Diet Plan for the Family

I often get comments about my “skinniness.” How do I stay so thin? Am I just a freak of nature? Well, genetics do play a part, but I also value what goes in my mouth, and the mouths of my family. We generally eat healthy and have a few fun snacks once in a while. I see so many fad diets out there, and so many women doing it for a while, then backsliding because it’s just no fun to diet. I agree! If the diet keeps you hungry or axes all your favorite foods, it’s never going to work. No, I am not a licensed nutritionist. But, I’m going to lay out what works for me and my family.

First, let’s talk about calories. There are 3 main kinds. Proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Your body NEEDS all three. Proteins help repair damaged cells and provide energy for much needed cellular communication. That’s why the high protein diets are such a hit right now. But, if you eat too much protein, the leftovers will be stored as fat. Fats do two things for your body. First, they feel yummy in your mouth and the brain releases those feel good chemicals- this is also what signals your brain that you are full. Secondly, fats are needed for insulation. Not just whole body insulation, but fat surrounds your neurons and muscle cells for speedy transmissions. Extra fat is stored as, you guessed it, extra fat. Carbohydrates are quickly broken down into sugars that your body can use right away. A lot of popular diets are low-carb, or even no carbs for a while. But that’s just not sustainable. Our bodies do need carbs, because they start working right after you eat while the proteins and fats need more time to digest. 

Empty Calories. They are banned from my house! Well, for the most part. Empty calories are drinks and snacks with zero nutritional value, yet packed with salt and/or sugar. When we humans were hunter-gatherers, our bodies evolved to reward ourselves with good feelings whenever we found salt or sugar. Since those things were hard to come by, our bodies became very good at storing them. Yes, we all need salt and sugar, just not in the ridiculous amounts marketed at us today. Pop, juice, and candy are allowed at minimal amounts. Everybody likes a snack once in a while. That’s why my kids get so excited for birthdays, camping trips, and the holidays. Those are the only times they are allowed to drink pop. And I follow that rule, too. We don’t eat chips or little debbie snacks either. There’s just not much junk food to be found here. Except ice cream. We all love a little ice cream at night. We don’t, however, sit down and eat a pint. Just a scoop or two, and everyone has their favorite topping. 

One more topic before I get to what we actually eat around here. Sugar and fat substitutes. Those are NOT HEALTHY for anybody! I’m not a crazy organic pusher, but I don’t think our bodies need all those nasty chemicals. I put food dyes in this category, too. Seeing kids drink Hawaiian Punch or Kool Aid makes me want to puke. Anyway, if you want a fun snack, don’t reach for the sweet-n-low. And not just because of the chemicals, but because of how our digestive system reacts to the fake stuff. When we eat sugar substitutes, our body is tricked into thinking we just ate sugar. It tasted sweet, right? So we release insulin for sugar that isn’t there. So far, that doesn’t sound too bad, right? But that insulin floats around until real sugar does come along, and then our bodies release even more insulin, and more sugar than needed is taken from our bloodstream and put into cells. More sugar in cells = need for more sugar in bloodstream = feeling hungry. After it’s all said and done, you are better off having a regular pop than the diet kind, or a dessert with sugar instead of splenda. I guarantee a diet pop drinker loads up on more carbs than a regular pop drinker. But just don’t drink a lot of pop. It is so bad for your body.

