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"I love writing about nothing. It is the only thing I know anything about." ~ Oscar Wilde

Thursday, January 19, 2017

And The Doctor Said 'Build The Wall!'

Okay, so this post has absolutely nothing to do with Trump or Mexico-America relations. I try to steer clear of any online political discussions because they tend to be too much! and over the top! Instead, this post is all about childbirth x 7 and the consequential destruction of my girlie parts. That discussion is well within my margins of normal and acceptable. If you happen to be of the male gender, you might want to back-click your way right on out of this post.
For real. Click, click.

So no woman gets through pregnancy & childbirth unscathed. If you happen to be one of those annoying unique women who did, don't tell the rest of us. I want you to have friends. So make something up. No one's gonna make you prove it, so at least say that you have wet your pants a time or two or that you have stretch marks on your boobs or something. We women are a pretty welcoming tribe, but we have our limits. Now with all that being said, I have a couple things that put me in that annoying unique bracket of moms. Even though I've grown and birthed seven babies, a few parts of me have come out on the other-side virtually in tact. Example #1: My Boobs. After a few stressful weeks with a few of my new babies, my docs and I came to the conclusion that my breasts were non-functioning in the milk department. We tried all kinds of tricks and herbs and devices, but it was a no-go. Apparently, the universe gave me boobs for decorative purposes only. Whatever. With that being the case, I never really got those awesome boobs that come along with pregnancy. They just kind of stayed regular the whole time. Not a lot of growing....and not a lot of shrinking. Therefore, I'm lucky enough that they are still pointing in basically the right direction and, for the most part, they resemble the boobs of my 20's. Woot woot. Yay me. Example #2: No Saggy Skin. Somehow, I managed to get through my 10 child-bearing years without gaining any noticeable stretch-marks or sagging skin. I attribute this to the fact that I started all of my pregnancies already round and squishy, so being pregnant really was not a great shock to my system. Things shifted a bit, but there was no outrageous body transformation. And I have been diligent in remaining round and squishy, so there's nothing to sag. I tell ya, being chubby has its perks. (I always knew it.) Now normally I would not recommend any mom confessing that she has no stretch marks and still has decent boobs after having a bunch of kids. But the fact that I'm literally falling apart in other physical areas will most certainly give me a pass, and make all the saggy boobed, stretch-marked moms glad they are not in my shoes. Because you see, I'm in the midst of a full-on vagy-vag cave-in.

Yeah, it just got weird. Sorry. (I told you men you should've clicked out.)

Everything looks ok, said the doctor upon her initial visual exam this afternoon, but let's try a few things. I felt metal and a warm light. Now bear down, she said. And it took a half a second of that for her to realize we had a little problem. OK STOP. You have a prolapse.

Well what exactly is prolapsed? I asked.

Well.........everything, she said.
Everything???

Well it could be worse, she said. Nothing is actually exiting your body yet. 
That's a thing, she says.

But, alas, the female body is miraculous and wondrous! Growing babies and birthing them has been such a joyful and amazing experience! But girlfriends, this Humpty-Dumpty's gotta get herself put back together again!

So I've got a hysterectomy and some organ maneuvering to look forward to. And-no offense to my bladder and rectum-but some 'wall-building' has got to happen to keep them out! And just like that....my vag is just like Trump. Who'd have thunk it?



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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Asking For A Friend

What do you do when you feel like you can't possibly spend another day washing the dishes and sweeping the kitchen floor? When you can't fathom figuring out what's for dinner yet again, and planning what kids have to be picked-up when and dropped-off where? When you think about all the things you used to be....skinny, funny, relevant, intelligent, educated, trendy, appreciated, respected, revered....and think they've all but disappeared? What do you do when you feel like the person you really are or were really meant to be is stuck in a world on a never-ending loop of scheduling practices and planning meals and checking homework and organizing the bathroom drawers?

Maybe cry for a minute, and then maybe eat one of your kids fundraiser candy bars, and then maybe write all your crap down.
I've heard that sometimes helps.

Sometimes momming is hard.




Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Peanut Butter, Hershey Kisses, Milk

How I navigate the end of a long day
whenweareoutofwine.


