Thursday, October 30, 2008

I've Been Boo'd Have You?

Imagine my surprise when opening my blog and getting the sneak attack!! I have been Boo'd thanks to Lisa Adventures in JujuBoo

If you have been Boo'd by me make sure and go see Lisa she has a great page!!

Happy Birthday Frankie-Lu

17 years ago today on a wacky pre-halloween night this gorgeous child was brought into my life. Ashley-Frances has been a delight, a despair, a challenge and a joy for that entire time.

Frankie came into this world having to wait on her brothers. I knew that I was due to deliver around halloween so in August I made sure to get the materials for her brother's halloween costumes. they shouldn't have to suffer just because mom was in the hospital (the were 3 and 20 months like they would have remembered). Of course me, being me didn't actually get started until the 29th of October. I knew I only had a couple of days, working into the night about 1 am my water broke.. but I wasn't finished with the costumes yet!! So I called the doctors office, let them know that my water had broke. The of course told me to get in right away.. "I can't" I wailed, "the costumes aren't finished yet. I will be in about 6.. that will give me time to finish the costumes, take a shower and shave my legs". (yes this was my 3rd child, I knew shaved legs were a must). Right on schedule, around 5:30 I got my husband up and we were on the way to the hospital, to be greeted by a snarling doctor wondering where I had been. I explained that I had told his service that I wouldn't be in until 6 (which it now was) to which he responded.. No one actually believed you.. Finally I was ushered into labour and delivery where I promptly fell asleep (hey I was exhausted). 6 hours later and NO medication later they were interrupting my sleep telling me to push.. out she came! all perfect and wonderful! "honey it's a girl" my husband exclaimed (after 2 stepsons and 2 sons I so very much wanted that baby girl) and in my excitement I said "oh that's nice" then rolled over and fell back asleep.

Poor baby.. of course her father more than made up for it.. from that moment on he developed a severe case of girl stupid.. He was hers for the asking, even as our marriage disintegrated, his seeing his kids less and less, this one pretty much had him wrapped around her finger.

So happy birthday Frankie-Lu, mom loves you

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Halloween is Coming

This is actually a very poignant time for me, you see I love Halloween.. my parents had one of the cool houses when I was a kid (nowhere near the extreme that they do it up now, but spooky music wafting out the window and my dad sitting quietly on the porch ready to scare the kids). Every year we would have a pumpkin carving contest and 6 pumpkins would line the front porch.

Now I have tried very hard to emulate this tradition for my kids and when they were younger and we were stable it was easier, every year even after the divorce we would purchase pumpkins and get to carving.. and by the end of the day.. 5 little pumpkins would like the balcony railing. With the onslaught of poverty I had to stop this about 4 years ago. Now I hope they remember those moments.. that they choose to pass them on.

When they were little I spent hours on their halloween costumes, I had themes each child would have a matching costume, at least until they got old enough to choose their own. We have had an awesome dinosaur, a knight in shining armour (complete with horse), clown and jester, peter pan, captain hook and tinkerbell, a ghost (made from garbage bags.. let me tell you this one was tough), mickey mouse, a spider, a witch, a dancer, alfaelfa, the list goes on.

Now as they age, really when we were kids trick or treating had stopped by now, the costumes are definitely more from their heads.. my youngest is still floundering between Marilyn Monroe and a boy (what a choice) and I have no clue what my older daughter is doing.. all I know is, I will miss it.. each step they take away from me and on to their own unique selves.

Sometimes I love being a mom

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Family CookBook

We have in our household a family cookbook.. this book was created and designed years ago by my wonderful cousin S.. She painstakingly tracked down family recipes, stories and pictures and compiled them into one masterpiece. To say that this book is anything less than a work of art would be a crime. It was compiled when JR was 5 since he is now 20, you do the math...

Anyway, each of my children at one time or another will peruse the book, find a recipe that they like or just read the stories about family members that they either barely know or don't know at all. They have shared it with friends and better yet the parents of friends
. It has become to them a symbol of what our family is.

As they age, I know I need to find a way to get each of them a copy for when they start their own households, then I think... can I convince S.. that it is time for a second edition? I mean 15 years later there has to be some new family recipes out there. There is an entire generation that has now come into their own, raised kids and have plenty to share. I know my kids would love to contribute and of course receive the new book.

What makes this book so special though is the way it brings enjoyment to all, how it brings our family together and convinces them that no matter what.. there has to be a recipe for it in the family cookbook.
The pages have been written on, recipes altered.. memories jotted in the margins.. yes this book has become more than just a cookbook, it has become our family journal, I think it may be time to update the journal.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Am I the Only One Who Says Thank Goodness Its Monday?

After a weekend of bickering, blistering and battling Monday morning has finally dawned and my ever so lovely progeny are back to school.

Tell me who was it that thought up the term Tgif? oh yeah a man.. one who had no clue of all the parameters required for a mother to make it through the weekend. This weekend was filled with those oh so lovely moments where one would do just about anything to forget..

There was the 45 minute discussion on whose conditioner it was and how no one could touch it but her. And then the tears when her older brother took it to work.. good lord it was a bottle of conditioner.

Or there was the argument about pillows... seems my middle son loves to take his sisters pillows and practically tortures her before giving them back. She retaliates by calling him stupid, as he has ADHD this is very devastating to him, and then the youngest is there always ready to give her opinion.

then there is the Sunday morning rush.. two out the door for work and one off to church. It would be great if they managed to do it on their own.. but no, there is always a reason for me to be involved.

