Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Our Little Slice of Heaven

I posted a picture of our deck on Facebook (personal page) a couple of weeks ago and it got some really nice comments. It made me realize just how much I love our back yard and all the changes we've made to it lately.

I don't know why we got the wild hair up our butts that we did, but this spring and summer we have decided to really make over our back yard.

I always get inspiration from visiting other people's spaces and after being at a friend's house and seeing how they transported their patio to a beautiful retreat, I was excited to try it on my own.

Last summer we scored some wicker patio furniture from a friend for $100. It included a love seat, 2 chairs, a table and a plant holder + cushions to boot.

We looked long and hard at our old rectangular patio table and chairs and decided that we needed something different to fit our ever-growing family. For one, we keep adding kids year after year :), for another, we moved the table off the deck and onto the brick patio, so we lost some space. We literally had people backing their chairs up and falling off the bricks. As funny as that is, (What?! you wouldn't have laughed??) it was too dangerous.

I got a picture in my mind and dragged Joe all over creation to find a round table withOUT The tempered glass that always freaked me out. I was SURE one of the kids would lean on it too hard and cut their arms off.

It could happen.

Then...we decided we wanted a fire pit for roasting marshmallows and hot dogs during the summer.

We also scored one of those for pretty cheap. I can't for the life of me remember where??

So....all that to say, here is what our back yard used to look like:

And now it looks like this:

And here are 652 additional photos of the back yard and what it looks like now. :)

And then we scored this awesome chest that we use as a coffee table and storage from a friend for FREE. I LOVE it!

So while we may not have the biggest yard around, we've tried to make every square inch count. And it's still just enough room for the kids to play softball and kickball or soccer. For now it works. :)

Linking up today to Thrifty Decor Chick.

Thrifty Decor Chick

Monday, June 18, 2012

False Alarm!

Yesterday was fun.

It was Father's Day and we got to surprise Joe with this:

I left room at the bottom for the newest little guy. I got inspiration to do this from Pinterest. 

The inspiration picture is this:

Then we headed off to a pool party with Joe's family. The kids were beside themselves excited to swim. 

I was beside myself mortified at the idea of being in a bathing suit in front of everyone, and worried about my kids drowning.

On the way there, we made a pit stop at Target to get swim trunks for Joe and we also picked up an outfit for the baby to come home in. Somehow, despite 700 trips into the attic recently, we still haven't yet uncovered any newborn boy stuff we've saved. 

And then...back in the car...I SWORE my water broke. I mean...not to be too graphic... but dripped down my leg "broke." 

We got to Leanne's (Joe's sister), said a quick hello, I called the doctor who told me to go to the hospital, kissed the kids, cried for 5 minutes because I was nervous to leave them at the pool without me, and then we were off. 

And this is the funny part...we traded cars with Joe's parents so they could keep our van for all the kids.

Here's what we sported on our 40 minute drive to the hospital. :)

Bwahahahahahahaha! Clearly, you can see that my BELLY is bigger than the DOOR!!

So, Joe shoe horned me in and out, we dashed into the ER, where we were treated like royalty. They immediately got me a wheelchair, whisked me up to Labor & Delivery (after smiles and "good lucks" from all in the ER (staff and visitors alike), I got all suited up in my gown, situated in my bed, made the obligatory "This is it!" calls to fam...

And then the doctor came in, examined me and told me I had peed my pants. 

Do you know how freakin' embarrassing that is?

I am mortified. Still. 

I had contractions all the night before, I was having them that day along with pressure and low back pain all day...Surely this was it.

And since I'm only 36 weeks, they wouldn't help me along by breaking my water. :( That doesn't happen until 39 weeks. 

Joe and I laughed later that it was like a scene from a comedy when the nurse tore off the paper from the baby's heart monitor, crinkled it up and then shut the machine off. It was like, "Show's over. Hasta La Vista..." 

And then we did the Walk of Shame....

All those people who had, just an hour earlier, wished us well and smiled encouragingly at us now saw us leaving, still just as big and pregnant and with my bag all packed. 

So disappointing. 

But....I wouldn't want him to come before he's ready. He is still pretty little at this stage. 

And last night I got the best sleep of my LIFE...I swear...I slept almost through the night and did NOT get up to pee ONCE. I average 3-5 trips to the loo a night usually, so to stay in bed all night was a miracle. Not to mention there was no pain and discomfort when I got out of bed this morning. 

Instead of sitting on the edge of the bed, psyching myself up for standing and then hobbling and limping for the first few steps while my hips unlock, I nearly bounded out of free and agile as a gazelle. 

Okay maybe not so much like a gazelle, but with little stumbling. 

So, if a false alarm yields me even one day minus the horrible discomfort that I've had the past few months, I'll take it!

Besides....I'm thinking this could be just the calm before the storm. ;)

Monday, June 11, 2012

T Minus 33 Days

The countdown is on.

I am >5 weeks out from D(elivery) Day.

Actually >4 weeks.

My doc will induce me at 39 weeks. :)

It doesn't matter how many times I've done this...I am still terrified of labor and delivery.

More specifically of the loooooooooong needle used for the epidural.

Don't get the epidural, you say? Go natural, you suggest?


