Thursday, May 23, 2013

Can We Pretend that Paper Airplanes in the Night Sky...

My kids are really into paper right now. In my last post I made my feelings about massive paper usage known. Before you go giving me props for my environmental conscientiousness, don't. It has nothing to do with my concern for trees and everything to do with my concern for the $3.73 per 500 sheets. You might think that 500 sheets is a lot of paper, and in the normal world of household paper usage you would be right. But in this house? 500 sheets of paper is child's play...literally.
Usually I get all fussy and hide my paper or lock my bedroom door or tell the kids that they get 3 sheets of paper each, etc. It sometimes works, but usually it doesn't. But lately my kids have figured out that if they use the paper to make "gifts", it makes it harder for me to say no. Kids are sneaky little things and they manipulate in such ways.
So I have been getting a lot of paper "gifts" in recent weeks. So has everyone who steps foot in my house. Child 1 got a Star Wars Origami book from the library (I am seriously considering sending them a bill for $3.73 to compensate me.) so his paper gifts look like this...

Allow me to introduce "Fortune Wookiee", "Han Foldo", "Origami Yoda" and "Darth Paper".

Child 2 is all about paper aviation. So he has been making lots (and I do mean LOTS) of these...
That's a model C189Turbo and it flies quite nicely...all around the house...all the time...including into my face while I breastfeed a baby.

Child 3 likes to cool down the family with one, or fifteen, of these...
We keep getting bulk requests from China. The design is patent pending.
Child 4 and Child 5 want to play with paper too. They are perhaps my biggest mass producers of paper "gifts". They watch their siblings color and fold, so OF COURSE they want to color and fold too. So we get plenty of these...
If you have any requests, send them on over. Ramsey paper gifts a plenty in this house. Please send $3.73 per 500 paper "gifts".

Friday, May 3, 2013

A Typical Day

The internet is a deceptive little twit sometimes. Someone recently made a comment to me about blogging and how do I ever manage to find time to blog with six children? It must look like I just sit around blogging all day. It made me think. How do I have time to blog? I suppose it's a little like having to pee on a road trip. Sometimes you pull over and take a legit potty break. You time it out and you stop and you go. Sometimes you are in a hurry so you just have to hold it until you have some time. Of course, once you have children sometimes something happens, you sneeze or cough or laugh and it just happens. In other words, sometimes you know you need to hold it but you just can't hold it.

That's what blogging is for me. Sometimes I try to schedule time to do it. Sometimes I have to wait until time comes. And sometimes it just happens in spite of efforts to stave it off a little longer.

The only hard part about blogging is finding something "blog worthy" to write about. Sometimes  my kids do something insane and the words pretty much write themselves. But most days are pretty typical. Which is, ironically, what inspired this post. This post is about my typical day.
It usually starts with conversations. Conversations with myself and my husband and my children. They usually go like this:

Myself: Sooooooooo tired...
Husband: Do you need to get a shower before I leave?
Me: Yes
Myself: No
Husband: Okay, well I have to leave in little bit...
Me: Okay
Myself: So if he needs to leave in a little bit, then I can divide that little bit into halves and shower with one half and sleep with the other.
Me: Mmhmmmmmm...zzzzzzzzzzz...
Husband: I have to go.
Me: (sleepily) Uh-huh
Kids 1-3: Mom, we don't have anything to pack for lunch.
Me: I'm coming.
Myself: Funny how they can find a piece of candy hidden in your sock drawer under three layers of foot coverings but they can't find anything to pack for lunch in the entire pantry and refrigerator.
Kids 1-3: Mom, we can't find any clothes to wear.
Me: I'm coming.
Myself: They could always try the closet, okay fine, the laundry basket...OKAY...the dryer.
Me: Good morning sweet baby.
Myself: It's a good thing you're cute you little creature of the night.

Then I feed the baby, change and dress the baby, change the Nugget, drag kid #4 to the potty while he screams that he doesn't need to go, give a nebulizer treatment or two, drill the kids on whether they have eaten, packed lunches, packed a snack, gotten dressed, brushed teeth, etc.

We typically leave 10 minutes after we should. We then hit every single one of the ELEVEN stoplights between our house and the school. So then I go in and sign the kids in at the office and make some lame joke about us being late all the time. No one laughs at it and I vow that tomorrow I will not make a lame joke about us being late.