Inappropriate Pictures

So I have these two friends to whom I like to send inappropriate pictures. 
Is that a bad thing??
And the inappropriate pictures are of my husband.
Is that worse????

And I suppose I should be clear. My description of inappropriate in this situation is very PG. Brandon and I are the parents of seven children,
 we are hardly ever alone,
and we have kids on our phones all the time,
so there is absolutely no way we would ever have legitimately inappropriate pictures. I have no doubt they would be accidentally texted to the softball parents group or forwarded to the math teacher, because that is just exactly how things go here. There are no such things as privacy and secrets when you have seven children in your house.
Period.
So when I refer to these pictures as inappropriate, I mostly mean funny...with just a hint of impropriety. I'm talking about pictures where you can alllllmost see his butt. Or maybe alllllmost see....his junk, as my friends and I like to call it.
I know. We're super tacky.

It started a few weeks back when Brandon was sick in the hospital with a ridiculously severe case of mono. It was like mono on steroids, causing him to have some major spleen and liver issues, and giving him a week-long stay in the hospital. Our family and friends kicked into high gear and were the most awesome support team imaginable. They fed us, they took care of our kids, they loved us and they kept me laughing. And, for whatever disturbed reason, one of the things that kept me laughing was to send these two heathen friends of mine
inappropriate pictures of Brandon. He was so sick and basically unconscious for several days, and he always ended up in very compromising positions. He struggled with fever off and on for days, so he was hot/cold, hot/cold. One minute he would be bundled under piles of blankets, only to throw them all off...along with his gown...soon after. There were countless times that I rushed to cover his junk as a nurse started to walk in. It got to be comical, so sending pictures of my helpless, unconscious, and scantily clad husband seemed like a good idea. I mean, whatever passes the time, right?
I'm an exceptional wife. What can I say?

Sick Brandon, in no mood for my crap.
So I really only sent a couple of pictures here and there, but it has since become a goal of mine to get even more pictures of Brandon in various stages of undress. Which really is not difficult at all. Brandon is a super awesome guy, and is hands on all the time. Properly dressed just isn't one of his requirements. Which means he helps kids brush their teeth....while still in his undies
or sorts the laundry....while in a largely-gaping robe.
It's all part of his charm.
And he's got a lot of charm. :)

As I was looking back at the pictures of him sorting laundry, I selected one. And that's when I realized just how fantastic the iPhone really is. It recognized the person and subject matter in the photo, and then chose all the other similar pictures, from the 8000 on my phone, and sorted them into one precious folder containing all of Brandon's Hits. It was a smorgasbord of hilarity and impropriety! Like a little gift from the Apple gods!
I love him so!
And I'm so glad he doesn't blog.
I'd be totally screwed.

Piles And Piles of Books

I thought maybe I'd clean out the 8000+ pictures on my iPhone. Decided there were at least 8000+ other things I'd like to do. But in the 3 minutes I spent on it, I found all of these pictures of Henry.
 
 
 
 
 
And these are just since Christmas. Needless to say, he has an obsession with books. 
And pajamas.

He's so totally my kid.



Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Her Showers

Moms and showering is always an interesting combination. That's one of the areas that The Husbands usually don't quite experience like we mommas do. At least in our house, His shower is almost always quiet & hot & lonely & longer than 7 minutes. For the first several years after I became a mom, I took a good 90% of my showers with another small, chubby person in there with me. Usually two. Often more. And if they weren't with me, I showered with the bathroom door all the way open and the shower curtain half open, listening for crashes or screams or intruders breaking down the front door. My friend and I were recently talking about this, as she had just taken her entire shower singing If You're Happy And You Know It, while carefully listening for clapping hands and stomping feet. Every single mom has done it. And even when Brandon is home during my shower, I still answer at least half a dozen questions while I'm in there or holler at the kids to stop arguing! or settle down! or please ask your dad!
Every single shower.
Without exception.
Lately, Brandon has been suggesting that I just lock the door, which only changes my experience by adding in my need to yell at kids to stop banging on the door and their need to scream their questions through the cracks. On a very rare occasion, I will decide to shower after all the kids are in bed. It's unusual, because if they are asleep, I want to be asleep, and the thought of 

dragging off my clothes
washing and conditioning my hair
cleaning every body part
drying off
redressing
brushing through my tangled mess of hair
moisturizing
and dealing with Brandon and his idea that my showering might be some sort of "code message" to him regarding the rest of our evening

sounds entirely too exhausting. 
So what that means for this mom is that showers aren't always on the daily. And shaving is most certainly not on the weekly. And any offer from Brandon to 'wash my back' is likely only accepted on the yearly. I wonder if this mom and the shower predicament is why so many parents end up doing bathroom remodels after all their kids move out. 

