I have decided that I should own stock in whatever company makes Shout Advanced laundry stain remover. I use more of that product than any other household cleaner, except for hand soap. I spray almost every article of clothing my daughter wears. She is really into Justice clothes and has a ton of them, but they are expensive. I usually buy them on sale or from consignment sales. Regardless of that, she always gets paint on her Justice shirts. I am not sure why this is. I know it is partly because she prefers her Justice shirts to others so she wears them more frequently, but she has ruined 2 so far. When I say ruined, they have paint spots on them. I have to admit that I have done a good job getting the paint out of one. There were quite a few spots on it and there are only a couple of very light ones in inconspicuous places. The other has some brown paint on the front. It is a small spot, but enough for me to consider it a play shirt now. Speaking of play clothes. My oldest son had ruined 3 pair of "church" pants. I am not too sure which part of change your clothes when you get home from church is difficult for him, but he never remembers. I pulled the pants he wore to church yesterday out of the dryer to fold and there was a hole in the knee. The pants didn't even show a sign of wear and now there is a hole. How is this possible I ask my son. He tells me maybe he bent his knees too much yesterday. Keep that in mind the next time you are wearing a pair of trousers. Do not bend your knees too much! My next laundry challenge is to remove crusty bananas from onesies and sweat pants. Our youngest has taken to feeding himself and he eats a whole banana at a sitting. Or he sits on the banana is more like it. He is covered hen he is finished eating. It is impressive, the amount of banana an 8 month old can get on his face, clothing, and high chair. At least he smells sweet!
Unprecedented! I am posting again today because I had to write about what just occurred at my home. My middle son and nephew took a skein of yarn out and made a "pool". They unraveled it all over the living room, wrapped up the dog, and started jumping around in it! I had to take some photos which do not do it justice. I will add them to this post if I can figure it out. While I was taking the pictures, my son started running around the "track" (the loop through our hallway, kitchen, living, and dining room). This presented a problem because he had the yarn in his hand. I was chasing him around the house, trying to get the yarn back into the bag it was in before the pool was made. Luckily, my mom who was here to witness it all was able to capture the little rascal. No one was injured and all the yarn has been cleaned up. It was so funny. My stomach still hurts from laughing. I have never seen such antics, no really!
This week is a blur to me. It started Monday with a long meeting. It lasted until 4:45 or at least that is when I left because my oldest son had Cub Scouts. Then I came home, made dinner, gave baths, and put the baby to bed. I can't remember what I did that evening. I think I baked cookies. Yes, that is right. I baked cookies for the preschool Happy Birthday Jesus party. Tuesday, I worked all day and then dragged the baby to Target to pick up photos. This was my third attempt to pick them up. Thankfully, I was able to pick them up and I received 3 free sheets for my troubles! I proceeded to take the baby to Justice (Just for Girls). He loved that. Then I drove clear across town to purchase a charm for my Brighton bracelet. I was dying to get this Santa charm and with so few days left before Christmas, I wanted to get it so I could get the most use out of it! Of course, by that point I needed gas and the baby was screaming! But we made it home by 5:45, just in time to cook dinner! Wednesday brought more of the same, with a visit to the Bull Run Festival of Lights. Then, while putting the baby to sleep, I fell asleep. I was awakened at 10:00 p.m. by my husband asking if I was getting up. I had to make more cookies, this time for the preschool Christmas show and the kindergarten class party. I called my mom and asked her to pick some up for me. I did make pretzels with a melted Hershey Kiss and M&M on top. They don't take too much time in the microwave. My husband tried for several hours to print out the Christmas letter. This continued into Thursday evening when he returned to the computer after he came home with our oldest. They were at Cub Scouts for the second time this week. After another hour last night, we decided to print the letter on regular paper with clip art. It is cheaper to print this way. Or at least I think. I had to pick up printer ink which cost $61.00. Not cheap! We were out of Magenta. So, tonight I was supposed to go to Bunko. I told the hostess I was going, just last night. I called a few minutes ago to cancel. Apparently, I am not the only one. It is the holidays and everyone is busy. I hate to say it, but I am choosing our time honored tradition of a pajama ride over a girls night out for Bunko. I also really need to start wrapping, get that Christmas letter out, and clean the house. It is really gross. One of my friends just dropped by to deliver my Pampered Chef order and I was embarrassed to let her in. It is so messy and dirty. I feel like there is just no hope for it! Only time will tell. It has been raining for days here and he dog brings in half the mud in the backyard every time he comes back in the house. So, that in a nut shell was my week. As I look at this, I realize that i must be exhausted because I can not type. If this doesn't make sense that is why. Although, according to my husband, it is because I have poor grammar. Just kidding dear!
