….It’s the middle that counts the most….

I just embarked on a 10 hour trip alone with 5 kids under the age of 10!!!

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Here’s what I have learned traveling alone with kids for the past 7 years….

  1. NO ONE EVER has to pee at the same time… no matter if you took them in or not, as soon as you get on the road, regardless if everyone tried and went, 15 minutes down the road, as soon as you start making decent time again, from the back seat you are sure to hear “I have to poop!!!!”
    Me: “Why didn’t you go 15 minutes ago?!”
    Reply: (I promise this is a true story) “I forgot” ….
  2. Someone is always touching someone else resulting in an argument and, in my case, something flying to the front of the car, and when asked who did that, I hear a unanimous “they did!!!”
  3. I must have said, “I’m pulling this car over, I’ve had it!!” 1,111,223,234,534 times
  4. “I’m Bored” is the car mantra
  5. “I’m starving” is a close second
  6. When we stop the car that was once clean, it looks like every snack bag and lego bag has exploded in the back seat.
  7. no one can EVER find their shoes!!! No matter how in advance I let them know that we are stopping, someone always has a missing shoe!!!
    side note: one time I thought that I really had my act together… got them all out of the car, walked them holding hands like angels into a McDonalds, got to the restroom only to realize #3 was missing his shoes … it happens!!
  8. They never nap at the same time… they go in shifts and this makes me picking the radio station non existent for 10 hours!
  9. Drive through orders are a nightmare for me and for the poor fella taking our order
  10. And no matter how crazy the trip was… I will still tell everyone that my children are the best travelers in the world!

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I managed to go on this trip (with an extra kid in tow might I add), run them here and there, take care of 3 sick kids that decided to fall ill, days apart, take them all into different bathrooms along the route, get everyone’s order right in the drive thru and I didn’t forget anyone!!! I am super woman for sure! 🙂

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On another note… bittersweet, I tucked in a 3 year old for the last time ever! It’s a little sad but almost like opening a new chapter. As my sweet baby turns 4 tomorrow, suddenly he is not so little anymore. He will start preschool in the fall and he will slowly become more independent. He will slowly become a little boy and not mama’s baby any more and then a new chapter will open for me. I know that my family is complete, I don’t have that longing for another baby, but I do miss my babies being …. babies.  It is interesting going into this new part of life. The part where everyone is more independent and not reliant on me for every little thing, but as a mama, you secretly long to be needed always. I love taking care of my quartet. I love watching them grow and learn and I often think what a great honor it is, that I was chosen for this role in life. Tomorrow we will celebrate my baby, Alexander Blake. Tonight I will stand in his doorway and watch him go from 3 to 4 and watch as my baby boy silently grows up on me.

Momin’ ain’t easy but I do it with so much pride and gratitude.

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Living the MOM life…

Today I was chatting with another mom about some things and somehow we drifted into working away from home…. once upon a time that was me…. anyway, at the end of our chat she said, “it was so nice to have an adult conversation.”

OH MY WORD!! She is totally not kidding. Given it was through messenger but still we were kinda sorta talking as I was throwing things back to the kids in the back seat while sitting in the car line…. 7 more weeks of that by the way… can’t tell you how excited that makes me. Another friend was all buzz kill when she said “but there is only 8 weeks of summer”, to which I replied, “by then they will more than likely be sitting on the curb of the elementary school because I couldn’t deal anymore. {true story}

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When I worked outside the home, I feel like I took those “adult convo’s” for granted.  Now, I am home all day, rarely do I have an actual phone conversation thanks to the comfort of texting and these online “mom communities”,  I mean seriously, I have to “schedule” calls to make sure they coordinate with nap time and in the event that I have to take a call, like today, I find myself setting them up with a cartoon and enough snacks and juice to occupy them for the duration of my 15 minute conversation.

I usually make all my calls, like for appointments and stuff, from my office…. aka my mini van, while sitting in the car line because on a great day they fall asleep from the house to the school… on a GREAT day… that’s not often.

