Sunday, September 23, 2007

Eau de Football Socks

Before delving into the true subject matter of this post, I need to establish a few things:
1) I'm not a wimp. I can bury a deceased cat. I have shoveled endless mountains of horse poop. I have personally witnessed an autopsy on a cow (better known as a "post", which is short for post-mortem exam, and it was very fascinating). I will even pick up worms, spiders, and anything else except snakes. (NO SNAKES!)
2) I'm not a wuss. I am a parent of four, so I have caught vomit in my hands in a classy restaurant, I have changed diapers that exceeded the norm on the disgusting scale, and I have tried to discreetly remove dried boogers from a snotty nose.

So don't take it lightly when I say........MY SONS' FOOTBALL SOCKS ARE DISGUSTING!!

This is not our first year of football, nor is it our first year of sports. I have seen sweaty socks before. I have seen muddy socks before. And I have seen smelly socks before. In fact, I played sports myself, so I have had my own fair share of gross socks. But I gotta tell ya......for some reason, this year is different!

This year's football socks are appearing in my house with a stronger, more pungent, indescribable odor. And they are WET. This is the Pacific Northwest and we have had rain, so I know that part of the moisture is from the ground, but still.......EEEEEEWWWW. And when the arrive in my laundry room inside out, its all I can do to reach into them to turn them back right-side out, but if I don't, there are chunks of grass that are still there when they come out of the dryer. Now.....The logical solution is to insist that the boys turn them right-side out or they don't get washed, right? Been there and tried that and its simply not realistic. These boys get up at 6:30 am, are at school all day, don't get home from practice until after 6:00 pm, and still have homework to do and dinner to eat and fall into bed at 9:00 pm exhausted. As long as they are honor students, great citizens, and are considerate of their parents, I am willing to cut them some slack and deal with the socks.

But every time I reach into the laundry hamper and come out with a handful of wadded, wet, smelly socks, I can't help but wince. Give me blood and guts anyday! Football socks are NASTY!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

No More Brace Face!

After almost three years, Dane got his braces off today!! Wahoo! Now.....the fun part is that we took a picture of him the night before he got his braces on and took another photo of him tonight. The really shocking thing is not his teeth, but just the sheer amount that he has matured. WOW! See below!!!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Two weeks later......the story of our Saturday

Between busy-ness and sick-ness, its taken me a full two weeks to get this posted. But in any case...Here it is!!

Two weeks ago today, we sprung a surprise on a friend for his 40th birthday! His wife planned the day, got everyone together, and off we went to Emerald Downs! This is the same couple that we went there with in July and they had such a great time, that Kelly decided to surprise Chad with another day there for his big 4-0!! He had NO clue what was going on, and was greatly surprised!!
So......all 8 of us crammed into the Crawford's Expedition and away we went!! Of course, after my BIG win last time, I had high expecations. As usual, pride cometh before a fall. I started off with a bang, which only further fueled my pride, before losing all of my gambling cash. I think the most fun I had all day was watching the fool in front of us that very loudly kept announcing his total losses. At first, he was amusing, but when he exceeded $1000 before 1/2 the day was over, I decided that he deserved to lose. Everybody in our group lost except the Portmanns, but none of us lost even a fraction of what that loud-mouthed jerk lost!!!

After a day at the races, we proceeded on to dinner at Hooter's! Keep in mind.......we are normally a pretty tame crowd. After all, we have 11 children between the 8 of us, and we are all intelligent adults. Several of us had never been to Hooter's (me included) and I have to admit, its a tad over-rated. You can turn on your average TV sitcom and get skimpier outfits!!! But, for a 40th birthday and with such great company of great friends, we had a blast!! Lesson learned--do NOT drink anything that Andy orders by the round. And Kim, next time I'm volunteering as the designated driver. :)

A little late-night shopping and a late movie ended a great day!! I only hope that Chad has as much fun as the rest of us!! Happy 40th Birthday, Chad!!

We are headed for Mexico on a great big ship with this same great group of friends in a few months!! WAHOO!! I can hardly wait.......

Another week gone......

Whew!!! We have finally reached the end of this week! A little worse for the wear, but everyone is present and accounted for!!

First of all, after my last post on how shy Jennica was on the first day of preschool--she blew through the door on Tuesday like an old pro. She has hit the ground running and is loving EVERY minute of it!! She has a couple classmates that scream every morning when their parents leave them, while I feel fortunate if she remembers to wave good-bye to me!! We arrived at the school one morning along with two buses full of kids, so there was a large crowd of kids trying to get in the front doors all at the same time. Surrounded by a large crowd of kids, Jen looked up at me with the biggest grin ever and said, "This is COOL!!" She really loves everything about going to school!

Tiersten has settled back into the school routine and is happily back with her group of friends-Chloe, Hannah, and Hannah. I find myself worrying a bit that the four little girls that are so inseparable are becoming a little "clique-ish", but the teachers have assured us all that they are making sure that the girls are interacting with the others in the class. I recognize that my concerns are probably extremely premature, but the last thing I want is my daughter to be one of those "Mean Girls."

