Thursday, November 04, 2010

Introducing...

the newest member of the Mighty family!
Mighty baby #7 (no blog name yet...)!
born October 13, 2010 at 4:07pm after a very short labour and delivery.
He was 8 lb 5 oz and almost 22 inches long, with beautiful dark hair and blond eyebrows/lashes.




Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Anybody have some jumper cables?!

Well, my due date is tomorrow! 9 months of anticipation and anxiety come and gone, and now? We wait...

This is pregnancy number 7 and I was induced for all of the previous 6. Four of those were post-dates, one was my stillborn baby, and with the Monkey I was induced early as a precautionary measure due to low fluid and slow growth. I have fully expected to go post-dates with this one as well. That would explain why, until 2 days ago, I have done nothing to prepare for baby's imminent arrival.

Even at that, I bought the wrong size diapers and last night discovered that I truly have no clothing for this little one. I gave it all away after Zed was born. Remember? He was going to be my last? I have exactly 2 sleepers, one nightie and 2 undershirts! That might get me through the drive home from the hospital. Guess I get to do some shopping, or beg some stuff off of some sweet mom with a 6 month old.

So, the last few weeks, I have been having bouts of feeling awful. Nausea, diarrhea, cold sweats and shaking. Add to that, intense braxton hicks and warmth radiating from my belly outward. It has felt just like the beginning of labour, at least from my experiences with labour. These bouts have lasted anywhere from 20 minutes to almost a whole day, coming and going at random and keeping me up at night.

And then? Nothing happens! They leave as quickly as they came and I feel fine again. I feel like my uterus' starter keeps trying and trying, but it just won't turn over. 'raarrr, raarrr, raarrr.... sputter... nothing. '

So where will you find the Mighty Mama? Right here waiting... at least until next week when they give me a wee boost.

xo
Kristen

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Sleep? What's That?

So one Sunday afternoon, we laid Zed in his crib for his nap. We then walked across the hall to our room and sat on our bed to chat. 2 minutes later we heard a squeak as Zed's bedroom door opened a crack and as we looked up we saw an adorable face grinning at us around the edge of the door.

What????

That little goof had climbed out of his crib! His very high crib, like up to my chest height high. Hmm... we thought that maybe it was a fluke and he wouldn't be able to do it again. Okay, okay, that was just wishful thinking. We did try to lay him down a few more times, but he just kept getting up.

I just wanted to cry. I really need him to nap. Naptime is the only real time I can be at rest because I know he isn't getting into anything. Naptime is when I concentrate on bookwork with the kids. Naptime is when I can get my housework done or fold laundry without him climbing in it and unfolding it. Naptime is when I can have a nap! I am going to have a baby in the next 2 weeks and I really need Zed to nap!

One of his older brothers started to climb out of his crib before he was 2, and that was the end of his naps. It was also the beginning of a couple months of training him to stay in his bed at night. I so don't want that with Zed.

The first week was a very sleepless one. He had not napped except 1 day that he cried himself to sleep in my arms, in my bed and a couple times he fell asleep in the car. It is actually kind of funny because he is so tired that he comes to me crying, "Nap! Nap!" and we go put him in his bed, but within seconds he is up and peeking out the door. At night he started getting up in the night and wandering into our room. Then his 5 and 6 year old siblings started night waking too, so we have had at least one or two of them waking us at various hours for a few weeks. A very long few weeks.

Now we kind of have a system for getting Zed to sleep. At bed time, Daddy lays on the floor between Zed and Monkey's beds until Zed falls asleep. It is only taking 5 to 15 minutes, down  from 2 hours the first night. Unless Daddy falls asleep! Naps are still not happening, unless we take him for a drive, which happens at least 4 or 5 times a week. He so needs that sleep that it is worth the time and gas, I think.

I think all of the children are a bit off because of baby coming, maybe they are sensing some anxiety on my part. Last night was the first night that all of them slept through to almost 7 and most nights Girly has been in my room 5 or 6 times. I have been pretty much useless for the last few weeks because I really need some sleep. I am praying that they will all settle a bit and the only thing waking me up will be my bladder for the next few days until baby gets here!




Today, Baby Zed had gone into the house while the rest of us were still outside gathering all the kids to come in for dinner. When Daddy and I came in the backdoor, he was furiously trying to mop the floor with the broom. Turns out that he had found a marker and had written all over the kitchen floor and he was trying to clean it up before we came in. Monkey!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Football

Since our eldest boy was conceived, 16.5 years ago, my husband has been dreaming of the day when he could watch his child play football. The love of the game is rooted deep within their DNA, and by the time they are of school age they can talk the game with the best of them.

