Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thankful Thursday

It's also Thirsty Thursday, which is why I am writing this while drinking a beer :)

I am thankful for so many things. I have been blessed in many ways. The main thing I am thinking of today is my family. I know that the majority of the time I complain about them, and my kids drive me crazy. However, I honestly love them more than anything in the world. I am incredibly thankful to have such an amazing husband and to have happy, healthy kids.

My mom recently told me about how a first grader at her school was diagnosed with leukemia and has been in a children's hospital for months. The little girl is six. Not that I think anyone deserves to get cancer, but this little girl should be spending her summer in the pool or on a beach or at camp or doing anything else that does not involve living in a hospital. This makes me think about how much I take my kids' health for granted. I complain about when they have colds or a stomach virus. Things could be so much worse. I am thankful to have healthy kids.

My husband went to see The Dark Night at midnight when it opened last week. Neither of us ever thought about some whack job going in and shooting up the movie theater. I'm sure no one in Colorado thought that would happen either. I still can't wrap my head around this tragedy. I continue to pray for the victims and their families. Life is precious and you never know when it might end. I am thankful for the lives of everyone in my family. I want to keep us all in a little family bubble where no one can never hurt us.

So, on this Thankful Thursday, which I may or may not continue weekly, I am incredibly thankful for my family. They mean the world to me, and they always will. Thank you, Buster, Reilly, Andrew, Evan, Grayson, & Landon for being my amazing family.

July 4, 2012

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

I've seen this on many other blogs and think it is a great idea. Especially since I am a little too wordy at times. Who knows, maybe I'll even make this a regular thing. (probably not!)

She painted her nails for the first time. Creative genius did her own designs!

Monday, July 23, 2012


Whew, haven't blogged in a while. That's because I was on facation!!

This year, we decided not to go on our regular summer vacation trip to Ocean City. We decided not to go on vacation period. We knew we'd have five kids and that money would be tight. Back in January, we decided that we wouldn't go away this summer. In January, all I could think about was having the baby in February, so not going on vacation didn't seem like a big deal - at the time. Once summer hit, I wished we could go to the beach. But we knew that it would mean spending a ton of money we didn't have, and that it would be stressful with five kids. Even with only four kids last year, we had to split up most of the time. One of us would stay at the condo with the napping kids, while the other one would take the other kids to the pool. We basically do the same thing at home. Buster still had time to take off of work, so he took vacation time for a week, and we had a facation.

He was off for ten days, and before his time off, we had all kinds of big plans for when he was home. We were going to fix some things around the house. We were going to take a few day trips with the kids. We were going to go to the pool every day. During the second half of the vacation time, we had a lot of doctor appointments scheduled, that were best to get done while he was home. Superchunk had an appointment with the ENT to get his tongue clipped because he was tongue tied. Side note - I was super proud of myself for taking him and watching. He was great, and it literally took less than a minute. We are incredibly lucky because this was our first experience with ever needing a specialist or needing to have any type of procedure done to any of the kids. I thought about pushing it off onto Buster, but I sucked up my anxiety so that I could be there with my baby.  After that we also had yearly checkups for both Trouble and Pirate, and Trouble had his first dentist appointment. Luckily, no one needed shots! We got both of their health forms for school filled out and dropped off at their schools, so I don't have that hanging over my head anymore. Aside from these appointments, we didn't really have any set plans. We just had a bunch of stuff we wanted to do with the kids.

Buster got home from work around 1pm on July 12. I was working on lunches for the kids. They were whining, and they jumped all over Buster as soon as he got home. I think he was ready to go back to work about 20 minutes later! We decided that since we weren't going away, we were going to pretend to be away for the whole vacation. At first we were calling it Stay-Cation, since Buster was off but we were staying home. But then we decided to call it Facation, since we were faking our vacation at the beach. No one else may find it funny, but we laughed about it all week. After naps on Thursday, I took Trouble to the pool by himself to spend some quality time together, and to reward him for pooping on the potty regularly. Any time we went to the pool, it was the equivalent of the pool at the beach. Friday we slept in and relaxed during the day. After dinner, we took all of the kids for a walk to the playground at Princess's school. That was the same as when we take evening walks at the beach, only there was no beach. Right now it is only a little over a week later, and I honestly can't remember exactly what we did last weekend. I know we sat outside and had drinks Saturday night, like when we sit on the balcony of our condo at the beach. The more we drank, the more we pretended things were the same as Ocean City.

Sunday, Buster took the kids to the pool for a little while. By the evening, I wasn't feeling well. I've been fighting this ear infection since the beginning of July. I took ear drops for over a week, felt better, then it came back. Sunday night I felt out of it. Monday I called the doctor, but they couldn't see me until Tuesday. Monday afternoon I took Curly to the pool with my sister and my nephew, and we hung out at the baby pool for a while. By the way, the baby pool is not a babysitter for your kids, people! I hate when people just let their kids go into the baby pool without watching them. It is still water, and your kid could still fall under and drown. At the same time, don't let your kids steal my kids' toys. I don't care if they play with them, but don't pack them up in your bag and pretend like you didn't notice it wasn't yours. That's why my name is on my toys. There is a reason I don't take all 5 kids to the pool... because I couldn't handle them all on my own. I'm not going to pawn them off onto everyone else in the baby pool so I can lay on my stomach and tan myself with my head covered, or sit at the snack bar where I can't possibly see my kids. I apologize for the pool rant!  Monday evening we took the kids to a park nearby which we refer to as the Duck Pond. We checked out the ducks and spent a long time on the swings and the playground. There is a park on the bay in Ocean City that we go to every year during our vacation, so that was our beach equivalent.

