Wednesday, September 14, 2011

There will be pizza

Ok, I admit now that I am not a good cook and I don't like to cook.  Maybe if I had the extra time I would enjoy cooking. Maybe if cooking didn't take so much time and so much money I would do it more. I am in a true conundrum. I prefer healthy and read labels. Yet, at the same time, I don't know a lot of quick and easy that doesn't come out of a box or freezer.

The odd thing about this is that my mom cooked from scratch, as much as I can recall. I do not remember  ever having had "Hamburger Helper", "Manwich", or "Ragu" until I was a teenager. I am not even sure my mom eats "Ragu" now. Because of this, I know how to make chili, spaghetti sauce, meatloaf, apple pie, etc without a recipe and completely from scratch. It is the quick things that I have trouble with.

I am the one at the grocery store blocking the aisle as I scan the kids yogurt for any mention of "*some color* dye #...", the bread for "calcium propionate", and anything that says "less sugar", for the artificial sweetener ingredients. On the next aisle I am afraid to even look at the ingredients on the "Hamburger Helper" I toss in the cart.

Today I left the house at 7:15am. That may not sound early, but my hubby takes the kids to school. Some  days I may not even go outside until 11:30am. This works out well since my babies gradually sleep better until they are 6 months old and kick into reverse.  By their 1st birthday, their sleep is so temperamental it changes with each tooth, infection, developmental change, change in barometric pressure, phase of the moon, and who knows what else.  This morning I woke up to a friend's status that happily said how their daughter only got up twice last night.  My 1st thought was, I think I only slept twice last night. 

Yet, at 7:15am I drove 40 mins through morning traffic to B's Occupational Therapist. An hour later we quickly ran into the fabric store on the way home. I needed some red and green to do apple, apple tree, etc appliques for apple picking this weekend.  The fabric store is 30 minutes away but right near therapy so now seemed the most cost effective time to go.  We ran by Subway because B wanted to take her lunch (apparently the pizza line at the school is long). We ran home because she forgot her ID. After dropping her off at school we ran back home for J's forgotten backpack. I ran A to her speech evaluation. When we finished we had to run back home to change messy clothes before running J to school. We finally were home (for the 4th time in 2.5 hours), and actually able to get out of the car, near noon.

Right now we are napping, in preparation for this evening.  I have to pick up from after school activities at 4:30 and 5:00 pm. This wouldn't be a big deal if we didn't have to leave at 5:30 for church.  My crockpot and I only know 4 recipes, none of which I tossed in it this morning. The baby was too tired, after all that running around, to hit the grocery store today. Since the kids have to eat anyway, there will be pizza.  Pizza is also known as "heartburn with cheese".  It has all the food groups though. It has meat (except for the vegetarian), dairy, veggie, and bread. I am afraid to know how artificial the ingredients are, or how many preservatives are in it.  Luckily they don't print them on the box, for me to read while I eat.  Is it bad that one of the first places my teen gets to practice driving is the pizza drive thru?  This is the same teen who weighs nothing, but can polish off half a large pizza herself.

So what's on your menu this week?  Something healthy but super easy?  I am going to have to grocery shop tomorrow, if we don't want heartburn for dinner again. So hit me with what ingredients or staples I should be buying.  What should be on the month's menu?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

21 days in a cast

E broke each arm, one at 4 and one at 8.  It's been quite a few years since then.  We have had broken pinky fingers and broken toes.  We haven't had a cast in nearly 7 years.  The "fun" things that come to mind when you think about a cast are things like itchiness where you can't scratch it, the inability to really wash your arm (or hand), and having to avoid swimming, etc.  The # one, best part, of a cast is signing it.  J broke his arm right above his elbow.  After lots of crying, xrays and a cast, here are the 3 weeks we enjoyed in the cast.

