Sunday, March 5, 2017

When did my life become full of so many people?? Sometimes I just take a step back and it really blows my mind. 12 years ago I kind of, sort of had my eye on this guy at Institute (okay it was a pretty big crush) and I was getting ready to go back to NJ to surprise my mom for spring break. That was a lot of fun. Then pretty much as soon as spring break was over, Aaron and I started dating, and before long here we are! 5 babies later! It makes me realize how fast time goes, and that in 12 years my kids will be 20, 19, 17, 15, and 12. We'll be in a whole different world. One full of mission preparations,  college, and my baby will be about to be a teenager. Sometimes it feels like I'm in this never ending loop of babyhood, perpetuated by me getting pregnant pretty much every other year since 2007. It can feel so draining, and at times I feel almost like my entire identity is wrapped up in these little people and I crave to have something just for me. Something to remind of who I am, aside from "Mom! Mama! Moooo-ooommm! MOM!"
         Funnily enough, Mom is the only identity I ever wanted. I spent my whole life waiting for this. Literally it is all I ever wanted. I walked the baby clothes aisles long before I was even married. I have a very clear memory of when I worked in a K-Mart, walking to the baby needs aisle and putting Johnson & Johnson lotion on my hands, and inhaling that sweet baby smell and just longing for this life. And here I am! I remind myself of this every so often, because it's really easy to just get frustrated. But I mean look at this face! 
 And before I know it, she'll be looking more like this!

We're homeschooling this year and I'm most likely not going to repeat this, but it has given us so much time together (which is both the reason I'm so done, and sad to see this year end). We've had some awesome experiences and I feel like we've just all gotten a lot closer and are really growing and stretching as people. However, sometimes that growing and stretching is really ugly and I'm not so sure it's worth it. I worry constantly that I'm not doing enough to help them learn as much as they would at public school. I fear my weakness in organization is setting a horrible example for them to follow in their own lives. And so many times I've completely lost my patience and end up just yelling at everyone. So I'm looking forward to spring break next week! And then we just have a few weeks left before summer vacation. We need to have some kind of huge party to celebrate a whole year of homeschooling in the books.

Today we had stake conference and there were so many great talks. Talks that have inspired me to want to study my scriptures more regularly. To have a closer relationship with my Savior. To do more to invite the Spirit into my home. To have opportunities to share the Gospel with those I know and love. To do more to help the needy. The beautiful thing is, this desire to be better isn't being felt along with its usually accompanying hearty side of guilt that I'm not already perfect at these things. The Atonement is real! It's a done deal, guys. Jesus Christ was a real person, who did this real thing, and it truly has power to transform our lives. And little by little our lives can improve as we come to Him. And that's it! In meekness and humility, come to Him, and let Him work in your heart. Let Him bring about the changes you desire. He will show your weakness, not to hurt you or bring you down, but so that you can truly change. And the amazing thing is, He takes these weaknesses and turns them into strengths, if we let Him. I am so grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am grateful for my living testimony of its truthfulness. My testimony goes through these periods of doubt and then it swells again with so much surety I can't believe I could ever doubt. But I take heart in knowing that this is how we grow. Periods of doubt are a natural part of being human, and as long as I use them to come closer to Him, it's nothing to be ashamed of. Anyway, this is way more personal than I usually get, but I wanted to write this all out and I was going to write in my journal, but I just started blogging and now I'm on a roll so there's no stopping it.

I'm excited for this week. My first baby girl will be turning 9! Aaron took the day off and we're going to have a super fun family day, and she's going to have some friends come over at night. It has been so incredible to watch her grow. And watch her transition into a full blown BIG kid... we're definitely not pre-teen yet, right? That's at least 10, right? I feel like we're knocking on that door really soon though. And while it's scary, it's also so exciting. She's such a bright, strong willed person, I can't wait to see what she does.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

I feel like we've been sick forever

It seems like it's been months of sickness after sickness. We've experienced back to back stomach bugs, colds and hand-foot-mouth disease all within weeks of each other. We had a pretty long stretch of health and then it seemed to all hit at once. I guess that's the way it goes. But I'm done now. I've managed to also catch every single one of them. It's funny, but in my marriage I am the stereotypical "man" in so many ways. Like when it comes to being sick. Aaron will never admit when he's feeling ill, and he'll power through. Meanwhile my temp is 99.5 and I'm moaning and laying in bed planning my funeral. Yes, I get mancolds. And I'm so so grateful to have Aaron pull the weight when I'm "dying". And today we were taken care of by great friends. I feel so blessed, while feeling so horrible. I have spent a majority of the past two days in bed, and my kids have been taken care of and the house is relatively clean. If I wasn't in so much pain it would be a wonderful thing. But I'm really hoping I can get back to it tomorrow. The ironic thing is, right before this stomach bug hit I did all my meal prep for the first time in forever. I cooked, and chopped veggies, and portioned out food... and haven't been able to eat in two days. At least I still lost some weight!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Just a post about my sweetest boy

