Wednesday, April 28, 2010

living a life of blessing...

sometimes i am overwhelmed by the blessing in my life. i look at these five perfect children, at this home that keeps us warm and safe, at this man who walks with a crying baby, at this life that continues to bring me joy in the midst of trials and struggle. how did i get so lucky? i know it can be nothing in me, for i am totally unworthy of all that has been bestowed upon me. i was standing this morning swaying the baby as she slept in my arms. and all the sleepless nights, all the colic, all the worry and money and stresses are totally worth it as i watch her eyelids flicker from dreams and her sweet lips smile at whatever her little mind is showing her in her slumber. i was overcome at how incredibly blessed i truly am. there is a song that never fails to bring tears to my eyes as it just speaks to my heart as a mother. i have to share the lyrics with you!

I will take up all your tears
Salty tissues through the years
Spread them in the sun to dry
Diamonds from each time you cry

I will treasure all your teeth
Your laughter and the pearls beneath
Keep them in a cardboard box
Through the tickings and the tocks

I will gather all your hair
Floating in the sultry air
We will make a braid of gold
For you to keep when you are old

Now I kiss your milky skin
Sheet of silk and soul within
Put this kiss upon your brow
Treasure you as you are now

you can hear this beautiful lullaby here

Friday, April 23, 2010

do you know what is one of the hardest parts of mothering? doing so when you're sick. like i am today. because while this job is full of perks (you've seen my cute baby, right?) it does not tend to offer much in the way of sick time. theMr would super helpful if he was here, but he's working. so it's just me and the kids and the babysitting fellow too. it's hard to be a good mom (or babysitter) when you're hoping that maybe you'll just keel over and die. i just have a bad cold, so it's really not like i'm dying of cancer or anything, but i am miserable. i've let these kids watch tv all morning in the hopes that i can not get off the couch. of course, miss esme is having no part in that. my BFF rachel knew i was feeling bad so she stopped over with an iced cappuccino. that's a good friend! hopefully i can rest when they all take a nap so that i can make it through the evening. i can put them to bed at 6 tonight, right?

but if there is one ray of light on this day? it would be the new Eclipse trailer, just released here
be still my heart....

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

oh what a day...

i'm going to tell you about this long day i've had. why, you ask? because i care about you, my dear readers. i want you to go to bed tonight feeling confident in your parenting and your little darlings. the feelings you will get after reading this post. because you will be thinking "at least little tommy didn't do that!" tuesdays are my most hectic day, work wise. you didn't know i have a job on top of parenting all these children? yes, i do! i do in home childcare for a one year old, a three year old and the three year old's six week old baby brother! now tuesday is the only day currently i have the new baby on top of the others. he's a good baby, as are the others i babysit, but it's still quite a few kids! (five under three if we're counting... but who's counting?) so by the time all the little tykes are picked up, i'm needing to get out for just a bit. we're going to run to the store for a few things. don't you love how i made that sound so light and simple? we'll just hop on over to the grocery! as opposed to what it really is- taking five young children to a public place where they are not allowed to run, yell, touch or wander away! now i have very strict guidelines for behavior in such places and for the most part, my children are very good. but they are still children. and they still greatly outnumber me! so we pull into the parking lot and i begin getting every one out. it is at this point i notice that the princess is not wearing shoes. only her little orange and white frog socks. i asked her why she did not put shoes on. she responded that i did not tell her to. silly me! not realizing i had to make it clear to my five year old that shoes are necessary every time! clearly my fault! the worst part is that she was playing outside when we left, apparently without shoes. so we manage to make it through the shopping without losing/strangling/leaving anyone there. we head home and get everyone inside. i get all the kids seated to eat a late dinner (did you know that 6pm is late here? we're like the elderly- that's practically bed time!) so i'm trying to inhale a salad (while mentally telling myself it's a pizza) and nurse the baby when i notice that the little guy is missing. where do you think he is? playing quietly in his room? watching tv? coloring a picture for his poor, overworked mother? nope. he's upstairs throwing things out the bathroom window. things like books, roll of toilet paper, shoes and even the plunger. oh yeah, and saying "uh oh!" with each toss. as if it's some sort of accident. i manage to drag his little body out of the bathroom without throttling him, all the while reminding myself that beating him will only land me in jail. i calmly put him in bed without snack and left the rest for theMr. i will certainly not be climbing on the porch roof myself to retrieve those items!
now, here we are, two hours later. all the kiddos are in bed. the house is quiet. theMr will be home from work soon. and thankfully, tomorrow is a new day. a new chance for things to be destroyed and peed on and argued over. ah parenting, such a joy :)

