Monday, July 30, 2007


Today I signed up with a corset training group. I have a nice figure but yoga isn't flattening me out the rest of the way. Why did I sign up on the same day that some looser wench did who as critical of me? She's not gotten to me, but damn that ticks me off!

She is about to get banned by the mods but what an annoying person. She acts so much above it. "OHMYGOD this is too funny!" in response to a question I had. Does she think she is "saving" us somehow? Does she do anything that causes her to struggle or is her life one self indulgence after another? (You'd have to see her comments to fully understand.)

Today it rained hard. I wonder if this is the final rain that comes in to shower us all before the snow? The sun had been nice but the ground needed the rain.

The poor kids-- I feel badly for them as it is so wet out that they can't go play. It gets boring in here when it's raining outside.

Better with dh today-- that was nice. I woke him up with a full body rub that he loved.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

We Went Out.

Joy of joys-- my husband took me out after he took my eldest shopping. We went to a nice lunch at the best restaurant in town (when you have a limited amount of cash on hand, you take advantage of the fact that lunch costs less) and then we drove out to a local mountain where there is a glacier. We saw some bright flowers from the side of the road and I got very upset when he'd not stop to look at them, so he drove back a mile and a half to appease me. We were glad we did-- I think he was happy, too-- we took pictures that I will download tomorrow. It looked like someone had transplanted them and they probably came from out of state. I also identified the flora that my classmate showed me on the hike. It was nicer to show him on the side of the road than on the steep slope of a hill.

He is taking the elder kids out to see Harry Potter now. He gets worn out when he comes home but I think he likes reconnecting-- everyone is happy to see him.

However-- he told me that he "knows" that I don't want to be with him but that I just want to get out of the house which makes me sad. Is his taking me out just to be gone for him?

He said that my training is schooling and not bringing in money and therefor doesn't count towards me improving our family's "lot." Isn't that just great? Is this what I starved myself from lunches for when we dated, trying to make myself appealing? This must be middle age. I have gotten to the point that I do not dress for him but for me, but I married him because he was interesting and fun. He has told me several times recently that women marry men to have a house and help and men marry to get help-- is he hinting at something? Is he just with me for the kids? I gush about my classes and the things I do but I am thinking that he is not happy anymore. The stress of kids and wife in college? We lack money and time.

Such is life.

My yoga teacher is trying for an RYT that I can do. She believes in my ability to do this, not because I am a natural talent (I am not) but because I love it and believe in it and combining it with my degree somehow. I have been fighting depression for years but I don't get depressed, I do yoga. No matter how blase things are with my husband, at least I am not getting fat and blue. I want to do massage as well as yoga and maybe do massage only eventually. Part time work pays well.

Ptht. He's home

So. . . my husband came home. I had to go to yoga yesterday and then today. I called him and he was at church. I asked if we could go out when he got home and he said yes so I made myself look presentable and my eldest whose home for the weekend came home, "Can _____ and I go shopping?"

First of all, it's MAY I, second of all, I had a date!


Nice that he's home. . . we can get back into the same routine.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Masters Degree Ideas and Dh Came Home

My husband is home-- I missed him. When he left I was ready to throw him out-- not as in divorce but just because I was getting tired of him. A business trip for him does us both good from time to time. Last year when my dad was dying and I had to leave state ASAP, he saw for the first time what it is that I do. He said, "You may not call yourself a housewife. You are an SUVwife!" He saw for the first time what a simple trip to the dentists' office is when all the kids need to go over the course of two days. Bundling up the babies, herding them like cats into the car, our one son with slight special needs discovering ant hills or snow mounds. . . it was good for him to see what I go through!

Him being back-- the bed didn't seem too big last night and I was happy to wake up next to him. Is he just a bed warmer to me? That's not always a bad thing. . .

At yoga training I learned about a degree that I am interested in called Somatics. Here is a link to the college that teaches it. It's counseling but with a body approach. I am trying to figure out how to do this from where I live because I can't leave state for long. I need a MA in Counseling Psychology but with an emphasis in somatics and body movement. Some how I have to get classes in anatomy but there is one problem: D. Milligan. I took a class with him 16 years ago and he told us that his class was a weeder class. He got sent out to my neck of the woods (I am semi rural) because I think he got chased of out The City. He's proud of the number of people who fail his class. His class was the hardest class I ever failed-- I really learned a lot and I was average for his class. Of course it is pre-med and they want only the brightest, but if they focussed on teaching by not talking as fast as an auctioneer and gave students tips on memorizing the content, it would be easier and our foundation would be better. My yoga trainers said that I need to stay with yoga training and get my anatomy with them where I experience it, then take A&P where it won't be in the book but on my body. I reach a point of saturation with learning and my mind scrambles everything and I don't process it for two weeks, but it's there in my brain for (as far as I know) Forever. This is fine with yoga and we work on my learning issues, but for a semester long class? I can't take the final after Christmas break after I have had time to not look at the material and let it settle!

I dropped the Korean class for this Fall. A good friend who is a lawyer advised me. I told him about taking Russian and Korean and he said, "Winners plan to win. This means, their strategy is to win. Two language classes will make you useless in both. You can always learn another one later, but even taking an Asian language is hard for teenagers. You are a mother with nine kids and a full load of classes." He was right. I felt better after I dropped the Korean. He associated dropping a class with spitting out food at a formal dinner-- only worse because it is on your transcript for forever! He had to explain this to me in detail-- I would have never gotten it otherwise. I feel embarrassed for not understanding this before.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I Deflated

Today I knew I shouldn't have gone up on the hike. Vertigo is not fun. I went to a local place that offers a challenge but I have no depth perception in the first place and getting on a vertical slope made me feel a close relationship with gravity that I'd rather not have. It was where I felt the ground and I start to sway. I panicked and our teacher wound up holding my hand. He kept an eye on me going up and held my hand up above my hand in victory once we were on top. It was one of those climbs that you get to what looks like the top. . . and then you are there and you have another level to climb. The problem was, once I knew I was in over my head, I had to keep going. You don't want to get too far back from the group as it's not safe.

Going down was another problem and I walked with one of the yoga teachers taking the class. She kept a steady stream of comments going about the natural herbs and their uses. At one point I started to get sick and she thrust a bouquet of wild sage at me, "For enlightenment of your stomach!" I sniffed it and it worked! I think it had more to do with focussing on what she was telling me. (No, I won't be going on any serious hikes with inclines like the one I was on. While it was steep, well built moms were out there with babies in backpacks making great time. I would have not done well.)

We got back to the studio and my yoga teacher was amazing-- he must be 50 or a little older but he is a lean, mean muscle machine and was up there doing a gentle work out but was telling us we could really push the envelope by doing some freaky things that he demo'd. Sex with him must be frightening.

