Saturday, December 3, 2011

Yet another pal? YIKES!!


Ok, I admit that this is getting to be a bit much...but this is probably going to be the last post in this series. I do have to admit that, yes, I do indeed have yet another buddy. One that I probably couldn't live without either. I have tried. Many times over. And sadly, I have failed. Each time. It's called....are ya ready?????
"The List". Yup, these friends of mine sure are one of a kind, aren't they? uh, huh. They are.

So what? So I don't re-invent the wheel. Big deal. At least, I make them my own, right?

So, what is up with this list anyway? Well, if we're speaking in REAL reality, not my recent Twilight Zone reality, there are in fact MANY lists. Actually, I would probably rank "The List" as more of a "frienemy", rather than a true friend. Kinda like my never ending, bottomless pit laundry basket. You see, for tweens/teens (of which I now have 3, thank you very much), this term means an enemy disguised as a friend...or a friend who might sometimes treat you more like an enemy....you know who I'm talking about. You're probably thinking of that person in your mind right now. It's ok, we've all had to deal with at at least one, at some point in time. I can think of a few through out my middle and high school years. Luckily, I'm passed all that. (well, for myself anyway, I'm sure I'll get to live through all that again with my kids, just like the whole science fair project thing;).

Anyhow....I can probably rank the list pretty high up there for both friend and enemy. It is a friend in that it reminds me of what I have to do. It keeps things in order. It keeps me on task. It lets me know what still needs to get done. It also tells me of what I might have planned for the week. What the kids have to do. BUT, and here's the catch....it also reminds me of what I still have to do. Get it? And it's also, like that laundry basket, never ending. The list never seems to get shorter? No really, I'm being honest here. I finish one thing on the list and add 2 more. I complete one list to find 3 more hidden away, only to come out when least expected (needed). My days rarely go as planned anymore. With 7 kids, that comes as no surprise, I'm sure. And, I've come quite accustomed to it, too. So, you'd think I'd be better prepared or have some other, more fancy way of keeping up. But, no, not me. Not yet anyway.
I admit, there are lists every where. Phone lists, homework lists, errand lists, things to do at home lists, and the most infamous one of all..........the big one, the grocery list. Wow. That's the biggie. It too never seems to end. I could shop every day and still need stuff. I swear it is true. We go through enough milk in this house per week to drain 10 cows. I won't even talk about the chickens. God rest their soles. My pantry looks like Seinfeld's top counter with all the cereals in it; not the variety, just the amount. And I bet his were full. I can't keep up. I don't even try anymore.
And that's the trick. That's what I've figured out. I live in the Twilight Zone. I do. To keep my sanity, I live out there....somewhere. And it's good. It works. So, after giving up the list for a few months over the summer. I've come to realize, it is a healthy addiction after all. So, I caved and went back. My lists still take over the house on occasion, but, that's ok. They NEVER, EVER will get completed, but that's ok, too. They help to keep order and keep me on track; even if it's not in the right order or ever all done. Sometimes it's true--it's important to have your friends close, but your enemies even closer. So, here I am....looking at my list of things to do tomorrow, knowing full well that the plan has already (expectedly) unexpectedly changed, and I'm ok with it. And guess what?...unlike that old high school frienemy....I can crumble that list up and start all over again. And it feels good! ;)
Ever so determined, I am off to the black hole, er um, laundry room to try to complete #1 on the list.....if I make my way back out, I'll be sure to let you know if I've completed "The List".
............stay tuned.............

My pay, the Calendar!

 
So, you've read about my best friend, the timer. Now you're about to read about another good friend of mine, the Calendar. Not my personal calendar, but rather the good ol' family calendar that has been in the kitchen for a number of years now. It became very apparent that this was a necessity in our home shortly after #4 arrived. She was born during the school year and it was the first year that I had a child in school; real school, not pre-school. Add to that a 4th child (a newborn) in the house and well the calendar just had to become part of our family. All of a sudden there were deadlines, dates, events, and parties that had to be out there for us to see on a daily basis, in order to plan properly. And it had to be big enough to fit all of us on! It was planted on our pantry door in the kitchen of the old house. It was a sanity saver for sure. Still is.
However, we have since moved and our doors are a bit different here and well, somehow the old family calendar didn't fit. I had it up on the inside of the door, but well, that just wasn't in your face enough for us me.Oh, I've tried other calendars, but none seemed to work as well as this one. Smaller ones, individual ones (as in one for each kid), one of those monthly ones that you can write every one's name in. My dear friend gifted me one of those before #6 and it was great, for a while. Don't get me wrong, a wonderful idea, but it eventually became quite obvious that writing every one's names in each month was a bit too time consuming for a busy mommy like me, so then we moved to initials. Then we had problems fitting everything on to the little space provided for each person...a dentist appointment, a friend or school event and a game all in one tiny space didn't cut it for me, for us...no one could read what was going on. We simply needed more space. So, after the year passed, up went the old family calendar, again. Nothing else seemed to work...even the computer or our phones. Nothing. We compliment it with the computer, our phones or my own planner, but we still need an "in your face", family calendar.

