September 30, 2014

September In Bullets

I have to get this post done before it hits midnight because there is no way that I can only have one blog post for an entire month. How did that happen? My guesses is that it is one of the following: we have nothing exciting going on, we have been busy with school and home projects, I was gone for 5 days, or my mood/emotions have been good so I have not needed any blog therapy. Or it could be all of the above... So moving on before the calendar says October (mine in the kitchen already does because for a minute this morning I already thought September had passed) I thought it would be best to just sum up September in one post and hope for a more active blog during the next 31 days. Watch out for November because I am going to try really hard to do 30 days of being Thankful. I am too lazy to go see how many days really are in November so if there are 31 I will try my best to make sure I cover that extra day. I will be working on these days of Thankfullness over the next two months and scheduling their posting days so y'all can stop thinking I am actually going to remember each day to post. Okay mind is wondering so let's just get to it:

  • We were barely into September but with three older kids in school and babies who still take a 3-3.5 hour nap each day I actually have free time in the afternoons. Most days I have to talk myself out of laying down for a three hour quick snooze while the house is quiet but in the end am amazed at how much I can get done. Decorating for fall happened the first week in September instead of the night before Halloween like it did last year. Almost all of my decorations are kept in the one room the babies for the most part stay out of because otherwise I would be left with nothing at the end of the season. If they can get their hands on my things they some how become theirs or broken. Someday I will get to decorate an entire house.

I love putting out pictures from the Halloween's past.
When we moved in there was a hideous fireplace mantel and it was quickly ripped down. Unfortunately a new stone fireplace has not been as quick to find its place. Again someday... 

  • We decided to hit Apple Hill on a weekend this year but super early in the season. It was awesome and hardly anyone was there but since it was the weekend everything was up and running. We will be going early from now on. Paul will go back in a couple of weeks to get our apples/pears for his canning of sauces and slices.

Poor Natalie could not even enjoy the pond because she was so worried about the babies. Even with being told multiple times that mom and dad were watching them she was literally in tears because of the anxiety she felt due to having the combination of 4 two year olds and water. She unfortunately inherited this anxiety from her momma.

A yearly tradition - we enjoy trying many different kinds of fudge at a particular orchard. The pumpkin fudge won unanimously and it was all I could think about that night when the kids went to bed.
On the way home the kids were all very thirsty so we stopped for water. While Paul ran into a grocery store I got the cups all lined up and ready. Most days I don't think having 7 kids is really that many but then other days little things such as seeing all their cups lined up makes me realize how many kids we really do have and oh my.
  • Our kids love water. Doesn't matter if it is the big pool, a kiddy pool or the bathtub if there is water in it you will find someone enjoying it.

Love this picture Paul sent me while I was at work. It shows each of their personalities so well; Kenzie my princess, Isabella the one that takes everything in before saying it is okay, Tate aka Mr Personality, Rylan the engineer.
  • We have now become a family who has fallen in love with Young Living essential oils. Oh my gosh this stuff is amazing. We use it daily for so many things. Anxiety for the big kids and I, focus for the kids before school, calming effects for the babies, mood lifter, headaches, tummy aches, relaxation and the list just goes on and on. It took Paul a little bit for him to allow me to spend the initial $170 but he was hardly phased when I told him I placed another $120 order to prepare for the cold/flu season. I will be writing more soon about oils for our family so if you have particular questions please leave them in the comments and I will happily answer them. 

Aubrey asked me the other day why I carry the diffuser with me wherever I am at in the house and I it is simply because I  love this thing. I love doing lemon in the mornings for energy and lavender at night in mine and Paul's room. I am currently out of lavender and it makes me really sad each night when I crawl into bed. I also daily diffuse Peace & Calming because no lie our house has less whining and bickering when that particular oil is running. My next mission it to purchase about 3 more of these for the kids room and another for the kitchen so that I don't have to carry it with me each day to the room we are in.
Hoping this was the last time I need to use a nebulizer  for Taters now that we use Breathe Again and Raven in our oil collection 
  • We have been spending so much time outside because the temperatures are just perfect. Not too hot and not too cold. And there is nothing better than having to close the windows at night because of the chill that is in the air. Haven't gotten to the point of lighting the fireplace but it probably won't be long.

