Friday, December 28, 2007

And his name just happens to start with the letter L. How "yucky" for him.

On Christmas Day, my sweet, patient cousin, Christine, was physically attacked by my children. They all decided that what Chrissy needed most for Christmas was some serious love and they gave it to her. If one of them wasn't sitting on her lap, one was asking her to play with them, or showing her their bedrooms, or shoving toys in her face. As a mother, I see it as payback for all the times my little cousins attacked me when I was 16. Chrissy was one of those cousins, but as a little girl, she never attacked. She was sweet and calm and I loved her little chubby cheeks.

As you might expect, there was a little issue when it came time to eat because L, O and K all wanted to sit next to her. L was the winner. As he finished his food, he leaned over and put his arm around Chrissy's shoulder and said, "This is the yucky seat because it's next to you."

Chrissy's face was a little confused and I could hear the confusion in her voice as she said, "Why?"

"Because," he answered, "It's next to you and you are great."

"But, you told me I'm yucky."

I was listening to this conversation and I was ready to pull Mr. L off his chair and into the other room to have a chat about polite behavior.

L shook his head, "No, not yucky I said yucky!

And then it hit me, he didn't say yucky, he was trying to say, "lucky."

I explained to Christine and she laughed, but L shook his head and said, "I don't yike it when everybody says I say one thing when I'm not saying that thing at all. Don't you yisten to me?"

Yes, I think it might be time for some speech therapy.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

and how was your Christmas?

Can you hear it? It's the sound of silence as we all fall into a too much food, too much rushing, too much wrapping paper, too much Wii coma.

Ahhhhhhh. Sweet Christmas.

It all started last night. We went to church, but first I wanted a Christmas picture of them in all their finery. Of course it didn't go so well because my children are incapable of all looking at the camera at the same time without doing something strange.

And later, a Christmas miracle occurred. They actually posed with my parents and you can see them all looking at the camera!! With eyes wide open!! Nobody is doing anything weird with his or her mouth, finger, nose, or any other body part. But, you'll have to go over to Flickr to see the rest of the pictures since I've used up my allotted monthly picture download for Blogger and now I'm realizing that what I really should've asked for for Christmas was an advanced account where I can download to my heart's content. So, you'll have to venture over to Flickr. But I digress...

After church we went to my parents' to feast on nachos, shrimp cocktail and other yummy treats and somehow at the end of the evening, we wrestled four children into the van to go home, into pj's with teeth brushed, potty breaks taken and into bed. It was now close to 11:00 and we still had to get their gifts together. And that's when Mike and I discovered the Wii. He was getting it set up for the boys' suprise for the morning, but it's just so darn fun. Close to two hours later, I made it to bed. Just for the record, I beat my ultra competitive, athletic, husband's patootie in boxing AND bowling.

Today was just pure fun. We had all of my family over and it was a blast. My cousin's husband, Paul, looks an awful lot like Santa Claus if Santa was in his mid-40's, and had red hair. Yes, I realize in your mind he probably doesn't look much at all like Santa, but to my two year old daughter, that was another story. When I opened the door to greet them, Paul said in his jolly voice, "Ho, Ho, Ho!" just for fun since he was standing on my porch with gifts. As soon as he walked into the house, she ran to me yelling, "Mommy! Santa is here!" Although she was afraid to actually sit on his lap, she walked around the house all day saying, "My cousin is Santa Claus." She was in pure awe.

Everything was going great until an unfortunate occurrance with Molly, our cat. Molly is 12 years old. She's a qwerky little feline, but we love her. For example, she likes to play in her water bowl, get her paws wet and then wipe them on the side of the refrigerator so she can watch the water drops slide down. She also likes to snoop and nose into things which is where the unfortunate occurrance comes in. My Nana's purse was in the living room unsupervised as everyone was either in the kitchen, or in the family room exhausting themselves by playing on the Wii. I walked into the living room once to see Molly's body inside Nana's purse sniffing and licking her chops. Upon hearing me, she ran away. I just chalked it up to Molly being weird until a few minutes later when Nana went into the living room to "get something out of her purse." In our family, we all know this is code for, "I'm going to get a dip of snuff, but I don't want you to know because even though the entire family knows I'm a rampant snuff user, I like to pretend that nobody knows." Ahem. (My Nana grew up in the south in an era where it was perfectly acceptable for ladies to dip as long as they were discrete about it and by golly, this almost 88 year old lady isn't going to change her ways just because it's 2007 and she now lives life as a Yankee!)

As Nana walked into the living room she hollared, "Heather! Your cat is sick. She is sick to her stomach."

Sick to her stomach? Can a cat be sick to her stomach?

The answer is yes, yes a cat can indeed be sick to her stomach and she was being sick to her stomach all over the living room floor only FEET away from where I had a very long table set up and decorated for Christmas dinner.

