In a homeschooling house full of 7 kids & 3 guniea pigs....there is never a dull moment! A lot of people show genuine concern for us and want to know how we are doing, as the road we've left behind was not a pleasant one. So, here I am, to tell some of our stories...share some of our days...and open up a part of our world to you! Come join us on our journey so you won't miss the moments that take our breath away!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Bulk cooking day 1

To say life has been crazy seems like such an understatement.  It seems like so much time passes in just the blink of an eye.  Our new little man is 8 months old already.  EIGHT!!  I just can't believe it.  There never seems to be enough time in a day and in "me" fashion I just keep adding more to my own plate.  Anyone who knows me, knows that the one thing I struggle with the most around here is cooking.  It's not that I don't like to cook, it's just that...I just never have time.  When the kids get sick of fast food, you know that you eat way too much of it.  Not to mention the cost to feed our family of 9 is about $40 a meal. So...that brings us to our Bulk Cooking weekend Day 1.  

Bulk cooking, though a challenging task to complete makes life so much easier (and cheaper).  This time I decided to bulk cook not only for dinner but for breakfast and lunch too.  Lunch often seems like an all day event around here with constant chaos in the kitchen.  One kid fixing mac n cheese while another makes a sandwich at the same time someone else is heating up soup.  It's insane and I cringe at all the processed foods they eat/crave.  So, I decided to try something completely new.  Why not fix better meals for lunch?  When I thought about it, I figured it really can't cost that much more...can it?  So, I made our our menu and headed out to Aldi's and Sam's Club.

Today was bulk cooking day 1.  We started with breakfast.  If my calculations are correct the cost of breakfast for our family is $0.47 per person/per day!  Here's the breakdown.

24 Pancakes $6.48 for bag of mix at Sam's used 1/4 of it =1.62
24 Sausage Muffins $4 english muffins, 8.97 sausage, 1.89 cheese, 2.49 eggs = 17.35
23 Breakfast Burrito's $2 tortilla, 1.99 sausage, 1.40 cheese, 2.49 eggs = 7.88
50 French Toast Sticks $5.98
10 Breakfast Bowls potatoes $1.00 (bought 10lb bag for 2.99), 2.49 eggs, 1.40 cheese = 4.89
60 Waffles $9.98
40 Pancake Bites (used pancake mix)
36 Pop Tarts $5.98
52 Oatmeal $9.87
32 Green Smoothies $8.96 spinach, 6.49 mixed fruit, 9.78 strawberries, .74 banannas = 25.97

Total $89.52 
Divide by the 3 weeks this should all last = $29.84 per week
$29.84 divided by 7 days = $4.26 per day
$4.26 divided by 9 people =$0.47 per person/per day 

It actually seemed like a lot...until you break it down!  

So, if this lasts us 3 weeks breakfast is only costing us 47 cents per person each day! 

What are some of your favorite fix ahead breakfasts? 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Such raw emotions...

For the past 7 years, January has always been a very emotionally difficult time of year for me.  I've not blogged about it every year, but on a few occasions, I have.  Perhaps some years are harder than others.

To add to these already raw emotions, last January 22 I lost my mother.  So, this January was greeted with very bittersweet and mixed emotions, numerous painful anniversaries and such anticipation and joy of the upcoming addition to our family.  I had such great fears that my son may share his birthday with the anniversary of my mom's death and I am so greatful that he chose his own day.

I was blessed with an awesome homebirth, which I always dreamed of.  We welcomed a beautiful, perfect baby boy to complete my family.  I should be flying high on my new baby bliss the way that I always have...but instead, I just sit and stare at the beautiful eyes that now stare back at me.  It's a horrible feeling to feel so happy yet be so sad.  The postpartum period is fragile....very, very fragile.  Hormones, mixed with already raw emotions were quite a lot to bear on their own but added to that is the fact that I do have struggles with this being my last baby and there has been a great turmoil over our new baby's name and other things coming to light in the midst of all of this just leaves my head and emotions spinning out of control.

