Sunday, March 30, 2008

Guilt and Gratitude

It must be inherent that when you are female you feel guilty. We women seem to beat ourselves up a lot more than necessary. We're always either not doing enough, not looking good enough, not skinny enough, not smart enough, not cleaning the house enough, not helping others enough or worried that we've done too much and bothered somebody in the know how it goes.

For instance today I am sitting here feeling guilty (although admittedly only very slightly) that I am not at church. I *did* go to church, but planned on leaving after Sacrament Meeting as Alaina's cough seemed to be getting worse and I figured it would be best not to stick her in Primary to spread it around. We would have just stayed home altogether, but I would have felt guilty about that. Well, enter cough that is getting really annoying, despite trying gum chewing, going out in the hall to get drinks, and eventually just pulling the lid off Lincoln's sippy cup and giving the whole cup to her. 25 minutes into the meeting we decided it was enough, and packed her up and headed home, along with the three little boys for naps! I suppose the reason I feel bad for not being there is that I haven't been in my meetings for three weeks now. I was in nursery last week and the week before, and am obviously home now. Oddly though, I loved nursery and didn't feel the least bit guilty about being there! I did feel guilty for saying "no" when Dallin's nursery teacher called me yesterday and asked me to fill in for her today. I told her it wouldn't work this week, in the back of my mind thinking I should say yes, but wondering if Alaina's whiney day yesterday meant she was getting sick. I guess it's a good thing I said no.

I found myself feeling guilty recently on behalf of a friend. I mentioned a few posts back that an old friend was coming to town and I hoped to get a chance to see her. Well, I did and it was so wonderful to have some time to catch up, even if it was less than an hour. There were a number of people there from the neighborhood in which we grew up, so of course that meant catching up with everyone that I hadn't seen for some time. Most of them knew that I was expecting again, although some were surprised that I'm on #7. I know, I know, it's hard to keep up! : ) So talk was of course about my children and how old they were and the new little one on the way. Things changed when the conversation turned to my friend, and we found out that she was miscarrying. Right then. She was 6 or 7wks along, and had started bleeding just the night before. She was remarkably chipper for someone who must have been physically (not to mention emotionally) uncomfortable at the time. Suddenly I felt so guilty that I was carrying another child and she was losing hers. My heart just ached for her! That was compounded exponentially when her sister then told me that she had lost a baby last year sometime between 16 and 20wks, and that before that she had experienced another miscarriage. Wow. What do you even say to that? Besides "I'm so sorry", which doesn't even begin to touch how you feel for this person and what they have been and are going through.

I've found myself in that spot more than once, and it's an odd feeling. While I am so unbelievable grateful for my children, and more and more so for the fact that I haven't been through great struggles to make them a part of our family, I still feel a twinge of guilt each time I hear of a friend or neighbor who is struggling with a miscarriage or infertility for whatever reason. Knowing the amazing joy that motherhood brings, I would love more than anything to share that with all of my friends and family who long to have just one taste of it. What a perspective on life it has given me.

Aside from the opportunity to have the experience of being a mom, I am so grateful for the appreciation it has brought me. While I have been fortunate enough never to experience the heartbreak of a loss (no more so than my problems in my first pregnancy and presumed loss of a twin-but that is a whole different story), I ache for those who have had to deal with it, especially those who have endured that challenge repeatedly. Watching friends and family deal with the cost and emotional toll of fertility treatments, and medical tests....Or those who have chosen to have a family through adoption-watching them wait and wonder and hope that a birth mom doesn't change her mind...or watching them deal with the disappointment when that does happen and that sweet little baby they have hoped for, waited for and planned for turns out not to be a part of their family... How disheartening it must be! It makes me so very very grateful for the opportunity to be a mother, and to have the opportunity to be pregnant. It has taught me that anything that pregnancy brings is only a small price to pay for a miracle; my new mantra to get me through those harder days. Tired and achey? Small price to pay for a miracle. Gaining and trying to lose lots of weight 7 times over 10 years? Small price to pay for a miracle. Vein behind my knee getting worse? Small price to pay. Thighs and hips ballooning uncontrollably? Small price to pay (well, and thanks to Ben and Jerry's!). Heartburn, morning sickness, sciatic nerve pain, insomnia, leg get the truly is such a small sacrifice to make for the privledge of becoming a mother.

I have been overwhelmed with an amazing amount of gratitude recently for the opportunity to have a family. I hope and pray that those who are so dear to me and long for the same will have that chance. And I take comfort in knowing that even if it is something they are not able to experience in this life-they can have that opportunity in the next. What a beautiful thought that is!

