Life With Nine Kids

Monday, April 29, 2013

Kids & Their Fun

I hear happy screaming outside...and more of it, and more of it again. It's loud and it's all four of the littlest kids. I wonder what's going on but I don't really want to know, because it at least sounds happy. They laugh, they squeal, they scream, and Sebastian is yelling, "YEAH WE NOT SCARED!" Then Penelope yells something similar, then the screaming starts again. I wonder if they have the hose out and they are drenching each other. Then a little while later I hear, "Let's tell mom Everett found an egg!" I greet them at the porch steps as they run to me.
Everett had found a guinea hen egg, no biggie. I didn't feel like wrestling it from him, he can have it as long as he keeps it outside. I ask and find out that the screaming is because they are running in and out of the goose and guinea pen and the geese are mad and angrily hissing at them. The geese are SUPER protective right now because they are sitting on a clutch of eggs (that are way past due for hatching, they are now presumed infertile and need to be taken away). The geese look down right frightening I'm telling you! Once in a while the geese will flail about and come towards us in a threatening way but they don't give chase, these aren't typically a breed that chase people.
The kids continue their game..."YEAH WE NOT SCARED!"
The whole thing is making me laugh. This is the stuff childhood is made of. 
 
Soon Everett intentionally broke his egg on a mini play slide and they squawked about it so I told them all to wash the slide with the hose. Of course they all got wet and made a water slide out of the situation. I'm so cranky from a series of prior events that I can hardly see then fun in this. It's cold water and not a hot enough day and I'll have to dry them off and clothe them all over again. I think it will be only a matter of minutes before Everett is crying from the cold water. I need to make dinner and mop the kitchen floor. Everett hurt me with the weed eater today.* Everett has been teething molars and crying for four days. I don't feel sleepy-tired but I'm so worn out. My debit card is missing. I wanted to clean the bathroom 2 days ago...

I feel rather Scrooge McDuck about the whole water-play thing. 
Bahh kids and their "fun"


  I'm shaking my head as if I don't understand kids at all ...but then I crack a half smile anyway. This is the stuff childhood is made of…and cranky grownups like me should let kids have their fun anyway. 

Later the kids file into the house sopping and muddy, with grass stuck to them asking for a hot bath. Even they were surprised at the mud and grass left behind in their bathwater.
~~~

So, it’s been a rough four days in toddler-land. Everett is teething molars and is a bear to handle. I think he also had a touch of a cold but I’m not sure. A couple kids had mild diarrhea and couple kids a mild cold over about a 3 days span, it was strange but thankfully all is good now. However, four days of screaming toddler fits left me totally wrung out. Kids that are angry when they don't feel good are SO hard! I wish he just wanted to lie around while I held him; instead he wants to burn the house down and throw oatmeal. Today we made cinnamon (biscuit) donuts and play dough. I tried to get motivated to get housework done but I really just wanted to be outside.
*The Weed Eater
 I love yard work/gardening/the outdoors. Every summer I say that if I had to get a job I’d want to do yards. I really truly enjoy it and I enjoy mowing! Last weekend was rainy and we didn’t get any of the weed eating done that Ricky had planned on so I decided I’d tackle the front myself.  I hate loading the weed eater string. It’s a total pain. The weed eater is a nice new electric one though, which is SO MUCH EASIER to run than the old gas one we had. I still haven’t mastered the string though. It’s always been extremely frustrating to me that I can’t load a weed eater.
