March 30, 2011

aunt patti.

it was SO fun to have my sister visit...
isn't she cute?
although she didn't get to meet her soon to be newest neice, we decided it was good, because she really got to know my other kids.

I think much of our life we have felt very different from each other.
This week, we could see just how similar we are.
ESPECIALLY when it comes to parenting and loving kids.
I LOVE when other people LOVE my kids.
And, my sister-- she loves them just like I do.

So, I'm missing her these days, but looking forward to many more visits in the future.

And, my mom decided to come by for a visit while Patti was here...
Her schedule opened up a bit and she decided to stay till i have this baby.
So, I will have family here after all!!

Yes, I'm still pregnant.
I really don't believe I can be pregnant for much longer-- my body is about to explode with baby.
I'm more determined than ever to NOT be induced.
I know, you might think I'm dumb...  but, if the doctor can't show me a very real risk, i'm determined to wait it out.
IF i was going to get induced, I should have done it 3 weeks ago.
Now, I've waited this long, what is a few more days??

March 27, 2011


yup... this is my 42nd week of my 7th pregnancy.
i am big and round and full.
although i know birth is inevitable, today labor looms ahead of me like an unattainable "someday"

i'm tired, snippy, uncomfortable and a bit pessimistic.
and not contracting.

my body is bursting with baby. 
i don't believe i have EVER been this big... everything is tight, inside and outside.
don't you love it when you out grow your maternity clothes?
almost everything i wear, my belly is sticking out the bottom.

i got home from church DYING to take off my pantyhose that were bunched under my belly cutting off all my circulation.
i took them off and felt no relief-- it wasn't my pantyhose.

my body is tight and full and stagnant in this ripe condition.
for the past 3 weeks i have been ready...
my bags have been packed, my laundry has been done, my home and my children and my friends have been poised for the handing of the baton.

and now, the adrenaline is gone, the anticipation has waned.
i'm like the boy who cried wolf... or who never cried wolf... and the village has moved on to regular routine.
i've dug through my hospital bag finding things i need, so i'm sure i'll have nothing i need when the time comes.
visiting family members have come and gone.
my sister and nephew leave tuesday.
after this wait, i'm afraid the birth of this baby will be a bit anti-climactic.

and yet, i know it will be beautiful and perfect.
i know it, but i don't feel that way.
i just plain feel stuffed full and consigned to another day...

probably i'll be induced towards the end of the week
or maybe i won't

yes, i've tried EVERYTHING and i'm sick of trying stuff...
i don't think "going into labor on my own" should mean that i spend 3 weeks doing every weird thing i've ever heard of to try and self-induce labor.
i'm not sure that castor oil and enemas are any more "natural" than a pitocin drip.
(no, i haven't tried an enema yet... that was a recent recommendation)

thank you for your hopeful comments.
i'm not writing this post to solicit your condolences
I'M FINE.  just cranky and a bit pessimistic.
and, for the record, i KNOW why i've been induced 6 times.

and really, INDUCTION is GREAT.
MAYBE you feel good after giving birth naturally...
but you feel like CRAP for 3 weeks BEFORE you give birth.
and you can't plan
or celebrate with family
or enjoy that "i'm having a baby tomorrow!!" feeling.
it's just this looming... it could be today, it could be 3 weeks from now... blah.

my friend was due 1 month AFTER me.
she had her baby on Saturday.

and, if you think i'm immodest for posting a picture of my bare belly-- i don't care.
and, if you think i'm whining-- you're right, i am whining... sorry.
i think i need to go take a nap.

March 26, 2011


friday- 39 weeks (two weeks ago)
dilated- "just about a 3"
effaced- 50%
head- engaged
comments- "we'll schedule you for next week, but i don't think you'll make it that long."

saturday- contractions and massage... i think my massage popped the baby out of my pelvis

friday- 40 weeks (one week ago)
dilated- "a solid 3"
effaced- 60%
head- low but not engaged
comments- "a very favorable cervix, i'll sleep with my cell phone by my head..."

friday- 41 weeks (yesterday)
dilated- "a real stretchy 3"
effaced- same
head- right there
comments- "we can schedule you, or you can wait-- it's your choice."
he doesn't want me to go much past april 1st.

my in-laws have come and gone.
my sister leaves tuesday.

i feel good.
if it weren't for family leaving i wouldn't be so upset about not going into labor yet.
i had about 3 hours of regular contractions (last wednesday- after eating castor oil)
not really anything since then.
right now, it feels unreal...  honestly, i can't even imagine going into labor.
i think i've just consigned myself to continued waiting... and it's not too bad.
it has been SO fun visiting with family...
sad that NO ONE is going to get to meet this new baby.

yeah, i don't know about that.
another day, another week...

