Wednesday, December 30, 2009

We now return you to your regularly scheduled insanity

Yesterday, the extended family all cleared out, the left-over cookies and candies were tossed, and the Ansari's tried to regroup in the wake of 9 days of Christmas and a 12 person household reduced to the normal 6. Though it was one of the best, most lovely family gatherings in quite some time, Omar and I both sighed a little sigh of relief as we looked forward an evening of calm and relative quiet.

As the boys chewed down some very un-vegetarian corndogs, Omar asked "Where's Leo?" This is not an unusual question around here. When you have 4 kids a large home, the helicoptering well-known to the first born is long gone.

Omar started upstairs to check out Leo while I discussed further highlights and lowlights with the kids. This was soon interrupted by "Oh GOD! Honey! I need help!"

Now, it wasn't said with the tone of terror I would expect with something truly tragic. I knew the child was neither dead nor was Omar in need of my MD skills. Oh, Oh no. It was worse.

Leo, apparently, had not yet lost the christmas spirit. He decided to unwrap his own little bundle of joy... namely, the poopy diaper I had just relieved him of 20 minutes earlier. He had pulled it out of the diaper pail, and if I recreated the CSI-like scene properly, unleashed the madness in the hallway. It appears there were multiple fumbles on the path of great happiness to the kitchen. It appeared he was on his way to share his finding with all of us. He clearly needed a little added support from the wall as he rounded the corner, and the texture was too enjoyable to keep in one hand.

When I entered the scene, Omar was standing with said child, a look of stinkified horror on his face, presenting Leo to me like a grusome offering I wanted nothing to do with. He poo-covered hands were outstretched towards me as he gave me one of those "I wanna hug ya" smiles. I was given the choice of the child or the carpet. I should have known better... I chose child, and then realized Omar (despite many otherwise wonderful skills) is hopeless at cleaning a carpet. So I got to do both.

Thankfully, the current "cool color" palette of paint and carpet includes shades of brown and yellow that I have always referred to as "baby poop brown." Who knew how helpful that would be?

Our brand of peace and quite needs some serious re-branding...

Friday, December 25, 2009

It's a wrap

It's 9:20pm, Christmas day. I think it's fair to say that everyone is pretty content. The ages of the kids in the house are 12, 10, 7, 4.5, 4.5 and 1. They awoke at 4:15 but managed to stay in bed until 6:30. They knew to not come knocking on any adult door until 7am.

After stockings, pecan rolls, presents, snowmen, rouladin (otherwise known as German Christmas dinner crack), bionicles, Sorry, card games, hot tubbing, 2 New York Times crossword puzzles, and endless forms of chocolate and sugar, silence has descended. The kids are all passed out. The adults are all either reading, computing or nodding off (or a combination of the latter).

In summary, it was completely lovely. I am so blessed and so fortunate to have the family and life that I have. I hope each person who reads this litany of Ansari wackiness is similarly blessed, content and well. Merry Christmas to each of you.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas to you!

Nothing says "welcome to your holiday vacation week" like a good case of vomiting and diarrhea.

Monday was the day I had to buy food for the 12 people who are in my house this week, finish buying some gifts, clean a bit, care for the one boy that is out of school, and pick up my family at the airport. Instead, I found myself unable to stand long enough to even cook Max lunch, directing him instead to eat as much sugary cereal as he could put his own hands on.

I managed to rally long enough to stand upright to greet my family (after Omar cut his workday short to go get them in my place). Each day since, I have awoken, willing myself to be done with this nonsense. And though I have yet to lose my cookies, I still feel like I've been unplugged. I flopped into bed last night hugging my pillow for dear life. I am currently hoping I can actually hit the mall today for one last flurry of shopping before the reported storm-o-the-century hits.

All I want for Christmas is my equilibrium....

Friday, December 18, 2009

Clean out

The addition of many toys for many boys in 7 days was enough to finally kick my clutter-meter over the tipping point. Yesterday was the day I pulled every toy and book out of every drawer, nook, cranny, toybox or shelf and threw it all on the floor. I gathered from high and low to organize and decimate the current toy situation and make way for the newbies.

