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It's Twinsanity



Life with two pairs and three spares



Updated: 2017-07-29T01:10:46.766-07:00

 



Summer 2016

2016-08-19T08:00:07.035-07:00

Here's a brief recap of our summer.  I was in school and on call all summer so there were no fun vacations or trips but we have still had fun hanging around close to home.These guys have lost some teeth, made some new friends, and spent days riding bikes around our new neighborhood before it became unbearably hot.These girls have spent countless hours creating and being imaginative.  They've made new friends with our new neighbors and played a lot of four square.Emmett has been with us for almost 1.5 years now.  He's been such a welcome addition to our family.  The 4th of July marked 2 years since Delmar died and it's still hard to believe he's gone.  Emmett has fit right in and has a similarly sweet demeanor.  He loves to play, go camping, and ride in the van.T-R-O-U-B-L-EViolet is a handful.  She's got the same spunk and stubborn streak as Amelia.  Plus, she's the baby of the family so she uses that to her advantage too.  She is still my squishy baby, just less squishy and more squirmy now.We had another awesome week at VBS this year.  We will really miss our church when we move again.  This year Matthew and Josh were both VBS volunteers.  Matthew dressed up as a taco for Taco Tuesday and was the center of attention. On the last day of VBS, Matthew's adult teachers were both absent so Matthew and the other youth volunteer led their VBS class of fifteen 3rd graders by themselves.  He has moments of incredible maturity. Rare, fleeting moments...I think I have written before about how both sets of twins become "twinny" sometimes.  That's what we call it when they get silly and only interact with each other, ignoring everyone else.  It is impossible to communicate with them during this time and they get really loud and crazy.  They do it in the van a lot and at bedtime.  This picture shows what it looks like when they're being "twinny."Two sets of twins in one towel.  The kids love our neighborhood pool.  If it wasn't so exhausting for me to take all of them there by myself, we'd be in that pool every single day.Jason and I celebrated our anniversary in June and had a rare night out together.  We went to an amazing local restaurant and enjoyed a delicious dinner.  We also went to the military ball this summer.  Actually, that has been one wonderful thing about living here and having a teenager.  We have been able to go out on several dates since being back in Georgia.  We've been on more dates in the last year than in the previous 13 years combined.  We are also able to run to the gym together.  It's great!This is what happens when I take Leila and Sarah to Costco.  Every single time we walk through those doors, they stop to stare at the jewelry.  Heaven help the men that marry these girls.  They have expensive taste already and they're only ten.Here are some pictures of everyday life right now...[...]



Counting Down

2016-08-09T22:00:12.724-07:00

We are all alive and well and counting down the months until we move.  Again.Our time back in Georgia has been consumed with so many things... my schoolwork, the kids' schoolwork, Jason's training assignments, and my work as a student midwife.  We moved across town in January and there are still boxes waiting to be unpacked in most rooms of the new house.  I haven't been able to come up for air yet.  However, I have 3 semesters left until I graduate and I'm in the final stretch of my clinical work.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  We move again next summer and we anticipate an adventurous road trip in an RV.What is going on right now?Matthew turned 13 and is growing like a weed.  He has been playing baseball and reading obsessively.  This picture was taken last fall and he has grown several inches since then and now has started shaving. Joshua turned 12 and is my awesome babysitter/helper.  He is so great with little kids and has such a kind heart.  In fact, it is difficult to find a picture of Josh without a toddler in his arms.Leila and Sarah turned 10 and are still inseparable.  They are so sweet and smart.  They get along so well with everyone and love to include Nathan and Ryan in almost everything they do right now.Nathan and Ryan are about to turn eight.  They love to play Minecraft and they're pretty funny kids.  They are both comedians and love to entertain us.Amelia is almost four now.  She is bossy, sassy, extremely intelligent, and bossy.  Did I mention that she's bossy?Violet is about to turn two.  She is very sensitive and serious.  She might also be a bit spoiled.  She has an epic pout face.Last fall, Jason had to fly to Hawaii for a training assignment.  It was a last-minute trip and, by some miracle, my dad was willing to come and stay with the kids.  I flew out with Violet and I was away from the seven older kids for the first time in 13 years.  Violet was great and loved traveling.  Now I I have been to 49 states.  You can guess what we're planning next... road trip to Alaska!(Violet on my back at breakfast in Honolulu)We don't exactly know where we are headed next, though all signs point west.  I have waited to share details but it's going to be exciting.  I should have done a better job at blogging the last 2 years.  It has been such an incredible learning experience as a student midwife.  I have to pinch my myself sometimes to believe that this is my life. [...]