My 17 year old had lunch ready for me when I got home for a 2 hour lunch break. I carbed and proteined out, played with the kids a bit, then went back and I thought that I'd pass out. I was about to leave but the studio owner didn't want me leaving as I looked bad and she didn't think I should drive. I ate an apple. Blood sugar went up and I finished the session.

Tonight I've had the babies on my lap and we've played a bit, I took my 12 yo to dance and came back to find my 10 yo son on his bike on a street my husband told him to not be on. I stopped my SUV and he ran into the bushes! I told my dd to take his bike home. I took the longer route home because I couldn't easily turn my car around. He was back on his bike. I told him to go inside and he started screaming in the middle of the road. I don't spank him any more because he acts as if it's the end of the world. There is worse than spanking (for him.) I told him to get inside and he came in , then went back out. I went to get him. He sat in the middle of the yard and screamed. Lord, have mercy. I got him back in, "What warrants this?"

He acted casual, shrugged his shoulders, "I just freaked out, Mom. That's all."

Well, freaking out isn't allowed. He can't go anywhere for two weeks which will be harder on me than on him, but I am making behavior charts for the school aged kids.

I wonder if his friends told him to try that on me.

Such is life, it's been a long day.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

My Yoga Master wants to Kill Me Dead

My yoga teacher is trying to kill me. I am in a yoga training right now. I learn so much that my brain hurts and nothing comes in yet we are still adjusting each other, stretching and what have you. We do nine hours a day with a 2 hour break which is just enough time to fall asleep and have the muscles beg to stay in bed.

I can tell you this though-- I have watched a man shove his head up his ass and pull it back out and that is pretty darned impressive.

This is so much fun. I like it even though I feel like I will deflate.

I miss the kids though-- I come home and my 17 yo has everything under control but I just melt into the couch. I am pretty useless right now.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Oh Dear. . .

The neighborhood may have heard me swearing. I was taking a (LOL) stress management final exam online. It was timed. I had to have certain biofeedback techniques memorized along with the names of the researchers who founded them. Psychology is worse than theatre with how the names of researchers and their work is to be memorialized for all Eternity. Anyway, my kids were being flipping orangutans and I yelled and swore at them. (My semester project to work on, BTW.)

I am paranoid-- do other people understand that we sometimes swear at our children? I live in a religious neighborhood-- nice upright people who seem to live like Ward and June which is fine-- but I was having a Rosanne moment. (I could never stand her show.) Please tell me that I am not the only one who uses colorful language. I only wanted them to shut the f--- up or get their butts in bed.

I got 41 out of 50 on my test, but I was totally stressed out.

I will have 78% total for my tests and that is the bottom of making a B for the class. My APA style is bad. I wonder how I will be graded on my other work. The tests seemed to be the main criteria though and you do the other work for the grade you want. In my case I contracted for an A and I did two reports and a project paper and a power point presentation.

I signed up for a Spanish class that is taught on line. I am trying to get the drawing teacher to let me come to class 20 minutes late one day a week as we have a meeting online for an hour and twenty minutes each week. It's not nearly enough to do as she wants, but online classes have certain criteria. Sigh. I will have no energy if I cannot take the drawing class, but the first half hour of drawing is important as you do speed warm-ups usually with chalk or another soft medium and get proportions in order.

It is wet outside and the kids are going stir crazy. I drove them up the road to see a new career center that I hope a few of the kids will go to. They all liked going up there and of course want to go out and skateboard on their sides walks, have me push a stroller with the babies, etc. We may go there to pick berries. My son with special needs wants to pick berries with me and make jelly for the fair which we may do. He has special needs but no one knows how severe they are. I think he is just wired differently-- he is smart, but socially behind. In a few years I hope he will catch up. He is pretty artistic and I wonder how much like me he is. He looks like dh's and my brothers, not like dh or me.

It's hard to imagine that another month from now will be berry picking time. The kids and I love that but it's exhausting. Still, we have fun and we make jellies and dh and I make wines.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Gotta Have Art

I made some pretty envelopes last night of some mountain scenes. I had a couple of thank you notes then on some business envelopes made of heavier paper I wrote a compliment letter to my dashing dentist (about his office, his staff, his good looks) and sent an application for a volunteer gig in another one. I hope they like them. Last year when I ran in my Mrs. Pageant I sent monthly notes to my sponsors with different designs on them. I wonder if they miss my mail. Those letters had no boundaries on them-- now I tape around the envelope (this is higher grade paper so the tape doesn't stick) and paint. The boundaries look better. It's not just mail art, it's art on mail.

I don't know if I will learn another language. I never heard from the hospital. My passion is art. Art communicates over cultures. Umm, right? Who cares if I am a good artist who can draw and look into people's souls by their gestures or get loads of information off their hands or how they sit or speak. . . I need a language. Forget what they are saying-- as an artist I learn what they mean. And what they aren't saying. I just want to take all my electives in art. I wish They (at the university) could make a language be part of my major then I wouldn't be limited on what I can take.

Friday, July 20, 2007

More on Watercolor, Languages

My watercolor class was great. For years I have been painting in the Asian (Chinese style) and just done it on envelopes and what-have-you, copying from books but never quite thinking that I'd gotten it. Tonight my teacher was holding some of my work up, walking away and looking at it, asking to herself, "What does this remind me of?" Finally she asked, "Have you ever taken classes in Chinese painting?" I told her that I'd wanted to but didn't know where to do it at and just paint from books. She said, "This is Oriental. All of it. You take the most essential elements and put them on paper. It looks detailed but it's not. You speak volumes with few strokes and you use your washes to the best advantage."

She left it up on the wall and a few minutes later one of the artists who makes money walked in from a short break and said, "Who did the Chinese painting?" That was so exciting! Then my teacher was watching me and said, "You may say you think about medical school and social work, but don't kid yourself. Before you are a doctor, a social worker, a mother or wife, you are an artist. This is too in the moment to be anything but natural. This is a gift."

Wow. (I just wish a comfortable paycheque came with that like what comes with people with a natural gift for healing and studying!)

I contacted a local hospital. I asked about languages and what is important to learn locally. The woman responded, "Thank you for your inquiry to I-didn't-bother-to-read-your-email Hospital. We are so honored that you are interested. For any questions, please contact the department head for the department for which you are applying." Calling gets no response, "Uh-- I dunno. Spanish? I never heard anyone speak anything but English here." I am trying to make myself useful. I wrote back and said that she must have sent my answer to someone else, explained what I wanted to know and told her how useless it was to ask for help from my department at college as they didn't know.

(My college didn't know.)

