Wednesday, August 22, 2012

There Goes the Neighborhood

For the second time in four months, we moved this past week.  We’re all sick of moving but we really love our new house.  Why we left the old house is a long story but we’re where we need to be now. 

One of my favorite and least favorite things about moving to a new area is meeting the neighbors.  I struggle with the fact that I am a people person, but I also don’t like people in my business unless invited.  I also hate introductions because I usually forget names and forget to introduce everyone properly.  Now that the kids are old enough to run amuck outside, I’ve discovered that they do a lot of the introductions for us and I’m not so sure this is a good thing!

Lulu met our next-door neighbors the first day we were here because she left her scooter at the bottom of the driveway, which we share.  The neighbor was kind enough to bring it to the house and put it next to the garage but that’s definitely not the impression I wanted to make on our first day. “Hi, we’re the Childers Family and my kids are rude and don’t pick up after themselves. Nice to meet you!”  So, I made her go over and apologize, thank them and promise it won’t happen again.  However, we all know it will! 

Today, I finally got the chance to meet the next-door neighbor, at 7:30 in morning!  I let the dog out to potty and about 2 minutes later heard him barking like a maniac.  So, I hurry outside in my pajamas to see what the ruckus is about and he’s barking at the neighbor who is trying to mow his own lawn. Evidently Jaeger though he was out to get us.  In true form, all three kids follow me and as I’m telling the man that Jaeger is completely harmless, Dylan pipes up with, “He’s only bitten one person really!” (Thank you son, that helps the situation!)

This evening another neighbor came over to introduce himself and again, all three kids are there.  I quickly realized that Lulu has met this neighbor before because he instantly looks at Bean and says, “You’re the awesome four year old that can ride her bike with no training wheels!” She beamed with pride and introduced herself.  Then he looks at Dylan, “You’re the nerd?”  Yep, I know he’s met Lulu and she started this! Immediately Dylan glares at Lulu and fight ensues.  Perfect!

As we’re chatting, each child has its two cents to add to every single conversation! Why?! 

As we’re discussing the deer around the area Dylan tells the man that his dad doesn’t allow us to buy meat that we can kill ourselves.  Really? That’s news to me!

When we’re discussing the chickens, Dylan tells him that I’m only raising the chickens because I have a lifelong dream to feed a live chicken to an alligator.  Really Son?! Well, I wouldn’t call it a life-long dream but I really do want to, I just don’t tell everyone that because unless they know me they’ll think I’m a horrible person…and besides, it’s illegal to feed alligators!

Bean also told the man that we only came home while running errands because Lulu farted in the car and the smell was killing us all!  No! That’s not why we came home but yes, it was horrid!

By now I’m feeling like I kind of know this guy, rather, he knows us…maybe a little too well. So I ask what is up with all the flies in Washington. When we left Texas, we thought we were leaving bugs behind but the flies here are ridiculous.  He explains the problem but it takes Lulu no time to say, “Mom’s friend says that flies mean a person is possessed by demons and Mom is probably possessed.”  Thank you Miss Rosa!  Now the man thinks we are completely insane!

Perhaps the Childers Family is an acquired taste. One thing is for sure, you’ll either love us or hate us and more often than not, what you see at our first meeting, is what we’re like all the time! We’ll see if they come back! 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Chocolate Bar

Last week at a friend’s house, Bean had a biking accident…again. As I was trying to console her, she started screaming at me that she knew I wrote about her last accident on my blog. I have no clue how she knew that but she spent a good five minutes lecturing me about leaving her out of my blog. “Mom, that’s your blog and I don’t want it to be about me! If I wanted a blog about me, I’d make a blog!”  Sure she would, because she can read and all.  Maybe we should make Bean her own podcast…now, that’s an idea! 

Anyway, I haven’t written about her, or anything for that matter, since my last post. Not because nothing’s happened, but because they (the children) are not funny to me any more. They have been home with me since May 17th and school doesn’t start until September 4th here!  Just a few more weeks!  Today, Bean asked me why I haven’t been blogging. Again, I do not have a clue how she knows all this! She’s always been very intuitive but now I’m beginning to wonder whose blog this really is! She has now informed me, “If I’m funny and cute, you should probably write about me. People love me.” She definitely has no self-esteem issues!

