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Sunday, January 31, 2010

I don't have TIME to forget!

The thing with 5 kids (especially 5 kids, 6 and under) is that you are BUSY!!!  My time just FLIES by each and every day. It's like I blinked my eyes, and now I am 18+ weeks...and most of the day, I forget that I am even pregnant.  How can you forget such a thing??  Well its easy to do when you are as busy as we are....even when I try to think about it for a moment, life takes over and I am pulled in some other direction quickly.  So much different then when I was pregnant with my first...even with my second.  Life was so SLOW and I had all the time in the world to sit and ponder the miracle of it all.  I would stare at pics of my deleloping baby each week...I could tell you how big baby was, and all the little details of that week and I knew how pregnant I was each and every day.  Now, I am lucky to remember that I am 18+ weeks today...some days, I actually have to go online and look at my ticker to remember exactly what I am! 

Its kind of sad that my last pregnancy is just speeding by me so fast.  I want to sit and enjoy every minute of it, but I have 5 other kids that steal all my minutes!  And with the neverending pregnancy exhaustion, by the time they all go to bed, my "me time" consists of sleeping.  And then I wake up and another day has started!  I just want time to SLOW DOWN for my last pregnancy.  I am going to miss this like crazy once its all over-especially since this is the end of the "growing babies" chapter of our life.  I feel like I am going to blink my eyes one more time and then baby will be will be all over.  I am not ready!

It's all a miracle and I feel so lucky to have been able to grow 6 human beings...and then one by one (or two by two ;) ) bring them into this world and love them, kiss them, feed them, teach them.  Its just amazing and I wish this chapter of my life could be never-ending.  It wasn't until my children were born that I saw the true beauty of the world and the gift that each and every life brings to this world.  In raising and teaching my children, I SEE what the true meaning of life is all about.  I have felt God right by my side this entire journey.  Yes, its amazing to grow babies.  And to raise my babies.  And to teach my babies. 

One day, when they are all grown up, I am going to miss this all so much.  So as hard as it is to find time, and as busy as I am, I NEED to make time to remember this pregnancy and the miracle of it all. I NEED to make time to remember and appreciate the blessings that my children bring into our lives. I NEED to make time to remember to cherish these moments I get to raise and teach my babies.  And more importantly, I NEED to make time to remember God's reassuring presence with us, at all times, every step of our journey.  As busy as our life may be, I just don't have time to forget!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Homeschooling is for weirdos.....or so I once thought!

I knew I always wanted to be a mother.  And not just a mother to one kid.  I knew there were going to be MANY kids in our future!  I NEVER knew I would be homeschooling them though.  I once thought the SAME thing.  Homeschooling is for the weirdos.  My kids were going to go to school and be the best in their class and have lots of friends.  All the "important" things of course.  Never for a second would I have thought that I would ever homeschool them.  And then I actually tried to have our first of many children.  And we tried.  And we tried.  AND WE TRIED.  All of the sudden, I started considering that maybe my dreams of becoming a mom wouldn't come true.  What dark days we had considering such.  And then after 1.5 LONG years (and some trips to the doctor to fix my thyroid problem), I saw that beautiful 2nd line on a pregnancy test...after seeing SOOOOO many negatives, I couldn't believe it.  And I loved this little baby growing inside me so much, that I wanted to keep him/her close to me forever!!!   But of course, he/she would still go to school when it was time for that.

As my first (and second...and third) child/ren were born within 2 years, they started growing up too fast on me, I loved them and taught them and raised them and loved every second of it! I got a wee bit sad thinking of the time when I would have to send them off for someone else to love them and teach them, but I knew it was what had to be done after all.  Homeschooling was for the weirdos, remember?  And as I cherished each subsequent day with my babies, and I watched them grow and learn, I just thought more and more about how I would miss all this.  When my oldest was 3, I actually considered homeschooling for a short, fleeting moment, but I brought it up to my husband and he made the point to remind me that homeschooling was for weirdos.  Oh yeah, I had forgotten about that.  But homeschooling popped in my mind more and more as the months flew by, and I looked at my non-weirdo children and wondered how exactly would we possibly and suddenly turn them INTO weirdos??  And what about all those kids in school that were the weirdos....what was their excuse?  I brought this up to my husband and he didn't have much to answer back.  And he realied I had a point.  And I realized I had a point.  And then we thought that maybe we would just *consider* the option of homeschooling. 

