Thursday, November 17


Observation #1: I haven't blogged in so long I don't know how long it's been.

#2: It is possible for your back to swell when it's injured. Just ask RR.

#3: Mary Lane ER has the shortest wait times... probably in the country.

#4: If you need to drive 35 mph in a 50 zone, you probably shouldn't be driving

#5: Said ER offers a 10% discount if you pay at time of visit.

#6: There are some really dark stretches of road out here... just right for Steve Kind novels

#7: You can use Big Y turkey coupons at Stop and Shop.... this means like $4 for a 19 lb turkey

#8: I'm trying to decide what to make for ERP for his birthday, but we're celebrating together this year... so does that mean I need to cook on my birthday?

#9: Even with his haircut super short everyone still thinks ERP is a girl

#10: TT is the world's biggest cuddle bug

#11: Everyone in the ER thinks RR is really tall for his age... if only they knew how big his feet where as well

#12: Sometimes your armpits get sore when you're really over due to nurse a child

and to conclude.... RR is fine, "just" soft tissue damage to his back... from him falling off his bed and catching his back on the wooden rail while trying to get ERP to come see him

Tuesday, July 5

Jury Duty - A Reflection

A few months back I got summons for Grand Jury duty. You know, like on Law and Order; where they tell their case to the Grand Jury to see if they have enough evidence before inditing.

The term of jury service - 3 months. July, August and September.

First things things - the court house I had to go to doesn't have parking or validate. I've served on  jury here once before and I remembered paying for parking before. But then a friend reminded me to bring quarters. Good thing to, the parking lot was converted to one of those "get your ticket here" lots that only took change. I would have had to walk, in the rain; from another further lot if I only had my card on me.

The next thing - I have a hard time believing the people randomly selected to serve on the jury was an accurate cross section of my county. I know where I live is predominately white, as where the people called. I have a hard time believing we the area is that young. Unless they are also pulling from all of the college kids around. And there were far more women than men. And I will come back to this point.

Next let's talk about how we got to sit around extra long this morning in the jury room because so many people failed to show. The court officers were actually discussing calling people to see if they were showing.

We finally get in to the court room and there is a big laugh among the court employees about the judge that was listed to appear, because apparently he is "no longer with us". The judge that did come in seemed pretty cool.

We went through the whole swearing in of the jury, and get the long lecture about it being our civic duty to serve and how it is an inconvenience. Then he goes on about how an inconvenience isn't  hardship; and he's not going to let anyone off for just any old reason.

Next the judge tells us to be thankful that we don't live in the county south of us; as that grand jury meets every day of the week - Monday through Friday. In our county the grand jury only meets on Tuesday and Wednesday; but still for three months. He tells us they need 13 jurors on the panel at all times, but 23 will be sat so that people can be excused for medical and dental appointments, pre-planned vacations, meetings, etc. Honestly, this all sounds very doable.

But here's the thing; the courts system pays $50 a day when you serve and you're not being paid by your employer.

Really? $50 a day. The minimum wage in the state is $10/hour. It's an 8 hour day. And you need to py for your own parking.

My employer, like many; will pay me for 3 days of service.

And the states $50 a day doesn't come close to matching what I would bring in from work.


My juror number is 53. After about ten rounds of people going up; we were called in threes, but saw the judge alone it's my turn. Not even half of the jury is seated. Two "kids" (they didn't even look 18) were sent to "the back of the line". But people were being excused from service one after another. Of the people that were already seated the vast majority were women - over 50 or under 30. The men that went up; of all ages were being dismissed. Only two men I believe were sat by the time I left.

It's finally my turn to see the judge. He asks me if there is any reason I cannot serve. He put it that plainly and simply. And I told him the simple truth; I was the sole provider for a family of five and my employer would only pay me for three days of service and frankly the $50 a day the court paid would not be sufficient. And just like that I was dismissed.

I truly believe this is why many of the people before me were also excused. I overheard many conversations while waiting from people afraid they couldn't provide for their family if they were called. Or the small business owners who were afraid to loss business.

I would have loved to of served on the grand jury. I think it would have been a very unique and interesting experience.

Yet, here I am. Not serving because there are no laws about paying your employees while serving. Because really, let's think about this - how many people actually do get called and do end up sitting on a grand jury?

And to that affect, how can anyone expect to have their court case heard by a jury of their peers when their peers are the working middle class; who cannot live off $50 a day?