Sadly, we are getting rid of the old one...the one I got so many years ago now is officially retired! I found a nice, new one! Still big, spacious squares to write many events into but a bit more acceptable than the old laminated one that is starting to show some wear and tear. The kids were a bit surprised, but I think they will soon grow accustomed to the new calendar and its new location: right smack dab in the middle of the kitchen. Now, that's what I call: organization.
We're ready to be organized for the new year. I'm likin' how empty it is right now and the fact that there is only black ink on there. For now, anyway....you see, each kid gets his/her own color so that we can quickly (most of the time) identify who has what each day! This month is sure to get filled and very colorful fairly quickly!
 
How do you keep track of all things going on in your family?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Things that make you go hmmm....

No, this isn't quite like the old Arsenio Hall show!!
...these are things that I never thought I'd say, that is, until I became a mother. Where the word normal takes on a whole new meaning and strange statements no longer really make me go hmmm:

Don't sit on your brother's face!!

You can't throw him on the couch like that.

Get off of your brother.

Please! Pick up the living room, now!

Someone's head is still on the floor.

If you throw that car, it will go straight into the trash.

Someone's nail is in my sink, come and get it! (ok--I'll explain this one! a fake nail that someone received as a gift, somehow got loose and kept ending up in my bathroom sink)

Bob the builder is still on the steps, why?

If I've said it once today, I've said it a million times....take the light saber out of the baby's face.

Stop pointing the gun at his/her face!

Don't shoot your brother/sister.

An airplane cut my foot. Really bad.

Oh, if there was a fly on the wall....I'd certainly have some explaining to do. And if that fly had any ability to contact Arsenio, I can't help but wonder what he'd have to say about it all?

There are days....

...that I have no choice but to don my black and white striped shirt and whistle.
...that I have to count my kids out loud in public.
...that I run out of food even after I doubled the recipe.
...that I need 2 grocery carts.
...that my hair stands on edge.
...that I pull my hair out.
...that I'm frazzled, dazzled and razzled!
...that I wonder where the money really went?
...that I can't squeeze another appointment, event or activity on that particular day on the calendar.
...that I spend hours (yes, literally hours!) filling out paperwork (usually school, medical or sports related) for the kids.
...that the word "cleaning" takes on a whole new meaning.
...that I do 6 loads of laundry without even making a dent in the laundry pile.
...that I drive 4 or 5 kids all over town to friend's houses.
...that I drive all over town for 5 kids sporting adventures/extracurricular activities.
...that I have doubled the amount of kids in my house for everyone's sleepovers.
...that I have more than doubled the amount of kids in my house for a birthday party.
...that I cannot help my kids with their homework, because well, they have surpassed me in school and I have a master's degree!!! and graduated Suma Cum Laude...
...that I scarcely make it to the bed before passing out from exhaustion.
...that I just sit, watch and listen.
...that I marvel in their growth, abilities, and maturation.
...but mostly....there are days that my cup runneth over.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Keeper Cookbook!

A couple of years ago, I started a blog about surviving in the kitchen with 6+ kids. Mostly as a sort of recipe keeper/cookbook for the kids to inherit one day. It didn't last. Way too much to type out. Way too much work when I was doing pictures alongside. Way too time consuming. And probably more obvious to others than me, but simply unrealistic for a mom of now 7! I actually tried to change it up a bit and use it more for kid recipes, organizational stuff, crafts, homemade cleaning recipes, etc. But, reality is, I'm busy. Again, way too time consuming. So, I deleted that blog and gave up on the whole darn idea. I really am trying to simplify my life. But, who can resist an new and different organizing idea regarding cookbooks? So, here I am again, tackling this issue.
You see, in the end, I do love to cook and experiment with new recipes and my family loves to be the test subjects. Problem is that I have TONS of recipes, lots of recipe books/magazines and more than a few recipe websites I like to visit. So, there are times that I frantically search for that particular recipe, cookbook or magazine for a specific recipe, etc. It's just a mess, really. I've tried to organize them, to no avail. I mean, some have post it notes on them to mark the favs or as the hubster likes to call them: "a keeper". Also, some loose recipes have been glued into composition books and printed out ones have a binder. I also have my Family Fun magazine recipes in one binder. But, as you can see, they are simply all. over. the. place! Something had to change and it wasn't gonna be with a blog. That's for sure. At least not right now

