For those that like to dream, come in. For those that like to laugh, come in. For those that like to cry and be inspired...please come in. Our family is like any other, but is extraordinary in it's own right. Come and join us at our campfire and laugh a little, cry a little and leave us, but please come back. We love company...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

He started it!

The fights. This might just be the number one thing I will not miss when my kids are grown and gone. Now please do not assume I am stupid or naive and do not believe that my children will be capable of fighting as adults. I am sure I will hear from them in future days unloading to me about how so and so did this and that...I know I will hear it. But, the wonderful thing about that is that I can hang up the phone the them and sit in my perfectly silent home and smile sweetly at the calm around me.

For some reason it starts when I am on the phone. The worst seems to be when I am on the phone with one of my sisters from out of town, so that means long distance and me actually paying money to sit with a phone to my ear while listening to the kids fight around me.

"Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom..."
I finally cannot ignore them anymore.
"Hold on Lori....WHAT?"
"Mom, Isaac just called me stupid!"
"Well, she called me a jerk so I called her stupid...I mean she is isn't she?"
After putting the phone to my stomach and having to place my whole person between the two children I try to disarm them quickly so Lori doesn't have to pay money to listen to me parent.
"Ok ok ok, I have no idea who started it..."
"He did...he tripped me and then I called him a jerk, but he had it coming!"
"I did not have it coming she is just mean...she is always mean!"
This goes on for several more rounds before I can just get in the words "EVERYone be nice or you can all go to your rooms! GOT IT?"
One minor scrape taken care of, but be rest assured there will be more.

I am not sure if it's an inherited trait, a learned trait or that kids are just much more free with their minds and mouths these days, but if I fought with my siblings the way my kids fight my parents would have put me back on the market.
"Free kid to good home....will send food with her!"
My kids will kick, scream, slap, pinch and even bite when the need arises. Most of them are not afraid of a confrontation and will go head to head with each other, some being much smaller than their competitor, but not caring one bit. They will stand their ground. I have seen Colby take on Megan, Jessi take on Isaac and even Joe take on McKenna. And that brings me to another point, not any two of them are good enough friends that they don't occasionally fight. Even Kenna, who loves and adores Skyler with all she is, will get to the point once in a while where she is using sharp words and is impatient with him. It happens with any and all combos of kids.

I do understand that I have 11 people (soon to be 12) in one little home and there is bound to be contention. I think I have more than most, but maybe that is just my perception. There are some combos of kids that are almost always volatile. Joe and Isaac are a perfect example. Those two cannot be in the same room more one minute without trying to kill each other...with bare hands if necessary. Some of them run hot and cold. Abby and Megan can be best friends one minute and the worst of enemies the next.

One of my favorite times as a parent is to hear the yelling, followed by the crying, sometimes even followed by some blood and have the bigger, non crying child come out of the room saying "I don't know what happened....they just started crying!"
Yeah...right....uh huh....makes me think of Polly telling me the story of two of her kids. One was crying profusely with a huge red hand print on his face while his older sister stood there and innocently said "He fell on my hand!". Really folks? You want me to believe that?

Well, for all the things I imagined would be said in my home once my kids gained verbal ability I never thought "SHUT UP", "You jerk", "I hate you" and "I wanna kill you" would be some of the daily staples. But they are. I love my kids, I think they love each other, but I do not love some of the things they say to each other and to me and Jon and I am sure I will not miss hearing them everyday when they are gone!

Bye bye now, don't let the door hit ya on the way out!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Just for tonight?

I know there's lots of parents that have banned the sleepovers. They are too nervous about what might or could happen to their kids while they are gone. I get this, I have to admit I try to be pretty cautious about who my kids are with and where they are.

When I was growing up sleepovers were a key element to weekends, but even more so our summers. We had sleepovers planned every week, and as we got older we slept a lot less and toilet papered a lot more. After having children I decided that I didn't want to completely take away my kids opportunity for this one. Sleep overs are fun, they help kids develop better social skills, teaches them to live without mom and dad for a few hours without panicking and just provides me with a much needed night off once in a while. Having said all that though I have to now step into the down side of it all.

