Worst Meals Ever

I had a colonoscopy and endoscopy done a couple weeks ago. The procedures themselves were no big deal. The prep, however, was awful starting with a day of the worst meals of my life.

Breakfast was lime jello, apple juice, ginger ale, and water. Two things I really do not like are apple juice and jello.

My first snack was lemon jello and water. Lemon jello is definitely better than lime jello, but it’s still jello and I still don’t like it.

Lunch was orange jello, chicken bouillon, apple juice, and water. Orange jello is somewhere between lemon and lime jello. The bouillon was a really nice change from all jello.

My second snack was ginger ale and water. Now, I don’t count ginger ale as a snack but I guess my gastroenterologist does. At least it wasn’t just more jello.

At 5pm I had to drink the prep along with a half gallon of water (over the next five hours). The prep was supposed to be cranberry flavored. I guess it was if you figure it was made by someone who has absolutely no idea what cranberries taste like.

Dinner was lime jello, chicken bouillon, apple juice, and water. At least the bouillon was good. The jello definitely wasn’t.

My third and final snack was lemon jello and water. It wasn’t too bad, mainly because I knew it was the last time I’d have to eat jello for the the foreseeable future.

I had to eat these horrible meals on Anthony’s birthday so I missed out on the pizza he chose for dinner and the cake he had. Jamie put a candle in my jello to try to cheer me up. It really did help.

At 7am I had to drink another bottle of the prep and 48 ounces of water over the next two hours. Honestly that stuff could’ve been labeled strawberry or cucumber and it would’ve taste as much like those as it tasted like cranberries.

The colonoscopy and endoscopy revealed a perfectly healthy esophagus, stomach, and intestines. Absolutely no issues physically or microscopically. And now I don’t have to do it again for an entire decade. Thank goodness. I really don’t like jello.

The Pink Stuff (Spray)

Large families swear by The Pink Stuff. Up until recently I had only used the paste (which is quite amazing at taking crayon, pen, and even sharpie off walls). Then I tried the multipurpose spray.

We had had spaghetti and meatballs for dinner and sauce had splattered on the counter and ever since school ended that counter had kind of become a catchall so it was in bad need of being cleaned. Usually I use 409 which smells awful and takes a bit of scrubbing (but certainly leaves things clean).

To say I am a fan of The Pink Stuff is an understatement. Anything that can take marks off walls is worthy of being bought in bulk when you have a bunch of little kids. But this multipurpose spray is absolutely incredible.

It doesn’t smell bad. In fact, the scent is quite pleasant. It also doesn’t make my hands itch. It left my counters so clean that even though I had planned on just doing the one section I ended up doing all of them.

The most amazing thing about The Pink Stuff multipurpose spray is how easy it is. You spray it on and then one quick swipe is all it usually takes to remove whatever has taken up residence on the counters. I did the whole kitchen in half the time it usually takes me. 5 out of 5 stars. Get yourself The Pink Stuff. It’s truly amazing stuff.

2021

This has been a busy year for us. I simultaneously can’t figure out how the time has gone by so fast and how we fit so much into just twelve months. Tomorrow will be 2022 and the start of twelve more months of adventures.

In January Fritz and Adrian got their first semester report cards for 7th and 9th grades and both did amazing for their first time in public school since kindergarten and second grade. We also continued trying to figure out just how much food to make to feed our small army (spoiler alert: it’s always too much or too little).

In February we put up a baby urinal in our bathroom and it’s been the best thing we could have done. There was more figuring out how to feed our small army (we’ve pretty much got it down now). We got a playground put up in our backyard. We ended up with COVID in the house and had to quarantine at the same time pretty much the entire state of Texas shut down due to a freak snowstorm and crazy cold (we got lucky and never lost power).

In March I started getting more creative with Mayci’s hair. All the adults in the house got vaccinated for COVID. Zeke turned six on Pi Day. The next day Noah had surgery to remove his tonsils and adenoids and have tubes put in his ears. We got brave and took all six kids to HEB for the first time.

In April I sprained my foot when I gracefully fell down the stairs of The Beast. We also discovered Zeke has hair like Fritz’s: It grows SO fast!

In May our six-year-old officially changed his name to Zeke. School got out and so Mayci finished pre-k, Zeke finished kindergarten, Adrian finished 7th grade, and Fritz finished 9th grade.

