Tuesday, August 19, 2014

10 Month Mama

 I'm still here.  Still pregnant.  Still trying to be patient.

As I approach 41 weeks, I'm hopeful that I'll be holding my sweet baby by next weekend.

Until then, I am holding this sweet baby...

Who am I kidding?  They're all my babies, even the handsome, ornery tween that is too big to hold.

Until I have something to announce, I'll just be here holding my baby... trying to be patient.

About the photo:
A local photographer had a vision for a photo she titled "The Life Giver."  She took this amazing picture of us and shared it for World Breastfeeding Week.  I was a bit shocked at the response.  There were less comments about breastfeeding during pregnancy and more about our family size.  I think I've heard it all before so I try not to pay much attention to those who don't have anything nice to say.    

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Happenings in our house

It has been quite a summer in the House of Twinsanity.  I realize that I have basically dropped off of the face of the earth but if you could have seen what life has been like lately, you'd understand.

Spring was intense.  I have been attending births as a student midwife all year and there was a point this spring when we had 5 moms due in one month.  And that month just happened to coincide with a 5-week class that Jason was attending over 500 miles away.  And that was baseball season so I was spending hours at the ball field 4 nights a week.  Oh, and I have been taking classes toward my BS in Midwifery so there was that going on at the same time.  We were trying to sell our house here and I was carting lawnmowers across town to mow the yard and keep our listed house presentable.  Like I said, it was intense.

Then there was the month of July.  July was just rough.  There is no way to sugarcoat it.  I spent much of the month in a weepy daze.  We lost sweet Delmar and buried him on the 4th of July.  Our house sold but closing was delayed at the last minute and was pushed back from June into the month of July.  Jason was in a minor fender bender and sustained some damage to his car.  Leila injured her toe and I had to puncture a hole in her toenail to drain the blood that was causing her an incredible amount of pain.  I missed my last birth before maternity leave by just minutes.  I was stung by wasps on my very pregnant belly and broke out in hives that lasted for weeks.  July was not my friend.

August has been so much better.  Although I was overly ambitious in taking four classes this semester, I managed to finish on time and with straight A's.  I'm 40 weeks pregnant this week and will soon feel some relief from this summer heat and humidity.  We just had my dad visit for the most wonderful week where we felt loved, supported, and encouraged.  I was able to fill my freezer with meals for after the baby arrives and, in true Heather fashion, built Seven a cute toddler bed.  My dad's visit was just what I needed to finally feel ready to have this baby.  I'll admit that I was feel a little self-pity about this being my last baby and never having a Blessingway or the support of friends and family during this special time.  My dad flew in and just made me feel loved.  I think that was all that I needed.

Here are some highlights from the last few months...

 Seven and I had a few hours alone together (what?!) while the six big kids were at VBS.  It was so much fun to take her to the park and have people ask if she was my first child... almost as much fun as when I (rarely) run out sans kiddos and get asked if this is my first pregnancy.  

 Leila and Sarah had a birthday.  Joshua had a birthday.  We celebrated the birthdays of two neighbor friends.  Now we are ready to celebrate the new baby's birth and Nathan's and Ryan's birthday.

Matthew may not be a morning person, but he had fun at his last year of VBS.  Next year he'll get to be a volunteer instead.

Matthew and his baseball team warmed up on the field with the local minor league baseball team.

Seven attended her first baseball game.

This photo really reminds me of one that we took seven years ago...

...when Matthew was just a little guy.

I've been rocking the big belly look again.  This was a couple of months ago.  I'll spare you the photos of what my 40-week belly looks like right now.  (The awesome teething/nursing necklace is from Peacemaker Jewelry and I love it!)

Our weekly trip to Costco typically looks something like this now.  I wear Seven, Matthew pushes a cart with twin boys and I push a cart with twin girls.  Six years later and people still stop and stare.

The kiddos participated our library's summer reading program.

