Monday, August 31, 2009

Peace and Benadryl

It is quiet and peaceful in my house. School starts next week and my kids have been staying up until all crazy hours, long after I'm asleep. Last week, Shauna even went with Janine to visit Jack at work when he took his 4:00 am break! So, we got some melatonin today and I gave them a dose of Benadryl and as far as I can tell, they are all asleep! Alex has his ninth grade orientation from 9-2 tomorrow, so he really needed to get to sleep early.

I felt really crappy this weekend and I am heading to bed myself, hoping for a better week than weekend!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

My duh

In this post, I said that Alex thought they were supposed to look for pots. He corrected me last night and told me it was pans, which of course, is close to pads and makes a whole lot more sense! Duh for me!

Saturday, August 29, 2009


So, Janine and I were talking about why Mike changed his Facebook profile to say that he is married, but he took off the part that said he was married to me. Alex pipes up with, "Well, he is in Vegas!"

Friday, August 28, 2009

Duh of the day

"Please go get pads and Equate anti-diarrheal."--Me (to Alex and Hannah, at Walmart)

After being gone for a very long time:

"Alex made us look at pans for a really long time because he thought you said pans, not pads."--Hannah

"I couldn't find the anti-direl (sic) pans. Then Hannah told me you said pads."--Alex

"Yeah, but that was after we were looking at the pans for 5 or 6 minutes! Then I remembered that you said pads."--Hannah

"We saw one of the neighbors when we were looking at the pans. Good thing I didn't ask her if she knew which ones were the anti-direl ones!"--Alex

Ugh, these were the same two kids who had told me only minutes earlier that the gravy wasn't in the aisle that has the big gravy sign on it. When I pointed the gravy out, Alex said, "Oh, that's on the bottom shelf. We didn't look there." I can't wait to take those two shopping again!

***Edited to read pans, instead of pots!***

Quote of the day

"Hannah, did you throw that hammer?"--Me


Monday, August 24, 2009


We are home from vacation. Tired. More later.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The best laid plans...

Didn't I say we were going to the aquarium and to see Lucy the Elephant today? Well, things didn't go exactly according to plan. We didn't do either. It also never rained like it was supposed to.

Some of the kids went to the beach a time or two. Actually, all of ours, except Hannah did. They also went crabbing with the Dads and had a great time. They are hoping to go again at least once before we leave on Monday. A threatening storm sent them home early from crabbing, but the storm passed us right by.

We drove to Toms River, NJ, about an hour away from Atlantic City, just to eat dinner at White Castle. Yum! Some of us then had ice cream at Mentos in Ventnor, just a few blocks from the house. Nick's cousin arrived tonight, along with two of her kids.

We are hoping to get some beach time in tomorrow, if the beach isn't closed due to high waves and riptides.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Quote of the day

"Nick was born with a mustache"--Denise

Mom's Day Out

We had a Mom's Day Out today. Denise, Lucille, Judith, and I went to see the movie, Julie and Julia (or is it Julia and Julie?). It was really, really good. Then we went to the Goodwill store and shopped. I found 6 really nice silver picture frames for the kid's rooms and some other storage/decorative items for their rooms. I also got myself a book or two. Nothing incredibly exciting, but nice. After Goodwill, we stopped for a quick bite to eat at McDonald's. The yogurt parfait was yummy and the iced mocha coffee was delicious.

Hannah and Brittany went for a long walk down the boardwalk today. Mike followed them, just to be sure they were safe! Then Judith took them shopping. Hannah found a pair of colored jeans for only $10.

Steven, Stephen B. and Luke went for a long walk, after dark. They walked six miles there and back, plus however far they walked while inside the different buildings they went in. They checked out some stores and casinos.

We played some dominoes tonight and, in keeping with my tradition, I was the biggest loser!

Tomorrow we are planning to go to the aquarium and to see an elephant named Lucy. Not sure what that is all about! It is supposed to rain, hence the indoor plans. We are also supposed to have huge waves this weekend, due to the hurricane. I hope they don't close the beach!

