Tuesday, May 28, 2013

No one ever said it would be easy

PG-13 movies +  boys of varying ages who want to watch some of them  +  parents who think the ones in question (Iron Man trilogy) are too violent  =  disappointed boys

Sigh.  We had to have the talk with the boys about Iron Man in particular tonight, but parental discretion in general.  One boy was especially distressed that he could not watch these movies (and if you know my boys, you may not necessarily pick the correct boy in this scenario).  We read the reviews and found they were terribly violent.  Innocent people killed in terrorist-type situations, people being tortured, high body counts. . .are we alone in thinking this isn't appropriate for our young boys?

Why, oh why, must Hollywood make movies about super heroes that young boys would be interested in, just to make them inappropriate?

After much discussion during which we tried to explain our position to the one persistent boy, he seemed to relent and even understand to a degree.  We had to remind them that we will often have to make decisions for their own good that they will not enjoy.  I told the boys later that this is only the beginning - they may be in the unpopular minority often when it comes to what is allowed and what isn't.  We aren't looking to be cool parents.  To be our kids' friends or to let them do something "because everyone else is".  We have to do everything we possibly can to raise Godly young men (and women), who know right from wrong and stand firm in what they believe is right.

And you know what?  It's hard.  It feels like we are making mistakes left and right.  But still we pray and try to stay vigilant.  Teaching our kids to be in the world but not of the world.  Praise God we are not alone in this task - He is with us at every (challenging) turn.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sunday Musings

All the kids are outside playing (and one is not home), my husband is outside doing odd jobs to keep our humble abode looking its best. . .and I am inside, doing my normal Sunday chores.  I've been working on the laundry (since tomorrow will be too busy), and dinner, grocery list, calendar etc.  I also decided to pick up the few kids' toys that were scattered instead of calling the kids in to do it.  I was enjoying the quiet too much to disrupt it, even if it is their job.

After I got all the toys up, I was momentarily distracted by a Facebook notification, and scanned through the updates for a moment.  And I saw a picture of someone's living room.  Someone's toy-free, random-shoe-free, backpack-free, guitar-free, Wii-accessory-free and library-book-free living room.

I thought to myself - someday that will be my family room!  Someday I won't be constantly nagging the kids to pick up their stuff, or picking it up for them, because it won't be here!  When the kids were all very little, one of my favorite mantras was "the days are long, but the years are short".  The years are passing by - so quickly!  Next year is my oldest's last year in our parochial grade school, and this year, my fourth little one graduated from kindergarten.  At his program, I had a flash forward of him graduating from college.  I am afraid in the blink of an eye that day will be upon me.

Lord, help me slow down and enjoy all these all-too-fleeting days.  Thank you for the gift of these children, this husband, this life.  Help me never forget all you have given me.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Summer Session

The kids have 4 and a half days left of school.  That sounds like a long time still to them - to me, it sounds imminent!  Here are some things I am looking forward to about summer, and a few things that have me shaking in my boots:

No alarm clocks!  Love the "sleeping in" till 7ish now that the kids are older.  They can go downstairs and amuse themselves while I catch some more beauty sleep.  Because I can seriously use it.

Freedom and flexibility!  Summer brings the chance to do some spur of the moment fun activities, without worry over homework and early bedtimes.

Messy house.  Boo to the hoo on this one.  No matter how I try, the house never feels very put together when all the kids are home all the time.  They each have their daily chore lists, including cleaning, but it still never quite feels picked up.

Fewer socks in the laundry!  I feel liberated when the kids start wearing flip flops daily - my twice-weekly laundry folding goes much more quickly!

Dirtier floors.  While the above joy over fewer socks is valid, those flip-flop wearing kids get some seriously filthy feet.  Which of course transfers to my hardwood floors.

Vacation, camp, family reunions!  Endless possibilities for family time lies in front of us each summer.  We are looking forward to camping, sleep away camp for the older kids, VBS, swimming lessons. . .the list of fun activities goes on and on.

Sibling Rivalry.  Our boys seem to have a penchant for riling each other up.  In the summer, with fewer periods apart, the brothers can really get at each other.  Cue mommy with distractions and disciplinary action . . .if she's on her game.  If not, well, it can get ugly.

Mommy's Nights.  When summer is drawing to a close, I take each child out to buy his/her school supplies.  We each get our own night together - we get dinner or ice cream and buy all the fresh, new supplies for the new school year.  The kids talk about Mommy's night throughout the whole year.  I adore these nights and soak in the one-on-one time with each of my children.

