Saturday, September 27, 2008


John’s sister, Karla, got married on Saturday (sept 20). We had plenty of time to plan for it, but didn’t have any extra money until last week. We needed to buy some new clothes for a few of us to wear to the wedding. Tad had already outgrown his church clothes and needed new ones anyway, so the timing was great for him. Eli had also outgrown his white shirt, so he needed a new one. Ati was fine, she has plenty of dresses. John was mostly ok, he just needed a new tie, and I needed a new dress (I guess I didn’t really NEED one, I just wanted one).
In the past I’ve gotten some pretty good dress clothes from Burlington Coat Factory, so my plan was to drop Tad at the bus and then drive straight up to Orem to go to BCF. We made good time and arrived there about 5 minutes to 9am; I was rather annoyed to find out they don’t open until 10am! What a silly time to open. So, I drove to Kohl’s because I knew there was a new one opening next to the mall. But, of course, they weren’t open either, not until October 1st! I then decided to go to the mall, and waste some time until Burlington Coat Factory opened at 10am. I thought we’d do some window shopping and maybe get some snacks or drinks, it would be a fun little activity.
I decided to start at Mervyn’s because I thought I might actually find some pretty inexpensive, but nice, clothes there. The first thing we had to do was find the bathroom, because I had to pee. Of course, the bathroom was being cleaned, and the entrance was blocked by a big cleaning cart; my double stroller would definitely not fit by it. I waited a little while and browsed around the kids section, looking for clothes for Tad and Eli. I found Eli clothes right away, but could not find anything for Tad. So, I kept looking and looking. When I don’t find what I’m looking for I tend to get really confused, and spend extra time wandering around.
I went back to the bathroom, but it was still being cleaned. So, I browsed some more…still being cleaned. Finally, Eli was starting to stink, and I was gonna pee on the floor, so I asked someone if there was another bathroom. The lady told me to just go in when they’re cleaning, it’s no big deal! She walked me over there to help me get in, but by then they were done, and I just looked like a big idiot; but oh well. I changed Eli, and found out I only had 1 wipie left! I had to use wet paper towels, and hoped I wouldn’t have to change him again any time soon.
We did some more browsing in the kids section and I finally settled on a pair of pants for Tad (I was wanting to buy a whole suit) that I decided I would bring back if they didn’t fit or if I found something better. The cashier asked me if I wanted to apply for a Mervyn’s card to get a discount. I laughed out loud and told her I definitely wouldn’t qualify (I’ve recently slaughtered my credit), but she could run it anyway. I laughed even louder when she told me I was APPROVED! Immediately I felt like a kid in a candy shop. I suddenly had all this extra credit and I needed to buy more stuff! Plus, I got an extra discount all day, just for getting approved, so I HAD to take advantage of it.
I started browsing in the women’s section and the kids were now thirsty. I knew it was just going to be annoying if I didn’t take care of them, so we went to the food court to get some drinks. Suddenly they were starving too! By that time it was just after 10am, and we were on our way to buy lunch. It was really early to be eating lunch, but I thought it would hold them off for the rest of the trip.
Finally we went back to the women’s section. I was having a really hard time finding anything I liked, or in the right size, but ended up with a bunch of stuff that was “ok” that I wanted to try on. I had it all stacked on top of the stroller and was ready to try stuff on when suddenly Ati had to poooo. Ugh! I had to unload all my stuff, and then find the elevator to go back upstairs to the bathroom. When she was done and I was able to try stuff on Eli was at a point of being out of control. He was playing swords with the hangers, and banging them on the wall and doors. He was trying to escape from the dressing room by crawling under the door, which was just barely too small for him to fit under so he kept getting stuck and screaming. Malachi was trying to sleep and started screaming because he was being woken up. Ati was thirsty again. Eli was getting into the stuff under the stroller and throwing it everywhere; he got my phone and threw it out of the stall. I was stressing because nothing was fitting just right. I got dressed and went back out to find some different sizes. They still didn’t have the right sizes, but I made do with the next best things. While I was looking for more stuff to try on Eli was screaming because he wanted to get out of the stroller, and Malachi was just screaming. I finally let Eli out, but then him and Ati were running all over and hiding in the racks. I had to chase them around. People were giving me all kinds of dirty looks because of my screaming, out of control kids. When I thought I had lost Eli I decided that was ENOUGH, and he had to stay in the stroller, no matter how loud he was; and he was VERY loud.
I hurried back to the dressing room to try on more stuff. The kids were still being out of control, so I got even more stressed and just decided to buy everything and try it on at home. I did talk myself out of a bunch of the things, though, and only took home half of what I wasn’t sure about. I had been there for several hours, and was so stressed I wanted to just run away!
Ati was still thirsty, and had decided she wanted ice cream. I talked her into a milkshake (less mess), and got Eli a lemonade. I was so glad to be done and we were heading for the car when some lady came up to me and gave me a coupon for a free video game (or carousel ride). I thought “hey, why not” and took the kids to ride on the carousel, cause it was free, and free is good. That was finally the end (I thought) and we left the mall.
The baby was hungry, so before we drove away I fed him in the car.
Because I had the car it meant that I would have to pick up John from work. It was still kind of early, so to pass some time we went to Super Sonic to get the car washed, that’s always a nice treat. Then we drove to WalMart, and at last the kids ALL fell asleep…peace and quiet for about 30 minutes! It was a much needed break.
At WalMart I just needed to buy diapers, and we only had about 45 minutes before John got off work, so the WalMart trip was a quick one, not too painful. I did put a bunch of cute shirts and some shoes in my cart (for myself), but had talked myself out of them by the time we got to the check out (I tend to do that often-I have a hard time spending money on myself).
When I told John about the new Mervyn’s card he was just as excited as I had been, and wanted to go buy some more stuff. So, after he showered we loaded up again and headed BACK to the mall! Some of the employees were still there from earlier and they recognized me; I felt like part of the family! Well, this time it was a little more pleasant because I had John to help corral the kids. We did have to find the bathroom again, though, because Ati had to poo; but at least we knew right where it was!
After returning and buying a bunch of new stuff at Mervyn’s we went to Nordstrom’s. Nordstrom’s is really nice, and more expensive, but John wanted to buy me some perfume. It was actually kind of fun. The lady in the perfume section was very helpful and explained a bunch of stuff about perfume to us, and had us try all kinds of scents that she thought I would like. I picked out one that I liked the best, Juicy Couture, and it was Really expensive! But, it was a nice treat for me; hey, it’s good to be spoiled every once in a while.
By then we had been at the mall another 3 hours, it was past bedtime, and the kids were all acting tired and crazy (what else is new?). We hurried home, and the day at the mall was finally ending! The kids went to bed, and I was happy.
But, Ati woke up around 3am. She was freaking out, which she does sometimes. I almost expected it, though, because she tends to have “issues” when she goes to bed too late and is over tired. The other reason I expected it is that Malachi had finally started to sleep through the night, so Ati had to hop back on the non-sleeping train. It’s a fun little game they play…who can keep mommy up all night?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Catching up a bit…

