Sick, sick, sick.

Our kids have been sick. For literally a month. It went from colds to throwing up.. to colds.. then to fevers. I’m not exaggerating.  I’ve been stuck in our house with sick kids for a MONTH. Cancelled appointments and play dates, appointments to play dates. And I always feel like people are like looking at me thinking I’m making excuses to not come to appointments or play dates. So I’ve been sending pictures. Don’t believe me that my daughter is throwing up a pink colored vomit? See picture. This fever? Look at the thermometer. OUT OF CONTROL. And personally? I’m losing my mind. They are up. Every hour. Different kid. Crying. Needing something. And you have to be there for them. Because they are sick and miserable. But you are tired and miserable. And the thought of watching Enchanted or 101 Dalmatians again. Makes me want to throw up myself.  But your husband is all into ohhh, I have to “work.” And I’m so sorry but I can’t come home from work to relieve you from the misery of watching a stupid movie one more time.

TOMORROW. They will be better. Or… I’m sending them off to a new family.

That escalated quickly.

But just kidding. I just want to enjoy this weather! I want them to enjoy this weather! COME ON!!!!!!!!!

Cousins make Lifelong Friends <3

Our weekend has been action packed. I mean, we haven’t had this much going on in our house in a very long time. My wonderful Aunt Pam is visiting us from Florida, with my cousin, Christopher’s, kids, Chris (7) and Jordan (3). My favorite memories growing up were those moments I got to spend with my cousins. Because we had so little time together, the time we spent together seemed to mean more. So I am elated that my kids get to spend time with theirs.

So anyway, today was a very laid back day. We have already had dance parties, pizza, movies, jumping off of couches and end tables onto mattresses. We went to Journey’s and spent over 3 hours nonstop running, sliding and banging into things. So yes, today was very much a lazy day.

But then you have Charlie. Who doesn’t really get what having a lazy day means. Because this weekend has been fun. And full of excitement. And tons of laughs. So she decides she is going to let the dog out the back door when mommy isn’t watching. And our dog is not the kind of dog who just stays in the backyard and waits for you to play fetch. Oh no. He’s a Snyder. He acts like he just escaped prison and he takes off. And he is HUGE. And those legs of his are long. But lucky for me, the neighbors had visitors that were leaving (Thanks, Alicia!!). So the dog got distracted. Plus, he really, really likes Christopher so it was an easy catch. Crisis prevented. Barely any mud on Christopher’s bare feet.

So, we get back inside and I immediately lock the back door. Because Charlie may be smart, but she still hasn’t figured out how to get the door unlocked. Then I thought I was super smart. And I locked the second lock that we have on there. Double Charlie proofed. In your face, Chuck!

As I am gloating, she is opening up the front door and yelling GO, MO MO, GO! And has a case of the monster giggles. Like ache in your side kind of laughter. And now I’m mad. Because COME ON! I just got him inside, my neighbors are going to kill me! So out the front door I go, chasing after this dog who has now crossed the street and is enjoying his freedom, once again. Christopher follows because the dog really, really likes him. And maybe he could help. Charlie decides that she’s going to help this time, too. So runs out. But instead of running after the dog, she decides she’s going to run in the opposite direction. So do I chase the dog or do I chase my kid? At that point I was considering just going inside and having someone else figure it out. But I guess that would be bad parenting. So I got the dog first. Just kidding. I got Charlie under control. And then 30 minutes later we got the dog. Christopher had mud all the way up to the knees of his pants. And he just kept shaking his head and saying, “Are you going to ground that kid or what? She sure is naughty! Does she spend a lot of time in time out?”

Yes, Christopher. Yes, she does.

But I was happy that he thought chasing the dog was such a great experience. So maybe Charlie being Charlie put a win for us in our memory making book. And may she ever be known as my trouble making child.

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Let them be little…

Ohio winters suck. They suck the life right out of us. We have had so much cabin fever that it has been depressing. So these last two days of sunshine have been so good for our souls. Both days I took the kids out for a walk. No, we couldn’t play in the grass. Because obviously the grass is still covered in snow and melting snow… but we could take a walk on the road. And lucky for us our neighborhood isn’t full of cars, so we are pretty safe doing it.

Anywho, today we got the good ol’ red wagon out. Aidan complained about going because he hadn’t gotten a chance to play Minecraft on the T.V. yet, but I put my foot down and said, out, out, out!!