 While I was trying to reload the string Everett came up to me and grabbed the weed eater. I told him to let go and to stop but of course he didn’t. I never thought in one hundred years he’d place his fingers over the safe-start button lock and the trigger at the same time and start the dang thing up. It’s not terribly hard to do, but it’s still a fluke he did it. Leave it up to a toddler to figure out something dangerous in literally 7 seconds time. I should have removed the battery before doing the string, lesson learned now. He started up the weed eater as it rested on my pregnant belly; all the parts I was trying to insert into the head flew out of my hand and the string whipped my shirt/belly. I threw the thing away from me in one swift motion. I hollered at Everett and told him how dangerous that was. I sat him down inside and he cried a little bit. Being "in trouble" is short lived when you are a toddler however, since you have severely selective emotional recall and very little concept of cause and effect. I lifted my shirt to see a red whipped belly and one small cut that was red and trying to bleed. I felt so sad and frustrated. I watched Everett toddle back outdoors by himself as my eyes welled up with tears. I wasn’t really hurt, but it still hurt. I didn’t like that it was my pregnant belly, I didn’t like that it could have hit my face, I didn't like that I should have been in a safer place away from a toddler in the first place (for him and I both). I think my feelings were hurt too! Also since I couldn’t get the string in right I was giving up and presumably because of being pregnant and extra sensitive I just wanted to sob. I've never seen the 1992 film 'A League of Their Own' but I thought about the famous line from it and replaced it with, "There is no crying in lawn maintenance!" I gathered myself up and showed Everett the mark on my belly and he kissed my belly and said “sorry mama.”  He’s a sweet little guy like that --usually! Ricky called me later and I told him what happened, he felt bad for me and was concerned. THAT made me feel better; a little genuine concern and sympathy for the emotional pregnant lady from the hubby = gold. :) Ricky came home and helped me finish up the yard and now it's pretty. The grass is green and things are looking good. Spring feel SO good.

Other Weekly Tidbits I want to save for memory sake:
Serious Sebastian
While talking about skydiving Sebastian (4.5) dead seriously told me and Charlotte that, "Parachuting is more dangerous if you don't have a parachute." We chuckled and told him he was right. He sensed we weren't taking him seriously enough and even more DEAD seriously and wide-eyed he followed up with, "It is. It really is. In real life, it is dangerous!"

We were dying. It was SO cute and funny.

Hammocks
Layla(8) told me this wonderful gem of a story. She was in the hammock out back relaxing when she said out loud to herself, "Ahhh this is the life!" Everett (2) within earshot toddled up and rudely kicked her out of the hammock. He climbed on in and said, "Ahhh life!"

You know you have a big family when...
Layla(8): How many people are in the bath right now?
Me: Three
Layla: Oh man. I wanted to get in.
Toddler Fun
I asked Everett (2) to 'show me my sweet boy.' He looks at me, hugs me with big arms, and smiles...then he wipes his nose on his shirt. I say playfully, "You have boogers do you!?" He says, "Mama booger boy!!" and points to me cheerfully. LOL. He's mama's booger boy now. Too funny. :)

Locked Out 
Sebastian, Penelope, Layla and I were waiting for Layla's bus outside and Everett (2) locked us out. He was laughing at the door! I had to walk into the muddy, wet goose and guinea pen with bare feet and throw rocks at Charlotte's window to wake her and tell her we were locked out. She laughed at us (I would have too!) I was also armed with a shovel because Mr. T the male guinea started trying to chase me around the pen lol. To much excitement for one morning. Coffee and breakfast now I guess. And I need to wash my feet.

Our Wild Boys
Everett takes two butter knives out of the dish washer and starts karate chopping high into the air and making a ruckus like a total insane maniac, then he chucks them down the basement stairs. I look at Sage and say, "Do you really hope this new baby is a girl too?" Sage totally laughs and says, "Yeah, we have enough boys right now." LOL! :) 

 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

For the Love of Chickens...and Babies

We love chickens at our house (and babies, and baby-bellies)! As you can tell by the montage of photos below we just really like chickens a lot. They are: simple, peaceful, fun to watch as they peck around the ground for bugs and seeds, easy to care for, and in exchange for your hospitality they gift you with nutritious rich yummy eggs.