We're still here!

2016-01-09T15:23:13.335-07:00


I'm making a commitment to myself for 2016.  I'm going to get back to blogging.  I need to be able to come back and read about this time in our lives.

I'll be back soon with an update but here's the short version of where I've been all year:
-full-time mom
-full-time wife
-full-time homeschooler
-full-time college student
-full-time student midwife

If you add that all together, it's pretty clear that there are not enough hours in the day/week/month for anything.  I feel like I'm being split in 10 different directions.  I keep telling myself that it is only temporary.  We leave Georgia next year.  I should be graduating then too.

Right now we are in the middle of moving again.  We're just headed across town, but any move in a family of ten is a "big deal."

I'm sharing our Christmas photo above, complete with photoshopped "snow."  It was 80 degrees that day (in November) but we managed to capture seven smiles.  This is my proof that we're all here and doing okay.

I'll be back soon...if there's anyone still reading...





Fairies

2015-05-01T17:08:30.992-07:00





I still can't believe my baby girls are nine years old.  They're so sweet, sensitive, and girly.  We had fairy photos taken to celebrate their birthday and the photographer perfectly captured their personalities in this photo.



Nine years ago today...

2015-04-28T16:25:26.035-07:00


...that face Leila made when she was away from Sarah for the first time in her life.  It was only 14 minutes, and they've been inseparable ever since, but it was obviously traumatic for her. 


...that moment when I was laying in bed after pushing two babies out of my body and I still couldn't believe that there were two of them.  And that they were mine.


...that time when Jason realized he was Daddy to two sweet daughters. 


 ...that love that Matthew was feeling when he brought two of his most precious possessions as loving gifts (or peace offerings?) to his new little sisters.


...that moment when I looked at them for the hundredth time and marveled at the miracle of fresh, tiny babies.

...and especially that moment when I became a mother of twins.



Easter 2015

2015-04-06T06:43:02.851-07:00


Little Number Eight turned seven months old last week and is just starting to get her first tooth.  I still think she makes the cutest Easter bunny with just a gummy grin.


Seven likes to steal the show.  Always.


There are only 4 weeks left in this semester and I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Of course I go on call again next month so I'm not sure how long I'll have to actually get caught up on the 214,873 things that remain on my "to do" list.  Today, I'm optimistic though!



Mutant Super Bug

2015-03-13T07:35:31.080-07:00

No, I'm not going to talk about c. Diff again.

We have had the weirdest, nasty little bug going through our house for the last 3 weeks.  It started innocently enough.  Scratchy throats turned into runny noses.  Then the coughing started.  A deep, croupy-sounding cough made everyone miserable.  Then sudden vomiting, followed by fevers and bloodshot eyes.  Then some diarrhea for good measure.  We wrapped it up with the lingering productive cough.

Again I am reminded of how much fun it is to have young children when they all get sick.  There was so much barf and so few buckets.  The four youngest ones have not yet mastered the fine art of throwing up in a bucket.  There so many times that Jason and I trudged upstairs in the middle of the night as another one was stricken with the virus.  Jason finally had to miss 2 days of work to help me take care of everyone.  The twins each got sick within hours of each other but the singletons got sick on different days and it was a long illness.  It lasted about 2 weeks in each person.

At one point, my bed was full of sick, feverish, weak little people.  Poor kids.


We had a few close calls with Violet too.  She stopped breathing a few times because she just couldn't clear the mucus from her airway.  I don't think I've ever had a baby so young get so sick before.  She was drooling, lethargic, and completely out of it.  I just kept praying that she'd improve before bedtime because there was no way I would go to sleep with her in that condition.  Fortunately, she perked up a bit that evening and began opening her eyes and nursing again.  I still didn't sleep for 5 nights.

We're all on the mend now and I think we might finally leave the house for the first time in 3 weeks.  I am so grateful that one of Jason's coworkers dropped off dinner for us one night.  It had been days since I'd cooked because nobody was eating.  It was so nice to have a hot meal.

