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You made it! Here it is... the blog where you get to sit back and laugh at - or be completely horrified by - life with 5 kids, 2 parents, 1 dog, 2 cats, 1 guinea pig, & 2 turtles (and those are just the creatures we know about).

12.29.2011

Impressive

Every parent finds things to brag about when it comes to their kids. I'm sure I've done it a million times. However, sometimes my kids find ways to impress me that are less than brag-worthy. Here is a short list:

  • It is impressive that my children can turn something as benign as using Play-Doh into a competitive sport.
  • It is impressive that these same children who fight over Play-Doh can, moments later, be found sitting sweetly together and coloring with crayons.
  • It is impressive that my girls, when armed with a tiny box of play make-up, can instantly turn themselves into something that would rival any lady of the night or cast member from "To Wong Foo..."
  • It is impressive that when I manage to ditch a kid or two, it is actually more work for me. The more there are, the more they entertain each other.
  • It is impressive that my kids operate on only two sound levels: Deathly Silent - wherein I need to be sure everyone is still breathing and there are no secret plots being hatched - and Krakatoa - which involves decibel levels that actually cause pain to normal human ears.
    • Related fact: It is impressive that the switch between these two sound levels is often instantaneous.
  • It is impressive that the room that took me two hours to clean can be destroyed in a matter of mere minutes by my kids.
  • It is impressive that my children can change their clothes so many times a day as to never allow for me to catch up on the laundry.
  • It is impressive that, no matter where I try to hide, they always find me.
  • It is impressive that all five kids can entertain each other with a game that involves running through the house to get away from Sophie while screaming, "Watch out for Deep Darkness!"
As you can see, my kids have some quirky traits and behaviors. It is safe to say that I won't find life boring any time soon.

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12.26.2011

'Tis the Day After Christmas

'Tis the day after Christmas, the house is a mess.
I can't find the energy to get myself dressed.


My plan is to lay around acting so lazy,
While hunting for food to dip in leftover gravy.


{choices:fruity pebbles, uncooked pasta, or frozen breadsticks}


The house is littered with millions of parts.
There's no telling where or when organization will start.


The dishes are piled high in the sink.
Maybe I'll get to them before they stink?


Meanwhile, the kids are all happily amused.
Not a single new toy has gone unused.


So today I will sit and continue relaxing,
Because tomorrow's clean up is sure to be taxing.


Another Christmas has passed, we're still full of cheer.
Let's carry it into the next New Year!


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


****NOTE:


I was even too lazy to upload a picture of the ripped wrapping paper and opened presents. I intended to find an appropriate picture online. Unfortunately, image searches for "ripped wrapping paper" and "unwrapped presents" brought up quite a few inappropriate images. Clearly, I'm behind on some slang.



12.24.2011

'Twas the Day Before Christmas...

'Twas the day before Christmas and all through my home
My children are acting like psychotic gnomes.


So full of excitement and crazy-eyed glee,
It appears their sole purpose is to drive me crazy.

Their movement is made up of quick jerks and jumps
Which soon result in numerous bumps.

Why speak to each other to say what you mean,
When thoughts can be conveyed through ear-splitting screams?


Threats of the naughty list no longer hold power
When Santa is coming in just a few short hours.


The Elf on the Shelf has abandoned me now -
He uselessly watches from the tree's highest bough.


I continue to try to get everything done
While the children just run (and run and run).


I'll frantically attempt to complete each task,
Is a little quiet too much to ask?


Here we are now, at the end of the line.
Santa is coming - it's almost time.


Bedtime can't come quite soon enough,
So tomorrow we'll revel in too much new stuff.


And there we will sit amidst a huge mess
And know it's just another chaotic Christmas.


MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR!


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12.13.2011

Christmas Madness

It's crunch time, people!


Sorry. I felt like that was necessary. The only thing anyone seems to talk about right now is how much they need to get done before Christmas arrives in less than two weeks. There seem to be two camps of people out there. The "I've had all of my gifts purchased and wrapped for weeks" gang and the "how the hell am I going to do the eighty-five thousand things on my list??" posse. If you have a conversation with either group, it tends to leave you feeling a little less than the Christmas spirit. The first bunch will give you a smug smile and boast about the fact that they've been all done for ages. The second bunch will have that panicked look in their eyes and proceed to tell you every single thing they have yet to do.


