Life With Nine Kids

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Bowling Kids, I Spelled my Kids Name Wrong *LOL*, Niceness at the Grocery Store (and quick tangent about how this week I'm full of awesome...) Also... our baby is such a sweetie!

I took the crew bowling. The older kids had fun at the homeschool bowling morning we are trying out near us. The younger kids had fun when they weren't complaining about it not being their turn (Sebastian and Everett are still pretty young, impatient and WILD little boys). On an out-with-kids-adventure scale of 1-5 (one being mild and five being bat-shit crazy) it was probably a 2.

 At first the kids couldn't get ANY dang momentum from rolling their ball (and me helping them one handed because I'm holding Beatrice was not helping much). The guy at the alley saw us and gave us a ramp thingy for the kids to push their ball down. It was amazing and really saved us!
 Everett got a bit squirrely towards the end, but we made it through all 10 frames. And Everett won without any help from me!

After playing for a while I noticed I spelled Everett "Everette" on the bowling computer which was funny. I got to spend a good 10 minutes pondering if his name had an E at the end or not (because I'm losing my mind lol), and then pondered why we chose no E. Since both are correct spellings how did we chose which one to use? I don't remember that conversation. ~~~Wait now I kinda do.
After bowling we went grocery shopping which was a 3 on the 1-5 adventure scale. At the store we got a lot of attention and an older lady commented that the kids were so beautiful and asked a bit about them, then I told her I had 4 more kids not with me. She said, "Oh good for you! God Bless your heart." She was adorable. Then the cashiers helped me load my groceries on to the conveyor belt. I was like a celebrity in Aldi's today. Go me! Everywhere I went people cooed over our baby today! And I can't blame them, cause she's like the best thing ever. 

 I feel like the super-est mom and wife this week. The flow is going well, the homeschool stuff is rockin', we are getting out of the house a bunch, laundry is churning along (I'm supposed to be folding right now but I'm being totally bad and writing instead). Husband's clothes are mostly caught up. I made lunch for my dear husband everyday except one and tomorrow lunch is already done! I've been to the store (I'd almost rather starve than go shopping). I've been creatively cooking all week. Lentil soup one day and navy bean soup with seasoned pork the other--my own made up recipes even! I'm working hard to balance it all and keep on schedule...

 I LOVE when I can cook meals all week without effort. I love when ideas come naturally and I make time to get dinner done early in the day instead of stressing out over it at dusk, and I LOVEEEE when one meal can lead into the next. Slow cooked pork one night ...then use juices and leftover tender pork pieces for navy bean soup for lunch or dinner-side the next day. I even made chicken fried steak this week with mashed taters and gravy. Sometimes I'm so darn sick of figuring out what's for dinner and I'm like: 'here have some cereal or PB&J, leave me alone now'. Other times I'm like a kitchen ninja! 

And don't get me wrong I still wonder how I'm going to get a bazillion other pertinent things done this week and next, and next...but for now *shrug* I'm hanging tough.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Uncle Neal Died

My stomach was gnawing away at me, it told me to expect the worst. So I prepared myself. After as much medical intervention and treatment that was humanly possible my Uncle Neal died.

I never knew how awful waiting at the hospital was until we did it with Penelope last year. It's surreal. It's: uncomfortable, hard, cold, bright... and sanitized still feels dirty. Last week I escaped the hours and hours of pacing, sitting, and upright-sleeping because Uncle Neal had enough family there and I had to take care of the kids. The plan was that I/we would visit when he had healed for a few days and was up for a visit. I had cleared our schedule over the next two weeks and imagined Ricky and I taking 8 kids to visit the hospital in shifts. His recovery would be long and he'd be in the hospital for a minimum of 8 days. But he never got better. Nothing worked out like we imagined or planned as everything that could go wrong did. I carried my cell phone around with me for 3 days and each time it rang it was worse news. Mini heart attack, pneumonia, intubation, an unexpected second surgery. Every phone call I prepared the kids for what seemed like the the inevitable; he very well may die. On the morning of September 7th he died. We told the kids and we were all pretty numb. Some of us cried, some did not. Some have tears yet to come. I was numb until nightfall and then I cried. I sobbed harder when I remembered the last thing he ever said to me. Because he loved us so much and he loved the kids so much, his last words to me were "absolutely beautiful" and it was about photos of my family and new baby on facebook.

