We Have Labor…

Who knows how long it will take but labor has commenced and is pretty strong although my contractions aren’t getting closer together yet – actually they started last night and were about 8 minutes a part – now they are more like 10 minutes a part but this is very normal for my babies. Either way, the doc wants me in there this afternoon because my cervix hasn’t even started to do anything and I have had painful, keep you up at night contractions for days. He isn’t planning on inducing, just applying a little cervix thinner stuff.

So, there you have it! I will keep the blog updated and will prayfully have some baby news in the next 24 hours or so.

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Four Days Late – So Far…

Okay, so little Sam has decided to arrive late. I did expect this so it is no surprise to me that I am still pregnant and closing on 41 weeks. I am, however, feeling much pain. It seems that these mostly painless contractions are become very painful when I am laying down so sleep hasn’t been coming easily to me. I have been tired, tired, tired these last three days and my legs, butt, and back ache almost constantly. Although I complain I do have to say that I am not feeling as bad as I usually do at this point but the last few days are bringing me close.
Also, since the contractions started to become more painful Sam has all but quit moving. I can persuade him to move by pushing on him but the movement he gives is quite a bit less energetic than usual. I have made note of it but today it has really come to my attention. I do know that this is very normal – after all, he is running out of wiggle room. Still, I will see my doc today and have him assess the situation for me.
I am trying to be patient – after all, what choice do I have. Plus, I know I cannot carry him in here forever. He has got to be born before too long.

Baby Graphic Compliments of Heathers Animations

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38 weeks and counting…

For those who are keeping track this is me at 38 weeks last Thursday. Today I am 38+4. My daughter took this picture while we were waiting for Ryan to finish up with a church meeting.
I am cranky a lot and I have been having waves of nausea but I am not as tired as I feel I should be. This is good. Regular contractions have commenced but it doesn’t mean anything. I always have a good week or two of painful contractions before the baby makes his debut. I am sure this baby will be no different, although I still hold out hope for a delivery “any day now”.

My dear husband surprised me this past weekend by arranging for our 5 kids to go stay with the in-laws. He was going to get a hotel and such but decided that in my 9 month pregnant state I would probably be more comfortable in my own bed. He was so right – he knows me so well. On Friday night we went to dinner (Cajun steak, mmmm) and a movie. On Saturday we went shopping for running shoes for me for after the baby is born. My old ones have given out. Then we ventured on to have some “mandatory fun” (a really boring NROTC picnic) and after that we were off to visit my sister-in-law who did my hair (she is a cosmetologist).
Yesterday we went to church and out to lunch with some friends. When the waitress set my food in front of me I completely lost my appetite. Poor Ryan felt so bad that I couldn’t eat a bite of lunch. We came home and I stomached a couple pieces of turkey. We hung around the very quiet house for a while then went out to get the kids. We had a good dinner with the in-laws and I was able to eat a little prime rib. All in all it was an excellent weekend! Now, if I could just have this baby!!!

The kids have really stepped up on their chores this past week. Although the downstairs finished basement where the children live is still a bit cluttered and always seems to smell funny the upstairs is really coming along. My daughter has been vacuuming everyday and my boys have been keeping the junk picked up. Maybe we are all going through a nesting faze.

Oh, and tips on keeping the laundry done with a large family are coming. We have successfully kept our laundry up for over a month now and I have been very pleased! It has been very easy, too.

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Carrie ~ You’re Gonna Love This One!!!

So, my kids are awesome. They are well disciplined and well behaved. We get comments on them everywhere we go. They stand out because there are 5 of them and they are always on their best behavior. Eye rolling and heavy sighing is a normal sight when we walk into a restaurant but by the time we have finished eating those who have rolled their eyes have already come up and complimented our parenting and our children. I don’t have a problem talking about this, it really isn’t bragging, it is just the truth. They are exceptional kids.

If you know my kids you may want to take a breath and sit down before you continue. Duuu, you are already sitting down, you are at the computer.

Imagine my surprise the other day when my 3 oldest, 12, 9, and 6, decided to START A FIRE in the back yard. Yes, I said START A FIRE!

Okay, now breath.

We have a large concrete slab in our backyard that a previous owner had laid as a basketball court. My 9 year old has learned how to burn ants and such with his magnifying glass and he likes to get pine cones smoking and whatnot. I have no problem with this and we talked about the importance of keeping it all on the concrete and gave him some safety rules about using his magnifying glass for such things.

