Thursday, February 28, 2013

Breakfast of champions

Kids came in around 6:30am to wake me up and ask if they could go downstairs (and by me I mean me and Sean since he slept in my bed...because that always seems to happen when Dads working!). I said that was fine and told them I'd be down in a minute. Went in the bathroom...silly me... as I'm drying my hands Sean comes running in my room and says to me "Mom! I thought you were coming downstairs?!" I told him that I was on my way but I needed to use the bathroom and brush my teeth. He explained that the "babies were eating the flour" and said I needed to hurry up. 6:30am. Seriously. I follow Sean to the scene of the crime and find this... 

That is not flour, that is a whole pile of powdered sugar. Nothing better than that to energize a couple of kids before the sun comes up. If you look closely, you can see little lines in the sugar pile where they were dragging their spit covered fingers through. They were crouched over their feast like mini wild savages, licking their hands. I guess I should at least be happy they had the sense to use a paper plate rather than just dump it on the floor? 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


This is how I feel today. 
And it's only 10:20am. 

Monday, February 25, 2013


So remember back here where I explained all about my nightly preparations?  Well, it is going so well! It makes the mornings go SO much easier I cannot even tell you. Unfortunately, I haven't done it every night. Some nights, still...even though I know it will make the next day so very much better...I am just too tired. Last night was one of those nights. Corey was at the firehouse and the kids really just did me in. I am paying the price for that this morning. 5 little kids in your face at 6:30am is chaotic enough without the nonsense of a messy house added in. 
Here is where I show you the reality in which I exist in hopes of a) spreading a little joy when you see how much worse my house is than yours and b) motivating myself to clean it up!  Enjoy my shame. 

Toys were never put away last night. Before bed a few of my lovelies broke into the locked toy cabinet and spewed toys all over the house. 

I never cleared the random clutter off the living room floor. This is a big one. Walking into the room in the morning with junk all over feels suffocating to me. 

Yup. That's somebody's cup there on the floor. Why is it there in the hallway? Because yesterday Danny smuggled it upstairs, filled it with water in the bathroom sink, and dumped it over the railing from halfway down. Why would he do that? Sean and Nate told him to. And I left it sit there. 

Laundry. Always. 

Stuff all over the counters. 

Dishes in the sink. 

I felt like you needed a close up. 

Another flat surface in the kitchen where things collect. Deep sigh. I'm so sick of things.  

Right there, see that? Yep, that's totally a diaper I set down and forgot about. 

Wait.... there, next to the lamp... yeah, that would be another one. Oh and can you tell from the picture that the bookcase is pulled away so far from the wall from someone running into it that stuff is falling behind it one one side? 

So there it is. This is my Monday morning. Also, I had a 1am and 3am argument with Claire about why she was not sleeping in my bed. Because Kate felt bad for me she waited until 4am to wake up. Then, up for the day at 6:30am to discover that I was indeed out of milk... and juice. 

But, the sun is shining and I am determined to still be happy. 
I had put this "blue bird of happiness" up on my window a few weeks back to remind me to smile. I saw it this morning

 and smile is exactly what I did. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Grey days

Looking for ways to turn my mood around today. Looking out the window at the grey freezing rain isn't the way to do it. 
Cleaning? Blah. Eating? Sure, another pound will really solve the issue. The kids are at each others throats and to be honest I don't blame them. Anyone is northern Ohio knows what I am talking about here. The late winter mood slump (Seasonal Affective Disorder anyone?)that comes from a whole season of freezing temps, zero sunshine, and gallons of comforting gravy for dinner. 
Nothing would be better for us right now that a huge glass of water and some healthy fresh fruit. I know how unattractive it is to complain, but some days you just need to whine a little. 
Today, undoubtedly, is one of those days. 
Going to make more coffee. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Fancy a bath?

Is there ever anything cuter than a baby soaking in a sudsy sink?

A baby who makes funny faces while in a sudsy sink?

A baby in a sudsy sink AND an older (and very proud) sister?

I love their tiny little chubbies as they reach for the running water and soon after the look of confusion when they can't grab a hold of it. Or their arms flapping like a duck as they learn how to splash. 

I have a feeling that I'll be buying baby shampoo long after my baby-in-the-sink days are done. Nothing like the scent of a fresh wee one to end the day. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cabin fever

 As beautiful as I think this is

(and yes, it was just 2 days ago)

I am so ready to look out of my back windows and see blue skies and sunshine.

