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

Thursday, January 31, 2008

hospital in the living room day

There's something to be said for keeping your hair clean. Because you never know what's going to happen, and when you will end up in the hospital, or doctor's office....Margaret took a fall the other night, and we considered calling an ambulance because she was in so much pain when we tried to move her. Thankfully, the house was pretty clean. But what if it wasn't? Emily the nurse came home from work just in time to bring Marg to the ER, and Paul left work and met them there: no broken bones, just some bruising and damaged nerves in the hip. I wonder if it popped out of joint....she is on crutches for a while.
Also, Evelyn (8), and Sonja (5) have what seems to be the flu. High fevers and aches....they are on the couch. So yesterday when Charlotte Claire (21 months) fell and lodged her foot between the bed frame and mattress, I thought it was just another bump and bruise you're fine kind of thing. But, she just wouldn't stop crying, and pointing to her leg. Well, Kathryn (9) went with me to the dr., along with baby Camille. X-ray: fractured ankle. Worst part: we had to wait until this morning to get in to the orthopaedic dr...try keeping a toddler off a hurt foot...anyways, she has a cute pink cast up to her thigh.
Fun, fun, fun. Oh, and Paul says I shouldn't drive the van, because the tire is shredded, whatever that means. Sometimes I think: What about ME? The baby is tenderly cared for through everything, I don't mean to brag, but I am a good mommy. And the flu-kids on the couch get their sippy cups, and medicine, and blankets, and kisses. And the girl on crutches gets her drinks and extra blankets. And I get dinner on the table for the kids who have to get out the door for whatever evening activity is going on tonight...And I wash clothes, sweep the floor, match socks, make cookies (and eat the cookies), read stories, make appointments.... and sometimes I think: What about me? Having these wonderful kids: a gift, no doubt. But sometimes, just sometimes, I really want to do something special: some time with Paul, or breakfast with my sister, or a visit with my brother.....oh well....can't spend too much time feeling sorry for myself, Camille is awake and she needs me

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

my mother's hands

I just flexed my fingers after unsucessfully trying, again, to publish the birth of our last baby on a birthstory page. It seems like after I spend all this time writing, something happens and it can't be submitted. Oh well. Anyway, I stretched my fingers, and Oh my goodness!! - I have my mother's hands! The long, thin fingers, and wrinkled joints....the thin gold weeding band... It just makes me miss her so much. She wasn't just my mother, she was my FRIEND! My good, good friend. I called her every morning at 8:45, and talked to her about whatever. I called her throughout the day if the kids said anything funny. I called her when I got home from Wal-Mart to tell her the bargains I found, or how the cashier was so stupid, or how I got ripped-off. I called her after she got home from dialysis to see if she was okay. I called her when Paul went to a meeting, just to chat. I called her when I was cooking dinner.....

And that is just the phone calls: I got my fanny in the van and visited her every chance I got. I took her everywhere I could. Every place I go, I have memories of her. She was not picky. Sitting in McDonalds while the kids played was just fine for her. She even volunteered to buy them socks at the $1 store one summer day when they were in sandals, so we could go to McD's and sit and talk. She liked the pet stores: she had dreams of the puppies she was going to get someday. She LOVED "going K-Marting", as my dad used to say. She thought going for Chinese was about the best life got. And, she loved coming here...and to think she used to annoy me. I would give anything to be annoyed at her right now! She would come over, and sometimes if she was here all day, I would go lay down. She would say, "Della, why don't you go lay down. I can watch these guys." When the kids came in from school and found Gramma dozing in my chair, they were so excited. She always claimed she wasn't sleeping.... She genuinely liked to hear about their days...
I just miss her so much. I miss going to her house and seeing her in her chair with her robe on...and seeing her standing at the door waiting for me, with her purse over her arm. No one ever had to wait for her to get ready...she was ALWAYS ready when we went to pick her up. "I don't care, wherever you want to go...", she would say....and she always looked back at all the kids in the van and greeted them. And grampa would come out and see the kids, and give us money to go eat or something....and I would protest, and he would yell at me to just take it....he tried so hard not to swear....
Well, kids are home and time is flying...

