Friday, February 29, 2008

The Young(ish) And The Restless

Toddler beds are short. They are made for someone the size of well, a toddler. Being 5'8" tall, a toddler bed was certainly not made for me, yet that is where I found myself for the majority of last night. I started off in my own king sized bed at 10pm. By 11:30, I could no longer stand the nasal orchestra coming from my husband nor the flailing limbs of fidgety 2 year old Sam, so I flung myself out of bed searching for another place to sleep. My plan was to go and crawl in with Gracie since she has a full sized bed. Nope. I went into her room and she was sprawled out sideways across her bed, and there was no way I was going to move her and chance waking her up. I knew I couldn't sleep on the couch, because the light from the hallway upstairs (to pacify the 11 year old that's fearful of the dark) would keep me awake. So, back upstairs I trudged to lay in the only available space. Sam's toddler bed. At first, it wasn't so bad. Then, 5 minutes passed and my legs started to cramp from being curled up so as not to hang over the end of bed. Then, my arms started to tingle, since they were folded up tightly on my chest because, well, there was no where else to put them. Needless to say, I lay there very restless. My mind was churning and I was trying not to seethe about not being in my own bed. Finally, a few hours into it, I heard Gracie climb out of her bed and head for the door. (as she always go and sleep in my bed!) I sat up, banging my elbows on the wooden railing of Sam's bed and told Gracie to get back into her bed and I would join her. Thankfully, she didn't put up a fuss and went right back to sleep. I, however, slept lightly as I kept being smacked in the face by my daughter's flying arm and kicked in the leg by her wandering feet.

The kids don't have school today because the decision was made to close due to the outbreak of influenza among several teachers and many students. Thankfully, my kids are (so far) healthy...I hope they stay that way. Looking back at last year, they all waited until Spring Break to get sick :)

I am going to go pour myself another cup of coffee ( hello? can you blame me?) and get to work on whatever it is that I need to do today.

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

On The Edge

No, not on the edge of a cliff or anything that dramatic...just on edge. I swear, if I have to hear "Mooommmmmmm" followed by ear drum rupturing shrieking or doors slamming one more time.

I know that I wasn't delusional about parenthood when I first began having babies. I mean, I knew we weren't going to be all Beaver Cleaver like, but, oh heck, who am I kidding? Maybe I was a little bit delusional. I think that all new moms are a bit on the um, I-have-no-clue-what-I-am-getting-myself-into side. So, what in the world is going on now that I have 5 kids and can't call myself a 'new' mom? I should have it all together, right? I actually have been called a 'seasoned' mom before by a friend that has only teeny tiny little ones. I surely don't feel like a seasoned mom. I feel a little bit baffled and at times downright insane, in fact, by all that is happening in my life with all of these kids! Just last night, in the van, as I was pulling into the garage I was asked a question that I really did not know how to answer. Yes, I *do* know the answer, but how do you phrase it to the child that asked the very poignant question so as not to scar him for life? Truth is, I skirted the question as much as I possibly could and just announced "Who wants a snack"? Seriously, I feared I would not get out of that one so gracefully! Thankfully, said child was satisfied with my non-answer and wanted a snack.

The sun is setting behind the mountains right now, and I am already looking forward to bedtime. Sad, that it's so hard to enjoy my children some days... It's also sad that they can't seem to enjoy each other either. Is it too much to ask for my kids to play together without launching into an all out war? The three oldest boys in particular, can't for the life of anyone play anything without it turning into tears and bloodshed. You'd think I was asking for the world when I suggest to them to just sit down to play a game together, instead of throwing hard objects at each other with a force so powerful someone is bound to get hurt. Instead, I have to have them go to separate quarters ( different floors of the house ) just to get any peace.

Such is life in a house full of boys, no?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Just Another Manic Mom Day

Mondays always start off with a bang. Literally. Come 5:30am, I can always hear the loud bang of 2 sets of feet running up the basement stairs and then clomping around on the hardwood floor. Then comes the low hum of the ancient little television perched atop the fireplace mantel...seems the boys love to watch 'yoga lady' on PBS --since there are no cartoons on at five dark-thirty anyway. The ohh's and ahh's and " How does she get her leg twisted like that"? are so endearing to hear, just before the fighting amongst themselves and the clanging of cereal bowls and spoons begins. With all of that being said, I love Mondays. 4 out of the 5 of my precious darlings get shuttled off to school. All day!

Nothing too interesting in my world yet today. I've run around picking up after this mornings earthquake (in other words, the morning rush). The hubby left so early I don't even know what time it was--but he left a fresh pot of coffee waiting for me. That will earn him some good husband points for sure. I enjoyed not one or 2 cups of that coffee, but 3! It's only half-caff, so it's not so bad. Besides, this mom needs that energy in a cup to get through the morning.

