Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Safety: Child ID bands

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This past June I had to travel with my children for the first time.  We went to St. Thomas for my sister's destination wedding.  It was exciting, but I was very nervous about losing my children, especially in a foreign place.  I'm also ashamed to admit that I did lose one of my boys one time when I was shopping in Target.  It was for only about a minute, but it was terrifying.

The Target experience and the upcoming wedding led me to come up with a plan to allow my children to help themselves if (and when) they ever get lost again.  I decided to get them ID bracelets.  I wanted something inexpensive and durable.  It also had to be waterproof, since they would be swimming a lot while on vacation.  With the current craze of rubber message bracelets, I decided that was the way to go.

I went online and started searching.  There was an overwhelming supply of choices.  I needed a company that made bracelets in child sizes in small quantities (most sold only in bulk) and at low prices.  I eventually found a site that worked.  I won't name the site because I'm not 100% happy with them.  The child's size is a little too big, but it got the job done.  In the future, I'll find a different website.

I chose a bright color with debossed printing.  I put their first and last name on one side and my cell phone number on the other side.  I also ordered 2 bracelets per child, in case one got lost.  Since the bracelets are a little large, they can easily slide off my boys' wrists, so while away on vacation, I had them wear the bracelets on their ankles.  The bracelets weren't at all tight, but they didn't slide easily over their feet.  When we're just going out to the store, they wear them on their wrist.

The next step is just as important as the bracelets.  You MUST teach your child/children how to ask for help.  They need to know how to save themselves if they are separated from you.  Most children will just stand still and cry or worse, hide somewhere.  That's not going to help anybody.  That may even make them a target for predators.

I taught my children that if they are ever separated from me, to go to an adult for help.  This can be tricky when trying to teach children about "good" or "bad" adults.  I tell my children the obvious, go to a police officer, fireman, etc., but they are not always around.  When I go to a store, I always show my children who works there.  I try to teach them to recognize employees by uniforms, stations (cashier, security) or name tags.  *I also tell them if they are not sure who to go to, always find a mom with kids to ask for help.*  I think this is the most valuable thing I've learned!  Chances are, a mom with children will not be a predator.  Upon finding an adult for help, I taught them to say "I can't find my mommy" and show them the bracelet, which they know has their name and my number.  I also told them that if they get lost together, they need to hold hands and stay together.  

I was very proud when one day my son had to use my teachings one day and he did it perfectly!  He wasn't really lost, because I could see him the whole time, but he couldn't see me.  I didn't run to his rescue because I wanted to see what he would do.  Here's what happened:

We went to a local fair which was near a park.  Before we went home, my husband and I let the boys play in the park for a little while, which was crowded from the fair.  We parked ourselves in a shady spot while the boys went off to play, always in our view.  I always tell my boys where I'm sitting when I take them to the park, but only one heard me this time.  The other ran off to play too quickly.  After a few minutes, one my sons came looking for me, but didn't know where I was.  He stood in the middle of the park, looking around.  Within a few seconds of realizing he had no idea where I was, he very calmly turned to a nearby mother and told her "I can't find my mommy".  At this point, my husband ran over to get him.  I could not have been more proud at that moment!  My 4 year old stayed perfectly calm and helped himself!  He did exactly as I taught him!

It's funny because when I teach my children, I never know what is actually sticking or if they are even paying attention.  It was really nice to know that he actually learned this important lesson.  Now I am completely confident that if they ever get lost again that they will know exactly what to do.

Make sure you teach your children this important lesson as early as possible!  It could really make all the difference in the world!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Cooking: Simple baking

**I'm so excited to announce that I've started a youtube channel discussing everything home making. My channel name is Surviving As Mom.  Check it out!!

I'm a little lazy when it comes to baking.  I don't enjoy collecting all of the ingredients and measuring everything.  That beings said, I found a lazy way to prepare for baking that I think you will find helpful.  It definitely helps me!

Preparation only takes about 15 minutes and I usually make about 5 or 6 bags.  First I pick a recipe that I make frequently.  In this case, my family loves banana bread, so I will go with that.

First, I label all of the bags with what it makes (ex: "banana bread").  I write the wet ingredients to add, the baking instructions and the date.  Line up the empty bags, and measure all of the dry ingredients and put them in each zip lock bag.  Squeeze the air out and seal the bag.  That's it!  

I then roll up the bags and store them in a basket in a cabinet (or pantry).  *I only have one bag left right now, but I intend to refill the basket with bags of banana bread, blueberry muffins, corn bread, etc.)

