Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Road Trip

The Road Trip is much like Child Birth. How? I will get to that, but first let's talk about why we do it. Road trips always sound like fun on paper. Getting some good family time in the car, seeing new things, singing songs and enjoying the fresh air...  Just you and the open road, right? No. Not right. It is a total lie.

Going on a road trip with large family is sometimes more work than it's worth. Going on a road trip with a large family full of toddlers is 100% more work than it is worth. There are a few reasons why I know for a fact this statement is true. As all moms know, the road trip starts a few days before with the packing. I wouldn't even consider it a road trip. It's basically just a small moving experience. With a large family, and with small children; you basically bring everything you own and relocate it to a new destination for a few days. Then you re-pack ALL your belongings and relocate them back to your own house and do laundry for 5 days straight just to catch up. With little ones, it's not like you just toss some outfits in a bag and call it a day. No. You bring everything they own in case they pee on something. I am talking: cuppies, diapers, formula, baby food, baby chairs, special blankets/stuffed animals, the entire toy box, the list goes on.

Once you have packed the essentials for basic survival. You will pack all the things that you need to stay mentally sane for the remainder of the trip. Usually, I start with the toy box. There is nothing worse than a crew if bored toddlers and preschoolers in the car for 8 hours. So in order to avoid that from happening, the entire toy box must come. I also usually get them some coloring things as well to keep them occupied. Luckily, they are awesome listeners and NEVER color on the van seats... right. The only wonderful thing about this situation is this: it will be the only time you can tie down your children legally for 8 hours and not have to chase them. So, after our multicolored- newly decorated van is loaded up we head down the road and onto the new phase of the trip.

Phase two in the torcher trip: Questions! They ask a million times when we will be there, they ask when we will eat, they ask if they can go potty, they ask where we are, they ask, and ask, and ask. Now, don't get me wrong I totally understand their excitement and joy. But that doesn't mean it doesn't drive me completely bat shit crazy. 

Phase three: Once they get bored with all the questions they will go on to the boredom. Their carload of toys are booooooring mom! What do they do when they are bored? They fight and argue. Let's face it by hour 8 we are all just trying not to explode.... or maybe that's just me? What should be a 6 hour car ride will always take an extra 2 hours. I have calculated it's about an extra 30 minutes per kid, at least.

Once we arrive at the destination, we have to un-pack all 8 million belongings that we have brought with us. Normal families bring a few bags and maybe a baby seat. Our family takes over where we are staying. It literally looks like we have moved in and plan to stay the year. It takes 2-3 days just to unpack and find all the things we need, and by then it's time to pack up and leave!

So, leaving and headed home is always a worse ride. Mainly because all you are going home to is the endless amount of laundry and reorganization. Going on a road trip is like poking yourself with a safety-pin repeatedly for 8 hours straight. I don't know why the government even messes around with prisons, just trap someone in my car on an 8 hour road trip and they would never commit a crime again.

Now how is The Road Trip like Child Birth, you ask? Because for some insane unnatural reason, we will eventually do it again. Maybe we will even be excited about it! Here is the twisted part: It may even be our own idea. That is how The Road Trip is like Child Birth.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The One-Uppers

The Online One-Upper

The one-upper breed of mother is one of the most irritating creatures on the planet. They are the real life drama lamas of motherhood and they aim to get under your skin. In the mommy club, those are the awkward moms everyone makes fun of for being full of lies. It is fairly easy to find these mothers. They mainly focus their craziness on social websites such as Facebook. You know that friend you have that posts bizarre pictures that look entirely impossible? They post posed pictures of thier 5 month old standing and walking the toy across the room? The 4 month old sitting upright... the 4 month old in the crawling position. Basically if you can think of a milestone, take a picture of your baby doing that milestone one to two months in advance, then gloat about how awesome and "advanced" they are 24/7. Especially gloat to other moms who have children roughly around said baby's age. All of this will give you an Online One-Upper.

The In-Person One-Upper

These in-person one-uppers are easy to find hanging around the bigger city park. (Tip: You want to meet nice moms? Go to your neighborhood park... the crazy moms are at the bigger city park.) The in person one-upper spends the time talking with you in a weird way. Instead of being friendly and wanting to get along, they say socially awkward things. For example, if any topic of nursing, diapers, or dietary food comes up... it’s all over. This mom gloats about how she is still nursing her 15 year old, cloth diapers ONLY (consider yourself lucky if she doesn't go into detail about the brands. oy), and they don't drink cow’s milk. Ever. (Do not even ask why, it is mind numbing).  The one upper doesn't really care about being organic, making things homemade, or cloth diapering to save the environment. They do these things for the only purpose of getting to say, "Yeah I do that", simply because it’s "in".  These moms make it a point to put the other mom in a position of lesser than. The only real thing to look out for with these moms is a long friendship. I have found with one-uppers, there is always a strange wall up between them and the friendship. It’s always a game of one upping and fake facade. Not to be a negative Nancy, just what I have noticed and personally experienced in my one-upper friends. The sure way to get though the conversation with a one-upper is: smile and nod… just smile and nod. See that high road? Take it… then get the hell outta there!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Ouch, Eww, What is That?