I didn't see how the jury pool looked in the end. But with those over 60 being excused and those that needed to work to provide for a family being excused and the young ones sent to "the back of the line"; in the half of the process I saw I find it hard to believe this is an accurate sampling of the population. And forget the randomness of the process when the system is rigged to have the working middle class excused.

And let me just add that I probably would have been excused if I told the judge I was the primary care provider for three children and that $50 a day would be insufficient to pay for day care.

And mind you, if I did not have a job they would pay me $50 a day anyhow.

This system is seriously flawed.

Sunday, June 19

Quiet Shower

This evening, Father's Day; we sent RR to go give TT a shower. Now usually when this happens there is some sort of crying (the water got to cold) and yelling (TT getting RR wet, so he's mad) going on.

Tonight none of that happened.

It was strangely quiet.

And they were up there for a while.

So I went to investigate. It was Father's Day after all.

Turns out RR was reading TT "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" while he showered.

That explains everything doesn't it?

Saturday, June 4

Ding Dong Goes the Truck

The other night we were out for a nice family walk after dinner.

All of us, including the dog. Who for once wasn't being an ass and was nicely letting RR walk her - opposed to her trying to walk him.

Normally when we go for a walk I carry ERP. In a carrier of course... he's getting heavy... he's gotta be getting close to 24 lbs. Ha!!

But this evening he insisted on walking.

It was slow going to say the least. RR and TT were in the lead and then would stop and wait. Husband stayed "back" with ERP and had running commentary about being passed by turtles, snails and slugs they were going so slow.

We had made it to our turn around point and were headed home playing "Eye Spy"... the boys insist on playing this game on the walk back home.

We're about half way back to the house and RR and TT tell us they hear the Ding Dong Truck; that would be the ice cream truck for all of you not living in the happy valley.

By the time we are two thirds of the way home they insist the truck is close and break into a run. I yell to RR that I have no cash on me, it's all in the house.

The two big boys (and the dog) are gone in a flash. They are seriously running. So I pick up the pace, to make sure they have enough money.

And the truck song keeps playing. Over and over and over again.

I round the corner and I see the truck stopped at the bottom of our street. TT is standing there alone... in his PJs... because the little wears PJs for after dinner walks. He's just staring up at the truck. Alone.

Then RR comes racing down from the house. He grabbed the singles and change and a store coin out of the change dish on from the kitchen. He has maybe four dollars. He needs at least twice as much if he's going to also get ERP an ice cream.

So now I run up to the house to go get a $10 out of my wallet.

And still the truck keeps playing. Hello!! Over and over and over again.

Our poor neighbors.

But they got it. They found the truck and got money (granted not enough) and got their ice cream.

Oh and the dog... she was dropped in the house... leash and all when RR made a mad dash for the cash.

Oh... and of course not but not least..., ERP and Husband made it to the cart by the time I got back with the cash. Of course ERP insisted on Husband carrying him to get back faster. He heard the "Hello!" as well from the tuck.

Sunday, May 8

Twelve Year Interview

Me: What is your favorite color?
RR: black slash blue

Me: What is your favorite food?
RR: Fried chicken
Me: Friend chicken?
RR: Yeah, I like Fried Chicken.

Me: What is your favorite book?
RR: ummmm... Ice Fang.

Me: What is your favorite TV show?
RR; Your Mom.
Me: What's your real favorite TV show?
RR: YouTube
Me: What on YouTube:
RR: I like a particular YouTuber, but it's not a show. Can I answer this with my favorite YouTube? That or nothing since we don't have cable.
Me: We have Netflix.
RR: I don't care.

Me: What is your favorite subject in school?
RR: Poop
Me: What's your real favorite subject.
RR: Math

Me: What is your favorite video game? PICK ONE.
RR: Pick?
Me: ?
RR: Oh... chose one.
RR: Counter-strike Global Offensive

Me: Who are your best friends?
RR; Kenneth, Trevor, Billy Maze and Anthony Sullivan... then he starts a Billy Maze impression

Me: What is your favorite thing to do with TT?
RR: Poop
Me: No really.
RR: I don't know... wrestling.

Me: What is your favorite thing to do with ERP?
RR: Tickles.

Me: What is your favorite thing to do with me and daddy?
RR: Poop.
Me: Try again.
RR: 360 no scrubs
Me: Try again.
RR: watch TV shows... and eat. I like to eat.

