Monday, December 29, 2014

Pregnancy and Miscarriage

Something has been bothering me for a very long time. This always comes to my mind when I get pregnant and especially when I lose a baby. For some reason it is considered prudent to not tell anyone you are pregnant until the 1st trimester is over and the risk of miscarriage is lowered. This has never made much sense to me. It seems like it makes the 1st trimester a fearful time and that at any time the baby can be lost. I've heard relatives and acquaintances chastise the pregnant mom for telling others she was pregnant when she was only 5 or 6 weeks along, especially when the mom ends up miscarrying.

When people say this it is basically telling the mom to keep this knowledge to herself, be afraid, and suffer in silence if you lose the baby. No support from the community. It's like they don't want to be made uncomfortable if at all possible. The mom is burdened with everything for months until it is deemed "safe" to let others know. This is so selfish. Not the mom. The mom needs support and love and caring. The selfish ones are those who don't want to know someone is pregnant until the pregnancy is safely into the 2nd trimester.

The mom especially needs support when she loses her baby. No matter how far along she is. It doesn't matter how far along she was or how many babies she has at home. Telling the mom that she should be grateful to know she can have children especially since she has babies at home is cruel. It negates her suffering. Saying that those who are infertile suffer the most and more than a mom with three kids at home and two miscarriages makes suffering into a competition. I am not in a competition for who is suffering the most. I could never suffer the most. Only one has been able to do that and that is Jesus. When we suffer it is a time for comfort. No matter how awkward it is. Awkward is better than being rude and cruel.

I will not wait until the safe period of a pregnancy to let my family and friends know I am pregnant. When I get pregnant I will share and gain the joys of that sharing or the support I need when I miscarry. To be silent is something that only makes me fearful. If I cannot share with others in my joy then I cannot share with them in my sorrow. This is important and I think we should encourage mothers to let us know when they become pregnant so we can care for them in health or illness.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Gone but never forgotten.

Today was a lesson in patience. I spent most of the afternoon in the ER listening to the PA tell me tired platitudes about how lucky I was to have children and that I knew I was able to have kids. I didn't say anything to her about how insensitive she was being. I couldn't think straight. This is my second miscarriage now. I am  farther along than last time. I made it to 6 weeks this time. I had two wonderful weeks of planning and building castles in the sky for our newest little one. I thought hard on the logistics of who would sleep where and with whom. But now, like a puff of smoke, it's all gone. I have two little saints in heaven looking down on our family. I wanted them here with me but now I must wait until it is my turn to be with them heaven. I pray I can do well in this life so that it may be so in the next. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

On Marriage and Having Children

My youngest is just 9 months and already I'm wondering when I'll be pregnant again. This December I turn 37 and my husband is now 39. We are nearing the end of being able to bear children. I love my children dearly and it is impossible for me to not want them to exist. They are bright little stars in my universe. They are parts of me walking around outside of my body. How could I not want my hand or my foot or my elbow? It is the same with my children. God counted my children before I ever came to be. I don't know their number but one day I will. Usually, around this post-partum time, I gain my fertility back. Shortly thereafter, I get pregnant. Neither of those things have happened yet, and because of this I have been doing much thinking on marriage and having babies. 

My mother once told me that having babies was for the young. I understand her now. Exhaustion is never so intense as when you are dealing with babies. They consume your life and wake you when you want to sleep. They are completely dependant on someone else for their care and because I love my children deeply and they are my responsibility I am able to muster my strength and reserves and persevere. I am thinking that all of this childcare would be much easier if I were 15 or 20 years younger. I recall at 19, staying awake on purpose for 3 days so I wouldn't have jet lag on return from Europe. I could stay awake at night until 4 am and wake at 6:30 am to get ready for work or go to school. I had no problem with little to no sleep. Now it's just so much harder. I'd love to get more sleep but that isn't happening with three little ones in the house. They seem to love waking at 6 am and begging for food. By the time they all get to bed in the evenings I get my second wind and a shot of adrenaline. Just having them all in bed is so exciting, I do a little jig as I trot down the stairs, and I couldn't possibly sleep until I wind down a bit, when in reality I should head straight for bed if I want 8 hours of sleep. 

All this hard work is made just a little bit harder by me having to change and grow as a person. When we are young we are flexible. We change easily and often eagerly. Halfway through my 30s I don't want to change anymore. I want everything to be steady. Steady homelife. Steady income. Steady friends. All very reliable. With welcoming new people into our lives so late in our adult lives it make changing harder, especially when we are their everything. 

