Monday, August 31, 2009

Monetary Monday - How we do it.

Who doesn't think about money at least once a day?  Rich and poor alike, we can't escape it.  Its always there.  We either need it or want to spend it.  How many times have I been asked "How can you afford it?" Or "You must be rich." or worse "You better not be living off my dime."  IE - we're on welfare or some other assistance.  We've been cornered by someone who wanted to know how we could afford it, did we use coupons, what did dh do for a living, and then the final bomb: how much do you make a year?

I know people wonder, how we do it.  First, no we are not on welfare.  Second, we do it like everyone else does: we work.  My husband is a Linux admin for a large corporation. He brings in the bulk of our money, what pays the bills. We live pay check to pay check.  I work from home selling home made cloth items like Napkins and Diapers.  Last year was much better than this year, and I don't know if it will get any better.  Next year will probably be even worse if the new Lead testing laws start to breath down my neck. I use that money for gifts.  I also use it to pay for materials to make diapers for Miracle Diapers.  Dh also does pizza delivery 2 nights a week.  We use that money for a saving for things we need.  We have bought a dining room table, a baby swing and bouncy seat, a bunk bed, stuff of that nature.  Things that aren't in the bills but we need them. Yes, when you have 8 kids you need stuff like bouncy seats and swings unless you want your baby walked on.  You can't leave them any where!

Third, its all about lifestyle folks.  We aren't living the high life and we never have.  We do like to travel but being pregnant so often put a cramp in that anyway.  We don't own the latest and greatest electronics.  There is not an iPod in the house.  We have a flat screen tv - its broke but we own one.  We do have a lot of computers.  4 to be exact cause dh frankensteins them back together. People give us broken ones and dh uses the good parts to make a new one. We do not buy the name brand clothes unless its super cheap.  Our furniture is worn and our house does not look like a model.  Our cars run, when they no longer run we buy a new used one.  Our lives are no less rich and rewarding because we choose to live a simple lifestyle.  In fact our lives are more rich and rewarding because we choose not to be so focused on material possessions.  We pay our bills, we live our life and we try to enrich the lives of those around us.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Life Lessons I learned from my 3 year old on Facebook

  • If you leave your children money, they will spend it on absolutely silly things, like cupcakes and balloons.  So spend it before they get a hold of it.  Ala Die Broke
  • If you don't spend the money when you have it for things you marginally need, then when the money is gone you won't be able to spend it on an absolute need.  
  • If the food is there, you will eat it.  Doesn't matter if you are full or not.  Best not to have it around at all!
  • Children have no idea how to take care of living things, so teach them how to do so.
  • If you go broke, the world will not end.  In fact, money comes and goes and next year you won't remember what you spent the money on this year.  
  • Sometimes that stupid purchase isn't all bad, or every cloud has a silver lining.

With dinner in the oven I had to leave my computer .  Silly me didn't close down Facebook when I left the room.  I totally forgot about it till I saw my 3 yr old running out of the room.  He had heard we were going out after dinner and rushed out to get his shoes on.  I suddenly remembered my facebook.  I asked ds if he played on Pet Society; yup he did.  I asked him he spent all my money.  Yup he did.  Surely not all of it!  I came back to the computer, yup he did.  Well almost all of it.  He spent $3000.  On what I am still not sure.  I know there were 2 donuts, 2 mystery boxes, 2 faerie eggs, a balloon arch, a pizza, a slice of pizza, a big salami, 2 chocolate ice creams, 2 cupcakes, he went to the cafe and had coffee.  He kept feeding the pet and feeding her and feeding her.  He uprooted my tree too. 

I didn't spend the 3000 FAKE dollars I had because I MIGHT need it.  Well now I don't have it.  I should have spent it on stuff like a Fridge or a radio.  No, I had to save FAKE money.  What a dingbat. But terrible things didn't happen because I now have no money.  The world did not end.  I did not have some pressing need that suddenly arose. Everything is status quo.  I should have told him how to take care of the tree before he got to it.  But on the upside, a couple of his purchases worked out good.  He also took a picture of his handywork, cause he was so proud of himself.

I wasn't upset at all.  I was laughing so hard.  He was so pleased and had such a good time.  I wished he had a game like it he could play.

Friday, August 28, 2009

With kids like these

Who needs to pay to see stand up?
Morning sickness never has to end!
You never regret your carpet cleaner purchase!
Who wouldn't want a dozen or 2?

My daughter and I were having a discussion about a comic she is writing - Mashed Potato Man and his League of weird.  I laughed about it and told her she was funny.  She responds, "I have daddy's sense of humor.  I just do it right."  Hmm and I think she has my reasoning abilities.

Quite  possibly the most dangerous thing to say to a mom, aside from the F-bomb, is "I'm bored."  My oldest ds said this today.  I quickly told him I had plenty for him to do, and before I could even start listing them off my youngest dd said, "Probably chores."  She must be a mind reader!  I was nice and instead of chores I let him IM grandma on my computer.  The conversation started out great:

Grandma: What are you doing?
Ds: NOTHING.  
Grandma: Thats a big nothing. 
ds:  Big words, Small world. 

I gave my 2 yr old a kiss.  Apparently I am a sloppy kisser, although dh has never complained, because he grabbed a washcloth from the drawer and wiped his face where I had kissed him.  