So, as we are walking, we see mud and we see puddles. And what kid can resist mud and puddles. And I could have said no. No mud. No puddles. But I’m not that kind of mom. Because jumping in puddles is fun. And honestly, I’m sad I didn’t join them. So puddle after puddle they jumped in. And they laughed. And giggled. And squealed. And over and over, Aidan exclaimed, “THIS IS THE BEST DAY EVER!!!!” And it was. It was the best day ever.

As the kids dropped their soaking wet and mud filled clothes and shoes at the door, I could have cringed. I could have been disappointed that those white socks are never going to be white again. But, no. Sorry. My kids clothes. They are full of stains. And holes even. And a lot of permanent marker. And let’s not forget the food and candy stains. I could be sad when I put them in those clothes. I could be sad that we aren’t able to get them nicer things when they out play the ones they have. But I refuse to be sad. Because when I look at those stains, I see memories. I see Anisten’s smile as she rips off her bib and digs into the spaghetti. Double fisting the noodles into her mouth. I smile when I see the holes in the knees of Aidan’s pants because I know that means he wasn’t sitting around all day. The candy stains from when the girls sucked the m&m’s color off until they were white. And those socks that aren’t white anymore, They will forever remind me of the best day ever.

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6 kids. 2 adults. Pollicks take on the Snyders

A few weeks ago my sister in law mentioned going to a wine festival together. And I was like Uh, YES. Wine festival? Taste all the wines? Where do I sign up?! So I asked Adam to take the weekend off so he could watch the kids. And then I got thinking… in the 7 years we have had kids, we have not once had a weekend getaway. We have had family vacations, trips to the zoo, and many, many adventures, but never just him and I, alone.  I sighed and thought, some day. But I’ve been doing all this soul searching and trying to reach out and ask for help when I need it, which I truly, rarely do, so I thought I’d get brave and ask my sister. A long shot, I know. She has two babies, I mean BABIES, who are 1 year apart. Imagine the drop of my jaw when not only she said yes, but her amazing husband said yes, too. She was all like it’s just one night, what could go wrong? And I was all like, uh, would you like me to write a list? And then a few days later she was all, well why not just meet me halfway on Friday so you guys can get to it on Saturday. And that was a mega jaw drop. Two days, no kids? Is this real life? Also, I wanted to know what medicines Sam was taking. Because, really, I’d like whatever she’s on. I was nervous about booking a hotel. Four kids, someone is bound to get sick, or injured, or something! But we booked it anyway. And anxiously awaited the moment we could pass off the kids and take a giant breather. Recharge.

So, introducing my beautiful sister, Samantha, as a guest blogger. Here is her take on the big weekend. I only cried like three times reading it. No big deal.

When my sister told me she was searching for an overnight babysitter, I didn’t hesitate to volunteer.  I mean why not, right?  It’s only 1 night, and when does she ever have this opportunity?  I’m not sure she’s had a night without any children in 7 and a half years!  Not to mention, her children used to be my life.  Before I moved, I visited them all the time.  They came to my house and spent the night frequently.  I saw them sometimes more than what they wanted I’m sure.  I moved before Charlotte and Anisten were born, and therefore I haven’t had the opportunity to bond with them as closely as I had with Aidan and Elsie.

I thought for sure my husband would say “hell no” anyway, so I told her I’d ask him. To my surprise, Jared agreed and said he was up for the challenge.  Really, Jared?  6 kids.  Just us.  A 7 year old, 4 year old, 2 year old, 2 one year olds, and a newborn.  Fuck it.  Let’s do it.  I called my sister and said mark us down for the night… hell, mark us down for 2 nights.  Let’s keep the kids the whole weekend… because well, why the hell not?!

Friday night didn’t start off as well as we anticipated.  Due to poor planning, I picked up the kids in Bucyrus (halfway) in the MIDDLE of dinner time.  Aidan had literally gotten off his school bus and hopped straight into his mom’s car… not to mention during his field trip he fell and jammed his wrist.  The entire 30 minute car ride, I listened to Aidan crying and screaming that his wrist hurt, and that he missed his mom.  His crying led to Eloise melting down.  Poor Eloise didn’t know what the hell was going on.  And then there’s Gracie.  Oh, Gracie.  The girl that can never stop talking.  But I couldn’t hear a damn word she was saying.  All I could hear was the sound of wind, and a crying boy with a painful wrist. Ani was staring into outer space, and poor sweet Alaina was sleeping.  Get. Me. Out. Of. This. Damn. Car.

