Friday Five: 5/8/2020

  1. One neighbor’s trash is another neighbor’s treasure. Jeremiah and Gabriel went to take some junk to the city dumpster that’s here this week for city cleanup. Gabriel returns and sticks his head in the house “Mom. Dad got something. From the dump. He’s riding it home.” I look outside and see this:20200504_174704He’s been looking into buying a bike for his ‘commute’, if you can even call 3 blocks a commute, and this fit the bill. He’s so in love with this and has already picked out fenders, a seat and handlegrips to pimp his ride. Yup. I’m surprised he hasn’t named it.
  2. Jeremiah and I had a YouTube debut. We were talked into honored to be a part of Cameron’s vocations project for the diocese for vocations awareness this past week. 😉 You can view the video here. Yes it’s our living room that they staged. Yes it was 10pm and I was spent. Yes Jeremiah was sweating a lot. Yes Jeremiah and Cameron could be twinsies. Yes there will be more episodes of the ‘Costello Brothers’ that I won’t be on camera for. Enjoy, have a laugh. No hate, please. And does everyone hate listening to their own voice as much as I do?!
  3.  Night RoadOpen BookMost WantedI have been getting some reading in, so that’s a win. “Night Road” by Kristin Hannah was great. Krisitin Hannah rarely disappoints! I loved the entire book and it had a great plot. The book’s theme centered around motherhood and the twists and turns of life, and how events can shape you forever in the blink of an eye. I had a hard time putting it down. 5 stars definitely and I recommend it!!!! I blew through this Jessica Simpson memoir in a day and a half, so I’d say it was pretty good. I was a big Jessica Simpson fan back in my high school and early college years, and her show ‘Newlyweds’ was one of my favs when it was on MTV. Her memoir was very honest and open, hence the name, and spans the time from when she was a girl growing up as a pastor’s daughter until now when she is married with 3 kids! 5 stars.   The third book “Most Wanted” was an ethical and moral suspense about fertility and what it means to be a father as well as how much genetics play in an unborn child’s future. I was intrigued with this story, although I didn’t agree with certain parts of the ethical issues, it was still a good read, and made me think about the issues late into the night. 4 stars.
  4. I must be getting into the nesting phase as I’m feeling the need to freeze lately. I’ve always found that having a freezer full of food going into a new baby’s birth helps quite a bit, especially as we have more and more people to feed! I’m trying to freeze at least 1 dinner meal a week by just doubling what we are already eating, but lately I’ve been doing some breakfast type foods as well . Nothing fancy AT ALL. Here’s some of my recents: Oatmeal chocolate chip muffins; Breakfast cookies; Peperoncini pork sandwiches; BBQ pulled pork (I cook a roast or ham steaks, shred and add BBQ sauce, freeze); Pork, bean and green chile chili.
  5. We have a week and a half left of distance learning ‘school’ and the kids will officially be done with 4th, 3rd, kindergarten and a very, very abbreviated 2 months of 3 year old preschool. (Ruth still has 2 years of preschool to enjoy!) I think I can, I think I can. Amelia is giving me the most pushback in finishing lessons, and I’m just trying to let her pick when and where we do schoolwork. She still whines. I think she’s just rather spend her time cooking with me or kayaking, so we do that too.  I’m not sure what our days will look like after schoolwork is complete for the year, but I have hopes and dreams of playgrounds and parks reopening and us spending some time there with a picnic lunch on the regular and me lounging in the shade. We shall see. The kids rode the Muscatine bike path yesterday and I followed behind with the stroller and Kateri for several miles. It was fun but I paid for it the rest of the day as it was a bit too much for this geriatric pregnant bod. Balance, it’s all in the balance. G is convinced he could use a GoPro and make videos out of local trails now, so he’s added that to his birthday list. And, I told the kids I would plug their YouTube channels as they are both trying to increase their subscribers…..Jeremiah told them when they get so many subscribers they can make homemade tshirts for their channels…… Cubers Plus and Cooking with Lucy and More. 😉 Enjoy.

I could really use a quarantini right about now

Oh wait…I’m pregnant. So how about some really good chocolate instead?!

Can we just be real for a bit?

I’m one of the lucky ones during this time. I don’t get have to go to work, I’m not juggling working from home, my kids are here, my husband is working a few less hours and we are all healthy {so far}. The frontline workers really are the heroes of this whole quarantine, and I’m in no way trying to downplay the efforts we are all making to help slow the spread. Of course others have different situations, and I’m just speaking for my own experiences here.