We got in touch with someone that was homeschooling and attended this homeschooling playgroup that was in a church.  We attended it once (mostly bc we had YOUNG children at that point and most of the kids were a bit older) and we met normal moms and normal kids!  It really opened up our eyes.  Some kids were sitting there reading, others were playing, and yet others were playing games together.  I talked to other moms about it and I just knew in my heart that this was the answer to what my heart had been gently but surely guiding us towards!  I started researching as soon as we got home and got TONS of homeschool catalogs arriving at our house shortly after.  I talked to more homeschoolers, online and in person.  And slowly we gained our confidence to choose this option for our children AND announce it to the family.

This went over like a lead balloon for most of MY family.  I had aunts telling me "REALLY, what on earth are you thinking Missy" and that they were concerned about my chidren's social well-being.  My dad thought/and still thinks, that I am an idiot for not sending them out for their free education by an expert.  My sister though/still thinks that I have too many kids to do this.  My husband's side of the family was mostly very much for it, especially my mother in law, Doug's gram, and his aunt who had homeschooled her children for a while.  Doug's mom knew how much her children had struggled in school bc they hadn't fit the one size fits all mold.  Doug was the only one to graduate...and barely at that.  Yet Doug is a hard worker, an amazing husband and father, and all those struggles meant nothing in the grand scheme of the success of his life.

Three years after we made that decision, I am still 100% sure and happy that we made the right one.  I see my oldest holding one of her twin brothers in her lap as she does something learning related and my heart melts.  Would she have as close of a bond with her youngest siblings if she was gone all day at school?  I don't know.  But I enjoy seeing them playing/learning together each and every day.  We have the freedom to do our schooling whenever we want, wherever we want. We have our freedom to include God *GASP* into our education, as we see fit. We can explore whatever we want.  If something isn't working (like our current math) we can change it!    When my children need additional time/practice to get something, we do just that.  If my children need to take a break and go run some energy out for 30 minutes, we can!  When we go for a ride, for whatever adventure we are heading to for the day, I look back in the mirror at ALL my babies.  And I smile.  And my heart is bursting full of happiness, bc we are all together.  And we are all learning.  And we are all happy.  And we haven't turned them into a bunch of weirdos!  Well not yet anyways...   ;)

I am by NO means an expert in homeschooling and as my children grow and learn, I grow (and not just pregnant wise ;) ).  I am still learning along the way and I am sure that won't end anytime soon; as I continue tweaking our curriculum and schedule as I see what works and does not work, my kids continue to grow, thrive and learn!!  I just feel so incedibly lucky that we have this opportunity for our kids and our family!!  And that we have an amazing group of homeschooling friends that are a valuable resource to us, as well as a fabulous group of friends!  And that I have non-homeschooling friends that support us in our endeavor as well-so lucky to have them in our life!  And we have the family that loves and supports homeschooling and the family that doesn't...but all in all, homeschooling has been a very positive choice in our lives.  It certainly isn't for everyone, but it certainly IS for us!!!  :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

7 more days til the big ultrasound....and other ramblings

7 more days til the big ultrasound...and probably about 7 more days til I spill the beans.    THAT should be interesting...unless we decide to wait it out even more.  But I am almost 18 weeks.  How much longer can I wait??   We already told my mother in law (this week)  and she has been pretty positive about it-but I know my side of the family won't go as well.  And I have a feeling my sister in law (due 2 days after me) is going to flip out-and not in a good way.  *shrug*  I am hoping my ultrasound goes well, that baby is healthy, that my placenta is still behaving, and that perhaps I can confirm sex.  Baby gave me a few *I'm here and I'm okay* wiggles yesterday, so at least I am not so worried about that.  Still really nervous about my placenta though.  I just hope its still looking normal and not starting to abnormally adhere to my scar.

I have some projects I want to make for baby, as well as for my other kids.  I had this cute "what are girls made of/what are boys made of" cross stitch that I made for ONE of my 5 kids.  My plan is to finish all of them so I can put them up.  I actually have a huge list of other projects too-sewing projects for kids being a big one but waiting for sewing machine with taxes as well as a ton of other cross stitch projects.  It would be nice if I could have a sewing/crafting space, but this house is just way too small for that. 