So what do we eat and drink? I am a huge fan of good ole vitamin D milk. It’s so yummy and creamy! Everyone has a cup at dinner. With breakfast and lunch, it’s usually water, but if the kids want milk, they can have it. Breakfast is just a small bowl of cereal. And speaking of breakfast, I have a little did-you-know fact. Big breakfast was created in the 1950’s or so to sell more pork. That’s why bacon, ham steak, and sausages are the main meats of breakfasts these days. Before that time, breakfast was usually some toast and fruit if it was in season (you need those carbs to get you going in the morning!) Anyway, If the kids want a snack between breakfast and lunch, we have granola bars, yogurt, and fruit. And goldfish once in a while. Yes, lots of salt there, but it’s okay in small quantities. But the snacks are SMALL. I don’t like filling up on snacks, because I don’t think it’s healthy. I think our bodies need to be in a rhythm of eating at the same times every day, and we also need to feel hungry. Letting your stomach empty out, and then filling it up, keeps it small. And a small stomach is key to a healthy weight. Lunchtime is fun time for the kids. We have mac n cheese, hot dogs, PB&J’s, cold-cut sandwiches with cheese. I usually let them pick the main course, and then add a canned veggie. The canned veggie is not quite as nutritious as a fresh one (the vitamins are a tad compromised and there is a lot of salt added) but the kids like the canned version better. In my mind, they are getting more nutrients out of the can because they eat more of it. And as far as salt consumption goes, maybe it’s a little high, but since we don’t eat salty snacks, I figure we even out. Then, if the kids want a snack between lunch and dinner, they can have a small one as long as they ask for it by 3pm. After that, they can wait for dinner, which is usually around 5:30.

Dinners are huge around here! Most of the time, it’s a meat, potatoes, and a fresh veggie. Once in a while, we have pizza night or go out for Chinese for something fun. As far as dinner at home goes, everybody gets a serving of each item and they do have to clear their plates. No, they don’t get adult servings, they are kid-sized. If they want more of something, all they have to do is eat the other stuff on their plates first. And they always finish their milk. So at dinner, we get all three of the calorie types- protein, fat, and carbs. We also get our vitamins from the veggies. Most of the time, we don’t do bedtime snacks. During the school year, bedtime is at 7, so no one is hungry for a snack anyway. In the summer, however, everyone likes to indulge in that scoop of ice cream. 

Some people that know Luella might think, isn’t that girl supposed to be gaining as much weight as possible? She can’t even be on the charts as far as her weight goes! I used to worry about that all the time. She had special formula and everything. But then I did a test. For one week, I let her eat whenever she wanted and whatever she wanted (within reason- still no junk food.) I kept a food diary and recored what she ate, how much she ate, and when she ate. The next week, I put her on the plan that I have the other kids on and kept the same food diary. During the second week, she ate more good food at mealtimes and had an overall larger calorie intake. Junk food is no good for anyone. Not for the person trying to lose weight, and not for the person trying to gain weight. 

So that’s it. We eat light and simple. And as far as what I eat and drink, here ya go: Three cups of black coffee to get me going in the morning, a bowl of cereal around 9 if I remember to eat. Sometimes I get busy and forget to eat until lunch. At lunch I have a sandwich or something small, then nothing until dinner. I keep my portions small, and I usually don’t drink anything with extra calories except my coffee and milk.


Stranger Danger: Why I Don’t Worry

Most parents have a conversation with their children about “stranger danger.” Don’t talk to strangers, don’t take candy from strangers, don’t get in vehicles or go somewhere with strangers. Sounds pretty straightforward, right? While all that is good advice, I think it tends to just worry children about things that aren’t necessarily true threats. The only reason I have had that conversation with my kids is because other people have already talked to them about it. In my opinion, kids are more likely to get hit by lightning than be taken by a stranger. Actually, they are more likely to be hurt by someone they know. Yes, there are weirdos out there. But most likely, the weirdos are going to be weird to a kid that they are familiar with. Hypothetically, I worry about the uncle or cousin or neighbor that takes too much interest in my kids. Instead of telling my kids not to talk to strangers, I tell them to let me know if someone makes them feel bad inside. I tell them that if they have a “secret” with an adult who is not their mommy or daddy, they should tell mommy or daddy that secret. I like my kids to tell me what they’ve done over the weekend at their other houses, not because I’m grilling them, but because I honestly care. To me, there should never be any secrets. 

