Life With Nine Kids

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Day in the life...

Updating..
Everett still has no middle name, and we better finalize his name soon I need to get his birth certificate filled out and sent in so I can get a SS card for taxes. Turns out these little blessings are worth money! ;)

We have been pulling up our carpet to get to our hardwood floors. That has been a great family project and a perfect example of life learning. The kids have learned about how carpet and flooring is put in and how to pull it up. They are also learning about many kinds of tools, how to use them carefully and the importance of doing things yourself. It's fun to have the confidence for a do-it-yourself project and then the feeling of accomplishment to see it through. This is only the beginning because hopefully in the near future we will sand and refinish the old floors together!

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I had a dream I got pregnant ... and then two days later in the dream I got pregnant again. LOL! This dream cracked me up. Fertile much?
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Kids crack me up...
I was stressed one evening and didn't come up with anything for dinner. I was changing clothes and thinking about dinner verbalizing my stress saying, "What am I going to do..what am I going to feed everyone? I'm so stressed!" Layla heard me and started pestering me verbalizing her own stress at a computer game she was playing in my room. She started dramatically repeating over and over, "Ohhh what am I going to doooo?!" I said, "At least you don't have to feed all these kids...what am I going to do!?" She replied, "YOU should hope you don't have any more kids."

bwahaha. Layla is 6 going on 12. She's also a lawyer in the making. You can't get the last word in and she has a come back for everything. Everything.
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Last night I was remembering the time Penelope's footie PJ's didn't fit her. I said calmly to her and her daddy, "Well we could cut the feet off I guess." In horror she cried, "Noooooooooooooooooo." I didn't know if I should laugh or cry when I explained to her that Mommy and Daddy were talking about cutting the footie socks feet off off the jammies and not her actual feet! Poor girl.
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Recently I was asked what funny things Charlotte said incorrectly when she was a little girl and I recalled the time she told me that her little brother Sage was bothering her. She said, , "Mom! Sage is getting on my last nerd!"


Love. kids.

The days are running into each other for me. Everett is getting big --over 12 lbs. He is almost 8 weeks old. He has fat rolls. He is awesome. I need to post a picture! Pictures coming.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

3 weeks old today



This is what I know about Everett...he coos like a dove, squeaks like a baby mouse and snorts like a baby piggy when he wants to nurse. His skin is smooth like silk and his head soft like velvet. He smells like hints of buttered popcorn, vanilla and sugar. He snores like a baby dragon and is content like a tiger. He smiles in his sleep which means he is happy. ♥



Friday, October 1, 2010

My First Painful Birth (after an easy labor, cervical lip)


Photos taken less than 10 min after birth
NOTE:10/14/13--  A brand new birth story is available here: Beatrice's Unassisted Birth Story (half hour labor and birth -with extra info on my favorite topics of vernix, cord cutting, and not pushing)

Every birth is so different, but for the most part my labors are intensely quick and the actual birth quite easy and nearly painless. This birth had some surprises...

I went into labor Monday September 20, 2010 around 4 pm, the day before my "due date." Light back achy labor lasted through a trip to the library and the six kids’ bedtime routine.

Around 9pm things started picking up and at 10:30pm my husband, Ricky, and I tried to get some sleep. I figured my water would break soon (most of the time it does for me before labor even begins). I couldn't really sleep so as contractions picked up I quickly snuck out of bed and cleaned the bathroom, did laundry and tried to watch some TV. When the contractions started to need my attention I got through them by chanting a song, humming, walking fast and visualization exercises. I managed to doze off on the couch a few times before getting in a hot shower around 2am. (A hot shower is my normal routine for when they really start hurting at around 6 or 7 cm dilated. I have done this for every home birth.) As usual the shower was great. I usually can stay in so long I'll run out of hot water before I'm ready to get out, but this time I'd been up all night laboring and cleaning house so I was tired of standing. I decided to run a bath and labor in it. I tried to relax thinking all the while that a bath was nice but not as great as the shower. Suddenly I had an epiphany and say out loud, "I have jets!" A perk we discovered when we moved in last year: a jetted tub! The moving water feels much more relaxing to me and simulates the shower feeling.

