Sunday, June 29, 2014

They DId It...

Summer activities are just that...summer activities.  Having the triplets swim on the swim team is merely my way of creating an event that happens everyday at the same time.  We get up and we have somewhere to go and it keeps them active.  I know that the Olympics are not in our future and if we miss a practice...oh well.  

This past Wednesday I was gushing with pride as we had our first swim meet (time trials).  The triplets had never been to a swim meet before (always left them home with a sitter while I would go watch the older ones in their meet).  They have been swimming for the past several weeks..5 to 6 days a week.  I did all I could do to pump them up and get them excited for the day.  I didn't know if I would actually get all of them into the water and with triplets you really never know what will happen until the very last minute. We came with our racing suits (that is what they call them) and the swim caps.  They had to complete all 4 strokes so we could get times for them.  Obviously they are not very fast...good lord we are just thrilled they have the basic stroke concept down and can make it to the end of the pool.  They put the trips in their own heat so it was very special for me to be able to watch my little nuggets all at once experience their very first competitive swim.  I am happy to report that they completed all 4 strokes and we only had mild tears from 1. When they had to swim the breast stroke they all got up on the blocks and after 3 belly smacks I knew at least 1 was not gonna like that.  Finn comes to me at the end and with a tear says, "I never wanna get up on those things again".  "Ok buddy we don't have to. You can jump in without getting on the blocks".  Then after Finn finished the last stroke...his favorite..freestyle he came to me and said, "Mom I don't like this".  Finn is not a fan of the attention all being on him.  So many people are drawn to him that he has quite the fan following.  This kid will have a group of young ladies and young men falling over him at practices.  The girls all say..."Hiiiii Finnnnnnnn" with their wave and the boys all are "high five me bro".  He is the popular one (not by choice at all) and he doesn't even want it....well I think he is getting used to it.  We talked and finally I got out of him that he didn't like it that I was not at the end when he finished.  He didn't like all of the attention on him and having to get out of the water and come to the other end to get me.  I smiled and told him that I will be at the end for him next time.  The time trials were a great success and I was so proud to see them exert their little independence.  I stopped off at the candy store after the meet for a treat for all.

This was Mairin's first year of having to do 50's (that is down and back).  She was sucking lots of wind but did well.  Liam is well into doing 50's but with his growth this past year it was fun watching how much faster he got this year.  My eldest, Eamon swims in practice everyday but is not competing this year so he cheered on his friends and siblings during the meet.  

This summer has been fun.  The kids have their stuff to do and I even manage to get an hour and some days even 2 while they are in their activities.  This will be Eamon's last year of swimming I am guessing.  I have encouraged as long as I can.  He has been a great sport this year and I am so proud.  Heck I am so geeked and proud of all of them.  

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Summer..Full Swing

We are in full swing of summer and I am proud to say that I have yet to hear.."I'm bored".  We have been on the go since school let out and so far so good.  The summer schedule is now the norm and I can already feel the pain that September will bring when that early alarm goes off.

The washer is constantly going with wet towels and swim suits.  My mornings are usually full of opening up swim bags and pulling out the wet....stinky, wrinkled clothes that were left in their bags from the night before.  I specifically remember as a kid that my mom would get so upset when I would leave towels in a heap on the floor all wet.  I always thought,"what is the big deal". Yep now I know what the big deal is.

My house is staying clean because we are never here.  We constantly have drying swim suits on our front porch along with towels draped everywhere.  There are at least 6 open cans of sun block floating in the various bags that we take with us.  The grocery bill is somewhat smaller and basic because we are not here for meals.  I haven't cooked a family dinner in a week.  There is no fighting bedtime because we all seem to just fall into bed.  Mom and Dad are getting their play dates in as well with golf leagues.  The toy closet has been opened on the past several rainy days and the kids are building kinex.  The summer reading program has begun.  Eamon and Liam have to read King Arthur this summer and they also have to read to their little buddy often. ......Ahhh the joys of summer.