One day while perusing one of my favorite menu planning websites (I think?!?), can't remember which one right now, I came across something and voila, the "Our Keepers" cookbook binder was born!!
It is in the preliminary stages, but in it I have the family favorites. So far, there are just more than a few recipes in there and that is why it is in a small binder for right now, but as I add, I'll expand. (Rest assured with 6 kids in school, there is NEVER a shortage of binders in this house.) But, I want to only keep it as big as it needs to be. The whole idea is to de-clutter the recipes without having to toss my cookbooks, magazines, and other homemade recipe contraptions I've made over the years. I mean, I do still use the cookbooks for other purposes, special occasions, and of course to try out new recipes, etc. Basically what I do is take the recipe that we love and use over and over again and make a copy of it and store it in here. (I am doing this as I go along....not rummaging through my recipes for the "keepers". That would of course, defeat the purpose of this whole idea.) I am sure that eventually I'll have to add dividers and tabs to sort the recipes and that maybe some of them will be more difficult to copy, but for now, this thing is GREAT!! A humongous time saver. Something I not only love, but really do need right now. Maybe one day, one day not too long down the road, I'll be completely organized again.
Yeah right....

Although, this was like a complete light bulb to me, this apparently isn't a new idea. There are even websites out there that will make it for you, where you can order a kit as a DIY project, and how to organize one. All you have to do is search things like family cookbook binder and up they come. Me being the frugal sort of person, well I just chose to make my own. They'd even be a great gift for a family member or friend!

So, tell me, how do you organize your recipes, menus, and cookbooks?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Kitchen Timer

OK, so I use the digital kind...but you know what I'm talking about. It's the ol' kitchen timer. Most of us have one; if not free standing, then on our microwaves, or ovens, or even our watches. But, did you realize that it has so many, many uses? Sure....it's great for baking, cooking, its probable original purpose. In our house however, it goes far beyond the kitchen. We use it for time outs. We use it for the quick clean up-15 minutes to get the toys off the floor, or they belong to Mommy. We use it for regular cleaning- how much dusting can you get done in 20 minutes? We use it to practice for the FCAT- 1 minute to do 100 math questions. I use it when I'm doing chores or paying bills, etc- OK, guys, when the timer goes off, Mommy is all yours again. The list is just about never ending....I should carry one in my purse. I remember when ours broke not that long ago and I was so lost! When I went shopping...I picked up 2. Can't have that happen again. Ever!

But the biggie....the one that it really works well for is sharing. If I have a morning of constant bickering over every single toy that gets pulled out, the same crayon or marker or sheet of paper, I simply pull out the old timer and tell them that when the timer goes off, it is the next person's turn. Works every time. Not sure why. And I don't ask. I don't care. It just works and that is it. All my kids know this technique and I even see the older ones using it with the younger ones or I hear them tell another sibling, ok, let me just have it for 5 more minutes and I'll give it to you. You can even time me, they say....putting the control in the other's hands. And they are always fair about it. Wow....what a gadget this timer is. Forget the calculators, computer, the beepers of past, the cell phones, the ipods/mp3 players, this is the gadget to have....cheap, too. The good ol' trusty kitchen timer. You learn so darn much, being a mom!

Now, where's your kitchen timer?

Monday, September 5, 2011

In my purse??

What the??? I am not sure how my purse turned into a storage unit the size of a small room, but it did! I actually own "my grandma's purse". It's right here by my side. I remember when I was a little girl and I had to have a purse. It was small and empty. A lip gloss maybe, a change purse with a few coins in it. Sometimes I had erasers in there that I bought from the elementary school store. Then I graduated. Or so I thought, anyway! Graduated to the big time purse....now I had my car keys, even a check book in there, a real wallet with real money and sure some make up, too and OK, maybe a few odds and ends as well.

Then....I became a mother. Oh I fought it, I did, but much to my chagrin, my purse got bigger and bigger. Now I had medicine in there, markers, crayons, band aids, the like. Maybe a baby toy or whatever I needed for a trip where I might need to entertain the kids. Some things, I would inherit from the kids along the way.

