Back to Routine

Or at least I’m trying to get there!  Things are still a little crazy around here a week and a half after Luke’s birth.  We started school back on Monday and while things are moving along, it’s still chaotic.  I made some changes first off on Lilly’s lessons.  I used to have her do every subject every day.  I have since reduced her daily lessons by eight and there is a slightly different schedule every day.  For examle, Science is now Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and History is on Tuesday and Thursdays.  I have Art on Monday, Music on Tuesday through Thursday, and Life Skills on Friday.  Some things are still every day by necessity, such as Math, Bible, and Language Arts.  I also split up Funday Friday so that she has an even number of classes every day still.  This means she get to play at least one game every day except Monday.

So far school seems to be going ok.  Lilly has been getting done before middle of the night and getting better each day.  It’s particularly good since I can’t seem to get classes started before 2pm.  I wake up, usually around 9 or so (though it has been a little later some because of children keeping me up with colds…  Mark keeps waking up in the middle of the night and refusing to go back to sleep unless everyone is in bed.  And being as Shane has been spending all night awake several nights in a row, this becomes a battle of endurance.  I still feel like I could really use a nap but I haven’t been taking one because I’ve been trying to get through school.)  After I wake up, I have gotten back to making breakfast for kids.  They’re happy about that.  I guess there’s only so many days you can have oatmeal or grits before you need a change!  Monday I let them eat cereal because I was still really tired.  Tuesday I made omelets and grits and peaches.  Yesterday I slept in and let them make oatmeal.  And today I made sausage, egg, and cheese breakfast burritos. 

I have also been baking some more.  I have almost caught up on my baking list.  I’d gotten behind a bit, but I made coffee cake, brownies, cinnamon rolls, plus some powdered sugar as I was running low, and I cheat and count that as one of my baking items for the week!  I only have oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and rice krispy treats left to go on my list.  You can tell everyone misses my baking.  Nothing is lasting beyond a day after I make it.  Normally stuff will last at least 2-3 days, but not this week.

I’m back to cooking dinners myself again, and even tidying up a bit in the kitchen as I go instead of leaving it all for kids to clean up.  Tonight seems to be an exception because the kids are fighting over who does what for cleaning up.  The teens are getting on to Lilly for not washing dishes from earlier today and she is doing homework and basically won’t wash any more at the moment unless I enforce some discipline.  Right now I’m too annoyed at the pettiness of the entire thing to even bother.  I need one pot washed to make dinner and it’s like pulling teeth to get the older kids to get it clean for me.  So I’m going to heat up leftovers for the little kids for dinner and let the older ones go hungry or fend for themselves since they’re being idiots tonight.  It’s a constant battle getting them to do their chores and tonight I’m just tired of it.  There reaches a point where it’s beyond ridiculous.

I haven’t gotten back to doing all my chores on Monday, but that has more to do with lack of rouine, change in routine, having to be available to Luke at a moment’s notice more than it does me not having energy.  My energy levels are fine actually.  I feel pretty good truth be told.  But a newborn that breastfeeds is time consuming and that’s a simple fact.  However I am more or less done with everything I normally have done by Monday as soon as I submit this post!  The only weekly task left on my agenda is shopping and I always wait till Friday (payday!) for that.

Things still aren’t like clockwork.  We still have a lot of work still to do just on a “now that I’m not pregnant” basis, but it is getting there.  It still feels incredibly chaotic but we’re working it out.  I know from past experience that it won’t take too long before thing start to fall into their natural rhythm.  I just hope it happens sooner than later!  I’m ready for some normal!

Time for a birth story!!!

