Sunday, January 30, 2011

"Well, you know what they say: If you don't have anything nice to say about anybody, come sit by me!"

~Clairee Belcher, Steel Magnolias

It's time we had a talk. Again. And maybe this talk isn't necessarily for YOU, but I'm sure it could be beneficial to someone you know. So feel free to recommend this post to others. It is my mission, after all, to educate the public on what NOT to say to us Mothers.

If you see a mother, with any amount of children, the words, "You've got your hands full." are unappreciated. Because here's the thing... WE KNOW. And chances are, even if the little monkeys are hanging upside down from the side of the shopping cart, pleading for extra boxes of sugar-filled cereals, we Mommas may feel that our hands are full. But not nearly as full as our hearts. So back off. If you feel compelled to comment in such a situation, "Bless your heart." or "Hang in there." (with a sympathetic smile on your face) would be the better way to go.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. It's just not funny. And by the way, we DO know what's causing this. That's our problem. We LOVE doing it. If you feel compelled to comment on this subject, DON'T.

"Thanks. Hey, could you help me find my other three sister-wives?? Our husband dropped us off an hour ago, and said he'd be right back, after he got the oil changed on our school bus that we use, since there are 27 children between the four of us. I must have gotten left behind while I was nursing my three-eyed baby. HELP ME!!!"
Seriously though, that comment gets made all. the. freakin'. time. It happened again, just last week. It really irks me the most when said in front of my children. As if, something is wrong with there being FIVE of them. Okay, so five may seem like a lot to some folks. But here's the thing, those of us with large families don't see our kids as a NUMBER. They're all super fun, super neat, super awesome kids with completely different personalities. So lay off the whole number thing. Which leads me to my next one....

"Yep. My kids would agree." I've actually said that one. Because it's true.

"Awww, thank-you. But what if I only had one kid?? Would I look good then?? No?? I mean, what is it exactly about my body that shows those five kids?? The fact that I'm 30 lbs over weight, or the permanent bags under my eyes??" My suggestion with this comment, is stop with, "You look good!" or comment on my cute diaper bag, (compliments of my Momma). Otherwise, I'm going to walk away feeling chubby and calling you a liar.

"Why, are you interested in making a donation??" I've said that before, too. You wouldn't believe how many total strangers have commented on college tuition these days. First of all, that's none of your business. Period. Second, Bert and I both went to college. That's where we met. So duh, we're kinda aware that such a place does exist. So unless you would like to offer us a scholarship, don't worry about it.

Hmmm. Where do I even start. Again, it's just none of your business. And this goes for every woman, kids or no kids yet. I have friends who would love to have more, but are dealing with fertility issues. So to them, it's a constant reminder that things aren't working out as planned. For me, it's a constant reminder that people are too dadgum nosy. So if you're wondering, just wait about nine months. If you see her nursing a new baby, she was planning to have more. Which brings me to my next one...

"Yep. Wanna see my battle wounds?" Truth is, I did breast feed all my kids. But, it's not something I pride myself on. A fed baby is a healthy, happy baby. That's all that matters. I hated breastfeeding. Mainly, I did it because it was FREE, and sometimes convenient (read: when we were at home). I breastfed all of them for different periods of time. Some kids got cut off after only a few weeks, others longer. Hail was the only one who made it a whole year. And only because he REFUSED bottles, and could nurse on both sides in less than eight minutes, plus he didn't cut any teeth until he was 13 months old. So, it wasn't too bad with him. And honestly, he's the CRAZIEST one of the bunch, so if we were a case study, (and we probably should be for many different reasons) one might conclude that breastfeeding exclusively for that amount of time did not get the intended results. And NO, I don't have any regrets, nor do I feel guilty over any of their feeding situations. They are ALL healthy, thriving, happy, intelligent children. And if I had it to do over, I wouldn't change a single thing. Well, not where breastfeeding is concerned.

"No. We don't know how this keeps happening." Okay, so truth is, I'm fertile myrtle. Some were expected a little more than others. And again, if we had it to do over, we wouldn't change a single thing. Obviously. So, just don't ask about that.