tiled shower stalls
fancy, rainfall shower heads
deep, clawfoot tubs
heated floors

It's all to make up for the years of proper and peaceful showers from which mom is seriously overdue. 

But for now, I'm destined for disruptions and my tiny tub and cheap shower head. And now that I think about it, I think there are likely a couple of outlier kids here who are loooong overdue in putting that tiny tub & cheap shower head to use. So I guess I should focus less on my own showers and a little more on theirs.
But I've heard that kids who aren't bathed on a daily basis get sick less often,
so I'm going with that.



Monday, January 9, 2017

Boys are home.

Boys are home.



Perfection In The Time Of Facebook

Having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be; satisfying all requirements--PERFECT, adjective, Merriam-Webster's Dictionary 

We all have those Facebook friends.

The ones who just love their life!
The ones who wouldn't change a thing!

The ones whose kids are the sweetest
whose spouses are everything they want them to be
whose homes are perfect.
Everything is smiles 
and happiness 
and tidy spaces
And I get it that it's annoying,
constantly seeing their wonderful bits displayed for the world to see.
And I get it that sometimes that person is me.

But here's my reality: I know that the worst day I can imagine is yet to come. I know enough about life to know that there is heartache, grief, and overwhelming turmoil somewhere on the timeline of Sara's Life. And it could be tomorrow. So for today....and the next day....and the day after that, I am going to boldly and without reservation love my life. I'm going to say it and display it, proudly and unapologetically. Because when my worst day comes, I don't want to look back and wish I had appreciated my blessings when they were at my feet. 

I love my life.
I think it's perfect. 
Even when it's messy and frustrating, I declare
perfection
Because, to me, that's exactly what it is.
Flaws and all.


Friday, January 6, 2017

Hershey's Kiss Persuasion

One of these days, my kids are going to move past the Hershey's Kiss persuasion.

But at this moment, I have five little boys who excitedly accepted the challenge when I said,

First kid to sleep gets a Hershey's Kiss with breakfast. 

It legitimately works here.

How's that for crazy? 


Thursday, January 5, 2017

Frankie For The Win!

I would like to think that I'm not taking advantage of the system, but call it what you like. When it comes time for swim sign-ups, you can guarantee all 7 kids will be swimming because when you pay for four, the rest are practically free. When the high school coach offers basketball camp, and only charges $5 for each additional kid, you can bet I'll be signing up
each 
additional 
kid. 
And when the church up the road hosts a weekly, Wednesday night function for kids...parents not required...for $5 per family, and with dinner, you can pretty much guarantee I'll have kids in attendance. Now, it helps that we used to attend this church on a regular basis before we had an irrational number of children, and it helps that we know lots and lots of people there. I know that my kids aren't being taught crazy things by crazy people. But the truth is, they could be teaching them how to flare their nostrils or how to stand on their head or how to write the alphabet backwards and upside down. If they were offering me a kid-free night with dinner for $5, I'd still be signing them up. But it's a win-win. I like the people. I like the lessons. I like the 2 free hours. Judge away.