I am finally reaping the benefits of 6 kids when it comes to cleaning.  The kids know when it is coming because I get all fired up and ready for a cleaning moment.  Here is how it goes down.  I go into the family room where everyone is usually in a coma watching TV or playing iPads.  (Let me be clear...coma mode for too long makes me crazy...I get this from my dad.  I can go into a bad mood almost instantly when I see the kids becoming one with the sofa for too long)  

I sit down on the fireplace hearth and say, "Alright guys it is time again....lets spend 30 minutes and clean this house...ok".  I then have every one's attention and I begin assigning tasks.  Eamon-clean up basement and Liam vacuum.  Mairin clean up the garage bins and shoes.  Finn you go clean your room, Declan can you do family room and Colin you get to clean up the entryway.  Report back to me when your job is complete.  It is really funny to watch everyone disappear to their jobs.  Round 2 usually brings.....Eamon and Liam and Mairin bring down all of your laundry and take up the folded laundry and put it away.  Triplets clean up the craft room and take toys from the family room back downstairs (we have to do this periodically because toys creep upstairs).  I often will make the leftover kids my runners.  "Take this to my room, Take this downstairs, Take this out to the shed".  It saves me a ton of time and a ton of running around.  We work hard and we work fast so that not to lose interest.  David usually has some sort of outdoor assigned for the older 3 and it is almost always picking weeds.  He will lay out an area that he wants clean by the time he arrives home from work.  Liam is the 'get it done now kid'...he wants to get it done first thing..before it gets too hot out and Eamon is the 'what is the big rush kid'.....maybe in a little while.  They will usually sputter at each other and Liam will win.  Mairin will just follow.

Welcome To A Mott Summer!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

What A Great Weekend! This Is What It Is Really All About.

I am just getting back on track and the laundry is finally done from our fantastic weekend.  I think this Memorial Day Weekend could be labeled as one of the best yet.  We had amazing weather and lots to do.  My mom and dad always make sure the food is stocked, gas tanks are all full and lots of wood for the fires.  How lucky am I!

The biggest anticipation by all, including the triplets was mushroom hunting.  Memorial Day Weekend is always the time for Morel Mushrooms.  Growing up I thought everyone hunted for mushrooms and thought everyone loved them.  My own husband didn't know about them and has since become one of the best hunters. My father is so particular about his woods and protecting his deer that really the excitement is equally about the free pass to go out into the woods and spend time.  He finds the morels in the same spots every year so we have a route that we take and we make our stops. We make sure we only pick the amount that we will eat and leave the rest for another pick.  Walking thru the woods you will hear the kids and their excitement, "Oh my gosh" and "Here is the mother load" or "mom, mom come look at these".  Grandpa taught everyone how to pinch them off so that they will come back next year and we just filled our bags.

We spent a couple hours getting them all cleaned and then we set up a couple fry pans in the kitchen and then some on the grill outside and we let the cooking begin.  It doesn't take long before everyone is full and happy.
In order to take everyone out into the woods we are so thankful to have our golf cart and the 4 wheeler to get everyone out there.  We all pile on and it is kind of funny.
Dad had some work he needed help with this weekend so how could we turn him down.  In the midst of getting the big green tractor ready for the field, he stopped and taught David and the older boys how to drive it.  Everyone took turns while Eamon and Liam drove it across the field while the others picked the roots out of the field.  Oh how I remember chores like this.  Eamon and Liam thought it was fun and I just can't imagine making my dad do stuff like this on his own anymore.  Glad we could help.  Dad also got his digger stuck so they had to get the chains out and pull it out.  The trips really enjoyed watching grandpa spread dirt and make a road.  It is the simple things that they really love.
The unusually warm weekend brought on lots of swimming and even some knee boarding and tubing.  I think the triplets put on and took off their suits at least a dozen times each day.  They would go to bed by 930 or 10pm and they would not wake up until around 9pm.  They would just go and go.
I was just as tired as the kids were at night.  This is a busy weekend and lots of activities.  Mairin was pretty upset that we didn't make it to Anderson Orchards for some ice cream and animals but I kept telling her that we just ran out of time.  We had a great weekend and I got lots of time with my parents and sister.  Lots of the aunts and uncles came over on Sunday for a day of hanging out and my good friend from high school, Tena Hoover even spent the day with me.  It was a great weekend.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

I Am So Blessed and I Am So Flattered.