A few highlights from the past week:

(Monday sept 15)
After Ati got picked up for preschool I sat down to feed Malachi. Sometimes I feel so helpless when I am feeding the baby, it’s like a free ticket for Eli to do his worst. During this specific instance he was in the kitchen pouring yogurt into his shoe. He then rubbed it all over his hands and arms and came running into the living room to rub yogurt on my leather couches. I had to remove the suckling baby and chase after the yogurty two year old. After containing the situation, and cleaning up the yogurt I went back to feeding my now screaming baby. Once again, free ticket! Eli was again in the kitchen, this time he climbed onto the table, stuck both hands in a full glass of water that happened to be sitting on the table, spilling water all over the table, himself and the floor. I once again cleaned it up, once again fed the baby; this time I actually got to finish. I then decided to exercise, and of course had Eli climbing on me the whole time. It’s really difficult to do “resisted reverse crunches” with a small child between my legs, but I managed through it, and after many more struggles of various kinds I eventually put him down for a nap.

(Tuesday sept 16)
I spent 7 hours at the mall!...but that’s a whole nuther post.

(Wednesday sept 17)
I walked Ati to preschool. Normally I go with a couple other moms around 1030a, we walk for about an hour, and we end our walk at the preschool to pick up our kids and walk home. Preschool is only about 5 blocks away, but it’s up a really steep hill (remember we live on the side of a mountain), so it’s too hard for the kids to walk up it, but they are mostly ok walking down it. Well, we decided to walk TO the school because we had other plans for later. So, I had to put Malachi in a baby carrier and wear him, then I had Eli and Ati (about 60 lbs of kid) in the stroller; all up hill! I really got my butt kicked! But, as soon as I dropped Ati at school and put Malachi in the stroller I felt so light that I thought I would float away, it was great!
I was so exhausted by the end of the day that I fell asleep just after 8pm. I did wake up after a little while though, because I HAD to eat some oreo’s! yuuuum… then went right back to sleep.

