Life With Nine Kids

Monday, November 30, 2015

November 2015

Penelope got a darling new prairie dress in November. I told my friend Molly that I hope Penelope never outgrows her prairie stage. Molly told me she only had one bonnet as a child but has three now. That made me smile.

Penelope (9) is so amazing as a big sister. She wanted to learn to hold Madeline alone, pick her up, change her diaper, and be able to walk around with her (to rock her or bring her to me). I was a bit nervous at first but the child is a natural mother. When Madeline wakes up from a nap I can rarely make it to my bedroom before Penelope scoops her up. Not even a poopy diaper scares Penelope off. She's so caring and loves to help out.

Penelope and I were talking about how Beatrice loves to sing and how sweet it is that she sings to Madeline. Bea heard this and started singing Rock-a-bye baby to Madeline, but it went like this: Rock-a-bye baby in the tree top when the wind blows the baby will...die. We looked at each other in horror and then couldn't stop laughing. That so belongs on that online list of 'creepiest things kids have said.' lol

In the most super cute things ever, Beatrice came up to Madeline today rubbed her head over and over and in a high pitched sweet toddler baby-talking voice said, "You are, aren't you? You are, aren't you?" without saying what she was first. So funny and cute.

Beatrice says things to me that are very unusual and amazing. Beatrice is very verbal (she has been talking well since at least 18 months old!) and she is not just verbal, but very expressive and articulate as well. She walked right up to me on at least a half a dozen different days, rubbed her baby sisters head, then pressed her head to her baby sister's head and closed her eyes, then she actually said to me, "Thank you for my baby sister, Mom." I could die from the sweetness and cuteness!

Everett asked me to teach him how to sew...
Everett (5 years old): Do you know why I want to learn to sew? So I can make a soft gun.
Penelope (9 years old): He means a stuffed gun, like a stuffed animal.
Everett: Yeah! That's why I want to learn!
I wrote this for Madeline at one month:
Gained 2 pounds, can turn head in my direction to look for me, big, dark navy blue eyes, wakes every 3-4 hours like perfect clockwork to nurse, loves to snuggle up, loves being swaddled, likes baths. I am in awe. I have been trying to pay extra attention to how she changes. From newborn to infant it's stunning how fast it goes.
I took the kids to our first homeschool meet up since Madeline was born. It was really fun having my mom friends coo over my baby. A circle of very motherful, sweet women gathered around me asking how I am, how our family is, and marveling at the wonder of such newness. It was sooooo sweet. Many echoed what Ricky and I keep saying each time... "How can we forget how tiny they are?" and "Why doesn't the newborn stage last longer." Oh newborn babies, what absolute love and hope you bring to the world.

Postpartum thoughts I wrote down in November:

November 10, 2015
Whether I like it or not I'm back in full swing mom mode. The world keeps turning even when you'd rather it stop a while and let you rejoice your new baby.  Ricky has the time off to take right now (paid), he just can't use more days right now when he has so many responsibilities to tend to at work. He took off a week in September for our beach vacation and then a handful of postpartum days. I can't imagine the stress he has been under. I'm sure it has been hard juggling so much. He has done amazing and I'm so grateful. In life there is always sacrifice. You will swap having family time for money or money for family time. It's the truth. The past two weeks play out like a month -or more-  in my head. I almost feel like I've been walking around outside of my body, or in a long dream where everything is muddled together. I don't say this as a bad thing per say, it's just weird.

November 19, 2015
Ricky is so loving and kind and tries to help me so much. He offered to take the day off tomorrow if it would help with the busy day I will have running kids to two appointments. He is swamped at know "real work" the kind that pays bills. He doesn't think I have all the time in the world because I stay home, and he doesn't tell me to get on with life as usual with a newborn. I am so glad he doesn't act like three weeks postpartum should be long enough for me to buck up and get out of the house regularly, even though most people probably do start to think that. I feel so fragile still.

