It seems appropriate on this day in which we celebrate the passing of an old year into that of a new year, to reflect on the passage of time. Time is a funny thing. Time can be our friend or our enemy. Time can fly by so fast we can scarcely breathe or it can drag it’s feet like that of an unwilling child. More...
After spending much too long attempting to upload today's photo, I have decided that this week's Messy Monday will have to be described. You will be required to use your imagination and I will have to dust off my descriptive skills. You see, WordPress does not like me today, but it will not prevent Messy Monday. More...
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! We had a fabulous Christmas this year despite having a sick baby most of the week. I've been singing the Hallelujah chorus every time I give my sweet baby antibiotics. Thank heavens for modern medicine. More...
I would like to give you some tips and pointers on appropriate phone behavior. I could tell when I spoke with you that you are young and likely have no children of your own. Here are some things to keep in mind next time you speak with a worried mother: More...
From time to time, I look at my children and see their adult-selves. I catch a glimpse of what they may be like. It may be in an action, or a look. It's like I will have a moment to see the future, see who they will become. More...
I'm in my sexy mini-van, sitting at a stop light with the radio blaring. I am car dancing and I could care less who sees it. Over the din of the music, you can hear screams. I look over at the car next to me, and some young thing primping in her itty-bitty car mirror shoots me a wilting glance. The light changes and I drive off, singing along to Matchbox 20 and ignoring the toddler in the back. More...
I've been pretty good this year. I only yell at the kids once in a while and I try to be fun on occasion. I keep my husband happy most of the time and I haven't killed any pets this year. I don't know about you, but that's success in my book!
I don't really need a bunch more stuff. That would just require more cleaning and when you come down the chimney I think it will be painfully obvious that that is not my forte. No, the things on my list are fairly simple, really.
The first thing I'd like is for all of the socks in my house to have a match. My children don't seem to mind wearing mismatched socks, but it drives me a little crazy every time I fold them and the pile of single socks is greater than the pile of matched socks. Is that too much to ask?
Number two on my list may be a little harder, but I really think it's doable. I would like for my children to never be without a coat. Oh, they don't need new coats; they just need the ability to keep track of the ones they have. I almost super glued my son's coat to his head this morning, but I was afraid that would put me on the naughty list.
My third item is a bit more extravagant, but once again, I believe totally doable. I would like a laundry maid. I need someone to fold and put away my laundry once a week. My husband claims it doesn't bother him, but when he has to wrap a towel around himself to go in search of underwear, I sense a little dissatisfaction.
Santa, I’m all for world peace, but I need a little peace in my home first. So, for my last request, I want children who don’t beat on each other. Most specifically, the two-year old needs some help. Don’t put her on the naughty list; just give her a crash course in not beating on her sister.
P.S. There’s a pile of laundry and a few toys by the fire place, so watch out on your entrance this year.
This week's Messy Monday comes to you via the den. The den is No-man's land. It's the place of all the paper stuffs. It's Dad's room and I don't venture there except to add more paper. The pictures are a little blurry today due to a crappy camera and a helping infant. It's better this way. A sharp, crisp image would merely scare you away!
Where's your mess today?
P.S. To all of my readers, I have a bit of an announcement. (No I'm not pregnant!) I have been in the process of moving my blog. You can find me at www.staceysmotheringmoments.com. If you follow me here, come follow me over there. I'm not sure how long I'll post to both, so come join me! Happy Monday!
I saw red. I tried not to, but I did. HOW? How in the world do you forget a coat when it is 6, count them...6, degrees outside. Patience will elude me in this.
I shouldn't have lectured, but I did. I should have maintained my composure, but I definitely didn't. As we walked out the door last night to go see the Christmas lights, I was fuming. I know he's only 7, but seriously!
I thought back to my own childhood. I remember my mother insisting I take gloves to school. I remember taking them off as soon as I was out of sight of her car and refusing to wear them during recess. I'm sure I made my mother crazy. Common sense and popularity do not go well together. And yet, I survived, and I still have my hands.
I made my son wear his sister's old Cheer coat to school. I figured at least it's blue and he'll have something to wear until he locates his coat at school. He was mildly unhappy, but I'm sure he could tell there was no room for discussion. I made him take a hat and gloves. He may not wear them, but at least I'm giving him the choice not to freeze to death.
After the kids walked out the door, I returned to the laundry room. I put a load of whites in and picked up the random things off the floor to tidy up a bit. And then I saw it. The elusive coat was behind the door. Hiding. Refusing to be found. Insisting that it be thought to be at school on this cold, winter day.
I sighed a heavy sigh. I gave the wrong lecture. He needed the "put your stuff away" lecture, not the "don't leave your coat at school" lecture. Then again, I'm sure he could do without a lecture at all.
