Monday, Monday

Posted in Everyday Life on December 5th, 2011 and tagged , , , , ,

Don’t you just hate when you run out of certain household staples and a trip to the store becomes imminent whether you planned it for that day or not?  Happened to me today, and wouldn’t you know, it was a cold December rainy day.  Complicating what should have been a simple run to the store were my 5 kids and the fact that the rain decided to change over into sleet and ice during the trip.

As always, it took us almost an hour to get ready to go.  It takes forever for the kids to listen well enough and to stop playing long enough to pull on socks, shoes, and coats.  Since 2 of my kids are in diapers and one is being bottle fed, my diaper bag these days is huge and takes some time to pack every time I leave the house; especially when I have to take breaks from packing it to tend to the baby and the various needs of various kids.  Finally, we were ready to leave the house, but somewhere in the melee I decided to leave my 2 oldest kids home.  Contributing to my decision, Sammie was having a rough and crabby day, so I decided it would be most productive for the family if she and her brother were separated since that’s where today’s fights were centered.  Except that meant that I had to come up with a home-schooling project for the girls to do while the rest of us were out, which meant further delay.

I get most of our family’s staples at Walmart because they are usually cheapest and it’s the whole one-stop shopping thing.  Except that their milk prices are horrible, so today I found it worth the savings to unload all 3 kids (ages 2 mos., 3 years and 5 years) to make an extra stop at Rite Aid.  Besides, I’ve had a hankering for some Combos and Rite Aid often has them on sale.  But wouldn’t you know it, today was a Monday and there wasn’t a sale on Combos, nor was there any milk on the shelves at all!  “The truck is usually here by now,” said the clerk when I asked about the absence of milk, but his musing didn’t help me any.  So I re-loaded all the little kids and headed to Walmart – by now the rain was turning to sleet and the driving visibility was compromised.  We made it across town safely with a quick pitstop at the gas station because it was coffee Monday, which meant all sizes of coffee are just $.89.  But they were out of 24 oz. cups.  Which meant that I had to have a 20 ounce cup for the same price as a 24 ounce cup would have cost – the kind of stuff that normally gets my goat.  No matter, I shouldn’t have coffee greed anyway, but now I was cold, wet, and slightly irritated…  and I had all these KIDS with which to deal…  that extra 4 ounces of coffee could have served me well!

On to Walmart where I had to circle the lot 3 times to find a decent parking spot.  Not that I’m lazy, but it makes me nervous to walk through the parking lot with so many little kids, at least one of whom doesn’t listen well and tends to run off whenever he pleases.  I got a break because my parking spot was next to a cart return, so I loaded all 3 kids into a cart – though it was a bit of a feat to fit them all in along with my huge diaper bag.  We had plans to switch into a more kid-friendly cart once we got inside, but the kid-rider carts were all buried behind other carts, leaving me no choice but to leave my kid-filled cart in the path of every other shopper who entered the Walmart in that particular 5 minute span.  The shopping itself was uneventful, unless you count the fact that my son tumbled out of the cart (did it have to be while he was explaining to me how he likes Justin Beiber’s songs just not Justin Beiber himself?  And one wonders what that all even means when coming from a 3-year-old…)  We had to stop a few times to nurse his wounds and to feed his brother, but then we were on our way.  I didn’t realize until my groceries were all bagged up that I forgot my wallet, meaning that I had to drag all the kids back out to the car in the now freezing rain (it actually made noises as it bounced against our cheeks) to get my wallet and then  to return to the store to buy our groceries…   not to mention maneuvering BACK to the car to load up all the kids and the groceries…

Following that, my intentions were good; I was going to bring Hubby a special half-price fountain drink from Sonic for Happy Hour, but I ran out of gas.  Well, I didn’t run out of gas and get stranded in the cold, so for that I’m thankful.  But after all of the illustrations of Murphy’s Law I witnessed on this Monday, I decided not to risk stopping at the gas station again for gas – coffee Monday or not.