So, I am finally feeling the crunch of the holiday season. It is getting down to it. Two weeks from tomorrow is Christmas. I am not even sure what I have up in the attic for the kids. My husband and I are going to go through it right before bed tonight so we can talk about what else I will need to buy. However, that is not what I am really concerned about. The shopping will get done. It is the rest of the stuff that I am trying to figure out how I am going to manage. I planned on making quick breads for the Pediatrician's office and the Veterinarian's office. I also wanted to make cookies for the school. I also need to finish making cookies for our family. I have not started wrapping anything, which as it turns out is good since I don't know what I have for who right now. I also still need to set up my Christmas village and my white Christmas tree. I approached my husband this morning about driving through he Bull Run lights. He reminded me that we haven't written the Christmas letter or taken the Christmas photo for the cards yet. So, with all that hanging over my head, I am a little worried about getting it all done. However, I know I will. I guess my real worry is that the holiday season is flying by and I don't want it to end. It is my favorite time of year. I absolutely love it!
Let me start by saying oh my gosh! My family and I went on a trip this past weekend to Richmond, VA to see the Legendary Santa. It was absolutely amazing! My husband and his family went when they were growing up. My father-in-law went when he was growing up. Now, our kids have gone and we plan to take them back again. We started the day with Sunrise with Santa. At 9:00 a.m. we went into the Children's Museum of Richmond. My mother-in-law waited in line so that we could be second. When we entered, she and my father-in-law went up to the front of the room where chairs were set up. She sat there with my husband and my kids and my sister-in-law and her kids. My sister-in-law's husband and I stood in line to hold our place. After a short while, sleigh bells rang and feet started dangling from the chimney in the fireplace at he front of the room. The feet started kicking back and forth and seconds later there was a thud and Santa was standing in the fireplace. He ducked down and entered the room. It was amazing! My children went up to visit the Snow Queen when it was there turn. They told her there names and talked about Christmas. When Santa was ready, he called my kids over by name. They sat on his lap and he asked what they wanted to for Christmas. My middle son had a "pretend" coughing problem and was unable to answer. The two older ones told him in their "quiet" voices. After a picture, we left. We then spent the next 2 hours passing time until the museum opened to the public. We had a delicious breakfast at Bob Evans and returned to the museum. We frequent children's museums every chance we can. We love them. I make sure that we know where the nearest one is whenever we go on vacation in case it is raining. It makes a great rainy day or cold weather day activity. For the past two years our middle son has had a birthday trip to a children's museum instead of a party. The Children's Museum of Richmond is one of the best we have visited. We didn't do everything we could have in the time we were there. After 2 hours of activities, it was time to have Tea with Santa. So at 1:45 we walked over to another room and stood in line to enter the tea. We sat down to a plate of cookies and tea sandwiches. My daughter loved the candy cane shaped cheese sandwich. I will have to surprise her with one in her lunch box before the holidays arrive. Santa entered the room in the same manner as earlier in the day, by coming down the chimney. He talked about drinking milk and eating cookies and showed the kids how he drank the milk. He led the group in Christmas carols and read to the children. He served Rudolph cake and then gave the kids an opportunity to visit and sit on his lap again. By the time, our kids were beat. We got a great picture of the baby with Santa and one of our middle son with the elf. On the way out we all received a gift from Santa, a book. It was a fabulous day and wonderful trip. I will not soon forget the magic of that special day and the magic that fills this holiday season. It help me see Christmas through children's eyes. Best of all, it was a day away from home and responsibility for me to focus on nothing but my children. I had an absolutely amazing day!