Most of my children have a lovey: a treasured stuffed animal or blankie that is slept with and loved to bits and pieces. M's lovey is a stuffed dog that was given to him by his aunt when he was a toddler. It was aptly named White Puppy, though now days, it should be Gray Puppy.
He drug it around when it was bigger than he was, and it still goes with us to all important events. White Puppy is well traveled and has been camping, to the Caribbean and to Yellowstone, just to name a few.
About a month ago, White Puppy was taken to the basement to help with a fort the children were building. When I tucked M into bed that night, he informed me that he didn't know where White Puppy went. I asked if he was in the basement. He shrugged and I told him he was welcome to go look.
He never went and looked. White Puppy was lost to the depths of the basement and apparently, if you are a child, you can only venture down there with a willing sibling. The last month has been a very busy one, and there hasn't been a willing sibling available, and M never remembers until bedtime.
Last night, as I was tucking M in, I noticed that White Puppy was still MIA. I asked about it, and M teared up. I said goodnight and went to the 'oh so scary basement' and found White Puppy quite quickly. I walked into my sons room with White Puppy behind my back. He instantly sat up and tried to see what I had. When I showed him, he started to cry and he hugged his beloved dog. I sat and hugged them both and he thanked me while tears ran down his face.
"I thought he was gone forever", he whispered.
As I left his room, I realized that I was my son's hero. He was too scared to go rescue his dog, and too stubborn to ask me to do it for him.
I smiled to myself as I went downstairs. I'm glad I could brave the deep, dark basement for the lovey that was lost.
This week's Messy Monday is, once again, a two-fer. First, I bring to you the toy bucket that has turned into the toy corner. And will most likely turn into the toy room if I'm not careful. You see, toys multiply and replenish themselves in the night. Toys and socks get together in the dark and PARTY.
It seems no matter how many times I go through the toys, they get spread through the house and are never in the place they are supposed to be. Where is YOUR toy mess?
Part two comes to you from a very mischievous two-year old and is actually from yesterday morning. This is what I found when I came to get her ready for church.
Isn't she lovely? It was pink marker that I scrubbed and scrubbed and still didn't get off completely. She was also covered in red juice from these little red candies she got into. She got a bath that we didn't have time for and we were nearly late to church as a result of her escapades. Nothing like a little Sunday excitement.
I also have to mention that M turned 7 yesterday. We had a successful birthday party at home, complete with presents and cake. He received a lego set, the requested movie, and some bakugans from us. Due to anticipation, we let him open his grandparents gifts on Saturday. His birthday was declared a great success!
My husband had a work party last night. I was so excited to get out. I had arranged babysitting and was determined to enjoy an evening with my spouse. Of course my little sidekick got to come, but after toting six children, toting one didn't seem like a big deal.
I've been feeling a tad frumpy, so I decided to go shopping. Now when I say shopping, I mean: go to Target, pray I find something cute, try it on in the largest dressing room so that the cart fits, change fast enough that the toddler unlocking the door won't expose me to the world, and get out as fast as humanly possible.
We had good luck at Target and I successfully bought myself a new sweater, new slacks and a new blouse. I was ready for a night on the town!
I had to get the children to the sitter's house (which happened to be my sweet sister-in-law) by 5:30, which meant I had to leave my house by 5:20. I had decided that I would have time to feed the kids dinner before hand, which meant I would have to be dressed by 5. It seemed reasonable when I planned it. But of course, chaos reigned supreme.
4:20 Kids mostly had homework done and I was nearly ready to go primp. O decides she wants to poop in the potty. I haul her in and sit her on the toilet. She spends the next 5 minutes declaring "poopoo all gone" even though nothing had exited her body.
4:30 I give up on O, put a diaper on her and carry the baby football style up to my room so I can get dressed. On my way up the stairs I holler to A that he still needs to practice the piano.
4:35 The baby is fussing in her jumper. She usually loves it in there, but not tonight. I pull her out and brush my teeth with her under my arm, once again football style. I determine that this will never work, so I put her in her bed, knowing she would cry, but needing five whole minutes to myself. I then run downstairs and pop a frozen chicken pot pie in the oven.
4:40 I am now dressed in my new clothes. I consider this a major victory. I slap some nail polish on my toes and proceed to walk around on my heels trying to find some perfume. I know I own some.
4:42 O comes in and informs me she "pooped again". I can smell her, but I send her out. I still need to curl my hair and put on make up. K comes in crying about some injustice, I pat her head and send her out.
4:45 My toes are mostly dry and I'm curling my hair. I hear piano music, if you can call banging on the piano out of frustration music, and am glad that at least some of my orders are being heeded. L walks in holding the baby.
"Why did you get her out?" I ask.