In June the kids were bored of their 11-week summer vacation within about 30 seconds so we started our summer schedule which continued the entire summer and worked great. We got Fritz’s end of course results (all three passed). We entered Birthday Season when Adrian turned 13 on Juneteenth. The end of the month the twins turned two.

In July we got Adrian’s STAAR test results (he did great especially because it was his first time taking that sort of test). On the 6th Nicholas turned 3. And then on the 11th Fritz turned 15. Adrian saved all year and enlisted the help of a few other people in order to give Fritz an Oculus Quest 2 for his birthday. On the 18th Anthony turned 4 ending our intense streak of five birthdays in less than three weeks. Fritz got all registered for the virtual school for 10th grade.

In August we finished birthday season on the 2nd when Mayci turned 5. Zeke and Mayci both took off in their reading (best decision ever to work on teaching them how to read over the summer). We found out who the three elementary schoolers’ teachers would be (they’ve all been the perfect teacher for each kid, especially Zeke’s). In the middle of the month it was time for four of the kids to be off to pre-k, kindergarten, 1st, and 8th grades (and Nicky moved to a new room at preschool). A week later Fritz started 10th grade. Just before the end of the month my beautiful mother turned three-quarters of a century old.

In September we started getting monthly boxes of Young Adult books from Literati for Adrian (love those books). Dance classes started up for Zeke and Mayci. I did the most complicated and beautiful hairstyle on Mayci that I’ve done so far (53 twists). The twins moved out of their cribs and into their big boy beds. We took four of the kids to the movies for the first time. Mayci went to dance camp at the high school and got to perform at halftime at a football game.

In October we pulled Nicholas out of preschool. We got the four littlest boys new church clothes. I did some fancy hair on both Mayci and Haley. We had some really cute costumed kids on Halloween.

In November Jamie and I went to see The Beach Boys again. Lola moved in with Cameron and Tami and it’s helped Nicky’s eczema so much (he’s allergic to dogs). We celebrated Jamie’s 46th birthday and one year since we adopted the kids by playing at a trampoline park. We got our family pictures taken. I started having more time to read again thanks to Haley playing with the twinplets six hours a week and the kids getting a little older and more independent.

In December Nicky suddenly started looking much older and bigger than his little brothers. Anthony’s dreams came true when we put a Christmas tree in our living room. My Daddy turned 77 on Christmas Eve.

And now here we are on New Year’s Eve looking forward to what 2022 will bring us. We know a few things like Trek for the big boys, Fritz being ordained to the office of Priest, Birthday Season ending with us having 3, 3, 4, 5, 6, 14 and 16-year-olds, Ani turning 22 in February, Zeke turning 7 in March, me turning 44 in April, Cameron turning 21 in October, and Jamie turning 47 in November the same day we hit two years since the kids were adopted, and having kids starting pre-k, kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 9th, and 11th grades in August. Whatever else 2022 has in store for us, I know it will be awesome!

“Good” Hair

Mayci has a looser curl pattern, type 3c hair. I’ve been told by more than one person that she has “good” hair. It bothers me when people say that because every hair type has pluses and minuses, including Mayci’s “good” hair.

There are a lot of styles I’d love to do that I can’t because her hair just won’t hold it. For some styles I need to use extra things (elastics, product, etc) to get it to stay in place. Some styles come loose sooner than I’d like just from her moving around.

She has the most gorgeous corkscrew curls that some people pay good money to perm their hair into doing. She can choose a wide variety of styles including “Anna braids” (her favorite) and they work just fine. Her hair is equally cute long or short.

I really don’t think her hair is “good” just as I don’t think other types are “bad.” There are pros and cons to every type of hair. The key is making the most of what you have and loving it (and Mayci definitely love hers)!

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

The instructions on shampoo bottles always say to lather, rinse, and repeat. I figured this was just a way to sell more shampoo since you’d have to use twice a much.

Then I took the hair care course from Tutus & Tennis Shoes. In there, Kanisha says to wash the kids’ hair twice and then condition. I’ll do pretty much whatever Kanisha says to do so we immediately started shampooing twice before conditioning.

And then I tried washing my own hair twice and it’s pretty much life-changing. They weren’t just trying to sell more shampoo. Shampooing my hair twice leaves it feeling so much cleaner. The kids’ hair is left nicer, too. I’m sold!

(By the way, if you are a white mom raising Black children, I very, very highly recommend taking Kanisha’s The Beauty and Science of Black Hair Care Course. It’s totally worth the time and money. You won’t regret it.)