For those that like to dream, come in. For those that like to laugh, come in. For those that like to cry and be inspired...please come in. Our family is like any other, but is extraordinary in it's own right. Come and join us at our campfire and laugh a little, cry a little and leave us, but please come back. We love company...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The lost one...

Well, its been a while since I last wrote and there's a reason for that. I have had so much on my mind lately its not even funny. I have had the gambit of emotions from joy and hope to loss and devastation. It's been one of the longest months on record for me.

In October I found out I was pregnant. I was so excited because I lost a baby in September. The miscarriage in September was sad for us. It happened so soon after I got pregnant that I hardly had time to get excited, think of names or plan for when the baby would come. I cried and reflected a few weeks and then let it go. I was looking forward to things that would come. So in October when I discovered I was pregnant again I felt so happy. Reserved, but happy. Jon and I go through a lot when we find out were pregnant. There are so many friends and family that love the idea and support us, but then there are those that don't much like the idea and are very concerned. Logically speaking it's not the sanest decision, but absolutely the most Christ-like decision. At least in my opinion. Adding another spirit to your home, can only bring joy, love, hope and happiness. I don't care how many are already there. Trust in the Lord...that's always been my motto and I try to stand by it.

Once November came we looked forward to the first ultrasound. I went in full of hope and excitement. As the technician rolled over my tummy with the wand I could see the concern in her face. She thought she saw two sacs, but not much in either one. One of the sacs looked like it might have hope for a healthy baby, and it was after all only 6 weeks into the pregnancy...so it most likely was just too soon to tell. I went home from that appointment very nervous, but still full of hope. We had to wait an agonizing 2 weeks for another ultrasound. So we waited.

By the time the next ultrasound came around we were getting pretty excited. We had taken the words of the tech from the last ultrasound and had all kinds of hope. Really...after 9 healthy pregnancies and 9 healthy babies, was there any reason to think we would miscarry twice in a row? Jon and I both went in this time and we had hope...again. As the technician scrolled over my tummy again my concern jumped to new heights right away. What looked like two babies the first time was obviously a baby and a bleed this time. The bleed was nearly surrounding the tiny baby and the baby really didn't look any different than it did the first time 2 weeks ago. There should have so much more growth in that time. My heart sank immediately. The tech was thorough, and although she could see a small fluttering of a heart, she could not pick it up. I was 8 weeks, the baby should have been much bigger and stronger.

We sat in the docs office with the results and the nurse quietly explained that things did not look good. We already knew that. However she said...we did see a heartbeat, so don't give up hope. 2 more weeks of waiting for an ultrasound was in store for us.

After only 6 days however the sadness truly began. I started to bleed. I knew we were losing another baby and my heart sank again. Could it go lower? I was about to find out. The next morning we were back in Dr Barneys office for another ultrasound. The blood seemed to have all clotted, but the baby had still not grown. This time however you could actually pick up the heartbeat on doppler...which was wonderful, but it was slow. Another sit down with Dr Barney came after the ultrasound and he brought us more bad news. The bleeding, slow heartbeat and minimal growth were all bad signs. It looked like I was going to lose the baby.

I cried all the way home, I cried the remainder of the day. I cried all night as the bleeding got worse and worse. By the next day I was hurting and bleeding hard and by that night I was in the er having another ultrasound. Jon was home trying to restore water to our home and Polly was with me. The technician was very quiet this time...no hope, no baby. The baby was gone, the heartbeat was gone, my hope was gone. I was hurting and tired that night and I don't think it really sunk in. I was given some morphine and some fluids and sent home. Then the truly hard part began. I took the ultrasound pictures of my baby before it died and put them in my bathroom cabinet. That and the positive pregnancy test are all I have of the tiny little person. I don't ever want to forget, forget how much I loved this little person months before they were even due to be placed into my arms for the first time.

The Lord gave women the most amazing ability to love their children. Not that dad's don't love just as much, they do. My sweet hubby cried with me after the 3rd appointment when we found out for sure we were going to lose him or her. I love my children. I have been able to love them from the moment that little plus sign showed up on the little stick. They are mine, they are a part of me.

That tiny part of me died this last week. Forgive me if I cry a little every now and then. Time will heal...time will heal...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The chaos it all is...

You know, with my life being what it is I sometimes forget that most people do not live with the kind of chaos that I live with. I am so used to it that it escapes me.

Just yesterday I had my 9 kids, plus 2 neighbor kids playing at our home. Some were outside building a fort in the snow, some were inside watching tv. McKenna was on the computer facebooking with her friends and Megan and her friend Alex were making cookies. Aside from a few bedrooms, there were people in every room of the house. I was talking on the phone with Polly and I tried to find a quiet place to talk. I started in the kitchen...well, there were like 5 other people in there so I wandered to the living room. 3 more people there playing Wii. My bedroom....Skyler trying to nap. Well, that leaves one of the kids bedrooms or the basement. I went downstairs trying to count heads while on my way down to see if mentally every one was accounted for so that the basement would be free. Alas...there was one person watching tv down there. Ok then...that leaves the laundry room...where I promptly went and plopped myself down on a pile of dirty laundry(there was no place else to sit!) and proceeded to talk. What's truly funny about this situation is that this is a common occurrence in our household. Sometimes I talk in the bathroom because it's the only free room.