So mothers (and fathers!), take an extra minute to love and appreciate your little ones today. Whether it's the baby that won't sleep through the night, the crazy toddler who won't stop climbing on the table and eating things that aren't really edible, the defiant preschooler, or the older child ever longing for more independence and fighting back against the rules. Step back and see through their eyes, try to be just a big more understanding of their perspective. Love them for who they are, instead of wishing they could be just a little bit more like you would have them be. Do not forget to whom they belong, and where they came from! Gordon B. Hinckley said, "Never forget that these little ones are the sons and daughters of God and that yours is a custodial relationship to them, that he was a parent before you were parents and that he has not relinquished his parental rights or interest in these little ones. ...Rear your children in love, in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Take care of your little ones, welcome them into your homes and nurture and love them with all of your hearts." May we be more grateful for the many blessings and challenges we all face, and the sweet lessons that we learn from them!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Just a head's up....

It's frightening what you can pull up on google. Or just about anywhere online for that matter. Try it-google your address, or check google maps, a lovely 360 degree view of our own lovely little street out here in the middle of nowhere. Makes me REALLY glad that we weren't outside on the day that this was done.

I started really thinking about this recently when there was a random comment on my blog from someone I didn't recognize. Turns out it was some 20-something college student guy in london. In theory he got to my blog by hitting "next blog", but he also just "randomly" landed on my sister's the same way? What are the odds? I thought I had my security preferences in place to avoid being listed and popping up when someone hits that lovely button, but who knows. I went back and double checked and in theory they were all set correctly, so now I wonder-do I trust the blogger security settings?

I have debated going private so that you have to be specifically invited to be able to read my blog, so that may be in the near future. I figured I'd give people a head's up though, so if you want to be on the invite list and have access to my blog still, let me know within the next week or so please! After some comments from someone else on another public forum (directed towards me-nothing freaky or anything thankfully) I just feel the need to step up the security a tad. Not comfortable with my kids pics floating around out there. And despite the fact that I don't have any real personal info on my blog anywhere, I'm still feeling kind of uneasy about it. Which makes me kind of sad, b/c I've been able to reconnect with some old friends who have landed on my blog and I love that!

I won't deny that I have blog-stalked, and come upon some fun things relating to people I haven't had contact with in years, and it was fun to see them and their families, but the more I think about it, it is kind of scary that I can land on their page, find their last name, the name of the hospital where they will have their baby in X months, the name of the subdivision or even the street on which they live, where their spouse works, on and on.

Anyway-my personal suggestion (and you can take it or leave it, it's just my opinion) is that those of you who have public blogs may just want to make sure that you don't have things like your last name, or they city where you live or any type of specific info sitting on your blog for the world to see. It's all too easy to find anymore! I'm sure I sound like a massively paranoid mom, but hey-who knows what kind of nut jobs are lurking around out there all day?

Wow-that post was kind of a downer, huh? : )
Go eat some ice cream, that will make you feel better!

Thursday, March 13, 2008


20wks! 140 days! Officially halfway through the pregnancy!

Wow-I can't believe I'm already that far. And assuming that things follow the same pattern that they usually do, I actually only have about 18wks left. That doesn't seem that far away! (sounds a lot closer than "the end of July" anyway....)

So-in all my glory, here is the official halfway shot:

The frightening thing is that nesting seems to be kicking in...a bit too soon for me! So if my husband comes knocking at your door looking for refuge, just smile and let him in! But make sure you send him back before too long-I have quite the list building over here and I can't do all of it! ; )

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

True Friendship

I've been thinking a lot about my friends lately. Yes! I have friends! Woo-hoo! Even if they are just humoring me, they are good fakers! I guess it's because I've realized how much I rely on my friends, and how fortunate I am to have friends so very close to home. And especially how lucky I am to get to spend forever with my very best friend! It just so happens that old friends have crossed paths with me recently as well. Some in connection with a 10yr high school reunion last year (no I didn't go to it, but part of me thinks I should have....oh well, 10 more yrs to get in great shape before it rolls around again! lol), some that we ran into at a film showing (yes-other people actually went to that birth movie too-by choice! ha!) , some who have landed at this blog by whatever circumstances, and another is coming to town this weekend so hopefully we'll get a chance to get together, even if it's just for a few minutes.

So I especially enjoyed an emailI got from an old friend of mine today. We hardly ever chat or email each other any more, and since she lives in FL I never see her, but we randomly send each other things worth sending. She sent me one that I've seen before, but that never fails to crack me up. And seriously-it is so on the mark! Everyone gets plenty of those really cheesy and sappy emails about "forward this to X amount of good friends and a miracle will happen" or silly pictures of animated kittens hugging or whatever with little taglines about being wonderful or important or whatever. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the thought. But really, Sometimes it's nice to just say it like it is!!

So, thanks to Lori, here is the Friendship email.