Hopefully this is our one big illness for the year.  Thank goodness for homeschooling because we would have just missed about a month of school.  #bigfamilyproblems



This motherhood thing isn't for the weak

2015-03-02T09:59:15.839-07:00

As I sit here surrounded by sick children and piles of dirty dishes, I'm really somewhat surprised that anyone survives being the parent of young children with their sanity intact.

Although I love to see the beautiful instagram photos from moms with children that are always clean and cheerful, I'm not sure how much of that is reality and how much is just a glimpse into the finer moments in an otherwise normal life.  I know it sometimes makes me wonder what I'm doing wrong.

Before anyone starts calling me ungrateful, let me elaborate.  I think this blog post sums it up much better than I can right now.  But believe me, I am grateful.  I love this crazy life and my loud children.  I even love the military life... more often than not.  So before anyone starts telling me that I asked for this, please know that I am glad that I've been blessed to live this life.  But it sure doesn't make it any easier at 2 am when I'm up with a baby that is struggling to breathe or when I'm cleaning up barf instead of writing a research paper that I desperately need to finish.

This is tough.  The delicate balance between hanging onto that tiny piece of me that is not Mom is a real challenge.  The unrelenting guilt keeps me awake at night when I think that I should have spent more time doing xyz (fill in the blank, because I worry about it all, from reading to my toddler to snuggling my baby to listening to my tween boys talk about Minecraft).  Basically, I hope that I somehow manage to raise loving, considerate, happy people despite never living up to the impossible standards that exist, either real or imagined.

I think that motherhood can be so isolating sometimes.  When you have more than a few children, you don't get invited to playdates and nobody invites you over for dinner.  Babysitting would cost a small fortune, if you could even find someone crazy enough to want to babysit all of your children.  The military life can be isolating too.  You move frequently and don't have the support of family or old friends.  By the time you meet people that actually like you, it's probably time to move again.  Maybe the strained relationship I have with my extended family emphasizes the lack of support, but I can tell you that it makes parenting much more challenging.  There are few date nights or helpers to call on when you're sick in bed and there are no groceries in the pantry.

There are so many more things I want to say but sick kids are calling.  And laundry.  And homework.
Tell me I'm not alone in feel this way.  What do you moms do to get through those times when you are ready to throw in the towel?





Help for a friend

2015-02-13T01:00:01.907-07:00

Things can change so quickly... it's so hard to appreciate every moment we're given in this life.  My heart is breaking for a friend and fellow multiple multiples mom.  My dear friend Briana lost her husband suddenly yesterday in a farming accident.  They have seven beautiful daughters, including two sets of twins.  She is a homeschooling mom as well.

It's always amazed me over the last 13 years how some of my best friendships have blossomed from online friendships.  I have been so blessed to meet so many incredible women all over this country because of online friendships.  I haven't yet had the chance to meet Briana "IRL" but I hope to do that someday.  I am still good friends with many of the moms I met back on the AOL message boards 13 years ago when I was pregnant for the first time and a total newbie at this mom thing.  Motherhood can feel so isolating sometimes and it has always been so comforting to be able to connect with other moms online and have support when I really was totally overwhelmed.

I met Briana several years ago through a small online group for moms with two sets of twins.  When I heard the news yesterday, I was heartbroken.  I don't think that anyone is ever prepared to lose a spouse.  I know I thought about it often when Jason was deployed and yet I still couldn't imagine what our life would be like if he never came home.  To wake up one morning and start your day just like any other and end it without your partner beside you... so suddenly... I just can't even begin to comprehend what that is like for my friend and her daughters.

A family friend set up a fundraising page for Briana and her daughters.  If you feel inclined, send a donation.  Say a prayer, send a positive thought, or light a candle for this family.

http://www.gofundme.com/OwenMurnion





48 states

2015-02-09T02:00:00.405-07:00

Our trip to New York in November gave us an opportunity to visit some of our favorite states at a beautiful time of year.  We drove from Georgia up to the DC area and stayed with family.  From there we headed north and spent a day visiting the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. Cooperstown is beautiful.  The falling snow and Christmas decorations made it feel even more charming. We spent a day visiting West Point and Jason became convinced that we need to move to New York.Violet made her first big road trip and visited 14 states.  She apparently loves to travel, much to my relief.  I don't know what we would do if we had a kid that hated to travel. We visited Vermont and New Hampshire before hitting the biggest milestone of our travels...  We made it to Maine!  This was a Big Deal.We spent the night on the waterfront in downtown Portland.  We watched the sunrise before heading out for a (very long) drive back home.  I greatly miss having a camper (our camper was totaled in 2012 due to a manufacturing defect) and spending weeks on the road.  We'll do that again soon...Maine was state #48 for me and the big kids.  Matthew, Joshua, Leila, Sarah, Nathan, and Ryan have now been to the 48 contiguous states with me.  Seven has been to 21 states and Violet has some catching up to do since she's the newbie.If you would have told me 12 years ago that military life would bring me across the continent and back again so many times, I would have laughed.  If you would have told me I'd do it with six (or seven or eight) kids in tow, I would have said you were crazy.  Perhaps I am the crazy one.  Now I'm contemplating ways to get to Alaska and Hawaii with eight kids...[...]