Finally, we’re home.  And Jared has pizza ready.  Let’s eat.  Let’s eat and get these kids settled and to bed.  Fast forward an hour or two… Charlie is playing so sweetly in the corner with a dollhouse.  But what’s that behind Charlie?  Wait, what’s that on Charlie’s back?  No.  You have got to be shitting me.  Literally.  Low and behold, Chuck shit.  Chuck shit up her back, out of her diaper onto the floor, on the curtain, EVERYWHERE.  Is this night over yet?  Did I mention I’m not drinking due to nursing my youngest?  Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all.

As my husband and I finally crawl into bed, Jared leans over to me and says, “We’re in over our heads.  We need to call in reinforcements.”  What a wimp.  Buck up, buttercup.  We got this.

I wish I could say that I have more crazy stories for you.  I wish I could say that I had meltdown after meltdown.  That I fought with my husband.  That I absolutely lost my shit. That we called in reinforcements…. But I can’t… all I can say is my heart is so full, and I am so thankful to have the most amazing children in my life… and one of the greatest experiences.

Saturday morning started off with smiles and little giggles.  I sat on the couch and watched my children interact with their cousins.  I watched the infamous “mean Chuck” turn into the most kind Charlotte.  I listened to Aidan tell me about Minecraft and Herobrine.  I watched Elsie make Alaina giggle.  I watched Charlie break up an argument between Anisten and Eloise.  I just watched… and watched… and everything I saw made my heart explode.

Sunday was just as amazing as Saturday… for the adults.  Poor Eloise became sick of sharing.  She was sick of sharing her toys, but most of all she was sick of sharing her Mommy and Daddy.  But not those Snyder babies.  They love to share.  They love to love.  And they are so kind.  After a discussion, they all gave Eloise her space.  They let her calm down and come to terms with the fact that her space had been invaded.  With a little bit of time, she came around.  And the watching continued….

At one point, I promised the older kids an ice cream cone.  Of course in true Mimi style I couldn’t just hand it to them.  Bubba and Mimi had to play a little prank.  What’s that kids?  Oh, we ate all of the cones.  Every last one of them.  “Go get more,” says Chuck as she mean mugs us and points to the door.  Insert room full of laughter here.  Just one of the many moments of laughter we experienced.

Aidan, Elsie, Charlotte, and Anisten love their mother.  They absolutely adore her presence, and if any of you see their interactions with their mom, it’s so obvious.  I thought for sure one of them would have a meltdown and say how much they wanted to go home with Mommy.  Especially Anisten.  Anisten and I have always had a love-hate relationship, and I thought for sure she’d hate me and meltdown.  But no one did.  No one asked to go home.  No one asked for their mom.  No one.  I think they needed me just as much as I needed them.  And let me tell you, I really REALLY needed them.

As I watched their car drive away, my heart sank.  There aren’t many moments like the many we had this weekend.  They live so far away.  It’s not like I can just pop in and say hello.  It’s not every day that I get those warm hugs and hear those sweet voices saying, “I love you, Mimi.”  Because after all, those 4 kids made me a Mimi.  They made me the best Mimi anyone could ask for.  I give them all of the credit. I cherish all of the time I have with them.  Every. Precious. Moment.  Because those moments are few and far between.  And without those moments, I would not have the full happy heart that I do.

Until next time Snyder babies….

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Just me today!

This morning was the kind of morning that you do not want to leave your bed. Or at least leave it on your own time. Your own free will. So I was bitter when I had to get out of my cozy bed to start doing that whole parenting thing. I mean, really bitter.

The kids weren’t even in bad moods. It’s just sometimes the day to day care grinds on you. Like you just imagine what it would be like to only have to worry about brushing your own teeth. And taking care of you and only you for the day. Worrying about feeding them and washing them and dressing them and wiping the boogers off their faces.. Reminding them not to pick their noses and no, we don’t eat boogers. Seriously! Don’t eat your boogers! All of that can be so mentally exhausting.

I don’t ship my kids off often. At least not all at the same time. But dammit, I needed, too. So I bribed my mother into taking the girls while Aidan was at school.

The minute they were all out the door, I kid you not, my brain finally stopped racing. I could take an actual full breath. I haven’t had one of those in a long time.

I didn’t even take a nap. I gathered a bunch of snacks and drinks from the kitchen and sat my ass on the couch. I didn’t move for four straight hours. I caught up on (almost) all of my shows. I scrolled through Facebook. Spent way too much time on Pinterest. Uninterrupted. And then I got bored. So I started to clean. Do you know how fast you can clean when you don’t have kids around you? Every single room was cleaned and swept. Sheets changed. I could be a freaking all star mom… If I didn’t have kids. Wait, what? But you know what I mean.

