Our little family

Our little family
Wife Woman, Husband Man, Catcher and The Hoskinettes.

Friday, December 17, 2010

....Discovered while unpacking a thousand boxes.....

It's amazing the things you discover while unpacking boxes. Some of these boxes I think may have been packed since our LAST move three years ago because there just wasn't anywhere in the old house to put them. I came across a box that had photos from college and i just happened to find it while my old roommate from college, Kim, was here helping me, so we got to reminisce for a few minutes.....that was fun. In that same box was a journal, one of a million of mine. I almost tossed it aside as one of the many journals of poems and stories i had but when i opened it up and saw the "title page" i had to take a moment to peruse thru it. It was my "wedding journal." after seeing the title page i glanced at the cover again and remembered i had purchased it because the flowers on the front were my wedding colors, spring pastels. On the pages of the journal were notes on everything, pictures i'd cut out of magazines, business cards for florists and caterers, and dress designers. Then next to each was my note of whether i was going to use them or how i knew them. There was the picture of my wedding dress that i'd cut out of a magazine and written "This is the one i want!!" we ended up seeing it in the window of the first dress shop we went to.....and i did wear it on my wedding day :) There were sketches in there by the alterationist and the florist. There were all kinds of dates of when i bought my dress and pictures from valentines day....our first together, while we were still engaged. And in the back were pages and pages of writing, i began reading it and found it was where i had written the story of how we'd met. The story of meeting my husband still feels like a fairy tale to me. I love him so much and yet he's always reminding me that he said "i love you" first to he gets to love me more :) Maybe sometime i'll post that story on here, just in case anything ever happens to that journal.
It's funny how over the years my story gets simplified more and more, we met on a friday and by monday we knew we wanted to get married. Sounds pretty simple, but there's so many little things i had forgotten until reading it in my own words. I'm so glad i wrote that. And that is exactly why journals are so important, even if we only write about the big things in life, over the years things get forgotten and we can all learn from the past, even from our own past, so by writing it down we can go back and re-read in our own words what emotions filled our hearts at each event. That's what i see when i read my journal....the emotion i felt when i was writing it. I love writing, and this has inspired me to find more time to do more of it.
On a side note, if one of my daughters at 20 years old decides that a boy she met three days ago is the man she's going to marry.....i might have to go back and read my own writing to remember how it feels to be her instead of wanting to lock her in a closet until she comes to her senses..........

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Moving Day

It's not officially moving day...yet. Tomorrow though the house will be emptied except for our sleeping bags on the floor (well the babies still get their beds at least). Saturday we will unload in our new house......and hopefully the last house for a very long time.

So much has led up to this day I can't believe it's all finally happening.

Right now my house is full of boxes and is a big cluttered mess as everything is being prepped to be moved out, something that should make me insanely stressed. But somehow....i'm not.

It seems like the closer we get to this move, the more chaotic the house gets, the more calm i seem to be getting. I'm trying to understand it that's why i'm writing about it. I normally tend to be quite short tempered (a problem i am continually working on) especially with the kids, with this many pulling me in every direction i feel like i never fully give complete attention to any one at a time and that drives me bonkers! But somehow today it's like i remembered how to let go again. Letting go is something that Adam told me i should work on when we decided to say yes to Darla, it was his only concern about taking her on. And i agreed, and in the beginning letting go was easy because there was just no possible way to do it all so i didn't really try. But over the two months (or close to it) that have passed insanely fast the old me has crept back in, the one who still thinks i should be able to do it all ....i.e. clean house, clean kids, happy kids, perfect family .....uhm yeah a little bit unreasonable given ....well....LIFE! So every once in a while i have to get humbled, it's like that pride cycle they're always teaching us about from the scriptures. When the people (or mom) is humbled by the stress and chaos they (she) remembers to rely on the Lord, then He in turn sends blessings for their (her) diligent prayers, things start going so well that they (she) forget to pray because they (she) don't need it as much as before, and then wouldn't you know it, things start to fall apart again, so much that they (she) are humbled due to how crappy things end up going with out relying on Him. As you can see i am in the humbled part of this cycle....I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad LOL. But at the moment I never forget my prayers, it's the only thing giving me hope that the next day can be better.....and so far it has been.

Today I have spoken only kind words to my children (and honestly i wish i could say that of everyday of their lives.....but sadly i can't) I have tried my hardest to understand Maggie's strange issues with sitting in the bathtub (this really deserves an indepth blog post...maybe later) and didn't get upset at her about it all thru the crazy time known as "bathtime." I had two babies crying at once today and it honestly did not even phase me.....maybe i'm just getting used to the fact that they often both need me at the same time, or maybe i'm just too sleep deprived to care (LOL) either way, it's a blessing not to be stressing about it. I dealt with one, when taken care of and happy, i dealt with the other, within a half hour i had two sleeping babies instead of two crying babies. I can appreciate the crazy chaos around here because it means that in a matter of days we'll be starting a new chapter in the book of life, the one where we have enough room to breathe in a house with plenty of room for us all. I am grateful for the chaos, it means moving day has finally arrived.

Ode to a House

Dear house,
Your doors were protecting,
your floors were firm
your walls were enclosing
our time here short term.

Your size was comfortable
then your size became tight.
your size was unbearable
the time now is right....

For us to move on
to house that's our size.
From one that's a pawn
to one more King size

It isn't without remorse
our departure from you
More than a house you've been of course
A HOME is what we've called you.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Full of Thankful giving

I was dreading thanksgiving....just a little bit. We're living out of suitcases and boxes so of course i wasn't going to cook here at home (luckily i never really have to do the holiday meals here) but we didn't exactly have fancy clothes to wear and with this many kids every day is a chance for pure bliss or unbridled chaos.....sometimes a little of both. The Thanksgiving festivities began on Wednesday where we had a pre-Turkey day dinner with my dad and step mom and my sister. It was really nice. My dad hooked up a slide show of old family pictures on his TV and my kids got the hugest kick out of seeing old pictures of us and them too. Katie thinks every picture of her is just precious hehe. They got to love on their Auntie Beef and be read story after story by the adoring grandparents (Grand Dad and Nana are their official titles :)

Katie had a bit of a meltdown at dinner which i thought might ruin things but she went to the corner and screamed for a bit but when i sat her down one on one and talked to her....she dealt with her problem and moved on.....wow! And Catcher had gotten a bit cranky at one point which can also spoil an evening. But thanks to some serious routine i was able to get him to take a short "naplet" which charged him up enough to make it thru the rest of the evening. Auntie Beef raced us in the mini van (they kids think this is the most hillarious thing ever) and we almost let her win.....then we pulled ahead to steal the prize! the kids laughed almost the whole way home. I love to hear them laugh....

Then Thanksgiving day......another day that could turn out any number of ways with this many little ones. surely i couldn't have two good days in a row.....or could i? Auntie Beef took the big kids to see Tangled, i was a little concerned how Katie might do because her behavior in the movies can be a bit frustrating at times. However the post-movie report is that all three did fantastic including the Katie kat! (a little pop corn goes a long way :) So while they were all at the movies i had just two babies at home, you'd think that was a break, but of course it wasn't. I kept trying to get myself ready and every moment i turned around one of the babies needed or wanted something. But Catcher sat in his high chair in front of a baby einstein DVD and was thuroughly entertained thru the whole thing! (shower time for mommy yay!) He even got in TWO naps before we headed over to Grandma and Boppy's (Adam's parents) house. Those two naps were all it took from 2pm till we left after 6:30 to keep him happy the WHOLE time!! The older kids played with their cousins, and Darla took a nap on my in-laws bed almost the whole entire time we were there! It was the easiest time i've had with all five of them in ......well ever i think! Not to mention the food was DIVINE!!! Adam and I had talked about doing thanksgiving at our own house next year but i'm not sure i want to miss out on my mother in law's cooking!!

And yet our thanksgiving celebrating isn't over yet!!! Last night my friend Christine and I braved the mall at midnight, with nearly ever other resident of Modesto also in attendance, or at least that's how it felt! I bought what i went for and did get it cheaper than it was when i looked at it earlier in the week. We laughed at the crazy people waiting in lines hours long just to get into a store (wow!) and headed home. Darla woke up right as i was getting home and i fed her and she promptly went right back to sleep (yes!) so i went to bed at around 2am which was really not bad at all......now today we get to have another Turkey day meal with my mom and her family. Looking forward to another fun day of food but wondering if this luck will really hold...can we really have a third day in a row of goodness? Here's hoping so!

Thank you for my Husband,
He's the most amazing spouse,
He loves our FIVE children
And bought me a NEW HOUSE!

Thank you for Elaine
and of course for Maggie May
Thank you for Katie
and Catcher on this thanksgiving day

Thank you for a tiny blessing
straight from You above
Thank you for little Darla
who's taught us more about love

Thank You for each breath I take
and for my eye sight too
Thank You for the ability
I have to say this to you.

