Places I’d Rather Be

Pink eye is disgusting.  I need to get that off my chest right out the gate.

It was a tough weekend.  I’ll keep whining to a minimum and just say we spent so much time resting and hand sanitizing and proclaiming to the world how much we HATE being sick.

Also wash your hands, keep sick babies at home, make the world a better place.

Ok, so I might have needed to get more than just 1 thing off my chest…

We battled it all like champs, and after one more visit to the pediatrician for Porter, we’re on the tale end of all the germs.  We have to be, I’m pretty out of Lysol spray.

And since I’m pretty much wiped out from all the things this week, I’m turning this post over to a nice list of places I’d rather be than in muggy, south Alabama this weekend.

Feel free to leave me a list of your own in the comments.  I’m sure you could think of something good if it meant you didn’t have to deal with sticky weather.

Unless that’s your thing.  Then just never mind.  That’s weird.

1. Blue Mountain.  Because it’s empty, full of shallow areas for this kind of fun, and you can manage to drive on 98 without the fear of being run out of a lane by someone with a Louisiana or Arkansas license plate.  Yall!  Don’t lose your mind when you come to our slice of the Emerald Coast. Be better drivers!

 

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2. Driving through this amazingness. Today is the first official day of fall, so it’s only fitting.  Plus, I’m part Sanderson Sister, sooooo…

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3. I hear this place is all kinds of magic during this time of year. I’m not brave or rich enough for a real trip with my pack, but maybe one day.

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4. If you’re gonna have a fire pit, you might as well have one like this, right?  I mean, why even go through the trouble of setting one up if it can’t look like this?  I would like to be here, with cozy socks and apple cider yelling at my children to get away from the fire, telling Pat to stop making the fire so big, and jumping from my seat to save the things being thrown into it.

So maybe here isn’t a good idea…

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5. And here!  A cable knit comforter and a good sound machine?  I NEED the kind of sleep that could only come from flopping down into this bed.  You don’t even know, guys.

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Your turn.  Where would you rather be right now?

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How to Effectively Run a Large Household

Because so many people have trouble understanding how big families work, I figured families of all sizes could use a list to look back on.  You know, the important things you need to effectively and successfully OWN your household. #Boss, if you will.

If you think of any you would like to see on the list, please leave me a comment!  I know I’m going to leave some good ones off.

  1. Always have plenty of toilet paper.  Or a kid who is capable of bringing you more when you reach critical stage and notice someone didn’t change out the roll.  *Side Note* Why is this so hard???
  2. Become a short order cook or your people will starve.
  3. Never let the washing machine stop.
  4. Encourage your children to be independent.  Ours know how to bathe, brush their teeth, put their clothes and shoes on, open a pack of muffins, and operate Netflix.  We call this #winning.
  5. Develop the ability to eat dinner in under 5 minutes.  Heck, just eat while you’re cooking if you want it while it’s hot.
  6. Learn to shower with an audience.
  7. Buy in bulk, and leave the last 2 packs of whatever in the HUGE box so it’ll take up a lot of space in your pantry.
  8. Make your children watch your favorite children’s shows and movies so you can live with yourself.
  9. Introduce family members to good music. Aint nobody got time for kidzbop on a car ride.
  10. Make a playlist with your favorite kid’s movie songs to fulfill #8 & 9 on the list while cooking a meal only 2 out of the 6 people in your home will eat.
  11. Teach responsibility.  We do this by letting the almost 6 year old take out the garbage, the 4 year old put up clothes, the 2 year old wipe the table after meals, and the baby to look cute.
  12. Have a lot of animals to add to the chaos.
  13. Be ok with your children wearing things that in no way could ever possibly pass as cute clothing.  If it means you get to lay in bed for 6 more minutes, you go with it, Mama.
  14. Yell a lot about things that don’t require a raised voice.
  15. Embrace bad photos.
  16. Learn to love sitting on broken furniture.
  17. Pretend all the clutter isn’t actually there and it will bother you less.
  18. Conquer the world during nap time… Or just binge watch what’s in your que that isn’t appropriate for little ears.
  19. Become a pro at dividing dessert 4 ways.
  20. Love the heck outta each other!

