the only time these feet are still

Saturday, October 5, 2013


Yep, that's me.   I have said several times I need to update the blog...but it never seems to happen.  But today, S is working, D, P & T are upstairs playing, Baby E is sleeping and HM is babbling away next to me, so now seems better time than any other.  HM's speech has imploded, I am constantly amazed at the progress he has made.  More people can understand him and he is using several work phrases.  I haven't talked too much on here about some of the issues with HM's behavior, but there have been concerns.  I am happy to say we are making progress in that as well.  We have started some specialized "therapy" and we are seeing improvements everyday.  HM and D are starting to play together more and more and it is so great to see their relationship grow.  We celebrated HM's 1 year home with a trip to our favorite Korean restaurant with some of our family.  And then a month later we celebrated his 3rd birthday.  There has been a lot of changes in HM's short life and we are truly grateful for his willingness and ability to enjoy the ride!  HM loves baby E and has quickly learned to make her smile and bring her a pacifier or blanket when she needs one.  I feel we are complete right now as a huge family of 7, I couldn't be more thankful for all of my amazing blessings.
About the rest of the brood. S is working a ton, he is teaching a class at the local university which he is loving.  He is also working some overtime on Saturdays (like today).  We had a wonderful summer/maternity leave hanging out together and with some friends on our street.  I think I was probably the saddest that it had to end.   T is in 3rd grade and P in 1st.  Homework is no joke in 3rd grade, that is all I can say.  Trying to juggle daycare for 3 little ones proved too stressful so we now have a nanny which is awesome!  She is ahhhmazing (read: does laundry!)  HM still attends preschool 2 days a week.  That was the only bad part of moving to a nanny, I really did not want HM to have to adjust to anymore change.  The compromise was part time and it seems to be working well,  He loves our nanny, C, as do the other kids.  HM is also getting speech services through the school one morning a week.  He is a busy little guy!  Baby E is settling in so well.  She is such an easy going girl which definitely makes things easier.  We assume she just knew there were 4 kids before her so she better be patient!  T is playing soccer this fall too and I am proud to watch her get braver and braver about being an aggressive competitor.
I hope that I will be better about posting, although there may not really be anyone who cares.  I hope one day my kids will enjoy looking back and seeing our journey.

Now the photo dump!!  Which is really what everyone wants to see (ie the family)!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The elephant in the room..7Cs

So I have been meaning to post and just haven't taken the time to just down and do it.  HM was evaluated for school services and I was very pleased to learn that he tested quite advanced in his comprehension.  He is however still delayed in his expressive speech and qualifies for speech services through the school.  I am excited for him to start this as he seemed to connect immediately with the teacher and I have heard fabulous things about her.  He did not however qualify for the preschool program which is what we expected.  We still have some work to do with HM's control issues and behaviors but he has come a really, really long way.  I feel excited to see his language blossom and expect his behaviors to improve as he is better able to express himself.
School has come to an end for T & P.  P received an award for his character and we are quite proud of how well he did in his first year of school.  He is a bright, sweet, sensitive boy and I am excited for him to take on 1st grade!  T completed 2nd grade and it was no surprise that it was a great year for her as well.  The only downfall she experienced was bullying.  I must say that dealing with that was one of the hardest parenting things I have had to do.  I admit, I wanted to go straight to the school and handle it myself, I tried to "it's not you, it's them" message but then one day she didn't want to go to school.  In the end it was taken care of, but it is a struggle.  How much do you point out the root of bullying and the shortcomings a bully is feeling and how much do you say "too bad, you can't take it out on my kid."  I am still not sure of the answer to that.  With a kid like T who is empathetic to a fault, trying to have sympathy for the bully then made her protective of them and even justifying the behaviors.  So we did have to just say, enough is enough regardless of why they are doing it.  I hope we don't deal with that again too soon.
The whole C famly helped celebrate a dear friends' wedding at the end of May.  While the bride was gorgeous, I must admit it was the flower girls and ring bearers that stole my eye.  T, P, D, & HM along with the bride's nephew were part of the wedding party and were all quite adorable!  Pictures below.
But the biggest update of the C family came on June 7, 2013.  I guess really I should back up, about 9 months!  Last October, when my dear friend, C, asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding I gladly accepted.  She had only one request of her bridesmaids...don't get pregnant until after November.  Of Course this was of no concern or issue for me!!  Sort of....little did I know it was a little late for that.  Surprise the C family would be growing once again!  I have always wanted 5 children and almost everyone I know said I was insane and would never want that many once I had a couple.  Well, stubborn me.  We were very excited and nervous at the same time.  For as "free spirited" and schedule free as we are, we have planned each C family member, HM being Loooong planned and waited for.  So this was a new scenario for us.  I didn't tell many people.  I felt nervous, afraid of what they would say.  Not interested in the negative comments.  We didn't tell our families until Christmas and even then I thought about waiting...until JUNE!  But once we told the kids, that was that.  They were excited and soon it became more real.  Having had the blessing of 3 previous pregnancies with great outcomes, I was nervous about this one going smoothly.  Plus, not any younger!  It had been 4 years since I had been pregnant, by far the longest I had gone.  Amazingly, this was the best, easiest pregnancy I ever had.  Now by the end, I was sore and tired, but otherwise it was great.  I cherished as much as I could because!  No more growing babies for me. 4 times, with 4 healthy babies is more than I can ask.  This pregnancy I thought often of the many people I know of who have struggled to become pregnant or stay pregnant and didn't want to take for granted what a wonderful experience I have had.  I certainly didn't want to flaunt in any of those people's faces that I had "accidentally" gotten pregnant.    So anyway,  got negative comments.  I had lots of people ask if this was my first and when I said "no, I have 4 at home."  UGH the responses.  I was lucky to share this whole pregnancy with my neighbor who was also expecting her 5th and that certainly made it feel more normal.  And many people did embrace us and shared in our joy.
So I sit here home for the summer with my 5 kiddos.  Actually, HM is going to preschool part time just to keep it as part of his routine.  He loves it and I know readjusting at the end of the summer would be very hard if he were out of it for 3 months.  Baby E came on June 7th.  Somehow, she is just similar enough to T,P & D that I can't decide who she looks like.  All of the kids love her.  HM smiles and says baby and has even made a good attempt at pronouncing her name.  We are tired and at times overwhelmed but happy.  Glad that the C family has grown twice in the last year.  So here are a couple of pictures and the promise that  it will be awhile before I post again!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