I decided since the kids wanted to paint today that I wanted to paint too. Being pregnant and feeling creative I felt inspired to paint my belly from my pregnancy with Everett, I had never painted my belly cast  of him. I had to think of something to commemorate him and perhaps something that would mean something to the both of us. Since he was a little tiny baby he's been going with me to feed the chickens. As he got older we'd go out and sit and watch the chickens for fun and to relax. We'd nurse on a bench by the chickens and when he started toddling around he enjoyed (and still does) chasing the chickens. Nowadays he even catches them without help. He also just loves eggs and the wonderful mystery and routine of gathering up something from our chickens that we cook up in the kitchen. As a younger baby he learned that dropping eggs was fun...because they made a wonderful messy SPLAT. That was frustrating for me but still really funny, and it was loads of fun for him. For a time we had to watch him very carefully because he LOVED splatting eggs on purpose! (He even chucked eggs into the living room once!)

So as I thought about what to paint I decided chickens...and baby chicks, and eggs would be the perfect and fun thing to paint. Both chickens and eggs are also a symbol of spring, fertility, and birth. And so the belly cast painting began. And it was lots of fun. When I showed Everett he squealed with delight and gave this hearty "Heheh!" laugh that he does. I think he likes it.  

Our chickens lay brown eggs and I wanted a childlike-drawing feel of the painting. It makes me chuckle looking at it.
 I aptly named my belly art work 'Don't Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch' because we keep having more babies. Haha :)

 I'm thinking I may be the only person with a chicken painted belly cast! Although I did find some ducks!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Kid Tidbits & The New Family Van

My toaster has seen things no toaster should ever see like transformers, cheese, and ballpoint pens. I hate toasters and the way they just seem to beg for misuse by unattended children. I guess I'll plug the toaster in the garage and let the cheese burn off... 
  Layla (8) is the cheese culprit lol. At least she's at a reasonable cooking age, unlike Everett (2.5) who just burns toast and throws pens in, narrowly escaping getting burned. From what I gather she was trying to melt cheese on bread over the toaster and the cheese fell in. How do kids think of this stuff!?

 Yesterday I started cleaning out the upstairs seasonal clothes closet (an attic like room). This is a huge project and is going to take a few days. Each year by the fall and winter I get totally lazy and don't care the room gets trashed with clothes piled high, and then each spring I sort through everything and get it all organized again. I'm really busy trying to bag up giveaways, sort clothes by age group and hang up some stuff. Suddenly I hear from downstairs, "Mom the toilet won't flush anymore." The three youngest kids are in the bathroom together, ages 2, 4, and 6. Then I hear it half- flush four times in a row. I yell for them to stop flushing it and that I'll fix it in a little while. I know they can hear me. Then it half-flushes again. "Mom, it's clogged I think."
I say again, "I.Will.Fix.It.Later." Then it flushes again. "Yup it's clogged, mom." Then I VERY loudly yell, "DO NOT FLUSH THE TOILET ANYMORE I WILL FIX IT LATER! DO YOU HEAR ME? DOOO NOOOT FLUUUSH ANNNYMORE. DO NOT FLUSH IT."

The boys and Charlotte come out of their bedrooms a couple doors down smiling at me. They have been listening to me this whole time and all they hear is me yelling about flushing and not the other end of the conversation, and it is pretty funny. They laugh and I laugh and say, "Like how hard is it too just stop flushing the bleeping toilet!?!"
The TMI part:
I check the toilet a little bit later, which I knew wasn't clogged and sure enough it wasn't. They think when there's a messy poop and some sticks to the side of the toilet bowl (usually because Everett misses the water because he's little and has to lean forward) and all of it doesn't get washed away that it's clogged. They did this last week too. It actually makes me laugh because they act so "OMG the toilet!" about it.
~
Penelope has crayons in the shape of animals and other things. They were handmade in silicone ice tray molds. Many of them are broken and so she likes putting them together so they look whole then she asks us if they are broken or not. This was cute at first, especially since she marks your guesses on paper. (She does this with crude jumbo tally mark lines and in no real order, but this is a great intro and beginning of data collection and graphing. Us homeschoolers value everything as learning!) But this has been going on for days and I don't want to guess if crayons are broken anymore, and actually most the time I can tell so I have to lie so she can feel good about tricking me. LOL. I want to tell her that I'm done playing this crayon game but she gets so excited when she 'tricks' you. She's such a 6 year old. : )
 ~
Spring here means outside time, digging, planting, pruning, and lots of yard clean up. Ricky has been busy putting some fence up and fixing it so the chickens will stay in their pen. (We have some unruly hens that keep escaping and laying eggs at at least one nearby neighbor's house! 

