Monthly Archives: August 2017

Having a large family is weird

having a large family is

The dynamics of family has changed a lot over the past few decades. The teen pregnancy rate has significantly dropped, women are waiting longer to have babies, and the average size of families has shrunk. Long gone are the days of people having at least literally a dozen kids (My grandfather had 11 siblings). Today, families are relatively small and more couples are deciding to remain childless. With that being said, these new trends puts me at the butt end of a lot of jokes and unwanted comments because I have a large family.

Now, if you have been following my blog, you will know that a super big family was not really in our plans (Then comes baby in the baby carriage…Lots of babies). We planned on 4 kids and not only did they come close together, we overachieved and while on birth control baby #5 popped up and surprised our asses. Now that the overall OMG we are about to have 5 kids shock factor and fear has been put behind us, it’s been a lovely 5 months of lots of adjustments and such. It has been crazy at times getting everyone ready to leave the house and running errands. The laundry is a complete nightmare and someone is always up to something….but oddly I wouldn’t change anything.

If you would have told me 8 years, hell even 29 years ago that I would have a large family, I would have hysterically laughed in your face. But now, this is my reality. I have 5 kids. FIVE kids….FIVE…F-I-V-E.. ONE< TWO<THREE<FOUR<FIVE!!!

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There are a lot of double standards that come with the comments in regards to the size of our family. When it was just Cameron, everyone asked if we were going to try for a girl or have another one. We had Kennedy and then everyone said that things were “perfect” because we had one of each.  Cody, everyone was like awww they get a new sibling. Kali, everyone was like OMG you are pregnant again, 4 kids?! and finally Kendall basically everyone was like WTF!? A lot of unwanted comments came from people who I know and although some were just trying to be funny, I wished they would keep their comments to themselves. This goes for strangers as well. I don’t see anything humorous about the size of someone’s family. I understand that it is a little weird now to have more than 2 or 3 kids. I get it, I totally do. But, for those of us who decided otherwise, your comments just seem really well, shxtty.

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I don’t need you to tell me how many kids I have. I know how many I have, they came out of my vagina. It really bugs me when people say something and throw in “well you do have 5 kids”. The number of kids I have, has not stopped me from accomplishing things, fulfilling my dreams, or living my life. Our culture has taught us and programmed us to look at multiple kids as irresponsibility. It has taught us to alienate those women who may be single moms who have multiple children. I have seen countless times on Facebook where some guy rants about a chick having too many kids etc. Or they won’t date someone who has more than XYZ kids. You know what? I appreciate stuff like that because to be honest I wouldn’t want to be with anybody who is shallow like that anyway. The size of my family may make me less desirable by some and I don’t care. I am not speaking in terms of dating because I am happily married, in love and well taken care of; but in terms of friendships. Most of my good friends have large families as well. We have this “weird” lifestyle in common.

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I do find it funny when I go out with my family that people stare, make comments etc. You would think that being an interracial couple would ruffle some feathers, but having a large family seems to be the focus now. When you have a large family, here are some typical comments and questions you will get:

  • Bless your heart
  • I couldn’t do it I have (insert number of kids) and I have a hard time keeping up with them, I can’t imagine 5
  • You must love being pregnant (Actually I hate the whole pregnancy process, I just want the baby)
  • Y’all need a TV in the bedroom
  • Your sex life must be amazing
  • Do y’all have any hobbies?
  • Are you on birth control?
  • You must be (insert religion) and don’t believe in birth control
  • Are you done having kids?
  • How many more are y’all going to have?
  • You have a basketball team
  • Time for a mini van (This will get you cussed out. I have a nice SUV that accommodates us and all of our shxt)
  • Your husband’s pull out game must be weak (we are married grown adults and not careless teenagers, why would we be using the pull out method? btw that shxt doesn’t always work)
  • How do you ever have time for yourself?
  • Is he getting fixed now?
  • Are you getting your tubes tied? (yes I am going to take the parts that are removed and strangle you with them)
  • Y’all are trying to be like the (insert family that has an entire congregation)
  • You do know what causes that right?
  • My favorite: Don’t ya’ll know where babies come from? (Yes, lots and lots of sex because we like sex)

