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You know, it seems to be a growing epidemic, bloggers churning out books.  It’s a good epidemic mind you.  Some of my favorite bloggers are now hard-copy-authors (after all, aren’t all of us blogging maniacs authors? Well, most of us anyway.  Not sure my writing qualifies me for such a title). 

Pioneer Woman:

I only need to order about 10 million copies of this one.  Everyone I know loves P-Dub.  Did you know she and I are Compassion sponsor buddies?  Yup. Tis true.  Find and click on my Compassion category on the left side of this screen and you can read all about it. 

Bring The Rain:

I Will Carry You: The Sacred Dance of Grief and Joy

If you haven’t visited Angie’s blog before you are missing out.  This is a gal who has some spectacular Biblical insight to share.  I’ve learned so much from her.  Her story and the way God has carried her through her heartache will rock your world.   

Ann Kroeker:

notsofastsmallcover1

I love Ann’s blog.  She feels like an old friend.   I think her book will hit VERY close to home for most of us.  I love her boldness in getting a message out that most of society today doesn’t want to hear. 

Stuff Christians Like:

Hilarious stuff.  Hits a little too close to home sometimes but makes me laugh none-the-less.

All these new blogger books got me thinking. 

If I were to write a book, what would it be about?  What is my expertise in? Hmmmm… Here are some possible titles I came up with:

“Inconsistency – Sometimes I always am”

“My Inner Martha Stewart – She’s Gotta Be In There Somewhere!”

“A Personal Story of Procrastination – The Killer of All Great Intentions”

“How To Start Something And Never Fini…”

Somehow I don’t think my books will be flying off shelves any time soon.  What do you think?

So yesterday was my big sugar cookie baking day.  Or at least that was the plan.  But as the day progressed… errand running (for cookie cutters no less!  Our one set of snowflake cutters would have gotten a tad boring after painting the 67th one… and yes I said painting but more on that later), 23 loads of laundry (that are still piled high in our papa chair, begging to be folded) and babysitting a beloved 1 year old nephew, somehow the cookies got pushed back further and further.  By the time we could sit down and actually get on with the treasured Christmas activity, it was late.  And when it’s late my stumbling brain stumbles even harder. 

I completely forgot that last year we had used a new recipe.  It was a new dough and a new way to decorate.  And it was fabulous.  So fabulous that I swore off all other forms of sugar cookies and devoted the remainder of my Christmas cookie years to this lone recipe. 

But what did I do last night?  Gone were the memories of last year’s cookie revelation.  Nope.  I pulled out the bagged Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix, whipped those bad boys up incorrectly (two different ways to make them, one for rolled cookies and one for drop.  I accidentally made the drop kind), had to ad-lib the ridiculously easy dough that I had the talent to screw up in order to try and make it roll-able, and then baked them.  But not only did I bake them, but I forgot one of the two cookie sheets I own is total junk.  It is way past it’s prime and I NEVER use it for cookies because it ruins every batch.  Well, now I can’t say never.  Half the cookies (the ones cooked on the only-good-as-an-oil-pan pan) came out looking like blobs… and too-done blobs at that. 

Aren’t you jealous of my amazing brain?!  I’m particularly fond of it myself but I could be convinced to trade… if the price is right.  Say… I don’t know… free?!!  I can only go up from here.

So today is Cookie Baking Day 2008, Take 2.  And I’m going to let you in on my treasured sugar cookie recipe.  Although you are probably well aware of it already.  Several billion people are.  Pioneer Woman has the best recipes and she held true to her record when she gave us this sugar cookie recipe that she grew up using.  That little bit of lemon zest is a perfect hint in the baked cookies and the texture of the cookie is awesome; a little chewy, a little crispy… it’ll make everyone happy no matter their sugar cookie preference. 