T minus 2 days- "J, your arm doesn't hurt because of the medicine. If
you keep using it to climb the playplace it's gonna hurt more when the
medicine wears off"
T minus 1 day- "J, if you lean on that (toy) car and slip your not going to
be able to catch yourself on your splint. You're gonna fall flat on
your face"
C day- "no, you cannot jump on the trampoline in your cast"
Then the big kids come home from school and there is much commotion grabbing for markers and paint pens to sign his cast.  It's OK, he's fine, thanks for asking.
Day 2- "no, you cannot skateboard in a cast"
Day 4- "You left him alone by the water with his cast!"
Day 5- "You can't ride a 2 wheeler with a cast Dear"
Day 6- "You should not be doing somersaults with your cast"
Day 7- "No rock climbing"

And so the days replayed.  No, you cannot go on the trampoline, even if you promise not to jump.  Though, eventually he stopped asking and it became quite difficult to chase him every second.  Despite being right handed (the arm in the full cast) he figured out how to do everything from ride a scooter, play basketball, to writing, cutting, etc with a cast.  He did fail at riding a 2 wheeler, but he couldn't ride one before the cast.  He did even rock climb at the park with it.  Siblings were yelled at, more than a couple times, for playing with the hose or water guns next to him (or at him).  Soccer season and swim lessons were abandoned.

The big day of removal came.  I asked him what he would do when he got his cast off, his answer was "go swimming".  What was it he actually did when he got his cast off?  Sucked on his finger, I guess 23 days, without it, didn't break him of the habit.  We will be going swimming this weekend though.  The doctor has said that the bone is already growing there and it is healed enough to remove the cast.  They like to keep small guys in casts as little as possible to prevent muscle atrophy.  He just needs to take it easy for the next month.  If he falls on it, he could rebreak it, maybe worse.  Just be careful and take it easy for a while.  I wonder if this is the first 4 year old boy he's ever met?
Hanging out after the big removal,
waiting for the xray results
pretending to take a nap

Sunday, September 11, 2011


I know "selfishness" seems like an odd title for a post on 9/11.  9/11 is a day we remember so much selflessness. Heroes, who not only saved so many, many of which gave the ultimate sacrifice. Heroes who are heroes every day. They selflessly signed up for a job, knowing they could one day give the ultimate gift with that job. Heroes who were born out of necessity. People who, when they thought about if they could ever do that, may have thought they couldn't. Yet, when the time came, they didn't hesitate. Heroes on that day, as well as the heroes who have fought the war since. Heroes who lived but have the memory of that day forever in their mind. Heroes who gave their lives. Families who are now the heroes picking up the pieces left behind. None of this sounds selfish.

Even the average person just wanted to be selfless. They felt helpless, they wanted to do anything they could to help, to make it all better. They donated blood, they donated money, they prayed.  They were glued to the news, hoping for any little miracle.  Even if they didn't know a single person in those areas, they still wanted to help.  It really shows that the good people in this world far outnumber the bad.

There is another side to that time glued to the news though. They wanted reassurance that things would be OK. That they would be OK. Their family would be OK. Those that lived in the Northeast were desperate to hear or see any sign that the people in their family, or their friends, were OK. Those that lived nowhere near the NE, those that had no ties to the NE, wanted to know it wouldn't happen near them.  This was so huge, noone knew if this was just the beginning or if this was it. They were selfishly thinking of themselves. 

I wonder how many people were like that on that day, selfish first.  Proving we are all just human.  I say this because my story of that day isn't the sorrow of someone who was there. It isn't the sorrow of someone who knew anyone who died. It is a story of selfishness.

That morning I do not remember. I do remember when I heard of what was going on. I was with my 1 year old at a consignment sale. I wondered why so many had radios on the news. Soon the sale was abuzz with people talking. I started to worry about what was going on. The radio stations seemed to all be analyzing it, noone was repeating what had happened. I couldn't be sure of what had happened. It sounded like a plane had hit a building. That sounded sad, I pray for the family, but why the big commotion? Cessna's and Piper's crashed into buildings regularly. I assumed it was just another case of this. The commotion had me worried though, so I quickly finished and left.

In the car on the way home the radio finally said what had happened. A terrorist attack? What was going on? There was so much fear. I called my husband, I knew he was right on the other side of town, but I had to hear his voice. My 5 year old was at school. She had only been at school, her 1st experience away from me all day, for a month.  What was the school doing about this? It's a building with 600 kids in it. Was it safer if everyone, everywhere was at home? No big congregation of people. Would they close all the schools? I drove past the school on the way home, it looked normal. 