And, when on the phone, I have learned to keep it short and sweet and take advantage of bluetooth and the mute button (for those moments I am sure will happen and I have to “encourage” them to be quite)

Seriously, where did my social life go. Unless, my friends come to me, I see no one and and unless they text me I talk to no one…. because my phone is usually occupied by someone who only uses it for gaming purposes or decides to hide it…. {another true story}

So, I found this “job” that allows me to work from home and requires me to talk to adults, about a product that I love and I realize now that I mostly do it for the chance to talk to other grown ups.

Whatever will I do when the kids are ALL in school…. I know!!!! I am going to call everyone in my contacts list and just chat! I am not sure what I will talk about seeing that the last 10 years of my life have been, Mickey Mouse, Backyardigans, Elsa and Anna, Legos, Matchbox cars and Baby Dolls…. That is going to be the most interesting of conversations.

OK before I sign off, If you are not Thriving let me recommend it again. I have found something that allows me to no longer be a Zombie mama, allows me to keep up with them without feeling like they have laid the smack down, and allows me to take a few extra minutes once they have all been tucked in without fighting sleep. And then when I lay my head down, I drift off into a peaceful, restful sleep, thanks to the melatonin that is released… I am loving my Thriving Experience. I get to stay home, make a little extra money and love a fabulous product….

 

  Start Your Thrive Experience HERE

Cheers to all the mamas who read more conversations than speak them ♥♥

 

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I Need a few more … YEARS!!!

Happy Friday!! Well, the sun is shining, I have an all girls sleepover tonight with Zoe and Alexander is going 100 mph…. see picture ⇓⇓⇓⇓

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How does looking for ONE toy turn into this!!!!!!!!???? And, I was completely nuts to think he would clean it up …. they are all “too heavy”!!!  OF COURSE!!! …. Well, no one is fighting so it’s a good day!!!

Yesterday I registered Caleb for Kindergarten! {insert sobs and tears here}

How is it possible that he is already going to Kindergarten??

It’s kinda funny really, with each one I have talked about how excited I would be once they started school. I am pretty sure that I said that as a way to psych myself out once the day came… but it doesn’t work once the day is upon us.

I sat in the school library with a friend of mine. I watched them fill out their forms and then I watched as the daddy’s eyes started to tear up as he wrote how amazing his little girl was under the section “describe your child’s personality and strengths and weaknesses”. I think he probably needed another form.

Then while I was filling out the same section for Caleb, I felt the tears come up and then that sad feeling in the back of my throat that makes it hard to breathe. I am thinking to myself, “keep it together, you have done this before, don’t cry, don’t cry….”

Caleb has become so independent since starting Preschool last August and I am so proud of him. As he walked off with the Kindergarten teachers and the other soon to be Kindergarteners, it dawned on me that I would be in that same place next year with my baby… my last and then, that’s when I had to choke back the tears. Alex kept asking when Caleb was coming back and I knew then, he was going to be completely lost without his sidekick in August.

I get asked all the time what I am going to do when they are all in school and I usually say “lay around the house and do NOTHING  for the first week” but honestly, that is probably not going to happen.

I miss my babies being little. When Braxton started school, I literally stalked him all day and cried BIG tears when he walked in and I was in the carline like an hour early!!!  When Zoe started school, I worried about her, wrote her room number on her right hand with a BIG heart and her lunch line on the other hand. My separation anxiety was a little better with her, mostly because she is so independent and rarely accepts help with anything.

But, I will probably be in prayer at the church all day when I drop Cabby off for his first day…. mostly because I am the “ultimate helicopter mom” when it comes to him. Who will keep him in his “safety bubble”??? Honestly, I will probably stalk him too. And for now we will not talk about Alex because on that day I will probably need to be committed to a special kind of hospital 🙂 .

Being a mama is the most bittersweet job in the world… you pray for them to grow up healthy and smart and independent and then one day you blink and they are 10 and fixing their own food and making straight A’s and you are thinking “when did you grow up”!!  I am a mess now!!!! I will be a puddle of goo when they are all teenagers!!! If you need me I will be looking through old pictures, eating a tub of frosting, crying over my babies not being babies anymore!!!!

