Thursday, July 31, 2014

My Sour Patch Kid and Other News…

Can I just start by commenting on how amazing the weather has been this summer!? After the longest winter that I can remember, I was welcoming the warmer days with open arms. I’m not one to complain about the heat anyways- unless I’m pregnant and our central air breaks down (yep, that happened during the ONE super hot week) but I have been LOVING the 20 degree days. Today, Scott and I sat on the porch for over an hour with Addy while we watched the older kids play and ride bikes. Amazingly enough (they are my children) we only had one accident when Lily was running full speed down the sidewalk, tripped over her own feet, and skinned a knee.


Speaking of Lily hurting herself (this child is accident-prone) she was riding her Little People school bus through the living room like a skate board and I said, “Hun, please be careful. You could fall and bump your head.” She came right back with, “Don’t worry. I won’t hurt my head. I’m wearing my pretend helmet!” She has also started referring to Scott as “Hun” now when she wants to argue her point. I have no idea where she got that from!


Not the best picture- but Justus was trying to lay on her lap and she found it hilarious! This was after he had joined her for a timeout!

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The last few weeks I’ve been taking two kids with me when I go grocery shopping. Well, three including Addy! Usually the boys aren’t really interested, but they both wanted to come with me last week. I’m kind of convinced now that it was all a big rouse to get me to buy more junk food… Taking the two boys is definitely different than taking two girls. The boys turn everything into a race or competition.

Who can find the fruit mom just named first!?

Who can throw the bagels into the cart from the farthest away?

Let’s race down the empty aisle while hip-checking each other into shelves!

Yes… this is what mom had in mind when she asked who wanted to come and HELP with the grocery shopping.

They made it entertaining at least. They were also more than willing to lift all the heavy items and help as soon as I needed it. So I got them pickles… and Peanut Butter Cheerios? Blah! But they were happy. I love my boys.


Teaching Ella how to play chess.

This wrap has been such a HUGE help so far. I started looking into them when I was pregnant, but had a hard time with the cost of a new one. I found several pins where people had made their own, but I couldn’t find fabric for much less than what I would pay for the wrap anyways. Then during a middle of the night nursing session it dawned on me that I had seen jersey/knit sheet sets on sale at Target. Jersey-knit would work perfectly! So for $20 I got a fitted sheet, a pillow case, a homemade wrap (using material from the flat sheet), and some leftover fabric for … I’m not sure yet. :) Plus, I was able to get a cute grey and white striped material that I really like! Addy has spent hours in the wrap already and it is pretty much a miracle how quickly it puts her to sleep.

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We took the kids to the beach last week and had the most relaxing day in a long time. We wanted to get there early when the beach is empty, but it was pretty chilly in the morning. I joked with the kids that they were doing a polar bear swim! Thankfully it got warmer in the early afternoon. Nothing quite like building sand castles while listening to the waves and then driving home with the windows down.


I am so thankful for pretty well-behaved kids. Yes, they have their moments… but we got up and out to the beach and spent the day there with 9 kids and get this… it was relaxing! Other than when we found out the bathrooms were all closed for reno’s and we had to drive around looking for an outhouse… But seriously, children are a blessing. My children are a blessing to me.


The girls were talking about how many kids they were each going to have and someone told Charity that she would probably have more than me. She said, “No… I don’t think I have the patience for that many kids!”

I said, “I didn’t think I had the patience for 9 kids either.”

To which she replied, “Yeah, you don’t.”

She claims that she was just kidding, but I’m not so sure.

The girls and I have also started working out together. After the first day of our plank and squat challenge, Charity decided that she was never working out with me again. Ha! Her core muscles were aching. I tried to tell her that it was a “good ache”- she wasn’t impressed.

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Keona and I went out for breakfast on the morning of her 14th birthday. We went to Timmy’s and then sat in the car at the park with Addy. She had been saving up her money for a while and finally decided to buy herself an iPod touch on her birthday. So now my daughter has Instagram. That still seems weird to me…

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Our annual selfie picture on Keona’s birthday.

And last but definitely not least… It seems as though Lily finally has this potty training thing down. We’ve gone two weeks now without any daytime accidents! We even ventured out a couple of times without remembering to put her in a pull-up and she was fine! I am always incredibly relieved when they get it. My 8th kid and I still feel like I’m winging it with the whole potty training thing. Every one is so different…


We like to refer to Lily as our “Sour Patch Kid”.

First she’s sour. Then she’s sweet!


