Marie's Musings

Musings from the mundane day to day life of a mom of 9 to more serious ponderings of the day.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

In a good mood today

Not sure why but ill take it! Have lots to do today, need to get teh house cleaned ... realtor comes over tommorrow, so i really need to kick it into gear~

So hope the good mood continues thruout the day , that will help. Now if my lovely children dont stop bickering, especially the oldest two , im going to have to throttle them.

Anyway thats all for now folks!

Monday, January 30, 2006

Steamroller effect!

We still havent decided for sure, which door we are going through. Whether we wait to see if a job opportunity opens up in chicago, or whether we sell this one and move west. We really are at a crossroads.

But in some ways the steamroller is gased up and starting to roll. I have realtor coming over wednesday to look at sellign the house and the "ugly house" buyers comign on Thursday.

In the meantime we have been looking for that "perfect" house. Yes, i realize that usually isnt out there, but i know what i wont live without and what is bonus! We found one we really like (at least online anyway) in a smaller town than we were orignally looking. That isnt all bad. Sure they dont have 7 fast food places but thats much better for teh budget. Sure we cant just run to walmart without a 30 min drive but that will make us more intentional in our shopping habits. The school from k-12 is 250 kids ... all housed in one building. Yeah that can be a drawback, cause if they dont make friends, they coudl feel alienated but i think thats a risk we will have to take. They asked this morning, could we ride our bike to school, im like sure.

I found a church 12 miles away too, that looks very interesting. So it very much looks like a place i could call home. Heck who wouldnt love a place that has a festival called "longhorn days" :)

Friday, January 27, 2006


The boys have some friends over. Their mom asked if they coudl play while she went shopping. I dont mind so much, other than its lots and lots of noise :) But they each have one of my boys to match close to their age, so everyone is pretty happy!

Thursday, January 26, 2006


Since i was born with a mutated housekeeping gene :), cleaning has always been a struggle for me. Over the years, i developed coping strategies, like inviting people over as to have a deadline or trying to do a loose routine. Still it doesnt come easy to me ... and I wonder what do other "normal" people do that I'm not, what comes naturally to them to do that Im not even thinking of.

And as we prepare to embark on the adventure of moving and a new house(at least thats the dominant plan in my mind), I have been pondering, what habits do I and the family as a whole need to develop? What needs to change?

So begins the season of new beginnings

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Im completely in shock!

I just spoke with my sil's friend who is a mortage broker and she said we can qualify to get a much bigger mortage. And the best part is we dont need an arm and a leg to get out of this house, just an arm!

Wow I am totally blown away, i honestly didnt think on andrew income alone, we would qualify for nearly enough.

God is sooo good ... his timing... his provision is always perfect

We have been gambling round here!

I have created a system using poker chips and the carousel that is commonely associated with it. As the children have aged (currently have 12,10,9,7,6,5,2 and 4 months), the 2 youngest withstanding, I have to get more and more creative with our disclipline.

And with the amount of craziness, yelling and chaos lately, somthing had to change. Its more a reward based system , yet they can still lose chips for misbehavior or consquences. Right now they can earn 4 chips a day, eventually that will change to 2 but i want to get them into the habit of earning them. They can earn two for morning chores(room chore and bedroom) and two for afternoon and for exceptional behavior as well. Some have taken to this system better than others, katarina for example is motivated by the prize bucket rewards which cost 5 chips. Saturday morning cartoons cost 2 chips ... ouch ... yes I know im mean... but in reality I dont think earning two measly chips, for doing chores twice is askign too much. Im even charging them to go to birthday parties and fun events.

I even bet them 1 chip this morning they cant get their chores done, i dont lose anything since they can earn some anyway, but they do if they dont get it done, they owe me!

I still need to figure out some consquences that get them moving, when they arent doing chores ... hmm sleeping in the snow maybe lol ... okay somthing more constructive i suppose.

