Tuesday, December 19, 2006

web page

D designed a new family web page this weekend. Since only he reads this blog, I'm posting a link to it here beacuse I will never remember the URL otherwise!

Taylor Family

Saturday, December 09, 2006

all the news

Today we are going to get a tree! We are doing the tromp through the forest and chop it down yourself thing. This should be interesting!

I cannot believe how busy life is these days. Working is good, but I sooo miss the days of being a total SAHM. Ah, the luxury of sitting on the couch in the afternoon watching TV. Yes, I did that yesterday, but there were about a dozen things I should have been doing instead.

Just came back from my WW meeting. Yep, another thing I added to my plate this season. I figured if I didn't do this now, I wouldn't fit into any of my clothes by New Years! The scale hadn't dropped as much as I would have liked today. But my face looks thinner! I can just gaze at my face and imagine a skinny body underneath it.

Well, D's alarm has been beeping for the past 5 minutes. Maybe I should check on that! LOL

Monday, December 04, 2006

something I learned this weekend...

...when asking a 9 year-old boy to help with the laundry, it is very important to be specific.

Simply asking my son to put the clothes from the washer into the dryer was not enough. I forgot that the dryer was already holding a load that needed to be folded. Now the dryer is STUFFED...and not completely dry.

Love you, Trey...thanks for being willing to help.

Friday, November 24, 2006

what's a doula?

In the last few interviews I've had, the question has come up, "What makes you as a doula different than a nanny or a housekeeper?" I answer that I have more training than a nanny or housekeeper has with newborn care and care of a postpartum mama. As a doula, my first responsibility is to the mama.

The other day at work, that was hit home to me once again. Mama was having a really bad day...really bad. And it was because of someone else she hired to work in her home...someone who has been with this family longer than I have. The other employee didn't really mean to hurt mama, I don't think. But mama is having a hard time...she doesn't get enough sleep...the entire family has been sick with a stomach bug...babies are fussy...toddler is busy. Mama was deeply hurt.

As I work with this family, not a lot of what I do each day is physically for the mama anymore. She doesn't need me to get her snacks while she nurses. I don't have to remind her to drink enough water. She doesn't have many issues regarding breastfeeding twins to talk through anymore. Mama is up and around...shopping...running...working from home, even.

But when I am in her home, I am always thinking about what I am doing and how that is something that is taken care of for mama. When I do the laundry...when I wipe down the kitchen counters...when I pick up toys...when I am changing diapers...when I am soothing a baby who just wants a cuddle...when I am playing with a baby who will soon take a nap...when I prepare a meal to be eaten later.

All that I do, I think of her. Maybe because I know how much I would appreciate someone doing these things for me. Maybe that I remember what it's like to have 3 kids 3 and under. Maybe because this is some way I can live out a faith that I don't much understand anymore.

A doula is a servant.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

where, oh where does the time go?

I think about blogging a lot. I have composed so many blog posts while I am making dinner or folding laundry or nursing the baby or working or driving...you get the idea. These posts just never make it to my computer!

This morning I need to be finishing laundry and cleaning our house and getting ready for our home group tomorrow night. I'd really love to be crocheting or knitting...and instead I'm sitting here at my computer!

Baby is screaming...phone is ringing...better go!!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

new appliances!!!

We were coming home from church on Sunday and passed a yard sale. D always has to look! lol this guy had a fridge that he and some partners had bought for a new office site a year ago. Apparently they never got the office site and this fridge has just been sitting in his garage. It said $60/OBO...we paid 50 for it. It's in my garage and it works great!!! D stopped at the store and got 4 gallons of milk last night...yeah! An extra fridge is soooo great for this TOK mama...and I only have 6!

My in-laws also bought us an extra freezer. We have a chest that is filled after so much freezing of veggies and stuff this summer. The new one is an upright that I can use for extras...bread, cheese, meat, etc.

And our friend who is an electrician is coming over tomorrow to help D put in 2 new breakers for our garage so all that isn't coming off of one!

Such a happy day for a TOK mama!

And it's snowing today in CO...but I already weeded through the pile of boots on Sunday when we cleaned out the garage to make room for the new fridge and freezer. I'm feeling so prepared for winter this time. Usually, there is a mad scramble the first snow day to see if everyone even has boots and then I try to run to Target for the kid who went to school in just tennis shoes. Last year Target was sold out of the size of snow boots I needed! Thankfully, here in Denver the snow disappears so quickly that the kids rarely need snow boots the next day!

