Friday, September 28, 2007


Status: Exhilarated. I scored!!!

What did I score? It was a case of there-at-the-right-time, I tell you!
I love composition notebooks. Yeah, like the ones they had in the 1950's. Black and white camo, and sturdy. I use them for all my novel notes and research notes and plotting and well...everything!

They were on sale by the truckload at Target for a measly thirteen cents. Yes, I bought twenty of them. And I only spent $2.60 for TWENTY composition notebooks! I am set for the whole year. Usually those suckers are a dollar each. Some places, they're $2.99.


Thing One is having a girlfriend over for dinner and a movie tonight--they both want to watch Bridge to Terabithia in the movie theater room and I will provide them with a complementary box of tissues. I heard it's a MAJOR tear-jerker.
So I have to rent the movie and pick up the pizzas (Papa Murphy's ROCKS!) and then dry cleaning, go the bank, then the store to buy diapers, because the huge box I bought two weeks ago is already empty. Yikes!
Thing Four's tooth is out. He's happy as a clam. And he's starting to giggle--and laugh. It's the cutest thing ever!
We have two soccer games at 9am tomorrow, then Thing One's is at 11:15. Luckily its at a park nearby. Last week her game was 35 miles away. It was a hike, but a beautiful one.

I love living in Wisconsin this time of year. The leaves are changing, and soon it will be a riot of color everywhere. Especially in the semi-rural area I live in. Long winding roads framed by trees, and every half mile or so there are farms with cows or horses. It's so peaceful and lovely. But then a major windstorm always comes through and blows all the leaves off the trees in three days, and then it's all ugly and the snow comes and we're buried until March. Woo. Turning cartwheels over that one!

But for now I'll enjoy the Fall. Have a good weekend, everyone!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Making Time for Me...

Yeah, that sounds a little selfish, now that I look at it, but you know--I need my sanity if I am to successfully rear four children. I need "me" time.

Now that school is in, and I only have the baby at home from 8am to nearly 4pm, I have decided that from 8 to Noon is "me" time. That's FOUR hours where I can write, sleep, research, do crafts, sew annoyingly difficult Halloween costumes...etc. etc. Anything I want to do, I get to do it in those four hours, as long as I have Thing Four with me in his bouncy chair and I feed him and take care of him and make sure he doesn't get so bored he wants to eat his own foot. And from 12 to 4, I have to do the stuff I HAVE to do, like run errands, clean the house, laundry, etc.

Four glorious hours, Monday through Friday! I have decreed it, and except on special days ("special" meaning I have to clean the whole house for visitors or something of that frantic nature) I will have those hours for me. Well, me and Thing Four, but he's very easy--for now.

I am pretty excited! Although I have to wonder how long it will last...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

It Has Begun....UH OH...

So, this morning began as any normal weekday morning. (Well, except for my teething infant who had whined most of the night and gotten himself wedged in the crib bumpers numerous times resulting in me having to go "save" him...)
Hubby was up at 5:30. I was up at six, and then at six thirty I got the kids up. We had breakfast, said goodbye to Hubby and I picked out my son's clothes. Thing One (who will be Ten next month) paused on the stairs to her room and looked at me:



"Why won't you pick out clothes for me? You do it for the boys."

*stunned silence*

"Well...because you always hate what I pick out."

"If I don't whine will you pick them out?"


Perplexed, I went up to The Sanctuary and looked at her meticulously clean closet packed with clothes. I picked out a brown sweater, jeans and brown boots. She was actually thrilled.

So, she puts on the jeans and I say, "Wait, those are too light. Wear these, they are a darker wash." She obediently puts them on, walks over to her mirror and turns around, and IT ACTUALLY COMES OUT OF HER NINE-YEAR OLD MOUTH:

"Mom, do these jeans make my butt look fat?"

I looked at her and realized she was probably copying what she'd seen her other girlfriends say, because she knows her butt is tiny (but she doesn't know I would commit multiple murders to have a butt as cute) and I simply said, reassuringly:

"You look just fine in those jeans, and you don't need to worry about your butt."

But as I left The Sanctuary, I had to shake my head in sorrow a little. She's NINE, for Cripe's Sake. And it's already starting. What will she be like when she's THIRTEEN? Or Seventeen? I need to make sure she feels loved and secure with herself, because I don't need some vain, flaky clotheshorse for a daughter. I want her to be comfortable in her own skin. Even though that is mathematically impossible during the teen years, I want to at least help her as much as I can. Thank heaven she is skinny. Otherwise I would be seriously worried for her.