What a whirlwind of compliments, words of kindness and just a lot of attention coming my way.  This has been a fun couple of days.  The excitement of looking at my phone to see the latest comments.  Thank you so much  for all of your comments and for following.  I am truly touched and flattered by all of the attention.

I have always read the articles written by Marney Rich Keenan and ever since we came in contact 12 years ago I tend to search out her articles.  It is funny how social media makes people so much more accessible and I love that I can reach out and say "hi" to someone without having to drop a note in the mail.  Marney was very kind in the article and gave me too much credit.  She sent me a text after the article came out and apologized that they had to cut a piece out that was all about David and all of his help.  He has been teasing me about this ever since.  Maybe I will have to do a Fathers Day piece all about him. (only if he lets me sleep in on my Birthday).

There are so many days when I get up and I do the same thing day after day.  I get 6 kids ready to go to school, do the whole breakfast thing, clean up and off I go.  By 5pm I am doing the same thing again.  I have my days when I need some attention and I tell my husband, 

"talk to me...I have only spoken to children today".  
"Let me make a decision today, the biggest decision that I have made today is what kind of bread I am going to buy".  
"Tell me about your day and all the details because the details in your day sound so much more exciting". 

Poor guy,   I wonder how many husbands get this when they arrive home from work.  I am pretty lucky on this front though.  David has never let me down when it comes to taking the time to talk with me or give me the pep talk that I need to keep going.  He has a way of making everything ok again.  He is so supportive and is good at pointing out just how important my roll is in this family.  This article has just blown me away with all of the comments from friends and family.  You have all just reinforced that I am normal and that you all do think my job is tough sometimes (easy sometimes too).

The comments from face book really hit home for me

"I have taken hints from you", 
"thanks for being an inspiration"
 "thanks for letting us into your world" 
"You Rock"  

You have helped me to look at my daily happenings in a different way.  I write to remember the details but the fact that you all are still reading is really the very most flattering part.  Thank you all for taking the time to read and to comment.  Thank you for laughing with me in the funny posts and understanding me in the stressful posts.  It is the comments that I read in the middle of the day that make me perk up and think just how blessed I really am.

Here is a link to the article in case you have no idea what I am talking about.  Happy Mother's Day to all those mothers out there.  I admire moms and all that they do.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

May 7, 2002 Was The Beginning Of Our BIG Family

It was a scheduled c-section and it was our first experience.  I was uptight and David was nervous.  We were going to do everything  perfect.  We welcomed 2 adorable little peanuts at 8:44 and 8:45am on May 7th 2002.  They were so cute and we took them home really not knowing what we were doing.  We charted bowl movements and  feeding schedules and we managed to make it work.  We had so much fun that we continued to add to our family.  Today we are an over sized family of 8 and we are loving it.  I can't imagine life any other way.
They have gone from needing me every minute to being independent young men.  They are so helpful now and are joys to be around.  They are finishing up their 6th grade year along with spring hockey, tennis and some baseball for Liam.  They are truly the best of friends and often smiling.  Some of my favorite moments is over hearing them at the math chair with their dad going over homework.  When the math is complete you can always bet that Eamon will ask another question that is completely off topic which starts a conversation between the three of them.  They are never in a hurry when their dad is talking about world stuff.  (I wonder when they will realize just how lucky they are to have a dad with so much locked up in that brain of his) Looks like Liam is going to bypass braces all together and Eamon only has until October and he will be free of them.  I look at these two and realize over and over again what a gift they both are.  They make me so proud everyday.  Here is to you...Eamon Mott and Liam Mott...Happy Birthday.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Wrong Things Coming To An End

Why does preschool come to an end 3 weeks before the end of the "normal" school year?  Don't you think it should be the opposite?  The older kids finish up school and then the little ones get out 3 weeks later.  This way I could warm up to the idea and get used to having everyone home.  Instead, the triplets will be done on May 22 for the year.  Yes people this is all the school they will have til September (deep breath Heather....breath in and breath out slowly).  This also means that they will be with me close to 24 hours a day for 108 days.  Yes there will be camps and events but for the most part I am the entertainment.  I think it is time to head out for a new batch of sand toys, sign up for the zoo family pass and get back on Pinterest to bring out my creative side.  I act like it is a big deal but really it all seems to work out.  They are coming into themselves and honestly end up playing outside with each other for hours at a time.  I always say that each year gets easier and it is true.  The trips are pretty good at coming up with things to do but often if I don't hear anything I need to go check because some of the things they think up....make me crazy.  

