The saga of the blue carpet continues

One week ago John rented the Rug Doctor and he cleaned my blue carpet. Three hours he spent going over the rug, not so silently cussing about the poptart goo, mud and other random spots, though he did admit that he does the church playroom more often than our home one, and it is far filthier. I take that as a compliment.

Anyway, it’s been about a week since the cleaning. On the first day the carpet was just gorgeous. It reminded me why I wanted this beautiful, vibrant blue once more. I agreed to not let the kids have cheese, poptarts or other “gooey” food in the playroom anymore, and to limit drinks to sugar free koolaid, water & my coffee.

It was cleaned on a Sunday. On Monday, I let the kids have some animal crackers. Who knew that one of the kids would chew it up and spit it out.

On Tuesday I ask one of my daycare parents who works construction to please not walk on my freshly shampooed carpet. I think it may be his feet that heavily contributed to the sewer-looking water removed from the front of the room. He understands and says he’s surprised I have ever let people put shoes on the floor at all.

On Wednesday one child rubs snot on the floor. Great, this isn’t going well.

Thursday is a particullarly crumby day, but most of them vacuumed up nicely.

Friday. Oh, Friday. Maggie woke up & I put just a diaper on her and let her run around. Suddenly, Liam is telling me there is poop on the floor “EVERYWHERE”. Now, I have NEVER had a diaper leak with Mags. Never. Not even a prefold, let alone a fitted which is what she had on. But, sure enough, poo had escaped. I guess I should have anticipated this and put a cover over it since she’d not had a BM in a couple of days.

So, for a quick recap. My lovely floor was cleaned 8 days ago. I have been reminded several times why this damn thing must be removed from my home.

Tips for moms with large families

When I got my latest free copy of American Baby I was excited to see that there was an article that might actually apply to me, a mom with a small handful of children. I should have known, however, that it would be much of the same crap normally spewed in this incredibly mainstream magazine. I should have just tossed it right into the recycle pile, but I didn’t, I opened it up to the table of contents so I could easily find my way to this article.

On the top, right hand side of the page is a picture of not one, but two children (there’s a large family for ya) sitting at a table with spilled cereal everywhere. I know this is going to go downhill, why not show at least 3 or 4 children sitting at the table, and why the mess? My breakfast table isn’t a mess, my kids don’t pour cereal everywhere. In fact, Dustin is quite neat, as is Dorothy, and one of them will help Liam to fill his bowl as I fill all of them with milk. So far, this article is already unhelpful to me, and has already given readers with small families the impression that large families automatically mean chaos and mess. Off to page 50 I go to read the tips.

“Buy good quality, gender neutral clothing that can be mixed and matched”

Um, no. I like my girls to look girly and my boys to look like little boys. We also like jeans, and you can tell the difference between boy jeans and girl jeans. I agree, buy good quality so that it can be handed down, but there is no reason to dress all your children in mixed and matched sweat suits and t-shirts to save a buck. Buy second hand, use hand-me-downs, look for good sales, buy in advance, but for cripes sake, let your children wear more than green, blue, red, black and white.

“Eat what is on sale”

Meh. I suppose, but wouldn’t it be smart to go to Aldi and buy good quality foods that taste great at low prices all the time? If I can normally buy perfectly good cereal for $1.89 a box, why would I wait for a sale and also be tempted to add high priced items to my cart? Food co-ops could have also been mentioned.

“Reduce morning chaos by having 5 hanging bins filled with each child’s clothing for the week.” One slot for each day I suppose?

Sure, everyone should do this. We all have an extra closet sitting around our homes, and who doesn’t enjoy extra work?  How about this, put all your clothes away on the weekends and during the week, socks in sock drawers, pants in pant drawers or hung with the matching shirts, etc. Each morning your children, once they are about 2, can get a pair of pants, a shirt, socks and undies and dress themselves with your help for the smaller children. It is amazing how kids can figure out the whole dressing business without micromanagement from the top. Another option that is reasonable is to lay out clothing the night before, letting your children help decide what they want to wear, this is great for little girls who like to lolly-gag, you can even put out her hairbows and matching shoes. Really, I’m saying forethought is a good thing, but micromanagement is not.

“Take time for yourself.”

Great idea, but the picture with this advice is a lady sitting in a white room with white curtains, during the day, painting her nails. I’ll take this moment to point out that white rooms with kids is A BAD IDEA, it just is…kind of like my blue carpet, it will show everything. Also, how the pictured mom finds time alone to paint her nails in the middle of the day just defies logic. All moms of more than two children know that if you try to paint your nails during the day, as you paint the last nail someone will start screaming, “MOM,” and something other than your nails will soon have polish on it, whether it is the dog, the cat or the baby you pick up because they chose that exact moment to try to eat the cat food because they learned to scale the gate. And, if you have nail polish in the house at all, it will be used for an art project – like painting the living room wall – when you least expect it. Yes, take time for you, go get a hair cut, go to the nail salon, but do it when your husband is home, your mom is babysitting, or the kids are all at a friends house. The operative word in the preceeding sentence is, “go.” Don’t try to do this things at home behind a locked door or even at nap-time, because inevitably, someone will need you and it won’t be “YOU TIME” at all. Oh, and be realistic, most moms with small children don’t get much ME TIME….if you get 10 minutes, just be happy instead of wishing for more.

Okay, so this article was a bust. I could spend the rest of my day analyzing and critiquing it, but like I said, I could spend all day doing it, and as a mom with a large family, that is quite impossible.

Patience of a Saint?

