Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Better Late Than Never, Right?

i just realized that i never posted my christmas card picture. i kept meaning to but never did. so here it is.
i figured since i'm still getting a few stragglers in the mail that it's still okay to post it.





and here are a few more i took tonight.
i know, i know- it looks like the flame is on top of shaeya's head. but i thought they all looked cute in their new pajamas from grandma. :)
and now i know to turn the fireplace off before taking the picture.







what a crazy bunch of kids.
we've been having a pretty good week- broken up a bit by a few "overnights" for ty and shaeya.
the only problem with having them both gone is the morning.
tekoa usually wakes up and heads straight downstairs to hang out with them, and this morning they were gone.....so koa had free reign of the house while i was still sleeping.
i'm fully aware that i got off easy- she only got into the christmas candy stash. she opened up a bunch of it, ate some, and put the rest in a cup.
yep.....could've been much worse.

dave and i met for lunch yesterday. we had all the kids, so we went to mcdonalds. it's about our only option for a peaceful lunch. except yesterday was the day everyone else had the same idea.

but other than being scrunched at a small table and having to shout to be heard it was good.
well, until tekoa spilled shaeya's drink. all over the floor and in wren's car seat.
all eyes were on us as dave tried to get the ice up and i went to ask someone for help.
this poor girl came back with a mop and i had to restrain myself from taking it from her. it just feels so weird to let someone else clean up my kid's mess. so i just stood there feeling weird and apologizing over and over. she kept looking at me like "relax- this happens" but i felt bad.

so then dave headed back to work, and i rounded everybody up- shoes, coats, hats, mittens (i hate winter!!) and we walked to the front. i had wren's car seat in one arm and my drink in that hand. i had my 500 lb. diaper bag on the other shoulder and tekoa by the coat in that hand.
the front of mcdonalds had cleared out by then so there were about 5 workers standing around and watching me walk by.
and then my bag starts to slip off my shoulder.....so i try to lift my arm with the car seat and drink to pull it back up.....and of course the drink goes flying. right over my shoulder. probably looked like i just tossed it on over.
and yep, the same girl with the mop is standing right there.

i kept the apologies to a minimum this time. just an "i'm SO SO SO sorry and i'm leaving now. i promise."
so embarrassing. and of course tyden and shaeya topped it off with, "mom! you've got to be more careful with your drink!"
thanks, guys.

and today we spent the day at chuck e cheese with some of my family.
i actually thought it was fun- salad bar, fountain soda, cotton candy. and the kids were good. okay, koa was wild but that's nothing new. my brother took her for awhile for me and when he brought her back he said, "that kid's crazy." i know.

so that's that. tomorrow is new year's eve and i feel a little like a loser cause we have no plans. but actually a quiet evening in with dave sounds really nice. put the kids to bed early and buy (i mean bake) some snacks and get a movie (or 2). and just hang out together. yep, sounds good.
and we leave for fun city the next day, so i wouldn't want to be too sleep deprived anyway.

and this time me and my new gps will get us there without a problem.
thanks, dave!!!






Monday, December 28, 2009

Thoughts On Christmas

i have to retract something i said in my last post.....something about staying up too late and eating too much being what life's really about.

after about 10 days straight of repeatedly staying up too late and eating too much you realize that it's not all that fun anymore. and all you long for is sleep, some veggies, a good work out, and for your jeans to fit you once again.

today as i'm cleaning, organizing, fixing toys, and detoxing from sugar i keep wondering if i did enough to reinforce to my children what christmas is all about.
of course, if you ask them, they will say that it's not about presents, it's about Jesus.
but do they really understand?
did i understand when i was their age?

this morning we had a deep conversation about heaven- it was pretty cute- and i kept trying to get through to them how much God knows them and loves them. and what He did for them.
but i don't know what their little minds are actually comprehending.

i ended up telling them that they had a brother or sister in heaven waiting for them.
there are actually 2, but i only mentioned one. i thought it might help make heaven a little more real to them, and i knew tyden had known about the baby at one point- i just wasn't sure if he remembered.

after a lot of other questions, tyden asked if we would've had 5 kids if the baby hadn't died.
i said, "well, i don't think so, cause then we ended up having tekoa."
to which ty replied, "so.....i could've maybe had a brother, but i got tekoa instead??"
poor guy.

