Thursday, September 28, 2017

A year already

Crazy, it's been a year already.

  I guess first off is to introduce our newest family member, Rebekah Elisabeth Lotz. That's her own name, our joint commonest (probably) female family name, and our last name. She was Rebekah before she was born, she was the only one to have a name before she was born or even conceived. I had been waiting for her since I was pregnant with Zachary. And here she is.
  Labor was stressful, we ended up in the OR for over an hour as her heart rate would suddenly, and for no apparent reason, plummet to the 70's and stay there for 4-5 minutes. This is huge considering that a fetus' heart rate is usually in the 120's and 130's. It will often dip (though not that low) during contractions, but it wasn't during contractions when the decels (that's what they are called) were occurring. After the third time I was gowned up and taken to the OR. Her heart rate was back to normal when we got in there and so we waited to see if she would tolerate further contractions and allow my body to get to 7 cm and hopefully on to a vaginal delivery. The doctor gave us the choice to wait and see or do the c-section, but warned that if her heart rate dropped again, the choice was gone and it would be an immediate c-section. We were in there over an hour and it was not comfy. I was in a bad position for me but a good one for her, so I just dealt with it. When we got back to the room, because I did start progressing again it was a relief. But then I had a big contraction and her heart rate dropped to 46, I am not exaggerating. I squirmed and moved around to shift her and get it up. It did come up just as the nurse was coming in. I looked at the nurse, who was AMAZING the whole time, and said "She did not like that, did she?" The nurse agreed and I told her about the big contraction, she checked me and I was at a 10!!! Nurse hugged me and said get ready to push. Everyone rushed in and got the room set up and I started pushing as they set up. I pushed through about 10 contractions and out she came. She was face up and had the cord around her neck and leg, which probably accounted for the slow progression and the heart rate drops. She was perfect. But a little bluish. But she pinked right up and was great.
  She's an amazing sleeper and a super chill baby. It has been such a blessing to have such a tempered baby. She'll be up 1.5-2 hours at a time during the day and, now, takes 2-3 hour naps (they used to be 4 hours long, sigh). She sleeps for 10-12 hours at night and never woke more than once a night. I  couldn't ask for a more incredible sleeper. Nursing didn't work as my milk, I now know, just didn't have enough calories, but being on a bottle and being able to control those calories meant I could let her sleep as long as she would go. It has been a life saver as it allows me to focus on the older kids during the day, and sleep at night. When she's awake she is almost always in a good mood, only when she is ready to sleep or eat does she really get cranky. Oh and she can get really mad if she is kept up too long, like at church. She is a dream. A sixth child needs to be that way.

  We are still homeschooling, and now it's Cassidy, Molly, Julia, and Sean. It's a constant day, but I wouldn't change it for almost anything. I don't like when they start fighting, but I love that they are around and I get to see so much of the progress they are making. I love it. There is never enough time in the day to get everything done, but in 10 years I will look back and not wish I had spent more time cleaning the house, I will be glad for all the time we had together.
  I have discovered InstaCart. Oh boy. That an Amazon are my favorite websites currently. So Instacart will deliver groceries from my favorite store four times a month for, get this $149 a year.!!!!! Agh!!! No more having to drag everyone to and through the store. I can go online and it is brought to my door. Oh I love freeing up those hours for something I need more, like going to the gym two nights a week. That has also been huge. My body was so spent and drained after six births in eight years. I need to strengthen it and get it moving well again. Even in the past month I have seen a HUGE difference in how much I want to move (and what I eat which is a great side benefit) and how I feel about myself. I want to loose this baby weight that has not wanted to come off since the birth but it's so much more. It's about getting strong and healthier again. And not being tempted in the grocery store by all the yummy yummy stuff is another big bonus with delivered groceries. I HIGHLY recommend it. 149 divided by 48 deliveries a year = $3.10 a delivery. That is so worth the saving in gas, time, hassle, sanity, everything. Totally worth it. Check it out. They do a 2 week free trial. See if they have it in your area.
Here is a referral link, you get $10, I get $10, win-win.

  What else? Can't think anymore. I will write again and put up pictures next week.

