Friday, November 27, 2015

How I failed at Christmas before it even started

The elf made me do it!  If you aren't familiar with our rocky start, read this post
2nd impressions aren't much better.

The kids a couple weeks ago: Rosie will be back soon.
Me: Rosie, who? I don't know what you're talking about.
Kids: you know, our elf, her name is Rosie
My thoughts: crud, I forgot we even had that dang thing
More thoughts: at least she doesn't have to come back until December, or at least advent

Lalala forward to this morning, NOT Advent.

Kids: mommy, we can't find Rosie anywhere.
Me: huh, what do you mean?
Kids: Rosie, our elf, we can't find her.
Me: but it's not even December, why would she be back
Kids: the elf on the parade yesterday said all the elves would be back today
Me: are you sure you looked everywhere? We have a big house, I lose your sister in it all the time and she's much bigger than an elf

<sweating nervously> fast forward to nap time
Can you spot the elf?  She's watching my bedroom door for kids that like to come in while I'm trying to put baby brother to nap even though I told them 3,563 times not to.  L5 confessed to the other kids that she saw her there earlier so knew she was there all day.  Oh really?

Moral of the story?  Spend some family time watching the parade with your kids

Monday, September 8, 2014

Where have you been?

Where have I been?  I've been reevaluating my blog.  You see, the blog was created as a project.  This was to be a way to practice my writing and to keep my grammar skills semi decent.  I wanted to be able to have adult thoughts and hash them out in writing.  But what I did not want to do was to go controversial.  I do not want to get into politics.  I do not want to cause drama.

just want to share the joys, humor and drama of raising 7 kids.  I'm raising 2 boys who are sometimes lost in a sea of sisters.  I am dealing with some special needs but do not want to expose too much and embarrass my children.  I seem to be a minority.  Having 7 children isn't always that common.  But those that do have 7 tend to homeschool, I do not.  My children also do extracurricular activities.  We live in the middle of suburbia.  Basically my 7 are treated like a family of 2 kids, which presents it's own challenges.

In my effort to keep my blog posting frequent I had started to write posts in response to others.  I had started to write editorial style posts.  I had started to cover the dramas.  I had to step back to avoid going that direction.  I will start writing again but it will be less frequent than it was and will be related to our adventures in life.  There may be some opinions thrown in but only based on our experiences.

I will also keep my patterns and DIY seperate.  I will keep my reviews and recommendations separate as well.  I will share the blogs when I get them up.  There may be some reposting as I seperate things out.  Thanks for bearing with me.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The boy has a brother

That's right, in May we welcomed another boy to the family.  Induced, very reluctantly, a week early I gave birth to an 8 lb 10 oz baby.  I guess a week early was meant to be, imagine how big he would have been a week or 2 later.  I not only gave birth at the hospital this time but, for the most part, the midwife even managed to deliver him (though the nurse did do a lot).

I could change the subtitle to "mom to a pair of boys and their 5 sisters" or just go generic with "mom to more than a 6 pack (or half dozen?)"?  Or any other ideas?

Thursday, December 19, 2013

An Elf broke into my house

Ok, it's not that I have anything against the Elf on the Shelf.  It's a cute idea and all.  Kudos to the parents that can do it.  I just prefer spending my Christmas time relaxing, reading books on Jesus birth, lighting Advent candles, and doing things as a family (Christmas lights anyone?).   

The elf, on the other hand I don't think is for us.  I knew right away the elf wasn't for us.  I mean, the tooth fairy already tends to have a backlog and thus arrives a couple days late, after "borrowing" cash from wherever he can find it (with the invention of plastic I guess he's forgotten to carry cash).  

I really don't have anything against those parents who chose to do it.  To each their own, unless it effects me, who am I to care what goes on in your house.  That is until their elves start breaking into my house.

This is about how December has gone in our house.  Also known as, how an elf broke into our house.

Day 1 (what day is that anyway, December 1), child 4: C's elf baked him cookies.
Me:  wow

Day 2, child 3: K's elf made a mess, she told me about it.  It was funny.
Me:  wow

Day 3, child 5: the elf at school was in our classroom
Me: wow

Oh and then the fun begins.

Day 4, child 4: all my friends have elves.
Me: wow

Day 5, child 3: how come everyone else has an elf?
Me: I don't know

Day 6: how come everyone but us has an elf?
Me: um, maybe you behave well enough that you don't need an elf to spy on you (hoping they don't see through this very obvious lie).

Day 7: then how come there's elves at school?
Me: um, to keep an eye on the other kids that need it

Day 8: L wrote a letter to his elf saying that Mrs. H didn't have an elf.  He brought a friend from the North Pole for her. 
Me: wow 

Our elf free future is not looking good.

