Archive for the ‘The Rest’ Category

I’m Totally Fine Except When I’m A Mess

Friday, September 15th, 2017

Ways in which I am totally, completely, 100% keeping it together:

  1. I’ve taken the trash and recycling out in time every week so far.
  2. I’m almost caught up on laundry and dishes (as much as it’s really possible to be with a house full of children to clothe and feed).
  3. I cleaned the bathroom floor on my hands and knees with a sponge.
  4. I scrubbed out the sink with lots of chemicals, so it’s nice and white.
  5. I dropped off the bin of clothes and the baby swing at the consignment shop.
  6. All the Halloween decorations are up!
  7. I made an important but unpleasant phone call, like a grown up does.
  8. I have a photo session scheduled for Saturday, complete with a contract, childcare, and a fun new location.
  9. I stopped eating a pint of ice cream every night and I’ve lost five pounds.
  10. All four children were washed with soap and water last night.

 

Ways in which I am completely, unquestionably, 100% falling apart:

  1. The dog has a broken nail and even though I keep cleaning it and wrapping it I’m pretty sure he’s going to need very expensive vet treatment.
  2. I have a huge stack of school papers I haven’t even read yet, half of which needed to be signed and sent back last week.
  3. I have a huge bruise from walking into a parking sign, a ripped toenail from tripping on the carpet, and a painful cut on my elbow that is of mysterious origin.
  4. Evan and Caroline are both now signed up for super expensive activities and I don’t actually know how I’m going to pay for it.
  5. I forgot to order groceries so the kids will be eating PB&J for dinner again.
  6. The light in the upstairs hallway burned out and I cannot figure out how to take the cover off to replace the bulb.
  7. The tires for the snow blower are at a tire shop somewhere. I haven’t figured out where or gone to get them.
  8. The lawn is a disaster.
  9. I haven’t drunk a single thing that didn’t contain caffeine in weeks.
  10. I spend far too much time fighting with jerks on the internet because I need somewhere to direct my frustration.
  11. Every bedroom in the house is a mess.
  12. I saw a mouse the other day but haven’t caught any mice in the mouse traps so there is still a mouse somewhere.
  13. I’ve planned to go for walks/get coffee/have playdates/get together with at least a dozen friends and not followed through or shown up for any of them.
  14. I forgot to meet the bus at the corner yesterday.
  15. The baby chewed through my computer cord, like he’s a rabid animal.

So right now the mess side is definitely winning. If I can hold it together until Sunday I can move some of my to-dos to the finished column and slowly, s l o w l y, slowly maybe shift the balance over so I don’t feel like I’m slipping into chaos. It’s going to mean saying no to some stuff I don’t want to say no to, being a little more patient with my children who cannot seem to remember simple things like “wash the shampoo out BEFORE turning off the shower”, and maybe drinking a bottle of water every once in a while.

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First Day of School 2017

Saturday, September 2nd, 2017

Previously: first day 2014, first day 2015, first day 2016

Three of my four children started school this week. The big kids were thrilled, as usual, because they love school. Caroline has the same teacher she had for kindergarten, who Evan also had for both kindergarten and second grade, so she’s pretty familiar with us Davises. Evan has a teacher we haven’t met before but both kids know her a little – one of the advantages of a small school – and she seems super nice. I am not worried about the big kids in the least.

Lincoln is going to preschool 5 days a week in the afternoons. He qualifies for early preschool because of his speech delay – he aged out of Birth to Three at-home sessions. That means he has an IEP and gets to meet with the school speech therapist every week, while also getting a head start on school. I mean, he’s not learning to read or anything, but he’s started to show interest in art and letters and counting, so I’m happy he has somewhere to focus on that.