"She was crying mom, here." L tries to shove the baby at me, but I inform her that if she gets her out, she gets to play with her.
4:50 Hair is curled, makeup applied and the stench from the two-year old is overwhelming. I abandon any further primping I might have done ten years ago and go change her diaper. I take the crying baby from her sister, get her dressed and sit down to nurse her.
4:55 M comes in and shoves my phone at me. "It was ringing." Then O comes in and decides she wants her pants on. She wouldn't let me put them on her when I changed her. I told her she'd have to wait, or go ask her big sister. "NO!! Me do it." I then got to watch her struggle with them. She ultimately gives up, gets out some stretchy grey pants which she proudly wears inside out.
4:59 I'm finishing up nursing when I hear M start to holler that the pot pie is done. I holler down that somebody needs to pull it out so it doesn't burn. Nobody listens to me. When E pulls off, I declare her fed, and run downstairs to salvage the pot pie. Thankfully, it's still edible.
5:05 I start slapping frozen waffles onto plates for everyone who didn't want a pot pie and holler at them to eat. I go in the piano room and play for A a section of music that he can't get right and I go find my shoes.
Over the course of the next fifteen minutes, I feed children, pack a bag so they can get PJ's on later, pack a diaper bag, and get everyone in the car. Everyone except for K who is wandering the house crying about socks and shoes. On my way out the door my husband calls to see if I've left yet and if not, can I grab a few things for him. Sure, why not. I'm only insane now.
5:40 As I stand beside the car, finally ready to leave, I take a deep breathe and realize that despite my best efforts I feel more like 'Mom' than 'Sexy wife'.
The evening itself was a tad anti-climatic. It was fine. It made me miss pre-kid dating for sure.
M turns 7 on Sunday. His birthday is apparently all the rage and he has his siblings counting down with him. He's a difficult child to shop for because he wants it all. He wants the toy store and every ad on TV. A couple of days ago, he walks in the door from school and hands he his wish list.
1. TV 2. PSP 3. More games 4. Hot wheels 5. Night at the Museum 6. ipod 7. Rabbits go to home 8. XBOX
Your guess is as good as mine on #8. #5 is a possibility because I've actually heard that one more than once. #4 is odd seeing as how he's never played with Hot Wheels, but whatever. And to the majority of his list I say it's always good to dream!
**For those not versed in Internet lingo, SAHM stands for stay-at-home mom and I will use it throughout this article. It's easier to type!**
I love that I am able to be home with our children. I love that I don't have to work and that I am the one responsible for our children's care. It is a blessing and I will never deny that.
There is, however, a downside to being a SAHM. There's this thing that happens called guilt. I get tired of the constant-ness that is my life. The laundry is always there, the toys always need to be cleaned up. No matter how sparkly clean I can get my house, I can guarantee it will all be undone tomorrow. And every once in a while I have a day like today when I just don't want to.
Don't want to what?
I don't want to do any of it. I want to watch TV all day and eat bon bons, by golly!
That's where the guilt creeps in. There's this nagging in the back of my mind. I keep thinking how I haven't done ANYTHING today. I'm so lazy! I start itemizing all the projects that I've left undone. My bedroom is a mess. You can't walk through the basement without breaking a leg.
As I was contemplating my "lazy" day and all the things I haven't done, I decided to figure out what I've actually accomplished today.
1. Got the older kids off to school 2. Ran 4 1/2 miles 3. Did 1 load of laundry 4. Swept the floor 5. Took out the trash 6. Fed children 7. Got a shower 8. Put breakfast away 9. Changed diapers and dressed the little girls, although I've yet to fix anyone's hair
But then I *gasp* did "nothing"! I watched the news while playing on the computer. And I'm currently contemplating having chicken pot pies for dinner from the freezer. No, not the homemade kind. And guess what, it's OK. The cops aren't going to bust me for being a bad mom because I didn't complete my to-do list. And I've learned from experience that the bedroom and basement will still be there tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that.
My post today ends with a question. Where does this pressure come from to "do it all"? At my house, it doesn't come from my husband or my mother or anyone else, for that matter. And yet I feel it. It taunts me.
This week, I bring you Messy Monday times two! Aren't you excited? I bet you are on the edge of your seat! The first part of Messy Monday comes in celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday. After all that yummy food, it has to go somewhere and I know many of us have done miraculous things with our refrigerators in an effort to fit all the leftovers in. Don't lie. You know your fridge looks something like this:
When I was trying to decide what to post for Messy Monday (I always have LOTS of options) my son informed me I should post a picture of the fridge. I disagreed, saying that it's not messy, it's merely full. However, I can see where he's coming from. To the untrained eye, it looks pretty bad.
