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Friday, December 7, 2012

Dog-gone! : (

Hey All,

To those of you who know our family, this post should come as no surprise.  The only surprise is that one of you didn't stop our family on the front side of getting a dog!  Oh I am very convinced that the idea of having a dog is so much more fun than actually having a dog.  In my mind I see the kids camped out on the living room floor and collapsed in the middle of them is a family dog- soaking in the love that the kids radiate.  (Yeah, like my kids radiate love amongst themselves!)  And, in my mind, I see the boys running around the backyard with the dog in tow, romping and frisking.  (Yeah, like when my boys get set loose in the backyard it involves something more like crashing and breaking!)

Sigh, it's so beautiful. . . in my mind! 

Reality check:  we are NOT a dog family. 

Well, okay, this time, with Roxi, we were close.  And I do have to credit the family 2 kids back to enjoying Ruthie- the Boston Terrier.  But, close is not good enough- especially when it was closeness that made us find a new home for Roxi as it was.  

I knew that Jewel #9 is a sweet, sweet little morsel of a baby.  I didn't realize that Roxi thought so too.  Not sure if it was an alpha-female thing, a jealous thing, or what.  But Roxi continually came after little Jewel.   It all started with her toys (who can resist fun, colorful baby toys?!)  then it moved to baby feet.  This wasn't pleasant, but a little adjustment here and there- plus a squirt with a water bottle- and the arrangement was tolerable.  However- 2 nights ago, Roxi decided to put an end to having a baby around- and thank God,  The Clown was on her game.  When dog came after baby aggressively!, The Clown put her foot down- literally.  And stopped the dog from making contact with Jewel. 

So now. . . dog gone. 

I should have listened to The Diva when we brought Roxi home - "Oh wow, a dog- When does it leave?"

Roxi left the house today.  There were 2 ironies in her hitting the road.  Irony #1.  None, and I mean NONE of the kids shed a tear in Roxi leaving.  Now I know, she hadn't been here that long- but you have to know that my kids attach pretty quickly to the come and go pets.  So, they either didn't really care, knew that she would eventually leave, or-and the most likely-  my children's little hearts have grown hardened to the cruel teasing attempts we make in offering a pet for them to enjoy? 

Irony #2.  The new owner of Roxi just happens to be my husband's previous girlfriend- the one he dated just before meeting me.  The one who had to attend an Ozzy concert with her best friend (my husband's sister) and her best friend's brother (my husband- now- then new love) and made me feel like (gulp!) I'd better attend the Ozzy Fest, because it was just a bit threatening to have him go with those 2. If you're an Ozzy fan- I'm sorry.  Really.  I've never had my naive, innocence shocked so quickly!  Good thing there was a quick exit from the concet and I chose not to hold it against him (to much),  

And now- old girlfriend is new owner of groan stick dog. 

It is so funny how quickly my husband forgets things like Ozzy Fest (well, okay, it was near 20 years ago), and dons this innocent face when he answers my  "Was that who I thought it was that just took our dog?" 

Oh well- I'm sitting here typing this on the living room floor while the kids are gathered around watching a Christmas movie- bickering like usual.  But, my baby is rolling on the floor- which she hasn't been able to do with a dog in the house for the past 3 weeks- so I'm happy. 

Audios pooch. 

And please, please those of you who do know me, remind me next time to leave the family dog idea alone!

        Fool Like You!!                                    


Surviving myself minus Ozzy, a former girlfriend, and a dog,

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Drool # 9

     The big "new" at our house this week is a 40 pound, muscle clad, under bite member of our family.  No, it isn't another child- and how terrible that would be if this is how I would describe a little person!
This addition is a English bulldog named Roxi, and I have none other to thank for her being here but The Jane Austen Wanna Be.  I wasn't looking for a dog.  Although, if I were, it would be an English bulldog.  I'm not sure why that is so- but there is some kind of unexplainable "charm" about this breed.  I'm not able to even put it into words myself, especially when I look into the eyes of Roxi and listen to her make a continual sound that I would compare to the sound of a toy called a "groan tube"- the toy that one shakes up and down and it groans with each turn.  As I hear Roxi groaning, I can't help but ask, "What charm did I think you held?"  I am sure that my life was just needing more noise in it- really, 8 kids are not enough, needed to add more noise. 

     Ironically, each time we've had a dog, it has been "mine" by means of it adopting the Mom and following me like an extension of my own shadow.  This time however, Roxi appears to be a guy type of dog, so she doesn't turn on her charm until my husband comes home from work.  At that time, I hear from my husband - "How's my girl?"  and then, as I am ready to answer, realize he is speaking to the dog!  I know, I need to just begin making groan tube sounds and he'll move me back up to being first on his greeting list.

     Another trait bulldogs are known for is drooling.  Here, I am happy to say, Roxi doesn't excel in.  Although there are a few puddles here and there, it isn't any more drool than Jewel #8, so I can't complain about that. 

     I think Roxi is a pretty good fit with the family- which if you knew the track record with our family and dogs, that is making a big statement.  As The Drama Queen asked me when we brought Roxi home, "Wow, we got a dog!  How long before we get rid of it?" 

     I will say, there are some advantages to not having a dog- more than just the lack of the freaky groaning sound that continues in my ears even after it leaves a room.  Days ago, I didn't have to worry about my boys using their "boy brains" to carry out what most most dogs would not put up with. I also didn't have to put away playful baby toys that must be masquerading as dog toys, nor did I have to kennel an animal because vacuums are terrible machines that must be attacked with the force of a charging bull.  And most of all,  I didn't need to even holler "Don't stick your finger there- that is NOT a place to put your finger!"  (This last statement was of course directed to one of the boys, and I'll let you insert your own image of where he thought his finger should go.) 
When we got Roxi, the previous owner asked if we had any other dogs- because Roxi is a one pet to house type of dog.  We don't have another dog, but we do have a guinea pig (just one now- see earlier post).  The pig is in a corner of a room, on a table, in a cage- set out of the way so to speak. 
Guess where Roxi's favorite place in the house is?  Yep, set for launch, ready to eat, smack in front of the pig cage.  Poor pig, I'm guessing it's days are numbered due to the huge dog head that jumps up about 10 times a day to see if it's Hansel snack is ready for eating yet.

     Well, I guess I need more drama in my life- and Roxi was the answer.  I found myself praying for the intercession of St. Francis and St. Martin De Pores in making the decision to get Roxi or not.  I'm guessing there are 2 saints in heaven that are having a good old laugh right about now.