Those cheeks

2015-02-03T13:03:27.546-07:00

This girl kills me with her chubby cheeks.

And the chin dimple?  It's too much.


Just looking at her picture is enough to make my milk let down.

Love this sweet girl!



The third set of twins

2015-01-20T02:00:01.758-07:00

These little girls are my virtual third set of twins... 



Can you tell who is who here?



Catch up

2015-01-17T12:28:04.335-07:00

I'm playing blogger catch up!  I have so many (dozens) of posts pending that I just haven't had a chance to sit down and publish.  I'll just start here...We enjoyed the (slightly) cooler Georgia fall days with a trip to the zoo a few months ago.  It will likely be our last trip after a not-so-great experience.  We really miss the zoo in Tucson!  And here we have The Twin Sandwich.  They posed like this on their own.  I'm sure they were completely unaware that everyone around us thought they were quads!Seven was rocking her "still nursin'" shirt and a big, cheesy grin.November brought a trip to Albany, NY to have four tongue ties revised with Dr. Kotlow.  Yes, I promise I'll post my tongue tie info soon.  (Really!  I promise!)While in New York we had to stop in Cooperstown and visit the Baseball Hall of Fame.  The museum was basically empty so my kids made themselves at home.The twins posed next to the Minnesota Twins locker.Seven really thought she owned the place.  She had a blast.  This was also her first experience using a public restroom.  She wasn't even 2 years old yet!  She's so much fun.Violet enjoyed her first big road trip.  A few thousand miles and 14 states later, she's feeling pretty good about traveling.  I think she'll fit in just fine around here.And here is what happens when you try to get eight kids and a husband to smile for one decent group photo.  Hilarity ensues...[...]



Merry Christmas!

2014-12-23T13:02:11.153-07:00


Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Festivus, or something else entirely, I wish you a wonderful holiday season and all the best in 2015!



Must be a twin thing

2014-12-18T09:20:51.025-07:00


Sarah saw this photo and asked me which one was her.  That must be a twin thing.



6 x 2

2014-12-11T04:00:04.930-07:00

This is six.


 Times two.


Six is goofy.


Six is silly.


Because everything is funny when you have a twin brother around.

These boys keep me on my toes and crack me up.  They crack each other up too, obviously.



The Firstborn

2014-12-06T08:58:00.368-07:00

At times in this crazy journey that is parenthood I've had 4 kids under age four, 6 kids under six, or 8 kids under twelve.  I've had two or three or five kids in diapers.  I've breastfed 4 little ones at the same time.  (Well, not exactly at the same time... they took turns in pairs, obviously.)  I have a van full of car seats and yet I still remember what life was like with "just" one.A few days ago I looked sincerely into the store clerk's eyes as she rang up my purchase and I told her how hard it was with one child.  It was.  I remember the fear that overcame me as I buckled tiny, newborn Matthew into his car seat twelve years ago.  I remember wincing with every bump in the road as I huddled over his seat in the back of the car, sure that he'd break if we didn't drive more slowly, while Jason took us home for the first time.  I remember spending my nights awake, watching him breathe, afraid to sleep for fear that something would happen to him.  I remember being shocked and scared that I was allowed to take this baby home, that I was responsible for his LIFE.  I remember the awful adjustment to sleepness nights, the awkward moments of breastmilk soaking through my shirt at work, the pain of leaving my baby, the overwhelming responsibility, and the realization that I was somebody's mother.  We survived potty training, weaning, and the toddler years.  He learned how to walk and talk and I learned how to let go a little bit.  I taught him to read and write.  He taught me to trust in my own instincts and accept my imperfections.  We both learned from our mistakes.  We both grew up.  And here we are, 12 years later, and I remember how HARD it has been sometimes but I am so grateful for this experience together.Twelve wonderful, challenging, beautiful years...[...]



