Pregnancy is Kicking My Butt

As I yawn and look at the clock to see it’s only 10 a.m., I sigh slightly. This pregnancy is do kicking my butt. I have no energy, have trouble falling asleep at night, can’t nap well during the day and when I sleep in, I have more work to do in the form of cleaning up the messes the kids make.

Like this morning. I didn’t even sleep in but Jordan woke up before me and he is able to do so without waking me since he’s three. When I did get up with Mark and David, it was to see Jordan with a baby tray full of French fries and a huge wad of ketchup. Plus it was on my floor lol. The mere thought makes me more sleepy.

I have been falling behind on my laundry because my energy comes in spurts and every time I have some energy it seems someone else has shoved clothes in the washer.

I’m falling behind in my chores because I’m so sleepy, weak, and fatigued. These are not new symptoms for me though. I dislike this part of pregnancy. I’m a doer. Having to do nothing and delegate but not get it to the quality I prefer is frustrating.

I know it’s temporary but it’s still tough. The good news is that all my chores are on my to-do list. So if I miss them on the day they’re due I can make them up later in the week when I have more energy. And truth be told it is rather rewarding to be able to mark off twenty things from your to-do list!

One area that I’ve not fallen behind is homeschooling. The girls got bored and wanted to stay school so we did. And they seem to be enjoying themselves.

Hopefully soon the energy draining will pass. In the meantime I think I will be kind to myself and take a nap with my boys today instead of pushing myself. I read something yesterday talking about nap lengths. The ideal nap length is 90 minutes because it’s a full sleep cycle. I tell you… an hour and a half nap sounds awesome to me!

Feeling Guilty for Being Pregnant

Well since number six is baffling in the oven I’m finding the usual “first trimester energy drop” to be a mite overwhelming. I find it particularly annoying how the insomnia works too. I’ll stay up till midnight or so because I’m just not sleepy. I have too much on my mind. Too many things to take care of and it stops me from falling asleep. So I go to sleep at midnight. Then Mark wakes up around one to play for an hour against my will. I refuse to let him get up though because I don’t want to reinforce his night waking. So instead I nurse him and then try and get him back over to our side car crib. Sometimes it works and sometimes he giggles, coos, slaps David, and screams for an hour because he doesn’t want to sleep. So I ACTUALLY fall asleep around two or three fire to his night antics.

Then of course all three boys wake up between five and seven. I an physically unable to stay awake that early so I wake Lilly up and she watches then for an hour or two while I get some blissful sleep. The downside to this is that sometimes she gets distracted with tv or video games (never mind we tell her not to turn them on in the morning) and then I wake up to a huge mess. As I drink my morning coffee,I direct the children to clean up their mess because I definitely don’t have the energy to do it. Standing on my get for fifteen minutes is exhausting right now. Makes it hard to clean house.

I really do dislike being tired all the time. I feel useless. I feel like I am over burdening my children with work. I know these are inaccurate perceptions and I know that I do my fair share of work still. In fact normally I do most of the work and now I’ve simply distributed it more evenly. But it sol makes me feel guilty. Never mind that I should deserve a break according to every one lol. I still feel guilty. And it annoys me that I can’t just enjoy receiving help. Even when my husband helps me I feel guilty. How crazy is that?  Maybe one day I can get rid of Mr superwoman complex. Probably won’t be today though.

You gotta keep ‘em separated

So goes the Offspring song. But this post isn’t about gangs, but groceries. I imagine there aren’t tons of people in situation – adults living their parents or in-laws. But it causes tension. A lot of tension. When you try and merge two households suddenly you go from one queen bee to two queen bees. Now instead of cooking for one family there’s two. All with different likes, dislikes, and habits.

As you can imagine, this can cause a lot of fighting. Proper groceries not being bought, money wasted on what one queen thinks is unnecessary and the other considers essential. Multiple meals being prepared because both families prefer different things. One husband loves vegetable meals and the other doesn’t consider it a mask unless it’s “meat and potatoes” and won’t eat bean soup. After time this builds up a LOT of resentment between the families.

However… think of this – a lot of roommates buy and prepare their own things. Why should “roommate families” be any different?  So thus is what I’ve done. We have two refrigerators and two deep freezers already so this is fairly easy. I have told the kids they can only touch our refrigerator. Also we’ve split up the pantry. Highest two shelves for the in-laws, lowest two shelves for me and my family. That way the kids don’t have to climb to get to their food and the in-laws food IS out of reach. One spice rack for the in-laws, one for me. After all, we would naturally go through more of some things like salt since I prepare more food from scratch and am cooking for a larger family. Other things, like cumin, I almost never use whereas the mother-in-law uses it all the time. Easiest solution is just to split up spices and purchase individually those we need.