The latest craze is the mud.  I thought I could go without rain boots this year.  It took a week of the snow being gone for me to do a rush order on Amazon for 3 pairs of rain boots.  I ran their tennis shoes thru the laundry 3 times in a matter of 2 days.  Now the rule is that if they are on the driveway they wear tennis shoes but anywhere else it is rain boots.  I catch them scooping mud out of the puddles and they always come in to change their pants because when they are squatting their little tushies get wet.  "Mom Mom can we play in the rain".  I will sometimes go for it.  Apparently this day I was feeling free and relaxed and said, "sure go ahead".  The excitement of the rain and being outside clearly made them have to pee and no one wanted to come in. (I'm glad they did it outside).  When they did finally come in they had to completely undress in the garage.  I just happened to be looking out the kitchen window at the right time....When does that ever happen?

Lately they have been really into hockey and they play mini sticks in the basement when their brothers are off to school.  The other day they did make me laugh when they all came upstairs looking like this.
Cute huh! Eamon and Liam did not think so when they went downstairs to find all of their hockey gear thrown around the basement and all mixed up.  See this is what I mean by destructive.  They go thru things and destroy.  

Easter morning I half expected an argument especially from Declan about what I wanted them to wear.  I set out the pants and shirts and they all put them on with excitement.  They saw their father with his tie on and they all wanted ties.  I went upstairs and got them their ties.  They then wanted to have dress shoes like dad. Sorry boys....I can't put together 3 pairs of dress shoes in a matter of minutes.  They wore the ties all day.  So cute. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Springtime Weeknights

Full swing ahead. Batter Up! We are making it all work and I officially now live in my car.  I had to stop and empty out my front passenger seat today.  It was full of water bottles and snack wrappers.  I usually get into my car at 3pm to head over and pick up Eamon and Liam from school and take them to tennis.  I am in a carpool so it is really funny when I have to pick up 2 other boys.  We end up throwing the booster seats in the back and the trips and Mairin take the back seat, 3 boys in the second row and I get the last one left in the front with me.  Short drive to tennis and since I really don't have time to go home I often get gas and find a park so the trips and Mairin can stretch their legs.  I am so thankful that Mairin is still young enough to where the park is fun.  We pick up the boys by 5 and then head home.  Baseball starts at 5:30 for the triplets and 6pm for Liam.  Monday night ends with an 8:15 to 9:15pm hockey practice in Troy.  Did I mention that Mairin starts swimming next week.

Tonight the triplets were playing t-ball.  Oh dear this is a painful event.  They are cute but I must give the coaches a ton of credit for their patience.  There are 12 five year old boys who practice for 45 min and then we play 2 innings.  I love that I have a couple of mom friends on the makes the time go so fast.  There is no bathroom at our field so there is a steady stream of uniforms standing along the treeline with their backs to us.  There are frequent water breaks and lots of learning going on.  The triplets love this more than they have liked any sport so far.  (they are 5 flipping years many sports would they be exposed too??? Goodness I think I have fallen into the trap) When the game finished tonight Finn came up to me and pulled my down to his level and whispered in my ear, "I peed a little in my pants because I forgot to go the bathroom".  Now that is fun.  We ended and headed over to another field because Liam's game was just starting.  The trips took off to play and I got to watch the game.  Colin comes over to me midway thru the game and said, "mom we have to leave, I did something bad".  I said, "what did you do"?  "I went poops in my pants".  Is it the night of the bathroom issues or what. (husband is out of town for the week, I am running solo, we are midway thru the baseball game, the rain looks like it is coming our way, it is bitter cold outside and Colin needs to poop tonight...really)  I thought ....what the heck was I going to do.  We really couldn't go home.  I felt his backside...expecting to feel a large boulder in his pants but felt nothing.  We went to the bathroom and with a quick throw away of some underwear we were back in action.  We won the baseball game and we were home by 8:30pm.  I got the trips up to bed with a couple of bedtime stories, walked by Mairin's room to find her teary eyed because of a poetry contest happening tomorrow that her friend will be out of town for.  We had some hugs and kisses and tucked her away for the night.  I cleaned up a bit, Liam in family room doing homework and Eamon finally comes in the door from hockey practice.  Ahhhh...Everyone is home, homework is almost done and almost time for mom to grab a blanket and the remote for an evening of DVR.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Winter Break....A Full Week! Why???

