Saturday, April 28, 2012

Favorites of the week


"Daddy, I'm Done!" - Pirate, two separate times this week!

"Popcorn and Pizza are not junk!" - Princess

"This dog is a chiwalla." - Pirate referring to his stuffed chihuahua (I'll be honest. I had to look up how to spell it the right way.)


Me: "Trouble, what's your name?"
Trouble: "Trouble"
Me: "Trouble What?"
Trouble: "Trouble Charlos (Charles)"
Me: "Good! Trouble Charles What?"
Trouble: "Trouble Charlos Bad!"
The kid thinks his last name is Bad. Maybe we have to rethink saying he's being bad! Once we established our last name, he then proceeded to name everyone else in the house by addressing them First name, Charlos, Last name. Apparently we all have the same middle and last name.
*He does know our real names and doesn't refer to himself as Trouble!

Other happenings

Trouble trying to stick his finger in his stream of pee while on the potty.

Trouble falling asleep on the couch in the middle of the day. Made for a quiet 30 minutes.

Finding a Pull Up in the washing machine... after the load of laundry was run. Gross.

Poop on the couch - after Trouble pooped in his underwear and didn't tell anyone and it went through his pants onto the couch.

Poop Hand x3

Big baby smiles - 5 is smiling up a storm all the time now! So cute!

Finding out about the movie rentals on the TV bill courtesy of Pirate.

Seeing that the broken vacuum belt was a result of Trouble shoving a sock into the vacuum.

Again, never a dull moment in this house of chaos!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Poop Hand

It never fails. Every time the little boys actually take naps after lunch and I just sit down to feed the baby, Pirate announces, "I just have to go poop real quick." and runs for the bathroom. He's 4 1/2 but I still wipe his butt. I guess he needs to learn how to do it before kindergarten. I can't imagine teachers wiping butts in elementary school. I sure as hell wouldn't have back in my other life when I was a teacher. It's not that I don't want him to wipe his own butt, it's just that he doesn't get it clean. Then he walks around digging at his butt all day because he has "itchy butthole". (His name for it, not mine.) He also sharts more when he wipes his own butt. So, to make things easier, I just wipe him for now. But he seems to have to poop every time I'm feeding the baby in the afternoon. I'm also usually watching my soap at the same time, so I double don't want to get up to wipe him. Luckily when he says he has to poop real quick, he's right. He's in and out of the bathroom. I just have to pause my show (most importantly!), put the baby down, go wipe his butt, wash both our hands, then pick up where I left off. So, this happened today with Pirate (1).

Shortly after, Trouble came downstairs to tell me that he couldn't take a nap today. I'm thinking he's about to give up naps which will make me cry when the day comes. That 1-2 hours a day when Trouble sleeps is the most peaceful time of my day. Today, I just sent him downstairs to rest on the couch with Pirate. To my surprise, he did rest, just didn't sleep. A little later, when he would normally wake up, I took him to the bathroom to pee and changed him from his Pull Up back into his underwear. He went back to playing and was actually behaving himself. When 5 started crying in his swing, I realized that he had pooped, and because he was in the swing, the poop had squished up his back onto his onesie (2). (Another onesie bites the dust because I don't scrub poop off of clothes) Changing a poopy onesie is a delicate task. You must very carefully stretch the hell out of it to not get poop all over the baby's back and head. This particular poop also required 5 being turned over onto his stomach so that I could wipe the excess poop off of his back. He had already had a bath this morning, and unless it's an extreme emergency, I don't bathe one kid more than once in a day.

When Donkey woke up from his nap, I could smell poop from the hallway (3). I knew it was going to be a good one. But his poops are tricky. Some of the worse smelling ones are the most compact and easy to clean. I was hoping for one of those. I didn't get my wish. This diaper was full front to back with gross, mashed poop. He had poop up the front, all over his balls and dong (as my boys refer to their boy parts... again, not the name I would use for it). I always give Donkey a toy to hold while I change him. It keeps him from squirming around and trying to get off the changing table. So, while I'm holding his legs back with my left hand, I'm wiping his butt with my right hand, all the while holding my breath because the smell could make me barf all over the place. Suddenly, the toy he's holding isn't good enough, and in a split second he throws it on the floor and reaches down and sticks his hand right on his poop covered dong. He now has Poop Hand. I had to maneuver around everything and wipe his hand off, then go back to wiping his butt, and he sticks his hand down there again. More Poop Hand. I don't have enough hands to hold down his hands and hold his legs back, and before I can even react to wipe his hand again, he grabs my hand that's holding his legs. Now we both have Poop Hand. To make it worse, I had to make his hand a priority over my own because I didn't want him touching anything else, or God forbid, putting his hand in his mouth. He didn't, and I was able to clean his hand off, wipe my own hand, and use my arm to hold his legs back and not allow his hand around to his diaper. My husband came in then and we decided Donkey just needed a bath at that point. As soon as my husband took over, I ran to the bathroom to wash and wash and wash my hands. I do not enjoy having Poop Hand.

After we recovered from this incident and Donkey was clean, Princess yelled up the steps, "Trouble pooped in his underwear!" (4). I asked him if he did, and of course he said no. I told him to come up so I could check, and to my delight, he came upstairs and went right over to Daddy so he could check him. My husband said it wasn't a huge mushy one, just a few turds, so he took him upstairs. I told him to hurry up because those turds have a way of falling out of Trouble's underwear and on more than one occasion I have found turds on the floor. While he was changing him, I heard my husband say, "Stop it, Trouble, stay still. Oh, come on... now  I have poop on my hand!". He ended up with Poop Hand too!

Later on, Princess went running up the steps with a book yelling that she had to poop (5). Thankfully she takes care of her own business. We had enough Poop Hand for one day!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Two months in...

I was looking back at some Facebook messages with friends from the past few months. The recent messages have to do with the baby, our kids, art projects, upcoming events, sickness, sleep, etc. Then I got a little further back, and I hit the messages from when I was pregnant. Then I reread my blog post from January, where I basically complained about being pregnant the whole time. It got me to thinking about how weird it is to be pregnant one minute, then blink and suddenly have a 9 week old baby.

just born
2 months old

It's weird to think back to that time, when I was still pregnant and 5 was just "the baby". We had his name picked out, and referred to him by name with the kids (kept it a surprise to everyone else until he was born), but still couldn't imagine him. At that point in time, I couldn't imagine not being pregnant, or holding the baby. I couldn't imagine having five kids. There was so much unknown. When I think about the day before the baby was born, I laugh at how much I was worrying.  I was so worried about actually going to the hospital and leaving the kids at home. Mainly, I worried about Donkey. He was only 11 months old, and he was my baby. He was/is such a Momma's Boy. I cried and cried the night before my induction when I put him to bed because I knew I was leaving him for two days and that when I came home, life wouldn't be the same. I literally typed five pages of "instructions" on taking care of the four kids while we were in the hospital. My husband could have come home, but between my parents and my aunt, the kids were covered. So we took advantage of the mini vacation in the hospital, a few days on our own getting to know the new baby before starting our life as a family of seven.

The worrying and the complaining were so unnecessary. I knew it at the time, but I still did both all the time. I complained about being uncomfortable. In my defense, two back-to-back pregnancies really took a toll on my body. Heartburn was terrible, my back, hips, and tailbone hurt constantly, I was either nauseous, starving, or throwing up all the time, and pretty miserable. And the worrying was for nothing. I had already given birth four other times. I knew what to expect in the delivery room. I knew what it was like to bring home a new baby. I knew I would love him just as much as his brothers and sister. But I still worried. I was scared of the unknown.

My labor and delivery went really well. I mean it wasn't pain-free, but I've come to realize I'm tougher than I give myself credit for. Also, whoever invented the epidural is sheer genius! You lose all your dignity in the delivery room, and by the fifth time, I didn't care who was in there. The maintenance man could have been there for all I cared when I was 10 cm and feeling insane pressure. (Funny story, the maintenance man was actually in the room when I was in labor with Pirate. Not when I delivered though!) And the second he was born, the second I saw that cute little face and the big eyes looking at me, that I had imagined for 39 long weeks, I was completely thoroughly in love. I loved him before I met him, but that grew when I got to see him. The kids came to see him that afternoon and loved him right away. I think they're just used to new babies. I seem to have one every year! 