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Now, I used to get upset by the comments. Like really pissed off. But now, I expect them and laugh and comment back. There is no reason to be ashamed of the size of your family. I tell this to other large families too often. I have had people privately tell me they would love to  have a large family or want to have another baby, but are worried about what people will say. Well those people are not paying your bills, those people are not helping you tend to your children’s needs, those people are not helping you do laundry, buy groceries, change diapers, or anything constructive. If you want more kids and can take care of them, have them. Be fruitful and multiply.

We tend to care too much about the opinions of others even when we don’t think we do. I know I was hesitant to announce my last pregnancy because I simply did not want to be bothered with all of the stupid comments and jokes etc. I wasn’t in the mood. I was not embarrassed or anything like that, just at some point everyone gets tired of other people shxt.

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Here are some of the misconceptions I have heard about having a large family:

  • It’s expensive: To be honest, our society has taught us that basically everything costs your soul. Going to college, getting married, and having kids. I see it as it is as expensive as you make it. If you buy all name brand designer clothes etc then yes this will be expensive to do with 5 kids. However, if you only buy certain items name brand etc, take care of those items and pass them down to the next child if they are in good condition, then you get your monies worth. Having multiple children allows you to really get the true value out of certain items like cribs, carseats, etc. The other costly thing is transportation. If you have a car you will likely need to upgrade to an SUV with third row seating or a van. For us, it was actually cheaper, because I had a 5 series BMW and traded it in for a Yukon and the car insurance went down. As far as food, buying in bulk saves you money (There will be another post in regards to how we “afford” a large family)
  • If you have multiple kids, it is impossible to give them all individual attention: We do things the same way we did when it was just Cameron. We read together, do special things together such as for the girls, I paint their nails, we play video games with Cameron, we take the tots to do things while the older two are at school etc.
  • If you have a large family you must have grown up in one: Nope, actually there are 3 of us kid wise in my family and as far as my husband goes, he has 4 half siblings total split between his biological parents.
  • This one is my favorite…You are on some type of welfare: I am just not going to comment on this one. Actually yes I am going to comment. It always tickles me when I go to grocery shop for my family (usually about $400 bucks every trip) and the cashier asks how am I paying? or the customer behind me makes a comment about the two carts and automatically assumes food stamps.
  • I haven’t heard that dumb joke or comment you just made about my reproductive life before: If I had a dollar for everytime…sooooo original
  • The older ones raise the little ones: How in the hell are they going to do that when they are little ones themselves?

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Although initially the thought of a large family sent my anxiety over the edge, now that I have one it has changed my perspective of a lot of things. It has shown me that I am capable of doing more than I think I can at times, and it has pushed me harder to become a better person, because I have multiple human beings that I will send off into the world one day. It has taught me that I have just that much more love to give.

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It has also taught me how to maneuver the multi-kid tank buggy at Target.

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Susie Not So Homemaker

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So we just built this incredibly beautiful new home and it is pretty big. I am not saying this to brag, but in comparison to what we just moved out of, this house is like a mansion to me. Now that we are almost settled in and it’s been one full month of us living in what is now called home, I have quickly realized my old cleaning schedule is not going to work here. Since you will see me mention this A LOT that I am a mama to 5 cubs and I am a stay at home mama; I want to throw out one little tidbit about me. I am lazy when it comes to domesticated shxt. I hate laundry, I hate cleaning, I hate doing the dishes…domestic chores period I hate doing them.

For some cleaning their home is therapeutic. For this lady, cleaning my home is a pain in the ass. I have learned that with more space comes more cleaning. More places to put shxt and clutter accumulates fast. So if you are like me, you hate “house day” and try to avoid it by all means…Until you have company coming over.

