...the Life and Times of Karolyn Lewis.

Monday, March 26, 2012

A Wise Pinner Once Pinned...

A wise pinner once pinned:

My brother, who does not pin, post, or blog told me that blogging was a form of self praise.  "You write about all these really good things  in your life-- the best of your life-- and you leave out all the ugly.  You make yourself look really good- like you have the perfect life, but you don't."  He wasn't berating or attacking me at all.  It was a genuine, true observation.  

So here's a run down of all the "ugly" going on right now.  The truth.  

And lest it seem I'm feeling sorry for myself, please refer to the above quote; I have done so many times today.  

~I'm about 15 pounds over weight.  Why?  Because I don't like to exercise and I do like to eat.  And my husband's getting fat and I'd hate for him to feel all alone up there at the top of the scales.  

~I have a very sick goat right now.  And of all the things I've pictured hauling in my minivan, Ms. Brown was NOT one of them...

That was a $220 ride to the vet.  She's still sick.

The first two uglies were just warm ups.  Now on to the meat of my woes... 

~Last week I bought a $45 part to repair the flap on the freezer door where the ice comes out.  I replaced that cyllinoid myself and I was proud.  I have no clue how to spell cyllinoid and neither does my spell check.  Oh well.  Three weeks ago, I paid $200 to have the relay switch replaced on the same fridge because it was on fire (literally) and the smell was just too much to handle.  And I didn't want the house to burn down.   Friday, a new problem popped up and I called the repair guy again.  He came and did NOT advise repairing.  Thankfully, it is my second refrigerator.  

~Tomorrow, a different repair man will come and repair my main refrigerator, which is all fridge- no freezer.  It's still under warranty (thus a different guy) so it'll only cost $350.  Can probably find that under the cushions of the couch.  

~I've had my stove worked on 3 times this month and think the problem is finally solved.  Yay.  For a good while I could turn it on and nothing! The kids could have crawled in and played their iPods without breaking a sweat.    

~Our under the counter ice maker has been broken for over 3 years.  We had it worked on 4 times.  U Line is the Satan of under the counter ice makers.  Now that our spare fridge is stone cold dead (or stone room temperature dead) we will not be offering our guests iced tea at present.  

~A year ago, one of our a/c units downstairs burnt up.  Like on-fire-it's-amazing-the-house-didn't-burn-down burnt up.  Yep.  We have to have a whole new handler in the attic.  Thank God for mild winters and space heaters.  

~Our Polaris pool vac gave up the ghost a few weeks back.  Have you priced those lately? 

~Our stand up freezer was sickly and I got some free advice from Uncle Repair Man.  He comes around so often that he really does feel like family.  So I'm repairing that now.  This is the second condenser I've uncovered this week.  

Michal says I should start a repair business.  If only it were that easy. Hopefully, I'll have it up and running by bedtime.  

~My dishwasher works, because I replaced it about six months ago.  Whew!  


Obviously, I have major trouble with appliances.  Ever met one of those people who just can't grow plants?  Same thing.  Except their plants are my appliances.  

I was thinking the other day that if my appliances were employees, I'd fire them.  If they were husbands, I'd divorce them.  If they were children I would spend every dime I had to send them away to boarding school.  Case closed.


In the midst of all the self-loathing today, I could list a thousand things to be thankful for.  One of which is holding the tears at bay until the repair man was out of sight.  My kids are healthy, my husband is mostly amazing, my parents are a delight to our little family... the list goes on.  So I look at the quote and keep saying over and over in my head...

I have a good life.
I have a good life.
I have a good life.
I have a good life.
I have a good life.  

It's just been a crap of a day.  

Monday, March 5, 2012

My Own Dose of Funny

If you'd like to know what this ongoing diary is all about, please visit here.

Me:  (calling Liliana from another part of the house) Liliana... come here babe.
Liliana: (calling back) Why did you go under they-yer?
Me:  (calling back to her) Under where?
Liliana:  Haaaaaaaah!  I made you say under way-yer!!!!!  Heeeheeeheeee!!!

Henry:  Why is your bottom so big, Mama?

Guess I should have kept right on going past Krispy Kreme this morning.  Darn donuts.

The kids were prattling on in the kitchen when I hear one of them say, "I'm not FAT!  Daddy's FAT!" Then another piped in with, "Yep, Daddy's fat.  Daddy's definitely fat."