In case you had the same sort of Monday and need a theme song:

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Dropping Like Flies

Posted in Kids on September 28th, 2010 and tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s been really difficult to blog with a 2-year-old in the house, especially because mine is a boy.  He just seems to get into anything and everything, and this phase of his is lasting longer (and is much much messier and harder on my house) than was any of his 3 sisters’ terrible twos.  Complicating my schedule is the fact that he seems to be growing out of his naps, so now Mom’s daily time-out has been reduced to mere hopefulness for a time-out.

So anyway, this explains my blogging absence, and now you know why it’s taken me so long to blog that…

My 6-year-old daughter Samantha lost her first tooth last week!

She was SO excited, and of course the tooth fairy made her nighttime visit.  You might have read that I’ve been teaching 1st grade Sunday school (which just happens to be Sammie’s class), and that’s been going very well – I really enjoy it.  Sammie’s lost tooth prompted me to ask last Sunday how many of my students have lost teeth, and they were all full of stories.  One little girl (who is missing her two front teeth) told about how she lost this one and that one in the same day – and she was pointing to her missing bottom teeth, not even  the top two that were visibly missing!  So it seems that Sammie is just beginning – she has lots of teeth to lose, and because teeth seem to drop out of 1st graders’ mouths constantly (dropping like flies?  That doesn’t sound quite right now that I think about it), it makes me think that I had better bring a little container or two with me every Sunday just in case I need to send a fallen tooth home with its owner.

What an exciting time in a kid’s life, and it was neat to hear how enthusiastically all my first graders talked about losing their teeth and getting visits from the tooth fairy.  By the way, the going rate for a baby tooth seems to be around $5 these days – WOW!  Do you remember how much the tooth fairy gave you for your teeth?

How much did the tooth fairy leave you per tooth when you were a kid? (Feel free to check all that apply and leave your comments in the box!)

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Congratulations Sammie!

Could This Be… Boredom?

Posted in Everyday Life on September 3rd, 2010 and tagged , , , ,

The word “bored” has not been in my vocabulary for years – I always have too much to do with not enough time to do it.  Such is still the case, but with the kids (half of them anyway) back in school, I’m finding myself with 45 minutes to an hour of time on the weekdays when I am alone, by myself and without kids.  Problem is, I don’t FEEL like doing any of the things I once thought I would do if I had spare time.  I could put aside the lack of motivation, except that the household projects I want to tackle can’t be completed in an hour, so I’m reluctant to begin big projects just to have to pack up after 45 minutes so I can pick up kids at school or have one awaken from a nap.  Other things I might feel like doing seem pointless or not productive enough for me to waste my time doing them.

I always thought boredom meant lack of things to do, which I don’t think will ever happen to me.  But if boredom can also mean having a ton of things to do and not feeling like doing any of it, then I am actually bored!

Many MOPs Are SAHMs

Posted in Everyday Life on September 15th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I’m not going to pretend to know the latest texting lingo.  I know ASAP and TTYL and even oic, but that’s about the extent of my in-house texting-acronym dictionary.  Not that I care too much – it doesn’t even make me feel old or out of it because texting itself is amusing to me; not when texters are behind the wheel though, that’s just scary.  I saw that graphic UK public service video with the girl who was texting and crashed her car.  Awful stuff, I DO NOT recommend you watch that; it was incredibly disturbing.  But anyway, I do know the acronyms I need to know for my chosen profession as a SAHM = Stay At Home Mom.  And last night, I officially became a member of MOPs = Mothers Of Preschoolers.

It was really different and very nice – after dinner I left the house alone for a change.  Poor hubby got left with all 4 kids and a messy room to get cleaned.  I didn’t feel guilty; I knew he could handle anything without getting so frustrated he would melt down for the rest of the night, which is more than I could promise for myself.  And after all, I had been waiting for my turn to go out ever since Hubby was in his last community theater production and I got stuck home with kids during his rehearsals.  But that was a year ago, and in the meantime, there was just never anyplace to go that would have not been more fun with my entire family.