Couldn’t be a more accurate description of her personality…

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Our Family Maternity Session

Six days before Addy was born we managed to get our family/maternity session done. We’ve never had a photo shoot done while I was pregnant and I really wanted some pictures to remember the belly.

Here are few of my favourites from the session…


I love being pregnant.

I don’t miss the sick and exhausted feeling, but I miss the belly. I miss falling asleep to a baby kicking. I miss the anticipation and excitement about a new life…


But I am so thankful for the family God has blessed us with.

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We actually managed to get all 8 looking at the camera without photo-shopping any heads! We may have bribed them with ice cream on the way home if they co-operated.

I never dreamed of having 9 children…


A few shots of me and my hunny…


I couldn’t have asked for a better partner through my pregnancies. From late night runs for cheese burgers or slushies, and keeping a house with 8 kids pretty much silent so I could have an afternoon nap…

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… to telling me I look beautiful on a daily basis, and being incredibly understanding when I just wasn’t getting things done that I normally would…


He’s pretty awesome.


Well, most of the time…



Trying to figure out where to put his hands…


I am so glad that we were able to get these done before Addy arrived. (Thanks for fitting us in, Stef!) It ended up being a lot closer than we thought!


I went to the OB’s a few months ago and saw another doctor because mine was on vacation. He asked me to go over my previous pregnancies and it sounded something like this,

“A 37 week girl by emergency c-section; 35 week identical triplet girls by scheduled c-section; a 40+ week boy, failed VBAC and emergency c-section; 38 week boy by scheduled c-section; 38 week girl by scheduled c-section; miscarriage at 14 weeks; 35 week girl by c-section after preterm labour; ectopic pregnancy with rupture and right tube removed; current pregnancy.”

He looked at me and said, “Wow… You have quite the prenatal history!”


It wasn’t all planned. It didn’t all go as we had hoped. But it was all a part of God’s plan, He saw us through it, and I wouldn’t trade it.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

One Month Summed Up

It’s hard to believe that a month has gone by already.

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I knew that I wanted to do a month by month photo project like I did with Lily, but I hadn’t decided how or what exactly I was going to do yet. I kinda wish I had a belly and newborn shot in this same position… but months 1-12 will have to do! Eve is actually responsible for reminding me each month, and for taking the photographs. She has become quite interested in photography and she practices with my camera every chance she gets.

Here’s another one that she took of Addy and I recently…


My baby is a cuddler. I can’t really blame her… I’d much rather sleep cuddled up to Scott than in a bed by myself. So far, she is not a fan of her crib. She spends the majority of the night snuggled up to my side. We’ll start gradually making the transition now that she is sleeping more than 2 hours in between feeds at night.


She has officially outgrown all of her “preemie” sizes and is filling out the newborn outfits. She loves car rides, and being in the sling when we’re out.

She has had some visitors over the last few weeks…


Aunty Sarah and Adam have been out to see her a few times. The older kids convinced us to take them to the park on the hottest day of summer and I had a lady tell me that she “could just eat the baby!” Haha… Definitely gave me and my sister a laugh.

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My grandma and great grandma also came out to meet Addy. Mama (Addy’s great-great grandma) couldn’t wait to hold her. One of the kids carried her out of the room at one point and Mama started looking around and asking, “Where’s the baby gone?” I’m pretty sure she would have held her all night if Addy hadn’t wanted to eat.


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Lily loves looking through my photo albums. There is a picture of grandma Joy with her arms crossed in one of them and Lily always turns to that page when we talk about her. Grandma got a good laugh out of Lily’s impression of her!

Speaking of Lily…

She was my first girl to be born with hair. She was also an answer to my prayer for a girl with curly hair like mine. I love her curls. I especially love(d) the one that hangs down in front of her face all the time…

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Yep, that one…

Last weekend she got up before everyone else and decided to go into the older girls’ room to wake them up like she does all the time. Sadly, somewhere along the way she found a pair of scissors…


…and she snipped off that adorable little curl in the front and gave herself some seriously short and crooked bangs. :(  

It really could have been a lot worse. I’m so thankful that the rest of her hair was still up in a ponytail from the day before. I can only imagine the damage she would have done if it was all down. You can kinda see the bangs in the Instagram picture of her with Grandma Joy above. It still makes me sad every morning when I do her hair!

On another note, three of the kids had a blast at VBS last week! This was for crazy hat day.


Ella wanted a Rapunzel hat...


