Tuesday, April 30, 2013


I am very tired.  My house is clean, but I am tired.  Hopefully Baby lets me get some sleep tonight.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Clean House

Last week, with some help, I was able to get my kitchen/dinning room, living room, and family room clean.  I was also able to get the bathrooms clean.  So this week my goal is to keep on top of those rooms and keep them looking good.  So far so good.  And it isn't that hard either.  I just clean up after myself, and the kids completely before moving on to the next task.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Baby Blessing

Today we blessed Baby.  In our religion we have a priesthood holder give the baby a name and a blessing.  It is kind of like a Christening, but different.
We had a lot of family over and it was a nice time.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Clean House

My sister came and helped me get the rest of my house clean for tomorrow.   The house is now nice and clean.

Friday, April 26, 2013


Today was a good day.  This morning I went over to the elementary school for an activity with Guy, then we got home and a friend of mine called and invited me to join her on a walk.  So I put the kids in the stroller, and we took a walk to the park.
I was able to keep the rooms we cleaned yesterday clean today, and this evening our family had a picnic at a park, and then we came home and cleaned up the yard.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

3 steps forward and 2 steps back still makes progress.

Today I came to the conclusion that I need to find time to sew during the day.  Both of my girls are growing out of their shirts, and need new ones.  However in my opinion many shirts available for girls these days are not as modest as what I want my girls to wear.  This means I have to either change my standards, or make them clothes.  I am not completely sure how I am going to find the time to do that, but we will see.

I also was feeling quite overwhelmed about getting my house clean.  We are having family come over on Sunday, and so I would like it clean, however it seems that I take 3 steps forward, and my children pull me two steps back.  Baby wants to be held and rocked;  Spike wants to dive bomb my piles of laundry; Aurora, Guy, and Spike all decided to pull my curtains off the wall in the living room.  Spike found a big bag of flour and dumped it all over the floor.  Normal kid things, but they make it harder to clean house.

So tonight we set the timer for 10 minutes and  cleaned the  kitchen as much as we could, with the whole family working together, in that amount of time.  Then we reset the timer and moved to the living room, and then we set the timer one last time and cleaned the playroom.  So while there is still some deep cleaning, and some other rooms that need attention still, the house isn't looking too bad at the end of the day.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

little sleep equals little productivity

Today was not quite so productive.  But maybe that is because I was running on about 5 hours of sleep.  I will have to see what I can do to get more sleep tonight.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I love productive days!

Today was a pretty productive day.  I got to visit with a friend, I got 2 rooms in my house clean enough to vacuum them, and vacuumed them and I folded and put away a batch of laundry.
This evening the hubs took the older 3 kids to a local skating rink for a school sponsored free skate.  I think they had a fun time.  I stayed home with Spike and Baby.  It was nice to have a little bit of time taking care of only 2 kids.

Monday, April 22, 2013


Spike let me  know today that he got more out of our potty training sessions last week than I had thought.  This morning I was upstairs feeding the baby, and when I came downstairs, I found Spike with his pants and pull-up off, and his potty on the floor in the playroom, next to the table where he had his cars set up to play with.  Last week one of our activities we would do while potty training was to play cars at the table while he sat on his potty.  It looked like he was wanting to do that again.  I figured there wasn't a problem with it, so I let him.  I then noticed what looked like a wet spot on the floor, and figured he had had an accident.  I went to get some stuff to clean it up, and when I got back he was standing over his potty saying, "wets in potty mama!"  Sure enough he had used the potty.  And there wasn't really a wet spot on the floor, just a shadow. So I helped him clean up the potty, and then he got a reward candy and sticker.  Then later in the morning I noticed he had taken off his pull-up again and was wanting to sit on the potty.  He ran around for a while with a bare bottom half, occasionally sitting on the potty, but refusing to put a pull-up or pants on, and then about a half hour or so later he urinated into the potty again, and then let me put his pull-up on.  I figure I am going to take a back seat on this one for now.  I have a lot of other things I need to get done this week, so I am not going to spend time working with him, but I will let him go at his own pace, and encourage his efforts.