(Thursday sept 18)
Went for an extra walk (normally I just go on m, w, f when Ati’s at school) and had to take all the kids (except Tad, whose in 3rd grade). So, I walked the whole time while wearing Malachi. It is hard work! But, I’m determined to get my exercise in, having too many babies won’t stop me!
We also went out to dinner that night, after much debate (the debate was about who was going, where we were going, and if we were even going to go), with “Uncle Eric” (John’s Mother’s Brother) who was here from Canada for Karla’s wedding. We ended up going to the Cracker Barrel in Springville. The food was ok, but not real great; and it never really is.

Well, that’s a brief summary of a few days last week. I’ll write more about the Mall and the Wedding, later.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I have a lot to say...buuuuut....

...I just don't have the time to say it! I'm feeling extremely overwhelmed lately, just don't have any time for myself. It's really frustrating, and I'm trying to get through it. I've barely had time to shower daily (which is actually an improvement). I have a lot of anxiety, and I feel like I'm losing control of things.
Today I'm trying to take a break and relax as much as possible; otherwise I'm gonna freak out and probably start crying for no reason. Malachi just went down for a nap and Nicole (our niece) is playing with Ati and Eli, and they seem to be not making too much of a mess...(hmm, I spoke too soon, I just heard a really loud bucket of toys being dumped all over).
I want to not worry so much about trying to do everything, I just can't "let go", no matter how much I remind myself. I'm a control freak with Obsessive Perfectionism Disorder. I have to have everything in order or I start to freak out. I do understand that I'm just feeling emotional today, and I'll eventually get over it. I just want to pout right now, and ramble about my unstable emotional condition...that's all.
So, eventually I'll get around to posting about the exciting events of my life, like The Mall, The Wedding and other trivial things...but for now I'll just say that I still haven't finished the laundry (I don't know that I ever will), I don't know what we're going to have for dinner, my whole body is exhausted, and I really just want to have a nap...but, will I get a nap? no, probably not...too many things to do, too many kids, and too little time.
Well, at least I had a few minutes to say a bunch of stuff that doesn't really matter; that's always nice.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

NON-poop related Weekend Activities:

Saturday I detail cleaned the outside of the fridge (with my super cleaner and a toothbrush!) and I did a pretty spiffy good job! It was so clean that every time I walked by it or went to open it I smiled with glee! I know, I’m crazy, but it made me really happy. After that, I was suddenly feeling extremely motivated to do home improvement. I got out some paint to finish painting the cupboards in the kitchen (which I still haven’t done yet), and John and I marked the countertop where we wanted to chop it off; it was just way too big and in the way, and the kitchen is too small for it.
While I was cleaning the fridge I had my “donkey tail” plant sitting on the counter. It's a pretty neat plant that came from my Grandma (who died in 2002). She had it for as long as I can remember, but most of it died when they moved to Utah in 1997. She was able to save a few branches and regrow the plant. Since she died I've been taking care of it, so it's kind of important to me. Eli kept trying to eat it. He thought it was grapes! It kind of looks like grapes, but I bet it tastes awful; I had to rescue my plant and explain to the kids that it is NOT grapes.

We also caught a big spider and put it in a ziplock bag (it’s still on the counter-haha, next to the paint!) so we can identify it. A friend of mine told me that the spiders we have in the area are actually Hobo Spiders, and I always thought they were Wolf Spiders. The Hobo Spider is actually poisonous, so if that is really what it is then we need to be concerned. John and I looked them up online (before we caught this one) and are pretty sure that they really are Hobo Spiders; now we just need to get around to actually looking closely at the one we caught to figure it out.

We decided to go out to lunch on Saturday, as a little family activity, and it was really nice. We don’t get to go out very often because money is tight, but it was nice to be able to do that. Then we bought some ice cream and had a little ice cream party later in the afternoon. I really like ice cream, it makes me happy.

Later that night I was still really motivated and was feeling great. I realized that it was probably because of all the walking I’ve been doing, and that makes me happy too.

Sunday morning we got up and got the kids ready for church really early, which was great, but for some strange reason we were crazy late actually getting to church; and it wasn’t the best day to be late because there was a missionary farewell AND homecoming. So, it was really crowded and we had to set up our own chairs way in the back (in the gym). It was annoying to be on the back row because that gave Eli free reign of the entire gym, and he knew it. He kept trying to escape so he could run around. Eventually some people came and sat behind us, so that contained him slightly.

Later in the evening we ended up doing a couple of little home improvement things because I was still feeling motivated from Saturday. John hung up some cupboards in the kids playroom for Tad’s stuff; to keep Eli out of it. He also put door knobs on the bathroom cupboard. I was really glad to have those things done because they were projects we started over 2 years ago! Yay, progress is good!