March 24, 2011

castor oil?!

hmmm.  i woke up around 2:30 am with contractions.
they don't hurt, but are about 5 minutes apart.

i'm thinking this could be labor...
or just the side effects of drinking CASTOR OIL last night... twice.
(my sister bought it for me and fixed me a nice root beer/castor oil shot)

we'll see.
i keep trying to go back to sleep, but i can't help glancing at the clock every time i feel my tummy tightening.
seriously, if castor oil really puts me into labor i'm going to laugh.
the pharmacist at walgreens said, "Yeah, we have some.  But, it doesn't really work... that's just an old wives tale." 
i told him, "if you were a week overdue with your seventh child you might try an old wives tale yourself."

for now, it's fun just feeling SOMETHING different.
i'm not convinced it's truly labor until they are stronger... but, i am pleasantly surprised to feel them NOT going away- and regular.
maybe castor oil is my new BFF?!!

ps.  you know as soon as i write this post my contractions are going to stop and i'll spend the rest of the morning on the toilet regretting the castor oil decision.
so, i'm really trying NOT to get my hopes up.
for sure i am NOT in labor yet.
just smiling and wondering...  and thinking those old wives MIGHT have known a thing or two.

UPDATE-- i went back to bed after writing this post.  i knew that real labor would not go away if i tried to sleep.  and... my contractions stopped.  So, no baby yet.  But... I'm beginning to believe it is possible.
Maybe i'll have castor oil again for lunch.  :)

i should also note that i didn't take a lot of castor oil-- and, in a small, warm glass of rootbeer i couldn't taste anything.  (it was like drinking soda with a teaspoon of vegetable oil in it.)  I haven't felt sick to my stomach or rushed to the toilet at all... maybe i didn't take enough to make me sick.  BUT, i did have a good 3 hours of contractions.  i KNEW as soon as i wrote it down they would go away.  blah.  [april fools!]

March 23, 2011

april's fool.

Thank you SO much for your words of encouragement.
Really, it helps.
And, Ann-- you've given me some HOPE that I really can go into labor even though i'm not feeling contractions...  THANK YOU ALL!!

Yesterday i decided that i'm going to just PLAN on having my baby April 1st.
If she decides to come before that, it will be a nice surprise.
Part of my anxiety had come from the fact that we had last minute visitors last week-- they came to help with my birth and left yesterday morning with no baby.
isnt' that sad?!
My sister and nephew got here last night!
She leaves the 29th.
I keep telling her, she is here for a nice visit, but may not meet this new baby.
Since she'll probably be born on April 1st.

Here are my Top 10 Reasons that April 1st is a great day to birth a baby.
1.  It's my birthday.
2.  It's my oldest daughter, Anna's birthday.
3.  It's my sister in law's birthday.
4.  It's a fun day for a birthday.
5.  Most of my other kids are born on the 1st of the month.
6.  Being more than 2 weeks overdue, my baby will certainly be ready.
7.  Um, I won't be disappointed every day till then thinking "this would be a great day for a baby."
8.   She'd be an Aries.
9.  It would be a funny story.
10.  Um, because really unless I'm induced I have no control over when this baby comes.

So, here's to April 1st.
and two more weeks.  :)

March 22, 2011


no baby yet.

i'm walking (one foot on the curb and one foot off)
and eating spicy food
and loving my husband
and telling my baby today would be a great day to meet
and invisioning a flower opening
feeling full and a bit hopeless.

every night i hope that i will be awakened with a gush of water OR contractions that i can't sleep through
and every morning i wake up realizing that i am one more day OVER DUE.

i'm still having NO contractions.
which is not to say that i feel good.
my body is achy and sore and ready to birth this baby.

maybe today?!

note- my doctor says he will let me go until April 1st without being induced.
i'm unsure if i can make it till April 1st without going insane.
i think i can... i think i can... i think i can...

joseph smith said, "there is no pain so awful as that of suspense..."
hmm.  i happen to agree with him.

