Mom’s Chronicles

Day 31

It has been one month to the day since Rob left for Texas and boy do we miss him! It is hard to believe it has been that long already but at the same time hard to believe it hasn’t been longer. In the morning I had a lady stop by to drop off some sewing. Every time I get totally finished with everyone’s sewing it seems like someone else brings more. After that we ate an early lunch and then headed down to Salina. Got the oil changed on the van and picked up a few things. Abby was wearing her last diaper so we got more of those. I also picked up a few groceries and of course, we had to make a stop at happy hour. The kids decided to try the strawberry breeze slushes. I thought that sounded good and decided to get one too. It was all right at first but for some reason every time I have gotten one it has never been as good as the first time I tried some of Rob’s on the way to the ballgame we went to in June.

After we got our errands run and had everything home and unloaded we changed and headed down to the pool. It was Wednesday so the pool is open until 8 but I told the kids we were not going to stay until they closed. We stayed until around 6:40 and then I was ready to head home. We loaded up and headed home not a minute to soon as my stomach started giving me problems and I made it home just in time. Robbie and Emma took their showers and I changed Katie and Abby then we had dinner. After dinner I put a movie on for the kids and played a game on the computer. Then I rounded them up for bedtime stories and tucked them all in. With everything quiet I headed back down and turned my game back on. In between turns I cleaned up the kitchen, did dishes, and got some laundry done. I also packed up a box of books and then enjoyed talking on the phone with Rob as he headed home from work. After that it was time to take a shower and head to bed.

Day 30

Today was kind of a slow day. For some reason I just wasn’t very motivated to get much done. After everyone was up and around we walked down to the courthouse and voted. The kids all took I Voted stickers though I was the only one who voted. 🙂 After that I picked up a little and then started fixing lunch. I am at the verge of having a revolt on my hands over the peanut butter and jelly (well, Katie and Abby are still happy with that) so the kids had grilled cheese sandwiches instead. Robbie rejoiced over the fact that I used up the rest of the bread so we wouldn’t have to have anymore sandwiches until Mom went shopping. Abby wasn’t too sure about the grilled cheese and only ate half a sandwich before having some goldfish. The other kids seemed to enjoy the change. I also warmed up the last can of Spaghetti O’s to go with the sandwiches in a continued effort to empty out the pantry. Lunch went well and then Robbie started on his math for the day. He is really motivated to do his math now so he can play the Reader Rabbit game on the computer! He did his worksheet while I worked on ordering pictures for scrap-booking and then he did his lesson once I was done. Today rather than missing all but three he actually got all but three correct! I think maybe he finally understands the concept. Hopefully he is as quick to catch the subtracting side of things. Math was quickly over as was his 30 minutes of the computer game and then the kids talked to Dad on the phone.

Naptime came for Abby and I asked Katie if she wanted to take her nap “now or later?”. She said she would take it and went down without any problems. While the younger girls were sleeping the rest of us headed up to the attic and packed up most of Robbie’s books. I think he would have kept out more but I told him we needed to fill the box and that took most of what was left on his bookshelf. I consoled him with the fact that we could always check out books from the library and he was good with that. Robbie now has two boxes packed. I think his room is going to be a slow process as he seems to think he might want everything! After that I left them playing and put some chicken on to cook then packed up a box of stuff from the bathroom. Once the chicken was done I made it into casseroles to put in the freezer for Rob and then it was time to start on dinner. By now Robbie and Emma had come downstairs and headed outside to play. Emma played with the sidewalk chalk and Robbie wrapped his rope all around the tree so he could climb it. He is getting to be quite the tree climber!

With dinner over I decided to sit down a while and goof off on the computer. Robbie and Emma took showers and then they watched a phonics movie and a sing a long. I started playing a game on the computer so other than getting the kitchen cleaned up and the kids tucked in my evening ended up being quite unproductive.

Day 29

Had a busy last two days. Yesterday we had church and potluck and then I took the rest of the day easy. I took a nap and then we had leftovers for dinner. After dinner the kids talked to Dad on the phone and then to Grandpa and Grandma on the computer. Once they were done we all settled down on the couches and watched a movie. By the time I got the kids to bed it was almost 11. I really wasn’t that tired yet and I had to dresses that needed to be altered (both for two separate weddings this week) so I decided to stay up and work on them so that I could work with no distractions. I was able to get the bridesmaid dress finished. (It only needed to be shortened but there were three different layers.) I finished it up around 1:30 and decided to call it a night. I think I finally was in bed with the lights out just after 2.

As it had been a late night I slept in this morning. Katie and Abby were both awake when I got up and Robbie woke up not terribly long after. Emma on the other hand, I didn’t see until almost noon! Today I was taking a meal over to a friend who is recovering from surgery so I got that going when I got up. I had decided to do pulled pork and potato salad and it seemed like I spent most of the day in the kitchen. When I wasn’t in there I helped Robbie go over a math lesson and checked, and re-checked, and re-checked his math worksheet. He was learning how to add with regrouping and so it took him a little while to get it and then to make sure he had the right numbers in the right columns. I had put a computer game on the computer for him that morning though so he was motivated to work his way through it and finally got the worksheet correctly finished. Both of my customers also stopped by and picked up their dresses today. I think that they were both happy with them. By the time everything was done there was no way we were going to make it to the pool. I did manage to get the meal finished in time and dropped off. After dropping it off we headed home and ate. I have to admit that while it took some effort to get it all finished it was really good.