So much to be thankful for
The list has never an end
The one thing i know for sure
Each came from you....my Heavenly Friend.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Just you wait.....

Darla is not even two months but I still get people telling me "Just you wait until she's older...what if she looks just like Maggie??"

Catcher is 8 months old and we're always getting told "Just wait till he's older and he can play sports!!"

Elaine is 6....going on 21, and we're always hearing "Just wait till she's older....she's an amazing dancer, I bet she'll be a wonderful ballerina."

Katie is 2 she is so full of attitude and smarts and everyone says "just you wait...she's going to do so well in school!"

then there's Maggie. She is smart, and beautiful and head strong and articulate and athletic and the worst "Just You Wait..." is "Just you wait till she's a teenager!" and for all you "Just you wait"ers out there...I will wait thank you very much because otherwise what is the point of right now? So here's my right now....right now....again.

Right now, Catcher is rolling on the floor babbling

Right now, Katie is snuggled up with Daddy watching cartoons

Right now, Elaine is in school....doing great in every subject.

Right now, Darla is sleeping, one of her twenty naps a day, i love that!

Right now, Maggie is throwing a fit in her room....and i'm not yelling about it....this is a major moment because right now, i'm learning to let it go.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Don't mind us we're just the baby snatchers....

We spent some time at the mall this evening letting the kids run around after eating dinner at Johnny Carino's. A cute little asian girl was playing with Maggie and Elaine and I heard Elaine mention (as she ALWAYS does) that Maggie was her sister. Look at this picture and you will see why this little girl was a bit confused.....



I look at it and see two of my beautiful daughters, the asian girl was confused and said "she can't be your sister." Elaine politely said "but she is!" so then Katie came up and Elaine pointed out "this is my other sister too!"....."But she's not brown?!" said the girl....."Oh yeah and she's my sister too" as Elaine pointed to Darla whom i was holding. Now this poor girl was very confused....she looked at me and said "is that true? are they all sisters..." I shoke my head yes "but they're not all the same color?" I took this learning opportunity and asked the little girl "Have you ever heard of adoption." she said yes but the confusion on her face meant she really didn't understand it.

I explained: "Adoption is where we take little children who need a home and make them a part of our family forever."

She looked very scared and said "So you find lost children and take them????"

I freaked....I thought i was helping this little girl understand adoption and apparently i made her think i steal children LOL "Go ask your mommy what adoption is" was all i could think to say, i didn't want to keep talking to her and make her worry i was gonna steal her lol....i don't have an asian one yet.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Shopping....and other deadly activities.

I have decided that I need to stop going anywhere by myself with all five kids....especially SHOPPING!!!! ARGG! I just wanted to pick up a few things, Elaine has outgrown almost all her pants, so we needed pants for her, Maggie had to hand down a ton of PJ's to Katie and was feeling bummed so i said i'd buy her a new pair of PJ's (add to the list) and Catcher I am fast discovering with the recent cold weather....has very few warm clothes and long pants (so add pants for him to the list too) and Darla needs more pajama sleepers in her tiny little size....the only one who didn't need a piece of clothing was Katie.

Adam went back to work today for a few hours and the kids were going nuts cooped up in the house, especially since we've been doing so much packing that there are very few toys out to play with. I thought i'd just take them all out shopping with me....how bad could it be? ..........big mistake.

All three girls sit in the back of the minivan together, Katie in a car seat next to one side, Maggie in a booster seat next to the other window and Elaine in the middle. Poor Elaine is so squished in between the two that everytime she moves one of them complains she's invading their space which if they really looked at it from any other perspective they'd see they have way more space than she does.....so there was constant fighting over that. Then when we got to the store i thought we'd try (i put the babies in the double stroller) we discovered that the stroller really didn't fit in their aisles at all and Katie wanted to run all over the store because the aisles were too thin for her to stay holding on to the stroller (which usually works quite well). Then there was the little mommy (elaine) constantly telling Maggie and Katie what to do because they weren't behaving exactly as mommy had asked and she felt the need to remind them in a very rude tone over and over which made them mad so they were rude back.....a never ending viscious cycle. Catcher sits in the back of the stroller and he was hanging out as far as possible to reach anything within range. many clothes pulled down and off of hangers (luckily Elaine took care of that by going along behind him and picking up whatever he pulled down) Darla, who was in the front of the stroller buckled into her carseat, suddenly became very unconsollable. I thought i was doing so well by having everyone fed and older kids go to the bathroom before we left....but i didn't change diapers. I picked up Darla and she was happy while being held but did not need a diaper....apparently just wanted to be held. So i'm walking along holding tiny little darla, pushing a giant double stroller with Cathcher hanging over the edge grabbing things as we walk, Elaine following behind picking up what Catcher drops, and Maggie and Katie chasing and hitting each other. I must have looked like a crazy woman for taking my kids out! I didn't even find what i was looking for. I have decided that Internet shopping is my new best friend.....I don't think i'll ever leave the house again LOL Things like this happen all the time when i take all five out by myself and yet i still think it will get better...someday maybe it will.

To make it better i think i finally got my Christmas shopping done, did most of it online, even had some shipped straight the recipients for free! Woo Hoo! Here's hoping it doesn't get lost in the move :)

Monday, November 08, 2010

Daddy got his arm cut off....and other mis statements

Today Adam had his first shoulder surgery, once he recovers he'll be having the other one done. Though after going thru this I'm not sure he'll be looking forward to the second one as much as he was looking forward to this first one. Adam has never had surgery of any kind and has very rarely ever even been poked by a needle so he was just looking forward to having this surgery and his shoulder feeling better. I think he forgot about the fun little step in between.....recovering from surgery. I tried to explain to him what surgery feels like, how you really do blink and suddenly it's over and you're disoriented and you hurt and you feel like you've been run over by a train.....but until you actually experience it you just can't understand it. Now he does.

We went to the hospital at 9am his surgery was at 11:55 (dang long wait!) and he was in surgery for an hour and a half, exactly what the doctor said it would be. Thankfully there was no tendon damage from the calcified bone pieces floating around in the joint. We got to see pictures of the bone spur being shaved down and everything (ouch!) so he was in recovery at 1:30pm....they told us he'd be in there from an hour to at the longest 2 hours. So after an hour the nurse comes out and tells me he's having trouble waking up, seems really tired so he'll probably take the full two hours. At two hours she comes out again to tell me he still isn't very awake. She said she'd look at him and he'd say "yeah i'm awake," then she'd turn around and when she turned back he was snoring again. Story of his life! Adam is the worst for slow wake ups in the morning. Never really has been a morning person, though he thrives working nights. So I waited and waited and waited some more. Finally at 5pm i call back to recovery and inquire because i hadn't heard anything for a while. They said he'd been nauseous and they were trying to get that under control. But they figured he could go home. so finally I get him home at 6pm......what a day. Because in the meantime of all the surgery drama is the kid drama.

Elaine and Maggie still had school today so I arranged to have them picked up by Grand Dad (my dad) who would take care of them for the day. So that leaves me with the 2 year old and both babies. I was NOT going to have Katie at the hospital with me because even if the surgery and recovery had been short....it would have been way too long for her. (let's face it she's 2 and she's good at it!) So luckily my wonderful friend Christine (who also happens to only live right down the street) was able to watch her for me. I packed her a bag with treats and toys and some movies but in all reality i had NO idea how long the day would be....so i sent her off with Christine and apparently they had a great time! So that left me with two little babies. I didn't even try to find a sitter. Having two sitters was enough, trying to parcel out the babies would have been too much work because for one thing i wouldn't dare pawn them both off to the same person, it's hard enough for me taking care of them both all day i wouldn't ask someone else too. And Darla is still a foster child until the adoption is complete so she has to be cared for by licensed foster providers.....i don't know too many of those. So i just took both babies and loaded up the double stroller with everything i could think of for them. I thought it was overkill that i brought 6 bottles with us but...just in case. And thank goodness i did! We came home with only one unused bottle! Dang those babies can eat! Another wonderful blessing is that my mom was able to drop everything and come help me at the hospital with the babies. It's one thing having them both at home, but trying to have both of them happy and cared for while out and about is quite hard. I don't like when other people have to listen to my crying babies, and i don't have all the comforts of home for them, like their own beds to sleep in and the swing to rock in and a whole room for Catcher to roll and play in. But let me tell you with my mom's help those babies had quite an amazing day! Really hardly even any crying. They were just wonderful.

At the end of the day i felt so bad for the poor Husband Man, he was hit much harder by the whole surgery ordeal than he thought he would be. He was really looking tired and worn out when we got home. So after all the kids were in bed (each and every one asleep by 7:30pm!!!!!!!!) I only have one poor baby left awake.....the husband man. :(

Oh and the title of this blog is because when i was trying to explain to the kids why they can't climb on daddy and why it hurts i needed them to know that it was more than a scratch or a boo boo, so i told them the dr had to cut open daddy's shoulder to fix the inside of it. Elaine said "Did they sew it back on yet?" I said that they had sewed it back up and when katie started to climb on daddy's leg like she was going to climb on daddy, elaine shouted "NO DON'T! You might hurt daddy where his arm got cut off!" I then had to sit down and explain a little more that it was never cut off, i didn't want her going to her teacher tomorrow and saying her daddy got his arm cut off LOL....i can just imagine the note home haha. But seriously, his arm is still attached, and at the moment pain is under control...we'll see how it goes from here.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

It's not as bad as you think....