The next mess is a constant thorn in my side. My desk. It is the catch-all. If we are cleaning and a child brings me something I don't know what to do with, it goes on my desk. There are CD's, piles of bills and who knows what else lurking on my desk. I do clean it off every so often, but it re-accumulates rather quickly.
The baby is crawling. I told her there was no rush, but she didn't listen to me. The pull to follow her siblings was far too great.
With crawling comes one of my least favorite phases of babyhood. The Human Vacuum phase. I can barely get the baby to eat solids, so I figured she wouldn't be one that put many things in her mouth. Apparently, paper tastes better than applesauce.
A couple of days ago I went to nurse her. She began gagging, so I sat her up and she smiled at me. So I tried again. Again she started to gag. I swept her mouth with my finger and there was paper stuck to the roof of her mouth. Poor baby. Sweet potatoes don't compare with tidbits off the floor either.
When my older kids were little, it was easier to keep dangerous things off the floor. Now I have to be on the lookout for legos and k'nex. Even if I banish all small objects to the upstairs, they find their way down. Little mice appear in the night and spread them through the house. I'm sure of it.
I am now diligently vacuuming and sweeping. This diligence will last until the baby quits putting absolutely everything in her mouth. Then we'll go back to our usual filth.
For now, we are all on the lookout for the Human Vacuum and what she puts in her mouth.
1. Children think it's a good Thanksgiving when they are allowed to eat popcorn balls for dinner.
2. Nap time should be required and arranged by the household in which Thanksgiving dinner is held. Babysitting should be provided.
3. If the toddler wants to drink milk all day, let her.
4. TV may be used as crowd control for the 20 plus children in attendance.
5. If you can't find Dad, he's probably taking a nap.
6. Having your wedding anniversary on Thanksgiving is anti-climatic. And no, we didn't do anything for our anniversary. That's what 12 years does to you.
7. Eat turkey until you need to loosen your pants. The 5K you ran in the morning does not allow you to eat more, it only allows you to feel less guilty when you do.
8. Your house will still look like a tornado struck it upon returning. Just be glad you weren't hosting the party this year.
9. When returning home late at night, put the toddler in her PJ's even if she is unconscious. Otherwise, she will wake up at the crack of dawn and INSIST on wearing her PJ's. You have two choices at this point: insanity, or put the blasted PJ's on her.
10. When it all comes down to it, if everything you own was gone tomorrow, you would still have what is most important: your family. And for that, I am thankful.
Hello family and friends! Welcome to the Post-Baby Hair Loss Program. In this program you will learn how to lose as much hair as possible after having your precious baby. I have learned through years of experience that the hair loss is inevitable for most women and must be embraced. Embrace your clogged drains and plugged up vacuums. For the next six months to a year, this will be your life. For most, normal hair loss will eventually resume.
I have been a member of the Post-Baby Hair Loss Program for almost seven months this time around. It seems to have gotten worse this time and I am very much all done. When I was younger, I always felt bad when I saw a woman with super thin hair. Now I am afraid that may be me. I may need some Rogain. Sign me up!
When I was in college, I got super grossed out by roommates who shed ridiculous amounts of hair, but wouldn't clean out the drains. I couldn't stand taking a shower when the water wouldn't drain, so I was the roommate who cleaned out the drains. It's not any less gross when it's all your own hair and I find myself once again cleaning out drains because of excessive hair.
To celebrate nearly seven months of hair loss, I decided to get a haircut to see if that would help. The verdict is still out, but if nothing else it made me feel better about myself. And I got rid of the kids for forty-five minutes.
There are many many things to celebrate with the birth of a new baby. Apparently, hair loss is one of them. So join me in celebration! We may not be shedding pounds, but we are all shedding hair!
This week's Messy Monday comes to you with an attitude of gratitude. After dinner every night, the children rotate chores. There's washing, unloading, loading in, and clearing the table. O decided she needed a chore too, so we gave her the chore of putting the silverware away. This is what it looks like:
What is the gratitude part? Well, I am grateful for a two-year-old who is excited to help and LOVES to do her chore. I'm also grateful that although the other children don't share her enthusiasm, they all do a fabulous job pitching in and only occasionally whine and complain. (Ok, so there's usually at least one whiner a night, but they still get the job done!)
I actually hear this, or something very similar, on a fairly regular basis. It seems that having six kids is equivalent to having two heads or a third eyeball. You should see the looks we get. In response to this question I answer one of the following:
"Sometimes I don't do it."
"One day at a time."
And sometimes I just smile and nod. It's not like I woke up one day and suddenly had six kids. It was gradual (I'm not the octomom), and I've made adjustments. I also think many women underestimate themselves.
The next thing I hear is, "I could NEVER do it. I can barely handle my (insert # of children here)."
"Sometimes I can't either."