After being in the home improvement mood all weekend it made me think some more about our options for where we want to live. We’ve gone back and forth (and up and down, and all around) about our options. We’ve debated whether or not we want to stay here and remodel (and add on), or buy some land and build new, or buy a home that’s already existing. It’s such a difficult decision. We finally decided that “we’re not ready to decide”, but I actually feel good about any of those options. We really want to stay here, specifically in the ward we’re living in, so hopefully we’ll be able to. If we remodel this house we install a walk-out entry from the basement and also add a kitchenette. We'd remodel the main floor to include a master suite and a bigger kitchen; and we'd add a 2nd story with 3-4 bedrooms and a play room. It would be really nice to be able to do all that, but it might not be worth the cost, and we’d have to move out for several months while it was under construction. But, alas, we shall see….life has a way of working itself out.

Side Notes:
I Ate cereal and ice cream for dinner on Sunday, and we didn't feed the kids (we had a late lunch).

What a PooPy weekend

I wanted to call Friday “the Day of Poo (and I don’t mean Winnie)”, but it turned out to be the whole weekend.
I am quite the expert when it comes to cleaning up poo. If it weren’t for me we’d all be swimming in it. Just to give a few examples, and recap the weekend of poo: On Friday (sept 12) afternoon I was getting ready to make dinner. I started getting out ingredients to make muffins when Ati started yelling that Eli had pooed on her backpack. I had heard him grunting, so I knew it was inevitable that I’d be changing his diaper soon, but I wasn’t ready to be cleaning anything else. Suddenly he was running toward me with a puddle on the floor and on the top of his foot. It was also dripping down his leg and smeared on Ati’s backpack that he happened to be wearing. While Ati was concerned about her backpack she didn’t notice the puddle on the floor that she was stepping in. Of course, as soon as she felt it on her foot she started to freak out, and she made a few more poopy footsteps across the kitchen floor.
I immediately began to assess the situation and yelled for everyone to “freeze! No one move!” I ran to my trusty box of wipies, while continuing to order everyone to “don’t move, don’t move”. I had to carefully wipe down Ati’s feet and the floor, then strategically move to work on Eli. I peeled off the backpack and wiped down his feet. Then I had to slide off his shorts and roll up his shirt (a one piece button around the diaper type shirt) to enclose the poo. Of course, the shorts left more streaks on his legs that I had to carefully wipe down. Once all the escaping poo was under control I was able to safely lay him down and actually change his diaper.
Once Eli had a clean diaper I let him run along, while I proceeded to clean up the backpack. Because of the texture on the straps I had to use some stronger reinforcement and whip out my trusty “Super cleaner” (I bought it from a door to door salesman-it’s really not as great as they say, but oh well, I still like it). Finally I was able to get back to my muffins. After a few more interruptions of my muffin making I moved on to making the main dish.
Once again, I was interrupted by poo. This time, it was actually Ati, who is completely potty trained! She was outside riding her bike, and had accidentally pooed in her underwear. I was able to calm her down, and pretty easily get the situation cleaned up. I was even able to finish making dinner without any more poo!
However, during dinner, Eli was doing some more grunting. I ignored it, hoping I could make it through the meal and change him afterward. Just as we had finished eating and I was working on clearing the table I noticed he was sitting in a brown puddle! It was soupy all over the highchair, dripping down his leg and making a splatter on the floor. Well, I just had to laugh, and got it all cleaned up. Then, I threw them in the bath.
That was all on Friday. I don’t think there was too much poo (to clean up) on Saturday, but there was more on Sunday. In the afternoon we were getting ready to go out and I grabbed Malachi out of his bouncy seat to put him in his car seat. He smelled stinky so I was going to change him, when suddenly I stuck my hand in something wet. I immediately knew what had happened. He was sitting in his seat so happily, that it wasn’t surprising what he had done. He exploded! All over his outfit and on the bouncy set. So, once again I was able to show off my expertise, and contained the mess in a fairly quick way.
Later that evening, when it was time to put the kids in bed, John was getting ready to change Eli’s diaper. I heard him yell when he unsuspectingly stuck his hand in poo that had leaked all over the inside of Eli’s pants. I could tell John was in distress, so I came to the rescue, with my super human poo-cleaning powers. I once again saved us all from drowning in poo.
This is only a small sampling of what I deal with regularly, but this is "what I do", it's my specialty!
I am the PooP-Master!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Shrek! You failed me!