We aren't good at naming babies together...we just aren't.  From the moment of getting a positive pregnancy test, the arguments over names begin.  The naming game used to be one of my most anticipated moments of pregnancy, but these last few pregnancies it has been the most dreaded aspect of being pregnant.  Our name tastes are just too different, we are both extremely stubborn, and we can't agree to disagree on this topic...but we can't agree either.  

We spent 10 months "hashing" names this time.  Everyone thought we were witholding his name, which was not the case at all.  We just coudn't agree.  Since Falcon really didn't care about naming the baby after anyone, I was adamant about him having a certain middle that I had not used yet but it traced back many generations in my family so it was important for me to give it to my last son.  We finally had a list of names...but most automatically got the boot for one reason or another mostly because we couldn't agree on a full name versus the nickname, or I simply couldn't pronounce the name correctly, etc.  Oddly enough we ended up with two names in the final days.  One, was originally my idea which I grew to hate because while I liked the full name, I didn't like the nicknames so I was clear in that, I disliked the name alltogether so it honestly should have came off the list.  The other name was originally Falcon's he grew to unfavor as well, but one that ended up really growing on me. Days before, I asked Falcon out of the two, which he would choose.  He answered my original choice and i was crushed because i would choose his original name.  So, our precious son was born before coming to any agreement on a name.  Hours passed....still, no name.  Pressures mounted as news spread of his arrival, name.  No discussion of any name.  Nothing.  As I laid in bed, that night, still on my birth "high" a blur I remember mention of naming him.  Honestly, I don't even remember much of it, but I do remember feeling I was giving in and I do remember the joy Falcon felt and how he ran off to call his friend to tell him he just named his son after him.  I guess in desperation for him to have "A" name...I agreed to that name....the one...that yes, was originally my idea.  The one I expressed great dislike of.  It just felt that someone had to give and with my peacekeeper personality, I knew no different than for it to be me.  I'm not a confrontational person, and I'm not a fighter.  I saw no end because after all, we fought it out for 10 months already so..we couldn't start all over now.  As the kids and Falcon started calling him by his name I cried inside each time. happened.  The nicknames, and shortening his name started.  Within my own family, even after fully discussing this possiblity before and expressing my complete distaste for the name due to these reasons.  The distaste got worse for me.  Everytime I hear his name, I fight back tears.  It got to the point that it didn't even matter if they called him by a nickname or his full all stings the same.  Honestly...I despise his name for all it's worth.  I love this little human more than words can say but yes...his name makes me cringe and cry.  I try to chalk up my feelings to hormones.  This whole "fight" has stirred up other feelings of another time I had such distaste for a name.  My life was once threatened over naming a son.  I dispised another name once too and being emotionally abused was given nothing but a threat if I changed it...and while Falcon was not the person to make this this threat...he did make it clear he prefered the name he had chosen and with that, I felt no option to change it.  I've been made to feel belittled, made fun of, stupid, etc. over being such a baby about his name.  Although, it wasn't intentional by those who made me feel this made me feel that way nonetheless.  He'll be a week old tomorrow and yes, I guess at this point changing his name would indeed be...stupid.  Although, as much as his middle name means to me, I think if nothing else I will change that because that will rid of one of the nicknames that I don't want him to grow up with.  So far, on his only paperwork, he is Baby "my last name" because I coulnd't bring myself to write his "name" and now I  feel undecided ...but I have a while to file his birth certificate and come to terms with his name.  I agreed to the name...people call him by his name.  Even if I had decided to change it...they would likely slip and call him by the same name he's been called for the past week.  The weight was entirely on my shoulders to change his name and it was to much for me to bear.  Falcon did offer to take it to the table again and start over but....if after 10 months we can't agree how in the world would we agree now and I'm far too emotional to deal with disagreeing over it anymore...and anyways, while it was in question...he was still being called by the same name. I have yet to call him by his name, not even once. 

