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, some frogs, a cat & a rabbit (and those are just the creatures we know about).


Sophie, the Self-Proclaimed "Funny One"

Sophie is crazy funny.  She doesn't try to be, it just comes naturally.  It's probably a birth order thing.  She's always been a little bit different from the others.  Maybe being #3 forces you to find new ways to get noticed.  Goodness knows she's always been louder than the others.  And she has definitely cornered the market on funny.  The comical thing about her is that she is totally unpredictable.  One minute, you have Sweet Little Sophie...

...the next minute, she has decided to become a cheerleader who uses seaweed for pom-poms (how gross imaginative!):

Or, you might come across Sophie in the yard, looking like a roast pig and wearing two left boots:
Yes, she's almost always bathing suit-clad.

With Sophie, you never really know what you're going to get.  Just ask her about her sister, Lisa.  When she was about two years old, Sophie started telling us about Lisa.  Her sister.  The one who died.  How did she die, you ask?  "In the lava."  Where does a two year old get that?

Sophie is also funny because she's quirky.  Once, when Charlotte was about 3 weeks old Sophie asked, "Mama, what's that new baby's name?"  I was pretty sure she must mean some other new baby because she couldn't possibly mean the one that currently lived in our house. "Do you mean our new baby? Charlotte??" I asked.  "Oh, right," she said, very nonchalantly, "I guess I just forgot."  Leave it to Sophie to forget her sister's name.

Sophie used to get upset when I would laugh and tell her she was funny.  Now, she's finally embraced her skill for its entertainment value.  If asked, she will happily tell you that she's "the funny one."  She might also tell you that she's the "wild child."  Neither of which is inaccurate. Not a day goes by that she doesn't do something to crack me up.  I'm just waiting for the day when she becomes the class clown.  So far, there haven't been any calls from school.  I've got the upcoming years to worry about that!


Rage Against the Routine

Our days - like most people we know - are very full.  By the time I get home from work, help with homework, make dinner, clean up, bathe the children (on a good night), and put them to bed, all I want to do is sit on the couch, preferably with a Hershey bar and a glass of milk, and do absolutely nothing.  Most nights, that is exactly what I do.  This leads to a most ridiculous morning.  Tasks that would take about 30 minutes after the kids go to bed - lay out the clothes, pack the lunches, check the backpacks, etc. - morph into insurmountable feats once the sun rises.  All of a sudden, I find myself yelling at that one to brush his teeth, yanking a brush through this one's hair, while changing a diaper and wondering where the other blue knee sock is for someone's uniform.  Needless to say, it's not an enjoyable event for anyone involved.

There is a way I can make my life easier, but it is something I struggle with every day.  The nightly routine.  The little angel on my shoulder keeps playing her harp and saying (ever so sweetly), "Just get up.  It'll take no time at all to pack those lunches and make sure everyone has two socks."  Meanwhile, that damn little devil pokes me in the other shoulder with his pitch fork and says, "Screw it.  You can get up a little earlier and worry about all that crap in the morning.  Now sit back and enjoy some chocolate." More often than not, the devil wins.  Those nights are then followed by a morning with banshee mom on the hunt for matching shoes and socks (where do they all go????).  Why do I do this to myself?  I know my whole day will start off better and run more smoothly if I just stick to the nightly routine.

So here I sit.  I've polished off the chocolate and set the alarm for well before the crack of dawn.  Barring a snooze button fiasco, I should be able to get it all done.  I guess the devil wins again.  Well... there's always tomorrow.


The List

I have a "to do" list.  As a matter of fact, I have a few.  Some are on paper, some in the notepad function on my phone, and even an actual "To Do" application in the same phone.  It's a bit of a compulsion.  There are a few reasons for the "to do" list obsession.

One reason for the list is that I can't remember to do anything.  I have that many kids.  I have to put everything on my list for the day:

  • shower
  • feed pets
  • dress the kids
  • etc...
There's no telling what might happen if I don't add even the most basic tasks to the list.  I'll stink, the pets will starve and the children will be at school in their pajamas.  Don't judge.  Come tell me how many things you forget to do when you're trying to get 5 kids out the door.  I'd be willing to bet you might forget to brush your teeth your lunch, too!