Here is what it looked like when I began

And here is 4 hours later...

Of course, one cannot do this without letting their inner Rainman take over completely. As I was using my label maker (oh, that's right) to put the finishing touches on each drawer, catastrophe struck. The labeler ran out of paper.

Now, for those of you who have never visited this dark side of OCD, let me tell you, this was enough to almost make me weep. I didn't bring organization to this point with the intention of leaving it half labeled. Oh, Oh no. So I drove to Target with 29 minutes 'till bus time, grabbed that paper and finished it up.

I can now stash away my A-type inner core yet again. Bring it, Santa!

Monday, December 14, 2009

The bully

I like to think I am raising boys who are compassionate, non-violent and kind. I know this is a bit of an uphill battle in a home where testosterone is the ruling party, but I try. Hitting isn't tolerated, there are no (purchased) guns, and physical aggression buys you a trip to your room.

So I was a little bummed to hear that Leo is becoming a bit of a jerk. He has started taking toys from the other babies, followed by a quick shove to the ground.


So, this weekend, I started watching things around here (he couldn't possibly have learned this HERE?!?). Well, the big brothers grab stuff from his hot little hands all the time. Now, usually it's their stuff, and its usually something he shouldn't have it in the first place, but that nuance isn't really penetrating the gray matter of the 15-monther.

Also, given that he is a huge climber, I am physically moving him all the time. Off the table. Off a chair he's standing on. Off my bathroom counter. Out of the dog dishes. Out of his brother's clothes drawers. Basically, we manhandle him all the time here. But always in the name of good child rearing, right?

So the next time I have to removed the pencil-sharpener from his mouth as he is sitting on my desk, I am supposed to display "gentle hands" and then ask him nicely to return to the floor? Because, really, snatching it away and shoving him might be more appropriate at times.

I guess I have found the enemy, and it is me...

Friday, December 11, 2009

Funniest thing I've seen in a while...

Anyone over the age of 55 might not think it's quite as entertaining as I do... but I can't help myself.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Little bit of levity

Go ahead and ask my husband... I've been a little crabby recently. He actually asked me the other day, as I was spouting off about some frustration "You didn't rip anyone's face off, did ya?"


There are a variety of factors involved here. One, I have been working almost exclusively shifts that end between 1 and 3am. I can take those shifts here and there, but to have that be the exclusive order of the day for the last 3 weeks... it gets a little old. Two, the flu-mania at our daycare has me fielding phone calls nearly everyday about our kids' health. I got the "Calvin has a cough and a temp of 99.8" the other day. And...? Then Leo has been sent home two time in as many weeks for a goopy eye (which require drops that medically I know are worthless), and once because his breathing "just doesn't sound right." One or another kid was home 4 of the 5 days last week (remember that working till 2am thing...).

So, I'm a little crispy around the edges.

Today, I have the coveted day off (after working until 2am), with no kids. I am so excited to FINALLY go get some christmas stuff done. Here's a little piece of info for all of you out there - if you don't have your Christmas decorations already in your home, you are out of luck. Every Target in town is OUT of christmas tree lights. And there aren't anymore coming. Costco? Nope. Home Depot? All gone. When I found the one endcap at Menard's that still had strings of 100, I looked like the fat kid in the all-you-can-eat candy store.

And then, the comic relief. I turn around and all I see is bare bottom. Thankfully, it is 18mo bare bottom. This poor mother is trying to keep pants and pull-ups on her son who clearly wants to be a nudist. He thinks this is great fun. She pulls 'em up, he pulls 'em down. He doesn't understand her preoccupation with keeping him clad. It was exactly what I needed.

So, I am now trying to shed the weight of the daily ups and downs, decorate the tree tonight with my kids and a smile. A little football curled up on the couch with my hubby later, and a good book to bed. Then tomorrow, I will work until 3am...