Most people that are close to me know that the chaos comes with the territory. Lots of people, lots of noise, lots of things to do and people to do them with. Most of my friends and neighbors call knowing that they might have to scream for me to hear them and they will be interrupted several times by kids fighting, wanting ice cream and the door bell. Some are not so used to it though. Our poor hometeachers look completely rundown every time they leave our home. Some kids refuse to play here due to the noise level and some friends will only call or come by when everyone is at school so as to avoid the madness. Me? I am just plain used to it. It wouldn't be my home if I didn't have to trip on 3 people while trying to make sandwiches in the kitchen. It wouldn't be my home if you didn't have to search for an open toilet and hope there aren't toys in it when you need to go. It wouldn't be my home if you came by and got to sit quietly on the couch and chat without leaving with sticky pants and fewer objects in your purse than what you came with.

It is chaos, it is noise, it is ridiculous but it is all mine. I love it and when all is said and done, I wouldn't change it for the world......

most days.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The tides turn...

It's Christmas time and part of me wants to wallow in the joy, music, and beauty of it all. The other part of me wants to hide until January 1st. This part of me is the part that I am trying to desperately to rid myself of.

I admire other people that seem to love the season without reservation. Stress and all. Maybe it's because we have 9 beautiful little people that I want to give a wonderful Christmas to. Toys, electronics and clothes are not cheap anymore...not that they ever were. But it seems to get more and more expensive every year. Or maybe it's just that we have a new person to buy for every year....I don't really know. The only thing I know is that it's hard to go shopping with limited funds and filter out the really expensive stuff and try to get things they will love without spending tons of money. Sadly enough, this is what Christmas has become for me.

In years past it was so much more for me. The music especially was so dear to my heart. When I was in college I was part of a music group called LDSingers. We travelled around Utah performing for different stakes and loving every minute of it. We were always invited to come and perform at the Festival of Trees and that was one of our favorite times of year. We would hop on busses, in our dresses and suits and drive all the way to Salt Lake (we went to Snow college) and spend the day downtown, roaming the malls, wandering around the Festival, admiring the lights, and even hit Temple Square for some quiet time with the Christus. We loved what we did and we seemed to bring joy to everyone when we would spontaneously stop and sing where ever we were. I was able to enjoy the beauty of Christmas without having to worry about the stress and money of it.

So I guess the question is how can I get that back? How can I get my kids to see the beauty in it without always focusing on the gifts? I want to pick an angel off the angel tree and let my kids buy gifts for some cute little boy or girl who would not get Christmas otherwise. But that involves money. But I am still keeping that one in mind. Another option is Temple Square and the lights, and Nativity. Cold though, and Skyler and Colby seem to be sick all the time, I am not sure whether or not they can handle being out in the cold at night. I always play Christmas music, which seems to help and we always put up lights and the tree not long after Thanksgiving. But I guess what I am really shooting for is to be able to teach them to feel Christmas with their hearts rather than with what's in their hands. Challenging....to say the least.

Someday the kids will be living on their own, having their own Christmases with their own families and I know I will even miss the more stressful parts. I guess for now I should just glean from the joy they feel during the season. Their faces are wonderful to see when they see the 100th house with lights up and they squeal like it's the first house they had seen. I should glean from the joy that is christmas morning and the looks on their faces when they come out and see the presents and stockings that they know is for them. Warm Christmas cookies, gifts from friends and a constant barrage of Christmas shows on tv that all remind them of what is coming.

Try to become as a little child. I have heard that since I was a little child. I always think I know what that means, and yet it seems I am learning more and more everyday what that truly means. This year it means that I need to not worry about the money and just love the holiday for what it is. Beauty, celebration of the Savior, and joy in my kids. The kind of joy you can see in the eyes of those that truly know how to feel unadulterated joy.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Get ready for bed dangit!

So Jon has been working a 2nd job these last few weeks and I have been relegated to a single parent role. At least for the time being. Jon is so tired by the time he gets home he can't see straight. I am so tired I am sound asleep before the 9 o'clock hour hits. We both are trying to do what's best for our family but sometimes it seems that the right thing is the hard thing.

So the hardest part for me is bedtime. That's the time that we really need two adults here to direct traffic. Usually Jon takes the downstairs crew while I man the upstairs crew. This has worked for years and more or less it's what we do. There are a few crossover kids, like Colby prefers Jon and Isaac prefers me...but more or less it works.

Since Jon has been gone in the evenings though it's much easier said than done. I start with a prayer that goes something like this...
"Lord, please do not let me kill anyone this evening"
"Let me be patient with the onery child"
"Let me be kind to the kid that wants to call me names"
" And please don't let the neighbors hear me when I lose it and start yelling"

Now that the prayer has been said I start with the little kids...Joe down to Skyler. You would think Skyler would be the easiest but he's not. With the blood sugar, insulin, diaper, jammies, bottle and a little lovin he takes forever! I usually start him by 7:30 hoping to get his routine done by 8:00 when the rest need to go down. Now when he is in bed I turn my attention to Colby. He is not hard to put to bed but you need to realize that while I am working with Colby Lacie has gone into Skyler's room and is yelling at me that he is awake and wants out of his bed.
"Mom, Sky is awake and he wants out!"
"Ugh....Lacie....I just put him to bed...he hasn't even been to sleep yet!"
"Oh sorry, can I get him out?"

