And so it comes down to this.

Christmas night 2010

And again I find myself sitting here in the glow of the Christmas tree in my velour jumpsuit that I seem to purchase for myself each year, but convince Dean he bought it for me. I've had this glazed over, sleep deprived smile on my face since Thursday, River looks concerned..

The presents are all unwrapped, the stuffed garbage sacks overflowing in the backroom, (somehow we missed garbage day this week - the worst possible week of the year to miss garbage day.)

The kids are a little shaky from the sugar rush, as they go through each other's pile of loot.

It's been a good day.

Kids getting surprised;

or kids getting exactly what they wanted,

after thinking that I didn't hear them tell me what they wanted six or seven times a day for the last three weeks.

And yet I find myself sitting here still wanting more.

Not more presents,
Not more shopping,
Not more numbers on the to-do list

Just more time to enjoy it all.
More taking it easy with the kids,
More time for sentimental, homemade gifts,
More time to share with those who don't have as much.

Sometimes I feel guilty about having so much.

Christmas morning I took a picture of the tree with all the presents underneath before the mayhem started.

I looked at Dean and he said "we did good."

We both have questioned many times how our parents did it.
How did they make Christmas magical for us as kids each and every year?

Now the burden opportunity is ours.

I knew it was just a matter of hours before we would be cleaning it all up,
searching for lost race track parts and accounting for all the money spent.

I ask myself, 'now what's my focus?'
For a good month and a half all I have thought about is typical Christmas this and that.

Now the beloved Christmas lights outside are being neglected.
Now the movie Elf has been replaced by newer, less Christmassy movies.
The "biggest sale of the year" ad on the bathroom floor that once grabbed my attention now seems pointless.

A few days ago, an sweet older lady at a store checkout gave me some advice when I mentioned that I wasn't finished with my Christmas shopping yet. She said not to worry, that all children want for Christmas is peace, and the love of their family at Christmas time.

Yeah, I guess...

But tell that to my teenagers fist bumping over their new iPods.

I hope you had a wonderful day.



My kids are sick.

So far this week, three four out of my seven kids have used the "throw up bucket."

We have a "throw up bucket" in our house, much to my husband's annoyance.

He thinks a "throw up bucket" should not exist in our home.

He thinks that the kids should be able to sense when something is wrong
and hightail it to the toilet.

He thinks that a "throw up bucket" creates lazy kids.

He has never cleaned throw up out of the carpet in the middle of the night.

He does not get a vote.

Therefore we have a "throw-up" bucket.

The other night Kal was sick and called dibs on the bucket saying...
"I get the bucket after Wade!"

My theory is that I prefer the kids to stay where they are and have an area of containment rather than have them run for the bathroom and be sick in their room, the hall, my room, back in the hall and then all over the bathroom. (yes, I speak from experience.)

I am not squeamish,
my mom once told me not to worry about getting dirty,
that anything will wash off your hands.

And I have a small confession;

Besides the "heaving"....I like having sick kids.

There I said it.

Nothing serious, not swine flu or strep throat or pneumonia...of course.

Just the 24 hour bug where we declare a sick day and my kids are on the couch, just out of the bath,with sleepy eyes, a warm forehead, sipping Sprite and are content to just lay there holding "buckety".

It makes me feel needed.
(in a non-"mom, I need a science project...
mom, I need some clean socks"...kind of way.)

I enjoy having an excuse for a backed up laundry pile and enjoy having a reason to lay curled up on the couch and hold them while we watch Spongebob together.

I'm just asking for it, aren't I.

The other day, Thanksgiving day in fact...

Just as I was in panic mode trying to get dinner ready,

Lauren called to me from my room.

"Mom, come here...fast!"  That last word made me run.

I ran up the stairs to find her bracing herself in my dooryway standing awkwardly and looking down at her foot.

A big shard of glass was sticking out.  My knees buckled as I said..."what in the world..?!"

As we helped Lauren to her bed she explained that she was walking by a bag on the floor
not knowing it had a broken glass frame in it and for some reason...decided to kick it.

The glass went in the bottom of her foot, through her toes and out the top.

After a few minutes of excitement and waiting for Dean to get home,
It was decided to take Lauren to the Emergency room.

So after a little reassuring hug to River who was crying harder than Lauren,

Dean swooped Lauren up in his arms and carried her out to the car.

Seeing Lauren like that, with tears in her eyes...a little scared and vulnerable, reminded me of when she was just a little girl. So small, helpless and dependant on me.

I kind of enjoyed it.

Every once in a while I enjoy being nurse Roberts to tame, docile children.
Come on now...all you moms out there...I can't be the only one who feels this way.

Gulp. Maybe I am.

Who's the sicko now, you ask?

(And yes, I took pictures so I could blog about it later. Yep, definitely a sicko.)


Life as we know it.

With the birth of my new nephew just last week, 
I have been thinking of how quickly life (as you know it) changes.

One minute your worn out, anxious, exhausted body literally can't take another second of being pregnant;

the next minute you are here... (yep, life as you know it is over)

                                                                (*This is my new nephew Cash, isn't he Heavenly?)

The reality of life is this;

About eight minutes later, you are here...

                                                      (This is my Kal when he was a sweet, curious, loveable one year old.)

And a blink of an eye after that...you are here...

                                                             (My Wade, fists ready, on his first day of pre-school. )

And (just a warning) about thirty seconds after that...you are here...

                                (This is my Brett as a tormenting...impossible, big, bad fifteen year old.)

Yes, my little baby boy who I was so fond of as I would hold him on the flat of my forearm, is now bigger than me, quicker and cooler than me and I now find myself telling him to stop acting like a child.

So he acts like a teenager instead.

And when he does...

Dean and I scratch our heads (Dean scratches his own..I scratch mine)

And we say...Life as we know it is over.

And then there is this little guy...

Dean walks in the door everyday from work,
and demands to know what I have done all day.

(Just kidding).

Some days all I have to do is point to my little garbage disposal on the floor and whimper a little, then Dean gives me a sympathetic look as he runs out to buy me flowers.

Canyon is now crawling.  Everywhere.

I get nothing done.

...behind the couch, trapped under my computer desk, tipping over the garbage can,
into the bathroom, dangling himself dangerously close to the stairs and eating anything in his path.

His crawl is more of an "Army crawl" gathering items under his belly as he goes.

When Canyon discovers something -

he stops...(thrilled with his find)

 ingests...then moves on.

Life as we know it is over. 

It doesn't help that Quincy (Canyon's partner in crime) thinks everything is her baby,
and every baby has a name,
and every baby needs a blanket (wipes),
and every baby deserves a place in the living room.

The problem seems to be; that with seven kids...there is no "life" as we know it.
That might be either really beautiful, or really pathetic.

I have posted this video before. It's worth re-posting.
Canyon loves to watch it, I think for inspiration.


(a two minute video of the girl who needs to be everything)       So far my hobby has been micro-managing my kids and as rewardi...