Friday, August 27, 2010

If one more person refers to us as "John and Kate plus 8"...

If one more person refers to us as "John and Kate plus 8" I quite possibly may throw something at them. It's just stupid and people use it as what they think is a comical insult. Quit it already! First of all, my husband isn't a gigantic walking douche like John Gosselin and secondly just about the only thing I have in common with Kate is the fact that we both have a Vagina. We don't have 8 kids, I was pregnant and gave birth to each of mine individually and TLC doesn't follow my life, which was and still is, far more entertaining than theirs *zing*. And ANNDD... While I am a bit of a clean freak, I'm not a control freak who treats my husband like a child. On second thought, he's pretty douchey, so he deserved it. Each time I hear it, which has been quite a few times at this point, I get just that much more irritated. News Flash people! It is not original! Many more have said it before you. If you want to throw what you think is a witty insult out there as you pass us by, try coming up with something that is ACTUALLY witty. Maybe even something funny. As a matter of fact, please come up with something truly humorous so I can at least enjoy your insult! I'm cool like that, if it's funny I'll laugh!

Kate, who I once defended, now nauseates me for many reasons. So being compared to her, even if it's just by some random idiot trying to make a funny, is pretty offensive to me.

There you go random rude strangers... If you want to say stupid crap to me/us PLEASE come up with something original, ok? Just an FYI, "Are you trying to be like the Duggers? *har har har*" and "What are you trying to get a TV show?" have already been taken.

These poor deprived Homeschooled children!

My kids must really be missing out, not going to "real" school... or are they?

This week we made 2 bookstore trips to look at, read and buy some new books, transfered plants that they grew from seeds into pots, looked for and studied vascular plants, looked for and found moss to study and made a homemade barometer.

But seriously, this week went really well. The kids are doing great with all of their work and they're having a great time while doing it! I couldn't really ask for any more than that :). We've had lots of hands on Science, looked at some books on weather at the Bookstore and bought some more "fun" reading material.

Our second trip to Barnes and Noble this week.




The kids plants. This will be an ongoing project because they are growing cress that they will have to care for and can eat later! (This is for Cameron's curriculum, but they are all involved.)



The older 3 boys looking for Moss. (For Alex's curriculum, but they are all involved.)



Please excuse our redneck Barometer... That's the only glass bottle we had that we were willing to empty out the contents lol. (Cameron's second experiment in his curriculum, but again, they are all involved.) PS. That's a balloon, not a condom.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

New Pictures of all 5 of the kids!

I took some quick photo's of each of the kids today and thought I'd share! I just love each of those stinkers so much ♥

Alexander - 8 years old today!


Cameron - 5 years, 8 months, 2 weeks, 5 days.


Wyatt - 4 years, 6 months, 2 weeks, 4days.


Zayne - 2 years, 9 days.



Annabella - 9 months, 2 weeks, 5 days.



Today Alexander turned 8 years old!

8 years ago today, my water broke at 6am in the morning of my very own birthday. Late that afternoon I gave birth to my Alexander Jacob. The last 8 years with him in my life have been nothing less than amazing. He is such a smart, handsome, loving and thoughtful little boy. I am so lucky to be his mom. Happy 8th Birthday Alex! I love you.






For MY Birthday, my husband made breakfast and he also made a GREAT shrimp dinner :).

Monday, August 23, 2010

This is my job

This is my job. I am responsible for our future! That's a tall order, people! Every one of us who have children, are responsible for the future. Looking at it that way gives you a whole different view on being a parent, it should, in my opinion anyway.

The way we raise our children directly influences the adults they will become. That is a big deal. Right? We need to remember that when we make the choices we do with our children. No matter what our parenting style is, we need to love them unconditionally, teach them to be tolerant, respectful, caring and honest and we need to show and tell them we love them every single day. Sometimes showing them that we love them, is punishing them for misbehaving or sending them to bed early when they are cranky. Part of loving them is raising them to be the best people they can be.

I don't get paid for this job, but I feel rich. I'm not a supermom, but my kids all think I am the best. I'm not a perfect wife or the most beautiful woman, but my husband looks at me like I'm amazing. I'm not perfect, but I try my best.