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Now the next bit might seem crazy and obsessive but hear me out. I split up the cookware and Tupperware into individual cabinets. One for me and one for the mother-in-law. Why you may ask?  Well it’s easy. Let’s say I plan to make a coffee cake and a casserole in my bake ware but my mother-in-law has used my dishes for some of her own cooking. This is going to cause a fight, butter feelings, or hidden resentment. The solution is that as much as possible we use our own stuff. Plus the added benefit is this is that I’d she doesn’t wash her dishes it’s easy to tell which ones are hers at a glance!

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We’re just now implementing this system but I think it will resolve a lot of issues that have been building up. I won’t have to be upset that my in-laws don’t like sourdough and they don’t have to worry about my monthly allotment of flour, sugar, butter, milk, and cheese!

It might seem crazy to have to do this but you think about it, it makes sense. We’re two families living under one roof, not one big family splitting rent, no matter how look at it. This gets rid of the pecking order issues in the kitchen two. Each matriarch is responsible for her own family!  Hopefully I won’t have to live with my in-laws forever but until the point where we can get our own place this is an excellent compromise!

You Might Be a Mother of Boys If…

Thought I’d make a fun post based on some of my observations of my wonderful little boys. They make me laugh, they make me pull out my hair, they warm my heart. So here’s is a small list ala “You Might Be a Redneck”.  I call it “You Might Be a Mother of Boys If…”

* You have to say the word wiener (or equivalent) more than once a day. “Pull up your pants – no one needs to see your wiener”, “Don’t put your wiener in that toy”, and in the bath – “Keep your hands on your own wiener boys!”
* Your children naturally know how to grunt and growl without being taught how
* Your boys are sitting side by side, arms around each other, and big goofy smiles on their faces because they’re best buddies but ten minutes ago they were screaming at each other and chasing each other around the house trying to be the last one to punch the other
* You hear “clomp clomp clomp clomp” down the hallway as your boys race each other around the house wearing their shoes, away from which they cannot be parted
* Your house is pretty much filled with screaming all day long – be it screams of anger because they’re fighting or screams of glee because they’re having a great time
* Farts, poop, burps, and pee are not only hilarious but they are requisite topics of conversation every day
* Additionally phrases like “pee pee poo poo doo doo Jordan” are the most hilarious jokes in the world
* Getting your child to color in his coloring book is just as difficult as getting him to NOT color on the wall
* Upside down is the preferred method of conversation
* If he isn’t the one allowed to fetch your coffee cup, or get you a baby wipe, or tell his uncle it’s dinner time, then your boy will literally throw himself onto the floor screaming as though he’d broken his leg, but if you then hand him the cup to let him give it to you last, then it’s all smiles again
* EVERYTHING goes in the pants pocket. Doesn’t matter if it’s solid or not.
* No hesitation when it comes to stomping roaches. All you need to say is “Kill it! Roach!” And then you have an army of bug stompers
* You realize that your children can in fact speak in tongues… but only when they’re really mad. And it’s not really a language so much as a humongous string of gibberish
* Your children have a line of thinking that says “bite first, ask questions later”
* Picking up his younger sibling and throwing him on the floor seems like the perfect response to the younger brother taking the toy the older brother wanted. Conversely, pinching two handfuls of back and biting the shoulder seems like a valid response to that.
* Asking to drink “baby milk” when he sees his baby brother nursing is absolutely hilarious. Bonus giggles if he sees the baby milk.
* Beating up dad is both a fun game and a bonding experience
* You are their favorite person. Nothing better in the world than giggly kisses and hugs.
* His first reaction to being reprimanded by you is to crawl into your lap and cry because Mommy makes everything better
* Bedtime and naptime are both the ultimate peak of hyperactivity, resulting in amazing acrobatics, not even seen in circuses
* No electronic in your house is safe. It will either be used, broken, or dissected.
* Finally – if you turn your back, all food and drink you left unattended will be gone when you get back!

My Household Cleaning System

So I’m pretty happy with my current house cleaning system. I have tried multiple systems over the years and nothing really fit. Doing a daily fifteen minute zone clean seems like a good idea but though I’m a clean person this was my most hated part of the day. I looked for any excuse to not do the zone cleaning. I couldn’t figure out why I hated it do much until just recently because I really do like having things super tidy.

The reason I disliked the zone cleaning approach is there was no reward for finishing early. You still found SOMETHING to clean and even if something needed cleaning, after fifteen minutes you’re done. The problem is some days I have lots of energy and others I feel super lazy. Plus my kids info stuff quickly making messes and I never got to enjoy the clean.