It was only when I got home and actually saw the video of the plane crashing into the building, that I understood how bad it really was.  I remember repeatedly seeing the planes crash as the news replayed it.  Then they started showing the people jumping from it. Was it really that bad inside? Did they think they wouldn't be saved? So many people were jumping, I couldn't watch that. I couldn't scare my 1 year old. Yet, I couldn't turn it off, I was desperate for good news.  I had to do something else. I left the TV on but we moved to the kitchen to do the dishes. 

Then there was commotion. I could hear something going on, something had changed. I went back to the TV. The 1st tower had collapsed. It all became a blur from there. I watched in disbelief. The 2nd tower collapsed. News of the plane crash at the Pentagon. News of the plane crash in that Pennsylvania field. What was going on? I just wanted to know my family was safe.  Yes, people had died. The biggest building I had ever seen was probably half that size. The biggest building I had ever been in was probably a quarter that size. I couldn't even begin to guess how many people were in there. I couldn't begin to understand the magnitude of what was happening. 1 life lost in a small plane crash into a building, is too many, is so sad, all the family left to mourn. But this? I couldn't fathom it.

So I didn't, I just wanted my family. I concentrated on me, on us. I wanted my daughter safe in my arms. I didn't want to scare her by taking her out of school early, for no reason. What if everyone else was feeling the same way, picking up their kids? It was already past her lunchtime so I couldn't, inconspicuously, just stop in to see her.  I didn't want her to be the only kid left at school, not picked up early. I do not remember how many times I actually drove past her school after that. I was beginning to think the police would be called on my suspicious vehicle stalking the school. I went up very early to wait for her to be dismissed. Other parents were there too.  Everyone was talking, everyone was confused, many were crying.  I know I talked to my parents that day. I am not sure how many times I talked to my husband that day. My daughter was aware something was going on. The school couldn't keep it from the kids, even the Kindergartners.  They could sense the tension in the school. Of course, the Kindergartners were told only the basics. Some bad men had flown airplanes into tall buildings in New York. How else do you explain something like that to a 5 year old? How do you not scare them? Especially when you, yourself, are scared. I tried to maintain a normal afternoon and evening. We kept their routine the same. 

It was after the kids were in bed that we could sit and watch. Again selfish thoughts came to mind. I thanked God that my family was safe.  For days and days and days this consumed life. There were occasional miracles. There were stories of heroism. For the most part though, we sat and watched people on TV begging to find their own loved ones.  If they could just be missing we could find them, they wouldn't, they couldn't, be dead. At the same time we watched the death toll go up and up and up. It climbed to inconceivable levels.

How do you even pray for that many individuals? Because that's what they were, individuals. Not a #, they each had a name, they each had a face, they each had a family left behind. If we could say a single name, every second it would still take hours to pray for every single one. Yet that's what so many were doing. The only thing they could do, pray. They prayed alone. They prayed with family. All over, churches held community services. We all just prayed. 

In the face of tragedy our country pulled together, as they always do.  They helped each other, they prayed for each other, and they will never forget.  I wonder about why it is replayed every year.  Is it the selfishness of TV stations, longing for the ratings?  Or is it people, again feeling helpless, not knowing what else they can do, but desperate to do something, anything, for their fellow Americans.  Desperate to make sure that not a single individual is ever forgotten.

10 years later I am still selfish. I am just so very thankful that my family is OK.  After that I still feel helpless, what can I do? I can't do much more today than I could then. But I can pray, I have prayed, and I will pray. I can pray for those lost, those left, and world leaders. I can pray for peace, world peace, peace for the families left behind, peace for the souls lost.  And that is, something, something that can make more difference than we know.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Review Wendesday- Babyhawk Oh Snap

I figured I'd make this a Review Wednesday.  I needed to clear my mind of the "children in mass" post I have been trying to finish for weeks.  I am trying so hard to get my view across, non judgementally and encouragingly.  Yesterday I was able to dodge my post by writing about our cleaning adventures.  Today I'm going to hide behind the full review I promised over a year ago.

