Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Snow Mean

Well it is officially the second week of Christmas vacation around here, which means it is the second week now that "big kids" have been in daycare. I am very much looking forward to next week when school resumes!

Today, most of the older kids asked to go outside. About 10 minutes later, another boy came upstairs and asked if he could go outside. I said, "Sure", and he walked away, but then came back 2 minutes later.

He said, "I can't find any boots to wear."

I asked if he brought his, he said no.

So I said, "Well, you can't go outside without boots, snow pants, a coat, hat & gloves."

He responded by saying that he had planned to use Cameron's, but one of the other kids who also didn't bring any boots was already wearing Cameron's.

I said, "That's too bad, you'll have to wait until he comes back in."

He said, "Well, he'll probably stay out there the whole time."

I said, "He might." At which point, I think he finally started to realize that I really didn't care.

My question today is this: How does it become my problem when the kids don't bring their boots & snow pants? They all know the rules, they are the exact same rules that the school has for playing outside. I'm pretty sure the school does not have dozens of boots & snow pants on hand to loan out to the kids who don't bring those items to school. So why do the kids think that I should have a bunch of extras?

And besides, this is winter…in Minnesota. And even if you haven't lived her all your life, there is snow on the ground right now, and it has been there for weeks. Why would you not bring snow pants & boots to daycare if you thought you might want to play outside at some point??

Oh well, I'm just a big meanie anyway. When they asked to go outside for the third time…after I had gone into the porch to find all of their coats, hats & snow pants thrown on the floor, I said that nobody was going out for the rest of the day, because I have enough to do around here without having to go behind them picking up their stuff!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Santa was here!

It took a little while for all of us to wake up realize that Santa had been here.

But once the kids got started...they were all into it. It was even more fun this year, since all 5 of them were very interested in the actual unwrapping process, as well as with the toys they were receiving. I had it on very good authority that Baylee would love her presents...she played with them almost the whole time we were in Fleet Farm.

Caleb's favorite gifts were probably a tie between his new guitar & microphone & the Sing Along Spiderman. Although, for some reason, Spidey brought out the aggressive side of him. Every time Spiderman started swinging, Caleb would punch him & tackle him.

Amata's favorites were her Barbie guitar & her new Leapster game.

Cameron's big gift from Santa was an electric scooter. He liked it, but with it being winter in Minnesota, he won't have much riding time for a while. His second favorite gift was probably the heat/massaging chair pad that he wanted very badly for whatever reason. I guess there are a lot of stresses for 10 year olds these days.

Tyler favorite gift by far was his cell phone, even though it is prepaid, so we don't have to worry about him running up a huge bill. Of course, when I told him to call his aunt & let her know what time we'd be there, he said, "But I don't like to talk." I guess he'll be mainly using his phone for texting!

All in all, I think everybody was pretty happy with their gifts! And we still have 2 more Christmases to go!

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Every year for Christmas, we get at least a couple of games to play, and this year was no different. One of the games was Guesstures, which I had gotten for Cameron because he loves charades. So, while 2 of the three babies were down for a nap, we decided to play a round.

Teams were Cameron & Chris against Tyler, Amata & I. Things were going pretty well, especially since Tyler & I were winning. It was my turn to act out a word, and the word that came up on the game was Laxatives.

I just started laughing & saying there is no way Tyler even knows what this word is, because, honestly, I don't know of many almost 13 year olds who have ever used laxatives, or at least known they were using one & why. But I was a good sport, so I tried. For fear of sharing too much information, I won't go into detail about how I acted it out.

Imagine my surprise when Tyler did guess that the word was laxatives, and he got it within about 5 seconds! I still couldn't stop laughing and I said, "How do you even know what that is?"

His response? TV!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Times on Christmas Eve…not

Would you like to guess what I'll be doing tonight…on Christmas Eve?

It has something to do with this.

It may look like a small innocent crayon, but it is evil. EVIL I tell you.

I'll give you a hint. This morning, I decided to do some laundry, so that I won't have as much to do this weekend.

Did you guess?