My new system is similar but there’s no timer. Instead I have daily chores, weekly chores, and monthly chores. I have them set up on my phone and tablet (both android) so that it auto recurs at the next time period when I finish. I use the app 2Do. I have my tasks set up so they are not scheduled to begin until the time period in which they’re due. I’ll explain this more shortly.
My daily chores include making my bed, reading my Bible, cleaning up after breakfast, lunch, and dinner, exercising (I’m bad about this one still!), making my husband’s lunch on work nights, washing, drying, and folding the clothes for the day, and two tidy up periods. With five kids things get really messy really fast. Toys every where. Clothes all over the place. Chairs in random locations. So twice a day I do a tidy up. Basically I go through the house and make sure all the toys are put up, trash thrown away, chairs pushed under tables, and that the house is tidy in general. I do this after I put the little ones down for a nap and after they go to bed for the night. That way I actually get to ENJOY the clean!

For my weekly chores, I use a modified chore of the day system. It’s kind of an area of the day. On Mondays, I work on the two bathrooms. Tuesdays are my bedroom days. I have my bedroom, the guest bedroom, and the girls’ bedroom to do. Wednesdays are for the kitchen. Thursdays I use for my paperwork day like making meal plans, grocery lists, preparing homeschool lessons for the next week, writing a baking list, and talking care of balancing the checkbook and paying bills. Because of my unique living situation I don’t do the grocery shopping. That is pretty much the only job my mother-in-law does. I think she just likes doing it to get out of the house. Otherwise Thursday would be my errands day as well. Moving onto Friday, that is my miscellaneous rooms day. This includes the den, dining room, foyer, hallway, and laundry room. Finally Saturdays is outside day. I clean the porch, tend the garden, pick up toys, clear cobwebs, etc. Sundays is my day of rest.

The way I do my monthly chores is interesting. It annoys me to see chores that I’m not supposed to do yet on my to-do list so I have them scheduled for the first day of the week on which the weekly chores fall. For example, when I clean the bathrooms, I Windex the scales, organize the drawers and cabinets, clean walls and doors, etc. So on the first Monday of the month, I have a recurring event set to start for my bathroom monthly chores. Washing the car won’t show up on my list until the first Saturday of the month.

Now the reward part is this… If I work hard, I can finish all my monthly chores in the first week of the month. Then for the rest of the month it’s just daily and weekly chores which barely take any time at all. It gives me more time to pursue my other projects I’m working on. It’s really motivating to be able to have an easy month. So far I’ve already finished three days of monthly chores this month and tomorrow I’ll finish (hopefully!) all of my miscellaneous rooms monthly chores.

The best thing about my system is I get things clean without feeling burnt out. I have days where I’m completely exhausted but you know what? On those days I sleep much better do I really can’t complain!

I fail to understand drama

I have a lot of drama going on in my life right now. The most frustrating thing for me is that it all affects me yet I cannot directly control or change any of it. Nothing is more stressful than seeing the world crash down around you and being powerless to stop it.

First there are the finances. My husband and I share rent with his parents (and his brother lives with us too).  We try to contribute half to the household bills but it keeps getting squandered, or so I feel. For example, we had gotten a couple off months behind on rent since my husband was sick from work and changed jobs. Nite he’s working again and we told my mother-in-law we could contribute a certain amount each week and there were no histamines for any more money. If money had been spent equally as we started, we would have been able to pay rent and our utility bill easily as well as having extra for gasoline and whatever small extras we needed through the week. My mother-in-law, however, felt it was urgent to pay the cable bill and “hopefully” we’d have enough rent for money. Today the cable was one again turned off because when she paid it we were almost three months behind. So she wasted rent money for the privilege of using internet for like three days. Then yesterday she went shopping for groceries we didn’t need “because it was on sale”.  We has just bought over $500 in groceries a few days prior and we had tons of food. The shopping was unnecessary.

I continued putting the amount I said into the account. There is now only 10% of the money I put in left, not even remotely close to enough to pay rent tomorrow. It’s frustrating being able to see ahead and provide guidelines to correct an issue but no one else has the same priorities.

The next bit of drama is my husband’s ex. Funny how I’ve inherited this. MY ex gives us no drama…his gives us no end to drama. So my stepdaughter, Emily, came out with everything that’s been going on at her house for the past many years. Stuff about how her mother steals their prescription medicine that they’re forced to get because she has thrust them into therapy since I’ve known them and before. Things like how her mother would tell her about her sexual affairs. Stuff about how she was trying to force Emily to go out with this seventeen year old. Banning her from seeing a nineteen year old. She actually went and started pursuing felony charges against this nineteen year old for interruption of custody or something like that. From my understanding what happened was he told her she needed to get away from her mother, he would help, etc. Well to be quite honest, if things are in fact as bad as Emily says they are,I fail to see how offering to help a troubled teen is a felony. She also tried to have Emily put in Juvenile detention yesterday because she is “sick and tired of all the lying”.  Well if they’re lies. But if they’re not…putting your child in jail for telling the truth?  Really?

