There are plenty of days when I feel I've finally got life tamed if you will. Like when I realize that lining up a weeks worth of pull-ups, diapers, & pj's by the tub will make life so much easier every night after bath time. Or when I make the bedtime bottles (GASP! Yes... I give my 2 littlest ones bottles at bedtime) during our breakfast routine which saves time and effort later in the day. While being a mom for 13 years has taught me quite a few things - I'm still left empty handed in many cases!
Take for instance last night. After dinner, we decide it would be nice to take the kids outside for 4-wheeler rides. HUGE parenting faux pas! It had just rained quite a lot... puddles were everywhere... and unfortunately, all 3 little kids were everywhere too. After 15 minutes of chasing and loading and re-loading the kids into the 4-wheeler cart, I had to take a break and go inside to do dishes. Utter chaos and I do NOT get along late in the day.
Another example of my lack of common sense would be the many times I get GENIUS ideas to load up the kids and go somewhere as a family. Obviously I'm feeling brave to start, but after a carsick child has had her way with me once more, I'm defeated yet again. I decide lunch might help her tummy and we end up feeling bad for the wait staff at TGI Friday's - left behind to clean up 11 pounds of crackers, napkins, spilled smoothie & chicken nuggets on the floor under our table. The mall is our next stop because apparently I've forgotten how easy it is for ALL our children to escape from the buckles of any shopping cart or fire truck looking stroller. One might think Houdini was their father.
We return home several hours after our adventure begun feeling like we truly accomplished something - yet at the same time - feeling like total failures... because, really... everyone else does this and it can't be that hard for them. Right?
Experiences like this are cause for the ENORMOUS pit in my stomach today. In 9 days - we'll be taking all 7 of us on the biggest adventure our whole family has gone on to date: Wisconsin Dells. It's time for this - We've spent the last 5 years being pregnant & on bed rest, in the hospital with preemies, at home with preemies, and not doing very many fun family-like activities. But as much as it IS time, I'm still left unprepared.
We FINALLY have Lars sleeping through the night (at 18 months of age!) in his own room. Will 4 days of sharing a room with his sisters change that? What about the drive? Our 2 year old gets car sick even on short 5 mile drives. Zofran has a 50/50 chance of working based on past trials with her... and since we're taking 2 vehicles how does 1 parent drive AND hold a bucket??? Add to this the anxiety of our 13 yr old babysitting in an unfamiliar condo when we have our dinner banquet to attend and the constant sunscreen application rotation + snack dispensing + sippy cup re-filling.
I'm VERY VERY open for suggestions and ideas and helpful hints from ANY Mom or Dad out there! I'm sure that either way, our first entire family vacation will be full of memories and laughter that will be recalled for years to come!