Friday, June 29, 2012

Little Joys...

Today was full of little joys. I got to go shopping with my Kenzie Rosie. We had Starbucks, went to Target, and didn't spend much money. Always good. We went to Sam's Club, mostly on errands, and I watched as sales guys, several of them, made comments to my Kenzie as we walked by. Now, while the mama isn't particularly thrilled with young men making eyes at her daughter, the other part of me knows that these smiles and comments will give her a nice little boost in the self esteem area, and what 15 year old girl couldn't use that? So, I pretend not to notice...and let her have her little  moments without giving them the evil mama eye or anything.

Feeling the heat beating down is a joy of it's own. This summer has been so fantastic, lots of swimming, lots of sunshine. It has been a very summery summer so far, and for that I am grateful. I am not a fan of the snow and cold, but a big lover of long, long days and warm sunshine. Even pregnant, I would take this heat over the cold any day. It has been really fun so far. I think my kids have been swimming more so far this year than they got to the whole summer last year!

We went to a graduation party of a young lady our family has known since she was wee small. Getting to see her accomplishments and hear her plans was a joy. It was also fun just to see so many familiar faces! Getting to talk to other mothers, especially homeschooling mamas, with many children, always lifts my spirits, especially when one of those mamas is having similar experiences in the home, with grown children returning home, etc. and feeling much the way I do about helps me to not feel so mean about it all.

Tomorrow will be filled with laundry and cleaning and maybe something fun for the kids, but Doug will be home, and I am hoping to see his face for more than 30 seconds, and that will be a joy. I miss that guy. We have been running in opposite directions since summer started and that is never easy for us. We are buddies. We kinda like each other, so the whole working opposite schedules a couple days a week, along with swimming, dance, library programs, and the whole summer thing, we never really see each other. I know that hoping for a date night is asking too much, but it would be great! Maybe next week, as we are both taking some much needed vacation time.

Planning pink items and making small purchases for this little baby is such a joy that I want to really remember and savor it. I feel like I have waited a long time for her. The loss of the little twins last fall has made this pregnancy scarier, but all the sweeter. I ask them to pray for their sister all the time, for her health and safe arrival. I talk to them, and knowing that I have these sweet babies waiting for me in heaven is a strange sort of joy. I am still so, so sad about the loss of them, that the mere mention still brings tears. I have nightmares that I can't find them, or this new baby. That they are just lost. But, I know they are not. We ask God to keep them safe for us every night. We know they are waiting. My subconscious has a hard time remembering, that's all.

So, I plan little things to buy or find, and I savor all the sweet thoughts of a wee brand new baby. I watch her move and kick, and find joy in all of it. I know that so far, she is healthy and strong. We are blessed and thrilled.

The coming week will bring a lot of fun and joy, cousins coming to celebrate the 4th of July, some time off with family and friends, and I am still hoping to fit a date night in there somewhere. There are plenty of things to be joyful about, when you just take the time to look around and find them, and not get caught up in every little frustration...

Thursday, June 28, 2012


I wish I could be a "go with the flow" kind of girl. I used to be. I even think I sort of know how to be, but I am not one, so I can't even pretend to be. I would love to be the mom that takes everything in stride, and honestly when you have so many kids, people just expect you to. But I don't. I analyze every little thing. I worry every thought and think through every worry. I have a hard time just handing things over to God.

Lately I have been having a hard time with kids coming and going in the house. I just do, and I can't pretend I don't. I have a hard time when we get a pet, when we have a new baby, even the thought of a new car makes me a little nutty. One of my babies took me a full 8 months to get used to having him around. I was in such a funk, even knocked my pretty even keeled husband out of whack for a while.

I know a lot of it is anxiety. I am not good at handling it, and have become convinced that I have some sort of hormonal imbalance that feeds into the anxiety. The last few babies have created very bad post partum depression. My last full term baby, Caleb left me with horrible voices, bad thoughts, a terrible fear that if I laid him down for even a moment, he would stop breathing. So I didn't lay him down. Ever. For weeks. The only person I trusted to make sure he kept breathing was his dad. Because if anyone is more protective than I am, it is the dad around here.

As summer approached, and I knew changes were coming, changes I don't particularly do well with, and some that knock me for a loop, I started to get frustrated with everything. Every time a child didn't immediately obey, every time there was a mess, every time some part of my schedule changed. I dislike frustration, because it makes me feel unreasonable, and I confess that a lot of my prayer life has just sort of evaporated in the midst of all of this. I was getting it back, bit by bit after we lost our little boys, but it has been slipping away. As it slips away, and others remind me to pray, I often find myself back in my teenage rebellious thoughts  - "You pray! I am done praying!" and such...and then find myself shocked to hear my own thoughts. I know this is the evil one taking advantage of my less than stable, less than peaceful mindset. At seven months pregnant, I want to be happy and cheerful and excited, and I often find I can be all of those things... with frustration one jar lid away. Having been pregnant so many times, I know that hormones do play a large part in all of this, but I feel particularly susceptible to crankiness and not at all well founded in my faith at the moment.

For me, writing it all down often helps rid my mind of this stuff, so I am hoping I can focus on what needs to be done around here, get ready for a new baby, try to get our finances, which just keep taking hit after hit under control, try not to let the politics of this country of ours rule my thoughts, and try to get God back at the center of my life, my being. I will start with praying to Our Blessed Mother, for I know she knows a mother's heart, and she is my true friend and will pray for me. I am thankful to know and love her, and know that she will take my pleas and cares to Christ for me. Honestly, I think I need a few hours in His presence. I miss Him.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Banana Bread or Muffins...

My little Benjamin loves all things baked, but asks ALL the time for "nana bread". We have always made banana bread in this house. My husband is naturally thrifty, and doesn't like for anything to go to waste, so once those bananas are looking a bit brown, my Ben is counting down the days until there is enough brown on them to make his "nana bread".  Today was the day, and since the stuff is so darn yummy, I thought I would throw the recipe up here, in case you are feeling particularly banana bread-ish. Today we put the batter into muffin cups because that just makes life easier, and I can tell how much of it they are eating. Sometimes the kids whip through a loaf like it's nothing and I come to find out later that Benji ate a goodly portion of it by himself.

Banana Bread

1 ¾ Cup flour

2/3  Cup brown sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

½  tsp. salt

¼ tsp. baking soda

½ Cup soft butter

2 very ripe bananas (I often throw in however many I have  -the more the better!)

2 beaten eggs

2 tsp. nutmeg (I love, love, love the fresh nutmeg grated right in!)

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. vanilla

Oven @350*

Pam a bread pan or muffin pans~ mix 1st 5 ingredients, with a pastry blender (I used my mixer) or two knives cut butter in until you get coarse crumbs. Stir in bananas and eggs and spices until just blended.

Bake 50 minutes or so, unless you are doing muffins, then it is only like 18.

My kids gobble this up, and it makes a great breakfast on the go item if you are racing out the door- gotta be better than a poptart, right? No preservatives, and you know what's going in! I've thrown in dried cranberries, raisins, pecans, etc. All yummy! Kids' favorite is straight up - plain...enjoy!