At 3am I tip toed soaking wet to my sleeping husbands side and tell him my water sac is still intact making it hurt like it did with Penelope. Ricky quickly got up and sympathetically looked at me with soft eyes. I tip toed back to the tub and he followed and got me a few things I wanted, like some water to drink.

Some time around 3:15 am I felt I was dilated if not darn near close to it (just a guide to birth, not a rule or even necessary), but my water hadn't broken. I felt for the squishy water sac, made sure the baby's head was presenting well and after several attempts at the tough sac I broke it with my fingers. Nearly four years ago I had to break our little Penelope's water, too. I learned a lot from that birth because I kept wanting to wait it out; I did not want to interfere with the birth and thought I'd just birth her in what is called the caul (born in the water sac). She was just not moving down into the birth canal though and labor started to really hurt awfully bad -but once I broke the sac she was born almost immediately.

After breaking a really tough sac I told Ricky that hopefully we'd have our baby soon. I could still feel a thick spot or "lip"on my cervix despite that I was probably fully dilated. Ricky helped me through about six contractions in the bath that were fiercely bad. For most of these contractions I was kneeling in the tub facing him as he kneeled outside the tub. I started having him push against my shoulders as I pushed into his hands with my shoulders. I also hung around his neck several times collapsed into a heap of contractions and loud pushy grunts as we hugged tightly. He could feel the tornado in my body swirl as I bore down repeatedly with contractions one after another as I looked the storm in the eye. The contractions felt absolutely overpowering. They did not overpower me though; there is a great birth affirmation quote that says, "The power and intensity of your contractions cannot be stronger than you, because it is you."

This was the only birth I remember where Ricky actually talked to me through these transitional contractions. They were so fierce he got into doula mode and talked me through them, praised me, and said I could do this. Soon after this storm my body started trying to push a baby down and out. I don't forcefully push my babies out, I let them come. I find it extremely painful, tiring and unnecessary to forcefully push. I still had that thick area around part of my cervix and it was stretching over the babies head slowly. Something I've heard can be quite painful. And it was!

It got more apparent the baby was making his way down so I got out of the bath and sat on the toilet to give my legs a rest, help my pelvis relax and still use gravity to the baby’s advantage. Two painful but milder in intensity contractions later I moved to the floor in a part kneel part squatting position. I had a very powerful contraction where Ricky held me again at the shoulders to steady me and allow me to push against him. As the contraction subsided my hip felt like it was going to lock up on me and I yelped and pushed him away and barely avoided it locking up on me.

The next contraction brought on the unmistakable 'baby is coming out of my butt feeling'. It went away as the baby rounded that corner of my body, and then he finally slipped down further into the birth canal. I could feel his head fully in me and in mere seconds I went from thinking 'this is taking for-freaking-ever-and-hurting-like-freaking-hell' to thinking 'oh shit this baby is going to fly out of me.' He was coming quite fast and I tried to hold his crown in a little bit for a contraction or two so as not to tear. The concentration that it takes to wait can be overwhelming. During all of this Ricky was in front of me still. I soon told him to move though because he was blocking the video camera. He moved off to the side and started taking some still photos while still keeping a supportive hand on my shoulder/back.

This was the first of any of my births that I felt a truly unmistakable ring of burning fire sensation as the baby crowned. I've never felt it all that much before, just a little bit and then it quickly passed. Eventually his head was born into my hands (thank god) and then about 30 seconds later as I waited patiently his top shoulder presented and then the rest of him slid out in one plop of great relief. In an instant I was sure I had torn somewhere. Or, everywhere. (Not an uncommon feeling when your baby is born, usually if you birth slow and upright tearing is minimal and even rare)

He was born September 21, 2010 at 4:33am weighing 7 lbs 12 oz and measuring 19 ½ inches long.