Ds#3 took a shower today and I caught of glimpse of his hair as he walked away from me.  The back looked dry, but the front was wet.  So I asked him if he washed his hair, and he said he did. I felt the back of his head, sure enough, dry.  I asked again if he washed his hair and he said, "I washed this part."  Pulling on the hairs on either side of his head, the wet parts.  I have to wonder what rational went through his head when he did that: "Hmm, this part of my hair is clean.  Its doesn't ALL have to be clean.  Some of clean is better than none is clean."  Actually it probably went like this. "Its too much trouble to wash all my hair.  Mom won't notice if some of its dirty." 


Whats grosser than gross?  Remember those jokes.  I have a new one.  Whats grosser than gross?  When your 2 year old has diarrhea and tries to escape during a diaper change, smearing poop on the floor.  Whats grosser than that? When your 5 yr old accidentally puts his hand in it and then smears it on the floor to get it off.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Diaper Confusion

Here is one downfall, if you can call it that, of using cloth diapers. Especially if you are like me and no 2 diapers are alike. Ok I do have 5 blue Fuzzi Bunz, but virtually all other diapers are OAK.

I was rubbing my babies tum and something felt different about his diaper. I couldn't really say what was off, but it felt wrong. I abandoned the thought quickly, as active as we are thoughts rarely linger long. A while later I felt the diaper again. Still felt funny. I figured it was time for a change anyway - I will figure this out. I get his clothes off and hmmm I don't remember putting this diaper on him. It was a black all in one with lady bugs on it. I thought I had put him in a fitted with a bumkins yellow puppy cover. Thats why it felt funny. I must be loosing it if I can't remember what diaper I put on him. It was only when I found the fitted and the bumkins cover in the dirty diapers that it made sense. I called out to my dd, "Did you change the baby?" Sure enough. Here I thought I was going crazy, and it was just my dd being responsible. And no wonder I do so much diaper laundry with back to back diaper changes all day long!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

5 gifts to make your kids they will actually love

That time of year is around the corner where we need to start thinking gifts. Many want to keep gifts simple, to keep the message in focus of what Christmas really means. Or If you are like me and need to keep it on the cheap...oh no whats pc now? Frugal. Ok if you are FRUGAL like me here are some gifts your kids are sure to love. I have market tested these on my kids, and I have a lot of kids to test them out on. So unless my kids are weird (and please don't tell me if they are) then your kids will probably like these too.

Homemade Hot Cocoa
- You kids will love to spend the rest of winter sipping on this delicious creation. A container for each kid ensures no fighting over who got more. Make it a christmas tradition and your kids will look forward to getting it every year even as adults. I know I look forward to it! Wow, that was a pretty good sell. I should get in to writing commercials! Anyhow, I made this for my mil a few years ago and she still talks about. I guess thats a hint I should make more.

Rag quilt or Fleece Blanket - I make a quilt for each kid when they get old enough to enjoy them. IE...when they stop peeing their beds. But then the younger kids noticed they didn't have anything special to sleep with. So I had to figure out what to make them that they wouldn't destroy. Good old polyester. That even my kids can't destroy. I got a bunch of scrapes at Joanns super cheap and made some blankets up. First I made the fleece blankets with the fringe. It was really easy to make. I made 3 in an hour. They were different sizes but who cared? Not my 2 yr old thats for sure. Then a few years later when I bought a bundle of fabric and it had a bunch of fleece scrapes in it. But- they weren't big enough for a blanket. I had to figure out what else to make with it. As if by fate I went to Joanns and there, hanging as a display, was a fleece rag quilt. Genius! The first blankets I made are now 7 years old and going strong.

Sleep masks - I have to admit only my girls like these. My boys just can't get in to them. I really wish they would because then when the sun pokes round the horizon at 5 am I don't get woken with, "I can't sleep, the sun is shining in my room." This is a good way to recycle some favorite clothing or blankets that has seen better days. When I asked my daughter what her favorite things have been that I made for them, this was the first thing she mentioned.

Superhero capes - This one my kids bugged me about for the longest time. First I told them they had to wait till I wasn't working so much. Then they had to wait till my fingers weren't swollen like sausages. Then it was when I wasn't busy nursing a kid. After about 8 months I finally just put aside everything else and made them the capes. I should have done it 8 months ago. They love them. And all my clothes pins stay where they belong. Not to mention my towels stay clean. Here are my 8 superheros:


5. Personalized Pencil Holder - I made my kids out of soup cans, construction paper, gliter, stencils and glue. But you can make yours out of wood and carve their name in it. Or ceramic and paint their names on. My kids used theirs for years and years. When they were destroyed in the move, the kids asked for new ones. And really we love any excuse to organize.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Babies are cute

The baby spit up on my oldest, which completely grossed her out. She stuck her head in her shoulder so she wouldn't "spit up" herself. Little brother came to the rescue with a wash cloth. With the disaster behind her dd remarked, "Its weird how babies are so cute when all they do all day is poop, burp, spit up and sleep."

My 3 yr old: "I have just one question: I love you."

My 2 yr old has taken to identifying colors as television characters. The Windows logo is: Po, Dipsy, Lala and Blue. At least Blue from Blues clues is aptly named.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

T minus 7 days till school

This is the last week of Summer break. I actually did school with the kids most of the summer and then they succeeded in convincing me they needed a break. What for I don't know. They have done nothing but fight and argue with each other.

"Hes calling me purple!"
"Well are you purple?"
"No."
"Then why do you care what color he says you are?"

