I could handle five

There are times when I wish Jon and I would have kept making children. After all, our kids are quite gorgeous…!

And wouldn’t it be great to have five kids running around the house, and huge holiday celebrations, and a security net when Jon and I got older – if two or three of them refuse to take care of us at least the other two or three will….
But then reality hits as it did Wednesday night. I agreed to have the neighbors’ three kids over for dinner. So there’s my five kid wish. Within 40 minutes, I was thanking Jon for his adamant refusal to have more children. Just feeding them was a task. I’d need two jobs to pay for the food. I made macaroni-n-cheese in a giant pot and felt like I was a cook in the army, or back in college after a night of partying.

But then there they all sat – so sweet – like little toy soldiers eating their meals and laughing at Mario’s silly faces. Ok, I could handle five.

But it wasn’t two minutes after the macaroni dinner that I heard crashing in the family room, and then wails of pain. Someone was hurt. Yelling ensued. While I cleaned up the hurt kid, the others continued to scream at one another. My kids always stand up for one another and the neighbors’ kids stand up for one another so it’s like the Hatfields and McCoys. Then Rocco entered the mix barking like a mad dog because of the commotion and I was ready to head to the attic and jump off the roof.
I needed a plan. What would calm them down? Drawing. No, too boring. Playing a game? No, to much potential for a fight.
How about acorn crafts?
We’ve had a bowl of acorns for a month thinking we’d color them and put glue inside to watch them turn into “gems” but we still hadn’t done it. Well, that did it. The girls and Pax engaged in the activity while Mario and Quinn played Wii. Then Mario and Quinn and Pax did it while the girls played Wii.
Quiet and art in the house.
I could handle five. Easily.


Give me the Ribs!

Pure joy on Maria’s face. Ya know why? Three words…
Baby back ribs.
The girl is her father’s child. She adores ribs. They’ve never enticed me but Jon loves them.
We went down to Barley’s for kids eat free night with the Markle clan. I knew I’d have trouble getting Ri to eat off the kids menu – she’s been trying for those adult meals for the last few months. And Barley’s has nothing much she likes on the kids menu. That fact combined with the fact that Barley’s has ribs led to her non-stop pleading to me.
“Why don’t you get pulled chicken? That sounds good.”
“I don’t like that mom.”
“How about corn dogs. Mario’s getting those.”
“That’s all Mario ever gets, mom. I just want ribs.”
The waitress came over to get our order and I asked about the ribs. She told us that they come in half and full orders and there’s two kinds: those pulled from the side of the pig or those from the back of the pig. Just the thought made me cringe and I thought for sure Ri would shutter in disgust, after all, I had to stop reading Charlotte’s Web to her the other night because she was so sad the farmer was going to kill the little pig.

“I want the ribs from the side, mom.”

And I swear those ribs were devoured within fifteen minutes of being served. Along with a side of baked beans.



Burrito night

Ri and I were headed to Chipotle last night but had to pick up some medicine at Kroger’s first. As we walked down the aisle, I saw black beans and tortillas.

“Let’s just make burritos at our house, Ri.”

She stopped pushing the cart and whipped her head back at me. “Let’s do it mom!”

She rolled off six items we had to buy as if she had known all along we would be making burritos: cheese, sour cream, corn, black beans, tortillas, and rice. I added salsa and refried beans. We made a mad dash home and began cooking the chicken. In fact, that was all we cooked on the stove. The corn, rice, and beans all allowed for the microwave. My type of meal! Ri laid out all the sides across the kitchen counter for us and yelled “Dig in folks!”

Mario enjoyed his burrito with chicken and a mound of cheese only. Maria loaded hers with beans and rice and corn and chicken and cheese and a huge dollop of sour cream. We sat down at the table and went to town on our creations.




Then Ri and I went for seconds. And thirds. That is the only problem with a “buffet” style meal – Ri and I have not quite developed the willpower to stop the multiple trips. But, unlike Ponderosa, our buffet lacked a dessert bar so at least we were eating healthy (we did slip in an ice cream sandwich later, however!).

Rest on Sunday? Ha!

Coffee, chocolate chip scone, and… sprints? Apparently that was in the cards for us today.

Maria wanted to bike to Stauf’s this morning – a welcome change from our Tim Horton’s runs. She asked if we could bike down the hill next to us and I told her that would mean she had to bike back up the hill. Surprisingly, she still wanted to do it. A very proud moment for me. And an even more incredible moment when she willed herself half way up the hill (which is steep) and then got off and walked it the rest of the way without complaining once.

We met Jon at Stauf’s and got chocolate chip scones and muffins. Mario told us how stars come from nebulous clouds – just a typical morning with our five year old son. Maria told me that she was going to be my coach and make me run on the track. So we headed to the track after breakfast and Ri timed me as I ran sprints.

“Move it lady!” she screamed at me. “Go faster!” She could definitely move straight into the army.

Mario and Jon arrived shortly after us and Mario dove right into my sprints… and push-ups. He is an animal. Maria and Jon timed us over and over.



Then Ri got into the mix and sprinted across the field to us. I am not sure what got into this girl of ours but she turned into a monster, too. She continued to sprint back and forth a few more times and then biked home. Love it!

Soon after we got home, Ri had to go to cheer leading. I was worried that she may peter out but she stayed strong belting out the cheers and kicking that leg up!


While at the game, my brother texted me about a gig he was playing at the riverfront. The kids have been wanting to see him play so I thought it would be perfect since I didn’t need to take them to a bar to see him! I told Ri to get dressed up like a rocker girl and she didn’t joke around! Blue eye shadow and all (dad was not pleased nor was I but we let it go this time!)


The kids made some quick friends with my law school friend’s kids. They all sat together waiting for Jack’s band to start. The Evan Oberla Project jammed it out.

Mario sat on the stone seat and watched the entire show getting up every once in a while to get out some dance moves and then chillin’ again in his seat. He loved it and even got a shout out from the band members who said he was by far the best dancer of the day. He was smitten!



We wrapped up the day the way I love most – with Jon’s yummy spaghetti and homemade meatballs. Heaven. Our cousin, Robert and my bro, Jack ate with us, too. What a treat, especially for M&M who idolize the both of them.


A full day for us – we will all be crawling into work and school tomorrow morning. But there is no other way to live!