FINALLY!  The birth story can be written.  So first off… Mr. Baby kept flipping…  He was breech around 39 weeks.  Then the next week he was head down.  Two weeks later, at 42 weeks he was breech again!  I definitely didn’t want a c-section and the ultrasound had him measuring big… Between 10 and 12 1/2 pounds.  My obgyn has been really good, comletely supportive of me doing things naturally, but she felt a little nervous at the idea of a vaginal breech baby that big.  So she suggested trying to turn him with an ECV (External Cephalic Version).  I’d never had one done before, but I was willing to try if it meant avoiding a c-section.  It was scheduled for that Saturday, March 7.  I got to the hospital at 5 am like they asked, with Shane.  My doctor said it was possible the procedure could put me in labor so I wanted to make sure he was there if it happened that way.  We got all registered, and I got up to my room to wait for my doctor.  When she got there, she decided to take a peak with the ultrasound to see how he was doing.  But guess what?  HE HAD FLIPPED!  That’s right.  He was head down. *I* had been feeling him flip up and down for the past few weeks but it always seemed he was breech on the ultrasound.  I was almost positive I had felt him flip Friday night but I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to sound stupid if I was wrong.  But he did… He flipped head down, and stayed head down, at 42 weeks, practically unheard of when googling “breech baby at 42 weeks pregnant”.

So I went home without the ECV to wait on labor.  I was 2cm dilated and about 50% effaced.  I cramped off and on for the next several days but no labor.  At my obgyn appointment Thursday they said the fluid was borderline low.  I felt sure though that my baby would be born soon.  His head was way low on ultrasound, but I knew that from walking, or should I say waddling, around. Friday came and Shane took off work to take me walking to see if I would go into labor.  By this time I was getting close to 43 weeks…  Still no labor.  We waited all weekend.  Nothing but non regular cramping.  I felt something weird Sunday.  It kind of felt like fluid leaking.  When I went to the bathroom to check, I saw to my surprise I had lost my mucus plug.  I had never seen it before but there was no doubt because it was so MUCH.  The rest of the day I lost bits more but nothing like that first time.

Monday I had another obgyn appointment.  I was a little downhearted by this tim.  I was hearing that my fluid was a little low.  It was 4.4cm and was supposed to be 5cm.  I had another appointment scheduled for Wednesday when I was supposed to give my decision regarding induction.  Shane wanted me to induce Friday because he was worried about his vacation time running out and getting fired from work.  I really didn’t want to induce but I understood his point and was trying to prepare myself for the possibility.  After all, by Friday I would be almost 44 weeks pregnant!  That’s late, even for me.  Previouly my longest had been two weeks late.  However, I also read that fluid levels could be improved by drinking water…  Also being dehydrated could stall or stop labor.  Being as I’d been thirsty, I knew I WAS dehydrated…  So I had Lilly keeping me topped off on water all day Monday.  I drank a gallon and a half of water and peed like a racehorse all day.  And I cramped.  Tuesday I had a dentist appointment and since I wasn’t in labor, I prepared to go.  I woke up at 8 AM and felt some actual contractions.  I wasn’t prepared to call in the calvary though because they were barely noticeable and they were 20 minutes apart.  I ate a banana and went to the dentist.  During my cleaning around 10 (they were running a bit behind), my contractions were such that I needed to close my eyes and they were ten minutes apart.  Still no reason to worry.  Pain level about 2-4.  I went home and ate a bowl of cereal.  Then I was kind of tired so I tried to lay down.  I couldn’t really sleep so I got up.  This was around 1.  Contractions were 5 minutes apart and pain level 5-6.  Shane decided to stay home, though I told him he should go ahead to work because there was no telling when I would get closer.  I’m glad he didnt listen to me.  The contractions continued getting stronger and by 3 I knew I needed to go to the hospital.  It was too quick from 8 and I didn’t was to get stuck in work traffic.  We packed up, called my doctor and said we were on the way to the hospital.