However he had a little traumatic event this afternoon that I am hoping doesn't set him back.   He had wandered outside to play with some of his siblings.  I didn't know he was out there.  He didn't have shoes on, and I guess his pants fell off.  When I found him he was quite upset, and felt like one of the little girls he was playing with had taken his pants off of him.  I don't know what happened, but I am going to make a guess that they fell off.  Since then I have put him back in diapers, just because they stay up a little better.

On Monday nights we have a family time, we call it Family Home Evening.  This involves a lesson usually on spiritual topics, a fun family activity, and a treat.  Tonight it was my turn to pick the activity. The hubs had suggested that we could go to a local tulip festival that I have been wanting to see, and this is the last week.  I thought that could work, and was planning on it.  However, this evening ended up being quite windy and a little cool temperature wise.  The kids were not being incredibly cooperative when I was trying to get them in the car, and it was at this point that I found Spike without his pants.  I was feeling very frustrated, and was short with the kids.  Our plan was to go and pick up the hubs from work, go out for dinner, and then go see the flowers.  The majority of the drive there I found myself stewing over our plans for the evening, and getting more and more upset.  Finally I decided that I would have a rotten time unless I changed my attitude.  So I decided we were going to have fun, and changed the plans so that we went to the local dinosaur museum instead.  I had a lot of fun, and it was a pleasant experience.  It is all in the attitude.  Maybe the hubs and I can take baby with us, and have a date night on Friday and go see the tulips if the weather is nice.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

An extra trip.

Today after church we went to visit the hubs sister and join her for dinner.   She lives about a 30 minute drive away from us.  So not too far, but not around the corner either.  Wh3n we got there and were getting the kids out of the car I realized that we hqd left our diaper bag at home and didn't have any spare diapers for baby in the car.  Normally 5his wouldn't be to8 big of an issue,  wnd we would just run to the store.  However,  because today is Sunday amd our sabbath,  we try to not shop unless it is an emergency.  So we left the four oldrr kids with their aunt and the hubs, baby and I drove back home to get  the diaper bag.  The plus side of this was that the hubs and I got to spend some time without all the kids.
However next time, I think I will double check to make sure we have the diaper bag.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Musings about family relationships.

Today was my grandfather's 80th birthday party.  In attending the celebration I found myself contemplating on some of the paths we take in life.  I am the 6th grandchild on that side of the family.  There are now 45 grandchildren,  I think.  When I was in my growing up years,  my mothers family would get together often.   I knew who my cousins were, and they knew me.  As we have all gotten older, and families have grown larger, we don't really see each other very often at all.  I still know who most of my cousins are, however I don't know how many of them know who I am, and I know some of my younger siblings feel like they have cousins they don't know at all.

Family is something that I was raised to value,  so I know it is important to my parents as well.  And I would hazard a guess that they were quite likely also raised to value family.   So why do we let ourselves get so busy that we don't take time for the things we find important?

I know I do it too.  Sometimes when I am around my family I feel lost, and don't know what to say, or how to best interact with them, so I just stay on my little shelf off to the side, and observe the happenings, instead of making the most out of the situation and opportunity I have to spend time with them.  Even at that, in the 9 years I have been married I have lived 5 of those years in different states than where my family members live, and didn't have a lot of opportunities to see them.  Now for the last 4 years we have lived about 45 minutes away from my parents,  and yet we only take the time to see them maybe every other month on average.   Yes, that is more often than we would see them when we lived out of state, but not as often as we could see them.  Am I putting my priorities where I really want them? And if not, what am I going to do about it?

My husband tries to call home and talk to his Dad, and brother every weekend.  And he usually spends a LONG time talking to his brother.  I have to admit that sometimes I feel jealous during those conversations.   However,  I am not sure if what I am jealous of is him spending so much time talking to his brother and not to me, or that he has that close of a relationship with his brother, and I am not that close to any of my siblings.  Once again, what am I going to do about it?   It does no good to notice things, and/or complain about things if you aren't willing to do something to chqnge it.