I just can't seem to get rid of this pregnancy exhaustion and its really bringing me down-I want to finish projects here and put them up and try my hardest to make this place feel like a home.  It just doesn't feel like home still and I ask Doug daily if we can move back to our real home.  But I NEED to stay here, my parents are next door and they are really happy having us here.  And its easier for me when I have to take my dad out and about, since he isn't supposed to drive anymore.  I just wish I could like this house more...even at all.  But I don't.  I love the outside.  But I HATE the inside. It was my grandmother's house, and she loved us a lot, but was also a VERY negative person and every time we would come over here, she would give us grief about something  in our lives (She was definately NOT a fan of homeschooling nor a fan of me having so many children nor a fan of me not name a few).  I just feel surrounded by that negativity and its suffocating at times.  And since my Dad technically still owns this house since we still own the other, he won't let us change much anything at all about the house-wood paneling EVERYWHERE that we are not allowed to point....completely blue bathroom that is falling apart that he is giving us heck about redoing.  Everything that I stare at that reminds me that I am not living in my own home-its still my grandmother's.  *sigh*  And it just makes me miss my other house like crazy.  We could still move back there of course, but it would really upset my parents...and the kids love living close enough to Grandma and Grandpa to walk over....and they love the outside (as do I). 

Its just this house and I don't think I will ever feel "at home" here-certainly hasn't happened in the 6 months we have been here so far.  My other house had so much more space that we could have used if we were creative with our bedrooms. My other house had the wood floors and the kitchen we had JUST redone and our bathroom that was NOT falling apart like this one (and NOT blue), and just much BIGGER rooms in general and a porch that we didn't take advantage of like we should have.  Our old house had so much character. as well, being an older home.  The only negative about it was the not so ideal location and lack of a good sized lawn. This house is teeny tiny, the bedroom and living room are teeny tiny, and the extra rooms we do have-one doesn't have insulation bc it was an addition, so it costs an arm and leg to heat (and we don't even go in there now in the winter) and the other extra room is down in the cellar and has 40 year old wall to wall shag carpeting that just feels forever damp as well as floor to ceiling paneling that we will never be able to paint. Maybe this wouldn't be a problem if we didn't have such long winters here where we are trapped in the house for months upon months! 

When I considered this house, I put all my emphasis on the positives that would be brought to us by living next door to my parents and the outside space.  I didn't consider the inside space as much as I should have and now I am very much regretting that.  You don't know how good you have it until its gone.  Ever wish you could go back in time for a redo?  :(  This house is quite a bit more affordable for us then the other was but I am just not sure how "worth it" it really is....  Anyways, maybe that is probably a HUGE part of why I have been so emotional about this pregnancy and the sex of this baby.  We are working through it.  Doug gets me out of the house A LOT when we he is home and we go on hour(s) long rides and that helps a ton!!  And we do a lot of things outside the house to keep us busy. Only a few more months til spring (when we can spend all our time outdoors and OUT of this house)...and a week til I get to see my precious baby again.  I definately need to put all my focus on the positives coming our way....focus on the blessings in our life...stop lamenting over the "what if's".  As much as I hate this house, I have an amazing husband, soon to be 6 kids that I adore, and some really great friends and family....DEFINATELY more for me to be happy about then to be sad about.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Just worried...

I was feeling the baby, although infrequently, but often enough not to make me worry too much.   The last time I was CERTAIN I felt the baby was last Wednesday, bc baby was going crazy after dinner and I was excited that maybe I would really start feeling baby now after that.  Since then, I haven't felt anything like that and it most certainly makes me worry.  I have been crazy busy though and always on the move this last bunch of days, but I still just want  to feel something that I am SURE is baby again.  Sometimes I "think" I might have felt something slight, but it could very well just be gas-actually most of ht time, I am fairly certain it turns out to be gas.  I of course feel super guilty bc of how negative I felt about having another boy at first.  I just want to feel my baby do one big kick to reassure me that he is okay.  I love this baby so much and I just hope and pray that everything is allright in there. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Kylie, Elise, Caden, Gavin, Rylan and Anson???