I try to find some peace in knowing that someday...his name will become "him" and that I won't hate it.  I said this to a friend...
"I think there are so many other emotions in this cocktail right now.  Yes, I despise his name, but I will learn to love it.  With time, it will become "him".................................I shall never forget how all of this has made me feel, but someday, I will look back and smile"

This has all taught me a lot about myself & my relationship. With everything in life, there is give and take, there is compromise and there are disputes.  

I've gone through a lot leading to and following a few previous births but oddly, nothing has been more "traumatic" and saddening to me.  Nothing has ever spoiled my baby bliss and that's most upsetting.  My life was threatened at the mention of changing the name of my 5th child, I was living in a rape shelter and delivered my 6th child under survailance of undercover police pacing at my door....and not once did I ever suffer "the baby blues".  This all seems so ungodly petty...and yeah...STUPID!  I think there is more to it than just a name, it goes much deeper than that, and that's what's most upsetting.  

All of this will blow over.  I will feel better.  I will shine again. 
I will find that baby bliss I have always known. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

My Last Birth Story...

...and so my final pregnancy has come to an end.  There's a certain emptiness that comes with that, and perhaps it would be easier to deal with if it had been decided another way..but, I was blessed with 1 day shy of 3 extra weeks of being pregnant with my last little love bug and those days I truly did cherish.  

At my weekly midwife appointment my cervix was still very firm, but was dialated to 2.  I was instructed to take 6 primrose capsules and to insert 2 each night.  I am also instructed to take Calcuim Magnesium because my blood pressure is so high.  

We had a midnight visitor....nope, not a new baby....just a 6 year old puker :/ ugh.  The last thing we need is the horrific stomach virus going around.  I decided operation eviction for baby was not the best idea until this virus moves thru.

That morning, I woke up to a message from our little man, that I had already handed control over to him, and it's his turn to call all the shots.  I was greeted with the absense of my beautiful basketball belly and....bloody show. 

I went on to have prodromal labor for another 4 days since my last post.  The thing that sucks about prodromal labor, is that it feels real.  Some contractions are so mild that your not even sure your contracting, but others leave you feeling like gripping for dear life just waiting for it to pass and though the patterns are not regular, the contractions do not stop. They last from 20 sec to more than a minute and they range from 2 min apart to 4, 5, 6, min apart.  Then you think they stop and 15 min later they start again.  

I asked my sister in law to come up last weekend.  I had high hopes that our little man would make his appearance while she was here.  My membranes were stripped, and I got somewhat aggressive with natural ways of trying to encourage his arrival, but it seems he just wasn't ready.  On Sunday, I awoke with another bout of prodromal labor.  This continued throughout the entire day.  I nursed Dove to sleep at around 11 that night, and the contractions became quite intense.  They were so intense and so clost together, that sleeping was not even much of an option.  I went downstairs because Falcon was shaking the bed so much, tossing and turning in his sleep that I couldn't lay there.  Hawk took good care of me, tucking me into his bed.  I was able to rest off and on until about 3 am.  When I got up, I thought my water broke...turns out, I just had peed, lol.  I continued to contract into the following morning.  Still having intense contractions, I was exhausted and wearing very thin.  As I passed the 24 hour mark of having contractions I was ready to give up.  I had extreme back pain and cramps and I knew that the baby was just in a terrible position.  I asked my midwife to come over and check on us and try and help give suggestions to encourage him into a better position and I called upon my friend to come and offer some support.  We had blown up the birth pool in hopes that the contractions had progressed things and Falcon seemed pulled in many directions trying to take care of both me and the kids.

