Posted in Family Issues, Parenting

Nap time!?

My twins are finally on a good nap schedule, it took me 14 months, but I did it. They are down to one nap a day already and I get really excited when the clock hits 1130. If only because they stop screaming for at least an hour!

Sometimes, during nap/quiet time, I read or watch TV on the couch. I usually do the chores that are difficult to manage when the twins are awake and about. Emptying the dishwasher, laundry, sweeping, showering, shit like that.

Today, however, I had a massive migraine. I couldn’t see hardly at all and was feeling really nauseous. I put the twins down for their nap and turned on Finding Dory for James. I decided I had to at least lay down for a few minutes. I got about an hour of sleep, before someone banged on my door! Every time I try to lay down someone shows up. It’s the most frustrating thing every!

My twins haven’t slept through the night in the last 3 days, I have no idea why, but Mama needs some sleep too. After I put all my rugrats to bed at 2000-2030 I try to relax and catch up on some shows with the hubby. Every now and then I’ll clean up, but I usually just want to relax. Last night I took a bath because I was so stressed out.

I’m stressed because my twins SCREAM when they don’t get their ways. Anthony screams like a Nazgul and Samantha is just incredibly loud (like her Mama). The screaming eventually stops when Daddy comes home and pays attention to them. It still makes my day a lot longer than it needs to be.

They are also fighting and biting each other. Anthony is super mean to his sister, he’ll snatch the bottle or binky right out of her mouth! Pulls her hair and pushes her down. Half the day I feel like a UFC referee and the other half I’m trying to breathe so I don’t lose my cool. I know this phase won’t last forever, but that’s not enough hope sometimes.

Next week starts spring break for the older boys and, in theory, they should be able to help play with the twins. Or they might make the screaming worse. In either case, I won’t have to wake up earlier than the twins every morning to get the boys ready for school. Here’s hoping for a little more sleep!

Thanks for reading today! May sleep find you when you can!

Posted in Family Issues

How much do they eat?

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Coupon Day

Feeding a family of seven has become an art form for me. I do not have a big budget, so I need to get creative. It takes me at least 2 days to prepare for my monthly shopping trip.

Day 1: I clean out my pantry, refrigerator, and freezer. The freezer is generally empty by this time because we eat everything. I start making my list of the things I will need within the next month. My list is generally a whole sheet of paper long. If I find a coupon for something, it gets a star next to it.

Day 2: Is coupon day. I pour over all of the coupons I can find and start clipping. I also use the digital coupons my local chain provides. I wish I was an “extreme coupon-er” but I don’t have the patience. I still do pretty well on saving. I would probably do better if I went to different stores to get different sale items, but everything is pretty close to the same price.

I find really good coupons, from time to time, like $4 off when you buy 2 and of course BOGO. Even if I don’t need shampoo and conditioner at this moment, I stock up. It doesn’t go bad and we will definitely use it eventually. I found two BOGO coupons today for baby wash and butt paste. (I don’t need it now, but I definitely will before too long.

I also break down my coupons by department. Meat, health and beauty, produce, frozen, dairy…etc. It makes it a lot easier when I forget exactly how many/brand I have the coupon for.

So here is how I do it. As many of my readers know, I use Boxed.com for essentials like toilet paper, paper towels, and cereal. Anything bulk is fantastic for me and my family. They eat a lot. I always put the order on my phone, but I don’t purchase it right away. (Sometimes, it’s cheaper to buy 2 of something on sale with a coupon.) Since I can’t buy fresh or frozen food there I still need to physically shop.

Last month, my sister came with me on my shopping trip. She made fun of the fact that I bought 5 dozen eggs, all the value packs of meat I could find, 10 lbs of rice, and 3 gallons of milk. Since the twins are no longer on formula (thank God) we drink a gallon of milk a day! I buy as many as my already full buggy will let me. Hubby’s pay checks go to bills and all of the vices we use throughout the month. And always more milk. We had 2 very full buggies and I spent $350, I saved $122 with all the coupons! That’s a mom win if I’ve ever seen one.

I also buy my veggies frozen. Every night for dinner my family gets a home cooked meal that includes meat, veggies, and a carb. We eat as healthy as I can afford, and that is getting pretty healthy. I also buy the fresh veggies for salads and stews or soups. I’m hoping this summer I won’t have to buy as much because I’m growing some veggies from seed. So far I have a nice looking cucumber plant, tomato, jalapeno, peas, and a lot of fresh herbs. In theory, I should save a little bit of money.

