This is how we do it

There is nothing quite as exciting as a house full of people in quick motion because somehow Mom & Dad slept through the alarm. We woke up this morning with exactly 10 minutes to spare before Dustin’s ride would be at our house and my first daycare kid would arrive. Yup, 6:53 a.m. I jumped out bed, ran to Dustin’s room threw on the light and tell him to move, we seriously overslept, then I quietly tell Dorothy so i won’t wake Maggie. Down the hall to Liam’s room – normally Daddy wakes him up and dresses him because he is a lolly-gagger in a major way, but not today i tell him he must get up and get dressed, like NOW.

Down the stairs I fly with a toothbrush in my mouth, still wearing my workout clothes from my run last night. I had intended to shower, but a clean shirt will have to do. I pre-prep as much of the kid lunches & John’s lunches every night while I’m cleaning up dinner & getting the coffee ready for the next day. This morning I am tossing pre-cut fruit, boiled eggs, pkgs of fruities, pepperoni, sandwiches, salads, dressing, bottles of water into bags while pushing the levers on the toaster down to cook toaster strudels (a very rare treat that I just bought impulsively last night). Meanwhile the iron was heating and I was spraying the pants with Bounce ironing spray. I love that stuff, it’s like starch, but doesn’t flake. Dorothy comes down and I’m giving instructions to please put lunches & snacks into backpacks, get her breakfast, hand Liam his breakfast and to hurry up with all of the abovve. My door opens and two kids walk in, Dustin walks out with his breakfast in hand at 7:03. Ten minutes. The next 9 minutes are pretty calm considering the first 10. I give my daycare kids some food, Dorothy and Liam eat and John is somewhere spraying down with Axe because of course there was no time to shower and I try to not scald myself with my lifeblood – I of course mean coffee. 7:12, we have been awake less than 20 minutes and Dorothy & John head out the door for the day.

Wow. I feel like I ran a marathon, and because of my clothes I smell like it too, though I actually only ran 3.5 miles last night. Guess perfume to the rescue! Now I smell great, and look well, like I just woke up. The only person exempt from the crazy this morning was Maggie who somehow slept through it all.

So today is January 10th or 11th and it is suppose to be about 70 degrees, we expect snow in 2 days. I am running a 5 mile race tomorrow morning and I’m pretty sure it won’t be a PR kind of day. I have a great playlist and I’m doing it with some great girls that pretend to like me and enjoy my company. I think they like me, I’m pretty sure they do, but they like to talk and run, I usually pop my earbuds in and enjoy the safety of pack running. We usually don’t socialize during the week. I do like these girls though and I’m glad I have similarly paced people to run with.

Add us to the list of those feeling it.

Liam has been saying some hilarious things recently, and rather than post about how John’s company decided to not lay him off (and several other managers) , just reduce his pay-grade to that of his lowest employee, strip his bonus and remove his management position, I’ll put on a smile and post happy stuff, because after all, he still has a job, thankfully.

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Liam: Mommy?

Me: Yes Liam?

Liam: Can we have a talk? About me being naughty?

Me: Liam, you aren’t naughty, just some of your behaviour has been.

Liam:  Well, it’s just that I don’t like Devin, Jake and Jordan. They make me naughty. It’s those kids!

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Me to Dustin:  You are being a turd. I ought to flush you.

Liam, very distressed: Mommy! He won’t fit down the toilet!

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Me: Liam, I am going to send you to the zoo!

Liam: No, Mommy. I’m going to stay right here with you.

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 The economy sucks. It is foolish to think that anyone is immune to the current situation here in our country.  I think the key is to just hang on for the ride, it may be a long one, but if you can keep your head above water, in the end you’ll be better for having made it through. We will continue to live within our means, we will continue to live fairly simply, and we will continue to be mindful of our purchases.

After the initial blow, John and I know that while shocking, the change does have positives. One of the biggest positives is that the stress of not knowing is gone. It is done. The stress has bled into every aspect of our lives, and I’m relieved that after 5 months of wondering, we can move on. Last night when John got home from work, he looked like the weight of the world had been removed from his shoulders. Another positive is that John can return to working on projects, something he is really good at and that he enjoys.

