wow. so...it's been awhile.

no, i haven't been on an exotic hawaiian vacation (but will take one if you are offering giveaways)

nor have i been feverishly cleaning and reorganizing my house (but would like to, more than i can describe)

i'm not exactly sure what i have been doing.
which leads me to exactly what i have been doing.
which what i have been doing feels like what i haven't been doing.
and so i'm not sure what in fact i am doing.

i'm dizzy.

i am waiting for the carousel music to end so i can get off and at least get my bearings straight. you know, make life right again. like having the bathroom smell slightly less odiferous than the BP station in the middle of western virginia. or maybe actually put the laundry away before the next laundry day (which, seeing that i only do laundry once a week or less, that gives me 7-10 days to get the folded laundry from the basket to the drawer...seems like that's not too much to ask)(and yes, my kids have lots of underwear)

yep, i'm waiting. the carousel isn't stopping though. even when i scream at the stupid man in charge. it still keeps going.

my options...........(one) enjoy the ride. or (two) keep screaming.

depends on the day which one i do.

some days i am able to grab a little perspective and enjoy the ride. the kids will not be small forever. i will not always hear my name called every 37.6 seconds. they will soon be independent. they will not care about magic shows at the oceanfront or swimming in the pool. they won't get excited about free summer movies or VBS, they will want to be with their friends and i will have to beg them to just call me for 15 seconds to let me know they are okay.

but then there are days when i would be more than happy to not hear from them. i don't care whether they are okay or not - just don't call me. leave me alone. if it's an emergency, leave a message.

take this morning.

wake up. everyone get dressed. i close my door to get dressed (which, i think, after josiah's unannounced entrance into my room the other day, knocking will now be a bit more of a priority). not once, not twice, nor three or four times. within the span of 12 minutes, i had someone calling my name 18 times. i'm not kidding. 18. do you know how grumpy that can make someone? try it. allow someone to get engaged in a task. and then, at 45 second intervals call their name. and then when you call their name, you need to take at least 15 seconds to communicate what you need. and then it's only 30 seconds later before you call again. the second time, maybe ask a different question. but the third time, you need to repeat the first question. keep going. for 12 minutes. don't stop. and then, you need to run. fast. because at that point you will have driven someone so crazy that they will be more than willing to cause you bodily harm.

the carousel. it won't stop. i keep waking up to this insanity.

and here's the kicker.

wake up.
get dressed and put on some make-up (we're not talking beauty pageant folks...just the basics)
make sure everyone has breakfast, sort of. survival of the quickest.
maybe clean up a little but definitely not the whole kitchen. no time for that.
find shoes. 5 pairs. ones that match, preferably. although yesterday 1 out of 4 went barefooted because we couldn't find shoes, at all.
answer 8 questions regarding which toy is available for taking in the van. the answer remains the same...none. but the question is still asked. 8 times.
get to the van.
enter the van by age order. oldest to youngest. don't deviate or loud screaming will ensue.
get buckled. this can take 10 minutes. trust me on this one.
go to the bank.
get lollipops.
oops, i need another one.
yes, i really do have 4 kids in one van.
and yes, they really are all mine.
pick up a friend.
drop one off.
go to the movies.
30 minutes early. so we can get 5 seats together. it's free. yay.
no. we are not getting popcorn. repeat 17 times.
kitt kittredge - the american girl. very cute movie. super morals. age-appropriate. love it.
head to the van.
no, you may not go to the bathroom. or get a drink. or get popcorn. suck it up chili dog. the train is leaving.
get in the van. in age order, remember. we are getting good at this.
stop screaming. you can sing, don't scream. quit bothering your brother. keep your hands to yourself. no, we are not eating at wendy's. sit up. your seatbelt isn't tight enough. sit back. talk nice. be kind.
drop friend off.
pick one up.
get out of the van...and into the house. which one would think could be accomplished in less than 4 minutes.
fix lunch.
try and remember what they like on their hotdog.
how can 4 people in the same family come up with 4 different ways of enjoying a hot dog?
eat. no, you have to eat what i fixed. no, you may not have more chips. no, you cannot have my diet coke. EAT.
go to rest time.
yes, all four. i will go down kicking and screaming before giving up rest time.
yes, you have to go. do we need to ask this every day?
oh, i'm starving. never had breakfast.
eat something that sort of resembles lunch - some would call it scraps. sort of like a dog. you know, finish what is on everyone's plate.
lay down.
my back's killing me.
i can't even pull the top off of the yogurt
doctor tomorrow. with 4. should be fun. when does school start?
catch up on email (the necessary kind)
NO. you may not come down yet.
at 4:00. do we have to go over this again?
can we go see the magic show at the beach tonight?
that would require thinking about dinner.
which i hate.
it's the end of the month. we have no food in the house.
i'm not kidding.
it's bare bones.
i can eek out hamburgers and sweet potato fries.
start the process.
send everyone back up to their rooms to clean up. FOR THE LOVE, do we have to go over this every.single.day. pick.up.before.descending.stairs.
oh my gosh. shoot me now.
it's 5:45. where did the day go?
i have accomplished nothing.
begin crying.
my back's killing me.
that doesn't help perspective.
husband arrives home.
we eat.
relatively peacefully.
it's time for magic.
find shoes. 12 of them. guaranteed to have at least 10% missing.
10 minutes go by. still looking for shoes (and yes, we keep them all in one place, theoretically)
get in the van...oldest first...good...excellent job...no screaming.
be the all-american family - minus the dog. which we will NEVER have. i promise. see me in 20 years and i'll prove it to you.
drive home. with unending music and singing ('she moves in mysterious ways...yeah, yeah, yeah...')
they want a sleepover.
all 4. one room.
they really do love each other.
and i really do love them.
its bedtime.
and nothing has been accomplished.

happy children. that's about it for today.

i want to cry.

for lots of reasons.

i do cry.

and get in bed.

the carousel is still spinning.

and i am dizzy.