Wednesday, May 30, 2007

ever shrinking bauer zoo

yes, now we are shrinking. apparently taking care of baby birds was a little more work than my kids wanted to do. after trying their best to feed them as often as possible (every couple of hours as opposed to every half hour for 12 hours), four died after about 4 days. the 5th one i told alex to put in another nest in the barn. yes, this is what i told him to do before bringing them all home, but he insisted he wanted to take care of them. so hopefully the 5th one will have a better chance of survival.
but we may be expanding again soon. one of our feeder guppies looks like she is pregnant. so we will be expanding again, but then again we will be shrinking. (they are turtle food after all!)

grace gets to do her kindergarten screening tomorrow. i was so nervous with alex, making sure to quiz him on things they may ask. now i am lucky enough to remember the appt and get her there on time. i think she's going to do fine. i got lucky enough to have some pretty smart kids, and they all pick up stuff fast. alex and haley are reading well above their age/grade levels. i guess your first child is the one you worry more with, try to get them to accomplish more and do it early as possible. why is that? is it to validate us as parents? are we afraid if they don't do better than soandso's kid then we must not be good enough parents? or is it just inexperience? i had no idea what alex should have known by the age of 5. the preschool i chose was not into teaching things like the alphabet and numbers. their philosophy was more "we teach them those things if they want to learn about them". they weren't a bad school. they dealt with more of the kids with issues. blind kids, deaf kids, learning impaired, autistic, physically impaired, you name it, they dealt with it. alex had none of those problems. why did i send him there? i was a teen mom, and my parents as teachers educator suggested i send him there. alot of those kids (teen parents' kids) had some big issues and they were able to figure them out sooner by having them at this school. not to mention it was free. that played a big part in it too. but when we did alex's screening, i found out he really didn't know any letters, only a few numbers, but did pretty well on the rest of it. (he had 2 screenings. one for zumwalt, which he passed with flying colors, and one for st. paul, he passed with half mast colors) haley did well on her screenings. better than alex. her school focused more on academics, as did grace's. if i had it to do over again, i don't think i would change what schools the kids went to. alex did fine in school. kids learn at their own pace. you can't force them to learn something when they aren't ready. they will get it eventually. no need to freak out that little jenny can read already, and grace only knows 23 letters. she'll get it. i have no doubt. and she'll do great, when she's ready.

only 3 more years until i have all 5 in school. i am actually excited about this. i haven't been one of those "weepy" moms. i don't cry on their first day of school, first communions, anything like that. these are momentous occasions, don't get me wrong, but i can't cry at them. maybe i will when it gets down to the last one. i don't know. i haven't gotten to that point yet.

Friday, May 25, 2007

the ever expanding zoo

yes, that's right. the zoo has grown again. it now includes 5 baby barn swallows. great news, i know. how did this happen? well, alex got a wild hair about wanting to take care of baby birds. being the naive mom i am, i told him about how i took care of baby birds when i was younger. of course mine all died. most because i was not prepared for how much of a responsibility it was. i guess the fact most of the ones i found had taken a 2 story fall from the top of the barn to the concrete floor below didn't help their cases. and of course there was the baby bird i caught and my mom told me to put it back. i did, and it jumped off the branch into the waiting mouth of skipper, the springer spaniel. not a great day, let me tell you.
but i digress. so alex went out and started looking for orphaned baby birds. where do you find those? well apparently in the barn. oh yeah and the chicken coop. he found 3 babies on the floor in the barn, hiding in a corner. the other two he found in the coop, being pecked at by chickens. apparently they had already killed the 3rd in the nest and were going for the other two. now we are feeding these baby birds formula (the baby bird kind), and they have to be fed every 30 minutes. (this hasn't happened by the way). alex has been good about feeding them...when he is home. today is the last day of school and he will be home to do it more. haley has been helping out with them too. so far they are still alive. this has been day 3 i think. so far so good i guess. alex is looking forward to them flying. i don't know why, but he is. i am looking forward to them flying too, but flying away from here to a new life.
zack likes the birds too. i was having a heck of a time keeping him out of the cage. then of course he grabbed one out and tried to feed it to the dog. thank god the dog didn't know what it was and didn't do anything but smell it. that would have been fun explaining it to alex. "hey, your brother thought the dog needed a snack..." baby birds are incredibly resilient. they have withstood several days of being "held" by the kids, all five kids. so now instead of bunny news, i will be providing birdie news. hopefully this will have a much happier ending.

