Monday, December 30, 2013

Santa came. And then the vomit came. My experience over the last several years is that vomit is the price you pay for a visit from Santa. Maybe we have some special reindeer allergy or something. But it's about as regular as St. Nick's visit itself.

It's been a week since I've written. Since then we've hosted a Christmas Eve party, went to Midnight Mass, arranged St. Nick's benevolence, did Christmas, did Christmas at my parents house, cleaned up vomit, watched Baby clean up in a soccer tournament, went to a rehearsal dinner (an hour away from our home), got all my family members of the wedding party to their scheduled locations at the assigned times (unlike the rest of the party....I really need to remember that schedules during weddings are nothing if not fluid) got X-Man, Mac and Cinco and myself dressed and out the door for a wedding over an hour away (the father figure and the older girls were already there, left in two separate caravans) and survived and marathon of a wedding. In case you think I exaggerate, I give you a two hour wedding ceremony. Ok fine, it was an hour and fifty minutes...I rounded. It's impressive that I myself made it through, but considering I had X-Man and Cinco at nap time (the happy couple chose to ignore the memos I sent concerning their wedding choices. I'm still confused as to why they did not factor my needs into their wedding planning.) The father figure was a groomsman, and although both he and my brother in law had a great plan that involved them sneaking off to assist their wives with the fruit of their....well you know, both ended up sitting in the front row sans children. That was until I marched up there and dropped X-Man in the father figure's lap. Much like he had done to me just around three years ago. Not that X-Man wasn't actually being very well behaved, especially as hour two rolled around and he was still napless. However, at some point Cinco figured out that I was not holding her, and that just didn't sit right with the young lady. In the end, X-Man watered my corsage in the drinking fountian while Cinco licked whatever makeup I had still on my face. Just in time for pictures.

Not that the week was over. There was a cocktail hour to head to. And then a formal dinner. And then dancing. And then more vomit. And then a twelve year wedding anniversary. And then more vomit.

This is why I have not written for a week. Lovely as almost every event was in actuality, I hope to never have another week like it again in my life.

Monday, December 23, 2013

It's not been a good "holiday" time. At least as far as accomplishing much of anything. I haven't baked anything at all. Supposedly I'll do something tonight, but I just want to curl up and nod off.

Not that I've been taking it easy or anything. I did finish an annual project I oversee every year. It seems to be getting bigger and more complicated, but I am certain that the addition of more mobile children to the mix certainly isn't helping. Neither are either one of the abscesses I've managed to develop. It's very important to me, for reasons I can't explain, I make it clear that neither one of these teeth had cavities. Which made this situation even more special. Of course, due to my life looking like it does, I only bothered to go in to the dentist after I developed a huge lump on my jaw. Nothing life waiting until the last minute has passed. And your insurance changes so that which would have cost nothing out of pocket now most definitely costs.

So this is how I found myself in Trader Joe's instantly regretting numerous life choices. The trigger for this particular moment was letting X-Man have his own child sized shopping cart. The chaos surprised even me. He wasn't interested in following me but he was more than happy to race through the aisles yelling "Guys guys with meeeeee!!!! And so I found myself chasing after X-Man, while pushing Cinco in a cart weaving through the crowds. Next stop was the Dollar Tree because I've given up and am throwing all gifts in bags. The Dollar Tree does not have little shopping carts but does have penguins. X-Man determined that penguins would be an acceptable substitute and he should hold ALL the penguins. I was of the opinion that he should hold NONE of the penguins. Epic meltdown commenced.

I have blocked most of it out, but I do distinctly remember saying "Santa does not come for young men who bite their mothers!" It did not make an impact. X-Man was so forceful in his rage that the lady ahead of me let me cut in front of her. She complimented me on my patience. I didn't tell her it was most likely the drugs due to my root canal.

And that seems to sum up how this month has been going. Found myself threatening to shoot Santa out of the sky if he ignored my instructions to stay away. Baba casually mentioned that I say that every year. I didn't remember threatening Santa's well being before, but apparently I have. Which I guess means that I'm not abnormally overwhelmed. And they're not being abnormally naughty. That's not really comforting.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

I've tried to start this blog at least three times. It's not happening. Not for lack of material, no my kids all still live with me. But mostly because I'm so overwhelmed by it being December and all. I've tried making to do lists, but so far all I've done is count to purple. 

Today I made the following observations. 

