Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I'm The Shove Queen.

I was an organizing machine yesterday. Got the boys' room unpacked (FINALLY!) and all their decor up on the walls. Since they're sharing, I made one half a Yankees/Sports theme and the other half was Nautical/Sailing, since that's what my oldest son likes. Complete with his model of the R.M.S. Titanic he built himself.

It looks pretty dang good, if I say so myself! But now, I'm in trouble. Why? Two words: Third Floor. Basically (and this is embarrassing to admit), whenever I opened up a box I didn't want to deal with, I lugged it up to the Third Floor. Tub of junk? Third Floor. Bag of something? Third Floor. Piece of furniture I don't know what to do with? Third Floor.

Now I have a Third floor CRAMMED with crap. It's my own fault. But now I do have everything in one space, and I can get it all organized and feed it down into the parts of the house it goes. Which is even better. But I can tell that Third Floor is going to be a bear. It's going to be my Everest. It is NOT going to be fun. But once it's done, I will rejoice. Because I will be officially unpacked.

Progress, right?

Things are getting into a routine again. Routines of school, homework, housekeeping, soccer practices (no games yet) and my boys are whining up a storm because we don't allow them to play on the computer or iPods or DSi or the Wii during school days. Only Friday after school and Saturday. Yesterday cracked me up. Thing Two came home, did his homework, and promptly flopped down on his bed all despondent because I wouldn't let him play Minecraft on the computer. (This kid can play for HOURS.) I told him to read a book. That didn't go over so well. He went to a friends house, but when he came back, he was bored again. My other son read a book. But finally Thing Two broke out the legos.

Thank heaven for Legos. They never get old.

It's Tuesday Toast day! And Taco Night! I love Tuesdays. Hope everyone has a good one!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Motherhood By The Numbers

So, yesterday was the first day of school. I was thinking to myself, as I dropped my middle-schoolers off at the school, how many more "first days of school" Thing One has left. And after yesterday, that would be FOUR. Wow. Time flies. Then I got to thinking about how many times we do things, as moms or guardians or parental figures.

Take wiping butts. No, really. I have four children. Let's say potty training began roughly at age 3 for each of them. And they weren't able to wipe their own butts to my satisfaction/cleanliness standards until age five. That means, I wiped a butt one, sometimes two times a day, 365 days a year, for two years. Times four kids. That’s roughly TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED TIMES I’VE WIPED SOMEONE’S BUTT.
Here are some more numbers: (Keep in mind I have four kids):
10,500: The number of nose-blows I will have performed over the years 
10,585: The number of dinners I will have cooked for my kids and immediately heard "GROSS Mom! I don't want that for dinner!"
6000+: The number of times I drive all of them to school over the years
10,000+: The number of times I go to their baseball, basketball, volleyball, tennis, soccer games
6000+: The number of times I have to turn the lights off/TVs off/Flush toilets for them after they've gone to school.
3000+: The number of sleepovers I will have endured. 
3000+: The number of times I will have made chocolate chip pancakes because the kids ALWAYS want chocolate chip pancakes the morning after a sleepover.
I really could go on and on. I think of women who have more kids than me, and I am like WOW. My hat is SOOOOO off to you. Because I think my own numbers with my kids are pretty crazy.
I feel strangely vindicated, having put this information out there. Now I'm wondering how many diaper changes I've performed over the years…anyone have a calculator?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

First Day of School.

And...they're back. Got Thing Three on to the bus this morning at 6:50, and took the other two to middle school at 8:20. Next week I'll add taking Thing Four to preschool at 9:30. He's so excited. I'm so sad. :-(

My kids are growing up. Before my eyes. I do like that they can mostly take care of themselves, now, but I miss being able to dress them in cute stuff and having them do everything I tell them without A) talking back or B) complaining up a storm or C) falling to the ground with dramatic flair.

I did my normal after-the-kids-are-gone-to-school routine. Go through each room, turn off bathroom, closet, and room lights, flush toilets if needed, and grumble about how my kids can never turn any lights off or flush any toilets.


