Wishes Do Come ... Ew.

So if you've "Liked" Fighting off Frumpy on Facebook (and if you haven't, click here!), you probably remember this status update from the other day:

Ha. Ha. Hahahahaha. I should be more careful what I wish for.

Remember my last post?

Well. I learned that it doesn't matter how hard you hope and pray and sanitize and scrub and hold your breath and walk around with your t-shirt over your nose: if your four children come down with a nasty, barfy, poopy stomach virus at the same time, and you are in charge of cleanup, you're gonna get it too.

And get it, I did. It was like everybody's collective sickness balled up into one big heinous super-germ and was all, "Let's attack Rita! It'll be fun! Yaaaay!"

The boys were pretty much over it by then, thank goodness, but that wasn't exactly a blessing. Because although they were home from school, they were still feeling well enough to want to run amok wreak havoc play. And y'all? My husband was already at work by the time I started throwing up, so I was on my own with four kids for most of the day. Now, I like to consider myself a fairly vigilant mother, but there's really only so much you can do in the way of discipline when you're posted up on the toilet holding a bucket in front of your face.

Yeah. It was like that.


Luckily, the baby was cool with chilling with me all day in the bed (and crawling around on the floor while I was making my various contributions to the porcelain throne). But as you can imagine, when a seven-year-old, a five-year-old and a three-year-old have the run of the house ... it gets ugly. Like, nothing but (an entire brand-new box of) popsicles and dry cereal (spilled all over the place) all day long ugly. And Legos and paper and various other crap all over the place ugly. And unflushed toilet and fridge left hanging open ugly. I swear, minus parental nagging, they take the opportunity to do pretty much everything I always tell them not to do.

So with trembling thumbs, between bouts of vomit, I texted my husband, "Please come home. I need you." To which he grandly replied that he was coming home early.

Now technically what I meant by that was, "Come home like right this minute because OMG I am so freaking sick and I can't control these kids from the toilet or the bed and I need you to just take the day off and come home and take care of things while I can't. Booohooohoooooooo."

But Curtis apparently interpreted my text as, "Come home like only an hour early because even though I'm sick I'm handling things just wonderfully and I will be perfectly fine between 6:30am and 3:30pm. Tra la la!"

So despite leaving work early (he and I have very different definitions of "early"), he was gone for most of the day. By the time he got home, the house was trashed. On top of that, I hadn't done any of my usual daily chores. The dishes in the dishwasher were clean, so the dirty dishes were piling up in the sink. The cats' litter box was overflowing. The dogs' food and water bowls were empty. The laundry was in a mound beside the washing machine.

And you know what?

It was still like that yesterday morning when I finally could get out of bed.

Plus a few bowls and a pan from where Curtis had made a nutritious dinner of ramen noodles for himself and the kids.

"But hey, they're still alive, and nobody got hurt," he said cheerfully when I pointed this out.

So it's true: moms don't get sick days. Because even when they are forced to have a sick day - like, tethered to the toilet - they are faced with double, even triple, even quadruple the workload when they get well. I had to take care of the things that didn't get done while I was sick, plus the mess(es) the boys had made, plus disinfect every surface in the house. I got serious, y'all: I used two entire tubs of Clorox wipes on every switch, knob, button, and handle, doused the rest of the joint with bleach water and Lysol, and washed every soft thing I could get my hands on in scalding hot water.

Curtis is lucky he didn't get it. For one, because it was a horrible and excruciating virus - but also because he is a huge baby when he is sick and I probably would have killed him.

I, on the other hand, don't know whether I'm lucky or not. Because, sure, my wish came true ... but couldn't it have been a better wish, like the anonymous donation of funding for a boob job world peace?

PS - I've got a giveaway up! Check out the Giveaways & Reviews page! :)

Sick and Icky

I know I'm unforgivably behind on posting, but let me just explain what I've been dealing with: sleepless nights. Barf bowls. Gatorade and saltine crackers. Endless washing of sheets and towels.