Colby is down after a few and then it's Jessi. She is easy and it only takes a few minutes to put her down. She is like me....too tired to argue most nights. So then it's Joe. As I try to get him into bed it stirs up Colby since they share a room and then both boys are begging for water and string cheese. Ok, they are in bed at least then I turn back to Skyler. I put him back down with another bottle because he did manage to drink most of the first. He screams at me this time cause he knows what I want and he does not want what I want. Ugh...

Then it's Abby and Lacie. Now, for the most part they are ok with going to bed as long as it's not before 9. Any time before 9....
"It's time for bed girls"
"But it's not 9 yet..."
"Abby, you have to be kidding me...it's 8:57..."
"Well, that isn't 9 now is it?"

They are in bed and quiet..then it's Megan and Isaac at 9:30. Isaac suddenly needs to get in the shower and Megan suddenly has a ton of homework, and not only that but she needs help. Can you say frustration? By 10 or so they are both usually in bed and Isaac is asleep, but Megan is not. She is not usually asleep until 11 or so...but as long as she is in bed, light off and quiet...at this point I just don't care!

Kenna puts herself to bed around ten and boy am I glad cause I just don't have the energy to put another person to bed except myself.....

Three hours and 9 kids later....bedtime routine is done. Yes, this is a nightly routine.

Everyone wants to be me.......NOT!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Daughter of God

Last night I went to a "Night of Excellence" with my two oldest daughters and my hubby. These nights are a chance for the Young Womens leaders and for parents to recognize the talents the girls have and the strong spirits that our daughters are. Last nights theme was the temple. Now, usually when I get going on these things I drag my feet and look for excuses to not go just because I really dont need just one more thing to do or one more place to go in a day. Yesterday was especially tiring becaue I spent 5pm to 6:15pm at the elementary school going to the kids parent teachers conferences...then I ran home and changed and waited for Jon and his mom to show up so we could go. Busy, busy, busy....

Now, on a side note I have to say how grateful I was to Betty for walking into my disaster of a home and taking care of my little orphan children so that Jon and I could go together to this. I was so grateful for that because I ended up so happy that Jon and I could share in this experience together. These are our children and as much as possible we try to go to these things together.

Back to the girls night...the minute we walked into the church the spirit was there. The display for the girls things was beautiful....pictures, scriptures, art projects all centered around the temple were on display and each girl was represented so beautifully. I walked through the displays slowing, trying to absorb the beauty that is each girl. It was set up perfect so that by the time you entered the relief society room you were already feeling a strong spirit.

It only got better from there. Two of the leaders got up to start and read an email from the YW's president who could not be there due to the flu and I was already crying even before they started. After that there were four young women who had earned their medalions this year (equal to a young mans Eagle Scout). McKenna was one of them. All four were invited up and each one in turn was spotlighted by their fathers. It was so wonderful and I think my love for not only my daughter, but for the other 3 girls increased that night. Then they had a wonderful man and friend to everyone sing a song on the guitar. Again...more tears. After that a video of the years events in Young Womens. Activities, camps, and service projects.

By the end of the evening I could soley testify to the power of a young woman. The power that is her spirit and the unending love that our Father in Heaven has for each and every one of them. I love all five of my daughters and that will never change. I only hope that as the years go by I can help instil in them how much they mean to me. How powerful they are. The influence for good they can be. They have been chosen to be on the earth at a very hard time and I know they each one in turn can repel satan and stand for something good. I am just so grateful that I have been priviledged enough to be a part of it.

Daughters of God, women of light, chosen children of our Heavenly Father, divine spirits, no matter how you put it, all our daughters are a gift that shines for us always.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Blasphemy I say...

I will admit that I have an irreverant side. No really, I do. I can be with the most composed person and I will say or do something that will have them giggling like a little kid. Now mind you, this goes both ways. The person I am with has to be able to laugh right along with me. For instance, Karlee, my niece. She is so grown up now a days. However after going with her, my sister Kara and my mom to see my sisters new home she and I sat in the back seat and goofed off like we were grade school kids doped up on sugar. But, I loved every minute of it....

Sometimes my irreverance gets the better of me though. Like a few sundays ago when the entire bishopbric forgot to present McKenna with her medalion in sacrament meeting. She sat on the stand with the youth choir fighting tears, then she sat down with us and fought tears...(side bar, we actually got the whole family there early for this!) Well, by the end of sacarament meeting when the bishop made his way to us I turned to him and punched him on the arm. Hard enough to leave an impression, but not a mark. My husband was mortified. I had just hit an ordained man of god. Well...in my mind he had it coming, and my attempt was to just jolt him into knowing that I wasn't happy. He actually said that he was glad I did that as opposed to festering and being offended and not coming to church for a while. You know, honesty and all that. But I guess it was a little irreverant.

However, I really like my irreverance. I can laugh with the best of them. I can joke with the best of them and even really tough situations can be funny, given the right moment. I keep telling my kids that life is just hard. But, that does not mean it has to miserable. Keep laughing, keep joking. Keep yourselves in line with those that can laugh with you. I would not suggest that they go around hitting men of god, but a good laugh at a good stumble in front of lots of people will go a long way.

Laughter is the best medicine you know. I guess the trick is to know when and where to stop. Levity may be one of my weak points.

I am working on it Lord, I really am...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Lions, Tigers and Bears, oh my...