He gurgled and sputtered and was born a really, really beautiful pink color. I brought him to my chest and cradled him. I asked Ricky, "Did you see yet?" Meaning if he saw that we had a boy. He said he did. Our baby drooled out some fluid from the corner of his mouth and continued to sputter and then gasp signifying he was taking in oxygen. I wasn’t yet concerned with hearing him actually cry as I proceeded to count fingers and toes and noticed he was covered in the softest velvety vernix (natural baby lotion) that seemed to just seep into his skin effortlessly as I watched. His daddy looked over us thoughtfully and said, "Give us a cry now" and the baby did right on cue. We got it on video, it's adorable.

Not long after the birth I sat nursing him on the living room couch and thought about how I'd given birth much less painfully and gracefully in the past. "That really hurt! But his head is tiny?!" I suddenly said. I pondered over how I had not torn anywhere at all. My pubic bone nor my pelvis was even sore. At all. Even days later recovery from this birth was as if nothing ever happened. I asked Ricky as I pointed to the baby, "THIS little head is what I was making such a fuss over!?" And we laughed.

Less than an hour later sleepy eyed children one by one began to wake earlier than usual sensing newness and love. All the hard work and pain was long forgotten and replaced with a morning sunrise that promised the magic and wonder of a new day and a new life ahead. Three brothers and three sisters happily welcomed the seventh child to our family and with my new nursling latching on we all had breakfast together and talked about what to name him.

~~~Like Christmas~~~
For about a week after our little Everett was born I was trying to pinpoint the magic and feeling of it all. I wanted to describe home birth and the unity of my family. This piece, written a week after Everett's birthing day, was published in the fall of 2010 Friends of Missouri Midwives newsletter.

August 1, 2004 we had a little girl and as she was being born in the early morning hours our older three children woke up one at a time and found me squatting down to give birth on the bathroom floor as their father snapped photos.

October 17, 2006 as the sun rose into the sky our new baby girl was going to soon start crowning and inch her way into the outside world. My husband awoke our youngest daughter so she could see the birth, as she fell back asleep near me the other kids woke up on their own and joined in to watch. As I quietly gave birth the youngest woke up at the last minute in awe to watch. About 20 minutes after the birth our oldest daughter reached out to touch the newborn but the two year old snapped, "My baby!" And smacked her older sisters hand away.

August 23, 2008 I decided I wanted a quiet couples birth with my husband and got just that. Within minutes however our youngest two little girls woke up at 6am and met their new little brother. Ten minutes later our oldest daughter, whose bedroom was very far away, sensed something and came to our room to see as well. Then our other two boys followed.

September 21, 2010 within a half hour of me birthing a baby boy at 4:33am our almost four year old woke up and to her surprise I was holding a new baby. Her eyes went from sleepy to bugged-out-surprised and awake in just seconds! After the shock she put her head to my chest and we had a quiet snuggle in the dark as sleepiness started setting in again. Then finally she asked, "Mommy, did we have a girl baby or a boy baby?" I’ll treasure that thoughtful cuddly moment always.
Our two year old followed about 10 minutes later. Venturing from our bed and into the living room where I sat I excitedly told him the baby came out and to come see. I know he won't remember but I will; it was the happiest day of his two year old life. He was beaming from excitement and love. He was at that moment given the gift of a brother and you could tell he cherished his new baby brother completely. Then a half hour later our 14 year old sensed something and came downstairs followed by our two 10 year old sons soon after.

Being in the home for birth brings my family together. It ties a bond between home and heart. There is an element of privacy and intimacy that is shared within these sacred walls of our own home. A special bond that ties a freshly birthed wet newborn to his kin without interference or interruption in the family space. When I bring forth a child into the world I do so without leaving and so the children receive a sibling that seemingly has always been here. After all, since being created the baby has never left.

On that beautiful early September morning in 2010 I noticed something as I sat back watching my family. Six children between the ages of 14 and two years old rushed about happily as my ears took in their excited chatter. They greeted their new brother. They asked questions and explored baby hands and toes. I took in the sight of our pajamas and bed head hair. My husband and I were smiling at each other looking on proudly and feeling content; and as I observed this glorious morning I had a familiar warm feeling overcome me.

