With hair this perfect who needs a stylist? !?

With hair this perfect who needs a stylist?!?

I only have two daughters.  And I am thankful for this.  With boys, they get haircuts, they sometimes brush it, and they are good to go.  The same does not hold true for girls.

When #1 was little I was lucky.  She had silky straight hair and the style (very early 90’s) for little girls were bobs.    Her hair would not hold a curl and all it took was a hairbrush and she was done.    She would leave bows in and had a favorite hat to cover days when Mommy wasn’t feeling like it.  Which was a lot.   The 90’s were the heyday for easy hairstyles.  Twist those bangs up and clip them with a plastic butterfly clip.  Ready for school.  Easy peasy.

Nice good hair on #1

Nice good hair on #1

These glory days were followed by 4 boys who only required a trim every once in awhile.   And then came #6.

She was bald.  I mean, she looked like her dad was Mr. Clean.  This stage lasted for two years.  Two years of strangers telling me how cute my little boy was.  Dressed completely in pink with pierced ears.   She kept hair bows in long enough for me to get excited and than ripped them off with abandon.

No hair, no problem

No hair, no problem

bald lily

And than one day … she had hair.   It seriously is like she woke up one morning and decided to glue a blond curly messy mop on her head.  I do not have curly hair.  None of my children have had curly hair until #6.  My husband has no hair. I was stumped.  How do I manage this mess?  Using a regular hairbrush was out of the question. Those cute tight little curls turned into a frizzy mess.  I went through combs, paddle brushes, round brushes.  No avail.  If the hair did not frizz out than there was the screaming.  From #6 and me.  Not only did she have unruly untameable hair but she was tender headed.  Lucky me.

This is how many times I don't cry when I get my hair done. Ever.

This is how many times I don’t cry when I get my hair done. Ever.

And because #1 would no longer let me dress her or do her hair and none of the boys have ever cared about appearance, I was doomed.  Here was a daughter I could put hair bows on and dress in pink and have a bonafide girly girl.  But her hair had other ideas.

Now that #6 is in kindergarten, I cannot get away with throwing the mess up in a ponytail and vowing to comb it out after her bath.  With lots of conditioner.  And spray.   I have to do her hair every morning.  And she fights me every morning.  Crying, yelling, hiding.  And that’s just me.  #6 has elevated her non-hair game to a professional level.  She will hid all the hairbrushes.  She will “lose” her hair ties.  She will hide in spots that I never knew existed in our house.  Every morning.

I have mastered the messy bun for those morning that I just don’t have the fight.  Don’t judge me.  It’s popular.  And she can pull it off unlike her mother who looks homeless.  I love her curls.  I love her long long curly unruly hair.  And I am prepared for when she will no longer allow me to touch that hair.  And I look forward to it!


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#2,#4,#5.#6,#7 See the fun in their faces!

#2,#4,#5.#6,#7 See the fun in their faces!

We came, we saw, we shopped, we conquered.  We made it through a hectic 3 day family vacation in the Windy City.  We had meltdowns (parents and kids), we had stomach problems, we had 7 people in one hotel room and we had a great time.

What we didn’t have was:  No missing kids.  This is number one nightmare and we were able to keep track of and not lose any of our children.  Score!   No fighting.  This is a huge one.  With a mix of adult (#2 is 21) teens (#4,#5 are 17 and 16) and young ones (#6 is 5 and #7 is 2 1/2) I expected a row or two.  Did not happen.  That’s not to say that there was not sibling aggravation and irritation but we did not have any open arguments, yelling, screaming, or crying.  Except for when #7 had to go to bed and Mommy forgot his favorite sippy cup.  That was a midnight walk/run to Walgreen’s.  At night.  In Chicago.  And we did not have stress.  It was like taking a deep breath after you have had a cold and realizing what open airways are like again.  It was much needed and deeply appreciated.

We accomplished almost all that we wanted to see.  The only item not checked off our list was to go to the Field Museum but we are making plans to go back up in the early summer.  We did hit the Magnificent Mile, go to the top of  Willis Tower, go to Shedd Aquarium, visit Navy Pier, and eat Portillo’s and Giordano’s.   We spent some great quality family time together and I absolutely loved it.

