27 April 2009

of sweetie pies and snuggles~

Well, I would apologize for being scarce, but truthfully...I'm not sorry, not one little bit :o)

I've been busy, you know.

Doing what, you ask?


I've been watching as a sweet little girl discovers her world. Marveling at perfection wrapped up in the form of sweet smelling baby smells, tiny newborn diapers, and lots of snuggly pink pajamas.

Watching older brothers learn the art of comforting a baby in awkward boyish arms and older sisters swoop in at the first cry of distress.

Almost wishing for tiny baby cries to give me an excuse to snuggle down in the covers for a nap.

Delighting in a tiny body scrunching up into a yawn and a stretch that seems much too big for such a little girl.

Encouraging the use of a thumb in a hopeful attempt to avoid the paci addiction that plagues our house to this day.

And changing diapers, lots of diapers. And being reminded of that curious newborn quirk of filling a clean diaper as soon as you snap that last snap.

Rubbing my nose in super soft, jet black baby hair, anxiously awaiting the day there's enough to justify the use of a cute barette.

Delighting in the miracle of satiny baby palms wrapped around my finger, holding on for dear life.

Listening to baby breaths and tiny baby sighs.

Kissing perfectly round baby cheeks and imprinting the feel of their fulness in my heart.

Storing up memories of the size and feel of a newborn sleeping flopped over my shoulder or snuggled against me with milk running down the sides of her cheek.

Laughing at all those silly faces babies make in their sleep and wondering how I could have ever forgotten about them.

The look of a milk-drunk baby, completely satisfied and oblivious to the laughs and kisses surrounding her.

Rescuing her from well meaning three year olds and almost two year olds.

Reminding myself that "this too shall pass" and not knowing if I should be comforted or grieved...a little of both, I suppose.

Wishing I could just stop time and wondering how I'll ever deal with the days when there are no more of my own babies to hold and thinking I need to be strongly encouraging my children to have lots of children and live close by.

Being overwhelmed with gratitude that she is here, and perfect, when she came so close to being lost.

Trying really, really hard to sear this time into my memory so as to recall with perfect clarity what these days are like. Telling myself I will not forget...I will not forget...


The days and weeks following the birth of our babies are probably my favorite times in life. I can't find words to describe it, but it's as if there is a bubble surrounding that time, it almost feels sacred. Of course after the birth of my first, and probably my second, it was much more difficult and felt overwhelming, but since then it's always just a time of being still, in body and spirit, and I treasure each of those times and memories.

One of the greatest benefits to me of having so many babies is how normal it begins to feel :o) With each baby I am able to relax more, take all the hormone fluctuations in stride (for the most part!), and just spend time enjoying each new little person. The laundry can wait, the blogging can wait, everything can wait. I have learned that that sweet, snuggly newborn stage is so fleeting that I just want to take it all in, store it up in my heart, and revel in it. Even now, each new day, I wish I could just re-live it. I so wish I could just stop time, right here, today, right now. It's going to pass by so fast and I can hardly stand it. I could just stay here, snuggling this tiny baby body, forever. She's already almost eleven pounds! I just need time to slow down, please...just for awhile.


I am always amazed at how all of our babies look so much alike, even the boys and girls. Check out this first photo of Grace, and then the following one of Haven. It's a good thing I've labeled all our baby photos, because there are so many photos that if I hadn't labeled them, I would have no idea who it was. Especially among the boys who have passed down a lot of outfits.

Her first trip out...five days old, going to church on Saturday night.

Baby Grace and her polka dot pajamas :o)

So now you all know where I've been and what I've been doing. You also probably know why I keep having babies :o)

Birth story to follow soon...promise.

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14 April 2009

baby grace~

Grace Rose
Monday, 13 April 2009
1:40 pm
21 inches
9lbs 8oz

She's here! And 12 days early! And 9lbs 8oz at 12 days early!

And labor? Well....I don't want to talk about it.

Birth story and better photos to (hopefully) to follow in the next few days.

I don't have any really good photos yet. Hopefully I'll feel like finding the camera wherever the kids stuck it this morning and putting forth some energy to get some good photos. Right now, all I want to do is sleep :o)

Sunday morning after my water broke.

Mommy, Haven, and baby Grace

A very proud and excited big brother

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10 April 2009

while we've been waiting~

Well, because we have been doing something other than just waiting...