One of my midwive's arrived around 12pm.  She confirmed that I was not in labor and she checked my cervix at 12:10.  I was between 3-4 cm dialated, 80% effaced and baby was still high at -2 station.  We discussed different positions I could try during a contraction to encourage the baby to move down into the correct possition.  My sister in law had found on spinning babies website a technique called The Abdominal Lift & Tuck.  She also noticed that it had a disclaimer that if you have a history of fast labors, that you should not try it without your birth assistant.  My midwife was going to leave after giving her suggestions but, I asked if we could try this technique while she was here because of my past history of once my kids are in the correct position, they do tend to come very fast. She warned it was a very excruciating painful technique and that most everyone she has attempted it with can not tollerate the pain.  I agreed to still try and yes indeed it was intense!  The technique had to be done during 10 contractions.  I was still getting a break between contractions so at least I could recoup for a few minutes in between.  After about the 5th one, I started getting the urge to push.  For a few contractions this was more easily controlable but by about the 8th one she decided she should check my cervix.  At 1:05 I was 6-7cm dialated, 100% effaced and baby was at 0+ station.  This is when things kicked into high gear.  The midwife called the main midwife and told her she needed to come NOW.  I said "we aren't going to have time to fill the pool". My midwife suggested we could try, so my friend went to get Falcon who was just finishing fixing lunch for the kids.   I fell to the floor and was stuck in that position because my contractions were so close together.  The midwife helped me through another contraction or two but my urge to push was gettting too much to work through, so, she ran to her car to get her birth bag.  Some of the kids wanted to be in the room when I had the baby, some did not want to come in until immediately after he was born.  The only ones in the room at this time were Macaw, Emu and Duckling.  Falcon helped me through my next contraction and the midwife was getting as much out of her birth bag as she could.  At 1:20, I told her that he was coming out, so she then quickly assessed the baby.  I had another contraction and my water broke.  At this point, Macaw and Duckling decided they did not want to be in the room so they left but Macaw didn't even make it to the bottm of the srairs and he was out.  Just 35 minutes after labor began and two pushes and at 1:23 my precious son was born.  Before either of us were moved from that position all of the kids joined us.  The baby and I were moved to my bed and everyone gathered around.  The room was filled with so much love, joy and such a calmness I have never experienced in any of my other births.  We all sat in bed for hours.  There was no hussle and bussle of nurses whisking the baby away.  No hurry to cut the cord, measure or weighing, no rush to clen him up despite the fact he was born covered in meconium.  Most everyone got to hold him before he even got his bath.  His first bath was "our bath", a special herb bath that our midwives prepared for us ...again so peaceful and calm.  It's quite amazing how everyone gathered around.  Normally, I'm extremely selfish with these bonding moments but being at home is just indescribable in so many ways.  All of my kids, Falcon, and my dear friend all gathered around and shared the moment and there we all were without another care in the world other than that moment.  It was was perfect, although a few people were sister in law who simply did not have time to get there.  My main midwife was not there when he was born but arrived shortly after and another friend, a photographer who had planned on capturing all of these beautiful moments...honestly, things happened so fast, it didn't even enter my mind for anyone to call her, but chances are she would not have made it in those short minutes anyway.  For all that matters, my kids from the basement didnt even make it, and the midwife that was here said...she thought she wasn't going to make it.  

In all, I had 7 days (51 hours) of prodromal labor, 35 min of active labor and only 2 minutes of stage 2 labor consisting of just 2 pushes.   I carried our little man for 42 weeks and 6 days.  He was a tiny 7lb 4oz but so perfect!

I learned a hard lesson in not making decisions within the first 12 hours of giving birth.  That birth high is comparable to being should not make lifelong decisions while under the influence of new baby ;)  and I hope I've learned to never feel pressured to make another decision I may later regret. Even though I have not been able to put my precious little man down, I do wish I could feel "better".  This has by far been my worst postpartum period, I hope I can find peace and the same level of  bliss I have always known.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

My Last Labor Story, 
begins to unfold....