Yep. Stomach virus. So far we haven't all been sick, but I'm not holding my breath.

(Actually, I am holding my breath a lot. I am also spraying a lot of Lysol and washing my hands until they're raw and scrubbing everything down with disinfectant wipes. I am not down with getting the pukes, y'all.)

Anyway, until I can get time to write a decent blog post without having to keep one ear open for that telltale "I'm-going-to-barf" whine, I've got a giveaway for you! Click on over to the "Giveaways and Reviews" page and check it out!

Sakes Alive, Cameron's FIVE!

Five years ago today, Cameron came into our lives, looking like a hairy little bodybuilder. Since then, it has been my privilege to watch him grow into the exceptional - albeit slightly weird - dude that he has become. Also to hear some of the gems that come out of his mouth, such as the time he started heading outside and then nonchalantly - and as naturally as can be - said, "Oh shit, I forgot my shoes."*

*He may or may not have picked up that word from yours truly.   

A few more recent Cameron-isms:

"Mom, I did something very clever! I snotted my way out of Colin's trap!"

Coby: "... And then we can shoot the bad guy!"
Cameron: "COBY! That's not what the game is about. It's about love and compassion!" *whomps Coby upside the head*

Cameron: "Mom, do we have the money for a new video game?"
Me: "No."
Cameron: "Well ... can't you just get a paycheck or something?"

Words can't convey the energy, hilarity, and - yes - oddity that this dude brings to my life. He's an anomaly, this one. Stares slack-jawed at the TV in a manner that makes you question his mental capacity, then shows up one day at the age of three and, out of the blue, reads me a chapter book (true story!). Eats paper like there's not a brain in his head, but his preschool teacher gushes about how he's far above average in every area.

He's just ... Cameron.

So here's a special birthday slideshow for my special five-year-old. Hopefully it'll give you a sense of his Cameron-ness.

If nothing else, it'll at least make you glad he lives at my house.


Peenie in a Bottle

Because we're gluttons for punishment insane spontaneous, Curtis and I decided to head to Missouri with the kids for the weekend. It all started when I woke up and checked Facebook and saw that two of my best friends were getting together to paint and I was all, "I wish I could be there!" (pouty face) and Curtis was like, "So let's go," and after I looked at him for a few seconds like he was growing an extra head I shrugged and said, "Why not?"

So we packed up the kids in a fired-up hurry and drove four and a half hours so I could spend like three hours with my friends before a winter storm hit and everybody had to get off the roadways and go home and we were iced in at my mom's until we left the next morning. But that's beside the point.

Anyway, as any good parent knows, you always - ALWAYS - have your kids go pee before getting into the car, especially on a longish trip. So as we were packing up to go home, I personally stood beside the toilet to ensure that each boy left his contribution there before buckling in.

But my almost-five-year-old, Cameron, has an incredible knack for taking like two ounces of liquid and turning it into like twenty-thousand ounces of pee. So about an hour into the trip, he whined from the back seat, "I need to peeeeeeeee."

There was an urgency in his voice that only somebody who's about to piss themselves could muster, so I knew he was serious. But we had a problem: all the other boys, including the baby who tends to scream bloody murder during long car rides, had just fallen asleep. And if we stopped the car, they'd all wake up, and the rest of the ride would be about as unpleasant as a road trip with children could be.

"Can you hold it?" I asked hopefully, already knowing the answer.

"Noooo!" came the desperate reply.

As much as the dudes sometimes put me through, there's one definite bright spot to being the mother of boys: it's that, in a pinch, you don't necessarily have to have a restroom handy ... as long as you have a container capable of securely holding pee.

You see where I'm going with this, right?

I unbuckled and leaned across the middle minivan seats, carefully wedging my body between Coby who was slumped over asleep and Corbin's car seat, into the very back where Cameron was sitting. My eyes searched frantically for a suitable pee receptacle - and finally I spotted this:

Yes. A McDonald's milk container from earlier. That would do the trick.