I am very happily in my own group altogether. Feel free to join me. I am in the "procrastination is the only way I know how to do anything and it doesn't stress me out at all" crowd. Although, I'm not too sure you can call it a crowd. PJ and I are happy to do everything last minute. This is how we roll. We sit down one night and do a bunch of shopping online. Then, we have my in-laws babysit one evening and make a date night of picking up anything that we need to get in the stores. Inevitably, this all happens about a week before Christmas. It's fun and we never have an issue getting it all done. I'm also happy to continue the tradition of staying up until 3 am on Christmas Eve and wrapping everyone's presents while A Christmas Story plays on repeat. I just have to remember to have some yummy snacks on hand so I don't steal Santa's cookies and milk. Goodness knows, the reindeer's carrots don't tempt me at all.


Lately, I have been fielding a new question. (Apparently, people are over the "are they all yours?" question for the moment.) "Have you finished your shopping?" This is where I smile and say, "No. We haven't even started yet." I wish I could properly type the gasp that I get as a response. Even the panicked posse shuts up for a minute. 


I don't love to shop. I also don't like crowds. Add in the wild-eyed lunatics that are out hunting for one last gift - and will happily knock you down or pepper spray you to get it - and I start to lose it altogether. I feel my skin begin to crawl when I drive by the mall and watch the cars slowly stalking anyone who walks through the lot just to get a parking spot. The less time I spend dealing with that, the better for everyone.


So, we bang out our shopping in an evening or two. We make most of our purchases online. Then we sit back and enjoy the festivities without having gone nuts for months in advance. It's fun and it works for us. But, who am I kidding? I don't do anything without procrastinating anyway!
Bring your pepper spray!

Get a good spot!
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12.09.2011

The Elf on the Shelf

 We have the Elf on the Shelf in our house. When he first came to us two years ago, the kids named him Fred Paul (these are the same kids who tried to name Charlotte Cherry Sprinkles). Every year, on the day after Thanksgiving, he returns to us from the North Pole. Except for this year, when he had to make an early appearance due to some fresh behavior. I warned them that it might happen. Sure enough, a few days before Thanksgiving, he had returned to his favorite shelf in the living room to watch over my little angels. {snicker}


The kids adore Fred Paul. They jump out of bed every morning to see where he might be sitting after his nightly visit to the North Pole. They leave him little notes and questions about Santa (that he answers for them every night). Unfortunately, the first question this year was, "Do raindears {sic} fart?" Aside from potty humor, they do try to behave a little bit better when reminded of the fact that he makes a nightly report to Santa about them. As of yet, they haven't become aware of his general creep factor.


Fred Paul reminds me of all of the dolls and clowns I was afraid of as a grown-up child. He's got eyes that follow you (seriously, walk back and forth - he's still looking right at you) and a little smirk that says, "I'll be coming to life while you're sleeping..." My twisted imagination draws very sinister conclusions. Not only that, but he is sent here from the North Pole to watch our every move. I'm pretty certain they've developed laws in most states that define that as stalking. I am fully aware that, as an adult, I should really be able to handle the inanimate objects in my house. There must be some unresolved childhood issues at work here because I am still waiting for Lucy's American Girl doll to open her eyes and talk to me when I check on the kids every night.


Seriously, though... I am positive that if I ever let the kids watch the clown scene in Poltergeist, they might view Fred Paul a little differently, too. For now, I'll happily use his powers to control my children's behavior - as long as he doesn't kill me in my sleep.


You never know where he'll turn up!
Look at those eyes - sweet elf or evil clown?
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12.06.2011

CRUNCH!

No, this isn't a post discussing ways I could finally get my body back. Although, maybe less blogging and more crunching would help. This post is all about one of my least favorite sounds (besides whining, crying, and kazoos). Okay, so maybe I have noise issues - add them to the list with my OCD and aversion to sticky things. But, I digress...

A crunch, in general, isn't so offensive. It's the fact that a crunch in my house is accompanied by the feeling of millions of tiny crumbs exploding beneath my (usually bare, since I can't find any socks) feet. It seems that my children may be part of some bizarre cult that prefers to cover all floor surfaces with crumbs of any nature. Or maybe they're trying out a new beach-themed decor and need to create sand. Most likely, it is due to the fact that I have raised a houseful of slobs who are completely unfazed by food falling on the floor.