Big Sister

Big Brother


Big Brothers...

Little Brothers...

Always Someone to Play With...

I will always be the baby...I will always be the baby...

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03 April 2009

week 36
baby grace~

Finally, finally, I have been getting some things accomplished. The last two Sundays have been massive cooking days (we go to church Saturday night) and that seemed to kick me into gear. It takes me quite awhile to recover from my endeavors, but I can safely say I've reached the point where the house is in a nearly constant state of order (do you know how good that feels?), although there is some more deep cleaning I would still like to accomplish. (Did I mention that my birthday gift was to have two friends that clean on the side come to clean my bathrooms scrub my floors do those things on my list that I really, really didn't want to do clean those things that are just a little too hard for me to do comfortably right now? Have I mentioned what an awesome husband I have?) In the past these are things I've done myself, but this time it's been such a blessing to have help.

Anyway, for my own future reference...

Physical Update:

I know it sounds silly, but throughout all of my pregnancies I have never really just stood there and stared at my belly in the mirror. I did that for the first time the other night. Wow! Pregnancy really is amazing. People have always commented on how my belly just sticks out in front, I don't look pregnant from the back, etc. etc. but I've never paid much attention. It really does look like that. Like I have this attachment on the front of me :o) I also have very bad stretch marks, which I already knew. I've had them since Anna. I guess that's what happens when you stretch out a 17 year old body with an almost 9lb baby and don't bother to use lotion or anything. Oh well.

The baby is low. As in I'm beginning to get that she could fall out anytime feeling. (If only it were that easy.) My feet are swollen almost all the time which has resulted in not just a few laughs from Glen. Have I mentioned that I have never been swollen before? Ever. And Glen really likes my feet. At least he's smart enough to know it will go away. (And he's smart enough to not make moo-ing sounds at me anymore. He learned that with Anna.)

Susie, the midwife, and her assistant came over the other night. I'm measuring a couple of weeks big. Hopefully that means an earlier baby! I so hope I'm not setting myself up again for a month long waiting game. I just keep thinking my girls were early, so this one has got to be early. Next Friday will be the day Moriah came, so I can't help but have the date in my head. I'm not expecting it then, but that's when I feel that I enter that "it could be any time" territory. Sometimes being a planner has its downfalls. **sigh** I mean, I'm the person that reads the ends of books first and reads the movie spoilers before watching movies. I really, really like to know things. Like a lot. (And I kind of think an Easter baby would be really neat! Some of my babies have been born very close to Jewish holidays so I'm thinking Passover?? And I keep meaning to spend some time thinking about and praying about this; I know Moriah coming so early definitely had something to do with her being born on Rosh Hashanah and us entering into a new season of our life. Her name is tied into it as well and I am excited to see how the Lord unfolds all of that as she grows older.) But anyway, Passover is the 9th, and Anna and I have a Mommy and Me fun day planned for the 10th. As you can see, I drive myself (and others) a little nuts when I get to this point ;o)

Really, though, I am in better spirits and feeling much better than I was a few weeks ago. I have a distinct waddle and move very slowly, but overall I am feeling pretty good. My iron is really low and I've been working diligently to raise my hemoglobin levels for a few weeks now, but they seem to be stuck regardless of what I eat and what supplements I take. But I feel okay, so that is definitely a plus :o)

Freezer Tally:

6 meatloaves (yep, with hidden zucchini again...shhh)

4 chicken casseroles

3 sesame chicken

3 chicken enchiladas

2 bags chicken in raspberry walnut vinagarette

2 bags chicken in some other marinade I can't remember :o)

4 bags beef brisket

15lbs browned hamburger with onions

10c. cooked, shredded chicken

some hot dogs and beef smoked sausage for easy, fast meals (i know, i know...yuck. but i have kids, people. kids)

turkey bacon & turkey sausage

16 lbs chicken tenders

we still have a huge amount of beef from the cow we split with my dad

a ridiculous amount of frozen veggies

a stack of pizzas and gluten free pizza crusts

frozen waffles & french toast sticks

I'm playing with the idea of making more brisket and possibly some chicken pot pies. For some reason my cooking felt more difficult and didn't produce as many meals as usual. Maybe I made larger portions than before? This time I froze all the meals in disposable pans that stack and that made a huge difference in the organization of my freezer. I will definitely stick with this method from now on. I didn't make any soups like I did back before fall began. We just don't eat as much of that stuff in the summer. We'll probably rely a lot on grilling since we have quite a bit of the cow and a lot of chicken. Grilling is easy...and yummy!

