Friday, September 5, 2014

Enjoying Summer, A Little Longer

The past few days have been really nice and it is supposed to be even nicer this weekend so we are trying to fit a little more summer in before the weather changes and we start school. Shane took a few of the kids camping and brought back some gorgeous pictures of landscapes I will never see in persons, unless he helicopters me up there. Hiking/camping is still not my thing. I am glad the kids like it so Shane has someone to enjoy it with. Everyone had a good time.
I decided to be a mom and took the four younger kids to the park yesterday. It was almost as fun as blowing bubbles with Muffin the other day. One bubble. Two bubbles. A flock of bubbles. And there go the bubbles. Maybe we can smear the wand in the pool of bubbles we spilled and get a few more out. NO? Ok then lets run our dinosaurs through the soap, maybe smear some on our feet so we can slip and track it around everywhere. Or we can skip to the end, take a bath, and stay inside the rest of the evening.
I'd forgotten how boring it is to be home with just little ones. Fiona liked watching the bubbles from her bouncy chair but couldn't really get into the whole soap smearing bit, got bored, and started fussing. I really don't know I survived the first 10 years. It is sooo much easier now. And there are adults  to talk to. But Shane was gone with the bigger kids overnight so there we were. Kateri was left home to help but I'd given her some much-deserved time off to play with her friends out front. Commence bubble blowing.
 Then yesterday I let the little kids convince me to take them to the park. Fiona likes the stroller and with school in session there would be limited numbers to witness my kids stellar observance of playground etiquette. Running UP slides is so much fun and then you can avoid all the lines to wait your turn to go again.
 Malachi actually just wanted to crawl on the benches and bark like a dog.

Because he never gets to do that at home.

And then he wanted to follow the big kids through trails the stroller was not really built to go on but when your toddler is running away down the path and there is a road near by you just make it work and hope the turbulence doesn't cause too much damage to Fi's brain. Or the stroller.

After about an hour of our magical adventure we came home and luckily they have not asked to go again. Although I probably would. With a leash. And the bigger kids.

But it was a good pre-schooltime excursion. (And yes, I do consider the park an excursion and I like the kids to think that too or else they'll think of it as an easy and often to be repeated distraction.) But if they think of it as an annual event, like Christmas and Thanksgiving, they won't add it to the list-of-things-to-ask-mom-for-every-30-minutes.

Monday, September 1, 2014

You've Been Fi'd

Which is code for :

You have vomit on your shirt (pants, shoes, face etc.)

Fiona is still generously sharing her leftovers. We had lots of appointments and did dietary experiments. But no amount of adjustments or alignments had an effect. At least not on her regurgitation. I will say she is a much more settled baby now and I would go so far as to say content. And I will take that. Along with some extra laundry soap for all our clothing. We will just accept the need for multiple shirt changes every  day and the fact that life just kind of stinks right now. We're all in it together. So there is  that.

There is/was also the matter of her hair. She had so much at birth. And then is started falling out. But not all of it. So she had patches of longer hairs that were quite endearing. Much like an old man's unkempt comb-over. You can try and hide it but everyone knows. We finally cut it. Immediately I regretted it.

She looked so kempt.

And fat.

I didn't realized how much the hair distracted from the jowls until the hair was gone. But it is gone. And after accepting that this fuzzy head is still our Fiona we are just as much head-over-heels for her.
Especially when she tries to talk. I'm not such a fan of the bushman tongue clicking in the wee hours, though I can't help but think its darling and super tricky. But I love how pleased she is with the coos and shrieks she makes. Even though it makes conversing

Her other new development is she enrolled herself in GymNurstics. At first she thought she'd try out some other exercise classes. She'd start with some stretching.

'Look, Mom. I can reach your face. Oh, I can reach my foot.'

 Flex. Point. Flex. She'd practice while holding her foot.

'Oh! My foot can reach your face, Mom. Isn't that neat? Do you like my foot in your face, Mom? I like my foot in your face.'

Sometimes she likes to hold my hand while she nurses. Then she brings her foot up and slips is into my hand.