There's nothing quite like trying to start the day making a cup of coffee and managing to crush a Cheerio, Goldfish cracker, and a Cocoa Puff between the coffee maker and the refrigerator. {crunch, crunch, crunch} I'm hardly a neat-freak, but I do clean. And I have someone who comes in to do the things I never get to (mopping, tub scrubbing, etc.) twice a month. How is it possible that I'm always stepping on crunchy foods? Clearly, I'm doing something wrong. Someday soon I'll have to institute a new policy - whatever you drop you must eat. Wait - who am I kidding? My children have absolutely no qualms about eating off of the floor. And that's not a testament to my housekeeping abilities.

I suppose I should just consider myself lucky that they only drop crunchy (and not sticky - gah!) food on my floor. It'll be another post entirely when things start to go 'squish' beneath my feet.


If there were chocolate involved, I might not mind!
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12.01.2011

Play-by-Play

This, right here, is a day in the life. It's not at all glamorous. It's often completely nuts. But, I wouldn't change a thing. Unless, of course, anyone wants to come fold my laundry.


5:00am - Alarm goes off for the first time.
5:40am - After pressing the snooze button 5 times, I drag myself out of bed.
5:45am - Make coffee and madly dig through unfolded laundry to find clean outfits for the kids.
6:00am - Lay out the clothes and start packing lunches. Try to make sleep-deprived brain remember who likes which snacks. Give up on the sandwiches and log onto the school website to find the hot lunch menu.
6:15am - Start dragging the oldest ones out of bed without waking the little ones.
6:20am - Make breakfast (a.k.a. pour cereal) with one hand since Charlotte woke up and doesn't want to be put down. Also, let out the dog and feed the cats.
6:30am - Take a 4 minute shower while Charlotte repeatedly tries to climb into the tub, then get dressed. 
6:45am - Make the big kids get dressed and ready and pack up the backpacks. Listen to them fight over who gets to brush their teeth first. Also, brush all of the knots out of the girls' hair.
7:10am - Hustle the big kids into their jackets, backpacks, hats, scarves, etc.
7:15am - Send the big kids off to school with Juju or Pop-pop, our fabulous chauffeurs.
7:20am - Attempt to clean up the house so our babysitters don't know what slobs we are. This includes, but is not limited to: emptying and reloading the dishwasher, rotating through another load of laundry that probably won't get folded, vacuuming and sweeping up miscellaneous crumbs left behind by "Not Me" and "I Didn't Do It", making beds (on a really good day), wiping down 85,000 fingerprints and random sticky stuff, and marveling at how dirty the house became since yesterday.
8:00am - Scratch head and wonder how I can work up such a sweat but never lose weight.
8:01am - Change and dress the little ones which includes grabbing Charlotte by the ankle while she tries to crawl her naked butt away.
8:15am - Welcome the day's babysitter, discuss any important items for the day and try to sneak out before Charlotte catches me.
9:00am - Teach many tiny children.
4:00pm - Arrive home to 57 children trying to tell me about their day all at once. "Mom, sign this!" "Mama, look what I made!" "Mommy, I need art supplies and two dozen cookies for tomorrow!"
5:00pm - Make dinner while checking homework, changing diapers, feeding pets, and entertaining children. Then yell at everyone to get out of the kitchen or dinner will never get done.
5:45pm - Sit down and enjoy dinner as a family. Everyone tells one good thing and one bad thing about their day. The kids almost never have a bad thing to tell. How nice to be young!
5:50pm - Sean announces dinner is "gross" and he won't be eating.
6:00pm - PJ and I continue trying to enjoy our meal while the children decide it is an opportune time to run around and play tag.
6:30pm - Play with the kids. Ensure the homework is done. On a good night, give baths and showers.
7:30pm - Dress kids and usher them off to bed. Have one of the older kids read a story to the younger ones. 
8:00pm - Start baking cookies for the latest school event.
8:30pm - Try to clean up some dishes.
8:45pm - Decide to give up on cleaning and leave it for the morning.
9:00pm - Collapse on couch to watch a good show. And fold all of that laundry.
9:05pm - Put a cranky, teething Charlotte back to bed. Forget about the laundry.
9:10pm - Attempt to watch the show again.
9:15pm - Briefly entertain the idea of laying out the clothes and packing the lunches. Decide it can all wait until the morning.
9:30pm - Start getting into the show when Charlotte wakes up. Again.
12:00am - Wake up on the couch and have no recollection of what happened in that show.
12:05am - Go to bed and know that it will all start again in a matter of a few short hours.


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