Unfortunately, Lincoln does not like leaving me. It’s pretty much my own fault. He is not a shy kid. He is rarely scared. More often than not I have to keep him from killing himself because he has no sense of danger. He runs away in public and I have to chase him down. But he does all that stuff because he trusts me and knows I’m not far away. I almost never leave him anywhere, especially not with new adults he’s only met once or twice. And right now I’m his only parent, so he’s especially worried when I’m out of sight. The first two days of bus pick-up have been rough. When he comes home again he’s fine, so at least he isn’t spending 2.5 hours sobbing in a corner. I just need the pick-up part to get better next week.

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Brooklyn Fair 2017

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

The very best part of the year in Connecticut has just started. The weather is gorgeous. There are so many fun things to do we can’t possibly do them all. We’re just two weekends away from The Best Weekend Of The Year. We can be out of the house 12 hours a day easily, so when we get home all the children are exhausted and go right to bed.

On the one hand, this is perfect. The United States Navy called in their claim on my husband, and we won’t be seeing him for a while. Operation Keep Them Busy is my only hope to avoid sad, crying children every day. It’s lucky that this drastic family change happened during a time of year full of activity and changes. It’s easier to adjust when you’re already adjusting to new classes, new teachers, new schools, new routines and plenty of fun.

On the other hand, participating in all that fun without a second set of adult hands is taxing mentally and physically. There’s no one to go with the kids on rides the babies can’t ride. There’s no one to watch the stroller while I run to the bathroom. There’s no one to help carry plates at a food festival. There’s no one to wear an exhausted toddler when I’m wearing a nursing baby. There’s no one else to drive when I’m super tired. There’s just no one else. We’re going to miss some of the annual events we “always” go to because my sanity is more important than doing everything.

To kick off the best part of the year, we went to the Brooklyn Fair and it was wildly successful. I basically said yes to everything, including throwing a ton of money at stupid carnival games because my kids love those cheap, gross, horrible, trash stuffed animals so much. We were there for almost 5 hours and I think I only threatened to abandon them once. Maybe twice for Lincoln. But they had a super good time and said I was the best mommy and I got to eat the cotton candy they forgot we bought so it was a good day.

 

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Children’s Book Themed Birthday Party

Friday, August 25th, 2017

We celebrated Lincoln turning three and Finnegan turning one with a children’s book themed birthday party last weekend. I feel slightly guilty that I made them share a party when the big kids got their own celebrations for each of their first five years. But between the bathroom disaster (ongoing) and E’s work schedule, this was really our only free weekend for a party. I don’t think either of them minded. Honestly, the guest list would be exactly the same for both parties anyway. When you’re the 3rd and 4th kids your friends are the younger siblings of the big kids’ friends.

I didn’t start planning this party until late June, so when I was looking for a theme I needed something that wouldn’t need too many custom-made or hard to find items. I had done a Nursery Rhyme Baby Shower for Caroline and it was pretty easy and totally adorable, so I expanded upon that to include all children’s books. It turns out most children’s books are already about food, so the menu was the easiest part:

Book worms – gummy worms

Green Eggs and Ham – green deviled eggs

Very Hungry Caterpillar – cheese & sausage plate, fruit

The Runaway Bunny – veggies

Dragons Love Tacos – taco bar

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie – chocolate chip cookies

The Giving Tree – apple slices

Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs – meatballs

Uni the Unicorn – unicorn pops

The Big Hungry Bear – strawberries/berries

Paddington Bear – marmalade sandwiches

Don’t Forget the Bacon – BLT sandwiches

Eloise at the Plaza – tea sandwiches

Where The Wild Things Are – wild thing claws (Bugles)

Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great – sparkle cupcakes

Captain Flynn and the Pirate Dinosaurs – pink pirate dinosaur punch

children's book themed birthday party

children's book themed birthday party

I keep all of our dust covers in a box because the kids just ruin them. They came in hand as decor!

children's book themed birthday party

children's book themed birthday party

children's book themed birthday party

children's book themed birthday party

children's book themed birthday party

Taco bar serving trays were super cheap and from Amazon.