They find the strangest things to fight over. With them, its an art form. Tell me how its fun to argue and fight all day? They only have so much time on summer break and they spend it miserable?

I will be spending the week getting everything ready for school on Monday. I am actually pretty excited. Kids, not so much. I am planning several field trips over the next few months. My oldest will be doing Discovering Great Artists and I am using How to Teach art to Children for the other kids. So we will take a trip to the Phoenix Art museum. Right down the street from that is the Trolley museum and library. I can hear the kids complaining already about the walking. At least when they complain they aren't picking on each other.

Only a week. The order will be restored. The angels will sing and the clouds will part, it will be glorious. Until they start to complain about the school work.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Commercials gone wrong Or Close your eyes Kids

I know lots of families are for going television these days citing the obscene language and questionable content. We have 3 tvs ourselves. We only bought 1, which we promptly broke. Thankfully (as thankful as one can be when something is broken) it was a plasma so you can still watch it. We are like the drop off of unwanted things. They figure, hey you have a lot of people you probably need more stuff. So along the way we acquired 2 more.

So now we have these 3 tvs. We enjoy watching, when we get the chance. Dh and I don't watch a whole lot. I have a couple of shows I enjoy. Kids watch probably an average kid amount. The older kids call the smaller kids shows babyish so sometimes it nice to have a couple tvs for them to fight over. I mean watch. Apparently Wow Wow Wubzy isn't that entertaining to an 11 year old.

However I am starting to rethink this whole tv thing. I can block any shows I don't want them to watch; thats not the problem. The problem is with these stupid commercials. I can't watch a show with my kids in the room anymore. Last night I was holding my breath during this commercial:

What the?! Thank goodness none of my kids came in the room while that was on! I don't think I should ever, under any circumstances have to explain what that was to any of my children. And here I thought the horror movie commercials were bad. Call me old fashioned but I think thats something they can figure out for themselves WHEN THEY ARE ADULTS. Geez. Make parenting difficult why dontcha.

What approach do I take when thats on? "Quick change the Channel or Kids cover your eyes" both would elicit questions of "Whats wrong with this commercial?" We do that with the horror flick ones. All I need is 8 kids up in the middle of the night with nightmares. For the record they thought Coraline was the scariest movie EVER. So do I take the "La la la, nothing here to see."approach? Ignoring the commercial hoping they don't think there is something weird about a lady walking around and topiaries changing shape. Or do I get rid of the tvs all together and not have to worry about such things. Either I end up the bag guy or really embarrassed. Either way, fun for me.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Why I write this blog

My mother linked me a story last night about a little girl in the Bronx that had fallen out a 7 story window and survived. The little girl, named Destiny, was 1 of 11. My mother found the comments on the story to be filled with hatred and she simply couldn't believe how cruel a person could be. The article was in the NY Daily News. Be warned there is awful language, dreadful comments. It will sting.

I, however, was not shocked. I had read many a comment on forums and blogs about big families that filled me with indignation. I knew the hatred that was out there. I knew what people really thought when they saw me with my children out and about. Some didn't even hold their tongues about it. Its made me wary when someone approaches us, if they will say something I need to protect my children from. I understand that they will have to get used to hearing certain things but no child needs to hear that we "have too many children, just too many." My children are old enough to understand these things.

I am not a meek, mild mannered conservative Christian woman. I have always struggled in that regard. I don't tell people what they want to hear, I tell them what they need to hear. I am not trying to be arrogant and claim to know what people need. But I won't lie to someone to spare their feelings. When someone approaches me I don't just take it. The Lord said that in weakness He is strong. I had yet to see it. My weakness was my mouth. Even though I thought well before I spoke my words never came out the way I wanted them to.

Then I read a blog and what they said kindled a white hot fire in me. I had something to say about it. But I wasn't going to go about it on a soap box. I wanted to show the world what it was really like inside a quiverfull house. The love, the fun, the joy and yes the trials, the hardships and the pain. I wanted people to see we aren't ignorant or always on welfare. I wanted them to see us for Humans. And in that, they could see themselves. Perhaps they could look past the stereotypes and love us for who we are even if they don't agree with us. And in that I finally saw God's strength in my weakness.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Blog Fodder

Thats what dh calls all the funny things that happen around here. Usually its on a daily basis. Sometime we can go a few days between them. I start to worry we are getting too serious around here if something funny doesn't happen at least once a day.

Today I had to load all the kids up in the van, but first I needed to feed the baby. Kids were chomping at the bit to get going so I was in a bit of a hurry. I nursed the baby, did a quick burp and wipe and loaded him in the car seat. Got all the kids out in the van and was in such a hurry I didn't even do my usual count. I figured they were so anxious to leave I probably had them all. Got about 2 miles down the road before I realized I still had my boob hanging out. And I wondered why the little girl across the street was looking at me so funny.

A few days ago my 3 yr old says to me, "Momma you have a big belly button. But your hair is pretty." Isn't that thoughtful of him?

