07 October 2015

National Night Out 2015!

How I Manage...Big Laundry in a Small Space.

Laundry is such a pain. Over the summer we moved from a huge laundry room to a very small laundry room, and I think we just about have it worked out. With five kids and two adults, we need to keep it moving at all times. We keep the kids outfits for each day rolled up and stored in an over the door shoe hanger with a row of six slots for each kid. Sunday outfits are in a different row. I load up all of the pockets on Sundays and the kids are set for the week. We also keep swimsuits and hair bows in the organizers.

As far as the rest of the laundry room goes, the kids' jeans and slacks are on hangers over the dryer, and they have masking tape labels on each hanger so I know which jeans go to which kids. We try not to have more than two pairs per style of pants, because we don't have the space to store it AND because we keep laundry running constantly. Most clothes are clean and stored at all times. 
Daddy likes the boys to wear collars most of the time, so collared shirts are hung above the washer.

All other kids clothes are stored in labeled basked opposite the machines. No clothing storage upstairs. They each have a dresser or wardrobe for special things, extra linens, etc, but the rule is that any clothes found outside the laundry room are on bodies or dirty. In the evenings I take one laundry basket and collect up any clothes around the house and they go straight into the washer. Anything in the dryer is immediately sorted into baskets or pockets. Andrew and I keep our clothes in our closet, because I can trust Andrew not to change his clothes 247 times per day.
We usually have one catch-up day every couple of weeks because when you have so many people, so system is perfect. That day usually falls very close to "Linens Day," when I change all of the sheets in the house. Kids' linens are changes once every two weeks, master linens every week. (Because the kids like to go from the sandbox to our bed. Every time. I just don't get it.)

I also hang some things to dry rather than use the dryer. Sheets and towels, mostly. Anything heavy or potentially tangly. It makes my loads go faster AND it looks dreamy and smells like productivity.

 Shoes go in $5 Home Depot stackers and can be thrown directly down the stairwell and into a bin. The kids love that. The "don't throw things from the second floor" rule is all but gone these days. Whatever.

But really, that's it! Right now our laundry situation is WAY under control, so I feel pretty confident sharing this. Of course, it's not Linens Day...

04 October 2015

Yippee! Hallelujah! Thrill!

You're not even going to believe this. There are still people in this world who follow this pitiful blog. I count four. This is grand. I will just type and type and type to my heart's content.

And that will be made possible by MY NEW COMPUTER!! Our trusty laptop died a slow and painful death and while she still kind of works, it's just not worth the effort. So we made the switch to a shiny new desktop which was purchased juuuust yesterday. I really didn't know people still use desktops, but I can be swayed. We'll need it in the coming months and years anyway. And lest you believe that's some sort of cryptic pregnancy announcement, rest assured, I am not with child. I am with desktop and it's glorious.

Next up, I'll be writing about my Exodus of One from the beast that is Facebook. And true to history, I am wandering in the DESERT, friends. Ain't nobody out here but me and my God.

I have a small list of "to blog" topics, but can I be real? I'm just not quite back into the swing of it. How do my views even matter in a world of bloggers? Is there really anything I can say that isn't already being said at this very moment? Will I ever go viral? What's the meaning of all of this?

Clearly, my God is staying silent on this one.

02 October 2015

She's so Productive.

It's no secret that I really, really love beauty products. I'm trying to tone it down a little, but I just adore wonderful things. What I really love are incredibly expensive, hard-to-find products. But let's face it. Those days are on hold while I have five busy kids and very little time to plot, plan, dig and spend. 

So, here are my current favorites. They're all easy to find, and they're all fantastic. They're also all reasonably priced and life/kid friendly. 

So in the back row from L to R. NYM hairspray. Walmart, smells wonderful. TresSemme Nourishing Rituals oily stuff. Also at Walmart, also cheap. I don't do much with this other than stick my hair in a pony, rub this between my hands and slick it over the tail to calm down all my frizzies. Perfection. Pantene overnight creme. This stuff is amazing. I get it at Target and use it on the girls. Keeps tangles out for up to three days. Not that that's an admission of a major lack of bathing around here. Rock Your Hair root lift. THIS is one of my faves. I usually get it at Walmart and while it's almost $20 a can, it lasts a good long while AND it makes my hair just jump right up and wave to my friends. Aveeno BB moisturizer. It's fine as moisturizers go, and I'm good with aveeno anything on this gorgeous face. True Blue Spa hand cream. This is a Bath and Body Works product, but it's worth the trip. I also never buy a bigger tube because a tiny dab does the trick and the tube lasts about a year for me. 