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We need some time….

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It’s Spring Break for my kiddos, and I ain’t gonna lie, we have been so very lazy. We have slept in {for this house that means until 8 am}, we have stayed in PJ’s ALL day, had cake for breakfast, listened to music extra loud and played games and then later we had more cake.

We had to decompress after the crazy past few weeks. I feel like we have been going about a million miles an hour since the end of January and I was ready for a few days of R & R with my monkeys.

Yesterday we HAD to go out and the boys only question… “do we HAVE to wear pants?” … I had to think about it for a minute and settled on yes, mostly because it was 32 degrees outside. These are my favorite kind of days.

I love laughing with them and making simple memories that don’t require a lot of hullabaloo.

Rewind to Monday, Miss Z turned 7! I look at her some days and wonder when she got to be so big and then realize that she has never been “little”. It saddens me some days because when she was little, Braxton was terribly sick and a lot of my time and energy went into taking care of him. She spent a great deal of her baby years with my husbands parents and in the process I have created this extremely independent and sassy little lady.  We celebrated with Chick Fil A for breakfast, shopping and later a trip to the eye doctor {cause you go when you can}, and ended with a girls date to Starbucks, her favorite meal and cake {always cake}.

Zoe is a treasure, she blessed us with her light in a very dark time and she has never ceased to shine for us. She loves the simple things. We got a small phone book in the mail the other day and this amazed her to no end. She was intrigued with the book  of “all the people in the world” {because our small town of 12,000 is her world}. She meandered through it all day and study all the names.

Now, with her preciousness comes a new world that I do not know much about. She is so emotional suddenly. EVERYTHING makes her cry. I don’t remember being so emotional as a girl. She looked at me yesterday after an emotional “lost brush” {Veggie Tales, OH WHERE IS MY HAIRBRUSH}  incident and said “mom, I think we need some time apart! I think I should go to Nana’s for a couple of weeks”. At the time I probably would have called up Nana and sent her on her way, I can say this I will surely be in much prayer as her teenage years get closer.

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Shirt from Zulily

Zoe is also getting glasses. She will be the only one in the house to have them and she is beyond thrilled. She makes me smile knowing that her happiness comes from such unexpected areas.

Tomorrow, we leave for a week of vacation time, I get to travel to NC to see my family that I have missed terribly and then we will finish out the week in Georgia,  Hilton Head and Parris Island.

I enjoy my trips with my monkeys, as crazy  as we are when we get home I wouldn’t trade these moments and memories for anything.

Happy Spring Break

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A case of the… Thursdays???

Some days {like today} are not always unicorns and rainbows.

Some days, the kids do NOT  cooperate, the coffee isn’t strong enough, the car doesn’t start, at least one kid is sick and refuses to be put down, some days it’s cold and rainy and all you want to do is stay in pajamas and go NO WHERE!

Today was that day for me.

I promise, nothing went the way that I wanted it to. The kids were not their typical selves. I suppose this comes from the trip we took last weekend and getting back into a routine. But seriously, I wanted to cry.

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I could have called AAA but it was way more fun to call up my friend and get her out of bed plus she was way faster. (love my friends)  Why does stuff like this happen when you are already running behind? UGH!

But I didn’t put my pajamas back on and get back under the covers, instead, I “cowgirled” up, turned the music up really loud, had a little dance party, brewed an extra strong cup of coffee and paddled on. Eventually the sun came out and the kids came home semi normal and I am on my 5th cup but all is well.

PS…. I am originally from NC, we have fabulous barbecue there, amazing food, sweet tea that is made “right” but until my dear friends from Louisiana introduced me to the wonderful flavor of Community Coffee… this ole girl didn’t know what I was missing.  The bold flavor and that unique hint of Chicory that made it smooth and “just right”. I love my coffee and I love it so much that I have pretty much decided that this is my coffee of choice, even if I have to have it ordered and auto delivered, I sure will. While I was in Louisiana over the weekend,  I bought 3 HUGE bags, that should last about 2 months. Anyway… y’all try this stuff it’s fabulous.