Surviving myself, although my guinea pig, vacuum cleaner and boy's fingers are NOT,

Friday, October 12, 2012

I Love Bread

Yep, I Love bread.  I say this as I'm snacking on a biscuit that was leftover from yesterday's lunch.  What does that have to do with anything?   Nothing!  It is just a random little blessing from God that I'm enjoying.  The thing is, I enjoy a variety of breads- actually cheeses too- and I can't help but wonder if I could have made it as an Israelite sentenced to wander the dessert eating only Manna.  I actually think I'd be okay without the quail meat.  Manna is good for me Lord ( Well, an occasional Dr. Pepper would have been great, but I don't recall that as an option.)  It's not a gourmet breakfast, to many it's not even a snack.  But, I was tickled to find it setting, untouched on the counter top when I got up this morning. 

So, why is it there are some blessing in life we are in awe in receiving, but in others we totally miss ?  Maybe it's because we are to busy to recognize the blessing.

Here is some more manna. . .

I am now joined by The Baby Boy, who is the one, ONE, child I have that is extremely picky about his clothes ( should have been a girl).  He is very sensitive about the idea of his clothes  being "soggy."  Which, by the way, when you figure out what that means, the definition changes.   I often get frustrated by his clothing demands- and lose track of the little blessings- like how cute it is when he makes an appearance with  boots, shorts, and a batman shirt, and holster- because why wouldn't I want to have a cowboy superhero for a son?!?

The Boy is now working on reading- and after a slow start, he has really taken off.  Writing notes has become a whole new world now that he can put together his words.  I get bogged down spelling endless words for his means of communications and often miss the blessing~ like when he comes to me, chest stuck out, bursting with pride, and hands me a letter- "to moM.  Iluv win u red me buks inthe mrng."   Oh, how sweet phonetic spelling is from a 5 year old!  And, everything is now able to be a word- like an open pair of play handcuffs, turned upside down and held on both sides of his mouth-  "I can spell your name with my handcuffs and my mouth!!- 'm - o - m' "

Oh- my biscuit is gone, and now so must I go too.  The little kids are turning Jewel into a pizza- rolling the dough (baby), tickling on the toppings and baking her (placing her on the couch), to commence in eating- more tickling.   I'm going to go enjoy- the giggles and smiles compete- and I can overlook the morning, dragon breath (for awhile) because it is really a very big blessing to have us all enjoy each other's company.

I challenge you to seek and thank the Lord for the manna today- without (or before) demanding the quail!

Surviving myself- with buscuit in hand,

Friday, September 14, 2012

Yikes, Momma Didn't Tell Me About This!

Childbirth- it is not necessarily what I would call fun.  In fact, if it weren't for the beautiful baby one holds after all the work, I'm not sure how worth it all the pain would be.

Even as I try to type this post, with Jewel #8 sitting on my lap, fighting for my attention, I can almost still feel the pains of childbirth like it was yesterday.  Surprisingly, on my lap  now sits a 5 month old!  Where does time fly?  But, as for the pains, I've been privileged? to have experienced those all to familiar birthing pains but just a few weeks ago.

No, I've not given birth to yet another.  I've been diagnosed with kidney stones- multiple ones-  in both kidneys.  Multiple- as in 3 or more for each side.  So, if we do the math, that is at the very least, 6 fun episodes of passing to go though.  Actually, I have managed to pass a few, so I'm hoping to only have about half left.

Just like childbirth, some of the episodes were a bit more bearable than others.  One passing was, however, leaving me crying for an epidural-so painful was it!  Funny though- also like childbirth, there was a feeling of euphoria after passing it- like "Whew!  I feel so relieved" and "Whoa ! I could take on just about anything  now, knowing that I survived!"  AND don't forget the feeling of "So glad that is done and that I won't have to go though it again!". . .wait a minute, I guess I do :   (

What is a bit harder to take is that the doctor has no explanation as to why my body is producing the stones.  

I can only thank God for my kids- especially my older 5 girls- in going through this.  They are incredible!  When needed, they jump into action and do what's necessary to keep order so I can retreat into hours of  pain.

It's just to bad that the end result isn't as cute and adorable as my little Jewel!

Surviving myself and hoping to keep the stones rolling,

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Yes, I think that song is about me.

I'm so vein. . . yes, vein.

I love my kids.  I love that the Lord has blessed me 8 times over with wonderful, healthy children.  I would not change a bit of that.  Well, just one tiny thing- 8 pregnancies has taken a toll on my body- leaving what has become dubbed my "pregnancy tattoo."  This is a series of veins that wrap around my ankle and travel up my leg.  When I am pregnant, my "tattoo"  glows a purple/blue- and it's anything but praise to KSU/KU.

I've not done anything about this issue because there was always the possibility of another baby coming along and making corrections moot point.   But, and I'm not counting out the possibility of another beautiful blessing from God, our insurance deductible is now met- due to Jewel #8, and it seems like it might be a good time to look into doing something about the lovely "pregnancy tattoo."

Now, that this surgery is a reality, I'm trying to decide if I'm really just. . .  vain.

Friday I go in for a consultation to see how vein/vain I am.

The answer will be quite clear- insurance pays, it's a go. .  . insurance doesn't pay, I'm heading to a tattoo shop to put on some finishing touches.  Just kidding- I don't think my shadow will ever grace a tattoo shop.

I love those little reminders that speak beautiful truths of how a woman's body looks after pregnancy is a testimony to her being pro-life.  I find that statement poetic.  And most women who have given birth can tell you that there are changes in her body that she'll have to deal with the rest of her life, yet the changes are totally worth it (She usually has no problem reminding her offspring of these changes when in a heated discussion-after all, a little guilt goes a long way!)

My only problem is that I don't like the yucky feeling I get when I see other women who look great in shorts and skirts. . . while I think about how I'm so vein!

Surviving my post pregnant self,

Friday, July 6, 2012

Wow, it's HOT!

I know, it's been near another month since my last post. . . where does time fly?!
So, the kids and I have been trying to deal with the 100 degree plus summer days.  So far, the favorite past time is complaining and fighting.  Please tell me my house isn't the only one this occurs at!  

Last week we celebrated The Jane Austen Wannabe's  and The Clown's birthday- since they share the same birth date.  Normally this isn't a big problem.  Although Topeka doesn't boast of lots to do for families  -make that lots to do for large, financially savvy families- there are a few things we do like to do for special days:  putt-puff golf, park trips, zoo visits, go-carts.  Yet, none of these are even close to enjoyable when the thermostat reads 100 to 116!