This was today on the last day of September and it had me laughing. We had a picnic lunch on the grass in our front yard along with clipping of 80 fingernails (don't worry no clippings landed on our picnic). As the kids finished they went exploring and Tate was so proud of himself for climbing the rock and poor Rylan wanted to do it too but his pants kept falling down!

After school snacks
  • I have no artistic abilities, like can not even draw a stick person, but we have a painting place in the area that is basically a paint-by-number for adults. I was excited when my moms group posted this event and couldn't wait to go. In the end only one other mom was able to go and so my sister joined us and we had so much fun. At first it was super scary and at times you had to just put the brush down before you ruined it more but in the end I was really happy with my painting. It even found a place to hang in my laundry room. I will be going back in November to paint a winter scene. 

We started with a white canvas and a pencil sketch of the Sacramento skyline.
27 weeks pregnant and Auntie can't wait to meet him or her.

Masterpiece by Me and will happily sell for a couple thousand if anyone is interested.
  • Last Tuesday after dropping the girls off at school I had a lady hit me as I was coming up to a stop light. The other five kids were with me and we were all fine but the van was not. Happy we were all okay but the pain in the butt factor of not being able to fit our whole family in a normal mini van or other large SUV while our van was repaired quickly became evident. We had a huge wildfire in our area so all the larger vans were being rented by out of town fire crews so we were struggling to find something to fit us. On Thursday they had found us a 15 passenger van but the lady who hit us was not returning calls to her car insurance so they could accept liability. I did not think this would be an issue because the lady was so kind and apologetic at the scene of the accident. I tried calling her and her mailbox was full. I was frustrated because I did not want to have to fork out $70 a day to cover the rental charge that my insurance would not cover if we filed with our insurance. I decided to google her husband because I had his name and after a little research I realized that the lady who hit me had just laid her husband to rest 3 days before the accident. I was sick to my stomach and could not believe that 10 days prior this mom said goodbye to her husband as he lost his battle to cancer. He also left behind 3 young daughters. After I found this out my beat up car no longer mattered. I was able to kiss my husband good night and watch my kids as they interact with their daddy each day. Sometimes God gives us lessons and reminders in life when we least expect it. I keep hoping I will see Julie again so that I can wrap my arms around her. My husband won the battle against cancer 10 years ago this month while her husband was taken far too soon because of the awful C word. 

  • I got to spend 5 days in Minnesota to celebrate my Grandpa & Grandma Maier's 60th wedding anniversary. When I asked my grandma her secret to a long marriage her response was, "Darn if I know!" It was great to spend so much time with both sides of my family and it felt as if I had never left. We did have to laugh on the last night I was there when we realized the only people left playing cards where all from California. Good thing we go thousands of miles away to play a round of Liverpool Rummy. 

60 years of wedded bliss

So there is September in bullets and after going though our pictures I decided we had a really fun month. Sometimes I don't realize how much we do until I look back on all the pictures and videos I take each month. Thank goodness for cameras to capture life for us. Now that it is 9:53 I can be happy that I was able to get 2 blog posts in for the 9th month of 2014. And now to leave you with the reason my kids will not be driving for many, many years...

September 03, 2014

My Sidekick Is Growing uP

I knew this day would eventually come and even though I am totally okay with it, I can not believe my little man has started preschool. He is my only child that has been a singleton. To most, that word is not part of their everyday language but to a house with more multiple births than single births we all know what it means. The girls even introduce Drew as the singleton when introductions are made.