Front row T to B. Heh. Crest Brilliance Boost. This stuff is super amazing for just boosting your teeth and making a little whiter for the day when you don't have an hour to do the whole whitening routine. 

Now. Maybelline 24 lip stain. No joke, friends. I put this on in the am and let it dry for five minutes. I cover it with Baby Lips Dr. Rescue and my lips are still rosy pink when I'm putting on my jammies. And guys, I may embellish from time to time, but lipwear is where I draw the line. 

And then you have your blistex ultra rich and Dr. Rescue. I don't have time to get into the drugstore eye makeup winners, but I'll be back. That's probably abrupt, but my man's going to walk through the door any minute! 

30 September 2015

Things I Love Because I'm a Mom. (Of many)

I love that Netflix just starts the next episode automatically, because there are some moments when I'm so tired I can't be bothered to even move my finger. Thanks, Netflix, for mustering that LAAAAAAST bit of energy when all I can do is whimper.

I love Sonic because they have corndogs. But you know what else they have? Shots of caffeine to add to any drink you order. They get me. They get that I live in Texas, where it is sometimes hotter than, well, anything. They get that it's just plain kind to offer caffeine in everything.

I love Pinterest. Mostly because I am just too damn tired to come up with anything to better my life. Thanks, Pinterest, for making us all look like winners.

I love velcro and 3M strips. So much. Velcro shoes, velcro cable straps, 3M strips for hanging even the unhangable. America. That's America.

Breakfast cereal.

Flavored quick-dissolve melatonin. Yesssss.

Who am I kidding? Flavored quick dissolve everything.

Smartphones. How did mothers stay sane before smart phones?!? No wonder generations past drank and smoked so much. Not like they had My Singing Monsters to love them back, right?

I'm done here. If I can't be bothered to hit "next episode" on Netflix, I sure as heck can't be bothered to keep typing.

28 September 2015

Max is scared.

Max is scared of scary things and not scary things.

He is scared of big things and little things. He is scared of quiet things and loud things. He is scared of things he knows he's scared of, and things that he doesn't know he's scared of. He's scared of 100% of the unknown, and 75% of the known.

Toilets. Rubber snakes. Real snakes. Car washes. Thunder. Rain. Lightning. Alive bugs. Dead bugs. Bugs who might die soon. Cars. Scooters that are moving. Scooters that are not moving. Holes. Darkness. The word "spider." Spiders that aren't just words. Paper crumpled into scary shapes. Shadows. Wind. Turning left. Anything Miles finds fun. Dogs. Cats. Animals with beating hearts. Pictures of animals. Bunnies. Fish. Climbing. Sunlight. McDonald's PlayPlace. Lint. (Because Lint looks like bugs.) Jumping too high. Kisses. Life. All of it.

When Max gets scared, he screams a scream unlike any scream in the entire world. Tonight he was washing his hands in the powder room and the door was closed and the toilet began running, and he FREAKED. The scream said, "I've been electrocuted by a leech that stuck it's leechy head out of the outlet." We ran as fast as we've ever run before and once we figured out it was the Fear Scream, our hearts returned to normal and we managed to pry him off Daddy's chest.

Somehow, even with his North Pole-sized list of fears, Max is the adrenaline junkie. I can't figure out if his adrenaline is kept in a constant a state of motion due to his fears, or if screaming in terror is just another way to feel the rush. He's the maniac of the two who's always running faster, hitting harder, screaming louder, laughing longer, and Miles is his faithful companion. What's crazy is how much Miles comforts him and works SO hard to make Max feel safe, even at 2.5. If Max is stuck in fear at the top of the PlayPlace, Miles hugs him until rescuers arrive. If Max is paralyzed next to the sandbox due to a potential bug sighting, Miles is running for Mama faster than Max can react. If Max is screaming in front of a rubber snake, Miles is the one dangling it in front of him. Brothers make the man, they say. Max is so afraid of rubber snakes that the kids actually beg me to buy them so they can "see if he's still scared." Mmmm hmmm.