March 20, 2011

happy birthday toby!

toby was most alive inside his momma's belly, surrounded by his other 4 brothers--
he was a kicking, flipping, strong and happy little guy! 
so, this is how i like to remember him most.  full of life, enjoying every moment of his earthly body.
my favorite nephew was born and passed on this day last year.
today, he's a one year old angel.

we're thinking of you this day
and remembering your strength and nobility.
we feel you and miss you
and know we will see you again someday.

i didn't realize my baby could be born so close to my nephew's birthday until i was talking with my sister in law yesterday.
even though we talk about toby often.
and we talk about my baby's birth even more.
somehow these two events never merged in my mind.
but today, i feel them together.
i feel that somehow, my angel nephew is with my sweet baby.
they are celebrating together
waiting and watching and surrounded by many who love our family.

i wish i could peak into the clouds and join their party.
i suppose we'll just celebrate on our own
and remember
sweet toby.
and wait to meet our own sweet baby.

today is a good day for a birth day.
happy birthday toby!

with love,
aunt jen and uncle todd.

ps- toby, that was a hint!!
today would be a GREAT day to send us your littlest cousin...
just sayin.
pps- is a bad omen that my pregnancy calculator is ADDING days.
today it says 2 days till birth, yesterday it said 1 day.
stop!  i prefer to think of TODAY as the day... every day.

March 19, 2011


i copied this picture from pioneer woman's website.
i am SO EXCITED to meet my baby.

and, although i've complained plenty about STILL being pregnant--
i should add, i LOVE being pregnant.
it is AMAZING feeling a baby inside of you.
being a partner with God in creating a miracle-- 7 times over.
last night i wrote letters for my kids to read when i'm in the hospital.
i thought about birthing each of them.
from the first moment they enter this world, actually INSIDE the womb, they are individuals.
they move differently.
they cry uniquely.
they make the same darling expressions at birth that i see them make today when they are concentrating.

the nine months that i carry another spirit around with me, are nine months that i am learning about this baby and feeling her.
this baby inside my womb now is mild.
she is gentle and noble.
i feel her and i love her and i'm so grateful for the time that we have spent together.

i'm also continually amazed at my body.
i make babies.
my body is strong.
my blood held out-- nine months with NO transfusions.
always, right before birth, my hematocrit increases.
my body is preparing.
and, after birth, my blood levels are good-- even though I have lost blood.

my back is strong-- i have only had minor back aches-- isn't that amazing? 
I have carried seven babies and my body is still strong.
i have no stretch marks-- it's just the skin type i inherited from my mother.
i do have 3 major scars on my tummy from 3 life threatening surgeries-- one surgery i had as a teenager, where they removed 3 ft. of my intestine, and 2 emergency c-sections.
they have cut into my abdomen 3 times and still i can expand to carry a baby.
and, my belly is beautiful.

my pregnant body is the most beautiful i ever am.
although i'm carting around a bunch of extra weight, my body is tight and full and rounded.
my husband always rubs my belly sticking out from my pjs- he says, "I'm going to miss your belly."
i tell him, "It will still be here after the baby is born, just a bit more squishy."
After pregnancy bodies are squishy and nurturing and motherly.
pregnant bodies are tight and beautiful.
i will miss this. 

During the past few weeks i have felt my bones shifting.
My hips are opening... it is hard to walk, i have the definite pregnant waddle.
it is amazing to me.
i can feel my body preparing for birth.
opening, widening, becoming more flexible and ready.
isn't it incredible that our bodies are designed to birth a baby?
and feed a baby.

i know the joy that fills the room when a baby is born.
the veil is thin.
i often feel the spirits of those that i love who have passed on.
i imagine them holding my daughter-- saying good bye and handing her off to me.
i imagine these days of preparing, she is preparing also.
saying goodbye, getting last hugs, blessings, and advice for her journey here on earth.
i am so excited to meet and cuddle this newest baby.
i feel so blessed to have been given this opportunity.
it is an honor to be a mother, to be trusted to love and nurture and teach another one of God's children.
i'm so grateful to be a woman.
a woman who has created babies.
i'm grateful for my body.
i'm grateful for God's plan-- that He lets me partner with Him in creating.

i LOVE being a mother.
my children amaze me daily, and i am humbled by their goodness.
how blessed i am.
some days i whine about my part... but EVERY DAY i am in awe of His part.
motherhood is divine.
pregnancy is miraculous.
i am grateful for one more day.
ps.  i think it's funny that my pregnancy calculator still says 1 more day.
I think it will stay on 1 more day till i deliver.
and, so will I.
Today is the day.  right?!

March 17, 2011


remember last friday?
when my doctor told me, "We'll make another appointment for next Friday, but you won't make it till then."

he lied.