Then they all came back. And I had actually missed them. Appreciated them more. Sat down and actually listened when they talked. Embraced their snuggles instead of being overwhelmed by their neediness.

What a huge reminder it was for me that we as parents need to take care of ourselves, too. Give yourself a break every once in a while. Parents, we deserve it.

Plus, my mom took some awesome shots of Anisten June. Bonus!

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The Chuck Chronicles.. part who knows, I’ve lost track.

I just should have known this day was going to be all wrong. Me and my optimism. Always fooling myself.  You see, last night I made a plan. Which was obviously my first mistake. Plans don’t work in this house. But I made one anyway. Because I wanted to be certain we made it to see my cousin, Alec, sign on to play football at Tiffin University. Now why would I want to do that? Not only to support him.. and show him how so very, very, very proud his family is of him… I wanted my kids to witness what hard work, dedication, but mostly what passion can do for you. If you work hard towards your dream, you can accomplish it. There are no dreams our arms cannot reach. Even in this town of ours. Plus, the girls really love “Awec” and his girlfriend, “Emily Boo.”

It started off with a 2 hour delay. You see, I haven’t had a car in two weeks. Two VERY long weeks. My mom let me borrow hers for the day so I could get everything that has been put off, done. After we dropped Aidan off at school, we were going to do all the things. ALL THE THINGS. But when the school day gets pushed back two hours, so do your plans. So that means no errands until after nap. Which means no errands until after watching Alec sign on. But that’s okay. We can roll with it. It will be fine. Everything always works out, right?

Two hour delays are fine though. I can even make Charlie and Ani eggs. They love eggs. Adam makes me coffee before he leaves for work. See. This day is going to be alright. Then Ani turns into a bulldozer. And decides all our end tables need to be cleared of the clutter. So she grabs and pulls everything off. The lamp. The magazines. My cup of coffee. My favorite Snow White mug is now shattered on the floor. And the coffee. I don’t know which one I am more devastated by. And then in my day dream of a morning I realize Aidan needed to be out the door in a minute and I have yet to pack his lunch. But I haven’t had coffee yet.

Finally, nap time. Just for Ani though. I can lay her down at 11 and she will be up with just enough time to eat and we can shuffle out the door. If I lay Charlie down that early she will scream until noon anyway. So I took the risk of letting her stay awake.

What. A. Mistake.

We did get to the high school on time. I didn’t think to bring a stroller. And carrying all 29 pounds of Anisten while walking at the pace of a 4 and 2 year old makes my bicep burn. We even got there a little early. Which was a mistake. I should know never give your kids enough time to get comfortable when they have to sit quietly for the next 30 or so minutes. Luckily Emily boo kept Elsie quiet. But Chuck started to get restless. Besides making me hold her hands up to wave at Alec a gazillion times she was pretty quiet. She colored on my phone and as they were wrapping up she started getting really antsy. I knew it was time to go right before they were ready to take pictures.

But wait. We can’t see Alec and not say hi and hug him. Plus he is up on a stage. And there are stairs. And it looks fun. Alec comes over and gives Charlie and Elsie hugs. Yay. That should be good right?! So we start walking out the door. And here comes the melt down.
Right outside the theatre doors she starts screaming hysterically. I try to explain to her that we will see Alec later but we have to leave now. Because it is so easy to talk sense into a 2 year old. Nope. Some high school girls throw me pity looks and help me put the coats on the girls. Charlie is still screaming. Looks like I am going to have to carry Charlie and Ani out. 60 some pounds and flailing screaming weight I am rushing through the high school with. Approximately 6 looks of “fuck your life” stares from high schoolers. 3 from adults who I am pretty sure are thinking I need to get my life together.

We finally get to the door. Charlie still screaming. I thought maybe if I put her down and threaten to leave her she will just follow behind. Because my arms are on fire. Nope. Not Charlie. She is pissed and she is clearly trying to tell me something.

And the snow is coming down so hard. So I took a deep breath and picked her back up and ran to the car. Finally in their car seats. Still screaming I realize she is screaming the word boo. Oh. We said bye to Alec, but forgot to hug Boo. FML. Seriously? That’s all she needed? But too late now. I tell her we will hug Boo next time we see her. She shuts up.

But by now school is out. So we get stuck in the parking lot traffic. And that seems to piss off Ani. And I am pretty sure we are about to run out of gas. And my phone battery is about to die so I can’t hand it to her to keep her settled. 35 minutes later we finally get a chance to leave.

There is no time left to get cat food.

No time to run those errands.