Before long, I became a MOM (mom of many) and wouldn't ya know it.....it gets worse. Not only do I accumulate much stuff in there, I have a lot less time to go through it all and clean it out. Plus, it seems that I forget what I have in there and so then I throw stuff in there that I think I need, but it's actually already in there! Go figure....

Well, I am stuck at home today waiting for the refrigerator repair guy (not broken, just part of a recall) and amongst other things that have to get done; IE: laundry, bills, balancing check book, cleaning a bathroom, I decided it was also time to clean out the ol' purse. It was kinda scary! Kinda like that kid song, "Empty out my Pocket". I must confess, it's been a while, but here is a little taste of what I found: 3 batteries, 2 rocks, 1 shell, probably about 30 receipts, approximately 15 pens/pencils, gum (yes, chewed; no wrapper!), the gum wrapper (hmmm?), a water bill, after school enrichment form and brochure, a few stickers, a slew of coupons, address labels, stamps, 2 calculators, 1 very crumpled envelope, C's PT schedule, a few barrettes, 1 scrunci, 1 tube of polysporin, band-aids, paperclips, various business cards, my eyeglass script, a medicine dropper, various sticky notes (unused and in different sizes), a couple of sharpie pens (OK, so I always have at least one: lots of kids+sports+drinks+water bottles+other items that need to be labeled=sharpie pens all over the place!), and a few checks that need to be cashed. (woo hoo, at least that's one good thing!)

HUH???? How did this happen, exactly? I would definitely win at that game you play at showers "what's in your purse", because let me tell you, I have all the usual stuff in there, as well. You know, a wallet, cell phone, check book and of course as any self respecting busy MOM does, my camera, my ever important "tide to go", "after bite", germ x, and some pics of my kids! My purse weighs more than my 4 year old!

But, for now, it's all cleaned out....ready for another busy week of golf, volleyball, softball, baseball, physical therapy, CCD, a dentist appointment, playgroup, G's friend's birthday party, a trip to the grocery store and probably Target for that b-day party! Makes me wonder what will turn up in my purse next?

Mommy's Goody Bag

Would you happen to know what "Mommy's Goody Bag" is? Do you have a "goody bag"? It's not a big bag full of tasty goodies or anything. Nope, my goody bag is something different. You see, I have always been involved in something. The MOMS Club,, our church's moms group, MOPS, story times, playgroups, etc, etc, etc...Until one day, I had a child old enough to start sports. We started off with soccer. We were also in school now. A slight life changing event. No more off season trips to NY for 3 weeks for me and the kids, a new schedule evolved for sure and some of the spontaneous stuff went out the window.

Another baby in the house and one more in preschool and we were in full swing at the baseball fields by this point. Why we switched to baseball from soccer is still a bit unclear to me. I think we wanted to try something different and somehow it stuck. I'm really not sure. We've tried to get the kids into soccer more than a few times and no one was willing. But, I'm rambling now....
Move ahead a couple of more years, another baby and one more on the baseball field and now you're talking craziness. I think that I started to feel busy and overwhelmed and well always behind on certain things by the time I had #4, but well....#5 took me over the edge. And, we were ALWAYS out and about. Not in the sense of MOMS Club, St. Anne's or story times or things like that, but rather at the baseball (and softball field at this point), kids' school events, parties, and the like.

Fast forward to #6 being born. Life has gotten busier and crazier and more chaotic than ever. A baby doesn't really have too much affect on family life....they're so darn mobile when they're still infants. But...as they grow, they become their own person and they too become busy and involved in things. Now that he is 2 1/2, we have golf lessons (and for a while there, the after school theater program, which ran for about a month), another one in volleyball, softball and physical therapy twice a week, B in baseball and track and G in softball. Never mind all the parties, after school events, friends houses, play dates and school projects. Add doctor/dentist appointments, grocery shopping, household and event shopping into the picture and well, you get the picture.

Al and A get toted along everywhere! I mean everywhere!! All over town. We are constantly out and about and I seem to have to force special time in for them. Whether it be special play time at home, at a park or playground or whatever. Soooo.....since they are a very busy 2 1/2 year old and 4 year old, in comes the goody bag. No, not the diaper bag. The goody bag!

What's in the goody bag you ask? What's it purpose? Well, there are all kinds of things in there: things like coloring books and crayons, maybe a color wonder book with markers, a few books to read, some matchbox cars, dinosaurs, some small electronic games we got from McDonald's a few years back. All kinds of hidden treasures that are ONLY played with when Mommy breaks out her goody bag. The items get updated every once in a while, so ya never know what is going to come out of the bag. Not quite like Mary Poppins' bag, but pretty darn close, I'd say! This bag is Mommy's sanity saver....and is off limits at all times, until of course Mommy makes the executive decision that it is time for it to come out. Sometimes, Mommy even has 2, yes you read that right, two, goody bags. An extra one with some snacks and drinks in it! Ooooh, aaaahhhh, because guess what....those snacks and drinks might even be something special like a juice box or even a cookie or fruit snack. Double oooh, aaahhh!

