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).


Tantrums R Us

Sean has developed an adorable new habit. Tantrums. If anyone had asked, I would've happily told them that Sean was the easiest child I'd ever had. From the time he was born, he was a dream. Terrible twos? Not my Seany! 

And then he turned three. (Cue the foreboding music.)

My perfect little Sean has been able to muster a decent tantrum at a rate of about twice a week for the last month or so. Sean, being Sean, he really likes to excel at everything he does. This means that a proper tantrum involves screaming, yelling, stomping, crying, and turning all shades of red. He actually gets to the point of losing complete control of himself. I'm fairly certain that he's lost all touch with reality when he's in the throes of a monstrous meltdown.

For the most part, the other kids never really threw too many tantrums. That's not to say it didn't happen. Lucy once cried for four hours straight when I refused to buy her a toothbrush at the grocery store. (Don't let her quiet nature fool you - that girl is stubborn as hell.) Granted, I've developed a weird sort of parenting amnesia as each child progresses past certain stages, but I can't recall any of the kids going through this tantrum phase for any length of time.

There is a recent event that inspired this post. Last Friday, after I dropped the three oldest children off for school, I asked Sean if he wanted to go get a snack. We popped into our favorite little convenience store so I could grab a coffee and Sean and Charlotte could get a treat. Normally, this treat is a muffin, donut, or a granola bar. While I poured my coffee, Sean and Charlotte had stumbled upon the Devil Dogs. I almost caved in and said yes to the Devil Dogs when Sean quickly tossed the package back and ran to the ice cream freezer. 

Any other day, I could've told Sean that we don't eat ice cream at 8:30 in the morning and he would've agreed. Not this day. Apparently, being told no ice cream meant it was time to channel his inner Linda Blair.  He turned all shades of red, stomped and shouted about wanting ice cream. While there wasn't any head-spinning, it was still a fabulous show for the entire store. 

I was very proud of myself. I told him sternly that he could choose another treat or get nothing at all. He continued to pitch a fit while I calmly finished preparing my coffee and picked out a snack for a very bewildered Charlotte. I went to check out, trailing a tiny monster behind me. The poor cashier tried to tell Sean that ice cream would give him a tummy ache. At this point he'd lost all touch with reality and just screamed. There were lots of stares. I could have shut him up instantly with an ice cream, but he's got the wrong parent if he thinks that's going to happen.

So... I ignored him. He tried to block me from leaving the store, but, I pushed right past him. The parking lot posed a new problem, however. Sean decided to try to run back into the store for the much-coveted ice cream. Safety-wise, ignoring him was no longer an option. I put Charlotte on one hip (while holding my coffee in that hand) then scooped Sean up around his middle with the other hand. There's nothing like a flailing child to kick off the day. I wrangled the kids (and the all-important coffee) and grew an extra set of hands to fish the car keys out of my pocket. Then I unceremoniously threw Sean (not an exaggeration) into the car.

Once Charlotte was safely buckled, I asked Sean (who was now crying on the floor of the backseat) if he needed a hug. Believe me, the last thing I wanted to do was hug the little brat child, but I knew he needed help coming back to reality. He fell into my arms and settled right down. He was then able to agree that ice cream is not a breakfast treat and that he shouldn't have carried on the way he did.

While I still haven't ruled out demonic possession, I'm hoping this is just a normal (and fast-moving) three year-old phase. Anyone out there have any tantrum-stopping tactics? Or the number for a priest who does exorcisms?


I was going to add a picture of Linda Blair from The Exorcist, but I scared the crap out of myself when I Googled the images. I'm still way too freaked out by that movie. I blame my parents for making me watch that at such a young age.

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St. Paddy's Day

I love St. Patrick's Day. I'm only a bit Irish (thanks to my mom's dad), but being a good Boston girl, I know that everyone is Irish today. Growing up I spent a lot of time in my grandmother's kitchen. Even though she was English, she almost always had her radio tuned to the Irish music station. She knew all the words to those songs and would sing along while she baked something yummy (from scratch). Hearing the music now brings back fond memories of my childhood. Plus, I just love a good fiddle. Throw in some beer, and I have a grand holiday on my hands!

Seeing as we have two Patricks in our house (and my kids are quite a bit more Irish than I), we do like to celebrate the day. Inevitably, we gather up a crowd and head to whichever local establishment has a.) live music b.) corned beef and cabbage (for my mother-in-law & myself) and c.) a table big enough for our whole clan (my kids just haven't learned to elbow for room at the bar, yet).

I'm always proud of myself when I can sift through the piles of laundry and manage to find something green for all seven of us to wear. Trust me, it's a true feat. And off we go to pay homage to our heritage by wearing green, listening to music and eating a boiled dinner...

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Charlotte & Lucy hanging on the dance floor
My boys!
A family tradition: falling asleep 
amidst deafening Irish music!

We couldn't plan it if we tried!
Juju, Patrick & Pop-pop (& a very large hat)
My girls!


The Cake Beast

I finally decided to make a blog specifically for the cakes. I have a few friends (okay, just one) who don't use Facebook, but want to show my cakes to their friends. So, I needed a new place to showcase the cakes. Considering that I make at least one cake a week for someone, it was probably about time. Here's the link. I'll be posting some cake pictures to the blog soon. 

If you're wondering about the name, there's a page on the blog that explains it.




There was an evening last week, that prompted me to develop a new mantra. "Rise above." We had been eating dinner as a family, but the kids were very antsy. One by one, they finished their meal and asked to leave the table to go play. At that point, I didn't much care what they did as long as it didn't interfere with me finishing my dinner. (Please, if you know what is good for you, do not get between me and my food.) 

As PJ and I sat there enjoying the rest of dinner, chaos was unfolding around us. They were jumping, running, tagging, and wrestling. Which quickly led to yelling, fighting, crying, and screaming. The noise level was ridiculous even for a house with five children. It certainly wasn't the norm for dinner time. PJ and I just looked at each other and shrugged. We decided that they were going to have to work it out and we continued enjoying the meal. We came to the realization that, as long as there was no bloodshed, we were going to rise above the noise and pretend that we were eating in peace. 

I'm sure that most people would have been absolutely horrified by the scene, but we figured it was a battle that we would lose. We chose not to fight. The kids were tired and cranky. The only solution for that would be an early bedtime. So we ate our dinner and tuned out the nonsense. (Which, trust me, was a super-human feat.) As soon as we were done, we ushered them off to bed.

We'll just have to be sure to remember this night if we ever decide to throw a fancy dinner party. Which is, of course, super-likely. (Do they make a "sarcasm" font?) In lieu of hors d-oeuvres, we'll pass trays of ear plugs.

Watch me chant serenely while my kids scream like fools...
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