Monday, September 28, 2009

To wait or not to wait.....


Ok- we're only 9 weeks into this, and we're already faced with the first big question- do we find out the baby's gender or do we wait for the surprise in the delivery room? Yes, it's a question we all face, and on the surface it seems simple enough, but there are so many underlying issues once you really stop to think about it! Do you find out so you can get the room ready? Do you find out because you already have so many of one and are hoping for another? Do you find out because you're impatient? Do you find out because you have relatives driving you up the wall or your friends want to know what colors to buy for you and they just won't wait? Or do you wait because you like the excitement it adds and gives you something to look forward to when you're ready to push?

Well, as you can probably imagine, we have so many children that we've been down both roads! Our first-born was a surprise, but not because we wanted her to be! We tried to find out, but at that time, only one ultrasound was standard, and if you couldn't see anything during that brief time, then you didn't find out (yeah, yeah, our first was born in the dark ages!!). By the time we had our second daughter, Zack was just beginning his career as an officer in the U.S. Army, and they had strict rules about NOT telling you the gender of your baby. I'm not sure if they still practice that anymore, but it seemed a bit ridiculous to us- something about lawsuits. So, we had to wait on #2! And baby #3 was born at the same place exactly 2 years later, so we had the same issues with her! So, by the time we hit baby #4, we were ready to find out! The funny thing with that was, when they told us we were having a boy, we didn't believe them after having 3 girls in a row!!! It didn't matter what they "showed" us, we were not going to get excited until that little guy was DELIVERED and we could see HIM for ourselves! And that's the story of Josh!! Noah, #5, was such a huge surprise from the beginning (we had only planned to have 4 children!), that we decided not to "take on" any more surprises with him, and we found out. It was then that we thought we were done, and Zack had a vasectomy. Within days of that procedure, we knew in our hearts that we were not done having children and that we had made the wrong decision. We were blessed with our 6th child after 3 years and one vasectomy-reversal later, and we were so happy to have him that we waited to find out because it simply didn't matter- we were so thrilled to just have a baby!!!!!! And honestly, that's really when I began to view the blessing of children in a different light, and I began to realize that it truly doesn't matter. That said....... we did end up finding out with #7 for what I believed was a fairly legitimate reason at the time- we were moving and needed to know where we were going to put all the kids so we could figure what rooms we needed and where we needed them. Well, I can tell you now that I wish we would have waited, because we still would have bought the same house either way, but it's done......

So, that brings us to baby #8..... you can probably tell that I'm definitely leaning towards waiting at this point, and that is my plan, but I have to tell you, it's is sooooooo tempting to find out ;-) Although many in our family are ready for a girl, I can honestly tell you that I will be thrilled no matter what gender this little one is, and no matter how ugly the clothes are for boys!!!!!!! Yep, I am just beyond excited to be bringing another life into our family, and I will happily welcome either one! I have my next sonogram coming up in a couple of weeks, and my only concern will be a healthy babe!

Ok, now it's your turn! Leave me a comment and tell me what you have done or plan to do! We've done it both ways, and I think that it's up to each family to decide what is best for them, and I can't wait to hear some of your stories!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Matthew's discovery...

Ya know that day when your kids finally figure out that the hot dog they're eating doesn't come from the neighbor's garden? Well, as of last night, Matthew has our number! Yep, he figured out the sad, sad truth.... that hot dog that he loves so much- it comes from (gasp) a PIG!!!

It all started at the dinner table last night. We were enjoying yummy blueberry pancakes and turkey bacon (we looooove to have breakfast for dinner- mainly because we rarely have it for breakfast!), and everyone was chowin' down! The kids struck up a conversation about the bacon that we were eating and how it came from turkeys and not pigs. Matthew, who doesn't miss a beat, quickly figured out that we were eating animals, and he turned to me and asked me if I shot the pig? Well, I was deeply involved in a conversation with Sophie and had NO CLUE what Matthew was asking me, but after being asked the same question 2 times, I finally turned to him and said yes, Matthew, I shot the pig. I then turned around and began to continue my conversation with Sophie, but was once again interrupted by Matthew (who was now standing in the kitchen) spitting furiously into the garbage! I immediately said to him what on earth are you doing Matthew? To which he replied I don't eat pigs!!! It was at that point that I realized I had just told Matthew that I had shot the pig!