Friday, August 04, 2006

mouths of babes

Last night we were talking with Trey (age 9) about how he is getting older. The hair on his legs is getting darker...and he was searching in vain for hair on his chest and in his armpits. Clay (2 years younger) told him he is going to be getting like daddy pretty soon. He also said Aleena (age 10) is turning into a lady. Emma whispers in her big stage whisper, "She's getting crabby just like a lady!"

Very true, Emma....

Monday, July 24, 2006

little boys

Jack is covered in bumps, bruises and little scrapes.

I've forgotten how little boys manage to get hurt at such a young age...this little dude is into everything! He still only crawls around on his belly, pulling himself with his elbows and pushing off with his feet. Yet he manages to get all over the place like that.

Last week he fell out of the cradle. He stood up and went over the edge. Thankfully he was OK, other than the bruises.

And he is in constant motion. After Emma and Kelli, I am used to the constant conversation. But I'd forgotten how little boys need to move and climb and jump and wiggle...while they learn to talk, while they nurse, while they cuddle!

He's such a sweet boy. And I was really hoping for another boy to be able to enjoy. Trey was such a rude awakening for me as to what a boy was like. Clay seemed to almost get lost in the shuffle of having 3 babies in as many years. I am so thankful to get another chance to enjoy a little boy...even if I am shocked by how he manages to hurt himself!

Monday, July 10, 2006

being a "farmer"

I posted a few weeks ago about joining an organic farm here in CO. It has turned into a great time for our family. The kids love playing outside, chasing kittens, feeding scraps to the cows and chickens, and getting really dirty. D and I have been doing a little work in the fields as well as packing all the "shares" for the non-working members.

It is really an interesting thing, too, how much we are saving at the grocery store. I bought a couple of pieces of meat this week. But we have vegetables coming out of our ears! It is wonderful! My kids are wondering why we have to eat squash yet again, but it keeps appearing in new and unusual ways so I don't know why they are complaining. We've had zucchini bread (2 different recipes), zucchini oatmeal cookies, summer squash Mexican cheese soup, sausage stuffed zucchini boats, summer squash bread and stuff we call "succotash". The last one is actually zucchini, yellow squash, corn, tomatoes and onions cooked with bacon. Great way to use garden leftovers! There are still all kinds of things I want to make with my squash...

Tonight we will have green beans, beets, potatoes and turnips so we will all get a break from the squash. But it will be back on the table tomorrow I'm sure! LOL

So that's enough of the menu updates. I hope to post about our "broken" life later tonight.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

a reason to smile

Jack E's first tooth has emerged!!!

He has those telling little ridges on his gums. D will be feeding him steak soon! LOL

Monday, July 03, 2006

family meals

I am starting to see my grandmother in myself. Not the one who took me to church, but the one who could cook...anything and really well.

When D is home and we sit down to a meal as a family, it is an event. We sit in the dining room...that's the only table we have all been able to fit at for quite some time now. There is a table cloth to protect that table. There is abundant food. There are 8 mouths to feed, there has to be a lot of food! We all talk about our days or what we want to do next. There is rarely any arguing. It is a moment where we can all be together and get along.

Thankfully we don't have very picky eaters at our house, either. My boys especially will just devour what is on the table. It really is a joyful time.

That brings me to my grandmother. We knew she was thinking of us when we sat down to dinner at her house and our favorites were on the table. For celebrations, when there were several of her children and grandchildren around, that meant she could have done a lot of cooking. She loved it. It was her way of showing us she cared for us.

I see that in myself now. I want to make a big meal so that we can all sit down to dinner and have time to really connect with each other. We can talk, we can share, we can plan. Often there is a song from a little one. Yesterday the talk of was about the school bus. Emma has been very anxious about riding the bus in the fall. The three older kids were talking about which of them she could sit with...who will take care of her on the bus. I am just amazed at my kids and their love for each other, but that is another post.

I'm so thankful for those mealtimes...to just connect and be together. I love facilitating that for my family.

is it all about me?

The other day at church many of us were sharing out thoughts throughout the message. I started to think about how many of us are either "repenters" or "redeemed".

I know we are all redeemed and should all be trying to turn away from the wrong we do, but it just struck me how we view our relationship to God. Do we think of ourselves as repenting and therefore worthy of God? Because we walk away from the evil and sin we do, we can now approach God? Like it's up to us to go to Him.

Or do we see ourselves as redeemed? He has sought us out in our filth. He picked us up and cleaned us off and because of that we want to stay away from the dirt from now on.