Raise your children to be the best people they can be. Always remember they are the future. Love them with everything you have. Punish them from your heart and not out of anger. Remind them of their worth often. Try to use kind words. Hug them... hug them every single day.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Words From Dad: Why do I have so many kids?

So it seems lately that I have been getting more and more looks, or surprised exclaimations when people see or hear how many kids my wife and I have. It has got me thinking about having so many, and why people are so surprised by it.

First, did I ever imagine having 5 kids? NO, LOL, not at all. But here I am anyway. Sometimes I do ask myself "How did I get here?", but then I look at my beautiful wife and remember how much I love her, and how much I really love the family we have. Now that I have this many do I regret it? That is an easy NO, also. It is very hard work, although Sarah deals with the brunt of it and she is a truly amazing mother. But no matter how hard it is, they are all so intelligent, funny, loving, and beautiful children, it makes it easy.
I love my children. Am I the perfect Dad? No not at all, but do my kids think I am, YES. And that fact right there is what makes having them so awesome, and so rewarding. Its that unconditional love that a child has for their mommy and daddy, that makes no price too steep for having them. Makes the thought of having another, not so bad ;).

My second thought, is why is it sooo strange/weird/amazing/tv show like/{insert random insult/compliment here} that my wife and I have 5 kids? Is it the fact that we have 5? Or the fact that we have 5, we are still together, and/or that I am the father of all of them? I mean really, I hear of people who have 5, 7, or maybe even 10 kids all the time. Now granted ususally they dont see half of them, or the state has a few, but having 5 is not that really that many children. Which adds to this thought... Why the hell do people have to throw comments good or bad out there? The good ones are great, but the ones that say stuff like "Oh look its John and Kate plus 8" are an insult. One of these times I will walk up to the person, and say "Oh look its an inbred moronic asshole" and just walk away. Lets see how they like that. People really dont think before they speak sometimes.

My next thought is the compliments we get at resturants or the like. I mean dont get me wrong, I love hearing how well behaved our children are, but something about it just seems wrong. Our children act like children at the table in the resturant, but they dont run around or yell or throw things. That is not acceptable behavior for ANYONE, children and adults alike. So if our children are sitting down being good, what are other parents doing?!?! We are not slave drivers, we dont bring whips with us, we just tell our children to sit and be good. They know what we expect from them. They listen, and play with the crayons, or make maps on the silverware roll tie, or even use the forks like little guys running around. Sometimes I feel like parents are more interested in to listening to their kids feelings, and letting them have a say, and they forget they are children!!! and that they need to be guided and taught. My children need to learn basic problem solving skills on their own. They need to learn how to research stuff on their own. They do not need to teach themselves how to behave in public, or around other people. That is what us parents are here for.

My final thought. I know that I am not perfect. I know that there are things that I could improve upon or learn new techinques. But I also know, that my children love me, just as much as I love them, and that in their eyes, I am "The Best Daddy in the Whole World!" That sentence alone makes every sleepless night, every numb arm, and every spent dollar, so very worth it.

~ Tony

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Things can't always be smooth sailing, right?

We are almost finished with our first week of school. Over all, it's been pretty great. BUT, Alex isn't really feeling the, doing work that he doesn't enjoy thing... he's doing his work and not really resisting, but he's being so slow with things he doesn't feel like doing! This isn't anything new with him, I just have to get him back into the groove. Today was a challenging day for me, I need to tweak Alex's schedule a bit because I just CAN'T have another day like today. It took far too long to get his work for the day done and I am completely burned out. Things can't ALWAYS be smooth sailing right? I'll just keep telling myself that!

On a great note, Cameron is doing excellent! He's excited to do his work, he's doing it quickly and he's really enjoying it! He's so eager he keeps asking to do more work after he has his work for the day done. It's so nice to have a child this eager to learn! Wyatt is very much like Cameron with being eager. I'm not doing a full curriculum for him since it's Pre-k, but he has plenty to do that he is having fun with.

I took a quick picture when we were starting their first day of school.



