Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Achieving Motherhood

When talking to a friend the other day I was sharing a story about a lady with a bunch of little kids, and my friend laughed and said that was funny coming from me since I'm the lady now with a bunch of little kids.  As silly as it sounds I hadn't really thought about that.

I mean I know I have a bunch of kiddos, but that was not always the case.  Now I don't want to misrepresent or anything, but there absolutely was a time when my hands were decidedly less full than they are now.  I love everything about being a mother.  I love that kids provide me with a never ending amount of things to laugh about, and stories to share.  My first foray into motherhood though was a bust.  When my husband and I had been married for six months we felt absolutely certain that the Lord was telling us it was time to start a family.  So we started trying, and got pregnant in short order.  We were over-the-top excited.  I told any and every person who so much as looked in my general direction.  I wanted to shout it from the rooftops.  I was going to be an awesome, hip mom.  It was written in the stars, predestined from the beginning of everything.  I mean I'm awesome at everything...why would motherhood be any different.  My euphoria was not to last though.  At 12 weeks my pregnancy ended.  I was not prepared.  I mean I knew that it had been a possibility, but I didn't think it could happen to me.  Then I had to field all of the well meaning questions that turned into awkward concern.

We were blessed with our oldest daughter a year later, and then our next daughter two years after that.  The miscarriage was just a fluke right?  I had everything all planned out.  A new baby every two years until we reached the half dozen children of my dreams.  Well I'm here to say that plans while awesome do not always go as wanted.  My next two pregnancies both ended at 12 weeks.  That seems to be my doom or bloom week.  When I got pregnant for the sixth time it was immediately after my third miscarriage.  So with that fresh on my mind I don't think I took a full breath until we had passed the 12 week mark, and I truly didn't feel safe until I had seen a happy healthy wiggly thumb sucker at my 20 week ultrasound.  My youngest was 4 though, and my self imposed pattern was off.

In those four years I learned something.  People sometimes say mean stupid things especially it feels like if your children are the same gender.  I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints or what we are more commonly known as, Mormons or LDS.  If it is one thing that LDS people are known for its having a bunch of kids.  Here I only had two, and my youngest wasn't so young anymore.  People from church wondered if we were planning on having more, and would politely asked not knowing, usually, how we had unsuccessfully tried to have more.  Others told me to be grateful for the two I had, and "stop trying for a boy".  Almost all the comments were well meaning, but hurtful none the less.

Two years after my third beautiful daughter was born we welcomed our fourth daughter and two years after that my fifth daughter.  My hands were certainly much more full now, but the desire for more was still there.  So imagine my excitement when I got pregnant again...for the ninth time.  This one wasn't meant to be either, though, and like all the others it ended at 12 weeks.  There is a certain amount of discouragement that is felt when out of 9 pregnancies I only find myself with 5 children running around and generally making my life equal parts mild misery and sky high happiness.

Some might wonder why keep going?  Why deal with the potential of failure and heartache?  I've got some pretty compelling reasons...

When passing on these kinds of genes it is clear that I must make sure that my line continues on. The next generation would be decidedly less cool if my little bits of awesomeness weren't wandering around in it.

The greatest blessings are rarely easy, but are achieved through sorrow and trials.  My five greatest blessings are my ladies, and are the most important things I'll ever do in this life.  They are worth every moment of uncertainty and trials I have had to face, but as full as my hands are now I still remember the not to distant past when that wasn't the case.  So I am grateful now for my mini female horde, and I look forward to adding to it in the future...

Sunday, December 1, 2013

I will not beat my child...

I will not beat my child...when she gets out of bed for the 1000th time claiming that she's about to pee her pants.

I will not beat my child...when she doesn't actually go potty when she's gotten out bed for the 1000th time.

