Here are just a few of the things keeping us busy right now...
Of course a tiny little plastic piece broke on the dishwasher (attached to the latch), and to replace that one piece would have been $150 (if I did it myself). So we figured we'd buy a new one since it was 9 years old. But I feel like we have appliance shopping down to an art (starting with an emergency fund). We usually go to Best Buy, see what's out there, and then go to Texas Appliance Outlet into the back, un-airconditioned warehouse and buy a scratch-n-dent for a fraction of the cost. Why? Because, as my mother-of-6 sister says, "The kids are gonna scratch-n-dent it anyway!"
Levi first banged his toe and then cut it between the cuticle and nail, so we've been nursing that back to health. It looks disgusting right now, but it's a lot better than that picture. The nail finally fell off. But keeping that thing clean and dry and bandaged was not as easy as one might think - he's 5 afterall.
And then there's grocery shopping after preschool is out for summer. Fun? Uh, no, I wouldn't say so. This was one of the more fortunate shopping trips. As you mamas know, it can be a little trickier when they're awake. The other thing I'm doing is trying to figure out how much I'm spending on conventional produce at Aldi and spelt/wheat through Amazon so that I can determine if I should go back to my organic produce co-op. I'll let you know. ;)
And this, of course, is my next big project. We're about to have a teenager in the house! We're hosting a Czech foreign exchange student this coming school year (which I am SO excited about), and she'll be here in August, so I have to get the room finished by then. This room is proving to be a little trickier than I thought. I have to a) subdue it a little since she's more into muted tones, b) furnish it with things I can use for the boys later, c) stay within a small budget, and d) do it all while the kids are home 24/7.
Oh, did I mention what's it's like shopping with three little boys? Things to note in this picture:
1) It was posed. They actually stood still so that I could snap it just like this.
2) The older and younger are both picking on the middle child. No surprise.
3) The baby is not wearing shoes (they're in the stroller that he climbed out of).
4) I'm shopping clearance, because that's the best way to shop. ;)
As if all of that wasn't enough, my stinking pool robot broke (thankfully it's under warranty) and Leslie's Pool Store is taking FOREVER to get the replacement part. So I've been fighting an algae bloom all by hand (brushing and vacuuming and shocking). My shoulders are killing me. All in a days' work, y'all.
A fun thing that we've been doing is a weekly family meeting. This has been working marvelously. The kids are way into it, and we've implemented a lot of structure as a result. One thing we've implemented is....
....if you get in a fight, you have to talk it out on the fireplace. The boys busted Michael and I one night, so we had to duke it out on the fireplace. They thought that was so awesome.
That's about it. I'm sure you can relate. Just like some women do pregnancy well, some women do summers really well, too. I don't naturally do pregnancy or summers very well, BUT this summer I'm TRYING! We'll see how it goes.
Got any tricks for keeping mama and kids sane during summer?