When we got home and settled, everything just kind of fell into place. My husband was off for two weeks, which was a huge help. I cried when he went back to work. But then I was on my own and found my own groove with all the kids.

Obviously there have been a lot of ups and downs in the past 9 weeks- lots tons of diaper changes, crying kids, crying mommy, rearrangements (is that a word?) in the rooms and in schedules, and milestones with the kids. Pirate lost his first tooth, Princess lost two teeth, Donkey got four molars within three weeks, and Trouble got a couple molars. I didn't realize we had so much happening with teeth until I wrote that! Most of all, there has been a LOT of love going on in this house. A lot of crazy and annoying things happen here, and it's chaotic pretty much all the time, but I don't just focus on that. There is a lot of love here, and it makes all the craziness worth it.

Two months in and everything is going well. The kids are happy and healthy and that's what is most important. I couldn't imagine life without 5. He is just a perfect completion to our family. As much as I couldn't picture life with him when I was pregnant, I can't imagine life without him now. He's cute as can be, with the most lovable chubby cheeks. The kids adjusted just fine to life with another new baby. Donkey had the hardest adjustment, but now he's doing great too. Two weeks after 5 was born was Donkey's first birthday, and we made sure we had a celebration for him, even though he won't remember it. We want to make sure the kids all know that even though we have a big family, each one of them is special to us and deserves to be celebrated.

Things aren't perfect. I don't strive for perfection. People say, "I don't know how you do it. I could never have five kids.". Since giving them back is not an option, we just do it. We just take care of them and love them and do our best. It's not easy by any means. But they are our children and we love them and do what we have to for them. And count down the days until they are out of the house! Just kidding... sort of :)

The Fab Five :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Lock the TV settings!

Our TV is on a lot. Like most of the day. It doesn't mean my kids are glued to it 24/7 or anything like that. Usually it's on because they go outside and forget to turn it off. But it is on most of the time, to the point that when Trouble was a little toddler, he would say "Uh-oh" and point to it when the TV was off, like it was broken. We stick to a few specific channels for the kids, mainly Nick Jr and Nickelodeon, Disney Jr and Disney. They think it's neat that if they miss a show, it will come on again 3 hours later on the West channels. We also have DVR, which I believe might be the greatest invention ever. Seriously, the ability to watch a show after it comes on, fast forward through commercials or boring parts, and keep a show to watch over and over... Genius! I can get through my soap opera in 15 minutes! Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is the only show that Donkey actually sits and watches, and having it in the DVR got us through a couple days and nights when he was sick. Needless to say, I have several episodes memorized :) We also have On Demand on Dish Network, but we don't use it much.

Princess has been able to use the remote for a while. She is the one who will put on shows for the boys, change the channels, and check out the schedule for what is on later. One reason she is able to do this is because she can read. That makes the menu easier to understand. The other reason is that she is responsible and knows the channels and what they are allowed to watch. If a new iCarly or Victorious is coming on Saturday night, she'll ask if she can record it. She knows to ask. She also knows how to correctly set the DVR to record new episodes or record something one time.

Pirate is another story. He just recently started using the remote to change channels. He knows the channel numbers for the shows they can watch, and can read enough letters to pick the shows. He also learned to go into the DVR to pick shows. He figured out the two words starting with P mean Peppa Pig and the words with M mean Mickey Mouse. Over the past few months he's learned how to spell the names of other shows and he can go into the DVR and put shows on for himself and Trouble. (No, I'm not saying that sitting your kid in front of the TV menu should be how they learn how to read!) Then Pirate started getting adventurous and trying to record shows. I guess he thought he saw us do it enough that he could figure it out for himself. All of a sudden, I was finding that the few shows I record during the day were being stopped so something else would record. So, I told him he could not record shows without a grown up or Princess being with him. Even Princess asks if she can record her shows.

He stopped playing with the remote, or so I thought. I had made a couple of folders in the DVR to keep shows grouped together. We have a Halloween folder, a Christmas folder, and a Kids' movies folder. That way we don't have to scroll through everything to get to those shows. The whole DVR goes by date, so the Halloween folder is all the way at the bottom, since we haven't added to it since October. Same with the Christmas folder. If you're wondering why I keep these shows, it's because my kids are weird. Sometimes they want to watch Rudolph or the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown in the middle of April. Anyway, all of a sudden the Christmas folder was at the top of the DVR. I looked to see what had been moved into it, and found Law & Order SVU  at the very top. Then I found that he had moved a bunch of other shows into other folders as well. At least he wasn't trying to watch those shows! They're locked from viewing, but apparently not from being moved around. So, I told him he couldn't use the remote anymore at all.
That didn't last long though, because when things get crazy with the babies, it's easy to tell him to put on a show downstairs. Yes, I sometimes send my kids to watch TV to get them out of my way. Don't judge unless you also have 5 kids. I made sure I told him not to move any shows around in the folders.

The next day, I went into the DVR to watch something in my "spare" ten minutes, and found 37 Spongebob episodes had recorded. Princess had been at school, and Trouble just uses the remote as a weapon. He doesn't try to put shows on, so I knew it had to be Pirate. When I checked the schedule, I kid you not, Spongebob was scheduled to record every half hour for the entire day. It was the weekend, and I guess there's nothing on but Spongebob all day. Apparently he tried to record an episode, but hit Record All instead. I took the remote out of the basement for good.

I thought we were over the whole remote issue after that incident this weekend. Yesterday my husband called from work and said to make sure the remote stays out of Pirate's hands. He had logged onto our account online and saw that our bill was $60 more than it should have been. He called the company to see what was up, and was told that we rented 8 Pay-per-View movies last month, including Happy Feet Two four different times. OMG!!! Pirate had rented all the kids' movies that came up on the home screen as advertisements! One of which he rented on four different days! Thankfully the very nice customer service lady removed the charges for us. Even more thankfully, my husband caught it yesterday, before our account was automatically debited the payment tomorrow. We locked the whole system, so all they can do now is watch something already recorded and watch the approved (by us) channels.

I swear, there is never ever a dull moment over here!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Toy Overload

Toys took over this house years ago. We try to contain them into certain areas, but it doesn't last more than a day. Pirate is a toy hoarder, and he carries handfuls of toys with him everywhere. And his toys are tiny. His favorites are action figures - little tiny Star Wars guys, little tiny Batman guys, and little tiny pirates. They all have weapons (where his obsession with weapons must come from), that I find all over the place. I found two tiny swords and a machine gun in my bed last week. He knows everything he has, too. When the swords and gun were missing, he knew exactly what he was looking for, but he just didn't remember where he left it.  We keep some toys in the big kids' room, some in the baby boys' room, some in the living room, and tons in the basement. Slowly but surely, by the end of the day, the toys have migrated into all the other rooms of the house. Every night we put up with the same complaining about cleaning up the toys. Princess states that she didn't make the mess. This is usually true, but we tell her that since we cleaned up for her when she was the only child she has to help her brothers put things away. Pirate starts to say he's "just really tired". Then we ask him if he wants to have his snack and he perks up and says yes. Then we say he's not that tired and to start cleaning up. Trouble actually starts putting toys away, but then counters that good action by dumping out another bin of toys, doubling the mess.

Here's how my kids "play". Pirate will take out a bunch of toys, usually little tiny ones, but with a few bigger ones mixed in. He will hoard them all in a corner of the couch and surround himself with pillows "so that Trouble doesn't take my stuff". Or he will sit in the big chair with all of his guys crammed in behind him. He'll play with them for a little while, getting up occasionally to add another random toy to the mix. Then he'll decide he wants to play with something else. So, he'll completely disregard the first pile of toys, leave it where it is, and move onto another hoarding spot with another pile of toys. Same goes for books, he'll drop whatever he was looking at to get something else, never putting anything away in between. Trouble will dump out a bin of toys on the floor, pick out a few to play with and leave the pile on the floor. Within minutes, he throws the toys across the room and grabs something else. Instead of driving the trains and cars on the train table, he drives them across the TV stand, resulting in Princess screaming at the top of her lungs, "MOVE, TROUBLE!!!", which usually results in me yelling at her for being so loud. Donkey will take one toy and walk around with it. He is just happy to be walking around the room instead of being stuck in the play yard. He has just recently gotten into the stage of dumping loads of toys onto the floor. Princess doesn't really play with toys much. Sometimes she'll go into her room and get out all the Barbie stuff and play for a while, only if the boys leave her alone. Most of the time she just wants to play Wii or her DS or games on the computer. (Damn electronics!)