In fact, I called the department today and the secretary was impressed that I wanted to learn not just one but two languages-- but didn't quite understand why I wanted to learn any language at all. Why is this so unusual? My husband says I approach things differently. Is Human Services all about serving white people on Welfare? I was upset but he said, "This is your opportunity to teach them. Find out and tell them." Our city has a huge immigrant population. I want to help people at the freaking hospital. My children are all learning languages.

In art class the students were talking about how at our school, there is the rules int he catalog then the second set that is there where you seek out your
advisor and get very active about what classes you take and get them promoting you. I live out of town. C'est la vie. Looks like I need to go to town.

I'm not worried about being able to learn a language well enough to speak it at the ripe old age of 38. If you have the ability to speak a language, you can do it no matter what your age. My dad took us down to Mexico on family vacations when I was in high school. He took Spanish in high school and college and made C's but when he was there, he'd pick it up after a few days. On his ranch, an illegal was seeking help and banged on his door. My mom brought the illegal some food and they called INS and my dad spoke to him-- he was from some Central American country and his Spanish was different. The next time my dad was in the city, he used it on a linguistics professor from the U and he asked him when he started to learn Guatemalan Spanish. Likewise, my brother took Spanish and says, "I can count to ten in Spanish. Sort of." My children started learning their languages and my German came back. I can do languages.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Water Colour Class

Tonight in water colour, I had fun. I was on some narcotics to control my oral pain and decided to be bigger and bolder. Now, big n' bold is my kinda thing anyway, but tonight I was having more fun than usual. My husband drove me and went off to study and I was dropping colors in and making the best sky and water anyone has ever seen this side of Antarctica. I was doing a local mountain and I was making it look prehistoric. I was painting fast and furious and my friends were all asking if I was on depressants or LSD. You know, I was on depressants but I think you could have given me a placebo and I'd have gone a little crazy because I always feel like I need an excuse. It can't be because I like doing it a certain way-- I needed a reason. Anyway, it's some of my best work.

I love to paint. When you start doing watercolour, you see differently. I look at the mountains and see colours reflected in them from all around. I did a painting of some local weeds, used my loupe and made them bigger and put them in a glass in my head and put them on paper. Everyone knew what they were even though no one had seem the flowers so big. The leaves were green but they reflected the colours around them, then I did the same with the blossoms.

I don't see mountains or water or stems or buds-- I see how everything around my subjects is reflected. It's pretty cool when you get into it.

Monday, July 16, 2007

That Damned Tooth

I went to the dentist today just to make sure that all was well. He tapped on the tooth that just had the root canal and I screamed and grabbed his hand. Oops. He is very kind and said, "I'm sorry! Did I hurt you?"

I gave him a sheepish smile and said, "No-- I just wanted to hold your hand." We both laughed. I've come a long way from flinching every time his hands came near my face.

For whatever reason, I have an infection in my mouth under my gums that won't go away and he had to redo the root canal. This is so not exciting. I didn't have the usual pain medication that I get beforehand and I was not feeling well at all afterward. He is so good to me and apologized, and told me to get to the pharmacy and home ASAP so I could take whatever he gave me. I didn't waste my time but I started throbbing en route home.

Such is life-- at this point I feel no pain!

I love his office. This particular room was overlooking the parking lot but it was still pretty. I love all the dentists there. I gag at plastics in my mouth, dental dams no exception and he kept taking tissues and wiping under it so I'd not get too gross or grossed out. He smoothed back my hair or his hygienist would and tell me how well I was doing. At one point I had to ask a question. I started writing and they waited until I was done and didn't try to finish what I was saying. That has to sound silly that that would move me, but they are the most considerate people I've met.

At the end he realized that most of that molar was down pretty low and he asked if I'd had pain and I said yes. I used to be a dancer-- I explained that I dance through pain. (I have also often complained at dentists and doctors. Since I like him-- I really didn't want to upset him!) He said that a tooth that has too much build up "is an alignment issue. Would you dance if your leg had an alignment issue? Don't think of your teeth in terms of pain. Think alignment." He figured out how to speak my language.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

There Goes my Baby

The last post was written yesterday but I forgot to post it. I did not write several paragraphs just to write a short paragraph on this.

My eldest daughter just left to go live with my brother. He is a college professor and lives near the college in the next town. It's a good move for her. Six years ago I lost her and her sister in a court battle and they left for my ex's for three years of hell, three years ago they came back. Now I am giving her up once again and God willing she does well and won't need to come home, but the door is always open. She'll be back-- she is close to her brothers and sisters and me and my husband.

The other day she accessed an account that the judge ordered that some money be put in to. I was never able to get at the money although I was supposed to be able to. (My ex learned early that with our state court system, nothing matters unless it's enforced. It takes money.) My ex has been taking her money. She can't get at it without his permission. She had already disliked him but now she dislikes him more, but she smiled and said, "It's not hate. The opposite of love is not hate-- it's indifference!" Too funny. She does things on her terms.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Stress Management: The Yankee Way to Simplify Your Life

Part of my stress management class has been to get a project on myself. I initially wanted to clean my main rooms. Unfortunately, with nine children, I need SPACE. A $30,000 hour addition would be the best option (and get a new bathroom and some bedrooms with storage space) would be the best option, but I don't have the money. I tried paring it down. Space in the garage would be the next best thing but my husband travels quite a bit and he is trying to refinish the floors-- he is replacing carpet with wood which is very nice, but he lacks the energy when he is home to clean the garage. I could clean the garage but we need someone to deal with the younger children when I am out there and that just isn't possible right now. Alas, the closets are crowded and I tried just picking things up-- weeding out things that I do not need and straightening the house up: I got the 12 year old daughter and her brothers out and had the babies take a nap. A whole ninety minute's worth of cleaning later I felt like I was making headway when BOOM! the kids came in and the babies woke up and everything that I'd done in that time was undone. Four school aged kids dragged in dirt and a grasshopper that the seven year old wanted to show me (the new cat pounced on it and earned her stay here.) My three year old son who is getting potty trained took off his soiled diaper and slid his messy bottom on to the toilet (and off) leaving behind a gross mess for me in the freshly cleaned bathroom with his slightly older four year old sister screaming that she needed to use the toilet but couldn't. They wanted lunch. They needed a snack to take to a neighbor's house. . .

I did what I needed for the kids and got the older kids outside again and dealt with the younger three crying as they wanted to go out but I had to clean. I went to my bedroom and started on a pile of books by my bed. One of the books that I picked up is one that I have often flipped through and genuinely like and have tried before but never managed to finish. It's finally working. Heinrichs' plain language is to easy to keep in your head. This isn't rocket science or some psychological breakthrough-- it's plain English. What doesn't apply to your goals or happiness, throw out or sell. What does-- make room for it.

More later. this is kinda cool.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Painting Class

Tonight in my painting class I did a painting in ninety minutes that takes most people six hours to do. It was pretty cool, a rose in a mason jar with a rose next to it. I put my brush on a dowel with masking tape to do the fine work and for whatever reason, I started to get into my own flow. I love it when that happens.