I am sure there are other reviews of the Babyhawk Oh Snap out there.  Though I do think I offer my own perspective since I've been babywearing for well over 10 years.  For those unfamiliar with the Oh Snap, it is a buckle carrier made by Babyhawk, the makers of the well loved Babyhawk Mei Tai (tie on carrier).  At $149 the Oh Snap is not much more than my beloved Ergo.  The Oh Snap can be made with your own customized fabric and color choices.  The body always stays the same so it is not considered a "custom carrier" but the fabric and colors are.  The design center could take you days to find the perfect carrier for you, there are that many fabric choices, in the panel fabrics alone I saw over 500.  When you mix and match that with the 19 strap fabric choices you have quite the dilemna, how to chose just one.  It took me 3 days and several other peoples' input before I chose mine.  The great thing about this is that you can get something for any style, from popular designers like Amy Butler to the punk of calaveras.  Not to mention the gender neutral, masculine or even camo choices.  The best part of this is that you don't have to get on a waiting list (though it does take several weeks for your carrier to be made, shipped and arrive) or stalk some site to get a "custom spot".

At 6½ months old and 20ish lbs it is still wide
 for my tall baby but the height is great 

A is about 35" and 30 lbs
she still fits barely
 The Oh Snap is meant for babies from 15-45 lbs, though 9 months seems to be the age that most consider they start to fit well in it.  At 15 lbs, I, as an experienced wearer, could wear them with their legs in (not included in the instructions/ recommendations) but my daughter could not fit well with her legs out at that size.  Even at 6 months old, when my daughter was 20 lbs, I didn't feel it was the best fit for her.  A month later it was perfect (but she is quite tall).  By perfect I mean that the width worked well for her legs and the headrest still offered head support.  She is now pushing 25 lbs and 32" and still fits well but there is not a lot of support for her head anymore (if she were to fall asleep).  I do wish the carrier were taller.  Proportionately I feel that when they finally fit the width well the height is just perfect, so not a lot of room to grow.  However, even A, at 30 lbs, still fits well. 

J is 40 lbs and 45",
his legs are no longer in
an optimal position

The weight limit of 45 lbs may depend on the makeup of your child.  The 2 middle kids are 40 lbs.  I have no problem carrying them in the Oh Snap, it is still comfortable for me.  They are long and thin though.  Their legs are no longer supported well and the back is quite low on them.  They don't have any complaints but it is obvious they no longer fit, yet still are 5 lbs below the weight limit.  I am not even sure the average height 45 lber would fit well.  If you have a stalkier child it will certainly support the weight.  For the average child I would say they will outgrow it in height first (which I also find to be the case in carseats, so definitely not unusual).

A big draw of the Oh Snap is that it fits sizes 0-22 or mens S-XXL without any extensions needed.  This has certainly been tested in my house.  It has been worn by most of those sizes.  It was even able to be cinched enough to be worn by the kids who like to wear the toddlers and they are only 10-13 years old.  I was worried that the Oh Snap would be too tall for a more petite wearer but it turned out the width looked more the issue, which it really wasn't.  The unique adjustments on the shoulder straps allow you to adjust the length of the shoulder padding even.

L is near 25 lbs and 32"
she can ride arms out comfortably
The headrest goes up a bit
higher when she's arms in
Another big draw of the Oh Snap, is the headrest.  Very few soft structured carriers offer such a substantial headrest.  The Oh Snap's is more supportive than the other ones I know of.  This not only supports a smaller babies head but it extends the back height for toddlers while still allowing babies to ride arms out.  This is why it was one of the 1st structured carriers that worked well for both baby L and A.  It does not have a hood for support, that is what the headrest is for.  If your baby sleeps, especially in a back carry, the height of the headrest is something to keep at the front of your mind.