Still playing the name game.  Names I have considered include Mason, Devin, Jaxon, Jaren, Jonah, Jonas, Tegan....but in the end, I still don't feel any of them are "the one".  Not yet anyways.  My mind still always comes back to Anson though, the first name we considered when finding out it was a boy.  Anson Gabriel N*****.  ?????  I don't know.  Its definately a contender.  Does it go with my other kids' names??  What kind of nickname will he end up with?  Why is the name game so hard for us when it comes to boys?!?!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Giving up on a dream....

Like I have mentioned before, I was pretty sad when I found out I was having a boy instead of the girl that I was SURE I would be meeting.  Its not that I won't love this little boy, bc I certainly will...but now I have to give up the dream and life of this last little girl.  I was sure Aubry would be joining this family and that I would get to experience having a girl one last time.  I was sure I would be able to pull out all my little girls' outfits and get to use them once more as well.  I was sure that I would raise up one last girl and one day watch my three girls become mothers themselves.  I feel like I know this baby girl that was supposed to join our family-she has been around me since after the twins were born.  I still feel her around me.  But I will never meet her. 

I keep thinking....well maybe I can have one more.  But I know I can't do this again and knowingly take the risks.  If baby implanted high in uterus, it could be a great pregnancy.  But the way things have gone for me, things would surely not go in my favor yet again, and it would end up being another low implaning, nightmarish pregnancy....and with soon to be six kids at home, I just can't take the chance of being in THIS situation again.  So now I have to say goodbye to my dreams of Aubry.  And for the rest of my life, I will regret not taking the chance so I could bring Aubry into this world.  And I hate that feeling.  But I don't see any other options. 

I am a big believer in letting God lead us in our lives and it certainly has lead us to a very fulfilling life thus far.   But is God now leading us towards having one more child or is He slapping me with the cold, hard, raw facts of this pregnancy to show me that we need to be done?  I just don't know why He would leave this empty part of my heart unfulfilled....but there are plenty of things I will never undestand about this world.   And as much as I want to follow my heart, I also want to be there to raise and teach the 6 children we have been blessed with.  The cold hard facts are that moms still can die having babies and with 5 c-sections, I will be nearing the TOP of the highest risk category.  As much as I want to follow God's lead, I also feel its my obligation as a mom to guarantee as best as I can humanly try to be there for my kids as long as I can.  As hard as it will be for me to spend the rest of my life with a part of myself wondering about Aubry and who she would have been/what she might have brought to our family/my heart, its harder for me to imagine my 6 kids wandering through their lives without a mother, but instead with broken hearts.

Like always, being a mother means sacrifice.  And now I have to accept that it might not all work out "perfectly" in the end.  Life is most certainly not a perfect journey.  So now, I NEED to let go of my dream of Aubry and hope that one day, it won't hurt as much to think about that little one that never joined our family.  This baby I am now carrying has survived many challenges and his little life was surely meant to be added to our family.  And I love him so much already.  He is a blessing to us, as our other 5 kids were.  And I don't want his birth to be a time of sadness.  So yes, its imperative that I now work on closing the door to my dream of the last 2+ years, and instead open up this new, very different door to our future. 

*Goodbye to my sweet curly haired Aubry.  I'm sorry I couldn't meet you.*
*And hello to my little miracle little fighter that had a strong will be in this world and a part of our family.  Hopefully we can find a name that will honor your strong little spirit!*   

Thursday, January 14, 2010

the name game...

I am still a tiny bit sad I can't use my Aubry.  But now we need to start the boy's name again, which is practically impossible for us!!!!  We have a few rules.  They are:

1.  Needs to flow well with Kylie, Elise, Caden, Gavin and Rylan (pratice yelling them one after the other to make sure it really fits in there right! ;) )

2.  Needs to have 5 letters.

3.  Needs to use a letter other then K, E, C, G, R, M and D (much easier to label things with one letter in a house with 7 people!)

4.  Has two syllables

5.  *might be optional*  Ends with a -n.  For some reason, our two girls ended up with an -e at the end of their name, while our three boys ended up with a -n...bc I am obsessive like that, it would be nice to keep the trend going but its not a definite (since Aubry broke this rule!)

