Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Clementine Jane

I started having regular contractions around 1:30 pm on Wednesday, May 20th. I called my husband while crying and told him that he shouldn't come home yet because I wasn't sure whether or not I was in labor. He didn't listen and came home anyway and I was grateful because the contractions kept coming. I called my midwife, told her we were headed to the hospital, and we finished packing our bags. 

We arrived at the hospital around 3:30 pm and it took forever to get settled. The hospital makes you answer about a hour's worth of stupid questions. As soon as the nurse left me alone, we started walking. We walked and walked and walked. I was dilated to 3 cm when we got there and expected my labor to go quickly. Lori, my midwife, checked me again at 9 pm and I was only at 5 cm. I was contracting often and regularly while moving, but as soon as I stopped, so did the contractions. I agreed to have her break my water at 10:30 pm and my labor completely stopped. No contractions whatsoever. I was tired, frustrated, and upset. My labor with Finnegan had been similar, but when my water was broken, he was born in two hours.

I asked for an epidural. I am pro natural child birth and am aware of the risks of a medicated birth, however, I was fighting what few contractions I was having and was so, so tired. They started pitocin shortly after the epi was placed. The pitocin was increased four times before my uterus starting contracting. I could feel my contractions start and everyone came back into my room to get things set up for delivery. Clementine Jane was born at 3:30 am, or close to 3:30....I can't remember the exact time, after a few pushes. We had decided to name her Imogen since the name means "last child", but she didn't look like an Imogen. The other names on our list were Filomena after my great Italian grandmother and Mable. The kids didn't like Filomena and my husband didn't like Mabel.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

How to go to Bed Like a Three Year Old

How to go to bed like a three year old:

1. Lick your mom's back as soon as she gets into bed.
2. Get a drink of water.
3. Sing loud songs about rainbows.
4. Collect as many stuffed animals as possible. Make sure they don't belong to you.
5. Get a drink of water.
5. Collect stuffed animals one at a time.
6. Pretend to be a spy.
7. Bend over and make fart noises.
8. Fight with at least one brother.
9. Get a drink of water.
10. Pretend to sleep for so long that your mom leaves the room.
11. Cry. A lot. Try hard to produce real tears.
12. Get a drink of water.
13. Complain about something.
14. Fall asleep, but wake up to pee.
15. Remove all stuffed animals from bed.
16. Collapse and sleep.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Phone Calls

The kids can be somewhere playing happily, but the minute the phone rings, all hell breaks loose around these parts.

My mother-in-law called today. Four children were quietly eating at the kitchen table. Clementine was asleep. All was well. Then the phone rang.


Moooommmm! Mom! I need to tell you something. MOM! Why are you ignoring me!? MOOOM!

Or how about the time I called my mother. All of the kids, with the exception of the baby, were upstairs sleeping.


Groggy eyed kid enters and immediately starts arguing about why he should get to use his kindle upon waking. Clementine wakes up in her bassinet and Tillie starts crying at the top of the steps.

Or the time when my dad called and asked if it was a good time to talk. Hahahahaha! Nope, it's never a good time to talk on the phone or with any other human if you have five kids.

Life with Five Kids

Do you ever wonder what life is like with five kids? Let me tell you.

The goal this morning was to run a few errands and stop at Target before noon. The three younger kids were up by 9:30. The plan was to make donuts, but no one collected eggs over the weekend and the coop is a disaster from the rain this morning. Homemade yogurt to the rescue! Except, as much as the two middles claim to love homemade yogurt, they don't so they raided the fridge and ate bits and pieces of everything and left a mess of wasted food on the table. 

The two oldest finally got out of bed after I threatened to take away their electronic devices and started complaining about yogurt for breakfast. The youngest woke up from all of the loud complaining and she needed to nurse. Shoes! Brush your hair! Stop eating!

And we were off. Everything was smooth sailing while we made a few stops. Then Clementine pooped her pants. I could hear that it was a big one. Her pooping means that my afternoon will be great, except that we were in the Target parking lot, there was no water in the car to wet the cloth wipes, poop was oozing out of her diaper, and it was raining. Poop went everywhere. On the car seat, all over my hands, and her legs and feet. The older kids were gagging and offering to stand outside the van to collect rain water so that I could wet the wipes. Whatever. I made the best of it and washed my hands and her legs when we got inside Target.

Target was a successful trip. The kids were good. Clementine slept in the wrap. It was raining harder when we were walking to the car. I got the kids buckled, Clementine started crying, and the car wouldn't start.

The end.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Baby #5

Baby #5 is another beautiful girl! We are so excited to welcome another child into our family. I am currently around 22 weeks and feeling good. Maple Syrup isn't too big so her kicks don't hurt and she's not up in my rib cage. Sleeping is uncomfortable and I manage to sleep well about every other to every third night. Sleeping would probably be a bit easier if Tillie wasn't such a snuggler, but I know her snuggling days are limited so I don't mind.

I have no super cravings this pregnancy. I do love the smell of homemade cream of mushroom soup and ate a lot of green bean casserole on Thanksgiving. I don't have much of a sweet tooth right now and have started walking on the treadmill every other day. I only walk for 20 min and don't go very fast, but I'm moving and that's more than I did with any other winter pregnancies. I am certain I will be a lot more active this spring since the kids and I will be soaking up the sunshine and fresh air and working diligently in the garden. I would like to gain a reasonable amount of weight this time around and not gain 55 lbs like all of my previous pregnancies. I think this is my last baby since I'm now considered an old mother, but we've already hit the crazy family with a lot of kids label so we'll see.

Monday, January 19, 2015


I've discovered a new hobby! Soap making! I enjoy taking basic ingredients and making safe, natural products for my family. I have tinkered around with recipes and have created a shampoo bar that has a rich, creamy lather and have also made regular soap bars that do not dry out my skin as much as other soaps on the market.

I think I'm just about ready to take a giant leap and start selling my soap. I have all of the legal stuff to figure out, but am excited to offer people a high quality, no frills soap. My soap is not vegan since I use tallow and lard, but I render the tallow myself and the lard comes from a local locker. I will have several varieties available and the soap will be priced at $5.25 per bar. I took inspiration from this blog and my business is called Grub House Soaps.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Back to Basics

In 2008 I wrote this entry:

Five years from now I hope to be living on an acreage. I want chickens, an orchard, a beehive, a massive garden and a compost bin. I want my children to be able to explore the world around them and have a deep respect for nature. I want them to know where their food comes from and how it grows. I want to teach them lost arts like sewing and baking bread from scratch.  My kids will be proud to wear secondhand clothes and to do their part to reuse and recycle. They will be confident, respectful, reflective, inquisitive and compassionate children.

It's now seven years later and we live in the same house, have chickens, an orchard, three beehives, a massive garden, and a compost bin. My kids love nature, know where their food comes from and can tell you how it grows. My daughter enjoys sewing and I usually have a helper in the kitchen. All of my kids rock second hand clothes and they recycle. Each child is confident, respectful, reflective, inquisitive, and compassionate. How's that for meeting goals?!

I am content with where we are and while I would someday love to have more land than our half acre, we have enough. We have fruit, vegetables, honey, eggs, and loads of herbs to heal many ailments. I started making soap last year and hope to turn it into a business. We almost have our own basketball team and our marriage is good. I am grateful for all that I have and hope this year will be full of joy as I watch my family continue to grow.