We also experience what I refer to as the "Trickle Down Effect" with toys. When Princess sees Pirate playing nicely, she wants to take his toys. On the rare occasions where Trouble is actually sitting and playing with something, Pirate takes something away from him. When Donkey is walking around with his toy, Trouble takes it from him. Why do they do that? Why can't they let each other be happy and content? The boys constantly steal toys from one another. I guess that's the nature of having siblings.

New toys are exciting for a few days, maybe a week or so tops. Then they end up in the toy box with everything else. They end up broken or lose pieces and become junk. I feel bad because other people spend their money on these toys, and the kids don't appreciate them. Princess is finally at the point where she takes care of her toys. But it took close to eight years for her to get there! Pirate and Trouble both have summer birthdays, only 3 weeks apart. So, we have combined parties for them every year. Sometimes we ask for combined gifts for them, like the sand table, the playhouse, and the water table. Those still get used every year. Last year they got a train table. I thought it would be a great idea. They loved trains, and how fun is a table with all those accessories? It took a long time for my husband to put together.

How could they not love this?! They did, at first. But after time, the train tracks were destroyed, and the table became a storage spot, with crap piled all over it.

This weekend, we rearranged our basement. We wanted to move all of the toys to one side, then have the other part for the sofa and TV, kind of separating it into two spaces. It's a really small room, but we made it work. Princess and Pirate spent the day with my grandparents on Saturday, so we had less kids in our way. During nap time, my husband and I started moving the toys, but decided to get rid of a bunch of them. There were toys that I didn't even realize we had.

one of the piles of toys
 We got rid of anything broken or missing pieces, put some things in a pile for a yard sale we want to have in a few weeks, and organized everything else. It took a LONG time. I laughed that they were the ones that made all the messes and we were the ones cleaning and organizing, again.  Then I went through the bookshelf and cleaned out the books, threw away ones that were ripped, missing pages, and the few that were just covers. No clue where the pages to those books ended up!

By the time we finished everything, the kids were in bed, so yesterday was the first test with the new arrangement. Unsurprisingly, things were all over the place within an hour. I showed them how to clean up and put the toys in the right spots, and by last night when it was clean up time, they got it right. We'll see how long it lasts...

Friday, April 20, 2012

Favorites of the Week


 "I wonder how the monsters get their wieners out to go potty on Monsters Inc." - Pirate

"Trouble, come here and stand next to this big ruler so we can weigh ourselves". - Pirate, standing by the awesome growth chart made for us by the one and only Naptime Decorator. One day he'll know the difference between measuring height and weight.

"Mommy, don't cut my fingernailers and toenailers!"  - Trouble when it was his turn. One of my weekly highlights is cutting 100 fingernails and toenails.

"How will Santa get in our house since we covered the chimney?" - Princess and Pirate simultaneously, upon realizing the wood burning stove was gone, closing off Santa's access to the house. (We're going to leave him a key this year.)

"You come change donkey. He smells like a poopy diaper."  - Trouble, after he busted into Donkey's room and woke him up from his nap.

"Mommy, I'm really, really done. Hurry up!"  - Pirate

"My tummy sure feels hungry for some candy after all that pooping I did." - Pirate

"Mickey!" - Donkey, when he saw him on TV. He has said it before, but I just love seeing how his face lights up when he sees his friends on the screen!

"Mommy said I have stinky feet, but it was her feet she smelled." - Princess explaining to my husband how I accused her when in fact, it was my own feet that I smelled. Curse you, flip-flops!

"Margarita time!" - Me to my husband when he got home from work tonight. I've been dreaming of this time all week.

Other fun happenings

I used three diapers to change 5 once this week. One lost a tab while I was trying to put it on, the next one was used as a shield when he started peeing all over the place, and finally the last one was able to be used. You'd think I was a novice diaper changer!

Swing poop - when 5 pooped while in the swing so it squished all up his back. Made it extra fun to change when the poop was on his onesie that had to be lifted over his head. Needless to say it went straight into the trash. I'm not scrubbing shit off of clothes.

Donkey getting his first black eye. I was literally right next to him when he fell down holding a toy dump truck. His face hit the back of the dump truck and gave him a shiner right under his eye. Seriously, not even two minutes later he fell down again, holding the same truck, and got a fat lip. That toy has been banished.

There is never a dull moment in this house of chaos!

Career Day

Pirate had Career Day at school today. We found out about it at the beginning of the month and started talking about different things he might want to be when he grows up. At first he said he doesn't want to be a grown up; he wants to stay a kid forever. He added that he wants to live with us forever. I asked him why he doesn't want to grow up and he said "Because then I'll be too tall and my head will touch the sky". After explaining that people stop growing, he decided "Well, maybe I'll grow up one day.".

We started thinking of different careers he could have. The school tries to keep the kids from choosing Halloween costumes like superheros and wants them to choose some kind of job. The first and obvious choice for Pirate was for him to be a pirate. The boy is obsessed with pirates. He named every part of his costume he would wear. When I asked him what a pirate does, he replied, "Clean the ocean and steal stuff.". We looked some more.

Next, Pirate went through all of the dress ups we own. He thought Optimus Prime would be a good choice. When I said no, he asked about Bumble Bee. Again, I explained that Transformers are awesome, but not really a job he could have one day. I also said no to Batman, Darth Vader, and Spiderman. He totally didn't understand why none of those weren't good professions. He decided he didn't want to be a cowboy (Woody) or a construction worker (Handy Manny).

We talked about some other careers. He has an uncle who is a police officer, and an uncle who is a firefighter. He said those are both cool jobs, but he'd want to be a police officer first, "because they get to have a gun.". Pirate gets very excited when he sees my brother in law in his uniform, especially when he gets a glimpse of his gun. I was also told that firefighters are cool because "They get to use axes". Mental note to remember his obsession with weapons. When I told Pirate that he could wear something of his uncle's to be a police officer (I was thinking hat), he said "Good. I just want to take his gun." I told him guns are not for school and they are not for kids. They are only for grown ups who are police officers. He said that was fine. He just wanted to catch some bad guys and take them to jail.

In the end, he chose to be a chef, like Daddy. He wore a chef hat and an apron and carried a spatula. We had to fill out a little form that went like this:
1. What is your career?  Chef
          2. What type of education do you need for your career?Chef school (Culinary school)
3. What kind of tools do you need for your career? measuring cups, spatula, and cooking stuff
4. Why do you like your career? Because Daddy is a chef. And I like food!

Here's my little chef with his "Spongebob Spatula". I guess we couldn't really get away from characters!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Cleaning is a thankless job

Why is it that I only really clean the house when someone is coming to visit or we're having a party? I mean, I clean every day, but not really clean. On a regular basis, I sweep the dining room. Otherwise we'd have ants covering the floor, especially around the high chair. But Donkey isn't the only messy one. Pirate and Trouble both have tons of food on the floor around their chairs too. Some days I think I could make a whole meal out of the amount of crumbs and pieces of food on the floor. I also load, unload, and reload the dishwasher, wash the bottles, and put away things that are laying around, and take out the trash and recycling. But vacuuming, dusting, scrubbing... that kind of stuff doesn't get done as much as it should. I have such a love/hate relationship with cleaning. I hate cleaning. But I love how nice the house looks when I'm done.

Cleaning is such a thankless job though. Seriously, how long does it last? I was having company twice this week, so I really needed to try to get this place looking somewhat decent. Yesterday I mopped Swiffered the middle floor of the house, after sweeping the entire thing. I wiped down everything in the kitchen, put away all the dishes, took out the trash.  I also cleaned the bathrooms by wiping down the sinks and counters, cleaning the toilets, and Windexing my kids spit off the mirrors. I have watched them spit after brushing their teeth, and they hit the mirror every time. I don't get it. Cleaning the toilet involves wiping up the puddles of pee that my 4 year old gets on the floor. It's disgusting. I also made all the beds. I always feel like made beds make the house look fancier, but I rarely bother making them.