I continued to feel contractions about 5 minutes apart, getting stronger.  By the time I got registered and they had me hooked up to my IV and baby monitor, my doctor said I’d had three conractions in that short time.  I’d only felt one but apparently they were about three minutes apart.  It was around 4 and she said I was 5-6 cm dilated and 80% effaced.  It wasn’t too tough until 6.  Contractions were strong by then.  My doctor had gone to get dinner after she checked me because I said I felt sure it would be a little while before I’d be ready.  At 7 I felt sure I was in transition so a nurse measured me.  She said 6cm but I felt sure that was wrong.  My contraction were 2-3 minutes apart now and pain level 7-9.  I knew I had to be more than 6 and I was disheartened.  My doctor got back at 7:40 and I told her I thought for sure I was more than 6.  She checked and I was 8 with just a cervical lip left.  I felt relieved because I felt like I was dying.  I was so exhausted.  I kept shifting positions.  Walked around a bit.  Peed often.  My water broke sometime around then.  I was squatting by the bed and felt a pop during the contraction and a bit of liquid fell out.  I thought maybe I peed on the floor but when I wiped it up it was clear and when the nurse and doctor saw it they said probably was fluid.  Fast forward a bit.  It was just before 9.  She said I had the cervical lip left but it was pliable since this was my sixth and if I felt the need to push then I could.  So I did.  I was apparently making progress but not like I was used to.  I was used to ten minutes of pushing.  I pushed with a birth bar, hands and knees, and sitting upright squatting.  He had made it past the cervix.  My doctor said she could feel hair.  I felt like I was dying.  I was sure he was going to be stuck in me forever.  And that I was just going to collapse right there.  Then… On one contraction and push, I felt it!  I felt the burn.  It’s a special burn.  It’s the baby is about to get out burn.  I told my doctor and the positioned the mirror so I could see.  No baby.  Next conraction though, I pushed, pushed, pushed, and kept pushing and pushed his entire body out in one contraction!

Luke Walker Beard was born at 9:33 pm.  He weighed in at 11 pounds, 24″.  He was born at 43 weeks 2 days, on St. Patrick’s Day!  No tearing, very little hairline tears even.  He had pooed and had the cord around his next but no problems.  He had a 9,9,10 apgar score.  Head full of hair.  I couldn’t believe I had done it!  I spent the next hour crying, shaking, and nursing my newest son!

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Happy Pi Day!

Today is 3/14/15.  3.1415.  Happy Pi Day!  Today would be a good day for Luke Walker to be born… However only one of my children has ever decided to be born on the day I thought would be cool.  David was born on the day of the lunar eclipe… Just barely lol.  He was born just after midnight around 12:30.  My other children, though… Sierra was born the day AFTER Halloween.  Jordan was born the day AFTER Valentine’s Day…  So it would make perfect sense for Luke to be born tomorrow…. The day AFTER Pi Day and the day before my granddad’s birthday…  Or the day after St. Patrick’s Day… So many possible birthday screw up days lol. 
Since it’s impossible to tell when he will come, and I HAVE been feeling contractions off and on, I will try not to dwell on it. I was trying to postpone this week’s blog post in the hopes that it would be a birth story but being as it’s 3PM and I’m not at the hospital, I don’t see that happening.  Perhaps next week’s post.  I WILL be 43 weeks tomorrow after all!

So today I’m going to focus on PI Day!  Try and finish up my week’s work that I’ve postponed some of.  I’m basically almost done but there were a few things I was deliberately putting off because honestly I just didn’t feel like doing them lol. 

I think the kids are eager to get school started back again.  Hopefully soon we’ll be able to get started again. I’m ready for a sense of normalcy around here again.  Tired of the chaos that results when I have to rest and the kids take that as their cue to act like wild orangutans!!

On the note of homeschooling, I read something really interesting the other day. I read that middle school is irrelevant.  That supposedly it was originally created to avoid putting fifteen year olds to work in the factory and causing them to stay in school longer.  Notice the absence of an explanation for why kids SHOULD be in school – to learn more!  I was intrigued.  So I looked at some of the materials I had set aside for middle school and some I had set aside for ninth grade.  Turns out there may be some merit in the whole skipping middle school thing.  Sixth and Seventh grade math seems like a review with very little advancement of content of things learned in elementary school.  Ninth grade math is Algebra… And the first chapter totally looks like something Lilly could handle.  I am very very seriously considering skipping her three grades to high school after we finish fifth grade…  Just to see how it goes.  After all my entire parenting philosophy has been to have the freedom to experiment in such ways that most improve my children.  I have done very little in the ways that I was personally raised.  I wasn’t breastfed, didn’t wear cloth diapers, never heard of sourdough starter, wasn’t homeschooled, didn’t have a digital device at a young age (to translate to the 80’s this would be my own computer… Didn’t have that till third grade, and it was very low end and used).  So why not experiment within my existing experiment of homeschool?  I think Lilly could handle the work.  Time will tell if I’m right!