I will not beat my child...when she pours acrylic paint into my carpet (wet wipes will get this out if its still wet, just FYI)

I will not beat my child...when she pours half a gallon of syrup in the office (wet wipes aren't enough to save the carpet from needing a steam clean, just FYI)

I will not beat my child...when she randomly turns up with no clothes on when you know she was dressed five minutes before

I will not beat my child...when she refuses to wear any of her own panties, and will only wear her sister's treasured Rapunzel panties

I will not beat my child...when she is found in the front yard in her birthday suit, and rubber boots

I will not beat my child...when she announces to the entire congregation at church that she needs to go pee

I will not beat my child...when she starts pew hopping at church

I will not beat my child...when she goes ice fishing in my water cup after I just got after her for picking her nose

I will not beat my child...when she uses my shirt as her own personal snot rag

I will not beat my child...when she pours out my brand new bottle of crystal fabric softener

I will not beat my child...when she tries to brush her hair less than 5 minutes after I have fixed it, thus necessitating a redo

I will not beat my child...when she eats three bags of marshmallows on the sly (I'm pretty sure she had help will this one, but she was the sisters' collective scapegoat)

I will love my child...

because she's beautiful fourth daughter who's at that age where pretty much everything she wants to do is going to drive me crazy, and her desire to remain in the nude is frustrating.

I will love my child...when she can't wait to give me hugs and cuddles first thing in the morning.  Only after yelling 'GOOD MORNING' at the top of her lungs roughly 3 inches from my face.

I will love my child...when she amazes me with how much she has learned of her letters and the corresponding ASL sign

I will love my child...when she wants to help me cook dinner

I will love my child...when she wants to put away all the silverware in the dishwasher

I will love my child...when she squeals with excitement when her sisters are playing with her

I will love my child...when she gets super excited about My Little Ponies and can and will tell you all about it

I will love my child...because she's beautiful and she's wonderful and she's mine.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

You know you're a mom if...

You've ever wiped your child's nose on the underside of your own shirt because you couldn't find any tissue.

You've ever had to ask yourself "is this poop or chocolate"

You've ever mistakenly sat in pee...on multiple occasions

You've ever had to clean poop off of anything

You've ever had a child place anything in your cleavage for safe keeping

You've ever had a puncture wound from a rogue lego piece

You can sing every word to the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse theme song, Jake and the Neverland Pirates theme song, The Backyardigans theme song, Dora the Explorer theme song, etc., etc., etc.

You've ever had a child try to be shy with a stranger, and take a bashful refuge by burying their face in your backside

You've ever let a child brush your hair, and walked away with more tangles than you came with

You've ever eaten candy in the bathroom/closet/dark pantry because you didn't want to share

You've ever tried to pee or have a bowel movement with a child screaming outside the door, and felt bad about it because they sounded so sad to be left out

You've ever been the recipient of nasty looks at the store because your grocery shopping expedition ran long, and drifted dangerously into nap time territory

You've ever had to ask yourself if the puddle on the floor is urine, or a spilled cup of water

You've ever had to tend a busted lip when a Barbie dispute got violent

You've ever fashioned a cape out of a towel/baby blanket/long sleeved shirt

You've ever had to fish a stray turd out of the tub because bath time was so relaxing

You've ever found a child elbow deep in your cup to steal ice after you got on to them for picking their nose

You haven't finished an entire beverage/plate of food on your own for more than a decade

You've ever had a child use you as their personal living breathing...tissue

You've ever made the judgment call that its not worth changing out of your snot shirt simply because chances are high that you'll just get more on you as the day wears on

You've ever gotten to an event, on time, with everyone fully dressed in matching clothing, and wearing shoes, and are secretly sad that there wasn't a crowd of cheering people waiting to congratulate you

You've ever been so sleep deprived that you accidentally misspelled your own name

You can get vomit/poop/snot out of a toy/clothes/furniture, like a boss

You've ever had to run into the dollar store to grab a pack of panties because you were 45 minutes into your trip before its discovered the 3 year old was going commando under her dress

You think you could probably talk a jumper down from a ledge easier than you can talk your child into putting on clothes

You've ever found yourself completely absorbed in a kids show only to realize that you are watching it alone, and you have to finish because you need to find out how it ends

Thursday, October 24, 2013

When Teething and Homeschooling Collide. A Good Money Making Opportunity?

Finally we were finding a groove.

Finally we were getting a schedule.

Finally everyone seemed to be adapting...well almost everyone.

I have discovered the quickest path to an extremely upset baby is sitting down, and trying to review letters and letter sounds with two of her sisters.

