Circus Sunday

Maybe its just our home, maybe its not, but last Sunday I stepped back and watched the chaos ensue. Now, mind you, to ME its not chaotic…it was simply my family getting ready for church…BUT to a normal family that runs like a well oiled machine (if those really exist) I’m sure Sunday morning would equate to a full blown circus. Here’s just a snippet:   
     We woke up at 8. We have to leave at 9 and we have to feed and clothe 7 kids by then…Oh yeah, and we both have to at least be clothed as well!  Radar and I look at each other with that “Bring it on” face and practically jump out of bed. I go and wake Walter and Echo up while he wakes up Pilot, Sketch and Bones. Thankfully with Pilot and Sketch awake our team has doubled. They are generally fairly good at helping. This day was not one of them. Sketch came downstairs with plaid holey shorts and a long sleeved striped shirt. He was promptly sent back upstairs for more suitable church attire…and something more breathable for 100 degree weather with 1000% humidity. (It’s not literally THAT hot but after living in California it sure does feel like it! )
     A split second, after sending Sketch back upstairs to change, Bones comes down and he and Walter instantly start bickering over something that hadn’t been resolved the night before. I separate them in time to have Echo come up demanding coffee and cereal. (Don’t judge us…My husband is Swedish and they all start drinking coffee young. Our children are NO exception despite my early protests.)
At this point Radar walks in to start the coffee, half dressed and obviously not planning on doing much until that coffee is pumping through his veins. I chuckle. He really is a coffee addict. As we steal a moment to smile at each amidst the chaos, Walter chucks something across the room that lands with a bang and exclaims, “WOW!! D’ya see THAT! My spoon can FLY!!” Radar and I are abruptly brought back to reality. Radar orders Walter to pick up his son and not to throw it across the room again and to finish his good. Walter, upset we didn’t find the flying soon nearly add impressive as he did, sulking, obliges. I send Bones, who has just finished his cereal, upstairs to wake up Banshee (who is now out of his Banshee stage so will now be referred to as simply Squirt).
    Squirt comes down and was perfectly content until it dawned on him that we were leaving and he wasn’t ready. He grab his shoes and proceeded to have a meltdown when I signed to him that he needed his clothes first and a diaper change not just shoes. I mean seriously diaper clad and shorts equates to being ready when you are two! That meltdown continued as I had the audacity to attempt to feed him breakfast. After ten minutes of trying to convince him to eat, I took him out of his chair, handed him a banana and went to help Radar find an outfit for Red. Squirt screams as I leave the room.
     As I’m putting a shirt over Echo’s head I shout up to my husband who was inspecting Bones, Sketch and Walter’s outfits and ask the time. 8:45. We have 15 minutes to be out the door or we are going to miss at least part of the music. It’s at this moment that I asked Pilot to grab an outfit for Red that I realize that Pilot hasn’t been downstairs AT ALL. I send Sketch upstairs to check on him as I quickly grab Red and his outfit and hand him off to a fully clothed Radar. While Rader is upstairs changing Red, Sketch comes downstairs (we have a three floored house) to inform me that Pilot was still in bed and now he’s mad that he has to rush to get ready. I chuckle as I’m realizing now that we definitely look like a circus act.
    While running downstairs I check the clock. 8:50. AGH! I shout and give the shoe order as I run downstairs to get dressed myself and I hear a mad dash of little boys scattering all over the house to get their shoes. (It’s also at this point they I’m so happy we have a shot for each of their shoes and that we Aren’t frantically searching for 7 pairs of shoes at this moment.) Running upstairs a moment later I see Radar starting the load process and I chuckle as I watch kids running like escaped convicts all around the vehicles. Pilot, who slept in, is trying to grab a bowl of cereal, I tell him there’s not time, toss him a banana, and watch as kids are finally settled in the cars. Radar and I grab a last sip, him of coffee and me of water, he quickly gives me a kids as we dash out the door. He locks the door add I back out of the driveway and as I’m backing out I realize that though it’s sometimes usually chaotic I wouldn’t trade this at all!!

