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).


Get Out of My Kitchen!

I love to cook and bake. The kitchen is definitely MY room in our house. And everyone knows it. I thoroughly enjoy company in my kitchen, whether it be guests hanging out, kids helping with measuring and stirring, or the occasional post-dinner dance party. It's the fighting, fussing and fooling around that I can't tolerate while I try to cook. One child chases another into the middle of the kitchen while I'm trying to measure dry ingredients. Someone else decides to see how well their bouncy ball can ricochet off the walls while I'm piping frosting on a cake. Surely, if I'm stirring or pouring something that's extremely hot, someone will be crying at my legs about the latest sibling injustice. This is when it happens. The yell that the neighbors can probably hear. "Get out of MY kitchen!"

I love when the kids are in the kitchen to help. It's fun teaching them how to crack eggs, measure ingredients, and stir. It brings back fond memories of hanging out in my grandmother's kitchen and learning to bake. And our post-dinner dance parties remind me of hanging with mom and cranking the music while we washed dishes. Lately, though, the kids seem to be more likely to come into the kitchen to wreak havoc.

I have tried to claim this room as my own. I am the one who uses it for it's intended purpose, after all. Maybe it's the magnet effect that draws the goofballs into the kitchen while I'm trying to work. Maybe they're a bunch of daredevils who want to face off against hot oil and the wrath of mom. Or maybe, they have made it their own personal mission to drive me nuts. Whatever it is, I'm pretty sure they have become desensitized to my battle cry. "Get out of MY kitchen!" no longer holds any power and I just can't seem to rid myself of these pests. Anyone know a good exterminator?
Visual Aid?

In honor of this post, I created an apron to use as a visual aid. Feel free to stop by my Zazzle store to pick one up for yourself!

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So, a few months ago, I wrote a post about being sick while taking care of the kids. In that instance, I had a bad case of chills and aches that made me want to lay in bed wearing a hooded sweatshirt (hood up) while the children ran around like loons. But, as life is constantly trying to give me perspective, I realize I should've looked at that day like a little vacation at the spa. Because it surely can't compare to what just happened in our house over the past few days.

There has been a little stomach bug going around at my kids' schools. It's relatively short-lived, but even 6-8 hours of vomiting is 6-8 hours more than I like to deal with. In the middle of the night between Friday and Saturday, Lucy started. She spent the night puking in a bucket once an hour (Old Faithful) until the morning. During the day on Saturday, she was tired, but no longer sick. All day Saturday I watched the others for signs, but it appeared that some kind of miracle allowed the bug to only hit one of us. I know. It even sounds delusional to me.

By Sunday, Lucy was running around like the rest of the crazies, so we went about our business. We went to Patrick's basketball game. We got the house ready for the Patriots play-off game, and we invited company over to the germ factory.

The game was great - GO PATS! I ate lots of Chinese food and had a few beers (that I would later regret). In all, it was a fun evening. The first clue that we might not be ok was when Patrick didn't want any dinner. Then Sophie kept telling me the button on her jeans was making her tummy tired. Uh-oh.

Patrick went to my room which has its own bathroom. That's when he started. Sophie came down to complain about her button again. I asked her to go get daddy because I was holding Charlotte and didn't feel so good. She never came back. I went to find her (& hand off Charlotte) and she started getting sick. We rushed her into the other bathroom. Her getting sick finally sent my churning stomach over the edge and I started, too. Two people, one toilet. It's a real bonding experience. Please keep in mind that we still had company at this point. Don't worry. They left in a hurry.

That night, I had Patrick and Sophie sleep with me since we'd be closer to the bathroom. PJ and Sean slept on the couch to try to be as far away from the germs as possible. There's nothing quite like getting sick once an hour. The experience is only heightened by helping others while they get sick, too. To add insult to injury, Charlotte started at one in the morning. Seeing as she's only fourteen months old, she couldn't figure out why I kept pinning her arms and holding her over a bucket. Poor little thing. Needless to say, I didn't sleep at all. When you're waiting at attention for anyone in a bed full of sick kids to start throwing up, you really can't rest. My only concern was keeping it out of the bed. I just didn't have it in me to change sheets, too. Rinsing out buckets was bad enough.