also this morning the kids helped me put together a box of toys to send to an orphanage in mexico. they had fun doing this and hesitated just a little to send some of the toys until i reminded them that these kids probably didn't get a whole lot for christmas- if they got anything at all.

this got the kids more into the giving part, and they were packing up more stuff when shaeya asked me if i was sure that the mean lady at the orphanage would even give the kids the toys we were sending.
so i had to explain that miss hannigan does not run this orphanage.

anyway, i'm just wondering about these things today- wondering if i'm doing enough, saying enough, living out my faith enough.
i know in the end it's God and not me who will give them understanding and who will save them. i just wanna do a good job in the role He's given me.


but if you're wondering about our christmas(-es- multiple christmases) , it was a blast. lots of family, kids, babies, food, gifts, and games.

the kids were so excited about their gifts.
tyden got a lot of transformers and shaeya got everything horses- a stable, a horse vet clinic, and babies for black beauty.





wren had a great time on christmas morning just rolling around and playing with wrapping paper,




and tekoa....
she opened her gifts, and then i found her a little later taking a break from all the excitement to bang her head little- i don't know if she was tired, or a little overly excited or what. but we have this extra toddler bed in our basement....


video


anyway, we had fun. all 10 days of it.
and the fun picks up again on friday when my grandparents are taking the whole family to fun city for the weekend. all 37 of us. should be......i don't think my grandparents read this...... interesting. fun. it'll be fun. :)

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Birthday To Remember

it started with a girl's night out with my cousins friday night. it was a lot of fun but as usual i ate way too much and stayed out way too late- but that's what life is really about, isn't it??

love these girls....don't know where i'd be without them.



moving on to saturday....feeling very tired and a bit sick from the night before, we loaded up the kids and dropped them off at grandma's so dave and i could help deliver some food baskets to some families downtown that my mom knew.

the image of the man who answered my knock at the first door will forever be burned into my mind. a very large black man in a very small pair of boxers. only the boxers.
it took me a minute to remember to say something and then he welcomed us in. dave (aka "big dog") and i were in and out with boxes and the guy never bothered to put any more clothing on.
and he has me calling dave "big dog" now too.
oh, and my mom.....she's "cool as hell"- but i think she'd wash my mouth out with soap if i tried to call her that one.

then that night we had dinner at my sister's with kaitlyn and jordan during which tekoa pooped her pants- i have no idea why. she tried to take them off and left us with a disgusting mess to clean up. so frustrating.
other than that we had a great time. we baked cookies and played games. and once again stayed out late.

and then we were woken up at 5:55am with a call from my mom telling us that chad and julie's baby had been born. so exciting. i could not fall back to sleep. so fun that we share a birthday.
i did doze again for a little while, and then was once again woken up- this time by tekoa bringing us a plate of leftover ravioli to our bed. she apparently had been scaling the shelves of our fridge. she plopped it down on our bed and said, "i have a present for you!!!!"
thanks, ko. and thanks for later "cleaning wren's crib" with febreeze.

we told the kids it was mommy's birthday and tyden said, "YES!!! then it's only 5 more days til CHRISTMAS!!!!" thanks, buddy.

after church and cleaning and baking we loaded up the kids and took them to my mom's so we could go see the new baby. it worked out well, because we were having a big herman family christmas at their house (well, in the barn) later in the evening.

so dave and i got to the hospital and made our way down the long tile hallway leading into the main building. we were holding hands and walking together.....deep in conversation i'm sure.....
yep, walking and talking....and the next thing i knew i was down.
i stepped on my heel wrong- they were rather tall- and somehow sort of landed on my knees. since we were still holding hands i tried to just pick myself right back up but fell again onto my butt. happy birthday to me.
yes, there were witnesses....yes, they were asking if i was okay....yes, i was a little embarrassed- but not nearly as embarrassed as dave was. and i just couldn't stop laughing about the whole thing.

we did finally make it to the baby. so cute. and so little. and so not good for me.
i think i will always wish it was me. for as long as i'm alive.

but here she is- miss livie grace.








all plump and sweet and soft and beautiful.


