Why I Don't Shower

Thursday, December 22, 2016

I laid Coop down for a nap, and the other two kids were watching a show on the computer (we put the tv away in the attic, more on that later).  I debated between doing the dishes or getting some more Christmas stuff wrapped, and then it dawned on me I haven't showered in...I don't know how long.  Boom.  I'll shower.  I was excited to shower.  I love showers.  I check on all the kids one more time, then go in the bathroom and lock the door.  It's always iffy to lock the door at my house.  The plus side is that no child can come in, fling open the shower curtain and proceed to ask you all the questions.  The downside is that no child can come in.  So if they need something, they stand on the other side of the door (which is where I would prefer them to be...), yelling at me about something that I can't understand over the noise of the water.

This morning, it was Sam.  I was enjoying my chance to use the bathroom with a locked door, knowing full well no one would be flinging the door open, looking for me because they hadn't seen me in 30 seconds.  I had the water running for the shower, but I hear this little voice yelling something at me about how the door is locked.

I know.  I know the door is locked.

So I grab a towel and wrap it around me and open the door to find out what he needs.  He proceeds to insist that I follow him into the kitchen, where he shows me a bag of breaded fish fillets (let's call them fish sticks) he pulled out of the freezer and telling me that he wants some.  Right now.

Side note: Have you seen this? Because this is what popped into my head.


I die.  But I digress, back to the story.

Oh. My. Swears.  This is why I don't shower.

I tell him no, I'll make him some after I shower.  It's like 10:38 am.  You don't need fish sticks at 10:38 am.  Except I'm horribly mistaken --after I casually toss the bag of fish back into the freezer and he proceeds to just  l o s e  i t  on the kitchen floor, wailing and gnashing his teeth about how he wants them, but how he wanted to get them out for me and not me get them back out.

Mentally, I recognize this is probably why the kid has so many tantrums, because here is the proof that they're effective.  Mentally, I also recognize that I just wanted to be in the hottest shower of my life, and that a teaching moment is not going to happen right here, so I'm going to cut my losses and cook the damn fish sticks.

I tell him he can have the fish sticks, or not have the fish sticks, but if he's going to keep crying he doesn't get the fish sticks.  Finally that sinks in through the tears and I get the go-ahead to proceed.  I grab the toaster oven (because 3 fish sticks!!) and plug it in, get the fish sticks going and set a timer.  Placated, Sam skips off to the living room to finish his show, and I get my towel clad self back to the bathroom.  I debate locking the door again, weighing the feeling of freedom that comes when I can be naked worrying about the door being thrown open with the chance of someone needing something else, and having to step out of a running shower to unlock the door so a child can talk to me while I drip water all over the floor.

This is why I don't shower.  If it's during the day, it's a child.  If it's after the kids are asleep, it's my husband.  I would love the luxury of standing under the pouring stream of steaming hot water for 15 minutes, doing nothing, before deciding I better get soaped up without running the risk of someone wanting me while I'm standing there. Real life, my shower lasts for 3 minutes, with at least two interruptions.

Bring on the perfume and the dry shampoo.  I'm ready to give up bathing all together.

The Shop

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


The shop is open, and I'm adding more every week! All prints are $7, always.  Use the code YOUROCK to save $2 on anything in the shop.  This coupon is good until December 31!

5 Tips on Handling the Stomach Flu with Kids

Sunday, December 4, 2016

It's the holidays, which means good food and spending time with those you love!  All in one space.  For extended periods of time.  The result? If someone's sick, everyone else is going to get it.  It's just one of those facts of life.

We are finishing up a week with the stomach flu, and it hit everyone in my house.  Twice.  I don't even know how that happens, but I'm crossing my fingers we're on the tail end of it because it's been brutal.

