My world as a Single Mom of 5 kids

Time to get out of this place!

I still consider myself homeless, I am currently squatting. Yes I am in a home, but it is not my home. It is one room for my kids and I, which really is fine, but again it is not my home. Now that the kids are out of school is time to take this homeless show back on the road. Back to Colorado, back to tent living, back to spending our days adventuring and not inside.

I hate raising my kids inside. Although I love their schools (Tay is heading to school next year too) I still daydream about unschooling (google it) in the great outdoors. I daydream about having a home sometimes. Nothing crazy or big, something small and comfortable. I love having my children close, the idea of having space for them to get lost inside is silly to me. Also, all that stuff to fill a giant home seems ridiculous and materialistic. A tiny house with a wonderful outdoor space sounds lovely to me. A giant garden, outdoor living/cooking space, chickens, dogs, forts, and everything else that comes with it. A space I could lock up and leave for months at a time as we wander the world seeking adventure.  Oh that would be the life…

So on to our summer fun! Tea has picked a bunch of races she is really looking forward to (Sky Series is calling my little mountain Lady) and has requested we hang in Silverton for her to train. All the other Little are looking forward to being free and dirty outside. We are hoping to hook up with some of our Vagabond friends to party all night with. My plans to bag some crazy peaks alone with 5 Littles my seem optimistic, but I like a challenge.

Now it’s time for me to plan, clean, pack, unpack, repack, over think, get stress, and finally head out on my next great adventure. Being a single, vegan, homeless, poor, running bum, Mom to 5 Littles is always an adventure, I’m ready to take that adventure up in elevation.

Categories: My world as a Single Mom of 5 kids, Parenting, Running | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Crewing for 5.

What did I do this weekend? Well crewed my +1 at a 100 mile race with my four littlest Littles of course!

Let me just say here, my +1 is a very talented runner. Not only is he talented, he has a no quit attitude everyone should be jealous of. I often spend my “free” time crewing telling people how wonderful he really is. Watching him race is always a mixture of pride, admiration, stress, anxiety, and joy. I love every minute of it! But enough about him (he can write his own report!) this is about ME!

We left Friday, late. Now mind you, we had ZERO plan, but I like leaving early in the morning and that just didn’t happen. We honestly just decided to head out around 10:45, with zero snacks, toys, music, or any other “keep the kids busy” activities. I am the Queen of road trips so this is very unlike me. Between leaving late and overall feeling terrible, I was off my game. I spent the ride sleeping, sternly informing the children of how I WAS trying to sleep, and passing them snacks when they refused to say quiet. Oh and freaking out at them to not make a mess since we were not in our van. Yup, I am a clean nazi at times. We arrived at the end of the pre-race briefing and headed to our camping spot.

Like I had thought, camping was way too close for comfort for me. I wouldn’t normally mind, but a bunch of people trying to get to bed early while my little hoodlums who have been trapped in a car or hours throw a tent party did not seem like a good idea to me.  I sent +1 to the tent for the night and the Littles and I took the car (no big deal really). We listened to music and chatted until way too late and finally fell asleep.  You know what is awesome? Being awoken at midnight to a toddler SLEEPING ON TOP OF YOU POOPING IN HIS PANTS. Yup, fully asleep and having terribly sick poop in his pants… perfect. Life? yeah, couldn’t be better. So I grab some paper towels and get to cleaning. Ugh… who needs sleep before crewing all day?

It sure was a pretty view to wake up to though.

It sure was a pretty view to wake up to though.

We awake and head to the start. Nothing too exciting here… just a bunch of people heading out for 100 miles

+1 is there somewhere. Photo by a 9-year-old that clearly is still asleep.

+1 is there somewhere. Photo by a 9-year-old that clearly is still asleep.