I remember when I was working hard at my repentance and first heard the idea that it all started with God. I think I was a little offended. How could He not need me to get it right before He would take me in? How could God be the originator of my faith? Didn't it have to come from me? Wasn't I the one who chose to seek out God because I was failing miserably on my own?

Or was it something inside of me that knew there was something bigger all along? Not just the God I heard about at my Grandma's church, but the Creator of this world, the God that seeks to redeem what He has created, the God who was the ultimate sacrifice so that all could now be redeemed.

I don't feel like I am a religious scholar. I try to see the spiritual around me. In fact, I am often amazed at how I see God working in my family's life. (Who knew you could feel ultimate love and safety and comfort and peace from a little worn out crocheted blanket?) But I think I am beginning to realize that it isn't about me and the way I try to make myself presentable to God, how I posture myself before Him. Maybe it is all about recognizing that I have been redeemed...that He continues to redeem me...and will continue to seek me out.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

farm shares

I wanted to tell you all about my day yesterday. I took the kids (D is out of town at a conference) up to a family owned organic farm about an hour from here. We got a mailer from them earlier this spring. It's the kind of place where you can buy a "share" in the farm for a season of fresh produce. We had heard about it last year but didn't know much about it. Then we got the mailer and really started to consider it. We decided to do a working share, which also gives us a 50% discount on our fee.

We will go there 3 days a month (we get one week off each month) for the next 3 months. We work doing whatever needs to be done then can bring home our package for the week. We can also do extra picking if they seem to have excesses of something.

Yesterday the kids and I picked a flat of strawberries. They are soooo yummy. We've been eating them like crazy and I think I'm going to try my hand at making jam later today. It was also so relaxing to spend time in a field just smelling the earth and the strawberries. The great thing about a farm is that my kids were encouraged to just play around and pick strawberries and just be kids outside. It's such a kid friendly atmosphere--it's a farm!

So on Thursday morning I will head back up there. D will still be out of town so it will just be me and my 6. I am really looking forward to it. I can't wait to see what kinds of veggies we will come home with. There were some yellow squash looking almost ready yesterday! Mmmmmm...

Friday, June 16, 2006

mama guilt

Have you seen the breastfeeding ads from the Ad Council? There has been a lot of debate on the issue...from newscasters, doctors, formula companies. A constant theme has been "we shouldn't make women who choose not to breastfeed or who can't breastfeed feel guilty for that decision". I agree with that. I hate mama guilt. Working with new mamas, there is guilt and judgment on mothering issues all around them. We are constantly feeling evaluated. (And as a mama who has birthed 6 children in 9 years, let me tell you that I feel those eyes on me!) But taking an ad off of TV because it may make someone feel guilty is probably not a good enough reason, IMHO.

This has sparked a lot of debate even among breastfeeding mamas from what I've heard through a doula group I belong to. I really liked what one of the doulas posted that we feel guilt and pain for a reason. We shouldn't ignore those feelings. We need to process those feelings. She shared her breastfeeding history with us and the way she has processed some of the guilt she felt over weaning early. Someone else also shared a great online article.

I think that the idea that guilt is there for a reason and what do we do with it, is really resonating with me. Some of the mamas that I have worked with have chosen to formula feed. It is usually due to lack of commitment and sometimes lack of support. I have tried to be there to support them in the decisions they have made. It is one time when I have to remind myself this is not my baby...not my choice of how to feed. But what do those mamas do with the guilt they feel? I think that the Ad Council ads can remind them that they made a poor choice...and why did they make that choice? Why did they choose artificial milk over human milk for their baby? And what do they do with those choices now? One thing I love about my job is the counselor role I get to play on occasion. I love listening as mamas process the thoughts and feelings they are having. I love encouraging them to explore things on a deeper level. And very often those feelings are feelings of guilt over something they have done or not done.

Yes, I am definitely thinking about all of that.

I have my own mama guilt with breastfeeding as well. I only nursed my first two kids for about 7 months each. The oldest I weaned early because I was pregnant again and I didn't really even know about tandem nursing. The other was taking a daily bottle of formula (because I was too lazy to pump) while I was at work 3 mornings a week. It became easier to give him a bottle than to breastfeed him. I think I was really relieved when my 3rd rejected all artificial nipples. I was able to nurse him a year. And my 4th and 5th went to a year and 14 months respectively.