The 3 older boys watching a science experiment this evening.




In closing, I am more than willing to take the tough days with the good days. This journey is such a rewarding one and I wouldn't give it up for anything...

even a little sanity...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Now we are REALLY ready to start the school year!

Now, after my little change of plans for curriculum and adding another shelf, we really are completely ready for this school year! Everything is here and organized! The boys are actually excited to start the year, which really makes me happy. When the rest of the curriculum and supplies arrived today the 3 older boys were all so excited to see it all. They wanted to start RIGHT then LOL. I think this is going to be our best year yet!

Here is the Homeschool area again. This time completely ready for the year!




Sunday, August 15, 2010

2 years ago today

2 years ago today, my 4th son Zayne was born ♥. After a moderately tough labor and a scary delivery with the cord around his neck, I saw one of the most beautiful newborns with a head of dark hair! He is such a handsome and smart little boy! I am lucky to be his mom :).

♥ Happy Birthday Zayne.♥




Last minute change of plans

I decided only last week that I wanted to order a core curriculum from Timberdoodle for Cameron rather than using the eclectic mish mosh I have here for Kindergarten. It gets here tomorrow just in time for me to work out his schedule! Whew! We also added a second book shelf last week. Everything is organized, the kids each have their own binders and I have Alex's scheduling done. I decided to change things up a little bit as far as organization and record keeping since I'll be homeschooling 3 of them. I'm feeling very prepared and organized this year!


A couple of days ago my in-laws let us know that they are visiting the end of next month. We have not seen them in 2 years so it'll be nice to see them. They get to meet Annabella and see how much the boys have grown. I just hope my father-in-law is a little less cranky this time around lol. They'll get to see our house before we move/sell it also.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Do people think before they speak?

Here I am, typing out another blog today! This time, it's because I am annoyed... well, I don't know if I'd say annoyed, but I'm just a little set back about how rude some people are.

I just wonder if people even think for half a second before they open their mouths? I wonder if when they say something rude or just flat out stupid, if they even realize it or care? Like I have talked about before, my family gets so many comments from people. Sometimes very kind and often rude or just flat out stupid. Now onto what happened today that prompted this little vent... I took Annabella to her re-check for the double ear infection she had (She is 15lbs 4ozs! She'll be 9 months tomorrow and has gained more than a pound since 8 months!!! That's great for her since she is so tiny!). One of the AD Navy staff working at the clinic (an officer of some sort, I didn't pay much attention to her uniform lol) came in while I waited for the pedi NP and was talking to the baby, going on and on about how cute she is etc. We were just discussing children and I made reference to my 5. She stopped and said "She's your 5th?" I told her yes and that the other 4 were boys. She got very serious and said "You have 4 boys and wanted to get pregnant again? Are you CRAZY? She said this very seriously, as if she was really truthfully expecting me to tell her I'm "crazy" or mentally ill. *pause* *awkward silence* *crickets* Finally I just said "I really enjoy my kids and being a mom." She just smiled at the baby again, told her she was cute and left the room because someone needed her. How. Awkward... Now, this wasn't a mean or terribly awful comment, but really? What kind of response do people expect when they ask a question like that? Do they expect me to say "As matter of fact I AM crazy! How did you know!?" Do people think asking things like that is really acceptable? It honestly didn't upset me, because I have been asked much more offensive and rude things (Like assuming my pregnancy must have been an accident). But, it does make me think and wonder what they expect me to say.

Maybe I'll start firing back whacked out responses to see their reactions! *evil grin* For example, when people see I have 5 kids and rudely say "OMG! How old are you!?" while making a disgusted face at me. I can respond with "I'm 21" just to see what they will say and make them squirm! What are they thinking when they say or ask something like that? Do they actually expect an outrageous answer? Hmmm, maybe I should give them one and see how it goes! I think what it comes down to, is some of these people are just plain old rude.