Quotes of the day

"You can't use flip flops as a reliable source of walking around."--Steven, commenting on the fact that Stephen B's mom told him he didn't need to bring gym shoes on a beach vacation.

"I smell a cat fight coming on. I'm allergic to cats, so please go in the basement."--JJ's comment to Denise and I when we were "arguing" during a game of dominoes.

"I don't have ADD, I'm just always multi-tasking."--Nick (who was apparently multi-tasking when he forgot to make us the promised and eagerly awaited bruschetta.)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Quote of the day

"Blogging is for Blosers."--Stephen B.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Quote of the day

"Cool my bottom off, please."--Denise to Nick when she was sitting in the passenger seat of a car with air conditioned seats.


This was the morning we were leaving. I kept notes. We were parked in front of the house, car fully packed with belongings and kids. Mike wanted to take a shower after loading the car, so he went back into the house. We are not moving, just sitting there in front of the house.

5:58 am: "Luke's touching me!"--Stephen B.

6:02 am: "Mom, Stephen's touching things that don't belong to him!"--Luke

6:03 am: "Stop touching my butt! I'm getting the heebie-jeebies from sitting next to Luke."--Stephen B.

6:05 am: "I have a really good bladder."--Stephen B.

Good thing they were doing this on purpose, just to annoy me and stopped when Mike got in the car, or we would have arrived with two fewer children!

Atlantic City, Day Four

Yesterday, the family with four boys left for home. The kids were missing them today and Shauna asked me if they were returning! Last night, Lucille's friend, Judith and her granddaughter, Brittany, arrived.

Today we sort of just chilled around the house. Well, I'm not sure chilled is the right word to use here, since the heat index was around 100 today! Nick and I went on a date to the hair store to get african american hair supplies. I was shopping for sturdy combs when I heard a crash, followed by, "Help, I've fallen and I can't get up!" I glanced around the corner and saw Nick putting things back on the bottom shelf with his foot, so I just pretended not to know him!

After the hair store, we snuck to a homemade candy store. We only got a couple pieces because we had to eat it before we got home and before it melted in the heat! It was good, but Fannie May is a million times better.

After our quick chocolate fix, we headed to Wawa for ice. I was wondering what was taking Nick so long, as I waited in the car. I kept seeing people walking in and walking back out and still no Nick. Then Denise called to see what was taking us so long. I tried to convince her that Nick and I were at a motel, but she knew it wasn't true because I didn't have my "hot shirt" on! She probably also figured that I'm still too traumatized from the mooning incident, back in December, to even think about Nick and motels in the same sentence! Anyway, I explained how it was taking him forever and she said, "I know exactly what is going on. He's in there, getting some fancy iced coffee drinks for you and him." No sooner had she finished saying that and out walks Nick with a bag of ice and two iced coffees! Wow, does she know her husband, or what? The iced coffee was delicious, by the way, and much appreciated.

Back on the subject of candy, Nick and I thought that we had thrown away all the evidence after our candy-finding mission and gotten off scott free, but Detective Denise spotted the note with the candy store address written on it, which had inadvertently been left in the car, and we got busted! We got quite a dirty look and I was left to wonder if she would have been happier if we really had been at a motel!!!! (Joking, Everyone, in case it isn't obvious!)

After returning home, Angela (Nick's sister) and I made an attempt to comb and braid GracieGirl's hair. We succeeded in only making her sob, not once, but several times. So, we moved on to Shauna's hair. It was way past time to take out her extensions. I have decided that I am taking Angela home with me! She pitched right in and removed at least half of the braids, while I did the other side and combed and rebraided her head into four french braids. It was SO much quicker with a helper! It came out really cute and should last for at least a few days.

Angela took the kids out for ice cream and they surprised me by bringing back some mint chocolate chip in a waffle cone. It was so yummy. I haven't had really good ice cream in a long time, so it was a great treat. Good thing it has been too hot for me to eat much at meal time, since I had two sweet treats today!