"Yup. It's definitely busy."
"I felt the same way when I had (insert # of children person has)."
It's true. It's always hard to imagine handling more than you currently have.
I must admit that at times it probably does look like utter chaos. And sometimes that's exactly what it is. But it's not like I'm some superwoman with mad patience. I've just made adjustments. The old phrase "Don't sweat the small stuff" rings very true when you are outnumbered six to one. The house isn't pristine, the laundry is a constant battle and sleep deprivation is just the norm.
The awesome thing is that I wouldn't trade it for anything.
"Are you happy?" I get this one with looks of consternation.
I read an article recently debating happiness in families with or without children as well as with larger numbers of children. Now there's a great debate. My response to all the people that think having children brings misery upon a marriage and the world is this: Having children is not easy. But true happiness does not come from easy, it comes from hard work. Children will bring more sorrow, and more joy than anything else you will ever accomplish in your life. Are we happy? Absolutely. Is it hard? You betcha. Is every moment like skipping through the daisies? Not even close.
The world at large needs to reevaluate what happiness truly is. And yes, I am happy.
You've heard of ADD and ADHD. You've probably even heard of Adult onset ADD. But have you ever heard of Motherhood Onset ADD? Well, that's what I have. Let me explain a few of my symptoms. I bet some of you have it too.
I can't sit still.
I have developed the inability to sit still through a church meeting. I have been wrangling children through church meetings for ten years and on the off-chance that I am alone, I can't sit still. I'll play with other people's children, or whisper to my neighbor. I'll fidget or bite my nails. I can't sit still.
If I'm at the computer, I can only concentrate in five minute intervals. And that's the maximum. In reality, it's more like 30 seconds. I am used to being interrupted so often that even if I'm not, I lose my concentration after a few minutes.
I have also developed the inability to finish my sentences. It takes such effort to have a conversation when children are around and I find myself forgetting what I was saying on a regular basis. Many of my sentences start like this: "Umm, I forgot what I was going to say." My sister and I can have whole conversations like this.
I've also discovered that having a lazy, sit-around day at home is now virtually impossible. On the off-chance that I have nothing planned, I find it extremely difficult to just hang out. I get bored. And then I start wondering if I'm forgetting something because we ALWAYS have something on the calendar. Of course, half the time I forget the things that are scheduled.
I know many of you are nodding your head in agreement. But don't hang your head and cry. There's a simple solution. Get rid of your children. Ok, not so simple, but I have a feeling it would rid you and me of many of our symptoms. After all, what we have is merely Motherhood Onset ADD.
O is at the age when you can tell her to do silly things and she will willingly do them. For example, I can tell her to go kiss her brother and she will run off and do it.
Two nights ago, the kids were running through the house creating their usual chaos. I was sitting on the floor with the baby when A started standing on his head. O came and plopped herself down next to me. I leaned over and whispered in her ear.
"Go poke your brother in the belly button."
She grinned and took off. But instead of poking him in the belly button, she leaned down and kissed him, then took off running. A fell over and I started giggling.
"Mom, what did you tell her to do that for?" I laughed because that's not what I told her to do.
M was beside himself, giggling on the floor. O comes over to me and sticks her ear next to my face for another 'secret'. This time I told her to go kiss him. A was on his head again and O poked his belly button, turned and grinned at me.
Over the course of the next few minutes, O gave both her brothers kisses, which were met with much protesting and ewww's. I finally determined that both boys needed big slobbery kisses from their mother. M was easy to hold down and with the assistance of his big brother, I successfully delivered a big slobbery kiss. A knew it was his turn next and tried to take off. But amidst giggles, he fell to the floor. I thought I had him. That was until his very long legs kicked out and got me squarely in the nose.
Boy did that hurt. He was very concerned and came to make sure I was ok. After I recovered, I made sure he got extra slobbery kisses to make up for my injury.
They were all sufficiently wiped off afterwards. He is ten, after all.
Friday evening I was anxious to get out of the house. I asked the kids what they wanted to go do.
"Out to dinner!" A suggested.
I had to clarify. I wanted to get out of the house and do something "fun and free." I figured that narrowed it down a bit, but the kids didn't seem to get the "free" part very well. I got suggestions of going to a movie, renting a movie, and Chucke Cheese. The "Fun and Free" concept was not being grasped.
Suddenly, A piped up, "Let's make our OWN restaurant! We can make menus and everything." And so began a lovely evening. The kids spent the next hour making menus. It was leftover night, which worked out perfectly. We had quite a few choices on our menu. M was a tad disillusioned when he found out it was just our family coming to our restaurant and that we wouldn't be charging 'real' money. But he got over it and joined in the fun. We set a nice tablecloth on the table and the kids 'drove' to the restaurant.