In marriage, it is much the same. I wish I had been able to get married much younger so the change wouldn't be so hard. Both my husband and I have a horrible time communicating, compensating, and changing our preferences. We find ourselves inflexible. Sometimes we worry we will break because of the inflexibility. 

Our culture tells us to wait until we are older to get married and to wait even longer after that to have children. In marriage the thought is that you need to find yourself and get stable. With children, they get in the way of stability (and heaven forbid you have more than 1 or 2). Waiting to get married is not very good advice to me because being married and submitting yourself to another's will will change and mold you into a new person and that process is best done when young. So too is learning how to have, care, and raise children. And having few children is much harder than having many. With each child we grow in our parenting skills and become more efficient with what we know is needed. It's shocking to realize just what we need as people. 

I also believe that my children change me into a better person. My concern for their welfare is a great driving factor in my attitude and general being. Plainly, I became an adult when I became a parent. Before marriage and children, I was a contributing member of society but in a very selfish way. I was more juvenile than adult. 

I cannot go back and change how things turned out, nor would I want to because then I would not have the babies and husband I have now. However, if I were to advise a young lady or young man about marriage and children, I would say that getting married young is easier than waiting and getting married later. You will learn to change together and less will you have to unlearn or overcome. The same with children. Children are for the young. Don't wait until you are 40 to have a child because you may never have them. We become set in our ways. Why do you think the military doesn't take people after 35 years of age? It's because of how hard it is to overcome bad habits and train the person to be a soldier. 

Hopefully, for me, I'll have more babies. My wish is for a nice big family. Three boys are a lot but once they get past the baby stage they entertain each other and it's not so hard. I'll take what I can get but secretly I hope for seven by the time I am 43. Seven is a good number. I like seven.


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Baby montage

I love baby pictures. Especially when they're toothless. Revel in my baby. 








Don't you love that quilt? My mom had it gifted to her by a relative. It is from 1950 and the pattern is called Periwinkle. So many fabrics, so sturdy. I love antiques like this one. 


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

We're figuring it out

For the past 2 weeks we've been letting the baby eat solid food. Typically, I feed my boys Beechnut baby food until they can manage more texture. It's a nice brand that is just the vegetable and water or the fruit, water, and some citric acid. It tastes like the food we eat at home and with the vegetables I usually add some butter to help with the flavor and the vitamin absorbtion. I also use a rubbery spoon like nuby. I tried the kind that had a metal handle but it hurt my fingers after a while. Why, you may ask? Because I usually have a death grip on the spoon to keep it from being taken from me by an excited baby and also because right now it takes about 1/2 hour to eat. Sore fingers are no fun. 

Today, I finally found a sweet spot for me and the baby. He is wanting to eat real food but still has his extrusion reflex. That is not fun since his tongue is in the way for most of the feeding. So, today I tried just holding the spoon like it was full of soup (sideways), up against his mouth and resting it there. He slurped the food happily, spoonful after spoonful, and we finished in 10 minutes. Woohoo! 


Monday, August 4, 2014

The baby is 6 months old.

My baby is over 6 months old now. He's enamored with his big brothers and is doing all he can to keep up. 


He's really long and has a big head but his weight is average. Looks like another tall, skinny kid coming up. 


Crawling has begun in ernest. He's figured out how to keep his body and head up at the same time. His only problem is the direction of his locomotion as he's going backwards more than forwards. 

I predict unassisted walking by 10 months. We shall see. 


Monday, July 28, 2014

100 Years Later

Today marks the 100 year anniversary of the start of WWI, a 4 year war that was stopped by the outbreak of the Spanish Influenza. It was the first war to really use mechanized warfare (airplanes, automatic weapons, tanks, cars, and telephones). Of the 60 million European military personnel who were mobilized from 1914 to 1918: 8 million were killed, 7 million were permanently disabled, and 15 million were seriously injured. It was tragic in it's loss of life.

When I was in school, we never learned about WWI. The only reason I knew there was a WWI was because of WWII. So many of the reasons WWII started were because of retaliation over the aftermath of WWI. It's a little irritating to me that no one ever bothered to talk about the subject of WWI. 

Here are a few resources on the topic of WWI that I found interesting. 

1914-2014 Echoes of the great war:




Rilla of Ingleside by Lucy Maud Montgomery: Rilla of Ingleside is the only Canadian novel written from a woman's perspective about the First World War by a contemporary. This is my favorite book by L.M. Montgomery after Anne's House of Dreams. The reality of what was happening was truly shocking and while I cry every single time I read this book, I am glad that I did and look forward to reading it again.