You know people keep saying how hard it must be to have two babies so close in age....like twins, but not. Actually it's amazing what it can do for my ability to handle situations. Catcher is at a GREAT age, he is 8 months old and can feed himself a bottle and likes to play by himself and is mobile on the floor and sleeps 12 hours at night. Just a wonderful little guy right now. But it is still very fresh in my mind the awful early stages of colic-like behavior and sleeping and feeding difficulties and what not. So while I'm listening to Darla scream for 2 hours straight (of course not knowing why but doing everything humanly possibly to pacify her) I am actually finding it quite easy to deal with. Which is very strange for me. Because she is awake at 12am and screaming, but Catcher who did this exact same thing at about this exact same age, is now sleeping soundly in his bed...it makes it easy to know that this is just a phase and it will pass...and life will go on, maybe not for a few months...but it will. That somehow makes it all not as bad as you might think. Having kids close together is kinda nice, i get to have the tiny baby loves and the bigger baby fun stuff.....when i look at my 8 month old boy and wonder where the time went when he used to be so tiny, i can cuddle the one who is still tiny. And when I get bored with a tiny baby who usually just eats and sleeps and poops with not even a smile in between, I can go to my 8 month old who smiles and squeals with delight when i enter a room and his whole body gets excited all the way down to his toes and i know i am loved for all the months of work so far and years to come. So much to look forward to with Darla, but makes me appreciate even the annoying screaming fits at 12 am because i know they won't last forever just like her tininess won't either. Loving it all.....right now.

Friday, November 05, 2010

What is NORMAL anyway?

My normal is KNOWING my house is going to be a mess everyday.
but THINKING I might get it clean today....

My normal is ALWAYS having a child in trouble for something.
but NEVER missing the "i forgive you hug" afterwards...

My normal is WISHING for two minutes by myself in the day.
but HOPING for one of the kids to ask to cuddle with me....

My normal is WANTING my kids to have everything they ever want.
but GIVING them everything they need...

My normal is HAVING the most amazing life I could have possibly imagined.
but TAKING every day as a precious gift....

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As you can see i've been dwelling on what "normal" really means. It's a word i've begun to dread. People use it as a way to describe how "everyone" should be. Like saying everyone should wear the same size jeans.....uhm no. So sometimes it gets exchanged with the word "average" which instead implies none of us are striving for higher....we're just a "C" grade in a math class......uhm no there also. So i figured to me normal means the things you are used to in your life, that feel like 'normal' things to YOU. I wanted to sit down and write what my normal was, because just as a Testimony grows each time you share it, so to does your appreciate for the 'normal' and mundane in your own life. At least i think so. So normal to me may be chaos to someone else, but it's my chaos and i LOVE it. I have an AMAZING husband who supports the normality of chaos in our household and treats me like i'm handling it so wonderfully when i know i'm really not. I just wanted to take a minute to appreciate the normal in my life.....what's the normal in yours?

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

To Love

To Love

To Love is to hold a child for the first time
to love is to hold a hand for the last time

to love is to laugh out loud at nothing
to love is to sit in a thunderous silence

to love is to carry you anywhere you need to go
to love is to wait for your eventual return

to love is to have a thousand words to say
to love is to say it all with a kiss

to love is to be so full of emotion it leaks out in tears
to love is to have cried so much you can't cry any more....and then you do.

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I guess i'm feeling poetic tonight. I haven't written a poem in so many years i apologize to anyone who reads this and goes......uhm yeah.

I'm thinking about what it means to love a child, I'm struggling to understand other people. To me each one of my children is a precious gift from God, each having arrived in such a unique way, with a story to tell from the moment i learned of their existence.

Darla has been with us for almost a month now and I told myself that this time adoption would be different. That i wouldn't hold back anything from the moment she arrived. With Maggie, Adam and I were in such unfamiliar territory (pertaining to foster adoption) that we didn't know how to feel right away. It's scary to love someone who could be ripped away at a moments notice if the family decided they wanted her back. So we cared for her and loved her as best we could without loving her fully and completely right away. Well for me that only lasted a few weeks before i had to let go and just love her cause she was so dang cute and tiny, but still a part of me wanted to keep her at arm's distance to protect myself from the hurt that could happen if she were given back to her birth family. You see part of me also hurt for the family, not necessarily the birth parents who were living in their own mistakes and couldn't see their way out of them even for a helpless child, but for the extended family who at any moment could decide they wanted this tiny baby. Obviously you know the outcome is that no one ever stepped forward, Maggie was adopted by us in a process that took almost two years (long story) and in the end i hated myself for not just loving her 100% from day one. But that was then.....this is now. Now Darla is in our family, Darla is my 5th child, my precious tiny wonder. She has such bright eyes and a sweet spirit. I loved her the moment i held her.....for that matter i loved her the moment we decided to say "yes." I have told myself that no matter what happens....it is never wrong to love a child. Even if that means loving them in someone else's arms.

A social worker called yesterday to set up a visit for Darla with her grandmother....which makes this person also Maggie's grandmother (by birth.) I find myself wondering why she never visited Maggie when she was born.....but at the same time feeling glad that it shows a sign that someone in the family cares. I'm torn in so many different directions. If I were that grandmother I would want to see her, but then i also would have wanted to see Maggie too, and all of the other 6 children besides these two (yes can you believe that?) I find myself stressing internally, wondering if this means she wants to petition for custody. I suppose it's a possibility. And if i allow myself to consider the chance that she could get custody of her I would have to say that it still wasn't wrong to love her this much from the first moment, it has fostered a strong and healthy child who will grow and blossom from such a wonderful start. But a piece of my heart breaks at the thought of my child being gone.....I can't imagine, and I'm going to stop imagining because it's hard to type when you're crying.

Now to clarify, I have discussed with the social worker the whole scenario....what if this grandmother wants to petition for custody? She says that ultimately it is up to the social workers to decide what the best permanent placement for the child is and that they would side (most likely) with US, because we would adopt her and we are young and she has a full sibling here. But there's a part of my brain that wants to play this out in every way possibly, which often ends in a worst case scenario.

The visit is tomorrow and although i find myself in emotional unrest over the possible implications, I also want to do everything I can to help the family know that I am not the enemy because we have their children in our family. That we are a loving family who wants only the best for these children (and all of our children.) I'm going to write them a letter, mostly it will tell about how well Darla and Maggie are doing, and how much they're loved. I still have no idea exactly how i'll word it or what I'll say, but i needed this moment to put together all my thoughts and to get some emotion out before i write it. I only hope that I can be strong enough to handle whatever God's plan for Darla is.....she's a part of us now and we can't imagine life without her.....hopefully we'll never have to.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

blue sky thru the clouds

Yesterday was pretty much the most insane i think it's been around here since adding baby number 5.....f....i...v....e....5!! Sometimes it's still weird to say that i need more practice hehe.

At several points during the day there were multiple kids crying for multiple reasons. Both babies were wanting to be held most of the day (which holding both is quite a chore let me tell you!) and Katie was just plain cranky and could have used a nap but of course didn't get one. Maggie was just t r o u b l e all day long, if my back was turned she was getting into some kind of mischeif. I keep telling myself that maybe when she's older that will translate well into a "healthy" curiousity for learning.....wishful thinking maybe but i can hope. I found myself looking at her wishing she were five years older just to get her out of this phase, and looking at Katie wishing she were only a few years older to be past this cranky all afternoon phase she's got going on. And Elaine....well Elaine is always a peacemaker but yesterday she kept getting beat up on by Katie so she had to cry about that ever five minutes. I found myself looking forward to just bedtime at that point. That was a much more reasonable time to look forward to than years down the road. And normally if i can just stretch my patience and calm until bedtime i'll get several hours by myself before the babies wake up to eat and then after they do i can actually sleep.......Usually anyway.