So, here we are at Halloween...which is so weird to me anyway, because I swear it was just yesterday that I was in the hospital for the day having a baby. But, alas it's a year later and how things have changed. But this year my focus is really on the holiday and the kids. Last year I was really preocupied, understandably. My kids are all it's about this year.

So the subject comes up around sept 15th every year....

"Mom, can I be a blood sucking vampire this year for halloween?"
"Weren't you that last year?"
"No mom, geez, that was Megan..."
"Oh, sorry, my bad"

Each one in turn comes to me with wild adventerous ideas, each costing around 50 bucks to accomadate. But I have to say that some of their ideas really rock.

So, Abby wants to be a dead dancer. She has this beautiful dress and a bloody knife that looks like it has gone straight through her head. Isaac on the other hand wants to be a clone troooper. Now this one is a little harder to find. Store after store are sold out, so we may have to go with plan b which is my favorite....a MIB....(men in black!)

Megan wants to be a devil....haha...very fitting, and Kenna is our resident asian beauty. Jessi wants to be a cute witch, for the 2nd year in a row, and Colby wants to be batman. Joe has a hard time picking his costume out, but has chosen to be the grim reaper, while Lacie is another fairy. (She chooses this or a bride nearly every year!)

Now, once everyone is dressed up and ready for pictures its just hilarious. My home looks like any well stocked classroom and we have everything from ghosts, ghouls, devils, princesses, tinker bells, fairies, geishas, star wars dudes, and the list goes on.

I love halloween, I always have. I got this from my mom who always loved this holiday. I think this was her favorite. For many years she would dress up, meet the trick or treaters and have a ball helping us find costumes. She still comes to the parade at the school with me. I love to dress up, love to trick or treat, love to go to the halloween parade at the school every year and get new ideas. I am really excited that this year I can actually participate in the festivities with everyone else, since I missed it last year.

Either way it's going to be fun. We get dressed up, bundle up ( it should be in the mid 40's that night), and go out and beg for candy. Man I love this holiday!

Happy Halloween everyone, you've been "BOOed" !

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The ups and downs...

Some days are better than others. I know this is no surprise to anyone who has lived more than a minute. Yesterday was down for me. I just could not seem to get the desire to do anything. I felt so depressed, and yet nothing was really different from the day before. Just my mood. I think everyone has days like that. Yesterday I was down, my daughter Abby was up. Today I am more up, while she went to school today pretty sure she was going to have a hard day. I think most people know when things are just going to be hard that day. Most of us think it's the outside world that got harder that day, but I think it's more to do with the inside world. The world inside our minds.

So I woke up yesterday not really sure why I felt so down, I just know I did. I talked to friends half heartedly. I did my chores while listening to slow music that makes you feel just that much more reflective and my way of helping the kids with their homework was to just do it for them, just because Idid not honestly have the energy to sit patiently and teach them. Wow, mom of the year there forsure, eh? By the end of day I was so tired. Dont ask me why, I hardly accomplished much, but I was just the same. I called my sister Lisa because I heard that her daughter had swine flu, for the 2nd time this year, and was all ready to lend a supportive ear. By half way into the conversation she kept saying "I am fine...good grief..." I was driving her nuts with my questions about how she was and if she was going to be ok. After I hung up I realized that it wasn't about her. She truly sounded fine. It was me, I wasn't fine and I didn't know it, or perhaps I didn't know how to say..."well, that's great...I am not so fine today...". Silly, eh?

But today is a little better. I have some chores done, some laundry rotated, my bed made...heck, I even vacuumed today already. I am back, more or less. The ride slowed down enough for me to feel like I had the chance to get off and take a break before getting back on.

Now, I just need to get some stuff done that didn't get done the last few days because I was just too "depressed" to do them. Things like, 5 loads of laundry, help the kids with their rooms, get some gas in the car, bath a few kids, bath myself, sweep the kitchen, mop the bathroom, call my ladies to do some visiting teaching, call my visiting teacher to see if she is ok, plan my lesson for sunday, and perhaps eat a meal in there somewhere....that all shouldnt take more than a few days to catch up on. Wow, it's no wonder I am depressed. Ugh...

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Little Things

There have been so many times in my life where I find myself getting so stressed out about the big stuff. I mean, who doesn't? Money, time, kids...you know, the kind of things that will have an impact on life as we know it. But what about the little things?

How many times are we talking to a friend and find that we are completly unglued over lots of little things, that add up to a big thing. Like, a check bounced, the car had a flat and 2 of the kids had parties in the same week that required gifts coming out a checking account that was already in the negative. We tend to focus on these things and get ourselves so worked up that we can't even think straight any more. What about the small stuff that isn't stressful? These are things that make us smile, and there are so many times in my life where I have looked right past these things and have not seen them. Why is that?

To that end I have tried harder. I have tried harder lately to see the small things that can make a difference on the opposite end of the spectrum from the negative end...

Things like...on my fridge sits a little note that came from school for Lacie. She had earned gold twice that day(I am not sure what that even meant....), and she got to go to the principals office for a treat and a little recognition. I want to keep that there to remind me that this sweet little ADD kid can do great things.

This morning after wetting his pants twice, Colby came to me with a darling little naked bum and said he needed clean undies for the third time today. When I asked him if at least got some in the toilet (because I did hear it flush), he looked at me with those huge, green eyes and said "yes mom, I got some in!".