The 7 Habits, as told by Max

My 5 year old is learning the 7 habits of highly effective kids at school, and it's adorable.  Number 3 is put first things first.  I fell back on that more times that I can count this past week when one of my kids had been violently ill and I didn't have any idea on how to go about cleaning it up.  Then his cute little voice would pop into my head - put first things first! Ok.  The first thing in this case is my child -- so I'd strip them down and get them in the tub.  Soap them up, dry them off, get them in clean clothes and then tackle the rest of the mess.  Usually getting sheets in the laundry and then using sanitizing wipes on the crib came next, or get the throw up covered towels and clothes in the wash, then sanitize the floor.  And the shower curtain.  And the vanity.  And the tub.  Because. It. Was. Everywhere.


Here are my 5 tips when the stomach flu strikes:

1.  Double make the beds.  My kids have a waterproof mattress protector (we love these ones) and then a fitted sheet on their beds.  When they're sick or potty training, I put a waterproof pad on top of that (2 feet x 3 feet) at the top part of the bed where they sleep, and then cover it with another sheet -- fitted or flat, doesn't really matter because this you'll probably be removing it in the next three hours.  This means you can throw the top layers in the wash, grab a clean blanket and throw it over your kid before stumbling back to bed (or bathroom, if you've got the stomach flu too) without having to completely remake the bed.  Because you already did!

2.  Pedialyte.  The name brand stuff.  The store brand kind tastes SO bad, which is saying something because Pedialyte is pretty gross anyway.  Dehydration is probably the biggest concern while you're fighting the stomach flu.  Pedialyte was recommended by our doctor over Gatorade, she said the amount of sugar in the Gatorade could make symptoms worse.  But, if our kids wouldn't drink Pedialyte, give them watered down Gatorade, 1:1 ratio.  My kids hate Pedialyte.  They just won't drink it, my 1 year old included.  So we did watered down Gatorade, and I drank the Pedialyte because the stomach flu is no respecter of persons and hit Paul and I just as hard as our kids.  Helpful hint?  Add ice.  Ice cold Pedialyte is much easier to drink than lukewarm Pedialyte.  The cherry punch flavor was tolerable.  I can't even imagine trying to down the unflavored kind.

3.  Diapers.  My 1 year old is in diapers.  The very best for containing everything was by far the Huggies Little Snugglers (the ones with Winnie the Pooh).  He's in transition from size 4 to size 5, and the Little Snugglers I had left were size 4 -- and it worked best because it was a tighter fit than the size 5 diapers.  They absorbed and contained better than the others.  Huggies Snug and Dry (the ones with Mickey Mouse) are usually the other kind of diapers I have around, and they were only ok.  I have a couple of Target brand diapers floating around too -- not good.  We tried the Smith's brand when we were at the pediatrician and he pooped through the two diapers I had brought in with me, and that was what they had in their office. The Smith's brand was by far the worst.  Like dripping-a-trail-on-floor-on-the-way-to-change-his-diaper bad.  If you don't normally spring for name brand diapers, the time to do it is now, when the stomach flu hits with full force.  We're looking for something that absorbs as quickly as possible, because there is nothing solid coming out of those kids.

4.  Pull-ups.  My 3 year old is newly potty trained, and still does pull-ups a night.  I bought a box from Costco that came with a package of overnight pull-ups, and I had no idea that I'd ever be so appreciative.  We've never needed them til now, because he stays pretty dry at night.  Granted, they weren't great at containing everything, but they were better than a regular pull-up.  We had a night where we had to change his bed twice.  While he's been sick, he's been in a pull-up 24/7 to make everyone's lives easier.  I don't feel like he's regressed at all, he does a good job of going to the bathroom when he needs to (when he can make it in time...).

5.  Bland foods.  Bring on the starches.  We've existed almost entirely on noodles, crackers, and toast this week.  The BRAT (bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast) diet would be good to employ right about now, except none of my kids are currently eating bananas (why??).  The pouch applesauces from Costco are my favorite, and we went through an entire box of them this week.  I'd let them have apples, but no clementines, grapes, peaches or any other fruit that exacerbate the problem. The two youngest can't have dairy anyway, but Paul, Max and I also stayed away from dairy and that seemed to help.

And the laundry.  Be prepared for all the laundry.  All day and all night.