Some people are able to paint exactly what they see-- I can but I don't like to do that right now. There were times when I started that I could and even tried to paint or draw like a copy machine but I have no interest in it now. My work is "painterly--" impressionistic. What is funny with that in six months I may go back to being exact. I think you work it out in your brain.

For years I painted and worked under a nom d'art. I won't say what it was but it was French. When I was a single mother I sent my bills in envelopes that I decorated and was shocked when I went to the phone company to see some of my works in people's cube. I didn't say, "I did that!"-- they didn't have a face with my work and didn't need to know that I was a pathetic little mother on Welfare. I also sent beautiful letters to my children when they were in a custody battle-- my envelopes drove their step mother crazy which wasn't hard because she was already kind of looped. I never put the stamps in the upper right hand corner-- the judge let my ex do as he wanted but I had to keep being Mrs. Perfect and I took it out on my envelopes! Then. . . a few years ago I ran in a pageant. I sent my sponsors monthly, individual letters and kept them updated with letters that I painted. It took up a lot of time and I would ask my husband if he thought I was silly-- the sponsors didn't really care one way or the other what I did and dh said, "You don't do art because someone will like it. You do art because you have to do art." They probably thought I was nuts but I started signing my real name to them and it was a big deal for me to do that. Those works had no borders-- then my drawing teacher said that mail art can look anyway you want it to, bu that "you honor your work" by putting borders on it. I use tape to block of the borders now and I love getting done with something and pulling the tape off-- it's "Ta-Da!" I have to be careful of the tape sticking to envelopes and even my artist paper so I unstick it first on my skirt or bedspread then affix it and press firmly to the paper. I seldom put the stamp in the upper right hand corner and if I need to I often ask one of the kids to do it for me. There I go-- one minute I am putting postage stamps in the lower left hand corner and the next I am riding a Hog in leathers with big hair!

The tape gives you boundaries, even on an envelope. I often write the address in the picture or in the boundaries. It's weird but it is pretty and my mother saves what I send to her!

My eldest is moving soon to my brother's house. I will miss her. She is 18 and about to start college. I am very blue-- but it will be good for her. My brother is a professor and she is a good kid-- he'll be protective enough I hope and watch out for her and she'll have a safe place near the college. This is where the worries start. I was with an abusive husband for two years, age 19-21, then years of being single. Did my mother worry?

School is stressful and this morning my two year old sat her little bottom on my feet and smiled at me-- I picked her up and danced with her in the kitchen and then her next older brother came in and then I had the three littlest ones and I without arms around each other in the kitchen, all of us saying, "Ahhhhh!" It wasn't that long ago that Miss 18 and her sister and I were doing that at my parent's ranch. How fast the time flies-- these days that are so busy will all be a distant memory soon. What will school be compared to these moments? May they each see how important it is and get their degrees before they turn 24 and go on for higher education unlike their mother!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Back to the Dentist-- Interesting Stress Lesson

Today I went to the dentist. I felt like I was growing a fang in the back of my mouth and was gnawing on the inside of my cheek near the furthest tooth where I'd had a root canal. I thought I was silly for feeling it but he looked and said, "How did we miss that?!! I'm so sorry!" He fixed it in a matter of seconds.

Last time I was there he'd noticed various problems with my teeth from grinding and I thought that I'd ground them at night but in recent weeks I've become aware that I do it during the day and what accompanies this-- often me mentally swearing, "Why does she have to be such a bitch? Can't she just do the damned dishes?" I had a sewer brain and more frequently than I care to admit, a sewer mouth. I am learning in my stress management how this was affecting me.

For well over a year now, I have had headaches. I used to make fun of women at church who seemed to turn 35 and start having them, one who even swore that she had brain cancer and that the headaches were a symptom in spite of doctors telling her that there was nothing there to cause them. I quit going to church when I started getting headaches, thinking that I had a sympathetic reaction to their comments in spite of the fact that I did not feel sympathetic towards them. With the pain medication that my dentist gave me a month ago and waking up to no pain and what followed with the operation, his questions, my class and then being aware was that maybe those women really do have headaches (from stress-- not the group issue of pre-menopause that they talk about so freely) and they also grind their teeth. These same women with big families blame their oral problems on having had so many children-- maybe they do have tooth problems because of having had so many children, but it's related more to them reacting to the stress, not from them having birthed so many babies. I told that to my dentist and he agreed but said that he'd never thought to ask about headaches per se because he is a dentist-- he asks usually about jaw pain and I didn't even think that I had jaw pain although I can look at my jawline and see a jowl forming (I showed him a picture from 25 years ago when I didn't have even the start of jowls) and he also saw it. Now I feel myself start to tense up and I do a yoga pose-- my body seems to know what to do and I feel and hear joints crackle, releasing tension as I breathe into the muscles that want to tense up.

Apparently he can prescribe one of these: during the day and it will make me not be able to grind them and readjust the way I use my teeth. He said that in the past, mouth guards just gave patients something new to chew on. This adjusts your bite and makes the headaches go away and I know it will work because I know what causes them-- my muscles cramp and my nerves get stressed.


The first part of solving a problem is knowing what it is. I am now aware of when I start to grit my teeth and even think bad thoughts. I used to be a competitive horse back rider and my coach would say, "Soft hands, soft eyes" when she saw my face start to tense and I would relax. (When my eyes tensed up my hands would as well. Then the horse thought it was supposed to speed up because it would feel the reigns tighten and then my thoughs would tighten and it would go faster than I wanted it to and the cycle would just compound itself!) In the past week, I have lost a couple of years from around my eyes because I have been aware of tension and been releasing it. My dentist is of course very happy with just the discovery of this-- this is better than Lancome!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Dreaded Yearly

My insurance just rolled over for another year. This means that I am having to schedule my yearly female exam. I'm loosing sleep over it. I don't have an issue with my doctor-- this is a guy that I know through a former nurse and he is great. He is 48, looks like he is 35 and he practices only gynecology and whatever this man says, I will do if I can afford it because I can tell that he takes care of himself.

The problem is the damned nurses. They say dumb things.

His former nurse was fine-- I knew her from another doctor. I'd go in and if I looked nice she might comment or might not-- I like to dress up so it's a matter of how I dress and she didn't notice unless I was dressed down or wearing a Republican shirt when I went to see the former doctor, an avowed Democrat, on election day and he and I would razz each other. In the exam room she'd say, "Tea. You've been getting these for years. Here's a gown (she'd put it on the chair) and you are getting the full exam? Use either your powers of clairvoyance or your past experiences to figure out what you need to take off. We'll be in in a second." I'd use my powers of clairvoyance and do what I needed to do.

