Monday, April 28, 2008

What We're Fixin' To Do...

I love the Spring. All things become new again. The trees are green, the flowers are blooming and best of all.........

The garden gets planted! We're a little behind this year and instead of starting from seed like we had intended, I had to purchase plants.

Can you see our little patch of dirt in the background?

-Tomatoes (3 different kind)
-Jalapeno (because we are spicy kind of people)
-Crooked Neck Yellow Squash (I think their little necks are cute)
-Zucchini Squash (for infinite amounts of zucchini bread)
-Cantaloupe (nothin' better)

We will probably plant some pickling cucumbers (using seeds) too. Because we all know you can't have a plate of freshly picked, sliced tomatoes without a few slices of freshly picked cucumbers as well! Oh, this makes me happy. (Sigh...)

Oh yea, and lettuce too. For plenty of fresh garden salads. And BLT's. And burgers.

Monk will start hoeing rows here shortly and then I will don my 50 spf sunscreen and join him. I'll put my hands in the warm, moist dirt, smelling it's earthy smell that I love (gloves are for sissies) and I'll take my trusty trowel and begin to dig holes for all of my wonderful, new plants.

I'll tenderly give them new residence in the rich, dark soil where we'll eventually watch them grow and produce delicious vegetables and fruits for us to enjoy and give to our friends (anyone remember our bumper crop of Calabaza squash in the Summer of 2006?). I'll cage the tomato plants so they can climb big and tall, giving them the best opportunity to yield plenty of red, ripened goodness.

Then I'll stand back, looking at our accomplishments, dusting the mud from my knees...

and pray that I'll not throw up.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

It's Heeeeerrrrre!

The pukey, icky, nauseated feeling that I've felt so many times before.

That beast called Morning Sickness.

That term would make me laugh hysterically if I didn't think I would vomit while doing so. It's such a temporary sounding term. And wouldn't it be nice if "morning sickness" only showed up between the hours of say, 6 am and 11 am? It certainly would make my life easier. Especially seeing that here I sit, typing away at 3:45 pm, nauseated as ALL GET OUT!

But I'm not bitter. Really.

It's also early this time. By 3 weeks. I'm not a happy camper about this. But alas, this is life among the pregnant, pukey masses. And I am their leader.

So, bear with me if posting is sporadic. Bear with me if I whine too much and talk of vomitous type things. Bear with me as I get through the next few months of lying on the couch, the bed, the bathroom floor and various and sundry places of comfort and non-comfort alike.

Because this is life. And while I may not be enjoying all of it right now.....

life is still good.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Gotta Love Keyword Analysis

Statcounter is the site I use to keep up with the stats on my blog. I've used Statcounter from the beginning and while I don't feel the need to check it umpteen thousand times a day any more, I still enjoy going to it every so often to see where I am in the area of readership.

By the way, there are a lot more readers than there are commentors. And all I have to say about that is, "Come out from hiding you big chickens!!". I really do enjoy a good comment. I'm just sayin'.

Anyway, I was perusing the Keyword Analysis tonight. For those of you who don't know (and for those of you that do know and just don't care) Keyword Analysis is the words folks may type into a random search engine that bring them to your blog. Sometimes, these things make me chuckle greatly. Sometimes they make me snort loudly. Tonight was one of those nights.

Here is some examples:

Num Perc.Search Term

316.67%monks wife blogspot - this one is obvious enough, eh?

211.11%fat wife - why yes, yes I am a fat wife.

15.56%monk's real wife - his real wife? he has another wife? I'd like to know where!

15.56%husband forces enema into wife - Oh my word. That one nearly made me wet my pants laughing and then it just left me speechless. And for the record, Monk has never forced an enema on me. Thankfully. I'm sure you will all rest easy now knowing this little factoid.

That's all I got, people. It's ugly, ain't it?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I Am SO Busted!

The jig is up.

I didn't finish the girl's room. (hanging head in shame and shuffling feet uncomfortably on the floor)

I did do a FEW things in there though. Not much. Hardly anything. I put a few toys in a bucket for Goodwill. I know, I know, I am such a schmuck!!

Let me explain (this is the part where I make excuses like my teenage children).

Number one, it has been a busy week. I've had appointments I didn't plan on having. I've had blood drawn, not once, but TWICE! And tonight, while at the midwife's office, I got all hot and woozy feeling while the needle was in my arm and my midwife, Ann, wouldn't let me get up without eating peanut butter crackers and orange juice (it felt like pre-school all over again). That has NEVER happened to me before and it was rather...weird.