Have you ever noticed the little bumps and bruises you get as a mother? Some days I look down and it looks like someone hit me with a bat, then wiped jelly all over me. I am bruised, dirty, and it's gross. How the hell do I get bruised? Where did this stain come from? Is that poop? Well today I simply payed attention and learned....

How I got bruised and dirty today...

1. Hannah ran over my baby toe with her walker... it felt like a semi truck ripped my toe off.

2. I slammed my arm into the corner of a cabinet chasing my two year old who was running off with my soda.

3. My two year old stuck her hand into the jelly jar and rubbed it on my back while I was eating at the table. And I thought she was being sweet for a moment by rubbing my back...

4. Said two year old then stole her brothers orange juice and dumped it on our leather sofa. I know because I sat in it. That's what I get for not looking down before sitting down.

5. The baby loves to grab at things... she clawed my chest and just about drew blood. Then she pulled my hair.

6. My oldest spilled milk, I was lucky enough to be sitting next to her so my lap could catch most of it before it went on the floor. (you would have to be a mom to understand that is actually a good thing.)

7. I stepped on a giant Lego. It hurts more than the little Lego's because instead of being little and sharp, it is giant and sharp. The only time it hurts worse is when you step on the giant Lego at night. Because then not only does your foot hurt... you are tired as well.

Why do I even bother showering? Tomorrow morning I should just ram my leg into the table, pour my coffee on my clean white shirt and save my children the trouble. However, I would lose that surprise factor that make them giggle after something painful or messy happens... right? At least they are cute. Tomorrow I am wearing brown... and maybe shin guards...

Saturday, September 7, 2013


With 4 children all under the age of 5, I can't help but feel like a skeptical at times. I refer to it as "the freak show"... but not in a bad way. More as like, wow look at that nut job with all the kids.  The kids started soccer last week! I was so excited for them to finally start a sport and, it was a hot mess. My husband and I were going to meet before their practice and drop his truck of at the auto shop. Well I wait at the auto shop I told him to go to until 4:55 (practice starts at 5 and I am 10 minutes away!) My husband never shows and my cell phone isn’t working so I have no way to contact him. So I do what any person would do, leave.  I show up 10 minutes late for practice and rush my four kids out of the car. Mind you, I was so excited for soccer because I knew my husband would help me. Tackling soccer with 4 kids alone was going to be one of those insanely hard things to do! Sure enough, it met my expectations right away. We get out of the car and soccer balls are flying under cars, the big kids are freaking out because they are late, the baby is crying! Finally, I load Autumn and Hannah into the double stroller and get organized while I head to the field.  All I could think was thank goodness I have this double stroller. I would be a mess without it, the little girls would be everywhere!

Once I approach the gate, my dreams came true… Oh, what's that? This stroller doesn't fit though the gate? Fantastic, of course it doesn’t. That would just be way too easy. So I unload the little girls while the big kids run to their practice. Now I am chasing after Autumn, who is chasing after Tucker, who is chasing after Bella who is running the wrong direction, all while Hannah is dangling under my arm. I finally get everyone redirected in the right direction and haul ass after Autumn who is now in the middle of the field. Once I grad her, we head to a nearby hill to watch the rest of the practice. I am literally overwhelmed and in tears.  Let’s face it, its 6 pm... It has already been a long, long, long day. This was just the icing that pushed me over the mommy cliff into a full meltdown. So, what’s a girl to do? I sat my butt on that hill and cried. Then I thought, oh what happen to Joe?

I left the auto shop before he got there, I have no cell phone. Maybe he would just come here and we would drop his truck off after practice? Where the hell was he? He said he was off like an hour ago. I wished so badly that Joe would show up and save me. At least help me get off this insane soccer field with these tired, nutty kids. Oh, please just show up Joe! Then like a knight in shining armor he appears. I kid you not, I cried crocodile tears! I was so happy to see him! Expert Tire and Discount Tire are different store and if he would just listen we could have avoided this whole mess. I do have the best husband ever though. He took a cab to the soccer field after he dropped his truck off because he knew I would need help. Long story short, soccer ended we went home; it was a good end to a long day.

 Fast forward: This week I had Joe by my side at practice, we were early, and it went off without a hitch. About 10 minutes into practice this tired/stressed mom shows up. She is clearly tired and had a LONG day. Her son runs onto the field and she slumps down near me with her baby. About 10 minutes later her hubby shows up and helps her out. Then halfway into soccer her son pees his pants. So, after all the effort it took to get there, they had to leave half way in. That poor mom. I simply said, I was you last week, don't worry next week will be great! She laughed and said thank goodness!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Sleeping...or lack thereof...

