When you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of your husband being gone for 5 weeks leaving you with four kids 7 and under, and two more on the way, you might find some of the following things helpful:
1. Public School. Send your oldest away for six hours everyday and pray he isn't being persuaded into the ways of the world.
2. Set up the playpen in the middle of the living room and place your 21 month old, oops 22 months today, in it in front of Signing Time. Instruct the other kids not to touch it, except to adjust the volume when the heater kicks in every 9 minutes. Signing Time will keep cycling. By the end of the week, your toddler will know the signs and sight-words to: apple, banana, cereal, cracker, cookie, bread, cheese, ice cream, candy, hot, cold, grandma, grandpa (which will be pronounced like grandma), stop, and go.
3. Give your Bun and your Gabbers a large piece of poster board and a pencil. Instruct them to stay in the living room only with that pencil and ONLY draw on the poster board. Through bouts of semi-consciousness you should be able to say things like, "Yes, that looks great," and "Oh wow, that's neat," and "Great job! Keep drawing!"
4. Buy paper plates. If you have to go to the commissary because you are completely out of baby wipes and also out of baby shampoo so you can't even make your own baby wipes, pick up some of the following essentials: bananas, milk, paper plates. If you have these items, you can survive with what's left of your food storage. Bananas do not have to be refrigerated. And most kids know how to open a banana. This will take care of the "I'm starving" squeals.
5. Teach your Gabbers how to refill the water sippies. Then you don't have to lift your achy ligaments off the couch to refill when they are thirsty. Oh yeah, toddler knows the word "thirsty" too. Thank you Signing Time. I love you.
6. If you have enough energy to wash dishes, do a load of laundry, or blog, pick blogging first. Then you might read some motivational posts from others in harder situations being able to do it. Then you'll get off your duff and wash a load of laundry and even scrape dried vegetables off the kitchen table.
7. Gingersnap cookies. These help with the morning sickness. And if you should find yourself passed out on the couch with a bag of cookies next to you, your children will NOT bother you. They will gladly help themselves to a cookie- returning every five minutes or so to get another. This ensures that they are probably not in to too much mischief if they feel confident enough to return for more.
8. Don't answer the phone. Or better yet, turn off the ringer. If you don't answer the phone, you won't know that Danny wants you to go to the travel management office and set up moving dates and such with three kids in tow. If you turn off the ringer, then no one can interrupt your afternoon nap with important Pizza Hut surveys.
9. The most important thing, make sure the outside temperature varies between negative 15 and negative 40 degrees. Children that are bored to death and know how to open the front door will not venture out into such weather on their own. No, they'll just get the bin of 1000 plus pieces of Legos down and play with them in the playroom for hours.
10. There should be a number 10- but there's not.