Monday, January 23, 2006

383 and counting

Our lives lately have been consumed with two things: pine wood derby cars and girl scout cookie selling.

We have 3 boys needing to make cars with dad in order to race this weekend. So its been taking up a lot of dhs' time, and it seems we are hardly having any time to do much of anything else.

Katarina and I have hit the streets, and been cookie selling. She has set her goal to 700 boxes. Yes you read right, 700. Why so high? Well its the elusive goal of a free week of camp when she hits 650. Shes hit once before and got to go to horse camp and fell in love with it. So she hopes to go again. Now that her sales totals are nearing 400, i have some hope that she just might make it. Its tough, selling the cookies themselves isnt really, who doesnt love girl scout cookies. But the sheer number of boxes to sell and people to hit. Anyone want cookies?

Off to start a new week here, i have many projects on the forefront. Mainly cleaning, some painting, and steam cleanign some carpets. Some old friends and their kids are comign this weekend and Im so looking forward to catching up with them. But id like the house in order :)

Thats all for now folks!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

I know what I want to be when i grow up

For most of my childhood and young adult life, I wanted to be a teacher. It changed from elementary to secondary and back and forth. But I usually never wavered on the profession. I was a teacher in a private school for a short 6 months before i moved but beyond that i never finished my schooling for education.

Somewhere in my adult married life that goal changed. Sure Im still teaching, but its teaching manners, morels and how not to kill your siblings. So i no longer want to be a "teacher" in the public school sense. Although I sense my teaching as a parent wont be ending anytime soon.

I have waffled some over the past years in exactly what I wanted to do. I wanted to be a OB nurse, a receptionist, a counselor for prolife clinics, work with the elderly or the developmentally disabled. But i could never quite settle on one thing. I was convinced I would take all the schooling and spend all the money and not like what i chose to do. So it seemed like a huge responsiblity and I just wasnt ready to go back to school ( I have an associates of arts and sciences currently).

I decided today after pondering and debating in my mind that I do want to get that nursing degree. Maybe I will be a nurse in a local ob clinic or at a group home for the elderly. Maybe Ill put those teaching skills to work in the nursing field. I dont know any of that yet but I do know taht I want to do this. I want to do it for me, I want to have those skill sets for when the kids are no longer in the immediate forefront of our lives.

How I will get there, and how many years it will take me, well ... thats still under advisement. But i have begun!

Sick anyone?

My 2 yr old woke up with a 102 fever this morning. So a trip to the doctor is in order today. I swear we are paying for their retirement with our copays alone. I am going to get some labwork done for me while im there as well. At least we are getting two things out of the way at teh same time.

I just hope the predicted snowstorm holds off enough for me to to get to the doc and back.Im not real keen on driving in the snow to start with, let alone with a big 15 passenger rear wheel drive van.

So Im attacking laundry today ... the clean pile has overtaken the couch and the even scarier part is the dirty is overtaken the kitchen. Wish me luck and if you dont see me, you know the laundry monster has officially eaten me.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Overly emotional and stubborn too!

Im feeling more emotional lately. Not sure what thats all about but i get that trait from my granny. She is my favorite grandma and I love her dearly. Heres proof that the crying gene comes from Granny :) I call her, have a normal conversation, everyone is well, no crisis' and when we hang up, she always cries. Every single time. We leave her house, the same thing, more tears.

This ultra crying gene is great, when you want to cry or are sad, its a crapshoot when you are really mad and all you can do is cry when you really want to give someone a piece of your mind.

I get my stubborn gene from Papa, hes also my favorite grandfather. This man refuses to have open heart surgery even though they said "he needs 5 or 6 bypasses". Nothing was changing his mind, not even me, his favorite grandaughter. He once told me the story of how i had to have a bushel of tomatoes, right then and there ona trip to a neighboring city, even though, they were cheaper back in town, even though we had tons in the garden. Nothing was detering me from those tomatoes.