Tuesday morning I went to the doctor for my ears, which turned out to be my ears, sinuses, chest, and a whole mess of other stuff. Turned out that going to Urgent Care on July 1 was a waste of money because they just treated me for what I thought I had, not really looking to see what the cause was. After spending the morning at the doctor and waiting at the pharmacy for meds, I was exhausted and had 75 pills to take. Taking all the medicine together made me feel dizzy, so I was able to squeeze in a little nap while Buster had the older three kids at the pool. I usually love getting a pool day, especially during the week. This sickness has made things unenjoyable this whole month. Right before dinner Tuesday evening, our lights flickered. The day before we heard a transformer blow nearby, and we thought maybe we were getting some kind of aftermath from that. Later on, we sat down to watch our evening show with the kids. Buster went upstairs to check the thermostat because he thought it felt a little warm in the living room. Then he disappeared into the laundry room to check the a/c unit. We just spent a butt load of money getting our indoor unit fixed at the beginning of June, so I was praying there was nothing wrong with it. Buster checked outside and that part of the unit wasn't working. The a/c company couldn't come out until the next morning. It was 7:30 in the evening and 94 degrees outside. The inside temperature was climbing. That night was the most miserable night we have spent in the longest time. Buster, Pirate, and Trouble slept in the basement. He said the boys were up and down all night - couch to floor to chair to sleeping bag. I slept in my room so that I could hear the babies in their cribs. We had a fan on each crib, one on my bed, and two in the basement, along with every window in the house open. Princess slept in my bed. Curly woke up every hour all night. I brought him in my bed a couple times, but he would just get all exited  and start jumping around. Superchunk slept all night with no problem at all. By the morning, we were all sweaty, exhausted, and just plain miserable. I took Superchunk to his ENT appointment, and when we got home, I saw the greatest sight ever... closed windows! Luckily it was a relatively inexpensive fix. The part was only $30, but the labor was $115 for a whopping ten minutes of work. But every penny was well worth it to not have to spend another night in hell.

Although me getting sick and the air conditioning breaking were nowhere in our plans for facation, we still equated them to being away. We've had to visit the doctor in OC on more than one occasion. And most years, something bad happens to us while we're there. One year the a/c in the place broke. Another year the place we picked was just plain gross. Last year, our car broke down and we had to get it towed and fixed while were away. We just have the best luck! Buster said that it was actually better we were home because the unit would have kept trying to run if we were away and it could have caused more serious damage.

Wednesday we were all so exhausted from the night before we just laid around the house and enjoyed the cool air. We headed over to the mall and ate lunch and let the kids get on a few rides. The whole time we joked about how we were at the boardwalk in OC on the rides. That night we all went to bed early to catch up from the night before.

Thursday morning, Pirate had a checkup and Trouble had a dentist appointment. I had scheduled them a half hour apart, thinking there would be plenty of time to get from one office to the next. The night before we thought we might be cutting it too close, so Buster took Trouble, Curly, and Princess to the dentist office, while I took Pirate and Superchunk to the doctor. Buster was done at the dentist in plenty of time for the doctor, so we swapped kids, and he stayed with Pirate for his checkup. I thought it was cute that he wanted to go to the appointments. He said he likes to take them when he can to get to see how they're doing. Bonus - Trouble loved the dentist! He came home and proudly showed off his bag of goodies with a new toothbrush and flossers. That afternoon, I went for a much needed and long overdue haircut. When I was done, I dropped off both Pirate and Trouble's health forms for their schools. Then Buster left for his night of Batman. He and his friend went to watch the entire trilogy. He got home at 4am. We didn't hear about the CO shooting until the next morning. My heart goes out to those affected by such a senseless tragedy. I just don't understand how things like this happen. It definitely made me hug my children tighter and pray hard for those families that lost loved ones.

Friday, I spent the entire day in bed. I felt awful. The doctor had told me that as the congestion broke up and started draining properly I could get pains in my head. Apparently a side effect of the steroid I was on was pain in my muscles. I felt sore and everything felt tender. It rained all day, which made laying in bed all day a little more bearable. I equated this to being on vacation with morning sickness both last year and the year before. At least this time I didn't have to go through an entire pregnancy afterward!  It also rained all day Saturday. We had family over Saturday night for a party. We had a great time, but everyone stayed up too late. Yesterday was another day where we just laid around.

In the end, we didn't go to any of the places we had planned on taking the kids. We didn't fix any of the things around the house we were going to fix. We didn't do very much at all. We weren't counting on me being sick or on the air conditioning breaking, which both contributed to us not doing much else. But we had a nice week of family time. Today everyone is missing Daddy!
wish we were here!