This pregnancy has been unbelievably...EASY.  People often wonder how any woman can carry a baby for 9 months, then deliver not ever knowing she was pregnant.  I get it...I really get it.  I was not one of those women, but having gone thru this pregnancy....I really do get it.  Had I not shown, or felt my baby kick (which mind you did not even happen until almost 22 weeks)...I honestly would not have known I was pregnant.  During the first two trimesters, the only "ailments" were that I had was a severe UTI and a suspected allergy to the glue in toilet paper (ouch, just don't ask).  

From day 1, we knew we were having a homebirth this time so, I chose not to tell anyone my actual "due date".  I have been induced all 7 times prior and have never carried a baby more than 12 days past my due date, but even on those 11 days past my due date when I was induced, my body has never shown any signs whats so ever that it was anywhere near ready to begin labor.  So, I knew going into this, that I would carry well over my "due date".  So much pressure surrounds a due date and I didn't want to fall into that frustration.  Two weeks before your due, the phone calls increase and the questions begin and with each of those I am one to weaken.  It makes me feel very stressed and pressured, it makes me feel like my body is broken and something must be wrong because otherwise I would have had baby.  Having suffered very difficult and painful pregnancies, I've been left begging for inductions by 37 weeks and all by twice I have been induced on or before my due date.  I have proven time and time again that I do not deal well with pressure to preform when it comes to having a baby.  I've never allowed anyone to wait in the waiting room at the hospital because, under so much pressure of having people wait for me to perform, I never could progress.  Phone calls are the same.  More than once, I've been in active labor in the hospital only to receive a phone call of someone checking to see how far along I was or if the baby had arrived yet and with each and every one of those phone labor stopped. I am.  "OVERDUE".  I've carried this little man well beyond the point I have carried any other of my children.  I started encountering some problems at week 36.  My blood pressure went haywire, my baby went transverse, my pubic symphisis dysfunction came back (THANK YOU for staying away for so long) along with a few other issues.  By week 38-39 our little guy settled into a breech position.  At my last weekly appointment, we knew we were preparing for a breech delivery.  A third midwife was scheduled to attend my birth and we discussed and altered my birth plan.  I increased my "birth team", aka support for both me and my children.  It was quite an empowering moment actually.  For the first time...I trusted my body, my baby and my ability to birth my baby no matter what his position, I trusted that I could do this.  I have a very trained and confident birth team and all the right support and though an OB would not only never let me carry beyond that point, they would also never even entertain the thought of allowing me to deliver breech and here I was with a baby engaged in breech position past my due date and I was preparing for his breech delivery at home and feeling so confident about it.  As I learned more about what to expect, I admit I was definately not looking forward to it, but....I felt more prepared for the challenges that laid ahead.  

I have worked for months to get my house to a certain level of "ready"  I kept saying he couldn't come, until I was ready.  Just three hours after I had that "Aaaaaahhhhhhh" moment and said he could come, he gave us the absolute most amazing belly dance show ever!  For about 30 min he was rumbling and tumbling all over the place.  Hawk said you could see the imprint of his feet as he kicked by belly outward.  I suspected he was moving out of his breech position, and after he settled,  I checked his positioning and listened to his heartbeat to confirm my suspicion that YES, he did turn!  He was head down!

I have had numerous bouts of "prodromal" labor.  This is a first experience for me and anyone who has had it, will tell you that is SUCKS!  The  first time, I contracted for 4 hours. stopped.  The second time...11 hours.  11!!!!! stopped.  

This week, my emotions have been completely all over the place.  One day I just woke up irritated and it got worse from there.  The next day, I was super emotional and swore if someone simply said "hi" it would make me cry, the following day, I was just "down"...the next day, I contracted for 11 hours only to have it stop.  That brings us to, i'm exhausted.  I don't want to move.  I have no appetite, I can't force myself to eat.  My cervix and uterus just plain hurt, even though my contractions weren't painful yesterday, my uterus did indeed work...for 11 hours, lol hurts :D 

Although I am becoming impatient and I am miserably uncomfortable and frustrated that I "labor" so much and still do not have a precious baby to hold...I truly do embrace each "extra" day I have being pregnant.  These are days I will probably never be ready to end and I know with 99.9% certainty, that this is really it for me.  So, I remind myself that I will never be pregnant makes it much easier to deal with one more day and I know..that I can't stay pregnant forever.  