So once it was dinner time i felt like i was homefree.....after dinner we'd do a nice lazy bedtime routine and scoot them off to bed. But of course it couldn't go that easy could it? I put dinner on the table (so thankful for the crockpot who did all the work) and Katie took one look at it and decided she didn't like it. Without even a bite. I told her she had to at least taste it (sometimes that actually leads to eating it all) two bites was my only requirement then if she wanted to be hungry that is her choice and no candy afterwards if she didn't eat. Usually that is enough to scare any of the kids into eating at least two bites. But not my stubborn Katie Kat. I told her it was two bites or bed.....those were the only options. (it was 6pm anyway so only an hour before bedtime anyway) so she promptly got down from the table and went to put on pj's to go to bed. Was she really deciding to go to bed over 2 measly bites? Well i'd made the threat so i had to go thru with it. Maggie has pushed this argument several times and has learned to at least take two bites for fear of the early bed time. But Katie apparently needed an object lesson. So i offered her several times the option of going back to take those two bites instead of putting on pj's.....nope. 2 bites instead of brushing teeth......nope. Well brushing teeth was the point of no return.....time for bed. She screamed in bed all the way thru the rest of us eating dinner.......she screamed in bed all the way thru singing and story time......and thru the older girls brushing teeth and didn't stop until finally everyone was in bed. I figured she must be tired so at least she'll sleep well. ......and then finally after the babies went down i had a moment of freedom. But it was only a moment......

I think that some mean spirits who are hanging around for halloween possessed my children last night. Because bedtime was only the beginning. EVERY child was up several times last night ......both older girls came in at seperate times complaining of bad dreams. Katie woke up at 2am and was so sure it was morning she went to the table and demanded breakfast. Then after being put back to bed (after a stop at the potty) she screamed for ten minutes about needing to flush the potty (apparently a step she missed) Her screaming woke up Catcher who was inconsolable for hours after that. Darla woke up 3 times to eat last night when normally she wakes up once. It was just the night that wouldn't end. I felt like it was a continuation of the day that wouldn't end yesterday. So now you're probably as tired from reading all of this as i was from living it.....just when i thought today was going to be a continuation of yesterday....there was a break in the clouds hanging over the house. An angel showed up at the door. Cassandra Briscoe from our ward at church. I answered the door and all she said was "I'm here to watch your kids.....go to bed." I could have cried. I finished up what i was doing with dishes while she picked up Maggie at Kindergarten and then i really actually went to bed. It was the most relaxing sleep i've had in quite some time. No baby sleeping in my room, no monitor on to listen for Catcher, and i had music on to drown out the noise of children in the living room with Cassandra. And i slept......sheesh i could have slept all day! But just a nap was the most amazing battery recharge i could have had. So even though this blog sounds like me whining and complaing about the craziness in our lives.....it's also about the blessed angels who come in to lift us up even if only for a 2 hour nap.

After my nap i have a whole new perspective on my kids right now, no more looking at tomorrow, or next year or five years. Just about right now.

Right Now
Katie is singing to Catcher

Right Now
Catcher is smiling and giggling.

Right Now
Maggie (who is supposed to be in the corner) is pretending to be a chicken and cluck, while still keeping her nose in the corner (it is quite hillarious)

Right Now
Elaine is clapping for Katie's song and helping her make up a dance for it.

Right Now
Darla is cuddled up in bed watching her favorite thing.....the ceiling fan spinning.

Right Now
My children are entertained enough for me to have the 20 minutes it's taken me to post this.

Right Now
I get to be a mom to FIVE amazing children

Right Now
I get to be married to the most wonderful Husband Man on the planet

Right Now
I get to be loved by the most wonderful Husband Man on the planet

Right Now
I get to wear fuzzy pink slippers

Right Now
All is perfect.

What is going on in your life Right Now??

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Catcher caught a cold

Elaine had a cold a few weeks ago and it was inevitable that the whole family would catch it. Of course all of the children have it first and worst. Adam and I will probably get it in another week but so far have not suffered it's yucky side effects! Catcher seems to have it the worst which is unexpected given Darla's prematurity i thought for sure she would have it worse. Catcher's lungs have always been his weak point and the cold went straight for them. He's been wheezing today and a little more cranky so we decided to give him a breathing treatment which we kind of dreaded because when Katie used to get them she's scream the whole time (at least it opened up her airways!)

Catcher had been crying and generally cranky for hours before we broke out the machine. We figured he couldn't get much crankier than he already was. Somehow though, once we put it on him he calmed right down and sat perfectly still for the whole treatment! He loved it! he kept trying to suck in the mist with his tongue. He was cooing and talking with the mask on it was the cutest thing so we had to get a picture. He is such a little sweetheart....if we'd known this was going to calm him down we would have tried it hours ago LOL


The blessing of Answered Prayers!

It has seemed that from the moment we decided to take a leap of faith and say yes to taking baby Darla into our family....that we have been blessed in so many ways! The same week she was placed with us we found a perfect house and went into escrow that same week also. That was something we had been praying about for quite sometime and we tried to just have faith that the right house would come along...eventually. Each time we thought we'd found a good deal or a good house things would just fall out of synch and not work out. We held strong on the hope and faith in His plan for our family. And when Darla was placed with us we realized that the other houses wouldn't have worked out and we ended up being glad not to have gotten them. And now we were able to focus in on what was really important and find the RIGHT house for our family! From early on in our house hunting I kept praying and hoping that we could find a house that was not for sale by a bank. It just felt like that would be the best thing, that we could buy from a person who cared about us and our story and why their house meant so much and as such would WANT to sell it to us. And that is exactly what we found! The woman we are buying from is so wonderful and kind and we are so excited to be dealing with her....such a blessing!

Here we are only days away from closing escrow already.....DAYS! It's scary how fast it is upon us, and closing costs are coming along with it. We have been trying to sell our motorcycle for a while now without luck. We posted it on craigslist again but this time rediculously cheap in an effort just to give ourselves a cushion after closing costs. I posted the ad several days ago and still no response. Well yesterday I prayed very straight forward, about Adam's concern for the money cushion and that selling the motorcycle would really help that. Out of the blue last night we got a call about the bike and then this morning another call and an email....even though the ad has been on for several days it wasn't responded too until after my prayer. Some people may see a happy coincidence....i see a little more. God's hand has been apparent in our lives so much and we are so grateful for all of the blessings poured out upon us. It is amazing to see our prayers answered!

We were scared at first to take on another child with our youngest still being so young, but it continued to feel like the right thing to do. Not to mention the fact that i had always strangely felt that we should have five kids and had mentioned more than once that maybe later on down the road we should adopt our fifth child (of course i meant more like 5 or more years down the road...but hey who's counting :) I just can't help but express to anyone who will listen that I know there is a God, that I know he answers prayers. That with a little faith exercised miracles can happen! Darla has been a blessing in our lives in so many ways we could never have imagined. I was praying for a peace and calmness to be able to handle five kids and while there is still stress it's like i've gained a whole new strength to handle it that i didn't know could exist. I feel like this has opened communication between our family and heaven in whole new ways. I'm thankful for the stress and burdens in my life that have brought me to a new place of faith.....Thank you, Lord.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Darla...to date.

It has been nearly two weeks since Darla came to live with us. I cannot believe how insanely different life has been since we came home from Utah. The same week Darla was placed with us we put in an offer on a house and went into contract. It's a wonderful house and we're excited....nervous like any one who is buying a home, but also excited.

We haven't started packing yet because the wonderful lady we're buying from wanted a rent back period so that she didn't have to move out until AFTER escrow closes, so we don't even need to start packing until escrow closes either....which should be on November 5th....right before Adam's shoulder surgery. That's a whole different story altogether.

Back to the point....Darla!

Her little personality is so sweet already, she has started smiling but only seems to smile at me, which is so special. I cannot believe this little one can smile already...she'll be a month old this week and that is WAY earlier than any of my other babies started smiling. She loves to be cuddled and it instantly calms her everytime just to hold her. But she is not at all like Maggie was as a baby, which was a concern for us. Maggie as a drug baby was VERY clingy and screamed constantly if not held all the time. As a consequence i simply started wearing her in a sling all day and night until she got over that....after about three months. It was a long three months but well worth it because she has grown into a wonderfully intelligent and independant little girl. Darla, though, loves to stretch out and just sleeps wherever however, she is not picky at all. She seems to just enjoy taking everything in, in a lot of ways she is very similar to Catcher and she acts just like he did a few months ago.

Last week Elaine had a cough all week and no matter how hard we tried to isolate the babies from it there was no way around it....both babies are now sick. It appears to be RSV but we are watching it very closely and while Catcher is hacking quite hard and his appetite is decreased it doesn't seem to be hurting him too much. Darla on the other hand with her being so small...we are watching her very close to make sure it doesn't require medical attention. Catcher went thru RSV at a very early age and ended up in the hospital for two weeks....i REALLY don't want Darla to have to go thru that. She is still eating and sleeping pretty well so i'm not too worried...yet.

Last night both babies woke up a few more times than normal and i swear it's like they have a pact to wake up one right after the other. Inevitably when one wakes up and i take care of them and feed them and change them and put them back to sleep...just when i'm laying down to go back to sleep, the other one wakes up. It is getting a little tiresome but i know they'll get past this eventually....won't be this hard forever :)

Darla now weighs just under 7 pounds....she is growing fast already! She is very strong for such a tiny baby and can hold her head up already and grabs things to put in her mouth! She is practically ready for toys already!! Crazy!