True Friendship Is None of that Sissy Crap
Are you tired of those sissy 'friendship' poems that always sound good,
But never actually come close to reality?
Well, here is a series of promises that actually speak of true friendship.
You will see no cutesy little smiley faces on this card- Just the stone cold truth of our great friendship.

1. When you are sad -- I will jump on the person who made you sad like a spider monkey.
2. When you are blue -- I will try to dislodge whatever is choking you.
3. When you smile -- I will know you are plotting something that I must be involved in.
4. When you are scared -- I will rag on you about it every chance I get.
5. When you are worried -- I will tell you horrible stories about how much worse it could be until you quit whining.
6. When you are confused -- I will use little words.
7. When you are sick -- Stay away from me until you are well again. I don't want whatever you have.
8. When you fall -- I will point and laugh at your clumsiness.
9. This is my oath.... I pledge it to the end. 'Why?' you may ask; 'because you are my friend'.

Friendship is like peeing your pants, everyone can see it, BUT only you can feel the true warmth.
Send this to 10 of your closest friends, Then get depressed because you can only think of 4!

Fortunately for me, I can actually think of 10 (and believe it or not, even more!) friends who I would be happy to send this too. So to all of my good friends, thanks for all you do!! And thanks for putting up with my pregnant irritability and all that good stuff!

Monday, March 10, 2008

What's in a name?

Well, for those of you too lazy to count, there were actually more pink there than blue. Thus, our joyous news that after 3 boys in a row and nearly 7 years, we get to add a little girl to our family again! It is a good thing we are on a tight budget or I would have spent nearly every day of the past week out shopping! : )

While we are all thrilled to death that this is a girl (except Jacob who still occasionally seems to think it's actually a boy in there), the catch comes in the form of the name. I know, we hashed out the middle name thing not too long ago, and believe it or not, Aaron actually seems ok with the middle name Olwen now. Which, by the way, I very much appreciate. One more reason that he is the greatest husband ever! The catch comes in the child's actual first name. You know, the one everyone actually USES. We've talked, thought, poured over name books, and even actually allowed suggestions this time around. We are no where near close! He has a few favorites, I have a few favorites, none of them happen to overlap at all. fun times. But hey, the good news is that there are still likely at least 4 1/2 months left in which to hash this one out. With any luck, little "Seven" will have a real name by the time she gets here!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Just for fun

Thanks Heidi for the link that kept me entertained while my husband was at a meeting tonight! : )

I was so very happy with myself! lol Last time I think I took a typing test was in 7th grade keyboarding class....on an actual typewriter! ha!

93 words


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

And the answer is.......

Put on your thinking caps! Is there more blue or more pink???

Really-is there a more appropriate way for ME to announce than with M&Ms? ; )

Oh c'mon, quit complaining! My original plan was to put up the in between the legs shot from each kid and let you figure out how many girls and how many boys! This is MUCH easier! ; )


No-not that! It's only 7am! I'm not even leaving for my appointment for a few more hours! But I did see the baby this morning! My jumpy little Seven was ALL over the place in there, so I looked down, and wouldn't you know, you could see it jumping around already! LOVE watching the belly wiggle all over!! I was so sad that Aaron wasn't here-he still hasn't had the chance to feel this little one. It was fairly jumpy the other night so I pulled his hand to my belly and we waited, and waited, and waited, and of course baby quieted down with only one or two kicks that just weren't strong enough for him to feel. I wish he could have been here to see it this morning. Hopefully soon!

And hopefully this means this baby will be nice and active and cooperative today!

Is this background gender generic enough for you? We'll play a little game after the ultrasound and see who is the first to figure out what this baby is!

Monday, March 3, 2008

It's a dirty job...but somebody's got to do it!

This is really, just too horrific not to share. and since plenty of you will be checking in today to see if the blog goes pink or blue, I'll share a little story to pass the time!

If you have a weak stomach, do not continue reading. Honestly. I post these warnings and you people don't believe me. like the disclaimer about posts being long...y'all read them and then come to me and say "that was long!" I warned you. Just like I'm warning you now. This is gross.

I read on some blog somewhere last year (nice and specific, huh?), about a contest that was going on for the dirtiest moments in motherhood. Dirtiest as in grossest. I read the top ten of the contest. A couple of them-eh-yucky, but not that off the wall. A couple of them had me feeling genuinely sorry for whoever had to deal with whatever gross thing it was. I think I had one of my grossest mothering moments last night.

This is your last warning.

