Sweet, Sweet Sleep

The year after Ben was born, we noted a curious trend in our pictures.  For nearly a year, all the pictures we took of the kids were either of them sleeping or in the bath.  We had 4 children, age 7 and under, and we were both seriously overwhelmed.  Seeing the kids sleeping was a reminder of just how lovely and sweet they were.  And I guess we documented that a lot to help us remember that!

So I had to laugh when I was flipping through my recent pictures on my phone the other day and I realized that I have an awful lot of pictures of sleeping kids right now, and not much else.

Molly conked out while watching TV Naptime in James's room Sleep swing Car nap for Molly Lily's sweet sleep

You have to admit, sleep pictures of little children are a little bit enchanting.  And it s so nice to know that they are not getting into anything right at that moment.  But it brought home to me the reminder that I am gearing up for a year or two of fairly intense chaos and I need to be careful to take care of myself in this, while keeping things smooth for my family as well.

I have felt pretty decent during this pregnancy, but muscle pain from abs that have been ripped apart many, many times now slows me down considerably.  As much as I am looking forward to our new baby, I am not looking forward to not having the time to spend quiet hours with him as I enjoy his newness and recover from birth.  We will be swept quickly back up into the ebb and flow of daily life with many demands.  For this reason, pain and discomfort aside, I am grateful for this pregnant time when the baby is quiet and manageable and all mine.

Still, his time will come, and I will find myself again in that mommy fog of having 4 kids under 7, 3 of whom aren’t yet in school.  Only this time I have several children older than 7 who also need me.  So I think I have preemptively gone into sleep appreciation mode.

This coming school year will be a challenge like none I have yet faced, and I am bracing for a bit of a hurricane.

In the mean time, I am doing my bit to prepare: planning a month of meals that replays each month on my google calendar, working on a running chore chart for the kids (and getting them to DO the chores, which is the real trick), decluttering the house, tightening the budget, planning out Christmas.

God, for His part, is working on my heart, as always.  Teaching me to let some things go, to trust more completely, and showing me more of what it means to really pray.  You can follow that part of my journey over at Circling Jericho, where my wandering around in circles does seem to help get me somewhere.  I am specifically being raked over the coals addressing the issues I have with trying to control everything and surrendering to God right now.  (Part 1 and Part 2, with more to come.)

For now, I will prepare for what I can and try to let go of the rest, and maybe take a few more pictures of the kids with their eyes open, because they are absolutely delightful awake as well.


I realized yesterday as I posted on Control and Surrender at Circling Jericho that there are quite a few things I have left out of my recent blog updates.  Mostly because there haven’t been many recent blog updates.  So, in the interest of keeping you all up to date with us, I will cover the last few months of stuff.

Let’s see… where to start?  You all know that I am pregnant with number 9, and I can say now that morning sickness this time was on a completely normal level.  As much as morning sickness sucks, it is not nearly as bad as hyperemesis.  But I was spared that this time and, while it slowed me down quite a bit, it wasn’t too bad.  HOORAY!

As I was easing out of morning sickness, Jay had a pretty major work accident where part of his right middle finger was removed when a manhole cover slid from his grasp and crushed it off.  This led to emergency surgery and many weeks of pain.  I have never seen him in such pain.  But he is doing much better now and back to full function, albeit with one finger a bit shorter.  I have pictures of the injury, but I think I will spare you those.

The next thing up this spring was a string of sicknesses in the kids (which they generously shared with us as well!) that lasted over two months long.  It included two stomach viruses, and a couple of nasty respiratory bugs that brought on asthma flares and eye infections.  One of the things I have learned in this large family is that about every 4-5 years we will have a string of sicknesses that lasts for months on end, where it seems like we just can’t get everyone well at the same time.  This is one of those years for us.  As I write, everyone is well (knock on wood) but from the sounds in the other room, I am betting Molly gets a breathing treatment before the day is out.

Part of this spate of sickness hit Molly particularly hard and landed her in the hospital for a night for IV hydration.
Sick Molly
That was no fun for any of us.  She hadn’t held anything down for over two days and suddenly hit a point where she was nearly limp and barely awake anymore.  Time to head to the ER!  After looking at how dehydrated she was, they made the call to admit her.  One dose of Zofran (How I love that drug!) and lots of fluids later, she was good ans new and was released just 27 hours after arriving.

So that brings us to about the end of March, which puts us squarely in the middle of Lent with all its extra masses and events.  And so we spun in circles for a few weeks.

Then a couple of weeks after Easter, Tessa received the Sacrament of Confirmation and First Holy Communion!  Her godparents were able to come into town for a whirlwind trip to be with her and we had a lovely weekend.  (Isn’t she just beautiful?)
Tessa's First Communion

The next big event was our 20 week ultrasound.  So I am sure you are all wondering what the boy/girl score will be with the addition of #9.


IT’S A BOY!  And, more importantly,  he is perfectly healthy.

Which brings us to a total of 4 boys, 5 girls.  The kids were all hoping for twin boys to even the score.  But I think one baby at a time is enough for me right now.

Finally, at almost exactly 18 months, Molly decided that she was done with diapers and potty trained.  That took up a lot of my time while she went through the stage of needing to go potty nearly every 20 minutes.  But I think we are past that now and she is reliably even sleeping in panties!

After that, school got out, summer school started for Posy, and I spent a lot of time writing for the moms’ retreat.  And now here we are in the middle of June.

2011 is speeding by faster than I can grasp!