#7 was a an absolute angel.  I’m sure that is why he is making up for it now that we are home by muttering bad words and all the sudden choosing to not be able to hear anything that his parents say.

#6 got her first Build-A-Bear (and there went our budget!) and was thrilled with the bright lights of the big city.  She was not sure about going out to eat after dark and kept repeating, “but mommy it’s night out!”  I realize that I need to not shut down and put on jammies as soon as the clock hits 5 pm.  Poor kiddo didn’t realize that the sidewalks don’t roll up once the street lights come on.

#6 posing for her first big city trip

#6 posing for her first big city trip

#7 enjoying the sights of Chicago

#7 enjoying the sights of Chicago

#4 and #5 enjoyed hanging out with big brother and getting some freedom away from the parents under #2’s watchful eye.  They really liked walking around and being their own explorers.   It amazes me to realize how grown they are getting and I could not be prouder.  They even slept almost on top of each other and no one suffered any injuries for it.

My handsome boys!

My handsome boys!

The S.O. and I didn’t fight, didn’t have any arguments over his driving and my anxiety over traffic, and it was nice to get away from the house and enjoy time together without the everyday distractions.   Three days was just enough time to unwind and not need a vacation from our vacation.

We are back now, back to school, back to work, back to everyday responsibilities.  I’m not wanting to move to Chicago (although I did find a 5 bedroom house for under 200k in a very sketchy neighborhood) but I do appreciate the difference in living in a small town where the sidewalks don’t roll up at dusk but the nightlife does.    Till next time Windy City!

P.S.  Thank you #3 for not letting Gus and Ivan starve while we were gone and thanks to #1 for checking on #3 and ratting him out for having friends over.

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S.O. and I have decided it’s time to take the family on a weekend vacation.  Keeping in mind that we have a limited budget and limitless children, we picked Chicago.  It is within easy driving distance, it has free museum weekends, and we never have managed to all get to Chicago as a family before.  Ever.

Even a weekend trip is not easy with seven kids.  Only five of the seven are going. One could not (one would not) get the time off.  So we are only going to have 5 kids with us.  Sounds easy enough.  If two of those kids were not toddlers.  With short attention spans.  And small bladders.  I will not have to worry about the teenagers, they have smart phones and tablets to keep themselves occupied during the drive.  Until they die.  The electronics, not the kids obviously.

Finding the hotel was easy-ish.  I relied on adult friends to tell me which hotels were kid friendly and budget friendly.  I think that some of my friends must have way more disposable income than me because the idea of a hotel that is only $256 a night and includes a free breakfast is not budget friendly.   One of our friends had the brilliant idea to use a hospital discount.  As in, we say that we are in town because a family member, child, or spouse is in the hospital and therefore you get a discount.  Forgive me Father, but I have committed many sins and lying to get a hotel room at a hospital discount just seems sketchy even by my standards.   Found a great hotel within budget and not in the south side or Gary, Indiana.  Score!

I tried to be organized.  I really did.  I had all intentions of having a printed itinerary  for our trip, looking up Groupon deals for restaurants, having everything packed and ready two days before the trip including semi healthy snacks.

But than life happened.  We had a snow storm which meant the children got to be home with Mommy for the day.  No work done.  I had a math final due.  No trip planning.  My S.O. took a day off to go to doctors appointment and in general mess up my routine.  Definitely no trip planning done.

Here it is, the day before our trip.  And I sit typing this out because I actually did get packing done.  I had to do about 5 loads of laundry to accomplish it, but it is done.  I ordered bathing suits for #6 and #7 because I forgot till the last minute that they had outgrown their bathing suits from last year.  They came in today.  And they fit! Had to borrow a stroller from a friend because, lets be honest, a stroller left out in the winter season here is not going to be a viable alternative to harnessing #6 or #7.

Now all that is left is running to get snacks for the road trip (screw healthy, Little Debbie is in store), making sure that the boys have packed everything that they need (extra reminder on socks and underwear), packing up shampoos, soap, razors, deodorant, sippy cups, and diapers.  And packing the car.  And remembering to program the GPS.  And our relaxing family weekend vacation can start!

I can’t wait.  I am sure that we will have a great time.  And if you don’t hear from me again, it might just be because I forgot the chargers for all the electronics and the kids have mutinied!

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