I held it strategically in front of Cameron. "Just pee in here," I instructed. "I'll hold the bottle."

He looked at me doubtfully.

"Doooo iiiiiit," I hissed.

So he stuck the goods right into the bottleneck and did his bidness. I figured that since it hadn't been that long since he'd peed, he wouldn't have much in there. But I started getting apprehensive as the pee level crept steadily upward toward the top.

"Aren't you done yet?" I kept asking nervously. Oh my Lord it's going to overflow and what am I going to do if it overflows there will be piss all over this seat and the floor and the whole van will stink and it will be a disaster and is that roll of paper towels still stashed in the trunk because -

"I'm done!" Cameron announced.

Whew. No overflow.

But when I looked at the bottle, I froze. Because there was seriously urine right. Up. To. The. Top. Like, if I tipped it even a fraction of a millimeter, it would be spilling out all over the damn place.

And as a bonus?

I couldn't find the lid.

"You're going to have to pull over," I said to Curtis.

"What?" he yelled from the front seat, over the radio, as the van went bumpity bump over what I swear was every single little crack in the road, and the pee precariously swished from side to side.

"I need you to pull -"


"Oh for God's sake, never mind!"

So here I was: practically laying on my stomach, stretched across two rows of seats, with a lidless jug full of urine that was literally one wrong move away from being all over the place. To get back in the front seat, I needed to return to an upright position and then back up - but that wasn't happening without a massive spill unless I was very, veeeeeery careful.

Realizing that I had no choice, I slowly started retreating back into the front seat.

And then felt warmth trickling over my fingers.

Do you know how difficult it is to know there's pee - someone else's pee, even - all over your hand, and yet restrain yourself from taking any instinctive measures to correct it? You know, like throwing the bottle as far as it will go and jumping around like a spaz and screaming oh my gawd GROSS! and wiping it on your jeans or the nearest absorbent surface? I had to wait to do any of that until I was safely back in my seat. And even when I was back in my seat, I was still sitting there holding a bottle of pee with urine-saturated fingers, unable to do anything else but moan, "There's pee on my haaaaand!"

And then, miracle of miracles, my gaze lighted upon the most wonderful sight of all ...

... THE LID.

I don't know how it had gotten into the front floorboard of the van, but there it was, in all its pee-sealable glory. So I snatched it up, sealed the bottle tightly, and tossed it into a bag of trash. Problem solved.

Cameron may have had to piss in a bottle, and I may have had to clean the resulting spillage off my hands using baby wipes and hand sanitizer, but my initial mission was accomplished: no pit stops, and no cranky woken-up children.

Still ... y'all remind me of this the next time I want to take a road trip.

Back to School, Fool

My kids went back to school this week, and to tell you the truth, I wasn't all that excited about it.

Don't worry - if you were super-stoked and doing cartwheels down the street when your kids went back, I am totally on board with that. Usually, I'm the mom who is secretly counting down the days until they're out of my hair for a little while. Ah, who am I kidding - I'd count down the hours if I were better at math. I don't know about you, but I always feel like kind of an asshole when I see somebody posting on Facebook or whatever about, "Oh, I don't want my kids to go back to school! I've so enjoyed having them home!" Because then I'm like, " ... Oh. *cough* Oh yeah. Me ... me too."

It's not that I don't love them, or love being with them for short periods as long as there is no whining/bickering/physical fighting involved, but there can definitely be too much of a good thing. It's just that when all my kids are together 24 hours a day for weeks at a time, they are a.) arguing with each other over eeeeeeeverything ("Colin's smiling at meeeee!") or b.) creating new ways to make messes. Either way, it's no bueno for Mom. So when I hear that another mom is dreading her kids' return to school, I can't help but wonder a.) what's wrong with me because I can't handle my own children's natural children-ness or b.) what's wrong with my kids because they clearly aren't well-behaved enough to not drive me completely insane. Which always translates into me suspecting I'm a bad mom. And me suspecting I'm a bad mom equals emergency stuffing of my face with chocolate to make myself temporarily feel better which equals looking like a sausage in a casing when I put on my jeans which equals feeling like a fat piece of crap.