Pantry Stocking (food and paper supplies):

If you're interested in my obsessive compulsive efforts to have a well stocked pantry prior to having a baby, the list of what I've stored is in the sidebar.

Cleaning Left to Finish:

Just for my own sake, this is my list of what I want to finish up:

*baseboards, windows, sills in dining room

*mr clean magic eraser dining room

*clean top of refrigerator

*windows, sills, baseboards in school room

*wipe down doors/trim in school room

*baseboards in foyer

*front door glass and trim

*clean air intake

*mr clean eraser wall behind school room door

*scrub laundry room floor

*baseboards, windows, sills in living room

*window trim in living room

*move green chair upstairs

*baseboards in area by master bedroom

*mr clean eraser by master bedroom

*dust living room

*baseboards master bedroom

*dust master bedroom


*deal with flower bed by front porch

*clean off deck

*go through files in desk

*put away coats, etc. in attic

*dust desk

*go through birth supplies and purchase any last minute items

*get baby stuff from sister

*talk glen into taking bookcases to attic figure out what to do with the blue bookcases

*get photos for frame above fireplace?

*picture frames in bedroom?

*make & laminate new "how to" cleaning lists for the kids

*girl day with anna (nails, waxing (me, not anna!) , car cleaned out, etc.)

*clean up gravel around basement and backyard

I guess that's it. Now I'm going to bed.


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02 April 2009

the newest addition to our family~

(Don't I wish!)

Unfortunately, not that addition. No, as if adding a seventh baby and gardening for the first time ever weren't enough for us to take on this spring, we decided it would be a good idea for us to get chickens.

Misti, stop laughing :o)

In the spirit of full disclosure, I will say the idea was initially mine, and then Glen took over. We were already building a large shed, so he just decided to make part of it a chicken house with outside access to a large chicken yard. We're not planning on letting them roam completely free as we have so many other animals (not the least of which is our super-hunter cat) that may just think we've opened the all you can eat chicken buffet :o)

Speaking of, the night before last, I was thankful for my husband, and his shotgun, as the hugest, most gigantic possum ever decided that the cat food on our porch was for him. Normally, we don't worry about possums too much, but this one was reminiscent of that horrible nasty animal on the Princess Bride. It was gross. And that is an understatement. It was at least two feet long and it's tail was so thick I don't even want to think about it. Not to mention we have new chicks. It was late, and Glen shot it in the bushes, so he left it until morning. Now, my husband is as much of a manly man as any guy, but he did not want to deal with it. It was in a hard to get to area that was going to require more physical contact than he really cared for.

No problem! Eight year old son to the rescue. After being properly bribed motivated the following morning with the promise of $5 for a very minimal amount of work, Caleb donned rubber gloves, picked it up by the tail, and deposited it across the drive into the woods. Glen was relieved. :o)

So anyway, back to the chickens. We go through at least $50 of eggs a month, so that, along with thinking it would be a good learning experience and responsibility for the kids, decided to get eight Rhode Island Red hens. No roosters for us. So far they are doing fabulously and living in a box in our school room. Glen is oddly attached to them, I think it has something to do with he's the one that actually went and met the guy we purchased them from and rode around with them in his van for the afternoon. (Every night after the kids are in bed, he goes into the school room and plays with them, but you didn't hear that from me.)

We thought about just getting some hens from my grandparents so they would go ahead and start providing eggs, but then we decided that maybe having them from chicks would cut down on the nervousness about being around grown chickens for the first time ever and that the chickens would be friendlier. You know, because I've been terrified ever since I was little about being pecked it's important that the kids are comfortable around them. Ahem. I think it was a good decision. I'm not completely sure on all the details, but I know we have one named Picky, one named Arrow, one named Violet, one named Chick-fil-a, and one named Godzilla. I don't think the others have names.

I'll keep you updated on any interesting news on the chicken front.

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"How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about arithmetic, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No; a woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness." ~GK Chesterton

2012 November

2012 November