'Can you just hold that for me? Oh that is so much better. Man my legs are getting heavy. I'm not sure how long I can keep up this exercise routine. Oh,  its time for yoga. Look, Mom. What do you think of this pose? I call it Fish on a Hook. Do you like it? I like it. Almost as much as Cat Covered in Oil Getting a Bath and Eating Lunch at the same time.'

Crazy antics included, I am really enjoying this stage. Nursing was kind of not smooth in the beginning, maybe she just has a small stomach and can only keep half of what she puts on her plate. But at least she is more relaxed about it. After have the tongue-tie with Malachi and then having to wean him early and still feeling concerned because he only eats a real meal  about once a week, I really appreciate not worrying about Fi's nutritional intake. The jowls and thighs are lovely, and I mean really lovely, reminders that all is well.

                                                        Next up is a hair cut for Malachi.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

SHHHH! Don't Tell Anyone.

That I am trying to type.

So, yes, its been a long time. So long, in fact, Shane even commented on my non-blogging presence. And asked why?

Seriously? We picked out half of their names before we were even married? How could he forget?

And do you know where any clean socks are? Because I certainly don't. Well, that's not true. Its just that there are dirty ones on top of them so they are kind of hard to find. And I got home from Kateri's orthodontist appointment to find Malachi had thrown (his new really, really, favorite activity) a potted rose and the pot's contents all over the new concrete patio and was in the midst of throwing Cyril's glass of water down like Thor demanding more drink. Which is why we have transitioned to all plastic drinkware. I do not have time to clean up glass. Or eat. Or have coffee. Which I am trying to have now as well, so I'm double daring the lot of them to destroy something or wake the baby. Which will happen. But hopefully I can regurgitate a few thoughts that have been rolling around the old noggin before that happens. But I am also not a fast typer. Partly due to not knowing where the Mavis Beacon game is, partly due to the still gimpy fingers. I am not sure how voice blogging would be. But the idea sounds weird and a lot of my text to Shane are still riddled with hilarious typos so we'll wait until that tech is a little more improved. Or maybe not. Could make for some funny posts. And I like funny.

This morning I had a little inspiration in the bathroom. No, not like that. I don't have time for broken glass or bathroom breaks. Shane asked me to toss him the deodorant. So I threw it at him. Not on purpose. I mean, sort of. Because he asked for it. It bounced off his chest and hit the floor. He gave me a funny look and said,

"Not like that. Like this."  And he demonstrated a gentle 'lofting' of the deodorant back to me. So I showed off what I had learned and 'lofted' it back to him. Repeat.

"Oh, this would be great to blog about." I exclaimed. "Lofting deodorant in the early morning."

"You should", he said. "when you get a moment."

"If I get a moment, I'm going poop" I stated.

We both laughed. One of us knew it was not entirely a joke.

So yes, life has been very busy. So very busy. And messy. And wonderful too.

Fiona is a such a joy. Strangers can't help but be captivated by her balding old man head and come closer to get a better look. Which is when the stench of her oft' puked on undershirts kicks in and the smiles turn to grimaces and we move our separate ways. She's going to barf again in a minute so the energy to change her every time would be much better spent cleaning up rose pots or spilled water. Or maybe making dinner. Some night.

But not tonight. Kateri had her birthday party two days ago and I am still not recovered from serving 8, at least, slices of the cake my mother-in-law so graciously made for her. ( Pictures and all coming later to a blog near you. Maybe right here. Maybe not.) And from keeping Malachi from throwing the cake on the floor and dumping out the face-painting water on the party goers as they sat and waited for Audrey to turn them into butterflies, tigers, and dogs. Audrey was a real champ and painted and painted as they found new skin to decorate all afternoon. Finally, I told them they had enough tattoos, necklaces, and bracelets, told Audrey she was relieved from duty and they could paint each other. Which they did. For another hour or so.