I actually wanted him to help me tomorrow but I didn't want to ask... and then he just offered. Now I'm feeling more capable and able. Sometimes it is just enough for someone to offer, to sympathize, to hear you, to see you and your challenges... and then like magic things seem easier because you feel so loved. (This reminded me of this amazing cartoon video about empathy)
^ After I wrote that Ricky was able to take that Friday off plus two more in a row. He surprised me with two of them too! This leads me to the obvious conclusion that four day work weeks rule, and they should be the standard. Now that's not to say it came easy. He got home at 8pm some nights in order to swing his responsibilities at work. I appreciated his efforts to help me SO much. Sebastian has eye therapy appointments on Fridays. It is a 45 minute drive one-way. Ricky taking him to those on Fridays is a huge welcomed help.

Butchering the Thanksgiving bird
Thanksgiving was quiet, peaceful, and easy going. I prepped almost everything in advance.  I went easy on myself and only made pumpkin pies. The lemon meringue store-bought pie was hideously disappointing. I had to tell myself I just had a baby many times to keep myself stress free.

It was hard because my extended family is far away now. It was our first Thanksgiving without Aunt Sharon being here. I was really sad in the morning, shed my tears, and moved on. By afternoon Charlotte was weepy. When she told me I was like, "Oh no, I was already there! Don't bring me your weepiness over to me. I'm over it!" (It was funny, but I didn't really listen to the awesome empathy movie link I shared above!)

It was fun to have our fresh home grown Thanksgiving turkey. The kids helped prepare it. We butchered it a week before so the meat could rest. This makes it more tender. The kids all wanted to be involved and they were actually a ton of help. They all pitched in on feather plucking which can take quite a while.
35 pounds of bird
The weather in November was positively wonderful. We got lots of outside days. It really helped refresh me. I wasn't ready to plunge into the cold. (I never am!) I loved having Beatrice in June because the weather was so beautiful and the air so sweet. November being mild and sunny was a unexpected joy.
Sunny November morning nursing Madeline on the front porch


Rebecca said...

Had the kids helped with slaughtering a turkey before?

What was wrong with the lemon meringues exactly? What else was on your menu?

How far away was Aunt Sharon? Will you get to see her less during the year or will you see her at 2 year intervals or some other arrangement?

Sorry for so many questions.

I love reading your blog. :)

Mom of a bunch of great kids... said...

Yes they had helped before, but they were involved a bit longer this time.
The lemon pie just tasted overly sweet and yucky. Lol. We actually fed it to the chickens.
We had turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, cranberry, carrots, marshmallow salad, green jello salad, cherry jello, rolls.
Aunt Sharon is over 2000 miles away. She visit several times a year. She is like a mother to me and grandmother to my kids. She is very close to her nieces and nephews. She never had children, but we are her children!
Thanks for reading!

Rebecca said...

Your Thanksgiving sounds different to ours. We had yams, taco salad, green bean casserole, tater tot casserole, rolls, biscuits, vegetables, turkey and stuffing. So much food.

You always speak so fondly of her. I wish she wasn't so far from you.

Thanks for writing. I love your blog.

Nicole said...

I love reading your blog:) We had our seventh baby November 14th, just a couple weeks after Madeline was born. Reading your thoughts about motherhood helps me to feel normal. Too bad we are not neighbors, our five year olds could jump on the furniture together and our hubby could talk brewing and catching babies. My 10 yr old daughter can be prairie girl Penelope's pony (my girl loves to be a horse:) And we could just sit and nurse babies and talk mom shop.

Mom of a bunch of great kids... said...

Nicole, That sounds so, so perfect! Too bad indeed. Thanks for that beautiful thought.

Anonymous said...

We had a baby a couple weeks after you too so it is a lot of fun reading your experiences and sharing them with my daughter who is 8, and is exactly how you described Penelope. She wants to know what you all do with the feathers from the turkey. She thinks they should be used for a feather duster.

Mom of a bunch of great kids... said...

Sorry for such a delayed response! How cute she asked. My kids have added some to homemade dream catchers. My son, Everett, taped one to a headband for his game. He is a wild boy. I will have to post a picture of that soon. I call him a Lost Boy from Peter Pan. Most of them blow away in the wind or get thrown away. They aren't good for dusting unfortunately. That is because they are mostly too stiff and the soft ones that might work are too small. Some of the big long tail feathers are very cool. I would mail her one if she wanted. The next turkeys we butcher are Bourbon Reds, so their feathers are a red/orange and white. My email is if you want me to send her one. :) (Never post a mailing address online where everyone could see.)