Monday, June 29, 2009

Its not a big deal

I have to say one of the hardest things I have had to learn as a parent is that most things really aren't that big of a deal. Sure at the time it seems like the world as we know it is coming to an end but really its not. Ok well maybe YOU don't think its coming to an end but I have a pension for the over dramatic.

I first realized I had this problem when my kids started freaking out over things. I remember quite clearly dd1 screaming hysterically because the velcro of her diaper got stuck on her blanket. She was 2 at the time. I knew she had to have learned that response somewhere. Hmmm wonder from where.

Now that they are older I am often times finding myself saying, "Oh calm down, its not that big of a deal." It falls on deaf ears though. Oh not my kids; Myself. I finally started listening to myself though and realized, yup all those things is not such a big deal. Certainly not in the long run. If it can be cleaned, fixed, or replaced its not that big of a deal.

An example:

ds5 likes the feeling of peanut butter on his fingers. And in his hair. And between his toes. In short he likes to cover himself in peanut butter. The first time this happened I completely freaked out. Do you know how hard it is to clean peanut butter out of carpet? I have since learned its not that big of a deal. Yes, its hard to get peanut butter out of carpet, but it does come out. And of course he always does it shortly after a bath but at least that means there is nothing stuck IN the peanut butter. Mmmmm peanut butter and toe jam. Yummy. I have also learned how to clean up peanut butter quickly and more importantly effectively. And I learned you need to lock the pantry. I can always buy more peanut butter but I can never replace the pics I have of ds "sharing" it with me.
Yes, when things happen they are usually terribly inconvenient, probably messy, might be heart stopping but in the end its not such a big deal.

Monday, June 22, 2009

If you give a mom a vacuum

Ds2 spilled some dirt in their room from a plant. He didn't do the greatest job cleaning up, so I told him I would take care of it. I had to pick up the stuff on the floor first. Dirty clothes, toys, garbage. I followed the trail into the closet and noticed the closet was a mess. Winter clothes were on the floor, jackets knocked down, boxes out of order. I was gonna put the dirties in their basket and noticed it was full. So I started a load of clothes, took out all the boxes in the closet so I could rearrange them and found a box that had some summer clothes my oldest could wear. So I called him in to try them on. He got several pairs of shorts and a few shirts he could wear and he put some away that were too small. All the boxes organized, jackets now hung up, toys all put away, and garbage where it belongs I was finally able to vacuum. Well I couldn't just stop at their door. Whats a few more feet? So I vacuumed the hall. Well our bedroom is right across the hall so I vacuumed our room. Just as I was done the washer quit so I could hang it up to dry. All because ds spilled some dirt that I needed to vacuum.

Hey at least their room is clean now.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Fathers Day

Millions of men all over the country woke up to hand made cards, sloppy kisses, giant bear hugs and cold cereal for breakfast. Dads don't care that the cards have letters written backwards - just the fact their children tried is enough to make him smile. Dads don't care that they need to shower after after a simple kiss from their 2 year old, they are just thrilled that their 2 yr old thinks they are special enough for a kiss. And while they would rather go to Dennys for a hot breakfast the cold cereal they get at home comes with way better service.

My husband not only got all that but 8 times over. The kids each drew him a picture. The girls made him a picture frame out of popsicle sticks and put a picture of the baby in it. He got to have half a bagel for breakfast with pb and butter - in that order. It wasn't a gold watch or new golf clubs but he appreciated it so much more. Just the thought the kids put in to it shows dh how much they love him and its that love that makes dh melt. When you are a father to many you get to love that much more and be loved by that many more.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Carpet Cleaning

Our carpets are in need of a cleaning. They have stains. Mostly water spots. How does water make stains? Well apparently it mixes with the dirt thats already there. So I guess it would be mud spots. There are some other spots: someone spilled OJ in the loft, a pb graham cracker got stuck to the floor in the dining room and someone tracked mud into the living room. By and far though most spots are the water/dirt mix (those stupid sippy cups).

We own our own carpet cleaner (I challenge any family with 8 kids to go through a bout of vomiting and not have to buy a carpet cleaner) so we can do this anytime we need to. The cleaner leaves the floor wet so walking through there would just make more water/dirt mud spots. Funny how water is what cleans the water spots. Maybe its not really clean. Maybe we're just smearing the mud all over. Anyhow, before we can clean it we have to clean it. That is pick up all the toys and vacuum. So Needless to say we are doing one room at a time. By the time we get done with that last room we'll have to start over.

