Showing posts from September, 2008

Trading Places

Raising twins can be a bit of a challenge. Raising identical twins brings its own unique issues. For one thing, it is obvious they are twins and I get many comments about how I tell them apart as well as questions about whether twins run in my family. I should just say, "They do now," but more often than not, I launch into a long description about the different types of twinning and the chances of having twins. Fraternal twins happen when a woman drops two eggs during her cycle and both are fertilized, while identical twins happen when a fertilized egg splits. The tendency to drop two eggs is a genetic trait, and a woman who has one set of fraternal twins has a one in four chance of having fraternal twins again. Identical twins are a fluke of nature that happen at the same rate across all populations. My chances of having identical twins again are the same as any other woman, one in two hundred and fifty. Which always makes me feel as though I got struck by lightning…

"And Daddy is the prince!"

Allison drew this picture of "you and Daddy living happily ever after." She liked it so much she drew another, and another, and another, and took tape and pasted them all over the walls in our house. Isn't she sweet?


Yesterday, we went to Cornbelly's, a fall festival that includes a corn maze and lots of other activities. The normal price is 10.50, but they had a promotion where we got in for 93 cents. So it cost our whole family $7 instead of $70. We had a great time, and I got our first picture of all 7 of the kids together:

They even had a fun princess area, with lots of dresses, wigs, crowns and more, plus a coach:

Let's hope this is a good sign

Michael came home from school the other day and told me, "Mommy, my teacher says she told her family all about me!"


Scene: Kitchen, Michael packing his lunch for school.

Michael: "Mommy, I like bringing bananas to school. Do you know I like bringing bananas?"

Me (out loud): "That's great, Michael. Bananas are really good for you."
Me (in my head): "I'm doing such a good job teaching healthy eating habits."

Joey: "Yeah, there's this kid at school who always brings fruit snacks and he trades Michael for a banana."

Extremes of Emotion

My son Joseph has always been a challenge to raise. He's loving and fun and adorable and sweet, but he's also strong-willed and stubborn and emotional. I think the politically correct term is spirited. When he was a toddler, he frustrated me on a daily basis. He hated being restrained and would scream at the top of his lungs if I tried to buckle him into a stroller or car seat. When he was happy, the whole world knew it; he'd give me huge hugs and tell me I was the greatest. If he was sad, he cried for long stretches. And if he was mad, well, some memories are best left alone.

I've always thought that Joseph came prepared to conquer the world. And lately, he's doing it. He's mastered fishing, rockhunting, backpacking, reading, and learning. His favorite book right now is the Utah Field Guide to Fishing. He pores over rockhounding books and wants me to take him to obscure places in California, Nevada, or Utah to get fossils. He loves to explore the fo…

You think they might be sisters?

So what do you think? Do you think they could be sisters?



Sarah's Fish

Sarah went fishing early yesterday morning with Joey, her dad, and our kind neighbor friend. They got home a bit later than expected because they really wanted Sarah to catch her own fish, but it wasn't happening. Finally, with a bit of luck, Sarah caught one and was so proud. She brought it home, stroked it, loved it, then devoured it for lunch after DH grilled it for her. She certainly enjoyed her stint at the top of the food chain.

A good reason to have kids in your forties

Today at Church I was talking to an sweet older couple who live near us. Here's about how the conversation went:

Wife (handing me back Harmony): "Oh, she's such a doll!"
Husband: "Do you still want a dozen?"
Me: "I don't know; we'll see how many come. I'm only 30, so we've got time."
Wife: "Oh, well, you do have time. You could have kids until you're 40 or 45."
Husband: "Oh, I don't know, 45 is pretty old to have kids."
Wife: "I don't think so, dear. Sue Ellen had her last baby at 45, and he wasn't even retarded!"

Annoying Neighbors

We have a family that live near us that can be pretty annoying. They don't have any concept of personal space, they harass our cats, they steal from us (we're still hoping they'll return all the dishes they took!) and they are always hanging out, begging for food. They also keep us up at night with their racket. If they weren't so entertaining, we might have a major problem.

You may remember this family -- Back in June we adopted one of their children they'd abandoned. But we hadn't seen anything of them until a month ago when we began feeding our cats on the back porch. DH & I were alerted to their presence by a serious racket on our back porch one night. About 6 to 8 raccoons had climbed the flight of stairs and were gorging themselves on our cat's food. The first time I went out there, the one two feet away raised himself to his full 30 inch height and stared at me for a minute before taking off for the safety of the forest. Three of his bud…

Isn't She Lovely?

Harmony has grown up a lot in the last few weeks. She'll be six weeks old tomorrow and she's been smiling at us a ton this week. She's also gotten quite fussy and wants to be held constantly. I use our Baby Bjorn quite a bit to calm her down and get some housework done. This is the first time I've had a Bjorn to use with a newborn; we bought a baby frontpack/backpack way back when Lillian was born and thought we had it covered. It was a pain, though, because whenever I bent over or tried to do anything, the straps would fall off my shoulders. It was impossible to do much other than walk while using it, and even that was a pain because it made my shoulders ache in uncomfortable ways. The only good thing about it was that you could use it as a backpack, which we've probably done a total of 10 times over the years.

The Bjorn, on the other hand, is a dream. I can bend over, load a dishwasher, pick up a room, glancing down occasionally to grin at my adorable ba…

Thirty-Six Bags of Cereal

I went to the store this morning. Early. There was only one other person in the store that early in the morning, a fit, trim, young gal who looked liked she had just jogged to the store and was there to pick up a mid-morning snack. In fact, I heard her ask the checker, "Where do you keep the raisins?"