IDK about you, but I know I do some seriously amazing cleaning right before company comes over. Depending on who it is, depends on how much I clean. Now some of my buddies know I have kids and expect shxt to be all over the place. Others wonder how do I keep such a tidy house with a house full of Gremlins? Now everyone’s idea of what is clean varies so my tidbits are more so one size fits all to get the point across. Before I became a wife I was a shove it somewhere if it fits and be done kinda cleaner. However, meeting my husband and actually moving in and living together changed my cleaning habits. You never know someone until you live with them and we both had different perceptions of what clean is. For example, I will leave papers from school everywhere. Post it notes, hoodies, shoes etc you name it. To my husband that is considered clutter and unclean. For me I see it as okay, I don’t feel like putting it back, or I was going to put it back but got distracted. For me, I can’t stand food to be left out, dishes in the sink, and dusty furniture. To me that is unclean.

Since I have been a stay at home mom, I have had to alter my cleaning schedule several times. This has been in part to moving, being pregnant all the damn time, being in school, working on my custom cakes orders, and well life in general (I am lazy). I have sort of developed some habits that help me keep a tidy home despite having a football team running around all day. Contrary to the popular belief, you can have a clean home even with children in the house. It is a little annoying since I have a big family, some people assume my house stays a mess. At times, yes it does look like a tornado hit the inside and I don’t care.

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My turning point with this domestic stuff came with purchasing this home. Since we are paying good money for this joint, we need to take care of it and have pride in it. It’s too pretty to have it left in shambles. A few of my friends and readers have inquired about how I keep things running smoothly in the cleaning department so I decided to write this blog to share some of the things I do to help keep the house clean with a large family.

 

Things I do that help keep the house tidy and prevent me from having to deep clean

  1. Minimize things: There seems to be a new fad with living a minimalist lifestyle. You go with the bare necessities and nothing extra. Well this mama likes to shop so that kind of lifestyle doesn’t really work for me in some aspects. I tried it with clothes and shoes and that was an epic fail lol. However, it does work when it comes to furnishings. We have plenty of furniture but each room is not completely wall to wall furniture. Sometimes less is more. I bake a lot, so I had minimized my cake supplies. I had 4 or 5 different sets of measuring cups and spoons, so I downsized to only 2 sets now.
  2. Multipurpose cleaners: These will be your friend and save you a lot of money. Keep certain cleaning supplies in the areas where they are most often used. Since we have multiple bathrooms, I stocked the cabinets with the cleaning supplies I use for cleaning the toilet, mirrors etc. As always be sure to lock up your poisons so that the little ones don’t get into them.
  3. Baby wipes: Baby wipes are a multi-purpose commodity around these parts. I use them to quickly wipe off counters, high chairs etc.
  4. Shoe racks by the door: I have a large shoe rack by the front door and one also located in the mudroom. This keeps you from tracking dirt throughout the house
  5. You mess it up, you clean it up: Whoever made the mess cleans it simple as that.
  6. Clean as you go: While cooking or baking, I clean as I prepare the food. Immediately after I clean the stove and counter space surrounding it.
  7. Put dishes up first thing in the morning, load the dishwasher throughout the day, run it at the end of the night: Keeps dishes from piling up in the sink and keeps them from being forgotten.
  8. Pick two to three days out of the week to vacuum, dust, and sweep
  9. Laundry day system is located here Laundry Sucks
  10. Speed clean every day: Set a timer for 10 mins and clean as much as you can. Each day pick a different room or area to focus on.
  11. Put on music while you clean: It makes you more productive and makes you want to keep up and get moving.
  12. Daily shower cleaner spray: This is the best invention ever! After you get out of the shower spray this stuff, and walk away and BAM! It’s like the shower cleans itself.
  13. Press-N-Seal plastic wrap: Use this in the fridge to line the shelves. Makes clean-up a breeze. Replace as needed.
  14. Socks for cleaning the baseboards: You know those cheap fuzzy super soft socks in the dollar section at Target during the holidays? The ones that kind of feel like a microfiber cloth? Those make great baseboard cleaners! Slip on a pair and rub your feet along the baseboard to quickly dust.
  15. Disinfect toys in the dishwasher: Your dishwasher is one of the most time saving inventions ever. Toys that can go in the dishwasher without being damaged or easily filled with water can be effectively disinfected by running them through the dishwasher instead of hand wiping them off. Speaking of disinfecting toys, spraying them with Lysol works as well to kill surface bacteria and viruses, however, if you have little ones that put things in their mouth this can be unpleasant and expose them to chemicals.