Audio version (click on the picture)

book-cover-large




Downton Abbey Season 2. This is very inspiring that a modern tv show is willing to tackle a piece of history. They spent the whole of season 2 from the war's beginnings to the outbreak of the Spanish Influenza.  


Sergeant York (1941) is one of my childhood favorites. I really enjoy the acting style of Gary Cooper who reminded me so much of my dad. While the film has the war in it it is more about the integrity of a devout Christian who was a conscientious objector. He was a medal of honor recipient too. How does a conscientious objector become a war hero? Sergeant York gave up neither his principles nor his honor. He saw the pain of war but didn't let it change who he was. He was a real hero.










Saturday, July 26, 2014

Hot Hot Hot!

Hero found a crucifix in Grammie's desk drawer and now uses it to help him drive safely. 

Hot day activities. 

Tomorrow the baby will be a whole 6 months old. I can barely believe it. He's been teething for a long while but has no teeth yet. Just this past week I've been giving him big people food to eat since he's grabbing and mimicing me as I try to eat. It's so cute to see him smacking his mouth with every bite I take. He's been rolling over solidly since 4 months. At 5 months he's been plowing his way around. Just yesterday he's been doing plank position and lunging foreward. He can scoot foreward in his walker taking real steps. He loves to bounce like a mad man in the bouncer. He's a great sleeper. My little baby is such a blessing. How could I have ever done without him. 

Pilot is busy bossing Hero about. It makes Hero very stubborn and he has an opinion about almost everything, whereas Pilot is not and does not. The dynamic between the two boys is a bit unmanageable at times but they do act loving to one another when someone gets hurt. 

Pilot entertaining the baby while Hero plays with his truck

Did I mention it's hot outside? It's 7:30pm and the temp outside is 99 degrees F. We reached a high of 107 degrees F today. The next 5 days are going to be the same. There's not much you can do when it's that hot. Going outside is too hard so we stay inside and lay on the floor. I was letting the boys watch some tv when it was too hot to be outside but a few days of whining and temper tantrums when I said no tv led me to ban tv entirely while Daddy is gone. I turn the tv and dvd player off at the power strip so the remotes won't work at all. The boys can push all the buttons on the remotes and the devices and nothing will happen. It's worked wonderfully. I just tell them it broke and won't work until Daddy gets home. They believe me and I've had no more problems since. I will just need to make sure the boys don't see me flip the power strip off and on or they'll learn how to do it themselves. 

I've been reading some great posts on NFP Awareness week. My favorite was from Catholic All Year blog. http://www.catholicallyear.com/2014/07/why-i-dont-use-birth-control-nfp.html I feel the same way about NFP. It's wonderful but it's not for me and my family. My babies come at the perfect time for us, about 19-20 months apart, and we have no grave reason to abstain from having children. We welcome the children with open arms and know that I likely only have a few more years of fertility left to me since I am going to be 37 this year. Sometimes I wish I had gotten married earlier so I could have more babies but I don't know if I would have been open to life like I am now. What really changed the tide for me was listening to a talk on EWTN called "Contraception, Why Not" by Janet Smith. It is awesome. http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL524F0F36F5A69D4A

A few weeks ago I discovered a Russian cartoon called Masha and the Bear. All 42 episodes are free on youtube and you don't need to know Russian to watch the show. It reminds me of Looney Tunes but much cuter. The show is so popular that some episodes have nearly 300,000,000 views. That's right, 300 million views. It's based on a Russian fairy tale and is about a little girl who's about 3 or 4 years old. She's a terror to all the local animals and finds her way to the home of a retired circus bear who takes her under his wing. It reminds me of those Pixar shorts before cartoons like Up. It's mostly gestures and lots of giggling. My boys love it, L.O.V.E. it. Here's the first episode: http://youtu.be/CSdGB_r6ZkQ

Speaking of great videos, I saw a PBS documentary on Nova called Mystery of a Masterpiece about a painting that is believed to be an undocumented Leonardo Da Vinci. It was so convincing it makes me think it really is a Da Vinci. http://video.pbs.org/video/2189483449/?utm_source=Tumblr&utm_medium=ThisDayHistory&utm_campaign=August%2B21%2BMona%2BLisa

There is so much more to share but I think it's time to say goodnight. God bless. 


Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Joy in Motherhood

It's been troubling me lately, the vicious and cruel words coming from some very angry people. They are one with the overpopulation belief crowd but go further than that in belief that humans should no longer exist. They are angered by families and children. Is this the result of contraception and planned parenthood? Where we've gone from every child wanted to no child should be brought into this world because we're parasites? Is it as some bloggers write, that so many of us have written the harsh realities of our lives that it's become a complete turn off?

As I browsed the Pinterest boards, I was gazing longingly at the traditionally garbed sisters from the Dominican Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist and the Dominican Sisters of St Cecilia. These happy women are drawing large crowds of young people. They exude joy, peace, harmony, and love. It's easy to see why young people love them. 

Contrast those sisters with those who threw off their habits after Vatacan II. They seemed like such bitter people who were repressed, but even after their "reslease" from oppression they were still bitter. Where is the draw? Those orders are dying now. The ones thriving are those who embrace tradition. But it's more than tradition. They are visibly happy and perfectly visible.

Considering this, should mothers try to embrace the roll of motherhood, slow down, and live in the moment? Finding joy, peace, and love in their vocation? 

We seem so haried by keeping up with what other mothers are doing: sports, career, school, homeschool, arts and crafts, party planning, field trips, and on and on. 

I looked at some old photos of motherhood the other day. They were from a collection of lost photos from the 70s. All were in black and white. They were beautiful. The mothers looked so calm and at peace. Even with a child acting crazy in the background. They were reconciled to their place in life. I want that peace, that surity. 

I think I will try to post those things that are motherhood to me and what makes me a mother. Some things will be tough but most will be joy and love. My boys are but little. We have plenty of growing up to do. 

Comparing the size of their popsicles.

Resting safe in Grammie's arms.

When my boys act like twins.

Sharing their trucks with the baby.



Sunday, June 29, 2014

Armor of God

I just watched a beautiful episode of a program called the Armor of God. In it it describes our place in this world and my soul aches with the simplicity and truth found in these words. 

This program is from ChurchMilitant.TV

Motherhood moments



How do I express myself properly? I'm tired but I'm full of energy. I feel like I run a race every waking moment and even when asleep. My dreams are full and vivid, yet I barely remember what they were about. My back is sore and my joints achy. Mystery bruises abound and little people poking them with questions. I live in the physicality of the moment. New babies are work. Work to learn their qwirks. Work to bring them into harmony with the family and bring the family in line with the needs of the baby. So much to do, no time to do anything but live in the moment. This work I do for God. 


Monday, June 23, 2014

The baby is getting so big.

He's almost 5 months old and can already roll over both ways and crawls like an inchworm. That means he puts his head on the ground, hikes his butt up, pushes off with his feet, and drags his arms behind him. I have a feeling this little guy is going to be walking before a year old. Maybe before 9 months. I guess all I can do is pray he doesn't crash and burn too much. 


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Tutu gift for my niece

In two weeks my niece will be 3. I had the brilliant idea of making her a tutu to run around in. I looked up some tutorials on Pinterest and made this piece.

She loves pink and purple 

Pony beads and bells 

A ribbon to make it tighter if needs be 

Pilot holding up the tutu. He thought it was great.

Happy Birthday Hero

Hero turned 2 last week. He had a great birthday. Lots of presents and a yummy cake.

Lots of presents! 


Pilot in armor 


A birthday cake grin 



Please sir. I want some more.

Auntie with the baby at the birthday party

A Baptism

The baby got baptized! It was back at the beginning of May but here are photos to prove it happened. First are the pictures of the baptismal outfit I made for the baby:

I had to hand set the sleeve because the armholes were too small for my machine 



Diaper snaps. I love these guys but I should have put some twill tape in for reinforcement 


Complete!

My husband and I with the baby and his godparents 

Deacon, me, the baby, and my husband

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Recipe

Hero showing a piece of his birthday cake

I have been gluten free since Lent of 2012. Why? I found that eating wheat caused me to have high blood pressure during pregnancy and allergies both during and after pregnancy. I thought it was a fluke but I've done much experimenting on myself to see if a wee bit of host from communion would be okay and again and again I find it is not. Headaches, sinus pressure, insomnia, mucus, and massive amounts of sneezing have convinced me not to eat it.

Unfortunately, because of this allergy/sensitivity/intolerance I now miss baking for my family and friends. I want to eat what they eat so I know it tastes good. Birthdays are a moment I get to share my skill with a large amount of people and hopefully fulfill the desire of the guest of honor. For years I have been trying out this recipe and that recipe, using almond flour, but finding it challenging to work with. The cakes always came out weird.

