Sunday, April 2, 2017

What I struggle with most as a parent

This July I will have been a parent for 19 years.  


I am 37 years old.  Over half my life I have been a mother and a wife.  I have been adjusting to this whole idea of raising small humans into large humans for 19 years.  Although it's been hard, I'm thinking I'm starting to learn.  

I have found that I have one part of life as a mother that is so much harder than any other parts.  

It's not taking care of babies, or lack of sleep for years on end.  
It's not being limited to what I can do because of a nursing baby. 
It's not worrying over sick kids. 
It's not homeschooling my hoard of minions. 
It's not even the endless chores or cleaning and laundry.  

No.  My biggest struggle?  It's allowing my kids to help me in the kitchen.  I have always struggled to let them cook with me.  

I can do it faster.  
They get underfoot. 
They don't do it exactly how I want. 
I have to stop what I'm doing and instruct them. 
It takes me three times longer. 

So tonight, as I'm making pork stew, my 7 year old daughter asked to help.  I immediately said no, thanks for asking, and to go on out.  

I stopped and thought.  It's Sunday dinner.  I'm in no hurry.  I ask her to peel the carrots.  When she's done I show her how to cut the carrots.  
**Yes, I let her use a knife.  They do cook, but not while I'm cooking.**
One that's done, she washes and cuts the celery. 

She had a ton of fun, and it actually saved me time.  I was flouting and browning the pork in batches as she did the veggies.  

My son got the stick down for me, opened the jars, and added them to the pot.  

My other daughter peeled potatoes for me.  

My 2, 4, 5, 7, and 8 year old kids all snapped green beans. 

It was a family event, and it all turned out perfect.  

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The true meaning of happiness

It's amazing what you can accomplish when you think positive.  After Mila was born I kind of fell into a depressed state.  Things were dark in my mind.  I cried a lot.  I didn't want to do anything but snuggle my baby girl.  She was my all at that point.  I still got up and did my mom stuff.  I cooked.  I cleaned.  I don't want to though.  

Then, I decided to start focusing on positive energy.  I needed to put the negative away.  It was hurting me.  Today, I put it away.  It took a while.  Sometimes I dwell in it.  It's familiar.  However, it's not a friend.  

I love my family so much.  They are amazing.  My kids are awesome people and make me smile so many times daily.  My hubby tells me how great and beautiful I am.  I love them.  They show me the true meaning of happiness. 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Baby 10 is 10 weeks old today

Baby girl.  Baby Peanut.  Baby No Name.  Baby Sasha. Potato Girl. 

She's known by many names.  Today, my little Peanut, baby 10, is 10 weeks old.  

10 weeks?  Is that right??  I actually had to think about that for a few seconds.  Didn't she just join our family?  Isn't she still super tiny?  

10 weeks

She is absolutely the sweetest baby ever.  She hardly ever fusses.  Well, except for yesterday.  Poor baby was stuck with a tummy ache because mean mom ate a ton of ham an beans the night before.  I had to manage holding her and awkwardly wrap her to me.  It was an ugly wrap job, but she fell asleep. My sweet baby girl. 

She's full of smiles.  She laughs and talks to us all the time.  She's so strong and amazing.  The kids absolutely love her. 

She's passed about constantly.  She's loved so much.  I can't imagine her not in our lives.  What an amazing little family I have.  

Coffee, a Book, and Diaper Cream

That's what I'm looking at right now.  

I'm a mother.  It's true that I get a moment to ponder much, as I stay at home and homeschool 9 of my 10 kids.  I'm busy from the moment I get woken up at sunrise, to the time they go to bed around 9 or 10pm.  During my quiet time between them going to bed and me going to bed, I'm still nursing a baby and doing random stuff about the house.  

Today, as I sit on the couch nursing baby, I'm listening to the kids play upstairs.  There's no bickering.  There's noise and stomping.  There's yelling and excitement.  However, all seems quiet.  

I look across from me and see the coffee table.  This is my life.  A cup of coffee.  A book.  A bottle of diaper cream.  

My coffee is my daily "I need energy to keep going" drink.  I enjoy drinking it.  It's warm (or cold depending on how long it takes to drink it).  Usually I'm stuck finishing up a very cold cup, as I rarely drink it all while warm still.  