Me: What do you want to do when you grow up?
RR: belches and giggles
Me: Think about it.
RR: A computer technician
Husband: He's blowing smoke up your ass. He wants to be a programmer.
RR: Yeah, that.

Me: How do you feel about being a preteen?
RR: ehn... whatev'

Me: What is your favorite thing to do, aside from video games?
RR: Play more video games.
Me: Really?
RR: Make memes.

Me: Anything you want to add?
RR: Memes. Inhale the memes, exhale the memes.

Me: Good night RR.

Last year's interview.

Twelve Years

The biggest boy is twelve years old. He has been for a while... but I've been a crappy blogger for the last 18 months, so you know.

Twelve is a funny age; as I am sure I will say that with about most of the teen years. He's a little guy in a big body - taller than me with the largest foot in the house - some days he's all grown up and wants to do it all on his own other days he's all about watching cartoons and snuggling on the couch.

He is still into his computer games, but not so much Wizard 101 anymore, he's more into T2F. And he loves his YouTube videos - 10 worst, 10 best, 10 things you'll never believe.

He is pulling good (great) grades in 6th grade. He's an alter server at church. He's well into Boy Scouts and really enjoys it and spending time with his friends. He's also in 4-H - computer programming. He sure keeps us busy. I'm already ready for him to drive himself places. As it always seems that he has something to do. Most recently he became interested in playing Magic, The Gathering.

Mother's Day 2016

Today was a quiet relaxing day... a low key Mother's Day.

Husband has some sort of plague or something, and as such his asthma is kicking his butt; but all said and done he kept up pretty good (aside from the nap this afternoon, but in all fairness the kids were sleeping as well).

This photo pretty much sums up the day:

Today was day #2 of ERP sleeping until 8am. Husband was already downstairs with the other boys so I carried him down and went back to bed. My boys brought me one of my favorite cereals and coffee and bed. They showered me with gifts: tub for soaking my feet, new foot stuff, hand made pictures from school... and Husband got me flowers.

While I ate with my small mooches, RR made desert, He made two... one for us and one for my mom... so I can't tell you what it was since she hasn't gotten her's yet.

Then we all watched Ghostbusters and called our loved ones. The movie was followed by an early lunch and naptime for the boys. I watched my shows and made my feet all soft and pretty. 

The boys woke and we goofed around... did laundry and woke up Husband.

Then the SUN finally came out. After a week of rain the clouds parted and out came the sun.

The boys ran through the yard, laughing and playing and picking me "sunflowers" (dandelions to the rest of us). 

After that we all made dinner together... lobster, corn on the cob and salad (the little boys had chicken nuggets and Husband had shandwiches... so lobster for RR and I). The small boys had been getting a kick out of the lobsters since yesterday. ERP calls them "dinosaurs". I taught RR how to break up lobsters with crackers. TT and ERP wanted nothing to do with them... until dinner was over. TT feel in love with the lobster shells.

He started bringing all the bits and pieces outside to play on the deck with. Then he started carrying around the heads. He kept trying to get ERP to touch them and ERP kept saying "No, thank you" and running away.

It was so sweet to watch. A moment I'd like to remember forever.

The ugliest part of the day is when ERP tried to climb his slide while carrying a beater full of homemade whip cream (part of desert) and took a tumble off the top landing on his shoulder and head. Thankfully he bounced back after a little bit. And promised mommy not to try and use with slide with hands full of beaters. 

Dinner was followed by a failed bath for ERP and showers for the big boys. Then a failed bedtime for ERP. Thankfully TT was all about bedtime, him and I snuggled and chatted about the day. He told me the blue and pink in the sky looked like they were fighting... and he thought the purple would win.

Oh and some point during today, ERP got himself dressed. Already!! I am not ready. That said I can barely convince TT to dress himself most days.

Happy Mother's Day Everyone.

Sunday, April 10

RR at 12

I had started this blog post the other day, but I just couldn't put "pen to paper". But here I sit on a Sunday morning, months after RR turned 12, waiting for TT to finish up at CCD so we can go pick up RR from camp, It's early April 2016 and this is the second time RR has been camping this year. It was cold last night, I am curious to see how camping was for him. How he fared sleeping in a tent in below freezing temps. I wonder did he sleep. Did he sleep well. Was he warm. Did he wear this long johns I nagged him to pack.

On Tuesday evening he's off to a rifle and shooting class. The same kid who less than a year ago went to a gun show with his grandpa and uncle and spent the day bored to tears, longing to play his Nintendo DS. The same Nintendo DS he would sneak to school on my birthday, drop on the floor and break. The one he would spend months earning the $100 to get it fixed.