This afternoon between cooking, I also managed to squeeze in packing most of a box. It is almost full and I am running out of things to put in it so I guess that I am making some progress. As I was packing stuff from my room, and in the box went my old letters and other various keepsakes I must say I lost some time reading old letters and reminiscing. The letters warmed my heart and brought back such wonderful memories I really ought to go through them more often.

After dinner the kids decided to go out and play in the yard so I made a few phone calls. During one of them Robbie came in and informed me that Abby had thrown up on the kitchen floor. Thus ended the phone call. Abby had needed a bath anyways and Robbie had thoughtfully put the dogs out so I decided to give her a bath first and then clean up the floor. She enjoyed playing the water as I got her all cleaned up and then sat in her crib while I cleaned the floor up. She seems to be fine so maybe she just ate too much. Well, it is once again getting late and as Katie is covered in dirt I probably ought to give her a bath before bedtime so I’d better run.

Day 27

For the second night in a row I don’t think I fell asleep until after 2 in the morning. I am not sure what my problem is but it is starting to get somewhat irritating. Hopefully I am tired enough tonight that I will fall asleep. This morning I got dinner going in the crockpot and then started cleaning house. I managed to get everything done with 30 minutes to spare before we had to be out of the house. Since we were going to the library I decided to try to get some of the books we still had read. I read all but one of them (which is a chapter book so I knew I wouldn’t have time for) and then it was time to go. We were pulling out of the driveway as the people were getting ready to turn in. We spent about 25 minutes at the library and then headed home. They were just leaving as I drove by so we went around a few blocks and they were gone when we got back. I haven’t heard anything back yet but I figure 30 minutes isn’t too bad – they must not have totally not liked it. I guess we will wait and see.

This afternoon I was feeling quite unmotivated so we decided to start Joseph. We watched that for a while and then it was time for me to work on dinner some more. I had put the potatoes on to boil at the start of the movie. I got the potato salad, cookies, bread, and the casserole for tomorrow’s potluck made. I even managed to get the kitchen mostly cleaned up before Mrs. Morris showed up. I decided that some adult conversation sounded good and I had cooked plenty so I’d invited her over for dinner. Dinner was good (except for a minor run in with the “I have to do everything” monster) and everyone ate more than their fills worth. Abby was a very enthusiastic eater and after her first cookie was happy with a small piece of bread since she was still hungry. Happy, that is, until she saw her brother and sister get a second cookie and decided she needed a second also. I guess not a whole lot escapes her when it comes to food. After dinner we cleaned up and the kids played inside then decided to play out. The weather this evening has been beautiful, I even opened up the house. It’s supposed to get down to 61 tonight, which is a welcome reprieve! I’m planning on enjoying it as we are supposed to be back over 100 next week again. Abby enjoyed hamming it up while the big kids were out playing. She definitely appreciates it when people pay attention to her. We had a good visit. The kids are now taking showers in hopes that we will finish watching Joseph. We will have to see what time it is when they get done but maybe. I suppose if we are going to finish it I had better get started getting Abby and Katie in their pj’s.

Day 26

Another busy day. While I only got one box packed today, I did manage to get quite a bit of cleaning done. We are supposed to show the house tomorrow afternoon, so I got the laundry room, downstairs bathroom, and computer room cleaned up. The kids got their rooms mostly clean and should be able to finish them up tomorrow. I got a few bills paid, and then ran a few errands on the way to the pool this afternoon. Robbie had a good time going off the diving board. Katie had fun spinning in circles. Emma played with the torpedo and is getting better at getting it off the bottom of the pool. Abby just enjoyed floating around watching everyone and then splashing with Mom. After the pool closed we made a few more stops and found out that while the Dollar General here carries chocolate chips they usually sell fast. So, I opted to buy M&M’s and make Peanut Butter Oatmeal M&M Cookies instead of Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, which is what the recipe is supposed to be but I figured I’d just improvise. I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t turn out.

Once home, I got dinner going and made several phone calls. I also managed to pour boiling water on one of my fingers while draining the spaghetti noodles. I don’t think I’ve ever had a burn that stung for that long, despite running it under cold water and caking on Aloe Vera! Oh well, at least it no longer burns, now it is just sensitive. I was able to get everyone fed and dinner cleaned up. I had been planning on giving the dogs a bath as they have gotten to smelling quite bad and figured I might as well go ahead and give it a try. Amazingly enough the larger of the two dogs was easier to wash with one hand than the little one. For some reason she decided she didn’t really want to be under the water. She didn’t have a whole lot of options and now both dogs are mostly clean and smell significantly better! A friend stopped by while I was bathing the dogs and while she was here Katie decided to play in the dirt. She had it all over her hands and face so I decided to tackle her next. I must say it was a lot easier to shampoo the dogs and get them rinsed with one hand than it was to get all the shampoo out of Katie’s hair with one hand. With three out of four kids clean I decided to let Abby wait until tomorrow and call it a day. Got the kids tucked into bed and all is quiet once again.

Day 25

This morning we all slept in. I think everyone needed it. Abby slept almost 12 hours and 45 minutes without waking up! Apparently she was even more tired than I. I still cannot tell if I am making much progress or not but at least the house is getting neater with every box I pack and everything I find a place for. Today I packed I box of fabrics and another of kitchen things. It is so hard to determine what I might need from my kitchen in the next who knows how many months. I think if I knew how long it was going to be it would be a whole lot easier! I now have everything out from the cabinets to the left of the sink other than my roasting pan. Everything else has either been moved over to emptied spaces or packed up. I also cleared off the top of the cabinet in the laundry room. My initial plan was to stack the medium boxes two high. They would fit up there, however, after two attempts of trying to lift the boxes that far over my head I finally gave up and settled for just two medium boxes up there side by side. Guess I will have to find somewhere else to put boxes… I also got my large pantry cleaned out and managed to fit a medium box in there. We are now down to food just in the two pantries. It would be nice if I could get it down to one and also get the deep freeze emptied out and turned off.