This was just before Delmar died.  

July 4

We've enjoyed some ice cream on a hot summer evening.

Seven has gotten cuter.  How is that possible?  She talks non-stop and is quite a character.

Sadly, there has only been one trip to the pool this year.  It is still really hard to take seven kids to the pool by myself.  When does that part get easier?

A rare photo of me.  Seven likes to ride on my bump when I wear her.  This girl has only been in a stroller twice.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do when the new baby gets here.  I thought our tandem babywearing (and nursing) days were over a few years ago.

Seven hoarded the beanbags at Jason's unit picnic.

20 months old

My dad entertaining the kids with his photos of Colorado.

My dad and the kids having dinner out.  Table for ten (and a half.)

Typical Jason.  Always making special faces when he sees someone taking his picture.  The maturity level is high in our house.  

I'm not sure who told my baby girls that they were allowed to grow up.  They may be the size of 5-year olds, but my babies are EIGHT.  How did that happen?

At some point in the coming days, I'll be back to announce our newest arrival.  For now, I try to be patient and enjoy what has turned out to be a pretty fantastic August.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Never quite the same

It is with a heavy heart that I'm sharing this post.  Our beloved dog passed away suddenly and unexpectedly last week.  Delmar was getting ready to celebrate his tenth birthday and he has been a part of our family for the last nine years.  He was hit by a car and we are devastated.  Jason and I buried him on July 4th, wrapped up in his U.S. map blanket that he used to sleep on during our many road trips.  I don't think our family will quite be the same without him.  I don't think he could have loved us more and I don't think we ever could have loved him back enough.

We adopted Delmar when we moved to Georgia in 2005.  We only had two children at the time.  

Delmar was my "doggy doula" when I gave birth to Leila and Sarah.  He never left my side.  He was right there getting splashed when my water broke.  

Delmar survived the chaos that came with a second set of twins.  He was so gentle and patient.

He was born to be an Army brat.  Delmar rode along as we moved over and over again.  He visited more than 40 states and lived with us in the RV when we were on the road.  He was the best traveling companion.

He literally never left my side.  He loved me far more than I deserved to be loved.

Delmar went with us everywhere... to the mountains, the beaches, the deserts, and everywhere in between.

He was scared of dog bones.

He put up with us when we were silly.

 He was more trustworthy than any human.

We brought him on our family vacations... to the Grand Canyon, to the Rocky Mountains, to South Dakota, California, Texas, and all over the country.

He kept us safe when I was traveling across the country while Jason was deployed.  He guarded our children as if his life depended on it.  And he never complained.  He never asked for anything in return.

He was happy to lead or follow.  It didn't really matter, as long as he was with us.

Delmar may have been "just a dog" but he was the best dog I've ever known.  I will always regret that I didn't get to say good-bye, thank him, and let him know how very much he was loved.  The kids will miss their furry backseat companion on long car rides.  Amelia will miss growing up with her "doe doe" and I am not sure when I will stop turning around to see if he's there behind me.

We will always love you, Delmar.  Thanks for being the best dog and best friend ever.  You'll be greatly missed.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

This day

Making eggs and bacon for breakfast,

A trip to Costco for groceries,

Two hours of lawn mowing,

Drenched in sweat,

Belly full of kicking baby,

Missing my better half,

A sweet baby who just wants to be held,

A rare peaceful shower,

In my pajamas by 5 pm,

And I believe we may have cereal for dinner.

I don't need cards or gifts to know that I'm needed.  Being a mom is the greatest job I always knew I wanted.

Happy Mother's Day to each of you.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Eight is enough

Yep.  For those who haven't already heard (or seen) the news...  We're having one more baby.  This time it really is our last one.  Seriously!

I have had mixed emotions on the timing of this little blessing but as the weeks pass, I'm excited to meet Number Eight (aka "Hasht" in Farsi.)  The kids are thrilled... except Seven, who has no idea how we have just changed her life.  She'll figure it out soon.  I'm 25 weeks pregnant right now.