Someday....our prince will come!

and so, my last birth story begins to unfold.....
stay tuned

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Coming in January....

This comes as no surprise to most who know me ;) but...we have FINALLY announced the last addition to our flock!

This announcement came with some degree of hostility but being so far along before announcing such news, I can say I somewhat expected this kind of reaction out of some (and there were a few that I didn't expect certain reactions from).  There are a lot of emotions that surrounded this pregnancy and so many reasons I made the decision not to tell.  

Without speaking negatively about any particular people, I will say first and foremost that most of my pregnancies have not been greeted with the happiest of reactions to say the least!  Granted, there isn't one person in this world who doesn't love all of my children with all their heart, it's just that generally, an announcement such as this is followed with LOTS of negativity, unsolicited opinions, unwarranted advice, jealousy and way too many questions!!  It was a bit difficult not having my mom here to counter all the negativity although, I admit, I had mixed feelings about the expected arrival date of this little one because it's highly likely that he will make his arrival on or very near her First Angelversary.

After Dove was born, it was decided that we would not have any more as Falcon decided he never wished to go through "that" again ;) but as time went on, he changed his mind and the desire to add to our family grew.  We actively "tried" for a time period of 6-8 months (whose counting?).  By actively trying, I mean...I charted cycles,  I took ovulation tests, etc.  I knew when I was fertile, we "tried" and every month resulted in a failed attempt to add to our family.   I bought pregnancy tests in bulk ;) month after month after month, I'd start testing days before my period and continue until Aunt Flo came for her visit.  "Trying" was becoming a bit too much of a stress, all the charting, timing and months of "failure" start having a negative effect on everything.  So, we stopped.  We stopped watching the calender so closely, stopped worrying so much about temps, we didn't use a chart to schedule intimacy....though, I did still somewhat keep a chart, it just wasn't something I paid much attention to.  For the most part, my cycles were very predictable.  As I said, normally, days before Aunt Flo was due to show up, I'd start testing.  The month I conceived, these days passed without notice clear until I was almost a week late and even then, it was Falcon who noticed.  I hadn't even noticed because I felt like I was going to start.  I was cramping and just felt like I was going to start, so it just went completely unnoticed that I was even "late".   

Early on, our news was shared with those few who could share in our excitement beginning with the select few who were sent these pics right after I myself found out.  I actually couldn't believe my eyes.  

Honestly, I had to look back at my chart as I was truly puzzled "how" this even happened, the odds were low.  It was a mix of "too good to be true", "how did this happen" and maybe even "denial" because I surely didn't FEEL pregnant.  I always know, way before a positive test (I'm ungodly sick and bloated) so this just didn't seem possible.  I had to test again...and again and again and again.....and AGAIN, just to be sure.

Initially, we decided to wait to tell anyone because first and foremost, I was not having ANY all.  Since I'm prone to miscarriages, we opted to wait to spread the news too far.  I mean, after all...why put up with all the negativity, opinions and questions only to later have to tell people we lost this baby too.  No thanks! ;)

I went through a period of extreme nausea from about 8-10 weeks but this is the first pregnancy I didn't throw up or have to take multiple meds to ward off this sickness.  So, at 10 weeks we were still hesitant to make any official announcement.  Another factor, was that I was not sure how my dad would take the news and I really wanted to tell him in person.  Living such a hectic life a few hours away from him made this a bit more difficult than I had anticipated.  