I wouldn’t trade this pile-o-people living in my house for anything!  I also never knew I would need a list like this…

Whatchu got to add to the mix?  What helps your home run smoothly?

Because It’s a Tuesday

Yesterday was the Monday-est Monday I’ve seen in a while.

So Mondayish I couldn’t even manage a post. 

Let me just tell you about it. 

With a list.

1.We went back to work. I say we since the kids go with me everyday. 

If you have to go back after having a baby, getting to take all your babies with you makes it pretty bearable. I really am thankful for that. 

He was least concerned with how significant the day was. 

2.Amos went with me to make a quick, work related run to Walmart in the next town over. Only about a 15 minute drive, but that was just the time he needed to find and inhale a Hershey Bar. He melted more of it than he ate, so his carseat and face were unreal when we got back. 

3. Hank wanted me to pull his bottom tooth. It’s been loose for more than a month, and a few nights ago, he got a little weird about it. He was all reminiscing about the times he’d spent with that tooth and wanted to remember all the good things it had done for him. He decided he didnt want to pull it afterall.

I convinced him it would be best to pull it instead of accidently swallowing it the next day while he was playing in the water slide. 

He is expecting gold coins under his pillow. He’s going to be upset when he realizes the tooth fairy was straight up low on any kind of cash and writes him an IOU. 

Just kidding! He got a $2 bill , and we’ve got one heck of a funny story to tell him someday about trying to make the tooth- for-cash swap while he, Marnana, and Amos were all asleep on the same pillow on the top bunk. 

The only reason this feels Monday-y is because we go to kindergarten orientation Thursday.  Like, I’ve got enough on my emotional plate right now.  I don’t need first teeth falling out to heap on to it. He’s going to be moving out when I turn around. 

Just stop already.

4.We finished Stranger Things Monday night. I have mixed feelings about it. I throughly enjoyed the title sequence and nostalgia it worked so hard to create. But what about Eleven? 

I’ll leave it at that until the rest of you watch it with one eye closed, and we can catch up on it together. 

5. We got town drama. 

Pat & his boss were at the workshop before the weekly council meeting (that’s his boss on the far left addressing the council), and the kids were crazy exited to see their dad stand all up in the way of the camera for a few seconds. 

We knew there were some touchy things on the agenda, and in the spirit of staying informed and being a good citizens, we wanted to watch the meeting replay. There were Monday style technical difficulties, and it got cut short.  I don’t know that I can wait until the newspaper comes out on Wednesday afternoon to find out what went down!

Anyway, I’m over Monday. So much so that I’m going on with Tuesday.

Now, you tell me 2 things that made your Monday all Mondayish, please. It’ll make our Tuesday better, I feel like. 

Qualifications for Getting Throat Punched pt II

Mom of 4 kids edition.

Now that we’re out and about with all the children of the world more often, my throat punch list has started to grow again.  Or at least I’m getting more annoyed at the SAME questions I was being asked while I was pregnant and only had 3 children.

I try to keep my eye rolling to a minimum and my hands always by my side or on a child, but it’s getting hard to do.  I can’t promise one won’t just sneak up and catch you square in the throat when you do something worthy of such in my presence.  Jesus is dealing with me on this, ok?  But until I get it right, watch out.

One of the rules I had in my high school classroom was you weren’t allowed to ask stupid questions.  I never have understood why teachers tell students there is no such thing as a stupid question, because there is in fact PLENTY of stupid questions.  Example of a simple direction:  Be sure to write your name on your paper if you want it to be graded.  Example of a stupid question: Do I have to write my name on my paper?

Uhhh…..

Or my most favorite of them all from the classroom: What are we doing today?

Oh My Lordy Be!!!