Recently I overheard dd talking to dh. She asked, "Do you ever get so caught up in something that it was hard to pay attention to things around you?" All the while he is telling kids to turn off tvs and stop standing on that. Finally he turned to her and said, "What were you saying?" I think that would be a yes.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It would figure

We spent 3 days cleaning carpets and $80 to replace the blinds for our walk through. Dh took a day off work and I took off with all 8 kids to my parents house. I even took the dog with me so she wouldn't be barking and jumping on people. The trek to my parents house is a 55 mile round trip. The time frame the rental agency gave us was 10 am-3 pm. So I left the house at 9:30. We had lunch and went swimming. It wasn't long after we got done with swimming that my mother got a call that someone wanted to see her house, which is on the market. The irony. So then we cleaned her house. Then I get a call from dh that the rental agency had come and left. That quick. All the lady did was come in the hall way look around, ask a few questions and leave. So I packed up the kids and started my trek back home.

New blinds - $80
Days off work - 1
Hours cleaning - Countless
Time with the landlord - 5 minutes

Yea, that seems about right. It would figure. So would this be considered a victory for Murphy's Law?

Oh well, I have a clean house to come home to. We enjoyed swimming, and dh got a much needed break from work. So all wasn't worthless.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Competition

Recently Dh and I have been playing some online games, and the competition has gotten fierce. We have taken to accusing each other of cheating when one surpasses the other. When one reaches a plateau at a game we move on to another. The game looses its savor once there is no more competition, no more back and forth.

We've always enjoyed games. I have fond memories of playing Triominos with dh on our bed- large with our first child. We enjoy each ours company, we love to challenge ourselves and the games are always lite hearted. But I have never before realized how competitive we really are. For instance: If dh says hes tired, he only got 6 hours of sleep, I'll tell him wall at least you weren't up nursing a baby every 2 hours. Or I'll list off everything I did today and dh will take it upon himself to do all the housework he can just so he can say, "Finally I can sit down." I'll complain about the kids, dh will tell me at least I don't have to drive in traffic. And I got great satisfaction last year when I made more money than he did, probably the only time in our marriage that will happen.

Neither of us ever ends up a sore looser though. If we did then the competing would stop and then what fun would we have? I have noticed our children are also very competitive. I actually noticed that about them before I realized it about ourselves. Typical. But they don't handle defeat well. So perhaps this competition between dh and I could really serve to teach our children how to handle loosing graciously. And for the record, I have lost more than dh. I trail him in all but 1 of our games. I do have to say I'm the more gracious looser.

No, this is not an excuse to play more games, although thats a great idea. You can steal it if you want.

Monday, August 17, 2009

You might have a lot of kids if...

You might have a lot of kids if...

  • You buy car seats in pairs.
  • You have 5 brothers and your son says, "Thats it?"
  • It takes you 2 hours to do your grocery shopping for the week. (this might have something to do with the fact we took all the kids with us)
  • When you have a sofa, love seat and a rocker and your dh quips, "We need more seats."
  • When you are thankful the 2 yr old still is in diapers for the most part (Even if it means having 2 in diapers) after you hear the bathroom door open and shut, open and shut and the toilet flush non stop at 6:45 in the am.
  • When dh buys 2 cases (20 count) of notebooks for the kids for school and he comments that if its not enough he can go pick up another case.

Or You might be quiverful if...

  • You buy maternity clothes even when you aren't pregnant because they are on sale and you figure you will need them anyway.
  • When you have baby record books for 10 kids and you only have 8.
  • When you keep your left over birth supplies from your last birth because you figure they won't go bad in the next 18 months.
  • When you are at the grocery store and someone asks, "Are you done?" and you think they mean with the grocery shopping.
Add your own! I know this could be a never ending blog post.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Yea, I went there

Well, I just took a leap into a stereo type I never thought I would. I bought jean skirts. 3 of them. Purely for logistical reasons. Remember those shirts my mother bought me for $2 each? I didn't have anything to wear with them. That would have looked good, me walking around in underwear and a t-shirt.

I totally went there, and I like them. They are comfortable like jeans, but not hot. I can wear then in 110 degree heat and it doesn't bother me. Ahhhh air flow. If more women knew about that little feature I think they would be more apt to wear skirts. I can dress them up or down. I can wear my birks, my sneaker or my dress shoes, they all match. And they have pockets! I've never been so excited. I was shoving coupons in them today while I giggled like a little school girl. Until I pulled them out and they were a crumpled mess.

But now I totally fit that conservative Christian stereotype. Well except the short hair. That might give me away. I can't wait to hear the comments I get now!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Ok so I didn't stick to my menu

It wasn't my fault. Well ok it was my fault. But it wouldn't have been if the kids hadn't worn me out yesterday.

Everything was going good till Thursday night. Yes, we stuck to the menu till then. Then there was the meatloaf. I didn't feel like arguing with the kids so instead of sticking it in the oven I made burger patties out of them. Everyone really liked it. Then I told them what it was. My 8 yr old said he didn't like it, he had only eaten 1 teeny tiny bite. My 7 yr old said he didn't like it - with only one bite left.

Then last night I threw the whole thing out the window and ordered pizza. And it was Goooood. Jalepeno, banana peppers, mushrooms; I am salivating just thinking about it.

We still plan on eating turkey tonight, its going into the oven now. So barring any oven fires (which has happened) or anything else crazy happening we will have turkey.

Don't Freak out

Yesterday dh brought in a letter and said, "Don't freak out." when he handed it to me. It was from our rental agency. I am thinking things along the lines of dh forgot to pay the rent and they are kicking us out, or they are selling the house, or something along those line. It was just a notice they are doing a walk through on Wednesday.