Friday, April 19, 2013


So today I didn't do much overall,  except make banana bread, rock baby for most of the day, and then go to the temple this evening.   Kind of a day of recuperation after a crazy week.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Potty training day 4

Once again signed in as the hubs, but this is Julie making this post.

I decided today that Spike is not ready to be potty trained.  I might be giving up, but I think he doesn't grasp the concepts enough.  I don't think he really realizes what he is supposed to do, or even that he is supposed to do anything, other than sit on the potty.

So I am going to back off a bit.  I am going to keep him in pull-ups, and try to take him to the potty when he wakes up in the morning, after each meal, and before bed at night.  This way he is continually exposed to the potty, but it isn't being foisted upon him. 

The hubs worked from home today, so I was able to get out and take a walk this morning.  It was nice to enjoy some sunshine and exercise.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Potty training day 3

Today was better.   Tosay we worked on terminology.  We talked about things that are wet, and things that are dry.  When changing Baby's diaper I told Spike it was wet and squishy, and that wet and squishy diapers are uncomfortable.   He then pointed to his pull-up which had shortly before become wet and we talked about how it was wet, and then we changed it for a dry one.  We watched an episode pf Mr. Rogers where he talked about using the potty, and I could tell that Spike was making some connections.
I had a timer that would go off every 40 minutes reminding me to have him sit on the potty.   I told myself that as long as I could keep taking him there every time it rang, then I could keep putting pull-ups on him instead of underwear.   He did wear underwear for a little bit, because he wanted to, but after an accident we went back to pull-ups.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Potty training day 2

Today was more emotionally trying.   My goal was to have Spike spend all day sitting on the potty seat and rewarding him whenever he put something in it.  He started by wanting to play cars,  this worked ok until he wanted to be more mobile, then he had an accident and didn't want to sit on the potty again.  So I gave him an incentive.   I signed up for a week long free trial on Hulu.  Then I turned on Care Bears, which all of my children were interested in watching.   This made it a little more difficult to get the other kids to school, because they didn't want to miss anything. 

We then pretty much spent the rest of the day watching shows.  This is not one of my favorite past times, and I felt like I was wasting time.
Spike was making progress.  Every time he would urinate he would then stand upnso I could empty the potty,  then he would ask for a sticker.   So I know he was at least recognizing when he would go.
However every time I tried to do something else, things would start to get crazy.  I would sit down to nurse the baby, and Spike would decide he didn't want to sit on the potty.  One time he had to do a bowel movement,  and felt like he didn't want to do it in the potty,  so he got off the potty,  as I was sitting on the couch nursing the baby.  I didn't know what he was doing so I told him to get back on the potty.   He ignored me and headed for the stairs.  Then I noticed, so I took him to the bathroom,  and had him use the toilet.   He only did a little bit then said he was done.

A little bit later I headed up to the kitchen to make lunch, when I came back down to get them I noticed he had gotten off the potty and left presents for me all over the floor.

I am not sure how much he understands,  and if he is really ready for this.  If I put pants on him, he doesn't register any need to go to the potty.  Even if his underwear is soiled or wet, he doesn't seem to mind or communicate that fact.  I don't want to push him if he really isn't ready for this, but I don't want to back out just because I am having a hard time with it.

