Friday, June 17, 2011

Quick Takes Friday

My little corner here is being sadly neglected.   I feel terribly out of the loop beyond these four walls and often I feel terribly out of the loop within these four walls.  

And what no one tells you before you have children is that sometimes there is NO LOOP -- there is just a lot of aimless wandering through the house trying to remember why in the world you came all the way up the stairs.

But there is really no help for it.  Not while all your efforts are baby-centric anyway.

I'll get back into the saddle eventually, and until then I can still do some quick takes.  Woo!


I would like to officially apologize to any and all women who have ever raised children whose ages are separated by 14 months or less.

I secretly used to think that babies that close in age would not be too hard to manage, especially since you are already in the baby stuff/diapering mode.  You could find your groove and go with it.   Besides, Sally and Bun are 17 months apart and I thought that age difference was a pretty easy transition around here.

Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa.

This age difference is no joke, people, and these babies are handing me my a$s. 

In fact, last night I opted to take all four of the bigger ones to Target at 7:30 at night because that seemed like less stress and work than juggling the two little babies at home. 

I cannot even believe I just typed that sentence.

(PS: And please don't hate me for mild profanity, my friends.  I am so bone tired that I slipped back to my old salty language days.)

(PS 2: If you have babies less than 14 months apart, please tell me a happy story about making it through the newborn days.  Baby is a really good baby - and so is Mopsy - but I am having a hard time getting into the groove of things.)


I typed the above "babies are SO HARD" statement at midnight.  That is really not a good time to write anything, especially when you've been up since 5.  in the A.M.

Hey, babies ARE hard, in their own way.  We all know it.  But babies are also one of the world's truly GOOD things.

And also?  They don't talk back. Or run away from you with a dirty diaper.  Or demand crustless peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at precisely 11:35 every day.  Nope, they just let you sit on the sofa and feed them while you watch a ridiculous amount of "A Baby Story" on TLC. 

(To which your husband, when he catches you, will say "Seriously?  THIS is what you're watching?  You JUST DID THIS three weeks ago.  I'm sorry honey.  It's a compulsion I cannot explain.)

Plus, babies think you are the most awesome thing they've ever encountered, so there's always that silver lining.


This has been the first full week of summer vacation for the big kids.  It is Friday and we are all still alive.  Gold star, everyone!

To be honest, I have been dreading the summer.  Life with a new baby naturally tends to take on a very free-
form approach to time . . . there is no planning when you are at the beck and call of a new human. 

Baby is a total doll, but sometimes she wants to eat every three hours and then sometimes she requires bodily contact with me every seven minutes.  There's just no way of really knowing. 

That makes the summer very looooong for the rest of the crew who is used to at least some semblance of a schedule.  No one understands when Mommy is still on the couch with the baby when lunch time rolls around.  

Except Baby -- she totally gets it.


To help direct the kids' energy, Rob has been leaving them lists of activities each day.    These activities range from household chores to more academic pursuits.

A sample from of some of the week's lists for Francie and Fiver:   take out the garbage, clean the downstairs bathroom, name the nine planets, calculate the distance between our house and your cousins in NY in centimeters, draw a map of the countries of Europe including their capitals, empty the dishwasher, kiss your mother.

These lists remind me of the scene in "Cheaper by the Dozen" where the Gilbreth family goes on vacation and their father decides to use that time to teach them astronomy and the Morse Code.  The younger kids think that it's a great idea while the older ones are mortally embarrassed.   That sounds about right.


I still get caught a little off guard when I look in the rear view mirror of the van and see nothing but little heads behind me.   

We also seem to gather more kids wherever we go.  I guess when you have kids hanging out of every window they are powerless to resist the urge to jump on the party bus.  It's the law of attraction at work right there.


I watch a lot of baseball when I am up late at night with Baby.  I usually end up falling asleep with her draped on me in some fashion, which leads to me waking up with all kinds of kinks in my neck and back. 

As I woke up at the end of a Phillies game this week, the starting pitcher felt a "little tightness" in his back and the pitching coach and athletic trainer immediately came out to the mound, took him out of the game, and sent in a reliever.

I found myself thinking that is what I need:   a mom bullpen.   I could be the starting mom, but when fatigue and achiness threatened my ability to perform at my optimal level, they could call in a reliever until I could make my next start.   Then I could go back to the clubhouse and sit in a whirlpool tub and get a massage and painkillers -- just to keep myself in prime condition, of course.   Nice.

And this is what I think about when I am half asleep at 11:30.  You're welcome.


Has anyone else seen the show about extreme couponing on TLC?  (Yes, I know it seems like I watch a lot of TLC, but I just manage to catch random episodes here and there.)

I am partly in awe and partly repelled by the whole extreme coupon movement.  Can it even be called a movement?  It seems like you have to have a certain amount of zeal to be an extreme couponer, so I think it could be called as such.

