Friday, June 29, 2012

Where does the day go??

 Every day this week, I have had good intentions. I intend to get things done around the house, get the kids outside and play with them, and feel accomplished. And every day I look at the clock between 4:00 and 5:00 and wonder where the day has gone and what I did all day. At that time, I feel the need to clean up messes (again) and try to get the house looking somewhat decent (again), start dinner, feed the baby (again), etc. When my husband gets home, I want it to look like I did something...anything...during the day. Most of the time it doesn't look that way. And I don't know what happens to the day. I feel like I have ADD when I can't finish one task at one time, but I think it's just called being a mom, and a mom of 5, to boot. There are simple things I want to get done each day, but nothing too big that should be a problem. For example, the batteries in Curly's crib projector are dying, and it makes an awful sound when he turns it on, so that was on my list of things to do this week. Simple enough, right? I finally just did it today, Friday. Every time I put Curly down for a nap or to bed for the night I remembered I needed to change the batteries. That would remind me that I wanted to attach the light up aquarium to Superchunk's crib too (which also needed new batteries). And it took me all of five minutes to change the batteries and re-attach the things to their cribs. (side note, I'm disappointed in both of these toys, as the tabs to attach them to the crib broke off both toys within the first three times they were taken off to change the batteries.)

Yesterday my big plan was to clean the stroller. We have three strollers. One is an umbrella stroller, one is a double stroller, and one is a regular stroller. This one is our original stroller we received at my baby shower nine years ago for Princess. It has been good to us. Maybe I should have been better to it, as I have only taken it apart to clean one time, and that was before Pirate was born five years ago. Gross, I know! So, Wednesday night I decided to take Superchunk with me to Pirate's swimming lesson. We walked to the pool and I pushed Superchunk around in the stroller while we watched. Poor baby doesn't get out for fresh air very much! I started looking at the stroller and realized how dirty it was. I thought to myself that I should clean it soon, meaning sometime within the next two years. When we got home, I left the stroller outside while I changed Pirate into clothes. As we were walking to the car to go get a snowball, I noticed bird poop on the seat of the stroller. That bird decided I needed to clean the stroller sooner rather than later. So, yesterday I brought it in the house, took it apart (which required tools!) and washed all of the fabric parts. I laid them out to dry, in the laundry room, because with my luck if I laid them outside another bird would crap on them. Then I scrubbed, and I mean scrubbed, the frame of the stroller. I even took it outside and hosed off the wheels! Let me just say, the creator of the Magic Eraser is a genius! The stroller went from filthy to new(ish) looking! The tray is still scratched and it has other spots and scratches on it, but for the most part, this stroller looks great! I even put it back together on my own. And this project took me ALL damn day! At 4:30 yesterday, I looked at the clock, looked at the stroller, and realized that was where my day went.

I do the same thing every morning. Feed the kids, clean up the kitchen, straighten up the middle floor of the house, have kids do chores, feed baby. Sounds so simple. Looks so simple in writing. Why does it take hours? This is how today has gone:

Wake up, take Trouble to the bathroom, put on his underwear. Get up Curly, change his diaper, take him to kitchen. Three boys are up, Princess & Superchunk are still sleeping. Break up a fight over who sits where at the table. Pour milk for all three and give to them. Take breakfast orders. (Apparently I run a full service restaurant.) Answer customer questions - "Do we have any more chocolate poptarts?". "Do we have any more pancakes?" No & No - it's grocery day and it looks like Mother's Hubbard's Cupboard over here. Serve blueberry Poptarts. Cut up a banana for Curly. Give Curly half of a bagel thin. Put my bagel thin in the toaster. (Bagel thins are the healthyish alternative to a bagel, I guess. I only bought them because they were on sale and I couldn't find any regular plain bagels.) While the bagel is in the toaster I refill a milk, wipe up milk that was splashed on the table, and tell Trouble to stop sprinkling Poptart crumbs on the floor. Then I smell smoke, my burnt bagel pops up, and the smoke detector goes off. All three boys immediately start crying. Fan the smoke detector, open windows. Crisis averted. Shit, it's grocery day and that was the last bagel. Eat it anyway. Remind myself to be thankful the coffee turned out right. Send boys to play, drink coffee in "peace" while Curly walks around. Tell Curly to stop touching that. And that. And that too. Move recycling bin out of his reach. Move pans out of his reach. Block trashcan so he can't get to it. Remember coffee. Pour out cold coffee and refill. Clear table. Remember dishwasher is clean. Empty dishwasher. Start to reload dishwasher. Break up fight in basement over Legos. Answer phone and feel relief to sit down and talk to my friend for a few minutes. Enjoy coffee while on phone. Tune out the incessant "Mommy" coming from the basement. Finish coffee and conversation. Finish cleaning up kitchen. Trouble comes upstairs to announce that he has pooped in his underwear. Curse like crazy in my head while I dump his poop in the toilet and wipe him. Tell him he's not playing in the sprinkler today. (It's 200 degrees out so we weren't going out anyway.) The Princess awakens and wants breakfast. Run through the pretty non-existent menu and make her a bowl of cereal. Throw in a load of laundry. Think to myself if I had just put the laundry in when I got up it would be done by now. Oh, well. Look at clock - 10:30. Naptime for Curly. Lay him down, wake Superchunk. Get him dressed. Tell other kids to get dressed. Help Trouble get dressed and brush his teeth. Feed Superchunk. Listen to an argument over what show to watch. Listen to an argument over Legos. Listen to an argument over books. Listen to an argument over someone sitting in someone else's spot on the couch. Yell downstairs to stop arguing. Clean up Superchunk's spit up. Change Superchunk's clothes. Clothes? Oh right, put the clothes in the dryer. Get laundry together to put in another load. Wake up Curly. Change poopy diaper. Get myself dressed (finally). Go downstairs to hear another argument over Legos. Yell at kids and threaten to not let them go to pool with my mom and sister, secretly knowing that I will just be screwing myself if I keep them home. Start writing this blog. See that it's going on 12:30. No computer time. Start making lunch. Lay Superchunk down for a nap. Remember batteries and change them. Back to making lunch. Heat up leftover hotdogs for Trouble and Pirate. Make tacos for Princess (leftovers), give Curly his lunch. Listen to Pirate, Trouble, and Princess simultaneously complain about their lunches. I'm sure Curly would complain too if he knew how. Start to clean up from lunch. Trash is full, take out trash. Wipe up spilled ketchup from floor where Pirate tried to clear his spot but the trash was too full. My mom and sister get here. Tell Princess and Pirate to get their bathing suits on. Apply sunscreen. Pack towels, water, snacks, goggles, extra sunscreen. Wave as they leave. Comfort Trouble who cries about going. I know better than to try to send him anywhere with anyone. He's a flight risk and too much work. Lay him down for a nap. Lay Curly down for a nap. Feed Superchunk. Lay Superchunk down for a nap. Breathe a sigh of relief. Watch my soap in fast forward. Remember I need to run dishwasher, fold laundry, and register Pirate for soccer. Remembering to do things reminds me of my blog. Ignore other things and work on blog. 

Trouble is now awake. Curly is starting to make noise. I have the soccer registration screen pulled up but haven't finished it because my wallet with bank card are upstairs and I'm too lazy to go up and get it. The dryer buzzed 20 min ago, but I haven't gotten it out of the dryer. I have two loads to fold and put away, dishes in the dishwasher to put away, and random things that need to be picked up. And oh, look, it's after 4pm. Where has the day gone??

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Combination Party

We had a big weekend here. We always combine Pirate and Trouble's birthdays into one party. Their birthdays are almost three weeks apart, and one party is easier than two. But this year we really stepped things up by adding another celebration to the party, Superchunk's baptism. We were given three dates to choose from for the baptism, June 10, 17, & 24. At the time, the 10th was only a week away, so we couldn't do that, and the 17 was Father's Day. So, we picked the 24th. I was originally thinking of doing the boys' birthday party this coming weekend, so the 24th worked out well.