In my time sleepovers were just fun. Now, as parents we have to be so much more cautious. We have to not only meet the parents, but know them somewhat, be in their home and know who the child's siblings are. Are there teenage boys in the house? Does an uncle live with them? Is their home in a safe part of town? Then there's when kids sleep here. Do they have special allergies? Is it a child we know well? And of course Jon can't be here alone with the kids sleeping over, I have to make sure I am here as well. After all of that has been established and ok'ed, then we move on to the actual sleepover.

With nine kids I always hear "Abby is having Nana over? Can I have Amelia over too?" I mean, when you have that many kids if each child had a friend over once a week it would take six months before the first kid got a turn again. So I often have more than one kid sleeping over at a time. That then turns to the debate about who is sleeping where. We don't have a large home per say, and we really only have one family room downstairs that's conducive for sleepovers. Most my kids share rooms with siblings, so sleeping in their bedrooms doesn't really work either. Its really tricky. So after assessing who is coming over, if it's safe, where to sleep then we begin with the activities of the night. Outside play, inside play, night games, wii, tons of popcorn all over the house, soda cans left in weird places, hide and seek in my laundry room (which I HATE), little kids upset because big kids get to stay up late and so on. It's like hosting a birthday party every week. It's exhausting, truly.

After a long nights activities and all the food in my home having been devoured, we move on to the sleeping part. Usually this works out just fine. Sometimes it doesn't. We have hurt feelings, kids sick and then there's the "failed" sleepover. A poor kiddo that thought he/she was ready to be away from mom and dad overnight, but it turns out their not. I have also had to wander the valley in the middle of the night picking my kids up from the failed sleepover. This part is particularly irritating, but I feel bad for the poor kid at the same time. Traipsing around at 2am with a frightened child isn't my definition of a good nights sleep.

By the next morning the kids are all awake at 7am (I am sure from residual sugar still in their systems from the night before), they finish off whats left to eat in the house and proceed to play till their parents come to get them. At that point we begin with the fighting matches over the bedding, food, dishes and toys that were left from the event that my children have to help pick up. This is not a pretty sight.
"Hey, Lacie, you need to go clean up the family room from your sleepover"
"Moooom, I don't want to"
"Umm, Lacie? I don't recall asking if you wanted to...just do it"
"Well mom, Amelia made this mess over here"
"Lacie? Do you see Amelia here? I don't, get on it please!"

It usually escalates from there. By the end of the discussion Lacie is yelling at me while I am threatening her and this is the fun we had with the sleepover. I have to admit that it's not any better with any of the other kids.

The sleepover. I know it's fun in the moment for my kids but I won't miss it a bit after they are grown and gone.
"Bye bye sleepovers, don't let the door hit ya on the way out!"

Saturday, April 9, 2011

For my baby

Baby small and dear to me,
Oh how wondrous you must be,
Up in Heaven near or far,
On this earth we had to part.

All the love I have for you,
I have shed tears and sometimes still do.
Your always in my heart, my soul,
to be with you again is always my goal.

Six months ago I said goodbye to my baby boy who lived inside of me for only 13 short weeks. Today is his due date. By today I would have a baby in my arms instead of only in my heart, but then again I wouldn't have the baby girl that is now inside me. It's a double edged sword.

I love you sweet baby boy and I know you were on this earth for whatever time you were supposed to be. Our family loves you as much today as we did the last time we heard your heartbeat. Someday we will meet again, but not today. I hope you look down on us and smile (despite all the fighting and stress) and wait anxiously to meet us.

Till we meet again my sweet boy, till we meet again.

David Malachi, my Beloved Angel. 10/1/2010

Monday, April 4, 2011

Don't let the door hit ya on the way out!

Ok, this entry might be long. Just as I walk from one room to the other I have found five things that I will look forward to being gone with the kids someday. I have spent a year and half talking about how wonderful my kids are, how much I have enjoyed being a stay at home mom, etc etc etc. But this entry is going to begin a string of blogs dedicated to those little annoyances a mom has to put up with day in and day out. Here we go...

1. Kids fighting. I am pretty sure I don't need to elaborate on this one. Even those of you without kids know exactly what I am talking about. My kids do it every minute of everyday....

2. Dirty dishes. Dirty dishes in the sink, bathroom, bedrooms, under the couch, in the yard and so on. More to come on that later.