After braiding and a quick sandwich for dinner, we played Dominos. I have never played before, although my mother has been telling me I needed to learn. I didn't think I would like it, but I really did. I came in dead last (by about a hundred points, I think!), out of 6 players, but I still had fun. I'm beginning to understand the strategy, although some of the train things still confuse me a bit. I'm sure if I play a few more times, I will have it down.

Tomorrow, the three youngest kids are heading out to go on a Dolphin Cruise. Mike and I and the older boys are going to skip that since the cost is really high for adults. Nick, Angela, and Judith are all going, so there will plenty of supervision. Mike and I need to drop the kids off at the cruise, so we are going to take Stephen B. and Luke and do a little sight seeing around Atlantic City.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Another quote of the day

"I already got my exercise for the day. I walked into and back out of the house."--Denise, when I told her that her Mother-In-Law had suggested we go on a bike ride. She was offered a hoveround, by the way, so the only actual exercise involved was walking down the stairs.

Quote of the day

"I always check mug shots on Friday. Friday is Mug-Shot-O-Rama."--Mike

The Hotel Paradise

I was wondering, out loud, what the polar opposite of The Hotel Cinderella would be and Alex suggested The Hotel Paradise. I think that is the perfect name for the beautiful home we are staying in, here in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Nick's parents, Angelo and Lucille live in a huge, gorgeous home, built in the very early 1900's and for some reason, they allowed us all to come visit! In addition to Nick, Denise and their 4 kids, we are here with 4 of ours (one more to come next Wednesday), plus Stephen B. Nick's sister, Angela, is here with her son and friends of hers, with their 4 sons. Later today, a friend of Lucille's is arriving with two 15 year old girls, but Angela's friend's family is leaving today. Whew! I think I got everyone. However, because this house is so large and has a huge front porch and back decks, there is plenty of room for everyone. We even have our own floor!

Read here, if you haven't heard about The Hotel Cinderella. Here is what happens at The Hotel Paradise. Lucille told me to put away everything I had brought with, like toilet paper, paper towels, and food and use theirs. She told me that if we ran out she would buy more and she wants us to take everything we brought with us back home! She is so sweet. I won't do that, of course, I have been sneaking our stuff in when she isn't looking! Now, we have never met Lucille and Angelo, so it is amazing how generous they are. Now, please don't take this the wrong way. Nick and Denise are very generous, as well, and all of this is said in jest!

Last night, Lucille had all of the kids playing a nice, long game of Bingo. It was awesome, she bought all kinds of little prizes for them and they had a wonderful time.

More to come...

More vacation pictures

Ready to go!

"The Hotel Paradise"

Awesome front porch on "The Hotel Paradise"

Atlantic City Vacation!

Atlantic City Beach

Janine and Danny came to visit on Saturday!


Alex and Hannah on the first night we arrived. We got yelled at by two fishermen to be quiet! The funny thing was that we WERE being quiet. Good thing they don't live with us!

Alex, Luke, Stephen B. (back)
Nate, Hannah, Shauna (front)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Packing and cooking

I am busy packing and cooking for our beach vacation with Denise and Nick. We are leaving in the early morning hours on Friday (hopefully!) and I still have a lot to do. I have been preparing for a long time, but still have so many last minute things to do. It will be fun and worth all the work, once we get there, I'm sure!

Then and Now

Shauna Anne Sylvia's adoption day, July 31, 1998, age 9 months

11 years later

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Adventures in laundry

In today's laundry, I found two shirts that I have never seen before. No one knows where they came from, including me. Then, I find Drew's new underwear, pictured below. They are actually quite humerous. I guess this is what happens when you start letting them pick out their own boxers!

By the way, I have no clue why this is underlined and I can't fix it!