Jeddy wanted a race car one…


And Elijah wanted to be a tree with a parrot in it. (He was on the parrot team)


The girls were such a huge help making these! After about 2 hours of working on them Keona says, “Now I see why you just made me make my own hat when I was in VBS!”


Yes, I didn’t have 4 older daughters to help me then- I had 4 toddlers running around!

I think they did a good job. The girls came up with some pretty creative ideas!

And just because I’m sure she’ll be thrilled I’m going to share one last story…

When my aunt was getting ready to leave the other night, Prayer ran inside to get a pie for her to take home. Prayer came running out the door, down the front steps, and said, “Here… catch!” As she pretended to throw the pie box to her. Only problem was… the pie didn’t stop moving when she stopped the box. We watched in slow motion as the entire pecan pie slid out of the box, into the air, and landed upside down on the front lawn.


“I wasn’t going to actually throw the pie!”

That’s Prayer for you…




I’ll be back with pictures from our family photo shoot that we had done right before Addy was born!

Friday, July 11, 2014

My People

The day that we arrived home from the hospital with Addy, I couldn’t have been more excited. The kids had each been able to see her quickly at the hospital, but Charity was the only one who got to hold her. Quite honestly, it was sad and a little bit scary to see her hooked up to wires and machines… So to finally have our baby at home where they could hold her and kiss her – I couldn’t wait!

We let them hold her in order from youngest to oldest.

Lily calls her “my baby”. When they came to visit us at the hospital, I went out to meet them at the van and Lily saw me and said, “Where’s my Addy!?!?” I brought her into the hospital (and she looked absolutely adorable in her Sunday best) and she was adored by all the nurses! She reached into the incubator to hold Addy’s hand and said, “My baby’s coming home to sleep in my crib?” Broke my heart to have to bring her back out to the van, say goodbye, and send her home without her baby… so this was special.


She was so amazed by everything about Addy. “Look at her tiny nose! Her have tiny hands! And tiny lips! Addy’s so CUTE! I have to kiss her…” She continued pointing out all things “tiny” for the rest of the day. :)


Excuse the hair… this was first thing in the morning and I need my tea before tackling such tasks.

Ella doesn’t remember when Lily was a baby. So this was all new to her. She commented everyday on my “ginormous” belly (which she was so kind to point out was still “big” when I came home.. haha) she loved feeling the baby kick, and couldn’t wait to hold her new brother or sister.


She still smiles like that every time she holds her. One night we were all up a bit late and Ella was holding Addy. She said, “Cuddling Addy makes me feel like falling asleep cause she’s so comfy!” Five minutes later we looked over and Ella was asleep sitting up with Addy in her arms. But seriously… she’s already a pro at rocking her to sleep.


Her tiny fingers!


The boys are slightly competitive. About everything. They even debate over who holds the baby better, who is better at putting her to sleep, and who mom lets hold her while she isn’t in the room… They are both pretty good big brothers.


Elijah claims that he’s never getting married and having kids, but in his words, he “can’t stop giving Addy kisses!” Elijah likes to cuddle her when she’s quiet and sleeping. Jeddy tries to take her whenever she’s upset. He likes to rock her and try to put her to sleep. She’s got the best of both worlds. Until she is big enough to start breaking their lego sets… ;)


The triplets have been debating about who will be her favourite for my entire pregnancy. They say that Eve gets the babies because they always like her best. Prayer is best with the toddlers and Charity is better with the older kids because she’s the most patient. Which is mostly true… Eve was always the one to put Lily to sleep when she was a baby, and now as a toddler- Prayer is definitely her best buddy. Lily wakes up in the morning and yells, “Somebody! Somebody come get me!” If no one comes, or they aren’t quick enough for her liking… Then she turns to, “Prayer! PRAYER! PRAYER!!!”


Really, they are all pros.


Addy will never lack attention!


Keona is my helper around here. This all comes naturally to her now. She has been through several of my pregnancies, births, and babies- all that she’s old enough to remember. She was almost 2 when the triplets were born and she would try to help me then by sitting her toys on their heads, hugging them a little too tight, or pushing the swings a little too fast…We were laughing about all of those memories the other day, but she’s a pretty amazing helper now.


I was telling Scott that I feel like I’m living my dream.

Our life is far from perfect. We have things I wish I could change and can’t. We have arguments. We have kids that fight, scream, tattle, and disobey sometimes.

We have problems.

But I can’t think of anyone’s problems I’d rather have. Or anyone else I’d rather share them with.

Our home… is my safe place.

I’m so incredibly grateful for each and every person that I’m so blessed to share it with.



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