For Christmas this year we tried something new and got the kids calendars with little experiences sprinkled throughout the year. Included in those were monthly dates for the kids and one parent. Tonight was my turn for a date with Nathan. He wanted to go buy a stuffed animal.. go figure. But with Valentine's clearance I guess I could allow one more. I love one on one time with my kids. It really reminds me how much I love them. Nathan was so sweet on our date. Opened my door, held my hand and when someone honked their horn in the parking lot he said, "Were they honking at you? If they were I'm going to kill them!" Maybe a bit much, but still melted my heart with his mommy protection. So he got his stuffed animal (which is one of those giant ones that is bigger than he is) and on the way home he was talking about how good he was going to sleep tonight because he could cuddle his new fox. But tonight at bedtime he told Abigail she could cuddle his giant fox tonight. And tomorrow Olivia could. And then the third night he'd finally get to cuddle his new fox. There are times he whines so much I feel like I need ear plugs just to get through the day. Or he melts down and cries at being told to do something that he really doesn't want to do... but he is a great kid. I am the luckiest mom. Also just for memory's sake... he's been really sick with a stomach bug the last two days. I never knew puke cleaner upper was a quality I wanted in a husband, but man I am so glad I found it. Aaron in the champion puke cleaner in my house, and I will never ever take that for granted.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Just comparing

Olivia 
Abigail

Nathan



Eliza
Nora


I was trying to make some kind of side by side comparison  of all my kids around the same age, but I was having trouble formatting so this is the best I can do. I think Nora and Eliza look so much alike, but looking at the pictures I think I definitely see more of Abigail.

Going back through old pictures made me realize how fast time goes. Which is actually a good thing right now, these kids are really wearing me out. It just all feels neverending. The laundry. The dishes. The making and cleaning up of meals. Knowing I need to do a better job of making the kids help me with these things, but never actually doing it. I just keep reminding myself, I love this life. I really do. It's all I ever wanted... I just never knew it would involve this much work! :D

Monday, January 23, 2017

Getting back on top of things...

So much craziness going on in the world lately. And I'm just here trying to make my home a refuge from all that craziness. We moved in July to our new house. Still in Yuma, just a few miles from where we used to live. But now we own it, so that means that everything has to break the first 3 months. Right? I mean, pretty much is how it's gone down. Here are some recent pictures of what life looks like around here lately.
Nora learning to stand. She's almost 8 months and she's in too much of a hurry to grow up.
She also just got her first two teeth.

When you're so happy your face swallows your eyes.

This snaggle tooth finally got pulled a few hours after taking this picture.
She pulled it out in primary. Apparently she just needed an audience.

My mom came to visit. Convinced her to try a burrito for the first time. We may have spoiled her by forcing her to have Chili Pepper for her first burrito. 

Our foster son went back to his family, so Nathan got his bed back. He had been sleeping in the top bunk of the girls room, which is a house type bed and I can't really see in there that well. He had ALL these fluffy things crammed in there. It took 3 trips across the hall to unload all his fluffy things.

Olivia learned to fry eggs. She is very proud of herself, and I'm so grateful for the helpful girl she's becoming.

This kid. Eating an onion. She turned 3 on the 20th so here's to hoping all the terribleness is behind us.

Finally drinking a bottle!





Saturday, December 31, 2016

New years eve

I cant find my normal journal so I'm going to write here.

Tonight Nathan asked to call my mom. She's sick and I heard him asking "Well who's going to take care of you since you're sick?" And then after we did fireworks we did a little toast and Aaron told the kids to go kiss who they wanted to kiss after we said cheers. And Nathan tugs on my shirt and looks up at me with his puckered little lips and my heart just bursts with love for this sweet boy.

Olivia has a cough and isn't feeling well. She painted her face to look like a Pikachu.  But then I think she was slightly embarrassed.  She's entering this new phase of no longer being a little kid and it's definitely new territory for us.

Abigail is still the peacemaker. Lately she's also filled our house with music as she's constantly singing or playing piano. She is also boy crazy already.

Eliza is almost 3. I'm praying that at 3 she turns a corner and all this sass she's been full of lately goes away. She is very strong and independent and smart as a whip. And I think I'll leave it at that.

Nora is 7 months and she's trying to crawl. She mostly scoots and rolls and does her baby planks. She doesn't sleep horribly but not great either. I can pretty much count on one hand the number of times I've slept through the night since March. But she's the sweetest most charming baby and we're all absolutely crazy about her.

We've had a fun day with family in town, playing board games, drinking mocktails, and eating delcious food. But my heart is heavy as I wish I could also be with my family in NJ. This is just a hard time of year for them and I'm so so glad that in less than a week I'll be on my way there.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

An open letter to my unborn child.

Dear Baby Girl,
       
       I see you're already following the good example of your older siblings by not being born, even a day before your due date. It's okay, I'm used to it by now. I just want to be clear, this isn't a competition about who could gestate the longest, okay? We're at 40 weeks, so any day now would be great. Lets not try to get to 41 like everyone else. Plus, we just cleaned a lot. And I had the van cleaned. These things won't last long, so if you'd like a nice clean welcome into this world, tonight, tomorrow, no rush, would be a great day to be born. Otherwise, I make no promises about the condition of the vehicle that will drive you home. Perhaps you think because we already have a cute new baby here we're not as excited for your arrival. I promise, this couldn't be further from the truth! I am so excited to see you two next to each other. And all your older siblings can not wait to meet you. And so here's the thing. Your dad is going back to work after this week of vacation is up, and I'd really like you to be able to hang out with him a lot. So if you aren't here by Saturday we're going to be giving you the boot. But I'm super scared of that whole process, and worried how it will effect you, and me, and so please, before Saturday would be great. Also, if you could come out with a name badge on that would be great. Your dad and I can't seem to see eye to eye. Again, nothing new. Don't worry, no one is nameless yes. You've been such a calm in-utero baby. I hope it's indicative of your personality. Because we have a lot of crazy going on around here, and can sure use some calm. Though if you're another opinionated, sassy, silly, emotional female, don't worry. You'll fit right in.
We can't wait to kiss you, and count your toes, and dress you up. See you soon.

Love,
Mom