Father’s Day Questionnaire

In honor of Father’s Day I have decided to ask all the kids, maybe not Robert, 10 questions about their dad. Today I am sharing Meg’s answers, she is 3-yrs-old.

pexels-photo-356079

How old is Dad?    2

Dad always says?  That’s Good

Dad laughs when?  We say poopy

What is Dad’s favorite tv show?  Daddy shows

What is Dad’s favorite food?  Chicken Wings

Favorite thing to do with Dad?  Go on dates to ice cream place

What is Dad the best at? Putting Air Conditioner In

What makes Dad angry?  Mommy

What is Dad’s job?  Working out

Why do you love Dad?  I just do

 

How Do You Summer?

Yesterday was our second day of summer. I think it is going to be a long couple of months. I took the kids and signed them up for the library summer reading program. This is something we do every summer and we love it! We have lived in two different states and have always made sure this is on our summer to-do list.

IMG_6010My 7-yr-old was all set to load up on Captain Underpants books, but they were all checked out!!! All of them!! Last time we were there I saw a whole shelf full, but this time out. I guess because of the movie? Not sure. We will have to put some on hold. After a bit of pouting he went with the Big Nate books. I love watching their reading tastes develop. My 10-yr-old is all about sci-fi and adventures, but 7-yr-old is loving books that have pictures which are either in comic form or funny images from the main character’s diaries. Just when I have a list of books for boys a different kid comes along, and I have to start all over.

My 5-yr-old and 3-yr-old just completed 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten. So they got a book, a medal, and their picture taken. I tried to take their picture too, but they were quite done.

IMG_6013My 5-yr-old was just ready to check out an iPad and play games. I love that we pack up the car, head to the library, and the first thing my 5-yr-old does is demand an iPad. I told him he had to go pick out books first, since that is why we came. He likes the We Found a Hat book and the others like it. Once he finds them he speeds off to get that iPad. Once he does then his brother’s do too. So much for trying to get away from screens. I fail miserably, but better than yelling at them in the middle of the library for being idiots while I let the 2 and 3-yr-old play in the kid’s corner.

IMG_6014After this we head out to the car. Of course, the first thing they ask is if they can do electronics when we get home. Um–No!!!! When I explain they just did electronics at the library they began to tell me how that doesn’t count. Wrong. I am the Mom so I get to decide what counts as screen time and I say using an iPad counts as screen time as it has a screen and they used it!! To avoid anymore conversation on the topic I turn the car around and head to the playground. The older boys get their soccer ball and head off toward the soccer fields and the younger two head off to the swings. Yes. I have won. I have succeeded. To prove it I took this picture of outside fun.

IMG_6017Well, my success was short lived because within minutes there is fighting and yelling and name calling. Maybe if I just walk far enough away it will magically stop, or I just won’t hear it and you know- Out of sight out of mind. Unfortunately, what good is fighting if you don’t have an audience? They follow me to tattle. I tell them, very nicely, that I don’t really care and they need to walk far away from me to figure it out. I suppose they do to some extent, at least they don’t tattle anymore.

Next stop ice cream. I know this makes perfect sense load up crazy kids with sugar, but really sometimes the only way to get them to stop being crazy is in the moments when they are loading up on that sugar– hmmm… it is a quandary.  As I missed my Strong By Zumba this week and had cookies for breakfast I figured why not just go all in and have some frozen ice cream coffee drink for lunch. Seems like a win win.

IMG_6025IMG_6031I figured they would be sort of tired. I hoped some of the younger ones might go to sleep. Turns out– not so much. Great. The rest of the day was just me telling them to stop crying and fighting with one another, and then giving up and saying fine- go play electronics. Mom for the summer win! When does school start?

Story of My Momma Morning

 

IMG_5904

I haven’t had a shower in a couple days, so after getting the older two kids off to school, I decide it is much needed. The younger kids were watching tv so I figured it was the best time. My 2-yr-old heard the water running and started crying at the door. I ignored him, but one of his older siblings must have heard because in a blink of an eye he was in the shower with me. Of course, the moment water hits his face he starts bawling. I lift him out and for a moment he is content, but then he wants back in. Really. All I want to do is shave my legs.