I struggle with balancing the other kids needs while working with Spike.   I feel like baby got neglected today.  And the other kids just want me to keep putting Spike back on the potty, so they can watch more shows.  And when I try to communicate with Spike about what we need to do, keep our pants dry, etc.   The other kids start demanding my attention,  making it really hard to talk to Spike.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Potty training day 1

I did pretty well with potty training Spike today.   I had a doctor appointment this morning,  so I waited until after that to get started.   I put the potty seat in front of the computer and we watched episodes of Arthur on pbs kids, and played games.  However I discovered that this little boy really needs a splash guard,  and the one that went with our potty seat is lost.  SobI put a pull-up back on him, and went to the store and bought a new potty with a built-in splash guard.   Then this afternoon he sat on his new potty while we played cars, and again while we watched potty training theamed videos on YouTube.   After that we put him in big boy pants, only going back to the pull-up when we got him ready for bed.  I am tired, but not too worn out.  I can tell that the Lord carried me through this day.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The goal of potty training

I hate potty training.   I have dreaded it with each of my kids, and it has taken what seemed like forever to get each of them there.  And I know that a big part of that blame rests on my shoulders.   I don't like having to clean up mess, after mess, after mess as a child wearing underwear for the first time discovers what happens when they wet or soil themselves.  I don't like scrubbing carpet so my house doesn't smell bad.  I don't like feeling like I have to follow a child around all day so that I am available wjen they need to go, especially when I have other children to take care of.  In short, I don't like to inconvenience myself now, even though it will make things easier in the future.   And so I am inconsistent and they don't learn for months, or in the case of Guyl years.  Which of course doesn't go far in convincing me it is time to start training the next one.
Spike, however is at a point where he needs to be trained,  regardless of how much I am dreading it.  So my goal for this next week is to put some serrious effort into potty training him each day.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Emotional Rollercoaster

Today was an emotionally trying day.  I got a lot done but struggled with my emotions.
I love my children.   I love to be with them and spend time with them.  But lately it seems like I am constantly thinking I am overwhelmed and want a break from them.  But then I have negative feelings that I direct at myself for thinking such things.  I even get occasional breaks from them, like getting out the other night with my friend.   But I keep feeling this way, which makes me wonder if those feelings are unrealistic,  and if 7 just need to change my attitude.   Although the hubs let me get a nap this afternoon,  and the world did look brighter afterward.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Two much trouble

Spike is a very resourceful child and I am having a hard time keeping him out of trouble.   Which unfortunately means I feel like I can't really ever get a break. If I put him in his room for a nap he usually makes a total mess oit of the room, and lately sttrips down to nothing, and I find other kinds of surprises.  None of my other kids have been this much trouble at this age.  He really tries my patience,  but he is so cute you can't stay mad at him for long.
The hubs brother was here all day today,  amd this evening we had more of his family over.  It was nice to spend some time with them.  Tonight I have my brother-in-law sleeping on my living room floor, so I will spare you the picture.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Potty training Spike

So today the goal was to work on potty training Spike.    On his own he has figured out how to take off his diaper and doesn't seem to have trouble urinating with out it on.  Now we just need to direct it to the potty.  He seemed to be having an adventure today, creating chaos in his wake before I could finish cleaning up the last disaster.
Tonight I got a night off and went out with one of my old roommates., while the hubs took care of the kids.
I honestly have no idea what my living room looks like at present.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Today was a discouraging day.  However the hubs told me I can't say negative things about myself, and I know if I get into all of the things that helped me feel discouraged I will likely get negative about myself.  So instead I am going to focus on today's positives.

I got all of the laundry washed,  most of it folded and some of it put away. 

I discovered a new book that I think Cinderella will enjoy, and read the first 3 chapters.

Baby is sleeping 6-10 hours most nights lately.

Tonight when we had popcorn,  Aurora wanted to make sure I got some too, and Spike kept getting handfuls and throwing them at me so I could have some.  Then he started taking handfuls and shoving them in my mouth.

Today's living room is clean in part to having the 11-year-old scouts come today.  The hubs is one of their leaders,  and scouts was here today.   I cleaned the living room before they showed up so there would be a place for them to sit.  Then tonight the hubs vacuumed up the popcorn mess.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


Today was better than yesterday.   We ran our normal schedule without having any sock kids home.  The hubs worked from home today so that probably helped, even though when he is working from home I try to pretend he isn't here so as to not be too much of a distraction for him.