We decided a movie might be the route. . . but we were hesitant to do so due to the same attempt we did on The Diva's birthday.  Let's just say we made a quick exit- all 10 of us- when the language got "rough."  And that was a PG movie!!  Man I hate paying (even at the "cheap" theater) for a movie and leaving early.   So, we thought we'd rent the latest movie that the kids wanted and  pop it in our Clear Play player.  (By the way, if you don't know what Clear Play is, Google it- we've have it for years and highly recommend it! ) 

The evening went by with a decent flick, lots of candy, a huge sugar high, followed by a sugar low and then to bed.   It was OK.  Maybe just not the best way to celebrate.  But we didn't die of heat, compromise our morals on movie choice, and got an excuse to pig out on candy.  Somehow it didn't feel very "special" though.  Maybe, it's because we do this activity (movie watching, not the pigging out on candy) on a weekly basis.

Oh well- here is the deal-  what, if any,  ideas do you and your family do when it gets hot, hot, HOT outside?

I'd love to hear from you, and share your ideas.  I'm getting exhausted of telling my little ones that they can't go outside because the rubber on the trampoline is melting and to ride a bike in this heat would be signing a death certificate.  Let me know your suggestions!  Remember, ideas need to be affordable- no trips to amusement parks or the like.  And suggestions that incorporate the whole family are getting the A+ from the teacher!

Surviving myself. . .while looking for cooler, 90 degree days,

Thursday, June 14, 2012


T-I-M-E spells. . . something I don't have a lot of.
Well, that is not entirely true, I do have time to coo at a baby for at least an hour in the morning.  And I do have time to get a cup of coffee and read a library book to my 2 boys in the morning as I nurse a baby.   I am incredibly blessed? to have lots of time to wear my pajama's- usually into mid-morning.

I stew over the time I don't have though.  I feel sometimes I don't have time to enjoy the little everyday treats that will gone in the blink of an eye.  I don't usually have time to pick up a good book either- unless I excuse it as a book I will read to the kids out loud.  I don't have time to be too fashionable (I'm probably okay on that though as long as I don't embarrass my teens too much.)

And, since this bog post is overdue, I'm stating I don't usually have time to sit at a computer : )

A couple of weeks ago my husband gave a great anniversary gift that made me take time.  He took the family to the Omaha Zoo in Nebraska.  My kids have been asking for the past 2 years to go, but there was always an excuse-  a baby too young to travel that far, a toddler to young to travel that far, a busy schedule, or, course No Time!

I made sure to treasure this time-mostly because I am aware of the fact that as my kids grow older the opportunity of us going on vacation all together grows less and less.  I remember in growing up myself how my older sister missed out on the Europe trip because she had moved out of the house.  While I don't plan on traipsing across Europe anytime soon (or across Kansas either) I have to chuckle when The Jane Austen Wanna' Be laments that all the family fun stuff will start as soon as she moves out.

There were some great memories that I will hold from the trip and I love, love that my husband gave me the opportunity instead of a material gift.  One of the "cutest" moments was when we checked into the hotel and the kids-being kids-were checking out every nook and cranny of the room (yes, I said room- as in singular room,  all 10 of us in a room with 2 double beds.  Kids laying on the floor, stacked on the bed, behind doors and the like.  Shhhhh, don't tell.  I do believe there is some "hotel law" about having only 4 to room, but we aren't on the level of getting 2 or even 3 rooms to stay the night.  So, we "take shifts" in hotels- shifts entering, shifts going to breakfast, shifts to the pool- you get the idea.  Heaven forbid one of the kids would actually call room service.  I fear it would cause a scurrying at such level- like cockroaches when the lights are flipped on!)  Back to the point.  The middle ones stepped into the bathroom to see if it could be any cooler than the ones we have at home and sure enough- it was!  From inside the bathroom I hear "HEY MOM!  Guess what?!  There is a coffee maker in here!  Just think tomorrow morning you can have a cup being made right here while you get ready!

Oh the fine things in life!

T-I-M-E. . .get some- enjoy it, treasure it.  You know, like a brewing cup of coffee right within reach of you toothbrush.

Taking some time to attempt to survive myself,

Friday, May 18, 2012

Nothing Like Motherhood!

This post is a bit late according to the calendar- but enjoying motherhood is really a year round gift. 
So, to start off- Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers! 

I am in the eighth "season" in motherhood- as you know since the arrival of Jewel.  Mother's Day hit at a good time - when my hormones are all still jumbled from giving birth (just exactly how long can I claim that as an excuse?!) 

The day before Mother's Day was one that I balanced on the edge of explosion (see previous post) - once again, hormones!  By the end of the day I was feeling resentful towards many of my children.  I really cannot even tell you what the upset was all about.  The bad thing was that I wasn't feeling like celebrating Mother's Day- partly due to the anger and partly due to my guilt of the anger. 

My husband has a good way of keeping things in perspective though.  When I had texted him with my "AGHHHH!" - he reminded me how precious my life is-  I have one at the age of taking college classes all the way to one who is a complete mama's girl (Jewel has her favorite. . . and it's ME!) 
I needed that reminder on how wonderful life is. 

Isn't it so easy to get caught up in the frustration of life to actually forget to enjoy it? 

Seven of my kids are gone today- in fact, they are gone for the night- at a homeschool camp out with their father.  They were all so excited about going- even The Baby Boy, whom we were not going to let him go, but decided to give it a chance anyway.  The kids were so excited that they were in "grouchy-mode."  You parents know what I mean, right?  Each one thought they would be in charge of the others and well, 7 bosses is not a pleasant thing.  For days the threat of "You're going to lose the camp out!" hung in the air like smog.  Up until the final minutes, when The Jane Austen Wanna Be got into it with The Diva- over something silly. 

I found myself saying-  "I can't wait until you all leave for the camp out- I need some QUIET!" 

Be careful what you wish for- especially when it comes to emptying the house.  After the kids left (surprisingly all 7 were able to go) I floated around with Jewel on clouds.  Actually we just floated upstairs to take a nap.  It was so nice!! 

When I woke up, I was slammed by the silence.  Dead silence.  I laid there with Jewel and tried to remember when it was that I had a house to myself with just a 1 month old.  Well, I won't give you the answer in years, but it has been so long.  So long that I had to remind myself to enjoy it- to stop worrying about my children and just enjoy the gift of silence. 

I hate to admit that I did really contemplate going back to napping : P  Hey, I don't get that pleasure very often!  But, I knew there were chores to be done.  So, with Jewel in wraps, I set off to the laundry room.  The older 3 girls had their laundry started and I figured I'd help them out and keep it going since their weekend was going to be busy.  As I sorted through teen clothes, I pulled out a onesie of Jewels.  I had forgotten I'd thrown that in with their clothes.  As I checked it to see if the stain came out, and laid it down next to The Jane Austen Wanna Be's shirt, it struck me again. . .


What a size difference in the ends of my "children sandwich."  How sweet it was - the reminder of how blessed I am with what God has given me.  

