Sunday, August 23, 2015

My 6 trials

Six year olds can be funny at the best of times. Job and I laugh constantly at the ideas that Sisi comes up with. Yesterday morning, while I was making breakfast, she came into the kitchen and said seriously -
"Mum, you must have lots of trials."
"Huh?" I replied, trying to understand. "Lots of trials....what do you mean?"
"Well, because you have 6 children!"
I laughed and assured her that my 6 children are blessings, not trials. To which she replied -
"No, that can't be right!"

She is such a character. I find it especially amusing seen as she is one of those supposed 'trials.'

The last few days the kids have all been quite sick.

Between the both of us, Job and I have been balancing medications, vomit cleaning/catching, baby rocking and general boost of morale for the small troops. We have taken turns being on night duty for the feverish or queasy. We organised mattresses in the lounge room so that we could all sleep together and look after eachother. The kids are well on the way to recovery now but Sisi's question - or rather Statement, made me realise that not once in the last four days did we ever consider our parenting to be a burden.
In fact I remember that only a few hours ago (at 3.45am precisely) I kissed Sione's chubby cheeks and forehead while I lowered him back into his cot. I told him I loved him and felt incredibly blessed to have such a cute and cheeky little baby. He'd been awake since 2am refusing to go back to sleep. After all my hard work getting him to bed, he woke up 15 mins later. At which point I prodded hubby awake and told him it was his turn!

Although we haven't enjoyed the kids being unwell, we have enjoyed the family time that has accompanied it. No appointments to keep, no leaving the house.... just hanging out in the lounge room. Together.

When I take all the children out in public, I receive mixed reactions and responses from people. For the most part, I am not really interested in what others say or think. I am more invested on what the kids and I are doing together and what they are getting out of it; whether it be grocery shopping, a trip to the museum or playing in the park. I love having a big family and our kids love it too. Imagine how they would feel if I ever projected feelings of embarrassment or inadequacy. Luckily they don't , because I never feel it. I am proud to be the mother of six beautiful kids. I love them completely. I could never do anything more important with my time, than spend it with them.

Occasionally I do let the odd negative comment get to me. I can be quite sensitive sometimes. The latest jab coming from a paediatrician at the local hospital. Maybe his ignorance was heightened to me because his group of interns all laughed.  I clearly didn't get the jokes. Probably because they weren't funny. He apologised as I continued to ignore his attempts at humour. I wondered why someone would specialise in paediatrics if they didn't enjoy having lots of children around them.

Usually I don't take other people opinions personally. I respect that big families aren't everyone's cup of tea (but they should be because they are Awesome!!!!!) In most cases I feel pity for the grown up who can't enjoy the innocence and wonder of a child -  or 5 children all wanting to push the trolley at the same time! Our kids aren't perfect. They each have their moments, but I am confident that I have many more than they do, yet they are patient with me.

I have bad moments, I have bad days, I have bad weeks and have also had bad months. I don't love being a mother because it's easy. Hahahaha.....easy. But I could never think of my 6 monkeys as trials. Parenting being more difficult due to having more children is an absurd notion to me. It's like not being able to enjoy the beauty of your garden because you have too many flowers in it!

I love having a family. I think all size families are beautiful, whether they have one child or ten. Parenting is the most difficult and the most rewarding experience that I enjoy. I count myself to be blessed beyond measure for my 6 little trials (7 if you include hubby;))

Saturday, May 9, 2015

In the moment

I have this little baby. He's a bit of a cutie.  In fact I call him my 'cutie patootie'

We like to hang out together. He likes to give me kisses.

He loves to play on the couch with me. I remember playing on the couch with all my babies.

I love his face and he loves mine. We play games where I talk in a funny voice and he laughs.  He knows my voice so well now that I can speak to him from across the room and his face lights up. I can't tell you how special it is to be the source of someone else's joy.

Today Job took the other kids out to the skate park so I was at home with my cutie patootie. We were playing on the couch again and I fell in love (again) with his little face. Each time I smiled at him, he laughed - one of those big belly laughs. I thought  about grabbing my phone so I could capture the moment.
 But if we left the couch and went to the kitchen to get my phone, would I loose the moment instead? Would he stop doing those gorgeous belly laughs if I held a camera to his face? Would he stop staring at me with that expression that says "I adore you?"
  I decided not to take the chance. I wasn't risking it. Some moments are too special to interrupt.