Of course, around 2:30 in the morning, PJ came down to inform me that Sean had started, too. Since my bed was already full of me and three kids, they stayed on the couch and handled it down that end of the house.

All-in-all, it was an absolutely dreadful night. I hate getting sick and it was made horribly worse by the fact that I was caring for three others who were getting sick at the same time. Not only that, but as each of us succumbed, I was feeling guiltier and guiltier about inviting company to the house. I keep waiting for the awful news that one of our guests is sick, too.

So, yes, Universe. I'm sorry I complained two months ago about feeling achy and needing to lay in bed. I get it. It can always get worse.


Why I Shower at 5am

I made a mistake trying to take a shower yesterday while all the kids were around. Usually, I avoid this situation by taking a shower long before they wake up. Unfortunately, I overslept yesterday and that didn't quite happen. Below is a transcript of the conversations that occurred while I took my 7 minute shower.

Sophie: Mom, since I'm not going to school today, I won't get to see if the bucket of water froze.
Me: Well, Soph, we can always put out our own bucket of water and see if it freezes.
Sophie: Oh, in that case, I've got some ideas about what we could do. We could use a - 
Me: Okay, Sophie. Let's talk about it when I get out.

Two Minutes Later...

Lucy: mumblemumblemumblemumble
Me: Lulu, I have no idea what you're saying. Speak up!
Me: Lucy, just open the door, I can't hear a thing you're saying!
{opens door}
Lucy: I was trying to get paper out of the drawer and I broke a lightbulb.
Me: Fine. I'll be right out. Make sure no one goes in the dining room.

30 Seconds Later...

Someone shouting: Charlotte! Get away from the broken glass!
Me: Some one grab her, I'm coming right out!!!!

This is where I hastily rinse my hair and ponder whether I even got around to shaving both legs. I grab a towel, fling the door open and check that no one is playing in the broken lightbulb. I figure I have just enough time to throw clothes on and vacuum before someone starts eating glass.

As usual, lesson learned. It's safer to just be dirty.
I feel your pain, Janet Leigh. I feel your pain.

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The Rocky Dance

We depend very heavily on help from different family members during the week. Some babysit, some help with drop off, and some help with pick up. PJ and I both work. Our children go to two different schools that are neither near our house nor our jobs. If we didn't have all of this help, we'd be lost. Prime example of our complete dependence - this past Monday & Tuesday

My in-laws were out of town on Monday and Tuesday. PJ and I realized that without the help of my father-in-law at pick up time, my children were going to have to learn to walk home from a few towns away or we were going to have to get creative. I teach until after the kids are out of school and PJ often has afternoon meetings. Monday was one of those days, so I had to take a sick day to be able to pick the kids up in time from school. On Tuesday, we figured PJ could go into work early and get out early enough to do pick up. Unfortunately, that left me to deal with drop off. 

On a good day, our mornings are a little nuts. I got up well before the crack of dawn to try to pull off numerous drop offs and still make it to work. The day started with the normal amount of chaos at a slightly earlier time. Lunches, uniforms, diapers, backpacks, water bottles and the like got packed. I got four out of my five children ready and into the car by ten past seven. Sean slept through the entire morning routine so I grabbed him out of his bed, threw a coat over his pajamas and tossed put him into his car seat. Away we went. 

I managed to drop Patrick and Lucy at their school at a reasonably early time. Then, I rushed Sophie into her school, hung up her backpack and chucked the little ones back into the car. (During this, I had a 35 second walking conversation with a friend I haven't seen in ages. Annette is so understanding of my crazy life!) En route to drop Sean and Charlotte with our babysitter (back in the town where the morning had started), I hit tons of traffic. Needless to say, I practically threw the kids at her - Sean still in his pajamas - so I could rush off to work. Now, I've discussed my caffeine addiction in the past. There was no way - late or not - that I was going to attempt to get through a day of work without a stop at Dunkin' Donuts. 