Between cleaning and packing (only three boxes today) most of my morning and afternoon were taken up. We also made a quick trip to the bank that was preceded by putting air in three out of four of Robbie and Emma’s bike tires. Robbie’s rear tire has something wrong with it though (well something more than it already had wrong with it). While I was airing it up the compressor gauge just kept going up and up and the tire was still not firm. I think I’m going to have to try to get a replacement tire and see if I can get the tube and the tire replaced. Emma’s bike seemed to work fine after I aired up her tires.

After our walk I went back to work and while cleaning the laundry room up and packing stuff back there I decided to mend a few things so they could get packed where they go. I sewed two buttons on shirts that now no longer fit Robbie and began to think that maybe I needed to check my mending pile just a little more often. I also patched up two toys. There is still quite a pile but I’m hoping to at least get a few more done in the next few days. In between work in the laundry room I managed to clean up two messes Abby made. She really likes playing in the water… Fortunately, I caught her just as she was starting to get into the dogs water dish so other than clean her up, the second mess wasn’t so bad. She definitely keeps things interesting around here. Right before dinner I got a big kick out of watching her sitting in the kitchen trying to catch a fly. Every time it landed on the floor she would crawl over and try to grab it only to have it fly off for her to track down again. It made quite the cute picture.

This evening I worked on sewing while we enjoyed watching Noah by Sight and Sound Theatres. It was really well done and we enjoyed it. Unfortunately Abby was grumpy and I was working on replacing a zipper so that was all I managed to get done. Oh well, we are planning on watching Jonah so maybe I can get more done then.

Day 24

Exhausted! Other than mow the front I don’t feel like I’ve gotten anything done. I am going to bed.

Day 23

Today seemed a little more relaxed. We all slept in a little and then got up and headed to the post office. After that we had brunch (or at least we called it that since it was breakfast food eaten pretty close to lunch time). The kids cleaned up the table and then Robbie tried to get Emma to play Legos with him. He wanted to have a war with her being the British and him being the Americans. She wasn’t real wild about playing with Robbie as she wanted to be on the same team and was really frustrated he wouldn’t play on the same team as her. I tried to explain that you couldn’t exactly have a war and be on the same team. I finally gave up and told them to try to get along, be friendly, all those nice things, and that Emma could play with her Legos later. I also got out Katie’s legos as she was upset that I told her she couldn’t play. Abby only managed to find about three of the big kids Legos, the rest of them remained on the table. I didn’t figure that was too bad considering that they had them out most of the day. While the kids played Legos I worked on packing boxes in the kitchen. I managed to get five boxes packed today (one after the kids were in bed). I also moved some of what was left to fill in holes and empty out cabinets. I have about 3/4 of the cabinets over by the microwave emptied out! The frustrating part is that it has taken me two days to get this done! Oh well, at least for now I have all the time in the world to get things packed up. Now I just need to figure out where I am going to store these boxes.

This evening I took a little bit of a break and we watched Prestley’s Country Jubilee show that a friend had lent us. I hauled out my sewing machine and got one person’s sewing done. I also managed to get a deposit together while it was on and then I just sat for a while and enjoyed the break. After it was over it was time to get everyone ready for bed. We got ready quickly and all gathered on my bed for another chapter in Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Abby is not much of one for listening to bedtime stories and usually ends up fussing but the other three seemed to enjoy it. Once they were all tucked in it was back downstairs to get some more done. I managed to get one box packed, a load of laundry going, the dishwasher loaded, and cleaned out one of the drawers so that it can just be packed when it is time to go. Well, as it is 11:30 I think I am going to hit the showers and then head to bed.

Day 22

Boy life sure seems to be crazy. Why is it I get so much more done after I put everyone to bed! It is now 11:49 p.m. and since I have put the kids down I’ve gotten three boxes packed, the dishwasher loaded, the kitchen cleaned, a load of laundry in the dryer, and checked my e-mail. It just seems hard to get things done when you are constantly stopping to fix meals, pick up after people, stop to help with potty breaks, remind Katie that someone else is supposed to get her drinks, help with legos or various other projects, and deal with the occasional meltdown. Oh well, I suppose life would be rather dull without them.

Sorry for the lapse in posts. Days 10 and 11 I felt like I was a hamster running on a wheel. I worked non-stop trying to get us all packed and the van loaded for our trip to Texas. We also managed to squeeze in an evening at the County Fair. We went down there for the pig scramble and I think everyone had a good time. The kids got one ticket each and decided to play a game. Robbie was the only one who won any prize tickets but it was still fun. The fair was quite impressive and there was a really large crowd. I was a little worried we weren’t going to be able to find anywhere to park! That was quite the change from years past where it seemed that attendance was shrinking each year. Friday we headed down to Texas and had a great time down there visiting with Rob as well as several other family members. The kids enjoyed swimming and showing Dad all their tricks. Abby decided to take her first couple of steps while we were down there so that Dad could see them. I’m glad he was able to share in that special moment. The trip flew by and seemed way to short. I would have loved to stay longer but we had company coming in Friday night so we had to get back home.