On the way home I start mentally preparing my to-do list and my internal monologue starts up again:
Me: I need to take a shower, get the boys ready, eat some breakfast and then I can nurse the baby, throw in a load of laundry, unload the dishwasher, run to Target, stop at Home Depot, blow my husband a kiss as I drive by his office...
Myself: Sure, you could do that but...
Me: But what?
Myself then gives me a list of alternative things to sit and not do anything. Myself includes lots of great excuses and rationalizations. If we tear a paper towel into pieces we don't really have to have toilet paper right now. We can send husband later. Myself is very convincing.

I usually get home from dropping the kids off at school at about 8:50 am. We walk in the door and the little boys instantly start crying about how hungry they are. I panic for a second wondering if I fed them this morning...or yesterday at all...or ever. Oh my gosh, I haven't fed my kids! Oh wait...they ate cereal this morning with their siblings, a whole 45 minutes ago. I hand them fruit snacks so they will stop yelling at me.

From 9am to 1pm the boys wrestle. Wrestle. Cry. Laugh. Repeat.

They occasionally interrupt their wrestling if I leave the room to do something. Then they follow me. Have you ever been to a dr. and they have someone following them around with a clipboard taking notes? They call it "shadowing". Do you know how these people learned how to shadow? By being children. If I go to the bathroom, they come too. If I go sit on the bed to nurse the baby, they come too. If I decide it's one of those days where I absolutely have to shower, I put baby in the bouncy seat so that I don't have to listen to him scream. (He likes the sound of the water. I may or may not leave the water running while I get dressed just to keep him happy. I admit to nothing.) While he sits in his bouncy Nugget plays his favorite game where he puts his hand on the shower door and waits for me to put my hand there too. It is super cute...until I need to use my hand for something like, oh say, bathing. Then my hand is busy washing and can't play. Then Nugget gets angry and bangs and yells until I play the game.

Usually at some point in the day I beg my children to watch television. Ya know those moms who have to turn the television off and drag their kids away to be productive beings? I am not one of them. Also, I'm jealous of them.

We eat lunch.

Then Nugget naps. During his nap #4 likes to color. I remember in high school, I had a friend with a little sister who was about ten years younger than we were. She loved to color too. It used to bug him that she would use so much paper. One time he said something to his mom about how she shouldn't let his little sister waste all that paper. His mom told a story about how, when she was little, she used to have to color along the edges of a newspaper because they didn't buy drawing paper and how she wanted her kids to have all the paper they wanted. I remember thinking that I wanted to be just like that. Let my children explore their creativity and scribble to their hearts content. Now I have to buy the paper so I hide it under my bed and ration it like it's Elf bread and I'm going to Mordor. Kid #4 draws a bunch of pictures and asks me to draw the characters of "Peter and the Wolf" about 13 times. Oh and snakes..."Draw a snake for me mommy. Now a biiiiiig snake. Now a tiiiiny snake. Now a baby snake. Now a fluffy snake." So we draw while Nugget naps.

Then we go to pick up the kids from school. I answer 17,002 questions on the way home. "What would win, a cheetah or a bear?" "What is for dinner?" "Guess what I saw outside the window at 10:24 am today?" "Do you know what 18 x 84 is?" "Can I have a snack when I get home?"

Then we get home and the big kids evaporate into snack and wii land. They have figured out the glorious mind-sucking powers of television and video games. It's a beautiful thing.

The evenings hold a little more variation than the daytime. Soccer practice, football practice, cub scouts, boy scouts, family night, dinner, prayers, baths, pajamas, bed...

Throw in a couple dozen tantrums, a few bloody lips and lots of baby rocking and that's it. That's my typical day.

I was recently talking to a friend about how, before you have children, you know that it's going to be hard but that it will be worth it. What you don't know is the ratio of hard to good. You think it will be like 75% good and 25% crappy. Maybe even 50/50. But we were saying it is probably more like 98% hard/crappy stuff and like 2% amazing/awesome/worth every bit of it. But we both agreed that there is something about that 2% that overrides the other stuff. I can't explain it mathematically. I mean, in no other scenario does this work. Think about it. If you have a gallon of milk and 98% of it is sour but 2% is good, you don't drink the milk. If you look at a house and you only like 2% of it, you don't buy the house. But there is something about that amazing 2% of parenting that honestly and sincerely overrides the 98% hard stuff. That 2% really is that good.

And the proof is in the pudding, so they say. Here are a few 2% pictures...