school is out. kids got their awards after mass this morning, and we were done by 9:30. not bad for a last day. haley got awards for excellence in reading, creative writing and music. alex got awards for excellence in science, english and art. i think every kid got at least 2 awards. i don't know how all the kids feel about this last day of school. i know most parents think it's a waste of time. it is, but i don't really care either way. have it or don't, it doesn't matter to me. i don't know how effective this day is. i always felt awards are for kids who deserve the recognition. not that these kids don't deserve it, but when the teachers are just trying to make sure everyone has "X" number of awards, it loses it's meaning to me. but like i said, i don't care either way.

Monday, May 21, 2007

100 things

rachel's list made me laugh, and then made me think. i like those kinds of lists, you know, the kind that make you think of yourself. the things you have in common, the things you didn't know about that person, the things you may not have wanted to know about but suddenly can't get out of your mind. here are my 100 things.
1. i am a mom of 5 kids
2. i am a wife
3. i don't think i am really all that good at either
4. i had my first child 30 days after i turned 18
5. there are almost 9 years between having my oldest and my youngest
6. i wouldn't change it for anything
7. i wanted to go to culver-stockton college
8. i went for a semester at sccc
9. i had a full scholarship for sccc
10. i met my husband thru nike
11. we had dated for about 6 months before i got pregnant with my oldest child
12. we got married when our oldest was about 9 months old
13. my parents split up about 3 weeks before i turned 13
14. in that 3 weeks, my cat died and so did my lizard
15. friday the thirteenth has never been a good day for me
16. when i was a kid, i loved catching snakes, lizards, and turtles
17. i still love catching all of those things still
18. it freaks me out to think my kids could get hurt trying to do the same things i used to do.
19. my husband was my first serious boyfriend
20. my friends called me "backseat amy"
21. back seat amy was because i made out with chad h. in the back seat of sara's mom's car
22. just the thought of eating leftover spaghetti makes me physically ill
23. i can crochet
24. i like to crochet
25. i was a bad girl in school
26. i got good grades in school
27. i didn't have to try to get good grades in school
28. i had 2 favorite teachers in school
29. after i told them i was pregnant, only one of those teachers would talk to me
30. i am the oldest granddaughter on both sides of my family.
31. i am the oldest grandchild on my mom's side.
32. i have cousins younger than my kids.
33. i have 13 biological aunts and uncles
34. only 1 out of the 13 do i feel close to
35. i have more than 30 cousins.
36, i have only been catholic for 6 years
37. i experimented with lots of religions (examples wicca, baptist)
38. i was called into the counselor's office because of the wicca experiment
39. i skipped alot of classes my senior year
40. i got caught, but got out of trouble because of my pregnancy
41. i used the "pregnancy" card alot senior year
42. i forgot they played the national anthem friday mornings in school because of skipping
43. i loved the show 7th heaven
44. i also love the show soprano's
45. i wish i could paint
46. when i was little, i saved up my money to buy chickens
47. i also drew up my own plans for a chicken coop
48. my favorite dog was a english springer spaniel
49. i had 3 grandparents die when i was pregnant with my first 3 kids
50. those were the middle names we picked for our first 3 kids
51. i am the oldest of 3
52. i always felt more like a mom to my sister and brother
53. i am a daddy's girl
54. i am right handed
55. i bowl left handed
56. i have always been shy
57. in 5th grade i would bring lizards to school on my shoulder
58. i haven't kept in touch with many of my friends from high school
59. until this school year i was not the youngest mom in my oldest's class
60. i am a little embarrassed about how young i am
61. until i had kids, i never had problems with my weight
62. i was a bully when i was younger
63. i changed my ways when a boy in another class was killed in an accident
64. i was in a gifted class in grade school
65. i love gardening
66. i love the way my kids' hair smells after they've been playing outside
67. i didn't like "the office" the first time i watched it
68. i turned my husband on to the "stargate" series, and the "atlantis"series
69. i love the scifi channel
70. i don't have a specific favorite color
71. i see my husband's family more than my own
72. i tried to talk a friend out of marrying.
73. i wish i would have tried harder
74. my goal is to lose 45 pounds before i turn 30
75. i worry....a lot
76. i love spring and fall
77. my dad named me after his littlest sister, his god-daughter
78. bi-polar disorder runs in my family
79. that scares me
80. i worked at hardee's longer than any other job
81. i really liked working there
82. i still email people i knew from there
83. i was in 4th grade the first time i went to the dentist
84. i nursed all 5 kids
85. very rarely do i eat pasta if i haven't cooked it myself
86. i never watched the birth of any of my kids
87. my mom, jeff, my mother in law, and 3 sister in laws, watch the births
88. i pray my kids are closer as they get older
89. i wish i was nicer to my brother and sister when we were younger
90. i wanted to be a lawyer, a judge, and president when i was younger
91. i don't think i really knew what i wanted to be
92. i never played sports when i was a kid
93. i coached soccer
94. i think i did a pretty good job coaching
95. i am not scared of going to confession. it is a great outlet.
96. i was really mean to my step-mom when i was younger
97. i really regret that
98. i was really mean and resentful to my dad
99. i regret that too
100. i didn't realize how difficult it would be to write this list. i try not to use "i" and "me" that much.

