Hey, hey, hey…

I’ve previously written about what nicknames mean to my family. (If you missed it, click here to catch up!) Yep, I have my Boo Bear, my Booga Boo, my Baby Cakes, my Sugar Bear and my A’gator! They all have some flavor and meaning to my little Momma heart.

Imagine my concern when the only thing I could get A to call her baby brother was… Baby! I was so concern… well… if I’m honest, I was flat out terrified!

At first it was so sweet… see my kids are talkers. Which is good! Except, maybe, at 6:30am – I’m no morning person! Do know what happens in a house with 4 older siblings who are talkers? Yep, they do all the talking for her! So when my baby girl walked into the hospital room, climbed up on my bed, and laid eyes on the little cuddly bundle next to me, she threw her arms open, fingers grasping in a “give me give me” fashion, and SAID, “Baby! Baby! Baby!” my heart melted! When, two weeks later, she was still walked into any room he was in and she would say, “Mwha, mwha. Baby. Baby!” because she wanted to kiss him, I loved it! But when 2.5 months later, if I said, “Say Hi N!” she would say, “Hi Baby!” I began to think he would be “Baby” the rest of his life!

Then my hubby, N and I made a trip to Phoenix for a conference. On the flight out there, I looked down at that sweet baby and thought, “You sweet Boo Boo!” And there it was… the nickname I thought wouldn’t come… Oh, yea of little faith!

I tried it out over the weekend. He would smile so sweetly at me… I told the older kids when we arrived home… and they all seemed to think it was pretty cool… Then I looked at my sweet almost 2 yr old, “Hey, A, say hi Boo Boo!” and she smiled, waived whole heartedly right in his face and said, “Hi Boo Boo!”

Yogi would be so proud. I know I was.

Welcome Home
Welcome home Boo Boo!
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No Rest for the Mommy

I’m awake. It’s 2:33 am, and I’m awake. I will be leaving the house in about 2 hours… I should be sleeping, but can’t. Seems to be the status quo right now. I keep telling myself I can sleep in the recovery room…

We will be off to bring baby N into this world in just a couple of hours. This little boy who seems to like to dance on my bladder will be taking his first breath of air in just a few hours. Have you ever thought about that? Pretty amazing.

Sweet S asked my friend tonight if N was already at the hospital, and Mommy and Daddy just needed to go pick him up… how nice would it be if it were that easy??? Alas, I have a bigger job ahead then just stopping in at the hospital to pick him up. Since there are two under her already, you would think she would know this. She IS the child who just kissed my belly before dinner tonight. The same one who hugs my belly because she wants to hug N.

G, however, keeps telling me that my bellybutton is a microphone so he can talk to N. Silly boy!

Yep, the kids are excited. Mommy and Daddy too… Happy Birthday and Welcome, Baby N! Now, if I could just get comfortable enough to sleep…

Hey Honey, guess what…

These and, I’m sure, other words have been used to tell my loving hubby about the expected bundle I currently carry. I’m mean, when you’ve done this 11 times, what else can you say. (Go ahead, rub your eyes, clean out your ears, whatever you need to do, YES, I said 11…)

No, not all 11 have gone all 40 weeks. No, I don’t have aspirations to be a rival to Michelle Duggar. But I still get looks from the nurses when we start doing ultra sounds, or when it comes time for the birth… and then I have to go into, we have 5 kids, 2 boys 3 girls and we have had 5 miscarriages, all around 6-7 weeks… and no, they don’t really seem to be less shocked then you, they just have better poker faces.

I find it funny that each pregnancy is as different as each child is. From cravings and feeling ill to the movement of each child, each has their own personality from the very beginning. Sometimes the differences comes down to the anatomy: for each boy, I have had major cravings for tomatoes,, had lots of morning sickness and dealt with Gestational Diabetes. These issues makes the girl’s pregnancies a breeze for me – the girls have given me WAY more drama after they were born than before.

How did we come to this point? Well… sometimes I ask myself the same question. And sometimes I’m not really sure of the answer. I wanted 4 kids. Two girls and two boys. And along that road, we lost 5. With three, and dealing with the last 3 miscarriages, T told me he could be done. Three. I knew that I knew that I knew, I was not done. It was big stress for us for a while. Then my sweet K came alone and I was GOOD! T, however, held that sweet little bundle, looked at me and said, “I think we need another.” Um, what??? Who are you and what did you do with my husband??? And in the middle of THAT conversation (which lasted two years) I became pregnant with A.

Then watching those 4 sweet kids welcome A (and hearing then 2 yr old K tell 9 yr old J, “Don’t touch MY baby!”) T began to question… at first to himself, then with friends and then with me, “Who are we to tell God no?” Come again? Six??? I signed up for 4, remember??? Again, in the middle of THAT discussion, T turned 40 while on a business trip. I made the trip to the city he was in to surprise him for his big day. And we came home with a surprise for us…

So we will welcome number 6, boy #3, into the family in July. And as of right now, I don’t know where the road leads. Right now, I’m just trying to get through the last month. Stay tuned for further updates!