Since I have permission from the bossy four year old to blog again, here’s the latest. 

I’ve been taking college classes online for quite a while now. Online seems great, right? Well, after today I’m convinced that actually attending college immediately after high school would have been a far better idea (should’ve listened to my parents) than taking classes with three children at home. I'm pretty sure I could’ve concentrated and studied much better drunk and/or hung over from too much college fun than I can with these three precious darlings in the house! 

The story began yesterday when Lulu got a chocolate bar from a friend for helping her son during the weekend.  Immediately, Bean wanted a chocolate bar too. Of course, I had some but it was almost bedtime and I know better than to give her chocolate right before bed. So, I bribed her, just a little. I told her if she went straight to bed and was good for Dad while I went to my meeting in the morning I’d bring her home a chocolate bar and we both held up our end of the deal. I got home about noon today and handed over the coveted Hershey’s Chocolate Bar and gave one to Dylan as well (he’d been a big help all weekend – or he just kept to himself and didn’t cause trouble).  Within a matter of 5 minutes Bean had eaten her candy and absconded with Dylan’s treat, which she devoured as well.

Do you know what two chocolate bars do to a four year old?!  I’ll tell you what happens…they turn into little chatterboxes with more energy than the Energizer Bunny! Evidently, Hershey Bars are also time released! When the high from the first one wears off (about 4 hours), the second buzz kicks in for another 4 hours!

The child talked and talked and talked and pestered her siblings and me and the dog!  Bless their hearts, Lulu and Dylan handled her very well; although they probably wanted to lock her in her room…I know I did!  Bean tormented her chickens, chasing them, pulling their feathers and at one point I caught her “bathing them” with the water spout in the back yard.  The water spout doesn’t have a “slow” option so not only were a few bathed in baby soap, I believe they were possibly water boarded at the hands of a crazed four year old on a sugar high.  It’s pretty hard for a chicken to have facial expressions but I’m certain one looked at me in complete disgust as I was trying to save her from further torment.  It seems as though chickens like to be bathed about as much as a cat does!  Hopefully the hens' new fresh lavender scent will keep the coyotes and hawks at bay for a few days.

The child talked incessantly. We’ve had countless discussions today. Well, they were pretty one sided discussions because I couldn’t get a word in edge wise. But she talked about her bugs she’s caught: moths, slugs, bees, ants, spiders, mosquito eaters, flies, worms, you get the picture. If it crawls, flies or burrows, this child has caught it at some point and she loves all her critters to death…literally. She talked about who she’s going to marry and informed me that I better break up with Daddy because she’s going to marry him…sweet but eeewww!  She told me all about her Bigfoot hunting she’s been doing and then yelled at me that she hasn’t met a princess yet.  I could go on for quite a while about the crazy things she talked about but I think at around 4 o’clock all I started hearing was “Wa wa wa wa wa wa.”

Around dinnertime she brought be outside to see what she’d done.  She had set up her own little picnic with a small table and two chairs for a “wedding dinner” (not sure what that means). It was quite cute so I played along.  I sat in amazement and watched her carry on a full conversation with an ant she captured and a stuffed pooh bear.  I have rarely seen Bean engage in pretend play so I’m sure this was all the chocolate talking.  She was completely crazed and now talking to anything! 

Clearly, I got very little homework completed today. What I did get done was after I begged her to just sit down for five minutes and try her hardest to not talk.  She asked if I’d give her another chocolate bar if she was good and I did not fall for that again…and I won’t ever again!  Instead, I promised her we’d go get her favorite baby grapes tomorrow.  I think it took her about two and a half minutes before we all looked over and she was racked out…and out of fear for waking her precious highness, she’s staying on the couch until morning!

In my defense, I really didn’t think the chocolate would make her THAT crazy and I never intended for her to have two! I was smart enough not to let her have it before bedtime the night before. Next time, I’ll give her one or two before I leave her with Dad for the day! *insert wicked laugh here* 

Monday, August 6, 2012

What if Mom Quit Doing HER Jobs?

Today started out pretty good. We ran some errands, checked out preschools for Bean then came home to start the oh-so-dreaded laundry. I knew it wouldn’t take long for the fun new washer and dryer to not be fun anymore. 