Last night when Jon and Isaac had finally found a good football to throw around they played a while and when Jon said it was time to go in, Isaac bounded towards the house...but doubled back to find his dad and say "Thanks for playing catch with me dad..."

Sometimes we get so involved in the hard stuff that we neglect the good stuff. I am trying harder. Trying not only to see the good stuff, but to encourage it. I give out praise, hugs, kisses and loves just because they are alive and sometimes they earn a little more when they make a good choice.

I love my kids, I just want to make sure that they always know it and never doubt it. Every moment.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Say what you mean...please....

So this morning Polly and I were having a conversation like any other we have had on any other day we have had it. Only this morning as we talked I realized she was crying. Oh dear..

"It's ok, it's not you...it's me"
I was officially nervous about what it is I had said...
"Just tell me so that I won't say it again. I don't like to unknowingly hurt your feelings."
I could tell at this point she was hesitating.
"It was all the talk about Ian not wearing shoes as it gets colder. I feel like a failure as a parent..."

Now mind you, this is a conversation we have had many times over. And it has gone both ways. Just the night before as we spoke on the phone I kept getting interupted by Megan.
"Mom, can I have a snack before bed?"
"No Meg, just go to bed..."
"But mom, I haven't tested my blood yet..."
"Go to bed Megan, I am warning you..."
"But my stomach hurts and I need a drink"
"Megan, I mean it this time!"

After several minutes, Polly said to me over the phone, "How many warnings you going to give her before you get serious?"
She was right, but then again I was in an ok mood and didn't mind the gentle critisizm. I don't think the same applied to her this morning.

So, by the time we were finished talking we had smoothed things over and we were ready to have lunch together. I must say though it was so nice to be able to smooth things over. We have come a long ways in our friendship and have come to a point where more or less we can tell each other the truth. No dancing around each other, no walking on egg shells, no hurt feelings over things not said.

I learned to love this attitude by watching my sisters. Lori and Lisa are two of the greatest people I know. They are awesome!

For the first few times I went down to Vegas to see them it was weird. These were people who spoke their mind. They said what was buggin them right off the bat!
Polly and I went to visit them a few years ago and we ended up at Lisa's house first. After we got there we sat around and talked for a while until Lisa finally called Lori and this is what we gathered from the conversaion.

Lisa, Polly and I were hungry by this time....
"Hi Lor, where are you?'
Mumbling from the other end of the phone...
"Well, we are waiting on you to go to dinner"
More mumbling...
"Well, we want to go all together, that's why were wainting on you!"
"God, take it easy, I was just kidding, we can wait a little longer..."

The great thing about this entire exchange was that after all was said and done, we went to dinner, had a great time and no one was the slightest upset with each other.

I love them for their ability to be honest, even harsh sometimes and still completely love each other. No hard feelings and all of that.

There is so much to be said for honesty. I avoid it sometimes because I don't want to hurt the feelings of the people in my life. But I need to try harder. I mean, not to the extent where I say to someone "Geez, I think your body has gotten used to your deoderant cause you stink", buy maybe something like "I don't want to have a dinner with the entire family tonight cause I just don't think I can deal with them today!"

Is that bad?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My failures....

I have had several failures in my lifetime. Too many to count really....but the failures I am referring to here are the dogs....and cats.

Growing up we always had animals. My mom loves them. Always has, always will. Two dogs and one cat. That seems to have been the total for the most part over the years. Now, there were times when we had two dogs, seven kittens and one angry father, but mostly two dogs and one cat. Chiffon was mine for the most part. I loved her....I would follow her, she would sleep on my chest and on windy nights you could hear me yelling for her out the front door...."here shifty, shifty, shifty"...(sometimes my mom and I would accidentally leave out the f....:) ).

When Jon and I got married we had assumed we would have the typical american couple thing going on....a few kids, a dog and a cute house in the burbs. Well, we definately got the kids thing going on and the cute house in the burbs was a go...but what about the dog? For so long we didnt even consider it because we always had a new baby in the house. Then one day when in bed nursing a baby I had a little visitor, which ran right across my pillow and off the bed. That was the end of that, by the end of the next day we had a cat. She ended up being a big pain in the hind quarters. She attacked our feet all night long and was a little skittish. She ended up being a garage cat. Which was ok, she had a warm place to sleep, lots of food and free reign of the yard and neighborhood. I think thats how cats like it if you want my opinion.

We moved from West Jordan to Sandy not too long after that and then we started to talk dog. A friend of ours had some standard poodle puppies and we just had to have one. We brought him home, to our little home, and it took us the better part of a year to come to terms with the fact that there were too many people in our small home and just not enough room for a huge dog. He had to go. Poor Blazer never saw it coming. After a long drawn out feud with some weirdos in Erda, we found him a good home right here in Salt Lake. No more dog.

Then we moved again, this time just around the corner...but funny that the cat, who now loved the nieghbors more than us decided to stay behind. We were petless again. After a brief spell, and several ailing guinea pigs later, we tried the dog thing again.

Lucy was the first. We rescued her and by the end of the first day in our home she was biting Jon and the neighbor kids. 24 hours was all she lasted.

Then it was Piper...she was a mix mut and we had high hopes for her. She was sweet enough, but after a few months she had been nicknamed "hyper Piper" and you can see where this is going...she was gone.