*Her first time in a "big girl" cart, isn't she adorable?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Top Ten things NO one told you about parenting!

let's be honest, there's no way to completely prepare for being a parent. and no matter how many children you have, it's always a learning curve. we all knew we'd love them, we knew our priorities would change, we even knew we'd probably be broke! but there are secrets of the parenting club that no one shares ahead of time. maybe so the world keeps producing?

10. pregnancy sucks. before you have kids, you see these adorable pregnant women out and you can't wait to join the club! they seem to be glowing, they can eat whatever they want and people always open doors for them~ perfect! what they don't tell you is that glow is irritation mixed with sleep deprivation, they've had heartburn for 63 days straight and they currently have a pair of ginormous maternity underwear cutting off the circulation to their upper body. the amazing thing is that once it's over and you have your sweet baby, you forget how miserable you were and want to do it all over again as soon as you see another pregnant woman!

9. while we're on the topic of beginnings, let's touch on the beauty of childbirth. we know it's going to hurt, that's why they have drugs! they say it's comparable to a gall stones in a man. i'm calling BS on that one. as a person who's had several unmedicated births I'm telling you that any man who's felt that kind of pain would have thrown himself off a cliff. you know they can't handle that. but i'm getting off track. even if you choose the epidural, there's still alot of pain involved. from stitches to the contractions after the baby, it's no party. we won't even go into the fact that you can barely walk after the first one.

8. then that precious little baby is born. it's love at first sight... maybe. you're entire pregnancy you've dreamt about the moment they lay that baby on your chest. you've fantasized about how wonderful it will be and how in love you will be instantly. but no one tells you that sometimes it takes awhile. that maybe you have an emergency c-section or your baby can't latch on or you are crippled by postpartum depression. there are many variables that can delay the bonding process with a new baby. in those instances what you really need is someone to tell you not to sweat it. it will happen in it's own time and you will love that baby even more than you thought possible. just be patient.

7. the body, oh the poor body. we've discussed this one many times before so we'll keep this brief but oh my. things that used to be firm and perky and tight are now sagging and flabby and... well, you get the picture.

6. you always imagined you'd protect your children, that's a no brainer. what you may not have known is the crazy, irrational person you would become if your child was in any way hurt or picked on. suddenly you're this angry, vengeful psychopath ready to storm the playground and beat the snot out of that classmate that hurt your little one's feelings at lunch yesterday. even while your brain is telling you that you're being crazy, your heart is on a rampage! you've officially turned into that parent. even though you swore you wouldn't before you had kids!

5. tv is your new best friend. you said your kids wouldn't watch tv. and on the rare occasion they did, it would be super educational. suddenly you find yourself parking your baby in an exersaucer in front of "the price is right" just for a few minutes of peace! you thought you would only resort to such things for vital necessities such as using the bathroom. now you'd just like to have a five minute phone conversation without interruption.

4. i'm sure you assured your beloved during your pregnancy that having kids would not affect your sex life. you two would never become like those other married couples who joke about their waning sex life. and along comes Jr. suddenly you're tired and unshowered and hormonal and you're-pretty-sure-that-if-he-touches-you-you'll-punch-him! it's normal, it happens to the best of us. but if i may inject just a bit of advice from a mom of five: don't let it become habit! give yourself a month or two after baby to recover and then do your best to get back to whatever you had before. even if you don't feel like it, meet his needs. i promise that even if you have to force it in the beginning, eventually you'll be back to enjoying it like you did before. and your marriage will benefit from it. obviously i would know, seeing as how i keep getting pregnant!