What ensues can only be described as pure chaos. On the flip side my girls will have no problem learning, studying, or functioning in a noisy college environment.

So in a way this is valuable college prep.  I could probably hire out my clingy, teething child to small families so that their children will know how to deal in the chaotic crowds that seem to abound at college campuses the world over.

This is how I think the advertisement should read:

Offering Whiney One Year Old Teether, and a Plethora of Assorted Sisters to Create Chaos and General Discord.  How Best to Help Your Child Learn to Learn in a Noisy Dorm/Fraternity/Sorority/Apartment Than with These Fun Loving Girls Who Love to Run, Laugh, Giggle, Fight and Cling to Any Available Appendage When You REALLY Need to Concentrate.  Also Available to Newly Married Couples Looking to Experience an Afternoon of Parenthood to See if You Really Are Ready to Get With Child.  Best to Rent Directly Prior to Any and All Important Phone Conversations.  When Careful Listening, and Prompt Replying is a Necessity.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Offensive Random Questions From Strangers

Are they all yours?

This one isn't crazy bad.  I could very well have borrowed neighborhood kids, or stolen children from other parents in the store.  I mean kids love to follow random groups.  Case and point, #4 always seems to wander away with other people with kids.  She is accustomed to being in a small herd, and apparently doesn't discriminate on which herd she chooses to follow.  I have got to say though that if I can gather a group of similarly looking girl children in varying ages from throughout a store that I am good.  Like the pied piper even, but for mini females and thankfully not rats.  This question usually leads us to our next question.

Do they all have the same dad?

This one too could be valid.  I mean I have four blonde very fair freckled faced children, and one brunette child sporting not a single freckle and a tan that a lot of woman would kill for.  Clearly different fathers is the only way to explain such an occurrence.  I mean it couldn't be that four of them take after their dad, and one inherited my ability to tan.  I have to say though that all my children have some very strong features that they ALL inherited from their father.

Are you going to keep trying for a boy?

I will be honest this one just angers me no end.  So I have five beautiful girls.  Was there anything in my conduct that made it seem like I was disappointed with any one of them because of their gender?  That I have been continuing to increase my family size for the sole purpose of acquiring a boy?  Just so stupid.

Sorry you didn't get your boy.

Not a question so much as a stupid statement.  See the response to the above question if you are wondering how I feel about this one.

Why would you choose to bring anymore children into this world, when its such a nasty place?

Well, this one is just silly. I mean couldn't I just be a person bent on the further destruction of our beautiful planet?  Maybe I thrive on mayhem, or if certain theorists are to be believed, a hotter, dirtier place to be since I have ruined it with my oversized familial carbon foot print.  Just ridiculous.  Has no one thought of the saying, the hand the rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world, and I'm not refering to that creepy 90s movie here.  My meaning being that if those of us that loved and cherished our children (and I do put myself in that category) had more then maybe through our parenting we could make this world one of love, honor and integrity, one that we could be proud of.   So it would appear that I must needs continue my country loving, baby having, large family living for the good of the planet.  I think this makes me something like a crazy awesome super hero!

So next time I hear a stupid question I think I'll just smile.  Since they are obviously not cool enough to recognize my superhero status, and all the sacrifice I give to rear the best new generation that I can.  One beautiful and precious little girl at a time.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Good, the Bad, and the Homeschooling Fail...and Its Only Week Two.

Ok so we are in our second week of homeschooling. Yay!  Already I love it.  Already I can feel the girls spirits shrivel as they realize that they are now firmly in my grasp!  Already I can feel us drawing closer together as a family, and I am experiencing the joy of being such an integral part of their education.  

That being said for just about everything that is awesome there is usually also an equally unawesome downside.  I'm sure you are probably wondering what the heck?  This is week two, how could you possible have found a downside.  Its possible my friends.  Especially if you are an over achiever like me.  Things have been going great.  The little girls haven't been as big of a distraction as I thought, and our lessons have gone smoothly. So I thought we can totally handle Family Room learning time...it was too soon my friends.  Far, far too soon.  It was a big fat epic FAIL.

Picture of the laziness,

and more laziness.

