Life With Nine Kids

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Going Out, Penelope as the Oldest, Toddlers, Seasons...

I took the younger kids to the botanical garden today while the older kids are all at Six Flags with family. I felt very crazy taking 4 kids all 6 and under. Charlotte said I'm not crazy, just brave!
I'd never been there before and did not know what to expect. Today was a free kids day to celebrate the founder's birth-date, and it was really quite lovely. I had no idea the children's garden was that incredible! The kids and I played and had many, many great adventures! I want a membership now. (Pricy though compared to our other memberships) Beatrice slept tucked away in her carrier on my chest. And a fellow mom and blog follower of mine, who I hadn't met before, spotted me and said hello to me!!! It made my day! I'm a mini-mom-celebrity --lol ;) She is a kind and cute mama and I hope I meet her again.

Penelope (6) was amazing and stepped up as the oldest child. She pushed the stroller, held on to Everett, took him on slides and helped me in anyway she could. She naturally began to fill the role of the oldest child the minute we left the house. It was precious. I hadn't expected it at all. She watched Everett like a hawk! It's bittersweet seeing these kids grow up. I'm glad we have so many, I swear it mostly makes the days go by slower. Everett's been two FOREVER. We're pretty much ready for him to get older! LOL. He's a nut! One day though you wake up and they are 10, 12 or 16...and you realize that perhaps it's not going as slowly as you thought. Layla will be 9 in a week... and a couple weeks later Sebastian will be 5. Penelope 7 in October. You know what Penelope does to make me crazy and afraid? She constantly asks or tells me how old she will be when Beatrice is 5 or 10. And how old she will be when Everett's 5 or 10. It's freaking me out!! The worst is when she asks me how old Charlotte will be when she is Charlotte's age. Ahhhhhhhh ;)

Anyway, I'm glad I decided not to waste this beautiful day indoors. I have a goal to get out more with the kids this fall, last year was our most 'at home' year and we didn't go on as many adventures or filed trips as we usually do. I felt really bad about it but I really just didn't have it in me. I felt overwhelmed, and not just with kids either. I often felt like we had so much to do at home. It didn't help things that at the time Sebastian was a real challenge, he gets bored easily and doesn't hang out at classes/field trips very easily. I think he's changing a little bit finally. He is also a bit of a recluse and he doesn't have an easy time communicating/playing with others outside his family. Now that's he's learning more self control it's time I try to introduce him to new situations and people again. Likewise a few months ago Ricky and I noticed Everett didn't know how to act in public. He was not doing well in grocery stores and I quickly realized it was because I'd do all my shopping and errands while he was at home with Charlotte. So Ricky and I started taking him along with us every time so he could get out more. He's still an average 2 year old in the store, but his patience and understanding while out has totally changed for the better! He's learning simple things like waiting in line means we are almost done and we have to wait in line in order to leave. He learns how we communicate and talk to people we know and don't know. We talk about and see all kinds of things. Time spent out of the house, even if it's only doing mundane tasks, is so good for kids. As an adult it's easy to get preoccupied and rush through the day --but when I slow down and show him the world around him he gets quality time and life experience. Slowing down also teaches me to be a better mother. Lately I've been trying to balance home responsibilities with a newborn and fun; in August we add school to that equation. It's been a good month for it since we have had tons to do and lots of family in town --I feel like it's practice for the fall. Sometimes I get too obsessed with running the household that I forget to make time for getting out of the house! We have a list of things we'd like to do this fall and we plan on going to the library every week again. So far Beatrice is a good car rider! Yay for that! If she tuens into a difficult car rider we'll be stranded all fall! So I hope that doesn't happen. (In the winter we stay home a lot.) My kids say I'm a hibernating bear. I love how at the beginning of a season I want it to last forever:
--the sweet smell of spring, planting, mowing, rain, muddy kids, renewal
--the warm fun of summer, swimming, the river, vine ripped tomatoes, making pickles, picking peaches
--the crisp air of fall, the colors, making scarecrows, pumpkins, Halloween, thankful, cinnamon, apples
--the family essence of winter, Christmas, decorating, snow, baking, crafts

As each season passes we welcome another.
I wrote down this cute conversation this morning in regards to the kids going home with Sharon after Six Flags:
Penelope to Sebastian: The big kids got to spend the night at Aunt Sharon's!!
Sebastian: I don't care.
Penelope: YOU DON'T?
Sebastian: I only care if they get to spend the night at Six Flags.
Penelope: But, Layla?
Sebastian: I don't care about the boys spending the night at Aunt Sharon's. But I do care Layla spends the night. 

I have a list of things I need to do before September and it's growing rapidly. When I have a list of things to do I generally add fun stuff to the list and bump the blah stuff down some spots. Can't do that forever though. We have so many appointments we need to make /go to. I hate boring stuff!

In "me" news I tied for 6th as one of the top 25 moms with big families on the Circle of Moms website. Now I have a 2012 and 2013 badge for my blog. That's neat! Thanks to those who voted for me!


Hope said...

I remembered today that I still hadn't come back to try to re-post my comment that didn't go through. It's been a while so it won't be quite as in depth but here goes...

I can hardly believe Layla is a big kid! When I first read this the math was not working out with how many littles you said you had in tow... and then I realized it was because I had Layla in the wrong group! Sebastian and Penelope obviously agree that this is a shocking development based on their conversation. LOL

I love that when you see Everett (or any of your kids) having a difficult time you see it as a learning opportunity. It's not an indictment that you've been "wrong" in the past for not taking him out more, it's not a sign that he's "spoiled" or in his "terrible" twos. It's just a little boy that is ready to learn a new life skill. It takes patience and love for parents to recognize this and I love that you do.

Finally, I'm sorry you were feeling overwhelmed. I'm guilty of keeping things close, mostly because I don't think lamenting about circumstances is helpful. But at times it can keep me closed off from friends who may be going through similar things and I have to remind myself that it's okay to feel overwhelmed and to express that if it's search of a solution, not just complaining. Thanks for reminding of that. :)

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