"I'm NOT!" Idiot. This one upsets me for two reasons. A.) Her Highness has no idea that she's missing out by not having a sister. Please quit reminding her that her life could be incomplete. Granted, I have two sisters that I love deeply and adore. But in life, all you know is what you know. So, reminding Her Highness that she doesn't have a sister is like reminding me that I'm not a millionaire. There's really no point. Because I'll never be. And she'll (most likely) never have a sister. And both of those reminders could make us sad, so stop it.

B.)This one really upsets me when said in front of my boys. I do realize that while they may be covered in dirt, wrestling in the floor over the last stick of gum found while plundering through my diaper bag, or laughing hysterically over the fact that one of them just "Pooted and it weally weally 'tinks!" those crazy, zany boys are still MY boys. And though they may embarrass the mess out of me at the grocery store/church/school/park/restaurant/sister's dance recital/pool/playdate/office/birthday party/ball field/and everywhere else we ever go, I could never love them any more than I do. I would literally kill for them. And may, if these ignorant comments don't stop.

So, it's your civic duty. Please inform all the socially inept people of the world. So I don't end up in a state penitentiary... Where I would live in a secluded cell, with only a bed and one toilet to clean... and might actually get to sleep through the night... and eat without cutting up other people's meat... and only one outfit to wash and fold... and... hmmm... wait, what? Oh, ummm, yes, please feel free to refer any/everyone you know that might could use this reminder: If you don't have anything nice to say, go sit by Clairee. Us mothers don't have time for it.

Note: These can apply to a Momma of ANY number of children. Five is just the number I have. So, if you've been referred here by a friend, please make a mental note that saying these things to ANY MOTHER is unappreciated.
Big Momma

Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday Flashback-- 1992-- My First Boy/Girl Dance Party

For weeks, me and my girlfriends had been looking forward to this party. Every PE, recess and lunch break was spent coordinating outfits, hairstyles, and practicing dance moves. After those details were finalized, we moved on to the most important of matters... Who would dance with who(m) (? I've always been blurry on who/whom).

In typical sixth grade fashion, none of us approached the potential date ourselves. A team, consisting of all the girls, except the one who actually liked the boy, skipped together, arms linked, across the recess field to the dirt patch where the boys were playing touch football. Without ever unlocking arms, the team of friends called out,

"Hey, Jeremy! JEREMY! Come here! We gotta talk to you!"

Jeremy came over, huffing and puffing, slightly agitated for being interrupted in the middle of his performance, he thought to be worthy of the super bowl highlight reel. From there, the negotiations began...

Ellen: Hey, do you like Holly?
Jeremy: Ummm, I don't know. Why? Does she like me?
Casey: Do you want to be her boyfriend?? 'Cause she'll be your girlfriend, but only if you wanna be her boyfriend.
Jeremy: Ummm, I don't know. I guess.
Stephanie: Well, you'll have to ask her to dance at the party next week. Okay?
One of the boys from the middle of the field: Hey man! COME ON! We're playing defense now!
Jeremy (running back to the game): Sure. I mean, I guess.

The girly bunch skipped back to where I was nervously awaiting,
"He said yes! He's your boyfriend now and he's going to dance with you at the party!!! Eeeeek!" We all squealed and jumped up and down, before plotting our next victim's entrapment.

By the end of recess that day, all of our "dates" had been informed of their roles. The stage had been set. It was going to be the best party in the history of ever.

Party night finally came. I spent a solid hour and a half trying to get my feathered bangs to look just right (which is a contradiction in terms, I do realize). I tucked my teal silk blouse into my DuckHead shorts, and made sure my braided leather belt was centered perfectly. I liberally applied a coat of strawberry Lipsmackers, then practiced winking a few times in the mirror. You know, 'cause that's what you do at boy/girl parties. I decided a few more practice tries were necessary... Wink.... Wink.... I was getting it down. I totally looked twelve, maybe even thirteen when I cocked my head to the side, then winked. Yep, that eleven year old Holly was a girl of the past. Jeremy was sure to melt when he saw my grown-up look. I was nearly ready.

In the same moment I was perfecting my flirty move, my older brother, Nick, walked into the bathroom and saw me winking away at the mirror.

After cackling for what felt like an eternity, Nick called out to the entire house, "Holly's in here WINKING AT HERSELF! Bawahahahahahaha! WHY?? Why are you winking at yourself?? Bwahahahahahahaha!"

The irritation and embarrassment continued as my Daddy insisted on snapping a picture of me all ready for my first boy/girl dance party.