I was able to take an hour of down time today and read my book.  I also cleaned up the playroom with Aurora and Guy.  I took the kids to the library (something I was able to do because I could leave Baby home with the hubs.)  Then I spent a bunch of time reading books to kids.  I also played dominoes with Aurora and Spike, simply making it a matching game.  I am not really getting a lot of housework done, but I am spending quality time with my kids, and striving to teach them how to do their part to keep the house clean.

The living room is still not quite as clean as I would like.  However it is better than it has been, so that is progress.

Monday, April 8, 2013


Today was my first day being mom to 5 kids without another adult around most of the time.  I have to say I am worn out. 

Cinderella got a sore throat in the middle of the day, and called me from school, to ask me to come and get her.  Spike was taking a nap and didn't want to wake up.  So I called one of my neighbours and asked her if she could come stay with the kids while I ran over to the school.

Later when Spike woke up from his nap, I discovered he was naked from the waist down.  I then decided it is time to switch to pull-ups and potty train that kid.

Overall I think I managed to handle all of the kids without too much stress.  I know I must have had divine help.

So here is my picture of my living room at the end of the day today.  I could have gotten it cleaner,  but I am worn out, and calling it good for today.   Maybe tomorrow I can have it all the way clean.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

On to week 3

Last weeks goal was to not use my tablet as much. I used it more than what I was aiming for but less than before.   I will keep working on that, but now it is time to inrroduce a new goal.  Have the living room clean every night before going to bed.  Here is a picture of what it looks like right now to use as a reference point.  Sorry it is out of focus.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

A great day

Today I got to listen to the General Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and spend time with family.   Can't think of a better day.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Cute kids, and lots of work.

This morning I decided to tackle the pile of stuff that has been sitting on my couch all week.  I started picking things up and asking different children to take care of things.  Spike came up to me, "mama, mama!"  The only thing I could figure was that he wanted a job too, so I asked him to take care of some toy cars.  He was happy ro help.  I think it is so cute.

Also this morning, I was rocking Baby in his room, and Cinderella sat down to play the computer.   I had told her before she could play, she needed to do her bathroom chores, her bed needed to be made, her room needed to be clean, and the playroom needed to be picked up.  So she completed those tasks, and then sat down to play.  Guy and Aurora sat down beside her to watch.  I heard he hubs ask Guy if his room was clean.  I knew it wasn't, because he doesn't ever clean his room on his own, and I hadn't helped him today.  I didn't hear his response, but I decided to be a proactive mama, and instead of just yelling at him yo clean his room, I put Baby in his bed, went and called Guy away from the computer,  and took him to his room, and together we cleaned it up.

And I cleaned the bathrooms today.  Not to shabby of a day. 
Then tonight we spent some time with my brother's family.  Aurora is having a sleep over with her cousin.  She was so excited,  she had no qualms with saying goodbye to me when I left. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Tie-dyed Rapunzel

Next week is spirit week at the elementary school, and on Monday, the kids are supposed to wear tie-dye.  So today we did a family activity making tie-dye shirts.  It was fun, but took quite a while.

Back when Baby was in the hospital,  we came home one evening,  and Guy came running up to the hubs exclaiming,  "Dad, your home!  We have been waiting for you!  Can you help us build a tree house now?"  Much to Guy's disappointment the hubs couldn't do much about it then.  So he decided to take some time off work during spring break, and help them build a play house.   He has been working on it all week, but today it finally started taking shape.  He spent a lot of time out there working on it today.  It is looking pretty good.

I got a nap today too.  But overall it didn't seem to be that productive of a day because it was the fun work we did today, but I need to remember fun work is still work.

Also, just before dinner, Cinderella came inside holding a big chunk of hair, informing me that Guy had cut Aurora's hair.  I wasn't too happy about that, because her hair doesn't grow very fast, and just got to the point where it is long enough to do things with it.  The hubs response was that we should bick Guy's head.  I didn't cut it quite that short, but it is a really short buzz.  Really short.  However I think his loss of hair is harder on me than on him.  He told me that they were just playing Tangled, and it was the part where Flynn Ryder cuts Rapunzel's hair, so of course he HAD to cut it.  *sigh.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Laundry is done!

