Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The boy has a brother

That's right, in May we welcomed another boy to the family.  Induced, very reluctantly, a week early I gave birth to an 8 lb 10 oz baby.  I guess a week early was meant to be, imagine how big he would have been a week or 2 later.  I not only gave birth at the hospital this time but, for the most part, the midwife even managed to deliver him (though the nurse did do a lot).

I could change the subtitle to "mom to a pair of boys and their 5 sisters" or just go generic with "mom to more than a 6 pack (or half dozen?)"?  Or any other ideas?

Thursday, December 19, 2013

An Elf broke into my house

Ok, it's not that I have anything against the Elf on the Shelf.  It's a cute idea and all.  Kudos to the parents that can do it.  I just prefer spending my Christmas time relaxing, reading books on Jesus birth, lighting Advent candles, and doing things as a family (Christmas lights anyone?).   

The elf, on the other hand I don't think is for us.  I knew right away the elf wasn't for us.  I mean, the tooth fairy already tends to have a backlog and thus arrives a couple days late, after "borrowing" cash from wherever he can find it (with the invention of plastic I guess he's forgotten to carry cash).  

I really don't have anything against those parents who chose to do it.  To each their own, unless it effects me, who am I to care what goes on in your house.  That is until their elves start breaking into my house.

This is about how December has gone in our house.  Also known as, how an elf broke into our house.

Day 1 (what day is that anyway, December 1), child 4: C's elf baked him cookies.
Me:  wow

Day 2, child 3: K's elf made a mess, she told me about it.  It was funny.
Me:  wow

Day 3, child 5: the elf at school was in our classroom
Me: wow

Oh and then the fun begins.

Day 4, child 4: all my friends have elves.
Me: wow

Day 5, child 3: how come everyone else has an elf?
Me: I don't know

Day 6: how come everyone but us has an elf?
Me: um, maybe you behave well enough that you don't need an elf to spy on you (hoping they don't see through this very obvious lie).

Day 7: then how come there's elves at school?
Me: um, to keep an eye on the other kids that need it

Day 8: L wrote a letter to his elf saying that Mrs. H didn't have an elf.  He brought a friend from the North Pole for her. 
Me: wow 

Our elf free future is not looking good.

Day 9: I said she'd write a letter to her elf and see if he can bring a friend for us.
Me: wow

Biting my nails

Day 12: Ks elf still hasn't brought a friend.
Me: hmmm

Crap, what am I supposed to do, tell her Ks elf is fake.  Oh, all the parents will love me.

Day 13: do you think Auntie can write a letter to her elf too?
Me: we'll see

Words I won't type start to creep into my head

Day 15:  did you make sure to tell auntie to write her elf a letter?
Me: um, I'll text her 

which I don't, because we all know, at this point it's my problem and I'm starting to think I'm screwed.

Day 16: did auntie write her elf a letter?
Me: um, I'll ask her

Day 18: did you ask her?
Me: yes, yes she did 

Great, now I have to say her cousins elf is fake too?

Day 19: 

This is a good elf though, he will just sit on the shelf.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Before I actually had a son: shopping edition

On this weeks Mondays Musings I was thinking about shopping for my son vs my daughters.  I just finished buying the kids' Christmas outfits. Before I actually had a son (I had 3 daughters) I said, "Wow, girls sure break the bank.  There are so many cute outfits, bows and shoes to buy".  Ha ha ha.  Here is the scenario post boy.

Shopping for a coming home outfit-
For a girl: this one is so cute, oh but this one is cute too.  Hmm, do I want to go with an outfit or a dress.
For a boy: Why does everything for boys have cars, trucks, trains or balls on it.  Even dress clothes.  Why can't there just be something plain and cute?

Shopping for baby clothes-
For a girl: there's so much cute stuff on clearance 
For a boy:  it all looks the same but at least there's a bunch on clearance

Shopping for a baptism outfit-
For a girl: do I want eyelet, lace, beaded, smocked, classic
For a boy: Do they all really have to have a vest or now tie? Ugh

Shopping for an outfit to go to a wedding-
For a girl: look at all these cute dresses on the clearance rack after Easter.  I guess they were too dressy for Easter but are perfect for the wedding.  On clearance for $13?  That's awesome.
For a boy: I can't believe the entire mall had nothing.  I finally found something at Strasburg for $60.