From the beginning, Pirate was confused. He is just now understanding the months. I keep a big desk calendar on our pantry door to keep track of everything going on in the month. The kids are color coded so they stand out and I know who has what when. With 5 kids, it's really the only way I remember anything. So, Pirate is all into the big calendar and likes to know what's going on in the month. When he saw that it was going to be their party, he didn't understand. "But my birthday is on July 10, and my party is June 24th.", was his response. So, I explained the sharing a party thing, and how we only have a party on their actual birthday if their birthday is on a weekend. Then I sat down to do the Evite. (I haven't hand-written an invitation since Princess turned 1). I did two separate Evites, one for the baptism and one for the birthday party. It looked weird to combine the two on a religious background or on a party background. I let Pirate pick the background for the Evite. No surprise, he chose the pirate themed skull and crossbones. He watched as I went through the steps of putting in the information and the email addresses. When I was done I showed him how I emailed it out to everyone. He said, "Ok, now you have to print it out so we can give it to everyone.". I told him how it would go directly into everyone's computers. He said, "Even my friends? I don't know if they have computers.". Great... now I had to explain that we weren't having his friends, just our family. I knew what was coming next. "But Princess had a party with all of her friends for her birthday.". Two major differences: Princess was turning 8, in second grade. And her birthday is in December, during the school year. It's a lot easier to invite friends during school than over the summer. I told him maybe next year we'll do a friend party. Hopefully he'll forget about it and I can keep doing combo parties for a couple more years... I doubt it though. Kid has an amazing memory!

We didn't do much to get ready for the party ahead of time. We're not big planners. I took Pirate out after his swimming lessons one evening last week to get some decorations. I told him he could pick any theme he wanted since Trouble didn't seem to care much about the party, and he usually likes anything Pirate likes. I didn't really need to take him with me, though, because he picked what I thought he would...pirates! I bought all the plates, cups, napkins, tablecloth, plastic wear, etc, all the while thinking to myself how much of a pain in the ass it is to have a party. In the end it's always fine and the kids have fun, but buying so much crap and cleaning and setting up and stressing is annoying. I minimally cleaned the house on Friday, enough to make it look decent in here. Saturday I was going to BJs to get the rest of what we needed, then I was going to bake the cakes, and set up what I could. That was my plan. Instead I went to the pool. All day. In the back of my mind I knew I should be home working on stuff for the party. But the water felt great and it was so nice to be out of the house, in the sun, having adult conversation with my sister in law. The kids were having a blast swimming, and I was in no rush to get home, so we stayed and stayed. Once we got home, Buster made dinner (yes, I am that lucky) while I bathed all the kids. After we ate dinner, I started working on the cakes. I was up until midnight baking three cakes and two dozen brownie bites. Yes, we could have gotten away with one cake. But I wanted them to each have their own. I think the kids could have cared less. 

Sunday the baptism wasn't until 1, so we had plenty of time to get things ready. After breakfast, Buster started making food for the party. ( I know, I know... I'm seriously lucky!) while I started cleaning up and moving chairs around. We live in a split level house, and we were going to have around 30 people here. There's only so much re-arranging that can be done, so we did our best. I set up the table with the decorations and cakes, and fed the kids a quick lunch, then got them dressed for the baptism. I put Superchunk in his baptism outfit that my aunt had originally made for Pirate. All four of my boys were able to wear the same outfit, although Superchunk was pushing the limits on it! Once all seven of us were ready, we loaded ourselves in the van and left for the church. And we were actually early!

The baptism went well. Superchunk was really good the whole time. We had to push the rest of the kids off on other family members. Princess and Pirate were fine. Curly started crying as soon as we left him with my mom. Trouble was fine until he saw us go up to the baptismal font when he made a break for it and ran up to stand with us. He also almost knocked down the big candle in the front of the church. But with Trouble, things could have been much worse! We hung around for some pictures, including our annual family photo at a baptism. Buster and I both were thankful that was our last kid's baptism!

 After the baptism, we headed back to our house. Although it felt like a nice day outside, cramming 30+ people into our small living room made it feel like a cool 200 degrees. Despite my best efforts with a big fan, it never cooled off inside. All the kids stayed outside most of the time, and adults were in and out. But at present time, everyone crammed into the small room to watch the boys open their gifts. They didn't care how many eyes were on them or how many degrees it was in there. They were so excited to have gifts to open. Pirate is old enough to know the routine by now. But Trouble is still young and wanted to open every toy as soon as he unwrapped it. It took me until well into Monday to actually go through everything and really see what they got. We have a really great family for spending the day with us and giving so much to our boys.
We sang Happy Birthday to the boys, had some cake and ice cream, and let the kids play in the sprinkler and water table outside. We filled some water balloons for them too. I think everyone had fun! Later that evening when everyone had left and we cleaned up, we went outside with the kids and had a water balloon battle and played with their new bubble guns. It ended up being a really great day! That being said, I'm glad none of the kids will need a party until the winter!
Don't they look thrilled?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Name Changes

I've been thinking for a while that 5 needs a new blog name. Clearly he's the fifth (and final!) child, but I can't continue to refer to him as 5. We did a good job of keeping his real name (Landon) a secret until he was born. Blog naming him seemed just as hard. If you're wondering how the other kids got their names on this blog, you can check out the post on that here. I thought I'd wait until he developed a personality or something specific about him that I could use as a name. I think I figured it out.