i hope this list is not depressing. i don't think i doubled anything, but it took me several hours to get this all down. so i'm not promising anything.

Monday, May 14, 2007

4 anniversaries, a wedding and a mother's day

jeff and i left on the 10th for nebraska. the tenth being our tenth anniversary. it was actually his great aunt and uncle's 60th and his aunt nancy and her late husband's 38th. (i used to email her or call her that day, just to let her know we were thinking of her that day, but then i learned that it just depressed her more. ) the 11th was jeff's brother john and sister in law julie's anniversary, and it was the day aunt nancy's son decided to get married on. so those are the 4 anniversaries, and the wedding. it was a lot of fun. we got to hang out with jeff's older brother jim and his wife kim. jim is the quiet type, kim is really funny.
being a family function, family stories were told. this one i have to share. jeff's ancestors are the first to settle in st. paul. they came over from germany. it was a man and his 2 sons. the older son was married and had several children, but unfortunately died. as was the custom, the younger brother married the older brother's widow, and had several children with her. the children with the younger brother are jeff's immediate ancestors. i guess that's how you would phrase that. any way, my sister in law and i were discussing this, basically laughing about who we could have gotten stuck with had this still been the custom. i found it pretty funny, gross, but funny. i wonder if women back then checked out the unmarried know "just in case". i told jeff about this. he seemed to take offense to the fact i found 2 out of 4 of his brothers physically repulsive. it's amazing the kind of stuff i find funny.
i really like getting away from the kids for a few days. i love them, but when i get away, i come home feeling like i'm 28 not 48. i think i have gotten away from them more the past year than i have in the previous 9. thank you dad and diane.

i have been taking a look at my outlook and the way i communicate lately. i think i come across very negative at times, almost like i am constantly complaining. i guess i don't know how to deal with compliments. most of the time when people comment on my kids, hubby, family, whatever, i try to down play it. i don't want to come across as a whiner. believe me, i know i'm lucky. i just feel guilty about my life being good sometimes. why is that? my mom would say it's "catholic guilt". i don't think so. i have been like this for as long as i can remember. i have only been catholic for a few years. anyway, i am going to try to be more positive. less complaining and bellyaching (as my dad would say).