Thursday, July 12, 2012


When I was in the shower this morning (the place where I do most of my uninterrupted thinking) I was thinking about how the kids are really changing and developing.  I realized that things are getting easier around here, and that's due to the fact that the kids are all getting bigger and doing more. Milestones are important, but sometimes they get overlooked in all the chaos that is life with five children. Writing the things that have happened lately will help me to remember them. Some might even make it into the Baby Books, although I doubt it :)

Superchunk is an absolute dream baby! I mean, he is as close to a perfect baby as one can get. He hardly ever cries. He's been sleeping all night since he was six weeks old. He sleeps 10-12 hours every night, and doesn't even seem bothered when Curly wakes up crying during the night. I admit, he spends a lot of time being moved from place to place, Jumperoo to Exersaucer to playmat to highchair to Bumbo. He doesn't get held as much as I'd like to hold him, or as much as he did when he was a newborn, but he seems to be okay with it. I try to rock him to sleep at night, but he wants no part of it. He likes to be in the crib and fall asleep on his own. (I told you he was a dream baby!) As tough as things seemed when he was first born, they have gotten so much easier where Superchunk is concerned. He's on a schedule where he takes his four bottles a day, two regular naps in the crib, and the same bedtime every night. It seems like all of a sudden he's into a routine that just flows with what everyone else is doing. He just started eating cereal, and we put him in the highchair at the table when everyone is at the table so he can be part of our meals. He also started rolling over last week, which I thought would take much longer for him to do since he's so big. That's a lot of baby body to move! The kids love making him laugh and coo, and he loves watching them. There is a lot of activity in this house, so there is always something to keep him entertained! 

Curly seems to be getting bigger every day. His clothes that were too big when summer started are fitting better. He has an older look to him now than he did just a few weeks ago. He has a mouth full of teeth, with all four of his incisors coming through in the past few weeks. He cut back from two naps to one. We moved him from the highchair to a booster seat at the dining room table. Although he loves to throw his placemat and utensils on the floor, grab everyone else's food and drinks, and bang on the table, it's still neat to see him sitting with the rest of us. He's also walking backward, running, dancing, and trying to sing to his favorite songs. I'm pretty sure he is Mickey's biggest fan!  More words are coming into his vocabulary, and he's starting to make animal noises to match the animal he sees. He is constantly watching his big brothers and sister and trying to imitate the things they do. He's a huge Mommy's boy, and I love it. We go for a little walk every night and spend a few minutes on the porch watching cars and birds. I love that one on one time with him. 

Trouble is potty trained! I've mentioned before that he's been trained since he was two and a half, but that he wouldn't poop on the potty for anything. FINALLY, within the past week, he has started regularly pooping on the potty. We're still using the sticker chart and making a huge deal out of it every time he goes, but it's a HUGE improvement over where we were before. It's been a journey, that's for sure! He also hasn't worn a diaper or Pull-Up for a nap or at bedtime in over a week. I can't remember for sure, but I think he speaks better than Princess or Pirate did when they turned three. Some of the things he says really make me laugh! He also watches Princess and Pirate and imitates everything they do.

Pirate is starting to read, which is amazing to me. I know for sure that I don't spend as much time reading with him as I did with Princess. She was reading well before she started kindergarten, and he is just beginning. But he really enjoys it, and I'm spending more time working with him. I love that my kids love books and going to the library. Pirate got his first library card, and he gets a kick out of doing the self checkout at the library. He's at a great age where helping is fun. He loves to do his chores, which I think is great because I know that in a few years I'll probably get the same eye rolling from him that I now get from his sister. He's gotten much more independent recently, getting up early and entertaining himself rather than waking up the rest of the house, getting his own breakfast, cleaning up after himself. He has a great imagination and loves playing with his superheroes and dressing up like them. 

Princess is getting very mature. In most ways this is a good thing, although I'm not loving the eye rolling and the stomping up the steps when she doesn't like what I tell her. Pretty sure the teenage years are not going to be a good time! Where she does her share of eye rolling and whining, she is an enormous help around here. I am constantly asking her to run and get something for me or to help the boys clean up. I know she gets annoyed, but it's good for her to help. She is reading the Harry Potter books now, which really hit me that she is growing up. I'm used to her reading much younger books, but she's reading longer more mature books now, and understanding them. She's also into popular music now. All the kids know some of the popular stuff that's out there now. I'm not a parent who plays kids' music in the car, so they know stuff that I like. But she now tells me to change the station when she doesn't like a song, and I see her in the rear view mirror singing along. In the past year, she has really started showing her taste in clothes and how she wears her hair. I know this is a good thing since she is going on 9 (OMG she's going on 9!), but I miss her being a little girl that I can put in cute little dresses and fix her hair any way I want. She's growing into her own person, which is amazing to watch, but also terrifies me!

This is a busy house, and it's easy to miss the milestones the kids are achieving. Nothing is going unnoticed, it's just a matter of taking a step back and looking to see everything that is happening. Sometimes it's hard to see everything at once, so I have to take a second and separate the big picture into smaller pieces. It's worth it though, because this is all happening so quickly that one day Superchunk is going to be the eye-rolling eight year old, and I'll wonder how he got there!

PS- I was recently nominated for a couple blogging awards, to which I am shocked and thankful. I will write about them as soon as I can get my thoughts straight!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

It's that time of summer...