Time is an enemy.  The Jane Austen Wanna Be will be a senior next year.  She is already out of the house quite a bit with her college classes and work.  The Bookworm will start driving this summer.  The Clown has grown taller than all my kids now.  The Boy is catching up in height with The One Who Gets Things Free at Garage Sales (BTW- garage sale season is upon us and I think #5's "cute factor" charm is wearing off- she may have to start paying for her purchases at garage sales!)  The Diva is asking to stay up later at night, The Baby Boy bloomed in size- mostly in comparison to Jewel.  My heart is breaking at these time changes.  I MOURN because of them- and yet it was I that couldn't wait to get them out of the house and just have silence! 

Ah motherhood, what complicated treasure! 

I am going to end now- I need to stop, less I end up in tears.  It is also time to turn on the t.v. to so I can hear some noise- at least for a little while.  Then, I am going to gather Jewel up in my arms, climb into bed and treasure the moment.

Surviving myself in motherhood,

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sunshine and Lollipops. . . NOT!

Yesterday marked the 3rd week since Jewel #8 was born.  There is a record that I broke in that time.  Before having Jewel, the older girls took bets on how long it would be before Mom has "The Day" which is when she locks herself and the baby in her bedroom and declares herself off limits to EVERYONE!  -Mostly due to 1.  lack of sleep effecting Mom, 2.  Mom having it up to here in hearing the kids fight, and 3.  handling, or attempting to handle the disruption of  daily schedule-and either myself or the kids not dealing with that.  The last two births, it didn't take long for me to hit "The Day."    I'd say less than a week.  (Hey- you have to give me that the last 2 births were winter births- cloudy, snowy, yucky days!)  This time, however, I made it to day 21 before blowing up on my kids, heading to my room, locking the door, staying in there for a good long number of hours- where I fully enjoyed the peace and quiet shared only with Jewel and myself.  It was heaven! 
I hate to admit that I couldn't control myself in dealing with The Diva- but she is called the Diva for a reason!  A full day of constant contradictions and sassy come backs lit my fuse.  To be fair, I did "feel"  The Day coming on-  hormones, hormones, hormones! 

I did have the boys' soft knock-knock on the door a couple of times.  To this, I promptly redirected them to one of the their 3 older sisters.  That went well until The Baby Boy tugged at my heartstrings by saying he had a tummy ache and the only way he would feel better was to have me hold him downstairs in the kitchen.  So, I  opened he door and melted at his sad little face.  Downstairs, in the kitchen, he went to sleep in my arms immediately. 

So, I write this post because I want it to be known that I so don't have things down as well as I may appear to.  My kids can help me in my short comings a lot- but they alone (not even their Dad has the full story) know how Mom falls apart now and then. 

There is a small benefit to falling apart sometimes-  it is a wake up call to my kids that Mom can and does explode like a load of dynamite- and look out when she does.  It puts them on high alert to be extra good for at least the next day or two.  That's good!  Really good! 

The downfall of exploding is of course that I feel like poo about how I acted/reacted towards my kids.  I really, really hate that. 

Wouldn't you know that I had just gone to confession last week too!  Oh well, my confessional has a revolving door on it : P

As I looked down on The Baby Boy's sleeping face- I kept thinking about how God must view me when I experience The Day.  Aside from great disappointment, I picuted Him holding me as I myself was holding my son- who risked Mom's wrath to be closer to me.  How often does God take abuse from us, only to lovingly hold us close to his heart when we finally repent?

:Let me answer that for you- often.  Much more often than we deserve. 

Thank you Lord for loving me through my shortfalls.  Thank you for children who love me - despite my shortfalls.  Thank you for giving me the opportunity to seek forgivness when I fail.  Thank you for extending that forgiveness, over and over. 

Tomorrw is a new day.  The Day is now over.  I am loving my job as wife, mother and teacher.  Never- NEVER in a million years would I change it.  I just hope I don't have to spend to much money in psychology bills for my kids due to their up bringing!

Admiting that sometimes I cannot survive myself,

PS- yes, Jewel still looks like Toby Jones- but she is slowing growing out of it. . . I hope!!!  (see pic.)

Monday, April 16, 2012

She's Here!!

Okay, okay- so I'm really late on adding a new post- but for good reasons!  Jewel #8 was born on Monday April 9th.  She weighed in at 7lb 13oz and 19 inches long.  Mom was thrilled at the weight- I was expecting a 9 pound toddler!  Labor was long (11 hours) but worth every bit of it to see her beautiful face.  It would have been GREAT if the epidural would have lasted to the end of labor, but good things rarely do. . . leaving me to show the Jane Austin Wanna Be what hard labor is really like.  (She wanted to be present at the birth and I consented, knowing that she was interested in nursing - especially neonatal nursing.  Nothing like seeing the one you love go pass a watermelon for the sake of saying "I was there!")  Had to LAUGH though when her comment was "That wasn't that hard."   

What?!? Guess I should of had her stand in where I was! 

So, I am going to keep this post short and end on a weird note. . .

Don't let everyone know, but I believe I've given birth to Toby Jones' clone!  See for yourself-

                                                                              Toby Jones

                                                          Looks like a "totally looks like" to me! :)

Maybe I should leave you with a better impression- she really is quite cute! -

There we go- much better!

Glad to be "un-pregnant" and working on surviving myself with raging hormones!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Is it time yet?

I'm sitting here typing and rubbing my very big tummy- and wishing that it was not so big- or more correctly I should say, wishing I was holding a baby in my arms instead of my stomach.

When I was pregnant with #1 through 7, I was always comfortable in saying "I'm not sure that we are done yet."  But with #8, I'm finally experiencing the feeling that I could not fathom myself saying  -"This is it!" 

Okay, I wound never tell God no.  If He said, "Not done yet," I'd accept His will- maybe with a little questioning, but I'd accept it.  I picture in my mind being my mother's age and homeschooling still and I feel sad for the child, because he/she will have an old fogy for a teacher.

Wait a minute, some of my favorite teachers were older.  Hmmm.   No, the older I get, the more I look for "ways out"  in my teaching.  I really spent all my creativity on my older children when they were younger- which they totally don't remember about 3/4 of all my wonderful teaching experiences!  (Like a totally cool homemade planetarium that ROCKED!  Or science WITH experiments- other homeschooling moms- you know what I'm talking about!)  Anyway I can so easily justify just reading about how the experiment should work now, or calling on an older sibling to explain the math problem, because after doing it with 3 kids, my brain hurts to try to explain it again. 