Leisurely shopping at the mall:
For a girl: wow, look at these cute dresses on clearance for $3.  Oh and there's a sweater on sale for $7.  These shoes are half price.
For a boy: OMG, they have a cute dress shirt, I know he doesn't need one but when he does they won't have one so I better get it now.  Oh but it's regular price at $30.  I better go against every cell in my body and pay full price because I know I won't ever find it again.

Shopping for Christmas outfits-
For a girl: look at these cute dresses on clearance for $15, they even come with matching doll dresses and they have all the girl's sizes.
For a boy: I've gone to every store and still can't find squat, I guess I'll settle on this sweater that isn't ugly but costs twice what the girls outfits cost.

Shopping for necessity- 
For a girl: Oh look, you outgrew those pants.  We'll pack those away and you can wear these bigger ones I found on clearance a couple months ago.
For a boy: Did you seriously rip a hole in your jeans again?  That's the 3rd pair this week, I guess I'll go and try and find you pants at the mall tomorrow (knowing they won't have a single sale, sigh).

Shopping appreciation-
For a girl: " I found a cute dress on clearance for you today."  "Mommy thank you, it's so cute, can I wear it to school tomorrow?"
For a boy: "I got you a new shirt at the mall today."  "Mom, that shirt is babyish.  Besides, my green shirt is comfy and my favorite (and stained and way too small)."

Now I eat my words.  I know that boys cost just as much, you just get 1/3 of the stuff for that price.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Memories

Earlier this week the news featured the 9/11 memorial.  In the interview it talked about how important the memorial will be.  Next year, when it is completed, no child under 17 will have a first hand memory of that day.

That struck me because my oldest is 17 now.  It made me realize that she is among the only "children" left that remember that day.  Everyone older than her is now an adult.  Everyone younger probably doesn't remember.  She was among the youngest kids that day that would actually be old enough to remember.

I wonder what the, now 17 years old, kids of NYC remember.  We are over 600 miles from NYC but my daughter, barely 5 years old on that day, remembers it.  She remembers where she was, what she was doing, and all the confusion.  Her little sister was 1.5 on that day and knows about it but doesn't remember that day.

It's interesting because they say that everyone remembers the day the shuttle exploded.  I was in 4th grade then, I even lived in Florida.  I remember seeing the video 100 times but I don't remember that day at all. 

I remember every detail of 9/11.  I bet every reader also remembers every detail of what they were doing on 9/11.  

Is it the fear that makes us remember?  I cannot even begin to imagine the fear of those in NY and even NJ that day.  Or the fear of those in DC.  Or those who had family flying that day.  Many people died that day.  Many were injured that day.  But so many more were there helping.  Were there fleeing.  Were near there working.  Without ways to contact them, family and friends were left with nothing but fear.

Those that did not live in that area were left with fear too.  I do mean the people with family and friends in that area.  I mean everyone else too.  Everything happened so fast, yet so slow.  One crash after another.  No answers.  Would there be more?  Where?  Would they target our city?  Schools?  Capitals? 

While those in NYC couldn't reach their loved ones, people all over the country were calling their loved ones.  There were no reports that SC was hit or Idaho was hit or California was hit.  Yet we all called loved ones.  It was so tragic we still had to hear their voice to know they were OK.

Is that why every detail is remembered?  Because the fear embedded it in our minds.  Maybe every single American has a small bit of PTSD that embedded that fear in their lives forever.

Or is it the tragedy that makes this so memorable.  First hundreds of people were presumed dead, as the day went on that hit 1000, then THOUSANDS.  In this day and age, of missile and aerial warfare, people are not used to hearing of such high numbers of dead.  These things don't happen here.  This number is hard to even imagine.  This is where you realize what a small world this is.  In the Internet age it seems everyone knows someone who is from that area, lost a loved one, helped, or was otherwise directly effected that day.  The stories I heard from my friends in that area made it real.  How do you imagine THOUSANDS of people dead?  But that one child left with no parents.  That one child who will never be picked up from school.  That one child who has a name.  That one child makes it incredibly real.

As time goes by it's the good that comes out.  Nothing is good about thousands of lives lost.  But there are good stories to hear.  Stories of survival, stories of heroism.  It is that heroism, that patriotism, that love for each other that sticks around.  Those stories are the ones still circulated over 10 years later.  No matter how much partisanship there is in the US, we still have patriotism.  No matter how bad the news is each night, we still have heroes.  No matter how much road rage we see, when push comes to shove we want to help each other.