I am thinking the next house will have wood or tile floors throughout. Maybe just concrete. Yes, concrete. That would solve all our problems lol.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Myth #2 - We try to have as many kids as possible

I find it ironic that this is even a myth as quiverful is actually the total opposite of "trying". It is true that some quiverful families have many children. That can happen when you don't use birth control. But it is not true that we *try* to have as many children as possible. If a quiverful couple had only 2 children would you suspect them of being "one of those quiverful people"? Not likely. Why? Because it doesn't fly in the face of convention. They are "normal".

I have heard tales of women that wean if she is breastfeeding to facilitate the return of her fertility so she can get pregnant. (as if this really works, I'm lucky if I get 9 mos without a period)

I have heard some rather colorful remarks about how hard certain families "try" to get pregnant. That some quiverful families are so large because they have frequent sex. This screams of adolescent hopes that that *one* time won't get him in trouble. We've all watched CSI now, lets not be stupid about this.

Some people also apparently think that, like Octomom, we are undergoing fertility treatments, taking fertility enhancing medication or herbs and otherwise purposely trying to have multiples. Right. Octomom made the news for a reason.

And some take it so far as to suggest we marry young and encourage our daughters to do the same so that we have more years of childbearing. Yes, this is why you see such large numbers of quiverful families. Does anyone else see the flaw in that argument lol.

While I am sure there are some people out there that actually did do one or more of those things I can assure you that the vast majority of quiverful couples do not practice those things or believe in the least that they need to have a large family. The whole point of being quiverful is giving our fertility up to the Lord. To allow Him to decide how big or small our family is going to be. To try to have children is the same as trying not to; its trying to control the situation.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Worst Possible Thing

Last year was a tough one for us. We lost our business which led to us loosing our house. We had our car broken into, worked for a terrible company, got scammed by another, and worst of all lost a baby. When dh told his father that "the worst possible thing" had happened his father assumed that dh meant I was pg. Talk about adding insult to injury. Understandably as to many people going through foreclosure and total bankruptcy is not the time to be adding to ones family. We certainly couldn't provide for the ones we had (and I will point out we couldn't even provide for ourselves), so it would be irresponsible to add more we couldn't "Afford". Yes, the worst possible thing that could happen would be that God would bless us with another child. Seems so contradictory. How can God claim to know what is best for me yet He is giving me this blessing I can't afford?

If we look back at Israel God continued to bless them with children even during the worst times. When they were in bondage God blessed them with great numbers of children. They were slaves, if any time is a bad time to have kids it would be then. Their numbers became so great that the Egyptians feared the Israelites would rise up against them. So Pharaoh called for all male babies to be slain. Ok, if anytime is a bad time to have kids it would be then. Yet God continued to bless them with children. Moses was born during that time. The man who led the Israelites out of bondage - he became a blessing his mother I am sure never imagined.

Yes, to us that wasn't the best time to have a child. We were under a lot of stress. We didn't know if we would be homeless. I am sure you are thinking that God didn't think it was the best time either - The lord giveth and the lord taketh away. Yes, I lost that baby but the very next mos conceived ds6. God wanted to give us a gift in our time of trouble. In your time of trouble wouldn't you want to be blessed? 3 months later Dh got a great job. We weren't homeless, life went back to normal. Ds was born and proved to be the blessing God promised that children are. Mil and Fil awwwed over the baby, saying, "Isn't it nice to have a baby around again." A baby, that if they had their way, would never have been conceived. What about the baby I lost? How was that a blessing? If it weren't for that baby I wouldn't have seen that reaction from my ils and then appreciate their reaction after ds6 was born. Because I lost that baby I realized that "the worst possible thing" is not having another child or even loosing a child - Its not trusting God with our whole lives.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Funny Moments

When you have a lot of kids you have that much more opportunity for fun. Yes, children are a lot of work but they are just as much fun. If not more. If you have never read Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey you should definitely pick it up. Its funnier than the movie with Steve Martin. Just don't let your kids read it, will give them bad ideas lol.

