Monday, March 31, 2014

Baby was invited to a birthday party. Randomly she announced that she wanted to give a character doll from the movie Frozen as the gift. Ok. So we went to three stores until we found "Elsa". Apparently that was a minor miracle. But not so minor. We hit a Target, found three of the dolls and grabbed one. I was informed later that this particular doll is a "HOT" item that in sold out everywhere, people track the store delivery schedules and call at opening to see if she's in. This would explain why it took three trips to stores to find any Frozen characters at all. And of course, Baby decided the doll was so pretty, she'd like one for her birthday. I returned to the Target later in the day, still blissfully unaware of the impossibility of my task, to discover that again the shelves were stripped bare. Where there had been three dolls earlier....there were no dolls. This is when I was informed that my rare Elsa sighting might possibly be the only of my life. Of course all the father figure heard was "Baby wants this doll" Which has become for him "I will find this doll." Well....good luck with that.

So, I went on a hunt for a doll that I didn't really realize required a hunt. I brought Baby with me as we hunted for the birthday party gift partly because if we didn't find it, I wanted her to pick some other gift that she wanted to give. Hopefully to avoid to situation with Baba where she was apologizing for a birthday gift because "my mom picked it out."

This meant that the father figure was left alone at home with four children. The father figure who thinks six children is a good idea. He was left, unattended with the fruit of his loins.

Which is why I returned home to discover eighteen raw eggs broken on my hardwood living room floor. Baba and Mac were trying to clean in up. The father figure was MIA and Cinco was wearing raw egg. X-Man was hiding.

Somehow X-Man, with Cinco's assistance, removed the full carton from the fridge Not satisfied with this accomplishment, he brought the full carton to the living room. This would be the same living room that Mac and Baba were sitting watching TV. From the carnage, it was clear that it wasn't just a dropped full of eggs. There were way too many shells spread over way to big a surface area. Cinco was bathed in too much egg yolk. Not to mention, there was very few remnants of eggs in the carton.

What is unclear is what Mac and Baba were actually doing at this time. Also unclear, where the heck the father figure was. I work from home and can be focused on that, too much some might say, but I have yet to lose an entire carton of eggs on my watch.

My displeasure was vocalized loudly and emphatically. The father figure reappeared to attempt to salvage something.What exactly I'm not clear on. Certainly nothing that X-Man had touched. Certainly not my mood. So he found the hiding X-Man and threw him in the bath. And came back out to help clean up. I pointed out that this left X-Man alone in the bathroom. And where X-Man was, Cinco was certain to follow. And indeed she had.

There was X-Man singing happily, undoubtedly about his exploits and accomplishments. Cinco had followed, still deathly afraid of baths, she was uninterested in joining him. She was, however, finding all sorts of things that should join him. Opening several drawers, she threw in a hairspray, toilet paper rolls, toothpaste and tooth brushes. I caught her trying to pull my curling iron out, to toss into the soup she was making. But fortunately the cord, not properly wrapped after the last time Cinco lifted it, was keeping it stuck.

I get gray hairs thinking about the shenanigans comes down the pipe when it comes to those two. Especially considering the father figure is part of my support system. Whoo boy.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Spring soccer is upon us. There isn't a day that we don't have to go to some
one's practice. Stay at home mom fail.

Cinco was awake and happy to be so in the wee hours of the morning. She thought that she should nurse....a lot. Mostly to get it out of the way. There's too much to do during daylight hours to bother with nursing. Besides yelling at anyone eating and flapping your hands as if you are an abandoned baby bird is working just swell. In fact, the only time Cinco is interested in nursing at all is if X-Man happens to be sitting in my lap. Well, katie bar the door because it's about to get hungry in her tummy. Her feet don't stay still during that time, mostly so that she can kick X-Man if he tries to climb back on.

So there we were, nursing away. I kept trying to swap in a binky and she kept removing it from her mouth and chucking it. Of course this would be the time that X-Man started to bellow loudly. Something he never does. The boy loves his sleep and deeply indulges thorough the night. But there he was, pounding on his shut bedroom door, crying.

I woke the father figure and sent him up to investigate. His efforts were rewarded with a most definite "NOOOO MOOMMMY!!!!!" The father figure happily obliged.

I handed off Cinco, who mentally added this to her list of resentments, and asked the all important question "Is puke involved?" It was not.