Day 9: I said she'd write a letter to her elf and see if he can bring a friend for us.
Me: wow

Biting my nails

Day 12: Ks elf still hasn't brought a friend.
Me: hmmm

Crap, what am I supposed to do, tell her Ks elf is fake.  Oh, all the parents will love me.

Day 13: do you think Auntie can write a letter to her elf too?
Me: we'll see

Words I won't type start to creep into my head

Day 15:  did you make sure to tell auntie to write her elf a letter?
Me: um, I'll text her 

which I don't, because we all know, at this point it's my problem and I'm starting to think I'm screwed.

Day 16: did auntie write her elf a letter?
Me: um, I'll ask her

Day 18: did you ask her?
Me: yes, yes she did 

Great, now I have to say her cousins elf is fake too?

Day 19: 

This is a good elf though, he will just sit on the shelf.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Before I actually had a son: shopping edition

On this weeks Mondays Musings I was thinking about shopping for my son vs my daughters.  I just finished buying the kids' Christmas outfits. Before I actually had a son (I had 3 daughters) I said, "Wow, girls sure break the bank.  There are so many cute outfits, bows and shoes to buy".  Ha ha ha.  Here is the scenario post boy.

Shopping for a coming home outfit-
For a girl: this one is so cute, oh but this one is cute too.  Hmm, do I want to go with an outfit or a dress.
For a boy: Why does everything for boys have cars, trucks, trains or balls on it.  Even dress clothes.  Why can't there just be something plain and cute?

Shopping for baby clothes-
For a girl: there's so much cute stuff on clearance 
For a boy:  it all looks the same but at least there's a bunch on clearance

Shopping for a baptism outfit-
For a girl: do I want eyelet, lace, beaded, smocked, classic
For a boy: Do they all really have to have a vest or now tie? Ugh

Shopping for an outfit to go to a wedding-
For a girl: look at all these cute dresses on the clearance rack after Easter.  I guess they were too dressy for Easter but are perfect for the wedding.  On clearance for $13?  That's awesome.
For a boy: I can't believe the entire mall had nothing.  I finally found something at Strasburg for $60.

Leisurely shopping at the mall:
For a girl: wow, look at these cute dresses on clearance for $3.  Oh and there's a sweater on sale for $7.  These shoes are half price.
For a boy: OMG, they have a cute dress shirt, I know he doesn't need one but when he does they won't have one so I better get it now.  Oh but it's regular price at $30.  I better go against every cell in my body and pay full price because I know I won't ever find it again.

Shopping for Christmas outfits-
For a girl: look at these cute dresses on clearance for $15, they even come with matching doll dresses and they have all the girl's sizes.
For a boy: I've gone to every store and still can't find squat, I guess I'll settle on this sweater that isn't ugly but costs twice what the girls outfits cost.

Shopping for necessity- 
For a girl: Oh look, you outgrew those pants.  We'll pack those away and you can wear these bigger ones I found on clearance a couple months ago.
For a boy: Did you seriously rip a hole in your jeans again?  That's the 3rd pair this week, I guess I'll go and try and find you pants at the mall tomorrow (knowing they won't have a single sale, sigh).

Shopping appreciation-
For a girl: " I found a cute dress on clearance for you today."  "Mommy thank you, it's so cute, can I wear it to school tomorrow?"
For a boy: "I got you a new shirt at the mall today."  "Mom, that shirt is babyish.  Besides, my green shirt is comfy and my favorite (and stained and way too small)."

Now I eat my words.  I know that boys cost just as much, you just get 1/3 of the stuff for that price.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Earlier this week the news featured the 9/11 memorial.  In the interview it talked about how important the memorial will be.  Next year, when it is completed, no child under 17 will have a first hand memory of that day.

That struck me because my oldest is 17 now.  It made me realize that she is among the only "children" left that remember that day.  Everyone older than her is now an adult.  Everyone younger probably doesn't remember.  She was among the youngest kids that day that would actually be old enough to remember.

I wonder what the, now 17 years old, kids of NYC remember.  We are over 600 miles from NYC but my daughter, barely 5 years old on that day, remembers it.  She remembers where she was, what she was doing, and all the confusion.  Her little sister was 1.5 on that day and knows about it but doesn't remember that day.

It's interesting because they say that everyone remembers the day the shuttle exploded.  I was in 4th grade then, I even lived in Florida.  I remember seeing the video 100 times but I don't remember that day at all. 

I remember every detail of 9/11.  I bet every reader also remembers every detail of what they were doing on 9/11.  

Is it the fear that makes us remember?  I cannot even begin to imagine the fear of those in NY and even NJ that day.  Or the fear of those in DC.  Or those who had family flying that day.  Many people died that day.  Many were injured that day.  But so many more were there helping.  Were there fleeing.  Were near there working.  Without ways to contact them, family and friends were left with nothing but fear.