Ahh, the list of stupid, semi-rude, VERY-rude and just plain awkward comments is SO long. Maybe someday I'll start a compilation! lol I have to say though, the rude people and rude comments make the sweet people and sweet comments or even innocent well meaning, yet silly questions, that much better :). This past Sunday at the commissary, for example. This beautiful woman looked over at me and whispered as we were passing eachother "Oh my gosh, 5. How do you do it? I can barely handle my 1." and glanced at her very beautiful toddler daughter. She then said "You're my hero." While it was a little silly, it was sweet too. I appreciate when people have positive and nice things to say.


On a completely different subject, real quick! An old friend of mine yesterday was talking about how I've always had a little bit of an attitude, just enough, but not bitchy or mean. He then said "You're like spicy food!", which I said was fitting because some people love it and some people hate it! hah! I don't know why I found the comparison so amusing, but I did lol.

In honor of World Breastfeeding Week

Since this is World Breastfeeding Week, I thought I'd make yet another entry about Breastfeeding.

I know this is a sensitive topic for many mothers on both sides. I have become so passionate about breastfeeding because I wish that I had support and had fully educated myself on the benefits when I first became a mother. Now, because I wasn't fully educated and didn't have anyone pushing me to breastfeed, I like to encourage soon to be new moms I know to at least give it a try. I absolutely know breastfeeding does not work for everyone, for many different reasons. But even breastfeeding for a short time is better than not doing it at all. The longer, the better, of course. I know several mothers who work and still have a breastfeeding relationship for a year and beyond. I admire those women because I know for some, pumping isn't easy. If there are no medical issues preventing you from breastfeeding, just give it a try!

Breastfeeding has been one of the most beautiful things I have done. The bond that it creates is like nothing else, The knowledge that I am giving my baby the best I can is comforting and knowing that I am giving them everything they need from me is amazing. It's natural. It is what our bodies as women were made to do.

Now if only the stigma, negative perception and false information about Breastfeeding would dwindle away.





Here are some Breastfeeding Myths.

There is no (not enough) milk during the first 3 or 4 days after birth.
This is absolutely not true! The mother produces colostrum, which is very high in nutrients and antibodies. This is plenty for the baby until the actual milk comes in.

Pumping is a good way of knowing how much milk the mother has.
No! Many women (myself included) cannot pump near as much as a properly latched nursing baby can get. Pumping only shows you how much you can pump, not how much milk the baby is able to get.

Breastfeeding babies need extra vitamin D.
This one is a NO also. This is something I was hung up on for a while. The pedi here pushes the vit. supplement very heavily. The research I've done based on studies made me feel pretty confident it's not completely necessary. I say this is something that is up to the mother and not a MUST.

It is easier to bottle feed than to breastfeed.
No way! I can tell you, when you're exhausted in the middle of the night and your newborn wants to eat, being able to just lay there and breastfeed is so much more convenient than preparing a bottle.

Modern formulas are almost the same as breastmilk.
Nope. Formulas contain no antibodies, no living cells, no enzymes, no hormones. They contain much more aluminum, manganese, cadmium and iron than breastmilk. They contain significantly more protein than breastmilk. The proteins and fats are fundamentally different from those in breastmilk. Formulas do not vary from the beginning of the feed to the end of the feed, or from day 1 to day 7 to day 30, or from woman to woman, or from baby to baby... Your breastmilk is made as required to suit your baby. Formulas are made to suit every baby, and thus no baby. Formulas succeed only at making babies grow well, usually, but there is more to breastfeeding than getting the baby to grow quickly.

If the mother is taking medicine she should not breastfeed.
There are very few medicines that a mother cannot take safely while breastfeeding. A very small amount of most medicines appears in the milk, but usually in such small quantities that there is no concern. If a medicine is truly of concern, there are usually equally effective, alternative medicines which are safe.

Breastfeeding makes your breasts sag.
No. Breastfeeding itself, does NOT make breasts sag. Weight gain/loss, pregnancy etc. can contribute to breasts sagging.



Here are some fact on the importance and benefits of breastfeeding from womenshealth.gov.