Cinco really, really wants to lick the chimney. I don't know why. She will tolerate licking the oven, but only while I am cooking dinner. I'm not sure what it is that draws her, clearly not the stainless steal cleaner, well....knowing my kids perhaps they are putting stainless steal cleaner on the chimney. 

Cinco loves wrapping paper. She does not approve of wrapping paper on rolls. She believes strongly that it should remove it from them. And then rip it into tiny pieces so that it cannot be returned to the roll. 

The only place better to leave your swimming attire than the hardwood floors is the brand new furniture. Also, Mac swimming looks exactly like you think it will. Except even less refined. 

Cinco is impossibly cute. And poopy. Very, very poopy. In addition, it's alarming how much she eats. Very little of it, judging from her diapers, is actually food. 

It would be better if X-Man would stop feeding his tangerine peels to Cinco. 

McDonalds coffee drinks are buy one get one free. There's a reason for that. 

Baby and Baba talked me into buying pink cowboy boots for Cinco. I realized that I had failed to buy Cinco anything for Christmas. Oh, Santa is coming for her. But I figured that as I recently recovered the chimney, she had everything she need. Now she will eat the chimney while weaing pink cowboy boots. 

I have 75 homework assignments in my inbox. On Monday I had 5. Also, I'm pretty sure the father figure is having a birthday very soon. 

I'm tired. 

Cinco is eight months old today. Eight months. She also stood by herself. Baba tried to get her to walk. Santa is not coming for Baba anymore.

Monday, December 16, 2013

I woke the father figure up this morning to ask him what time he had to leave for work. I kinda knew the answer, it was in ten minutes. Then he helpfully informed me that since he had not gotten up earlier, I would have to drive him to work, for the fourth week in a row. Apparently, he was willing to try to drive his car if he had enough time for it to die and me come bail him out. But now, not so much. He's also decided he wants to buy a new car, but as we have spent ALL THE MONIES on fixing the paperweight in the driveway....ugh.

So that's how my Monday started.

Delving into the day, a student failed to call. But don't worry, I wasn't left without things to do!

While I waited for a student to call, X-Man removed all the bows from the newly wrapped packages under the tree. Cinco then ate them. Baba yelled at him and he head butted her. I told them to eat breakfast. X-Man yells "A Homas??!!!?" So I turn on Thomas the Tank Engine on to buy me five minutes.

As I was mixing up Baby's medicine that she needs to take with breakfast, I heard Cinco gagging. I run out to the living room. There, sitting in front of the TV are X-Man and Cinco. X-Man has a bowl of Honey Nut Ohs. I don't know where he got them. He has put of pile of these large cereal pieces in front of Cinco. They are attempting to eat them together. Cinco is not succeeding. I grab the ohs, Cinco starts crying and I try to tell X-Man that he is a very nice big brother to share, but Cinco can't eat these. I am picking up the cereal off the floor, meanwhile Cinco crawls over to the table where I put the bowl and begins to eat again. And gag.

Ok, death averted. Baba comes up "Mom the toilet won't flush right." Ok, go investigate. Hmm....previous owners gerryrigged it with a safety pin, that has now rusted through. Ok. Hmm...this in going to have to wait. Baby is yelling at me that she's hungry and wants to eat. Need to finish mixing her medicine. And hand out vitamins. Why aren't you all sitting at the table like I said to. Here have some vitamins. Yes yes X-Man that's my coffee cup. Thanks for drinking out of it. Oh you're offering it to me now, thanks. Have a vitamin.

I know it's a gummy vitamin, but you only get the one. Stop screaming for more. Where's Cinco....oh you're crawling up the stairs, while eating a hairbrush. Wow, you got skills. You're going to sit in the swing. Who did I just bump into? Personal space people! Oh it's X-Man, with my coffee cup...again. How did you get that? Thanks, I know it's yum! I also know I had more in it than is now....great. Now what was I doing?

Why are you bellowing Mac? Oh, there's no soap in the bathroom? There is too. I filled up the dispenser three days ago, how much do you people use? But I really don't think I should complain about copious soap usage. Of course, if the father figure wasn't allergic to olive oil, I could use my friend's handcrafted soaps, that last forever....but NOOOO......

Wait, why are Baby and Baba the only ones watching Thomas the Tank Engine? We're turning this off. Clean up the breakfast dishes and start school. Oh and figure out which presents the pile of bows in front of the tree go with. Why is X-Man on the counter? Ah, you want more vitamins. No, not going to happen. Go ahead and yell, but no.