Sunscreen.  While it is seriously important and we never fail (my husband is the sunscreen king!) to use it, I really, really don't like putting it on the kids.  Especially at the beach.  The mess, the fussing, the stickiness.  Ick.

Togetherness.  We might have our moments (who doesn't?), but it is wonderful to be together and spend time as a family.  Bring it on, summer!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Biblical analysis

I read the kids the story of Gideon's army tonight at bedtime.  If you're not familiar with it, our little Bible story book basically said Gideon and his army of only 300 stood outside the enemy camp and blew their trumpets and broke clay jars.  The enemy thought Gideon's army was huge and they fled.  (The biblical account is a little more detailed).

When I finished the story, my son said, "That, my friends, is an old-school bluff".

Friday, May 17, 2013

If it looks like poop, but doesn't smell like poop, it's probably not poop

I came in this afternoon to spy this on my counter:

It's a rock. But I'm not gonna lie.  I was concerned it was something else.  On my counter.

I actually entertained the thought, briefly, that it could be a pile of poo on my kitchen counter.

How did I get to this place?  I grew up in a female-dominated home where such indelicate things would never have even been discussed!  Somehow I have morphed into a woman who, though such an atrocity has never occurred in her home, thought it possible, for the briefest of seconds, to have excrement on her counter.

My boys are sometimes naughty, always busy, and very creative.  But none of them would do such a thing.  Yet it entered. my. mind.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A day in the life

My day thus far has consisted of the following, in no particular order:

  • 10 minutes of running on the treadmill.  10!  If you've followed my fitness journey, you will understand my serious excitement about this number.  It's sad, I know.  But it made me so happy!
  • Lunch with a dear friend and thought-provoking, heartfelt conversation.
  • Listening to my son and his neighbor friend playing "manufacturing".  This is the basketball game of "horse" but with a longer, more challenging spelling word.  Spelling and physical activity!  Pinterest ain't got nuthin' on my boy's imagination!
  • Various chores and household errands, including, but not limited to:  cleaning the bathroom, making dinner, grocery shopping, putting yesterday's laundry away, dishes, trip to the library. . .you get the idea.  Boresville.
  • Listening to the boys and little K make a music video to TobyMac songs.  Lots of crazy and loud and singing from the living room.
  • Found a naked Baby Alive doll in my dish drainer.
  • Shopping at Aldi to find they had rearranged the store's layout.  Extra brainpower was required, since I write items on my list in the order they are in the store.
  • Convincing a boy that he does, indeed, need a shower, since he is actually dripping with sweat, and no, no a little face washing isn't gonna cut it.
And it's only 7:46!  Who knows what else the day has in store?  I'm hoping for some quiet soon and perhaps a glass of wine. . .

Monday, May 13, 2013

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

We gave all the kids electric toothbrushes for Christmas this year (we're fun like that!).  The kids were all happy to have them and they have made brushing more fun and exciting (was it fun before? is it even possible to have fun brushing one's teeth?).

However, storing them was a disaster.  They were constantly getting knocked onto the floor, in the sink, dripping all over the counter. . .you get the idea.  I looked online for electric toothbrush holders, and they were a wee bit expensive when one has to buy a holder that will accommodate five hefty brushes.  So I put my thinking cap on.

And came up with this:

And I have to tell you, dear reader, that I am inordinately pleased with myself.  Every time I walk by this bathroom (which is in serious need of a total overhaul and my least favorite room in the house), I feel a little better about it.  No toothbrushes strewn across the toothpaste-caked countertop.  At least a small part of this less-than-lovely bathroom looks clean and organized.  And it makes me happy. 

I got the idea from the boys' primary science kit.  It has a two-slot test-tube holder included which I thought would work perfectly.  Except we have five kids.  So I went to the teacher supply store with my $10 off coupon in hand (this is me, remember!) and lo and behold, this item of beauty awaited me.  For $15.99.  Subtract my coupon and it was mine for $6.  Yippee!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Doctor, Doctor

It seems the last week has been full of medical creativity at the ol' house of mammamilk.  We have had trips to the doctor (near and far),  pneumonia, severe allergies and super high fevers, just to name a few!  

Last night, sweet little K had a high fever.  Amazingly, with all the medical experience we've gained over the years, high, high fever has not been something we've dealt with.  So it was a little disconcerting.  Not to worry, said the doctor on call.  If the fever comes down with pain relievers and she's acting okay, then all will be fine.   And she was!  But it was a couple of hours of close watching, cuddling and cradling.  Today she's fine, no fever whatsoever!  I can't figure it out, but I am hoping we are on the upswing around here!

Here's to Spring - may it be filled with healthy children!