Since I've been working the past month, baby Jack has been taking a daily sippy cup of breastmilk when I am not there to nurse him. The other day D was out with the kids and had Jack in the stroller. He was shopping for his trip to California. I met him when I was finished with work for the day. I looked at Jack in the stroller and he had his daily milk in a bottle instead of his cup. That bottle took me by surprise and made me a little sad. He still prefers his milk "fresh from the mama", but I was a little sad to think that he would actually take a bottle even if it contained his familiar milk. Knowing that Jack could be my last baby and my last nursing experience, I have a hard time imagining weaning him in 4 or 6 more months.

Yes, my mama guilt is there. Why did I think my body that was breastfeeding and pregnant wasn't able to nourish the babies it conceived? Why did I ever think it was easier to just give Trey a bottle of formula and then another of formula and then another of formula to the point that I wasn't breastfeeding him any longer? And how will I ever wean my little Jack E? I don't want to lose that portion of our lives.

mama guilt

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

14 Years of Marriage

In honor of my dear husband, I am going to do a little me-me for him. Today is our 14th wedding anniversary. In some ways I can't believe it has been that long, and in other ways I can hardly remember a life not linked to his.

14 Things I Love About My Husband

14. He looks really hot riding his motorcycle.

13. He is an amazing friend.

12. He is really task oriented and works unbelievably hard.

11. He is great at getting our kids to do household stuff so I can spend more time relaxing.

10. He is a great teacher and mentor.

9. He is probably the most honest man and has more integrity than any man I have ever met.

8. He is really burdened for those he shares this world with.

7. He stood next to me and rubbed my back through 2 back labors. He waited patiently with me while I labored with 3 others. He only really got bored with the whole process once!

6. He knew how to crochet and bake bread before I did.

5. He was amazingly patient when he taught me to drive a stick shift. Then again, that was before we got married.

4. He knows more about coffee than any man really should.

3. He can make soup out of anything and our kids will actually eat it.

2. He has patiently watched me grow up and into the woman I am today.

1. He supports me, encourages me, and challenges me on a daily basis.

And he loves me and puts up with me through all the mood swings, OCD moments, and ups and downs of life.

Happy anniversary, hon. I love you whole bunches!!!

MIA again!!!

I can't believe it has been 2 months since I posted anything here. What a bum I am. I guess that's how life is with 6 kiddos underfoot. It seems I never have the time, energy and mental ability to compose more than 2 sentences all at the same time! See even now, I am at a loss for words!

Thursday, April 13, 2006


Remember those college days when I was just soooo tired? Yeah, I didn't know what tired was then!

I don't know why I am so out of it lately. Other than six kids and the regular household stuff...half that stuff is going undone right now because I just don't have any energy these days.

I have stopped giving Kelli a nap. That has helped with the crawling into my bed at 5:30 each morning. I would tell her to "go nigh-nigh" and she would emphatically say "I did!" So without a nap she sleeps till 7. But this week the baby has decided that he needs to snack around 5:30 each morning. He promptly falls back to sleep...wish I could. Then the dog starts barking and Trey decides he needs to check the weather on the computer.

So good morning world!

On another note, Emma was doing her preschool homework Monday afternoon with scissors and decided to cut her hair--again! This time she did some little bangs. Of course she is on "scissor restriction" meaning no scissors at home. The thing is...the bangs look really cute on her. She has this nasty cowlick in the very front so I would never have thought of giving her bangs, but I really like them.

I have Emma's preschool conference this morning. It will be time to hear what a smarty pants she is. It's one of those futuile activities. Do I really need to go? No, I know how amazingly ready for kindergarten she is. I find her trying to sound out words. She knows her numbers and how to count. She is constantly writing and asking me how to spell word after word. But if you don't go to your kid's preschool conference, what kind of mother are you anyway?! So dutifully and guiltily I will go...

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

jinxed myself!

What was I saying about how my babies don't cry??? Yeah, right!

Yesterday Jack had the mystery fussies all day. I thought maybe it was teething, but he really doesn't even have the tell-tale bumps on his gums yet. He didn't want to nap like his usual self, and since he's been up at 3 for the past three nights his mama would really like a nap!

He appears to be a little more back to normal today. And maybe it is teeth since he has one hand shoved half-way down his throat.

On another note, I have seen the future of my 2-year-old...some type of nudist colony I think. She really loves to be outside in this spring weather completely naked! I'm sure if I were less inhibited (or concerned about going to jail) I would love the spring breeze on my naked bottom, too. I put her in a dress and panties...she was naked. Just her panties...she was naked. I put her in a t-shirt and diaper...she was naked. Just a diaper...also naked.