One day my husband came home with a gigantic bag of coconut flour. He wanted me to use it and see if we liked it. I had never used coconut flour because I was concerned about the dryness and the choking problem. I made a loaf of bread and my husband was reaching for water and saying it was extremely dry. I did some google searches for coconut flour recipes and found one for brownies that sounded really easy. I made some up and fell in love with the flavor and smoothness. The only problem was density. So, I did some research on the difference between brownies and cakes and found that really it was very simple changes. I tried with each successive batch to make cake, altering a bit here and a bit there. (note: baking is chemistry, you can't mess with recipes a great deal or they won't turn out with desirable results)

After making this recipe 6 times, with a different variation for each, I finally have a delicious recipe to share.



Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

1 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. cocoa powder
1/2 c. almond meal* (found in the bulk section of your natural food store)
5 eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. coconut flour

Cream the sugar and butter. Add cocoa and almond meal and mix well. One at a time, add the eggs, whipping as much air into the batter as you can. Add in vanilla, baking soda, and salt. Add in coconut flour. 

Pour batter into a greased 8x8 pan. 
Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees F. Do not over-bake.

Here is a link to a bake time conversion chart if you use a different size pan.

*Almond flour can be used if almond meal is unavailable, but it will cost quite a bit more.



Chocolate Frosting

1/2 c. butter, soft
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1/4 c. water
1 lb. powdered sugar

Mix butter and cocoa powder until smooth. Add a little powdered sugar, then add the water. Add in the rest of the powdered sugar. Frost cake.

note: If the frosting is too thin, add more powdered sugar. If the frosting is too thick, add more water. 


Hero looking for more cake to eat

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Craft Room Mania



What do you do when your craft room looks like it threw up all over the place? I feel like I can make no headway here. This is really our dining room. I have taken it over and we use it as my crafting area and to store anything we don't want the boys touching or getting into, like the garbage or the water dispenser. 

I'm getting to the point where I just feel like packing everything categorically and taking only one project out at a time. It might just be for the best. I get start-itist way too easily. A pretty skein of yarn will beckon or a sale on patterns at Joann's. Who can resist paying $1 for a $25 pattern that you like? I'm doomed. 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Oh no.

Tonight has been a night of errors. It all started with me taking the trash out. Simple enough, right? We had oil in the trash can and the trash bag had a hole in the bottom. I only began to notice a problem when Hero was leaving footprints in the kitchen. I though perhaps that his diaper was over full, but his clothes were dry. I looked for a spilled cup of water. None could be seen. I touched the stuff, smelled it, then rubbed my fingers together. Oil! Ugh. A long dripping trail from garbage can, across the carpet, and out the front door. What a mess. 

My husband and I quickly started spraying pinesol and wiping up the oil. Good thing it's a degreaser. It worked perfect on the carpets. I filled the kitchen sink with hot hot water and more cleanser. I mopped the entry, the kitchen, and just because it was already dirty, the laundry room. I put the mop outside and walked in. 

Then I noticed a trail of liquid right where I had been walking with the mop. I grabbed some cloths, mad that I hadn't wrung the mop out enough. I touched the liquid. Oil. Again! What the heck was going on?! I looked at the trail and my heart sank. In his helpfulness, my husband took the garbage can out through the laundry room and to the garage. He knew there would be oil in the bottom of the can but he didn't realize I had drilled two holes near the bottom to let extra air escape when I put a liner in. Of course, the holes were pointing down as he walked it through the house. More oil to clean up. 

We frantically cleaned the carpets and the floors and the garage. I put in new hot water and cleanser for the kitchen and laundry room. I mopped and mopped, drained oily water, filled with clean, and mopped again. My husband dragged out the stream cleaner and went to town on the carpets. 

So, now we hope we're clean of oil on the carpets and tile floors. 

What a mess. 

I hope that doesn't happen again. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Uh Oh.



Yep. Today was one of those days. 

I was very sleep deprived this morning. In my hunger, I ate a bunch of peanuts as they appeared to be the only edible protein snack in the house. My bad. Poor baby. He had awful gas and couldn't sleep well. I got a grand total of three hours to lay in bed and pretend to sleep. The rest of the time I was nursing, bouncing, patting, and waiting for the baby to be tired again. Then, at 5:30am, Pilot started crying in his room. I can only guess it was a bad dream. I changed his diaper, comforted him, said prayers with him, and sent him back to sleep. 

So, I was tired. 