I dug out an old shirt with my name on it from my waitress days long ago, and became their waitress. Upon arrival, I was informed that A drove the car, but was pulled over by a cop on the way to the restaurant.
They had a grand time calling me Miss and giggled every time I called them 'Ma'am and Sir'. I got a handsome tip from homemade money and they 'drove' home.
Upon 'returning home' I was informed that as soon as Dad came home, we were going out to dinner too. Dad was a little confused when I told him we were going out for dinner, but once in the garage I explained. So Dad and I had a 'date' of sorts, complete with waitresses and a fabulous cook. It was a ton of fun and a very memorable evening.
A told me later that it was definitely the best "fun and free" idea we had ever had!
So next time you and your kids are itching to get out but need something "fun and free", I highly recommend having an in-home restaurant! What a memory maker!
Welcome to the return of Messy Monday! Last week I was a little under the weather and took a hiatus from Messy Monday. The whole house was Messy. It was a tad depressing. But I'm better and Messy Monday is back!
This week's Messy Monday is brought to you in part by shoes. Shoes and socks will be the death of me. (The laundry may help.) I've tried to organize them, but they seem to multiply in the night. They go in the baskets. The flaw is that when one of the kids can't find a shoe, they chuck the rest of the shoes out of the basket onto the floor. And of course they don't put them back. Before long, it's a hazard getting out the garage door.
I lay in bed, wrapped up in my comforter, trying to ignore the noises coming from the bedrooms down the hall. They aren't sad noises, just awake noises. I pry my eyes open and glance at the clock. It's 6:45 a.m.
All the books and websites tell me that my children should be sleeping until at least 8 a.m. because that's how many hours of sleep they supposedly need. They've obviously never met MY children.
I close my eyes and lay there for a few minutes. There have been times that I've considered being the super-organized mom. You know, the mom that gets out of bed at six and is all ready for the day before the children are awake. That thought usually lasts a whole five seconds. I like my sleep and I dread the day that my oldest goes to Junior High. He will just have to be self-sufficient because anything before 7 a.m. is still the middle of the night in my book.
I hear O telling Don Juan to get out of her room. I know there's no going back now. She's definitely awake and she hasn't learned that Mom doesn't get up early. Then I hear a little squeak that I know is E.
I groan a little and sit up. I rub my face, stretch and start thinking about my day. It's Friday, and there's not much on the agenda. But I've been under the weather all week and the house needs some TLC now that I'm feeling better. I sigh and reach for my glasses that are on the end table next to the clock.
I walk down the hall, wondering how in the world E could be awake already. I am well aware of how little she slept during the night. I peek into O's room. She grins, knowing she has permission to get out of bed now. I walk into E's room and peek into her crib and I am immediately rewarded for all my hard work. E sees me and instantly smiles. I pick her up and hug her to me. I smell her head and kiss her little cheeks. Who needs sleep anyway?
I am totally flattered to have received my first ever blogging award! Thank you Brianne for the lemonade stand award! Check out her blog for some cute moments that will definitely make you smile!
I'm a novice at this, but here are the rules:
The rules are as followed:
- Put the Lemonade logo on your blog or within your post. - Nominate at least 10 blogs with great attitude or gratitude. - Link the nominees within your post. - Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog. - Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.
My first nominee is The Prana Mama.She has a wonderful blog centered around motherhood and yoga. She definitely has a great and calming attitude!
This next one goes to a blogger that is an incredible writer and who I've come to see as a kindred spirit, albeit halfway around the world. Her blog is definitely worth the time, but make sure you have a minute to read! Thank you Kerry for some truly amazing stories!
"But MOM! She spit out ALL of her CANDY!" M declared loudly.
It seems that there's an overabundance of Mothers in our little home. You'd think one would be enough. Apparently not.
I remember being so aggravated with my own mother when she would declare to me that she WAS in fact the Mom. And now it's my turn to declare the same thing to my own children.
The children seem overly concerned that justice be doled out evenly amongst all of the siblings. They leave me no wiggle room, no chance to ignore a behavior if I'm just not in the mood. I am constantly telling them that yes I know Odessa is snitching chips, AGAIN. I am not unaware, I am just choosing my battles.
It doesn't help that the main offender at this moment in time is two and very mischievous.
"Moooom! O hit me!"
"Mooom! O is eating candy."
"Mooom! O stinks!"
Aside from being little informants I hear myself being repeated.
"K, get your fingers out of your mouth."
"A, you better not do that or you are going to get in TROUBLE."
I think the only cure is for them to grow up and produce little mothers of their own.
Last week, we had perfect fall weather. The air was crisp, but the sun was warm. The leaves had fallen off the trees and made that lovely crunching sound when you walked through them. I decided to take the children to a nearby farm and let them run free. We stopped off at a store and bought a large bag of bird bread so we could feed the ducks.