A little sister poking at a lazy sister,

and a little sister trying to figure out how best to join in the laziness.

It's hard to learn, and try and absorb anything when you are laying on a heap in the floor.  Also apparently the chickens get extra clucky when they are laying eggs.  We don't really hear it in the kitchen, but we totally could in the living room.  I had more than a few super concerned 'egg gatherers' on my hands.

The lesson I learned from this is this could be a fun way to do one subject maybe, as a treat, but certainly not a full load only two weeks into this whole process.  So back to the kitchen island it is.

Oh the productivity!

The littlest little is even happy so long as she's getting fed regularly.

We have an apple tv, and use the computer as a big part of the learning process.  With our apple tv I'm able to link my laptop screen wirelessly to the tv that we keep mounted in the kitchen.  We use it to look up facts, find songs, and we use it in place of a white board or chalk board.  We may or may not have had homeschooling heavily on the mind when we were thinking about this kitchen layout.

I have always loved being a stay-at-home mother, and have felt blessed to have a loving awesome husband who sustained me in that role.  I now feel an even greater appreciation for my wonderful husband as he has helped me on our homeschooling journey to here.  He has helped me research, and organize our materials so that everything has gone as smoothly as possible.  He has also offered me insight from his own personal experience of being homeschooled as a child.  

I am excited about this new path our family is heading down.  I can't wait to chronicle our successes, our laughter, our tears, and yes even our failures, but whatever we're doing I can guarantee it will be awesome!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Getting Ready for School

Usually getting ready for school means

  • Franticly looking for school supply lists for the appropriate school and grade.
  • Franticly shopping for clothes, and shoes in stores that are already crazy picked over.
  • Trying to calm down frantic kiddos that are suffering last minute nerves about a new school year.
  • Sadly saying goodbye to summer vacation.
  • Basically just a ton of frantic-ness, if that's a word.

This year is going to be a little bit different

  • We aren't mourning the passing of summer.
  • We have opted out of frantic school shopping. We'll get more clothes and shoes when we need them.
  • The kids aren't having anxiety over a the new school year.
  • This year we are making our own school supply list.

Why is this year different?  This is the year that we start homeschooling.

We have toyed with the idea for years, but this is the year we actually do it. The kiddos have already started doing their math, and they are super hyped about getting started in our curriculum this year.  We are planning on starting early this year since it might take us a bit to figure out the groove that works best for us.

Our math curriculum that we are going with is Aleks.com.  I had my math teacher friend, Awesome Kristie, look over it for me.  She gave it two thumbs up.  It is a fully online program.  I like it because I can hop on with my parents login every evening, and check up on their progress.  How they did that day with lessons, what they perhaps struggled with, and I can also set up quizzes for them. The kiddos LOVE it, but that might be because they get to do it on our iPads.

Our curriculum that we are going to be doing is through lifeschoolk12.org.  They are an LDS based accredited curriculum.  We just got it in over the weekend, and I'm beyond excited to get started with it.  I love that it incorporates scripture into all the lessons in ways that I never would have thought to apply to our everyday life.  

We are excited about the freedom that we are going to have this year.  The fun that we will be having with our homeschool buddies, and the many awesome field trips that we will be able to take.  This year is going to be great.

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Don't worry it all turns out beautiful in the end.

So about a year ago we bought the world's trashiest house.

SEE WHAT I MEAN?  Feel free to be appalled.

Most people are without words at this point.  We picked up this beauty and 5 acres for next to nothing, and then proceeded to gut it down to the studs. The outside still, sadly looks super similar, but the inside is super swank.

This is what the kitchen looked like through the living room wall.  That was before we knocked out a wall, and made things crazy awesome.

So we totally needed an awesome kitchen. I mean I have five daughters! So what makes a super duper awesome kitchen?  A ginormous island.  I need space for all of my minions to work.  We want to eventually put granite on it, but until then we put a wooden top on it.

A plain wooden top would be boring, and I refused to paint even one wall white.  I couldn't have a boring island top.  So first we primed it and painted it a blue, and that was 4 months ago. Have I mentioned my intense tendency to procrastinate?

and that white patch on the wall would be the painting I have yet to finish...because I'm lazy.