When Tad was 2 years old one of his favorite movies EVER was Shrek. He would literally watch it 3 times a day, from start to finish (if I let him, that is-and sometimes I did). He had such a good attention span for a 2 year old; I think I must’ve been spoiled. I guess if he wasn’t as good of a kid as he was then I might not have had any more children. It’s funny how things change with perspective, because back then I thought it was difficult to have 1 kid. Now, I would give my left leg (ha, not really) to have my other kids be as good as he was. Today I had a brilliant idea to put Shrek on for Eli. He’s about the same age that Tad was when Tad loved it so much. I told him I was going to put it on and he was really excited. He sat down, all comfy like, and seemed entranced. I was super excited that my plan was working. So, I left him downstairs while I went upstairs to exercise. While I was exercising I could hear some noises downstairs, but convinced myself (even though I knew better) that he was just playing with Lego’s and watching Shrek. About 20 minutes later, Eli came quietly up the stairs. He was holding a black permanent marker, and had it all over his hands, arms, neck and face! I immediately grabbed it from him and ran downstairs to assess the damage. He had climbed up on the chair at the computer desk and pulled down a whole shelf full of stuff. Pencils, pens, paper, check books and a roll of (unrolled) tape were all over the floor. Malachi’s walker, the dog stool, and the carpet were all covered in black marker!
Shrek is officially fired as a babysitter!
I guess all I can say is “oh well”, hopefully I’ve learned my lesson. Just after that happened, though, it was time for us to leave for our walk. We go walking on days Ati has preschool, and end up at the school to pick her up. It was nice to get out and not have to think about any of the “issues” at home. It was a beautiful day out too; the weather this time of year is amazing. It makes me sad that it won’t last long, and soon the ground will be covered in snow.
I did have to come home, though, and it was too bad that it reeked so bad of air freshener that I could smell it in the garage; yes, air freshener is a good thing (especially considering the alternative), but PLEASE, everything in moderation! I felt like I was going to drown when I walked in the house. Then, I let the kids play with chalk outside while I fed Malachi; you’d think that would be a fairly innocent activity. I look out the window after putting Malachi down and I see Eli running down the driveway chasing Ati and swinging around a filthy, sharp BBQ cleaning tool. I still haven't folded the laundry for this week, And, someone ate all my salad toppings, so now I have to decide what else I want to eat for lunch.
But the baby isn’t crying yet, so all is well!

oh yeah, our STAYcation!

It's been a week now, and I was just thinking about our fun little "mini-vacation" that we took last friday. We don't have a lot of extra money but we thought it would be fun to take a little trip with the kids. Friday, after John got off work, we packed up our stuff and headed for the far away land of Lehi, Utah! We got a room at the Best Western; just off of main street. It was pretty inexpensive, plus we booked the room online so we got an even better price. I wanted to go somewhere that had a pool and a free (real) breakfast, and the Best Western worked just fine for that. Our basic plan was to get a room, go out to a nice place for dinner, swim, and then have a nice breakfast in the morning.
It ended up being a really nice, fun little trip. It was especially nice because we didn't have to drive very far, or pack a ton of stuff; and most importantly it was cheap! (well, except for dinner, yikes) We went to Tepanyaki in Lehi, a Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi bar. We were a little uncertain if it would be "kid-friendly", but it turned out to be a fabulous idea! The kids loved it, and it was a lot of fun. The food was delicious, even though it turned out to be really expensive; so, it was a once in a blue moon type of thing. The kids thought it was neat to have the food cooked right at the table; after they got over the initial shock of the massive fire ball that came at us when the chef lit the oil on fire! I think the fire was a little bigger than he was planning, and it caught us all off guard. Eli started screaming and freaking out. He struggled his way out of his highchair and was trying to get as far from the table as possible. When he started wandering around the restaurant I put him back in his seat and he was mostly ok, just a little concerned. Malachi was also freaked out by the fire and he started screaming. We had to get him out of his car seat and hold him, which ended up being a disaster for me; he is very grabby and tried to get my bowl of soup. I ended up wearing half a bowl of soup, in my lap and all down my leg. Luckily it was a clear broth, and not too hot at that time, but I was pretty soaked.
The kids had fun trying to use chop sticks, and were given some with rubber bands that made them easier for little fingers. Eli liked the regular ones, he used them as swords. It was funny when he first got them separated and was saying "fight me, fight me", in his little midget language (which kinda sounded like “eat me”). It's fun when they are learning to talk and they come up with such random things.
After dinner we got settled in our room and ready to go swimming. Of course, I forgot to pack swimming diapers (who can remember swimming diapers?!), so John ran over to Albertson's to pick some up; it was nice that it was just across the street. We had a fun time swimming and Malachi was so super cute in his little swimming-floaty-boat-thingy. I’m sad I didn’t get any pictures, but our camera had a dead battery and was charging. He was really good and just sat there and "chilled" the whole time. I think he liked the plastic, he was licking it.
It was nice to relax, and swim, and sit in the hot tub for a little while. The pool was indoor and heated and it actually wasn’t too bad, except for Eli was shivering most of the time. I kept trying to get him to go in the hot tub, but he refused. I finally ended up carrying him into it, and when it was time to go he refused to get out!
After swimming we went back to the room and got ready for bed, and then relaxed for a while in front of the tv. John went to Albertson's (again) to buy us some tasty treats. You can't have a fun vacation without some tasty treats! So, we filled the kids with lots of sugar, and then told them to go to sleep, haha. Surprisingly, it actually wasn't too bad getting them to sleep; the trick is that we ALL have to go to sleep at the same time. When we first started taking family trips staying in a hotel was a horrendous experience, but we seem to be slowly figuring things out.
I was up several times during the night with Malachi, but everyone else slept pretty good. It was nice to have a comfy chair and foot stool to recline in while I took care of him in the night. There was also a little fridge in the room to store our leftovers from dinner, and the rest of our tasty treats.
We took our time in the morning and went down to breakfast before we packed up our stuff. It was a pretty nice little breakfast, pancakes and eggs and other stuff; and a good way to relax and end our little trip.

