Life With Nine Kids

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

April 2017

April showers bring May flowers! The grass gets green, the birds get busy building nests, bees visit patches of dandelions and clover, and bright tulips push up toward the sun.... Andddd....I was born!

April is a great time of year, unless you are a financial analyst like my dear husband is. My birthday lands at a pretty bad time of year for Ricky. He used to take my birthday off. But, since quarter end is the first week of April, and we have collected nine kids over the years (lol) it's gotten increasingly hard for him to spend the day or evening with me on April 4th. We do get to sneak away from time to time, but it's NOT usually during the first week of April. Every year he tries to at least get home early, and most years as of recent it just doesn't work out. I had a feeling this year would be tough too, so I planned my own party! Bea wrapped a bunch of flower bulbs that I picked out last week and she had the best time giving them to me. I acted like I had never seen them before. I hadn't looked at them since I bought them, and I was delighted at all the cheery color and fun of them as my gift!

Beatrice also made me a window frame out of Popsicle sticks. When Bea gave me the window she lamented in the sweetest concerned three year old squeaky voice that it was crooked. She even hung her head down sadly! I told her I love crooked windows. Her whole sweet face lit up and her smile beamed. It was precious and I adore my Popsicle stick window!
First thing after breakfast I took the teens to their finance class, but before we left we found a dead chicken and a very wounded one. That was a hectic start to the morning. I was just going to to kill the wounded one but it was wiggling around a bunch. I was too hasty and rushed (AND IN A DRESS) to take it over to the killing cone for slaughtering. I stopped and examined it more...what if she's just real hurt but not mortally wounded? Its eyes were swollen shut. But, sometimes people look pretty darn bad at the hospital after a severe injury. (Then again, they are AT AN ACTUAL HOSPITAL.) Reluctantly, I put away the hatchet and stuck the hen in a box with pine shavings until I could get back home and care for her. While I drove I thought about all the miracle animals I've seen and the compassionate people who saved them. A special floating "wheel chair" for a disabled fish and a wounded turtle with tiny wheels for front legs. Dogs with two legs. Realistically, chickens have a pretty low survival rate once badly injured or ill. Over the years you lose wayyy more than you save. I'll just stop the suspense and tell ya now: Cupcake (I quickly and aptly named her since it was my birthday) didn't make it. I should have put her out of misery after all. I once found a floppy, cold and drenched chicken after a bad rainstorm. I brought her inside and warmed her in a sink bath and blow dried her feathers. That girl made it. (Just fell like adding a happy chicken story here for good measure.)

Back to my Birthday...
I told the younger kids I'd take them to Target to get cake decorating supplies. I browsed the birthday section and found a unicorn headband and super cute plates.

It dawned on me that I had never had a unicorn birthday party, probably because I was so into unicorns as a child that it never crossed my mind. Unicorns weren't on my radar as a once over birthday thing. Unicorns were something I did everyday. But now I'm a grown up. A really big grown up, I'm now at level 39 and it is unicorn party time, because it's been ages since I've unicorned! 

Back at home after Target I made an electrolyte solution for Cupcake, the hurt and probably dying chicken, I packed its wounds with an antibiotic ointment, and then it was time to help Bea (3) and Everett (6) make cakes. It was around this time I realized throwing your own birthday party is a lot of work. 

I quipped on my Facebook: 
"I am juggling four kids making each their OWN cakes for me (it's for me right?), two of which want to make them from scratch, them also fighting, a broken bowl, a one year old playing in dog food, and a hurt chicken I'm trying to nurse back to health. (A very hurt chicken. Blood, everything.) And I'm doing it all with a unicorn horn on my head because I am having a unicorn party. Wild day."

Penelope and Sebastian were not thrilled they had to wait all day to make their cakes. I am only ONE person though and they want to make theirs from scratch. I heard a good bit of complaining about them having to wait. As the other cakes cooled Charlotte got home from college. She enthusiastically, because she's the best adult-kiddo ever, whipped out her cake airbrush supplies and started whipping up frosting. Thank God for Charlotte. 

She got busy with the kids decorating and letting them do list the work while still helping them create. I was off to pick up the teen boys from class. I had to hurry because I had a 3:00 birthday massage appointment. On the way to get the boys I knew I should get gas (gas light has been on all day) but guess what kind of person I am?

However, on the way home I was chatting away so happily with my teens about my crazy day that I forgot to stop for gas on the way home. Nearly home the van made a couple of slower weird feeling jerks only detectable by me. My van was thirsty. I was nervous there for a sec, but we made it home. I promptly got a big gas can out of the garage. (Ricky could be reading this thinking, so that's why I don't always have as much gas as I think we have on hand for the lawn mower... Heehe.)  I quickly put some gas in (no actually I stood there forever because it's not fast pouring gas in from a gas can into a huge van) and I felt like a dork and laughed at myself. As I'm gassing up the kids walked out and show me UNICORN CAKES because they couldn't wait any longer!!!!  I loved them!! They had edible sparkle glitter and star candy embellishments you can't even see as well in photos. Very magical!

Then I took off in my van again. I made it to my birthday massage appointment (and got gas from a real station), a big thanks to all my lovely kids at home holding down the fort. When I got home the LAST thing I wanted to do was make more cakes! However, Sebastian and Penelope had their turn of cakes to still do. I didn't have to do a lot, they could mostly do it, but I'm still needed to help. As they finished up Layla and I decorated outside and took pictures, we enjoyed some cake, too. Bea and Everett couldn't wait for cake so we had cake before dinner. I actually do cake before dinner a lot. They leave me alone to do dinner that way. Besides, after dinner is cleaned up the last thing any mom wants to hear about is getting more food out!
I actually had no dinner planned and it was 5:30 or so. I kinda thought dinner plans would just fall into place. I had going out or ordering pizza in my head. Ricky soon texted me a sincere message about how sorry he was he wasn't home yet. He also joked that we should move my birth date. I texted him back: You are an amazing husband and you love me unconditionally everyday of your life. You always think of me first and I have everything I could need and you always strive to give me more. You don't have to be sorry.

I ordered pizza around 6pm. I had wanted to go get Mexican with Ricky and ALL the kids but I was certain he would be too pooped from work, plus I was way too exhausted, and Madeline is at a very hard restaurant age anyway. I ordered pizza and had everyone help me pick up the house before dinner. Ricky walked in as we got the couch bed out and we all ate in the living room watching something family friendly (AFV probably), I don't remember because Ricky and I fell fast asleep nearly immediately after dinner. Couch beds are the best thing ever.
 Aside from my massage and flowers to plant, I also got nice new rain boots, better clips I wanted for my hot rollers, and a book: Mrs. Dunwoody's Excellent Instructions for Homekeeping: Timeless Wisdom and Practical Advice .
I have spent the last few days doing yard work. I love yard work. I love gardening. I love the kids playing outside all day. I love flowers. I love rain boots. I love spring. I love baby chicks and kids that love them, too. I love the world I'm in when everything turns green. I love fresh air and blue skies. I love warmth. I love little voices next to me asking me questions about earthworms, grubs, and gardening. I love seeing tightly wound Hostas pop up from the ground. I love teaching a kid how to mow. I love my husband. I love spring. Life is so good. Thirty-nine is amazing.


 In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt. -Margaret Atwood



Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems. Rainer Maria Rilke
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/r/rainermari147755.html?src=t_spring

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt. Margaret Atwood
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/spring.html