Dh would have good reason to tell me not to freak out. We have 10 people in this house. While I keep the house as clean as possible it is lived in. Toys, piles of clothes, stuff on the counters. Not to mention the broken blinds. They must be the cheapest blinds ever made. It is a rental after all, but these things have broken just by me opening them. The plastic snaps in half around the cords. I have 5 windows I have to replace blinds on. Yea by Wednesday.

Not to mention dh had to break off the lock on the pantry because one of the kids locked it the day we moved it and the rental agency had no key. We replaced it but it took paint off the door in the process. So we have to repaint that.

And remember the carpet cleaning? We have done it twice since I posted and will do it again on Tuesday. A tip for mothers, don't give your kids anything purple to drink. White grape juice is just as yummy as the purple stuff.

No, I didn't freak out. Yea its a headache and lots of work but it could be worse. My mother however did freak out. Wanted to know why they were doing an inspection. We are 60 days out on our lease. We have to give 30 days notice. So this is 30 days before that. If we don't renew they need to know what needs to be fixed and replaced. Besides, now the kids HAVE to clean. I get a clean house out of this. Whose freaking out?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Maybe we are addicted

While I was sitting here nursing ds (The baby not the one who tries to rip my nipple off, cause I don't have pretty flowery thoughts when he nurses lol) I was thinking maybe we are addicted. Not to being pregnant or having a baby, but maybe we are addicted to life. If defined as "The condition of being habitually or compulsively occupied with or or involved in something." Then I would say we are addicted to life. To living, to fulfillment, to purpose, to love.

Terrible 2's

I have had the joy of having 7 two year olds. The terrible twos aren't as bad in some kids, they just get spunky. But some kids, oh some kids are just hand fulls. Take my 2 year old right now, hes keeping me on my toes thats for sure.

Yesterday he tried drinking the olive oil. That would have been yummy. Today he broke the baby's toy. It was one of those the baby lays under and bats at the toys that hang down. We've had it since #2 was a baby. That toy served us for 10 years and 6 kids and ds was able to break it in a month. Hes already broken the bouncy seat and is bent on breaking the swing. Hes as quick as lightening and just as destructive. But I think the worst has got to be pooping on the kitchen table. He was serving it up for everyone! Now I was changing a diaper and using the restroom when this happened but I have this image in my head where he climbs up on the table and squats. He probably inspected his work when he was done. I was tempted to take a picture, if it weren't for the subject matter. Just to prove that this indeed did happen.

Yet, despite all that I do want more. And I do have another coming up that will eventually be 2, despite my repeated efforts to keep them babies forever. They have this tendency to grow up. The times when they are cute and funny out weigh those bad times. They say the funniest things, have the quirkiest out look and observe life in the most unbiased of manners. One minute my 2 yr old will be tearing up a book and the next minute he will be trying to teach the baby how to high 5. I've caught him laying on his belly, face to face with the dog yammering on and on about what I can only imagine is very important business.

And I think the 2 yr old phase of doing crazy things doesn't really end. The terrible 2s just turn into the Testy Threes and then the Feisty Fours and the Finky Fives. You get the idea.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I'm no quitter

My mother was visiting with a friend, a friend I know pretty well. This friend asked my mother if I was gonna have more children. My mother said probably, so she responds, "Doesn't she know when to quit?" When my mother was relating this story to me my first response, and I couldn't even keep it from blurting forth from my mouth, was, "I'm no quitter!" I never quit anything. My motto is if you haven't tried 1000 times you haven't tried enough. Its probably what has kept me going all these years, despite wanting to throw in the towel. Like I said before I am not a happy pregnant person. I have lots of reasons to quit having kids. And justifiably. But I am stubborn, I am not a quitter.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Am I a bumpaholic?

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy




Really? I am addicted to being pg? Wow, someone should have filled me in years ago. Then I wouldn't had had all these kids.

I wouldn't doubt that there somewhere, is someone who had kids because they are addicted to being pg. I personally know no one who did that, but stranger things have happened. Being a parent is hard work. The 9 mos of bliss that they might experience is mightly outweighed by the lifetime work of being a parent. Personally I have to remind myself that its only 9 mos out of the lifetime of joy I get to experience with them. I would think there is a reason most people only have 1 or 2 kids.

But this narrow minded look at pg women fails to address the other reasons women have more than 2 kids. Even if they aren't qf. The sheer love of children, or the desire to have a big family. 50% of all pgs are unplanned, perhaps women having more than 2 have had failed bc and don't want to abort. Some would rather have children then deal with the side effects of birth control. There is a myriad of reasons a person might have children, to try to pigeonhole it because the number doesn't fit their preconceived notions of what family is, is very narrow minded.

Oh well, some women are addicted to being pg. There are worse thing to be addicted to. If I was gonna be addicted to anything, I would want it to be that. At least then I wouldn't dread getting pg so much.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Nursing , pg and the QF mom

This is one area I have really struggled with when it came to giving my reproduction over to the Lord. I have gotten pg while nursing every single time except with my first, of course. When I got pg with my 2nd my first was only 5 mos old. I fully expected to nurse her through the pg and tandem them. Like so many things other things, life has its own plans. My milk dried up when she was 7 mos old. Of course she was too young to wean so I had to give her a bottle. Oh the heartbreak. I went from never wanting to nurse to never wanting it to end. I dreamt about nursing her till my 2nd was born. I still today remember the last time I nursed my first.