Pixie was my choice. I have always wanted a little dog and thats what I found on KSL. She was a yorkie mix and I liked her well enough. She was cute, she was little, but even the big kids were afraid of her. She was a little demon and only a few months later she was gone. I watched her on KSL and she ended up being sold about 4 times, that I knew of. Poor dog. With her it was the owners that never saw it coming.

Then it was Athena. Boy, I took my time looking for her. I wanted to do it right this time. I watched the ads, picked a dog that was more lazy than hyper and went to the breeder to investigate each and every animal. I liked her...she was our Mastiff. Her parents were huge and kind and even lazy and I loved that. I needed that. For all intents and purposes she was exactly what we needed. She was docile, calm and happy to lay around. She was obedient and happy and never caused us trouble. Only one more problem...I was sick the entire time she was in our home. Four months of laying in bed, coughing, sneezing, fever kind of sick. I went to the allergist and found out that I was allergic to her and nearly everything else on the planet. After finding her an awesome home I got better and was good for a long time. We accepted that the dog thing was not going to happen.

Then came Polly....not a dog. My friend. She had a dog that she had had for the better part of a year. She got this dog after the loss of her American Bulldog because her son was allergic. Well, Ian got sick in May...the kind of sick that landed him in the hospital on oxygen. The doctor questioned Polly and Scott...
"You still have a dog?"
She held her breath...."well, yes, but a hypoallergenic one...so he is ok, right?"
The doctor's face was not happy...
"To an asthmatic there is not such thing as a hypoallergenic dog"

So, we inherited the dog a few months ago. He is ok as dogs go I guess. He is housetrained, he is not so much a puppy anymore, which means that he does not chew and obsess like some puppies can. But there are a few problems. The dog does not really trust the kids so he bites them. But the bigger problem is that Skyler and I have both been sick ever since he got here. Poor Skyler has been on antibiotics twice. Ugh....I think we are destined to never have a dog.

We love dogs, they just dont love us....

"Good dog to good home" will be stamped into my headstone upon my death....

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I need a break

Have you ever heard yourself saying "I need a break" ? I have found that I say this quite often and I am a little ashamed for it.

But really, let's look at this logically. The other day our bishop came over to our home to see how we were and he said something that hit home pretty hard. He talked about how women who choose to stay home sacrifice a good third of their life for their children. Now dont get me wrong, every parent sacrifices for their kids...every parent. But those of us who stay home lose a good 25 to 30 years to the cause. Its a worthy cause, but look at it this way...we don't get paid monetarily, we don't have workmates to have lunch with and we don't get promoted...but we still love it anyway. Really we do.

What I have found is that we need to find the humor in our everyday routine. Several months ago Polly and I actually found the time to "get away". Now, in our paranoia as moms we always take with us our cell phones so that when one of the kids loses an arm we can come home on a moments notice. Well, there we were, watching a really dumb movie (there was nothing else to see...) and right at a good part, the only good part, Polly's cell phone rings. We both jump and the adrenaline starts as we both guess as to who is injured or lost. She excuses herself and by the time she returned she looked both annoyed and humored.
"What, what is it?"
"Well, it was Tawni...she wanted to know if she could have some tots!"
Oh my goodness....
"You mean she called to ask if she could have some tatertots?"
"Yup....thats right..."

We still laugh about that one, unless we have had a hard day with our kids and then we retell that story with sheer annoyance....

Jon and I don't have much better luck with breaks. We leave and within 10 minutes the phone rings...
"I hate her...make her leave!"
I try to calm my oldest down...
"Just ignore her, she will leave you alone if you leave her alone."
"I still hate her and want her to go to a friends house....please!"

It's so hard to find time away and it's even harder to find it when you leave the kids alone, with a phone and number where I can be reached.

Next time I will be leaving the country, without a cell phone and no agenda....maybe then I can catch that much needed break....


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Some one motivate me....please....

Here I am with tons of laundry and dishes, lots of dirty germy kids, and bills spilling out over the countertop and I barely have the motivation to sit and write a blog. Why is that?

There are some days where I can call my friend and brag to her about how much I have done in a small amount of time. The conversations go something like this....
"Hi Polly....what you up to?"
Before she has a chance to answer completely I start talking as fast as I can...
"Well, I can tell you what I have been up to. I have rotated 3 loads of laundry, 2 loads of dishes, taken all 6 kids to school, with clean clothes on! I have changed and fed the other 3, blood sugars are done, insulin shots done, I have made my bed and now I am cleaning the toilet. And it's only 9 am. "

I sit back very proud of myself while she ogles at my sucess of the day. She says that she has barely pulled herself out of bed and will I wait for a moment while she uses the bathroom.

Now, in all fairness the exact opposite can happen the next day with me telling her how accomplished she is for having just waxed her floor and washed the car when I have barely pulled on my soft socks and only just used the bathroom myself for the first time, at 10 am...

Some days I get so much done while others I only get done what needs to be done to survive. Now, as I follow facebook and my many friends on there I have found that I am not alone in this dilema. There are days where I marvel at what certain people have done and there are days where I wish I could lay about the way some of my friends do. So I guess I am pretty normal. Today happens to be one of the lazy days. There is mess all around me and if my neighbors were to come over right now I would claim that a tornado had just plowed through my kitchen and was on it's way to the laundry room. It could be the only possible explanation for how things looked. Right?

