Because I know you've all been holding your breath...
October found me off bedrest, thank you, Lord! For the first couple of weeks I was only supposed to do "light activities" which is extremely hard to define, especially when you're taking care of and homeschooling six children. Gee whiz.
"How important *is* this dirty diaper? Hmmm, no one is around, which means I'll have to lift Haven, is it worth it?"
"Do I let the trash overflow, or go ahead and lift it out? It's too heavy for Caleb to lift out of the can, and Glen won't be home for six hours. Fruit flies...hmmmm."
"I'm thinking a bath at 8:30am and naptime at 9 definitely falls into the light activities category."
"Dinner? Definitely *not* a light activity."
"Mopping? Are you serious? At least the sticky floors slow the kids down."
All joking aside, I am so thankful that everything turned out fine. It was a very intense six weeks, though.
Midway through the light activities phase, I was having some pretty noticeable cramping, which I really thought was probably an irritable uterus due to being pregnant for over half my adult life, but thought I probably should have checked out. (Plus I wanted to get another peek to see if "she" had grown any boys parts.) I went in, my assumption was correct, their first girl assessment was correct (yay!), and I was released to normal activity since the hemorrhage was completely gone! Glen promptly planned the camping trip.
I have got to do better with writing down what I do every day. I used to keep up with this so well, but since I switched my calendar, grocery list, meal planning, etc. to my palm program instead of a paper planner, my daily event journaling has gone down the drain. I think I'm going to pick up a little planner so I can keep up with this better. I don't hardly remember anything except highlights.
I remember Haven had a horrible diaper rash. I finally figured out he just needed good old zinc oxide, but this took me a good four days of trying other more natural methods. Sometimes I think I just need to stick with what works. We were finally able to go to church again, which was great. I
was am tired all the time, and a 9 am naptime has pretty much become the norm. This is always the norm when I'm pregnant. The big kids are allowed to have quiet time, so they don't really care when it happens, and the little kids get up early enough that they are ready for a nap at 9, so it works for us. Glen sold a couple of trailers, and a bobcat, so we used some of that money to buy a pop up camper. Going to get it was an event, and it was one of those God things. The entire day worked out perfectly, literally to the minute, and they were a fun Christian couple with four kids who hit it off fabulously with our kids. We stayed at their house just visiting until after 10pm. They said they had been praying for it to end up with the perfect family, and after camping in it for four days, I have to say it *is* perfect for us. I'm going to write about camping later, though. We were finally able to get back into our weekly routine of the kids taking turns with me to do errands. This usually gives us almost an entire day together, one on one, and we all missed it. Glen and I were also able to have a date night, which was free thanks to a gift card from our sweet neighbors to a very nice Mexican place, and a Cheerios rebate gift card to the movies. I was also able to have a night out to dinner and dessert with my sisters. Our "pet" skunk finally met its end. It was becoming too close for comfort, too bold, and we realized it had a mate. We most definitely did not want baby skunks. Just a helpful hint: shooting a skunk *does* stink. It's a good thing it was right before we left for camping. The smell was gone when we returned.
I'm not feeling sick anymore at all, which is great. This really confirmed to me it was probably a girl as with my boys I stay pretty sick until 16 or 17 weeks, so when I hit 12 this time and I felt better pretty much overnight, I realized it probably *is* a girl as I didn't feel sick nearly as long with my girls. I don't think this is how it is for everyone, it's just how it's been for me. I am still tired, more like exhausted, and my body is pretty much just sore all the time, and I have a lot of cramping and braxton hicks which is pretty normal for a seventh pregnancy. I've also started to feel the baby move on occassion which is always sweet. My stomach literally popped out overnight (this is how it always happens for me) a week and a half ago. I go from not really looking pregnant at all, wearing normal clothes, to being obviously pregnant (as in people have no qualms about mentioning it) and wearing maternity clothes. It's always nice to actually *look* pregnant and not just fluffy :o)
Haven finally cheered up a little. He is such a sweetie and a cuddler, and always has been, but he is also very serious (has been since birth) and could be borderline grumpy. I think he went through some kind of transition in physical and cognitive development which caused him to be in one of those frustrated with life stages babies seem to go through. He's pretty much come through it, though, which makes life easier. He also got in four teeth. My kids get teeth in masse, and Haven has had a particularly hard time with them.
October and November are always the invasion of the ladybugs. Once the weather turns cooler, on the warmer days (which we have a lot of here), the ladybugs come out. Cute, you say? Uh uh. No way. One ladybug, maybe. Hundreds...gross. Nasty. Awful. Thankfully, we only get them in two locations of our house, some people get them all over. They stink. Bad.
The last weekend of the month found us with a problem we encounter every year. The great birthday pile up. Anna's birthday always falls during our vacation week, and then when we return it's time for school to start. Then the end of September is Moriah and Glen's birthdays. For some reason, every year, life is such that their parties get put off. Last year, we didn't celebrate them until like February. This year we finally got around to it in October. I'm embarassed to admit it, but we hadn't yet had Noah's family party either. So we celebrated Noah, my grandmother, my sister Dyana, my sister Kristen, Anna, Glen, and Moriah's birthdays. And this was just my side of the family. Talk about cake and presents! Sheesh. Anna had a gluten free cookie cake, Moriah had a chocolate regular cake, and Noah had a gluten free white cake. So I spent the morning baking, Glen and the kids spent the morning cleaning :o) Yes, even the birthday kids had to help. Gee, if I'd let them off the hook I would have lost half my cleaning crew, people. In all seriousness, if having so many kids has taught me anything, one of my biggest lessons has been letting go of my perfectionism. I have a long way to go, but I have been slapped upside the head with the reality that I really can't do it all. At least not all in the same week anyway :o)
Have I mentioned Moriah's not so much a girly girl? She is the best skateboarder in our house, hands down! She had been wanting a skateboard of her own with pads for months.
My clean living room. I couldn't resist, it's been so long. If you imagine me over there on the couch with my laptop or pile of school books and a pile of toys all over the floor you would have a more accurate picture of real life. :o)
Moriah does have a sweet spot for dogs, though, and had been wanting a pet doctor kit for awhile. That's my sister Dyana and her new baby, Addyson, peeking over her shoulder.
With a grin like that I'm surprised he doesn't get everything he wants. It's a good thing he's number five!
If he ever figures out just how cute he is, we're all in trouble. That's my sister Kristen (aka our Nanny) in the corner and her friend, Ives.
Moriah's skateboarding dog cake.
Noah's Mickey Mouse & Pluto cake. Anna drew the Pluto, didn't she do a great job?
Anna's cookie cake.
Our beautiful October view.
Two of my guys. Aren't they handsome? I am so in love.