So my apologies to the neighbor boys bouncing on their trampoline...in a few years I'm sure she will be mortified to know she spent her third spring repeatedly removing her clothes and diaper (or panties) no matter the attempts of her mother and eldest sister (already mortified) to keep her clothed.

Maybe I can go take a little rest while the little girls think I'm folding laundry...then again I'll probably return to find Kelli outside and naked! LOL...

Sunday, April 09, 2006

milestones for mama and Jack

Yesterday I spent 5 hours+ caring for the twins that I worked with last summer. They are now 9 months old and into everything! It was really a fun time, but the little girl really has some separation issues so she does cry more than I'd like. I guess I'm just spoiled by my own babies not really crying much at all--at least when they are with me--D would probably have a different opinion! LOL

Their mama called and said she would be fifteen minutes early if that was OK. I had been out all morning and was on my way home when she called me. I panicked a little at first, but when I came home I realized that most things were baby-ready. So I guess that the baby steps at FlyLady really are working. I'm still working on getting all the things done that I need to, but it felt good to have a relatively clean house and enjoy my time with the babies.

On another baby note, Jack learned to roll over at 3 am this morning!!! It is very exciting, but what do I do with him now? He's been a tummy sleeper since he moved out of my bed 4 months ago...so he doesn't really want to sleep on his back. Does this mean I get to start nursing him back to sleep in the middle of the night again?! LOL I hope not...we'll have to figure something else out!

Better post this...Emma's clammering for a snack...and Jack is too!

Friday, April 07, 2006

finding a balance

I haven't been posting much or reading many blogs lately either. I miss both...I've been trying to find a better balance in life the season of Lent.

I decided to try FlyLady to see if that would help me gain control over the house part of it. I think it has helped me feel better about things and give me some daily direction. I've been trying to eat better and exercise...I've lost 10 pounds since the start of Lent even though I'm not exercising as much as I would like.

Basically, I've been trying to be more like Kanga and less like Rabbit. I'll save the way that Rabbit convicts me in "Springtime with Roo" for another post (hopefully before next month!). I do need to fold laundry and start baking bread and pick Emma up from preschool soon...

Hope to be back soon!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

longer lives

I just heard a radio news clip this morning about lengthening life expectancy. The report said that the first person to live to be 1000 years old will soon be born. One thousand years?! The report said that through stem cell research and other of those types of genetic altering stuff it would soon be possible.

I don't know if that's something to look forward to or not. I think of my grandmother. She will be 84 in a couple of months. She's been in a nursing home for about two and a half years now. She has Alzheimer's and is not that forgetful, but she can get mean. Mean in the way that she almost got kicked out of the nursing home for hitting other patients there. She had a falling spell last fall so she went in for a full physical, bone density test, a bunch of things. Physically she is in great condition. Her bones are that of a woman in her 50's. She has a long life ahead of her.

I say all that because she has a lot of life ahead of her, but what kind of life is that? She is not the same woman I knew and loved as a child. By her physical condition, she could easily live a lot longer in that nursing home. And in her mental condition, what would that mean if she were to live till she was 1000? What would it mean if I were to live till I was 1000?

I don't think that would mean I would be in a nursing home at 75. But how long can we live each season of our lives. I guess it wouldn't be so bad to not start having a family until your 40's if you knew you had a few more hundred years, but how would that work for a woman whose eggs are forming while she is still in utero? The reason we see more birth defects with older mamas is that their eggs are just plain old. So if we raise our family by the time we are 60 or 70, we could still see generations of grandchildren and their grandchildren. That part is very appealing to me.

But what would our quality of life be after 300 or 400 years? Would we still have the same get up and go? Would we even want to get up and go? What do we with ourselves for the next 100 years? I look at my grandmother. She is growing weary of the life she now has. A decade in that state will be the longest one of her life. What if it were 3 or 4 decades that she was spending there?

Is that really worth it? Maybe it would be good to have a productive 70 or 80 years, a few final ones to reflect and then be able to go to our eternal rest. That sounds a little morbid, but I'm not sure I would want to lengthen my life to an extreme knowing that each season (other than childhood) would be lengthened as well.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

being a doula

Yesterday I was doing a phone interview for a potential job in May. The expectant mama made a comment about how I can do this doula work with my kids at home and how I must just really like kids or something. That's a little bit true, but not really.