To say things have been busy here is a massive understatement.  In addition to the move and selling our house, Jason has a number of TDY assignments that take him away for weeks and months at a time.  In February, I started attending births again as a student midwife.  The big boys are playing baseball and I have added a new title to my resume- "chauffeur."  It's crazy/scary/wonderful in our family right now.

So that's the latest news from The House of Twinsanity...

Monday, February 17, 2014

Alive and Well

2014 has gotten off to an interesting start in our house...

We made it to Georgia and spent all of January cleaning up and repairing the mess our tenants made in our house.  We had a rare snow storm that saw the kids building miniature snowmen and making Georgia snow angels. Two weeks ago we moved into a rental home and listed our house for sale.  Currently we are still unpacking the last remaining boxes and trying to make this house our home. 

Last week we had a crazy ice storm that left most of the Augusta area without power and with massive amounts of tree damage to be cleaned up.  Matthew and I spent an entire day hauling tree debris to the curb yesterday and we still aren't done.  Then we head back to the old house to do more clean up there.  On Friday we had a rare earthquake, followed by an aftershock yesterday.  Apparently our house is too loud because we didn't even notice anything. 

We have been welcomed back to Georgia just in time for the apocalypse!

There's so much more to share but our new house has two levels and I haven't purchased any baby gates yet, so I'm off to save Seven from The Wooden Stairs of Death.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Merry Christmas and a Barf-free New Year!

We made it out of Arizona on December 7th and had an adventure driving 2800 miles across the country through snow and ice to Georgia and then Virginia.  We have been staying with my sister-in-law and this was our first Christmas since 2004 that we spent with family.  It's been great but I sure do miss celebrating the holidays in my own home... especially since we got the stomach bug for Christmas this year.  The nine of us are sharing one bathroom.  It wasn't pretty.

This move has been just as crazy and fun as our previous moves.  We spent a beautiful, cold night in snowy Albuquerque and drove miles over solid ice in Dallas.  Jason helped push a stranger's truck off the ice in Oklahoma and we slept in the van at a rest stop in Georgia when I just couldn't stay awake to drive another mile.  We made our familiar trek up I-95 to get to Virginia and had fun stopping at our "usual" stops along the way.

On December 20, we finally laid my grandfather to rest after he passed away back in early August.  Arlington National Cemetery is so beautiful at this time of year.  The ceremony was nice and our family all gathered after the service to have dinner together at the officer's club on Ft. Meyer.  It was the first time I have seen all of us together in years.  My brother was notably absent (he works for the post office now and couldn't get away) but it was still a great evening.

After the dinner we headed downtown to see the White House Christmas tree and stop for coffee in Georgetown.  We may be crazy to take seven kids into the city on a Friday night but we had lots of help from family that came along.  It was a perfect night.

Amelia was baptized on Sunday and we have spent the last two weeks driving around northern Virginia to visit family.  We drove past some of our old houses and showed the kids the park in the mall parking lot where Jason and I were married.  (We eloped and had a Justice of the Peace marry us in the parking lot of the mall where we'd met.  Long, crazy, fun story.  We never had a "real" wedding.)  The kids saw Santa at the same mall where Matthew first sat on his lap eleven years ago.
After looking at this picture, you'd think the big boys were not into the Santa visit this year.  In reality, they still wanted to tell Santa about their Christmas lists but didn't want to smile. When Christmas Eve arrived, they were the first ones to change into their matching Christmas jammies.  I have been reassured by friends that we may still have a few more years of willing participation in our little Christmas traditions.  I hope they're right.  I'm not ready for my big boys to be that big yet.

We still have a few more days here in Virginia before we head south to Georgia.  Here's to hoping that this awful stomach bug is completely gone before we all pile into the new van to drive another 500 miles.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and I'm wishing you the best in 2014!
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