This is a good carrier for those that aren't sure about what waist style they find most comfortable.  Instead of having to buy and try different styles, this one is adjustable.  There are buckles on the waist that allow you to adjust the bottom or top separately.  This allows you to adjust the waist even smaller.  It also allows you to change the carrier from a straight waist to a curved waist.  Your body make up, and your waistband wearing preferences, typically decides which style works best for you.  Some people like to where the waistbelt at their waist while others prefer it at their hips.  This is especially the case in men vs women since many women are more hourglass or pear shaped and men are not so much.  This and the shoulder padding adjustment can also be a con though.  Very seasoned wearers know exactly how much shoulder padding they want and which style of waist they want.  Knowing these things, seasoned wearers can purchase custom carriers of other brands that fit them perfectly.  Why would they do that?  When you are used to the ease of a carrier like an Ergo (with few buckles), or other brands, the fiddliness of all the buckles on the Oh Snap can be unappealing.  Having a very custom carrier can mean your husband needs his own.  With the Oh Snap once you have it set for yourself though, you don't have to mess with those adjustments unless you are sharing the carrier.  If you can only afford one carrier, this really allows you to adjust it to fit both you and your husband perfectly, taking both parent's preferences into account.  I would compare it to sharing a car though, it does take some adjustments when you switch, unless you happen to be similar sizes and like the same things.  If you cannot picture what I am describing, there are great pictures of this as well as the shoulder strap adjustment (and instructions) at Oh Snap Instructions .

A popular feature of structured carriers, that make them more comfortable for front carries, is the option to use the straps crossed in back when doing a front carry.  The Oh Snap allows this, whereas the Ergo (technically) does not.  Though the instructions do not show this (and therefore I can't say this is recommended by the manufacturer, I just know it's possible to do), I actually use it with the straps backpack style for front carries.  I do not do front carries enough to bother messing with buckling and unbuckling the straps to cross them, I dont mind backpack styles straps at all and am quite used to it because I used an Ergo for so many years.  When used for a back carry, with backpack style straps, the chest strap is quite nice because it attaches to the shoulder straps in 2 places on each side.  This keeps the shoulder straps in place more evenly, I really like this.  The webbing is also covered by fabric which I like.  I really wish they covered the waist belt webbing with fabric too.  I would certainly rave about that, it makes it more comfy and more flattering.  I also like that the chest clip slides along a "track" this is a lot easier to adjust than the adjustments on the Ergo and many others.  On the Ergo I tend to avoid adjusting the chest clip and just make do.  On the Oh Snap I take full advantage of the adjustability.  My one complaint is that 1 connection in my chest strap tends to pop off (not while in use) and it takes some fiddling to get it back on.

I have actually machine washed (I have a front loader as FYI) my Oh Snap several times and it is very sturdily made.  I found the fabric quite stiff when I first got it so it went right into the washer.  I can't say that one washing softened it up.  Even after several it is still stiffer than the carriers I am used to but I have gotten used to it.  Sturdiness is a big deal in a house full of 6 kids.  My Ergo is the only other carrier I have had that is so sturdy.  The Beco and Action Baby Carrier are sturdy too (just not quite as heavy fabric it seems).  I really feel the other custom carriers, by smaller companies, I have had to baby more or they haven't lasted as well.

One last thing I wanted to point out.  If you have tried a Babyhawk Mei Tai and didn't like it, don't assume you won't like the Oh Snap.  I consider them to be quite different, even if the body is pretty similiar in size and headrest.  The mei tai is a great sturdy carrier but I like my mei tai to either have slightly smaller bodies with complete simplicity to them or to be like a structured carrier that ties, having nice padding in the waist as well as the shoulders.  This is totally my personal preference, most people love the mei tai and end up loving the Oh Snap as well.  But if you are like me and that isn't the case, you may still love the Oh Snap, I do. 

I wouldn't consider this a "one and only" carrier.  I also don't really feel that way about most soft structured carriers, with only a few exceptions.  If you are looking for a good older baby and toddler carrier I really feel this could be used for the long haul and stand up to it (and even handed down) too.  The features it has are so unique you aren't going to find something else comparable anywhere.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I'm the cleaning lady

If you have been to my house (or sometimes even seen pictures) I am sure you are well aware that cleaning is not #1 on my list of things to do.  Some days you might think I haven't done it at all, believe me I have.  There are so many aspects to cleaning I really don't know where to start.  I guess the biggest thing I like to remember is that I really haven't met a single person who has said "I really wish I had spent more time in my life cleaning".  As the saying goes, "cleaning while you have small children is like shoveling snow while it's still snowing" and that really is the truth.  The reason people don't wish they had spent more time cleaning is because there is always more to be done.  When you even think your anywhere near finished you have to start over.  The dishes and laundry get used every day.  People walk in the house and necesitate re-vacuuming and sweeping.  Cleaning is a very repetitive chore with the only "reward" being the lack of chaos (ok and probably bugs and germs).