Anyway, what I'm telling you in a reeeeeeeally roundabout sort of way is that under normal circumstances I can't wait for my kids to go back to school. But y'all? I was kind of dreading it this time, because that meant returning to the routine I had so happily brushed aside during the break. Back to the three daily trips to and from the school (dropping the kids off, picking Cameron up from preschool, then picking Colin up later) and the headache preparation that goes with each trip. We live too close to the school to qualify for the bus, even though it goes right by our house and could seriously just like STOP for two seconds.


If I had three wishes, this would be one of them. Along with the ability to eat whatever without gaining weight. And okay, okay .... world peace. 

It has been SO hard to get back into the swing of things. I am usually out of bed by 6:30 but without fail this entire week so far my kids have still been asleep at 7 o'clock which they NEVER do when we don't have to be anywhere (like seriously, why can't the little hoodlums do that crap on the weekends? Ugh). It is literally painful to wake sleeping children, especially when I myself would love to just stay in bed. But all this week, I've had forty-five minutes in which to get four children fed, dressed, out the door, and loaded into the car. So I've had to do it ... even though it hurts. You get a little rusty when you haven't done it in, oh, like three weeks or something.

It has been a little bit nice with just the two youngest around in the mornings again - because when one isn't old enough to talk, there's no arguing. But overall, yeah, I wasn't ready for school to start. Because there are always methods of coping with the bickering (deep breathing, earplugs, wine, locked doors, duct tape, tasers) but there's just no way around having to get my kids ready and delivered to school.

Which is why I've done it in my pajamas and glasses every day this week.

Baby steps, right?

Bedroom Bummer

I thought I'd start the new year off with a bang here on the ol' blog.

And I do mean ... a bang. *bow chicka wah waaahhhh*

I have four children so it's pretty much obvious I'm not exactly inexperienced in the bedroom. However - if you have a squeaky-clean, G-rated image of me you'd like to uphold, how about clicking over to a few posts about some of the epic messes I've dealt with? You can start here ... or here ... or here if you're feeling particularly adventurous.*

*Just don't read it while you're, like, eating. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Anyway. Proceeding with the R-rated talk now, so here's your one last chance to bail. It's totally TMI, but y'all should be used to that by now if you've hung around this blog for very long.

... Still here? Okay then. As you know, Curtis and I are done having kids. Four boys is enough to fill my lifetime with, um, adventure (see the post links above for reference). Curtis has had a primary consultation for a vasectomy, but until he goes in for the actual snip-snip (which I will totally perform myself with a pair of dull scissors if he doesn't), we need a birth control method. So like two months ago when we were shopping, we swooped through the condom aisle and picked up a twelve-pack. "Look, honey - a year's supply!" I joked.

Only it turns out I wasn't really too far-off because here it is two months later and we've only used, like, four out of the entire box.

I know.

But see, the lack of - what is the term the Jersey Shore kids use? Smushing? - around this joint isn't exactly our fault; I blame the children that incidents of said "smushing" produced. Because it is darn near impossible to get down and dirty (or, okay, even "down" for that matter) with kids here, there, and everywhere. Even when we think we've got a clear window of time, it never turns out to be that easy.

Example #1: the baby was safely and happily occupied in his bouncy seat, the other three were glued to the TV, and Curtis deduced that it was the perfect opportunity for a couple of minutes of, um, grownup time. And it would have been - except that a closed, locked door, no matter how silently it was closed and locked, is like a beacon. We may as well have installed a flashing neon sign that screamed, "FREE ICE CREAM AND PUPPIES!" because as soon as we got down to business, here came Coby, our three-year-old. And when he turned the knob and the door didn't open, it was meltdown city. "Mommy? Daddy?" he wailed. "Why are you in theeeerrrre?" Thump, thump. "What are you dooooooooiiiiiiiiiing?" Thump, thump. "Why is the dooooooor looooooocked?" Thump thump thump. Which of course attracted the attention of the older two, who also demanded answers as to why the door was locked. "Are you planning a surprise for us?" they wanted to know.

Sometimes the kids have accomplices in their mission to thwart any possible intimacy: namely our two dogs and three cats. Because y'all? Even if there are no kids present, having five pairs of animal eyes on you is just as unnerving.

The other night the kids had just gone to bed, and I had made myself a bowl of cereal (you know how I like my bedtime cereal) when Curtis came up from behind and was all, "Hey ... what's say we head into the bedroom for a little bit?" He waggled his eyebrows at me and I swear I heard porno music playing in the distance.

I looked longingly at my freshly-poured cereal, but if I know one thing, it's that when we get an opportunity we'd better seize it quickly (see previous example). So off to the bedroom we went. No sooner had we tossed aside a few items of clothing than we heard loud, prolonged, annoying rustling.

It was one of the cats, trying to crawl into a plastic bag.

Cat was shooed out. We resumed activity.

But within a minute or so, we heard all this disgusting - distracting - licking and gnawing. It was our lab, Josie, who had picked the most inopportune moment to loudly groom her toenails.

"Josie!" I snapped, and all was silent. But then ....

snort. snuffle. pant. snort. snuffle. pant.

Ever heard an obese pug trying to jump onto a bed? Because that's what it sounds like. And that's exactly what was happening. Curtis got up with an exasperated snort of his own and ousted the dogs from the room once and for all.

"Now ..." he said. "Where were we?"

And just as I was about to remind him ...


The baby. Had been woken. By the dogs.

Of course, once a baby wakes up, it's never a quick fix to get him back to sleep. Especially when you need it to happen like rightnow. It's like some perverse unwritten rule of parenthood: being in a hurry makes your child go to sleep much more slowly. But I was patient. And after ten or fifteen minutes, Corbin was slumbering peacefully once again.

Attempt number ... whatever (I was losing count). Practically back at square one, Curtis and I were getting more than a little weary of interruptions. But now that the animals were out of the room and the kids were all asleep, we thought we'd be good to go.

Until I felt a very unwelcome rumbling. A rumbling that threatened to desiccate any remaining shreds of passion and intimacy.

That's right, y'all: a fart was brewing.

I thought I could hold it back, and spent a very uncomfortable couple of minutes trying. After fifteen years together I'm (probably too) comfortable farting in front of my husband - but farting in those hot-and-heavy moments is something that, no matter how long you've been together, is just wrong.

Unfortunately, this particular fart wasn't one of those that goes away after a little restraint; it was persistent. And the more I thought about it and tried to control it, the more persistent it became. And it wasn't going anywhere but out.

So for lack of anything better to do, I started laughing.

"What?" asked Curtis. And so ... I told him what. Hey, he asked!

He stood and threw his hands up in exasperation. "Thanks," he snapped. "Way to ruin the moment."

I couldn't stop laughing, which made the situation worse. "Would you rather I had just done it?"

"Well you didn't have to announce it!" he groused. "Maybe I wouldn't have noticed."

"Oh, you would have noticed," I assured him, still laughing. "Trust me."

By then the mood was cooler than the other side of the pillow, so we abandoned our efforts. Between the hurried start and the animals and the kids and the threat of flatulence, there were just too many obstacles to our enjoyment. But once Curtis quit being irritated with my over-sharing, we had a good chuckle - which, to me, can be just as enjoyable as "smushing."

Pity about that soggy cereal, though. Especially since our weak-stomached cat got into it while we were ... busy.

But that's another story.


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