I’m no expert, but here’s my advice for feeding a giant family on a budget:

  • Use the coupons
  • Make your list and know where the deals are
  • Stock up on what you can
  • Generic is fine
  • Freeze meat so it lasts longer

I hope this helps someone out there, thanks for reading today!

Posted in Uncategorized

Want to go down Memory Lane?

A while back I was cleaning out my basement and I found a couple old shoe boxes full of pictures. Remember the time before the digital age? We had cameras that required film and needed to be developed. Once we got the film developed, we looked at are pictures and memories. Some were put into frames, the others went into an album (if you had one) and most wind up in the shoe box.

Yesterday, I got really bored during nap time and decided to look through my memories. I had pictures of old friends and saw the transformation of myself in high school. There were prom pictures and pictures from trips I’d taken with the marching band. That’s right, I was in the Denver Citywide Marching Band. I played trombone (nerd alert!) And I’m extremely glad I did because I made so many friends, that were lost in time. The digital age brought them back. Social media has brought a lot of long lost friends back into the everyday. I have a thousand pictures of myself and my horn.

I remembered all the hard work, learning the music, the steps, the movement. The feeling of hitting the mark and creating the shapes for the halftime show. The endless hours of marching in the hot summer sun. But mostly, I remembered the friendships. The heartaches we all shared, and the love we had for the music and each other.

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Then, there were pictures from JROTC. That’s right I did that too. I worked all the way up to Lieutenant Colonel and Battalion Executive Office. Apparently I really loved to march! Those friendships have also lasted longer than I ever thought. We are grown up and most of us have kids and families. A few of them are god parents to some of my kids.

I’m extremely grateful that I found these groups that accepted me for who I am/was. Without sooo much marching in my life, I would be lost and friendless. The pictures showed me finding the person I would become even 15 years later. So whether you remember the skinny, bald headed, wanna be punk girl or the “responsible” Lt. Col, I’m still me. Now I use the skills of leadership with my family. And the art of music to keep me sane. I love you all!!!

Thanks for reading today, I hope you have an awesome day!

Posted in Family Issues

One Year?

I have officially been blogging for one year. I’ve ranted and raved, cried and laughed, and let all of you get to know the real me. So I want to thank all of my readers for the support. This blog has been a kind of therapy for me. I don’t really have a theme and I haven’t been posting as much as I used to, but thank you for reading!

Now, lately I have been extremely lonely. How can I be lonely without ever being alone? I have visitors from time to time, and that’s a nice distraction but I’m bored. Maybe not bored, but fucking tired. Whatever it is I’m over it.

I do everything for my family. Laundry, cooking, dishes, blah, blah blah. Do you know what I get in return? Disrespect! My boys decided that it’s ok to sass me know. I can put up with a lot but I’m really sick of it.

For the last four years my husband and I have watched the entire Lord of the Rings extended edition for Valentine’s Day. We still haven’t watched it this year. The twins weren’t feeling well this last week. I think they are teething again, at least their diapers would suggest they were. It was a miserable week. I was shit on three times and had to do a bunch more laundry.

I miss sex. Do you know how hard it is to find the time (or energy) for it with FIVE kids? It’s ridiculous! By the time all the kids are in bed (and asleep), we are so exhausted we can barely make through a 30 minutes episode of The Office before we are both pasted out and snoring. I love my husband and it’s not just his fault. I fell asleep on the couch one night and sometimes he falls asleep in his chair. I just need a few more hours in the day. Maybe I could sleep or shower, have naughty fun. But there isn’t anymore time in the day.

I’m sorry this post is all over the place. I’m trying to give up smoking for Lent and it’s not going very well. I have only had one pack since Wednesday, so that is an improvement, but man, I could really use one right now.

Well I won’t bother you anymore with my problems today. Thanks for reading!

Posted in Family Issues, Parenting

WHY…?

Life with 5 kids can get a little hectic. Since the twins are now very mobile, it has gotten a lot more hectic. They are EVERY WHERE!!!! They are very fascinated with making giant messes throughout my house. WHY?

For example, they love to be in the bathroom. There is so much stuff that they shouldn’t get into in there. When anyone in the family tries to shower, they are there! Anthony finally figured out we are “behind the curtain”.  Only parents know that we need help in the potty. The other day, one of my older boys was peeing and Anthony busted down the door, and threw a toy ambulance right into the stream! GROSS!!! WHY? Yesterday, I needed to go and the ENTIRE new roll of toilet paper was unraveled on the floor. (Thanks babies!) And you know I re-rolled it because I’m not wasting money like that!