Then Malachi's bedtime, at 7:30, turned into a 3 hour nap, and 1am bedtime is a lot harder to recover from the older you get. And then Fi, wakes herself up at 6am, and will not let herself go back to sleep. She works hard to keep herself up and at the slightest droop of an eyelid calls all her limbs to action and kicks and squirms like an inertia crocodile trying to roll over until she gets a second wind or is sure that mom is fully awake and deciding to make coffee. Whichever comes first. The coffee came first this morning. But not before the deodorant tossing. I like a little exercise in the mornings. NOT. (Right up there with glass shards)

But coffee, sans offspring, is worth playing for. So I got up after nursing Fiona. And now I'm really tired. Also, my allergies ambushed me while I was still lying in bed. Nasty old things. And I had not had the foresight to anticipate such a plan and didn't have any Kleenex or pills near me. For some reason the tomato plants have been the most serious offenders, and as I don't have any tomatoes or plants in my bed, I thought I would be safe until I got downstairs. Not so. Its been really strange how swiftly they started up again. It has been so long since they have bugged me, mostly due to the fact that they lesson with pregnancy and I've been pregnant for about two years now so the allergy routine was not directly on my radar. Until I staked the tomato plant and was sneezing/crying for the rest of the day.

Which makes me wonder what else might be feeling like returning to the party. Which brings me to another distraction of mine of late. Which I might return to discuss more later. Or not. You never know.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Good Morning Vietnam, or My Life With Small Kids

Life has been really, really busy. Or rather Malachi has been really, really busy. I'm loving that the new baby arrival also heralded the serious uptick in his creative abilities to wreck havoc in every area of the house.

My first morning alone with him, Shane had taken  3 of the bigger kids to lessons and so I found myself alone early in the morning with old and new baby. At first I figured we'd just barricade ourselves in my room and wait until Shane got home for dinner. Then I knew we needed a real plan so while I tried and failed to get dressed and figure out how to navigate the stairs without Malachi escaping I scanned about the room looking for anything edible for Muffin. Not that I am in the habit of leaving meals around, but you never know. At least I could just nurse Fiona.  I was pleased to find an unopened bottle of coconut water. Left over from my labor refreshments bag. I rinsed out his nighttime bottle in the sink, filled it up, and we climbed back in bed to nurse new baby and strategize.

Then I dug a little deeper and found some Honey Stinger Energy Chews. They taste pretty yummy, as far a energy bites go, and I hoped he would think they were big gummy bears (Seriously, who can argue it was not the breakfast of champions?)and at least he wouldn't starve in the event I didn't come up with a cunning plan to relocate all of us downstairs. I felt like I was living the whole goat, hay, wolf?, and bridge conundrum. Eventually we all made it safely to the living room couch, with the help of whoever I could rouse and enlist,  for a new bottle, more nursing, and 5 hours later some coffee.  I would put the whole event in the successful morning category. Not so much the morning that happened a few days later.

 Fiona and I got up uber-early and made it downstairs by ourselves. It had started with an uber-early and messy poop, requiring a wardrobe change and a bath. For Fiona. After which I made a coffee. She nursed and pooped again and then we were both ready for a nap on the couch. It was going really well until I  was woken by some strange scraping sounds above me. I realized they were coming from upstairs, where Malachi had been sleeping. Then I remembered, with a panicked feeling,  I had not been able to empty her tub yet and clean up her bathing area. And I knew Malachi was up, and into it. I braced myself and headed upstairs to face what looked like a war zone, but was in fact my bathroom. It was obvious he had used her diaper as a tea bag and repeatedly dunked it in the water before throwing it on the scrap heap of towels to ooze. He had then decided to add various objects to the tub for a real taste treat.
Some of which he harvested from the hamper. And  once the tub reached maximum capacity, he was forced to just throw everything on the floor.

Fortunately all the laundry was already dirty.

Malachi was quite upset his morning activity was interrupted. Note the pink scrubby for cleaning the walls, not bodies, on the shower floor. (Yes, there is a story for another time in the corner.)

That's  where Shane's cologne was hiding!- under the towel, under the poopy bath water.

Once I cleaned everything up we continued on with his typical morning routine, which includes, but is definitely not limited to:

Demonstrating his latest achievement of climbing the kitchen chairs, which makes morning coffee sooo relaxing, and which will lead to trying to scale the kitchen table. Whatever it takes to reach mom's cup.