So just a couple, small, tiny rules.  I have no idea why we have so much trouble finding lists of names that meet all these rules! lol  We have one consideration right now.  Anson Gabriel.  But it doesn't feel like "the one" just yet.  It could end up the one though...who knows.  Gavin was on the maybe list on and off our whole pregnancy and he made the team in the end!  But there is this teeny, tiny part of me that wants to save A just in case we ever could use Aubry in the future.  Although that seems highly unlikely. 

So any suggestions??  Naming boys is just so hard.  I could think of a million girls names we love.  Aubry, Hanna, Danni, Maile....just to name a few.  But boys' names are practically impossible for us.  *sigh*

And the name game continues....

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

lots to update

First of all, I am using my NEW laptop, which was a Christmas present from my dear hubby!  I used to have to sit in an extra playroom in the back of the house that we try not to it was CRAZY cold and once a day I would wrap myself up with blankets, snuggies, slippers, scarfs and go on the computer (haha what can I say, I am cheap and I don't want to heat up a room for just one hour of computer a day).  I certainly didn't feel like doing much typing in those kinds of conditions (the coldest it got in there was in the 30's!!!)  So now I am sitting in my nice toasty living room toasty meaning 63 degrees and writing my update on this fine piece of technology!!

I had my first appointment with maternal/fetal specialist on January 6th.  I was SOOOOOOOOOO nervous!!!  When I first got seen, my blood pressure was 153/91.  I told them it was never that high and I could feel my heart racing with anxiety.  So I went in for a conference with this new perinatologist and a student doctor.  He was just SOOOOOOO calming and optimistic and I could see him at my c-section, being really caring while giving me excellent care!  So he went over my history and asked me my concerns and he just reassured me that he thought my pregnancy would go very much like my last (with me  making it through it just fine).  He then asked me if I wanted to see the baby, which of course, I did!!!  So he got me into an empty ultrasound room and they checked out baby and my placenta.  I now have a complete placenta previa.  I figured there was only a matter of time before that would happen.  And tech peeked around and said it looked like YET ANOTHER boy!!! I was in shock, bc I was absolutely sure this baby was a girl!  Even before I conceieved baby, I felt one last girl would join our family.  The perinatologist said that everything looked pretty good and that he didn't have to see me for another 4 weeks for my next appt and my "big ultrasound".  Oh, and I had to go retake my blood pressure bc of how high it then, it had gone down to 130/82....which I told him was still a bit high for me.  Peri said he would keep an eye on my blood pressure.

So I messaged/texted everyone and I wasn't too sad about having my 4th boy at the time, bc I was just so excited by the positive appointment in general.  But then the next day, it just hit me that there would be no baby Aubry, and I had quite a few really sad/mad days.  I hate feeling that way, but it just felt like I lost "her" forever and I mourned it.  HARD.  And now I would have to get rid of my girl's clothes forever...and would never use them that one last time.  And I couldn't use the name I have been calling baby, even before they came about.  *sigh*  When I mentioned it on the boards, I was given the tiniest bit of hope that gender ultrasounds at 14.5 weeks still aren't the best and there is still that teeny tiny chance it could still be a girl....but it seems very doubtful looking at this.

Friday (one of my sad days) I ate two sandwiches with deli meat and then remembered WHY we shouldn't eat deli meats after.   I started freaking out about listeriosis.  Didn't help that 2/3 days later, I got really nauseous with intermittent stomach pains that made me freak out even more that I had somehow contracted this very rare but dangerous food poisoning.  I wanted to call up the maternal/fetal specialist about it, but about 24 hours later, I was feeling MUCH better.  And since the stomach bug is going around and around, I figured I was just letting this pregnancy anxiety get the best of me.  Not that I am still not worrying about that, bc I AM!!  And every time I feel the baby kick again, I feel very reassured.  Waiting to feel one of those kicks right now.  Lesson learned.  Boy or girl, I love this baby so much already and all that truly matters is that I can get this miracle baby safely into the world to spend a lifetime of love with me and our family!  Now I just hope that I can stop worrying about everything so much.  We had such a rocky start this pregnancy that I have really had a hard time enjoying a minute of this pregnancy without something on my mind to worry about.  And worrying about it not being a girl is just a waste of my time now.  This baby has made it through many challenges so far, and I know he is meant to join our family like the rest were... 