This last weekend we had a good visit with Ruth and Josh. They came up for a wedding but the kids enjoyed visiting with them while they were here. It was good to see them and I enjoyed having some adult conversation! They both headed home yesterday. Josh left in the morning and Ruth headed home after we all had lunch with Mrs. Morris. After lunch we headed home and took naps, then headed down to the pool. Robbie had tried to pass the swim test on Saturday but had just fallen a little short so I took him back Sunday to try again. He was sure he could do it and he did! To do so he had to swim the width of the pool twice. He had a little trouble on the second half but he pushed through and made it. He sure has come a long way since last spring when he was afraid to even put his head under the water! Now that he has passed the swim test he can go in the deep end without a parent. Even though he could he opted to play in the shallow end which was just fine with me. Emma is also swimming some under the water. The swimming lessons they took definitely paid off.

Today we went to Salina to run errands. We left just after 10 a.m. and didn’t get home until after 6 p.m., which made for a long day. Mrs. Morris came with us and we all enjoyed lunch at Hong Kong Buffet. Robbie was thrilled to have all he could eat of the various types of chicken. Abby ate until I thought she’d had enough and then still managed to fit in two mini eclairs, half a cream puff, and pieces of fortune cookies from whoever was willing to share! She definitely enjoyed her food though and was quite the entertainment to those around us. After lunch we shopped until Abby dropped – or at least fell asleep and didn’t even wake up in the last store. Katie made it until we pulled out of the parking lot of the last stop and all three girls slept most of the way home. We had a simple dinner of hot dogs and rice then the kids cleaned up the table without being reminded since Robbie wanted to put together the new lego set he’d gotten as an early birthday present. After that it was time for showers and to get ready for bed. We read a chapter in the Voyage of the Dawn Treader and then I got them all tucked in. It is amazing how much quieter it is once they are all in bed! As nice and peaceful as it is I suppose I had better get to bed so I’m ready to get up when they do in the morning…

Day 9

This morning I got up early and put Abby’s car seat back together. It was a whole lot easier to get back together than it was to take apart. Got the rest of the kids up and gathered up all the various fair entries. We headed down to the fairgrounds to drop off our entries. Fortunately, I had a large number of the entry slips filled out otherwise we would have been down there forever! After that I dropped Robbie off at camp and headed home. Before picking Robbie up I got the front and side yards mowed and all but the trunk of the van vacuumed out. Picked up Robbie and went back down to the fairgrounds to see how we did and photograph the entries. (I realized while we were down there that I misread the day we were supposed to pick them up and so I took pictures for the person picking them up.) Emma received a best of show on her aquarium and she and Robbie received mostly blue and red ribbons. Unfortunately, I hadn’t read all the instructions on the cooking (the way they were written wasn’t the clearest) and he was informed that he was only getting a red ribbon because we had failed to include the recipe. I felt bad since he had worked so hard and they had turned out really nicely. Uniform in size and color and tasted quite good.

After that we came home and ate lunch. I finished vacuuming out the van and then headed up to work on my closet. I got my desk totally cleaned off and out and ready to head south. I also got everything moved around in my closet so as to fit more in and yet look big and uncluttered. I packed up one more box and then headed down to work on the sun porch. I got it two thirds of the way clean before it was time to load up and take Robbie to ride his bike in the parade. We dropped him off and then picked up some bread, dropped the van off at home, and walked downtown. The girls enjoyed watching the parade and Robbie enjoyed riding in it. Much to my frustration my phone battery died so I didn’t get a picture! We came home with an ice cream bucket full of candy! After getting home the kids all sampled a piece of candy while I peeled potatoes for dinner.  Needless to say it has been a long day and I am exhausted! I’m hoping dinner gets done soon so we can eat and then finish things up and head to bed.

Day 8

It has been a long day. I woke the kids up this morning and told them to get ready quickly as Robbie is going to a safety day camp this week and Emma had a doctor’s appointment. They decided that quickly translated to a fairly slow pace. They ate a rushed breakfast and we headed out the door getting Robbie to camp just a couple minutes late. Fortunately there was enough of a gap in there that we weren’t late for Emma’s appointment. The doctor’s office was crowded, but we got in within a reasonable amount of time. We only made it through two and a half short stories in the princess book we were reading before the nurse practitioner we were seeing came in. Emma’s ears looked good and her bloody noses were attributed to dryness. She recommended using either a humidifier or saline spray. She also mentioned that she thought Emma may have problems. with allergies. Perhaps that is why she has had so many problems this year as the allergens have been really high due to a mild winter. We do live in a high allergen area so hopefully we won’t have near as many problems after we move.

After a short time at home we all loaded back up and headed off to pick up Robbie running a couple errands on the way there. We had a couple more stops after getting Robbie and then we headed home for lunch. We had Abby’s favorite menu of PB&J and goldfish. I thought maybe she was going to be done after 3/4 of her sandwich but after she saw the goldfish she decided to finish up her sandwich and have some fish. Tried to get some sorting/packing done after lunch and got the drawers of my desk cleaned out. (I still have to get the top cleaned off but I’m hoping to finish that tomorrow.) We also got the fair cards filled out and everything ready to go. After nap time we once again headed off to the pool. While we were there Katie got stung by a bee. It was quite the traumatic event since once the bee stung her it took it quite a while to fly off despite our efforts to get it off. We pulled out the stinger and the lifeguard was on hand with baking soda and a lollipop. The soda for the sting and the lollipop I believe was in an effort to calm the screams. The lollipop was refused but after sticking it in several times I was finally able to get it down to a dull cry with only an occasional wail. I finally got her mostly calmed down with the thought of watching a movie when we got home. While I was sure that her hand hurt I was also quite sure that the whole park didn’t need to hear long term how badly it had hurt. The pool was about to close so Robbie and Emma swam the last few minutes while I took care of Abby and Katie. Then we all loaded up and headed home. I washed Katie’s hand off, got her dressed and we put on the movie. It’s amazing how quickly her hand was temporarily forgotten.