Hopefully I'll get some pictures of the house to post on here soon....can't believe we are moving but hopefully this will be a house we will stay in for a VERY long time!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The call

While in the middle of Nevada on our drive to Utah we recieved possibly the most unexpected call of our lives. Here is basically how the conversation went:

me: "hello."
FFC: "Hi this is Kim from 'Families for Children' is this Vera?"

***instant red flags here, families for children is the agency we used when we adopted Maggie....this is a social worker calling....why is a social worker calling?

me:
"......uh yes it is......"
FFC:
"Well I'm calling to inform you that a full sibling of your adopted daughter Maggie has been born and we were wondering if you were interested in adopting her...."

Me:
....
....
....

FFC: "i know this is a bit surprsing...."

Me:
....
...
....
.......uhm yeah.


FFC:
"Well she is a full sibling of your daughter and that is why we called you first, but she's going to be released from the hospital today or tomorrow so we really need an answer sometime today because if you don't want her then we need time to find another family.....so are you interested in adopting her?"

Me.
.....uhm......can I .....uhm....call you back?

FFC:
"Oh sure yes of course...but we do need to know by 5 oclock today."

Me:
ok well i just you know wanted a few minutes to process this before i give you an answer.....

then at the most inopportune time we loose connection because we're driving thru a dead zone.

I set down the phone and literally was speechless.I looked at my husband who was driving and he looked at me thru the rear view mirror and said "who was on the phone?"

Bearing in mind i was in the back of the car while he was driving in the front....i now had to tell him what i had just heard across the car thru all the children's little ears.

"Give me a minute to uh figure this out before i tell you...."

I was so beyond dumb founded as to how to tell him what this phone call was.

"it was a social worker.....she told me a sibling of a certain child (pointing to Maggie) was born and needs a home and uhm.....do we want her?" I hoped the kids were entertained by the movie enough not to have been paying close enough attention to what i was saying.

Adam shot me a glance thru the rear view mirror that probably looked as confused and bewildered as my own did.

"I'll give you a moment to process that news while i make a few more phone calls...." I told him.

Every time the signal returned on my cell phone i made another call....to this social worker or that one to family and friends to everyone i could think of to simply hear some other opinions and information. I will admit my first thought was just to say yes without even wondering how it would work. But then after thinking about it a few more minutes i began to look at my already large family and wonder where on earth would we put ANOTHER baby.....not to mention we already HAVE a baby! Catcher is barely 7 months old!!!

We did our best to talk from the front of the car to the back but there was no keeping from the kids the conversation we were having.

Eventually i decided to ask the kids their opinions. Maggie first. I told her the situation as i knew it and asked if it would make her happy. She of course said yes with a giant smile...i asked her if it was just the idea of another baby or was it because it would be brown like her? She liked the idea of another brown family member like her....so did i.

Then i turned to Katie who is only 2 and I wasn't sure how well she would understand when i explained to her that if we took this baby it would mean mommy might have even less time for her. She replied "it's ok mommy i can take care of Catcher while you take care of the new baby."

Then i turned to Elaine and before i got a word out she grinned and said "YES! just say yes!" Well it appeared the kids were all for it we just had to decide if we could do it or if we wanted to do this. It made the drive to the next stop feel like forever!

It wasn't dinner time but we found another McD's with a playland to stop at to let the kids run around and give us a chance to talk without them in between. It was 4 already so by the end of this stop it would be time to call and give an official answer. For some reason stopping and getting the kids out made it all feel like a reality...how would this be if there were another little baby? Another girl? I got scared a little bit. I mean I have been stressed nearly beyond belief with the current load of four kids.....could I even handle a fifth? What is the point in saying yes if it causes so much stress on the family it breaks us apart?

While the kids ran around in the play land I prayed...we prayed, we talked we contemplated. But everytime we contemplated saying NO it felt very wrong and like we would regret it for the rest of our lives. Every time we contemplated saying yes it felt so right...so scary...but so right. So we piled back in the car and at 4:55pm I called back and said "yes we're interested in adopting the baby....what's her name anyway?" Her name was Darlene but we had the whole rest of the car ride to come up with our new name for her.....In the end we decided on Darla Deanne. or DD for short. it was an instant hit with the kids. And when we arrived in utah that night we were able to announce that we had said Yes to adopting a fifth child......were we crazy or what?!!

Day two...just another day of driving ....or so we thought.....

Day two of the trip to Utah was supposed to just be another day of driving....a very long day of driving, but just driving....apparently God had other plans.

The drive started out frustrating, Katie was having a really tough time with the idea of being in the car at all again after the three hour drive to Reno the day before, anymore time in the car did not sound good to her. She was seated behind me, as i was in the front passenger seat. It seemed there was no pleasing her. First we put on music for a while but inevitably it wasn't he song or cd she wanted....so we decided to put on a movie. But then once the movie was on she decided that NOW she did want the music NOT a movie....oh well too bad. So then she would be upset because it wasn't the movie she wanted. Then she'd kick my seat so hard from her tantrum that she lost a shoe and so when she voiced (or screamed)her concern over her missing shoe i told her i would just take off the other one....NOOOOO! Ok well i would put back on the first one...NOOOO! It seems i couldn't get it right with her, although at least i can say i really kept my cool, her behavior was so frustrating that we decided after an early lunch stop I would sit in the back with her and Maggie would sit in the seat Katie had been in, and all the 'stuff' that was inbetween the two back seats would then reside in the front seat with Adam.

We stopped for our lunch at a McDonald's with a playland...this is a must for anyone on a road trip with children...gives them a chance to run around. And since the weather had been raining and storming the whole drive we were also thankful that this playland was indoors. We got all the kids inside and to the potty while Adam ordered lunch. i sat them at a table and walked up to let him know what i wanted. When i turned around and got back to the table Maggie was chewing on something. We hadn't gotten the food yet so i couldn't possibly figure out what could be in her mouth. "Open up" i said.....

She opened her mouth and revealed a large WAD of BLUE chewing gum. Now first off i would like to state that i almost NEVER allow chewing gum....always ends up on the floor or in clothes or hair and it really serves no point in my mind so i instantly wonder WHERE the gum came from. And as quickly as i ponder that question i know the answer. She picked it from under the table and stuck it in her mouth where she chomped on the ABC gum (already been chewed). Holding back my gag reflex i quickly made her spit it out into the trash and rushed her to the bathroom.

Now had we been at home i might have made her wash her mouth out with soap (soap i knew wouldn't hurt her) but since i didn't know what kind of soap they had here i didn't want to risk further damage simply because i was so grossed out by the whole thing. But i did thuroughly rinse her mouth with water. It may as well have been soap for how mad it made her. She kicked and screamed which obviously meant she wasn't having trouble breathing but she has never liked water much in any way on her face and this really angered her. I got a few stares from a lady who came out of a toilet stall while this was in progress. So i made sure to remind Maggie out loud what this was for. "Maybe next time you won't stick gum from a table in your mouth will you?" after a very upset head shake in response we left to rejoin lunch at the play land.

More than angry i was just grossed out at the whole thing. but we quickly moved on from the incident while we ate lunch and let the kids play. I went to the car to feed the baby and then changed the stuff in the car around for the new seating arrangement.

Getting myself wedged in the back was interesting but it certainly paid off on the Katie front....she loved having me next to her and spent the rest of this leg of the journey enjoying my company and being a much happier traveller.

We were only about an hour away from McDonald's when i got a message on my phone. We were well into Nevada now and had very little cell reception. So it was no wonder that the call had gone straight to voicemail. I listened to the voicemail and sure enough it was my sister in law in Utah wondering what our ETA was....someone beeped in while i was listening to the voicemail. Assuming the beep was her again i answered without checking the caller ID.....it wasn't her. It was a call that would change life as we knew it forever.....

Circus Circus

I've been wondering when I would have time to post this and i'm not really sure i'll have time now but I know everyone wants to know how this all happened so I'll try to post in short bursts so you don't have to read it all at once.....it's going to be a mini-series rather than a super long post.
A few weeks ago we took a trip that started out one way and ended far differently than we could have possibly imagined.

