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Changing

We as a people are changing. We learn, we adapt, we evolve. I’ve noticed over the past few years, how older generations like to bash the younger ones for ways they are different, which isn’t a new behavior. It’s something that cycles over and over throughout history. My generation is regarded as “lazy” “whiny” and “easily offended”. It’s funny how our laziness has inspired the most creative thinking and greatest technological accomplishments. The lazier you are, the more creative you have to be to come up with a solution. Our brains are wired to think like that- to find an easier, more efficient way to get things done. We’re dreamers, imagining how we can shape the future. Every bit of knowledge is available at our fingertips, literally. Here’s an example of our “laziness”: I have this young tree growing in my backyard and I had no idea what it was. I could have called an expert to come out and look at it and tell me, but that seemed like a lot of work and a waste of money, so instead I found an app that scans leaves from plants and tells you what it is. I found out within minutes that my tree was a hickory, and I could easily look up how to care for it with a quick internet search. Was it laziness that kept me from getting in my car and driving a branch down to the nursery for advice? Maybe, but it saved me a lot of time and money!

Which brings me to “whiny”. Are we whiny or are we just voicing our opinion? I might come off as whiny if I said “I don’t want to drive down to the nursery or arbor specialist! That’s a dumb idea and a waste of time!”. In reality, it’s because I know of a better way to do something, and I don’t agree with the conventional way of doing it. The way of doing things has evolved. We aren’t whining, were just trying to let you know, our way is more efficient. 

This last one is one that I’ve been spending A LOT of time thinking about. Are we a more “offended” generation? In my opinion, maybe, but not for the worse. In relatively recent years, there’s been so many more cases of learning disabilities and behavioral disorders and we keep diagnosing them as issues that need resolving. Maybe these minds that we feel need mending and molding are really just stronger minds, gifted with empathy and deeper knowledge. People evolving into what the next generation needs. People with minds wide open and accepting to what the world has in store. The more we use our feelings, the more evolved we are. This is what sets us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom. So in my opinion, the “offended” people you’re trying to put down, are evolved beyond years from those who act out in aggression and rage, which is a very primal emotion. Those struggling with accepting their feelings and a society that makes them feel like there’s something wrong with their brain, is what’s wrong with the world. We should start questioning how a “disability” can become an asset. 

So maybe we’re lazy and whiny and easily offended, but I trust that the world is in good hands. We’ve made a pretty great impact on it already 🙂

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The Wolf Pack

I have a spare minute to write my heart out! Not really, as there are so so many other things I should be doing, but the big kids are away at school, and the littles are content. Katherine is napping, and Mason is butt naked watching fire trucks on YouTube. It is a rare quiet moment in my house and I am relishing in it! A donut by my side and all!
In the past I’ve tried to come up with an analogy of what it’s like to live in a house full of boys. I’ve tried to understand how their minds tick and how they function together. One night I was sitting back, probably sewing or being domestic in some way, and I realized that, when you have enough of them together, males function like a pack of wolves. We have Daddy Alfa, and when he is away, we have Benji Beta who steps into command, and so on. There always has to be a top dog. When someone crosses the line or misbehaves, they are scolded or punished, and that’s that. Things go back to normal. No grudges or hard feelings. Very simple. The way they eat, play, and sleep is all relative to the way a wolf would.
As a female, I don’t get mixed up in their wolf games. I see myself as more of a bear in this forest. They can all have their way of doing things, but they know the bear is watching. If they get out of hand, the bear comes growling in and they stop. The bear gets what she wants. She’s the queen of the forest. I love my wolves and would do anything for them. They make my heart so happy.
Now I have a little bear cub to follow me around. She loves her big brothers. She gets protection and cuddles from Benjamin, she gets tickles and piggy back rides from Adler, she gets stories and songs sung to her from Mitchell, and she gets a best friend to play with all day long with Mason. Each brother provides her with some sort of love in a different way and she loves them all equally and uniquely. She knows she’s different from them though. She doesn’t try to wrestle with them or get in the middle of their shenanigans. She sits back and watches like a little bear cub should. Just observing and looking out for me. She knows she is superior to them😉!