Next on the list is removing any visible heat registers. That way he can fit larger objects into the gaping holes to be retrieved later by mom. At least we know where to look for lost items.

Next up, clearing the shelves.I finally bought a board to fit across the pantry door. Which keeps him out and unable to knock glass jars off shelves or drop cans on his toes, but low enough for us to step over. Initially, it  still allowed him the opportunity to reach and swipe anything an arms reach from the door frame, onto the floor. Mom got wise and now there is an empty space the first foot in. I'm learning.

No picture for his next event. As that would be gross. His latest delight is poop flinging. When you change his diaper, he performs some sleight of hand and gets a hold of the old diaper before you can get him cleaned, and with a good yank sends it, and its contents flying. Thank goodness for Lysol.

Somewhere in the routine we fit breakfast. He is always excited to see what medium will be served for painting his highchair tray with. A bottle of milk always acts a thinner for anything from scrambled eggs to rice pudding. And whatever he doesn't decorate at breakfast, he can always get at lunch.

I realize this is a lot heavy on the Malachi side, and that he is only one of the small kids. Fiona, the other player, will get her turn. Its just her antics are not quite as photogenic, and a lot of them are the same. Eat, sleep, poop, cry, barf. Rinse and repeat. I ordered a Miracle Blanket, which will come today, so maybe there will be some amazing news to report. I am hoping life changing. I'll let you know.



Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Post Partum Post, D-MER, and the Sleep gods hate us. Part I

But first, this needs to be documented. Right now this:

                                                                  And this :

Are happening. And I was able to eat lunch. I'm thinking it would be pushing my luck to try and fit a coffee in as well, so I'm typing instead.
We are all a lot under slept these days.
We discovered Malachi likes the song 'Let It Go' from Frozen. And after a few rounds of the music video falls asleep. Not my first choice in ways to induce naps, but given the crazy non-sleep we've been dealing with what feels like forever, zombies can't be choosers. And it is better than whiskey.
I guess the coffee wasn't necessary.New Baby is up. Old Baby needs lunch. Life goes on.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Quick up-Dates

I thought I'd participate in Jen's 7 posts in 7  days last week. But I didn't. I thought I would at least get a 7 Quick Takes done for yesterday. Again I didn't.  But I do have a really good reason.

                                                                     Fiona Adele

             or as Grandpa calls her 'New Baby'. So that we can tell her apart from,

                                                       'Old Baby' who is doing extremely well at sharing her bouncy seat.

More details, and of course lots more pictures, to follow once I catch up on some sleep. So, you know, 2015 or somewhere around there.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


This week, we have a break from all our outside classes. I was really excited thinking maybe this would be the week I'd have the baby without the distractions of homework and pack in lunches and having to be anywhere at a specified time (my favorite).

On Saturday, it seemed like the baby might be amenable to that plan too. In the late morning I started feeling some strong contractions, back pain, and general irritation/distracted.  I took a warm shower to see if it might slow down. Shane asked if I'd like to go look at cars. I said

"No. I don't want to be looking at cars when I go into active labor!"

He asked if I would like him to go look at cars.

I said I didn't want him to be out looking at cars when I went into active labor.

The shower didn't stop the contractions. Every labor has started out in earnest ( and with the brief interlude in the middle  of Malachi's delivery) has been pretty straight forward. No false stops and starts for days on end. So we were pretty sure this was it. The 15th. I liked that. And we cancelled our re-re-scheduled dinner plans with friends. Who were going to cancel as well as the wife was not well.

I called my mom, who was out of town, and she  advised I call the midwife now. Number 6 might progress sooner than I thought. Which was a happy thought. Maybe before dinner, I hoped. So I made the necessary calls. Got really annoyed with the midwife answering service ( And the reason for your call? Can you spell your last name? If you don't hear back in 10 min call us back and we'll do this again.)