We took a short break for dinner and then the kids went back to their movie while I tried to get a few things done. After the movie ended the kids talked with Grandpa and Grandma for a while on the computer and Robbie made snicker doodles to enter in the fair. I knew it was going to be a late night as I got the kids put down and headed back to clean up the kitchen and pick up. Now if I can just get my bed cleaned off perhaps I can get some sleep tonight.

Day 7

Well it has now been a whole week since Rob has left. While is some ways the days have gone quickly in other ways the week seems to have dragged on forever! It was another short night as it took me a while to fall asleep and then Katie woke up crying that she didn’t want to sleep because of the ouchie on her knee! I said a short prayer with her and told her that I would leave her door open if she stopped crying and went to sleep. It worked like a charm and I was back in bed sound asleep shortly thereafter. Morning came quickly and I did not want to get up when the alarm went off. I got up anyways and got everyone going. As usual Abby was the first one up and dressed. It’s easy when you don’t have to dress yourself and you don’t have enough hair to do anything with. She was sorting one of her new dresses and wearing a pink flower headband with new (to her) pink sandals. She looked rather cute. Katie was the second one ready. For some reason she didn’t want to wear tights this morning (perhaps because Abby wasn’t, but I don’t know). I told her it would keep her knee from getting hurt again and that seemed to fix the problem. She picked out her pink dress and was quickly dressed and had her hair braided. By this time Emma was dressed and waiting to have her hair done. Amazingly enough, all four kids were ready early so I fixed their breakfast and headed back up to get myself ready. With the kids downstairs eating, instead of watching my every move and being in my way every time I turned around I was able to quickly get ready and even had time for breakfast!

Sunday School went smoothly. We had a good discussion and the two little girls played mostly quietly. Robbie and Emma made pinwheels in their class. Their teacher informed me that they commented on the dangerousness of the pins sticking out but were sure that Mom would make sure that they were careful and got them fixed. As usual the kids enjoyed cookies between Sunday School and church. This morning someone had also brought some delicious lemon pound cake! Church on the other hand didn’t go quite as smoothly. Everyone was antsy, I guess because Dad was gone and so we’d forgotten where exactly we were supposed to sit! Abby was getting noisy so I decided to hold her to try to get her to sleep. Katie then got irritated with Emma at one point and Robbie at another. I cannot remember which of the two sparked the outburst loud enough to be taken out. I do remember though that as we headed out the door the noise escalated. I’m sure our morning speaker appreciated the addition to the beginning of his message. Once outside the outburst was quickly dealt with and we returned a quieter, more sober, Katie. The rest of the service was pretty uneventful until up at the very end we had to tell someone “no” loud enough to be heard by all. Katie is very special but there are some days she can really try my patience… I did find it somewhat amusing when they were asked during Children’s Message whether they were going to visit Grandpa and Grandma soon that she remarked “No, we are going to be moving down there.” She may not know what all moving entails but apparently she knows it is going to happen at some point and is quite matter of fact about it.

After church we had sandwiches for lunch. As I had delayed the Wii playing by 30 minutes at this point due to various spats and arguments arising between siblings I opted that we would all take naps. We did so and everyone seemed to wake up in a better mood. Robbie and Emma enjoyed playing Mario Cart and I was able to get a few things done. Once the Wii started becoming a source of irritation we took a break and worked on the aquariums. They are almost done! After that we ate dinner. Robbie and Emma each got to play one set of races by themselves and then we sat down to watch a movie. I brought out my sewing machine and was able to get several things done. We also took a break and called Dad. All in all it was a good day. The fair starts Tuesday so I am anticipating that we are going to have a hectic week.

Day 6

The days seem to keep getting longer. It seemed like forever until I was able to fall asleep last night. Even so, when the doorbell woke me up this morning I was shocked to see how late I’d slept! As it was a late morning we had brunch rather than breakfast. The honey butter flavored Grands biscuits are quite the hit! After brunch was eaten and cleaned up we pulled out the paints and art supplies to work on projects for the fair. I got Robbie and Emma set up and then headed upstairs to try to box some stuff up. I got one box packed and then was back downstairs helping them work on their “aquariums” that they are working on. I think they are going to come out cute but they sure have taken up quite a bit of time! In between working on those and their paintings most of the afternoon seemed to fly by. After Katie and Abby’s nap we headed down to the pool again. The kids once again had a good time swimming and both Robbie and Emma are progressing really well in their swimming skills. It helps when you have other kids there to swim with and don’t always realize you are practicing. After all might as well keep up with the rest of the boys…

We headed home just before closing time and I got dinner on and started kids through the showers. After a quick and simple dinner Robbie and Emma worked more on their artwork and I put in Mario Cart. As we have been banned from Mario Cart for several months now there was quite a bit of excitement. Unfortunately, there was also quite a bit of groans when we had to break to finish up our projects. I got them headed in the right direction and went upstairs to give Katie and Abby baths. Katie has decided that baths are great so long as there are bubbles in them. Now everyone is clean and Robbie and Emma are happily playing Mario Cart (in between getting irritated with each other – aah the joys of siblings). It doesn’t seem like I have gotten anything done today other than that one box. Tomorrow I think we are going to skip the pool so maybe I can get a little more done. Still nothing on the house. It is hard to believe it will only be one week tomorrow since Rob left. I’m kind of with Katie and counting the days until we are headed down to visit. Hopefully everyone’s comments that the house should be able to sell are accurate and that it goes quickly!