 We have geese sitting on eggs and wonder if they are fertile! I avoided buying new animals this spring just barely. I think we're in the clear now. I refrained from bogging us down with barnyard  critters, at least until next year when the desire will start all over again! I'm now focused on the yard work getting done and the new baby coming. Each season seems to bring an adjustment to new schedules and expectations. We expect kids to help outside and we all have many added on outdoor chores. The kids even need to get readjusted to prolonged outdoor playtime; which is usually a welcomed thing by them, but not always. 

We are getting as many things cleaned up and done as we can before the new baby arrives. The list is crazy long and all of it -inside and out- won't get done. But we'll work until we run out of time. Since I'm going through the upstairs closet it also means I'm going through newborn clothes! Baby girl, baby boy...cooing over onsies and taking inventory on things we need (like newborn baby socks, cloth wet wipes, new baby blankets...maybe a new PRETTY ergo I've got my eye on hopefully...our other is so stained up.) And I'm daydreaming about some new things I want but might not need like new cloth diapers.
~
On Saturday April 6th we left the kids home alone to "run an errand" and surprised the kids by bringing home a 15 passenger van!!!! We kept this secret from them for 2 weeks and planned on surprising them the entire time! They love it and so do we. We took them for a spin in it, went to a favorite park, and had a happy lovely time gorgeous time.  We love our Excursion for so many reasons, but actually outgrew it one baby ago.  We fought getting a passenger van for so long! But such is life, if you have a gaggle of kids you need something to haul them all in. We can now seat  14 seat belted in! Already we tend to go more places together. Usually on a donut run just Ricky and I go with a couple kids and bring donuts home. Yesterday we all went together! So fun for us all to be able to pile in and we have tons of room! Now I’m car seat shopping. Life is so expensive!  

 When I pulled up to the house the day we brought home the van a bunch of kids huddled over to the window to see who was in the driveway and I totally teared up! I was overcome with emotion. This was a really big deal! This was going to change all of our lives. We already needed a bigger vehicle badly, but the new baby sealed the deal. We went from big family to jumbo size! At first they didn’t know it was me in the driveway (tinted windows). They just thought some stranger pulled up, and then they saw their dad pull up in his car too. I got out and slowly a couple of kids at a time wondered outside to see what we were up to. The joy on their faces was so much fun!

The kids riding in the van are SO quiet! Everyone has so much room and no one has to sit next to somebody if they don’t want to.  Ricky and I look at each other amazed…hardly any sound; just content riders. We love it. 

In other news I'm 33 weeks pregnant and feel awesome. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Gratitude for Staying Home: A letter to my husband about being a stay at home mom and wife

  I never take staying home for granted. I never take the luxury of setting the rhythm for my day for granted. I like both organized chaos and organized non-chaos. I like daily breakfast at 8am sharp, but I also like when the kids trickle down and all eat on their own before 9:30ish. I like 10am coffee after I’ve done three loads of laundry, or after I've done nothing much but hang out with the kids, or after I write a blog post like I am right now. I like never leaving the house unless we want to. I like choosing to prep dinner at 9am, 3pm or 5pm. I like playing Legos and blocks. I like rearranging the living-room furniture for the 5th time this year. I like planning our days around the weather. I like crafts. I like napping with the baby if I need too. I like planning TV and video game time for the kids around their school work, nap time, or other things that work out best. I love organization and routine but I love flexibility too. I'm given the gift of having the schedules I want: meal times, play times, school times, garden time, craft time, and free time. I could have none of this freedom if I worked outside the home. I love living life on my own schedule -and of the schedules of the little people who I live with. The kids make up a lot of what I have to juggle, plan and balance around, but I get to set into motion the routines that work for all of us on any given day of the year. It's a powerful responsibility and I'm honored to be in charge of it. I love my life and I owe it to you, my dear husband, who I fondly remember once telling some of our children, “This house is Mom’s house, I bought it for her.”