Once out of the shower I want to sit outside and enjoy some of this lovely sun. I pull a chair up to keep an eye on them and attempt to read my book. My reading is disrupted by calls of: Watch this, Look at me Mommy,  and See this. Most of what I am seeing is a child inching ever so slowly down a toddler slide into the baby pool. Any time I lower my gaze I am called upon once again.

I hadn’t seen my 2-yr-old for a couple minutes so I ask the 5-year-old to check on him. I figure he is playing on the patio, but my son comes back to tell me Robert has pulled a chair up to the counter and is searching for the scissors to open the freezer pop he pulled out of the freezer. When I walk in I see he has emptied out half of the utensil container Luckily, I had moved the scissors yesterday. I figured since he has gone through all that work there may as well be popsicles for all. I don’t really care that it is 9am.

Now that they are distracted I can pull my book out again and try to read on the patio. 5 minutes later a naked toddler comes up to me with waffles from the freezer. Who thought a freezer on the lower half of the refrigerator was a good idea? Sure whatever- 9:30am sounds like a good time for second lunch. Waffles for everyone.

I decide that this is as good a time as any to make those brownies I promised to make yesterday. Once they are in the oven I try to read on patio again. This time my 5-yr-old brings out Battleship saying, “Remember you promised me last night that we could Battleship this morning?” I think to myself: I figured you would forget. I say, “I remember. Go set it up, and I will be right in.” At least I get brownies later.

I played a real nail biter of a game of Battleship. As we are putting it away in walks my toddler covered in blue toothpaste. Nice. Upstairs I go to clean it up and him as well. Kids are so much work. It is always something. They should really warn you.

Figure it is time to give up on the idea of reading. I need to do dishes. Clearing out the sink and run disposal only to hear a chunk chunk noise. Turns out a tiny plastic cup fell in. How is that possible? Now I have to fish it out. I guess it is lucky that it is now in two pieces.

I tell kids it is time for rest. I put them all upstairs and start the futile task of cleaning and laundry. For 30 minutes I clean, not that you can really tell, and think to myself that cleaning is stupid. Mostly I just transfer the toys from other rooms back to the playroom, which is filthy.  I take clothes on the floor and make an even larger pile of laundry.  Around this time all 3 kids come running down the stairs laughing and playing tag. This may be cute, but it is not resting. I tell the older two they need to clean up the playroom. Who knows maybe they actually will, and I won’t have to do it. I take the toddler and lay down with him in my room. He is screaming and crying but with me in bed next to him he eventually falls asleep. I check the time. It is only noon. For real. Just noon. I make lunch and tell the older two kids, who have cleaned up some of the playroom, that they can just watch tv for awhile because Mommy needs time alone.

Tears in Muffin Batter

My daughter got a balloon yesterday. You know because after I locked the kids in the car we celebrated their freedom with a trip to McDonalds where they each got a balloon. Helium balloons and 3-year-olds often lead to tears. Ours did. She loved that pink balloon. She named it Balloony.  No one else was allowed to touch it-even if she wasn’t. The girl loved it, she took it outside because she didn’t want it to be out of her sight. She let go and the backyard was filled with screams and cries. Her whole little body was shaking. Tears just streaming down her face. Heaving sobs. Balloony, she cried, Balloony. Her older brother tried to soothe her with a hug, words of wisdom, and talk of Heaven. Nothing helped. Figuring the best thing I could do was distract her I asked if she wanted to make banana chocolate chip muffins. She did. Through her tears, her occasional moans of, “I am so sad. I want Balloony,” we made muffins. She normally assists but this time she took charge while crying. She grabbed the hand mixer and seemed to use the noise to cover her sobs. At times she needed to pause to give me a hug, but then she once again took the ingredients and poured them into the batter without my help. For the first time she took the spoon and dished the batter into the muffin tins solo. We set the timer and snuggled on the couch.

I admit as this was going on I began to feel like maybe I shouldn’t have used baking muffins as a way to help soothe my little girl’s tears. It seemed too stereo-typical female. Tears into muffin batter, doesn’t that go along with ice cream for a broken heart, and eating your sadness? Is this what I really want to teach her? Is this the path to body issues? Am I being anti-feminist by teaching her this aspect of domesticity? I feel maybe partly, but then I think of her determination, persistence, and take charge attitude while baking, and I think not. There is something powerful in making something out nothing, there is something calming in following a recipe, there is joy in sharing what you made, and these all add up to stress relief, so I think taking charge of your emotions and channeling them into something positive is quite healthy. If nothing else she is learning that her mother will be there for her no matter what, will listen to tears, and will share a delicious treat, and a good cry.