I don't know why it makes me cry so hard. They are gorgeous last words and a treasured memory I can keep... but it just makes me sob. Why do we have to love people so much, so that it then hurts so bad when they leave?

We are busy preparing for the memorial. I always notice how hard it is to deal with anything else besides our normal routine. It can be fun stuff or bad stuff, doesn't matter, but it's hard doing anything else but taking care of house or kids. Everyday is FULL of chores, cooking, cleaning, laundry, caring for kids, changing diapers, school, breaking up fights or fits, feeding animals, Etc, Etc, Etc... it's not that I'm complaining but it makes me realize how different and time consuming life is with so many kids. It's SO time consuming. I am constantly telling myself to take one-step-at-a-time because it's overwhelming. Like right now, I do not have time to finish this blog post... 

I'm at that place where it feels like the world is spinning all around me and I'm yelling for it to stop because *I* lost someone. It hurts and I want everything to go away. I don't want to go out and buy chicken feed. I don't want to deal with bills and a dental billing/insurance mistake that I made that we now owe a ton of money for. I don't want to deal with toddler meltdowns. I don't want to look at the calendar. I don't want to deal with a 9 year old who is angry and defiant and hiding every feeling she possibly could about her great uncle's death. I do not want to deal with the fact that we have fleas and now obvious flea resistant medications for the animals (dogs now treated with meds that are working, cats still not though). I have too much to do, too much to think about and school is supposed to have started for us. We're supposed to be having piano lessons and bowling and enjoying our new Science Center membership. I'm supposed to be planning Penelope's birthday party. And this week were were supposed to be bringing cheer and hand drawn artwork from kids to Uncle Neal's hospital bedside. So in other words: everyone and everything should stop everything and clear the floor for me so I can be woefully sad and profoundly grouchy. During the day I'm numb but okay as we all are going through the motions of life and prep for Wednesday, by each nightfall I want to use the F word and I get so mad at nearly everything. Then I cry.

Layla and I have been at each others throats since Uncle Neal died and I now realize it's because she's hurting too. She's not crying, she's angry and she's being defiant and mean and hiding her pain. :(  To make things more painful she didn't get to go on her annual float trip with Uncle Neal this year because he was too sick. She also missed the last trip out to see him because she was in school. Horrible. She seems a little more at peace today. It's all going to hit us harder when we get to the family resort tomorrow.

 Poor, poor sweet Charlotte has to try not to cry because her wisdom teeth are still healing and she has a ear ache because of it. We are afraid her ears will clog up from crying.

 On the morning I told Penelope that Uncle Neal died I didn't know what to expect. She blinked her little blue eyes and I thought she was going to cry -and she almost did. She stared blankly at me and optimistically and ever so sweetly said said, "Well, you have to get to Heaven somehow. Right mom?"

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Finding Peace

I knew a Lincoln Log was down the bathroom drain, it's been there for weeks!
(the drain stopper broke and was discarded a year ago, sure we need to buy another one but it's obviously been put on the 2014 to do list lol)
I knew a small toothbrush got dropped down there too. The sink still drained normally though! That left two busy parents very little incentive to fix it. Finally the sink was stopped up and Ricky fixed it. I asked him what else was down there. He said, "Oh, all kinds of gross a carrot." LOL.

The weekend was rough.  Nah, not because of the sink. That's baby stuff.

Trying to regain balance in the home (or life?), cracking down on little kids who are talking unkind to us, a noisy house, and a stressed out mom and dad with more on their plate than they thought. Everett is a handful. This place is familiar.

 I'm trying to find peace and learn to let go. I'm trying to find happiness and let go of things that don't matter.

I've embarked on a soul searching quest for contentment. Contentment is a worn path for me to follow; there's a fight between the fire within me that can't sit still... and contentment. Fire tends to win.

Ricky's swamped at work, he's working on a mountain of projects and there is no end in sight. The stress is starting to show. It goes unnoticeable for a long time but then I can tell after a while. It's times like this I realize how he feels when I'm at a breaking point. We can't stand to see one another unsettled.

We found ourselves cranky and snappy over a beautiful holiday weekend (Labor Day). It was at first unfortunate and sad, but then it was okay and uplifting because while we were cranky at each other and easily irritated we were also understanding and forgiving of each other too. We never fought, we just went with it.
It reminded me of this picture. Especially when he made me a fancy breakfast on Sunday morning.

 We growled and grumbled at each other but we gave each other the permission and space to do so. 
Our Marriage Mantra