The smells of breakfast and coffee, the pitter-patter of feet, the laughter, the newness, the hope and promise of a fun day; taking all this in I realized the warm feeling that came over me was like Christmas. The early morning happiness and coming together of Christmas. The familiar and blessed feeling of family and of gifts. This time the gift was wrapped in a snugly blanket, suckling at my breast and being kissed by siblings atop his newborn velvety head. This was the feeling of family coming together, the feelings of love...like Christmas magic.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Born at home September 21, 2010



We haven't released his name yet but I can joyfully report that our new baby is indeed here! We had a beautiful, sweet baby boy on September 21, 2010 at 4:33am. He weighed 7 lbs 12 oz and measured 19 1/2 inches long.
I had a more painful birth than labor which is a first for me. He was overall born easily though. Birth Story will be ready soon.
Sebastian (2) is in baby-love with his new brother and very happy. All the kids are really happy and our family feels complete. We feel really blessed and our hearts are full and our house bursting with love.



Monday, September 20, 2010

Holding on to the Magic



I'm "due" tomorrow. I've thought I was going to have this baby everyday for the past 2 weeks! LOL. I've never been this... is anxious the word? And also, 'paranoid' my water would break at any second. I don't know why but this is the first time I have thought non stop about this baby being born as in: 'this baby is going to be born at any second.' I think it's because this baby has been very active over this past month and I just *feel* ready to give birth. My practice contractions have been really strong too. This baby is also spread out all over my belly and legs, feet, arms, knees, elbows are just wiggly and seem big! I've gotten a lot bigger in the past 2 weeks. The baby is packing on pounds!

I told my husband I still can't believe we are going to have a newborn again! I told him I can't imagine toting another baby around. A newborn that needs me every second! I was making breakfast and I said, "Pretty soon I'll be making breakfast while holding a baby again..." I asked him if he could imagine it. He smiled at me lovingly and reassuringly and said he could, because he's seen me do it enough times. :)

I always get like this. The amazement and wonder of how a baby isn't here one minute but then is the next is stunning. The baby is *here* now in me, in my heart and in my minds eye; but he or she is tucked far away in a watery home of darkness and contentment. It's different when they actually come out to meet the world. I can't imagine what a magical place the womb is, another dimension within our dimension. Another type of life. Thinking about it I'm so glad I haven't had this baby yet, I want more time to ponder this magic, to hold it inside, to be kicked and poked just a little bit more.

UPDATE: Funny I went into labor as I wrote this! He was born September 21 at 4:33 am

Saturday, August 28, 2010

How to do this new mommy thing all over again...

It's hard to imagine in 4 or 5 weeks we will add another baby to our family. Another mouth to feed (free for quite a while at least!) another little person to juggle time with. Another cry, another laugh, another person to love and to make us crazy. Another person for my husband to support and for me to somehow homeschool.

I remember with my other pregnancies thinking how am I going to do everything I do now AND feed a new baby... dress, care for, wash diapers, carry around... I'll be once again cooking dinner and doing chores with an infant tied to me. It sounds exhausting right now. But once that new baby is here I hardly think of it. For a while anyway. At first they are so light weight and easy to care for that everything falls into place easily. It's not until they get too heavy to carry comfortably that I really even notice. Of course there are things that are harder to do with any size baby. Folding clothes, cook at a hot stove, carry laundry baskets up and down stairs. (Do other people ever carry their babies in laundry baskets on top of the clean clothes?)

You know what I never try and imagine though...how I'll find the time to kiss pink baby feet or tickle yet another baby belly. How I'll find the time to gaze softly at new skin and smell my baby's head. I never question how I'll find the time to massage baby lotion on a silky baby body, how I will love another child, or how that child will fit in.

If children kept that rose petals sprinkled with saltwater dew drops newborn smell I'd be so content -and never ask how am I really going to do this AGAIN...

:) excited...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Crazies! Insane toddlers frazzled moms...



Over the last week and a half Sebastian has painted the walls with his dad's deodorant stick (to which the little girls exclaimed happily, "Now our wall smells like Daddy!" :)