I learned a lot during the few months between weaning her and the birth of her sister. I understood how mothers felt when others asked questions about why they didn't/couldn't breastfeed. I learned you could do everything right during ecological breastfeeding and still get your fertility back right away. I found out the hard way pg and bfing don't always go well together.

Children 2-6 all nursed at least 12 mos, but none longer than 18. I really wanted to make it to 2 years. I knew the benefits to myself and my children. All but 1 weaned themselves when my milk dried up. Yet, knowing it was their decision never made it easier. It was still a heartbreak. And instead of nursing each one longer the time each nursed got shorter. I was beginning to loose hope I would ever nurse to 2 years.

Be careful what you wish for you might just get it. #7 pinched, stood, squeezed, slapped, pulled, rolled, tried to walk away with and was just overly the most annoying painful nursling you could ever imagine. I had bruises all over my breasts on a regular basis. If there was any child to wean it would have been him. But he would not take no for an answer. Hes an intense child, fiercely devoted and slightly obsessive. Of course it would be him I would nurse for 2 years. And beyond.

Yes, the Lord had given me my hearts desire. Not only had I nursed him 2 years. I also am tandem nursing. Had I known how difficult it would be before doing so, I would have pressured him to wean earlier. So I guess its a good thing I didn't know. Its ironic how we think we know what we want, what we need. We pray and don't get it. We wonder why the Lord is denying our requests. Sometimes he is saving us from ourselves. I know I couldn't have handled nursing 2 10 years ago. Not with those kids, not in those circumstances. Nursing 2 is incredibly draining, physically as well as mentally. I needed to know what I was made of before I could do it. I have nursed kids with a weak suck and tongue tie and with over supply. I've nursed through clogged ducts and mastitis. But nursing a 2 year old has by far been the most challenging.

It was difficult to trust God during those years. I questioned how it could be good for me or the babies (both inutero and nursing) to go through this. I questioned God's timing. Now years down the road I can see the wisdom. You just never know whats going to happen. You want what you don't need and think you need what you don't have.

I will keep nursing till my little one weans, both of them. It certainly has taught me a lot. I look forward to the lessons each nursing day brings.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Menus

Food in this house is just frustrating. No 2 people like the same thing. I feel like a short order cook most days. This week our menu looks like this:

  • Monday - Breakfast (yea breakfast for dinner)
  • Tuesday - Tacos
  • Wednesday - Chicken, my own recipe
  • Thursday - Meatloaf
  • Friday - Chili
  • Saturday - Turkey
Now lets see how close we can stick to that menu.

Monday's breakfast shouldn't be too bad. I have some kids who don't like eggs and turkey but pancakes everyone loves. So everyone should get at least 2 things, pancakes, eggs and or bacon.
Taco night is not too bad either. Last week I tried a recipe with roast. You put the roast in the crock pot, sprinkle with taco seasoning and cook on low all day. So simple. I loved it, ds1 loved it. No one else liked it. Ds2 says it tasted like rotten sloppy joes. The week before I tried a turkey taco, got a preseasoned chub for $1 at walmart. I liked it of course, I don't think I have met many foods I haven't like. No one else liked it. So this week back to my old Taco Bell seasoning with ground meat. My 2 yr old doesn't eat beef so he will have a cheese crisp. At least with this meal no complaints.

Wednesdays chicken should be ok too. I make it with poultry seasoning and Mrs. Dash in a frying pan. Quick and easy. Also low in fat (not that it makes much of a difference for me). I am debating if I should make green beans with white sauce for this or on Saturday with the turkey.

Thursday meatloaf could be a challenge. I have the kids all day to myself. Dh works till 10 pm. I am guessing there will be lots of complaining with this one.

Friday's chili. Well dh and I will eat it. Some of the kids should too, I guess I have to give them a little credit. But I am thinking we will probably end up with some bowls of chicken noodle soup on the table. If kids only understood its basically sloopy joes with beans they might not be so adverse to eating it.

Saturday's turkey I am hoping everyone will eat. Fingers crossed because by then we will be out of food. Sunday Morning is my shopping day. I will let you know then if I actually stuck to it. That will require remembering to take out meat to thaw, and making things in the crock in the am and not getting frustrated and telling the kids its pb&j night. That will probably be the biggest challenge right there.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

I'm going to be an aunt

I could shout it from the roof tops. I have refrained from jumping up and down. Mostly cause I don't want to scare people. I can't remember the last time I was this excited.

I tried to form an explanation for why I am so excited, and I don't think its something I can put into words. Its just celebration of life. Not just a new little person being born but all that is life. The living that is being a parent. My brother will experience all that I have experienced. He will know the joy and love first hand. And for that I am so excited for him. Yes, he will also know the sleepless nights, the worry, the heartache, the sorrow. But in that there is joy too, that you even get to experience that. So many would give anything to have that, just so they could have the other. Yes, he gets to experience it all. Oh and he will be a great father.

I am also excited because my kids will have a cousin. So far that luxury has escaped them. Its about time someone else in my family got busy in the baby making department. I have been working overtime here! With 5 brothers you would think by now someone would have kids. Now they will have another baby to love on and hold. Maybe they won't fight over mine so much!

I will be an aunt, and I have longed for that. If this is what being a grandma is like, then I can't wait. I get to watch a belly grow and see a baby come forth. I get to love on it, spoil it then send it home. While my brother gets the sleepless night...Oh wait I get that too. Oh well maybe they will have a girl. If not then my little man will have someone to play with. Holidays are gonna be a blast!

