Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Gifts given

Where did December go? We have been busy with recitals, parties, school programs, holiday traditions, and our travels, so no wonder its been about a month since I updated. Kylie did great with her piano recital. I couldnt find where the fetch she was mixed in with a billion other kids in her school program, but saw a lot of our cute neighbors. Daniel went to Toasts program and said he sang his little heart out. We made our traditional graham cracker gingerbread houses, visited the Christmas village, read our Christmas stories each night, walked around the neighborhood looking at all the yuma snowmen(inflatable) and all the twinkling lights, we listened to a million Christmas songs, delivered gifts, and then headed up to my beloved Utah. We spent 2 days in Logan with the in-laws, and then 2 days with my family. Daniel thinks we are at the point were we should travel up after Christmas, but since he is the unselfish one in our relationship, he drives us up each year so I can spend my most favorite day with my family, doing all the Christmas Eve traditions that make it my most favorite day, and then doing Christmas morning with grandma and grandpa.

I love getting gifts, and I love giving gifts, and I love seeing my kids light  up with excitement over their new treasures. I love getting new jammies, I love the new book my mom gives us Christmas eve, i love the kids acting out the nativity. I love love love Christmas! And I love the traditional love note I get from Daniel on Christmas mornings. truly that's my most favorite gift each year. I'm seriously so lucky to have this guy in my life.

Each year we kinda struggle with what to give my parents. They say they dont "need" anything, so we kinda scramble to find something that will be useful or meaningful...but I have noticed that each year my siblings and I seem to give my mom updated pictures of the grandkids- which she loves- but they always end up in her office, crowded on the counter. SO I emailed my siblings- and we formed a plan. This year we created a picture wall with the pictures of each grandchild. I took a few shots while we were up there for Thanksgiving, my sister-in-law took a few and sent them over to me, and another sister in law sent me ones she had done of her baby girl, so we printed them all up, framed them and wrapped them up for Christmas morning. It was really a joy to see my mom open each picture and see those sweet tender feelings come through her facial expressions. That was part one.

my mom is always busy. she works full time and on her off day she is busy cleaning, shopping, serving and the like. So i knew, as did my siblings, that she would love the pictures, but unless someone took charge, they wouldnt get hung up for a while. so part 2- was getting them hung up. First we had to have her approval on where to hang them all. Counting our Phineas and another baby on the way, my parents will have 30 grandkids. So we needed a BIG space. I gave my mom some options, and finally at 10 pm on Christmas night she finally decided which she liked best. I told the 2 guys how it was to be done, and Daniel and my dad got to work measuring and hanging it all up. I loved how it turned out, and loved that my mom and dad loved their gift this year.
I find it pretty amazing that my parents have raised 7 kids, 5 of which were boys..and that each of us..while we have our challenges and struggles and have given them many many gray hairs through the years..and continue to do so...we each have a testimony of the gospel, each of my brothers served a mission, each of us were married in the temple, and each of us are doing our best at teaching our children as well. I often get a little nervous wondering if my kids are gonna end up making good choices through their lives. I hope each of my boys will serve a mission, I hope each child will have a firm testimony of the gospel, of the plan of salvation, of the love their Father in Heaven and their savior Jesus Christ have for them, i hope they get married in the temple and have as much joy in their marriages and families and i have in mine- but I know they all have their agency, and that even if Daniel and i are teaching them, they may choose another way... and that thought kinda breaks my heart to think about, but I look at my parents and I think.... they did it.. and I have hope. My parents have never been blessed with riches when it comes to the worlds standards, but i look at my family, my siblings, their families and I think wow- they/we are rich indeed. we have each other, we have the gospel and that is something one cant put a price on.
Anyway- I hope that as my parents see this grandkid wall each day that they will know how much they are loved, how grateful my siblings and I are for them, for their influence, for their testimonies, for the way we were brought up and taught and loved. As i looked at that wall I just couldnt help but think of what a great legacy my parents have. 30 beautiful grandkids who are all being taught in their youth..and that it wouldnt have been that way without them. That was really a fun project/gift to give this year.
SO now that Christmas is done, we are on to the next adventure.
We bought a house!!! We've been renting this one for a couple of years and while its a good house, its TOO big for me. I am not a fan of stairs-especially when pregnant, and hate going up and down with a million loads of laundry, and hate hauling the vacuum up and down as well. So I am excited to have a house that will be easier to clean, one that fits our family a little better, and one that will be ours... I have a zillion projects already planned out for my dad to come and help us with and then when its all said and done- we will be getting ready for our little Phineas to start the next great adventure.
So for this next 3 weeks, I am trying to organize and clear out the clutter and unneeded items. Goodwill here we come. And I of course cant move into a house without an extreme Kimmy style scrub down. Daniel is so good to just roll with me on this, as he knows I become obsessive compulsive and with the added wacked out hormones I kick it up a notch from extreme to extremely extreme, but its gonna be GREAT!
SO if I slack in the blogging dept again this next month- I will play catchup when we are settled into our new home.

