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...

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.