Oh yeah, bell choir started up!!!! Gotta love bells.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Half way there, hopefully more

      So maybe it's time to write this out in plain English. Not that I've been hiding it exactly but I kinda have been sometimes. We are expecting baby #6 in early March (I am hoping for mid to late February). It's a girl. I think it's the girl I thought was coming when I was pregnant with Zachary. I can still hide it if I'm wearing a jacket and I do sometimes. There are just times when I don't feel like talking about it with people I don't know super well. That's usually when I am taking multiple kids to the park for soccer or baseball or whatever. As we had general conference and then stake conference the following week and I think it was during those weeks when I really started showing as pregnant and not just putting on weight, there are still people at church who are learning I am pregnant, 21 weeks pregnant. I vacillate between being really excited to meet this little one and snuggle and hold and enjoy little baby and feeling like I am looking into the abyss. We all know what a newborn brings, sleepless nights, endless crying, nursing every two hours EVERY two hours, etc. As fun as newborns are, they aren't that fun at times and to have the other five, the oldest being eight, I am a little afraid. But it will all work out in the end. I heard this at Time Out For Women and it feels appropriate, "This too shall pass... like a kidney stone" Yup. That says it all.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Trying new things

    I have five little kids, and even when I only have one or two, I only get a number of things done, even with a to-do list that gets longer and longer everyday it seems. There are just so many things to do, to make, to be, places to go, people to see, things to try. But I will never have time for all of them, it's Elder Oaks' talk about Good-Better-Best in real time. I am constantly having to choose what is gong to get done, and what is going to have to have till another day, or another life stage. There are pieces of material cut of just waiting to be sewn into a new dress for me, there are pages of notes about the different tasks needing attention for my music callings at church, the books and stacks of books that I want to read so badly, the coloring book I got for mother's day that hasn't seen a single mark, the 60 books on the shelf that we checked out from the library. But to any mother of children, this is just a different list comparable to her own. A lesson in picking those things that matter most.
  Well, we did pick one thing that will matter, we finally took the kids camping. Joe and I had camped a number of times together before we had kids, each of us had camped before we met, but have not done more with the kids than set up the tent in the backyard for the night (we didn't end up lasting the night though so it didn't really count). SO after the ward's father-son camping trip to which Joe took Sean, I decided that we needed a family camping trip, and invited a bunch of friends to join us. It was awesome. The site was about 30 minutes from home, but really only about 15 miles. Though I have lived here all my life almost, I had never been there, what a shame. I have already booked the same site for August. About 25 people from our ward came and it was amazing, so much fun. I did learn that June camping means an early wake up time and late bed time. That will be a nice thing about going in August, it will be at least as hot then, and there is about 90 minutes less sun light, mostly less morning sun, Yeah. The kids had a blast, Joe and I worked hard to get the tents set up and down and I spent lots of time cleaning up afterward, but the kids had so much fun with their friends, and want to go back. Yeah.
  A few months ago I was looking at our town recreation guide and saw the drama camps and noticed that there was a play that I could put all three girls in. The practices are only for three and four weeks, for Julia/Molly and for Cassidy respectively. We went to a orientation two weeks ago and got to see the people who work the various drama camps. Watching them be flamboyant and lively and silly and just be themselves, was great, and made me remember how much I want for them the be free and not worried about what others think of them. That is so different from how I grew up, I was always aware that others were thinking of me, whether they really were or not. I was too caught up in them and didn't let myself be free enough. I am slowly learning how to not care, but I am hoping that I can stop the girls from starting to care too much. Cassidy has begun but the other two not so much. They all love to say hi to so many of the people we meet on the street, in the store, at the fair, etc. I am excited for the girls to be off for 1.5 and 4 hours a day, learning how to follow another person and be free.
  oops i ran out of time... until the next time

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Has it really been almost five months? guess so