So, last night being Wednesday, Brandon loaded up four of the kids and took them to the church up the road. Annie was at basketball practice, and Jack had a basketball game, so Henry and I headed to the school to be with those two. Shortly after I arrived at the game, and after Brandon arrived at the church, I received a text from him:
Being the first Wednesday back after the holiday break, I assume they weren't really sure how many to expect, and didn't quite have enough for the crowd. The volunteers were scrambling to cook extra food, but Brandon decided to get our boys out of line and just have them not eat this time. He felt there was no reason for the adults to scrounge up more food on our account, especially since our boys didn't really need anything. I always give our kids dinner before they go on Wednesday nights, so them going without last night was really no big deal at all. They had literally eaten peanut butter sandwiches and/or soup moments before walking out the door, so they were in no way starving!!!, as they like to label themselves on an annoyingly regular basis. Nevertheless, my four boys pitched a fit, albeit quietly, as if we had stolen Christmas. Brandon, being the parent with them at the time, started giving them the what for right there in the church, in the quiet, clenched-teeth way that we parents do in public, and threatened to take them straight home. They finally got their acts together and Brandon left them at the church and met me at the basketball game. Brandon had a ballpark meeting right after the basketball game, so I was the one in charge of pick-up at the church. Upon seeing the first kid, Mr. Josiah, 
I immediately knew he had been hanging on to his misfortune for the entire night. 

  Mom! he said, upon seeing me. I am sooooo hungry!
  
  Zip it, I said. We'll talk in the van.

Then I got to Kyle.
He was all smiles at first, but started asking me about food as soon as we hit the parking lot.

Then it was Adam.
He immediately asked me what was for dinner. 

  You ate soup and a sandwich at home for dinner, I said. 

  But...., he started.

  Zip it!! I said.

Then came Frankie.
  Mom, allllllll the other kids.....
  
  Enough about it! Get in the van!

And then those precious boys got chewed out. 

  I am so frustrated with you four boys! I cannot believe that you boys made such a scene when Daddy told you that you were not going to eat here tonight. Did you know that there are kids here who didn't have anything for dinner? They haven't had anything since lunch at school today! You boys had a big, yummy snack after school, and then you even had dinner before you came here today! But you decided that you should come up here and be rude because Daddy told you not to eat because they were low on food?!?! What are you learning about while you're here each week, huh? Well????

Jesus, one of the boys whispered.

  That's right! Jesus! And what have you learned about Jesus? That he was compassionate and understanding and a helper to others. Would he have behaved that way if he were in line with you tonight? I don't think he would. I think he would have been happy to forgo his meal so that someone else could have something. Especially if he had just had a sandwich before he came!! Do you think he would have been rude and had a fit????

Silence....
.....but then Frankie spoke up.

  I think since he's Jesus he just woulda made somemore samwiches.

Snow Day

Today was a Snow Day.

And now I'm exhausted.

Like
  7 hats
  28 gloves
  14 boots
  42 socks 
  21 pairs of pants
  14 shirts
  7 coats and
  7 scarves
exhausted.

And my house is wrecked and I look run over.

But I've certainly got some happy kids!!

And I'm also certain they will sleep really well tonight, and they will be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and

absolutely ready for school tomorrow.

A couple of years ago, we had days upon days upon days out of school. It was never-ending. And I think Brandon was out of town for work during a lot of it, so I was legitimately one, tiny, baby-step away from a complete mental break. You can read all about that here. Thankfully, Brandon was 'working from home' today...which is a complete oxymoron when your home is occupied with seven children. But he was able to help find boots and snow pants in between phone calls and spent a little time outside, while I stayed inside making soup and treats and tending to the wet, cold kids trickling in. We have a tradition in our family, in that we always have a special treat to celebrate the first snow of the season. So on top of the responsibility of
  7 hats
  28 gloves
  14 boots
  42 socks 
  21 pairs of pants
  14 shirts
  7 coats and
  7 scarves
I had to make our Snow Day Brownies. It's a very special recipe that I expect will be passed down from generation to generation in our family. It includes.....drumroll.....brownies made from a box, sprinkled with powdered sugar 'snow'. Snow Day Brownies. Of course the kids asked about the brownies as soon as they woke up, and of course there was not a mix to be found in the house. So I made a quick, but yummy cake instead and they didn't notice a thing. And I reminded them that they are so lucky to have an above-average mom, and they all agreed. :) But now I'm too tired to be one-more-bit productive, so it's oatmeal for dinner and then straight to bed. And the kids will quickly remember that I'm just average, and I'll be drinking wine and not caring.

And that's kind of like every single day here.

Cheers!