He has finger painted vaseline into the couch. He has taken 2 boxes of noodles -1 spaghetti and 1 lasagna- and dumped and smashed them all over the kitchen floor. He crawled into the empty bathtub and used the shampoo pump freely and them proceeded to slip and slide all over the tub in his diaper and T-shirt. (He thought it was fun until soap got in his eyes.) I usually always remove all soaps from the tub when some one is done in there but the other day I forgot. He ransacked the egg basket on the counter, stole some eggs from it and cracked two of them on the bathroom floor.

When I was out of the kitchen last night Sebastian crushed up his asparagus and broccoli up and threw it on the floor. His lovely sisters got him some more veggies, to do the same to. I'd like to think they were just getting him more food TO EAT. But I know different. They enjoyed seeing him make a mess like a monkey.

As if this all wasn't bad enough he cries seemingly nonstop and hits, yells "no!" and just seems grouchy. He cries when his dad is gone. He cries when I'm gone. He takes every toy away from the girls. He's restless at night and crabby during the day. He's got a runny nose and the other day he said his mouth hurt. So maybe he's teething AND has a little cold. The girls have tiny colds, too.

Mostly I recognize this as just one of those stages that makes a person crazy! He'll be two this month and so this stage is were the phrase "terrible twos" is coined. I've never really liked that saying, because I don't particularly like to think babies as being terrible. They are babies. Learning, exploring, testing limits and boundaries. We all do it. Babies just cry more and throw fits and make huge messes. Sometimes I have to admit it is terrible and exhausting, but sometimes it's also funny in that oh my gosh this IS my life sort of way.

He looks tired. I hope I can get him down early for a nap this morning.

Added 8/12/10 I found 4 rolls of sopping wet toilet paper in the bathroom sink. Gee wonder who climbed up on the stool and did that!?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Super Dad



My husband takes care of me. He’s my protector and provider. He loves me, he loves his family and in everything he does he thinks of us first. In return I take care of my husband, I love him and I take care of our home and our children. In everything I do I think of him and the children first.

While I’m quite aware that it takes a lot of commitment and sacrifice to raise any family it takes even more so to raise a large family. (It takes more of a lot of things: more time, energy, house work, faith!) I am not surprised by my will power to be the best mother I can be. I am not surprised by the hours it takes to homeschool, bathe, feed, clean and cook for a large household. What I am surprised by is my husband’s complete attentiveness to his family. I am surprised that he doesn’t get overwhelmed easily and I am in awe that in this day and age I have a man who loves and protects his family so selflessly and joyfully.

He is a husband and dad that arrives home from work ready to help. Some days he has a relaxing break from the work day, for at least a little while, but some days there is no such thing. When he walks in the door laughing and happy kids usually greet him, but sometimes crying fits and a frazzled wife greets him. He jumps right in to whatever the evening has in store like he’s hard wired to do so. He is a dad that: changes diapers, wipes noses, pushes his girls’ curly hair from their eyes so they can see (and so we can see them), takes the trash out, brushes kids teeth, reads stories, lays with the little kids at bedtime, and if needed he does light clean up (just enough so I don't get frazzled) and puts the chickens in the chicken house in the evening. He is a dad that helps bake and cook and clean, sometimes out of necessity and sometimes out of just wanting to be with me. If I can’t get his business clothes laundered for work one week he does it without hesitation on Sunday night, though usually I manage that in just fine. And one more thing, a huge thing to me: He grocery shops. If I can’t get it done he’ll either do it after work or go with me shopping over the weekend. Usually he prefers to go shopping with me than to stay home. How did I get so lucky? I have no idea. Grocery shopping for a family of 8and a half people is a huge deal and time consuming!

At the beginning of this pregnancy my husband and I shared in the shock, wonder, amazement and craziness of our life with so many kids. This will be the seventh child we will marvel at, love and raise together. During the morning sickness stage my dear husband let me sleep until 9 or 10am on weekends, often bringing me breakfast in bed. He even smiled at me understandingly if once I was awake at 10am I decided I was too sick to actually get up…so instead I watched infomercials until noon. On weekdays he brought me cereal in bed at 6am, either right before or right after he showered, so I could get ahead of the sickness and be ready for a day of home alone with kids.