After more than two hours of driving and dropping off 57 5 kids at three different locations (and a much-needed stop for coffee), I arrived in front of my school only 4 minutes late. If that doesn't warrant the Rocky Balboa dance of triumph, I don't know what does.
Triumph, baby
Long story, short: we're completely lost without all of our baby sitters and baby transporters. Thank God for family!

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You Can't Fight the (Magnetic) Power

Our house isn't huge. It's big enough, but not huge. Even if it were, it would still be hard-pressed to fight the fact that there are seven of us living together. Obviously, being alone is a rarity in this place.

Sometimes, I can sneak off to another part of the house for a few quiet minutes. I might go off to my bedroom while the kids are playing and catch up on a favorite show while I fold the laundry. Maybe I'll sit down in the living room and use my laptop. Unfortunately, my children have developed some kind of weird sixth sense that allows them to discern when I have just settled into an activity. Not only that, but this extra perception includes a built-in tracking feature that enables the kids to find me - no matter where I try to hide.

There is something about the chemical composition of my and my children's bodies that has created some kind of magnetic attraction. No matter where I go, they always find me. They're like little baby CIA agents. I could crawl under a bed and surround myself with the crap that they've shoved under there and they would still hunt me down. (Come to think of it, that's one that I haven't tried and should probably hang onto for future use.) If the kids are in the living room and I go down to the bedrooms, they feel compelled to migrate to that end of the house. If I manage to sneak away to the other end, they soon follow.

It's the Magnet Effect. Sean has a set of little, wooden trains that have magnets to connect them. As he drives them around, they'll snap together with a little 'click' and then continue along the track all in a row. That's how it is with me and the kids. No matter where I am, click, click, click, click, click, they're all cruising along right behind me. Unlike Sean's trains, however, I can turn around and face them, but I just can't seem to repel them.

So, I go about my business with my minions attached to my butt. Except for when I hide in the bathroom. God bless that little, push-button lock.
There we are...


Resolutions, really?

So here we are. A few days into the new year. Everywhere you look people are creating, listing and discussing their resolutions. As a matter of fact, most people have done so already. I'm starting behind, again. In the past, I've used January 1st as the date when I would start many resolutions to better my life. Inevitably, by the end of the week, most of my resolutions would already be thrown by the wayside (with numerous chocolate bar wrappers). This year, I decided I'm going to focus on things that will make my life run more smoothly and are more easily attainable.

So here they are, in no particular order:
  • Do one load of laundry a day. On a really good day, fold and put away the laundry so we don't have to dig through the "clean" pile to find matching socks.
  • On that note... Socks! (Sadly, that warranted an exclamation point.) Everyone in my family will wear clean, matching socks. This especially includes me. Bonus points if the novelty socks match the current season or holiday.
  • Make dinner. If my husband and I have one more hour-long conversation about which take-out to order - longer than the time it would take to make dinner - one of us will end up dead (and it's not going to be me).
  • Drink more water. My caffeine binges (followed by the occasional weekend beers) have to be taking a toll on my body.
  • Give in to the nightly chocolate craving with a reasonable amount of chocolate. I'm not going to fight it, but a few Hershey kisses has got to be a better choice than the king-sized candy bar that weighs almost as much as my cat.
  • Teach my slobs children to clean up after themselves. Sadly, in my frenzied quest to clean before company arrives, I'm usually heard asking my kids to "just get out of my way and let me do it." Needless to say, I've created monsters. This year is going to be the year of the clean house. Well, maybe I'm getting ahead of myself. The Year of the Somewhat Tidy House sounds more likely.
  •  Try to get things done at night. I'm a night owl. I always stay up late. Why not actually accomplish a few tasks (pack a lunch, find the uniforms) so I don't have to literally work up a sweat rushing around in the morning? It would be nice to go to work knowing my shower lasted until after I went out the door.
Needless to say, I've got my work cut out for me. However, all of these resolutions should be fairly simple if I put a little work into them every day. But... as I sit here typing with a few Oreos and a glass of milk (and no lunches packed or clothes laid out), I realize they'll have to wait until tomorrow. With any luck, we can start then with 14 clean socks and a whole new year ahead of us.
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