We had a lovely picnic, but it didn't take long before the children were climbing trees and running through the leaves. For a minute, I wished we had a yard with large trees. Then I thought about raking and was glad we could just visit those lovely trees.
We hadn't been to the farm for a while, and O squealed with glee at all of the ducks and geese. It only took about ten minutes for the children to feed the birds all four loaves of bread. There were a couple of tense moments when the birds came a little too close for comfort.
After we ran out of bread, we went to visit the rest of the animals. We pet piglets, gawked at the horses, and commented on the smelly cows. Then the children discovered the tractors and everyone had a turn being Farmer Joe for a few minutes.
A didn't have enough time to climb enough trees, but we left the farm tired and mostly satisfied. Now, if I could just have my way, this beautiful fall weather would last until spring, then we'd go straight to summer. Too bad mother nature has her own agenda.
Today is Sunday. A day of rest. Supposedly. I'm thinking that preparing six children, one husband and myself to attend 3 hours of meetings is not very restful. But that's just me.
Today began like any other Sunday. Church doesn't start until 11 a.m., so we dawdle in the morning. The kids watch cartoons and play the Wii. I get a shower. The baby takes a nap. Just the usual day.
And then we get to church.
For anyone curious, here are the things necessary to survive before we are mercifully allowed to send the children off to their meetings.
1. Bring snacks.
2. Bring a sippy.
3. Bring items of entertainment.
4. Leave all the children at home. Crap, can't do that one.
5. When two-year old throws tantrum, find a quiet corner in the hallway for her to scream.
6. Develop patience. Draw from Heavenly powers. We are at church after all. Shouldn't patience come more naturally?
7. Leave Dad alone with five children and go feed the baby. Plan this strategically so that the baby is hungry smack-dab in the middle of the meeting.
9. Don't clock-watch. It's too depressing.
10. Books. Lots of books.
After O threw her first tantrum, I hauled her and the baby out in the hallway. We had time-out, then came reverently back in and sat down. She then decided to take off her sweater. Oh, wait. Just kidding. Then another tantrum. Dad's turn. By the time she and Dad returned, E was hungry and cranky.
Needless to say, it was a VERY long meeting today. I determined that I played the church game called how many times can mom leave the meeting.I think I won. I think some days are just better than others.
For all you church-goers out there, it's not impossible to attend with children. It's just harder. (Like just about everything else!) But don't give up, they do grow up eventually. At least that's what I kept telling myself today.
Once upon a time there was a very smart lady. One day, she had kids. Then that very smart lady was very forgetful and occasionally a little ditzy. Her friends would whisper when she did something silly. The lady thought they were cruel, but they were really just telling each other a truth.
"That lady has mommy brain," they would say.
"Poor lady, now she's just like the rest of us."
I sometimes joke that I pushed the rest of my brain cells out with my sixth child. I'm only partially joking. I do things now that I never did before. I can't ever remember the date, and even when I do, I get it wrong about half the time. I told someone yesterday that I was sure it was November 6th because it's my Dad's birthday. My Dad's birthday is on the 5th, which was yesterday. I rock.
I lose my keys on a regular basis. Although, I partially blame children for that one. A certain two-year old (cough, O, cough) likes to play with them.
When K was a baby, A was in afternoon Kindergarten and I had to go pick him up. It was during nap time and I was always in a rush waking up kids, changing diapers and getting to the school on time. One day, upon arriving home, I went to get K out of her car seat only to find her completely soaked. I thought she had peed through her diaper. Nope. I had forgotten to put a diaper on her. Who does that? I had actually forgotten to diaper my baby. Lovely.
I leave my cell phone at home regularly. Apparently getting everyone AND a cell phone in the car is a near impossibility.
If it's not written on the calendar, then it doesn't happen. And even if it is written on the calendar, I still sometimes miss things. I can't seem to remember to send L to her church activity every other Friday. It's on my calendar, but I must not be able to read on Friday.
I've learned, however, that I'm not alone. I just have Mommy Brain. I think it's all the hormones, lack of sleep, and chaos from children that causes it. I think it's irreversible brain damage.
Mothers, just realize that when they hand you your beautiful newborn babe, they are also handing you your brain.
Me: No, O, we aren't going to the park. It's dark out. You can't go when it's dark.
O: Moooom, PARK!
Me: No, O. It's dark.
Quiet. A moment later.
O: Mooom, Moooooom!!! PARK!! DARK!!
Me: No park O. Yes, it's dark.
O: (to herself) Park, dark.
I turn up the music in the van and pray. This could go on all night. O is not easily distracted.
A couple of minutes later.
Me: O, we'll go tomorrow, ok? All done. No more. No park!!!