By last night, you never would have known that I even attempted cleaning. The dining room floor was again covered in crumbs. The counter in the kitchen was sticky from spilled juice. Dishes were filling the sink as usual. Toys were all over the place. In the bathroom there was toothpaste all over the counter, spit on the mirror, and pee on the floor next to the toilet. The cleaning didn't even last a full day. And I think to myself, why bother? But I have to bother. Otherwise, there would be inches of pee on the floor, layers of toothpaste on the sink, and rodents eating the pieces of food on the floor. Not to mention the random turd I might find here or theree. So, I do the cleaning that needs to be done, just to do it again soon after.

Other thankless jobs include cutting the grass (Grows back too fast. Damn dandelions!), doing the laundry (hampers fill up way too fast around here),doing the dishes (the sink and dishwasher always seem to be full), and taking out the trash (cans fill up super fast).  Grown up life can be no fun!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Getting to School

Somewhere along the way, I got incredibly lucky and ended up with the most amazing husband out there. He works super hard at two jobs, and works even harder at home. On top of that, he's the best daddy the kids could have. They literally bombard him at the door when he gets home from work in the evening. (Maybe they're just tired of being stuck with me all day!) We balance each other pretty well, and work together to figure out how to manage our big family. My husband is always trying to make things easier for me. He has taken Pirate to school every morning on his way to work. First he walks Princess to the bus stop, then he drops Pirate off at school. After 5 was born, my husband also took over picking Pirate up from school as well. It's pretty much impossible to carry a baby carrier and a 1 year old, and hold a 2 year old's hand to get into the building to pick up the 4 year old. So, my husband leaves work, drives to the preschool, gets Pirate, drops him off at home, and goes back to work. He's the best!

Monday, he had to go into work super early, so I had to take Pirate to school. I was proud of myself for getting up and dressed before the kids. Normally getting dressed means a tee shirt and one of 3 pairs of sweatpants or yoga pants, but I actually put on clothes that I didn't mind having people see. I even put on a hint of makeup and brushed my hair! I had a plan to stick to in order to make it out of the house and get everyone to school on time. Although in most cases having five kids is an excuse to be late, I won't use it when it comes to school.

Pirate was already up and dressed, so I only had to wake Princess and Trouble. I helped Princess fix her hair, got Trouble dressed, and fed the three of them breakfast. I helped Pirate brush his teeth and made sure Princess had everything in her bookbag that she needed. After sending Pirate and Trouble downstairs to play for a few minutes, I walked Princess out to the bus stop. As soon as she was off to school, I came back in and put shoes on Pirate and Trouble. Pirate then decided to announce he had to "poop real quick before school". Of course then I got the "Mommy, I'm done!" call to wipe his butt. (1) I ran upstairs and woke Donkey, changed his poopy diaper (2), got him dressed, took him downstairs and sat him in the play yard. Then I went back upstairs and got 5, brought him downstairs, and as I was about to put him in the carrier, I smelled poop. Good thing I decided to change him then because it was right on the edge of the diaper. A trip out in the carseat, and that would have been squished everywhere. I changed him (3), got him dressed and went to put him in the carrier. Except the straps were buckled shut (Thank you, Trouble), so I had to unbuckle them then put him in the seat. I took Donkey out of the play yard and let him walk to the front door, where he pushed it and promptly fell out the door onto the front porch. At least I grabbed him before he hit the ground!

I took Pirate, Trouble, and Donkey out to the van. Thank goodness for automatic sliding doors. Whoever invented them is a genius! Before I could buckle Donkey, I had to unbuckle his straps. (Thanks again, Trouble). Then I did the ever so graceful lean up over Donkey's seat to buckle Trouble in the back. Pirate buckled himself.  I ran back in the house, grabbed my purse and bookbag, picked up the carrier, and locked the door. Back to the van, I put 5 in his seat and got in my seat.Whew! Everyone was in the car and no one was crying. We left and made it to school on time. And I realized just how much it helps that my husband does the drop off in the morning. Today, I enjoyed watching them walk out the door knowing I didn't have to go through all that work again!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Those kids

I have those kids. The screaming, loud, obnoxious kids. I've always known it to a degree, but I know for sure now. I knew Trouble was that kid, but now I know the others aren't much better. I do feel better when other people tell me they have that kid too. I guess we all have them at one time or another. Trouble is just going to be a lifelong commitment though!

Since we moved into our house six years ago, I have wanted to get rid of the eyesore of the house, the wood-burning stove in our basement. The people who owned the house before us said they barely had to use the heat in the winter because this heated the whole house. They didn't have five kids who could get hurt on the stove. They didn't need the space that the ugly thing took up in the basement.

Finally, last weekend, my husband listed the stove on Craigslist. Like magic, someone came and picked it up the next day. That left a platform of bricks in the center of the room that had to be removed. My very industrious husband set out on a mission this weekend to remove the bricks, so the floor would be even and we could finally make use of the space. Our house is a split-level, and there's not a ton of space for the kids to play. (Read about our crowded home here.)The basement is the place where most of the toys are, the TV is, and where the kids spend most of their time. Because he was chiseling out mortar and there was dust and debris all over, my husband sent the kids to play outside. Our backyard is just as full of toys as the rest of the house. Seriously, if you ride by, it looks like we run a daycare center by the looks of our backyard. There are tons of things to play with outside, and it was a gorgeous weekend.

Amazingly, I had a life part of the weekend and I was out for a good part of the day Saturday (yay, me!), so I missed some of the unpleasantness. However, what I witnessed the rest of the weekend was enough for me. From the second we said they had to go outside, Princess pouted. She wanted to stay inside and read or draw. (She's kind of like Brick from The Middle when it comes to reading.) She went out anyway (because we made her) and proceeded to complain about everything. There was bird poop on the swing, she was hot, there were bees, the boys were annoying her. Pirate and Trouble were happy to be outside, but started fighting not long after they started playing.

They each have a jump rope, although Princess is the only one who knows how to use it correctly.  The three of them argued over who got which jump rope. They fought about who was using the ball (even though they could have easily each used their own). They argued over how high they were swinging, whose turn it was to go down the slide, whose turn it was in hide and seek. Anything they could argue about, they did. And they asked to come inside about a thousand times. Trouble was just Trouble, throwing balls over the fence and grabbing toys from the other two.

Typically, I try to ignore the fighting. But when they're outside yelling and screaming, you can't ignore it. They were being those kids. Those loud, screaming, annoying kids. And I turned into that mom. The mom who had to repeatedly go outside and yell at the kids to stop screaming... The mom who had to take the toys away because they were fighting over them, and the mom who had to tell them to stop it or else... I never have anything good to use as the or else. Or else what? I'll make you come inside? That's what they wanted. I'll make you stay outside? Then they'd just continue being annoying. I'll take your toys away? Wouldn't matter, they'd find something else to use to bother one another. Or else worked to a degree because at least they lowered their volume. That was really all I wanted. I knew they would continue being those kids... I just didn't want all the neighbors to have to hear them and know those kids were my kids!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Favorites of the Week

This week, like every week, had it's share of funny and gross moments. Here are a few I can actually remember.


 "I only had 6 little turds today!" - Pirate, after calling me to wipe his butt

"My poop is shaped like an ice cream cone!" - Pirate, again after calling me to wipe his butt. (He always inspects his poop.)

"I wish it was just me, Donkey, & 5. The other boys are so annoying." -Princess

"Is it a real bunny or someone in a costume that comes on Easter?" -Princess (Uh-Oh!)


"Look, 5 is a ghost!" - Trouble, upon covering 5 with a blanket, all the way over his head. (I was right there, no need to worry)


  • Finding a turd on the floor after Trouble pooped in his underwear.
  • Noticing poop on my shirt hours after 5 had an explosive poopy diaper.
  • Giving 5 a bath, getting him in fresh clean clothes, and having him promptly spit up all over himself.
  • Watching Trouble show Donkey how to pick his nose.
  • Seeing Princess roll her eyes when I told her she couldn't wear shorts to school because it was 37 degrees that morning. I'm terrified of what I'll be dealing with when she's a teenager.
  • Listening to Trouble sing all the songs he knows, including "Rolling in the Deep" to try to settle down 5 who was crying, and seeing that it worked! (Trouble isn't always so bad!)
I'm sure next week will be just as entertaining!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I'm on the run... sort of

Last night and the night before I didn't go out walking or running. Combine that with the fact that I've been eating chocolate pretty much nonstop since Easter, and I feel pretty gross. After dinner tonight I sat around for a while and started thinking maybe I would skip going out again. But then for some reason, I realized I wanted and needed to get out of the house. And I wanted to run. Weird.