Also, we are trying to buy a new (used) car. The "Loser Cruiser" is to the point where someone needs to shoot the dang thing and put it out of its misery. And because we are glutton for punishment, we are looking into buying a big, thirsty Suburban so we can get 15 miles per gallon while gas is almost $3.50 a gallon. These are things that happen when one's brood starts increasing yearly.

And lastly, which is the most pathetic excuse of all....I'm just tired. I've taken a nap EVERY SINGLE DAY this week and twice on Tuesday. I'm old, people. Old and pregnant. I can't do the things I used to.

Okay, that's a lie. I can, I'm just lazy. Tired and lazy. If I had a baby that would sleep through the night, or at the very least for 5 hours at a time, I might not feel so tired. The lazy part? Well, shucks. I just don't know.

And tomorrow and Saturday aren't looking much better. Tomorrow, I've a birthday party to take a certain 8 year old to that is practically in Oklahoma! Alright, I'm exaggerating, but it is 40 minutes away. Not that I mind. I get to see my friend. And on Saturday Monk and I are attending our Birth Class Reunion that was supposed to have taken place, um....7 months ago!!

My point is that I'm usually game for one big "thing" per day and for the past week my big "things" have not involved cleaning. Therefore, I'm pooped.

I plan on still doing the room, it will just take a little longer than usual. Maybe 2009? I jest. Anyhoo, that's where I am people.

Lash me with wet noodles if you must. I'm a loser, I know.

By the way, no age cracks. Capiche? Loser cracks are fine, just no age cracks.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I Forgot A Momentous Occassion

Baby Girl turned 9 months old yesterday and I forgot to blog about it. I planned pictures and everything. My tired brain just plumb forgot. I guess it's the Bad Mother of the Year Award for me now, huh? It doesn't matter that I have four other children, a husband and am pregnant and oozing weepy hormones from every crevice in my body. Nope, I'm just bad. To the bone.

So, without further she is in all of her 9 month old chubby glory!

All 21 lbs of her. Technically, this picture was a few weeks before she was 9 months, but she hasn't changed much. Maybe a pound or twenty. And no, this isn't my bed. I wish. This was at the lovely Hampton Inn. I truly love their beds. I want one muy mucho.

Here she is trying to eat the camera. Because we all know she is just famished. Poor undernourished baby. She has the cutest dimples next to her nose when she smiles!

Oh my word, she has certainly changed our lives.

And now for a list of her accomplishments:

-she crawls.
-she walks around furniture.
-she stands alone, unassisted for several minutes at a time.
-she says mama, dada, uh-oh and a few things in Mandarin Chinese.
-she will not touch baby food. She feeds herself things like chicken, steak, egg yolks, cereal, peas, carrots, green beans, potatoes, broccoli and the list goes on.
-she drinks from a sippy cup
-she puts every foreign object known to man in her mouth. She has even pooped a few interesting things. She must be watched like a hawk.
-she has 4 teeth through and two more coming in. She is like a T-Rex, that kid.
-she has more hair than Monk.
-she has her mother's lovely personality and her father's temper. She's fit thrower.
-she knows her alphabet and her times tables through 4.
-I'm kidding.

Wow. She's a sweet one, that girl. It's hard to believe that she will only be the "baby" for 7 more months. Seven more months of her "firsts" and then we get to start all over again. But you know what? She will always be my baby. Just like the rest of them.

They're all my babies. Forever.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Organization and the Lack Thereof

I love my children. I really do. But people, children are messy.

I do believe that most people are born sloppy by nature and have to be trained to be neat and tidy. Those that know me are now rolling on the floor laughing hysterically. Stop it! All of you! I am anything BUT neat and tidy. I like to say I'm creative. I am a work in progress. I am organizationally challenged.

The kids? Yeah, they're like me.

And Monk? He's more like Oscar Madison from The Odd Couple. So genetically, our children are doomed.

If I could change one thing about myself it would be my organizational skills. I long to be organized and neat. I yearn to not have paper piles that I incessantly have to go through looking for some piece of mail I've misplaced. I dream of never losing my wedding band and then finding it covered in dust in some lone spot, up high on the computer cabinet. After TWO years!

I've have really been trying hard as of late to train my girls to be neater. (I've given up on the 16 yo son. He just stinks. Period. He's cute, but he stinks. Or rather his room stinks. He just smells like a gallon of Axe on most days. To cover up his man stink.) I'm finding that when one unorganized person tries to teach little unorganized people how to be organized, it is pretty much futile. The blind leading the blind, if you may.

I've made many attempts at organization in the past, most of the time giving up within a few days. Mostly because around here, by the time you get one room neat and tidy the rest of the house looks like a tornado went through it.