March 14, 2011

the art of waiting.

nope- not me. i'm bigger. without fake nails.
i feel like i'm in a twilight zone.
it's peaceful.
and exciting.
and scary (if i let myself go there).

my body is doing things beyond my control.
i feel great forces at work-- like the rumblings of a volcano about to erupt.
sometimes i cry at odd times (just quiet tears coming out my eyes)
sometimes i find myself walking in circles. (not panic, just restless)
sometimes i need to talk through my strong emotional waves.
my rumblings are not external-- they are very internal.
a quiet intensity i can feel in my veins.
i know, something is happening.

i'm intrigued by sleep.
i have slept better the past two nights then i have my whole pregnancy.
dead- rejuvenating sleep.
and slept at weird times.
i'll be up and happy and this tired fog will come upon me quickly.
i smile to my sweet husband and say with blurred speech- i think i'm going to lay down.
an hour or two later i wake up... in awe.
napping is not something i have been able to do this pregnancy.
the past two days i have felt my body preparing.

on Friday, my OB said I was 3cm dilated and 60% effaced.
the baby's head is engaged but still high.
he scheduled an appointment for next Friday, but said,
"I'm pretty sure I'll see you before then.  Do you have my cell phone number?"

i know what "contractions" feel like.
those are the things that come at night when i'm watching tv.
it's like the blowing up of a balloon...
i feel my tummy tightening, tingling and becoming hard.
after a few minutes, it relaxes and deflates.
i know that feeling.
i'm not feeling that these days...

i feel very crampy-- tummy ache cramps.
solid pressure, movement, heaviness.
sometimes, it takes my breath away.
sometimes, my tummy is contracted.
i imagine if i was in the hospital, hooked up to monitors, they would be telling me "you're having a contraction, can you feel that?"
but, i'm still not feeling the tightening and loosening that i know as "contractions."

i believe this is phase one.
and, i've never been here before.
i'm certain that i will know when things get moving.
i think things will move quickly.
until then, i am enjoying the rumbling...
and the mental preparation.

i held a 5 week old little girl at church yesterday
i melted.
i can't believe i'm having a baby.

today, i'm waiting... and experiencing... and enjoying my other six distractions
and reading Fablehaven (my boys passed in on with high recommendations)
and resting.
and cleaning, again.
and experiencing this leg of the journey.
 we'll see where I go from here.

it's spring break.
the professor and i compiled a list of fun/free things we can do with our kids each day...
need some ideas?
here's our list... (it is NOT profound)
make cookies
paint a picture
get out the play-doh and have the whole family play
do a big puzzle
play board games, or card games, or farkle
leave the house once a day
go on a family bike ride
go to the park
bring fishing poles, and corn and go fishing in the lake by the park
fly a kite
visit a pet store
go to the mall, let the little girls play at the play place and give the big kids $5 to spend (in pairs)
have a picnic
go play tennis
throw a Frisbee
set up some targets in the back yard and let the kids shoot arrows at it
go on a hike
make ice cream sundaes or home-made blizzards
have a paper airplane throwing contest
paint fingernails
go to the library
play with friends
go swimming at the gym
i believe i'll be doing more of the nail painting and the professor will be doing more of the bike riding...
although, a little bike ride might be just what my body needs...  :)
what's on your list?

March 10, 2011

still pregnant.

still pregnant.
not very bloggy.

my sister-in-law sent me an email with the words to a church song she felt i could appreciate.
I've been singing it to myself all week.

Come, come ye saints
no toil nor LABOR fear
But with joy, wend your way.

Though hard to you this journey may appear,
Grace shall be as your day.

Tis better far for us to strive
Our useless cares from us to drive;
Do this, and joy your hearts will swell
All is well! All is well!

Why should we mourn or think our lot is hard?
’Tis not so, all is right.
Why should we think to earn a great reward,
If we now shun the fight?
Gird up your LOINS; fresh courage take;
Our God will never us forsake,
And soon we’ll have this tale to tell,
All is well! All is well!

Today, all is well.
We'll see what tomorrow brings!

March 07, 2011

growing up.

i love this kid.

and, i LOVE watching my kids grow up.

EVERY DAY i am awed by their goodness and self discipline
EVERY DAY i am reminded that i am SO BLESSED.
really, aside from an occasional exhausting toddler, my kids are good.
Jakob is passing the sacrament now at church.
I can't watch him without crying (this could also be due to hormones).
He really is growing up.
And, I'm so excited to see the man he becomes.
For now, I LOVE twelve.