Today, the twins got their bath and knocked everything into the tub. Then, Anthony decided he wanted it on the floor. He threw everything out, including the full cup of water on the floor. WHY?  I should’ve just mopped while they were in there, two birds, one stone.

Also, while I’m ranting, why do they need to take everything out of my drawers in the kitchen? I have no idea where all my left-over lids are, because they are scattered throughout the house. I even saw Anthony putting a lid under the door to the basement. WHY? Everyday he goes into the pots and pans cabinet, and takes everything out, and climbs in.

Samantha is no angel either, she gets into stuff too. Usually, it’s the dog’s water. She loves to splash in it and gets her clothes and the floor soaking wet. I have to keep a huge towel in my kitchen to “mop” up the water. I try to pick it up before she gets to it, but I forget sometimes. She also loves to take the clothes out of the laundry baskets, clean or dirty, she doesn’t care. WHY?

If you put something (like your phone or remote) on the coffee table, you better pick it up if you walk away. I lost 2 Star Wars mugs in the last two weeks! Anthony can reach the top of my kitchen table now too. So I have to push everything toward the middle of the table. I also can’t put anything on the place mats on the dining room table, just he will pull it right off the table. (That’s how I lost ANOTHER Star Wars mug!)  WHY?

Remotes are found in the dog’s food bucket. I also found a remote in the toy oven they have(after it was missing for 2 weeks). Slippers go missing for weeks. My house is a mess and my babies are generally happy.

Well thanks for reading today! I hope you chuckled a little.

Posted in Family Issues, Parenting

What have you been up too?

I apologize for my absence as of late, I don’t really have any excuses. (Besides my 5 kids keeping me busy!) My twins are everywhere! And most of the time they are both climbing on top of me. Anthony is running and getting very, very fast. Samantha has started to pull herself up and walks around the coffee table. She likes to walk with you holding her hands. She loves to dance!! During the halftime show of the Big Game, she was rocking out. She gets her shoulders and legs going! Anthony loves to play in my kitchen drawers. He pulls all of my leftover containers out and they are all over my house. I found the lid I needed in the bathroom the other day. Thanks, now I have to wash it again.

My older boys are doing well also. Luke (9) started doing a bunch of after school clubs. Ronin (6) is doing really well with his school work (not so much wanting to go). And James(4) is getting so smart and big! I finally got everyone on a schedule! The twins are down to only one nap a day. We do lunch, diapers, and naps. It’s really nice I let James watch TV on my bed and we have quiet time until the babies wake up. He is pretty good about being quiet, as long as his brothers are at school.

During quiet time, I try to read or relax on the couch. I even shower sometimes! I desperately need those hours in the middle of the day to recharge my batteries. I just finished reading The Girl on the Train. I loved it, there is nothing like a good murder mystery.

I try to keep my depression at bay, but it seems like every time I take a step forward, I get kicked two steps back. My feeling of self worth is what I struggle with the most. I know I’ve posted about this before, but it still bothers me. I understand how much money we are saving by not taking everyone to daycare or getting a nanny. I really don’t even want to get a job, I love taking care of my kiddos. (*most days) It’s just an internal, daily struggle.

Since the twins have turned one year, they usually sleep through the night. I miss whatever hormone let me get only a few hours of sleep and still be alright. Lately, I’ve just been exhausted, even if I get decent sleep.

Well I think I’m going to try to nap a little with the twins today. They had a rough night, which means I had a rough night. Thanks for reading today!

Posted in Family Issues, Parenting

Can I please go back to bed and try again tomorrow?

Ugh, what a day! I started the morning off alright, a least I got some sleep. I started waking up about 15 minutes before every one else (ease into the day). I get a cup of coffee and a smoke in before they are hounding me about breakfast. And fighting about who gets to use the toilet first.

This morning was extremely rough. Ronin (6) did NOT want to go to school. I had to fight with him about it, for an hour. I honestly know I would have been way worse off, if I’d let him stay home. So as he is being picked up for school, Anthony (1) starts screaming and crying and just having a rough morning as well. I tried to help him, but my nerves were still fried from the Ronin ordeal. So I put him down and smoked a cigarette, to calm my nerves.