Wish I could write more!

So it’s official. I’m the worst at blogging, ever! I keep getting these ideas that I can be a regular blogger and figure this all out and fill the world with my wise words. Nope. My fertile womb has blessed me with a bounty so great, I will never be idle, or use the bathroom alone again, let alone keep a regular blog. I have a baby sleeping on me with a fever, that could wake at any moment. She’s a ticking time bomb, really. I also have a three year old playing Legos and bringing me his creation every 5.8 seconds to help him connect something, but he’s quiet and content. This is what I consider “free time”. Because I’m stuck here in between my little lovelies, not willing to risk mayhem by standing up. Hmm, let’s see…hold my poor, sweet, sick baby and enjoy witnessing my sons creative imagination, or release hell on earth and clean my house (which is something I don’t enjoy)? I’m gonna sit here and write a blog post, so I feel like I’m doing something.
When I sat down and decided I wanted to write, I didn’t have the slightest idea about what. Usually it’s the other way around. I usually have an idea in my head that I need to express, and make time to do it. This time I just felt like writing and had some time to do it, but I still haven’t got a clue what I want to say. So I might just be rambling this whole post, like a crazy lady.
Jared is my number 1 fan, when it comes to my blog. He requests me to write in it because he enjoys my writing style, I guess. Crazy-frazzled-mom-with a strong opinion style, that is. But he is the best for making me feel interesting, though. I absolutely love to write, and it makes me feel happy. It is my go to stress relief, that’s for sure! Every time Jared and I have gotten in a argument when we were younger, I would just write him these long, expressive letters to vent. So I’m surprised that he still loves my writing! You think he would have been scarred by my bitter words and teenaged temper. But he still encourages me to write and is very supportive. He’s my favorite person.
Well the baby has awoken, and seems to have dropped her temperature, so my writing time is over, unfortunately. It took me over an hour to write this little bit, and that is kind of deterring me from writing in the future. I know, I know, there’s a season in your life for everything, but I do want to have a record of my crazy life, written from within the storm. Not just hindsight, in my rear-view mirror, when the sun is shining and the rainbow is high. I want to look back and remember the times as they really were and feel the emotions. Happy and sad, for better or worse. My life is truly beautiful and I am grateful for each and every day.

Beauty. What are we trying to achieve?

