Tag Archives: children close in age

Life with Seven Kids

DSC_6036It feels like forever since I’ve written a blog. I have a few drafts of blogs that I have written and not published in the past 7 weeks. It has been a crazy time since my baby girl was born. Usually I bounce back pretty quickly after deliveries, but this time was much different. Soon after arriving at Labor and Delivery it was discovered that my baby girl was breech and I needed to have a c-section.

C-section recovery with seven kids is tough stuff. A couple of times I called the doctor’s office to ask questions and the nurses told me to rest. It was hard not to laugh out loud at them. Seven kids need to be fed and clothed and kept alive. Resting seemed nearly impossible. There were times I would fall doze off only to be awakened by kids yelling. Thankfully I had a lot of help. My church family made us dinner here and there. My mom came to help me with the house. The kids pitched in to help. My husband was amazing as always. He can get everyone bathed at lightning speed!

We survived those long weeks and now our girl is seven weeks young and this year is half over. I finally feel almost back to normal.  I can almost get my wedding and engagement rings back on! I’m packing away most of my maternity clothes and we are settling in to our new normal.

The day starts with one early morning nursing session with Miss A usually around 3 a.m.  Miss A usually nurses through breakfast around 7:30 and big brother gets all the other siblings started with breakfast. We are still doing some school through the summer but on a much more laid back schedule . . . not that our school routine is ever rigid by any means.  Nursing Miss A seems to take the most time because she is a spit-upper! To decrease the amount that she spits up she needs to be held upright for at least 15 minutes after she nurses! Sometimes I can hand her off to the two oldest boys but most times I just sit with her.  Feeding the rest of the crew hasn’t changed much. Lunch is always something simple. Peanut Butter Jelly time rules. Dinner has been what I struggle with most. Miss A always seems to be the most fussy when I want to try to make dinner.  After dinner Miss A likes to have nursing marathons. It seems like I nurse her and nurse her and nurse her for two hours or more every evening, but if she lets me sleep and wakes me just once in the middle of the night it is worth it.  She’s constantly growing and constantly changing! The boys have been given a few more responsibilities and the girls are used to helping out with different things.

We are living the life!  I’m up for the adventures that seven kids will bring. I’ve figured out that Mr. A is big enough to push our second stroller so we can all go on walks while Daddy is at work.  I took all seven kids to the grocery store by myself for the second time since I’ve had seven kids. I put the Miss A’s car seat into the back of the cart and Miss G into the seat of the cart and all 5 big kids had a hand on the cart. I paused for a minute and thought to myself, “I get to do this!”  It’s not all sunshine and roses all the time but I honestly love it!

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Shenanigans! Again!

There are always lots of different things going on at any given moment around our house! Isn’t there some movie where the main character shouts, “They’re everywhere! They’re everywhere!” That was me with my kids today. It started two pretty rotten nights of sleep. One 5 hour sleep night, and then another that was very broken with an over dramatic almost three-year-old who was so miserable with a cold that she cried and yelled and eventually was allowed to sleep in my bed. She only had congestion and runny nose, but at one point she almost had me convinced me that she needed to go the hospital. It was her yelling and crying frantically while pushing on her eyelid and says, “Ouch! My eye hurts! My eye hurts!” over and over for over for more than 15 minutes, that nearly sent me over the edge in the wee hours of the morning. Amazingly she didn’t wake any of the other kids and her Daddy only stirred to ask if she was okay.

Our morning routine consisted of everyone doing Bible Study together. We are taking about the names for Jesus during the Advent season. Miss Isabel today was grumping about everyone being mean to her and wearing a frown all morning so I asked her aunt if she would take her for an adventure with her cousin.  Miss Danielle was a snotty puffy-faced mess all day today. She would complain about her nose, her throat, and her hurt finger at different times though out the day.  Her nose would run or she would sneeze start crying! I had to coax her into getting tissues to wipe her nose. That high-pitched crying, “ugh, ugh, ugh,” was like nails on the chalkboard for me today.

Then Gabrielle was into absolutely everything. She had two baths within 2 hours. The first bath was only partly her fault. Her brother left a mostly eaten bowl of yogurt on the dining table. She climbed into a chair and helped herself to some yogurt but not without getting some in her hair.  Her brother tried to help by wiping her off. I noticed that her hair was sticking up in all kind of funny directions and when I asked what happened to her hair Andy told me that she had gotten some yogurt on herself and he had wiped it off.  Upon further investigation I discovered the dishcloth that he used was not a clean one but one that I had used to clean the dirty stove off earlier.  After taking her into the bathroom I undressed her and turned to get a towel and came back to her standing in a puddle on the floor. Fabulous! I threw a hand towel over the puddle and instead of starting on dinner, Gabrielle and her crunchy hair got a good scrub.

The dinner request was for little pizzas today. This is something Daddy started with them and they loved it. They cut out rounds of pizza dough and then top their own mini pizzas. Andy was telling Gabrielle how Daddy invented the little pizzas, because of course Daddy is a hero in the eyes of his son. This was all well and good except that Danielle wanted a front row seat and was coughing and sneezing and snotty. I kept trying to get her out of the kitchen but she was so pitiful.

