Friday, February 22, 2013

20 things I've learned

I realize it's been awhile since I've blogged anything.
It's not for lack of activity... I just feel like anything I have to say goes like this:
"Hi there! Well... things are busy... mostly good... it's winter... I'm tired of cold...the end."

So... I decided instead of 2 months of posts like THAT, I'd share with you some things I've learned over the past many weeks of radio silence.

I present to you: "
20 Things Chrissy has learned and feels the need to pass on to you, unsuspecting blog readers!"

1. The 6' tall shelf in the pantry is no match for a 4 year old in footsie pajamas who REALLY wants Girl Scout Thin Mints at 5:45am.

2. A 4 year old who is startled at 5:45am while eating stolen cookies will not drop the bag of cookies, but will drool chocolate while formulating an excuse.

3. The inner cardboard tube does not go down the toilet. Ever. Just put on gloves and pull it out. Long gloves.

4. You don't want to know what the sticky thing is on your sock. Just pull them off and throw into the washing machine.

5. Birthday cake for breakfast is totally acceptable. Just do it. It's no worse than donuts or Cap'n Crunch - no offense, Cap'n.

6. There is no vacuum in the world that is a match for 12 kids and a Great Pyrenees. A shop vac with an extension cord is your friend.

7. Noise cancelling headphones are also your friend.

8. Drink lots of water. Migraine-free for 15 days on 80oz a day! Woot!

9. If you spend 2 hours making homemade soft pretzels 5 of your children will think they are toxic. Actually 7 will... but two will see the reaction the 5 caused and decide to quietly choke it down anyway.

10. The amount of time spent doing a new hairstyle is directly proportionate to the difficulty your daughters will have locating their elusive sleep hats. You will threaten to wrap their heads in underwear. Take deep breaths.

11. 2100 square feet is not quite enough for 14 people and a giant dog. Well, the people can fit... it's all of their stuff. Not my stuff. My stuff is awesome.

12. If you plan to relax with a cup of hot something and read a book for an hour during nap time it WILL be the day your children act as though your quesadillas contained ephedrine.

13. Chalkboard paint + red sidewalk chalk = no bueno (in keeping with the quesadilla theme). Let's all ban together to outlaw Red Dye #40. And all other red dye too. I hear you can use beet dye to make Red Velvet cake. If this is true, I'm starting that petition.

14. The Care Bear Stare does not work on a sink full of dishes. It's not moving. Stubborn.

15. A coughing child is pitiful. Two coughing children grate on your nerves. 4-6 coughing children drive you to noise-cancelling headphones and googling "world's strongest cough suppressant" even though three of your kids are allergic to dextromethorphan. Yes, I spelled that without looking it up. (and just so you know... the general consensus is that the world's strongest stuff tastes like "melting down a Vicks mentholated cough drop, steeping a bunch of pine needles in it and then sprinkling in some ground-up moth balls for seasoning." I'm totally getting some.)

16. Your straight-A earning, honor-roll making, AP class taking daughter who has missed 13 days of school without getting a doctor's note will not be granted any special exceptions to the "over 10 absences" rule and will have unexcused absences listed. You will not care because she's a straight-A earning, honor-roll making, AP class taking sweetheart of a girl who was legitimately sick but didn't go to the doctor because who wants to pay $40 to hear "rest and fluids... it's a virus"? Certainly not you. Or me.

17. As much as you don't like to play the "give me a freaking break. I have 12 kids." card, the day you email the wrong info to the wrong person about the wrong children, then send in the wrong field trip permission trip form with the wrong kid, then forget a doctor's appointment and realize you never made a follow-up ortho appointment... you can play that card and play it you shall. Get a t-shirt made. Order business cards. Or make them yourself out of empty toilet paper tubes and red sidewalk chalk - that would be more effective anyway. And pat yourself on the back when you go to bed knowing you kept everyone alive for another day - even if you didn't once call a child by their actual name on the first try. There's always tomorrow. Or the day after that. And accuracy stifles creativity. Go with it.

18. Do not try to do yourself any favors and get the sugar-free or lite version of any coffee at Starbucks. You will hate it and it won't be the same. Get a small instead and enjoy it. Sheesh.

19. Small children yelling from the back seat - even in a giant 15-passenger van - CAN and WILL be heard at the drive-thru yelling "CAKE STICK!! CAKE STICK!!" Assure the drive-thru operator that they are not cake-stick deprived and no, you don't wish to crawl through the van trying to find the rogue cake ball to stop the shrieking of one very small 4 year old with ZERO cake-stick coordination.

20. Never underestimate the power of a well-timed Disney movie. DVR shows and don't allow them to be viewed until juuuuuuuust the right time that you need it... then WHAM! Instant TV-trance and you have a few moments of peace! Win-win.