Someday he won't be afraid of the toilet, or rubber snakes, or lint. But I won't get to hold him on my lap and cuddle it all away, either. Fear on, Max. Fear on.

27 September 2015

Guys, I hate to put this here.

Can I be real for a second?

Sunday donuts are pretty much what we live for all week. If you're decently behaved in Mass, donuts! Some say "church voice," my kids use their "donut voice." I wish I were kidding.

So the donut shop we went to today was voted 2015 "Best Donut" by the entire town. That gives you pause, doesn't it? We're about to hit Donut Jackpot. They even have a drive-thru! I order a dozen. Six chocolate glazed, two maple, four glazed. I also order two kolaches because if you to a place that makes kolaches and you don't buy those kolaches, you're at risk of losing your Texas residency and that's a risk I'm not willing to take. 

So she's super friendly and hands me a box that is...about 12x7x4. If you like donuts, you've already realized the problem. Read no further, comrade.

Here is the problem. These donuts are being handed to me on their sides, donut bottom touching donut glaze. WHAT IN THE HELL IS GOING ON, HERE!?! The world is tilting on it's axis, and my precious donut glaze is going to be hitting someone else's lips. SOMEONE who had to be freaking reminded to use their donut voice in Mass. They don't deserve my glaze, and no donut deserves that kind of disrespect.

And as for you, small town residents, how can I ever trust you again? If I go looking for the best taco in town, where am I going to end up?! Taco Bell?!

23 September 2015

Things I hear in the car.

Molly: aloha, amigos! Don't you love hearing me speak French?
Lucy: actually, that's not french at all.
Mo: no?
Lucy: no. Amigos is spanish, and aloha is mexican.

Lucy: mommy, would you like to hear the story of my drawing?
Me: yes!
Lucy: this is a picture of a broken picture frame. It's kind of sad. A long time ago in the 1980's there was a house and this frame hung on the walls in it. But then it crumbled with time, and they invented cars, and new houses were built in its place, and all that was left was this broken frame.
Me: wow.
Lucy: everything has a story.

14 September 2015

Let me just catch you up real quick.

1) lucy? She's good. Reading like crazy, still not sure about her new school but giving it a decent shot. Is swimming pretty well, but aspires only to be "okay and good enough to not drown." She feels that way about almost everything. Mediocre is the new perfect! She makes up for her apathy with loads of charm.

2) molly is, as usual, doing fine. 6.5 now, swimming like crazy, but by "crazy" I actually mean she looks like a total weirdo in the pool. Completely graceless and awkward, but she has a blast. She swims underwater just great and while it's not pretty to watch, she gets the job done. Mo loves to help around the house and is really a considerate kid.

3) claire is turning the entire world on it's ear and nobody seems to be concerned. Claire also learned to swim this summer and she looks like a little water sprite. She's comfortable, adorable and super fun to watch. Pretty sure she was born with flippers. Claire is working on her vocabulary and only uses words that sound hilarious when she pronounces them wrong. Words like, "exponsibility" and "verdifying."

4) Max? Max is charming, snuggly, handsome and completely likeable. He hates bugs and snakes and totally owns it. He basically lives to eat goldfish and love his brother.

5) you know, the brother who is definitely most undeserving in the love and adoration department. Miles is a nightmare these days. So much so that it's almost laughable. It seems that identical twins go through phases and sort of trade off in the personality department. Right now, Miles is trying on "utterly horrid" and it's a pretty good look on him! He's 100% willful and beastly, 200% physically abusive and manipulating, 75% disobedient and 157% devious and calculating. I'll be happy to get my amazing miles back in the coming days. For about 2 minutes a day my old miles surfaces and does something sweet, and I have hope. But then he bites someone or punches somebody and I'm all, "oh look, there's square one. Pretty sure we're supposed to be over in that one."

Now, I have to go. Miles dumped a bottle gold bond powder all over the living room and is using air freshener to clean it up. Fail.

09 September 2015

You picked a fine time to leave me...

So I have mostly left Facebook. Why? Because it's a soul-sucking abyss.

Interestingly enough, no one has inquired after me or wondered why I am not there. Because Facebook is a soul-sucking abyss.

Will they check my blog? Maybe? Probably not. It's not as if I've blogged more than three times this year. I didn't feel the need to be heard, as resident court jester of Facebook.