So last night, Hubby fared well; the room was cleaned (sort-of), but the most important thing is that no one was stressed out, and 2/4 kids were actually asleep when I  got home – BONUS!  As for the MOPs meeting itself; it was different than I was expecting…

I was expecting a few women from our church who I know have young children, but when I  showed up, the parking lot was full.  I went in, feeling a bit intimidated since everyone else seemed to be with a friend or two.  And there were about 60 women, dwarfing my prediction of 5 or 10.  Not only that, but there was a sign-up table, where I learned that you were supposed to sign up ahead of time in order to be assigned to a group.  Oops – guess who  hadn’t signed up?  So I crashed a group, but I knew at least a few of the other women from church, so it wasn’t really like crashing.  Our poor friend Jeremy, the teaching pastor at the church, was there to make a church-related announcement, and I’ve never seen a man look so out of place.  He stood before 60 women in a room oozing with femininity – an endless sea of scrap-booking supplies, flowers, chocolate, and scented candles… And he looked like there was anywhere in the world he’d rather be; it was hilarious.  He gave his spiel, left in a quite a hurry, and then we snacked, chatted about our families, and made our scrap-booked our place mats which will be at our tables every month during our meetings.  Overall, a very fun evening, and we even got to take home some cute little fall trinkets.  I found out that childcare is available, so next month Hubby can have a break too while the kids play.  I learned that many MOPs are also SAHMs like me, so we have kind of a girly little community.  And that reminds me; I was really amused when the coordinator asked, “Does anyone have any special announcements?  We have gifts for any of our members who are expecting or adopting.”  I guess in a room full of dozens of women in their child-bearing years who already have young children, asking if any are expecting doesn’t really come from left field.  So of course, not one, not two, but three women came up to share their blessed news.  Then we also heard from two who had recently had babies and brought them to the meeting – talk about a dose of baby-itis!  But for now it’s fun to talk about our kids and our lives – I’m the only one in our group with more than 3 children; which surprises me –  I thought large families were making a comeback?  But for any other moms out there who want to join a fun Christian-based peer group, check  out this link for a MOPs group near you!

I’m Grounded

Posted in Everyday Life on April 20th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , ,

I will spare you the details, but apparently I’ve caught some sort of stomach virus (and it causes stomach pain – OUCH!).  Of course, I can’t call in sick to my job as a SAHM (stay at home mom), and just my luck that my husband has work today, so I’m stuck with the two little ones.  Actually, they’re stuck with me – I don’t feel well enough to go to Walmart or to take them anywhere else, so I can’t even kill time that way – I’m grounded.  And I do need to go to Walmart – I’ve already endured one tantrum about our lack of fruit loops.  I don’t think I could handle another one.  Is there fruit loops delivery?  I actually want to go to Walmart – like I said, it would kill the time anyway.  At least I can blog like a maniac right now while the baby is napping.  When he wakes up, I will be at his mercy.  He gets really bored around the house and wants to be held all the time.  But when I hold him, he just wants to grab things he shouldn’t and bang on my computer keyboard.  I guess I might say I’m bored.  It’s not that I have nothing to do; there are always blog posts to write (I’m sitting on 14 drafts right now!), newspapers from weeks ago to read, thank you notes and birthday party invitations to write, a messy house to clean, laundry to do, an anniversary photo album to put together…  it’s just that I don’t feel like doing any of that.  Or feel like doing much of anything, for that matter.  I guess I’ll sit here and watch Dora the Explorer all day.  I’m getting hungry, but I’m scared to eat anything because of my stomach.  I have a meeting I’d really like to get to later…  sigh.  Being sick sucks.  I hope I feel better for date day tomorrow!!!

