Friday, August 29, 2008

Three things that have changed since I had my fourth

1. I have found that I need to make lists, in order to remember to do things. Go pee is on that list.

2. Dinner time used to be a time for our family to talk about our day. Dinner time has now officially been renamed, "quiet time."

3. My husband and I are so busy running around during the day, that the only time we have to talk, is when we're sleeping. We call it multitasking.

Wake up call

I recently aspired to waking up in the morning with a much more enthusiastic and positive attitude for the day, even if I am run down and exhausted.

This morning I awoke around 4 am to my toddler lying next to me. Unbenounced to me, sometime during the night, he snuck into my bed and curled up between my husband and I.

I also awoke to a wetness streaming down my back.

He peed in our bed. A lot.

So much for aspirations. Better luck tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Interesting bedtime conversation with my daughter

On our recent weekend family getaway, this is what my daughter said to me as I laid her to sleep one night.

My daughter: "Mama, did you know that today the policeman brought my baby brother back to our room?"

Me: "What are you talking about honey?"

My daughter: "Yeah, when daddy brought us back to our hotel, the policeman found (brother) in the hallway, and knocked on our door."

Me to Husband: "Honey, what the heck is she talking about?"

Husband: "NO, it wasn't like that at wasn't a policeman."

Me: "Yeah??"

Husband: "It was just a security guard."


With the recent addition of my newest baby, our fourth, the family dynamic has changed a bit. What was once a sometimes rambunctious household, has now turned into an all out every-man-for- himself, chaotic zoo. Some days I feel myself attempting to block out the myriad of "mamas!", and waterfalls of tears, but to no avail. Some days I am in such a exhausted stupor, that I forget things, like putting the stroller in the trunk, before I back out over it in the driveway. Yes, rare is the occasion that I can even hear myself think, but this morning I found myself drifting off into my brain, for just a quick second.

It all began as I pulled up to the gas pump and began pumping, as I listened to the screams of my six year old. She had gotten her hair entangled in the seat in front of her, while she was picking up the gum wrapper for her "collection." In doing that, she bumped into my two year old who was already screaming about the water bottle that he had dropped on the car floor. As the tears welled up in my eyes, (just a reflex), I found myself comparing the many facets of my job, to other jobs out in the world. And to my surprise, I concluded that the level of stress that I endure on a daily basis, is that much like these other high-intensity occupations. I have discovered that I am in fact, much more qualified for these positions, now, as a stay at home mom of four, then I would be if say, I went to a four-year private college. The following is a list of jobs that I might apply for when I retire:(Please add any additional occupations you think we moms, might be qualified for)

1. Hostage Negotiator--impeccable bribery skills

2. the next Survivorman--with the amount of food that I "save" in my minivan, a family of four could stay alive in an amazon jungle, for at least a month

3. Captain of a Cruise ship--my sense of direction is unwavering, even with passengers in complete pandemonium and disarray and all out fist fights

4. Wrestler--I can pry a bottle of body lotion away from my two year old faster than that baby jaguar on Diego, can climb a tree

5. Lawyer--let's face it, I read my kids like a book. I know when they're tired, when they're hungry and most importantly, when they have to go potty in the middle of a fancy restaurant

Sunday, August 17, 2008

One reason why I know God has a sense of humor

I just came across this very interesting post...

"Ask, and it will be given..."

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Beginnings of a Perfectionist

Last night, my husband and I awoke to the unconsolable screams of my two year old. We waited for him to stumble down the stairs to us, and when he did, asked him what was wrong. I had assumed he was either thirsty or had a bad dream, but to my surprise, his response was neither. Through sobs and tears, my little darling cried, "my room is a mess!"

O-kay. Not exactly your typical toddler trauma, but understandably upsetting. I know that I've felt like waking in the middle of the night and screaming about the nine loads of laundry that were waiting for me in the basement.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Place to Poop

Let's just say our town library probably won't be extending any personal invitations to my family, to return any time soon. Can someone please explain to me why my children insist on pooping every time we go to the library? I mean are they pumping microscopic fiber molecules through the ventilation system? Are they serving raisins and apple juice for snack time? I just don't get it. What is it about the library, that makes them have to go?

Not more than five minutes had gone by when my nine week old decided to do some major pooping, with sound effects mind you, at exactly the moment that I bent down to pick out some books for my kids. The embarrassment from that little incident alone, was enough for me to hightail it out of there. Boy was I naive. The real torture hadn't even begun. After I changed my daughter's diaper, I proceed back to the main children's area to pick out some more books, only to find my potty-training toddler holding the back of his pants saying, "pee-pee, mama!"

This of course turns out to be entirely false, as I go to help him up on the potty, and to my surprise, receive a handful of poop as a thank you. Yeah, did I mention my son mixes up the names of his bodily functions? It gets worse. Because I wasn't aware of this major accident when I placed him on the potty, by now there is poop his pants, down his legs, on the potty.

I attempted to clean up my squirming toddler and the library facilities, all the while using an appropriate library inside voice. Unfortunately, my attempts at remaining discreet in my mission failed, as my infant screamed in hysteria for me to pick her up. Did I mention how those bathrooms echo?