Day 5

Last night wasa short night as Abby decided to wake up at 2:30 crying and screaming. This continued for at least thirty minutes or so despite several efforts to get her calmed down. Finally gave her some teething tablets and that seemed to do the trick as I don’t think she ever woke up crying again after that.  I tried to sleep in due to the shortened night but Robbie got up and put the dogs out and I’m not sure I really slept after that. I finally got up and spent most of the morning trying to get boxes packed. It seemed like the first box took forever as the first two boxes I tried were too small and the third too big. I finally gave up and went with the big box and filled it with various other things. So much for trying to be really organized. I packed a whopping two boxes! At the rate I’m going it will take me until Christmas to finish packing everything up. Of course nothing on the house yet so I may have until then… I also rescheduled (yes, again!) the transmission flush on the van. I realized that trying to get it done on the way to Texas wasn’t going to work as not only would I have a van full plus four kids but I would also have two dogs and nowhere to put them. I hope I should be good to go now!

Once again we went to the pool. Katie didn’t last near as long in the water and we had somewhat of a meltdown when it was time to leave. I think next time she needs a longer nap before we go. Abby once again enjoyed floating around and it is amusing to watch her taking everyone in while occasionally resting her head on her arms and looking half asleep. Emma is getting quite a bit better at swimming for short distances under water. At the rate she is going she will catch up with Robbie. He is also doing well but hasn’t quite figured out how to come back up for air without standing up. I can’t complain though as they’ve come further in the last year than I could get them in the several years leading up to this one! After the pool the big kids took showers and we had dinner. Abby decided she liked tonight’s pasta and ate several servings. I am always amused by her enthusiasm when dessert comes out. As much as she seemed to enjoy the pasta you could tell by her squeal of delight that the cookie that followed was going to be far superior! After dinner the kids watched a movie while I finally broke down and set up a facebook account. Hopefully we will be able to keep with everyone through that after we move. Well, as Abby is fussy and most likely tired I suppose I had better start tucking everyone in.

Day 4

Yesterday I was able to get the floor mopped and everyone to bed without too much trouble. This morning I worked on getting the house cleaned as we had a 5:00 showing. The kids picked up their rooms and the toys downstairs while I worked on cleaning the bathroom, tried to declutter, dusted and vacuumed. I even manage to get a large number of fingerprints off the windows. It is quite easy to forget that all those fingerprints and mouth prints are there when you don’t open the shades very often. Since today is Thursday we had summer reading after lunch so we took a break from cleaning and headed off to the library. Robbie had once again finished reading his books (he has already passed his goal of reading 75 books) so he took those back and picked out a bunch more. Emma on the other hand has to rely on me to read to her so we still hadn’t finished hers. She and Katie both just picked out one more book each to add to my growing stack of library books to read. Once we got home it was back to cleaning. After the kids had supposedly done their jobs it took Robbie less than an hour to finish the new stack of books he had gotten. I am glad that he has such an enthusiasm for reading! Unfortunately, I went up to check their rooms and beds and neither one of them had made their bed. One of the two (who shall remain nameless) hadn’t really cleaned their room, they had just cleaned up the floor. Needless to say, they both got in trouble and finished up just in time to get changed so we could go swimming.

We got to the pool just before five and as we were getting out I couldn’t find my phone so we all loaded back up so I could try to get in and get it before the house showed. About halfway home I remembered hearing something fall while we were driving. Sure enough it was my phone, so we went back to the pool. We spent a nice relaxing hour down there and the kids all seemed to have a good time. Emma is getting much braver and put her head under the water several times as well as swam to me under the water a few times. She said she wished Dad was here so he could see her. I told her she’ll have to show him while we are down in Texas. The pool closed at six and we headed back home. I warmed up leftovers for dinner and everyone at least seemed to find something they were at least content to eat. After dinner I decided to bake some cookies. After looking in my pantry my choice of what kind was severely limited but we got them made and everyone seemed happy with them. Now it is off to make sure everyone gets a bath tonight so we can avoid getting green hair. Maybe I’ll even get a box or two packed before bedtime…

Day 3

Last night was a late night. Everyone got either showers or baths, and then, as is not uncommon, Pooh was missing in action and no one seemed to know where he was. He was finally located hiding in Emma’s bed. Unfortunately, that was the last place I looked so it was rather late. How Emma could be sitting in her bed when everyone was told to find Pooh, and have not noticed him is utterly beyond me. I finally got everyone settled in bed with the traditional “Yes Katie, I will wake you up in the morning and leave your door cracked”.  With everyone tucked in for bed, I read a couple chapters in a book that Robbie got from the library which I had told him I needed to read first. It wasn’t exactly gripping so I didn’t finish it. Rather I opted to read another section in my book. Once again it was somewhat late when I finally shut off the lights.

Morning came early as I was concerned that I wouldn’t hear the doorbell ring if they came to pick up the van for the transmission flush, so I got out of bed and turned the fan off. The windows were open and it was pleasantly cool outside. I got back in bed and was awakened later by Rob calling to check on something while driving to work. I also decided to check with him as to what the expected MO was for picking up the van, then headed out to take care of that. As I had been up late I decided to catch a little more shut eye. I woke up later and finished the book for Robbie. I decided that he didn’t need to read it.