My bigger girls have not been fun in the mornings or the afternoons- for their whole life.
They dawdle when getting dressed and try to play instead of doing their chores after school.
My boys wake up, on their own, at 6am to get all their stuff done before school and still have time to read...
I keep telling my boys, when they whine about their sisters who are "making them late", the girls are just younger- you were the same way when you were their age.
But, sometimes I'm not sure if that is true. 
Moms tend to forget the hard parts of mothering fairly quickly.
Anyway, I've been HOPING that my girls would out grow their sock tantrums... AND, guess what?
This past week my girls have been up early and dressed and happy.
They look nice and they are ready to go, ON THEIR OWN, at least 30 minutes before Drew is ushering everyone into the car.
It's great.
And, it just happened.
They are really excited about doing their hair-- and I let them use my straightener and curling iron.
I don't help them.
(It's the tiger mom in me.)
When they whine that they don't know how to curl the back, i just tell them that if I always do it for them, they will never learn.  (Or, I tell them that maybe they are too young to be able to curl their hair-- that gets them motivated to try again!)
And, their hair looks darling.

My kids are growing up, and I love it.
THIS is why I have a big family.
They are growing up and it is joyful to watch.

Lily is as independent as my other girls...

doesn't she look pretty?
yes, i'm going crazy being 9 months pregnant.
but, i do love my life.

pps- oh my gosh!!  i just pushed post and then view blog and i looked again at those pictures of lily- under the title "growing up".
!!???!!  did you see that?  SHE is my baby!!  And she looks so grown up.
This is my lily...
just yesterday.
yesterday... blink... today... 
oh my!
i think i need to go swaddle her in her "ankie" and let her suck her thumb and play with my hair and whisper over and over in her ear... just stay little, ok?!
i do love seeing them growing- but i LOVE the yesterdays as much as the tomorrows.
I believe it IS possible to enjoy today and hope for tomorrow and still miss yesterday?
and, i hope it isn't possible for one's heart to burst from loving so many, so much.

ppps.- jakob still climbs in bed with me in the mornings and whispers that he loves me and lets me rub his back... yes,  he's twelve.  But he will ALWAYS be my baby boy.  oh, i'm crying again-- those hormones.

March 06, 2011

this week.

ok, yesterday i panicked a bit...
the professor is busy- working on his dissertation,
(he needs me to support him as much as I need him to support me- not so good.)
and i'm out of it... worried about having a baby and taking care of my family.
we don't have family coming when this baby is born
so, baby number seven and we're flying solo.
it's ok.  we do have lots of friends and neighbors... and, we've done this before.
But, it's still scary.
(Side note- my sister just got tickets last night-- she's coming the end of march and i'm so excited)

mom's hold everything together.
and, i'm ok with that role.
i'm the oldest in my family, and i'm always pretty self sufficient...
but, having a baby is scary.
I have supportive friends and neighbors. 
I imagine that things will run smoothly and I will just send the professor home to handle the big kids while I learn the new baby.
We'll be fine.  I know it.
But, still I worry... 
What if... everything is not ok. 
What if... I can't just pop back after labor.
What if... I can't take care of myself and my baby and my kids.
What if... I need my husband to support me and be with me and I feel worried about my other kids.

The weeks before I have a baby are my HARDEST.
I don't feel good, but worse-- I'm so ANXIOUS.
I don't usually feel post-partum depression-- but for sure I'm a bit crazy pre-partum.
It's the unknown that kills me.
(You'd think i'd have this down by now-- but I don't.)

The professor asked me this morning, "What would be your ideal situation?"
I cried, "Nothing... it's just going to be hard and I'm going to be alone and I just have to deal with it.  I don't have a choice."
And, that's true... but--
I came up with my ideal situation a little while later...

Want to hear it?
This is my ideal--
A nice slowly starting labor... regular contractions that begin to build around bedtime.
I know I'm in early stages of labor, but not panicked. 
I put my kids to bed, finish up any un-done laundry, make dinner to have in my fridge, call my friends who are on stand-by, be sure my hospital bags are ready and my house is clean... and then I rest through the night.
My contractions continue to build and progress- I'm ok with going to the hospital around 4am.  Knowing that I have someone coming over in the morning to get my kids to school.  Labor progresses steadily and naturally... I'm ok with hard, but I hope it's beautiful and NORMALish. 

An early morning baby would be good-- I'd say around 8am.  I could call the school and let the kids know they have a new sister.  The professor could even teach his class from 10-11 (while i'm napping) and then bring me lunch and spend the rest of the afternoon with me and our new baby.  He could bring the kids up to the hospital that evening and come home to feed them and put them all to bed and have a restful night sleep. 

