Swine Flu? I’m not worried…Should I be?

I normally do not turn the TV on during the day.  I can’t stand the constant noise and so, typically, the TV doesn’t come on until late afternoon when I finally allow the kids to watch cartoons for a little while. 

But I’ve felt a little out of touch with the world lately, so the last two mornings I’ve turned on the news while I make breakfast, only to turn it back off within 10 minutes because AAAHHH the constant sound makes me insane!

I was a little humored this morning to hear the talk about swine flu.  I, of course, do not take the fact that something like this could potentially become pandemic lightly, but I had to laugh at the journalists insistence that we all be terrifed.  It’s like the newscasters feed off the fear they create in their viewers and this morning they seemed hungry.

More than 160,000 kids are out of school today due to school closings in infected areas.  Diane Sawyer’s question to a CDC rep. went something like this:

“If it seems imminent that a pandemic is coming, why not take the ultimate precautionary measure and close down all school?”

Uuuhhhh…first of all, is it imminent?  And second, because the nation can’t shut down in a time like this and what on earth will working parents do with thier kids?

Really, sometimes these things get taken a step too far.  If any shut down needs to occur, it’s the closing of the borders.  Do that before closing the schools.  But this constant yammering and fear-mongering is just slightly over the top. (Slightly as in ridiculously ludicris)

I’m the type of girl who wants the news how it is.  Give it to me straight.  Don’t specuulate on what you think will happen.  Tell me what’s happening right now and let me draw my own conclusion.  This is, of course, why I rarely watch the news.

Again, I know this flu thing is real and I’m certainly not planning any trips to Mexico in the near future, and of course if my son’s school reported a case of this flu strain then I would be more inclined to take this a little more seriously.  But putting us in a state of constant fear that we’re all going to the pigs is just plain silly.

It’s silly I tell ya!

And that’s all I have to say about that.

Sick and Twisted or Just Plain Funny?

When I was thirteen, I got a babysitting job for some neighbors that lived down the street.  After hanging up the phone, I checked the calendar and realized that *gasp* I had just agreed to baby-sit on Friday the 13th.

 

I handled this realization with typical teenage aplomb, dramatically lamenting about how horrible and terrible it would be.  I was all, “Ohmyga, like, it’s gonna be soooooooo scary to baby-sit on, like, Friday the 13th.  Like, what am I gonna do – like…?”

 

I think my parents responded with an eye roll and snicker.  Heartless. 

 

Finally, the big day arrived.  I had asked a friend to go with me because I figured there was power in numbers and if any crazed psychopaths came knocking on our door I could sacrifice her and run for my life.

 

Once we finally settled the baby in his bed, we sat down on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and put in a documentary on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.  Why did we choose to watch that?  Hard to say – that’s a part of this memory that baffles me.  All I know is that just as the shot rang out on the grassy knoll, we heard it – a scratching sound on the back porch.

 

Both of us froze, afraid to even glance at one another.  Then we heard the bang of a chair falling over.  My friend yelped and jumped on top of me.  I pulled a pillow over my face and the bowl of popcorn thudded to the floor. It was like a bad horror movie when everything slowed down.  I could hear nothing but the rapid beating of my heart.

 

“What should we do?” my friend gasped.

 

“I’ll run upstairs and grab the baby – you call 911,” I replied, my breathing ragged.

 

“How about I go get the baby and you stay down here with the killer?” my friend said back.  Clearly, neither one of us was feeling overly self-sacrificial.

 

At that moment, three short raps rang from the back door.  At this point, my friend is nearly in tears, her face hidden in her hands.  I poked my head out from under the pillow and could see the silhouette of a man standing on the other side of the glass.  I was just about to let loose the blood curdling scream that only a girl of 13 could produce when I heard, “Kelli?  Let me in – it’s cold out here.”

 

It was my FATHER.  In a sick and twisted moment of cruelty, he thought it would be a good idea to come over and scare us, knowing how dramatic we had been about babysitting that night. 

 

After opening the door and giving him an earful (Dad, like you are soooooo lame.  We were, like, tooootally gonna call the cops on you, blah, blah, blah) I giggled a little, because, well, it was pretty funny.

 

My dad was notorious for scaring the ever lovin’ life out of us as kids.  My brother, who was terrified of “basement monsters,” would creep down the stairs only to come tearing back up when my dad would let out a howl from behind him.  My dad found an odd measure of glee in watching us scream in terror.  And the funny part is that even though he genuinely scared us senseless, we always came back for more.  There was something oddly comforting about being so scared, yet deep down knowing we were just fine.

 

And, I have to admit, now that I’m a parent – it is pretty funny.  Last week, our back door, which hadn’t been closed all the way, blew open in a gust of wind. 