Why is Cinco almost out of her swing? What do you mean she knows how to get out? Since she figured she can pop the tray up using her knees...great. Well let's put her here in a pile of toys, that should hold her attention for ninety seconds. Why is Baby crying? How did you hit your head? Oh, spinning around in the kitchen when you were supposed to be cleaning it. Of course. Why is there water on the floor? Ah, X-Man finished his drink and threw the rest on the ground. How very Lonely Island of him.

You know, instead of yelling "Mommy you need to see this" just tell me what it is. Why is my coffee all over the ground? Why is Gestated Cinco splashing in it? I'll answer your math question while I'm mopping this up Baba. And yes Mac, today is the sort of day that you need to wear clothes.

That's a good question to ask Baba, oh look Cinco found the Christmas tree again! What X-Man, you need to go potty? Ok good boy let's go! Let me just move Cinco away from the tree, oh she's got a good handful of the tree. I'm coming X-Man! Please take your pants off before getting on the potty. Whatever Cinco, just don't eat anything.

Yay! You went potty!!! Good work. And now everyone's going to come admire your work. Yeah, that's what this bathroom needed. Oh look, Cinco decided to get in on the fun. Alright, let's get you some candy X-Man, and Cinco is so horrified by the state of the bathroom she's taken it upon her self to get all the cleaning products out.

Should I be ambitious and put underwear on X-Man, sure why not? That's can't back fire on me. Let's settle down in the office and get going on school. Ok Mac and Baby are doing their math, everything ok. I should probably check on X-Man. And make sure the kitchen was cleaned. While I'm out here I should start a load of laundry. Why is Cinco screaming? Oh look she got her head stuck in the legs of a chair in the school room. Wow, how do I get you out of here without hurting you more? Hmm....why is X-Man screaming?

Oh yeah, I turned off Thomas a half hour ago. What's that smell....oh you pooped your underwear. You were sitting on the potty ten minutes ago!!!!! Back to the potty, pass Cinco in the hall. Remember she's not in the school room anymore, need to check her quickly.....

X-Man stay on the potty, mommy be right back. Cinco where are you. Oh you're under the kitchen table.....with a pile of cereal. Where'd that come from? What do you mean X-Man just peed on the floor? He's sitting on the potty. Oh, no, he followed me to the kitchen, because Cinco was getting into his stash of cereal. And peed on the floor.

Mac where did you get the doorknob to a cabinet? Took it out of Cinco's mouth. X-Man gave it to her. Great. that sharpie on my brand new hardwood floor?

That's the first hour of my day.......

Thursday, December 12, 2013

So we put the Christmas tree up. Because, for a brief moment, I forgot that I have an eight month old and a two year old. A two year old who is currently standing on the table fighingt his chicken nuggets. Go ahead and judge me. I'm too busy judging Mac's dance moves. He wants to know if I would give him "fives." I guess so. I've kept him in swimming and soccer as much as possible because the boy needs to burn all his excess energy. It had not occurred to my to turn dance music on. This could actually work well for me.

X-Man is having a ball with the Christmas tree. And by ball I mean taking the glass ball ornaments off the tree. And throwing them on the hardwood floor. And then crying when they break. He convinced that it's an evil trick on my part and that if he just throws the right one it will not break. Yeah.

I've made it clear that X-Man and I are at an impasse as to how he should behave when his wishes are thwarted. And when it comes to the Christmas tree, what we have is a failure to communicate. Actually, we communicate just fine, it's that neither one of us wants to hear what the other is saying. X-Man clearly is sick of hearing "DON'T TOUCH THE TREE!" And I'm tired of hearing "MY MISMIS!"

He has the same reaction to me saying no in these circumstances as any other circumstance. He tries to hit me. Now, we've tried time outs, we've tried mommy holding his hands, we've tried gentle redirection, we've tried standing in the corner, we've tried yelling "You don't hit Mommy!" I'm bowling zero right now. And pretty much every time I go, but that's a different tale of woe.

So, I tried a new tactic, the duck and weave. He tried to hit, I jumped backwards. He looked doubly annoyed. Which is odd, since I'm the adult here and he's the temper tantruming toddler. He flailed away again, I dodged again. Greater rage, accentuated with a slight shriek of anger. I was hoping to distract him out of his tantrum and thought I could get him to chase me. He took one look at me scurrying away and collapsed in front of the Christmas tree wailing. Full on child prostrate on the floor, head in hands, big old tears pooling on the hardwood.