At 15 weeks I could hear a heartbeat on our home doppler, this was pretty exciting and reassuring because I still had not felt any movement.  At week 17, at a routine check, no heartbeat could be found (3 dopplers and 2 people making the attempt with no success).  I too, had not been able to find a heartbeat that week (but having had a previous anterior placenta, I didn't feel to worried and chalked it off as that).  All of this caused grave concern for my midwives and they requested I go for an ultrasound to check for viability.  We had hoped to find out the gender at a 20 week scan.  From the moment of a positive test (after looking at my chart), I "knew" it was a boy!  Oddly enough...I was actually right (first time for everything) and sure enough he had an anterior placenta which is why I couldn't feel any movement and why finding  a heartbeat was such a challenge.  

I will never forget the look on the techs face when I told her not to be surprised or afraid to say something if there was no heartbeat because that was the reason we were there.  She handled the situation very well  and all was well.  Obviously, this came as a big relief.  I was a bit bummed that we didn't have that exciting experience of finding out his gender but as we've learned, things don't always go as planned ;)

I finally began feeling movement at around 21 weeks.  For the most part...still symptom free and sharing all the excitement with those who was "enough" for me.  At times, honestly, I even forgot I was pregnant.  Usually, when I "pop", I "POP"!  This held true this time, but it sure didn't happen prior to that positive test like it always has.  I don't remember when it happened but some time around end of July I guess.  My first belly pics were taken in early August.

Followed by this one, which I have no idea when it was taken

This time, I have chosen to not do any of the special things I did during Dove's pregnancy.  All the belly pictures, the "Journey" board, taking notes along the way, journaling, etc.  It was a big deal to me the last time, but this time, I don't want to focus on this being the "last" one.  It's like I don't want an "attachment" to this pregnancy because in my own weird way I don't want to grieve it when it's gone.  Instead I just want to focus on the miracle he is.  I soak up my enjoyment in his movements, learning his sleeping patterns, and just anticipating the day I get to hold him.  

I did make two prior attempts to tell my family.  First was Cardinal's birthday.  However, the day was filled with a lot of tension as I spent a lot of time working on her gift and this made my dad upset which resulted in a lot of bad moods, so just felt I wanted to wait for a better time to announce it.  Then later, in August, my dad came to our house.  Dove wore his "Big Brother" t-shirt but, my dad didn't notice and none of us said anything.  Another few months went by before we had another opportunity to see him again....but we FINALLY announced it to him this past weekend, then yesterday made it facebook official.  

I must say, I was shocked at my dad's reaction, shocked at the lack of comments from certain people and not so shocked at reactions to others.  I still feel we have made good choices along the way.  This has by far been the easiest, symptom free pregnancy.  I feel AMAZING and it's been so nice to just enjoy every moment of it with no negative tension.  

Our choices aren't for everyone! Many people share the joy with everyone from the moment they get the positive pregnancy test (there were people announcing June babies before we had announced our January one).  This time, that was not the choice for us and if given the opportunity, I would do it the same again because the lack of stress has proven to do me and our baby very well.

I don't expect everyone to support our decisions.  We don't ask for (or need) help.  The size of our family is our business.  

How I birth is my choice and my decision is supported in confidence by the only person who matters.  YES, we are homebirthing.  No, I'm not endangering myself, or my child.  I don't owe an explanation to anyone, nor do I need to defend our decision to anyone.  

I don't have a "due" date.  We have a general idea when we can expect him to come.  We know he will be here by mid-late January, but ultimately he is not bound to any time frame and I will not be pressured by being "overdue".  He will come when he is ready!  Honestly, I have to look it up if I want to know exactly how far I am in weeks because I don't even keep track.

No, we do not get food stamps or WIC.  No one is going without anything because he is on his way, nor will any of them once he gets here and in case you didn't know, homebirthing with a midwife is not only outrageously expensive, it is also not covered by insurance so stop asking if we can really afford him...thank you for your concern but YES, we can afford him.

No, he was not an accident.  He was very wanted and very sought after, he just came to us in his own time.  