 I really appreciate being an at-home mom and just love the way days crash, roll, ripple, flow and peak like an ocean’s waves. Peaceful, playful, loud or wild the kids and I can swim, float or sink...and we do so day-in and day-out because we stay home and follow the rhythm of life. I don’t take it for granted and I show it by being the best I can be (most days!). I enjoy keeping home-cooked food on the table (most days!), up-keeping our home, keeping our kids happy and cared for, and I do it with a smile on my face (most days). I make the bed and get dressed every morning to show gratitude for each beautiful blessed day, unless it happens to be a pajama day. In that case we might all dance around, eat chocolate, and wear pajamas -and I sigh with relief that we are free to do so. Life is crazy and sometimes hard, but it's a free spirited kind of crazy. Thank you, Ricky. I love you.


 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

When Birthdays (and parenting) Are No Fun

  I'm wondering if there is a short version of telling about how my birthday was. I think I want to talk about it but I’m not entirely sure. I had zero expectations for my birthday. Last year was a super amazing birthday complete with a Levee High Caramel Pie ($40 worth of serious pie heaven), a dainty French oyster bar / cafe, doting husband, perfect kids, light gardening and a bunch of other fabulous-ness. This year I figured would be just a birthday; plain and sweet not too unlike other birthdays. There would be cake, ice cream, some family fun; nothing big but still special and happy in our own fun way. Ricky HAD to work this year, which is no biggie. I know he wanted to stay home and I never expect him to stay home even though he generally tries to take his birthday and my birthday off and usually he is able to.

 I decided since I’d been putting it off I should get my blood drawn first thing in the morning on my birthday. (routine thyroid check) It’s so not a big deal to me, needles don’t bother me in the least and it’s a quick stop at the lab down the road. Since I’d been putting it off I thought I should make myself DO IT because making time to take care of myself seemed to be a good and meaningful thing to do on my birthday. The other thing I had been putting off was a trip to the chiropractor so I did that too (and went last year on my b-day too). Penelope went with me and we had some fun one on one time and we stopped at the store. I found amazing deals on raspberries, red grapes, wisteria, hostas and some flower bulbs –all of which were starting to leaf out or sprout and looked really healthy with lots of promise for this year. I took it upon myself to treat myself to as many plants as we bought groceries. I felt entitled because it was my birthday LOL. Oh, and we had to get a second cart for little Penelope to push cause we found some roses bushes on sale too.  It was my birthday! I deserved it. Penelope thought it was a hoot that mom had gone a little insane. I’m glad we had fun because it was nearly the only fun thing that happened all day. 

 Later back at home we needed to get some beds made and the upstairs vacuumed for guests to spend the night. Sharon, Grandma, and Jason were getting back into town and got in late from the airport so they were crashing here in the middle of the night. I soon discovered the children who reside upstairs, who are supposed to take care of the upstairs, hadn’t really been.  I should have been checking up on them the past few weeks but I’m lazy about going up there (I hate stairs! It’s horrid how much I hate walking up the stairs LOL). Also, I’m picky so I feel like if I avoid the upstairs I won’t nag on their housekeeping skills. But atlas I went up and I nagged. I bitched. I complained. I was unhappy. I won’t go into detail here. It’s not like they were living in squalor, I know I’m picky they know I’m picky so that’s an issue I TRY to curb sometimes. However there were things I asked them to do, and that they are supposed to keep up on that they flat out didn’t do, and even some things they just said they did and they simply hadn’t. So I was stressed and upset, and the little kids were fighting and it just wasn’t fun at all. 