Friday, December 3, 2010

You've got to be kidding me!!!

****FYI---LONG AND PERSONAL POST*****For the sake of my posterity*****

We made a quick trip up to my moms for Thanksgiving this year. We have only spent one other Thanksgiving with my family and that was right after we were married. We usually cant justify 2 trips, as we go up for Christmas as well, but we do have a little tradition that we stick with, and it happened to be that the timing for this tradition worked out around Thanksgiving, so plans were made and what a trip it was.
My mom called us the night before we were suppose to travel telling us of this storm that was suppose to be one of the worst in 7 we were a tad nervous. Traveling in blizzard conditions freaks me out just a bit, but we braved it, and lucky for us- the storm wasn't what it was cracked up to be. So we had no travel problems besides Kylie puking (as she always gets car sick whenever we travel to UT.) we got in, ate dinner with my parents, put the kids to bed and then headed to bed ourselves.
The next day was Thanksgiving, so we helped my mom with a few preparations for the feast, got in a little treadmill walking, and the kids had fun destroying grandmas house.  Then a few of my brothers and my sister and their families came over and feast we did. Then we cleaned up, and were able to visit for a while, then enjoyed a huge assortment of pies, before everyone headed home, and we put the kids down.
Then my sweet Daniel braved the dreaded black Friday(officially starting on Thursday night now) sale with me in the dreaded UT cold. We froze and spent hours in line telling each other that saving $40 bucks really couldn't be worth it, and vowed to never do it again.

Daniel went back to my moms and got a few hours of sleep while I pressed on with my sister in law and we hit 2 more stores- of course the big ticket items were already gone, but she and i both were able to get basically what we needed and hallelujah there is no more standing in lines for the rest of the season for us.
That afternoon my kids helped grandma decorate her Christmas tree and we were able to make a few visits to my siblings homes and enjoyed the chance to catch up.
Then my mom arranged with my uncle to make the "tradition" happen. (the tradition that this trip basically centered around.)
After a rogue IUD, a "fun" little surgery, a few months of trying, a miscarriage, and several more months of trying, I am finally pregnant.
I have been baby hungry for a while, and even though things are chaotic at are home with 4 kids, we have been anxious to add our caboose.
let me just give you a little glimpse into my psyche..I have 5 brothers. i love them. I have one sister. I love her. But the relationship between sisters is somewhat stronger (in my experience anyway) than the relationships between brothers and sisters. My sister is always the 2nd person to know(after my mom) when we are expecting, she always seems to know when we are wanting to add to our family before anyone else too, she is the one sibling that is there for every baby blessing, the sibling that i can talk to whenever i am stressing about my kids behavior, the sibling who understands a little bit better why I think the way I do, what struggles i have had, and what dreams i still hope for. We can go a month without talking, and yet when we do- there is no awkwardness- just fun catching up, and always plans for that sister getaway that never happens, but is fun to talk about anyway. So with having this sister bond myself, I desire that for my Kylie girl with all my  heart. I want her to have that sister. And she desperately wants a sister a well.
Obviously, we have 3 boys. And I love my boys. Love love love them. But holy moley they are INSANE! They never stop, just keep going going going all day long, they destroy, they yell, they climb, jump, destroy, make mess after mess after mess, destroy, throw rocks, manage to always track in lots of dirt and muck right after I have vacuumed and mopped the floors, they get a kick out of "potty-talk" and gross body functions, cause a scene whenever we are out in public,(especially at church), refuse to hold still for family prayers, are always in need of a haircut, get mean when I tell them to turn the video games off, never seem to aim quite right when peeing therefore causing me to have to sanitize the bathroom several times a day, and then there is the whacking and kung-fu and wrestling wrestling wrestling, the endless forts out of my clean sheets and blankets that I have to rewash and refold as they always sneak in snacks and end up crushing the snacks into every inch of their forts, they are loud, messy, and beyond energetic. And for the most part- it is fun. But sometimes I feel like I'm at my wits end, and the thought of adding another kid kinda freaks me out, but then I imagine a sweet baby girl just like my Kylie, one who is a very good natured baby, then as a toddler: one who colors on paper and not the walls or carpets or couches, one who loves to look at books without tearing all the pages out while laughing manically, one who is calm and quiet and content, one who uses "please" and "thank you", one who potty trains them self in a day, and I think- yeah that will be wonderful...
I had this image in my head- of our home being a peaceful one, once we added this baby girl. Kylie, Toast, James and Ben all have been praying for "Baby Ashley" to grow healthy and strong, cuz we all were just certain we were gonna have a girl..and we would be complete and I would get to put my feet up at the end of each day and eat jr mints by the boxful without gaining weight...   ummmm.... yeah- I apparently was living in some fantasy world for a moment.
So when we went to my uncles office and he did an ultrasound for us- I was more than shocked when he pointed out the BOY part. I looked at Daniel with a look of disbelief, then kinda laughed cuz this had to be a joke.
but no joke....My baby is ANOTHER BOY!