I always go to my phone to get my inspiration for my next post.  The pictures will immediately make me remember the moment and sometimes the emotion that went with the picture.  We had winter break several weeks ago and I have not posted about our adventures.  We are the only district in the area that has a full week off in February and then again another week off for Spring break.  I usually pull out all of the fun at winter break and by the time Spring break comes the kids are bored to tears.  It is tough having 6 kids home for 9 days. 

I often toss around the idea of getting on a plane but "hello"...would you like to add that one up?  8 plane tickets for Spring Break week please!  Oh and "Mr. Hotel Manager, we have 8 people in our party.  Do you have a suite that has 4 queen beds or can I please spend my money on 2 rooms".  Traveling with a large family is not easy.  I dabble on the Internet looking for places to go and after some time I get frustrated and just forget it.  I want to travel with my kids but I also want to do it when they will appreciate it and enjoy it.  We are almost there.  The triplets are finally old enough to enjoy an adventure and we don't need the diapers and all the special things that little ones need.

Winter break started with a trip to "The Road Show".  This is a cool place on the east side that has lots of exotic animals.  Our neighbors own it and have invited us numerous times.  I decided to just put it on my agenda for the week.  They let the kids hold all kinds of snakes, they fed the tortoises and they hung out with a sugar glider.  It was a fun little adventure for Monday.

Tuesday we had clean up day.  We went into the basement and reorganized every item down there.  We got lots of laundry done and I had lots of helpers to put it all away.  Everyone got some time on the ipads and we watched a couple movies.

On Wednesday we went roller skating.  The triplets had never been but they seemed to really enjoy it.  Eamon was a bit of a hot shot in the beginning and he fell.  He hurt his wrist and didn't do much after that.  All I could think of...OMG he won't be able to finish up hockey and David is going to tell me why it was a bad idea.  It took several hours and Eamon was feeling better and the arm was ready for hockey.  Liam won the race that they had for 11-12 year old and of course he was on cloud nine.  Mairin brought a friend and they spent a lot of their time in the arcade. 
We grabbed lunch at a Coney Island after and I couldn't believe how many people asked if all of the kids were mine.  I guess we just don't go out very much.  Maybe it was because it was just me and the rest kids.  They were wonderful at lunch and other than 12 trips to the bathroom we made it thru and headed home.  We ended our evening with hockey practice and momma got a night out with my girlfriend. 

Thursday brought movie day.  We got out all of our Christmas gift cards and headed up to Great Lakes Crossing for "The Lego Movie".  I packed a bag of bottled water and ziplock bags.  We ordered 3 large popcorn's and 3 large slurpees.  The kids found their seats and I spaced out the popcorn and slurpees in between kids.  They all shared and we went for 3 popcorn refills.

Is break over yet??????? We had a great day on Friday because the temperature was warm enough to make great packing snow.  I pushed everyone outside and told them to build a fort, build a whatever you want but burn off some energy please!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

14 Years and Sill Kickin It marks 14 years of being a wife.  11 years being a mom and 9 years of cooking dinner.  My sister in law has 5 kids and they are all grown.  She doesn't cook anymore and now I am starting to understand why.  When that last one leaves David is going to have a rude awakening when I can say, "you are on your own"... 

David and I woke up this morning and had a small conversation and off he went to a meeting. It wasn't until I received a Happy Anniversary text from someone else, I called David and said, ":Happy Anniversary". He too was happily reminded of the date. (he has always been much better at anniversary dates than me).  14 years ago today it was 60 degrees outside and the grass was green.  We took our outdoor pictures and people were without coats.  It is crazy how things change from year to year.