Now I'm going to tidy up the house, and enjoy these last few days with my four-year old before he heads off to school after Labor Day. Today we're having lunch at the park. I can tell he misses his brothers and sister, but he's also glad to have Mom all to himself again. I like our little dynamic. I'll miss it when he's at school. But I will say, I will get a LOT more writing done. And since I'd sort of like to make a career out of it *wink wink*-- that is a GOOD thing.

Happy Thursday everyone! Hope anyone in the path of Irene is safe. (I know, I am too, but I'm so far inland in NC I don't think I'll get much more than a windy storm.)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Shoes Shmoes.

My Mom was so cute on the phone yesterday. She was like "Lara, PLEASE blog!" I have to say, I've been so caught up in Back-to school madness it's been a little while!

Tomorrow is the first day of school. Am I excited? Sort of. Am I sad? Sort of. It's always a bittersweet thing, to pack your kids off to school. Because the lazy days of Summer are over, and now it's Homework, Projects, carpools, Fall sports, school volunteering, and my personal favorite: GERMS. We are all so healthy over the summer because we're not picking up germs from a million fingers at school. ;-) But I drive my middle schoolers to school, so at least they're not picking up any BUS germs. Ugh. Those are the worst!

Today we are buying shoes. I know, I've waited to the last minute, but there is a method to my madness. My boys are GROWING. I am not kidding. At alarming rates. Shoes I would have bought them a few weeks ago would possibly be too tight in the toes, now. My oldest son is like a weed. And his feet are growing accordingly. So, we are getting shoes today, and hoping for a few months of wear, before the dreaded "Mom, my shoes are hurting my feet" complaint happens.

It happened last night. I bought Thing Three new soccer cleats in the Spring, and they're already too small for him now. He went to his first practice with "tight toes." Of course it didn't help he informed me of his shoe problems TEN MINUTES before we left for soccer practice. (Major eyeroll here!)

Anyway, school shoes, gym shoes, church shoes, sports shoes, you name it. Four kids times about four pairs of shoes. Shoot me.

Oh well.

Oh, and is there any remedy for getting that lovely red southern mud off my kids' gym shoes? Or are they forever destined to come out of the wash looking pink?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Let's Do The Time Warp Again...

I know I've lamented this before, but I feel the need for reiteration. So bear with me. ;-)

I think my parents were SuperParents. Because I survived to adulthood. And no, I'm not being sarcastic. Honestly, I don't know how any of us are alive today. I remember being FIVE years old, and walking across a busy street from our apartment complex, to get candy at the convenience store, ALL BY MYSELF. There was no worry of pedophiles or sex offenders or kidnappers to take me off somewhere. I'm sure they existed, but not in "our" part of the neighborhood. ;-) I remember riding around in cars without a seatbelt (they didn't even have carseats!) and sometimes, I would perch on the console in the front seat between my parents (again, sans seatbelt) and ride that way. Or when we'd go on road trips my siblings and I would lie down with blankets in the back of the car, and sleep that way. And oh my gosh, we didn't die.

And being outside, ah, it was awesome. Playing outside in trees or in makeshift forts was WONDERFUL. We were outside more than we were inside. And we LIKED being outside. During summer, I would leave the house in the morning, and not come back unless A) I was hungry or B) it was dark. No cell phones, no way of "checking in." I'd just be gone. My mom's way of getting a hold of me was standing on the back porch and shouting my name. If I heard her, good, if not, I'd always come home later and she'd tell me what she needed then.

During school time, if it was my birthday, Mom would bring in homemade cupcakes. All the moms did. There were no wheat, gluten, milk or peanut allergies. And I would play on unsafe playgrounds. Remember those tallllll metal ladders and impossibly high narrow metal slides that you could probably die if you fell off of, but we climbed up and slid down about 36947 times without incident?

We wore bell bottoms and home-sewn clothes, and no one cared. We didn't have computers or Internet or Cell phones or video games or caller ID, when the phone rang, you didn't know who it was, you just answered it and found out.

Times were easier, too. People were able to fly the American Flag and say "Merry Christmas" without fearing a lawsuit. And people actually TALKED to each other. They couldn't hide behind texting and email and use them as social crutches. We weren't so horribly afraid of offending everyone and everything. Life was...simpler.

