So one day I noticed Lyla left the table at breakfast. I found her in Payson’s room with this setup!! She’d done this! haha
Today was the kids’ dentist appointments!
Thy all love these bear statues around the dentist office.
And our dentist always has guessing games and coloring pages for the kids at the front desk.
Today the kids got glasses from the dentist! Lyla was the biggest fan!
I love taking group pictures on this bench outside the office.
A quick stop at the store before…
Everett was SO nervous! Of all the kids there he was the most timid. He didn’t want to do most of what the teacher was requesting. I wasn’t too worried since it was his very first time and just getting used to being in a class setting with someone else in charge and water exposure was plenty! He loved being with other kids his age and he liked his teacher! He mostly loved sneaking away from the class toward the other end of the pool and splashing like crazy.
Next was Lyla’s lesson! She’s only two so it’s a mommy and me class which meant the other 5 kids sat on the side of the pooll. Brooklyn and Sierra kept an eye on the little kids. Mostly they all watched the parents and kids in Lyla’s class.
Next up Payson and Ember had the same class! While they were in their lessons the rest of us got to swim in the part of the pool that wasn’t used for classes. It had this tall water fountain in the middle and the little kids were thrilled!
Payson and Ember at their first lesson!
First day of swim lessons was a hit!
I’m in the bathroom while my youngest two kids are in the shower. They are splashing and giggling together. I’m reading Margaret Bourke-White’s autobiography. Enthralled- I’m lost in the past when I hear,
“Mom, I think the hotdogs need to be turned!”
That’s Payson and I set the book aside for later. A pang of sadness that I only got a few pages in… I walk into the kitchen listening intently at the squeals of the little two; they’re in a shower and not a bath so the risk of drowning is temporarily nonexistent but I can’t stay out long.
“Thanks for reminding me, Payson, I forgot.”
I use a plastic fork to turn the hotdogs in the pan, plastic to save on dishes. I occasionally use disposable and occasionally use washable. Even alone and invisible to the rest of the world in my own home my guilt is touched at the plastic ware.
The smell of the hotdogs mixed with the nostalgia I was feeling while reading hit me hard and my eyes tear up. I am thinking of America and childhood and memories and family… hotdogs in general do that to me. Nothing like a hotdog to make you think, “American.”
I count out 7 paper plates to get ready to dish out hotdogs on pieces of bread. I learned long ago that buns aren’t necessary. Half my kids won’t even eat them; why bother?
The number seven prompts thoughts of my ex husband to flood into my mind. Every time I count out plates I think of him. A family of 7 is what I have and a family of 8 is what I thought I was meant to have. The funny thing about “meant,” though, is it isn’t true.
My stomach churns a bit in sadness thinking about this family I’m surrounded by every single day… this family of me and my six children. A one-parent home. The reality of that often leaves me with a combination of feelings: lucky, free, and fearful mostly. I feel free making my own decisions, safe without the barrage of opinions I used to be accustomed to, and I feel terrified having never planned on plan B being: I support an entire family with nothing more than a high school diploma and exactly zero years of quality work experience.
Oh sure, I did the restaurant employee in my teen years but all that qualifies me for is… more restaurant work. Which is fine if it’s all I can get but it doesn’t cover the bills of 7 people very well.
And still I am thankful. Immersed in history literature and biographies, I am reminded constantly of the difficult plight of most of us. Many more women had it many more times more difficult than I do. Knowing that buoys me. Quotes I read inspire me. Feeling connected with millions of women throughout the world and time inspires me.
So on I go with fear in my chest and perseverance in my soul, squeezing ketchup and mustard onto bread, listening to the sounds of my children. Checking in on droplet-covered, grinning faces and drenched bathroom floors… happy and sad and fearful and thankful and amazed all at once, in all of the minutes that are my life.
Payson got Pokemon tattoos for his birthday and decided to share them with all the siblings. All of them were SO excited. Here are a couple pictures and then a video!
We’ve taken a few bike rides lately. We took a new route and didn’t see this giant misalignment in the sidewalk and Ember hit it full speed and crashed badly. I keep a first aid kit on hand and was able to clean up her scraped elbow and hand and bandage her up. Before we took off again I had her sit on the “step” she rode into to remember her big crash. She didn’t even shed a tear, by the way. I was surprised. She just stood up, calmly stood while I cleaned her up, and then was on her way again!