Monday, May 7, 2007


why do kids all have different comfort items/behaviors? alex just wanted to nurse. he wouldn't take a pacifier, just wanted to nurse. haley liked to sleep by herself, no one touching her, just put her in her bed and she was out. grace liked to be held and rocked. she liked to be sang to also. josh has his blanket, and he sucks his first 2 fingers on his left hand. and then we have zack, he has to touch my belly. not just touch it, but has to feel the skin and then he pinches and rubs it. not exactly nice for me. this habit shows more skin than when i was nursing. i am not sure how to break him of it. it's not like i can take it away, it's my stomach for pete's sake.

i took the boys to the flea market on sunday. alex got a 20 gallon tank for $8. of course jeff was not thrilled about it. i guess i don't know what the big deal is. he is keeping it in the basement. he wants to put fish he catches in the pond in it. big deal. i told him i don't care, as long as he lets them go after a day or two. i did it when i was a kid, but i didn't have a tank so i kept them in buckets and jars in my bedroom. i figure this way, if he catches lizards and things like that, he can keep them in there. my lizards and snakes used to get loose in the house all the time. i figured i was saving jeff from waking up with a lizard on his pillow (like my parents used to do). i am trying to be a good and loving wife here, and get no credit for it. go figure!

it looks like alex and haley will be going to the show-me games this year. alex is going with his team, and haley is going with the older girls' team. i know the coach, and she asked if haley would come because they needed a few extra girls. hopefully jeff will be able to take off so he can come down with us. otherwise i'll be looking for someone to watch the younger 3 so i can take the older 2.

my oldest niece came back from rome a couple of weeks ago. she is zack's godmother. she had been there since jan, basically she spent a semester at slu's campus there. she's wanting to be an ot. she had a great time over there, she traveled alot. i am glad she's home now though.

i had some stuff i wanted to write about over the weekend, but i totally forgot what i wanted to say...i hate when that happens.

Thursday, May 3, 2007


my friend shawn has been gone for about 10 years now. we had a weird relationship, but he was one of my oldest friends, and i loved him very much. not the "let get together" type of love, but the "i will always be there for you" type. i met him when we both went to the same daycare in 3rd grade. i hated him at first. he had a crush on me and always was trying to kiss me. of course i had a crush on an older boy, but he was in 6th grade and never even noticed me. anyway, shawn didn't go there very long. i didn't see him for a few years. i think it was 5th or 6th grade when he came to our school (good ol' wright city elementary). he was still a sneaky little guy. he was always trying to be a bad ass. he was my boyfriend 2 times i think, but honestly i never really saw him that way. he was cute, but not someone i could see that way. he knew my aunt and uncle. my uncle knew his mom. she was a laborer...tough job for a woman. she was a tough lady, my uncle, mr "i can kick any one's butt", said she scared HIM. shawn didn't know his dad then. he met him later, or at least he said he did. after 7th grade, my parents split up, and i moved to st. peters. it was really really tough. but there was shawn, he had moved to st. peters too. we didn't go to the same school then, but it was nice to have someone close. we would talk for hours on the phone. i don't know if i would have gotten thru it all without him. he helped organize a surprise 14th birthday party for me. he moved around a lot. he ended up in juvenile detention at least once. he got into drugs pretty heavily. he stole, he stole from me. he broke into my house and stole a bunch of stuff. nothing huge, but he still stole from me. it took me a while to get over that. he eventually went to school at zumwalt. he didn't stay there long. he was always moving, hardly ever in the same place for a year. we didn't have the "talk everyday" type of friendship. he dropped in and out of my life a lot. he would just show up one day, or call one day. it was usually after i had been thinking about him, worrying about him. he always said he didn't think he would live to see 21. he lived a pretty hard life. i don't think he ever thought he was really loved. i don't think he ever thought he was good enough, saw his own potential. it broke my heart. he was really a good guy. i got the call when jeff and i were staying at his parents' house. my mom had seen it on the news. he had been hit on the 40/70 exchange in wentzville. i couldn't believe he wasn't going to be popping in my life anymore. he hadn't even met jeff, never saw alex. i still have a hard time believing he is really gone. some days i could swear he is there, just popping in. i still have dreams about him. he just pops in there too. he was like family to me. i don't think i ever let him know how important he was to me. i hated it when he would say things like "i'll never live to be 21". but somehow he knew it. it still hurts that i wasn't able to see him turn his life around.
god, i miss him.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