So, I finish the cleanup and head back out to my older two, who are patiently waiting to pick out some books. Just as I lay my baby back in her stroller, I hear the same daunting words all over again..."pee-pee mama." Yup, that's right. Poop mission number two, except this time it's even worse because I have no more wipes, and no more changes of clothes. Needless to say, after the second attempt to sanitize my son and the library bathroom, I promptly packed up my four children and headed home. From now on, I'm renewing my books over the phone.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

One ticket to crazyland, please.

After a long, hard day with the kids, I received a very interesting phone call from the telephone company. One that kept me wracking my brain for hours:

"Tiffany" the phone operator: "Hello, I'm calling because you have an outstanding portion of your bill that has gone unpaid. And in order to prevent an interruption of service, you're going to need to pay this portion."

Me: Oh, yes I know all about it. Yeah, we actually don't owe that, we returned the DVR box(babysitter), and we were told we would receive a credit."

Tiff: "Yes, there is an outstanding $300.00 on your bill for the box and I see no credit."

Me: "The box was returned, I know, I did it myself."

Tiff: "Right, but we are showing no record of that. The box would've gone to customer service, so you're going to need to work that out with them."

Me: "Okay, can you transfer me?"

Tiff: "Uh, no ma'am I can't. But I can give you their number."

Me: "Ok, I'll call them now."

Tiff: "So how would you like to pay your bill ma'am, to prevent interruption of service?"

Me: "umm.. I don't owe anything, but I was going to call customer service to work it out."

Tiff: "Yes, you'll need to work that out and then call us back...but as soon as you hang up, you will receive an interruption of service, unless you pay this portion of the bill."

Me: "Okay, so as soon as I hang up, my phone will not work?"

Tiff: "That is correct, ma'am. Unless you pay your bill."

Me: "But I don't have a bill. I have a credit."

Tiff: "Right, but we have no record of that, customer service does."

Me: "So, how exactly can I call customer service if my phone won't work after I hang up?"

Tiff: "Well, ma'am if you pay this portion of your bill, your service will not be interrupted."

Me: (banging head on table) "I'd like to speak with your supervisor."

"Please hold..."

This conversation resulted in the phone company admitting their mistake and crediting my account. They assured me my service would not be interrupted, and I no longer owed anything. I got off the phone and just as they said, it was not shut off. Later that day, I went food shopping and came home and mysteriously, my DVR box was shut off...

All aboard....

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Do we really need bread?

Four things. I only need four things. This was my mantra as I pulled into the grocery store parking lot yesterday, with a minivan full of children. My children to be exact. Although outings these days aren't as easy as they once were (yeah,right), I decided to forgo the risk that accompanies four small children in a grocery store. After all, I only needed four things.

I unloaded my gang and allowed my two year old the freedom to walk and hold hands with his sister. First mistake. I managed to walk my parade the 30 feet across the parking lot, into the store and right up to the redbox movie machine, (AKA: Date night.) And the meltdown begins. I tried to wait patiently for my two year old to slide the movie into the return slot. I noticed my eight week old begin to stir, and I knew my window of opportunity was closing in. I watched as my two year old stretched as tall as he could to reach the slot and tried to assist without him knowing, but my feeble attempt had failed. The second my finger grazed the machine, the wailing and body thrashing began. I decided I would not be completely controlled by this kid,(at least not this time), and I quickly pried the movie from his hands and shoved it into the box. Within seconds he had flung himself to the ground. And to top it off, at this very moment my hungry infant begins to cry.

As I picked up my baby, I couldn't help but notice the stares, some sympathetic, some just plain annoyed by the commotion. I strained my voice over the screams of both my children and managed to lure my two year old to follow me towards the bakery. I attempted to regain my composure and my thoughts long enough to remember what the heck I had needed at the store in the first place. But as my mind wandered, so did my son--right up to the freshly baked italian bread where he began to slide the loaves out of their paper bags, all the while telling me, "we need this." I motioned for him to put the bread down, and when he didn't comply, I grabbed his little wrist and made a bee-line for the diaper aisle. This pattern continued on as I maneuvered through the store looking for my four items.

We neared the registers and as I pulled into the lane, my sweet child proceeded to grab numerous candy bars and throw them into the cart. With my infant on one arm, I used my other arm to wrestle the candy from his hands and lifted my son into the cart. A feat that had to be seen to believe. As the screams intensified I tried to remain calm long enough to scan my items and pay. Gotta love self-checkout.

I was pretty much to my boiling point as I headed out to the car with two of my four children screaming at the top of their lungs. I lifted my two year old out of the cart, and wrestled him over to the driver side to put him in his carseat. Unfortunately, I could not even get to the driver side, as a large orange pickup had pulled into the parking spot next to mine, so close that only a paper thin person could fit through. And unfortunately, paper thin I am not. At this very moment I actually thought to myself, "Now I understand why people key other peoples cars." Terrible thought,yes, but sadly enough, true. So, I head back around to the other side of the car with my kicking and screaming toddler and catapult him across the baby seat, into his car seat. Once all my children were securely fastened I jump the passenger seat to get to my seat, and sped off towards home.

The moral of the story is this: If you're thinking about going on an outing with all of your children, ask yourself this, "do we really need bread?"

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