Bonus tips:
Bring on the Netflix, and don't even feel bad about it.  Not even a little bit.  Especially if you're sick too.  We do tend to run into more behavior problems when we watch too much TV, but costs versus benefits.  For us it was totally worth it.

Bowls.  Have bowls everywhere, even if a child says they don't feel sick. They might realize too late that they actually DO feel sick, and if there's a bowl handy it can make clean up so much easier.

Diaper cream.  Not only good for babies bums, but bigger kids too if they've been running to the bathroom every 10 minutes for the past 48 hours.

Things to grab at the store:
- Lysol or Clorox Wipes (Amazon and Costco have a good price on these)
- Waterproof crib pads like these
- Apple sauce pouches (Costco has the best price on these)
- Pedialyte (get just one and see if your kids will drink it.  Do yourself a favor and don't get the unflavored kind.  Walmart has the best price on this).
- Gatorade or Powerade
- Diaper rash cream (A+D original ointment or Boudreaux's Butt Paste have been the most successful for me - I usually buy mine at Walmart)
- Crackers: Saltines or club crackers
- Huggies Little Snugglers or Overnight Pull-ups
- Aquaphor (because you'll be washing your hands every two minutes, and that takes a toll).

Simplifying

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

"This isn't FUN!" yells my 5 year old, stomping off because I've asked him to do something offensive, like pick up his legos.  Paul and I look at each other, both with raised eyebrows and a shrug on our shoulders  What do we do? How have we gotten to this point?  My oldest two boys don't react unless I've attached a consequence big enough to get their attention.  The house is in disarray.  I'm ornery and I find myself yelling, and I ask myself, how have we gotten to this point?
 

My children respond in kind.  When I lose my schmidt, so do to they.  They've been yelling more lately, and I can only look to myself.  So everytime I feel anger rise up, I'm going to use that as a reminder for grace and patience and calm, because these are children, and I'm the adult.  It's up to me to teach them how to appropriately handle their emotions.

So today, we're not watching tv.  There's definitely a correlation with screen time and my children's behavior, and we're actually gearing up for something big.  We're going to put the tv away.  In addition, I've also been starting the process of ruthlessly purging.  Just kidding.  I haven't been ruthless yet, because it can be hard to get rid of things.  It takes practice and it takes time to realize that stuff is just stuff, and it currently feels like stuff is in the way of me being a better and happier person and mom.

It's not that our house is too small.  It's not that I need more totes or a better way to organize.  It's that we need. less. things.  There are a couple of problem areas in the house that always tend to collect crap.  There are a couple of drawers in the kitchen that are always a hot mess.  Then the realization yesterday that I have an entire corner cabinet (of my small kitchen) of wasted cupboard space.  So I guess those things are on the to do list today.

I've been discretely chucking my kids broken and crappy toys.  You know, the ones from McDonalds, or the ones bought from the thrift store for to give them something to play with while I shop/look at other people's things that they've been smart enough to part with.  So there's another thing -- stop going to the thrift store to wander aimlessly!  I don't even know how many things I've stored and for how long, only to take them back to the thrift store with THE ORIGINAL PRICE TAG still on them.  You know.  Just trying to make the employees lives a little easier...!?!? What is even happening here?  Why are we in this cycle of so much crap?

So we're getting rid of stuff.  We're cleaning out closets and then organizing spaces so that it actually makes sense, and we're not just storing things that we don't even use.  I have plans for a drastically simpler Christmas and holiday season this year, and I'm actually really excited about it.  Here's to a simpler life, with less yelling and less overwhelm.  

Because guess what?  Life isn't innately fun.  It isn't fair, and it isn't easy.  Life and being an adult is learning how to be responsible, and doing the things that need doing.  The fun comes depending on our attitudes.  There can be fun while we do the things, but sometimes the fun comes after doing the necessary things.  So here's to being an adult.  To doing the things that need to be doing.  To telling our children no in order to teach self control and self regulation.  And to the fun that comes after.


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