 At some point the little kids were bickering and making me nuts and then Sebastian (4) hurt Penelope (6) really bad.  Ultimately he dragged her by the hair and kicked her. She was hysterically choking and holding her throat and gasping for air over the whole ordeal and I flipped out. I quickly swatted him and then stopped myself. (I’m against spanking, it’s not up for debate, it’s simply wrong to hit people of any age but sometimes I slip and have to stop myself. Controlling or disciplining people/kids with force is a powerful reaction that many struggle with and I do too at times.)
click to enlarge
 Then I locked him in the basement-playroom area for his own safety because I could feel how angry and scared I was over him hurting her. Anger scares me. I often think 'how can some one be so angry that they hurt or kill a child', yet it happens ALL OF THE TIME. I'm not afraid I'm a monster like child abusers are, but anger still scares me -and when I get angry I struggle with regaining control and teaching my kids control through a good example. 

So he’s crying and I’m telling him through the door that I cannot let him out because I want to spank him and hitting is wrong and what he did was horrible and wrong and I don’t know what to say to him or do so he needs to stay in the basement/playroom and I'll talk to him in a minute. We have a basement door-lock chain so he’s talking/crying at me through the chain. Around now I helped Penelope and Everett get into a bath because they have chocolate and dirt all over them and they asked for a bath. Sebastian calmed down a little bit and I joined him in the basement and told him we can go upstairs together, I switched laundry I started to cry a little as I saw him walk up the basement steps. I wiped my tears and grabbed clean laundry to fold only to find at the top of the stairs Sebastian had locked me in the basement. I explained to him through the door chain that I need him to open the door... but he’s actually nowhere in sight, as far as I can tell anyway. I start sobbing that I’m just trying to take care of everyone and that he can’t lock me in the basement because I’m the one who has to do the laundry and cook and help everyone, and the kids are in the bathtub…and who else is going to take care of everyone…Even if he thinks I’m a mean mom I’m the only one that can help everyone and to please let me out…
 I’m crying because the overwhelming guilt, exhaustion and selflessness that comes with parenting complied with being angry at him for hurting his sister so bad... and he locked me down there because he’s copying what I did to him. Great role model mom. (Ricky reminded me later that he's actually locked the door on lots of people he's been mad at and it's not like I gave him the idea, but I digress.) I could not muster up even an ounce of anger over him locking me in the basement. All I had was remorse, remorse for I don’t know what –I wasn’t and am not sorry I locked him in "time-out"; he needed to be in a safe place and it was only for a couple minutes. I guess it was remorse for just the whole day falling apart before my eyes, how did it go so wrong? I used the other basement door that leads outside and tried the house doors, everything was locked. Everyone was upstairs or in the bathtub. I tried tapping on the bathroom window to get Penelope’s attention but the screen wouldn’t let me make contact with the glass. I tried throwing rocks at upstairs windows and no one could hear me. I started ringing the doorbell frantically. I had blood-red puffy eyes from crying and black mascara streaming down my face (the ugly cry!) and I realized Layla’s school bus might pull up any second to a crazed sobbing mom in the middle of the yard.  Finally Sage heard the door and let me in. I looked at the clock and was wrong about the bus; it wasn’t due for an hour. Sebastian hid under the dining room table and I ignored him. I didn’t want to talk to him and we both needed to mellow out. Eventually we talked and I told him he needed to stay in his bedroom to play until Daddy got home and he pretty much did.

 I got flowers delivered that my Uncle Neal had picked out for me and they ARE STUNNING! I love them and they brighten the whole house and made me happy. They were a refreshing and sweet distraction. 

At some other points throughout the day or afternoon:
  •  Everett dumped a half a bag of dog food all over the porch. Just for fun.
  • Everett threw a stack of playing cards in my face (I think it was slightly unintentional to hit me in the face..? Unsure.) 
  • I found that no one had watered the poor chickens.
  • I made the kids’ favorite dinner not mine. Everyone left the kitchen and no one helped clean up afterwards.
  • I had no time to make a cake.