Also, Tiersten's eye appointment on Wednesday went about as we expected--the doctor had made a MAJOR error in Tiersten's vision prescription. Instead of needing glasses for extreme near-sightedness, her new glasses are now being re-done with ONLY a correction for her astigmatism. HUGE difference!! The doctor was very apologetic, gracious, very willing to pay for the error, and I'm trying to be understanding that doctors make mistakes, too, but I'm still rather annoyed with it all. I know...........move on, Beth.....its not the end of the world...........BUT STILL........

Dane's first football game was Thursday night and he did very well! He never came out of the game even once, had an unassisted quarterback sack, and seemed to be busily running all over the place knocking people down. His weight is beginning to drop again, so we're working on getting him to increase his calorie intake and food volume. (All together now......POOR DANE!! What a hardship to have people telling you to eat MORE!! Don't we all wish we had this problem?)

And, last but not least, Grant's first full game was today. They absolutely demolished the opposing team!! Grant had a LOT of playing time, gained a lot of yards, had some great tackles, and got his first touchdown! Unfortunately, a flag went down on the play so his touchdown didn't count, but his Mom still counts it as a touchdown! Way to go, Grant!!!

Onward and upward!!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Five days of sickness...and still no end in sight

The humor of being "jinxed" has long since worn off. Nobody here is laughing anymore.

Jennica stayed "barf-y" the rest of last Monday. Tuesday, her illness moved to another orifice, and that lasted until Friday. (She's a cute kid.......but a lousy appraisal assistant.)

And over this past weekend, despite following her with a can of Lysol all week, I GOT IT!!! AAAAAHHHHHH! I'm slowly getting better, but yesterday, the weather was gorgeous and all I wanted to do was lie on the couch and hope to die. Truly delightful!

But life goes on, sick or not. Grant had his first football game on Saturday and did really well! It was actually a Jamboree thing-y, so they really only played like 10 minutes or so. He's carrying the ball quite a lot this year, and came within inches of a touchdown before being levelled to the ground. He also had an unassisted tackle, and some other good carries. Way to go, Grant!!

Dane's first game is this Thursday. He's going to be starting at center, and defensive end. His team isn't real big, so he will probably play the whole game. As in the ENTIRE game. Gonna be exhausted when he's done.

The girls both started preschool today!! WAHOO!!

Tiersten has different teachers and a different classroom than last year, and is actually in a differently-funded program this year with a whole different set of rules, so she's going to have to adapt a little. Her lead teacher is very young and pretty and looks like what a preschool teacher SHOULD look like. The assistant teacher is also terrific! The class is, just at first-glance, probably about 30% ESL students, so they have a full-time interpreter in the classroom to attempt to get the non-English-speaking students fluent before Kindergarten next year. A daunting task to me......but they really do a fantastic job. Tiersten will be reading by Christmas if she stays on her current track.

Jennica has been eagerly awaiting her big preschool debut for a whole year!! Much to my surprise, she was NERVOUS today, and very subdued. Her teacher wanted to get a photo of her upon arrival, and Jen wouldn't even smile. She stood very quietly against the wall with her hands folded and wouldn't look at the camera!! TOO FUNNY!!! I thought about telling the teacher not to get used to this "shy child", but nah........they'll figure it out soon enough! She was a bit of a handful at preschool testing, so they have already seen a little of what she is capable of. (From Jennica when they wanted her to show them she could hop on one foot..."I'm NOT hopping for you. I'm playing!!!")

And life is never dull around here. To add to the "fun", Tiersten's new glasses, that had been so eagerly anticipated, arrived last week. Keep in mind--we had consulted with a highly-respected specialist on Tiersten's eyes to get this prescription. Everyone RAVES about this doctor. Well....not sure what went wrong, but T can NOT see out of these things. AT ALL!!! No way--no how. We have tried to get her to wear them, even a little, and it just doesn't work!! She can't see three feet past her face. So.....the doctor (who is currently booking appointments in January) must have heard the irritation in my voice on the phone and has managed to "fit her in" this Wednesday. Sure......we NEEDED to drive to Olympia this week. On the same day that I have an order due, and an evening full of football practice and Open House at the school. Seriously here.......I'm rather laughing. Thats what we get for having four kids!!

So........its been a long, last 7 days. But all is good and things could be SO much worse. A little bit of stomach flu and trying to be 3 places at once is not something to whine about!!!

More soon on that delayed post about what we were up to two Saturdays ago.......

Monday, September 03, 2007


We spent Saturday with friends (more on that later after I've had a chance to download photos) and between the four couples, we have 11 kids total. So......we happened to end up in a conversation where everyone was regaling their worst "vomiting child" stories. Some real doozies!! BLECH!!! Mike and I did a lot of listening and finally volunteered that our kids are not much for barfing. The rare flu........sure. But we honestly couldn't remember the last time that one of our kids had up-chucked.

We should have knocked on wood!! No kidding.......Jennica showed up in our bedroom at 2:30 this morning, "I puked!!" She was covered in it, but very matter-of-fact about it all. I seem to remember crying and wailing when I threw up as a kid. Not Jen. So we stripped her down, cleaned up the mess in her room, got the laundry going, got her back to sleep and all that. She threw up AGAIN at about 7:00 this morning. So now she is being followed by a bowl everywhere she goes. :)

Open mouths......insert feet. The Saturday crowd is going to get a BIG kick out of this one.....