After finally coaxing Matthew back to the table, the kids began to tell Matthew that he wasn't eating pig- he was actually eating turkey!!! Well, needless to say, he wasn't any happier about that fact! Zack & I tried to explain to Mr. Matt that lots of food that we eat comes from animals. We talked about how the cows give us milk and chickens give us eggs. We talked about how we get our hamburgers from cows and our chicken from, well, chickens!

Several minutes and several interesting points (I will leave that to your imagination!) later, Matthew finally seemed resolute to the fact that animals contribute to many things we eat. Unfortunately, we discovered that what Matthew actually believed was a bit of a stretch from the truth. You see, after talking about how cows give us milk, he mistakenly thought we meant that the animals give us everything!!! In other words, we don't have to shoot them to get their meat ;-)

Oh well, we'll leave THAT conversation for ANOTHER day..... ssssshhhhhhhh!!!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Irony and stuff...

So, yesterday, we ended up at the pharmacy twice within an hour. The first time was because Emily had an infection at one of her incision sites and the doctor prescribed an oral antibiotic until we can get in to see him on Monday. After getting off the phone with the doctor's office, I headed out to our Target pharmacy (where, btw, they know me by name because I'm in there at least 2-3x per week!) and picked up some Keflex. I joked with the pharmacist about how I'd only been in once so far this week and then went home. I had barely stepped through the door when my phone rang- it was Emily's doctor's nurse, and she wanted to change the meds that we had been prescribed from Keflex to Bactrim. Apparently, the first med was prescribed by a tech at the office and not by the doctor, who wanted Emily on something different.

By this time, it was about 6pm, and we were headed out to pick Josh up from soccer practice and go have dinner at a restaurant. We stopped at Target once again, and the pharmacist laughed when he saw me coming! He quickly filled my second order and then joked that I still had about an hour-and-a-half before they closed and he'd probably see me again soon, to which I quickly replied why would you say such a thing?!?!

We headed out to dinner, and while we were eating, we noticed that Noah wasn't looking too great. He was complaining that his throat hurt and when I checked for a fever, he was pretty warm. We made the decision to head straight over to Urgent Care (after a quick stop at Best Buy- I'll tell you why after I finish with THIS story), and after a quick test it was confirmed- Noah had strep! Oh boy was I sooooooo tempted to go back over and let the pharmacist have it for jinxing me, but by then it was 9pm and the pharmacy at Target was closed- lucky for him ;-) Now, if that's not irony for you, then I sure don't know what is!!!!!!!

So, this morning, after all of yesterday's medical drama, we loaded up all 7 kids into 2 cars and headed over to our pediatrician's office for the dreaded seasonal flu shot. The line wound around and around, and it ended up being almost a 3hr process from start to finish to get all the kids vaccinated, but we felt so fortunate that even Noah was able to have the vaccine, despite the strep throat (that means we don't have to do this again!). I'll be getting mine at my OB visit next week, and Zack will get one at work!

Now, before my next story, here's some cute pictures of some pretty cute kids that just happen to be mine!




Isn't this funny of Jacob?! He looks so darn serious!
Ok, so now onto the next story! I got something in the mail yesterday.....
I think I'm finally on my way.....
Well, at least this makes me look like I know what I'm doing now, right.......
Really, don't I look like a pro now?!?!
Come on people, humor me here!!
And please don't balk at the big belly- I still can't believe it's NOT twins!!!
But back to the new lens- my wonderful, loving, ever-so-encouraging, sweet, kind, generous, amazing, did I mention FABULOUS? parents bought me my first REAL lens! It's a Canon EG-S17-55mm, f/2.8 IS USM, and it's too cool! I also received a sunshade for this baby!! Can I get a woot, woot?!

And that leads me to the reason I hit Best Buy last night before taking my strep-ridden child to the doctor! I absolutely had to go get a new camera bag that would fit this ginormous new lens that I'm now sporting- I certainly didn't want to leave it sitting out, unprotected in my crazy household!!

So today, I was super excited when I went to the mailbox and found that my new business cards had arrived! I didn't waste any time distributing them around the neighborhood- I can't wait to get going now!!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

It's all about the Red Sox...