Wild things claws = Bugles

When it came to decor, I already had almost everything I needed. A few banners from Oriental Trading Company and a whole lot of photos added to the many, many books. Many of the books I used both as the theme and as actual decor are my books, from my own childhood. Some of the others are favorites from bedtime for Evan and Caroline. We were lucky enough to meet Mo Willems a few years ago (one of my favorite posts of all time!) so most of his books are signed. The whole thing just felt so special and personal, even if it isn’t the most dramatic theme I’ve ever done it was perfect!

Ladybug balls from Amazon.

All our Mo animals – Elphant and Piggie, Pigeon and four Knuffle Bunnies – came from a recent promotion at Kohl’s. I went to two different stores to find them all.

Bookmarks, bubbles and temporary tattoos for party favors.

Please excuse the unpainted spot on the wall, we didn’t quite get our construction finished before the party. At least we had a ceiling!

I made the photo display for Finnegan with a hula hoop, spray paint, ribbon, fake flowers and hot glue. The outside pictures are his monthday photos for the past 11 months and the center photos are from his cake smash session.

We are very lucky to have so many friends who have so many kids, because the kids are really what makes the parties fun. I also love that some of them have been coming for so long now that they get excited ahead of time thinking about cucumber sandwiches!

The cheeseburger pinata was from the party aisle at Target (and the theme is from Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, where cheeseburgers fall from the sky). I’ve had it in my dining room for months now and it always made me smile.

I also bought some of those magic quick-fill water balloons at Target when they went on clearance. They didn’t exactly go with the theme but Lincoln LOVES water balloons. And it was super hot, so the kids enjoyed getting wet and dried off quickly.

 

All four of my kids had book shirts from Out Of Print Clothing. I bought Evan shirts from their site when he was a toddler, which Lincoln still wears and Finn will wear. Evan wore Caps for Sale, Caroline wore Harold and the Purple Crayon, Lincoln got Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus and Finnegan wore Where The Wild Things Are. To be honest, Finnegan already owns like 5 other Wild Things shirts that were hand-me-downs but they’re all long sleeved and it was too hot so I bought him another. You cannot have to many Wild Things themed articles of clothing.

This bounce house I bought Lincoln for his first birthday remains one of my best decisions to date.

My kids are currently obsessed with painting rocks, so I put out supplies and lots of the big kids did rock painting. I sealed them all this week and we hid them at Mystic Seaport for others to find.

After water balloons and bounce house and painting and pinata and lots of eating and running around, we wrangled everyone inside to sing Happy Birthday to Lincoln, because he thinks people singing Happy Birthday is the BEST THING. We sang for Finnegan too, but he just wanted to eat the candle.

children's book themed birthday party

children's book themed birthday party

Thank you as always to my parents, who were pretty much the only reason this party happened. Their help with cleaning and prep is invaluable. And thank you to everyone who came, it’s so wonderful to know that my kids have a village of both actual relatives and by-choice relatives to love them. Lincoln and Finnegan are both sufficiently celebrated!

 

 

 

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Friday, August 11th, 2017

I HAVE LIGHTS IN MY KITCHEN THAT WORK. They’re actually insanely bright, daylight bulbs and I want to just live in my kitchen now. I mean, except for the fact that it’s filthy and the walls aren’t finished. BUT, LIGHTS!

Sunday:

Mystic family time

Miniature figure heads

This puzzle is really hard

Monday:

Mommy, take my picture

Finn wanted a picture too

Shirts for the book themed birthday party!

Tuesday:

Rainy day seaport camp drop off

Wednesday:

Batman on a dog sled

Super into his ice cream

CLAM STRIP APPRECIATION CLUB MEETING

Thursday:

Basically my life in one photo

Climbing the rigging!

Friday:

“Moby Dik”, obviously

Out walking again

Saturday:

Hemming my husband’s uniform pants, like a good wife in 1950.

Nature center collection

Even more walking

I have one more week to get my life and house together before Linc and Finn’s birthday party. I can only do that once the sheetrock gets out of my dining room. Pray for me.

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