Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I win, I win, I win!!!

Awww, Essie the Accidental Mommy over at tagged me with this blog award. I guess she understands how difficult the last few weeks have been and thought I could use a little pick me up. For the record, YUP, she was right on target. I luv, luv, luv the blog awards. 
So now I need to tell you ten things that make me happy and do at least one of them today.

1) Hugs. I am a hugging fool. Smile at me and I just might hug you, even if we are strangers in line at the bank.
2) Early morning quiet time, when I can sip my coffee and watch DVR'd shows in peace and quiet.
3) Knitting. I am on a kick knitting hats for an orphanage in India. I can whip out a hat in an hour with bulky yarn and no interruptions.
4) The smell of freshly bathed babes. (Larger stinky boys still smell just as good when they get out of the tub as little babies) 
5) Cooking, baking, creativity in the kitchen. I made home made lasagna the other day, noodles and all. It was definitely a labor of love.
6) Making my kids laugh. I made Levi laugh so hard today that snot shot out of his nose! Who knew dancing with a diaper on your head was so incredibly funny????
7) Hearing Ahren say, "Mommy, I wuv you'. 
8) My husband walking in the door at the end of the day.
9) Sliding between crisp, cool sheets at the end of the day.
10) Blogging buddies who leave comments and give me the strength to keep on keepin on.

I am supposed to nominate 10 more bloggers to receive this award but I need to think about it. There are so many great blogs out there and so little time.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ahren Issues

Time for another little dose of reality on my blog. It is not all goodness and light all the time. I have an awesome fam, the bestest hubby, smart and sweet kiddos, etc etc. I always try and focus on the positive. But sometimes.....sometimes....I am positive I am losing my freaking mind!

The 2 weeks leading up to Christmas were increasingly difficult for Ahren. The excitement pushed him over the edge, so to speak. Behaviors we had not seen for months began to surface (spitting for one) He became more and more demanding, more and more helpless, and the whining. Oh the WHINING! How can a child manage to say one word, Mommy, with such a whine it could peel century old paint off the woodwork? 

Ahren became more and more clingy. He needed constant re-assurances about everything. he no longer could go to the potty by himself, feed himself, or even pull up his pants. He also began to ask questions. I am not talking about a normal toddlers questions. I am talking about asking the exact same question 30 or 40 times in a row. Even if I say Yes and start to do what he is asking, he keeps repeating the question. Over and over and over and over. Many, many times. 

He tells me he doesn't love me. He tells me I am not his Mommy. He says he hates me. He tells me he doesn't love me anymore. (We do not talk like that so I have NO idea where he gets this language from) Then when one of the other kids calls me Mommy, he freaks out and says I am HIS Mommy, and claims me all to himself. Right now he is sitting on the floor screaming at me that he doesn't love me and he is not part of our family all because I turned the Wii off. (Keep in mind this kid has not even turned four years old yet) I just keep telling him it's too bad he doesn't love me because I love him and that's not going to change. He is stuck with me. 

I try and remain calm and unfazed by all this. The more he lashes out the more I show him love. The actions tell me that he is that insecure and the worse his actions are the more support he needs. Oh My Goodness it is HARD. Here is my sweet, cherubic, beautiful boy, one I fought so hard to bring home. And he HATES me. (Not really, I know that) 

Oh Man, I am so glad the holidays are over. We need a healthy dose of normalcy. A big ol RUT to slide into. Some boring, same ol' same ol'. And maybe a few extra hugs, some Xanax and a vacations away form the kids!!!!!!

So there you have it. The warts, the ugliness, the flaws. Sigh.......I love him so much!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas 2009