But this post isn't about her, even though she did look at me a bit strangely as I kept adding bags of cereal to my cart and then stupidly placed three cases of Campbell's soup on top of them because there wasn't enough room underneath and I was too lazy to move the 36 bags (yep, 36!) in order to place the soup on the bottom of the cart where it really belonged.

This post isn't about her because at least she had the decency to pretend she didn't notice me later on as I turned a corner and about 24 cans of cream of mushroom soup slipped off the top of the cereal mountain and rolled toward her feet. Though, on the other hand, she also didn't help me pi…

I'm now one of "those women"

You know, those women? DH has always protested every time I cut my hair, saying that he doesn’t want me to become “one of those women who cuts their hair short just because they have kids.” Well, that’s exactly what I’ve done now and I couldn’t be happier. Even DH admits the hairstyle "isn't as bad as I expected." I should have done it years ago. It is amazingly easy to fix every morning in a matter of seconds, and I think it suits me.

Here's before:

And after:

On My Own . . .

(pretending he's beside me)

DH is gone to Virginia this weekend on a business trip, leaving me alone with seven kids. For some reason, I keep thinking of that line from the Incredibles that says, "You left Jack-Jack ALONE?!?" though I know the comparison is flawed. He started a new job a year ago that will require him to travel every few months to conferences, but this is his first one. He left Wednesday morning and comes home Saturday night. This will take some getting used to. I've been on my own before, but usually, it's because my crazy DH has taken a trip with three or four of the kids. In those cases, it's been a break. This time, I've missed him, and yes, all the work he does around here.

Not that I don't spoil myself when DH is gone. I've never liked cooking much, so it's the first thing to go when life gets stressful. Usually, if I don't get around to cooking something for dinner, DH will step in and make something wonder…

Overheard at the Library

Near the children's book section, little boy clutching spiderman book:

"But mommy, I want this!"

"Sweetie, we don't get books about spiderman because they have things we don't believe in them, like hitting and fighting."

"But I WANT it!"

20 minutes later, near the checkout section, boy still clutching book:

"But Spiderman saves the day!"

"I'm sorry, but we can't get books about Spiderman."

"But I WANT it!"

Disappointed little boy leaves with his mother. Allison notices the spiderman book, picks it up and says, "Oooo, Spiderman! Mommy, I want this book."

"Sure, okay."

I'm Amazing -- But So are You!

In the last few days, I've had three people tell me that I'm amazing, mostly due to the fact that I have seven children. I won't lie; I think I'm amazing too. I think it's amazing my children came so close together; it's amazing that I was able to function through six pregnancies; it's amazing that my children are turning into thoughtful, dependable, loving individuals; it's amazing that I've nursed twins and four other children through their first year of life; it's amazing that I still want more children; it's amazing that I look for the good amidst the difficult in my life; and it's amazing that I try each day to be kinder, more patient, and more wise than I was the day before. The truth is, if I didn't think what I do is amazing, I wouldn't have chosen this life. I would have chosen something much easier and less fraught with frustration and difficulty.

But I think it's the difficulty itself that people find so amazing…

Because Snakes & Four-Year-Olds are Such a Great Combination . . .

Back to School!

Random thought about the back-to-school scene:

* First grade can be a hard transition. Last year, Joey had a particularly tough time, and this year it's Michael. Going from half-days to all-days at school is hard; it's physically and mentally demanding.

* I love not having a kindergartner this year! Two years in a row were enough. That 11:30 pick-up is just a pain; I have four preschoolers this year but feel so free not being tied to that schedule. I took them all up to Salt Lake to the Tracy Aviary on Thursday, mostly just because I could. Trips last year had to be well-timed because of that darn 11:30 pick-up.

* There's something about having all one gender at home during the day. I'm still so excited about having four little girls in a row.

* I am totally not cut out for the yearbook committee chair position, mostly because I feel so self-conscious snapping pictures all over the school. I feel like I should really apologize and ask permission before I just …

"But We are Sorry, Mommy"

Last Tuesday, the twins brought scissors with them to preschool. When we got home, they were playing quietly (too quietly, in retrospect) while I prepared lunch. When I called them to come to the table, there was an ominous silence. I called again. Sarah popped up from behind the couch and said, "We are cutting ours hair." Not again! I've been working for months to grow out Allison's bangs. They were finally getting long enough to pull back, and both she and Sarah looked cute, but different enough to make it easy for folks to tell them apart. With one swipe of the scissors, we're back to the beginning. It could have been worse. Back in November, just days before our family picture, they cut their hair back to the scalp. This time, Allison ended up with bangs about the same length as Sarah's, and Sarah cut a few odd "layers" into her hair. As I looked at their hair in display and sadness, Sarah said, "But we are sorry, mommy." …

Not Invincible

After having a pretty good week and feeling ready to conquer the world or at least my little corner of it, on Thursday afternoon, I ended up with mastitis. I shouldn't complain. I've had other complications from breast-feeding, like cracked and bleeding nipples, engorgement, and the like, but not this one, so I was probably due. It came on suddenly. Thursday morning, I was walking and feeling good, but Thursday night, I was swollen and in pain and had a pounding headache. That night was miserable. I had a fever, chills, and every muscle ached. By morning, I had hardly slept and felt miserable. I called my doctor's office as soon as they opened, only to be told that "the next available appointment is on Tuesday." TUESDAY? Hadn't I mentioned I was dying here? I must have sounded desperate (and I was about to cry) because they put a nurse on the phone and after listening to my symptoms, she called in a prescription for some penicillin-based antibiotic…