Cooking Lessons!

Growing up Radar helped his mom in the kitchen a lot. They would make homemade noodles, pies, and lots more. Thankfully, he is a great cook. This had been a saving grace during the last eleven years between all my pregnancies and feeling too sick to cook.

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Because my husband is good in the kitchen and we enjoy our together time while we are cooking (yes he generally helps me or just completely takes over dinner) our boys have always been in the kitchen with us. Pilot and Sketch have been helping since they were knew high with little tasks and now they have several little brothers that do those tasks now. However birth boys have expressed the desire to cook alone and full items not just doing things that can aid in kitchen prep but rather dull on cooking. So I’ve obliged (with supervision of course). These boys are amazing and quite natural in the kitchen. As of right now they can both sautee veggies, cook chicken and beef in a skillet and they can cook noodles (from a bag not homemade yet), they can make grilled cheeses, stuffed quesadillas, and some amazing egg sandwiches! Pilot also knows how to bake banana crumb muffins. They are so funny and keep telling me that their cots when they are teenagers are going to be to make dinner every night. I hope they always love to cook as I thoroughly enjoy having them in there with me.

So, tell me…are your kids in the kitchen? If not, why? If so, what are some of their favorite items to make?

I’m not sure about y’all out there but anything that can occupy multiple children for hours at a time is considered an amazing asset to our lives. Recently I have found Perler beads. I remember them from when I was a child but never bought them until recently…and even then Bones is the one who was adamant about being them…not me.

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This cat was made by Walter (5). I absolutely love it and it was a craft that didn’t take super long that he can actually enjoy and an obvious thought process went into making it.

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These are some of the boys’other creations…in much smaller numbers of course. Each of the older four make four to five before writing for a day…or more often than not…being told they were done for the day. I’m sure Pilot is old enough to operate the iron by now (he cooks alone so that doesn’t seem any harder) however I’m more concerned one of the Mini Monsters will accidentally pull it off the table so for now they are at my discretion for the length of time they can work. Normally I join them or work on my business a bit ask it’s a win win for ask of us.

Moral of the story: but Perler beads if you don’t have them already. Your kids will love them!

Bugs…ugh!!

I’m going to start by saying I am NOT a fan of bugs. Now, as a child, I was a major tomboy and bugs and I got along superbly! However, over the years, our bond has weakened to the point of a mutual dislike of each other. I dislike them and they don’t appreciate me trying to annihilate their species. Before anybody starts to lecture me I completely understand that bugs are a necessity in the world and all that stuff that’s supposed to make me feel guilty for killing the gigantic spider in my kitchen….but I’m just not buying it. If it comes into my house…I’m going to attempt to get it out of my house!!

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Now, when Radar and I were living in California and starting our family we would fondly talk about our desire to raise our children in the south. The location varied from South Carolina to Texas but we just KNEW we were meant to be in the south. We knew it!  Fast forward to present day and we are in fact in the south ..And for the most part it is fantastic. People are a bit more understanding of our large family and just generally more down to earth here. (Pilot is still terrified of the accents and the lack of a massive city and an ocean…but he’s adjusting.) We are even looking at buying in the next year or two and putting down roots. It’s gorgeous here with lots of outdoorsy things to engage the boys in and we are just overall living living in the south.

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However….even after living in the Land of Cowboys for several years…I was far from prepared for the sheer size of bugs here! Man oh man, I about cried when I saw a cricket big enough to feed all my kids for dinner or a beetle the size of the baby’s head! Okay, I’m probably exaggerating a little lot BUT seriously I’ve found crickets the size if a half dollar coin. They are jumbo, gigantic, colossal jumping insects and this mama is so thrilled to have sons who willingly come to my rescue. Walter instantly kills all the bugs but Echo wants to cuddle them and love on them. (I definitely see entomology in that boy’s future!) Anyways, the bugs in the Deep South are no joke. They scare the daylights out of me…hopefully I will learn to adjust quickly.