Stranger danger also takes on a whole new meaning at the grocery store, a walk down the street, or at events. An extended family member they see at Christmas wants to give them a big hug, but the kid doesn’t remember them, and the kid screams stranger danger! We are walking down the street, and new neighbors are moving in. We go over to say hi, and the kid feels like that is not a good idea. The check-out clerk at the store wants to give a sucker to the kid, she is hesitant to take it. How are kids supposed to know the difference between good strangers and bad strangers? How are they supposed to know when to be polite, and when to scream and run? I read something somewhere about Halloween myths. Do you know that there has not been one documented event of a child being poisoned by the candy? Now, is that due to overzealous parents checking each morsel the kids get, or is that because the people handing out candy are not the bad people we think they are? 

When we are in public, my kids are expected to act decent and say hi when someone says hi to them. If they want the sucker, take it. If they don’t, say no thank you. When a great aunt they don’t remember wants to give them a hug, you hug back. I really don’t worry about someone snatching my kids from the grocery store. I DO pay attention to any weirdos hanging out at the park. But so far, I don’t think any kids have been snatched from our park here in Ludington since it’s been in existence for the past 10 years or so. I make the kids assert their independence and learn to play with themselves and the friends they make while I sit on the bench and watch.


Death. Oh, how one word can bring so many images to mind. The color black. Funeral processions. Family members crying. Heaven brings other images. The color white. Jesus and angels. Family members who have gone before. Hell. The color red. An evil, impish man with evil, impish cronies. Souls crying out for redemption. How does one deal with death? What is the mourning process for those left on earth? Do we ever really know what happens to a person when they are no longer with us? These are tough questions I have been answering. 

The past few months, I slowly watched my grandfather slip away. It started out on Thanksgiving, and he went through hell on earth between then and last week. I watched my mom, my aunt, my grandma go through hell on earth. Then, he was gone. The day he died, I almost drove 1 1/2 hours to visit him. But I didn’t. I couldn’t. My own family needed me at home. Within the hour Grandpa died, I had this strange feeling come about. I called to check up on things, and he was gone. My grandpa. The strong, rough, tough fishermen who always had the best stories to tell. My grandpa, who always took the time to teach me how to fish. Gone from this earth forever. It sounds cliche, but he is in a better place. There is no more pain and he will be with God and Jesus forever. 

How do I explain that to my children? At the funeral, Luella was obsessed with Grandpa’s body. She touched his hand and wondered why he was so cold. Since she doesn’t talk much, I had to guess what her questions were. I think she wanted to know why he was sleeping in a weird bed with all the people around. We looked at the pictures of him, and I told her that he was sleeping forever. I’m not sure a four year old knows what forever is. I hope Luella doesn’t worry SHE will fall asleep forever. Her favorite spot during the visitation was standing right next to his casket, acting as his sentry.

Mariah had her own set of questions. She understood death, but she wanted to know why he was in a casket if the angels were supposed to be taking him to heaven. I tried explaining that his soul went to heaven and he had a new body there, but the concept was not understood. So after the 21 gun salute, as he was being taken away by the hearse, I told her that the angels were finally taking him to heaven. They waited so everyone could say good-bye. That worked for about a day. Then, she got really confused. What about all the bodies in the ground at cemeteries? Are those people in heaven? Little Mariah was very concerned about their spiritual well-being. I really hope I didn’t confuse her too much, because I told her that the people weren’t in the ground anymore. The angels took them too. 

Riley didn’t have any big questions, he just accepted things as they were. But all weekend after the funeral, the kids played funeral. I know playing is how they work their feelings out, but I was a little stressed at HOW they were playing funeral. They took turns being the dead person, the angel, and God. Sometimes there were two angels and a doll acted as the dead person. But instead of it being a joyous occasion, it was more like a prison sentence. The “angel” reminded me of police officers, “God” reminded me of a prison warden, and the dead person was required to stay in the closet. After eavesdropping for a while and letting them play it out, I decided we needed to have a chat. I asked why they were being so mean to the dead person. A quote from Riley: “Heaven must not be that good if everyone was crying at the funeral. That’s why.” Hmmm…. 

My grandpa’s death invoked questions and deductions from all ages. Kids are a lot smarter and intuitive than they are given credit. I am glad he is not suffering anymore.

