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Showing posts from 2016

How to CLEAN HOUSE with 5 kids

I go through phases in regards to house cleaning, where I can't function without a housekeeper and our bathrooms are covered in toothpaste and our floors with dirt clots, dragged in from muddy boots, and there is a layer of crumbs on every surface. Other times, having a housekeeper is more of an inconvenience-- making sure to have the house tidy on a certain day at a certain time, keeping the children out of her way, and possibly getting out of the house while she's here. Plus the expense. Currently, we are in the latter category. So, for the time being, we are back to cleaning our house, 5 kids and all.

So how do you clean with 5 kids? Well, our youngest is an infant, so I don't have much to worry about with her, save for feedings and naps interfering. I tend to do loud cleaning, like vacuuming, right after she wakes up from nap. That way she's happy and content to bounce in her Excersaucer. For the in depth cleaning, like the bathrooms, I try to do that when she'…

Best for baby {feeding newborns with the Honest Company}

Sitting down to write a post on feeding newborns, I was surprised at how raw some of those feelings were for me, even years later. Having attempted to breastfeed each of our five children, my experience has taught me that each child is different and that each breastfeeding journey is different. Discovering what worked best for me as the parent and for each of our newborns in regards to feeding-- breastfeeding, bottle feeding, or a combination-- was not always an easy or simple solution and it often was laden with guilt that I wasn't living up to certain standards, worry that I wasn't making the right choice, and frustration when things didn't live up to expectations I had put on myself.

We welcomed our fifth baby to our family this past summer so you could say that I am well-versed in the newborn days. With our first son, I was so nervous about if I was "doing it right." I worried about when I should be nursing him and for how long the sessions should be and it …

Morning school drop off

We now have 3 children in school: a 2nd grader and twin kindergartners. Since school has started, the go-to line I hear is, "You must be loving having 3 kids in school! What a break!" I can tell you, that so far it has felt like anything but a break. It has been absolute chaos. I have to get 3 kids ready for the day-- with lunches, backpacks, folders, uniforms, and appropriate footwear. Then I have to get them somewhere on time with a toddler and infant in tow. After that, I care for 2 children while getting all of the things done I need to in my window of time while the older 3 are at school, and be back in time to pick them up from school again-- on time. (This on time thing is a killer.) Let's throw in 3 hours of before school mayhem and 4 hours of exhausted after school whirlwind: dinner, bath, stories, pajamas, all with 3 kids in perpetual meltdowns. And caring for a toddler and a nursing infant. Major break. (Sarcasm.)

The first couple weeks I was in a constant sta…

Getting out of the house

Motherhood is full of contradictions, failures, victories, and downright ridiculousness. Here's what a mom thinks getting out of the house with lots of kids...
"Today is going to be such a good day. Much better than yesterday.""Why are we starting this fight now?""First time out before I've even had my first cup of coffee.""...I guess we are playing how many kids can end up in time out before breakfast is over.""All right. Fresh start to the day. Today really will be a great day.""How are they not hungry? Don't kids need more breakfast than this?""We waste so much bloody food. So. Much. Bloody. Food. Why don't they care about that?""I hope they put the clothes on I put out... Nope. They are opening their closets. Dammit.""No one is leaving the house dressed like that. How did he even squeeze himself into that shirt? Isn't that a size 18-month shirt?!""They look so cute all…

Where did the time go?

School is starting up for the 2016-2017 school year and everyone is starting to post back to school pictures. This year we will have a 2nd grader and twin kindergartners. While I am (nervously) excited to have three children in school, I cannot believe how quickly time has passed. And I feel like I'm not the only one who feels that way. So many of the back to school posts say, "Where has time gone?" There is an expression that always pops up in the mom circles: "The days are long but the years are short." When I think about our twins, this is how old I think of them in my mind:

And instead, they are big bad upcoming kindergartners now.

And our oldest... I still think of him as a preschooler.

Instead, he's now the oldest of FIVE children and our towering upcoming 2nd grader, at 4'8":

The first days of preschool were shocking to me as well, disbelief that we now were at an age where our children were off to school on their own. Disbelief at how much …

Bedrest with 4 kids

My first trip to labor and delivery for contractions was at 27 weeks. Each week after that I've had to take it easier and easier. I haven't been able to drive the children anywhere or take them out of the house by myself for almost a month. Now we've had preterm labor and steroid shots for baby #5. I've been on modified bed rest for a couple weeks. My OB has told me to keep taking it easy and do the minimum and I'm supposed to lay down and drink as much water as possible each day. My other favorite part of the instruction, "If you have someone to help with the children, you should use them."

It sounds easy enough on paper, but our day to day life is not conducive to bed rest. My husband is on submarines and we have 4 boys: a 7-year old, 5-year old twins, and a 1.5-year old. Managing our house (with minimal assistance) and 4 young children while being on modified bed rest has been challenging. So here are my tips on surviving bed rest with 4 children:

1. L…

Speaking up for equality

I am really naïve when it comes to politics. First of all, it never crossed my mind that a transgender person would have to use the bathroom for the opposite sex. Why would a transgender female-- a female-- have to use a men's restroom? Have I just had my head buried in the sand? Is that really what it has been like for transgender people before now?

I feel like this whole topic of bathroom equality brings up a whole slew of issues that I can't even begin to delve into. I don't know the answer for all of this-- prisons paying for gender reassignment, school locker rooms, on and on. It is a huge subject, a lofty subject. My guess is that any transgender kid in high school is having a much harder day than I am though and, as a momma, that breaks my heart. This topic gets my gears turning.

First of all, I don't understand the anger regarding the bathroom debate. Do I suddenly feel public restrooms are a danger? Hell no. Public restrooms and locker rooms have been a danger…

Errands, online shopping, and the family budget

Well, baby #5 has decided that I apparently do not need sleep and she isn't even born yet. I thought I would put these wee hours of the morning to use and write a blog post while I sipped my lemon ginger tea in a quiet, still sleeping house.

With 4 children and another on the way, I am not always eager to drag all the children to the store for small errands. Throw in having a husband on submarines, 2 asthmatic children, twin preschoolers, and the roughest pregnancy yet and you can bet running errands is my least favorite thing to do (well, changing pee sheets is probably actually my least favorite thing to do). When our twins were newborns, I really started utilizing the convenience of online shopping. Now I have honed that skill to level expert.

Here are my tips on making online shopping work for you and avoiding small errands:

1. Buy in bulk

The first step to successful online shopping: go to Costco. We plan our Costco trips every 1-2 weeks. Our twins are in preschool, our oldes…