Before I left, I was smart. I made sure I was wearing non-wedgie underwear (maternity underwear are huge but comfy). I put on socks that aren't ankle cut, because ankle cut give me shoe wedgies. I found my winter headband thingy that covers my ears. I even grabbed a pair of gloves for good measure.

I thought I was prepared, and I was, at least more than the other night. I still need to get some kind of clothes that are better made for running. The sweatshirt is kinda bulky. I came across some more things to keep in mind for next time, and made many observations while I was out tonight.

In addition to my list from my second attempt at running, I need to add a few more necessities.

1. Bring tissues. For now I can stuff them in the pocket of the already bulky sweatshirt. My nose was running like a faucet, and I had to take after my kids and wipe it on my sleeves.

2. Bring chapstick. Mainly because I am an addict and feel the need to put it on every five minutes.

3. Quadruple tie the laces on my shoes. I had them double tied and they still came undone.

So, tonight I walked to Princess's school again, and as soon as I got to the front of it I started running, across the front and around to the side parking lot. I know that people can see me from their houses across the street, and that's ok with me. Having other people see me up close while I'm running terrifies me. I was feeling pretty good, counting in my head while I ran (forgot the iPod again), until I got around the side of the school and saw a car driving out of the back lot. I thought maybe they had just been at the playground and I was safe. But no, I got around the corner, and the parking lot was filled with cars. "Shit, people might see me!" was my only thought. I turned and ran up through another part of the lot and back around to the front of the school. Then I walked for a few minutes. I checked my phone for the time and decided to run a little more. And I ran for two straight minutes. I know that sounds laughable. Two minutes is nothing. Two minutes of running is f'ing torture (to me). But I did it. And I didn't collapse on the sidewalk or in the parking lot.

After my awesome "run" I went for my normal walk around the neighborhood. Usually when I walk I bring my iPod, and don't pay much attention to things around me. Since I didn't have music tonight, I was more aware of the sounds in the neighborhood. Seriously, everyone around here must have a dog that was in their yard tonight. All I heard the entire time was dogs barking. You know the book "Go, Dog, Go!" where the dogs are in a hurry to get to the dog party? This is what I pictured the dog party sounding like. It was loud. And every house I walked past, the dogs seemed to get louder. And I realized something... I'm afraid of dogs. I'm not really scared of them, more of the thought of them getting loose and attacking me while I'm walking. Then I'd have to run from them, and people might see me run, and it would be ugly. These are all thoughts going through my head while I'm out.

More random thoughts from my walk:

I thought it was creepy that I passed the same guy on two different streets. He might have been out exercising too, but he was wearing jeans. Who does that? I saw him when I first left my house and thought he was kinda weird looking. Once I made it out of the Dog Party, I saw him walking across from me on another street. So I pulled out my phone and pretended to be talking to someone. Because that would keep Jeans from attacking me in the middle of the road.

Why aren't there sidewalks all over the neighborhood? The sidewalk just ended in some parts of some of the streets. I feel safer on the sidewalk.

Wow, I just got to watch two ducks take a crap on the grass at the same time.

I also thought about how glad I was to have the headband on because my inner ears were nice and warm.

When I walked back into my house, into the loudness and the chaos, I was glad I went out tonight. I needed the exercise, I needed the practice at running, and I needed to get away from my kids! 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Prizes from the Nose

 My most favorite baby product is the bulb syringe, or as we call it, the Boogie Sucker. I absolutely love it! I have tons of them, all over the house.  I get the utmost satisfaction from sucking a huge booger out of a nose. Perhaps this makes me weird, and if I wasn't a parent, I'd be totally grossed out by it. But the bigger the booger, the more satisfaction I get. One morning, 5 was a little congested, and I could hear that his nose seemed stuffy. When I sucked the first nostril, nothing happened. Disappointment. Then I went into the other nostril, and I saw a little snot move. One more good suck, and it came out, huge and gross. When I squeezed it into the trash can, it actually shot out of the syringe. It was that big. The reason I get so much pleasure out of using this thing is because I think the kids have to feel better minus that huge booger in their noses. 5 has a tiny little newborn nose, and getting that huge booger out definitely helped him breathe better.
A few days later, when I laid Donkey on the changing table, I saw that his entire nostril was covered in booger. Using my trusty Boogie Sucker, I removed that booger, which was so big it appeared to be coming out of his brain. That was the highlight of my day. Yes, I realize how pathetic that sounds!

Now, let me be clear on a few points. Just because I love sucking boogies out of my kids' noses does not mean I will boogie suck any one's nose. I'm  not going up to random kids on the street trying to suck their boogers.

Also, just because I love sucking boogies out of my kids' noses does not mean that my kids love having the boogies sucked out of their noses. I usually have to hold them down to do this. And I don't get to use the Boogie Sucker on the big kids, just the little guys. Once you can blow your own nose, there is no more need for the Boogie Sucker.

And finally, just because I love sucking boogies out of my kids' noses does not mean I love boogies. I enjoy getting them out of the noses to help the kids breathe better. I'm not a fan of finding a boogers in random places around the house. However, with five kids, I have found boogies all over. I have tissue boxes in every room, but still they don't always use a tissue. One day I was sitting at the computer getting ready to type something when I noticed a booger on the keyboard. I knew it was from Pirate, who told me that he wiped it there because he didn't want to take a break from the game he was playing on the computer earlier that day. (But he could break long enough to pick this thing out of his nose.) At least once a day, Trouble will come to me with his index finger pointed up in the air and say, "Mommy I have a big green booder. You take it?". And I take it (with a tissue) because I know that otherwise, I will find it later in some obscure place. I probably catch my boys digging in their noses 50 100 times a day. Even Donkey sticks his finger in his nose, all because he did it by accident once and the other kids laughed. Now he thinks it's hilarious to stick his finger in his nose. I'm sure he'll be even more thrilled the first time he gets a prize out of it!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A second try

Last night I needed to get out and exercise. Easter was my "rest" day, if you consider trying to take five kids out for Easter resting. You can read about that adventure here. Anyway, after dinner the baby needed to be fed and this guy came to pick up something we sold on Craigslist. My husband was taking care of that, so I had to feed the baby. By the time my husband could take over, it was 7:40 and starting to get dark out. Normally I would have just scrapped going walking and said it was too late. But I decided I really wanted to get out, even if just for 20 minutes. It was partially to get away from the kids, but more because I wanted to exercise. What the hell?? That is not like me at all. I'm not into exercising... Or am I? Even weirder, when I walked out the front door, I found myself wanting to run. I was shocked at myself. So, I walked to my daughter's school and I ran. I didn't really time myself, I counted in my head, but just as something to focus on while I attempted to look normal. Then I walked a little and ran some more, walked and ran. It started to get dark, so I ran toward home, on the actual sidewalk, where people could see me. Every telephone pole was a goal to run to, until I knew I couldn't run anymore. Then I walked the rest of the way home. I was only gone from the house for 20 minutes, but I felt good that I actually went out. And I learned a few lessons while I was out.
1. Wear underwear that fit correctly. What I had on apparently was not running-worthy, and I had a constant wedgie.

2. Find something to cover my ears. Somehow my ear drums were freezing. Not the outer ear, but way down inside was super cold.

3. Make a playlist to pump me up to run. I love Adele so much, but her songs don't go with running.

4. Remember to actually being my iPod when I go out.

5. Consider getting a stopwatch. I might have been a math teacher, but I'm still having trouble trying to count seconds to 90 in my head.

6. Invest in the right type of running clothes. The hooded sweatshirt with the big front pocket didn't work well, especially with my phone bouncing around in there.

7. Accept that I don't look like a real runner. This is not a runner's body. This body has given birth to 5 children and needs a lot of work before it might ever look like a real runner.

8.Wear some socks that fit better. Socks falling sown into the shoes is the equivalent of a wedgie.

I'm pretty sure I thought of other good stuff last night, but this Mommy brain has forgotten already. I'll update as I continue to learn these lessons!