Time Flies

How did I go from November 2010 to June 2011??? I can tell you, it went fast!

When I wrote my last post, I was in the middle of planning a surprise for my hubby’s 40th… he was at a conference in CA, and I enlisted family and friends to cover me and take care of our kids, and I flew to CA to be able to spend his birthday with him. Well, long story short, God had ANOTHER surprise in mind…

When we finally arrived home (a good 12 hours late after sleeping in the Denver airport), our then 5 yr old daughter told us she had a dream that night, a dream that I was pregnant. I laughed. So did God. About 4 weeks later, I found out, in fact, she was right. All I could think was, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?” 40 and pregnant????

And to top it off, we knew the baby would be our third son very early. For whatever reason, boys are SO much harder on me then girls are. So, yep, first trimester was rough. It’s tough to keep things quiet when you feel yucky and you need to pretend otherwise. Adjustments keep us hopping.

We now are trying to figure out the best way to work an 18 month old into a big bed in the same room with a 6 yr old and 3.5 yr old (who doesn’t like to go to sleep!) and change the nursery from pretty in pink to bouncy blue. Our older boys are so excited to have another boy coming. Our girls are adjusting to the thought, (though my 3 yr old told a friend of mine she didn’t “want to be a big brother!” she is now getting excited to hold her little brother.

So, July 29, we will welcome another little one… and it’s coming fast!

Yes or No?

Kids ask a lot of questions. Sometimes without words. Sometimes answering those questions comes down to two words. Yes or No. I think, sometimes, parenting can come down to two types… Yes parents or No parents.

The world is new to kids. They are learning so much every day. One of the things they are learning is will you help them learn or will you not. What do I mean? I mean, sometimes, what they want to do or try gets answered by what we 1) want to do with them, 2) are willing to clean up or 3) are willing to go slow on.

I think our goal as parents (and I say OUR because I need to work on this myself) is to say yes WAY more often then we say no.

I have a friend, when her seven year old son wanted to shave like Dad, found a way for him to do it so he wouldn’t cut himself. She was a yes mom! Another, saw a snow cone maker in the store. She brought it home and let her kids make snow cones. In the house. Her son called it the best day ever.

Yesterday, we were yes parents… we even got the ball rolling! My DH thought we needed an Art Day… so I got up, drove to buy some finger paints, paper and breakfast. He and the kids took some mats from the play room to the back yard. One child drew, and three painted.

Then, suddenly, it went from finger painting to body painting. And we let it. And we laughed with them. A lot. All morning.

Yes is such a positive word. I know there are times that call for a no. I just want those to be the only time I use it. I don’t want to us no because I’m “too tired” to mess with it. I want my kids to have lots of fun times to remember. And maybe a cold shower to clean up!

A Mother’s Broken Heart

I’m sitting here this morning listening to the sounds of a sleeping house and a playing baby… More than slightly amazed that four children and a husband are still sleeping. And I’m thinking about a conversation I had last night… a friend was telling me of someone she knows who just had a miscarriage. And my heart breaks.

I know her pain. Well. I know her loss. Deep. I know her heart break. Personally. Mine heart has shattered. I know the joy of seeing that little stick announce a new life joining the world. I know the extreme disappointment and letdown when your own body says otherwise. I know the feelings of “I may never have a(nother) child. See, I’ve had five miscarriages. Yes, F-I-V-E!

I understand the reality is WE’ve had five, my husband and I. However, I also understand that a child, six or seven weeks in your womb is SO much more real to the woman than the man. The pain he feels is disappointment, a bit deeper than when his team lost the super bowl. The pain she feels is grief. Where there was life, there is no more. There has been a death in the family. And she can’t even call the child’s name. (Though I know of a couple cases of women who have named the children they’ve lost, as a form of closure.)

When I hear of these kinds of things, I wonder how great is the number of women are out there who do not talk about their loss. I’ve learned one in four pregnancies end in a miscarriage. That’s a quarter of all pregnancies! I find that to be amazing. I can only account for this in the deeply personal level of the loss. Since the woman is the only one to carry the child, she is the only one to physically connect with the child.

As my case shows, it is possible to have another child after a miscarriage, or two… (Mine came in groups – two between my two boys, and three between my oldest two girls.) However, even having another child does not remove the pain of the loss, much like a new pet doesn’t make you miss the old one less. This is a case of time being the best healer. If you are in the middle of the pain, don’t rush it.

The one thing a miscarriage does, is highlights the gift of life… it is a gift, not a guarantee. If you have children and have not walked this road, hug your kids a little tighter. Try to see them as the gift to you they really are.

Enough Already!