3. Shoes...I have already blogged on that one. Still my nemesis.

4. Wrappers of all kinds stuffed into the cushions of the couch. I have to blog on this one just because as a kiddo I was completely guilty of this one.

5. Dirty clothes. This one is ten times worse than the dishes. When I am older and my kids are gone I will hire someone to do my laundry. I know it would be more useful now, but I am too broke right now.

6. Attitude. The sharp nastiness you get when you say "have you done your chores" "stop bugging your sister" "No we are not going to walmart to buy you pencils right this very minute" and of course the all time classic "I can't do that today because I don't have the money". You can imagine the responses I get on those. That will be a fun blog.

7. Spongebob, House of Anubis, Curious George, Phineas and Ferb, Wipeout, Americas Funniest Home Videos and so many other kids programing choices. I can't wait until I am the old fuddy duddy that doesn't know who the latest Disney star is.

8. Pee in, on, around, and under the toilet, in the toy bins and yes...even all over the floor in the laundry room right in front of the clean laundry bins. And yes...I have found pee in every one of those places...plus more! Another fun blog!

9. Empty boxes in the fridge and pantry. Why in the world do the kids put the boxes away empty? My own disappointment is clear when I reach for the ding-dong box and there's nothing in it. With this I might have to add that I rarely get some of the yummy treats I buy...my hands and mouth aren't fast enough. And let me tell ya...they are pretty fast when it comes to sugar...but my kids are faster...

10. Carpool. I never imagined way back when that I would spend so much time and money on this venture. When I was nursing that first, and even the second and third children I never thought "I can't wait to spend hours of my week and hundreds of dollars on gas to drive my kids to and from free public schooling every week."

11. Before I had children I fondly imagined my fridge littered with darling drawings the kids did for me in school and primary. I just never imagined the artwork would hardly be on paper, but more on the walls, the underside of the kitchen table, the bathroom mirrors, the brick on the outside of the house and even on their clothes. I must add here that not all artwork is done with crayons, pencils and markers. Those are the more pleasant things to wipe off walls...

12. Trash. Seriously, how much trash can one family accumulate? I will add to this one the D.I. runs (nearly weekly)...it's like my mom used to say..."You kill one fly and three come to his funeral". I think the same applies to clothes...I throw out one bag and somehow there are three to replace it.

13. Bedtime. My favorite time of day, my kids least favorite time of day....and all the fighting that comes with it. I have previously blogged about this time of day, but it's time for an update.

14. The ice cream truck. What parent really loves that? I hear that noise and my heart speeds up, I start to sweat and I run to turn the tv all the way up to try to mask the sound. It never works.

15. Kids homework. I specify kids because a lot of parents are going back to school to further their education. That kind of homework is ok. But the kids homework? I have to say that every time I have to help with math, research a report, draw a stick figure and label his body parts or make a science project I sit and stew with the words "I already went to school...I am done with all this!" going through my head. I will admit it's worse with nine kids....so much homework!!!

16. The all mighty tattle-tale. I really hate hearing "Moooooommmm.....Joe just ...." it gets so dang old. I need to come up with some anti tattle-tale tactics. Geez people...learn to problem solve already!

17. The sleepover. I have much to say on this matter. There's friend sleepovers, cousin sleepovers and then there's the failed sleepovers. I think I am going to go on a march on Washington to ban sleepovers forever!

18. "Well, Savanah has one and if she has one why can't I have one?" You know...this would not be a problem if we lived in a third world country and my kids had nothing! Maybe a move is in the cards for us....

19. No dang batteries in the house...and the items that they go in seem to disappear constantly too. Flashlights are the worst. Heaven forbid we have an earthquake in the middle of the night. What a joke that would be. I can hear Jon now..."I know I put a flashlight right here in my closet and now it's GONE! Those dang kids!"

20. Socks. This will be a shorter blog, but anyone who has ever come to my home has seen the infamous "sock bin". If laundry is my nemesis than the socks that do come out of the dryer and aren't lost are the fires burning in the Hell that I live...

Well, I am sure I can think of more...but for now this is good. We can have some fun with those starting tomorrow! Bring it on folks...this is gonna create some smiles and make us all laugh. Maybe out of empathy...and maybe out of "boy am I glad I am not you!" thing. Either way this is going to be good therapy for me.