It's nice having lots of photos of the kids. I love photography and have probably taken more than my share of photos. But I love these moments even more, the ones I don't capture.
 As good as my photos may be, they never capture the moment as I know it. My picture wont show how cuddly my baby feels in my arms or how squishy his cheeks feel when I kiss them. They'll never show how wonderful he smells or how warm he is to touch. I doubt they'd even begin to display how fuzzy his cute little forehead feels when I rest my face against it. It would be impossible to hear his gorgeous baby sounds and hear the delight in his laugh. And I don't even think the best photographer could capture the depth of his beautiful brown eyes.
But I could.
And I did.
I don't have a photo to show you because in that moment I chose to be instead.

Tomorrow is one of my favourite days. It is Mothers Day. I wonder how many photos I won't be taking? :)

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Keeping up the fight

I woke up a few mornings ago feeling like I'd been hit by a small truck. The kind that drive over you repeatedly. Not that these trucks really exist...but if they did, then one ran me over!
 It was really only another sleepless night. One more to add to the invisible tally. I guess sleep was my trade for having children.  It's all good though,  I happily make the trade each night. I go to bed and  imagine how nice it would be to sleep until the morning. I'd even appreciate 4 a row.
 That would be lovely!
Anyway, this isn't meant to be a post about my lack of sleep. It's meant to be a post about......resilience.  So this particular morning (the same one the truck hit me) I staggered out of bed and wandered into the kitchen. I sleepily greeted the kids I could see (my vision still obscured by my eyelids) and I noticed Lani wasn't present and accounted for. I was eager to see how she was doing because she'd had a rough night too. Her blood sugar levels were way too high when she went to bed so we had to monitor her through the night. She was poked and pricked every couple of hours and had a complete set change (new insulin and needle). Not to mention her little brother has decided to take over her bed too! 

Despite the extra testing, she developed keytones. I stood in the kitchen that morning wondering three things-all simultaneously.  
1. Had I had enough sleep to function throughout the day and look after 6 children??
2. Had Lani's situation deteriorated enough that I needed to consider a trip to Emergency?  Was I lucid enough to drive her there?
3. Should I entertain Job's suggestion that he take the day off work?
As I contemplated the answers to my questions, I glanced into Lani's room. She was standing in the middle of her room, in her pjs. She faced away from me and was standing still, staring out her bedroom window in a daze.
I forgot myself as my thoughts turned completely to her. I wondered how tired she was. I knew due to her high keytone readings that she wouldn't be feeling well, at all. I marvelled that she was standing there so still, it's not like her to be so quiet. I walked towards her intent to find out if she was ok but before I got to her room, she knelt to pray. I stopped and watched her. She knelt at her bed for a while, pondering and considering what to pray about. I wondered again what could be going through her mind. I have never heard her pray about her diabetes before. Does she ever feel tired and fed up? Does she ever pray for strength to endure the hard days....or nights?? I realised while I watched her that I was crying.
I really must have been tired! 😉

I thought about all the times people have caught her pricking her finger and checking her blood sugar. "She's amazing!" they say. I always smile and agree, more so to be polite. It's not that I disagree with them but its because blood glucose monitoring is such a part of everyday life now that we never think anything of it anymore.  Lani goes up and down so often, swinging from hypo to hyper daily and sometimes hourly. She's had a bad month. The thing is, she never complains. We don't feel sorry for her and she doesn't feel sorry for herself.  In that moment when my emotions got the better of me, it was because I knew everyone was right. She really was amazing. She was and is amazing to me because she carries her small burden with dignity. I don't know how it feels to be low and feel weak and dizzy....or high and have headaches and mood swings. When the rest of the kids run to the table hungrily for their dinner,  she has to look for her kit and test. When the others jump out of the car to play as soon as we get to the park, she has to go to the boot and make sure she has her diabetes bag. When we go to the pool, she has to play around with testing and removing her pump.  When someone gives her food - especially sugar, she needs to check with me before she eats it. She occasionally misses out on sporting events because her sugars are low. Right now as I am writing this, all the kids are asleep except for Lani. She is sitting at the table treating her third hypo for today with 3 snake lollies and a drink of milk.

These small inconveniences are a part of her life. They don't worry her too much and she is fully aware that she is abundantly blessed. She knows that others suffer far greater afflictions than what she has been dealt with.
 I fell in love with my mature little 9 year old daughter all over again. I received a boost of mental and physical energy. I told Job we would be fine and sent him off to work. Although she was unwell, Lani finally finished her long prayer and came into the kitchen happily looking for breakfast. Her keytone levels returned to normal at lunchtime so we avoided a trip to hospital. Job was able to go to school camp for three days. The kids and I survived without him and I even snuck in a couple of naps.

