Tuesday, February 23, 2016

My #1 Tip for Doing Laundry with 5 Kids

A lot of people have commented on what our laundry piles must look like or the fact that I am always doing laundry with a family as big as ours.  Here is my #1 laundry tip that I started doing when we were fostering and I could no longer keep track of what laundry item belonged to who.  I gave everyone their own laundry basket to keep in the laundry room.  All dirty clothes were put in there and the kids were responsible for getting their own clothes in there.  Each person then got assigned their own day, including us parents.  I would run a load of colors and a load of whites for that specific person and then go put them away when they were clean and then laundry was done for that day.   Their bedding would also get washed on their laundry day if needed.  Made things tons easier as I only had that one person's laundry to fold and put on hangers and put away and I didn't have to overthink it on who's pants were these or who does this belong to?  It was also a good way to know that each person had their laundry done each week.  Try it!  It works and it takes some of the stress off of climbing Mount Laundry!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Self Care

We had a not so great week last week.  2 kids sick with strep, one kid pretty badly.  My youngest is still fighting it and it's been over a week now.  We are getting her tonsils and adenoids out over spring break and this Momma is a little anxious about it as she is my very sensitive child (sensitive momma here too, but she is much more so than even me).  One of my children has anxiety about upcoming state testing and this is her time of year to begin to act out.  Another child has been having a lot of behavioral struggles and I was getting calls in the middle of doctor apoointments to come and get them from school as they were too angry to ride the bus home and stuff like that.  Andy was having to work a lot of extra hours and I was feeling very empty.  Then comes Valentine's Day and I had something fun planned...took the kids to Jurassic Quest and they over-sold it to the point that our family had a very hard time enjoying it.  The bad news too was that a family of our size to go out and do anything spends a lot of money to do so.  I felt like we had wasted all that money, but some of the kids did enjoy it and so I had to realize that it wasn't all for naught.  However, my youngest was still not feeling the greatest and although she wanted to go, she was having a lot of meltdowns too to just not feeling the greatest.  I told hubby that I needed a break when we got home and we got his Dad to watch the kids while we went to Red Robin for lunch after we got kids happy meals for lunch.   We were both on edge and some things were miscommunicated and I wound up fighting tears at the table.  This was just not how I had planned Valentine's Day to go.  Thankfully, the day eventually got turned around and things were a bit better, but we were still dealing with a lot of illness, meltdowns, and behavioral issues.

The kids were off Monday and we all had a great peaceful day.  Just what this Momma needed.  I spent a lot of time in prayer and we've used some essential oils that the kids really seem to respond too and I've tried to give myself time to just sit in the quiet and talk to God and asking to see some answered prayers.  And I've been giving myself at least an hour every day that the kids have been in school this week just to sit and relax and focus on what I want to do so that I feel that more rested.  God has given me a great week this week.  We've gotten a possible piece of the puzzle from the psychiatrist about the behavioral issues and hopefully the next 4 weeks of monitoring will bring us answers.  I'm praying over that one.  My youngest is still fighting her illness and she is getting a lot of extra cuddles to keep her still as when she is more active, she starts fighting nausea and coughing and throwing up.  Still having to give her zofran every day to fight throwing up.  I just want her to feel better.

To top all of this off, I came down with a raging yeast infection.  I can't tell you the last time I've had one of those.  But, it's horrible.  I put myself in the tub after I got all the kids to school today and soaked in a hot tub of water with a couple essential oils to help soothe.  I also listed to my podcast of "At Home with Sally" and really felt like God was just allowing me to rest in Him for a little bit.  Self Care is so important.  I know this, yet it's always the first thing to slip when I get overwhelmed with juggling the kids issues.  I let myself just slip to the backburner.  Mommas...let me speak directly to your hearts...we can't put ourselves on the backburner.  We have to take care of ourselves first so that we can serve our families.  I had the vision in the bathtub of just cuddling right up to God and letting Him fill me and comfort me and fill all the emptiness and voids that I feel.  I came out of the bathtub feeling so much better.  Please don't forget your self-care.  And most of all, don't forget to spend time with God...He knows what we are fighting and all that we have on our plates and He wants to bring us rest.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Please don't drink while pregnant!

This is a topic near and dear to my heart.  I have adopted children that are speculated to have this...I won't say who as that's not important.  We have also fostered other children that we didn't adopt, that struggled with this.  It's not fair to these little babies to grow up with something that there is no cure for....they live with this for the rest of their lives.  They struggle with learning difficulties, behavior struggles, brain damage, a hard time focusing on things for very long, and they have poor judgment and very big impulsivity problems.  They lack social skills and don't perceive social cues well at all and a lot of times they don't connect their behavior with consequences to be able to correct their behaviors.  They struggle with emotions as well and are very often over-the-top.  It's not an easy life for them, or for the people that have stepped up to try and help them through life.  I know as a Momma I am always worrying about their futures...will they be able to pursue a career in what they are talking about?  Will they ever be able to live on their own?  Will they ever be able to learn certain life-skills?  Will they ever make certain connections?  Will they ever be able to drive a car?  These are just a few questions that I ask myself...it's a very difficult life at times...yet I have to constantly remind myself that we just take it one step at a time and some days it's one moment at a time and I take the glimpses of hope that I get and go from there.  All I can do sometimes is love them, pray a lot, and hope that one day we will achieve the goals that we want for them and they want for themselves without any major troubles getting in the way.  I'm not a quitter and we will keep pressing on.  But please, if you think you can become pregnant...please don't drink...9 months is not that long of a time to give up drinking...think of your baby...you don't want them to struggle in life any more than they have to.  It's so hard to watch them struggle through life with so many challenges....

Monday, February 1, 2016

February's Love Challenge

In honor of Valentine's Day being in the month of February, my challenge to us this month is to do one nice thing for your spouse and for each of your children each day.  I'm going to try to post what I do each day.  In the past, I've read The Love Dare and did the assignments each day for my husband.  I recently got The Love Dare for Parents and plan on doing that one for my children as well.  If special dates are required it may take me a little bit to stay on one day for awhile longer since I have 5 children, but this is what I plan on doing.  Regardless of what you choose to do though, focus on showing your love.  I'm going to try to post each night and I challenge you to join me and post in the comments or in my Facebook community.