Introducing... Superchunk!

He's a really big baby. He has his four month checkup next week, so I'll see just how big he is then. I weighed him with me and he was close to 18 lbs. He's just chunky! Superchunk may not be the most flattering name for him, and may require a name change down the road, but for now, it works!

While I'm changing names, I'm over referring to Grayson as Donkey. It was cute when the kids wanted to name him Donkey (from Shrek), but now that he's 15 months old, he needs a new blog name too. Everyone is always commenting on his hair, and I absolutely love his curls. So, Donkey is now blog named Curly.

I hope there isn't official legal paperwork I need to fill out to change their names on my blog :) I feel like their names are more fitting now. Princess will always be the princess. Pirate could change, but not any time soon as we are having another pirate themed birthday party this year. I wish I could call Trouble something else, but no such luck. Curly and Superchunk are more fitting names for my babies than Donkey and 5. So, it's official, they are blog-renamed. (BTW - I can't stand when people say "It's official". It ranks way up there with "Let the ___ begin" and "Shenanigans". I hide people's statuses on Facebook when they include any of those phrases.) 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Happy 3rd Birthday, Trouble!

Three years ago, my little 6 pound, 4 ounce ball of Trouble was born. It feels like he's been here forever. There hasn't been a dull moment around here since he was born, that's for sure! Here's his story.

I had my last doctor's appointment with him on June 18. I was 1.5 cm dilated, so I was scheduled for an induction the following Wednesday, June 24. Pirate had been a really big baby and was a week late, so my doctor said we could induce to have Trouble at 39 weeks. I was excited to have a date set, and to know I had a few days left to get ready for the new baby. That Friday, the 19,  while my husband was working, I ran a bunch of errands with Princess and Pirate. I had to drop off Princess's kindergarten papers to her elementary school. I didn't want that hanging over my head with a new baby. We had a nice day together, and my husband got off of work early that evening. He was supposed to work late the rest of the days leading up to the induction, so we took the kids to the playground after dinner and had a nice evening as a family of four. That night we rearranged Princess's room. We put the kids to bed and watched a movie. We stayed up until after midnight, which was unusual for me at that time. I remember going to bed feeling really good about our family day and night.

I woke up around 1:45 to go to the bathroom, not unusual for me at 38+ weeks pregnant. I went back to bed and moved all the pillows around so I was comfortable. Anyone who is or has been pregnant knows how much work it is to try to get comfortable to fall asleep! I finally got comfortable, closed my eyes to go to sleep, and felt it. I felt a sharp pain go across my stomach, and felt the tiniest bit of liquid come out of me. For a split second I thought I peed myself. Then I said, "Oh shit, not now.". I was terrified. I woke Buster up and said. "I think my water just broke.". I'll never forget the way he jumped up out of bed! I ran back to the bathroom and started shaking like crazy. I called my Dr.'s office, which was obviously closed, to get the message that he was on vacation and to call his backup in case of an emergency. I called this other doctor, who I had never met, and he told me to go to the hospital. He said if my water had broken (I still wasn't sure) that they would keep me and I'd have a baby that day. If not, they'd send me home. Buster called his sister who lives down the street, and she came over to sit with the kids until my dad could get here. I called my mom to let her know, then my dad to get him to come stay with the kids. I had to stuff a hand towel into my underwear because water kept leaking out of me. By then I was sure my water had broken. I threw a few more things into my bag (which had been packed for weeks), and got the kids' Big Brother and Big Sister shirts out for them to wear to the hospital. I cried as I kissed them goodbye in their sleep.