But our eldest child is not the football playing kind. He could strategize with the winningest coach, read books about the game, watch with his dad,  but running full force into other human beings is really not his thing.

Thankfully for their father, that is exactly Superboy's thing.

Superboy is playing his first year of club football, he is thirteen. His Dad informs me that they can play at 7! I think he is trying to talk me into letting my teeny Monkey boy play next year. I don't think so!

Superboy and football go together like peanut butter and jelly and he is totally blossoming in that environment. It is something just for him, away from the rest of our huge family and The Boy's shadow.  He is part of a team, they need him and he needs them.  My very social child thrives on that stuff.

As a first-timer, he started the year as a second-string running back, and he was perfectly happy there. For Mom and Dad watching, the first game or two were frustrating because he didn't get to play much in the first half, but it always seemed that he would get a fair amount of play in the second. And every time he took the field, he did amazingly well. He has played consistently, being where he needed to be, blocking and running as needed. Taking a ton of hits and ending up in the bottom of not a few dog-piles, while his momma bit her lip and prayed.

Injuries began to stack up and our boy was called on more and more. And he stepped up to the plate. We were so proud watching him run for first downs and taking hits to protect his quarterback. He wasn't the fastest or the biggest kid on the team, but he got the job done.

So last week, we travelled to a neighbouring town to watch our boy play. We get settled in and look for his jersey number on the field. And nothing. The whole first quarter went by without our son taking the field once. Now this mama bear is getting riled up. Do they not see what value my son brings to the team?! He gains yardage every time they pass him the ball! How can they afford not to put him on the field?! (our team had been blown out every game so far! Our offense had a hard time getting anything going throwing-wise and the defenders were always in our back field!)

Anyhoo, I was soon placated as my son joined his team for the rest of the game, and played really well. He had numerous first downs and his team managed a few touchdowns in an otherwise horrific game. After the game, his coach had nothing but praise for our boy. He told us what a team player Superboy is, how he gave up his shoulderpads at the beginning of the game for the quarterback who had forgot his at home. That is why our boy was not playing, he was waiting for the other boy's mom to return with his pads. The coach also spoke about Superboy's consistent play and how they know they can rely on him.

This was further confirmed after his first practice last week. The coach announced that Superboy was moving to starting running back, the running back was moving to full and the full back was moving to another position. My boy was grinning ear to ear and brimming with joy and confidence. My mama heart was full. Not only had my boy proven to be a great contributor to the team, his coaches had recognized and rewarded him for that effort. Something that does not always happen. Especially if you are not the most gifted athlete on the team. But they see in my son a little of what I see, the spirit and passion, the hard work and effort, the encouragement and team spirit.

I couldn't be more proud or more pleased.

PS
And! Superboy's team got their very first win this past Saturday! They beat the other team 28-6 and that was Superboy's first game as a starter. So exciting!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Breakdown

I think the lack of sleep and 8.5 months pregnant thing is starting to get to me. Last night I had 2 complete breakdowns. At one point I was laying on my bed sobbing for everyone to just stop touching me. My whole body was sore and achy and my 3 littles wouldn't stop climbing all over me, leaning on my belly and jiggling the bed. Then my husband came home and laid himself down and then started wrestling with them. That was the breaking point. "Please, just get them off of me... He is hurting my tummy, please get him off of me... Please stop moving... All of you....hiccup... sob..."

Can I just say, he wasn't all that helpful.

Brent is working his last week at the refinery as a foreman on a shutdown. He is getting up at 4 to work a 13 hour shift and then drive an hour back home at night. He is exhausted when he comes home. He picks up Superboy from football on his way home, then helps me put the kids to bed and collapses on the bed.

After a week of really not connecting, last night he engaged me in conversation. He was asking me about some friends who are going through difficult times and so I shared a bit with him. He then proceeds to play devil's advocate for 45 minutes. This put his already over-emotional and over-tired wife on the defensive. So instead of having some connecting time, me sharing some of my burden with him and us praying together, we were kind of arguing.

So, breakdown number two. "Why do you always have to do that?! Why turn every conversation into a fight?! I am worried and upset and instead of caring about me and our friends, you are being an ASS!"
I am not even sure how I got so many awful, inflammatory words out of my mouth in between the earth shattering sobs wracking my body, but there you are.

I almost cried myself to sleep, but instead I roused myself to be mad that he wasn't comforting me in my sobbing. Poor guy. Couldn't win for losing.

Finally I got up to blow my nose, crawled into bed, buried my head in his chest and we both went to sleep. Thank goodness. I am sure if he had been more awake, he would have been thankful too.