The contractions were 8-9-10 min apart. Kateri was happily writing them down for me while I lay in bed with a hot water bottle on my back. Shane suggested I start the energy chews I'd gotten from the sporting store, and remembering how awful I felt running out of steam with Malachi, I did. The midwife finally called and we discussed what I'd like her to bring ( namely the birth stool, which she'd send the assistant to fetch) and she told me to call back when they started getting closer. Her direct number so I could bypass the question and answer part again.

Really, who wants to be interrogated while in the throes of labor? Ok. So, I wasn't exactly there. But I could have been.

Shane's parents and my sister arrived. I got antsy and decided I wanted to get up and walk, so I did. Then I ate. Then I took a nap. Then the smells of banana bread and slowcooked meat started wafting up the stairs and I eventually came down to eat again with everyone else. The contractions continued to slow and we made preparations for bed. Kateri already had a sleeping arrangement worked out for her and Malachi and Tirzah. My in-laws went home to sleep. Tirzah baked a big pan of baked oatmeal for the next morning, or whenever we needed it, and around 12:00 we all went to bed. At 12:30 I felt a few more strong contractions again and was feeling really annoyed with our kids preferred arrival times. Why can't it ever be AFTER a full nights sleep?

But in the end it got quiet and we all slept. All night. In the morning Shane and I got up and had coffee together, which felt really cozy. My sister joined us and we discussed plans/options for the day. The kids came down, Kateri was especially relieved she had not missed anything. We ate oatmeal. Second cups of coffee. My in-laws came over. We went for a walk in the freezing cold rain and wind, partly to test for labor starts and to wear Malachi out. Neither was successful so we carried on like a normal day. My sister went home to her family. We continued our name search, adding some new ones and crossing others off the list. For the last time.

I got an email from the homeschool group asking for grade numbers for the year book. Apparently, lots of kids were missing their grade numbers so the list was quite long and I was excited to see all the new names to look over. There were some good ones definitely worth considering, though we are still not done.

Bedtime went somewhat smoothly, though I think Malachi was missing having Auntie Tirzah to snuggle. And we slept all night. Again.

The next day Shane went to work for a bit. I sat and fiddled my fingers. Not really.  I had the kids do some housework and I tried brainstorming about meals post-baby. I didn't get very far. But I did come up with some other things I might want for labor: like a birthing ball. I have never used one but am willing to try anything. And the kids would enjoy a new toy if it didn't get used anyway. So I set out to get one. Then I returned it and got a bigger one. Then I went to a different store to get an even bigger one. And today I returned the middle sized one. I felt a little like Goldilocks but am glad I persisted and am happy with the final one(75 cm size). My father-in-law took the big boys out to lunch and then to the sporting store to get me some more energy bites, as I had eaten most of the ones I had already purchased. I got more drinks and snacks, did more laundry, my mother-in-law took Kateri and Muffin to their house and when Shane got home we went out to look at cars.

Which is not an activity ever to be attempted if you are really in labor. Which I was not. But felt just close enough to it to have very little patience for the whole,

"We don't put prices on ANYHING. Well, I cant really give you a ball park price until we pencil it all up. And with delivery fee I can't be certain it won't change. So whenever you are ready. These are really hard to get right now. I might be able to intercept a delivery to another dealership, but I might have to shoot someone in the process."

So after a very fruitless and non-helpful visit, where all my car-dealership pre-conceived ideas were proven true, but where at least I was able to see how much self control I could assert in not throttling the man to make him actually say something helpful, we decided to head down to a restaurant near Shane's office he's been want to take me to. Only to find they were closed for remodeling.

On the way home I found myself breathing through a particularly strong contraction and was relieved to be able to get my cozy jammies on and just wait. Although the freshly made fritters Shane described sounded really tasty. I said that should be our first outing with the new baby as I will be able to eat a full meal (plus lots of extras) once there is more room and the nursing appetite gets going.  So now we wait.

 I am certain that all the pre-work is going to have an effect and it will be the easiest, fastest labor ever.  It was  a good practice run, I got some extra foot rubs and lots of tasty treats which we are still enjoying, and the midwife who attended the last two births was able to get back from a trip. Which may be what the baby, or I, have been secretly waiting for.

So all is good.