He is not an outdoors-man, but he loves camping. He certainly loves his video games, but he is more than the "video game nerd" he likes to tell me he is. He loves playing in the yard with his brothers. He actually loves all little kids. He's the big guy that when dragged to the playground with his little brothers will happily push all the little kids on the carousel for hours. He is certainly not the most athletic person; but he wants to get back into swimming. He is on me to get him swim lessons so he can get his skills back. He is an avid reader, lately devouring the complete works of HG Wells. He loves all historical and is big into historical conspiracy theory. His feelings of current events revolves around his desire to own Donald Trump socks (so he can walk on Trumps face, despite me pointing out Trumps face would be on his calf).

At 12 he is growing into a young man. A  complex ever evolving young man.

Wednesday, March 16


Tonight was a fairly typical Wednesday night. One we haven't had too many of lately with all of the sickness going around.

And let me tell you. Typical - felt good.

As the boys get older, life gets busier. There are just so many things to do, to take care of. And often times we get lost in the shuffle and rush of it all.

But tonight was typical. It did seem to drag on... but that's because I realized too late that I never reset the clock in the living room from daylight savings this past weekend.... and some how lost an hour.

Tonight I took it all in.

I got home from work and ate a tuna sandwich while watching the little boys play on the deck and talked to Husband about his day. Within 15 minutes him and RR were off to scouts. the little boys and I ate some pickles and ERP insisted on a peanut-butter sandwich.

The little boys and I nursed; which these days is more of a play time for them. Gene joked about his "boob milk" tasting like peanut-butter. Then we flipped on YouTube and had a dance party. We danced to everything from Gummi Bears to Hot-Hot-Hot to Skeleton Bones. I danced with them (mama needs to get in more cardio) and twirled them around the living room, tripping over the dog who insisted on being the center of attention. I watched the curls on ERPs hair bounce as he danced. I watched TT try and find a groove or two.

After dance party I took ERP to bed, while TT had his nightly video game time. ERP and I did our nightly routine - he rocks on the chair while I make up the beds and tidy up, then he picks out his jammies and I help him get dressed. He brushes his teeth. Then we find the pacifiers, key-keys he calls them. He typically takes six to 11 to bed with him. Then I carry him so he can turn out the light and we rocked and nurse while I watch a show. Lately, it's been Cooked on Netflix. He tells me he's done by saying "daddy" and I lay him in his crib. Most nights he goes to bed on his own from there.

After I said good-night to ERP I went downstairs and gave TT a 5 minute warning. Once his time was up he decided we should play a game instead of reading, so we played a round of Cootie. It was during this ERP started yelling things I couldn't understand. Eventually TT nor I could take anymore crying and yelling from ERP, so we ended the game early - good thing because I was going to need to role five 6s in a row to finish my Cootie sometime this evening.

I checked the clock...and realized I had lost an hour. Fixed the clock and went to take care of ERP... who just needed more snuggles and nursing. I held him tight as we rocked, his head perfectly on my shoulder, his knees bent and resting on my lap. His sweetness melting into me.

Once I got him down I sent TT to get ready for bed. I tell him to do it "big boy style".... meaning go, use the bathroom, and get dressed on his own. I then went and helped him with his teeth. He, of course, tried stalling.... because that's what TT does at bed time. Tucked him while he was telling me his wasn't "sleepy I'm awake-y".

Then I closed his door and turned out his light... and came to write this post while waiting for RR and Husband to get home.

Oh and let's not forget about the telemarketer that called three times in a row, while ERP was crying and TT and I were playing games that I needed to bitch out. Because no night at home, a nice normal typical night, wouldn't be complete without someone calling me about something I don't want to talk about. Social security in this case.

Thursday, March 3

TT at 5

TT at five years old....

is full of feelings. All of his feelings are larger than life. He is a super cuddle-love-bug. He tells me at least ten times a day that I am "his best mom". And he constantly tells me how much he likes me. When he sees his friends he loves to hug them. Great, big, bear-hugs. He loves life. He loves everything. His toys. His brothers. His friends. He gets mad, on occasion. But he is more likely to cry than to get mad. He is a crier. He has always been a crier. Although they tell me at school he doesn't cry.

Now some of my favorites from the last year....