X-Man was standing at the top of the stairs, yelling for me, and not waking his siblings somehow. When he saw me he said "Up please Dank you."  It's all one phrase to him. And so we sat. He wiped his nose on my shoulder and definitively declined my attempts to take him downstairs. I'm guessing the father figure had some words with him. Indeed, if the father figure could have just one do over in his life, I certain it would be the day that he allowed his young, naive fiancee to convince him that a king sized bed was too big and that a queen sized was just fine. He tolerates one child in bed with us.......and X-Man is roughly the size of three Cincos.

So I tucked him back in bed and left. He didn't even yell "Wait wait!" which is his usual bedtime routine. Followed by a request to read a story about Jesus, because Mom knows she really shouldn't say no to that. But the Jesus story book is quickly yanked from the hands and replaced with a Thomas the Tank Engine book. By which time, Mom has committed to reading another story, or as is more typically the case, reading The Little Blue Truck for the fifth time, and can't really quit.

I crawled back into bed and updated the father figure. No vomit. No cramps. No needing the potty. No clue. The father figure theorized it was a bad dream and that maybe something bad had happened to me in it. I countered that more likely, X-Man did something really bad in his dream and was concerned that I was aware of it in real life.

Either way, we talked just long enough for Cinco to clue in, pull the binky out of her mouth and throw it.

Monday, March 24, 2014

The father figure didn’t even bat an eye when I mentioned that the “free” weekend we thought we had…wasn’t. Someone wanted Baby to play in an extra scrimmage…..45 minutes away. Of course, being the insane person I am, well she’s playing. The father figure is learning to roll with it.

It really and truly is my goal to be a good mother.  I had a moment last week where I had to make a choice, do I let go or do I maintain order and discipline? I opted for letting loose for just a moment. I can’t remember how, but suddenly he was trying to blow raspberries on everyone’s bellies. Mine, the one that bore him, nurtured him, well, it too was fair game. As I was trying to clean the kitchen and he was SUPPOSED to be doing math, we had that moment. We made eye contact and I could see that twinkle in his eye, he was considering going in. But he needed to gage how severe my reaction would be. I was there, at that crossing point, do I maintain some sort of dignity and declare mom’s tummy off limits or do I reward the impish nature that decided to push the envelope just that far. Well I wouldn’t be a mediocre mother if I didn’t roll my eyes and say “Well, you’re bringing the consequences upon yourself.” And in he went. He also learned that day that I still could pick him up, hold him by his ankles and do what I thought necessary to his own exposed tummy. In the end, that might have inspired more respect for me.

Later that day, as I was working away in the office, the boy snuck in. He sidled up to me, acted as if he was going to hug me, not at all unusual, and then went in for the kill. I had to give him credit for tactics. The problem was he was so successful he kept trying to repeat it. Only he couldn’t even make it through the door without giggling with glee. Well the first time he made it to the book shelf before busting loose. After that, there were plenty of attempts, but he couldn’t contain himself and his excitement.  And so the day went. Until bedtime. That’s when he upped his attempts, learning that Mom could still stiff arm him. But he breathlessly announced “Now you’re a fun mom!”  

I admit that I was pleased with his reaction. It’s a downside to home schooling; mom tends to be the only disciplinarian around, being both mom and teacher. So as I was wondering if it was a good thing that my son thought I was fun, I was tackled. Baby and X-Man decided that they wanted in on the action. Or maybe they felt bad for their brother, held at an arm’s length by his mother. Baby shrieked “I’ve got her now!” while X-Man sat on me.  And Mac went to town.

The human belly button can contain a surprising amount of spittle.

The uproar eventually caught the attention of the father figure. Cinco and he appeared, observing the chaos before him. Mac had run out of breath, between his uproarious laughter and raspberries, was lying on the floor. X-Man had taken a turn, but wasn’t so successful. He ended up just blowing spit.  The father figure looked unimpressed and slightly perturbed. To which Mac reassured him “Oh don’t worry Daddy, we won’t do this to you….you’re too hairy.

I guess that’s a good thing for me…..somehow.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

It's been an odd day. I admit I'm a bit jumpy. I keep waiting for X-Man to flood something else. But he's keeping a low profile for the moment. Wise boy. But, it didn't matter because I lost Cinco today.