This morning, I am feeling almost as fragile as I did last night, so I am going to be watching myself carefully. I have a big to do list, but that may become more 'nap and have a cup of tea' than 'clean my entire house and teach a full day of school.'

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Mouth's of Babes

As I was going into hour 3 of cleaning dried on diarrhea from Zed's crib yesterday, (I guess he pulled of his diaper during naptime, while I was out for coffee with a girlfriend, and it took my eldest a while to hear him and rescue him. Zed had lots of time to make a mess.) my 5 year old Girly piped up, "Mom, I think you need to get a new husband. One who will listen to you. So then he can do some of your work, like clean up this poop! You do all the cleaning, and sweeping, and bathrooms around here. If you had a new husband, he could do some of that stuff."

I just about peed my pants! I chatted with her a while, trying to figure out where that was coming from. And defending my current husband, who does do some of those things (and a lot more!) when he is home.

Unfortunately, I think maybe she was taking some of my complaining to heart. I remember saying last week, that I was the only one in this house who ever sweeps. And complaining to my husband because he had promised to help me with some things and then he wasn't getting around to it. I guess I need to watch my words a little more carefully! And maybe cut the drama just a little.

My Girly really empathizes with me and embraces our sisterhood in this house of boys. I guess she was feeling sorry for me, though I do find it hilarious that she thinks my husband should listen to me...

I think I will keep the husband I have, but I wouldn't mind a maid!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

First Love

Baby Zed has become quite the lover boy. Every time Daddy tries to kiss Mommy, Zed pushes Daddy away with a loud, "No, MY Mama!" Then Zed grabs my face with both hands and plants a big kiss on my lips. As long as Daddy is hanging around, he keeps kissing me, usually with a sloppy grin on his face. This makes both Daddy and Mommy giggle, and Daddy keeps teasing and trying to kiss Mommy. The other night, Zed was kissing me so enthusiastically that he knocked me right over on the bed, and then we were all laughing.
I don't know how long this little game will last, but it sure melts my mommy heart and I will take all the kisses and cuddles I can get from my sweet boy. But there is a downside (other than a slobbery face) to all this kissing.
Last weekend at Superboy's football game, we were playing in the playground with the coach's wife and their 2 year old twins. The 3 two year olds were having a blast together, running and sliding and chattering. At one point, their little girl was sitting at the bottom of the slide when Zed decided to go down. I called for him to stop, but by the time I ran (read: waddled) the 2 steps, he had slid into her. She was fine, but I quickly explained to Zed that he should wait and asked him to apologize. "Sowwy," she said. "Oh, no sweetheart, not you. Zed, please tell the girl that you are sorry."
So he bent down a little, patted her head, made sympathetic sounds and then proceeded to put both hands on her face and go in for the big smooch! Then he kissed her again!
The mom and I killed ourselves laughing, I apologized and she started teasing her daughter about having a boyfriend. It really was adorable, we had a laugh and the kids went back to playing.

At least I don't have to worry about that kind of boy-girl interaction between 2 year olds. I am a bit more concerned about my fifteen year old. sigh.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Baby Zed is 2!

"2! 2!" He has been chanting for weeks. Our baby boy is a big boy now and he makes sure we all know it. Ever since Superboy's 13th birthday on Friday, Zed has been running around yelling, "No! Ma birf!" and now it finally is.
yummy whales!
He is such a sweetheart and he melts my heart each and every day with his sweet, shrugging smile and his crazy antics. 8 months ago, I thought I might lose my mind. He still wasn't sleeping through the night, and every waking moment was filled with mischief and destruction. Then we found out that we were expecting another baby. I literally thought that I would be pushed over the edge. But by 18 months, he was sleeping through most nights. And he was communicating with greater ease, making him a happier baby. He could also figure out how to get into all the things he couldn't reach before and that was joy unspeakable for Zed.
Last night as we were waiting for Daddy to come and finish the bedtime routine, Zed had Girly's maracas and was rockin' out. He was shaking them with all his might, scream singing (like some of his teen brothers' music) and then playing some air guitar before pausing for applause and smiles. I couldn't help but squeeze him in delight! Half an hour later, my ears were ringing and my cheeks hurt from smiling and laughing.
He is so very smart. I have, of course, thought this of all my children. And they all are! But this baby Zed is determined too. If he wants something, he will stop at nothing to get it. A number of months ago, when we started putting valuables like the video camera, on top of the fridge for safe-keeping he immediately figured out how to use the broom to knock them down. He will climb anything in his pursuit of mischief. He plays in the sink and the toilet. He will get the jar of peanut butter (buuu-er) open and double-fist it into his grinning maw. Child-proof containers do not even slow him down, nor do cupboard door latches. He has been able to open doors for at least 6 months....
Sorry, got interupted there... Zed took off his poopy diaper and sat on my bed and then he peed. ugh. The laundry and messes are endless. But the bedtime kisses and wuv woo's, and snuggles more than make up for the craziness.
At 2, Zed loves peanut butter, meat, mashed potatoes, fruit, corn on the cob, music (louder the better), robots and puppies. He also loves everything his older siblings like. He thoroughly enjoys drawing with markers (all over himself), climbing, sitting in the sink with the water running, and TV (especially Phineas and Ferb and anything with music). When he is feeling shy or sheepish, he will shrug one shoulder while turning on one foot. If you ask him a silly question, he will scrunch up his nose and lower his chin, say,"No-oo," and give you the goofiest grin. He loves to tickle and beat up his Dad and big brothers, wrestle with Monkey, and cuddle dolls. He is sunny and sweet, loud and quick, fun and independent. We have so much fun with our friendly sweetheart. 
Baby Zed and Grandma!
Love you Baby Zed! You are not a baby any more, you are such a big kid, but you are still my baby. Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Broken