   Oh my, how boring is my blog when it is only updated once in almost five months. So what has been going on my you ask? A lot.
   In November, right before the last post we took a family trip to the Monterrey Bay Aquarium. My mother-in-law had been talking for months about taking the kids to the aquarium so when I found out the aquarium offered free admission to home school families, with up to four adults, I was sold. So we planned on my in-laws going down to Monterrey where we would stay at a hotel Monday night and then go to the aquarium Tuesday. The weather was great. In fact it had been so great that the first outing in Monterrey, Pacific Grove, was a bust. We went to a grove where monarchs usually congregate during the winter months. So despite it being late November there were only a few trees with butterflies. The worst part came when child #not going to disclose decided to step on a butterfly on the ground for whatever reason. That is an offense punishable with up to a $1000 fine, besides being not okay on any level. And it was done in front of a docent. Oh the things kids do. Then we went to Asilomar State Beach. So awesome. The kids had so much fun running in the sand and the sun was just setting and it was gorgeous. The kids went back to the beach Tuesday morning while Zach should have been sleeping. Zach didn't sleep and the kids loved the beach. I think we should have just gone home from there. The Aquarium was a bust for sure. I thought the kids were going to be enthralled with the animals. They love going to the zoo near our house, but the aquarium just wasn't there thing. Thank goodness the tickets were free. Maybe when they are older it will be more interesting. But the 1 and 2 year old were just not that into it. Oh well. It was a good time overall.
   December was marked with the addition of two new baby chicks. We wanted to try and 'save' our lonely depressed Whitey hen, so we got her some playmates. They are named 'Sarah' and 'Valkyrie'. Both are Rhode Island Reds and we are hoping that there typically more assertive natures will shake up the pecking order of our flock and allow all seven to be in the same area together without any being dominated into submission which was happening with the Big Reds and Whitey. It is amazing to watch how quickly chicks develop and become able to take care of themselves, even if it is in a box only a square foot in size. Those same chicks are now almost 18 weeks old and are holding there own, on their own side of the fence albeit. Now it is only a month or so until they start laying eggs. Woohoo, more eggs.
  Christmas was Christmas and nothing stands out to vividly. Sad, but true. Molly turned six just before Christmas and I think we did a great job making sure that she had her day despite it being Christmas Eve. Six years since that fateful day in the mountains. Such a great memory.
  January was good. February was great. March was rainy. Really rainy which was amazing. March was Julia's birthday, she's now five, FIVE. Crazy. She's a pistol. So sharp, so aware, so determined to do what she wants when she wants to, even if that means sitting at the dinning table for THREE hours because she doesn't want to wash it. Really, that has happened, a couple of times.
  Speaking of chores. I OFTEN have to remind myself that there is importance in making sure that the kids are doing their assigned chores. We don't ask them to do hard things, or things that take a lot of time (except to clean up the messes they made). They do things like clear and clean the table, sweep the floor, empty the dishwasher, sort out their clean clothes and put them away, straighten their rooms. Some things they do a lot, like the table chores they do after every meal (or I try to have them do them after every meal) and others only happen a couple times a week. In all there is about 30 minutes of work a day, but some days the girls make it last for HOURS!!! It is frustrating, tiring, insane, and so necessary. Cassidy has finally figured out that I will have them do their work or they will sit. She knows to just do it and then she can play and do whatever. I need to tell myself that although it takes so much longer to have the kids do the work, they NEED to know how to be a productive member of a family and they NEED to know how to do these skills that will have to do for the rest of their lives. Hopefully they can learn that there are things that just need to be done and that it does no good to fight and stall and resist, it is much easier to just DO them. That is my work, to get them to learn how to do the things that will help them as people once they leave my house.
   What else? Oh yeah. In February I learned that there were more tickets available for the Provo City Center Temple open house. With the love I have of the temple, and with the old Provo temple I HAD to take my kids to that open house. I NEEDED to take them inside a temple open house. So we drove out 750 miles to Provo Tuesday morning, went to the open house Wedneday afternoon, saw some old friends Wednesday night, saw my mission president and wife Thursday afternoon, visited with Joe's last mission companion Thursday night (whose parents' are the current president of my mission) and then drove home Friday morning. A quick LONG drive trip. We loved being there except for the pollution which was awful (3 of the 5 worst cities in the country were in Utah that week).  We took the kids to see the Jordan River Temple as well as the open house. Oh my goodness. The Provo City Center temple is GORGEOUS. It is absolutely spectacular. I will forever be glad that we took those days to show the girls just how much I love the temple. And we got to be in the temple together, which won't happen for the next 11 years. Coming down with the flu on our way home was a nice way to end the trip. Actually it was awful, but I wouldn't take back the trip to avoid that nasty bug. It was so worth it.