But this time it's different. It HAS to be. You know why?


Six children, two adults, a dog and two cats in a 4 bedroom, 1950 square foot house. Organization will have to be a must. Do you know why?

THE SIXTH CHILD, FOR CRYIN' OUT LOUD!! (There's a pattern here people, stay with me.)

No, really. The real reason is...

My own personal sanity. Noise doesn't bother me. Running through the house doesn't faze me. Viruses involving vomit are not pleasant, but I can deal with them. Children tying one another up is like water off a duck's back for me. But the clutter?



Once again, I'm attempting to get organized and I'm going to use you people to keep me accountable. I've tried this before and failed miserably, but this time I have people that I know will stalk me and force accountability upon me whether I want it or not. You know who you are.

Plus, I'm on the fast train to morning sickness any day now and time is of the essence. So this week, my room to organize is....the little girl's bedroom (insert ominous music here). Have mercy!

So pray for me as I begin to conquer the likes of Polly Pocket and Barbie (the shameless hussy). Bitty Babies, Cabbage Patch and that wretched plush, called stuffed animals (may I just say that stuffed animals are an invention of the devil, himself).

I'm goin in and kickin' some baby doll bootie! I will prevail!

I will! I will! I will!

I hope.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Budding Pianist

We firmly believe in starting them young around here

This is one of her favorite pastimes. And you know what? I let her do it. Not only do I think it's completely adorable watching her get on her tip toes to play the keys, but I get the biggest kick out of the rolls on her thighs. Thigh rolls are totally acceptable on those aged 3 and under.

On the 38 year old mother of 5? Not so much.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Painfully Pictureless

As you might have noticed, I haven't posted a whole lot of pictures since returning from our little jaunt East. Do you want to know why?

Well, I'll tell you anyway.

My computer, being the hateful, moody girl she is, has decided she will no longer accept my USB cord to my Kodak camera. I've wooed her, coaxed her and begged her to no avail. She has chosen to no longer recognize or even acknowledge my Kodak's existence.

It reminds me of the time when I was at Sixth Grade Camp and a hateful, moody girl named Michelle Wright told everyone to ignore me. And they did. For one whole day all of my friends ignored me. When I would talk to them, they didn't even acknowledge my existence. Well, except one. Jenny Raupp. She and I became most excellent friends after that day and remained friends through high school. We also acquired the nickname of "The Puddin' Heads" one summer at Band Camp. But for reasons of time and quite frankly, boring you to death, I won't go into that right now.

Now you might be asking yourselves why I'm comparing my computer, specifically my CPU, to a horrific Sixth Grade Camp experience. Well, let me tell you.

Computers are a lot like pre-teen girls. They have a wealth of information about anything and everything, yet all of it may not be true. They also remember everything you've done for past umpteen months, but with one false move they might erase you from their memory forever. They both take a boot to get going and if you make them mad they tend to lock up and shut down.

In comparing my computer issues to the issues I encountered with a certain girl at Sixth Grade Camp, I've learned some things about myself.

One, I'm an adult now and while I have never, nor will I ever, treat another human being with such disdain, I realize in her immaturity and childishness, this girl was looking to further herself by hurting me. The computer? Not so much. Although, there are times where I could swear it has a personal vendetta towards me.

And two, in my youth I chose not to stand up for myself. I let these girls get the best of me and I willingly forgave them without even expressing my hurt. So desperate for acceptance, I let myself become someone else's punching bag, figuratively speaking, of course.

And where does this all tie in with the computer? Well, where as a child, I acted as a child when I was hurt. And as an adult?

I'll just take the dang computer out front and run over it 1 or 158 times with the Windstar.

It's nice to know I've grown and matured so much since I was twelve.

* My wonderful, computer literate hubby fixed the problem and has the old girl downloading pictures once again. I told you she had it in for me!

Have y'all ever heard of the 3% rule? One must be 3% smarter than the object they are working with. I think this pretty much speaks volumes about me and the computer. Well, me and a lot of other things too, but that's for another post.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Big News in Monkville

I almost always have something to write about. Whether it's interesting or not, I always manage to find something to blather on about on most days. Fortunately for y'all, today is no different. Well, technically it's a wee bit different in that it's actually something exciting and not...well...dumb.

Y'all ready?

You sure?

Drum roll puhleeeeeze.................badabadabadabadabadabadabadabadabada
(my drum roll sound effects)

The Monk family would like to announce:

A NEW MONK BABY is due to arrive sometime in early December of 2008!!

