Friday, February 25, 2011

A Case of the Mom Guilts

One draw back of giving birth in a birth center as opposed to a hospital is that in a hospital you have one stop shopping. All the newborn testing, poking, and prodding can be done in one place within hours of your infant being born. We've had to make appointments and travel around to different labs and offices to get Lil' Lamb tested for PKU, hearing, etc. Yesterday was the worst appointment by far. It was his circumcision appointment.

I had no idea how brutal circumcision really is. I nearly passed out. Even worse was the realization for me that it is really painful. The doctor did use local anesthetic, but injecting Xylocaine into that area looked incredibly painful as well. Once the procedure was finished I was able to scoop my distraught baby up and cuddle and nurse him. He calmed down immediately. We relaxed for several minutes, but then the anesthesia wore off. Lil' Lamb suddenly jerked his eyes wide open and let out a horrific wail. He was in pain the rest of the day and forget about changing his diaper. I nearly cried each time I had to change him. He and I spent the remainder of the day, cuddled on the couch, trying not to move.

Deciding to circumcise a son is a difficult decision, one that was always a struggle for me to begin with. After having to witness my little babe's surgery, I really don't think I could do it again. I just can't put another one of my babies through that kind of pain for a such an obscure reason. It really seems just too barbaric.

Thankfully, he is much better today, poor little dear.
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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Progress Report

Blogging has really been put on the back burner with our new little one taking all our time and energy. We are enjoying him so much. The children have all adjusted to having a new baby in the house and they are still fighting over who gets to hold him. They are even becoming pros at getting him to stop fussing, as long as he is not hungry. He definitely already has a preference for his Mama, but I'm trying not to hog him too much ;) The most difficult thing I've had to adjust to is finally having the energy to do all the things that need to be done, but not being able to tackle it all right away. Lil' Lamb comes first and he is completely willing to let me know it. The housework will still be there, but he will only be this tiny and precious once.

I have a couple minutes to blog today and I thought I'd write a progress report of our homeschooling year. While all is going well, I have to admit this has been my most difficult year to date. I feel like we are so far behind, and I haven't achieved the goals I really wanted to achieve this year. I'm having to remind myself that as long as they have all progressed this year, we have done well.

Karate Kid will be finished with high school this coming week. I have her diploma all ready to be signed. She did well in the two college courses she took and continued to do well in the subjects she studied at home. She was accepted into every college she applied to, and several gave her sizable scholarships just based on her GPA and SAT scores. We are waiting now to see what the financial aid packages are like before she makes her final decision. Wingnut and I definitely have our preference of school we'd like to see her attend, but in the end, it will be up to her to decide.

JayP manages to just get by in his school work. His GPA reflects decent grades, but the goals I had for him fell by the wayside to a certain extent. I had really wanted to work on his writing skills this year and that has not yet happened. I did have him take a practice SAT this week and he did as well as I thought he would. He has plenty of room for improvement, but he also has the aptitude to make the needed improvement. For the remainder of this school year, he and I will be working on his test taking skills and will work through SAT prep materials. Practice, practice, practice should raise those scores to a competitive level.

Oleander continues to work above grade level in all her work. She is working very hard on her study skills as it looks like she will be attending a convent school for high school. We are in the process of filling out the needed paperwork for her to be accepted at the Aspirancy School run by the Sister Servants of the Lord and Virgin of Matara. She has talked of nothing else this year other than her desire to attend this school and to eventually become a nun with the order.

Skoshi A plods along with her school work. Her spelling and writing have improved dramatically. Her math skills have also improved, as long as she is systematic and careful in her work. She has always been a bit too speedy in all she does.

Special K is working almost completely independently. Hooray! She has really taken to math and she works very hard at all her work. My only regret with her and Skoshi A is that I did not do as much hands-on type work in science and history as I had planned. We still have several weeks left, and I'm hoping to really get more out of those two subjects with them.

Lil' Wingnut has somehow escaped the plan for him to do a bit of school each day. It became easier for me to hand him my iPad or start up Starfall on the computer for him so that I could focus on the needs of everyone else in the morning. I'm not beating myself up over it. He continues to read more with each passing month, and we discovered he also has picked up a bit of adding, subtracting, and money counting skills. Kindergarten really should be a breeze next year. He's also taking classes with the co-op. We put him in the k-2nd grade class, and he seems to hold his own, unless it involves fine motor skills. Thankfully there are plenty of helpers in that class that can help him along with writing and cutting.

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Friday, February 18, 2011


Lil' Wingnut has been expressing himself artistically. Why he has chosen this particular subject matter is beyond me. Behold, "The Devil"!He's drawn at least half a dozen versions of this picture. One of his first attempts he brought to me and told me to be sure to ignore the blue words at the top of the page. (The blue words spelled out p**p).

Wingnut uploaded this version to the desktop of our computer. He called Lil' Wingnut to the computer and asked, "Have you been drawing on the computer screen?"

Lil' guy responded, "No!"

"You drew this right?"

"Well, yeah."

"Then how did it get on my computer screen?"

"Well, I drew it on a piece of paper and Mom uploaded it," Lil' Wingnut confessed.

I had to laugh, as Wingnut's teasing was a bust. Lil' guy is just too smart, even the Big guy can't pull one over on him any more.

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

MCP Project 52: Week 7

The theme for this week is Open Your Heart. I can't think of anything that better represents this theme than photos of Lil' Lamb. Can you?