What made Molly so sick? It certainly wasn't a furball judging from the amount of yuck that was on my carpet. I suspect, and keep in mind that I have no proof, that it was a wee bit 'o snuff that she might've gotten out of Nana's purse. If that was indeed what she was on a search and destroy mission for in Nana's purse, let it be known here, Internet, that cats and snuff do not mix. Please don't let your cat dip. If you have a cat that is heading down the wrong path into the world of addictive substances, steer them away from the snuff!

We're all resting peacefully now after our day of presents, food, laughter, Wii, and cat vomit--even Molly who now is sleeping on the back of the family room couch. Go over to Flickr and see some pictures. Click on my flickr badge at the top until it takes you there.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas Entertainment

Last night marked a milestone for J. It was his last grade school Christmas Concert because next year he'll be in 6th grade which means junior high. No more songs about snowmen, reindeer or Santa. My Mommy Heart hurts when I think about it.

Here's a picture of him singing his very last grade school choir song. The girl on the end dressed as a mail carrier is Sydney for whom J has a serious case of "I know I'm too young, but I like you away." She's only about 1 1/2 feet taller than he is. She likes him too, or so I'm told by half the
5th grade when I am subbing at his school.

Here's another picture when Sydney looked our way as Mike was taking a close up picture of her to show J's wife someday. Look at her expression. She's saying, "Oh my gosh. J's dad is totally zooming in on my face!"

It also was his first band concert. He began playing the trombone this year and has done a really good job. Of course, it would be easier for him if his arms were a little bit longer, but hey, having notes in 6th position be in tune is highly overrated, don't you think? I realize that probably only family members will truly care to see and hear what we endured, I mean, listened to last night, but here's a little clip for you. J's the one on the right wearing a cream colored sweater. His poor friend who was sitting next to him will appear to be lost during this song and that's because he couldn't see the music, so he was essentially playing by ear. The band is playing a "round" in this piece. Please be understanding if the clarinets and oboes make you want to shoot your computer. You'll also have to ignore the man's head in front of us. Obviously, Mike does not have a future in film making since he cannot see the large hill of graying hair in front of the camera lens. Click below on Christmas Concert. Once the picture comes up, click on it and turn up the sound!

Christmas Concert from June Clever on Vimeo.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Reasons to buy the Beach Boys Christmas album

Each year between Thanksgiving and New Years I either read at least one article in the paper, or see something on t.v. regarding seasonal depression. Maybe it's gloomy weather, a lack of finances, missing a friend or relative, but this time of year can really be hard on people. I consider myself very blessed. I'm healthy, my family and friends are healthy, I'm not living in a box on the street. I have a loving husband and goofy children that make me laugh. For these things, I thank God daily because I know that I am really blessed. Even though I understand in my head how fortunate I am, the other day I was hit with a big case of the BLAHS. I was standing in the kitchen making dinner, the kids were quietly playing, and the radio was on playing Christmas music. And then I heard it. The song that opened the door to the BLAHS.

It was, "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and Judy Garland was singing it. For the first time, I really paused to listen to it. Her warbly voice oozing all over the words, "Through the years we all will be together, if the fates allow..." I felt a lump in my throat, my eyes were tearing up (and it wasn't because I was cutting onions either) and I thought to myself how that has to be the most depressing Christmas song ever. Suddenly, I was thinking about Christmas when I was little, when my dad was alive, going to my grandparents with all of my extended family--many of whom are dead now. I thought about my grandparents' Christmas tree decked out entirely with mercury glass ornaments, eating nuts and candy, playing games, acting silly. Was that really nearly 30 years ago? Before I knew it, I was thinking about the day when my kids are grown with families of their own. Would they come home for Christmas? Would they want me with them at Christmas or would their spouses ask to have me locked up in a nursing home somewhere. Would Mike and I just sit wrapped in afghans on Christmas holding hands like two pathetic little skeletons? STOP! I wanted to scream. Stop the time from going so quickly. Let me enjoy my babies!

Can you say overreacting?

I decided to try and give a different version of that song a chance, but really, I found that it doesn't really matter who is singing it, it's a depressing song. There are other Christmas songs that I find depressing as well.

Take "I'll be home for Christmas" for example. Can't you just picture the poor soul who so desperately wants to be home for Christmas, but can't? And what about his or her family or friends? They're sad!! They want their loved one to be with them and either war or money or work or distance isn't letting them. It's unfair!

This next song should just come with a bottle of Prozac because if you can handle listening to the entire thing without changing the channel, sobbing uncontrollably into a tissue or turning off the radio all together, you will certainly be mopey and sad afterwards and either medication, or a dozen Christmas cookies will probably be needed. It's "Christmas Shoes."