When I came back inside, he was still crying. I noticed he wasn’t standing on one of his feet right. I broke a glass in the kitchen the night before and thought I swept it all up. Apparently not!!! I found the smallest piece of glass in his foot. Well, fuck. I got the tweezers and tried to get it out myself (yea, right) he was kicking and screaming at me. I put him in the bath in the hopes that the water would help. Him and his sister played “splashy-splashy” for a little bit. They enjoyed that. But the piece of glass was still there. 😦

I ended up having to call my Dad to help me get the glass out. He came and got it out!! As we were trying to get the glass out of his foot, Samantha (1) got into the dog’s water. Her brand new, clean outfit was completely soaked. Thanks, that’s what I needed. The twins went down for their naps and now I need to clean up the house. I have 2 loads of laundry on the dining room table and my floors (beside my kitchen) need to be swept and mopped. My kitchen was a disaster, and there are toys everywhere.

After the twins woke up from their naps, I tested the waters with Anthony. I’m very happy to say, he is walking around again and happy. I managed to get my kitchen back to working order and the toys picked up. I’m trying to not stress out too much. I’m really glad (with no offense) that I didn’t have the 2 year old I babysit for today. I think it might have been a little too much to bear.

Not all days are this bad, so I’m really grateful about that. I had to vent and get all that shit out! Thanks for reading and I hope your day is better than mine.

Posted in Family Issues

Who’s kid is that?

I’ve come to terms with the idea that I made a career out of playing house. It’s not a bad profession, but it can be very challenging. You might be thinking, “Isn’t 5 kids enough to watch in a day?!” The answer is, of course, yes! The difference is, sometimes, the more kids you have the more they play with each other.

When I was a kid, my mom used to do “daycare” from our home. It was fun, there were always kids to play with. But because I was the oldest I had to help out the most. And she watched a lot more kids than just one or two. I started watching a neighbor’s kid (also a classmate of Ronin) a few times a week after school. It’s a really easy gig and it helps get the boys out of my hair.

Recently, a friend posted on Facebook that she needed help with her 2 year old daughter. I offered to help, of course. She is super cute and sweet. It’s such a difference watching a little girl play. I only have experience with boys. And as much as I love my boys, they can be ass holes. Especially to each other.

In my basement for the last twenty something years, I kept mine and my sisters baby doll toys. When my new ward showed up today, she had a doll. Perfect! I brought the toys up and she has been playing “Mommy” for the last hour. Maybe that’s where the expression, “girls are easy” came from. I know when my boys are quiet, they are getting into some shit.

So here’s hoping I can help shape more minds and keep my stress level down. (with a little money on the side)   The money isn’t that important, although it helps. I really just like feeling useful. I used to be useful at stocking shelves at a grocery store. I could at least see the progress as I went.

I’m very grateful that I’m able to stay at home with my kids and I’m really glad I can help people when they need help. Good Karma.

Thanks for reading today!!!

Posted in Family Issues, Parenting

“Why are you taking a bath, Mama?”

I take bathes because these kids drive me bat-shit crazy some days. Sometimes, I just need the time to worry about myself. Maybe I just want to listen to Slayer and drink a bottle of wine. Soak my aching body in hot water and Epsom salt.

Maybe it’s because no listened to me about eating dinner or homework. It could also be that I spent three hours clipping coupons and going shopping. Or cooking dinner followed by doing the dishes, again.

I don’t really enjoy the act of taking a bath, but I love the isolation. I have to wait until all the kids are in bed, asleep. Otherwise I get company. It’s not just the kids, it’s the cat too.

Whatever my reason is, please leave me alone! Mama needs to take a break every now and then and care about herself. That hour to myself always makes me feel better.

Thanks for reading!

Posted in Family Issues

“Why did you do that?”

I ask my boys, “why did you do that?” daily. Nine times out of ten the answer is “I don’t know.” I hate that “answer” you do know why you did it. Yesterday, James (4) decided to put almost a whole roll of toilet paper in the toilet. Awesome. When I asked him why, he told me he wanted to see what would happen. Fair enough, I guess. I wish he would’ve just asked instead of experimenting.

I told him, after the toilet overflowed, that putting that much paper in the toilet makes a mess and Mama mad. He seemed to understand. I made him stand in time out for a while. I still had to clean up the mess (it was just water). I also had to throw away the stack of new rolls of TP because they were soaking wet. Hubby had to buy a new plunger. So James’ little experiment cost us about $20. GRRR!!!

Having kids can be so frustrating but I guess the rewards out weigh the trouble.

Thanks for reading!