9/11 is now a day of volunteering, a day of helping, in remembrance, all over our great country.   Though we help on this day, though we'll never forget the details, maybe we need to remember more, every day.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tutorial Tuesday: Laundry


This Tuesday I'm playing laundry catchup, so can't do my crafting.  Oddly enough, the same day, a friend posts on Facebook stating that she really wanted a 2nd washer and dryer.  She didn't know how those of us with 4 or more kids could manage.  Another washer would do me no good.  After the initial load I can have a load ready every hour.  That barely gives me time to fold, put away and do other chores.  It wouldn't at all if my older kids didn't do their putting away themselves.  

What am I trying to say?  I've got no "how to" to doing laundry.  Kids folding, separating colors, and pinning socks together all takes too long.  I do 3 loads on an average day and can easily manage 6 if I need to catch up.  Who has time for all those "tricks".

To keep this a "tutorial", I will include a list of my stain removal arsenal at the end.  But, I wanted to start with my laundry detergent.  No, this is not a boring laundry detergent review.  This is some enjoyment for your laundry day (I hear some people have those, a day just for laundry).  

As I was doing laundry today I opened a bottle of new detergent.  Method brand.  Years ago when my son was small I tried a bunch of "natural" brands that didn't clean, until I found Charlie's soap.  I have been devout to Charlie's since.  But, with a new Trader Joes I ran in to check it out and they didn't carry Charlie's, so I grabbed their brand.  I liked it so it gave me the nerve to try a brand Publix carries, Method.

Ever since reading the Charlie's bottle, I've started reading my soaps for amusement.  Forget those silly "Caution:hot coffee " labels.  These organic cleaners have it going on. 

 So here's what they say;

Charlie's laundry soap: "Charlie's soap cleans all the way to the fiber leaving nothing but the good old-fashioned smell of clean.  If you want flowers, go pick some"

Charlie's all purpose spray: "Cleans everything from false teeth to Diesel engines.  Caution:  Do not spray directly on cockroaches, fire ants, fleas, ticks, termites, spiders, scorpions, wasps, or hornets.  In case of accidental exposure, rinse unlucky creatures with potable water for 15 minutes and contact your local Humane Society or qualified insect veterinarian for further instructions."

Method: "Made by people against dirty. (Registered trademark)  Recycle for good karma."

I know the Bugaboo stroller instructions were pretty cute too.  So what cute instructions or cautions have you read?

*Bonus, must have list for the laundry room:
Oxiclean Free (the blue pieces in regular can stain clothes if not fully dissolved in water so Free is needed for making pastes)
Vinegar
Baking soda
Hydrogen peroxide
Aerosol hairspray
Color catchers or Dye magnet (remember, I don't separate colors)
Goo gone
Dawn dish soap
Bleach (I didn't say this was an all natural list, sometimes only bleach will do)
Pet enzymatic cleaner
Charlie's pre treater

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

How to pack for 6 kids

First dig out 6 suitcases because, even if you'll only be gone for a weekend, no one will share and everyone has to have "theirs".

Instruct bigger kids on what to pack.  Find the bag your preschoolers packed every last article of their clothing in yesterday.  Tell the middle kids to wait their turn.  Pack the smaller kids bags.  Answer bigger kids questions because they apparently didn't listen to the instructions.  Remove all the extra stuff the smaller kids added.  Start helping the middle kids pack.  Ask the, now supposedly finished, big kids if they packed pajamas.  Send them back to pack some more.  Repack the smaller kids.  Teach the middle kids to pack themselves.  Chase the smaller kids away from the suitcases.  Negotiate suitcase size with the bigger kids.  Finish the middle kids.  Chase the smaller kid running away from you with their suitcase.  Negotiate appropriate number of stuffed animals with the girls.  Clean out the van that you cleaned out yesterday.  Put 4 suitcases in the van.  Find the smaller kids playing hide and seek with their suitcases.  Feel accomplished that all 7 suitcases fit in the van.  Remember your husband hasn't even packed yet.



Thursday, June 13, 2013

What exactly do childless people do all day?

Ok, so I read this blog that rants about the childless people thinking those with children have lost their life.  http://www.renegademothering.com/2013/06/11/public-service-announcement-to-the-childless-people-wondering-why-were-such-losers/
And it portrays quite the picture.  I'm sure it's mostly true even.  Including the picture at the end that shows why we wouldn't trade it for the world.  Usually I wouldn't write about 1 person's opinion. But I've read it on associated press sites.  I've seen it on CNN.  Yes, I really do still read and watch the news.  More and more people, not just in the US, are opting for one or no kids. 