Tonight at dinner, I had one of the best laughs I think I've had in years. The kids were going around the table telling jokes and this was Caleb's : "Why is 6 afraid of 7?" Me, after staring at him blankly: "I don't know...why?" "Because 7 8 (ate) 9!"--I am not sure why that struck me as so amazingly hilarious, but it did, and I belly laughed until my muscles ached. I think what was most funny was the reaction that the kids had because of my laughing. It was truly contagious. Even Mr. Sunshine (Eli) was laughing so hard his face was red--and for the first time maybe EVER, his face not red because of anger. I think I may have frightened Gracie and Sam a bit, as sadly, they are not used to me belting out laughter--they are more used to me belting out things not quite so nice. In the end, everyone left the table in a good mood, and that's all that matters.

Since I am on my own tonight with the kids, (the hubby working a 16 hour day) I am hoping the laughter around the table with stick with them and we can have a little bit of peace...and an easy bedtime.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

You Painted Your WHAT?

I thought for sure Sam had come down with some awful (albeit colorful) disease when I glanced down at his bare naked little body ( he loves to undress himself every chance he gets) and noticed that his 'boy parts' were a lovely shade of green. At first, my heart skipped a beat with worry...then he reached down and pointed at his colorful parts and said " I paint my willy, Mama". Thankfully, it was just watercolors and all it took was a couple of swipes with a baby wipe to have my boy a more natural shade again.

Picasso has nothing on this kid :)

Aside from the very personal artwork, all else is pretty much status quo. The kids still fight 24/7, I still yell...not much else to report, so I am going to sign off to fold my mountains of laundry and load the dishwasher, again.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Just One More Day

It's a given that when a kid can bring his Mom to tears within minutes of waking up, it's going to be a bad day. That same kid told me that he "couldn't help it, I'm in a BAD mood"....why did I even bother to get up today? I have actually gotten up and gone back to bed 3 times today, but it seems that now I am up for good. The first time I got up was at the butt-crack of dawn(really, it was actually still very dark outside) to make a whining toddler his "ba-ba milk". The second time was to turn on the tv for same toddler. And the third time was to change same kids stinky diaper because his sister came busting into the room to announce that "Sam is SO poopy"!

It's a school holiday, so I was under the very wrong impression that I would get to sleep in.No lunches to pack, no missing books and homework to find. I just assumed the kids could fix themselves a bowl of cereal and eat in in front of the flickering silver screen. How hard can that be? Apparently it's so hard that it's impossible in this house. What with all the screaming and fighting going on before the sun even comes explanation needed, right? Give me a break.

It's days ( better said, 3 day weekends ) like this that make me so very thankful for the gift of public school. I don't know what I'll do come Spring break, which is two very long weeks...and nevermind what I'll do come Summer vacation.

For some reason, my spell check isn't working, so ignore all of my spelling and grammatical's already been a bad day, and the day has hardly begun.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Just A Bunch Of Mumbo Jumbo

Here we are on the eve of Valentine's Day and the sugar rush has already begun in ernest. Gracie's preschool class had a party today complete with Valentine mailboxes. She came home loaded up with gummy snacks, candy hearts, chocolate kisses and more. Amazing how her brothers are being so nice to her--they are clamoring around her pleading for one last piece. Even more amazing is that she is actually sharing with them, and she seems to enjoy it--the attention that is. Tomorrow will usher in more parties, junk food and boxes of Valentines. Oh, to be a kid again...

While I stood around at school today chatting with the other moms, I lost focus on the converation I was having when I heard bits and pieces of the other conversations going on around me...what I heard made me want to spray the kids down with disinfectant, slather their hands and tongues with sanitizer and keep them in an airtight bubble until the end of Spring. It seems that the imfamous stomach-flu is making it's rounds again at school--along with just the 'regular old flu' and strep throat. Somehow we avoided that blasted virulent gastrointestinal twister the last time around, so I am feeling particularly vulnerable this time. Our luck has to run out sometime, right? *crossing fingers and toes and loading the kids up with vitamins and acidophilus*

Today I was feeling quite annoyed with my husband. He didn't have to go into work until 3:00 today, but beginning at 7:00 this morning, he was holed up in the basement crunching numbers for his reports. I was annoyed at having 'my' plans for the day dashed by his having to work from home. Since he works 12-15 hour days most days, I hate that he has to put in off the clock hours at home as well. Yes, I know it's his job and all, but I was annoyed all the same. When I get annoyed, I clean and I bake. And sometimes I slam things around--you know, like the dishes while unloading the dishwasher, the cupboard doors, my feet on the hardwood floors. So, at least the house is clean and there are 2 freshly baked loaves of whole wheat bread sitting on the counter. And now that he is off at his real job, I can be annoyed that he's not here to help me contain the chaos, help with homework, cook dinner, clean up after dinner,pack tomorrows lunches, give baths and get kids to bed.