Who knows though- maybe I'll be like Sarah (Old Testament)  who bore a babe in her late age.  Perhaps her laughter was more about "Oh Lord- you want me to change diapers when I'm old enough to have to wear them myself?!?"  Or "Lord, do you have any idea how hard it is to chase after a toddler when I'm leaning on a cane?!" 

Stop- I've always said that having children helps keep you young.  There is truth to that too.  I've still "got my foot in the door" to the teen world, pre-teen world and toddler world.  If  I didn't have kids, I don't know that I would be involved in any of those worlds.  So, I do have youth at my finger tips, you could say. 

I recently put in Google "pregnant and tired" and felt so relieved in what I found there.  Many of my problems were not near as severe and it felt good to have companions in those problems I did face.  Many good laughs came from that search. 

My kids do their own searches on Google that are pregnancy related too- but they usually involve "cute baby pictures" or the like.  They are all excited about the baby coming.  I'm there with them sometimes- but still am trying to gear myself up to the next chore of taking care of a baby- outside of the womb.

The last 3 children I've had, I went through a "I'm locking myself and the baby in the bathroom/bedroom because I am going crazy with everyone fighting over the baby or just plain fighting." time.  I totally expect to have to go though it again this time too.  It's really hard to try to please everyone for the first 2 weeks or so after having a baby!  The bigger the family gets, the more of a challenge it becomes. 

It's time to end this post on a high note. 

I am so very, very thankful for 7 wonderful, healthy children, that although they fight and bicker amongst themselves, do indeed have great redeeming qualities, make me laugh and wouldn't trade one of them for the world. 

And, even though my ageing body is caving under the weight of a baby, I don't have any serious health risks that I'm fighting- just minor inconveniences- Thank you Lord!  (Although, I'm so probably going to have to put in a lot of purgatory time for my lack of suffering in this world.)

And, I do have a bit of creativity left- I'm in the middle of making a "I need something to do" jar for the kids to keep busy with when I'm gone having the baby.  Thanks to Family Fun magazine idea, I'm loading a jar with craft ideas and game ideas to keep them occupied and myself sane- hopefully!

So, I'll sign off this post with-
Surviving my pregnant self-  who knows, maybe my next post I'll be rubbing my un-pregnant, flabby belly. . . UGH~that brings about a whole new set of complaints!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Everything I know I learned from homeschooling Mass.

     Not that anyone asked, but I am still alive.  And yes, overdue on a post. The good new is that in waiting this long to post, I can officially say that I am below 30 days in my baby ticker - WHOOT!
      I wished I could say that waiting the extra time allowed me to come up with a genius post that everyone would find incredibly entertaining - so much so that they would beg me to take all of my wisdom and put it in book form.
     Sadly, the only reason I'm late is:
          a) I'm pregnant.
          b) I'm old.
          c) I was actually fighting off an infection that threw me into a two day bed rest.
          d)  I'm old and pregnant - but really number three wins the prize.
     So now that I am recovered, we were able to make it to our bi-monthly homeschooling Mass.  This usually is comprised of ten families, of course all these families have at least six kids average, so we are talking about sixty kids + parents, so about seventy five people. 
     Today however, for various reasons, there was only six families.  So, I slid behind a certain family.  Let's call them "perfect family."  My hope is always to stress to The Boy and The Baby Boy how well behaved their children are. Unfortunately, it usually ends up that my children are the entertainment for those who peak behind their shoulders to gawk at the sideshow, staring my children.  SIDENOTE: The Bookworm wants to let everyone that she and her sisters were not sitting in the pew at this point.  They were in the "quiet choir" that volunteers to sing for Mass, singing songs that are to high to hit for tired homeschooling Moms.  And, since I'm partially deaf, I can't pick up half the words anyways. (By the way, did you know that if you mouth the word "avocado" while everyone else is singing, it totally looks like you know what your doing?!)
     I don't know whether it was because I was still tired from recuperation, or if it was because I am old and pregnant, but it was not a pleasant experience today.  The Baby Boy took a total advantage of my exhaustion and played "keep-a-way" in the pew, pushing me to the point of just ignoring him, after all, why put the effort into that? SIDENOTE: The Baby Boy received his first after-Mass discipline at home today.  There is truth to this "It hurts me more than it hurts you." BUT, now that it has happened, I can easily refer to this to snap him into attention.
     I was so relieved to know that I was not the only family who was having their own struggles during Mass.  But knowing that others were, as I heard about afterwards, got me to thinking about some important lessons that we learn in Mass.
     1)  Patience.  Isn't it true every time you pray for patience, God sends you a three year old?
     2)  Sign Language: This is often included with a snap of the fingers and is highlighted with the pointing with the index finger to the spot beside you.
     3)  Counting.  You'd be amazed how many children can count to five, a skill they have learned from the countdown, repeated over and over by the tired mother.
     4)  How to give "The Look." This is an important life skill, although it seems quiet hilarious when it has been give by a three year old who is imitating mom, and makes you question "Do I really look like that?"
     5)  Playing with small rocks found in your shoe can be entertaining for a three year old.  Especially after following the snap point gesture that tells them they had better sit still.
     6)  Appreciation for priests who give short homilies........God bless them, everyone.
     On that last note, The Jane Austen Wanna-be, the Bookworm, and myself tonight did a Daily Sparks writing exercise to pass the time. (we gave up T.V. for Lent, and this was one alternative we found.) The assignment was to write from the perspective of a substitute teacher, written in first person.  We decided that it would be interesting to write a take-off of our Mass from the point of view of the visiting priest that so graciously said Mass for us today. Enjoy what follows, but remember it is loosely based, and actually, it was much worse than this!
I just received the news that I am to stand in as the substitute for the group of homeschoolers that meets once a month for religious education.  I do not know a lot about homeschooling, and in my 77 years, I have not had any encounters with this type of student.  If I go according to secular views, I am to expect mumbling wallflowers that are constantly repeating to themselves the Pythagorean theorem or the full 550 numbers of pi in the correct order, or they will be intellectual types with thick nerd glasses, high water pants, pocket calculators and the one with the finger occasional slipping up to his/her nose.    But maybe this group will be different – the usual instructor only has had words of praise for them. 
                Wanting to make a good impression, I set about preparing a lesson that was to include 7 points.  Why 7?  In all cases of doubt, 7 is always a good answer – that, and the letter “c.”  Knowing that age range of these children fell between newborn to seventeen, I figured I had better make the lesson entertaining.  The best way to start off the class was with a joke.  So, after introducing myself, I grinned and said: “Hola, mi llamo es NO Dora!!There’s some Spanish points for you to right down!”  I was greeted with the sound of crickets.  Moving on.  It was then that I noticed that really, most of these kids looked normal.  As far as how they acted, I could already tell the teenagers were a-typical, because they obviously knew how to balance a baby, while chasing after a two year old that was wearing plastic heels.  Since this was a family class, it was easy to distinguish parents – the ones with bags under their eyes, snot on their should and tight lips that were counting “You have three seconds.  One.  Two.”  Seeing them told me that I needed to take this 7-point sermon down to about one point.  Various individual three year olds who found it entertaining to play “skooch bum” down the seats away from their haggard mothers – hence the tight lips and the counting, which was making this room seem like a math class. I gathered my strength and started to condense my points.  Then I looked up and saw that 5 minutes had passed.  I was beginning to question the other instructor’s thoughts on how this was entertaining.  Taking a deep breath, I looked up at the crucifix.  Turning back to the assembled group, I very slowly said, “Remember….Jesus loves you.”  That about summed it up, right?  Just to add an extra 60 seconds to my talk, I asked everyone to repeat the phrase. 
                As I sat back down to ponder my 7 in 1 lesson that I just gave in a total of 12 minutes, I took a second look at the group.  It suddenly hit me that I was not looking at anything typical at all.  Most of these families averaged in the family size of five children or more.  That is certainly not typical for our culture.  Mental note: pro-life.  My second observation was that I noticed that all present were dressed modestly with no shirts proclaiming derogatory messages.  The next observation was that the parents looked worn out, but behind their dark circles, you could see love for their families in their eyes.  I was beginning to see now with a clear vision why this class was different, but not in a bad way.  This time I spent here wasn’t all that bad actually, if I could just get  their three olds to sit long enough to fit in another 6 points, then maybe I will volunteer to do this again. 