Now, I know many kids don’t get allowances any more but I started giving the kids allowance during Mike’s last deployment. Probably one of my desperate ploys to get a little help around the house and it’s just stayed.  Sometimes it’s nice because when the kids ask for something, they can just pay for it themselves because they have their own money. Other times I wonder why I even started allowances.

One of Lulu’s chores is to fold the laundry. Smart on my part because I hate folding laundry, but I’m too OCD to let her do it completely alone so I always end up helping or refolding what she’s done. Today, I was in the middle of taking a test for one of my classes and I asked her to get the laundry out and start folding.  She instantly copped a major attitude and started huffing and puffing, flinging her hair around and just being sassy.  I asked her what was wrong and I get, “I’m so sick and tired of doing YOUR laundry all the time! All I ever do is stuff for you! You’re the Mom and laundry is YOUR job, not mine! I’m done!” 

Whoa sister! Ok, so let me get this straight, laundry is a Mom’s job and not yours so now, I don’t have to do your laundry any more! Perfect!  I’m really not sure if I should be mad or hurt by the way she talked to me and what she said.  I think every mother expects the day her daughter sasses off to her and they butt heads.  This kind of took me back though; she’s always been my sweet, helpful kiddo. Sure we’ve had our share of arguments but evidently laundry pushes her over the edge…much like it does her mother!

So that I can calm down and gather my thoughts, mostly just to calm down, I sent her to her room and made sure she knew I wouldn’t be doing her laundry any more.  Not twenty minutes later, Dylan comes bursting through the door and Bean’s chickens are running down the road.  Yes, you heard me; all six chickens are running away.  I yell for Lulu and Bean to come help us, and we all take off down the driveway in search of chickens.  Once we get onto the road, Dylan says, “Oh yeah, they’re way down there by so-and-so’s house.” Well great, that’s about a half mile away!  Back we run to the house and on our way Bean runs up the back of my leg with her bike and we both crash to the ground. No time to cry though, chickens are on the loose! We get to the house and load two boxes and tape into the car and drive down to where Dylan said the chickens are.  All the while I was thinking to myself, “What the hell am I going to do if I catch these things? Put them in the car? In a box? Maybe just round them up with packing tape!”  The worst thing is, those damn chickens hate everyone but Bean so I have to get a four year old to help me catch chickens on the road. Oh, this should be loads of fun!

We get to the end of the road and no chickens. A part of me was delighted, the other part didn’t want to tell Bean they were gone.  She took it pretty well, saying that Bigfoot probably finally caught them. Bigfoot lives in Washington, you know!  Of course, she knows we’ll just buy her new chicks anyway and who doesn’t love new chicks? 

At this point, Lulu is still on her bike and I tell her to go back home to her room since the drama is over.  I stop and get the mail and notice Lulu has not passed me to go home.  Great! Where did she go?  In my rearview mirror I see her peddling, the opposite direction of home, as fast as she can!  Oooooohh no you don’t little sassy pants!  I turn around and drive up next to her. “Where ya goin’?” I ask.  “Away!” she yells.   

Of course.  She’s mad so she’s running away.  First the chickens, now the girl. How did I get here?  My day was going so well before I started the damn laundry! 

Lulu was escorted home, remanded to her room to do her own laundry, the bike was confiscated, she no longer receives allowance and I got a small pay raise!

The chickens returned. They literally just came running to their coop out of nowhere.  Bean was delighted, she fed them and watered them and loved on them.  Like any good mother she was relieved that they were okay and evidently after the relief wore off, she thought punishment would be the next step. I looked out the window to see her drenching the poor chickens with her super soaker water gun. I’m not sure they’ll respond well to water gun therapy but I do know they are scared to death to leave their coop at the moment!

So, what if Mom did quit doing all of her jobs? After today, we’d have no clean laundry (well, Lulu still doesn’t), chickens would be running free, children would go unfed and they might even succeed at running away, chickens would be constantly tortured by 4 year olds with water guns, the house would go un-cleaned, tears would go un-wiped and boo-boos would go un-kissed.  All of those jobs I’d miss terribly if I weren’t a mom so I’ll take my Mom jobs any day…except the laundry.

Friday, August 3, 2012

No More Pepper Spray!!