SO that's bringing the male children in our family up to 4. 4. four. F-o-u-r! 4! I cant do 4 boys right in a row. it is already chaos. It is already mayhem. And then when I think of the teenage years- there is no way we can deal with 4 boys going through puberty a year or 2 right after each other. Plus how are we suppose to pay the weekly grocery bill once they are all teenagers together? (again, I have 5 brothers and i know as teenagers they are like bottomless pits.) Plus, as a parent, isn't one suppose to be teaching their children, stuff like right from wrong, how to be respectful, responsible, hard working, independent, caring, generous, helpful, kind, a good friend, and hopefully get them all to the point were they choose to serve a mission? And teach them to love- teach them to honor women, teach them how to be a good husband and father? This is all quite daunting to me- I was already worried about getting 3 through all that- but 4? Dang. I dont know if i am gonna make it. I dont know if my house and furniture will remain standing for much longer through these young formative years as it is.
Quite honestly, I have been in shock. and the kids(well the youngest 2 were like- "whatever"-)( but ky and ty) were really disappointed, and Daniel was surprised as well. and my mom just laughed. (again-  5 brothers. she's been through it.(plus one more) and i have taken that laugh not to be malicious, but as in- "good luck daughter- you're gonna need it") which i totally do! 4 boys? I cant be the mom of 4 boys!