The trip was to take all the kids to Utah to visit some family and friends for a weeks vacation. We left Sunday morning and drove to Reno where we spent the day and night at Circus Circus, so that our drive the next day would only have to be 8 or 9 hours instead of the usual 12 or more it takes to get to Utah from here.
Circus Circus was great, there really was something for everyone. Elaine loved the buffet...so much food to choose from! Maggie couldn't get enough of the circus acts she could have sat and watched those all day long! And Katie was in LOVE with the midway games. We had coupons for 2 games for the price of 1 so we were really able to play pretty much every midway game with the kids. One of the first games we played Elaine won a stuffed rose which all the kids loved and later Adam and I played that game a few more times to win Roses for all the girls, we ended up with one extra which the kids decided it meant it was mine. Then we played a game where all the players were racing against each other to get as many balls in as possible to win a prize. Katie (with Adam's help of course) won this game. When she got her prize it was a small stuffed dog. She hugged it and squealed with joy as if it were the one thing she'd always wanted in life. She didn't let go of that dog for the whole entire trip. The smile on her face was something i don't think i'll ever forget. The sheer joy of a 2 year old.
We were able to get an amazing deal on a suite for the whole family rather than having to rent two hotel rooms. The suite was very high up in the sky tower and the kids loved seeing the "circus tent" out our window. The bed in the room was king size and all the kids fit in it with room to spare. Adam and I slept on the pull out bed in the living room area and Catcher slept in a crib out there too. We tried to have all three girls in the bed in the room together because they fit fine. But they just wouldn't go to sleep too much giggling so as it turned out Katie got the king size bed to herself and both bigger girls slept in sleeping bags on the floor in that room. It wasn't the best situation but it worked.
The pull out bed that Adam and I slept on should be used as a torture rack. Worst bed EVER. The bar in the middle you could feel thru the mattress....if you could even call it a mattress. Would have prob been better to have slept on the floor! Needless to say we really didn't get much sleep from all the tossing and turning. Adam also had thrown his back out only the day before and this crazy awful bed really didn't help his condition much.



We got up in the morning and had breakfast and headed off for Utah.....no idea what the day actually had in store for us.....



To be continued but here are some pictures for you in relation to the circus circus fun.....















Monday, September 27, 2010

There have been several times in the past month I have almost posted a blog about something. But didn't. There was the house we almost bought which had views that were just killer. But I didn't want to blog about it until we got it and although we went back and forth with the owner, we just couldn't come to an agreement on the work that NEEDED to be done. Even when we were willing to pay for it we just needed it to be done during escrow and they wouldn't allow it. It was hard to walk away from that deal. Great location, ok house....GREAT land and views. Just a little sad every time I see that it is still for sale, because I keep thinking...what if...



I can't specifically remember everything else I thought of blogging about, but obviously it wasn't that important.



We're planning a trip to Utah in a week, it's something to be excited about so I thought I'd blog about it. We're planning on spreading the drive over two days and staying over night in Reno at Circus Circus, it's not half way, but it will still break up the drive for the kids and they will have so much fun at Circus Circus. I have many fun memories of Circus Circus in Las Vegas and while this one doesn't have the roller coasters or anything, the circus and midway are still great fun! Plus since we're staying over night there on a sunday we got a kick butt deal! We're staying in a suite, with a living room and seperate bedroom and kitchenette, and it's only 70 bucks after tax! Sunday is apparently their slowest night so they after HALF price rooms that night! awesome!



Then we'll be spending the week visiting family and friends we haven't seen in years! My brother and his wife have a baby we've never seen in anything but pictures and I've had 2 kids since they last saw our family....so we're excited for the catching up.



When we were planning this trip, because it is Adam's vacation that week, I felt a little guilty about pulling the kids out of school for a week. But the school was very happy that we notified them early and they said "go have fun and turn in the work when you get back." They've made me feel so much better about that. Plus since we're visiting while at least one of my brother's kids is in school, we'll have time during the day for my kids to do their school work too. When Adam was looking at the calendar for that week he realized BYU has a home game at the end of the time that we'll be there. In passing he mentioned it would be great to go. He's been following the cougar's football for years and almost never misses a game on TV, so we couldn't just pass up this opportunity. It would be expensive for the whole family to go to the game and since the kids won't really care about what's happening it made sense to just send him and the kids and I will stay at a hotel there in Provo where he can walk to and from the game. We're mostly going to be visiting my friends and my family, but in Provo at BYU Adam has two cousins attending college there that we will visit as well as him getting to go to the game, it makes it a trip that is fun for everyone. So often Adam will do things just for me or just for the kids and rarely takes an opportunity to do something just for him, I'm so glad he's going to get to do something he wants on this trip too :)



Speaking of my sweet husband....

Adam has been suffering from near crippling shoulder pain for quite some time now. He hides his pain well but is in constant pain and finally got around to seeing a dr about it about a month ago. We have Kaiser so we had to go thru several channels of trying things to help before we got to someone who can really help. The x-rays and scans on his shoulders revealed early on that he has calcifcation on his tendons and that his shoulder bone has grown a large hook on the end that is ripping the muscles and tendons with every move. I cannot even imagine the pain he is going thru. First he had to try anti-inflamatories which did nothing for his pain. Then he had to try physcial therapy which also did nothing...except on most occassions made him hurt worse. Then finally he was referred to a surgeon. He needs surgery on both shoulders to repair the problem but they won't do them both at the same time and leave him helpless during the recovery. So he is looking at two seperate surgeries. You have to understand that the Husband Man never calls in sick to work, and I mean never. He will go to work even if he has the stomach flu and he'll just pull his police car over to puke outside before he gets back to his duties. He is very committed to his job. I think the only times he ever even asked to leave early were during the birth of our last two children and both times he went back to work that day after the baby was born. He is really struggling with the idea of taking time off of work to have surgery. He is worried about that making his employer upset with him or his coworkers annoyed at his absence. But he also can hardly stand the pain anymore. He was thinking about switching his upcoming vacation week to a week when he could have the surgery, but I kind of talked him out of it since that would be during december and there would be other people at work on vacation and if he was looking to displease the least number of people then he should wait until January and schedule his vacations for next year at the beginning of the year to coincide with a surgery then. This is most likely what he'll do.



The surgeon said that his measurements from the x-ray show that Adam has one of the worst "hook shoulder's" he's ever seen. It's a very large hook that will have to be filed down from the bone. They don't know what causes this hook but we are hoping it doesn't grow back. I have had odd bone growth on joints before that stems from my arthritis, I am hoping he doesn't have arthritis in his shoulders because no amount of surgery will end that forever. Thinking positive though :) Adam is looking forward to little things after the surgery, like being able to throw Catcher in the air....he loves when mommy does that, and it makes Adam sad to not be able to do that with his son.

Sorry for such a long post but this is what happens when I haven't updated in a while, everything goes into one post. There are more things to vent and complain about i suppose, but those are the everyday things of being a mom of four.....just life.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

the purpose of dreams

When Adam and I were first dating, we already knew we wanted to get married, and started talking about what our eventual hopes and dreams were for the future. One thing we both agreed on early on was that someday we really wanted to live out in the country. We wanted to really be away from it all, have a few acres and a big house, preferably one story, with room for all the family to come visit for holidays and stay there forever and have the grandkids come visit. Just something we dreamed about.

Recently we have been house hunting for a second house, we plan on renting out the one we have it's a good size for a rental and we are fortunate enough to actually be able to do that! We are looking for a house that is bigger, that is the main motivation at this point, we know that just being bigger wouldn't be the house we "dream" of but it would be a start, and eventually if we really want the "dream" we'd have to buy again and move again.

Then I found a house. An absolutely amazing house. The kind you see all fixed up on shows on HGTV, the kind that rich people buy and fix up and show off, but not the kind regular people live in right? Except that WE could. We are not rich, and this house is NOT fixed up. But it's everything we dreamed of. It is in the middle of nowhere, it's the capital of the middle of nowhere. :) It's on 3 acres, perfect size to be big but not too much. And it's a very old house that used to be a school when it was originally built in 1925, it has a real feeling of history to it. The classrooms have been turned into bedrooms and each one is just huge! And there are 5 of those HUGE bedrooms. The bathrooms are the one thing that has been updated, so that's nice. It has a huge dining room and table to go with it, and a gigantic great room for company. It really is everything we always said we wanted, it would definitely need some work to truly be the finality of the dream, but it's all there. But now when it comes down to it, it just doesn't feel like we really want to do it. We love it, we love the idea of it, but we're afraid it won't end up being our dream it'll end up being our nightmare. But I guess what I'm wondering here is should we at least try for our dream? I feel like we should, but Adam I think is afraid of getting stuck in something that is going to be a money pit that we can never get out of and that scares him, to be honest it scares me too.

This whole thing just feels like a dream just barely at arm's length away, there are so many dreams we have or want for ourselves or our family, and here's one that with a little reach we might be able to grab onto, but I dont' know if we are even going to try. I guess I'm writing this more for me than anyone else, but dreams, do we ever really get them or are they always just dreams and nothing more?

Friday, July 16, 2010

The night that wouldn't end!

Last night, Thursday, was probably the worst night i've ever had as a mom, it was just strange!!

For starters Catcher didn't want to go to sleep, I had to let him cry it out for a little while, which did not make our dog, Kolohe very happy. Kolohe paced anxiously outside Catcher's door, every once in a while she'd stop and just stare at the door. I was down the hall trying not to listen to the crying. After about a half hour i guess the dog just couldn't take it anymore. She came down the hall and begged, whined and yelped until i finally got up and went in and picked up Catcher....ok Lassie, calm down sheesh! Once Catcher quieted down, Kolohe flopped down on her fluffy dog bed and heaved a big sigh, apparently she was much more relaxed now. I have never seen her act that way to any of our kids crying, it was very strange. After holding Catcher for about five minutes he finally drifted off and was able to go to sleep.