Where I'm At

2014-12-05T08:38:31.645-07:00

I have really been struggling lately, in all areas of my life.  I find myself composing lengthy blog posts in my head but then can't make myself write them down.  There is so much that I want to say and yet I'm not sure I really want to say it.  One day I do hope to turn my writings into a book and I know that I will want to remember the good and the bad and just how hard and beautiful and scary life can be sometimes.  I'm working on it.  Working on being honest, yet staying positive. We just returned from a trip to visit family for Thanksgiving and I'm still working on unpacking all of the literal and figurative baggage that comes along with it. And so here I am... a challenging week that began with Seven's second birthday and culminated in our 9-foot Christmas tree crashing to the floor in a violent shattering of glass this morning.  One cup of coffee into the day and I am ready to crawl back in bed.  I'm feeling both grateful and disappointed today and that's such a weird place to be sometimes. The big kids came down with a very minor sore throat this week and I could feel pressure building in my "good" ear.  The pain grew until my eardrum finally ruptured two nights ago.  In a rare care of prefect timing, I had my surgical consult with the ENT the following morning to discuss the plan for my other ear and repairing that hole.  It seems quite certain that my dizziness has all been from permanent damage to my inner ear.  Now that my other eardrum has a hole too, I am actually pain-free and less dizzy.  I can't help but be thankful that none of my children have ever had an ear infection.  (Breastfeeding FTW!)I let myself get behind in school this semester and then stupidly planned to get caught up when we were back in northern VA for Thanksgiving.  Of course I didn't even open my books and now I'm completely overwhelmed at the amount of work left before me and the short numbers of days left until the semester ends.Seven turned two on Sunday and I have so much to say about that but she really deserves her own blog post.  She is a pretty awesome little girl.Violet turned 3 months old on Monday and I'm still amazed.  She is the most laid back baby and is just completely content.  I whisper in her ear and tell her that she's perfect.  It's true.I realized that I never shared the beautiful photos that my friend at Blue Sky Photography took after Violet was born.  So here are a few shots of my sweet Violet...[...]



Violet's Birth

2014-11-08T11:41:02.566-07:00

August 14th came and went and there were no signs of baby.  Throughout this pregnancy I had told everyone that baby would arrive at the end of August.  I fully anticipated going to 42 weeks again.  The kids took bets on when baby would be born.  Most of my babies came at the end of the month (one on the 27th, two on the 28th, and two on the 30th) so we hoped that we might have a baby on August 29th or 31st.  No such luck.  When August ended, I was frustrated and really starting to feel impatient.  On September 1st, I woke up to a mild crampy feeling and some pressure.  A friend texted me at 9:32 AM and said, "it's Labor Day!"  My response?  "Hopefully that means labor for me!"I soon realized that the constant crampiness and pressure was exactly what I felt the morning before Seven was born.  By 10:02 AM I texted my friend to tell her that I was feeling constant cramps/pressure but no contractions and that I thought this was how it started with Amelia.  Sure enough, at 10:30 AM it became clear when I went to the bathroom and saw bloody show.  That was exactly the same as the day that Amelia arrived.  I texted my friend back, "definitely baby day."I was relieved that Jason had the day off and was home to help with the kids.  I had breakfast, nursed Amelia, and started setting up the birth pool.  I was certain that baby would be coming.  I was hopeful that things would kick in soon but Baby #8 had been persistently posterior, so I knew I needed to be patient.  I rested in bed for a bit and then took a warm bath.  I figured labor would kick in when the kids went to bed that night.I spent the day trying to get baby into a good position.  Jason used the rebozo and I crawled around on the floor on my hands and knees.  I did some of those inversions on the edge of the bed that I'd tried desperately during my labor with Seven.  Finally, I decided to fill up the birth pool.  By then it was early evening and I just wanted things to pick up.  They did.I got into the pool for a bit.  Another friend texted me to check in and I let her know that it was probably baby day.  At 5:02 PM I told her that I'd let her know when things started to pick up so she could come over if she wanted.  Within a couple of hours, things got crazy.  I got in and out the pool a few times to use the bathroom, change positions, and walk around.  I really didn't leave my bathroom much after that point. I checked myself and I wasn't any more dilated than I had been a few weeks earlier.  My cervix was still posterior.  I was frustrated and didn't want to push out another posterior baby.  By 8 PM labor had really started.  I began having frequent, strong contractions.  I had Jason and the kids bring me something to drink and get the towels and supplies ready.  I was still texting back and forth with my friends but was starting to feel more serious.  This was it.At 8:34 PM, I still wasn't any more dilated but my cervix had started to swell a bit in the front and was still very posterior.  I tried the "flip the lip" trick, which was made so much easier being in the water.  Things were sort of a blur after that.  I was starting to worry about my cervix swelling.  At 9:16 PM, I decided I was DONE.  I announced it to anyone who would listen.  Thankfully, Jason knew that this meant baby was coming soon.  I did the same thing I did with my other homebirths... I tried to ta[...]