Oh well, maybe tomorrow I will have that motivation back and I will get sooo much done. As for now I sit here listening to music, dreaming about a warm day on a beautiful sandy beach I like to call Heaven (aka: Sunset Beach)....for tomorrow the reality will set back in and I will have to accept that the closest I am going to come to Sunset Beach is cleaning off the mud from my 3 year old when puts the hose in the sand box again....:)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mom and her girls

Well, if there was ever anything I wanted while growing up it was a homeful of children. But in all my fantasies it always erred on the side of girls. I would dream up this family, I would even go as far as to name them all. I always had 12 kids, 8 were girls and 4 were boys. Name lists littered my bedroom for years. First and middle mind you. See, I had this neighbor who had 10 children...9 boys and 1 girl. Time spent with this family was fun time. My home was quiet and orderly...the Wilkinsons home was chaotic and loud...all the time. I loved it.

I wanted that. Well, I have heard you need to be careful what you ask for, you might just get it. I almost got everything I wanted and to be honest with you it wasn't everything I thought it would be. Don't get me wrong...I love my life. I am never bored, I always have lots to do and there is always someone around to love me and me to love them back. It's really nice.

The girls are awesome. I have written a lot about the boys...so here are a few words to describe my beautiful girls.

Creative.....especially Lacie when she is really bored....
Strong willed....Megan on just about everything! Even the good things....like her love of animals.
Sensitive....McKenna, like how she cried tenderly when I told her I was pregnant with Skyler.
Happy...Abby. She just exudes happy. She loves life.
Funny...Jessi. Noone in my house is funnier than Jessi. We all love to watch her act out her favorite episode of Tom and Jerry...

I love my girls. I love their cute friends and I love the games they play. It is all I dreamed of, but the great thing is that they surprise me everday. I always find that I underestimate them. What an awesome bunch of human beings!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sun up...sun down...

Last night was a beautiful night. It wasnt cold but it wasnt hot either. Just right. Jon and I sat on the front lawn with Chris and Angie and talked while the kids played happily. I am sorry to say that I did not notice when the sun went down. I did notice it was gone when I couldnt see the kids across the lawn anymore. It slipped down behind the mountain so quietly that I almost forgot it had even been up that day. But when it was gone I noticed.
This morning I did notice when it wasnt up yet becuase usually when I drive Jr High I get an eye full as I am driving up Pollys hill to get Beka. It wasnt in my eyes. As I drove home from the school it crept over the mountian and into my eyes. For one glorious moment it was as though it was there just to shine on me. I needed that today. I had a hard night and felt very weepy and I guess I needed to know there was something bigger than me waiting to light my way through the day. As I look out the window even now the clouds have covered up the sun and I can no longer see it. It was there just at the right moment, just when I needed to see it.
I believe thats how the Lord works sometimes. He is so quiet that you dont notice he's there until he's gone and then it's not only noticable but there is an emptiness there. You have to look through squinted eyes to see things that are usually very visible and right in front of your face. But when you truly need him there he is...shining as bright as the sun and keeping your path light as you walk through hard times.
I love the sun. I love everything it embodies. Light, warmth, day...flowers will bloom for it, trees drink from its nurishment and people, all people bask in its light and warmth. How closely it paralells the Lord and what he is to us...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Leftover

Skyler took forever to name. We debated for months on what his sweet name should be. We talked about so many different names that I finally just said I was going to have to see the cute little guy before I named him.

Whats funny now is that after all that debate and talk and near arguments over what to name him we hardly ever call him Skyler. He is "little man", "skylie wylie" and "chubbo".

I think however my favorite nick name would have to be the name that Polly gave him. She has affectionately dubbed him "The Leftover" baby. Here's why.

Before he was born he was diagnosed with dilated kidneys. Both kidneys were large and we had hoped that things would resolve after his birth. They didnt. In fact it got worse when his little body had to start managing fluids on its own. After several invasive tests and lots of long talks with the docs it was decided that he would need surgery on his left kidney. The right one would just be watched. Now, this was not an easy task since that almost from birth the poor baby had had one long sinus infection. It took quite a bit to get him well enough for surgery and it involved keeping older kids home from school and boycotting church for several weeks prior. But, after all was said and done he had his surgery and we thought that might be the beginning of a new life for our little guy.

Dont get too comfy is what people have always told me and for this particular child it has held true. 4 months after his surgery he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes ...which seemed to be the topper. It was then that Polly said "he's the leftover....he got all the leftover genes." Sadly enough it has proven to be so true. Because since then we have also discovered that the poor kid has problems swallowing. Good grief. More problems. I think he probably needs to have a full MRI, but I am not sure I want to know about everything....just yet.

Poor leftover kid. I will say this though, no child, leftover or the first, has been more loved than this child. 8 older siblings, 2 parents, friends, cousins, aunts and uncles, grams and gramps and even neighbor kids cant get enough of this child. His body might be riddled with problems, but his spirit is sweet and strong. You can feel it......

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Why can't this moment last?