Has the excitement of summer worn off? I think it might be gone. Maybe we're getting tired of being around each other all day, every day. I'm still happy the kids are off of school. As a former teacher, I love the summer. I spent six years teaching and counting down the days until summer vacation. As a parent, I still love it. I love that the kids are home. I love not having to wake up to an alarm every day, staying in pj's as late as we want, and having laid back days. But when someone offers to take one or two kids for the day, I do a happy dance.

I start the summer the same way every year. I say we're going to go to the library every week. I sign the kids up for something, anything to get them out of the house for a little while. This year, Pirate had swimming lessons for two weeks at the beginning of the summer. I also signed Princess and Pirate up for Vacation Bible School at a local church. I've never sent them to anything like that before, and I thought it might be fun. This was in May. At that time, July 8-13 seemed really far away. By this weekend, I was rethinking the decision. Did I really want to get everyone up and dressed and in the car to drop them off at 8:30? I know where the church is and what the parking is like, and it didn't seem appealing to have to drag five kids in there twice a day all week. So, the second Princess said she didn't want to go, I jumped on it and decided not to take them. Classic Amy. I sign up, then I back out. In my defense, neither of them wanted to go, so I didn't feel so bad about not doing it. And it was free. If I had paid, I would have made them go. Everything else just seems to have that 'blah' feeling to it lately too. Last week was around 350 degrees out, so we stayed inside the whole week. Now, temperatures are back to normal, and we're still not doing much. I still offer to fill the pool every day, but the older two say it's boring. Yes, a small plastic pool with a little slide is nothing compared to the community pool down the street. However, I am not insane and I will not take all five kids to the pool alone. Or with help. Not gonna happen this summer.

Usually when the Summer Blahs hit, it's right around vacation time. Then we go away for a week, come home refreshed, and everything seems fun again. This year we aren't going anywhere, and the summer feels looong. My husband is on vacation next week, so hopefully we'll do some fun things, or just having him home will make things feel less 'blah'.

In the meantime, I am getting sick of hearing the same things over and over and over from my kids. I'm tired of the whining, complaining, fighting, yelling, arguing, and the mess. Here are some things I hear every day:

1. "It's too hot." -No shit, it's summer.
2. "I'm bored." -Seriously? I know it's not that exciting to be home all the time, but we have trillions of toys, crafts, art stuff, games, etc.
3. "What are we doing that's fun today?" -This is it. Tough.
4. "Can I have my turn on the computer now?" -Asked at least 100 times a day.
5. "Can I play my DS now? Or the Wii" -Also 100 times a day.
6. "Can I have a snack?"  All day long.
7. "He/She isn't cleaning up!" -Said at least 500 times a day, instead of actually cleaning up the toys. (For being so bored, they sure do drag out a lot of shit.)
8. "Where is my____?"  -Are you kidding? Keep track of your own stuff.
9. "What's for dinner?" -This starts first thing in the morning. And is repeated all day. Usually followed by "I don't like that." Tough.
10."When will Daddy be home?" -This one's my favorite because it shows they are tired of me, and that clearly Daddy is the more fun parent. Also it means they'll be off my back for a little while ;-)
11. "I'm telling." You don't need to tell me. I heard what happened. I'm ignoring you.

I'm not just tired of hearing them say the same things. I'm tired of constantly repeating myself, too. Sometimes I wish I had a CD that I could just repeat of my voice saying the same thing over and over.

"Clean up!"
"Get off of your brother/sister."
"Stop jumping on the couch."
"Stop throwing toys."
"Stop throwing food on the floor."
"Stop tattling."
"No, it's not snack time. You're not that hungry. You don't know what starving means."

Now I know why parents send their kids to summer camp. I wouldn't trade my time at home with them for going to work all day. But I do breathe a sigh of relief when Buster gets home from work. Some nights I go out for a walk, either alone or with Curly. Some nights I get excited to run to Target, just to have time alone. And by far, the happiest time of day is when I see all of their sweet faces sleeping. I love them the most then!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Happy 5th Birthday, Pirate!

My big boy is five years old today! It feels like he's been here forever. Yesterday I was telling him the story of the day leading into the night we went into the hospital to have him, and I realized that day was the last day we only had one child. Princess was listening to the story and said she wishes we could go back to her being the only kid... Tough luck, sweetie!

On July 9, 2007, I had my last doctor's appointment. They doctor said I was due July 6, but I thought I was due July 2, so by the 9th, I was ready to go. I was enormous and miserable. At that appointment, I still wasn't dilated, and I was scheduled to go to the hospital at midnight to get Cervadil on my cervix to get me dilating and start the induction. We left the doctor's office and took Princess out for a day of fun. We went to  the "big" mall and did all of her favorite things. We even made a Build a Bear for the new baby. After that we took her to my parents' house, where she was going to be spending the next few nights. We had pizza with my parents and sisters, hung out for a little while, and got ready to leave. I was crying leaving Princess behind that night. I knew that the next time I saw her, she would not be my only child.  I was incredibly nervous about going through labor and delivery again, but I was mostly scared about going from one child to two children. For three years and seven months, Princess was our only child. Everything revolved around her. I didn't know how I could love another baby as much as I loved her. I was really scared about that. On the forty minute ride from my parents' house to ours, Buster tried to joke around and make me feel less nervous, but it didn't work. When we got home, we watched the finale of Hell's Kitchen, watched the news, and left for the hospital, after stopping at Wendy's for a burger for Buster. 

