Monday, May 23, 2011


Alternately Titled: The Worst Stomach Virus I've ever had-- I almost died.

Well, I'm back. I caught Thunder's three day virus. Only it didn't stop on day three. Day three was when I took a turn for the worse. So on day four, I ended up in the ER for IV fluids. Along the way, Her Highness and Flash Flood also picked up the bug. The meanest three are still left standing. (Bert, Lightning and Hail... as if I had to explain.) And hopefully they're now in the clear, but I'm not holding my breath.

Poor Bert. We learned several things during this round with Satan's stomach virus:
1. Bert is a much better nurse than I am when he's sick.
2. Bert is a much better mom/housewife when it comes to patience and doing chores.
3. Bert is a much better bedtime story teller.
4. Bert's limit for all of the above is four days. After four days he is done and simply cannot continue being the fill-in Momma one second longer. So it's either get well or call for reinforcements.

This was the conversation between my Mother (Cookie) and me when she called to check in Saturday morning:

Me: Pray for Bert. And for the rest of us.
Cookie: Why? Oh, no. Does he have it now too??
Me: No, no. He's still feeling fine. He's just reached his limit and is about to crack.
Cookie: Uh, oh.
Me: Hey, if anything ever happens to me, don't be offended when Bert remarries in only four days. 'Cause apparently that's his limit. He can't handle the kids alone more than that.
Cookie: Honey, we won't be offended. He'll be doing us all a favor.

After getting lots of rest over the weekend, drinking water by the gallon, and slowly adding solids back into my diet, I am finally able to rejoin the land of the living.
Feeling 100%, I'm ready to tackle the 87 loads of laundry, which are piled to the ceiling in various rooms through out the house. Bert is a man of many talents, but laundry is not one of them.

During my many, many hours spent in seclusion in the restroom, between prayers for relief, I spent some time self-reflecting. Mostly on the untidiness of our bathrooms. And bedrooms. And living room. And kitchen. Not that a sparkling clean tub would have made that 58th diarrhea trip any less painful, but it might have kept me from staring at the moldy grout, which gave me an extra reason to bang my head against the wall.

"God, I promise... blaaaaaaaahhhhh... if you'll just make this virus go aw.... blaaaaaaaaahhhh..... I'll clean this whole.... blaaaaaaahhhhhh..... house and act like a 30 year ol...... blaaaaaaahhhh...... d. Please God, take this virus away from my family and I promise to get my act.... blaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh.... together. I'll even start folding the.... blaaaaaaaaaah..... laundry. Andpleasedon'tletanyoneelsecatchit!!" During my final vomiting session, I pleaded with God, because, you know, cleanliness is Godliness. And since God held up his end of the bargain, it's time I do mine.

So, that's where YOU come in. What time can you be here.... Kidding. I do need some tips for organization. I want to know, what are the organizational items/tools you can't live without?? What helps your day run smoothly and keeps you on track with cleaning and other chores??

I need to career shadow someone with a clean house. "Hey, Bert.. I'll be back in a week, okay? I'm going to career shadow a successful housewife. Make that two weeks. I want to make sure I get her system down pat, so I can come home and implement it. Don't call me. I'll call you. BYE!" I'm sure he wouldn't mind. Since it's for business purposes and all.

One of my favorite quotes of all times comes from Erma Bombeck, "My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first being hitting my head on the top bunk until I faint."
That perfectly sums it up for me.

In other news, school ends TOMORROW. And I cannot believe Her Highness will soon be a 3rd grader and Thunder a 1st grader. It seems like yesterday I was doing the ugly cry, writing notes to stick in their lunch boxes. And today, I did the ugly cry again, watching the class slide show made by Thunder's teacher. Watching those precious kindergarten babies grow to tunes such as Toy Story's "You've Got a Friend in Me," and Green Day's "Good Riddance" was simply too much for me to handle. It's been a fun year. And both Her Highness and Thunder were blessed to have such dedicated and loving teachers.

Now it's time for the lazy pool days I've been dreaming of all year. BRING ON SUMMER!!!

And bring on your organizational/cleaning tips! I really do want to hear them.

Love, Big Momma

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Two whole weeks?

It's been almost two weeks since my last post. (I know all seven of you have missed me.) In the past two weeks, I've been too busy to post because we won the lottery. It was the first time in my life to play, and we hit the jack pot! $84 MILLION!

That's a lie.

Actually, we have been traveling the world. We pulled Her Highness and Thunder out of school and decided to home school as we travel with all five kids and visit all seven continents over the next two years.

That's an even bigger lie.

Truth is, my reasons for not blogging are extremely unexciting, and some of the details are rather gross. And since I only like to gross out and whine to my own family... Oh, who am I kidding. I'm just in a lying mood today apparently.