Yep, I will be spending the rest of the day trying to get purple color crayon out of my whites. Oh, don't worry, I have googled how to remove crayon stains from laundry, and there appear to be several different ways. However, each of the ideas has to do with applying removers and such from each piece of laundry, individually. Obviously, whoever came up with these ideas does not realize how many articles of clothing can be in a load of laundry, when you have 5 children and an extra large capacity front load washing machine!! Oh, and they also warn that it may take several washes before it comes completely out...because I just don't have enough loads of laundry to do!

Right now I am re-washing the entire load in hot water, hoping that might lighten the stain enough in most of the clothes to not be as noticeable. (Did I mention a pair of Chris' new Schwan's pants were in there, too?)

But one thing is for sure…Daycare or no daycare, all crayons are currently banned from my house!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Chuck E Cheese

Chuck E Cheese has had a commercial on lately that I find very disturbing. It is emphasizing their Kid Check policy, where everybody has their hand stamped with a number & the kids can only leave with an adult with the same number stamped on their hand.

The commercial shows a mom taking her kids there, and she is just sitting back relaxing, enjoying her dinner while her kids are off somewhere else playing games. I have a couple of issues with this. First of all, I've been to Chuck E Cheese, many, many times. The commercial does some false advertising trying to show that it is relaxing there. Hundred's of kids running round screaming is not relaxing!

But my bigger issue with this commercial is that some parents might actually buy the message that it is completely safe to just let your children run around there & play the games unsupervised. Aside from the whole injury/bully things that can happen, can we say child predators??? While I certainly hope this would never happen, just think of the message this sends to child predators. So what if they supposedly cannot leave with a child since their number doesn't match...many of them are pretty crafty & could probably find semi private areas within the building.

I just can't believe nobody has caught this. It really bothers me every single time this commercial comes on!

Friday, December 19, 2008


Here is an email exchange I recently had with the State of MN.


We finalized the adoptions of our youngest two children in September, but we still have not received their new birth certificates. The checks have yet to be cashed, also. I was just informed by the social security office that I cannot get new social security numbers issued to them without a birth certificate. Is there some way to find out where my applications are and when the birth certificates might be issued?

They are for Caleb Alexander *** & Baylee Rayne ***.

Thank You,


Ms. ***,
Thank you for your inquiry. We received your paperwork on Oct. 6 and we’re currently reviewing submissions received on Sept. 16. We should be reviewing your submission within the next 2-4 weeks.

John A. ***

Office of the State Registrar
P.O. Box 64882
St. Paul, MN 55164-0882


Thank you for your quick response. Is there any way to expedite those? I was told by the Social Security Office that I cannot get new Social Security numbers for them without the birth certificates, and I cannot file my taxes without the Social Security numbers. If I remember correctly from when my daughter was adopted, it took about 3-4 weeks to get the new Social Security card once I applied for it.

Thanks again for your help!


To expedite your request, we require a fee of $20. If you mail us a check, we can get started as soon we receive the check. If you call with a credit card number, we can get started sooner, but we would also require an additional $6 credit card processing fee.

John A. ***
Office of the State Registrar
P.O. Box 64882
St. Paul, MN 55164-0882


If you actually want us to do our job in a relatively timely manner, you will need to pay us another $26 for each child...in addition to the $56 each that you already paid for the birth certificates.

No wonder government employees have such a bad rap! I really don't get why it takes so long. Considering the fact that although I signed the form & wrote the check, it was the Court Administrator that actually completed & mailed in the forms. That works for the same judge who granted the adoption, so really, what is it they have to check?

I have to say, the Social Security Admin also makes me shake my head. (Please note, I am not complaining about the employees at the office in my area, as they have always been extremely nice & helpful. When I got Amata's new number, I was in & out of that office in less than 5 minutes!) But, according to them, if I just wanted to change their names on their existing SSA accounts, the certified court documents I already have would be just fine. (Their biological mother has their current numbers...the same biological mother who has a conviction for check forgery charges. She wouldn't think twice about trying to steal their identities. Thus the reason I want new numbers.)

Also, since their biological mother applied for their current SSN's from the hospital, a birth certificate was not required then. But for me to get new numbers for my adopted children, I have to have the physical birth certificates. UGH!!