Eli, getting into stuff, and wearing John's shoes

Ati and Malachi ready to swim

Kids relaxing, watching tv (Eli pouting because he didn't want to be in the picture)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The joys of WalMart

I love WalMart, I really do. It's almost the only place I ever go shopping, so convenient. The main problem with going there is that it takes soo long, and I always end up with way too much stuff.
We went shopping this morning, after dropping Tad at the bus, and it was actually a really good time to go. Normally it's really crowded and annoying, but first thing in the morning there was hardly anyone there. I still had to take 3 kids with me, which is always really annoying, but I'm gradually getting used to it. They're kind of like permanent attachments, I almost don't notice they're there...ALmost.
Eli, aka Tex (for Texas Tornado), makes sure I don't forget he's there. I try to keep him in the cart, as long as I can, so he doesn't escape, but that is VERy difficult. He hates being in the cart, so he screams and makes a big stink. Then, when I actually put stuff in the cart with him he plays with it for a few minutes, then finds it hilarious to throw it out! It's soo annoying! So, it leaves me no choice but to get him out of the cart. The problem with letting him loose is that he is no longer just throwing MY stuff, he runs around and grabs stuff off the shelves, and throws it! I don't know what his fascination is with throwing stuff, but it seems to be his specialty (along with dumping stuff out, squishing stuff, and destroying stuff). One time I actually had an old lady yelling at me because my kid was throwing produce. It was kind of embarrising, but also really funny. When he's not throwing stuff he's either running away (so I have to chase him, which is also really embarrasing) or squatting down and very obviously pooping. It's definately an exciting thing to go shopping!
Then, I always run out of room in the cart about half way through my list, and that starts to cause me great anxiety for some reason. I get really anxious and start stressing out. Today, I accidentally went shopping without eating breakfast. It wasn't an accident, really, but it was not a good idea. I ended up spending nearly $300 on groceries! That's about 3 weeks worth of my budget, all in one day! I'll have to be extremely careful the rest of the month.
Anyway, I ended up having to take two carts out of the store. That is another thing that's really embarrasing. People always give me really weird looks, like they either feel sorry for me, they're annoyed, or they want to help but can't decide if they should ask me. I always feel awkward about it because I don't want help, I really can handle it myself, but I know that I look like I need help. Sometimes I think I should just let people help, I don't HAVE to do it all myself, I just have some wierd issues where I always feel like I need to do it myself (if I can).
By the time I'm done shopping it's been close to 2 hours and the kids are ready to eat each other, and Malachi is also ready to eat again (or sleep but can't) so he's screaming. I know that it'll be another 30 minutes before the car is loaded and we're home, and then another 15-30 minutes until the groceries are put away. So, I leave the store with screaming kids, knowing there's another hour before I can do anything about it, plus my two carts of groceries, and knowing that I'm gonna have to put it all away. I'm also stressing about all the money I that point I've brewed a whole lot of anxiety.
But, I ate some "Wasabi and Soy Sauce" flavored almonds and some fig newtons, made it home, and everyone was alive; the kids ran around making messes while I took care of the groceries and the baby, and life goes on like normal.