My book is what I've been reading to the kids.  One of the boys said the other day that "reading is boring".  GASP!!!  Noooo, you totally did not say that to me!  Reading is imagination run amok!  Reading is watching the movie in your head, only also knowing so much more about thoughts, feelings, and what's going on!  So I have them all sit down and Mon-Fri they listen to me read to them for an hour (or until my voice gives out) of the Narnia books. They love it, and I'm really looking forward to getting to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe that they are familiar with.  I hope this is bringing an interest in reading for the younger ones. 

The diaper cream.  My babies.  There is always a piece of my babies lying around somewhere near me.  A diaper, cream, blanket, spare change of clothes, burp rag... Something close at hand.  It is a piece of me, and this reminds of my life as a mom.  

The picture is unedited.  I usually crop it to crop out any mess or craziness.  I left it.  There's ash on the floor that wasn't swept up.  The rug is askew.  The floor needs swept and vacuumed.  The tool bag is out, waiting to follow hubby to work tomorrow.  The wood stove is cold and won't be lit until dusk.  The ash pot is partially filled and next to the stove. It's all there.  It's my life.  Unedited and full of happiness.  

Thursday, December 29, 2016

I'll be an old lady come Tuesday


I always joke with my girls on birthdays that the birthday girl is an "old lady" now. 

So, Tuesday I'll be an old lady! Yay

I had a fun pre-birthday week. My oldest came out for a few days to see us. She hadn't seen us all for a year (and a day). We had a lot of fun talking with her, cooking, going out to eat, shopping, playing games, and loading each other up with gifts. 

I got chocolate coffee she got while in Peru. 

I gave her canned food I made and a 5 foot teddy bear. Lol! 

I also got a family picture of all 10 of my kids, myself, and hubby. Best gift ever. I even got one with everyone looking forward and only baby was crying.

She was so excited to hold her baby sister. It was so fun. 

She's going back in the morning, so I'm trying not to be sad. However, it was a great Christmas/Birthday gift to see her. :)

Now, my 5 year old son... He asked what I wanted for my birthday. I said "Peace and quiet" and laughed. He said "No. I mean something I can put in a box". Lol! Nope. No quiet time. :p
He's joined the dark side tonight, so I guess that explains no quiet plans.  

They are so fun. <3
I feel so blessed tonight. 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Have a day...

I'd like to talk a little bit about something that most know about, most have heard about, but many don't understand. 

It's not something that you can suck it up and get over.  It's not something that is enjoyable. It's not something you do for attention.  It's debilitating sadness.  It's skipping food and drinking for a beer for breakfast, and having a bottle of wine for lunch and dinner.  

Depression is not caring if others "need you".  That doesn't help. That compounds the stress knowing that your existence is only worth the fact that others are in need of your help.  That you aren't worthy of living if others don't need you.  That your life is worth so little.  

Depression is a dark hole where all you want is to sleep.  To numb your sadness.  Not knowing exactly why you are so sad, but also knowing exactly why. 

That you are useless  
Everyone is better off without you
The fact that you are alive is bothersome to others
Nobody cares
Wanting to go to sleep and not wake up
Wishing you could just vanish 
Knowing you're just an incompetent piece of shit
Hating yourself 
Holding it all in
Hurting yourself to feel something, ANYTHING, that's not sadness
Knowing that nobody wants to be bothered with your problems
Knowing others problems are because of you 
That you are not a fixer.  You're a breaker. 

Just wanting to have anything to make it go away

I'm Fine.  The response to "How are you doing?"

The real feeling behind the words...

Nothing makes it better.  



That's a worst part.  There is no end in sight.  

Have hope.  That's all we can hang onto. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Baby 10 is here! Our 6th baby girl!

I haven't talked about this, but we found out at the beginning of the year we were expecting baby 10. From the very start of this pregnancy I had a strange sense of urgency to get everything ready or when my baby came.  I wasn't sure what the reason was, but I assumed it meant that baby might be earlier than the 40 week date.  As my date got closer I found myself getting anxious.  When October 30, at 40 weeks passed, I was getting irritable.  I was really wanting to get labor started, and it was hard to just wait.  However, I also knew that everything was fine and I didn't want to rush and cause any problems. 

