Saturday, October 9, 2010

Too Much to Say, So Little (free) Time!

Here I sit, at my dinky laptop, at 12:54 in the morning.  I've been working on going to bed earlier lately.  Have had too little energy, and too short of a temper.  Definitely, more sleep is in order.  But I always find myself loath to relinquish the tranquility of the early hours.

I have five young children, and I love having five children.  But even loving mommies need a few minutes of serenity.  By bedtime, I am beyond ready for a few minutes (at least!) of this.  It's not that my children are especially rambunctious, either.  Sure, they have their moments, but overall they are sweet, well-behaved rascals.  But it's hard to relax when you have so many who need a mother's attention.  Whether it's a seven year old, asking how to spell "idiosyncrasy" (kidding, he's never asked me how to spell that...yet), or a five year old wanting eye-liner on (yeah, right!), or a three year old wanting to tell me about last years boo-boo's, or a two year old wanting to know "wut dat?" is several times in a row, or a 7 month old wanting to be held after an attempt at standing FAIL.  Whew.  Yeah, not much relaxation going on during the waking hours. Yes, most of them take naps still, but they hardly coincide.  All that to say... THIS is why I'm usually up at this hour.

You'd think that when my quiet time finally arrives, I'd know what to do with it.  I guess mostly, there are just too many things I want/need to do at once.  For now I'm going to work on finishing this crochet project that is taking much more time to make than it should.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Thoughts For Today

I love to write, but most of the time I just don't know what to write about.  And I'm not sure why.  It's not like I don't have lots to write about...  I just don't have the time or energy to write about anything that has anything to do with anything besides my children. 

Wow.  Just wow.  I have five children. I have had five children in less than seven years.  I have FIVE children.  It blows my mind all the time. 

You know what scares me?  Having these five children that will someday be five teenagers (yes, I'll have five teenagers at the same time... !!).  Teenagers...  Yikes.

Parenting is tough, period.  Parenting five children, ages 7 years - 6 months is...  more than tough.  Somedays I have to remind myself to breathe.  Not that I don't love my job... I do for sure.  It's just exhausting.  And not only are the daily requirements of a mom (especially with more than one child) exhausting, but the worry, the unknown future...  it's most definitely exhausting too.  Actually it's exhausting me right now.  :D

It's hard, but I try to split up my time so that there is some one-on-one time with each of them, every day.  Obviously, Silas gets plenty of my attention, but the others?  I think I do a pretty good job, but what if I don't?  It's so important at this age.  At any age.  Sometimes I will catch myself answering one of their questions without having really heard what they were asking.  At that point I completely stop what I'm doing and focus on the child in question.  It really makes me feel like a lousy mom...  but when you have four (Silas isn't talking much yet) little people who ask questions nonstop every day, it can be so hard.

What do you do to spend one-on-one time with your kids?  We read together, talk together, play together, learn together or go for a walk together etc.  Philip likes me to do math games or puzzles with him.  Lucie likes to talk with me.  Eden likes me to play toys with her or read a book to her.  Ella likes me to goof off with her, be silly with her.  Silas... well, he's pretty much fine with anything at this point.  :)

Picture Post

Recent pics of the kids.

Philip Jr





Wha-Wha-What Did She Say?!

Lucie likes to sing "the name song".  Does it all the time... [Lucie, Lucie bo-bucie, banana-fana fo fucie, me my mo mucie, Lucie] and when she finishes with all the names she can think of, she starts with other random things.

I recently heard her singing this one:  kitchen.

Tried not to laugh.  :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Summing Up

What's going on in our life?  Well, lots.  Lots of ups and downs so far this year.

Phil lost his job in October of last year, and then we lost our house this year (on the day Silas was born).  We moved in with my mom in January so we could try to sell our house while it was still "ours".  Didn't work out.  But thank God we have my mother, or we'd be homeless.  We've been here for almost 8 months, and while it's crowded, it's been a blessing.  I am an ungrateful wretch, oftentimes complaining about our situation...  It's horrible of me.  God has blessed us so much.  Not just anyone would be willing to take 7 people in and let them overrun their 3 bedroom apartment.  (Love you, mom)

Meanwhile, since losing his job, Phil's still been teaching guitar lessons at a few different places.  He also just got a morning job (his students are in the evenings), so we're hoping to soon be able to get our own place again.  Phil has also been working on recording his first album with a good friend.  I can't wait til it's done so we can share it with you all.  It's been tight all year, but it makes me so happy to see my husband happy.  He was pretty miserable in the desk job he had before and was hardly able to ever play his guitar.  Now, he can play all the time.  Teaching, recording, playing gigs... it's wonderful.

Me and the kids?  Well, Philip just turned seven years old.  Still a little in shock that I have a son that old.  Seven?!  He's such a smart boy - loves to read, loves playing his guitar with his daddy, loves learning.  He's already got the multiplication concept down.  He can add three digit numbers too.  He's my pride and joy.  He's a big helper with the younger kids.  He and Lucie and Eden play so well together and he's always willing to play with or entertain Ella and Silas if I need him to.  He likes to make his own sandwiches, his own eggs, he likes to vacuum.  Such a good helper.