O: Morrow. Park. Dark.
Me:(Thinking grrrrrr!) Yes O. We can go to the park tomorrow.
There's a saying that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different outcome. We have this same conversation all the time, just take out 'park' and insert 'candy' or 'outside' or any number of other things. And somehow both of us expects a different outcome. I expect that she'll give it up sooner, and she expects to get her way. I suppose we are both a little insane.
"M, come feed the cats!" I holler. It's the kid's responsibility, but even with insistently mewing kitties, they manage to forget.
M feeds them, but a few minutes later I realize our Siamese, Winter, hasn't shown up for dinner. She does this on occasion. She has a tendency to hide. I can't say I blame her. If I had a two-year old dragging me through the house, I'd hide too.
I call for Winter, but she doesn't come. The kids call for her and start checking her hiding spots. Ten minutes later, I break out the heavy artillery, a can of tuna. She still doesn't come and I begin to realize she must be gone. We go outside and start calling her, but again, she doesn't come. As the children realize that our indoor cat is gone, several of them shed tears. Their prayers at night include praying that she comes home.
In the morning, I call the shelter. We call outside for her, but she still doesn't come. I realize, to myself, that the odds of her coming home are not likely. You see, our house backs a major road that is under construction. I just hope we don't find her that way.
We find pictures of her and the boys make up a flyer. I take it to Office Max and make 25 copies. A is disappointed that I didn't make color copies.
We spend the morning posting flyers and knocking on doors. The children are hopeful that someone just kept her for the night. But the longer we walk, the more their hope dims.
M asks, "If we can't find Winter, can we get another cat?"
"Probably not." I say with a sigh. Pushing a double stroller with the baby in her sling is very tiring.
"But that means maybe we could, right?" Ah, he knows me too well. I keep quiet and we finish hanging flyers.
It is a beautiful day and although the children are tired and ready for lunch, looking for Winter turned into quite the fun adventure. I just hope she comes home.
In the evening, after dinner, I employ my crew of mini-slaves to help tidy the disastrous house. It was sorely neglected in lieu of searching for our cat. I excused the kids after an hour and sat on the floor in the bathroom finishing up. And then I heard her. Winter was mewing at the front door. I hop up declaring, "I hear a cat!" I open the door, and there she is. I feel like a disappointed parent, glad she is home, but scolding her for taking off.
M is near tears for joy. Odessa picks her up, carries her around and proclaims, "Kitty home!" Even she understands. A member of our family returned.
A says, "Mom, lets get her a collar tomorrow." And our happy family is whole once more.
This week's Messy Monday comes to you in part by the lovely Halloween holiday. (I love saying it that way. It sounds like a commercial.) In reality, I could take pictures of my whole house for this week's Messy Monday, but I won't bore you. After a week of kids being home every day, the house has suffered greatly. Never fear! I have mini-slaves I intend to put to work today!
Where's your mess today?
On a sad note, somehow our little cat Winter got out yesterday, so I will also be spending time today trying to find her.
Happy Halloween from a Starburst, a Pteradactyl, a Hippie, an Indian Princess, Snow White, Elmo and Winnie the Pooh!
Halloween was approached with much anticipation this year. I didn't throw my annual party, and by October 31st, the children were nearly ready to explode. The day had the feeling of a bad road trip. I could almost hear, "Are we there yet?" Instead I heard, "How much longer until we can go trick or treating?"
"It's 10:30. You have a while." Sigh. Oh for the enthusiasm of youth!
In order to preserve my sanity, I allowed the children to fry their brains on television and Wii games. O would occasionally bring me her bucket and ask, "More candy?" She didn't go last year, she was too little.
But finally, finally, the time came. The little girls were nearly dragging their father out the door. A is all grown up now, apparently, and went with some friends. E and I stayed home and held down the fort, happily handing out candy to all the little ghosties and ghouls.
Upon arriving home, the kids had to dump their candy out for inspection. K lined hers up in no particular order, while M segregated his into types of candy. L and O, on the other hand, just started finding her favorite things to eat. Dad and I got lucky and discovered the kids don't like peanut M&M's. I didn't complain one bit.
And so another Halloween has passed us by. Before I know it, I'll be writing about Christmas. Yikes!
I am a stay-at-home mom to 4 drama-queens, 2 grubby little boys, 2 cats and a tortoise. I constantly threaten to move to Africa and change my name to George, but I secretly love the chaos my kids create. Life is rarely boring and these are our adventures as recorded by me!
A~ 10 years old and loves to torment his sisters. L~ 8 year old drama queen gymnast. M~6 years old and terribly precocious. K~4 year old sweetheart, but she cries, a lot! O~ 2 year old holy terror. E~ 5 months old and the yummy baby.