When it comes time to do some baking, I simply prepare the wet ingredients (usually eggs, milk, oil, fresh fruit, etc.), dump in the bag of dry ingredients and mix everything together.  Follow the baking instructions and you have a quick and easy fresh baked dessert.  It saves me lots of time and I am more likely to bake this way.  


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Recipe: Roasted sweet potato bites

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I made a video with this recipe.  Check it out!

I created this recipe to get my family to eat more sweet potatoes.  This has become a favorite among my family and friends.  Delicious and easy!!

First I peel 2-3 raw sweet potatoes and chop them into bite size pieces (about 1 sq. inch).  

Then I put them all in a large Zip Lock bag and add the following ingredients (all ingredients are estimate measurements):
-about 1/4 cup E.V. Olive oil (enough to coat everything)
-1 tsp thyme (fresh is best, but dry will work)
-about 1/4 tsp kosher salt
-2 heaping tablespoons light brown sugar

Toss everything together in the baggy until everything is mixed and spread evenly.

Spread the potatoes on a greased baking sheet.  
*At this point, I sometimes add a light dusting of parmesan cheese.

Bake about 25 minutes at 375 degrees until soft and lightly toasted. 
*If they look like the bottom is starting to burn, you can toss them a little to finish cooking.

You can finish them with extra salt and pepper to taste.  Sometimes I toss a little butter in with them at this point.  Not necessary, but butter always tastes a little better.


The day my son became a puker

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I had my then 1 year old twins pack in the car, on our way home from a doctor's appointment and suddenly L2 puked all over himself.  It was the oddest thing.  I didn't know what to make of it, so I cleaned him up the best I could and finished the drive home.  A few weeks later, it happened again.  I noticed it was happening more frequently, about every other car ride.  Then it was every car ride that lasted more than 10 minutes.  Finally I came to the conclusion that my poor baby had motion sickness.

I called his doctor and asked what I could give L2 to help him deal with this since we went out to frequent appointments (specialists from their premature birth).  I was very disappointed to learn that there was nothing I could give him at such a young age.  He couldn't take anything until he was 2 years old.  Hearing this made me feel sick.  

This meant two things:
1.  I'd have to keep him home as much as possible to avoid the situation altogether.  This severely limited our social life (with friends and family) and our activities with the boys such as the zoo, aquarium, carnivals, etc.
2.  When we absolutely had to drive anywhere, it meant that my poor baby had to feel sick to the point of vomiting on himself.  It broke my heart.

When we had to drive somewhere, making him sick, it was always such a nightmare.  We'd count down till he got sick.  The aftermath was so disgusting.  His clothes would be all wet and dirty, his carseat would get destroyed, with bits and pieces stuck in the cracks and crevices of the seat and belt clips.  Then he and the car would stink of vomit.  We eventually learned to bring a change of clothes and try to cover him with a blanket to "catch" the mess, but that wasn't very effective.  One time when he vomited, it was so thick, he began to choke on it and we had to pull over and unstrap him as quickly as possible to get him out and beat his back to unblock his airway.  It was horrible!

Eventually, he learned to communicate (sort of) by crying and pointing to his mouth.  This gave us about 15 seconds to pull over and get him out before it happened.  It wasn't always enough time.  Then my poor baby learned to hold a bucket to catch his vomit.  Around 2 years old, he knew when he was gonna be sick and how to catch it (mostly) in the bucket.  Again, it broke my heart.  It was also at this time that everything changed, finally.  

At 2 years old, he was finally able to take something to control his car sickness.  This is when the miracle drug Dramamine entered our lives.  Finally we were free to roam again.  We were no longer trapped at home, missing all the family events, summer activities and just the simplicity of going to the store as a family.  It took a little time to learn how it worked, from how much advanced time we needed, to how long after the dose it lasted.  Once in a while, he'd still get sick, but overall it was like night and day.  Plus, he always has his trusty bucket right next to him in the car, just in case.

Other than the car sickness, we quickly learned that L2 was a puker in general.  If he bounced around too much after he ate, he'd get sick.  If he was crying too much, or if he fell too hard and got hurt, he'd get sick.  Compared to his twin brother, who had the same activity level, he was definitely more sensitive.  Can you imagine how hard it is to tell a young child not to play or jump around after eating so he doesn't get sick?  Especially when he's trying to keep up with is brother.  It's sad.