Surviving myself, at least life isn't a 24/7, 365 homeschooling Mass,

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Finding Happiness

I've been reading lately- not that this is new.  In my busy schedule I try to get some reading in here and there.  Usually it is in the final minutes of the day, in my bed, by the light of a flashlight (as to not disturb my sleeping husband) - and it's usually only for mere minutes due to the fact that I'm on zero energy and one foot in my nightly coma.  The latest book I've found interest in is called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.  I am not necessarily recommending this book- yet.  I haven't finished it.  I can't totally speak for it.  But, I have found it interesting thus far. 

This writer set out to find happiness in where she was in her life- not that she was unhappy, she just wanted to take time to really enjoy the stage of life she was in at the time of her writing.  I found this intriguing, because I'm the type of person who will find myself in a stage of life and wonder when it will end- kids not sleeping through the night stage, kids telling lies stage, kids being picky eaters stage, kids being picky about what they wear stage.  Okay, so my life is revolving around my kids mostly- tends to happen to many homeschooling mothers, I'm sure.  Like Grethen Rubin though, I've often thought, "When I get through this stage, then things will be better- I'll be happier"- etc  And one day I wake up and realize that I have already passed  through the dreaded stage (in fact, I've usually long passed it) and not only did I not find the happiness pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but I am in knee deep in another stage and again, not happy.  Through many of these trips I went from having one child - at 2 years of age to having 8 children- and that 2 year old is going on 17.  Where does time go? 

So, the idea of enjoying happiness in the stage of exactly where I am sounded perfect. 

The book is divided into 12 months, with suggestions that Gretchen found in her research that would bring her happiness.  Yes, HER happiness.  She is very forward in saying that each person's happiness is going to be different and this is HER journey.  Her insight is very interesting though, and I'm enjoying her perspectives. 

Some of the suggestions she has include everything from hugging more to starting a blog.  While I haven't seen any mention of faith in her journey- yet- I have found interest in her knowledge of happiness comes to one if they stop trying to find it in another person (for her, it was her spouse).  She came to the understanding that if you are to find happiness, you have to look at yourself to see why you are not happy. 

This isn't a new idea.  We can't expect others to make us happy.  Such a burden that becomes for that other person.  Hmmmm. . . wasn't I looking at my children to bring me happiness by completing stages?  Yikes!

Of course true happiness is only found in God.  There is that place in us- that "God shaped hole" that only He can fill, no matter how hard we try to fill it with worldly things. 

Once we have that understanding, life will be more joyful- more happy. 

In the meantime, I am having fun finding the humor in the little quirks in life.  Which, by the way, the latest humor in The Clown's life is seeing and laughing at a picture of Mike Myers- I'm not sure why.  It's not even a pictue of him in make-up or costume: 

OKAY- so maybe looking at Mike Myers is a bit uplifting!  I'm at least signing off with a smile. 

Surviving myself with happiness and smiles in tow,

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sorrow and Stubble

     This past week has held some life lessons- one very hard and one fun. 

The pig stands alone:
     Unfortunately, one of our guinea pigs died this last week.  I must say that despite the supposed 4 to 8 years, we hold a constant record of about 1 year.  I'm not exactly sure why this is so- I would categorize our pet care as acceptable- cleaned cage each week, fresh food and water twice a day, regular baths and nail clipping - overall I couldn't complain about how the little pigs live.  Okay, there is an occasional "drop and scamper"- but VERY rare- only once, I promise!  We've learned that pigs cannot fly - no matter how high their tossed.  And, we've witnessed that though not overly fond of dressing up, piggies will tolerate a doll outfit or two.  Again, this is VERY rare treatment.  Mostly our pigs are happy and safe in their cage, whistling and "popcorning" to their heart extent. 

     Our previous pig- Roxanne- was a pet from years ago.  Sadly, one day I went to check that she'd been fed and found her stiff.  There was no explanation for this death.  Our best guess was that she chocked on food. . . at least it sounded good to the kids.

     Our next pig, Mr. Knightly, passed away this last Sunday.  RIP.   When my husband came down to start the coffee before Mass, he noticed a "wheezing" coming from the pig cage.  He came up to inform me of this and after checking on the pig- I knew that he was not long for this world.  Now, personally, I am not a pet person, not really.  But, I hate to have my children experience the death/loss of a pet- especially The Jane Austen Wanna Be and The Cute one who gets everything free at garage sales- they are both tender-hearted.  And, beings that these were the two who took care of the pigs the most, their loss would be harder.  I sent for The Cute one who gets everything free at garage sales to come and be with her pig, explaining that he was going to pass away soon, but she was very blessed to be able to spend his last moments holding him and talking to him.  Though this wasn't a great consolation, I though it would be better to offer this.  I even told her we would go to a later Mass so that she could stay with him. 

     Tears and sobs followed, along with more tears and sobs.  This, of course brought the pregnant, hormone enraged mother to virtual breakdown.  Which brought in The Diva, who promptly joined in, making a three part harmony of cries. 