 

And off we headed back to camp. A spot the runners would come through but we could not crew from this time. The kids hung with friends, well except Tru… He got exiled to the car for a much-needed nap. See, here’s where I am a genius (actually not just here, I am a flipping genius always),  I bought an awesome baby monitor. Before our trip last summer I needed a way to leave the children in a place (car, tent) and walk a short distance away (locking said car AND with them strapped in their car seats). If anyone wants in (or out!) I will hear the car AND I can hear if someone in the car wakes up and needs something. So Tru napped, Bigs played, and I watched across the lake for +1. He rolled in, I waved, he didn’t wave back, and we headed to the next spot we could crew from.

Kids and new friends. Life is good. so far...

Kids and new friends. Life is good. so far…

I tried to nap, kids made a mess, I cleaned it up, gave +1 his two new bottles, he ran off, headed to the next spot. My head hurts… Oh the crew life.

Honestly, things were working alright.

The kids passed the time-

IMG_0930

A little racing up mountains.

Oh and playing with nasty horse water. SAVE THE BUGS!

Oh and playing with nasty horse water. SAVE THE BUGS!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I should have offered him his ultimate direction pack with ice in it here, but I didn’t. I promised it at the next crew spot and sent him along. Moving on.

Now +1 can usually be found in the front of the pack at a race. I count on him being near the same people he has been so I can usually judge when he is coming in. Not only that, I can usually look at the distance and elevation (guessing terrain) and guess pretty well when he will be coming in. So when he was late, the kids were pissed. The questions, interrogations really, of when +1 was coming in, where is he, what happened, and WHY oh WHY is he not here yet?!?! began flooding in.

“Snacks, we need snacks lady!”

“No, I need to watch for +1. He can come in any minute!”

Tru falls asleep on my back

IMG_0937

Tenny falls asleep on the pavement, basically in the runners way.

yeah...

yeah…

Tru wakes up.

“SNACKS”

Tay who has been holding +1’s pack with ice like a diligent little crew man gives up, hands me the pack, and heads to play.

Finally get word +1 missed a little out and back section and went back to check in at the aid station… Oh goodness this is no good…

Tenny wakes up.

“SNACKS!”

Me- Watching…watching… watching… not +1 not +1 not +1

Oh shit I haven’t seen Tay in a while…send Tea to check on him… OH! There is +1! Tea come help!

He isn’t in the best of moods but also isn’t a disaster like I would have expected. I give him some caffeine, his pack, and food and send him on his way. Tay apparently was building an awesome fort with a friend he had met and was having a great time, thank goodness someone had fun on this stop! On to the next one, and some snacks., lots and lots of snacks.

More fun was had! Apparently sticks and pine cones make for a great crew game of baseball!

Creativity makes the time go by.

Creativity makes the time go by.

Next stop the kids saw their friends from camp and were super stoked to play for a few minutes. I started to notice +1 was making a move up but tried to not show my extreme excitement. The kids had a ton of snacks but were definitely showing signs of the long day.

Somehow shoes became an issue. Crew lady and baby mover, I'm on it.

Somehow shoes became an issue. Crew lady and baby mover, I’m on it.

Back to our horse water/running up a mountain spot from before. We met some nice people who offered my kids a warm shower. Should I be offended or not? The Ladies decided to clean up their hands and feet a little and Tay checked out an awesome conversion van with a pop up. Tru wrecked himself-

"It's blood"

“It’s blood”

PLEASE don't clean it!

PLEASE don’t clean it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tenny wrecked herself, and in all the waiting Tru fell asleep on me and +1 came in. Crewing with a sleeping baby in your arms is not so easy. Luckily he isn’t too needy and headed off.

One sleeping kid stayed sleeping, another fell asleep in my arms while waiting in the dark at the next aid station. Said Little Lady who shall remain nameless decided to awake from the dead (asleep) to scream, since clearly she needed to crew +1 and not sleep in the car. Look, it was dark and she fell asleep, I needed hands free. +1 had been slowly moving up and I knew that would only continue. Tea join her in the car, I spotted +1’s light coming in, Tay and I gave him what he needed and set him moving again as fast as we could. I was giddy inside with how well he was doing and that brought a new but of wind to my tired sails.