My plan for this blog was to write about Bean – the crazy child, but as I said in my last post, that child is 100% ALL ME! It’s tough to admit, but she is.  She gets most of her craziness from me and the rest from my husband.  Now, if you know me well, you know I can laugh at myself and I do some dumb things from time to time. I figure the best way to get used to writing about our whole family is start by making fun of myself...just get it out of the way first! So here’s the latest and greatest of me!

This story began over a year ago. My husband was away and there was an alleged attack just a few houses down from us. Of course, I went straight to gun store.  I actually didn’t want a gun because I recognize the fact that I’d likely injure myself or someone else with it and IF I had to use it, I’d be shaking so bad I wouldn’t hit anything anyway! So, I’m looking for the next best thing – A TASER!! Yes! That would be awesome! I could just zap someone! I don’t want the one that you have to actually hold to the bad guy’s skin, I want the one that shoots out probes that shock the crap out of the bad guy! Hhhhmmm, I wonder who I can try this out on. 

Well, as it turned out, the gun store didn’t have any super fun tasers so I decided to go home and shop around a little while but I got some pepper spray in the mean time.  This stuff is supposed to be great. It’s even has UV dye and it’s supposed to be sticky so the assailant can’t get it off and police can identify him/her if they’re caught.  Sounds good, right?!

Right!  Let’s remember, my husband is gone and I can’t simply call him on the phone to ask him dumb questions (which he’s extremely used to). So I’m thinking, “If a gun has a safety, shouldn’t a can of pepper spray?” Absolutely it should! What if the kids got a hold of it? They’d surely spray me for fun…or the dog, the poor dog. I can see this could be a real problem.  I couldn’t find any real directions for the can so it must not have a safety, a simple point and shoot method perhaps?

I had to figure this out so that if I were attacked, I’d know exactly how this thing works. So I tried it – just sprayed it into the sink – easy enough.  I felt better, there’s no safety, which bugs me but now I know. 

Now I’m calmer and ready for bed, I go to wash my face and suddenly my face is on fire! What the hell?! Then it hits me…somehow I got that damned pepper spray on my hands!  My nose, my face, my eyes…they’re all on fire!  And in walks the oldest child…yes, the smart ass.  Perfect!  He’s quick and it doesn’t take him long to figure out what’s happened. While I’m writhing in agony, almost drowning myself under the faucet to make the burning subside he is laying in the floor, laughing uncontrollably and pointing at me!  “You idiot!,” he cries. (He really shouldn't talk to me like that but what can I do about it right now? And, he's right!) “Does Dad realize who he’s left us with?” he bellows in hysterical laughter.  HA HA HA – he’s just sooooo funny. I was sure then that I’d never hear the end of this.

Fast forward to last night. We just moved so I’m not used to the new place yet and hubs was working all night. We live out in the country and I could hear loud music coming closer to the house.  Of course this bothered me, especially considering we had some teenagers “parking” in the dead end next to our driveway a few nights before. So, I locked all the doors, lowered the blinds and crawled into bed…with the lights on.  Then, the damn dog needs out – just great! There’s a murderer on the loose and he has to pee!  I quickly let him out and wait for him to want back in – it’s usually only a minute or so. Thirty minutes go by and now I have to go out and look for him because he NEVER stays out that long. So, off I go, into the woods (okay, just our big yard, but at night when you’re scared, it’s the woods) with my pepper spray in hand. I didn’t even make it off the patio before the dog came running in. Thank goodness because I really didn’t feel like being murdered.  The dog and I get back in bed, I rub my eyes and…OMG! Once you’ve had pepper spray in your face, you never forget that feeling! How on earth did this happen…again?! Clearly, there’s residue from the last time you sprayed yourself dumbass! Tears and instant nose running (thank goodness the boy isn’t here mocking me)! It’s worse this time than the first! My lips and eye swelled and maybe I had a reaction but my eye was red for two days!  You’d think by now, I’d have built up a tolerance to that shit! It took about an hour for the pain to subside and vision to be restored.  Once the dizziness and uncontrollably eye watering (maybe I was crying) and I sent the following text to my husband once

The pepper spray is now in the trash and the following text was sent to my husband:
“I do solemnly swear never ever ever to touch a can of pepper spray so long as I live!”   