So, I should be trying to wrap up some Friday afternoon paperwork, but I am surfing through the blogs I keep up with. I just read one that made me think. It talked about the holiday season and slowing down and remembering what is really important this time of year. It mentions focusing on family and friends and putting less emphasis on parties and presents. I have been reading a book. (I know, crazy!) I can't remember the title and I don't have it in front of me. But, it is a compilation of short stories about the time of year between Thanksgiving and New Years. These stories are humorous in nature, but really make you think about family traditions this time of year. So, these two things, the blog and the book have me thinking about what most people think is a crazy time of year. I prefer to think of it as magical. I would love to see it through my children's eyes, but I guess I see it through my own and remember what it was like as a child. I remember Christmas the best. We would go to church on Christmas Eve. Depending on who was doing what, at which service, we would chose from 7:00 p.m., 9:00 p.m., or 11:00 p.m. Sometimes we went to more than one. I can remember going to 7 and 11 some years. I often sang in the church choir or played the hand bells. My father ushered most years and my sister even sang some years. My mom and grandma stood by to support and enjoy the service and all that we would do that night. After the service, we went home, turned on the Christmas music on my parents record player, put pajamas on, and opened a few gifts! It was tradition. The next morning brought more of the same, opening gifts and listening to Christmas music. After we completed opening gifts, we ate breakfast and I would wait for the phone to ring. It would be my best friend, Jessica. Every year for as long as I can remember we went to each others house to show off our presents. Then in the afternoon, we would visit with my grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins on my father's side of the family. We would rotate whose house the festivities would be at. Those times are long gone, but I think about them often at this time of year. That is what I want for my own children. Church and the "Reason for the Season" was a huge part of holidays. But, the presents and the hype had there place too. I want my children to remember why we celebrate Christmas and what it is about. We light an advent wreath each Sunday and talk about what it means, say and pray, and then eat dinner. All of our children are participating in the Christmas Pageant at church. These are things I want my children to remember as they look back on Christmas when they are grown. But, I want them to look back at the other things we do. We have made it a tradition to go to Christmas Candy Lane at Hershey, PA. We go to Bull Run Lights in Northern Virginia. We started a pajama ride a few years ago. This includes putting the kids to bed early (they don't know it is early) , then my husband and I go down to the kitchen grab some pots and pans and run upstairs, yelling pajama ride. Then we leave the house with snacks, hot cocoa, and head to adjacent neighborhoods to look at light displays. Our favorite is a house with a dancing Santa! We got to breakfast with Santa at a local fire house and this year we will take a trip to see a "Legendary Santa" from my father-in-laws childhood. When my children look back at Christmas as adults I want them to remember the magic that we created for them and the magic and wonder of the birth of Jesus Christ. Those are our family traditions.
Lately I have been thinking about time. I never have enough of it in a day before I fall asleep. Some days are worse than others. This is mainly because I fall asleep nursing the baby shortly after 7:00 p.m. When my husband comes in to wake me, I tell him I am staying in bed. Bless him for putting the other kids down and cleaning up the house each night. Otherwise I could not stay in bed and get the sleep I must need if I am falling asleep at the same time as my 7 month old and before my older children. But, back to the issue of time, there is never enough of it. I have 5,000 things to do around the house; reorganize the kitchen, clean the bathrooms, do the laundry, cook dinner, the list goes on... I want to spend more time with the kids, playing, working on fun learning activities, cooking, or watching T.V. But, I always feel like I have other stuff hanging over my head. Which of course I do since I over-extend myself like you can't believe. I am Marsh Brady. Or at least my husband thinks so. Remember the episode where she signs up for every club there is at school? My favorite was Scuba! He is right. He called me on it today. In a previous post I said I was going to make reindeer cookies with the kids. Well, we didn't make them. I do have all the ingredients though! We made another treat instead. I am already thinking of what I am going to do this weekend. We have breakfast with Santa on Saturday at 9:00 a.m. I then need to go to COSTCO, Giant, and drop off our 7 year old at a friend's house, make Christmas cookies, and at the conclusion of the day, go out with my husband to do the majority of our Christmas shopping. On Sunday, we are taking a trip to see Santa. Not just any Santa this is the #1 helper. My father-in-law visited this Santa as a child and his mother told him that there are a lot of "Santa helpers" but this is the #1 Santa Helper. We are taking our children, meeting my sister-in-law and her family and my father-in-law and mother-in-law, and filling the day with Santa experiences. So that is the weekend. Every minute packed full of activities, but not enough time to get it all done. The best laid plans! And that is the story of my life. There is never enough time. While, I sit here and complain, I realize how lucky I am to be able to complain about this. I am thankful that I do not have more to complain about today. While, I can not get time back, I do realize how precious it is and will continue to work to manage it more effectively, to be able to stop and share an extra minute with my kids and husband everyday. Because that is really why I complain that there is never enough time. I need those extra minutes to enjoy what is most important in my life, the people I love!