Those that did not live in that area were left with fear too.  I do mean the people with family and friends in that area.  I mean everyone else too.  Everything happened so fast, yet so slow.  One crash after another.  No answers.  Would there be more?  Where?  Would they target our city?  Schools?  Capitals? 

While those in NYC couldn't reach their loved ones, people all over the country were calling their loved ones.  There were no reports that SC was hit or Idaho was hit or California was hit.  Yet we all called loved ones.  It was so tragic we still had to hear their voice to know they were OK.

Is that why every detail is remembered?  Because the fear embedded it in our minds.  Maybe every single American has a small bit of PTSD that embedded that fear in their lives forever.

Or is it the tragedy that makes this so memorable.  First hundreds of people were presumed dead, as the day went on that hit 1000, then THOUSANDS.  In this day and age, of missile and aerial warfare, people are not used to hearing of such high numbers of dead.  These things don't happen here.  This number is hard to even imagine.  This is where you realize what a small world this is.  In the Internet age it seems everyone knows someone who is from that area, lost a loved one, helped, or was otherwise directly effected that day.  The stories I heard from my friends in that area made it real.  How do you imagine THOUSANDS of people dead?  But that one child left with no parents.  That one child who will never be picked up from school.  That one child who has a name.  That one child makes it incredibly real.

As time goes by it's the good that comes out.  Nothing is good about thousands of lives lost.  But there are good stories to hear.  Stories of survival, stories of heroism.  It is that heroism, that patriotism, that love for each other that sticks around.  Those stories are the ones still circulated over 10 years later.  No matter how much partisanship there is in the US, we still have patriotism.  No matter how bad the news is each night, we still have heroes.  No matter how much road rage we see, when push comes to shove we want to help each other.

9/11 is now a day of volunteering, a day of helping, in remembrance, all over our great country.   Though we help on this day, though we'll never forget the details, maybe we need to remember more, every day.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tutorial Tuesday: Laundry

This Tuesday I'm playing laundry catchup, so can't do my crafting.  Oddly enough, the same day, a friend posts on Facebook stating that she really wanted a 2nd washer and dryer.  She didn't know how those of us with 4 or more kids could manage.  Another washer would do me no good.  After the initial load I can have a load ready every hour.  That barely gives me time to fold, put away and do other chores.  It wouldn't at all if my older kids didn't do their putting away themselves.  

What am I trying to say?  I've got no "how to" to doing laundry.  Kids folding, separating colors, and pinning socks together all takes too long.  I do 3 loads on an average day and can easily manage 6 if I need to catch up.  Who has time for all those "tricks".

To keep this a "tutorial", I will include a list of my stain removal arsenal at the end.  But, I wanted to start with my laundry detergent.  No, this is not a boring laundry detergent review.  This is some enjoyment for your laundry day (I hear some people have those, a day just for laundry).  

As I was doing laundry today I opened a bottle of new detergent.  Method brand.  Years ago when my son was small I tried a bunch of "natural" brands that didn't clean, until I found Charlie's soap.  I have been devout to Charlie's since.  But, with a new Trader Joes I ran in to check it out and they didn't carry Charlie's, so I grabbed their brand.  I liked it so it gave me the nerve to try a brand Publix carries, Method.

Ever since reading the Charlie's bottle, I've started reading my soaps for amusement.  Forget those silly "Caution:hot coffee " labels.  These organic cleaners have it going on. 

 So here's what they say;

Charlie's laundry soap: "Charlie's soap cleans all the way to the fiber leaving nothing but the good old-fashioned smell of clean.  If you want flowers, go pick some"

Charlie's all purpose spray: "Cleans everything from false teeth to Diesel engines.  Caution:  Do not spray directly on cockroaches, fire ants, fleas, ticks, termites, spiders, scorpions, wasps, or hornets.  In case of accidental exposure, rinse unlucky creatures with potable water for 15 minutes and contact your local Humane Society or qualified insect veterinarian for further instructions."

Method: "Made by people against dirty. (Registered trademark)  Recycle for good karma."

I know the Bugaboo stroller instructions were pretty cute too.  So what cute instructions or cautions have you read?

*Bonus, must have list for the laundry room:
Oxiclean Free (the blue pieces in regular can stain clothes if not fully dissolved in water so Free is needed for making pastes)
Baking soda
Hydrogen peroxide
Aerosol hairspray
Color catchers or Dye magnet (remember, I don't separate colors)
Goo gone
Dawn dish soap
Bleach (I didn't say this was an all natural list, sometimes only bleach will do)
Pet enzymatic cleaner
Charlie's pre treater