41+ Weeks

Well as of yesterday I’m “officially” 41 weeks. I have another appointment Thursday. Friday the baby had turned breech. I’m not too worried about it. The week before he was head down. Friday evening and Saturday I felt him doing all kinds of somersaults. There’s a good chance he flipped back down in my opinion. I’ve read that babies can flip up and down all the way till labor. Do I figure regardless of what they find Thursday I’ll just wait until I go into labor naturally to see what he’s done. An exam revealed I’m nowhere close to labor anyways, as I suspected so there’s not too much to worry about on my end.

In fact the only lingering doubt as far as that goes that I even have is hoping that my obgyn is ok with me waiting. So far she seems pretty cool about it all. I mean baby vitals sound good and even though he was breech when I was 40 weeks she made sure I understood they have to recommend c section if he’s breech when I into labor but it’s not required. She also seemed to agree with me when I said going a couple of weeks past my due date was no big deal for me, especially considering the cervix check agreed with my words.

I do have a fear though. I am afraid of being alone in labor. I won’t be…My husband will be there of course, but it’s a nagging fear left over from my labor with Mark. I had intended to do an at home unassisted birth but chickened out at the last bit. Shane was asleep for a good bit of my early labor because I let him sleep but it left a mental fear lingering that maybe this time I won’t be able to handle the pain. I still remember it and I’m not looking forward to it. Plus we’ve both been sick and have not quite recovered so I’m worried about being in labor with the tail end of a cold.

I know once things actually get moving everything will fall into place. I don’t know why I’m worrying so much this time anyways. I’ve never worried on my previous pregnancies. Probably just residual worry from all the other stuff we’ve been dealing with over the past few months but still.

It probably doesn’t help that I just don’t feel like doing much at all. A few minutes on my feet and I’m really exhausted. Ironically I don’t feel as pregnant as previous pregnancies just more tired. Still it leaves a lot of free time for my mind to wander. Probably doesn’t help that I’ve suspended school until after the baby is born so I can sleep when I need to, rest if I need it, etc.

Hopefully by the time I post my next entry I’ll be post partum but if not, I’ll know that Mr. Baby is just not ready to be born yet. One good thing though is that I’m definitely getting a March baby!

Tax Refund Time is a Blessing

Seriously. Tax Refund Time is one of my most favorite times of the year. This year it was particularly true. We’ve been struggling for a while now. We kept telling ourselves we’d be ok if we could just make it to tax refund time. Boy were we right.

This year we were able to undo some of the major damage to our finances that have happened over the past couple of years due to unfortunate circumstances.

Last year around this time, maybe earlier in the year, we had to get a title loan on our cat to pay the rent. That was disheartening. But today we have our title back!

Last year we also had to use the insurance money for our kid’s Christmas tablets to pay bills instead of replace their damaged tablets. But now I have tablets on the way for them that are better than what they had before and less costly. Now they can do their school on their own tablets instead of fighting over the virtual tablet on the computer. Less fighting = a happy mommy.

When we moved here we had to go to Aaron’s to get a washer and dryer. We couldn’t find anything decent used within the price range we could afford at the time and we really needed a washer. It kind of sucked picking up a monthly payment but at the time it was under the price of what we could afford so even though a used pair would have been cheaper the all at once nature of it put it out of our budget. But today, we now own the washer and dryer. No more payments.

We have been making due with some of our household furnishings for a LONG time because we couldn’t afford anything else. Our entertainment center for example is falling apart. It was originally a computer desk that our landlord four years ago sold is for like 3 bucks. Several moved later and I’m surprised it’s still standing and hasn’t collapsed on a child. But tax refund is allowing us to replace it with one that is not that much more than what we originally got this one for and definitely is not falling apart.