I stole this from my sister's blog! She blogged about giving today. She points out that children's hospitals are often overlooked at this time of year. However, whatever your cause it is a wonderful thing to remember those less fortunate or those who have reached out in some way to help you when needed. I typically donate to St. Jude at this time of year. I know too many people whose children have or have died of cancer. I have also given to poison control at this time of year as well. I have had to call them several times and am thankful for the free call. However, each call costs them $50. They have provided excellent answers and even contacted the local ER to alert them we were bringing our child in. I am thankful for them! I also like to remember those service providers in my life that deal with those who I love the most. This list includes teachers, Dr., and our Vet. I like to provide a tray of baked goods for these people. They work so hard all year and while they are paid for their job, I can't count how often these people have gone above and beyond the call of duty for my family. So, however it is you donate to this holiday season, enjoy what you do and spread good cheer to those you care about. I know I will
So, it has been a while, huh! There has been a lot going on here in Mommy's Daze Land! Nothing overly excting, just life. I started Facebooking, so I am addicted to that now. I am trying to be a "runner". Working full time and having four kids, has made it difficult to really get into a running routine. I have had sick kids and a sick self at home, making me overly tired (not that I a not overly tired all the time). I also found out my sister has a genetic mutation which puts her at an increased risk of developing blood clots, having a heart attack, or other cardiovascular problems. Needless to say, I am currently waiting for the results of my blood test to determine whether I have this same mutation. At lease she and I can be mutants together! So what will this post really be about you ask, now that I have given you a list of excuses as to why I have not updated this in over a week? Well, it's about arts and crafts and cooking. With Thanksgiving coming, I have had nothing but Christmas (and the stuff list above) on my mind. I purchased a t-shirt to make a snowflake t-shirt with my daughter yesterday, but forgot the paint. We will make it when she comes home from school this afternoon. I also bought MOST of the ingredients to make Lemon Coconut Quick Bread with the kids. My husband went to the Safeway to purchase the lemon extract. He is the greatest! I made that by myself at 8:30 last night. So, what craft did I make with the kids. My daughter and I made pilgrim hats for the 4 kids and then she painted while my husband and I looked for the winter coat we want out son to wear this year. My husband found it out in the garage where we keep all the coats that fit. Funny, our oldest has not worn it in 2 1/2 years! By the way, the coat doesn't fit! My other son is wearing a new winter coat from Target. Love Target, the coat was $17.99. That is all I will pay for a coat from Target because I bought one for our daughter there and it ripped about the 5th time she wore it. So, if this coat rips, no big deal. It was $17.99. I am hoping it lasts so I can sell it in 7 years for $10 at a consignment sale. So, that is it. This post, about nothing was about arts and crafts and cooking. But, here is something to ponder, what can you do with your kids this holiday season? On Friday, my 3 older kids and I will make reindeer cookies out of Vienna Finger, M&Ms, pretzels, white icing, and chocolate chips. Take the Vienna Finger put a little icing on 2 chocolate chips for eyes, on a red M&M for the nose, and on the pretzel for the antlers. (I saw this in Family Fun magazine). This weekend we will make ornaments out of pipe cleaners and beads. I am hoping to make candy canes with white pipe cleaners and alternating red and white beads. We will finish off the weekend making our first batch of Christmas cookies. It will be great fun! Hope it all gets done! We shall see!
Do I have a story for you! Yesterday I was sitting in the family room with my kids while the dog was in the kitchen attempting to eat cheerios from my youngest child's high chair. I heard the high chair getting pulled across the floor. I look over into the kitchen and see the dog's head stuck in the leg whole of the high chair. Then the high chair flies through the kitchen, hits the cabinet, bounces off the oven, flips over and comes to rest upside down on the floor across the room from where it began. During the process, the dog fell but managed to free himself from the high chair. I think o.k. it's over. I go back to playing with the kids and realize gosh something stinks. I immediately blame my middle son who denies pooping in his pants. Next, my daughter starts gagging. So I figure I have to solve the mystery of the stink! I enter the kitchen where it smells awful. I see there a three drops of liquid on the floor where it really smells bad. I clean it up and realized that the dog had diarrhea. I call the dog over and see his back side is all wet. I proceed to send the dog out back for the afternoon. I go upstairs to take care of some house work and my husband comes home. Before I can get down the stairs to tell him what happened, my daughter informs him that the dog had some drops of poops come out. So, my husband comes in starts unloading the dishwasher and lights a scented candle. I come down and it still smells like we had a sewer back up in our kitchen and I notice there is more diarrhea on the floor and all over the front of the oven. So, I spend the next 1/2 hour cleaning the floor, and all my cabinets, and scrubbing the oven top to bottom. Ugh! It was awful. So what started as something I could have submitted to AFV, became an evening of cleaning my kitchen. It was funny though all thing considered (I guess)!
