The Pros and Cons of Having 4 kids 5 and under

Are you thinking right now, “What? There are CONS to having that many small, needy, germy, completely-dependent-on-adults, half-humans in your house?”

Strange, right?  As unbelievable as it may seem, there are pros AND cons to having this many children so close in age. And really, compared to some people, four kids is a drop in the bucket. I am in awe of those people. Michelle Duggar, tell me how you do it!?!

So here are my pros and cons to having four babies, assembly-line style!


1) We will not be in baby prison for as long as we would have been had we spaced the Crazies out a little more.

Do you know that we will only have to deal with diapers for a grand total of app. 7 years? Yeah, ’cause we always have two kids in diapers at any given time. Smart right? And by smart I mean dumb. And expensive.

Ok, that one came off more as a con.

Let me try again. 

By having kids close together we have shortened the amount of time that we will have to store ridiculous amounts of baby gear in our home. Or carry a diaper bag. Or worry with car seats. Yeah, shorter is better, right?

2) Everybody plays with the same stuff. There’s not really a big difference in the types of toys the kids will play with. Set them in a room with a bin of matchbox cars and everyone is happy.

What may appear to be a rattle to the baby is a cell phone to the 4-year-old.

Makes the whole toy thing a little easier…until they all want the same one. Did I mention I refuse to by multiple anything? So yeah.

3) Nap time rocks. ‘Nuff said.


1) I only have two hands.  But they have 8 hands, and 40 fidgety fingers, and four little bums, and like 2,000 lungs each. If my math is correct, that’s approximately 10,594 lungs total. It’s a complex equation by which they multiply exponentially.  I made that up.

So very loud.

2) They all need car seats. So I have to drive one of those massive soccer mom vans that just SCREAMS, “Hi, I’ve sold my soul to the devil in exchange for these four small people rightchere and the hideous vehicle they require for transport to and from preschool and the park and back to preschool again, but never to and from the mall or the salon or the restaurant where people eat with two hands.” Screams it. Every day.

3) I used to actually leave my house and take 2-3 kids places like the aforementioned mall. I could at least manage the two-kids-in-the-double-stroller-plus-baby-in-the-bjorn thing. But going from three to four is a whole new ballgame. Just makes those fun playgroup zoo trips or kid museum outings impossible without the hubby. For now at least.

The hubby and I joke a lot about having kids so close together, and I know we get some strange looks when we walk into a place for the first time with our little trail of ducklings.

And some days I feel like my life is a 24/7 daycare with few too many days off. Ok, most days. Or like, a portion of everyday.

But seeing them together playing and giving hugs and showing one another love in only the ways that siblings can is an easy reminder that our “little” family is just right for us.

Like when R cries for her big brother when he gets in trouble out of pure sympathy and heartache. Or when C Puddins shares his bunny crackers with Mr. M and then gives him a little pat on the head. Or when Mr. A saves mommy from utter poop-tastrophe by fetching a box of wipes from elsewhere in the house.

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You Know You’re A Mom If…

Isn’t it funny how life changes after you have kids?  Nothing is about you anymore–or at least there are always other, smaller people to consider.  You’ve changed so many habits (some by force), and have really grown as a person.  

You’ve taken on that new role with gusto and work through each day without a mind for how quickly those changes took place. You’re reminded almost constantly throughout the day of how wonderfully (and drastically) life has changed under that mommy moniker. 

Maybe we’ve even had some of the same reminders, you and I. My list goes a little something like this:

You know you’re a mommy if…

1) You have no finger nails. Why?  Because you break one every time you change a crib sheet.  Really Carter’s?  You couldn’t spare one extra inch of fabric to make those dang things a little longer?

Instead you have to pull the mattress completely out of the crib, wrestle and wrangle the sheet on to one side at just the right time for it to pop off the other side. Then you give in and over extend one end of the sheet just so it will stay on, and sacrifice a fingernail to the mattress gods by force-flipping the final corner across the vinyl.

On the bright side, you never have to waste money on manicures.

2) You make dinner every night with at least one version of these at your feet:

Are you still looking at me?! I’m still here! I even have wet things sliding down my face. Did you notice?


3) You’ve become completely desensitized to people wearing half their clothing. Random body parts? Transformer undies? Completely naked potty-training toddlers? All in a day’s work. They don’t phase you for an instant.

4) You’re a pro at gauging the potential disastrousness of any audible ‘splash’ of water in relation to your small children.  Yep, those little ears of yours are highly trained devices attune to even the quietest aqueous sound.


a) Sound of pee pees hitting the inside of the toilet–GOOD!

b) Sound of pee pees hitting the linoleum–bad. And messy.

c) Sound of hand splashing in dog bowl–moderately bad (building immune systems?).

d) Sound of child throwing entire bottle of hand soap into toilet–real bad.
5) You hoard those little pink ‘box tops for education’ in a reused sour cream container that sits proudly in your cabinet. You’ve collected this secret stash by mutilating every cereal box in sight, and have even been reduced to ripping them off the granola bar box during snack time after Timmy’s t-ball game. Pink cardboard=money, people. A whole whopping ten cents.

But maybe that’s just me.

What are the ways that you just KNOW you’re a mom? (Or a parent–sorry, working from my mommy perspective today). Feel free to vent in the space below!

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How to potty-train your dragon.

I got an email a few weeks ago from Gina at Aim High Games asking me to review a potty-training game.  First I was a super-excited dweeb, cause, you want ME to do a review?!? and then I was like, be cool. And then in my coolest email voice I said ‘I’m in!’