Then there is the great shoe debate.. an ongoing battle in this house.. i do not understand.. and then when they cant find theirs they take mine and of course never put them back where they found them either.

And makeup, hello?? does it really matter whose makeup it is? geez louise.. then this morning bright and early my oldest daughter was off to drivers ed all happy and smiling, the youngest was out a half an hour later ready to battle the honors program, the oldest is showering and getting ready for college.. and cori?? well he has a day off... lucky me.

So for me it is TgiM... once they are gone i am back to bed

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Does a Mother Proud

Today I was listening to my children bicker and some rather fun things came out of it. One of them was my oldest daughter out of the blue stating "I can make beer come out of the bottle from the bottom by hitting it really hard".

Oh how my heart fluttered with joy, the pride erupting from my soul (did i mention she is 16). All those honor classes, years spent learning music and time spent encouraging her to become a sophisticated young lady.. snorts.. yeah that worked. Fortunately she did qualify that she learned it on mythbusters and it really doesn't work with carbonated drinks, just water. Whew at least she isn't off carousing wildly at weekend parties learning how to tie a cherry stem into a knot with her tongue.. Nope she learned that particular skill at home.

Oh the joys of parenting, and the best part is.. when they become unique, interesting, self-sufficient individuals they leave.. Of course that is how one knows that they did their job right.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Back When I Liked 'Em

My two middle children ages 16 and 18 have ever been a source of amusement, bemusement and confusement.. I am sure once they reach adulthood they will remain fast friends, that is assuming they don't kill each other before that.

I am convinced that these two are in fact one person. Cori is a funny witty dreamer with a sense of loyalty that goes bone deep and Frankie is a pessimistic, logical hard head that if she can't see it, taste it or touch it, it can't be real and yet inside of her beats one of the biggest hearts on the planet. Cori has ADHD and is a bit immature (fortunately that is something we all outgrow) and Frankie was born practical and self sufficient.

As children they could play together for hours in silence then break out into huge knock down drag out scream fests, as teenagers well it is pretty much the same. Except the arguments are meaner and hurt me more (not them they just blow it off).But because these two are so wonderfully close and right on the brink of leaving me to go off on their own grand adventures I wanted to share a favorite memory of mine.

It was summer 1996 right after the Atlanta Olympics, remember the magnificent 7? remember Kari Struggs? her fantastic jump into history and Bella Karoyli running after her and collecting her. Carrying her about for the rest of the time? Well my two crazy kids were playing in the living room one day.. Frankie (4) would run across the room and do a rather interesting form of a cartwheel and collapse to the ground. Then Cori (6) would dash over pick her up and help her hobble to the sofa. Amazed I watched having absolutely no clue as to what they were doing. When I finally asked.. they looked up at me with shining faces and brilliant smiles and said "we're playing Olympic Gymnast mommy" I laughed until tears fell down my face, watching these two clever children with their unique perspective on things.

And as I watch them now, I think of this and smile

Each Morning the Dulcet Tones Awake Me

While I truly enjoy spending time with my kids and I love being the mom that is the designated driver I find I hate mornings. Not because I am usually up late and could use the sleep and not because I can not think with out that first glorious cup of caffeine, both of which are true. BUT because with morning comes the inevitable squabbling, bickering and out and out screaming that has become a part of our morning ritual.

First thing off the bat is the countless alarms that everyone ignores until I am up and moving dragging myself out of bed and then them. Then the needless grumbling about how they only need 5 more minutes. Which of course leads me to have to go back and wake them up again 15 minutes later. Then when one is awake she and invariably it is a she since my one and only morning child is my daughter, feels the need to bellow at her sister. Telling her it is time to get up. Having the incredible trickle down affect as to wake up BOTH boys. One of whom is not a morning person and the other whom makes sure the rest of us are aware of the sacrifice he is making.

Once the household is awake, the mad scramble for the bathroom begins, no one understands that in the natural order of things each has a time they leave and that denotes their time in the bathroom. No, each wants it when they want it, schedule or not. And why is it exactly that they can never tell when there isn't a towel in the bathroom until AFTER they get in the shower. They then proceed to bellow at the top of their lungs for someone to bring them a towel, which we have no clean ones since they all disappear into the bedrooms never to be seen again.

And no morning is complete without the mad, frantic search for shoes. They never seem to want the ones they can find. All of which is accompanied by a running commentary of insults and complaints.

Leaving me exhausted once they are out the door and wondering once again, why is it I am home?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Getting Started

So I started a blog called ShauniSpeaks.. I had wanted it to be about what ever was on my mind and then it became about the kids. Dealing with their day to day lives and idiosyncrasies I decided that that wasn't what i wanted. This is the spot I am gonna talk about the kids, ShauniSpeaks will be just that. my ideas, thoughts and visions of what I see in the world around me.

Here you get to read about the insanities of raising four unique individuals. They are currently 14, 16, 18 and 20. Rumour has it two of them are adults and on their way.. Someone should mention this to them.

As i move on I am sure I will share the rants and raves of the stereotypical single mother. From college woes to Freshmen blues. To dealing with sister/sibling rivalry to trying to figure out when not to throttle one's child.

Life goes on for me, each day is an adventure in parenting and I hope this works.