A Big-Family FAQ

So, like most people (at least I think like most people), who I am today is largely the result of a precise blend of nature v. nurture. I definitely inherited plenty of traits from my parents and grandparents, but my perspective on life was certainly shaped by my childhood, and the boisterous, hectic, big-a$$ family of mine.

Mind you, we’re not as big as the famous “Duggars”, but we give them a run for their money. I have the honor of being the oldest of 13 (yes 10 + 3) children. It was a wonderful way to grow up, and though this surprises some, we were downright normal. We played Little League, went to public school, had family vacations, and though we might have been on a tighter budget, we didn’t suffer.

 

Often I am asked “what was it like?” (All 13 of us get this question, and many others.) so, my witty and eloquent brother Dan posted the following: “Since You Asked: 20 Things You’re Dying to Know About My Huge Family.” Head on over to his blog “Speak of the Daniel” and check it out!

 

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Celebrating My 100th Post

 At the beginning of 2011, I began this blog, and joined the WordPress “Post A Week” Challenge. Nearly 14 months have come and gone, and now WordPress tells me that this is my 100th post!

Hmmm, how should I commemorate this important occasion?

Should I revive some of my more memorable posts (memorable for me, anyway)? I could bring back the one I wrote about my mother last Mother’s Day – 13 Things You Should Know About my Mom. Or I could remind you of the love story I told about my grandparents around Valentines Day – Step One: Get the Girl. I could even resurrect the blog post that somehow managed to hit the Freshly Pressed Radar,  Mom, I Know Lots of Words,  about my son learning to read. Dear God, I was gushing with pride then, I’m almost a little embarrassed by it now.

Kindergarten Homework

Kindergarten Homework

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I look back at my posts, I realize that there is a lot of variety in my blog. (Translation: I have no direction!) I’ve shared some sappy stories about my kids, and family, as well as one or two Bad Parenting Moments.

Bad Parenting Moments Logo

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve thrown in a few travel posts, mostly about my family vacation. I tried, once or twice, to give some advice on SMART goals, and business skills…as if I know! I’ve even shared a few recipes, like the one for my Kahlua Chocolate Chip muffins. Those things should be illegal!

Maybe I should use my 100th post to give you a list of my blogging resolutions, or some of my plans for upcoming posts (as if I have some).

However, what I should really do is come up with some fresh material.

A “Challenging” Morning – Who am I Kidding? A “Craptastic” Morning!

Today, I had “just one of those mornings”, and really I have no one to blame but myself. Here’s how it went down.

  1. “Thud!” That would be the sound of my feet hitting the floor 30 minutes later than they should have, also the sound of the first domino in the chain-reaction-disaster that was my morning.

  2. I beg and plead with my almost-7-year-old son, and my almost-5-year-old daughter to pretty-please hop out of bed and get themselves dressed in a flash. (The background here – my husband has been away for 2 weeks on an overseas trip, and I am playing the role of single-parent. This means dragging the kids out of bed at 5:30 a.m. during the week to shuffle them off to Grandma’s and school, so I can start my 90-minute commute to work. Fun times.)
  3. I hop in the shower. Just as I lather up my hair, my daughter walks in to argue with me about what she’s wearing. The weather forecast is for 84 degrees and she wants to wear her fleece pants, rather than the “weather-appropriate” outfit we picked out the night before. I am in no mood to argue, and a tantrum ensues.
  4. Still washing my hair, I give her some other clothing options just to get her out of the bathroom. The tantrum lingers, and I “sternly” tell her to go get dressed, and remind her that she is letting all of the steam out of the bathroom.
  5. BIG MISTAKE. My son hears the comment about the steam. NOT good. (More background – the kid has legitimate, real anxiety about fire drills, and steam from our shower has, on occasion set off our smoke alarm.) So now, my son is standing in his underwear, in my bathroom in a full-blown panic, sobbing and hyperventilating. He won’t leave because he thinks the smoke alarm will go off is he opens the door. I BEG him to leave the bathroom – promising him up and down that the smoke alarm will not go off. I won’t get out of the shower with him there, either. (I figure a smoke alarm going off would be much less traumatic than having him see is Mom in her birthday suit.)
  6. In the meantime, my daughter’s tantrum continues on. The next thing I hear is her little voice, through tears saying, “Mommy, I peed.” Of course she peed! She just woke up, has a full bladder, and is having a tantrum.  So now I have both children in the bathroom with me, one with pee running down her leg. Me, I’m stuck in the shower trying to think of an escape plan.
  7. So I use the only tools I have: My Lungs. I stick my head out of the shower and YELL!  (Thank goodness we don’t currently have tenants living in our upstairs apartment.) I order my son OUT of the bathroom! I manage to grab a towel, and begin to clean up my pee-coated daughter.
  8. I regain my composure, and ask my daughter if there are any pee-puddles I need to address. Just “a little bit in the hall” she tells me. So, once I’ve thrown on my clothes, I go to inspect. Yep, there’s a little one in the hallway by her bedroom, and six more little puddles running down the hallway to the bathroom.

So, my over-sleeping managed to turn a normal morning of getting the kids up, dressed, teeth brushed, attending to the dog, and out the door, into a thoroughly CRAPTASTIC morning – full of tantrums, panic attacks,  and unexpected janitorial duties.

Thankfully my kids, for the most part, are rock stars. After all the stress of the morning, this evening could not have been better: not a single balk at doing homework; they cleaned their rooms without asking, and were just plain delightful. I also rewarded myself for getting through this day with a big ol’ dish of ice cream and chocolate sauce. (Yes, for those of you who follow this blog, the giving up chocolate for Lent thing went right out the window today!)

empty ice cream dish

Glad that my day is like this bowl of ice cream - DONE!

A Shameless Plug for a Brand New Blog: Bad Parenting Moments

A couple of very smart, funny, witty and creative Moms (who just happen to be related to me) just started a great new blog.

Bad Parenting Moments Logo

 

 

 

 

Bad Parenting Moments is a blog full of refreshing stories from parents who try their best 100% of the time, and who, like me, sometimes fail miserably.

You should check it out … Really!

What Would the Tooth Fairy Think?

Why is it that my kids can’t brush their teeth without turning the bathroom into a toothpaste crime scene?

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The Lost Half-Birthdays – Happy Leap Day To You!

Today is my brother’s half-birthday. (By the way, he happens to be a great writer. When you have a moment, check out his blog, Speak of the Daniel) It is also my mother in-law’s half-birthday.  While neither of them were born during a leap-year, they still have a bit of a leap-day “claim to fame”. They only have a “half-birthday” every four years.

Enjoy Half a Birthday Cake!

Enjoy Half a Birthday Cake! courtesy of Suite 112

This is really a silly, trivial thing, but I am a nerd. I find it terribly interesting.

In the news and blogrolls today, you will find plenty of references to the famous people born on February 29th:

But what of the famous people born on August 29?

Let’s hear it for:

To all of you who deserve a proper celebration of your half-birthday, milk it for all it’s worth! It only comes around once every four years.

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