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So I love the Golden Girls. If you follow me on instagram (which you should if you aren’t because I’m on there almost daily!), especially my stories, you’re so over this, right? haha! I love The Golden Girls TV show. I own all the seasons and watch them as I fall asleep every single night. I suffer from anxiety that gets the worst at night as I lay in bed in silence… my mind races. Falling asleep to The Golden Girls makes me feel comforted and gives me better dreams, too.
I think maybe it would sound like a weird obsession/interest except that the times I watched the Golden Girls on TV were times with my grandma. Those were the most peaceful, happiest times of my childhood. I lived with her for several summers and they were the only years of my life that I felt peaceful. She would watch Golden Girls reruns and since I was spending time with her, I would see them too. I wasn’t as into the show then in my mid teens but I did enjoy them. Now at 36 years old, divorced, considered old by current social media standards, I relate to that age group. I’m still pretty young, really, raising young kids, but I still relate. They make me laugh, they make me feel understood and normal, and they remind me of being with my grandma. My grandma died 3 years ago and I have felt a lot of grief ever since. She had forgotten who I was long before she died and I felt sad about that, but her being gone, really gone… it’s different. It’s so much worse. I miss her so much. You really don’t realize that life goes fast and little things will be the big things you miss so much you can’t stand it. Sitting in her living room with the TV always on (she was divorced and lonely)… watching her favorite shows, crocheting, doing her crosswords, reading her romance novels, chatting endlessly with me, watching anything that happened outside her big living room window… I miss it so much. She had a schedule and I remember her getting up and turning off the TV for dinner. She never kept it on and we all always ate at the dining table together. I miss it all so much.
This picture is just a random day I was cleaning my apartment. I had The Golden Girls playing on my phone and stopped cleaning to watch a certain scene… just laughing and missing my grandma all at once. (haha, also I was wearing that Golden Girls shirt I mentioned owning!)
We went to the park to play tennis. Because they each got new tennis rackets (for the first time) I snapped a photo of each of them with the racket and the bag of tennis balls.
After tennis we got the water guns out of the van and had a water fight.
And then it was time to stop by Party City to get balloons and decorations for Payson’s birthday which was the next day!
And then photos of the boys’ haircuts… well, the before of Payson and then the hair on the floor… I forgot to snap after photos. You can see that in the next post 😀
I came out from cutting the boys hair and found Lyla had stolen a treat.
We first bought some food to bring to the park. Lyla sits in these chairs every time we go to this store. Today she brought it down the aisle we were shopping in. haha
She also can’t pass by the ball display without begging for one. We have so many already and she throws a fit each time we don’t buy another 😛
Then we went to the park. It’s always a challenge getting the kids to eat before playing, they get so antsy to run off and play!
Today the little kids tried out tether ball for the first time. They played that most of the time we were there, actually!
Then they got really into playing with this tree in particular. Trying to pick leaves and stuff.
This was the first time we brought sand toys to the park, I bought some from the Target dollar section, and they spent the rest of the time in the sand pit.
Later that day we went to WalMart to get a new table. The one I used to have was too big to bring to the apartment so I left it behind for the kids’ dad. I think he sold it. Anyway, we were going to use the desk in the kitchen to eat off of but that didn’t work out well. So then I got a few floor mats and we ate picnic style in the living room for what, 9 months or so? I hated it. The kids didn’t seem to mind too much but it just wasn’t a good long term thing. We ate family meals like that but it felt… less ideal than eating together as a family at a table.
I found this folding table at WalMart for $39! I also got folding chairs so we could move everything aside if we need more space. For folding tables they don’t look too bad. I not only love that they’re foldable but that they’re all super lightweight. Moving everything aside to sweep and mop three to five times a day is SO easy! Woohoo!
One day Lyla said she built a house, she said, “Look mama, baby house like big mommy house!” and pointed up to the roof and motioned all around the room to show that she meant our home. Then she lifted her baby house up closer to the roof and had it talk to its “mama.” It was so cute I grabbed my camera to snap these so I wouldn’t forget!