Sunday, September 16, 2012


[nakey picture of my boys covered in mud has been removed because hello, this is the internet, and anyone can see it] 

This is how we found the boys today after ward choir practice. I am the choir director so we have choir at our house and just kinda ignore our children and hope for the best while it's happening. I'm pretty sure that's not the best way to do things.

I go insane several times a day. Yeah, I'm not joking. So you might be wondering why I'm not sitting in a straitjacket somewhere without access to the internet. Well, let me share with you a few things I've been doing lately to help me stay calm, keep cool, and feel peace as a mother of three little boys.

1. There's an app called "Track My iPhone." I think it's supposed to help out if you ever lose your phone or if someone robs you. But... I use it to stalk my husband. (Hey, he's the one who suggested it, cut me some slack.) He has an hour-long commute, sometimes longer if traffic is especially bad, and it drives me crazy not knowing what time to have dinner ready. I used to call him during his commute to try and gauge what time I should have a hot dinner on the table. Now, I just track him. It's a map and every time I refresh it, a little dot shows me where his phone is. It's ingenious. Although it makes it harder for him to surprise me. Like the time he bought me flowers and I knew exactly where he was. Oops, sorry, Dearest. But knowing where my husband is and how much longer I'm going to be alone with our little crazies just helps me out. Yaknow?

2. I cook. I know. I KNOW! Up until a few months ago, that would have been a joke and I'm sure all my sis-in-laws still think it is. But ever since I had Lincoln I have started to really enjoy making dinner, especially if the kids are doing something else and I can just have the kitchen to myself. Not that my cooking is anything to brag about, but the point is that lately, I have been looking forward to it and that it relaxes me.

Oh! I found a SUPER easy recipe the other day for a creamy lemon sauce to go over chicken, rice, or pasta. The only ingredients are a can of cream of chicken soup, water, lemon juice, butter, and garlic powder. I used milk instead of water and I think I might have added some Italian seasoning, but the recipe is here. I served it over whole wheat spaghetti and we had broccoli with it. Seriously, the easiest recipe ever and tastier than I thought it could be with just those ingredients.

3. I just put this up on my living room wall:
No storm can shake my inmost calm
While to that refuge clinging;
Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth,
How can I keep from singing?
It's from an old Christian hymn called "How Can I Keep From Singing?" and when I feel like I'm really going to lose it, I try to think of these words. I picture myself clinging onto a ship's mast in stormy waters, holding on for dear life, outwardly being beaten by the wind and tossed by the waves, but inwardly calm and untouchable because Christ is Lord of heaven and earth. (Incidentally, Enya did a famous version of the song, but took out all the religious references. She replaced the word Christ with the word love. Hmph.)

4. I clean the house. One of my favorite times of the day is when we put the kids down and I can clean the house in peace. I do this almost every night so it can be a little discouraging how badly the house needs it every night. But there is just something so satisfying about shiny, clean countertops and floors that makes it worth it. Even if the house is only clean while we sleep. PLUS I listen to audiobooks while I do it. Josh and I just finished listening to this book:
Yes, it's written by Richard Paul Evans, and yes, it's written for kids, but it's a fun book and the reader is FABulous and hilarious. And it's the beginning of a trilogy so we just downloaded the second book. Nothing makes the dishes go quicker than listening to a book. You should give it a try.

5. Yes, I blog. Which is why I blog so much. Sorry about that. I also get on Facebook (come on, don't you?). The other day, when Joshy refused to use the restroom first so we could leave for the store and the other two boys were buckled into the car for a whole hour while I tried to get him to go and I even gave Bennett the rest of a bag of mini marshmallows to punish Joshy and his dad even called home from work to try to get him to do it and Joshy still absolutely refused, I sat down and chilled on Facebook for a little while and ignored him and got nice and calm again.

6. I kiss chubby cheeks. Time with Lincoln always helps. His big smile can make me feel better pretty much anytime. Look, I'm not picking favorite kids, just favorite ages...

What do you do to stay sane? I can't wait until I can start running again.


Jennifer Kunz said...

The boys in the mud is hilarious (says the mommy who did NOT have to clean them up). My first thought is "at least they took off their clothes and (presumably) kept them from getting muddy)."
I totally get the track-my-phone thing... I used to count the minutes until my husband would get home and take over some of the insanity for me (or we could at least go insane together)

merrilykaroly said...

Jen, the bad news is their clothing is actually a muddy, soaking pile of mess still sitting on the back porch. The good news is my husband is the one who went out back and hosed them off, then brought them inside and gave them a bath, all while I hung out with the baby :)

The Gilberts said...

What do I do to stay sane...hmmm. Sometimes we go for walks outside to the grocery store across the street. Playdates. Cartoons. For me my spare time thing is running, so I bet you are just dying to run again! I looked up the Ragnar for 2013. Sounds way fun too, but registration is closed, darn!!

Alicia Karoly said...

hmm.....I think I can say I'm doing what you're doing! lol but with one child lol I also found that I like to do yard work so that James runs around out there and I feel I'm making use of my time while watching him. It's kinda a wierd random... Your picture of your boys butt naked is hilarious though! A classic! :)

Jennifer Ricks said...

Umm, Richard Paul Evans books are like my guilty secret. Uh, yeah, and I read the adult ones that are all pretty much the same sentimental plot. But it's a no-thinking read, which sometimes you need, you know? Okay, hopefully I didn't lose too many coolness points for admitting this!

I can't wait for you to be able to start running again, either! It's the best!

Linda said...

It has been my experience that being a stay-at-home-mom always causes insanity. I'm not sure I would want to be sane, though, if it meant I couldn't have such marvelous, wonderful, great children as I have. Sanity is overrated anyway. I'm in your corner. Hang in there!

Camilla said...

Ahahahahaha! I love that pic. I can't wait for you to show it to their friends when they're teenagers. Truly great.

My sanity tricks aren't going to be news to you since we've talked about this many times, but I'll post them anyway just because I'm cool.

1. Joanna Newsom. If I'm having a hard day I lock myself in the bathroom and listen to a Joanna Newsom song or two. Don't know why it works, pretty sure anyone else would go MORE insane listening to her wacky voice, but it works for me so that's all I can say.

2. Words With Friends. We should play sometime.

3. Go for a drive. Kids buckled into their car seats are captives that can't get into any trouble and zone out pretty quickly. Even if it's just a drive to the mailbox down the street, sometimes it's the perfect fix.

4. Writing. Usually nothing very good- I can't tell you how many stories I've started and lost interest in.

5. Snuggling my baby :)

6. Chatting online with YOU!

Dahlia said...

I usually clean in the morning then get all discouraged when the house is a mess again at night. I think I'll adopt the night time routine instead! Also I love the book idea, LOVE IT!
I used to make dinner, now I wait till the hubby gets home because he likes to cook. LOL
Your blogs are what keeps me sane so I'm very glad you do what you do!!!