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Wednesday, July 03, 2013

If you had told us 20 years ago we'd have 6 kids between us

At least one of us would have said yeah bring it on!  The other, myself, would have been bewildered because I never thought about kids or the future.  It was all so very very far away.

We decided to merge our little families for 12 days so she could watch all 6 kids while I work full time hours and husband returns to Florida for our last load of belongings.  The kids ages are 9, 7, 5, 5, almost 3 and 1. 

The first day I begged my husband to stay an extra day and add safety measures everywhere because six kids are bound to get into some crazy hijinks. 
  • First he added a screw into the backyard fence so they simply could not open it. 
  • Second he added a double gate at the back door involving one at the top of the stairs and one at the entry from the kitchen so if they ran outside without shutting the kitchen entry the downstairs gate would still be locked to keep cats from escaping and baby from falling down the stairs. 
  • Third he added a baby gate at the bathroom so baby could not sneak inside to steal the toilet paper and play in the toilet.
In the next two days we fine tuned sleeping arrangements, entertainment and food.  I found the easiest solution is to just double all recipes.  If I'm used to making one pizza for my family I make two.  However, regardless of my advance menu planning, I was still astonished to see we used an entire stick of butter, 10 ounces of cheese and and entire loaf of bread for grilled cheese sandwiches at one meal!  Thank God for Aldi and their extremely affordable prices! 

In the first five days they consumed the following:
  • 8.5lbs of bananas
  • 4 gallons of milk
  • 4 containers of juice
  • 2 dozen eggs
  • 1 giant box of Honey Nut Cheerios
  • And way more of which I cannot recall
After surviving two days of doing full time work hours and helping out with the kids I found we needed a major weekend break.  I canceled on my family reunion plus Sunday church and went out to buy the kids an awesome double pool with slides and spouts.  This gave them two days of water play - and lots of mosquito bites which added a layer of complaints but otherwise the kids seemed satisfied with our parental performance.

My brother brought a lasagna on Sunday afternoon so that gave us the morning to clean the house!  We love free food after cooking for this bunch!

By Monday I went back to work and my friend cheerfully sent me to the office with coffee and muffins but by mid-day the bickering was out-of-control!  We realized a contingency plan was needed.  I suddenly remembered the church I grew up in had Vacation Bible School starting the next day and we could catch a two hour break with no more demands for pool time!  Yes please!

I frantically texted my cousin who's teaching there and ask if I could drop off four kids the next day.  She thankfully said yes.  Then I called my mom just to make sure it was okay and she said "sure, others have been doing it for years!"  Yeah!!!

I came out of my office triumphant with the plan of Vacation Bible School. 

Every day afterwards my friend and I meticulously planned the schedule so we could get the two younger ones down for a nap immediately after lunch while the other parent dropped off the older four off at VBS.  They even serve a snack afterwards so it was a super double blessing.

But even VBS could not totally remove the bickering because our almost three year old was getting more defiant by the day with his suspicions that he was being left out of something BIG.  He actually started biting the big kids!  That's when I called my cousin again in a panic and said, "PLEASE, take Sam with you to church in the morning" for you see, VBS comes with a week of church convention where they go to church three times a day!  Again she rescued us by taking Sam for the morning - effectively splitting them up for the day!  Could we finally have a day with no screaming???

The shocking conclusion tomorrow. 

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