And her method of decorating? Revolutionary.  Okay maybe not but it was for me.  I know this will put me in the bah-hum-bugga-mama category but I have always dreaded the decorating of sugar cookies.  It’s always a total disaster.  Gobs of icing hanging off cookies and usually dripping from the light fixture too.  Sprinkles galore… everywhere.  I’m usually still sweeping up hidden pockets of various sugar cookie decorations (those dang little ball ones are the worst) in May and June.  Those suckers are hard to capture the first 315 times you sweep and vacuum.   And the finished cookies themselves?  Well, let’s just say I have to put on my brave mommy-face to eat the much labored-over-with-love cookies given to me by the munchkins.  As I chew, I keep telling myself that at least I can verify all hands being clean and no coughing or sneezing into the dough happened.  And I try to steer my thoughts away from the fact that so much tasting and double dipping and finger licking went on that I’d probably be safer, germ-wise, just to go eat one off the sidewalk… in the Subway! 

Well, that maybe a slight exaggeration but rest assured it’s not much of one.  Pioneer Woman’s recipe calls for decorating the cookies before they cook, thereby eliminating the chance of germ contamination.  All those bad-boy germs are killed off in the heat of the oven before the cookies touch your lips.  And the decorating is very simple.  Egg yolks colored with food coloring and painted on by paintbrushes.  Now, my kids never feel they paint enough during the year so to get to paint AGAIN at Christmas time and on cookie dough no less is a priceless treat for them.  And somehow, no matter how messy the paint job, the cookie comes out of that oven all glossy and pretty.  So what if you end up with a black Christmas tree?  Drizzle a little white icing over the top and add a red hot or 2o or even some of those delightful escape artists silver balls and that black tree is transformed into a beautiful piece of modern art.  Don’t believe me?  Try it! 

I’ll try to post some pictures after we’re done just to prove that even two and three year old bakers can make eye-catching AND tasty cookies.

I’m off… to do the RIGHT cookies, the RIGHT way this time…

Problem was, it wasn’t a cloth diaper.

Yeah, that’s right.  The Queen of Multi-tasking (it’s a pet name I gave myself) threw a load of laundry in the washer this morning, trying to get a head start on the day by getting laundry done early.  45 minutes later, I paused the homeschooling, the cooking, the weeding, the canning AND the dusting (am I convincing anyone?  No?! What?! Ya don’t believe me?! You’re right, everyone knows I hate dusting…), to switch the load to dryer.  I opened the lid and blindly reached inside and grabbed a handful of clothes.  As I brought them up to eye-level, I gasped at the sight of white stuff all over my handful of dark clothes. 

“Man! I hate it when I miss a tissue!  Who on earth left a tissue in their pocket?! No one’s sick or suffering from allergies, there’s no reason to even have a tissue near a pocket!” I fumed to myself.  But, upon closer inspection, I realized that this substance had a gel-like texture to it.  It wasn’t linty at all. In fact, it almost looked like little balls.

I was at a loss.  I couldn’t think for the life of me what this stuff could be.  But I started grabbing clothes and shaking them outside to rid them of as much mystery substance as possible.  I was still wracking my brain when, as I shook out another handful of clothes, a diaper flew out.  And not a little diaper.  This puppy weighed about 69 pounds.   Apparently, last night, when I threw the stack of dirty clothes in the laundry after bathing the kids, I hadn’t realized that there was a diaper in there somewhere. 

As I continued cleaning out the washer, I found myself thanking the Lord that it was only a pee diaper.  After all, it had two of my brand new, favorite tops in the load.  Forget everyone else’s clothes, it’s not very often that mom gets new items to freshen up her dull wardrobe with!

All of a sudden, I panicked.  I remember that last night’s diaper, before showers, was a POOPY one! (I’m sorry friends , it’s definitely TMI but I just have to share every emotion and thought) My first reaction was to dry heave.  Phew! With that out of the way, I continued down the path of reactions… hysteria, screaming, crying, gnashing of teeth, and frantically checking the necessary parts of the diaper to see if there was anything left… but there was nothing there. 