Here is Ahren finding the Sponge Bob and totally ignoring the go-cart and everything else. 
I..I...I.....I.....I see a ...........DIRT BIKE!!!!!!!!!
Dazed and confused, but he did sit on the go cart. You can tell his eyes are totally un-focused.
Oh man, oh man, oh man. A.....Dirt.......BIKE!
See, it is really real. A REAL dirt bike. Oh man!!! I love you Santa!!!!!!
Ahren got an assist from his sisters and began to check out his presents from Santa.
Kaytee explaining that the stocking has more goodies inside of it. 
Daddy filming the festivities.
Even big girls get stockings from Santa. 
Cheese! Can you believe how many presents are under our tree? We didn't really go that crazy, most of the presents were around the tree not under it and we had quite a few in large boxes.
Santa brought him a Pogo Stick. Great way to burn off energy!!!!
Santa Cowboy. Love this kid so much!!!!
Santa Cowboy in his real hat and real boots rounding up cattle with a remote control car.
It's now daylight and the present opening is about to begin. We do them one at a time, so we can see what everyone gets and say thanks for the gift.
Kaytee opens a gift. 
Now he's getting into it. Once he got the hang of things he was all smiles, all day!
Ashley inspects her new coat. This girl has style!
More smiles, all around! 
Ahren LOVES the panda bear he got from Grandma and Grandpa J.
These two were not about to show any excitement, but they had no problem getting up at 6:30 in the morning to share Christmas with their little brothers. 
Levi, in his holidays jams and robe, cheesing for the camera.
Even Daddy was all smiles.
A bottle of lotion brought a smile to this girls face.
Ashley in her new glasses, stylin and smilin.
Chris opening his big present. One he did NOT know about. The kids wrapped THREE layers of paper. Took a while to get it unwrapped.
And here it is! I got a helicopter to fly over our property and take photos. Then I picked the best one and had it blown up and framed. You can see our house, the barn, the pond and our land. The best part is that the camera caught Chris and Ahren standing out by the barn looking up at the helicopter. 
Levi LOVES the books he got from his Grandma and Grandpa J. We started reading the first one yesterday. They are his first big-boy chapter books.
Ashley in her new sunglasses. Now those merited a real smile!
Kaytee looks like an Elf on a mini-bike!
Who is that crazy lady?
This is the best pogo stick ever. It has a sturdy base for beginners that comes off later as they improve and gain confidence.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas Y'All

I swore when I moved to Texas I would never talk like a texan. seems to be seeping in to my vocabulary, so what the heck. I hope all y'all had a wonderful day today!

Last night kids were in bed early and sound asleep shortly thereafter. Of course Ahren is just getting over a cold, both Kaytee and Ashley are getting sick, and everyone was really tired. Santa was able to deliver his goods early too, and get a good nights sleep. (wink, wink) 

This morning started around 6:30 am, not too bad. We got cameras set up and lights all on, and then yelled GO. Levi came flying out of the bedroom, found his pile and dove in. Ahren stood in the middle of the room, blinking and looking dazed. He couldn't find his pile (the only other pile of toys in the room) and he couldn't figure out what was going on. I'm not sure what that was all about. He had been awake for a little while and was bright and perky before this. He finally saw his toys and wandered over. The only thing he touched was a small Sponge Bob stuffed toy which had been sitting on the seat of his pedal go-cart. He didn't even notice the go-cart. 

While Ahren was in his daze, Levi happened to notice that there was a light on outside and looked out the window behind his pile. He started jumping up and down and making small squeeky noises. Finally he yelled....DIRT BIKE! Sure enough, Santa had left a real (very small) dirt bike on the patio. This is the ONE thing he had asked Santa for. Ahren realized what Levi was so excited about and came to look too. He was so happy for Levi!

Then Ahren began to get the hang of things. He started looking at his presents, falling instantly in love with his real cowboy boots and hat. He tried out his go-cart (in the living room) and loved it too. The girls helped him open packages so he could try out his new things. 

We took a bit of a break and then sorted out the packages under the tree and began the ritual of 'youngest to oldest' opening presents one at a time. There were a ton of presents but we tend to wrap all sorts of oddball things, Vitamins, socks, underwear, a couple of empty boxes, etc. At our house, you just never know what you will get! It adds to the fun. 

We ate bagels and cream cheese, laughed and played, and enjoyed our very first Christmas all together. (Last year Ahren was here but the girls were with their Dad on the actual day). Now we are all just sitting around, playing with toys and having fun. Kaytee and I even took a spin on the dirt bike (photos later). 

My deepest heartfelt wishes that you and yours had a wonderful, magical day today, full of family and laughter, love and messes. And even if you do not celebrate Christmas, I wish these things for you. Everyone deserves a day like this!

Monday, December 21, 2009


So close. The guy with the tranquilizer gun was all set up, in a shadow behind a fence. We moved the deer block a little closer to him so he would have a perfect shot. About 4:30 Chris went out and shook the corn and here she came out of the woods. 

She got halfway to the feed and stopped. You could see her twitching her ears listening. Then for 20 minutes she pranced around just out of range. Coming closer, edging away. Back and forth. Then the neighbors decided to rev up their pickup truck and off she went. 

The guy waited for a while but finally left as it began to get too dark to get a good shot. Wouldn't you know it, here she came and ate steadily for 40 minutes.  

I don't know how many more times he will try. They are talking about just having the Game Warden come put her down (ie:kill her) Time is running out for Bullseye.....