This picture sums up how things go when I "run"!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Going places

Once upon a time, my husband and I could just pick up and go. We could be anywhere we wanted at any time. If we were late it was my fault for taking too long to get myself ready. Back when we had one kid, we thought it was hard to go places with her. Packing a diaper bag, changing her, working around her nap and when she needed to eat... it was all a lot of work to get out of the house. But we did it. We would go to the mall, out to restaurants, to visit family, on vacation. We have always gone to big family gatherings for Christmas and Easter. We just had to adjust once we had kids.

When we had two kids, it didn't seem like that much more work. Princess was three and a half, so we didn't have to pack a lot for her, just a change of clothes. We still went out with the kids a lot, and splitting the two kids between us wasn't so bad. We would still go out to dinner, with a highchair and a kid at the table. At family gatherings, we would each keep an eye on one of the kids, and still get to socialize and have time to enjoy the food and company.

When we got to number three, things got a little harder. Packing up to go out required more stuff. At restaurants we had to make sure we had a booth. We each had a kid between us and the wall, and we had the highchair at the end of the table. Restaurant visits were not as relaxed as we had to cut food for each of them and try to keep them from climbing out of the booth, while the one in the highchair would throw food on the floor. Family gatherings were a little more work as well. It was three kids to make plates for, two kids to take to the bathroom, and diapers to change for the baby.

Once we got to number four, we rarely went out. It was just too much work. We would go out as a family to the mall or somewhere local. To this day, Donkey still hasn't been to a restaurant. We went on vacation for a week last summer. I had so many lists for packing. It took a week just to pack for a week away. The van was packed full of crap, and we had one of those storage things on the top of it to hold more crap. It was ridiculous. On holidays it felt like it took me the whole morning to pack up to spend the day out at a relative's house.

Now we have five kids. Yesterday was Easter, and it was the first time the seven of us went out together somewhere other than Lowes or the mall. (side note, when we went to Lowes, we needed an entire cart, one with the extra thing where kids get strapped in, just for the kids. I wish I would have taken a picture! We got looks from other people!) We were supposed to be at my grandmother's between 3 and 3:30. The kids were up looking for their Easter baskets around 8. They were awake before that, but we made them wait. We wanted to sleep :) After they found their baskets and made the inevitable mess with their new stuff, we had breakfast.

From breakfast on, I feel like I spent the rest of the morning getting ready to leave the house by 2:30. My family lives about 40 minutes from us, so when we go for the day, I have to pack for the day. There is no running home for something. The weather has been a little crazy lately, too. I needed to pack long pants and long sleeved shirts and shorts & short sleeved shirts for the kids as back up clothes. So, that's 10 outfits. Plus I threw in extra clothes for myself in case I wanted to change. Each kid got a couple pairs of underwear, and a bunch of diapers for the babies. Then I packed a bag of food for the kids. Some of them eat anything, some of them are very picky. I'd rather have stuff I know they'll eat with me than risk them only eating Easter candy for dinner.

Once I was packed, we bathed all 5 kids. We were going to do this Saturday night, but once we were done dying Easter eggs, neither of us felt like going through bathtime. Bathing them is kind of like an assembly line. The 3 middle boys go in the tub together, and as one is washed and rinsed, he is handed off to the other parent who dresses them. Princess takes a shower, and 5 gets a bath in the kitchen sink.

After baths, the kids had lunch. My husband played the role of short order cook so that I could take my own shower and get myself together. Then we loaded the car with bags and kids, and we were off. Surprisingly, we were on the road by 3 and at my grandmother's at 3:40. Ten minutes late doesn't count as late. While we were there, we were both with kids the whole time. My husband watched the big kids outside while I stayed with the babies inside. Donkey walked around the whole time but needed to be followed because the house isn't baby proofed like ours. We had to make plates for four kids, and remember to give a bottle to the baby. Thankfully we have a wonderful family who helped so that we got a chance to make ourselves a plate and eat. When it was time to go, it took another 40 minutes to pack up to leave. On top of all the crap we brought, each kid got an Easter basket and a gift.

In the end, the kids had a great time and seeing them happy makes it worth the trouble of packing up for a day out. However, I'm glad there isn't another holiday for a while. And there's no chance in hell of us attempting a restaurant visit anytime soon! We're thankful for carry-out!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Sometimes you just have to...

Scream - Sometimes it seems to be the only way to get anyone to listen to me.

Cry - When they don't or won't listen, when I'm so tired I can't see straight, when I get up for a night time feeding and the baby pees or poops on me, when I can't find something and I know I'm the one who misplaced it, when things start feeling out of control. Sometimes I just have to cry. Then I usually feel really tired after a good cry and I need a nap!

Do something for yourself -This is where I currently am with things. I need something for me. I need Me Time, where I'm not just Mommy. I need time away from the kids, away from chores, away from the chaos. When I was pregnant with 5, I went to my room for Me Time. I would go lay in my bed for a little while before or after dinner, just to not hear "Mommy!" for a short amount of time.

Now that I'm not pregnant, and I'm feeling good, I've decided to do something for myself, physically. I started walking in the evenings. I get out of the house, and I get exercise - win, win. Some nights I take Donkey with me for a walk. I don't mind taking him. He doesn't talk too much yet, can't scream "Mommy!" and will sit still in the stroller. I think he likes it too because he's getting out of the house and getting some one on one attention.

I signed up to do a 5k at the end of June. This is not like me at all. In the past I never would have thought of running or walking for an extended period of time or for a set distance. But I need to get this body back into shape, or close to it. So, I've been walking, and I'm going to do a training with other beginner runners starting May 1 for the eight weeks leading up to the 5k.

I need to start running, but I hate it. I don't understand why people love to run. Today I walked to my daughter's school and I ran around the parking lot. The program I'm following says to start with 30 second intervals of running, combined with 90 seconds of walking for 20 minutes, with a brisk five minute walk as a warm up and cool down. I don't have a stop watch or anything, so when I would start to run, I would count the seconds in my head. "One, one thousand, Two, one thousand, Three, one thousand..." so I probably didn't actually run for 30 seconds. Then the first time I did the 90 seconds, I lost count somewhere in the 60s, so who knows how long I actually walked. But I got an idea of how much of the parking lot I should cover in running and walking, and I repeated it a few times. I looked at my phone and less than ten minutes had gone by. But I knew I couldn't run anymore. I decided to finish my regular walking route, to at least get some more exercise.

My heart was pounding in my ears. Like I thought either my heart or ears or head was going to explode. And I was sweating but cold? The inside of my ears was cold, deep inside my ears. While I was walking I put my hood up, but the inside of my ears was still cold. The muscles in my butt were twitching. My legs felt like jello. There was no such thing as a brisk walk. This was a slow, sluggish, I-hope-I-can-drag-my-ass-home walk. Once I was home and had some water I was able to stretch a little. The twitching muscles in my butt and legs continued for a long time afterward. Everyone assured me that feeling like I was going to die was normal. Once the pounding in my ears stopped and my ears warmed up and I stopped breathing so heavily and I stopped sweating, I actually felt good about what I had done. I still question how people do this regularly and look so natural as they run. I'm pretty sure if anyone had seen me they would have thought I was having a seizure, not trying to run. Now I need to make sure I keep up on this kind of Me Time. Incidentally, trying to run made me want to scream and cry at the same time!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Opening Day

The Baltimore Orioles had their first game of the season today. My husband was off of work, and my father in law came over to watch the game. They used to go to Opening Day religiously, every year - rain, shine, or snow. Two years ago, I went with them and hung out with my friends. It was a blast! Seriously, so much fun!

Last year, my husband had just gotten a new job, and his first day was Opening Day. This year, since we have a newborn and four other kids, and money is tight (isn't it always?) they decided to stay in and watch the game.

Since the kids were on spring break, I took the older three out for a little while. They don't get out much when I'm the only one home. It's too much to try to get all five in the van! When we got home, my husband was grilling hotdogs and burgers. We had lunch out on the deck, our own version of baseball tailgating. The kids thought it was great! I think my husband even said that it was better than being at the ball park because it was less crowded.

Once we went inside to watch the game, I wished I was downtown at the game instead of watching it in my basement. My kids were so annoying the whole time. The baby wasn't annoying. He just needed to be fed, then he slept the whole time. Donkey would have been fine if it wasn't for Trouble. Trouble kept pushing him down and taking toys away from him. Donkey cried every time. Then Pirate and Trouble were just obnoxious, running back and forth in front of the tv, screaming, throwing toys. They all played outside for a while until Princess wanted to come back in. It was a lot to take in while trying to watch a baseball game.