Our buddies, there are TEN kids between us, all under seven years old.
The Hobsons, the best mission president and wife, EVER
Will and Zach, pizza eating buddies for life
The princesses in there favorite accessories
Don't let that smile fool you, the rest of the ride home was all crying and fighting and a couple of movies
Snow was probably their favorite part of the trip, except for Zachary, he HATED the snot

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A room with a view

   I love having our kitchen in the front of the house. I can look out at our court and be aware of who is getting a FedEx delivery, who is getting dry cleaning picked up, who is leaving and returning in five minutes flat. I like knowing what is going on in our neck of the woods. It makes me feel a little safer.
   A couple of days ago I watched as a couple of neighbors were clearing a lot of items out of their house. Lots of small pieces of furniture and such. With each load out I would see what it was and think, ooh that would be nice in so and so's room. Or ooh I like that.
   On my counter is, was, the big ten page black friday ad for Jo-Ann fabrics store. I have had it on the counter since it arrived Monday. I have perused those pages many, many times. I love that store. I have had to put down some strict rules about that store, and limiting my going into that store. Well for this week they are having 75% of sales for flannel and fleece. Fun fabric, soft fabric, there is always some project that can use flannel or fleece. There are a few other deals that piqued my interest but I had to remind myself that I am in the middle of TWO sewing projects, both of which have fabric already cut on the office table. There was another that I sewed last week that I had cut out at least six months ago. I need to get these done so that I can move on to the ten other patterns for which I have already bought fabric.
  So I mention these two experiences because they are so related for me. I love getting new things, even if those things aren't new. I won't pass up hand me downs, especially for the kids, and clothes for me. Most of our furniture are hand me downs or second hand, only the beds and mattresses are all new. And I am more than fine with that. It is so fun to get a new thing, but with seven people in the family, there are a LOT of "new" things coming into our house. And it is harder for me to get rid of things than to get things. I feel like if the item is usable than it shouldn't be tossed unless it's nice enough to put in the DI truck, and with five kids I also think that another of the kids will want it. That is especially true with clothing as their likes are so different and you never know what will be in good enough shape to be passed on to the next sibling. But I have learned that too much is too much, even if it is good clothes, good furniture, anything really. The last few months I have had to purge the kids drawers of extra clothing, anything they didn't like or wear had to be removed. It was overwhelming. There is a happy medium of enough that can quickly move to stifling fairly quickly. So it is with seeing the furniture leaving my neighbors' house, we have no NEED of any more furniture. So it is with the fabric store, there are a few things that I would LIKE a lot, but I don't really need. Too much stuff is awful. It takes time to organize, time to keep organized, money to acquire, energy to move and organize, and energy to remember what you have and where in the house it is. Oh that last one is a killer, the I-Know-I-Have-It-But-Where-Is-It brain teaser.
   The tail end of the having process involves a little thought about part of the whole picture. When I don't want, need or use this, or it breaks, now what do I do with it? We had to deal with that a cople weeks ago. Joe was given a Lay-Z-Boy chair 11 years ago from a lady who had had it at least that long. This chair was in good cosmetic condition but that back support was gone and the kids were destroying it slowly with all the rough housing. My M-I-L got us a new one as new baby gift and now we needed to get rid of the old one. You know how big they are, they don't fit in the garbage, you have to pay to get rid of it at the dumps. No thanks. So I spent a couple hours dismantling it down to the frame and was able to get it into about four garbage cans around our block. We even got the metal parts off to recycle. Man, it was work. Things are work. That chair was 27 years old!!! It was well used but the wood frame was in perfect condition. That chair was solid except for the comfort part. What a lot of resources went into making it and into getting rid of it.
   In reading the creation story God told Adam and Eve to take GOOD care of the earth. I do think we will be responsible for how we use the resources of the earth. I don't think we need to live in a shanty with no amenities like running water or luxuries like hanging christmas lights. But I do think that our overall impart will be part of our character. Am I extravagant? Am I oblivicous? Am I extreme in my non-impact dedication? Am I trying to be wise and prudent and use what I have to the fullest? I use the sun, I use our windows and blankets and jackets, I capture rain water, we turn gray water into black water in the bathrooms. I will not give up my disposable diapers so I try to offset it with being extra frugal in other places.
   We live in such a disposable society that it's easy to get caught up in it. But I have found that the simpler (to a point) things are the easier it is to function and enjoy them and life. Enjoy deep stuff...