In other news:
Malachi slept through the night again! Went right to sleep this time, around 9pm, only made a tiny peep when I lay him in his bed. He did wake up around 6am, but I think he had pooed (except I just fed him and lay him back down. I didn't realize until later that he pooed, oops, oh well).

Now, I've got to go feed the little people. If I'm feeling ambitious later I might actually fold the laundry today! and I bought some frozen meatballs for dinner, I hope they're yummy. I don't normally like meatballs, but they looked good (and easy) and I thought I'd try something different; and that's just what happens when you're starving and at WalMart with 3 kids and a whole lot of anxiety. Life is good!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Don’t cry over spilt milk

Or should I say: Rejoice!...over spilt milk! For me, at least, because it means that my sweet, sweet little baby boy slept through the night! Sorry about the breastfeeding humor, but I think it’s kinda funny to wake up in a puddle of milk; which is what happens when my baby suddenly changes his eating habits. It’s actually really annoying, but I will gladly celebrate spilt milk any day if it means sleeping babies.
Last night wasn’t quite as bad as the first two nights of this experiment; it was actually a bit of an improvement. Just before 8pm I noticed that Malachi was getting sleepy, so I hurried and fed him some rice cereal (because I think it helps him sleep better; but who knows if that’s true or not?). Then, a little bit after 8pm I nursed him and he fell right asleep. He was so asleep that he was limp and didn’t even wake when I stood up and lay him on the bed, it was great! I was able to take him upstairs, mostly asleep, but he woke up a little. When I lay him in his bed he realized what was going on and he got mad and started crying. I picked him up and patted his back for a few minutes to try and get him back to sleep, but he refused, even though I knew he was really tired. So, I lay him back down in his bed and he began to cry again, as expected.
I left and went back downstairs. By the time I got back to my room he had already stopped crying! Happy day! He was quiet for a long time and I began to feel extremely victorious; but then…he started to cry. Happily, though, it only lasted a few minutes. I think that happened 1 or 2 more times over the next 30 minutes, or so, and that was it! Yay! He slept the rest of the night, and didn’t make a peep…I even got up before him, and had to wake him at 745am, to feed him before going to the bus.
I am still so excited, relieved, happy, joyous, hopeful, and all that good stuff…wow, what a relief, to say the least. This brings me one step closer to conquering the Kingdom of the Little People.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Victory is...close?