Oh my gosh, I cannot express how much I detest this song. I also detested the email with the same name that went around a couple of years before this song was written. Now, I'm forced to hear it almost daily on any number of radio stations that are supposed to be playing "festive" Christmas music. This song is not festive. It's the complete opposite of festive. It makes me think about being a little girl and how I wouldn't have been able to go on if my mother would've died. It also makes me picture my boys standing in a store buying me the grown-up of equivalent of Dorothy's ruby slippers for my death. NO! NO! NO! This is a horrible song.

Bring on Bobby Helms singing, "Jingle Bell Rock" "White Christmas" by the Drifters, or "Rocking Around The Christmas Tree" by Brenda Lee, these make me happy!

So, if too much Christmas sugar or Judy Garland has got you down, go rent the movie Elf to cheer you up.

Friday, December 14, 2007

A cry for help!

Will someone please remove all Christmas cookies from my home? My husband made 11 dozen Snickerdoodles for his work cookie exchange. Only problem is he left 3 dozen here.

I am addicted.

I need help.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Making a list

As we were sitting down to dinner last night, the Food Critic, a.k.a. my youngest son, decided to voice his opinions on the menu.

Spelling errors are done to interpret his speech.
"Quesadillas? I don't know if I yike deese. Do I yike them?"

"Yes, I've made them lots of times. Eat. now. You must eat."

Whining, moaning, some more whining. More moaning. More whining.

And then his father says, "You better eat. Santa is still making his list."

To which his 2 year old sister replied as she sat munching happily in her high chair, "And he's checking it TWICE! You hear me? He's checking it TWICE!!"

Did it help motivate him to eat? Not really.

This morning he informed me, "Mommy, Santa doesn't really care what you eat. He just eats cookies and not quesadillas."

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Think before you throw

Sometimes I do things without thinking. It can be a case of opening my big mouth too soon, or making a rash decision without pausing first to consider the ramifications of my actions. Last night, I had one of these moments.

My friend, Julie, and I went shopping. Julie has been through hell the past 10 months. 2007 has not been gracious to her. In a nutshell, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, went through chemo, ended up having a "preventative" double mastectomy and hysterectomy, and now she's in the process of regrowing hair. In fact, today is the day she plans to shed (pun intended) her dear friend Ms. Wig, to go for a short, sassy hair style a la Alyssa Milano. But, I digress.

So, last night, Julie was doing some much deserved shopping for herself. And I, because I love shopping for anything or anyone, was helping her pick out stuff. She was trying on a super cute sweater and turtleneck in the dressing room while I waited amongst the racks. I realized that the size of sweater she had picked up was probably going to be too large for her, so I took a smaller one back to the dressing room.

There were two doors closed in this dressing room as I said, "Julie, I think that sweater is too big. Try this one."

"Yes," she replied, "I think so too. Can you get me another one?" (I thought I heard her voice coming from the room on the left.)

"Actually, I have one. Here, let me throw it over."

"Thanks, I'm in--"

I didn't give her a chance to finish her statement. And then, as the sweater left my hand, as it sailed up, up into the air over the very tall door, I realized that I had made a terrible mistake. Julie was not in the one on the left. She was in the one on the right.

I threw a sweater at a stranger. Before it hit said stranger I yelled, "I think I made a mistake!"

There was silence except for Julie's hysterical laughter. Since I'm real mature and all, instead of apologizing right away, I started laughing. I laughed so hard I cried. The lady who had been attacked by a flying sweater slowly opened the door and here's where it got weird.

She was wearing a winter coat with the hood pulled tightly over her head. She handed me the sweater and I apologized profusely. When Julie got out of the dressing room, I told her about how strange I thought it was that the woman went into the dressing room to try on a winter coat. Who does that? Why not just try it on in the middle of the store over your clothes? Then, the lady walked out of the dressing room and Julie got a good look at her.

As we walked away she said, "That woman is wearing a wig. I can tell because I can see where it is pushed up in the back and you can see her scalp. She wasn't trying on a coat in there, she had to take off her wig to try on clothes. I have to do that all the time. When you sent the sweater flying at her she probably didn't have time to get her wig back on, so she put her coat and hood on so that she could give the sweater back to you!"

After that, I felt really bad because I had assaulted a bald woman with merchandise. I'm glad Julie gave me permission to laugh.

Monday, December 3, 2007

When your diet consist entirely of American food...

While eating Chinese food, L said to me:

"Mommy, can I have this cracker?"

"It's not a cracker, it's a cookie, but you can have it."

He carefully opens the package, smells it, and then breaks it open in preparation to feast.

Suddenly, he says in a voice full of disappointment, "Oh man, mine has a tag in it. Here you go, Mommy."

"Honey," I explained, "It's not a tag, it's a fortune because it's a fortune cookie.

"Oh," he replied surprised, "Well, they shouldn't be putting paper in food. Someone might eat it."

Saturday, December 1, 2007

My, what big adenoids you have...