The best part of this plan is that I'd have a few days at home this week with me and the baby.
And then, next week is Spring Break-- all the kids would have a week to enjoy the new baby.
Spring Break with a new baby sounds PERFECT.
Spring Break with a mother who is 9 months pregnant sounds like HELL... for all involved.
After Spring Break the kids would go back to school and my sister and my nephew will come and visit-- I'll be feeling better, I have a realtor open house scheduled, and I'll have a 2 week old. 

I know, life is rarely ideal.
But, THIS WEEK would be a good week to have a baby.
So, if you happen to be talking to God, put in a good word for me.
Post image for Roller coasters: 56 American scream machines

March 05, 2011

pregnant with toddlers.

being cheerful is killing me.  :)
my little girls are needing me and they have lots of toddler energy...
i'm trying, but i am struggling to keep up with them.
yesterday, after taking them to the doctors, i took them to the mall.
oh my word.
leah was cur-aa-zeee
in her defense, she wasn't just hitting and kicking and pushing all the kids at the play place-
she was a LION.
and LIONS eat people.
and, she only ran down the mall isle ONCE while i stood talking to a friend,
i may or may not have yelled that if she didn't come back i would spank her when she got home.
(she has NEVER done that before- and I am definitely too fat to run after her- the little stink.)
i may or may not have followed through on that promise.
thank goodness for friday night pizza and a movie
and saturday!!
even though my husband will be up at school all day, there are lots of kids to entertain the little girls.
this week i keep thinking-- how on earth will i entertain toddlers with a newborn.
the baby will be fine- but i'm not sure my 4 year old will survive.
she's a fiesty one.

March 04, 2011

we love puzzles.

Do your kids love puzzles?
Mine do.
Regular wooden puzzles, big piece floor puzzles and these...
the wooden shape pattern boards and matching pair puzzles.
we love them. 

We have a little kid wooden shape board and a bigger kid Tangram book and shapes.
Here is the actual puzzle that we have- Melissa and Doug Pattern Blocks and Boards $13.33.  I LOVE it.
I found this bigger kids version on Amazon- Tangram- $21.21 This isn't the one we have.  Ours has all black shapes and a book of patterns- i think i bought it from Borders.  It's really fun- even for me.

I also LOVE the matching pair puzzles.  They are quick to put together and clean up and let the kids learn while they are putting puzzles together.  (Just a note- I don't keep the puzzle boxes.  I have a bunch of puzzles without boards that I just store in ziplocs in one shoebox sized tupperware next to all my wooden puzzles.)   
LOVE them.
Here is one on amazon-- Baby Animal Puzzle Pairs- $11.82.  This is our easiest- lily loves it.
We also have a couple Matching pairs puzzles- they match a hammer with nails or a birthday cake with a candle or a dog with a bone.  I bought mine at Wal-mart for $1 awhile ago.
Here are some that I would LOVE to buy for my 4 year year old...
Simple Puzzle Alphabet Letters and Numbers Pair- $13.23
or this Simple Puzzle Pairs Rhyming Words- $11.25
or this Simple Puzzle Pairs Opposites- $11.95.

I LOVE puzzles.
It is definitly our go to activity when I turn off the cartoons.
What are your favorites?

ps- see that pregnancy counter?
yup-- it says 14 days.
that's 2 weeks.
i've NEVER gone past 38 weeks before without being induced...
that means i'm going a little crazy with excitement and waiting.
and nesting.
i'm trying to take one day at a time.
but, really, I CAN'T WAIT to meet this baby.
did i tell you i wake my kids up on Christmas morning?
yup- i'm not great at surprises or waiting...

This is my THEME for the next two weeks
Be pretty if you are, Be witty if you can, But be cheerful if it kills you. ...

it has not been my theme for the past two weeks.
(don't believe me?  just ask my kids.)

March 03, 2011

two front teeth.

there is nothing cuter than a second grader with no front teeth.
just sayin.

March 02, 2011

loving many.

a friend once asked me, "How can you be everything to a large family that you would be to a smaller family?"
She had just given birth to her third child and wondered if she would be able to have another.
(Side note- she is currently expecting her fourth.)

I told her what I often tell people-- You can't.
You give everything you have to loving one child, and you give everything you have to loving seven.
Do the math-- you can not do for seven what you could do for one.

You can't do it, but God can.
God has a way of loving everyone equally-- of knowing exactly what we need and having the ability to give infinitely.
I learned early on in my parenting that if I learned to LISTEN, He would tell me what I needed to do, when I needed to do it.
The only way that I can meet the needs of my children is to ask God what those needs are and act when He whispers.
I believe it is ESSENTIAL for every mother to gain a firm testimony of those two principles
1- You will NEVER be enough.
2- God loves your child more than you do, and He is enough.
This understanding will help alleviate MUCH mother guilt and anxiety-- and also will help you remember to LISTEN and HEAR God teaching you how to love and nurture.