YES, all of the kids are thrilled (well, I think the girls really wanted a sister)...but all in all, everyone is excited.

No, he does not have a name yet, but don't worry some day, he will.

and NO, we are not having any more children (my most despised question of them all)...but how this is your business, I will never know and it's actually a sore subject for me so I really wish people would not ask, especially after he is born when emotions will be high anyway ;) 

So's been a nice 6 months without all these types of questions.  I'll spare the negativity and opinions but I'm sure you can imagine! 

Regardless...I'm sure my momma has been looking down on us since before we knew we were pregnant and there are days I can just "feel" her excitement.  There was nothing better for her than the joy of her grandchildren and I can't help but to think that she had a hand in all of this.  This January will be filled with a mix of emotions.  Until then, I embrace every day and I will continue to soak up our own happiness and the joy and support from all of those just as eager and excited about him as we are.  


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

School Fun with Pumpkins! Day 1

We LOVE this time of year and we are so excited to be set enough in our school schedule that we can allow some time for fun seasonal activities rather than rushing through the bare minimum!

As you know, we use (and love) Calvert.  Our first graders we on Lesson 14 today and for our Games & Activities lesson we had "Five Little Birds".  We decided to change it to "Five Little Pumpkins" instead!  We printed off mini books from DLTK's website.  You can print it here.  

Emu and Duckling enjoyed coloring the pages and reading their new book. 

As our "game" we printed a cute little rhyming activity.  You can print it here.  We glued the pumpkins on popcicle sticks and cut a slit in each fence post.  All the pumpkins sat nicely on the fence.  They enjoyed acting out the rhyme with their little puppets.  Each of them took a turn reading a line and they got to take out a pumpkin for the line they each read.  It was a great activity to work out some silliness before our math lesson! 

We are looking forward to lots of other fun with pumpkins in the upcoming weeks!  Check out these other awesome pumpkin activities that we look forward to doing! and don't miss all these awesome ideas for fall or these, whew, and we haven't even checked out pinterest yet!  Better get started!! What kinds of things are you planning on doing? 

Monday, September 15, 2014


Where does the time go?

Life has a way of just slipping by.  There never seems to be enough time in the day.  I can't believe how much time can go by without blogging.  I always miss it and always vow to make more time to do it, I always have many topics sitting just waiting for me to have time to write about.  Things that people often ask about such as schooling, our schedule, organizing, different parenting topics, natural remedies....but, I am looking back and see that my last post was in April!!!

So much has happened since the first of the year.  My mom passed away in February and my world has just spun out of control since then.  I spent some time in my own little funk just getting by day to day and letting so many things go and now that I'm trying to get things back in order I am paying the price for letting them go in the first place.  Things have gotten so far out of hand around here, it's been quite overwhelming trying to get back to life as we always knew it.  I started an in home day care (then lost all my kids after summer), the kids all became involved in different sports, school's just all been such a whirlwind.  Now, here we are trying to find a way to settle into a new routine that works.  

Currently, I have no daycare kids.  School and sports are in full swing.  Our sports schedule keeps us going from 3:30-9:00 pm Monday-Thursday.  Gymnastics and Football games on Saturdays and Soccer games on Sundays.  It's been a crazy ride.  The biggest challenge with it all has been managing our school days.  We are so accustomed to working day and night, so having to be done by 3pm is NOT easy (and sometimes impossible).  Then there was dinner.  Dinner was often a fail, which ended up with us grabbing food on the way home after 8pm so that we weren't eating dinner at 10pm.  Sigh.....then by the time everyone was settled, bathed and in was 11.  Sometimes 12am.  Which wrecked havoc on the next day.  At some point, you have to admit to yourself that something isn't working.  I finally got to that point, after countless sleepless nights, an empty savings account among other things.  So, last week, things changed around here and I think we've finally got things "right".  

So...once again, hopefully, I'm back to blogging.