This stubborn gene comes in handy when dealing with 8 darling children, they still think they can outlast me. I smile and think, yeah right ... "Never match wits with a mother when control is on the line"This stubborn gene has its drawbacks as you imagine, when it comes time to say im sorry , when it comes time to humble myself and back down ... well it just doenst help much then.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Ramblings thoughts of insanity ahead

I keep wanting to blog about somthing but while away from the computer, tons of posts come to mind, none seem to flow out when im here.

After a rough start to the day ... the kids couldnt seem to get it together, they either were tattling, fighting or just plain not doing chores, the day has progressed better. A nice long conversation from a good friend, helped tremendously. Not only do i get to vent out some stuff and be her listening ear, I clean while i talk as well. I cannot stay still and talk on the phone, so i got the recycling sorted and took out, the laundry started and sorted, part of the kitchen picked up and the dining room picked upa nd swept.

I have decided for some personal reasons as well as to get my weight under control to lay off the chocolate and excess sugar. Except cappachinos, a woman has to live somehow! So far two days in, not doing so well at all, half the day yesterday was good, til i found a stray candy bar in the fridge. Thankfully its gone now and can no longer tempt me. Donuts found their way into my van this morning ... but I am going to keep trying til i kick this junk eating habit in hand. Sigh ... its a lot harder than i thought it would be.

Well thats all for now, more later

Thursday, January 12, 2006

I escaped last night

from the institution ... ha ha ha! Okay not really. A friend of mine, who lives down the street had her baby this week and I got to visit her in the hospital sans kids.

Completely, totally, without kids not even my tagalong, my 4 month old baby. Of course she did not cooperate with the plan and take the expressed bottle at all. It was lovely despite dear hubby having a rough night, I dont feel one bit guilty. I needed that 2 hour break away from the chaos, the fights, the demands of infant care.

I do feel bad that dh had a rough time with the kids . I guess he couldnt find the duct tape.

Todays adgenda includes snuggling with a baby girl, roping a strong willed toddler and keeping the mischief out of the eyes of a 5 yr old.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Why God gave us toddlers and teenagers

I really think he created those stages in life in order to bring us back to him. When do we tend to rely most on God? When we are struggling to make ends meet, when we are at our wits end, when we dont know what else to do.

When my 12 yr old preteen is as full of attitude as violet is full of blueberries in charlie and the choclate factory, I have nowhere else to turn but to God. When my 2 yr screams at the top of his lungs in the middle of a very full doctors waiting room, where else can i turn?

Sure I could turn to drugs or alchol but that wont change the behavoirs that brought you to that point in the first place. Seems pointless to me to go that route.

Babies generally are fairly easy and cuddley and sweet and then they turn into toddlers or in other words monsters :) Sure they have their sweet moments and love to hug and kiss but man those temper tantrums sure make up for the rest.

In between, seems fairly straight forward most of the time, at least with disclipline and guidance.

And the preteen who has suddenly turned from this sweet compliant girl to this attitude laden, lying girl who I dont seem to know.

And during this time, when i find myself with that preteen and that toddler both, I find myself praying a lot, calling out to God. Whereas previously i was fairly confident in my parenting, I am shaken to the core and not sure where else to turn but to God. And for that Im thankful, that he gave us these stages to remind us of where we should have been all along, in his everlasting arms.

Truth in advertising

I bought some "infant" tylenol(generic version) this week. Right on the box it says for ages 2-3.I look at the dosage chart and it lists under 2, contact a doctor. What I want to know is how in the world do they get away with labeling it infant tylenol when they are marketing it as a toddler drug and trying to cover their butts for a lawsuit by saying contact your doctor.

I am a seasoned parent, i have a chart that shows dosage for infants and so on, so I know how to deal with it. But its still very irritating that they sell a product supposedly for infants that isnt what it says it is.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

One Tuesday Morning

I accidently slept in this morning, I set the alarm but turned it to radio instead of the regular beeping. That most certainely didnt wake me up .. but my internal clock that typically will wake up around 730 kicked in, so I managed to get up in time.