Bust out the SHORTS!

Well, I don’t know that 60 degree weather means all that, but golly to an almost 10 year old boy this is just what he’s been waiting for! Admittedly, we have been outside to play several times today, and I’ve rather enjoyed the short sleeves. Dustin came in this afternoon so stinking excited, he’s “burning up” and really needs short sleeves. Okay, I tell him to go ahead and put them on. Who knew he had shorts ready to wear as well! He and his bike are outta here!

Liam has ridden his 4-wheeler today so much that the battery needs recharged, and I think Maggie has gotten a fair amount of the yearly requirement of dirt ingested. I draw the line at sticks. And where is Dot? Well, she checked out The Secret Garden last night at the library, so she’s holed up in her room knitting and watching her movie. Our resident moron cat took the first opportunity he could get today and escaped out the door…hopefully he comes home in a timely fashion, preferably without fleas.

Big changes…

Here we are, already February is almost over and spring will soon be here, though we’ve enjoyed a glimpse of spring already. The kids seem to all be on their way to their individual springs as well, big times of change.

Maggie took her first steps this weekend. How lucky that John, Dustin and I were all right there to see those first very tenative little steps. We all looked at each other in disbelief as if our eyes had had a collective deception.  The next morning Dorothy was playing in the playroom with Mags and she comes squealing into the kitchen shouting that Maggie walked! I think the point of no return has been reached, and before we know it, she’ll be running behind her brothers and sister. This summer should be a lot of fun!

Liam is at a very challenging age. Really. He is attached to everything. We were going to pitch a Christmas rug that has been fairly useless due to it’s lack of non-skid bottom and he got absolutely hysterical crying that it was his favorite rug. I find myself sneaking broken toys and unwanted items out to the garbage at night, after he goes to bed. He is also trying to find where he fits in in the big scheme of things, I’m hoping this is the path away from his extreme egocyntrisism. I think I speak for the entire family when I say the “Me” stage is getting old.

Dorothy is growing too. I mentioned previously that I was teaching her to knit. Last night she finished her first project, a scarf. She is very proud of it and has immediately cast on her next project, a matching hat on circular needles. She had hoped to make that sweater, but I think that she is re-thinking it for the time being. Dorothy is doing well in school and is never a behavior problem, she is the only child in her 1st grade to have stayed on green all year. Even though she does well and loves her teacher, she still wants to just stay at home and help me during the day. If the situation were different, I think she’d do well homeschooled. Perhaps someday.

Now Dustin, on the other hand, really enjoys school, or at least the social aspect of it. I think he could take or leave the academic portion of it, but he does just fine. Dustin is going to be in 5th grade next fall and he recently brought home his first document about next year. He got to pick an elective course. All fifth graders have to chose either intro to music, band, orchestra or choir and he chose band. He has the opportunity to play a variety of instruments, but wants to play the trumpet. He tells me he wants to join the Army when he is 18. I wonder if he will.

John is still working 30+ hours a week and plugging along at the junior college working on his associate’s degree in art. He wants to get a degree in graphic art, and it looks like he may pick up some work in the field part-time pretty soon. I think it would be a good opportunity for him. As he approaches 20, he’s also talking about The Big Move a.k.a. his first apartment. He has several friends who are moving out this summer and he wants to join their ranks.

John and I are doing well, no big change there. This June will be our 5th wedding anniversary and five years ago I thought it would be fun to do something BIG to celebrate, but I think our big thing will be camping with our kids and some friends….maybe we’ll renew our vows with all the kids there to witness. Our big thing right now is shopping for a camper/travel trailer, and I simply cannot wait to finally buy one and quit looking! I have a few requirements…enough beds to sleep all of us, a potty, a shower and a kitchen….and a/c. That’s it. Hopefully we get one in the next month or so.