Want to send me to the 10th level of annoyed real fast? Ask me that when you walk into my classroom.

What the heck do you think we’re doing inside this SCHOOL today?  Inside a HISTORY CLASSROOM on this great day?  We’re learning.  About history.  OK???

I mean, why lie to these children?  Why encourage these stupid questions?  They grow up thinking it’s ok to ask things like “Do I really have to pay my taxes? Wear my seat belt? Chew up my food before I swallow it?”  Insert whatever stupid question you can think of into this, and FEEL the frustration.  I cannot be alone in this way of thinking!

These kids also grow up to bother me with the kinds of questions I’m going to list below.  Nobody wants that, ok? Nobody.
Throat-punchable questions for this stage of my life are as follows (you’ll note similarities from the last list)

1.Are they all yours?

What kind of question is this, guys???

I know babysitters travel into public with several children at a time, but they’re being paid for it.  When I go into public with all FOUR of my children, it’s because I have/need to.  Why would I pick up other random children just to run inside Grocery Outlet for a gallon of milk and a pack of nutrigrain bars?  Don’t ask me this garbage.

2.I just don’t know how you do it/ How do you do it all?

Do what?

Feed and water the kids?  Make sure they wear enough clothes to cover stuff?

What? DO WHAT?????

Keep them safe and happy?

YOU JUST DO!!!

There are no other options.

When they say they’re hungry, feed them.  When they start to smell bad, put them in the tub.  When they push their sibling off the porch, discipline them because it’s not ok to raise butt holes.

The only other option is to not do it all.  Then where would we be?

3.Are you done?

Did you poop this morning before you left the house?  Is this information I need to know to be able to carry on with my day?

Is it going to affect you directly if I’m not?

Four children isn’t weird, historically speaking.  One kid is.  One of my grand dads was 1 of 5, another grand dad was 1 of 17, a step grandmother was 1 of 12, I could keep going.

I teach a class full of 18 3 year olds most every day right by myself.

Four is not a big deal.  Especially four that I made. ESPECIALLY when the oldest can wipe himself, the girl likes to put away her own clothes, the little boy knows how to put his shoes on AND dress himself, and the baby sleeps through the night.

Get off my back.

4.Why in the world did you have all these kids?  Did you MEAN TO? And can you afford all of them? 

I  can’t roll my eyes hard enough at this mess.

Why do you wear such ugly clothes?  Did you MEAN to leave the house in those pleated pants?  They aren’t a thing anymore.

I wanted every one of these children.  Pat and I planned each of these pregnancies and the Lord was on board with our plans… Or maybe we were in tune with His plans.

Either way, they weren’t surprises.  But so what if they were?  Who doesn’t like surprises?  Are you going to turn away a nice bouquet of flowers somebody SURPRISED you with because it didn’t make sense to have them delivered to your desk before lunch?  Should I have asked Dr Pollard to put one of my children back because they were going to make me miss the next 5 years of going to see movies in the theater?

GUYS!

As far as affording them goes, I’ll let you on on a little secret: Hank was the most expensive kid. We bought gender neutral baby junk, I breastfed, & HELLO! Hand-me-downs!

Other than going out to eat, they haven’t been that expensive.  It does get a little tight when more than one is involved in something like ball or tumbling, but those things aren’t necessities.

The short answer is yes, we sure can afford these babies.  I have no doubt they get more expensive as they get older, but we’ll handle that when the time comes.  If you must know.

I’ll end this with no.5 before my blood pressure gets too outta control.  The more I type, the more I remember to add to the list, but 5 is a nice even number.  I’d hate to keep you here longer than you intended to be.

5.You know how that keeps happening, don’t you?  Don’t you have a TV at home?

A variation of this one appeared on the last list, but that didn’t deter people from continuing to ask it.

In an effort to not get raunchy with my readers, I’m just going to leave it with “Yes.  I do.  I also have a slight Netflix addiction, and we see where that’s gotten us.Would you like for me to tell you how it keeps happening?”