Last night's post was written by the hubs from my point of view.  Tonight I (Julie) am writing, but I am using his laptop so it is logged into his account.  But really it is Julie writing this.

Today I got the laundry done.  It wore me out.  I also am really tired of my wardrobe.  My clothes don't fit well and I feel really unattractive in them.  However just having had a baby and breastfeeding I am an awkward size.  I found some cute nursing tops but they are really expensive (avg. $40 per top)  and some of them didn't fit very well.  I bought 3, but don't really feel like I  can afford to buy more than that.  I am not a shopper, so I dread the idea of trying to find clothes that fit and look flattering on me, at the same time I found myself wanting to take some of my shirts and burn them instead of putting them in my closet.  Any suggestions on where to look for cute affordable clothes?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Battery and Banks

I got ready to go run some errands and found the car battery dead for the second time in two days.  The hubs charged it while I vented my frustrations playing bubble popper on ky tablet while rocking the baby.  Then I went to autozone and met a guy who was having a worse day than I was.  The first two battery testers that he brought out to the parking lot didn't work.  The third one said the battery was bad, and before he was done replacing it he had dropped a piece of the car and a wrench down into the engine.

I finished my errands, which finally gave me all of the materials to finish making the job chart.   Cinderella helped me while the hubs kept a whole hoard of toddlers from destroying it.  I gave the kids froggy banks (along with setting up savings accounts for each of them) and explained the job system to them.  So far it's going well, the kids are excited about filling up their frogs.

Monday, April 1, 2013

A good, but busy day.

I did pretty well at using my time effectively.  Baby woke up this morning at 4:30, so I started my day after feeding him.  Our kids have spring break this week,  and so I didn't need to worry about getting anyone ready for school.  However there was a big pileup of dishes in the kitchen sink, so I finished unloading the dishwasher, loaded it full of dirty dishes, started it, and then took the dirty dish cloths and towels down to the laundry room.  There I found a mound of laundry that needed to be sorted, so I sorted thosenand then started a batch of towels.   Then I sat down and started working on my latest idea of a job chart. 

My current idea is based off of the web site myjobchart.com .   The kids each have assigned jobs that they get points for completing.   The points then are redeemable for different rewards, that you decide to make available.   In addition to their assigned jobs, we also have additional jobs that they can chose to do if they want to earn extra points.  Anyway I spent a lot of time today trying to get the additional jobs chart setnup so the kids can see what they are.  I didn't quite get it complete, but hopefully tomorrow I will finish it.

This afternoon,  Cinderella had a dentist appointment, but as I got ready to take her I found that the car battery was dead.  So my hubs and Cinderella rode their bikes down to AutoZone to get a battery charger. 

While they were gone, and I was in the house feeding Baby, Guy and Aurora were playing outside.   I guess Aurora decides she wanted to go to the school.  So she suggested this to Guy, who decided they should walk there.  So without telling anyone they took off walking.  When the hubs got back he asked me where those two were.  I said "outside".  A while later, I asked him if he had seen them outside,  to which he answered no.  I decided to go oir and look for them, but then I noticed our Bishop's wife pull into our driveway and get my rwo kids out of her car.  She told me she had found them walking to the school, almost there in fact.  I am grateful they let her bring them home.  I don't know how long it would have taken me to find them otherwise. 

Later in the afternoon I had a good friend, and old college roommate drop by with her kids to say hi.  It was just a quick visit, because some of her kids were sick, butnit was nice to see them.

And then tonight I had another friend drop by with a treat for me, and we got to visit for a little while.  I am so grateful for good friends and acts of kindness.

Overall it was a busy, but good day.  Oh and I managed to not spend time playing on my tablet,  except when I was nursing Baby, and one time while using the restroom.