The Teen Years: What I Worry About

The kids are still small, and if I could wave a magic wand and keep them all little… Well we can’t do that, and growing up is a fact of life. Teens are not mini-adults, but kids that look like adults. Their brains are still developing that frontal lobe and they do some stupid things! I know, I was one of them. I’ve compiled a list of things that scare me about teenagers:

1.  Sneaking out. How does one prevent that? I can’t let them have all the freedom in the world, and there are going to be things they want to do but shouldn’t. If they sneak out, I have no clue what they are up to. If there isn’t a curfew, I still wouldn’t know what they are up to. I also seriously hope they don’t play the telling mom I’m going to dads house and telling dad I’m going to moms house game. 

2. Drinking and drugs. Most kids will thy them. They will probably like it. Even if they have a bad experience. What to do as a parent?

3. Sex. Oh how this one scares the heck out of me!!!! Putting them on birth control is giving it the ok, but if they are doing it, I want them to be protected. 

4. Driving. It is so dangerous for teens, especially now that they have cell phones. I can tell them no texting or calling or checking facebook while driving, but will they listen?

5. Just plain stupid stuff. The choking game? The cinnamon challenge? What else are they going to come up with?  This one proves teens are still kids.

6. Clothing wars. I want my kids to be able to express themselves, but in a nice manner. I get that teen fashions can be really weird, and I regret some of my choices as a teen. But I don’t want my girls trying to look sexy. There is a line. 

7. Food choices. I hope that the kids eat healthy and stay active. I will keep on making good dinners, but once kids are teens, I know everyone is everywhere at different times. Not so different from now, but dinners get tough. I don’t want to turn into the quick stop mom on the way to and from practices! 

8. Friends. I hope they continue to cultivate friendships amongst all the groups in school. Just not with the potheads. And I hope I don’t have to counsel any of them on being outed from a group of friends. I’m still scarred from 7th grade when everybody decided they didn’t like me. As a mom, that has to be one of the worst feelings in the world.

9. Extracurriculars. I want them to pick at least one. I think it helps with numbers 1-8. If you are involved with school activities, grades are better, and you are less likely to fill down time with things that aren’t such a good idea. Cheerleading, sports, dance, quiz bowl, chess club, I don’t care. Pick something and do your best!

10. Tiki. In little old Ludington, that is the bane of every parents’ worry. It usually involves some combination of numbers 1-5. Is there still a teen night? Yes, dancing is fun, but at a nightclub? Just because alcohol isn’t served doesn’t mean kids don’t pre-party! If I don’t allow my kids to go, will they try and sneak out and do it anyway? I wish they would just shut the place down. I had too much bad fun when I went!

11. Different rules at different houses. This one is unique to blended families. I know there are going to be different rules. I am not okay with teens doing stuff that is illegal or just plain stupid. I know some parents are. I’m not saying the kids’ other parents are okay with that stuff, but I hope they have the same boundaries. One can hope.

Any other parents have anything to add? I would like to just lock them up from ages 12-21, but I think the state says that is a form of child abuse. Somehow, I just have to teach them how to make good decisions for themselves. And I think it starts now. It starts with making them responsible for their things, helping out around the house, and letting them do some things for themselves. Even if it means they miss sometimes, they are learning to correct their mistakes and make better ones next time. 

Spotlight on Luella

My little Lulu is a special little girl. She was born at 29 weeks, and she was 2lbs 2oz. I had severe preeclampsia that came on in a matter of days. My sister was getting married on Valentine’s Day, and I started feeling sick the week before. I blew up like a big ole whale (hello water retention!) As her maid of honor, I totally did not want to ruin her wedding, so the day before and the day of, I sucked it up and didn’t think anything was really wrong. After that, I went to work for 2 days. I can remember not being able to get comfortable at my desk and everyone and everything annoyed me. I picked up Mariah from daycare, and when we got home, I was scared. My guts were hurting me so bad! I made her pizza rolls for dinner, and when I tried to eat, I just felt worse and ended up making myself get rid of the food in my belly. I called my mom and she came over. In the night, the pain was so bad, I drove myself to the hospital in a blizzard while my mom stayed with Mariah. My blood pressure was off the charts! My doctor was there within a half hour after being woken up. He prayed with me, something I will never forget, and he counseled me on preterm birth. After a shot of tordol and a shot of steroids, I was on my way to critical care in Grand Rapids. I was there for 3 days before Luella came so those steroids could work on her lungs. My little sis cut her honeymoon short to come see me! I still feel bad about that, but what a great sister and brother in law. After Luella was born, she was a good preemie. She started on C-pap, moved to oxygen, feeds were slowly introduced, and we went home after 6 weeks with no major problems. As far as preemies go, she was an excellent patient. 