Coming back soon...

2014-10-25T14:07:46.265-07:00

I'm finishing up Violet's birth story and I'll share it soon.  Her birth was very much like Seven's birth.

I'm also working on that post about tongue tie that I promised so long ago.  (Yes, Violet was born with a tongue tie too!)

We have been busy enjoying our new addition, visiting the Georgia mountains, keeping up with school (theirs and mine) and making new friends here.


I'll be back soon!



Baby Eight!

2014-09-12T16:35:02.964-07:00

After my longest pregnancy that felt like it would never result in a baby, I finally went into labor on Labor Day.  I guess eighth babies like to be unpredictable.  While I was pretty sure I'd hit the 42 week mark again, I never even considered that this baby might not arrive in August!  At 42 weeks and 4 days, my September baby arrived... just 3 days before Nathan and Ryan's birthday.I had another VBA2C and this sweet babe was born in the water, in my bathroom.  Just like Seven.We have a sweet baby GIRL!  Just like Seven.She weighed 9 lbs, 9 oz.  Just like Seven.And she's got a head full of black hair and squishy cheeks.  Just like Seven.Seven loves her but is also willing to give her sister away when she's annoyed.  Seven is not thrilled about sharing milk but will tolerate it because Mommy insists.  You could say there's a teensy bit of jealousy.We are all thrilled to have another baby girl in the house.  I'm excited for Amelia to have a sister close in age and I'm sure these two little girls will end up being best friends.We are doing well and this sweet girl is such a joy.  She does have a tongue tie/lip tie that will be revised soon but otherwise things have been pretty great.  I still can't believe she's finally here!I am also pleased to announce that we were able to name this baby girl in just over 3 days.  That's a major improvement over the 3+ weeks it took us to name Amelia.  We ended up choosing a name that was not on either of our lists but just seemed to fit her perfectly...Violet IsabelleSeptember 1, 201410:26 pm9 lbs, 9 oz22 inches [...]



10 Month Mama

2014-08-19T11:14:45.382-07:00

 I'm still here.  Still pregnant.  Still trying to be patient.

As I approach 41 weeks, I'm hopeful that I'll be holding my sweet baby by next weekend.

Until then, I am holding this sweet baby...


Who am I kidding?  They're all my babies, even the handsome, ornery tween that is too big to hold.

Until I have something to announce, I'll just be here holding my baby... trying to be patient.







About the photo:
A local photographer had a vision for a photo she titled "The Life Giver."  She took this amazing picture of us and shared it for World Breastfeeding Week.  I was a bit shocked at the response.  There were less comments about breastfeeding during pregnancy and more about our family size.  I think I've heard it all before so I try not to pay much attention to those who don't have anything nice to say.    