When trimester one passed I picked the pace back up and felt tons better. We fell back into our more usual roles and I didn’t need to be helped as much. He got busy at work and I got back to business at home. Life for the past four months has been busy and hectic for us both and a lot of attention has been shifted on summer fun, yard work and our kids. (Also lots of effort spent on getting back on a schedule since my morning sickness sabotaged our old schedule!)

Now that I’m further along in my pregnancy I’m groaning heavily as I flop in and out of bed, pee every 10 minutes and waddle around the house. My husband senses the difficulty and suddenly has started paying attention to laundry I need carried downstairs, kids that need extra assistance and a wife that appreciates help getting up and down. Sometimes even in the middle of the night he’ll sense me getting up and he’ll offer a firm hand to steady myself on or push on my back as I sit up for extra support. The extra attention feeds my soul and fills my heart.

Writing this today I remember about 5 years ago that I got flustered and stressed from taking care of the house and kids. I remember ranting and pointing my finger to him for more help. He calmly but sternly asked me in a very realistic way why I let myself get to this point, why I hadn’t asked him for help because he just didn’t know I needed help (he pointed out guys don’t always notice the households obvious shortcomings and need to be showed). I said that I didn’t want to bother him (I think at the time I assumed he’d help me if he wanted to, and that since he wasn’t helping it would be a bother to ask him, or maybe I'd be a nag). I’ll never forget the look on his face or what he said that day. He said, “Do you think my kids are a bother to me? Do you actually think you guys are a burden or something? Is that what you think of me?” And that day changed everything. It changed the way I asked him for help, the way he helped me, and it also changed the way I viewed him as my husband. I had once, but never again, sharply underestimated his commitment to our family.

Sometimes I wonder how he works so hard. How he keeps going on being so great to us even when times are tough and days and nights get long. Then I realize it’s the same way I do it… hard work and love. What a blessing family is!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy 4th of July

My husband and 13 year old, Charlotte, painted my 29 week belly for the 4th. Charlotte is going to paint other belly murals on me over the few weeks. Pictures will be posted!


Our big family...

Me and my sweetie in-between lighting fireworks for the kids

Layla having fun -she will be 6yrs old in a month


Summer is here and this is how I know: it's hot, the 4th has passed, the water and power bill are sky-high and it now takes me an hour and 40 min to water everything I've planted. Why oh why do I plant so much stuff every year!? My husband doesn't understand how I can be so happy and so stressed with my garden and landscaping at the same time. lol.

Life is good ... BUT we don't think about the fact that we had $2200 worth of unexpected bills come up this month! ugh. But we have our health, we have each other, we have another baby on the way and so we keep on moving through time happily because this too shall pass.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

June

It takes me 2 hours to water everything I have planted. What was I thinking!?

I am now in pregnancy trimester 3 and couldn't be more excited! I'm growing a lil' baby and lots of plants outside all summer long. I think growing babies is easier though. I love doing both a lot though.

I just got Sebastian asleep for a nap and he has his tongue sticking out while he's sleeping. LOL. Funny kid.

Penelope was stuck up a two story slide yesterday at the park. I climbed up a ladder and offered her my free hand. I said, "Just come to me I can hold you and bring you down." And do you know what she said to me? She said, "Noooo you can't get me wit' one hand!"
Thanks for the vote of confidence, kiddo! Sheesh. :)

Ricky came home yesterday and surprised me with a window unit for the kitchen. We don't have air conditioning in the kitchen so it gets hot in the summer. And then when we cook, bake or can it's really a steam oven! I actually haven't really wanted AC in there. I know crazy. It was just one other thing to buy and run on electric and I was concerned how much it'd block my window out (I have 2 windows though). So we've briefly discussed pros and cons in the past but never really decided on buying one and I didn't think we'd buy one this year. Well he comes home with one last night. Let's think this over: He's been working 12 hour days, his car AC hasn't been running and is car is acting up, his birthday is next week... and he thinks to stop and get ME air for the kitchen? He says to me, "Well on the way home I was thinking you are in the hot kitchen more than I'm in my hot car."

What a total sweetheart.
As luck would have it yesterday I got his car an appointment for the fix-it-shop (for Monday) and arranged my schedule so he can use the Kid Bus while his car and air is getting fixed up. Greatness and happiness abounds in a loving marriage.