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Little Appreciation

Often when strangers hear I've birthed 7 babies, I am told, "Wow, you must really love being pregnant." Yeah, right! Um, ladies, Eve shafted us with that original sin thing. Pregnancy and childbirth are not pleasant. Anyone who tells you differently is selling something. Pregnancy is not beautiful and childbirth terrifies me, but the new life created and brought into our family is miraculous and wonderful and worth every last stretch mark and contraction.

Being pregnant does lend itself to reflection on those things I take for granted when I am not pregnant. Things such as:

1) After wearing ill fitting maternity clothes for several months, my non-pregnant wardrobe that I was beginning to become sick of, starts to look really fashionable and fresh.

2) I've been pregnant several times over the last 20 years, and in all that time they still have not come up with a way to make maternity pants fit throughout a pregnancy. I am thankful, once the baby is born, for pants that no longer fall down.

3) I am grateful for being able to eat after 7 pm at night and I'm even more grateful for not having constant heartburn and other digestive problems.

4) I will no longer take sleeping on my back for granted, although with a nursing baby, sleeping on my back will still be a rare occurrence.

5) It is so nice to be able to see my feet, paint my toenails, and tie my shoes. For the last two months, my 8 year old had to tie my shoes for me.

6) I'm glad I can button up my coat on frosty days.

7) My children are thankful I can now give them "instruction" two feet from their faces rather than from my rump sunk in the couch 30 or more feet from their respective locations.

8) It's wonderful to no longer waddle.

9) Breathing freely can never be underrated.

10) Not only does my belly fit behind the wheel of the van, but my feet can reach the pedals at the same time.

What things do you appreciate all the more when you are no longer pregnant?
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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Friday, February 11, 2011

Lil' Lamb 1 Week

Baby boy has a new blog nick name, Lil' Lamb. Here he is at one week old.
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Sunday, February 6, 2011

He is Here!

Leo Athanasius arrived on 2/4/2011 at 12:25 am, weighing in at 7 pounds and 7.5 ounces and 20 3/4 inches long. Congratulations, Robert F. on coming closest to guessing Leo's arrival. I'll be sending your Amazon gift certificate to your mum's email this week.

So how does one go about writing a birth story that doesn't contain TMI and yet contains enough info to appease those who love reading birth stories? I'll give it a whirl. Water broke at 3 pm, the birth center allowed me to stay home and go about my business and allow labor to start naturally. I made dinner, ate dinner with my family, relaxed and waited for contractions to start, which they did at about 6 pm. At 8 pm I watched Wipeout with my family and laughed my head off. Contractions at that point were 20 minutes apart and not too intense. By 10:30 they were 8 minutes apart and beginning to hurt, so we called the midwife and were out the door to the birthing center by 11:15. During the short 25 minute drive, contractions increased in intensity and frequency to about 3 minutes apart. Wingnut was beginning to sweat it, and so was I. I hadn't expected for things to be moving so fast. We arrived at 11:45, were checked in, and by midnight I was in the jacuzzi, 5 contractions and one "You're asking me how to spell that now? Are you kidding me? Don't you think we should have had that figured out before I went into labor?" later and Leo was born. We stayed for exactly 4 hours and then headed home to finish the night in our own bed. It was by far the quickest, easiest, most natural, and least stressful birth experience I've ever had. I still wouldn't say I'm ready to do it again anytime soon! LOL!

I'm sure you'll forgive me if I continue to slack in posting regularly. I tend to spoil my babies, and Leo will be no exception. We are all smitten and looking forward to showering him with love and attention.
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Friday, February 4, 2011

MCP Project 52 Week 5: Muse

I had so many great ideas for this project, but this is the only one I pursued between the plague, baby watch, doctor's appointments, and whatever else life threw at us this week. It's only one photo, but I love it. She is indeed one of my "Muses". Print Friendly and PDF

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Intense Love

Poor Lil' Wingnut has had a relapse of the flu. He was spiking a fever closer to 105 than I would like and we had one rough night Tuesday. Thankfully, a cool cloth and a dose of Motrin brought his temp down to something much more tolerable.

In their fevered states, children can often do and say some very unusual things, but I don't recall any of my children talking to baby Jesus like Lil' Wingnut was doing the other night. As I caressed his little head I could hear him whispering a prayer telling baby Jesus to stay by his side and then he said, "I love you baby Jesus." I nearly wept for pity and joy. His supplication for Jesus to stay with him was so sweet and piteous it nearly broke my heart. His heartfelt adoration was about as beautiful a prayer as any I've heard. It's no wonder Jesus loves children so much. Their simple understanding leads to such strong love and genuine faith. To have a faith such as theirs would be a gift indeed.
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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Fountain of Youth

No baby yet, and that is just fine. We are still battling the flu here and Leo is safer where he is.

Yesterday, Wingnut took my sister and I to a lovely little French restaurant for lunch. It was delightful and delicious. Our waitress was especially attentive and at the end of our lunch stopped to chat with us about our very apparent, impending arrival. She asked if we were having a girl or a boy and if this was our first. She practically fell over when we confessed this is our 7th. She then proceeded to say the most lovely and complimentary things to me about how lovely to have so many children, how young I looked, how beautiful I looked, etc. She finally asked how old I was, as she just could not believe I had that many children and still appear so young. I didn't mind at all telling her I'm 42. I'm very proud of it and I love to see folks' reactions to the number. She ended the conversation by declaring having so many children must be the secret to staying so young, and I think she really believed what she was saying.

Obviously, she made my day. Not only did she make me feel good about myself appearance wise, I am thrilled I could be a witness and an example of what so many of us with larger families already know. Welcoming new life into a family is an occasion for celebration and joy. When life is looked at as being the gift it truly is, all the world can do no less than see it as such.

". . . I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly."
-- John 10:10
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