Tuesday, February 28, 2012

On a Search for Interests

Deacon always likes to have serious discussions when it is time for bed.

Last night we were discussing friendships: how it is ok not to be best friends with someone- just that the decision needs to be made based on something greater than superficial details.  

We talked about sharing similar interests with people, and how that is often something that helps create and maintain friendships.

Deacon didn't have a lot to say, until all of a sudden the words rushed out:

"Mama, what are your interests?  Are they like putting us to bed and cleaning up the house?"

Noah snorted from behind me.

I scrambled to try to think of interests that I have.

What are hobbies again?

Noah answered before I could come up with anything:

"Are you mentioning those things because those are things that Mama does?  Mom does those things because they are her responsibilities, not because they are her interests."

He continued, "your mom's interests are more along the lines of making lists and crossing things off.  Oh, and running."  He grinned at me over Deke's head.

Finally able to collect my thoughts I added some more items, "reading, running, playing games, hanging out with friends, puzzles".

But he is right, I don't have a lot of time for my own interests.  

The conversation though reminded me that I do want my kids to know me, not just to know what I do for them.  I want them to know what my interests are, just like I know theirs.  

They could probably list a lot of Noah's hobbies.

Sometimes it is a source of contention for us: Noah has hobbies, I don't.  I have never been accused of being playful or silly, he has.  I am task oriented, practical and driven; he flies by the seat of his pants and gets distracted easily.

But that doesn't mean that there isn't more to me than my lists.

And I want my kids to know it.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Yep, it is one of those

I take no credit for this, but it is true- isn't it?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Potty Training

This morning I looked at the stack of size 3 diapers on the dresser.

I had exactly 5.

Maybe, if I searched through my purse, swimming gear and van I could rummage up 1 or 2 more disposables.

And of course I have cloth diapers and plastic pants that could be employed.

But, I thought, if we work on potty training this morning I will save a diaper, and will be able to push back a trip to the store until, say, Saturday.

It is now 5pm and she has been in big girl panties all day.  There have been numerous pairs used and a significant amount of accidents, but there have been 5 or 6 successes too.

Now it is up to me to keep at it, helping her and staying positive.

Oh, how happy we all will be when toddler diapers are a thing of the past.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Buying Stuff

After I have a baby, I always look at my wardrobe and declare it to be obsolete.  I tell myself I am going to go out and buy all new clothes and shoes. I go out and buy a few new items and then I inevitably lose my last 10 pounds and the new clothes no longer fit.

But not this time!  This time I resolve to not buy a single thing until the last 10 pounds are gone.  By then I will probably be pregnant again.  Ha.

Until it is time to shop, I am staying happy by looking at my Christmas shoes that I got from my sisters.
Aren't they cute?  They are Keens and I have been wanting them for a long time.  I have friends that have them, and I love them.  Thanks E and K!

Oh, here is one more picture.  This is my nursing space.  In order to fit the "office" into our room, we had to take the big chair out.  I didn't have a place to nurse Everyn and was either nursing her in bed or sitting on the floor for her night feeding.  We were just about to move more furniture around, when Noah thought of a great solution: the video chair.  We moved one of our video chairs upstairs and it works perfectly!

Well, perfectly if you are the kind of person who likes an ab workout while getting in and out of your nursing chair in middle of the night!  I am definitely getting better at squats!  Anyway, it is a great solution for this stage of our lives, and didn't require any money or work :)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Only 24 Hours in a Day

I only have 24 hours in a day.
I have discovered that even if I work on domestic chores for all my awake hours (and believe me, I don't sleep much) I still can't get everything done.
So I have quit.
No, I haven't quit trying to keep things moderately neat, but I have decided to make sure to carve out time for the things that I enjoy.
Even if housework gets a little behind.
It is going to be even more behind once I go back to work (in 5 weeks).
So I may as well get used to it now.
I have contemplated hiring someone to help with some tasks.  
It may be Deacon.

I can't be a full time teacher to 3,
A full time mom to 5,
A full time wife,
A part time nurse,
Take care of a house,
a large yard,
deep cleaning,
light cleaning,
cooking 21 meals a week,
and expect to do it all well.
The older I get, the more ok I am with that.

the last few weeks we have been getting together with friends to play games,
we have gone out to dinner,
we have played Yahtzee,
we have played Rummikub, Survive and Sequence with the kids,
I am reading my second novel this month (The Help by Stockett) (I know, not super impressive, but I have 5 kids!)
I am reading nonfiction too (Erasing Hell by Chan and Sprinkle, To Live is Christ by Beth Moore)
I am running (5 miles today!)
Noah and I are watching the "Love and Respect" DVD series.
And I am taking pictures of these babies:

Roman, Everyn, Deacon, Berean and Lincoln

She loves her bunny, nerds and her necklace!

Ever and Lincoln

Baby Girl on Valentine's Day!

Berean likes the baby too! Sort of.

This picture cracks me up.  