Multi-Tasking

Posted in Everyday Life on March 6th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , ,

Because being a Stay-at-home-mom (SAHM to laypeople) is my current profession, I am required to multi-task on a daily basis in a way some people have never experienced.   My “pay” (bringing up healthy happy children who turn into independent, admirable adults) is by no means immediate, and it also depends upon my ability to multi-task.  Consider the following 2 scenarios most SAHM’s must endure on a daily basis (and these are just 2 of MANY!):  Can I fold and put away a load of laundry while planning and preparing a nutritious lunch for 4 kids while simultaneously managing “surprise” but necessary tasks that appear; like changing diapers, washing hands, and refereeing any arguments that break out?  Can I accomplish buying everything I need at Walmart while staying within our family’s budget AND concurrently fulfilling the needs of my two youngest children in a timely enough fashion to be able to pick up their older sisters at school at the time I’m expected?

Man, when I put that all on paper it sounds difficult.  And sometimes it is, but most of the time, I do it without thinking because I love and treasure my family.  But if you know a SAHM and she seems like an airhead or like she’s not-so-bright or even a little bit loopy, just remember everything that must go through her mind on a daily basis, then multiply that by how many kids she has…  It just might provide enough explanation for her scatter-brained behavior!

Gee, being a SAHM-of-four sure makes my working-mom-of-one days look easy.  Back then my multitasking consisted of paying bills and doing paperwork while I sat in  traffic…  And although my current lifestyle is much more hard work than I’ve ever had before, it’s that much more rewarding also, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

Back To School And Redirection

Posted in Kids on August 19th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Today is the first day back to school (already?!?), and it’s really quiet around here.  I guess my oldest two are my loudest two, and we have reduced the traffic in the house by 50% since half the kids are now at school during the day.  Thank goodness for school; I’m enjoying myself already.  So far, I’ve gotten two loads of laundry done – folded, put away and everything, and I have somehow also found the time today to put away most of the clutter that’s been haunting our dining room table for the last week and a half.  I even got to work on my e-book a little bit, and it’s not even 1 o’clock!  And, the kids at school are learning stuff, getting exercise, and socailizing with their friends; they’re not vegged out in front of the tv or outside fighting in the wading pool.  Everyone wins!

While the oldest 2 kids are in school, I also have time to focus on my toddler, Disney, while her baby brother is napping.  Today, I got to sit on the floor and play puzzles with her; something we haven’t done together in months, almost a year because of my pregnancy and c-section.  And she was down for her nap by 12:30, which not only means some quality time together for me and baby Christopher, but also that my toddler should be to bed at a decent hour tonight.  Win-win!  While I was on the floor playing with my daughter, I was getting up to tend to the laundry and whatnot.  My daughter was following me around the house, and this is where my day becomes challenging – trying to keep our clingy almost 2-year-old out of my husband’s home office so he can work.  The home office isn’t  a room where he could close the door and utilize the out-of-sight-out-of-mind tactic.  The office is on the landing on our second floor, so if my toddler begins to head up the stairs or even looks up the stairs, she sees her best friend, Daddy, and it’s over.  She tantrums until he holds her, and he can’t get any work done.  Today she got upstairs and in the clutches of Daddy, so when I chased her down, of course she was upset.  But I used one of my favorite child-rearing techniques: redirection.  I taught her how to clean the toothpaste off the kids’ bathroom counter, which she happily did.  We went downstairs for a popsicle, puzzles, and Barney, and all was forgotten.  Wow.  I had totally forgotten about the magic of the redirection technique because the last 2-year-old I had in the house was our “spirited” child, Samantha.  Sammie was never re-directable.  She has always been so strong-willed that it’s literally impossible to re-direct the kid, let alone being able to trick her into helping around the house.  To this day, she will fight for her cause, whatever it may be, until she gets what she wants or she passes out.  And now that she’s older (she’s 4), the crying doesn’t last as long, but she will remember what it is she wanted and bring it up throughout the day (or week or month) until she gets it.  So I am actually enjoying Disney’s terrible twos a little bit – it’s so refreshing to have a kid who listens.  I know, she’s not yet 2 and things could get worse – so much worse.  But I’ve been there, done that, and after what Sammie put us through, no wonder Disney seems like a breeze.  And even if she does get completely crazy, soon she’ll be old enough to go to school, and we’ll start the terrible twos all over again with Christopher.  After 3 tantruming girls in their terrible twos, I’m curious to see what a boy will be like.  Probably no big deal, at least compared to Sammie 🙂

Doomsday – A Week Away?