I've been siiiiiicccckkkk. (Read that in a super whiny tone. Kinda like the one Calliou would use to tell Grandma why he can't clean his room.) It all started two weeks ago when I came down with strep throat for the FOURTH TIME this year. And this time I was lucky enough to experience uvulitis on top of the strep. Never heard of uvulitis?? Well, imagine your uvula (that dangly ball thingy that hangs at the back of your throat) swelling up to the size of a light bulb, and TOUCHING both of your tonsils while LAYING ON YOUR TONGUE. I gagged on it 84,000 times. And I'm gagging now just thinking about it. I couldn't eat anything solid. At all. It was the nastiest feeling I've ever felt.

I nearly volunteered my throat to be scraped for germs, to pass along to terrorists. Trust me, they would tell all they knew if you were holding a dose of antibiotics over their heads. It was miserable.

Soon after that cleared up, Thunder started with a 3 day stomach virus.

In between those two illnesses, when I wasn't busy texting pictures of my over-sized infected uvula to my immediate family, and whining to my husband/kids/friends/dogs/anyone who dared to ask "How are you." I was chasing this monkey...

...who, in the time it took me to type those paragraphs above, climbed onto the kitchen table, unpacked several bags of clothes to be donated to the tornado victims, and also got into a few bags of groceries. That was a total of like 34 seconds. (What? I type really fast.)

Flash Flood is into EVERYTHING. All. Day. Long. He's a nut. He's learning how to talk and stringing real sentences together. He also speaks in third person. If any of the bigger kids are playing with something he wants, he'll start by saying, "Pwease. Pwease! PWAY!! PWAY WIF DAT! PWWWEEEAAASSSSEEE!!" We're working on manners. But Flash Flood thinks saying please means we HAVE to give it to him, right then. If screaming please doesn't work, he will scream over and over, "DAT'S FLASH FLOODS! DAT'S FLASH FLOODS!!" Which is really funny because usually it's not even an item that belongs to him.

Her Highness and Thunder are wrapping up the school year. We've only got seven days of school left, and I couldn't be more excited. I love lazy summer days, hanging by the pool and scheduling playdates with friends with only 20 minutes notice.

We're so burnt out on school. Recently, I scheduled a skip day for my kids, and checked them out at lunch. Then, I was a bad influence and talked a few other friends into doing the same. We ditched school and had a picnic by the pool, followed by swimming until everybody was exhausted. I was indeed punished for scheduling a truancy party... I meticulously slathered sunscreen on all five children, then got too busy passing out lunches and chasing Flash Flood, so I forgot to sunscreen myself. Now I'm itching like crazy and peeling like a snake, but it was worth it.

We've also been busy with softball, t-ball, dance, and end of the year school programs. I hope to post pictures soon, with more fun stories of all the things our Storm has gotten into lately.

Until then, I'm off to peel some more skin from my shoulders (I can't help myself.) and to get Flash Flood out of the trash can for the 12th time today. Sigh. Good times. Good times.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Alabama, the Beautiful.

On Wednesday, April 27, as a monstrous tornado ripped through much of the southeast, Alabama the Beautiful became Alabama the Devastated.
For many residents in our beautiful state, it will be a day that lives in infamy. So many lives have been lost. The death toll now topping 300. And still, so very many lives that have yet to be found. Families, teams of professionals, and volunteers are searching frantically for anyone who might still be alive under the rubble. And to recover their loved ones' bodies, so they can have closure and a proper burial.

My heart aches for these people. So many of whom lost EVERYTHING. As the days have passed, and the media moves on to other news, many emotions have welled up inside. I have survivors guilt. My area was untouched. And yet, so many of the wonderful people of this state are suffering, and trying desperately to pick up the pieces and move on. How does one even do such a thing??

In the days since, I've found myself tearing up during our usual daily routines. Trying to imagine what a young mom would be going through after such a life altering event. Explaining over and over and over again to her preschoolers, why they can't go home. Why they can't find that special blankie. Why everything that precious child once knew as normal was taken away in the blink of an eye.

My heart has also been filled with pride for our great state. I've seen many interviews on national programs where the person being interviewed had lost absolutely every material thing they had owned, yet still went on to ask for prayers for their neighbors, not themselves. I saw one interview with Jim Cantore on The Weather Channel, where a precious lady being interviewed in Tuscaloosa ended with, "I just hope y'all can get some rest. Thanks so much for coming. God bless you." That's true southern hospitality. This lady was standing in front of a town she grew up in, and now where nothing was recognizable, she was taking the time to thank the camera crew, and wish for them to get some rest. I've seen many other instances as well, and it makes my heart swell with love and pride.

I haven't yet been able to witness any of this damage for myself. But I have tons of friends and family who have seen it all first hand. They all say the same thing: PICTURES DO NOT DO THESE AREAS JUSTICE.

Which is why I'm now coming to you, pleading for your HELP. Prayers would be greatly appreciated. As well as donations to any of the charitable organizations listed on the TIME website. They have a page titled "How You Can Help the Tornado Victims in the South." (Click here to read)

Many items are needed, such as bottled water, toiletries, diapers (for babies and adults), wipes, non-perishable food items, blankets, clothing, gift cards, the list goes on and on and on. And hospitals are in desperate need of blood donors. Please, please consider making a donation of some type to our sweet home, Alabama.