Breastfeeding Protects Babies

Early breast milk is liquid gold – Known as liquid gold, colostrum (coh-LOSS-trum) is the thick yellow first breast milk that you make during pregnancy and just after birth. This milk is very rich in nutrients and antibodies to protect your baby. Although your baby only gets a small amount of colostrum at each feeding, it matches the amount his or her tiny stomach can hold. (Visit How to Know Your Baby is Getting Enough Milk to see just how small your newborn’s tummy is!)

Your breast milk changes as your baby grows – Colostrum changes into what is called mature milk. By the third to fifth day after birth, this mature breast milk has just the right amount of fat, sugar, water, and protein to help your baby continue to grow. It is a thinner type of milk than colostrum, but it provides all of the nutrients and antibodies your baby needs.

Breast milk is easier to digest – For most babies — especially premature babies — breast milk is easier to digest than formula. The proteins in formula are made from cow’s milk and it takes time for babies’ stomachs to adjust to digesting them.

Breast milk fights disease – The cells, hormones, and antibodies in breast milk protect babies from illness. This protection is unique; formula cannot match the chemical makeup of human breast milk. In fact, among formula-fed babies, ear infections and diarrhea are more common. Formula-fed babies also have higher risks of:

Necrotizing (nek-roh-TEYE-zing) enterocolitis (en-TUR-oh-coh-lyt-iss), a disease that affects the gastrointestinal tract in preterm infants.
Lower respiratory infections
Atopic dermatitis, a type of skin rash
Asthma
Obesity
Type 1 and type 2 diabetes
Childhood leukemia

Breastfeeding has also been shown to lower the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).


Mothers Benefit From Breastfeeding

Life can be easier when you breastfeed – Breastfeeding may take a little more effort than formula feeding at first. But it can make life easier once you and your baby settle into a good routine. Plus, when you breastfeed, there are no bottles and nipples to sterilize. You do not have to buy, measure, and mix formula. And there are no bottles to warm in the middle of the night! You can satisfy your baby’s hunger right away when breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding can save money – Formula and feeding supplies can cost well over $1,500 each year, depending on how much your baby eats. Breastfed babies are also sick less often, which can lower health care costs.

Breastfeeding can feel great – Physical contact is important to newborns. It can help them feel more secure, warm, and comforted. Mothers can benefit from this closeness, as well. Breastfeeding requires a mother to take some quiet relaxed time to bond. The skin-to-skin contact can boost the mother’s oxytocin (OKS-ee-TOH-suhn) levels. Oxytocin is a hormone that helps milk flow and can calm the mother.

Breastfeeding can be good for the mother’s health, too – Breastfeeding is linked to a lower risk of these health problems in women:

Type 2 diabetes
Breast cancer
Ovarian cancer
Postpartum depression

Experts are still looking at the effects of breastfeeding on osteoporosis and weight loss after birth. Many studies have reported greater weight loss for breastfeeding mothers than for those who don’t. But more research is needed to understand if a strong link exists.

Mothers miss less work – Breastfeeding mothers miss fewer days from work because their infants are sick less often.

Breastfeeding Benefits Society

The nation benefits overall when mothers breastfeed. Recent research shows that if 90 percent of families breastfed exclusively for 6 months, nearly 1,000 deaths among infants could be prevented. The United States would also save $13 billion per year — medical care costs are lower for fully breastfed infants than never-breastfed infants. Breastfed infants typically need fewer sick care visits, prescriptions, and hospitalizations.

Breastfeeding also contributes to a more productive workforce since mothers miss less work to care for sick infants. Employer medical costs are also lower.

Breastfeeding is also better for the environment. There is less trash and plastic waste compared to that produced by formula cans and bottle supplies.


Breastfeeding During an Emergency

When an emergency occurs, breastfeeding can save lives:

Breastfeeding protects babies from the risks of a contaminated water supply.
Breastfeeding can help protect against respiratory illnesses and diarrhea. These diseases can be fatal in populations displaced by disaster.
Breast milk is the right temperature for babies and helps to prevent hypothermia, when the body temperature drops too low.
Breast milk is readily available without needing other supplies.


These are Breastfeeding Statistics from CDC.gov


73.9% were ever breastfed (this can mean AT ALL, even if it was 2 days)
43.4% were still breastfeeding at 6 months of age
22.7% were breastfeeding at 1 year of age
33.1% were exclusively breastfed through 3 months of age
13.6% were exclusively breastfed through 6 months of age

I find the statistics kind of sad really.