Now, I love my washer and dryer as much as any other mother who has experienced truckin’ loads of laundry to a Laundromat after a washer has kicked the bucket (toting a toddler to top it off), but my washer isn’t THAT good.  There’s no way it could wash out and dispense of every single hint of a stinking dirty diaper from a FULL load of clothes.  So what was up?

Then I remembered.  Hallelujah! That nasty diaper from the previous night had been disposed of right away.  So this diaper must have been a previous, only pee-ed in one.  And the clouds parted and sun streamed through, illuminating my four munchkins who clustered together and broke out in the Hallelujah chorus.  It was a beautiful moment.

And then reality hit with a thud.  I still had a washer full of gel balls to clean out.  And a wet load to run through it again.  Had to be sure I rid my new clothes of all gel residue before hanging them up to dry.  Those gel balls?  Not so easy to clean up.  You know how hard it is to drag those little boogers off a baby’s fanny when the little darlin has sat in a wet diaper just a tad too long?  What I mean to say is, I’ve heard  how hard they are to actually wipe off and not just drag around in a figure 8 pattern from one chubby, dimply fanny-cheek to the other.  I’ve never experienced personally.  Nope.  My children were/are always changed every 43 minutes exactly.  Uh, huh.  That’s right.  See my halo? 

What?! You don’t?!  Darn it! Where’d that thing go?  I know it’s around here somewhere…

it’s probably right next to my “Mother of the Year” award and my “Leader of the Laundry Fairies” Trophy…

So, I’ve been struggling of late to retain the brain power necessary to compose an interesting post.  So what am I going to do this evening?  Write you a Seinfeld post.  You know, a post about nothing.  (just like Seinfeld was the show about nothing… get it?… hello?… anybody out there?…)

I’m in the middle of cleaning my house from top to bottom tonightMy little sister is coming into town with her hubby and baby for a week.  I’m so excited.  So why the procrastination in the cleaning department?  Well, partly because I function best under pressure, or at least I tell myself that.  I don’t know if I really work best with pressure, I just have no other choice but to work!  That, and with four little ones runningamuck in our home, anything I clean or tidy is dirty or scattered all over the house as soon as I turn around to grab a swig of Cherry Coke.   Oh, we do chores every morning.  But there’s something about moping a floor only to turn around and serve lunch 30 minutes later and have juice and yogurt spilled all over the freshly washed floor.  

I don’t know what type of sink you have (unless of course you are Keri, lol!) but I have a white porcelain one.  And it’s a love/hate relationship at it’s finest.  I LOVE the fact that I can see when it’s dirty and that it cleans up soooo well.

We interrupt this boring, random post to inform you of the following:

I paused in the writing of this post two days ago to take the kids outside to do a little evening gardening.  I decided to put off the cleaning of the house EVEN MORE and instead tackle the completely overgrown palm trees that are on our parking strip. 

I waged a war with two palm trees… and I TOTALLY lost.

The older two kids were helping me by dragging the huge palm branches up the lawn after I cut them off.  I was paranoid the whole time that the 8 inch long thorns at the base of each branch were going to impale one of the four kids.  I warned them over and over to be careful and to watch out for the younger two who were running around enjoying the coolness that dusk was bringing.  I should have listened to my own warnings.

Because as I stepped back (in flip flops mind you) to avoid being hit by a branch I just cut, I walked right into the thorn of a branch I’d already cut that was laying right behind me.  It stabbed me right in the ankle.  I stifled the blood-curdling screams whimpers and looked down, expecting blood.  I’d already stuck myself several times on my hands with lots of blood as a result.  (doesn’t this sound sooo fun?!) But no blood.  I thought I must not have stuck myself as badly as I thought so I continued to lop off branches.  I glanced down every now and then, still surprised not to see any blood because frankly, my ankle was throbbing like mad.  As the light faded and the kids grew cranky, I decided to call it a night and begin the outdoor clean up process.  I stopped to sit on the lawn and take a closer look at my ankle.  Lo and behold, the inch long tip of the thorn was still inside my ankle!  I could see it clearly laying across my ankle, right above my ankle bone. 