 

“Maybe it’s a ghost,” I whispered to my kids and I crept slowly to the door.  Gripping the knob, I yanked it all the way open and let out a piercing scream.  Sloan screamed too, his eyes wide with terror.  When he realized I was joking, he broke out in a peal of delighted laughter. 

 

Tia, however, did not appreciate the twisted humor.  She glared at me for half an hour and refused to sit next to me at lunch.  For some reason this made me laugh even more.  (And I did apologize to her later – I’m not totally heartless.)

 

I’m not sure what it is, but giving your kids a healthy little scare is just hilarious.  Perhaps it’s a little payback for the sleepless nights?  Or maybe, as in my case, it’s the perpetuating of a cycle that started long ago with my own father.  Whatever it is, to hear their little screams and then listen to them break out in short little bursts of fearful laughter-those are good times.  Or maybe that’s just me… 

After all, I am a little sick and twisted.

Want to win a new HP Mini 1000?

Head over to 5 Minutes for Mom where you’ll find my review of this awesome giveaway they’re doing.  I’m having a blast playing with mine, but I have to send it back in three weeks.  *wimper, sniff*  Enter to win one for yourself!

Cousins

I love watching my kids play with their cousins.  It takes me back to childhood and how much I loved being with my own extended family.  Here are a few snapshots of our weekend in Conway.  While getting six kids to play together is a piece of cake, getting all six of them to sit still for photographs is a different story…
Sloan, Katya, Landon

Sloan, Katya, Landon

Bribes work well on three year olds - not so much on one year olds.

Bribes work well on three year olds...not so much on one year olds

Still not having fun...we have about 15 pictures like this

Still not having fun...we have about 15 pictures like this

dsc_0373

And they're done

 And here are a few pictures of Tia because I just can’t resist.

Isn't that dress great?  If they had one in my size, I would have bought it!

Isn't that dress great? If they had one in my size, I would have bought it!

dsc_0388_edited-1

She looks very old in these pictures. It kind of makes me sad.

Little Miss Sunshine

Little Miss Sunshine

All photos were taken by my wonderful sister-in-law, Becke’.  Check out her photo blog here.

Why I’m Happy

1. We’re leaving town today to go to Conway to visit Lee’s family.  I’m not excited about the 6 hour drive, but I am excited to get away for the weekend.

2. We found out we were getting a nice tax return and decided to purchase the bedroom furniture that I’ve had my eye on for about two years now.  I’m near giddy about this.  This marks our first big furniture purchase in our nearly nine years of marriage.  We don’t make financial commitments easily.

3. Li’l and Anoop got voted off American Idol last night.  It’s the little things, people.

4. I’ve got some really fun writing opportunities coming down the pipeline.  I’m having a blast.

5. I cut Sloan’s hair myself this morning and saved us 15 bucks.  Just, please, don’t look too close at it. kthanks.

6. We joined Lifetime Fitness.  And it’s awesome.  I want to live there forever and ever.  Today I’m going to go sit in the Eucalytus steam room.  I’m such a diva.

7. I’m halfway through Harry Potter book 6, which means I only have a book and a half to go until I find out what happens.  I gotta say, the Harry Potter books are amazing.

8. It’s a beautiful day and spring is finally here to stay.

9. We’re buying our flowers next week and cleaning up the landscaping.  I can’t wait!

10. My kids are adorable as evidenced by this video.

Don’t you love dancing babies?  Happy weekending to you all!

Check It Out!

The St. Louis Bloggers Guild new site is up and running and it looks awesome thanks to the lovely Melody.  Why not head over there and take a peek?  Also, last week, a feature I wrote for 5 Minutes for Mom ran on a great new site called MyWorkButterfly.  I highly recommend reading the article and joining the site.  And, tune in to 5 Minutes for Mom over the next couple of weeks as they are beginning their Mother’s Day contests and, ohmygoodness, they are giving away some GREAT stuff.  I’ll be doing a review of the HP Mini 1000, which one lucky person will take home so keep your eye out for it.  (I get to keep the Mini for 3 weeks, then I have to return it – boo.)  Anyway, that’s all for now.

American Idol – Disco Fever

Last night’s show was surprisingly well done.  It coul dhave easily been a train wreck, but turned out to be pretty entertaining.  Here is my run down.

Li’l Rounds was not very good.  I’ve decided that she is simply not as good as originally thought.  She is not a musician, she’s a singer.  And not even a great singer – just an okay one.  I hope she goes home tonight.  Callous?  Yes, yes I am.

Kris Allen is the exact opposite of Li’l.  He knows exactly who he is as a musician and is really good at it.  He voice is nowhere near as impressive as Danny or Adam, but as far as musicality, he’s excellent.  I thought he did great last night.