Raising children is not repetitive.  Every child is different, every day with the same child is different.  So much changes every day, there is so much to marvel in.  A child's 1st steps never get old to see, the 6th child's is just as exciting as the 1st's (or if your 1st carries the 6th around whenever she's home so #6 won't walk, maybe more exciting).  Nothing can stop a person in their tracks like a squeeky little voice saying "I need you" or a wet slobbery toddler kiss. 

I remember all my 1st lessons in learning to slow down and see the little things.  When E was 15 months old we took her to Disney World.  At Epcot Center they have small fiber optics in the ground twinkling.  That is something I had seen before, it's something you think "oh, that's neat" and you keep on walking.  At 1 year old it is utter fascination, we probably spent a good 20 minutes there with E.  She inspected them, stepped on them, tried to pick them up, tried to look in them, there was so much to explore and learn about them.  As she got older it was rocks on our walks.  Each rock was different, each had a special shape or feature, each needed to be admired.

Kids keep you busy, they may like to slow down and see it all but they never like to just sit and do nothing.  We go to the playground, the store, the library, and extracurricular activities nearly every day.  This makes for a challenge when you are cleaning.  It's hard to clean when you are not home.  Obviously, dishes and laundry needed done so that was the 1st thing of the morning.  After that, I tried, in the least, making my house presentable.  Therefore, I always started at the front door and worked my way in.  This worked great in a 2 bedroom apartment with 1 child.  Things started to slip once I had 2 kids in a 1300 sq ft house.  Many days I never made it down the hall to the bedrooms.  These days I have 6 kids (not counting my husband), a much larger house that not only has a formal living and dining room but also has a "family room" (playroom in our house).  If I started at the front door every day and worked my way in my family room would soon be completely buried.

I tried Flylady but the only thing I ended up with was a shiny sink.  In an effort to make sure, when I was really busy, everything got cleaned on a regular basis a cleaning schedule was created.  For those familiar with Motivated Moms  my method is very similiar, except it is more detailed and personalized for my house.  For example, Mondays and Thursdays I clean the Living Room/Foyer/Dining Room whereas Tuesdays and Fridays I clean the Family Room/Kitchen/Hall, Wendesdays I do all 3 bathrooms (I also do upstairs bathrooms while the kids are in the tub which is a Flylady method), Saturdays I do laundry catch up (I do laundry daily) and the kids bedrooms, Sundays I clean out the cars.  Then I have smaller weekly items like cleaning out the fridge, pantry, etc.  No, I am not crazy enough to be able to remember it all, I have a Google calender (you can have multiple calenders, and I do so this isn't on the kids appointments calendar).

I have monthly items as well, one of those is cleaning out the tupperware cabinet, which happens to happen today.  Tupperware is one of those things that I have little helpers for.  If I did it myself, and kids left it alone, it would be a monthly job.  Truthfully, in this house, it needs to be a daily job but even then it wouldn't stay clean all day.  Doing it monthly I can at least get rid of lidless bowls and bowlless lids so I have less to pick up.  Like the laundry and dishes, my "helper" likes to take things out and put them in, not always at the right times.  Then, as soon as I walk away, my "helper" likes to continue.  Baby L is always so proud to be helping.  She is so cute when she looks at you and takes out a bowl, just like you, then hands it to you.  You neatly stack the bowls and make sure they have matches.  She takes them back out again and proudly smiles, and hands them to you again.  Somehow you manage to get it all done and in there stacked.  Baby L is bored now, she has toddled away with her cup.  You stand up and admire how nice it will be to unload the dishwasher without having to shove tupperware into whatever little nook is left in the cabinet.  You won't have to pick up all the tupperware that spills from the cabinet when you open it anymore.  Now to get the dishes done.  You turn to the dishwasher and that is when you hear the tupperware crashing to the floor.  Baby L has returned to "help".  I guess I'll try again next month.