While I made dinner with the kids, the older kids were all arguing. Apparently Andy wanted very badly to work on learning German using the Duo Lingo app on the iPad and his siblings were not making it easy for him to hear the speaking part of his lessons. He took the iPad into the bathroom to complete the lessons and every so often one of the kids would come to me and tell me that Andy was being mean or doing this or that to them because he did not want them in the bathroom.  He came out a few times to tell me that they were bothering him and he could not hear the lesson to finish it.  I ended up making his mini pizzas for him so that he could learn German.

The pizzas had been in the oven for a little while when Isabel ran up to me and said, “Mommy it’s an emergency. Gabrielle is in the bathroom and she got soap all over her head.” :::Sigh::: “Who left the bathroom door open and the light on?” I walk into the bathroom and sure enough Gabrielle has the shampoo and a big glob of it in her hair and on her shirt. Into the bathtub she went for yet another bath!  I remember the pizza after taking her out of the tub and I yelled for Joshua to hang on to my damp and towel-covered girl. I check the bottoms of the pizzas and they look slightly brown so I pull them out of the oven and then get Gabrielle dressed.

After sitting down to eat I realized that my pizza was still a little doughy. Because making pizzas with little kids takes a long time the pizza dough was more thick than usual and needed to bake a little while longer. The kids ate their pizzas and I ate less than half of mine.  This is why we let Daddy cook whenever possible.

I had this awesome plan to get everyone’s socks and underwear washed before bedtime.  I washed my clothes first because I only have so many things that fit me correctly these days. I had the kids gather up all the laundry so I could wash whites. It was after dinner that I realized I still had not gotten the load of whites in the washer. No sweat, I thought . . . I let the kids stay up and watch a short video to give the clothes more time to dry but it did not work out! Thankfully there was not too much argument about not having what they needed at bedtime because they were so tired they didn’t care.

It’s not even 10 o’clock but this Mommy is going to join her kids in getting some shut-eye! I am hoping and praying for better health and maybe a few less shenanigans, but who I am kidding! Life without shenanigans just isn’t any fun!

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Outnumbered Always

To say that I am outnumbered when my husband goes to work is a gross understatement. They say you should laugh so that you don’t cry so I’m going to share this and some day I am going to laugh about all these things that the kids did in the past TWO DAYS!

There was a blue Moon Sand disaster AFTER bed time. I’m talking Moon Sand all over one kids bed and covering all of the floor that was not covered with toys! One part of the floor wasn’t covered in toys only because my oldest son and I picked up two large bags filled with sheets and clothes off the floor and pushed the toys to the sides to make a path.  The “path” was Moon Sand. I’m never given my kids Moon Sand to play with EVER and I actually had thought that I had given it away. I know it WAS on a high shelf. I have a feeling my favorite “-ZILLA” was up to no good AGAIN!

The girls were walking around in their sunglasses at one point. Sunglasses that were also on a high shelf.

I absolutely loathe hearing that so-and-so went potty in any place other than the potty or a diaper. The past couple days it was the office and the bathroom carpet. It was a different potty-trained child both times! I use an enzyme cleaner called Kids and Pets. I don’t have any pets and if these kids don’t stop using the floor as a toilet I’ll never have any pets other than fish!

There was ink; Ink of kids, ink on walls, ink on Mom, bright Smurf-blue ink. “Awesome” took the ink off the walls. It was the tricky ink that teases you by washing off your skin but not completely. I promise my kids have always had a thing for Smurf-blue!

I love that my kids love to dress up, but nap time and bed time seem to be new favorites for dress-up time. Today I kept hearing giggling during nap time and Snow White and Silvermist were out of bed playing. Yesterday after 9 o-clock Silvermist came out of her room to ask a question!

There were two marker incidents. Both incidents included, “Double-Trouble,” who decided as a team that they should do their fingernails. Let me tell you from experience that a marker manicure is not a pretty sight.  I tell them to bring the markers to me because they have been doing their manicures in super secret during school time. They bring the markers but no caps!

My bed was mysteriously stripped on all pillows and bedding except for the fitted sheet. No one knew who threw everything onto the floor of course. I was trying to be positive when I decided just to put clean sheets on the bed. Too bad the only sheets I could find were a fitted sheet and one Star Wars pillowcase.  I ended up staying awake to put my sheets in the wash. I found a lot of sheets during the Moon Sand incident later.

Lights kept systematically going off all over the house and then there were screams and kids running back and forth saying there was a monster. Seriously 3 of them have nightmares about monsters and the oldest is thinks it’s a good idea to play this game before bedtime!

The bread that was acceptable for PBJ and toast was not good for turkey and cheese today and my picky guy decided he was not going to eat it.  We had a total battle of wills. His two choices were to eat it or be hungry. He eventually made the right choice. He gets it very honestly from his father and also his great-grandfather. The hubby and I know it can’t be cured, but it can at least be dealt with.

My older boys are going through growth spurts and transitions times.  The oldest keeps having melt-downs about random things and he is sure that I don’t love him because of how mean I am to him.  His younger brother is going through a hitting phase and also a battle of wills stage.