Think about what you want to say or ask before you actually ask it.  If it falls anywhere on this list, go ahead and mark it as a stupid question for future reference.  If you want to know how I managed to get such (relatively) well behaved children, I’d be more than happy to tell you about that fun.  Or if you want to know my great recipe for blueberry cheesecake cookies, I’d love to give it to you.

But if you’re asking a question to fill a little silence while you’re behind me at the checkout, just go ahead and let the silence drag on.  It’s not bothering me one bit.  I’ve got these 4 amazing people to make me happy!

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Things I’m Thankful For

Remember that time I told you about how hard it was juggling all the things in the land?  When I was complaining about the stress of life?  And when dropping some of the balls was the only  way to find some peace?

Well, it’s still crazy hectic up in huurrr, but swimming lessons started at just the right time.  The big kids are living it up at the daycare while Porter and I get to know each other. To not have to tell someone to stop jumping off the dog crate or open the 15th capri sun that were only supposed to be for lunch has done wonders for us bounding.

Nursing was suffering big time, but we’re finding our groove.  Things are getting better, and it’s amazing what a little bit of quiet can afford you.

To redeem my whiny self, I wanted to write about a few things I’m thankful for.  To remind myself on those days when the balls are scattered on the ground instead of up in the air how good this stage of our lives really is.

13466108_10101254200274842_6295151522456341525_nI’m thankful for a husband who cleans the bathroom.  He does a lot of other things, but that’s one I’m especially excited about.  He’s funny (mostly), listens to our children (unless it’s whining. We have a zero tolerance policy on that one), plays the latest version of candy crush (insert eye roll), and cooks the perfect steak.

Being able to do life with him is pretty much the best.  I gripe when he has to work late and absolutely cannot wrap my mind around why he can’t push his chair up at the table, but I can overlook it mainly because he changes lightbulbs, locks the doors every night before bed, and does all the junk that needs to be done outside.

I am VERY thankful he’s ours.

I’m thankful for a daycare and work place that believes in summer fun, using your imagination, and getting dirty.  And for Madi’s and Tata’s who send me pictures when my kids are doing those things.

This is two fold.  I’m also thankful they fell asleep as quick as they did after this fun.

There’s something wonderful about watching almost whatever you want whenever you want it.  We’re all thankful for both of these services being at our fingertips in our living room.

Margaret Hannah can watch Little Einsteins as long as someone changes the input on the TV for her, Amos can squeal over Mighty Machines any time he’s allowed to pick what they watch, and Hank can find out what it’s like to NOT get to watch Power Rangers and the like when he gets in trouble  for high-ya-ing my gardenia bush and his sister.  Little eyes see lots.  Especially if it has to do with round house kicks and jumping off high crap.

You already know about my love affair with binge watching

d42b699e-d74d-41d1-9907-df7f12f63783I’m ridiculously thankful for the DockATot.  It helps him sleep so well he throws his hands up.  I can’t say enough good things about it.  If babies are in your life, or will be in the near future, get one.  NOW!

13512078_10101256918906682_8059310130287311154_nI’m thankful for little boys who like Oreos and milk.

And even more thankful for little boys who know how important it is to put down a napkin (or bath cloth, whatever’s handy) in case you spill something.

ID_IC_Family_2_10_12_HdOnIf this came in IV form, I would see if it were covered by my insurance.  I’m thankful for the Mocha, particularly.

Uh… and also for our insurance.

Both, amazing things.

I’m thankful for whoever invented text messaging.  Ain’t nobody got time for a phone conversation, especially me.

Especially when it sounds like I’ve got a mild form of Tourettes every time I’m on a call… “Yes, that sounds like a great idea! DO NOT LICK THE FRONT DOOR AGAIN!”  “No, we won’t be able to make it that night, how about we shoot for WHERE DID YOU PUT HIS DIAPER??? ok, what were we talking about?”