As parents, we see a lot of things.

We see our children all goopy and gunky right after birth. We see their first smile, steps, laugh. I always carefully examined every part of my babies during the first hours after their births because I wanted to know them in every way. And, I felt like I really did know everything about my children until yesterday.

I got to see the inside of O's nose and throat. Was it interesting? Yes. Was it fascinating? Yes. Was it gross? Yes.

One thing the "non-cleft affected" world doesn't think about when a baby is born with a cleft palate is how much more involved the cleft is beyond the outward appearance. Appearance is important, but so are other things like speaking, eating, and breathing. Yesterday we were able to see very up close and personal the ramifications of O's cleft palate.

The doctor put a camera up her nose, carefully sent it on a mission to the back of her throat, and then had her talk. She's five and took it like a champ. I'm not five and can't say that I would've been nearly as pleasant as she was. This was a mini miracle seeing as how an off glance from one of her siblings can send her into a tirade that warrants punishment. It took a lot of prayer to have her be so cooperative and agreeable for this test.

While the camera made its journey, we were able to find out that she has extremely small nasal passages. They are so small that for a couple of seconds, the doctor didn't know if he'd be able to even get the spaghetti-like camera tube to actually go through there. We were able to see buggers up close and personal. (Insert dry heave here.)We also found out that her palate is only closing about 50% when she talks. This means air is escaping which causes her to sound nasal when she speaks. Everyone is always so amazed at how good she sounds for having had a cleft palate. Truly, she does sound pretty good. It's kind of been a puzzling experience of wondering why she sounds so good if she has palate closure issues and yesterday we found out why.

My daughter has GINORMOUS adenoids.

They are so big that they are helping her speak because they're taking up the room where her palate doesn't close all of the way. They also cause her to snore loud snores that rival a grown man. But if we take them out and do nothing else to her palate, her speech will become terrible. Her narrow nasal passages are also helping her to speak because they, too, are blocking this air.

So what now, you ask? We have to wait for her plastic surgeon to review the results, and the cleft team will get together and decide what kind of surgery she needs. She's already had a repair on her palate when she was 13 months, and a palatoplasty done in the fall of 2006, so the next step is either pharyngeal flap surgery, or sphincter surgery. These would require adenoids and tonsils to be removed prior to surgery, but the surgery would then help her speech. However, I'm scared of these surgeries. I've heard so many people talk about how this very stage of surgery is what caused their child to have sleep apnea. While it helped the speech aspect tremendously, the child couldn't go through life not breathing during sleep, so the surgery would have to be "undone" which means speech regresses.

As I expressed my concerns to our wonderful, wonderful speech therapist, Loretta, she said it's all in the skill of the surgeon and she said ours, Dr. Carstens, happens to be amazing at both of these surgeries. THANK YOU, GOD!!!!!

It was an informative day. It was also a scary day as reality once again hits us like a truck and makes us realize that being born with a cleft is like a seeping leak that invades every corner, every crevice, of our lives.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Not Edible

Last year, a Christmas ornament almost caused a hospital visit. Right after we had put up the Christmas tree, L decided to do something not very smart. We were all in the living room admiring the tree, but then it was bedtime. As we tried to corral everyone up the steps, L started jumping around doing a dance somewhat reminiscent to Michael Flatley of Riverdance.

As he was dancing about, he was singing, "Candy cane, candy cane, candy cane." We all stood there watching him entertain us, but then he horrified us as he danced his jig over to the Christmas tree and bit an ornament exactly like this one:

What followed were lots of tears and us digging shards of glass out of his mouth. They were everywhere from the roof of his mouth, to underneath his tongue. After he was cleaned up he warned his siblings, "That's not a candy cane! Don't eat them!"

What was your first clue, oh wise one?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

How I almost ruined Thanksgiving

My parents have two kitchens in their house. One is upstairs in the main living area and another is in the basement. This makes cooking for an army, or Thanksgiving, especially easy. The disadvantage to the two kitchen house is running up and down the steps repeatedly to check on things. This was my job on Thanksgiving. Up the steps, down the steps I went checking, stirring, and rearranging.

On one of my trips downstairs, L and K decided to see what I was doing. We were almost finished with everything, but I was waiting for the marshmallows to brown and turn into their lovely goo before taking them upstairs. They had puffed up so nicely, kind of like a marshmallow atomic bomb cloud right there in the oven. The timing was perfect and now I needed to get them out; however, there weren't any oven mitts downstairs. Part of me thought to ask L to run upstairs and get some, but then I spotted a dish towel and decided to improvise.

Carefully, I opened the oven and pulled out the rack trying hard not to deflate my marshmallow cloud. So focused on the beauty of the marshmallows was I that I failed to realize what was happening to the dish towel until I heard L say...

"Uh, Mommy? There's a fire."