I walked into the kitchen, noticed that someone (Baby) had taken the breakfast dishes and placed them not where they belonged, but rather in the sink. So, I started loading the dishwasher. Then I figured it was time to check X-Man again. He wasn't in the kitchen and he wasn't pilfering the pantry. The bathroom door was still shut as was my bedroom door. He wasn't in the office. So I hurried upstairs. The girls were in their bedroom, as the sun poured in, studying. And there was X-Man, sitting with them reading a book. It was sweet. I checked with the girls as to what they were working on in school. I made sure that X-Man didn't have to use the potty. And then I realized, I had just assumed that Cinco
 would be with everyone else, as Mac had come out of his room to check in on us. She hadn't been anywhere that I had looked for X-Man. The bathroom door upstairs was closed as well and Mac confirmed she was not in his room. Well then, where the heck was she? I felt a bit of panic, having visions of her climbing into the cleansers under the sink, or choking on a purloined cracker. I rechecked everywhere, it is a small house after all. I rationally knew that she couldn't open the doors, but I still checked the backyard. She was gone.

I knew that CPS would take all the children away when she was found, crawling down the street, carrying cleaning supplies and choking on entirely inappropriate snacks. Meanwhile, I determined that she hadn't open the bathroom door and then locked herself in there. And I went to check my bedroom.

There she was. Asleep. In her bed. Where I had put her. Before walking into the kitchen and having load the breakfast dishes into the dishwasher.

I have completely lost it.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

It's not like I'm all that new at parenting. I'm not even all that new at home schooling. And yet, I managed to be blindsided completely. Again.

It's been beautiful, and I was basking in the beauty. I find sun motivating. So the house gets cleaner faster, I get up earlier, and I get more work done for my job as well. On top of it all, I'd been getting up early enough to get yoga in before work started. And by yoga, I mean push ups and lunges and being yelled at by Jillian Michaels. I've been sticking with it, can almost fool myself into seeing results and overall feel like I'm returning to myself. It's as if I've settled down to mothering five children, working and am no longer living in a remodeling chaos zone. Life is good.

The bulbs that I haphazardly planted in the fall, being very clueless about bulbs, have bloomed. Our front yard is bursting into color. And color makes me happy. So I sat by the front window, soaking up the sun and beauty. I had graded every math test in my inbox. I had worked out so I sipped my coffee as Cinco pushed the other ottoman about the living room. Mac sat at my feet, confirming that various words had long and short vowel sounds. Baby toiled away at the kitchen table and Baba sat on the couch reading about nutrition. All of this took place in a clean house. It was good. It was very very good.

Did you notice? Did you realize X-Man was missing from this picture? Did you forget, as did I, that there is no peace, there is no quiet when there is a two year old in your life. Oh sure, it might seem quiet and peaceful, but you are just borrowing trouble, compounding the amount you will have to deal with later.

And there it was. I realized that the quiet that I had been reveling was actually the equivalent of an air raid siren. It offered as much warning and the potential for as much distraction. I set my coffee down so rapidly that it spilled, perhaps a portend of things to come.

I ran upstairs, three steps at a time. I heard it before I encountered it. Water running. I felt it before I saw it. Wet carpet. I dreaded it before I knew it. Flooded bathroom. X-Man had chosen the upstairs bathroom, not by chance, and gone to work. It's a downside to the potty training. He became enamored with washing his hand and playing in the water. And when he used the potty, he would then wash his hands. Along the way, he discovered how to plug the sink. And the good times began to roll.

The water had poured out of the sink, pooled on the floor, run down the counters and into the drawers. It had run under the door. It was a mess. A very wet mess. Starting with X-Man himself. The boy who reacted to a shower as a vampire to garlic, had soaked his head, along with his clothes. I scolded him and scolded him and started laundry.

And then it was lunch time. Peaceful relaxing time was over. Life started up again. After lunch comes nap time. I got X-Man settled down for his quiet time, and yes quiet is used loosely here. As I headed down the stairs, Baba met me and said "So the ceiling is leaking."

Cinco was staring up. See the water was dribbling down onto the ottoman that she had been pushing around the living room. And there was a lot of water dribbling down. Through the new ceiling we had put in. I searched for the source of the leak in the bathroom and figured I had found it. The less than ideal bathroom remodel done before we moved in, had a gap between the counter and the wall. I then told the girls I would knock on the ceiling and asked them to tell me where it was upstairs.

Baby decided that the noise was coming from their closet. Which, although I knew it wasn't the source, meant that I ripped apart their closet with the hopes that there wasn't an overturned water bottle in there. There wasn't.

But there was an unattended baby left on the main floor, abandoned by her older sisters who were certain I didn't know the first thing about plumbing disasters. I don't. But they aren't exactly helpful themselves.  Meanwhile, the baby was left with a bowl of water, contaminated with plaster and a disturbing yellowish color. Which of course made it delightful to push about the hardwood floors in the living room, while the ceiling continued to leak.