Freak out?

Yes.  To put it mildly.

Panic?

A tad.  Hubby was out of town for the weekend.  I was gonna have to be the adult and the victim in this situation.  I was flying solo.

As I tried to keep from hyperventilating, I attempted to push the thorn back out through the hole it made coming in.  But I couldn’t get it lined up right.  It just kept poking up under my skin like a tent pole holding up the center of a tent.  Sweet Poppett informs me she’s going to get the first aid kit.  I didn’t have the heart to tell her a band aid wasn’t going to help.

So a very long story made a little bit shorter, my buddy Tess came over at 8:45pm to watch my kids so I could go to the ER.  I was so worried that sucker was going to travel to my heart.  I’ve watched enough CSI to know things like that can happen. 

They took me back to a room right away, even though the waiting room was full of people.  I was so thankful.  I’d been praying the whole time I was driving that I wouldn’t have to wait all night.  But then, being the impossible-to-please-human that I am, I starting worrying about why they took me back so fast.  My SIL, B, hunted me down right after the doctor informed me that he would have to make a very small incision to see if he could find it and pull it out.  See, in all the running around, the thorn had moved and was no longer up at the surface or even laying across my ankle.  (we thought) It had slipped length-wise behind my leg bone but it couldn’t be felt through the skin, no matter how much massaging and prodding the the doctor did. 

As a quick side note, let me inform you of the fact that at the time of this incident, it’d been 2 days since I’d shaved my legs.  And I also had nasty dry feet from working in the yard in flip-flops and hadn’t even thought to slather a truckloaddab a bit of lotion on those puppies before heading into the ER.  Real niiccceeee! 

So the doc numbed me up real good, and as I stared into B’s eyes, sliced me open just a bit and started feeling around.  B and I amused ourselves with small talk, dumb jokes, thoughts on current movies and of course, mommy-talk (much to the thrill of my young doctor I’m sure).  He hunted for quite a while.  Easily 20 minutes or more before he let me know he hadn’t found any evidence of a foreign body and was I sure the thorn had been left behind.  So I explained again how I had seen it through the skin and had attempted to work it out.  He said he’d have to make a bigger slice, in a “T” shape, in order to create more room to look around.  I said to go right ahead.  B and I were having way to much fun catching up and watching my legs shake from my nervousness.  We didn’t want to be anywhere else… yeah right. 

So he proceeded to slice and dig around some more for what seemed like an eternity.  He finally stopped (probably another 20 minutes or so later) and let me know he still couldn’t find anything and that my said attempts at removal were the strongest piece of evidence he had that there was anything even in there. 

So now I’m starting to panic.  Not because of the thorn but because the nice young doctor thought I was crazy.  Or even worse, attention hungry.  I made sure to talk with B nice and clearly about how I’d had four children without any drugs, that I hardly even take a Tylenol, that I hadn’t been to see my primary care doc in over 6 years, etc. etc.  I wanted him to know I wasn’t here by choice!! 

So he wheeled me down to have my ankle x-rayed, hoping that the thorn would be visible that way. 

And of course, the darn thing didn’t show up AT ALL!

So now my nice young doctor is looking at me and telling me there isn’t much else he can do for me.  That he was willing to go back to “my room” and dig around some more but that if he couldn’t find it, it might just be that I have to let it “reabsorb” on it’s own.  B asked if it was possible for it to keep moving around (she watches CSI too ya know!).  The nice young doc said that yes, it could and if it did, that would be need to be “addressed” then.  Whatever that means.  Like, “if it works it’s way to your heart and you die because of it, we’ll have to admit you weren’t crazy and you did in fact have a very sharp thorn in your ankle at one time.”  Thanks.  That makes me feel MUCH better.

