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).


How's It Going?

Jasmine invited eveyone (there are 40 of us!) who is part of the #FleurtySummerChallenge to be part of a Friday link-up today. Basically, she's just checking in to see how it's going and how we feel during the first few days of the challenge. 

I have to say that I feel pretty encouraged. At the very least, I made it past Thursday, which is usually the day I give up on every diet I've ever started on a Monday. My struggle, now, is to find the time (major shortage of that in this house) to exercise. I went to the gym on Tuesday and Thursday at 5am. That's the only way I can fit in my run and weights and still get back in time for PJ to go to work. Unfortunately, since I go back to work next week, I'm just going to have to get used to that. It'll bring me back to my rowing days when the crew team would freeze our asses off on fall mornings on the river LONG before the sun came up!
My actual alarm settings.
One thing that Jasmine arranged was for all of us to have Fleurty Friends during the challenge. She paired each of us up with someone to help us have a buddy in this. My new friend, Leslie, and I have exchanged emails and texts to keep each other motivated. It's a great way to #StayFocused (that's Leslie's hashtag). 

The scariest part of the challenge, so far, was when I actually posted it to my personal Facebook page. I had no problem with all of my virtual friends on Instagram being a part of this. It was the real people who I know in real life that terrified me. These are people that might actually see me and would know if I quit. Amazingly, though, that was one of the best parts. I got so many encouraging comments, messages, and texts. It was truly motivating. I'm in it to win it!

Just a quick little update. I'm hoping this enthusiasm doesn't wear off any time soon. I plan on posting Monday updates every week, so if you don't see one, bug me about it. I need the accountability.


Click the button to check out the link-up:

Fleurty and Fit


Putting It Out There (so scary)...

It's time. Time for a change. Time for some accountability. We'll see how long it actually takes me to hit "publish" on this post. (Hold me, I'm scared.)

My girl, Jasmine, over at Fleurty & Fit (who makes those awesome headbands I told you about) is sponsoring a challenge. And I want in. Because if I don't do something right now, I don't know where it'll stop.

Jasmine and I found each other on Instagram. She has been losing weight and getting fit by following her own simple motto: #StopEatingCrapAndMoveYourAss. This week, she is hosting a challenge to get people motivated for these last few weeks of summer. Which is ideal timing for me, since I have done nothing but binge all summer. I desperately need something to stop me in my tracks, because I am a hot mess.

I never gained much weight being pregnant. It's having kids and a job and life in general that has helped me pack on the pounds. I don't even know what's happened to me in the last two years. I guess my body finally rebelled after hosting and feeding all of those babies. And now I don't even recognize myself. Enough is enough. I've officially hit bottom (or top if you're counting the pounds).

Here are my personal goals for the next six weeks of the #FleurtySummerChallenge:
  • Log all of my food into MyFitnessPal
  • Drink at least 100 ounces of water a day
  • Exercise at least 4 times per week
  • Use my blog and Instagram account to post updates
  • If, for some reason, I slip up, I need to get back on track IMMEDIATELY (not next Monday)!

I've started plenty of Mondays with the idea of doing the right thing and failing by Thursday. But... I've never shared my plans with anyone. That way, no one would know if I'd failed or not. This is very scary. I'm putting it right out there for the world to see. I'm even posting my BEFORE picture and starting weight {gulp}. That's it. It's time to take serious action. Please hold me accountable.

Here's to hoping for some decent AFTER pictures at some point!


On The Other Side

I had a revelation this summer: I'm coming out on the other side. 

I have (finally) gotten past the most needy stage of the kids' development. They are really independent now. (Well, as independent as any five kids under the age of 11 can be.)

From February of 2003 to April of 2012 I was pregnant, nursing, or sometimes both. Add another year for when Charlotte was still a 2 year old and you've got ten straight years of neediness. This summer was when I realized that stage is over. 

We've gone on two vacations this summer. I had a revelation on the second one while I was sitting near our fire pit late in the evening. The grown-ups were enjoying the fire, good music and conversation and it was getting late. So I told the kids to go up to bed. And they did! They all just walked up the stairs, brushed their teeth, and went to bed. I could still hear them goofing around from outside, but that quieted down as they dropped off to sleep. It's amazingly liberating. 

I enjoyed every minute of having babies and toddlers (why else would I have had so many?), but this stage is quite nice. When I say, "It's time for the beach," they get their own bathing suits on. Even Charlotte. And hers is only backwards thirty percent of the time! I don't really know what to do with myself. But, I do know enough to enjoy it while it lasts. 

Because I know all of you moms with older or grown children are laughing at me. You know what's coming next... moody teenagers. That's why I'm going to revel in this brief lull in parenting duties while I can!

That's freedom, right there!


Wordless Wednesday - Annual FOAM DAY!

It's Foam Day, again. This is my annual post where I tell you that I'm never bathing my kids again after they spend a straight hour in foam that smells like liquid Dawn...

No, they're not all mine - my niece is there, too.
I'm fairly certain these are the six kids I brought, but it's really hard to tell.
Regan is in there somewhere.
Sophie & Lucy
We even ran into our other cousins that we hadn't seen in ages: Cameron, Tyler, & Ryan!


Tuesday's Tip (#41)

Here's a tip for you:

Preview your playlists.

A couple of weeks ago, Sean had a play-date with one of his little friends. I don't know the parents all that well, so, when they came to pick up their son, I invited them in. I had the speaker out on the deck and it was hooked up to my phone playing some random "Top 25" playlist from Beats Music. Basically, it's just the top 25 pop songs for the week. It didn't even occur to me that there would be a song on there that had questionable lyrics (or that these aren't the "radio edits"). 