Posted in Kids on June 26th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , ,

One week from today, I will be hitting a milestone – the big 3-0.  To say I am dreading it would be a huge understatement.  It’s not that I feel old – at times I do, but mostly I enjoy being older because in some ways, my early 20’s really sucked.  After working out the growing pains of my early 20’s and figuring out how and where to settle our family for the rest of our lives, my late 20’s went really well.  But there are a few things about turning 30 that have me feeling a little depressed lately…

This first thing is really not a big deal, just food for thought, really – I read an article about a year ago about fashion ettiquette, and apparently ettiquette says I can no longer wear my hair in pigtails.  They say 30 is too old for this.  I haven’t worn my hair in pigtails since I was about 6 years old, but it’s the principle of it now being inappropriate because I’m too old.  What if I wake up one day wanting to wear my hair in pigtails all of a sudden?  Not really a catastrophe, but again, it’s just the principle – something I CAN’T do…  Maybe I should wear my hair in pigtails ON my 30th birthday…

My biggest qualm about turning 30 is that I feel too old for a career.  Over the past year and especially in the last few weeks, I’ve been thinking about all the things I’ll never be nor do because it’s too late…  So I guess this is it – I am officially locked into the Mommy career path, sigh.  Not that there is anything wrong with that, some people thrive on it.  I’m just not one of them.  While I truly appreciate being able to stay home and watch my kids grow without having to take some low-paying horrible job, I will also greedily admit that sometimes it’s not enough.  Sometimes, I think about maybe taking a minimum wage job, just to be able to contribute, just to be able to have a logical conversation with adults during the day.  Most of my daily conversations now revolve around poop, Barney, Hannah Montana or what was stuffed into the toilet.  When a person is in their 20’s, I always figured that was the time for establishing one’s career path, but my 20’s are gone, so I guess this is it.  Some days, I’m ok with it.  Some days I don’t even have time to really think about it.  But other days, I think about how I want to do something much more productive and lucrative, make a mark on the world while having fun and feeling like a contributing citizen…  I know, there are lots of people (especially stay-at-home-moms!) who say that raising happy, healthy, successful children IS the most productive and rewarding job out there…  But that’s easier said than done.  First, I don’t yet know if my efforts will be fruitful – what if the kids don’t turn out so well?  And second, and I hate to say this, but I will anyway – some days it just doesn’t seem like enough…  I want to be creating something, doing something, making money – I lack that immediate sense of accomplishment in my life, and I am a person who thrives on immediate payoff for effort.  Third, there’s always the thought in the back of my head – what am I going to do with myself when the kids are grown and in school?  I will be in my mid-thirties at the youngest, and since I didn’t use my 20’s to develop career skills for myself, where will that leave me when my days are no longer filled with changing diapers, preparing meals, cleaning up spills and mishaps, and chasing after kids?  Lately I’ve been dwelling on all the careers I’ve let it get too late to pursue, but there’s also the terrifying thought  – suppose I actually had some free time for myself…  WHAT ON EARTH WOULD I WANT TO DO WITH IT?  I never have any free time, so I don’t even know what I would do if I got some, and that for some reason, is terrifying!

I’m sure the pregnancy is adding to some of the anxiety I’m feeling about hitting the big 3-0.  After all, I’m due, well, actually, scheduled to give birth only 5 days after I turn 30.  And like I said, most days I can look at my 4 beautiful children and think, wow, creating them is a lot to accomplish by the age of 30…  But what about the dark days when all 4 are acting up at the same time, and I just can’t feel pleasure nor reward in the career path I’ve chosen?  And most of all, what career is just going to suddenly pop out of the woodwork for me once the kids have grown and aren’t so needy?

Can’t I just turn 29 again?