Then again, I was skinny my whole life, and after four babies, the Metabolism Fairy has deserted me completely. So who knows. But she is in sports, and she knows how to eat right.

I am just nervous because I have eight more years of fielding those questions...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Spiders and Drool.

...not that the two are necessarily affiliated, but I will explain.

But first of all--did anyone watch the HEROES premiere last night? Frankly, it left Hubby and me scratching our heads a little. And I'm beginning to worry because the plots/subplots/subsubplots are getting a "leetle" convoluted for my taste. I just hope HEROES doesn't end up like "Lost" if you get my drift...

On to Spiders and Drool. Drool, because Thing Four has become a Drool Factory. I mean, this kid has to wear bibs all the time because he soaks the necks of his outfits, is constantly chewing on his fingers, his blanket, my hair, my nose, etc. etc. Basically anything within reach.

We discovered the culprit last night. He's getting his first tooth. It's already broken the surface of his lower gums and is just starting to peek out. So, hopefully after it comes up the Drool Factory will close down--at least until the next tooth.

Now about the spiders...*shudder* Let me preface: I HATE, LOATHE, DETEST-- any negative verb you can conjure...that's how I feel about spiders. It's a phobia. Plain and simple. I hate how fast they are, and how they feel when they're crawling on you (*Lara pauses typing to shudder once more*) and yes they are little miracles of nature and they keep the bug population down, yadda yadda yadda, but they aren't that fantastic when they invade my house. And I mean INVADE.
Since the cold weather fronts have started moving in, so have the spiders. They seem to be in every nook and cranny in our basement. They're on the walls, jumping around on the floors, and their webs...EEEK. When I go into the unfinished part of our basement I walk with my hand at the level of my eyes (like in Phantom of the Opera) so I won't get webs in my eyes and mouth.

I have no qualms about killing spiders if they are in my house. "Outside" is their house, but if they go in my house-- they choose Death By Vacuum Cleaner or the more preferable Death By Soccer Cleat.

So, spiders are very shudderworthy. What else makes me shudder?

1) Slugs
2) Crunchy Bugs
3) Dark Water

But at least I don't have irrational phobias--like that one chickie on the internet who is deathly afraid of pickles. Seriously. Pickles. You show her a pickle and she starts to break down, and eventually degenerates into apesh*t hysterics. But my favorite is the Clown Phobia Lady. She was put in a room with a performing clown and had a complete MELTDOWN. It's on YouTube if you want to see it...

So, what makes YOU shudder? I'm tagging Brenda, Devon, Mik, Colin and Laura!

Monday, September 24, 2007


Status: Peeved --at the fact that my house gets TRASHED every weekend because, frankly, I don't feel like cleaning it.

And yes, I contribute to the mess myself! I am not a "clean freak" mom. You would think with all the time I spend cleaning my house, I would be, but seriously, it's just to keep my head above water. I sort of have a big-a** house, and it can be overwhelming at times. Thank heaven my kids can dust and vacuum and tidy. But for some reason, we don't like to do it on weekends!

What is the deal with that? Maybe because Monday through Friday I make them clean it (and I clean it) and Saturday and Sunday we want to slugs or something, I don't know.

All I can say is, come Monday, the house is a cluttered mess. And since clutter drives me nuts (especially when you can't walk in the upstairs hallway because it's a Mine Field) I have to tidy it.

So after this post I will be cleaning for the next few hours. But not their rooms. THEY are in charge of cleaning those. I won't do it. Nope nope nope.
Then I'll run to the store, cleaners, etc. etc. Mondays are usually wayyyyy too busy.

But at least they're quiet. When Thing Four sleeps, you could hear a pin drop in this house.

That evens it out for me...

Friday, September 21, 2007

It's Friday Already?

Where did the week go? Dang it went by fast. Yesterday was a pretty lame day, so I won't bother telling about it. Thanks for the kind comments--I was feeling sort of neglected, but only by my own family. Although I felt bad for Hubby--he worked a long day, then had to RUN home and mow the lawn and bag all the grass himself (the kids usually help) because we were all at soccer practice. Then the personal trainer came. He didn't have a moment to breathe. So we're at odds. He's feeling rushed and pressed for time, I am feeling neglected and alone and bored.