  • Everett came inside and dumped dirt from the sandbox on the living room floor after I had just vacuumed the hard wood. So I cried again.
  • I had the little kids eat dinner outside so I wouldn’t have to clean up rice in the kitchen (kids and rice = such a pain!) and the result was even more disastrous. Drinks were spilling, rice was all over some kids, and Sebastian even had rice stuck to the bottom of his feet!?!
  • My husband literally came home to a sobbing mess!

 Ricky got home and started helping me clean up rice and I burst into tears which made him feel bad for me. He wanted to ground the older kids when he saw me doing the dinner dishes on my birthday while he picked up rice, but I told him not to because I had nagged at them about the upstairs and I felt bad for it. He said it was too bad -it was them who didn’t do the things they were supposed to do the last 3 weeks upstairs, but he let it go because I was upset and I said that since they help me so much USUALLY with the little kids they should get a pass. 

 Ricky had brought me some of my favorite food as a surprise but I couldn’t eat it, I was too upset (I enjoyed it later and was very thankful).  He told me he tried to bring me my favorite pie in the whole world but the bakery was closed by the time he got there, and he even left work a little early. It was so thoughtful of him! And you know what? I apologized 3x to him that the bakery was closed. Like what is that about? Like that’s my fault too? But I felt bad for him because he tried to do something nice for me that didn’t work out and I felt bad I was a blubbering pregnant overwhelmed mess when he got home. He tried to make me feel better but I just wasn’t up to it yet and so I started cleaning the bathroom so I could hide. When I got the shower sprayer down to rinse the tub out I lost my grip and accidentally sprayed myself in the face. My face and bangs were soaking wet. So I started to cry, again.
I started thinking it's my party and I'll cry if I want to...


 I had planned on having ice cream on cones when all other desserts fell flat but decided since the day went so horrendously that I didn’t want anything and nobody was getting anything either.  So we told everyone no birthday treats. (We actually had a fudge pop after lunch so that helped lesson the sting. If we hadn’t had that the little kids would have started a revolution, I’m pretty sure.)
 Ethan made me a birthday card that was the sweetest thing ever in the history of the world saying he was sorry my day didn’t go very well, or as planned at all, and that him and the other two older kids were working on getting the upstairs done correctly. In the picture he drew a pretty room with a table and pie and cake and rug, chair and lamp. He said he knows I like the house nice so here is a pretty & clean room he drew. I wanted to burst into tears but I held them back because I didn’t know if he’d understand. I wanted him to see me smile and love his card not sob at it. I love that kid.

 All of this stressful overwhelming stuff can happen any day for almost any reason, the stress just happened to come falling down on my birthday. I don’t think I was any more a basket case or upset because it was my birthday and I expected something different. It just happened --and it just happened to be on April 4th.

 Once we got everyone to bed only an hour later Everett woke up and cried and cried for a half hour because he had to go pee but was too tired and emotional to go. Finally we got him back to sleep and salvaged a few minutes to snuggle and kiss before I fell asleep exhausted. The new baby kicked me in my ribs all night and I enjoyed the reassurance of life growing inside me along with Ricky’s sleeping body wrapped around me and my round baby-belly.

The next morning the sun came up, the kids smiled, Ricky and I smiled at each other ...life went on. Sebastian had an early AM dentist appointment to fix a tooth and it went great and easy. On our early dentist outing we got some alone time together and giggled and had fun together and of course talked about anger control. Back at home we all got to visit with Sharon and Grandma and they had brought Dunkin’ Donuts over. I very much enjoyed a sprinkle donut and coffee and all felt right again in my world. The day was warming up and the kids were all happy. The house was clean. As the sun warmed the ground I dug in the dirt, cleaned out flower garden beds, I pruned two peach trees and blackberry bushes. I felt whole and happy again. The little kids played and ran around me and after I gave them their lunch I went to check on them and found they had moved off the porch and they were instead huddled up on a play structure/slide picnicking together.
Happiness is sometimes only a day away.