I don't know their position on birth control or what their plans for their family are. Shes catholic so I am kinda hoping the stereotype rings true. I hope they make lots of babies. You can be sure they will have me and mine giving them encouragement, uplifting them, defending them, loving them, supporting them.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Cast of Characters

Last night while I was bathing the baby my 3 yr old came in to see me. I bathe the baby in a baby tub on the counter, behind which is a huge mirror. My 3 yr old was having a grand old time watching himself in the mirror. He would muss up his hair and say, "I am handsome." Then he would mash it back down and say, "Now I'm not." Finally he did it one last time and said, "Heeelllllooooo girls, I'm handsome!" Its really hard to bathe a baby when I am laughing hysterically, so I asked him if he wanted me to brush his hair. I parted it down the side and smoothed it all out. I asked him how he liked it and he said, "I love it more than I hate it."

It rained yesterday am. A rare sight here. My 5 yr old came running to me, "I watched the news and its raining!" I told him he could see it if he just looked out the back window. He said, "But I saw it on the news! Its raining!" In the information age I guess the simplest way of finding information has been lost.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The blessings that are curses

So I have been getting no sleep again. As I laid in bed last night telling myself to 'just go to sleep, stop thinking so much', I realized what a blessing exhaustion is when I am pg. I am not a happy pg person. Between the morning sickness and fatigue, the hormonal mood swings and stretching ligaments, the weight gain and heart burn. Yea I don't enjoy being pregnant. But lately I have realized there are certain blessings that come with those "curses".

The exhaustion is really bad. I fall asleep as soon as I sit down anywhere. I have even leaned up again the wall and fallen asleep before. I don't care how much sleep I get when I am pg. I am still tired. But when I'm not pg I stay awake. Its a no win situation. At least when I am pg I can be sure I will get some rest. There is no laying awake worrying, thinking about all I have to do. I am just out to dream land. And I need sleep more when I am growing a baby than when I am not. So what a blessing it is to not have to worry about sleep! Last night I was wishing I could just konk out like I do when I am pg.

Morning sickness haunts me. I was terrified I of getting pg again because I didn't know if I could survive another pg with ms. My ms is more like all day sickness, and it doesn't go away till the baby is born. Its worst in the first trimester but it doesn't ever really go away till I have the baby. Last time I took some advice I found on the Heppners website and cut out all sugar from my diet. My ms greatly improved. I still got dehydrated from time to time but I could function. Which is a HUGE improvement for me. Normally dh has to do everything for me. Then one blessing led to another, my
Seborrheic dermatitis cleared up when I eliminated sugar. Unfortunately as soon as the baby was born I was back on making my apple pies and brownies and it came back. But now I know how to fix it and you better believe thats a blessing. If you have ever suffered from this you know how awful it feels. My ms was a blessing!

I have not enjoyed most of my pgs. I dread getting pg then can't wait for the baby to get here, which it doesn't help I always go to 42 weeks or beyond. But I have seen the blessings that come with the curses, and my beautiful baby always makes it worth while. Being quiverfull certainly has its challenges. But without them I wouldn't be much of a testimony. Being faithful is easy when life is easy. But being faithful is more difficult when life is difficult. There is no test of faith when life is easy. My mw, whose life much parallels my own in regards to pg, was walking the same line. Worried how she would handle her ms, not sure how she could keep the faith. Because I had gone through it already and come out more faithful for it, she was uplifted. I was able to be a blessing to her as well!

I had been praying, since the birth of my last, that I would find someway to be a happier pg person. I don't think anyone should have to deal with me 10 mos out of every 18 mos miserable. And it seems everyday I find a new reason to rejoice in my pg "curses". I hope I enter the next pg much more willingly and full of faith and spend the time happy instead of miserable.



Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Slap Stick

You know how slap stick got it start? Some guy was watching his wife run around after his kids and thought it was pretty funny. He thought, Hey the guys would think this is a hoot too, so he reenacts it for them. And hence slap stick was born. At least thats what I imagine happened, cause looking at my life, its pretty much like that. Crazy things happen all day long and then I get to reenact it in a sort of story telling that is blogging. Of course you're not "the guys" but perfect strangers; you get the gist.

Of course in the moment I don't think these things are very funny, most of them anyway. But to someone looking in I know they would just crack up, cause they don't have to deal with it!

For instance. Yesterday I was making banana bread and apple pie. After the bananas were already mushed I realized I didn't have enough flour. I had enough for 1 loaf and not the 2 I was gonna make. So I though ok I will just stick the rest of the mushed bananas in the fridge and make 1 loaf now and the other later when dh can bring me more flour. I get to the point where I need to add milk and I took a chug to make sure it was ok and OMG I spit that stuff out so fast. I have never tasted anything so vile. Yea, it was sour. Well now I have a bowl of mushed bananas, a bowl of bread mix and mushed bananas and at least 5 hours till someone gets to me so I can finish it. I guess I will just have to drag all 8 kids out in 110 degree temps to get Flour and Milk. And so I did.