Now keep in mind that Katie went to bed on time (7 or 7:30ish) and the older two girls went to bed right after getting home from baseball practice, around 8:30 i think, after getting on p.j's and going potty. Their routine was off because they didn't all go to bed at the same time and have singing time, but i do not think it was the cause of the craziness that would ensue. They did have water bottles at the baseball game which were both empty when they returned, so i expected each of them to have a trip to the bathroom during the night, no big deal....or so i thought!

9:30pm Maggie got up to go potty, she went and hopped right back into bed, perfection.

10:45pm i hear a door open down the hall, i go to see who it is. Then the door immediately closes, no one emerged....that's weird.

10:46pm i hear a door open AGAIN, no one emerges, AGAIN, but this time i know who's door it was. It was Maggie and Katie's room. So i open the door to see who's up, it's Maggie, at her dresser....huh? I ask her what she's doing and she admits that she's wet her panties, which surprises me since she just went potty an hour ago....strange, but not uncommon for her. So i tell her to go wait in the bathroom while i check to see if the bed is wet (i dread changing a top bunk in the middle of the night!!!!) Nope, bed is dry....that's good, ladder up to the bed....that's wet...at least it's easier to clean. Then i go check on Maggie in the bathroom, she has her clothes that she peed in....in the toilet??? what??? I ask her what she's doing she says she put her dirty clothes in the hamper....uhm not quite. I figure she must not be very awake, she has walked in her sleep only one other time, but she looks fully awake this time, unlike the sleep walking event in which her eyes were fixed and she didn't respond to me, she was responsive and her eyes looked normal....weird. so i put the now wet pajama pants in the bathtub and told her to sit on the potty to make sure she gets all the rest of the pee out...just in case. So she does. That's when i realize that although she changed her pajama pants, she didn't put any other underwear on and the pj pants were backwords...i suppose that's what happens when you get dressed in the dark. So i get her all straightened out. I decide to finally go laydown in bed, where the husband man is already resting. Just as my head hits the pillow.....

11:08pm Elaine emerges from her room....naked!!! what the???? This is very unusual for her, since she is always picky about what she wears i found it very weird that she would get undressed in the middle of the night. and when i had gone in to put Catcher to sleep, Elaine was still fully dressed in pjs and asleep. I asked her what she needed she simply said she had to go potty....so why the strip show then??? she had no response. Again i wondered if she was doing things in her sleep but she too seemed more awake and normal than any sleep walking episode we've ever had with her. After she used the potty i went in the room with her and found her pjs sitting on the edge of her bed, i convinced her to get redressed and go back to bed.....very very weird. Now i can finally go back to bed.....ahhh, bed, my head has just hit the pillow when....


11:37pm Catcher starts to cry....a very loud bursting kind of cry. That's weird, he usually sleeps six hours after going to bed, then wakes up to eat and goes back to sleep another 4, why would he wake up so soon? He was still fast asleep when i was in there with Elaine only a few moments before....weird weird, even Kolohe jumped up when Catcher started crying. So i decided to go in there and let him nurse anyway, why not...maybe NOW he'll go back to sleep. Sure enough he just wanted to nurse, but he wasn't going right back to sleep, he wanted to sit and smile at me, which is cute, but not when all i wanted to do was finally get to bed! He was finally starting to fall asleep, when Elaine started making noises in her sleep, i could tell she was asleep because i could hear her grinding her teeth...youch! She started wimpering in her sleep, must be having a sad or bad dream, poor kid. Catcher FINALLY falls asleep and i lay him down and walk out. Finally....i'm tired and all kids are asleep....going to bed, my head just hits the pillow when....

12:46pm Elaine shows up at my room, she must be stealthy because the baby monitor is on and i didn't even hear her get up and walk out of the room (she shares a room with Catcher), again, weird. She's at my door and says "I can't sleep." What do you mean you can't sleep, not two minutes ago you were grinding your teeth in REM and now you....can't sleep? Must have been that dream that was making her cry. So i ask her about the dream. She tells me some gibberish about a bathroom and a bad guy in the hallway....which i'll admit kinda freaked me out, but i reassured her it wasn't real and couldn't get her so i go back with her into her room, get her settled into bed and she is asleep before i walk out the door....can't sleep my foot LOL...whatever. NOW i can sleep right?......so my head hits the pillow when.....

Sometime after 1:30am (starting to lose track at this point) Adam starts to talk in his sleep. At first i think he's talk to me, and i try to ask him what? what? because it doesn't make sense, then in between thoughts he grinds his teeth, sure sign he's STILL asleep....ok, just ignore him and GO to sleep! So my head hits the pillow and finally for real i get to fall asleep.....until....

2:30am Maggie starts to scream....SCREAM! it's coming from her room so i race in to see what's happened, in my mind i'm thinking oh no she tried to climb down the ladder and fell, or she's so tired she can't figure out how to climb down and this time she really has wet the bed....I fling open the door and.......silence. the moment i open the door she stops, again, must have been in her sleep.....our kids have been known to cry in their sleep sometimes, but sheesh all this in one night is really starting to wear on me! She doesn't even look like she even sat up to scream which my sleep screamers usually do, nope, still laying curled up with "Dog" her beloved stuffed toy from a thrift store....I peek in on Katie on the bottom bunk, sprawled out with "dolly" (my kids have such original names huh...lol) laying on top of her....she didn't even wake up from the scream....good.....now i can go back to sleep.....i think i was asleep before my head hit the pillow this time......until.....(yes there's more....it was an insane night!!!)

4:00am...ish....Catcher wakes up AGAIN....are you kidding me????? The thing about hearing the baby cry on the monitor my body gets up and out of bed before my mind even registers what i'm doing, so i stumble down the hall, trip over the dog who sleeps on a bed outside our door, pick myself up and stagger into Catcher's room, where thankfully, as usual, Elaine is sleeping right thru his incesant crying.....I pick him up and nurse him in the comfort of the rocking chair in the room. Their room maybe the tiniest room on the planet for two siblings to share, but at least the rocking chair fits in it, even if a dresser doesn't. That chair is heaven for me, because while he gets his nursing comfort i drift in and out of sleep....waking every few minutes I remember, hey i can't sleep i'm in a chair feeding the baby! Eventually he too falls asleep, but again it takes much longer than normal (normal being less than half an hour to eat and go back to sleep)....so finally i stumble back into bed it's 5:26am....yuck. My head misses the pillow and hits the mattress, who cares..........

5:30am....Adam's alarm clock goes off.......you've got to be kidding me........


here it is 12:30 in the afternoon after the night of hell and i'm trying to stay awake by writing about all of the insanity in my blog. You must understand normally my kids (aside from Catcher since he's still a baby) are the best sleepers on the planet!!! They go to bed between 7 and 7:30pm and i don't hear a peep out of any of them until 7 or 7:30am the following morning....it's fabulous.....last night was just WEIRD i can't say it enough times, the only one who did not act weird, was sweet sleepy Katie, thank goodness, at least someone in the house had a normal night....i hope to never have a repeat of this again or i might boycott parenting for that night and delegate it to daddy....mommy needs to z z z zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Let the age of music begin....

We went to the farmer's market in downtown modesto today. "We" being, me and all four little kidlets. Going any where with four kids is a bit of a workout, but the farmer's market can be even worse because there are SO many people there usually. However it is thursday and not saturday so there were a bit less people than the last time we went on a saturday. It doesn't help that Catcher really doesn't like being in his carseat, he much prefers to be in the front carrier and now he's old enough to face out in the front carrier which he loves even more. So i had Maggie and Katie in the double stroller and Catcher in the front carrier on my chest and Elaine was walking next to me. I think i looked like a total circus act because we got stared at like you wouldn't believe LOL. But we made it just fine, Catcher ended up falling asleep in the carrier and both girls in the stroller were VERY well behaved (quite unusual)...Elaine as usual was her wonderfully easy going self.

To begin with we got a GREAT parking spot which almost never happens, it was as close as you could get to the market without parking in it. That made it much easier. Then we walked the full length of the market, and didn't buy anything until we turned around to walk back, that is always what i do because i hate buying something then getting two stalls down and realizing there was something better....so i make a habit of walking the whole thing first then buying on the way back up. So we bought a few small things and just as we were almost back to the car the music caught my attention. There is almost always live music of some kind, and this time it was harp music it was a group of 5 or 6 ladies playing harps and then two who also played the penny whistle (not at the same time as the harp lol) we stopped to enjoy the music when someone said my name...totally catching me off guard. We knew one of the harpists! It was Nina Black, she goes to church with my parents and Adam's parents, i had no idea she played the harp, i knew she played the piano but wow! In between songs they told us that if we hung around for a little while they were going to let everyone have a chance to touch and learn about the harp....a 'harp petting zoo' if you will hehe. So we stayed and listened to several songs, which again, my kids were absolutely wonderful during that. We were there for at least 10 if not 15 minutes, just listening and none of them were antsy about wanting to move on, they all just enjoyed it.