Friday, February 17, 2012

The DS is in the house!

And the grin goes from ear to ear.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

So Tired

Everyn is a sleeper, there is no question about that.  When she is awake she is very alert, lifting her little head up and looking around with great interest.  But those times are rare.  Interestingly enough, she usually wakes up and is more interactive after all the other kids have gone to bed.  10 pm?  That is her time to shine.

Last evening she woke up in the evening and started to beg for attention.  I was doing my Insanity workout, and she was hanging out with me, watching me sweat.  After Insanity was over, I moved on to my next project and she watched me work on that, but continued to be fussy and somewhat needy.  My third project of the night was to vacuum and then clean the carpet.  She was on the couch in the middle of the room, as I started to work.  The vacuum cleaner's drone made her happy.  The carpet cleaner's whirring put her to sleep.

The whole process was quite noisy and the boys were all conked out on the other side of the interior wall and she was laying there surrounded by commotion and she was sleeping like, well, like a baby.

It is nice to have kids who sleep through anything,
it is nice to have clean carpet.

Yeah, I kind of love him

I went to my 6 week post partum check up.  The staff asked me if I was experiencing any post partum depression.  I told them that I had no symptoms and was feeling great.  I tend to get a little down in the winter, but this year there has been none of that.  Guess why?  Because it has been in the 30s around here and we don't have snow.  Guess what that means?  I don't have to bundle 5 children up in 12 layers AND there is no melting snow in my entryway, my van, my living room, and there is none on my pant legs, my shoes and our shovels :)

It is February 14th and I haven't shoveled once.  I haven't built a snowman or gone sledding.  I have only worn gloves once or twice. I have worn my winter coat maybe three times.  The boys have been getting to play outside for 1-2 hours every afternoon.  Awesome.

Boots and hats, coats and gloves.

No scarves, snowpants and mittens.

This is good.  I love it.

Speaking of love,

I was at homeschool co-op today.  There are teenagers there and I remembered my own teenage years.

Noah and I were teenagers together.

We were friends and maybe more.

That "maybe more" bit was always confusing.  Did he like me?  Did he not?  The clues and the information were analyzed and over-analyzed some more.  Should I call him?  Should I not?  Why did he give me roses on my 16th birthday?  Why did he say that?  Why did he do this?  Will we end up together someday?  Will he agree to name our fifth child Everyn?  What if he finds someone else?  What if he moves away?  Does he like me?  Will he ever love me?  Will he ever tell me?

And on and on.

I had no idea what he was thinking.  Or maybe I just didn't want to hope too much.

Maybe I didn't want to be wrong.

Maybe I didn't want things to end badly.

Maybe I had no idea what any of it really meant.

But all of that was 15 years ago.  That is a long time.

Now I know the answers:

He likes me (a lot).
I can call him (whenever I want).
He gave me roses because he thought someone should (and he seemed to be a good candidate).
He makes a lot of veiled comments because he likes me (a lot).
He does a lot of kind things for me because he likes me (a lot).
We did finally end up together (and will still be together someday).
He did agree to name our fifth child Everyn (for reals!)
He didn't find anyone else (because he likes me (a lot))
He didn't move away (because he likes me (a lot)).
He likes me (a lot).
He loves me (a lot).
And he tells me (a lot).

Happy Valentine's Day, Babe.

I like you (a lot).
I love you (a lot).

More than I did at 16.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Silly Girl

Berean has taken to the pink bunny that you can kind of see on the picture.  She "sleeps" with the buny and a pink and brown blanket at night.  If you try to put anything else in the crib with her she freaks out and throws the object out.  She does this with stuffed animals or dolls that she loves during the day, as well as things she doesn't care about.

In addition, she doesn't actually sleep with the bunny or the blanket.  Bunny gets placed in the upper left hand corner of the crib and the blanket gets placed in the lower right hand corner of the crib.  Berean lays in the middle of the bed and goes to sleep.

She definitely is a good sleeper, and she definitely needs her beauty sleep.  She can do what she must do to be comfortable enough to get that sleep, but I still smile over her idiosyncrasies.

Whatever works.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


Deacon and Berean during babysitting time

Noah and the crew

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Deacon, age 8

DEACON keeps Noah and I laughing with his many observations and questions.  Here are some of his gems from the past couple of days:

On a car ride home there was a continuation of a discussion about Aron Ralston (who cut his own arm off after it was trapped under a boulder).  Noah had mentioned that would be a really hard thing to do and Deacon, Noah and Roman were discussing the "hardness" of it.  After it was established that it would indeed be difficult, Deacon commented, "So is that why people don't cut off their arms very often?"

I heard him talking to Ever the other day.  This is what I heard: "Oh, Everyn, I wouldn't mind sharing a room with you, but the problem is that after you are a baby you will be a girl.  It is not very appropriate to watch a girl change.  At least it isn't appropriate for a boy to watch a girl change, I don't know about a girl watching a girl change.  No, Everyn, It is not a pretty thing for a boy to watch a girl change.  Not that you aren't pretty.  You are pretty, it is just not a pretty THING for a boy to watch a girl change."

