love their hearts.

It's been one of those days.  One of those days where the sky falls dark and I heave a sigh of relief.  One of those days where I kiss their little foreheads after they've fallen asleep and can't do any more harm.  One of those days where I shower and fall into my own bed, grateful for days that finally end.  One of those days where I look forward to a new batch of mercy with the next sunrise.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Write With Me!

Let's write a story!

I have a great idea.  We should write a story together.  You vote on the big stuff, I'll write it all out.  Together, we'll go on a great adventure.  


Click HERE to vote in this week's poll.  Thanks!!!

Excuse Me, Your Kid Needs to Wear Shoes

To the lady at the *Airmen's Attic who thought it her duty to inform this frazzled mother of six that shoes were required, thank you.  Thank you, concerned woman.  I appreciate the loud voice you used so that others turned to observe the lady with the large group of kids.  It was so much fun to watch the other patrons check out just what kind of mother doesn't put shoes on her children.  Shame on that reckless mother; don't I know there might be glass on the floor??

I mumbled, "we couldn't find the shoes..."  I couldn't remember how many kids didn't have their shoes on.  I glanced at seven sets of feet, including my own.  Only the two-year-old lacked shoes.  Not only did he not have shoes on, he also didn't have on pants.  And there were thick, blue lines of marker all up and down his baby, chubby legs.  We were on our way to the pool.  I planned to put a swim diaper and swim shorts on him once we got to the pool.  Plus, the pool water would rinse off that blue marker.  See?  I had a plan!  I did!

But the lady turned on her heel and stalked off, having done her duty of informing me just what a huge loser I was for not putting shoes on my children.  She didn't wait around to hear my reasons for my shoe-less, pants-less child.  I quickly scooped up the toddler, put him back into the stroller, hung my head and scurried to the check out line.  I was utterly embarrassed.

It's not like we can hide when we're out in public. With six kids in tow, we might as well be all wearing neon pink and wave a florescent light flashing "DIFFERENT".  We stick out, to say the least.

Back in our fifteen passenger van, I crumpled.  I was so angry.  I contemplated marching back into that place and giving that woman a piece of my crazy mind.  But, try as I might, I couldn't put my finger on what she did wrong.  Why did it bother me so much?  How could she have done it differently?  Did she really do anything wrong?

It's not that I think children should walk around without shoes.  Yes, it's a health hazard.  Yes.  I get that.  It's just, can't you see I have six?  Six, gorgeous kids with a combined total of twelve feet to take care of- I mean, that's a lot of feet.  How can the public expect me to fully dress all of them every time we go out?  They're just asking too much with the whole shoe thing.

My kids were being so dad-gum good, too!  Better than usual, even.  They were happily obeying the vividly posted "CHILDREN MUST REMAIN WITH PARENTS AT ALL TIMES" notice.  They were within arms reach.  Did Your-Kids-Need-Shoes Lady notice their good behavior?  Nope.  Just that they were missing shoes.  One.  One was missing shoes.

Here's why I think her comment bothered me: I felt like she had a problem with my family.  My glorious, huge, precious tribe of children.  It truly isn't easy to wrangle our bunch into close quarters and, frankly, recognition of the feat would be nice.  To, instead, be criticized for one child not wearing shoes--- I just felt inadequate.  Mother fail.  Ya know?

I think next time we will wear florescent pink shirts.  Maybe bring a rope for all the kids to hang on to while we shop.  I'm going to work on a glowing, flashing sign.  And, I guess- sigh- we'll wear shoes.

*Airmen's Attic is a free service to Air Force members and their families.  It's like Goodwill, only you don't have to pay for the items.  Each family gets so many items (clothes, furuniture, toys, etc) a month.  Despite the grouchy volunteer, I am really grateful for the Airmen's Attic.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Gonna Take It Slow

I hurry to mop the floor so I can hurry through folding the laundry.  I hurry through putting the baby to bed so I can hurry to put the big kids to bed.  I hurry through my shower so I can hurry and go to bed.  Hurry.  Hurry.  Hurry.

And, at the end of the day, I still have loads and loads of laundry.