Can we go back? Certainly there are things about my childhood that I shake my head at, but I'd like to be able to simplify, sometimes. Unplug, unwire, and simply be a family without all the extraneous crap. And I still maintain my parents were SuperParents, because I'm not dead or maimed. Despite the odds stacked against me, and the unsafe (by today's standards) way I was raised, I turned out OK.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I had a hard time waking up today. Usually I spring right up when Hubby does (he's not exactly subtle when he gets ready for work) but this morning I was just...dead. He left for work before seven, and I actually went back to bed for a little while. Luckily Thing Three was awake so I put him in charge of playing with Thing Four so I could get some rest.

Maybe I'm just burned out from all this moving stuff. Waking up early and staying up late aren't helping, either, I'm sure.

I'm homebound today--our new refrigerator decided to keep spouting water out of the water dispenser the other day instead of shutting off, so we had the LG guys out to fix it this morning. We need a part ordered. Oh well. We won't die. The tap water here isn't that bad. Maybe because it's a new house. AND I have to stick around home because (drumroll please)...

We get our shutters installed today! Woo hoo!  I'm so dang excited!!!

I need to grab myself a coke, shake off this lethargy, and get going!

Hope everyone has a great Tuesday. I'm just so glad they found that boy scout in Utah. If I was that boy's mother I would have been a complete mess. I love happy endings!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Can You Say, EXCITED???

I get my shutters installed tomorrow. THANK THE HEAVENS ABOVE. We waited, like fools, until we actually closed on the house to order them, and so we've had to wait forever for them, it seems. Throwing blankets over my furniture around 2pm every day so the sun doesn't bleach everything gets REALLY OLD REALLY FAST, can I just say? And since our living room and kitchen and casual eating area are west-facing, we get that awful bright sun in the early evening that is blinding.

Not after tomorrow! Woo!

Okay, I'll calm down now. We had a good weekend. I pretty much hung out with the family and ran around, didn't get any unpacking done. Which is okay, because I have the first floor completely done. (Just don't go look at my second and third floors, ha ha!) BOXES galore. I'm really happy with the way things are turning out, though. Our house is becoming a home. Putting your personality and your things into a house really makes a difference. :-)

Now I'm ready for school to start so my kids will stop messing it up! Ha ha!

I hope everyone has a happy Monday. This is looking to be a crazy week. I hope I get through it!

Friday, August 12, 2011

I Survived BTS Shopping!

We did it. We survived. It took about four hours, but I got the Back-to-school shopping done for my four kids yesterday at Southpark Mall. Thing Four was not happy, because he's a "Four year old big boy!" and I sure put him in a stroller for the entire ordeal. I had to. Otherwise he would have gotten lost/kidnapped/fallen from the escalators/turned up in South Carolina. The kid doesn't sit very still. I had to take preventative measures. Not to mention how AWESOME those big strollers are--you can stick your handbag, a drink, and about NINE shopping bags in the seat underneath (okay, maybe more like two big ones) and still have your hands free. See my genius in planning it out? Of course by the end my kids were still loaded down with bags and complaining about it, but hey, you want the clothes, you carry the load!

We didn't even buy any jeans, or long-sleeved things. I mean, WHY? It's going to be 90 degrees for at least another month, then it will cool down to 80 degrees the month after that. Besides, the schools keep it about ten degrees inside with the air conditioning and my kids wear sweatshirts over everything all day anyway, so why would I buy them long sleeves? ;-) I figure in December we'll buy some jeans.

Thing One, who is 13, found pretty much everything she needed in the Juniors department at Belk, and she and her friend picked out outfits downstairs at while I loaded up the boys upstairs. It was a little bit crazy in the middle because the boys decided it would be funny to take the stroller and "pop wheelies" in the aisles, much to Thing Four's delight, (he was SHRIEKING with glee) but I was mortified and told them to knock it off. So, instead they decided to start knocking each other. BOYS. Ugh.

We were all ravenous and "over it" afterwards but no one could agree on dinner so I took half of them through the McDonald's drivethrough and the other half went to Taco Bell. (Hey, they're literally across the street from each other!)