And the kicker-- i don't feel complete. so as much as i hate being pregnant, as much as i hate puking my guts out for the first 2 months straight, then having terrible back pain, shortness of breath, having to pee a million times a day, being exhausted beyond exhausted, feeling yucky, and fat, and ugly, being an emotional roller coaster, having round ligament pain as i just get bigger and bigger, getting irritated by every stupid thing that shouldn't matter, getting grossed out by any weird smell, and then in the last trimester having to deal with the sciatic nerve making it almost impossible to walk without being in horrid pain, getting no sleep, feeling stretched as can be, dealing with all the stinking braxton hicks and then all the back pain that makes me feel like I'm on fire when I actually go into labor, and then having the miracle of a new life come into our world, but also having no sleep for several months and trying to somehow fit back into non maternity clothes when one barely has time to keep up with the laundry and the feedings, and everything else, let alone "working out." ---so as much as i hate all that-- in the back of my mind i have a strong urge to go through it again and be the mother of 6 (s i x, 6) kids, because i don't feel complete- i know i have a baby girl. (and this is probably the point where Daniel decides a little "snip snip" doesn't sound so horrible after all. hahaha)
so all week I've been having these little conversations in my head with my Heavenly Father and I keep asking him  if he's really thought this through, and then am like- dude, (not to be sac religious, but sometimes my mind is so blown that "dude" is really the only expression i can think of) so I'm like dude-- what are you thinking? you know me better than anyone, and while yes, i love my boys, and i am so thankful for them and yes they bring an indescribable joy and my heart gets so full when i look at them all tucked in at night sleeping away, and I'm thinking- wow- i love these little punks- and i am brought to sweet tears with the spontaneous hugs and the random "you're my favoritest mommy" or the simple but heartfelt "i love you mommy"  or the pathetic little weed flowers they find outside and bring to me to make me happy, or the little notes with a picture that they drew "just for (me)" -and I'm thankful for the funny moments of watching them dance their little dance moves, or hear the running of little feet when one of them wakes up at 3 to come get in our bed, and then they snuggle in as close as they can to me, and while i love the hilariousness from the random things they say or think about, - while yes i feel so grateful for all that and love all that and again i love them so much and am overwhelmed with gratitude that they have been entrusted to me---dear father-- you know i get so frustrated, you know there are so many nights when i cry to you cuz i worry about them, cuz i feel like a failure, cuz i cant do it all, you know i try to be patient but after telling them a hundred times over not to do something, they still continue to do it and i want to pull my hair out, you know i don't always find every moment full of joy, you know that i get tired, you know that a lot of the time i am doing it by myself while Daniel is working late trying to provide for us and that sometimes i feel so alone or trapped and really just want a break that i rarely get, you know that i fail to understand, that some days i let them watch dora over and over cuz i cant find the energy to read to them and try to deal with them ripping up the books as we do so. You know that after we have spent money on food for the kids and my 2 youngest get into everything and smash it into bits so that its all been one big waste of time and money that i just fume and really want to spank their little butts. You know that sometimes I yell at them. You know all this! so really,  one more of this kind really might just put me over the edge!!!  so really? really? another boy? really?

But every time i have this little talking to with my Father in Heaven, after I've ranted and expressed my insecurities and my feelings that i know i shouldn't have but have anyway- there is this feeling that washes over me, ever so gently, and i feel in my heart the answer that-" yes Kimmy, this is my plan. this little one- my little child, my son, needs you, and Daniel, and Kylie, and Tyler, and James and Ben. he needs the ward you are in, the friends you are surrounded by, he needs these aunt and uncles, these cousins, these grandparents. he needs this family line. I know you get frustrated with your kids, but I also know where your heart is. I know you are capable. I know you are teaching them, you love them, you take care of them. I know it feels like they don't listen and they aren't learning, but Kimmy, I know they are. Remember what it says in your patriarchal blessing about these little ones I've entrusted to you. Trust me, Kimmy. And just do the best you can and i will be there. I always am. And remember this little one is mine, after all. And HIS coming to you at this time is, again, part of my plan. (which i should know after having the special revelations given to us stating the same thing when James entered this world- obviously i am a slow learner) and you need him. And Kimmy- I know you make mistakes, and I know your kids make mistakes, but that is why I sent my Beloved Son, Jesus Christ into the world. I let Him suffer, so that you and your kids can have a way back. He is there to help you, He understands exactly how you feel. He understands exactly how your kids feel. And He is there to lead you, to guide you, to walk beside you. So Kimmy..just trust..and "my peace give i unto you. neither let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid."
and then following these moments, i know in my heart that yeah- adding one more boy is gonna bring even more chaos, it is gonna bring more frustrations, more tears when i fail, it's gonna put me at my wits end many a time over- but it is also gonna bring even more love and joy and extreme happiness. its gonna teach me lessons i need to learn, its gonna bring me moments of heaven on earth and glimpses into the eternities. So i do feel peace.
for a few minutes anyway, until I see the piles of clean clothes that have been  taken out of the drawers and thrown all over, the pee covered toilet seat and the floor surrounding it, wet with yellow liquid as well,  the crumbs smashed on the floor, the fridge door wide open and the milk spilled all over, the stick and rocks that get brought into the house, the dvds all out of their cases, lots with scratches that will make them impossible to watch, and some of them broken right in half, the yogurt smeared on the carpet, the walls scribbled on in permanent marker, and the 2 youngest boys climbing onto the highest spot they can find and jumping off it while trying out new tricks that luckily haven't made them quadriplegics thus far,) and again i think, "you've got to be kidding me!"
Heaven help us!