We are so very happy at the thought being blessed and entrusted by God with yet another new life to raise for His glory. Please join us in prayer for a safe and healthy pregnancy for me and this new little one. Ps. 128: 3-5

Oh yeah... and if you could say a few extra prayers for this one NOT to be in the posterior position at birth...this mother and her back would be especially grateful. I'm just sayin'.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Blast You, O Wretched Insomnia!

Here I sit, typing away at 4:25 am. At this ungodly hour the computer becomes my best friend. It is the only time we are on such good terms. I can't sleep and the computer keeps me company. Many would say that this is counterproductive because the screen and all of its blinkity blink is stimulating my brain rather than trying to slow it back down.

To you, I say phooey.

I cannot even begin to express how bad I despise insomnia. Especially while nursing a baby. What usually happens is that I will be up anywhere from 1 - 2 1/2 hours. When the baby nurses every 3-4 hours, it becomes a no win situation. There is pretty much a 100% chance that I will be miserable the rest of the day. And that in turn will make everyone else miserable because I will be a grouch. I bet you all wish you lived with me, huh?

And that, my friends, is why I have such a sunny disposition about the whole rotten situation!

I hear the gentle breathing of all the children and I'm thoroughly jealous. And Monk? He's not even snoring. which is a major plus for all who enjoy a peaceful sleep.

And me?

Bright eyed and eating a cornbread muffin with an orange juice chaser, writing to you fine people. Where, O Where is the vodka when I need it? I am so kidding right now. I definitely prefer rum. Kidding again, people. Remember y'all, it's 4:30 am. Cut me some slack.

Anyway, before this post dies from acute randomness, I shall shut myself up. But before I do...

Anybody got any tips for insomnia? Oi.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

A Whirl of a MIRL

Most of you are scratching your heads and saying to yourselves, "what the devil is a MIRL"? Well, let me enlighten you my bloggy comrades.

MIRL stands for Meet In Real Life. When one blogger meets another blogger in person, one can refer to it as MIRL. I did a little MIRLing myself this past Sunday. As a matter of fact, it was my very first MIRL ever and it couldn't have been with a sweeter person.

I've been reading Jen's blog for probably close to two years and let me tell you - when I met her in real life it was just....WEIRD!! Not because she had a thumb growing out of her forehead or anything, but just actually seeing her and being able to hold a conversation, it was totally exciting. It was in a word.......WONDERFUL!

We were driving back from Virginia and wanted to visit a like minded church around Knoxville. We found Grace Community Church online and when we went to the website I screamed like a girl...oh wait, I am a girl. Why? (as in why did I scream, not why am I a girl. I would hope that I've already realized this about myself after 5 children). Because I knew I had seen that church somewhere. I racked my brain for oh..about 3 minutes and then it hit me! JenIG!!

So, being the crazy woman I am, I emailed her out of the blue telling her we would be there. She was ever SO gracious in emailing me back and we determined it was a date. I was rather psychotic sounding in my email and Jen could have ditched me right then, but being a fellow semi-psycho blogger herself, she was ever so gracious in her reply.

And sure enough, Sunday morning we walked through the door and Jen's lovely daughter Coie was standing there and said, "are you Michelle?". We were graciously greeted and seated and all manner of niceties shown to us. We were special!

Afterwards, Jen and I were able to talk for about 30 minutes and it was SO great! I felt like I already knew here because of her blog (am I creepy for that?). We have determined that we most definitely could hang out and it was decided that when I go back to Tennessee in July to visit my mom, that the girls and I will visit with Jen and her family for a day! Woo-Hoo! A visit to a little farm! With goats and everything! It's like the Walton's!

Sigh....I think I like the whole MIRLing thing!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The Best April Fool's Ever - No Foolin'!

The year was 1993. It was March 31st and I was a week out from the due date of my second child. My mom was in town helping with preparations before the birth and attempting, in vain, to keep up with my steely willed 18 month old son.

We had just left the hardware store when suddenly I felt a twinge in my belly. Yes, a twinge. That is the only way to describe what I felt. Maybe it was intuition, maybe it was a contraction or it might even have been gas, but something told me this baby was coming before the April 9th due date.

Later that evening, as I was paying bills, I realized the next day was going to be April 1st. I chuckled that evil chuckle I do when I have something completely sneaky and evil brewing. It's a gift, really. I told my mom that we needed to call my sisters ( I have three to be exact) the next day and mess with their heads. Messin' with heads is a specialty of mine. I said we needed to call and tell them that I had the baby and it was a girl (no one, not even me, expected me to have a girl). She laughed her evil laugh and agreed. It was a plan, y'all. The April Fool's of all jokes.