 I later reflected that so many of us are still keeping up the good fight. We all carry our own burdens. We get up, we suite up, we show up. We work, we serve, we love. We don't complain.  We get on with it. There is great nobility in pressing on. If you are someone who gets out of bed when your whole body is screaming not to, then you are amazing too. If you are hanging in there, you are amazing. We don't often consider ourselves inspirational to anyone else but I'll bet we all have qualities that others find amazing. We need eachother. We need to see others struggle...and get back up, and push on. It gives us strength to push on too. Next time you are busy in this wonderful experience we call life and someone says "You're Amazing." Don't politely smile,  or openly disagree. 
Thank them and know that they are right 😊 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

15 years

15 long torturous years!

It's our 15th Wedding anniversary today. I was only kidding, it hasn't been all torture.  Some days have been quite enjoyable 😉 I shouldn't really say things like that as someone may take me seriously. It's no secret that Job and I have had our struggles but we definitely love eachother (most of the time) ok I'll stop! I'm reading a book at the moment called 'Covenant Hearts' by Elder Hafen, this is one of the passages I highlighted the other day. I have been thinking about it a lot recently: 'You make one....of two possible universes true by your trust or mistrust.  Thus optimism and pessimism are definitions of the world, our faith before hand in an uncertified result is the only thing that makes the result come true.' I often find it difficult to 'trust' in happily ever after but I know that my mistrust and fear will only make it so. I am trying to have faith in us. It's something I am working on each day. I think we can make it. No. I know we can.. plus, we have a lot going for us, look at how spunky we are together!

Not to mention our spunky offspring. Of all the things we've made together, I like these six best.

So here's how our day went today...
Job and JJ went out early this morning for a run around Perth with Joe and Justin. We had family scripture study and learning time until 1pm. I enjoyed maths today with JJ. We played around with the Fibonacci sequence and parabola curve.

During the morning Benny and Lani made cute little things for us. Lani arranged it on our bed. That piece of paper has a song written on it...composed by Lani.

Here she is singing it to us

We finally left the house at 2pm. We picked up some celebratory chicken and chips - and a cake from the cheesecake shop, then headed to the park.

We had lunch, the kids played in the park and then we went for a walk

Looking for eels

We explored the big rocks...

 Baby smootches!

We hung around on the rocks, Job had a quick doze (yes he can fall asleep anywhere!) while the kids picked blackberries

By this stage it was getting late and we thought we'd better make a move. We tried to get back to the car but we walked past the oval. The green grass was much too enticing so the kids had races for the next half an hour.  

I took more photos of this cutie while we watched

I can't remember what we did for the rest of the evening because I am finishing this post off nearly a month later....naughty me. I do remember that we had cereal for dinner 😊
We had a nice day with the kids. Spending time with family is our favourite thing to do and we were blessed to be to do it on our special day.

Friday, January 16, 2015

A quick catch up of last year in photos.

I found the following photos in a draft blog I must have planned on doing a year or so ago. Figured I would post them in spite of myself forgetting what half of them were about :) I don't like to waste pictures- so here is a snippet of what I planned to write about in 2014....

Lani's hospital stay. I think she was there in the childrens ward for 3 days, Lani is certain it was 5. How would she really know? Her blood sugar levels were so high she didn't know what what was going on!!

 A few friends asked me to blog about paleo and what we were eating so I got some food pics ready..

 By the way my kids loved the healthy meals.

                           Christmas 2014

 I think we had pancakes Christmas morning.

          My brother visited last year and this year too
  Haha, must have thought this one of kym was funny. I think I was right.

We had lots of fun on the hot days with the kids Christmas present :)

 New years day....

 The kids were so excited about camping at bridport that they packed their bags a week before.

Kids and I painted some old drawers for Sisi to use. Tank painted his nose. Sisi painted her toes. 

We picked rasberries at the Rogers house when they were away :)

 Our guinea pigs had babies. Never trust pet shops to give you same sex guinea pigs!!

We spent lots of time at the Perth river. I love that place. So beautiful and refreshing.

We had a great year. The kids finished up their last year of formal schooling, we lived with the Rogers and drive Kym mad for 4 months.... and we had a cute little baby. He is now a cute chubby baby and we love him to pieces. We are now in our own place and are looking forward to the year ahead. Bring on more mayhem and memories for 2015!!!