3. i don't think anyone ever mentioned to me what a total idiot i would become in trying to entertain my children, specifically the baby. that i would make faces and sing ridiculous songs and generally act like a crazy person. anything for a laugh. that my husband would let the girls put makeup on him and paint his nails and then take pictures of him! that we would dance around and roll on the floor purely for their enjoyment. or that it would be totally worth it just to hear the baby giggle.

2. i think the thing that blindsided me the most about motherhood was that my biggest judges would be other mothers. i always thought motherhood was this super tight, exclusive club of women who would never let one another down. what i found was that no one would judge you as much as other women. whatever you do there would be someone else who thinks their method is the better way. it's taken me years to learn not to let them get to me. to do things the way i feel is best and not concern myself with the opinions of people who don't matter. on the flip side, no one will ever understand what we go through daily like another mom. they can also be our greatest allies. i am blessed to have several real, genuine friends in this journey who withhold judgement and give grace, support and love. that's priceless.

1. i think the biggest thing i was unprepared for is that motherhood will change you in every area of your life. you knew your life would change in the expected areas. you didn't see that every nook and cranny of your life and self would never be the same. once you've been changed by motherhood, there's no going back. but i like to think that as moms we have become the best version of ourselves. or at least that's what i'm telling myself... that's my story and i'm sticking to it!

Friday, April 16, 2010

the nervous breakdown update :)

i promised i'd update on the couseling session. i had planned to several days ago but i needed some time to process. it definitely went well. in some ways it was overwhelming to hear myself put all the issues into words but it was so freeing. there's certainly something to be said for getting it all off of your chest. especially when you are, by nature, someone who holds it in. i feel hopeful that there is sunshine on the horizon. that i'm not too damaged to be repaired. that i'm not quite as crazy as i feared :) i think the biggest step for me is to give myself permission to not always be on my A game, you know? enough of the seriousness for this week...

i'm going to try to post some pics later tonight if i ever get around to uploading them! i took the many children to a political rally last night while theMr was working. after approximately seven minutes of being quiet and standing still they were finished. so we wandered to some nearby grass and trees and took pics instead. some of them turned out really well. i have to eventually learn how to use my camera so i can consistantly take good pics. i should take a class. in my free time. i have so much of it you know!

i'm also going to try and get back to the normal vibe of this blog. it's hard to be funny sometimes when life is so unhumorous. (is that a word? i'm not sure) my goal has always been to give a window into my every day while infusing humor as opposed to tears, lol. i'll work on getting back to that. no more talk of death and breakdowns and whatnot. :)

Sunday, April 11, 2010


hey guys! i know i've been a bit "distant" lately... can you be distant on a blog? i don't know! i've shared that i'm struggling with some things personally and i've decided to just put it on paper, so to speak. let me give a little background about myself. i am totally a type A, strong willed, strong personality kind of gal. i'm loud, sometimes offensive, fiercely loyal, deeply empathetic, stubborn and set expectations for myself that are completely impossible. i also tend to be fairly confident and self assured. but every since i had esme, i've really struggled. one of the things i've always been confident in is just having it together. i'm a motivated, determined person and i try to really do my best in every area of my life. so since i've had the baby, there are quite a few areas that are falling by the wayside. it's totally sending me in a tailspin. i set this standard for myself that i have to keep-my-house-clean-and-be-an-excellent-parent-and-the-perfect-wife- and-friend-and-churchgoer-and-IF-I-DON'T-IT'S-ALL-GONNA-FALL-APART! i don't allow any room for weakness. the funny thing is that i don't have these kind of expectations for anyone else in my life, only myself. so now that many areas of my house are frequently a mess and i've become super needy with my husband (which is not the norm from me!) and i really need help from people, i'm having a hard time. i'm too tired to go to the gym yet i've become totally insecure about my appearance. i don't want to go places because i don't want people to see me. i'm normally a pretty small person but i gain three times the normal weight when i'm pregnant. i've done it every time and i always lose it eventually but this time it's really stressing me out. then i have this really hot husband who's in excellent shape and i wonder if people see us out and think "what's he doing with her?" and i just hate feeling this way. i'm never this insecure. i'm never this crazy! so i'm going to see a counselor this week and hoping i can sort all of this out before i drive the people in my life insane. hoping i can come to a place where i don't have to be perfect to be "good enough". where i don't feel like i have to constantly try to "earn" my husband's love even though he makes it abundantly clear how much he loves me unconditionally. where i don't feel like i'm not beautiful because i'm carrying the weight from my fifth baby! i have so much grace and forgiveness and understanding for everyone else in my life, it's time to have it for myself. maybe i can learn to do that.
sorry i'm still slacking on the blogging.... have some intense personal things to deal with. not ready to share with the world. sometimes life is just too much, you know?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