Drew is the only one who had my whole tummy to himself and I knew without a doubt that every kick I felt during my pregnancy was his. I only needed one boy name and one girl name when he was born and thankfully he was a boy because even one girl's name was too much for us to figure out in 2010. He never had to tandem nurse as a singleton. The time I spent with him every three hours is some of my most cherished time with him. He was also the only baby that slept in my bed when he woke at 5am every single day until he was a year old. I could have easily broken this routine he was in but I think I needed it more than he did. When he became a big brother at the age of 2 his world was rocked but he never once let on that it had been. Instead he joined the big kid club. In a way he became a triplet instead of a singleton because whatever the girls did he was right beside them doing the exact same thing. But when they were gone at school he quickly became my little sidekick. His favorite time was when the babies were down for nap and it was just he and I. Just like it use to be at 2 o'clock in the morning when the world was asleep and he and I sat in the living room together nursing; a mom and her little boy.

But as Drew turned 4 his mom was no longer enough for him. He longed to be going to school with the girls. He wanted to wear a backpack proudly and kiss me good bye knowing I would pick him up when the day was done. He needed other kids to play with other than his little brothers and sisters. He needs this and I get it. I am excited for him because he is so excited. When the girls went off to preschool I had a hard time knowing someone else was spending the day with them but when I waved and walked out the preschool door today I couldn't help but smile because someone gets to spend the whole day with my little man. He is an example of someone who loves life, who goes with the flow, who has no enemies, and who has no idea the difference between purple, orange, black or any other color.

It is weird for me to know that Drew is by himself without a single family member within eye sight. I have never dropped a kid off without a sibling being with them. I know of any of my kids Drew is the best kid to be a singleton but it is still slightly nerve racking. Last night when I woke Drew up to go potty at 10pm, I asked him if he was excited and he smiled and nodded his head 'yes'. I asked him if he would stay home tomorrow because I was going to be sad when he was gone and he told me I could stay home with daddy. I asked him if he would stay home if I promised him a bowl of ice cream and he told me no. So then I upped the anti and asked him if he would stay home if I bought him a Dutch Bros and he said maybe!

Rylan freaked out when we walked into the preschool. I think he thought it was a doctors office! Tate would not move from where he was sitting. I think he would have been just fine following his brother around all day even without his parents there. Two more years buddy and mom & dad will be waving you goodbye. 
In one hour I will find out how my sidekick's day was and I am expecting to see nothing but smiles and hear how awesome it was. It will take me a couple of days to get use to not having him around when the babies go down for their naps but I know he is growing up and I could not be prouder of the little boy that his dad and I sent off to school this morning.

And not to be fooled, even with three kids away at school we still  have 4 at home! Life continues on at home just minus one kid. 
Rylan again in one of his fake cry moments because he wanted the plastic water bottle. Boy oh boy life is hard when one is 2.
Daddy working in the office. Amazing how much he can tune out when he is working. 

August 28, 2014

Dear Summer,

I really wish I could love you unconditionally but there are a couple traits of yours that are standing in the way. I am hoping over the next six months you can work through some of these issues so that nothing will stand in our way next June. I know they say you can't change a person but I am really hoping this is not the case here and that you will see where I am coming from.

First I want to let you know that you really are my favorite. There is something about your carefree days that just make me smile. I love that fact that I really don't have to get dressed, or even shower, when you are here. Make up and having hair that is styled are only done on days that I may run into people that I actually know. There is nothing better than an afternoon nap with a light blanket and the ceiling fan spinning around and around, except for maybe waking up with the windows open and the sound of birds chirping. I love the fact that time seems to slow down and there are more hours in the day to get things done. Bedtime often slips by unnoticed because there were too many giggles happening to really pay attention to time. Your warm sunshine invites us to dine al fresco for the majority of meals which makes clean up a snap. The bulk of my laundry when you are visiting are towels and swim suits. Adventures of bike rides and walks are daily occurrences and with those come more skinned knees than I have band-aids for.

