Sunday, February 28, 2010

What are you wearing?

How I do it #4: Everyone but Sadie and Vance pick out their own clothes and dress themselves.  This one was a hard one to overcome at first, especially with Brynna who would wear cat costumes, rain boots, and a winter hat to the grocery store, but it was born from necessity and continues to make my life easier.  One day a friend of mine reassured me that this was okay, that it was fostering independence and decision making.  Her sage words are still a favorite quote of mine, "Sometimes you just gotta let them walk behind you."

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Idea from Proverbs

How I do it # 3: Proverbs 26:11 says, "As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool returns to his folly." I thought if a dog likes his own vomit then it probably likes others upchuck too. So, when the baby spits up on the floor, I call the dogs and hit it with a mop when I get a chance. (I don't do this with anyone over the age of 6 months, that would be gross.)  The dogs clean under the tables for me after meals too.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Lower Your Standards

I'm often asked how I raise six kids, coordinate a ministry, home school, and get everything done. The truth is, I don't get everything done and most times I get nothing done. I always tell people not to be impressed. However, people still say they are in awe and ask for my secret. My response, "I've lowered my standards." I thought I would share a few of those standards with you over the next few weeks. Hopefully you can relate, hopefully you will not think I'm crazy or disgusting and if you was nice knowing you.

How I do it #1: Pray often! Not holy-long-winded-prayers, but monosyllabic oh-Lord-prayers. These at times are my most genuine prayers.

How I do it #2: If I'm lucky I get to take a shower every other day and my leg hair is usually visible from the Hubble telescope.  Body spray and the ponytail are on my list for the most ingenious things ever created.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Back to Reality

We are back from spending the weekend in beautiful and hot (80 degree temps) San Diego. Before jealousy wells up inside of you, let me dash the vision of me sipping umbrella drinks in the sand while the rich and the famous jog by. When I first heard Brian had to work the weekend in San Diego, I too fell victim to the scenario; a stupid smile crossed my face as I looked off into space and a fuzzy white ring appeared around me sipping the earlier stated umbrella drink with my toes in the sand and joyous children hugging one another and building sandcastles beside me. I should have known it would be a farce as soon as I saw myself in a bathing suit two months after having a baby, but a woman can dream.

Day One:

The plan:
Leave the house by 10 am., drop the dogs off at the boarding place, drive halfway eat lunch at Rainforest Cafe where the kids will be in awe of the sights, reach San Diego around 4, eat dinner, hit grocery store for food for room fridge, take the kids to the pool, put them to bed by 9.

What actually happened: Left the house at 1. Our 2 lb. dog that won't even jump off the couch, lost all depth perception and jumped off my lap and out the window of our moving truck. Ten minutes of seizures, she amazingly was okay. Arrived at Rainforest Cafe. Vance was afraid of any animal thing that moved. He whined for fear we were abandoning him in the jungle if we bent over to pick up a napkin. Freeway closed down due to an accident. New route had two accidents - very slow at times. Two kids claiming motion sickness. Arrived at hotel at 8. Brian didn't tell the front desk he brought his family. Back stairwell. Three flights. Six kids. Two times. Bed at 11.

Day Two:

The plan: Donuts, park, nap for the younger four, school and Bible study for the bigger kids and myself, funburger joint, park, dinner with Brian, pool, bed at 8:30.

What actually happened:
Kids up at the butt crack of dawn. Threatened kids with going home if they didn't quiet down so I could shower. Back stairwell. Three flights. Six kids. On the quest for donut shop. Thirty minutes, six strip malls later - success. Quick grocery run - disapproving looks. Keely drops a bottle of Vitamin water all over the floor didn't help our case. Park - super fun. Back stairwell. Three flights. Six kids. Nap for Vance and Sadie. Keely and Ryleigh out of control. Kids punching one another. Me threatening. Big kids on Facebook. Back stairwell. Three flights. Six kids. Little Cesar pizza for lunch. Beautiful park. Hot and tired momma. Nursing a fussy baby on a bench while the other children watch Vance jump around in a mud puddle behind me. Only shoes he has. Costco for snacks. Back stairwell. Three flights. Six kids. Times two. On the brink of losing my mind, Brian arrives. Thank you Lord! Back stairwell. Three flights. Six kids. No pool, family walk. Nice. Back stairwell. Three flights. Six kids. Leftover pizza. Bed at 9:30.

Day Three:

Plan for the day:
Pack up. Legoland at opening.

What actually happened:
Kids up even earlier. Grumbling. Brian has to work half day. Packed up after Brian left. Loaded truck. Back stairwell. Three flights. Four times. More grumbling. Double check room. Everyone potties. Back stairwell. Three flights. Six kids. Off to another park. Pick Brian up. Off to Legoland. Arrive three hours after they open. Fun is had by all. Dinner afterward. Kids are melting down. Mom is spent. Dad is the only semi-reasonable thinker. Pee accident. Two kids with diarrhea. Dessert. Head home. Bed by 11pm.

You would think at my age and with six kids I would realize that my expectations and romantic notions rarely match reality. Despite the fact that my plans rarely matched what transpired or that I was completely exhausted, I'm thankful that I'm not cynical because this trip really was great. It reinforced with me what great kids I have; very go-with-the-flow, funny, and helpful when it counts. So even though I didn't get to sip drinks on the beach and rub elbows with the elite; I did get to eat donuts in the park with some of the greatest people on earth and after all those stairs that bathing suit might just be a reality next year.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Where Have You Been Young Lady?

Hello, I'm back! Have you missed me?

I realize it's been a while and although I would love to give the excuse of a new baby and home school, I wouldn't be telling the truth. The real issue is Facebook. I've been obsessing over my friend's statuses for months. I have a break, I pop on the computer to see what is happening on the east coast. I wake up and check to see what friends have uploaded pictures of their kids, their pets, the weather. Before bed, I read the conversations between people I went to school with 15 years ago. It's ridiculous. Why do I care who earned what in Farmville, I don't even play. I feel as if I have become a virtual peeping Tom and to be honest I don't like it, but have I stopped - no. So this is not only an explanation of my absence but a confession of my obsession in hopes that now that I have admitted it I will somehow be able to change it. Whew, sweet release!

I can't say that Facebook is the only reason I have stayed away from you. I did have another baby, baby number six. Our sweet little Sadie girl arrived three weeks early on Thanksgiving day. When they checked me the day before and realized my amniotic fluid was too low to continue the pregnancy, they said this is the day you get to meet your baby. Fearfully I was induced, but the Lord is good and I had her six hours later with no pain meds. Recovery has been wonderful and the kids have been great. (I still stand by my belief that going from one child to two children was by far the most difficult.)

I'm still homeschooling. Still can't stand it. As I type the children are neglecting their assignments and discussing farts and giggling. I have reached my yelling capacity for this hour and will begin again in 20 minutes, after my voice box has had a rest. I still fear that I am ruining them for the real world. That they will never again be able to go into a real class setting and succeed. Constantly doubting if I am doing the right thing. Hoping that they are not becoming social rejects, feeling as if I am.

Another reason I have been gone, is that after a long break from writing it's hard to start up again. Feeling as if there is nothing to say. Other times thinking there is too much to say and not knowing where to begin. Wondering if all my bloggy friends have written me off after so much time. I have decided it's time to get over my paralysis and type, even if it isn't very good. It's nice to be back and stop the excuses. Ignore the Smile requests on Facebook. Learn to type with a baby on the boob. Turn a deaf ear to the children and their slacking. Now if only the little ones could take care of their own excrement....gotta run, there are rears to clear. (Note to self: Make life easier and buy flushable wipes.)