What is it with OB/Gyn nurses now? "You look awfully pretty today. Is there something special going on?"

My response is usually along the lines of, "Thank you." They try to draw it out of me, like why I am dressed like I am is an issue worthy of their demand to know. I wear suits and business type skirts-- they look good on me and if I am going out I feel like I am "together." I get the kids ready on time, I get the house cleaned-- but who needs to hear that garbage and hear how dressing like I could run the universe makes me feel less dowdy? I don't need to tell the universe that my house doesn't get clean unless I am in 3" heels or that I accomplish more in 45 minutes with make-up on than I do in an entire day wearing sweats! Am I supposed to dress a certain way being a lowly housewife?

I must not look smart to them. They fucking get up in your face-- or is it just mine? and invade my interpersonal space and hand me the fucking gown and say, "Take off everything your panties, your bra, everything but your socks." If I try to avert my eyes from embarrassment, the perky little swine step in a wee bit closer and maintain eye contact. My fight or flight goes into effect and I am straining to keep from slapping them. I have to be nice to this nurse-- she is nice. I met her when I worked at a -Mart and she was a vivacious Black lady, dispensing great advice and just being a character. I said, "Forgive me for being so personal but where do you work so I can come absorb your ambiance?" She said, "I work with Dr. John ______!" She handed out cards to all of us that she had spell bound and I was like, "I know him! He was my doctor between babies 7 and then 8 & 9 but I kept getting pregnant!" They all laughed and she said, "He doesn't do pregnancies so he will never miss your appointment because he is delivering a baby!" Everyone laughed. And-- this man gives me chocolate. I have never had a gynecologist meet with me before the exam, tell me lame jokes during the exam, then have me meet in his office and talk with me afterwards. A gynecologist who gives his patients chocolate before the exam says, "I understand you. I understand women. I want you to come back." He knew I was a dark chocolate kinda girl but he had several kinds in his desk-- I told him when I was emotional about my dad dying and the chocolate kind of threw me off and laughed, "What was I saying?" He smiled and reminded me, "You were saying that you might need an antidepressant because your father died."

"Oh him." (We both laughed.) He said I was too easily made happy with the chocolate-- having no signs of diabetes or other problems, he told me to keep chocolate on hand for when I felt sad!

A nurse did the thing about getting in my face while I was in labour and I looked at her and said, "I'm not taking off my panties. I will take off my socks and my bra but not my panties. Dr. Lawrence just slid them aside for my last one and I was fine and just wore a pad and never got water or blood on a damned thing. Go ask him." I heard her tell Dr. Lawrence and he told her, "You'd better not come in here again. You just insulted her. This is her sixth child and you telling her what to take off is insulting." He told her that he was serious and to not come in again unless there was no one else around and he needed to do a c-section.

Anyway-- what is it about invading my personal space? I feel gross after that with my gyn's nurse-- and insulted. I am 38 years old and I have had over 20 of these and if you include full pregnancy physicals, probably 30. Do they really think that I must be so stupid to not know and that I need to be told to take everything off? (They emphasize everything and do a shake of their heads while they do it.) Why don't they just do what the other nurse did and put the gown on the chair?

Why do I feel manipulated?

Two years ago a doctor's assistant patted my 3 months along bulge and told me that I was getting a cute little tummy. I was ready to dislocate her wrist and threw a fit, "Thank God she didn't notice that my breasts are getting swollen or that my butt is big!" My body language to her was indicative that I did not like her yet she was moving in on me. I don't know-- is one's IQ supposed to go down when we walk into the exam room? The doctor never responded to my letters-- I like him but his assistant touching me like that could have caused him grief.

I am not sure what to do about my doctor. I know there are more patients who need doctors than doctors who need patients. I don't want him to fire me because I want his nurse to stay 3 feet away from me unless I am falling off the table and to just assume I know what I need to do. This guy is good and I would be crushed to not have him as my doctor. He annoys the hell out of me with his 20 questions on everything but I love that he is so thorough, then he says, "The AMA standard is. . . but you don't do well with drugs and you hate pills so I think you should try one of these methods." I love that!

I was going to get an ablation for extra bleeding but he said that women need to bleed, that the monthly bleeding tells him all kinds of things that wouldn't be noticed without it, that aren't as prevalent post menopause. . . when you are not bleeding anyway. I did yoga to fix it. He's Seventh Day Adventist-- they do things like that.

Anyway, I may call and see if he will tell me where his former nurse has gone and tell him why I liked her. I hope he won't be mad at me.

Or. . . maybe next time I go I will
  1. wear a garter belt and fetish shoes and when she says to take everything but my sock off, I will laugh and ask if I can keep my shoes on as well and shock the hell out them. Dowdy house wife that I am. . . he may very well fire me but the expression might be worth it.
  2. I can turn this into a psychological game and see what she does if I keep my hands at my side and not act like a trained dog and hold onto the farking gown while she makes intimate eye contact and I stare just off to the side of her face. Many years ago I was in an interview and I decided that I didn't like the woman so I was very pleasant but started staring at an area just to the right of her head and within minutes I had her leaning over trying to make eye contact with me and she scooted to the side of her desk. If you do that, look about six inches away. The other thing you can do is to stare right in the middle of your subject's forehead and see if he or she will stand up, but it's harder to do if the person isn't sitting down.
  3. Leave everything on, put the gown on but take of my stockings and sit on the exam table. While they look befuddled I can smile and ask what is wrong. "Oh! I'm dyslexic! She confused me. She shouldn't have said anything!"
Hmmmmmm. "Hello. This is Tea. I need to schedule a yearly exam with Dr. Ka-- I mean, Dr. ____ for my stress management class I mean, for my health. hee hee"

I am feeling less stress already.

On the females in exams-- several years ago I had a midwife inappropriately touch me at my post partum visit. I was furious but she said I had post partum depression. I won't detail what she did lest I attract some creeps here, but she left state soon after and I cannot help but wonder. I met other poeple who'd been her patient and they were like, "Did she bother you?" I was in a state over having to get a mammogram last year because of not liking women touching me-- the lady was great and was like, "Look, I don't like women touching me, either. I learned to do this because I was good at other scans and I was asked to learn it. People say I am good at it and I hope you will write a nice letter to my supervisor afterward." I did-- I wrote a great letter afterward. She wasn't bad in the least. I could have handled a male doing what the midwife did-- I'd have had no problem slapping him and walking out. The midwife made me take St. Johnswort ($23 bottle not covered by insurance) to thwart depression! (My husband threw it out and said I needed to get away from her.) That's why I have guy doctors and male hair stylists and I deal with men whenever I can.