I'm done hurrying. Done.  There is no reason to hurry just because I mentally create unrealistic time restrictions.  I'm not going to rush through one chore -make everyone miserable to finish picking up- just so I can crack the whip and hurry them through washing dishes.  Does this make sense to you?  Because it doesn't make sense to me anymore.

I'm done.  From now on, I'm taking my time when I mop the floor.  I'm going to sit and rock the baby and not allow the unseen force of time to push me.  I'm going to slowly make breakfast and slowly sip my coffee because there is no need to rush.

Living takes time.  And that's not a bad thing.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Pool Tips for Large (or Small) Families

I'm finally brave enough to take all my kids to the pool.  By myself. Without another grown up.  *cue the triumphant music*  Frankly, I impress myself.

Arriving at the pool with six children in tow, definitely draws some stares.  But we strut in there, claim a table in the shade and jump in the pool.  

To help other mommas keep their sanity, I've developed a list of tricks and tips.  Let me know what you think.

1) Swimsuit Box
Store everyone's swimsuit in the same box; don't bother putting them away in individual dressers. We use a Rubbermaid container. As the suits come through the wash, I toss them into our swimsuit box.  This way, on Pool Day, I avoid the painful "Where's my swimsuit?" whine because everyone knows their suits are in the box.


2) Towel Collection
This goes along with Number One. I keep towels together, separated from my household towels.  Otherwise, the pool towels will inevitably be wet/dirty when you need them.  And, I don't know about you, but I sure don't want my nice bathroom towels stretched out on the concrete beside the pool.  

3) Prepped Bag
Our pool bag hangs out beside the swimsuit box.  I keep the sunblock, baby's sunhat, cash, pool pass, diapers, wipes, chapstick, etc in the bag.  When it's time to go, I toss my wallet in the bag and we're off.  Makes it easier to not have to pack the pool bag every time we head out to go swimming.

4) Keep it Simple 
I abandoned changing clothes at the pool.  It eliminates so much headache. Everyone wears their swimsuits to the pool and everyone wears their suits home.  This approach is a huge help.  I hate changing my clothes in the hot bathroom, wrestling into my suit while trying to keep the toddler from whipping the thin curtain open.  Plus, there's no extra baggage to haul around between the house and the pool.  

5) Snacks
Everyone gets a child-size, frozen Gatorade bottle.  Freezing it beforehand keeps it cold AND helps the kids to not guzzle the drink down in the first ten minutes at the pool. The Gatorade keeps them hydrated and replaces electrolytes lost while swimming in the sunshine.  I label the lids with their birth order number and I bring extra, frozen water bottles to share.  I also bring peanuts to the pool for snacks.  Protein.  Cheap.  Perfect.

These simple tricks allow me and the six kids to go to the pool twice a week without anyone going insane.  The kids are getting used to the routine of hauling everything out to the van, down to the pool and back again.  We're having a blast!  

What tips and tricks do you use to keep your sanity at the pool?  Please share in the comments below and pass on your mommy wisdom.  

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Fresh Beginning

Starting something new is hard.  I mean, like, painfully hard.

Take this blog, for instance.  I've been blogging over at Intense Blessings for six years.  Six years, folks.  And, while, it's a sweet, little blog, I'm kind of sick of it.  I'm ready to move on.  I'm ready to create something bigger and better.  Something that shows who I am in 2014.  Something new...

Yet, I want to hold onto that old blog.  It feels nice.  It's comfy.  I've already got it designed just the way I like it.  I spilled my mommy guts over there.  I've got history with that blog.

Why is it so hard to try something new?  Why is it so tough to begin again?

It's the great Unknown.

We've lived in Alamogordo, New Mexico for almost four years.  Four.  Long.  LOOONG years.  It's been tough.  I had many, MANY moments of hating it here.  Now that we are staring relocation in the face, I'm scared to move.  I realize it feels kind of nice here.  Comfy.  I know where Wal-mart is and which park is my favorite.  I've spilled my mommy guts here and I've got a history with this house.

It's hard to start something new.

It occurs to me that maybe, just maybe, there's something better out there.  A better house.  A better job.  A better Wal-mart.  Maybe it's worth saying good-bye to all this comfy-ness to take a chance with something new.

So in the spirit of starting over, I bring you my new blog.  I've got grand plans for this place.  I'm stepping out.  I'm starting something new.