This week we've had a visitor in our home. Zack's best friend from grade school (and best man at our wedding) flew out from Massachusetts to spend a few days with us. Our course, he had an agenda!!! For those of you that don't know my husband, he grew up in MA, and he is a HUGE Red Sox fan- something that he and his buddy Andrew have had in common since their days in little league! So, several weeks ago, the two of them were talking on the phone and decided that it would be awesome if they could go see a Red Sox/Royals game here in Kansas- a little checking into plane flights and game tickets and a plan was set in motion! The guys were all set to go to 3 of the games being played here (all weeknights, I might add!), and I was left home with the kiddos ;-) which was fine by me- it was my birthday gift to Zack, who turned 40 a couple of weeks ago. Anyway, the guys spent the first game sitting in the pouring rain and cold- which was only made worse by the fact that the Red Sox lost! The second game was perfect weather and the guys had incredible seats given to them by one of Zack's bosses (they even ended up on tv for a lot of the game!), but it was another loss for the Sox. So, last night, the final night for the guys, they decided to take Emily and Sophie along for good luck ;-), and it must have worked because, not only did the Red Sox win 9-2, but they all got to go out on the field for batting practice before the game- a dream come true!! One of Zack's reps knows someone who works for the Royals and was able to get them right onto the field!! And although I wasn't along to take pictures, I did send my camera with the gang, and here's some of the shots they got!!

Andrew, Emily, Zack and Sophie- ready to go.... Andrew & Zack at the field...
Ok- I must admit, I have no clue who that is, but he's wearing a Boston jersey, so he must be important!!

Looks like they needed my expert photo skills- looking a little blurry!



They spent a good part of the game in a restaurant over-looking the field and had great seats!
I think it's safe to say that it was a great week! We were so excited to have Andrew join our family for a few days, and we look forward to going back to MA next summer and meeting his wife and kiddos!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My favorite season!

Quick Note: if you haven't noticed yet, Baby #8 now has two arms and two legs and NO TAIL! And, Baby #8 is officially a fetus this week- of course, he or she has always just been a BABY to me ;-)

Oh boy, do I LOVE fall! As soon as I see the first mums for sale at the stores, I have to hold myself back from buying them- they always put them out way too early and they'll never make it through the season! I try to wait until the first of September before I put out any of my fall decorations, but it's a struggle! I also try to do a little at a time, and then I add in pumpkins and more mums and gourds as we get closer to October. Around the second week of October, I bring out all of the Halloween deco! I'm not big on scary stuff, so we tend to stick with scarecrows and jack-o-lanterns and deco with a country feel. I thought it would be fun to post pics of some of my deco- I love to share ideas with others ;-)

So, here's my dining room table- I have little pumpkins at each place setting, a really fun center piece that I designed, and some deco on two of the corners.... The front entry is decorated with lighted pumpkins- the big one needed some new bulbs when I took this pic, but it's normally lit up as well. I love the lighted grapevine garland on the cupboard!
I got a new fall picture frame this fall and put it in my formal living room- it's empty here, but I finally did get a picture of the kids in it!
I have lots of grapevine pumpkins around....

And of course it all continues outside....




Well, that's it for now- I'll get more pics up when I start adding Halloween stuff!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Razor Rules!

So, I have a rather bad habit, one that started MANY, MANY years ago (like way back in the 7th grade!). It's one that I wish I could kick, but honestly, I don't see it going away anytime soon! You see, my bad habit is shaving my legs. Well, what's wrong with that, right?!?! Every woman shaves her legs (I HOPE)! Of course we all shave our legs, but I'll bet most of you don't do it EVERY SINGLE DAY OF THE WEEK! Not only that, but I shave them on camping trips. I shave them on Christmas Day. I shave them when my husband is out of town. I shave them when it's 30 below and snowing outside. I even shave them the first time I take a shower after giving birth!!! Yep, I shave them every single day of the week, no matter what!

