So the good news is we’re putting in a pool…next year.  It was supposed to be done for this year, but we have been back and forth jumping through hoops for the town since last fall.

I figured since we didn’t have the pool yet, the YMCA family swim hours are sparse, and these kids need to be tired out at the end of the day, that we’d join the local swim club for the remainder of the summer.

Brilliant, right?  I thought so.  They even offer free swim lessons!  Score!

So we went one day, and then the next day and it was great.  Swim lessons, picnic lunch, a couple hours spent in the pool.

Then the dreaded Hand Foot Mouth Disease rears its ugly head.  That second afternoon after we got home from the pool, spots appeared on the girls.  Around their mouths, on their hands and on their feet.


If you don’t know anything about it, it’s gross.  It’s also highly contagious.  Who knows where they picked it up because the incubation period is like 7-10 days.  First they start with a fever.  Over the weekend, they had fevers, headaches, sore throats and body aches.  Then once the fevers cleared up, I thought we were done.

Then I noticed the damn spots.  In that instant, I saw my summer plan slipping away!!  Our pediatrician said no swim lessons, so we couldn’t use the pool.  She also said no Vacation Bible School, so there went Mama’s break time.  Easton couldn’t go back for his last days of camp. We were essentially quarantined in our house, unable to go out anywhere so we didn’t spread it around any more than it already was.

Try and tire out 5 kids when it’s disgustingly hot out and you are stuck in your house or your yard only.

The pediatrician also said that they could possibly be contagious for up to 3 weeks.  Whaaaaat????  Bye bye August.  Bye bye community pool.  Bye bye family picnic and swimming at friends’ houses.

So finally, after a week, their spots are just about gone.  So we can at least get out without worrying too much about spreading it.  Still won’t go to a friend’s house or to the pool though, since it’s spread through bodily fluids.

I’ve gotta survive this week and then next week is another Vacation Bible School.  Which I desperately need, so I can pack for our vacation the following week.  We sanitize, wash and cover as much as we can and hope for the best!!!

In case you want to be grossed out, here’s what they spots looked like:

Not everyone gets spots though, which my boys didn’t.  Some kids get sores in their mouth too.  UGH.  Emerson’s spots were just red spots of different sizes.  The ones on her feet were super itchy and painful the first day.  Hayden had full on blisters, which thankfully did not seem to bother her much.

Since it’s a virus, there’s nothing you can do except wash hands and treat symptoms.  We did Children’s Benedryl when they were itching  and Children’s Ibuprofen when they had the fevers or pain.  Ice packs or ointment on the spots when they felt it helped.

LOTS of tv, naps and cuddles were the best medicine in this house!  I hope we never have to see this in our house again – I hate missing out on plans and being confined to the house!!!


Happy Tequila Day!

Just what the doctor ordered on this hellish day. Between the kids acting like it’s a full moon, a sprained wrist, ankle and broken toe, this is definitely what I needed!

And it’s low carb!

Here’s the recipe I got off the side of my shaker:

1 1/2 ozs tequila

1/2 oz. Triple sec

1 oz lime juice

Crushed ice

Add, shake and pour!


Mama Needs Her Soccer

What do you do when you have a 6:30pm soccer game (an hour away at rush hour!), and your husband is working late?  Why, you take the kids of course!!  And half the toys in your house, a bag full of snacks and iPads.  And you stop at McDonald’s on the way for Happy Meals.  And you promise them that if they are good while Mommy was on the field, you’d buy them an ice cream treat on the way home.  You do what you gotta do!


You make them run around before and after the game, as well as at halftime to ensure tiredness.  It also helps if your friends bring their kids too!!  Especially when you are on a nice turf field with no goals, and a half an hour after game time you have to pack up your camp and drive to an unlined field in town that has goals and set back up again.

You get to play your game, get a win, and you have well-behaved children while you are doing so.  So at 9pm, you drive back to the same McDonald’s and order milkshakes and flurry blends.  You don’t care that some ice cream and M&Ms got spilled and dried into your van seat.  You don’t care that there’s Happy Meal garbage everywhere.  You don’t care that the kids stay awake all the way home because they are just being so dang good in the car!  You even say yes when they ask you if they can take their iPads to bed at 10pm because you are just thrilled (and surprised!) that they were so well-behaved for you the entire long evening.   Because you got to play soccer.  Because you didn’t have to worry about them.

Because life has gotten a lot easier in the last couple of years.  Because it’s never going to be easy, but it certainly gets more enjoyable.

Personal Space

Sometimes I just need to have no one touching me or talking to me. Sometimes all the attention just wears me down until I want to run away screaming.

When the kids have ipad time especially, they gravitate to me and insist on showing you all the funny or cool parts. Even just listening to some of these awful YouTube videos is enough to drive you nuts.

So, inevitably, it starts feeling overcrowded on the couch, so I move to the floor and lay down with a pillow. The “aloneness” is heavenly but fleeting. One by one, I become surrounded by animals and kids.

The other day, this happened, and instead of getting annoyed, I smiled. I remembered when our cleaning service was here, a sweet Russian woman with her mom. As they were leaving, her mom spoke to me in Russian. Her daughter translated for me, “you are the richest woman in the world.” She said it isn’t about the material things I may have, but the five beautiful, healthy kids and a husband and all the love in the house.

That was such a moment for me. I wanted to commit to remembering that at my rough times. It really touched my heart.

So while I’m laying on the floor, slowly being surrounded, I thought of what she had said. And I thought, “they just want to be near me. They love me that much, that they just want to be close to me.”

And I smiled, feeling like the richest woman in the world.