After Luella came home, we still had “care time” every three hours and she was eating like a champ! But after about 4 weeks, it was time for a doctor visit and immunizations. They wanted to give her a ridiculous amount of shots, but I said only 2 and we would come back in a week for more. She was only 5 lbs. After those shots, pnuemoccocal and Hib, she wasn’t right. I knew the side effects of immunization- fever, lack of appetite, maybe some general grogginess. She had those side effects, so I called her doctor. He said to give her some Tylenol and she would be fine. I’m still kicking myself for not taking her to the ER right away. On the third night, at the 3am feeding, she completely refused her bottle and kept crying. We rocked, we walked, we patted, we changed a dry diaper. She still refused the bottle, but after about 45 minutes, she calmed down. So we fell asleep on the couch, Lulu on my chest. My mom was doing the 6am feeds for me so I could get a chunk of sleep in, but by this point, Luella was doing a pretty good job at waking up for those feeds. My mom never heard her, and no one woke up until 8am. When my mom came down, she woke me up right away, knowing it wasn’t right she never heard Lulu on the monitor at 6. We couldn’t wake Luella up. She was pale, her eyes were rolled back, she was barely breathing. We raced into the hospital. There, they started a vent, an IV, and Luella rode the helicopter to Helen DeVos. I followed behind in my car, and we were there for a week.

Luella had a Hypoxic Ishiemic Event. That is a fancy term for a period of time with little to no oxygen. It caused brain damage and seizures. The doctors called it a “near-SIDS event,” but I know what happened. It was those immunizations. Not the immunizations themselves, but the side effects. A lack of appetite in a 5lb baby can be deadly. She was extremely dehydrated to the point that her electrolytes were severely out of sync. Bringing them back to normal was what caused the seizures. 

Ever since that “episode,” a term I hate because it makes it sound like a sit-com, Luella has not been right. We have had feeding problems, developmental problems, growth problems, and sleep problems. I know it’s all related. It has to be. My little Lulu was perfect when I brought her home from the hospital the first time. She had no feeding problems, she was growing at a good pace. That summer, we ended up back at the hospital for a week because I was having so much trouble getting her to take the bottle. We even had a nurse come in that can feed any baby, and she couldn’t make it work. I did not want Luella to have a feeding tube, so we troubleshooted. She couldn’t take my pumped milk anymore; we had to switch to a special formula, cut an X in the bottle nipple, and add barley. I kept pumping though, just in case. We had an entire deep freeze full of my milk. It was 2 years later when my mom finally dumped it all. I cried about it for days. 

Today, Luella is 4. She doesn’t talk right, she still has some issues with food, and the girl hasn’t ever slept right! She is also very “rough” with her movements. It’s because her brain is trying to make connections in new areas; the atrophied parts are just dead. There is nothing wrong her intelligence, though! She is one smart cookie. We met with an amazing nurse practitioner at Helen DeVos neurology. She recommended a sleep study, melatonin to help Luella sleep, and more speech therapy. So we drive an hour to Muskegon every Thursday for speech, in addition to the speech she gets through the school system. The sleep study found mild sleep apnea, so our next stop is an ENT to check out her tonsils and adenoids. Sometimes, if they take those babies out, kids sleep a lot better. That would be awesome! 

This post got long, and possibly a little to personal, but it’s also a very abbreviated version. If anyone has anything to add, or any positive recommendations for us, that would be great! My special little Lulu is my world, and I will continue to keep fighting for her.