My husband said to me many times that afternoon, "How do you stay home every day? How do you not want to get a full time job just to get away from them?". I wonder the same thing on a daily basis! We decided to start looking for babysitters now for next Opening Day so we don't have to share the day with the kids!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A house for three versus a house for seven

The other day my kids were asking when we moved into this house. I was explaining to Pirate that he wasn't born when we moved here. I decided to show them some pictures of the house from when we first moved here.

Looking at the pictures of when we first moved in was like looking at an entirely different life. I guess it really was another life. We had one child. I worked in an office, outside of the house, meaning we had two incomes. Two incomes to one income on top of one child to five children is a huge difference. There are tons and tons of differences between then and now, but what I really focused on looking at the pictures was the difference in my house itself.

We were so excited to buy this house at the time. We were first time home buyers, and quite honestly had no clue what we were doing. We found a single family home in our price range, put in a contract, and it was ours. We had some furniture from our apartment, but not enough to fill a house.

Our first purchase was a big girl bed for Princess. I was so excited to pick out her bedding and paint her room! We painted it a very bright yellow, and she had a purple comforter with different girly colored hearts and stars on it. I spent so much time putting her room together, matching up curtains and rugs, painting her name letters to match the bedding, arranging her toys into one corner of the room, carefully setting up her bookshelf and organizing the books. Her room was super cute!

Our room was set up pretty much the same as it had been at the apartment. Our bedding complimented the paint color in the room, so we didn't paint it. The third bedroom was a spare room. We left the walls with the solar system border alone thinking that if we ever had another baby, we could make the room into a nursery at that time. We made the room into an office, and my husband put his work clothes in the closet there. (Our closet is incredibly small.)

My mom and I painted the basement. We have a split level, so the basement is just one long room. At the front there is a little extra space on the left, so we called it a playroom and put all of the toys in there. The rest of the basement was neatly arranged with our furniture from the living room of our apartment. We hung a few pictures to pull the colors together, and the room was complete.

We bought new furniture for the living room. We bought a sofa and loveseat set, with a coffee table and two end tables. The tables were black with glass tops, and looked so nice with the red sofa and loveseat. We have hard wood floors, and I spent a lot of time shopping for the perfect rug that would tie together the living room colors for under the coffee table. My mom is quite the decorator, and she picked out paintings and decorations for the walls. The living room opens into the dining room. In the dining room we had our table and china cabinet.

Looking back at these pictures, everything looked so new, so clean, so crisp, so fresh. The paint was perfect, the furniture was arranged perfectly, the house was organized and neat. Princess would make a mess in her room or the playroom, and then clean up her toys. It was that easy.

That was almost six years ago.

Today, the house is the same structure, but that's about it for similarities. We have the same couch and loveseat in the living room. We ditched the rug and coffee table. Who has 5 kids and glass tables? The end tables are still there, but scratched to hell and covered in fingerprints. Currently, more than half of the living room belongs to the one year old and the one month old. There is a pack & play (mainly used to store clothes and for the changing table), a hamper, a plastic drawer thingy for baby clothes, a baby swing, bouncy chair, rock & play, and playmat for the baby. Then there is a play yard set up over bright colored floor mats and filled with toys for containing Donkey.

In the dining room, we had to get rid of the china cabinet so that six people could actually fit around the table. When there was just three of us, it didn't matter that the chairs could barely be pulled out on one side of the table.

In the kitchen, the fridge is covered in magnets and artwork, school newsletters, school lunch menus, notes to myself, and sticky fingerprints. There is a sky high pile of papers, coloring books, coupon booklets, mail, and stuff I can't keep up with on top of the microwave and on the table. I swear, I go through this pile regularly, and the more crap I throw away, the more the pile grows.

The kids' bathroom that we decorated with cute ducks when we moved in still has the cute ducks, but now the decorative towels are stained dirty no matter how much I wash them. The rugs have been replaced twice, and still look crappy from being washed so much, from being peed on so much. The sink is constantly covered in blue and pink toothpaste, because every kid wants their own toothpaste. The counter is typically wet and sticky.

The super cute princess room is still the same color yellow. However, now it is home to three kids. We have a set of bunk beds and a twin bed in this tiny room, in addition to a dresser and nightstand. There are toys crammed into every corner, and the closet is a disaster. It's an "Enter at your own risk" type of room. Some days I wish I didn't have to enter.

In our room, we upgraded from a queen bed to a king sized bed. A bigger bed does not mean more space for my husband and me. It means more space for more kids to get in bed with us, which is a regular occurrence. I rarely make the bed anymore, and my dresser is home to a zillion random things. Currently it is holding a humidifier, a pile of clothes I should put away, my dusty jewelry box, another pile of papers, and a couple of books. My husband's dresser is taller, so all of the stuff the kids could get into goes up there. It has some kids' medicine, a jar of change, the remotes, a dvd player, and other random crap that I toss up there throughout the day. Our closet is completely packed, and the doors fall off regularly.

The "spare" bedroom is now the little boys' nursery. A year after we moved in, we had Pirate, and he had the cutest baby boy room. It still looks the same, except now it is even more crowded, housing two cribs, the changing table and dresser. There is also a large storage box on the floor where I toss clothes that are outgrown. One day I will organize those clothes. One day.

Finally, the basement... Oh, the basement. It's a disaster. Aside from the sofa and the TV, the entire rest of the basement is covered in toys, whereas they used to all be in the little playroom. That area has become the computer room, with the desk, file cabinet, and two bookshelves filled with unorganized kids' books. Right next to me at this moment is a toy box that used to neatly hold Princess's toys. Now the damn box is overflowing and piled up with toys to the window. We have a train table that is covered in more toys and some train tracks. The walls are covered in kids' art. I do like that part. But I should have taken more time and maybe framed the art or something. Some of the tape has come loose, and pictures have corners hanging off the walls. I'll frame those works of art one day. One day.

Every possible inch of space in the laundry room is filled with crap as well. There are storage bins of old clothes, piles of blankets, beach towels, kids' games, arts and crafts stuff, baby stuff that Donkey has outgrown but is too big for 5, folding chairs, my husband's tools, sleds, pool toys, etc. Oh, and my husband's work clothes are hung in there too.

Day to day, I don't think about how much the house has changed. I know that it has been overtaken by kids' stuff. But I didn't realize just how different it is from when we moved in until I looked at those pictures. Three people sure didn't make the mess that seven people make. I can clean and organize all day, and this house will never be the same. But it's ok, because I have four more boys than I had back then, and I wouldn't trade them... most days!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Barf, Puke, Vomit, Throw Up

I made the mistake of saying something positive out loud. In January, I made the mistake of mentioning to my friend and my husband that we had been lucky this winter and the kids hadn't been sick much. Within two weeks, they all had bad colds and congestion. Donkey ended up with an ear infection. Talk about wiping noses... that seemed to be all I did for days. Trouble preferred taking care of his runny nose himself. He would wipe it on his sleeve (to the point that I had to change his shirt), the couch, stuffed animals, his bed, and my all time favorite - ME! The joys of motherhood are ever fruitful when your child is wiping their snot on you. Thankfully, the four kids were better and much less snotty when the baby was born.

Just when I started thinking again that it wasn't so bad when they had the colds, and we were lucky this winter, It hit. IT refers to the stomach virus. I had been reading about it on facebook, status after status mentioning how kids were sick, parents were sick, whole families were getting it. I thought we lived in a germ free bubble, and that we were safe. Besides, how could the stomach bug hit us when at the time we had a three week old baby? That would just be cruel.

My husband had just been back to work for a week, after being home for two weeks. I was just getting into my own groove at home, a new routine with the five kids. I was starting to get a good grasp on the flow of every day. My mom called me in the morning on a Tuesday and told me she was sick. She had been up all night throwing up and had to stay home from work. She didn't feel well for a few days. I felt bad for her, but secretly was thankful that she had it and not me. (Sorry, Mom!)