Typical chaos abounds, arguments between siblings, cooing baby, hurt toddler,talkative ten yr old and a lecture bout busstop behavior.

I am still pondering what kind of reward/punishment disclipline system I can put into place to turn the chaos into a semblence of a family unit. I love our family, despite its challenges and complexity. I need a system that is simple yet complex enough to encompass 8 kids rather than the typical one or two. And ive been thinking for awhile now, because I want to have somthing that i can keep up longterm, not just a flash in the pan system.

Interupted briefly here over a boot scufffle ...

Hubby has all kinds of ideas, but since im the one that is at home with them most often, I need somthing that I feel i can uphold. Still thinking, I hope to have a system to put into place by the end of the week.

And the pondering thought to end the post with: How come I can think of all kinds of blog topics all day long when I'm away from the computer and the minute I sit down my mind is blank?

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Two milestones in one day

Zemirah rolled over for the first time this weekend and hasnt stopped since. Although she is my 8th child, it doesnt seem to get old, I feel just as excited as I did when my eldest hit this milestone. Its fun to see all the new connections she is making lately, grasping toys and figuring out how to get them to her mouth, making new sounds and laughing. We can now add rolling to that list.

She managed to hit one other important milestone:she fell off the couch! No worse for the wear, thankfully but the fun times have begun.

Today is Arianas 5th birthday. It seems surreal that she has reached kidnergarten age. She still is such a petite little girl(although she is tall) that I still often think of her as my baby girl. She was a welcome surprise after 4 boys in a row and continues to be our mischievous one. Happy Birthday Baby Girl!

Off to get ready for the party today.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Good morning

Hubby asked me to drive him into work today, in order to save some parking money. Despite the option of saving money ... I just really didnt want to. I didnt want to leave the warm comfort of home, let alone have to drive or even miss out on the chance to go back to sleep. But i decided to suck it up and do it anyway.

Turned out to be a good thing, it gave me some time to talk to dh on the way to work, it gave me the opportunity for another cappachino(big plus there) and still get some time to browse email and message boards.

Now that the kids are off to school (minus the one that threw up this morning) I am motivated to tackle the day. Knowing that Ariana's birthday is coming up this weekend and with it a resulting party has nothing to do with my sudden motivation to have the house clean!

Well off to tend to a mad 2 yr old who was denied a leftover can of diet soda. Oh the life of being 2!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Somedays I really wonder ...

I wonder what exactly God was thinking when he blessed me with 8 children. Especially on mornings like this when the challenges abound: the 12 yr old full of attitude and spite, the 6 yr olds stubborn streak, the 10 yr annoying his sister, the 7 yr old dallying and the ones that have yet to hit my radar screen.

I wonder am I really equipped for this. Its new territory hitting the preteen and teen stuff. It wasnt exactly easy when I had 6 kids under age 7 but compared to the challenges of today it felt a heck of a lot easier.

My stepmom's example wasnt exactly stellar either. She sent me to the gym teacher when i got my period. I was looking for some guidance along the way, she never told me about shaving. The nickname of "jungle woman" still haunts me to this day. Maybe she just didnt know what to do with me, but I craved that intimacy, I needed someone to come alongside me and teach me .

So now i have a 12 yr old daughter whom I didnt send to the gym teacher when she got her period but I wonder am I fulfilling the needs she has? We talk some but do we talk enough? Its hard being the eldest child with 7 other siblings, I get that but what I dont know is how do I make sure she isnt lost amongst the shuffle. How do i give her the space she needs from her brothers without losing our sense of family?

I dont have any answers today other than seeking out Gods wisdom. I know he will see me through this time , I hope without too many causelties along the way.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Thats what I needed

Despite the fact that the kitchen is so covered in laundry that there isnt a path,despite knowing the dining room really needs sweeping and washing, despite the knowledge that the Living room needs vaccuming again and that i really have no hopes of seeing the bottom of my sink anytime soon ... I made homemade pizzas and we popped in a movie.