I think I need a serious change of attitude. This is what being a mom means, right?

Signing off to put my priorities in order and shift my thinking to something more positive...

Saturday, February 9, 2008

They Say Confession Is Good For The Soul

I confess...I am a tired old hag. There, I said it. Okay, so maybe I'm not old, and perhaps I'm not quite a hag, but I am tired. Really tired.

I'm tired of my kids non-stop fighting. I'm tired of yelling at them to stop fighting. I'm tired of not being listened to. I'm tired of yelling at them to listen to me. I'm tired of the everyday responsibility that I have to carry, mostly on my own. I'm tired of a lot of things...maybe I shouldn't mention them all here.

I have been on an emotional roller coaster ride this last week. I was given some *very* exciting news about something literally life changing on Wednesday. The ride got even more exciting on Friday afternoon. Then Friday night, just when I was finally settled into the idea of what was to come, and my heart was about to burst with excitment and hope, the ride came to a halt. Quickly. I got off the ride, teary and trembling with disappointment, wanting to complain and become, well, hag-like. Instead, I tumbled it all around in my head and realized that I actually have an answer to my prayers. Sometimes God says yes. Sometimes God says no. Sometimes He says maybe. And sometimes He says wait. I am taking this turn of events, however crushingly disappointing it was, as a profound "wait" from Him. I confess, I still poured out the tears, and expressed my disappointment in some hag-like ways, but now, I am content to just wait. ( I figure if I say that outloud enough, just maybe I'll believe it )

Anyway, onto something new...
On a whim, we decided to brave a car ride across town today to take the kids to the pool. We got there in one piece, although a little ticked off at all of the punching, slapping and whining that came from the backseat. We had a great time floating around in the pool and getting out some pent up energy. (the kids energy, not mine) It was nice not hearing "shut up" and "I hate you, idiot" for the 90 minutes that we were in the pool. Now, the kids are laying around watching "My Girl" and actually being quiet--that being said, I'm pretty sure one or two of them are asleep, since it is quiet.

After the terrible day we had today with Eli, I'm hoping the kids are able to slumber sweetly and put it all behind them.
I think I'll go and curl up with my curly headed Sam, and drift off to sleep myself. (although I will require 2 Advil PM to help me sleep, I'm afraid)


Saturday, February 2, 2008

Bad Idea #63,484

Maybe it was a wild and crazy idea, but I went ahead and did it. I loaded up the kids into the van, drove to the hair salon, got two of the boys haircuts...okay, so that doesn't sound so crazy, right? No, the crazy part was me loading up the kids into the van, getting haircuts and then going to the grocery store. Normally, I do whatever it takes to not take the kids to the store. At all. Ever. However, I was feeling particularly brave, and I decided to take my chances to run in and grab a rotisserie chicken, (because I was too tired to actually cook) a few gallons of milk and perhaps some fruit. Grabbing the chicken was pretty easy, as it was right there at the entrance to the store....except, as soon as I pulled the cart up next to the deli to select the chicken, Sam bolted from me and before I knew it, he was spooning (or better said--catapulting) marinated green olives onto the floor. I quickly scooped him up to remove him from the slippery mess when he let loose with a screech so loud that I (and everyone else in the near vicinity) nearly ruptured an eardrum.

With a howling Sam slung under one arm and pushing the cart with the other, I corralled the rest of the kids and hastily made my way towards the produce section to grab a bunch of bananas and a bag of apples. Another bad idea. Josh, being the very active, but not quite attentive kid that he is, ran (and I do mean ran) smack into a floral display sending some lovely blooms and containers of water onto the floor. At this point, I was horrified and told the kids to "Get in line RIGHT now". Forget the fruit, forget the milk. I just wanted to usher them out of the store as fast as I could.

Well, since I always have the best of luck, the customer ahead of us in line had some problems with her credit card, so we were stuck behind her (with a line of people behind us)for quite a while--like a whole 3 minutes, but it seemed like 30....Sam was still screaming, Gracie was doing the "I gotta go potty" dance, and the rest of them were begging for candy and gum and not wanting to take "no" for an answer...My goodness, I will move heaven and earth before I step foot into the store with all of them again. Besides, I think we've now officially been banned from Safeway. So, next time I'm in need of groceries, I think I'll put on a hat (maybe even a paper bag over my head) and drive to the next town over to do my shopping. Alone.