Now at 4 1/2 years old, we are still dealing with the motion sickness, but we seem to have a better handle on it.  I know exactly how far I can drive without having to medicate him first.  I also know when he needs to settle down after a meal to digest a little.  He's even learned enough to go in the bathroom on his own when he feels sick.  Usually he makes it.  Sometimes he doesn't.  Oh well.  That's life with a puker.

I've learned that vinegar is the best thing to use to remove the vomit odor from fabrics and carpets.  The vinegar stink disappears after about 30 minutes and the vomit stink goes with it.  I also add a cup full to all of my laundry to prevent the odor from sticking to everything.  For the car rides, I use a small beach pail.  It fits nicely in the cup holder next to him and is big enough to catch the mess.  I also keep a large bottle of water and a roll of paper towels in the car for rinsing the bucket afterwards and cleaning up any spills.  By this age, he can also give me advanced warning when he's feeling sick so I have more time to prepare and try to prevent it.  

The doctor said he'll outgrow this, but I still get motion sickness, so I don't expect it to pass for him either.  The few times we forget to medicate him before a trip, he knows enough to remind us.  At least we all know how to deal with it now.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Home Improvements: Front Yard Landscaping redo

**I'm so excited to announce that I've started a youtube channel discussing everything home making. My channel name is Surviving As Mom.  Check it out!!

So I've lived in this house for about 6 years now and I've made multiple failed attempts to improve my curb appeal on a minimal budget.  To be honest, it is a learning process that I think I may have finally gotten the hang of.  Realistically, the whole front needs a major overhaul, including new siding on the house, new pavers, new driveway, and the removal of a huge tree.  However, until I can come up with multiple tens of thousands of dollars for that, I will just have to be happy with my modest fix of moving around some existing plants.

I started by digging out the old rotted wooden edger and leaving a trench for the replacement.  My husband did the replacement last since I wanted to start before he was ready to do the work.  I started by digging everything out and splitting bulbs and root balls that needed to be separated.  This included about 60 daffodil bulbs, about 30 lily bulbs, some bleeding heart roots, a bunch of astilbe bulbs and various plants and shrubs.  

This left me with a clean slate and a nice selection of clean plants and bulbs to use as I needed.  After everything was out, I had my husband use a rake to remove the top layer of tree nuts, mulch, leaves, twigs, weeds, and other junk that didn't belong.  He then tilled the whole thing to loosen and aerate the soil for me in preparation for planting.  After this, he used the rake again to smooth and level the soil for me.  

Then it was my turn again.  I started by laying everything out in the place that I wanted it, without actually burying it.  This gave me the visual affect while allowing me to make easy adjustment before I committed to burying everything.  I laid everything in a fashion that would allow a laying effect keeping in mind the time of year that everything will bloom.  Shade and sun exposure are also very important especially since my house is North facing so there is only shade that comes about 6 feet from my house.  The rest is partial sunlight.  

When I was satisfied with the layout, I started digging.  A lot!  First, I dug a trench and laid most of the daffodil bulbs along a section of the house with the bleeding heart roots just in front of that.  I also laid some daffodils in a half circle around the base of the tree.  I planted the astilbe bulbs, azaleas, salvias, phlox, mums and hydrangeas.  I also planted some lavender, thyme, sage and rosemary that I propagated from existing plants.  These are gonna smell amazing next year!!  

In addition to this, I moved around a few of the larger items on the other side of the steps for better spacing and placement.  I moved the far hydrangea closer to the steps and moved the butterfly bush closer to the house.  I relocated the other butterfly bush, all the lily bulbs and the remaining hydrangeas to the back yard. 

I still need to get tulips to plant along the walkway, but they aren't available in stores yet.  I also want to add a few more mums by the tree.  The last thing I need to do is mulch everything, but that will probably come next month.

Before (this is embarrassing):

This is by the tree I want to remove.  This is a mess of lilies and a mum.  I replaced these with mums.

This is the butterfly bush in the middle surrounded by lilies ...and weeds

This is the small patch in front of the driveway with weeds and wilted bleeding hearts.  Right now this looks like a bare patch of dirt, but in the spring it will have daffodils in the back with the bleeding hearts in front.

 This is the other side by the butterfly bush.  Near the house is unhealthy azaleas ...and lots of weeds.

This is my steps (and baby).  I have to replant the potted plants and bleach the concrete.  I also need a new "welcome" mat.

This is my hydrangeas on the other side of the steps.  There is an unhealthy azalea right next to the steps.  I removed the azalea and moved the far hydrangea into that space.