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Finally Blogging

Welcome to my blog! I've been considering starting a blog for months now, but I really had doubts that anyone would really want to read it. However, at the urging of friends and family - I present to you my blog - Managing Mutiny!  Starting the blog has been easier than I thought it would be but picking the name was really hard. I wanted to succinctly describe my life and what this blog is about. So, what DO I do all day? Right now, I'm  not working so I stay home with our three precious children. And what do they do all day? Ah, yes, they torment me - on purpose. They're trying to declare mutiny and I'm convinced they came out of the womb with this single mission in their life...make Mom crazy! "Whatever it takes, no matter the costs...we will prevail." (That's their motto).  So that's what I do all day! I manage the mutiny! 

Let me introduce you...

The oldest - Dylan. Dylan is very smart and cunning. He amazes me with his whit and to be quite honest, he's just a smart ass - yes, you heard me. He's a smart ass...and he does it well! He's a very good combination of my husband and me although he got a bit more of my temper and my uncanny ability to roll his eyes without even knowing he's doing it! Such talent! From dad, he got his love of hunting and fishing and he's also an avid reader. We call  him the instigator. Why you ask? Because he is easily annoyed which then results in him usually (not always) starting a fight. I think he got this from me, because I too am easily annoyed. Like when he paces back and forth over and over and over...after a little bit, I'll snap...and he knows it so he does that A LOT (his attempt at mutiny). 

Lulu - Isn't she just beautiful? She's the most loving, caring child I've every met. She lives to please everyone around her. She loves to cook and always cries when the smoke alarm goes off. Not because she burnt the food, but because it woke me up and she wanted to serve me breakfast in bed (burnt or not). She is usually very helpful and I think sometimes she even likes her little sister. She is a typical girl, she loves all things pink, ribbons, lace, bows and DRAMA!!!! We also call her the manipulator....don't let her sweet looks deceive you, when provoked (or not) she can make your life miserable. She may not have Dylan's whit but she's very smart and can manipulate even the best of us and she does this a lot (her attempt at mutiny).

 The star of the show...BEAN! There's no way to describe Bean. She's a nut! Each of the kids is funny in their own way but this child pushes her limits daily! She doesn't have a nickname like Instigator or Manipulator - she's just Bean. And what's her talent you ask? Well, she's Bean and she does what she wants! Maybe it's a third child thing, maybe I've given up at this point, but really, I think she's just the craziest, funniest thing I've ever met. In so many ways, she is me - made over. She's loud, she doesn't care what anyone thinks, if she loves you, she loves you a lot, but if she doesn't like you, you're done as far as she's concerned. She loves bugs and dirt and hunting (one day she'll get to go), fishing, catching crabs and moths. She adores her chickens and she loves her garden of fresh tomatoes and strawberries (her main source of sustenance). 

This blog is mostly because of Bean. I usually post all of her silliness on Facebook but everyone has urged me to blog about her. Well, I have three little monsters and I can't just blog about her but I can assure you, most of my posts will some how revolve around this crazy child!  I'll also post about what's going on with us and I have my own rants I'd like to post about. We'll just see how it goes and hopefully, it'll make someone laugh. 

A little about us. In May we moved from Texas to Washington. Talk about a climate change! We left Texas and it was 98 degrees, perfect weather for us since we're native Texans. The kids had been swimming since early April and we expected an adjustment period when we got to Washington. We didn't expect 50 degree weather in May! Of course it was raining when we got here but hey, it's supposed to rain in Washington! 

After a few weeks in Washington, we started meeting people who would tell us how wonderful the summers here are. My response, "Summer? It's JUNE! Summer started last month and we're freezing!" Well, evidently, summer in Washington starts on July 4th...who knew?!  So, as we sat by the fire, snuggled in blankets and hoodies watching fireworks on the Fourth of July...I realized something horrible...we were freezing and summer did not start on the 4th of July!

It's August now and we're slowly adjusting but Bean is 100% convinced that I'm crazy and it's really winter. She's actually mad that we've been here two months and it hasn't snowed. I tried to explain to her that it's summertime here but she then explained to me that she's wearing wintertime clothes...well, yes, she is...her Texas wintertime clothes, which consist of Jeans and t-shirt and the occasional hoodie. In Texas, if you wear jeans, it is winter! The kid has a point! So, here we are, in Washington, waiting on the summer.