12 months... 365 days...
a million and one moments without you
trying to move on, trying to find peace
trying to grasp what Lord wants to do

trusting in Him
what we can't understand
knowing your life
is still in His hands

early in the morning,
joy promised to come
but deep in the darkness
still missing the sun.

then we're reminded
what we know to be true
the Lord knew your life story
before creating you

He knew you'd be young
on the day you came Home
He knew we would miss you
and feel so alone
but lives would be changed
from the mark that you left
a legacy of hope
would be your last gift.

that time heals all wounds,
somewhat may be true
it can't fill the void
in our hearts from you

we trust in the Lord
in His plan we rely
for He understands
his own son had to die

if hannah were here
to see all these tears
she's surely remind us
and relieve all our fears
"i'm dancing with Jesus
i'm never alone
i'm praising my savior
at the feet of his throne.
you'll see me again
when you're time has come
we'll rejoice here together
and worship as one."

on this day we praise Him
for His perfect plan
for letting us know her
and helping us stand
all of you're promises
yes and amen
our hope is in you Lord
we'll see her again.

Monday, April 5, 2010

top ten concessions of big family

there are certain qualities of parenting a larger brood that other moms may not experience. some of them are good, others...well, not so much. the quicker you accept them, the less stressful your life will be. here are just a few!

10. the kitchen floor has to be swept every. single. day. without fail. there will never be a day when it does not get filthy. seven people eating three meals a day plus snacks is hell on a kitchen floor. just sweep it and move on. it's not worth even lamenting about. it'll just need done again tomorrow.

9. someone will always be fighting. always. it's inevitable. i've found it's best to just stay out of it unless someone is bleeding. in that case, side with the bleeder.

8. people will always stop you in public with the same questions. "are you catholic?" "are these all yours?" "don't you know how this happens?" because the only thing more stressful than taking five kids to the store alone is constantly stopping to answer strangers questions.

7. people will also always ask you if you are having more. this is a tricky question because if you answer "no" they will respond with "that's what you said after #4" but if you answer "maybe or yes" they try to have you committed in a mental institution. i prefer to say "i'm trying to get rid of a few that i already have." that tends to shut them up.

6. when one kid gets sick, you can pretty much count on being stuck inside for at least two weeks while it makes it's way through the entire family. it's kind of like the rule of mice, there's never just one.

5. the laundry will never be all caught up. ever. even if by some miracle you get all the laundry done in your baskets, the amount of clothes worn for one day is a whole new load.

4. hostesses of restaurants will pretty much hate you from the point you have three kids on. they don't have a big enough table and they're sure you will leave a huge mess. we don't take our kids out to eat too often because it costs a fortune but you can bet that when we do we leave an excellent tip. i waitressed my way through college, i understand.

3. your body will never be the same. mark my words: NEVER. i manage to lose the 60+ lbs every time i have a baby but that skin is NOT going anywhere. i've seen women with a kid or two that still have fabulous bodies. but i've yet to meet a mother of four or more with one that hasn't had plastic surgery. it's not possible. so work out all you want but that belly will never be totally flat again. nor will your bladder ever recover. just sayin... will never love your husband as much as when you see him as a father. i think this one is true for mothers of every size family but just grows with each new addition. seeing a big, tattooed, muscled man wear a baby in a sling while pushing a toddler on a swing is heartwarming. you just adore him even more. and then you find yourself pregnant. it's a vicious cycle.

1. you never imagine you will love a child as much as your first until your second is born. you even think you may not be able to love your third as much as the first two until they are born. by four you realize that like children, love grows. i could never imagine in my self centered, all-about-me past that there would one day be SIX people i'd lay my life down for. yet here we are. and i'd do it for any one of them. how very blessed i am!