Those childish people are ranting about everything from kids in restaurants to strollers on city sidewalks.  They don't think about how loud they are conversing in a restaurant.  Do you think we enjoy going to dinner and having to listen to you?  I mean we have kids, and you've said it yourself, we don't get to go out as much.  We take the kids to a family restaurant (so as not to disturb you and yours), yet you chose a family restaurant too (expecting there not to be any families?).  While enjoying our one family dinner out per month we then have to endure, your not only loud, but colorful conversation that my kids can completely hear.  Instead of enjoying dinner we're trying to distract our kids so as not to have to endure a week of them repeating or asking about things they heard.  I'm so sorry my daughter's excitement over ketchup is disturbing you, you seem to be the only one because the neighboring family is just jealous mine isn't throwing food and the older couple have already said "how adorable".  But maybe I should go home, and like you, rant about the loud and obnoxious group of childless couples I had to endure through my dinner.

Maybe you aren't thinking about the fact that these kids will grow up to be the ones that keep this country running, since you didn't have any.  I mean, unless you plan to pick your own food in your 80s.  Maintain all the water, sewer, and electrical systems.  Oh and that precious cell phone tower to power that new smart phone your bragging to the whole restaurant about.  Or make your own Viagra.

There are a lot of childless people who can't go out either.  These are the people too busy spending their life savings on Clomid, or international adoption.  These are the people too busy perfecting their house before their home study.  When they go out to eat, they just long for a baby to have to take outside and walk around.  I'm guessing if people "long" for these "babies" there must be something good about them.

Yep, we don't have the newest smartphones or designer clothes anymore.  We can't afford to go out every weekend night and spend half the next morning recovering.  



So, what do we do on weekends then.  We go to a soccer game and get to watch a 3 year old score a goal.  She's so proud of herself that her smile lights up the fields.  She runs over to give you a high five because you not only taught her how to make that goal but you taught her how to high five.  You brag to the teammates parents that it's your kid that made that goal, that you can't believe at only 3 she was able to remember that move.  A few minutes later her kid makes a goal and does a cute little dance move in excitement and it's your turn to listen to a brag.

Afterwards you go out to celebrate by getting shaved ice.  Yes, you'll have to clean up the mess but the purple nose is amusing enough to be worth it.  You go home and start raking the yard.  A kid steals your rake and takes over.  Another one pitches in and soon there's a pile.  They start jumping in it as you sit down on the deck to watch and reminisce about doing that in your own childhood.  Soon you have leaves being dumped on your head and your involved in a full fledged leaf fight.  

Now you need a shower so plop the kids in front of the TV with a movie and sandwiches.  After your shower you sit down.  Within 2 minutes you're bored of just sitting so you start playing a game on your old smartphone.  Within 5 minutes you're bored of that.  Your spouse sits down with you and you discuss what childless people can possibly do all weekend.  Games get boring quickly.  The same old clubs with the same old people doing the same old stupid stuff every weekend has got to get old.  They get to watch the bouncer throw people out around 2am.  I get to be a bouncer when that precious smile takes down her brother.  Isn't the newest video game just like the last one, when you beat it you'll have nothing to do with it until you spend another $50 when the new one comes out?

Yes, I do go to the same soccer game every weekend of soccer season.  But that kid grows and learns every week.  Every week the trick is different, they're better at it and they're prouder.  The whole teams get better so each week the game is more competitive and more exciting.  

Soccer season is only 8 weeks.  After that there's flag football, baseball, swimming, dance, tennis.  Sometimes there's nothing and you get to be a kid.  You go to the park, the amusement park, the water park, and the beach.  In the winter you're suckered back into roller skates and realize you seem a lot higher up than when you were a kid.  You go bowling and get your but kicked by an 8 year old.

At the end of each day you read all your favorite childhood books.  You try to wrap your tongue around Dr. Suess.  You give bubble baths, wearing a bubble bath beard and taking pictures of their bubble bath hats.  Finishing, you get slobbery toddler kisses and sweet big girl bear hugs.  Those are things I can't even describe to you.  You have to experience them from tiny hands, soft lips and big, innocent, blue eyes before you can even begin to imagine what that's like.