Lucie is five now and quite the drama queen.  Always wants to wear dresses, and would like to change dresses 3-4 times a day if I would let her.  But at least she's always ready to help with the laundry.  She's almost reading now and loves doing simple math problems.  She is such a girly-girl though.  Loves to have her nails done or wear lipgloss or high (not really) heels.  She is always singing and making up songs.  She's my sweetheart (with a bit of a stubborn attitude lately though... runs in the family).

Eden is my rascal.  She's beautiful and so much trouble.  Always egging Ella on, or bugging the bigger two.  She's three and is all over the place.  Always getting hurt, always running into things.  She really is a rascal.  She also loves to wear dresses.  We're stuck with the potty training right now.  She did really well for a while and I thought it was over... but nope.  I've always waited and let them learn in their own time, but it sure is hard having three in diapers.  Eden is also very much a girly-girl.  Always trying to find matching hats, or matching fingernail polish to go with her outfits.  So cute.

Ella is my bella.  She's the sweetest thing, but she won't let you know that!  She is talking up a storm, but also won't let you know that.  She turned two in June.  She is a total daddy's girl.  I *LOVE* seeing Phil and Ella interact.  They are so cute together.  Ella is very into copying right now.  (what two year old isn't?) She's always repeating things she hears or sees.

Silas is such a cute chunker.  He's almost six months old now!  He has been almost crawling for a few weeks now.  He is all over the place.  It's so much fun to watch him go after something he wants.  And it's so hard to keep small things off the floor with four other young ones around!  Silas weighed 8 lbs, 6 oz at birth.  At 3 months, he weighed 15 lbs!  I'm not sure what he weighs now, but he's a big thick boy!  In a few weeks (or maybe months... haven't decided for sure) I'll start making baby food for him.  He is obviously growing just fine without any for now though... but that leads to...

Me.  I'm not doing too well.  I have some fairly serious health problems, some of which can be very painful.  I don't even know exactly what all is wrong with me as we don't have insurance and can't afford a doctor visit.  But I can't eat much, which is not so good for Silas who is still ebf.  He's been fussier than normal lately and always hungry... and I'm a little worried.  I've been trying to eat what I can and do all sorts of other things to help my supply, but it's been hard.  I really need to be well.  I am not giving up breastfeeding yet... but not sure what else to do.

I guess that about sums up what's been going on with us lately.  :)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Too Many Random Thoughts.

I really need to blog more often.  I'm going to try to focus on one random thought at a time.  Yeah, right.  Here goes.

Effectual parenting has really been on my mind lately.  It's something I think about frequently, what with having five kids and all.  It's really hard to find a common ground with anyone when it comes to parenting.  Even if two parents have similar beliefs, their parenting styles may be completely different.  Even Phil and I don't always agree on the way to handle a situation (which is the main reason it's been on my mind more than normal).  I've been doing some reading online and here are some of my thoughts. 

As a parent, it is important to establish your leadership.  YOU are in charge, and that's just the way it is.  Ok, so the parent is the boss, but it's the same at any job - yes, the boss has authority, but also lots of responsibilities.  Rasing kids is a huge responsibility.  Don't ever take it lightly. 

Also as a parent, you have a right to be obeyed.  You must enforce this right, be affectionately assertive and accept the responsibility of raising your children.  "Discipline" has become a bad word.  But contrary to popular belief, the word "discipline" does not mean punishment.  Discipline may certainly involve punishment, but it has a much more important meaning.  Discipline really means confident, effective leadership.  It means teaching and learning.  It means parenting.  I stole the following from another blog, with his permission: Teach your children to aquire - by personal example, directed practice and verbal explanation - the great virtues of sound judgment, a sense of responsibility, personal courage, self-control and magnanimity.

I'm  out of time for right now, so I'll come back to this later.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Episode 100,000: Where Julie Got Her Groove Back

Six weeks after the birth of my fifth child, things are finally starting to settle into place. I'm starting to feel like myself, my older children have adjusted to a new brother (meaning mommy is even busier than usual), and said baby brother is happy and healthy. The craziness of having five children has sunk in, and I've begun to accept this craziness. I feel calm, relaxed and able to cope. (Thank you, Lord!)

I'm ready to be productive again. I'm ready to go out and about with my large brood. (Maybe?) I'm blissfully in love with my family. And did I mention this weather? It's enough to set one's heart a-glowing.

Today I have a six year old working on a "book report". He's loving mommy's attention as he works.

Today I have a four year old, learning to read and happy to have mommy sit with her and help.

Today I have a two year old, coloring within the lines and trying to write E's all over the place.

Today I have a one year old, trying to copy everything her older siblings do...trying to say everything they say, trying to write.

Today I have a six week (!) old baby, napping sweetly in the bed we share.