Well, my dear daughter came in to get some water and I smelled a campfire smell on her. I asked her why she smelled that way and she said “we were burning moss with the magnifying glass”. I said, oh, okay, just be careful. She smiled, mumbled something I couldn’t make out and turned to go back outside. I ignored the mumble as she is your classic mumbler and I am always tired of asking her “what?”; oh, and her mumbling is never rude she just doesn’t always speak clearly.

My husband arrives home just a few minutes later and goes out back to say hi to the kids. There he finds blackened gravel all over the concrete and he said “Where did this come from?” My daughter (12) announces proudly that they were starting fires with the magnifying glass. My husband asks “Does your mother know about this?” She tells him that I did and he shrugged and said “okay”.
I went out to see what mess he was talking about and I was amazed! Not only was there a fire pit in the center of the concrete slab but all the scrap wood from our remodeling project was gone from the trash pile behind our house.
Kait proudly announced that they had burned it all up just by using the magnifying glass.

Apparently this was no small fire and I don’t know how I missed it. We are avid campers and my kids know how to build a safe fire, however, even when we are camping they are not allowed to start or even mess with a campfire without my husband right there with them.

My dear husband was very successfully in scaring the beegeezies out of them by telling them that backyard fires are ILLEGAL (he was very calm until he got to that word). They were appalled
that they had broken the law with such criminal activity. He also discussed safety hazards that neglected to think about and he took the magnifying glass away which completely broke my 9 year old’s heart. We are also very good friends with one of our towns fire chiefs and we talked to him about it as well.

My kids have been successfully cured of fire starting – there is no doubt in my mind.

However, they seem to be in some odd state lately where they are just doing crazy things that are very out of character for them.

All this has happened in the last 7 days…

  • Joe (9) decided to dig deep holes all in our yard. He told me he had dug a hole and I said he had better ask dad before he continued with it. It did not deter him from digging many more with our big shovels.
  • Gabe (6) threw a down and out temper tantrum two days ago over a tricycle that isn’t even his. If you know my kids then you know they NEVER throw temper tantrums after the age of about 18 to 24 months. We are very good at training in this area.
  • Joe ate a live worm the other day. I HATE MOVIES!
  • After my husband and I went on a walk the other evening after dinner we came home to a sopping wet kitchen. Even the top of the refrigerator was wet. Apparently my kids decided to have a water fight in that short 20 minute period using spray bottles and the kitchen sink sprayer.

Needless to say they are not happy campers right now and my house is getting cleaner and cleaner every day. I have told them that since I can no longer trust them out of my site I will be giving them activities every day to keep them occupied so I know what they are doing all the time. We have been incident free for about 36 hours now.

I guess I could sum it all up as spring fever. Still, that is no excuse. Being 8 months pregnant has caused me to lay down on the job, literally. I guess I need to suck it up and get back to being a mom first. After all, my kids need me, obviously.

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De-cluttering ~ My Constant Battle

For the last few months I have been de-cluttering my home. I have gone over every room twice and now I am making a third round hoping to scrounge up more stuff.
Usually, I just give my de-clutter mess away or toss it – I don’t like the mess it makes waiting for a garage sale. So far, I have donated and trashed numerous boxes and massive trash bags full of needless junk. I am always amazed at what else I find.

These past 3 weeks, however, I have been de-cluttering again (the 3rd time in about 4 months) for a garage sale tomorrow. I was really sure that I wouldn’t come up with much myself but I knew my husband had reorganized his garage so we would have plenty of guy stuff to sell.

OH MY GOODNESS, I actually found more than enough clutter in my house to sell! Where on earth did all this stuff come from? I have been through my house twice already this year and I still have so much junk to get rid of! Also, I am noticing that the more junk I get rid of the more I seem to find the next time around. Is my house breeding junk without my knowledge? And, if so, can I have it neutered?

How on earth do you “Born Organized” mamas keep your house neat? Where does your junk go?
My kids claim it isn’t them. I think this is because they don’t consider their precious stuff as junk. I had them take bags down and told them they had to load 15 things up for the garage sale and they filled their bags with clothes. Good clothes.
I had them go back down and I said “no clothes this time”. So, they brought up books – some of them belonging to the library.
I guess I should go down there and do this for them and I know they won’t like it.

