Monday, October 26, 2009

Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’

Today was a pretty normal day. I dropped the girls off at school, happy that they are all well enough to go. My six and eight year olds were really sick last week. My eight year old is much, much better. My six year old is still not 100% though. She has been very tired and therefore cranky.

After dropping off the girls I made my way to Target. Our little Buddy (our dog for those of you that do not know) is out of dog food. I can’t figure out how he is out of dog food, he seems to live off my kids crumbs and he never seems to eat his own food. There was so much more I wanted to buy at Target, besides the dog food, but I left my coupons in the car. I just could not bring myself to spend more than I had too. Oh well, maybe next time.

I decided that while I was at the mall (Target is attached to our local mall) that I would get some exercise and do some mall walking. I’m not aware if “mall walking” is widely known so here’s the jest of it. As a form of exercise you walk inside the mall. Everyone in our mall goes in a clockwise motion, following all the wings. Mostly I’ve seen older, retired couples and stay home mommies. I wondered today, as I walked behind an older couple, if I could convince John to mall walk with me when we get older. Probably not.

After mall waking I took my one and three year old girls home. They were getting tired and cranky and crying loud enough to make heads turn, a good sign that it’s time to go. I was dripping with sweat, I walked faster today than I normally do. Mommies of little ones don’t get to enjoy shower like they used to so I took the opportunity while my one year old napped and my three year old watched Dora.

After my shower I feed my kiddos some lunch. We watched a little more TV and then I decided it was time for my one year old to go upstairs to get ready for a nap. She wasn’t extremely tired since she napped for a bit after we got home so I decided to do a load of laundry to kill a little time. When I got done with the laundry, Gracie was rubbing her eyes so I started our nap time routine.

I laid Gracie down on my bed to change her diaper before putting her down. I unfastened the tabs on her diapers and pulled the diaper out from underneath her. I unknowingly sent little doo-doo balls rolling all over the bed. Ugh! I had no idea she was poopy. I quickly ran to the bedside table and grabbed a tub of wipes. Fortunately, the poop was firm and easy to pick up with a wipe.

I got Gracie cleaned up and her little bum covered with a fresh diaper. Right before I put her into her bed, I heard my three year old come up the stairs and into my bedroom, where Gracie’s crib is. I laid Gracie down into her bed and heard Faith behind me say, “Mommy, what’s this?” I turn around to find one of Gracie’s doo-doo balls in her hand! I guess it fell off the bed! I immediately grabbed another wipe and took it from her and led her to the bathroom to wash her hands.

Motherhood, it’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it…

Friday, October 23, 2009

Oh What A Night

I envision those words being said on the silver screen by a giddy girl just waking up in the morning after spending the night of her life with a very dreamy, handsome young man. I also hear that song by The Four Seasons. Unfortunately, I did not spend last night painting the town and having the time of my life, quite opposite actually. I have two kids home sick with the flu and we had one heck of a night!

9:45 pm. My six year old, Avery, has been sick since Wednesday with classic flu like symptoms. She got it from her eight year old sister who has been sick for seven days with this nasty flu. After being asleep for an hour, Aver wakes up hysterically crying. I rush down the hallway to find her stand at the end of it. I ask her what is wrong and she says she is scared. I ask her of what but she tells me she doesn’t know. I figure it’s just a bad dream. I take her to my room, calm her down and then take her back to bed.

1:00am. After being asleep for about two and half hours I feel a tap on my arm and keep hearing the word, “mom…mom…mom…” I fully wake up and realize I’m not dreaming, there is a child in my room. It’s Avery again. She is carrying a blue plastic bucket we have dubbed the puke bucket. She tells me, “Mom, I thought I was gonna throw up, I think I’m gonna throw up now, nope I’m not, can I sleep with you.”

So I selfishly say, “There’s no room.” I know, I know, heartless, but I NEED my sleep and every time there’s a kid in the bed I don’t sleep well. Just then, by what seems like an act of God, my husband rolls over. I say to Avery, “I guess there’s room now, come on.” Yeah, I felt bad for telling her no in the beginning. Avery climbs in and I try to go back to sleep but I can’t. I’m one of those people that take forever to back to sleep.