Then the kids did a fashion show for me once we got home (well, my daughter did, the boys were more interested in playing Minecraft) and Hubby came home from New York bearing a ton of cupcakes from Crumbs (ohmygoshyumyumyum) and they made a yummy dessert.

Heh heh, I'm waiting until Monday to get school supplies. I have to recuperate! I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Kids are Messy.


I have to say, the NOT fun thing about having dark wood floors: DUST and KIDS. As in lots of crumbs and pieces of food everywhere after every meal, (my kids ages range from 4 years to 13) and I find I spend a good deal of time SWIFFERING because dark wood floors really show dust.

But back to the kid thing. I mean, seriously? Is it THAT hard to lean over your plate as you eat? Or not spill stuff? Or not "accidentally" spill fifty percent of the remnants on your dinner plate on the floor as you head to the garbage to empty it? Bug. MAJOR BUG.

And what is it with kids wanting to eat food anywhere BUT the kitchen? They want to eat it in the game room. THEIR rooms (I've put the kibosh on that one lately). The theater room. At the computer desk. (Kibosh #2.) I mean, it's ridiculous!

Of course I've stopped doing all the sweeping and vacuuming after each meal. THEY get to take turns doing it. But nothing frustrates me more than having a pristine floor (after fifteen minutes of hard vacumming) and having my four-year old walk across the kitchen, scattering cookie crumbs everywhere.


Kids are messy. I should own stock in paper towels. Because I'm certainly keeping them in business.

The sad part? The teenagers are just as messy as my four-year old.

Shoot me now.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Paper, Paper, Everywhere...

Not a whole lot of time to blog today--my built in bookshelves are in (LOVE LOVE LOVE) but I got ZERO done yesterday because it was Chauffeur The Kids Around day yesterday. Today and tomorrow it's UNPACKING (and Frou-frou-ing) WITH A VENGEANCE.

Wish me luck!

Monday, August 08, 2011

One Week.

That's what I'm giving myself. This week only, and I will be DONE with the unpacking. Yesterday was awesome. I gave myself the day off, and did everything I wanted to do, which involved ZERO unpacking. ;-) I even got some writing in. Kept the news off. Because there is so much to be sad about lately in the news. So much death, so much unrest. My heart goes out to the families affected by the horrible helicopter crash in Afghanistan.

Now it's back to unpacking for me, but there are a few things happening this week that are exciting. Today I get my built-in bookshelves, which we've been waiting weeks for. Hooray! Next week, I get my shutters in. No more having to throw blankets over my leather sofas so they don't bleach in the sun! Whew! Because my entire living room is windows. And that sun BLEACHES EVERYTHING.

Today we have dentist appointments, built-ins and I might do a school supply run. Or maybe tomorrow. Its not like they will run out of pens and erasers any time soon. I'm getting into Back To School mode, since it's only 2 1/2 weeks away.

Hope everyone has a good Monday!

Friday, August 05, 2011


And no, I'm not talking about Ant problems. (Thank HEAVEN!!!) We have a new house, with ZERO bugs (and we have pest control coming today to ensure it stays that way!) I'm talking about feeling Antsy. I get this way, once in a while. I'm sure you guys do, too.

I'm antsy for this house to be unpacked and done. I'm antsy to be able to get back into a regular routine. I'm antsy about the future and the economy. I'm antsy to get back to regular writing again. I need to dump all these words I've been writing in my head the last several weeks onto paper. Or into the computer. ;-)

I'm antsy for my kids to have a fun rest of the summer, but I'm also antsy for school to start. I'm antsy for things to HAPPEN that won't happen for a little while. (More on that later ;-)) I want to wander through the ruins of Pompeii. I want to parasail and snorkel in Hawaii. I want to visit my family for more than two days. I want the never-ending laundry pile to end, just for once. I'm antsy for the weather to break, and not be in the 100's and high 90's.


Does anyone else ever get like this?

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Halloween Costumes When It's Not Halloween...

As you all know (times ten, ha ha) I've recently moved. And I am still in the process of unpacking boxes. Some of which have not been unpacked since our previous move a year ago. Yep. I'm finding all sorts of crapola good stuff. ANYWAY, yesterday I unpacked a box of old Halloween costumes. We had Spiderman, Buzz Lightyear, Iron Man, Link, Mario & Luigi, Harry Potter, The Ghostbusters, Princess Leia and Cleopatra, to name a few.