I moved this butterfly bush closer to the house in the place of the far hydrangea.

*Before you see the after, keep in mind that everything is still shocked from the move so it still looks droopy.  It takes a few weeks to months for everything to settle in.  Plus, it's the fall so everything is in the process of going dormant.  I still need to add mulch to everything too.  I will post final "after"pics in the spring when everything has settled and bloomed.  I can't wait for that!

Along the walkway and edger, I planted alternating lavender and thyme.  This is going to smell amazing!

I still need to add more mums here.

Everything looks so much cleaner with the new edger.

It looks rough now, but it'll be much nicer in the spring.

*Better pictures to come in the spring!!  Stay tuned!

Freezer Food Storage

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I have a family of five hungry mouths, so I have a large freezer in my basement to hold our large stock pile of meats and other frozen foods.  We usually cycle through everything in about a month, but for those items that stick around longer, I've developed some techniques for organization and avoiding freezer burn.

We do the majority of our shopping at Costco, which has excellent per pound prices on meats.  The only headache is that it is all packaged together in large portions that I have to separate myself and freeze into individual servings.  This process is a bit tedious, but totally worth it in the end.

The main meats I buy are steaks, ground beef, ribs, pork tenderloins, chicken legs, thighs and boneless, skinless breasts.  To store these, I also make sure I buy gallon size Zip Lock freezer bags and aluminum foil.  I take each meat, wrap it individually in foil (per serving), then place it in the freezer bag, removing as much air as I could.  Then I use a sharpie marker to write the item and date on the bag.  With the ground beef, I usually separate it into 1 1/2 to 2 lb portions (eyeball estimate) and roll it into a big ball or log before wrapping it in foil.  I don't re-wrap the chicken because it is already in individual servings in an air tight package.  I usually just write the date on the package.  I've kept meat in the freezer for a year without freezer burn using the foil and bag method.  It keeps very well and is very easy to work with.  When I am ready to defrost something, I just take the whole bag and soak it in a large bowl with cold water for a few hours.  The meat will usually thaw completely within about an hour or two.

For leftover sauces, gravies, soups, I use tow methods.  I will either use an old Ricotta cheese container or a Zip Lock freezer bag.  I always write the contents and date on them.  With the Ricotta container, I use a dry erase marker and the bags I use a sharpie marker.  With the freezer bags, I place the empty bag in a large cup or small bowl, folding the ends over the side to hold it open.  I then ladle the contents in till it is about 2/3 full.  I squeeze the air out and seal the bag.  Then I lay the bags flat on a baking sheet and place them in the freezer so they freeze flat like books.  This makes for easy storage.

When I store leftovers in the refrigerator, I also use a dry erase marker to write the date on all of my containers because I can never remember how long something has been in the fridge.  I find it very helpful and it saves me from throwing away good food.

I hope you find this helpful.  :-)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Crazy Life of Mom-Boobs

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A woman's boobs help to define her as a woman.  Breasts are what make us feel sexy and beautiful.  They can even be our power or our weakness.  However, once we become a mother, our boobs become something completely different.  They even take on a life of their own...

First, when we become pregnant, they swell up to triple (or more) their normal size, they weigh a ton and hurt like hell.  We suddenly look like we belong on National Geographic in Africa with our giant, dark, pancake areolas and huge protruding nipples.  They randomly squirt milk in all directions like a sprinkler and even leak at times.

Then, after giving birth, they swell even more, get heavier, get hard and lumpy and hurt so much you'd swear they will burst at any second.  Then the new adventure of breast pumps, nursing bras, nursing pads and sucking babies begins.  The breasts that used to only be handled by hands other than yours for sexual pleasure are now being handled by nurses and suckled by an adorable little leach that you just gave birth to.  Your sexy breasts now provide life sustaining food for your most precious possession.  Boobs that went from being a sexy and beautiful accessory now have a real purpose.  The milk is another thing.  First, you will secrete and thick, yellow, syrupy substance called colostrum that will eventually become the white milk we are used to seeing in our refrigerator.  It is odd to see that your boobs can produce milk and you will soon consider yourself to be a cow.  I used to "Moo" when I was feeding or pumping because that's all I felt like.