Funny thing is, all of those memories immediately flooded my mind when I found this picture. Yet, I have very few memories of the actual party. I remember it being held outdoors, with a big bonfire and a boom-box, blaring cassette tapes by Boyz II Men and Mariah Carey. I'm sure all of us silly girls ran around the entire night, squealing and giggling each time any of us actually danced with our "dates." Knowing us, we probably danced with the boys without ever actually talking to them. And knowing me, I never had the nerve to use my perfected flirtatious move on ol' Jeremy.

Maybe I should give it a whirl on Bert. Where's a mirror, I need to practice....

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

SAD + ADHD = This blog post

I'm suffering with a serious case of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). As a side effect of living with The Hudson Storm, I'm also suffering with ADHD, minus the one part of the disorder that might be beneficial.. Hyperactivity. I guess you could say I had Attention Deficit HYPO-active Disorder then. Suffering with both of these disorders at the same time is what blog posts like this are made of.....

In an effort to combat the SAD part of me, I've been staring at pictures from the past few summers. Ohhh, how I long for warmer days, feeling the sun on my skin, playing in the backyard long after supper, and even the smell of sunscreen and bug spray... I don't mean to wish all my time away, but SUMMER COME BACK!!

I want to look at the sky at 7:30 pm and still see the sun. I want to walk outside and feel warmth, instead of frigid temps and rain. I want to trade our heavy blankets in for beach towels...

-I'm freezing today. I nearly ordered a snuggie, then I remembered I have a housecoat, so I turned it backwards and enjoyed the warmth. Only, even that didn't warm me up enough, so I pulled my feverish child into my lap, and tried to use his body heat. And even that didn't work. So, I looked at more summer pictures. And in the files with those summer pics, I came across some of these...
-I LOVE the sweet smile on Thunder's face each day at the bus stop, so happy to be home from a rigorous day of learning ABC's and 123's.

-Thunder's still not crazy about school, and tries to get out of going daily. Last week, he pretended to be asleep in the car drop-off line. When the teacher opened his door, he continued faking, and had to be shaken and "woken up" to get out of the car. Gotta give him credit for trying.
-I wish so badly my sisters lived here. I miss them (and their babies) so much.

-Last fall, while visiting a friend's new baby, this photo was snapped. The next day, Nikki e-mailed it to me with the caption, "Don't even think about it." Hilarious...

-At the moment, Lightning is pitching a fit. I have no idea why. It's almost like background music here, in the Hudson House for Wayward Children. During all waking hours, one of the five is undoubtedly crying. And if you don't hear crying, you better find out why it's so quiet. Quiet in this house does not always mean peace. It usually means something more along these lines...

-Combating cabin fever, Hail and Lightning played Jenga with all of our old VHS tapes. Yes, they're still scattered about the living room floor. No, I don't plan on picking them up anytime soon.
-Hail just asked me why my belly is so squishy. I told him to go look in the mirror, he'd find the answer there. Only, that's not entirely true. Unless he's holding a doughnut while looking.
- Instead of letting the "squishy belly" comment get to me, I went to the fridge for a snack. Upon opening it, I found this little fellow...

-Scenes like this are a regular occurrence. I left the Storm Trouper there, to protect my orange juice, since there's not much left.

-Scenes such as these are also regular occurrences...

-Flash Flood the Flash Dancer... Yes, he's standing on the side table in our living room. Yes, I took a picture instead of getting him down. The kid's a Hudson. If he were to fall and land on his head, he would be fine. Their heads are hard as football helmets. Literally and figuratively. And yes, that's my laundry pile that needs folding in the living room floor. No, I have no plans of folding any time soon.

-When the following picture was taken, I thought Her Highness was so big. She was THREE years old. I've always treated her too big. I wonder if I'll someday look back at pictures of her at age seven and think the same.

-If that stupid groundhog sees his shadow next week, I'll hunt him down. And turn him into a hat.

Sending warm thoughts your way!

Love, Big Momma

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

"Writing to Read"... and what may be the sweetest note ever written.