Second annual cul-de-sac party

It was 100 degrees for the block party, but we still had a great time! We really have very nice neighbors (except for one, who pretends to be nice, but is a witch with a b!). Except for that one person, I like all of the other 7 families in our cul-de-sac. Alex, Hannah, and Shauna prepared a bunch of water games for the kids. The parents were so grateful because they kept the little ones occupied the whole time.

Click here to see the First Annual Cul-De-Sac Party.

Alex's Clean Room!

I'm enjoying it, while it lasts!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Quote of the day

(When we get to the beach...) "Are we going to just park and go straight to the beach or do we have to unload everything?"--Shauna

Oh, how I wish we could just go straight to the beach! Loading and unloading are only second in highest vacation stress level to packing!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Out of the mouth of Steven

"You don't know anything about real life. I bet you would be pissed if you had to go out and work and only keep $30 a week and be broke for six days every week."--in response to having to give me money from his paycheck for HIS bills.

"You are going to make me lose my job because I won't have anywhere to stay and I won't be able to work."--In response to me telling him that he could not stay at our house while I am away, seeing as the last time I went away and trusted him to stay at home, he invited friends over (which was totally prohibited) and one of these lovely friends smashed all of my next door neighbor's outdoor lights. Steven paid for the lights and apologized and the neighbor still likes us, but I am still mad and will never trust him again.

"It isn't fair that just because YOU want to go on a vacation, so you can have your fun, I have to find somewhere else to stay. I don't have anywhere to stay so I will have to stay at a hotel and that will use up all my money from work, so I should be allowed to go with you on vacation and it would cost me the same amount of money."--In response to me telling him he could not go with us because he is disrespectful to me, and I am going on vacation to relieve stress, not bring it with me, and he will pick on the kids, plus he can't afford to miss 12 days of work.

"I don't give a "F" what you say, I'm going to break in while you're gone and stay here, no matter what you say. I will beat the "F'ing S." out of anyone (meaning Drew and CUP) who tries to stop me. I could beat the "S" out of both of them and don't think I won't."

After about an hour of this ranting and raging, and about a half hour of me completely ignoring him and not speaking at all, he kindly offered to make some sauce for me. Go figure! He made the sauce, following my recipe, politely asking me where to find the ingredients and then asking me to taste it to see if he did it right. I'm sure he was expecting a compliment on the delicious sauce, but I couldn't force myself to say anything more than, "It's fine". Shortly after that, he left to go to a friend's house, where he stayed the night, thank goodness.

Don't think I am mean because I won't let him go on vacation with us. He has been in a horrible mood for the last few weeks and being around him for even a few seconds is pure torture. He smokes constantly, so he stinks. He rarely washes his clothes (as evidenced by my shock over him doing so, yesterday!), although he has done much better with showering every day . If his clothes are dirty, he steals clothes from his brothers and then gets cigarette burns on them and sometimes they are left at a friend's house and never returned. When he is in his current mood, he picks on the kids constantly. I mean constantly! If I say, "Alex, you forgot to put your plate in the dishwasher.", Steven begins a rant, "Yeah, Alex, you never put anything away and you use Drew's cologne and you never clean up after yourself and you are gay and you never put your plate away and you didn't empty the dishwasher and in 1995 you stole a piece of my Christmas candy..." He will go on and on and most of what he says is nonsense. When he is done ranting about Alex, he will move on to someone else. Also, when he finishes a rant, it is never over, he will start up with it all over again a few minutes later. These are but a few of the many, many examples of why I don't want to bring Steven on vacation with us. Even while I'm away without him, I'm going to be stressed out by him because I will be worried sick that he will insist on staying at the house and he will follow through on breaking in and fighting with CUP and Drew.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Shocker of the day

Steven did his own laundry and folded it, neatly! What in the world is going on?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Homer Glen Visitor

Who visits me from Homer Glen? I used to live very close to there, in Frankfort, Oak Forest and Alsip. My grandmother and aunt lived in Pebble Creek, back when it was still called Homer Township. Let's see, what else? I adopted several cats from the TLC Animal Shelter, is that still there? I used to take the kids to the pumpkin patch, but I can't remember the name of it. Of course, it isn't in Homer Glen, but I spent a lot of time at Orland Square Mall as a teenager!