     Okay, I wasn't really going to miss his THAT much.  I mean, he was just one of the pigs- which meant he was one of the sources to my constant "Have you fed the pigs yet?"  And after the newness wore off- the ritual gather of the pigs from the cage to love on- my involvement was more of a drill sergeant than a loving pet owner.  But, I am a mess when it comes to my kids crying.  Never mind that The Jane Austen Wanna Be had decided that she was having NOTHING to do with the tear fest- she'd remember Mr. Knightly the way he was. 

So viva la Mr. Darcy.  (by the way, these pigs were named after 2 of Jane Austen's famous characters -Mr. Knightley from Emma and Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice.  The favorite amongst the girls- both in character and pig- was Mr. Knightly. We probably bragged a bit to much on Mr. Knightley's superior qualities- the character, not the pig- thus bringing the untimely demise of the pig, not the character.)

     Moving past the sorrow- on to the stubble.
     The Baby Boy had his 3rd birthday this last week.  He is growing so fast!  He, out of all my kids, has had a fascination with all things health and beauty-  make-up, lotion, perfume, (hmmm. mostly girl things) and watching daddy shave.  The perfect gift for him thus was the play shaving razor/cream.  I thought this was going to go over well! 

     Who would have thought that the squirting sound of shaving gel coming out of an aerosol can could be so scary?! Needless to say- the shaving gift scored a zero with the Baby Boy. However, the Boy loves it, now along with my various morning greetings from the Boy, "I need a shave."
      An idea just struck The Bookworm and me- her gift was a bearded hat that she made (similar to picture below.) Perhaps if we sneak it onto him during the night, he'll echo The Boy's cries of "I need a shave!" in the morning. Unfortunately a bearded hat is as scary as squirting noises of shaving cream coming out of an aerosol can. It's yet to grace his head.

     I love toys that teach life lessons- you the toy vacuum, toy broom, toy lawn mower, etc. Anything that makes play out of life chores is great!
     Did I mention The Baby Boy got a toy chain saw?  Maybe he'll figure out a way to get rid of the pesky cottonwood tree that causes so much allergy problems for us. One can always hope. Unfortunately the talk of chopping down has involved more of things like my chairs, my sofa, my doors. Of course I guess I have to give him leeway on his sawing outside; it is only 20 some degrees lately and Mom is a meanie when it comes to playing in the cold. 

Surviving myself through tears and laughter,

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Princesses vs. Transformers

OK, so I'm going to let you into a bit of my horribleness- not all of it, I have to have a shred of dignity to my name.  By the way, I totally blame my pregnancy hormones for the whole incident, but what happened happened.
Last weekend I was up at the crack of dawn with The Boy and The Baby Boy, who are both early risers.  That is not good for me- I am NOT a morning person, at all.  Yet nearly every morning between 5:15 and and 6:30 they are greeting me with "Mom, can you change my diaper?" . . . yes.  "Can we go watch t.v.?" . . . no. 

I'd like to say I'd be a more excited about seeing them  each day if it was "Good morning Mom, I love you."  But, truth be told, I'd probably still be a grumpy morning person. 

I must interject here that I've been reading a book with The Diva in her religion class over that last month or so.  It is called The King of the Golden City -

It is an allegory about living a Catholic life.  Very good read- lots of valuable lessons.  It's not my first read; I've read it with the previous older 3 sisters.  It's funny how you can read something years apart and it can strike you differently each time.  God does His best work that way though, doesn't He?

This read through talked to me through the main character who was battling "Self"- our conscious- who wants to sleep in just a little bit later one morning.  See where I'm going?  She has to overcome her selfish desires and learn self control. It didn't go to well for her at first, and I'm afraid I had a comparable experience.

The family attended a Saturday Mass this weekend, so the plan was to sleep in on Sunday morning.  I'm sorry, that plan was for my husband and all the daughters of the house- not for me.  (Did I mention that I'm NOT a morning person?  That I treasure sleep- especially in the morning?  Oh yeah, I guess I did.) 

This time was going to be different though.  When the boys were to greet me in the morning, I was going to get up and spend some fun "Mom and sons" time with them.  Maybe we'd play with their trio blocks, maybe we'd play sword fighting.  Whatever it was, we'd have some fun before the rest of the kids got up.
5:45 AM and I squashed "self" as I got out of bed an followed the boys to their room.  We made their bed and I plopped down amidst a sea of  Hot Wheel cars.  Suddenly The Baby Boy handed me one of the toy Transformer cars that belonged to The Boy.  It was a bit banged up.  In fact, the two back fenders were popped off.  Not a problem.  I've battled this Transformer before (which if you have not transformed a Transformer, it's not too different than a Rubik's cube- only slightly easier).  So I made myself comfortable on the floor and set to work.

One hour and twenty minutes later, I was still battling "Barricade", and he was winning.  I sill hadn't managed to attach the fenders, and the boys had so moved on to something other than spending time with Mom.  Sadly, I'm not even sure what they were totally up to- I was too engrossed into the challenge that faced me.  I was in it for the principal of it.  No toy was going to get the best of me!  I didn't get a college degree or earn a few degrees in mothering 101 for nothing!! 

I was in so deep that I hadn't noticed The Diva came into the room.  The boys had moved onto playing with her.  They were having fun.  But I was NOT going to let this toy beat me!  They all 3 asked me if they could go eat breakfast.  I told them to go ahead, I'd be down later- after I finished.  

I know, you can so see "Self" was running this show.  I had failed; she was winning.  Not only was I not getting the toy fixed, but I was now in tears- completely aware of how I'd messed up, yet unwilling to give up.  Have you ever been there?  It's not a fun place.  I'd lost control.  I'd lost control over a silly little toy.

Slowly I made my way downstairs.  The 3 were sitting at the table eating and enjoying the Sunday morning.  I slunk past them, headed to the computer, looked up how to fix it, popped the the pieces in place - finished.  Somehow it didn't matter though. 

You know the great thing about life?  Forgiveness.  It is great to receive it.  It felt beautiful to hear my boys to say "It's okay Mom.  And hey, you fixed it!" 

It feels even better to receive it from the Lord.  I think the some of most beautiful words in the world are 
"I absolve you from your sins, In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."

If you haven't heard them for awhile, I recommend meeting our Lord in a special place with one of his chosen men.  It's good for the soul!

Take two:

Monday morning.  7:00 AM.  I was sitting at the table with my boys.  We were laughing and having fun as they hovered over their sister's look and find princess book.  Not very manly, I know.  But, they weren't into for the dresses or crowns.  They saw a challenge and they weren't going to back down from it for anything!

Thant's my boys!