mish mash

i am counting down the days to my last school board meeting. yes, that's right, i was actually on the school board. of course it's pretty easy to get on there when no one else cares enough to run against you. since i was on the board, we have gotten a new playground (price tag $30,000), and have started a parade to the big BBQ Bash in May. i am on the playground committee, and we have had a pretty tough time. who would have thought that a playground for the kids would be such a divisive issue. i know it was a lot of money. unfortunately, our old playground was unsafe. in fact, while i was doing recess duty, i found a wood picket with a couple of rusty screws hanging out of it. now what would have happened if a little kid picked that up and started swinging it around? after that, the old playground was condemned (by an impartial 3rd party), and then taken down. our new one is pretty cool. the kids all play on it, k thru 8th. we have a pretty small school, only about 200 kids/100 families. thank goodness there were actually people who wanted to run this time. we had 5 people run for 3 two-year terms and then Msgr (our priest) picks one person to be on the board for 1 year. good luck people!

we have had a guest visiting us the past couple of weeks. this gray bird sits at the window by the kitchen table everyday, for hours. sometimes it sings to us, but for the most part it just watches. when you walk towards the window, it flies to the deck rail or the oak tree next to the deck. it's a plain looking bird. she has a light gray head and a dark gray body.

jeff is home from work today. his back has been bothering him again. he has been shoveling a bunch of rock...around our house, and his parents' pool. he is only 31, but he has a hard time doing a lot of physical stuff. and who knew that when you turn 30, you automatically get gray hairs? not on his head, but his chest and goatee. i have a little more than a year to find out if the same will be true for me.

ok, i need to call sara shuppert to wish her a belated happy birthday, and see if she is still up for joining a gym together. now that my feet are better, i can't wait to start working out again.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

ranting and raving

maybe it is because i now have 3 kids home sick out of 5. granted, i didn't even watch the program this came from, i heard about it on the radio. rosie odonell is a, well i don't even know what to call her. for her to say terrorists are mothers and fathers, i say, that's your opinion. after all, she is a parent. anyone can be a parent. it doesn't make them good people, and it definitely doesn't mean the decisions they make are ok. john wayne gacy was a parent. he murdered lots of young men. does being a parent mean you are given a pass when it comes to acts of terrorism? no, sorry, it doesn't. as for the other comment i heard about, we have more convicted felons in our armed forces now than ever? what is that? where do you get off lady? these people give their lives for our country and you come out with that? just because you can write a check with several zeros in it, does not give you license to say what ever comes thru your (with lack of a better word) mind! i am so tired of famous people giving there $.o2. i don't care what you people think! just because you pretended to be a soldier in some movie you were in, doesn't mean you know what they are going thru or what the people who care about them are going thru. i don't know what they are going thru. i have friends who are military families, but being that i don't have a husband or son/daughter in the military, i wouldn't even dream of thinking i would know what must be going thru their minds. all i can offer is prayers for a safe return, prayers of hope that we are making a positive difference over there. i would be proud of my kids if they end up in the military. i considered joining my senior year. god had other plans for me.

i am sorry if i offended any person (rachel, i think you are the only person who reads this), but i had to get this off of my chest.

the kids are doing ok. haley came home from school with a fever. zack and josh seem to be doing better. it's amazing what vanilla pudding can do for a kid. grace and alex have games tonight. or at least they are supposed to. grace has had at least half of her practices rained out, and now it's looking like her first game will be too. hopefully haley is better by thursday, she has a game that night and so does alex. next week we have the big grudge match between haley's team (my sister in law dawn coaches it) and my niece dani's team (my sister in law debbie coaches it). i feel sorry for dani's team. they are in 1st grade and playing haley's 2nd grade team. believe me, it's not just the age difference, haley's team is undefeated so far...and they have played some tough teams too. alex's team is undefeated too, i think. they play some tough teams. we have been pretty lucky with coaches. alex and haley both have some pretty phenomenal coaches.
anyway, that's what is going on here.