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OK, so this is taking a little bit of guts to post this picture up for the world to see, but I had a strong impression to share my feelings on physical perfection. I used a Photoshop/makeup app, just for fun. It was early in the morning, I hadn’t combed my hair or put on a bit of make up. I wanted to see what this magic program could do. When I saw the cartoon character that represented me, I laughed. At first. Then I became sad that this is what women feel like they need to look like! Fake. Dolls. Animated characters. These unachievable looks aren’t beautiful. But maybe that’s why they are so sought after. We as humans are always wanting what we can’t have. 
I’ve never had strong self esteem when it comes to physical appearance. Growing up and into my awkward, pre-teen, pubescent body, I always felt like a fawn learning to walk. Never sure of myself and always wanting to hide my body. I had confidence that I was smart, and creative, and had a fun personality, but never felt good enough about my looks. I just figured no female ever did.
Every woman I knew growing up always complained about her weight, wrinkles, complexion, or something else. They were always looking for a quick fix to change their appearance. It is normal.
As I got older and grew into a teenager, I was afraid to put on weight and turn into these women that acted disgusted with their bodies. I was sickly skinny because I wanted to avoid hating myself later. Even when I was medically underweight and unhealthy, I still felt like I was too fat. Because that’s what society taught me. “Never be happy with who you are. You can always better yourself and become more perfect.” There’s a market out there making everyone feel less than perfect. “See this model? You’re not as thin as her. Or as pretty. Go spend money to get lashes like hers. Go buy these diet pills to become as thin as her.” Guess what?? She’s not even as “pretty” or as thin as that magazine portrays her to be. People are turning plastic, trying to become these women. You know what? That’s gross. The media is trying to sexualize everyone. The less clothes you wear, the better; But if you’re fat, you better cover it up, because no one wants to see your rolls. I once heard on TV “Ewww! That lady is so saggy! She shouldn’t be in a swimsuit, ever!” Really? Because she has extra skin, that bothers you? Why? She’s enjoying her day at the beach, just like you. She’s not bothering anyone, she’s not claiming to be a sex icon, and she is allowed to have the confidence to wear a swimsuit, just the same as anyone else.
When I became a mom, I put on tons of weight. Well, I went from 110 to 180 with my first pregnancy. After I lost my baby weight, I was at 150. The perfect weight for my height, according to my doctor. I felt like a dugong, basically. I was a fatso, with stretch marks and an uneven skin tone. I basically battled these feelings for a long time. I had 4 more kids and gained extra weight with each of them. I never ever wanted them to think I had a problem with my body though. I wanted my boys to see me love myself for who I am, because they love me. Regardless of my makeup, my weight, or my morning breath, they love me. So why shouldn’t I? One day it just clicked. I didn’t want them to grow up and judge women for their physical appearance. I want them to see women for their character. Don’t poke fun at the chubby girl on the bus with the rest of the kids. Talk to her and find out if you have anything in common with her. She needs friends just like anyone else. She doesn’t deserve to be labeled. No one does.
Now that I have a daughter, I want her to see me love myself. I don’t want her to see me put myself down and think that’s the norm. I want her to love herself as much as I love her, but children mimic their parents. So the only way I can teach her to love herself, is to love myself first. I think she is the most beautiful thing, inside and out. I want her to appreciate her talents and not ever worry about what the world wants her to be. I want her to become what she wants to be.

About time!

You have no idea how long Jared has been bugging me to write another post! Well, 4 months to be exact. That’s how old our little Katherine is now! She’s such a little blessing and I’ve been so busy soaking up all of her infant days, that sometimes I forget the world is still spinning around and life outside of my home is still going on! 

She came a week early on a Thursday evening. We went to the hospital right after Jared got off of work. She made it so convenient. We got to the hospital at about 6:30 pm, and she was born at 8:20 pm. Easy birth, easy baby, easy recovery. She is almost Always pleasant and has such a mild temperament. We absolutely love having her around. She loves her brothers and smiles at every face that will take the time to talk to her. She will melt even the coldest of hearts with her warm, welcoming smile. 

Is it different having a daughter in a house full of boys? She fits in so well! Honestly, it’s like she was meant to be here. I couldn’t imagine what life would be like without her now. Of course, I always get the “Oh, poor girl! She has to grow up with 4 brothers!” Remark from random people, but she seems totally content with them. They sing to her and hold her and love her, just as much as any sister would.

When Katherine was about a month old, Mitchell went down the street to a yard sale with his allowance. He brought back a pink stuffed monkey for her that he spent all of his money on. That seriously melted my heart! These boys would do anything for her. I think she’s pretty lucky to come into this family with such sweet brothers. Okay, maybe they aren’t the sweetest to each other all the time, but they do look out for each other when it counts.

As far as frilly pink sparkles go. We haven’t had a major outbreak at home yet. I remember doing laundry for the first time after she was born. I opened the dryer, and the pink shined like gems in a coal mine! I’m pretty sure I shed a tear or two in gratitude. I wish I would have taken a picture! Other than clothes and blankets though, we didn’t go crazy with pink. Actually, we are moving in a month, and since she’s still in the bassinet in our room, I decided not to decorate a nursery yet. I’m pretty dang excited to when we move though! I’ve already made some decorations and set aside a few things for it. 

Overall, we are all happy and adjusting really well to our new family member! We’ve had all summer to bond together and enjoy each others company. I’m actually kind of sad that school starts in 2 weeks! I’m going to loose my helpers and miss my company! That being said though, it will be nice to be in a new house and back on a schedule. Until then, I’m just going to go snuggle my baby and enjoy the bitter-sweet moments of watching my kids grow up.