People are reaching out, being creative, and helping others in ways we’ve never seen before, and that’s awesome. We’re all working together and trying to do our part.

But no one is talking about the reality of what’s going on in homes right now. Maybe I’m the only one?! There’s several positives, oh yes, the silver linings. But the rest of the time? IT’S HARD. These are unprecedented times and unprecedented feelings, for me anyways. Distance learning, parenting, trying to keep people healthy, trying to keep myself sane, missing almost all social interactions {I was last in a store March 12}, making/cleaning/planning 3 meals a day every. single. day for 7 people with no end in sight.

But here’s the thing. I’m feeling the burn…..not the kind when you do a lot of squats. I’m talking burnt out. It’s wearing on all of us. There is about 9 hours of down time during our 24 hours that I am not ‘on’ and parenting. It’s completely exhausting. There’s no distraction of school, going to friends/grandparents houses, extracurriculars, playing with neighborhood kids, visiting new places or people or going to our usual haunts. There is no ‘off’ time. It’s hard to find things for the kids to look forward to. This isn’t homeschooling, because homeschoolers do other things! I try to stay positive and look for good things, but it’s challenging. I find myself being incredibly short with them because I am tired of telling them the same things over and over and our 1700 square foot house is just not meant for this kind of situation. There is constantly a crisis: someone is getting an error message while logging into a class, someone is dumping juice all over the floor, someone is screaming because their couch cushion fort was knocked over, someone lost their protractor, someone is freaking out because there’s evidence that someone was in their bed, someone is smearing toothpaste all over their sister or rearranging furniture or running pants-less outside. Let’s not even touch the fighting……

Is a lot of this normal, run of the mill parenting with 5 kids? Absolutely. The difference? There’s no break. There’s no change of pace. There’s no place to go. I am literally never alone unless I’m sleeping…oh wait I have that husband of mine. There’s no end….{yet}.

I won’t deny that some of my strong feelings are partially due to hormones. I’m 29 weeks pregnant with our sixth and my body feels every bit of it. My poor belly gets so beat up all day with elbows and toddler knees that it’s a miracle I don’t have bruises. I need to rest for at least an hour in the afternoon and that’s usually the time when I’m coercing Amelia to do her schoolwork since that’s hopefully when the two resident terrorists  youngest children are sleeping and the house is kinda quiet. I literally feel like I have a medium sized bowling ball sitting in my pelvis already, and then Kateri wants me to carry her around all day. Nope.

I can’t even get away to go to work. Ain’t no one want an almost 7 month pregnant PT in their nursing home right now! It’s looking like I’ve got at least 6 months (11 weeks pregnancy and then 12 weeks-ish of maternity leave) before they even ask me to return. There’s no ‘work from home’ in my profession. Welp. I tried to take a solo shower tonight when kids were getting close to going to bed and I got interrupted 4 times. So there’s that.

I really miss going to church. I mean I really miss going to church. Like, a lot.

I want to hug people that I don’t live with.

Silver linings, yes they are there. Lucy and Gabriel are now Youtubers {Check out ‘Cubers Plus‘ and ‘Cooking with Lucy and More‘ and they are learning all kinds of new skills and finding their talents.  I love that they have time for things like that right now. Jeremiah and Cameron started ‘Costello Brothers‘ channel following a diocesan project on vocations. Lucy has read something like 28 books this year. Gabriel is eating up all his new tech skills. Amelia has an intense new love of kayaking and wants to go every day, and she loves helping me do anything and everything at home. My garden is growing and actually planted on time this year. Kateri loves all the time and attention with her older siblings despite her new affinity to bite. I require G and L to read to R and A daily for at least 20 minutes, and I have heart eyes every day when I walk by and see them all cuddled up reading together. Ruth is forever occupied in something and loves that she can wrestle with a new person every hour. We have so much family time that we do enjoy, and we haven’t had to cut off our evenings together because of baseball or soccer.

There are more good things, but my 9 hours are dwindling.

So, for now, hang in there moms. I have no solution other than good chocolate or a quarantini. This coming weekend is all about the moms in our lives. Let’s try to celebrate each other and keep on keepin’ on.

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Who dis suddenly looking so OLD?!