Shane was able to purchase some tools and parts he needed to make some home repairs. This is very good because we’ve all been fighting depression having to live in such a ruin down place. Don’t get me wrong… I’m grateful for a roof over our head. But it does still make me sad to deal with plastic drop cloth instead of a window, another window broken, holes in the walls and floors galore, floors that are impossible to clean because they were never installed properly and cleaning them tears them up. Getting a new doorknob instead of the one we had that half the time wouldn’t open from the outside and getting non broken toilet seats…  little things like that are bringing great joy to the house. We’re looking on craigslist to to try and find a nice used couch for the den and bunk bed for the boy’s room. Right now Matthew and Jordan are sharing a full bed that isn’t even on a proper need frame and keeps falling to the floor. Having a bunk bed for them will be an amazing thing.

Getting protective cases for our devices so they don’t break when dropped… That’s a good thing. I am able to replace our microwave that died several months ago, and our toaster that is in the process of dying.

I’m very happy about being able to get a new color laser printer for homeschooling printouts. It is a brother and is cheaper than the one we have now but is a much better model. It is on rollback at Wal-Mart and we seriously needed a new printer. We’ve had ours for several years and it’s gotten to the point where it would cost more to replace the parts that need replacing than to just get the new printer. The best part is the new printer is WiFi so I no longer need to connect to our computer to print with Google cloud print.

We paid up our medical bills and our legal bills so now hopefully we can get the screwed up child support issue cleared up. That would be amazing to see that happen.

I bought a bit of organizational supplies from Dollar General to help organize Mark’s and the new baby’s clothes. Plus I stocked up on some of our supplies that we use regularly, doesn’t cost much, but we can never seem to keep on hand.

We will also be making some repairs to our car. We will get the muffler settled back on, get it the oil change and check up it desperately needs, spark plugs, a new thermostat, all that fun stuff. We will be able to get it road ready so that Emily can finally go get her driver’s license. She’s excited about that.

Oh and we caught up on our past due utility bills. We were sweating a little about that but money came in just in time.

And I won’t lie. Shane and I were able to get ourselves a special treat as well. I am upgrading my tablet and paying my old one down to the kids, and he wanted a new video game system since ours has been on its last legs a while. I figured since we did so many other responsible things we were allowed to reward ourselves a little bit!

This has been a huge blessing for us. It has lifted our spirits tremendously. We were able to reduce our monthly expenses a good bit. I’d say they’re about three hundred dollars less a month than what they were before so that’s excellent. That extra income each month will help is continue to bake house repairs and to save up for a second vehicle. I definitely want to save up for one and not get a loan on one. I am loathe to make monthly payments again!  I’d rather save up a few months and go pay cash for it!

I figure this year’s tax refund had put us in a good position to get where we want to be in our “five year plan”.  Being able to make the improvements to our house will make it a pleasant enough place to live in that we won’t mind staying here until we have a second car and a tremendous down payment for a house. That’s the next plan – improve our credit so can buy a house. And part of that will be saving up a down payment. The other will be paying off the things that have gone to collections during our tough times. And it would be nice to pay off our student loans finally too!  All of these things are things that are within our grasp now that we’re not downing in bills. I am truly grateful for the refund and I feel optimistic about this year. It has not been an easy road to travel. Undoubtedly there will be more pitfalls along the way. Hopefully now though we will be able to start building up a savings again and dare I hope, start tithing!  My end goal is to have two vehicles, a house we own, and the ability to give people money when they need it. I want to be in a financial position to help my family when they need it. That would be amazing in my mind. And that is what I am working towards.

Large Family Living

I was on Facebook today and I ran across a couple of articles about the Duggar family. The comments, as usual, tended to trend towards the negative. I personally find that baffling. I really don’t understand the intense hatred.