Well, I’d like to say “victory is mine”, but not quite yet. So, “close” will have to do. I’m referring to the battle of the sleepless baby. My sweet little Malachi, who’s been sleeping through the night practically since he was born has suddenly (about a month ago) decided that he no longer wants to be a sweet little baby who sleeps through the night. He’s been extremely needy, like he wants to be held all the time. I’ll feed him and he’ll fall asleep in my arms, but as soon as I put him down he wakes up and starts screaming. It’s extremely frustrating. When he finally does go to sleep at night he’ll only sleep for, maybe, an hour or two at most. He wakes up all night long. I’ve been getting more and more exhausted and tired of being tired. I know there’s nothing wrong with him because as soon as he is picked up (or even if you walk toward him and he thinks he’s going to be picked up) he stops crying and is perfectly happy. Sometimes he’ll fall asleep in his swing or in his car seat (only when we’re driving), but that doesn’t always work. I have to laugh, too, about how the tables turn because all the kids seem to rotate who’s NOT sleeping. It’s probably been at least 8 years since I, myself, have had a consistent good nights sleep.
Not including Tad, in recent history it’s been mostly Ati, with a sprinkling of Eli, and now a large helping of Malachi. Starting when Ati was about 3 ½ and learned to climb out of her crib (yes, I keep them in the crib as long as physically possible, mostly for my own sanity) she started having “night terrors”, and that was a major ordeal that lasted for what seemed like FORever. Anyway, during that time, Eli started waking in the night too, and it was at an all time annoying climax, between the two of them, just about a month before Malachi was born. I was terrified about the fact that I already had 2 kids not sleeping and I knew I would be adding a 3rd for sure.
To my surprise, and amazement, Ati and Eli both started sleeping again and when Malachi was born I only had 1 baby to deal with. Fortunatley, Malachi was a really good baby, for the most part, and would sleep for long periods of time at night, like 5 or sometimes 8 hours. It was great! Everything, of course, got all screwed up again when we moved to Wisconsin, and then to Pennsylvania. Ati went in to MAJor “freakin’ out” overdrive (luckily everyone else was still sleeping ok), and by the time we finally came back to Utah she was at a point of waking up every 30min-1hour during the night. It was horrible! It was also affecting her moods during the rest of the day; we started to realize she might have OCD (but that's another story, for another time). Coming home helped a great deal though, she was immediately cured, but then had a slight relapse and after a month or so of being home (and some MAJor screaming “time-out” sessions) she’s back to a very pleasant sleeping routine. Of course, almost immediately (I’m not sure specifically how long, but it feels like it was immediately) after she started sleeping again, Malachi happily took her place on the “not sleeping train”. Yay! It’s been so fun! (that's sarcasm, if you couldn't tell)
Anyway, a few days ago, John and I decided we really need to do something about this. We want to let him just “cry it out”, but because of our minimal living arrangements we’ve had him sleeping in our room, and that makes it nearly impossible to ignore. So, after considering many different options we finally decided to move him out. We have a spare room upstairs (we’re otherwise all in the basement) that we use as an office/exercise room. We decided to squish his crib into it. So far we haven’t actually moved his crib, we just put up a portacrib that we’re using in the meantime until we decide if it’s actually going to work or not. It was a difficult decision to move him out, because I really didn’t want to put him upstairs; it’s so far from us, plus John’s parents are right there and I didn’t want to deal with them in the middle of the night or have them get him because they can’t stand to let him cry.
Well, Sunday (sept 7) we put him in the new room during the afternoon for a nap, and he actually slept really well, it was great! I thought, this is gonna be a breeze! That night things only went “ok”. He wouldn’t stop screaming and it took several times of us going in and “comforting” him, until he finally went to sleep (I think it was sometime close to 10pm); then, he actually slept until about 530am. Of course, I couldn’t sleep, hardly at all. I was so used to waking up every few hours that I still did, and I kept expecting him to wake up. But, even though I was still not sleeping I was very relieved that he was. And, he did wake up at 530a, but it was still a good start. Monday didn’t go so well. It was actually pretty rough, and it felt like he was getting worse! He didn’t take a nap at ALL during the day, even though I put him down several different times and let him cry for what seems like, and was probably pretty close to, HOURS. It's like he was "catching on" to what was happening, and he's trying to fight it. I was dreading the night. The good news is, after the initial “going to bed” conflict, he actually slept ALL night! At first he screamed and screamed, just like the first night, and I had to go in a few different times (I waited 15-20min each time) to comfort him. The last time I went in was around 930pm, and about 945pm he was suddenly quiet. It’s always a little concerning when they’ve been crying forever and then they are suddenly quiet, but I resisted the urge to go check on him (I would hate for him to wake up and go through all that again). He made a couple more noises over the next hour or so, but that was it.
I was able to have a shower this morning while ALL the kids were still sleeping, and then I had to actually wake him up because he was still sleeping at about 745am! I would’ve let him sleep, but I was super swollen (from him not eating all night) and I wanted to get him fed before having to walk Tad to the bus. So, all was well, he was happy, he got fed, and we all went to the bus. I’d like to think that it’s all going to be ok now, but I don’t want to get too excited. Right now he’s actually in there crying again, it’s supposed to be nap time. It’s probably been about 30 min that he’s been crying.
I wish I knew what was going on inside that sweet little head of his because he’s such a wonderful, sweet, happy baby (most of the time) and all this crying and not sleeping is really hard to deal with. I think maybe it’s some kind of separation anxiety or something like that; or at least I’m hoping it’s that simple, and that he’ll out grow it really quickly. But, for now, I’ll take my mini-almost-victory, and be happy.

The "Nursery/Exercise/Office" Room

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Just one "Peace" at a time…

Ah, how nice it is to have 2 kids in school, even if it is only for a few hours. Today was Ati’s first day of preschool, and I think I’m more excited about it than she is! I still have Eli and Malachi, but I think I might be able to work out some kind of system so that I can have a few minutes to myself.
I put on Finding Nemo for Eli, and he seems to be entertained for a few minutes at least. That gave me a few minutes to feed Malachi, and now he’s actually down for a nap. I never know how long his nap will last, but for at least a few minutes I have: 2 in school, 1 watching a movie, and 1 taking a nap! Neat! Even though everything is just for "a few minutes", I'll sure take every minute I can get.
I’ve also washed all the laundry for this week, just have towels in the dryer, and have sorted and put away half of it…progress is good.
The house still looks like we were hit by a tornado, aka Eli, but I’m still trying to not spend all my time (and thoughts) cleaning it…instead I’m going to go eat a grapefruit…mmm…

(here's Eli watching the movie)

(and Malachi sleeping!)