When the in-house doctor checked me around 1:30 am, I was already 4 cm. All that mall walking earlier had gotten things going. He told me to sleep and they would start pitocin around 7am. We went to sleep, and around 5 I had to go to the bathroom. As I was walking to the bathroom, my water broke all over the hospital room floor. I yelled for Buster who came running in his socks and slipped in the water. Gross! He called the nurse, and from there things started to go fast. I never needed pitocin. My contractions started and sped up, and I had an epidural. I was able to take a little nap. My mom and sister came to be in the room, and I remember the doctor letting me know when it was time to push. I was really scared. I pushed for a couple hours with Princess and I didn't know what to expect this time. I pushed for a long time, but not as long as with the first baby. In the end, they needed to use the vacuum to get Pirate out. Now that I've had three more babies since him, I think that I could have probably given more and gotten him out without help, but in the situation, I couldn't do it. At 11:17am, my 8lb, 9oz baby boy was born. Andrew came into the world and I loved him immediately! In that second, I knew all the worrying was for nothing. I had plenty of love for him, and my heart had indeed doubled in love for my two children. I was so happy to see him and to be done with labor and delivery. I thought to myself 'Never again', but of course I was wrong there! 
July 10, 2007

We had a big party for Pirate when he turned one. We had friends and family and a big celebration. He had a Batman cake, which was really Buster's pick and not Pirate's! We didn't know that he'd be Batman obsessed within a few years!
July 2008 - one year old!

When he turned two, Pirate had a three week old baby brother. We took him to a bouncy place to celebrate, then had a birthday party with our family.
July 10, 2009 - two years old!
For his third birthday, we went to the "big" mall and to Build-A-Bear. We had a Pirate themed birthday party for Pirate's third and Trouble's first birthdays.
July 10, 2010 - three years old!
 (We've really gotten some use out of that birthday shirt!)
Last year when Pirate turned four, it was our second day of vacation in Ocean City. He thought that was the coolest thing in the world, being three when we left for vacation, and being four when we came home. Opening presents at the beach was a plus, too!
July 10, 2011 - four years old!

This year, Pirate has big plans for his birthday. He's been counting down since July 1st. This morning he said, "I've been waiting for my birthday all year!". That's a long time to wait! Yesterday he was rambling off a list of what he wanted to do for his birthday, including me serving him breakfast in bed and the kids breaking open a Batman pinata. He was up too early for breakfast in bed, so he got a candle in his Poptart and we sang Happy Birthday this morning. We've never had a pinata, and I don't plan on starting that tradition today. When Buster gets home, he's taking Pirate to the pool for a little while. Then we're going to play Glow golf and do some inflatables and have some cupcakes.
July 10, 2012 - five years old!
Happy Birthday, Andrew!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Grocery shopping during a heat wave

Holy cow, it is HOT out there. The high temperature for Baltimore for tomorrow says 109. That isn't summer. That's hell. The last time I checked, it's around 97 here. It's just like stifling hot out there. It's been like this for a week now, and it is brutal. We haven't gone out of the house during the day all week. I sat on my front porch this afternoon for a few minutes and the cement was burning my butt.  I haven't even wanted to go to the pool. I can see the parking lot from my house, and it has been packed. I don't like when it's that crowded. It's not relaxing, just annoying. I prefer the air conditioned indoors.

Yesterday morning, my dad picked up Princess and Pirate and took them to his house to spend the night. Princess has gone there before a bunch of times, but this was Pirate's first sleepover. He was so incredibly excited! He normally sleeps with around 75 stuffed animals on his bunk bed. He picked up about 50 of them to take for the sleepover. We were able to narrow it down to two. Thankfully he has an overnight bag and I told him anything he took had to fit in there. Princess is a pro at packing now, so she knew exactly what she was taking. The kids left around 11:30, and suddenly I only had three kids at home. Although Princess and Pirate are the "easiest" to care for, it still made such a difference to only have three kids. Rest time was great because all three little boys slept and I had 'Me Time', which unfortunately consisted of doing dishes and folding laundry, but at least it was quiet!

Usually my husband goes to the grocery store Thursday evening after work. He just goes on the way home to get it out of the way so we don't have to go during the weekend. I am very blessed in the husband department! Yesterday we had so many leftovers from our 4th of July cookout, he said he would go after work today instead. This morning, he had to get up at 5am to go to work, but was going to get done early, stop at the grocery store, and come home early to start the weekend. At 7:30, he texted me that someone called out and he had to stay through and work the dinner shift. I guess that's the downside to being the boss. So, since he's working 13 straight hours today, I thought the least I could do is get the grocery shopping done. Well aware of the fact that it was 300 degrees outside and I'd have to take three kids three and under with me, I decided it was still better than being at work all day.