Some people made comments about them having 19 kids and being supported by the government. I understand the logic though if I understand the facts currently, it’s flawed, as they don’t have government assistance. On that note though, I’d like to add that just because one has a large family and is on government assistance, it doesn’t mean they’re lazy, or scanning for money, or whatever else. Sure some people are but not all.  We are on food stamps and wic, but we’ve not been on it the entire time I’ve had children. It’s been due to a combination of unfortunate circumstances and poor choices on our part. I’ll admit right now that I have made some sucky financial choices. And I am paying for it now. I wasn’t taught how to handle money growing up. I wasn’t taught about the danger of debt. I had some vague knowledge of it and that it was bad but I was young and foolish enough to think I could easily avoid it without having the wisdom of knowing about sacrifice. In other words I thought I could have my cake and eat it too.  It has taken many years and many mistakes to learn that is not true. We don’t WANT to be on government support. We believe that we should support our own family. But it is a humongous blessing for which we are deeply grateful.  And we don’t plan to stay on government aid forever. Our goal is to become self sufficient. The future looks bright and I have every confidence we can be on our own before too long!

Another thing people critiqued was the older children raising the younger children thing. I dunno about that one. I’ve seen a few episodes and haven’t seen anything overtly peculiar. I mean I have my own older children help out here. If I have to go shopping for example it’s much easier to do so alone than with children in tow, so I have the older ones babysit while I’m out. If I’m really tired from being pregnant, I ask them to watch kids while I lay down, though usually I nap when kids are napping anyways. And of course all the kids (except Mark) help out with chores around the house. Even David helps pick up his toys and puts his own clothes away when I fold them. I actually had to give up some of the jobs I do so kids could have chores. I think it’s good though because it teaches then some responsibility. Recently I had to change things up a bit. Sierra was responsible for cycling the laundry but she would occasionally forget to put laundry soap in the wash so clothes would smell when I folded them lol. So now she just gets them out of the dryer and puts up the folded clothes and Lilly handles the wash cycle part of it. Sierra was even upset for a while till I explained it to her because “laundry is my job mommy!”

Another thing the Duggars were critiqued on was brainwashing their kids. I find this one hard to believe from my own observation of the hero worship my own kids do. Just today I had a conversation with Sierra and she was talking about how when she grew up and had a husband she was going to get her ten year old to help watch the kids and her five year old could help do this or that chore, etc. In other words, her perfect family looks exactly like her current family lol. I have not said “women are only good for bearing children” or anything crazy like that but at five her dream is to be a mommy just like me. Cooking from scratch, raising a bunch of kids, sewing, crocheting, etc. It’s not brainwashing. To me it’s no different than a son wanting to grow up to be a police officer like his daddy or something. No one calls THAT brainwashing. Why would this be any different? 

The last critique that comes to mind was the “ew give your body a rest” sentiment. I remember something I heard when Lilly was younger. I don’t know about pregnancy so much but I do know breastfeeding reduces a woman’s risk of several kinds of cancers of the woman areas. Imagine how far reduced the risk is after nursing that many kids!  I don’t know if she did breastfed or not but it’s an interesting thought if she did.

Fertility is a concept I have been struggling with most of my reproductive life. I’ve gone back and forth on the issue a lot in my mind. At one point I’d been told that it’s more responsible to take control of the size of your family. But then I started thinking differently. In the Bible women mentioned considered children blessings. Leah and Rachel even fought over who gave Jacob the most children. And it says at times that God closed various women’s wombs and opened other’s. Plus then the whole birth CONTROL. We’re not supposed to control our lives I don’t think. We’re supposed to give them to God and live by faith. And then there is the whole thing about the chemical birth controls actually preventing fertilized eggs from implanting rather than preventing sperm from fertilizing an egg. For those life begins at conception people like me, that’s a form of abortion which bothers me. Of course the permanent forms of birth control for women don’t do that (aka tubal ligation) bit recent reading freaked me out a bit being as it can cause death and increases the chance of ectopic pregnancy.