Nah, I don’t think so. It would seem that I’m just more tollerant of the cries, shreeks,squeals and screams, running, jumping, and normal goings on of babies and toddlers than your Average Joe (not to be confused with Joe the Plumber). At any given time when you call my house you will most certainly get an earful of these noises. I’ve said before, if you want my undivided attention by day, it probably isn’t going to happen. I think the only person who ever gets quiet, undivided attention is my husband at 11:00 pm when we go to bed…and even then the cats are usually climbing on our heads and doing that annoying pat down and knead the blanket thing that cats do.

In addition to the kid and cat noises, my background is also cluttered with the delightful sounds of honks, beeps, classical music on the Fisher Price piano, fire engine sounds, drills, Elmo doing the chicken dance, and Lightening McQueen on the television. Did I mention that all those sounds at the same time is really loud, and difficult to talk over? This information is important because it easily explains why it sounds like I am yelling into the phone, I’m not, I just need to be above the noise. It also explains why my 7 month old is unable to nap in the mornings. Thankfully, I have a really great pad underneath my hideous blue carpet, which somewhat muffles the noises made by little feet running, jumping and dropping toys. In the evenings though, it sounds like elephants overhead because the kids all have hardwood flooring – great for clean up, crappy for noise control.

I keep seeing this ad for Loud and Clear, and I think, “Now there is a product I DEFINATELY DO NOT need.”

Blue Carpet is making Maggie Smarter

So, we are dropping the floor on our co-sleeper today. Maggie, at a 6.5 months, has started pulling up, and we’d like to prevent her from pulling up and falling over the side of her bed onto the floor below. I’m not sure what I did in a past life to deserve this, but it would seem that our little Maggie has some fairly *advanced* skills, according to the milestone charts at BabyCenter. Of course she does, she is our last baby, so she will stay a *baby* for the shortest amount of time because she wants to keep up with her brothers and sister.

Here are the charts

She is almost exactly 6.5 months and is pulling up, banging objects together, passing objects from hand to hand, and how lucky are we, the pincher grasp that most kids don’t develop until 8-10 months is already developed in our angel. The only logical explanation I have for the pincher grasp development is because she can easily see crumbs, small pieces of paper and lint on our blue carpet, and because she can easily see them, she wants them. Good thing we kept the blue carpet, it is obviously helping to encourage the genius that is our child. The more I think about it, the more I want to keep this lovely carpet until the end of time.

Liam has vowed to continue to drop small crumbs on the floor to help encourage his little sister’s education. How nice of him!

Who turned off the lights?

We had a near miss tonight. While vacuuming the damn blue carpet tonight, it was noticed that the outlet was sparking. Oh crap. Down to the electrical panel John flies. Seriously, I’ve only seen him move this fast on a few other occasions, namely when I fell down our staircase in the 1st trimester with Maggie, and the time he fell down into the concrete drainage ditch behind our old house while trimming a tree. The latter occasion was obviously not by choice. Anyway, downstairs he goes to turn off the circuit.

Now, it’s a good thing John is so smart, otherwise we’d have had to have an electrician here on a Sunday night, and that’s not cheap. A lot of doggone stuff is on that circuit too, like the kitchen lights and microwave, so cooking dinner had to wait. Like I said before, my husband is smart, but he is also a Jack of all Trades too, so he replaced the outlet right then! Gotta love a handy man.

Of course, the kids had some interesting reactions. Dorothy wanted to make sure we knew that “They” turned out half of our lights…I think she assumed the power company was just having a good time with us or something like that. Dustin was hoping the TV wasn’t going to be next. Liam’s prime concern was not the lack of lighting, but why he couldn’t be right in the mix of things helping Daddy.

I’m convinced that if it weren’t for the blue carpet and it’s constant need to be vaccumed, that this would have never happened. The plug in the blue room would have never otherwise seen so much action, and it wouldn’t have burned up.

Let me advise against the blue carpet

In February of 2007 my husband and I bought our wonderful home. The *great room*, aka my daycare, had the most lovely blue carpet. It was bright, blue, and very boingy when you stepped on it. Perfect! John had reservations, he asked me if I was sure I wanted the blue (I think we had maybe discussed asking for a carpet allowance). Oh yes, I loved this carpet.

It has been almost 2 years. I don’t love the carpet. Blue is a horrid color for a carpet! I swear even snow white carpet would have been better, at least hair and crackers would blend in. Nothing is blue, so every.single.thing shows. Why in god’s green earth would someone put blue carpeting down in this space? It is just awful! The central vac was obviously a necessity because in order to keep every single little speck from showing it has to be vacuumed multiple times per day. The Stanley Steamer fliers we kept getting in the beginning should have been a clue. I am certain that the previous owners used Mr. Steamer at least once a month in order to keep this damn carpet nice. The previous owners must have also been one of those “No Shoe” households. Beyond that, they were also probably empty nesters with no grandchildren, pets, or hair. Yes, they must have been bald because even hair shows up on this wretched rug.

The carpet was vacuumed yesterday by John, my husband, who moves things to properly vacuum, not to be confused with John my son, who moves things to corners and shoves small items under the couch with the vacuum head. It is 9:30am and already I can see cat hair, my hair, cracker crumbs, a couple of stray oats that must have been stuck to Liam, a half-eaten rice puff from Maggie, dirt, and the ground in poptarts that simply won’t come up at all. It is this that leads me to my letter to Santa Clause.

Dear Santa,

I have been good this year.

Please bring me brown flecked shag carpet that won’t show dirt.

Lovingly, Tara


PS. I will bake you cookies and leave a shot glass and a bottle of AfterShock.