The kids are bouncing off the walls, or in the case of the boys, running smack into them. 
There's only so much you can do to entertain little kids and the time has definitely come for them to get outside and just run. 
 But we have some time to go. 
Until then, scenes like these are about about all we have going on. 

Nate reading books to Sean. Loving this. 

Water experiments courtesy of the bathroom sink. 
At first this drove me crazy, but I quickly realized that spilled water means cleaned floors. 
Can't argue with that!

Games of peekaboo. And a little snack apparently. 

 This is my new favorite thing. I plan to check it often as a reminder  to myself that time is actually passing. 
Soon enough we'll be seeing these!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Truer words were never spoken

Words of wisdom from my 5yr old (as he watched me browse through Pinterest) 

"Mom these houses are fancy. Our house isn't fancy. Well, the decorations are fancy, but the mess isn't. You do the decorating and we do the messing. I still love our house."


Saturday, February 16, 2013

A good day

If you search the world for happiness, 
you may find it in the end, 
for the world is round and will lead you back to your door. 
~ Robert Brault 

Friday, February 15, 2013


Things That Make Mothers Happy

Calm children playing nicely together.

Happy, smiley, mushy babies. 

When crawling babies eat books that you've been meaning to get rid of anyways. 

Helpful daughters that clean up messes that Mommys make because they're in too much of a hurry. 

The sight of hungry kiddos gathered all around (or underneath) a kitchen table. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Ashes and an octopus

Baby Kate received her first ashes last night at mass... where she raspberried over the priest and tried to grab the host from the Eucharistic minister. 

Yes, my sweet and holy little girl is indeed chewing on an octopus. 

And yes, the ashes are off center because she grabbed Father Johns hand as he was trying to make the cross on her forehead and went to put it in her mouth. 

Can you think of a better way to start the Lenten season than with ashes, baby drool, and an octopus? 
I can't. 

Little Lovies

Happy Valentine's Day!!

To celebrate this year, I participated in a swap called Little Lovies organized by fellow bloggers Laura and Lindsey

The premise of this swap was an exchange of a few of your favorite things.

Lindsey was my swap partner and I should say that it was the perfect match because her favorite things were beyond perfect for me! 
Here's a breakdown of the goods that were waiting me for me in mailbox...

Pretty smelling soap, that I always browse but NEVER buy for myself. Is it sad that smelly soap is actually a treat for me? And some hand sanitizer... 5 kids, 5 grubby, germ carrying kids... sanitizer? Yes please! 

Fun note cards (presumably because she could sense that I have been slacking on Thank You cards since I ran out and can't be bothered to buy more). Also, a notepad...that we have also been without for some time now. Anyone noticing a theme here? 

ChapStick! Have you been to northeast Ohio in the winter? Danny ate mine. 

Last but not least, 3 packets of Emergen-C!!! For those of you who don't know this stuff is wonderful. It's a dietary supplement that is supposed to boost the immune system and ward off sickness. Sickness, something we have been plagued with since SEPTEMBER. But we are better now and drinking Emergen-C like it's our job. I live in fear of the sickness. For real. 

Also, I feel compelled to mention that there was also a bag of M&M's included in my gift box. Those did not last long enough to make the photo shoot. For that, I shall not be judged. Whatever it takes to make it through the day! 

So thank you Lindsey for my box-o-goodies and for Lindsey and Laura both for taking the time to organize this. 

Hope you all have a wonderful Valentine's Day with lovies of your own! 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


What am I giving up for Lent this year.... my laziness! 

I chose to ignore that habit of giving something up that is really just a ploy to drop a few pounds (pop, chocolate) and really do something that will prove to myself that hard work really is the best way to be present for my family. 

What am I vowing to change? I have committed to end the constant cycle of television that is a plague on my poor household. We opted out of cable (gasp!)  a few yrs back and have only netflix now. That said, the tv continues to provide my children with a rich and overflowing source of arguments. Who wants to watch what when is constant. And I do mean constant. Typically the kids won't sit still and watch anything anyways so really it's just noise. Believe me, the last thing we need in this house is extra noise. I love having open windows and being able to hear the outside...but it's freezing, and while I can't stand tv noise I do need something to dull the sound of kid loudness. My inner nerd turned to google and I found this awesome website that lets you make your own background sound. I opted for the forest sound with a little creek thrown in. Laugh if you will but I miss the sound of chirping birds so much. 
Saying no to tv really is liberating. It's amazing how easy it has made everything in just a few short days (I stated this on Sunday) . The kids have started to ask less and less and, shocking, they are actually playing with their toys instead of just whirl-winding through the house. I am so excited about this change and hope that this becomes the perfect pathway into a tv free summer. 