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Super Dad ;-)

Good morning.
 And I love you.
And put on some pants.
Posted with permission from Super Dad.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Yellow Is My Favorite Color

I love the bus. I love the color yellow. I love yellow with black stripes. I love the grumbling sound. I love the smell of exhaust. I love our bus driver, Amy. I love the name Amy. I love the Wheels On The Bus song. I love seeing the children go up and down. And I love watching the wheels go round and round as they leave my neighborhood.

Oh yes, and I love my children, too.

But school is just the best.

All those little goof-balls are off to school and, today, it's just me and Henry. And we had a little It's Just Me & Henry celebration from my bed, in our pajamas.

And we don't feel bad about it, not one bit.
We're watching cartoons and it's really quiet and we're not crowded.
It's dreamy.

But my kids LOVE school, all of them, and that makes my enthusiasm much easier and less guilt-inducing. This kid....
....my Kyle, who is super crazy, is always the most difficult to wake up. He lives life full-throttle all day every day. He is always the last one to fall asleep, and then he crashes into a deep, deep, deep hibernation-like sleep. And when we are finally able to wake him, it's as if he awoke on an entirely different planet, with no understanding of where he is or who he is or who we are. But today, he popped straight out of bed after just hearing me walk down the stairs.
"I'm up!"
he exclaimed, and then ran past me and up the stairs as he squealed,
"I love school!" 
I wasn't even certain it was him, it was all so fast and flurried. And within a few short minutes, all the school kids were up and dressed and excitedly putting on their new shoes. The kids have a wonderful Nana who buys them actual name brand shoes. I never buy any shoes for them over $20, and then I am content if they wear them until they are falling apart. Literally. Kyle wore these shoes to school, and every other public place, right up until his new shoes arrived from Nana last night.
And I don't even care. Because when you are Sara With Seven Kids, you don't care about that stuff. The fact that he actually has shoes on his feet when he arrives to school is really my only requirement. This same kid, Kyle, actually did go to school without a shirt once, so the possibility of somehow getting to school without shoes is reasonable in our house. I remember Gina from the school office calling me that morning....
"Ummm, Sara? I just wanted to let you know that Kyle came to school without a shirt on. We gave him one, but this was too funny to not call and tell you about."

What parents do that?!?!?
Well....so....we do. But let me tell you, it is a full-time job just trying to keep track of all their crazy, heifer behinds. We don't have time for details. But in our defense, Kyle did not leave for school completely bare-chested that day. He had put on his coat and zipped it up, neglecting to first put on a shirt. He's cuter-than-average; he can't be expected to be all things. But we got the kids out the door that morning, and onto that big, precious, beautiful bus, and gave ourselves a big pat on the back.

And thought,
We really rock at parenting.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Bad Teeth, Bad Hair, Don't Care

So my daughter got her braces off today, which really isn't that big of a deal, unless you happen to be my daughter. And then it's the event of the year. (And she thinks everyone in her life is thinking about it and excited about it and waiting anxiously to see pictures showing it.) Before she left for her appointment, she made a most grand exit, declaring to the boys that "This will be the last time you will see me with braces!"
(Visualize teenager raising sword.) Their response:
I clearly remember getting my braces off and how exciting it was, so I'm not negating her excitement. And the world of an almost fourteen-year-old is supposed to be all about them. Being the oldest child of seven certainly gives her the audience she loves, but having all little brothers takes some of the fun out of it. They could not care any less about any thing cosmetic related. They, for real,
Don't care.

Poor Annie inherited her mother's unfortunate dental structure, so she's been in braces for a year and a half. Here is her before pic in the summer of 2015.
Not only did she have teeth issues, but the hair was an issue, as well. She got an adorably cute pixie cut at the beginning of 6th grade, which she immediately decided to grow out, in typical female I've Changed My Mind-fashion. The cycle of cutting it off, growing it out, cutting it off, and growing it out. We do it over and over and over.
All
our
lives.
Men: "Same as last time!" And they pay their 10 bucks, and they're done.  
Men are adorable.

I looked much like Annie in my pre-braces, young teen years. The teeth were a mess, and the hair.....sigh
How does this happen?
How is this possible? 
How did I survive this school year?

But Annie was adorable. Freckle-faced, grown-out pixie, crooked-teeth, adorable. But, my, what a difference a year and a half makes.

Love you, sweet girl.
:)

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