Shocking Revelation: I locked my kids in the car

Do you ever wonder what would have happened if you went right instead of left? Today I was going to go to the grocery store, but my daughter was begging to use the bathroom. Target’s bathrooms are better than the grocery store so instead of turning right at the light I turned left. Once using the facilities we wandered around, as people do inside of Target. I bought each kid a shirt because they were just so cute how could I not. Then we went over for the bread, milk, and goldfish- the real reasons we were there. By the time we make it out to the car the kids are a bit crazy. I decided first things first I will buckle them in their car seats and then load up the groceries. Once in the car they make a dash to the driver’s seat and begin pushing all the buttons. So I drop my purse and drop my keys to better grab these tiny children and get them restrained. Success! Now time to close the doors and open the back so we can get out of here. Only one little problem. I mean tiny. The doors won’t open. Not even a little. A quick glance in the front shows my keys and my purse are right there. I bang on the window and try to get my 3-year-old to unbuckle her 5-point-harness carseat. Yeah, that isn’t happening. She does try but to no avail. Not really sure what to do because I can’t call AAA with my phone locked in the car, I go back into Target. There are a lot of people in line at customer service and for real, I ponder standing in line to wait my turn, I am such a rule follower. However, knowing that is ridiculous I just go up front and loudly blurt out: My kids are locked in my car along with my keys and purse and phone and I don’t know what to do. People just sorta stare. One man says: Well, can’t your kids just open the door for you? Aren’t your windows cracked? In my head I think: No, my windows aren’t cracked. It is drizzly and 55 outside! My kids are in their carseats and the oldest is 3. I promise I wouldn’t have come in here if it were that easy. Then a different man, an employee, says he will grab his cell phone and call 911 for me. So he walks out to my car, calls the police, and says he will wait by the entry to make sure they can find me.
In the meantime, I just keep walking back and forth to the opposite sides of the car so each kid knows I am there. I make funny noises, I play Where’s Mommy?, and tell them they are so awesome. One mom comes over and tells me it is ok, that it isn’t hot, they aren’t crying, and with kids it is always something. I thank her. Other moms stare, some with wide mouths and others with concern. 15 minutes later ( I am guessing my phone was in my car and that is how I tell time) the police arrive. The first officer checks my license plate and my name and all that. The second arrives just behind her and together they get out their door opening kit and try to open my door. It takes about 5 minutes. My kids are totally enthralled by this and any crying or whining is now met with complete silence. Once it is unlocked I just can’t stop saying thank you. I tell my kids they are amazing. I hug and kiss them. My heart is now racing even though before I wasn’t really all that anxious. The police give my kids a sticker which is the best thing ever. Then off they go.
Thanks Villa Park Police!!
I figure after all that drama we need to celebrate with some McDonalds. So off we go to get sausage biscuits and chocolate milk. We eat inside- a rare treat for my kids. Now McDonalds has changed a bit since last time I ate inside. The kids got balloons. Which is great because after being locked in the car for 30 minutes what better way to celebrate than with stickers and balloons. Wow. What a day.