All those things that were going to get
done today? ……maybe tomorrow.

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Fuck milk. Sleep does a body good.

I should be better at this by now. I keep telling myself this again and again. My kids. They like their routine. They like their bed times. They thrive on them. I thrive on them. But last night, my mom and dad were all like yeaaah, let’s take the three older kids to go meet Anna and Elsa and do some horseback riding and see some Christmas lights and be oh so merry! And I’m all like yeah!!! TAKE THEM. No, but really. That sounds right up my kids’ alley. A memory they will have for a lifetime. So yes, please take them! But it didn’t start until 6 PM. That’s the only problem. Their sleep routine. The girls are up until 7:30, at the latest. Which, yes, I know is early. But so necessary. So we miss out on a lot of stuff. But last night I was like, oh no, they can’t miss this opportunity. So off they went. And when they came back, I knew it was worth it. They were so full of joy and chatter and giggles. And still this morning, they were talking my ear off about it. So. In the end, I am so very glad they went.

BUT TODAY. It wasn’t even Charlie! Is that a plot twist or what? Aidan has always had one speed opposite of his father. He is in hyperdrive. He is always thinking, creating, climbing, running, twisting. It does not stop. And when he has a lack of sleep, he goes even faster. And that puts Elsie into hyperdrive. And then you put them together and I am rocking in a corner screaming for it to stop.

So Aidan starts climbing onto everything. Clearly, he is bored and has all this energy he needs to get out. So I was all like it’s a beautiful day! Take this paint! Go outside! Create! Eyes light up instantly. Which means YES, I’m going to get this laundry basket of clothes folded. Because Charlie is a new person since I gave her an Anna costume. She’s in her own little world, ruling Arendelle like a good princess would.

But Elsie wants to go outside and paint. Well, that’s new. I usually have to force Elsie out the door. So yes, go outside. But stay on the deck where I can see you. No problem, Mommy! Back to folding laundry, I go. I hear a bang on the door. Hand prints of paint are being smeared all over the windows. Oh, hell no. I’ve been trying to do better about making boundaries and making them clean up after themselves. Because they destruct everything. So I put some rags and some very watered down Pine-sol outside and I said do not come in until those windows are washed clean. Here’s where I made the mistake. You should monitor situations such as these. Because if you check on them less than five minutes later, there is already going to be a painted dog. A painted dog that is being sprayed down with a hose and a rag of what could only be Pine-sol. And it is freezing out. And I am pretty sure I see my big, precious Cosmos shaking from the cold.

So I yelled. And if you know how I am with my kids, you know, I NEVER yell. The looks on their faces. Oh, if I could capture that fear. I have never heard them apologize faster. And try to remedy the situation. We will clean up. We will help wash Cosmos in the tub. We are so sorry, mommy, we didn’t know.

Anyway, Cosmos got a bath. But he is still greasy because apparently, Pine sol is really hard to get off. And as much as I wish that was the end of the night, it wasn’t. No exciting stories, but so much whining and running around and being wild.  A pizza in front of the TV, picnic on the floor kind of night. Thank you for the cookies and caffeine that my dear friend brought to me. Although it helped the situation, it unfortunately did not cure the night.

But this wine is.

And really, when they are fast asleep. I forget all about the day’s shenanigans. And prepare and anticipate for tomorrow. Because no matter how many pitfalls there are in the day…. There are also the magical moments. Like Charlie glued in her Anna dress. Walking tall in it. Singing Screaming let it go. And Anisten getting slap happy over food. And her giggles. And Aidan trying to capture a stink bug, because he knows how much I hate bugs. And him running up and giving me a random kiss on the cheek and asking me how much I love him. And telling me that he loves me more than not only our solar system, but all the solar systems that exist. “Gotchya there.”  And Elsie laying on my lap begging me to scratch her back. And asking the pizza guy if she can hug him goodbye. Those moments make even the hardest days worth it.

And also, the wine.

Goodnight, friends.

IMG_20141214_195103Look at her smirk. Little shit.

IMG_20141214_144140449 Princess Anna. In a hat. And mismatched socks. But she thought she looked lovely.

IMG_20141214_175819905Climing nonstop

IMG_20141214_182649821 I’m going to throw a shoe at this stink bug. Because last time you tried to kill a stink bug, you broke your foot , Mommy

IMG_20141214_182731028Because the dog must bark at the cat until he gets out of the tree.

velpicstitch20141214_135810 Charlie “helping” me make funfetti pancakes.

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Legos? Don’t mind if I take a handful and put these in my mouth, do you?