My second major change is that, without fail, I am going to clean up the house and get everything ready for the following morning immediately after I put all the kids to bed. I know this sounds like something that I should already be doing and not at all a big deal, but believe me, after a day with 5 under 5 the last thing you tend to do once they are asleep is MORE work. But it is so necessary. Our mornings are just insane, adding into that extra clutter from the previous day and it just starts the day from a place of being totally out of control. I will make lunches, have clothes ready, wash and put away all dishes, have milk cups ready, clean up kitchen, and clear away any remaining toys that are lingering. Add in there a few loads of laundry...see what I'm saying? It's a lot of work. but, I can't tell you how much of a difference this makes in starting the day. It's the effort I need a boost with. At the end of the day I must find the energy to finish off on the right foot before I chose to take the time for myself to do, well, nothing. That only hurts me in the long run. This will be a change well worth it. 

I feel these small but very significant adjustments will make such positive change for the peacefulness of our home. And peaceful is my ultimate goal. Life outside of my walls is hectic enough without having to deal with it here at home too. 

"To live in a peaceful home is to experience paradise on Earth." 


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

My proudest moment

Nate asked if he could feed Kate. He did such a good job, so neat and gentle with her. Even at 5yrs old, he's a natural with babies. 

He was so proud of himself!

I love how in love the boys are with their baby sister. Moments like these are what make all of the craziness worth it.

(seconds later a little bit of food dropped on the tray and Danny ran to the rescue to clean it up... with his dirty sock. I love my sweet boys.) 

Monday, February 11, 2013

A sign of the times

If you have kids, then you know what this stuff is...

A few days back I was opening a new box when something caught my eye. That something was a little sticker on the box packaging. 

"Coming Soon NEW Plastic Package!"

"Now in a NEW Plastic Package that Simplifies Your Life!
"Less Mess!"
"Easy to Pour and Scoop"
"Easy to Open and Close"

(uses up more resources to make while I'm sure producing awesomely toxic runoff chemicals. Takes up more room in landfills adding to our already out of control trash issue. Teaches even more people that everything needs to be SIMPLE because God forbid we actually have to put effort into something. Makes pouring a whopping ounce of dry rice cereal even easier so people can rush off to work even faster to make more money to pay for more companies to develop even more plastic packaging!!!!!!!!!)

Does this disappoint anyone else or is it just me? It is a sign of the times for sure, just such a sad one in my opinion. Now I am not some great recycler, and admittedly my large family produces WAY more trash than we should. But seeing this is just another connection to "the old days" that I see slipping away. "The old days" that in all honesty I have never really fully experienced being only 31yrs old. I am not a huge fan of technology (as I sit her blogging-gag) and I cannot stand our culture of fast, tv, cell phones, ipads, ipods, plastic, consume, easy, simple, instant. Why can't things just stay the same? You can't turn you head these days without seeing something that has been "improved" or "simplified"- simplifying and advancing these things often times makes the infinitely more complicated in the long run. 

Is a card board box really that big of a hassle to people? Is that little tab on the side really that hard to open? Have I spilled the fluffy cereal- yes- and then I wiped it up and went about my business. 
What I would not give to be a part of the days where kids asked for a football for Christmas rather than some $500 phone or a plastic toy that does the playing for them. Where I wouldn't have to wonder if my food has been genetically altered when I buy it at the overpriced grocery store, because that's just what they do these days. 

I am so afraid for the world we are creating (or dare I say destroying! Wall-E fans, sounds spookily like Buy N Large doesn't it?) for all of our dear children. All I can do is challenge myself to put in the effort here at home. To show them that it IS possible to be the change you want to see in the world. I hope I can raise them to care about the people and world around them more so than themselves. To live kindly and selflessly. 
I'm thinking a serious Lenten Commitment is in order. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Sibling love

"Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero."

"Having a sister is like having a best friend you can't get rid of. You know whatever you do, they'll still be there."