my mother's hands

Saturday, January 19, 2008

movie day, with chips

I let the kids put in a movie at noon, and eat chips at the coffee table while watching it....just a bit of down time for me. Camille is sleeping, and Jon is stressing that we're running out of dip. Daddy is at work, and the older kids are all gone. So we get to do things my way today. I realized after reading a blog by a woman who recently lost her husband, how much I do things differently when my husband isn't here. I feel so bad for her, but am glad she shares her experiences....I work on not taking life for granted, and appreciating Paul more. It has been tough through the years when I've been alone with the kids, which has been very often, but I think I have dealt with it partly by doing things more relaxed. Things like going to McDonalds, spending $2 each from the dollar menu, and spending 2 hours at the playplace. Or going to the dollar store.....when my parents were alive, we would unquestionably go there when Paul was gone...I miss them today. My dad would be complaining day in and day out about the price of bread, the price of gas, the price of milk....I believe it was one of his great joys, to complain. In his last months, he had a fear of God that restrained him, he didn't let himself rant about others as much. Actually, he would say some rotten things, and then add how it wasn't his business, or that the person didn't mean it....
I have spent too much time on this computer. I haven't been on in a few days, and catching up is killing the kids here. They turned off their movie, and are playing dollhouse, which consists of arguing about dressers and mommy dolls.

Mariel is coming home from her trip to the Southwest tonight.....will I bring the kids to the airport?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

a family day

When people hear how many kids we have, they comment on the chaos. Yes, we have our moments. But sometimes, we have some relative peace and quiet. This afternoon for example: Ben is off somewhere, Emily is at work, Joe, Aaron, Sam, and Molly are ice-skating at an outdoor rink downtown with friends, Mariel is in Arizona for 10 days with friends, so that leaves only 9 at home with mom and dad. Camille is in for a nap, and the rest of the kids just watched a movie. So it was relatively quiet: except: Charlotte bit Sonja, not once, but 2 times. And pulled her hair. She is only 20 months old. I had to give her a little spank, which I actually hate, but: Sonja has deep teeth marks on her cheek, on top of the bite mark from yesterday, so: something had to be done. Charlotte has to understand that her actions are bad. I mean, when she bites and laughs, no way. Anyway, that's why I say relatively quiet. I did read the whole Sunday paper today, holding Camille. With her fussing on and off, it took a few hours.
Ben is home: his car isn't. It's at his friend's house, dead. Hopefully it can be revived. He has a tough time in life, Ben does. I personally believe that God really wants him to turn to Him.

I miss my parents, even though I am all grown up. My mother would love little Camille Anaya. She is only 9 weeks old, weighs 14 lbs., 4 ozs, and she sucks her thumb, all the time. It is just so cute. It helps her sleep, too, usually all night. She has these big blue eyes, and huge fat cheeks, and little baby thunder thighs...she sneezes and punches herself in the nose. My mother would also love Charlotte Claire. Even though she bites like a vampire, she is really sweet. She doesn't talk much, which Gramma would try to correct...but she screams, and boy do we know what she wants and doesn't want. And Jonathan, they would love him. He has the vocabulary of an eighth grader, is fascinated with all tractors, trucks, and trains, sucks his thumb, is well potty trained, which means he never wets his pants. He is gentle and tender, and hardly ever bratty. Though he did cry all the way through Wal-Mart the other day for a new train. Right.

Camille Anaya's little nap is over, so is my post.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

new year's day

I took a huge rest/nap today. I felt so guilty, that I dreamt that Paul cleaned our room (and expanded it by several feet, a theme that runs through many of my dreams). When I got up and came out here, the tree was gone! He had undecorated it, etc., so my guilt was justified. The thing is, with a little baby, a three hour nap doesn't mean a 3 hour sleep. She slept in her carriage for the first 45 minutes, and just as I started to doze, she was awake. So, into bed with me she went. I nursed her on and off for a while, then we both fell asleep. It has been a lazy day here. We celebrated New Year's Eve at our meeting hall last night, and came home after 1 o'clock. So the kids are pooped, and meals have been those sporadic group of kids at a time things....I wanted to make a pot of soup for dinner, and they all claimed they are not hungry. I guess when you eat lunch at 4 o'clock, that happens....

I gave sleeping Camille Anaya to Benjamin so I could write this, and she promptly woke up, so Evelyn has a fussing baby. Rats. I feel guilty for sitting here on the computer anyway, so I better go. Guilt is a mother's closest friend. I even feel bad throwing a load of laundry in when someone has to hold baby for me. But those dirty inside-out socks sort of even it out!!!!