Big families


It’s been a wild ride since we moved into the farmhouse.  We inherited three barn cats, now we have 7 all total since one of the barn cats was a momma to be.  Neville Longwhiskers and Phyllis are officially house kittens for now and Gus and Ivan the Purrible are not happy about the intrusion.  Add to this feline mix four hens and a rooster.  We do live on a farm after all.  Jemima, Vanessa, Ruby and Coffee (#6 ran out of name ideas I think) are laying eggs and causing our rooster, General Leslie Tso, all sorts of headaches.  And now we have a turtle, Mort Goldenbaum.  My sister-in-law is convinced that we name our pets all sorts of weird things but I like the fact that the kids are more creative than Midnight or Fluffy or Eggs.

chickens on the table?  Why, of course!

chickens on the table? Why, of course!

We had a successful get together christened Fall at the Farm and S.O. and I imbibed a lot (shout out to those that made fall flavored Jell-O shots, we thank you) and enjoyed showing everyone the hard work we have done at the farmhouse to make it our own.   The kids had hayrides, played on round bales, chased the chickens and Elmyra’d the kittens.  (For those of you who did not watch Tiny Toons, Elmyra loved, and I mean, really loved all animals.  To death.   Relax, the kittens are not dead but they probably will learn to run and hide when they hear the patter of little feet from now on.)

Now that harvest is in full swing I can expect S.O. to be gone from sun up to well after sunset.  The combines and spreaders are out in the fields and on the roads.  It is time for cool mornings, beautiful sunsets, and liberation from air conditioning.  The kids are all in school except for #7 who keeps mommy entertained and on her toes.

This is my favorite season of the year.  I miss hubby being home but without him and his crew and all my other agriculture peeps, we wouldn’t have the tasty treats that I am currently gaining weight on.  Did you know that Halloween candy is an acceptable form of food?  Yeah, me either but my body thinks otherwise.  Did I mention that hoodies and yoga pants hide a multitude of sins?

But there is trouble in paradise.  Our cars fuel pump went out, we thought it was the alarm system malfunctioning and spent wasted money on a new ignition switch.  Car is getting repaired now and it’s only costing 1/3 of what the car is worth so that’s a win.  Borrowed my dad’s pick up and now #7 thinks he is a cowboy and refuses to ride in anything other than a pick up or a tractor.  Bonus side, we live in the country so driving a tractor down the road is not as uncommon as one would initially think.

#3 is contemplating moving out on his own in January and while I know that he is 20 and needs to spread his wings, I don’t like the idea.  #4 is a senior this year in high school and has plans to join the Air Force upon graduation.  I’m proud of his decision but again, mommy doesn’t want to let her chickadees get too far away.   This is a lot harder than it was with #1 and #2.  I am not sure if it’s because I know that they are all slowly flying the coop (gotta love my farming metaphors today) or because the OG5 are not little any more.  Probably a combination of both.   I still have at least 15 years before #6 and #7 leave so I can just smother them with my affections until then.  That’s healthy, right?

Until next time, I will be eating fun size Snickers and sobbing quietly in the laundry room.  But not doing laundry.  I am not that sad yet!




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Exactly how my morning went

So many things to write about, so many words to choose.  This is my problem.  I have an insane amount of ideas that I think would be great for my blog.  I have such a large amount of things that I could write about:  blended families, missing my mom, having 7 kids, being an older parent (not that old), raising adult children, raising teenagers, raising toddler, having an obscene amount of boy children, being a stay-at-home mom, being a college student, being exhausted.    How do I pick just one thing?

I don’t.  I write about whatever it is that tickles my fancy that day.  Today, I am kind of bleh.  I have my schoolwork done, #7’s potty training is going well (aside from the underpants flushed down the toilet), and there is really nothing going on that merits 500 words.

I guess I could write about how #4 is going to go into the military after high school and that I am on the fence about being proud of him and not wanting him to go.  I could write about how the kids get out of school in less than 2 weeks and I am terrified.  I could write about how S.O. and I have to schedule sexy time because toddlers do not understand the need for recreation.  I could write about how #1 is flying to California on Tuesday and I am jealous that I’m not going and worried that she is going by herself.