In the episode I watched, a husband and wife team saved almost a thousand dollars at the store using all their coupons and store cards.   That's amazing!

However . . .   they bought all kinds of stuff they never use.  They have two years worth of groceries and health and beauty products in a stockroom in their home.  Two years worth!  And yet they still go on these huge shopping trips.    They have a separate insurance rider for their grocery stockpile.  

I am mystified.   And I think I could write a whole post about it, but not right now.  Right now I need more coffee.

Check out all the quick takes over at Conversion Diary, and have a great weekend, my friends. I'll see you when I see you!


  1. This may be one of your best posts yet - sleep deprivation seems to enhance your writing!

    I sometimes could swear that you are me - babies close together (our first two were 15 months apart), the whole TLC addiction, our shared thoughts on extreme couponing, grocery shopping by myself late at night so my husband had to put the boys to bed, etc, etc.) I cannot fathom how you find time to blog, though. I know I was a zombie for the first six months after the second baby was born. His colic did NOT improve matters. But I constantly hung on my grandmother's wise words - always have your babies in twos because they will always have someone to play with. She had fourteen children, so she knew what of she spoke! Those two sweet little girls will be best friends and will keep themselves occupied in the months and years to come. Enjoy! And don't worry about not blogging - we are thrilled to visit here whenever you can make it!

  2. Great post, Aimee. I can not believe you typed all that with a newborn and no sleep. I couldn't make that much sense with 8 hours of sleep all by myself. ;-) You are awesome, you.

    Babies are hard. But food for thought here: with babies, and with little children you can do something for them. Remember that. I know you are not octomom (eight arms not eight babies) but within reason on most days you can give them what they need in order for them to be happy for a while. When they are teens or young adults there is often not a damn thing you can do for them but pray. On days when I would gladly wear this old body out to keep them happy, on the straight and narrow, I can only wear out my knees. :-(

    So, darlin', love these baby days as much as you are able. Repeat after me: "Babies are easy. Babies are easy." Call me when Francie hits 21.

    Love ya.

  3. Coffee from your new Keurig!!! This is a great post because it's so real...every one reading here can relate on some level. I think that's the heart of a great post- connection. While I only have 3, I think you know my first 2 are 375 days apart. Easier said than done- but give yourself and the littles time to settle in. One thing that helped me was to sit toddler next to me with sippy cup/snacks/books while I fed baby...TV as a backup, of course. And just accept that you WILL be changing diapers TLC shows have a remarkable healing power, don't they? But that couponing thing? I like a deal as much as anyone but I'm NOT stocking my freezer with 145 personal pizzas or whatever junk of the moment they find. If I don't need it, then it's not a deal. And if I DID do that, I would donate my surplus to those who need it, not insulate my house with rows and shelfs of stuff. Like you, I could write a whole post. The concept isn't bad but taken to the nth degree, it's a bit much for me. And I agree 100% with the first post- Michael and Liam right now? Best playmates EVER! Hugs to you and remember what you already know: you WILL get into the sleeping more consistently will work wonders!

  4. Oh the Mom Bullpen is brilliant! I love it! And I want my own.

    I already sent you a text, but I'll say it here too: it will get easier and you will truly treasure the closeness of your girls. I don't really clearly remember what the days were like when I had a 2yo, 1yo, and a newborn, but I know we made it through. Of course that was all I had at the time. Anyway, you will survive friend, and so will the kids.

    This whole post is fairly brilliant, all things considered. My hat is off to you!

  5. Newborn, fourteen month old, plus assorted and sundry others. And your post is not only coherent, but witty and touching. You are truly my hero.

  6. I'll send some extra prayers your way. My kids are wide apart, so for me it was like starting ALL over every time. 4- to 6-year gaps between kids will do that.

    Those extreme couponers are sometimes guilty of coupon fraud, not to mention extreme hoarding. I love saving money with coupons--but only on stuff we'll eat or use before it goes bad!

  7. Anonymous6:49 AM

    Excellent writing through sleep deprivation. My two littles are 15 months apart. I'd give you some tips but I don't remember the first year. And notice, there was no ore babies after that experience. Although now I wish there were. Any who, they are the best of friends now. And are constantly entertaining each other.

    Cheaper by the Dozen is one of my favorite books to read to the kids! That Frank cracked me up. And what is up with extreme couponing. 85 boxes of stuffing? I hope lots gets donated to a food pantry or something.

    Wishing you sleep and a few minutes of quiet. You rock, woman!

  8. Dude, I JUST had a converstaion with a mom of twins where I was trying to convince her that having twins MUST be harder than having 5 children. She wasn't convinced, but after having my 3rd and 4th babes just 14 months apart, I was totally in awe of anyone with twins.

    The only thing I can say is that although it is hard, looking back it was totally a blur - so God helps us not to remember too much of the craziness :)

    "Baby"'s cute cheeks are hanging up on our bulletin board, and make me smile every day!


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