I was shaking uncontrollably in the car on the way to the hospital. I was totally nervous and scared about delivery. Princess and Pirate had both been harder deliveries, and I needed the vacuum with both of them. I was scared of that happening again. We walked into my hospital room at 3am. At 3:30, the house doctor checked and said my water had broken, and I was at 3cm. It set in that I was having a baby. Contractions started coming every 5 minutes. I got my epidural (Seriously...the inventor of the epidural is amazing) at 7:30.  I got to have a little nap in the hospital. By 10:45, I knew things were starting to happen. At 10:55 I told Buster to get the nurse because I had to push. She checked me, and it was time to push. In my mind, I thought I'd be pushing for 1-2 hours like with the other 2 kids. Amazingly, I pushed through 4 contractions, and Evan was born at 11:08am! He weighed 6lb, 4oz, and was 20 inches long. It was so amazing to have him so quickly. Pirate had been 8lb, 9oz, and had paved the way for all subsequent babies. They all seemed to fly out after that!  Princess and Pirate came to visit that afternoon, and loved their brother right away. The next day was Father's Day, and Buster was officially a father of three. 
June 20, 2009

When he turned one, I was a little sad that my youngest baby wasn't exactly a baby anymore. We found out a few weeks later that I was pregnant with Donkey. We celebrated his first birthday the way all first birthdays are celebrated - with the birthday boy having no clue what's going on and crying because so many people are staring at him!
June 20, 2010

When he turned two, we went to a bouncy place at the mall with friends. He was terrified of the inflatables, and spent his time on the sliding board. Later that day I took him to the playground where he was more comfortable. Because Trouble and Pirate's birthdays are only 3 weeks apart, they share a birthday party. He was much more comfortable at his party last year.
June 20, 2011

This year, he is.. well, he's Trouble. We went to a party at a bouncy place this weekend, and he was a wild man with no fear of anything. Unfortunately, today is about 2 million degrees out, so instead of me dragging all 5 kids anywhere in the heat, we're staying home and playing in the baby pool. My husband is getting off work early and taking Trouble out somewhere special later. Sunday we're having a party for the boys, and I know Trouble will be very excited. He still doesn't totally get that it's his birthday. Whenever someone has called to say Happy Birthday to him today, he says it back to them. And he keeps asking when we are going to his birthday. I think he means party. So, Happy 3rd Birthday to my wild child, my Trouble, my big boy, my Evan!
June 20, 2012

Friday, June 15, 2012

An interview with a 4 year old

I read in a magazine the other day how some moms interview their kids at the end of the school year and put their interviews in cute albums to save for the kids when they are grown. I'm going to half-ass this project and type my interview with Pirate in a blog. If my blog still exists when he's an adult, he can read it then.
I just Googled "end of preschool child interviews" and a bunch of different ideas came up. I took questions from a few different sites and sat down with my 4 year old to get some answers. The idea is to do this for both kids, but we'll see if I remember.

An Interview with Pirate - June 2012

What is your name?  Andrew
How old are you?  4 but I'm almost 5
Where do you live? Westminster
What does your house look like? it looks like it is painted white
Who do you live with? Mommy, Daddy, Rei, Evan, Grayson, Landon
What is your mom's name? Amy
How old is she? 32
How much does she weigh? 4
What is her favorite thing to do? feed the babies
What is something she does not like to do? clean the toilets
What does she like to eat? 
What does she like to drink? 
What do you like to do with her?
snuggle with her
What is your dad's name? 
How old is he? 
How much does he weigh? 
What is his favorite thing to do?
 take us for a walk
What is something he does not like to do?  
eat gross stuff
What does he like to eat?  
Corn flakes
What does he like to drink? 
What do you like to do with him?
Play Go Fish
What is your favorite food?  Poptarts
What is a food you do not like to eat? broccoli
Where is your favorite place to eat? 
What do you like to order there?  
turkey sub with no gross olives
What is your favorite color? 
What makes me happy?
  going to the playground
What makes me sad?
not getting new Batman toys
What are you afraid of?  
What is your favorite thing to do?
Go to the pool
What is something you wish for? 
more Playmobil Pirates
Where would you like to visit? 
Disney World
What is your favorite holiday? 
What is your favorite toy? 
What is your favorite animal? 
What is your favorite book?
That Batman book we got at the library
What is your favorite song? 
Row, Row, Row Your Boat
What is your favorite game?
Hide & Seek
What do you want to be when you grow up? a dentist
Who do you love? 
Mommy & Daddy & my whole family
What did you like best about preschool?
Playing with my friends
Who was your best friend? Sawyer
What did you learn at preschool? I learned words
What did you make?  that octopus on the wall
What do you think kindergarten will be like? I don’t know
What are you excited for in big school? Playing on the big playground there
What do you think you will learn there? How to read
What is something new you want to try this year? playing soccer
If you could get only one present this year, what would it be? The musical Jake boat