And the twain never shall meet...except on weekends. Weekends are our sanctuary. They are OURS. Family time that you just don't mess with. Although I have to say this weekend is kind of taken up because we have soccer games and a birthday party and the Primary Program at church on Sunday. Lots of running around. I like naps. Naps are cool.

Gotta get my 8am workout out of the way, and then it's the "Friday Clean." Dusting, vacuuming, mopping the wood floors. Then after lunch I might get some words in on the WIP. Of course, Thing Four has to figure in on all of this--if he's good I'll get it done. If he's not...well...I won't get much done. But he's a good baby. Too good, in fact. Mellow and sweet. Hardly cries, happy and cheerful. Except for that Happy Screaming thing...

Have a good weekend, everyone! I will be my usual sarcastic self on Monday.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sorry, Folks...

Not feeling particularly splendiferous today. Feeling a tad unappreciated, actually. Hence, I'm not my usual cheerful (ranty?) self. Will be better tomorrow...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Status: Seeing red. I'll explain why:

*Squish.* That's the sound you make when it's four in the morning and you sit on a toilet where your FULLY CAPABLE BUT LAZY SON has decided not to lift up the toilet seat before peeing and has gotten pee all over the seat.
*Squish* makes me crazy. *Squish* turns me into the alter-ego my kids call the Screaming Mean Mommy Ogre.

My sons, who are nearly seven and eight, are fully capable of lifting up the toilet seat. Yet unless I am right there watching them pee (no thanks) they always forget.
This morning Thing Two was making his oatmeal for breakfast and suddenly announced he had to pee and ran to the bathroom. I heard all these splashing noises and decided to make an un-announced visit.

Him: "Mommm! Can't you see I'm peeing?"


...okay you get the jist. Screaming Mean Mommy Ogre came out in full force this morning. I made him wipe the entire toilet down after he finished. I mean, this kid's aim is terrible!!! He was disgusted that I made him do it, but I reiterated to him WHY I don't enjoy the *Squish*. I think he gets it now.

Don't even get me started on how they can't flush.

School is only a half day today, so I am going to run my errands in the morning. Yesterday I put their chore charts in a very prominent space, under the huge calendar I have by the Mud Room. We have a new system now. Every day they fulfill their chores, they get a "Family Buck" (fake money) and they can use the bucks to buy stuff at the Family Store. I think it will be pretty motivating.

I am changing Things Two and Three's chore charts. Do you think they will be embarrassed if I put "Lift Up Toilet Seat Before Peeing And Flush Afterwards" as one of their daily chores???

Nah, me neither.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

...And it's Warm Again...

Yes, here is the lovely spot in our grass where I accidentally tipped the fertilizer spreader over. Heh heh. Thought I could scoop it up real fast and "hide" the spill. Whoops. At least it's our BACK yard and not the front...

So it's supposed to be 85 today. A major reversal from the 40 degrees it was a couple of days ago.

*ahem* Since this seems to always be the pattern with cold/hot weather and my kids, you'll have to forgive the outburst.

Alright, so here's my dilemma. Well, not really a dilemma, but my predicament: We have an eighth grader at our bus stop with an extremely foul mouth. He says every word in the book (Thing Two tentatively told me in shushed tones yesterday that he even said "The F Word" on the bus") and he doesn't care if the little kids hear him.
I would normally march myself right over and have a talk with his mother about his bad habits, but the last thing I need is some crazy 8th grade kid mad at me. He and his buddies will terrorize my kids, my house, etc. So I can't make waves.

SO, I have decided until he cleans up his act, my kids will wait by our house until the bus is in sight, and then they will go catch it at the stop. Luckily it stops down the road in plain sight--so they'll have plenty of time to go down and catch it. It's too bad the kid's parents clearly don't care/are unaware of his language--and I don't need my kids learning those words before they have to.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Happy Screamer

Status: Grumpy this morning. I'm back on my "healthy eating" plan. Grrrrr....

Oh, and Happy Birthday to my little Sis, whose age I won't disclose because I am wayy older than she is and I'd like to retain some mystery...a little.