Profoundly sad this morning. There is a young woman in our church who thinks herself 'in love' with my eldest boy. And really, who wouldn't be?! There has been some normal teenage angst happening there for a bit, but that seems supremely unimportant right now. This young girl and her four sisters lost their mom to cancer yesterday. My heart is broken for them. I can not begin to imagine what their family has been through and will go through. I can't imagine being without my mother and I am a grown woman with 6 kids of my own. How much more devastating for a teenage girl.
My husband lost his Dad, his stepfather to cancer this summer, after a short and absolutely devastating struggle. It was horrific watching him waste away and watching dh's mother suffer with him. This family has been through a similar, but prolonged experience in which they had great hope of their mother being well again. May God wrap his big arms around them and keep them close and comfort them.
If you are a praying person, please keep these five young girls in your prayers. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mighty Baby Zed

What a morning! As usual, I awoke (the 6th time) to my lovely Baby Zed screaming from his crib. I dragged my sorry butt from my bed and went across the hall to get him. He was holding his hand up to show me something! Poop. Poop all over my beautiful baby and his crib. Off to the showers and then the bleach.
Pretty typical stuff around here, especially with this almost 2 year old monkey. He spends his entire day looking for the next mess to make! Breakfast is not even over yet and I have cleaned up a path of chocolate milk from the table, through the kitchen and all the way up the stairs, as well as a path of egg shells from a hard boiled egg he helped himself to. He can not be left unattended for even a moment.
He sure has his redeeming moments though. He is just starting to string 2 words together and really gain confidence in his speech. Two nights ago, as Daddy was taking him to his bed and they were going through the usual blowing kisses and waving and 'night, night' routine, Daddy told Zed to tell Mommy, 'Love you!"
So baby Zed tried whispering, "Love you," in the teensiest voice. His 'trying it out' voice. Well last night, he said, "Love you," to me, right out loud. Again and again. My mommy heart turned instantly to mush. sigh.
It doesn't matter how many children I have, all these little firsts never lose their novelty. I treasure each moment and hold them all in my heart. I absolutely love watching my children discover their world, trying new things, succeeding or failing and trying again.
I derive endless amusement watching him play make-believe. He makes me tea and serves it, "Mom, Tea," he stirs a pot and then carefully uses tongs to pick something up and place it on a tray. For hours. The concentration on his teensy face amazes me.
Baby Zed is no longer an appropriate monicker for my boy. He will turn 2 in two weeks time! He is no longer a baby. And, in fact, he is no longer our last baby. In January, a few days before my husband's scheduled vasectomy, we found out that we are expecting Mighty baby #7! Now when we made that appointment, I prayed hard. I told God that I was hesitant to end our baby making days even though I could not imagine having any more, but I knew that He could do anything and if He was not done blessing us with children, that I knew that no vasectomy would get in His way.
Apparently God's plans are not our plans, and thankfully so. It took me a while to accept that I could possibly raise another child,  but I could hear God whispering in my ear, "Not your strength, but mine, you are not alone." I knew that all I had to do was surrender to the blessings He wants to pour out on our life, and lean on Him each day. Sounds simple, hey?
So we are excitedly awaiting the birth of our next child in October! I can't wait to meet him (or her), discover his quirks and abilities, snuggle and nurse him and introduce him to his incredible brothers and sisters. God has blessed us abundantly, beyond our greatest imaginings. I can't wait to discover what is around the next corner.

Friday, August 20, 2010

16 years!