On the other hand, my first foray into online shoe shopping was highly successful. I don't know which news will be worse to the father figure.

Monday, March 17, 2014

I was trudging along yesterday, at another soccer game, contemplating the fact that for the first time in my marriage, I had completely forgot my mother in law's birthday. Eventually something caught my eye, it was a fellow soccer parent, a dad whose daughter is on Baby's team. He was jogging alongside me and laughing because it took me so long to notice him. He figured I was trying to ignore him. I admitted that I wasn't actually together enough to ignore him, nope I was really and truly a zombie.

It was NOT like this.
It's been a long few days. I took the kids to the zoo, without the father figure accompanying me. It seemed like the kind of thing that a good mom would do. Because I forgot that good moms don't take children like X-Man out anywhere. The boy LOVED the zoo. He shouted his glee the entire time. He also believed that he should have the non stroller experience. He was released from his restraints by Baby, who reassured me that she would watch him. As she was telling me that everything was ok because she was going to watch him, X-Man was sticking his head in a waterfall. Baby soon tired of chasing X-Man who was convinced that all his woes would be solved by full body immersion in any of the many water features. So I got to wrestle a soaking wet X-Man back into the stroller, only to watch in misery as he figured out how to unbuckle himself.

He did not stay put. I tried to put him in the front so he could see better. No. He would slide out bellowing "ANIMAL!" But he also like stairs. All the stairs. Especially those leading to employee only zones. A friend who was there referred to him as a perpetual motion machine. Apt description.

He also found the construction zone to be fascinating. Various machines were going full force and he was almost mesmerized. He would have been if that was something you could do while running. And of course the construction zone was in the mud. And sand. And running.

Meanwhile, Cinco spilled her drink all over herself and her seat. She also used it to style her hair. And, for those precious moments that X-Man was sitting in front of her, to style his hair as well. Which was particularly enjoyable as the mud and sand definitely needed a yogurt smoothie garnish.

I saw precious little of the animals and a lot of X-Man disappearing around corners. And Mac yelling at me that "X-MAN's RUNNING OFF AGAIN!" This is why I don't do field trips.

It was more like this.....only less contained. 

In the end, I'm not certain if I visited the zoo or I took the zoo for a visit.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

It's been beautiful here. So while the three older kids were in class, I decided pull out the stroller and take the younger two for a walk. It seemed like the good mother thing to do. Also, I hadn't worked out so I made sure to head towards the big hill. About halfway up I realized that I was pushing sixty plus pounds of dead weight up a very steep hill. Dead weight isn't entirely accurate. In an attempt to make the experience more pleasant for all involved, I placed Cinco in the front seat of the double stroller. She did not approve. Mostly of the seat, I think. Whatever her reason, she spent the entire hike up the incline trying to crawl out of her seat. So it was a race against time. Jillian Michaels, eat your heart out.

I am starting a new blogging venture with several other ladies. Well, I'm not starting, I'm just following along and promising to tone down the sarcasm, which means I'll keep sharing my unfiltered thoughts here. Part of the start up is collecting bios of the women writing. It was suggested that our significant others compose them. Here's what the father figure produced.......

My wife is the second child in a large Shiite Catholic family. She placed in a national speech writing competition and asked to work as a speech writer by a US Congresswoman until she found out that she was only fourteen. Wife has a Degree in Philosophy/Theology with a near minor in Mathematics, a Ph.D in rocket science, has earned a paralegal certificate, and dabbles in brain surgery.  Wife is currently working for (a school with whom she would like to stay employed and therefore will remain anonymous) as a teacher on top of home schooling her six children (if you include her husband).  Where she finds the time to work, home school, run all of her kids to soccer, be an accomplished blog writer, and a loving, thoughtful wife, I’ll never know.

There may be some embellishment going on there. I mentioned to the father figure that it wasn't entirely accurate. He responded that that's how his Father in Law told it to him. It does sound similar to a Christmas letter my father wrote one year..........

Monday, March 10, 2014

"No Mommy! Please! No! I love please don't don't! Wait, wait wait wait! No please! No it hurts! Ouch, ouch! No Mommy please! Ouch! Hurts, hurts! No, no, no, no, no!"

And now X-Man is wearing underpants. He is sitting in my lap, snuffling and wiping away tears. Although I have purchased him Lightening McQueen underpants, Mike Wazowski underpants, Angry Birds underpants. I have searched for different styles of you know how hard it is to find toddler boxer/briefs? They don't make boxers for three year olds. At all. I bought him underpants with Minions on them. He was thrilled. He clutched them for two days straight, but they were not to leave his hands.