1:40 am. My one year old, Gracie, starts screaming like something is wrong. I get up and make my way to her crib which is in our room. When you have five kids and only four bedrooms you have to start putting them in your room, plus she wakes up at night all the time and I don’t want her to wake up others by sharing a room. But I am looking forward to when she does sleep all night consistently and I can get my room back.

I look into the crib and she stands up. I’m thinking she had a bad dream. Seems to be going around. I give her a hug to assure that everything is fine. I then proceed to lay her down and cover her with her blanket. I opt out of looking for her pacifier because I figure that she is still sleepy enough to just go back to sleep. WRONG.

As soon as I get back to my bed she cries. I get back up, turn on the bathroom light, find her pacifier, give it to her, lay her back down, turn out the light, and go back to bed. Gracie never really goes back to sleep, just stays quiet, thank God. I hope she will soon fall asleep so it’s one less child to have to handle in the middle of the night.

I lay in bed wishing I could just go back to sleep. My husbands snoring and when Avery inhales you can hear all this snot in her chest and when she exhales she makes a whining noise. I realize I’m probably not going to be falling asleep any time soon and I start thinking about grabbing my pillow and a blanket and moving to the couch. I NEED SOME SLEEP!

2:40 Gracie is awake again or never went to sleep, I’m not sure, either way she is making it know that she is awake and wants someone to entertain her. That will not be me. I do not get her out of her crib because I do not want to start a habit. So I lay in bed until my three year old, Faith, comes into my room and wakes me up…here we go again, and she’s not even one of the sick ones!

So Faith comes into my bedroom and hands me a cup of milk that she says Gracie left in her room. I’m thinking to myself, “doesn’t this kid know it’s the middle of the night and she should be in bed sleeping??” I take the cup of milk from her, thank her for bringing it to me and then place it on my dresser. I then tell Faith it is still night time and she needs to go back to bed. I take her to her room, put her in bed and turn out the light.

I decide that since I’m already up and moving around the house that I should take this opportunity to change some sleeping arrangements. I wake up Avery and tell her that she has to go back to her bed. I hated being mean to her, with her being sick, but I could not sleep with her snoring and it wouldn’t stop! So I walk Avery back to her bed, tuck her in and head back to my own bed.

Gracie on the other hand is having a great time in her crib, laughing, babbling, screaming. Every once in a while, when she gets too loud, I say, “shhhh” and she quiets down for a bit. I think well maybe if I tell her to lie down she’ll do that too. Nope. Eventually she does lay back down and falls asleep and I finally fall asleep too.

3:45 am. I wake to the sounds of Avery screaming at her eight year old sister, Kaelyn. I think, “What in the WORLD is going on NOW??” My next thought is that I better get down there and quiet Avery down before she wakes the whole house back up, especially Gracie! I can hear Avery telling Kaelyn to stop and I wonder what on earth they would have to fight about at this time of the night.

I get into the girls bedroom and Avery is sitting up in her bed hysterically crying. I say, “shhhh, shhhh” to try and get her to quiet down and calm down so that I can figure out what is wrong. After she settles I ask her what she is crying about and she says that there are people running all over her room and she is scared. I think the fever is getting to her.

I tell her there are no people running around in her room. She yells at me, “Yes there is, I saw them with my own eyes!” I tell her that she is having a bad dream and that the fever is making her see things that are not there. I tell her to lie back down and get some sleep. I never did figure out why she was yelling at her sister, maybe she woke Kaelyn up with her crying and Kaelyn told her to shut up, who knows.

Thankfully this is the last time the kids wake me up. I get to sleep for three more hours before I have to get up and get my ten year old off to school. I am hoping I might sneak a nap in today to make up for the lost sleep in the middle of the night. By the way, my husband has figured out how to sleep through nights like this, or he fakes it well. Motherhood…

This t-shirt is over at (no affliation)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Potty Training Yucky-ness

My fourth child will be turning four in February. I’ve been trying to get her to potty train since she turned three. I have learned over the past ten years that my children potty train between ages three to three in a half. I personally think this is a proper potty training age, they are able to better understand what is going on. I know there is those exceptional children that train at eighteen months or age two, and I can only wish my kids would have, but alas they do not.

My fourth child has been the hardest to train thus far. She has not mastered peeing in the toilet yet. Some days she will poop in the toilet, some days she will not. I’ve tried pull ups but I think those things are worthless, they absorb like diapers and she doesn’t feel wet, which I think is an important part of the potty training process.