When I got pregnant with our first son I surprised myself with how excited I was to have a boy instead a girl. We had 2 girls at the time and I loved them dearly. Growing up I had always wanted girls and was so happy to have 2 in a row. But as the boy approached I was so happy. Names were hard. That never changed...not for 4 boys did it. Skyler we named while staring at him in the hospital and I was still second guessing myself for the next 6 months. But we finally came up with a name for the first....Isaac.
As time went on I found it fun to be doing the boy thing. Blue and red clothes...cars and trucks for birthdays and he wanted to run everywhere. He was a lot of fun to have around.
I knew I had myself a "son" when one day when he was only 2 years old I saw him picking my flowers out of my garden. I didnt say anything, I just watched him. He was being so gentle about it, and as anyone knows boys are generally not gentle. When he had finished his task he came up to me and gave me the flowers with an "I love you mommy"....
I liked having a boy.
When the next one came along I was just as excited. We named him Joseph and I was happy that Isaac had a brother. More trucks and cars, more blue clothes and more cuddling with mom. Joe was my biggest cuddler. He loved to snuggle in and rub my arm with his hands. I had always felt a connection to him and we were like two peas in a pod for the first few years of his life.
Our third son is a daddy's boy. But still has that sweet little glean in his eye for me. Boys and their moms have a really tender relationship and this held true for each one of our sons. I adore them all.
Skyler is my baby boy and just plain the baby. He gets more attention than a person should have in their lifetime and yet he seems to roll with it just fine. In the middle of the night his cries soften when he hears my voice. Early in the morning when he is up before me I glance over to see him smile big when he sees me. I love that. It makes a wonderful start to any day.
The soft side is great and I wouldnt trade it for anything. But I also have such a love for the humor. One day not too long ago my oldest Isaac, who is wedged between four sisters, came up to me saying how bored he was. He wandered around for a while, found a snack and as he bounded down the stairs the last thing I heard him say was "If you need me I will be down stairs torturing the girls!"....I had to laugh at that one. Too funny.
As I go to sleep every night I have to remember why it is I do this everyday. Why I stay home and clean all day and drudge my way through 3 stinky toilets and tons of laundry. It's for moments like while sitting here at the computer trying to write, Isaac comes up to me, trying to avoid bedtime and giving me the fourth hug of the evening. "Go to bed Isaac.....now!" His response? "Why cant this moment last?"
He went to bed, I laughed my butt off......

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Crunching numbers....

I have decided that along with being a nurse, teacher, driver, cook, maid, best friend plus many more things to my family I am also a bean counter....

So here was my effort to count beans....

10 children, 1 dog and a big hubby always needing something. 3 diabetics, 1 bi-polar and at least 5 stressed kids. And not 1 penny to get therapy for anyone.
4 car pools, 8 hours to do it in and at least 3 neighbors to coordinate with. 4 different start times and at least 100 excuses as to why we were going to be late again.
7 lunches for kids at school, 3 for kids at home and please don't forget the 1 dog, who eats twice a day.
1 dinner every evening and more than 10 complaints as to what it is and when it will be served. 3 courses, 2 spilled waters and a few tantrums later we start on the 100 dishes from the meal. All 11 want a desert, and why is there always 1 short in a box treats?
7 days a week, 15 loads of laundry, not including the 10 beds with bedding and the 4 blankets the dog has chewed on this week. We have to hope Lacie only took 4 or 5 blankets outside to sit on while drinking soda and eating gushers.....
15 stairs that I climb at least 24 times a day and only run out of breath half of those times. At least 10,000 steps that dont do much against 170 pounds and not much at all for my 1 ego.
1 husband that calls 3 nights a week to tell me that he is going to be late again. 2 of those nights 10 min to curse that husband out and 5 min to gather myself and keep going.
2 dollars in the bank account, 21 dollars needed for the 3rd can of formula this week and a little bit of hope that things will change soon.
1 religion, 10 times a week where I wonder if I am doing everything right and 1 still small voice that tries to reassure me that all is well.
2 vacations this summer, 1 trip to Lagoon and 4 months to recover financially.
12 tears over a skinned knee, 2 days worth of tears over a new diabatic and a lifetime of tears of joy for the trust the Lord has in me by letting me be the 1 to wipe those 12 tears over the skinned knee.
1 best friend, 10 more best friends and 1 tragedy that makes me realize that anyone can be a best friend when you need them.
2 families, lots of siblings and numerous cousins who make life fun, interesing and just plain good.
1 date with my hubby that leads to 6 phone calls from home over 3 fights and numerous names being thrown around my 1 lowly home.
1 day to decide that I am doing everything I should, 1 day to decide that I am a good person and 1 day to decide that Lord holds us all in his hands.
10 minutes to read about my insane life and all the hundreds of crazy things that go on every single day......

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Potty training...again....

So here I am in the midst of potty training another child. Colby is my 8th one down this road and I have to say that it never gets any easier with the more children you have to train. The only thing that makes it easier is knowing it will eventually happen. But you have no idea exactly how hard it's going to be.

In my 17 years as a mom and I have seen so much and experienced so much. I had kids that trained in one day. Yes, one day. That was the easiest kid ever to train. I simply told him one day that I refused to put a diaper on him and by midday he was in underwear and fully trained. Heaven on earth I say. Then I had another child that was so hard that she was still wetting her pants after a year (funny that I heard boys were harder than girls!).

As for Colby though. He is such a great kid. He loves life and loves to run around with no worries, no clothes, watching Scooby Doo as much as possible and commenting on every truck he sees go by. He is boy through and through. My first two boys were not that hard to potty train. They both are very anal and hated to be in wet or stinky clothes. So this is my first experince with a boy that has not a care in the world. I think I have my work cut out for me.

As we speak he is sitting here next to me, completely naked and wanting a diaper on.

Good luck to me.