So, when they get bored, antsy, and just a bit crazy from having to follow around 4 older siblings ALL. DAY. LONG!! I know it's time to break out the ol' goody bag and find something to entertain them with. OK, maybe it's not special playtime at home or a fun playground, but hey, it's still something special. Just because it's different. And, hey, anything called a goody bag has got to be "good"!

Notes from the Big White Van

I drive a big, white van. It seats 12. It is the only thing out there that will fit all of us, short of the Partridge Family's colorful school bus. I am not a construction worker, electrician, plumber or the local airport's shuttle bus. So, please....I beg you, stop acting (or looking at me) as if I am. I've never picked up a saw, know little if anything about electricity other than where you plug in an appliance and can barely plunge a toilet. I swear. I do not know what the traffic is like out by the airport, nor do I know the gas prices "over there". Don't look at me funny when I say this to you. Should you be another extra large family that does not fit into any "normal" sized vehicles...then by all means wave at me, smile, or when stopped to get gas, let's discuss where to find the cheapest gas prices. If you are not....please leave me alone. It's kinda creepy.

My van is big. I do not deny that. However, I DO take my time parking--choosing the spot, parking straight and making sure people can get in their vehicles next to me and can back out if parked behind me, as well. If you should park your puny, ancient, little Honda Civic in a parking spot very crooked and over the white line on the right side, please do not scream obscenities about MY parking job. It was the only one left (trust me, I looked. AND looked...no one else wanted to park by you either, apparently). Also, please do not call out names such as gas guzzler, work van and over population in front of my kids. If you cannot get into the passenger seat of said car....it is your fault and yours alone. Go back to driving school. Leave my kids out of it. Just sit down, shut up and drive off. Do the right thing. Otherwise, next time, I just might challenge you to parallel park an 18 wheeler and I think we both know who would win that one!

If you see me at Walmart with a bunch of kids and 2 grocery carts by my big white van, please do not ask me if I am feeding the homeless, having a party, or own a restaurant. Though I'd love to help the homeless, enjoy parties, and probably do kinda own a restaurant, I fail to see where any of this is your business. Can you not tell we are busy emptying carts, corralling kids and trying to get home before the milk sours and the Popsicles melt?

When I am parked next to you and you are returning to your vehicle in order to enter yours while we are exiting ours, please be kind and patient. We are not a "circus" bus, a basketball team, or a "herd". I am not a cow (though there might be days I'd bed to differ--that is for me to say, not you!) who is toting around her calves, nor am I a clown stuffing in little kids into our vehicle, and no, we are not a team of some sort....if you, however, should happen to be an agent, then please inform us of this promptly or else you just might catch me on the defensive. That should be taken as a warning.

And....last but not least, I do in fact drive the speed limit. And, yes, sometimes even a few miles over the speed limit. I realize that my big van might be blocking your view, but please do not zoom past me at 20 miles over the speed limit just to get in front of me and then slow down to 20 miles UNDER the speed limit. It is simply bad driving. Not courteous at all, not to mention unsafe. One day, I just might have to run you off the road.

Thank you for listening.....

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Grocery Shopping?

Picture this......a nice, quiet morning, say around 10, maybe even 10:30 or so. You are in your local grocery store. You're walking the aisles. Browsing the items. It's quiet. It's peaceful. Busy, yes, but not too crowded. A young stock boy greets you and asks if you need any help. No, thanks is your reply, because you're just enjoying looking at all the products, your list and wondering if you forgot anything. Ahhh....grocery shopping.

Then, BAM!! All of a sudden the quiet quickly comes to a screeching halt as some crazed, wild hair, red faced woman with an overflowing cart full of kids comes around the corner. A few kids are running off (escaping maybe, who knows) others are tearing those free coupons off the shelves, still others are begging for some sweet snack or treat that they never get, and even more are fighting and screaming their heads off in the cart. The mom (if you could call her that....) threatens, begs, borrows, steals, deals and bribes to no avail. She gets visibly frustrated and flustered, raising her voice now as well. You half expect her head to start spinning at any moment.