I was getting more exhausted with a mixture of very bad acid reflux and not sleeping from that and contractions going from midnight to 4am nightly.   Around 40+4 the contractions switched to all day and nothing at night.  This was a wonderful break, and it gave me a chance to catch up on sleep.  On Saturday, November 5, I decided I needed a super rich meal.  The kids had eaten dinner and gone to bed.  Due to a crazy day, Brent and I hadn't eaten yet.  I made us some rich, homemade Mac and Cheese at 11pm.  We stuffed ourselves and went to bed.  At about 12:45am my contractions started and were 2 minutes apart.  I knew they would fizzle out around 4am, but laughed internally that at 2 minutes apart this could be fast.  I posted on a couple facebook groups so I could have a timeline, keep my friends updated, and they would know incase something came up that I needed answers to.  I got up at 2am to go to the bathroom.  Then at 3am Brent jumped out of bed choking.  He had a sudden acid reflux attack and inhaled it.  I stayed awake and listened to make sure he was ok and made it back to bed from the bathroom safely.   Then woke again at 4am and my contractions were still going, and still the real feeling ones in my cervix.  However, they were 5-15 minutes apart.  

Around 8:20am my plug started to come out.  That's when I knew it was getting real.  I only lose my plug during labor.  I continued to labor throughout the day.  I realized that if I laid on my side that my contractions were back to back and strong enough to bring me to tears.  When I sat up, they were more spaced out 5 to as far as 30 minutes apart, and easy to breathe through.  I decided to stay sitting.  I would rather prolong the labor and be more gentle on myself, than try to go faster and harder in hopes for a faster birth.

Around 3pm Brent made a comment that my noises were sounding more orgasmic, which is know to be when I'm getting closer.  I moved back into my birthing room and spent time on my birthing ball.  At 3:30 I felt a small gush of fluid and walked to the bathroom.  When I got to the toilet I saw there was blood in my pajama pants I was wearing.  I had heard I others bleeding when their cervix changed quickly, and a few friends of mine confirmed they did the same.  However, I still felt concern and got worried thinking about different reasons for bleeding, such as the placenta.  I knew it was up high, but thought of detachment.  I kept trying to get baby to move, but with back to back contractions it was hard.  Baby finally have me a kick, and I felt a little better.

At 3:45 I knew I needed to be in the water.  Contractions were coming fast and I wanted relief.  I got in the shower and sprayed warm water on my stomach.  About 15 seconds later my water broke.  I immediately noticed it was very stained.  A second thing that I had never personally encountered.  It wasn't necessarily concerning, but it was something else I had to monitor.  I mentioned it to Brent when he came in right after that.  He asked worriedly if that was bad.  I said it meant baby was stressed at some point (possibly because I fell down a couple weeks earlier), but only bad if baby inhaled it.

Brent stayed in there with me the rest of the time.  He helped with counter pressure and refreshing and warming the water in my tub.  I kept changing position from hands and knees, sitting, and squatting so I could keep the contractions coming since they kept stalling out.  I kept pushing on my stomach to get baby to respond, and did get a kick or roll to the side occasionally.  I will admit that I was rather stressed.  I would kind of test push with the contractions, but never felt progress with baby.

I moved to my knees and laid over the bench seat on the back of the tub.  As a contraction started, I felt a pop and my water broke again.  I let out a primal roar, and pushed as baby's head made it halfway down.  Another contraction and baby was crowning.  I stopped.  At the next contraction I began to push, but stopped and cried out "I CAN'T DO IT".  That was my cue.  Brent said that's when I'm at the end when I tell that. The next contraction I began pushing.  It hurt so bad.  Suddenly I knew baby had to get out right now.  I screamed baby out with a sense of urgency, and felt what I believe was me tearing slightly.  Baby's head was out.  Brent said he could see baby's little face.  The next contraction came and I pushed, but baby stopped halfway instead of the normal slide right out.  He said to stop.

Brent and Hannah (my daughter) said the cord was noosed around the neck really tight. There was no slack.  I felt a strange and painful movement, and he said baby's arm was out. Once he got one arm out they saw the cord was around baby's arm too, holder the arm up above baby's head.

He finally got the cord off baby's arm which gave slack to get it off the neck. I said I was going to raise up, and I raised up on my feet to put my butt in the air, but still laying on the bench.  I told him to keep baby's head out of the water.  I couldn't push, and kept yelling at him to stop pulling on her.  There was such pressure, and I felt like he was pushing on my perenium while pulling on baby.  He them said he wasn't doing anything.  It was just baby slowly coming out without help.

Once baby was out I asked "Is she ok?".  I heard a couple tiny cries.  Then asked if baby was a girl.  We had another girl!  She was very calm. She cried a couple times, but just looked at us. 

She is absolutely perfect.  She was born on Sunday, November 6 at 5:40pm CST.  She weighed 8lb 10oz and 21 1/4 inches long.   Our 10th baby!  Still no name.  I love the name Lena.  We shall see.