Liliana:  They're having a yard sale!!
Me:  No, that's a voting precinct.  People go there to vote.
Liliana:  For what?
Me:  For the President.  (wondering how well she's been listening) Who do you want to be President?
Liliana: I don't know their names.
( So I tell her.  Then we talk about who I voted for.)
Liliana:  Is the first guy bad?
Me: Well, no, he just doesn't follow the Bible.
Liliana:  So he kicks people.
Me:  Well...
Liliana: (interrupting) And he punches popele in the nuts?
Me:  LILIANA!  We don't talk like that.

If only it were that simple!  (I must admit I'm happy to live in a home where we do not bash the President of our nation- even when we disagree with him.)

At dinner Michal was talking about Middle School and wondering (not too pleased) why she can't go next year.

Zeb:  She suffered from it and she doesn't want us suffering from it.

Michal:  Yeah, I heard her say it was the worst 3 years of her life!  (chuckle, chuckle)

Middle school sounds a bit like a bad rash, huh?


Our goose, Sharpay, laid her first egg yesterday; and although it wasn't golden, we were excited just the same.  Due to the fact that her mate, Howard, committed suicide a month ago, we are confident that there is no chance a baby goose is in that egg!  The girls aren't so sure, though, and want to put it in the incubator.  There is no reasoning with Liliana, but with Michal...

Michal:  Mom, let's hatch it!
Me:  It's not fertile, baby.
Michal:  But how do you knooooowwwww?
Me:  Because you need a boy and a girl to make an egg fertile.
Michal:  But there could be a boy in that egg.  That may work.
Me:  No, you need Howard and Sharpay together.  A boy and a girl together.
Michal: (somewhat disappointed) Is that a law?
Me:  (giving pause) Pretty much...


Liliana:  Mom, I'm in fuhst gwade and that's too old to be wetting my pull-up.  Can I just sleep on the toilet?


nightmares of a six year old girly-girl...

Liliana crawled in bed with me this morning after having a horrible dream. "Tell me about it, baby," I say.

"I was at Warl-mart and a man took my Barbie and poured glitter on all my stuff."
"Oh, no!" I replied, "Could you get the glitter off?"
"No, it was sticky glitter."

I'm thinking a therapist may be in order.  Where and when and how much glitter we use is a personal decision, darn it.


I wanted to know if Liliana understood the concept of sin so I asked her.
Me:  Do you know what sin is?
Liliana: It's when you do bad things like stick your toe in someone's food.
Me: Have you ever sinned?
Liliana:  (emphatically) No mam!

Me: Zeb, did you brush your teeth?
Zeb:  Yes m'am.
Me: (doubtful) You did?
Zeb:  Yes m'am.
Me:  (still doubtful) Tonight?
Zeb: Yes m'am! (insert quick finger snap/point combination here) You can pray to God and ask Him and He'll say "Yes!"

Our house rules hang prominently in the kitchen.  These rules came straight from my brain- so if you're wondering why they're simple, well, there ya' go.  Here they are:

So Liliana did something very unkind the other day and the "great suffering" entitled to her was not administered right away.  A few hours later I called her to me.  The convo went like this:

Me:  Liliana, what you did to Henry was very unkind and now it's time for your punishment.
Liliana:  But Mama, youuuuuu, bwoke a wule, too.  Youuuuuu  didn't act quickly.  You're supposed to act quickly and youuuuu  bwoke the wule, too.

Needless to say, there wasn't much suffering after that conversation.  I did learn a lesson, though!  I need to Obey Quickly as well.  I expect immediate obedience.  When that doesn't happen, they should expect immediate discipline.

I've been working very hard with Henry about not touching or messing with things that don't belong to him.  This is not an easy task.  He touches EVERYTHING!!!

Me:  Henry, is that yours?
Henry:  No sir. (he rarely uses m'am)
Me:  Why are you touching it?
Henry:  I don't knowwwwww....  I don't know how to stop touching everything.  When you go to Africa they touch everything all the time.

Me:  Henry why do you lie to me?
Henry:  I don't knowwwwwww.
Me:  Do you like spankings?
Henry:  Noooooo.  
Me:  You must because you lie and when you lie you get a spanking.
Henry: I don't like spanking.
Me:  Then why do you lie?
Henry: Zeb teaches me to lie.
Me:  I don't think so.
Henry:  Well, I think so!