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This being said, my boys are not used to seeing bugs and lizards. These have made for fantastic nature studies in the last five months or so! In fact, we recently got some pocket books that have a variety of different insects and reptiles and my boys have had so much fun flipping through then and trying to identify what critter they’ve found. Sketch and Bones recently told me that field guides make exploring so much more fun. I guess, if I HAVE to deal with ginormous bugs, at least my kids are learning lots of interesting facts about them in the meantime!!

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Kindergarten Fun

My middle boy, Walter, is in Kindergarten and I have to say I love it…for the most part. We are using Easy Peasy with him (if you haven’t checked them out yet head over to http://www.allinonehomeschool.com The woman who pieced it all together did a phenomenal job ). He loves school time and begs for us to do school together…even at bedtime when he’s supposed to have been in bed sleeping… for the last thirty minutes… he will still come out and ask if he can do school.

Anyways, he LOVES school time. Now I said I love kindergarten for the most part…which is indeed a fact. One thing that baffles me is why all the obnoxious songs for kindergarten? I mean seriously, I sing myself to sleep with versions if the alphabet song I never fathomed existed before homeschooling my kids. It’s great and all but after the tenth rendition of it while trying to drift off to sleep (and with ADHD and a brain that never stops it’s hard enough without wondering what adult in their right mind would record such atrocities like the 50 millionth different version of the alphabet song! (Probably a person who voted never to have kids and therefore week never have to listen to it on repeat for an hour!) And did you know, each letter has several dozen songs all their own?!? Anyways.) but after trying to drift to sleep I find myself humming some messed up discombobulated
version of all of them! Oye!!

Actually, I thoroughly enjoy kindergarten. The kids are excited about school and they want to learn all they can to be able to impress their family and friends. Tonight Walter and I read an Usborne book called Poisonous Animals. He loves creepy things and so this was right up his alley. After we read about poisonous dart frogs he had to run into the kitchen to notify ask his brothers about the dangers of ingesting this frog…which was dually noted…And he came running back for more. This age is so much fun!! I am loving that we have three more under him to be able to hit this age again.
Walter drew a caterpillar and butterfly. Not too shabby (in my biased opinion) for a five year old!

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*Disclaimer* I secretly love most of the songs for little kids…And the creators are brilliant enough to make them catchy enough for adults to just look strange enough when they’re caught singing them!

Happy Fourth

I hope you all had a great weekend, I know we did. Radar took Friday off and so we enjoyed our the day weekend. Now, we are new to the Deep South so we didn’t know ask the cool little hubs and awesome places to go for fireworks….But that’s perfectly fine. Fireworks with little kids is so exhausting. I love my kids. I love doing fun stuff with them. However fireworks aren’t on my Oh-my-goodness-that-was-so-amazing-we’ve-got-to-do-that-again-like-NOW list. It’s just not, in sorry. Then then you add in a preschooler who is absolutely terrified of fireworks, a newborn and two hard of hearing kids that are super sensitive to certain noises…and you have the recipe for This-is-so-NOT-fun moments. Now, nite my big two absolutely love them and wanted about four times MORE than what we had. I reckon, that after sitting on the flight deck of one of our nation’s largest ships,  watching four or five shows simultaneously over the ocean all up and down the coast leads to pure dissatisfaction and disappointment with any other show. My poor boys. Maybe next year we will light the massive ones that make you jump a foot out your own skin. That being said, our deaf two test old absolutely LOVED the fireworks.

Now we didn’t do anything big but I think the best part about kids is they help you see the beauty/excitement in everything. Before Radar lit off the fireworks we had the kids do sparklers. They were so excited! Banshee wouldn’t go anywhere near them. Echo was a bit terrified of them at first but quickly warmed up to them. Pilot about stepped on one that Banshee and Radar had dropped. Walter chased Sketch and Bones with his causing sheer panic in both of them. But, overall, it was a great day!