Today’s goal was to work on cleaning up and then take the kids to the pool as they have been wanting to go for quite some time. My morning was quite profitable. I got everyone up, dressed, fed, and then started cleaning up. I got a large number of empty boxes moved upstairs and stashed out of the way and mostly out of sight. I also moved the boxes that were out in our room into Rob’s closet. Took a break for lunch and then started on cleaning up the laundry room. It is by no means organized and squeaky clean, but it now looks much more spacious and much cleaner. I threw away a couple things, took some to be recycled, cleaned up my sewing desk and vacuumed back there. Next on the list was the kitchen. I was able to get outside of the refrigerator cleaned off and have most of the counter tops clean. My goal for this evening is to have it swept and mopped before bedtime.

After Abby and Katie took their midday naps we all changed, loaded up and headed off to the pool. We made a few stops on the way there and finally got down to the park when I realized we’d forgotten our towels at home. Fortunately we hadn’t gotten out of the car yet. We made the loop through the park and headed home to get towels, then back to the pool. It was now about 4. This was Abby’s first time swimming and she took to it like a charm. She sat in the little floating ring I’d gotten her and was content to float around and watch all the people. I got her out of her ring twice, during which she enjoyed splashing the water as she couldn’t reach it while in her ring. Katie is also getting more comfortable in the water and quite good at moving around. She floated around kicking moving to Abby and then grabbing onto Abby’s ring and moving away from Mom. It was quite the fun game. We swam for about two hours and Abby was beginning to fall asleep in her ring so I decided it was time to head home. She and I dried off while the other three played in the water for just a little longer and then it was home to get dinner. I had already put dinner together so I just needed to warm it up. Katie and Abby were working on their leftover macaroni. I was beginning to think Abby was going to win out on not eating hers as she was opting to just eat broccoli instead. However, with a little ketchup and a lot of time she finally finished it up! I can’t remember if it took her two or three dinners to do so…

All in all its been a pretty good day. Hopefully Pooh doesn’t decide to hide tonight and everyone goes down without any problems…

Day 2

Today has gone much smoother. I got everyone to bed last night somewhat early as they all sound pretty bad even if they claim they don’t feel bad. After getting them all in bed I got a few more things done and started a new book, which so far I am enjoying. Stayed up later than I meant to reading and then decided I’d better shut out the lights and get some sleep. It was supposed to be a cool night so we slept with the windows open making it easier to get up. I had planned to sleep in a little but with the sun shining in I was wide awake and so I decided to get up and as the house was still and quiet, to read a little more. After reading for a bit I was able to get some cleaning up and sorting done before heading up to the attic (my first planned goal now that Rob is gone). I worked up there for almost two hours during which Robbie and Emma woke up. They got dressed and watched me go through stuff instead of following the suggestion to pick up their rooms. I got one box packed and the already boxed up stuff in the attic closet sorted out and moved to one section. While cleaning out I realized that we had not marked the non-working StarWriter that we had kept for parts so I found the cords and plugged in the two I needed to choose from. As I was setting up Robbie asked “what is that?”, while a StarWriter is a somewhat modern typewriter he had no clue. I explained to him that it was basically an old form of a computer. (Emma later also wanted to know what that thing was.) After finding out that we in fact have two working typewriters and one broken one I packed the working on and put the dead one to go down for the trash.

As I’d been working for a while and the morning was quickly passing I headed down to fix cereal and milk for the kids and wake up the younger two. They were both awake so I got them dressed and got them fed as well. As we were all downstairs we decided to do the craft project I’d promised the girls we’d do today. Out came the glue, ribbon, flowers, and flip flops. My hands were quite sticky by the time we got done and I didn’t think Emma was ever going to figure out which flowers she wanted where and put them on, but all in all I was quite pleased with the project. Both girls were very impressed with the newly decorated flip flops and have been wearing them most of the day. You can see pictures of the finished projects on the main page. In between flip flops we took a break for peanut butter and jelly along with some goldfish. Lunch was a success and Abby really liked both her sandwich and the goldfish.

After lunch and craft cleanup it was back up to the attic for me while the kids elected to stay downstairs. Robbie was supposed to finish his math and Emma had found the broken typewriter waiting to go out with the trash. I told her she could play with it. It has become quite the popular item. Perhaps it’ll wait a few weeks before going out with the trash. I now have everything sorted and moved and just need to get one more bin of clothes done along with a handful of small stuff. Everything else that we won’t need is either boxed and neatly stacked ready to go. Or, it is sorted in boxes waiting for a moving sale, which I plan on having before we go. I even managed to get one box of Robbie’s stuff backed up. You would be surprised how long one box can take to pack when you have to wait on someone to decide what all we aren’t going to want and thus be willing to pack it. One small box sure seemed like it held a lot of stuff! (Or at least that’s how it seemed to Robbie when Mom kept saying there was still room for more.) The box is now sealed and set off to the side of the attic with the rest of the boxes. I left Robbie and Emma in the attic with instructions to clean their rooms, put Katie down for a nap, and headed down for a few minutes of quiet. All in all it has been quite a productive day. I suppose I had better head off to get dinner going before Robbie’s game tonight…

Day 1 – Living as a Single Mom

My first day living temporarily as a single parent hasn’t exactly gone the best, but I guess it could have been worse. Sunday evening started with Robbie not feeling like eating his dinner, then falling asleep on the rocking chair – something had to be wrong. Sure enough he had a fever and has now joined the rest of the sick/recovering kids. That’s four for four, if I were batting I’d be in great shape… At bedtime Katie asked if we were “going to go to Texas to see Dad tomorrow”. Hopefully time doesn’t go too slowly for the kids.