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On another random note, today I looked across the room and saw poor little Alex standing there in pajamas, all frail and red faced. Sick was written all over him. I got choked up. I am sad that my baby is sick but not to the point of tears.

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I promise I had a flash back to Braxton at the same age. My heart started to race and I felt a silent tear roll down my face. I caught myself, came back to reality and went on but the reality is as a mom of a, once, very sick child, the PTSD is real. It’s not just for soldiers or those who have had a near death experience, it’s for mama’s and caretakers that walked through the fire with their kids too.

I have to say that when my boys get sick, the worry and the panic is there more so than with Zoe. I don’t connect her and Braxton together that way. But I go into some other realm of crazy with the boys. I don’t know if other mama’s do this but for me it’s real and sometimes emotionally scary.

Zoe had the flu last week and I will say that if everyone got the flu she had it would never make the news and the CDC would call it cured. She is probably the toughest {almost} 7 year old that I know. Perhaps that is why I don’t worry about her. She doesn’t need me to.  I am rambling. That is just the type of day that I have had, a rambling mess of a day.

I will end with a quote from a book…. “I am having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Tomorrow will be better, I know it!

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WeLcOmE to the NuT HoUsE

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Many moons ago when I first got married to the barber my first job was on a Geriatric Psych Floor. There, I was a Nurses Assistant. It was my very first job and I had NO idea what I was getting into. I just knew that I was ready for adventure and I needed a job. There I met amazing nurses and nurse techs that taught me a thing or 2 about life and, though I didn’t realize it then, a thing or two about motherhood.

The person that said “nothing prepares you for motherhood” never spent 5, 12 hour nights in a row on a psych floor.

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Working there I learned to stay awake all night long.
Being a mom, I learned that sleep isn’t really as necessary as they claim it to be.

In Psych I learned that bed alarms are the most annoying thing in the world and that no one stays in the bed when they are supposed to.
As a mama, NO ONE STAYS IN THEIR OWN BED. EVER!!!!!

In psych I learned to deal with patients who whined about EVERYTHING.
As a mama, kids whine about EVERYTHING!!!!

Working psych, I have had patients use the bathroom in inappropriate places … i.e. the corner in the hall.
Being a mom, I have had children use the bathroom in inappropriate places… i.e. the front yard or in the middle of a crowded park.

Working psych, I have had patients lose there temper and throw things across the room.
Being a mama, I have had children throw things across the room {today in fact}

Working psych, you learn to properly restrain out of control patients.
Being a mama, you restrain them often, usually in the car, a playpen, with “baby gates” or you bribe them… what ever works!

Working psych you learn sneaky ways to get a patient to take all there medicine.
Being a mama, you use those skills learned to the best of your ability.

Working psych, I have had patients walk down the hallway missing clothing.
Being a mama, when you ask them where there clothes are, they reply “it’s underpants day!” to which you reply “alrighty then!”

On a psych floor, you learn to always have your guard up.
As a mama, they rarely fool me.

On a psych floor, patients yell obscenities at you and call you names you may not like.
As a mama, “poop face” is a term of endearment from one brother to the next and you learn to go with it.

Working psych, I heard some of the best stories, some made up, some real.
As a mama, those stories make the best bed time stories.

Working psych, I had patients that made my day.
Being a mama, they make my day everyday.

And lets not forget those wonderful first aid skills we had to learn, like CPR and the Heimlich maneuver {which by the way I have had to use 3 times}.  How many mama’s can say they know that.

So you “Pinterest mama’s” can have your pies and cookies and crafts. I can get my kids to take there medicine and when I get funny looks at a store because one of my kids have their underwear on the outside of their pants, I know how to go with it. Thank you, to my Psych floor experience.

Later on, I went to work OB with another amazing group of ladies and I learned so much there. I learned patience and I learned how to turn a room over quickly. I learned how to keep my cool when the going got tough and I learned not to spazz out when things got a little crazy. I learned that “family” goes much much deeper than blood because to this day, I have an amazing family of friends that taught me everything I needed to know about being a mama before I was a mama.

From my nut house to yours… toodles.

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