(That's me belly laughing.)

You see, I've gotten the epidural all 5 times and that marks the point when I can finally relax and enjoy the show...even though I am the show.

From the moment that tube is taped up my back, I dilate like nobody's business. I chit chat with the staff, laugh, crack jokes, text/Facebook updates and flip through some magazines.

It's my favorite part of delivery. :)

In other news...My nesting has been kicking in like gang busters.

I scrubbed the bathroom today. I can't tell you how "awesome" it was to squat and reach to clean behind the toilet with my big belly and what could qualify as a science experiment in my face. Whoever decided putting the commode in the CORNER of the room was the thing to do should be beaten.

Life with 3 boys who use the toilet and one girl who misses more than the boys is pretty disgusting.

If we ever go missing and you need to gather some of our DNA, don't bother with hair or tooth brushes. Go right for the floor around the john. Puh-lenty on hand there.

I've been having contractions quite a bit lately. I had forgotten how frustrating this stage of pregnancy is. Every twinge and cramp makes me wonder if *this is it*.

At night I'm awakened with contractions and wonder if I'll be at the hospital in a few hours. It's not like I can sleep very well anyway at this point, but now it's really tough.

As far as putting our house on the market, we have been killing ourselves to de-clutter, clean and get the house show ready. That's such a funny concept when you have kids.

I swear I could clean all day, every day (and actually...I think I DO) and it STILL would not be show ready. There will always be things that need done.

We're still planning to see what happens with selling it, but we won't be heart broken if we have to stay in a house we love for a while longer--especially with a new member of the family coming to visit soon. ;)

So that's us in a nutshell of late. What about you? What's shakin'?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Attention: Calling My Sanity!

Today is already one of those days when I want to run from the house screaming and pulling my hair out.

Or sit in a corner, rocking back and forth, muttering about quantum physics.

I have never before experienced such a dichotomy. I love my kids with my whole, entire heart. Often to the point of making my self sick worrying about them.

And then there are those times when I want to run far, far away.

I just want to remind them that I am one person; a tiny insignificant human being in the world with only so much energy, patience, and wherewithal.

I know they don't so much care about or even comprehend that, but I'd like to state it for the record.

The littlest one, #6 here, is getting bigger every moment and taking way more liberties with his cramped space than I would prefer.

If there was ever any doubt that we are "done" with having kids, it has been erased in these past couple of months, and reaffirmed every.single. day.

No one can ever put into words exactly how hard it is being a parent.

It's something you can't really understand until you've been there.

Every single day there is something new to think about, deal with, struggle over and address.

Whether you have one child or an army, it's draining.

Yes, there are those times when you look at them and KNOW it's all worth it--every single trial, tribulation, stressful moment and breakdown.

But in between those moments. it's damn hard.

This morning, E had no less than 4 meltdowns. She's an emotional 4 year old female who wants what she wants, when she wants it. Just so happens she wants it all and she wants it now. Not helping matters is that she has the vocabulary (and temperament) of a 15 year old and can argue with the best of them. Although today she chose to grunt and scream loudly at me when I didn't respond the way she wanted. She stomps her foot, slams doors, tells me she doesn't like any of us anymore...

Then R, our newly minted 7 year old, has been waiting anxiously for 2 years until he turned 7 and could sign up for our local peewee football league. That dazzling day arrived yesterday. And he was crushed when Joe and I explained that we weren't going to sign him up.

Even though I knew we made the right decision it still broke my heart to see him so deflated. He's one of the tiniest 7 year olds in his school, he's a string bean, and the league is made of ages 7-13. There are 2 teams, so we're thinking he'd be playing against other 7-9 yr olds. That's a huge difference physically.  Not to mention the 7 lbs of pads he'd have to wear and run in. This is a guy who throws himself down in a fit if his shoe rubs the back of his foot wrong...

He's an excellent soccer player. His coach just told us to see about putting him on a traveling team because she thinks he would go far. He's played for 3 seasons. We'd like to explore that and he wouldn't be able to do both football and soccer.

L was also devastated today because R has a field trip to 2 professional sports stadiums and Joe is going with him. L hasn't come out and said it, but I know it's bothering him. He's trying his best to be a good sport about it, but that's super hard when you're only 6. He's constantly having to wait to do everything after R does and that makes me ache for him sometimes.

That is one of the biggest cautions I would offer someone contemplating a big family (and only if they asked me.) It is so hard to make sure no one feels cheated. Whether it's possessions, privileges, time spent with parents's tough to make sure it all shakes out fairly. By 'fairly' I don't necessarily mean Even Steven. But I do mean fair according to age and ability.

R and E have been retreating lately to different parts of the house to get some quiet, alone time. There isn't much of that in this house, that's for sure.

Which brings me back to my's also important for Mom and dad to find some of that quiet alone time too. I am sorely depleted of it. I have been alone in my house, I think, MAYBE a handful of times ever. We've lived here 6 years. That just can't be healthy.

So, we're counting down to the end of school, to the baby's arrival, to when we list the house for sale...

We are always in a state of flux, it seems. A lot of that our own doing, some of it not.

And while I can say honestly that I would never trade them for anything, there are some things I would change.
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