My error of the day was not picking up a jar of Grandma El's Diaper rash ointment that was laying on the floor in the entryway. I saw it and thought, "I'll pick that up later". Well, I forgot to. Around 5:30 pm my boys were playing together peacefully in the playroom. Normally, they squable over everything. It should have been an immediate red flag. I was nursing. Eventually, it occured to me to inspect what they were doing. If they were being so good together without me mediating, I needed to discover what it was. 

My heart sank when I realized what was happening. Pilot had the jar of diaper cream and was happily slathering it on his face, hands, and feet. The piano had a big grease spot on it, the carpet was greasy, and Hero's face was covered in it as well as his freshly washed hair. Pilot saw me and stated that he was washing his feet. 

Oh, what do you do? I was frustrated that I let it happen. If I had only picked the jar up when I saw it. I could hardly be mad at them. They weren't endangering their lives. I knew they loved that diaper cream. It smells nice and feels good. It's mostly lanolin. 

My big question is, what is it going to do to my carpet?

One of Those Days

Today is going to be one of those days. I can feel it already. Sleep deprivation is beginning to overwhelm me but life will go on regardless. I just wish I weren't so tired. I want sleep. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I'm Tired but It's Worth It.

Being a stay-at-home mom is no joke. Holy cow, what a lot of work it is. Yet, despite all that I love what I am. Man was designed to work. I feel so much better putting in a hard days work than relaxing on the couch all day long pursuing whatever I feel like in the moment. It's like faithfully going to the gym and working out every day. Or going to daily mass. You just feel better. 

How is my life right now? Crazy busy. 

The baby is 6 weeks old. At 4 weeks and 2 days I started to get smiles out of him. Now he regularly smiles at whoever grabs his attention. He also sleeps from 1-5 hours at a time. Fortunately, those 5 hour stretches happen in the evening and I get a break from sitting on the couch. I can spend a bit of time with my older boys and my husband. Then I can get a few hours of sleep before the next time I'm needed by the baby. The baby then wakes me a few hours later and I'm up for the day or I might get to go back to sleep. During the day he's sporadically awake and asleep with a big nap at lunch time. I'm looking forward to set nap times and sleeping through the night. It will be bliss. 



Pilot is potty trained except at night, thanks to his awesome daddy. We just have to make sure he uses the toilet regularly. I had tried the naked method last summer but as soon as it got cool enough for clothing, it was no use. When I had the baby, my husband stayed home for 6 weeks to help with the boys and in the process he got Pilot trained to use the toilet. He even showed him how to pee standing up. I'm not sure how I feel about that. 

Hero is learning words a mile a minute. He copies everything we say and is outpacing Pilot in new words. He's also quite good at going up and down the stairs with no help, sometimes without holding onto the wall or railing. I'm very impressed. He hauls his toys up and down the stairs and wears my shoes through the house. 

Loads of laundry, loads of cloth diapers every day. Dishes to do, kitchen to clean, meals to make, food to clean up. Toys. Toys everywhere. I can't stand toys being everywhere. My mom broke her toe on my niece's barbie head that was laying on the floor years ago. I vowed to keep toys cleaned up so people wouldn't get hurt, namely my klutzy self. Groceries to buy. Pediatrician and dentist appointments to go to. Walking for exercise, which is something at the bottom of my to-do list since other things get in the way. And cleaning my house. I'm tired just thinking about it. 

Little boys run to me for kisses and hugs. I patch boo boos and kiss scrapes and bruises. I tell the boys stories and read out of books to them. Piggy back rides up stairs to bed. Naps. Bathtime. It's a whirlwind of activities. 

Never in my life did I expect to do so much work day in and day out, at night and during the day, with little break 24/7. Time to myself comes rarely and often only when my parents graciously watch the boys while I run off to do an errand. I know some will say my husband should help more. He does help in his own way but his job is to earn money for our family and make sure we are financially secure. He works, pays bills, and puts the boys to bed. He fixes the house and landscapes the yard. He has work a plenty without me adding to his load. 




In a few years, I will add homeschooling to the mix and I have no idea how I'll fit it in. Yet, I think it's better for our family than shipping them off to the local public school. I won't have to worry like my cousin who has to wake her toddlers from a nap after daylight savings time to go pick up their older sister. Finding all the right clothes and books every day won't be high on the priority list. 

Yes, life is busy but it is worth it. In a few years everything will be different. I won't have the sleep deprivation I have now, just something else in its place. This is my happy place. This is my life. 

Here is a smile from the baby.