I figure she must have seen my “Potty-training Poetry” post and decided to take pity on this tired mommy and her 3rd go at taming the wee dragon. (sorry, couldn’t help myself)

So Gina sent me a Let’s Potty!  game for free (and one for a lucky reader too!) and here I am doing a review + a giveaway based on our own opinions and experiences.  Cool, huh?

Though I will say, when I first heard about a potty-training game for a two-year-old, I was a bit skeptical.  I mean, I’ve played Candyland with the Puddins’ and it was NOT pretty.  He tends to make up his own rules to the chagrin of his rule-following mommy. And don’t even get me started on Chutes and Ladders.

So I got the game out one morning while the big kids were at school (mainly so A and his bossy little self wouldn’t be present) and we sat down to review the rules.

Mr. M found a cozy box lid to sit in during that process.

Then we opened the packages, put the people and cards in their places on the board, and started playing.  It’s like Candyland in that the cards tell you where to move long the path. The board is brightly colored and held the Puddins’ attention alone for at least 30 seconds (hallelujah!) and he liked drawing the cards and moving his little person.

Fortunately, unlike Candyland, the cards are made of cardboard so when Mr. M took it upon himself to “collect” (i.e. chew on) the used ones as we went, there was no harm done.

And guess what? The Puddins won?  Yeah, cause I didn’t shuffle the cards well enough so my person kept having “accidents” and not moving forward Note to self: You wanna win? You better shuffle those cards…like it says in the instructions.

Moving right along.

From a gaming aspect, it’s right on target for a 2 or 3-year-old who is either just learning about potty-training, or has been at. it. FOR. E. VER. Seriously, longest potty-training kid so far. I’m beginning to think he actually enjoys that soggy-britches, undies-clinging-to-my-nether-regions feeling.

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MommylifeafterPHD : Liebster Award

Hi Friends!

I was nominated for a Liebster Award, which is just kind of a fancy get-to-be-nosy-for-free card that bloggers use to meet new bloggers.  Fun, right?  

Miss Desirae over at Okie Dear put together a list of 11 newer bloggers along with 11 questions for us to answer. And these are the rest of the rules for this version of the award: 

  • Thank and link back to the blogger that nominated you
  • Answer their 11 questions in your post
  • Pick 11 blogs with less than 200 followers on Bloglovin’ to nominate (No easy task, I tell ya!)
  • Think of 11 new questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer
  • Tag your nominees and comment on one of their posts to let them know!
And here are my responses to Desirae’s questions   1. What is your idea of a perfect date? Dinner and dancing.  I LOVE to dance! (I’m not a nerd-mom ALL the time, geez!)   2. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Back in the classroom professionally, and personally, dealing with elementary school drama from FOUR kids at the same time. Pray for me.    3. What is your absolute favorite dessert? Absolute? There is no absolute in dessert!  There is only unlimited, undiscriminating love for all sweet treats. But if I have to pick one for today, it would be the chocolate lava cakes I made over the weekend. YUM!   4. Who are some people you would like to meet someday? My grandkids. I hear they’re way more fun than their parents. This keeps me going some days.   5. What are some things that make you really happy? Clean cars, clean kitchens, clean dishes, clean laundry. Particularly when I had nothing to do with their states of cleanliness.    6. Do you like things planned out or are you spontaneous? Planned out to a fault. I love to surprise others, but don’t really like to be surprised. So lame.    7. Who in your life has influenced you the most and why? Tough one.  So many people. My mom, my Savannah family, my sweet husband.  Too many to list!   8. If you were an animal, what would you be and why? A two-toed sloth. No expectations for speed. Lazy days hanging from trees. Sounds like heaven to me.   9. What’s something you wish everyone knew about you? I’m a Jesus freak!   10. If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to? JJ–the nickname a dear friend gave me. And it stuck!   11. What songs are on your soundtrack of life? Coldplay: Trouble. On repeat. Followed by the rest of songs from that album (Parachutes). Takes me back to South Korea (I’ll tell you about that another time!). 

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Weekend Adventures in Skiing

My older three kiddos got to experience a very special treat this past weekend when the hubby took them for ski lessons.  Our oldest guy Mr. A was THRILLED ’cause he really loved the winter olympics and was fully prepared to become a professional skier by the end of his lesson.

You can imagine where that is going.

We tried to explain that skiing is not so easy the first couple of times, but that his ski instructor would be there to help him.  And help him up. A million times.

By the time the hubby and kids made it to the slopes, Mr. A and our Baby Girl were absolutely thrilled to be there.  I mean, they could hardly contain their excitement at the prospect of being left with ski instructors for half the day.

Their excitement was uncontainable. Could not be contained. Overflowing with excitement.

  But they got linked up with their instructors and headed out for their lesson.  In the meantime, the hubby and the Puddins obtained their ski rentals and decided to hit the slopes for some one-on-one time.  This guy really was excited. Said boots were later recovered from a box of miscellaneous items in the room of our resident squirrel, AKA Baby Girl.
Speaking of that sweet baby, she had a blast on the slopes and was even photographed completely leaning into her instructor.  Sorry ski dude! But she picked it up quickly and showed some mad skiing skills, which she obviously got from her mother–who may have cried at the top of a green run one time. But that’s neither here nor there. But not to be left out, Mr. M had a one-on-one date with Mommy!  We did all of his favorite things, like shopping at HomeGoods, TJ Maxx, Michael’s and Kroger.  He was on the hunt for home decor and scored some serious deals.  Great job, M!
He was also super friendly and yelled “hi!” at random strangers throughout the stores.  His favorite part of the day was eating a quesadilla at Qdoba and flirting with little girls who were far too old for him.  Those blue eyes are ladykillers. All in all, it was a successful albeit expensive weekend.  The kids learned something new and the parents enjoyed some man-to-man instead of zone defense for a portion of the day.  It really was awesome.  

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