I'm impressed he knows the right ages for both of us! I love that we both only weigh 4. I'm not sure if that means 4 pounds or if he has another measurement. This interview clearly took place in the morning because he named the foods we had for breakfast. He just had a dentist appointment this week, so now he wants to be a dentist. He usually changes what he wants to be 3-4 times a week. Disney World is a on the "Maybe one day if we hit the lottery or grow a money tree" list of things we'd like to do with the kids one day. And he asks for the musical Jake & The Neverland Pirates ship about 10 times a day. His birthday is in a month, but that boat is expensive, and he'll love it for about 30 seconds. Not sure it's worth it! Anyway, this was a fun thing to do with my little man. Hopefully I can remember to do this with the other kids one day too!
showing off his 2nd lost tooth

Friday, June 8, 2012

Things are getting easier?

In the past week, we've had three major outings, and they've gone amazingly well. It's sad that I look at these things as something I just want to get through, instead of enjoying them. But I actually enjoyed myself and the fact that we made it through each thing with no major problems. Last Friday was Pirate's preschool graduation, Saturday was my nephew's baptism, and this past Monday was Pirate's school field trip to the zoo. We made it to all three things, on time, and had no problems!

One more personal accomplishment, that my husband had already done successfully, was last Thursday when I took the four boys out to a real store, on my own. It took me 14 weeks to get up the courage (or cabin fever) to do this on my own, but I did it. I even came home with all four kids, and with everything I went to the store to buy. One thing is for sure, there should be parking close to the store for parents with a lot of kids. I feel almost handicapped when taking all the kids with me, so a close-to-the-store parking space would be appreciated. Pirate walked, I put 5's carrier on the front part of the cart, and Trouble & Donkey rode in the back of the cart. Fortunately I know where everything is in Walmart, so I had a plan and was able to get in and out pretty quickly. The only problem I hit that I hadn't counted on was Trouble and Donkey opening everything I put in the back of the cart with them. Easy fix, I just had to put the things on the bottom shelf of the cart. Although this trip went smoothly, I wouldn't make a it a regular occurrence. And I know for sure I can't do the grocery shopping with all of them. There would be nowhere to put the food! At least I finally took a trip on my own. Oh, and my husband still wins on this accomplishment. He only took the three little boys out with him, but he bought a bike that day, so he had to push the cart and pull a bike through the store. I'm not that brave!

My little graduate
On Friday, we had to be at McDaniel College at 8:45 for Pirate's graduation. I knew it was going to be a busy morning, so Thursday night I did everything I could to be ready for the next morning. I packed the diaper bag full of snacks for Donkey and Trouble. I knew if the toys and books failed, that eating would keep them quiet during the ceremony. That morning, we took Princess to the bus stop, loaded everyone else into the car, and made it to the college early! The graduation ceremony itself was really cute. The class sang a bunch of songs, marched in to 'Pomp and Circumstance', walked across the stage to receive diplomas, and threw their hats in the air. It was so cute! The boys were really good the whole time. We were even able to stay afterward for snacks with Pirate's class. Success!

family picture 
Saturday morning we had to be in Baltimore by noon for my nephew's baptism, so we had to be out the door at . I was worried about the baptism because we were the godparents, and I didn't know how the kids would act during the ceremony. There was a party afterward, so we knew we'd be out for a good part of the day. I packed extra clothes for everyone since they would be dressed up for the ceremony, lots of snacks and drinks since it was taking place during lunchtime, and toys and books to keep them occupied. We were out of the house on time, and were early for the ceremony. The kids were good the whole time too. Thankfully my family helped watch everyone while we were on the altar. We were able to stay for pictures, and make it through the party with no melt-downs. My sister's sister-in-law had the party, and they had an awesome back yard tons of fun stuff, including a moon-bounce. The kids ran around the whole time. Buster and I were actually able to eat while we were there! We even stayed much longer than we thought we would make it. When we got in the van to go home, we high-fived each other because we successfully made it through our first big event. The kids slept the whole way home. We were out of the house for six whole hours. Success!