My original plan was to get out the door by 9. Even with only three kids here, I couldn't get my act together, and we didn't leave until close to eleven. The big kids were going to be home around one, so I had to move it. Thankfully Curly just gave up his morning nap so I didn't have to work around that. Once everyone had shoes on and Superchunk was in the carrier, we headed to the van. Usually I make a couple trips to load everyone in, but today I was determined to do it all at once. I carried the carrier and held Curly's hand and hoped Trouble wouldn't run out into the street. Once everyone was buckled, I blasted the a/c and crossed my fingers that the little bit of gas I had would be enough for the trip to the store, because more than one stop was out of the question.

I was under the assumption that the store wouldn't be too crowded, but apparently when it's a zillion degrees out everyone goes to the store. I got a spot close to the cart return so I wouldn't have to carry everyone too far. Bonus, there was one of those carts with the bench seat on the back of it. It's not a car cart like Trouble really wanted, but it was one big enough to hold everyone. I parked that bad boy right up next to the van and unloaded the boys, then buckled them into the bench seat, pushed them around to the other side, unloaded the carrier, and hooked Superchunk onto the cart. This particular kind of cart is great to hold all of my kids, but weighs about 1000 pounds and is hard to push and maneuver. I really wanted to take a picture of it, but trying to fish my phone out of the bottom of my purse while steering this cart wasn't happening. The novelty of the fun cart wore off after about five minutes in the store and Trouble started asking to switch to a car cart. While it would have been really fun to walk to the entrance of the store, transfer three kids and some groceries to a different cart, and finish shopping, I passed on that idea. Trouble needed to make his own fun, so he held onto the strap that was hanging off of Superchunk's carrier, said he was on a train, and made a "Choo-Choo" noise as loud as possible for the rest of the trip. Curly started whining, I guess because he wanted a strap too. I gave him one of Superchunk's toys, and we played a fun game of 'Throw-the-toy-on-the-ground-and-have-Mommy-pick-it-back-up" for a few aisles. Somehow Superchunk slept through all of this. I maneuvered my giant cart that progressively got heavier through the store in record time. There was no backing up or going back to an aisle I already left. If I missed something, I'm going back alone to pick it up another day!

Finally, we made it to the checkout section. For some crazy reason, although the store was crowded, there were only three cashiers open - one of which was an express lane. Clearly this was not an express trip. And doesn't it figure, as soon I got close enough to start unloading my groceries, two more cashiers open registers. Such is my luck! The checkout was the hardest part of the trip. Even though this cart was enormous, I could still keep it in the middle of the aisles so that Curly and Trouble couldn't reach anything on the shelves. But at the checkout, it is very narrow. Trouble was right up on the candy section, touching everything. Curly was reaching for a balloon. Trouble started asking me every two seconds for a balloon, for a pack of M&Ms, for Skittles, for gum, for a different balloon... you get the picture. Curly started whining for Goldfish he saw. Superchunk started crying. In my head, I was cursing the cashier for being so nice to the person in front of me that they wanted to have a long conversation. She was super sweet to us too, despite the meltdowns that were beginning. When she was giving me my receipt, she asked if I needed help out to the car. I was tempted to ask if I could get help once I got home, but I didn't. I pushed the ginormous cart out the door into the sweltering heat and wished I could snap my fingers and be home. After I walked the 10 miles to the van, I loaded the kids back in, piled in the groceries, returned the cart (smart to park by the cart return!) and blasted the A/C. I was beyond a hot mess. Sweat was just pouring off my face. I looked back at the boys, and they seemed completely unphased by the heat. Burger King is in the same shopping center as the grocery store, so I told Trouble I'd get him some fries for being so good in the store. I knew deep down that the prize was really for me for surviving the store trip! 

Driving home, the gas light came on, but I knew I could make it home. No more field trips for today! When we got home, I took the kids in the house first. Then I really wished I had brought the grocery store helper home with me. I piled as many bags on my arms as possible and got everything in the house in two trips, again sweating like crazy. Before I put anything away, I fed the kids and inhaled my own Kids' Meal. Fast food always makes things better. Now I have no intentions of leaving the house anytime soon!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Poop Training Trials and Tribulations

Trouble has been potty trained for months, since before Superchunk was born. He's great about peeing on the potty, tells us when he has to go, doesn't have accidents, loves underwear, etc. Really for as much trouble as he causes, I was surprised at how quickly he was trained. Pooping is a whole different story. For the life of me, I could not get him to poop on the potty. Buster has way more patience than I do, and he is much more laid back. He has sat in the bathroom on a little stool with Trouble for hours waiting for him to poop. Finally, he went on the potty about a month or so ago. I swear, Buster sounded like he was coaching Trouble through labor the way he was talking to him about pushing the poop out. Since the first time, Trouble has pooped on the potty a total of five times. I know this because there are five stickers on the chart. However, he has not only pooped five times since then. He has pooped in his underwear a ton of times. He has pooped in his Pull-Up a ton of times. And best of all, he has pooped on the floor. I'll get to that in a second.

Every time I think we're making some progress in the pooping department, Trouble proves me wrong. We will be so excited, get him a prize, put a sticker on the chart, praise him, make it the biggest event in the world when he goes on the potty. But then, the next day or that same night, or whenever he has to go again, he'll revert back to going in his pants. Such a letdown. We look for all the signs of him having to go and get him on the toilet as soon as we see them. And he sits and sits and sits. Usually, once he goes, he's good for a couple days. I think he stores it all up because he doesn't want to deal with having to sit on the potty.