What can I say, we ain't the teenage newlyweds we once were. But it is so very much better at 35 than it ever was at 20.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sun comes in the morning...

The summer days are passing quickly, I have been thoroughly enjoying my morning tea on the deck in the sunshine each morning. Well each morning that it hasn't rained, and those have been regrettably few. Today we are in the throws of vacation preparedness. Laundry, lists, cleaning, packing... we are off to the Shuswap with our wonderful, old friends. We have the best times together, all the kids get along and we never run out of things to talk about. It has been two years since we have been together, and we can't wait!

My husband will arrive home tonight to help with the prep. He has been working up North for the last week or so, and we can't wait for him to be home again. His work life is different from most people's. He doesn't work a steady job, but a steady series of jobs set up by his union. We really don't know from day to day if he will have a job to go to the next day. And when the job he is on ends, we usually don't know when he will work again.
This kind of uncertainty can be stressful and worrisome at times, but it is our life. We are quite used to it. It means we live by faith, daily. Faith that more work will come. Faith that we will find a way to pay the bills and provide for our ever-growing family. Faith that, no matter what the work situation, God will provide.
The last few years have been pretty comfy. My husband has had a fairly steady position at a local refinery, doing maintenance welding/repair and the weekly paychecks have been reassuringly steady. Then, this past February, the company he has been working for, made him a foreman on a huge refinery shutdown. He worked more hours in the first 6 months of this year than the entire year previous. We never saw him. He left long before dawn and arrived home around 9pm each night.
The money was fantastic though and allowed us to catch up on a lot of debt left behind by his welding contracting business. What a blessing to have that taken from our shoulders. Now that summer has come and shutdown season is finished, my husband is tired and thankful for the slower pace of work and life. So are we. But with spring came the announcement that his maintenance position was gone and he would have to go back to the realm of unsteady work. As our holiday approached, we were a bit stressed about the lack of income coming in, but as He always has in the past, God provided this short term job and therefore provided for all of our expenses.
Even better than that, my husband received a call that the company he is working for, wants to send him on a bunch of leadership and safety training for the week we get back. That is something that doesn't happen often, the knowing in advance that he has work and therefore income coming in when we get home. I just had to praise God that He gave us the gift of peace of mind. Now we can truly relax on our vacation!
In related news, my husband has recently applied for a new position that would not only provide steady work and income, but it would allow for him to have all his evenings and weekends at home, great time off and to not be exposed to all the dangerous chemicals etc. that he encounters daily now. We are just waiting for God's answer in this, I know that whether or not he gets this position, that God is looking out for us and will provide for us in amazing ways. He always has.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Well I...

Had a good cry this morning after I said goodbye to my Dad. He has been staying with us twice a month for 5 years now, as he travels to and from work in the Northwest Territories. This morning was the last time. I am, of course, thankful that he found work close to home and won't have to be away from his sweetheart for 2+ weeks at a time anymore. And his job in the north was coming to an end in the near future anyway. But how can I help but mourn his being an everyday part of my and my children's lives.
For the five years previous, we had lived 1200km away from my dad and we saw him very little. Maybe a couple times a year. My kids didn't really know him. It was like when I was a child, my grandparents live 2 days drive from us and we usually only saw them on summer vacation. I so wanted my children to know their grandparents, to adore them and have their influence in their lives.
When we moved to Edmonton from Calgary, that was a huge part of the decision making process. Brent's family lives here in Edmonton and it is much closer to my family as well. My mom and 2 sisters are only 5-6 hours away and Dad and my other sister are about 8 hours away. And when Dad started staying with us on his way to and from work, that was the very best part of our move for me.
He has held my babies as wailing newborns and played patiently with them as toddlers. He has put up with their preschooler antics and teenage attitude. He has been a marvelous support for me, quietly distracting a fussing child so that I could get some dinner on or giving my tired arms a break when my baby wanted to be held non-stop.
I can't begin to tell you how many stories he has read. Over and over and over again. When Girly was little, she would wait at the window for his arrival, books in hand. She knew that he was hers. She would take his hand in her teensy one, lead him to the couch and curl up at his side and he would read. And read. And read.
Just this morning, he was ready to leave - had already started his car - and Girly and Monkey said, "Papa, come downstairs and play Uno with us!"
Papa smiled and said resignedly, "Well, maybe just one game." 10 rounds later, when Girly finally won a game, he got up and started the good bye hugs. I got an extra one as Dad couldn't help but notice the tears glistening in my eyes.
I can't help but cry, because though I know there will be many visits in the future, I also know that their is no replacement for the beautiful gift he has give me and my children. His time. Precious, lovely time. Something that I am coming to understand is very finite.