* the words “sleep” and “late” no longer are used in the same sentence.
* there are no ornaments around the bottom of your Christmas tree.
* there is constantly the sound of crying ringing in your ears, whether any of your kids are actually crying right at that moment or not.
* the word “no” is the most frequently used word in your vocabulary.
* you feel guilty that one of your favorite things about church is the free childcare.
* the anticipated pleasure of going to the mall or to Target is just not enough to combat the anticipated hassle of getting three wiggly bodies into three bulky coats, buckling and unbuckling three carseats, managing to get those three wiggly bodies safely across the parking lot, having enough tricks up your sleeve to ward off any whining attacks, being wise enough to correctly discern whose turn it is to walk and who is stuck riding in the cart, having navigation skills that can successfully bypass begging traps (the cookie shop, the toy aisle, the playplace, the rides, etc), and on it goes. When you weigh all this in your mind, you just decide to stay home.
* because of the above, you go days at a time without getting farther than the mailbox.
* you go through two pounds of peanut butter a week.
* you know that the four food groups really are cheese, chocolate, cheeto’s, and spaghetti (but leave the sauce off of Abigail’s, please!).
* you have a complex rating system for restaurants that evaluates the kid menu, table size, high chair type, whether or not the booster seat buckles to the chair, whether or not there are diaper changing facilities in the bathroom, and whether or not they can adequately provide entertainment for your kids while waiting for the food to arrive.
* you turned down an invitation to the ladies Bible study because it interferes with story time at the library.
* you feel a sense of pride on the days that everyone is dressed with hair and teeth brushed and beds made before 10:00 am.
* on the rare occasion that you do get to go to the store or mall by yourself, you have a strange desire to push a stroller anyway because you just feel so naked without it.
* you don’t even know where your purse is, you’ve proudly carried a diaper bag since February of 2003….
* …. which means you’ve had at least one kid in diapers since February of 2003.
* you’ve heard the phrase, “You’ve sure got your hands full!” exactly 12,732 times.
* you’ve heard the phrase, “Are they all yours?” exactly 3,983 times.
* you’ve choked down a smart-alec answer exactly 16,715 times. (You do the math.)
* no one invites you to their house for dinner anymore.
* you know the secret of the dollar date at Meijer (rent the video shopping cart for $1, and talk away with your husband walking around the store while your kids watch Bob the Builder).
* you no longer freak out about things like babies gleefully pulling all the videos or books off the shelf; your children running around and around the circle of living room, kitchen, and hallway; or your kids playing “slide down the steps on our bottoms”; because you’ve realized the value of your kids entertaining themselves while you get something done.
* you’ve come to accept the fact that going to the bathroom is now a spectator sport.
And finally, you know you have three preschoolers when…
* you feel sorry for all the other grownups you know because you get way more hugs, kisses, and snuggles than they do!