I had wanted to be a doctor but I hope and pray that I can make it as a multilingual human services worker and work with doctors/nurses and people who don't speak English, where cultures clash and there are language barriers. I want very much to be a good patient, but I cannot stand being treated like I am an idiot.

I Can't Believe What I Just Did. . .

My eldest went to get a cavity filled. I dropped her off and picked her up. No problem. Her coat was moving. I asked why her left breast seemed to have suddenly developed an ability to move on its own. "Oh that! I found a cat-- I mean, while I was waiting for you it found me-- can we go to the pound and see if it has a tag and if not can we keep it?" At this point the cat was sitting on her shoulder like a ferret. She'd about eight weeks old and too thin.

I can't say no to my daughter. We go places and strays find her and follow her. Guys are that way but she dismisses them easily. Animals? She personifies them and suddenly we are in love with them.

She's home with us. Dear God I hope we can afford her-- money is always so tight. Of course my daughter is leaving in a few days to live with my brother and get a job at the college she will be attending. She'll come home quite a bit-- but this is a bad time for her to commit to a cat. That is OK. She's so damned cute!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Stress Management: Observation of Symptoms of MY Stress

Last week at the dentists', he asked me if I grinded my teeth. He noticed neck tension, shipped molars, etc. and I said that I probably ground them in my sleep so we spoke of mouth guards. In SM, we were learning about physical manifestations of stress. I will go into detail later, but today I had an exhausting day. I noticed the pain that the dentist observed and that. . . wonder of wonders, that I was grinding my teeth. My jaw is getting bigger at the joint and I am suddenly aware that I have been doing this for a long time. Hmmmmm.

I still haven't gotten to cleaning much of my house or organizing it, but I am noticing how I am carrying stress which is interesting.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Medical Assistants are Little Wenches

Last week I had to run a son to an urgent care for a splinter in his foot-- don't laugh, tweezers weren't working and I needed someone with bigger tools to remove it. I don't know what it is with medical assistants and dental assistants. The doctors, nurses and dentists are never an issue-- it's the people who are lowest on the totem pole in these places who seem to be the boldest. Is it a class thing?

Anyway, the med. ass. came to take me to the back with my son. She saw a few of the kids who were with us and asked how many I had. I said I had five with me (I was going to leave it at that) and my son piped up and said there were nine total. She asked where the others were and I said they were taken care of, refusing to answer that question. (Well, one was in Anaheim visiting my ex husband's ex sister in law who lived near Disneyland, another was going to 4-H camp and was probably stopping by K-Mart to pick up some stuff, my husband's brother was borrowing the youngest when he went shopping and was going to "accidentally" bump into a woman he likes, and my eight year old was helping an autistic boy about his age in a summer school class where he is a peer helper. It's none of anyone's business.) She said that she'd seen me at the college-- how did I do it with so many children? How does anyone do it? You make it happen or you fail. I said it was funny that no one ever asked my husband how he worked with so many children. She was thick skinned though and this didn't seem to get to her that I was getting annoyed and she asked it again so I said that like anyone else, I used my resources wisely and preferred to not go into detail. I'd have gotten sick had a I told her the truth-- that my husband takes care of them because then she'd tell me how lucky I am that my husband takes responsibility for his children so that I can complete my degree to earn more money to pay back student loans and have a better retirement than if I stay a housewife.

She said, "Are you Mormon or Catholic?" Normally I try to be bright and sunny and say something positive but that day I looked askance and got dramatic, "Goodness! We are just here for a splinter! Do you think we will need to call the clergy?"

She stopped walking and explained, "No-- I asked because you have so many kids."

"What's 'so many kids'?"

She tried to explain herself and I rolled my eyes at her. Whatever.

We resumed walking and she asked what my husband did. Trifecta complete and she was in for a second hat trick! I said it was on my paperwork.

She turned around, "I'm so sorry. Are you having a bad day?"

I told her I was not but she seemed to be on her way to asking every stereotype she could about large families and that while I didn't mind answering legitimate medical questions, her comments were out of line. At this point the doctor overheard us and he is a nice man and was like, "Come into the exam room-- what's happening?"

I told the ass. to tell him and of course she glossed over everything and I said, it wasn't quite like that and she was not just making conversation. I told him that I am not obligated to justify my large family, that I am sick of being asked where my kids are as if I'd leave them someplace unattended, how I can do college when no one asks my husband how he works with such a big family, if I am Mormon, Catholic or implied as just too stupid to use a condom, what my husband does for a living to establish what we own and how hard our lives must be-- when I was just there to get a splinter removed and that I never wanted to see this nosey, homely little creature again. She said she was sorry for offending me but that no one had ever complained before and I told her that if the questions would be inappropriate in a job interview, they are not acceptable when I was going into the doctor's office unless, in the case of the kids being taken care of, that there was a concern that I wasn't caring for them properly. I also told her that her little, "I'm so sorry. Are you having a bad day?" was passive aggressive and that whatever they told her in medical assistant training, it was not OK to say because I was not treating her badly by keeping private-- for all I knew she was dating a child molester or abused children, herself. I elucidated that when I am paying for my visit that if I don't feel like explaining my life then it's my business-- not an obligation to satisfy her curiosity. Then I told the doctor, "Again: I really do not want to see this unprofessional whatever she calls herself again while I am here today." She left the room.

The doctor got a nurse in there and she was smiling and said that I was a hero to her sister even though her sister hadn't heard of me. (Yet!) Her sister lives 2,000 miles away and "only" has five children but got all those questions all the time and always wanted to say something but hadn't worked up the nerve.

Pah! I have nerve. I have verve with my nerve!

I've been planning to say this for years-- since #5 was little. As of late the med asses have been getting attitudes and doing the, "Are you having a bad day?" when I side-step their remarks. I wear a suit to the appointments to look professional and I act professional. If they ask what I do I lie and say I am a private accountant-- over dressed but I look together, and they still try to treat me like a mousy housewife be I in a suit or sweats. But the thing is-- what I do and why I even dress nicely shouldn't be an issue. Who is paying the damned bill? I'll warn you-- you will feel like shrinking when you are first confronted-- I have a few times and backed down. I realized that when I do that I only make them think it's OK to do that. I love my children dearly but if I don't bring them up, they are a non issue and if I don't like someone or feel comfortable with them, I don't like to talk to them about my kids. "I don't know you and I do not feel like discussing my children with you and your questions make me uncomfortable. I'm here about a medical issue that my kids have nothing to do with having caused as far as I know. . ."

I am not going in to pay to be asked stupid questions. I really feel like people are masochistic-- like they want to hear that we struggle or have a difficult time. They sure as hell don't seem like they are asking questions to hear good answers. I don't understand it-- I like hearing that people are doing well, but then they try to contrast it or something.

Stress Management

Today I got my bathroom cleaned up and my two year old spread shampoo all over the floor. I came in to find her playing in the just cleaned toilet. I'd been having my back turned washing and folding clothes. Welcome to my life.