I’m done. Had it. Over it. Want off the ride. You name it, I’m there. Let me catch you up…

Some of you may remember, last August, when we moved into our lovely home, we found a few brown recluses. I say a few, because I think we had 4 or 5 in that first week… I was NOT happy about it… I’ve lived in the Nashville area 17 years, and never actually seen any outside of the zoo. I called the people who are supposed to be good at killing things like that and was told we didn’t have a problem… ummm really? There are bugs in my house who can do DAMAGE to my kids and I don’t have a problem???

I was told that with 5 kids said bugs would not want to be around, and within six months they would move out because there’s too much noise… there’s a reason they are called RECLUSE…

Well, after that first week, we didn’t see any for a while… then my boys would find one or two in their room, or we found on in the baby’s room… I honestly don’t remember them all…

Then there was a weekend I don’t think I’ll ever forget… about two weeks ago… I sent my boys up to bring down their dirty clothes, and they came down telling me they found another spider. They trapped it so Daddy, who was not home right then, could see it. He came home, look at it, then rid our house of the vermin, and we all jumped into the van and drove a good 20 minute drive, ate lunch and were sitting around a couple of tables, kids playing, laughter, and chatter. I don’t even remember what we were talking about. What I remember was feeling like there was a hair… shall we say, in my shirt? I, rather nonchalantly, reached from the top of my shirt down to grab said hair, and pulled out… A SPIDER!!! I, with baby in one hand and spider in the other, jumped up, and threw the offender down. Yes, I had a brown recluse in my BRA!!! My husband came over and rescued me by killing it. Something was said about him being jealous of the spider’s view… MEN!!!

The next day boys found another one in their room. This one was dead. And then I went to change the BABY’S sheets… and yes, as I lifted the mattress to put the sheet on, found yet another UNDER THE BABY’S mattress… UGH.

Tonight the boys found yet another in their room. It is only by God’s grace we have not had anyone bitten. There are spider traps all over this house… and they have picked up a couple. For those counting, we’ve now been the in the house for 10 months… and still they are here…

I’m so ready for them to be gone. And yes, I still feel like I have something crawling on me… so if you see me put my hand in my shirt… please forgive me for being rude, but I’m checking for spiders!

What were they thinking?

I’m mad. I’m frustrated. I’m sad. But mostly I’m mad.

I wonder, when the rest of the world see’s a headline like this

Saudi Girl, 12, Wins Divorce From 80-Year-Old Husband

what goes through their minds? Maybe they are happy she’s been freed? Maybe they wonder how that happens in the first place? Maybe they wonder why a 12 year old, who should be playing out back with friends, finds herself married? I wonder those too. I also wonder, where does a 12 year old go to live when she divorces her 80 year old husband? Back to the parents who gave sold her into a marriage she didn’t want? I hope not! To live on her own? Again, I hope not! To live with extended family…

Then I read on and I get to this gem of an item: She was married against her wishes to her father’s elderly cousin last year. SERIOUSLY??? Not only is the man old enough to be her GRANDFATHER, he was actually her Dad’s cousin… as in related to her!!!! What is wrong with these people???? (You know, that’s probably as self answering question…)

As far as the being sold into this “marriage” … yes, she was sold into the marriage… The story says: A dowry of 85,000 riyals (about $23,000) was paid and the marriage consummated. OH, I am all kinds of mad! She was sold to her 2nd cousin for sex at 11 years old. This baby girl has been wronged on so many levels. Her family was supposed to protect her, not abandon her. Her family was supposed to love her, not abuse her. Her family was supposed to cheer her on and tell her she could be and do anything her heart dreamed of, not strap her down in utter sexual slavery. (REALLY, what else would an 80 year old man do with an 11/12 year old little girl? It sure wouldn’t be about the conversations they had, and probably not about how well she cooked, or cleaned the house.)

So now the world is cheering that this will probably change the law and set the minimum age for marriage at 16. I don’t know that that’s much better. I just can’t cheer for that. As a matter of fact, I’m having a hard time just getting past this little girl, and where’s she’s going to sleep tonight.

Makes me that much more grateful to God that we live in the United States, and I know my sweet children are going to sleep in their own beds tonight. And it breaks my heart for the other children of the world. Can we just have one big sleep-over at my house?

Mommy Moments

Yep… had one of those today… Oh, it was fun for a bit. Baby A took an early (and LONG – yay!) nap. I was apparently in need of a make-over… Or so 5 year old S thought… and 2 year old K was quick to join in.

This means, they were using kleenex wraps on my feet, plastic lipstick on my lips, a dirty sock to put blush on my cheeks and forehead… They then moved to using a plastic brush and tweezers in my hair (and in the hands of the two year old none the less!), and then…

I’m not really sure how they were discovered, but S and K found my make-up brushes. This, of course, lead to the discovery of my make-up. I, however, had it under control, and told K that was not to be used. I even told S to put the lipstick back where she found it… AND THEN…

Then the phone rang. And I got just a little distracted… This is what I found when I got off the phone:

For the record, she’s crying because she DOESN’T want her picture taken… go figure!