Looking back now, I know that I heard him because I remember him saying it, but instead of asking where the fire was, I was salivating over marshmallows.

"Mommy!" he exclaimed. "There's a FIRE!!!"

My hand was feeling warm. In fact, it was very hot. The dish towel I had so carefully placed around the sweet potatoes was now on fire. The oven being an electric one, had coils on the bottom which had ignited the towel's edge when I inadvertently touched it to the coils. The fire was quickly moving towards my arm and my sleeve. All I could say was, "Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh." Poor little K started to scream. I stood there frozen like an idiot trying to figure out what to do.

So, I did what any person who obviously has forgotten all fire safety lessons from grade school would do. I ran around the kitchen waving the now rapidly fire consumed towel above my head. That is until my very wise five year old son should, "Mommy! The sink. Put the towel in the sink and turn the water on."

And so, I did just that.

My heart was beating hard and smoke was coming up from the sink as I heard the loud sssssssssss of the fire being put out. I decided to go upstairs, get the oven mitts and do it the right way. As we went upstairs, L announced, "Mommy started a fire in the basement!"

And the sweet potatoes? The loveliness of the marshmallows didn't survive the turmoil and they ended up all over the sides of the dish, but they still tasted good.

This Thanksgiving I learned two things: never use a towel as an oven mitt and that five year old boys are smarter than 34 year old women.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Freaky Me

I've been tagged to tell seven freaky facts about myself. Well, technically, they don't have to be freaky, but I can't see discussing the plain, obvious things. That wouldn't be any fun at all. Here we go...

1. When I was a senior in high school, I learned to play several Van Halen songs on the piano. Until this point, my piano pieces were along the lines of "Claire de lune" by Claude Debussey and not "Jump" by Mr. Eddie Van Halen, or my personal favorite, "Dreams". But, I did it as a favor to my band teacher who needed someone to play in the crazy "rock band" created by a few boys who thought they were the next big thing. They played during half time of basketball games. They needed a keyboard player in the worst way and my teacher was pregnant and didn't want to do it. So, because she was one of my favorite teachers, I agreed to it. It also helped that I kind of had a thing for the drummer. We had a brief dating experience two years before that ended disastrously with my mom calling his mom on the phone and telling her, "Keep your son away from my daughter." It's hard to get a boy to like you after that.

2. I still wear my retainers to bed every night. I also wear them when I nap (which with four kids is a rare occasion). Literally, I cannot sleep well if I do not have them in my mouth. My braces have been off for 17 years and I still wear retainers. If I do happen to fall asleep without them, I wake up in a panic because I'm convinced my teeth have moved.

3. My favorite snack in the world is peanut butter on graham crackers. They have to be Nabisco graham crackers and I have to have a BIG glass of cold milk with them. Sometimes, for a bit of variation, I have Nutella and graham crackers. Honestly, I eat this most every night. Sometimes I even eat them for lunch.

4. I like shoveling snow. In fact, I'm a little OCD about it. This drives my husband nuts. He would rather go out in one big shoveling fest and get everything that has fallen. I would rather put on and take off 25 layers many times throughout the snow storm and get it as it falls. Something about the instant gratification of cleaning the sidewalk and driveway thrills me. I'm sure if I lived in an area that received several feet of snow on a regular basis, I wouldn't enjoy this activity nearly as much.

5. No one alert the loony bin on this one, but I'm convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that our family met an angel. This angel's name was Charlie and he was a six foot five black man. Stop laughing. When O was four years old, she had to have major craniofacial surgery. We were at a new hospital, with new doctors, and I was nervous. The surgery she had at a different hospital, with different doctors prior to this upcoming one, didn't go well. She was given too much anesthetic or something and had problems with her heart rate. So, the night before the impending surgery, I was a mess. It was the evening before her surgery and we were going out to dinner with some friends, my parents and my mother-in-law. Behind my brave facade for O, I wanted to sit and cry. As we got ready to walk into the restaurant, Charlie the angel (no, not Charlie's angel) approached us, pointed at O and said, "God wants me to tell you that everything is going to be just fine tomorrow with your daughter. God is all around her, even right now, so you guys just go have dinner, relax, and pretend you're going on vacation because it's all going to be ok."

I almost fainted. How did he know? He couldn't have known and that's why I know he was an angel. After that, I had no choice but to relax because really, who can argue with God and a big angel named Charlie?

6. I wanted to be a podiatrist when I was in high school. I had it all planned out until Mr. Evil, my principal at the time, told me there was no possible way I could make it through medical school because I wasn't that good in math. After that, I completely shut that dream out of my mind. Words. They are powerful, powerful things. I see this former principal around town from time to time and I have to resist the urge yell, "DREAM KILLER!"

7. My twins were grown on lemon/lime Gatorade, Sprees, grilled cheese, and ramen noodles. These were the only things that did make me throw up. Gee, and people wonder why they were born with clefts. Hmmm, could it be that I was eating like a five year old?