You stop, you stare....you don't want to, but you do. You quickly turn away when you realize she notices your look. You're inclined to say something...but what. Sympathetic? No way, why have all those kids if you can't control them? Funny? Um, can't think of anything. Rude, no, that's just plain not nice. Grateful that it is her and not you, nah, that could be mistaken for sympathy. Instead, you huff, you puff , roll your eyes a bit and just give the dirty look. Then you walk away.

Later, you meet up with her again while waiting by the check out counter. You wonder why she is headed directly for your line, until of course you realize that it's the shortest one. Greaaat, you think. Only much to your amazement...they are all working like little robots. An assembly line forms with each kid doing their part. One empties the cart, others put the groceries on the little conveyor belt, one helps bag their stuff and puts them into the cart. All well behaved, quiet and obviously following a routine. Oddly enough, the mom's hair is all kempt, her face isn't really all that red. Her eyes look warm and loving. Is this the same family, you think? Were you just imagining that she looked that way?? Feeling guilty for making a rash judgement on a woman you've never seen before, a family you don't know, you give the poor woman a compliment. You leave with a smile on your face. But, you don't dare turn around.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Comments, Statements and other such Nonsense

OK, so, I know I have 7 kids. I know this seems like a lot to most people. And on more than a few occasions like, say, grocery shopping, shoe or clothes shopping, going out to eat, buying a car or even a house, or even visiting family and friends, I tend to agree. But, most of the time, this is just my life. We have 7 kids and that is that. I mean, I know that it takes a special sort of person to have 7 kids....to really want and have always kinda wanted to have 6+ kids and of course you know that when I say "special" I mean, well, crazy, insane, demented, and a few other choice words I've heard people say about me. ;) I also do realize that this is more than the average household has. It is a bit hectic and crazy, true. If you are the type of person who likes order in the house, peace and quiet, lots of "me" time, then, yes, maybe having 7 little ones running around destroying things is not quite on your agenda. Me? I've come to enjoy the spontaneity of my days, the struggle to find time for certain things or for each child; the kids have taught me how to let things go and enjoy the moment; I literally expect the unexpected and seem to thrive on the chaos and disorder of our day to day living. After all, things always end up working out in the end, right? Well, maybe not as planned or how we wanted it to work out, but work out it does.

So, when we all go out together...we get looks, stares, statements, comments, questions and yes, even gasps. You'd think that by now I'd just simply pay no attention to all that kinda stuff I get while out with all 7....you know, it really does come with the territory. And, honestly, most of the time I do. I mean, I try to be polite when people stop and stare or ask questions, but really....some are just too plain memorable to forget and some, well, some I am just, quite frankly, sick of (as are the kids!)! :) So, the other day, when we went on our usual outings, I got to hear all those statements all over again. It's been a while....I guess I was a bit overdue, huh?

Here are some examples for you to enjoy:
-Are they all yours? (nope...I just go out and find 7 kids to take with me for the fun of it)
-You've got your hands full! (with what, exactly?)
-Boy, you're busy. (and you're not?)
-All from the same daddy? (yes, sadly folks, people ask me this in front of the kids!) (hmmm, I guess that question stems from the fact that they all look nothing alike!)
-They all came out of your body? (love that one)....(no, actually, didn't you see?...they're givin' 'em away free on aisle 5, go pick up a few for yourself)
-I don't know how you do it? (well, neither do I!)
-Wow, that's impressive. (gee, thank you....I take that one as a compliment!)
-Look Mommy, they have 7 kids in their family. (jealous....are you?)
-Don't you know what causes that? (um, apparently so)
-Boy, your husband much be rich? (hmmm....OK, if we're married, does that mean I'm rich too?) again...in front of the kids....
-And on the other end of the spectrum: Are you on welfare? (why do you ask?)
-What do you do with all those kids? (wasn't really sure how to answer that one?)
-Wow, I can't even go to the store/restaurant/doctor office, etc with my 2 and you're here with 7? (well, not sure what that says about you or your kids?!? YIKES!)
-Better you than me. (I agree with that one!)
-"one, two, three, four, five, six, seven!" Wow, seven kids?? (great, so you can count, I see?)
-and my all time favorite from some radical, saving the world from overpopulation person: they are using up all of our natural resources, etc (really? 7 kids are using it ALL up?) and when I responded to her, she came up with: well, you might do your part, but in the end, they still have to breathe the air. (Yes, people, my kids do breathe air....oh my.....the world is coming to an end!! HELP!!!)