Thunder's kindergarten class uses the "Writing to Read" method. Her Highness' classes have done it as well, and while it may not produce the best spellers in the world, I have to admit they are both doing well in the reading department. Let's face it, spelling is nearly obsolete this day in age, anyway. As part of the "Writing to Read" method, Thunder's class keeps a daily journal where they are required to write about different topics. Some days the teacher will give them a theme. Others, she allows them to write freely. Here is Thunder's journal entry from December 1, 2010:

I wus sik. My Dad gav me a thro up bol.
The artwork is my favorite part of this entry. I love the frowny face on Thunder, and the "thro up bol" next to him on the couch. As well as the distressed face Bert is making, over his son being "sik." I'm left to wonder though, was this a suggested theme day, or one left open to the
writer's imagination?
During Christmas break, Her Highness wrote a note to us...

Dear Mom and Dad, thank-you for buying me stuf and being nice to me. Yall are the best Mom and Dad in the world. I love yall somuch. I wish yall a Merry Christmas! I love yall! If yall were my ant and uncel Id want to live with You! Thank-you for caring for me and Thankyou for geting food for us and close for us. I love yall all the way to HAVEN and back!!

That's just priceless, y'all!

Friday, January 14, 2011

At least it's Friday...

Wait, is it Friday, already?? See, I have to check myself daily. Because the days themselves seem to C...R...A...W...L by slowly at times. Yet the weeks fly.

Yes, that's right. Lightning created a mask out of bologna.
What... your kids don't do things like that?? I know. That's what I'm saying.
Happy Friday!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Good (and/or Cheap) Old Fashion Family Fun: Hudson Style

Our family budget doesn't allow a whole lot of room in the entertainment department. We're always looking for FREE or cheap ways to have fun. Listed are some of The Storm's favorites:

Cost: FREE (because all the games were Christmas presents from the grandparents.)
Approximate Time The Storm was Entertained: 1 hour (give or take the time fussy kids/sore losers were sent to time out)
Approximate Alone Time for Big Momma: (Alone Time meaning, load the dishwasher without kids clinging to my legs.) NONE, because it was way too fun watching The Meteorologist play Twister.

Flash Flood even got in on the action...


Cost: $0.49 each (All Publix Christmas merchandise marked down, 90% off)
Approximate Time The Storm was Entertained: Hours on end.
These are musical candy dispensers in the shape of a cow, pig and dog. You mash on it's head and guess where the candy is dispensed... The only place that would keep The Storm entertained for hours on end, laughing hysterically every time, as if it was the first time they saw it... Yep, the bum area. The inventor of such a candy dispenser must be someone who has spent time with my boys.
Approximate Alone Time for Big Momma: How ever much candy there is to refill the dispensers.

Cost: $250,000 (in the first 18 years, before college tuition is applied)
Approximate Time The Storm is Entertained: Hours, and hours, and hours on end.
Approximate Alone Time for Big Momma: NEGATIVE Five hundred-twenty five thousand- six hundred minutes... and counting...


Cost: FREE
Approximate Time Spent Entertaining The Storm: 2 hours, 7 minutes.
Approximate Alone Time for Big Momma: 2 hours.

The Hudson House Theater only features plays written and directed by Her Highness, who is always cast as the lead role. Rehearsals can last days. British accents are a must in these Western Musicals, where British cowboys have devoted their lives to protecting their beloved Princess. During the most recent production, Hail informed us, he would be a speaking as a "wegalar" (regular) cowboy, since he "can't talk Spanish." Typically, after rehearsing for hours, the play itself only lasts 7 minutes, or until a cast member gets sick of being bossed by the director and walks off the set, causing even more real life drama.
Cost: $cheap. (I've never been good at math. Whatever a bottle of tearless shampoo costs, divided by however many nights the kids take a bath before the bottle is empty)
Approximate Time Spent Entertaining The Storm: Varies. If The Meteorologist is in a hurry to get back to a football game or an episode of Burn Notice... 3 minutes. If he's not in a hurry... time it takes for kids' fingers and toes to get all wrinkly.
Approximate Alone Time for Big Momma: Varies. (see above)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Waaaaaaar Eagle, HEY!

We're READY...

One last time, just so you know we mean it....

Friday, January 7, 2011

When I walk in on scenes like this, all I can say is...

... Thank goodness it's Friday!

Wait, it is Friday, right?? Whew. Okay, good.
Scenes like this are part of the reason I'm so behind on blog posts. Maybe this weekend while The Meteorologist is around, I can get caught up. Or, maybe I'll just join Lightning up on the fridge and see if anyone even notices. Happy Friday to you!