After 6 kids, we've done countless gross things. I've been peed on, pooped on, puked on, snotted on, bled on, sometimes all in the same day. What can I say, it comes with the territory. So last night when Malia came wandering in shortly after midnight telling me she threw up, I went into auto-mode, going with her to the bathroom, getting her pukey pj's off and helping her into the shower while trying not to make the bathroom too gross. I ask her, reluctantly, if she happened to puke on her way upstairs. Thankfully the answer was no. Phew! I did not want to be scrubbing vomit off of the stairs that are currently not carpeted. Or off the carpet that is laying across the floor in most of the basement. Or off the concrete floor in the hallway downstairs that is not covered. Thank you Malia for not spreading the joy on your way up. She reassured me that it was all on her bed. And as I was making my way downstairs I heard "mom-I think Dallin is still sleeping in my bed." Apparently sometime in the night he decided he didn't want to sleep in his bed and wandered into his. Ok. Dallin was indeed still in Malia's bed. Laying on her pillow. In a pile of puke. Gag reflex experience #1. I pull him out of the puke and try to maneuver him off the bed and into my arms to carry him to the shower w/out dripping puke all over Alaina's bed, the floor, or myself. Gag reflex kicks in again. AFter getting Malia out of the shower, and getting Dallin in, I haul my exhausted pregnant hiney back downstairs (seriously-I do not want to see what the third trimester brings me this time!) and proceed to strip Malia's bed. I notice that she got some on the rails of her bed next to the wall, so I wipe as best possible with a pukey sheet and pillow and drag it all upstairs. Laundry in the middle of the night was not on my list, so I just piled it all on the laundry room floor to wait for Monday morning. Cause really, what better way to start the week than with bedding drenched in vomit? I proceed back to the bathroom to pull Dallin out of the shower (after I finish scrubbing throw up out of his hair) upon which he begins screaming because he does not want to get out. Fun. While trying to calm him down I realize that I didn't get him new pajamas. I then go digging through the basket of clean laundry stuffed behind the couch (you know, it's hiding from the view of the front door), trying to find him pj's. I end up with Cars pants and a soccer shirt. Whatever. It is clothing, it will cover him. No one will care what he wakes up wearing. I finally get Dallin dressed at which point Malia informs me that she needs to get back in the shower because she still has vomit behind and in her ear. Thank you for that visual. Enter the gag reflex.

By this time Aaron has been woken up by all the commotion (though thankfully Lincoln and Jacob stayed peacefully asleep across the hall), and comes in to see what in the world is going on in the bathroom in the middle of the night. Poor guy. I tried not to wake him as he gets up at 4am everyday. But hey-since he was up I put him on Dallin duty, which consisted of trying to get him to stop screaming (yes, he was still going), and back into his own bed. He insisted on Malia's bed, which obviously was not an option. Somehow Dad succeeded in getting him in bed. How, I don't know, and frankly I don't care. Malia, finally CLEAN, got out of the shower to inform me that she still needed clean pajamas. Back to the laundry hamper for round two. See-this is why I procrastinate folding laundry, it saved me two trips downstairs to their closests! Dug through and miracle of miracles found matching top and bottom for miss fashion conscious (but oddly, only when it comes to pajamas. go figure.), and got her dressed, pulled out some towels and made her a bed on the bathroom floor. Finally. Done. I then haul myself back to bed and proceed to crash.

But hey-on the bright side, last night was the first night in over a week when I did not wake up hungry in the middle of the night! And there was no more puking after that, and no sick tummies today at all! Thank Goodness!!!

I did assign Malia the task of getting her bedding into the washer today. She's old enough to help clean up her own puke! Little did I know she kept it wrapped up tightly and just shoved the bundle in the washer. Fun times when I took that out to transfer it to the dryer. (GAG!) I ended up scraping off everything that had not only not washed out, but compounded itself even more as it made it's way through a wash cycle all stuffed up together. She hadn't even taken the pillow case off of her pillow. I actually had to leave the room mid-cleanup this time. Dallin spent the next little while trying to figure out why I was making funny faces and bending over. It was gagging evolved to full on heaving. Thankfully I hadn't eaten for a bit.

Lest you think the joy had ended with the laundry, the real highlight of this whole situation came this evening as we were tucking the girls into bed. I had asked Malia this morning to make sure that we got it all cleaned up off of her bed. She said I had gotten it all the night before. Fast forward to bedtime. I find that while the wall just next to the head of her bed is indeed clean, her bed rails are covered, as is the rest of the wall down to the floor, the edge of Alaina's sheet and pillowcase, Alaina's bedrail, and the carpet below the corner of the bed are all plastered in dried puke. We then spent the next 20 minutes cleaning it off. I say we because I am a mean mother and I made both Malia and Alaina help me clean it up. Aaron was a trooper and let me out of the vomit corner and cleaned up the carpet himself after we moved the beds out.

One day I will look back and this and laugh, right? Right???

P.S. I warned you.

Less than 24 hours....

Just thought I'd drive someone else crazy, since my sweet husband has been so patient with me for the past 3 weeks! : )

Less than 24hrs until we know what this child is! Well, assuming it cooperates! Here's hoping for an open leg baby...check back tomorrow for the big news!