I chose to be a postpartum doula because of the mamas. I've been in that postpartum phase of life 6 times now. It's beautiful and terrible all at the same time. There are moments when I've just gazed at this baby and felt so complete. There are moments when I've felt so overwhelmed and incapable. I've felt exhausted. I've been deeply depressed and guilt ridden because of it. A lot of the time I felt like this was a lonely spot. I wanted someone to come in and take over for me for a few hours. I think that is one of the hardest things as a new mama: it's all up to me now. While I love that and I find it so easy some days, other days I want to be cared for on a really profound level.

That's why I love my job. It's so hard for us to ask for our deepest desires as mamas. When someone wants to help we either say we are OK or accept a frozen casserole or use the offer of childcare for something necessary like an OB appointment. But when you have hired someone to come into your home and do basically whatever, you can ask her to make you lunch simply because you are hungry but want to hold your baby for a while longer. You can ask her to vacuum because it's needing to be done and you don't want to do it today. You can sit and watch TV and just chat (ie not be alone) while you are both feeding a baby. (OK, that really only works with multiples!) You have someone to ask your silliest questions...like is the poop supposed to look like that? You have someone to make you tea and change the 10th diaper of the day while you sit and feel melancholy. You have someone to celebrate your first (nearly solo) outing with.

Motherhood is a crazy journey. It's beautiful...it's awful...it's mundane...it's consuming. I really love it. And I love having a job where I get to walk with mamas for a part of their journey.

Sunday, March 12, 2006


So I've been MIA for a while. I'm not totally sure why, either.

I was running to dentist appointments and stuff and then...I don't know. The last few days I have really not been myself at all. On Friday night at 7 I realized I had absolutely no idea what we would have for dinner...and I didn't care...I wasn't hungry anyway.

That's weird for me because I'm one of those mamas who think nothing says "I love you" like food. I bake them bread, make them cookies (always from 'scratch') and basically thrive on feeding my family dinner.

I'm feeling a little more like myself right now. We'll see if it lasts or if I go back into my funk.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

confession is good for the soul

Can I confess how stupid am I to you?

Yesterday I had this terrible headache. I just felt like I couldn't see right all day. I took my contacts out in the early afternoon and wore my glasses for the rest of the day.

This morning I am getting ready to take Emma to preschool. I can go unshowered with a pony tail, but I am waaaaay too vain to go in my glasses. As I undid my contacts case, I had a thought. I put the left one in my right eye and the right one in my left eye. Guess what? I can see now!!!

The big idiot that I am had them in the wrong eyes yesterday! This is one of those things you can only admit anonymously...so D, please don't laugh at me.

Gotta go to preschool now that I can SEE!

live, laugh, love

So after reading what I wrote yesterday, I think I sounded a little melancholy about having a larger family. Do I really think I've done a disservice to my kids? No, I really don't. I look at them and the ways they have learned to give and take, and I'm really proud of them. I think they are amazing little kiddos.

They were a little wild last night. I was on the phone with my mom and she reminded me that it's so great to hear them loud and laughing instead of loud and arguing. She's right. My kids really like each other. Who could ask for more than that?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


My oldest son has a friend who is an only. As in an only child. I was an only...the only child in a house of grown-ups. The only child at the dinner table. The only child in the room for adult conversations. The only child to want to play a game or make up her own random rules to that game. The only child to dictate how a lazy afternoon was spent. The only child to pick the movie. The only child to garner the attention.

I never learned about sacriice or compromise.

I watch my children at play with each other and especially my son with his "only" friend. My kids have learned that you compromise with the ones you love. You take turns having your way. You sacrifice your desires for another person's and they return the favor because they love you. At least that's what my son believes. He becomes so frustrated with his friend.

"Mom, how can he say we're best friends when he won't ever do what I want to do? I do what he wants all the time and he can't ever just do it my way. How can we really be friends at all?"

Of course those feelings of hurt and frustration fade because the other thing you learn in a house full of brothers and sisters is that we forgive the ones we love.

I look around me and families with one or two kids. Then I look at my kids. How will they have relationships with kids who don't play by the same rules that they have learned at home? I want to think that they are far better off for the things they are learning in a larger family, but am I only fooling myself? Will they be doormats for others in their worlds, always willing to compromise and give in? Or are they learning valuable lessons early in life that will help them to be better eqipped for long lasting relationships?

Sunday, February 19, 2006


We just finished having family church this morning. D told me I should write out the prayer I prayed at the end, and of course now I'm not sure what I said.