Cinco has been taking notes and often does the exact opposite of X-Man. Whereas X-Man's default reaction is weeping, wailing and ragey, Cinco just laughs. Crawling away from mommy during a poopy diaper change. cue the maniacal laughter. Pull the empty hamper down, crawl in it and get stuck and scream, first in rage and then decide it's funny. Because an empty hamper in this house is really that funny an oddity. Pull yourself up into a standing position anywhere in the house, alert mom with your laughter, proudly proclaiming your great strength. Climb up the stairs and get stuck....better not say anything because mom will probably get mad.

So Cinco joined in the fray. Shrieking with laughter from across the room, which drew a reproachful glance from her older brother, she decided that what this needed was some hands on loving from her. So she sped her way across the floor, seriously this child hauls diaper like no one before her, and went to comfort the poor abused X-Man. And by comfort, I mean crawl onto his back and pull his hair. I figured he had it coming. Somehow not being able to hit his mother is life ending, but his baby sister mauling him, well that's hilarious. "Mama, baby silly." Yeah, she's not the only one son.

I'd continue on the odd behavior of my children, but I think the father figure is annoyed with me. I asked him to watch Cinco while I wrote this. I only roped him into it after she helpfully unplugged my computer, attempted to eat the cord and then deleted half a page of my work. Apparently having to watch his offspring is off putting to the father figure because he's retaliating by trying to get Cinco to walk. They are all conspiring against me.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Today we're observing a fun game called "Well Played X-Man."

Misbehave in church and lose your doughnut privilege. Decide you need to use the potty, reveal a completely dry diaper and indeed use the potty. Hop off the potty and ask "noughnut mommy?"
Well Played X-Man.

Lay in bed and start screaming. Continue to scream until Mac comes to get mommy. Scramble up the ladder to the top bunk. Pretend to be sleeping when mommy come to your rescue.
Well Played X-Man.

Give Baba a kiss. Give her a second one. Pucker up your lips for a third. When she leans in, lick her face. Chortle in glee when she screams.
Well Played X-Man.

Climb into the bath tub. Scream when removed. Chase after daddy as he leaves the house. Face plant in the garden. Requiring bath.
Well Played X-Man.

See that mommy and daddy are leaving. Race after mommy to give her a big hug and kiss. Push yourself out the door yelling "bye Daddy!" but immediately divert to the large pile of snow yelling "missmiss!!!"  Yell "I want missmiss" when carried back inside.
Well Played X-Man.

Get angry at mom. Hit her. While hitting her yell "High five mommy."
Well Played X-Man.

Monday, December 9, 2013

If it was physically possible to drop kick a Pontiac Trans Am....I would have done it by now.

A rookie mistake when parenting is being overly ambitious. And being foolish enough to start special traditions with your kids, because when there's one of them it's easy and seems fun. Then you wake up one morning, and it's 15 degrees outside, five kids and a whole bunch of empty shoes to fill.

I like the St. Nicholas tradition. When I had two kids, I used it as a time to give them new shoes for Christmas. And that was very exciting for them. When that got to be a bit challenging, timewise, sizewise, moneywise, I downsized to Christmas socks or slipper socks  or something festive. Accompanying all gifts was some chocolate and treats.

Suddenly it was December 5th and Baba oh so helpfully reminded everyone else that they needed to leave their shoes out. And of course they all left a pair out not the one as dictated by tradition. Baba even made sure that Cinco had her shoes out.

And so I came to one of the hardest decisions for me to date. Do I write a letter purportedly from St. Nicholas chastising the absurdly over the top shenanigans of my children, or do I allow the good saint to stay in favor with my children and I do my dirty work myself. I have to say, that's a very unpleasant thought.

It's not that I have bad children. It's just that in my family we celebrate Festivus every single day. There are feats of strength that inevitably result in the airing of grievances, loudly and angrily. And then engage in more feats of strength to express how truly grieved they are by....whatever.

It's gotten so bad that Baby was shrieking in the middle of the kitchen "MOOOOOM! Baba isn't cleaning the kitchen! " (It's a joint chore) Of course Baba was taking the recycling out as part of cleaning the kitchen and Baby pounced on the opportunity to be grieved. At this point Baby is in gold medal contention.

I made Mac brush his teeth and change his underwear. While not as grievous as the washing of X-Man's face I engaged in, Mac was broken up over the need to remove his Batman underwear....BATMAN Mom!!!!

The girls have to share a bedroom. Yet both seem to be insulted by the possibility of eye contact. Although they present a united front if the boys try to enter their room. Unless.....there is possibility of a large uproar if Baba gives Mac permission to come in while Baby rages.