April. Snow. Michigan. Garden.

The weather this year is just not cooperating for a few good spring days to work on my garden. Today I said screw it and decided that it’s time to get out the rototiller. Yes, it started snowing on me. In April. In Michigan. While trying to start a garden. In April. That is just some crap. So I get the rototiller out of the garden shed to discover it had a flat tire, a broken line to the hand pump that works the tiller, and a big nasty spider. Said rototiller is named Toro with a picture of a bull on it, and I figured out why the company named their products Toro. That is because Toro is Spanish for bull, and we all know what goes with bull, so the product really means bull shit in Spanish. Anyway, I got Jason to kill the big nasty spider, and I filled up the tire with air. It went flat again. I got Jason, again, to fix it. Fixed it was. Now the line for the tiller part is just screwed, so we rigged it up so it just tills all the time, but that means I have to lift the dang thing across the yard to the garden spot without tilling up the yard. That is some fun stuff. So far, we have spent 20 minutes just trying to get the rototiller up and running. Now I get the thing over to the garden spot without tilling up the yard. Even just a little bit. Score! I start rototilling. (My computer says “rototilling” is not a word. Just go with it.) I get a few sweeps in and it stops working just like the bullshit charm a Toro is. I get the thingy we are using to keep it tilling pulled out, put it back on, and we are not back to rototilling. I can’t figure it out. So I get Jason, he kind of figures it out, and finishes the job for me. Yay! Now, if I can get my vegetables planted this week some time and not have frost kill everything, we will be in good shape. But it is Aril. It is snowing. It is Michigan. So good luck with that.

Thursday = Family Night

The only day out of the week Jason and I have all three kids is Thursday night, so that has been deemed “family night.” It is also ballet for Mariah and ends up being more hectic than anything. Dance is at 4:15, and the bus drops the big kids off anywhere between 4:02 and 4:09. Yep, I have it down to a science. Before the dance instructor moved locations, the drive to dance was at least 15 minutes, and I HATE being late, so Thursdays got LONG for everybody. Pick kids up at 3:15, go hang out at the library, take Mariah to dance, sit there with the two other kids for an hour who would rather be anywhere but there, and get home around 5:30 and rush to make dinner. Usually Jason has that ready. What a guy. Then, we all fight over a movie to watch. Lulu wants Diego, Mariah wants something with fairies, and Riley wants something scary. I want something heartwarming and cute, Jason wants action. So we fight. I usually win. But last night, we AMPED IT UP! We let the kids ride the bus home and Mariah was a few minutes late for dance. Why? Because we decided to take the kids to the movie theater to see The Croods in 3D. After about 15 minutes, I asked myself why. The 6 year old and the 4 year old wouldn’t keep the 3D glasses on. Have you ever checked out what a 3D movie looks like without the glasses? Well, take my word for it: Blurry. Yeah, I guess you can see what is going on, but if you’re not going to wear the glasses, you are better off at the regular show that is $3 less a person. To do the 3D thing, it’s an extra $15 for us. We don’t go to the movies often, but when we do, we do the 3D thing, and we always ask ourselves why we do the 3D thing. Most of the 3D movies for kids have a few cool scenes and that is it, and the girls don’t keep the glasses on. But the makers of Croods actually did a good job it! And the girls refused to wear the glasses. I just don’t get it. Yes, the glasses are dorky, but our kids are the king and queens of Dorkville. And Mariah wears glasses on a regular basis… why not be extra dorky for an hour and a half and actually be able to see the movie? Riley is smart. He understands 3D movies. I think he always has. And he wears his dorky 3D glasses and enjoys the movie in 3D in all his dorky pride. He got to see all the cool 3D scenes the movie had to offer. And like I said earlier, The Croods did a good job with it. On the way home, all I did was stress. This mommy is a huge bedtime stickler. 7:00 on school nights, 8 on the weekends. That’s it. We always follow that schedule. Last night, we did not. The kids fell asleep on the ride home. They like bedtime too. I kept having to rationalize the lateness to myself. We hardly ever get the chance to take all the kids to the movies. Yes, it’s a late night. Yes, we deserve, as a family, to do something fun once in a while. Weekends are usually out for family fun because we never have all the kids and I work. Then the little anxious voice inside my head tells me I’m a bad mommy and Mariah is going to be tired and get a “yellow” at school tomorrow because she has trouble with her big mouth when her schedule gets messed up. She is me, reincarnated. I was like that. So instead of getting the kids up at 6:15 for the bus, I let them sleep in and brought them to school. Maybe that will help. If Mariah gets a yellow, it’s my fault. I just have to tell myself once in a while, it’s okay to have fun. And I am sure the next time we go to the movies, we will again do the 3D thing, the girls will not wear their dorky glasses, and the boys and I will revel in our dorkiness.


