Kickin’ 2018’s Butt

Well, trying.  After a holiday week – and then some – of binging (belated holiday wishes!) I am back on the ketogenic way of eating.  Trying to get back in a rhythm that I was in before the holidays tanked me.  I’m slowly returning to keto food prep and attempting one new recipe a week that’s keto-friendly.

I’ve also read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, and we have redone our bedroom and master closet and now I’m ready and raring to go on that!!  Tomorrow begins The Great Purge of 2018, which is the year I’ve decided to KonMari the sh*! out of my house!!

I’m also working with Easton more on his phonics and reading, which is an area he is having a bit of trouble with, and the mom guilt is shaming me for it.  So I’m pledging each day to read with him and work on his letter sounds and sight words.  So far he is loving the readers I printed out and all of the Level 1 books I’ve purchased that he can read and learn to read.

Also in this year is my journey to return to playing soccer.  I’ve been out for a couple years due to a concussion and post-concussive symptoms, but a piece of me has been missing ever since, and I’d like to attempt to get back out on the field, if only for pickup games.  Along with that is my goal of just getting back in shape, since I’ve gotten far off track in that area.  (It’s sad when I have to sit after 2 flights of stairs!)

Plus I have some amazing trips and events planned this year that I’m really looking forward to, and basically I want to share all of it with you guys.  It’s really selfish though because writing it down and getting it out is totally therapeutic for me, but hopefully you guys enjoy the ride too.  Please comment, comment, comment with helpful suggestions and share your own 2018 journeys!!!!

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Riding the Roller Coaster…

So to piggy back on my previous post, I wanted to follow up on my day. I did go to pick up my kids, and I was so excited to see them. They came running out of their classroom, all excited to give me the presents they’d made for me for Christmas, and to tell me what was in the packages before I could open them. Again, fighting back tears. But this time, they were tears of overwhelming joy.

I’m so so so lucky. I have amazing children that bring me these low lows but also these ridiculous highs, where I can’t even believe that I get to be their mom. It blows my mind.

It brings me on the ups and downs, but it always evens out to a contented peace. Like this is where I was meant to be.

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

6 is a Good Age

“Mom, I want to give this to Brody”, as he’s showing me his inventory in Minecraft. He’s pointing to an enchanted sword “that Brody needs.”

I could eat him up. I mean, he’s just so sweet he melts my heart. Easton, since turning 6, has just evolved into the greatest big brother ever! He shares with his brothers and sisters, lets them play in his room, kisses each one goodnight and helps them with stuff like their video games.

It isn’t always like that though …

There’s plenty of torture and tears. And tantrums. The “T” trifecta in our house.

But on the whole, he’s just really blossoming into this amazing boy!

(With a goofy smile here showing off his missing teeth)

I’m a lucky Mama (who he thankfully still loves to hug and cuddle with!) And so proud of my not-so-little boy. Some days I still can’t believe I had a hand in creating this awesome dude. Blows my mind!

Happy Halloween!

Hope you all had a fun Halloween! We had a busy day at Easton’s school, then back and forth to preschool. Then we had to wake up 2 sleepy kids to go trick- or-treating!


Mommy was prepared though…

(My special hot chocolate in my mug!)

The kids had a blast and got way too much candy! (I love you, house that leaves out a basket of toothbrushes! )

They did have to be reigned in and reminded of rules and politeness about halfway, but they were just so excited. More excited to ring doorbells than get candy because that’s what they cried over!

Overall they had an awesome Halloween and we hope you did too!

Finally!

The quads FINALLY had their first day of school yesterday! It’s only an hour and a half, but it’s something! They go in the afternoon and since Easton goes to school in the morning, I have Easton time while the little ones go to school.

And it seemed to tire them out too because everyone went to sleep with no trouble last night. Yay!

Of course we did our photo shoot 🙂

Getting My Sh*t Together

So I was all proud of myself that I made a daily schedule to keep with the kids, thinking they’d be less destructive and, well, obnoxious, if they were busier and tired out. I hadn’t done a thing with it past creation, until yesterday, when Brian asked me, “so when are you going to start that schedule with the kids?” Part of me wanted to tell him to shut up, but a larger part of me knew I needed a kick in the butt to get going! So I bit my tongue, and answered “tomorrow. ” And so I did! I kept the Excel spreadsheet on my laptop so I could reference it throughout the day. The first part of the day consisted of breakfast, getting dressed and getting Easton on the bus. The next half hour was for cleaning up, emptying the dishwasher and starting the laundry. After that, I brought out the dot markers, and printed out some free fall- themed dot pages for the kids. They did some beautiful work! Thank you to The Resourceful Mama!

Next was the dreaded music time. Shockingly the transition was smooth and I brought out the instruments next. (Tip: Keep earplugs in the box too!)

Here’s what we have:

Melissa & Doug Band-in-a-Box Clap! Clang! Tap! – 10-Piece Musical Instrument Set https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00005RF5C/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_q6r6zbFBH8KF9

Thankfully music time ended before a migraine began, and it was snack time! I had a special snack planned! Fall Snack Mix! Each kid had one ingredient, and they took turns adding them to the bowl, then they mixed it up. We used Chex Party Mix, mini marshmallows, peanut M&M’s in fall colors and chocolate chips. Another big thanks to The Resourceful Mama for this idea!