Monday morning dawned with a telemarketing call on my cell phone. No wonder the last person who had this number gave it up. Well, now that I was up I might as well get going and get everyone up and around. Robbie was feeling better but still had a little bit of a fever. Emma woke up and must have had a nose bleed during the night but fortunately it hadn’t gotten all over everything. Once everyone was dressed I started making phone calls. Called to see if I could get the van in and get the transmission flushed today as I was going to be in town – Nope, not today, maybe Wednesday, or well most any other day this week. First decision of the day – wait to go to town and save some money, or pay more and get the transmission flushed here. Well, as we were now out of toilet paper and down to just a handful of wipes I elected to pay more and have it done here. Could they pick up the van so I didn’t have to haul four kids down there and then walk back? Yes. Ok, got the van scheduled and that checked off my list.

Next phone call – the window replacement. I call the place I ordered it from to tell them I am planning on picking it up today as it is now a week past when they said it’d be done. The phone is ringing and someone starts crying. Abby fellout of a chair and bit her lip. I hand her off as someone answers the phone and ask about the window. “Could you refresh my memory what exactly it was you were wanting? I think I remember who you are but can’t find anything here.” Argh, ok, so I refresh her as to all the details only to find out that no we don’t have your window done. In fact we haven’t received the glass for it that we ordered. I inform her that I paid already and expected to pick it up today as they’ve had three weeks or find somewhere else to get it done. “Ok, well you have to do what you have to do.” She calls back a little while later to inform me that it wasn’t their fault, that the glass had been cut and for some reason not shipped. How it wasn’t their fault as they should know if an order doesn’t show up for two weeks I couldn’t fathom and told her so. Well, if I wanted it done they only received shipments on Mondays so it’d be another week but I’d probably wait at least that long with anyone else and pay more… Talk about frustrating!

Check the mail, sort out the bills, and I look through the statements. See that an automatic withdrawal we have set up has somehow gotten off and is not doing what it’s supposed to, so I get together a deposit. Everyone is moving slower than molasses, Abby has calmed down but is still grumpy and now has a rather fat lip, but we finally get out the door. On the way through the drive thru at the bank I realize that my drivers side front tire is low again. Check the air pressure, its at 25, so I head over to the gas station to put air in it. I have never done this before but it should be easy enough, right? I unscrew the valve cap, grab the air and realize that there is no on/off switch. After feeling dumb and failing to figure out how in the world to get the air turned on, I flag down someone who works there and humbly (or rather quite embarrassed) ask for help. He quickly airs up my tire and says I should be fine to get where I’m going.  Off again.

First stop is Sam’s Club to get the tire fixed. The wait is supposed to be 1 1/2 hours so we drop off our photos and then decide to walk over to Lowe’s to get some other stuff we need. However, once in the parking lot I spot a Pizza Hut across the street and decide that since it is almost noon, eating lunch there might be the best place to kill over an hour with four kids. Off we go. The kids fill up on pizza and watch sports clips on the tv. Abby eats a plate full and I realize that I left her bottle in the van so I get her a cup and straw. She drinks some water and spits about twice as much all over herself. We walk back to Sams with a very wet Abby and on the way there Katie manages to fall and spill her drink. Oh well, at least it was just water and she wasn’t too upset. As I pick up the groceries and pictures, the window place calls back. They might be able to get the glass in as early as Friday and they will get back with me then or Monday, and yes they could probably give me a discount. I decide to stick with them. After checking out we pick up the van. The tire is now fixed and we are off.

Next stop is Lowes. Inside I can’t find the piece I need so I get help. As I am talking to the gal in the store my three year old decides to do something she has never done before. So there I am talking to the store associate with my three year old standing in the cart crying that she wants to get out. I get her stopped and I finally get what I need and head to check out. As I head off she tells me to keep the receipt and I can always return it if it doesn’t work out. I wonder if I can return one of my kids as I walk off. Up at the self checkout the clerk working there comes over and asks if all four of the kids are mine. “Yes,” I state and wait for some sarcastic comment. He then proceeds to go on about how well behaved they are. (Obviously he didn’t see them back when we were on aisle 2!) Back at the car I discipline the three year old and off we go again. Fortunately she is a quick learner today and does really well at all the other stops.

My last big thing I wanted to get done was to pick up my picture from Sears. We get there right after three and I notice that their lunch hour is from 2-3 so we head off to another store in the mall. Almost an hour later we are headed back through in a hurry as we are about to miss happy hour at Sonic! There is no one there and I see that on Mondays they close at 3. Why would you have lunch from 2-3 and close at 3??? Guess I’ll get it another day. We get to Sonic literally with only 2 minutes to spare (late on our clock) and get our drinks ordered. Our last stop is Dillons where I get done shopping head out to the car only to realize I forgot butter. I unload the groceries and we head back in. Finally we are done shopping and headed back home. Abby cries half the way there while Katie sits next to her sound asleep. Boy to be a kid again…

All in all its been a long day but it did have some positives. We had enough in our account for the double withdrawal. I spotted the tire before we got on the highway and was able to get it fixed at no charge.  I am supposed to get a discount on the window when I pick it up (hopefully it will actually get done this time). We made it to Sonic before happy hour just in time rather than just too late… So, I suppose that it is all in how you look at it. But it definitely makes me miss and appreciate my husband. And, I think that once we are all back together again I’m going to have him show me how to put air in the tires!

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