So when they stopped to let everyone check out the harps my girls were so excited to have a chance to try it. Katie was cautious, but Maggie and Elaine ran right over and sat down at a harp and began to play! The great thing about harps is that it doesn't take much to sound really good, so of course the girls just loved it...and so did i. There was a photographer from the Modesto Bee there and he took several shots of my kids playing the harps and asked their names, and told me to keep an eye out for their pics in the Bee. To be honest we don't really read the Bee much, but i might if my kids' pics are in it LOL. Then Nina suggested getting them lessons, i think we'll start with the piano first since we already have one...but i would just LOVE it if any of my kids wanted to learn to play the harp it is such a beautiful instrument.

It really was a great time, and on the way back to the car Elaine asked when she could start taking piano lessons....let the age of music begin!!!

Monday, July 05, 2010

Our Fourth on the Fourth

So this was our first major holiday with our newest member of the family, number four....Catcher.

He slept thru most of the night, but the fun thing was watching how much Katie had grown up since last years fourth of July. Last year she was quite afraid of fireworks and wanted to be held the whole time. This year, until she fell asleep at the end of the longest fireworks show EVER, she was sitting in her own little chair cheering and ooohing and ahhhing over every firework. She even did sparklers this year too.

This was probably the biggest year for the fourth of July i can remember. To start it off we were at Adam's parent's house, which when all his sisters and their families are there, is big to start with. THEN add in his grandparents and Aunt Leesa, and her daughter, Killian. THEN add in Matt's parents and neices, and that was just for the BBQ and hanging out....once the fireworks began even more people came! The whole of the front yard was bursting with excited children, teenagers and adults....not to mention JT and Catcher, the two littlest members of the clan. It was a sight to see!

The Husband Man, Adam and his best friend Matt put on quite a fireworks show for the crowd. They had a wooden board between two ladders so that all the fireworks could be lit nice and high creating large fountains of orange, green, red and blue that were just spectacular. Then there were the sparklers! That was something i will never forget, all the kids, young and old lined up on the sidewalk to have their sparklers lit. Katie was the littlest to do sparklers this year and she did quite well, her little face was aglow at the excitement of a glittering wand to wave (under close supervision by aunt Cara ....thanks!)

Then there was the "snap" show....lol. Matt and Adam let the kids do snaps in between lighting fireworks then later on in the show discovered another box. Matt asked Jacob (the oldest cousin at almost 8 years old) to come stand on the sidewalk, he led him to a specific spot then yelled FIRE! At which point Adam threw a huge handful of snaps at Jacobs feet which popped and sparked, Jacob, with his Jedi-esque reflexes, jumped and rolled to the side, landing safely at his parents feet. It was a hillarious sight to see and everyone cheered!

Every year it seems like the fireworks end too early, but this year was certainly no ordinary year. I do not know the specific number of fireworks purchased for this enormous show but it was over 2 hours of continuous fireworks!!!! I have never seen anything like it. Each was placed and lit by Adam and Matt, often more than one at a time with them being lit simultanously by them both in an epic battle to see who's was biggest or longest.... (insert inuendo here!) That also made for a show for the kids and many laughs for the adults :)

I have to say, as a parent one of the greatest joys I have is seeing my kids have fun, and this was certainly a day that will glow in my memory as brightly as the many sparkling displays of pyrotechnics we witnessed for our first Fourth with Four.....thank you to everyone who made it the most memorable yet!!!!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A family picture from Catcher's blessing.

We scrambled to get this picture before everybody changed out of Sunday clothes. Thanks so much Tiffany for convincing me to get us together for this, I'm so glad we have a photo memory of this wonderful day full of family to celebrate our little Catcher.



Three generations of Hoskins men.

This isn't the best picture because Adam and his dad Roger were looking at someone else's camera at the time, but this is the one I have. This is three generations of wonderful Hoskins men, Roger, Adam and Catcher. We love you!!!


The Bass Pro Shop Girls



At Granddad's retirement party my three girls wore their pink Bass Pro Shop shirts, they were very inexpensive and they matched, my girlies LOVE to match. I made them bows for their hair too. We even bought white shirts with the same logo for Adam and I, and Catcher got a little blue jumper that says Bass Pro Shop too. Okay so maybe we look like a walking ad for their store, but hey it was a fun place to spend the afternoon shopping for camping supplies. So here are a few fun pictures from the retirement party. Adam was still on duty when he stopped in for a bite so he was not in his shirt, but the rest of us were.

The girlies putting on a command performance of the infamous Too Tee Tah Song and dance.



A Bass Pro Family :)




Summer sports

Here are some pictures from Elaine and Maggie's first Tee-Ball game with Jr. Giants. Thanks Granddad for being the photographer. I'm finding it hard to find time for pictures while I'm busy with Catcher, but maybe as he gets older I can return to my love of photographing the kids!

Katie enjoyed playing fetch with.....herself. HAHA. She threw the ball and ran to get it and throw it again, she entertained herself on that cool saturday morning quite well.




Ready for some baseball fun!

Practicing before the game.


Maggie with her 'game face' on.

Maggie ready to run to home.

Looking ready to catch the ball....she got it a few times during this game.


Swiiing batter batter swiiiing!




Elaine playing pitcher (as much as you can in a tee ball game) :)




Elaine at bat.

Elaine is all smiles for everything she does, her attitude of fun will take her far in life!

Hit it my way!!

I cannot believe how long her hair is even in a pony tail! she said she wanted rapunzel hair, did rapunzel play baseball????

This was a perfect photo op. they were playing positions right next to each other :)

GO JUNIOR GIANTS!!! GOOD GAME!!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

hair cuts and the reasons behind them

You know it seems to me, most of the time when i cut my hair, it is a very spur of the moment decision.

For about a year now I have been intentionally growing my hair out. Adam and I had made a deal, since he liked my hair long. The deal was that if he would get REAL haircuts, instead of just buzzing his hair off, then i would grow my hair out. That way we both got each other's hair jus the way we liked it. I love when he gets a nice haircut, it looks so classy, a buzz all over just doesn't show off how adorable he is. And I really hadn't had my hair long since we got married, so it was a deal, and for about a year we both kept it up! My hair had gotten so long, and as a reference i think most women would understand it was down to the bottom of my bra line on my back. Quite long by any standard. A few weeks ago Adam needed a haircut and decided to buzz it instead of getting a real cut. Now in all fairness he really did it to save money because he can buzz it at home, and getting a professional cut costs 12-15 bucks. So as soon as he did it he told me i could feel free to cut mine since he was no longer keeping up his end of the deal. And for a while i said no, i actually was enjoying it long. And for the most part i think i was, when i had time to make it look nice.

With how much hair I have though, i began to realize the impracticality of keeping it long. First of all, while you might think i was saving money on less haircuts, i was probably spending near as much as a haircut would cost on shampoo and conditioner alone...i cannot believe how much my long hair took! And then there's the fact that my hair doesn't do "wash and go." it's neither truly curly or straight. I can wear it straight or curly but both take a lot of work! To wear it straight means at least an hour of blow drying, or a full day of air drying and straightening the following day. However the DAY to airdry is always a bad hair day, and straightening itself takes an additional hour. What mother of four (one of whom is a newborn) has 2 hours to fix her own hair???? Not this one!

So yesterday i woke up with a headache and that topped off the hair fiasco. My hair is so heavy when i put it up wet, but that was all i had time to do, and with a headache already brewing, putting my hair up was the bobby pin that broke the camel's back! Later that day i told The Husband Man i wanted to shave my head because my hair was so much work and if i didn't do the work, i just put it up day after day, which was now giving me a headache. So after a few minutes of discussion, i left in search of a salon to chop it off!

Apparently monday is NOT a good day of the week to get a haircut though. I went to 5 salons and ALL were closed, despite their hours sign specifying otherwise. When i finally found one open, they told me that a lot of salons don't stay open mondays if they don't have appointments booked...which does not make sense since each salon also boldly blazoned the LIE "Walk Ins Welcome!" which should also stipulate "unless we didn't feel like coming in today because nobody who was NOT a walk in was here." After salon number 3 i began to wonder if it was God trying to tell me how much i might regret the idea of a hair chop and that maybe i should just give up on the venture all together. I was not so easily swayed though. I finally lucked out with number 6, and the girl who cut it off was great. She cut off 8 inches, and yet it is still past my shoulders and will probably be considerably long again in no time. But for now my head feels about 10 pounds lighter especially when my hair is wet. I keep having to remind myself how little shampoo i need to use and i probably have a rash on my back from brushing too far past the hair due to old habits and their knack for a hard relentless death! Anyway, this may have been another spur of the moment haircut, but i think it is the least regretted of all of them, however not a single person has noticed who didn't have it pointed out to them. I do not think anyone knew how long my hair really was...all that work for nothing.