I wonder how long it will take before they realize I'm gone. I wonder how long it will take before I no longer care what they think.

17 May 2015

He makes it so easy.

Y'all, we are in a drought. We're in rocky soil and it hasn't rained in far too long.

We got married 9 years ago and shortly after that began my blog, Planted and Blooming. The title was such because we're bloomers, he and I. With or without rain, we bloom. "For better or worse" seems to come up time and again, and some weeks there is nothing but worse. Thankfully, there is always "better" on the horizon.

This past week was a bunch of worse with a few big betters. Lucy and Lilly had their First Communion and it was just beautiful. Our sweet little girls are really blossoming into amazing young ladies.

We have a contract and closing date for our house! Another better!

But with those betters, it was nothing but "worse." The stress is endless. The worries are numerous. The drought is a killer. We just want to transplant without hassle, but it feels like a drought that goes on and on.

So here we are, thirsty for fortune and a good long soaking of blessings. You'd think our marriage would start to wither, wouldn't you? Somehow Andrew helps me bend to where the clouds are thinnest, to where I can see the sunshine. We continue to bloom and it seems like the hardest winters always bring the most amazing blooms, doesn't it?

Throughout the difficult week, little sprinkles came through and gave us hope. A pair of shoes. A perfectly placed $20 bill. A day to recoup. A hot shower when last week, we just wanted water! You don't need a rainstorm to see a rainbow, and we have seen so many precious rainbows in these little sprinkles. So many promises that we are never lost or forgotten.

He's a good one to be planted with, that man of mine. He helps me bloom without water, in the rockiest of soil.

All the time, God is good.

19 February 2015

This guy.

I am snuggled up in my warm bed, so deliriously happy with my lot in life. It is so precious to me to know that he is here every night, till death do us part.

06 January 2015

And that was the end of my resolution.

So here I am, six days into the new year, apologizing for another failed resolution. 

Can I tell you the truth? Last summer I started praying for humility. Even the tiniest bit would be fantastic, you know? And since then, nothing really feels worth writing about. What could I possibly say that hasn't been said? What could really come out of this head that is so important it should be written out there on the Internet? All of the things that once lt so important to write down and all of that "wisdom" that felt so necessary to impart just sort of floated off into nowhere. 

Sheesh. That sounds depressing. Really, I'm so happy, but at the end of the day I just want to stop my brain and let it all sort of fall out of my head. There isn't a whole lot in there worth opening my mouth for at present. When I have a moment to think, I just prefer to think to myself rather than spread my thoughts around. How on earth did that happen?! Maybe I'm growing up? Maybe my prayers were truly heard? What felt last year like something that needed to be said now just sort of feels like more prattle that I just don't need to unleash. There is so much to fill our heads these days. I'm almost feel bad taking up your precious time. Go say a prayer or something! Do some squats! 

Things here are awesome. The boys just turned two and they're so cute I just chew on them all day. Claire is incredibly full of herself and we secretly delight in it. Today she was walking into the church nursery with her blanket on her head and declared, "uuugggghh....I am so freaking tired!" Who really wants to discipline that more than they want to giggle at it? Claire is truly the puppet master around here, and she just pulls our strings alllll dayyyyy loooong. Molly is adorable, but exercising her new-found kindergartner attitude. She's spending a lot of time with her head hung in shame for her lippy backchat. Good thing she's cute. And Lucy? She's awesome. So funny and capable. Those first-Borns are just so cool, aren't they? She's just so grown-up and friendly. Nothing about that kid that isn't agreeable and nice. 7 fits her well. Andrew is still super cute and amazing. Love that guy. He manages to make all of this chaos fun, somehow. Life's a wonderful ride with him. 

And I am good. Remicade is going great, with a few minor side effects here and there. Nothing earth shattering. I love it! I have had almost a full year completely in the game and playing actively. Amaaaaazing! Every eight weeks, I spend two hours with an IV and three hours with a headache and life is lovely again. Compared to this time last year, it's heavenly! 

What else? Stone thinks he's allowed to sleep on our bed now. Fool. 

Well, my humility and I have to get up at 5:30. 

01 January 2015

Happy New Year, friends!

My resolutions?

No more cursing. Oy.

Blog every, single, gosh-durned day.

To keep Christ alive in our home every, single day.

To take time out with my husband every, single day.

Sooo...can this count as blogging for Jan 1?