How on earth did this come to pass?! Well, it all began the year I started shaving my legs. At the time, I was just getting into cheerleading, and I wanted to have nice smooth legs every day for practice, and then of course for games on the weekends. That was the beginning of the end. Once I started down that path, it was impossible for me to stop! And the worst part was, shaving every day became a necessity because the hair just grew back that much faster! And I kept cheering- football season, basketball season- and if I wasn't cheering, then it would be summer and "shorts" season! It just became a bad habit. And unfortunately, I am a control freak, so I'm sure that just feeds into the whole ridiculous routine ;-)

I have tried several times to skip a day, but I never make it- I'll end up shaving at night or something! I guess it's one of those things where I'm only hurting myself! The biggest problem it creates is that it takes me a little longer to take a shower- I usually take a 15min shower because I have to shave. And I'm not exaggerating when I say that I've even shaved my legs at a campground with no showers! I had Zack boil some water over the fire and I sat myself down at the picnic table and got it done. I guess this is one reason I can look forward to getting older- I've heard your legs get smoother as you age ;-) I'm just curious, how often do normal people shave their legs? Am I the only one with this ridiculous bad habit?! Leave me a comment and tell me your routine- don't worry, it can't possibly be worse than mine!!!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Marshmallow Test

Oh my goodness- I checked out my sister's blog this morning to find this hysterical Youtube video, and I just HAD to share it! I know there are a bunch of you that will really appreciate this one- it is so darn cute! I really want to try it out on my kids ;-)

My photoblog!

Hey- for those of you that follow my photoblog, there are a few new pictures up over there! I had a fun shoot today with a group of 7th-graders- really cute kids! So, get over there and check 'em out!! Here's your link: Jenny's Joy

Friday, September 18, 2009

Emily

Ok, well, this isn't the best picture of Emily (sorry Em), but I wanted to get this post typed up quickly so that I can go dust the house while Jacob is still asleep- too much to do! I still have to hit Costco today, and I have a photo shoot this afternoon. Then Zack & I are planning to go out to dinner so we can "catch up" on life!! But back to Emily...... As you can see, she has graduated to a walking boot! She's been in this for about a week now, and we are 5 weeks post-op at this point. She should be into a walking shoe by next week, and we see the doc again in three weeks. She seems to be healing well, but it has been a LONG and painful process! She was in so much pain in the beginning, in fact, that she was missing lots of school, and, even when she did go, she was in lots of pain and heavily medicated. That, coupled with the fact that she had to be pushed around the halls in a wheelchair to get from one class to the next (and, needless to say, teenagers aren't very careful or respectful of other's injuries and would bump into her toes- you know, the ones with the PINS sticking out of them!), made our decision to enroll Emily in an on-line highschool for the year pretty easy.

So, I did a little research and found an on-line school that operates out of our state, is fully accredited, and has the same curriculum as our local highschool, and I began the enrollment process. We happened to get in just as they were about to close enrollment, and they had actually already started their program the same time Emily started school here, which meant that Emily would be starting the program at week 5- putting her slightly behind. The enrollment was free- we only had to pay a $70 resource fee (which is MUCH less than we pay for our public school here!). Not only is there no cost for the program, but they shipped her a brand new computer to use for school work. All of her learning materials are on-line (books, assignments, etc.), and she has teachers that teach on-line classes each week and that she can communicate with them through email. She has a "pacer" to help her stay on track so that she doesn't fall behind, but her schedule is completely up to her. All of her assignments for the week are due on Fridays, and tests are taken on-line as well. She started this past Monday, and has not only been able to completely catch up on the last four weeks that she missed, but she's even keeping up with this week's work! She's spending 5-6hrs per day working. I think it just goes to show how much time kids actually waste in school! I don't know how many times I've heard the girls tell me that their teacher spent the entire class period talking about their personal lives instead of teaching, and the only "real" work takes place at home!!!!

The plan is to complete the on-line program this year, and then Emily will likely return to public school next year, as our district is opening a brand new highschool and she will be transferred over- she's excited about that! And Sophie will be joining her in the new school next year, so it will be a great transition for her. Emily still has at least one more surgery to go (the other foot) and possibly surgery for carpal tunnel, so this is a good year to be at home;-) Here she is working at her desk in her room.....

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I'm stylin' now!!

So how do you like my new look?! WOW, right?!?! Yeah, I know, and I owe it all to Danielle over at The Design Girl- she's amazing!!!! She has done such an incredible job giving me exactly what I had hoped for- not to mention that she put up with my countless questions, lack of knowledge and general blondness! I am so excited with the finished product that I can't wait to get back on her list so that I can have her do my photoblog ;-)

You may have noticed that I changed the title- this is the title that some of you picked several months ago when I first started exploring the process of updating my blog (I had a poll on my sidebar). I wasn't too sure it was my favorite at the time, but now I love it and am so happy you all picked it- thanks!!

