Life With Nine Kids

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

I stood sobbing over two bowls of marshmallow salad. It started with just two tears streaming down my face but by the time I was folding whipped topping into the fluffy marshmallows and fruit I was sobbing. Making Thanksgiving dinner is a joy to me but the stress of October lingered and Thanksgiving was starting to feel like another thing I had to do. I just wanted a shower. The kids had been wild and restless for weeks. Madeline had also been a monkey for weeks. She's so wild!
Minutes before the tears fell I yelled at Ricky for basically nothing. He irritated me about something dumb and I got snappy. He told me he wasn't going to hang out in the kitchen with me if I was going to yell at him. So then I did yell at him, "I'm not yelling at you, THIS is yelling at you!" I was feeling tired (it was nearing midnight) and I was so grumpy. (Or at this point totally pissed off.) I continued on, "And don't be in the kitchen then! I don't care because "everything's" ruined now anyway."

Sigh. Stress. Sad face.

I had a hard week, and when I really think about it, this has also been a bit of a hard year for various reasons that I don't want to spell out.

Madeline has been so demanding this week and really this month. She is into everything. All day long we chase her around. She also chases me around wanting to be held. She is very needy but so very sweet. She's not a hard baby in actuality, but she keeps us very busy. This week she's been pulling cans out of the cupboard. She's wrapped the vacuum cord around her neck. She also just wants to tear massive amounts of stuff up. She's constantly wiggling from her high chair and then standing up in her high chair. When you get her down she just climbs up the kitchen chairs and the kitchen table. She falls off the chairs regularly and yesterday she fell off the table. She basically landed head first on the wood floor. I was running over to her when it happened. In almost slow motion, before I could reach her, there she toppled feet over her head just as she peeked over the edge of the table in a squat. Insane child! Most people, the kind without nine kids, probably would have rushed their child to the hospital. After only a few minutes of crying and nursing and then a half hour of playing I gave mine a car ride to make her fall asleep.I have no idea why she STILL climbs up chairs. She falls of them frequently. Kids are amazing and resilient. The human species in general is too. Also, genetics. Ricky's head and his children's heads are like bricks! I've never seen anything like it. One time Beatrice fell out of the van while we were loading it up. She was around two and I was right next to her. She talked in full paragraphs very young and insisted I did NOT have to help her up! She toppled out on her head. She still has an actual dent on her head from it. That actually scared me very badly. The sound of head hitting black top is horrid. She was totally fine. Her head dented though! Their skulls are all part metal or brick, I'm sure of it.
Picture from December 2016 (which hasn't even happened yet because this is a NOVEMBER 2016 post, remember. lol) See, told you. She's nuts. She tries to run down the slide.

You know when someone's kid gets hurt or dies from drowning, or an equally horrible thing, and everyone lashes out at the parents and calls them the worst ever? The holier than thou parents (and grandparents) come out in hoards on online comment sections preaching about how they never take their eyes off their kids ever, and this would never happen to them. Yeah whatever. Parenting is hard and kids do stuff. Not only do accidents happen, but sometimes you have these really freaking crazy kids (like Everett the bull riding fire fighter and adventurous Madeline especially) and nearly every time you turn around they are being totally insane.

So, Thanksgiving...
I sobbed while folding the marshmallows and fruit together. The small gluten free pizza I was baking for us as a late dinner was done. I cut it and solemnly brought Ricky half. He ate quietly in the dark bedroom while he finished watching TV. Afterwards he came in the kitchen and asked me if I wanted help. I had stopped crying but started again as I blurted out, "I'm so sorry I was mean to you." Tears. Lots of tears fell as big man arms wrapped all the way around my sobbing body. He's the best. This is marriage, the raw stuff. The I'd do anything for you no matter what stuff. The best stuff: like bringing your husband pizza because he needs to eat even if you are snappy and annoyed, or offering help and giving bear hugs to your wife even when she was being the mean one. No grudges or grievances to be had.

"For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish..."

Does anyone really think about what "for worse" means? I didn't really. I always just assumed it meant during hard times or illness --pretty similar to the 'poorer' and 'in sickness' thing actually. Turns out it probably means more like when your partner is suddenly a grouchy jerk to you and you show them grace and humility. When we show our worst sides we need to still work towards loving and cherishing each other. (Note: This should not extend itself into abuse.)

He forgave me. He apologized. (He didn't need to.) I cried. I felt better. Release.

We finished making marshmallow salad, jello, stuffing, and pumpkin pie together until our eyes were drooping closed. We had a nice Thanksgiving. I'm always thankful for him and for who we are together. We truly bring out the best in each other.
1 year ago~ Newborn Madeline

I was pretty busy, but I finally got my shower at 2pm Thanksgiving day after everything was almost ready. I told my family that no one eats until I shower!  Barely squeezed that in!

I was very pleased with my braided pie crusts! I LOVE making homemade pie.
 We played Pie Face (kids loved it!) and ate and ate and ate.
We all ate around the kitchen table. Big family life!

Reminds me of this gem of a movie, Cheaper By the Dozen

And that's a wrap! My calendar is cleared. I am looking forward to hibernation time. Usually in the winter we stay in a lot. We hunker down like bears. So very thankful for that.

Kid Snippets: 

November 10th
Bea (3) was looking closely at the bushes and flowers outside the library....
Bea: "Mom are these flowers all out of bees?"
Me: That's so cute Bea. You know so much stuff, like how flowers are supposed to have bees on them.
Bea: Yeah cause I know everything! Just like I know about doggies in the road and old leaves and bees in flowers! Cause I am sooo big and sooo smart, too.
And so cute too! She is great. (I have no idea what doggies in the road meant! I love it though!) Picture below is outside of the library next to the flowers. Bea decided to crawl through the bike racks, Penelope is following.

Always stop to smell the flowers...and crawl through make-shift tunnels
November 7
Bea (3) a few minutes ago at 4-freaking-am...
Bea: Mom, is it almost Christmas?
Me: No honey, not yet.
Bea: Mom is it almost Christmas?
Me: No, it's almost Thanksgiving.
Bea: Mom, is it almost Christmas?
Me: No!
Bea: Mom, is it almost Christmas?
Me: Bea, NO! You've asked me four times!! Stop asking!
Bea says nothing for 10 minutes, then she says, "Mom, I talk a lot when I talk."

(Oh goodness, I LOVE HER!)

November 3
“The most effective kind of education is that a child should play amongst lovely things.” –Plato

November 28 
Everett age (6) loves to try to cook things in front of the space heater in the kitchen. "I want perfect ham" he tells me quite seriously as he places lunch meat in front of the heater.  It actually cooked to my surprise! He was thrilled. He's been obsessed with freezing things for years. It's actually comical. If he has two cookies he'll freeze one. He freezes milk and all kinds of things. It drives me crazy but it is also super adorable and interesting how much he loves freezing things. Now he has taken a fancy with the space heater. 
Last summer he kept trying to freeze our blackberries from our bushes. We didn't have enough to freeze though! We wanted to eat them fresh. If I wanted frozen blackberries I would buy some from Costco. He would beat us to the bushes sometimes and we'd go crazy because he'd have the ripe ones frozen already without us knowing. It's pretty hilarious even though we were also not happy he was doing it. He LOVES freezing stuff to see how it changes.