Not that diapers would make it any better. He reacts just the same, possibly even more hysterically, and will run for the bathroom as if to point out that he is beyond diapers.

No, the only acceptable alternative is to go commando. That's what the boy wants. It's my fault really. I created the monster. Taking a page out of my previous potty training success manual, I let the boy run naked about the house. The result was a fairly well trained boy within 24 hours. After a couple more days, I put underwear on him....with great fanfare. His response was to soil them nearly instantaneously.  I removed them and he ran free, remaining accident free as well. So......I let him.

The father figure objected, I pointed out the success of the sans trouser approach and he conceded. That is, until he observed his spare heir dragging his bare buns across the dining room table. The father figure put his foot down and demanded that we gird his loins. I countered that he was free to gird all the loins he wanted but I would be taking only a supporting role. Shortly thereafter I encountered an X-Man sans briefs running the halls.

As much as I enjoyed not having to clean up after the boy, things came to a critical mass after my son greeted the UPS man with a full display of the family jewels.

So he's been "mando'd up". It's been messy. This isn't a battle of wills I was prepared for. But that's life with X-Man.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

"Mom! Cinco is trying to pick my nose with a pencil!"

"Mom! Mac is using the plunger in the potty again!"

"MA! Go potties!"

"Mom! X-Man poured chocolate milk mix in the clean clothes!"

"Mom! Cinco climbed up to Mac's bunk!"

"Mom! Cinco can climb on Baba's bed!"

"MA! Go potties!"

"Mom! I lost my tooth! I was throwing it and I think Cinco ate it!"

"Mom! X-Man gave Cinco your coffee!"

"Mom! Cinco is climbing the shelves of the pantry!"

"Mom! Mac poured X-Man some chocolate milk and forgot to put the stopper in the cup!"


"Mom! Cinco stole X-Man's chocolate milk and won't give it back!"


"Mom! Why are the car lights flashing and the horn honking?"

"MA! Potties! Ponies!"

"Mom! I think X-Man has the car keys!"

"Mom! Cinco's climbing into the dishwasher!"

"Mom! X-Man's running outside and he's not wearing any pants!"

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

It's Mardi Gras so I cooked a special dinner for the family. The smoke detectors in our house do not work.

Baby told me that when she grows up she's going to take her kids to school and then go running. Because it is important for moms to have time to themselves. She might be trying to say something.

Mac talks a lot. And by a lot I mean incessantly. His new swim teacher's observation was "He's chatty." I instructed him before swimming to not say silly things and only say important things. I realized that he had been talking to me for four minutes and I didn't know what he had said. At all. About the time I realized that I should be listening, he asked "Do you remember the joke I told you?" I honestly answered "uh no." "For pete's sake mom, I told you it yesterday." Erm I'm pretty sure I told you four minutes ago to be quiet and do your school work.

The father figure informed me that there should be a sixth child. Because, as he matter of factly announced, otherwise he will completely spoil Cinco because she is the cutest to ever exist. I an typing this as Cinco alternates between gnawing/licking the chimney and peering over to make eyes at her father. She knows who butters her bread. I'm just the one who insists she takes naps.

Monday, March 3, 2014

If you give a baby a cookie, she will ask for your cup of coffee.

When you don't give the baby your cup of coffee, she will cry real tears and reject her cookie outright.

If a baby rejects her cookie because you deny her your coffee she will stalk you through the house until you set the coffee down.

If you set the coffee down because the laundry won't do itself, the baby will climb up and get it.

If the baby climbs up and gets your coffee she will try to drink it. She will do it wrong.

If the baby tries to drink your coffee, she will decide that she is a big girl and should have a cell phone.

If the baby decides that she should have a cell phone, only yours will do.

If you deny the baby your cell phone, she will push the ottoman to the shelf where you store it.

If she pushes the ottoman to the shelf to get the cell phone, she will get the cell phone.

If the baby has a cell phone, she will happily text your friends.

If the baby texts your friends, the father figure will call you to tell you to take the cell phone away from the baby.

If you take the cell phone away from the baby, she will decide that only your laptop will do.

If the baby decides that only your laptop will do, she will cry for you to pick her up.

If the baby cries to be pick up, you will put your laptop down to pick her up. She will then attack the laptop. With yogurt and cookie and coffee covered hands.

If the baby attacks the laptop, she will pull up functions you did not know existed. And you do not know how to exit.

No good comes from offering a baby a cookie.