My younger son told me before bedtime that he and his older brother will try to do better tomorrow and I believe him.  Tomorrow is a new day but I am sure there will be more shenanigans tomorrow!

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Here We Grow

A few weeks ago Andy needed longer pants, This week I discovered that Joshua needed bigger shirts.  Eliana and Isabel couldn’t wear their dresses and Danielle couldn’t stretch out her legs in her sleeper outfits. The great clothes shift continues! Praise God I only have to buy clothes for Andy and Eliana. This time around we had some dear church friends give us pants that fit Andy’s skinny frame perfectly.

After Andy’s front tooth fell out this week his smile made James and I laugh out loud. He had lost his two bottom front teeth already, but it was not terribly noticeable when he smiled.  This guy is doing great in school and we’re so proud of how he is learning and growing.

Joshua has been between wanting to be totally independent and still wanting help with everything.  One minute he is telling us that he doesn’t need our help brushing his teeth and the next minute he is asking if we can help him put on his shoes or cover him up.  He loves his baby sister and he asks multiple times a day if I can take a picture of him holding Danielle. Miss Danielle is already 7 weeks old.  It seems like it was just a few days ago that we brought her home from the hospital.  She is holding her head up more. She’s starting to smile. She’s outgrowing her newborns clothes and diapers. She’s sleeping for longer stretches at night. Her eyes are still blue and her dark hair is growing back in.  She has a little cry with a minute or two pause before the next cry which tells me that she not too upset.  It’s a little bit like getting an early warning before she gets really upset. Usually the problem is that she needs  a diaper change, a new bib or she’s hungry. Sometimes she is just bored and wants a change of scenery.  With each one of the kids it seems that they grow and change much more quickly than their siblings before them.

Isabel has been adjusting to not being the baby in the house.  She’s been cutting 6 teeth at once, four of which are molars.  Before I realized she was teething actually took her to the doctor because she was drinking all the time and I thought she might be diabetic!  Her vocabulary is growing daily and she constantly amazes us with the words that she says. We still affectionately (most of the time) call her “Baby-zilla,” because of her tendency to destroy things, to take things that don’t belong to her, and to cause general messes where ever she goes. Sometimes I put her into the playpen instead of Danielle to give everyone a break from her!

Miss Eliana is as sassy as ever.  She gets frustrated easily and wears her heart on her sleeve.  She is progressing nicely with being potty trained.  Her expanding collection of stuffed animals has caused her to fall out of bed more than once.  If you have any ideas, suggestions or stories to help us convince her to move her toys off of her bed they are more than welcome!  She cries and cries even if we move her animals to the foot of her bed.  She wants all of them and she is absolutely broken-hearted if we put them into the toy buckets that we have just for animals.

Today Eliana said to me, “You got a lot of kids!” I responded by saying, “Yes, 5 kids is a lot!”  I will be the first one to confess that I get overwhelmed sometimes, but my kids are a tremendous blessing to me! While the kids grow and change, so do I.

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A 1, a 2, and a 3-year-old

I realized the other day that from Dec 6. 2009 – Jan 16, 2010 I will have a 1-year-old, a 2-year-old, and a 3-year-old.  I had a kid every year from 2006-2008.  2009 is almost over and guess what????  No baby this year!  🙂  It was very nice to take a year off!  Ha ha!

It seems like the kid’s transitions seem to always fall at the same time.  My independent Andy, who turns 4 on January 17, has decided that most days he doesn’t need a nap.  He’s also decided that he can do everything by himself! Joshua has been regressing a little, as most kids do when they are getting ready to go through a developmental growth spurt.  Temper tantrums and yelling seem to be his favorite forms of communication.  He been extra clingy and wants to cuddle a lot.  He fights laying down at night because he wants just a few more cuddles.  My on-the-move Eliana, who turns 1 on Sunday, just wears me out! She has discovered the joys of climbing and running and following myself and her brothers where ever we go.

It seems really crazy some days to have kids so close in age.  I know that a few of my friends wonder how in the world I do it every day.  The truth is . . . since I am confessing . . . Some days are better than others, some days I don’t know how I get anything done or how I manage anything.  I do not measure the success of a day by how clean the house is or by if all the laundry is clean and folded and put away.  If that were the case I would fail miserably each and every day .  I measure my success by the fact that my kids are taken care of, they are healthy, and they are happy (at least most of the time).

Caring for 3 kids is a constant learning process. I remember a time when I would not eat lunch  because I could not figure out how to make time to feed a baby and still eat something myself.  I sometimes long for the days of only having 2 mouths to feed.  Now I have one bottomless pit, one super picky eater (two if you count James),  and one toddler. Some days I make 4 completely different things for us to eat.  I almost never miss a meal.  I know that “super mommy” has got to eat!

I am far from perfect and I know that there are always things that I feel like I need to work on.  Lately I really need to work on refraining from yelling to get my point across.  They yell, I yell, they yell louder . . .it is not helpful or productive.  They make me mad sometimes and I really don’t like getting mad at them.  They are just kids and getting angry with them doesn’t help them and it doesn’t help me.

I believe that Super Mommy requirement #1 is  striving to be a better Super Mommy!

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