March, Spring and April

Wow I don't have time to post or apparently photograph my children.  We have been busy, busy but at what I am not really sure.  March was anti-climactic.  HM has increased his speech services to once a week to see how that will impact him.  While he is making huge improvements, he is still very difficult to understand.  As he becomes more independent he has also started to really assert his strong will and temperament.  It hasn't been easy.  I am at a loss as to how to handle some of his behaviors.  He definitely likes to be in charge and can really act out when not given his way.  It isn't easy to talk about because these behaviors tend to show mostly when it is just mommy, daddy and the kids around.  He is a hitter, stomper, thrower and screamer.  Several of those being new to us as parents.  It is also difficult as our other children have shown some of the ripple effect of HM joining our family.  I feel it is important that everyone have consistent rules and aggressive behavior is not tolerated.  We have seen many, many irrational meltdowns from P, who at 6, seems well beyond an age where that is an appropriate method of expression. D, like HM, is quite strong willed, and has her share of tantrums, hitting and stomping included.
So suffice to say, it has been challenging a good bit around here.  Warm weather certainly has helped, we can all use more time in the sun and fresh air to burn some energy and play with friends.  I am constantly thinking about what other interventions or evaluations might be needed, all the while trying to remember that the "terrible 2s" is upon us as well.  Nothing like questioning your every parenting decision still after 4 kids!  I am not on my A game either and I have to remember that that may be the biggest cause of everyone's struggles.

"baby D" celebrated her 4th birthday yesterday, even further proving that she is no longer a baby!!  She has  blossomed into a bright, brilliant, opinionated little girl.  I love to see her find her own place in the family, although sometimes I think she might overthrown S and I.  We celebrated with a "bounce house" birthday, and after her initial stubbornness I think she had a good time.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Our trip and update

So we pulled it off and surprised our kids with a trip to Disney!  S had been gone for work for a week, so the Saturday he got back we told the kids to pack a change of clothes we were going on a road trip.  It worked.  We just said we were going to drive through the night to the beach and spend a day.  Totally bought it!  It was a long drive but totally worth it.  As we approached the big arching sign for Disney World S said to T, "I think we may have taken a wrong turn, T can you read that sign?"  She did and was so confused.  Not P though, he immediately started screaming, "thank you, thank you!  We are Disney World!" D and HM seemed fully perplexed but that was ok.
Next surprise was our close friends B&A met us there, and the kids grandparents later that day!!  It was so much excitement and they all did so well.  HM was so excited to see the HUGE "Nemo" pictures at the hotel and just pointed and screamed.  All day at Magic Kingdom and everyone did awesome.  I was so proud.  We took almost 800 pics total, so I won't overwhelm, but I will add a couple of my favorites.   We stayed until Friday and headed home around 1pm.  That made for a torturous drive home and HM has become increasingly cranky, feverish and coughing.  Poor guy!  We learned he had another ear infection and more wheezing.  So back on meds for him.
That is the very abbreviated trip story.

In other news, HM continues to receive speech services and has some of his own language, but nothing most people can understand.  I am meeting with the Speech people next week to talk about what else we should be doing.  Dr. also said that he may be developing asthma, so we are learning about all of that.

Today, winter made her true presence and dumped more than a foot of snow on us.  Everything came to a screeching halt around here.  HM did get to hold a little snowball and it seemed to be his first experience with snow.  It was fun to watch his fear turn to delight.

So those are all of the positive updates.  Some of the tougher stuff.  Behavior has been an issue with HM as of late.  We partly believe that recent illness may have something to do with it and of course being 2, but it is still challenging and can be very exhausting.  Being that his is not an only child, it is important that our other kids don't think HM is allowed to "get away" with things that are not acceptable for them.  At the same time, his story is different from theirs.  They understand that to some degree, but it is still hard.   We are trying different things, the language limitation of course adds to every one's frustration.  So that is where we are, several steps forward and an occasional step back.

Now pictures: