Let Us Spray

So ... I'm on Pinterest. And every time I get on there, I'm all, "Oooh! Gonna do this. OOOOH!!! Gonna try that!" Gasp, gasp, gasp. Pin, pin, pin.

... Lie, lie, lie. Because y'all? I'm not really much of a DIY-er. As much as I'd love to be, and as good as my intentions are, I have a better chance of growing a Duck Dynasty beard* than making or doing most of the stuff I so enthusiastically pin.

*I'm serious about the beard. You guys know of my post-pregnancy chin hairs

Anyway, I have this shelf. It was hanging in Colin's room, but then one day they decided to use it as a desk while playing school and wrote the alphabet on it ... in permanent marker. So I was going to throw it away.

But then I was like ... wait.

I could spray-paint it.

I have some black spray paint somewhere in the garage. Black would go great in my room. I could repurpose it into a whole new piece of decor!

Then I got all excited because spray-painting a shelf black is my version of, like, making an old headboard into an upholstered bench using only thumbtacks and T-shirt fabric. It's as DIY as I get, and for someone like me, that's big news.

Unfortunately, I couldn't hide my enthusiasm when I found the spray paint. And when I carried it to my closet to put it with the shelf, there were curious eyes upon me. "What's that, Mommy?" my three-year-old, Coby, asked with interest.

"Spray paint for this shelf," I said. "Do not even THINK about touching it." And I closed it into the closet and left the room.

I should have known better. I should have treated the spray paint like my contraband stash of chocolate and hidden it, threatening death in a possessed-sounding voice whenever someone comes within a two-foot radius. Because boys, you know ... they hear the words "spray" and "paint" and then everything glazes over until the words "touching it."

Lucky for me - or for Coby, or for both of us - I came back into my bedroom to get something a couple minutes later. That's when I noticed that my closet door was slightly ajar. And I smelled a smell.

Spray paint.

Coming from inside my closet.

I ran to the closet and hurled the door open, only to find ...

... Coby. Standing there innocently blinking at me, deer-in-the-headlights-style. The smell of paint hung in the air. But there was no stainy black spray on my clothes, or across the wall, or on my shoes. I silently began thanking my lucky stars that I'd caught him in time, before paint got on anything.

And then? He turned his head.

The side of his face, and the inside of his ear, was misted with black.

This isn't something that you simply wipe off. It's not like some soap and water is going to take care of a water-resistant oily mess on the side of someone's face. I racked my brain trying to think of something to use. I thought I remembered something about mineral oil taking paint off, but I'm fresh out of mineral oil.

I had faith, though, recalling my ingenious method of removal after that unfortunate sunscreen incident. Surely I could find something that would work.

So I tried nail polish remover. If that gets polish off, surely it would work on spray paint, right?

"Hold your breath!" I told Coby as I scrubbed him nearly raw with the polish remover. But it didn't work very well; it only took the paint off in minuscule little particles and took forever.

 This was after the nail polish remover failed to remove much. 

So it was back to the drawing board.

Then I thought about my beloved Mary Kay eye makeup remover. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I love the crap outta this stuff. (And no, this is TOTALLY not an ad, but if the Mary Kay peeps would like to send me a lifetime supply of eye makeup remover as a thank you, I'll get their logo tattooed somewhere on my body.)

You know what? It worked like a charm - with minimal scrubbing! Woohoooo!

Now if I could only get as lucky with the shelf. What's that? You say no one needs luck to spray paint a shelf?

This is me we're talking about.

They're Taking Summer "Break" Too Literally

As I sat down to write this very post, I was interrupted by wailing from inside my closet where the kids were playing (and inevitably trashing it all to hell). "He pinched meeeeee!" One was talking over the other, trying to justify the pinching, blaming this brother and that brother, and I was sitting there mentally deciding who warranted what punishment, when I caught sight of our pug.

... Perched on a shelf.

"We used teamwork," the boys explained.

Y'all? I feel like I'm perpetually on the edge of losing it. I've already written about how summer vacation is wearing on me. Four kids and twenty-four-seven togetherness is a recipe for Amanda Bynes-level crazy. And to top it off, my freelance writing jobs have really been picking up lately, which would be fantastic - IF I had an office and time to work uninterrupted. But the reality is, I'm sitting in the middle of my kitchen with a laptop, with children swarming around me like bees. Bees that ask for stuff and whine about things.

(Click here for an illustrated portrayal of my typical workday. Only with a better-looking office.)

The trade-off for any sort of silence to work in peace is that I get to deal with the aftermath of said silence. Aside from the pug on the shelf, here are a few of the things that have gone on in my household over the last couple of weeks while I was attempting to be productive:

- My one-year-old happily splashing in the toilet. The recently-pooped-in-and-left-unflushed toilet.
- A simple request to ONE of the boys - "Go wash the dirt off your feet" - that ended up as three boys, naked and sliding around on the half-bottle of baby soap they'd squirted into the dry tub.
- The bathroom sink mysteriously filled with soggy clumps of toilet paper.
- A "mummy penis" featuring an entire roll of Scotch tape and my son's genitalia.

And this:

Yay because it's not poop. Boo because it's chocolate pudding ON MY CARPET.

It was a total accident because I saw it happen. But that still doesn't negate the fact that it's a hole IN MY LIVING ROOM WALL.

You don't even want to know all the places I found this smeared. Or how badly it stains.

And the award for "Most Tolerant Dog EVER" goes to ...

My boys don't do these things maliciously, or out of naughtiness. These are just things boys do, especially when their mom needs silence and tells them to "go find something to do."  ... I guess I need to specify.

I actually just heard my three-year-old utter the phrase, "Playing is boring. Let's do something extreme."

Oh, boys. Let's not.

How to Look Like a Teenager

Coby, Colin, and Cameron. And a dog that isn't ours.

Oh, hey. Remember me? I used to blog here? I know it's been a few days, and I'm sorry because I'm sure you're all gripping the edge of your seats waiting for the next barely-coherent ramble or thrilling poop story. Right?

... Right?! ...

*cricket, cricket*


I've just been trying not to lose my mind. Because if you've read the last couple of blog posts or have "Liked" the Facebook page, you know that the tattling around this piece has reached critical levels. As in, my head is dangerously close to exploding. I love my boys dearly, but all this togetherness has me wishing they were in a daycare for a while.

Or, you know, a padded room.

But there's one bright spot: being with them so much means I don't miss a single gem that comes out of their mouths. Mostly from the middle ones, since Corbin is too young to say anything and Colin is eight now (sniff!) and his wide-eyed childhood innocence and naivete are beginning to wane and oh my gosh where did my baby gooooooo? 

Um, sorry. *wipes eyes*

Anyway, without further ado, here are some of the best things I've heard from Cameron (5) and Coby (3) over the past few days:

Cameron (looking closely at Curtis's feet): Daddy! Your toes are trying to grow a mustache!

Coby (rolling his eyes upwards while wearing a cowboy hat): I'm trying to look at my eyebrows, but my hat is in the way. That's why cowboys can't see their eyebrows.

Cameron, excitedly, upon noticing a red spot on his face: Mommy! Mommy, look! Does this pimple make me look like a teenager?

Coby (wearing pot lids on his feet): My footwear makes me look eighteen years younger.

They may be slowly driving me to the brink of insanity, but at least they're kind enough to provide a few laughs along the way.

PS ... don't forget to enter the giveaway ... winner will be drawn tomorrow! Just click on the "Giveaways and Reviews" tab at the top for details!

A YEAR? Oh Dear!

I can't believe I forgot to tell you guys. Or no - maybe it has more to do with the fact that I'm in total denial. Anyway, for whatever reason, I neglected to give a birthday shout-out to my baby boy, my precious youngest son Corbin Daniel, who recently turned ONE WHOLE ENTIRE YEAR OLD OMFG *sob, sniffle*

He's practically grown now (although he still shows no signs of either potty training himself or getting a job and helping out around this joint. How rude). My last baby. This year has gone by entirely too fast.

I had a surprise C-section (damn kid). Read all about it here.

Corbin is sweet and cuddly and the most lovable baby I've ever seen. He kisses and hugs and pats and is gentle to our pets. He adores his big brothers and tries his best to keep up with them. And the kid looooves him some music - put on anything even remotely resembling a tune or beat and he'll drop whatever he's doing and boogie down. He's a big little dude: 75th percentile for height, 95th for weight (aww, he takes after his mama). He's still bald as a cue ball, but if he's anything like his brother Coby, he'll get some hair by the time he's like three. (And from the few wispy strands clinging to his dome, I suspect he's going to be somewhat of a ginger.)

Wasn't it just yesterday that I was announcing the news of my pregnancy? Or praying my fart didn't register on the contraction monitor? Or complaining about being pregnant and feeling grateful all in one post? Or going in for the induction that didn't happen? I swear the time flies by faster and faster. It's all a blur. As much as I want it to speed up sometimes (like when I'm cleaning up my eighth spill of the day or mediating a squabble because "he's looking at me funny!"), I really wish I could slow it down.

As a double-whammy ... Colin, my oldest, turns eight in two days. Eight. That awkward-toothed, gangly-limbed, wanting-to-hang-with-the-big-boys-but-still-so-little age. Oh, my heart!

It almost makes me want another one.


Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!! Forget I even said that. Better yet, remind me how crazy I am!

PS - Check the Giveaways & Reviews tab tomorrow ... when I start a giveaway for the new JumpStart app, Madagascar Math Ops! Woohooo!!

Summer Bummer

Summer break, man.

I remember when I was really little and my mom was all, "I enjoy having you home for the summer! I don't understand why people gripe about spending so much time around their kids." It made me feel so warm inside. Like I had the best, most loving mom ever.

I, on the other hand? Am clearly not that fantastic. Because we're like half a week into summer break and all this togetherness is wearing on my nerves like a belt sander. The boys play nicely together for approximately twenty minutes a day; the rest is spent bickering, tattling, whining, begging, and making a mess. Oh and tattling.

And did I mention tattling?

In the past few days, they've tattled so much that they've resorted to tattling about nothing. Or is it actually everything? I've heard, "Momm-meeeee, my brother is peeing in the wrong position!" and, "Momm-meeeeee, my brother is putting his penis in the crackers!"

To top it off, there's a new kid in the neighborhood. He's about 9 and is allowed to ride his bike around by himself, all day, wherever he pleases - whereas I don't even let my kids go outside unattended, and when they ride their bikes they can only go one block in either direction. Anyway, this kid is constantly knocking at the door wanting the boys to come out and play. (Multiple. Times. A. Day. Every. Single. Day.) And if we don't answer, he's peeping in the window. And he doesn't seem to get that I don't always have the time (or, let's be real, the desire) to come outside and supervise five little boys playing. But then when I decline his "gracious" invitations to play, I get to hear my boys all moan and cry for like twenty minutes.

Being that it's summer, they watch more TV than usual. And therefore, more commercials. And they want every-damn-thing that flashes onto the screen: the Stompeez, the Bright Light Pillow, the Ice Cream Magic thingies, the Dreamlites. "Mommy!" they shriek as the eighteen-hundredth ad comes on. "I want that! So much! Can we please get one of those?!"

My standard response is either "Maybe for your birthday," or "Ask Santa."

Anyway, the other day Curtis called to say he'd be working late - and that meant I'd have to take all four of them to the gym while I taught Zumba. Needless to say, I was in a rush to get them all ready. If you know anything about my kids, you know that they're perpetually naked, so of course I had to get them dressed.

But when I opened the drawer? It was empty.

I opened another drawer. And another. Everything was gone. All their clothes, vanished.


I stood there baffled and blinking, like I might have been tripping or something and a few deep breaths would clear it up. But of course it didn't.

Then here came Coby, my three-year-old, dragging a ... what the ...?

It was this:

An infant Halloween costume that everybody has outgrown. But it looked oddly ... puffy. And then I realized where the clothes were.

"It's a Tummy Stuffer!" Coby said proudly.

Have you seen those? It's basically, like, an animal-shaped sack that your kids can stuff with whatever crap they can put in there.

And knowing my kids, that may literally be crap.

But since I'm not spending twenty bucks on an animal sack, apparently Coby decided to improvise. And stuff his makeshift "stuffer" with every. Piece. Of clothing. In the drawers.

Bye-bye sorting.

Bye-bye folding.

Bye-bye organization.

Is it fall yet? I'm losing it, y'all. You know I love the dudes with every fiber of my being, but ... damn.

OH! And PS ...

I'm excited to be reviewing this soon:

From the JumpStart peeps, who I utterly adore, it's a brand-new app for iTunes and Android! Hours of entertaining, physics-based gameplay with the lovable Madagascar characters. Over eighty levels of math missions, ranging from first to fourth grade. Sweet! The app's official launch date is June 5th, so check back soon for the review. :)


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