So how do blended families work? Answer: I really don’t know. I grew up with two loving parents and it was a fricken bed of roses. Well, kinda. All families have their ups and downs. But it took me a long, long, long time to realize that my kids will be okay not living with mommy all the time. Custody battles suck, and so does having to plan everything around different schedules. Here are examples of questions we get all the time: “Can you all come to the Christmas party?” We will try, but we might not have all the kids. “What are you guys up to this weekend? We want to go bowling with all the kids!” Sorry, only Riley this weekend, I have to work at the restaurant, and that Christmas party is next weekend and we still won’t have Mariah. Our schedule is full until July, and then bowling is out of the question because we’d rather be on the boat with hopefully at least one of our lovelies. “How about getting a babysitter and joining us for no kids night out?” Sorry, we have two kids this weekend and we’d rather hang with them because they’re not always around. I have off work on Sunday, how about that bowling thing? Oh, right, it’s time for your adults only night. Wanna join us on the boat in July? No matter the amount of kids, it’s always a good time!

I know they’ve been here… I’m doing their laundry!

How is it that every week I have at least five loads of laundry to do, a sink full of dishes, and piles of stuff everywhere? Answer: 3 kids and a messy me. Yes, I am very messy. I have no problem doing the laundry and getting it folded. But it usually stays on the designated laundry couch until it’s been weeded through so many times by so many people nothing is distinguishable. When I do laundry next, the previous weeks indistinguishable laundry is finally re-folded and put away. This lasts for about an hour, when the new weeks laundry is ready to be folded. The kitchen? I usually clean it about noon when I get the 4 year old off the preschool bus and it’s time to make lunch. Clean up last nights dinner and bitch about the stuck on food because I was too lazy to rinse them, unload and reload dishwasher, and leave the mac n cheese pot on the stove for tomorrow. Dinner time: wonder why I left that mac n cheese pot on stove, wash it cuz I need it for potatoes, and throw dinner on the table. Have everyone help clear the table, think to myself I will hang out with the kids and then clean up after dinner, get everyone off to bed, then decide it’s wind down time for. The dishes can wait until tomorrow. So this post doesn’t really fit the title I made, and I can’t think of a new title right now, and it’s time to go get Lulu off the bus and do the lunch/clean up from last night’s dinner thing. Adios!

Two Halves plus Three : Chronicles of a Blended Family

My first post! Yay! Anyway, I think my family is wonderful, funny, and chaotic. My partner and I have been together for almost 3 years, and we have 3 kids together! Well shoot, how did that happen? Answer: We are blended! Just like a beautiful, lumpy mess of waffle batter. He has an 8 year old son Riley who likes his quad. I have a 6 year old daughter, Mariah, who likes her barbies and annoying Riley. And a 4 year old daughter, Luella, who likes Diego, Diego, and Diego. My lovely man, Jason, has gorgeous long curly dark hair and his favorite activity is breaking his ’69 Bronco. And there’s me. The ringleader of the circus. Things get super crazy around this joint, especially since each kid has a different set of parents outside of us. So that means they each have a different schedule. Someone is always coming or going. So why the heck do I think anyone is going to want to hear about our family? First of all, I, personally, have a big ego, and I love to write. Secondly, there are tons of blended families out there! I am hoping to find other families that can laugh and relate.