There's still a little more to be done- like getting rid of my ridiculous signature at the end of my posts that I designed (what was I thinking?), but it's so close now. Be sure to leave me a comment and tell me what you think of the "new me!" I LOVE IT- thanks Danielle!!!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I'm cured....

Yep, I found the cure for an addiction to Starbucks- PREGNANCY!!! I was completely addicted to Starbucks latte's- decaf, of course- until about a week ago. Oh yeah, I drank every latte I could get my hands on- iced, hot, skinny, breve- you name it ;-) But you can count on pregnancy to change all your normal behavior! These days, the thought of a latte makes me want to HURL, and I have to look straight ahead when I'm driving past a Starbucks store to avoid feeling nauseous!! Yeah, it's that bad! But on the bright side, I'm saving my husband a ton of money ;-)

I've been pretty sick the last week or so. I'm hungry all the dang time, but when I eat, I feel sick. But if I don't eat, I'm even more sick! NOTHING appeals to me- instead of cravings, the mere thought of food sets my teeth on edge. But the funny thing is, the second I finish a meal, I'm already thinking about eating again, and then I feel sick at the thought!!! I'm losin' it people....! Am I the only one?! Out of 8 pregnancies, this is the first time I've experienced this craziness- hmmmmm, wonder what THAT means?! I would love to hear your crazy stories about food and pregnancy- leave me a comment!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Mcklinky Blog Hop

This week's blog hop is all about art, and I was so excited because I have some rather talented young artists in my house (no bias here!). I didn't have a lot of time to get all the kids artwork together, but I think I will do another post in the near future with more of their drawings! Sophie is incredibly talented and we have framed lots of her work, so I was able to take some pictures. She loves to draw tigers, so here are a couple of our favorites!!




MckLinky Blog Hop

Someone's Seven!

Someone had another birthday on Friday and got a very BIG surprise!! Zack and I had so much fun surprising Noah with a brand new 4-wheeler for his 7th birthday! The best part was that it was NOT something we had planned on getting. I had put off shopping for his birthday until the very last minute (like, the day OF his birthday!) and spent the day before running around trying to figure out what on earth to get poor Noah. I took him shopping on Thursday and asked him to tell me what he liked (how pathetic is that?!). After an hour, I still had no idea what to get, so I was incredibly happy the next morning when I mentioned to Zack as he was leaving for work that I had no idea what to buy, and he told me he had the perfect gift! He said that Noah had mentioned a commercial on t.v. with a 4-wheeler on it and he thought I should go check them out at Toys R Us. Well, lo and behold, Toys R Us had the perfect vehicle for Noah, and I bought it on the spot ;-) Zack even agreed to have it assembled at the store- YAY, there is hope for him!- and picked it up on his way home from work. We left it in the back of the car.... ...and then we went in and let Noah open all his gifts. When he was done, we asked him if he got everything he wanted, and he said yes. Oh boy did I feel bad- the only things Zack & I had given him were a board game and a Mr. Potato Head! So then we told Noah that we had just one more present outside for him, and out we all went....
Needless to say, he was very excited, and he had to fight off the other boys just to get on it! The rest of the pictures are out of order, but I'm too tired to care- no energy these days ya know! So, here we have Noah opening gifts....
And I don't know why he wanted a potato head so bad, but I found an awesome one at Costco- it's a ginormous head with four small heads and lots of parts inside- I hit the jackpot with that one!
Sophie and Josh pitched in their own money and bought Noah a game for the Wii- he was ultra-excited!
Unfortunately, Matthew has decided that the new 4-wheeler is his and his alone! He's so desperate for his own 4-wheeler that he made Zack write a letter to Santa that very night and then made me put it in the mail!!!!! And he wasn't about to let Jacob on it for long...
Noah loves ice cream cake from DQ, so we happily obliged....
Noah opted for a trip to the amusement park in a couple of weeks instead of a big party with his friends, so we still have that to look forward to!
Happy birthday Noah- we love you!!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sneak Peek!!

I was so excited to have the opportunity today to photograph a family that I adore and that I feel so blessed to call friends! Here is a quick sneak peek- and if you want to see more (you know the routine...), you'll have to check out my photoblog! Be patient, it will take me some time to get all the photos up over there ;-) For now, enjoy this gorgeous family!!!



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