Back and forth. Louder and more obnoxious. The bickering escalates until I loudly decree that if they have oxygen with which to fight, it means they aren't working hard enough around the house. While this doesn't end the squabbling, it does reduce it to mere hissing.

Then, as I'm cleaning up the office, I stumble upon a pile of Christmas cards that Baby's made for everyone in the family. They were next to the book Baba's writing for Mac. So, the tirade from St. Nick was shelved for another year.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

I've been trying extra hard to be a good mother. So that means making sure to read every night to the boys. It does not go well. Mac wants only one story, The Boy Who was Followed Home. Then he has to talk about how unfortunate his life is as he, being homeschooled, is not presented with the opportunity to be followed home from school by any assortment animals.

X-Man has his own approach. He likes me to read him his Lightening McQueen story. He loves both the race car and Mater. And he knows the story. The problem is, I don't. It's not that I can't read. It's that X-Man has clearly told himself a story, narrated by the pictures. When I try to read the words, he gets annoyed. And frustrated. He'll take the book from my hands, narrate the story, rather unintelligibly I'm afraid, and hand the book back to me. He has a look of expectation as I begin again. And do it wrong again. After grabbing the book a few more times, he settles himself into my lap and retells the story more emphatically. Again, I fail to tell the story correctly, or, sadly, understand his story. Eventually, he took my fingers in his hand and pointed them emphatically at both cars, more incoherent babbling and jabbing. And frustration.

You might think the solution would be to read a different book. That is entirely unacceptable however. I am to read the story he has in his mind to him. It's not working.

I also learned that not one but two children can scream during an hour long car trip through rush hour traffic and still not sleep that night. And that it is difficult to drive one handed, while holding a phone that is playing NetFlix. I guess complaining about the lack of streaming capabilities during a rush hour drive might just be first world of me, but man, it was chaos as I have never experienced it. And that, folks, is saying something.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Mac and I assembled Ikea furniture today. We rock. X-Man helped. Mostly with adding decorative gouges to the cabinet with a screwdriver. It was a nice touch. He's so darn cute I keep forgetting that he's a maniac.

Our couch finally arrived. I've left X-Man semi-unattended. As I was helping the guys getting it in, X-Man was attempting to mark the new chairs with sharpie. Fortunately in his excitement he forgot to remove the cap. He did not, however, forget to remove his diaper.

Cinco is still cutting her upper teeth and wants nothing but me....and my nose.

Monday, December 2, 2013

It's Monday. That means X-Man christened my new furniture, the father figure's car still doesn't run, although it's been "fixed" three times, the police haven't contacted me back about the report I filed. The Christmas gifts I ordered are out of stock, sorry we forgot to update the website.  And I'm out of diaper wipes. In care you're wondering, there's been a plethora of poop today.

Cinco's been crabby and refused to sleep last night. She made sure to keep us informed of her whereabouts all night. Right next to my ear. Never left. Never quit. As I was complaining to a friend, who is helping clear up the chaos of a project I'm supposedly running, I happened to feel a tooth up top her mouth. Context provided. It helped clear things up, especially since the father figure had been insisting that she was feverish and should have Tylenol last night. And by should have, he meant that I should get out of bed and get her some because he most certainly didn't. He was on to something. This also means that this delightful behavior should last another couple of weeks. Wahoo.

Google maps is creepy folks. We used Android tracker to narrow my stolen tablet's location down to approximately twenty meters. Based upon the wifi usage. The father figure pulled up google maps to try to determine which out of the two houses it was most likely at. We saw soccer balls in the front yard and went with that one. While we both indulged in fantasies of ringing the door bell, in this nice middle class neighborhood, and asking if they had stumbled upon a tablet by chance, it's just a little disturbing to know this much about someone. Although, I guess you're asking for your privacy to be violated the minute you stick your hand in someone else's purse.

I'm considering investing in a taser for X-Man. I'm at my wits' end. In the five second it took me to answer Mac's math question, X-Man managed to dump three cereal boxes worth of cereal on the floor of the pantry. He settled himself down and was crushing each piece individually with his fingers. He also opened the oven while dinner was cooking "Wow hot Ma!". He's figured out how to turn off the lock on the water dispenser on the fridge. He had a spectacular temper tantrum involving a sealed box of Cheezits, after the cereal display I don't understand why he thought I'd be allowing him near any open containers, although I could sure use an open container. And he jumped on my back and put me in a sleeper hold while I was working out.

The result was that when reading him his ABCs, I told him that E is for exorcist.