Anyway, if any of you have any de-cluttering suggestions; you know, how to get it all gone and keep it gone, please let me know!

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A Blessed Easter Weekend

Our weekend started out with a wonderful Good Friday service at our church. A small bunch from church have made it a tradition for many many years now to carry a cross through town from the grocery store and up a long hill to our church building. It is very moving and those who participate in this yearly walk take turns carrying this cross the 2 to 3 miles this walk takes. We were unable to participate this year but we did get to the church before the group arrived.

The following service was small and short but very meaningful. We were given a chance to morn and rejoice over Jesus’s death and it was quite moving. The kids stayed in the sanctuary during the service and really behaved themselves. For having as many kids as adults in that room it was amazingly quiet and went off without a hitch. My kids came away with quite a few questions that I was more than happy to answer! I love it when they attend a service and understand it enough to ask questions about it.


Saturday found us spending the day out at Papa and Grandma’s farm riding the 4-wheelers and spending time with each other. We sat out in a grassy area and had a picnic and enjoyed our unusually warm weather. It was an awesome Saturday. We did have one accident – Joe.
Joseph misunderstood a direction given by his father. Our smallest 4-wheeler has weed-eater engine in it (this is lady talk for something more complicated) and needs to stay revved just a tad bit or it will stall. My dear son thought this meant to keep it wide open, his 4-wheeler is a bigger 110 so he is just learning the difference in riding the smaller one. He took a turn with it full-on and drove up a fence post, flipping over sideways. He was wearing a helmet, jeans, and closed toe shoes which helped keep him from getting hurt. As it is he walked away with just a few scratches. Lesson learned: Always wear your protective gear no matter what size the machine you are operating! He was shaken up but got right back on and tried again, this time with a better sense of what he was doing.

On Sunday we woke up to a cloudy, chilly morning. I was a little disappointed in the weather but by the time church was over it had warmed up quite a bit and became a perfectly warm day!
We readied ourselves for church and got there an hour and a half early to get prepared for band (my husband plays the drums) and preschool/kindergarten church class (which I teach with the help of my 12 year old daughter).
I was amazed by the amount of information my class at church was able to soak up. It isn’t a normal Sunday without a bunch of 4, 5, & 6 years olds running wild but yesterday was different. They were all attentive and curious and it felt so good to be able to relay a message that these little ones appeared to drink up. I try to view every Sunday with this class a blessing no matter what mischief they get into but yesterday really did remind me why my role there was required.
After that we came home, got a snack, and headed back out to Papa and Grandma’s farm for swimming (they have an indoor pool) and more 4-wheeling. The cousins, aunts and uncles came out which thrilled my kids. We had a great time and it was an absolutely beautiful day ~ and NOBODY got hurt which is very unusual when you have 9 kids under 13 roughing it up in the fields!

Ben enjoyed hanging from the monkey bars.
He thought this was pretty cool!

My brother-in-law, Travis, gave directions and
tips to help the kids figure out the small 4-wheeler.
My nephew, Trae (4), picked it up very fast!

A determined Gabe, 6, was finished riding for a bit
and wanted the bike parked in just the right spot…
Up the hill!

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Big, Round, And Blessed…

So here we are at 35 weeks and 3 days with baby Sam. This has been a very good pregnancy, I actually feel smaller than I look,  instead of like the whale I normally feel akin to at this late stage in baby growing.

Kait took this picture right before we went out to my in-laws farm for a fun Easter afternoon. The kids spent the day riding our 4-wheelers and swimming in Papa and Grandma’s indoor pool with the cousins. It was an awesome time even if I did start to feel sick and achy right about dinner time.
The kids had fun gathering eggs hidden by my sister-in-law making a nice ending to a terrific day.

Peaceful morning, worship at church, afternoon spent with beloved family.

Can’t really ask for better.

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A Toddler, Purple Honey, and 15 Miles

They say first time mothers make a lot of mistakes, like a gal I know giving her toddler a tub of vasaline for her lips, or another lady letting her child color with a sharpie because that was the only writing utensil she had available in her purse, or giving your child a honey bear filled with purple honey to hold – oh, wait, that last one wasn’t a first time mom – it was a fifth time mom with #6 on the way.

Yeah, that’s me.

The other day, on our way back from a potluck 4H meeting, I absent mindedly handed the huckleberry honey bear to my 2 year old son to carry – he wanted to help carry something to the car and it was plastic – what harm could be done? All that was running through my mind was to get my brood in the car and get home.