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Bullseye...the one arrowed deer

UPDATE: It's about 4 pm, the man with the tranquilizer rifle is in his new position. We are waiting. She should show in the next hour or so. He is in a great position to get a perfect shot. We just need her. Come on Bullseye!!!!

This evening we are going to try again. We have let her calm down and get back into a routine. The weather is better so we will have daylight longer, and she has been coming earlier in the afternoons than before. She showed up yesterday around 4:30. That gives us a lot of daylight if we have to chase her down. 

We are moving the dart shooter to a new location, hidden behind a playhouse that the deer are used to. He will have a great shot from there. Ashley has agreed to be the nurse to my surgeon. She loves that sort of stuff. We have all our instruments, sutures and heated bed ready to go. 

I had a long talk with Bullseye the other afternoon. Explained that we are trying to help her and that she needs to cooperate. She listened about as well as my kids, which means not at all. 

In other news, Chris got a deer while hunting this weekend. Does anyone else see the humor in that? We are desperately trying to save one doe but will be eating another one soon. 

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Awesome Evening

Chris is at the deer lease this weekend so I took the kids out to dinner all by myself. (Please, keep the applause down :-)  We decided to go to a japanese style restaurant where they cook on the grill in front of you. You know the kind. Where they spin the utensils around, throw rice at your head, and make big fires. Good times.

We went early thinking we would beat the crowd. no luck. the joint was hoppin! We ended up getting seated at a table with a young college aged couple on a blind date. Doh! I bet they were wishing they had picked mexican food! 

During the cooking show, the boys got laughing so hard that the rest of us were cracking up watching them. Seriously, it was contagious! The chef was flipping rice balls at their heads and it was hysterical! (Note to self: be sure they understand that they cannot do this at home!) Besides the entertainment, the kids all ate TONS. It was such a great meal.

Now we are home and Ash and the boys are decorating cookies. This is just a warm-up to the real cookies. Practice cookies. Cookies for eating. The serious, cookies-for-Santa, will be made tomorrow. Must. Have. Great. Cookies....for Santa! Great cookies equals great presents. Everyone knows that!

The best part of the day? Chris called and is heading home early because he missed us. All together now...Awwww. I have the sweetest husband in the world. Ladies, eat your hearts out!

Monday, December 14, 2009

That &*$%^&% Deer

That doe is just WAY too smart for us. She has figured out the sharp-shooter guy and his truck. If he is here, she doesn't come close at all. But, if I or Chris walk out there, she happily trots up and is ready to eat. No fear at all. Problem is, we cannot shoot the gun what with the laws about controlled substances and all. Sunday morning, after she came close but spooked, I saw her in the woods nearby. I sat there 10 feet form her, talking on the phone and she just looked at me and was calm. I was on the phone to the guy telling him where to come. Three minutes later, as his truck came around the corner, all the deer took off like rockets, white tails in the air. 

I told Chris that I am going to head into the woods to have a talk with her. This has got to stop. Either play along or suffer the consequences. Come on now, just be reasonable!!! 

**What does it say about my mental state that I am having imaginary conversations with a doe and convincing her of my point? 

Anyway, we will keep trying. She is not suffering and not losing any more weight. She is alert and active and seems to be doing Okay. I am worried she will snag the arrow in the woods and do a lot of damage, but what can I do? Maybe if I knew how to lasso......

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Picture Roundup and Bullseye Update

Bullseye is one smart deer. She came up twice last night and ate so we talked to the wildlife people and they were here this morning by 6am. We spotted her coming up the side yard so we scrambled to our positions. I was on the street behind our house where the deer travel across into some more woods. Another woman was at the bottom of the street on another pathway. Chris was in the house running communications. At 7:08 he called and told me he thought the guy had gotten a shot off and the deer scattered. I waited and held my breath. 

Nothing. In the meantime a man drove by me and slowed way down, probably wondering what a psycho woman with crazy hair was doing sitting in a mini van by the woods on a Sunday morning. I just knew he was going to call the cops and I was going to have to explain myself. 

Chris called back and said the man had not gotten a shot off, he had just spooked them by accident.  Just then I saw the deer heading across a yard towards me. I figured I should try and turn them around so they would go back to where the shooter was (that's tranquilizer dart shooter, for those of you joining the story late) So off I went on foot across the yards, waving my arms and trying to scare the deer. Yeah, that went well. Stupid deer just stood and looked at me for a while, then ran right around me into the woods. We will try again. And again. And again.....

I haven't posted pix in a while so this is very eclectic. 

Ashley is a trainer at her high school and uses Levi to practice wraps on. This is very useful in two ways. She gets practice and he gets slowed down!