Kids say and do the funniest things. If you ever wondered where stand up came from it came from parents regaling each other with tales of what their children did lately. Its the best entertainment. I would encourage all parents, no matter how many children you have, to write down and record the funny things your children do. You will forget them all too fast and when they are grown you will fondly look back on them. It will also help to see the good times and forget the bad. When they are kicking and screaming because they want something they can't have its easy to forget the time they brought you a weed because they thought it was a pretty flower. When you take the time to enjoy your children you can see things from their perspective. Through their innocence and naivety instead of through our jaded and cynical world view.

Some gems from my kids recently:

Ds3 says to ds4 while they were playing Mario and Luigi: "You can't be Mario. He doesn't wear glasses - or underwear." I guess it didn't occur to ds3 that Mario probably does wear underwear under his clothes where they belong.

Ds4 tells me: "Elephants are very big and have very large Snots." He meant to say snouts, although as big as their noses are I bet they do have large snots lol.

Dh: "Knock Knock."

Ds4: "Whose there?"

Dh: "P"

Ds4: "Thats the nasty stuff thats comes out and goes in the potty." (the punch lines was supposed to be "P U". I guess hes just too literal)

Ds2 upon seeing ds6 cord had fallen off: "Oh his plug came out."

Ds4 talking to the dog after putting all the shoes away: "Lady, wanna see what I did?" In a house of 10 people and he wanted to show the dog?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Comments

There isn't a large family that has gone out with their children and not gotten comments. Typically its a canned response. People feel the need to say something, anything when they see such a large number of children and one couple. Usually along the lines of "Wow, you have your hands full." Or "Are they all yours?" or "Did you bring the whole neighborhood?" Every once in a while we will get an off the wall comment. Like "Gee you must be rich." or like yesterday, "If I had 8 kids I would shoot myself." I hope he didn't mean that death was preferable to having a large family. I am sure (thinking only good thoughts here) that he was being funny and commenting on the trials a large family must face. Yes, thats it, think only good thoughts.

I have gotten to the point where I have to guard myself when someone approaches us. I never know what their intentions are and what might come out of their mouth. Seems as though some parents didn't teach their children manners. Actually if it was children making the comments I could easily forgive them. At least its their innocence that drives their comments. And its children we teach that if you can't say something nice, to say nothing at all. So quickly that lesson is forgotten as we are no longer scolded or reprimanded when we embarrass our parent. I wonder how those adults would feel about the same comments coming from their own children.

For those big families looking for comebacks for these types of comments I recommend this site. And if you are looking to buy a shirt (like we have all threatened to do) with the answers to the most common questions we get I recommend this site.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Myth #1 - We are like the Duggars

When someone sees us or finds out we have 8 children the first question we get is "Are you Catholic or Mormon." When we say neither we are immediately labeled Duggaresque. I am anything but. We are the anti Duggars. Not that we don't love the Duggars. I have their book, watched everyone of their episodes, seen every special and have their website bookmarked. I seriously stalked their sons website waiting for an announcement of pregnancy. I don't know them but I think they have a good heart and are probably wonderful people. But like them I am not.

I would think the first distinction would be obvious. I certainly don't dress like they do. Oh I do wear long skirts - right along with my birks and tank tops. Let not my hippie 3 tiered twirl skirts be confused for modest apparel. Although I do consider myself modest. Not like I am going around let everything hang out (and as a woman of my size I think everyone is glad for that). But my kids run around in plaid shorts and striped shirts. I think my boys are walking advertisements for Spongebob and Thomas the Tank Engine.

You won't be finding boys with spiked, long locks or feathering hair in the Duggar house. I highly doubt any of the Duggar boys have been assumed for girls because of their long hair. Although I have been really good about making sure their hair is brushed before we leave the house.

We also have 3 tvs. Let those who would be compelled to ask if we have one rest assured we do. And we have satellite. Which should be obvious if I have seen every episode of the Duggar's show. No, we don't watch the same amount of television the average viewer does (how can we with 8 kids - I barely have time to sleep let alone watch tv). But I doubt you will catch Jim Bob watching MANswers or Michelle dvr-ing Mentalist.

We yell. A lot. There is a reason why the Duggars have an intercom. You try rounding up 7 kids for dinner from upstairs, outside and in the bathroom without yelling.

No, we are not like the Duggars. Nor are we like the Jeubs, the Arndts, the Heppners, the Bates or the Winters. If you have seen them on TV most likely we aren't like them.