So, that's me wrapped up in seven facts. Whew, I'm done.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Shakespeare Anyone?

I ran across this fun little gadget and have been having just the best time putting off mopping my floor by playing with it. It's so fun I need to share. The inner English nerd in me loves Shakespeare, so this could keep me occupied for hours.

You just insert whatever you'd like into the box, and VOILA! your own Shakespearean quote.

Here was my first one...

William Shakespeare

Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
Men were deceivers ever.
One foot in June Clever, and one on shore,
To one thing constant never.

Which work of Shakespeare was the original quote from?

Get your own quotes:

I don't know if I like this one. A foot in me? Ouch.

William Shakespeare

Away, you scullion! You rampallion! You fustilarian!
I'll tickle your June Clever!

Which work of Shakespeare was the original quote from?

Get your own quotes:

Well, gee, shouldn't we be properly introduced first?

William Shakespeare

Let's carve him as a dish fit for the June Clever,
Not hew him as a carcass fit for hounds.

Which work of Shakespeare was the original quote from?

Get your own quotes:

Yes, me thinks I am befit for some royal dining. My tongue doth long for something better than a PBJ or fish sticks.

William Shakespeare

Thou canst not say I did it: never shake
Thy gory June Clever at me.

Which work of Shakespeare was the original quote from?

Get your own quotes:

I can be pretty scarey. Just ask Mr. Clever.

William Shakespeare

June Clever, June Clever! Parting is such sweet sorrow
That I shall say June Clever till it be morrow.

Which work of Shakespeare was the original quote from?

Get your own quotes:

On that note, I'm outta here!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Public Service Announcement

Wondering how many children should be in your family?

Contemplating having more than two children? Does four sound just perfect?

Before having four or more children, ask yourself the following question:

"How much do I like doing laundry?"

Is it this much...

Does the sight of this many "darks" make your heart skip a beat?

If viewing these pictures makes you have cold sweats, nightmares, or nausea, I suggest you continue using birth control.

Otherwise, stock up on detergent, fabric softener, and dryer sheets.

Monday, November 5, 2007

It's a wonder I get clean at all

I always love hearing about the lives of stay-at-home mothers on t.v. talk shows. My particular favorite is when they're on Oprah because she acts horrified, mystified, and amazed all at the same time. Usually this reaction is elicited from her when she hears about the hygienic practices of mothers. Some women only take the time to pee twice a day. GASP! Others forget to brush their teeth. OH THE HORROR! Still some choose to wear sweatpants and a ponytail in lieu of showering. ALERT THE MEDIA ON THIS OFFENSE AGAINST THE UNIVERSE.

Oprah always acts like it's the poor woman's fault that she does these things. It's not her fault. No one in her right mind would choose to only pee twice a day or live with fuzz on her teeth. She must do this because she has children. I'd like to share my experience with Oprah to illustrate exactly why most mothers feel the need to forget the shower entirely.

It was Friday afternoon. I had been cleaning the house all day in yoga pants, a t-shirt, hair in a ponytail, but I did have clean teeth. J had just gotten home from school and I needed to shower and get ready to go shopping with a friend that night.
O was taking a nap, and so J, L and K were downstairs watching PBS Kids. Looking back, I should've just snuck off because they wouldn't have realized I was gone, but I made the stupid mistake of saying, "I'll be in the shower."

This is code to children for, "Please come into the bathroom 40 times in a 15 minute period and interrogate me with questions."

So, I'm showering, life is good. I hear someone shuffling outside the door. I'm pretty sure it's J because while he doesn't mind bombarding me with questions while I'm showering, he does try to be polite about it. Then I hear:

"Um, can L and I go outside and play baseball?"


Door shuts. I return to showering.

Door opens.

"Mommy? (this time it's L) J wanted me to go outside. Do I have to wear a coat?


Door shuts.

Door opens.

"I have a question (J is now back) I need to practice my trombone, but should I do it now, or should I wait until I get done playing outside."

Getting mildly annoyed at this point, I tell him to go outside and take his brother with him.

Several moments of peace and quiet elapse and then the door opens. Now K has entered the show.

"MOMMY!?" (she's yelling to be heard over the water)

"Yes, K."


"Yes, K."

"Mommy, me want to watch t.v."

"I want to watch t.v," I reply, stressing the correct pronoun.

"Silly Mommy, you can't watch t.v., you're in the shower."

Insert scream of frustration here.

"K, isn't the t.v. already on?"

"J turned it off when went he went outside."

I had two choices at this point. Either have her wait for me to get out of the shower which would mean that she would stand in the bathroom asking me if I was done over and over again, or I could send her on a mission to find her brother. So, I told her, "Open the front door and ask J to turn on the t.v."