So that is my "short" update.  We have a LOT of work to do in regards to names.  My naming rules deserve a whole separate post!  And for now, I am going to TRY to enjoy pregnancy and baby moving around....bc I know I am going to miss it all over again  once its over (and it always ends too quickly in the grand scheme of life).

Friday, January 1, 2010

WELCOME 2010!!!!!!

I am so excited to be DONE with 2009!  2009 was a year of great sadness for us. 

There was the craziness of fixing up and then showing a house with 5 kids (some of the most stressful 5 months of my life) which ultimately was a big flopping failure.  Since we had bought the house at the market's peak (at the tip top of our budget since at the time, it was the cheapest thing available with 3 bedrooms), even asking 30,000 below what we paid AFTER redoing the whole kitchen in the month of January (just to sell it) could not work miracles.  We had many, HARD choices to make about that. 

And then losing our great health insurance as of January 1, 2009 was a HUGE blow to us financially as well.  My heart sunk when Doug told me his thriving company (delivers all Mcdonalds products) had decided to cut costs on health insurance (i.e. put more money into THEIR pockets) by eliminating our health insurance and only offering catastrophic health coverage.   And as luck would have it, Rylan's asthma problems went pretty much out of control once we had this horrible insurance, and the other 4 kids had their sickest year yet at all.  And the bills kept ROLLING started to feel like we were drowning in health bills...since we had absolutely no coverage until we paid the first 2300 dollars (no prescription coverage, no nothing).  Rylan was hospitalized twice for his asthma, we tried applying for supplemental insurance and got strung along the WHOLE year, and it just felt like we could not catch a break. 

Then in the late spring/early summer, one of my best friends found out she was pregnant.... I was so excited for her bc I know how much she wanted a third child, and she was so excited as well.  But then everyone else, including her husband,  reacted so negatively about the pregnancy that she ultimately terminated it at about the 6 week mark.  I fought SOOOOO hard for that baby and its future, and for her happiness in the future, but in the end I could do nothing to stop any of it from happening.  I have never felt so helpless in my life-watching her just extinguish her little one's future before it even had a chance to start.  And since it went against EVERYTHING I believe in regards to the miracle/gift of life, I had a really hard time just accepting it and moving on.  I still think of that baby, who would have been born in the next 2 weeks. 

With a summer filled with all that sadness over her lost baby, the fall brought us news of this miracle baby of ours.  We were so excited!  To finally have some happiness to celebrate after a year of sadness.  But the joy only lasted about 1.5 weeks.   Then I was told I would have to terminate my own baby...terminate my baby at the 6 week mark, just as my friend had done to her baby.  I felt like i was being punished...was it bc I didn't fight hard enough for my friend's baby.  WHY?  But then we got the tiniest glimmer of hope that maybe I wouldn't need to terminate.  But that baby was almost definately miscarrying bc of size of hemmorhage around her/him.  I have been holding my breath about this pregnancy since then.  Surrounded by fear...fear for this baby and fear for my own health.

And as 2009 ended, I wished I could have seen it out properly.  I wish I hadn't fallen asleep at 8:45 pm on the couch (what can I say..this baby is STILL stealing all my energy-so much for that 2nd trimester burst of energy!)  I wish, instead, that I was there at 11:59 pm to firmly boot 2009 OUT of the door and out of my life forever.  Goodbye 2009!  Farewell 2009!  Hope to never see or think of you again!

2010 will be a year of change for us....and a year of peace and contentmess for us.  We will celebrate finally completing our family (which we will safely accomplish bc of the team of great doctors I have finally been referred to).  We have finally gotten accepted for supplemental health insurance, so other then prescriptions, we won't be saddled with these massive bills like we did all of 2009.  Doug will take the fire exam FINALLY (been waiting 2 years for it to come around), and will switch jobs to a city job (GREAT health insurance), with better hours-so that he can finally attend paramedic school.  We will finally pay off a couple decent sized bills (like our car bill and a school loan)-with tax returns and some pension money that Doug can cash in once he switches jobs.  And then we can finally rework our budget, work on living a more simple AND meaningful life (one of my biggest goals for our family), while immensely enjoying the blessings/gift of our life and family.  Yes, I am feeling pretty good about this year. 2010 is going to be our year to shine!!!  WELCOME 2010!!!!!!