Chris carving the turkey on Thanksgiving. Instead of a whole turkey I did several breasts. White meat is our favorite.
Look closely and do not be afraid. Teenagers can actually do laundry! I know, I know, shocking but true.
Levi lost his first tooth on Thanksgiving Day. He pulled it himself and was so proud! 
The kids drew a big picture of our family. There's Grandma and Grandpa B who were here with us visiting, They  added the girl's dad which I thought was very sweet.  And don't forget the dogs. 
Grandpa reading the Children's Bible to the boys. They spent a lot of time in his lap. 
Grandma gets in a hug from a busy boy. 
My mother and me. We spent a lot of time in the kitchen, cooking and laughing.
Our friends E and M came for Thanksgiving dinner bringing Miss Holly and her baby brother Henry. The little ones had their own table and were so excited they sat here for 30 minutes before we were even ready to eat!
Everyone got lots of baby-holding in. Henry is the sweetest little munchkin. Yum!
And more baby holding. There was a LOT of baby holding....
The girls took turns entertaining the little kids while the food cooked. 
Ring around the rosey, pocket full of posey, ashes, ashes, we all fall down!

Many games of ring around the rosey. I repeat. Many. 

Saturday, December 12, 2009


The doe, who I have now named Bullseye (I know, I know, that's just rude. I got tired of calling her 'the deer with the arrow in her face') has not come back to feed. She is alive and well, just spooked. Now we play the waiting game. I suck at this part. I hated it while adopting, I hate it now. 

Friday, December 11, 2009

Attempt #3

Update: We saw her this morning, alive and well, but she is very skittish and didn't get close enough for a shot. We'll try again this evening.

I was at work for most of the 'festivities". Rats! The team showed up at 5 pm and the sharp shooter set up his shot. The deer showed up at 5:30 and he got in a clean shot but it bounced off of her, so maybe only a partial dose of tranquilizer. The deer all ran but stopped by the edge of the woods, then moseyed off. Everyone took off to find where she had dropped.

And they searched and searched and searched. When I got home we searched some more. No deer. It was pitch black with clouds blocking the light from the moon. We used high powered flashlights so I am sure the neighbors were all freaking out. Luckily no one shot at us!

We never found her. It wasn't too bitterly cold last night so she should have survived. Now it is early the next morning, the sharp shooter will be here in a minute and we will try again. This time it will just be me and him, so cross your fingers I am fast enough to track this doe if she runs very far. If he gets a good shot she should not even make it to the edge of the woods before she is down. 

Last night I dreamed he missed the deer and got me! I think I will stay far, far out of his way today!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Attempt #2

She came early last night, around 4 pm. She ate for about 30 min and left. I got home just a little later and carried a new deer block out to the feeder. I saw her head pop up in the edge of the woods, watching me. Hard to miss her with that red arrow sticking out. She walked towards me as I placed the new block, unafraid of me. As I walked away she began to eat. She stayed for another hour nibbling at the feed. She is a little thin but still alert. 

Unfortunately the wildlife lady was running late. Just as the doe left the lady called saying she was 5 minutes away. We will try again today.

The doe appears to be bedding down in the woods just next to us and coming to eat morning and night now. This is her only source of food since she can't eat off of the ground and there are no leaves to eat this time of year. I went and bought 4 more blocks yesterday so we can be sure she can eat until we can catch her and remove the arrow. 

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Another Day, Another Idiot

Do you remember this fawn from this past spring? Someone managed to catch it and place a dog collar and leash on it (to keep it as a pet???) We tried and tried to catch it and remove the collar but were never successful. It quit coming around so either the collar came off or the poor thing got tangled in the brush and died a horrible death. Well, someone has been at it again.

This poor Doe has been coming to our house for the past few days. See what is coming out of her face? An arrow. The arrow is lodged in the bridge of her nose and she can't eat. She has figured out she can nibble off the deer block we put out and she can drink from the pond. That is all that is keeping her alive. We called the game warden and he got us in contact with a wildlife rehabilitation specialist. 

Last night we attempted Operation Doe Rescue, Round One. We set up a deer blind near the block. The wildlife lady came with her tranquilizer gun, antibiotics, surgical instruments and supplies. We set up a pallet in the barn to lay her once she was down to keep her dry and comfortable until she woke up from the anesthetic in the dart. The plan was to shoot her, carry her to the barn, then operate (I get to help!) to remove the arrow, seal the wound, fill her with antibiotics and allow her to recover and be able to walk away. 
Of course it was raining and the deer were late coming. it was too dark to see to shoot her by the time they showed up. Tonight is Round Two. We have several camera people trying to capture it all on film. 