So like 4 years ago I picked up this super rad stencil at Hobby Lobby (my favorite store EVER). It was so pretty, and even though I had never stenciled before I just knew it couldn't be that hard.

First I needed to prep the surface. 

I used this to fill in the few holes that escaped our notice when we first painted it blue.

Then I sanded back over to make everything nice and smooth again.

Then came back, and spot painted it.

So in my brilliance I decided that I should practice my stenciling.

I liked that it was more faded in some areas than in others.  I wanted it to look somewhat aged, and not like it was brand new.

It was at this point that I discovered I am horrible at stenciling.  Don't worry I get better before it is all said and done.  The stencil pattern had to fit just perfectly, and it was a really tight pattern.  So after I did about half the table I would get off big time, and need to paint over everything...three times.   Did I mention that our island is 5 feet by 9 feet long?  So that was four and a half feet of defeat. So about 3:30 am I called it a night.

So the next morning my super awesome friend...the math teacher...I like to call her Awesome Kristie, helped me figure out something more feasible.  Using her mad math skills she helped me come up with something a bit more geometric.  I figured out that my super awesome stencil would be way more awesome and easier for me to use if I cut it up.

It made four smaller and more manageable patterns. So we then proceeded to practice again on some boxes. To tweak our pattern, and solidify our color choice.

This turned out so well we went large scale! We decided that gray was going to be a better choice over the white ivory I had initially bought for this project. Then we started taping off the island.

This took us about 15 minutes, and thankfully Awesome Kristie was here to help me because I'm not sure I could have turned done this by myself.

Then we put a small dab of paint on every diamond that we were going to paint a solid color. 

All the blank diamonds would be getting the stencil treatment.

Here is how it turned out prior to the tape removal.

From first tape to finished product took us two hours. I painted each of the stenciled areas, and Awesome Kristie, did all the solid diamonds.  I wanted to diamonds to look kind of streaky.  Not sure why, but I was loving it.  Awesome Kristie was not, but was kind enough to do it anyway.

We were initially intending to then re-tape off, and connect all the diamonds with even smaller baby diamonds. However, two things changed my mind. One when we removed the tape some of my blue base coat came off with it.  I'm blaming the humidity, and two I was tired and feeling super lazy.

So I cautiously taped off some of the worse areas after everything had dried for a bout 12 hours, and did a touch up of the paint.  When that also removed some paint I free handed everything else.  Did I mention the raininess and humidity.  

It was then that I decided the contrast was a little more than I was wanting.  I wanted something much more muted.

So I poured some of my blue base coat into an ice cream bucket, and mixed in a liberal amount of water. I then applied with a foam brush. I would load my brush then apply it to the surface.  After that I would dry my sponge brush on a paper towel, and then drag it through the same area again. It gave it this fantastic streaky look that I love as it seems to add just the right amount of texture to it.

I used polycrylic to seal the top.  I like that product mainly because it is water based, and much easier to work with. It can be reapplied after 2 hours, and doesn't stink the place up if you do it in doors.  Also it cleans up super easy with soap and water.

So now we have a pretty non-boring island top that is one of a kind, and washable which is a must in our house of ladies. Next I need to get my stools painted...when I'm not feeling lazy.  Who knows when that will be.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Fun at Grandma's House


  • 9 big kiddos can all sleep in the living room of my childhood home. It takes some mad tetris style skills, but it is possible.
  • Cousins will fall back into an easy friendship even when they haven't seen each other in many years.
  • I have missed my sisters terribly.
  • Dramatic tantrums are so much more dramatic when you can throw yourself on a set of stairs.
For example...

See what I mean?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Please Excuse The Mess

The children are making memories, or are pint sized toy hoarders bent on making our house into a cuddly version of a crack house. You know without all the drugs and disease, and unsafe structural stability. I'm fairly sure that some of this may be part of a greater elaborate boobie trap.

Someone once told me to enjoy it because one day I would look back and miss this. I'm not sure if I'll miss THIS, but I will miss seeing the 5 young beautiful faces of my mini female horde when they are all grown up. I won't however miss almost going septic when a puncture wound from stepping on a Lego goes south. That I will happily leave behind.