Oh, and WHY IS IT that no matter where I go at 2am in the morning, I stumble into a discarded pair of soccer cleats? My poor toes. Seriously. I think the little soccer cleats think to themselves (after being placed dutifully in their spot in the Mud Room):

"Hey, Lara should pass this way on her way to the kitchen at about 2am to make a bottle for the baby, let's jump right into that spot behind the corner so she won't see us! One Two...three..WHEEEEE!"

Okay, Thing Four has found his voice. His happy voice. More like his happy SCREAMING voice. Granted, it was cute the first few days---but now...I am loathe to admit's a bit...wearing on the ears. (He's currently Happy Screaming as I type this.)
Yes, yes I know it's a phase because all my kids went through it too, but right now, he's the HAPPIEST screamer. A.K.A. the Loudest. He screams (happily) at mealtimes, at bathtime, at playtime, and more inconveniently-- at Church, the Doctors office, the library and bedtime. Oops.

Hey, at least he's happy. And he's very self-confident. I'm not going to "shush" a four month old. Then again, if I shushed him, he wouldn't know what that meant anyway.

Thing Three had a high fever all day yesterday. He's a little better today, but I'm keeping him home from school because he's really weak. They run those little first-graders around, you know. I want him to be 100 percent better when he goes back to school, so today is Stay In Bed and have Mommy Wait on You day. At least until he's a year older. Then it will be Stay In Bed and Get It Yourself But Wash Your Hands First day.


Friday, September 14, 2007

The Lawn from Hades

Infuriating conversation of the Day:

Hubby: Lara, I need that phone number I wrote down.

Me: Huh? What phone number?

Hubby: Last month, I wrote it down on the back of an envelope and left it on the desk. I need it--and I can't find it anywhere. What did you do with it???

You gotta love it when your significant other does this to you. Sure, I can tell you where it went: In the ROUND file. :-)

Besides, I have no memory of what I did three days ago, let alone a month. We have so much paper in this house, there's no way. A needle in a haystack comes to mind...poor Hubby.

I have decided I can't win with our lawn. Hubby is obsessed with our lawn having to look "the best" on the block and since he's been traveling so much and I REFUSED to learn the riding lawn mower (because of a small but embarrassing phobia) our grass has been getting long. With all the rain, the lawn service has been backed up, and they seem to not get to cutting our lawn until it's already starting to grow forest creatures.
Two weeks ago I BEGGED them to cut it immediately, and it started flash flooding. But they came and cut it in the pouring rain, because I asked them to, and basically dug up the lawn with their mower wheels and left TONS of wet grass all over the lawn. (Usually when it's dry the grass just blows away.) So the next week Hubby and I had to mow and it took four hours and TWENTY SIX BLACK BAGS to bag an acre's worth of mowed grass. And they had ruined our lawn.

So, last week, Hubby traveled again and I called the service, and asked them to come mow, but NOT when it was raining. That was last week. We've had sun every single day, but last night it rained and now it's seven in the morning and guess who just arrived to mow our SOPPING WET grass???

Heck, it's just another 26 bags...Whoopee! And of course while we were fertilizing it I lost control of the spreader and dumped about five pounds of fertilizer on the lawn. I scooped it up and put it back into the spreader, hoping hubby wouldn't notice...and the next day there was a dead spot in the lawn about the size of a soapbox.

I really can't win.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I Can't Think Of a Title...Too Tired...

Status: Drooling on the keyboard from sheer exhaustion.

Another sleepless night. Mostly because Thing Four had four shots yesterday and developed a fever (not super high thank heaven) so I had to check him a few times in the night, AND during the times I was trying to sleep, I was writing the opening chapter to my new story in my head. Had to resist the urge several times to run down to the computer because it WAS four a.m. in the morning!!!


So, the drywallers are here to do warranty repairs, and I can't go anywhere. I'll have to run my errands after I leave.

Thing Four had his rice cereal for the first time yesterday, and he eats like he's been doing it forever. My other babies spit it out and couldn't figure out where their tongues went and ended up with more cereal OUTSIDE them than inside. Not Thing Four. He's my Super Eating Baby.

Should I worry? He's already 19 pounds and 27 inches at four months. He's going to be one of those teenagers whom I have to buy one whole pizza just for him, someday, I can tell. Heaven help my grocery bill, with THREE teenage boys! EEEK!

Well, I'd better get that first chapter out of my head and onto paper. Off I go!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Status: Bewildered at the unseasonable COLD!!!! What is the deal???