Happenings in our house

2014-08-12T17:27:16.557-07:00

It has been quite a summer in the House of Twinsanity.  I realize that I have basically dropped off of the face of the earth but if you could have seen what life has been like lately, you'd understand.Spring was intense.  I have been attending births as a student midwife all year and there was a point this spring when we had 5 moms due in one month.  And that month just happened to coincide with a 5-week class that Jason was attending over 500 miles away.  And that was baseball season so I was spending hours at the ball field 4 nights a week.  Oh, and I have been taking classes toward my BS in Midwifery so there was that going on at the same time.  We were trying to sell our house here and I was carting lawnmowers across town to mow the yard and keep our listed house presentable.  Like I said, it was intense.Then there was the month of July.  July was just rough.  There is no way to sugarcoat it.  I spent much of the month in a weepy daze.  We lost sweet Delmar and buried him on the 4th of July.  Our house sold but closing was delayed at the last minute and was pushed back from June into the month of July.  Jason was in a minor fender bender and sustained some damage to his car.  Leila injured her toe and I had to puncture a hole in her toenail to drain the blood that was causing her an incredible amount of pain.  I missed my last birth before maternity leave by just minutes.  I was stung by wasps on my very pregnant belly and broke out in hives that lasted for weeks.  July was not my friend.August has been so much better.  Although I was overly ambitious in taking four classes this semester, I managed to finish on time and with straight A's.  I'm 40 weeks pregnant this week and will soon feel some relief from this summer heat and humidity.  We just had my dad visit for the most wonderful week where we felt loved, supported, and encouraged.  I was able to fill my freezer with meals for after the baby arrives and, in true Heather fashion, built Seven a cute toddler bed.  My dad's visit was just what I needed to finally feel ready to have this baby.  I'll admit that I was feel a little self-pity about this being my last baby and never having a Blessingway or the support of friends and family during this special time.  My dad flew in and just made me feel loved.  I think that was all that I needed.Here are some highlights from the last few months... Seven and I had a few hours alone together (what?!) while the six big kids were at VBS.  It was so much fun to take her to the park and have people ask if she was my first child... almost as much fun as when I (rarely) run out sans kiddos and get asked if this is my first pregnancy.   Leila and Sarah had a birthday.  Joshua had a birthday.  We celebrated the birthdays of two neighbor friends.  Now we are ready to celebrate the new baby's birth and Nathan's and Ryan's birthday.Matthew may not be a morning person, but he had fun at his last year of VBS.  Next year he'll get to be a volunteer instead.Matthew and his baseball team warmed up on the field with the local minor league baseball team.Seven attended her first baseball game.This photo really reminds me of one that we took seven years ago......when Matthew was just a little guy.I've been rocking the big belly look again.  This was a couple of months ago.  I'll spa[...]



Never quite the same

2014-07-06T08:41:31.415-07:00

It is with a heavy heart that I'm sharing this post.  Our beloved dog passed away suddenly and unexpectedly last week.  Delmar was getting ready to celebrate his tenth birthday and he has been a part of our family for the last nine years.  He was hit by a car and we are devastated.  Jason and I buried him on July 4th, wrapped up in his U.S. map blanket that he used to sleep on during our many road trips.  I don't think our family will quite be the same without him.  I don't think he could have loved us more and I don't think we ever could have loved him back enough.We adopted Delmar when we moved to Georgia in 2005.  We only had two children at the time.  Delmar was my "doggy doula" when I gave birth to Leila and Sarah.  He never left my side.  He was right there getting splashed when my water broke.  Delmar survived the chaos that came with a second set of twins.  He was so gentle and patient.He was born to be an Army brat.  Delmar rode along as we moved over and over again.  He visited more than 40 states and lived with us in the RV when we were on the road.  He was the best traveling companion.He literally never left my side.  He loved me far more than I deserved to be loved.Delmar went with us everywhere... to the mountains, the beaches, the deserts, and everywhere in between.He was scared of dog bones.He put up with us when we were silly. He was more trustworthy than any human.We brought him on our family vacations... to the Grand Canyon, to the Rocky Mountains, to South Dakota, California, Texas, and all over the country.He kept us safe when I was traveling across the country while Jason was deployed.  He guarded our children as if his life depended on it.  And he never complained.  He never asked for anything in return.He was happy to lead or follow.  It didn't really matter, as long as he was with us.Delmar may have been "just a dog" but he was the best dog I've ever known.  I will always regret that I didn't get to say good-bye, thank him, and let him know how very much he was loved.  The kids will miss their furry backseat companion on long car rides.  Amelia will miss growing up with her "doe doe" and I am not sure when I will stop turning around to see if he's there behind me. We will always love you, Delmar.  Thanks for being the best dog and best friend ever.  You'll be greatly missed.[...]



This day

2014-05-11T14:32:23.360-07:00

Making eggs and bacon for breakfast,

A trip to Costco for groceries,

Two hours of lawn mowing,

Drenched in sweat,

Belly full of kicking baby,

Missing my better half,

A sweet baby who just wants to be held,

A rare peaceful shower,

In my pajamas by 5 pm,

And I believe we may have cereal for dinner.



I don't need cards or gifts to know that I'm needed.  Being a mom is the greatest job I always knew I wanted.

Happy Mother's Day to each of you.