After a few months of nursing, your severely swollen boobs will change shape and size again.  They seem to deflate some and fall a little.  They've also desensitized some, which is a good thing since in the first few weeks a nursing baby felt like it would suck your nipple right off.  There seems to be the illusion that the nipples have turned to leather from all the wear and tear.  Sometimes you may wonder if you'll ever feel anything again, until the baby starts chewing and biting.  The pain from that will make you see stars!  Seriously!  Again, you will squirt milk at random times in all directions and leak through your clothes at the worst times.  It becomes quite common to sleep with towels and breast pads in order to not wake up completely soaked in sticky milk.

While all this is happening, your boobs are going to take another kind of beating.  Your child/children will bite, pinch, elbow, punch, kick and smash your boobs.  They will even use them as something to hold onto while trying to pull themselves up.  Sometimes I swear they do this stuff on purpose to torture me.  You will find bruises, scratches, cuts and pinch marks on your poor boobs.  These mounds that once made you feel sexy, will now make you feel used, abused and defeated.  You may even feel sick every time you look down and see what reality has done to them.

Once you decide to stop nursing (or pumping), there is the pain and swelling of engorgement all over again.  Your once beautiful, firm, amazing breasts will again swell to an unrecognizable size.  They will also get lumpy and extremely painful again.  The pressure will build up so much that you will swear you are doing permanent damage by not relieving the pressure.  The pressure will also cause you to leak again and the slightest touch is excruciating.  After a few days of this torture, the milk starts to dry and when it is all done, your poor boobs will seem to have died.  They will deflate to a size that is smaller than before you became pregnant and they will look like empty bags because the skin was stretched so much from all the milk.

So now you are left with two, wrinkled, empty, saggy, leathery bags that take odd shapes in different positions.  At times, it will be very sad and painful to see your once vibrant, full, bouncy girls looking so old and used.  It's enough to make any woman want to have a boob job to try to recreate something that will make her feel like a woman again.

This blog was written in memory of my boobs.  After 2 pregnancies (so far) and a full year of almost non-stop nursing, my poor boobs are just an empty shell of their former self.  When I am done having kids, I am definitely getting a boob job!  May they R.I.P.

You decided to do WHAT?!

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I find that when I have a certain conversation with people, I get an exaggerated reaction that I haven't quite figured out.

It usually starts with a casual conversation, then the topic comes up.  When I answer the question, I am faced with the reaction that I still can't get used to.  This reaction includes eyes bulging and a look of horror, followed by question of "Why?", "Are you crazy?" and "Is that really a good idea?".  Did I admit that I was planning on murdering a celebrity?  No.  Maybe I admitted that I was going to rob a bank.  Nope.  Or maybe I was planning a sex change operation.  Definitely not!  This reaction came from friends, relatives and even doctors.

What I had actually admitted to was that I was planning to conceive a fourth child.  I was going to create another life and expand my family by choice!

I really don't understand what the horror and questioning is all about.  I am a responsible mother with a house and a husband who makes enough money to support us (barely at times, but it works).  I take care of my own children and I think I do a pretty good job of it.  I'm not looking for handouts from anyone, or asking anyone to raise my children for me.  I do not live off of the government or of generous relatives.  My husband and I are fully capable, stable, loving parents and there is nothing wrong with adding to our already happy family.

At first, these reactions upset me.  Not because these people didn't approve of my decision, but because it made me question my own decision.  Maybe I am crazy.  Maybe I'm not ready.  Maybe it is an irresponsible decision.  Then I snapped out of it and realized that I don't need anyone's approval to bring another life into this world.  I don't need anyone's permission.  It is my decision (and my husband's).  We know our family best and we know what is good for our family, so who is anyone to question us?  I decided to be confident and own my decision.  If someone doesn't like it, I don't give a crap.  They can just look the other way and carry on with their own life!

Making the choice to have another baby is a personal decision and it is a beautiful thing.  No one has the right to make us feel anything but happy and excited!  So I take the same stance on this, as I do with many other things in my life.  I don't need people to approve of my decisions.  It's my decision, and it's an amazing choice.  So there!

Don't look so damn horrified.  I didn't kill anyone.  I am creating a person!!  Get over it!

Manners: A Lost Art Form

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I'm always shocked at how surprised people are to see that my children have manners.  Apparently, basic manners are not that common anymore.

I believe this lack of basic knowledge and common courtesy is because:
 1.  Parents are not parenting their children anymore.  Parents are lazy and don't teach or discipline their children the way our parents did when we were younger.
 2.  Most households require two working parents, so there is less interaction to teach the children necessary life skills including manners.  Parents try to spend more quality time with kids in the limited time than using that time to teach and discipline their children.

These are not assumptions that I've made, but rather what I've observed and experienced in my surroundings.