Monday, September 5, 2011

What I've Read: The Oak Leaves

I just finished, The Oak Leaves by Maureen Lang.  I don't expect much from a book that is "free" (for Kindle).  This book had a print version though so I thought it could very well be a good book.  I download books when I see them free because not all stay free.  This one though, is still free (as of today) if you want to nab it quickly The Oak Leaves.  I finished all my books I had purchased on my Kindle app and, though many of the samples sounded good, I didn't have any spending money left this paycheck.  Instead of checking the library's digital collection I decided to try one of the free books I had downloaded.

I am not great at writing book reviews because I don't want to give anything away.  That means this review will be short.  I want to say this book was a book I consider "can't put it down".  That means that at 10 pm at night (when my bedtime is 9 pm) I have my eyes propped open trying to see what happens next.  The reason I say I "want" to say that is that it is the truth but I am also easy to please and love books so 75% of fiction books I read fall into that category.  I still consider this a good book that I recommend though.

This book appealed to me in so many ways.  It has a dual setting, modern and historical times and yet blends so well.  This is a religious, Christian book but it isn't all about religion.  The characters show a wonderful reliance on prayer and faith.  There is great classic romance without anything inappropriate, I would feel fine allowing my teen to read this.  It also deals with all the aspects of having a child or relative with special needs.  "You can't chose your relatives" doesn't just apply to those with special needs.  It even touches on genetics.  In a surprise twist, there is even a "bad guy".  It really is a book you'll "need" to know what happens next.

I would most certainly have purchased this book in paperback to read.  Having gotten it for free makes it all the better though.

Friday, September 2, 2011

And then they grow up

The more kids you have the greater the statistical chance of so many things.  The greater the chance that someone will be having a bad day.  The higher the chance someone will be sick.  The more often those bittersweet moments happen.  I play the proud but sad mommy as I watch my babies grow.

Last year my oldest started high school my 3rd started school (Kindergarten). As the year came to a close
they both had very successful 1st years in their "new" schools. #2 and #4 added with their own growth at the end of the year. #2 "graduated" elementary school. #4 was accepted into a 4K for next year so he can work on his speech delay.

The summer wasn't much better, as I was barely recovered from all that we started the next adventure in growth. As my 3rd spent her 1st week in a day camp. We celebrated my oldests birthday, baby Ls 1st birthday, then As birthday.  I had 4 old enough for swimming lessons.  My oldest got her driver's permit.  Then she went off to college again for a summer course.

School started this year with a bang.  S is excited to have real class in 1st grade.  B, though nervous, was excited about middle school and has been doing wonderfully.  Now she is hoping to be accepted onto the yearbook team.  E was really excited about the opening of a special center of study at her high school that she was accepted into.  She has had nothing but rave things to say about the center and is always excited about what they are doing. 

This week my baby boy started 4K.  He didn't even seem to be phased by it.  I barely got a hug out of him.  After his 1st day of school I asked him if he had fun.  I got a half groan.  What did you do at school?  Played, had snack, went on the playground.  That sounds fun.  What did you want to do?  Count to 100.  Apparantely he's ready to skip right by the Kindergartens.  That night he didn't even want me to sit with him while he fell asleep.  I have 1 mama's boy and he is growing up.

Yes, that means my baby is 1, walking, climbing and babbling a lot.  Her sister is officially preschool age and on her birthday kicked it off with her 1st "class" setting (swimming).  My baby boy is in school.  3 has "homework" and is reading everything.  2 is in middle school and moved up a level in horseback riding.  My 1st baby can now drive a car.  I now have kids at all 3 schools. 

People hear it being said that they "grow so fast". Even when you want to stop and enjoy it you get pulled into all that you have to do today. Just taking care of their needs takes up some of that precious time. You wash the dishes, wash the laundry, sweep the floor. Then you drive them to Tball and sit there and watch them, wondering how they got so big. Somewhere between even last weeks practice and this weeks they got so big. At the park you realize your little one is a preschooler, she no longer needs your help to climb up to the slide. So you let the baby off your back to play, just 2 minutes ago she was snuggled up on your back, now she's running off all by herself.  At home your tween borrows your shoes to run to a friends house.  Come bedtime your son doesn't even need you.  That night you give your daughter a hug goodnight and again wonder when she got taller than you.  Having a teen and a toddler, all in the same house, is a daily reminder to enjoy it because they really do grow up that fast.  I'll keep that in mind while I go change this dirty diaper.