Danny Gokey is good, really good.  And, for once, I agree with Paula (for once I sort of understood her, sheesh), Danny’s got a really sexy voice.  I love the rasp.  My only problem is I still don’t know what kind of music he’ll sing.

Allison Iraheta can really, really sing.  I seriously cannot believe that girl is only 16 years old.  She was like a combination of Kelly Clarkson and Christina Aguilera.  She did great, I thought.  I still don’t want her to win though.

Adam Lambert is just a freak of nature.  And he looked awesome last night.  And that’s all I have to say about that.

On a side note, does anyone else think that Ryan is starting to look like an Oompa Loompa?  I think it’s time to lay off the tanning.

Matt Giraud did great.  He was funky and cool and his voice sounded great.  If he goes home before Li’l and Anoop, then I’ll be really, really mad.  I know, you’re all scared aren’t you.

Finally Anoop.  *sigh* I didn’t even watch it.  I heard the first two bars and decided I couldn’t take it.  He looked nice in his hot pink sweater and tie set, but he was almost too pretty.  Even looking at him made me cringe.

And there you have it.  My Wednesday run down.  Who should go? Anoop and Li’l so we can get to the real competition.

Now I’m off to make breakfast for my kids who have been up since before 6:00.  On a day when I have a ton of work to do.  *sigh*  They are just further supporting this theory.

For more insight into American Idol, visit Boo Mama’s site.

My Mom Logic – Preserving the Past

Swish, Swish

The Painter deftly runs His brush over the broad canvas, a brilliant splash of color marking a trail behind Him.  With careful precision, He mixes colors, creating a palate that perfectly compliments.  Some colors are vibrant and immediately pop.  Others are muted, blending more into the background but essential nonetheless to the masterpiece being created.

With every swish of His brush, the Painter brings more life into what was once a dry piece of fabric…

I have spent a significant amount of brain power trying to think of the perfect post for this contest.  I’ve come up with a dozen witty lines sure to have the judges wiping the tears from their eyes as they heave in uproarious laughter. 

But tonight, as I reflect on this topic, I find that I cannot write that humorous post.  Which is probably a good thing because I doubt it was all that funny anyway.

papa-and-bebe-pictures-137

 random-2571

 

 

 

 

 

Above you see two pictures.  The woman on the right is my grandmother, Mimi.  The woman on the left is my husband’s grandmother, who we call (oddly enough) grandmother.

These two women are matriarchs in our family lines.  Swish, swish.

Mimi died on March 3, 2004.  Today, Grandmother lays in a hospital in critical condition.  In the last 48 hours she has managed to fight her way off of her deathbed, but she is still a very sick woman.  (since I first posted this, Grandmother has shown a miraculous recovery…Swish).  And my heart hurts.  The connections to the past, to the events that, though long ago, will ultimately play a part in molding who my children are as people, are fading.  I find that a difficult pill to swallow. 

Mimi was the original blogger.  After she passed away, my mom brought home a stack of diaries that Mimi journaled in over a period of 50 years.  They start in 1961, when Mimi and Poppi Jim settled in the West Indies as pioneer missionaries.  They lived without electricity or running water.  Mimi found a thousand different ways to cook SPAM.  Poppi Jim bought a small Cessna airplane to help with the mission work…and then he taught himself how to fly it.

Swish, swish.

In two months, I will go to the island of South Caicos for the first time and see where my mom grew up.  I will meet some of the people who still love and admire my grandparents to this day.  I will see the church and the school that my grandfather started.  The grandfather I never met because he died at the age of 45. 

Swish.

My husband’s grandmother has been a stalwart of strength.  She is the constant that we can always depend on for skads of hugs, kisses and unending pride.  She is the woman who took a computer class in her late seventies so she could better keep in touch with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 

Swish, swish.

What is my mom logic?  Today, this moment, what seems more logical than anything else is to preserve this history of family for my children.  To help them see the fluid lines that are painted in the tapestry of life.  And to give them a pride in their part of this grand piece of art.  Their lives now leave behind a mark that gives greater detail to an intricate history.  I want my kids to grasp and respect this concept.

I also want my children to understand the power of the written word.  I want them to appreciate how precious the scratched out writings of their great-grandmother are and know that her words preserved moments in time that would have forever been lost otherwise.

And someday, I hope that their children will want to know who I was.  And as they search through the pages I’ve written, I want them to see the foundation that was laid for them by their ancestors.  (And I really hope they don’t think, “Gee, great-grandma was a weirdo…”)  That is why I blog.  That is why I spend time documenting the little moments in life.  That is my mom logic.

Swish.

This is my entry into the MomLogic contest.  While I do hope that I have found favor with the judges, ultimately I hope I’ve honored two women who I love dearly.   