That Saturday we had a birthday party for Donkey. He turned one and I didn't want to ignore such a big birthday even though we had a new baby. We survived the party, and had a nice weekend. Monday was the beginning of my husband's first full week back to work. Trouble was being kind of annoying, as he usually is, and I told him he had to go downstairs so I could make lunch. He was standing in the living room and started crying. I asked him what was wrong, and he got this funny look on his face, and boom... barfed all over the living room floor. And all over is not an exaggeration. It went across most of the space on the floor. I grabbed him and ran him to the kitchen trash can where he proceeded to throw up twice more. Nothing draws a crowd like a puke covered floor. Everyone else had to see it and make noises about how gross it was. I called my husband and promptly started crying about the puke on the floor, the two crying babies, and the other two kids staring at the puke. It was after one, and I had to get the other kids fed so I could take care of Trouble. I threw a bunch of papertowels over the barf, made a quick lunch, fed everyone, laid the babies down for naps, sent the other two kids downstairs, set Trouble up on the couch, and cleaned up the barf. I scrubbed the floor, took out the trash, sprayed out the trash can, and washed my hands about a zillion times. Trouble proceeded to throw up every 15 minutes to half hour for the next three hours. Thankfully my amazing husband came home from work. He knew it would be impossible to hold Trouble over the barf bucket (everyone must have one) and feed a baby. So, he took Trouble up to our room and set him up there. He sat with him the rest of the day so I could take care of the other kids. Thankfully the puking didn't last more than that day. Trouble was back to being Trouble by the next day.

Cut to Tuesday night, around 1am (I guess that technically makes it Wednesday). Donkey wakes up crying, gag coughs and starts his turn of barfing. He is up from 1-5 throwing up. One of the saddest sits I've seen is a just turned one year old throwing up into a bucket. He kept crying because he didn't like his head being pushed into a bucket. Finally his round ended and we got some (minimal) sleep.

Wednesday morning Pirate was acting weird. He didn't want breakfast and said his head hurt. We figured he was getting sick, so we kept him home from school. I got him set up in his bed to watch a movie while I fed the baby. I left the barf bucket next to his bed just in case. I was making the baby a bottle, and I heard the cough gag. I ran upstairs and my poor little Pirate was on the floor leaning over the bucket throwing up. He turned to me and said, "I think I am sick too.". Broke my heart! I texted my husband & let him knew another one bit the dust, and he came home. He sat with sick Pirate all day. After 3 hours it seemed to be out of Pirate's system too.

Thursday morning when I took Princess to the bus stop, I told her that if she started feeling sick she should go to the nurse. I figured it was inevitable she would get sick. At 9:30 that morning, I was putting away laundry and the phone rang. I knew before I even got to the phone that it would be the school. The nurse said Princess was complaining of a headache and that I could bring her some medicine. I told the nurse that the boys had been sick so I would just bring Princess home. On a positive side note, I learned that I was able to load all the kids in the car and get to her school and back home in 10 minutes. I set Princess up in my bed, and within a half hour, she was over the barf bucket. She only puked once though.

When I thought it was over for the kids, it came back and Trouble, Pirate, and Princess all threw up one more time a few days to a week after they initially got sick. So far, Hubby and I have not gotten sick. I'm still afraid of it hitting us or coming back for the kids. Here's to hoping we're in the clear!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Morning

People often tell me these are the best years of my life, that I need to enjoy this time because it goes by so quickly. In some ways, I agree. Princess is almost 8 and a half. To think I was pregnant with her 9 years ago, in my early twenties, makes me feel like the time has flown by. In other ways, I secretly hope these are not the best days of my life, as I seem to spend them wiping butts & noses, playing waitress to my kids' food demands, and doing laundry nonstop. (It's amazing how much laundry 7 people can go through in a day.) So, it might make me a bad parent, but yes, sometimes I hope these are not the best days of my life.

In talking about a day, I thought I'd share my morning so far today. It is Spring Break, so all 5 kids are home all day. Yesterday was the first day, and I must have heard "MOMMY!!!" 254,876 times. It got to the point where I did my best to tune it out. So here has been my day so far. And keep in mind it is only 10:20am.

Wake up at 3am to the baby making grunting noises. Pray he goes back to sleep or that hubby gets up with him. Fall back asleep. Wake up at 4am to crying baby. Get up to feed baby (still wishing DH would get him but knowing DH has to get up for work at 6 am). Feed baby, thankful for the iPad and the ability to play Words with Friends, browse Pinterest, and read Facebook posts in the middle of the night.

At 5am, put baby back to bed. Climb into my bed to find a 2 year old in my spot. Put him back in his bed. Go back to sleep.

Wake up at 6am to DH's alarm, fall back asleep.

Wake up at 7am to crying baby. Hold him in my bed to get a few extra minutes of sleep. Besides it's too soon for him to eat again.

Get up for good at 8ish. Check on oldest 3 kids, who had the good sense to go downstairs and watch tv. Get baby dressed, feed him his bottle.

Put baby in swing, go upstairs and get the one year old up. Get him dressed. Make mental note (that will surely be forgotten) that both babies are low on diapers. Bring him downstairs.

Play the role of short order cook to make breakfast for the 4 kids, as they seem to think my kitchen is a full service restaurant. Pop tart for Trouble, but it has to be blueberry or he throws a fit. Cereal for Princess & Pirate, although they both complain about it. (side note- the kids go through favorite food phases. When they eat a lot of something we get it at BJs. We bought bulk cereal, and they immediately did not want it anymore. We have a ton to go through, so today I made them eat it, hence the complaining). Pirate wants Cornflakes with milk. Princess wants Cheerios with milk & banana. By the time I get their cereal out, Trouble wants another pop tart. Then I mix up the baby's oatmeal, cut up his banana, and give him his cup of milk. The big three finish and go to play.

I feed Donkey his oatmeal, and tell him to stop throwing banana on the floor. Remind myself I need to clean the floor later.

Finally, I get to pour myself a cup of coffee and eat my breakfast. Make mental note that I need to start a store list and add coffee to it.

While eating and trying to enjoy my coffee, I get paged 17 times by the kids playing downstairs. They are mainly tattling on each other.

Finish breakfast, let Donkey out of high hair (making mental note of how gross the high chair is and how I wish the Easter bunny would bring us a new one) so he can walk around while I clean up.

Empty dishwasher & reload. Wipe up mess on counter, noting we need new sponges.

Take a break to free Donkey, who has wedged himself under the dining room chair, wearing the chair like a turtle shell. Notice he is eating something. He swallows before I can see what it is. Hope that it is just a Cheerio, but know it could be anything.

Realize that there is no more music coming from baby swing. Check and see that the swing has stopped. Luckily he's still sleeping. Mental note to change the batteries.

Have the following conversation in my head...Do we have batteries? I'll get some later when I go out. Wait, where am I going today? Right, my 6 week doctor appointment. I need to work in a shower today. Then Easter basket shopping. Crap, I should make a list of what to get. Where is the notebook? I'll make a list later, Donkey needs to take a nap. Shoot, I need to change his sheet. Oh right, there is still laundry in the dryer from last night.

I discontinue the conversation with myself so I can check my email for a coupon I got the other day. When I get online, I get sidetracked and check Facebook, Pinterest, WWF, then decide to blog about my morning. Now I need to go put Donkey down for his nap, get the kids dressed, and find that darn notebook so I can make all these lists!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Mother of the Year

I had #5 six weeks ago. I haven't had a lot of time to blog, mainly because I'm wiping butts and noses more than ever. I'd like to catch up on posts, but I know that probably won't happen. I've been trying to catch up for over a year.
Just a few things that have happened recently to prove why I will undoubtedly become Mother of the Year.

A few weeks ago, Trouble turned to me and said. "Mommy, I'm gonna kick lour ass!". His Ys sound like Ls, so he meant he was going to kick my ass. I proceeded to laugh my butt off, prompt him to say it 4 more times, one of which was on camera. A better parent would probably discourage him from saying it. After a few days of telling people he would kick their asses, he forgot about it and stopped saying it.

Trouble has also started saying "Jesus Christ!". This is not meant in a good way, due to how I say it and my own context. Other things coming from Trouble's mouth include "Damn It!" and "What the hell?". Reality check - I need to watch my language. We have gotten him down to "Darn it" and "What the heck?". It's a start.

Last week, I desperately needed to sit and enjoy my coffee. Pirate and Princess were both at school, and the two babies were both still asleep. Trouble was the only one with me, and he can't really be left on his own. So, I let him sit at the table with me and play with scissors. It sounds worse than it is... He was just practicing cutting paper. Normally I would never let him hold scissors, but desperate times call for desperate measures.