Yes Summer, you have so many amazing qualities that I adore but there are just a couple of things we need to discuss. First, just because you are an early riser does not mean you need to wake my children up at 6am on the dot every single morning. Yes I understand the mornings are beautiful but my kids are not awake to enjoy this aspect. Instead they are at my bedside telling me they are hungry about every 3 minutes until I tell them they can have a breakfast bar or a gogourt. They then start asking when I am going to get up once they have finished their pre-breakfast snack. Though I do enjoy summer mornings I prefer to spend them crawled under my sheets without little ones pestering me until at least 7. So Summer can we compromise on this one and I will spend 2-3 days a week with you at 5:20 on the days I must go to work and the remaining days you allow me to sleep peacefully til 7?

Fresh  juicy fruit, cold ice tea and bare feet are some of the joys you bring with you but this also brings along dirty fingers that like to touch every window in my house and floors that are always sticky. This is not the end of the world and I understand that these messes can all be cleaned up but can I please just have a house that stays clean for 5 minutes? Someday I will be wishing my kids were back in my house leaving behind fingerprints on the windows but when I get that urge I will invite my grandchildren to visit so they can cloud my view from my patio windows and then I will send them back home so I can wash my windows that will stay clean until they visit again. The messes you make around every corner of my house makes me crazy. I often feel I make no head way in getting my house in order and if I do the second I turn around another mess is made. Can we agree on one day a week in which my house stays clean from sun up to sun down?

Let's talk food...I am so thankful that I have a fridge full of food and that I am able to provide my kids with healthy choices but the appetite my children work up while spending time in your company can be way too much at times. I am happy to provide breakfast, lunch, a mid-afternoon snack and dinner. Allowing me to get the dishes done from the meal we just finished would be so much appreciated before someone is telling me they are hungry. I love being in the kitchen but sometimes I just want a break from it. There is no way a person who has just eaten a breakfast full of protein and fruit can be hungry by 9:30 in the morning. I am lucky if I have even started on my coffee before someone is asking me for a snack. Also all this "I'm hungry" leads to more dishes and clean up and I am again finding myself with the task of cleaning once again. A vicious cycle that I do not enjoy in case you have not caught on.

Now for the big one that I feel is really getting in the way of the unconditional love I want to have with you; attitude, sass and bickering. I can not do this one again next summer at the level we had this summer. I use to fight with my brother so I get that siblings are not always the best of friends but I always thought my kids would at least have a couple nice things to say to each other throughout the day. I do not expect perfect children but I do not understand how my kids can be so wonderful when in school and while out in public but the minute they get in the car or stuck at home they find fault with everything their brothers or sisters do, or someone is sitting too close to them, or someone did something they were not suppose to. My mom use to tell me to watch my tone more times than I want to admit as child and now I know why she use to say this. The tones you bring out in my children's voices is like nails on a chalkboard. I am at a loss on how to correct this behavior of attitude, sass and bickering that we have been dealing with while you have been with us the last 3 months. We have tried time outs. We have tried separating and quiet play time. We have tried naps. We have tried a tsp of vinegar and nothing is helping. I will be reading some self help books while the days of winter are here with us but Summer can you please bring different tones with you next time you come?

"You're o-FISH-ally in 1st Grade"
As you can see there are really not that many issues I have with you, only a handful. We wished you farewell yesterday as I sent my kids off to school. I may have been even more excited than them when we waved good-bye to you. We will have a routine again. My kids will be able to play with others than just their brothers and sisters. I will have a couple hours each day that my house stays clean. I will be able to stick to 3 meals a day and one snack without hearing 'I'm hungry' the minute everyone has left the table. I know I will get to a point when I am tired of packing lunches, tired of loading everyone up to drop & pick kids up, tired of finishing homework assignments with kids who say they don't know how to do it; but at those moments I am going to remember the sticky hands, the constant fighting among siblings, the threats of timeouts and be happy that winter is staying with us for just a little longer. I hope in six months I will have a love for you that is unbreakable and that things will work out between us but until then I am off to wash uniforms because tomorrow is another school day! Hallelujah...

A Mom Who Is A Tad Excited Her Kids Are Back In School
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