15 Miles later… 

We reach our house. Door opens, dome light comes on.  I turned around to see the honey bear still in his hands, half gone and my son, his carseat, and clothes covered in purple honey.

Oh the joys of being an absent-minded parent. I didn’t even have enough brain power left to think about getting a picture.

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My house? Neat and pretty?

Being 29 weeks along with our sixth child I am very familiar with the whole nesting urge. This time around however, I have been extra nuts about it and I have been frantically emptying out our house of junk we have collected for many years. My oldest and I have been so successful at this last week by just doing a little at a time, one room at a time.
My living room, dining room, and bedroom were completely de-cluttered leaving me with walls that need painting and the ugliest window blinds ever. I don’t mind blinds but the kind our house came with are horrible, in my opinion. I found some cheap curtains for about $10 a panel and I was very excited, that is until I measured and counted how many panels I needed. I was looking at $40 for the living room, $20 for the dining room, and another $40 for my bedroom – NO WAY was I going to spend that kind of money on curtains.
Little did I know that my next de-cluttering project would bring me my answer, and cheap, too!
I found a flat sheet under my son’s bed. It was perfectly folded and had never been used in the many years since I purchased it. He needed curtains in his room, too, so I thought I would cut the sheet up and use it as it matched his and the baby’s bed set perfectly.
Now, if you look at a flat sheet you will notice that the top edge folds over to create that flat sheet look. I got the brilliant idea to just cut the edges of that fold on each side, sew it up, and slide a cheap curtain rod through it. I sewed the matching valance that came with the bed set to the top of it and made the cutest little curtains! This cost me nothing.
Tip #1 – de-clutter! You never know what treasures you will find hiding behind all that junk!

My husband liked the idea and purchased me a couple of king flat sheets he found on sale (we live about 25 miles outside of town so he has gotten used to picking things up for me on his way home from work). In about an hour, cutting the folded edges on the sides like I did for the first set, I made my living room curtains and my dining room curtains for about $40 with plenty of fabric left over to make curtains for our bedroom! Measuring the fabric I found that I would have been hard pressed to find it at a fabric store for less and it wouldn’t have come with that already folded down edge!
Tip #2 – Flat sheets can make cheap, super easy curtains!

In just a week my home is beginning to look manicured! Well, as manicured as it can get with a family of 7 living in it, lol.

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Married vs. Unmarried Moms???

Upon checking my mail today I found a Babytalk magazine in my mail box. The cover showed the normal baby magazine stuff – Nursery, sleeping, bad days, and an adorable picture of a baby.
What really caught my attention was this line:

married vs. unmarried moms
Who’s got a better deal? Weigh in and win $1000

(This survey was not speaking of widows so I will just omit those mothers from this argument)
Upon reading this headline, my first thought was, “Duh, of course married moms have the better end of the deal” and my second thought was, “why are they talking about moms instead of the kids?”
Truthfully, this kind of selfishness is playing a major role in the demise of today’s youth. I am overwhelmed by parents who say things like “they are kids, they are tough, they will get over it” or “I need to do what is best for ME right now” or “My kids will survive just fine; they will still get what they need – I love them!”

Of course kids don’t “NEED” married parents who are devoted to eachother and their child’s upbringing but what kid wouldn’t benefit from two unselfish devoted parents? What we need and what is best for us are two different things.

  • We need to eat. We need water.
    What is best for us is a variety of healthy foods and clean, un-contaminated water.
  • We need sleep.
    What is best for us is at least 8 hours a night and 10 hours for children.
  • We need shelter.
    What is best for us is a shelter with four strong walls and warmth.
  • We need an upbringing (as children)
    What is best for us is a mom and a dad who are devoted to eachother and the raising of their children.

As I read the survey questions for this contest I noticed how selfish and one-sided they were. They all revolved around the word “I”. None of the questions had to do with the children’s well being. There was the question of whether a child needed two parents but that was about it for the child’s side and there was no room for elaboration.

No, I do not and will not pay for magazines like these, they just arrive in my mailbox – always have. I am so disappointed in today’s parenting. Whatever happened to selflessness? Whatever happened to putting your children first? I am not a perfect mama but some things are just so clear to me.

Unmarried mama’s? Sad for the kids.

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