I could probably go on, but these are the ones that we hear the most often and that I have to chuckle about every once in a great while.  But, considering there are many more families out there with many more kids than us, my/our few incidents probably don't compare to those families in any way, shape, or form. It just makes for a good laugh or 2....or 7! ;)

T-Shirts, Bumper Stickers and Magnets!

Here are some slogans, sayings and other such nonsense you just might come across on me, my car, or in my house:

"I survived my weekend!" 1 baseball practice, 1 softball game, 1 umpire job, 1 t-ball game with 2 kids, 2 advanced softball games (double header), 2 baseball games (another double header), 2 injuries, and 1 sleepover.
{Not that amazing? Lemme just add that Hubby was out of town with Claudia for her softball tournament (2nd place) !}

"Nothin' says lovin' like filling up your 12 passenger van for $112.00 and driving off with a big ol' smile on your face."

"'Super Mom' doesn't live here anymore" (not that she ever did...)

"7 kids, 15+ years of diapers, and approximately 35,000 diaper changes".

"Got Kids?"

"Yes, they're all mine and yes, we know what causes that, thank you very much!"

"Mom's Taxi? Puhleeze...that's for amateurs. Try 'Mom's Shuttle Service'....open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year." For all those pick me up in the middle of the night sleepover fiascoes, trips to outings and events, late night party pick ups, out of town tournaments, or the my friend needs a ride, I forgot my lunch, cleats, etc, etc, etc,--can you bring them to me please, among many other services.

"Diorama-mama" (enough said)

"Got Mess?"

"Pork Chop: noun, used to describe (lovingly of course) my 19 month old daughter as I try (and I do mean try) to stuff her into size 24 month clothes."

"Meet me at the Pediatrician's Office"

Oh, I could probably go on....in famous Scarlett O'Hara fashion: I don't want to think about that right now....I'll think about it tomorrow. After all tomorrow is another day. Hey, sometimes a mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do.
Nothing's ever easy.....whatever we do seems to take longer, be more difficult, or something than we originally planned.
And, I could definitely take the "Got Milk" slogan to a whole 'nother level! Got Laundry? Got Sports? Got Big? Got...got...got....the list would never end.....

Guess I'll go make some T-shirts now.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Mission: Impossible

"Good morning Mrs. Mom of Seven.
Your mission Mama 7, should you decide to accept it, is to cook, clean, do laundry, pay bills, balance the checkbook, make phone calls, plan events, calendar such events and others given to you, attend, or at least get child/ren to, event, clean, cook again, do more laundry, organize, menu plan, budget funds, play with children, read books to children, pick up after children, bathe children, get them to sleep--in their own bed, nurse babies, feed children, discipline children, help with homework, dole out chores, do more laundry, drive children all over town (sometimes even out of town AND out of state) for sports, events, sleepovers, play dates (which sometimes you have to plan for them), possibly picking up more children (that do NOT belong to you) to get to said location, host sleepovers, play dates and study groups, take care of sick children, take them to doctor, dentist and orthodontist appointments (occasionally, even the ER!) without over booking or double booking any events or appointments (please remember that you can NOT be at more than one location at a time), send out school notes, bring birthday items to school and plan their parties (which will involve more cooking, cleaning, organizing and planning), find some time to spend time with each child, husband and "me time" and of course, do more laundry....and any other things that just might come up with children, husband or yes, even yourself. Be prepared. This mission, is day in, day out, every day, 7 days of the week, 365 days a year. Please do it with a smile on your face and enjoy yourself whilst working your mission.
As always, should you or any of your I.M. Force be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions. This tape will self-destruct in five seconds.
Good luck, Diana."

Do you remember that show? It was a show in the late 60's to the early 70's. My brother and I used to watch it religiously. It was of course in syndication, but we didn't care if we saw repeats. It was a fantastic show and later it came back again in the 80's sometime, but with little success. I'm sure I'm telling my age with that one, but if you don't know or remember the show, here you go:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MA2KmJMKFrQ
or:http://museum.tv/eotvsection.php?entrycode=missionimpo

Later, in the 90's to the 2000's, because it was such a great show, a few movies were made with Tom Cruise as the lead. Now, I know you know at least some of these.

Well.....that is the story of my life. Yes, indeed. I am not too proud to admit it, but if I were to summarize my life, my day to day activities and responsibilities, in 2 words, just take a guess at what they would be! You got it!! Mission: Impossible!