Having 4 children all under the age of five years old is so much fun... you know in that, "I don't remember the last time I slept more than 2 hours" kind of way. Don't get me wrong, I love being a mom and I love my children, but I truly hate motherhood past 10 pm. If you are on duty as a mom and it is past 10 pm, nothing good is coming out of it. You are dealing with nightmares, bed wetters, puke, you get the picture. NOTHING good happens past 10 pm if you are a mom. After the last few weeks with my kids, I swear it's like they are plotting against me.

 Last night, my four year old woke up after only being asleep for a couple hours with a bad dream. I calmed her down only to wake up the baby on the way down stairs... after a bottle I make my way down stairs. I started watching my favorite show (Game of Thrones... if you haven't seen it you should see it. But start at season one or you will be totally lost) anywho, as I was saying... I was watching my show and 10 minutes later our 2 year old meanders down the stairs for a cuddle. Adorable yes, but sometimes you want a break you know? Oy. So we cuddle and she falls back asleep so we march her back to bed. Finally after feeding the baby and soothing her back to sleep (because of course I wake her again on the way downstairs) I give up and we head to bed. Once in bed, the baby wakes up about 12, then 2, then 4:30 for a variety of reasons. Meanwhile my two year old, again, has snuck into bed next to me at some point before the 12 o'clock feeding. When I nudge my husband to scoot over, I realize he can't. Our three year old has snuck in next to him! So we are 4 bodies wide in a queen bed. Fantastic. Nothing screams neck cramp and a two-pot-of-coffee day like sleeping with your children.

Really though, when does it end? Don't get me wrong, not every night is like this. Usually it is just our 6 month old who wakes us at night. It seems like a chain reaction with our children. Like they are running some sort of parent torcher drill......

"Okay, Tucker- you're up next. Bella started us off and refused to go to bed until 10 pm tonight. Hannah will wake them up around midnight to keep their sleep broken. I recommend kicking dad in the ribs between 2am-4am. He hates that. The I will shove my hand in mom's face from 2am-4:30am...Hannah said she would cry and relieve me from my duties at 4:30am with a surprise poopy diaper and an extreme thirst for a fresh bottle that will require a trip down to the kitchen for Mom!"

On more than one occasion. there have been so many of my children in our bed that I have slept on the floor. Yes, I gave up my bed to them and slept on the ground just so I could close my eyes for another 30 minutes. My husband often sleeps in one of their beds when this happens. He has more ambition than me. I just barrel roll off the bed and use a dirty shirt as a blanket. I could sleep on a bed of nails if it meant peace for even 4 strait hours. On nights like this I can't help but think their conversation goes a little something like this...

"Good work guys! We got a full evacuation of the sleeping area. Exactly what we like to see during this type of sleep deprivation exercise. Just a reminder we are going to do a bed wetting drill next week. It is scheduled for the day after mom washes our sheets at 2:30 am. Now, I thought we would start the morning off with a fight over who was sitting the sofa first. Any volunteers?"

I fell asleep twice while typing this. Not even joking.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Down with the Nuk Fairy!

My two year old is very strong willed. She has her own way of doing things, and if she doesn't want to something... she won't. Period. Well, my little Autumn is a "Nuk Kid". She loves it. She constantly has her "nukkie" in her mouth sucking away. Now that she is two, I keep getting sideways glances from all the crunchy moms in town and have decided its time to wean her. Things are not going so well. I told her that the Nuk Fairy came and took her Nuk's to all the babies that need them. Now that she is a big girl, she doesn't need it. Let me just tell you, Autumn wants to kill that thieving bitch!

She has gone into full blown riot mode here. Hopefully after a week or so she will get over it and move one, but I do know one thing. That Nuk fairy better stay far away from our house and when it comes time, I fear for the tooth fairy. Autumn officially HATES fairies.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Mom? Mom? Mom? Mom? Mom? Mom?

Anyone with a toddlers knows that you will answer endless questions. Today has just started. It is 7:05 am. My 3 year old son, Tucker, has asked me if he can wear his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle tee shirt 18 times already. I counted, 18 times. My daughter asked if she can play outside when after breakfast, 8 times. My two year old asked me for a cuppy 6 times, after I got her a cuppy she begged me for her Nuk 9 times. Thank gosh the dog can't talk, he hasn't been outside yet and I can only imagine the questions I would get from him.

After meeting everyone's needs a new set of questions and needs arises... this is an endless cycle of questions. Over and over and over again. Eventually they all wear out from their question asking and fall asleep at 7pm. I usually stare blankly at the wall twitching from all the question answering.... until the ultimate question is asked. This question comes in two forms in my house... it is asked the SECOND I sit down and get relaxed after a long day. This question haunts me...

The final question of the day...

Mommmmmmmmmmy, can I have a glass of water???

in another form:

Mommmmmmmmmmy, can I go potty???

My response to these two questions is usually (mommy confession) a scary toned, angry yell that goes something like this...

"GET YOUR TUSH IN BED NOW!!!!????" (insert scary, mad mommy face)
Sweet dreams! I love you!

Ah, I would write more, but I have a Ninja Turtle shirt to find... (19 times)