Well I'm in the middle of cleaning the kitchen (I've been trying to mop for over a week lol) and I'm overhauling the dining room clutter mess --which is more like a craft, piano, playroom with bookshelves and a big table. So I'm going to go fix my house... maybe I'll post pictures in a couple days.

Oh and I need to change the laundry over...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

To be a nag

I really appreciate the comments that trickle in here. My apologies for not responding. I really am just busy, I always mean to respond to everyone that comments or emails me. I'm so busy in fact I've failed to even update our family photo with kiddo number six, Sebastian. And now we already await our 7th :)

I've cut out nearly all my Internet time to tend to my family and take care of my house and yard/garden. I miss blogging, I miss my website and I miss just being online! I could get a lot more done faster but Sebastian (21 months) wants to hang out with mommy A LOT an carting him around is tiring and sometimes impossible. It's ok; he gets lots of playtime on the floor with mommy which builds his little brain and teaches him a lot. When he's busy with the older kids I scamper to get something done. He LOVES his siblings. I also put him in a sling on my back, but that is getting heavy. He is a solid little boy.

I can't even seem to do things that are more important than just getting online. Like mailing cards to family, keeping in touch with people, helping others, volunteering, Etc. It's an amazing amount of work taking care of a large family.

The little kids are getting to be a challenge. They are busy, tear up everything, have many needs and keep me scrambling. Penelope (3) is always hungry, Sebastian (21 months) is always taking something apart and Layla (5) is always looking for something new to do.

The big kids seem to bicker so much. Sometimes I say they bicker non-stop, but that's not always true. They are good kids but they are a lot of work too. My main responsibility (besides homeschooling stuff) with them seems to be working on their communication with each other. They are so hard on each other, so picky and so fussy.

I tend to be a fussy mom. I want things in order and I expect a lot. I have been known to fuss and nag :(
I'm not rigid but I won't be walked on, I won't do EVERYTHING and I expect at least a couple hours of help a day from each kid. Help could be gardening, younger child helper, cooking, chores, yard word, Etc. Usually it's not a problem. I'm trying to be less fussy though... in case my fussiness has rubbed on them and they are now in return being fussy with each other. I'm no longer complaining about blueberries on the kitchen floor; I just ask it to be cleaned up. I'm trying not to complain that someone isn't doing xyz; instead I ask nicely. It seems to be helping my nagging, not sure if it will help the kids fussiness with each other. The verdict is still out on that. I think it will help. Parents bleed attitude onto their children. I need to nip this now! They will act how I act eventually. Besides I don't need to complain in my house! I have a family who is always willing to help. I just get tired of asking for help so I find myself tired and ranty about something and complain that no one is doing xyz. Well that's just the thing; I'm the leader. I'm the house manager. I'm the planner. I have to lead the house into being tidy and orderly because no one else will do it (nor do they want to!). And, no matter how sick of it I am I still have to 'go to work'. Doing my work doesn't just entail raising, homeschooling, cooking for, bathing and helping kids. It also includes figuring out how to keep the walls standing of my house when 9 people stampede through it. (the 9th person in our household isn't born yet, however. :)

Speaking of the 9th person, the 7th kiddo! We are so excited.

Anyhow a quote reminded me of something I should apply to household work. The quote is from Dave Ramsey: "Employees will tolerate a boss, but will follow a leader".

Now my kids aren't employees, but they do have jobs to do and responsibilities to uphold. For the greater good of themselves and of the household they have responsibility. I am the "boss" cause I am the one, whether I like it or not, that sets the rules, chores, homework, standards, Etc. for the household. My husband helps some too of course, but he is at work a lot..so the ins-and-outs of the household fall mostly on me. So I'm "boss." Now, how do I want to run with that position? With kids that tolerate me or kids that follow me?

Follow. And that is why I working on being a great leader as a mom.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Spring, new life, how I love you so