Liliana:  Michal kicked me in my nuts!!!!
Me:  Liliana, you don't have nuts.
Liliana: (enlightened) Oh.  She kicked me in my business.

Liliana:  Mama,  every night I go to sleep and when I wake up it's morning. I don't know how that happens, but it does.  Every time.

Zeb:  Mama, what did they call TV when you were young?
Me:  TV.
Zeb:  Really?

Liliana:  Mama, how do you say I love you in Hand Spanish.

Pretty sure she's talking about sign language.


Michal:  ALRIGHT, who sliced the cheese???!!!

Zeb:  Mom, I learned a new bad word today at school.
Me:  What is it?
Zeb:  (whispering in my ear- although no one else is around) m-a-g-g-e-t
Me:  Maggot?  Maggot's not a bad word.
Zeb:  Wait, maybe it's not maggot....  Uhmmmm...  Man, I can't remember it... Wait... Wait!!  Oh, yeah... it's f-a-g-g-e-t.  That's it.
Me:  Yeah, that's not a nice word.  Don't say it.

Not once did he ask me what it meant.

While Liliana has ceased calling people humans- now they're just people, Henry has started calling his brother and sisters "friends."  Don't tell me he's not picking things up at preschool.  "Mama, I just want to play with my friends.  I don't want to go clean my room."

Michal:  Is the clock on the stove an hour behind?
Me:  Yes, I haven't changed it yet.
Michal:  Why do we change the time?
Me: (hoping this is correct) To make the day longer.  It helps us to conserve energy.  We don't have to keep the lights on as long.
Michal:  But how does the sun know?

Henry:  Lili, where you from?
Liliana:  I'm from nowhere.  I'm from...  I wasn't adopted.  I'm from no where.  I'm from Mama's belly.  I'm from Mama, and that's just nasty.

Zeb is going snow skiing for the first time with my parents during Spring Break.  He is not happy about going to ski school.

Me: Zeb, why don't you want to go to ski school?
Zeb: I just don't like the idea of going to another country and going to school with people I don't know.
Me: You're not going to another country, you're going to another state.
Zeb: But Asia is a continent.
Me: Yes, and Colorado is a state.
Zeb: But China is a country in Asia, and Asia is a continent.
Me:  Go get the globe...

Michal:  "For Peter's sake, Zeb! Shut the door."

Henry: Mama!! I've got good news!!!!
Me: You do?
Henry: (with a total I'm going to be really funny face and voice...) Home is over!!  Time to go back to Africa! (followed by 5 good minutes of laughter)

Kids say the darndest things...

As every parent knows it's impossible to remember all the crazy stuff the kids say.  I've decided to start an ongoing post where I record the odd, sweet, and funny things that come up around the house.  

I wish I could remember them all... Like the time Zeb told the dog to "Shut-down" instead of shut-up; or the time Liliana insisted that 1+1= 11... which makes total sense, if you ask me.  

Henry, with his new-found English, never ceases to crack me up.  The other day Liliana told him that he wasn't smart.  He said he was smart.  She said he didn't know what 2+2 equals.  He said he did know what 2+2 equals.  She said, "Well, Henweeeeee, what does 2+2 equal?"  And with more confidence that I have ever seen him muster, he replied, "2+2 equals W!!!"

Several years ago, when my sweet Michal was 5 years old, she crawled up into my lap and said, "Mama, you're booootiful and I'm boooootiful, and we're lovers."  My heart melted as I said to her, "Well, come let's love, baby girl!"

Michal is definitely the lover of the family, but she has always been the funny one, too.  She was cracking jokes when she was tee-niny.  Her mouth has gotten her into a fair share of trouble, though.  She called Lee a stupid old man when she was just 3 years old because he asked if he needed to buy milk.  I guess she thought any smart, young man would know that there was an entire gallon in the fridge.   

Liliana, who is currently in speech, called our switch a "bitch" for several months during her 4th year of life.  Thankfully, she can say the "sw" blend now.  She also refused to call people people for several years.  She called them humans.  "Mama, wook at dat hooomen!"