So we go back to my nice cozy ER room.  By now, I have pictures up on the wall, a nice quilt and decorative pillow on the gurney and my fuzzy bunny slippers by the door because I’ve been worked on for so long.  Some feeling is starting to come back so I asked him if he could numb me up more before he resumed digging.  He did.   He really was a very nice doctor.

I’m praying quietly now like there is no tomorrow.  I would cry myself to sleep every night, until my death from a thorn piercing my heart, worrying about that sucker floating around in my body, if I left without it being found.  Not to mention the blow to my pride since no one in that ER room would believe I had told the truth.  In their defense, I’m sure that comes from experiencing plenty of crazies walking in through the doors wanting nothing more than attention; even if it means they have to stab their ankles and make up a crazy story.   

So I’m praying.  I’m praying HARD.

And lo and behold, not three or four minutes into the third round of digging, the nice young doc exclaims in a very excited voice, “I think I found it! Yep! I sure did!”  To which I shouted at the top of my lungs exclaimed, “See! I’m NOT crazy!”  As he prepared to pull it out, he asked B if she wanted to watch, “…because this is the best part”.  She looked at him like he’d grown a second head.  But, she took a deep shaky breath and walked around the bed to watch.  I did too, from the reflection of the monitor mounted on the wall.  It WAS the best part, he was right.  Out came the thorn and my pride and proof of sanity walked in!

3 1/2 hours after I arrived, I hobbled out with eight stitches, a tetanus shot in my arm, a HUGE antibiotic shot in my hip and a half-inch thorn in a cup all as trophies of my ordeal.  Warning: there’s a picture of my stitches at the end of this post… just in case you want to avoid that mental image.

Sweet B returned home with the horror of watching that thorn being pulled out of my big ol bloody incision burned forever in her memory and 3 hours missing from her life.  My hero Tess, bossed me around when I returned home and wouldn’t leave. 

She refused.

No matter how much I talked, tried to convince her and impress her with my coping skills, she didn’t budge.  She told her awesome hubby that she wasn’t coming home and to deal with their four children on his own.  Then she promptly ordered me to take some pain meds and go bed.  She did inform me, after the pills had been taken, that she was a bit of a snuggler.  I told her that was okay, because I was a squeaker (you know, as in pass gas) in bed.  We were both tired enough (well, I was also high enough) to snort, laugh hysterically and generally find ourselves outrageously amusing. 

In the morning, Tess not only fed my kids and helped do a couple chores (remember, my sister and family were still coming that day and NOTHING was done!) but she also went and filled my prescriptions! 

She totally rocks. 

So Tess and B?  Here’s your shout out.  I couldn’t have survived that night without your help and support.  Thanks!  And if you ever impale yourself on an 8-inch thorn?  I’m TOTALLY there for you.

Hey! I think I may have ended up with an interesting post after all! Oh! And I’ll get to the boring stories about homemade ice cream and ballet birthday parties sometime… or maybe I’ll write about my stitches being removed.  Ah! I joke! I joke! 

Mostly.

Notice, I still haven’t shaved OR lotioned my feet!  What in the heck have I been doing?!

So this evening, since it’d actually cooled off a bit, I ushered all the munchkins outside right after dinner.  I figured I’d just do all the clean up after they were in bed. 

So I’m out there with the kids, enjoying the slightly cooler temps when one of our elderly neighbor ladies came over to say hi.  We love her dearly.  She’s a no-nonsense personality but super nice.  We love bringing baked treats over to her.  So we visited awhile in the driveway and then we walked over to her house (she lives alone) to take a peek a nesting dove she has in her backyard.  Then, horror of all horrors, Poppett invites her over to see her cockatiel, Sunshine. 

As we head back over to our house, I start apologizing for what she’s going to see.  She stops me and tells me she’s always amazed at how I do all I do and to not worry about it.  Um, yeah, that’s coming from a lady who raised 5 boys!  She’s totally got me beat and she KNOWS what all goes into raising a handful of munchkins.  But I try to brace myself anyway. 