Wish us luck!

Oh, and by the way, it is ILLEGAL to shoot deer in our neighborhood, it is NOT bow season, and a true hunter would track an injured animal and finish the job, not let the poor thing suffer a long, slow, horrible death. Whoever did this is a first class idiot!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Saturdays and Simplifying

Today we got up early, got everyone bathed, dressed, fed, combed and brushed and headed off to a birthday party. By 9:30 am we were bowling, followed by pizza, cake and then arcade games. Then we headed to our local blood donor center and Chris and I each donated blood. (That is his sixth donation this year and my fourth) then we headed to Sam's Club to look at refrigerators (which they didn't have) and topped the day with a trip to the grocery store. I don't know how we stand this much excitement, really.  Tonight we have a small friend spending the night. Our sweet Holly is coming for a sleep over while her parents go to a party. She loves noodles so I am making home made chicken and noodles for dinner. I am all about making our guests happy!

I have been thinking about something for quite a while, a number of years really. Christmas ends up being such a stressful time that I don't enjoy it very much and I hate that! So this year I am changing things. Simplifying if you will. Concentrating on the important things like family and the real Christmas meaning. 

So this year I put up our tree, hung up the stockings, will set out the nativity as soon as I can figure out a safe place to put it and that is all. Seriously. You don't believe me? Come see. Not a light in the yard or on the house, no blow up Santas, no tinsel on the stairwell, nothing.  There are moments I miss all the decorations, especially the Snowmen I have collected over the years, but mostly I am just stress-free. The shopping is done, most presents are wrapped and the kids are all enjoying helping wrap each others. I have a couple of packages to mail out and we will be done. 

We will bake cookies and decorate them, build gingerbread houses together, watch movies and drink hot chocolate, read stories out of our children's book of bible stories, and slow down enough to enjoy this holiday. Man it feels good!

One last funny. Here is a string of texts back and forth between me and Ashley this morning. I am still giggling over it!

I notice a missed phone call on my phone from Ash, so I test her and ask if she was trying to reach me.

She texts back: I just needed to talk to Kaytee but I did so it's all good. 

Me: Wah, you didn't want to talk to ME?

Ash: You'll live.

Me: Rude! Santa just took away one of your presents!

Ash: I was kidding! Uhh, sweet baby Jesus Mother Mary of Jerusulam you'll be OKAY!!!

Me: Whew, I feel better. 

Ash: Haha, wow. I'm texting my mom, I have no life......

Me: Yeah, but I am a kewl Mom who can text!

Ash: You can't text!

Me: Yes I can, even with both of my humbs in casts. 

Me: Wait, 'humbs'? Maybe I can't test....I mean text!

Ash: I'm glad you finally appected it. 

Hee, appected! She meant accepted. She's my girl all right!

Time for a Rant

Yesterday it did the impossible. It snowed in southern Texas. Well, nearly impossible and very infrequent anyway, and thank goodness for that because it drove everyone insane. Certifiably temporary insanity. 

Now, where I am located, we got flurries and the ground got wet. To the south of us they actually got an inch or two that stuck to the ground, etc. All day long they had TV footage of the "snow". They gave hourly updates of the "snow". They showed a playground that had "snow" on the slide. They showed weather maps and issued grave warnings about the dangers of ice on the roads. 

And the city SHUT DOWN. Schools closed, games were cancelled, employers sent their employees home early. Oh the PANIC! 

When I went to pick up Levi from school it was still flurrying lightly. It was so pretty and very exciting for kids who have never seen snow. I went early but the car rider line was already backed up a ways so I pulled into line and grabbed my magazine to spend a few quiet minutes. I noticed some commotion outside and realized that some *insert favorite phrase for ignorant* woman had pulled into the car rider line, but then left her vehicle running and gone into the school to get her kids. Apparently waiting the 10 minutes while it was "snowing" was unthinkable and she needed to rescue her babies NOW. Only she had hit the lock button as she left the car and now it sat there running, blocking the car rider line, and securely locked. I watched as she yanked on the doors, alternating between the front and back ones, as if one would magically unlock. 

And then I noticed that there were several other cars in line without drivers. Now there is a full parking lot right there. With empty spots. So why they had to park in the car rider line except it is closer by 20 feet. Because it was 'snowing'. 

They bring the kids out and chaos insues because the people actually IN their cars in line have to weave in and out of the parked cars, while parents dodged in and out of them dragging their kiddos thru the "snow", rushing to get home before they are stranded. 

And I just laughed at their dumbness and taught my kids to catch snowflakes on their tongues.