I could write about how I had some work done at the dentist and now can’t stop rubbing my tongue against my new filling and how it makes me look like I belong in an old time mental institute.  I could write about how I almost had all the laundry done.  I could write about how #6 is convinced she was named after a horse, about how #5 gets to take summer school AGAIN.  Or about how I never hear from #2 unless he has laundry.  Or how #3 had attitude yesterday and I totally felt like I had done something wrong. (Turns out he’s 19 and moody.)

I guess I could write about how my mom’s birthday is coming up and I don’t know if it’s creepy or sweet that we still celebrate it.  Do we picnic at the cemetery or do we have an impromptu cook out?  What is the societal norm on this one?

I could write about how I am utterly in love with my S.O. who makes me feel special and beautiful and that I have totally bamboozled him into thinking that I know what I am doing.

Instead, I think that I will step away from the laptop, maybe do a load of laundry, and chill.  AS much as one can chill with all the things that I could write about.

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family, talk, boundaries, laundry,

I am just as excited!

In my current class we are learning about family dynamics and healthy relationships.  It has made me take a long look at my own family dynamics and relationships.  Notice, I did not say healthy relationships.

Our family dynamic is not unusual.  We are a blended family.  My S.O. is unusual in that he was only 9 years older than #1 and took on the responsibility of knowing that if we were going to be together it was a package deal:  me and my 5 kids.   And he completely not only took on the responsibility but ran with it.   The OG5 embraced this young, silly, loving man and even though it has been trying, it seems to work great for us.

That being said:  there are some definite issues within our family.

Issue #1:  Boundaries.  My children know no boundaries nor does S.O.  They think it’s normal to use the bathroom with the door open.  I long to use the bathroom in peace and quiet.  It’s a running joke that if S.O. has called you he is probably on the bathroom.  At least he’s using his time constructively.   Also, there is no topic off limits.  I wish there were.  I do not need to know that 3 out of 5 boys manscape better than me.  Yet, I do.

Issue #2: Leftovers.  I waste more money on throwing out moldy leftovers than the Senate does on $800 hammers.  Seriously, if the food did not kill you the first time you ate it, why is it taboo the second time? I tried having leftover night.  It did not work and mysteriously the kids would all have somewhere to be on leftover night.  I have given up that leftovers will ever be eaten in this house and have decided to just cook enough food for the night.  It’s a work in progress and if anyone wants 2 pounds of spaghetti please let me know.

Issue #3:  Laundry.  You all know I despise laundry.  What you didn’t know is that in a household of 9 you have to try to have set laundry days.  We tried this.  #1 even made up a schedule and everyone had their own hamper.  Here is how that went:  Sunday night 8 p.m., #3, #4, and #5 all want to wash their clothes at once because they just realized that going to school in pajamas on Monday is not an option.  Also, S.O. has work clothes that he just realized has chemical all over and requires two washings each and a bleach cycle to clean out said washer.  Yep, we are that organized.   I tried enforcing the rule of the laundry schedule but boys are gross and don’t care if their undies are crusty and their shirts have stains.  Parenting fail here.

Issue #4: Private time.  This kind of falls under boundaries but slightly different.  My S.O. and I have maybe 5 minutes out of the day when we can have a conversation not interrupted by children or arguing.  We have resorted to stretching a 5 minute recap of our day into 2 hours of interruptions and squabbling.  I love that the kids all want to talk and share with us but seriously they don’t have to follow me to the kitchen when I am trying to escape to recap how they told their history teacher off color jokes and got extra credit.  I already heard about.  From the history teacher.

Issue #5:  And this is the biggest one, Communication.  We are all talkers in my family.  When we say, long story short, what we mean is “I hope you have 20 minutes for me to revel you with just the introduction to the story, including schematics.”   I cannot tell you how many times I have said to pretty much everyone in my family, I asked for the time, not how to make a watch.   It’s a serious issue.  And I am just as much to blame.  I like to share details, it’s part of why I write.  I share way too many details because I want my audience to experience it like it did.

So, these are the pressing issues in my family right now.  And I have to say that I will take all of these issues gladly.  It’s what makes our family ours.  And don’t get me started on replacing the toilet paper rolls!

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