A few minutes pass and I think I'm in the clear when I hear footsteps.

"Mommy? K told me that she wanted to watch t.v. Is that ok?"

This is really too much I say to myself. There should not be a revolving door on my bathroom! I stuck my head out of the curtain and hissed, "Yes, it is ok. Why wouldn't it be ok? You all were watching t.v. just a few minutes ago and it was ok! You turned the t.v. off when you went outside and now your sister wants to watch it, so please, please, please turn it back on!"

"Sorry," he says in a sad voice.

Great, now I have guilt.

"Mommy?" (now L is back)

"What could you possibly need?"

The following will be written phonetically the way L talks because it's much more effective that way.

"Mommy, I don't want to pway outside with J anymore because I'm a yiddle cold. Ok? It's a yiddle cold outside. Why didn't you tell me it was a yiddle cold? I wore my jacket, but it was the one Grandma Leah got me for Cwismas yast year and that one isn't vaywee warm. I need my blue one out of the closet, but J told me that I would be fine in my other one. J is going to pwactice his trombone now, so should I watch him or can I pway on the computer for a yiddle bit? If it's ok, can I pway golf?

Right now, having soap drip into my eye would be less torture than this constant interruption.

"L, you can play on the computer. In fact, please don't even bother your brother because he doesn't like it when you sing along with him as he plays his trombone. And no standing in the hallway dancing either. Just go downstairs and play golf."

"Thank you, Mommy. You're nice. When we go to Yuke and Yora's house (translation: Luke and Laura's house) tonight, will you be there? Nope, that's right you and Yora are going shopping. I'm going to play with Yuke and Daddy. I haven't seen Yuke in a yong yong (long, long) time and I can't wait to play with him."


"Yes, Mommy?"

"Please go play on the computer now."

"Ok, Mommy."

Finally, I got out of the shower only to discover I had only one leg shaved. Funny, since I distinctly remembered shaving twice and then it hit me.

I had shaved the same leg twice.

And Oprah wonders why stay-at-home mothers don't shower. Come spend a day with me, Oprah, and it will all be crystal clear.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Temperature Shock

As I sit here in my cozy pj pants, my favorite long sleeved t-shirt, and my very big, soft sweatshirt, I am asking myself for the millionth time, "Why do I live in the Midwest?"

Coming back from Florida where warm weather and sunshine warmed my soul makes tolerating this cool fall weather even worse than it normally is.

We're back from our long awaited, much anticipated, vacation to Florida. I literally have hundreds of pictures to download, so I'll have to sort through those. Some of them will appear on this blog and the rest will be on Flickr, so make sure you click on the Flickr badge to see the rest. Meanwhile, I'm trying to get all of the important "returning home" stuff done. Stuff like laundry, reading the 76 emails that are in my inbox, and trying to figure out what the peculiar smell is coming from our refrigerator. I think something might be dead in there. I know it's not our cat since she is sitting at my feet right now.

Our trip was wonderful. Our house was wonderful. The kids loved swimming right in their own backyard whenever they wanted. I loved lying in my comfy bed upstairs being able to see the Disney fireworks perfectly without having to rush through a crowd of madness when they were over while I tried to not lose my children. Nope, when the show was over, I rolled over and went to sleep. Wonderful.

On Tuesday we went to Cocoa Beach. We were fortunate enough to see the Space Shuttle launch before filling every orifice of our bodies with sand. I love the beach. It is probably my most favorite place on earth; however, the sand, oh the sand. We have a miniature beach in our van now and I'm literally still getting sand out from the kids' ears. Just when I think I have it all--SURPRISE the sand is back. It was a great day. The kids loved it so much that it made me wish we lived near the coast.

Of course, Disney was a hit. As a surprise for O, we took her to the Bippity Boppidy Boutique for a makeover and then that same day we went to Cinderella's Castle for lunch. The look on her face was priceless and I got a lump in my throat several times that day when I thought about where we were in life five years ago at this time. L and O were just born, we were sleep deprived, O was chronically unhappy and we were scared out of our minds when we thought about all of the surgeries she would have to endure. Now, here she is, just a regular little girl who had the time of her life.

It's good to be home, even though the weather is cool. Check out the pictures on Flickr. I'm off to investigate possible death in my frig.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Airhorns: You bring out the worst in me

I don't like airhorns. You know the annoying noisemaker that obnoxious, overconfident parents bring to sporting events in order to humiliate and brag all in one, HONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNK?

I've been on both sides of the air horn. J was once on an All Star Baseball team with a boy whose father seemed to blow an air horn each time he breathed. Oh! My son caught the ball! HONK. Oh! My son hit a double! HONK. Oh! My son took a drink of water! HONK. Our team was doing very well, which everyone who had eyes could see. We did not need Father Goose and his honking to inform the crowd.