sleeping on the bus ride home
The zoo trip wasn't as big of a deal as the other two things because the whole family didn't go. My dad came over to watch the babies, and Princess was in school. I had to get Trouble and Pirate to Pirate's school by 8:45, so the morning was still a little busy. I didn't want to leave everything on my dad, so I made sure to get Donkey up and give him breakfast before my dad got to the house. I packed the bag the night before, again with a ton of food. I had to take lunch for all three of us because I didn't want to pay for food there. I gave my dad the run-down on the little boys, and headed out with the other two. We arrived at school early (3 for 3!) and waited for the buses to get there. I was so proud of Trouble! He was so excited and so good the whole day. When we got on the school bus, he said, "Wow, I can see everything up here!" from his seat. It was a 45 minute ride to the zoo, and the boys entertained each other the whole way. They had a blast at the zoo. They had both been once before, but Trouble was just a baby, so this was pretty new for them. They loved seeing all the animals. The train ride was a thrill, as was eating lunch at the picnic tables. Pirate even got to feed a giraffe! I was impressed that they were able to do so much walking. Trouble asked me to carry him a few times, but for the most part, they walked the whole time. I really enjoyed getting to spend the day with them and seeing their excitement all day! Both boys fell asleep on the bus ride home. Success!

Things seem to be getting easier. Either that, or we're just getting really good at getting out of the house. I'll take it either way because with it being summer, we can't stay home inside all the time!

Pool Time!

*I've been really bad about blogging lately. I started this right after Memorial Day, and a week and a half later, I'm just getting back to it. It's been a busy week ;-)

Memorial Day weekend our pool opened, and we spent most of the weekend there. We have not yet attempted taking the whole family to the pool. It seems like it would be more work than fun. Maybe by the end of the summer we'll be brave enough to try it as a family. For now, we take turns with the kids. Only the three bigger kids went this weekend, and they all had a blast the whole time.

Our pool is public, so anyone can pay to go in at any time. We bought a membership because with seven of us, it pays for itself in just a few visits. I definitely saw some crazy things at the pool, and I'm sure there will be many more pool stories before the summer ends. I had to spend a lot of time at the baby pool with Trouble. That's where he felt most comfortable, and the big pool was freezing, so I didn't mind sitting with him in the little pool. He learned baby pool etiquette pretty quickly - where any toys you bring into the pool automatically belong to everyone there. The baby pool is gated, and the huge sign on the gate states that children must be supervised inside the gate at all time. To me, this means that you need to be in the gated area with your child. Apparently that rule doesn't apply to everyone, because some kids were in there alone. All day. I guess the baby pool itself is a babysitter? I don't get it, but as long as they left my kids alone, I didn't care.

Another thing I learned is that not all women shave their armpits. To each his own, but I don't get that one either. I was very surprised when this lady raised her arms to catch her daughter, and her pits were as hairy as my husband's. Speaking of body hair, I also saw a few men with hair sweaters. You know, where their hair covers their chests, stomachs, and backs. I thought they'd just shake off like a dog, but to my surprise, they used towels to dry themselves. I'm not making fun of anyone, just observing. Trust me, someone somewhere is probably blogging about the lady trying to tan her enormous thighs while chasing her kids around the pool. (that would be me!)

I don't understand the use of those giant water squirter things at the pool. Kids in the baby pool (the ones with no parents watching them) were squirting the other kids in the baby pool. More than once, other kids' parents had to tell them to stop bothering their own kids. At the big pool, there were adults standing on the side of the pool squirting their kids, and getting other kids at the same time. If you want to get wet, just get in the pool. That being said, I understand we're at a pool, and the point is to get wet. But I need to get used to the water on my own. I don't need you or your kids to squirt me or splash me. While we're on the topic, adults should not do cannon balls in the 3 feet. You could hurt yourself or someone else, and your butt crack almost always ends up showing. No one wants to see that. And then your kids and their friends follow suit, and everyone is cannon-balling in water that is too shallow, splashing people who don't want to be splashed, and there are butt cracks showing all over the place.

I haven't been to the pool in 2 weeks because we've been really busy. I'm sure there were other stories I wanted to tell at the time I began this post. There's a long summer ahead of us, folks... plenty of pool stories to come!