This past Sunday, we had a discussion at church about being better missionaries.  As my friend was teaching HOW to do this I kept thinking-- this is EXACTLY how I parent, how I served with the youth, how I was the PTA president, how I try to be a good sister and daughter and friend and even how I'm an attentive wife.
Want to know what I do?
It's not magical...

Once a week, I ponder and pray and write down the thoughts that come into my mind.
Usually Monday morning, sometimes Sunday night...
I have a little notebook- that I write my constant To Do list in.
I start with my role as
and I think... what do my kids need from me this week.
Usually I have one child that stands out in my mind.  Usually, that child has been driving me crazy a bit more than the others.  Sometimes, that child is just a bit more un-noticed.
Children SHOW YOU when they NEED you. 
(I remember my mom telling me about an Oprah show she saw once.  It was a mother of a large family and Oprah asked her how she did it.  This wise mother replied, "You love the one the most that needs you the most."  Yup! That's it.)
So, usually one child stands out in my mind, and I think about them for a little while.
Drew has been quiet lately.  He's done a great job getting his chores done and goes to bed easily, but he doesn't seem attached to me.
I ponder- What can I do for him this week to show him that I notice him and that I love him.
I think of a few ideas- I could surprise him with lunch at school.  I could be sure to hug and kiss him each night before he goes to bed.  I could buy him a candy bar and leave it with a note on his pillow.  I could take him out to ice cream one afternoon- just me and him.
I pick ONE thing and write it down on my list.
And, I always try to tell my husband.  I've been thinking about Drew lately.  He's so good that sometimes he slips through the cracks.  Let's try to notice and thank him this week.  What can you do for Drew this week?

It's important to tell your husband the details you feel about your kids-- because they don't often think about those things on their own.  AND, because then they will understand why you want to bring that child with you to the store when it's bedtime.  AND, they won't complain when you come home with dairy queen wrappers.

These little things are my FAVORITE mother moments.
They don't take a lot of time or money, but they do take EFFORT and INTENTION.
Mothering moments are usually never URGENT, but they are ESSENTIAL.
I believe that if we take the time to ponder, God will show us WHO needs us and WHAT we can do to love them.
For me, it's usually one child a week... or one group of children (big boys, big girls, little girls).  Sometimes it's ok to do something intentional with more than one child.  Sometimes it is essential to spend time alone with one child.  Sometimes I feel prompted to teach my kids a certain lesson, to initiate a change to our family routine, to focus on family prayer or scripture study... most of the time I feel a quiet whisper to just connect with a child.  To listen more, to touch more, to love more.

I do the same process with the other categories in my life.
what can I do to love my husband more this week?
-cook better dinners, pray for greater love and empathy, go out to lunch with him, cuddle more, talk kinder, smile when he comes home (instead of complaining), etc., etc.
God tells me LITTLE things.  One little thing that I can focus on that week... and I feel my relationships improving as I act on each little thing.

I often pray about my extended family, my neighbors, my friends.  It is natural for me to give them space in my thoughts and my prayers... I often ask God if there is anyone that I know that needs me.  I am often prompted to call someone... and that is a small thing I can do to show them that I care.  When I'm NOT pregnant, and more into entertaining, we would invite a family over to dinner most Friday nights.  We would pray about who we should invite over and then call them.  It REALLY doesn't make too big of a difference if you invite over ONE family or THREE families-- so we would chunk our friends.  Even doing the cross over- friends from school and friends from church.  Some of my FAVORITE memories come from these Friday nights.  And, for sure, my dearest friendships were formed because I felt prompted to reach out.

[Note-- Sometimes I find myself chunking...  I am pretty good at bringing dinner to someone from church who has had a baby, or is sick, or had surgery.  But, for some reason, it isn't natural for me to bring a dinner to a neighbor who is needy.  DUH.  Service is service.  And, I need to be more careful about crossing my usual boundaries.  I can call a PTA friend when I'm cranky just like I can call my sister-in-law.  I've found that being consciously aware of these unconscious boundaries has helped me to tear them down and be more consistently who I am.  At home, at school, at play...]

