summer 2011

summer 2011

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

aah, sitting in my chair....

Today was fun!!! We went to Target (I bought Sonja and Suzanne new winter coats, and I felt guilty because they were only 50% off, not 75....but their old ones were looking shabby)....and I bought myself two 5lb weights. Then to Price Chopper and Aldi and Wegmans and B.J.s. Then to McDonalds for a coffee for the ride home. Then out to our church to unload the feast fixings, then home, at almost three o'clock. All the older ones are at the Carrier Dome, doing concession stand work for fundraising. So for dinner there was just Paul and I, then Benjamin, Mali, Samuel, Margaret, Kathryn, Evelyn, Suzanne, Sonja, Jonathan, Charlotte Claire, and Camille. I made some chicken soup, and we had fresh Italian bread, $1 a loaf from Price-Chopper. Simple, nutritious, and good. Of course getting Sonja to eat the vegetables is....let's say "challenging"....

Questions....first Tereza: What do I do when I first get up in the morning. Well, I always get dressed. 99% of the time. I sleep in my jammies, I don't like living in them. I put my long tangly hair up in a clip (when I brush it, the kids think we're going bye-bye). On school mornings, I make them breakfast, make my coffee, get them ready, then blog. On non-school mornings, I usually at least check my mail, and usually write a post. A few years back, before I was addicted to computer time, I always cleaned up the kitchen first thing, and tried to do as much work as possible before the baby/toddler/both woke up. Sometimes I still do that if I am behind. Then the questions about how Paul enjoys the signs of "life"....ha. He is pretty easy-going, but honestly, I think everyone gets a bit frustrated when or if it is messy and chaotic all the time. I try to keep things here at a level that both he and I can live with. Which isn't saying much. I would like it cleaner and more organized, so would he, for the kids fooling around and going crazy, we both can stand that for only so long, and we stop them. Let's see, I try not to nag Paul too much about things that need to be done around here. He is very responsible and quick to take care of things, but he is not overly concerned with the more "surface" things, or things just for looks, like the molding in the foyer...we have lived here for almost 18 years now....and the new window he installed....still isn't trimmed....if it functions, and doesn't look too bad, he's okay with it. So I try to be more like that too. For us, it just hasn't been possible to live in a perfect house with all these kids.

Well....I do not know very much about the Duggar family. I HAVE however, viewed photos of their home, and I love their laundry room...4 washers, 4 dryers. Their house is so nice and roomy and huge and spacious. I would have no trials at all if I had a house like that. ha. Seriously though, I haven't even watched their show because we don't have cable. I did see them once on a morning t.v. show, and I thought Michelle was sweet, sincere, and kind. I have read a few articles on their family, the way the older ones help the younger ones, and they all have responsibilities. When people find out how many kids I have, the most common comment is: Well, the older ones must help you out!!! or different variations of that. Which is partly true, partly hilarious. My older kids are pretty busy, mostly with church activities, but also with college and jobs and volunteer work. And homework. They do help me when they are here though. But older kids come with different trials. 5 of mine have driver's licenses now, and one a learner's permit. GREY hair, that is grey hair. But when I read that baby Josie was born so early, I felt so bad for the whole family, as I could just imagine how difficult it would be for us, to have such a tiny infant struggling to live.

When do I step in, and when do I let them duke it out...hmm. When it is persistent, I make them sit in a chair for a bit. We don't actually have very many punishments, but when they are mean, I try to make them feel bad for it, and I am constantly encouraging them to be nice and forgiving. If they are really rough, or hit each other, I will make them sit for a while. When they are ready to apologize, they can get up. I have to be consistent, though. If I am too lazy to enforce what I have said, they won't believe me. I try to think before I threaten, to make sure it is something I will really do if they continue doing whatever it is they are doing.....I just don't like putting too much emphasis on bad behaviour. In the "Little House" books, Ma would say, "Least said, soonest mended..." Screaming fits are interesting. Camille likes to have two or three a day these thing I like to do when she is crying and screaming, "NO, NO!!", is to ask her if she can please say NO for Mommy. She screams, "NO!", and I say, "good girl!"...we keep doing that and she is so clever, she starts saying, "unh-uh,", and every other sound that means NO. Kids have tantrums, some more than others. Hopefully most of them are at home, but even if they do it in the store, oh well...people stare. And act like maybe their kids would never do such a thing...or perhaps they give an encouraging smile. Anyway, tantrums are just their way of expressing frustration, and they would be more frustrated if mommy gave them their way all the time.

Showering....well, I just take them before bed. I cannot go to bed without a shower first. Even when we are camping. I don't always like to wash my hair in the shower, then go to bed, especially in winter, so sometimes I wash my long tangly hair in the kitchen sink. But there have been times and seasons when it was seemingly impossible just to use the bathroom. Honestly, now that Camille is two, my life seems easy and leisurely. Those days with a newborn - well- I remember, but it is much different now. I remember how I would put the baby down, and have to decide...hmm. Change the toddler, eat something, go to the bathroom, wash a few dishes....hmm. It was always the mental prioritizing, and sometimes I would figure out what I was going to do when I got the baby down, and then baby would have other ideas....and I would just have to give up trying to do did I survive? How do any mothers survive, with newborns and other kids? It just plain seems impossible. But for some reason, I would do it again in a heartbeat, given the chance. I would LOVE another baby.

Well, this has taken such a long time because I have put Camille to bed, put Charlotte Claire to bed, prayed with Jon, Sonja, and Suzanne, brushed Rosie, read a story, (Princess Baby, Martha) I just need to put it away....for good for the night....


Virginia (Jenny) said...

I love hearing your stories of your family. :) You would love the Duggar's book 20 and Counting. It's so cheap to buy on Amazon. I have six kids but I love to follow them. Her ideas with the kids are really neat. I'm not even half the women she is but goodness gracious, I keep trying to work hard and do better every day. :)

Piper Paradise said...

I don't comment nearly enough but I read every word you write. Thanks for answering these questions. It is so fun, inspiring, interesting to read how you handle and thrive with all your babies. And I do think that even though your oldest is 25, she is still your baby :-)

Martha said...

Thank you for letting me know what story you read. That's important information. :)

Emma and Bella each get to pick a book to read before nap time and I find it amusing how they will pick the same ones over and over. Before Christmas I read the Grinch at least 3 or 4 times. I guess we all have favorites.

I take my showers in the morning as it helps me feel more awake and ready for the day, but sometimes I don't quite make it out of bed in time to hop in before Emma arrives. On those days I take a shower before hopping into bed at night.

I have not ever seen the Duggar's on TV either. Our TV is not working as we never "converted".