Who Wants to Help a Sister Out?

*yet another update.  I got ten nominations!  WAHOO.  I will be writing a post soon with more information, but before I do that I just want to say…You love me, you really love me.

*update#2: Okay, folks – I just need two more nominations to qualify so if a couple more of you would mind taking a few minutes to head over to my momlogic site, I would appreciate it!  Oh, and I highlighted a fun new site over at 5 Minutes for Mom today.  I will be writing the Say It Forward column every Friday so go check it out if you get a chance.

*I just found out that you have to sign up at MomLogic in order to leave a comment, which is a little frustrating.  It doesn’t take very long, but still…If you still feel inclined to vote, I appreciate it and I’ll include telepathic air kisses in my thanks to you.  If not, I understand – I’ll still send out telepathic love your way.  Aren’t you glad?

There are certain necessities in life.  Food, water, clothing, shelter, shoes and of course Arbonne face products.  Anything outside of these essentials are merely bonus items.  And, you see, I really want one of those non-essentials.  It’s something that I’ve wanted a long time now but little things keep popping up that prevent me from getting it.  Little things like a new driveway, new tires for the car, etc…And, well, it’s something that’s a little pricey and somewhat frivolous, but oh how much I desire one.

I want a laptop.

Yes, I have a perfectly good desktop that I use every day, but how I would love the mobility of a laptop.  It’s hard to get much writing done with all the distractions surrounding my desktop, but to have the freedom to get away on occasion and write?  Bliss.

So I am asking for your help.  I have joined up with the MomLogic community and they are running a contest right now and guess what the winner receives? 

Yep, a laptop…and I want it.

So, would you all mind jumping over to my home page and leaving a comment nominating me?  I have to have 10 nominations to be eligible to win, but I’m hoping the more nominations I receive the better my chances of winning.  It’s really easy and really quick.  Just scroll to the bottom of the page and click on Add a Comment and say I nominate Kelli because she’s so awesome and her blog is the highlight of every day.  Okay, you don’t have to say that last part, unless you want to in which case I won’t stop you…  Bada-bing, bada-boom-there you have it.  The catch is that I have to receive all nominations by April 21, which is just a few days from now.

Thanks, bloggy friends, for helping me out!  If I win I will send you all telepathic hugs and fist bumps.  Because that’s how much I care…


Deep Breaths

Do you ever have those days, or weeks, where you feel like maybe, just maybe, this is the moment when it will happen.  When every ounce of composure you’ve managed to muster up to this point has slowly been siphoned away and you will finally lose your mind once and for all?

Yeah, me too.  In fact, I’ve had a couple of days like that.  I love my children with every single fiber of my being, but, well, some days I feel like the life is being sucked out of me; like I can’t suck in a deep breath between the constant demands that surround me.  And I’m just tired and frustrated.

I just sent my daughter to her room where I have half a mind to leave her for the rest of the day.  The trying three’s are upon us and ohmygoodness, they are trying.  I told Lee last night that it’s a good thing she’s the cutest child in the world, because right now, she’s just a little stinker.

I know that these years are short and they go by quickly and when they’re gone I’ll miss them and blah, blah, blah.  But today, right this very moment, I’m just fed up and annoyed.  Given that my face is breaking out like a prepubescent teenager, I am making the assumption that I’m also slightly hormonal, which is naturally not helping at. all.

Oh, and have I mentioned that my youngest, who is also about as cute as a child could possibly get, is teething and getting over a nasty virus which means he’s crying near constantly?   Yeah, cause that helps mommy out a ton.

Some days this thing called motherhood drains the life out of me.  Some days, I just feel like maybe I’m not cut out for this.  I look around and see women all around me handling their children with such grace and patience and I, unwisely, compare myself to them.  All of the bad mommy moments rear their ugly heads and the good moments – the ones where I am that graceful, patient mommy – get buried.

I have to remind myself not to do that.

I know that we all experience these days.  I know it’s okay.  I know that these years won’t last forever.  I also know that I won’t miss these moments where I feel bombarded, overwhelmed, under appreciated and generally frustrated.

What I will miss are these moments:

cute-tia2and these:spring-09-014 oh, and also these: spring-09-007

The mounds of laundry, the constant mess, the crying, whining, fighting and general feeling of suffocation are only a small part of the picture.  They are worth it every time I get a grin, a hug, a silly dance or a funny observation.  There is redemption as I hear my five year old pray before dinner, beseeching God’s mercy and grace on his family.  Those are the moments that I live for – the moments that make days like today tolerable.

Well, those moments and blogging, of course, because I feel much better now that I’ve vented for a moment.  Now, off to deal with the girl…