It was along these lines. "God, we have been blessed with so many physical things. Food, clothes, a home, family, friends. We have been blessed with even more spirittual blessings as well, God, yet we are not as quick to claim them. Lord, just as we are quick to fill our bellies with the food You have provided, may we be quick to fill our hearts with Your Love and Grace and Mercy. Amen"

Saturday, February 18, 2006

lost loves

I didn't sleep well last night. Well, I did until 3:30 when my little dog decided that she needed to make a middle of the night potty run. I got up to let her out and thought I'd check my email quickly. That's when it turned restless.

A cyber friend on a list I belong to was just starting a miscarriage. She is sad and hurt and angry. Another cyber friend, who also started the process of miscarrying earlier this week, was sharing words of comfort. She also posted a web site about pregnancy loss. There's a place there for families to say a word in memorial about babies they have lost. I read many of their stories last night. One that really struck me was a story from a family who lost a baby in 1974...imagine, still grieving 32 years later. Then again, I thought of the babies D and I have lost in early miscarriage. I'm sure I will still remember them 30 years from now.

The whole idea of pregnancy loss and losing babies too soon gets to me as I guess it does to most mamas who have been there. It's one thing I have just really wrestled with. So many people will say that this is just God's plan, but I don't think so. I don't think that the pain a woman feels in her body and her heart as she loses a baby that cannot or will not grow was ever part of what God had planned for us. I have come to think that maybe that is just part of the ramifications of sin in this imperfect world. Sin as in original sin...as in when Adam and Eve decided to not fully trust God. The curses of disease and pain and imperfection that were not necessarily part of what God intended but has still allowed to come into our lives. That's where pregnancy loss fits into it for me. This pain was not God's plan, but for some reason He didn't choose to heal this baby in utero.

So we grieve and we cry and we don't understand even 32 years later. And there are places like this cyber memorial where we can say a word to the little ones we didn't get to cuddle or nurse or tickle or chase but we still hold a place in our hearts.

So I finally went back to bed and brought Jack with me to nurse and cuddle for the rest of the night. It wasn't the most peaceful night, but I was so thankful to have that little warm body snuggled up to me.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

good news bad news

From the dentist. The bad news first

For Clay, the bad news, 8 cavities. 8 CAVITIES...that's more than half his molars. And some of them are bad, Bad, BAD! He'll get sealants on the others to hopefully prevent any more damage. The good news? Sucking his thumb for six years has apparently left no lasting effects.

For Trey, the bad news, 2 cavities. They are not so bad. He needs sealants too. The good news? His teeth are quite straight and look as though they will continue to come in that way. THANK GOD!

I take the girls in to the dentist in two weeks. I think I need to start mentally preparing for that now. I did get those little flossers and fluoride rinse yesterday. Last night I started the lovely process of flossing everyone's teeth before bed then making the three oldest rinse with fluoride for a minute. An ounce of prevention I guess.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

woeful wednesday

Woeful? Is that a word? Is it Wednesday already? Where has the time gone? Everyone has regained their health at my house though Kelli and Jack did both get some shots yesterday so it could be a day. With 4 kids in some type of school it seems the entire weekend was consumed with Valentines...making boxes, addressing cards, gathering candy. My poor hubby only got a card from me. I was just not prepared for it.

I'm not feeling prepared for this day, either. I'm taking the boys to the dentist after I take Emma to preschool. It's been nearly 3 years since they've been to the dentist. I know...bad mama. I know Clay has a cavity, but at least he has teeth now. He had knocked out a tooth just after he turned 2. The permanent tooth finally came in just before he turned 7. He doesn't even know how to bite in the front. You should see the kid eat an apple.

This afternoon we have a birthday party at Chuck E Cheese. I really hate that place. D has a meeting so I can't escape taking all 6 of the kiddos in there. I hate just having to try to track everyone down when it's time to leave.

What's for dinner? I have no idea. And I have a really bad earache. Woe is me today, huh? I need a diet Coke...

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

another sick day

Well, it's official...Jack is really sick. He's got the sniffles and a nasty cough and is just plain punky. Kelli is still quite crabby as well. D is on antibiotics because his dr thinks his virus went to a bacterial infection. That leaves Trey, Emma (who is still in bed so she's probably crossed to the sick list) and me who are healthy. I guess I'm glad to be well...it really sucks to be that sick when you're the mama. Here's to a day of rocking sick babies and not much else...SALUD!