Last Friday morning he came in our room and said his tummy hurt. We knew it meant he had to go, so I put him on the toilet and sat with him. We sat and sat and sat until the other kids started asking for breakfast. I put his underwear and shorts on and took him down for breakfast. After the kids ate, he said, "My tummy feel all better", so he went downstairs to play. While I was cleaning up the kitchen, he came upstairs and said, "Something's wrong with me.". I asked him what was wrong, thinking he hurt his leg or foot, and he said, "There's poop in my Wall-E underwear.". All that time we spent on the potty, and he went downstairs by the train table and pooped in his pants! (He has two pooping spots in the house, the train table in the basement, and next to his bed) I got him cleaned up and dressed and figured that was it for a couple of days. That night after dinner, we were all in the basement watching 'Wipeout', and Trouble was playing with Curly. Pirate was next to me, and I asked him if he farted because I smelled the smell. When he said no, I looked across the room at Trouble who covered his face with his hands. He had taken a dump in his underwear AGAIN, and in the same room as the entire family! He didn't even run off to try to do it in private or anything. Must be somethin' about that train table.

Buster looked up some training tips online that night, and one of the tips was to have the child walk around with no pants or underwear on. It said it could take a few days, but they will eventually have to go, and they'll use the potty . Apparently they like the security of the poop going right into their diaper or underwear and they are scared to let it fall into a potty. I don't get it, and I don't remember that with Princess or Pirate, but Trouble is way different than they ever were. So, we tried it. The boy went bottomless all day Saturday. He's not to the point of wearing underwear overnight yet, although he wakes up dry every morning. I guess this is laziness on my part, because I don't want to change pee sheets. He wears a Pull-Up to bed. Saturday night, Buster put the big kids to bed while I gave Superchunk his bottle. Buster stayed upstairs for a little while, and I heard him yell, "You have got to be kidding me!". Trouble got out of bed and crapped in his Pull-Up. After walking around half-naked all day, and pooping twice the day before, he went right as soon as he had pants on. But what can you do? Try again the next day.

Trouble walked around the house (thankfully we don't go anywhere when it's 500 degrees out) sans bottoms all of Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. We did put a Pull-Up on him at bedtime, but even for naps he slept with no bottoms. I'm pretty sure any other kid would have a problem with this, but he did not. He didn't poop. Yesterday was the 4th of July, and we were having family over, so we knew he needed to wear pants. But I decided to have him wear shorts with no underwear. That way, if he pooped, it wouldn't be caught in something, but would fall on the floor. More work for clean-up, but I figured we should at least try it. When it was time for a nap, he kept coming out of his room because we had company. Finally he laid down and looked like he was going to sleep. I was just about to feed the baby when Trouble came running out of his room again and said "Something fall down in my room.". I thought he pulled his curtains down (regular occurrence) so I ran upstairs to put them back up on the wall. The curtains were still up. I asked him what fell, and he pointed around the corner next to his bed. Before I looked, I thought he had pulled down his floor lamp. He said, "That turd just fall right out my shorts.". Sure enough, there was a turd on the floor, right next to his bed, in his usual pooping spot. And he was freaked out. It scared him that the poop fell onto the floor. Buster dumped the turd and cleaned Trouble, and I cleaned the carpet. Trouble took a nap, and when he woke up he kept talking about the poop on his floor. It really bothered him.

Later in the afternoon, Trouble told Buster his tummy hurt and he had to poop. He said he wanted to sit on the potty to go. This was HUGE for us! Where he has pooped on the potty before, he has never told us he wanted to sit on it and go. He sat down, told Buster to leave the bathroom, and he pooped! He even said my favorite words, "DADDY, I'm DONE!!". He said he didn't want to poop on the floor anymore. He said the turd on the floor scared him. This is major progress! I don't know if he's poop trained for good, as it's only 24 hours later. Today he's wearing shorts without underwear again, and I keep reminding him that he has nothing on to catch the poop if he has to go. He may not go for a day or two, but hopefully he will tell us again and use the potty!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Getting old sucks.

I'm only in my early thirties, and this getting older thing totally sucks already. Why do we have to age? In my head I feel like I'm 25 at most. In my head, I also picture myself with the body I had when I was 20, but that's another story :) I know things could be worse, and I also know they will progressively get worse as I get older. I'll try to stay positive about things, but at the moment this aging thing is getting on my nerves. Here are some things that are bothering me right now that I just don't understand.

1. Facial hair - There is no need for women to have a moustache. Or a beard. Or any weird long random hairs on the chin or face in general. Some of the long hairs I find on my face are ridiculous. When I go to get my moustache waxed (which has become a regular occurrence), my lady sometimes asks, "You want whole face?". Does my entire face need waxing?? And how much would that cost? Also in the realm of facial hair, my eyebrows now grow in from my eyebrow line to my lash line. Not like a full on fur, but random eyebrows popping up all over my eye lids. Also not attractive.

2. Gray hair - My hair started turning gray pretty much as soon as I peed on the stick with my first pregnancy, when I was 23. That is really young to start getting gray hair. It's not awful, and I don't have a head full of gray hair, but still... gray hair is not attractive on me at my age. Maybe one day I'll embrace it, but not at age 32 (or 25, as I want to be!).