Ugh! So the holidays are around the corner! I am trying to get in holiday mode. Figuring out what to buy the kids is easier said than done. They all go through the Toys R Us Big Toy Book. I get one for each of them so there is no fighting. Unfortunately, there is still fighting. One sees what the other one is circling and then cries because he/she wants it. I explain you can all wish for it and maybe Santa will bring each of you one or maybe you could share it. That of course does not appease the crier. But back to the Toy Book, I take the book and go through it systematically figuring out what is appropriate for each child to "wish" for, add it to their individual Christmas list, add what I think I would like that child to have and then divide that list by three. I make a list for us, my mom, and hubby's mom. Knowing my mom will purchase everything on the list, those are the gifts I fell are must haves. Wishing I could buy everything on there list, not be in debt, and still be able to walk around my home, I pull out the ones I think I would like them to have and go from there. Then, I give my mother in law the rest. My mother in law hates shopping so my father in law takes care of it all. He likes the hustle and bustle of the holidays and finding that hard to find toy that everyone wants. So, he comes through with some great not on the list gifts that afterwards, I realize are ones that hold meaning to me because I know how badly he wanted my middle son to have that TMX Elmo that is sitting on the basement shelf. However, I look at that TMX Elmo and it reminds me of how much my middle son is loved by his grandparents! Isn't that the joy of Christmas? So, back to the clutter, that TMX Elmo doesn't fit in my house anymore, nor do the 150 transportation vehicles I try to sort by type every few months after they are dumped out on the floor over and over again for no reason. They are never played with. So now I have 200 toys, perfectly good toys that no one plays with and I can't bear to throw out because one day someone might play with them. They are also still perfectly good so I can't throw them out. But, no one wants my old toys when they are experiencing the same clutter as I have. So, how do I get rid of this clutter? I don't know, but I have been researching organization online. By the way, I just heard those 150 transportation vehicles get dumped out in the basement just now. And now I hear my husband going no, no, no, no, you get to clean everything up. Mu husband is now telling me he is getting rid of every toy in the basement. Well, that is one way to de-clutter!
So, I Am a Christmas fanatic! I have been in Christmas mode since before Halloween. I have been listening to Christmas music in the car, buying Christmas gifts, writing Christmas lists, planning meals, and searching stores for Christmas clothes and accessories. I just received this awesome shirt from www.darlingmummy.com It is so cute! It is navy blue with a wine glass on the front. It says "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas". Which I of course am, both in the snow sense and the wine sense. Oh, that is right, I am nursing. Well, one glass never hurt anyone! I bought my kids a few gifts already and I searched 4 stores yesterday looking for Star Wars Christmas Galactic Heroes for my kids. Luckily, my husband was able to get them at Target. Love Target! Shh.. If you know my kids, don't tell. I can't wait until this weekend, I will start to see Christmas lights out I am hoping. Some people are as keyed up about Christmas as I am. Here's my take, I am happiest at Christmas, relaxed (if you can believe that) at Christmas and enjoy family the most at Christmas. Why not celebrate a little longer?
Welcome to my blog! Ahhh... my first post! So, I created this blog to share my thoughts and see whether others experiences are similar to my own. I am a working mom of 4! My #1 job is Mommy, but I do work outside the home to provide for my family. Making ends meat is hard in today's economy, so outside I must go! I miss them so much! But, my mom watches my kids, bless her heart! We would not have 4 if it weren't for her. I get frustrated with her sometimes, and then I remind myself that she is responsible for my life and the life of my children. As crazy as that is, she brought me life and has now made it possible for me to bring life to my children! She is also joy in our lives. Wow! Never thought I would say that. Her birthday is coming, maybe I should tell her! See how therapeutic this blog is becoming and it just started! I love it!
So how is life with 4 kids and working outside the home. Crazy! Oh, I also volunteer for the PTO, coach youth soccer, set up play dates, cook, and clean (once in a while). Pretty much I go, go, go 24 hours a day. I am going in my sleep. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and think about what I need to do the next day or what I have forgotten to put in a backpack for the next morning. Did I remember to buy everything at the grocery store Sunday? Who has show and tell this week? Did the kids do all their H.W.? Did I sign the reading calendar? Did I pick up the dry cleaning? No! I have to go do that. Did I RSVP to that birthday party?
So that is it in a nut shell, a little background to get you started. I can't wait to jump right in. My goal is to post once a week on topics that come to mind. We will see! It is a goal. And I have a lot of goals!