and then it was back to reality. upon entering the barn for the christmas party, my sister tells me that somehow tekoa has burnt her hair. no one knows how it happened, but her hair had a big dark orange crispy mass on the back. amy combed it out as best she could with her fingers with hair breaking off and falling out all the while.
for some reason i handled it very well. it didn't even bother me that much. i think i was just really tired. it doesn't look that bad anymore, it's just a bit frizzy and a little thinner.
her hair was so super fine that i decided a bit of damage just might help her ponytails stay in better.
i think what happened was that she leaned against a heater. her hair had hairspray in it from that morning and it just sort of melted.
only tekoa.

after all the festivities/chaos or whatever it is you want to call a family christmas, we headed home with big plans to have some alone time to celebrate my birthday- but in the end we were just too worn out.

but don't worry- tonight we have 2 uncles stepping in to watch the 3 oldest so dave and wren and i can have a nice quiet dinner somewhere and do some shopping (NOT christmas shopping!)
it should be great. and as long as the house is still standing when we get back- and everyone still has most their hair- we'll be happy.






thanks for carrying the bowl of dip into the house for me, tekoa.












MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

.....here's to hoping the rest is a bit more restful and uneventful.
(but i know it's not very likely!!)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Yep, There's A Tooth

sometimes you know your baby's getting a tooth by how fussy they are. or sometimes you notice the drooling and swollen gums, or a change in eating or sleeping habits........

or sometimes you find out about the tooth only after a good chomp while they're nursing.

when did that get there??

wren, you are too easy. you are so sweet and so good and so very lovable (with the bite as the exception, of course.)

if we could just get your poop to stay in your diaper, and if you wouldn't puke on me quite so much you'd be just perfect. :)















Monday, December 14, 2009

Blogging From Home!!

YEA!!! i'm actually sitting at home at my own computer!!
what a wonderful thing that i took for granted for so long.

and what a fun, crazy, sleepless weekend we had.
dave's company christmas party was on friday night and we came home with a little red netbook which dave lovingly gave to me with NO prompting, begging, or bribing whatsoever :)
he's got a blackberry, so why would he need a netbook, right??

we also got a gift card to grand prairie which i used on saturday to buy myself some new, much needed boots.
okay 2 pairs.
and i may have exceeded the amount on the card by just a little.
which makes me feel guilty because my birthday is 5 days before christmas so i never want to buy myself anything in december......but what usually happens is i end up using any birthday money or gift cards from my birthday to buy other people's christmas gifts.
so i shouldn't feel too guilty, right?

i got a lot of my shopping done on saturday cause dave was actually home which hardly ever happens on a saturday. he stayed home with the kids and i went out with just wren.
it was WONDERFUL. i had a great time and got SO MUCH DONE!

so i'm feeling pretty good about my workload right now.
my christmas shopping is done, the house is decorated and clean (okay, if you don't look too close it looks clean), teacher gifts are bought and some given out already, my kids' secret santa gifts for school (10 total) are bought and wrapped and ready to go to school 2 at a time each day this week (it was a fun surprise this morning to get all the way back home from dropping the kids off and then find the gift tyden was supposed to take sitting on the floor of the van.....back to school for me), destiny's gift is wrapped and boxed and ready to be sent out, and i got the last of my christmas cards out this morning.

yea, i took the last of my cards to church yesterday to hand them out. i was once again carrying wren and the cards and she leaned over and puked all over the whole stack.
so some of them had to come back home with me to get new envelopes and to be mailed.
.....it's just good thing she's cute, right?

and speaking of cute- i bet you've all been dying for some pics of the fat one. it's been quite awhile since i could add pics to the blog- so here you go.




she's actually slimming down a little if you can tell. she was 18 pounds and 26 inches at her 6 month check up. which put her at 81% for weight and 59% for height.



this picture makes you think that she's eating rice cereal now, but don't be fooled. i keep trying to feed it to her with the hope of getting a 4 hour stretch of sleep at night sometime, but she will not swallow it. she gags and spews it all back out. she acts like anything besides breastmilk tastes just awful.
so after a lot of rice cereal battles/messes i'm giving up and resigning myself to the fact that i'll be nursing her every 2 or 3 hours all night long for the rest of her life. or at least a few more months.