Well it's spring again! The winter was kinda long but the worst was the morning sickness! :) I'm pregnant! All that 'we aren't having more kids' stuff...we didn't really mean it, again. At first it was a little shocking. The pressure to have a small family and the stigma that surrounds really big families is some what daunting. It would be easier if we actually were a couple that outspokenly were having as many children as God blessed us with, we know many of these types of people. The famous Dugger family with 19 kids and counting are the most popular family for this belief. They have their own TV show. But we aren't having as many as we are blessed with even though I call each one a blessing and my long lost treasures. We really just enjoy children, don't care for birth control and parenting fills our lives. It gives us love and joy to share with each other. I enjoy creating and growing life. I am a gardener and growing life in my womb or in the ground is completely satisfying, rewarding and enjoyable. I have learned over the years I indeed do both well.

As life goes through streaks of bad and good luck, happiness, sadness, joy and hardship I'm happy to announce right now we are on a lucky streak. This is probably due to me being pregnant. We have the best of luck in life when we bring a new baby into our lives. I don't know why but we both think so. So life is good, things are great, Ricky has some possible really exciting new job opportunities. Our kids are healthy and happy, we are in love and happy, nothing is breaking although we do have several old repairs in waiting that will add up $$$ , and student loans loom overhead like a vulture. But right now we are focusing on all the debt we've paid off in the past 2 years, though. Over 18 thousand dollars we've paid off... we are still scratching our heads and wondering how we did that! (um, it was sacrifice and hard work) We follow a lot of www.daveramsey.com and have read Financial Peace. Overall life has a way of balancing out and for now balance is restored, I'm at my best with our homeschooled children, we have a flow and the warm weather has made my heart warm as well as my mind.

I've been gardening already and am very excited about this season. So far we have lots of baby seeds started and many other things needing planted. I have already started planting some things though! The trees and fruit bushes/plants we planted last year made it through the winter and are growing like weeds, producing flowers and really showing that we are growing stuff! So this year we bought 12 raspberry bushes, 6 more blueberry, 4 thornless blackberry bushes, 5 rose bushes and 50 more strawbnerry plants. I got a tiller for Christmas and it makes a world of difference. I love it! I'm getting into planting flowers this year and doing more landscaping. My main idea has always been landscaping with growing food plants! But I also am finding tons of joy in hostas, roses, azaleas, tulips, daffodils and dahlias. I am really happy.

Our new baby is due in September. I have something to write about her...or him. Soon.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Winter Already?

I just can't keep up with posting like I used to. Sadly I'm even having trouble keeping up with journaling as well. (private or online) I try though. I have been using facebook for updates to family and to keep in touch with friends. So that kinda takes the steam away from blogging. It shouldn't, but it does. And it's NOT THE SAME.

So my goodness an update of sorts...
We had a wonderful summer and a great garden. Our efforts paid off. At the end of summer I was not ready to give up gardening. I watched as I got the last harvets and wondered what I would do. Then After a few weeks I couldn't stand the thought of doing ALL that work all over again in the spring! Now I'm excited again!!! Planning for a bigger garden ad more fun. I am already planning our garden for 2010!

Our chickens are doing really well. I was going to post photos but I don't think I ever got around to it. Ricky and I put up a nice wire fence and Ricky built them a cool homemade scrap gate.

We had a great Christmas at home with only some disappointment that some family couldn't make it t us due to ice. We had a white Christmas though which was pretty. (not a lot of snow, but enough that everything looked white!)

Right now we are in the process of cleaning up our basement and fixing it up. We aren't 'finishing it' but we are making it a homey nicer place. The kids are playing down there daily already and we are still working on it. We are painting and putting all our board games and extra toys down there. We also shelved any homeschool books, workbooks, Etc we weren't currently using down there. I am an educational material hoarder! We have SO MUCH material so little time :D

We have a membership to the Magic House www.magichouse.com and have been enjoying it. Otherwise we are all good. Sebastian the baby is SO MUCH FUN. He turned 1 in August. The little girls are growing and have so much fun together! (ages 3 and 5) They play a lot and skip around the house holding hands. Warms a mothers heart. The older kids are playing board games more since I said no more video games before 3 pm and since we fixed up the basement and have a game table down there. So that's really great!

I have many many projects to tent to. I am taking a class about teaching birth art and it starts next week. I thought I'd be so ready for it! And I am not...