Spread out the blankets and watched the kids settle in and munch pizza and watch Sandlot 2. Yes the work will still be there tommorrow, chances are it will have exponentially grown but you know what it was worth it. Worth it to reclaim my sanity, my spirit to be uplifted some and for me just to not have the kids going crazy for that hour at least.

Lower than a rattlesnake's belly in a wagon rut

I can't really ascribe it to one reason. It's likely a combination of factors:kids misbehaving and fighting this morning, a call from the AP regarding more bus behavior issues,gloomy overcast weather thats been here for weeks, a trashed house and no motivation to tackle it and a feeling like i have a to do list a mile long.

So I do what i usually do when a day like this hits,just about nothing. Well as much nothing as I can sneak in having 3 kids still at home demanding love and attention. I retreated into a good book like i commonly do.

That keeps the rattlesnake belly up for a bit anyway.

Thats all for now folks

Meltdowns R' Us

Not sure why this morning is so different from yesterday morning. But the elation of going back to school certainely has dissapated. Today instead seems to have been filled with arguments, meltdowns and general chaos.

Josiah decided that Zechariah had to remove his toys from his room right that very second despite inviting him to bring them up there last night.Reason: he wanted to play his new gameboy advance and didnt want to have to clean up the extra. Nathaniel decided to investigate josiah's magic kit to prove he was correct in his assessment of how it works. They all seemed to be fighting over one thing or another and it just makes me want to give up. To crawl back in bed and forget that I supposed to be the one in charge, the one that knows how to stop the train as it speeds faster and faster, the one who rises above all the pettyness. Somehow I wonder if i havent missed something in preparing for this role. What cloak did i forget to put on, as i got up this morning?

Today is one of those days that im glad I am not homeschooling and that i get a much needed break from the chaos. Although as one goes out the door upset cause his stuff spilled on the way out, I wonder what his day will be like. Will his day be as off as mine?

As I sit typing, still trying to regain that sense of balance, the 5 yr old is tormenting the 2 yr old and I just want to cry. I dont want to get them ready to go to dance class, I dont even want to leave the house. But I will ... God help me.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Sense of accomplishment

I've never been a great housekeeper. I know, everyone around me knows it and well I just have to keep trying to improve.

Somedays its easier than others to start tackling the loose schedule of tasks i have for myself:the load of laundry, pile of dishes and project destined for that day. Other days my love of books and reading lures me away. Or snuggling with my baby girl and breaking up fights interspersed with playing occupies my time.

But today i forced myself to ignore that calling from the current book i have on my bedside, and start tackling some chores. After all its much calmer today compared to yesterday(sending 5 off to school tends to do that). I had to chunk it ... routine never seems to be simple. But in the end, 3 weeks of recycling is sorted and put on the curb,1 sinkful of dishes washed, 1st load of laundry in the washer, 2nd one in the dryer, last nights puking fest(courtesy of Zechariah) is cleaned up with his bedroom steam cleaned and the living room picked up and vaccumed.

There was also nursing the darling girl, reading some stories to the strong minded boy and breaking up a few fights started by the michievous girl. It all adds up to a sense i accomplished somthing ... i managed to kick the housecleaning into gear and I feel good bout that. I think i will indulge in that book as i eat my lunch and the kids are napping.

Sure i have more to do but its always the starting that counts

Back to School

After having the kids home for the last 17 days, I am more than ready for them to head back to school. Im sure they arent though lol. What I'm not looking forward to, is the early mornings and returning to scheduled, its fun sleeping in you know.

2005 was a good year, it brought my baby girl Zemirah :) Im looking forward and dreading 2006. Things on the horizon include Ariana going to kidnergarten, Katarina starting middle school, Zemirah turning 1 yr old, Josiah starting 6th grade, and possibly going back to school myself.

Thats all for now folks!