On top of it I realized that I was supposed to get two book reports turned in. This could mean, "I wanted an A and thought that Book Report II was to be turned in on 20 July and now I can get no higher than a C." OR it could mean, "I wanted an A but by only doing one book report I can get no higher than a C and I do not have to do some of the other projects." I have to check it out with the prof but if I can choose the latter, I will have less stress. He has over 200 students online so I won't beg or plead-- he says, "No begging or pleading. Don't be late."

This still sucks.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Mrs. Pageant & Some Pageant Tips

Last night, my husband and I went to our state Mrs. [Our State] America Pageant. I was in it two years in a row, the first year I was six months pregnant with my ninth baby. I was in it last year and felt pretty blue not placing so I sat out a year to watch. That was the best thing I could have ever done. You can really learn a lot by watching!

The women who did well-- one who made it into the top five shocked us and dh whispered that she must have done extremely well in the interview although she didn't get recognized as having done well in the interview. (Of course I am happy for her!) The first runner up was also first runner up last year-- she committed pageantry suicide in her gown. My 11 year old saw her walk out and wrote me a note, "She just lost the crown." She was right. No matter what you want to talk about inner beauty and all that nonsense, it's a skin show. She'd worked out all year and you could tell this in the athletic wear portion.
  • In the evening gown she looked like she loved her dress, but it was long sleeved and she is kind of like me (not big chested) and the neckline was high and had a design on it, attracting the eye to the chest which was not her best feature. She should have been showing off her shoulders and face. As it was, this gown of hers looked like a long cocktail dress, not an evening gown.
  • In the athletic portion, she took a hula-hoop out. Everyone around me was whispering, "Oh-my-gawd, she isn't going to hula hoop out there, is she?" I was wondering if she would do the hula hoop. She used it to nicely frame her face at the end-- but it was a hula hoop. Hula hoop = circus performer.
  • Last year she took out rock climbing gear which was more in line with our state. Two of the judges had returned so she probably wanted to do something different, but she'd have been better with hand weights or ski poles and said she was into arctic skiing. (That being said-- when I was pregnant I went out carrying a baby doll that my grandmother had made and stole a mop from a janitor at the last second and went out. I brought the house down! But I wasn't a serious contender, either-- it was enough that I was expecting my ninth and made it through the pageant!)
One woman, a brunette with long hair, held center stage whenever she went up. She didn't do well and I thought she would be in the top three. Why she didn't make the top five? While she placed in the interviewing portion and shown well in athletic wear and her gown was stunning-- all you saw was the gown. I didn't blame her for choosing it, but in a pageant, you wear the gown-- it doesn't wear you. If your eye is attracted to the gown and not the person's figure and face, wear it some place with your husband to go out and look stunning, but choose a different gown for your pageant. Read this and memorize, Readers. This is good, basic pageant advice.
  • Clothing designers want you to recognize their clothing. That is why models look so basic. You are not looking at their faces. Pageant dresses cannot be plain but they cannot overwhelm the wearer. Besides, how will you make your crown sparkle more if it's competing with some design?

My son's baseball coach was there. She was another person who held the stage but didn't place. My husband and I hollered, "Go Coach!" whenever she was out and we were in the front row but I don't think she saw us. She was standing right next to another cute short haired blond, a professional ballroom dancer. I think that they looked similar didn't help. She also wore a base ball uniform for her athletic wear. OK, something to remember here: the judges are going to send you to a pageant and in the Mrs. America Pageant you wear. . . ta-da! A swim suit. It's one piece, but it is still a swim suit. She could have done better by wearing cute shorts, a baseball inspired tank top, high heels and a baseball glove and done a cheese-cake Varga-style pose, "Why, yes I do dress like this to play baseball!" That would have shown off her legs, arms, and terrific figure in general.

A mechanical engineer wore what looked like Mormon formals. this is no slam at my Mormon friends-- she dressed like a Mormon and may even be Mormon, but this wasn't a Mormon pageant. She looked beautiful and sweet-- she had to be in her early 20's but had I not known she was a mechanical engineer, I'd have guessed her to be barely 18. She wore formal fabrics that had the t-shirt style to cover her collar bones and shoulders. Her hair-- oh my goodness, down to her waist. If she had to dress like that, she would have done better to have worn a long German drindl in velvet which would have had some character to it and since she looked like Rapunzel, well, the judges may have seen it more as a fashion statement!

Pageant winners tend to have long hair, have it down and look a certain way. Will my almost shoulder length hair be longer? I look best with it up like a Gibson Girl. Will I fit the mold? Perhaps not but I will do it for a last time in two years when I am 40. I need to at least get my internships out of the way for college and have a platform.

One of the amazing things that happened last year was that I was in an elevator with a judge when I left the pageant. I asked what I could do better this year. He said, "Who are you?" OK, I didn't stand out! I said I had nine children and he said he knew who I was, he was asking that because he wasn't sure if I knew who I was, "You said on your application that you don't want your children to define you, yet that is all you spoke about in the interview. You are interviewing for a job! I am an employer." He then explained that if I was selling myself for a job in his office and was to spend eight hours a day with him, what would I bring in? He said he isn't really allowed to ask about my children in an interview for a job but of course the pageant is different, but he said that if he thinks what if he joins me at lunch or between patients and all I can talk about are my children (or he said, my cats or my collection of Hot Wheels Cars or whatever,) or if patients started to talk to me and all I could do was refer to my children-- what kind of stimulation would I bring? I knew what he was talking about. He smiled at me and said, "Have you ever really thought about what you like? You've been changing diapers for the last seventeen years solid!" I was dumbfounded and by this time we'd stepped off the elevator. He smiled and said, "Get back to me next year."

Thinking of this I look at my name on here-- all versions of "Mom." Well, that's OK.

I hope he will be a judge in two years. So much is going to be happening and I can't wait to sit with him and tell him what I have been and will be doing. I knew as we parted that while I didn't win the pageant that I walked away with some wisdom that I'd not had before. A few months later I'd resume college and I am starting to define myself outside the children. I didn't realize it, but I'd been afraid of loosing something once I stopped having them. I am glad that I had them all and regret nothing, but he helped me in that short conversation start moving in to the next phase of my life.

Last year my gown was green velvet but had no rhinestones. I adore my seamstress, but she was like, "You don't want a slit that high! I don't care how pageants are!" No-- a pageant is a performance. I am dressing a certain way. I didn't want sleazy but a little more leg would have been better! She also thought the rhinestones would be too much since I had a rhinestone necklace. I didn't lose because of her at all-- I am quite capable of losing very well on my own! Still, there is a way things are done and you either do it that way and be creative within the modes and increase your chances or don't do it and forget about it. The cocktail dresses were also all extremely short-- I have always worn them a bit longer.