Now... about TT.... he is big into wearing capes and costumes. He cannot wait to take his friends to Six Flags and gets them all capes. I don't recall RR every loving to dress up like TT. When TT was 3 his favorite color was red, then this last year it was blue. He's decided now that he's 5 his favorite color is green. He loves Angry Birds. Like he needs to watch the cartoons every chance he gets. He is still a big dude, at 62.5 lbs and 48.75". He wears a size 8. He loves playing video games... he gets that from his RR. He also loves playing play-doh and coloring. His favorite game is probably "dress up and act silly and see how long I can get ERP to follow me around while we play with swords and guns". Many days he tells you his name is Batman, although someday's he's a Robin. Biggest boy move lately... he is done with Duplos and has moved on to the dreaded-foot-killer-little-Legos.

Happy belated 5th birthday TT. Mommy loves you!!

Wednesday, February 24

"Your My Favorite Smallest Baby"

ERP is sick; day two of a 103 fever. 

Popsicles are one of the few things we've gotten him to eat.

The rest of us were trying to eat dinner. But ERP was objecting, so we were playing "pass the baby". First he sat on Husband's lap, then my lap. Then I needed to pass him off to get something, so I asked who wanted ERP. Everyone volunteered, but he wanted to sit with TT.

As soon as he sat with TT, TT said "Your my favorite smallest baby".

And then I had to run quick and get my phone to capture the moment. This is what I got.

Thursday, January 7

ERP Turns Two

Ok, so ERP has been two for well over a month now... but hey cut a girl some slack.

Last night I was nursing ERP before I headed off to sleep. We were laying in bed, and he's got his key-keys (pacifiers to the rest of us) and he's nursing and playing with his key-keys and it occurs to me that I never wrote ERP's two year blog post. Forget two year blog post... I haven't blogged in months.

So I lay there looking at my little guy, in the blue-green-purple glow of the bedroom, thanks for the light-up pillow pet he got for his birthday (thanks Lori). His hair is soft and fuzzy. I love his hair, those fine baby curls; that smell like vanilla cookies thanks to a leave in de-tangler we found that actually works. But his hair is the worst part about bed-sharing with him. His hair is so fine it tickles your face and nose when snuggling up to him. So we're nursing away, and I'm trying not to sneeze from a cold I have and the tickles on my nose... and he's playing with those key-keys. He LOVES key-keys. He is taking them on an off his fingers, wearing them like a some-how-sweet-baby-version of Edward Scissorhands "rings". When we nurse, he insists that I hold my breast for him. This makes sleeping and nursing very difficult. He also likes mommy to be modest and the breast we are not nursing on needs to be tucked away.

When we are done nursing he often asks to go back to his crib. He reaches his little arm and gestures to his crib, which is still in our bedroom.

At two, he is a very little guy; smaller than his older brothers were at one year. But he is strong, incredibly strong. And he doesn't let his size slow him down. He is always ready to jump in and get into the mix with his brothers. But he also uses his size to his advantage. ERP feels it is his place to be right next to me. If I am snuggling with one of his brothers, he can manage to wedge himself firmly between us. He sees it as his place.

His favorite thing is to do whatever his brothers are doing. If they play video games, he holds a controller. If they are sitting drawing or coloring, he is sitting and drawing and coloring.

Every morning, after he nurses; he needs his snuggle times with daddy and they watch "shows" (this is what ERP calls them) on YouTube on daddy's tablet. He loves watching those silly surprise "eggy" videos. Don't know what surprise eggs are? Go ahead and google it.... these are a thing.

He's been in speech therapy for about six months now. His speech is coming along. Saying "nooooo" is one of his favorite games.

ERP still hates baths and showers. Last night I had told TT that he was going for a shower once I had ERP in bed, then I told ERP it was time for bed. ERP promply started going upstairs, crying hysterically. It was like dead man walking. We get to the top of the stairs and instead of left, he turns right, heads into the bathroom (still crying) and proceeds to try and climb into the tub. As soon as I told him he wasn't taking a shower, he stopped crying and happily went off to bed.

ERP had been night weaned and had started sleeping through the night (finally). But then he got sick, and we started nursing overnight again - I didn't want him getting dehydrated or loosing weight. At a year old he was a little over 21 lbs.; and falling off his (the) weight curve. So now we're back to night nursing but his reflux meds help so much he can get a solid six hours in and doesn't cry and scream and arch his bed when he wakes up.

And that's it for now... here's a teaser picture from him birthday party last month.

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