I dunno it’s good for thought anyways. I would say that having 7 kids is not much more expensive than having one. At least not the way I do it. Groceries are a bit more but not a ton. I used to spend 300-400 dollars a month on groceries sometimes more when Lilly was a baby and I was just feeding three people. Now I spend probably around 700-800 or less a month between wic, food stamps, and out of pocket groceries to feed 7 more people than I used to. So feeding three times as many people I only spend twice as much. And I’m always finding new ways to reduce the costs, such as my recent adoption of purchasing in season produce instead of whatever I felt like. Also buying meat with consideration to the per pound price and shopping for items at the cheaper grocery store.

I never thought I would be the mother of so many children. I never thought my life would be like this. I am grateful to be able to live this life, though. I am grateful we are able to have our daily bread, often literally!  It’s a far cry from the life in which I was raised (middle class suburbia) but I’m happy. And I pray that God will help us make wise financial decisions that will allow us to become self supporting, and actually be able to help others out in need. That’s one thing I really want to be able to do. I want to be at that point in our life where I can see someone struggling like we have and I can just give them some money to help out. That’s my end goal really. I want to be able to have savings, and tithe, and give to those in need, while not finding it necessary to receive aid myself.

Large family living is different. It’s probably not for everyone. But I really like it. I love seeing the kids all playing together (not so much the fighting but that exists with even just two kids!)  I love seeing them stand up for each other. I love them clamoring to help me (David wanted to help make laundry soap today so he stirred lol).  And I just love being around them every day (just not ALL day every day!  Mommy needs down time too!).  I don’t really want to get pregnant again, because I am “blessed” with a great memory for pain and can actually recall what labor pain feels like if I think on it, but if that’s God’s plan then so be it. I have no designs to build an army of brainwashed cult children. I just plan to live day to day as I feel called by God. I think if I have more children, He will help me figure out even better how to support them. I don’t think there anything inherently wrong with large families either. Nor with small families. Each family is unique. Each family does the best they can.

We all just need to remember we don’t know everyone’s situation. It’s hard to know what life is like for someone when you haven’t walked a mile in their shoes. That is probably the best lesson that my adventures into large family life has taught me so far!

Blast From the Past

Recently our internet and phones were turned off primarily due to our expenses staying the same butt our income reducing by about $2000 a month. It really has been a trying few months butt something finally had to give and those were the two candidates. At first everyone was kind of freaking out because of course in today’s day and age phone and internet is everything. But when I was growing up, and I don’t even feel old, we had *gasp* dial up. And one phone line. Which meant no one was spending hours online for entertainment. My parents might log on and check internet, but I think even that was mostly my dad. My mom might hop on and play a game on Prodigy before we got home from school, but really we kids never had a need to get online. And phone calls weren’t that vital.   We would come home from school, do homework, and play outside…  I didn’t even watch tv much. I usually read a book.

I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t been inconvenient without phone and internet. I can’t call doctor’s offices to schedule or reschedule appointments. I can’t find free worksheets for homeschooling. Funday Friday has been limited as some of the games I usually use require internet. And I miss being able to text Shane at work. A lot. Especially since this late in my pregnancy I can’t stay up till he gets home. I’m too exhausted. Lately I’ve been taking a nap in the afternoon for a couple of hours, going to bed at ten with the kids, then sleeping till ten in the morning. I told you I was sleepy!

Still we have managed. We have hit up a local Wi-Fi hot spot every couple of days before Shane goes to work. We are able to check up on our finances, sync devices, make a few quick downloads (like the worksheets I got today for next week’s school).  Also Shane downloaded the magic Jack app and he’s been able to make a few phone calls during that time as well.   The kids have spent their time playing outside, watching DVD, reading books, playing rock band and other games on the Wii… We actually got library card last weekend!  Sho all in all it hasn’t been world ending. It’s kind of refreshing and helps you appreciate your time when you have it. I think the kids have had more bonding time. They’ve also had more bickering time too but that’s par for the course. I’ve read several books and played some games on my tablet I’d been meaning to get around to playing and never find the time. I’ve also been trying to keep current with my chores. I can no longer do all my chores on Monday. It’s too exhausting. Right now it’s Tuesday and I’ve done probably 60% of my chores for the week. I did finish my monthly chores which was good. I hope that the baby is born before the next month’s chores come due though lol!  It took me most of last week to get them all done.