Jan 28, 2010

2-hour vacation

So, last week went well. I survived the week with 8 kids and 2 dogs. By Friday, though, my stress level was going up pretty high. I just needed a break, from kids, dogs, housework...all of them. I called my father-in-law and see if he could watch my kids for a little while. He graciously accepted my request.
He said, "One time I came from work. Mom (his wife)'s hair was about to be on fire. So I gave her a checkbook and told her not to come home for at least 3 hours. I told her that I won't let her come in unless she was gone for at least 3 hours. I know you love your kids, but sometimes you need a break. I'll be more than happy to watch your kids. Take your time. "
So, off I went. Time away from everything, all by myself. I don't even remember that I ever talked to anyone unless I had to at check-out counter. I enjoyed the silence and slow pace. I went to a couple of stores and just looked around and around without feeling any pressure. I stopped by at a thrift store to see if I could find anything good. Oh, my! I found 1 skirt, 2 jackets, 3 pairs of jeans/pants, 4 shirts, a pair of boots, all under $3.50 each. What a bonus!! It was a very good 2-hour vacation.
After I came home, I cleaned up my closet to make up rooms for those new (well, not really new, but new enough for me) items. And I said good-bye to those clothes I hadn't worn for a while. It was a good therapy.
It is so nice to have a very understanding father-in-law living near by. And kids all behaved well for Papa. Mommy got her sanity back!

Jan 19, 2010

A week with 8 kids

This week, I'm staying with my sister-in-law's kids while she and her husband are out of town for a conference. They have 5 kids. 5 + 3 = 8. Eight kids. Hers are 10, 12, 13, 15, 17 (or something like that), and pretty self sufficient. And actually it's been quite fun. This is our second year doing it.
My kids are having fun - playing with new toys, learning new things from cousins, watching cartoons on cable, etc. Oh, and they have a big backyard and a trampoline. They put their snowsuits on and jump on the trampoline. J played probably close to 1.5 hours with his 10-year-old cousin outside - making fort out of snowbank. They were so tired tonight, but they just did not want to go to bed. When I was reading books laying down between them, they were fighting with their sleepy eyes. It was really cute.
And for myself...I am enjoying 5 extra sets of hands doing all the chores. 5 kids = 5 meals assigned! So I don't have to cook dinner at all this week! Love it.
Do I want 8 kids? No. I don't think I can do that. But it's a fun experience. It kind of gives me an idea of what it will be like to have school age kids, who leaves house at what time, who has what lesson on what day, etc. And, I have to say, I appreciate my life with little kids, because I can take a nap when I need it, especially the day after baby K was up all night.

Jan 15, 2010

A very successful milk cow

No, we don't have cow farm. The very successful milk cow is me. That's my sweet dear husband calls me. My baby was 12 lb at 6 weeks. Twelve pounds!! My daughter was almost 4 months old when she hit the number. This 1 month old baby is up to 3-6 months old clothes. I like the sound of "successful" part of that title. I'm not so sure about the "milk cow" part of it....but, I'm happy that my baby is growing, and I am able to provide.

Jan 14, 2010

Magic number 5!

Ever since J turned 5 in October, his things is "Now because I am 5-year-old, I can do *blank*." All the things he couldn't do or didn't know when he was 4-year-old are now piece of cake. Poof! A whole new world. I shared that with my friend the other day. And she said her girls were the same way too. Hmm, I didn't know that. But that's pretty cool, isn't it? Magic number 5!

Photo taken by Kristin

Jan 12, 2010

Happy Baby - Happy Mom

My baby has a lot of baby acne right now, so I'm using this beautiful picture my friend took a couple of weeks ago (picture courtesy of my dear friend, Kristin). But this is how he has been looking since yesterday afternoon, not a screaming little monster. I decided to start sleep training yesterday. As much as I enjoyed watching him sleeping next to me at night, sleep deprivation/exhaustion/tension headache was over-powering, and I was turning to be a monster, not a cute little one. So far, he has been an angel! I change him, nurse him, cuddle with him in a comfortable glider with a soft soothing music. And he slept! I had free hands! I even baked bread!! At first, I had a mix feeling of happiness and sadness, like sending a child away to school or something (which I have not yet experienced). He woke up crying. But when I picked him up, he stopped crying. Then, he looked at me in my eyes and smiled. He smiled and cooed. What a precious baby! I am so in love with this baby. Who said that "when mom is happy, everyone is happy"? So true. Happy sleeping baby makes happy Mommy, which make everyone else in the house happy. A chain reaction, in a very good way.

Surrounded by love

I have been feeling so much love from my family and friends, so I needed to write them down.

Last Saturday, I needed a day off. A day off from kids duty. I wanted to declutter my house and my life. Decluttering, that's what I do when my stress level goes up. It's like my therapy. So, my sweet dear husband took care of kids, all of them. I vacuumed, packed bags of trashes to be taken out of the house, packed "stuff" to be donated, drop the "stuff" at Salvation Army, got totes from Walmart to organized kids' clothes, packed more "stuff" to be donated, etc. In a meantime, my sweet dear husband played with kids outside in the snow while he shoveled snow, took trash out, cleaned garage, fed kids, put kids for naps, made dinner, gave kids a bath, etc. Oh, I felt so so much better!!!

Yesterday, I had one of those days - pounding headache, exhaustion, screaming children, etc. Finally, I was able to take a nap. After I woke up from a nap, I had a message from my friend who wanted to drop off a meal for me. Then this morning, she showed up with a bag full of goodies - lasagna, a loaf of french bread, salad, and paper plates/cups/napkins and plastic forks, so I didn't even have to do dishes!! What a friend!

Also, this morning, another friend of mine called me to take the older 2 kids out to a playgroup this morning. I originally planned to go, but my car had problems and went to a shop last night. I thought I was going to be stuck in the house. Instead, she took the older kids out for me. I put baby to bed. And myself, too. It was so quiet. The best nap ever! I also enjoyed a short visit with her when she dropped them off this afternoon.

I am so lucky to be surrounded by so much love!

Jan 4, 2010

9th anniversary

Nine years ago today, I married to my best friend. We have had ups and downs, but I love him dearly. He is a wonderful husband and father. Three kids and a house and a dog. I am so lucky to have this wonderful family. Happy Anniversary, honey!