The house is filled with smoke and it wasn't caused by me this time!!!!! Yay!

Shauna was cooking a chicken patty in the microwave and she misread the directions. She thought it said 11 1/2 minutes, when it actually said 1 1/2 minutes. Ha! Like Mother, like Daughter!

Denise blogged for me!

I can be lazy today because Denise already blogged for me! Please go to her blog and read this post. Pretend I wrote it because every single thing that she blogged about has happened to me, more than once.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Question of the day

19 year old son pees in the kitchen garbage can in the middle of the night. This is witnessed by 11 year old who got up to see the sunrise (huh?). My question: Is this a manifestation of his mental illness or is he just a freaking idiot?????

CUP, do not answer this, I already know what you are going to say!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Sunday, August 2, 2009

A trip to the mall

Yesterday I spent the day with a good friend, two teenagers and two almost teenagers. Even though I hate shopping, especially mall shopping, we had a great time. There was some whining (mostly me!) and a lot of laughing. A LOT of laughing. Alex and his friend, Amberly, had decided that they really wanted to go to the Short Pump Mall, which is over an hour from our house. I agreed to take them and prayed that Renee, Amberly's mom and my friend, would agree to go, as well. Lucky for me, she was happy to go.

This was my first trip to Short Pump and I was impressed with the mall. It is an outdoor mall, which I normally don't like in the summer. I think the designers really took the climate into account and made the mall with lots of overhangs and shady areas, so the heat really wasn't too much of an issue. At one point, I did start to feel a little sick. I think it was from going in and out of the air conditioned stores. Once I sat outside in the shade for a few minutes, I felt fine.

Alex, Amberly, and Renee

Amberly, the back of Renee, Me, Hannah, and Shauna behind the bag.

I hate some of the stores there. Is it really necessary to have stores that smell so strongly of cologne that it is overpowering? It must be blown in somehow because it permeates the entire store. It isn't air freshener, it smells like men's cologne. Also, the music is so loud! Talk about a headache waiting to happen. Amberly and Shauna both got headaches. Then the lighting is so dark. I've never been in stores like that before and I hope never to be, again!

The shopping itself, was a little stressful, but not too bad. Hannah is much better at shopping and doesn't melt down every time I say no to something. The kids each were given $30 to spend. They were very good about going straight to the clearance racks, Mommy has taught them well!

After we were all shopped out (which was about 10 minutes into it for me!), we headed to Cici's for dinner. We had a good dinner and a ton of laughs there. The kids wanted to pretend that we were lesbian parents and kept calling us their two moms. I'm not quite sure where that came from! At one point, Amberly was laughing hysterically about something (I never did find out what) and Alex kept pretending to give her the Heimlich maneuver. The problem was that he had been eating a sticky bun and had sticky goo all over his hands. He put his hand in her hair and left a big clump of goo. Poor Amberly! I think she might have been questioning her friendship with Alex at that moment.

This is how Alex and Amberly play air hockey. First they played with their hands, since there were no paddles. Then I saw them lying across the table, just enjoying the air! This picture was not posed.
Mad Shauna because she didn't get a prize

Hannah playing a game

When we pulled up to Renee's house and the kids opened the back door to let Amberly out, a huge bug flew in and landed right behind my head. Even though the kids claimed it wasn't that big, they couldn't really see it and it was really huge. It was at least two inches long and anything over ant-size is huge for a bug! I was trying to get out of the van to get away from it when the stupid thing decided to land on my head! Let's just say there was a bit of screaming. Enough to scare their huge dog away from the car. I was able to get the window or door open (I was so scared I don't remember which) and the bug flew out, thank goodness. So, we had one last laugh before Renee and Amber headed inside. On the way home, I realized that I was exhausted, more from the laughing than anything else, but it was a very fun day.