I hope after reading this, at least 1 woman will think more about breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding is Beautiful.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Random-ness from the past week!

I'm just letting my brain spew for a few minutes here.

One day in the middle of last week Alex came downstairs all proud of himself, holding something to show my husband. He walks into the kitchen where my husband was and I hear him say "Look daddy! My lego guy has a big penis!". Now let me tell you, this is not one of my proudest moments... but I did kind of laugh to myself. He had added an extra part between the sections of the little lego man's body to make it look like he had a big penis. My husband went on to explain to him that it was a bit inappropriate and why. He's creative, I'll give him that much!

Yesterday, while I was getting dressed for us to all go grocery shopping the 4 boys were in the playroom. I was listening to them like I usually do and they decided they would turn the entertainment center into a TV, that they were inside of (picture below). They were "filming" the "Maury Williams"show. That in itself I found amusing, but then listening to some of the things they were saying on the "show" had me hiding around the corner in my bedroom, giggling at them. One at point I heard Wyatt say "My baby is fat!" (Perhaps the very rare occasions I have had Maury on, he was paying attention to it!) And Alex... Silly, silly Alex. I heard him saying "Up next, parents and their bad kids!" "My son is a bad kid, a really bad kid! He made a lego man with a private part and I punished him for a week!" (Let me mention this now... we never told him he was a bad kid when he did that! Nor did we punish him! lol). When I heard that I couldn't help but laugh.

My boys are such... boys, sometimes lol.


Craptastic Photo compliments of my Motorola Droid.


Lets not forget what is now known as the "balls" incident! *Here is my TMI warning!*

On Thursday, while doing my hair in the bathroom, my husband was getting out of his uniform and sat on the edge of the tub in his undershirt and boxers, behind me while we talked. I hadn't really looked at him other than the reflection of his upper body in the mirror. Zayne walked into the bathroom and was talking to daddy, then all of the sudden squatted down and was STARING at something. Tony looked down and said "Zayne, what are you staring at?" and at that moment realized there was a hole in his boxers and his balls (Yeah yeah, we are so NOT PC when it comes to scrotums... they are "balls" here. But otherwise genitalia are Penis and Vagina) were completely HANGING out. We both started laughing so hard, I almost couldn't breathe! Maybe you had to be there... but it was so freaking hilarious to us. There is always something going on in this house!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Confidence and Pride

Recently I've been feeling a new sense of confidence and pride in homeschooling. There is quite a bit of negative light on homeschooling and before it would sometimes effect how confident I felt about choosing it for my family. As I'm preparing for this coming "school year", I'm just feeling very confident in my choice. It's right for my children and it's right for my family as a whole. This I am sure of. My children are happy, smart, caring, thriving and outgoing! What more could I ask for?

When I step back and really look at it all, I'm shaping my children. I'm giving them a unique learning experience. They are getting hands on experiences, one on one help and self paced learning. Things traditional public schools do not offer. They are getting so much more than just those things also. Every day I am teaching them about life and how to become good whole people. They are learning compassion, responsibility, patience, caring, giving... just so much. When I watch them interact with eachother and other people I realize how amazing they are. The compassion they show for other people astounds me sometimes. The way they view things is so unique and often so very much on target.

Every time I see how much my children are learning I feel so proud. Proud of them for working hard, proud of the work I have done to help them learn and proud in general of how our family is working and learning together. To watch my 7 year old who had a very rough start with reading, now finish a novel that is geared toward the ages 8 - 10 range, feels amazing. We had a lot of tough school days together, but we both pushed through them with a great outcome. I am sure there will be plenty of obstacles in our future, but I am confident we can do it together.

Together, that is what it is all about. Homeschooling has made us a stronger and closer family. I truly feel it is the right choice for our family. With all of the moving and times that daddy has had to, and will have to spend away, homeschooling is one thing that remains constant for us.

In a way, I feel like it has changed my life and made me a better person.