One woman went out in fishing gear and hip waders folded down by her knees for the athletic wear and while it was cute and I'd wanted to do it, my husband said, "She'll get away with that because she is a professional body builder and her features are still very strong, but your job is not to make the judges laugh." I think that he winner was in tennis whites.

One contestant who was too skinny was out there in a midriff baring top and shorts and a woman next to me said, "That's not fit. That's just gross." That's also something to be aware of-- you can be too skinny. Being too slender is a problem that needs to have attention drawn away from it. A body suit would have worked well with a sarong at her side would have looked good and you'd just see a clean line.

Something to note here-- too skinny, A or B cup breasts, shorter legs-- these are not problems. They just mean that you play up your strengths. I'll never have to worry about falling out of my gown. I can go bra-less and seldom need Duct Tape.

Anyway, next year my husband wants to take me to see this and get a hotel afterwards. He said that if I want a chance at the top five that I really need to make this a serious goal. He could not care less about doing this but I care and he said it's a waste of money to go half-assed. I can't afford $2,000 gowns and said that I need a different seamstress who I don't love as a friend. He said to keep my seamstress to make my clothes that I wear every day and special occasions, but she will not make the sexy gown that I will need to place.

I know what I will do for the athletic wear but I can't say here as I don't want to give away my secrets, but so much clicked as far as what I need to do to place in the top five. . . I have one slight problem and that is, I don't fit the mold. My features are different. I have modeled, but I have modeled clothes from the forties and period-type clothing. My face lends itself to hats and I have a look that people don't forget. It's good-- but pageant winners, though they hate to admit it, fit into a mold. For me the pageant is a goal that is helping me buff myself for other goals, like completing my college degree the year I turn forty, getting into a physical certain shape. . . and I will love doing what it takes to get there. I told my husband that I don't care if I do it in two years-- completing college and dancing my way back into great shape is really enough and he said, "No-- I see you competing in two years. You will do this again. What is a better way to celebrate you finishing your degree, being forty years old, about to start a new career with two children grown while still raising seven in the house? Pageants celebrate women in all phases of life. I want you to represent where you will be." He also said that he will buy me a tiara so if I don't win, I will still walk out with one. . . so there!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Stress "Management"

This blog is written for my stress management class. All summer (we are a month into it with six weeks to go) has been rough on me. I'd had a terrible pain in my mouth and my dental insurance, maxed out last year, rolled over on 1 July. I spent much of June stoned on something that made me itch but at least my face wasn't hurting. I had decided to declutter my house because that is what I, a mother of a large family, needed most to do. What I didn't realize was that when one's mind is either oblivious or one's body is in pain, one should not even bother cooking dinner, much less setting about a grandiose plan to clean it.

I took pictures of my bedroom, bathroom and linen closet but they are an embarrassment. I cannot even have sex in my bedroom without thinking, "I need to put those board games away. Why didn't he put his dirty socks in the laundry? What is a hanger doing on my dresser? I need to clean out the dressers. I think I hid chocolate in one of the dressers but the kids probably took it. Mr. Coffee hasn't bought me chocolate in a while. . . I need to get some more."

Meanwhile my husband is saying, "Scream! Let it all out! Damn you're hot!"

I think about yelling, "We need to pick up snacks for the baseball game for the triplets at tomorrows' 9:AM game!" a la Sally Field. "Baby, do-me-do-me-do-me a trip to the store to get it now-now-now! Let's take JUICE BOXES AND BROWNIES! AND DULCE DELECHE ICE CREAM! YESSSSSSSS." But I don't say that and I shut my eyes and. . . try for something less genuine but more stimulating.

It doesn't help that my husband is redoing the flooring in the house and that we put a lot of things in here that I'd never dream about putting in here.

I got my mouth operated on earlier this week. I had an extraction and a root canal. In case anyone in Blogland is thinking I am loosing teeth because I had so many children, that is not true. My dad had had two tooth extractions at my age (38) and a root canal and we had our Wisdom teeth yanked at the same ages. My dad did not carry any babies. Tooth loss is a case of genetics and how well you cared for your teeth. I am pretty fortunate with both but we had baby molars pulled. I was on painkillers (and wrote to my prof for the class while on them-- lovely!) and am finally off them.

I used to hate dentists. Hygienists who talk a lot ruin it for me and my last made me change dentists. Today my hygienist came in post operation and to do the cleaning and said, "Listen, I'm not a talker. I will get to work on your mouth and talk for the last ten minutes and tell you what you need to improve on if you need to improve on anything." I could have kissed her but asked for a strand of her hair so I could clone her, instead. She found that funny and I was glad that she liked my little joke. My dentist looks like Adonis in scrubs. I did not know that a dentist could be good looking-- I had thought that the people too tall to be trolls who lived under bridges went to dental school. I met him last year when a tooth exploded. My old dentists' office manager called it a "chipped tooth--" after calling everyone in the phone book, my not-yet-new dentist said he couldn't enjoy his weekend if he didn't see me at his lunch break and I blushed and made a few Freudian slips when he gave me his direct home number in case I had an allergic reaction to some antibiotics. I looked very silly but the receptionist said he has that affect on females quite a bit. Today I did not make an ass out of myself which was nice.

Back to cleaning my house. I just found a website with some great tips. I'm going to try to figure out how to do this. My house is small for so many people, but we can make this work. I need space for my art supplies and that of my children, we need places for our books and places to put shoes. What is the hardest thing about having a big family besides fielding silly questions about what the hardest thing is about having a large family? Finding places for the shoes!

They have a place there called Fly Lady. I do not like her, personally. When trying to organize a few years ago I started out with my inbox. She cluttered it with reminders and I was like, "I have a life! First thing should be, 'Getcher arse off the computer and clean!'" She wasn't like that. It's OK though-- some people need that and it's like having a friend to harangue you.

It's hard to declutter when children clutter back up-- even 18 year old children. She gets nasty with me when I tell her that her shirt is on inside out so asking her to pick up her clothes is about as pleasant, but she's great in other ways. I just tell her that we are all cleaning up and I assign my four year old to her. My four year old, when seeing that everyone is cleaning, starts singing, "Clean-up! Clean-up! Everybody does their share! Sunshine is in the air! Cause everybody does their share!" Ms. 18 may be sour at moments but she laughs at her little sister and sings with her.

I will get the kitchen floor cleaned and my triplets* come in and tromp though. I have to remind myself that it's not about success and having everything clean at once but having done it, but I also hand them a rag. They have to help.

*I don't have genetic triplets-- they are three kids born withing 100 weeks of each other. They look like they are triplets although I try to not dress them alike. By making their clothes different it only makes their faces look more alike.