This is the part of the story where God decides He was going to get one over on me.

At 4:45 am April 1, 1993 I was awakened with a contraction. I tried to ignore it and go back to sleep, but then I had another. Then I did what every 9 month pregnant woman does at the crack of dawn when she can't sleep. I went to the kitchen and got a Pop-Tart. Brown sugar and cinnamon. Frosted.

I sat on the couch for a while, still having contractions at fairly regular intervals, munching my Pop-Tart, not thinking for a moment that this was labor. It was then that the urgent need for the facilities hit me. As I ran to the bathroom and sat, I realized at this moment that "hey, this could be labor". Then I realized I had lost my mucous plug and other signs of laborish type things and I knew that the show was about to begin. I quickly showered and woke my husband. The contractions were quite regular and very bearable at this point.

I woke my mother to let her know we needed to head to the hospital. In her sleepy astonishment at having been awoke pre-dawn, she questioned my motives. I assured her that it was in fact was the real thing and that I did not relish the idea of waking up at the crack of dawn to pull a practical joke.

And off we went.

Upon arriving, I was ushered to a bed, issued my hospital gown and promptly checked. I was 2cm dilated. No need for alarm. No need for doctors yet. There was plenty of time. My husband went down to the cafeteria while I sat up in the bed signing hospital red tape papers.

All of a sudden..POP! And it was then that a warm, gush of fluid filled the bed. Green fluid to be exact. All over my socks. My birth socks. The only socks I had brought. I was ticked. I calmly called the nurse and said I thought my water had broken. Thought? Hello? Um, quite definitely YES!! Sure enough, my water was broke and my status at Labor and Delivery was secure. We were havin' a baby, today.

Things happened quickly after this. I don't want to draw the story out and yet I don't want to leave out the good details. So, I'll do my best to be brief and graphic at the same time.

A quick synopsis of events thus far:

-4:45 am awoke with contractions
-5:45 am left for hospital
-6:30 am water broke

At this point, the doc comes and tells me since I was dilated past a 2 and my water had broken I could have my epidural if I liked. Like the uneducated dummy I was, even though I was in no real pain, I agreed. This was the day when enemas were still administered and well....I had mine administered. And that's all I'll say about that.

After my cleansing and while waiting for my epidural, things began to pick up substantially. Ouch, these contractions were hurting. By the time the anesthesiologist meandered into the room, I had lost my sunny disposition and was pretty much ready to use a few choice words cuss. The nurse was really working with me to keep my cool while Pain Dude jabbed foot long needles into my back. I kept telling the nurse I needed to go to the bathroom. I thought the...uh..enema wasn't finished with me yet..ahem. When Needle Guy was finished the nurse had the sense enough to check me. And guess what, y'all? I was totally and completely dilated. I was going to give birth. NOW!! Sans the epidural because at this point they turned it off!!

Oh. Yes. They. Did.

Apparently things were happening quicker than any of them would have liked or expected because I have yet to see medical equipment and personnel appear faster than that day 15 years ago. Liquids were being squirted, body parts we being sheathed, but one question remained.


Apparently we were past the point of waiting for my doctor. We were now to the point of grabbing the first licensed physician in the hallway and dragging him to my room. All I know is that he was a balding fellow and he threw his tie over his right shoulder as they gowned and gloved him for the catch.

He then asked the unthinkable. Push. What? I want my epidural. Nope, that sucker was turned off a long time ago. Now push. But it burned - like the Johnny Cash song - it was like a ring of fire! Nope - I was losin' it. It was a this point that a burly nurse with a giant cold sore on her lip grabbed me by my cheeks ( on my face) and told me to focus. Who was I to argue with someone who quite possibly had the worst case of Herpes Virus Simplex I, that I had ever seen.

And so I pushed.

The baby was born and to my was a GIRL! A real, live, bouncing baby girl! All mine!

It was 8:47 am. All of this had transpired in a matter of 4 hours! When we called our mothers, who were together watching the steely willed 18 month old, they screamed. They didn't believe us when we said it was a girl and then screamed some more when we assured them that it was not, in fact, some cruel April Fool's joke. They jumped up and down hugging each other while holding the steely willed 18 month old, making him cry.

Today, that baby girl turned 15. I never thought I could love her more than I did the day she was born, but I was wrong. I love her more and more every day. She and I are very close and I am so thankful God gave her to me. She's a smart, funny, beautiful girl. She's a great big sister despite the fact that she loves to torture her younger siblings.

So April Fool's is a special day for me. It was the day God gave me my first daughter.

Happy Birthday Madgirl. I love you.