Yup, I did. My oldest daughter helped me get things ready. I dressed the 2 littlest ones. She dressed the 3 yr old. Got everyone shoes on, water bottles all around. We were a well oiled machine. While I was there I remembered I needed more baking powder cause I had used what was left in the banana bread mix that was sitting in my fridge instead of the oven. I also got Apple Juice since we were out, and Bananas, cause well I used all those for the bread. And eggs and you get the idea. I booked it out of there and made it home in record time. From the time we left till we got home was only 35 minutes. Wheres my Super Mom cape? I could use it as a nursing shawl. Someone should get on that.

So finally I get to finish my bread. But not so quick cause now its lunch time. Apparently the kids are hungry and need to eat. Something about needing to grow big and strong. I make them lunch and realize that while I was JUST at walmart I forgot ranch dressing. I roll my eyes as my kids complain about not being able to dip their carrots and cauliflower in ranch while I am STILL trying to finish my bread. Just about done now, only need to add the vanilla. I'm a little shaky cause I haven't eaten and opps. I spilled the vanilla on my shirt. Finally I get one load in a pan and am stirring the second and its really thick. Not at all like the first. I go over the ingredients, making sure I didn't add too much of something. Asked my daughter if she added something after I already had. Nope. Ok, whatever, I will just add more milk. I get them both in the oven and can eat lunch.

Which I do standing since I didn't want to waste time sitting down when I needed to hurry. I had dishes to finish so I could get all the bowls from the bananas bread in there. And the baby needed to nurse. And I still needed to make the crust for my apple pie. and I have having people over so the house needed to be cleaned. The bread is done and I realize the one that was all thick came out better and cooked faster than the first one. So which one did I screw up on? And whatever did happen? We may never know.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Whats in a name

My 3 yr old asked me today what my "normal" name is. You know, Not mommy. I told him Michelle. So he says, "Michelle Mommy?" As in mommy is my last name. I told him no, my last name is the same as his. He asked why he calls me mommy then. I explained that its the same reason I call him Son. He understood that, which honestly surprised me. He said, "Oh like I call ds5 my brother." Then he continued, "Hes also my friend." How sweet is that?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Fast Food

Occasionally we need to eat out. Mostly cause we are far from home or we're out later than we anticipated. Its always a challenge to find some place that 9 people want to eat at. My 2 yr old won't eat beef either, so that limits it further. And we aren't gonna be buying no $7 meal (seriously have you seen prices?) somewhere when we can go to a sit down restaurant and pay $9 for a decent meal. So we have been experimenting when we go out. Wendy's and Burger King offer pretty decent $1 menus. Not even close to healthy but its cheap, relatively speaking, and they have chicken for my little one.

I have yet to go through a drive thru and actually get what I ordered. I have to wonder what the average order is because I think once we get over that they are lost. It goes something like this, "I would like 7 double cheese burgers. 1 plain, 2 mustard only, 3 ketchup only and 1 regular. I also wanted 2 chicken tender 4 packs. 3 of your largest fries and can we get ranch dip?" Heaven forbid we have anyone else with us who wants something other than a burger or chicken. We generally back up the line as they try to repeat our special order. Finally they just tell us to come to the window, I am sure they figure throw a bunch of stuff in a bag, they can't figure it out.

Of course its a huge order so we have to go around front and wait for someone to bring it out. So much for "Fast" food. While I listen to my kids whine, "Whats taking so long? Where is my food?" I am recounting the order in my head making sure I got everything. They bring out 3 or 4 bags of stuff, stacked full of food. You have to dig your way down there making sure you got everything. This is when the fun begins. We get 9 double cheese burgers, 1 plain, 2 mustard only and 6 regulars. 2 chicken tenders, 3 fries and bbq and honey mustard sauce.

I have never worked in fast food so I don't know how hard it is to take an order. But I'm guessing, based on my contents on my bags, it must be pretty hard.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

If you don't want to take my word for it

Quiverfull from Rick Wilking on Vimeo.


This is a wonderful video done by a photo journalist about what quiverfull really is. The family featured is the Jeubs.



What I call shopping

Yesterday my mother called and told me Kohls was having a 90% off sale. She wanted to take me for my birthday so we went around 8 last night. I thought we would be about an hour. HAHAHAH. Yea. No. Try 2.5 hours. And we could have stayed longer but I forgot the diaper bag.

I try to buy used; not just for the saving, but because I don't like to contribute to the over production of goods. Especially when there are plenty viable goods still there for us to use. But when there is a sale where you can get things cheaper than used, well you gotta go shopping! I was especially feeling guilty because while hanging clothes this week I noticed some of my oldest daughters clothing was fraying and had small holes. She hadn't said a word about it.

So what I ended up getting was 2 outfits for the girls. Matching, so cute. Its a shirt, pants and head band for $3.60 each SET. Yes, for the SET. A shirt for my oldest for $2 and a dress for my youngest dd for $3. Then I found a shirt for my 3 yr old and another for my 6 year old for a total of $5. So with tax I paid $20. My mother bought me for my birthday 4 t-shirts at $2 each, a shirt we are going to convert into a nursing shirt for $5 and a pair of shorts for $8. So for $40 we got 14 articles of clothing. And I only spent $20 of that.

Thats how you provide for a large family. My budget was $50 but thats all I could find. This year was not a good year for fashion I am afraid. What is with all the polyester? And trying on clothes, not a good morale booster for a mom. I now hate full length mirrors. While my mom did buy me a pair of shorts I think I am gonna stick with long skirts. What modesty? I just don't want to traumatize people. Between the stretch marks and varicose veins I look like a topographical map.