Another thing I do that seemed to work is having a cleaning schedule that was not overwhelming. If it is simple, you will be more inclined to stick with it.

Here is an example of my previous “deep” cleaning schedule:

  • Monday-Kitchen and Do 1 or 2 loads of laundry start to finish
  • Tuesday-Foyer and Living Room
  • Wednesday-Bathrooms and bedrooms
  • Thursday-Hallway and baseboards
  • Friday-Bedrooms and Do 1 or 2 loads of laundry start to finish
  • Saturday-off day or clean as needed
  • Sunday-Kitchen and bathrooms, Do 1 or 2 loads of laundry start to finish and prepare clothes for the week

If all else fails, watch an episode of Hoarders. When I lack motivation to clean, I just cut on an episode of Hoarders and I guarantee you will clean your house after that.

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Now that I have shared with you some of my cleaning tidbits, I would love to hear from you! What are some of your cleaning hacks that save you time and keep your home tidy?

The “lit” Marriage: Date Night Ideas

Looking for some fun and cost effective date night ideas? Well look no further! I happen to be an expertise in this field because we have 5 kids and no designated full time babysitter! We have had to get very creative over the years and utilize things we have at home to have a great date night. Now we do get out sometimes and when we do, we don’t know how to act! These ideas cost little or next to nothing. You don’t always have to shell out money to have fun! We do drink a lot together (Don’t judge me). However, I am including sober options as well!

fun Date Night Ideas that are free or cost effective

 

  • Netflix & Chill: The very obvious go to date night in is usually Netflix & Chill. We all know what that really means lol. Jazz up your Netflix and Chill by making it themed. For example, we watched The God Father, so we had spaghetti with garlic bread and an Italian ices for dessert.
  • Game night: Play board games, card games, video games etc. Change the rules up! Make it fun! Have plenty of snacks on hand. We turned Battleship into a drinking game. It made for an interesting night and some laughs. There aren’t too many board games that are fun with just two people, but with some creativity you can change the rules and accommodate the two of you.
  • Karaoke: You don’t need a karaoke machine. All you need is YouTube. Just go onto YouTube and search for it “karaoke songs”. Having some drinks also makes this activity interesting.
  • Dance for each other: Yes girl! Bring out your inner stripper! If you are a guy reading this, think Magic Mike. Grab some Monopoly money and make it rain! Drinks usually help make this less awkward if you are shy. Dance like nobody is watching…even though they are but they love you; so even if you look like one of those inflatable people thingies with the flapping arms in front of the car dealerships it’s okay.
  • Make Smores: If you have a fire pit even better! Smores are a yummy gooey fun treat to make. They also pair well with Bailey’s Irish Cream liquor 🙂
  • Play Smash or Pass: Find pics of celebrities online for each other to rate
  • Try new foods: Now this can be as extreme as you would like. I play it safe and just buy random fruits that are at the farmer’s market
  • Play Iron Chef/Chopped: Pick random ingredients that you have in your kitchen or pantry and see who can make the best snack or dish with those ingredients.
  • Put together a model car: Model cars can be purchased for pretty cheap. This is where you will see who is the real brains of the operation.
  • Wine and beer tasting: Go to the store. Both of you pick out a beer or wine to try. We do this very often because we are into craft beers. It has given us something fun to do and we log what we have tried and if we liked it or not to keep track. Don’t play it safe! Try something outside of your norm.
  • Don’t laugh challenge: Determine how many jokes you are going to use. Write them down or save them. These will need to be Popsicle jokes. Ya know the corny ass ones? Sit facing each other. Take turns rambling off the jokes. The other person doesn’t need to answer, however if they laugh they have to drink. If you aren’t into drinking then you can just play for points.
  • Play Drunk Jenga: Purchase the game Jenga. Look up the rules for the drinking game Kings Cup. Take a sharpie and write on the Jenga pieces the different commands. Play Jenga as you normally would, but complete the commands on the blocks. If you knock the tower down you must finish your drink.
  • Build a fort!: Yes I took it back to childhood with this one! Who doesn’t like building a good fort!? Also makes for a cozy place for sexy time 🙂
  • Indoor picnic: This is usually my number one suggestion to my friends when they ask for date night ideas. You can make this themed as well! Finger foods only! Set everything up in the living room or the bedroom.
  • I want you to draw me like one of your French girls: Draw portraits of each other. If you have the extra money, grab some small canvases and acrylic paint and brushes, have some wine and make art! If not, grab some paper, pencil or crayons and draw each other picture. You don’t have to do this Titanic style but if you are into that kinda stuff….
  • Let him do your make up: Let your boo do your make up. You aren’t going anywhere anyway if it looks like total shxt. Be sure to take pics and have fun.