My favorite memory of Zeb is when he was at that awkward, I want to make you laugh age between 3 and 4.  All parents know what I'm talking about.  The kid acts stupid and you're supposed to laugh.  One day, in an effort to do as such, he said, "Mom, look at this funny face!!  It's gonna crap you up!!" Of course I laughed, but not at the face he was making.  Before I recovered to correct him, he said, "Mama! If that face crapped you up, this face is really, really gonna crap you up, WATCH!!"  

Liliana started Kindergarten this year and came home telling me about a little girl with decorations in her hair.  I asked her if they were beads and she said, yes.  Then she asked me if I had ever seen a black person before.  Keep in mind her little brother is Ethiopian.  

Black History month opened up Liliana's eyes to different colors and races.  She was so excited to tell me about "Marfin Loofer who was a king and he's our pwesident, but he died."  She told me that "Marfin Loofer and God were friends and Marfin Loofer made it where everyone could drink out of the big water fountain.  Some people had to drink out of the wittle water fountain." I love that our schools celebrate Black History!  

Zeb, at 10, was telling me what Martin Luther King did for our nation and I was very impressed.  He named several specific things and then paused for a moment, cocked his head, and said, "And didn't he invent peanut butter, too, Mom?"

Michal, though Latino, thought she was black for several years.  She came home in first grade saying Martin Luther King did great things for people like her and another little girl in her class.  That same year, this was her self portrait:  

On several occasions she would talk about her and a little girl (who is black) being the same.  I was asked if I ever corrected her and, no, I never did.  I don't really care what color she thinks she is and is it really important, anyway?  She was a bit miffed, though, when we told her that her little brother was coming from Ethiopia.  "Well, that's not fair!  Now I'm not gonna win the dark contest anymore!"

Honestly, I thought Liliana was a racist for awhile, then I realized she was just mean (starting school assured me she had no concept of color, especially after the beaded hair and Marfin Loofer comments).  When Henry first came home she was a bit resistant to sharing.  She'd make comments like, "I don't share my milk with boys who were born in a village." In retrospect, I honestly believe that was the only difference she found in Henry... that he was born in a village; although she did ask me if Queen Helene's Body Lotion would turn her brown like "Henweeee."  I asked her if she wanted to be brown like Henry and she said YES!  I told her it'd take more than Queen Helene's, but she smeared it on thick, nonetheless.  We agreed to pray about it. 


Feel free to visit My Own Dose of Funny.  It's my ongoing diary of the the things I'd like to remember. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Dirty Words: Walmart & McDonalds

Although I have 1,000 things to do, I blog.  
Yes, blogging is quite therapeutic.  
And it's free.
And free is good.
And I know starting a sentence with "and" is a no-no.  I would tell you that I taught high school English for three grueling years, but I don't want you proof reading everything I write.  That would soooo screw up my therapy. And I'm no grammarian.  I don't even like grammarians (I do like you, Suzanne, but you're the only one).

Today I took the kids to the dentist.  Did I mention that there are FOUR of them?

Four sets of pearly whites.  Or butter-yellows.  Depends on the day and the kid.


I have to admit that the dentist is a big deterrent to us having more kids.  If only my teeth were part of my body!  We have great health insurance, but...

Today's visit was a mere $449.00.  Not a bad price for 30 child-less minutes with a stack of magazines.  I'm thinking if they'd provide multiple copies of People and Us Weekly it would totally draw in more patients.  They could even increase the rates.  I'd pay more, especially if they kept the kids back there longer.  Since when did dental care become so fast?  I should email them my suggestions.  

I must have some deep-seeded need for occasional misery because we went to Walmart after leaving the dentist.  And then we went to McDonalds.   Don't judge me- on either count.

We don't go to McDonalds very often.  In fact, I don't think the four kids and I have ever dined in (and yes, I use the term "dine" very loosely).  For the last few years, I've blamed it on money, but I realized today that it has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE RECESSION.  We don't dine in because it is torturous in every way.  Complete agony.  

I'm thinking about writing a book about the experience and calling it 
28 Minutes in Hell McDonalds.  
Feel free to pre order.

I would elaborate on the hellaciousness of today, but then you may not buy the book.  And I need the money for the next set of dentist appointments, at which time I will buy my own copy of People before arriving.   

My therapy session must come to an end...  The kitchen counters are covered with kill-the-earth-plastic bags, and the groceries don't walk themselves to the pantry.  My chores (laundry, cooking, Pinterest) are never ending...

Oh, by the way... NO CAVITIES!!! Makes me smile for sure...