I have often served in leadership positions while having babies and lots of young children.  I'm NOT perfectly organized or capable.  There are MANY things that I leave undone and I often rely heavily on my presidency or board to fill in the cracks that I am unaware of.  However, I feel PEACE in my service.  Because I am always thinking "What do I need to do this week to serve better?"
When I was the Young Women President at church, I would begin to feel a great burden of responsibility for these sweet, teenage girls that were under my stewardship.  I remember MANY prayers-- "God, please tell me what I can do for the girl who needs me."  And, I usually follow up my prayer with, "And, if I don't hear it the first time, please tell me again and again and again until I HEAR your prompting."  Hah!  I'm not sure it works that way, but it always made me feel better-- I knew that God knew I was WILLING to hear, even if I sometimes missed Him.

So, in conclusion... I guess I would just say-- we each have MANY things we could do each day.
We can't do everything.
That is part of the PLAN.
We aren't supposed to be able to do everything- God wants to see what our priorities are.
I find great peace in knowing that at least once a week, I ask Him.  And, I listen.  And, each morning before I rise I think of those things and I pick one act of love to focus on.
Laundry, dishes, schoolwork, dinner, appointments, practices, phone calls, these things just happen.
Loving, nurturing, listening, building relationships, these things take effort and intention.

I can't do it all.
But, I can do one thing.
And God, He's pretty good at telling me what I should focus on next.
Together, we can love many.
I believe that God and I together are better than just me alone- even if I only had one child.
And together, we are enough.  My kids are blessed, and my capacity to love has been increased.
Listening and then Acting... that is the key.
Just love the one that needs you the most.
Honestly, you do this ALL THE TIME.  It's just habit.  I bet you are so good at listening to those mothering whispers that you don't even think about it... until someone at church teaches a lesson (or you read a blog) and you think-- yup that is what I do.

When was the last time you had that feeling-- to stop and just take a moment to mother?
Weren't you glad you listened?
Valerie shared a moment here-- i loved it.
Feel free to share your moment with me... 
Honestly, I think just RECOGNIZING that God has prompted you and you listened opens the door for Him to speak more.

I'm not very good and very many things-- but I'm pretty good at listening.  And this has SAVED me and my family.

Here is a GREAT talk about women receiving revelation...  love it!  (This talk was given by Julie Beck, she is the president of the women's organization in the Mormon church... she is strong and confidant and AMAZING.)
The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life.
Julie Beck

make a moby.

this moby can handle an 8.5 month pregnant belly and a 2 year old.  :)
yes, i made a moby wrap.
it was simple-- two seams and some cutting.
I used a 40% off coupon at JoAnn's and bought 3 yards of ribbed knit fabric.
(I did look at my Walmart and they didn't have any cute knit for less than $5 a yard.)
I cut the fabric in half down the fold line, giving me 6 yards of fabric only 22.5 inches wide.
I didn't just want to sew the two pieces together- because I didn't want a seam down the middle where you would see it, so I cut one 3 yard piece in half (1.5 yards each) and i sewed them both to the ends of the other 3 yard piece.  Sorry if this is confusing- it really wasn't difficult.
The trickiest part-- figuring out what stitch to use when sewing two pieces of knit together.
The BEST is to use a serger- which I don't have.
I used the STRETCH STITCH... on my machine it looks like a teeny-tiny zig zag stitch..
Two seams later I was done!
I also stitched a little heart in front middle so I could easily center the wrap when I'm trying to wrap myself.

We'll see if I love it.
I'm glad I'll have the option to try it out... and it only cost me $15, so I won't be too dissappointed if I have to repurpose the knit later on.
I REALLY thought it would be fun to have my baby yesterday- 3-1-11 (remember I have 4 other kids born on the first of the month.)
But, for now, my lily will have to get all of our baby lovin'.

March 01, 2011

bows and headbands.

remember this--
Pretty Little Me Felt Flower Headband
it is DARLING.
and, i want to buy it.  You can buy it here.
but, i decided to TRY and make it...
this is what i came up with... 
Mine's not as cute-- but it was free.

while i was hair clip making, i pulled out some of the ribbon i had saved from my baby shower packaging...
i think our bow supply is sufficiently updated--

Oh, little girls... little girls...

We were at church yesterday and the cute baby in front of us climbed over. 
(Meaning- I made faces at him the whole meeting until I finally couldn't take it any more and I stole him from his mother.  Yes, I'm VERY ready for my own baby to distract me during church.)
Anyway, the little girls and I were playing with him for awhile and leah said with surprise and a little bit of disgust, "Mom, this is a BOY baby."
I chuckled.  I'm not sure she even knows what to do with BOY babies.
And, i really do LOVE little girls.
just sayin'.

ps- this is MARCH... do you know i'm having a baby THIS month?!!
yup... 17 days doesn't sound very long to me...
although, to me, tonight sounds like a good night to have a baby!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...