I’ve tried using those Gerber training pants. Those worked really well with my other children. If they peed in them they felt wet and they knew that they did not like feeling wet. It would only take a matter of days before the figured out that they would rather use the toilet than pee in those training pants. Faith is different. I am starting to think she doesn’t care if she is wet. She will pee in them and then not say anything.

I ask her all the time if she wants to use the potty and she says no most of the time. When she poops in a diaper she fusses when I change it. I’ve tried the “if you don’t like having your diaper changed then why don’t you use the potty?” She informs me that, “I don’t want to use the potty.” I usually then ask her, “why don’t you want to use the potty?” and she usually says, “I just don’t want to.”

Faith has expressed interest in going to school. She has asked me over and over when she can go. I had actually hoped that when she turned four that she would be able to attend preschool and who knows, maybe she will get it figured out by then. I’ve tried to use the idea of going to school to help the potty training process move along but it hasn’t done any good either. I’ve told her that they don’t change diapers at school, she would have to wear undies. This has not encouraged her to use the potty either.

I wouldn’t say potty training has been a complete failure. Like I mentioned above she does poop in the potty sometimes. She has even graduated from pooping in a potty chair to using the toilet, sort of, she puts the seat from the chair onto the toilet, she is still scared that she may fall in. I’m fine with this though, any progress is good and not having to clean out the potty chair is a bonus for me.

Today I told Faith right before her rest time that I needed to change her diaper. I asked her to take off her pants. I have been thinking that maybe if I make this wearing and changing diaper thing a bit more work for her maybe she will want to just go ahead and wear undies and use the potty instead. So Faith took off her pants and (without me asking) she took off her diaper, threw it away and then told me she needed to go potty. Thank God, I’m always encouraged when she goes to the potty without being ask!

After Faith spends some time in the bathroom, my eight year old daughter, who is home sick today, decided she needed to use the bathroom and walked in on Faith. The next thing I know there is a big commotion in the bathroom. I hear the door opening and closing, Faith laughing and Kaelyn yelling at Faith to “put it in the toilet!” By this point I just knew something gross was going on.

I get up to go see what is going on and find Faith with a wad of poopy toilet paper in her hand and she is threatening to put it onto Kaelyn. Of course it didn’t help that Kaelyn was making a game out of it by returning to the bathroom after running away. This only encouraged Faith to do it more. I tell Faith to put the toilet paper into the toilet and I pray that this wad of paper hasn‘t actually made contact with anything or anyone.

I wish this was the end of my story but after dropping the toilet paper into the toilet Faith proceeds to put the same hand that was holding the paper into her mouth. I screamed, “get your hand out of your mouth! It has poopy on it!” While I didn’t know if it actually had poopy on her hand or not, just the idea that it was possible to have poop on it freaked me out when I saw her hand head towards her mouth. I didn’t mean to scare her by screaming but I was glad it made her promptly remove her hand. We immediately washed both of our hands!

Do you have any good potty training hints that have worked for you? Leave a comment and let us know!

A Calming Effect

Believe it or not, on some days I can actually make it through without anything gross happening! I thought those would be good days to post on other children rearing topics. I know…I know…it’s much more fun to be grossed out so I hope you can bare with me. I think today’s topic can help out some other mommies so I thought it was worth posting.

For those of you that don’t know, I am a mother of five children. All girls ages 10, 8, 6, 3 and 1. While I would not have it any other way, having a larger than average family can be challenging, especially at dinner time. While the noise level is generally high most of the time it is more concentrated when we are all together in the dinning room for dinner. This can make for a very stressful dinner for my husband and I. It can be hard to enjoy your dinner and a nice conversation with the loud chatter in the background.

Ten years ago, while I was pregnant with my first child, a friend of my family passed away. I was given all her china. I thought it was too beautiful to use and until a few years ago it stayed stored in the boxes I brought it home in. I don’t host dinner parties so I thought, “why not use these beautiful plates for our dinners?” So that is what I started doing. When my husband can actually be home for dinner, we all get together and set the table with the beautiful plates. The kids love it and think it is so much fun.