Yeah, I live in Wisconsin. Crack all the "cold" jokes you want, but we usually don't get cold until mid-October. And here we are, not even MID September, and it was 40 degrees last night.
Now, that's cold.

Granted, I love Fall/Winter clothing and all, but our kids only got to wear shorts and short-sleeved shirts for ONE week of school! Not even one week!

It's off to the Dr. for Thing Four (he gets to start eating MUSH, I am so psyched!) and then to the baby store. I need winter clothes for the baby!

So I get a call from Thing Two's teacher last night, because Thing Two (as an OBVIOUS attention-getting ploy) told her that his dad was in jail for drinking too much.

Yeah. He really told her that.

Just to clarify, Hubby doesn't even drink, and hasn't even had so much as a speeding ticket. Well, not for a few years. So, where that came from, we have no idea. I was a tad mortified, to say the least.

Then again, I told outrageous lies as a kid. I was convinced that telling my teacher I could fly would be believable, and I was as sincere as a kid in church when I was telling her about my adventures in the air. She even nodded and seemed to believe me! Oh well. I guess I can't fault him. I just don't want to be shunned at the next PTA meeting because of our little "secret." Maybe I could make up a T-shirt for Thing Two to wear to school that says "I LIED WHEN I SAID MY DAD WAS IN JAIL FOR BEING DRUNK AND IN TRUTH HE IS AN UPSTANDING CITIZEN AND OBEYS THE LAW."

Or I could just write it in black sharpie on his forehead. He won't tell lies like that again, let me tell you...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


I can't believe it's been six years already. Six years to the morning, where I sat in horror with my hands over my mouth, screaming in my living room as I watched the World Trade Center towers fall, in slow motion it seemed.
It's something I will never forget. They say everyone remembers what they were doing the morning JFK was shot. Well, this is the rememberance moment for my generation, hands down.
My thoughts are with the families of the victims, and those who to this day are still affected by this senseless act of genocide.

I wasn't able to blog yesterday, I wasn't feeling super great so Hubby stayed home and took care of me. But he was on both computers doing work stuff most of the day, because whenever he's not at work (a very RARE thing) something always blows up, catches fire, implodes, or some emergency happens of some sort, and EVERYONE calls him every five minutes. BLEAH.

We had the strangest thing happen this morning at 5am. Our fire alarms went off. We have the lovely system where if one goes off, they ALL go off. Hubby and I bolted out of bed, thinking someone had tried to break into our house, but then we realized the alarms were different. We immediately launched into Operation Check The House and couldn't find anything amiss. (The alarms went off immediately after they went on.) No Fire. No smoke, nothing. Strange. So I am going to call today to get someone out here to see why it went off so randomly.

Well, I just got the kids onto the bus so it's off to the races!

Friday, September 07, 2007

I am the QUEEN.

Status: Exhausted. I stayed up all night cleaning my house. So the maid service won't be mortified. Why do I punish myself?

I have decided I am the Queen. The Queen of "I'll-Do-It-Tomorrow." This is not a very proud moment for me, but I have realized I am a huge procrastinator. I make lists of things to do, cross off about half and the rest I just say: "Eh, I'll do it tomorrow."

I'll do EVERYTHING tomorrow. Clean the toilets, organize my office, attack the laundry (the pile the size of a baby elephant that never seems to dwindle no matter what), eat healthier, pull weeds, workout, etc. etc. etc.

I put everything off! So, what happens if tomorrow never comes? I guess I'll be in big trouble.
My husband came from a "Work-Till-You-Drop-From-Sheer-Exhaustion" family. They had an impeccable home, and a quarter acre garden in the backyard without one weed in it.

I came from the "Put-It-Off-Until-It-Becomes-So-Big-You-Give-Up-Because-You're-Overwhelmed-And-Go-Have-A-Bowl-Of-Icecream" family. Yes, I have issues.

I say this because for FIVE days I have been telling myself I would tidy the house so the maid service can get in and clean. And every one of those five days I put it off, until last night, when I realized in a panic that I had mere hours to tidy the entire house.

The hot fudge sundaes I made Hubby and myself last night were sure good.

I need a diet Coke. Have a good weekend everyone!


Thursday, September 06, 2007

Bye Bye, Harness!!

This was taken a few days ago--the last picture of Thing Four wearing his Pavlik harness! Hooray! We took him to the hospital yesterday and an ultrasound showed that his hips were normal. I almost started bawling. I was so excited!