Thinking back to what we have done for the past 14 years my mind is full of memories and laughs.  We have sold 2 houses, moved to Mexico for David's work, moved back and have had 6 children.  We have renovated our home and we refuse to add up all of the work because the total spent would be depressing.  We have driven to and watched 952 hockey games and they are only 11 years old.  I have set up my folding chair and watched 364 baseball games in winter coats or tank tops.  I have sat through 126 swim meets that begin with promise and never seem to end.  With every game I watch it never gets old.  Every game is met with anticipation because my kid will be participating.  I have 3 who haven't started yet so I have so many more events to attend.

My husband is going to hate this part..........I can honestly say that I am a very happy wife and mother.  I found the right one and ever since everything has fallen into place.  I am blessed to have married the man that I did and I still anticipate a date night and being together.  There have been times of stress and anxiety but we are a great mix for each other.  For anyone out there who is still looking for their "Mr."  wait for the right one because it makes living life easy and fun.  Thanks David Mott for making the last 14 years so much fun.  I can't wait for the next 14.  (yep this is sappy and hokey but I couldn't resist)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Honesty At It's Best...or Worst!

How quickly you forget about some stages that you go through with little ones.  How quickly I have been reminded.

We had a hockey game the other night and we invited my brother-in-laws to come.  Uncle Billy and Uncle Tom show up and the trips all take turns saying hello and goofing around with them.  Finn decides to sit next to Uncle Billy and they strike up a conversation.  Finn is listening intently and interrupts Billy, mid sentence with, "Uncle Billy, why are your teeth brown"? Billy starts laughing out loud (thank goodness he says this to Billy because he takes no offense to the question, in fact I think he gets a real kick out of it..sorry Billy).  Finn is now really starring at Billy's teeth and he is pointing to Billy's teeth and asking the question again.   Billy comes up with some sort of answer for Finn but Finn is not giving up. "Uncle Billy you need to brush your teeth".  Again I am thankful this conversation is kept within family.  Finn then tells Billy to open up his mouth and the conversation goes deeper into what is all that grey stuff in your mouth.  It was rather funny but a quick reminder of the honesty of a 5 year old.

We walk into the gym the next day and the man checking us in is extremely tall.  He was one of those men that you look twice at because could be someone famous because of his height.  Declan hands him the card and says, "You are really big".  The guy laughs out loud and Declan follows up with, "why are you so big?"  It was cute and again we are not afraid to be completely honest.

This last one was hard for me.  We were walking out of the gym that same day and we were met by a large and clearly overweight man at the door.  He opened the door for us and as we were walking out the dreaded comment came out of Finn's mouth. "Mom, why is that man is fat".   I could have crawled into a hole at that very moment. It was a moment of feeling paralyzed and knowing you had to say something and nothing you could say would really help.   I felt the redness coming up my neck and into my face.  This was not one of those situations where you could just scurry the kids along and pray he didn't hear you.  Oh he heard Finn..loud and clear.  I have a very big sensitivity to the word fat so this was a big deal for me.  I was imbarrassed  and clearly we have not encountered this situation so I have not had the talk with them about saying that word to people.  I stopped dead in my tracks and as the boys walked on I just turned to the man and said, "I am so sorry".  It was a heart felt, head down, shoulders weak "I'm sorry".  The man looked at me and said, "hey no big deal...I'm fat and fat is fat".  At that point he turned and walked away and I turned to the boys and even at 9 degrees outside we had our talk right then and there.  I didn't get mad at the boys because they are discovering things and quite frankly they were just making an observation and they were right.  "Boys, you can't say that to people.  Saying someone is fat can hurt someone's feelings.  Everyone is different and everyone looks different".  "Do you remember the words that mommy doesn't like?" "Well this is another word that we can add to that list".  Then they all had to say all of the words that I don't like. "Mom you mean like the word fart, and stupid and shut up and butt". "Yes boys thank you for reminding me of the words I don't like".  Declan pipes in with, "mom those are potty words and we don't use those""Right Declan..right". They all said ok and they jumped into the car.  I felt so bad driving away but know it was a good learning experience..I hope.

It is almost like 5 year olds are adults after way too much to drink.  They have not developed that ability to keep certain things to themselves.  It is very interesting to me though how it is ok for kids to stare at people and as adults you try not to.  Kids question things that seem out of the norm to them while adults often avoid differences and ignore them.  We all notice them in our heads but living in a society where you have to be so politically correct it is easier to avoid when you don't know how to react.  Kids....they always make life seem so simple.