Ahhhhh. This is the life.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Coincidence? I think not.

"Our blessed Lord experienced a terrible sinking and melting of soul. 'The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity, but a wounded spirit who can bear?' Deep depression of spirit is the most grievous of all trials; all besides is as nothing. Well might the suffering Savior cry to His God, 'Be not far from me', for above all others seasons a man needs his God when his heart is melted within him because of heaviness. Believer, come near the cross this morning, and humbly adore the King of glory as having once been brought far lower, in mental distress and inward anguish, than any one among us; and mark His fitness to become a faithful High Priest, who can be touched with a feeling of our infirmities. Especially let those of us whose sadness springs directly from the withdrawal of a present sense of our Father's love, enter into near and intimate communion with Jesus. Let us not give way to despair, since through this dark room the Master has passed before us. Our souls may sometimes long and faint, and thirst even to anguish, to behold the light of the Lord's countenance: at such times let us stay ourselves with the sweet fact of the sympathy of our great High Priest. Our drops of sorrow may well be forgotten in the ocean of His griefs; but how high ought our love to rise! Come in, O strong and deep love of Jesus, like the sea at the flood in spring tides, cover all my powers, drown all my sins, wash out all my cares, lift up my earth-bound soul, and float it right up to my Lord's feet, and there let me lie, a poor broken shell, washed up by His love, having no virtue or value; and only venturing to whisper to Him that if He will put His ear to me, He will hear within my heart faint echoes of the vast waves of His own love which have brought me where it is my delight to lie, even at His feet for ever."

Spurgeon, Morning and Evening- April 12

As I was drifting off to sleep late last night, I realized how weary I was. My heart was heavy and sadness was overwhelming me. I've felt it for a while, just tried fighting it myself instead of turning to the One person who can help. I told myself no matter what, in the morning I was going to read Spurgeon and I told myself that more than likely, I could easily apply what he said to me... and so I can't say I was surprised after reading the morning devotional for today. Sometimes it just blows my mind how a passage can be exactly what you needed to hear at the exact time you needed to hear it. Predestined? Seriously.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Some Days...

...a mommy just needs to cry.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Better Late than Never

It's been quite a while since I took the time to blog, and now I have another birth story to share.

After a month and a half of wondering when this baby was going to come (because we were unsure of his "due" date), Silas Harper Hodges was finally born on March 2nd, two weeks and a day after the date we guessed was his EDD.

I had been having "false" labor for quite some time, but finally in the evening of March 1st, I started having real contractions, though for a while they were sporadic and didn't last long. I tried to go to bed around midnight but couldn't sleep. I tossed and turned until 2:30 when I could no longer ignore the contractions. That is when I started timing. They were about 8 minutes apart and lasting around 30 seconds. So I put off calling my midwife, and just got up and breathed through them. I did this til about 4am. Then they were 5-6 minutes apart, lasting around 45 seconds. Then I woke up my mom to tell her that my midwife would be coming soon. Then I called my midwife. She lives over an hour away so I knew I had some more time on my own. I woke Phil, put in a movie, and tried to watch. The contractions started getting even stronger, so I got in the shower and stayed there til the water started getting cold. Then back to the movie... it was close to six now, and Jenny still wasn't here. I went back to my room to find a comfortable way to work through the contractions. I focused on relaxing my muscles, which would naturally tense with each contraction, and leaned on our exercise ball. Phil was so wonderful through the whole thing. He was calm, and relaxed and helped me to relax... he was awesome! Finally Jenny's assistant, Margaret arrived and got the room ready. Jenny showed up before 6:30. I was already 7-8 cm dilated and so she broke my water around 7. By then contractions were very rough and right on top of each other, but as long as I stayed focused, it was easy to breathe through them. Around 8 I knew it was time. I pushed for about 45 minutes (I think... kind of lost track of time there), changing from squatting to standing, to finally, reclining against Phil. Since Silas was so late, the bones in his skull had already started to harden, making pushing much more painful than usual. But finally, at 8:43 am, Silas Harper Hodges was born. He weighed 8 lbs, 6 oz and was 21.5 inches long. His cord was so short, I couldn't hold him right away, but they put him on my stomach and he did the "breast" crawl! So cool! The sense of smell is so strong, some newborns instinctively head for the breast immediately after birth. (google "breast crawl" if you'd like... there are some really cool videos out there... warning, though... obviously there's some female nudity involved... duh!) Anyway, it was really cool.

The whole experience was wonderful. Not being tied down to a bed, not being poked and prodded, no extra "staff" in and out of the room, able to eat and drink what I please... Wonderful. I would have had all of mine at home, if not for the cost... Midwives can't accept insurance, and it isn't cheap to hire one. Annnnnnyway. I highly recommend it.

Now, almost 3 weeks after his birth, things are going well... The kids all love their new brother, and Silas is a sweet, happy baby. Mommy is a bit exhausted, but Silas is a great breastfeeder and is already getting fatter... the lack of sleep is definitely worth it.