Am I ready to have a girl?

I get asked this question so often, I’ve almost become bitter to innocent little old ladies. Seriously. Close friends and family to random strangers in Walmart have approached me with this question since our family was just 4. People see you with 2 boys and think you must want a daughter.
First off, I have always wanted 5 kids. Since elementary school and planning my future family in my Lisa Frank diary. Its just what I’ve always wanted or knew I would have. So, when I had 2 boys in my grocery cart, and little ladies at the commissary would ask me “are you ready for a GIRL?”, I would respond with “Some day! I hope so!” As years went on and 2 more boys piled into the grocery cart, and the older 2 trailed behind me playing some kind of secret agent war game, I would get looks and remarks like “Wow! 4 boys! I bet you are dying for a girl!”. The truth is, I was, but not in a way that you would think. I absolutely love my boys. I love listening to their war games, and hearing them squeal with delight at lizards, and lost little hot wheels I find under my bathmat. I love their relationships with each other. They are built in best friends for life, and that is really special. I only ever wanted a daughter, so I could see myself in her and love her just as I love my boys. I was never dying for pink ruffles and trails of glitter. Never! Girls just love differently and have different emotions that I wanted to experience for myself.
Well, now that everyone knows that I am finally getting my daughter, (and fifth and final child, to complete my childhood dream 🙂 ) I still get asked “are you ready for a girl??”. This time in a different context. They are asking me if I think I’m fit to have a girl. They make statements like “I hope you know how to fix hair!” Or “You better get ready for the drama! Girls never stop the water works!”. I’m sorry, but I have 4 boys that are very dramatic and I fix my own hair every day, (most of the time!) Thank you! Honestly, the only thing I am worried about right now is going to change a diaper and forgetting that boy plumbing isn’t there. I will have all of this little girls life to figure her out and learn how to care for her properly. Just like with all of my boys, I feel like I am already getting to know her while she lives in my womb. I can sense her little personality and who she is going to be. Call me crazy, but I knew with my boys too, and was right on the nose. She isn’t going to be a “drama queen” or a “princess”, she isn’t going to be spoiled or any other stereotype. She is going to be a child that I love as much as the others. She is going to be an equal to her brothers, and look up to them. If she wants to play cars and make mud pies with them, I will be totally excited that she is happy in her surroundings. She will be embraced by her family, and we will learn to care for her when the time comes. I am a capable mother to my boys and my girl. I am fit to fix hair and I know my way around a barbie dream house. There really isn’t anything to worry about! As long as she is happy, faithful, and grows up with the confidence she needs to conquer the world, then I did my job!

The verdict is in:

Laying in the dark ultrasound room, with only the light from the dark, rainy sky peeking through slits in the blinds, it reminded me of how my heart felt at the moment. A scared, dark place, with only minimal light of hope shining in.
I had spent the whole afternoon crying my eyes out at the possibility of never having a daughter. I brought myself to terms that I would see a little “winky” on that ultrasound screen that evening. I forced myself to cry tears of mourning  for something I wanted so badly. I didn’t want to cry when seeing my baby. I didn’t want to show disappointment at such a happy time. I knew that this was my last baby. I knew that this was my last chance. Needless to say, I was an emotional wreck. Never before, with any of my boys, was I this desperate.
When the time came, and Jared came from work to pick me up, all I felt was nervous. No more tears, just jitters. We sat in the waiting room for what felt like forever. Thankfully, I had Mason  running everywhere to keep me occupied. When the ultrasound tech came through the door and called my name, I felt a rush of blood flood my head and my knees shake. I hurried quickly behind her, jumped up on the table and had my shirt up before she even had time to turn the machine on.
She showed me all of the sweet little body parts, like hands and feet and nose. I wanted to respond with ooohs and ahhhs and exclamations of joy, but my mouth was so dry (and my bladder was so full), that all I could muster was very bland responses of “oh how cute” and “huh”. When she got to the “potty location” there were so many things in the way. We had legs crossed with feet under the bum and a cord going right through the middle. We poked and prodded baby for about half an hour, and finally the legs stuck out. I stopped watching the screen, anticipating, like a horror movie, waiting for the villain to pop out and scare you. Still crossed, but not so tightly, and still with a cord between the legs. The tech said that she couldn’t see any boy parts, but they could be tucked to the side with the cord. Ugh. This was agonizing. She asked me if I would like to come back next week or later tonight, since she had 1 more appointment for the night, and we were holding up traffic, so to speak. We were determined to get this mess behind us, so we opted to come back later that night. She told me to go eat something sugary and drink some juice or something and get baby more active and out of its comfy mode. Okey dokey!
We went to Iceberg for some onion rings and a shake. We took it back and sat in the parking lot of the doctors office in our car, just people watching. We were talking about what we thought of the ultrasound. Jared was reminding me that the tech didn’t see any boy parts, and I was sure they were just hiding. Jared was trying to keep me optimistic and I was trying to keep myself grounded and not let my hope wander. A little girl and what looked like her grandma walked by the rose bushes as they entered the building. The little girl stopped, sniffed a rose, careful not to get close to any thorns as she bent over. Jared and I kind of giggled at the gesture. Jared says “I want to stop and smell the roses…” longingly. I Knew what he meant though. I wanted it too. Later some other little girls were playing in the bushes, throwing leaves around and crunching them under their boots. It was torture sitting there. We decided to go in and wait in the hall.
We walked around and played with Mason. We tried keeping our minds occupied. Finally we were called into the office.
We walked slower this time, taking our time getting to business. There wasn’t any talking about tiny baby hands or a perfectly round head. The tech went straight to looking for a tiny little bum. Which was still crowded with lots of other body parts. The tech announced that if we don’t get a better view without a cord in the way, that she will write “girl” on my file, and hope we have better luck with more proof next month. I felt so sad and knew I couldn’t manage waiting that long. We were so close to knowing, and weren’t going to be able to go home and share the news. I was starting to feel disappointment.
I gave one last shove to my stomach, willing my child to move, and it worked! We saw this baby do a 180° turn on the screen. Once the tech got her wand readjusted, we had an awesome view of a tiny little bottom and two thighs going in opposite directions. Perfect view. Again I looked away from the screen. I was too afraid of what I would see. Not because I would be gaining a son, but because I would be loosing a daughter at the same time. My hopes and dreams of braiding hair and making bows, might just be flying out of the window.
When I heard the tech ask me what I saw, I snapped back to reality and looked at the screen. I looked long and hard and told her  “I don’t see anything that looks familiar. I’ve seen a lot of boy parts on one of these screens, but I don’t see one now. Is there one?” She said “Nope, I can’t find one anywhere. I’ve looked from every angle to see if anything was hiding, and there is nothing down there. It’s a girl!” I almost jumped up and kissed her! I was still in shock though. I told her that if it’s true I was going to cry, and she said “I think it’s ok to start crying then!”. I did. As she printed the pictures for my proof, I ran to the bathroom to get dressed (we had to try more invasive ultrasound methods to get a better view), I cried and gave thanks through prayer. I was so teary eyed and floating in the clouds, that I didn’t realize I had put my pants on backwards.
As we were leaving, I kept telling this ultrasound tech how appreciative I was of her sharing this amazing news with us, and being willing to work extra hard to help us find out the information we were looking for. Mason turned to her and gave her a hug and a kiss goodbye (so funny!) So she picked him up and gave him one back. She loved it. I’m pretty sure that was the highlight of her day.
Now my daily struggle seems to be believing that I’m going to have a daughter. I keep fearing that she is going to grow a “winky” and turn into a son. I am still in shock. I feel like even after she is born, I will need to dress her as girly as possible just to remind myself that she is a girl. And I will probably be surprised every time I change her diaper, and expect that she is still “developing” her boyhood. I am so ready to start this new adventure though. Its a dream come true.