The other reason for the list is that it helps me feel like I've accomplished something.  There are days when my house is in disarray, my children are unruly, and I don't feel like I've managed to accomplish a single task without being interrupted or derailed in some way.  Then, I look at the "to do" list.  I could get discouraged when I see that I still haven't checked off the laundry I hoped to fold, finished those lessons for work, or sent those emails I meant to send.  I really might feel down if I count how many items did not get checked off the list.  Instead, I choose to focus on my accomplishments for the day.  I showered, the pets were fed, and the kids were dressed.  Some days, that's as far as I can get.  Check!


First Foods?

M & M's are a recommended first food, right?
This is what goes on in my house at 7 am when I'm trying to get ready for work.  Someone, who shall remain unnamed, (Sean) left a whole container of M&M's on the floor - after having a handful for breakfast.  My pediatrician would have a fit.  Charlotte helped herself to about 20 a few before I finally got around to vacuuming them all up.  Well, at least I won't be tempted to eat them, now that they're in the vacuum (off the floor might've still been an option).  My butt thanks you, Charlotte.


Only Me...

I routinely do stupid things. They're always unintentional, but stupid nonetheless. Maybe it's because I have a million kids. Maybe I'm just absent-minded. Regardless, it seems that things like this only happen to me. For example, I once got in the car to drive the kids to school and thought, "Wow, the gas is really low. I better get some as soon as I drop the kids off." I no sooner had the thought than it was gone from my mind. Don't worry. It all came back to me when I ran out of gas driving up a hill on the way home (with 3 little ones in the car). This is one of those stupid things I do. My car has a gas gauge. It even tells you how many miles you can go before it's empty. Duh.

Yesterday, I decided to go into work on my day off. I wanted to get a few things done that a co-worker was helping me with. I dropped the big kids off at school and took the two little ones with me. I decided not to park in the lot because I didn't want to get blocked in. After 2 hours at school, the kids were getting tired and I knew I had to pick Sophie up soon for her early release day. I went out to the street with Charlotte on my hip and Sean holding my hand thinking about the fact that they would take a great nap in the car. Only to find my car gone. And, unless there was a team of thieves who were hard at work emptying that side of the street, it had probably been towed. I don't work on Fridays. I didn't realize that there are some Fridays that are street cleaning days. So, there I stood, two kids, no car and a child who needed to be picked up in less than two hours.

Thank God for my father-in-law (the same person who brought me gas last year)! He tracked down my car at the random lot it had been towed to, picked me up at school, brought me to the tow yard, and I managed to get to Sophie's school with 1 minute to spare. I really need to get him a white horse for the next time he needs to ride to my rescue! 

My favorite part of all of this was the breakdown of the bill from the towing company: 
$90 - towing 
$35 - storage of vehicle (for a whopping 2 hours) 
$15 - towing for 10 miles 
$6.51 - other (what "other" charges could there be?) 
Grand total - $146.51. To go to work on my day off. Ouch. (Side note: I take great pride in the fact that the tow guys told me I was the nicest tow customer they ever had! My new claim to fame.)

The whole thing just makes me laugh. I'm the only person I know who does stupid things like this. I told the story to everyone I talked to yesterday because it was just so ridiculous. When I told my mom, she acted like a real mom and suggested that there was a lesson to be learned from this experience. (I'm sure she was suggesting that I should start reading street signs.) But she is right. Lesson learned: Don't go to work on your day off!


Back to School

It's that time of year again. The air is a little cooler, the days are a little shorter, the school supply commercials are all you see, and parents everywhere are breathing a collective sigh of relief. Its time to go Back To School. 

I've always loved this time of year. As a kid, I was the geek with all of the perfectly sharpened pencils and color-coordinated notebooks and folders in my Trapper Keeper (just try to tell me those things weren't great!). There's nothing like a bunch of brand-new notebooks with crisp, clean pages just waiting for all of the perfectly neat notes I would stop taking by the time October rolled around.

It is a little tough.  I really like being home all summer with my kids.  Our schedule is relaxed and we have our choice of fun activities to do each day.  Going back to school means packing lunches, juggling childcare, and rushing around to get everything done. For me, though, it's always meant a new beginning.  Some people wait until the start of the new year in January to "begin anew."  I get to do that every September.  I try to get back into a better routine, plan new activities for my children and my students, anything that will make my life run more smoothly.

I have so many intentions at the start of a new school year.  Often, life catches up with me and, much like others' New Year's resolutions, they go by the wayside.  Regardless, the air is getting crisp, the kids have new backpacks full of unbroken crayons and sharpened pencils, and I have a fresh start ahead of me.  Here's to sticking to it (until January, when I need to start over again)!