Getting to eat the snack was the motivation they needed to finish yesterday’s chore they refused to do, so they cleaned up the backyard in record time to enjoy a bowl of the snack mix they made.

By then it was time to bring the chalk outside to draw on the driveway and play tag with Daddy while we waited for Easton’s bus.

Then it was back inside for homework time for Easton. So I quickly photocopied letter tracing pages for the other 4 and we all sat around the table together. They love homework!

That brought us to lunch, and then quiet time with Easton’s iPad. The kids love watching their big brother play Minecraft!

We had a 3:15pm meet up scheduled to purchase a bookshelf off the Letgo app, so we left early as bc went to a big park that was on the way. It has a great playground, and even a small zoo!

Off to our meeting, where we scored a dollhouse bookshelf for 30 bucks! I think that’s worth a half hour trip!

Then some traffic on the way home, but thank goodness for the tv in the van and the Barbie Spy Squad movie! (Yes, they all love Barbie movies!)

The kids wanted to make paper hearts and decorate them with stickers when we got home. I agreed, feeling optimistic. Big mistake! After the hearts were done, there was sixty minutes of “cleaning up”, tears, yelling, marker on the wall, bits of paper everywhere and a broken pair of scissors.

And one frustrated mama.

It’s clear that the late afternoon/early afternoon time period needs some adjustment. The kids are tired, and not quite cooperative. Any suggestions?

Aside from the latter part of the day, though, I think it went really well! Putting more structure in our day really made a difference for all of us. With a little more tweaking, I think this can really help reduce the destruction and frustration!

Changing my Ways

Well…the behavior of the children, detailed in my last post , got better, then a little worse, and then we had a couple days of pure torture. Like, questioning my life choices and parenting skills kinda torture.

Ready for this? I really thought we couldn’t sink lower, but these boys, they know how to be boys!! My oldest child, who shall remain nameless, decided to go #2 in the flowerbed. It didn’t all make it into the flowerbed. Fun times washing out pants (because the kid wasn’t wearing underwear of course) and giving him an impromptu shower. Immediately following this mind-blowing event, the younger kids were investigating the crime scene, and my older little girl stepped in the mess.

What else…let’s see…oh yes. My DARLING quad boys have continued their work redecorating their room. Their mediums of choice? A large DUMP on the rug, one on the shelf, a drizzling of pee, accented by stolen address labels and forever stamps placed “just so” on their bunk beds, and finally, the pies de resistance, sprinkling the floor with chunks of the inside of their memory foam mattress.

Sadly this isn’t even the extent of the crap. It’s just never-ending, every time I turn my back, another catastrophe happens. My head spins with lots of curse words, and phrases like “What the hell is wrong with you?” and “What the f*@#% are you thinking?” Sometimes these things come out. Please don’t judge me. Sometimes I just sit on the toilet and cry.

So needless to say, life has been pretty stressful lately. 6 & 4 are not my friends so far. Here I was thinking it all would get better after the Threenagers turned four, but little did I know the shit was all going to hit the fan instead.

Something had to change. Many things probably had to change. We had taken away everything from the offenders, toys, tv, beds, nightlight, snacks. It didn’t seem to matter. So I reached out to my fellow SuperMoms, my Quad Moms and More Facebook group. I was (selfishly) hoping that my kids weren’t actually spawns of Satan, and that maybe this was a somewhat normal phase. I was also hoping for suggestions on how to deal with it.

I got a suggestion to use a jar for each kid, and use a system of warnings to lead them up to an activity they have trouble complying with. For example, “in 30 minutes we will clean up and go to the table for lunch.” Then a five minute warning. Then finally the time comes to comply and they get a candy in their jar if they do so nicely.

So off I trotted to the store today to buy the cutest mason jars, which I labeled with their names, and some candy to start with. I sat them down and explained to them the whole process. They were excited! So we decided to start today. A couple hours later, not a whole lot of success, but fingers are crossed and hopes are up that they will embrace it.
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I also busted out my Excel Spreadsheet skills, and created a weekly schedule to add more structure to their day, as well as activities to tire them out more. I’m not usually great at sticking to a schedule like this, but at least I have a guideline for what to do. I know that some days I’m just not going to feel like doing certain things like hiking!

I’m really hoping that these things, plus time, will get us through this phase. Otherwise, you may find my next post sent from a secluded beach hiding spot.

On a more personal front, I’ve been working on improving myself as well. I’ve started a ketogenic diet, which is essentially low carb, moderate protein and high fat. It’s helped me to lose 10 of the pounds that have slowly been creeping up on me in the last 15 years. I plan to blog more about that, but I just wanted to share that it’s worth checking into if you are looking to work on your health. I of course recommend starting as I did, with a professional dietician, who can help you safely navigate this new way of eating. I’m also beginning to add back in exercise to help build strength and endurance. My goal is to play indoor soccer this winter, which I’m so excited for, after 2 years off for a concussion.

That’s probably it for now. I do have lots more to share so this might become my personal journal, a way of releasing the stress. Haha I’ll throw it all at you!!!

I feel bad leaving this post without giving you pictures of the rugrats…

 

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And my big kindergartener Easton!!