So a couple of weeks ago I got this hair-brain idea that not only would I set the table with the beautiful plates and place mats and cloth napkins but that we would also eat by candlelight. My husband thought I was joking and the idea made him laugh. But I said, “why not, it will be fun.” So I light a candle, set it in the middle of the table and turned out the dining room light.

My girls thought it was just the coolest thing ever. To my surprise, the darkened room actually reduced the noise level that we normally experience at dinner time. I know some of you are thinking, “well duh!” and I agree with you. I was kicking myself and thinking “WHY have I not thought of this before!” It didn’t cut the noise out completely but it did lower the girls voices to a soft talking versus the loud talking voices that I imagine all kids use.

Tuesdays is my husband’s day off from work because he works on Saturdays. Usually he goes into work in the morning but comes home early. So we were able to have dinner together last night. The girls we are bit high strung after school and it continued until dinner time. They were very loud at the table and John was having a hard time dealing with the noise. All of a sudden he says to me, “do we have a candle?? I don’t think I’m in the mood to deal with the noise.” That’s the same person that thought I was crazy for introducing the candle at our last sit down!

I am thinking the candle will be best for those days when the kids just can not settle down on their own. Otherwise I think if I use the candle all the time they will become used to it and it will not have the same calming effect on them than if we just use it occasionally. The next time your kids are out of control at the dinner table, try a candlelight dinner, the effects may just surprise you.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A New Level of Gross

Last month my friend’s cousin saw a dog being abandoned out of a vehicle. Another friend of mine then posted his picture on Facebook stating that he needed a home. My first thought was, “NO WAY!” I’ve been down this road before. Six years ago we got a black lab puppy. It was not the right dog or time for us. She was big, hyper and with three small children I could not keep up with her need for exercise (we did not have a fenced in yard). With a sad heart, we gave Emma to another family. We still miss her to this day.

The more and more I saw this little dog’s face on Facebook and the more and more I heard his sad little story, the more and more I started falling in love with him. I eventually decided that I wanted to bring him home but I had one obstacle, my husband. He did NOT want another dog, AT ALL! I understood totally, he too was reminded of our last experience with a dog.

The more I tried to convenience my husband to give dog owning another try, the more he denied my request. I was starting to get desperate because the woman housing the dog was not able to keep him and in two days time he was going to be given to the humane society. I couldn’t bear the thought of him ending up in the pound after all he’d been through. So, I turned to my aunt.

My aunt loves animals. She always takes in strays and has a knack for finding homes for them. She believes she was put on this earth to help animals. I think she just may be right. My aunt told me to pick up the dog and bring him to her and she would find him a home. The only thing I had to do was keep him for one night until she could pick him up the next day.

I asked my husband if he was okay with the dog staying with us for one night. He informed me that he was onto my scheme and knew that I was just trying to get him to see the dog and fall in love with him. I actually had not planned for that to happen, I just wanted the dog to have a home. My husband then said to me, “just bring him home, we are going to end up with him anyway.” He was referring to the fact that my aunt was going to have him and that’s how we would end up with him.

Buddy is now a new member of our family. He is only a year old and my five girls are in love with him. I am too. I’ve even seen my husband letting Buddy into his lap for a little snooze. Unfortunately for me, my husband has informed me that since I brought the dog into our home, he is now my responsibility and mine alone. This means my husband will not care for the dog, like feeding and letting him outside. Which brings me to my new level of gross.

I have learned that Buddy enjoys some very nasty “treats.” He likes to chew up my older children’s night time pull ups. He scatters the absorbing pulp all over the place if my kids do not remember to throw them in the trash in the morning. I am praying for the day when those two kids are able to stay dry at night!

Buddy also likes poopy diapers. When I get my youngest two children ready for bed I change their diapers in my bedroom. I use my bathroom trash can for their diapers. Buddy likes to go into that trash can, tear open the poopy diapers and actually eat the poop from them. It’s no fun to clean up that mess! I have also caught him licking poop directly from one of my kid’s behinds when changing her on the floor!

The other “treat” Buddy likes is used feminine products. Lucky for me I am a tampon user, so there is not a lot menstrual trash except for back up pantiliners that have overflow blood from a full tampon. He tears those into tiny little pieces that I have to pick up and return to the trash can.

Because of this new added level of grossness, Buddy will now be a part of my gross out posts since he has basically become my sixth child.