3. Wrinkles - Again, not acceptable this young. I'd never do the Botox thing or anything like that, but I'd still like to have a few (20+) years before having to deal with lines on my face. I also seem to have a permanent line between my eyebrows, I'm guessing from frowning and yelling at my kids all the time.

4. Hard, crusty feeling feet - I know that sounds gross. I hate feet in general. I can tolerate my kids' feet, but not grown up feet. I have issues with having to see feet on a regular basis at the pool. Don't get me started on  toes, and the length they should be. When I was a kid, I made fun of my mom for having crusty feet. And now, payback is a bitch because I have them too. "Get a pedicure." seems to be the easy solution. Except they are expensive and I end up with about 2 seconds of soft feeling feet. I try to sand these bad boys down as often as possible and slather on as much lotion or Vaseline as I can. I keep up on painting my toenails, especially in the summer, to try to keep them from being totally gross. But the feeling of the hard pieces skin getting caught on a blanket or the sheets is the worst. Why can't we all have soft feet?

5. Skin - The same applies to the skin on the rest of the body. I look at my babies and how soft and pure their skin is, and I am totally jealous. They have this perfect smooth skin. I have to put lotion on twice a day just to not have ashy looking skin, especially in the summer. Then there are freckles and moles all over. And dark spots. And skin tags. And stretch marks. And cellulite. Seriously, is this all necessary? The fat parts are my fault, and the stretch marks are courtesy of the five kids. But all of it combined, on one body, is straight up ugly. And I've seen old people skin... I'm guessing it's all downhill from here!

6. Sagging skin - Maybe it's gravity. Maybe it's fat. Maybe it's age. I don't know. But my eyelids don't seem to be where they used to. Is this why people get face lifts?  If you're a woman, you know your boobs don't stay in place as you get older. And I've had five kids, so it's not a pretty picture. And my butt definitely isn't where it used to be. I have a birthmark on my upper thigh. When I was a kid, it was on my hip. Between getting fat, getting old, and gravity (?) it has traveled downward on my leg. I guess it will be on my foot by the time I'm elderly.

7. Veins - Where did these veins come from? Has the blood in my body increased dramatically since I was younger? I know that pregnancy makes veins more visible because there is indeed more blood going through your body to help the baby. However, I still have more visible veins than I did when I was younger. And I have these ugly spider veins on my calves. Spider veins are exactly what they sound like. Maybe I should get more tattoos to cover the ugly parts of my skin. But then my whole body would be covered in tattoos, and they're expensive too.

8. Aches and pains - I used to be able to wake up and get out of bed feeling great. Now I have to stretch to feel normal. My knees crack when I walk up the steps. My back is sore after a long day. Or a short day. Or when I wake up in the morning. Sometimes my heels or the balls of my feet hurt. Sometimes they hurt at the same time. I'm convinced I'm going to need a walker by the time I'm 40.

9. Metabolism - I think at one point, way, way back, I had some metabolism. I was never a real exercise addict or anything, but I don't think weight just sat on me like it does now. I know, I need to exercise more...or exercise period. And stop eating so damn much food. But I still feel like I was able to burn it off easier when I was younger. I could be wrong.

10. Bladder control - I know this is a result of having so many babies. And no, I don't pee my pants or anything like that. But when my kids wanted me to jump for something the other day, there was a little leak. And jumping jacks are out of the question. Which reminds me I need to do my kegels.

I should mention that I'm not as big of a pessimist as I sound in this post. I know there are good things about getting older. I just can't think of them at the moment!

Monday, July 2, 2012

The L-ers

For some reason, Trouble adds -er to any words that have an L in them. Most words that end in L get -ers added to them. Here are some examples:

"Don't cut my toenail-ers and fingernail-ers!"
"The wheel-er fell off my truck!" followed by "The wheel-er is wet. I put it in the toilet."
"Can we have B L-er T's for dinner?"
"I want to get the mail-er out of the mail-er box!"
"Where is the whale-er?"
"It's not a pail-er, Mommy, it's a bucket."
"Where is the doggy's tail-er?"
"I want the Star Wars towel-er for the pool!"

He cut pool-er back to pool after Princess and Pirate corrected him. They must have gotten tired of hearing about it.

Other funny things that Trouble says are:

It's 39! - He yells this whenever the dryer buzzes when the laundry is done. I have no clue what it means. (Maybe because sometimes I have Princess turn the dryer back on to 40 to run for 40 more minutes. I'm not sure.)
patruder - computer
PSun - Capri Sun
Otay - OK
Et-snooze- me! - Excuse me
Pschool - preschool

For the 'SP' sound, he says 'F'. For example:
finkaler - sprinkler
fit - spit
fot - spot
Fongebob - Spongebob
foon - spoon
fider - spider
Fite - Sprite
faghetti - spaghetti

We work with him to try to fix his mispronunciations. But some are funny. My husband thought it was funny to get him to say 'spagina'. You get the picture.

Having two older kids, I know he will outgrow saying words the wrong way, so I figure I'd try to keep track of some of the funny things he says right now.