I refuse to pay another $52 just to get their Birth Certificates a week faster. I guess I'll just have to live with possibly not being able to file my taxes on Feb 1st. (With so many kids and a daycare in our home, we always get a refund, which I like to get as soon as possible.)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Getting Ready for Christmas

No, I don’t mean decorating, baking & wrapping gifts for Christmas, although I have done two out of those three things. I’m talking about decluttering.

I decided to be a little more pro-active this year. Instead of waiting until several months after Christmas, when I just couldn’t stand having toys covering every square inch of the house, and then weeding through all of the toys, deciding which ones needed to go, I spent last weekend going through them, and managed to get rid of 2 totes & two large boxes full of toys.

I feel so much better now! It’s amazing how you can get rid of half of the toys, and not one of the kids has even noticed yet. I think they’ve had more fun than before, because they’ve found a bunch of toys they didn’t even know we had!

And before you feel too sorry for my kids, having such a mean mom who steals their toys, please remember that there are 5 of them. Which means we barely fit into this house as it is, let alone have enough room left to just add to the existing toys. We have to create space, and it is either get rid of some of their toys, or get rid of some of my stuff, and that wasn't going to happen!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Picture Time Again

We actually had these pictures done a little over a month ago, but I haven't had a chance to do anything with them until now. As it was it took us three trips to get them all done.

The first time, we were able to get individual pictures of 4 of the kids done...not bad. Baylee decided she was not in the mood for photos that day. For the most part they turned out nice, they just don't seem to get very creative with Tyler & Cameron.

As always, Amata was very shy in front of the camera...not!

We saw some progress from Caleb. He wasn't 100% on board with it all, but he did at least stay where we put him this time!

Are you done yet?!

Originally, I had made the second appointment hoping to get the whole family, but we decided to get Baylee's individual appointment done first. She was having a good time at first.

But then, right after I changed her clothes, she fell down and bonked her head. She decided she was done after that. The family picture is not my favorite, but with 3 children between the ages of 1 & 3, we have to take what we can get!

We didn't bother to even try to get any pictures of the 5 kids after that! So I made one last appointment, and I'm glad I did. I really like the pictures we got! And, no, I did not photo shop these...that is an actual smile you see on Caleb's face!

I admit the boys are a little bit too tall compared to the babies in this one, but I really like Caleb & Baylee in it!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Snow Day

It looks like we will be having a white Christmas this year. I have no clue how much snow we actually got yesterday, but it was a lot. School started out 2 hours late, but by 8 am, it was cancelled for the day. The school kids seemed to be a tad bit more excited about that than I was! It didn't take them long to feel the need to go outside. I don't mind them going out to play, but it is sure a lot of work getting them ready!

Once they were out, though, they had a blast.

I do have some requirements, though. You must have a hat, mittens, boots, snow pants & coat. And you must be over the age of 3 (or the age of 5 if Tyler is not out there, too). So, the babies had to watch the action from inside.

There is one very good thing about school being cancelled.... Tyler was willing to shovel the snow left by the snow plow at the bottom of the driveway for a mere $10.00. Let me tell you, it was totally worth every penny! Do you know how heavy that snow can be? (Okay, so maybe I don't know exactly how heavy it was, since I don't remember the last time I've had to shovel a driveway, but it sure looked heavy by the way he was shoveling and how long it took him!) All I had to do was shovel the sidewalk that had pretty light, fluffy snow and my back is hurting today!

Monday, December 8, 2008

17 days?!?!

I am usually one of those irritating people who is completely done with their Christmas shopping BEFORE Black Friday. I would maybe have a couple of stocking stuffers to get, or be waiting for some things to arrive in the mail, but basically done, and on a really good year, I would even have it all wrapped. Not only that, but I would also usually have all birthday gifts through April done, as well. (And if you know my family, that is no small feat… there are 5 birthday's in January alone!) By now, my Christmas letter would have been done, addressed, & mailed, along with pictures.