and yep, she's pretty much sitting on her own now which makes her happy. she loves to sit in the middle of the rug in the living room while the other kids run around her.



and that sweet, innocent looking girl on the right gave wren a little bouncy ball this morning which i had to fish out of her mouth. i hate those little balls. i don't know how they always find their way into my house- i throw them away every time i find one but somehow i can never be fully rid of them.

looking forward to a girl's night out tonight and friday night....hey, i can't help it if they fall on the same week......and then starts the kids' break and all the christmas fun.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

The End Is In Sight

yep still at mom's, but the end is in sight!
we are getting plugged back in on saturday!!!!!
it's been a long couple of weeks for me.  and i know everyone at dave's office will be glad to have me and the girl's e-mailing and christmas shopping at home from now on.

speaking of christmas shopping.....i've been so super busy trying to get everything done so that by the time my kids are home on break (starting the 19th) we can just relax together and enjoy christmas.  i think i'm going to meet that goal.
i hope i do, cause i learned last weekend that it's just not worth trying to take them with me to stores.

on saturday dave had a quick job to do so he took tekoa with him so he could lay her down for a nap while he worked, and then i could take the other 3 with me to a few stores.

i thought it would be a breeze.  it was not.
first of all, the stores and parking lots were packed.  ty and shaeya were constantly pulling on the cart and bumping it into displays and other people.  not intentionally,  just sort of unconsciously.  
so my running dialog with them was as follows:
"don't touch the cart- you're moving the cart again- take your hands off the cart- no, you can't have that- let go of the cart- remember, we're not shopping for you- you're moving the cart- yes, we're almost done- you can't stand in front of the cart- it's almost christmas so no, you can't have that- quit moving the cart, please!!

so much fun. and we finished it all up with a "quick trip" to dave's office to check my e-mail.

shaeya had been telling me all day that she had to pee, but i kept telling her to just wait 'til we got to the office.  i really didn't want to abandon my speed shopping to take her, and i always have to visit every public bathroom when i have tekoa, so for once i just wanted to shop and not use the store's bathroom.
so when we got to the office shaeya ran straight to the bathroom while i unloaded wren.
i pulled wren out of her carseat and had a fun surprise.  poop everywhere.  i don't understand why it never stays in the diaper.
i walked into the bathroom with wren to clean her up, and there's shaeya standing there by the toilet with her pants around her ankles and she's peeing. and crying.
"YOU MADE ME WAIT TOO LONG!!!!!! YOU MADE ME PEE MY PANTS!!!!! THIS IS YOUR FAULT!!!!!"
and at that point you just laugh.  in fact i couldn't stop laughing and it was making her even more mad.  she was so mad at me because, you know, it was all my fault. :)

after about 20 minutes of cleaning up the baby, scrubbing the carseat, washing shaeya off in a sink, and scrubbing the bathroom floor i was done laughing.

miraculously wren's pants were poop free, so i put them on shaeya- which she thought was pretty funny-  and then finally got to checking my e-mail.  and then headed home.
an experience i do not wish to repeat.  so if i don't get your gift bought before break you're just not getting one.

one other funny incident before i collect the girls and head home-
at church on sunday i happened to be wearing some pretty tall heels.  and i brought a bunch of my christmas cards to hand out that day.
so then after church i was making my way down the stairs to head outside, and i had wren and the christmas cards in one arm and i was holding tekoa's hand on the other side.  it was slow going in those tall heels and the heavy load......trying to balance everything.....when suddenly tekoa decided to jump.  
which she does sometimes expecting me to help her land a few steps down.

but with the baby and the christmas cards and the heels i knew she would take us all down....... so i quickly did what any loving mother would do..........i let go.  

i can't help but laugh just thinking of it.....she was so shocked that i let go.   

and she landed face down, sprawled out on the bottom half of the staircase.  
i couldn't get to her very quickly, but luckily one of my brother's friends came to her rescue.  
she was crying, but she wasn't hurt too badly- just more scared than anything.
i'd like to think it will make her think twice before doing it again, but i know from past experience that it will not.  
and i keep telling myself that it was what i had to do.  and it waswasn't it???