Once, and I'm almost afraid to admit this, I was involved in a verbal "spat" of sorts during one of J's soccer games with a group of parents from a snotty soccer club. They all had air horns and alcohol. Yes, this is a great combo. Intoxicated people do not know how to exercise restraint in pushing the button. So, I nicely asked them to put their air horns away since they were beating us 9-0, taunting our goalie, and laughing at the boys. They did not respond nicely to my request. Fortunately, the referee glared at all of them and they realized it didn't matter how great and wonderful their soccer club was, they better quiet down.

So, this past weekend we were at our home tournament. Our boys made it to the championship. This was a miracle of sorts since we've had a really rough season. It's easy to size up the opposing team by watching their fans before the game. Sometimes the parents line their chairs up in a perfectly straight line and speak in hushed tones. Their boys don't goof around during warm ups, they have their game faces on, and they beat the tar out of us. Some parents are social, they come down and talk with our parents. Their teams are usually like us--friendly and fun. Then some teams' fans look pretty harmless and normal, but really, they're not. Such was the case yesterday when we realized that the team we were playing had air horns.

Suddenly, we all were in panic mode. Did we have anything noisy, too? Would jingling our keys count? This team was out for blood. They fully believed they were going to win. They had dads coaching from the sidelines just in case their actual coach's words weren't enough.

Fortunately, our boys never gave that team a chance to blow their horns. We won 1-0.
We were all pretty excited to say the least and after all of my hooping and hollering and celebrating, I know that I too, should never be given a noise making device at a game because if I had one, I'd make too much of a spectacle of myself. My noisy mouth is quite enough.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Milestone in the life of O

My little girl made her first official "big girl" decision this past weekend.

She decided she wanted to get her ears pierced.

Who planted this seed of piercing desire? Well, that would be her Nana, of course. Nana, who is my grandmother, has told O since she was about 3 years old that when she got her ears pierced, Nana would give her a pair of diamond earrings. This meant nothing to O. In fact, after a lot of asking from Nana, and once she realized piercing meant putting holes in your ears, she decided that she would be five before any piercings would occur. To a three year old, five seems awfully far away. On her 5th birthday, Nana asked her again when she was getting her ears pierced and O replied that she would need to be 6 before going forward with this idea of sticking something sharp in her skin.

As parents, we didn't really have an issue with it. I know that sometimes people want their daughters to be 12 or 13. Some people disagree withdoing it at all. All we wanted was for her to actually want to do it, so we didn't feel like we were torturing her. And so, one day soon after she hit the big FIVE, she decided it was time. Waiting another year until she turned six was just out of the question.

So, while the boys were at a football game last Saturday, I took O and K to the mall for a trip to Claire's and a pretzel. In anticipation of this grand event, O had decked herself out in every single solitary item of costume jewelry she owned. She drew quite a bit of attention parading through the mall like a star going to the Oscars. Gaudy does not even begin to describe how she looked.

She climbed up in the chair, chose her earrings (pink crystal flowers, of course), held my hands and closed her eyes. All the while I kept asking her, "Are you sure you want to do this? You don't have to do this. Are you sure you want to do this?"

KACHUNK KACHUNK is the next thing I heard followed by,

"MOMMY! OUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

And then, as quickly as the tears began, they stopped. It was off to get a pretzel, but not before paying $38.00 to the cashier. Since when did ear piercing get so expensive? I distinctly remember my mom paying $5.00 back in 1978 when I got my ears pierced.

Now my girly girl has sparkly ears and she's just so very excited.

Oh, see that Flickr badge up there to your right? Here are some instructions to see pictures:
  1. Click on the actual pictures you see--not the
  2. Once you are at my site, click on "June Clever's Photostream" and this will show you all the pictures I have uploaded.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Back from the depths of laundry

Well, I'm back. No over zealous, skunk lover can keep me down regardless of how scary his or her threats actually were. But, to err on the side of caution, the kids will now be referred to by their first initials, so get used to seeing J, L, O and K.

And, if you'd like to leave a comment on any post, you can do that easily. You don't even have to have a blogger account, just click the "anonymous" option after clicking "post a comment". Just please sign your first name so I know who you are.

So, how have I been keeping myself busy these past few months? Certainly not keeping my house in pristine order which explains the title of this blog. I was trying to come up with something that would keep our family's identity under wraps while summing up my stage in life right now. I've pretty much come to the realization that no matter how hard I try, my life will never match that of Mrs. June Clever.

I do not vacuum in high heels. I prefer being barefoot.

I do not wear pearls around the house. It's a good day if I actually have time to shower before everyone else wakes up.

I do not cope with troublesome situations by sighing and replying, "Oh gee, Beav, could you please stop irritating Wally?" Sometimes I lose my cool. It's not pretty and I'm working on that.

So, welcome family and friends and any stray human who happens to have stumbled across this blog!