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For date night, I like to make things kind of buffet style as far as food goes if we aren’t ordering pizza or some kind of take out. Some ideas for this is a taco bar, burger bar, salad bar, or a sushi bar. I also like to include junk food galore, and of-course as mentioned earlier and numerous times in this post, some booze.

Now one of the critical aspects of date night is to make sure your little people or cxck blockers as some people call them don’t ruin things by constantly interrupting etc. Now in my previous blog post The “lit” Marriage: Never stop dating, I mentioned date night doesn’t have to be a whole night and it can be something short and simple such as taking a shower or bath together, smoking a Cuban cigar together, or sharing a dessert together after dinner etc. Since I am a mama with 5 cubs, someone always needs something or is getting into something.It never fails. So date night 80% of the time is at night and starts at bedtime. On date night the kids go to bed early. Now on those rare occasions when date night is date day instead, then I make sure everyone is preoccupied and settled in. Everyone is fed beforehand or have snacks pre-sorted and accessible. I usually go for easy self serve stuff. Movies are your friend. Set things up like a mini theater for them in one room with some popcorn etc and let them have a mini movie marathon. If it is late, I usually let them sleep in one room and tell them they are going camping for the night and they love it! Since we have a baby who is only a couple months old in our crew, she basically hangs out nearby lol. If we are doing something that will be a little noisy like karaoke, dancing etc then upstairs she goes and the baby monitor is the third wheel. Luckily, she has a nice schedule and sleeps through the night.

In some cases your kiddos aren’t going to leave you alone. So when this happens, I give them a job and let them participate some kind of way so that they can feel included, and send them on their way. If you are eating, you can let them be the “waiters”. If they are older and insist on hanging out, simply explain to them that you love them very much and like spending time with them, but sometimes mommy and daddy like to spend time alone and that you will do something with them another time/day.

Personally, I prefer date night not to feel rushed so I pre-plan. First whenever we want to have date night we usually act as if we are still just boyfriend and girlfriend. We ask each other out. It just makes it feel a little more normal and it’s super cute.

 

If your spouse works, ask via text and def hype things up to build the excitement! Pics are always nice too 🙂

 

Even though a lot of our dates are at home, I usually make an effort to still look cute. If I am tired as hell, then he knows to expect me to be in my disheveled date night attire.  Try to make it feel like a “real” date. Approach it in this way and you won’t miss going out too bad and things will feel normal.