Now the drive to put everyone to sleep. I had one more spot (campsite) where I could crew him before the finish. For once this crewing journey I was alone and so happy to see my +1 roll in. He had an amazing couple miles and I could tell he was ready to race to the finish. I sent him off again, excited to have my day of crewing with kids coming to and end, and excited to see him finish!

I hoped back in the car…Oh shit, what’s that smell?? Oh yeah.. shit… So Tru and his *poop in him pants while sleeping* last night was special, but again tonight?!? Then it all makes sense, he REFUSED to use a non real bathroom all day AND refused to go outside. Ugh… does he know what family he is a part of?!?! Pooping outside is what we do! So now I find myself at a boat dock restroom in the middle of the night cleaning poop off a toddler I had to stir awake… luckily he was someone cooperative. Off we went to the finish!

Watching +1 finish was amazing. Not only did he wreck the second half (I told you he was talented), but I also managed to pull off crewing with 4 Little People in tow. YAY! Although exhausted from the day, they did (mostly) enjoy spending their day crewing (or is that just the promise of a beach day?).We all survived! With some cuts and bruises maybe, but we survived!

Let me just say it here, Crewing IS harder than racing. Yup that’s right, and I’ll say it to your face! I am tired, sore, and I’m pretty sure I could eat my weight in food. So now I’ll get back to letting the children watch TV while I *try to nap.

My life currently in a panoramic photo.

My life currently, in a panoramic photo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: My world as a Single Mom of 5 kids | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Sometimes a little Duct tape is all you need

There was a time in my life where I was an amazing mom. I had everything together and my children spent their days doing crafts, baking and making memories. I felt in control of myself. I felt on top of the world. I felt whole…

At some point that got lost. While some days felt the same, others felt broken. I felt lost in myself, unable to handle simple tasks. Everything felt overwhelming, so I would go to bed and hope for a better day tomorrow. Those “better days” became few and far between. I found myself in “survival mode” all too often. I took on the “fake it till you make it ” approach, but at some point even that didn’t work. In the moment it didn’t feel as bad, but looking back now, I was a mess.

I let go of the simply joys, and began seeing everything negatively. I was not finding the joy in my children as a use to, which lead me to be a more “hands off” Mom. While I have always done things differently parenting wise, I still received praise from others in the off beat approach I chose. While I was still receiving this praise, I no longer believed it. No, I was not a “awesome Mom”, I wasn’t even a good Mom. “How do you do it?” I try and not spend my entire day crying and at least feed them three decent meals a day. That counted as a win for me…. Mind you, I did have my good days. Days where we made a mess, painted our bodies, played in the mud, but these days were now work for me. I had to set aside my OCD feelings of needing to clean everything and force myself to let go. Force myself to have fun. How pathetic.

This all made me angry with myself. I was failing, which happens to be one of my biggest fears. I would try, but I just could not get myself together…

I had some silly childish grand idea that moving on in my own life would help….

Its taken a lot of soul search, breathing, and letting go of others opinions. Its been a breaking free of the hole I was pushed in and standing on my own two feet. Its been work, but I am feeling whole again. I am truly thankful for all my friends that have stood by me. Those that have listened and I’m sure wanted to shake me. Although a shaking wouldn’t have been terrible, I am thankful you didn’t. I am grateful you let me learn these lessons on my own, I needed to. So what do I do now that I’m healthy? The sky’s the limit! (you’re welcome for the cliche’) I honestly don’t know. I know that my children are going to benefit. The Mom I was helped to mold Tajh and Tea into the amazing young people they are, the rest deserve that too. I stopped being amazing, I don’t ever want to lose that again.