Hit the ground running

The Army used to say “We do more by 9:00am than most people do all day.” At the time, I believed that to be true, as the day started with PT, breakfast, barracks cleaning, showers and then off to some sort of training. Twelve years later my days aren’t so physical in nature, but I accomplish an awful lot by 7:30am. Since I woke this morning I have cleaned up the kitchen, ironed John’s work clothes, cooked cinnamon rolls, filled 1 bottle and 5 cups with milk, served breakfast to 7 children, prepared 3 cups of coffee (2 for me, one for John), nursed one child, dressed 2 children, changed 3 diapers, packed 2 lunches and one snack, reitterated the stranger danger discussion because I have a new daycare before/after care child today, and then finally sent my 2 big kids and one extra out the door with backpacks, lunches, and umbrellas with my husband – all by 7:25 so that nobody is late for school or work.

Now I get to sit down for just a moment before someone is screaming for food, fighting over a ball, needs a diaper changed, or some other “urgent need” that might occur with an 8 month old, 14 month old, 18 month old or a 3.5 year old. Just when things start to settle down, my part-time 7 month old baby will arrive, followed by an almost 3 year old…just in time for me to start preparing lunch while hungry littles cry at the gate or hang off my legs. Naptime brings a whole new set of issues…How do you keep one rambunctious, non-napping, no-inside-voice-having, jumping-off-the-walls, three year old boy from waking everyone up while you try to clean up the tornado that hung around all morning and still pay meaningful attention to him? If someone knows this answer, please let me know, as I’m still looking for a solution. Before I know it comes after school when the big kids bound through the door, ripping open their backpacks to show the 40,000 pieces of important junk they have brought home, tell about their day, tattle on someone for something, ask for a snack, beg for something else, chatter chatter chatter, play the new song they learned on the kazoo or recorder, and clamor about asking what’s for dinner.  Yeah, the Army might have been tough work, but I’d challenge anyone to step in my shoes for a day and at the end of the day I’d want to hear their answers to the following:

  • How many cups of coffee did you drink?
  • Do you want something stronger?
  • One a scale of 1-10, where do you rate your sanity?
  • Were you able to pee without someone screaming at the door, or crying because you shut a door?
  • Did you remember to eat?
  • After you got all the kids fed, homeworked and cleaned, picked up the house, put away the laundry, cleaned the playroom, supervised chores, and then put all the children to bed for the night, would you do it again tomorrow?

For what it’s worth, I love my life and wouldn’t change a thing…unless I was somehow able to hire a maid to do all the picking up and cleaning.

Camping

John and I have talked for a year about buying a camper so that we can do weekend family things. Come March, our little dream is coming true, we are going to take the plunge and buy one. I think that having a travel trailer or a popup camper is going to be absolutely wonderful because we can spend time outdoors as a family and we can show the children places we went as children.

Dustin especially is looking forward to camping. He wants to fish, catch frogs and play in streams. Hopefully Dustin becomes a good fisherman because the idea of cooking fresh fish over a hot grill really appeals to me. Fish in a bag is great, but fresh fish is absolutely delicious. Liam will probably want to be just like big brother and a little Mickey Mouse pole may be in order.

Warmer weather is much anticipated so we can get this show on the road!

Is it too cold to send them out to play?

Today is one of our kazillion days off of school. I don’t normally mind the days off because it means that my big kids will be here along with some extra big kids that I make some extra money from (and bonus, they entertain my kids). However, I prefer days off to occur when it is above freezing.

I can’t send the kids out to play by the creek, on the big ole swingset/fort, with waterguns, or even in the leaves when there is frost on the ground. Dustin is still *unplugged* so television, video games, etc. are not a great option, how mean would I be if I let his friend play SmackDown while Dustin sat in the hallway? Ten thousand thank yous to my wonderful husband for cleaning up the basement so the kids can be loud and play down there while little bittys sleep.

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Maggie is cutting teeth and has a snotty nose today. She isn’t wonderfully pleasant. Poor baby, I hope this is a short process.

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Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I have so much to be thankful for….one thing being that I didn’t hit *confirm purchase* on my Gymboree order yesterday, I found out that everything will be 30% off starting at 11pm CST tomorrow night and I can use my 20% off coupon on top of that AND another addded bonus is that they are giving out Gymbucks!