So, there I was chatting politely - and totally tuning out the music that is on the radio - when PJ started making crazy eyes at me. I assumed he was trying to tell me I had food on my face or something when he kept looking at me urgently with those crazy eyes.

I seriously wasn't getting the message. He just kept looking like this and I kept wiping at my face like I must be covered in something. (Thanks, Crazy Eyes, for helping me illustrate my point. OITNB)

I just wasn't getting his hints when my friend, Dawn, saved me with, "Wow. That's quite a song." Up until that point, I wasn't even focused on what was playing. And then I heard it. Not just a few bad words, but really explicit rapping all about what some nice young gentleman would really like to do to some fine young lady. I flew into the kitchen to grab my phone and skip to the next track and prayed these poor parents weren't listening too well. 

So, the next time you're having company (especially people you barely know), preview your playlist. Unless you like to make a first impression with sexually explicit lyrics. Then, just hit shuffle and see what happens.

Have a tip to share? Or a Wiggles CD? Feel free to leave a comment below...

...& be sure to check back every Tuesday for a new tip!


Death By Bubbles

My kids have reached an age and stage of independence. It's a wonderfully liberating time as a mom who had five kids in less than seven years. Which means I get a little too comfortable with my freedom. Take bathing, for example. 

We have a big jacuzzi tub that fits at least three of the kids. They love taking bubble baths in the tub. Now that they're all getting so big, they can set up the bath with very little help from me. It's a win-win situation - they're getting clean and they're staying out of my hair. 

Except for when I don't supervise and they decide to use half a bottle of shower gel to make the tub extra bubbly. Sean and Charlotte turned on the jets and had bubbles up to their chins. This wasn't too much of a problem. They were just extra squeaky clean. It's that I never considered what would happen after the little fools drained the tub and the bubbles popped. 

It all went downhill when I needed to take a shower. The edge of the tub is quite high, but I didn't think twice about stepping right into it. I no sooner put my right leg into the tub than it slid across the scum left behind by millions of (now dirty) shower gel bubbles. My right leg went flying and my left leg slammed into the ledge that runs around the edge of the tub. I ended in a bizarre split with one leg in the tub and the other outside of it. Great day for the lady parts. This fun little gymnastics stunt warranted a swear that I only save for very special occasions and rhymes with brother-trucker. 

I couldn't find a recent picture of Sean and Charlotte, but I found an old one from when the big kids used to take bubble baths together:

That, my friends, is extreme bubble-bathing.

Unfortunately, the combination of all of those bubbles and my natural grace led to this: 
As a general rule, I don't usually post pictures of my fat thighs for all of the internet to see, but that bruise is too fantastic not to share. 
Every day it's a different color. I'm like Rainbow Brite. I can't wait until it turns yellow and brown in a few days. Super attractive!

I guess the lesson here is to supervise the use of my shower gel or, at the very least, teach the knuckleheads to scrub the tub after one of their extreme bubble baths. 

HEY! If you enjoy the blog, why not become a follower? I'm the one who is applying sticky butterflies to the bottom of the tub so I don't slip. You can also stalk find me on Facebook and TwitterLike the page and follow me!

**And be sure to visit my Zazzle store. Don't you need a new coffee mug or apron?

-->What about you? Have your kids tried to kill you yet? Feel free to share your story in the comments below...



A few months ago, I made a friend on Instagram. Her name is Jasmine (some of you might know her as Fleurty and Fit). She has been an inspiration to me because she started losing weight and getting fit the old fashioned way. She discovered that there really is no secret formula other than to #StopEatingCrapAndMoveYourAss (by far, my favorite hashtag). Jasmine has been a great motivator to me and we've struck up a really nice friendship (even though we've never actually met).

In addition to being that little voice in my Instagram app who tells me to go to the gym (& cheers me on when I do), I noticed she had some really cute headbands that she wore while she was working out. Jasmine figured out that she could easily make headbands with a velvet backing that would stay in place no matter what workout you're doing. Soon after, an Etsy shop opened with a new Instagram account and Facebook page to follow. I kept seeing her pictures and I finally ordered some for myself. Now, I can't stop talking about them.

About a week ago, Jasmine was looking for a few people to write a review of her headbands. I told her I'd be happy to - I'm always telling my friends about them, I may as well write about it. She offered to send me a free FleurtyBand, but I told her not to bother (unless she wants to replace my favorite pink one that got washed away in a huge wave on vacation {sob}). 

FleurtyBands are seriously one of my favorite things. They're really cute and definitely not just for working out. There are so many styles that you can be like me and wear them to work or for a night out. They're also really inexpensive. When I got my first order, I took my cupcake headband (because I am The Cake Beast, after all) straight to the gym for a trial run. I literally ran for 30 minutes and it never moved. As hot and sweaty as I was, it stayed right in place.

Here are some of my own FleurtyBand pictures (but check out Jasmine's page, because she has SO many styles to choose from):

Here's my personal collection of FleurtyBands. I think it might be time to add to it!

My cupcake headband passed the test! It's adorable and completely stayed in place for my entire workout. (Sweaty gym selfie, anyone?)

So, go check out Jasmine's FleurtyBands - they're fashionable, functional, and really inexpensive. Plus, they're handmade by one of the nicest people I've ever (not really) met!