Thing Four immediately wanted to put on the Spiderman costume and run around the house. I let him. Then he wanted to wear it in the car to run errands. Um, not so much.

Is it bad I didn't let him? I don't care if he runs around the house, but when it's not even remotely close to October, I think it's tacky to let him be Spiderman in public. Do I need to lighten up? I mean, he's FOUR. Then again, if you wear a costume all the time, Halloween time won't be so special, right?

Today he wants to be Buzz Lightyear. UGH.

Got one whole room and half another room done yesterday, today I am determined to get the game room and the boys' room done. Watch me go.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

My box of succulent plants. Love them!

I'm pounding this house into shape. It WILL get done. I just have so many things going on, and every box is a new can of worms, so to speak. Hubby says "just do one room at a time, finish it, and move on" but I can't do that. I like to do a little here, a little there, and see progress in more than one place at a time! 

But I'll probably adhere to that philosophy pretty soon. I'm tired of the upstairs looking like a Level 3 Tornado ripped through--because my boys are living out of boxes. BAH.

It's been HOT lately. Today is 101 with a head index of about OHMYGOSH degrees. Nice, huh? I like waking up in the morning to five air quality/ozone alerts from the National Weather Service. Makes my day.

Okay, I'm being snarky. Time for the morning bowl of cereal and then I need to get cracking!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

You Know You're Getting Old When...

Or, out of shape or something. I have to say, during the whole move, I MOVED things. Heavy things. I was a pack mule. I lugged. I tugged. I lifted. I grunted. I strained and shuffled and all that fun stuff you do when you move. I even, with a friend (bless her) moved every single 50+ pound box of books from one house to another, without incident.

Not one problem.

Cut to last night, when I decided to enjoy a jog on the treadmill in the workout room, and I only went 30 minutes. This morning, my back is out. Or at least I tweaked it and the lower right side is VERY sore. Makes sitting uncomfortable.

Ironic, isn't it? I'll have to down the Advil and press on. I have stuff to hang today. I'm getting antsy because my walls are bare and I have to have stuff on them. Now that the first floor is unpacked and placed, it's time for FROU FROU. Plants, pictures, candlesticks, STUFF. Although I am very grateful we got a gorgeous box of succulents from one of Hubby's work colleagues as a housewarming gift, and it is PERFECT for my massive kitchen island. I just hope I don't kill them, because I'm a known plant killer. They are supposed to get a good soaking once a week, so every Tuesday I'm going to "Soak the Succulents." (Ha ha say that five times real fast!)

And now it's time to frou frou. At least for an hour or two. Then I need to go help my 4-year old unpack the rest of his toys. You'd think I would have done that already--he's been bugging me for DAYS...

Monday, August 01, 2011

I'm BACK!! I Moved!!

I know, I said I'd be back on the 25th--I am sorry. I intended to be back then, but since the move I've probably had 947466 people in my house at any given time, hooking up stuff, installing stuff, building, painting, fixing, landscaping, you name it.

We. Are. Done. Except for the built-in wood shelves, which will be installed a week from today, and the shutters for the windows, which (sob! I hate living in a fishbowl!) won't be in for another two weeks, we are done having people all through the house.

I can breathe. The boxes, which were a sea, have now tapered off to a pond, and I'm getting the unpacking done. Hubby has been fantastic. He took a few days off and I swear the man is an unpacking machine. The kids have been fantastic, when I MAKE them help, bwahahaha. I'm giving myself two more weeks, and I want to have things in their places, so I can focus on other things, like getting back to normal, running the house the way it's supposed to be run, writing, etc. And we aren't eating out much anymore, I've made it my goal to start cooking again. I think we lived on Chick Fil A and Salsaritas the entire move, and I'm sick of anything with a drive-thru window, now. I'm all about home-cooked meals again. Finally.

I'm not there, yet, but I'm getting there. But it feels good to blog again. Thanks for all the well wishes and support, and my awesome girlfriends who helped me out so much in the move. You know who you are! XOXO!

Man, it's good to be back.