When the courts refused to put her in jv, my husband’s ex then decided the best idea was to put her in the psychiatric ward at the children’s hospital here. Now it did come out that Emily has been drinking for over a year. I’d live to know where, aside from home, she’s been getting this alcohol because it’s not like her mother lets her attend a bunch of parties. Yet she swears up and down that the only alcohol she has in the house is some whisky that’s been in there for forever. Nevermind that every time I’ve seen her out to eat when my husband has taken everyone out that she orders alcohol. Nevermind that she got absolutely drink after the very recent funeral of my husband’s aunt. Something just doesn’t add up there for me.

So as far as I know my stepdaughter had been committed, we’ve submitted custodial paperwork for my stepchildren, and dhr had been called multiple times THIS MONTH on my husband’s ex. They’re supposed to assign a lawyer to my stepchildren and then I suppose the drama will really start.

It’s a lot to deal with. I put it out there publicly because secrets and lies is what’s allowed this to become sick a huge festering problem in the first place. So I refuse to keep quiet about what I’ve heard anymore. And I Gore that things will work out because I will tell you something…My husband has two sets of children. And the ones that live with him do NOT have all these psychological problems. Then again they’re also not being emotionally and/or physically manipulated and abused. Go figure. I will just be glad when the insanity-go-round stops and I can get off and move on with my life.

Crushing a Child’s Spirit

I read a blog post the other day that cautioned about how you speak to your children because harsh treatment might crush their spirits and squelch their natural curiosity. It spoke of breaking bad habits by offering imitation and kind words for modeling good behavior. To do otherwise, it said, was to break the child and destroy their spirit.

I laughed to myself. My children, then, are obviously so full of spirit that they may as well live in Heaven right now because I’ll be danged if have this far made even a dent in their spirits despite the constant discipline they receive.

Like right now. As I type this on my phone while putting my boys to bed, Jordan and David are cutting up beside me despite my periodic reprimands of “Lay down!” and “What do you think you’re doing??? Knock it off!! Go to sleep!”  These come in increasingly louder and angrier tones as I do my best to warn them that spankings are coming if they don’t settle down and stop jumping on the bed. Now before you get the wrong idea – they’re not standing on the bed jumping. They’re kicking their feet in their air and quickly bringing them down. Or they’re sitting up and throwing their bodies down hard against the mattress. So it’s much more difficult to stop them prior to the act because it’s so quick in completion. Throw in some near constant requests to “go pee” or “go poo” despite the fact that I JUST let them go to the toilet (to which I eventually respond with “Jordan shut up!”) and well you pretty much have my evenings EVERY FREAKING NIGHT!  And lately add in getting pinched in the stomach by little tiny baby fingernails while I nurse Mark…

And sad to say this is night time. During the day with these boys and my very active daughter…  recipe for disaster. I cannot imagine gently coaxing them away from stuff. Thus would be my day:

*gently pulling David away from the wall* “now now let’s not color on the wall with the sharpie that you got off the top of the five foot tall bookshelf by climbing on chairs and shelves while I put Mark to bed earlier.”  Then to Lilly, “all right, Lilly, I understand it’s tempting to play with your siblings but right now I really need you to focus on reading your assignment for history.”  Then “all right Sierra, let’s get up off the floor and our some of your creative energy into cleaning your room. Come on, I’ll help!”  -fifteen minutes later the room is clean but – “Jordan, you need to ask Mommy to pour you a drink from now on. Remember Mommy said it might spill if it was full?” As I look at the full pitcher of tea all over my used-to-be-clean kitchen floor. Then after I finish that mopping, “David, it wasn’t time for Mark’s nap to be over with. Could you please play in the dining room with your toys while Mommy puts him to sleep again?”  -twenty minutes later, Mark is asleep again and the house is completely quiet- “kids?” -looks around and sees front door open.  Kids are running around outside in their underwear getting close to the highway that runs in front of the house- “Get your freaking butts back in this house right now. I’m gonna busy y’alls butts!”

Yea that so would not go well in my house. My kids are TOO creative and TOO smart. They don’t have the emotional maturity to handle what brilliant mind they have. David was walking at six months and could push chairs to the counter to get up in the counter and into the upper cabinets by the time he was one. Imagine what he can do at two. I have seen Sierra climb up to the top of a six foot tall cabinet to get something that we put up their to supposedly keep it out of their reach. They laugh in the face of baby proofing. They are the unstoppable preschool patrol. And when it comes to reigning in their spirits, I am afraid I’ve had to adopt more of a “horse breaking” mentality than a “sheep herding” one. This is for their own good and my peace of mind. I need to know that when they hear my voice in anger (I very rarely am actually angry, I just do a good imitation) that they jump to. I need to know that they think I’m watching them ready to bust then at a moment’s notice.

I love my kids. A lot. I watch them play games and being excessively creative. And I praise them for it. But for them at least, some of that spirit has GOT to be crushed. It’s ok though because they seem to have a lot to spare.

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Jordan so no going to sleep