Another Day of Absurd Antics

IMG_5587

The sun comes out, temperatures rise, and what kids go crazy? This is all I can assume. This morning bright and early, without my knowledge, my two youngest decided to go into the baby pool. While getting the boys ready for school Meg and Robert were not to be seen. When I go outside to look for them I find Robert naked and Meg in her bathing and playing in the baby pool. It was 7:30am and they let no one in on their plan. Oh man, so now I realize I will have to empty the baby pool every day. I can’t trust those crazy kids. Oh, they were so proud asking me to watch them and their crazy moves. 7:30am?!! Later on we went to the playground. It sounds like fun, it is sunny, the weather is warm, we can wear shorts- turns out it was more of an adventure than fun. Quite soon after arriving Robert got bored. He was not interested in the slides, the climbing, the chasing after Meg. No, he just wanted to wander outside of the playground and roam around the baseball fields. I went to grab him but he just kept running and running going further and further away. Once I caught up he began to sob, go limp, and I knew that we would have to go home. I was dragging him back to the playground to get Meg when I noticed a girl wandering around the playground holding a pink dress and wearing superman underwear. Any guesses whose daughter this might be? Anyone? Yes, she was mine. I put the crying Robert down and went to grab her. As I reached out for her she began to pull down her underwear. Yup just right there in the middle of everyone already just in her underwear and now trying to take those off. When I asked her what she was doing she informed me she had to pee. Of course. Why didn’t I realize that. It takes some work and it takes walking through the Parks Department with a little girl in just underwear, but we make it to a bathroom and finally into the car. Once they are strapped in I feel like I can take a deep breath. Only my phone rings and it is my son’s school. Last week I got a phone call from his teacher. It seems that the end of the year for both of them has meant they are wearing thin on each other’s nerves. She informed me if he didn’t improve a meeting with the principal would be in order (for the parents). We quickly told him he had to get it together, reminded him that it was only a couple more weeks, and threatened to take away his electronics for the rest of the school year if we had to go see the principal. Well, that call came today. We have a meeting this week to discuss the behavior of this son. Great. I finally was able to put my kids down for a nap but it seems one little girl didn’t want a nap and when the boy awoke from his he couldn’t stop crying or screaming or yelling or kicking. This lasted for well over an hour. You know. I think I need a break. I definitely had a couple beers at lunch.

Trouble with 2

Ok so I am sitting down in the kitchen just eating some lunch when I notice my naked son sitting on the floor. Then all of a sudden he starts rubbing his butt back and forth on the floor. Have you ever seen a dog with a dingleberry rubbing his butt back and forth in the grass? Well, turns out something quite similar was going on with my dear sweet naked son. He had pooped, took off his diaper, rubbed it on my bed sheets ( I later saw), and then just decided to come out into the kitchen to continue this rubbing- ALL OVER THE KITCHEN FLOOR!!!!! Why are kids so so gross?

This same kid is a runner. Not a fan of the runner. Do you have a runner? He sees an opportunity to go and he does. The worst part is that he doesn’t look back. He doesn’t check to see if me or any of his siblings are around, he just makes a run for it. He goes and goes, wind in his hair, sun on his back, and free like a bird. I am constantly chasing him down the street, literally around the elementary school, into parking lots, and through the whole house. When you catch him he just laughs, and if you say no he looks at you and just says-No? Then turns to attempt it all over again. This child better get a track scholarship to college.

My darling baby is also a super early riser. He wakes up at 5, sometimes the child will wake up at 3am but I manage to get him back to sleep by putting him in my bed, and he screams and cries. He screams for me and once he has me he screams for milk, food, Diego, new clothes, and whatever else comes to mind. This screaming wakes up his sister, who always finds her way into my bed around 1am, and then she starts crying. She either wants the same things as her brother or she is mad at him for waking her up so she is screaming at him for that. Of course, no matter what it is 5am, and now I am awake. This mother was not meant to be an early riser.

Yes, I am ranting about my 2-year-old, but really 2-year-olds are super gross and a ton of work. He asks for a drink and then just pours it out on the table, rubs it everywhere or he takes his food and rips it up into little pieces and puts it in his cup, and then pours the cup out. He takes food and he rubs it on his body: chest, belly, feet- it doesn’t really matter where- he just wants to be one with his food. Sometimes he continues to eat it, other times he just throws it on the floor and steps in it. Again, when you say no he just looks at you like- What? I am not doing anything.

Plus, what is it with little kids and tubes of stuff? My oldest son has prescription hydrocortisone cream, well he did, his 2-year-old brother found it, squeezed it all out, and then proceeded to rub it on himself, the ottoman, the floor, and the couch. He also pulled the bathroom step stool over to the counter and found the toothpaste and basically did the same thing.

Guys, 2 is tough. This is my 5th 2-year-old so it isn’t like I don’t have experience. My first kid thoroughly broke me in. I think I am just too old and tired now. I can’t even. Seriously, he basically just eats fruit snacks for every meal. I really hope that there is some actual fruit in there, even if there isn’t, screw it. I don’t want to hear him cry for 20 mins. over fruit snacks. At the end of the day he comes over and gives me this huge hug, with  big smiles, and says- Love you Mommy- so I guess I will keep him. He might be the death of me, but I will keep him.

IMG_5580