As we step into the house, the house I just walked out of 30 minutes before to enjoy the evening with my kids, all the little “things” here and there that I’d allowed to pile up the last couple days were glaringly obvious.  We’re talking floodlights illuminating them for all the world to see.  I tried to pick up a couple things while delightful neighbor lady admired the bird but I didn’t want to make too obvious.  I snicker now as I type this… like all the clutter and left-out food wasn’t obvious enough already!!

After the sweet lady left, I could only imagine what she was saying to herself.  If she turns down her next offer to step inside our home, I’ll understand why!  So what did I do?  Well, in between dunking kids in baths and helping to rinse shampoo out of the showering older munchkins, I was frantically picking up my house, loading the dishwasher and sweeping under the table.  Not that that did any good on the impression I just made with our neighbor.  The damage was done there and I’m totally humiliated over it. 

I might just have to shove her through the door tomorrow under some false pretense just to prove to her that my house really is picked up and semi-clean most of the time (I don’t dust enough.  There. I said it!). 

Tonight?  Well, after my mad cleaning frenzy, I made sure to reward myself with a nice big bowl of cookie dough ice cream with milk chocolate chips added in. 

Aahhhhhh…. that’s much better.

Want to read some great cleaning tips?  Jen over at Daily Mish Mash just wrote her tips down and I since I do all that she wrote, I thought I’d send you over to her.  My fingers are worn to the bone from cleaning (slight exaggeration maybe) so she saved me the pain of writing it up myself.

Although I’ve only been bloggin myself for about a month (hey! It’s been a month!! Happy month-of-a-blog to me!), I’ve been reading them for quite awhile.  Long enough to realize that we women like to talk about our hair.  We like to vent when it’s bad, chatter about it when it’s good and show it off when it’s great.  So here’s a post about my hair… and be warned, it’s not chatter and I’m not showing it off…

As a little background, I’m currently a faux red-haired lass.  But I’ve been wanting to get back to my el natural color of dark blond (or light brown, depending on how you look at it) and so several weeks back I had discussed it with my stylist.  She’d given me tips on how to do it myself (that I’ll share tomorrow for my WFMW)) since she’s cool like the fact that I have no money.  So a few weeks ago I took the plunge and dyed it dark.  Wow, did it look dark at first!  But after a few washings it lightened up and was fine.  I went to see my sisters for our annual weekend together, we took pictures and all of a sudden I realize I’m totally red again!  I have no idea when it happened. I was seriously oblivious to it (which should be my first clue that I don’t spend enough time on my hair. Or that the lighting in my bathroom is B.A.D.!).  So last week, I decided to dye it again, right before my appointment to get my hair trimmed.  I’d had to reschedule my appointment a few times and so I was overdue for this cut by a few weeks. 

Soooo (I apologize, that was a LOT of background!), I dye it the night before my appointment last week.  It was dark but I was prepared for that.  The next morning, I just pulled it up into a little twist thingie and went about my day.  I didn’t think twice about it until I sat down in my stylist’s chair a few hours later and she unclipped my hair.  Oh. My. Goodness. Gracious. Great. Balls. O. Fire.  MY HAIR WAS GREEN!  I was horrified, mortified, jaw-dropified.  You name it, I was -ified!

How did we fix the situation? Well, let’s just say that my little hair trim turned into at least 2 inches off.  That cut off most of the green.  What little bit was left washed out within the next two days.   Although Hubby likes to inform me when I hit just the right lighting that there’s still a green tint. Thanks Hubby.  That’s why I keep you around.  Keep me humble.

Lesson learned?  You betcha!  But you’ll have to check in tomorrow for my Works For Me Wednesday to find out what exactly I did wrong and what the CORRECT way to properly dye your hair at home is.  Please people, learn from my mistakes!

And I apologize for the poor Dr. Seuss imitation title…

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