I’m back baby!image

Categories: My world as a Single Mom of 5 kids | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Holding on to trust

I have always been a firm believer that My Littles should have an adult in their life they can tell anything to and know they will not be judged. Someone that will keep their secrets if that is what they need. Someone to guide them on the right path, someone I too can trust. I never thought my children would choose me for this job…

On a hike the other day I wore Tru while the others marched along, Tea holding Tenny’s hand on the steep downhills. We chatted as usual and the kids began sharing some worries they had. I took a deep breath and thought very hard before I responded, even for me this was a bit much. It was eye-opening to me how much they talk to each other. They shared with me that they had talked about this very thing at the park a couple of days prior. I had wondered what they were doing, not playing just walking in a little gang together around the perimeter. Apparently they were sharing all the little spy work they had done with and discussing their feelings. As a Mother wanting my children to have a super tight bond, I was proud. Now that they were allowing me in on their little secret, I was honored.

Sister Love

Sister Love

He always gets excited when we are going on a hike and falls asleep within minutes… apparently we aren't very exciting!

He always gets excited when we are going on a hike and falls asleep within minutes… apparently we aren’t very exciting!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So they told me what they knew, their feelings, their worries, and asked me to keep their secret. It is not something harmful to anyone else, something that could easily be avoided if people in their lives made an effort, but I still felt uneasy as I made the promise. I will not tell on you. I still feel uneasy, but I can not lose their trust. If I tell, they will know, and then I will not get the chance to be a part of their little gang any longer. Their counseling sessions with each other will become a secret from me, and I can not have that. Maybe that’s wrong of me? Maybe I’m suppose to “be a parent” and not a friend? Maybe I’m making the biggest mistake every and I’m going to pay for it later…

But I honestly don’t care…

I have a secret that I’m not telling! My Littles have a pretty awesome club and I am excited to be a part of it!

My Gang

My Gang

The hike went on, we wandered with no real direction or plan, and it was perfect. I’m really digging not coming up with a plan even for my own runs. Choosing left or right, up or down, going with the flow and allowing the day to create itself. I find myself dreading the days we have things to do and longing for the ones we can get lost in. The no agenda days of the summer have been missing far too long…

 

 

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Six Wild and Free

How do I explain what has been going on with me in short? Chaos. I must have been living in some dream world but I honestly never thought I would find myself at 30 with no real possessions, no home, no car, no money, and no education. When I became a full time Mom I believed it was forever and never saw the need to prepare myself to be independent. I get it, I was delusional. In the end I can only blame myself for the terrible spot I am in today. So here I sit trying to decide what I become when I grow up….

My blog will remain Seven Wild and Free, but currently there are only 6 of us. We are Six Wild and Free looking for our number “Seven”. No don’t take “Looking” as waiting around twiddling our thumbs. We are living our lives to the fullest. Adventuring, exploring, and doing epic shit together. If our “Seven” comes along during that time, great. If not, oh well. Now you may ask yourself “but doesn’t she have a +1”?? Why yes, yes I do. My +1 is awesome and has helped me out a ton during this crazy time in my life. Is he “Seven”? I’m not sure yet. I get it, buying in to an existing family with a ton of kids is a lot to take on. Our “Seven” will see how fulfilling a life with us can be and how much my Littles and I have to offer. I made a promise to my Littles that I will not ever marry someone that does not love them as much as I do. That is a promise I will not break. So my little family of 6 is going to continue to be awesome (now that I’ve gotten my shit together somewhat).

Currently I am attempting to train for Zane Grey (yes laugh now). I have been such a mess that no training has happened, well unless you count my 3-4 mile run every Wednesday night leading the group run. So yeah, let’s take a super hard 50 mile, a crazy lady trying to get her life together with ZERO time to run and see what happens. I mean, this should be fun right?? Also let’s add to that, my blood clots seem to be back (superficial vein thrombosis)  and I have no insurance… Yes I’m winning! So who knows whats going to happen. Maybe chaos in your life and loosing everything you thought you had makes you tough enough to run 50 miles with little training? Don’t bet on it, but I promise I’ll try!

I LOVE Zac Brown Band. I have a really awesome memory of a friend who helped me to remember I am special, worthy, and important. One night he sent me this song, it still makes me smile every time I hear it. 🙂

Categories: My world as a Single Mom of 5 kids | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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