And then yesterday, "I think when I need a password I will use the word 'dolls'.  No one would expect that from a boy."

Deacon has been saving all of his money for months to buy a Nintendo DSI XL. He is very close, and to get the last few dollars, he has been babysitting Berean for me.  I give him a dollar for a 1/2 hour.  My dad told him that sounded like pretty good pay, and Deacon replied, "I guess you haven't been to our house lately."  Berean does keep us all on our toes.  Anyway, it is the best dollar I can spend in a day.  Berean is very happy to go with Deacon and to have his undivided attention.  He reads her books, builds duplo structures for her and helps her manage her food and stroller.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Great Love/Hate

Love/Hate: Baby carriers

I have never been a mama that wears her babies.  The front carrier I have is comfortable for limited times, but it gets really tiring after awhile.  In addition, if I am trying to accomplish something while carrying the baby in the baby carrier, my body mechanics for the task are all messed up.  Everything has to be done to the side or way in front, and I am not used to that.

Up to this point, our carrier has been used only when I am at the Y walking on the track with a newborn.  

The past couple of days, however, Everyn has been awake more and wanting to be near me.  I still have things to do though, so I have put her in the carrier and tried to multi-task.  The pros are that I do have free hands for pouring milk, blogging and sorting papers at my standing desk.  Unfortunately,  the problems of neck/shoulder fatigue and a general awkwardness continue.  I feel big and bulky and like I am not aware of my space.  Maybe it will get easier, or maybe I will quit.  I need to decide if it is better to be uncomfortable and marginally productive for long periods of time with the carrier on, or to have lots of cuddling baby downtime interspersed with periods of high productivity while she is napping on her own.  

LOVE/HATE: Pacifiers

Currently I can't find Ever's pacifier, so she is a pacifier-less baby today (and currently in the baby carrier while I stand here typing).  Deacon used a pacifier for about a month and then simply wasn't interested.  I became his human pacifier, which was annoying but ok since he was my first baby and I didn't have much to do at that particular time of my life.  Roman and Linc both used heavily (ha ha) until their first birthday, at which point I took the pacifiers away (Happy Birthday, boys!).  Berean followed Deacon's lead, except for the fact that she didn't abuse her nursing privileges.  Everyn seems to like the pacifier, and we have encouraged it since she appears to be very interested in sucking on her thumb, and that is a harder habit to break.  

But the stupid pacifier (or "duck duck" as Berean calls it) is very easily lost around here, and even when we have it we constantly have to put it back in her mouth.  This pacifier insertion situation is ridiculous.  It is almost comical to see adults sitting next to a baby and sticking a pacifier into a cute little mouth after every yawn or accidental spit-out.  Don't even get me started on perfecting the "blind insertion technique" for when you are glasses-less and in a dark room in the middle of the night.  

On the other hand, it keeps her happy when it is in, and helps her get to sleep. The boys can put it in for me if I am busy, and so it keeps the crying to a minimum.   If I ever find it again, we may let it stick around.  For now.

LOVE/HATE: Maternity Leave

I am actually loving my maternity leave, don't get me wrong.  I have plenty to do around here to keep me busy, and I know the next 6 weeks will go by all too quickly.  In fact, I am a little nervous about how everything is going to go when I do go back.  I know it is going to be difficult and somewhat stressful.

But I will admit that I am somewhat lonely.  It struck me today, and I anticipate it getting more acute as the weeks go on.  If I knew I wasn't going back to work, I would probably sign up for a Bible Study or some other consistent "outing", but since I know I am going back I have just been trying to get together with friends when possible.  I laughed today as I wrote yet another facebook status (it is super easy now that I have a computer in the kitchen) because it proves just how desperate I am for adult conversation.

Now, truth be told, I get out a lot and I have a lot of friends.  It is harder in the winter because neighbors aren't around as much, but still I see people a lot.  My friend at co-op and I catch up on Tuesdays while our kids trade Pokemon cards, the "homeschool" moms and I talk all afternoon during gym/swim at the YMCA.  I see friends on Wed/Sundays and small group.  I have people over or we talk on the phone.  In fact, last weekend Noah and I played games with friends two nights in a row!  (and in fact, those little outings made us remember how much we miss getting together with people more often).  We also spend a lot of time with family- I see my mom a lot especially.

My job is so "people heavy" and I have so many coworkers in an environment that requires communication and teamwork - it really gives me plenty of interaction time. I like to talk to people of all ages- you learn so many things and hear so many different perspectives.  Currently I hear a lot of my 8 year old's perspective.  Which is ok, and somewhat funny, but it is nice to have a change now and then.

My plan is to do fun things for the next 6 weeks.  I am going to plan some events for friends and kids and hope to just do some more game nights with adults (cheap fun!).  And I will be sure to keep updating good old facebook.