This year…not so much. I do have the paper purchased to print my letter on, but the letter itself isn't even started. The annual family picture in front of the tree?? Nope, not done. And as for the gifts? HELP! I usually have a very organized spreadsheet, showing what I am giving everybody, if it is purchased yet, if it has arrived yet, and even if it is wrapped. And I would, of course, have it all in separate boxes depending on where it had to go.

At this point, nothing is done. I have some toys out in the shed, but they are pretty much all for the little kids, and I really have no idea who's getting what. I thought I had Cameron's big gift done…the Peanut doll from Jeff Dunham. Until I started thinking it should have arrived by now. So I went to my email to check the confirmation for a shipping date. No confirmation. So then I went to check the credit card statement to see when it was charged… no charge. I clearly remember going to the website, ordering it, and getting out my credit card, but since they are now sold out, that doesn't do me much good. There are some on Ebay, but they are going for over three times as much!

I at least know what we're getting for Tyler's main gift, but we were waiting to see what kind of discount we'll get through Chris' new job. And poor Baylee. Since she is only a year, I haven't really paid much attention on what to get her, and so I'm not so sure that I have anything for her yet!

What have I been doing with all of my time? Besides making breakfast & doing the dishes, and changing diapers and making lunch & doing the dishes & changing diapers, and making Tyler or Cameron make dinner for us & doing the dishes & changing diapers. Oh, and I suppose you could throw laundry in there, somewhere too. I have been getting things washed; it's that whole putting it away part that been tough to get done.

So, maybe someday you'll get our Christmas card. Or maybe it'll be a Happy New Year's card instead??

More Changes

Well, a couple of months ago, I announced that Chris & I both changed jobs. Unfortunately, his job change didn't go so well. Long story short, the company he had been working for did not treat their managers very well, and their communication just plain sucks. Not to mention the fact that they didn't even pay him what they had offered him for the first 30 days. (They told them that part the day before his first shift…after I had quit my job)

But, it just so happens that a Schwan's truck usually does "truck sales" out of the parking lot of that company on Fridays. And so one Friday several weeks ago, Chris was talking to the driver and she was saying how much she liked working for Schwan's and that he should apply there. So he did. And today is his first day.

To be fair, they do also pay a training wage for the first 12 weeks while he is being trained. But, not only is that training wage more than what he was making, they were also kind enough to tell him that at his very first interview. So there was no surprise the day before he started. And, once he's trained in & learns his route and such, there will probably weeks that he only has to work 4 days. If he makes his quota within 4 days, he's done for the week. If not, then he has to work the "truck sale" on Friday. And they did already warn him that for the first year, he'll probably end up working quite a few of those truck sales. But on average, after the first year, most of the driver's have no problem making their quota.

It did boost his ego a little that the other company he was with did realize what an asset he could be. They did try to counter offer with a substantial raise, but it was kind of too little, too late.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Will She Ever Learn?

Sometime last night, Amata ended up on the floor next to our bed. (She has an extra pillow & blanket there, as this happens a lot. She peeked around the corner when she got up, I was talking to one of the daycare parents, and then she went back into the room.

When I got up there, her eye was pretty red and she said it hurt. Coincidentally, my deodorant appeared to have been tampered with. This is not the first time she has gotten into my deodorant. The first time, she actually took a bite out of it. Chris had to call poison control that time. Luckily, it's not toxic, it just burns a little going down. (Side note, that incident did make Amata the winner of the first…and only time we've ever had to call poison control… in the almost 13 years that we've been parents.)

So, first we tried a shower to try and rinse her eye out, but it didn't work well. I couldn't get her to leave her eye open. Which meant we had to try to wash her eye out with a cup over the kitchen sink. Yes, I probably could have taken her to the doctor and had them do it, but that wasn't all that much fun when I took her there a year or so ago after she put diaper rash ointment in her eye. They made me hold her down there, too, while they washed it out. (Side note, Amata is also the only child who's eye we've ever had to wash out, too, in almost 13 years…and she's had it done twice!)

I guess everybody has to have a talent. I just wish hers was something a little less painful, because we are the ones who have to listen to her cry after the fact. (Sorry, sympathy is pretty hard to come by for her since she has done it so many times!!)