Surviving myself as I pick up the pieces and try to control Self,

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Well, it has now been almost 2 weeks since we've replaced our carpet in 4 bedrooms, hallway, and stairs and I can say that I'm lovin' it!  And, since I'm am writing this, it means that we did survive the move of 3 twin beds, two sets of bunk beds, one queen bed, 5 dressers, 3 bookcases and I'm guessing somewhere close to 150 shoes and surely 2 tons of clothes (and that was just from the oldest 3 daughters' closets!) 

The great thing about this new carpet is that it is dirt color- meaning that I am enjoying that it hides things well.  Not that I don't try to keep a clean house, mind you - it's just nice to have a little camouflage to help me out!  Plus, we are each thrilled by the "puffiness" of new carpet and pad- so comfortable that I had many of the kids opt for sleeping on the floor instead of their beds. 

So, the labor of moving was worth it- and I have to say, even at 5 months pregnant, I was able to pull my weight and share of the help.  Who knew a very pregnant woman could lift a top bunk bed in place on the bottom one.  Well, okay, it didn't have the mattress in it, but still- not bad, huh?  Honestly though, if it weren't for the older 3 daughters and my father, my husband would have had his hands too full.  He put out plenty of hard work himself though- and I was quite impressed and totally relieved to have the excuse of being pregnant! 

I do have to share though that I am the type of person that hates disorder- enough so that it unnerves me to be surrounded by chaos.  You probably have heard of the show Hoarders?  I couldn't help but be reminded of this show as I sat in my bedroom surrounded by my children's stuff, with only a path to the bathroom and out of the room, just wide enough to fit my pregnant belly through- barely.  AGHHH!  It was mentally painful. 

Even better news about the carpet- it gave us the excuse to go though 3 years of build-up in the house.  Not much removal for my husband and myself, not much for the boys-the girls though?  Well, we are still delivering donation bags to the local second hand store.  It feels very refreshing to clean out and give to others. 

There was one item that I did take out of my own room, and although I didn't give it away, I did give it a new life.  I had a pillow that I had bought- the type that is like an armchair, also known as "boyfriend pillow' or backrest pillow-
It did look a lot like the above pillow- Target $14.99.  I bought it about a year ago to help me to sleep/take my husband's place in bed.  Okay, that sounds weird, but what I mean is that I usually sleep leaning up against my husband.  With him on second shift, and me getting older and unable to stay awake until he gets home, I needed something more comfortable than my fluffy pillows.  Hence- the boyfriend pillow, or as I affectionately called mine- Dwayne.  (yes, that would be Dwayne Johnson- aka "The Rock"- which is what this pillow was as hard as- a rock.  Which was a good thing!  While it didn't replace my husband per say- it did offer a good solid substitute- and if my hubby is reading this, he probably would get a kick out of me looking for something "rock hard" as a substitute to his biceps : ) You're the man honey!) 

But, due to a job change, my husband is now on fist shift and gets to bed a lot earlier - in fact he usually hits bed before I, so I get the bonus of a warm, full bed to come to each night! 

I really no longer have a need for Dwayne, and so I recycled him the living room, by the fireside, thinking that he would make leaning against the fireside much more comfortable.  He was to have a good retirement. 

That was the plan. 

I forgot that I have 2 boys.  Two boys ages 5 and 2.  Two boys who have no concept of respect for Dwayne. 

Poor Dwayne, he looks more like Nick Nolte now- worn out by kicks, punches and slams to the ground- and that was in the first day! 

From this:

to this:

I can only pray that the real Dwayne would be able to survive the horrors of two boys, age 2 and 5!  

I only know that there are to many days that I feel like Nick Nolte looks!  Yes, I can lift a top (okay, empty) bunk bed while 5 months pregnant, but there are days when surviving is the highlight of the day! 

Hoping to survive like (the real) Dwayne,

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year, Old Me

Happy New Year!  I hope you all brought in the New Year safely last night.  I, along with the rest of my family shared a few "finger foods"  (which, being pregnant, left me tasting them the rest of the evening), dodged swords left and right as we watched the first Narnia movie (reliving the final battle right in my living room),  and the made a trip to the gym- knowing that it would be practically empty is an incentive for a pregnant woman- especially when she wants to try out the new stepper machine and doesn't desire an audience for it, and then we finished the evening with a chorus of snores as we slept in the New Year.  I would like to say that my excuse for sleeping in the New Year was because I'm pregnant- and that is a very viable excuse, but I also knew that 5:30 AM comes early every Sunday- which is the time I need to get up to get a shower and ready if I'm going to get everyone out of the house for 8:00 AM Mass. 

I feel just a wee bit cheated having Christmas and New Years on a Sunday this year.  I know, I should relish celebrating the birth of our Savior on the Lord's Day and having the Feast of Our Lady on a Sunday too, but it seems like the vacation days were a bit "gypped" due to the weekend holidays. 

Now, if I were an organized homeschooling Mom, we'd hit Monday Jan 2nd off and running.  And if I weren't 5 months pregnant, I'd have the assignments laid out, along with the kids' daily lists ready to go.  Well,  let's just say that my kids are getting a little extended vacation due to the above mentioned and probably due to many other reasons- which I'm sure will not bring any objections from them! 

I am so thankful for the new job change that my husband has made.  He has adjusted to the 1st shift hours well.  I am also thankful that the change brought about an extra paycheck- which we were all to eager to spend on carpet for the bedroom and stairs.  It was so nice picking out the carpet, exploring the possibilities, imagining the floors not stained from 24/7 foot traffic (at least for a month), that I forgot how much work it was going to be to move furniture from 4 bedroom in just 3 days.   What was I thinking?!?  I told my husband that I would love to be the "he-woman" that I usually am and tear down bunk beds (2 sets of them), moved dressers, and clear out closets- but let's face it- I'm old and I'm pregnant.  Not to mention I'm always tired! And I'm pregnant and old.   (There is no excuse like being pregnant to get out of some things!!)  We'll see how this adventure goes- starts this week- you know, the week we are supposed to dive back into school, choir practice and symphony practice.  Nothing like dumping it all at once! 

But, back to my wonderful excuse- pregnancy.  I keep saying that I'm going to get a picture of the sonogram up.  I actually have 2 of them.  I may have to differ to The Jane Austen Want to Be for the technical side of that. I see she has already placed the "baby ticker" on the blog- which I swear makes the days seem longer than shorter-  14 MORE weeks!?!. 

You'll have to let me know if you can make head or tails of them (better not be any tails!).  I'm sure a lot of my readers have had enough experience with sonogram pictures that deciphering them is easier than grading 9th grade algebra!

God's blessings to you all on this New Year.  May you find multiple reasons to celebrate and praise the Lord for all He has done!

I'll have to update on the carpet install/likely husband with back thrown out saga.  

Overwhelmed but surviving myself,