After you have a baby or spend time in a hospital, you get all kinds of calls from billing departments, and exit survey companies, and insurance people.  I always answer them when they call, but when they ask “Is now a good time to talk?”  I have to take a break from yelling at a kid to put a chicken back down and tell them that no, it is in fact, not a good time to answer 326 questions about how clean my hospital room was during my stay.

And that leads me to those great girls.  Our text threads are years long.  Sometimes weeks go by with nothing exchanged, but a random picture of an ugly pair of shoes or a too funny video can put us right back on track with whatever we were talking about.

Erin and Sarah, I love you both tons.  You have no idea.

12122435_10101055184798452_563035107008865681_nThis list is pretty much endless, but I’ll end it on the best note.

I’m unbelievably thankful for my mama.  She comes by sometimes to fold the tons of baskets of clothes sitting all over the living room, make stacks of things on my counter (it’s her thing… stacking stuff), and kiss on kids and babies.

Thankful isn’t even a good enough word to describe what I am for her…

I’m not even going to try to find a way to put it down.  I’ll just say I sure do love you Lisa Fay.

Tell me 5 things you’re thankful for!  I’d love to read what’s making your life so good right now!

 

 

Things I Hate

Hate is a bad word in our house and at the daycare.  We don’t say it.  Ever.

But, I’ve got a handful of things that are currently making my blood boil.

I’ll start with the easy stuff.

1.Rude people.  Ain’t not body got time for your bad attitude.  It will not kill you to be kind.  All the time.  Matter of fact, it’d probably end all the bad stuff going on in the world if you’d just be nice.  Mind your manners and think of others as much as possible.

2.Student Loans.  We’ve got more than we care to admit, and they’re sucking the life out of us.  Don’t tell ANYONE, but we’ve totally researched the ramifications for defaulting on them.  Our best bet seems to be to pack up and move abroad.  We just won’t ever be able to come back home, tell where we are, or have a phone number again.  Don’t tell on us, please.

3.Beans.  See previous post about picky eaters.

4.Cleaning up rice and noodles from lunch at the daycare.  If I’m ever in a pinch and need a form of glue in a survival situation, I know all I have to do is put on a pot of Ramen & white rice, smash it into the tables in my class room, and then spread it on whatever needs to be glued back together.  It will work.

5.Clothes that have to be hung up to dry.

Praise the Lord for an indoor laundry room now, but I know not even He has to hang His t shirts up after 10 minutes in the dryer.  I don’t know why I keep clothes that require this much work.  I already avoid washing clothes so much that my children complain about it.  Having to get up in the middle of an episode of Once Upon a Time to make sure the handful of shirts I can still wear will fully fit over my belly is not my idea of a good time.

6.Calliou. Because.  He’s Calliou.

7.Coconut.  Because eww.  It smells good, and my shampoo, soap, and lotion have some combination of Coconut and other beachy smelling things, but to eat it? Negative.

8.Smelling burnt popcorn.  Day ruiner.

And lastly,

9.Ice.  It bothers me so much that I don’t even want to type this because I try to avoid the discomfort it causes me.  It’s not limited to ice you put in your cup.  Oh no.  It’s popsicles, freezers, ice cream that’s been opened before, talking about it, thinking about it, seeing it.  No thanks.  I like for it to be in my cup, I just don’t like to get it in there or see it if possible.  It’s weird, I know.  But you know how some people cringe when they hear nails on a chalkboard? Or metal scraping against something?  It’s like that times eleventeen.

Pat used to work with a girl in college that had the same reaction to handling quarters.  If the ridges touched her finger tips, she wanted to throw up.  Ice doesn’t make me want to throw up, but it does give me chill bumps, makes me shiver for a second, and absolutely makes me want to not be around it in any way.

My children are being deprived because we don’t keep popsicles in the house, and I can’t handle hearing them eat an ice cream cone.

I’m done talking about it. I hate it that much.

PS no 10. would have to be lists that don’t end with an even number.  Those are annoying, too.