Last night I was working on this Women of Faith Bible study. Not usually my thing, but I'm trying it. As I was working through I realized that I say a lot of prayers of thankfulness for the people in my life and the life I'm able to live full of health, wealth (relatively speaking) and happiness, but I don't spend a lot of time really being thankful that I'm able to have a relationship with God. I'm not a hyper religious person at all...I do really like Jesus, though. I hesitate even calling myself a Christian these days because of the negative connotation there...but I do want to be more like Jesus. So my plan for this week is to think more about this Person I love and not only how I can be more like Him but how I can just better know Him...

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

potty time?

so when the 2 year old takes off her diaper, tells you she needs to go, then sits on her potty and actually pees, it's probably time to move onto panties, huh?

"Make the World Go Away..."

What is it about sick kids that make you into a better mama? There's something about rocking that feverish baby, no matter what age that baby is, that just makes the rest of the world disappear a little...

Monday, February 06, 2006

a day of rest?

So yesterday we did what I guess normal people do when their kids are sick...we stayed home. It was strange to do that on a Sunday. For most years of our marriage and since we've had kids, D has been working at church so we HAD to be there. We've taken sick kids to sit in mama's office or rest in a back room while we did what we needed to do. It was a little strange to decide at midnight on Saturday night that Kelli was still sick and we just were going to stay home and rest...no calls to make...no one to alert.

So we spent the day resting with this cold virus that half the family has. Kelli was a miserable 2 year old. She's old enough to tell us she feels crappy but still young enough that only being held by mama makes her feel any better. D is pretty miserable himself. He actually wants to go to the doctor tomorrow! At least Clay is back to school this week. Trey seems to have escaped it so far. I'm not sure if Emma has already had a touch of it or not. Aleena was the one to bring it home in the first place. And Jack seems to be a little extra fussy today. He sounds like he's going to be next. YIKES...the 2 yo hurricane and the baby sick at the same time? I may not make it! Then again, I may not escape this thing either.

So it's good that yesterday was restful because last night was NOT! It's been a long time since I spent half the night awake with a sick toddler in my bed. I forgot all that I'd been missing! **rolling my eyes** So here I sit while I should be diligently starting this week's mountain of laundry. Kids get off the bus in an hour...I'd better get on with it!

Saturday, February 04, 2006


So, I've been ironing all day. That's not something I normally do very much of EVER! In our more prosperous days, all of D's (that's my hubby) shirts went to the dry cleaner. Now that we have been trying to be more frugal, the clothes have just been piling up in the hopes that we'd have the money for that luxury soon.

Nope! So, I've ironed at least 20 shirts today and will do more once the kids are in bed. D is working late tonight so what else is a mama to do on a Saturday night?

It's been a little more peaceful around here today. The third of my kids now has the cruddy virus. Aleena (my first born) had it first. Then Clay was home from school all week with it. Now Kelli (our little hurricane) has it...she's spent the day on the couch watching Dora. Thank God for DVRs! How sad is it to know that we have season passes to Sesame Street, Dora the Explorer and Go! Diego, Go! I guess it's better than rewinding the same VCR tape all day long!

So yesterday I took Clay to the pediatrician just to rule out anything major. No strep and clear lungs, so it's just a bad virus. And my children appear to be getting it one right after the other. At this rate I have 3-4 more weeks of sickness ahead of me. Can I stay healthy through all that?

That's the update at my house...oh...I almost forgot the point I was going to make about ironing all day. It's been kind of nice actually. Not that I know that it's money we're saving or the satisfaction of seeing the job get done. I realized that it's been a really long time since I spent the day doing something just for my husband. In a household where there are more kids than I have ears and arms, and it seems I'm always gestating or lactating, D can get lost in the shuffle. It felt good to do something for him today. I'm sure he was wishing it was something a little more "hands on", but hey...you gotta take what you can get around here! lol

Friday, February 03, 2006


It is so adorable to me that Jack has now started sucking his thumb! He uses the other hand to rub the back of his hair just like Clay used to do.

What's ironic is that I'm trying to get Emma to STOP sucking her thumb...then there's Kelli who sucks her thumb and drags her beloved blanket "Dinky" all over the house. This morning I realized that it's not just her dinky she's dragging around but her little blue squishy pillow as well.

I need to get Emma ready for preschool, then try to find some shoes and a shawl for Aleena's Father/Daughter Dance tonight. I need to take Clay to the doctor at 11. And I have to finish the cheesecake brownies for the dance tonight too...

Just the life of a mama, I guess...do I have time to take a shower before all this? Hmmmm...