It was four long months, but he's all better! No more dislocated hips! So the harness is off, and he can dress like a normal baby now. Rather, *I* can dress him like a normal baby! I never knew buying socks could be so exciting! :-)

Lots to do this morning. I have to clean before the maid service comes tomorrow. (Heh heh, how's that for irony?) And by some weird chance of fate, I am responsible for snacks for all my kids soccer games on Saturday. Oh, and Hubby will be in L.A. all weekend. He wanted to see the BYU game. So I'll be on my own.

It's my own fault. Hubby asked me if he could go, and I said "sure!"


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

!*&%$#%!! MOSQUITOES!!!

Status: Under Attack. They've mobilized, and they're ready to take on...well...Wisconsin!

Let me preface this by saying that mosquitoes love me. And I mean they LOVE me. They look at me through their beady little mosquito eyes and they see freaking Crème Brulee. I am a smorgasbord to them. You get the point.

So, Saturday, Hubby gets the bright idea that we need to weed the flower beds. Yes, we paid thousands of dollars for landscapers to put weed-resistant heavy tarp over the beds and put decorative stone in them. And yet we still have weeds. Go figure. So we start pulling, and suddenly I realize that I'm getting bitten. There are mosqitoes everywhere. I complain to hubby, and he dismisses it. "Mosquitoes don't come out in the daytime. They're dormant."

I still insist I'm getting eaten, and I run into the house and spray myself with repellent. A few minutes later, Hubby comes in and asks for the repellent. He's baffled. Yes, as I said, the mosquitoes are out in full force, and they are AGGRESSIVE, hungry little buggers. They're hanging out in shady areas by the zillions, waiting to attack.

Then we realized that since we had all those days of rain, it made excellent breeding for the pests, and now, all their babies are adults. Very HUNGRY adults. So we have a full-blown Epidemic on our hands.

Last night at soccer practice, my kids were getting eaten alive. (I felt bad because I didn't realize the soccer fields would be so infested.) Thank heaven the coaches had the sense to bring repellent and spray the kids down. I couldn't even bring the baby out and talk to the moms. We all sat in our cars with the windows rolled up, swatting at the mosquitoes that had snuck in when our kids opened the car doors. When practice was over, the kids came running to the cars and we were all like "HURRY UP! HURRY UP AND CLOSE THE DOOR BEFORE YOU LET MORE MOSQUITOES IN THE CAR!!!"

West Nile Virus anyone? I have no less than 20-ish bites on my arms and legs, and so do the kids. Thing One is mortified that she has one on her forehead (what if they think it's a ZIT, mom?) and thank heaven the baby was spared. So far. Hubby called me when he got home from work (by that time we were at the church at Cub scouts) and informed me that we had millions of mosqitoes in our garage, and they were getting in the house when he opened the door. So I told him to stop opening the door! On the way home I stopped at Walmart and bought a bunch of repellent. There was only a tiny bit left. People are catching on.

I hope the mosquitoes all die soon. But then again, we're supposed to have thunderstorms Thursday and Friday.

FUN!!! I might as well slather myself with honey and serve myself up with a side of fruit...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Back to School!!! (Sniff!)

Status: Can't sleep. I have about 8320271 things zinging around in my head, because SCHOOL starts today for Things 1 through 3 and I have SO much I want (and have) to do now that they are in school!

School starts today. But my "HOORAY's" aren't as hefty as they were last week. Now, ironically, I am realizing that I'm actually going to miss the little tykes (well, BIG tykes, we just had to buy them all shoes and their feet are HUGE) and so I'm actually...sad. In fact, I broke down a little last night, because they're all going to school for 8 hours every day.

There *are* perks. The house will stay a LOT cleaner--I won't have to worry about them mauling the baby with kisses and hugs (but I suspect he enjoys it) every minute, and toilets will remain flushed and lights will stay off, the entire day. (Okay, that's a BIG plus!)

I have a Maid service coming to clean the house from top to bottom this Friday, because Summer has gone through it like a Tornado. And I want it sparkling clean, so it will be easier to keep that way.

So yes, it will be nice to have some semblance of non-chaos. But the house will feel empty and silent, with just me and a WAY mellow baby rattling around in it all day.

Heaven help me when they all go off to college...