When I was a kid, mother was home full time and I believe that made a difference.  She taught us (all five children) basic manners, such as:
*Say "please and thank you".
*Give up your seat to someone older or weaker than you.
*Don't interrupt talking adults.
*Answer someone when they talk to you.
*Look at someone when they talk to you.
*Hold the door for people.
*Don't talk back when an adult scolds you or tells you to do something.
*Be respectful of your elders.
*Offer to help people who are older or weaker than you.
...and the list goes on.

I didn't come from a high class family, but I did learn these basic things.  As far as I knew, everyone learned this stuff.  I'll admit, I'm still working on some of these things with my own children, but at least I'm working on it.

It angers me when I see children and teenagers who don't follow these rules and I blame the parents completely.  Just like if my children were rude and impolite, I would take 100% of the blame since I am home with them 98% of the time.  The responsibility falls on my to teach them what they need to know.

I remember one day I was in the mall during the Christmas season and I saw a teenage girl (maybe 14 or 15 years old) yelling at her mother because she wanted to buy more stuff and her mother said she didn't have anymore money.  The girl was yelling and cursing in her mother's face, while the mother just stood there looking like a scared child.  Then I almost fell over when the girl slapped her mother in the face, threw all of her bags on the floor and walked away while her mother just stood there looking confused.  From that moment, I made a vow to myself that my children would NEVER behave like that!  That was just beyond unacceptable!  If I did that as a teenager, or even now, my mother would have beat my ass right there!

To me, that experience just sums up the problem with kids and teenagers today.  They have been allowed to run wild with no discipline and this is now the consequence.  Children are also not held responsible (by their parents) when they do misbehave.  (Theoretically) If I had done something wrong and ended up in jail, my mother would have left me there to teach me a lesson.  I would do the same with my own children.  Now parents bail their kids out and make excuses for their behavior.  Unacceptable!!  They are not learning consequences and accountability.

So preventable and so sad.  Parents need to start parenting again and they need to take responsibility for their children's misbehavior.  It's not that hard to teach right and wrong.  The lessons are there everyday all around us.

Something needs to change.  I'm afraid of what the future holds if this doesn't change.  People forget that these kids are going to grow up to rule the world.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

If Only I Had as Much Energy as my Kids...

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I just don't get it.  How is it that my children can wake up at 7:30 am, have a very active day, including two long car trips (about 2 hours each way) and still be bouncing off the walls an hour after their bedtime?!

We went today for a family BBQ in Staten Island and spent over 7 hours there.  The older boys swam in the pool for the majority of the time while the baby just bounced around from person to person with a little pool time in between.  There must have been 25 kids there, from toddlers all the way up to teenagers.  There were also plenty of fun adult cousins, aunts and uncles to play with.  The amount of jumping, swimming, running and laughing was enough to make any kid pass out the second their butt hit the inside of a car.  Not my children!  All three of them stayed awake the entire ride home and just bugged my husband and I who were exhausted and ready for bed.  They asked question after question and managed to fight each other the whole way.

When we finally got home, hubby and I were struggling to stay awake.  We were hungry and tired, but we still had to get the boys in the house, changed and in bed.  However, this was not going to be so simple tonight.  Somehow, they were endless balls of energy, bouncing off the walls.  They were jumping on my poor hubby who was laying on the floor, trying to wrestle with him.  They sensed our weakness and took full advantage.  After about an hour, hubby finally got up to get everyone moving in the upstairs direction.  Even on they way up the six steps to their bedroom, they were still jumping, bouncing, yelling, and just trying to instigate a wrestling match with daddy.  At 9:30, an hour and a half after bedtime, they were finally in bed.  It took another 10 minutes for them to stop talking and finally fall asleep.

We weren't out of the woods yet.  The baby still has not fallen asleep.  It is currently 10 pm and he is still running around the living room causing havoc.  I've already tied three times to put him to bed, but he is must not having it.  Sadly, he doesn't look any closer to going to bed than he did an hour ago.  All this while I am sitting here, falling asleep on myself.  I just don't get it!!

I only wish I had that much energy!  Oh, the things I could accomplish!  Daily life would not be such a struggle if I had endless energy like my children.  The house would always be clean, the laundry would always be clean and folded away, dinner would always be amazing, and I might even be able to work part-time at night.  But alas, I am just a tired, beat up mother who is too tired to eat at times.  Oh well.  I guess that's the sad truth of being an adult.  Too much to do, and too little energy to do it.