That is what I feel like. Now, with each additional child, it always takes me a bit longer to adjust to a new and different schedule and routine. But, now, as the kids get older, this is becoming much more challenging. I am no longer in control of their schedules and activities as much. Now, they have school responsibilities, they have sports, they have friends, and one even has a job. I feel like I am constantly treading water, running around like a chicken with it's head cut off (I hate that saying, but I truly feel like I can relate these days!), scatter-brained with a bi-polar sort of disorder with racing thoughts, ideas and plans--always something to do. Some days I find the time to make a list, but I NEVER, ever get to it all. Sometimes, I make the list, only to leave it behind as I scramble out the door to goodness only knows how many errands, events and things to do. And guess what happens then? I inevitably forget something...no matter how minute. These days, I feel my age. I really do. Not so much during the day, but at bedtime...I'd rather the kids read me a story to go to sleep to. Quite frankly about half the kids probably go to sleep after me! And the mornings? Forget about it. I can hit the snooze button for hours given half the chance.

But--somehow, I manage. Yeah, sure, mostly I throw things up in the air and try to catch the important stuff as it comes back down. Sometimes I drop a few too many, but hey, I do my best. Some things, you just have to learn to let go. I also realize that pretty soon, it will be summer time. The light at the end of the tunnel. And...I do know that next year, as sad as it will make me, Andrew will be in school as well, leaving me at home all alone with a young toddler. All day long. You hear that? Only one child at home, all school year long. I'm not so sure I'll know what to do with myself. Truly! As it has been 13 years since I've only had one at home with me for that long of a time frame during the day. YIKES.

For now though....I'm enjoying my mission. I rarely choose not to accept it, though there are days I wished I had! And once I admitted that the mission really is impossible, it makes it that much more easier to accept it. So, I better get going, as my mission for the past week has been to fold and put away laundry. 14 loads folded (AND put away!!) so far in one week--we've even started to wash clothes again....we've done about 6 loads over the weekend.....and 2 of them have been put away already. Exciting, right? It's the little things.....

There are days.....

...that I have no choice but to don my black and white striped shirt and whistle.
...that I have to count my kids out loud in public.
...that I run out of food even after I doubled the recipe.
...that I need 2 grocery carts.
...that my hair stands on edge.
...that I pull my hair out.
...that I'm frazzled, dazzled and razzled!
...that I wonder where the money really went?
...that I can't squeeze another appointment, event or activity on that particular day on the calendar.
...that I spend hours (yes, literally hours!) filling out paperwork (usually school, medical or sports related) for the kids.
...that the word "cleaning" takes on a whole new meaning.
...that I do 6 loads of laundry without even making a dent in the laundry pile.
...that I drive 4 or 5 kids all over town to friend's houses.
...that I drive all over town for 5 kids sporting adventures/extracurricular activities.
...that I have doubled the amount of kids in my house for everyone's sleepovers.
...that I have more than doubled the amount of kids in my house for a birthday party.
...that I cannot help my kids with their homework, because well, they have surpassed me in school and I have a master's degree!!! and graduated Suma Cum Laude...
...that I scarcely make it to the bed before passing out from exhaustion.
...that I just sit, watch and listen.
...that I marvel in their growth, abilities, and maturation.
...but mostly....there are days that my cup runneth over

Things that make you go hmmm.....

No, this isn't quite like the old Arsenio Hall show...these are things that I never thought I'd say, that is, until I became a mother. Where the word normal takes on a whole new meaning and strange statements no longer really make me go hmmm:

Don't sit on your brother's face!!

You can't throw him on the couch like that.

Get off of your brother.

Please! Pick up the living room, now!

Someone's head is still on the floor.

If you throw that car, it will go straight into the trash.

Someone's nail is in my sink, come and get it! (ok--I'll explain this one! a fake nail that someone received as a gift, somehow got loose and kept ending up in my bathroom sink)

Bob the builder is still on the steps, why?

If I've said it once today, I've said it a million times....take the light saber out of the baby's face.

Stop pointing the gun at his/her face!

Don't shoot your brother/sister.

An airplane cut my foot. Really bad.

Oh, if there was a fly on the wall....I'd certainly have some explaining to do

A little intro:

I love to read blogs. I have a personal family blog that I've been writing on for over 3 years now. Time flies, doesn't it? But, now I'm ready to get on to bigger and better things and so here I am. I am a wife to one and mom to seven. 4 boys and 3 girls. We are a busy bunch, you'll often find us out and about on the softball, baseball or soccer fields. Or on the volleyball court....or at gymnastics....well you get the drift! Our kids range in age from 15 to 18 months. Yes, we get all the looks, comments, and what nots that you're probably thinking about right now! But, we love it!! So come follow me on this journey. Oh and leave me a comment or 2, please!
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